Friday, June 3, 2011
Massage Therapy, Chapter 14 - Convergence, part 1
From the Desktop of Bella Swan
Sunday, August 22
Edward Cullen’s bed is king-sized with a sturdy, squeak-free frame and wrought-iron headboard. Its firm, comfortable mattress is fitted with 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, feather pillows and a down comforter, all in varying shades of dusky blue that make his eyes look like the sea when he’s lying in it.
I know this because I spent the majority of the last twenty-four hours there.
If I could, I would make that bed my permanent place of residence. I would have every meal delivered and conduct all business from my laptop while firmly ensconced in that king-sized lap of luxury. I would leave only for quick trips to the bathroom to take care of life’s little necessities as they arose, or to enjoy long, languid showers and baths with Edward before we retired back to our four-cornered sanctuary. My perfect world would consist mainly of these three staples: Me, Edward, and Edward’s Bed.
I never thought I would describe a bed that large as “cozy,” but Edward made it so. Even in his sleep, he ignored its spaciousness in favor of curling himself around me and grasping me to him as if I were a body pillow. He sighed and snuffled on my shoulder; he snored softly into my hair. His arm took possession of my waist; then my hip; then my right breast. His legs were restless and unhappy unless they were tangled with mine. Wherever I moved in my percale cocoon, Edward unconsciously followed. Like a heat-seeking missile he honed in on my body and took it prisoner all night long… both sleeping and awake.
Sleep finally won last night for both of us, though I stubbornly fought it, waking often. At last I gave up and let my sleepless eyes rest upon Edward. I don’t know how long I watched him doze this morning. I committed to memory the soft fringe of sable eyelashes shadowing his cheeks; the thick, gently furrowed brows; the translucent pink skin of his cheeks; the deeper hue of his slightly pouting lips; the prickly, dirty-blond beard stubble decorating his square jaw and settling in the faint cleft of his chin. He is a work of art that I will never stop admiring.
As I lay studying him, listening to the even rhythm of his breathing, I thought back to the times I’d made his lungs labor the night before. I loved the sound of his heavy breathing; loved the feel of it on my skin, warm and urgent, as our bodies collided and converged into one.
I loved him.
I knew it as I watched him sleeping. I knew it when he unconsciously smothered me all night long. I knew it when his father upset him and he asked for my patience. I knew it when he made love to me for the first time, so passionate and unrestrained in that outdoor garden. I knew it when he stunned me with the most gorgeous song I’ve ever heard, titled after my name. I knew it the minute I saw him in his impeccable suit, looking more handsome than the law allows. I knew it when he picked up his tiny cousin and whirled her around, handling her with such affectionate ease. The sight of him cradling a child unleashed some kind of primal mating call that resonated through my entire body. My mind silently formed the only words to describe what I was feeling:
I love you.
I fought the words all night long, straining to keep them inside instead of blurting them out with every move he made. Every time he gave me that heavy-lidded look that he reserves for only me. Every time his foot found mine under the table. Every time he took my hand and held it captive in his. Every time he whispered naughty suggestions in my ear. Every time he kissed me, stroked me, held me, entered me and made me come so hard I sobbed in ecstasy, I wanted to make those cries form the words.
I love you, Edward. I’m in love with you.
Surely he already knew. I was reasonably certain he felt the same way about me. As improbable as it seemed, how could I doubt it after the words he sang to me? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine someone would write a song for me, let alone something so raw and heartfelt, so achingly beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. His heart poured from his lips, his soul flowed through his fingers. And all of it was for me. Me. I could scarcely believe that I had affected him so profoundly, the way he had me; but I couldn’t argue with the irrefutable proof of that song.
How could I ever repay him for such a gift? I didn’t know where to begin. All I knew was that I wanted to touch him as deeply as he had me. To give him something concrete, even when I had nothing concrete in hand.
I considered the way he had avoided kissing me all night, apparently hell-bent on preserving the glossy color I’d shellacked on my lips so that he could savor it later. It formed a sticky crimson bow in the middle of my face, decorating the only gift I could think to give him: me.
I fumbled with his clothes, vaguely wondering what he’d think of more forward behavior from me. He’d given in to me easily enough earlier. But would he give in to me laying claim over his heart? He had already stolen mine so completely that I felt entitled to his now.
