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Truly Madly Deeply

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Tonight's the night, they’ve decided. Dinner and a movie at his place followed by sex, order of events negotiable. She has a brand new box of condoms in her overnight bag and a small bottle of lube, but given how she already feels she doubts they’ll need the second thing.

When she gets to his house she finds that instead of a soft, plaid shirt she was expecting to find him in, he's still in his uniform though he’s taken off his utility belt and radio. He greets her with a “Hello,” and a gentle kiss.

“I got caught up at work,” he says. “I just got home. I haven't even started dinner. Can I get you something to drink?”

She nods and he heads off towards the kitchen. She should probably say something but all she can think is that the way that his uniform tightens along his shoulders when he moves should be illegal. She follows him into the kitchen and puts her jacket and bag on the couch as she walks by it, kicking off her shoes as she does.

She's already wet from thinking about this all afternoon and imagining it on the drive over and now standing next to him is chasing all other thoughts from her head. They’ve been taking it slow, trying to make sure the time is right for both of them and that all felt good and reasonable before, but now that the time is here she feels like this has taken them forever. She wants to touch him all over. She wants skin on skin, not just the tantalizing touch of his hands over her clothes. She came here tonight to have sex with Max Evans and every part of her body wants it right now.

He hands her a glass which she takes and promptly puts aside.

“I know a different tall drink of water I want instead,” she says.

Where did that line even come from? she wonders, but his eyes light up with mirth and interest.

“Oh?” he says. “Then by all means.”

She reaches up to unfasten his shirt, one button at a time. He lets her do it, not touching her in response, but the heat of his gaze rises with every button. When the shirt is completely undone she pushes it off his shoulders, but hasn’t gotten it past his elbows when he pulls her close, catching her mouth in a kiss.

They’ve made out before, letting things get a little hot and heavy, but they’ve never caught fire the way they do now. The kiss turns sloppy almost immediately, open mouthed and desperate, breath mingling and tongues pressed together. She finally gets his uniform shirt all the way off and pauses kissing him long enough to say, “Help me get undressed.”

She wore a skirt today, not in preparation for this, but because she just felt like it, and he has no trouble finding the zipper and the hook and eye on the side of it which is somehow almost unreasonably hot. As he pushes her skirt down she pulls his undershirt over his head and off. Her pantyhose rip as he tries to remove those as well and as she peals them off he takes the moment to remove his socks and then he’s unbuttoning her shirt and helping her pull it up over her head. She’s standing there in his kitchen in nothing but her bra and panties. His gaze on her is dark, his eyes low and lidded with arousal. She can feel that her labia is already swollen and soaked, but if it hadn’t been already his gaze on her would have been enough.

"Can I touch you?" he asks.

"Touch me everywhere," she says.

He takes her into his arms again, ducking his head to rest his forehead against hers and runs a hand down her front. He pauses on her breast, cupping it gently and thumbing her nipple through her bra.

“Lower,” she says, knees weak and breath shallow from anticipation. She feels like his arm around her back and her grip on his biceps are the only things keeping her standing.

He complies instantly, his palm pressing against her stomach, then her belly and finally teasing her gently through the fabric of her panties.

“It feels like you’re already wet,” he groans. “Are you already wet?”

“I couldn’t stop thinking about this all day,” she breathes. “I want you to touch me.”

He groans again and reaches a hand past the top of her panties and the first touch of skin on skin is electrifying. She opens her legs the best she can while she’s standing and clings to him, savoring the feel of him.

“Can I go down on you?” he asks.

The thought of it makes her head spin.

“Yes,” she says. “Of course yes.”

He slides both hands down her ass, inside her underwear, cupping her and pulling her closer. She can feel him pressed against her through his pants and it makes her heart speed up. He leans down for a kiss which again quickly turns open mouthed. They're both breathing heavily. He slides his hands down, taking off her panties as he does. Once they’re around her knees she kicks them off the rest of the way and raises a leg to wrap around him, grinding herself against his thigh.

Unceremoniously, he picks her up and places her sitting her on the kitchen counter, making their hips line up which makes her already extremely fuzzy thoughts go nearly blank. She parts her knees and pulls him close so he’s standing between her open thighs. She’s mostly naked and he still has his pants on which is just not fair. She undoes his belt buckle as he unclasps her bra and pulls it off her.

