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Dance with Me
By
Lisa

Dance with Me

Lucy finally gets the chance to discover whether reality matches up to her fantasies.
I still remember the exact moment that I fell in love with Owen. It wasn’t a gradual realisation or a slow slide into something new. It hit me hard and stayed with me, making the time I spent in his presence a combination of torturous and comforting from then onward.

I’d been waiting for my turn to give a speech at his younger sister’s eighteenth birthday party, and although we’d never spoken about it he somehow knew the idea of being the centre of attention terrified me. While his dad took the floor and entertained the crowd with stories from Sarah’s past, Owen reached for my hand and slid his fingers between mine, apparently unconcerned with the fact that his girlfriend stood right there beside him.

His thumb stroked mine in a reassuring caress but his attention remained on his father and he never once looked my way. The simplicity of his touch, the matter-of-fact way he offered comfort as if it took no thought at all, pushed what had once been a crush into something so much more.

Now, four years later, here we were at Sarah’s wedding, with him newly single and me perpetually that way because no one could ever measure up to him—and being the maid of honour meant I had speech duties to perform once again.

I’d gone outside to get some air and gather my thoughts but my legs kept trembling as I paced the edge of the parking lot. The muted sound of a drumbeat came from inside the reception centre and wind rustled through the trees. Moonlight peeked between the clouds, reflecting off the shallow puddles left on the asphalt after the rain.

A couple of guests were huddled against the wall with cigarette smoke curling between them, their figures briefly illuminated by a pair of headlights as a car swung out of the lot.

Dressed in a strapless navy evening gown with my brown hair falling in waves over my shoulders, I’d been feeling poised and in control earlier in the evening, but as the guests settled in for the night and the formalities began, my hard-earned confidence deserted me.

My fingers twisted together and I dragged in air, letting it out slowly in the hope that it might help to calm my racing heart.

I heard the main door open behind me and turned to see Owen stepping out into the night. My breath caught every time I set eyes on him, but tonight with his dark suit and equally dark hair, I struggled to draw breath at all.

He flashed me a smile as he passed by a glowing wall sconce. He’d been given the role of groomsman for the wedding, and even though we weren’t partnered up it still meant I’d spent most of my day with him. I would have thanked Sarah for making that happen if I’d ever built the courage to tell her about my feelings for him in the first place.

“Hiding out, Lucy?” he asked as he came to stop before me.

“Yep.” I watched as the other two guests walked by on their way back into the building. “Just doing the usual; freaking out over the idea of people looking at me.”

“I hate to break it to you but people have been looking at you all day.”

My attention shifted back to him. I frowned as I lifted my hand to make sure the jewelled comb was still in place in my hair.

“Not because there’s anything wrong,” he said. His brown eyes filled with humour as he gave me a quick once over. “It’s because everything’s right.”

“Oh.” In that moment I couldn’t focus on anything other than the steady thump, thump of my heart so it took a while for his words to register. I made myself maintain eye contact with him even though it was more natural for me to glance away. He’d never commented on my appearance before; the rush of pleasure it triggered inside me made my cheeks grow hot. “Thanks.”

He smiled. “So what’s your plan of attack?”

“I’m not sure yet.” I rubbed the chill from my arms and smiled back at him, hoping it might be convincing. “I’ll be okay.”

He raised his brows. “You don’t look okay.”

“I keep telling myself it’s only five minutes.” I stared at the ground, noticing that the music had stopped inside, only to be replaced by the muffled sound of the MC’s voice. He’d be directing the guests to their seats right about now so it wouldn’t be long before they needed me. “I used to feel anxious over almost everything when I was younger,” I said, looking up to meet Owen’s eyes again. “This is the only thing that still gets to me but I can’t seem to shake it no matter how hard I try.”

He contemplated me for a few moments while I tried my best not to squirm under his steady appraisal. The appearance of the dimple in his left cheek and the sparkle of amusement in his eyes told me I wasn’t fooling anyone. “I’m proud of you, you know,” he finally said.

I doubted he had any idea what those words did to me, especially coming from him. A feeling of tenderness built in my chest, spreading throughout my body. “Why’s that?” I asked.

“Even though speaking in front of people scares you, you do it anyway because you love my sister.”

I tucked a tendril of hair behind my ear and considered his comment. “I guess I just didn’t think about saying no.”

His hand touched my elbow and slid slowly down to my forearm, his touch leaving shivers in its wake. “That’s one of the things I love about you,” he said. “And why I came out here to help you.”

Love about me? It felt like my heart had made a sudden leap into my throat and I struggled to stay focused on the conversation. “How are you going to help me?” I asked.

