Lane shoved his hands in his pockets, hooking his thumbs on the outside. "To celebrate your coming back to work. Because you're not dead. Because Daisy wants to see you. Take your pick, really."
Parker narrowed her eyes. Flicked her pen back and forth. A part of her wondered what the catch was. Did he need to butter her up to get some evidence for a case? No. No way in hell after that whole cluster. Not even as a joke. Maybe, instead, he was trying to chip away at those favors he owed her. Regardless, her little red flag monogrammed with Victor Lane's initials shot to the top of its pole.
But what came out of her mouth was, "I'm allergic to tree nuts."
"Not a problem." She hated how sharp his jaw looked when he smiled.
"How about 7:00?"
"7:00 it is."
And 7:00 it was. Daisy attacked her with a hug as soon as she walked through the door. Lane had rolled up his sleeves, not even wearing a tie. After a moment of chit-chat - mostly Daisy recounting her day at school and explaining her hierarchy of crayon colors - they all sat down to a plate of... Well, Lane told her what it was called, but after two bites in, she completely forgot. Some kind of pasta with a green sauce.
"This one won't eat anything green unless it looks like it crawled out of a nuclear plant," said Lane, nodding to Daisy.
"By that logic, you should love pistachio ice cream! I don't get it!"
Bottom line: it was delicious. And the three of them sat at the table for about another hour after everyone stopped eating. Her hand kept landing on Lane's arm whenever Daisy said something funny. But really, that was his fault for keeping his arm within range anyway.
The dishes made their way into the sink, and the group made their way into the living room for a Mousetrap tournament. Parker had terrible luck in the first two games, and by the third, Daisy drooped against Lane with heavy eyes.
"I think it's time for somebody to go to bed," he murmured into her hair.
Daisy groaned. "Five more minutes."
"I thought you wanted to go to the park tomorrow. Don't you wanna get a good night's sleep?"
Her eyes opened a little at that, and she rolled herself off the couch.
Parker opened her arms for a hug, which Daisy gladly accepted.
"G'night, Daisy. I had so much fun." Her voice dropped to a stage whisper. "But I'm expecting a rematch. I almost had you there!"
Daisy giggled. "'Night, Lily."
"Okay. Go get your pajamas on." Lane patted her on the back, and she wobbled down the far hallway.
The silence she left behind was so comfortable, Parker didn't even realize just how much until Lane broke it.
"Now that it's just us, can I offer you a drink?"
She looked up at him to answer, but something inside her tugged on a thread. She knew Lane. That was a clear fact. She knew Lawyer Lane. She knew Smarmy Guy at the Bar Lane. She knew Crime Scene Lane. And she knew Father Lane. But the Lane before her - leaning against the couch with his dumb exposed arms she touched at least twice - he was all of those personas and none of them at the same time. She had only seen that once before, and...
Well, she had been very sad and very drunk. That didn't count.
This felt like new territory, even though it absolutely wasn't. Still, with her deep well of Victor Lane knowledge, she assumed she could handle it. Hell, she'd done a pretty good job of handling Lane for the past year they'd known each other. So she half-rolled her shoulders in a little shrug and said, "I wouldn't say no to a sip of bourbon."
"You read my mind."
He ducked into his office where he kept the drinks cart. Meanwhile, she started pulling the mess of plastic pieces off the game board to put back in the box. For all the things that changed since she was a kid, Mousetrap still looked pretty much the same.
"Oh, don't even bother," Lane said, now carrying two glasses. "She'll want to play again in the morning, and it's such a headache anyway."
"Girl's got her priorities straight," Parker hummed, taking one of the glasses and clinking the other. "Cheers."
His bourbon still went down the buttery, slow release she remembered.
"Daddy! I'm ready!"
"Wow. That was just a sip."
Lane chuckled, securing his drink on a coaster. "I'll just be a minute."
Parker nodded, watching him disappear down the hall. It took all of ten seconds for her curiosity to get the better of her, and she trotted after him.
Keeping a polite distance from the open door, she spotted Daisy tucked into her fluffy pink bed with Lane leaning over her.
"You need your fan on?"
