Everything About You
Initially, when he'd learned about her aversion to alcohol, he’d teased her about it. But that's all it had been...teasing. He'd found it peculiar, yes. Most people her age were eager to use their newly gained license to drink. He'd even thought of how he could trick, goad or cajole into trying wine or champagne maybe even a little whisky a time or two. Just to see her reaction. More than anything though, he'd found himself intrigued and impressed with her sense of self and willful spirit.
He'd spent the journey home brooding over all these things while actively trying to get her to talk to him about what had led her to break all her rules in one night. Part of the reason he'd wanted to engage in conversation was to keep his mind from sidling back to that kiss from Aurora. His investigation into Alaine's activities had been a bust since she could barely keep her eyes open most of the trip so he'd found himself more often than not stewing about Aurora's stunt. In the end, to try to let himself off the hook, he'd surmised that everything that happened is a result of Alaine's delinquency. She'd precipitated it all.
What was the likelihood of Aurora kissing him if the day had unfolded differently?
Highly unlikely, Lucas scoffs. So maybe Alaine should share the blame. However, if he were convinced about that even a little bit, the guilt and shame gnawing away at his gut would have subsided by now.
The worse thing about it all was his hesitation. He’d hesitated before pushing Aurora away. Merely out of stupor, but Alaine had seen and she might not interpret it that way. She'd already accused him of wanting it. What happens when drunken fog clears?
Wishing that he could exorcise the feel and memory of Aurora in an equally physical manner, Lucas wipes the back of his hand over his mouth again; angrily. He wishes he could just pluck it out and dump it somewhere far, far away. That's not possible though. Now he just needs to prove to Alaine that it had meant nothing. It will only ever be her for him.
“What were you thinking?” he scolds softly while with love in his touch, he smooths away loose tendrils of hair from her face. Gently, nudging her awake, he says, "let’s get some water in you, babe."
He takes her by the hands to pull her upright and presses, “come on, Ali, wake up.”
Long, sooty lashes flutter up at him before her dull eyes meet his.
“I’m getting you water. Stay awake,” he says with a little gruffness in his tone.
By the time he returns with the bottle, she is fast asleep again.
"Come on, Alaine. You need to drink this," Lucas commands. "It will help dilute the alcohol in your blood and minimize the effect in the morning," he explains.
Sitting her up again, he puts the opened bottle to her mouth while giving her gentle encouragements to drink. At the first sip, both her hands clutch at her roiling stomach.
Although sympathy for her softens his features, a part of Lucas is happy that she can't hold her liquor. He likes her little quirks -- not drinking coffee or alcohol. They're part of what makes her Alaine.
When she tries to shove the bottle away, he regards her sternly.
"You're drinking the entire bottle," he orders. Then he says, "I really hope you've learned your lesson, Alaine."
“I think I’m going to throw up,” she whimpers softly.
With tiredness weighing down on him, Lucas barely masks his frustration. He just wants this entire ordeal to be over with. Since his lecture will have to wait until Alaine is sober, he sets the bottle down on the center table and asks, "bathroom?"
She groans but nods her head while gripping her stomach as tightly as the alcohol inhibiting her movements will allow.
"Can you carry me?" she requests softly.
Without considering it, Lucas moves to lift her off the sofa. "If you throw up on me, Alaine, I swear," he threatens as he wonders just what he could do to her as a form of punishment.
Afraid that she might do just that when her face contorts with the discomfort she feels, he moves swiftly but cautiously up the stairs to the bedroom they share to keep from jostling her too much.
As soon as he sets her down in the bathroom, she dives for the toilet. It’s a sorry sight. Though he is disgusted by it, Lucas squats beside her to rub soothing circles over her back while hoping that this is the only time he has to stand witness to this.
At least two minutes she spends with her head hanging over the toilet bowl mostly dry-heaving.
When Alaine is certain that the worst of it over, she sinks to the floor and rests her head against Lucas.
“I’m sorry,” she says softly.
