The Arrangement (An Alternative Love Romance)

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Merry Christmas, Baby

Their passion had only been discovered and roared full force over the next few days. Selene wanted him more than she was worried about being sore, but Nick still tended to her afterward. While there were moments of gentle passion, they both tended toward the intense, rougher encounters. Selene even followed Nick’s request to remain in skirts with no underwear. He could hardly keep his hands off her.

They had sex everywhere, over almost every surface, and up against many walls. Her small stature allowed for some interesting places and positions, meaning Nick took her at angles she’d never imagined. No matter what, though, Nick always made sure that when she came, it was intense. But he would decide, no matter how much she begged. Each time he could feel her coming close, he’d remind her to hold onto it until he gave her permission. When he finally did, Selene would cum so hard she would lose herself.

Nick’s voice and loving words brought her back each time.

Selene was glowing and Nick was puffed up in pride. He was not the sole cause, but he knew he had a part to play in it and it was the happiest he’d ever seen her. On afternoon when they were out on snowmobiles, he stopped in a clearing area and danced with her out in the snow. Selene couldn’t stop laughing.

“I love you,” he told her. “If I have my way, Selene, by this time next year, we’ll be married or are soon to be.”

“Wife,” she looked at him questioningly.

Nick gave her a crooked smile. “What else did you think I meant by forever, sweetheart? I am in this all the way. I want to see us married, a place of our own, kids if we decide we want them… all of it. The beautiful dress, the wedding, the flowers, the pictures. I want to be ob my deathbed holding a photo of us on our wedding day in one hand and yours in the other. I want the last thing I want to see is your beautiful face and those stunning eyes. I would die a happy man.”

“I would hate to lose you,” she protested softly, her face wrinkling in sadness. “I don’t want you to die.”

“I don’t want to, either, honey, but we all do. You are all I want between now and then.”

Selene looked up at him a while, studying him. “How are you so amazing? How am I this lucky? I keep waiting for something bad to happen.”

Nick bent to kiss her brow. “If something bad happens, we will face it together. You and me, hand in hand,” he stated as if it were a simple fact. “No matter what it is. Ok?”

Selene nodded confirmation. “Ok. You and me.”

“Do you think you might be inclined to say yes,” he asked slyly.

Selene pursed her lips and gained a thoughtful look. “Hmmm… I’ll just have to think about it for a while. I’ll let you know,” she added before spinning away to walk off.

“What,” Nick yelled, outraged. He reached out and grabbed the sleeve of her coat. “Oh, you are not getting out of this that easy,” he growled, pulling her toward him. “Did you actually just blow me off?”

Selene began laughing at his expression. “I love you and I’ll tell you when you ask me,” she informed him, patting his cheeks with her thickly gloved hands. “Until then, I’m not saying.”

“Oh, you naughty girl,” Nick growled playfully. “I think I may need to spank you.”

A shiver ran up her spine and she felt a jolt of desire rip through her belly.

“Mmmm, my girl was thinking of me spanking her pussy,” he mused with a devilish grin. “You like that, don’t you?”

“Yes,” she responded breathlessly.

Nick kisses her briefly before he straightened up. “I think we need to get home, though I do not know how you aren’t more sore.”

“It’s not bad, it just feels so good,” she moaned.

“I think you are going to need a break,” he noted. “I don’t want my sweet girl’s pussy all bruised up.”

“I’m fine! I’d tell you if it was painful.”

Nick brushed his thumbs along her cheekbones as he cradled her face. “Promise?”

Selene nodded and gave him a reassuring smile. “I promise. I can’t not tell you,” she began, glancing down. “I keep catching myself afterward having told you too much, but you don’t treat me any different. Even knowing… anyway… I though you might want to know.”

“You are everything to me,” Nick said around the knot in his throat. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly.

Christmas Eve practically appeared out of nowhere. Tom and Gail showed up late in the afternoon, bearing many gifts. Some were for tomorrow, others for after, since most wouldn’t be by until New Year’s. Gail showed Selene things to help her cook dinner while the men went off to talk among themselves. Both conversations largely revolved around their partners, though the couple were mostly curious about the growing romance between Nick and Selene.

