tagRomanceThe Perfect Pieces Ch. 04

The Perfect Pieces Ch. 04

byDreamCloud©

Author's note: Chapter 4 of 13. Thank you Tim413413 for selfless editing.

The Perfect Pieces - Chapter 04

"Mark." The word was soft and matched with a kiss. I was startled awake. "You're not sleeping on the couch again." I opened my eyes and stretched my neck. I could feel the muscles cramping near the shoulder. Must have picked a bad angle to nod off.

"No," I said to my smiling angel, "I'm fine out here." Another soft kiss on my lips as she stood and walked around to the back of the couch. I tried to follow her with my eyes, but my neck cinched up on the left side.

"No more couch for you," Amber whispered. Her fingers found my neck, and I groaned as she quickly found the tightness. "You're not a kid anymore," she joked as I leaned my head into her fingers.

"That is kind of wonderful," I said. "How long were we out?"

"It's almost midnight," Amber replied. The massage was turning my muscles to jelly. The pressure was perfectly applied I didn't want it to stop.

"Seriously," I repeated, "I'll just grab a pillow and I'll be fine out here."

"Nope," Amber returned, her lips inches from my ear, "we'll share the bed." Her kiss barely scraped my earlobe.

"Or we could share the bed," I repeated with a smile. Her magic fingers continued to relax me.

"You'll have to stay on your side." She laid out the rules. "No funny business." Another kiss. She shouldn't kiss me and ask me to adhere to border restrictions.

"I'll take the left side," I agreed. I had always sleep on the right with my ex. I didn't want to repeat that pattern.

"What if I want to left?" Amber asked, her lips finding my neck. Her negotiation skills were weak. I felt her smile every time her lips touched my skin.

"Deal breaker," I bluffed, "I'll have to sleep on the couch."

"I concede to your demands." Amber laughed. Her breath sent a shiver down my neck which I hid by rising. I was glad I stood when I did. A few more seconds of her sensuality would have required an embarrassing walk to a cold shower. I moved my head back and forth; the kink was gone.

"You are really good at that," I complimented, rubbing my neck subconsciously.

"I worked for a chiropractor," Amber said as she started toward the bedroom. "Some of it rubbed off." I gave a small snicker since that was all the pun was worth. I was tired, but I still watched her gorgeous shorts as she walked away. I could swear she was accentuating the movement of her hips purposely. I was being teased. It was cruel of her and I liked it.

I followed her into the bedroom and found myself wondering about the logistics. We both stood there for a second, seemingly with the same thoughts.

"Do you have a t-shirt I can borrow?" Amber asked sheepishly. Her backpack was pretty small. I guess she was short of sleepwear.

"Bottom drawer," I answered, pointing to the left side of the dresser, "take your pick."

"Thanks," Amber responded, "you can use the bathroom first." I smiled, grabbed some pajamas I rarely wore from the dresser before heading off. I usually just slept naked since I was alone. Now, a little decorum was in order. After I emptied my bladder, I brushed my teeth and combed my hair. It was kind of vain to take care of my hair before going to bed, but Amber was looking cuter by the hour. I had some desire to not disappoint her. After I changed into my PJs, I headed out.

Amber was waiting in the bedroom. She found my Grateful Dead, Blues for Allah t-shirt. It looked so much better on her. I found myself wondering if she had anything on underneath since it dropped to just above her knees.

"You said you liked the Dead when you slept," she said with her wonderful smile. She gave me a runway model turn and then small curtsy. What a tease.

"Good choice," I agreed. She scampered past me into the bathroom. I turned off the overhead light and turned the nightstand light on. I climbed into the left side of the bed and put my hands behind my head on the pillow and waited. I felt silly about wanting to share the bed with Amber. It wasn't like I was expecting anything to happen that night. Hell, we hardly knew each other. Then again, she had been teasing me. The choice of the Grateful Dead t-shirt was for my benefit. She had to pass up half a dozen shirts to find that one. I knew I was going to be a gentleman. Amber had asked for a boundary and I wasn't going to violate it. Oddly, having her sleeping next to me in bed was more important than my desire for sex. It was strange that my libido was shifting in that direction.

