Alicia watched Jon tuck Hope into bed. She had crashed hard in the car, but then too, it was past her bedtime by the time they had left the party. She did not envy Miss Mandy the next day. Half the kids in her class would be falling asleep at their desks.
But this day had been enlightening in more ways than one. She was still trying to process all the things that she had discussed with Kaitlin Danvers. But above all the others, there was one thing that rang true in her soul – she had to stop protecting herself. She needed to give this thing a real go. And that meant she needed to confess how she felt to Jon. How she really felt. And that was a scary thought. How did she tell him that she had fallen in love with him that night? That she still was.
One thing that did help a bit was hearing what Kaitlin’s partner Chase Logan had said… “It’s not up to you to convince him that you love him. He’s gotta come to terms with that himself. All you can do is offer your love freely.” He had gone on to explain his own troubles with coming to terms with losing his leg.
There was so much to process in her head. She was tired too. Bone tired. The thing was, she did not want to spend another night like the past three, carefully clutching her side of the bed and waiting for the man she loved to fall asleep.
Jon brushed a kiss on the top of their little girl’s light brown curls. “Good night, sweetheart,” he whispered as Hope turned over on her side, tightly clutching her pink fluffy unicorn. He stood and walked towards her.
She inhaled deeply, willing herself to take that risk. She held out her hand to him, “Hope isn’t the only one exhausted tonight. What say we head to bed too?”
Slipping out and closing the door behind them, she looked up. Jon’s head was down. It made her nervous that she could not see his eyes. Had no idea what he was thinking or feeling. His voice was low when he finally responded.
“You go ahead. There are some things I need to do first.”
She felt as if he had stabbed her. Was he avoiding her still? His words gave little clues, but she could not help the doubts and insecurities that assailed her. She had tried again, and been rejected, again. “Okay,” was all she could mumble as she pulled her hand back.
She was determined to make it to her room, their room, before the tears started. And she would once more be safely hugging her side of the bed and pretending to sleep when he did join her.
But his fingers tightened on hers, preventing her escape. She turned her head towards the wall to keep him from seeing the unshed tears that she was fighting so valiantly to hold back. He was not having that either as his other hand, the damaged one, came up to her chin, lifting it and turning her face so that she was forced to meet his gaze.
He closed his eyes for a moment, and she heard him draw in a deep breath before he spoke. “I’m sorry, Alicia. But there are some things I need to do first.” He paused, and she could feel his insecurities, “Routines. To prevent further complications…”
He stared at the floor for a long moment, “With the scars.” After a long pause, he looked back up and met her gaze, “I just wanted you to understand. It isn’t that I don’t want to, but that I can’t.”
“Even though the burns healed, if I don’t…” He shook his head, “I won’t bore you with the specifics. I won’t be long, though. Fifteen minutes or so.” His fingers squeezed hers, and he attempted one of those rare lopsided grins, “I’d like it if you can manage to stay awake. We could talk a bit, perhaps?”
Alicia felt her heart sore to the heavens. She could feel how incredibly hard that must have been for him. But his explanation made sense. She had done a bit of research over the past few weeks, from the very beginning actually, the moment she had looked into those eyes and recognized her lover.
She should have realized that he could not just come straight to bed, that he needed to clean and moisturize the old wounds. Otherwise, that website said they could dry out, crack, and become infected.
She was uncertain how to handle the situation, though. She was curious. Not in some perverse way, but in practical ones. If they were going to make this work, spend the rest of their lives together, Jon could not keep hiding such practicalities from her. The question was: was it too soon? Would she just push him further away? She wasn’t sure, but she was tired of playing things safe.
“Can I watch?” The words were no sooner out than she realized how callous they must sound. Her hand flew to her lips. Her gaze sought his as those tears she had been fighting spilled over, “I’m sorry. That came out all wrong. I didn’t mean like that. I don’t know. It just seems that if we’re going to make this work…”
Couldn’t she ever say the right things? Even when she tried, it seemed she always messed it up. She had probably set this whole thing back weeks or months. She just wanted to run. Run and hide. Turn back time would be a good thing. Learning to think before she spoke might be nice too.
She could barely see his face for the tears that had suddenly gone from a light shower to a flood, “I’m sorry. I’ll wait in the bedroom when you’re done. If you still want that is,” she fumbled words her words.
Jon tightened his hold on Alicia’s hand. “No, you’re right. If we’re going to make this work, then I have to quit hiding.”
