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What I Like About You

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Colin’s not sure when it happened. He keeps trying to pinpoint it, trying to figure out the moment he realized he was head over heels in love with Ally Darling. Sometimes he thinks it was the first time when he saw her weird little sculptures. Not that he fell right then and there, but maybe that he tripped. Started falling, and he didn’t realize until he was nearly face-down and unable to catch himself, that whoever he’d been pre-Ally didn’t exist anymore.

He knows he hasn’t had sex with anyone since Ally burst into his apartment. He’s gone out a couple of times, because that’s what he does, but he hasn’t brought anyone home. He wonders if Ally’s noticed. He knows there’s no reason she would, because she’s not interested in him. Not interested in the kind of guy he is, even if she hadn’t met her ridiculous number.

She’s said enough how disgusted by him she is. Said that people like him are the problem. They’re the ones who make it impossible to find relationships, to find someone who actually gives a shit about you, because he looks like he might be the right kind of guy, but he’s not.

He’s the guy you’re with when you’re looking for the guy you want to spend the rest of your life with.

He thought he was okay with that. He had been okay with that. But then Ally was suddenly there all the time, and they were in each other’s lives and she was funny and sweet and beautiful and disgusting and so fucking perfect, it scared the shit out of him. Because he doesn’t believe in love. Never has.

Certainly never believed it could happen to him.

“You’re thinking too loud.”

He looks over to where she’s on the couch, legs tucked up underneath her. She’s wearing an oversized shirt that’s seen better days, and a pair of shorts so short he thinks they might actually be underwear. “You’re implying that I think. Those might be fighting words.”

“You think about things. Food. wrestling, sex. Butt stuff.”

He nods and shrugs. “You have a point. You also bring up the butt stuff a lot.”

“Maybe because when I look at you I think, ‘what an ass’.”

Colin stretches, putting his hands behind his head. “Why thank you.”

“I know you can’t be that delusional.”

“I’ll have you know that I have it on good authority that I have a great ass, so let’s not pretend that’s not exactly what you meant.”

“Okay, fine. I’m not saying that I would kick you out of bed, even though I am saying I’d never let you in it.”

“You’re really hurting my feelings here, Al.”

She sits up straight, staring at him in shock. “You have feelings?” She can’t hold the look too long, laughing almost before Colin can look offended.”So. What were you thinking about?”

“Do you really think Eduardo is going to run off with Rosalita?” They’d started watching telenovelas two weeks ago, and they spent most of the time making up their own dialogue in dramatic voices. Colin’s never laughed with anyone the way he laughs with her.

“She can’t stay with Ferdinand! He’s having sex with her sister!”

“But she doesn’t know that! Besides. Eduardo killed her brother during the duel.”

“She didn’t know he was her brother until after Eduardo killed him.”

“I should hope not, since she was sleeping with him!”

Ally laughs and crawls down the couch, settling in front of Colin. He shifts more onto his side so she’s tucked in front of him, her head resting on his bicep. “I wonder what it’d be like to have that be your drama. Something so over the top.”

He bends his head just enough that he can bury his nose in the blonde hair at the nape of her neck. Her shampoo smells like honey and he takes a deep breath, careful to turn his head away when he exhales. “As opposed to tracking down all your ex-boyfriends to find one to marry so that you don’t have more than twenty lovers?”

“Exactly.” She squirms a little and Colin has to close his eyes and think about the puppet guy so he doesn’t get a hard on when her ass rubs against his crotch.

“You know, you say that decent guys care about how many guys you’ve slept with, but it seems to me that, if they’re decent guys, they’d never ask. I mean, I’m not a decent guy, and I don’t ask. That’s got to say something.”

“That’s not the point.”

“I gotta tell you, I still don’t get the point. I’m getting it less and less.”

“How do you get less of a point?” She turns so she’s on her back staring up at him. Her eyes are lit up with laughter, crinkles at the corners from her smile. “I mean, if you don’t have one, how do you have less of one?”

He wants to kiss her. It almost hurts how much he wants it. Tight and clawing at his chest, because it’d be so easy. He’d just have to lean in a little and he could brush his lips over hers, could taste her and see if she’s anything like what he’s imagined.

“You want to order pizza?” He levers himself up and off the couch. She gives into gravity and rolls closer to the back where he’d been, her face smooshed against the cushion. “Pepperoni okay or do you want to pretend we’re healthy and order one with vegetables?”