There’s a part of her that wants to tease them both, but there’s another part of her that wants his cock negative five minutes ago and she lets that part win out and she yanks open his fly and only waits long enough for him to reach down and free himself before pushing his pants and underwear down his hips. When she can’t reach with her hands anymore she pushes them down his thighs with her feet prompting a soft “Jesus,” to fall from Max’s lips.

“May I?” she asks.

Max kicks his pants and underwear off the rest of the way, almost falling sideways as he does.

“You can do whatever you want to me,” he says as he steps back into her space, between her parted legs, and kisses her.

She reaches between them to touch his cock, teasingly running her fingers along it at first and then grasping it harder. He gasps into her mouth, his hands on her waist tightening.

“Do you have any idea how long I’ve wants this?” he asks, laughter and desperation in his voice. “I'm not going to last of you keep touching me like that.”

“Then let's get to the main event,” she says, breathes, pants. “I'm ready.”

He touches her cunt with a broad finger, making her shiver with anticipation.

“Oh God,” he groans. “Yes, yes.”

So she takes his cock and guides him inside and she’s so wet that he thrusts forward slowly, easily, pressing the rest of the way in.

“What do you like?” he breathes into her mouth as he begins to thrust shallowly. “What do you need?”

“Circle my clit with your thumb,” she says, already feeling spun apart from just his cock. “Can you find my g-spot?”

It takes him a few tries and her, “there, yes, there,” but he does and he sets up a rhythm that hits it.

She cannot believe how sex with Max is turning out to be so different from any other sex she’s had. She likes sex and enjoys it, but she’s never felt this desperate and overwhelmed and yet at the same time she feels completed and every time he seats himself fully inside her it feels like they're both exactly where they're supposed to be.

Her breasts brush and press against his chest with each movement, he hasn't stopped kissing her and every time he thrusts forward her belly presses against his. She can feel the head of his cock deep inside her, hitting her g-spot every time. Her arms are around his shoulders, digging into her back. She’s going to come soon and her breath turns to gasps as she chases her orgasm, getting closer to it with every drag of his cock, every circle of his thumb. It’s incredible. She's never felt this close to anyone before.

And that's when she realizes - she actually never has been this close to anyone because his cock is bare inside her.

She’s never had unsafe sex like this before, not even when she had a fiancé. She should tell him to stop, to slow down. There was that small box condoms in her purse specifically so they could do this tonight, but she forgot about it in the desperation and the rush and now the very idea of him in her like this makes her clench down and groan, her legs tightening around his hips. He groans in response, more panting into her mouth than kissing at this point.

“I'm getting close,” he says. “You?”

"There's no condom," she manages because as intense as this new feeling is, it's not a choice they made together.

With visible effort he stops moving.

“What?” he asks.

“We forgot the condom.”

He looks at her blankly for a moment, as if each thought is barely getting through the haze of lust and then he says, “Oh shit,” and starts to pull out, but she stops him.

“I just needed you to know,” she gasp. “But please don’t stop. Finish it like this. We’re so close. I’m safe.”

She’d gotten an IUD when things had gotten really serious with Diego so they could have condom-less sex, but she’d never wanted to so they never had. She wants it with Max now. She wants it in a way that surprises her and excites her. Her heart pounds and her cunt throbs with just the idea of it.

“Are you sure?” he asks.

“Please,” she begs. “Please. I want every bit of you.”

He meets her gaze for a long moment and she can see how much he wants it too.

“Okay,” he breathes. “Okay.”

She kisses him again, urging him to start moving again with her heels against his ass. He needs very little encouragement and does what she asks, pushing all the way in again slowly, angling and adjusting himself to find the right spot inside her again without any further guidance. It’s amazing how well they fit, how effortless it feels. He begins to speed up again and the drag of him inside her sends sparks along her nerves. She wonders if she could come just from this, but then his thumb brushes against her clit again and she bucks against him. The angle she’s sitting on the counter means that he’s doing most of the work, but the slide of him is delicious and the rhythm he’s set is perfect. Each thrust brings her higher and soon she has no other thoughts left to her except for how amazing it feels.

“Are you close?” he asks and she can tell by the strain of his voice that he is.

“Yes, yes, faster,” she says because it was already true, but the growl in his voice reminds her that he’s bare inside her and they both know it and are doing this anyway and the realization has lit a fire in her belly. His thumb moves faster on her clit, his thrusts getting faster and deeper, her name is an endless breathed mantra falling from his lips. Any moment he’s going to come raw inside her.

