The Real Way To A Man's Heart
Not updated first thing in the morning but it's here! At least I'm keeping part of my promise. I always love these little intense, intimate moments between Lucas and Alaine and I hope you enjoy it too. The last part I'm a little iffy on, so don't forget to leave your honest comments below. However, please be gentle and keep in mind that I'm learning as I go.
Replete and satiated to the point of exhaustion, Lucas tumbles away from Alaine and onto his back. He swipes his damp hair off his forehead before dragging her to lie beside him. After securing her to his side, he places a finger under her chin and lifts her face to his for another scorching kiss. His chest might still be heaving with the effort it takes to try to catch his breath but he smiles anyway -- despite the way their lips are fused together.
“Girlfriend,” he utters softly through his grin to test the word out on his tongue. “I like the sound of that...a lot,” he determines and goes right back to kissing Alaine.
Although the idea stimulates the same sort of enjoyment for her, she chuckles in response to his silliness.
“I’ve never had a boyfriend,” she confesses after a moment.
Though he already knows this, the idea that he is her first and only still causes a sense of pride to swell in Lucas.
“You’ll hear no complaint out of me,” he replies.
In keeping with the traditions and rituals they’ve developed post making love, she begins using her fingers to trace the definition of muscles beneath his sweat-glistened skin. He has no complaint about that either. In truth, he’s become a bit reliant on the little aftercare ministrations she provides him. The extra attention makes him feel good and today specifically, now that it’s clear that they’ve gotten over their little spat, the additional affirmation suits him just fine.
When he’d asked her to make them official not too long ago, he’d hoped but couldn’t anticipate what her response would have been. They’d had their first real fight earlier on -- if that’s what it was. The thought of asking her had been so terrifying, he’d almost not gone through with making the request. If she’d said no, it might have killed him. The only thing that made him go through with it was trusting the look in Alaine’s eyes. No matter how much she resists, no matter how much she tries to hide her emotions away, he can always rely on one thing. Whatever she feels is always shining forth for him in her eyes. That’s what gave him the courage.
The low growl in Alaine’s stomach makes him chuckle.
“That was quite a way to work up an appetite,” he teases.
He pulls himself into a sitting position and Alaine follows dragging the sheet with her to hold over her naked chest.
The radiant afterglow of his loving that she wears possesses Lucas to lean down for another one of her languid but impassioned kisses.
When they pull apart, he keeps his lips hovering a hair’s breadth from hers. Alaine looks up to find him watching her with hooded eyes. Deliberately, he lets his gaze drop to the valley between her breasts.
Colour sweeps up from her chest to her neck from his bold attention and turns her cheeks a flaming red. Lucas laughs but Alaine huffs at herself. She’d have thought by now that she would have gotten over this flush considering how well she’s been broken in by now.
Her own thoughts of the things they’ve done together cause heat to simmer at the back of her neck.
“I do love the way I make you blush, goddess,” Lucas boasts in a low voice. “I think this particular shade should be named Alaine Red,” he keeps teasing as he trails a finger down the column of her neck and across her collar bone.
As he expected, the hue reddening her skin heightens but that only encourages him to go in search of another one of those slow, heat-seeking kisses.
Just like that, Alaine sighs into his mouth. A sure sign of her imminent surrender that Lucas is ready to accept.
Her already rubbery limbs turn to liquid from his delicious assault causing her to lean her weight into his sturdy frame. However, before they can get sucked back into the oncoming vortex of passion, her stomach protests again. Gathering enough of her fizzling resistance to break away, Alaine plants her hands on his chest and playfully pushes him off.
“What time is it?” she asks. “I need food.”
Although he’d have liked to continue on as they were, Lucas glances at the position of the sun outside the window and answers, “somewhere between three and four, I’m guessing. That means, we’ve missed lunch,” he informs her.
“What?” Alaine exclaims. Then she groans. “My internal clock is all wrong,” she complains. “I’ll never sleep tonight. And I’m going to starve?”
Lucas chuckles at her griping. “It will take some getting used to,” he tells her. “But there is great potential for the night if you can’t sleep.”
