38. Ballad Block
It was the longest day in the history of the planet.
At least so far for Nate.
It was five minutes until he could haul ass home, he had spent an exorbitant amount of time dealing with lawyers, and Leila hadn’t responded back to his texts.
He’d have felt better if she had even texted him a sorry, I’m busy text. At least he would have known she was alive and well on the other side of the bay.
Nate wasn’t one for heavy metal, but he blasted it on his ride home that day. Each song had a raw gritty feeling that went right along with his mindset.
Kill. Maim. Eviscerate.
But not in the literal sense, of course. He wasn’t psychotic after all.
Lorelei would be lucky to make it out without a Scarlet ‘A’ branded onto her body after he was done with her. He trusted Lettice to help him bury her, not bury the hatchet. The hatchet had already cut clean through bone as far as Nate was concerned.
He wasn’t normally a vindictive person. If he had been, he probably would have stayed in England and taunted Lorelei with his proximity in the same city. Dated women, made sure he flaunted it in her face by dining at her favorite spots on a regular basis. Laugh with glee when she cut him with glares from across the room of said restaurants and cafes. All the petty bullshit that Lorelei deserved.
A slower song came on. Lonely Day by System of a Down. It spoke to the atmosphere of Nate’s day.
He switched radio stations. Elton John. Your Song.
The melody instantly soothed him, the words spoke for him.
And he wanted nothing more than to get home, wait for Leila and then bury himself in her for the remainder of the night. He needed her soft curves, wet warmth and breathy moans to lose himself in, feed and nourish himself with...
Christ. He was fucking getting sappy as shit at the ripe old age of 25. 26 next month.
Shit, a whole year older next month. This time last year he was planning a trip to Ireland with Lorelei for his birthday. He had always loved the green hills, brisk air, cool misty rains that came without warning and left just as quickly. A little slice of heaven here on earth.
Not to mention the ruins. Castle ruins everywhere it seemed. Made him feel small. But in the best of ways. Like nothing he could do could damage anything so steady, so strong.
Ever since watching The Butterfly Effect, he had been creeped out. Every little decision he made, every thought, could turn out to be a series of bad decisions, worse consequences.
He had fucking nightmares for weeks about that when his Russ had convinced him to watch it one night at college.
And the fuckers had decided to make a sequel? And a shitty one at that. Not that Nate watched it. One go around was enough, fuck you very much.
Another cheesy pop love song played. Something by Ed Sheeran. Then Jason Mraz. Then it was the disc jockey stating that the Ballad Block of the day was over. Not that Nate had minded it all that much. Sure it was cheesy and hokey and all of the other shit he usually rolled his eyes at but secretly loved. Not the music so much as the emotions behind the music. That feeling of forever with someone you loved.
He had decided a month ago that he didn’t hate Lorelei for cheating on him. He was still somewhat bitter about the way he found out, but there were no regrets about finding out at all. It has pushed him to leave, go back home, find something better with Leila. In Leila.
He parked his car as some pop-rock song was coming on after lowering the volume. He had had it cranked to drown out his thoughts and it had worked. Sort of. The Ballad Block had helped him more. Sort out his feelings in a more efficient way. It was better than listening to the hate ballads the hard rock station had offered. They were the heavy metal version of country music. My girl left me and took the dog or found my baby mama with another man. There was a lot of two-timing in country music. Lorelei should’ve been born in the deep, deep south.
Except country always had an upswing to it where metal made you bleed. There was no happy ever after in a song like that. One of the reasons Nate steered clear of metal for the most part. He was usually an optimistic person. He needed that hope, that silver lining.
His silver lining today was Leila. He needed to lose himself, drown out all the problems he had had to deal with that day and just be one with her.
Again, cheesy. Cliche as fuck. But true.
He cooked up a quick dinner of spaghetti when he got home, put some in a Tupperware dish for Leila. It was quick, easy. He didn’t want to waste time before he had her.
He never realized how much even a text from her meant. Sometimes it was the only thing to brighten up a rough day.
After eating a quick bowl of spaghetti, he fiddled around with his guitar, strummed out the chords and committed them quickly to memory. He had never played the instrument for Leila, but he wanted to. He didn’t know why except for that it was just another part of him he could share with her. It was his way of bleeding for her but in a gentler way than screaming at the top of his lungs that love was cruel and there were no happy endings.