The thought of that is enough to be the final spark and she comes, keening. She throws her head back, seeing white, clenching around him in every way she can, arms, legs and cunt, pulling him tighter and deeper. His thrusts are getting erratic and she as comes back to herself he moves his hands off her clit to grab at her ass, pulling her closer still.

“Yes,” she says again, pressing her heels into his thighs, keeping him in place. “Come on, I want to feel it.”

He groans low in the back of his throat, thrusts in again and, as she can feel the head of his cock pressing into her g-spot, he comes, spilling as deep inside her as he can get. As he finishes, he leans down and kisses her again, softly and gently, still fully seated inside her. One of his hands is still on her ass and his other arms pulls her close around her back. She clings to him as well, arms and legs and cunt still wrapped around him. She doesn’t want to let him go. Normally he’d have to pull out and tie off the condom by now, but there isn't one so she holds him close. She feels completed and settled and like for the first time in ten years she’s come home.

They come back to themselves slowly, kissing as they do. She can feel him softening inside her. It's a new, and almost odd sensation but she likes how close it makes her feel to him even as he slips out.

"I love you," he says and after all the times he's said it before it shouldn't feel like a revelation, but it is and it has her gasping and wishing she knew how to vocalize what she was feeling in return.

"I'm not sorry we did it like that,” she says, needing to voice it and to check with him. “I didn’t convince you of anything you’re not comfortable with did I?”

“No, not at all. It’s just I've never - ” he stops and swallows, pressing his forehead to hers, their noses brushing. “That was amazing. Are you sure you're okay?”

“You can't get sick so I'm guessing that includes STDs,” she says, the words are practical, but she can't stop running her hands up and down his back and arms. “And I have an IUD. Though I'm not sure how alien sperm will react to it now that I think about it. Probably the same? I have plan b in my bag. I'll take it in a bit.”

“Good idea,” he says. “We’ll use condoms too. In the future.”

“Yes,” she agrees and then he's kissing her again, sliding a hand between them to cup her mound and murmuring, “Can I?”

“Yes,” she says and leans farther back, parting her legs farther to give him better access.

He slips one finger inside and then two, thumb gently teasing her clit.

“You feel amazing,” he says. “Everything about you is amazing.”

She’d come over tonight for sex, but she can’t quite wrap her head about the way it’s gone anyway. Before tonight, sex for her hadn’t been controlled exactly, but it had been purposeful and planned and generally took place on, if not a bed, at least a soft surface. She just had sex it a kitchen - which is multiple layers of gross if she’s really honest with herself – and her ass is sore from sitting on the hard counter and she has somebody’s – Max’s – spunk up inside her. She’s never felt so messy in her life and at the same time she feels so alive.

Max had been mostly silent during sex except for her name, but now he’s saying dirty, filthy things into her ear about how she feels incredible on his fingers the way she’d felt incredible on his cock and he can’t wait to feel it again and how he loves how wet she still is and how he can’t tell what’s from her and what’s from him and he’s going to make her come as many times as she wants tonight. It has her gasping and her toes curling and she comes again, bucking against his hand.

"I'm going to go get take that pill, but I'm not ready for us to be done yet," she says when she feels like she can speak and breathe and think again. "Do you want to take this to the bedroom?"

"Yes," he says, nodding. "Great idea."

She gives him a quick peck on the lips and then another and he helps her down off the counter and steadies her when she finds that her legs are wobbly. She makes it to the living room to dig through her bag to find her plan b pill. She does and realizes she'd forgotten something to wash it down with to only find Max behind her with a glass of water.

"Thanks," she says.

"Of course," he says.

She takes the pill, drinks half the water with it and give it back to Max who finishes it. She thinks he tosses the glass onto the couch, but she isn't really paying attention because the next moment they're in each other's arms again and she's running his hands up into his hair and she's kissing him and his hands are on her hips pulling her close. She’s not ready for the night to be over and by the feel of it neither is he.

“Do you think you can go again tonight?” she asks.

“With you? Probably. I think so.”

“Good," she says. “Because I really want you to fuck me again.”

Max looks a little dazed at that so she just take his hand to lead him to the bedroom. She's never actually been in here before but she likes it immediately. Somehow it looks more ‘Max’ than the rest of the house. Maybe it’s all the bookshelves.

The bed is nicely made and she makes quick work of stripping the top layers down so they don’t have sex right there on top of his comforter. As she does, Max gets a condom from the dresser. She looks at it in his hand and makes the decision that she’d accidentally made earlier and then half made again when she’d brought him in here without bringing her bag.

