tagRomanceLeather and Lace Ch. 01

Leather and Lace Ch. 01


All comments and suggestions are welcome. This is my first submission and the first part of quite a long story, so if you guys like it, I'll post the next parts as they're completed.



It's the first Friday in December and naturally, since this is Western Washington, it's pouring. I'm driving home from work, exhausted—as I always am at the end of the week. The lovely Mr. Kahr had decided to approach me fifteen minutes before the weekend was supposed to begin with his arms full of paperwork that "just needed to get done" before I could be allowed home for my well-deserved two days of freedom. And of course I—never one to stand up for myself—had pasted on a smile and told him I didn't have plans anyway.

It wasn't really a lie. It's not as if I did have plans. I hardly ever do these days. But an evening of nothing would have been amazing.

Now, it'll be a miracle if I make it home before midnight. With another ten miles to go, I have to drive well under the highway's speed limit to keep from hydroplaning. Even for the Seattle area, the weather is disgusting.

Just as I flip the windshield wipers to their fastest setting, my headlights illuminate a peculiar shape just off the shoulder. Is it an animal? A bicyclist with no reflectors? A pile of garbage? Idiots have been dumping their old trash along the highway lately...

I slow down and begin to pull over, recognizing a man hunched over his motorcycle. A very old looking motorcycle. He's obviously drenched and looks up as I approach, a glint of hope evident in his eyes.

I roll down the passenger window as he begins to walk over. I take the few moments to eye him appreciatively... Despite my horrifically boring and safe appearance, I've always had a weakness for this type. He looks to be in his mid to late twenties. He's wearing a leather jacket, dark jeans and boots. His medium-length hair looks black, due to the fact that he's been out in monsoon-like conditions for god knows how long. It's dripping water onto his face and shoulders. He looks like a model. I don't know for what though. For anything. I'd buy anything he told me to.

I need to stop eyeing him like he's a sex god before he gets to the window. That would not go over well.

"Hello," he says, resting his hands on my car and leaning in slightly. He has a low, smooth voice. A British accent. Pleasant, unexpected. I can't tear my eyes from his bright, bright blue ones.

"Uh, hi. Are you okay?" I ask. "Do you need help?"

"I seem to be a bit stranded," he admits, his eyebrow piercing glistening in the dim light. "I thought I'd fixed my bike up pretty well, but apparently it's not quite satisfied with my handiwork."

He's beautiful and stranded. Oh, god.

I keep it professional. Not in my head, though. "Well, would you like a ride into town? Where are you headed?"

He tells me, and I'm careful not to react. It seems he lives on the same block as I do.

Freaky coincidence? Serial killer? Who cares?

I lick my lips nervously. "I'm headed that way, too. Come on in." I try to sound nonchalant, and even flash him a little smile. I'm not prepared for the gorgeous way a lopsided, dimpled smile of his own gathers at the corners of his lips, though. I begin fiddling with my radio as he hurries back to his bike to collect his pack and helmet.

And then he's lowering himself gracefully into the passenger seat, gently pulling the door closed. His smell, probably somewhat diluted by the storm, is so manly and clean that I nearly lean in to him. He's holding his helmet in his lap in a very endearing way.

"Thank you so much,..." he drags it out, obviously expecting me to supply my name.

"Eve," I say.

"Of course," he murmurs. I glare at him as he snickers. I don't look that chaste.

Except I'm afraid that I do—to him, at least. I'm pretty sure a demure black dress, pewter cardigan and oxford flats aren't what attract guys like him. At least I had opted for patterned tights that could be seen as at least somewhat sexy.

But then he turns to meet my gaze, and I feel my short-lived anger slipping away again. Those eyes! I quickly avert my own, pretending to concentrate on the road while taking a shaky breath. He shouldn't be having such a big effect on me. I never feel this way.

I don't realize I've forgotten to ask him his own name until he tells me. "I'm Gabriel."

"Not Adam," I respond without thinking. It doesn't sound as playful as I wanted it to. Instead, there's a poorly hidden element of disappointment.

He laughs again, but his tone is far too serious for my already uneasy stomach. "It's too bad, really."

"Yeah. You don't seem very angelic to me." My cheeks are on fire. Why the hell had I said that? Something else feels warm, too. Something that hasn't felt this way in a very long time. I'm not flirtatious. This is bad, bad news.

