I gathered my breath and walked walked away, once I was in my room I found the bag of shopping I had yet unpacked in the closet. I rifled through and picked up the white two piece bikini I had bought. Fuck. I more than regretted my decision now that I had to swim in the company of Dominic, the man I’d slept with only hours earlier. Awkward wasn’t anywhere a strong enough word to explain how I was going to feel in his presence from now on. Why hadn’t I gone for something more modest?
I changed into the bikini, desperately trying to think of an excuse not to go, but I was unable to think of anything, without letting Molly down. I pulled my jeans and t-shirt back on over the top of the bikini and resigned myself to a day of swimming with Molly... and the man I had slept with on a casual whim.
I walked downstairs and smiled at Molly, who was already waiting with a full bag of beach toys ready to go. She looked up at me and beamed. “Yay, you are coming! Will you swim too?”
I nodded and picked her bag up. “Sure will sunshine.”
“Daddy!” Molly said, her focus shifted and she began running to my left. I turned to face Dominic who was dressed in board shorts and a singlet, a somewhat surprising ensemble for him, although I wasn’t sure why I was surprised... we were going to the beach.
He smiled at his daughter and greatly received her hug, he looked up at me, then back down at Molly as he ran his hand through her curly hair.
“Shall we go?”
“Yes please, come on Flick!” Molly giggled, running at me, pulling Dominic along behind her.As expected, I felt awkward and strange around him, but for Molly’s sake I pushed it aside. We walked out to Dominic’s car. It was like mine, but sportier and black. Molly hopped in the back while Dominic popped the trunk open. I placed the beach bag inside as well as my own bag and towel. Dominic closed it, and looked at me for a moment, he still made me feel like I wasn’t in control of my body, a fact I knew he’d probably revel in, despite our mistaken night and subsequent conversation annulling it. I withheld the urge to lick my lip and walked around the car until I was by the passenger’s door. I sat down in the car and closed the door behind me, Dominic followed shortly after.
“Can we get ice cream after Daddy?” Molly quipped.
“I don’t see why not kiddo.” Dominic put the key in the ignition. “Do you like ice cream Felicity?”
I’d like to eat ice cream off you...
“Yes. Rocky road is my favourite.” I replied monotonously, as I tried to hide my wayward thoughts by staring out the window at the garden.
“Mine too.” He replied with a hint of surprise in his voice. Typical.
We drove to the beach in relative silence. Aside from the radio and the occasional question from Molly of course. It took a while to get there, the nearest beach was 30 minutes from town. It was relatively quiet when we arrived, only a few other people were swimming. Dominic parked and the three of us walked out onto the sand. Molly ran out, stopping where the wet sand met the dry. She jumped up and down as we approached her.
“Come on! I need to swim!” She giggled peeling her sundress off. “Flick, I’ll race you to the water.”
I smiled and nodded as I removed my jeans and t-shirt. I wasn’t sure, but I think Dominic almost gasped at my appearance, I was breaking another rule... My bikini was hardly the epitome of demure or modest. I stepped onto the wet sand feeling more naked in Dominic’s presence than I had last night when I had actually been naked. I could feel his eyes on me, and all I could think was; why the fuck did I choose white?
“On your marks!” Molly giggled. I focused on her, tearing my mind set from him. “Get set.”
I smiled and waited for her word, when all of a sudden Dominic shouted “Go” from behind us. Molly laughed and took off like a bullet, speeding far ahead of me. I tried to catch up but failed.
“You won!” I laughed splashing my feet in the warm summer water. “You’re too quick.”
“We can race again.” Molly grinned.
“Or I can pick you up and dunk you.” Dominic said, walking in to the water wearing only his shorts. My eyes glazed over the chest I had been against only hours earlier and the awkwardness returned tenfold.
“You wouldn’t Daddy!” She laughed splashing him in the face. Dominic laughed with her, then picked her up, she giggled louder and tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but he chucked her into the water and she came up laughing uncontrollably. I smiled at Molly and a laugh slipped from my own mouth.
