Mature (18+) Audiences. Contains bad words and sex-y scenarios.
Let it “Snoh”
Theo cried when they dropped him and Josiah off at Mo and Giorgio’s.
Ayesha told him they could stay if it would make him feel better.
Joel needed this weekend alone with her, but even he’d felt the pull to change their plans watching their little guy’s face twist and his lips quiver.
So, Giorgio told Theo he wouldn’t know how to put the swing set together without Theo’s help. Aleksi rubbed Theo’s back and offered him a soggy cookie Mo gave him when Giorgio had already said it was too early for one. Josiah said he needed help with a soccer move that Theo was “the best at.”
It worked to calm Theo down, and they left after watching him, Josiah, and Aleksi kick—and try to kick—around a soccer ball on Mo and Giorgio’s patio for a few minutes. Giorgio promised them that he’d play with them in the backyard once the sun came up, and Theo didn’t cry as they walked out behind Mo, who was dropping them off at Stockholm Central.
They walked around the station a little before boarding, checking out the different vendors and the architecture. Since they’d spent the morning getting the boys ready, they got a quick bite to eat and ended up having to sprint to the train.
The train wasn’t packed, but it was still quite early in the morning.
Ayesha took a nap leaned against Joel, and holding her while doing something as simple as taking a train for a weekend away from the kids was something he could get used to.
She woke up in his arms when they hit Lund.
They chatted with other couples and families and mutually agreed to come back on another trip with the boys. Josiah and Theo would enjoy the greenery, the towns. The allure of the train itself. For now, it was perfect for just the two of them.
Xara and Mike had planned the weekend based on a similar trip they’d taken not too long ago, except Joel and Ayesha would be leaving their bedroom from time to time. As Mike had put it, modern medicine was the only way Xara hadn’t ended up pregnant all over again during the trip.
The first activity the other couple had scheduled was biking, and the Sydkustleden biking path would take them to their second destination—the beach. The bike paths on the coast could get upwards of hundreds of miles long, and Joel didn’t want Ayesha exhausted unless he was the one doing the wearing out. That fact had, apparently, been factored into their trip with a special note from Mike that said, “You have me to thank because Xar didn’t consider the implications of this,” and Joel laughed when he read it.
“What’s first now?” Ayesha asked, her hair whipping in the wind billowing throughout Malmö Central Station. Larke, for their trip, had installed faux locs in her hair, and she was so damn cute standing in front of him, the sun at her back. Right now, she wore most of the strands in a large bun on top of her head, which he appreciated because that meant they didn’t obscure her face.
“Biking to the beach,” he answered. “Mike said we’re in the right place when we see multicolored ‘bathing huts.’”
“Bathing huts? That sounds—”
“Kinky? Yes, I agree. Remember who we’re dealing with. Lovebugs separate more than Xara and Mike do.”
She tossed her head back as she laughed, he kissed her because of how she looked when she laughed, and then they went to pick up their bikes.
They found the bathing huts lining the beach, tiny cottage-like homes all facing the water’s edge. He and Ayesha chose a yellow wooden shack with a purple door, and he almost didn’t let her leave. It was one of the smallest spaces they’d ever shared. Each time she tried to hook her bikini top, he unhooked it. Once she got it hooked, each time she tried to adjust her breasts, he popped one out, bent, and sucked on her nipple until she all but left claw marks on the wooden walls.
It wasn’t like it was his fault.
He loved her breasts, no matter how self-conscious she said she was about them because she’d had two children. They were beautiful and the perfect size for his hands. Plus, she had sensitive nipples. Extremely sensitive nipples. Simply knowing that made him hard.
It would be a crime not to suck them.
But their first time making love wasn’t going to be against a wall in a beach hut, so he used his fingers to make her come and covered her mouth with his to muffle her screams.
Half an hour later, they emerged.
Dozens of people lay spaced out on the sand. Only a few were covered by umbrellas since it was a lovely day out. Some read. Others slept. Everyone else swam. The beaches didn’t have the sparkling royal blue waters of the Pacific, but they still had that emerald green of the Atlantic he’d come across several times while on vacation in the Caribbean.
Ayesha found them a spot while he headed for the water, and there was a specific reason he’d asked her to get their area set up.
It was because of this—her walking toward him in a red bikini looking more toned than he’d ever seen her, a splash of light on the gray canvas his life had been for what had felt like an eternity.
