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Disclaimer: Nathan, Haley, and all other characters mentioned here are the property of The CW, Mark Schwahn, Warner Brothers Television, and Tollin/Robins Productions. No copyright infringement is intended.

~*~

It took Nathan awhile to get used to this whole "no sex until marriage" thing that Haley's got going on, but after six months, he's pretty sure he's got the hang of it.

"So...is this okay?" he teases, slipping a hand under her shirt to caress the smooth skin of her stomach. Her muscles quiver beneath his callused fingers, and he grins. Haley squirms away.

"Nathan," she warns. He slides the shirt up, exposing the skin to the air.

"What about this?" he asks. Haley lets out a small sigh, dropping her head back as he kisses a circle around her navel. This is fine; this is safe. They've been here before. Nathan licks a smooth line upwards, until his tongue meets the fabric of her bra. He palms one breast, fingers teasing her through the thin material.

"Is this okay?" he murmurs. Haley meets his eyes but remains silent. Nathan holds her gaze as his hand follows the edge of the bra until he reaches the clasp. He knows that he could easily pop it one-handed, but the implications behind that aren't something that either of them are completely comfortable with, so he brings his other hand around to meet it, propping himself up on his elbows above her as he gently unhooks the garment.

"Okay?" he asks, less joking and more concern this time. Haley swallows thickly and nods, pulls his hand to her breast and squeezes her eyes shut as pushes her bra out of the way and strokes the bare skin. His fingers move in gentle, endless circles, each one growing closer and closer to her nipple without ever touching it. He lavishes attention on each breast equally, until she's moaning and squirming beneath him. He blows across the top of one nipple, watching it pebble further before finally closing his mouth around it as he simultaneously rolls the other between his fingers. Haley's entire body arches off of the couch, and he feels a swell of masculine pride at the intensity of her reaction. He feels a swell of something else, too, but he resolutely presses himself against the cushions and focuses on Haley.

"Take your shirt off," he urges. She frowns, all traces of passion gone.

"Nathan, no," she says. He skims his finger down her side.

"Hales, come on - I'm already touching you. What's the difference?" She glares, but that fiercely rational mind of hers concedes the point, and she pushes back to sit up. Nathan would love to help her remove the clothing, but he isn't sure she won't look at it as impatience, so he lets her do it herself, lets her run a hand through her tangled hair and raise her eyebrow at him expectantly. "God you're gorgeous," he says roughly, and means every word.

Haley blushes, but lets him pull her back down underneath him. This is the furthest they've gotten in all their time together, and Nathan's not stupid enough to think that it's because she doesn't want to. Haley wants him just as badly as he wants her; of that he's certain. But it's been a constant push-and-pull when it comes to earning her trust, and that's what's at stake here. She's not trying to be standoffish, or a prude; she's just trying to protect herself. Nathan has to admit that she has very few reasons to trust him, and sometimes it just shocks the hell out of him that she lets him in at all. But despite everything, despite Lucas and Peyton and his parents and the team, she's here with him, half-dressed and looking like she's terrified that he's going to screw it all up any second.

Maybe he is. But it sure as hell isn't going to be for lack of trying.

Nathan nips gently at the underside of a breast, pinches a nipple, takes them both into his hands and massages gently. Haley is biting her lip so hard he's surprised she hasn't drawn blood. "Look at me," he pleads. Her eyes fly open. "Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?" he asks. He covers her lips with his own before she can answer. "Anyone other than Lucas or Karen or your parents?" he clarifies.

"No," Haley admits. Nathan knows that she's embarrassed by this fact, yet still she juts out her chin, eyes shining in defiance, and he's almost blindsided by how much he loves her in this moment.

"Good," he mutters hoarsely. "I like being the first one." He moves his lips down to her neck, hands to her hips, and sucks at her pulse point as his fingers trace the waistband of her jeans. When he's content in the knowledge that she's probably going to have a massive hickey tomorrow, he brings his lips to her ear.