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you, too. I like it when Lily comes over."
"Yeah. I like it, too." He kissed her forehead. "Now get some sleep."
Daisy closed her eyes, snuggling deeper into her pillow.
Lane caught Parker's gaze as he rose to his feet - not that she really tried to hide it. Her cheeks began to ache from smiling at the damn cuteness of it all. Where normally Lane would throw her a dry smirk, he simply maintained that soft grin and expertly shut the door so the latch barely made a sound.
"Daisy's got a good dad."
"Is that so? I should meet the guy. Send him some flowers. Or maybe a fruit basket."
Parker stifled a giggle.
"Aw, damn. The dishes. I almost forgot." He marched right past the living room into the kitchen. Threw a dishtowel over his shoulder. Wedged the plug into the drain and turned on the water.
Oh, no, he didn't. Parker slid up beside him and yanked the towel off.
"What are you doing?"
"Helping you with the dishes? What does it look like?"
"Lily, you're a guest."
"Oh, please. It'll be faster if I help."
"But you don't have to."
"Well, let me put it another way. I am not just going to stand here and watch you wash dishes. I need something to do." She slapped the towel into her palm like a whip to prove her point.
Lane just chuckled, low and warm, apparently given up. "I wash, you dry?"
"Since we're here."
He handed her the saucepan that simmered on the stove when she first arrived. That same deceptively comfortable silence crept back in while they worked. At least for a minute or two.
"So..." The pitch of his voice curved, like he couldn't figure out how to start the next topic. "How's Andrew?"
Ah. And with good reason. With a breath, Parker focused intently on scrubbing the plate with her towel. Soaking up all the little water droplets. A weight sank slowly into her chest.
"Fine, all things considered. I went to go see him yesterday."
"I didn't hear what the sentence ended up being."
"Three years." She swallowed. Scratched at a bump on the plate with her fingernail. "I told him I could try and put in a good word with the DA. But he said he'd ride it out. You missed a spot."
Lane dug the sponge into it over her shoulder. She wiped the new soap off and stacked it.
"Okay. One nosy question deserves another."
"I don't think that's the phrase," Lane smirked.
"How'd you learn to cook like this?"
"Is that a genuine question?"
"Yes! You're not a gourmet but you're a wide step from typical bachelor cuisine. And you just don't seem the type." Although the sleeves certainly helped the image. (Jesus, Parker, stop thinking about his goddamn arms.)
Lane stared into the middle distance as he ran clean water over the next plate.
"Honestly, it was the first year after Rose." Anyone but her wouldn't even notice how he struggled to put a period on that sentence. "Had a lot of free time since I couldn't work, so I made myself useful. Plus, a toddler in the produce section is unbelievably fun."
Parker hummed a content little noise. "I'll take your word for it." She ran the towel along a plate's rim and stacked it. "Is that the last one?"
"Yep. We're good to go." Lane pulled up the drain plug, and the soapy water gurgled and swirled down into nothing. Meanwhile, he snatched back the towel and blotted his hands.
She snorted as soon as he looked at her. It came on so fast, she couldn't even attempt to hold it back.
"You've, uh...got some suds behind your ear," she said through a toothy smile, miming the location on herself.
Lane rubbed the side of his neck that mirrored her. "Right here?"
"No, other side. Here--" Taking half a step closer, Parker reached up and swiped at the little cluster of bubbles. With her thumb. Right under his ear. Where she could feel his pulse. And only when it was too late did she realize this may not be the smartest decision.
Lane's eyes shifted in a way she didn't recognize. Or maybe she did but just didn't want to put a name to it. Were either of them still breathing? When did they stop breathing? She crossed something. She made a mistake. Jesus.
She moved to pull her hand away - to pull her whole body away - but he caught her wrist before she could. He was a large man, so naturally his hands dwarfed her own. Fingertips slightly dry from the dishwater, but not unpleasantly so.
Lane's eyes shifted again, softening like butter on a hot day. Staring right into hers. Unapologetically. She forced herself to take a breath, but it came through shaky and shallow.