Mesmerised, I watched as he lifted my hand.

“Let me show you,” he said.

I’d never heard huskiness roughen his voice before now. My eyes rose to meet his; the way his attention never wavered from me made my stomach churn. “What’s next?” I asked. My words were so soft I wondered if he could even hear them. “Does it involve picturing people naked?”

“Hmm... No.” Owen smiled and encouraged my fingers to straighten. Our gazes remained locked as he placed our palms together. His skin felt so warm and comforting that I sighed before I could stop myself. The corner of his mouth lifted then his fingers slid through mine just as they had four years ago, only this time we were facing each other and there was no mistaking the affection in his eyes. “Remember?” he asked.

I nodded. The fact that he remembered left me feeling overwhelmed and unable to speak. His fingers curled over my hand, his thumb rubbing the sensitive skin on the side of my palm. We stood watching each other while I tried to focus on my breathing and he took everything in as if he’d never set eyes on me before. The expression on his face made me hope for things I’d always considered out of my reach.

My tongue slipped out to moisten my lower lip. His attention dropped to my mouth for a fraction of a second before his eyes flicked back to meet mine. “When you get nervous up there,” he said, “just look at me.”

“Okay.” The word came out sounding like a sigh.

He leaned in and pressed a soft kiss on my forehead, leaving his lips there just long enough to get my pulse racing. “Look at me and feel me holding your hand, Luce.”

I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they’d told me I could fall even more in love with Owen, but as I stood there with his calmness and strength surrounding me, I realised it was true.

* * * *

If the tears in Sarah’s eyes and the thumbs-up sign from her dad weren’t enough to let me know my speech had been a success, the cheers and applause I received afterward achieved that goal. I remained standing in front of the seated crowd, my heart pounding with relief as I raised my glass to toast the happy couple.

Floral centrepieces and crisp white linen decorated the tables filling one half of the room, with a parquet dance floor and a bench laden with gifts taking up the remaining half. Owen had been given a place at the bridal table with me but he was seated at the other end with his fellow groomsmen.

He’d fixed his attention on me throughout the entire speech, keeping me well aware of him even when I wasn’t looking his way. I’d glanced across at him every time I felt my nerves get the better of me, discovering he had a calming influence that helped me get through without embarrassing myself too much.

Now the formalities were over the MC invited the guests to take to the dance floor. At the sound of animated voices and shuffled movements, my shoulders relaxed and I felt like I could breathe again. I set my glass on the table and turned to Sarah, waiting while she pushed her chair back and stood beside me.

She smiled and drew me into her arms, surrounding me with her blonde curls and floral perfume. “Thanks, Luce,” she said. “I know that wasn’t easy but it meant so much to me.”

“It’s okay.” I smiled against her hair. “I found a way to handle the nerves this time around, so it wasn’t too bad.”

“I noticed you had some help.” She gave me a squeeze and pulled away to send a pointed look over her shoulder. I followed her gaze, my stomach performing a little flip when I saw Owen heading our way. “When are you going to tell him?” she asked, returning her attention to me.

I struggled to keep my surprise hidden. “Tell him?”

Sarah opened her mouth to speak but she stopped and turned around, distracted when her husband called her name. She gave Michael a wave then pointed to the dance floor, giving the impression they’d meet there as soon as she finished talking to me. She faced me again and smiled. “Come on. It’s impossible not to notice the way you look at him.”

I frowned as Owen joined us, overcome by the frantic racing of my pulse. ”I don’t know what to say.”

“It doesn't matter. Just say something. To him,” she added, clasping my shoulders and planted a loud kiss on my cheek. “I have to go but I’ll talk to you later.” Sarah punched Owen lightly on the arm then lifted her brows and sent me the look she always gave me whenever she meant business. “Do it, Lucy,” she said before hurrying away.

“What was that about?” Owen asked.

I shook my head, unsure what to say to him. “Relationship advice, I think.”

He blew out a laughing breath. “Typical. She gets married then suddenly becomes an expert on happiness—wait,” he said as his humour disappeared. “You’re in a relationship?”

I still managed to smile despite the awkwardness of the situation. “You don’t have to sound so surprised.”

“I’m not. I’m just… I thought you were single.”

“I am.” I couldn’t be sure if I was just seeing what I wanted to see, but he appeared to visibly relax when I confirmed my relationship status. ”I’m not with anyone. There’s just someone I’m interested in. Sarah was pushing me to do something about it.”

“So, when are you going to tell the lucky guy?”

I gave him a half smile and redirected my attention to my shoes. “I’m not sure. Up until now I’d just planned on admiring him from a distance for the rest of my life.”