Everyone else disappeared among the greenery, the sand, and the waters.
Today, he didn’t care if anyone stared. He didn’t care about the two, three—twelve? What the fuck?—pairs of eyes on her. As a matter of fact, he only made eye contact with three of them, and he didn’t even promise death in his gaze. Only blood and broken bones.
She came right into his arms. He picked her up, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. They were in Europe, so this level of PDA was like holding hands back in the United States.
“Eesh, you’re the woman of my dreams, I swear.”
The way she looked at him made him feel like he was the sole possessor of all the world’s riches.
“Sorry,” she said, holding his gaze. “I was just admiring the way you look right now. I never want to forget how you look right now.”
He kissed her and fell backward, toppling them with Ayesha screaming, into the water.
Their next stop was a visit to Malmöhus Castle.
Ten minutes in, they found it creepy as shit, checked out early, and went for lunch and ice cream nearby.
“So, we’re not castle people, apparently,” Joel said, watching Ayesha lick her ice cream cone. “I mean, what the fuck?”
Her eyes widened. “Yo, that one lady statue?”
“You almost knocked her the hell out when you came around the corner and saw her just standing there.”
“Mrs. Malmöhus was about to catch these hands.” She held her stomach and giggled, and it reminded him of Theo. “What about those black and white pictures everywhere?”
“You know those people’s ghosts were still in there watching us go through their shit pissed as hell they couldn’t throat-punch us.” He held out his cone. “Want to try mine?”
Ayesha had stuck to a traditional vanilla ice cream cone while he’d branched out a little and ordered the Black Licorice flavor. She hooked her tongue and took a long lick. If she said anything after that, he didn’t hear it.
“Do that one more time for me?” he asked.
She laughed, this time reminding him of Josiah.
The rest of their afternoon was spent biking through and around the city. The people were friendly, the landscape was beautiful, and they found two additional beaches, these more private, where they made out like teenagers.
Ayesha picked up a few local pieces to take back for Xara. Xara was looking to expand her brand, and one of her favorite things to do was showcase local artists from different places around the world.
Afterward, they ditched the bikes and decided to walk, hand in hand, taking in the city’s Art déco palette. People whizzed by on skateboards, bikes. The boys would love this. When they came back with them, they would spend an entire week, especially since they stumbled on the Malmö Reptile Center.
“By the way,” Joel said, “Theo wants to know if we can get a pet iguana.”
Ayesha’s head snapped around. “No. Hell no.”
He burst out laughing. “Aww man, are you sure?”
“Joel.” She clutched her chest and shuddered. “I think I’d about die if I woke up and found an iguana on my bed. We can bring him here to see these reptiles to get it out of his system and then think about getting a dog or cat or something.”
Dinner plans were up to them, so they went back to kill time, relax, and freshen up at a small cottage on a private beachfront also arranged by Mike and Xara.
Joel appreciated the cottage’s simple, homey charm. It had only one bedroom, which was all they’d need, a cozy living area with an attached L-shaped kitchen, and a bathroom with a massive tub. Wooden double-doors opened up to the porch which overlooked the ocean, and even when closed the doors’ six windows brought in a great deal of light. There was also a four-person dining room table that was currently home to everything they’d picked up on their self-guided tour—chocolates, local pottery, gifts for all the kids, a comic book for Josiah, and a stuffed iguana for Theo as recompense for their upcoming news about the real one.
This wasn’t a weekend for being wrapped up in the lap of luxury. It was about him making his girl feel the way he felt about her. Sometimes, words weren’t enough.
While Ayesha showered, he made arrangements for later that night. Like he’d told her, he was a romantic kind of guy. Anything he could do to make her feel special, tonight and thereafter, he would do.
And she appreciated everything he did.
He could feel that she was as caught up in this whirlwind as he was. They walked side by side in this relationship, neither one lagging. Doing things for her didn’t drain him or leave him feeling resentful, and he literally had enough energy and gumption to keep this up for the rest of her life.
He’d changed the way he loved, the way he appreciated. He and the guys had seen the highest points of kindness and the lowest forms of depravity the world had to offer. It helped to give them a different perspective on family than a man who got all his thrills from how many ways he could hurt the woman he claimed to love. That perspective reminded them that, in this life, the love of someone else was often one of the greatest treasures a person could ever have the hope of receiving.