I can feel his eyes on me. I squint at the road, willing my nerves to calm.

"The bike and jacket are just part of the disguise, darling."

Oh, holy fuck. What have I gotten myself into?

Sensing my discomfort, Gabriel clears his throat and then his deep voice fills my car again. "I almost was named Adam, actually... But my mum had some sort of obsession with archangels, and of course she won the discussion. My father still doesn't get the final say whenever she's around."

I smile at him, grateful for his humor as well as for the change in subject. Parents, I could deal with. "Are they still in Britain?"

He looks at me curiously, and I remember that he hasn't actually told me where he's from.

"Oh...I just assumed, you know, because of your accent."

His eyes crinkle into another grin, and he nods knowingly. "Yes, still in the home I grew up in. In the countryside near Manchester. I doubt they'll ever move. Which is nice, I guess, because I can go back and feel like a little kid whenever I want to..." He turns to me again. "How about your family?"

That sobers me up a bit. "Just my brother and I." I don't supply anything more, and he's smart enough not to press the issue.

We sit in silence. The squeak of my windshield wipers and the pounding of the rain are enough of an interruption to keep the lack of conversation from becoming awkward.

The feelings I'm battling are very awkward, however. Yeah, I've gone on a few first dates in the past few years, and even a couple of second ones. But never have I felt this sort of...attraction...to someone I haven't said a hundred words to. It isn't natural, is it? Or is this how it's supposed to feel?

If it is, I've certainly been missing out. I'm way too aware of his presence, the fact that his left arm is mere inches from my own. The moisture from his clothes and hair has fogged up the windows, so I turn up the air. I can think of other things that could make the windows cloud over. I feel giddy.

If he's surprised that I don't have to ask further directions to his house, he doesn't show it. Maybe this is an area of town everyone knows well, and the mention of a couple street names is enough to orient most people. I wouldn't know these things, since I have the worst sense of direction of anyone I've encountered. I still have to recall my first grade teacher's "Never Eat Soggy Waffles" phrase to differentiate East from West.

"It's just to the right," he says quietly. "You can drop me off here if you'd like."

Now I'm genuinely surprised. The houses he's pointing to are just that—houses, not apartments. Worth a lot of money, even though they have no front yard whatsoever. I always gaze at them enviously from across the street.

I park under the streetlight. Too late, I realize that I've turned the car off completely, the windshield wiper stuck halfway through its revolution. The rain's still pouring down—it's louder now that the engine's off, and looks even more impressive because of the streetlight above us.


I look up at him, suddenly very nervous. Is he leaning towards me slightly? Or was he always this close?

"Gabriel." My voice isn't as steady as his.

I can see his individual lashes. Dark, long. Really long. Still wet. Framing his brilliant blue eyes.

"Thank you so much for the ride."

I nod, not trusting myself to speak without further embarrassing myself. He pulls a well-used wallet from his backpack and tries to give me a ten.

"No, no," I shake my head in emphasis. "God, no. I live really close anyway."

He smiles, tries one more time, and then opens the door. He's getting out...

Of course he's leaving. What did I think would happen? What the hell was I hoping would happen?

He's taken a few steps toward his apartment, and I'm turning the key in the ignition, when he seems to change his mind and stride quickly back over to my car. He opens the door. My heart stutters before beating twice as quickly as it ought to be.

"Could I at least thank you with a cup of tea?" he's asking. "I've got decaf."

I know I've been called innocent, traditional, careful. But never have I been pegged as a decaf type of girl. I mean, I was raised in Seattle, for God's sake. Here that's actually a bit of an insult.

"Why, do you think I can't handle caffeine?" I ask. It might sound a little harsher than I intended.

"Well..." he's smiling. Why is he smiling? He's looking at his wrist... "It's after midnight. I figured no one really needs a boost at this time of night."

Oh. Oh, oh, oh... He'd just invited me into his house. For tea. Decaf tea.

I pretended to hesitate. "Um... It's pretty late..."

He just nods.

"What kinds of tea do you have?"

"All sorts of things, really...Black, green, chai. Vanilla almond, ginger peach, blueberry...I don't know. Loads. I may not look much like a tea person—until I open my mouth, that is...But it's always been my drink of choice," he adds with a little smile.

