I press my face against the hollow of his throat and breathe in the intoxicating scent of him. He smells like his garden -- floral and sweet, honey and lavender and rosemary. His skin is warm and unbelievably soft under my lips, and I can feel his pulse beat harder against my lips. He makes the gentlest, most wonderful noises, caught somewhere between a sigh and a moan, and his fingers are in my hair, nails curled against my scalp.
He trusts himself to me, throat exposed and heart and soul vulnerable, and I'm careful with him. I want to be good to him, and when I kiss and nuzzle against his throat, he hums with pleasure.
"Snapdragons mean deception, you know," Damien says suddenly, playfully. Of course I didn't know that. I only like them because they're pretty.
"I like pretty things," I whisper, and when I kiss him, his mouth is open and trembling like his heart.
He's rough, with his fingers like sandpaper, callused and hard. He tastes like whiskey and cigarettes, and I don't care for either, but fuck, he tastes so damn good. I could kiss him forever, and the thought makes my heart skip a beat. Forever doesn't seem to be in Robert's vocabulary, so I keep my stupid thoughts to myself. He doesn't wanna talk, and neither do I.
He pins me down, and kisses a trail down my neck and chest, nipping just hard enough to hurt. Sometimes I think he wants to hurt me, just a little, but then he does something fucking ridiculous like kissing me softer than anyone ever has before. Or looking at me with a mix of lust and longing in his dark eyes that makes my knees turn to jelly.
I don't understand him. I probably never will. And maybe I don't need to. Maybe I don't want to.
Maybe I just want him to kiss me again, the way he does.
The way that makes me believe he might want to kiss me forever.
I remember kissing him back in college, both of us drunk and stoned and giggling like a couple of idiots while our friends cheered and hooted around us. Some dumbass party in sophomore year, where some equally dumbass kid suggested we play spin the bottle like we were twelve.
He kissed me shyly that night, and I could feel his laughter on my tongue, and the hesitant, feathersoft touch of his fingers on my neck. He kissed like a college boy should kiss, all nerves and giggles and butterflies in his stomach.
That's not how he kisses me now. He kisses me like he's been lost in the desert for a week and I'm some kind of splendid oasis. He kisses me like he doesn't ever want to stop, and there's nothing shy about his tongue in my mouth or his hands grabbing my hips.
"Bro," he whispers, hot and damp against my throat, and there's more emotion in that one syllable than anyone's had for me in my whole life.
"Bro," I agree. When he laughs against my throat, I get an eruption of butterflies in my stomach.
Okay, maybe some things haven't changed.
He shows me some new moves.
I'm pinned beneath him, breathing heavy, painfully hard, with his mouth just a few inches away from mine. He smiles, and it touches his eyes and makes them unbelievably warm. There's something so unselfconscious about him, so wonderfully, beautifully free, and I love him so much in that instant that it hurts me.
He's so passionate about everything that he loves. Teaching, literature, wrestling.
He kisses me, pinning my wrists and pressing his thumbs into my pulse, feeling my heart speed up when his tongue slips into my mouth.
"What do you call this move?" I ask, soft against his lips.
"Foreplay," Hugo chuckles, before kissing me again.
He's sitting at the edge of the bed, with his fingers strumming absently over the strings of his guitar. My fingers find the curve of his spine and trail up and down, pulling up little goosebumps that tickle my fingertips. I can't see his face, but somehow I know he's smiling. I hear it in the music he plays.
He turns to me when he's done, and crawls on top of me, his thighs hugging my hips and his hair falling down into my face. God, he's beautiful. God, I could lay there under him forever.
God, I love him.
He kisses me, and I taste coffee and sugar. My stomach growls, and Mat laughs against my mouth.
"Hungry?" He asks.
I turn him over onto his back, keeping myself between his thighs.
Hungry for something sweet.
He kisses the sunburn on my nose, gently, and brushes his thumbs over my cheekbones. Later, on the ride home, he covers me in his shirt, and it smells just like him; firewood and pine and a hint of his cologne. I press my nose against the fabric and breathe in slow and deep, hoping I can keep the scent with me forever.
But it doesn't matter, really, because when we're home, he picks me up in his big, strong arms, and he carries me to bed. The whole room smells like him, and soon, I smell like him, too, when he's close enough for me to count the freckles on his face.
"I love you," I whisper, when he's lying against my chest, hot and shivering.
"I love you more," he whispers back, with a deep, rumbling chuckle.
Goddamnit, I thought our competitive days were behind us.
Now I have to step up my game.
He's different out on the water.
Maybe it's because he doesn't have to pretend or hide. Or maybe it's because he's happier there, looking out over the water and watching the sunset paint the sky pink and orange.
I'm always surprised by how strong he is. It never fails to give me a little thrill when he picks me up and tosses me around.
There's something indescribably wonderful about the way he fucks me. I can't put it into words, but it leaves me reeling. He's powerful; the way he kisses and touches and moves inside of me. For a moment, he makes me believe I'm the only one in the entire world.
I want to be the only one. The only one he wants and needs and loves.
But the water meets the shore.
And he's different there.