“Of course there is. You’re insatiable,” Alaine replies and rolls her eyes. “You’re not getting a thing from me until you feed me. Plus, I need a bath.”
“So do I,” Lucas agrees.
He rises from the bed in all his naked glory and yanks the sheet out of her hands. For a few seconds, his eyes trace over her figure in appreciation before he motions with a tilt of his head for her to join him in the bathroom.
“Come on, beautiful. Up,” he orders. “Let’s get clean.”
Without complaint, Alaine closes her fingers around the hand he offers and allows herself to be hauled out of bed with the disturbed strands of her sleep and sex-tousled mane curling in every direction.
Again Lucas finds himself stopping just to admire her.
Standing in front of him in this state of undress, Alaine’s self-consciousness doesn’t magically evaporate. A few weeks ago, she’d have shriveled under the invasiveness of it all, particularly when his eyes rake over her with the same kind of intimacy as his fingers threading through her hair and across her expanse of naked flesh when they’re making love.
It’s the wanting in his eyes that makes her feel at ease. Something about the way Lucas watches her makes her feel beautiful -- feminine even. Those eyes hold a measure of admiration that truly has her believing that she is one of a kind to him.
After he’s had his fill, he walks to the bathroom with Alaine following. He adjusts the water temperature to something that she can tolerate and together they step beneath the warm water spray raining down from the showerheads.
While they bathe, Alaine debates with herself over voicing the question on her mind. The afternoon has gone so much better than how the morning started. Bringing up this sore topic of conversation -- the one that had seen him biting her head downstairs in the kitchen -- might only put a damper on it. However, she cares about Lucas and so can’t bring herself to ignore it.
“How’s your mom?” she queries despite her uncertainty.
Lucas takes a deep breath.
“It’s still too early to determine,” he answers. “The doctors think that it can go either way but I guess that just means there is a chance that she can recover,” he explains. “They’re not ready to give up on her as yet. I was too relieved to really hear anything beyond those words,” he continues. “I haven’t had a chance to really think about it since leaving the meeting. I just know that she’s going to be on life support for a while.”
Unsure of how to respond, she says, “that’s good in a way right?”
“I suppose,” he says. “I’m just happy that I didn’t have to come home to tell my grandparents that it was time to say their goodbyes. I’m glad that for now, this part is over with, though,” he tells her. “I don’t have to concentrate on the decision for a while, at least. The only problem left is having to deal with Kurt,” he confesses.
“I don’t know how you do it,” Alaine muses. “I think I’d want to gouge his eyes out if I ever met him.”
“Easy there, tiger,” Lucas jokes with a soft laugh -- a sound that doesn’t last more than a couple of seconds.
Sobering, he settles both hands on Alaine’s waist and stops to look down at her face.
“I’m really glad you’re here, Ali,” he says. “I’m also glad to know that you’re in my corner,” he chuckles again. Then his expression turns grave once more. “I don’t want you anywhere near Kurt,” he admits softly. “He’s...” Lucas starts to explain but stops because doesn’t want to tell her that his stepfather is probably more dangerous than the man they ran away from in the first place.
Because it wasn’t an idea she relished nor an encounter that she was looking forward to in any case, Alaine doesn’t press the issue.
“Then I won’t meet him,” she agrees.
Having this conversation and being here in the place where he was born has her wondering exactly how much those circumstances of his childhood shaped the man standing in front of her into who he is.
She studies him as he closes his eyes and tips his head back under the warm spray of the tallest showerhead.
The thought that if things had been different for him while growing up, he might not be who he is today has crossed her mind more than once. Maybe their paths wouldn’t have crossed at all. It’s so selfish thing to ponder on, her insides curdle and regret leaves a bitter taste in her mouth whenever she thinks about it.
What Lucas went through is not even remotely okay. It sickens her in a way that nothing else has and yet, she is grateful for whatever it is brought him her way.
“What are you thinking?” Lucas asks her.
The sound of his voice jolts Alaine from her internal conflict. She’d been focusing so deeply on it, she hadn’t realized that he’d been studying her so closely.
Grateful that the water from their shower blends in with the formation of her tears, she says, “what if your stepfather comes here?”
