"Are you asleep?"
Martina's spontaneous reply made us both giggle, and I squeezed her closer to my chest until she made pretend strangling sounds.
"I've been thinking..."
"About what?" she asked when I hesitated, and she had the absolute sexiest morning voice.
Hoarse after screaming every time you've made her cum.
"Oh. I haven't..." she started, but I was quick to interrupt her.
"I know, and it's okay. But I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking about myself."
She lifted her head and looked at me with raised eyebrows.
"You're coming to New York after all?"
"Unfortunately not," I said, and immediately felt bad.
"I'm sorry, Bambi. It's not as easy for me to get a job as it is for you. You're young and everybody likes you the minute they see you. Me... I mean, I'm not the most cooperative employee. I hate responsibility and I avoid all kinds of business meetings like they were with Bree herself. Quentin accepts that, and he's giving me a salary that I honestly don't deserve."
"That's not true. Not from what Olivia told me. You're a mastermind behind the drawing board. Quentin would never have come as far as he's done if it wasn't for you."
"Really? Livvy said something nice about me?"
"Yeah. Why wouldn't she?"
"Uhm... Let's not elaborate on that," I mumbled.
"Anyway. What I was about to say..."
If she decides that she's not moving, this is actually a conversation about co-parenting, Aaron. Are you ready for that? No. Definitely not.
I cleared my voice. I had to say this. If only to make her understand that I took this seriously. I took us seriously.
"This apartment is... Well, it's a standard with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and two bedrooms. And, like... It's on the third floor with an elevator that is so often out of order that I've completely stopped using it."
"There's actually an elevator here?" she asked, and started drawing patterns on my chest.
"Yeah. At the other end of the hall. And that itself is a bit backwards if you're having a stroller and maybe some shopping bags or other stuff."
Martina rolled more over towards me, so she was partially laying on my chest. She studied me with curiosity and her mouth was slightly open while I spoke.
"And then it's the traffic. This is the middle of the city, and even though it's practical to live this close to the mall, shopping centers and whatnot..."
"What are you trying to say?" she asked, when my words stranded.
"I was thinking of maybe buying a house outside of the city. Not a big one, because I can't afford one of those luxurious mansions, but a house that's just large enough for a little family."
I gulped again when I struggled to decipher her facial expression. Maybe she didn't like that idea? Maybe she even hated it?
Think fast, Aaron!
"Please don't get me wrong, Bambi. I don't mean to pressure you into moving in with me, because I already told you that you can have all the time you need to think about it."
...which is about four months.
"We'll figure something out anyway, I'm sure. You know, until she... Uhm. Comes out."
Fuck, this turned awkward.
"You're seriously considering buying your own house?" she asked, pronouncing each word slowly, as if she didn't quite believe them.
"In the suburbs of San Francisco?"
"Preferably, since I don't wanna quit my job. It's quieter and less traffic. Plus, it would be a nice way to start fresh and make new memories, because lord knows there have been too many in this one."
Martina was silent for a long time, and I wished I could read her mind.
"I like that," she said, still in deep thoughts, and smiled in a peculiar way.
"Enough to move across the country?" I asked, suddenly hopeful, and made a puppy face.
"Hmm... It's noted on my list of pros and cons," she said eventually, and I nodded slightly.
There were another few minutes with silence between us. The good kind. The kind where we randomly smiled at each other for no reason at all, and kissed whenever we felt like it. The kind where we touched and stroked each other, without it leading to sex. And I was actually fine with that. No, I was more than fine. In fact, I hadn't felt more satisfied in months.
That's what four crazy orgasms in a row do to a forty-two year old man. I think you should start working out to keep up with your little nymph.
"Did I tell you that I love you?" I murmured, as I hid my face in the crook of her neck, and I felt more than saw her tiny smile.
"I think you did. But I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing it."
"Good," I stated and repeated myself. I didn't mind when she said it back either. Far from it.
"So, what's the plan for tomorrow?"
"Isn't it today?" I corrected, and we both looked at the alarm clock on my nightstand to check who was right. The green neon lights from the digits were doing their best to illuminate the room, together with an old lamp I got from my sister many years ago.
