How about a scene from ONCE AND AGAIN?
Petal, Georgia: ONCE AND AGAIN by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
He’d paced all morning. He’d hit his limit of patience. There would be no more distance. He’d do whatever he needed to do to prove to her they were meant to be together. She was meant to be with him, surely she felt that too. He refused to even entertain that she didn’t love him. They’d shared that intensity of connection again.
He’d kept an eye on Chris there at school as best he could. He hadn’t slipped back into his previous lazy patterns, but Nathan knew she worried he would.
The boy had brought himself up to a C minus. He’d done a huge amount of work in the time since his sister had come back home. He’d had the lowest grade in the class and now he’d pass. All due to Lily. What an amazing woman she was. She’d dug in and made a difference when most people would have given up.
Things would still be rough. Beth had called him and told him a very sparse account of what they’d spoken about in the Honey Bear and of the situation with Pamela. She’d added that she believed very much that Lily loved him and wanted to be with him. She’d agreed to come to Beth’s house that night for dinner knowing he’d be there.
He loved her, this amazing woman. He smiled as he looked up at the clock and made a decision.
School was nearly over and there’d be no reason not to stand under her window holding his boom box if he had to.
Lily pulled into the driveway and worked up the energy to heave herself free and into the direction of her apartment. Her mother had decided to check herself into the hospital for exhaustion and detox. It had been unbelievably painful as she’d hugged Lily, thanking her for the push. She’d looked small and fragile, and Lily had felt like a traitor.
Nancy had drifted off with an incredibly awkward hug after their mother had gone from sight down the hallway. Her help had been unexpected, but in the end, invaluable. And not just to their mother. Funny how sometimes fate could turn your opinion of someone on its ear.
Thankfully Beth picked Chris up from school and took him back to her place until Lily got free. The last thing she wanted to do was have a big dinner with these people who’d most assuredly become her family in the time since she’d been back in Petal. But she supposed it was what she needed, and that’s what kept her moving.
She raced home first to take a shower. She desperately needed to wash the day from her skin before she went to see her brother.
Nathan waited on her top step with a pie box from the Sands. She paused midway to look at him. He’d come to her. The intensity of her relief brought tears to her eyes. She hadn’t allowed herself to really admit how much she needed him to come for her.
“What kind of pie is that?”
“Lemon meringue. I’ve got a coconut cream too.” He pointed to a bag near the door.
Oh someone was getting lucky very soon. “You were supposed to give me some space.”
He grinned. “I have a problem with authority. I’ve known this since the second grade.”
“You did bring pie. That goes a long way in my book. I suppose I can let you in for a slice or two.”
She moved past him, breathing him in as she did. She motioned him into the house once she got the door unlocked.
He came in and put the stuff on the kitchen counter near the fridge. “Lock the door.”
She wanted to giggle and clap her hands with glee but managed to grin as she hurried to do it.
“Beth said to tell you she and Jake are taking Chris to a movie and pizza. We’ll meet them for pizza after the flick. Chris told me he knew I was sweet on you and he thought it was okay as long as I was nice to you. And stuff. Eloquent and heartfelt.”
She leaned in to him, burying her face in his neck. His arms wrapped around her and held on tight.
“I’ve missed you. I’m glad you came for me.”
“I would have come earlier when my free period was up but I got sucked into yet another meeting. I’m sorry about your mom. But I’m glad she’s getting help.”
“I need to shower this day off. Come with me? I’ll tell you.”
He took her hand and they headed to the bathroom. “I missed you too. It’s been hard not to barge in here, to be satisfied with a phone call or texts.”
“I was beginning to get annoyed that you hadn’t disregarded everything I said and showed up looking just like you do now.”
She took her blouse off and tossed it in the laundry.
“I’m going to make every effort not to think about fucking you in every way possible while you tell me. It’s going to be a herculean effort, just so you know and can compensate me accordingly afterward.”
She tiptoed up for a kiss. “You’re good to me.” She turned the water on and then got naked.
“I’m coming in. Even if I can’t violate you just yet, I want to touch you.”
“Damn you’re good with that mouth.” She stepped under the spray and watched as he undressed to join her.
She closed her eyes and got her hair wet. “Just getting her into the car was interesting. She’s strong for a little woman. And then she cried the whole way to the therapist’s office about how the neighbors probably saw it and now everyone would think badly of her. She puked in the parking lot once we arrived. Better than in the car I guess.
“Bless the therapist and her colleague, who took us in right away. It went back and forth for a few minutes, but my mom just suddenly said she felt like she was going to lose it. She said she was too tired to think. She’s about to break. We could all see it. Even Nancy.”
Nathan moved behind her and took the bottle of shampoo from her. “Close your eyes and let me take care of you.”
Tenderness sliced through her as she closed her eyes and tipped her head back. Strong fingers massaged her scalp. “She denied and denied and denied. I was so sure she’d leave. And wham out of the blue she just tells us she’s having a breakdown. It was…difficult. She’s not from a generation so understanding about getting mental-health help. She’s ashamed of that more than the drinking I think.”
He rinsed her hair and then massaged through conditioner. His hands on her felt good. Their chemistry heated up, the tension between them building.
“How long will she be in the hospital?”
“Two weeks for now. They’ll monitor her situation and adjust at that point if necessary. I don’t know. I hope she’ll get the help she needs.”
“She’s taking a big step. That whole business with your dad took its toll.”
“I know. And like I said, once she’d admitted it, she started feeling all the stuff she’d been walling off.”
He soaped up his hands and started at her shoulders, slowly moving to her elbow, down her forearm and to her wrist and each finger. All the tension melted away as he did. As he ministered to her. She felt cosseted and adored.
Lily had been walling this off too, she supposed. The fear had kept her from truly accepting what they had and what he could be to her. Stupid to have kept herself away from the beauty of this.
“So naturally she realized all the stuff she’d been doing in front of Chris and the stuff she’d said to me. The guilt is going to be hard for her.”
He rinsed her, pausing here and there to kiss a shoulder, an arm or fingertip.
She opened her eyes to find him there, looking at her with such soft love it made her smile.
“Your turn.” She switched places kissing over his chest.
He loved the way it felt when she washed his hair. Loved the slick slide of her nipples against his back as she massaged in the shampoo. Loved how it felt to be taken care of. “Sounds like a supremely crappy day. You can have more than one slice of pie.”
She laughed. “I have to tell Chris. I gave him a brief rundown over the phone when he got out of school today.”
“He seemed very relieved to see a movie and hang with Jake. Our family cares about him, you know. Like we care about you.”
“I know,” she murmured as she rinsed his hair. “It gets me through the rough times. I realized earlier that in the relatively short time that I’ve been back home, I’ve grown used to this awesome group of people.”
“Only two more days, Lily.”
She ran soapy hands all over his body and he arched forward when she slipped one down his back, over his ass and balls. And then she fisted his cock with the other hand. A nonsensical sound broke through his lips.
“I know.” She began to jerk his cock with one soapy hand and caress his balls with the other.
“You’re pretty good at that. Like blue-ribbon, gold-medal good.”
“I’ve got moves you’ve never seen, boy.”
He laughed but didn’t stop thrusting. “I can’t wait to see more. I aim to claim you all public-like. In two days. Ten minutes after school is out if I can make it here this fast.”
“Claim like how?” She tightened her hold just a little, but plenty enough to send him to thisclose from climax.
“Like I’m done with this secret-relationship bullshit. You and I are going to go out for dinner and then to the Tonk. And I will put my hand in your back pocket and smooch up on you and you can finally show the world how much you love it.”
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