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John was eating a bowl of ice cream when he wandered to the doorway of the bedroom. Even though it was after 9 it was the middle of June, so it wasn't entirely dark outside yet. He'd been doing some stuff in the backyard all afternoon, getting ready to install a deck for Elizabeth after she'd mentioned in the spring how she had been meaning to get to it for several years. She apparently had a kink for manual laborers she hadn't told him about, because a while ago they had been sharing a rather intimate encounter on the kitchen counter, even though he was worried about getting her nice clothes messed up by the dirt all over him. Elizabeth hadn't cared as much, since she had been the one to practically jump him in spite of him being dirty and sweaty. When they had both recovered enough to move, Elizabeth had sent him off to shower while she put their half-eaten Chinese food away.

Now Elizabeth was sitting on the bed after her shower, the ceiling fan blowing the wet curls of her hair slightly. She was wearing a tank top that was so old the design on the front had faded completely and a pair of loose blue boxer shorts, massaging lotion into the soles of her feet. Her cheeks were a little pink from the shower, and her expression suggested she was a million miles away.

It struck him then that she managed somehow to be the sexiest thing he'd ever seen without any of the usual trappings. And that wasn't just afterglow from the kitchen talking. She didn't wear really revealing clothes, though being a law school dean was part of that. She didn't have a drawer full of racy lingerie. Even her bras were more about comfort than intended to arouse him (though that hardly mattered, since Elizabeth without a shirt was enough to get him going). She didn't wear heavy amounts of makeup or perfume. True, she could drive him crazy almost at will, but in all honesty their behavior towards each other wasn't all that different from what it had been before they started dating seven months ago. Well, with the obvious exceptions: she was in her pajamas, and he was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts and an old t-shirt that he'd gotten from the drawer where a bunch of his stuff had migrated, they had had sex twice today and they were going to sleep in that bed together tonight.

He'd told himself right after they finally acknowledged that they weren't "just friends" that he had to try and forget the previous four years of fantasies about her because the real thing wasn't going to be able to measure up. He had been right, in a way. Sleeping with Elizabeth wasn't like his fantasies exactly. It was so much better. Instead of having to ignore the bitterness that always arrived after even the hottest fantasy, now he could tighten his arms and feel Elizabeth plastered against his body after they made love. He could press his nose against her hair or her skin and breathe her in and know it was real, that this relationship was the real thing. Nothing in his life was ever going to be better than this.

That idea didn't scare him like he would have expected.

Elizabeth interrupted his basking, eyebrow raised. "Enjoying the show?"

He smirked, taking another spoonful of ice cream and then using the spoon to point at her attire. "What's not to like?"

She rolled her eyes, but she also looked a little pleased. John offered her some of the ice cream, feeling a familiar heat starting to stir from watching her lips close around the spoon. Her eyes closed for a moment as she savored the chocolate and his heart felt like it skipped a beat.

Maybe, he thought, the truth was he just wanted her so much he didn't care about any of that other stuff. Just seeing her was enough to make him hot, because some part of him was still amazed that she was with him at all.

He ate another bite and then gave her the last of the ice cream. Elizabeth put the bottle of lotion back on the nightstand and he put the bowl down on the floor, knowing Sedge would take care of cleaning it at some point. Elizabeth must have sensed where his thoughts were going, because when he leaned in and kissed her, she let him maneuver them so that they were lying down on the bed side by side.

Her fingernails scratched his back lightly and he groaned softly. She had an uncanny ability to use just the right amount of pressure to give him goose bumps. He tugged her a little closer, letting her intertwine their legs and enjoying the feeling of her smooth skin between his thighs, especially when she brushed up against the growing hardness in his boxers. He kissed her cheek and then jaw, nuzzling along her neck while his hands caressed her backside.

But Elizabeth propped herself up on one arm, pulling away from him though she didn't stop scratching his back. "What were you thinking about?"