Ally gets up on her knees and looks at him. Her arms are draped over the back of the couch, her chin resting on top of it. “I took two bites of a salad today. I think I’ve had all the healthy I can handle for the week. Pepperoni. With extra cheese.”

“Whatever the lady wants.”

Ally snorts. “In that case, bring me a beer.”

**

He stares at his phone like it’s a bomb. It is a bomb. It’s the bomb that is going to blow up his life.

Of course, it’s not really his life. It’s this almost life that he’s pretending he has with Ally. This life where they hang out all the time and laugh and make fun of each other and themselves. The life where she gives him shit and he picks on her and they stay up late watching TV and she falls asleep and he covers her with a blanket and sneaks out.

It’s also the life where he goes home and jerks off once, fast and desperate, then teases his oversensitive cock while he thinks about her, what he’d like to do to her, until he can’t do it anymore and he doesn’t come again so much as fall apart.

It’s a life almost like being in love.

Which he puts right the fuck out of his mind, because he has a bomb in his hand.

A bomb he made when all of this first started and he put out feelers to find out Jake Adams’s phone number. Back when he had no idea what Ally was really like, when he had no idea that she wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met.

“Fuck.”

“Coooooolin,” Ally knocks on his door and then pokes her head inside. “Are you naked? I’d ask if you were decent, but we both know the answer to that.”

“I’m better than decent when I’m naked.” He flops back on his bed so he can look at her as she walks the rest of the way in. She jumps and bounces on the mattress on her knees and then flops down, head on his stomach. “As you’ve seen.”

“I haven’t seen you naked. There’s always been a dishtowel.”

“I could show you me in all my glory.” He sits up and reaches back, grabbing his shirt by the collar. Her head slips down to his thigh, and she’s smiling up at him as he takes the shirt off and tosses it away. “You might have to move for me to get out of my pants.”

“Keep your pants on.” She turns her head and Colin focuses on her face, not the fact that her head is dangerously close to his dick. Dangerously close and nowhere near close enough. “You want to get lunch?”

“Depends. Is ravishing you completely off the table?”

She puts her hand on his chest and shoves him away. He falls back easily and her hand settles on his stomach. Goosebumps break out on his skin despite the heat of her palm. “It’s never been on the table. It’s never been near the table. It’s never heard of a table.”

“Wow. I’m not sure I’m getting the message here. So is that a no?”

She sits up and leans over him. Colin stares up at her and swallows hard. “I’m thinking Korean sandwiches.”

“Fuck. I love it when you talk dirty.”

“Get dressed.”

“You’re wearing a t-shirt and a pair of panties. Not that I’m complaining. Feel free to wear as little as you want around me. Less than that even. I’d love it. Aesthetically, of course.”

“You know what that word means?” She leans down and kisses the tip of his nose. “Get dressed. I’ll meet you at the stairwell.”

He stays on the bed, hand in the same spot on his abdomen as hers had been, head turned so he can watch her leave.

He’s waited for her for this long. Jake Adams can wait a little longer.

**

He’s not sure why Tom is his breaking point. Maybe it’s the fact that she calls him and tells him that Tom proposed. That horrific, gut-sinking feeling in those seconds before she tells him that Tom also told her he was gay and that it was Ally’s fault.

And then she’d sniffled and told him she had to get on the plane. He’d wanted to meet her at the airport, but she’d hung up, and all he could do was wait for her. And it was all worth it when she showed up in that ridiculous dress, too small and too tight, and she looked gorgeous. She always looks gorgeous, but something about her looking like she was doing a walk of shame when she didn’t have anything to be ashamed of made it tragic and beautiful, and he is absolutely, completely in love with her.

The sheer relief of seeing her there instead of knowing she’s in some hotel room with some other guy makes him realize that this is it. This is what he wants for the rest of his life. She’s what he wants for the rest of his life. Who she is and how she is and everything she is.

He takes her to the Garden without a second thought. He’s never been there with anyone else, never even thought about it. This is his sanctuary. This is his. Sometimes he just sits in the stands and lets himself be quiet for awhile. He stops thinking, stops feeling, stops knowing that he doesn’t have the kind of future his family wants for him.

No wife. No kids. Just an endless stream of one-night stands who will never, ever hurt him.

