Kismet or Happenstance? Ch. 10


Even as her climax rushed closer, she tried to delay it. She wanted to prolong her pirouette within this space of body and soul that reached deeper than the pleasures to come. The rasp of Sean's calloused fingers rolling around her clit lured her away. Sean suckled her—hard. Tiny points of sensation within her core.

The pressure built and built and built...

"That's it. There it is...come on, come on me."

His words could have been in any language and she would've understood them. Sensation burst within her and blew out, showering every nerve with hot, tingling bliss. His tormented moans told her how badly he needed the sweet release he was fighting for her sake. Ana grabbed the back of the love seat and rode him hard, forcing him to join her. The wicker dug into her palms as she braced herself against his fast, sharp shoves.

Sean crossed his arms around Ana's back, helpless to slow himself as he drove into her with short, rough strokes. She matched every move he made. Her soft skin rubbed over his chest as she clung to him the way her satin sheath clung to his cock. Those brown eyes demanded everything he had and held nothing back when she looked at him. She undid him with one look. Sean poured himself into her in quick, scalding spurts as the last pulses of her orgasm overlapped the start of his. He barely registered the rough scrape of the cushion he sat on or the wicker against his back as he convulsed beneath her. Everything spun away in white-hot pleasure.

They remained joined as they slowly floated into an awareness of the world around them. A chirping calypso of bright night sounds rose above their shared quiet. Ana rubbed her cheek across his soft hair as the last tremors coursed them. His breath hitched, tickling her shoulder when he exhaled a rush of air.

"We should fight more often."

Sean drew his head back. Ana cupped his face, tilting his chin up for her kiss.


The shirt she'd stolen from him did little to dull the sting on her backside. His hands dove beneath the shirt to soothe the bittersweet ache he'd inflicted, oh-so very well. A sliver of dark excitement flared to life

"Payback's a mother, isn't it?"

She bit his shoulder hard enough to leave a temporary mark; soft enough for him to like it.

"Punish me some more."

Ana shifted on to her side to find Sean's dark head on the pillow next to hers. Unable to resist, she brushed back the wave of black hair on his forehead. With his knuckles propped under his cheek, he looked angelic and boyishly beautiful. The rebellious strands fell to his brow, totally in keeping with the owner's spirit.

She thought, felt and knew one thing in this Sunday morning stillness. "I love you." She could muscle through all the hassles of moving and construction if it meant she'd get to wake up like this everyday. One blue, blue eye peered at her then closed, startling her just as she nestled back into the warm sheets.

"Love you too," he said in a scratchy whisper then fell asleep again.

Oh, yes. Waking up next to the one she loved was a blessing.

* * * * *

January, 2008.

"See you later," Ana said before Sean shut the car door.

She watched the Range Rover disappear down the drive. He was on his way to do a sound check for his guest appearance with Wired for Sound. Letters from the Road wouldn't drop until another three weeks but the album was getting lots of good buzz. She walked up to the front door, proud that the chance the band had taken in having Sean write, co-write and produce most of their songs would pay off. At the last minute, they decided to include an acoustic version of Exit Twenty-nine on the album; a duet between Darien Scott and Sean. It turned out to be the lead single for the new record.

She wiped her dusty shoes on the mat and went to the kitchen. Once the concrete got poured next week, trekking dirt from the driveway into the house would be a thing of the past. "Dad, do you want a beer?"

"You read my mind."

Ana grabbed a bottle of water and the beer. "Let's go outside and get some fresh air."

They sat down on five-gallon paint drums and chatted about what was left to do now that the contractors had completed their work. Ana brought an ear to each shoulder to release the tightness around her neck. Some of it had to do with the bags of trash they'd carried out, most of it was because she'd been on high alert while Sean was there. She suspected her dad's visit was merely a ruse to interrogate them about their plans for the future.

"Thanks for helping out...and for not bringing up anything about us getting married." She felt as tentative as a newborn foal testing its legs whenever they talked about something personal. Or at least when they tried to. Her dad reserved his eloquence for the football field and playbooks. That was just his way and Ana accepted it. Yet that didn't stop the disappointment from kicking up, like right now.

