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Touching From Afar

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The next few weeks didn’t give them much opportunity to see one another in person. He had a grueling media tour schedule and she had her own work to keep up with. They made do with texts, phone calls, and a few selfie exchanges. At first, she kept the messages to a minimum, determined not to overstep any unseen boundaries. He followed her lead, but his own desires stirred him to action as his second week on tour came to an end.

Can I call you tonight?

His text message came while she was eating breakfast. She smiled at the question, but her thumbs hovered uncertainly over the keyboard when she went to reply. We just talked last night, silly! Before she finished chewing her next bite, he replied.

And…? Are you bored of me already, sweetheart?

A small laugh huffed out of her lungs at that idea. Most of her brain power went to thinking about him these days. She didn’t know how long this could last, but she was determined to enjoy it for as long as it did. Not even close, she texted back. You can call so long as you promise not to get bored of me.

Don’t worry. That’s an impossibility.

Her stomach fluttered at his attention and another message came before she could reply.

I want to see you tonight. How about a video chat instead of just a phone call?

After backspacing fifteen or so exclamation points, she texted him back. Yes! When?

By the time she finished breakfast, they had agreed on a time and said their temporary goodbyes. With him tied up in interviews all day, there wouldn’t be much chance to chat before night came.

The only highlight of her otherwise routine workday was lunch with a few friends. It was a regular meetup, but the first she had been to since attending Comic-Con. For once, the short lunch hour was a relief. The more time spent near friends that knew even the most mundane details of her life, the harder it was to keep the clandestine relationship under wraps.

He hadn’t asked to be a secret, but the whole thing felt fragile. They were living in a little, lust-filled bubble. If she moved too much or spoke too loud, it was sure to pop. Telling her friends would make it real and she wasn’t sure what that would mean yet.

Not even her friend in San Diego knew that she had texted him. But how long until said friend brought up the story of the flirty actor and wondered why it hadn’t already been told? How long until someone snapped a picture of them out somewhere?

No. None of those worries were worth popping the bubble of bliss. Enjoy it while it lasted and hope it didn’t end too soon. Don’t get attached to what can’t last. That was her plan and she was sticking to it.

The text message alert her phone sounded halfway through lunch had to be from work. The friends she talked to the most were all with her and he was stuck in back-to-back interviews. But when she unlocked her phone, the message was actually from him.

Can’t wait until tonight, sweetheart. Hope you’re having a great day! <3

Blushing and giggling while surrounded by the friends she definitely wasn’t telling was not a part of the plan, but it happened anyway.

“You okay?” her friend asked, nudging an elbow into her ribs.

She clicked her phone to darken the screen and cleared a non-existent cough from her throat. “Yep.”

She was not getting attached. Right?

*

When the appointed hour arrived, he was laying in another hotel bed, sweat still clinging to the dips of his body from a quick session in the gym. He pulled his laptop from his suitcase and checked his phone as it turned on. He had two text messages. The first was from sweetheart, a reply to the text he sent while scarfing down a catered sandwich between interviews.

Me too! I hope the interviews are going well.

The other text was from his publicist. Something I should know?

Beneath the message was a blurry photo of him and sweetheart. They had gone to brunch the day after they got back from San Diego, it was the only hour they managed to spend together before he had to take off again. The photo showed them leaving the restaurant walking side by side. It was a random bit of luck that the photo didn’t show them holding hands. Their fingers must have laced together mere moments after the shutter clicked. Once it was in his grasp, he didn’t let her hand go until they had no choice but to part ways.

The picture must have been taken by a fan. No freelancer would have missed their entwined limbs or the few precious seconds when his lips pressed against her forehead as they said their goodbyes.

If his publicist had the image, it must already be making the rounds on gossip blogs. What’s the damage? he asked.

None so far. Most everyone likes your new haircut and almost no one has mentioned her. Again, anything I should know?

He knew the question came from a good place. To control a story, you had to be in front of it. This photo was blurry enough that there was little chance of anyone identifying the woman who walked beside him. But if there was any hint of a story to be had, the next photo would be crystal-clear and there’d be nothing would stop the tsunami of attention.

He rolled his eyes and tossed his phone toward the foot of the bed. There wouldn’t be any opportunities for pictures while he was out of town. That meant at least eight more days he could spend making sweetheart smile before reality could intrude.

*

The smile he greeted her with was just not fair. Full and bright and open, it spoke of private jokes and lazy afternoons and complete adoration.

“You have to stop looking at me like that,” was the first thing she said to him, a statement that did not agree with the utter joy shining on her own face.

“Why?” he asked, sounding amused and distressed. “I’m happy to see you.”

She chuckled at the absurdity of their affectionate bubble. “I’m happy to see you too.”

“Then why do I have to stop?”