He felt the tightening in his chest. He recognized the fear and uncertainty that had gripped him earlier. He remembered those first weeks after he made it back home. The nurses had tried to work with his mother to teach her the proper way to clean and care for the burn wounds. He still remembered the way that Marianne Buford Walker Tyler had drawn back in terror. In the end, the great Tyler money had funded home health nurses who came twice a day once he was released home. They did what his mother could never bring herself to.
Of course, after almost five years, the scars that covered his head, neck, back, shoulders, and part of his chest were far from those oozing, red, and open wounds. But still. If his own mother could not bring herself to touch him, how could this woman? And why did that pain cut deeper?
He swallowed his fear, his uncertainty, and his doubts. If Alicia could take the chance to reach out to him like this, he owed her the benefit of the doubt. He had to meet her at least halfway. “If you’re sure? I mean, if you want…”
He forced that smile he knew made his face seem more grotesque than reassuring, but it was the best he could do. “Let me get some things from our room. I’ll be right back.”
He rushed down the hall without waiting for her answer. Was he afraid that now he had agreed she would change her mind? Flee? Where would she go? That was just it. Where could either of them go, really? They had to start somewhere. This tension could not continue. It was not good for either of them…and eventually, once the newness wore off, it would not be good for their daughter either.
If this was where she wanted to begin, then so be it. Perhaps it was better sometimes to face the worst, to jump into the deep end. And standing naked in the shower with her watching would be that. Her staring as he massaged the moisturizing cream into the scars was not going to be easy.
He grabbed the leather shaving kit that contained all the things he needed and a fresh t-shirt and boxers. He inhaled, willing himself to find the courage to face whatever was to come. Could it be any worse than the unspoken tension of the past three days and nights?
Remembering the look on his mother’s face, yeah, it could be. But it was better to face that too. Yank that band-aid off and face whatever was to come. He sent a silent plea to whatever was out there – and despite it all, he did believe that something was. Even if he had long ago abandoned his parents’ vengeful and terrorizing Southern Baptist god.
It took only seconds for the short walk back to where she waited with her back turned outside the bathroom door. But it seemed an eternity, and he was a condemned man on that final walk. She turned as he approached. She had dried her eyes and had that forced smile on her face.
“You know it’s okay if you’ve changed your mind. I won’t hold it against you or anything. I mean…”
Her delicate hand came up to rest over his heart. “No, I haven’t changed my mind. I just want to say thank you, Jon. Thank you for trusting me. I know this must be incredibly hard for you. But it means a lot to me that you are willing to try.”
He chuckled, “Shouldn’t those be my lines, sweetheart?”
“We both have to try, right?”
He nodded as he opened the bathroom door. He had not realized until that moment how incredibly tight a fit this was going to be. There was no place to hide in such a small space. He would be exposed. Totally and completely.
Jon hesitated. His fingers hovered uncertainly at the bottom of his t-shirt. He willed himself to act, to move. But before he could, he felt Alicia’s soft form pressed to his back. He looked down and watched as her fingers gripped the fabric. She tugged it upwards. He lifted his arms as far as he could, pulling his good arm through the hole and tilting his head and other arm until they sprang free.
In the process, he had turned until he faced her. Alicia was so incredibly close; barely inches separated their bodies. He inhaled to steady his shaking hands as her fingers began to trace the pattern of raised red and silver lines from his neck across his chest. The right side was not so bad, but it was the severely marred left she concentrated on.
He had known that the scar tissue was more sensitive to touch but never had he realized just how much. Her light, tentative tracing was driving him insane. For once, not in a bad way. But his cock that was always at half-mast around her was now rock-hard. If he looked down, Jon feared he would see it jutting from his boxers that felt incredibly tight and restrictive.
As if she could read his thoughts, Alicia’s soft hands slipped inside the elastic waistband of those as well. He watched her bite her lower lip as she pushed them down over his hips. His cock sprang free. He brought his good hand up to cover what he could of it. “I’m sorry. I know this wasn’t what you had in mind. But I don’t have much control when I’m around you…”
‘Trust your instincts. The goddess will lead you,’ the woman’s words echoed in her memory. She sent a plea out to the goddess. Was this the right thing? Her hand pushed his aside and wrapped around the hard length as she dropped to her knees in front of him.
“I don’t think that’ll be much of a problem, do you?” She blew each word across the purple-red tip where a bead of pre-cum already gathered at the slit. It was a hypnotic sight. She was powerless to stop herself from sticking her tongue out and licking it away. She savored the sweetness as she looked up at him.