Don Williams studied the bottle in his hand and took another swig.

"I think he'd marry you tomorrow. It's not him I'm worried about." Her father may not have been as longwinded off the field but he took his bluntness with him everywhere.

"What do you mean? I love Sean, I want to marry him."

Don put up his hands. His weathered face gave nothing away until he pursed his lips. Their brown eyes met and the standoff began. Well, if he was going to drag it out of her...

"I want to marry him, I do—more than anything else." Why did that sound so defensive? "It's just..." Ana sighed. "You're going to think I'm nuts, but sometimes being this happy freaks me out."

His sparse grey brows drew close.

"It's not like every day's perfect, don't get me wrong, we work at it. But it's not hard, you know? Sometimes, I think: 'is this for real?' And I worry that something'll happen and it'll all go away."

All Ana got was silence. She felt self-conscious and exposed. Oh, God. He probably was just as uncomfortable as she was. "I know, it's weird," she said for his sake and turned her attention to the lawn.

"No, it's not."

He said it with such quiet understanding it shocked her. He stared down to the floor. Ana winced inside when their eyes met. "Don't let what happened between me and your mother keep you from being happy. We made some mistakes but there were lots of good times too. And we had you. You know back then people didn't talk the way they do now. We didn't have Oprah." His smile was forced but sweet. "Times are different. You and Sean are different."

"You'll be okay, Ana. Your head's on straight. I can't take credit for that. Your mother raised you mostly by herself, even when we were together." He waved off her protests and continued. "After the divorce...I didn't step up the way I should have—I'm sorry."

Ana wiped her cheeks. She never realized just how much she needed to hear those words or how cathartic they'd be until now. She thought she'd convinced herself it was okay if they never came. "Dad, it wasn't all your fault, I didn't make it easy on you."

Don shook his head. His voice was thick with remorse when he said, "You were just a kid; you weren't supposed to have all the answers. I was your father."

"You still are. Simon will never take your place. I hope you know that." She laid her hand on his knee. "And it's not too late for us to be close again."

He was too choked up to do anything but nod and squeeze his eyes between his fingers Seeing her tough-as-nails dad fight back tears made Ana's eyes water. He held on way too tight when her hand covered his but it was the best feeling in the world.

The conversation went on and Ana got advice on marriage that came with straightforward wisdom. He told her about the lessons he'd learned when he and Gwen almost separated. It was the conversation she easily could've had with her mom. It was the conversation she thought she'd never have with her dad. He asked all the questions a father would ask before he gave his blessing. Then he gave it.

"Just promise me one thing, okay? Just because I'm giving you my blessing doesn't mean I don't think you're doing this thing ass backwards."


"Let me finish. As much as I don't like it, I don't want you getting married because you think you have to, okay? You're a smart girl—woman. Follow your heart and don't let anyone push you into anything you don't want to do. That goes for your old man too."

"Can I get that in writing?"

His knuckles grazed her jaw. "A real lil smartass, aren't you?"

"I wonder who I got it from?"

They laughed.

It was late afternoon when Ana started locking up the empty house. Her t-shirt, jeans and shoulders bore the toll of a long day of cleaning up. Her favorite part would start next week: decorating! She had two weeks to get it done before Super Bowl Sunday. In talking about her plans she deliberately veered off into the topic where her dad felt most at home.

He folded his arms. "Now, you wouldn't be going with the Giants just to piss Sean off?"

"We-ell...maybe just a little. He wants to buy this huge flat screen TV so we can all feel like we're right there. Can you imagine the look on their faces if the Patriots lose?"

He chuckled. It was the highlight of Ana's day and the best housewarming gift he could have given her.

"But after watching that game where they nearly came back I think they have a good chance."

Her dad's shit-eating grin didn't fade as they walked to the foyer. "Right."

She found him staring up at the façade after she locked the front door. "Everything okay, Dad?"

"I'm proud of you. If your mother were here she'd say the same thing and she'd tell you you deserve to be happy."

She hugged him. There was no awkwardness when he hugged her back.

A soft breeze blew around them as they went back to the time when a little girl watched her father as if he were her hero.

Don Williams had thought he'd only see that look on her face in old photos.