“You look absolutely blissful,” Gail commented as the pair cleaned and peeled the vegetables. “I take it things are going well?”

“They couldn’t be better,” Selene revealed. An unconscious smile lingered on her lips.

“I can tell. You look completely happy and in love.”

“I am,” she admitted, glancing at the older woman. “We talked, too, about things.”

“Oh? How did that go,” Gail asked as she began to slice the leek.

“Really good, actually,” Selene informed her. “Nick was really great. We talked for hours and then we tried some things.”

“And?”

“And… I like it,” Selene admitted, somewhat embarrassed.

“That’s good! I’m glad you gave it a chance. Make sure we get each other’s numbers before we head home. Sometimes there are things only a fellow sub can answer. Doms have their side, we have ours.”

Selene smiled at her. “Thanks. That would be cool. So, you really think I’m submissive?”

Gail eyed her with an are-you-kidding look. “Does it feel like you’re free when you let him take control?” When Selene nodded, she continued. “Do you find it easy to give into him?” Selene nodded again. “When he asks you to do something, does it make you happy or thrill you to do something that pleases him?”

“Yes. It feels amazing,” Selene admitted. “It really feels good when I see that look he gives me when I do something he wants.”

“And it’s not even been a week?”

Selene nodded again, realizing it had actually only been a few days. “Wow. It seemed to be such a natural progression. I didn’t even think about it.”

Gail grinned. “You are totally a sub and Nick is clearly the right man to bring it out of you. I’m really happy for you both. Nick’s a good guy, he’s just had crap taste in women until you came along. Whatever you did, good job, because I have never seen him this happy.”

“How long have you known him?”

Gail had to think about it a few moments. “I think about 6 years. I met him at the dungeon when Tom and I were still relatively new. I always thought he seemed a bit lost. But, that’s not uncommon when you’re missing half of yourself.”

The two worked in silence for a few moments before she decided to broach another subject. “You know, ears ago, I was raped. I barely survived. It used to haunt me all the time. Then, I met a great Dom who wanted to try some things with me. We worked up to doing a rape scene. He took me and taunted me, but I knew I could stop it at any time. It took a few tries, but eventually we did the scene all the way through. It was both erotic and healing. I had the control. I decided how far it went. He was in control of the scene, but I could tell him to stop and it was cathartic. I stopped seeing monsters in every room and the nightmares stopped. I still live with it, but it no longer controls me – the fear.”

“Really,” Selene responded quietly. “That’s quite amazing. I’m happy for you.”

Gail could tell the message had been received. She didn’t know what trauma Selene had suffered, but she had heard enough to understand that the woman had been through hell. If her experience could offer her some sense of relief in the future, then she couldn’t hold it back. Whatever happened, she deserved the chance to heal, and deserved to be presented with any alternative that could help.

While the women were doing their thing, the men were doing theirs a few rooms away.

“How is she?”

Nick smiled to himself. “She’s perfect. It’s like it’s instinctive for her. She’s been smiling non-stop and has seemed so much happier, too.”

“Good. She deserves to let go and be nurtured,” Tom said with approval. “From what little I’ve seen and what Gail has told me, she seems like a nice gal. She’s made you happy, which tells me she’s special, too.”

“I want to propose to her,” Nick blurted. “I want to make it permanent. I want her to feel totally secure and I… don’t want her to leave.”

Tom looked at Nick with concern. “Has she ever hinted at wanting to leave?”

“No, but… I am terrified of losing her at some point. Plus, this will ensure she knows how serious I am about her.”

“Do you love her?”

Nick nodded immediately. “I can’t even imagine a future without her. It’s like there’s no future without her.”

“How long have you two been officially together,” he asked, recalling how the pair began their relationship.

“Just a few months, really,” Nick said with a sigh. “It seems like we’ve been together forever. As if we are just...”

“Each other’s other half?”