"I love being the first one to ever touch you like this," he confesses. "I love that you let me. I love how easily you blush. I love how your stomach isn't completely flat, you've just got this tiny little bit of a belly. I love that you've got three freckles on your left shoulder, and that scar on your back from when you were seven and Taylor accidentally pushed you into a table corner. I love that you've got all these sexy, lacy little bras and that I'm the only guy that's ever gotten to see you wear them. And I love how you glare like you're mad at me when you start getting turned on." He pulls back to see exactly the expression he was expecting, brows knotted in annoyance, and he chuckles. Haley flounders for words, but finally settles on punching his shoulder.

"I do not have a belly," she mutters sullenly. Nathan laughs again. Her hands go to the hem of his t-shirt and slip beneath it, sliding across the muscles of his back, fingernails just barely scraping against his skin. He kisses her, lets her explore. She keeps inching the shirt higher until finally he sits up and removes it completely. Haley goes back to worrying her lip between her teeth, eyes wide and searching, and when he lowers himself back to her, skin against skin, she gasps. Nathan kisses her hard and feels her respond in kind, right up until he undoes the button of her jeans; then she's skittering back against the armrest, shaking her head.

"NO," she says firmly. "Not happening." Nathan rocks back on his heels, but doesn't move towards her; instead, he holds out a hand.

"Haley, do you trust me?" he asks. She makes a face.

"That's not what-"

"Do you trust me?" he presses. She lets him take her hand, but keeps her face frozen in that scrunched-up look of irritation. (He thinks it's adorable, but wouldn't dare say so.) He kisses her knuckles, one after the other. "I love you," he says. "I am completely in love with you and I would never do anything to hurt you. Do you believe me when I say that?"

"Yes," Haley breathes. Nathan stretches himself back over her, slowly, waiting for her protest. It doesn't come. He tugs her onto her back again, fiddles with the open button, eases down the zipper.

"Do you trust me?" he asks again. He presses lightly against her, through denim and cotton, and this time her teeth really do break the skin of her lips. She sucks the wound further into her mouth.

"Yes," she repeats, though there is uneasiness lurking beneath her words. Nathan smiles reassuringly.

"You want me to stop, Hales, all you've gotta do is say so. Okay?" She nods. Nathan captures her lips with his, tasting the tang of blood as it mixes with the sweetness of her lip gloss, and slides a hand inside her underwear.

She's warm and wet everywhere he touches; the inside of her mouth, the warmth of her sweat-slicked skin, and of course the delicious dampness between her legs. He skims his index finger against her slippery folds, rubbing in circles then flicking her clit quickly in succession. Haley writhes beneath him, her body so taut that she's a livewire. She doesn't make a sound, all the breath having left her body save for a few strangled gasps. Nathan rubs quicker, fingers slipping all up, down, and around her without ever venturing inside. It's a line he won't allow himself to cross, not until she explicitly tells him. But this...he pinches her, tugs at her labia, urges her on, his own body throbbing in protest of its neglect; he wants to show her how much he loves her, how much he can make her feel even staying within her boundaries. He thinks if he can just make her come, just this once, he can get her to understand, to feel even half of what she makes him feel with a single kiss. She's so dangerously close, shaking and shivering, but still he makes himself pull back.

"Haley? Do you want me to stop?" he asks. Her eyes are shut tightly as he slows the movements of his wrist. "Hey. Haley. Look at me." Her eyes jerk open, wide and glazed. "Do you want me to stop?" he asks again. She shakes her head vigorously. "Tell me," he urges.

"Don't...oh, god. Nathan. Don't stop. Please please please don't...stop..." She gasps again as he picks up the pace, and as if to prove her point, she grabs his wrist and shoves his hand further inside her panties. His middle finger comes dangerously close to her opening, and she's so far gone right now that she probably wouldn't even say anything, but he obediently pulls back and just watches her ride his hand, face flushed and damp, bare chest heaving. It is the single sexiest thing he has ever seen.

"I love you so much," she chokes out. Nathan can't help himself any longer. He plunges his tongue back inside her mouth and increases the tempo of his fingers to a relentless pace, digging harder and faster until finally, she explodes.