The sound of Owen’s choked laughter made me glance up again. “Is he here tonight?” he asked.

I stared straight at him, wishing there was a way to calm my pounding heart. “Yeah.”

“Why don’t you practise on me?” he said. “Pretend I’m him so you won’t feel as nervous when you let the actual guy know.”

“I don’t… I don’t think that would help.” Reluctant laughter bubbled up inside me. I almost had to clamp my hand over my mouth to keep it inside.

His eyes sparkled as he watched me. “Try it and see.”

I wondered if he somehow knew what was going on. If Sarah had managed to pick up on it even in the midst of all her wedding celebrations then it must have been obvious. Maybe it would be a relief to get it out in the open. I could look him in the eye and tell him exactly how I felt without the pressure of him knowing I was actually talking about him.

He studied me and waited, not saying a thing, his patience helping to ease the tension inside me. My gaze swept over the room, checking to make sure everyone was otherwise occupied. Most of the guests had moved onto the dance floor while a few others remained at their tables involved in conversations.

I loosened my clenched fingers at my sides and returned my attention to Owen, deciding to just go for it before I could find reasons for why it was a bad idea. “All right, are you ready?”

The beginnings of a smile twitched at his mouth. “Hit me with it.”

I couldn’t stop myself from smiling in return even though my stomach churned. “I started having feelings for you years ago,” I said, “back when I was nearly seventeen. You were older than me and I was too shy to tell you. I assumed you wouldn’t see me in the same way so I just kept it to myself and hoped it would go away. I guess a part of me still wished you’d notice me as well, even though I probably wouldn’t have known what to do if you did.”

“And?”

“I don’t know how to explain it. It’s kind of pathetic because I saw you with your previous girlfriends and noticed how affectionate you were with them. The fact that you never really touched me should have told me all I needed to know about how you saw me…” I let out a breath and forced myself to keep looking at him. “But despite all of that, I still want you… and I can’t stop.”

We stared at each other, the connection between us so strong that every sound in the room faded until all I could hear was the rush of blood in my ears. His gaze dropped to my lips, then wandered down my body. When his eyes finally rose to meet mine again the expression on his face was impossible to read. “You’re not talking about some other guy.”

He sounded so sure of himself it made me even more confident that he’d known all along. My eyes closed and I shook my head in answer, wondering how he planned to deal with this now. I’d just put him on the spot at his sister’s wedding reception. He couldn’t even leave if he wanted to get out of here.

The tips of his fingers brushed mine and he grabbed hold of my hand. “Dance with me,” he said.

When I heard the affection in his voice my eyes opened and relief flooded me. His thumb brushed mine and he turned to lead me toward the dance floor. We stepped out into the middle, one of his arms wrapping around my waist and his other hand clasping mine to pull me close.

We moved together in silence, soaking up the sights and sounds, until it reached the point where I couldn’t hold my curiosity inside any longer. My cheeks were still hot after my confession and I struggled to meet his eyes. “You knew I was talking about you all along but you let me go ahead and tell you those things anyway.”

His hand moved to my lower back, his fingers flexing against my spine. “I didn’t know it would turn out like that, I swear. I had a feeling you were interested in me but I was just trying to tease it out of you. You almost threw me at the start of the conversation… then you blew me away with the rest of it.”

“This is so awkward now. I wouldn’t have dumped all of that on you if I’d known what was going on. I’m sorry.”

He pressed a kiss against my hair. “Don’t be sorry. I’m still getting used to the idea but right now I’m almost more attracted to you than I can stand.”

“Oh.” Tingling warmth rushed through me and my skin prickled with the pleasure of it all. “Wow.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Wow.”

He turned with me and I caught Sarah’s smile from the other side of the dance floor as my position changed. I wondered how long he’d felt this way. I guessed his view of me might have altered during the lead up to the wedding when we’d be spending so much time together.

He lowered me into a dip that drew a smile from me then spun me around until I gave in and laughed. My embarrassment eased a little and we danced for several songs, sometimes talking, sometimes just holding each other close. The more time that went on the more relaxed I felt around him and I eventually stopped feeling so stupid over what I’d said.

When the current song ended, he pulled me against him and wrapped his arms around my waist, looking down at me as we stood by the edge of the dance floor.

Some of guests walked by, heading back to their seats to take a break. The MC announced the cake-cutting ceremony would begin soon. Amidst the activity Owen touched his mouth to the edge of my lower lip, making an “mmm” sound that rumbled in his chest. I let out a tortured whimper and felt him smile against my skin. “Will you come back to my place after this?” he asked. “We’ll hang out for a while, just the two of us.”

