Eric yawned as he closed the door behind their last guest, shaking his head at the silliness of his family and the friends that had stopped by. Every one of them had some memory from the years of knowing Stephanie and Eric, all of which had been a crazy one at the insistence of Felicia. He smiled as he thought about their baby. She was busy being a mother and a business woman, and he knew that Stephanie was very proud of her, just as he was. It had been wonderful to see her since it was very rare for her to have time to come home.
After locking the door, he turned back into the house, looking around at the flowers that had been left behind. Rick had been right, they were the only couple who could get married one week and celebrate an anniversary the next. Of course, if they were to count all the anniversaries they had, they’d practically be having an anniversary celebration every month. Which, he chuckled to himself, could be a good thing if the mood Stephanie had been in tonight was any indication.
Going through the house, turning off lights and closing doors, he slowly made his way upstairs after setting the alarm. He expected to find Stephanie already asleep, but instead found their room empty. Frowning he went to the bathroom, but found the door open, the room dark. “Where in the world has my wife disappeared to?” he wondered then smiled when he spotted the note she’d left for him on her pillow. “Meet me at the pool,” he read, his eyebrow quirking at what she could possibly be up to.
Noticing that the suit Stephanie had worn was lying across the chaise by the window, Eric’s eyes widened, wondering if she was waiting for him wearing, he shook his head. No, surely not. But as soon as he’d thought that, he found her other note.
“Change clothes for a swim.”
Heart racing, Eric hurriedly changed clothes, wrapping his robe around him as he made his way down the stairs and out to the pool, stopping at the sight that greeted him. Candles were flickering in different places around the pool area, soft music filtering out of the small radio she’d placed on the table. He could see her standing, watching him, waiting for him to join her. “Stephanie,” he breathed as he reached her, getting a better view of what she was wearing.
Stephanie smiled up at him. “Yes, Honey?”
“You’re wearing the black one,” he whispered, reaching out to trace the path the neckline took.
She nodded, her words a bit breathless. “Because you like me in black.”
Nodding, he moved closer. “I do,” he whispered. “Very much.”
Reaching out, she untied his robe, smiling when she saw that he was wearing the swim trunks that fit him just a bit too tight. The ones she had always made him wear when they’d gone swimming before things had gone so crazy in their lives. “My favorites,” she breathed, her finger tracing around the waistband.
Eric shivered from her touch. It was light as a whisper, the kind of touch she knew turned him on. Letting his head fall back, he closed his eyes as he concentrated on the feel of her soft fingers moving to his chest. It had been so long since she’d seduced him like this, that he was struggling to keep himself in check.
Making circles around a flat nipple, Stephanie smiled when Eric moaned and shivered. Pressing her body against his, she caressed his face, smiling up at him when he tilted his head down to look at her. “Swim with me,” she whispered.
The spark in her eyes, the sultry sound of her husky whisper, set his blood on fire, but something was bothering him. Reaching up to cup her cheek, Eric studied her eyes. “Sweetheart, what is it?”
Stephanie tilted her head to the side, clearly confused. “What do you mean?”
“Are you trying to prove something, Steph?”
She smiled and shook her head, patting his hand. “I can see why you’d think that with the way things have been, but it’s not that. I just,” she shrugged. “I told you that you’d helped me more than you realized.” She took a deep breath. “The party, the kisses…the song,” she whispered then shrugged again. “I’ve wanted you from the moment you sang so sweetly to me, but we had too many visitors for me to do anything about it.”
“You’ve wanted me?” he asked as he caressed her face.
She nodded. “Yes. I told you, you helped me more than you realized the other night. You were right,” she bit her lip. “I didn’t think of myself as beautiful and I couldn’t bring myself to think of desire because,” she paused and trembled a bit before continuing. “Because how could you want me when I look so awful. But you did want me. You saw the scars and yet you still made love to me. You still wanted to be with me, wanted to marry me. The way you made love to me on our wedding night,” she shivered and looked down at her hands.
Lifting her face back up, Eric smiled at her. “You are beautiful, Sweetheart. The scars don’t mar your beauty, they enhance it.”
She frowned at him. “Enhance it?”
He nodded. “You’re beautiful to me not just because I find your body desirable. There’s so much more that makes up your beauty. The scars are part of that because they’re part of your fighting spirit. That fighting spirit is part of what makes you beautiful to me. It has infuriated me a few times over the years, but it also aroused me at the same time.” He chuckled, “Probably why it infuriated me so much.”
Stephanie laughed as she pushed his robe off. “Go for that swim with me?”
He nodded as he pushed her own robe from her shoulders. “What made you think of the pool?”
“I remembered what you said that night when things went so wrong for us.”
He nodded. “You don’t need to keep thinking of that night, Sweetheart. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did.”
“Shh,” she whispered as she placed a finger over his lips. “I shouldn’t have kept the truth from you. None of what happened would have happened if I’d only told you the truth. We were both wrong that night.”
“Yes, I suppose we were. But we’re learning.”