“He won’t,” Lucas answers with a bite finality to his voice. “This is my home now. He knows not to come here.”
Alaine wants to ask what will happen if he does but refrains. It’s not fear of the unexpected coldness in Lucas’ eyes that stops her. That look would probably be frightening to someone else. She knows exactly where his anger lies and it’s not at her feet. It's the fact that all the warmth was suddenly drained out of the gray pools and she wants it back.
As quickly as his ire rose, it disappears and once more, she finds herself the subject of his intense perusal.
“Turn around,” Lucas orders.
Without question, she obeys. Although the temperature in the bathroom remains the same, the heat in the shower stall seems to kick up a notch or two. Alaine gives him her back and he makes a science and slow seduction of lathering her skin.
To keep herself from turning into a puddle, Alaine braces her palms on the tiled wall lest her knees buckle.
She takes a long look behind her to view Lucas’ features set in soft concentration. He washes every inch of her skin from her shoulders to her tailbone before gliding back up. He takes thorough care of the indentation at her waist and roundness of her hips.
“Your body is perfect,” he muses as takes hold of her hips and pulls her back against him. “It’s no wonder why I can’t get enough you,” he breathes along her neck while placing featherlight kisses there.
Alaine's head falls to side giving him unfettered access as he uses his teeth and tongue and lips to make her whimper.
The focus of one of his hand shifts to her breasts but he uses the other to keep her back planted against his rising erection. Palming her breasts only fuels the flame and her little gasp of surprise and pleasure excites him further. His soapy fingers slide down her slick abdomen and lower until they settle between her thighs.
As if knowing he might succeed in toppling her, Lucas wraps an arm around her waist to secure her body more firmly against his front causing the physical manifestation of his desire to be sandwiched between them. He takes advantage of the slip and slide the water and foam provides moving gently along her body.
Though she enjoys his touch, Alaine stills his busy hand. Figuring that he probably needs this more than he does, she says, “I think it’s your turn now.”
Without a word of opposition, Lucas releases her but when she turns around to face him again, he gives her no chance to do anything. Immediately, he leans down to kiss her...hard.
There’s no gentility to it and no remorse either for the bruising way he possessees her lips. He doesn’t know how he managed to win the affection of such a woman -- one who is worth far more than anything in the world -- but he will do whatever it takes to keep her.
Angus, his stepfather, his mother, their painful pasts; none of these would stand between this.
Unbeknownst to him, his kisses grow from demanding to desperate and urgent as he pleads with her silently...just love me, Alaine. It’s the only thing he wants to request from her.
Alaine doesn’t understand the cause of the change in his kisses but she opens up under his skilled influence and he delves into the warm recesses of her mouth.
She accepts the way he expresses his need and gives in to to the way he pulls her tighter against him, the way he presses her back up to the wall, the way he lifts her legs, first one and then the other over his hips. She loves the way he impales her in one swift motion to brand her with his heat and the quiet sound that leaves his throat as her warm silk encases him.
She endures the rough way he possesses her with each deep thrust following swiftly one after the other until her back arches and white light splinters behind her closed eyelids as she cries out loudly from the strength of her climax.
Then he gasps her name, whispers the approach of his imminent climax and follows almost silently.
As he groans his release repeatedly low against her neck and shudders from it, Alaine feels every bit the goddess he has dubbed her to be.
Even when the aftershocks subside, he doesn’t release her. He simply claims her lips again with that same desperation that squeezes her heart.
“You should wear something that's a little warmer,” Lucas suggests while they get dressed. “Once the sun sets there will be a chill in the air.”
Alaine abandons the t-shirt she'd planned on wearing and pulls on a tank top in its place. Then she picks a suitable light sweater of soft rose pink from the stock of cozy spring wear Lucas bought for her.
"Is this enough?" she asks as she pulls the sweater over her head and settles the hem over the waistband of her slim-fit jeans.
"A pair of socks maybe," he answers. "I thought we could sit outside for a little while this evening. I did promise you stars."
Alaine smiles and adheres to the stipulated dress code.