Although I’d been to his apartment many times over the years, I’d always accompanied Sarah. Owen and I had never really spent any alone time together before tonight. I didn’t know what his intentions were but I wanted to be there with him regardless. The sudden shift in our relationship had left my head spinning but through all the confusion I still knew exactly what I wanted.

I looked up at him and smiled. “I’d like that.”

* * * *

Owen closed the door to his apartment and took my evening bag from me, setting it on the hall table with his wallet and keys. I kicked off my high heels and left them by the door, thankful to finally be free of them.

He wandered through the wide archway into his living room, giving me a smile as he passed by that encouraged me to follow him. I trailed behind him, feeling anticipation stir in the pit of my stomach.

We’d stayed at the reception for another two hours after our initial conversation, deciding to leave straight after we waved Sarah and Michael off. Although Owen and I had spent the entire time together, he hadn’t made any other moves on me after our almost-kiss on the dance floor. The waiting left me wanting it more than ever now.

I glanced around the room, taking in the two couches arranged in a right angle formation, the coffee table in the middle and the oversized television on the wall. Several magazines were scattered over an end table but it made the room look lived in rather than cluttered. I’d always loved his place. It had a warm, welcoming feel to it that usually made me want to settle in and make myself at home.

His bedroom was situated across the hall but that was the only room I’d never actually been in before. The idea of going in there with him tonight left me feeling on edge—not with nerves exactly, more just with the thrill of the unknown.

“Tired?” he asked, reaching his hand out to me.

“No, not even a little bit.” I smiled, sliding my fingers across his palm.

His hand clasped mine and he pulled me toward him. He slipped his arms around me, and without another word dipped his head and brushed his lips across mine. The swift touch left my skin tingling and my lips parted to invite more. My eyes closed and I sighed when he came back for another touch, his mouth lingering longer this time, nibbling, tasting.

I clasped his biceps through his suit jacket, holding on while he kissed me until my knees trembled. His tongue briefly touched mine, giving me just enough attention to tease my senses but leave me wanting more. I settled into the kiss, releasing my hold on his arms to slide my hands up his chest and link them behind his neck. My tongue pressed against his and I moaned softly as the kiss deepened.

It went on like this for long, unhurried moments, the intensity building slowly until I thought I had a pretty good idea where this was headed. Just when I began thinking about pushing his jacket off his shoulders, Owen shocked me by pulling away and resting his forehead against mine. “Believe it or not I didn’t bring you here for this,” he said, his deep voice roughened with desire.

My fingers stroked the back of his neck and I struggled to stay calm when all I wanted to do was beg him to keep going. “I don’t care,” I said. “I want it, Owen. I want you.”

I thought about how long I’d waited to experience this with him. The sensation of his body pressed to mine while his mouth travelled over me had been a recurring fantasy for years. Now I had him right here in front of me I didn’t want to give him any reasons to stop. I pushed up on my tiptoes to trail my mouth over his chin. The stubble darkening his jaw rasped against my lips, the smell of his crisp cologne making me want to nuzzle his throat.

“Wait a second,” he said, letting out a laughing groan. “If we’re doing this I need to ask you something first.”

I lowered myself so my feet were flat on the floor again. “What is it?”

He gazed down at me as his hands moved to my shoulders. My heart rate kicked up at the look in his eyes but I remained silent.

“In all the time I’ve known you I’ve never seen you with a boyfriend,” he said, “or heard through Sarah that you’re seeing anyone.”

I let out a little huff and felt my cheeks grow warm. “Thanks for pointing that out.”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “I’m not trying to embarrass you, I’m just trying to find out if you have any… experience.”

With me being a virgin I knew we’d need to have this discussion at some point. I’d just hoped it would happen in the heat of the moment when were both distracted by more important things and I wouldn’t have to look him in the eye. I wanted to hide my face against his chest while I answered him but I forced myself to meet his gaze. “I’ve kissed a few guys.”

“Anything else?”

“No, that’s it.”

“Have you been waiting for marriage?”

The pained expression on his face would have made me laugh at any other time, especially since I’d just caught the bouquet at the wedding reception earlier tonight. I shook my head, knowing I’d have no choice but to explain myself.

“So… what exactly are you waiting for?”

I found it difficult to explain in a way that wouldn’t make me seem like I’d lost my mind. It wasn’t that I’d made a conscious decision to keep my virginity, I just couldn’t bring myself to sleep with a man if I didn’t at least think I loved him. Since he was the only man I’d ever felt that way about…

I met his eyes and hoped my response wouldn’t send him running. “You.”

Silence settled around us, so thick with tension that it felt like a physical presence in the room. I counted the seconds that passed by while I mentally begged for him to say something.

