Later that morning, Dylan was following the smell of bacon into the kitchen. He found a freshly showered Lana standing in front of the stove carefully flipping an omelet. He stopped and leaned against the entranceway as he watched her work quickly, giving the potatoes a stir. As she started to plate the food he made his way over to her, stepping behind her and placing his hands on her hips. She looked over her shoulder at him with a smile and they shared a quick kiss.
“What’s all this?” He smiled. “You know, if you start spoiling me already I’m going to get used to it.”
“Well, I figured since you had to babysit me last night, the least I could do was make you breakfast.” She turned around to face him and he pulled her into his arms.
“You weren’t that bad. You remember it, so you couldn’t have been that drunk,” he teased. “Nonetheless, I’d never object to a hot breakfast,” he smirked.
“Why do I feel like that was anything but an innocent statement?” She laughed as she stepped away to pour two cups of coffee.
“Because you’re getting to know the real me,” he laughed back. “Why, do I intimidate you?”
“Not in the least,” she smirked as they grabbed their plates and mugs and he followed her out to the small table on the balcony. “In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I didn’t get where I am today in my career and my life in general by letting myself be intimidated by any man.”
“Oooh, hot and feisty. I like that,” he replied as he sat down, smiling mischievously as he brought the coffee mug to his lips.
“You have no idea, Mr. MacNamara,” she paused as she picked up the bottle of ketchup from the table then looked up at him again. “No idea,” she reiterated, failing to keep the serious look on her face and they both laughed.
The couple sat and enjoyed their breakfast on the balcony that overlooked the La Jolla coves. The thick marine layer had mostly burned off, and the skies were completely clear by the time they were finished eating. They decided to go get Lana’s car and bring it back before walking to the beach for the day. They spent a couple of hours soaking up the sun as they laid next to each other on their beach towels. They were lying on their sides, facing each other and talking when Dylan saw something behind Lana that made him scoff and shake his head. She looked over her shoulder before looking back at him questioningly.
“What’s wrong?” She adjusted her sunglasses and he groaned.
“All these little girls in their tiny bikinis. I’ve been having this argument with my daughter for a month. Her mother bought her a couple and she gets mad at me because I don’t let her wear them when she’s with me,” he explained. Lana smiled.
“She’s thirteen, she’s at that age where she wants to be noticed and fit in,” she smirked, and he rolled his eyes.
“That’s the problem. I don’t want her to be noticed. I vividly remember what it was like to be a teenage boy. I hadn’t yet figured out that having an intellectual conversation with a girl was almost as rewarding as getting her out of her swimsuit,” he shook his head. “I try not to be that overbearing dad that keeps her on a super tight leash and doesn’t let her explore the world. I just want her to be smart and safe about it. I don’t want her to be 18 with a kid like I was. I was nowhere near mature enough to be a parent. I learned quickly, but it came with a fair share of fuck ups too.”
“Is she overall a good kid?” Lana questioned, and he nodded. “Then you must not have been that bad,” she smiled as she placed her hand over his that was resting on the towels between them.
“I just worry about her now that she’s getting older. Her mom was great with her when she was younger, but she’s gone through two husbands over the past four years. I’m worried that she’s going to have the wrong impression about how she should be treated. I want her to grow up to be a strong woman and value herself,” he shared.
Lana could tell the topic was something that sat close to his heart. He hadn’t really opened up to her too much about his family or his past, and she fell for him even harder as he talked about his daughter. She could see that he was upset and worried.
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve been celibate since I split with her mom eleven years ago,” he continued. “But, I generally don’t bring women into her life unless there’s potential for something more. She’s only ever met one or two, and once the women saw how devoted I was to my daughter they left, and I never attempted to stop them. It takes someone special to walk into a relationship with a man who has a daughter her age, and she has to approve of any woman I would bring into my life on a long-term basis.”
“I think that says a lot about you as a man,” she replied seriously. “I think it’s very respectable of you to set boundaries. Your daughter will figure it all out when she’s older and hopefully live by your example. She knows she’s important to you, and hopefully she’ll take away from it that she should be just as important to anyone that wants to date her when she’s older.”
“Ugh, the thought of her dating makes me sick to my stomach,” he groaned again as he moved onto his back and she smirked. “I don’t want to think about it anymore,” he paused for a moment. “You want to go for a swim?” He changed the subject, looking over at her as she nodded.
They took off their sunglasses and stashed them away in their bags before heading for the water. Dylan took her hand in his as they got closer. They got to the edge of the water and Lana yelped as the cold water ran over her feet. Dylan held her hand firmly so she couldn’t run away.
