A giant thanks to my second pair of eyes from Across the Pond, Irfon.
Emily smiled as she heard her bedroom door squeak as it opened under his touch. She couldn't hear, but she imagined the slow light steps as he neared the bed. His breath wasn't ragged, as it had been the first few times he'd secreted into her room late at night. She let out a shaky sigh before the covers were slowly pulled down to uncover her waiting body. It seemed like every nerve ending was screaming to feel his hands. Every night was different. Some nights he started with just his warm breath drifting across her skin. Other times, his fingertips would start at her ankles and work upwards. He knew her feet were far too ticklish to keep up the façade of her being asleep.
She squirmed when warm breath cascaded over her skin a fraction of a second before his tongue found the small of her back. The pillow she'd been cuddling took the brunt of her body's instinctive reaction. She curled intoa ball as she rolled to her side. Her eyes flared open in fear that he'd retreat and their ritual would end. She knew it was an irrational fear. Both of them were well past stopping. His hands moved to uncoil her body from around the pillow. His deep whispering voice was shushing her between kisses to her hip.
"Relax, Em. Just enjoy this dream. It's just a dream."
Achingly slow, her body straightened until she was half on her side and half on her stomach. The pillow tucked against her for support. God his hands, so hot. They drifted over her legs, his fingertips brushing her inner thigh light as a feather. Emily had to fight the deep lustful urge to turn and pull him into her. To feel what was so close. She knew he was naked. His cock hard as always. Inches away from her in the night. His hands. They burned her flesh as he pushed her top leg forward.
His kiss found her shoulder while his leg slid between hers. Those lips so unmistakable. Kissing her as if she'd shatter into pieces. Her head turned to give him her neck. A soft almost inaudible sigh escaped when his fingertips pulled her silken curls to give him no obstruction. With just the light drifting in from the single window of her bedroom, her sandy hair looked almost black. In the night, it matched his. Her fingers tightened around the pillow under her head to prevent her from reaching back to grip his hair and scream for him to stop torturing her and just take her any way his imagination wanted. All night, just like this. Slamming into her with the furious drive to conquer or painfully slow and gently. She didn't care. A month ago she'd realized he was all she wanted.
The first night had just happened. New Year's Eve was the worst day of her life. She'd come home to an empty apartment. There was no midnight kiss, no boyfriend. Just the empty ache of being alone on the one night no one should be alone. He'd come home at two in the morning. Walking a bit wobbly. His movements a bit too deliberate. He'd seen her on the couch curled in a ball with a blizzard of tissues surrounding her.
In a flood of new tears, she related the tale of her cheating boyfriend and how he'd embarrassed her in public. His arms were around her in an instant. Pinning her to his wide chest. His lips brushing against her cheek as he shushed and comforted her. He rocked her like she was a baby. The normal cold and distant man she'd roomed with for over two years had been replaced by something loving and caring. Somewhere between being told how beautiful and warm she was and how love would find her and fill her each day, she fell asleep.
It was like a dream the first night. She was lifted on a cloud as he carried her to her bed. Her dress slid down her body without hurry. His fingers trembled when the sheer fabric fell below her breasts. The sensation of the silk being pulled across her skin burned her flesh and caused her nipples to react instantly.
"My God." His whispered words seemed to have been ripped out of him.
Partially awake from being picked up, his words brought her fully aware of her situation. In the darkness, her eyes opened and found his face. She had no idea why she hadn't just sat up and slapped him. There was just something in the way he was looking at her breasts. The hunger was obvious. His tongue came out to wet his lips and she realized all she wanted was to be his lips. At that moment, she wanted to know the taste of his tongue. The course silkiness of it. And then she did know. His head lowered and licked the beginning swell of her breast. It found the underside of her right breast and traced its gentle curve. Her quiet unstoppable moan caused him to freeze.
His head came up. Endlessly deep eyes explored her face. Hers slammed shut. Praying he'd continue. She wanted his lips and tongue and hands all over her. His breath drifting over her aroused nipple spread goosebumps across her skin.