"Sure. Yes." I don't sound like myself. His enthusiasm is contagious. "I would love a cup."


His house is minimally but tastefully decorated. I appreciate the simple, classy aspects—the hardwood floors, the furniture's straight lines, the adjustable, warm lighting.

And it's really more of a home than a house. Stacks of books sit by the coffee table and photos of what I assume are his family are plastered onto his fridge. Soon, as I'm getting comfortable on a bar stool, a tan boxer ambles into the kitchen and yawns while eyeing me apprehensively.

"Aw, who are you?" I ask, stretching a hand towards her, grateful for something to do while Gabriel rummages around his cupboards.

I begin scratching her ears, and soon he walks back with an assortment of tea bags, two cups and a kettle.

"Ah. I see you've met Megs. The love of my life."

Can he be any more adorable? I ask myself.

Apparently he can, because he proceeds to kneel on the floor by my feet to give her a bit of attention. The position he's in, kneeling so close to me with his face at, well, skirt-height, shouldn't be making me so uncomfortable.

When he stands back up, he's even closer than I'm expecting. And he doesn't step backwards, but stays just inches from me as he pours the water over the teabag I've selected.

Before I have time to tell myself it's an awfully dangerous idea, I shift just the teensiest bit. But those few centimeters move my knee against his thigh.

Never has my knee felt so turned on.

If he's as aware of our physical contact as I am, he doesn't show it. He rips open a packet of his own—Moroccan peppermint—and carefully fills his cup with water.

But then he turns to look at me, and I can tell he realizes we're touching. His eyes are noticeably darker, mirroring the desire I feel.

A hand moves to my knee as he watches me carefully, gauging my reaction. I appreciate that. He's giving me plenty of ways to escape. I don't so much as consider taking any of them.

For once, I return his stare unflinchingly. I'm oddly proud of myself for not falling from my chair as he rests one hand on the counter, the other on my leg. I'm trapped, wonderfully trapped.

His palm seems to be burning a hole into my tights, but I want his hands everywhere. I take a ragged breath and finally break our eye contact, instead looking down into my lap. At his hand just above my knee, which is still pressed against his thigh. His jeans are quite tight.

With the one hand still on my leg, he raises the other to my face. It tips my chin up gently as his face comes slowly closer.

He's going to kiss me...

He pauses, so close to my lips I feel the breath escape his parted lips.

And then something vibrates insistently in his pocket.

He smiles and, groaning, steps away to dig out his phone.

"I'm sorry," he says, really sounding apologetic. "I'll be just a moment."

And off he goes, walking quickly into the living room and speaking quietly into his cell.

It's just as well. Those few moments give me time to breathe, time to clear my head.

I'm completely out of my mind... And though I'm enjoying it—enjoying it immensely—it can't happen. I don't do things like this, have one-night stands with leather-clad guys I pick up on the freeway. That's for the women of the romance novels I pretend I don't read but in fact keep stashed away in tidy little stacks in my nightstand's drawer.

So I take a few gulps of my untouched tea, pick up my purse and coat, and stand up. I'll just wait for him to get off the phone, and then I'll bid him goodnight. If I'm feeling very overwhelmed by his presence, and therefore insanely brave, I'll offer my number.

I never get the chance, though.

"I'm so, so very sorry," he assures me as he returns to the kitchen. Returns to where I'm standing. Quite close to me. "Now, where were we?"

"Well, the thing is, I should really—"

But his lips descend on mine with an urgency I'd seen in his expression before, but hadn't actually anticipated. Electricity, tinged with a fierce yearning, courses through my veins. I'm feeling wonderfully dizzy as his hands wind around my waist, pressing me closer.

Fuck being responsible.

"Now," he purrs between kisses. "What'd you want to tell me?"

Fuck going home.

"I don't remember," I sigh against his mouth.

He backs me against the counter. I'm crushed against him, no room for escape...

"Eve..." He kisses me again, sweetly suckling my bottom lip between his teeth before moving to my ear. He nibbles gently before whispering to me. "You are..." kiss "...so fucking delicious."

His words, and his breath in my ear, send a series of shivers down my spine. I moan against his neck as he presses hot, moist kisses across my collarbone.

Suddenly he's lifting me up, sitting me back down on my stool. He's standing between my legs, his hands on my thighs as he slowly rubs them.

