Part Forty Three
Chapter Forty Three
There was barely room to squeeze the thinnest piece of paper between them, at any point along their lengths. Some point in the night, Natasha had turned in his arms, and in response he had spooned her close to his body, arms engulfing her, her spine and pelvis pressed back into his. He was almost smothering her, but as Bo released his grip on her, she wriggled further back into him, seeming to enjoy the contact as much as he did. And he enveloped her once more.
He had no chance of falling back to sleep, not after his body took her in with all five senses. He went from drowsy to ridiculously alert in seconds.
"Do you always get morning wood?" Her voice was a breath as she twisted to whisper in his ear.
He chuckled, "around you? Definitely yes."
Murmuring her agreement, encouragement, she wriggled even harder against him, then he didn't mistake her decisive muttering, "good!"
She felt so small in his arms, but it was exactly what he wanted. He wanted to look after her, protect her, be everything she needed. She made him feel all kids of man, and he loved it.
As he lowered his head to kiss her shoulder, a growl escaped his lips, a sign of how perfect the moment was.
She turned in his arms, "ooh tiger."
She was laughing, at his response to her – a roll of his eyes, so he did the only thing he could, he devoured her.
"You want breakfast?"
Natasha looked down at Bo, his head on her tummy, arms wrapped around her. When he opened his eyes to meet hers, he had to look up her body, and he murmured appreciatively. Sliding his fingers over her skin, he crested them over her breast, palming it.
He nodded, climbing up her, but she stopped him with her hands, "I am starving."
Dropping his head, he bit her nipple, then offered, "me too."
Slapping at his shoulder, she wriggled out from under him, and reached for the thin robe that was draped over the chair near the bed.
"As nice as the offer is, I need food. And for a change, I don't even mind cooking on my day off. Pancakes?"
And also for a change the moan wasn't sexual driven, and he dragged himself up to sitting.
"Go get a shower, I'll have breakfast ready before you're done."
He raised an eyebrow, "you make that sound like a challenge."
Laughing she left the room.
As promised, when he entered the living area, in just his boxer shorts, towel drying his hair, she was laying the table.
Turning, she smiled, "mmm." Running a hand over his bare chest, She grinned, "suddenly I'm not so hungry."
Laughing he pulled her into his arms and kissed her nose, "well I am fucking starving, I need some sustenance, now!"
With a swat to her backside, he pushed her towards the kitchen, and her eyes widened, "are you pushing the woman into the kitchen?"
Grinning, he followed her, "you want me to march into your kitchen and interfere?"
He knew her so well, her kitchen was her domain and she didn't share it.
"OK, you're forgiven."
When she reappeared with the plate of pancakes, he grabbed her around the waist, pulling her into his lap, "sit with me?"
It was sweet, and something she would never normally do, and that was the only reason that her heart pounded as she sat and fed him food, whilst accepting it back from him, Romantic, intimate, every cell in her body wanted to tun away. This was uncharted territory for her, and she wasn't sure how to deal with it. The fight or flight response was definitely heading towards the latter.
As if sensing her anxiety, he put down his mug of coffee, and pulled her against him, his lips finding her neck, "best breakfast ever."
Leaning into him, she let his kisses overwhelm her, knowing that she'd have to process things, as some point, but she was enjoying his time, his attention and all that his body could do to her.
"What do you mean you're coming on Wednesday?"
Natasha rolled over in bed, processing that it was eleven am, they'd fallen back asleep. But it was Sunday, they had no agenda. Then she heard the voice again, Bo's hushed whisper from the lounge. He was hiding this, a clandestine conversation, and instantly her happy bubble burst. It was too good to be true, she'd known that, this was all about her giving out her heart, and having it batted back at a hundred miles an hour.
"You can't just to decide, turn up out of the blue...of course it's OK." He sighed. She had made her way to the doorway and could see him at the window, in just his boxers again, hand running anxiously through his short hair. Tension rolled off him in huge waves, and her anxiety was rising, her heart in her throat.
As she stepped into the room, gathering his attention, needing to confront him over whoever was on the other end of the call.
"Don't get upset," he turned and spotted her, and gave an apologetic look, but not a guilty one. "Look Mom, I have to go. Can I speak to you later?" He walked towards her, his free arm out to her, and as she stepped into his half embrace, he added, "I thought you wanted to see me play."
Then he laughed, stooping to kiss the top of her head.
"I don't know when I'll start, they have a head injury policy...Mom," it was a protest, he seemed to have little control over the conversation. "I have to go...I'll call you later." He was grinning as he hung up, tossing his phone onto the sofa.
"It's the early hours back home, she's been to a party and drunk dialled."
As his arms wrapped around her, she couldn't help the blush that washed over her and averted her eyes, guilt at her immediate presumption that he was talking to someone more beautiful, more worthy than her, more – everything. But it wasn't it was his mother.
When she finally lifted her eyes again, he was studying her intently, "what's up? You look like you're about to vomit."
She was, that was how bad she felt. She made to play it down, but she couldn't. She was jealous, but more than that, feeling inadequate again, would she ever get over that?