I impatiently loosened his tie and pushed his shirt aside until I felt his hot skin under my fingertips. I moved them over his heart, searching for the thumping muscle beneath the flesh and bone. His heart quickened as I pressed my hand against him. It begged me to take ownership, to mark the territory as mine.
I moved my hand aside, allowing my lips to brand him with their stamp. His lungs swelled, pressing his skin to my mouth; his hands held the back of my head in place. He wanted my mark upon him. When his fingers finally eased their grip, I lifted my head and looked at my handiwork. He did the same. We stared at the lip print as if it were a permanent tattoo instead of washable department store lipstick. The symbol was worth far more than the pigment that created it.
He whispered my name, hoarsely, half-strangled with emotion; and then he kissed me. Over and over again his mouth covered mine, smearing what was left of the color, licking and sucking and biting it away until nothing was left but my bare skin against his.
“Edward,” I panted when his lips relinquished mine for a moment. “That song….” I searched for words to explain what it meant to me, but none would come. None were adequate. That’s what he had said earlier about how I looked that evening, and now I knew how he felt. I couldn’t bring myself to utter the three words that would come close to encompassing my feelings. It seemed too soon; or maybe I was just too much of a coward to be the first to say them.
But then I remembered what Edward had said to me the last time we’d had a moment of closeness like this. I wondered if he had any recollection of it. I decided I would take the risk and find out.
I placed my hands on either side of his face, tracing the beautiful bones and hollows. I leaned in and put my lips to the soft down of his ear.
“Let me love you.”
I pressed my mouth to the delicate architecture of his ear; the noisy breath he exhaled into my own ear was hot and penetrating. It shimmied up my spine like a mirage rising from sun-baked asphalt. My fingers moved to his hair then, clutching at the cool strands while his heat blazed and consumed me within.
My lips were unquenchable as they searched his face, his neck, his chest for some relief. My fingers stroked his warm skin, thrilling to the thorns of his whiskers and the feathers of his body hair. All were merely fuel to the fire that was building inside me. The more I touched and tasted him, the more I wanted. And the more I wanted for myself, the more I wanted for him. If I could make him feel even a fraction of what I was feeling, to be engulfed and consumed by me the way I was by him, then maybe the burning need would be slaked.
I very nearly ripped the buttons from his shirt as I undid them. He tried to help me undo his cuffs but my insistent fingers beat him to it. I pushed the shirt over his shoulders and down his arms until it formed a starched white accordion around his waist. His freed limbs wasted no time in encircling me, groping and fondling and pushing my dress open. I pressed my naked breasts to his chest and devoured him in a thirsty kiss. His tongue was a maddening flame instead; his fingers hot pokers sliding under my skirt and over my thighs.
My hand followed the trail of hair that snaked down his belly to the molten source of his heat. He was hard under my hand, ready to be released from the cool fabric of his pants. My lips followed the path my hand had just blazed as the rest of me slowly slid to the floor, pushing his thighs apart so that I could take up residence there. My tongue lapped at the reddish-brown hair that surrounded his belly button. I tickled the tiny hole with my tongue as my fingers unfastened and unzipped his pants.
Before I pulled them down, I looked up into his eyes. They were dark emerald flames, alight with anticipation and desire. But then, as they met mine, they smoldered dully for a moment as his eyebrows furrowed.
“Bella,” he whispered, his voice a parched husk. “You don’t have to do this.”
I stared at him blankly for a moment. I couldn’t believe he had uttered such a thing.
“Do you remember all the amazing things you did to me two weeks ago tonight?” I asked him.
He nodded slightly, brows still knitted.
“Did you do those things because you had to, or because you wanted to?”
My favorite crooked grin pulled at the corners of his mouth.
“Edward. I want to do this. I’ve been fantasizing about doing this for weeks.” My eyes were adamant, eager, as they assured his. “I want to make you feel as incredible as you made me feel that night. Trust me when I tell you, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.”
He let out a small laugh that turned into something more like a groan when I yanked at the fine gabardine of his trousers and freed him at last. His cock sprang upward, pointing straight at my face. Lit by the soft golden glow of a nearby floor lamp, I was able to see Edward, Junior in its full glory.