“I changed my mind, the water’s freezing,” she laughed, and he shook his head.
“It’s too late to back out now, Sweetheart.”
Dylan wagged his eyebrows with a grin before scooping her up in his arms and carrying her out into the water. She jumped as the cold water touched her butt, tightening her arms around his neck. He grinned again as he carried her deeper into the water. He looked out at the water as he continued to smile, and Lana looked in the same direction to see a wave headed right for them.
“I would hold your breath if I were you,” he whispered into her ear.
Lana held onto him for dear life as the wave crashed into them. He dropped her legs but wrapped his arms around her securely. Their eyes met as they resurfaced, and Dylan smirked as he tangled his hand in her hair and kissed her hungrily. She met his kiss just as fiercely as she melted into him, tuning out the outside world. Their lips parted, and they exchanged smiles again as a chill went up her spine. They spent a few more minutes floating around in the water and cooling down before going back to dry off in the sun.
The pair playfully flirted on the short walk back to Lana’s place. Once they got inside, Dylan followed Lana back to her bedroom as she stripped back down to her bathing suit and he pulled his shirt off. Her plan to get a shower was thwarted as Dylan reached for her, spinning her around to face him and pinning her back against the wall. Lana was speechless as his eyes filled with lust and his lips crashed down into hers. He pressed his body against hers and she could feel that he was turned on. He trailed kisses back her jaw, gently nipping on her earlobe.
“I’ve never wanted someone as badly as I want you. You drive me insane,” he whispered huskily in her ear.
“Yeah?” She teased, and he growled deeply as his lips traveled to her neck. “Then do something about it.”
Dylan pulled back so he could see her face. She glanced up at him, resting her head back against the wall. She gave him a look that was daring him to take control of her. He rested his forehead against hers and looked deeply into her eyes. Their stare lasted only a few seconds before Lana wrapped her hand around the back of his neck, pulling him down to her as she kissed him passionately.
She pushed on his chest, backing him up to her bed and gently shoving him to sit down. She bit her lip with a seductive glance as she reached around her back and then behind her neck to untie the strings of her bikini, letting her top fall to the floor. He reached for her hand, pulling her down to straddle his lap and capturing her lips with his before trailing kisses down her salty skin to one of her breasts. He quickly brought her nipple to a hardened point before moving on to the other. She grinded against him, both of them moaning as their lips met once again. She felt his hands on her hips as he slowly untied the strings on each side of her bottoms.
She carefully lifted off of him, moving to the side so he could stand. He took in the view of her toned but womanly figure, twitching at the sight of her perfectly manicured pubic hair. He tangled both hands in her hair as he kissed her while she worked at the string on his board shorts. She pushed them down over his hips as his heavy cock pressed against her lower abdomen, and he stepped out of them once they fell to the floor. He wasted no time lifting her up and laying her back on the bed, working his way between her legs as he leaned down and devoured her skin once again. He ran his hand down the side of her body, tracing the curve of her hip and gently squeezing her derriere that he had become so fond of. She smiled into their kiss and he laughed softly to himself before moving his hand to the sweet spot between her thighs. She gasped and her head fell back as he quickly found her opening and thrust two fingers inside of her. He thrust his fingers in and out a few times, relieved when he felt the thin strings of her IUD. He covered her neck in kisses as his fingertips found the small bundle of nerves and she let out a soft cry of pleasure.
“I know this is bad timing, but do you have a condom, or do you trust me that I’m clean?” He nipped at the soft patch of skin just below her ear.
“I trust you if you trust me,” she panted as she looked up at him with clouded eyes, reaching between them to stroke his length.
Dylan kissed her firmly, tugging at her bottom lip with his teeth as he pulled back. He lifted himself off of her, smiling as he grabbed her hips and pulled her down into a better position. Lana got the full view of him and clenched in excitement, feeling another rush of blood flow to her most sensitive areas. Her eyes briefly landed on a small, faded scar just inside of his right hip and she made a mental note to ask about it at a better time.
“Like what you see?” He questioned, his voice heavy with lust. She blushed and nodded a bit shyly.
He realized then, that even though she came on strong she was a bit nervous. He leaned down and kissed her slowly before positioning his tip at the opening to her wet, silky folds. He slowly worked his way into her with gentle thrusts, wrapping his hands around the back of her shoulders once he was buried deep inside of her. She moaned softly as her body adjusted to him and she thrusted her hips up towards his. Their lips met in a sensual, heartfelt kiss. He started to move his hips in a slow rhythm with hers as they got used to the feeling of becoming one with each other.
