Stratus Fear

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter Twenty-three

I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The shower sprays felt like abundant waterfalls caressing my thirsty body, and the bath toiletries not only felt like liquid silk but gave off the rich aromas of gingered orange and lotus blossoms. If I could get away with it, I wouldn’t budge from this spot for at least a week or two. Dane would have to pry my wrinkled, water-logged but fragrant body from the stall. Yet, I’d fight to stay under the sprays. That’s how luxurious it felt. But after twenty-five minutes of sheer pleasure, I decided I’d better not overstay my welcome or run up his water bill. Thus I proceeded to the drying tube next and reveled in the flow of heated air until I felt like a toasty warm goddess. A glass shelf within reach contained several brands of body lotions, oils and serums, two kinds of depilatory scrubs and several finishing creams. I had my pick of scents, too, like lavender-hibiscus, cocoa rose, and amber with white ginger. I decided on the amber this time around, with the hope I might come back just to sample the rest. I noticed the little hair combs, too, and so I twisted my hair and secured it on top of my head. A few strands escaped and spiraled down my neck, but I left them as is when I glanced at my image in the floor-length mirror. I actually looked sexy for a change, but I wondered if it had to due with a subconscious desire to go to bed with Dane Merrick. I know I entertained a glimmer of hope that such an event would take place as the night progressed, but did I really, really want it to happen? After all, I was in a relationship, a steady and somewhat-healthy relationship, and I had never strayed before, or even thought about it. Yet, Dane inspired my more amorous thoughts, and it would be a shame to let them ride when I had motive and opportunity right in front of me. I’d have to give it some more thought, but not too much more.

From the shower unit, I stepped onto a large downy mat, the soft pile beneath my bare feet like walking on clouds. I noticed that Dane had placed a fluffy bath robe for my use. What a guy! As I wrapped the robe around my soft and glowing body, I knew I couldn’t feel any more luxurious than this.

Leaving the bathroom—albeit reluctantly—I went to join my host in the living room, where I assumed he would be. But before I even got to the stairs, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I quickly whirled around, ready to give my assailant a box kick and a Tai-Kwon-Do chop. It was a reflex reaction, honed from years of taking the department’s simulation reflex course, where we went up against 3-D bad guys hiding behind doors and slinking in alleyways, ready to kill us if we didn’t get them first. We were trained to use both man-made weapons and our own bodies. But now, before I had a chance to lift my knee, Dane jumped behind me, grabbed me by the waist and pulled me against his hard chest.

“You’re too slow, detective,” he laughed, his breath warm and indulgent along the back of my neck.

I laughed, too, despite the lagging of my reflexes. “I guess its back to the simulator range for me. That’s what I get for being too complacent.”

“You can be complacent with me anytime, detective.”

I turned my cheek to touch his. “Cade, remember?”

“Oh, yes, Cade. Beautiful, bewitching Cade.”

As he spoke, Dane brushed his cheek along mine. If he hadn’t held me at the moment, I would have slithered down to the floor in a tingling blob of mass arousal. Instead, I turned and folded rather neatly into his embrace. From there, I molded my body to his while our mouths met and his arms went around my waist while mine circled his neck. Oh, oh, oh! This was the best way to end an evening, wrapped around a terribly attractive man. His mouth offered sin and salvation alike, a rich and indulgent treat.

We delved and explored, until his kiss became urgent, fierce and hungry. Blood rushed through me, pulsating and hot, my body tense yet malleable as I pressed against him. I wanted to give in, had to give in. My senses became all too keen, as if I now experienced a drug-induced high. My fingers grazed his neck and jaw, his skin smooth and firm over hard muscle. I continued to taste him with furious greed while the smell of his cologne enveloped me in calm, clear, tropical waters.

Without a word, he picked me up in his arms and carried me over to his bed. If he hadn’t, I would have pushed and tugged him over to the bed myself. He laid me along the downy duvet; and when he joined me, Dane ran his hand over a scanner along the headboard. Symphony music soon enveloped the room, and I even recognized this particular score, Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

Then, right before my eyes the universe came to life, a magnificent display of orbiting planets all around us. I watched Saturn pivot by with its moons all in perfect rotation, followed by Neptune, Mercury, Mars and Venus. I had to sit up and reach out to touch and hold them despite the fact they were only holograms. For one moment I felt like a female Atlas with worlds in my hands and a galaxy at my fingertips. Along the ceiling, thousands of stars twinkled brightly, while others converged into a dazzling display of constellations, the Big and Little Dippers, Scorpio, the Gemini Twins, Taurus, and Leo. Star systems came next, Andromeda, followed by Alpha Centauri and the Milky Way. I remained spell-bound by such a fantastic show until I felt Dane’s arms around me and his cheek pressed to mine. And yet, even his intoxicating presence made only a small dent in my rapture.