Each day that he woke up was another day he got to spend with Ayesha, with Theo and Josiah, with his brothers, his sisters-in-law, and his nieces and nephews. He wanted this for a long time. Fuck, he wanted this forever. He wanted to be there when Mikey took his first steps, to Josiah’s wedding, he and the guys giving him “sage” wisdom about his future as someone else’s rock. Someone else’s protector. A lover and provider.
If he’d had a say or choice, at all, he wouldn’t have chosen Ayesha. The entire thing had looked suspicious, and it could have been a messy situation. But it was decided for him that the best person for him would take his heart, hold it, keep it, and cherish it.
He wasn’t in love.
Joel Lattimore was gone.
He stepped out onto the porch, leaned on the railing, and looked out onto the water. There was another similar cottage not too far from theirs where a couple stood, holding each other, smiling and gazing into each other’s eyes.
Something was in the air.
From a distance, they looked like Lupita Nyong’o and James McAvoy in a secret relationship, spending time together away from the public eye.
They spotted him and waved.
He waved back.
The woman said something to the man who nodded, and she hurried down the steps and came over.
“Hi, there,” she greeted, shading her eyes as she walked up. “My name’s Leticia. My husband, Lars, and I overheard you speaking with your wife. You’re American, right?”
Joel nodded. “Yes, but we live in Sweden now.”
“Same! I met my Lars back home in Detroit, and we moved here to be closer to his family. How do you like it so far?”
“We love it. We love the weather, the people, and the schools.”
“You have children?”
“Two boys.” Joel smiled. “We have one in förskola, and our older boy’s mellanstadiet.”
Förskola was also known as preschool, and although it was different from the American version since Theo would be in preschool and preschool class until he was seven, he hadn’t taken it well that he’d have to “do preschool all over again.”
Leticia clapped her hands, hopping slightly on the sand. “I wish we still had one that little! We have a sixteen-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy, and we definitely miss the snuggles. However, I don’t mean to take up too much of your time, but if you have no plans for dinner tonight, there’s a restaurant here that a lot of foreigners go to. It’s got live music, local performances, and some of the best food in the area.”
The woman’s eyes darted behind him, and she somehow beamed even brighter.
“Hello,” Ayesha greeted with a small wave.
Leticia looked between them. “Hello. My goodness, you two are beautiful.”
“Crap, where are my manners?” Joel motioned to Ayesha. “Leticia, this is Ayesha, and I’m Joel. Eesh, this is Leticia and over there’s her husband, Lars. She’s from Detroit. They’ve got two kids, a boy and a girl.”
Leticia clasped her hands underneath her chin. “And your hubby was just telling me that you have a little one!”
Grinning, Ayesha leaned against his right arm. “We do.”
“It must be hard on him with you two being away.”
“We’ve got family in the area. He did cry before we left, though.”
“Our daughter was like that when she was little.” Leticia glanced over at her husband, and the way he looked at her was the very definition of smoldering. “Anyhow, Ayesha, I was just telling Joel about a restaurant where a lot of people from outside of Sweden, primarily U.K. and U.S. folk, go. It’s got live music, performances, and ah-mazing food.”
“What do you think, baby?” Joel asked.
Ayesha nodded. “I think it sounds exactly like what we were looking for.”
She gave them the restaurant’s website and address and waved as she headed back to her cottage. She and her husband disappeared inside with a look on their faces Joel knew all too well.
“She was nice,” he pointed out. “And we do like live music.”
Ayesha traced the outline of his triceps muscle. “Want to go check in with ‘our boys’ now before we head out? We might be busy later.”
He hooked his fingers beneath her chin, tipped her head up, and brushed his lips across hers. “Yes.”
They took the iPad to the bedroom.
Ayesha leaned back against the headboard, and Joel leaned next to her, one hand tucked behind his head while they waited for the boys’ faces to pop up on the screen.
“Ma! Joel!” Josiah grinned. “How’s your vacation? We miss you!”
A certain kind of pride Joel had never felt, or maybe noticed, before moved through him, seeing Josiah’s face. He would get to watch Josiah grow, and no longer from a distance. He would even have a hand in his growth, coaching him through his first dance and, as long as Ayesha didn’t find out, his first MMA tournament.
“We miss you too, baby,” Ayesha said. “And the vacation is wonderful. How are things at Mo and Giorgio’s?”