“Maybe this wasn’t what I had planned, but, Jon, I’m tired of second-guessing myself. Or questioning if everything I do or say with you is wrong. I want to follow my heart. Like I did that night.”
She knew that the tears she had barely managed to contain earlier were trekking down her cheeks once more, but she did not give a damn about those either. This felt right. More right than anything had in a very long time. In seven long years.
“And right now, what my heart wants is to swallow your cock until your fucking head explodes. Then we can talk or deal with whatever else there is.”
She did not wait for permission or a response as she once more leaned forward, swallowing the head of his hard cock. Her hand wrapped about the base moving up and down the hard length as she sucked and licked it.
She heard Jon’s quick intake of breath, felt the expletive to her core as he wrapped his good hand through her hair, using it to guide the motions and rhythms to match the ones that his hips were making as he face-fucked her mouth.
She was not sure how she found the nerve, but her other hand pushed her dress and panties aside, then slipped between her open thighs, finding her clitoris as she stroked it softly. She battled to forestall her orgasm.
As wonderful as that night had been, this was the sexiest, boldest thing she had ever done. And that fact alone had her hanging on the edge of a powerful orgasm. But she did not want to be alone. She wanted them to come together as her hand and mouth increased the pressure and speed on his cock.
“Fuck, Alicia! Please, I can’t hold out much longer, sweetheart,” Jon swore as his hips jerked a faster pace.
She smiled around his dick as she nodded her head. “Then don’t,” she managed to gurgle without ever releasing his length from her lips.
Jon roared as his fingers in her hair tightened almost painfully. His hips now pounded against her face, almost burying his entire length in her throat. She gagged a bit before reminding herself to breathe through her nose, to loosen her throat, and go with it.
The pace of her fingers on her clit increased too. She applied more direct pressure as she felt her body tighten. She pushed herself over the precipice as she shouted around his cock, entirely buried in her throat now.
Thankfully, it came out as nothing more than a gurgle. She was glad as she felt his hot seed filling her throat and mouth to overflowing. If not for his cock and come, her screams could have woken the dead. Their shared orgasm seemed to go on forever as he sagged against the edge of the lavatory for support.
Alicia was not sure how long they stayed like that. The tiny jerks of his cock in her mouth seemed perfectly timed to the powerful aftershocks of her release. When she finally found the strength to move, she dropped back onto her bottom, sitting on the cold bathroom tiles at his feet. She looked up; those eyes that she could never forget danced with laughter, and dare she Hope joy.
“That was certainly a surprise,” was all Jon seemed to be able to say.
“A good one, I Hope,” she blushed.
Jon held out his good hand for her. Pulling her to her feet to stand in front of him, he brushed a soft kiss across her cheek. “No,” he paused until her eyes that were filled with shock and perhaps fear, held his. “No, sweetheart, that was not a good surprise. That was a mind-shattering blow job of one.” Her pretty face relaxed into a smile.
“Now, since you’ve broken the ice with some kick-ass cock sucking skills, would you care to join me in the shower?” He wiped a drop of his cum from her cheek where it had somehow landed.
“I’ll wash your back if you wash mine,” she teased.
He inhaled and took a baby step towards trust and faith in this woman, in them. “I’d like that. My back is the one area I have the most trouble reaching. I’ve even had a couple of hospitalizations over the years when it cracked and became infected.”
“Yeah, I wondered about that when I was reading on the internet about…”
He could not contain his curiosity, “You read about burn scars on the internet?”
“Well, of course, I did. I wanted to understand what you had been through.” Alicia dropped her eyes, “Then it became more about learning what I could do, how I could help. I mean, if you want, that is.”
He bent and placed a soft kiss on her forehead, “I would not say I want, but yes, sweetheart, if it doesn’t bother you too much, I would appreciate the help.”
“Only if we can occasionally have hot shower sex, or you’ll let me suck your cock.”
“Oh, I think that could be arranged. Although as hot as I found it watching you finger your pussy, I’m dying to taste you again.”
“Not enough room in here for that. But tell you what, how about we shower and then you teach me how to massage the moisturizer properly, and we can retire to the privacy of our room for something a bit more comfortable.”
Jon was not sure what to make of what had just happened. Shit, it was even better than he remembered. But he was still struggling. As much as he wanted to believe all that bullshit about love not being tied to appearances, he lived in a world where children burst into tears at the sight of his face, where adults ignored him rather than face their insecurities and prejudices.