"Lily..." he started, but it drifted off so naturally as if her name was a complete thought. His thumb brushed against the back of her hand. "God, I...it took you almost dying for me to realize how much I need you. How pathetic is that?"
Something swelled in her chest. Something fluttery and solid at the same time. And not that she didn't suspect before, but it finally hit over her head what this moment was.
This was him crossing it. That fence she built between them. Or maybe it was her crossing it. Or maybe they were both tearing it down together, piece by piece, splinter by splinter. Or maybe they had been slowly tearing it down over the past few months and this was the final stake in the ground. She just didn't realize how easy it was to remove.
Parker swallowed, mouth dry.
"Just as pathetic as I am." Her breath carried only a wisp of voice, but it rang like a clock tower between them. The very limited space between them, mind you. Her free hand twitched when she realized the very air she breathed was, in actuality, his.
"Oh, Jesus, just--"
Lily Parker never claimed to be a patient woman. Not once in her life. And here was this man - this infuriating, sharp, generous, and yes, she admitted it, attractive man - confessing to the same realization she had...
Waking up from the shock of the bullet, all she wanted was Victor's voice in her ear. His shoulder underneath her palm.
She didn't allow herself to wait any longer. She grabbed the back of his neck, pushed up on her toes (she had to, he was so damn tall), and kissed him.
Lane responded immediately, slotting their mouths against each other like a two-part lock. His hands anchored onto her hips. Her tongue brushed his bottom teeth.
Without even thinking, Parker unzipped her jacket and let it fall on the tile with a low rustle. Her hands shot up again and carded roughly through his hair, breaking up whatever rich boy product he used to slick it back. That triggered a moan - from him - and it vibrated her mouth in such a way it almost tickled, and she had to moan right back to keep herself from laughing.
They were a lot. Make no mistake, each of them was already a lot separately. But together, they were so much more of a lot. An electricity brewed between them, winding around and around in the generator with no place to go in a hurry. Crackling, buzzing, heaving. Or maybe that was Parker's own breath picking up a decent pace.
On the next inhale, Lane's hands snaked up and across her back, folding her into him. Their kiss had yet to completely break. Parker thought she could feel a small leaf of cilantro stuck in his teeth. Which, weirdly, only turned her on more.
But in one swoop, he hoisted her up to sit on the counter, and she lost purchase on his mouth in transit. So she allowed herself to open her eyes.
The clean and collected Victor Lane was quickly coming undone - both figuratively and literally as she grabbed at the hem of his shirt. A lock of black hair toppled deliciously across his brow, and his eyes...Jesus, his eyes. The blue darkened into an intense, stormy gray focused on her and only her.
Feeling she was a secure on the counter - by way of his hands just grazing the edge of her bottom and sending sparks underneath the fabric of her jeans - he scrambled for the buttons at the top of his shirt. After a charged moment, their hands met in the middle. His hands burned her in the best way. She pushed the shirt off his shoulders, and he tugged it the rest of the way down his arms.
"Wow..." Now, there were a lot of things she could say about Victor Lane's naked torso. Namely, he wasn't obscenely muscular, but still had no business being that muscular as a lawyer. And the distance across his shoulders made her want to run track for the first time since junior high. But what she chose to say what, "Your neck is really long."
Lane kind of froze, and if it wasn't for his smile and still stormy eyes, she would have thought she killed the mood.
"What?" he wheezed.
"I mean, your collars are always up to here, and with the tie and everything...!"
"Thank you for not mentioning that in the mud bath. That would have really bruised my ego."
The thought of that dumb mud bath brought on a new slew of electric thoughts, and she spread her legs enough for Lane's hips to fit solidly against her. (He had those indents in his hips, and she could have just killed him for it.) They kissed again. She reached up and mapped the expanse of his back. He sucked her bottom lip and her leg twitched like he pressed a secret button.
"Let's examine your neck while we're at it, shall we?" he murmured against her skin, against the curve of her jaw.
"Oh God, I'm never gonna live that down, am I?"
"Hm mm." His voice vibrated against her again, and her nails scraped back up his scalp.