Amber came out of the bathroom and I smiled when I noticed she had run a comb through her hair as well. There were many ways for her to get to the right side of the bed. I was pleasantly surprised when she decided to climb over me to get there. She stopped halfway, straddling me, and gave me a long kiss that sent my passion surging. My libido wasn't shifting as much as I thought. I could feel that she lacked a bra and my mind began to undress her. I unlocked my fingers from behind my head with the desire to prolong things. She moved quickly, rolling over to the right side. I looked over to see her smiling and biting her bottom lip at the same time.

I rolled onto my side, cocked my elbow and propped my head with my hand. "Why are you teasing me so mercilessly?" I asked, my smile making sure she didn't take it wrong. I wanted to reach out and play with her hair since it was covering part of her cheek. I didn't. I had been given boundaries.

"You don't like it?" she responded with a question. It wasn't lost on me that she didn't answer. This was all play to her.

"It's very nice," I replied, "I am almost to the point of being unable to think of anything else. Are you intending to drive me crazy?" I wanted so much to push her hair away from her face. I wanted to see all of it at one time.

"Maybe," she joked. I watched her smile disappear. "I like you, Mark. I'm just not ready for more. I still want a little though." She reached up and pushed her hair behind her neck. I would have kissed her for that if the invisible wall wasn't there. "I'm being selfish, I guess" she admitted.

I smiled at her confession. "I can live with that," I said softly. I paused for a moment, then added, "I like you too." That brought her smile back. It was obvious to the both of us, but it was still wonderful to put a voice to it. I figured the best thing to do was get some sleep before we ruined our truce. I rolled to my other side and turned off the nightstand light. I settled in with my body turned away from her. I decided that was the best way to quiet my wandering mind.

Amber violated the boundary. She scooted close and spooned herself behind and draped her arm over me. Her t-shirt covered breasts felt wonderful on my back.

"You've violated the boundary," I commented as I let her settle in.

"The rule is for you," she whispered, "I already admitted I was selfish."

"Hmm," I sighed as we got comfortable. I felt her lips on my neck. A tender kiss goodnight. I fell asleep very content with life.

I woke before Amber in the morning. We had separated sometime in the night as couples always do. She had one leg out of the covers and the t-shirt was pushed half way up her tummy. She looked absolutely wonderful in the morning light. Her white panties afforded her some privacy, but added to her adorable mystique at the same time. I wanted to run my hand up her leg just to see how soft it was. I remembered the boundary and held back. My eyes would have to be enough.

The purple ends on her hair amused me. It was so not her. I could see the lighter roots better and could guess she was a natural brunette. It would look better on her than the black hair she had now. I could see she had a silver belly button stud. It was a small circle with a design etched into it. I couldn't quite make it out without violating the boundary rule. It just added to her mystery.

"Good morning," Amber said quietly. I looked up from her belly into smiling eyes. She had caught me checking her out, but she didn't move to cover up. "What are you doing?" She already knew the answer, but I could tell she was loving the asking of it.

"Teasing myself," I answered quickly, "I can be selfish, too." Amber sat up and I was disappointed when her t-shirt dropped back down to her waist. She straddled me again and kissed me with the same passion. This time, she let my hands wander along her sides. I began to pull up her t-shirt as my passion swelled. Amber laughed at my attempt and quickly rose from the bed.

"Coffee?" she asked.

"Of course," I replied, my tone dropping to a sigh. I watched her leave, her butt swinging to and fro. She was simply delicious. I took a deep breath and climbed out of bed. I went to the bathroom and got dressed in my walking shorts. I met up with Amber in the kitchen. She had just turned the pot on.

"Go for a walk after?" I suggested.

"Absolutely," Amber replied. She reached up into the cupboard to get some cups, exposing the bottom of her panties. Simply delicious. "Are you working again today?"

"Yeah," I answered, "I think I can finish the panel today." I sat down on the opposite side of the counter.

"Will you teach me?" she asked. I raised my eyebrows. It was a completely unexpected request. I had never taught anyone my art. Most people take a class or two and then learn on their own. The perfect hermit talent. The coffee maker started gurgling, and I realized I hadn't answered.

"I would be happy to." The thought was surprisingly pleasing. I had no idea if she would get the joy out of it that I did, but it was worth a try. Her face lit up. My day brightened. Steam bled off the the top of the coffee carafe with a hiss.