“It’s not like I set my sights on you or turned it into some weird obsession,” I said. “It’s just that whenever I met someone and tried to like him—and I did try—it never seemed right because he wasn’t… you.” That last word came out sounding more frustrated than I’d intended. My breathing turned harsh and I couldn’t tear my gaze away from him.

“Lucy, stop for a second.” Owen walked away from me to slip off his jacket and drape it over the back of one of the couches. He tugged at the knot on his tie and pulled it over his head, tossing that down, too. His movements were slow and deliberate, as if he needed to give himself some time to think.

Once he’d turned and taken the couple of steps required to bring us back together again, he grabbed my wrists and pulled me to him. I looked up at him as his thumbs caressed the back of my hands, wondering what was going through his mind right now.

“That’s probably the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said to me.” He leaned down to kiss the tip of my nose. “And I don’t think you’re crazy or obsessed, but you’re definitely putting the pressure on.”

I took his affection as a sign of encouragement and managed to smile even though he’d confused me. “How am I doing that?” I asked.

“You’re building this up so much in your mind that you’ll only end up disappointed.”

Warmth rushed through me as I lifted my head and offered him my lips. “I can’t see how that’s possible.”

He took up the invitation, his mouth cruising over mine in a long, lazy kiss. My body melted against him and he groaned, kissing me deeper, harder.

When our lips finally parted he remained close, his breath warm as he spoke beside my mouth. “Are you on some kind of birth control?”

I planted a kiss on his jaw and hid my elation. “I am.”

He stepped away from me with my hand still clasped in his and twirled me beneath his arm. I laughed, trying to keep my balance as he pulled me close and kissed me again.

* * * *

His room had much the same warm, masculine feel as the rest of his apartment. Charcoal-coloured linen covered the bed while a small stack of books filled the nightstand. Loose change and a watch were grouped together on the top of a set of drawers.

I watched as Owen eased off his shoes and nudged them aside. He turned to face me, his dark eyes following my movements as I wandered toward him. I came to a stop before him, my toes sinking into the carpet and my stomach fluttering with excitement.

“Nervous?” he asked.

I felt more at ease around him now than I ever had before. My mouth curved in a slight smile and I shook my head. “Not anymore.”

He stepped in close and cupped my face in his palms, dipping his head to touch his lips to mine. I sighed and clasped his wrists, holding onto him as I kissed him back. Every time he stood near me my senses heightened and my heart pounded. I flicked my tongue over his and pressed myself to him, wanting to be as close to him as possible.

He groaned and moved one hand to my lower back, pulling me so tight against his body that only our clothing separated us. His palm slid over my hip, slipping down to caress the curve of my bottom. I moaned and let go of his wrists, sweeping my tongue against his.

He wedged his hands between our bodies, working to unfasten the buttons on his shirt. My desire built with each one that popped open, and when he finally got the last one free, I slipped my hands inside to sweep my palms over his hard chest. His skin felt so warm and inviting that I moaned and pulled my mouth from his, panting as I stared up at him. “I’m sorry for rushing but I need—“

He pulled me in with his hand curved around the back of my neck, planting a kiss on my lips. “It’s okay.”

Owen took a small step back and tugged his shirt free from his pants. Our gazes meshed as he slipped it from his arms and dropped it beside him. My eyes were drawn to his tanned skin, his lean muscles and broad chest. The sight of him left my mouth dry and my throat worked to swallow. I kept my attention on him while I reached behind me and slid my zipper down. My dress loosened across my breasts then collapsed into a midnight blue puddle at my feet.

I stood before him in my nude strapless bra and matching lace panties, my chest rising and falling with my shallow breaths. He held out his hand, clasping mine as I stepped from my pooled dress. The look in his eyes as his gaze travelled over me made me feel warm and wanted.

He drew me against him, leaning down to whisper against my ear, “You’re so pretty.”

The sound of his deep voice and his softly spoken words filled me with pleasure. I let out a whimper and turned my head, catching his mouth with mine. His arms wrapped around me, trapping my palms flat against his chest and keeping me close.

His lips teased mine, his tongue delving into my mouth with warm, sweeping caresses. I pushed my hips against his erection, rubbing back and forth. The knowledge that all of that hard length was just for me caused a husky cry to catch in my throat.

Owen groaned and slid one hand up my spine, his lips roaming over mine as his fingers clasped the nape of my neck. I tore my mouth free and tilted my head back, letting out a deep sigh. His lips nibbled their way down the side of my neck, the tip of his tongue dipping into the hollow at the base of my throat.

“God, I can’t… I need…” I didn’t even know exactly what I was asking for; all I knew was that I wanted it now.