But Ally fills the whole place up with her laughter and her light. She makes him smile and they bring out the competitor in each other. She flips him so much shit, showing off and showing him up.

He doesn’t know how he keeps himself from kissing her.

Doesn’t know how he’s ever going to kiss someone else.

And when it happens, with his shirt unbuttoned on her, and her voice soft and shaky. When it happens, it’s everything and more. It’s even okay when she stops them, when it’s not more than kisses. Because he doesn’t lie. He loves kissing her. He wants to do it for the rest of his life.

So he kisses her mouth and her forehead and her cheeks and her jaw and the hollow behind it, her earlobe, her throat, her collarbone. He pushes the shirt to the side and he kisses her sternum and her breasts and her nipples. He kisses her stomach and her belly button. He moves down and kisses her feet and her arch and her ankle, Her calf, her shin, her knee, the underside of her knee. He kisses the top of her thighs and the underside of them.

He helps her tease her underwear down her legs and then he kisses the downy hair down to the slick wet tendrils that surround her labia. He kisses and sucks the taste of her off of her, kisses her clit for what feels like hours until she’s squirming above him. He kisses lower and licks inside her as she spreads her legs wider, as she fingers her clit as he licks and sucks and kisses and she’s trembling and gasping his name and coming on his tongue.

He doesn’t stop after the first orgasm, just looks up at her and watches her shiver. He licks his wet lips, feels her sloppy on his face, and then he sucks at her fingers against her clit and then goes down again, until she can’t talk because she’s coming again and again and again.

Her legs are over his shoulders and he’s buried against her, breathing nothing but her, tasting nothing but her, and then her heels are pounding against his back and she comes again, shaking apart and moaning for him to stop.

He pulls back and she looks wrecked. She’s sweaty and her nipples are hard. Her hands are fluttering like she doesn’t know what to do with them. She’s looking at him through barely open eyes and he grins. He knows his face is shiny with her, and she doesn’t look away when he licks his lips.

She lets out a shaky breath. “I really, really love kissing.”

Colin laughs and crawls up her, one knee between her legs as he braces himself over her so he isn’t touching her, so that he can’t lose control and rut his aching cock against her until he comes in his jeans like some desperate, horny teenager. Ally reaches down and palms him through his jeans and Colin’s arms shake.

“Please don’t.” She squeezes and he closes his eyes. “Oh, god. Please do.”

Instead she licks his cheek and scrunches her nose then pushes him off of her. “You’re a mess.”

“You’ve known this about me,” Colin reminds her as he stares up at her ceiling and tries to think of things like his parents having sex or the fact that one of his neighbors is married to his dog, and he doesn’t want to even speculate on their conjugal relations. Ally lifts up on one elbow and looks down at him.

“Eh. You’re not so bad sometimes.”

“Wow. I’m feeling the love here, Ally.” She slumps back to the bed and rests her head on his chest, her hand on his thigh. And fuck, he wishes it were true.

**

Of course, like all bombs, it blows up in his face.

Because he knew, deep down, that, like always, he was Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Right. The Jake Adams’s of the world are the Mr. Rights. Colin let himself forget, let himself hope. And now, not only does he not have the beautiful Ally he got to take apart and wake up with, but he doesn't have his best friend.

And he misses them both so goddamn much.

He avoids her, not that she’s home much anymore. Sometimes he hears her in the stairwell with her friends or with Jake, and they’re talking about dinners in restaurants whose names Colin can’t even pronounce. She tells one of her friends about breakfast in New York and sunrise the next day in Paris.

It drives home how much Ally doesn’t belong in his world. She deserves more than pizza on rooftop couches. More than Mexican wrestling and reheated enchiladas. She deserves everything, which she has now, so Colin has to get on with his life. He can’t leave his rent-controlled apartment, but he figures sooner or later, Ally will be living with and married to Jake Adams and the only time he’ll see her is on the society pages.

And his Google alerts.

Which have been going crazy. Driving him crazy.

He sees the picture of Ally and Jake taken through some restaurant window. She looks happy, and that’s really all he’s supposed to want. Her happy even if it’s not happy with him.

It’s enough.

He dresses up a little, nice jeans and a dress shirt, his leather jacket. He checks the peephole out of habit, even though he knows she’s drinking wine and going to bed with Jake. He jogs down the stairs, determined and intent. He’s done with this. She moved on. She walked away without a backward glance, so there’s no reason for Colin to keep standing still.