I walked over to the french doors, opened them and walked out onto the porch. I loved this time of year. The temperature was accommodating and the bugs had yet to fully invade. Most of the animals were active, the birds chirping for mates. I loved this place and for some reason, it was even nicer today. I took a deep breath while I watched a cardinal flitting about the grass looking for a meal. His color was bright and matched my mood.

Amber came out a few minutes later carrying two cups of coffee. I thanked her when I took mine and we sat. She again tucked her legs on top of the chair, this time exposing more than a woman should as the t-shirt bunched up. I tried to hide my smile.

"It is really nice out here," Amber observed, "no alarm clocks or time cards, just nature." She took a sip of her coffee. I followed suit.

"You could get lonely out here," I pointed out. I had no problem with that issue, but it wasn't for everyone.

"I've been lonely in the middle of a city," Amber said, "out here it would be tolerable." She paused, looking toward the river. "Almost welcome." I stared at her. She completely understood this place. She turned toward me and my stunned expression. "What?" she asked with a humorous smile.

"Most people think I am pretty strange living out here all alone," I pointed out.

"Most people don't know real pain," she said. She raised her cup to her lips, her eyes never leaving mine. She saw something in me. Something I thought was well hidden. Things I would prefer forgotten. I had to look away for a moment and see the green in the trees. I let my mind drift to the glass I would choose to duplicate the scene in front of me. I looked back after a moment to find her still watching me. If only my ex had seen what Amber saw so easily.

"You can stay here as long as you would like," I stated clearly.

"I am in world of trouble," Amber returned.

"I don't care if you shot the Pope," I said. Her eyes went glossy. She tried to take another sip of her coffee, gave up and put her cup down. She stood and took my cup from my hands and put it next to hers. She sat in my lap and laid her head on my shoulder. I held her in silence as I absorbed her closeness. After a moment, she raised her head, and with tears on her cheeks, she kissed me. This time we didn't stop. We needed each other. I caressed her thigh with one hand as the other held her securely on my lap. It was sensual, needful and held no lust. It was clear glass with smooth ripples of white clouds blown in. I loved her lips. There was no question they should be soldered to mine. My heart opened and the hermit fled.

"I want to walk with you," Amber whispered.

"I would like nothing more," I said, my smile growing as I carefully wiped the tears from her cheeks. I wanted to walk the day away with her. "You'll need some shoes," I pointed out her bare feet as if it was necessary.

"I'll be right back," she said. Kissed me one more time before rising and heading back into the house. I picked up my coffee and took a slow sip. Everything had changed. The land's colors were brighter, the sky bluer and my mind was no longer clear. All my thoughts were drifting, then mixing with thoughts of Amber. I was losing my sharpness of purpose. I couldn't care less. I closed my eyes and thought of everything through the colored glass that was Amber. All of if it was haphazardly more beautiful. Such delicious randomness.

"I'm ready," Amber announced as she came back out. Shorts, tennis shoes and a t-shirt that fit a bit more snugly.

"Let's see if the river is still flowing," I said, standing and taking her hand. We headed out, Amber setting a brisker pace than yesterday. I loved the way she practically bounced through the grass, well satisfied with everything. She started moving quicker, and I stretched out my pace. I heard half a laugh as she began to run, her hair flowing in waves behind her. I jogged after her, catching up and matching her stride as we moved quickly down to the river. About 50 yards before the river, she broke into a sprint, and I knew I was in a race. Her timing was perfect, just enough lead to make sure I didn't have time to catch up. She reached the dock before I did. The joy in her face was worth the loss.

Amber jumped into my arms, her legs wrapping around my waist. She trusted I wouldn't topple over as she smothered my lips with hers. I used my hands to hold her butt so she wouldn't drop off. Happy kisses were better than the tear-driven ones. She was lighter than I had expected and seemed to mold around me with ease.

"I want to stay," Amber said, "more than anything, I want to stay here with you." I had thought that was already agreed to. She seemed to think she hadn't answered. I didn't care. Happy Amber was enchanting. I let her slowly drop to her feet. I lightly pushed her hair behind her ear.

"I'm glad," I said, and, for the first time, I kissed her lips of my own volition, holding the back of her neck as we joined. I loved the softness of her flesh. I loved how she pushed into me, wanting me as much as I wanted her. The bubbling of the river and the call of the birds surrounded us. She was, without a doubt, the best thing this land had ever seen.