Before she could confess, his eyes grew bigger as he stared at her, "You thought it was someone else?" How could he tell what she was thinking?
Her blush on top of her current flushed state saw him roll his eyes at the confirmation. He dropped his arms from her and stepped back.
"What the fuck, Natasha?" He ran a hand through his hair. "You really think that I'm talking to what? Another woman?"
She sighed, the pain, the hurt, she'd done that. "I'm sorry. It was only for a moment."
"Until you heard me say 'goodbye Mom'?"
He was right, the only reassurance was that from his own lips never from her confidence in him. "I'm sorry, Bo. I am."
He rolled his eyes, pacing in front of her, "I take weeks to get back in your good books, try everything, give up everything to get you to see me, want me. To realise that I am fucking serious about you." He groaned, "then we spent all night so wrapped up in each other I don't think I breathed a different breath to you in twelve hours, and still it's not enough."
She hung her head, expecting him to storm out, to leave her. Like she deserved. Tears welled at her eyes, she loved the way he made her feel appreciated everything about him, yet couldn't get past that pain, that fear that this was only temporary, that she'd never be good enough.
As she prepared to hear the door close, for him to walk out, instead she felt arms close around her.
"I thought you'd leave," she breathed into his body.
He sighed, leaning back to meet her eyes, "firstly I am literally wearing a pair of underwear, and secondly, that was the old me. The new me wants to stand and fight, clear my name...and, in honesty, I see someone upset, not overly emotional or jealous. You're not screaming abuse at me, you're sad, and I want to know more about that."
A tear fell, escaping her eyes, and he swiped it with him thumb, "I told you, I gave my heart once, and it got broken."
"I don't want to break yours."
She sighed, "you are used to more glamorous, more successful, more stylish women. Look at me! How can I ever be enough?"
He laughed, actually laughed out loud and she glowered at him.
"I told you before, I have never had anyone in my life that makes me as happy as you, yes my last supposed girlfriend was a model...but she fucked my best mate, in my bed! Not even trying to hide it. As for glamour and style..." he gave a slow and low whistle, "everything about you turns me on, your long legs, your pale skin, those all-seeing blue eyes, and I believe that I have prayed aloud to the wonder that is your breasts on more than one occasion. But it's none of those things that attract me to you. Do you know what gives me the biggest hard on?"
She bit her lip, absorbing those words, then shook her head.
He placed his index finger on either side of her head, and murmured appreciatively, "in here." He massaged her temples, "in here, is a mind that makes me laugh, that challenges me, that makes me want to be a better man. It's well packaged," he grinned. "That makes it a little easier, and as for success...you are an independent business woman, and that turns me on too. Like you have no idea."
She was a woman who kept her emotions to herself, but this man, he made her cry, sob like a baby...and he just picked her up, and carried her back to bed.
As he laid her on the mattress, he looked down at her and smiled, "I wish I could make you see what I see, make you realise how amazing you are. But it's not that easy...I just have to keep trying. But don't doubt me, please. My fragile ego can't take all that devastation."
She smiled up at him, as he devoured her with his eyes, and wondered how the hell she could ever feel confident that someone as wonderful as him would be satisfied with her. But it was only a fleeting thought, because as he moved over her, kissing her, worshipping her, that thought dissolved into the pleasure that he could so easily elicit in her.
"So you parents are coming?"
They'd got dressed eventually, and had come out for a walk, and the promise of a 'proper Sunday lunch' for him. Holding hands, they strolled down to the waterfront and to the pub that was Natasha's favourite.
Bo sighed, "they want to see me play, and since my reality check at your hands, then I've been in touch more, and the olive branch comes with a kicker."
"It's bad? That they want to visit?"
He looked down at her, but his eyes were hidden behind his shades, "I'm not embarrassed, not of this, of playing...you made me realise that this is a positive. So it makes me feel much better. But I'm not exactly settled. My home is anything but, I am still living out of suitcases..."
She laughed, "you want me to feminise your home?"
He shrugged, "will that make it look more like I enjoy living there?"
Rolling her eyes, she dragged him towards the Sunday market, "a few cushions, some candles and a picture here and there...and it'll look as comfy as you could ever imagine."
As she dragged him along the road, he repeated her words in an increasingly distressed voice, "cushions? Candles? Pictures? Why the actual fuck am I agreeing to?"
She met his mock anxiety with a laugh, instead dragging him towards the brightly lit stalls of the market.
Bo loved seeing her like this, in her element, bartering with the stall holders, handing him bag after bag. She was happy, and he loved that, it was a stark contrast to the night, the highs, the lows. She was so complex, had so much going on in her head. He knew she'd dated some jock, back in Boston, and that the bastard broke her heart, but everyone had bad breakups, he couldn't believe that she was letting him ruin her life all these years later. But she guarded her heart, her past and maybe her future as tightly as she did that tattoo on her body.
Would he ever breakthrough her defences? Would he ever know her truly?
As she waved at him, disappearing into a chaotic looking shop, filled with fabric and shell based items, he rolled his eyes. What the hell was he doing letting her have free rein over his home?
Laughing he followed her into the store. Because, even defensive, half closed Natasha was more than he felt he deserved.