The dress moved lower. Her flat stomach, she'd spent hours at the gym for, was now bare. She was malleable when he lifted and twisted her to get the dress over her rounded hips. He had to know she was awake. He just had to. As her panties came into view, her body tensed. The realization of wearing transparent satin to make sure there was nothing seen under her dress invaded her brain. Her body temperature seemed to race to her cheeks. He'd be able to see every detail. Even the fact that she was already achingly wet. She looked at him through thick eyelashes, but saw no reaction. He was too focused on stripping her. She let out a heady breath, thankful for the surrounding darkness.
He stood at the foot of her bed for the longest time. Her dress was held in his hands as he simply stared. It felt like an eternity. All she could hear was her own beating heart and the occasional anguished breath from the war he must be fighting with his own desires. Emily couldn't help but smile when her dress was lifted to his face and he inhaled a deep slow breath. She had him now. The way he breathed in her scent was intoxicating. Her head turned as he slowly walked around the bed and draped it on a chair. She had never been treated with such reverence as he treated her dress. His fingertips reached out for it, knowing it had been against her skin. Her sweat. Her perfume. Her nakedness. He was imagining it all. When he turned back to her, his chest was rising and falling in labored breaths. She wanted to scream for him to hurry, but she was frozen.
When he bent over and pulled the covers over her, she felt a tremor start deep within her. He didn't want her. Didn't want to touch her, kiss her, consume her. That's all she wanted. To feel one single connection to someone else. That his need of her was as desperate as hers for him. She accidentally let out a tiny whine. A pathetic little noise. It dropped him to his knees. He shook the bed when his head lowered and his body trembled.
She ached to reach out and run her hand through his hair and tell him it was all right. To pull him into her arms and never let him go. No one would know how weak and pathetic they were. It would be their little secret. Only the night would witness the desperate loneliness that forced their bodies together. Please. Please just crawl into bed and do anything, she thought. Even if it were just to feel a warm body next to her, it would be enough.
He stood. His breath ragged and tortured. She bit her lip when his suit jacket was slipped off and placed on her dress. In slow motion, he rolled up the sleeves of his custom made shirt. His silk tie was loosened and discarded. She imagined it drifting like a feather to the ground. This was a dream. An achingly beautiful dream. Her tongue came out and then her bottom lip was pulled into her mouth when the covers were pulled back. When the bed rocked to accept his weight, she used it as an excuse to spread her legs slightly. He would smell her. He had to. Her entire body screamed to feel him.
"Please don't hate me for this." It was almost inaudible. His voice sounded more like a prayer than a confession. "I need you. You're all I can think about."
She felt something smooth drift over her breast. Hot blasts of air following in its wake. Then his cheek brushing across her nipple sent a surge of electricity down her spine and straight to the uncontrollable throb between her legs. A breathless whine escaped her lips to encourage him. The wet roughness of his tongue sent a violent shiver rippling through her as he circled her areola and then tasted her hardened nipple. It was the slowest softest most sensual kiss she'd ever known. His lips burned her skin. Scalded her very soul.
Her hips flexed with each gentle suckle. God, she could smell her own arousal. Why couldn't he? It was filling the room as her legs widened for him. She needed him. Desperately. His breath burned her more and more. She wondered if her flesh was as hot as his lips. If he could feel the furnace building within her, the growing explosion just beneath the surface. With just the tip of his nose he traced between her breasts and then methodically worked over the other. First his nose and then his lips and then the course silkiness of his tongue.
He pulled every bit of air from her lungs when his tongue traveled down her stomach. She moaned louder as the minutes dragged into forever. Take them off. Please take them off, she screamed in her head when somehow his hot breath found its way under the elastic of her panties and mixed with the thin bit of dark blonde air. His lips skirted her panties. His first deep breath caused a shuddering groan. He could smell her now. How could he not smell her? She was dripping with desire. It felt like she was almost oozing from ever pore.
She could feel how badly he wanted to rip the thin piece of fabric off her. His muscles almost creaked as he fought against the animal inside. Biting her lip, she was prepared for the pain of it. Praying it would come. Begging him with a silent plea to plunge into her. To grip her roughly and simply take her body as violently as he could.
