Stay With Me
More chapters. More words. More of Lucas and Alaine mushy sweetness if you like that kind of thing. I certainly do. And I'm bringing Alaine's old injury back into focus. I don't want you all to forget about it. Soon, all will be revealed.
Once they’re out of the bath and dressed – him in black jeans, navy printed button-downs and a pair black and red sneakers and Alaine in the dress and heels she wore to dinner last night – Lucas leads her quickly to the elevator.
He’s in a hurry to leave.
One of the other reasons pushing him to get Alaine out of the apartment as quickly as possible is Jackie's return. She’s met Alaine before and since his intention is to have her over more often, they’re bound to meet again. However, for the time being, he would prefer to avoid the awkwardness the morning after is bound to create.
It will be better for all of them if he delays another meeting between the two women until such a time when sex with Alaine isn't all that's on his mind.
Jackie has the power of perception. She has an uncanny way of reading his thoughts so it would serve all parties involved if he took a moment to get himself under control.
They slip into the cabin when the doors open but instead of pushing the button for the underground garage like he is wont to do, he opts for the lobby. That way, just in case his housekeeper is on her way back from wherever she went, they can avoid her.
The relief he feels to escape that situation is funny. It's like he is an errant teenager hiding his girlfriend from his parents after sneaking her into his bedroom. It’s ridiculous but Lucas sags against the wall inside the elevator.
Alaine can’t help but admire him. He has his leather jacket fisted in his hands. The sleeves on his shirt are short and rolled up so she has a good view of his sinewy muscles. She studies his build in the reflective surface surrounding them, reliving in her mind the memory of how she'd clung to those strong arms last night and how good it felt to be trapped between them.
After their bath this morning, he’d entered the bedroom in a towel, his skin wet and glistening, bearing the evidence of her possession. She’d finally felt a bit more comfortable granting herself permission to enjoy a real long look at him.
It had taken every ounce of her will not to pounce on him like a loose woman.
“I wonder what you could be thinking, that has you so crimson,” Lucas says, his voice interrupting her thoughts.
His observation only heightens the embarrassment she feels about her own reverie. She swallows, guilty but says, “I hurt you last night. I saw the marks.”
“You have so much to learn,” Lucas tells while silently hoping that he gets to be the one to instruct her. “You didn’t hurt me, baby,” he continues. “I like that you marked me,” he tells her and rubs a particular spot on his shoulder that bears a small, red imprint of her teeth. “And didn’t you notice,” he adds. “I returned the favour.”
He points to a hickey on one side of her neck – the first of the many he decorated her skin with.
“Next time I won’t be so mild doing it,” he warns. “I’ll mark you everywhere. You’ll remember me every time you look at yourself.”
Hearing the words next time makes happiness surge through Alaine. She’d seen the love bites on her neck. What surprises her more than seeing them is the fact that they don’t bother her one wit. Not even in the slightest bit. If anything she is a little ecstatic, especially now that he is taking her out in public with them, a very vibrant, unmistakable red against her skin. They’re proof of his possession. They tell a story. One that says that he is not ashamed of nor is he regretting all that happened between them.
The elevator deposits them in the lobby and Alaine fidgets with the suddenly too tight dress that she walked through this same spot in last night. The rhythmic tapping sound of her heels clicking on the glossy floor reverbates off the walls, filling the quiet space.
It seems that everyone is looking right at her as if they know. They know exactly why she came here last night and why she is leaving at eleven in the morning.
“Now I know what the walk of shame feels like,” she mumbles.
“Shame?” Lucas questions. Offended that she would be embarrassed about people knowing about them, he scolds, “my apartment isn’t a harem, Alaine. You’re not a number in a string of women who visit me every night. I told you, you’re the only one I’ve brought here.”
After his lecture is done, he turns her face up to his and kisses her sweetly so there’s no mistake.
Looking at her in the eye after he pulls away, he says, “there’s no shame here, Ali.”
Lucas drapes a casual arm across her shoulders and uses his hold to pull her into his side. He smiles down at her when her own arm fits comfortably around his lower back and her fingers curl over his side.
It feels to him like she is staking her claim so his grin widens.
The doorman smiles at their approach and greets, “Good morning sir. You look chipper this morning. A package arrived for you just a little while ago. It’s at the desk.”