“It's been a long night, love," he responds as he gathers her up in his arms. "We’ll trade apologies later. Do you want to shower?"
She nods slowly so he sets her down onto the vanity to begin the chore of removing her clothes. With his face fixed in concentration, Lucas sets about bringing down the zipper on the side of the top of the two piece dress that she is wearing. As he disrobes her, it's hard; so hard, to respect her boundaries and not curve his palms to the shape of her ripe, naked breasts after the clingy material falls to the floor. Or coast his fingers over the round swell of her hips when the skirt joins it by his feet. And when he kneels to free her boot covered legs, he has difficulty preventing himself from running his fingers up between her inner thighs.
Truly he must be a saint to not give in to his wanting and the urge to sate his burgeoning lust. Lucas holds her hand to help her off her perch and into the shower before stripping himself to join her. Telling himself that it is okay since it's necessary, he credits himself for his restraint, as he volunteers to lather her shapely body. She mewls and sighs and twists under his touch so Lucas decides to torture her and keep her wash going a little bit longer.
After they're done, he does a haphazard job of drying her hair, wraps a large, thick robe around her before cinching the belt tightly around her waist. He leads her to the his and hers sink where she brushes her teeth sluggishly while he does the same beside her. Once they've rinsed off their toothbrushes, he guides her back to the bedroom with the intention of letting her sleep just like this.
In a voice befitting the seductress that she is learning to be, Alaine asks, "aren't you going to dress me too? I think it's only fair since you removed my clothes."
Lucas isn't sure what it is that she is playing at, so he tilts his head to the side to study her for a bit.
"Sit," he orders then moves to the closet to rifle through her belongings and get dress himself.
He returns to the bedroom and sets her sleepwear on the bed before kneeling in front of her. He hadn't considered the undergarment he'd chosen and wonders why it had to be this lacy thing. Easing her feet through the legs of the red scrap of lace, Alaine lets her knees fall apart and the robe along with it.
Lucas’ body responds with a vicious kind of need. He looks up at her and sees it in her eyes. Take, she boldly dares with her silence. But he won’t. Not with her like this.
His hands slip higher taking the material with them to settle around her hips when she lifts off the bed to let him. To Alaine, his touch over her cool skin is heightened now that she is under the influence. Each soft stroke of his fingers makes her shudder and moan with desire
Lucas can't help but smile nor can he help the way that he chooses to exaggerate the sensuality behind each light caress to torture her in the same manner that she tortures him.
“Are you going to make love to me?” she asks with no reservation whatsoever. Boldly, she undoes the belt securing the robe. The two sides covering her breasts fall away and the sultry smile tilting her lips almost does away with his resolve.
Lucas inhales deeply and breathes out through his mouth to try to settle the way his pulse kicks into overdrive.
“Not right now, sweet girl,” he responds though seeing her sitting on the edge of his bed with every part of her that commands his desire and transforms him to basic animalistic man are so invitingly close and exposed. “You need to have all your faculties about you for that,” he continues with a repetition of the words that she'd used the first night that he'd taken her to dinner.
“Not even if I want you to? I really want you to,” she cajoles and sinks her teeth into her bottom lip.
Throat suddenly dry, Lucas answers with hoarseness in his voice, "it's going to be very hard to resist you, baby. But no. Not even if you want me to."
She directs a pout at him, looking cute and tousled with her wet hair hanging loose around her. Formulating his plan to give her a dose of her own medicine, Lucas places a soft kiss on her knee and looks up to give her a devilish smirk.
He kisses the sensitive spot he's learned on the inside of her thigh and feels her body jerk. From there he continues on a patient upward path with his hands preceding his lips while she pants and grabs at him with desperation.
He strokes, kisses and nips at every spot that will heap frustration on her in spades but skirts over every area that will bring her any kind of gratification. A growl from her makes Lucas chuckle.
When she tries to guide his head to her woman's flesh, he gives her a playful shove that sends her sprawling onto the white sheet. He follows her down fitting that large mass of muscle between her legs and restrains her wrists above her head.