Lips and tongue exploring, he found another of her buttons - the place on the column of her throat that made her head tilt back. Not to mention the pathetic little whine that came along with it. Her hollow, her collarbone, down to the neckline of her tank top and the small crease of exposed cleavage. As soon as he touched it, she bunched up the fabric and pulled it over her head without a word. Every inch of her skin burned, singed under that current of electricity. Ready to be touched by his hands. His mouth. His everything.
Screw the fence.
But when she pushed her ponytail back over her shoulder and refocused, Lane stood terribly still. The storm in his eyes cooled and focused on...her bra? No. His hand - still blazing warm - gently stroked across her stomach. She looked down.
The bandage. The bandage covering her scar. A couple more days and she wouldn't need it anymore, and there would only be the scar. The scar that proved she'd taken a bullet for him. If she wasn't a cop, she might roll her eyes at the cliché.
She looked back up. Sandwiched his now shaking hand with her own, the other cupping his cheek.
"Victor. I'm okay. I'm right here."
His gaze snapped up like she'd broken some spell on him. Then he combed the flyaways back from her face and kissed her. Just as electric, but different this time. Tender and urgent all at once. He was just a constant mix of so many things, it made her dizzy. Or maybe that was the weight leaning against her hips.
"Where won't she hear us?" she whispered into the shell of his ear.
A heavy breath. Then, "My office."
"You gonna have your way with me on your big important desk?"
"Something like that."
"Go get a condom. I'll meet you there."
I thought I was done with this piece, but then I got inspired by a comment I got and had to keep going further. (The truly explicit stuff is only in chapter 3, for anyone who's not interested.) So Sandrine, if you're still out there, this one's for you!
Lily closed the office door behind her, the wood providing a surprisingly cool balm to the fiery skin of her bare back. Her breath came heavy. She pressed her palms to her cheeks, fingers covering her eyes. If she wasn't still feeling the ghost of his touch, she would have giggled.
What the hell was she doing?
Finally taking the opportunity to look up, she realized she had never been in Lane's home office before. It wasn't dissimilar to the office he kept further in the city, but this one was smaller. Cozier. A converted spare bedroom, from the look of it. Big wooden bookshelves covered most of the walls, stuffed with law books and various non-fiction titles. And though she had made the comment about his "big, important desk" in the first place, she was pleasantly relieved to find he had a small leather couch in here as well.
Lily took off her boots. Perched on the couch's armrest. Then immediately stood back up and began pacing around the room. Tapping book spines. Squeezing the back of his desk chair. Her body was nothing but a bundle of nerves and blood pumping against her ears. They'd only separated a moment ago, but it felt desperately longer.
This did not feel like her life. Walking around shirtless in Victor Lane's apartment. In his office. Where his sleeping daughter couldn't hear. Was she crazy? She hadn't done anything like this since college. But the fence wasn't there anymore. Lane was no longer off limits. Somewhere between that first case and her jumping in front of that bullet, Victor Lane had wriggled his way under her ribcage and between her lungs. And against all her preconceived notions, she liked the way he felt there.
She looked up through the loose hair that had fallen in front of her face.
A framed picture sat on Lane's desk: Daisy, himself, and a blonde woman snuggled on the front steps of the apartment building. Rose. Smiling, bright, beautiful. Leaning against Lane's arm and holding Daisy tight.
Lily swallowed. Her skin went cold.
What the hell was she doing?
The handle turned as soon as the nausea rolled inside her stomach. She pushed upright.
And there stood Lane, also shirtless, a little blue package pinched between his fingers. The smile he wore gave him a breathless beauty. In such a simple way, all the hardness about him softened and the softness about him sharpened.
But his smile fell after he took one step into the room and properly looked at her.
Suddenly, she felt naked for all the wrong reasons.
"Maybe this isn't a good idea..." she mumbled, weaving around the desk and willfully ignoring the thinning of her breath.
"Wait. Lily." He stepped in front of the door so she couldn't leave without touching him. Which was simultaneously all and the exact opposite of what she wanted. She settled for resting her hands on her hips. "What's going on?"
