(WARNING: Contains Adult Language Inappropriate for Children Under the age of 18)
Avery jolted awake up when the aroma of coffee and food became too much for her to keep her eyes closed. Her stomach growled loudly and she grabbed it remembering it had not been fed since yesterday morning. The orange juice and granola bar she’d eaten before going to the airport had worn off long ago.
The strong smells drifting into the room and her stomach demanding food wouldn’t allow her to stay in bed. She sat up and winced from the aches attacking her body. Still naked she saw the marks on her thighs and stomach from Daniel’s hands.
She dropped her head embarrassed at her behavior. She had never talked dirty or told a man what she wanted him to do in bed, sex had always been traditional. Jon’s moves were sexy and soulful but he never put variety in their lovemaking. With Daniel sex was hot, steamy and erotic. He wasn’t afraid to use his tongue in places Jon wouldn’t dare go.
Shaking the sinful thoughts from her head she managed to stand up without collapsing to the floor. Her legs were weak and a dull throbbing between her legs had her walking tenderly to get her suitcase. A hot shower would fix her up good as new.
After her shower, Avery chose the sheer black negligee to wear and put on the silk red robe. Checking her refection in the mirror making sure her makeup was not smeared something was missing.
Twisting her ponytail in a knot, she put on the sweetheart necklace and matching dangling silver earrings. “That’s what was needed,” she said approving her appearance. She walked over to the bed to close the suitcase. Chuckling she picked up the box of condoms and took one out slipping it in her pocket. She wanted to give Daniel a good laugh.
Walking down the stairs Avery got a look at the living room and the decorations since it was daylight and they were extensive and impressive. The cabin was more like a house but had that rustic feel with the exposed rock and wood. The fresh plants and colors set off the Christmas theme. The only thing missing was the tree.
She heard a noise from a back room and followed the sound. There in the kitchen was Daniel standing at the stove. She didn’t say anything but watched him. He was shirtless but wore plaid pajama bottoms. His muscles flexing as he took a pan from the oven.
“Mmm, something smells good and looks good in here,” she said as she sashayed over to him.
“Morning, babe. I thought you might be hungry since we didn’t make dinner last night,” he said as he took off the oven mitts.
She gave him a quick peck on the lips and looked down at the golden brown gooey cinnamon rolls bubbling hot in the pan, and what looked to be a breakfast casserole sitting next to it. It took everything in her power to stop her stomach from gurgling.
“I’m starving and the food looks good. I thought you said you didn’t cook?”
“I don’t. Jas made the meals and left instructions on reheating them. She’s a professional chef and owns a bakery and diner. Her cooking is what got Chase’s attention.”
“It smells fabulous and I can’t wait to eat,” she said inhaling the fragrance.
He scooped food onto plates and carried them to the table. “Everything is ready.”
As they ate, Avery had to stop herself from eating the food in gulps. It was the best food she’d ever tasted. “Oh, my goodness, this is good,” she exclaimed.
“Jas is the best. She introduced me to soul food too. I’d never had collard greens or baked mac and cheese before. My mother is Irish and my dad was Italian so we pretty much ate those types of foods.”
“I see. She opened you up culturally too.”
He looked at her and she melted like butter from the love she saw in his eyes. “She even made a soulful dinner especially for you. I didn’t want you to miss your mom’s cooking on Christmas.”
“Daniel, you are so sweet and thoughtful. I cannot imagine you being the person you said you once were.”
“I’m not proud of it, Avery.” He ate a forkful of the casserole and said, “Staying in Cleveland has reminders of my past on every corner. That’s why I’m willing to move to Portland.”
She had thought about him wanting to get away. A person with an addiction would want to be away from the temptations of their past. “Okay, you’ll come to Portland. It’s important to me that I help you maintain your goals, Daniel. I’ll find another job in Portland and I’ll be close to Jackie still.”
“Glad you brought that up. What were you plans if you’d gone to college?”
The coffee was strong and robust when she took a sip. “My dream was to become an optometrist. When my dad left I had to work to help my mom with bills so she could finish school.”
“Would you still want to pursue your dream?”
Avery gave Daniel a side-glance. “What are you plotting in that head of yours?”
“Well, I don’t want to do homework alone. Won’t it be fun to do it together?”
She laughed. “It would, but I have to work to eat and live indoors Going back to school part-time will take forever to finish.”
“Not if I buy a house. You’ll have a roof over your head, no bills to pay and a support system to keep you motivated. I think that’s a damn good deal.”
She nodded. “It is but we haven’t discussed living together yet.”
Daniel chuckled. “We haven’t discussed a lot of things yet that aren’t debatable.”
She raised her brow. “Excuse me?”
“Number one being we will make our relationship work. In a year or two, we’ll be married and the following year we’ll welcome our first kid. Let me warn you that Chase has triplets. Not sure if that runs in our family or Jasmine’s.”
Whoa! The talk about marriage and babies caught her off guard. Avery put her folk down and cleared her throat. “Obviously, you’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Daniel, while I admire you know exactly what you want and the timeframes you want them to happen ,but you left out a lot of contributing factors.”
He drank from the coffee mug looking over the rim at her. “Such as?”
“Umm, me? What if I don’t agree? Do you have a stand in for me?”
“Nope, because you won’t disagree,” he said confidently and bit a piece of the cinnamon roll. “Mmm, you gotta taste these. They melt in your mouth.”