Josiah held up his elbow. “I got a bruise, Ma!
“You got a what?”
“That’s amazing, Josiah,” Joel cut in. “It’s a fighter’s badge, babe. If he’s learning mixed martial arts, he’ll get a few bumps and bruises, unlike his mother who, apparently, just ‘runs into’ things.”
It was funny how Ayesha thought he didn’t know the real reason behind her extremely toned body and shoulder bruise. He and the guys just didn’t know where they were holding this mysterious book-slash-fight club.
“Uncle Gio says I’m a natural.” Josiah grinned wider, his eyes like amber stones. “And we got halfway through the swing set, but Auntie Mo says we’re missing a piece. We’re going later to pick up what we need from the home improvement store.”
“How’s Theo?” she asked. “Is he okay?”
“He’s taking a nap right now.” A mop of curls appeared at the bottom of the screen, and Josiah lifted Aleksi onto his lap. “Say hi, Aleksi. Privet.”
Aleksi’s once haphazard head of blondish-brown hair had turned into a mountain of dark, nearly jet-black curls. He even had some of his father’s expressions down, but his side-eye he’d definitely inherited from his mother.
“Pripet,” Aleksi greeted.
They talked for a while longer, Josiah filling them in on what they had for breakfast—chocolate chip pancakes. Lunch was sandwiches with Giorgio and Aleksi in the backyard, and for dinner, they were having pizza. A day like that was paradise for Theo, and it was likely why Mo and Giorgio had orchestrated it that way.
Joel and Ayesha filled him in on their bike ride and tour around the city with a promise to look at pictures with him when they got back.
“What about you guys?” Josiah asked. “What are you doing later?”
Ayesha bit down on the inside of her bottom lip, squinted, and tipped her head to the side. “We’re . . . getting something to eat.”
“And then what?”
“Um,” Joel rubbed his nose with the back of his hand, “maybe some dessert or something. We had a long day, so we’ll probably fall asleep as soon as we get back from dinner.”
Aleksi wiggled so much, Josiah had to set him down to the floor.
“Where are you going to eat?”
“Actually, we found out about a really cool restaurant,” Joel answered. “It’s got live music.”
“We’re not sure. Maybe.”
“Are you gonna sing, Ma?”
Joel slid a glance her way. “Sing?”
Ayesha shook her head. “I don’t think so, baby.”
“Why, Ma? You have a really pretty singing voice. You only sing for me and Theo. You should sing for Joel.”
“Yeah, you should,” Joel co-signed. “I want to hear this pretty singing voice.”
Goosebumps prickled Joel’s arm from Ayesha’s where their skin touched. He had no idea she sang. He’d never even heard her sing for the boys.
“They have skateboard parks out here too, Josiah,” Joel added. “We’ll come back with you and Theo. You’ll love it.”
“That would be awesome.” Josiah stared at them, smile not so much as wavering. “Well, let me let you kids go have fun.”
Joel and Ayesha laughed.
“We will,” Joel said. “Love you. Let Theo know we called.”
“Love you too. Love you, Ma.”
“I love you, Josiah.”
He waved, still smiling.
They waved back until he disconnected.
“Singing voice?” Joel teased.
Ayesha walked to the closet and pulled out her outfit for the night—a top with the back cut out and skin-fucking-tight leggings he knew she’d wear with heels to show off every curve of those legs and that ass she claimed she needed more of.
She was perfect.
Underneath, she wore a red lace bra and panty set.
It was going to be a long night.
* * *
Leticia’s recommendation was spot on.
The restaurant wasn’t packed, the atmosphere was comfortable, the lights were low, and the food was delicious. The performers, so far, were all insanely talented. Some had entire bands and had been performing for a while. Others were amateurs who’d wanted to face their fears and sing in front of a crowd for the first time.
Ayesha was surprised to find most of the music had more of a soul vibe. There were Spanish songs, Swedish songs, German songs, and English songs. Even the ones she couldn’t understand, she still felt the depth behind them. The pain of losing a love, missing one, or needing one.
She glanced across at Joel, whose gaze was fixed on the stage. For dinner, they’d had the infamous Swedish meatballs. Joel took his with a side of veggies and mashed potatoes. She went for egg noodles. After dinner, they shared a slice of kladdkaka, a dense chocolate cake that ate more like a brownie. Then they relaxed and enjoyed the show.