"Look, what I did back there..." She could barely even look him in the eye without his late wife's face from the photograph staring back at her. So she picked a spot over his shoulder. But that just filled her mind with the shapes of his taut muscles under her fingers as they made out on his kitchen counter like a couple of teenagers. "It was a lapse in judgement. I lost my cool--"
Lane's eyes hardened back to something more familiar but not as pleasant.
"A 'lapse in judgement?' What does that mean?"
Lily shrugged. It meant what he thought it meant (though jury was out if she actually meant it).
"It was a mistake? Is that what you're saying? Why--" He lifted the wrapper a bit and she thought he was about to launch into a cross-examination.
"No! It--listen..." She took a half step forward in spite of herself. "You're feeling vulnerable. I get it. I was, too. But if this is gonna happen, I want it to happen for real. Okay? I'm not one of your little weekend conquests. I'm not whatever you and Stella had--"
(Okay, maybe that was a bit low. She really didn't know a lot about what happened with them, but her view was blurred by what she now understood as jealousy.)
"Whoa, where is this coming from--"
"I'm not Rose, Lane."
And whether it was bringing up his late wife out of the blue, or going back to using his surname, or a combination of the two, she couldn't tell, but the steely blue embers in his eyes cooled to coals.
Lily couldn't believe she was having this conversation in her bra.
Lane took another small step, now somewhere between polite distance and too close for comfort.
"No. You're not." He said it so plainly, she could barely read him. "Do you want to leave?"
She hugged her sides, suddenly cold despite burning up only minutes ago.
"I want you in this for me. I need you in this for me."
He cupped his hands on her bare shoulders.
"I'm not attracted to you because you remind me of Rose. And you mean so much more to me than a notch in my bedpost. When I said I needed you, I meant it." His eyes drifted down to her bandage again, heavy. "I would've gone crazy without you."
Something swirled through her stomach, up to her chest, and back again, rooting her feet to the floor. So used to his verbal tricks at this point - the dance he could play both in and out of court - she heard the words he edged around. The words he wasn't ready to say, wasn't ready to give, but still felt nonetheless. And she wouldn't ask for them. Not until he was ready. But even the fact she could tell there were on the table at all...she didn't take that lightly.
His fingers flexed just an inch. "I'd like to prove it...if I can. But I won't force you to do anything you don't want to. And if you want to leave, I won't stop you."
Before she could reason with herself, Lily grabbed him by the hips and pulled her lower half flush against him. Stared up to meet his eyes hard. But this wasn't her consent. Not yet.
"I can't replace her, Victor," she said, an alarming majority of her mind dedicated to keep her voice steady. "I need you to understand that."
His Adam's apple wobbled. Then he nodded.
"I know. I'd never want you to." He leaned down, nearly touching his forehead to hers. "I just want you. Just Lily Parker."
At the sound of her full name on his tongue, strained in that delicately heady way that could only be from her proximity, she grabbed his face and kissed him. Tried to replicate that tender but intense thing he had given her while touching her bandage, but mostly focused on just kissing him.
This man. Jesus Christ, this man.
EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT BEYOND THIS POINT. This is your final warning! (GameHouse, forgive me for ruining your beautiful story with my smut, but also y'all really brought this upon yourselves.)
As soon as their lips touched, Victor's hands circled her entire back and held her as close as possible. They lit fire on her skin, and Lily's hips swung forward trying to pull herself even closer.
She lost her balance and stumbled back to catch herself, pulling Victor along. But he just walked her further until her hips bumped against a table and lifted her up onto it. (So that was clearly something he liked. She filed it away in her mental Victor Lane folder.)
He broke apart the kiss with a gasp and moved down to her neck. Her shoulder. Her chest. He didn't discriminate. Everywhere his mouth touched, he was tender and appreciative. She just dragged her fingernails across his scalp and hiked one leg up to his waist, lost in the feeling.
His nose nuzzled into the valley of her breasts, and she ripped the bra down instantly at the touch. Hitting the cool air, her nipples puckered, and Victor was all too happy to work them the rest of the way. Still gentle. Almost reverent. She wasn't used to it. Most of her history was made up of feverish, straight-to-the-point rub downs with her clothes still on. But hell, there was a first time for everything.