Lucas eyes the man pensively. It’s odd for him to receive mail here. Unless it’s something he ordered specifically for himself, all his mail goes to his office. He hasn’t bought anything in a while so he is a little curious as to what it is.
“Thanks for letting me know, Mr. Gibbs,” he answers. “I’ll see about it later.”
While Alaine waves to the doorman when he tips his hat to her, she asks Lucas, “are we walking?”
Distracted by the thought of the mysterious package waiting for him, he misses Alaine’s query completely. She pokes him lightly in the rib with a finger to get his attention.
“Hmm?” Lucas questions.
“I asked if we’re walking,” she repeats.
“Yeah,” he answers. “Seth took Jackie out and it’s a nice day. I thought we could take a stroll,” he informs her. “We need to get you a pair of comfortable shoes,” he adds when he looks down at her feet.
“Or you can carry me,” she jokes.
Unperturbed by the usual haste and busyness of the New Yorkers moving alongside them, they walk leisurely through the crowd on the sidewalk. When they get to Alaine’s preferred clothing store on Lexington Avenue, Lucas holds the door open then follows her inside.
His appearance there immediately draws attention.
“Just ignore it,” he says to Alaine before moving to one of the racks.
Trying to seem as relaxed as he is with eyes following her every move she asks, “have you ever been shopping with a woman before?”
“God no,” Lucas answers. “My dad used to take me with my stepmother when I was a kid. As soon as I was old enough to decline...” he continues to say but trails off.
Remembering what that was like and all the hours he would spend bored out of his mind going from store to store, he looks at Alaine and says, “suddenly I’m thinking that this wasn’t a good idea.”
She chuckles at him.
“No need to panic,” she assures. “I’m not a shopaholic. I’ll just get something quick.”
Stepping up close to her he says, “wear a skirt,” for her ears alone to hear.
Of course, the suggestiveness in his voice makes her blush and look around to ensure that he hadn't been overheard.
They continue browsing the showcase area perusing her choices. Every now and then Alaine glances at Lucas. Somehow their eyes always meet and he out of the two of them has more difficulty suppressing his smiles.
The idea that he is here shopping with her is Ludicrous.
It’s unbelievable but it puts a flutter in Alaine's heart.
“I’m thinking you’re the luckiest woman in here,” he says as he pulls a dress off the rack to hold it up to her.
Eyeing the item with interest, Alaine asks, “how so?” while taking the dress from his hand. “Hopeful red,” she reads off the tag.
“Have you seen the looks I’m getting from other women?” Lucas asks.
Alaine guffaws loudly.
“Get over yourself,” she tells him.
Ignoring the attention, Lucas turns over the price tag hanging on the dress and scoffs. “I’ve given you carte blanche to shop and this is what you choose?” he questions.
“What?” Alaine asks. “It’s my favourite store,” she informs him “It’s $49.99,” she notes. “That’s more than what some people make in an hour. You’d probably have a lot more money if you weren’t such a spendthrift,” she declares.
Now it’s his turn to laugh. Lucas considers disclosing his net worth but doesn’t think she will be impressed by showboating.
“You have a good eye, Bright,” she praises. “I like this dress. I will try it on.”
Alaine leaves Lucas standing outside the dressing room and locks the door when she enters. She shimmies her way out of her tight dinner dress and gapes at her reflection as she stands before the mirror in nothing but her bra.
In her haste to get dressed after bathing in Lucas’ apartment, she’d completely missed the marks of his possession. She bears them just as much as he bears hers. More so, in fact.
Within this little enclosure and with the benefit of the 360 degrees of mirrors on the walls and the glowing white fluorescent light above her head, they’re hard to miss. How could she not know he’d done this?
A series of deep red marks line her neck, her breasts, her abdomen, at her hips and between her thighs.
And he said he’d been mild?
“This isn’t mild,” Alaine mutters. But she really shouldn’t be surprised. No part of her had gone untouched while he made love to her.
“How long does it take to put on a dress?” Lucas asks impatiently.
She slips the red dress on quickly and walks out to meet Lucas frowning furiously.
“What do you think?” Alaine asks.
“I think I’m ready to get out of here,” he says. “Do you know how many propositions I’ve received in the two minutes you’ve been in there?” he asks and holds up two slips of papers with the name and numbers of two different women.
“Well you are a heartthrob,” Alaine jokes.
“No more than you,” he counters while his eyes travel down her length. “That dress, Alaine is going to get you in so much trouble with me. Let's go pay for it."
