tagRomanceCaught by the Tide Ch. 09

Caught by the Tide Ch. 09


My apologies for the wait. I really thought I'd be able to get this done more quickly but as usual real life got in the way.

Hopefully, the wait will have been worth it. I'm sure you'll let me know :-)

To all those of you who've been asking for more 'Back to the Farm', I'm sorry--I know it's hard to wait. But I wanted to get Luke and Becks' story finished first--and I suspect there may only be one more chapter, possibly two. When it's done, I'll get back to Matt and Lissy, I promise. In the meantime, please bear with me. I wish I could write faster too!

Thank you all so much for your comments and emails. They mean the world to me.


Bacon... Was that what I could smell? And coffee?

Curious--and suddenly ravenous--I opened my eyes to find myself flat on my back in bed looking straight up at the ceiling, puzzled to see the unfamiliar lampshade hanging there. And with a gasp, I sat bolt upright, staring wildly around me, taking in the taupe and cream décor, the huge antique pine chest of drawers in front of me, the built-in wardrobes.

Luke. This was his bedroom. I was in his bed. He'd operated on Mum, I'd fallen asleep in his car on the way home and he'd taken me back to his place. In the middle of the night, he'd told me about what had happened with Chloe and then... Oh. Then we'd...

I turned quickly even though I already knew he couldn't be there, the sheets beside me cool to the touch. He'd obviously been up for a while.

"Wow," I murmured under my breath as I collapsed weakly back on the pillows, my heart rate slowly returning to normal. "Oh, wow." And closing my eyes, I stretched out my limbs, revelling in the softness of the mattress beneath me, that wonderful tell-tale ache between my thighs. Except... that wasn't all I could feel down there. Something was different. I was wet. Too wet. Oh dear God.

Pushing back the duvet, I slid out of bed and raced to the bathroom, my head spinning as I frantically began counting days. It was okay, I realised with a rush of relief, I ought to be safe. Just. But how on earth could I have let that happen? I'd never been careless before, never been so swept away in the moment, so overwhelmed with passion that I hadn't even considered the consequences.

The consequences... An unexpected picture dropped into my mind; Luke sitting behind me, his arms around me, his fingers splayed over my heavily-rounded belly. I swallowed hard, blinking the image away. Good grief, what was I thinking?

After taking a longing look at the shower I decided against using it without permission. Quite apart from the fact I really wasn't sure how to switch it on, it looked spotlessly clean. There didn't appear to be a single watermark on the shower screen, the fitments gleaming as though they'd never been used. But surely they had? How could anyone have a shower like that and not use it?

I spotted a navy blue bathrobe hanging on the back of the door and after shrugging it on, I yanked the door open again, only to find myself face to face with Luke.

"Morning," he said with a smile, once more giving me that look that seemed to warm me from the inside out. "I was going to bring you breakfast in bed, but seeing as you're already--" He stopped, his eyes narrowing as I stared back at him, heat already rushing into my face. "Now what?"

"We had unprotected sex," I blurted out, even though I knew it was as much my fault as his. "I can't believe we did that. I can't believe--"

"I know," he interrupted, gazing at me for a long moment, his expression quite unreadable. Then abruptly, he reached out to take my hand. "Shall we have breakfast?"

"But--" He wasn't concerned? I gaped at him in astonishment as he tugged me over to the door and out into what I discovered to be a large open-plan living area, my jaw dropping further still.

Like the bedroom and the bathroom, this too could have come straight from the pages of a glossy magazine, a seating area to my left, replete with black leather settees and a huge flat screen television; to my right, the kitchen, another gleaming confection of chrome-coloured appliances and granite-topped cabinets.

"It looks like a show home," I heard myself saying weakly as he ushered me across to a rather formal-looking dining table and drew out a chair.

"It used to be," he said, waiting for me to sit down. "I'll have you know this is a--" Luke made quotation mark gestures using his index and middle fingers "--'luxury executive apartment'. I bought the place and everything in it about six months ago. Figured it would save a lot of time. I hate wandering around furniture shops, you see--and let's face it, it looks pretty impressive. I won't have to worry about decorating for a while." He shrugged. "To be honest, none of it is really to my taste but as I don't spend much time here anyway, it doesn't matter."

"Married to your job, huh?" I murmured, only realising how thirsty I was when I noticed the cafetiere of coffee and the jug of orange juice in front of me, reaching for the latter and pouring myself a glass even as he headed back towards the kitchen area.

