Water was running. She was out of bed. In the tub, but out of bed. Progress. Even if it was – he pulled out his phone – 11pm. That’s fine. She had finally eaten the chicken salad he brought her around 7. Now she’s in the tub.
In the tub. Fran in the tub had an entirely different meaning now. Her soft skin lapped by water, her pale eyelashes clinging and wet. Mick sat on the sofa, suspended in indecision. He could go in there. He could climb into the tub without even taking off his clothes, his hands over those curves, push his fingers into her wet heat, feel her tense and tremble under him, make her come there and then. She would moan, he knew. She would sweat and rock and press herself against him. She was just yards away, naked and wet and… probably obsessing about that fucker Charles.
That brought him back. Motherfucker.
Mick ran his finger under his collar and tried to remember his plan. A marathon is about the determination to finish no matter what. You need to pace yourself. Fran is heartbroken and not thinking straight. Fran needs time. Fran… was naked right now, wet and smelling of soap. Right now.
It was his own fault he was in this mess and having to clean it up. She didn’t ask for that first orgasm, and when she asked for the second, he could very easily have said no.
He stayed on the sofa and listened to water lapping upstairs, trying not to imagine Fran’s body, but every time he succeeded in not thinking about it, he’d think, “Hey I’m not thinking about Fran’s body,” and then he’d be thinking about her body again.
Around midnight, he heard the water drain, heard shuffling and rustling and then… silence. She was back in bed. He waited to be sure she was asleep before he let himself rest. He would give her what she needed, whatever she needed, whatever it cost him, and maybe eventually they could build up to something new.
Mick settled in for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
He had slept on the couch. When Fran dragged herself downstairs in her robe at 6am, having abandoned hope of falling back asleep, she found him splayed on the couch, one hand over his head, the other wrapped across his stomach.
Without turning on a light, she sat on the coffee table and looked at him, stripped to his pants and shirt, and then she noticed he had crumpled up his jacket to serve as a pillow. Well honestly, didn’t the man know she had a linen closet?
“Dumbass,” she sighed.
She watched him, his face slack with sleep, every muscle along his length soft, quiet. She remembered how those muscles flexed and bent when he ran with her, the tone of his abs, relaxed now, rising and falling with his breath. His hands curled where they lay. The hand over his head rested palm up, and with her eyes she traced the creases of his palm and the turn of each knuckle. She thought of this hands on her skin, inside her, how they had coaxed and urged and wooed her to mind-altering heights. Where had he learned all that? From the parade of women, she supposed, that passed through his life and through his bedroom. Or maybe that was why they paraded in such clamoring numbers, though apparently they had other partners in their lives.
Her gaze returned to his face, turned toward her in his sleep. She let her eyes travel over his skin browned by hours in the sun and just beginning to show creases of age around his eyes and mouth. He hadn’t had those when they met. She gave witness to the overnight stubble that reached from his throat to his cheekbones, over the lips that had kissed her lips, kissed her breasts, her belly, her clit. How had she never before noticed how beautiful he was? She had always known he was handsome of course – he knew himself – but she had never before seen his beauty.
And now that she did see it, she knew why those women paraded, and why he could give her the silence and oblivion she craved. A tender warmth budded inside her, making her shift and fidget, as images and ideas sprang unbidden to her mind, ideas of his cock in her mouth, in her pussy, of biting his nipples and the meat of his lip. How had she never before noticed the almost girlish pout of his lower lip, or the short, dense fringe of lash that –
His eyes opened.
“Hey,” he said.
“It’s Sunday,” she said.
“You’re missing your run.”
“I can run later.” His eyes were so warm on her. He sat up on the couch and scrubbed his hands over his face and through his hair. “Are you okay?”
“You need anything? Coffee?”
She didn’t need coffee. She stood in front of him and slowly untied her bathrobe, then let it fall to the floor.
“Make it quiet,” she said.