Despite her protests, he slips his black credit card on the counter for the cashier.
“What’s the point of having all this money if I can’t spend it on my girl?” Lucas argues.
Alaine smiles at his comment even if she tells herself that this is just the effect of sex talking. He called her his girl and even if she likes the way it sounds, it doesn’t mean he actually means it.
She grabs a hanger from the underwear rack near the cashout desk and slips the smidgen of material over the counter. Lucas’ eyebrows quirk up with interest.
“Cute,” the cashier says and Alaine wonders if she meant Lucas, the two of them together or the underwear.
Shaking the odd thought out of her head, she tiptoes to whisper in his ear, “I’m not wearing any.”
Heat spreads to the tips Lucas’ ears turning them light pink. He clears his throat uncomfortably. The smile on the cashier’s face embarrasses them both. Still, he whispers to Alaine, “don’t wear any.”
Taking her spoils back the dressing room, Alaine changes quickly.
They step back into the early afternoon sunshine with her in Lucas’ possessive hold again.
“You need shoes as well,” he says. “I texted Seth while you were changing. He should meet us in a little while.”
“These shoes are fine,” she says about her high heels. “They even match the dress.”
Instead of arguing, Lucas reaches down to take the bag containing her walk of shame dress. “I need you comfortable,” he says with finality.
Seth glares at Alaine with disapproval for the third time.
When he set this thing up for her with Lucas, he thought she would be able to keep her head on straight.
From what he knows of his boss in the year they’ve worked together, Lucas isn’t the kind of man to even start a relationship with someone.
The way Alaine is glowing, he can tell that she’s falling or has already fallen for him. What can he do about it? She’s an adult and she hates him. If he says anything, it will probably like talking to a brick wall.
He could try to caution his employer but he can’t imagine that he will have any luck there either. It’s more likely he will get fired.
Seth tries to tamp down his annoyance with both of them and walks up to Alaine in the shoe department store.
“We need to talk,” he says.
“I have nothing to say to you,” she replies before moving on swiftly.
He follows on her heels and attempts to take her by the elbow. As if she sensed his touch coming, Alaine shrugs away from him.
“Back off,” she warns.
Seth raises his hands to surrender and lifts his eyes to the ceiling but doesn’t follow when she stomps away.
All the while, Lucas observes the interaction between them with intrigue. He’d like to know the catalyst behind their falling out. Something just tells him that it has to do with Alaine’s old injury. He's sure of it.
Despite his probing, neither one of them will say. It’s driving him mad and more so now because of the fact that Alaine will trust him with her body but not with this.
She approaches him and her irritation is palpable.
“Is everything alright?” Lucas asks.
“There’s nothing here in my size,” she tells him. “I’m going to have to try the children’s section,” she says before turning around and stalking off.
Lucas follows but turns a quizzical eye to Seth. One that asks what the hell he said that put her in such a bad mood.
Seth breathes out a regretful sigh and shakes his head. From now on, he’s just going to stay out of this.
It takes all of two seconds after walking into one of the aisles in the children’s department for Alaine to grab the first casual pair of shoes her hands touch.
“Tennis shoes?” Lucas inquires.
“You said you wanted me comfortable,” she reminds him. “I sent a picture of what I’m wearing to Delah. She said it’s the type of dress that can be dressed up or dressed down,” she explains. “So yes, tennis shoes.”
Not wanting to upset her by pressing the issue, Lucas agrees with his silence.
“Let’s see if we can get you back into a good mood,” he tells her.
They leave the store with Seth leading the way to the SUV.
“Where are we going?” Alaine asks when they are seated in the backseat.
“Upstate,” he tells her.
A privacy glass appears secluding them away from Seth in the front seat after Lucas pushes a button on his door.
Alaine’s eyes go round.
"We're getting you in a good mood, remember?" he teases. “Why are you all the way over there?” he asks. “Come here.”
The look in his eyes makes her insides swim. Because she hesitates, Lucas reaches over, wraps his arms around her waist and pulls until she slides across the seat.
“I’ve missed you,” he says when she relaxes and rests her head against his shoulder.
“I’m right here, Lucas,” she breathes softly as she looks up at him.
“Then I’ve missed doing this,” he says.
The air gets caught in Alaine’s lungs just before Lucas’ lips brush against hers. His kiss goes from gentle to scorching almost immediately until they are both short of breath.