He felt her looking, turned, and smiled. Her heart flopped like a fish pulled from the ocean. How he could have ever thought she’d want anyone else but him was beyond her. It didn’t matter what she said in her dreams. He was her dreams. He was her thoughts, wishes, and hopes. Joel was the only man who could ever come close to filling Curtis’ shoes, and she couldn’t believe she’d found him.
A round of applause broke her stare, and the host for the night, a man from Iran who’d moved to Sweden a decade ago, hopped up on the stage. “She was amazing, wasn’t she?” he asked the audience, his accent slight. “Can we have a hand for Dahlia one more time, please?”
The crowd clapped and whistled.
“Now, I had someone pull me aside and ask if she could perform tonight, even though she is terrified. She’s never sung in front of even her closest friends. The lovely Miss Ayesha, are you ready?”
Joel’s head snapped around. “Eesh?”
Ayesha bowed her head, said a quick prayer, and headed toward the stage. “Yes. I’m ready.”
The man held out a hand to help her onto the platform and, to her surprise, gave her a tight hug.
“You are with family, okay?” He stepped back and stared into her eyes. “You don’t have to be afraid here.”
She nodded. “Okay.”
The man, who introduced himself as Zaid, walked her over to the band, and she greeted them while simultaneously giving herself a mental pep talk. Once introductions were done, the band asked her what song she wanted to sing.
“You might not have this song.”
“You might be surprised.” The drummer smiled. “What’s the song?”
“It’s called, ‘I Didn’t Mean to Fall In Love’ by Snoh Aalegra.”
His smile grew. “You mean one of our very own Swedish sisters? You sing, Ayesha, and let us handle the rest.”
She faced the audience.
Lights shined in her face.
Joel had come closer to the stage, and she could see him watching her, the long fingers on his right hand tapping those on his left. All he’d worn was a simple navy-blue shirt, a blazer, jeans, and brogue boots, and he was the best-looking and best-dressed man in the room.
The piano came in first, followed by the drums.
Ayesha took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and sang:
“I tell you all my secrets, yeah, yeah
I’m loving you more each day oh, yes, yeah, yes
Heart to heart baby, we both love so hard
Emotional start, the feels are beyond…
Cause here I am, I don’t understand, no
How you just came around and you stole my heart…”
A smile spread across her face as, behind her closed eyelids, she saw Joel’s face.
“Cause I didn’t mean to, baby
I didn’t mean to fall in love
Now that I need you, baby,
Tell me we’ll never be apart…”
“Oh, I didn’t mean to baby
I didn’t mean to fall in love
Now that I need you, baby,
Tell me we’ll never, never part…”
She saw his smile and his eyes, his disheveled hair in the mornings.
She saw him a few years ago, when he didn’t know she was watching, in the kitchen at his condo. He’d spent the day with Theo, and he’d given her a key to his place, so she’d let herself in. Earlier that day, he’d called her to let her know Theo seemed to be coming down with something, but she hadn’t expected to walk in and see him rocking her baby in the kitchen and singing to him while passing a cool cloth over Theo’s feverish forehead.
She saw him sitting with her on the sofa, the boys doubled over laughing at something he said, teasing her as usual, and her rolling her eyes, trying not to smile. He’d looked up at her, those eyes of his looking through her, his head pressed against the back of the sofa. It had been a rough day and he’d been there, as he always seemed to be.
She saw him in the middle of a dance party with the boys that she’d been too tired to join in on until he held his hand out to her and twirled her into her arms, rocking with her until he’d coaxed her to dance.
She saw him and Josiah at the three-legged race and the look on Josiah’s face, the love and pride, when he and Joel won. She saw the ceiling in her bedroom in Maui as she listened to him and Theo talk through the baby monitor.
“I didn’t mean to baby, no…”
She saw Joel winking at her from the kitchen.
“I didn’t mean to fall in love…”
She saw Joel asleep in her living room as the sunset bathed him through the glass doors; him holding her hand in the car the night after the school fair; him last week, in bed asleep with Theo on his chest, his hand linked with hers as he told her he loved her.
“Now that I need you, baby…”
Ayesha opened her eyes, tears on her cheeks, and looked directly at him.
“Tell me we’ll never, never part…”
She drew out the last note as the piano finished the outro.
The audience stood, whistled, and clapped.
