Actions

Work Header

Supply Shopping and Tree Climbing

Chapter Text

Rebecca and Paula are intently discussing a case when the conference room door swings open.

“Miss Bunch, may I see you in my office, please?” It’s odd because he always addresses her as Rebecca unless . . . oh.

“Nathaniel, I’m kind of in the middle of discussing my—“ The glare on his face stuns her silent, and she exits the conference room without another word. Yep, she’s in trouble.

She follows him inside and pushes the door shut gently behind her. The blinds are closed, which is a clear sign that he means business with her. It’s only a moment before her breasts are pressed to the wood and he’s holding her palms flat against the door.

“Do you get off on teasing me, Rebecca,” he hisses in her ear. “First, you come in wearing this very beautiful but very short dress.” His hand grazes up her thigh, and Rebecca shivers at his touch. “Then, I get a text from you not two hours later that you showed up today with no panties on under that dress.” The welcome caress underneath her skirt makes her moan audibly. “Oh, and that reminds me of the little show you put on eating that doughnut this morning. You’re just asking to get fucked right here, aren’t you?”

“Nathaniel, we’re at w—“ She’s about to finish her sentence, but his hand clamps over her mouth, effectively silencing any resistance she might have offered.

“No, you don’t get to talk now. Bend over.” Rebecca can’t help but listen when he talks like that. Something about Nathaniel when he’s in control makes her want him that much more. He busies himself with finding a condom, but after he does, he pulls her up for a moment and whispers to her. “What’s your word, babe?”

“Quidditch.”

No matter how pissed off he gets, every time she says it, he smiles. He plants a kiss on the side of her neck before pushing her back to her previous position. It’s almost effortless the way he slides into her, and she gasps around the hand that returns to cover her mouth. Rebecca makes a small sound in the back of her throat, almost like a whimper, at the feeling of him stretching her like this. They rarely ever have sex like this, and despite the unfamiliar angle, it feels damn good. He pushes deeper inside of her, and she makes that sound again.

“Don’t give me that, I know you want this. I bet you were already wet when you came in here, weren’t you?” A long, quiet moan is his response, but that’s not sufficient enough. “Answer me,” he demands as he grasps her by her wavy ponytail. Rebecca nods quickly as he speeds up his pace inside of her. She’s so close to release that she could cry, and there’s a telltale tightness coiling in her stomach, and she’s ready to let go when she’s pushed onto her knees and turned to face Nathaniel.

He grips her chin and opens her mouth just before he releases, and she swallows around him, breathing shakily from the jarring sensation of almost cumming but not. After he cums inside her mouth and gives her a moment to breathe, he’s down on his knees with her kissing her softly and smoothing any stray hairs in her ponytail.

The throbbing between Rebecca’s legs is still palpable as ever, and she sighs in frustration that the gentleness of his kiss does nothing to satisfy the ache that remains.

“I hope you’ve learned your lesson, Miss Bunch.” She turns towards the door with an exasperated huff when his voice pulls her back. “Though, I do hope you’ll accept my apology. 10:30. I’ll come to you.”

He writes a thousand apologies between her legs later that night, and she gladly accepts each one.

Chapter Text

It’s unusually hot for mid-May, and while it’s hot enough to begin with, there’s a distinct groaning that comes from overhead that stirs both Rebecca and Nathaniel from their concentration. The whirring of the air conditioning unit is normally loud enough to be heard when the office is quiet (which is a rarity in itself, though it is Memorial Day weekend after all) but suddenly, there’s nothing. Rebecca huffs and leans back in her chair, and Nathaniel drops his head in his palm.

“Why does everything in this place break when we’re alone?” Nathaniel knows he’s making a joke, but it falls flat to one frustrated Rebecca. She shakes off the tension and returns back to making notes on her case and urges Nathaniel to do the same.

“Look, it’ll be fine. We can call someone about it later, but for now, I’m just going to try to focus on this case. I think I might be getting somewhere.”

She leans forward to examine the file closer, and though Nathaniel sits across from her with plenty of his own work to do, he can’t help but stare at the bead of sweat that’s sliding down her neck and into the space between her breasts. God, that shirt really makes them look amazing.

It’s nearly an hour later when Rebecca decides to take a lunch break, and she and Nathaniel have some sandwiches delivered to the office. Rebecca sips on a bottle of water from the fridge, occasionally running the condensation from the bottle across her sweaty neck and forehead, as Nathaniel paces outside the conference room on the phone with someone from the maintenance department. Of course, when the man attempts to explain that no one will be in until Tuesday due to the holiday, Nathaniel’s seething with anger. Rebecca is irritable enough as is because of the heat, and him yelling would only make things worse, so she slams the door shut and plops back down in her seat.

It’s almost too hot to breathe even with the windows all open, and her shirt is nearly completely soaked through with sweat, so Rebecca tosses it off and flings the offending material across the room. She hopes to find some reprieve to cool down her flushed skin, so she hops onto the conference room table and lies down on her back. Surprisingly, the wood is a touch cooler than the room around her, and she sighs deeply, relaxing into the surface beneath her. Rebecca closes her eyes and imagines herself on the beach, basking in the sunlight, and one of her hands strokes up her body and makes a circle around her nipple. If she’s going to relax right now, she might as well do it properly.

And that’s how Nathaniel finds her, thumbing at her nipple, spread out on the conference room table like a fucking five-course meal. As much as he wants to slide between her legs and lick her until she screams, he’s already caught her attention with a groan that morphs from exasperation to arousal. Rebecca tentatively lifts her head to find Nathaniel watching her with a hand of his slowly making its way towards his crotch.

“Well, don’t stop on my account, Rebecca. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“Do you wanna watch me cum, or would you like to do it yourself?”

“What do you think?” He gives her a smirk, and she beckons him over to her with one finger. Capturing her lips in his, Nathaniel lifts her from the table and presses her back against the glass windows that look out into the office. The glass sends a beautiful, chilly glissando down her spine, and she moans deliciously into Nathaniel’s mouth. He turns her around so that her breasts are pushed against the glass, and once again, she moans in pleasure.

“Oh, fuck yeah,” she says as Nathaniel trails his blunt nails down her back and moves her underwear to the side, just enough to fit himself inside of her. They moan simultaneously, and Nathaniel sets a slow, filthy pace like a Southern summer evening.

“Fuck, Rebecca. I would love to fuck you right here some time while everyone is out there working. They’re always so oblivious, but if they turn their heads just a few inches, they’ll see how beautiful you look with me inside of you. But even if they don’t look, they can still hear you because you can’t help but scream my name when you cum. Isn’t that right, baby?” Rebecca rolls her hips back against him insistently, silently begging him to speed up. He denies her request and instead grabs for purchase at her hips to prove his point.

“Nathaniel, please. I wanna ride you so hard right now.” When she asks like that, he can never say no to her, though it’s not like he ever does about much else anyhow. He smirks as he discards his shirt and leans back on the carpet, and Rebecca mounts him quickly, scrambling to find the angle where he hits that spot inside of her. Before she slips him back inside of her, she grasps his dick in one hand and laughs to herself. “Something about this feels way too familiar.” That earns a hearty laugh from Nathaniel before it turns into a string of heated curses.

Rebecca’s setting the pace this time, slow like before, but she makes sure she takes him as deep as possible with each thrust. Nathaniel is content to lie back with one hand propped under his head and watch Rebecca take her pleasure after seeing how clearly frustrated she was earlier in the day, though he keeps a solid grip with his other hand on her ass. He loves it when she loses herself and chases after her orgasm without restraint because there’s nothing sexier than a woman who knows what she wants. Her walls start to flutter around him, and her moans are getting breathier, which means she’s close.

“God, Nathaniel, please. Fuck, I’m so close.” She speeds up her pace, and Nathaniel can’t help but thrust his own hips up into her as he’s eyeing the enchanting way her breasts bounce with every move she makes.

“Yeah, that’s it. Damn, you’re so hot when you ride me, babe. Cum for me, Rebecca.”

It’s like magic. That’s all it takes before she’s practically screaming his name while the orgasm takes hold of her entire body. Nathaniel holds off on his own until after she’s finished because he loves to watch the way her muscles seize up and she tosses her curls behind her with an arch in her back. After Rebecca’s initial release, she’s coming down from her high while Nathaniel finishes inside the condom, and she leans in to kiss him sweetly. Rebecca wants so badly to keep kissing him, but as soon as their bodies start slipping against each other, both slick beyond measure with sweat, she quickly rolls off of him to lay beside him instead.

“Nope, you’re too hot.”

“Mmmm, tell me something I don’t know, Bunch.”

She’s too exhausted to hit him, so she settles for lacing their fingers together instead.

Chapter Text

Rebecca's perched atop one of Nathaniel's thighs, grinding her hips in a circular pattern, the material of their clothes between them giving her the perfect amount of stimulation. Nathaniel fists one hand in her hair as he kisses her hard and groans when she takes his bottom lip between her teeth. For once, Rebecca shows up to work early, and it's definitely not to get some early morning action with Nathaniel. After a fitful night's sleep, Rebecca needs to release her pent-up energy, and dry-humping Nathaniel seems to be taking care of that quite nicely.