The bar is loud and crowded. He sees a few friends and waves before heading to the bar to get a drink. He’s waiting for the bartender when a hand slides from his shoulder down to his wrist. He turns his head and she’s gorgeous. Big brown eyes and dark curly hair, Her smile is sly and promising and not all that long ago, he’d have had her out on the dance floor or in some quiet corner where they could have drinks and talk, deciding whether or not he’s taking her in the bathroom or taking her home.

“Hi.”

“Hi.” He smiles, nods. She keeps smiling, but it starts to fade as Colin doesn’t say anything else. He’s still smiling. Probably looking like he’s lost his mind.

“I’m Angela.”

“Nice to meet you. Colin.” He holds out his hand and she shakes his. He hates it immediately. Her hand is like a sock, floppy and loose in his grip. The bartender brings his drink and Colin sighs. “Whatever the lady wants.”

She orders and moves closer to him. He pays for both their drinks and she lifts her glass up to his beer. “To new friends.”

He doesn’t clink his bottle against her glass, but she taps them together, so he doesn’t have to. He takes a drink and looks out at the club. The music is loud and the lights are bright. He turns back to her and gives her another smile that probably looks as fake as it feels.

He leans in slightly and shakes his head. “I’m flattered, really. But I’m waiting for someone.”

“I can wait with you. Just in case.”

He drinks his beer and wonders what he’s doing here. What he’s looking for. What he thinks he might find. He leans in and Angela leans closer. “I’m in love with someone.”

“Oh?”

It feels good to say, even if he’s saying it to the wrong person. Even if the right person has no desire to hear it or anything else he has to say. “Ally. She’s ridiculous.”

“And that’s good?”

“Yeah.”

“I see some friends. I should go.” Colin looks up, and fuck, a complete stranger is pitying him. “If she’s who you’re waiting for, I don’t think she’s coming.”

“No.” Colin shakes his head. “No. She’s not.”

Angela walks away and Colin finishes his beer. He gets up and waves to his friends again and leaves, walking toward home. He ends up at the Harbor again instead, watching the lights reflect in the water. He shakes his head and leans against one of the posts on the pier. The problem with being in love with your best friend is that, when you get your heart broken or when you break your own heart by being an idiot, you don’t have anyone to talk to.

He hears people in the boats on the harbor shouting and laughing and he sighs.

Wow. He’s pathetic.

Laughing to himself, he goes back to the bar. The girl he ends up dancing with is a redhead, all dangerous curves and sharp edges. He drinks enough to loosen up, and a few hours later, he’s walking her home. She stumbles a little in her high heels, so he slides his arm around her waist.

She leans in, warm against him, and gives him directions. When they get to her apartment building, Colin looks at the door and then looks at her. “I should-”

“Come inside.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Ally is probably out with Jake. It’s late. Ally’s probably in bed with Jake. She doesn’t love him because he lied to her. Maybe didn’t even love him before. She looks up at him, and he realizes he doesn’t even know her name.

“I do.” She turns to face him, going up on the balls of her feet and pressing her mouth to his. It’s not quite a kiss, and her breath is damp on his lips. “C’mon.”

He doesn’t go home with women, but the thought of taking her to his place, maybe running into Ally, the thought of Ally thinking this is just more evidence supporting who she thinks he still is outweighs any Cinderella moments in his life.

Not that it matters. He doesn’t have some embarrassing moment where he can’t perform. She’s hot. He’s a guy. He hasn’t had sex in a while with anyone or anything other than his hand. But it’s just that. Sex. And she seems more than happy to kick his ass out once they’re done. At least he let them stay overnight.

No, the problem is that he realizes that, even though they both got off, the sex was unsatisfying. Because he thinks he wants the emotional connection. The Cinderella moment. And maybe he’s scared -- he’s definitely scared -- that he’s never going to find that. Because he lied to Ally.

Though, to be fair, if he hadn’t lied to her, he’d be in the exact same position. Except he wouldn’t know how it felt to hold her, to kiss her, to hope. Which means he’d be much better off in the long run.

He’s halfway up the stairs to his apartment when he hears a door shut above him. There are two floors above him, so the odds that it’s Ally are slim. It’s also six AM, so the odds that it’s Ally are in the negatives.