I didn’t touch him right away. I examined his erection with my eyes instead, my hands busy pulling the expensive fabric of his pants further down, exposing him completely. All seven, maybe eight inches of his cock twitched slightly in a silent plea for more than just my eyes upon its impressive length. Pink, lightly veined, and certainly thick enough to satisfy, it seemed fairly full of itself as it subtly throbbed, impatiently waiting. The tip glistened with pre-ejaculate, and I hadn’t even touched him yet.
I wrapped my right hand around the base, then slowly squeezed and pushed my way upward to the top. The motion squeezed a soft moan out of Edward as well. My eyes affixed to his, I leaned in and touched my lips to the head. With my hand I guided him over my mouth, tracing the outline of my lips with the wet tip of his cock in a similar manner to how I had applied my lipstick at the beginning of the evening. His eyes burned with an intoxicating mixture of surprise and lust as he watched me coat my lips with his fluid. Any misgivings he may have had about my total desire for him seemed to disappear along with the salty pre-cum that I licked from my lips.
A taste wasn’t nearly enough. My insatiable tongue circled the head along its corona before my mouth closed around him. His eyes shut and he moaned again, more loudly this time, as I took him in my mouth, slowly moving my lips down his shaft and back up again. When I reached the head, I gingerly rubbed my teeth against the sensitive flesh of his frenulum. I was met with a string of muttered obscenities as Edward’s hands gripped the couch cushions and his head fell back.
I never dreamed that unbridled swearing could be such sweet music to my ears. Each curse was evidence of him giving in to the demands of his body and letting go of the doubts in his head. As he relinquished his power, I discovered new reserves of my own. Though I kneeled subserviently before him, I was the master now, taking control of his body and his passions as decisively as he had taken control of mine. I rewarded his surrender by relaxing my throat and taking as much of him into my mouth as I could.
Edward groaned and one hand found my face, holding my head gently in place for a moment, making saliva run thick and plentiful from the back of my mouth. When he released me, I used it to lubricate him as my hand returned to rapidly pump his shaft, making sure I stimulated the sensitive glans with every pass.
“Fuck, Bella,” was all he could manage between raspy breaths. I returned my mouth to his member once more, working it in tandem with my hand, stroking and sucking until the vivid pink flesh began to swell and turn purplish with engorgement. I was relentless then, using every trick I could think of to make him pant and grunt with pleasure. I took his cock in my mouth from every angle, running it along the insides of my cheeks, letting it tickle the back of my throat. I slapped its rigid outline against my tongue repeatedly before swallowing him whole, nearly gagging and dousing him with my saliva again. I pumped him with one hand while the other massaged his perineum, stroking him from his scrotum to his anus. When he moaned in a tenor that told me he couldn’t take much more, I took each testicle in my mouth, one at a time, and sucked on them until he made only incoherent sex sounds, his fingers twisting in my hair, hips involuntarily pumping in rhythm with my hands and mouth.
That’s when I released him. I watched with satisfaction as his cock slammed against his belly, wet and pulsating, naked and needy. I remembered when he had done this to me at the onset of my orgasm, and I reveled in the desperate growl that rattled his chest as I now returned the favor. I smiled sweetly up at his half-crazed expression, which only frustrated him further.
I gave his pants another pull; his body responded instantly, hips rising to let me pull the garment down his thighs. I ran my hands slowly, luxuriously through the soft, sparse fur of his legs, up toward his throbbing dick. I kissed and nipped at the tender skin of his inner thighs, left and then right, letting my hair swing forward and tickle the fully aroused flesh between them as my lips moved closer and closer to where he wanted them.
“Bella, please,” he croaked. His hands stroked my hair, wheedling, cajoling.
“Please what?” I asked innocently. I traced the “V” of his hips with my fingers as I stared up at him, wide-eyed.
He let out a mirthless laugh as his eyes flashed, dark and desperate. “Make me come.”
The words hovered somewhere between an order and a plea. He was counting on me to satisfy him, even though he was perfectly capable of doing it himself. I had no intention of letting him down.
“How would you like me to make you come?” I asked coyly as I smoothed my hands across his abdomen, massaging the taut muscles there. I came within millimeters of his eager cock, but made sure not to touch it.
He laughed again, this one sounding slightly unhinged. “You don’t need me to tell you how to do that.”
“I don’t know,” I replied in an exaggeratedly dubious tone. “I’m not sure what you like best. My tongue…?” I suggested as I pressed the wet appendage against his scrotum, then raked it up the seam on the underside of his dick until it lapped at the sensitive tip.