"I've missed you, Rebecca." He's kissing down her neck just the way she likes, and it makes her comb her fingers through his hair and press her hips more insistently into his strong thigh.

"You saw me yesterday." Nathaniel lets out a small chuckle into the crook of her neck and takes a moment to kiss around her collarbone.

"I did, but I missed you." He punctuates the final word of his sentence by pressing his leg up to where Rebecca needs him most, and she can't stop the breathy moan that escapes her as the heat between her legs intensifies. "I think you might have missed me a little too, hmm?"

"Don't get cocky, Plimpton, or have you forgotten what happened the last time you were a smartass with me?" Images flash across his mind in blazing fury, and as satisfying as it was to see Rebecca fully in control of him, he vowed never to underestimate her again after how long she edged him. He says nothing more and continues to kiss her neck, though he takes care to not leave any marks on her skin as much as he would love to leave her walking around with a little souvenir of his. Rebecca hums low in her throat and whispers his name as she works his belt loose.

Rebecca's ready for him, has been since she entered their office, and she nearly sinks down on him when Nathaniel catches movement near the elevator.

"Shit, Rebecca, get down now." Rebecca stares back at him confused for a moment, but he tilts his head towards the elevator, and she scrambles off his lap and onto her knees underneath his desk. Just in time as she hears a knock at the door and a chipper male voice greeting Nathaniel.

"Morning, Nathaniel! And how are you doing this fine day?"

"Good morning to you too, Darryl. I am . . . pretty well, actually. Got an early start working on this new case."

Rebecca is determined to finish what she started, and she can see that Nathaniel hasn't quite softened yet, and considering her easy access to his cock, she might as well make use of her time down there while Darryl talks for a considerable amount of time as usual. Quietly as she can, she inches forward and positions herself a breath away from him and waits before swirling her tongue around his tip to let him know she was there.

"Well, that's just great. You know, I always admire how hard you work; you're so dedicated, you and Rebecca both, really. Speaking of which, have you seen her come in yet? I wanted to talk to her about some baby stuff." Nathaniel tries to keep his surprise hushed as she speeds up her pace, and he hisses just loud enough to beg Darryl's attention. "You okay over there?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm okay. Just my foot fell asleep--" Rebecca wraps her lips entirely around him and opens the back of her throat to take his cock down her throat. "Damnit!" His palm hits the desk, and he takes the briefest of moments to shoot a warning look down to the woman underneath his desk. As if she had done nothing at all, Rebecca widens her eyes with a girlish innocence as she lets him slip from her mouth, giving him a wink before settling back on her haunches.

"Sorry about that, I . . . uh . . . tried to move my foot. Pins and needles, they're just the worst."

Rebecca rolls her eyes under the table and decides that if she can't have him that way, she'll find another way to tease him. So, she takes her fingers and dips three of them inside of her, surprisingly still as wet as she was minutes ago, though it felt more like ages with how long the conversation is going.

"Aren't they? Yeah, I was hoping to catch Rebecca on her way in to see about appointments and stuff like that, and I wanted to get her opinion on . . ." Darryl trails off into a rant about all the preparations needed before the baby comes, and Nathaniel stops listening when Rebecca wraps her wet fingers around him again and catches the reflective glint of her plum-colored nails on her other hand wrapped softly around one of his balls. He mutters out a series of "yeah" and "uh-huh" to feign engagement in the subject while Rebecca, ever the temptress, gives him much more engaging material to work with. Nathaniel wishes desperately that he could reach under the table and grab her curls for purchase, but it would be a dead giveaway to the already thinly disguised activities going on. He lets her work and attempts as best he can to remain unaffected.

"Oh, it's so exciting, we're getting so close!" Rebecca wraps her mouth around him, making sure to smear her lipstick around his cock and keeps her left hand where Nathaniel can see it still fondling his balls.

"So . . . oh, so close, yeah. It's all really exciting, Darryl." Nathaniel wants so badly to moan because damn, Rebecca's fucking mouth is like heaven on earth. He knows as soon as Darryl leaves his sight, he'll be fucking Rebecca's mouth. Now that's heaven on earth for both of them.

"I know! Well, I won't keep you any longer, but when you see Rebecca, just let her know I was looking for her, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, will do. Thanks, Darryl." Nathaniel tries to stay as relaxed as he can, but between the grip of her fingers and the rolling of her tongue, he can barely concentrate. Darryl closes the office door, and while the coast may be clear for Rebecca to come out, she stays exactly as she is to finish him off. Nathaniel keeps one hand above his desk and the other immediately drops to the back of Rebecca's head and clenches in her loose curls.

"Be still." Rebecca nods and knows what he wants, so she keeps her mouth open and lets Nathaniel use her how he needs, though it doesn't stop her from slipping her fingers back inside her pussy to give herself a much-needed and much-deserved orgasm. It isn't long before he's spilling himself in her mouth, and Rebecca eagerly moans as the first taste of him slides down her throat. Nathaniel breathes shakily and looks down at Rebecca to be sure she's okay; from the looks of it, she's satisfied as ever. "Fuck, Rebecca."

"I wish you would," she says after she takes him from her mouth and licks him clean. Rebecca sits cross-legged on the floor while Nathaniel readjusts himself. "I know I'd be way less obvious about it than you just were." Nathaniel scoffs at her in disbelief, but something about her tone, simpering and suggestive, makes him curious.

"That sounds like a challenge, Miss Bunch."

"Maybe it is. You know I'm into that sort of thing." Nathaniel takes it as such when he sees the wicked gleam of mischief in her eyes, and before he helps her stand, he takes a moment to smooth her hair down and gingerly run his fingers through the small knots he helped to create earlier.

He doesn't mention the love-struck eyes she gazes up at him with; he'll keep that little kernel for himself.

Chapter Text

Rebecca jolts awake at the grating sound of an alarm going off from across the room. She thinks it’s her phone telling her she needs to go home and change before she heads into the office, but when she checks the time, it’s much too early to be hers. Nathaniel’s phone chirps again, and she rolls over to wake him up or turn it off herself but finds an empty right side of the bed. Rebecca is tempted to pick it up and throw it across the room, but a noise coming from the kitchen signals where that frustrating man is.

Nathaniel is busy in the kitchen searching for something in the refrigerator when he hears a harsh slam of his door and two angry little feet padding their way over to him.

“Nathaniel, I’d swear to God if I believed in him, but if you don’t turn this fucking thing off, I will throw it at the wall. It’s literally so early, why the fuck are you even awake right now?” She hands him his phone, and with a few swipes, the device becomes silent. He’s trying to hide the smile that’s pulling at the corners of his mouth but fails miserably.

“Well, good morning to you too, princess. Glad to see you woke up on the right side of the bed today.” Rebecca groans and leans onto the kitchen counter with her head cradled in her palm.

“Shut up. I work hard, and I need my rest, asshole.” After a beat, she takes a moment to notice the sizzle coming from the stove. “It smells good in here. What are you doing?” His back is to her as he works at the stove, and Rebecca can see he’s flipping something in a pan.

“Well, I was hoping to surprise you before you left; I was going to bring you breakfast since everything in your pantry is literal junk food.”

“Okay, it’s not all junk food,” Rebecca scoffs, but the quirk of Nathaniel’s eyebrow when he turns to face her lets her know she can’t argue that. “Yeah, yeah, anything that’s not green is junk food to you, mister. Though I think it’s sweet you’d try to surprise me with breakfast in bed. It’s very domestic of you.” Rebecca makes her way over to him and wraps her arms around his waist from behind; the whole exchange stirs a distinct fluttering in her heart and she sighs against the solidness of his back.

Holy fuck, I think I like you.

“I’m still going to make you breakfast and let you eat in my bed, but unfortunately, the surprise is gone now.”

“Hmmm, I wonder whose fault that is,” Rebecca muses sarcastically. Nathaniel’s chest rumbles with a laugh as he transfers the eggs in the pan onto a plate and turns the heat off the stove before turning around fully towards Rebecca and wrapping his arms around her back. “I hope you know I’m still pretty mad at you for waking me up more than an hour earlier than I hoped.”

“I think there’s a way I could change your mind about that.” Rebecca’s eyebrows lift, and she’s about to give a sassy retort when she feels Nathaniel grab her ass and lift her onto the countertop. She giggles a little and grabs his face to kiss him deeply, their lips moving together in a slow tandem matching the pace of the early morning.

Rebecca reaches down towards his sweatpants, but Nathaniel swats her hand away as his mouth journeys south down the expanse of her throat and stops to latch onto one nipple through her (technically, his) shirt. Rebecca braces her hands behind her and arches her chest further into his mouth; the giving lover he is makes sure both sides receive equal attention.

She’s wearing nothing under his shirt, and Nathaniel can smell her arousal before he even gets close to her thighs, and though it’s an ego boost for him, he just wants to make her feel good after the unexpected early start to her day. So, he kisses and nips at the flesh between her legs, and Rebecca greedily opens her legs wider. His mouth really does some wondrous things to her body, and even with the slightest of flicks of his tongue against her folds, she’s moaning deeply and perched on her elbows so she can watch him work.