"G-Gabriel..." I choke out. "I need... I want... you to—" But his lips return, swallowing my incomplete request and driving all coherent thoughts from my mind. All I can do is kiss him back, surrender myself to the sensations that are taking over everything. My body, my mind...

An urgency is building up in my lower stomach. Instinctually, I snake my arms around him, drawing him closer and trying to press myself against him. To press him against me, between my legs.

The sounds he's making are driving me to insanity. To know that I'm doing this to him, rendering him speechless, primal... it's unbelievably sexy.

I squeal as he picks me up, then wrap my legs tightly around his middle, eliciting another delightful moan that I can feel as well as hear. He's moving quickly up the stairs, still kissing my neck and murmuring sweet nothings into my ear.

Somewhere between the top of the stairs and his soft bed, I decide to start on the buttons of his shirt. I don't know why I don't wait until he's no longer carrying me, but then again, I'm really not capable of making smart decisions at the moment. I get through about two and a half buttons before my back hits the mattress. Gabriel chuckles at my meager attempt.

"I'll help you with these." I frown as he unbuttons his shirt much more efficiently and leaves it next to the bed. But then I'm much too absorbed by his chest and stomach, and particularly the narrow trail of dark hair below his navel, to care about the surprising amount of dexterity he seems to still possess.

I don't have too much time to explore his body, though, because he's found the zipper of my dress, which soon joins his shirt, which is then joined by his pants. Then he sits back, looking me over hungrily before carefully drawing my tights over my hips. I raise my legs into the air, helping him free them, one by one, of the stockings. And I hold my arms open for him.

He moves towards me slowly, predator stalking its prey. Except that he's so gentle, so caring, and I don't need to be stalked... I wouldn't dream of running from him.

Settling over me, he teases my lips open again and delves into my mouth for another deep kiss. Even while his tongue explores, he's unclasping my lacey bra and sliding the straps from my shoulders. Lowering his face to by breasts, he plants tantalizing kisses around my nipples and along my ribcage.

He looks up at me through heavy lidded eyes before directing his gaze down to my fluttering stomach. His kisses are hot, feather soft and gentle. His five o'clock shadow tickles me as he kisses his way to the top of my thigh.

Slowly, he slides my underwear down my legs, his lips never leaving my skin. Then his hands are touching me again, one on each thigh as he gently pushes my legs apart. He nibbles my inner thigh, from my knee up. I moan as he moves closer and closer to where I need his mouth the most.

And suddenly his breath is on me, cool against my overheated body. Involuntarily, I spread my legs further, looking at him, begging with my eyes. He maintains eye contact as his hands spread me and his tongue dips into me once.

"Oh, God. Gabriel..." I mewl.

My head collapses back against the pillow and my hands fall to his silky head. He licks all the way up my folds, then pushes his tongue in again, deeper this time. I groan as I press myself wantonly against his face, and he responds by pushing my legs farther apart, bending my knees to give himself better access. His hands have curled around, gripping my ass, holding me firmly in place as he thrusts his tongue faster and farther into me.

Still, I need more. I can feel a wall building inside me, needing to be torn down. Crushed. My fingers tangle in his curls again, mashing his face into me. I've lost all inhibition.

He responds to my silent urging by pushing a finger into me, and then two, while his tongue continues assaulting me.

But then his tongue is gone again, and he's suckling me sweetly as his fingers press even farther in. I abandon myself to his hands, his mouth, my fingers gripping his dark curls and then the sheets as my moans fill the room. I'm contracting around his hand, whirling out of control, pressing my eyes closed as the feelings of bliss envelop me. I'm bathed in divine sensation.

When I open my eyes, Gabriel has stretched out beside me, one hand resting on my stomach and another propping up his head as he watches me.

I smile at him before hiding my face in his shoulder.

"You okay, beautiful?" he asks, laughing quietly.

I sigh contentedly. "Mmm. More than okay."

Pressing myself closer against his chest, I feel him groan. That's when I become aware of what is still pushing persistently against my hip through his boxers.

Suddenly nervous again, I tense automatically. He must sense my change in mood, or feel it—who knows, he's surprisingly observant—because he quickly moves his hand from my stomach and uses it to raise my chin from his shoulder so he can look me in the eye.

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