* * * * *

Saturday February 2nd, 2008.

Car Dodger Williams sunbathed in front of Guan Yin. Surrounded by a bed of violets, the statue watched over the mischievous canine with unwavering compassion. He looked back before he approached the dainty flowers to see if that would animate the figure.

"No—no—no!" came the gentle reprimand from the porch.

Humans! First he had to suffer the indignity of watching while they ate the delicious smelling food, now this. Dodger lowered his head and sent his mistress a contrite look just in case there was something left on her plate for him. Her mate had adopted the good habit too so he turned his head to the male and threw in a tail wag for good measure.

"It's so pretty and peaceful out here," Ana said as the sunlight poked through the wall of trees to lie on the grass. The coolness from the night before still lingered in the air. Morning dew clung to the leaves and glimmered in the grass like randomly strewn diamonds.

The garden had started to fill in, just in time for their unofficial housewarming / Super Bowl party tomorrow. Small projects were still pending but the structural elements were complete. And the major rooms were styled thanks to the restless energy she'd had last night. Thinking about the big unveiling tomorrow made her eager for this day to pass. Then again, they'd worked so hard for this day to come and reveling in it together was worth cherishing.

Despite having moved in two weeks ago, this was the first weekend it felt like a home. It was all the more special because Sean would be here all weekend. The band's media blitz in support of Letters from the Road had taken him across the coast to perform on the talk show circuit and launch parties. Ana joined him whenever she could and wondered where Sean got his energy from because traveling with a band was not as glamorous as it appeared on TV.

"Feels like we're somewhere else."

"Yes. Imagine how it'll look when summer comes around." The purple and white bougainvillea would climb across the arbor Sean and Duncan had put up to frame the loggia by then. She raised her glass of orange juice to his. "We made it, Irish."

"It's almost hard to believe. It went by so fast."

Ana wrinkled her nose. "It just feels that way 'cause we're almost done."

She took another slow, provocative bite of the soufflé. For a few seconds Sean forgot his food and simply stared. Sensual awareness laced his blood like cognac, heavy and warm.

"How is it?"

"My love for you grows exponentially with every bite."

Ana's grin deepened as if she'd been tickled by her own humor. The way she embraced her dorkish side was inexplicably one of her most endearing traits. There she sat all ladylike with her legs crossed, wearing boxers and a black tee that read: Follow me. I know the way out. Her chic bob swung below her chin in a riot of sleep tousled curls. He was getting over the loss of its length because the hairstyle called attention to her neck. Her elegant, delectable neck. He'd never fancied himself that much of a neck man until she'd come home with her new 'do two weeks ago.

Her tongue flicked over her lips as if to prolong the flavors after the fork slid through her lips. It had been too long since he'd felt that mouth on his skin. Competing ideas and images bombarded his brain. All starred Ana lavishing her wicked attention all over him. A soft purr reached his ears. Jesus. He didn't need to hear that sound right now.

Her eyes glazed over with epicurean delight. "This is so good—you're amazing, you know that?" Ana sent him an inquisitive look. "Aren't you going to eat?"

A lewd answer hovered on his tongue but she spoke before he decided to go with it.

"I wouldn't mind having this again Monday morning. And make sure you don't serve me the same thing two days in a row. That's not gonna fly this year. "

Sean's competitive streak bristled. Come Monday morning she'd regret her flippant demand. Regret was a misnomer now that he thought about it. She'd have lots of fun next week.

"It's not going to happen, sweetheart." His lurid glance made a deliberate stop at her chest then traveled lower.

Ana quirked a brow. "You wait and see, sweetheart. Eli's going to come through and my Super Bowl record will remain perfect."

Oh, Ana was good. Her sneaky jab at the Patriots' record irritated the hell out of him. Hers was a stealthy brand of trash talk, teeming with double entendres. Her little digs would end tomorrow. There was no way the Patriots' season would be blemished. No fucking way.

Ana set her plate down on the cube while Sean's fork scraped his. Man, that was too easy. "Come on, let me show you what I did last night."

She took him on a tour of the dining room then the guestroom, explaining what she did in designer terms. But she never admitted that yesterday's letdown about her biological mother had inspired her night of covert decorating. He wasn't sure if or how he should bring it up. The other option: let Ana do her soldier-on routine.