“It is beautiful, isn’t it?” he murmured.

“Oh, yes, it’s stunning,” I whispered back, my mind working overtime to try and process so much stimuli all at once.

His fingers cupped my chin and coaxed my head around so that our gazes met. “But concentrate only on us now. Use the universe as a backdrop, the music as your guide, while you focus on what we will now give each other.”

“Oh, yes, oh, yes.” My attention quickly segued back to him as his touch and voice moved me to wondrous heights, further even than any star or planet.

We shared a long, slow kiss, breaking only so he could continue across my cheeks, my chin, and down my throat. My arms had wrapped around his neck, and I could stay like this forever, aroused yet comfortable. As his lips brushed down my breast bone, he undid the sash of my robe and opened it to reveal my glowing body. I quickly slipped out of the robe and tossed it to the floor, and then laid prone again, shivering as his fingers traced my curves, caressed my breasts, and swept across my abdomen.

When he paused to shed his clothes, I felt an immediate loss as if something had carved through my body and left a hollow, cold shell behind. It wasn’t until Dane came back to me, arched his magnificent naked form over my waiting and wanting body, that I felt whole and warm again. My hands devoured him with greedy need.

He had thick, tawny body hair, arms, chest and legs, not to mention his groin area, the region that now held my attention. My smooth alabaster was nothing compared to his fine erection, like a marble column, sleek and hard. I stroked him and he cooed in pleasure until his fingers worked between my legs and aroused me with amazing speed, made me moan in pleasurable surprise.

And everything became a tangled mix of textures, the smooth satin spread beneath me, the glide of the universe around us, and the exotic notes of a planet sonata to ease us into a heady, righteous mood, the long and lovely slide of it, the spill of the moon from the universe above, the quick leaping of my heart, the soft glow of the candles that had magically appeared along the headboard, and a delicious shiver and a soft sigh from him. We touched and tasted and trembled with erotic delight.

I knew what this would be like, overwhelming, unsettling but glorious. When our bodies came together we sunk deeper into the bed, our mouths and hands eager for more. As we adjusted our fit I glanced at Dane by the flickering light, bathing him in a rich brandy glow, over the planes of his face, his hair and his sumptuous mouth. Only his eyes remained clear and startling blue, like the oceans before man came to pollute them. I wanted him so badly then, so pure and beautiful. I gave a low, throaty groan as he lowered into me. Then I enclosed and took him deep, my fingers digging into his hips. We rocked and undulated, slow and easy at first, and then quicker and stronger as our need built.

All the while he focused on helping me climb to the peak, until a sudden orgasm burst through me. I offered a helpless moan and a shudder as a long, hot flood wiped me out. He waited only a moment before he began his own rhythm of long, hard thrusts. I wrapped myself around him, took him deeper still and held on tight. A thousand pulse beats thrummed between us, nerves danced, limbs shook, and muscles rippled as we concentrated on giving and taking. Our torsos and hips, too, sank and rose in fascinating syncopation. We couldn’t slow down or pause in the momentum, the heat too fast and furious as we headed for the burn.

A sob rose up and escaped from Dane’s throat as he crested with stunned pleasure. I watched his facial muscles tighten and then relax, his eyes strain and then flood with cool blue rapture. When the second climax burst through me, I shuddered as it spread and coated my body in a bliss-filled wave, my hips still locked onto his. When we finally surrendered to the after-flush of excitement, he gently unhitched our bodies and eased over to my side.

“That was too nice,” he said with a sated smile.

“I have to agree.” I stared at the ceiling with its starry, starry night display.

“We should do it again sometime.”

“I agree.”

“Then I’m glad we’re in agreement.” Dane leaned over to kiss my forehead while his hand smoothed down my arm. When he reached my hand, he entwined his fingers with mine. His flesh remained extremely warm from our exertions, warm and dry, I noted. “Now, I can get you a bottle of water if you like, or something stronger. Or we could simply go to sleep. You are going to stay overnight, aren’t you?”

I turned to him. “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.”

“Good. I locked the wild horses in the barn so they shouldn’t disturb us the rest of the evening.”

Lifting my head, I gave him a quick kiss on those incredible lips. I couldn’t think of any other place I’d rather be at the moment.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.