Picking Up the Pieces - Chapter 10

She was struggling to keep her eyes open, struggling not to give into the urge of closing them and simply feel. But she was held captive by his intense gaze, watching him watch her as he slowly thrust and retreated, thrust and retreated, her golden chain with the Star of David hanging around his neck, the pendant brushing her chest with each movement.

He’d pulled on the breaks when he’d deposited her on his bed. Before, upright by his door, he’d appeared as frenzied as she’d been, then, in the bedroom, as he’d looked down at her as she’d sprawled on his bed, he’d started going unbearably slow. He’d peeled her pants and underwear oh-so slowly off her, flipped her onto her stomach, and started the torturously slow and lazy kissing spree from her neck, down her back, across her buttocks, down her legs. She’d been a puddle of nerve-endings by the time he’d finally flipped her onto her back.

And started with the slow, lazy, open-mouthed kisses from her toes up. Of course, he’d had to stop at the juncture of her thighs, bringing her to a long, shattering, screaming orgasm, before resuming his slow path up her stomach, over her breasts, and neck, finally ending at her mouth.

And he had accomplished all that without taking off his clothes. The friction of his T-shirt and jeans against her sensitized skin had been almost unbearable, making her hiss at the pleasure-pain of it. She’d been almost unable to function and his long, drugging kisses as he’d taken her mouth, had literally finished her off.

Unable to move, she had watched him as he stood and pulled off his shirt, slowly revealing his abdomen and chest. Tears had burned at the back of her eyes as she’d spotted her necklace resting between his pecs.

Tears had quickly been forgotten as her gaze had turned hungry. He wasn’t ripped as those men on book covers she sometimes salivated over—she was human, after all—but she didn’t want ripped. She wasn’t a gym-produced muscles kind of girl. She liked her men ‘natural’ and Tony was right up her alley. Lean, leaner than she remembered, with just enough muscle delineation in his arms, shoulder, and chest. He looked good, delectable. She’d licked her lips at the sight of his abs. That was definitely a new development.

“Like what you see?” he’d asked huskily, but she’d been unable to form words. Nothing had stopped her from nodding, though.

He’d been working out. And it had been worth it. She’d licked her lips again. Lips that had gone dry the moment he’d dropped his jeans. Oh. My. God.

He’d noticed and shot her a grin that had been somewhere between naughty and sheepish. “It’s been a long time,” he’d said. “It might take a while to get rid of the itch.” The grin had turned full-naughty. “It’s good we have the entire weekend to work on it.”

Then he’d torn open the foil packet he’d fished out of the box—good thinking on her part for the ‘family-sized’ supply—, covered himself, and crawled over her, bracing himself above her on his forearms as he’d simultaneously took her mouth and slid inside her.

She’d though she was incapable of movement, but as she’d felt that first thrust, deep and sure, she’d tangled her legs with his, lifted her arms to his shoulders, arched her back, and hung on for dear life as another orgasm roared through her.

Now, God only knew how much later, she lay under him, gazing into his slightly glazed-over eyes, silently urging him on, silently begging him to finish, to bring them both to that peek they’ve been aiming for since that kiss at his door.

Their hands were clasped beside her head, fingers intertwined, and she could’ve easily gotten free, reversed their positions so she’d be on top. But she didn’t want to, she didn’t care where she was, under him, above him, sideways or whatever, as long as he was touching her like this, thrusting fast and deep, the quickening pace telling her he was close to his own climax.

“Come on, baby,” he whispered. “One last time.”

She didn’t know if she could even come one more time. She was exhausted. Pleasantly exhausted and she just wanted to snuggle close to him, burrow her face against his throat, and let him hold her for the rest of his life. But he wouldn’t be deterred. He angled his hips just so, and she couldn’t help but close her eyes and let the orgasm wash over her, through her, over them both.

She moaned, her throat dry and slightly achy, and he thrust deep inside her once more. He collapsed on top of her with a triumphant groan, his body trembling, and, gathering the last ounces of her strength, she slid her arms around his neck and tunneled her fingers into his hair.


She was drowsing, floating blissfully sated between consciousness and oblivion, when he groaned again. Feeling him trying to lift himself up, her eyes snapped open, and she quickly tightened her arms around him.

“No,” she mumbled. He wasn’t too heavy, he was just the right amount of heavy. And she loved having him on top of her, pressing her into the mattress.

“Be right back,” he murmured close to her ear, and bit gently down on her earlobe.

She let him go, albeit reluctantly, and watched him saunter into the bathroom, shaking his head slightly as if to clear it. She heard water running and she closed her eyes on a sigh. What a night this has been.

She heard him move back to the bed, but didn’t open her eyes. She squeaked softly, when he lifted her arms around his neck and tucked one arm under her knees.

“Shhh,” he soothed. “I’m just tucking you in.”

One-armed he pulled the covers back, laid her down, and slid into bed beside her, chest to chest, pulling the sheet up, around their waists, tucking her next to him.

He laughed softly. “I must have really tired you down, Z.”

Eyes still closed, she frowned up at him, drawing circles on his back with her fingertips.

“I lifted you up and all I got was a squeak instead of a right hook.”

Her fingers stilled. He had a point. She was limp and drowsy, and she suspected that even if an army of trained assassins attacked them, she wouldn’t be able to muster the will to move.

“Hey, I’ll protect you,” he promised as if reading her mind. He was probably the only one who could.

She resumed her stroking and he sighed contentedly. She rubbed her nose on his chest, finding her necklace.

“You probably want this back.”

“I gave it to you.”

“I put it on the day we got the news.”

She finally opened her eyes, but barely heard his quick apology for bringing up that particular subject. Her eyes were fastened on his bedside table. On the framed photo on his bedside table. It was the picture he’d taken on their op in Paris.

“It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last I saw before falling asleep,” he said softly.

Before she started crying again—she’s never cried this much in her life—she slid higher in the bed, until they were nose to nose, brushed her fingertips down his cheek. And kissed him.

He pulled her closer, groaned, and she slipped her tongue past his lips, reveling in his taste, their breaths mingling. There wasn’t any of the previous urgency in that kiss. It was slow, luxuriantly tender. A loving kiss.

He tightened his arms around her and she sighed as she felt his erection against her stomach.

“That is definitely not my knee,” he joked.

“Mmmm, I can tell,” she murmured against his lips, flicked her tongue out for a tiny taste.

“Come here,” he growled and turned onto his back to bring her on top of him.

He’s obviously forgotten the actual size of his bed or he’s simply miscalculated, because they ended up on the floor in a tangle of bedding and pillows.

“Ow.” Tony rubbed the back of his head and she chuckled. “I need a bigger bed.”

She giggled. She actually giggled. If this wasn’t a night full of surprises.

“You’re laughing, huh?” he growled menacingly. “Let’s see who’ll have the last laugh, sweet-cheeks.”

He danced his fingers firmly down her sides and the bedroom was suddenly filled with squeals, laughter, and mock-threats of bodily harm.

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