Such is the nature of their relationship now. A while back, she may have taken issue with his micromanaging and assertiveness. However, all of this, she's learned, is Lucas' way of showing that he cares. Besides that, handing over the reins to him in matters such as these is inconsequential.
As a matter of fact -- not that she would admit it to anyone -- but it feels really good to be on the receiving end of this kind of care and attention for a change. It's nice to know that she can kick up her feet and let someone else steer -- someone who has her best interest at heart.
A little smile sits on her face the longer she remains in thought ruminating on how well he treats her.
"Sometimes you get this look," Lucas says, his voice snapping her out of her reverie.
She presents herself for his inspection with a full three-sixty degree turn making him chuckle. When she faces him again, she notes that he notices the deep V in the neckline. To entertain him, she does a seductive little shimmy.
Lucas' eyes widen in surprise at the unexpected show of provocativeness. He laughs a deep sound that sends a skitter of tingles along Alaine's spine and distributes goosebumps over her skin. Her own smile widens as she walks up to him and throws her arms about his neck.
"What's this for?" Lucas asks though he accepts the hug by clasping his hands over her shapely posterior in her skin-tight jeans.
"I love...when you're happy," Alaine looks him in the eyes to say.
The words cause Lucas' heart to jump.
"Yeah, you're doing a pretty good job at that," he admits. "You know what would make me really, really happy right now?" he asks.
"Hmmm," Alaine hums thoughtfully. "A kiss?"
"That would probably deliver the same measure of happiness, yes and I will take it either way, but no," he explains. "It would make me really happy if, when we're done dressing, you would go downstairs to meet my grandparents properly," he says. "They were concerned about you and you can't hide up here for the next eleven days."
Alaine uses a deep breath she inhales to tamp down the groan building in her throat. Honestly, she'd almost just blurted out to Lucas that she loves him. She could still say it now but to what end? She's about to be properly observed and assessed by grandparents who, from the little she's seen, are devoted and doting when it comes to their grandson.
Trepidation settles in her guts dissolving her courage to say the words to him.
Later, she promises herself. Once this part is over, she is going to tell him. For now she agrees, "okay." And adds, "but I wasn't hiding."
“Sure you weren’t,” Lucas tells her. "I have a phone call to make but please go down. They're really kind people, Ali," he tries to convince her. "It would mean a lot to me and to them. I promise I will join you soon."
"I'm already sweating, I'm so nervous," she admits. "I'm removing these socks," she states.
When he finally releases his hold on her butt, she sits at the foot of his bed to bare her feet.
Lucas opens his bedroom door and waits until she joins him on the landing. At the top of the stairs, he leans down for the kiss he'd negotiated from her and promises again, "I'll be down in a while."
She takes another heavy breath but nods her head. Well aware that Lucas is still watching her, she moves her feet decidedly slow down each step. Nerves have her wringing her hands together in front of her and each creak of wood beneath her weight announcing her approach to the world makes her cringe.
It’s been a while since she’s heard that noise -- the sound of creaking wood. It reminds her of her home in Idaho. It reminds her of running for her life and plunging to certain death. Naturally, she hates the trigger. She hates that it plants these terrifying images in her head and the way it summons her memories of Angus.
Even with all this time and space distancing her from both of her attackers, it's still difficult fending them off.
By the time her feet hit the floor, she is flushed and a little exhausted emotionally. She turns around to see Lucas still standing at the top of the stairs regarding her with a quizzical expression. To ease his mind she offers him a small wave even if all she wants to do is run back up to meet him.
"I'm going," she mouths to him instead.
The sound of humming and the aroma of freshly baked goods direct her timid steps to the kitchen. Unsure of what she should say when she gets there, Alainee hangs there awkwardly for a moment hoping that Lucas' grandmother will notice her presence and break the ice.
The woman's head is bent in her task concentrating so deeply, she has no choice but to say something.
"Hi," Alaine squeaks.
Certain that proper etiquette demands that she greet a senior citizen and her boyfriend's grandmother with greater regard than that, she immediately wishes she could snatch the word back.
Deciding to try again, she says, "I mean good evening, ma'am," the lameness of which makes her shudder.