Nathaniel is spurred by her eager moan and takes his tongue deeper inside her pussy. Rebecca wants desperately to grind her hips into his mouth, but Nathaniel’s forearm is slung tightly over her hipbones, preventing her from doing so.

“Nathaniel,” Rebecca starts to protest, but Nathaniel hushes her quickly.

“Shh, just relax, babe, enjoy it.”

He gives her thighs kisses on each side again before he starts to lick her again. Nathaniel’s establishing a rhythm they haven’t explored before, and Rebecca takes a mental note of how much she likes what he’s doing down there, not to mention checking this off the running list of fantasies she has that he’s fulfilled for her. Something about it is more intense than usual, and she feels herself approaching orgasm quickly.

Then she feels it, the pad of his index finger applying pressure to her clit as he swipes his tongue upwards through her folds and releases before his tongue catches the bud at the peak of the stroke. Rebecca is speechless save for her breathy moans ascending in pitch, and she takes his hair in her hand and grips like the earth is shattering beneath her. She keeps his head in the same spot near her clit, and the circle of his tongue around it speeds up as she moans each syllable of his name.

A wave of pleasure rolls over her, and Rebecca sees nothing but whiteness behind her eyes. Her legs are trembling, and she can hear her chest heaving for air to return to her lungs. When she opens her eyes again, Nathaniel is leaving kisses along her stomach where her (his) shirt has been ridden up. She brushes the hair from his eyes and combs it back through her fingers with a soft smile.

“Hi,” he says as he looks up at her with those stunning blue eyes, and her heart melts a little at how both innocent and sinful he can look at the same time.

“Hi,” she replies, sitting up to give him a slow, deep kiss on the lips, and she savors how she tastes herself in his kiss. Nathaniel slowly helps her down from the counter and takes her hand as he walks with her back into his bedroom.

“You wait here, okay? I’ll be back soon.” Nathaniel gives her a quick parting kiss before heading back into the kitchen to finish making Rebecca’s breakfast. Thoroughly sated, Rebecca plops back onto the bed, and as much as she’d like to check her emails and be productive now that she was more than awake, she wants to enjoy this rare moment they have together. She waits facing the door with her head in her palm and a glow flushing her cheeks that is brighter than the West Covina sun peeking over the horizon.

When Nathaniel eventually comes back in, he finds Rebecca fast asleep, and he stops to admire how peaceful she looks, the ease on her face so tender and beautiful. It’s a rare expression he thinks he’s seen maybe twice from her since he’s met her. He commits the image to memory but also snaps a quick photo of her with the shutter most definitely off, and he sets the tray on the bedside table before leaning down to gently kiss her forehead.

“Hey sleepyhead, good morning.” Rebecca stirs and stretches before looping her arms around his neck and greets him with a “good morning” and a kiss for the second time. She’s significantly happier the second time around. “Made you breakfast.”

Rebecca slides over to let Nathaniel on the bed, and she indulges in the tray of amazing food he cooks for her. She lets him have her blackberries out of her fruit bowl and doesn’t say anything when he steals a few of her potatoes without asking. The dynamic isn’t like them at all, but Rebecca has to admit that she could get used to something just like this.

Chapter Text

Rebecca has had her share of bad days at the firm, but today in particular is one of those where she leaves just wanting to be alone with a warm bath and a glass of wine. No amount of heated glances or innuendos from Nathaniel can erase her frustration. A tough meeting with a client leaves her feeling awful about herself. Why did she think she could handle being senior partner? Why did she let her revenge on Nathaniel blind her to see how hard this actually was?

She hasn’t spoken in over an hour, and Nathaniel gets concerned when she retreats like that because he knows she’s bottling her emotions to save face, god forbid she show an ounce of weakness around him since breaking things off with him.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” She shakes her head and refuses to meet his eyes; instead, she trains her gaze on her yellow pad, pressing so hard the ink bleeds through into the next page of her paper. “Rebecca, I know you’re upset about what happened in there, and I would be too. Those guys are dicks. I might be able to help a little if—“

“God, this is not the time to ask me for sex, Nathaniel,” she says weakly as she tosses her pen aside and scrubs her hands over her face.

“Rebecca, let me finish; that wasn’t the kind of help I was offering.” His voice is calm but firm as he speaks to her. It’s a solidness that grounds the turmoil of her emotions, even for the briefest of moments. “Look, being senior partner isn’t easy. I’ve had my fair share of ugly meetings that normally end in a shouting match, and I’m really proud of you for holding your own in there. You should be proud of yourself too.”

“But Nathaniel, I fucked up. I always do that. I let my emotions get the best of me, and I fuck everything up because I can’t handle myself. Yeah, sure, they were jerks, but it’s my fault for not having all the information together, and I let them see me cry, and maybe they right, that’s why women shouldn’t be put in charge of things and—“

“I’m sorry, what did you just say? Who do I need to punch, Rebecca? You know I will.” Rebecca reaches across their desks and places her hand softly atop his clenched fist.

“Oh god, Nathaniel, no, it’s fine. Trust me, that’s one of the worst things that’s been said to me since I moved here, and that’s nowhere near the things I heard in New York. I mean, yeah, it’s kind of brutal to hear that, but sticks and stones and blah blah blah.”

There’s a tear that reflects in her eye from the overhead light, and Nathaniel can tell the words are just to cover how she feels. He vaguely wonders what it would take to make her open up to him honestly about what she’s feeling. Nathaniel pushes it aside and laces his fingers with hers instead as she lets out a shaky breath.

“You are one strong woman, Rebecca Bunch. I hope you know that.” She gives him a small smile and briefly squeezes his hand, and it’s enough to calm her for now.


 

Rebecca does end up drawing herself a bath and pouring herself a glass of wine later that night after she fails to cheer herself up with Chinese takeout she barely touches and a movie she’s seen a thousand times plays in the background. Her angry, self-deprecating thoughts scream above all else.

She ends up taking the bottle with her into the bathroom and sets it beside the tub, barely restraining herself from setting the glass down in its place. She’s in her bathrobe waiting for the bathtub to fill up when she realizes all of her towels are sitting on the dryer, so she pads across the house to get one. All of a sudden, there’s a knock at the door.

If it’s the Chinese delivery guy coming to offer her more food, she’ll gladly take it right now, no matter how bloated she feels. It’s not Hector because he’s away with Heather for a long weekend while she’s checking in at her other Home Base locations. She assumes it’s Paula, though she wouldn’t bother with knocking, but she opens the door without checking the peephole and finds Nathaniel standing there with a bottle of wine nestled in his arms and something else in his hand behind his back.

“Hi,” she says, startled by his relaxed and unexpected presence. Rebecca leans on the doorframe for support, not that she’s drunk by any means, but something about him standing there in something other than a suit makes him look just as attractive as he does every other day of the week.

“Hi. Mind if I come in?” Rebecca nods and closes the door behind him. He goes to set the bottle on the kitchen counter, but she takes it from him and examines its contents. “I figured it was a red kind of night for you.” The smile on her face widens and she all but skips back to the bathroom with the bottle in her hand. Nathaniel makes no move to follow her into the room, but his eyes linger on her dark hair bouncing with every step she takes. Before she closes the door, she peeks from behind the wood and calls out to him.

“You coming or what?”

That’s an invitation he takes without hesitation. He brings the other items from behind his back in with her and gently knocks before pushing the door open. Rebecca lights a candle that is perched on the sink, and Nathaniel can’t help but shift his eyes down to the tempting way she’s bent over at a perfect angle for him to—well, he’s thinking with the wrong head. A glass of wine with its corresponding bottle lies on the floor beside the tub, and he begs the question of how much alcohol she’s already had.

“How much have you had to drink, Rebecca?”

“Not enough,” she scoffs. “You saved me from having to buy more, which is amazing. You’re amazing. What’s behind your back?” Right, she’s even more curious when she’s tipsy. Nathaniel laughs and presents his gift to her.

“Chocolate-covered strawberries.” He hands her the red rose behind his back as well, and she’s convinced he’s a psychic.

“Oh my god, I love chocolate-covered strawberries. And these are the good kind too! Mister Plimpton, are you trying to seduce me?” She places the strawberries and rose on the vanity and turns around to him, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Whatever would give you that impression, Miss Bunch? I just wanted to do something nice for you. Any form of reciprocation is purely voluntary on your part.” Rebecca stands on the tips of her toes and kisses Nathaniel soundly with her hands cupping his face.

“It’s hot when you use big words.” Nathaniel laughs at that and kisses her cheek.

“Come on, your water’s probably cold by now.”

“Oh my god, you’re right,” Rebecca gasps and reaches her hand in the tub to feel the water slightly above lukewarm, so she drains some out and fills it back to the top with hot water. Nathaniel sits on the edge of the tub and watches her work and internally laughs at how she talks her thought processes to herself even when she’s tipsy too. Suddenly, she makes her way over to Nathaniel and looks at him with hooded eyes. “You’re not going to join me?”