“Think it’s funny huh?” Dominic said, I turned my glance to him and bit the inside of my cheek. He was looking at me with his intense blue eyes, disarming me, I was lost in him, and I almost felt like that was his point. He stepped towards me, and I knew what he was thinking straight away.
“Don’t you dare!” I warned stepping backwards.
“Do it Daddy!” Molly called out, still laughing.
“Oi, I thought you were on my side!” I called out looking passed Dominic, My eyes fell upon Molly who just grinned at me. Before I’d even finished speaking Dominic had scooped me up in his arms, my own arms automatically wrapped around his shoulders, like they had been the night before. Our faces were aligned, and the tension that had been present since I had started working was still there, despite our indiscretion.
“If I’m going in, you’re coming with me.” I said boldly, tightening my grip around his neck. “I don’t think so Felicity.” He laughed as he lifted me higher and pulled me away from his body. It was painful to be apart from him, and that realization scared me, but I didn’t have enough time to think about it in depth because he let go of me. I hit the cool water with a hard splash, it winded me, and when I rose from the water I realized very quickly the dangerous line I was attempting to tight rope walk across.Molly had already moved to the edge of the shore so she could play in the sand. So Dominic and I stood waist deep, feet from each other, just staring.
“I might go sit in the sun.” I whispered finally, wading through the water, Dominic arm caught mine and he stopped me.
“It’s okay, it was funny really... Molly was amused.”
Dominic shook his head and his eyes softened. “I’m not sorry about that.“I frowned and realized quickly what he was talking about. I looked back at the shore and bit my lip.
“Not here Dominic.” I whispered.
“I took advantage of you, and that was wrong.”
Advantage? I had wanted it just as much as he did. It had been mutual, god I’d thought about being with him since the day I’d met him even if he had infuriated me from the very beginning, even if the connection had been purely superficial once, I’d wanted him. It had changed now. He had changed, he didn’t seem so black and white, his life was full of hues, some spectacular and bright, and some sullen and dark. What scared me was that the more time I spent around him, the more I wanted to explore him... all of him, but it wasn’t that simple.
“You didn’t.” I replied. “I promise.”
“None the less, I am still sorry.” He released my arm. I walked out of the water and over to our bags. I watched Dominic and Molly play in the shallow waters, it was sweet and loving and something Molly would always remember. It was like he was letting his walls down, letting her in. I smiled and pulled the sunblock from the bag, I lathered myself up, my skin was too pale to handle the sun’s rays for too long without risking a full blown lobster coloured burn.
“Need some help?” A voice called from a few feet away, I turned a young guy, with beautiful green eyes smiled at me. “With your back. I’m a doctor, I’d hate for you to get too burnt.”
I snickered and nodded. “Actually yeah, I do. Thanks.“The guy walked over and knelt beside me. “You have a beautiful family.” He mentioned taking the sunscreen from me. I knew he was digging, that accompanied with the sly dropping in of his profession clued me on him making the moves. I wasn’t that up with the play when it came to guys sure, but he was being over the top obvious that even I picked up on it, but I played along anyway.
“I’m the nanny.” I replied as he rubbed the lotion in. “but they are a pretty special family.”
“So you’re single then?”
“Yep, apparently so.” I replied.“Well then, I’m Jamie.”
“Felicity.” I smiled holding my hand out. He shook my hand with the non-sunblock covered hand. “Nice to meet you.”
I looked up at Dominic and Molly, only to be shocked that Dominic was walking across the sand toward me and Jamie. He shadowed over us, I looked up, and his eyes were darker than I’d ever seen them. Jamie handed me the sunblock back and stood up.
“Uh, she just needed help with her back.” He assured Dominic like he owed him some kind of explanation. I was about to speak up for myself but before I could Dominic folded his arms across his chest.
“Well I think she’s fine now.” He replied coldly.
“The Nanny.” Jamie laughed sarcastically. “Yeah right.”