We walked the whole perimeter. We talked as we walked leisurely, enjoying the mild temperatures. I did not press on the 'world of trouble' issue. I meant what I said when I told her it didn't matter. It did, of course, matter to her, but It wouldn't affect how I felt about her. I had decided she would tell me in her own time. Instead we talked about movies, books, flora, fauna and anything else that kept words traveling between us. I didn't have to feign interest when talking with Amber, even the banal topics were like music.

"I have to ask," I said, putting her hand in mine, "why are the ends of your hair purple?" Amber got quiet and thoughtful. I was afraid I had delved into something that was still too personal.

"It reminds of me someone," she answered cryptically. I nodded and decided to be content with her answer. It was only hair color after all. She stopped and I could see resolution in her face. She took my other hand in hers and stood before me. "I have a daughter," she continued, "purple is her favorite color. I wear it so I won't forget." The revelation was softly shocking. I hadn't expected it, but it was not out of the realm of possibilities. It did require a follow up. I had to know how deep in I was.

"Are you married?" I asked, retaining her hands in mine. I wanted her to know I was all in, but I had to know the rules.

"No." She smiled. I was more relieved than I expected to be.

"Can we talk about her?" I said, releasing her left hand and continuing our walk.

"The idea doesn't frighten you?" Amber asked. Again, she was testing the waters and not answering. It was her past and I would leave her to it if she desired.

"The big Amber is enchanting," I half joked, "why wouldn't a little Amber be wonderful as well." She pulled me closer and pecked my cheek. That caused me to smile. We were silent for a few steps, then Amber began.

"Elizabeth is nine," she said, "everyone calls her Lizzy. She is staying with my mother because of...everything." She waved her arm around as if encompassing all that was everything. "She will be going into the fourth grade this fall." Amber's face brightened as she continued. "She likes to dance and takes classes every Tuesday. She's smarter than most of the kids her age and seems to have a lot of friends." She paused again and looked up at me. "You would like her, she is always drawing things."

"How long have been away?" I asked, then instantly regretted the question.

"Too long." Amber sighed. "I'm afraid she will forget me." The last part came out choppy. I knew I shouldn't have asked. "Going on three months now."

"So what does she like to draw?" I asked, trying to shift away from the bad parts of the conversation. Amber went deeply into Lizzy's artistic talents. Then we discussed her reading level, which seemed high for a fourth grader. I was then treated to every funny thing Lizzy had done since she was born. Amber missed her deeply. Empathetically, I began to miss Lizzy myself.

I wanted to ask, right then and there, what she was running from, who and where the father was, but I held back. She wasn't ready to tell me yet. I wasn't sure I could help, but I wanted to attempt it. Instead, I listened. A skill I learned that morning. My mouth listened to my brain and my mind wasn't in the boat-rocking mood. I was proud of myself.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs and toast. We had picked up blackberry jelly at Hamond's to add sweetness to the meal. I was getting used to a large breakfast. I had trained my stomach to ignore it for so many years, it never knew what it was missing. It had quickly relapsed. Of course, it was nice that Amber insisted on doing the cooking. The conversation was light since we had both silently agreed we had had enough drama for the day.

"I going to hop in the shower," I said as I dried the frying pan.

"Good idea," Amber smiled, "me too." She was draining the sink, no smile and no eye contact. I stood there with a towel and the pan trying to decipher what that meant. She looked up slowly and her smile formed. "There's room for two, isn't there?"

"It will be tight, and I suspect..." Amber interrupted my weak attempt at humor with her lips. This time they parted and our tongues and passion mixed. I dropped the towel and laid the pan on the counter as I wrapped my arms around her. I started walking backward slowly, drawing her toward the bedroom, trying desperately to not interrupt our lips. I almost tripped on the edge of the throw rug and Amber half kissed, half laughed. She separated from me for safety's sake and crossed her arms at the bottom of her t-shirt and lifted it up and off as she moved ahead of me. I started removing my clothes as I hurried after her. I stepped over her bra that she dropped carelessly. She kicked off her shoes, stepped on her socks to remove them, then bent over to drop her shorts and panties in one fell swoop.

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