He’s conflicted because as much as he would love to soak in the tub with her and run his hands up and down her naked body, he knows it’s a bad idea to take advantage of her lack of inhibition. Nathaniel doesn’t want to hurt her, and he knows she’s already fragile from the day’s earlier events, but he does respond to the soft kiss she initiates.

“You enjoy it. I’ll stay in here though if you’d like?” Rebecca nods eagerly and reaches for her glass of wine now filled with the delicious one Nathaniel brought.

She takes a sip and suddenly, she feels a rush of air down the front of her body. Nathaniel is kissing her neck from behind her, and his fingers linger on the strings of her robe before grazing up her hips and settling on the curve of her waist. Rebecca’s hand comes up to cradle his head and keep it concentrated on the spot near her earlobe that sends a distinct shiver down her body. She moans desperately and moves his other hand to grab her breast to give her the relief she seeks. Nathaniel lets Rebecca take control of his movements; he knows she craves control right now after feeling so incapable at work.

Nathaniel slides the robe down one shoulder, almost in question, but Rebecca lets it slip down her body and turns around to face him again to kiss him, all softness from before vanished. She pulls Nathaniel’s shirt off with haste and refuses to part from his mouth for more than a second at a time. Nathaniel walks them back towards the faucet, and he turns off the water, breaking the kiss much to Rebecca’s protest. He taps her ass, which causes an adorable squeak from Rebecca.

“Go, get in there, babe.” Rebecca groans and steps into the water slowly but fails to notice Nathaniel’s aroused expression as her body disappears beneath the water. She grabs her glass of wine again and takes a slow sip, relaxing her sore muscles into the warm water.

“It’s a shame you’re not joining me, Nathaniel. There’s plenty enough room for two in here, plus the water’s great.” Nathaniel steps away from the tub to grab the strawberries from the vanity and kneels on the side of the tub stroking her hair.

“I bet it is, but this is about you, Rebecca. We can do this some other time, but for now, I just want you to feel better.” Rebecca blushes slightly at that.

Nathaniel taps her chin and holds up a strawberry to her, which she sinks her teeth into eagerly. The sweet fruit dipped in dark chocolate is a pleasant complement to the wine, and she moans at its juiciness. She opens her mouth for another bite, and Nathaniel holds it up to her lips. She’s hoping to successfully bite the strawberry in a seductive way, but the bite she takes causes all the chocolate to fall off the strawberry and some juice spills to the corner of her mouth. Thankfully, she catches the chocolate before it falls into the water and pops in into her mouth with a laugh, and Nathaniel’s laughing with her.

“Sorry, I was trying to be sexy,” she stumbles out between bouts of giggles. “Didn’t work out that well.” Her giggles cease to exist when Nathaniel catches the droplets of strawberry juice from the corner of her mouth on his tongue and kisses the side of her mouth until Rebecca grabs his face and kisses him again. “You better get those pants off and get in here, Plimpton, or else good luck getting me to make a supply run with you again for a good long while.”

“Manipulation isn’t healthy, Rebecca. Though I’ll forgive you because you’ve been drinking and you’re hot when you’re demanding.”

Nathaniel strips and climbs in behind Rebecca, wrapping his arms around her. He lays his head on her shoulder and listens to the sound of her breathing for a while as neither of them says a word. The intimacy in this moment overwhelms them both, and the climbing pace of their hearts takes a sharp decline as they breathe together, chests rising and falling in a predictable fashion. It takes a while for Rebecca to relax fully in his arms, but she leans into him with her face buried in his neck.

“Nathaniel?” The question is almost too quiet to be heard, but the stillness in the room makes the question stand out.

“Yes, Rebecca?” She turns onto her side almost as if they would be lying in bed together, a position they frequently assumed during the two weeks they dated, which was perhaps why the intimacy threatened to choke them in the moment.

“Do you think I’m a good boss?” Nathaniel takes a glance at the soft sadness in her eyes, and his heart breaks at how vulnerable she looks. Rebecca’s asking his opinion honestly, and Nathaniel can tell how much those earlier words cut deep to her heart.

“Of course I do,” Nathaniel says softly as he kisses her forehead and pushes a few stray hairs out of her eyes. “I couldn’t imagine working for anyone else. Plus I’ve never been attracted to any of my previous bosses.”

“Mmmm, is that right?” Rebecca runs her nails across the droplets of water on his chest and feels herself growing hotter again. “Be honest, Nathaniel, why am I a good boss?”

“Aside from or in addition to your ravishing good looks and feminine charm?”

“Well, now that you mention it, I’m curious to know just what you think about my feminine charms, particularly those ravishing good looks you mentioned earlier.” Rebecca turns on her back and leans into Nathaniel with her head resting on his shoulder.

“Alright then, well, I work for one amazing woman named Rebecca Bunch. She’s wickedly smart, talented, especially in tree climbing. She’s quite nimble, actually.” Rebecca sits up confused and turns her head towards him.

“Nathaniel, that doesn’t make a good—“ she stops mid-sentence when he winks at her with a smirk. Oh, not the professional kind of boss. “Continue, please,” she says as she resumes her earlier position against Nathaniel. He runs his fingers down the side of her face and plays with the hair that fell out of her messy bun at the back of her head.

“Well, Rebecca is a lot of things, including frustratingly attractive. But I think what makes her such a great boss is her compassionate heart. I know she would lay down her life for the people she cares about, and her love knows no bounds. She makes a wonderful boss who people can look up to, and I admire her passion and dedication to her firm.” There’s a beat, and Rebecca is about to say something uncharacteristically sweet before Nathaniel jumps back in. “Also, she does this thing when she’s on top and her hips do this—“

Yep, that’s her Nathaniel. She turns around and cuts his sentence off with a hungry kiss that has him diving his tongue deep in her mouth and pulling her hair from its weakly styled updo, fluffing the strands out and pulling at her roots.

“Nathaniel, please,” she begs, running her hands against every expanse of skin she can feel.

“Please what, baby?” Rebecca rolls her hips expectantly with a strangled moan as he catches her nipple between his fingers. It’s almost sad how quickly he can make her fall apart.

“I need you, I need you so much. Please, please fuck me.”

“In here?” Rebecca shakes her head.

“Too messy. Take me to bed.” She kisses him again and melts further into his body. Nathaniel laughs when she dramatically sighs and brushes the wet hair at the nape of his neck and stares up at him with her shimmering blue eyes.

“If you want to get there, you’ll have to get off of me first, babe.” Playfully, she hits his chest and attempts to climb out of the tub, struggling to find her footing, Nathaniel waits with his guard on to catch her if she slips, but after a few labored attempts, she manages to get out of the bathtub without knocking over the wine on the floor next to them.

Rebecca is drying off with her back to Nathaniel as he gets out of the tub, and he steps behind her with a hand on her ass and a kiss to her temple. Rebecca turns around and jumps into his arms, wrapping her legs around his hips with a smile and a kiss.

They tumble through Rebecca’s bedroom door and onto her bed, which Nathaniel makes no comment about its unyielding mattress because he just wants her. Hands are roaming across each other’s bodies and breaths are quickening with each passing minute. Nathaniel stops for a moment and sits up in concern.

“Where’s Heather?”

“Out of town with Hector,” Rebecca answers hoarsely.

“Good.” He all but growls and returns to kissing her collarbone and moves his hand down to where her towel is tucked between her breasts. Nathaniel flicks it open and run his hands over the newly exposed skin. “God, you’re so gorgeous.” He takes two of his fingers and pushes them gently inside of her, and Rebecca’s moan bounces off the walls of her room. Instinctively, she covers her mouth with her hand as not to be too loud. Nathaniel removes her hand and places it above her head with a firm grip on the inside of her wrist. “It’s just us, you can be as loud as you want.”

Nathaniel kisses her again and brings her other hand up to join its mate and grips both of her wrists in one of his hands while the other continues to scissor two fingers inside of her. Rebecca rolls her hips insistently, and Nathaniel takes the hint and grabs a condom from her nightstand drawer, quickly rolls it on, and enters her in one smooth motion.

Rebecca arches her back and lets out a delicious moan as she throws her head back. Damn, he’s too good to be real sometimes. She returns her head back to its alignment when he finally starts to move, and she catches his eyes in the darkness of her room. The glaze of arousal around his irises doesn’t stop her from noticing something else, something deeper and more intense.

“Rebecca,” he breathes her name on a sigh, and the way he curls his mouth around each syllable and takes care of each vowel and consonant makes Rebecca’s her pulse dance wildly inside her chest. That inflection means he’s so much more than horny. Oh god, and her chest is tightening and it’s hard to breathe and—

“Rebecca.” This time, it’s firmer, and she can’t feel him inside of her anymore, and her breaths are rattling her chest. “Rebecca, what happened? Are you okay?” She nods but can’t find the words to speak what she just felt, but whatever it was, she wasn’t prepared for the reaction it gave her. A tear rolls down her cheek slowly, and she can’t quite meet his eyes.

“S-sorry, I’m-I’m so sorry, Nathaniel.” Rebecca cries harder, and Nathaniel pulls her in close to his chest and lets her cry against him.