He walked away and grabbed his things then left the beach. Dominic sat down beside me, he was so tense I could almost feel it rising of him.
“My daughter is on the Beach, she could have looked up and seen some guy pawing you. That isn’t the standards I want to set for her.”
“He put some sunblock on my back Dominic.”
“He was touching you in public.” He croaked. I reached across and placed my hand on his back.
“And now I’m touching you in public.” He tensed even more, so I dropped my hand and sighed.
“The boyfriend rule is something I’m steadfast on Felicity.” He said, “If you break that rule I have to let you go.”
“Relax. I’m not interested in him, He just helped me with my back.” I replied.
“So what about last night. That was hardly an ideal standard.” I whispered, the words excited my mouth before I could stop them. I rolled my eyes at myself and lay down on my towel. Mortified.
“It was a weak moment. I used you. I needed comfort.” He replied.My heart hurt. I’d been used every time I’d had sex, but it had never hurt as much as it did right now.
“Why?” I murmured.
“You were right before Felicity. Not here.”
I sat back up and turned to face Dominic, he met my gaze, but there was still a darkness in his eyes. I wanted to lean forward to kiss him, and I almost did, but instead and just smiled.
“Forgive me if I’m crossing the line again, I know you’re not a bad man Dominic, and I want to know you... the real you.” I placed my hand over his. “My shoulder is always there for you.”
He nodded, his thumb grazed my hand, sending sparks up my arm and into my heart. Molly called out and we broke the moment, the tension fell like shattered glass around us.
We left the beach after a couple of hours. We had ice cream in the nearby parlour and then drove home. Molly fell asleep on the drive leaving Dominic and I alone with each other once again.
“My parents died when I was 14. Suddenly I was an orphan.” He muttered. “My Aunt raised me, she was tough, raised me with an iron fist. I went from being a spoiled little shit, to having to tick off a list of chores in order to eat. My chores weren’t normal.” He murmured, seemingly unwilling to delve deeper as his words faded to nothing. “Then she died when I was barely 18. My inheritance came in, and I used it and money from the vineyard to emancipate myself and start CoranCorp.”
I frowned, Dominic’s life hadn’t exactly been the silver spooned existence I had assumed it to be, he was just as fucked up as everyone else.
“I’ve been alone for much of my life. There was a time when I bedded a different girl every night.” He whispered, after checking Molly was still asleep. “I yearned to feel wanted.”
“And?” I replied ignoring the jealousy simmering.
“I learned quickly it didn’t work.” He sighed
“And you faltered last night?” I whispered. “With me?”
Dominic stopped at a red light. “Yes.”
My heart sunk and any hope I’d had of my growing feelings being reciprocated died in a blazing fire. I pushed it down and looked out the window. “But you found love and married right?”
Dominic let out a short laugh. “That’s another story for another day Felicity.”
Once we were home Molly sat down to watch a DVD and I disappeared into my bedroom. Dominic had shared a part of his life with me, widening my understanding of him and it was dangerous, because the more I knew, the more I cared.I walked into the dining room at dinner time, Dominic smiled at me as I sat down. “Summer agrees with you felicity.”
“Uh, Thanks.” I croaked, looking sideways at Harvey who wasn’t paying any attention.
I picked up my wine glass and took a sip. “This is delicious.” I said looking back at Dominic who nodded.
“I’d hope so. It’s got my name on it.”
His blue eyes caught mine and he half smiled. I swallowed hard, unable to look away from Dominic’s unwavering stare. I could feel the sexual tension between us again, even though neither one of us were saying a thing. I was undressing him with my eyes, and we weren’t even alone.
Flustered I pulled my glance from his the minute Amelie walked in with the dinner tray. Desperate to put distance between us as soon as dinner was over, I went straight back to my room and let Dominic put Molly to bed alone.
There was only so much tension I could handle, my body was still buzzing with want for Dominic and as much as I wanted to erase it I couldn’t.
