Chapter Twenty Three
Bill felt as though he was emerging from anaesthetic, his head was foggy and his eyes heavy. His whole body ached, evidence that he’d been so soundly asleep. As he started to feel, come to life, he became of the warm arms wrapped around him, the head heavy on his shoulder, and that wonderful smell. Opening one eye he glanced down and smiled, he was definitely home, and Sophie was definitely in his arms. For a quick moment he’d feared he’d woken up in yet another hotel, alone. Stretching he turned his body so that he was on his side watching her.
A quick glance at his alarm clock told him it was after ten. Those black out blinds he’d bought last year were worth every penny, it was dark and he was tempted to fall back asleep. But there was the double edged sword of jetlag, and the hot woman who even as she slept wriggled against him, waking up every inch of his body.
It was heaven, and he could quite happily lie there like that, on the brink of extreme torture forever! He had a moment to contemplate life, so much had happened. Three months ago he’d been a normal guy, working in a bank, loving life, so unaware what impact realising his dream and finding love as he had, could have on him. He had nothing in common with the man who’d refused to commit to anything, anyone, and he couldn’t work out when the change had come around. But he knew that he was happier than he’d ever been.
“So are you going to stare at me all day?” Sophie asked, her eyes were yet to open. He chuckled, a deep sound and she slowly lifted her lashes to look at him, “you have a very sexy laugh!”
That made him blush, Bill Swift actually blushed, turning on her side she faced him with a smile on her face.
“I can’t tell you how happy I was when you turned up last night. Shocked! But shocked and happy!”
He grinned, “I couldn’t have stayed away...I’m sorry Sophie, I really, really am! For all of it.”
There was an earnest and honesty about his expression and in that moment Sophie knew they could sort this out. But they did have to talk, and it was her turn to apologise now, they’d both been stupid.
“I should’ve told you that I loved you back when in Manchester, but I was scared. I’ve never let my defences down like that...” She sat up, turning to look at him, “I’ve had a long time to think about it, and...no one’s ever loved me Bill, not till you. My parents are worse than useless, and me and Nick never saw eye-to-eye. I didn’t believe you could love me, and I doubted that I knew how to love you back.”
Bill took her hands, “and you were right. I should have trusted you. But I don’t think I’ve ever trusted anyone before, not other than you and Vin, as soon as my feelings for you changed...I didn’t know how to manage that. If it’s any consolation it was so hard being away from you, and I knew you needed my support for this and I was stranded, stuck on the other side of the world. Then I phoned and that man...” he hung his head.
Sophie sighed, “the only reason I went out with him before you went away was because he was pestering me. He was only interested because he thought I was with you. Then I got it into my head to draw him in and make him want me, I thought putting him down would be cathartic. You know all those years of living in the shadow of how humiliated he made me feel. But all it did was push you further away. Oh Bill. We’ve both been so stupid!”
Sighing, he pulled her close, “you’re right, if I’d been more honest BEFORE I left the country then we’d never have got into this mess, would we?” She shook her head and he smiled, “when I had that email, God, I felt like such a fool. We had such a busy day ahead, Johnny Peters was injured I was the leading man for GB, and it was all so fraught. And my head was in the shed. You were right to be angry; I SHOULD have called you back, and should have trusted you. Manchester...” they were smiling at each other in an inane fashion at the memory that word created. “It was amazing being with you Sophie, and I don’t think that comes around twice in your life...there’s no way you’d have dived into something with him. Not after that, and not after all those emails.”
Bill was trying to ignore the way she was writhing up against him, this conversation was so important, and she couldn’t keep still, and he was suddenly aware that they only had cotton pyjamas separating them.
“I stayed up and absorbed every minute of coverage of the race. Either from the radio, or the blog, then there were Dave Parnell’s tweets, and there was web footage on an Aussie website. I’ve been SO proud. So tell me about this offer you’ve had.”
Bill rolled onto his side, looking down at her, all tousled and displayed on the pillows of his bed. “Well the director of one of the pro teams based in Belgium came over on one of the final days and he asked me if I’d be interested in riding for them next year. They’re pro, but not like Tour de France level, the money’s nowhere near as good as the bank...I didn’t give him an answer. I wanted to discuss it with you first.”