“Don’t apologize, Rebecca. Please don’t apologize. It’s okay, you can let it out.” His chest is a human Kleenex for Rebecca, but he doesn’t mind. Nathaniel just lies there petting her hair and giving sparse kisses around her face every so often. Eventually, her breathing calms, and she’s almost asleep, so Nathaniel covers her with a blanket before he slides out of bed to try to clean the mess they had left in her bathroom. Rebecca must have sensed the lack of his presence because she sits up and crawls to the edge of the bed.

“Nathaniel? Nathaniel, please don’t leave me. You’re not—you’re not leaving me, are you? Please don’t leave me, I need you right—“

“Hey, hey, shh, it’s okay,” Nathaniel’s whispering to her to calm her down, and he takes her tear-stained cheeks in his palms and makes her focus on his eyes. “Rebecca, I’m not leaving, okay? I promise, I won’t leave you.”

The mess can wait until morning, but Rebecca clearly needs him right now, so he climbs back under the covers with her and cuddles her protectively into his chest. He can’t sleep until he hears her stop crying, which means he doesn’t get much rest at all.

He wakes up a few hours later, the sun still hiding behind the horizon, with Rebecca still wound tightly around him, though her face is significantly more relaxed than last night. Nathaniel tries not to disturb her, but he can’t help but plant a kiss on the top of her head. Rebecca catches his movements and flutters her eyelashes open to find Nathaniel looking down at her cautiously.

“You stayed,” she says in utter disbelief. “Why?”

“It’s early. Go back to sleep, Rebecca. I’ll be here.” Nathaniel kisses her face a few more times before she settles back into the mattress and leans into Nathaniel.

He doesn’t answer her question, though he suspects she already knows the answer. The question dangles peacefully above them, and he plans to wait to answer until she’s ready to hear it. For now, he’s content to let her sleep and shield her from the harsh world around her. Nathaniel counts Rebecca’s breaths like sheep and eventually drifts back to sleep.

Chapter Text

The Los Angeles night sky is beaming around them, however artificially that may be. Nathaniel and Rebecca walk out of the restaurant thoroughly stuffed but still not completely satisfied. Their hands are linked together as Nathaniel takes Rebecca back to the car.

“Okay, so that was some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had.”

“Better than the Olive Garden,” he quips as he opens her door. Playfully, she rolls her eyes at him and slides in the passenger seat.

“You know, Nathaniel, not all of us can afford to have fancy dinners like this all the time. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate you spending said money on me, but still.”

“It’s the product of hard work, Rebecca. Try it out some time.” He slides into his seat with a wink, and Rebecca swats at his arm.

“You’re saying our little adventure last night wasn’t hard work?”

Images flash through Nathaniel’s mind of the way Rebecca’s hands snaked up her body to grab her nipple while the other pushed the hair out of her face. She sat astride him rolling her hips in a slow, methodical manner, soaking his cock with her juices. The most arousing part: the way she grabbed his chin and forced him to look into her eyes as he came inside of her. And fuck, he’s hard again.

“Statement retracted,” he says quietly as Rebecca gives him a satisfied smile. “I have an idea. We’re going to take a little detour before I take you home.” Rolling the top down, he gives Rebecca a quick kiss on the cheek and starts to drive.

He leaves it at that and doesn’t tell Rebecca where they’re going, despite her constant badgering. She asks him again in a flurry of 20 Questions, which Nathaniel shoots down almost immediately. When he urges her to pick some music, whatever she wants, he said, he quickly rescinds the “whatever she wants” part but still lets her choose. Early 2000s hip-hop seems to be the genre of choice, which coming out of a Ferrari, what else did you expect? Rebecca dances in her seat, and Nathaniel watches her every so often with a smile. Most every song that comes on Rebecca exclaims is and was her song.

“Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly blasts through the speakers and something happens Rebecca thought she would never see in her life. Rebecca looks over, and Nathaniel is rapping the lyrics along with her. She has to pause midway through the first verse and stares at him with her mouth agape. He catches her stare and quickly stammers out an explanation.

“Oh, umm, everyone knows this song, right? You hear it so much that you learn it.” Rebecca starts to giggle, and it quickly becomes a full-on laugh. “What’s so funny?”

“No, I just thought you were going to say this was the song you lost your virginity to or something.” They’re stopped at a red light, and Nathaniel turns to Rebecca.

“And if I told you it was?” Rebecca stops laughing, and her eyes blow wide in surprise. She opens and closes her mouth a few times to formulate a response, but words won’t come to her. It’s Nathaniel’s turn to laugh now. “It wasn’t, but I just wanted to see your reaction.”

“I’m curious to know what it is now,” Rebecca says with a tempting smile and reaches over to softly run her fingers up and down his arm.

“That’s a story for another day. Maybe some day I’ll tell you about it.”

They drive without speaking, just listening to the music, Rebecca occasionally scrolling her Twitter feed for any new updates. He parks the car but makes no move to get out, and Rebecca stares at him and the empty scene around them confused. They’re somewhere quiet, which means they’re on the outside of Los Angeles, but she can’t see much except grass and wasn’t paying attention to any of the road signs along the way.

“Nathaniel, where are we?”

“Somewhere without interruptions for once.” Rebecca gives him a quizzical glance, but she reads his eyes and knows exactly why he drove them to somewhere incredibly secluded. A smile breaks across her face, and she widens her eyes.

“Are you planning to fuck me in your fucking Ferrari?” Sure, Rebecca’s had her fair share of car sex, which isn’t as easy as TV shows and movies make it out to be, but not in a fucking Ferrari. This was like living a dream.

“In it, on it, whichever you prefer. I’m a fan of both, so you choose,” he says with a smirk. Rebecca takes off her seatbelt and climbs over to straddle Nathaniel’s lap, kissing him as hard as she grinds her hips down into him. “Mmmm, eager, are we?”

“Shut up. This is fucking hot, don’t judge.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” he laughs against her lips and kisses her once more before squeezing her ass.

Rebecca opens his door and climbs out of the car, taking a long circle around the vehicle to perch herself against the hood of his car. Nathaniel exits the car and walks slowly towards Rebecca, who’s giving him her most seductive smile with her dress hiked up barely covering the tops of her thighs. Her dark hair fans out with the breeze around them and Nathaniel concludes that he’s never wanted to fuck her harder.

She doesn’t want it gentle right now, as clearly evidenced by her readiness to pounce on him earlier. Rebecca wants him to be rough with her, and maybe that’s the testosterone of the Ferrari seeping into her skin, but she wants to be taken hard. She glances at Nathaniel and knows he feels the same way.

It’s unclear who moves first, but soon, they’re a messy pile of limbs clinging to each other as Nathaniel settles himself over Rebecca and effectively pins her body with his weight. Their kisses are rough, teeth and tongues the primary players in this game, but they’re not angry or spiteful, just demanding. Nathaniel pulls down the top of her dress and slides his fingers under her bra cup to roll her nipples between his fingers.

Rebecca moans beneath him, and her hips rise to meet his in earnest. His hands leave her breasts for a moment to unzip his pants and take out his cock to line himself up with her, and he slips two fingers inside of her to test her wetness. As expected, she’s soaked, but Nathaniel keeps his fingers moving inside of her for a few moments longer to let her adjust. He slides inside her warm, wet pussy, and it’s so fucking good. Admittedly, Nathaniel has done this before, but it’s nothing compared to the moment he saw Rebecca’s eyes roll back into her head and a melodic series of moans left her lips.

It’s so fucking good, and Rebecca doesn’t want it to stop, doesn’t want Nathaniel to pull out of her body, but it’s gentle still. There’s that cautiousness she’s learned to expect from him, and right now, she’s not having any of it. With a firm hand on his shoulder, she shakes her head as he stares at her in question.

“Not like this.” It takes Nathaniel a moment to process her request.

“Oh, you want . . .” he trails off, hinting that she wants to be turned around on her stomach, and the sassy quirk of her eyebrow gives him permission to turn her around. It’s not but a few seconds later before Nathaniel slams back inside of her, clearly taking control this time. One hand holds Rebecca’s wrists at the curve of her back, the other is fisted in her curls, and what a sound she makes then.

This is exactly what she wants. Rebecca moans loudly as Nathaniel pulls her up by her hair, arching her back at a perfect angle for him to bend over just so and take her earlobe between his teeth. The way he leans forward sends his thrusts even deeper inside of her, and Rebecca feels the pleasure race through every inch of her body.

“You dirty girl, this is what you wanted, isn’t it?” Rebecca finds it hard to form words, so a quick “uh-huh” is enough to give him an answer. “Yeah, you’ve always wanted to do this, haven’t you? I wonder what someone would do if they saw you right now, how fucking hot you look begging me to make you cum.” Nathaniel releases Rebecca’s wrists from behind her back and quickly snakes his hand up the front of her body to wrap around her throat, not in a threatening way, but clearly a dominant one. “As much as I enjoy your voyeuristic tendencies, I don’t really want to share you right now. You’re mine, Rebecca.”

Fuck. Something in the way those words leave Nathaniel’s mouth make Rebecca cum almost instantly. She knew Nathaniel was and is possessive of her and her attention, but when he claims ownership of her with that almost primal growl, she shatters. A few thrusts more, and Nathaniel follows her in release. He eases Rebecca back onto the hood of the car, still warm beneath her, and she struggles to find her breath. Easily, that makes her top 5 of hottest sex she’s ever had.

