He was turning her again as though they were on a dance floor, she responding to his lead, the touch of his knees into the backs of hers, waltzing her body into the same lazy S-shape as his, spooning her. Where his body touched hers, his chest solid and warm on her back, his groin and thighs a seat she settled into, her skin became harp strings and hummed. He kissed the top of her bare shoulder and continued kissing, his lips moving down to her shoulder bone. When he spoke, he whispered, not breaking the trance but deepening it. “It’s such an easy thing, Willow. A lily bulb, maybe a chrysalis.”
She shut her eyes to try and stop time, to feel the whole measure of the gift he was giving her. A lily bulb. A chrysalis. Mémé had spoken of a chrysalis in describing her own back and said something about the chrysalis being a way of traveling. Willow knew now where his mind went when he looked at her. He wasn’t just willing to over-look her shoulder, to weigh it against attributes, her back made him conjure images she loved.
He lifted his head and looked closer at her arm. “What’s this? All these little scars?”
The first hard darkness on the turret windows had softened. She turned and faced him again, her gaze locking with his. “Make love to me.”
A slow smile crept onto his face. “Why, Miss Willow.” Then, after a moment, “You’re sure?”
“You’ve never pushed. I’m beginning to think—”
“Because Derrick did.”
“I told you that?”
“Everything you do and say tells me that.” He held her tight, his expression both serious and flirting. “You’re sure?”
“I want to forget everything tonight but us.”
He slid his hand under the strap of her gown and slowly moved the thin strip of cotton down her arm and then the second strap, his touch electric. As he pushed the fabric over her breasts, his palm caressing, he stopped, rolling her over on top of him, her breasts hanging in round, tear-shaped lobes. “It’s incredible that we’re together,” he said. “For the first time since Robbie’s death, I know I’ve found something good. I don’t want to hurt us, what we’re building. It’s been a tough summer for you, and no matter how much I want you right now, tell me to stop, tell me you need a bit more time, and I’ll stop. I’ll wait as long as you need.”
She quieted him with a kiss, her hand sliding down his flat stomach, feeling a pulse there and going deeper.
He sighed, “Thank god.”
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