That doesn’t stop it from being Jake Adams though.

He nods at Colin and Colin nods back. He’s all the things Ally deserves, but he’s none of the things that are going to make her happy. He lives in the world of charity dinners and political parties, gallery openings of places that would look at her weird little art pieces like they belonged in the trash instead of on display. He’s champagne, caviar, and film premieres, not beer, nachos, and Mexican wrestling.

He’s not him.

But he is what Ally really wants, not what she’s willing to settle for.

He goes into his apartment and heads to the shower so he can wash the smell of bar smoke and spilt beer off of him, and hope that the hot water and steam might clear his head so he can figure out what he’s going to do with the rest of his life.

**

She’s not three-hundred-and anything. He likes sex, but he also has some standards. Maybe. Something vaguely resembling them. He’s pretty sure he hasn’t even hit a hundred, but he’s never been known for his math skills.

She sits cross-legged in the wings of the stage behind one of the amps, Her dress is pulled dangerously high on her thighs, possibly ripped. She’s got her elbows on her knees, her chin on her hands, and she’s smiling at him like she’s got a dirty secret.

It makes it hard to concentrate, but since they’re playing old standards, he doesn’t have to worry about remembering the words. Even the most refined of audiences will sing along with Twist and Shout. Which is good, because what little knowledge of the lyrics he has goes straight to hell when Ally jumps off the stage and starts dancing. Badly.

So. So. So. Very. Badly.

She stays out on the floor, spending all the slow songs at the edge of the stage, staring up at him and batting her eyelashes. He absolutely doesn’t end up singing Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight to her, except how he does. And he only maybe fucks up Do Ya Think I’m Sexy when she starts wolf-whistling at him.

Afterward they get paid, and Ally goes home with him.

And they’re in love.

It’s a good night.

When they get home, she drags him up the stairs and then frowns. “Unlock my door.”

“What?” He moves behind her and presses against her, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing the bare curve of her shoulder.

“I don’t have my purse. Or my key.” Her voice shakes slightly as she tilts her head to the side and offers up all the pale skin of her throat. “So you ha-have to…” She breaks off with a low moan, arching her back so her ass is pressed against his dick. “O-oh.”

He nuzzles the hollow under her ear then nips at her earlobe. His hands slide up her stomach and cup her breasts, squeezing lightly. “This is an ugly, ugly dress.”

“Then unlock the damn door so you can take it off of me.”

“Keys are in my pocket.” He trails kisses back down her neck, nipping and kissing and licking and sucking the skin. “My hands are busy.” He wants to push her dress down, but he contents himself with rubbing his thumbs over her nipples through the fabric.

Ally’s hand slaps at his side then she digs her hand into his pocket. Her fingers brush the hard line of his dick and he groans against her neck. She growls softly then digs in the other pocket, pulling his keys out. Her hand shakes as she unlocks the door.

”Wanna taste you again.”

She shoves the door open and wraps her hands around his wrists, taking them off of her breasts, so she can pull him inside. He kicks the door shut behind them before he hurries down the steps. She heads straight for the bedroom, but stops at the door. She turns around slowly and looks at him for a long time. He wants to squirm, sure that, even now, she finds him lacking.

“What if it’s my turn to kiss you?”

“I… I am completely okay with that. Not a single argument. Boss me around. No. Really. Do that.”

She shakes her head and walks away, falling onto her back on the bed. She waves her fingers at him. “Strip tease.”

He raises his eyebrows, watching her as she scoots up the bed to prop herself up on the pillows. Once she’s settled, he grabs the knot of his tie in one hand, and the ring around his neck with one finger of the other and slowly pulls it down until it falls apart. He leaves it hanging around his neck and grabs the lapels of his jacket.

Ally smiles and rolls her hand in the universal gesture of ‘get the fuck on with it’. He shimmies his hips and his shoulders, teasing the jacket off and back on his shoulders. Ally huffs in annoyance, but he keeps it up, sliding it slowly down his arms and letting it drop down to the floor. His belt is next. His fingers shake as he unbuckles it, but the way Ally shivers from the sound when he pulls it free of the belt loops is worth everything.

He folds it in half and slides the looped end up Ally’s leg to her thigh. He does it to the other one and then lets the leather press against her underwear for just a moment. She hikes her dress up to her hips and he can see that the fabric is wet.