Without thinking, I found myself in front of his bedroom door, wearing nothing but my bathrobe. The tension of the day had all but sent me mad, and I wasn’t sure if he had felt it too, but at this point, once again I was no longer in control of myself. I knocked and waited. A few seconds later the door opened. He was wearing almost exactly what he had been wearing the night before. His eyes widened as he looked at me.
“What’s up?” He murmured, his jaw clenched hard, but his eyes were soft, glazed.
“Use me.” I breathed out.
“Huh?” He said leaning against the door frame.
“I want you to use me.” I said still so soft, it was barely audible.
“Felicity... we can’t I can’t... you’re worth more than that.”
“I. Want. You.” I said as I opened the robe, Dominic looked down and ran his hand over his right bicep. He pursed his lips and shook his head as his eyes rose to meet mine again.
“Why?” he whispered I could hear the pain in his voice and it made me sad. I stepped forward and pressed my hand against his bare chest. The man had issues when it came to people caring about him as a person, and I understood that. I could have been him in different circumstances.
“Because you’re you.” I smiled.
The moment I spoke, Dominic lifted me up, cupping my butt with one hand, and caressing my back with the other. He turned and kicked the door shut. I shrugged the robe off, and it fell to the floor with a soft thud.
Dominic’s lips found my collar bone and he traced kisses up and down both.
“You said your shoulders are always there for me.” He whispered. “Did you mean it?”
“Yes.” I breathed out.
“Good.” He replied as he kissed up my neck. “What about your neck?”
“Yes.” I managed to croak. “Please.”
“And your lips? Are your lips here for me too?” he murmured in my ear, his breath hit my lobe sending shivers up my spine.
“All of me is here for you Dominic.”
“You shouldn’t say things you don’t mean.” He replied hungrily.
“I mean it Dominic. No strings.” He pulled back, his eyes searched mine.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure.” I lied, I’d made my way to his room because my emotions weren’t in check. No strings was a sure fire way to intensify my very real feelings, but in the moment that didn’t matter.Dominic’s lips found mine silencing my thoughts. He sat down on the bed, and shrugged his pants down.
“I need to be inside you now.” He croaked. I nodded, I needed a quick release too, and I needed it from him, now. He lifted my body and as used his hand to guided himself inside, filling me to the brim.
“Oh god.” I groaned. “Dom...”
"Lis... Fuck.” He nibbled my collarbone and pulled my body down hard against him. I could feel the pressure rising already, clearly our sexual chemistry knew no boundaries, not that I was complaining. I moved against him, meeting his rising thrusts with my grinds. I was nearing my peak and Dominic knew it. He pulled me close.
“Lis, kiss me.” He moaned.
I obeyed, pressing my lips against his, hard. I tried to remove the emotion behind it, but it was useless, Dominic and I had shared many different types of kisses in the last 24 hours, but they all had the same feeling behind them, they were body shakingly soul consuming. I fell apart, I came... with my mouth still on his, muted moans escaping between the waves of pure pleasure. Dominic stood up, still inside me, while I was still coming down from my climax. He walked to the wardrobe and pressed me against it, taking me while he stood, moving with me until he began to shake, he pressed his weight, relaxing against the wall as his own release came, his face lay against my breast. “Stay with me tonight.” He mumbled before he let me go.
“Okay.” I replied. “I’ll stay.”
Dominic released me, he kissed me on the head and walked over to the bed. “Good. I’ll go get us a drink and we can talk.”
“Can I use your shower?” I asked picking up my robe, I attempted to cover myself with it, but I wasn’t sure why. Dominic nodded and pointed me through to the bathroom. I had a quick shower, all the while ignoring the reality of my actions. Finally, once the warmth had numbed my skin I hopped out and walked back into the room wearing the robe. Dominic walked in at the same time walking back into the room with two wine glasses.
He held one out to me. “Coran wines award winning Pinot Gris.”
I took it and nodded in thanks.