He heard the front door of the house open, slam shut. Nate rushed to the door and poked his head through it just as Leila’s feet were cresting the last stair to her apartment.
“Hey,” he called up to her. “Get dressed in something comfortable. I have food for you downstairs. No need to cook.”
Leila breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank God,” she muttered. “I am so not in the mood to cook. I was going to crack open a Marie Callendars and hope not to burn the crust on the pot pie. I hate my microwave. It’s trying to kill me with burnt food and frozen insides.”
“Door will be open when you’re ready. Your food’s in the Tupperware bowl in the microwave.”
It only took a few minutes for Leila to strip down and get comfy. The weather was getting warmer this late in spring and it was only a matter of time before the dry heat of summer was upon them. She popped on a light tank top with a built-in bra and some shorts that came to her mid-thigh.
Not bothering with shoes, she trotted down the steps to the first floor and walked in without knocking. It’s not like it would have been the first time she had caught Nate naked in his living room. He didn’t care and hadn’t even bothered to cover himself up the last few times she had come into the place without knocking. It was usually after he had showered and towel-dried and was about to step into a fresh pair of boxers. Leila had an affinity for walking in when he wearing nothing more than a smile.
But Nate was clothed. Boxers and a fresh t-shirt, but clothed.
The spaghetti was still warm and she added some parmesan from the fridge to the top of it. Nate grabbed a bottle of wine he kept for when Leila came over and used a corkscrew to open it for her. Pour out. Watch her moan a bit when she took the first sip.
Leila ate in silence, starved. Nate watched, smirking as he placed the bottle of beer to his mouth every few moments, taking a swig and setting it down on the table.
As soon as Leila was done, he took her bowl, rinsed it out and set it in the dishwasher.
“I got some paperwork today,” he said evenly.
“Lorelei is suing me for child support,” Nate said.
“Not to worry, though,” he told her. “I already have a lawyer and an appointment to meet with her next week.”
“Already? That was quick,” Leila said, her face evening out at his quick handling of the issue.
“Yeah, she came highly recommended,” Nate said, leaning his ass against the Formica countertop by the kitchen sink. “She’s from England originally but practices in the bay. Oakland. But she’s well-versed with across-country child support law. Thank fucking God.”
“Good,” Leila said, her face crumpling again.
She had thought her day yelling at Jared had been trying. She couldn’t imagine what it had been like for Nate, having to deal with this. And she couldn’t have been there to support him. Meetings and yelling with Jared had taken up the majority of her work day.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, seeing her face dissolve into worry.
“I just... I thought my day was trying,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond to any texts. It was bedlam. I’m trying to get as many contracts underway and situated as I can before going to England with you.” She looked up at him. “You... you still want me to go, right?”
“Of course,” he told her, shoving off from the counter. “I’m not going to change my mind about that. You get a passport yet?”
“It’s in the process,” she told him. “It takes two months at the most, so we have plenty of time.”
“Of course,” he said, pulling Leila up to stand and then drawing her into his body. He kissed her lips once, twice. Then he tucked her into his arms, just holding her tight.
Warmth washed over him, through him, and he felt worlds better.
This was where he was meant to be.
Fuck her ridiculous lawsuit.
And fuck her attempts at derailing his life here at home.
And Leila, fuck... Leila certainly felt like home to him.
“Let’s go to the bedroom,” he said softly into her bright coppery hair.
“Mmhmm,” he hummed. “I’ve had a shit day. I need to balance it out with a few hours watching you come underneath me.”
How could a girl say no to that?
“How come you never play your guitar in front of me?” Leila asked, looking over at acoustic Fender in the corner.
“All the songs I know now are sad.” Nate thought. “Except for one. I’ll play it for you later. It’s not sad per se... more inspirational.”
“And you’ll sing it for me?” she asked.
“I’m not much of a singer, but I’ll try. That is if I can remember the words.”
He pulled her over to him, next to the bed.
“I hope you’re not partial to your panties,” he told her, his hands skimming her hips to settle on the curve of her ass. “You keep talking about making music when I’m trying to get you naked, and I’ll have to force you out of your duds the hard way.”
“Operative word being ‘hard’?” she asked, smiling up at him.
He ground his hardening crotch into her.