He turned to shoot me a quizzical glance. "Who told you that?" And then he groaned. "Caitlin."

I swallowed my third gulp of orange juice then smirked. "I think she fancies you."

Rolling his eyes, Luke plucked up an oven mitt with a flourish and stooped to open the oven door. "I spoke to her on the phone a few minutes ago, actually. She's working an early shift this morning and she's looking after your Mum again. They've reduced your Mum's sedation and they're weaning her off the ventilator. With any luck they'll be able to extubate her soon."

I stared at him in anxious confusion. "In English?"

He gave me an apologetic smile, returning to the table with two plates and sliding one in front of me. "Sorry. She had a good night and she's doing well. She's waking up, she's starting to breathe on her own and by the time we get to the hospital they'll probably be thinking about taking out the tube. Better?"

Much. I hadn't realised how frightened I'd been. It felt rather as though I'd been holding my breath and could finally breathe again myself, a leaden weight rolling away from my chest. "She's--she's going to be okay?"

At the quiver in my voice, Luke put down the other plate then kneeled beside me, looping the strap of the oven mitt around my shoulders and propelling me into his arms. "Hey, I'm good," he murmured. "Did you really think she wouldn't be?"

I pulled back to shoot him a glare but couldn't quite manage it, finding myself smiling through my tears. "You arrogant--"

"--tosser? I know." Grinning, he kissed my nose then straightened up, throwing the oven mitt over the chair besides mine. "Come on, babe. You need to eat."

I looked down at my plate as he rounded the table to sit opposite me, feeling my smile broaden. "You've made me a bacon sandwich."

He frowned. "Don't tell me you're a vegetarian?"

I shook my head, wanting to laugh. "No. It's just--Luke, you're a heart surgeon. A bacon butty?"

His expression cleared, his smile returning. "Hey, that's not just any bacon butty, you know. The bacon's been grilled, the fat's been cut off and that's a warm granary bap, fresh from the bakery downstairs on the corner."

I gazed at the delicious-looking bread, my mouth watering at the aroma. "You've been out already?"

He nodded. "Ketchup?" he asked, reaching for the bottle and offering it to me. "Very good for you, fantastic source of lycopene, rich in antioxidants."

Laughing now, I took the bottle, opening the bap and squirting a line across the lean bacon. Then lifting the sandwich to my lips, I took a bite, my eyes sliding closed as I began to chew. Dear God, it tasted wonderful...

"Besides, you can come with me to the gym later if you like." I opened my eyes again to find him watching me in amusement. "Unless, of course," he added as I took another bite, mischief in his eyes, "you can think of a more pleasurable way of burning off any excess calories."


He chuckled when I spluttered, reaching forward to hand me my glass of juice. "So," he said when he was satisfied I'd recovered, taking a bite of his own sandwich, "just how likely is it that we made a baby Tosser Foster last night?"

It was just as well I hadn't yet taken another mouthful because I'd probably have choked again. "Not very," I admitted warily. "Not so long as--I mean--so long as I..." This was silly, I thought as I floundered over the words, heat rushing into my face. Luke was a surgeon, there was no need to be embarrassed.

"Your period was last week, right?"

I stared at him in astonishment, wondering how he could possibly have known.

He smiled. "You told me yesterday you knew you weren't pregnant. And even if you hadn't told me that, I happened to notice you had two pills left in the packet when I was in your bathroom at the hotel."

"Does anything get past you?" When he shook his head, I gave him a rueful smile then sobered quickly as it dawned on me what I'd need to do. "Oh God. There still might be a problem, though."

"Becks." Luke stretched out a hand to cover mine. "I haven't slept with anyone in a long time. After the whole Chloe thing, I made a point of getting myself checked out for every disease I could think of--"

"Oh no, it's not that." I was touched he'd thought that was what I was worried about. "Though while we're on the subject, I've always used condoms too, so I don't think you need to worry too much either." Thank God, I thought with an inward shudder. Goodness only knew how many times Daniel had been unfaithful to me. "No--it's just that I need to start a new packet of pills today."

"Okay." He motioned at me to carry on eating. "That's easy. You're staying at your Mum's house aren't you?"

"How did you know that?" I asked through a mouthful of sandwich, too surprised to wait until I'd swallowed.

He grinned. "You told me last night, remember? In the car. About ten seconds before you fell asleep."