“Come over here.” He whispered as he sat down on the bed. I walked over and stood awkwardly in front of him. He placed his wine glass down, then shift forward and took mine and placed it down. “Stop thinking.” He urged taking my hands in his. I smiled and climbed over Dominic’s lap, resting against his chest as I lay beside him on the bed.
“Have you ever been in love Felicity?” he murmured wrapping his arm around me.
“No.” I replied honestly, although part of me knew that at a disturbingly fast pace I was falling for Dominic, despite our vast differences.
“Neither have I.”
“You were married though?” I questioned like I had earlier.
“It was arranged, I was messed up... I guess still am. I lost everyone I ever cared about before I turned 14. I didn’t want to have real feelings for anyone anymore. I met my wife through a business associate. She wanted money, and I wanted company.“Dominic sighed. “We barely spoke, she had her own room. In the end, I was still always alone. After I signed a big multi million contract deal I celebrated with her. Took her out for dinner, attempted to have a semi normal outing. We both got drunk, slept together for the first and only time and then Molly was conceived.” He sighed.
Now I understood how he hadn’t been with anyone in 8 years. His wife had never loved him, and he had never loved her.
“She wanted to terminate.” He croaked. “I begged her, pleaded, promised her a million dollars for just having the baby. I had lost everything I had ever loved before I turned 14, and then suddenly this woman... one I almost couldn’t stand was carrying my baby.”
“Dominic.” I soothed.
“She agreed and when Molly was born it turned out she was a good Mother. She loved her, at least it seemed like it. Sure she was having an affair, if that’s what you could call it, but she was there for Molly. At least until she turned 5. That was when my wife took me on holiday, and to everyone else it seemed normal, but I knew she had something planned.“Dominic stopped and looked down at me. “She told me she was leaving. That she was in love with someone else, she was pregnant and they wanted to get married.”
“But what about Molly?”
“She told me she never wanted Molly. She said in some ways she even hated her.” His jaw was clenched and I could see the words hurt him too say. Suddenly it hit me, Dominic wasn’t cold towards everyone because he didn’t care, he was cold because he cared too much. Keeping people at an arm’s length was a self-destructive coping mechanism. I ran my fingers over his chest, grazing over the slight tuft of hair on his breastbone.
“She’s insane.” I murmured. “Because Molly is the sweetest little girl ever.“Dominic nodded and pulled me in closer.“I told her to go, and to never come back. I paid her 10 million, and I came back alone. I told no one what really happened, I think some even assume I killed her.”
He sighed loudly. “Even Molly doesn’t really know what happened. She just remembers that one day her mother was here, and one day she wasn’t. I can’t bring myself to tell her about any of it. She’s going to hate me regardless.”
“Then don’t. She seems pretty happy and well-rounded and she loves you a whole lot. She’s 7, she doesn’t need to know how shitty people can be yet.”
Dominic let out a chuckle “As I expected, you’re as straight to the point as ever.” He kissed me on the head, and ran his hand over my arm. “Thank you for listening felicity. You know, you’re the first person I’ve ever told any of this too.”
“Anytime Dominic.” And I meant it.
We fell asleep while lying in the same position and I woke in his arms once more, but this time I didn’t run right away. He stirred, his arms tightened around me and he kissed my bare shoulder where my robe had fallen down.
“Waking next to someone is nice.” He murmured. “Yesterday was the first time ever... but this time is better, cos you haven’t run from me.“I curved my body in to his. “We understand the situation this time.” I replied.
“Yes.” He said as his hand moved down my body, over my curves. He peeled the robe back and slid his hand over my hip. “I could get lost in you Felicity.”
“It’s Monday, you have work.” I said softly, though deep down a rush of adrenalin ran through me, I was already lost in him.
“I’d be pretty distracted if I went to work like this Lis.” He took my hand and ran it down over his pyjama pants, he was aroused. I looked up at him and bit my lip.
“Well then.” I grinned. “I guess we had better take care of that first.”