“…or my hands?” I wrapped my fingers around him, gently twisting and rubbing his shaft, then stroking and pulling at his balls. His stared at me with glazed eyes, hypnotized by my demonstration of his pleasurable options.
“I think maybe you prefer my whole mouth,” I concluded, my lips hovering near the dark, swollen head that peered out of my left fist. I blew on it lightly and Edward emitted a broken moan.
“Do you want to come in my mouth, Edward?” My voice was a feather, its question floating in the air between us. His ragged breath blew the answer back at me.
Yes. Why did it seem like such a concession, such surrender on his part, when I was the one opening up and taking him inside me? But I couldn’t deny the power I felt as I moved my lips up and down the most sensitive, vulnerable part of him, taking care not to graze him with my teeth, making sure that he felt nothing but ecstasy as slid him in and out of my mouth with increasing speed.
“You feel so fucking amazing,” he panted, his voice brittle with tension. His fingers worked their way through my hair to massage my scalp as he gently guided me. His breathing quickened and I felt his entire body grow as rigid as his cock. The latter swelled even further and filled my mouth completely; it was all I could do to keep up the rhythm without choking. He was thrusting gently then, his body unable to stop the movement as it built to its impending climax. I grasped his hips and let them work with my mouth as I took him in, faster and deeper, and waited for his release.
He came with a wordless, shuddering gasp, incapable of even cursing now. I moaned with satisfaction as his cock unloaded its hot, bitter liquid into the back of my throat. I swallowed quickly and waited for more, eagerly drinking down each emission that erupted from him. It tasted as unpleasant as I remembered, and I didn’t care. I loved the flavor, the smell, the sound, the feel of him losing himself in me; letting himself revel in total abandon, filling me with his cum as he had promised to do regularly from now on. I would take it any way he wanted to give it to me. I had crossed a line somewhere, moving into territory where there were no more barriers or taboos or shame. There was only Edward’s humanity and mine. Every component of it, from the emotional to the spiritual to the physical, felt like an open book now, rooted in trust and faith, want and need, desire and lust.
I was certain there was love in his eyes when he gazed down at me now. Or was I just confusing it with appreciation? His expression was dazed, spent, maybe a little shell-shocked. I wondered if that was because he hadn’t expected me to be so uninhibited, or because I had just given him the best blow job of his life. I liked to think it was the latter, but assumed it was the former.
His fingers continued their slow, soothing massage on the back of my neck as I languidly ran my tongue up and down his twitching cock, gamely lapping up every bit of semen from him, and then from own my lips. His lungs gradually slowed their pace, and he began to thread his fingers through my hair, combing through it almost absent-mindedly. When I looked up into his face, I was sure it wasn’t just gratitude I saw in his eyes. It was so much more. So many things that I knew he would probably never attempt to articulate, and I understood why. I couldn’t begin to describe the gamut of emotions that had run through me over the course of this one fateful evening.
Our bella notte.
It was with reverence that I ran my hands and my mouth over his skin now, working my way back up his long, exquisitely sculpted torso to his beautiful face. I planted baby kisses along his jaw as I seated myself upon his left thigh and curled my arms around his neck.
“You enjoy making me lose control, don’t you,” he murmured as his arms closed around me.
“Very much,” I agreed unapologetically. “You seemed to enjoy it, too.” I moved my lips to his cheek, much smoother than his sandpaper neck.
I’m not sure ‘enjoy’ is a strong enough word,” he replied. He swept my hair from my cheek and stroked it with his thumb. “I’m not sure the right words exist.”
“We don’t need words.” My fingers traced the outline of his luscious lips, then the cleft in his chin. “But I wish I could come up with something even half as amazing as that song you wrote me. I can’t possibly explain what that means to me. No one’s ever done anything like that for me before.” I couldn’t stop stroking his beard stubble. The grittiness of it grounded me; made all of this real, not just some fantasy my wishful imagination had concocted.
“I’m glad I was the first,” he said softly. The first to tell me I’m beautiful. The first to look to me for strength. At least that’s what his lyrics just told me. Was I the first he would allow to see his vulnerability? The first he would let close enough to help him, as the song seemed to tell me he needed so desperately?