“How do you feel about not using that for the rest of the night?” she asks.

Max looks at her in surprise.

“Next time we should be sure to be safe,” she says. “But it’s too late for tonight and because – “ and this is less embarrassing to admit than she imagined it would be – “I thought it was incredibly hot.”

“You too?” Max asks. “Christ, I thought I was some sort of animal for thinking that.”

She moves to stand close to him, purposely not touching, teasing them both. He leans in towards her as if he can’t help but do so.

“I’ve never wanted it like that before,” she whispers. “But I did with you and I want – " she has to take a breath as her heart speeds up in her chest just at the idea of it – “I want to feel you like that again.”

He must drop the condom because he’s pulling her to him with both hands on her hips and she presses close to him, her arms around his back, her breasts and belly flush against him. Their mouths find each other as he hikes one of her legs up around his hips. It feels like he could devour her right here and she’d not only let him, she’d thank him. He’s growing hard again, trapped and pressed between their bodies. She wants to feel that again and she wants to feel it now.

She breaks the kiss to say, “No more foreplay. I need you to fuck me again.”

“Whatever you want,” he says and his voice is so low in the back of his throat that it’s nearly a growl and it’s amazing how well that works for her.

She climbs onto the bed because if she doesn’t do it right now they’ll probably just fall to the floor and end up having sex on his carpet and she has just enough brain left to remember that she doesn’t want carpet burns. She gets on her back, legs parted. She’s still leaking and he can definitely see it judging by the way his gaze darkens as it travels down her body. He climbs onto the bed as well and moves to lean over her and into her space, not touching her yet, his arms bracketing her body, his mouth close enough to kiss, hips between her thighs, his cock nearly brushing her cunt.

"Are you sure?" he asks.

"Yes. Are you?"

"Yes," he says and he reaches down between them to feel her, testing to make sure she's still wet enough.

"I'm ready, I'm ready," she gasps. "Just get in me."

Her heart pounds with anticipation. He’s right there. There’s no barriers between them and nothing to stop them except for of course how stupid they are to have unsafe sex, but she loves seeing him like this. He’s desperate and messy and showing his rough edges and she wants to feel all of that. She wants his desperation to feed off hers, she wants his mess to mix with hers, his rough edges to fit with hers. She wants his cock and his spunk and the part of him that she makes feel like an animal to pound her until they’ve both come apart in a thousand different ways and now she’s thinking about it like this she realizes she wants him to fuck her from behind so she turns around, on her hands and knees, ass up in the air.

“Come on,” she says. “What are you waiting for? Fuck me raw. Get inside me. Get me messy and sore. I want to still feel you tomorrow.”

Where are these thoughts even coming from?

“Jesus Christ,” Max says, sounding strangled and leans over her, his chest to her back, his hips pressed against hers. His fingers find her clit and he angles his cock to rub against her slit, but doesn’t penetrate her. She nearly howls in frustration and her cunt spasms with the need to clench around something, anything, and she wants it to be his cock.

“Get inside me,” she demands.

“I’m going to make you come first,” Max says, voice low and rough next to her ear. “I’m going to make you come around my fingers and then I’m going to fuck you and make you come around my cock. I’m going to fuck you until you see stars and can’t walk straight. I’m going to fuck you raw. I’m going to fuck my come farther up inside you and then come inside you again.”

Her orgasm crashes over her, making her eyes cross and her cunt contract. Who knew Max could even talk like that? The growl in his voice is doing wonders for her.

As she’s still coming he slams inside and starts up a brutal pace that has her clutching at the sheets and shoving her hips back against him. She thinks she’s crying his name and the word ‘yes’ over and over, but her world has narrowed to his cock in her cunt. His hand are gripping her hips, directing her movements, fitting the two of them together perfectly. She reaches between her legs and fingers her clit, matching the hard and fast pace. Her next orgasm comes quickly and she crests again while still riding the high from the last one. He doesn’t slow and as she comes back to herself she realizes he’s still speaking low in her ear, repeating the word ‘fuck’ and her name.

“Yes,” she keens. “Fuck me. Get all the way inside.”

He shifts position slightly, getting deeper, and he moves his hands from her hips to splay one on her belly and the other to her clit.

