But then he always was. It was always what he was.
His lips brushed across hers again and the word refused to leave the forefront of her thoughts.
Sweet. Tender. Loving. That was who Nate was. Always.
When he moved to place a soft kiss to her cheek, she fought against the sudden, unreasonable urge to roll her eyes and sigh in frustration.
She clenched her teeth. Damn it ! She could do this. She could do sweet. She could do tender. This was what she wanted. It was what she needed.
She had taken too many hits lately. Yale, Chuck, the teacher from hell and the bad that came with her, Chuck, her father's obvious disappointment in her, Chuck. Yeah, it was just too much for her to deal with.
Nate was perfect. He was the stand up guy. He was Prince Charming. He was everything she was supposed to want.
She would not give that up. She would not turn away from this. She couldn't even figure out why she wanted to so badly.
He was nuzzling her neck now and it was warm and nice and gentle. And it was supposed to be what she wanted. So she clenched her hands into fists and dug them into his hair. She would make this work.
This was the right thing to do. She may have failed at Yale. She may have disappointed everyone and let them down. But she wouldn't, couldn't let them down again. This was what was expected of her. And she absolutely would see this through.
He shuffled her backwards and she let him until she felt the mattress against the backs of her knees. Then she sat down and pulled him down with her.
Kneeling in front of her, he took both her hands in his and kissed them as he peered up at her through his curtain of dark blond bangs."Are you sure this is what you want, Blair?” His voice was soft and sincere and she forced herself not to wish there was more gravel in it. She forced herself not to wish he would just take her if he wanted her instead of asking her permission.
So she nodded and laid back, crawling as she did until her head reached the fluffy pillow on the bed.
He followed her, stretching his body out beside her and tenderly laying a hand on her stomach. A warm hand that needed to be a few degrees warmer to be perfect. A hand that needed to be firmer and much more roving to be what she really wanted.
NO! She shouted silently in her head. I will not do this. Nate is who I want. Nate is what I want. Nate is my future.
She repeated the words over and over as he began to kiss her again. A kiss that was tender and sweet and left her feeling tranquil and serene and not at all like she wanted to be feeling at the moment.
She cringed inwardly when his hand slowly began to move upward, as if he were waiting for her to stop him at any moment.
He didn't grope her, he caressed her. He didn't nip at her skin, he delicately kissed it.
She dropped her head to the pillow and closed her eyes, trying to block out the images her mind was creating. She vaguely noted that he was unbuttoning her shirt and drawing his hand along her bare chest as he did.
She loved Nate. She had always loved Nate. The images in her mind were the worst kind of betrayal. She was a horrible person for thinking that he wasn't undressing her fast enough, ripping at her clothing until it was in taters around her. She was terrible for wishing he would just bit her hard enough to mark her as his. She was certainly going to hell for wanting him to grab her and just take her whether she wanted him to or not.
Nate is my future, the words had somehow lost their meaning although she clung to them like a mantra, over and over.
Her eyes fluttered opened slowly when he leaned away from her and she watched as he pulled his beige, three hundred dollar sweater over his head and let it fall gracefully to the bed beside him. He glanced at it laying there in a heap and she thought for the briefest of moments that he was going to pick it up and fold it.
But he didn't, thank God.
She reached a shaking hand out and let it play over his tanned, toned, athletic body. She bumped her fingers over his muscles and the words in her head were screaming at her that it was wrong. There was too much muscle there, not nearly enough hair. Certainly the sparse hair that was there wasn't dark enough. Even the trail that lead down the middle of his stomach and disappeared into his pants was a mere dusting and it was almost invisible in its blondness.
She let her hand fall and turned her gaze to the side, searching for something that would make this right for her. She needed something to hold on to, something to sink herself into.
Was this how the rest of her life would be ? Would she always be looking up at Nate and wishing, praying he were different. Paler, less muscled, more hair, darker hair, with skin that tingled her fingers and set her flesh on fire when it slid against hers.
Her eyes fell to the antique table that matched her bed. The one that held her diary and her alarm clock and all her other sleeping essentials. And there it was, right beside her black velvet sleeping mask.
