When they'd started working together, it was apparent he was attracted to her. Major Valerian hadn't been able to keep a partner for more than a few weeks at most and others couldn't believe she'd even taken on her first mission with him. He had kept it semi-professional for a while before the flirting starting. Little quips and pet names came her way but she shut him down immediately with her own sarcastic banter. And when that didn't get the point across, she had no problem in being firm with him.
So then he tried a different approach. It never came down to actual nudity but she felt like that was the point, to just tease her a little. They'd get back to the ship and he'd take off his shirt to change, back covered in a slight sheen of sweat when they were sent somewhere warm. There were times when they raised their arms for their seat belts and out of the corner of her eye she could see him tensing the muscles of his arms. Sometimes she swore he actually planned these things out, she'd caught him half dressed many a time. And he'd always do it slowly with no subtly and she rolled her eyes at him and went about her business. It was as if that was part of it for him, not so much the showing off, but the need to have his body appreciated, praised even.
What got to her, were little things. She liked his hands. They were rough around the palm area in places but his fingertips always felt smooth somehow. His shoulders were broad and when he was doing his "subtle" flexing, she was more interested in them. But his back, oh his back was her favorite when she caught glimpses of it. It was a broad, toned plain that tapered to his almost feminine hips. It's not like he was completely ripped, she didn't think he'd ever get anymore toned than he was already. But she loved it, his body just as it was.
Now, on the beach without a care in the world, her fingers traced over the expanse of his back, feeling firm muscle beneath his pale skin. The sun was setting but they couldn't bring themselves to tear away from the soft sounds of the waves crashing upon the sand. He hadn't said much for the last hour or so but that was probably because she kept touching him. He reminded her of a cat, the way he was smiling with his eyes closed, content to just let her fingers map out every ripple of muscle.
But it wasn't until they were in their hotel room (he refused to stay on the ship during their 'honeymoon') and she was straddling him, her nightdress rumpled around the top of her thighs, that she said something. "You're so pretty Valerian." she teased, index fingers and thumbs sliding down his chest, touch firm enough that she could feel him shiver. She was feeding his ego but somehow his expression led her to believe it wasn't quite like that. Something about the look in his eyes was almost....shy, cautious. She wondered if anyone had really touched him like this, taken him all in like this, appreciated him like this. A sense of triumph came over Laureline at that thought, out of all of the women who's pixelated pictures she'd reminded him of, she was the one to see him vulnerable. This triumph spurred her on and she found herself kissing his jaw softly, the side of his neck, each shoulder. He made small noises, his lips parted slightly, hands remaining at his sides, just enjoying her hands on him. And she was whispering soft words of praise against his skin, her fingers moving down his bare biceps. "You're so beautiful, so well behaved for me." she mumbled, feeling his muscles twitch under her touch. His fingers found her shoulders as she leaned to kiss his right pectoral and she paused, looking up at him.
There wasn't the arousal in his eyes that she expected. Instead there was something else. They were no longer cautious, but instead appreciative, sad almost. Yes that was it, big and blue and yet so warm. When he opened his mouth she had expected some kind of quip and was fully prepared to strike him with a nearby pillow but she found herself smiling softly as he said a very simple phrase she didn't often hear from him.