He had a choice to make. The same one he had struggled with all day: play it safe or go all in. Was that really a choice at all? “I think that is an excellent idea, sweetheart.”
He watched her strip off the gauzy sundress that had swirled about her all day, a tempting game of reveal and conceal over her head. Plain white bra and panties on her were as sexy as anything from those expensive lingerie shops though she seemed to blush as she reached behind her and released the fastener. The bra slid down her arms revealing breasts that were a bit larger than that night. He fought the need to reach out and touch them. There would be time for that later. The bathroom offered neither the space nor comfort for the things he had in mind.
She was blushing by the time her fingers slipped inside the elastic waistband of her panties. He loved the way she bit her lower lip and looked up at him from beneath hooded eyelashes. “How about we do this at the same time?”
Jon shook his head, “Not this time. I want to enjoy watching you.”
She sighed, and the pink stains on her chest, neck, and cheeks deepened almost to scarlet. But she complied, pushing the white scrap of nothing down her legs and kicking them aside. Her hands on her hips, she looked at him. “Okay, your turn now. No more excuses.”
He laughed. It felt good to laugh with her. Had he ever laughed during sex before? He did not think so. But as liberating as it felt, he was determined it would become a regular thing. He was not as graceful as she was, pushing his boxers down.
While undressing was more straightforward, he still struggled with his damaged left arm being virtually useless. “Sorry,” he mumbled as he stared down where his still hard cock had caught the cotton material, making the simple task more complex.
She stepped forward, her slightly chapped hands reaching inside to grasp his cock as her other one worked in tandem with his good one to complete the job. She gave his cock a couple of strokes, “We might have to allow extra time for these things in the future. It seems things keep coming up that distract me.”
He laughed as she reached around him to turn on the shower, adjusting the water temperature. “Is that good for you?”
Jon was confused at first. How could Alicia doubt that her hand slowly stroking the entire length of his cock was anything but good for him? Then he realized she was asking about the water temperature. He reached out with his good hand, “Yeah, that’s fine.”
“Only fine?” she teased again as she quickened the pace of the stroking.
Jon placed his hand over hers, and as hard as it was, incredibly hard, he stilled her motions. “You keep doing that, sweetheart, and we’re never gonna make it to the bedroom.”
“Would that be such a bad thing, jarhead?”
Jon leaned down; his tongue traced the outside of her ear for a moment before he blew softly into it. “Yeah, it would. For what I have in mind. That tub or the toilet seat are not big enough for me to spread those silky thighs and bury my face in your cunt for an hour or two. A bed will be a much better option for both of us.”
He loved the slight hitch of her breath at his words, but he appreciated the shiver that ran through her whole body even more as he bit gently into her earlobe.
“If you insist then,” she teased as she reached behind him and grabbed a washcloth. She went for the shower gel but stopped and looked up at him. “Is this okay?”
Jon was unsure where he got the sense of mind to think, let alone answer her question. “No, too many perfumes and too drying. Inside my case next to the sink.”
Alicia smiled and nodded as she opened the old-fashioned leather shaving kit and found the rectangular plastic container with the bar of soap in it. She held it up, and he nodded as she opened the box and spread soap on the washcloth.
“Turn around. Let me get your back first. Cause it seems I keep getting distracted with your front,”
He turned and braced his hand against the cool tile wall as the washcloth and her hands began to rub tenderly across his shoulders. If there was a heaven, this was it. The soft roughness of the cloth could not hide the warmth of her touch beneath. The only problem was how slowly she moved, back and forth until it was almost torture, and he groaned.
“Is that good or bad?” she leaned forward to whisper against his cheek. Her hard nipples just brushed his back.
“Both, sweetheart, both,” he could not resist turning his head enough to capture another taste of her sweet lips. This had to be a dream, right? No way were they both naked in the shower with her hands moving slowly across his back and lower still.
Then she did the unthinkable as she dropped once more to her knees, her hands firmly kneading his buttocks as the cloth lathered it. Down his legs and calves, “Lift your foot,” she demanded as she watched each of those.
“Now turn around, Jon.”
His mind replayed the image of her on her knees earlier with his cock in her mouth, and he almost came on the spot. He sighed, unsure if they would ever make it to the bed this night. “Darling, do you have to torture me like this?”