"We should be sleeping," Martina whispered, and cuddled closer to my body.
"Yeah," I yawned. I didn't feel like closing my eyes, though.
"But to answer your question, I need to get to the office and talk to Dom and Q. Did you change your plane ticket yet?"
"Dammit! I knew I forgot something," she groaned, and I automatically kissed her forehead as if that would help.
"That's good, actually. That'll make it easier to get seats next to each other when I order for the both of us. I'm not sure about the refund for your ticket, though. Do you have travel insurance?"
"It doesn't matter. I'm paying what it takes," she said with a shrug, and I frowned.
"Not in a million years."
No way was I going to let her take the expenses. But of course, Martina was stubborn as a mule.
"Yes, I will. Just because I'm pregnant with your baby, doesn't mean that I'm gonna live off of you."
I rolled my eyes but I decided not to make any further comments. Her attempt to keep the pregnancy hidden from me was proof enough that she wasn't after my money. I would make sure to pay with my credit card before she got the chance to protest, anyway. So I decided to change the topic completely, and ask something that had been nagging me for a while.
"Last time you were here... Did you know you were pregnant?"
I didn't even have to look at her face to know that her mood dropped. And even though I searched for her eyes, she kept staring at my inked chest while she drew the contours around one of the roses on my collarbones.
Her reply came as a sigh of the sad kind, and I hated myself for bringing it up. But I just had to know.
"Please say you didn't take that pill."
"Of course not."
"Oh, thank God!" I exclaimed, realizing that I was more concerned about it than I thought.
"So you...?" I asked, without really forming a question.
"Remember when we had sex and I said it was safe not to wear protection?"
"Because you knew it was too late," I stated, finishing her sentence, and a wave of calmness soothed my worries.
I gave her a moment to put her thoughts into words.
"I wanted to tell you, but I was so scared. I felt bad on so many levels, you have no idea."
"And now you know that it was totally unnecessary," I smirked, and tilted my head a bit to make her smile too.
"Yeah. Who'd known?"
"Touché..." I mumbled under my breath, and both of us chuckled at the fact that I was so different from the man I used to be.
"Tell me something, Aaron. Your family..."
"What about them?" I murmured and pursed my lips a bit.
"You've never said anything about them. Family seems to be equal to Bree and your failed marriage, which is not representative at all, but you never mentioned your own parents or siblings."
I didn't want to answer, but grumbled an incoherent one anyway. My therapist had tried to poke holes on that issue so many times before, and I just didn't see the purpose.
"The family dynamics..." she started, but I cut her off a little too harshly.
"...were fine until my dad showed what a true asshole looks like."
"Okay?" Martina said, and I knew she felt bad for pushing for answers the same way I felt bad for being snappy. But instead of apologizing, I gave her what she needed to know.
"My family was fine. When I grew up we were just another typical American family. Nothing more and nothing less. Then my dad ruined it by cheating, and I guess you can still characterize it as 'typical'. But in retrospect, I realize that my approach to it probably wasn't the best one. "
A soft finger trailed along the tattoo of one of the straight razors that formed a cross on my chest.
"I was the one who walked in on them. You know, kind of how Rocco walked in on us."
We laughed awkwardly, before I cleared my throat to continue.
"Anyway. I caught him cheating, and confronted him in front of the entire family. What I didn't expect though, was to be blamed for ruining our family."
"You?" Martina exclaimed, startled.
"Yep. And do you know why? Because my dad denied it, and they believed him. According to them, I was trying to shame my own family, so I became the bad guy. Not him," I spoke exasperatedly, ending with a deep sigh.
"And do you know what the sad part is? I think my mother knew, but didn't say anything. Keeping the perfect façade up was more important than actually being happy."
"When did this happen?"
"Right after Rocco was born."
"Woah. And then Bree being who she is and her family, on top... I can't believe how hard that must have been for you," she said, with a voice loaded with compassion.
"Whatever. What's done is done, and you can't do anything about it."
"That's not true, though."
Martina made me look at her before she continued, and I was slightly confused about the glimpse in her eyes.