Alaine sighs again, lifts her knees and raises her hips to further entice him with her heat.
"Mmm," Lucas moans above her.
“Make love to with me, Lucas,” she begs softly.
“God, I want to, baby,” he groans in response. “But, you’re drunk.”
He continues those feather-light torturous kisses behind her ear, on her cheeks, then along her neck to the crest of her breasts. There, he brands her with his signature mark, just above a firm and neglected nipple.
He's never slept with a drunk woman before but Alaine's sounds of pleasure threaten to make him abandon that sacred rule. Instead, he grits his teeth, pulls away from her and proceeds to finish dressing her without any of the seduction this time.
Looking up at him with that inviting look in her eyes, she opens her arms again to accept him but they flop back to her side as she recoils when he backs away from the bed.
Lucas hates that crestfallen look of hurt on her face but if he doesn’t leave the room right this second, he will wipe the dismay off her features to replace it with ecstasy. Though the gifts and her purse still sitting in the car are not the real issue, he uses them as an excuse to escape the bedroom when what he really needs to do is get himself under control.
"I'll be right back okay, " he promises. "My gift and your purse are in the car. I'd hate for them to get stolen," he explains before turning on his heels to flee.
Outside, Lucas takes a few moments to inhale the crisp, cold early spring air while trying to bring his need for her body under subjection.
When he finally returns to the bedroom, it's to the sound of Alaine sniffling into the pillows.
“Lucas?” she utters softly.
Helplessly, he drops the packages by the door and rushes to her side. “I know, my love," he tells her as he places a kiss to her forehead. "I'm so sorry that I hurt you."
“Stay with me,” she pleads softly. “You don’t want her do you? Is that why you won’t make love to me?” she sniffles.
Holding her tightly to his chest, Lucas answers, "No, Ali. I don't. I never have. I haven't wanted to be with anyone else since I met you. Sweetheart, you're drunk," he explains. "I don't want to violate you or your rules, okay. Sleep," he commands. "And I will give you whatever you want when you awake."
Finding comfort for her wounded heart in his arms and his words, Alaine closes her eyes as tiredness and alcohol finally pulls her under.
At after ten in the morning when the sun is high in the sky turning it an incredible shade of bright blue and casting it's warmth over the land and spilling in through the windows, Lucas pulls his gritty eyes open to find Alaine still lying on top of him.
He tries to ease her off his body because there's still so much that he needs to accomplish but she protests with a groan and tightens her limbs about him.
"Stay," she requests with a throaty grogginess to her voice.
That draws a smile and a little chuckle from him but he sits up anyway. The truth is, he should have been up a long time ago but when he'd opened his eyes at the crack of dawn, the events of the night before accompanied by the unrelenting sense of guilt had flooded his mind so he'd stayed there beside Alaine.
“How are you feeling?” he questions where what he really wants is to demand an explanation for her shenanigans.
“I’m never drinking again,” she mumbles into the pillow. Still unable to open her eyes against the blinding light, she shifts her head to his thighs.
Lucas brushes her thick locks off her face and tucks it behind her ear. “I like that you don’t. Why did you?," he asks.
“I didn’t plan to," she admits. "She took me to this wine tasting event and got all huffy because I didn't want to. She said that only a refined palette appreciates fine wine and made a comment about me you not being properly matched because we're not cut from the same cloth."
"Did she, now?" Lucas responds calmly even if a muscle near his temple ticks.
"I didn't even like it," Alaine looks up at him to say. "But she was regaling me with all these tales about the two of you growing up and I don't know. I felt a little inadequate, I guess. I wanted to be more like the people in your world but I'm terrible at it."
"I'm glad that you are," he states.
"As soon as we got to the party, she handed me a neon drink and I was curious so I tasted it. Then she handed me another and another and everything is kind of a blur after that," she explains. "It was so stupid. I've never done anything like that before."