“Of course,” Nate said. “Now. Panties down. Shirt- off. I won’t ask again. Next time I start ripping.”
“But I get to keep the shorts on?” she asked, teasing.
“Those go down with the panties unless you have some miraculous magic trick to get out of your knickers without removing your shorts.”
“Knickers,” she muttered.
“Yes,” Nate said, smacking her lightly on one ass cheek. “Knickers, underwear, panties, drawers. Call ’em what you want but I want them gone in ten seconds.”
“Rude!” But she pulled her shorts down anyway, taking her panties with them.
Nate quickly tore off her shirt as soon as she was upright again and Leila pushed him back a step. He looked shocked when he fell- ass-first- onto the bed.
“I’m not the only one getting naked, mister,” she told him, folding her arms under her breasts and pushing them up. “Not when- oh, shit!”
Nate had captured one of her nipples in her mouth and took a long, harsh suck. It puckered immediately against his tongue and he cupped the other breast, plucking at the other one with his thumb and forefinger.
“Fu-u-uck, Nate,” she groaned, her hands reaching up to fist into his hair.
Leila was probably right. He should have at least taken off his boxers first. His cock was already straining at the thin fabric.
But he didn’t want to stop what he was doing. He suckled one nipple into his mouth, making it a stone-hard point until moving to the other, kissing between her breasts as he slid over to nurse the other.
He licked at the bud, circled the areola with the tip of his tongue, tugged at it with his teeth. His hands moved to rub her between her folds, softly at first, circling her. Teasing her.
Leila’s head fell back as she let out a whimpering cry.
“No,” she murmured.
“No to what, kitty?” he asked before flicking his tongue back out at her nipple. Her breasts quivered.
“I want... want...”
“What do you want?” he asked, rubbing her faster, harder. Her hips shifted, circling.
“I want your cock in my mouth,” she murmured, looking down at him with half-hooded eyes.
He couldn’t have gotten any harder if he had tried.
“And I want your sweet cunt coming on my lips,” he told her.
“You first,” she said, pushing him gently back onto the bed.
She pulled his boxers down, Nate assisting with a lift of his hips off the bed.
Leila sank down to her knees while Nate spread his legs, allowing her to get closer. Her hand came up, cupped his balls, felt them tighten and then gripped the base of his shaft.
It twitched in her hand and her face came closer to his cock before she ran her tongue around the rim of his crown. He tasted of Nate, a flavor she had become all too familiar with. Soap, salt, and something altogether exclusive to only him. Nate. He was a Nate-flavored lollipop. Delicious.
She ran her tongue around him again, lapped up the drop of pre-cum at his tip and closed her mouth over him, sucking.
“Fuck, Leila,” he groaned out, watched her head lower onto him, felt his balls tighten, his hips raise a bit.
God, he wanted to fuck her mouth so badly. Lose himself in the friction of her wet warmth, come down her throat and then lick her until she was screaming his name.
Leila worked up and down on him slowly, taking him deeper with each bob of her head, lower. Lower. Until she swallowed around him, loosening her throat for him.
Past the barrier, Nate groaned as her throat opened for him, felt her swallow around him. Again. And Again.
“Shit, sweetheart,” he groaned.
She hummed around him, sending tingles directly to his balls, making them tight, drawing up the loose flesh.
He pumped up into her mouth, ass clenching, hips flexing. She worked her hand and mouth faster on him, her tongue flattening and licking wildly around his tip, lapping up pre-cum like nectar.
“Your lips... around my cock... fuck!” He groaned, cried out.
He was so close to coming down her throat his balls literally ached with the need.
Leila started to twist her mouth and hand, corkscrewing up and down his length.
“I’m gonna come,” Nate warned, his voice breathy, barely intelligible.
She swallowed around him, knowing it would drive him wild, push him over the edge.
Sparks shot up and down his spine as he groaned out his release. Nerve endings fired. A sizzling sensation like a flame moved up and out on his skin until he was emptied out into her mouth. She swallowed him down, all of him.
He breathed hard, chest heaving, and his lips pressing against the skin on her forehead.
“Shit, babe,” Nate breathed. “If someone could market that kind of suction on a Fleshlight, the bars scene would be a fuck of a lot emptier most nights.”
She giggled for a moment, pressed her lips to his, rose, and pushed him down on the bed.