"Oh." Chagrined, I took another bite. I could barely remember getting into Luke's car, let alone the rest of the journey.

"So we'll call in on the way to the hospital and pick them up."

I shook my head. "That's the problem. I haven't got any there. I'm going to need to go to the flat."

"Ah." Luke's eyes softened in understanding. "But Daniel won't be home, will he? Surely he'll be at work."

I bit my lip. "He's on leave. We're both on leave. We're supposed to be on our honeymoon in the Maldives, remember?"

"Right." He gazed at me solemnly for a moment. "Then I'll come with you."

"I don't think so." Despite my misgivings, I found myself smiling. "I really don't think that'd be a good idea, do you?"

Luke pretended to be offended. "Hey, you think I can't take him?" he said, sliding up his sleeve and showing me a bulging bicep. "Just say the word, babe. Just say the word..."

I laughed. "Tempting, believe me. Something tells me he wouldn't stand a chance against you now."

"You'd better believe it. Hold still."


Having finished off the last mouthful of his sandwich, he leaned across the table towards me, touching the tip of his finger to my top lip. "Messy girl," he murmured, showing me the smear of tomato ketchup on his fingertip before raising it to his own lips and licking it off.

Oh boy. A prickle of awareness rippled down my spine, my lip tingling where he'd touched it. "Well," I said hesitantly, helpless to stop that now familiar heat flooding into my cheeks. "I could definitely use a shower."

It was Luke's turn to laugh. "Come on then," he said, rising from his chair and jerking his head towards the bedroom. "You're going to love this." Following him back into the room, I smiled to myself. He had such a cute bottom... "My sister reckons I only bought this place because of the bathroom," he said, oblivious to my admiration. "She could have a point."

"It's quite something," I agreed, looking up again as he switched on the light, once again finding myself rather overawed by the sight of all those sparkling tiles and mirrors. "And very--clean." So clean in fact, Luke could probably have performed surgery in there.

He twisted around, shooting me an amused glance. "That's not my doing."

"It isn't?" I couldn't help but feel a little relieved. I'd feared his hygiene standards might be rather hard to live up to. "Then--?"

"I have a cleaner. Rita. She comes twice a week. She's quite a character, always complaining that there's never enough for her to do around here." Luke grinned. "I tell her not to worry, that she should spend one hour pushing the Hoover around and spend the other on the settee reading a magazine. That'd be fine by me." He shrugged. "But she won't have it. So she indulges in championship bathroom cleaning."

"It looks beautiful."

He nodded. "Too beautiful. I hate spoiling it. And very often I don't--I end up using the facilities at the hospital a lot of the time. But--" he beckoned me across to the shower, opening the screen door "--she'll love that someone's used it. Now, I know this looks complicated--"

"Complicated?" I echoed, giving the control panel a dubious look. "Luke, my shower has one knob and a button. Hot, cold. On, off."

He grinned again, looking for all the world like a small boy about to show off a new toy. "Watch." Reaching into the shower, he tapped at the keypad. There was a second's delay, enough time for him to back out of the way then the water spray began, a steady, ordinary stream. "Now," he said, smiling back at me. "You can have this. Or," he prodded at the keypad again and the water pressure increased perhaps five fold, pounding down into the tray like torrential rain, "this." Another quick tap and the water began pulsing, spurting from the shower head in sharp bursts. "Great when you need a massage."

I could well imagine. If I had a shower like it, I doubted I'd ever be able to get to work on time in the mornings. "Right," I said at last when he'd demonstrated at least a dozen different modes and I was utterly bamboozled. "So--how did you get it to behave like a normal shower again?"

"Rebecca." He shot me an exasperated glance then began to laugh, shaking his head. "Oh, what the hell, we've got time."

To my surprise--and secret delight--he abruptly peeled off his sweatshirt then shrugged off his jogging bottoms, leaving him completely and gloriously naked. But before I could look my fill, he drew me closer, untying my dressing gown and pushing it off my shoulders, letting it fall to the floor. I shivered as he reached for the bottom edge of my T-shirt, his fingers skimming my bare skin as he pulled it up and over my head,. Then he steered me into the cubicle, closed the screen door behind us, turned on the shower and swept me into his arms.

For a while, neither of us moved, revelling in the feel of warm skin pressed against warm skin, the water from both shower heads cascading over us like a hot fountain. But when I tilted my head to look at him, his lips found mine and we kissed, my hands roaming across his back, those broad shoulders; his hands moving over my body on a teasing mission of their own.