“Can you feel it, Max?” she asks, breathless and overwhelmed but she can’t help but speak. “Can you feel how deep you’re getting? I love your hands on me. I’m surrounded by you. Are you going to come inside me? Are you going to make me feel it tomorrow? Are you going to make me drip with your spunk? Fuck me raw. Come inside me. All the way up inside.”

“I want to, I’m going to.” His voice is strained. “Are you close?”

“You want me to come on your cock?”


“Then say it. Tell me how much you need me.”

“I love you,” he growls, his thrusts speeding up. “And I love you like this. Open for me. I’m going to fuck you like this every day for the rest of my life. Fuck you raw. Fill you up. Can you feel it?”

She lets his words and the emotions they make rise in her mix with and heighten the feel of him inside her and around her and she parts her legs wider without even meaning to and presses back as far as she can and comes. He pumps inside her a few more time and comes as well, hips pressed all the way against her, chest curved along her back.

Panting, they both slowly come back to themselves. He pulls out with a grunt and falls sideways onto the ruined bed, taking her with him. He rests his forehead against the crook of her neck. For a moment she thinks they might be slowing down, but the feel of him pressed against her and his hand still splayed across her belly quickens her heartbeat and her breath and she can feel her curt throbbing in time, wanting more. She could come again, she can tell. She takes his hand and moves it lower, covering her mound.

“Touch me again,” she pleads.

“I never want to stop,” he groans in her ear.

He teases her with his fingers, his other hand running over her body and he mouths her neck.

“Don’t tease,” she cries.

“Never,” he says. “But I’m going to make this last.”

He flips her over onto her back, a move that she may have objected to with anyone else, but somehow Max makes it incredibly hot. She parts her thighs for him, angling her hips towards him. Can he get it up again tonight? So soon? If he can and he wants to then she’s all for it.

“Are you going to fuck me again?” she asks. “I’m ready to take it. Look.”

With her fingers she spreads open her labia exposing herself to him completely.

“Look at how wet and swollen I am. I was like this just from the thought of having you. Now half of that is yours. You're still inside me.”

He groans her name and says, "I want to go down on you first."

Now there's an idea.

"Yes," she says. "Yes."

He kisses her lips once, almost bruisingly and then in a trail down her body until his head is buried between her legs and his mouth is on her cunt. He coaxes the orgasm out of her, slowly but firmly and she doesn’t mean to pull his hair, but she does as she writhes under his tongue and when she comes it feels like her entire body has exploded into stardust and coalesces again at his touch. She reaches for him blindly, dragging him upward so she can get her arms around him and bury her face in the crook of his neck.

She never wants to stop touching him. She hooks a leg over his hip and grinds up into him, feeling him harden as she does.

"Again?" she asks, a little surprised. She doesn’t mean to question his stamina, but he is nearing thirty. Though on the other hand he is an alien so maybe different rules apply.

“I could taste me inside you and then that’s all I could think about,” he admits.

Well in that case. She rolls him over onto his back and straddles him slightly above his hips, her wet cunt leaking onto his belly.

“Do you want to go again?” she asks.

“Do I? Are you sure you won’t be sore?” His expression shows that he’s genuinely concerned, but his hands have already moved to rest on her thighs.

“Maybe, but I’ve been really wet this whole time,” she says. “And I honestly don’t even care right now.”

“Then yes,” he says. “Yes, of course yes.”

She moves so she sitting farther back on his legs, and reaches down to take him in her hand, pumping him loosely a couple of times. His fingers dig into her skin.

“Please,” he says.

The fire that burned in her for the first half of the evening has turned to embers, even hotter yet not so immediately consuming of everything about her but the need to get closer to him. She’d been intending to make the foreplay last a little longer this time – not because either of them need it, but because she’s enjoys it – but the sound of his low plea goes right to her belly. With other partners in the past she’d been content with one or two orgasms and then going to sleep, but tonight each touch just heightens her desire for him. He makes her feel molten.

She adjusts herself so she’s sitting at the right angle and then sinks onto him slowly, finding a good rhythm to roll her hips at. And it is a good one judging by the way his eyes rolls back in his head and his hands dig into her thighs and his heart pounds under her hands. She's content to just feel the drag of him inside her with every move of her hips but it's not long before he sits up so she’s in his lap and their chests are pressed together. At her noise of surprise he says, “I couldn’t be so far away from you.”

How can something so simple be so devastating coming from him? She feels like her heart is going to beat out of her chest. It takes her a moment to find the right rhythm again, but as she does he helps her with it, his hands on her hips.