Nick nodded and looked at Tom. “I know, it’s crazy. Everything has just advanced so quickly and it feels like the most natural thing in the world. I told her I want to be married to her by this time next year, or be nearly ready to do it.”

“So what’s the rush? You guys have all the time in the world,” Tom pointed out.

Nick looked at him with a serious expression. “What if something happens to me? What if they can’t get her parents off the street and she needs resources to protect her? I love her, Tom, and if I’m not around, I need to know she’s taken care of. I know I’ll never want another woman in my life. No one can ever match her. Plus, I don’t want the risk of someone else swooping in to steal her away.”

Tom chortled, shaking his head. “I get the impression that is the least of your worries. You’ve said it yourself – she admits to only trusting you. That’s not something that can easily be overcome. So, what’s the real reason for the rush?”

“I love her. I can’t imagine life without her. And, I want her to be secure in her future.”

Tom nodded as he studied his former protege. “So, have you picked out the ring? Decided when or how you want to ask?”

“I’m going to propose with my mother’s ring,” Nick informed him, walking over to his desk and pulling out a drawer. He pulled out a blue velvet box and brought it over for Tom to look at. “It’s not the most expensive ring, but it’s very nice and it’s not flashy,” he explained after Tom lifted the lid to see inside. “Selene loves all the filigree and detail work like it has. She doesn’t like the big stones, though, and her fingers are so damn tiny.”

“It’s not a cheap ring,” Tom mused. “What was this, about 10 grand?”

Nick shrugged. “I don’t know. The last appraisal said it was worth a bit over that, though,” he mentioned. “I want to custom make a bridal ring to go with it. Mom was buried with hers, but I’d rather get something that looks like it fits with that ring anyway.”

“The sentiment is more important than anything else,” Tom acknowledged, handing Nick back the box. “So, when do you want to ask her?”

Nick fidgeted with the box. “I was thinking of doing it tomorrow.”

“Don’t,” Tom warned. “Wait a little longer to be certain. You two do have a lot going on with all the investigation and whatever. Give her a bit more time. You might be approaching 40, but Nick, the woman’s not even legal drinking age yet. She’s barely had time to live.”

Nick nodded with a thoughtful look. “I’m being selfish. Rushing headlong like a teenager in puppy love, huh?”

“No, Nick,” Tom corrected, “you’re acting like a man in love. Just slow your roll a bit. Give the woman a bit more time. She’s clearly come a long way, but this isn’t over by a long shot. You two still have a lot of hurdles to face.”

“And I need her to know that I’m serious about being with her every step of the way,” Nick challenged, his voice rising slightly. “I don’t want her to ever have a doubt in her mind that I am ever leaving her side.”

Tom considered this a few moments. “Selene has rather simple tastes, you said?”

“Yes,” Nick answered with a curious look on his face.

“When is her birthday? You said it was in thew spring, right?”

Nick nodded.

“She also likes the gardens?”

Nick nodded again, then his eyes lit up. “That’s perfect! Maybe a picnic in the afternoon or a dinner in the evening with all those little lights around. I bet that I could arrange it if I tell them why and make a nice donation.”

Tom grinned at Nick, especially the enthusiasm he expressed. “I think you have your answer, then. Nighttime can be more romantic, but the sunlight would allow her to see the ring clearly,” he added with a smirk. “Though, the daytime would leave the entire evening rather open for something else.”

Nick nodded as he thought about it a few more minutes. “I could throw a small party in the evening and ask her then,” he mused. “But would putting her on the spot like that...”

“I vote for doing it privately, then showing it off later.”

Nick hummed an agreement. “That’s probably the better option. Selene is a rather private person. I don’t think many people have learned so much about her as I have, either.”

“Then perhaps you two were made for each other.”

Nick shrugged at that. “Just 8 months ago, I would have called bullshit on that, but now… I have wondered at times.”