"How are you feeling today with everything?"

Ana ironed the crisply tucked coverlet with her hand. "I'm trying not to think about it because if I start I don't think I'll be able to stop." She sounded more resigned than resolute. Time ticked by with little touches and adjustments to the already perfect bed.

She felt Sean's eyes on her as she repositioned the lamp on the night table. His silence asked for more. "I'm taking a break from it. It's been nothing but go-go-go lately and I just need to come up for air."

There'd been so much attention on getting things done that this focus on what was missing threatened to be a permanent state of being. The daily checks of e-mail and adoption message boards had become a frustrating habit. One that dead ended in Vancouver Canada.

"Don't worry, things will settle down after tomorrow."

She looped an arm around his waist on their way back to the kitchen. "No, it'll be fun to have everybody over. I can't wait for them to see everything."

"They're going to be blown away by what you did." He knew he was and he lived here. Ana had merged streamlined furniture and his love of the beach with her romantic exoticism. Classic formality held hands with exuberant pops of red in a way that was quietly playful. Most of all, their home was so them.

"I couldn't have done it without my favorite, very handsome design assistant." Her saccharine sweet delivery made him leery.

"You mean slave."

If he never heard the words 'beach inspired color palette', 'furniture' and 'shopping' strung together in a sentence, he'd be a happy man.

"You're still open all day next Saturday, right?"



"Good. I need some ideas on what to get for your studio and the den. We're only going to look. I promise."

So they were going to do wander around aimlessly? Oh, yeah, that was so much better.

"What if I say no?"

"I'll just add it to my list—either way you're coming with me. Besides, I can't go without my favorite—"

He let her know what he thought of her list and its odds of happening with one look. "Yeah, yeah. Williams, you've got a long way to go if you think you're being smooth."

Ana countered with a kiss. "How's that?"

"Still... a ...long way to go." Somehow he managed to make sense while she teased the corners of his mouth.

"Meet me later and maybe I'll change your mind. Enjoy your run. You're really hot when you're all sweaty"


"What are you doing?"

"You don't know?" He nuzzled the back of her neck. "It hasn't been that long."

"Just give me an hour and I'm all yours."

Sean plucked the pencil out of her hand and tossed it onto the drafting table. "You've been in here all day." His hands reached under her tank top.

"Stop it." Ana picked up the pencil and continued sketching. "Babe, we can do this later—I promise." His low chuckle incensed her while she jerked and twisted.

"But I want you now." He pressed against her back to prove his point. His sinful laugh mocked her efforts to get free, made her aware of the ugly thrill his forcefulness inspired. "That's so sexy, don't stop."

She tried to reason with him; if he gave her more time she'd have a great head start on the new collection. He pulled up her shirt and unhooked her bra.

"You need to take a break and chill out." Sean pressed his bare chest against her back. "That's what you said this morning."

"Yeah, but—"

"And I need to be inside you." His warm hand snuck under her bra to cover her breast. "Do I have to remind you how much you like it?"


"Shh. You think too much. Just feel." His other hand slid down her stomach, inside her shorts. The pencil clunked on to the drafting table. He made a rumbling sound of approval as he cupped her. Ana's need to connect surpassed her need to create.

"Love finding you like this." His long fingers traced her damp slit to emphasize his point. "I missed this."

Me too. The words got lost in a hissed-in breath while he fondled her. How could she speak words when he touched her like that? Ana canted her hips and sent his fingers just where she craved them. Ah, yes.

"Take off your clothes." There was something dark and phantomlike in having those commands come from an unseen face. He made the task harder by teasing her, caressing her. "Good girl," he said before he pushed her down. Ana gripped the edges of the table as he nudged her feet apart.

Sean filled her mind with deliciously vulgar accounts of what he wanted when he won their bet. She saw them in all the rooms he intended to take her, in all the ways he insisted she would. Every day. Every night. Ana whispered fantasies of her own while his hands and mouth worked their way down her back. It took every bit of effort to keep her knees straight while his tongue found its mark—again and again. God, he was so good at this. "I want to wake up like this. All week."

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