“Because you’re going to make me….” Her lips curled in to keep the treacherous thought inside. She could not tell him that the possibility of falling in love had already crossed her mind. Definitely not. But she had to finish the sentence somehow. “Miss you even more.” Still probably too much, but true nonetheless.

To her surprise, his answer wasn’t teasing. “I miss you too, sweetheart.” His smile softened to closed lips and faint dimples. There was comfort and familiarity in his expression. She wasn’t sure they had earned those emotions yet, but she felt them all the same.

Something hesitant took over his face. His jaw dropped and his eyes left the screen. She was about to ask what was wrong when his body shifted and the camera angle changed. Now he was lying on his side with his head propped up in one hand and his laptop in front of him, allowing her to see him from head to waist. Whatever he was about to say was swallowed by her next statement.

“You’re not wearing a shirt,” she said, accusing and a little breathless.

Just like that, his expression was all seductive confidence. “Like what you see?”

That was even less fair than his smile. “I’d like it more if I could touch.”

“You’ve got plenty of delectable skin to explore,” he said, licking his lips.

She quirked an eyebrow and gave into the warmth of a blush. “What are you suggesting?”

He sucked his tongue against his teeth and cast his gaze around as if he was looking for an idea. A sound vibrated his throat, more moan than hum. “You’ve got a lot to touch.”

“Mmm. Mm-hmm. Wanna play a game? Pretend my hands are yours?”

“Yeah,” he said, his voice a breathy whisper. “Just need a little imagination.”

It was her turn to get comfortable. With her computer just far enough away to give him a full view, she propped herself up on a couple of pillows and put a finger to her lips. “I think I’m gonna need some help figuring out where your hands would go.”

His breath hitched as his eyes roamed over her body. “I’d just want to feel you first. Rub my palms over your belly and scratch my nails down your thighs.”

“You like working me up, don’t you?”

“Damn right. Go on sweetheart, touch yourself like I would.”

She did, closing her eyes and letting his voice guide her motions.

“You have no idea what I would give to kiss you right now. You taste so sweet. I want to find all the little places to kiss and suck that’ll make your eyes roll back in your head. Where are they, hmm? Behind your ear? Down your neck? Where your hips curve? I’ll put my mouth on every inch on you. I want to discover every spot that drives you wild.”

She whimpered at his words, pressed her thighs closer together to enjoy the squeeze, and listened as he kept going.

“You look beautiful, sweetheart. You always do but right now, oh, you look so needy and hot. Makes me want to spend hours teasing you. I’d get between your legs so we could grind against one another. Suck on one of your nipples through your shirt while my hand went to rub against the other one. I’d get them nice and hard and then keep moving down. Kiss and squeeze your thighs and keep my mouth between your legs. I’m so hungry for you, you’d feel my breath through your shorts. I’ll tease you until you’re trembling for me, begging for me take off all your clothes. Would you do that, sweetheart? Would you beg for me?”

“Mmm. Yes. Please. Want that.” Her words pulsed. Her fingers gripped the inside of her thighs, a satisfying pressure but so much less than what she craved.

“Look at me, sweetheart. Let me see your pretty eyes.”

She blinked away the haze of passion, only to have it reignited when she saw his blown pupils. “Will you touch yourself for me? Do what I wish I was there to do?”

She bit her lip and nodded. The smile he gave her was the best kind of wicked. “Go on, sweetheart. Put those talented fingers on that sweet little clit. I wanna see you come undone for me.”

Her hands went to the hem of her pants but paused there. Now that her eyes were open, she couldn’t ignore the bulge in the silky fabric of his workout shorts. “Only if you do too. I want you to feel good too.”

“If that’s what my sweetheart wants.” He shifted to his back and pulled the shorts down enough to show the top curve of his ass and release his erection. His thick cock curved towards his abs, straining with need. His head turned back to the screen as he took himself in hand. “Go on. I want to hear you moan my name.”

The combination of his filthy words and aroused body made her eyes roll back. She slid her hand into her underwear and circled her clit before dipping a finger into her opening. Her folds were wet and warm. She gathered some of the slippery substance and went back to rubbing circles.

His voice reached her through the pleasure. “You tasted so good on my fingers. I can’t wait to get my mouth on you. I want you to come all over me so I can lick you clean. I’ll do it again and again until you’re so sensitive you can’t take it anymore.”

That did it. Her body tensed and vibrated beneath her fingers as she imagined him between her thighs. His name fell from her lips like a prayer. Her body was still pulsing when she heard him grunt with his own climax.

“That was amazing,” she said when her breath had regained some semblance of a rhythm.

“You were amazing,” he said, rolling back to his side.

His shorts were back to their proper place on his hips, much to her disappointment. “How long until you get back? I need to get my hands on you.”

“Eight days, sweetheart. Eight days.”