Avery got up from the table and walked over to him. “Are you listening to me?” She put her hands on her hips, it caused her robe to open slightly revealing the top portion of her negligee.
Daniel looked up at her and smiled. “Ooo, black sheer. I see your nipple.”
She closed her robe. “Daniel, stop playing, this is serious.”
“And so is this.” He pushed his plate away and scooted the chair back as he pulled Avery onto his lap.
“No, no, we aren’t doing this.” She breathed as he buried his head between her breasts. She got up to leave the kitchen but he was quick and stopped her.
“Don’t worry, babe,” he said, his voice low. “To you it seems I’m moving too fast. To me; I’m not moving fast enough.”
She heard his words, but it almost seemed as if they’d come from someone else. “I care about you and want the same things too. Can you give me some time to let it sink in, Daniel?”
“Our days are not guaranteed, Avery. We wait and wait and before you know it, we are no more.”
“We can’t live with dread hanging over our head,” she said, reaching for his arm and sliding her hand down to close her fingers around his.
“I can’t live without you.” His hand closed around hers, the sensation so reassuring as the it was the first day they met.
Emotion swelled in her chest. Tears burned her eyes. “I love you, Daniel.” The words came out right. They sounded real. “But it’s happening so fast, and I’m confused. My father uprooted us from our home without asking my mom. It tore my family apart.”
He pulled on her hand, drawing her close. His other arm wrapped around her waist. “What are you saying, Avery?”
Why did she feel like she was dangling over a ledge? “I don’t want to lose you because I’m resistant to make a decision on a whim based on what my mother went through.”
“I’m not your father. I’m in this until the end, baby.” His hand found her face, felt along her temple, her cheek, until he found her jaw, then drew her up. His mouth covered hers, and Avery whimpered, kissing him back, seeking his tongue. He tasted her for one long moment, then broke abruptly. “Is there anything you need to add?” he asked.
She knew what he meant, and the warm sensations flowed through her. “I know there’s a lot I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn. And all that matters to me is that I love who you are now.”
“Avery, that’s all I ask.”
Her name was more of a groan than a word before his mouth closed over hers again. And so much emotion filled his kiss, Avery could taste it. She was too short without heels and stretched against his body to get more of his mouth, more of everything.
The hard ridge of him rubbing her low belly made her crazy, and she stroked him through his pajamas.
“Avery… baby…” He pulled her hand away.
She kissed his jaw, his throat, pulled at the drawstring on his pants.
Daniel might have been holding the hand that had been stroking him, but now he was rubbing his erection along her hip bone. “Avery, you make me insane.”
She whimpered against his neck. “Please…”
On a growl, he picked her up by the waist and carried her toward the exposed rock wall of the kitchen. He pressed her back to the cold stone, kissed her deeply as his hands ran up the backs of her thighs.
“Christ, Avery.” His hands roamed over the silk panties and gripped her ass. “That’s so hot.”
“I need you.” Avery opened found his cock, and took him into her hands with a groan.
“Shhh,” he murmured against her lips.
She reached in the pocket of her robe and found the condom she stashed, and ripped it, rolled it on his hot length. It was one of the studded condoms, and the rubber nubs nipped at her fingers.
Daniel lifted her while she was still fitting it. Pressed two fingers inside her from behind with a growled, “Move your hands.”
Avery had barely lifted them to his chest when Daniel guided himself halfway into her, pressed his mouth to her neck, and muffled a deep groan of pleasure. He filled her, stretched her, the extra friction from the condom raking fire along her walls.
“Daniel, Daniel, Daniel.” She was so ready she rose to climax before he’d fully penetrated her. “Oh God!”
Daniel’s hand closed over her mouth, and his hips plunged just as the orgasm peaked. Her muscles squeezed. She arched against the cool wall. Daniel thrust, thrust, thrust, never stopping. When her cries dimmed to moans, he exchanged his hand for his mouth and kissed her as if he were starving.
“I crave you… love you… so damn much.”
He drove into her, pulling her hips to meet his, fingers digging into her flesh. He felt so good. Filling her. Completing her. Feeding her craving. She hooked an arm around his neck, pressed one hand to the wall, and lifted her legs to wrap around his waist.
His pelvis hammered her clit on every drive, his cock so deep she felt the orgasm build until her throat tightened with the thrill of it.
“Oh shit…” was all he got out before he broke, his thrusts coming fast and so hard and wild he pumped another orgasm from her. She completely lost herself in the intensity of sensation for long, long moments. Moments filled with Daniel holding her tight, moving inside her, cool wall pressed against her skin.
Perfection. Ecstasy. Bliss. Daniel collapsed, crushing Avery against the wall. She didn’t care. All she could feel was pleasure spiraling through her body. She wanted to loll in the beauty of it, keep her head against his shoulder, kiss his jaw, but Daniel was all business.
She pulled his face to hers and stopped his mouth with a kiss. He groaned, then kissed her back, sighing into her mouth. “God, I love you.”
The words burned across the surface of Avery’s heart. She pulled back and pressed her hand to his lips. “I love you.”
Daniel wrapped his arms around Avery, and pulled her up against his body hard, as if he were afraid she’d disappear. He said, “Nobody is going to love you like me. Nobody, Avery.”
Avery hugged him, believing he meant those words.
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