I continued to stroke his jaw, my movements rhythmic and soothing. I wasn’t sure which of us I was trying to calm. “You’re probably not only the first to write me a song--you’re probably the last.” I meant it as a joke, but neither of us laughed.
“I want to be your last,” he said. An overpowering wave of emotion radiated from my chest to my extremities. I looked in his eyes and was floored by the earnestness I saw there. We weren’t just talking about a song anymore.
“Edward,” I replied softly, my vocal chords barely able to function. “You’re my only.”
The intensity of the bond I felt as our eyes locked was almost too much to bear, yet I couldn’t look away. Neither could he. My fingers began to tremble over the scruff of his jaw and my vision grew foggy. When I had told him earlier that he overwhelmed me completely, it had been an understatement.
He seemed to sense me unraveling. His arm tightened around my waist and his hand was warm and solid as it cradled my face. He closed his eyes, sparing me his piercing gaze, and pressed his lips firmly to mine. The kiss finally ended, but his face stayed close.
“I’d better be your only,” he warned gruffly, teasing me. “Everything you just did in the past half hour had better be reserved for me and no one else.”
I let out a shaky, relieved laugh. “Trust me, you’re the only one I’ve really wanted to do that to. The only one I enjoyed, anyway.”
He grinned and kissed me again. “Lucky me.”
“No, lucky me. I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want you.” My hands continued to seek comfort in his skin and hair as I held him close. “I didn’t even know I was capable of wanting someone as much as I want you. It scares me sometimes.”
Our eyes got tangled up again, raw tethers binding us inextricably together. “I know,” he said in admission. “Why do you think I resisted you for so long? I knew it would be like this. Too much. Not enough.”
His gaze was suddenly far away, though his face was inches from mine. I was afraid his eyes were focused on the past.
“You sound like you’ve felt this kind of connection before,” I whispered. I hated the idea that he’d already experienced this overpowering euphoria with someone else--the mysterious Tanya--before me.
Edward frowned and shook his head. “I thought I had at the time. Now I know better.” A smile defeated his frown and he pulled me closer. He rubbed his nose against mine, like Eskimos do, and I couldn’t help but giggle before he gave me a gentle kiss.
“What about you?” he countered. “You mentioned a college boyfriend. Do I need to be worried about some great first love coming back into your life?” His tone was light, but his eyes weren’t.
My giggles turned into outright laughter then. “No. You definitely don’t need to worry about Mike Newton. He’s a nice guy, and he was a good boyfriend. But I think we were better friends than lovers. In fact, I know we were. There was no grand love there.”
“Mike Newton,” Edward repeated with a fair amount of distaste, like he’d just bitten into a sour apple. I swallowed a couple of times myself, wishing I had a glass of water to wash the last of Edward’s bitter ejaculate from my mouth. I loved him unconditionally, but I’d never love the taste of that stuff.
“He sounds like kind of a choad,” Edward concluded about my ex. I burst into peals of laughter all over again.
“’Choad?’ I haven’t heard that one in awhile,” I chuckled. “He’s a decent guy. He treated me well. He never cheated on me, that I’m aware of.”
“He was an idiot,” Edward declared. “He let you go.”
“You should be singing his praises, then,” I pointed out.
“I suppose so,” he relented. “Especially if he taught you to give head like that. No, wait, I don’t want to know if he did. As far as I’m concerned, your superior oral skills are just a case of beginner’s luck.”
“They actually are, kind of,” I admitted. “I never had quite the, uh, enthusiasm for Mike that I do for you,” I assured him. “But he did like to watch porn sometimes. I paid attention.”
“Clearly,” Edward concurred emphatically. “You are an amazing student of observation, then.”
“So do I get an ‘A’ for effort?”
“Are you kidding? You get an A+ for superior oral and manual presentation and execution. You’re at the top of the class.” His ran his thumb over my lips again; my tongue sneaked out and gave it a lick.
“I see. Is that professor speak for ‘mad blow job skillz?’” I put an emphasis on the ‘z’ sound at the end.
Edward laughed and bounced me up and down on his knee a little bit. “The maddest.”
I wanted to kiss him badly then; but even more than that, I wanted to rinse my mouth out first. Maybe he’d be into tasting his residue inside my mouth, but I was pretty much over the aftertaste myself.
I must have had the “sour apple” look on my face, because Edward soon asked me what was wrong.