He didn't. The bastard just continued to kiss and lick everywhere but where she needed him to. The gentlest touch pushed her legs wider. His nose running the length of her inner thigh, licking back up, and then descending again. Over and over again, until not a bit of flesh had escaped him. Her body was his. Each long lick sent sparks rippling through her.
His hot breath left her weak. It was back. Hovering over her. All she had to do was lift up. His lips would join her if she did. She couldn't. Fear gripped her. Fear that this was a dream. That he was fast asleep in his bed. Oblivious to her soul crying out for him. If he wasn't real, she wasn't real.
Emily didn't know when it started. Or how. It simply arrived. She was concentrating on the tip of his nose as he traced the outline of her panties. His breath blasting between her swollen lips. Threading through the course hair. Tunneling into her. He spoke. She came.
It could have been the sudden eruption of sound above her heart beating away in her head. Or the anguish of his voice. Deep down she knew what it was. It was the words. The words he spoke. He wasn't even touching her. It was simply the words coming from deep within him.
"You're my dream, Em. Every night I dream of you. Your skin. Your hair. Wet from the shower. Beads of water running down to pool at your feet. Just once. Just once I wish I could be a drop of water. To feel your skin. To warm you. Cleanse you. Surround you. Just once to know you so well. You're killing me, Em. Every night I die not having you. Every night someone else does. I can't live this way. I don't have the strength to leave you. Damn you, Em."
He was gone. Slipping away in the night. Leaving her so full and yet emptier than ever before. He was gone without laying a hand on her. Leaving her breathless and raw. There was only the darkness now.
When she woke in the morning, he was there. Standing at the counter like always. A cup of coffee in his hand. Steam swirling above it. His blue eyes stern and cold. He turned and filled her cup. Like always. Their ritual. Every morning she stumbled to the counter and found him there.
"Morning." She said after her first sip. Her hands surround the cup, drawing its heat into her.
"Morning." His left arm stretched out and curled to look at the gold plated watch.
"I'm sorry for last night."
"No reason to apologize for what another man did."
"I'm apologizing for what I did. I know you didn't want to have to console a hysterical woman."
Blue eyes rose and then his wide shoulder moved in a deliberate shrug. His hands running through dark wavy hair. A habit. A device to shield himself from the uncomfortable. She knew him. Two years of watching a cold distant man. He wasn't cold. How could he be? Not after last night. But he was. The same man was standing here, indifferent to her. Like every morning. Miles between the three feet that separated them.
"Hmm." He looked at his watch again and poured out the remaining coffee.
Emily sighed. He'd leave now. She watched as he walked around the island counter and slid into his suit jacket. It had always annoyed her how mechanical he seemed when he did that. The well-practiced maneuver of a man so formal. He lived like he dressed. Pressed, proper, and spotless. His steps were beaten into her brain as his tall frame found the door and was through it without a backward glance.
She leaned against the counter. Her cup coming up robotically. She stared unfocused at nothing in particular. Had it happened? Was it really just a dream? It couldn't have been. She made her way to the sofa where he had found her. There were no tissues. No mess. The pillow she'd soaked through with tears was were it always was. Tucked neatly against the armrest. Her head turned to inspect the living room. There was nothing to give him away.
Her panties. A smile crept over her. She was still wearing them through her pajama bottoms. It was all she'd woken up in. Her panties. He had undressed her. Explored her body without every laying a finger on her. And his words still echoed. On tiptoes, she ran to her bedroom. There was her dress. Draped over the chair where he'd placed it. Her smile grew as she leaned against the door and pictured him kneeling beside her bed. And there was his tie. It had fallen at his feet. His only mistake. He'd forgotten it.
In slow motion she moved towards it. Reaching out to feel it. Knowing he'd worn it. Did he leave it on purpose? Was it his way of telling her he'd been there? That he existed and that he had been inches from her.
Her clock radio blinked and music shattered her world. She had to wake up. It was time to go to work. The outside was calling. She must look a mess. Her hair was full of rats, her eyes puffy. None of it mattered. Emily stripped on the way to the bathroom. Turning on the shower, she had her panties to her knees when she stopped. She couldn't. She couldn't erase him from her skin. It was all she had to remember him by. But she didn't have work today. Neither did he, but he'd left like usual. Was he fleeing? Was he embarrassed or fearful of spending the day with her? Afraid she'd see the guilt in his eyes?