He should have known she wasn't going to let that go. Keeping his face neutral, he said, "I was wondering why you don't have any fancy lingerie to sleep in."

Elizabeth froze for a second. "Oh really? How do you know I don't?"

He affected a pout. "You're holding out on me?"

Abruptly he was on his back with Elizabeth straddling his hips and making his eyes roll back when she rubbed lightly against his erection. "Why break out the big guns when I don't need them to hold your attention?"

He grasped her hips, trying to tug her down and get more contact but she planted her hands on his shoulders and wouldn't move. Irked, he shot back, "Hey, everyone enjoys a little variety now and then."

She frowned. "Doing it on the kitchen counter in full view of the backyard isn't variety enough for you?"

He couldn't help the expression of blissful satisfaction on his face and Elizabeth cracked up, the sudden tension between them breaking. "Elizabeth, I'm going to be reliving that Encounter on the Counter for years," he told her.

She grinned. "Well. Nice to know I haven't entirely lost my touch."

His fingers slipped up under her boxers and found nothing but skin, since she wasn't wearing any underwear. "Hey, I wasn't complaining, just making an observation."

He was gratified that her voice became slightly breathless. "So, if I surprised you on your birthday in a see-through bra and a garter belt, you wouldn't care?"

His free hand tugged the strap of her tank top off her shoulder and he mouthed kisses along her collar bone and up her neck. "I wouldn't go that far." Their lips met in a fevered kiss and the conversation lagged for several minutes as they stripped each other out of their clothes hastily. She snagged his boxers after pulling them off and held them up.

"By the way, these ratty boxers aren't exactly from the Playgirl catalogue, you know. While we're on the subject of alluring clothing." She tossed the worn piece of clothing over her shoulder and crawled up his body.

"You told me the t-shirt was cuddly," he reminded her. "Besides, I never said the tank top wasn't alluring." They were both naked now. Elizabeth kneeled over him again and he stroked up and down her back with both hands, making her arch into his touch even as her fingers toyed with him. "Mostly I was contemplating how you've managed to regress me to an insatiably horny teenager," he managed to murmur. "Even after six months."

She chuckled, covering his groan as her body sank down. "I was never this horny, not even as a teenager," she told him.

It took a moment for his hormone-fogged brain to parse that statement. He cupped the back of her neck. "Really?"

Elizabeth nodded. Her eyes were wide open and he could see everything she was feeling plain as day. And it was all for him.

His arms crushed her down against him. They moved together languidly at first. It was the third time today, but it was still almost unbearably sweet watching Elizabeth as he made love to her, feeling and seeing the way she responded to his touch. He figured his own feelings were pretty obvious as well, especially when he moaned out her name at the end.

Elizabeth managed to settle herself only half on top of him and John tugged the light blanket at the foot of the bed up to cover them as they cooled off. He felt ready for a ten hour nap after all the physical exertion of the day. He kissed her forehead and Elizabeth let out a little sigh. "You know, now that I think about it, I guess my libido does kick up a notch during the summer."

He groaned. "It's not even 4th of July yet."

She nodded, adding innocently, "Yep. When the weather gets really hot, sometimes I don't bother with pajamas." She shifted her body against his side, reminding him that she was currently naked.

John closed his eyes. "You're going to be the death of me."

"Even without the sexy lingerie?" she teased. He was not going to be hearing the end of that one for a while.

It was a little low, but John pounced on her and started tickling anyway to get her to change the subject. If he had been a teenager, he might have used the subsequent wrestling match as a lead-in for round four, but instead his tired muscles protested fast. They settled into the bed, John spooned up against Elizabeth's back, one leg between hers and his arm wrapped tightly around her middle. He pressed a kiss against the nape of her neck, and Elizabeth snuggled absently against him, sending one last spark through his body before she fell asleep.

John reflected that it might be just as well to leave things alone. If Elizabeth appeared before him in a garter belt, they'd never leave her bedroom again.