"You should try doing it doggy style."
The statement was so unexpected, that I choked and started coughing. Then I laughed.
"Not that way, you perverted animal!" she giggled, and poked my cheek.
"What I'm trying to say is that you should piss on it, kick dirt over it and move on, just like dogs do. Because, like you said, what's done is done, but it's up to you how you choose to deal with the result. Call them. I'm sure they miss you."
"Come on, Aaron. They're your family. Be the bigger man about it. And maybe..."
Martina's expression changed, and I squinted at her to make her elaborate.
"...the best revenge over your dad might be to show him how it's done?"
I snorted out loud and was about to give her a whole truck load of examples as to why I was an even worse example than my dad, when she placed a finger on my mouth and a kiss on my nose.
"Because I'm sure you'll make a proper attempt this time. Right?"
Fuck! That was hot! Wait. Why was that hot?
"Of course. Anything for my little deerling."
"That should be your next tattoo."
"What? A deer?"
Already have that planned, but go on.
"No, the Pokémon. You have all kinds of tattoos, even have a hotdog on your left calf. You definitely need a Pokémon, too."
She giggled when I fake pouted.
"Don't make fun of my hotdog," I whined.
"I'm not!" she exclaimed, but she couldn't stop laughing.
"Why did you get that, anyway?"
"I was drunk..."
"Uh-oh. Not a good start."
"...and Dom challenged me to do something stupid."
"Don't blame random tattoos on your best friend, Aaron," she reprimanded, but I just chortled and kept going.
"I'm not! We were at this bar called 'Chain saw' when we were discussing different types of meals. Quentin told me he'd never tried Gado Gado before, and Dom challenged me to go to the Asian restaurant across the street to buy some for him. I was hungry anyway so I didn't mind, but to be honest, I think he said it because they needed a little break from my alcolabber."
"Alcolabber. Blabber in an alcoholic state," I smirked smugly, proud of my own invention.
"Is that even a thing?"
"Of course it is. Anyway... I had some difficulties finding this restaurant, because things looked different from the other side of the street."
"Oh, no... So you ended up in..."
"...a tattoo shop," we said at the same time. Then we laughed.
"That's right. And I think the dude I talked to was Russian or something, because I didn't understand what he said and vice-versa. He obviously thought Gado Gado was a cat, and kept suggesting different kinds of cat breeds until I showed him the tiger on my stomach. That shut him up for a good moment. Then he suggested a hotdog, and I just... Yeah, whatever. I mean, I was still hungry."
"Oh, my God, Aaron. You're crazy."
"Exactly. You gotta be crazy to do this, right?"
"Can't argue with that. What's the story behind the tiger, though?"
I chuckled to myself.
"See... That's kind of embarrassing, because I chickened out in the last minute."
"Yeah. Uhm... It was supposed to be a lion."
I stopped myself because I was fucking blushing.
"Bambi? Remember who you're talking to now."
I pointed at myself and let her know how I felt just by looking at her.
"I used to fuck around all the time and wanted to give the ladies something to remember. The lion is the king of the cats, and I had this short-lived fantasy about screwing some random bitch, make her look at the lion and ask in the most sleazy way I could: "What's it like to fuck the king?""
Martina facepalmed and laughed into her hand, and I cringed at my previous self and hated the fact that I was so damn honest.
You could've just told her a white lie about tigers being your favorite animal. You know... Like normal people would?!
"Whatever. I found my queen now, and that's all that matters," I murmured, and pulled Martina closer so I could kiss her laughter away.
"Lucky for you, you're so charming you could get away with murder with just one simple look," she mumbled, but the sentence was chopped up by hungry lips, and almost not understandable. It still made me smirk, though. At least she wasn't mad.
The way she pulled me on top of her and welcomed me to my favorite place, quickly changed the energy in the room. Once again, I let my hands grace her curves. Once again, I used my lips to set her most erogenous spots on fire. And once again I was filled with this odd feeling of wonder every time I touched her lower abdomen.
This is top notch sexiness, Aaron. The absolute elite. And that little bump shows the entire world that she's yours. Fuck yeah!