Bill couldn’t tell if Sophie was being purposely seductive, or if he was viewing her in such a different way. Either way he was finding it harder and harder to concentrate.
“You have to do this; it’s everything you’ve ever wanted. We’ll manage for money between us.”
“But the race calendar would take me away SO much...”
She placed her fingers across his lips and Bill could barely concentrate for the desire to open his lips and take those fingers into his mouth. This was a serious, life changing conversation and his mind had hit the gutter.
“Bill, you’re twenty six, this opportunity won’t come around again. You HAVE to go for it, there’s no alternative. I’m an artist, I can paint anywhere...I’m sure we’ll be able to find time to be together. And anyway, I LOVE Belgium!”
“Things can’t be that simple...”
She spun on to her side, wrapping her arms around him in a dominant way, “life is as simple as we make it, now can we stop talking before I explode?”
Bill’s eyes widened, she was as turned on as him? How did she hide it so well? With a shift he moved his body against hers and Sophie gasped, there was no denying how he was feeling and the soft swell of her lower stomach absorbed the pressure of the evidence.
“Oh My Mr Bill!” She feigned a Southern drawl as she looked at him through lowered eyelashes.
Bill burst out laughing, rolling to tower over her, “If you’re going to make me laugh, I guess I have to shut you up!”
And with that his lips sank to hers.
And the world stopped spinning.
Sophie felt as though she was melting against the sheets, the few kisses they’d shared had been so intense, so passionate. And this one was no different. Sophie was torn between wanting to savour every moment, and ripping off his t-shirt...so she tried to do both.
Within moments they were naked, exploring each other, tasting, teasing, and any self consciousness that had previously sat between them was gone, Bill licking her belly button was suddenly the most natural thing in the world, in fact her hands in his hair encouraged it. When she reciprocated, biting at his dark nipples, he groaned but never took his eyes from her. She was too engrossed to comment on the ridiculous tan lines, or the baby smooth shaved skin, the product of a month racing in hot sun, and he was slimmer, so much more than before. She had the thought to fatten him up, make his favourite food, but then he was training, he’d probably want broccoli and rice...There was a lot to get used to, but she could be the girlfriend of an athlete, she could!
“You dreaming already?” Bill asked, his body hovered over hers.
She laughed, throwing her legs around him, bringing their bodies close, “only of you!”
“Good answer!” he chuckled, and then all the humour left as he entered her swiftly, and it was everything they both wanted, and needed.
It was over an hour later that two extremely hungry people made their way downstairs, Bill in just a pair of shorts, skipping at the thought of bacon sandwiches, Sophie in just his t-shirt, following behind ignoring the aches and pains that the last hour had wreaked on her body. Bill filled the coffee machine as she started the bacon. Bill had told her he was giving himself a week off, and he’d dreamed of one of her bacon sandwiches whilst he was eating nutritionally calculated food in Australia. She was more than happy to oblige.
As the coffee machine ‘plink-plinked’ the bacon started to sizzle, Sophie watching felt teeth sink softly in to the flesh at the base of her neck, and at the exact same time, two hands slid under her strappy pyjama top, sliding around to cup each of her breasts.
“I can’t get enough of you!” He breathed against her skin as her nipples hardened against his hands, and his erection reappeared and nuzzled into her buttocks.
Half turning she met his lips with a groan, leaning back into his hard, bare chest, offering herself to him. Suddenly Bill needed her again. A desire beyond belief. “How long have we got?”
She smiled at the raspy voice, then reached to turn off the heat under the bacon, “how long do you need?”
Laughing he turned her in his arms, “with you? Not very long!”
Breakfast Take Two! And more like lunch, thought Sophie as she glanced at the clock. But she was anything but disappointed. It had been an amazing experience, and she’d always look at this kitchen in a different way.
The bacon was once again sizzling, and Bill, still in just shorts was sipping his coffee propped against the work surface watching her...intently, when there was a knock at the door. Reality coming back to haunt them.
“I’ll get it!” Bill announced.
By the time he reappeared she was making up the sandwiches, she saw him enter the room in the extreme edge of her peripheral vision, “cold callers?” She asked as she lifted his plate then turned to hand it to him.
Sophie glanced up and froze, either side, flanking Bill were her parents.