He wraps the belt around her ankle loosely, but it still pulls a low moan out of her. He tugs his tie off and uses it to do the same thing with the other one. She reaches between her legs and rubs herself through her underwear. Colin wants to crawl up there and put his tongue there, but he just licks his lips instead. Ally’s eyes watch the movement, and she presses her fingers harder against herself, slipping beneath the fabric.

Colin unbuttons his shirt as slowly as he can stand, finally getting it undone and letting it hang open so it’s like a frame around his erection in his tented boxer briefs. Ally presses her fingers to her mouth and takes them between her lips, sucking tightly before getting up on her knees and making her way down to the end of the bed.

Colin presses his knees to the mattress and leans in. Ally bites his lower lip then sucks it into her mouth then tugs it with her teeth before letting it go. Then she tilts her head and presses her mouth to his.

She slides her hand around the back of his neck, and he slips his to the small of her back, the other on her hip. It’s soft and light and fucking perfect and then she takes the kiss over, hard and hot and deep. She fucks her tongue into his mouth with the same kind of hunger he’d had when he’d eaten her out.

His cock twitches hard and painful, the head pushing past the waistband of his underwear. He groans as she breaks the kiss, then again as she bites her way down his throat to his shoulder, sinking her teeth into it. “Oh, fuck yes.”

He moves his hand down, pushing up her dress so he can rest it against the curve of her ass. The fabric of her underwear is sheer, raspy against his fingers and he wants to drag it off of her with his teeth. Ally thrusts her ass back against his palm as she works her way across and down his chest.

His whole body jerks as she scrapes one of his nipples with her teeth, and he doesn’t recognize the sound he makes, but it must be good, because then Ally is biting and sucking and tonguing the hard nub until Colin’s pretty sure he’s going to lose consciousness, until he has both hands on her ass, squeezing and caressing and shoving her underwear down so it’s just all skin to skin.

“Ally. Fuck, Ally. Shit.” His head falls back and it’s probably the only thing that saves him from embarrassing himself, because watching her was pushing him too close to the edge. She kisses across his chest and treats his other nipple to the same exquisite punishment until he’s gasping and his cock is dripping down, staining his boxer briefs with pre-come. She finally shows mercy on him, but then she’s mouthing his abs, his side. He’s not sure he’s going to be able to remain upright much longer, and he tries to tell her, but then she grabs his hips and tugs, twisting her position with him so he lands on his back and she’s over him.

She pushes his boxer briefs down and he lifts his hips to help, but she seems to take it as an invitation to take him into her mouth. He hisses because fuck that’s the light scrape of her teeth, but then she’s sucking and stroking, and her hand is wrapped tight around the base. Her other hand curves around his balls.

Whatever lack of skill she said she had seems to have been remedied, because his whole body is caught up in the movement of her mouth. It’s hot and tight and Colin can’t help moaning as she swallows him deeper. The base of his cock is covered in spit, hairs wet from Ally’s mouth, and his balls draw up tight.

“Ally. Al. “m gonna come. Fuck.I’m gonna…” She pulls off just enough to wrap her lips just around the head, sucking harder. Colin shudders as it breaks over him, as the pulse of his orgasm presses against Ally’s tongue.She doesn’t pull back until the tension drains out of him and he slumps back to the bed.

Pulling away, she makes a face and leans over the side of the bed to spit into the trash can. Her nose is wrinkled when she moves back, settling on top of him.

“You know, the warning was so you could pull off.”

“That makes a mess.” She grins. “Of course, if I’m with you, I must love messes, huh?”

He slides his lower lip out into a pout and grabs her hips, tugging lightly. “C’mere.”

“What?” She wriggles slightly and gets back on her knees.

“Closer.” He keeps tugging her and she crawls forward, a smile on her face. Colin shakes his head. “Closer.”

Her knees are against his ribs. “Here?”

His hands slip to her ass and he squeezes. “Nah. Closer.”

Ally smiles and crawls up further. Colin hooks a finger inside Ally’s underwear and pulls it to the side, tilting his head so he can slide his tongue along the seam of her labia. Ally tugs her dress up and off and she’s just in a strapless bra and panties. Holding Colin’s gaze, she reaches for her hip and the small tie there, undoing it so her underwear falls down on his face.

“Holy shit, that’s hot.”