At dinner, Selene got her first view of what another relationship was like when she watched Gail fill a plate and presented it to Tom. Once it was placed on the table, Tom pulled her to sit in his lap. Selene found it curious that Tom fed them both, alternating who’s bite it was. He fed her first, and seemed to know instinctively if he needed to salt one of her bites or his, but not the other. She was fascinated.

Tom explained they liked things a little differently, and didn’t like all the same things. Gail also explained she sometimes didn’t eat well, so he wanted to be sure she was eating enough. They did this for breakfast and dinner, but Tom would prepare her lunch before she went to work, and she had to eat it all. It didn’t take Selene long to understand – they were doing it because they loved each other. Tom wanted her healthy and she wanted him to be at ease that she was doing what she needed to do to stay that way. That she would sit in his lap while he fed her, Tom explained, was just for the pleasure of being close and having that added sense of intimacy in an everyday activity. Not for sexual reasons, either, but for bonding.

She was beginning to understand why Nick always wanted her near, in his lap, or wrapped up in his arms. It wasn’t just because he loved her and wanted her close; it was because he needed her close because he loved her. And that he did, she had no doubt. While she’d never experienced it before, she knew exactly what it didn’t look like. Nick was the polar opposite of what she knew it wasn’t, and she felt like the burden wasn’t hers alone to bear anymore. He was taking some of it off her shoulders and lifting her up. Every action since she’d moved in had been him showing her kindness and understanding. He encouraged her, he helped her without asking for anything in return – and he was there. Holding her hand and promising to be there, even when the bad things began.

Not once did he question her or accuse her or look down on her. There had not been a single moment she felt a lesser person in his eyes. He had been furious – with the people who’d hurt her – and immediately took action. It wasn’t all just words. He meant it. She knew he’d even cried for her pain – and it gave her strength. From the pictures, it looked as if she utterly adored him, and she supposed she did. Nick sometimes sounded as if he were afraid she’d leave him, but Selene didn’t have to think a second about it to know it would completely shatter her heart.

Christmas morning, it was Nick that woke her up, excited like a small child. It wasn’t with kissing, fondling, or any of that, it was with:

“Get up, sweetheart! It’s time for pancakes and presents,” he’s said excitedly, far too cheerful for the early hour.

Selene groaned and rolled over. “I’m sleeping. Go away.”

“Oh, no you don’t! It’s Christmas morning and you have to get up. There are presents waiting for you,” he implored. “I didn’t even buy them all.”

Selene squinted at him. “They’ll still be there in two hours, right?”

“Oh, no. You said this would be your first real Christmas, so we’re going to do it right,” hew informed her, pouncing on her and tickled her through the blankets. “Get ger, get up, get up,” he chanted with a child-like grin.

“I want to sleep,” she whined, trying to push him off.

“I’ll let you take a nap afterward,” he offered, stilling his hands.

Selene sighed heavily. “Fine.”

Nick began laughing triumphantly, pulling away the blankets and scooping her up off the bed. “That a girl,” he said before kissing her cheek. “Now, let’s get you in something relaxed, wrap your robe around you and go eat pancakes. Then presents.”

“You’re really excited by this,” she giggled as he took her to the bathroom.

“I am. I have been waiting anxiously to give you things,” he admitted. “Plus, I saw you had a couple things there for me, too. I can’t wait to see what they are.”

Before she knew it, Nick was helping her dress like she was a little kid, but she let him. His behavior was highly amusing and it seemed to make him happy. Once she was dressed, Nick scooped her up again and carried her into the living room, not even giving her the option of walking. Selene chuckled, wrapping her arms around his neck.

Breakfast was set up in front of the fire on a coffee table. Nick took a spot on the floor opposite Tom and Gail, but with Selene on his lap. When he wouldn’t let her move, her eyes lowered as she felt heat rise to her face. She did eat off her own plate, though, which was probably as far with this as she was willing to go.

After they were full, the group moved to form a circle under the tree. Nick and Gail began sorting the gifts, putting them in piles. The ones for Rachel, Paul, and Angie were all placed back under the tree after all were sorted. Selene looked at the rather significant pile in front of her and eyed Nick suspiciously. He simply grinned.