Joel stood, but he didn’t clap or whistle. In fact, he stood so still, it looked like he barely breathed. He didn’t look away from her, didn’t blink, and his pupils were so large, they’d turned his otherwise sapphire irises black.
Ayesha bowed slightly and handed the microphone back to Zaid.
“You were amazing,” Zaid whispered in her ear.
Heat prickled her face. “Thank you.”
Joel, no longer a statue, stepped forward to help her down the steps, slipped their fingers together, and walked them straight out of the restaurant.
They took the public bus back, and even though he didn’t say a single word to her on the entire ride, he wrapped his arm around her when she leaned against his side. He kissed the top of her head and pressed his cheek against her hair.
“Everything okay?” she asked as they silently walked up the beach cottage’s front steps.
He looked at her, and every nerve cell in her body awakened, the intensity hitting her like a wave.
They stepped into the cottage, and she stopped abruptly in the entryway. “Joel, how do you do these things without me finding out?”
She heard the door shut, and the sound was followed by his warmth behind her. Snoh Aalegra’s voice lifted around the room, her raspy yet gentle crooning, and he set down his phone.
“Is this her album?”
His tongue was hot as it flicked her neck. “Mm-hmm.”
“How,” her eyelids fluttered, “did you find it?”
“I googled the lyrics.”
He gripped the hem of her top and tugged it upward.
Ayesha raised her arms, he pulled it off over her head, and then his tongue went back to her neck. He licked and sucked, running his palms up and down the sides of her arms. She reached back and curled her fingers around his neck.
“Did you like it?” she asked. “The song, I mean. I sang it for you.”
He grunted and cupped her breasts, his forefinger and thumb tweaking her nipples. Each tug of his fingers sent a current of desire between her legs, and each suck against her neck sent a jolt to her nipples in a never-ending circle of pleasure.
“Eesh…” He moved her hair aside, trailed a path of kisses up the back of her neck, and brought his lips near her ear. “I love you.”
Her legs nearly gave out.
“What was that?” She’d heard. She just wanted to hear it again.
“I love you,” he repeated. “Do you love me?”
“Yes. Yes, I love you, Joel.”
He lowered the zipper at the back of her leggings and trailed a line of kisses down her neck and spine. As he pulled the leggings down, he crouched, kissing her skin with each inch that was revealed. When the pants pooled at her feet, he helped her slip off her shoes and step out of them. She then felt his tongue on her calves, the backs of her knees, thighs, and the curve of her ass.
“Joel, I love the way you love me.”
He stood, spun her around, and pressed their lips together, Ayesha swallowed in his embrace. His tongue roved her mouth in that same slow, torturous rhythm he liked to kiss her with, and the heady, sensual music around them made her no longer feel her feet on the floor. She was already soaked through the lacy underwear, pulsing with need.
“Eesh…” He licked the inside of her lips, the corners of her mouth, her teeth. “Fuck, baby. I’ve wanted you for so long.”
There was no part of her mouth his tongue didn’t explore.
He fed on her lips until they were tender and plump and lifted her. She wrapped her legs around him, and he made his way to the bedroom where the soft candles and passionate lyrics carried over.
Smooth sheets, first cool and then warm, grazed her back as he lay her down and climbed over her, their lips separating only for a second before they were devouring each other again.
Her fingers wrapped around the lapels of his blazer, the bottom of his shirt. He leaned back, shrugged off the blazer, and helped her pull the shirt off over his head. She stared at him in the candlelight, the track currently playing the song she’d sung to him, and her eyes watered.
“This is perfect.”
The right side of his mouth tugged. “You like it?”
“Yes. I love everything.”
He unbuttoned his pants, pushed them down along with his boxer briefs, and stepped out of them. She motioned for him to join her again, and his large body eclipsed hers. Their lips reattached like magnets. He nudged her legs wide with his knees, and his hard length teased her slit with each movement.
“You’re wearing too many clothes.” His voice was hoarse, ragged. “I want you naked.”
He unhooked her bra, pulled it off, tossed it, and dove for her breasts. With his lips attached to her nipples, sucking and rolling the hard buds around his mouth, from one to the other, he yanked at her panties. She raised her hips so he could slide them off, and he tossed them in the same direction as her bra.
While he sucked on her left nipple, his fingers teased the right. He gently bit down and her back arched, pushing her body up against him, her sex against the crown of his dick.