Owen turned us both around and backed me toward the edge of the mattress. His mouth left me as he bent to throw back the covers. I felt a moment of panic cut through the excitement but it passed when he straightened and cradled my chin, giving me another long, searching kiss.

When our lips parted, he lowered me onto the bed and stood beside me, watching me closely as he flicked his belt and fly open. “Okay?”

I nodded quickly, letting out a slow breath. As he stripped down to his blue boxer briefs my eyes dipped to the bulge hidden inside them. The thought of touching him there, of pulling down that taut material to look at him, or if I could build the courage, taste him, made my pulse race.

A feeling of restlessness came over me and I shifted on the bed, settling deeper into the pillows.

Owen climbed over me, his muscled thighs moving between my parted legs. His chest came to rest against mine, his erection nudging me intimately. I bent my legs and spread my knees, letting out a soft moan as his cock rubbed back and forth against my pussy. Even with our underwear between us, I could feel every hard inch of him. I wanted him now more than ever.

He grabbed one of my wrists and linked his fingers with mine, resting our joined hands above my head. Our mouths met again, the kiss turning hungry and demanding. Groans and whimpers mingled, hands explored. His tongue drove me to the point where I was making little sobbing sounds of pleasure against his lips.

Owen’s free hand clasped my chin while he kissed me, then it slowly glided lower to smooth over my breast. He hooked his fingers in the cup of my bra and tugged until he’d revealed my nipple. My back arched and my breast pressed into his waiting palm. I cried out against his mouth, squeezing the hand that held mine.

He broke the kiss and nuzzled my neck, letting out a laughing groan. “You’re so sweet,” he said.

I tried to smile but it turned into a moan as his stubbled jaw rubbed across my sensitive skin. I didn’t feel sweet right now. I felt desperate and needy and ready to beg.

He pulled the cups lower, tucking them beneath both of my breasts. While his mouth left a trail of kisses down my throat, I shoved my hand behind me and flicked the clasp on my bra. I whipped it out from between us and dropped it over the side of the bed.

Owen groaned and smoothed his palm from my waist to my ribs. I lifted my head to watch as his mouth moved over my collarbone. He grasped my breast, leaning down to swirl his tongue over my nipple. My head sank against the pillow and I sighed.

He let go of the hand he’d been holding above my head, tucking his palm beneath my back to press me closer. I threaded my fingers into his dark hair, moaning as he sucked my nipple into his mouth then released it, bathing the tender flesh with his tongue.

My hips lifted from the bed, my restless movements causing my panties to ride up. I tugged at the scrap of lace, wanting it gone. Owen must have sensed my frustration because he gave my nipple a farewell peck and leaned back, slipping his fingers into the waistband. His mouth was swollen from our kisses, his smile so sexy I could barely stand it. He slipped my panties from me then tossed them aside and looked me over.

“Yours, too,” I said. I wanted to see him—all of him.

He rested his hands on either side of me and leaned over to press his mouth to mine, kissing me so slowly, so deeply, that my body writhed beneath him. My legs parted and my hands slid around his back to pull him closer. He nipped my lower lip then flicked the tip of his tongue over the spot to soothe me.

Before I could drag him back for more he dropped beside me on the bed, lying there in only his boxer briefs. I couldn’t take my eyes from him, my heart thudding so hard I could feel it in my ears. A thin covering of dark hair spread across his chest, narrowing into a line that trailed down his abdomen and disappeared into the blue fabric of his boxers.

I wanted to see what was under there, to make that discovery myself. As he tucked his thumbs in the waistband and prepared to remove them, I shifted to a kneeling position beside him. “Let me,” I said. With a quick smile, I nudged his hands aside and curled my fingers over the elastic.

His palms came to rest on his lower stomach while he watched me. My hands trembled and I pulled the taut cotton down, revealing him inch by inch. When I’d exposed him completely, I took in the view and my breath caught. His cock lay against his body, hard and imposing, a bead of moisture glistening on the head. His musky scent rose to greet me. He looked strong and beautiful all at once, his thick length inviting me to touch. Even as my pulse raced at the sight, nerves fluttered in my belly and I contemplated how something of this size would even fit inside me.

I looked to him for reassurance. His warm gaze met mine, his hand moving to my thigh and stroking my skin in slow circles. “Are you all right?” he asked.

The huskiness in his voice, the tenderness in his eyes, helped put me at ease. My attention remained on him as I nodded and pulled his boxers the rest of the way off. My hands came back to stroke the coarse hair covering his thighs. I glanced up at him, noticing his gaze was wandering over my body in much the same way mine moved over his, taking everything in as if memorising each feature.