If she's honest with herself, this is much closer to what she'd imagined their first time would be like. They lock gazes and she can see the desperation rise in his eyes with every roll of her hips. There’s barely any room between their bodies, but he finds it and he touches her slowly and tantalizingly and she gasps and then gasps again. She feels like she’ll never catch her breath. She's already come more times tonight that she ever has in a night before and she knows she going to again. Her orgasm builds gradually and when she comes it's slow and rolling, but no less powerful than the others she’s had tonight. Her cunt pulses and flutters around him and he groans, deep in the back of his throat.

“Max,” she whispers when she feels like she can speak again. “Do you feel it? How perfect we are together? We fit. It's like we were made for this."

Her hands are on his face and their gazes are locked together so she can see what's sparked in him as she speaks.

"Say that again," he pleads, voice low in his throat.

"We were made for each other," she says and as if the words have unlocked something in him, he comes, pulling her close as he does. He's looking at her like he almost can't believe she's real and at the same time she knows how much he sees her, how much he knows her. She can't imagine it being like this with anyone else. She feels exposed in every way a person can be exposed, but it's with Max and so it's not embarrassing or daunting. It's all right and even more than that, it's good.

God, how she loves this man.

The thought is sudden as it is unsurprising. She's been teetering on the edge of it for what feels like years but somehow the fall isn't as scary as it once would have been. She wants to tell him. She needs him to know that he's not in this alone, that she feels for him what he feels for her, that his love is no longer one sided.

But she’s never liked hearing it this the first time right after sex though and there's a part of her that thinks that it would be unfair to tell him like this. She can wait and tell him later in the night. Surely that will be okay.

She kisses him again to stop her own mouth. He must be getting close to exhausted and she can start to feel the edge of it herself. He kisses her back with the same consuming single-mindedness, but it's slower and almost softer. His hands caressing her body are gentle.

She levers herself up and off him and they both tumble sideways, still tangled together and kissing.

“I don't think I can go again tonight,” he mummers. “But I want to help you with anything you need.”

“Just hold me,” Liz says and he doesn’t need to be asked twice.

They lie together, still intertwined. The desperate throbbing between her legs has been satisfied and her breath and heart slows. She's definitely lying in a wet spot but she’s loose limbed and sated and doesn’t want to move at all and especially not away from Max.

“That was intense,” she says.

He pulls back slightly, looking suddenly worried.

“Was it too much?” he asks.

“No, no, not at all,” Liz is quick to reassure him. “It was perfect.”

Max's expression softens, as it always does when she compliments him, but this time it's not tinged with confusion or disbelief. She hadn't quite realized how often it had been there before until now when she can see the difference.

“I didn't even know sex could be like that,” Max admits softly. “I've never felt so connected to another person. I knew it would be different with you, but I had no idea how different. It was… it was everything. Liz, I - ”

He stops, clearly cutting off a declaration. She draws back so she can see his face. There’s love in his eyes and he reaches up a hand to brush the hair out of hers.

“You’re so beautiful,” he says. “You’re always stunning, but seeing you like this is… I feel like my heart’s going to stop just from looking at you.”

She can’t help but press a hand to his chest.

“Don’t you dare let it,” she says.

He smiles.

“I’ll try.”

She moves her thumb in a circle, even now still wanting to touch him.

"You don't have to stop yourself from telling me how you feel," she says.

Max ducks his head, smiling, but almost ruefully as if he’s embarrassed for the first time all evening.

“I know you already know how I feel,” he says. “But I don’t want you to feel awkward or pressured to feel the same way or to say it back. I want this to be right for both of us, whatever that means. Whatever it looks like."

“Oh, Max.”

Her heart swells in her chest and she has to pull him close and kiss him again after that so she does, slow and soft and his hands on her are gentle and comforting. She wants to do this every night for the rest of her life.

A little while later they get up and get cleaned up and dressed and he makes a far less elaborate meal than he'd been originally intending and they eat it by candlelight and instead of watching a movie they go outside to look at the stars and as they stand there, her nestled in the curve of his arms, she tells him how she feels.

He starts and looks down at her, surprise clear in his face despite the dark.

"What?" He barely breathes the word.

She turns in his embrace, one hand coming up to stroke his cheek, the other resting on his chest. She can feel how fast his heart is beating.

"I love you," she repeats. "I love you. Really."

He ducks his head down, but she can still see the hope and the smile spreading across his face.

"I love you too," he says.