Lana closed her eyes as she got lost in the sensations that were coursing through her body. The way her lips tingled when they touched his, how the weight of his body felt on top of hers, how he was hitting her sweet spot with each thrust. The room was filled with the sounds of their heavy breathing and the sounds of their bodies coming together as he picked up the pace. Her fingers clawed into his back as she tried to pull him deeper and he responded by repositioning and holding onto her hips as he fucked her harder and faster. Her back arched off the bed and she clenched the sheets with one hand while holding onto him with the other. Euphoria crept up on her quickly, her whole world becoming unsteady as he gave her all he had to give. They rode out their highs, her moaning in pleasure and him grunting with each pulse. When he finally collapsed next to her, they were both breathless and completely spent, quickly falling asleep in each other’s arms.
Lana woke up in the early evening, disappointed to be alone in her queen size bed. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes before heading for the bathroom. As she stood under the hot water her stomach growled and she ran the contents of the fridge through her head. She dried off, pulled her hair back in a messy bun, and pulled on a pair of shorts and a camisole. As she made her way down the hallway the smells of Italy greeted her nose. She smiled as she stepped into the kitchen and Dylan looked over from his spot in front of the stove with a smirk. He stirred the pasta sauce and set the spoon down on a plate before taking a step towards her and pulling her into his arms. They exchanged smiles before sharing a sweet kiss.
“I didn’t realize you were still here,” Lana stepped away and grabbed a glass, filling it with cold water.
“Give me some credit,” he smirked, returning to the stove. “If all I wanted was a piece of ass, I would have pursued it the night we met and then you never would have seen me again. I wouldn’t have opened up to you or asked you to open up to me if I didn’t want something more than sex.”
“I figured as much,” she sipped her water. “I don’t know, I guess I just thought maybe you wanted to get home and I would wake up to a note or something,” she shrugged.
“Lan,” he turned to face her, taking her hand in his. “I don’t know what kind of relationships you’ve had in the past, but I know of at least one where you weren’t treated that well. I would never take you to bed like that and then leave you, especially without saying goodbye.” He reached up and tucked a loose piece of hair out of her face. “Even if we wouldn’t have had sex, I still wouldn’t have left you. I want to spend time with you, get to know everything there is to know about you. I haven’t wanted a relationship with anyone in a long time, but there’s something about you that makes me feel like I need you in my life.”
“Wow,” she inhaled deeply. “I mean, are you sure about this? I told you what I come along with. Not to mention some people would send me straight to Hell in a handbasket if they could, based on my job alone. What happens if this does work out and I meet your daughter?”
“What about it?” He paused, and she just stared at him. “If we get to that point, we tell her that you photograph landscapes and travel to neat places for work. When she’s older she’ll find out about the rest of it and it won’t be a big deal. If other people in my life don’t like it, they don’t have to look at it. I want you, their opinion doesn’t matter.” He gently squeezed her hand. “Do you want this? Are you in it for the long haul if everything works out?”
“Yes, of course,” she nodded with a weak smile. “I really like you, Dylan. I want to see where this goes, and hopefully it will turn into something incredible. I’m just worried that my past relationship experiences have fucked me up so bad that I’m going to screw everything up,” she explained as a stray tear slipped from her eye.
“Don’t worry about that. We’ll take everything a day at a time and we’ll work through things as they come.”
“Okay,” she nodded, smiling again as she wiped the tear away.
“Now, back to what’s really important,” he looked at the stove. “I hope you’re hungry and you like Chianti.” They both laughed as he pulled her into a brief hug before they separated to fill their plates.
Lana pulled the “nice” plates out of the cabinet above the sink so she could set the table for their family dinner. Her mother Betsy, who worked as a hospital administrator in San Diego, was on vacation for the week so she insisted on having a mid-week get together. After spending the entire weekend with Dylan, Lana felt like she finally had an opportunity to move forward with her life. She just hoped that her optimism and current state of happiness didn’t cause her family to dig into her. Of course, she would end up telling them about him, but she wanted to keep details off the radar until she knew for sure it was going to turn into a big deal.
She gathered the silverware and set the table in the dining room, last but not least putting out the water and wine glasses. Just as she finished up with the table, her younger brother Mateo walked past her, sticking his wet finger in her ear and giving her a wet willy. She spun around and smacked him in the back of the head playfully with a laugh. He put his arm around her neck and pulled her in as he quickly worked to mess up her hair.
“Okay, you win, stop!” Lana laughed as she tried to pull away unsuccessfully.