“You look… amazing,” I said. My fingers trailed across his abdomen and I watched as his muscles contracted under my touch. I traced the line of dark hair from his navel to the base of his stomach, listening as his breathing became shallow.

God. Your hands,” he said.

I met his eyes and smiled. With him lying back and letting me explore it gave me some control over the situation and helped build my confidence. I touched his cock, swirling the moisture around the spongy head in slow, deliberate circles. He groaned and shifted his hips, his hand stroking the back of mine.

“You feel so good,” I said. The silkiness of his skin surprised me, so soft on such a masculine body. My attention remained on him as I lifted my hand and licked the taste of him from my fingertip. He sighed and closed his eyes momentarily.

Without thinking about it, I pulled my hair over one shoulder and leaned down to flick my tongue over the head of his cock. The throaty groan that came from him reached deep inside me, pushing me to want to keep pleasing him. I wrapped my fingers around his shaft, holding him gently, smoothing my hand along his length. I had no idea what he liked or what turned him on, but I loved touching him and hearing his reactions, so I hoped that would be enough.

His cock felt warm in my hand, the hardness of it making me want to squeeze just a little to test its strength. I licked around the head, sighing as his silky skin glided beneath my tongue.

Owen groaned and stroked my hair, moving his legs wider as my tongue travelled down his shaft. I knew my inexperience would be obvious, but I hoped the fact that I wanted to do this to him would turn him on regardless. I kissed the base of his cock then flicked my tongue out to give him one long lick, savouring his taste, his scent.

Owen swore in a harsh whisper and grabbed me, dragging me up his body until my breasts were resting against his chest. I gasped as he pulled my mouth to his and kissed me hard. Before I could question what had happened he rolled me over so our positions were reversed, his hips pressing against mine, his eyes filled with desire as he gazed down at me.

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked breathlessly.

“No.” He bent his head and pressed a soft peck on my lips. “You nearly made me come.”

“Really?” I smiled, pleased with myself, wanting to test out my newfound abilities some more.

He nibbled along my jaw. “Yeah. Really.”

I parted my legs so he could settle deeper between them. His erection pressed against my pussy, his hips moving back and forth. The feeling of his cock sliding through my wetness made my breath catch and all thoughts of teasing him fled from my mind. He watched me carefully, and when I let out a whimper and pushed back against him, a slight smile appeared on his face.

“Sure you want to do this?” he asked, his expression telling me he already knew the answer.

“Yes.” My hips tilted upward, pressing even closer to him. The sound he made in response filled me with need. He pushed partway in and a gasp came from me as my gaze shot up to meet his. “You’re inside me.”

“Mmm… I know.” I heard the humour in his voice and marvelled at the way he could still laugh at a time like this. He lowered himself to his elbows, leaning his chest against mine. His lips played at my ear then trailed down to my throat. He finally moved to my mouth, where he kissed me slowly, softly, all the while rocking his hips, pulling back and pushing a little deeper inside me.

I closed my eyes and sank my hands into his hair, kissing him as the stretching sensation overcame me. The fullness was uncomfortable at first but it didn’t hurt like I’d thought it would. His kisses distracted me, the warmth of his body comforting me. Before long I had him completely inside me with his hips resting against mine.

I moved my mouth away from his and tipped my head back, letting out a long breath. “My God. I can feel you.”

He trailed tender kisses down my throat while his lower body remained still. “I feel you too, Luce,” he said against my skin.

I’d never expected it to be like this. I’d heard enough stories from friends over the years to know that first times often didn’t go smoothly. Here with Owen I couldn’t imagine it being any more perfect. Emotion welled up inside me and tears clouded my vision. I turned my head so he wouldn’t see them, blinking to set them free.

He clasped my chin and encouraged me to meet his eyes, looking me over carefully. “You’re okay,” he said. He didn’t seem bothered by my reaction; his tone gave the impression his comment was more of an observation than a question.

I nodded quickly and blotted my remaining tears. He kissed my eyelids, then my lips. Once I’d settled, he pulled his hips back and thrust inside me again. The sensation of him sliding into my body made me move beneath him to deepen the connection. His groan had me clutching him tighter, one hand curled around the back of his neck and the other on his shoulder.

I pulled his mouth to mine, wanting the taste of his lips again. I gave his tongue a soft lick, my moan sounding more like a sigh as his cock plunged into me. His strength overwhelmed me but he was so controlled and careful I knew he’d never hurt me and only ever bring me pleasure.

His mouth grew more demanding as his thrusts intensified. He grabbed my hand and guided it between us, pressing my fingers into the crevice created by our joined bodies. I gasped against his mouth, knowing what he wanted me to do without needing to be told.