“So beautiful,” he mumbled, kissing a trail down the middle of her body. He dipped his tongue in her bellybutton. “So damn beautiful.”
Ayesha’s mind went blank when he trailed his kisses up her inner thighs, sucking and licking her skin hard enough to leave a bruise. As he moved from one thigh to the other, he kissed the cleft of her sex before licking a path back up the other leg, over and over. In the middle of a pass, he slipped his tongue between her slit. She cried out, and he didn’t give her a chance to catch her breath as he made a second pass, then a third, until he was tugging and flicking at her until she vibrated.
“Oh, God.” Tears leaked from the sides of her eyes. “Joel, that feels amazing.”
He guided two fingers inside her. She tangled her fingers in his hair and rocked her hips into his mouth. And he speared her, licked and flicked and sucked her, until she came, hard, against his mouth.
Her eyes rolled back, and her body went stiff.
“Mm-hmm.” Joel, smiling, dragged his tongue the full length of her sex. “Just what I needed.”
Trembling, she felt for his face and pulled at his head, dragging his face back to hers and his lips back to her lips.
He positioned himself over her and slid the crown of his dick inside her.
They both drew out a long moan.
He pushed in further, groaned, and stopped again.
She was tight and he was large, but he took his time, stretching and spreading her, inch by thick inch. It did help that she was soaking wet and had been wet since watching him get dressed earlier before dinner.
He pushed in a bit more. “Am I hurting you?”
Ayesha waited for her lungs to fill. “Not in a way I don’t like.”
As he withdrew, his teeth gently clamped onto her bottom lip. She tilted her hips and locked her heels at the base of his spine, and he entered her until he was as deep as he could go.
Neither moved for a moment.
“Finally,” she said, struggling through a laugh.
His laugh was cut short when she squeezed her muscles.
“Is it better now?” He surged inside her, ripping a tortured cry from her throat. “You like how I feel, baby?” He pulled out, surged again. “You like the way I fuck you, Ayesha?”
This was even better than she could have ever imagined. The entire night had been perfect. Why had they waited so long to do this? Now that they’d crossed that hurdle, he was going to have a hell of a time keeping her off of him.
“I can’t…go slow…” He grunted. “I need to…fuck, fuck, fuck…”
He increased the pace of his strokes, steadily crashing into her, their moving bodies putting pressure against her swollen clit. And he was deep. So deep. It was exactly how she’d wanted him, how she’d needed him.
He pulled out, shoved hard. “I love you, Ayesha.” He repeated the motion, and her body devoured every thrust. “I fucking love you. Don’t forget that. Ever.”
She tightened her hold around him, whimpering.
He growled, drilled into her until she screamed and slid away from him, gripping sheets. But he simply dragged her back and pummeled her again.
All around them, music played.
Unsteady and weak with the buzz of orgasm, her legs fell apart. Joel’s strokes grew fervent. Sweat covered their bodies, and she loved the messy eroticism of it. The rawness of it.
“Give it to me, Eesh.”
The dam broke. Her back arched. Air got caught in her throat, snared by a steady rush of pure ecstasy.
He pumped into her with a few more hard strokes before going rigid, his hot semen spilling and spurting inside her.
Ayesha’s heart pounded against her ribcage.
Joel’s breathing mirrored hers.
When she lost Curtis, she’d assumed everything she would have ever been, everything that had made her who she was, would remain stripped from her. If she’d dared try to love again, there would be no longing, passion, or the kind of recklessness that came with the fall.
He held her against him, so tight it hurt, and whispered, “I promise I’ll do everything I can to make you happy.”
“Just stay,” she whispered back. “Stay with me, and I’ll be the happiest woman in the world. That’s my promise.”
08: Back To Life, Back To Reality
A figure in the distance, partially hidden behind the building, caught her eye. Underneath the outdoor lights, she made out the shadow of a large, male frame.
“You see him, Gio?” she asked.
Theo sniffled, and the front of his little jeans was suddenly darker than they’d been seconds ago.
“Sweetheart,” she crouched in front of him, “what’s wrong?”
Theo didn’t respond.
She looked up at Giorgio, who was looking in the direction of where she’d seen the man, made sure Josiah was still engrossed in his book, and then she covered Theo’s ears.
He glanced at her.
“Go fuck him up, baby.”
Giorgio started off. “Da.”