Nathaniel doesn’t lay on top of her like he normally would, but he recovers fairly quickly and waits for Rebecca’s heart rate to slow down before making any moves away from her. She stands up, and even in heels she’s still significantly shorter than him, and she plants an uncharacteristically soft kiss on his lips after such a rough round of sex.

“Thank you,” she whispers and pecks his cheek before tugging her dress back down. She’s moving to return to the passenger’s side of the car when Nathaniel reaches for her hand, stopping her in her tracks.

“Hey, come here,” he says softly and laces her fingers in his as they walk around the car to the back seat instead, Nathaniel opening the door and letting Rebecca slide in first.

She leans against Nathaniel out of instinct, and he pulls her closer, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and chest. Together, they stare up at the sky. There’s not too much to be seen, but the moon’s glow does shine bright enough to frame their faces. Before either of them can stop it, they’re sharing a tender kiss where this time, no dominant party is clear. A slightly worn palm pushes back dark chocolate strands of hair while four perfectly manicured nails, followed by the pad of a thumb, brush the sides of a slightly stubbly cheek.

This time, it’s slow, rolling, even. Rebecca lies under Nathaniel, her legs wrapped around his hips, and he’s taking his sweet time with her. This time, it’s silent, save for the sounds of their lips pressing against each other and the shaking breaths that escape them. They’re alone, under the stars and the moon in a beautiful, peaceful silence.

Afterwards, there’s no need to say anything, but neither of them could even if they tried. The fear to ruin the moment consumed them both, and the silence between them starts to become uncomfortable. So, Rebecca chooses a new playlist; she settles on the artist radio station of The 1975. Just the right amount of melancholy, she supposes.

They don’t do that anymore: intimacy. It just happened, and neither of them stopped it. Why didn’t they stop it?

Nathaniel and Rebecca have no trouble igniting flames of passion around each other.

But what if they just ignited flames of that which shall not be named?

Chapter Text

Business dinners fall into a predictable pattern over time, same small talk and exaggerated politeness over meals where everyone barely touches their food. This time, though, there’s something different.

The client is technically Rebecca’s, but she invites Nathaniel to the dinner, though she knows she could handle it perfectly well on her own. Their last few trips to the supply closet have been rudely interrupted before either of them could finish, so the sexual frustration between them is riding at an all-time high.

Nathaniel knows her body language by now, and Rebecca is definitely giving off flirtatious vibes to the gentleman across the table, who sits besides his business partner who swears she isn’t dating the man to her left. Rebecca and Nathaniel see through that ruse too quickly and confirm that they do a much better job at hiding their intentions with one another out in public. Tonight, though, Rebecca is being a fucking tease, so Nathaniel conceals nothing.

Rebecca’s hand lingers just a bit too long when she shakes the gentleman’s hand in greeting, and Nathaniel, in response, grips her arm tighter than necessary in the typical, alpha male way he usually responds when feeling challenged. Rebecca toys with the ends of her hair as conversation drifts to more personal topics, a coy smile playing on the edges of her lips. The same smile Nathaniel aches to glance up at that lets him know she needs a new pack of highlighters.

Now, she’s just outright testing him with her dessert, a dark chocolate cheesecake drizzled in hot fudge. She lifts the spoon to her lips and closes her mouth around it, slowly pulling each bite from the spoon and licking her lip when some hot fudge smears onto it. Still, her cherry red lipstick doesn’t budge. The small moan she makes upon tasting the first bite has Nathaniel reaching under the table and gripping her thigh within an inch of his life. If she doesn’t stop doing that, he might just have to bend her over the table right there. She’s not even halfway finished with her cheesecake before Nathaniel finally gives up and interrupts her laughter over the joke that what’s-his-name just made.

“Rebecca, may I speak with you, please?” Rebecca quiets her laughter and turns slightly towards Nathaniel.

“Umm, you already are, silly.” She begins to laugh again, but her laugh morphs into a gasp when Nathaniel pulls her towards him and whispers roughly in her ear.

“I’m not playing with you.” He lets her go and moves to stand up, Rebecca trailing behind as she excuses herself from the table. She rolls her eyes and follows Nathaniel towards the hallway where the restrooms are. Rebecca stands in front of him entirely unenthused.

“Okay, seriously, what was so important that you couldn’t say back at the—“

“Stop. Playing. Games. Rebecca.” Each word is clearly punctuated with a step closer towards her, effectively trapping her against the wall behind her. Nathaniel’s clearly pissed, and Rebecca can’t seem to understand why he’s so angry with her.

“I was just having a little fun, okay? It’s not like I kissed him or anything. And also, why the fuck do you even care? Aren’t you, you know, dating someone else?” She stares up at him challengingly, her eyes blazing with annoyance and resentment, and Nathaniel doesn’t miss the venom in her final question.

“Don’t you dare bring Mona into this.” He says it so quietly though his teeth and crowds the space around her body. Like it’s some big fucking secret that Nathaniel can’t get over Rebecca, and God forbid anyone hear his infidelity. Rebecca scoffs at him and attempts to grab the upper hand.

“Oh please, she’s always been in this. Though Mona wouldn’t be in this if you hadn’t rebounded so quickly after I broke things off with you, which once again, had nothing to do with you. It’s not my fault that you can’t fucking control yourself around me.” She starts to walk into the bathroom, but Nathaniel grabs the top of her arm before she gets too far and pulls her closer than before, leaning down to hiss in her ear.

“Are you sure you wanna talk about controlling yourself around me, Rebecca? Last I checked, it was you who needed me to go with you to get another pack of highlighters.” He’s gripping her arm possessively, and Rebecca throws his arm down and steps back towards the bathroom door.

“Because I actually needed another pack of—you know what, fuck you, Nathaniel. I don’t have to explain myself to you. God, you’re such an arrogant jerk. Why the fuck was I ever attracted to you in the first place?” Nathaniel chuckles under his breath and closes in on Rebecca where her only choice of escape is inside the bathroom or onto his body.

“You know why. You’ve been attracted to me since the day we met. You knew that I could make you cum like Josh never could.” Rebecca’s boiling, her fists clenched at her sides, white-hot anger coursing through her veins. “I bet you never left the same marks down his back that you left down mine. And still do, might I add. His name doesn’t sound half as good as mine when you scream it as you cum.” She’s restraining herself from either slapping Nathaniel across the mouth or grabbing his shirt and pulling him down for an angry kiss as they stumble into the bathroom.

“You shut your goddamn mouth.”

The latter wins out.

She barely remembers to click the lock behind them as she pushes Nathaniel against the door, her hands moving to fist in his shirt, and she kisses him with all the rage she can muster. Rebecca is beyond mad at him but can only release her aggression in a teeth-baring, tongue-clashing kiss. It’s not long before Nathaniel wants to dominate her, and he slams Rebecca’s back against the opposite wall while still guarding her head with his hand. His hand snakes between their bodies and rubs her through her panties quickly; as hate-fueled as this is, Rebecca melts a little inside because he’s just that damn good.

Nathaniel yanks her underwear down and off of her before lifting her to his hips, wasting no time before thrusting himself inside of her. The stretch burns, despite how wet Rebecca already was, and she moans almost too loudly for them to be caught. Without thinking, Nathaniel shoves her panties inside her open mouth and starts to move inside of her. Rebecca moans around the makeshift gag and chases after her pleasure without shame. She brings her hand down to rub at her clit, but Nathaniel slaps it away and replaces it with his own and circles the sensitive nub quickly with his thumb.

Rebecca’s hands float up towards her chest where she reaches underneath her bra and tweaks her nipples to help her get off faster. Nathaniel speeds up his pace and buries his face in her neck, sucking a deep mark into the junction of her neck and shoulder. She could cover it up easily enough with her hair, he thought. Nathaniel switches his pace to move inside her slower but harder, and Rebecca feels each one shake her core. Her orgasm crashes over her as she lets out a small scream from behind her panties, and he follows not too far behind her, grasping her hair tightly and tilting her head upwards.

They don’t stay like that for too long. Rebecca spits out her panties into her hand, and Nathaniel slips out of her before he carefully sets her down on her feet. Rebecca’s legs render themselves useless; thank God the wall was there to catch her. She slides down the wall, still breathing heavily, as Nathaniel readjusts himself back into his pants and takes a quick glance in the mirror to appear presentable again. Meanwhile, Rebecca leans against the wall unsure of whether to yell at him or cry.

“I hate you so much,” she says quietly, the words muffled beneath her hands covering her face. The inflection in her voice isn’t one of angry hatred; it’s a hatred of the confusion he makes her feel.

She hates him for a lot of reasons in that moment. Rebecca typically knows what she wants and will go after it guns blazing, but Nathaniel makes her drop her guns and drop her guard, and that scares the living hell out of her. He makes her feel vulnerable, exposed. She can’t hide from him, no matter how many times she says “it’s fine” or that she’s fine.