“Yes, we are,” she agreed then backed away. “Come on. The pool is waiting.”
Eric watched her as she slowly climbed into the pool, his body reacting to hers the way it always did. Swallowing to get his voice back when she popped up out of the water, her suit wet and plastered to her curves, he moved swiftly to join her, his arms immediately pulling her to him as he pushed off the last step of the ladder. “Have I mentioned lately how sexy you are when you’re wet?”
She raised an eyebrow at his unintentional double meaning and chuckled, “Um, no.”
Eric, realizing what he’d said, laughed then kissed her. “God, I can’t believe I said that. Damn it. You turn my brain to mush.”
Wiggling against him, she gave him a sultry smile. “I may turn your brain to mush, but not another part of you.”
Growling and nipping at her neck, Eric turned them until she was pinned between him and the wall of the pool. “No. Definitely not mush. More like,” he whispered the rest, smiling at the blush he saw in the candle light.
“Eric,” she breathed.
“Mmm,” he murmured against her skin as he tugged the strap of her suit off her shoulder. “How long has it been since we went skinny dipping?”
She shivered and held his arms as he continued his kisses, moving to her neck to the spot he knew drove her crazy. “Oh god, Eric,” she moaned. “It’s been a long time.”
Pushing her wet suit even further down, Eric took a taut nipple into his mouth. “Then I think it’s time for a swim, don’t you?” he murmured against her.
Her breath caught when he nipped at the nipple in his mouth with his teeth. “Eric!” she cried out when his hand moved lower, touching her through the wet material of her suit.
Pulling at her suit, the wet material making it difficult, he finally succeeded and pushed the suit away. “Much better,” he mumbled.
Tugging at the tie of his trunks, she managed to undo it and frowned when the material resisted her efforts to push it down. “Damn it,” she cussed.
Eric chuckled as he let go of her to help. “This is what happens when they’re too tight.”
“But they look so good on you,” she whispered, licking her lips when he was finally free of the offending garment. “This is why they look good on you.”
Eric shook his head as he caressed a hand down her side and up to cup her breast. “And this is why I love that swim suit on you. It barely covers these.”
“Oh,” she huffed then laughed when he nipped at her neck. “It’s been so long.”
“Yes, it has. I love the feel of you like this.”
She arched an eyebrow and whispered, “Wet?”
“Oh god, yes,” he murmured as his hands slid down her body until he was cupping her bottom, pressing his lower body to hers.
Stephanie felt his hand slipping around her hip, between her thighs and gasped at the contact. Her head fell back as he touched her, sliding two fingers inside her to tease her. “That,” she mumbled as she gripped him. “That is not what I want,” she finally managed.
Eric grinned down at her. “Oh?” he asked, his voice deeper than usual. “Then what is it you want?”
Narrowing eyes that sparked with want, she moved a hand down and wrapped it around him. Moving her position, she guided him to her, moaning as he pressed forward. “Yes,” she hissed when he filled her completely. “This is what I want.”
Cupping her face, Eric kissed her, his tongue tangling with hers. Moving his body gently against hers, he moaned when she lifted her legs to wrap around him. Pulling from the kiss, he wrapped his arms around her, pressing her upper body close to his, her breasts tempting his chest as they moved together. “I love you, Joan,” he whispered making her chuckle and smile.
“And I love you, Darby,” she returned before biting back a moan when he moved to nibble at her neck. “You know what that does to me,” she whimpered even as she leaned her head to the side to give him better access.
“Mmm, I do,” he agreed as he continued, feeling her reaction to his ministrations when her inner muscles contracted around him. “Steph,” he groaned. “That,” he started then groaned again when she repeated the action. “That will end this way too soon,” he finally managed.
She pulled back and grinned. “But we have all night, Honey. We are newlyweds.”
“All night?” he questioned as he stared down at her.
She nodded. “All night. All morning. All afternoon. The rest of our lives,” she whispered as she caressed his face.
Kissing her again, Eric gave in and let her take them to the edge. Struggling to get air back into his lungs, he felt her legs fall from his waist, her hands gently caressing his back. “Mmm,” he managed to hum his pleasure at her touch.
“Thank you,” she whispered, smiling when he looked up at her.
“Mmm, you’re welcome. But why are you thanking me?”
She bit her lip and looked at him a slight blush creeping into her cheeks. “For giving me what I asked.”
Reaching up, his hand dripping water, he caressed her face. “No need to thank me for something that gave me just as much pleasure.” He kissed her nose, laughing when she scrunched it up. “How about that swim?”
“We did sort of skip the skinny dipping part,” she chuckled.
“Yes we did,” he agreed with a chuckle of his own.
Holding his hand to stop him from moving, Stephanie smiled up at him. “I know we’re not Jack and Jill anymore, and that we can’t do some of the things we did then, but,” she paused and lifted his hand to her heart. “But I think I like being Darby and Joan. They’re older, wiser, and so much more in love than Jack and Jill ever were.”