Something like this would have embarrassed me earlier in the night but now, in the heat of the moment with him, I pushed my fingers lower and began caressing my wet, slippery flesh while his cock drove into me again. He groaned and pulled his lips from mine. “So hot,” he said in a husky whisper beside my mouth.

I looked into his eyes, feeling his slick length gliding into me as I rubbed my swollen clit. His clenched jaw and the intensity in his gaze left me unable to look away. He leaned on one elbow, using his free hand to reach down and clutch my ass. He gripped me tightly and pushed me back to meet his plunging cock, filling me so completely I knew I’d feel empty as soon as this was over.

I drew a steadying breath and massaged my clit, pressing down while I rubbed from side to side. His lower stomach rested against my forearm and the back of my hand. His strength, the feel of his muscles… I couldn’t get enough of him. He watched me as he kept up his driving thrusts, the expression on his face sending a thrill through me.

I struggled to catch my breath, my mouth open to pull in air. “Owen. So good. I can’t wait… I’m—“

He leaned in and kissed me, cutting off my reply. His mouth took control of mine, his lips and tongue driving me wild with need. Just when I didn’t think I could take anymore, my body shuddered and pleasure burst beneath my fingertips. My limbs tightened, my back arched. I wrenched my mouth from his and a deep moan tore from my throat. It kept coming and coming, until finally the tremors left me and my body relaxed against the mattress.

Owen gathered me against him, kissing my lips, my cheeks, whispering soft words to me as I came back down. His thrusts slowed, his hips grinding against mine while he smoothed my hair from my forehead.

I hugged him and touched my lips to his hear. “I want to be on top of you,” I said softly. “When you finish, I mean. Can we do that?”

He groaned and pressed a quick kiss on my mouth, then rolled us both over until he had me sitting above him with his cock still buried deep inside me. I pushed down on his erection, watching the way his eyes closed as his fingers dug into my hips. I rocked against him, smiling at his low groan.

Owen’s eyes opened, his gaze sweeping over my body. He lingered on my breasts then dipped lower, taking in the sight of our joined bodies. He moved his hands to my back and pulled me close, tugging me against him until my breasts settled against his chest. He hugged me tightly to him, resting his mouth against my throat. His pace picked up and his hips lifted as he shoved his cock inside me, plunging again and again.

I cried out and clutched him to me. His thrusts became so deep, so intense, that all I could do was hang on and let him take me with him. Without warning his body suddenly stilled and he pressed my hips down hard against him, holding me there and stopping me from moving.

I pulled back just enough so I could look into his eyes, watching the expression of satisfaction come over him as his body shook and he came inside me. I cradled his face in my hands, kissing his lips as he groaned and jerked one final time.

* * * *

Owen’s palm swept up and down my back as I lay against his chest with my thighs straddling his. He was still inside me but I didn’t want him to go anywhere just yet. I drew lazy circles around his nipple with my fingertip, watching the movements of my hand. Neither of us had spoken but I didn’t feel the need to fill the silence either.

His hand moved up to my hair, playing with the jewelled clip on the side that I’d forgotten to take out earlier. I smiled and lifted my head to kiss his chin before resting my cheek back against his chest.

When our breathing had slowed and a feeling of calm settled over us, I finally asked him, “What usually happens next in these situations?”

He ran his fingers through my hair, causing me to shiver and press closer to him. “You generally thank me for my impressive performance and tell me how amazing I was.”

I laughed and smoothed my hand over his warm skin. “Is that right? I guess then I’m supposed to just leave quietly?”

He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. “No, I think I’ll keep you here for a while.”

“And then what?” I asked, lifting my head to look into his eyes.

“More of the same. Take it as it comes… something like that.” He gave my chin a playful pinch. “Why? What did you have in mind?”

The need to tease him came over me. I pressed my lips together to keep my smile contained and pretended to think it over. “Well… I caught the bouquet tonight and I’ve given you my virginity so I was thinking…” My voice trailed off and I started humming the wedding march. Owen’s body stiffened beneath me and his hands stilled.

My expression suddenly registered on him and he growled. He rolled me onto my back and kissed the smile from my lips. “You’re joking,” he said, the relief obvious in his tone.

“Yes, I’m joking. My God, the look on your face.” I couldn’t stop myself from laughing.

The laughter slipped into a moan when he pulled the covers over us and dipped his hand between my thighs. “Just so you know,” he said, “I’m going to have to punish you for that.”

“Okay.” I sighed, clutching him tight as he proceeded to drive me out of my mind.

It was hard to find a downside to anything when I was here with him.

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