Nathaniel turns towards her slowly and sees the agony in her eyes, the frustration that threatens to eat her alive. Rebecca can’t voice what it is that makes her hate him so much, but there is no poison in her tone, no glistening blade of loathing in her tone. The tired way she says it makes him think she doesn’t hate him but more so hates how he makes her feel. Cautiously, Nathaniel reaches for her wrist using much less force to help her stand. The firm hand wrapped around her wrist doesn’t beg to control her but instead begs to steady her. His other hand brushes fallen pieces of her hair and caresses her curls between his fingers.

Rebecca won’t meet his eyes. She’s too scared to look up and see him staring down at her with a tenderness she doesn’t deserve, adoration in its simplest form that reminds her of the gentle mornings she woke up next to him and his beautiful eyes gazing at her longingly were the first thing she saw.

“Rebecca,” he whispers. The pad of Nathaniel’s thumb traces her slightly bronzed cheek, and the gesture is too sweet for what just happened between them. The intimacy stabs her gut, and Rebecca feels her stomach start to churn.

“Don’t. Please.” Rebecca’s voice quivers and cracks on the words, and she breaks away from him to lean over the counter to wish away the tears threatening to spill from her eyes. Nathaniel makes no move towards her and gives her the space she needs to process all that happened between them. He waits by the door until her breathing returns to normal and she finishes wiping her streaking mascara from under her eyes.

Nathaniel doesn’t touch her as they exit the bathroom and make their way back to the table in silence. The rest of the night between them is just that: silent.

Rebecca returns home and collapses on the couch in a hot pool of bitter tears. The wine she pours herself a glass of is equally as bitter as her tears that leak into her mouth. She can barely taste the difference. Little does she know Nathaniel sits in his apartment in an oddly similar position, though his tears are laced with a deeper sadness of loving someone who can’t love herself.

To broken people?

Two broken people.

Chapter Text

Why did it have to be the middle of summer? Because the universe just had to plan this important conference in the middle of summer at an expensive condo in Malibu, right? And the universe just had to have Nathaniel catch a glimpse of Rebecca outside by the pool, lounging peacefully in a chair with a mystery novel in her hands.

But Nathaniel wasn’t watching at all. No, he just passes by her on the way to the kitchen to make a sandwich and work in the office with the fantastic view of the pool.

Rebecca concludes that this is the life she wants. She longs to be able to do work when she feels like it and come out to the pool deck and read whenever she pleases, and then there’s her amazing boyfriend Nathaniel who brings her a glass of lemonade and convinces her to go with him for a dip in the pool when he takes his shirt off and—whoa, pause, Rebecca. Oh, she’s in way over her head, though the heat outside is the least of the contributors to her foggy brain.

The office space is open and airy and gives Nathaniel a scenic view of the Malibu beaches. He’s seen some beautiful beaches between trips to Hawaii and Greece, but there’s something about California that’s not as exotic but nonetheless beautiful. Nathaniel finishes typing the paragraph of his presentation he’s supposed to give on Saturday and takes a dreamy glance out the window. The afternoon sun lights the water in an enchanting turquoise, and at some point, he’ll have to take a break to get some sun while it’s still out.

Scanning the area for new activity, his eyes focus on his partner outside who shifts to lie on her stomach, book still in hand. The tempting way her ass looks in a pair of denim shorts makes him stifle a groan; not that he needs to, considering she can’t hear him, so he lets himself stare just a few moments longer. Nathaniel’s gaze softens at the feminine way she crosses her ankles behind her as she lifts her feet up and imagines if that’s the way thirteen year-old Rebecca sat on her bed at night and wrote in her diary about what she imagined her first kiss and future husband would be like.

The novel is interesting enough, not so much the case as the characters solving it. Rebecca wills herself to keep reading to find out if the male and female leads will ever resolve the palpable sexual and romantic tension between them that they continuously deny. They’re dressed for a lavish party with intent to corner the suspect under the guise of a masquerade, and suddenly, this novel feels entirely too meta. Rebecca shivers at the memories of that masked night she shared with Nathaniel and feels her blood run hot underneath her skin. Nope, it’s too damn hot for this.

Rebecca stands from the chair and places her book down on the table beside her, lifting her gauzy shirt to reveal her bright red swimsuit top underneath, structured but with a girly polka dotted print. Her shorts come off and dark navy high-waisted swim shorts compliment the pin-up girl look she’s pulling off. Shaking out her hair from its ponytail behind her, Rebecca makes her way over to the pool, sitting on the edge before submerging herself into the cool salt water. Rebecca comes up for air with a contented sigh and brushes her now wet hair behind her as she swims towards the edge of the pool nearest the beach and leans on the deck, finally at peace.

Of course, she’s blissfully unaware of the man in the office who’s watching her performance, however unintentional it is. When Rebecca lifts her shirt, it’s nothing Nathaniel hasn’t seen before, but he still can’t help but feel a little arousal coming on. But then she has to bend over like that to take her pants off, her ass literally presented to him, and it stirs fond memories of taking her like that late one night in their office after everyone had gone home and a particularly rough time when Rebecca wore a purposely short skirt around the office. When she pops up from the water and tosses her hair back though, it reminds him of how much he enjoyed grabbing it after a taxing day of meetings when she insisted on taking him for a ride . . . backwards. If she hadn’t killed him yet, that just about does it.

But then she swims to the other side of the pool and rests her hands on her forearms as she stares at the lively beach before her, and his mind travels back to that dreamy place, a place of fantasy where the harsh realities of their situation couldn’t touch him. Their confusing and fucked-up situation that has an easy fix that neither of them wants to say out loud. It’s been said in lingering brushes of fingers and kisses that aren’t spurred by intense anger or arousal. It’s been said in the careful caress of curls behind her ear or the tugging of teeth at the tender spots on his neck. But if they dare speak its name, they’ll both have hell to pay.

Rebecca decides to head inside for a drink of water before going out again to finish a chapter of the book before finally settling in to work on her segment of the joint presentation with Nathaniel on Saturday. (It’s currently Friday afternoon.) The short dip in the water helped to refresh her mind a little, and after drying herself off, she slips her shirt back on to conceal the skin that her swimsuit exposed but didn’t bother with her shorts.

Her back is turned as she grabs a bottle of water from the refrigerator, and she’s humming something to herself when a presence behind her startles her. It’s Nathaniel, also reaching for a bottle of water.

“Hi,” Rebecca says quietly as she moves away from the refrigerator door and towards the island.

“Hi,” he replies and tries not to let his voice give away how affected he is by the way the material of her shorts clings to all the right parts of her ass and her thighs. “Just getting some water, I’m pretty thirsty. Is it hot in here to you?” Rebecca sips her water slowly and gives Nathaniel a questioning stare.

“You’ve been inside with the air conditioning on.” Nathaniel laughs nervously and Rebecca leans on the counter, unaware of the way her arms push her breasts up and create a tempting line of cleavage where a few droplets of water remain. God, how he’d love to lick them off her skin and—shit, he’s staring again. “Nathaniel, are you sure you’re okay? Maybe you should go for a swim or something; the water’s great.”

“Yeah, yeah, that sounds great. I really could use a break anyway.” His response is choppy and littered with nerves, and Rebecca wonders what the hell could be making him so flustered? Usually, the interactions between them were the opposite way around, but she’s clearly affecting him, which she can’t say is entirely all that bad.

Rebecca works until the sky turns its deepest shade of midnight and settles in the comfort of the king-sized bed, pulling the blanket up to her chin and turning the bedside lamp off. Her head hits the pillow and her eyes close, but sleep can’t find her. Rebecca’s too busy replaying the images of Nathaniel’s wet torso rising from the water and the way he shakes his hair out. Of course, she wasn’t paying attention or anything because she clearly had more pressing matters to attend to . . . if pressing matters included the roll of her thumb on her clit as she leaned back in the office chair trying to conceal the hand underneath her swimsuit bottoms.

She covers her face with a pillow to conceal her frustrated groan because now, she wants to touch herself again. She can only blame herself for suggesting he should get in the water in the first place knowing she could see him without a shirt on, but the view she got was certainly not unwelcome. It’s almost involuntary the way her hand finds her folds underneath her baggy t-shirt, and she lies back with a sigh, letting herself drift into sinful imagination.

Nathaniel’s room is across the hall, and he ends up waking in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. On his way back, a distinct female moan rings out behind a door. That could have been anything, he thinks. Maybe she just turned over in her sleep or—

“Oh god, Nathaniel.”

Fuck. She’s definitely not asleep.

As much as he would love to burst through the door and finish her off himself, which he’s sure she wouldn’t complain about, he elects not to. Admittedly, this is the first time she’s masturbating around him, though not to her knowledge. Nathaniel stops to listen but doesn’t open the door, no matter how much he would like to see the ways she touches herself. Instead, he leans against her door and starts to time his pleasure with hers. Nathaniel can’t hold back much longer, but Rebecca finally lets out the telltale breathy gasp as she cums, and Nathaniel spills himself into his hand with a long sigh.

They both fall asleep peacefully, but upon waking, the tensions are back when asking each other if they’d slept well the night before.