"You like a little teeth?" he mumbled, gazing up at her from under his lashes with a look that made her furious in the best way.
He rolled and flicked her nipple between his front teeth and her head fell back again. He'd found another one of her damn buttons. He was getting too good at this. Too powerful. She needed an edge. So she wrapped both her legs around his stupid little hips with those stupid little indents, and dragged her fingernails up and down his spine with purpose. They weren't very long, so she couldn't do much real damage, but the little hitch in his breath did not go unnoticed.
He kissed her again - more tongue than lips this time - while slowly working his hands up and down her thighs. They reached the waistband of her jeans and he hooked a finger inside, right over her button, just up to the knuckle. Not even touching her underwear. Playful. Teasing. But also a silent question.
She undid the button and zipper. Then lifted her hips while he slid the fabric off. Had she known this is where she'd be ending up tonight, she probably would have shaved her legs. Probably would have shaved a lot of things. Victor was a very clean-cut guy; he probably liked his partners the same way. But if he was bothered by the hair, he didn't say anything. Just caressed the newly exposed skin with his red-hot palms, pressing a long kiss to her shoulder.
Lily wet her lips. She expected her underwear to go next, but instead he scooched her up and onto her feet again.
He spun around so he leaned against the table, her back to his front. One large, steady hand across her stomach kept her there, pressed against him and why the hell was he still wearing pants.
His other hand stroked the upper crease of her thigh, very clear where it wanted to go beyond that.
"Is this okay?" he murmured over her shoulder, and she heard it again. The warble of his lust. The clear indication he wasn't as cool and collected as he so desperately wanted to be. It did truly sick things to her.
She latched onto the wrist across her stomach. "Yeah."
He pressed his lips against the side of her face - less a kiss and more anchoring himself - while he began stroking her over her panties. They were already damp, and her hips bucked a little the moment he touched her. She wanted to curse herself for it, but the thought evaporated as quickly as it came, and she merely sunk into her pose.
He thumbed the top edge of her panties. "Do you--"
"Get in there. Please."
Lily turned her head enough to find him smiling, his dimples easy to see in this light. His mussed black hair draped over his forehead in that classically-beautiful-but-disheveled way. Then he sucked two of his fingers into his mouth. And God almighty, she hated how much she liked it.
"On the contrary." And he dipped his fingers below her panties.
Her hips bucked again, but she resolved, possibly squeezing him a little too tight. She felt him shudder behind her, and he eased into long, controlled strokes. Then started circling - a little high at first, but his batting average had been suspiciously high up to that point, so she could forgive him. And she guided his wrist to where she needed him.
Just when she was settling into the sensation, one of those fingers curled up and inside her.
"Fuck." It came out so matter-of-factly and almost a little too loud. Her head swam.
"I'm fine." Yes, she'd been fingered before. She'd just never done it standing up with her partner from behind. The difference was surprisingly palpable. But it also felt amazing. "Keep going. Please."
Slowly, he began to draw in and out - tantalizing but still infuriatingly gentle. At her urging, he slid in a second finger. She needed to feel that stretch, that almost too much. Eventually, he found a steady rhythm and she shifted back against him...but the cold shape of his belt buckle distracted her.
"Take your damn pants off."
"I want this to be for you," he purred.
She clawed dumbly at the back of his neck. "Your belt's digging into me. Besides, I wanna feel you..."
He sighed right against her face - hot and sticky and obscenely delicious. Still keeping one hand down her panties, he made enough room between them so she could do the honors. Reaching behind her was a little awkward, but Lily couldn't imagine moving from this position. His fingers filling her, but not pumping at the moment - more like caressing her from the inside out.
She slipped his belt out of its loops and unfastened his pants. Victor had to yank them down the rest of the way and kick them off. He still had on his underwear, but oh, it didn't leave much to the imagination. His hardness throbbed against her, pressed just into the crevice of her ass cheeks. And the fact that she was the cause made her lightheaded.
"Better?" he breathed, shifting against her with intention.
She nodded, clutched the back of his neck again and squeezed, unable to form words.