It was paisley, for fuck's sake. She hated paisley. The red and blue flashes of color grabbed her eyes. When had Chuck left his scarf ? And why in God's name hadn't she returned it ?
Of course she knew the answers to both those questions. He had left it the night they stayed awake until dawn plotting against Georgina.
The night she had woken up in his arms. The first night she had ever woken up in his arms.
She was so lost in her thoughts that she jumped in startled surprise when Nate leaned up and engulfed one of her nipples in the warmth of his mouth.
She held her breath. This was it. Surely he would get this right. But his tongue easily swirled around her nipple before he released it and moved to her other breast.
She groaned, not meaning to make the noise out loud, but Nate took it as a sign of approval and repeated the not all together unpleasant move with her other nipple.
It wasn't as if what he was doing wasn't nice. It was very nice. It was pleasant and gentle and she could hardly help but feel loved and cherished and adored.
But God help her ! She snatched at the blankets under her with tightly closed fists. She didn't want to be made love to. She just wanted him to fu-!
She sat straight up in bed, dislodging him with the violence of the movement and startling herself enough to stop the thought in its tracks before it went any further.
“Are you okay?" Nate asked, resting a hand on her shoulder gingerly. “Did I do something wrong?”She bit her lip, pleading with her mouth to make the right words come out instead of the ones she wanted to say.
Nate.” She shook her head as she gave him a placating smile. “It
“Then what is it? If something's wrong just tell me.” He told her quietly. “I'll do it differently. I'll do it however you want.”
“Everything is fine.” She tried to reassure him.
Then she shrugged the shirt the rest of the way off her shoulders and laid back against her soft, satin comforter again.
“Are you sure everything's okay?” He asked, quietly as he eyed her.
She reached her hand up and ran it slowly down his chest, letting her fingers glide over his ribs until she stopped at his waistband. Once there she lingered for a moment and played with the material of his pants. Then she slipped her finger in between his stomach and his slacks and dragged it around until she met with his button.
Her eyes jumped to his face as she slid it slowly through the hole that was made for it. A moment later she was grasping the metal tab of his zipper and gliding down it down gradually.
His stomach sunk in for an instant as his breath hitched while his eyes remained locked on hers. He was completely still as her hands slid to his hips and eased the khaki colored material down.
He pulled away just long enough to take the pants the rest the way off, standing beside the bed to do so.
And she watched in horrible disbelief as he snatched them from the floor and laid them neatly over the back of the lace covered chair resting in front of her vanity.
He just folded his pants. He folded his fucking pants. Here I am, sitting naked in front of him from the waist up and he's folding his pants.
Then he just stood there clad in nothing but his boxers for a long while, simply staring at her as she stared back at him. Neither of them moved, neither said a word. They just stared, wide-eyed and almost fearful.
I have to stop this, she told herself furiously. I have to make this work.
She moved from the bed, coming to within a hair's breath from touching him and reached a finger to his hand. She traced over the back of it and up his arm, slowly, so very slowly. His eyes were following her movements. When she reached his shoulder, she glided over it and around his neck until her hand was buried in his hair. Her other hand quickly followed just as her lips fell on his.
She wasn't easy or smooth or tender in her kiss. She flung her body into his and poured as much fire and passion as she could muster into her movements.
He responded quickly, tugging her even further into him and wrapping his arms around her waist. Her hands moved from his hair back to his shoulders as she broke the kiss and let her lips delve down to his throat. She let her tongue graze over the rough stumble and it nearly touched on painful and she was grateful. Finally she was feeling something. Finally there was something there. She could work with that.
As she made her way to the base of his throat he made a faintly choking sound as she nipped at the sensitive flesh. His arms tightened even more and his breath caught when she bit a touch harder.
He took her shoulders in his hands and pulled her away from him. “Blair,” he panted. “What was that?”
“What?” She asked, wide-eyed innocence written all over her face. “You didn't like it?”
He shook his hair. “No, actually it hurt.”
Her eyes fell to the floor and she fought back a surge of out-of-nowhere tears that were suddenly stinging the corners of her eyes.
“I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to hurt.” She told him, as she tried to break away from him completely.