She was laughing as she ran to his tie and slipped it over her head. Closing her eyes, she cinched it up exactly the way he did. Then she pulled it straight out from her body and followed it with her eyes as it fell between her breasts. He'd kissed them. Suckled them. Most men had never even dreamed of the tenderness he'd kissed them with. She spent the day in just the tie and panties. Dancing around the apartment in a cloud. The hours ticked by and finally she had to remove the tie. She tucked it between her mattresses. He wouldn't look there. And he wouldn't ask about it. He'd realized he was missing one and he'd know which one, but he'd never reveal where he'd lost it.
"Are you going out?" Emily looked up from her coffee.
"Out?" His eyes narrowed in confusion.
"Tonight. It's Valentines Day. Are you going out with Karen?"
"Hmm." He checked his watch and walked away from her. "There's no Karen anymore."
"Since when?" Her words caught him before he'd got to the door.
"New Years." And he was gone.
Emily stood in the emptiness she was getting used to. The emptiness he left the minute he was gone. It started as a twitch. And then it was a smile. Soon, the apartment was filled with her laughter. Her arms circled her body in a hug, wishing it were his arms around her. He was single. They both were. Every night since then he'd crept into her bed and explored each and every inch of her. Why? Why hadn't he simply told her? Why couldn't he just tell her he loved her? He could say it when the darkness shielded him. When they both pretended she was asleep.
Her day was a blur. Bundles of roses were delivered one after another all day long. Emily watched with only the hint of interest. He'd never send her any. Deep down, whenever a coworker had received flowers in the past, she'd been jealous. She no longer was. Tonight, she'd lie in bed and be made love to. She knew he would. He had to. Tonight, he wouldn't leave her bed until he brought both of them to completion. She would know the feel of him inside her. Not tonight. Please, not tonight. Don't slip away tonight.
She beat him to the apartment by thirty minutes. She'd showered and slipped into a simple dark red dress. Short, flowing, and easily removable. Her hair was pulled up to give him her neck. A few strands hanging around her eyes for his fingers to brush aside. By the time he walked through the door, she was on her second glass of wine and the spaghetti was almost done. It was one of six meals she could successfully cook on a consistent basis.
"Hello." She said as he draped his jacket over a stool and eyed her.
"I'm making dinner. I didn't want to go out and eat alone. Too depressing." She gave him a sad little smile and turned back to the stove. "I've made enough for you, if you don't have any plans."
"It'll be ready in about twenty minutes. You have time to clean up, if you'd like."
"Hmm." He turned and walked to his bedroom.
Emily hit play on her MP3 player and made sure it was loud enough to be background noise. She'd spent an hour selecting the right songs. Smoothing the apron, her hand paused just below her navel. God, she was already wet. Just seeing his eyes on her. Knowing he would be in her bed hours from now. It was the sweetest torture she'd ever felt. Taking a deep breath, she tried to focus on the bread. Remember to take it out of the oven before it burns. Ignore the tingles and the itchy skin and thoughts of him in the shower naked. She wondered if it was the heat of the oven making sweat break out on her upper lip.
He reappeared as she was setting her plate down on the tiny round table. They'd never shared a meal there. It was almost too small for one, let alone two people. She watched his eyes move around the room. He noticed the candle. A single candle in the windowsill beside the table. His plate already prepared and waiting for him. She hid a smile when his eyes stopped on her legs. They glistened with freshly applied oil.
"I thought we could eat here. I wasted money on the thing. I just thought it was time to use it. You don't have to if you don't want to." Please. She silently begged. Give me this. Sit.
"I don't mind."
The minutes stretched as they worked over their meal. No words between them. Her lip curled when she saw his eyes drift to her calf as she absentmindedly let it bounce after crossing her legs.
"May I ask why you broke up with Karen?"
"I'm not sure I did. She told me she needed more from me and I told her I had nothing to give her. Then she walked away."