“Pig.” She unties the other side and then pulls the fabric completely out of the way.

He doesn’t answer her except to slide his tongue between her wet lips and press it to her clit. His hands move to cup her ass again, giving her support as he sucks and licks at her. She makes soft mewling noises that only make Colin want to give her more.

He can’t get close enough or deep enough, so he gets one hand between her legs and rubs at the rim of her vagina, slicking up his fingers and her skin, feeling the muscles twitch against his touch. He nips at her clit and, when her body jerks in reaction, he slides two fingers inside her.

“Fuck, yes.” Ally groans and starts thrusting down against his fingers, his tongue. Colin doesn’t stop, just keeps licking at the slick wetness of her, sucking her clit, fucking his fingers up into her. She squeezes around him and the muscles of her thighs clench, her body closing in around him. He slides a third finger in and the sound she makes is muffled by how close he is.

She keeps grinding down, keeps whining and whimpering, begging for more. Colin turns his head just enough to suck at her labia, catching the short blonde hairs in his teeth and tugging. She comes around his fingers, wet and hot, slicking up the way for him to get a fourth finger inside her.

“Colin. Colin. Colin.” She sobbing his name and he moves his head again, this time sliding his tongue up inside her along with his fingers. She coats his tongue and fingers and face, and he doesn’t stop until she grabs his hair and pulls him away. He’s lost count of her orgasms, but he knows they were enough, and it’s been long enough, that his cock is hard again.

She slumps back against him, ass on his chest and her body reclining against his bent legs. Her eyes are hazy and dark, and he can’t help but reach out and run his fingers over her clit again. She spasms above him and catches his hand. She sits up and pulls him up just enough that she can suck his fingers into her mouth.

“Oh shit, I need to fuck you.”

There’s a rush of wet as she sits up, and fuck if that’s not the sexiest and grossest thing ever. Which he’s pretty sure sums up Ally perfectly. She leans over and grabs a condom and moves back to work it onto him. She tugs at the tip slightly and then she sinks down on him.

She rides his dick like she’d ridden his tongue and his fingers. She feels like hell around him, burning him from the inside out, but it’s so fucking good he doesn’t want to ever be anywhere else. He grabs her breasts and pinches her nipples, throwing off her rhythm. She slaps his hands away and glares at him.

Colin laughs and trails his fingers over her stomach, moving one hand to her hips and the other between her legs. She makes a noise as he touches her oversensitive clit, clenching around him and then riding him harder as he plays with it, teases it.

She closes her eyes, her mouth open as she breathes hard. “C’mon,” she says, her voice deep and raspy. “C’mon, Colin. Fuck me. Fuck. Yes. Fuck. Oh, god, yes.”

Her head falls back and Colin grabs her hips, using them to pull her down harder and faster. Her words fade into punched out breathes and then she’s coming again, her back bowed as she squeezes him, muscles spasming and milking his cock as his orgasm hits him hard.

Her arms tremble as she falls forward, bracing herself over him. “Hi.”

He shakes his head, threads his fingers in her hair, and pulls her down to kiss him. “Hi yourself.”

“I’m gonna pass out now.”

“Least let me get the condom off?”

“Mm. That’s your problem. Not mine.”

**

Colin looks up as he hears footsteps coming down the hall. He’s not sure if he hates hospitals or hospital waiting rooms more. Hospitals, at least, seem to have a steady purpose. Waiting rooms are liminal spaces between where life begins and life ends.

“It’s over.” Ally sinks down in the chair next to him. “Finally.”

“It took twenty minutes.”

She gives him a dirty look. “Do you know how long that is when your sister is trying to tear your hand off, yelling at her husband for being the asshole who did this to her, and then screaming for an epidural during every contraction?”

“No.”

“Forever. Longer.” She leans against his shoulder. “Also babies are gross. Red and slimy and ew. And it’s not just the baby. You have to deliver the-” She cuts off when Colin slaps a hand across her mouth.

“Please. Do not say anything further. If you have any positive emotions about me at all. Just… just stop right there.”

She nods and he nods in response and pulls his hand away.

“Placenta. Which is grosser than the baby.”

“Ugh. Ally. Why?”

“Best birth control ever. Seriously. After that, you’re going to be lucky to get that thing near me again.”