He started pumping her again, working back up to speed, and she rocked against him in return. Her hand reached back to grab the table for support as she subconsciously spread her legs wider, and he used the opportunity to grab her breast. They worked faster and sloppier, with each of her little gasps becoming more voiced.
A flash of warmth zinged through her whole body. Her eyes flew open.
"Wait--" Lily's voice popped like a strangled bubble. She grabbed Victor's wrist and eased herself off him.
His face lost some color with a grave expression. That was fear. He thought he'd done something wrong. She flexed her fingers through his hair.
"I just don't recover well. And if I'm gonna come tonight, I want you inside me."
Victor sucked in a breath, and the flush returned to his cheeks. Another throb against her lower back.
"The one-shot-one-kill type. Good to remember." He spun her around, captured her mouth again almost with a growl, and scooped her into his arms. She mewled in turn at a high pitch that didn't sound like her voice, with her sensitive center pressed against his firm torso.
He dropped her onto the couch, then immediately dropped his underwear. Right in front of her. But before she could do anything, he backed up to grab the condom he'd dropped on the floor.
In the meantime, though, she ripped off her own panties and curled up her legs so Victor couldn't see anything as he rolled the condom onto himself. Even she could tell his throat was dry from the way he looked at her.
He bent down, getting in place to straddle her--
--but she grabbed his wrists and flipped him down onto the other end of the couch.
"My turn, she whispered, spitting on her hand and gently working the length of him.
Victor groaned, staring at her in open fascination.
By all accounts, she should have been exhausted at this point, with everything that happened. The dinner, their confession, her freak out. Instead, she felt liberated. Confident. Drunk on the very air in the room. But more than anything, she felt...safe. That even if she shattered and fell apart, he would be there with a wry smile to hold her pieces together until she recovered. Lily hadn't felt that in a long time, and it hadn't occurred to her how much she missed it.
So she spread her legs, firm and grounded on either side of him, and eased him up into her.
His breath was already coming in gulps. He gnashed his bottom lip between his teeth, tensing his limbs to stone.
"That feel okay?" she asked, reaching for his shoulders.
He swallowed. Nodded. "It feels amazing."
"Same here." And it did. She silently thanked herself for having the foresight to tell him to stop. As great as the fingering felt, no part of her wanted to miss this tonight. Not least of all, the look on Victor's face realizing he was no longer the one in control.
He anchored his hands onto her hips. She leaned in close.
And she began to rock.
Already slick and warm from his earlier work, she took him so easily. His hips bucked up to meet her, but she squeezed him and ground down hard, reminding him this was her show. They breathed curses and compliments onto each other's skin. He pressed a hand over her bandage and she sucked on his mouth.
That same zing of warmth hit her, and this time her body took over without much thought. She rocked faster, took him deeper. Her voice fizzled out, silent and breathless. And just when she thought she couldn't feel anything, she felt everything. A gasp pulled out of her, lungs burning from the force of it. She fell against him, twitching, and he pushed the stray hair out of her face and held her tight.
"Lily--" he croaked. He still needed help.
Dizzy and primal, she un-straddled herself from him and took him into her mouth.
Jesus Christ, the man kept flavored condoms. She could kill him with her bare hands.
Nevertheless, she worked him quickly and fully as she could. The leather couch squeaked as he tried to fist the cushions, tipping his head back. He jerked, voice shaky and indistinct. And when she pulled back, the tip of the condom was filled.
Victor just sat there, panting, only moving to run his hands down his face. Lily knew hers was buzzing. And for once, not in the bad way, either. She flopped next to him on the empty side of the couch. Pried one of his hands away and squeezed it.
Victor smiled and tried to shrug it off, but only sunk deeper into the couch, giggling. Actually giggling. And Lily found herself giggling, too.
She touched his jaw and kissed him - light and shallow, since both of them still needed to catch their breath, but enough.
Everything about them was enough.
She didn't argue afterwards when he led her into his bedroom and snuggled under the blanket with her. And he didn't argue when she tangled her unshaven legs between his. They could worry in the morning about collecting their clothes and getting her out before Daisy woke up. Right now, Lily just wanted to lie on his side of the fence, with him on her side, and nothing in between them.