However, Nessa Ferreira raises her head and beckons her closer with a welcoming smile.
"It is good to see you are feeling better," the lady says to Alaine in her stilted English.
"I do feel better," Alaine confirms. "Thank you."
As she moves closer, the woman's assessing eyes remain on her and linger a little and narrow on the fresh red mark Lucas left on her neck in the shower.
Alaine gasps softly but resists the urge to cover the general area. She'd had no idea that Lucas had done that. Under his grandmother's wordless scrutiny, the exact spot grows hot and starts to burn indicating precisely where he'd left his love bite. It's only now that she remembers the tender way he'd grazed his teeth and tongue and lips there.
Making a tutting, dismissive sound, his grandmother says, "Lucas says you have bad dreams. I give you more tea. To help with sleep...like baby," she beams at Alaine.
Glad for the change in her host's attention but not wanting to be a burden on hands visibly gnarled by time, Alaine tries to insist against the hassle.
Nessa Ferreira dismisses her with a quick flick of her wrist.
"Sit," she commands.
Like an obedient soldier, Alaine plants herself stiffly on one of the stools with her heart still thudding against her ribs. All that's on her mind is that hickey and how the lady hurrying to make her comfortable feels about it.
"Lucas is a good boy," she hears his grandmother say from her position at the stove.
She throws a glance at Alaine over her shoulder and adds, "he has good heart."
Taking a second to string together the correct words in the English vocabulary to make a comprehensible sentence, she continues, “my daughter, Claudia -- his mother, and her husband make him suffer. I regret my role in it," she sighs.
Her head hangs with the intense regret she feels. Pouring the tea into a mug, she delivers it in front of Alaine but keeps her eyes downcast for fear that her secret shame will show.
"I should tell his father what I...observed," she tries to explain. "But I hoped for change in my daughter," she sighs. "I was eighteen when she was born. She was beautiful little girl and I...I know nothing about raising baby. She grow up...spoiled? Selfish," she adds with a rueful smile. "I and my husband, we make her that way. Always give her what she wants."
Uncertain of how to respond, Alaine says nothing and contents herself with listening to the tale.
"This is not my place to say," Nessa Ferreira continues and finally meets her guest's stare head-on. "But I love my grandson so I will say it," she forges on. "Lucas has no need of another selfish woman in his life," she states firmly. He is too good," she expresses in earnest. "He is too gentle. Too kind for it. So if this,” she says indicating to the mark on Alaine’s neck. “Is for the money, I write you a check for whatever number you want.”
Those words are like a punch to Alaine’s gut. Her eyes bulge out of her head from the impact. However, beyond being stupefied and offended by the insinuation, she feels an instant and urgent need to clarify her intentions.
She wants to say something eloquent to express the depths of her feelings for Lucas but her scrambled brain cannot find coherence. All the words in the English Language flees from her mind save three.
“I love him," she admits and the confession is barely audible because it's so hard for her to speak around the lump in her throat.
"I love him," she repeats a little louder this time. "So much," she adds.
Wanting his grandmother to see the conviction in her words, she fights against the urge to look away from the lady's gaze..
"I would never hurt Lucas," she assures his grandmother.
For a moment, while assessing Alaine, Nessa remains quiet. As if satisfied with the response she's gotten, she tuts again and pats the back of Alaine's hand and asks, "do you cook?"
The sudden shift from the heavy topic and the change in the woman’s demeanor gives Alaine whiplash. If it’s supposed to be a natural progression from the ambush and if it’s meant to be comforting... it’s not.
If it weren’t for Lucas’ need to be here, she would ask him to leave. She would take him up on his offer to move them into a hotel. The only reason she won't make that request is not wanting to put him in a position where he has to choose between her and his grandparents. She would like to make the best of the eleven days she has left here and avoid any more uncomfortable situations.
So mustering her brightest fake smile amidst the myriad of emotions fighting for dominance over her spirit, and hoping it doesn’t appear disingenuous, Alaine replies, “I do, but not like this,” she answers halfheartedly and indicates to the spread before her.
“Come," Nessa Ferreira tells her. "After I feed you, I show you the real way to a man’s heart.”