“Oh, most definitely,” she smiled up at him as she knelt on the cool porcelain of the tub. This time she worked in reverse, the cloth wedging gently between each toe, then up to his calf, across his thighs. Jon watched her, memorize each tiny movement, memories to store up for later. When reality struck, and he was once again all alone.
He practically collapsed against the cool tiles when those dainty hands caressed the insides of his thighs, coming up to tenderly move the cloth across his balls that tightened and lifted at her caress. “Fuck,” he whispered in sacred prayer.
“If we manage to get around to it tonight. But who cares? We have the rest of our lives. I’m sure at some point, we’ll take the edge off this thing between us long enough to fuck our brain out, right?”
The combination of her innocent smile and dirty words had him lacing his fingers through her hair, even as she brought the soapy rag up and began running it up and down his still hard length. “Damn it, Alicia, I can’t take much more.”
She just chuckled, “Or what? What you gonna do? Pin me against the wall and fuck me right here?”
Her words were all it took, the image too enticing as his hand gripped her just beneath the arm, lifted her to her feet. He turned her and pushed her head forward until it rested against those tiles that seemed like hot coals burning through his memories.
He wedged his foot between her legs and kicked them apart. He stepped into that space, his fingers lacing through hers on the wall, his cock brushing against the round globes of her bottom, then slipping quickly between her slick folds. He moaned in her ear, “Tell me to stop, sweetheart.”
Alicia smiled in pure joy. Maybe there was something to this trusting the goddess shit. That had undoubtedly gone better than she could have imagined. She could only pray that this night would be more of the breakthrough they needed.
Maybe she should slow things down. It had been seven long dry years since she had sex, real sex. With this man. But damn it, she did not want to. And her body was more than ready. It had been for days, weeks.
“Fuck me, Jon. Fuck me, here. Fuck me now,” she pleaded or commanded, even she was not sure.
She felt him surge forward. Her body opening like the first rose in spring for his hard cock. She sighed as she pushed her bottom back to meet his forward motion. The head of his cock firmly embedded in her wet cunt. Her fingers flexed rhythmically on the wall, tapping out the perfect chorus as her ripe body sored to the heavens. Her orgasm hit her hard and fast.
“Holy fuck,” he breathed against her ear as he fought the intense contractions of her body around his throbbing length. “Damn, sweetheart, you’re even tighter than you were that night.”
“Shut up, jarhead, and kiss me before I wake this whole damned house with my screams.”
He chuckled as he bent his head to do just that. But Alicia was not in the mood for tentative or tender. She wanted this man. She had dreamed of this moment for seven years, her favorite fantasy. And she wanted it all. She bucked her hips faster and harder, even as her tongue plunged into the recesses of his mouth.
She took the lead, and she kept it. Some part of her still frightened that Jon would change his mind, reject her again. His fingers flexed and tightened around hers. His lips drew back just enough to whisper, “Baby, please. It’s too much. Fuck, I’m already on edge, and I just came. What do you do to me?”
“Shut up and fuck me,” she gave no quarter. Her hips moved faster as she felt the last couple of inches imbed inside of her. “Please, please, Jon.”
He moved deeper and faster, pounding into her. Pushing them both higher, their orgasms hit them fast as they clung to one another beneath the chilly spray of water. Their lips melded to one another; their cries stifled in the kiss.
She clung to him. Complete for the first time in seven long years. But this night was not over. This was not a ‘no strings attached’ charade. This was the beginning of the rest of their lives. And that meant it was time for honesty. “I love you.”
Jon shook his head as he reached around her to turn off the water that was now cold, as cold as the dark void in his soul. He wanted to believe her. Wanted to believe that it was possible. That it was that simple.
But this was not some dream, some fantasy he made up. This was real life, and that had not come easy for him in a long time. Perhaps never. Love was not something he had a helluva a lot of experience with.
He was silent as he turned his back, using the excuse of reaching for a towel to compose his turbulent emotions. He brought it to his own face, not to wipe away the water from the shower, but his tears.
What did he say? How did he respond? It would be too easy and completely honest to simply say, ‘I love you too.’ But would that get them anywhere? Would that solve anything? Was it the new beginning they needed?
He heard the insecurity in her voice. That was not what he intended, what he wanted. He did love her. He had from the night that this woman took a broken and battered soul into her arms and bed. But they needed far more than a quickie in the shower to build a life together, a family for their daughter.
He leaned down and wrapped the towel about her shoulder. He brushed a tender kiss across her forehead. “We should get dried off. We can talk better in our bedroom.”