“Nothing,” I replied quickly. “I’m just thirsty. I really could use a drink of water.”
I should have known he’d crack that code. “You didn’t have to swallow, you know,” he chided me, but he couldn’t quite keep the smirk off of his face. He tried to look sober as he added, “I don’t want you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.”
I sighed as I looked into the gorgeous green sea of his eyes. “I would ask you to stop being so wonderful, but I kind of like that about you. And I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to, so stop worrying about it.”
He grinned and gave me a gentle nudge, saying, “Okay, let’s go get you something to wash my nasty spooge out of your beautiful mouth.”
I began laughing again as I reluctantly left his lap, stood and teetered a moment in my platform heels. Edward popped up behind me, quickly pulling up his pants and zipping the fly. He left the hook closure undone, the tab flopping open. I had the feeling he didn’t plan to leave the trousers on for long. Warmth and wetness flooded me anew, and I realized just how turned on it had made me to give so much pleasure to Edward. Even though I had made a quick pit-stop to the restroom on the way out of the party earlier, there was only so much I could do to remedy the sticky situation Edward had put me in. I’d cleaned myself--and my drenched panties--as best I could with only dry toilet paper at my disposal. But now I was damp again, probably with my own fluid this time. As Edward led me by the hand through the loft to the kitchen, I wondered how quick his recovery time was. My body was eager and willing to be taken by him again.
The cold chrome and steel of Edward’s kitchen was warmed by cherry wood cabinets and fifties-style appliances. He opened the cupboard nearest the refrigerator and pulled out a tall, pale blue glass.
“Do you want a beer or something?” he asked as he poked his head into the fridge. “I have Heineken, Smithwick’s, and I think there’s some vodka in the freezer,” he grinned over his shoulder. “Or do you want orange juice? I have that. And I think there’s some lemonade mix around here somewhere….”
“Stop!” I laughed. “Water is fine.”
“Okay,” he smiled sheepishly. “Just trying to be a good host.” I thought of Esme Cullen then. It was easy see how much of her innate thoughtfulness had been instilled in her son.
He plunked a few ice cubes from the freezer into my glass, then filled it with spring water from a gallon jug.
“Here,” he said, handing it to me. “I’m going to have a beer. Let me know if you want to share.” He twisted the top off of Holland’s finest, then clinked the bottle neck to my glass.
“Cheers,” I toasted him.
“To us,” he replied.
I nodded, my eyes caught in his again as I raised the glass to my lips. We each took a generous sip of our drinks, but I couldn’t stop there. Edward gave me that somewhat smug, amused grin as I gratefully gulped down most of my water. It was all I could do not to gargle with it.
“Next time, I’ll get you a glass of water beforehand. I’ll keep one on the bed stand for you.” His eyes twinkled wickedly, and his crooked grin was worse.
“You’re pretty optimistic about repeat performances of my oral presentation,” I shot back.
“No, just hopeful,” he grinned. “I’ll make it worth your while. Payback doesn’t have to be a bitch. Just the opposite, in fact.”
I felt a bashful blush warm my cheeks. No matter how good I pretended to be at this game of sexy banter with Edward, at some point I always felt completely outmatched. The wine--and my bravery--from earlier in the evening had dissipated.
Edward seemed attuned to me again, so different from our past misunderstandings. I was too thankful for the shift to wonder how and when it had happened.
“Is that better?” he inquired as I took another sip of water. “You okay?”
I nodded. “I’m fine. I’m great, actually.” I wondered if he knew how much it meant to me just to be here with him like this. That he wanted me here, in his place. That he didn’t want me with anyone else but him.
He reached out and stroked the side of my face, his gaze hypnotizing me. For a moment I was sure he could read my mind. I felt stripped bare before him, though I was still fully dressed. His eyes felt like lights shining into me, revealing even the most cobwebby, neglected corners of my soul.
An abrupt grin cracked his face and he said, “I need to use the little boy’s room. Make yourself at home. I’ll be right back.” He leaned in and kissed my forehead tenderly before releasing me. My fingers brushed over the lip print on his chest as he walked past me to the back of the loft.
I was slightly bewildered at his sudden exit, but then again, he was probably just answering nature’s call. He shouldn’t have needed to clean up like I did earlier, because I’d done a thorough job of that with my tongue. That thought prompted me to down the rest of my water, setting the glass on the counter with a satisfied sigh when I was done.