“You like that thing near you. You like it a lot.” He grabs her hand and tugs, getting her to stand up and then come over to settle in his lap. “I might go so far as to say that you love that thing near you. Beg for it.”

“I have things that can take its place.”

“I could steal all your batteries.”

“I have fingers.”

“Okay. I’ll just take my thing and do my own thing with it.” He slides his hand up her thigh, soft and light over her blue jeans. “Right next to you, so you can see what you’re missing.”

“They’re not that good looking, if you’re thinking that’s going to be some sort of enticement. Little weird mushrooms.” She wriggles in his lap then lays her head on his shoulder.

“But it’s your weird mushroom that is not little, thank you very much.” He turns his head and presses a kiss to her hair. “You need to hang around?”

“Well, I thought you could come in and meet my niece. She’s loud and likes boobs. You two should get along.” She shrieks as he pinches her side, squirming off his lap and away from him. Colin stands up and takes her hand, letting her lead him down the hallway.

Ally knocks on the door then tugs him inside Daisy’s room. Colin smiles at her, walking over to the bed and dropping a kiss to Daisy’s forehead. “You look beautiful.”

“I look like a sweaty mess.”

“Well, I’m dating Ally, so you know that’s just my type.” Daisy smiles at him. “So I hear you had a kid or something?”

“Yeah. Eddie. Show Colin the proof of how virile you are.” She looks at Colin and smiles. “I’m allowed to say that because I’m on pain meds.”

Eddie comes over, baby in his hands. “This is Beth. Beth, this is Colin. He’s the type of boy your mother and I will warn you about.”

“Awesome, I love it when people talk about me.” His eyes widen as Eddie holds Beth out for Colin to take her. He does, warily and carefully. “I really think this is a bad, bad idea.”

His protests don’t do anything, and he’s had enough practice with his siblings’ kids that holding Beth against his chest and nuzzling her temple is easy, the familiar bouncing sway he learned from his sister-in-law instinctual as he rocks her back and forth. He hears Daisy sigh and he glances over to see that Eddie’s sitting next to her, their foreheads pressed together.

When he looks over at Ally, she’s watching him like he’s something she’s never seen before. “You are a baby whisperer.”

“No. Just a good uncle.”

“You’re going to have to teach me how to do that.” She comes over and stands in front of him, her hand on his arm. She stares down at the baby between them, then looks up and meets Colin’s eyes.

There’s a breathless moment where they stare at each other and then Ally steps back at the same time Colin shakes his head. “Nope. Nope.” He pushes Beth against Ally’s chest and waits until she grabs her on instinct before he back away. “I have to go. Yes. Go. Now.”

He tries to shake off the feeling as he walks back to the waiting room, but the sudden thought of him and Ally and a baby clings like the remnants of a daydream or nightmare. He starts when he feels Ally’s hand slide into his. “That was creepy, right?”

Colin doesn’t have to ask what she means. “So much.”

“I mean, I’m really good with being Aunt Ally.” They’re walking, hand in hand, toward the exit and the parking garage. “I mean, that’s all I want to be. Aunt Ally. I don’t want kids. Not my own.”

“I have fifteen nieces and nephews. I have a feeling the Shea name is going to continue on just fine without me.”

“Not that we’re talking about that.”

“Nope. Not even a little.”

“Because this is all new. And sexy.”

“Don’t worry.” He raises their hands and presses a kiss to Ally’s knuckles. “I have no intention of asking you to marry me.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.” He takes her hand and leads her to the elevator. The ride down is heavy with silence. Colin glances at her and she looks over at him. He shakes his head and leans in, kissing her. “At least not anytime soon.”

She gives him a wide, bright grin and bumps her shoulder into his arm. “Thank god.”

“Plus, you know, you’ve slept with twenty guys. That’s just…”

She punches his arm. “Let’s go get something to eat.”

He opens the car door for her, then shuts it when she’s settled. Walking around, he slides in and gives her a quick look. “You know, Juan Miguel started sleeping with his boss’s wife. And I think she’s the woman that put him up for adoption. We’re on straight-up incest now.”

“I like that their lives are more fucked up than mine.”

“I think I might take offense at that.” He starts the car. “I’m supposed to be your favorite fuck-up.”

“Don’t worry, Colin.” She lays her hand on his arm and looks at him, eyes wide and serious.Her lips dance with a smile. “You absolutely are.”