“Lightweight,” Lucas laughs. Then he becomes serious again. "I don't want you to be like anybody else I know, Alaine," he tells her. "I love everything about you; just the way you are."
Then why did you kiss her? Alaine wants to ask but doesn't.
Her brain might still be a bit muggy and her stomach still vile from the poison she'd consumed but that image is branded onto her retinas. The only thing preventing her from dredging it up is the fact that she wants to have all her wits about her for that discussion.
Lucas, on the other hand, waits for her to broach the subject with his heart drumming in his chest. When she doesn't, he slides off the bed with a quick, "be right back," tossed over his shoulder.
He finds his grandmother puttering about the kitchen -- her favourite room in the house -- just like she always does on most days.
"Buongiorno, nipote," she greets. "You are keeping late hours. Unusual," she notes with a smile.
"Buongiorno, nonna," he replies and sparing her the details adds, "I had a busy night. Do you have a remedy for a hangover?" he asks.
Both her eyebrows lift in question.
"Lucas," she drawls in that scolding way.
"It's not for me," he grumbles. "Alaine..." he starts to explain but decides not to talk about that either.
This time, his grandmother gives him a worried look.
"She doesn't drink," Lucas offers to put her mind at ease. "As a matter of fact, she'd never had a drink of alcohol before in her life. I asked Aurora to take her out yesterday and..."
His grandmother tuts her disapproval and regards him with a critical eyes.
"I know you, nipote," she says and pats his cheek. "What is really troubling you?"
For a brief while, Lucas considers disclosing the kiss to her in the hopes of getting some advice but doesn't do that either.
"You know me, nonna," he says with a wry smile. "I'm always alright."
"Too true, amore mio," she agrees. With a sigh, she says, "I've had to clean up after your mother's messes all her life. This is one of the smallest things I've ever had to do for her," she continues as she moves around preparing a concoction for Alaine.
When she's finished, she hands everything to him on a tray and says, "Aurora is a nice girl but she's chosen a terrible role model."
Lucas gives her another regretful smile but doesn't disagree.
He carries the tray back to the bedroom and peeks inside to gauge Alaine's mood before entering.
"A cure for your hangover and breakfast," he announces as he steps inside. "On a scale of one to ten, how bad is it?" he asks as he sets the tray on the bed beside her.
Shrugging she answers, "I really wouldn't know. I've never had one before."
"I did once," he admits. "It was mild. I just wanted to understand what was so fascinating about being drunk. I still don't get it."
"Me neither," Alaine groans.
"Hey," he nudges her before leaning down to place a gentle kiss on her lips. Looking her in the eye, he says, "it meant nothing, Ali," to question she hasn't yet raised. "I wish to God that it had not happened but it did and I need you to believe me. I did not invite her to and it meant nothing."
“Okay,” she agrees then turns her attention to the tray.
Unsure of what okay means and eyeing her doubtfully, Lucas says, "good. My grandmother made this for you. She said it will settle your stomach and the orange juice will put taste in your mouth but you should drink it after..."
"You told her?" Alaine interrupts with a horrified gasp. "Now she'll think I'm a drunk."
"I explained the situation, sort of," he says in his defense. "This is her recipe for Claudia. She's heading to the hospital anyway. After you've eaten, take the pain killers, if you have a headache."
“Thank you,” she mumbles in spite of her foul mood. “For taking care of me."
"It's the least I can do," he mutters, though her gratitude inflates his sense of pride. "Do you wish to stay here in bed? Or you could sit out on the terrace," he says while gesturing to the double doors that lead outside.
“I think, I'll just stay here," she answers.
Lucas sighs as regards her with a heaviness in his heart like her somber mood has somehow spread into the atmosphere and trickled into him to subdue his spirit.
"Okay," he answers. "I have a few things to clear up with work. Then we'll do something together. Anything you want."
Before he leaves the room, he presses a lingering kiss to her lips again.
Don't worry, it's not nearly over. The real drama unfolds in the next chapter which I will try to post tonight.