“It's okay. Just not so hard next time.” He pulled her in again and gathered her into his chest.
She let herself be encouraged by his movements and tried to remind herself to be more careful with him.
Careful! Her mind screamed. This wasn't the time to be careful. It was
supposed to be wild and carefree, thunderous and consuming.
She certainly wasn't feeling very consumed at the moment. In fact, if she wasn't vehemently lying to herself, she would have to admit that she was almost bored.
God!, she berated herself, there is a gorgeous man standing in your arms wearing nothing but his underwear and kissing you like you are the most priceless thing in the world and you're bored. How could she possibly be bored with Nate? He was perfect. He was tender and loving and everything a woman is supposed to want in a man. She would not allow herself to be bored. This was ridiculous.
As a further testament to her preoccupation, she suddenly realized that they were back to lying on the bed. His leg was draped over hers and he was looming above her kissing his way down her neck. She hadn't even realized they had moved.
Biting her lip, she pushed her hands back into his hair and dragged his mouth back to hers. As she arched her back into his chest, she latched onto to his lips and tried to urge his mouth open with her tongue, hoping that maybe he would get the hint. When the tip of her tongue only brushed over his closed lips she involuntarily tightened her hands into fists in frustration. In the process, pulling his hair a trifle roughly.
He gasped and jerked back in reaction. Her eyes went wide and she automatically began to mumble apologizes. His face soften as the I'm sorries fell from her lips and began to smooth her hair with his fingertips as he gazed down into her face so romantically.
Her treacherous mind wasn't helping as it conjured up an image of the last time she had pulled a man's hair. Chuck had nearly come undone as her hand tangled in his dark hair. And tightening her grip had only caused him to clutch her tighter, to slam into her harder.
She gasped as her brain continued its instant replay of that time. When she did she realized that Nate was again fondling her breast and again he was taking her response as a sign of approval.
Suddenly she realized that she could indeed do this. She could make this work. Would it be so wrong? Would it make her a horrible person? Was her imagination even strong enough to convince her it was true?
His mouth dropped to the spot between her breast and she sucked in a breath. It was one of the most sensitive spots on her body. Chuck had found it the first time they were together in the limo and he used to knowledge to his advantage over and over again.
She waited, hoping that maybe Nate would finally touch her the way she needed to be touched. If he would just drag his teeth over her skin, just suck at that particular spot instead of brushing his lips over it or caressing it with his tongue.
Her chest arched into his mouth in triumph as he began to suck at her flesh. It wasn't hard enough. He didn't stay there long enough but she could work with it.
“Is that what you want?” he asked, looking up at her over the mound of her breast.
“God, yes,” she sighed as his fingers fell over her breast and began to tug at her nipple just a trifle roughly.
Then his mouth replaced his fingers and he bit down on her nipple hard enough to make her cry out.
“I'm sorry,” he said, quickly. “I didn't mean to hurt you.”
“It's okay,” she assured him. “Just not quite so hard.”
He tried again, exacting much less pressure this time and driving her crazy with frustration. First he was too hard, now not hard enough. This was never going to work.
Suddenly he was gone and she snatched her eyes open to search him out.
She found him standing beside the bed, grabbing his pants from the back of her chair.
“I can't do this, Blair.” he answered her question before she had a chance to ask it.
“What?” she gasped, grabbing at her shirt to keep herself from feeling so suddenly vulnerable. "Why not?”
“I'm not him. I can't be him. And I'm not going to try.” He told her as he snatched up his sweater and began to straighten it so he could put it back on.
“I don't know what you're talking about,” she lied.
He rolled his eyes at her feeble attempt. “Nate, please,” she said, untangling herself from the bed and grabbing his arm. “I don't want him. I don't want you to try to be him. I just want you.”
“We have done nothing but make each other crazy all night. Obviously this isn't the right time for this. Maybe we can try again tomorrow.” He glanced at the clock beside her bed. “I should be getting home anyway. It's late.”
She thought about stopping him. She thought about begging him to stay, begging him to try again. But something inside her wouldn't make the words came out and instead she watched, horrified as he laid a soft kiss to her forehead and quietly slipped from the room.
The door was barely closed before her phone was in her hand.