"Want another one?" I teased, and she blushed and looked at me with eyes that said it all.
She shut her eyes when I let a finger stroke down towards her pussy. Then she let out an impatient hum when I moved my hand upwards again. And after doing that a few times, she grabbed my hand and placed it directly where she wanted it.
"Don't mess with a pregnant woman," she growled, then giggled because I did and moaned when I started doing exactly what she wanted.
I loved watching her like this. So beautiful. So vulnerable and strong at the same time. The way her breathing changed, and the way her voice sounded raw. I'd fingered a lot of women to orgasm, but never felt needed like this before. She knew me. She knew who I was and my history, yet she still wanted me. Over and over again. And not just for sex. She wanted all of me, and lord knows I wanted her.
She arched her back and clenched her jaw a couple of times in a row, something I'd learned was a sign that she was close. I couldn't stop admiring her toned legs. Her muscles were slightly trembling under her soft skin, and I wanted to dive right into her just like I did a couple of hours ago. Her increasingly louder moans were calling out for the primal male in me, and every fiber in me responded. But just as I decided to give in and have it my way, we heard someone knock at the main door.
"Ignore it," I grumbled. But just as I was about to enter her, there was another knock, a louder one.
But Martina's protest transformed into a moan when I filled her up and made a couple of thrusts.
"Mr. Cooper!" we heard, and the knocking turned to pounding.
"You should go and open, baby," she whispered softly, and placed her palms on my chest to stop me from thrusting. I groaned in annoyance.
"It's in the middle of the night."
"Exactly. It's probably important."
"Important? He probably just wants to join. Unfortunately for him, he's probably been impotent for a generation already, and..."
"Aaron! You're horrible! Go and talk to him. We'll continue this later."
I gave her a few deep and rough jerks to tell her what I meant about that case, but after a strict scowl I resigned and climbed off her.
Another series of pounding on the door.
"Alright, I'm coming!" I yelled, then growled because he ruined exactly that.
"Fucking cock blocker."
Then my attention was drawn to my giggling girlfriend, who pointed at my boxers that I just put on.
"Extremely suitable," she said and pointed at the print on the waistband.
'Remove to fuck'
"As if there was any doubt," I snickered, pointing at my semi-hard dick that now was shielded by a thin layer of cotton. And with that I walked off.
"Aaron!" Martina gasped behind me.
"Aren't you going to cover yourself up more? You're only wearing... Aaron!"
But I was already at the door and ripped it open.
"What?" I yelled, and hollered inwardly when old Mr. Richmond saw my obvious state.
"Well?" I pushed impatiently, when he just stood there in his stupid, blue square-patterned bathrobe, stuttering.
"You've kept the entire block awake with your shenanigans!"
"So? Consider it free porn. And, you're welcome."
I was about to close the door, hoping that was all. I got the point anyway. They wanted us to be quieter.
Which means that next time, you're gonna make Martina scream louder than ever.
"I beg you a pardon?" he huffed, clearly disgusted.
"I'm telling you that if you don't keep quiet, I'm gonna call the police!"
"Woah, woah! You're gonna call the cops just because your neighbor has more fun than you?"
"That's... Yes! I will!"
"Well, in that case..."
"You better not test me, Mr. Cooper."
I watched the old man stomp off, leaning a little extra on his cane, and I wondered if the reason he was limping more than usual was that he'd actually tried to perform some bed gymnastics with his wife. I cringed. That was definitely a turn off.
"I can't promise anything," I yelled after him, but he waved me off with another threat to call the cops.
"The offer to borrow Esmeralda still stands, by the way!"
That made him turn around with a frown.
"Esmeralda. My blow-up doll. I obviously don't need it anymore," I snickered smugly, and watched him with amusement when he disappeared into his apartment. Then I closed the door and turned to find Martina leaning against the frame of the bedroom door, clutching the bed sheets around herself. Her facial expression was indescribable.
"Esmeralda?" she asked. Then she completely lost it. She cracked up in a fit of laughter, and I felt so embarrassed that I wanted to disappear into the ground.
That's it. You're buying a house, Aaron. Today!