I began to wander slowly through the rest of Edward’s apartment, taking in the tiny details, the revealing nuggets. Photographs of his family and friends, in frames that varied from antique to modern, prominently displayed on a wooden shelf mounted to one wall. Issues of Time, National Geographic, Guitar World and Massage magazines on the coffee table. Prints of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” and “Fulfillment” in a perfect pairing over his sofa. Candles everywhere, but in austere, masculine holders. What guy has candles? I mused. One who seduces lots of women, said the devil on one shoulder. One who owns Joni Mitchell albums and is freaked out by dolls, said the angel on the other.
I smiled at the angel as I walked from the living area toward Edward’s bedroom and bath. At that moment, the bathroom door opened and Edward emerged, still shirtless and in suit trousers, his formerly groomed hair completely defying earlier attempts to tame it.
The untamed part of him always wins. Shivers ran through my body at the thought.
“Don’t move,” came his voice, low and seductive, across the room.
“What? Why?” I replied. I scoured the floor for an object about to trip me up, then the ceiling for a dangling lamp or spider about to hit me in the face.
“You look incredible in the moonlight,” he replied softly. I shivered again at the sound of the Sex Voice, then sighed with relief that I wasn’t about to make a fool of my clumsy self. I steadied myself on the brick wall next to me and glanced out the nearby window. The moon was high; not full, but luminous enough to angle its dim rays upon me through the glass.
Edward leaned over and turned off the floor lamp that fought with the moon. The ensuing darkness was liberating, exhilarating; but my eyes soon adjusted to the ambient glow bathing the room through the window.
Edward began to walk toward me, slowly and deliberately, like a stalking cat. But I wasn’t afraid of his eyes on me, intense as they were. Instead they were my lifeline, my energy source, my spark. The electricity crackled and buzzed through me with increasing strength the closer he came.
He halted suddenly, still a dozen feet away, and his eyes released mine in order to possess other parts of my body. They raked over me, head to toe, before he spoke again with the same caramel-coated persuasion.
“Will you do something for me?”
I gulped and nodded. How silly of him to ask, when he knew I could refuse him nothing.
“Take off your dress.”
The electricity surged through my heart, sending it galloping wildly and pumping the blood forcefully through my veins. I stared at his willful eyes, his flared nostrils, the firm set of his mouth.
I had my answer--he was ready now.
My fingers trembled as I fumbled with the belt of my dress. I finally had to tear my eyes from his and look down to see what I was doing. When the belt came free, it fell to the floor with a muffled thump. The left side of my dress gaped open, exposing my breast. Its hardened nipple pointed straight at the source of its arousal. I moved my shaking hands to the tie on the right, pulling it loose, exposing my right breast and its matching rigid peak.
I looked back into his eyes, finding a strange solace in the hunger I saw there. I shrugged the dress over my shoulders, peeled the sleeves from my arms and let it fall to the polished boards below. Goose bumps dotted my naked flesh as the cool air caressed me. I put my hand to the brick wall again, its rough-hewn surface reassuring under my uncertain grip.
I observed Edward’s eyes grow even more ravenous as he let them roam lazily over my body, taking his time, relishing what he saw. My breaths were quick and shallow with self-conscious nervousness and excitement. I let my eyes travel over Edward in return, revisiting the subtly sculpted muscles and broad, masculine bones that lurked under his inviting flesh. It didn’t seem fair that I was practically naked when half of his body was covered. I wanted to ogle the solid muscles of his thighs, the perfect round cheeks of his ass and the hard thickness of his erection, all hidden under their veil of designer fabric.
I looked into Edward’s eyes again, growing impatient. I wanted him near me, on me, inside me now, while he seemed content to only stare.
“What are you doing?” I finally demanded in a frustrated rasp.
“Memorizing you,” he answered, finally moving his eyes northward from my curves to my questioning gaze. “I never want to forget how beautiful you look right now.”
As I searched Edward’s face, I found what I was looking for. I didn’t need any liquid courage to make me brave now.
“Why don’t you take a picture?” I suggested, in a tone that was anything but facetious. “It’ll last longer.”
His lips twitched as if he might laugh, but his eyes quickly perceived the truth.
I wasn’t joking.