“I love kissing you,” he says when they come up for air but his fingers are already tiptoeing their way up her leg.
“Probably because you’ve never kissed anyone else,” Alaine responds.
Lucas frowns down at her and his fingers cease their climb. “I’ve never wanted to kiss anyone else, Alaine,” he says in earnest. “Just you,” he adds and hopes that she understands what he means.
Fearing what her answer might be – that it will disappoint him again – he kisses her before she answers.
Alaine kisses him back with a potency that he never experienced before. She puts her all into it and a shiver ripples through Lucas.
"Alaine," he moans against her lips. "What are you doing to me, baby? You're doing something to me and I don't..." he starts to say but trails off to look at her.
In one smooth motion, he lifts her off the seat so she can straddle his legs.
"Tell me if this is okay," Lucas requests. "Is it?" he asks. "With Seth here?"
To answer his question, Alaine drops her head to kiss him again. Lucas' hands move to the zipper at the front of the dress. He brings it down, baring her all the way to her waist. He kisses his way down her neck and moves to refresh the marks he'd already laid across her bosom.
Looking up at her in a silent request for permission, he moves her bra aside to expose her breasts to him. Accepting her silence as acquiescence, he closes his lips over her tight buds.
They're already sensitive from all the homage he paid them last night so she cries out loudly and arches her back, pushing more of herself into his mouth.
“Shhh, baby,” he breathes with his mouth still on her. “I love to hear you, but I’m not sure how soundproof this glass is.”
“I’m sure he must be guessing what we’re doing back here,” Alaine says, her breath hitching as he continues his torment.
Lucas prefers their tryst clandestine. Knowing his intention, he claims her lips in another deep kiss to keep her quiet. All she can manage is a low moan when his hand moves beneath the lace panties under her dress.
His kisses and his hands turn anxious like he’d been starving without her. Alaine sighs into his mouth and widens her stance over him so he can have better access.
“You’re so beautiful,” Lucas mumbles against her mouth. “And sexy and tempting.”
He seriously only meant to make out with her but can’t seem to stop himself. Not with the way she begins to move in time with his touches.
When he removes his hand beneath her dress, Alaine whimpers a protest but he aligns her body with his and brings her down over his erection.
Immediately she picks up an unrhythmic pattern that demolishes his control. The more he learns about how innocent she actually is the more he unravels. The more he considers himself lucky. Maybe he even thinks himself special for her to have chosen him.
“Baby,” Lucas groans. “Not yet. Not like this," he begs because he wants to be inside her.
His words go unheeded. She continues to heighten her pleasure against him and he can tell she is hurtling, uninhibited toward climax.
Shortly after, she shatters above him with a hoarse cry. Lucas clamps down on her breasts and she garbles his name just the way he likes as she jerks and spasms above him.
He is afraid he will find his own release in his pants but all he can do is revel in the way she comes undone for him.
“Ali,” he groans.
After last night, it's possible for him to stay in control when he is with her.
A loud, raw expletive escapes from him as his own body clamps down and the release he'd been trying to keep at bay barrels unexpectedly through his body in the sweetest and most unabashed fashion. He pumps his hips further into her quivering softness until she slumps limply over him.
Breathing heavily, he cradles her in his arms and brushes her hair aside to kiss her cheek.
"That wasn't supposed to happen," Lucas says. "Jesus, Alaine," he chuckles. "I might not survive you. We were only supposed to make out."
Too overwhelmed by sensation, Alaine is unable to respond. So stays there, her head placed in the crook of his neck as she tries to regain her composure.
He angles his head to look down at her and asks, "are you okay down there?"
She nods and he lifts her face to kiss her sweetly.
“What are you doing to me?” Lucas queries.
As they continue to look at each other, he sees the answer in her eyes.
Lucas’ heart stills in response to what he sees there.
When she tries to ease off his lap, his arms tighten around her. “Stay. Stay with me,” he requests.
Save me, Ali, he thinks.
She resettles there on his chest, absently running her hand over his thundering heart.
For a while, they ride in silence her tucked against him. She feels so good where she is but not in a way that has anything to do with sex.
When the car stops at their destination, Lucas is reluctant to release her. Maybe the best thing should have been to keep her at his apartment a little longer and enjoy the afterglow of their night together in his bed.
“We’ve stopped,” Alaine tells him softly.
Loathe to let her go, he replies softly, “I know.”