“You haven’t been around for like, a month. I need to make up for time lost,” he laughed as he continued to harass her.
“God, I hate you,” she teased as she kept trying to get away. “I liked it better when I was an only child,” she added, reaching up and pinching the back of his upper arm between two fingers.
“Mom!” Mateo yelled as he let Lana go. “Lana hurt me!”
“Don’t be such a little bitch. You’re 17, you should be able to stand up to your sister by now,” she laughed as she combed her fingers through her hair, pulling it back in a messy bun.
“I wouldn’t want to hurt you, seeing as though you’re such a little shrimp compared to me.” He reached for her again and she jumped away, bumping into her dad Fernando, as he stepped into the dining room, still wearing his police uniform.
“Daddy, make him stop being mean,” Lana pouted and her father glared over at Mateo.
“Leave your sister alone,” he ordered.
“What?!” Mateo scoffed. “You always take her side!”
“We haven’t seen her in weeks, don’t scare her away before dinner,” Fernando’s face softened into a smile, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. He headed for the kitchen to greet his wife, and as soon as he was out of sight Mateo playfully shoved Lana. She kicked him in the leg just as their father walked back through the room, so he could go change.
“Dios Mio! Both of you grow up,” he shook his head as he walked past them, both of them laughing.
Once they finally all sat down to dinner, they discussed how Fernando was up for promotion to Detective. He had his degree in criminal justice and was tired of working the streets, so they were all praying that he got the job. He had been with the SDPD for over 20 years, so he had more than earned it. They changed topics to discuss what colleges Mateo was interested in, and that lasted them through the rest of their meal. They briefly touched on their mother’s job and what was going on at the hospital. Once her mom had brought out the pineapple upside down cake she made, she knew they were going to focus on her.
“Your father mentioned to me the other night that there’s a nice young man who just transferred to his unit. He says he would be a good match for you,” Betsy smiled at her daughter.
“He is a nice guy,” her dad shrugged. “Maybe I could invite him over the next time we have a family dinner.” Lana took a sip of her wine, setting the glass back down on the table.
“I do appreciate the fact that you two are so concerned about my love life, but I’m not interested,” she stated as she sat back in her chair.
“Lana, you’re 27 years old. I understand you haven’t had the best experiences, but if you want kids you need to find someone to settle down with,” her mom urged.
“First of all, people are having kids in their 40s now, thanks to medical advancements. Secondly,” she picked her glass back up, “I met someone.” She smiled, and her mom grinned. Despite her father trying to act disinterested she could tell he was waiting for her to elaborate.
“So where did you meet? What does he do?” Betsy folded her arms on the table, giving her daughter her full attention.
“We met through friends, actually. Mark is good friends with him apparently.” She figured sugar-coating it would prevent the conversation from nose diving later into a discussion about how her parents hated the fact that she photographed people having sex. “He’s a writer, has a couple of books published. One of them is a pretty big deal,” she smiled.
“Ooh, a writer!” Betsy grinned. Lana saw Mateo roll his eyes and she smirked. “So, is he what you would expect a writer to be like?”
“I don’t know what you would expect. He’s good with words, though. The only thing that kind of sucks is that he lives in Venice Beach, so it’s hard to just get together for dinner or something. He was here for the weekend though. Mark had a party the other night and we were both there.”
“And then you got drunk and banged him?” Mateo smirked, and she rolled her eyes.
“No,” she sighed. “He’s a pretty stand-up guy. He’s very respectful.”
“That’s good,” Fernando chimed in. “You need someone like that in your life,” he paused. “Did you tell him about Nathan?”
“I did,” she nodded. She wasn’t going to elaborate and tell her parents that Dylan knew more than they did by this point. She didn’t want to worry her parents by telling them that Nathan was still harassing her to an extent that was much worse than what they knew. “He took it pretty well, actually. I was just a little concerned because he has a thirteen-year-old daughter, but he told me not to worry about it,” she shrugged as she drank some more of her wine.
“Thirteen?” Her mom made a face. “How old is he?”
“He’s only 31. He was young, but I can already tell he’s a good dad. I haven’t met her yet, we’re not at that point yet. He talks about her a lot though.”
“Well, that’s not so bad. It’s only a four year difference between you,” Betsy reasoned as she picked up her fork.
“When do we get to meet him?” Fernando asked curiously.
“I don’t know,” Lana shrugged. “Probably once we figure out if it’s going to work or not.”
“A.K.A., she means if he’s good in bed,” Mateo chimed in. Lana kicked him again under the table.