The girls began opening their gifts, though it almost seemed as if it were just her and Nick here, as Gail and Tom were absorbed in each other.

Selene began opening gifts, letting Nick decide which ones she should open in what order, since he knew what was what. The smallest box contained a stunning ring of woven strands of multi-toned gold forming an intricate leaf design that took up the entire lower section of her middle finger. The band was narrow enough that it didn’t prevent her from bending her finger. Nick had also provided her a lovely pearl necklace that was delicate and fairly simple.

While the jewelry and next, perfumes, were nice, it was the 6th gift that really got her attention. It was a briefcase with a combination and key lock. Inside, she found a stack of papers.

“This is your new bank account, credit card, savings account, as well as medical insurance. It’s all only in your name and you’ve got over half a million between the two accounts. You have a $30,000 line of credit. This means you are set financially. You don’t need me or anyone else to take care of yourself,” he explained. “If you ever need to, that is. I just… want you to know you are never trapped again.”

Selene wrapped her arms around his neck. “Thank you. You didn’t have to do this, but thank you.” When she loosened her arms around him, she pressed a kiss to his cheek. “I hope I never need it.”

Nick smiled and kissed her brow. “I agree, but I wanted you to be able to always have a choice. I never want you to feel obligated or as though you have to do something to get something you need.”

“You are the most amazing man,” she whispered, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips.

The next present brought tears to her eyes. It was a leather-bound photo album with dozens of pictures of them in various places and positions. Many were press photos that were excellent shots and crystal clear. The book, however, was only filled about halfway through. She looked at Nick questioningly.

“We’ll fill it up over the rest of the year,” he explained. “Look at the side.”

Selene turned it to see the spine and everything was explained. ‘Our First Year’, said the embossed text. Underneath it, in gold lettering, was both of their names. “Oh, Nick, it’s awesome! Thank you!! You got all the best ones.”

The painting, too, was a winner. She was fascinated by it and adored the colors. Then, Nick handed her a lumpy envelope. She eyed it curiously before she opened it. A set of keys fell into her hand. There were a few pieces of paper inside, the first being an auto insurance card with her name on it. Selene looked at Nick who had a soft smile on his face.

“That’s your insurance card. Keep it in your wallet – it applies to anything you drive. The keys are to my cars, the penthouse, and this house. You can use whatever you want when you want it. Now, you have access to everything. If you want to go out, you can go,” he told her, a little nervous for her reaction. “You are my other half, Selene,” he said, looking back at her. “Now, you know that my home is your home and my things are your things.”

Selene couldn’t even speak. The level of trust this showed was something that could not be explained simply. She threw herself into his arms and held tightly to him. They didn’t need to say anything to each other – the actions were speaking for them both.

After Selene took a nap, the quartet went outside and played in the snow. Gail got the rest of them to help her make snowmen and later, a snowball fight. Selene felt like a kid as the group laughed and played around like kids. Later, frozen and wet, they sat by the fire drinking hot chocolate, laughing, and talking. Tom was a total card, keeping them laughing. Then, they all worked together to make a big dinner with a variety of desserts. It seemed more like a social event than a chore, but it ended up going rather well.

At the end of the night, Nick and Selene were wrapped in each other’s arms, gazing out of the window to see the stars. The sky was clear and without the lights of a town, they could see it all and it was the most incredible sight.

“So how was your first Christmas,” Nick asked quietly.

“It was amazing,” she told him, kissing his cheek. “I had such a blast.”

“Good. I’m glad. I wanted it to be special and meaningful.”

“It really was. It’s one of my top 10 favorite days,” she told him with a smile.

“Yeah? What’s the top on that list?”

Selene fidgeted a bit, glancing away from him before she spoke up quietly. “The day you told me you loved me.”

Nick smiled and squeezed her a bit. “I am really happy that’s so far up there. That’s one of my top 10 days, too,” he admitted.

They remained silent a while, then Nick noticed she’d fallen asleep. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head.

“Merry Christmas, baby.”

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