I whimpered in disappointment when he pulled away, Luke smiling as he showed me the bottle of shampoo he'd retrieved from the shower caddy. "S'okay. I'm only going to wash your hair."

Oh well, in that case... "Do I get to wash yours too?"

He smiled again, taking my hand and pouring a little shampoo into my palm before adding a fair-sized dollop to his own. Ducking out from beneath the spray, I reached up first, sliding my fingers into those water-flattened dark curls, massaging his scalp the way he'd massaged mine all those... All those days ago? Was that really all it had been? It already felt as though it could've been years.

I laughed as he rewarded my efforts with a groan of satisfaction then heard my own pleasured gasp as his hands burrowed into my hair, working the pads of his fingers deep into the roots. But seemingly not content with that, he then began drawing the suds lower, over my shoulders, down my arms, over my breasts, soaping me thoroughly, caressing me everywhere. And when I followed his lead, mirroring his movements, pretty soon we were both covered in foam.

Spinning me around, Luke gathered me to him, my back slithering against his abdomen as his hands slid over my ribs, one rising to capture my right breast, his thumb brushing repeatedly over my nipple, the other moving lower across my belly then lower still, finding my now-aching centre. Already aroused, it took only a few sure strokes of his clever fingers to make me come, my rapturous sob resonating around the bathroom.

He held me close while I floated back down to earth, murmuring endearments, whispering praise before drawing me back under the spray, allowing the water to rain over us both, washing all traces of soap away. And then I was turning, sinking to my knees, almost overwhelmed by the desire to return the pleasure he'd so selflessly afforded me.

Luke made an odd, strangled sound as I drew his cock into my mouth, gazing down at me as I looked up at him. "Becks..." His voice was hoarse, his eyes wide. "Babe, you--oh God! You really--don't need to--do this..."

If I could've smiled, I would have. I knew I didn't need to but, perhaps for the first time in my life, I truly wanted to do what I was doing, concentrating on taking in as much of him as I could. Though that was no easy task. Even semi-erect he was considerably bigger than any of my previous boyfriends and as he swelled rapidly I found it difficult to manage much more than the head. If Luke minded my ineptness, he certainly didn't show it, his face contorting with pleasure, his breathing growing ragged.

"Becks," he ground out at last, "you have to stop that."

I couldn't see why, his enjoyment was obvious. So I carried on, using my fingers now as well as my mouth, swirling my tongue across the under side, trying to remember every trick I'd ever learned. Until all at once I felt his strong hands on my shoulders, pushing me away before reaching down to seize me around the waist, hauling me to my feet. "Becks! I said stop. You're going to make me come."

"But that's the point!" I gave a puzzled laugh. "I want you to come."

"Not like that," he growled, shaking his head. "Not without you." And then he was turning me around again, pushing me forwards, taking my hands and planting them on the tiles in front of me. I gave a gasp as he moved in behind me, edging my feet apart with his own, feeling for me with his fingers. Then I could feel him against me, poised for entrance, perfectly aligned. Hot. Hard. Huge....

I wailed as he plunged inside me, driving deep--oh God, impossibly deep--on that very first thrust, appreciating immediately just how very wet I was, how ready I'd been, how much I'd wanted this. I could hear, could feel the water thundering down around us, somehow intensifying the friction of each stroke, heightening my desire, my need for him. And soon I was pushing back against him, trying to force him further inside me, trying to increase the pace.

"You like this?" he said, his voice so very close to my ear, a note of surprise in his tone, his hand moving to my lower belly, pulling me even more tightly against him with each thrust.

"Yes," I breathed, barely capable of speech, the sensations almost too intense, the pleasure all-consuming. "Oh God, yes. But Luke--please?"


"Don't wait for me." I recognised the sounds he was making, knew he was close, knew he wanted me to be there with him. But I wasn't ready, not quite. Not yet. "Please? It's okay!"

To my astonishment, he reached up for the shower head above my head, pulling it down from its holder. I saw his hand in front of me, saw him stab at the control panel and watched as the stream of water became a pulse. And as he continued to plunge deep, he turned the spray on me, allowing the jets of water to spurt first across my over-sensitised breasts then my belly, then finally--oh God--down between my thighs. The result was explosive, my orgasm flooding through me in a devastating burst, Luke tensing before finding his own completion, his cry of pleasure merging with my own.

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