 

Saturday’s presentation goes beyond well, and the board of directors at the conference congratulates them on a job well done, admiring their natural chemistry together, which both Rebecca and Nathaniel incessantly deny. There’s nothing like a job well done than the celebration afterwards though, and Rebecca and Nathaniel decide to pick up some wine on the way back to the condo.

Conversation between them flows naturally and the subject matter is intentionally light, mostly discussing the events of the conference earlier today. Rebecca is changed into a flouncy halter-style dress and she’s taken her heels off, her feet now casually resting in Nathaniel’s lap as she sips on her wine. He’s discarded his jacket and undone the top two buttons of his shirt, but otherwise he’s dressed as he was earlier in the day. A silence comes over them, and Rebecca breaks it with a question.

“Hey, do you maybe wanna jump in the hot tub for a bit?”

“Rebecca, I’m not sure that’s a good—“ Her eyes are brimming with mischief and desire, and that’s a look Nathaniel knows isn’t just wine-induced. “I’ll go change.” Immediately, he sets up the stairs, but Rebecca stays back on the couch, stretching out like a cat. She does eventually take off her bra and underwear but leaves her dress on and stands up as Nathaniel comes down the stairs. “Hey, where’s your suit?”

“Why would I need one?” Rebecca smiles and Nathaniel’s jaw hangs slack at her suggestion.

“Wait, are you saying that we’re . . .” Nathaniel trails off, and Rebecca finishes the sentence off for him.

“Skinny dipping? Hell yeah. Why not?” Nathaniel is still trying to form words, and Rebecca laughs at his inability to speak coherently and stands with a hand on her hip. “Nathaniel Plimpton, do not pussy out on me. I can’t believe this. I thought you never backed down from a challenge.” She stands in front of Nathaniel, arms crossed in defiance and a challenging smile playing at her lips. Nathaniel looks her up and down and gives a similar smile back.

“What’s the challenge?” Rebecca leans into his ear and acts as though she’s about to tell a dramatic secret.

“Last one in drives back tomorrow.”

Certainly not the kind of challenge Nathaniel had hoped she would suggest, but his competitive nature never stopped him. He headed outside and waited for Rebecca to follow him, expecting her to quicken her pace and fight for the win, but she doesn’t. He stands next to the hot tub and Rebecca leans against the glass door waiting for him to drop his pants, which he does without much hesitation.

Instinctively, her eyes flit downwards and they return back to his face with a smirk. Nathaniel stares back at her expectantly and perches against the raised edge of the hot tub. Slowly, Rebecca struts towards him, never breaking eye contact, and lifts the hem of her dress over her head and drops it next to Nathaniel’s discarded swim shorts. He looks up at her and studies the heat in her eyes with intense concentration while his hands find themselves resting just above her ass at the curve of her back. Rebecca’s braced both her hands on Nathaniel’s shoulders and takes a seat on his lap, leaning in for a deep kiss.

Nathaniel doesn’t let her stay there for long before he swings his legs over the side of the tub and slides down into the shallow water. Rebecca realizes what he’s doing and clambers after him, but those damn long legs are too quick for her.

“Gotta be quicker than that, Bunch. Have fun driving back! I’ll be happily asleep for at least another hour tomorrow.” Rebecca slides in and sits opposite Nathaniel, crossing one of her legs over the other and making sure her breasts stay in Nathaniel’s line of sight.

“Who says that isn’t what I wanted? You’re just giving me that much more of a reason to blast show tunes in the car tomorrow since driver picks the music. Unspoken rule of every road trip ever. Gotcha!” Nathaniel laughs and swims up next to Rebecca.

“You’re clever, Rebecca, I’ll give you that. Though, I have a challenge I’d like to issue.” Rebecca quirks an eyebrow and leans into him as she asks him to continue. “My challenge is . . . whoever can wait to cum the longest gets to pick the driving playlist.” Rebecca scoffs at his request.

“So you’re basically just confirming my win then? I can’t say I don’t appreciate it, really, but don’t you think you should have made a challenge you might actually—“ She’s cut off by her own gasp when Nathaniel grips both of her nipples between his fingers and uses them to pull her onto his lap. Soon, Rebecca’s head is thrown back and her hips are grinding down into Nathaniel’s.

“You were saying,” he asks in her ear. The evil, infuriating smirk in his voice makes Rebecca’s blood boil.

“That’s so not fair,” Rebecca says between gasps. Nathaniel bends his head to take one of her nipples in his mouth, and Rebecca grips his hair to hold his head in place. It feels so good, and Rebecca wants to enjoy him giving her the attention she craves, but she is still driven by her competitiveness as well, so she decides to use one of the tricks up her sleeve (or lack thereof at the present time.)

Rebecca takes Nathaniel’s hands and pins his wrists against the back wall of the tub and finds his already hard cock underwater, slowly taking him inside of her. She keeps moving her hips up and down, pulling almost entirely out on each upward motion, without using her hands to steady herself and makes figure 8 movements, with her hips on the way down. It’s slow, sexy, and raw, and Nathaniel swears his arousal grows even more inside of her. He loves how in control she looks, how her eyes scream command, and he enjoys her confidence for a moment before deciding to up the ante. Little does she know that Nathaniel is sitting next to the switchboard that controls the very high-powered jets.

He slips his hand free of her grip as she’s focused on taking her pleasure and springs the jets to life. The life in the water startles her, and she opens her eyes to find Nathaniel leaning back against the wall of the tub with a satisfied smile on his face. He knows she can’t last all that much longer, especially not with the jets at full blast around her.

“Oh, fuck you,” Rebecca groans and slides off of him and across to the other side of the tub.

“You were. Why’d you stop? Afraid you couldn’t handle it?” Rebecca rolls her eyes but refuses to meet his gaze.

“Please, I can handle you. Need I remind you that you tend to like it when I do?”

“So that’s what you were thinking about in that hot tub, wasn’t it? Or perhaps it was the opposite way around? I distinctly remember a conversation we had in which you outlined a multitude of ways you wanted me to control you. You told me about how you wanted me to mark your skin with my teeth, wrap my hand around your throat—“

“Shut up and fuck me.”

Rebecca didn’t even care anymore. She knew she had lost as soon as those jets came on, though she pulled herself into that trap, so she can’t blame him for playing the game and outmaneuvering her in the process. This time, when she straddles his lap, Nathaniel is the one doing all the work; Rebecca just tosses her hair back with a moan and lets herself enjoy this orgasm.

Nathaniel knows he’s won immediately, and he obliges her request without question. The yearning for an orgasm in her eyes is clear, and Nathaniel does all in his power to give her the quickest and most delicious orgasm. He thrusts his hips upwards, and Rebecca sits astride him hell-bent on cumming hard and fast. Her walls begin to pulse around his cock, and Nathaniel keeps hold of her as he continues to move inside of her quickly and deeply as he can to draw out her release. Rebecca’s hands tangle in his hair and grip with all their might as she moans his name in a high and breathy way.

There’s a second wave of pleasure following close behind the first that changes Rebecca’s voice entirely. This bout of pleasure sends her moans all into her throat, and his name is nearly a growl as Nathaniel holds his cock deep inside of her and lets the orgasm take over. He cums inside of her moments later, and the pair rests their foreheads against one another, both sated and contented . . . for now.

They have sex at least twice more that night, once in the shower and once in Rebecca’s bed after Nathaniel comes in to check on her when he sees her light turn on from across the hall. She’s getting up to get a drink of water from the kitchen, and her thirst for water is quickly traded for the thirst of Nathaniel’s wickedly incredible tongue between her legs.


 

The next morning, Nathaniel reminds Rebecca of the challenge he won the night before, and she glares at him through her sunglasses as they climb into the car. His Spotify playlist is merciful to her for the first 5 or 6 songs, playing songs she at least tolerates, and then, it happens.

Nathaniel turns the volume up to a deafening level as the rhythms to what can only be described as a true bop plays over the speakers.

“Turn it up some . . .” The drums are pounding, and Nathaniel is trying to stifle his laugh at Rebecca’s negative reaction. Nathaniel starts quoting the opening dialogue with an exaggerated country accent, and Rebecca fights to not beat her head against the steering wheel.

“And ooh-whee, shut my mouth, slap your grandma! There oughta be a law, get the sheriff on the phone! Lord have mercy, how’d she even get them britches on?!” Nathaniel reaches over and pinches her ass. She points out towards his door trying not to smile.

“Get the fuck out of my car, asshole.”

“Oh, come on, you’d be so bored without me here to entertain you. Look, I’ll even change the song. How’s that?” Rebecca huffs and turns back to the steering wheel and waits for a new song to come on, this one with a longer guitar intro that she doesn’t recognize.

“Baby, lock the door and turn the lights down low . . .” That one gets a laugh out of Rebecca when Nathaniel leans over and imitates Josh Turner’s characteristic deep voice in her ear. Rebecca starts to think country music isn’t all that grating when it’s coming from the mouth of someone who makes it sound hot.

Nathaniel says nothing when Rebecca sings along with him to every word of “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again.” He’d tease her about it later for sure. For now, he just leans back against the headrest and enjoys the sound of her voice and the warmth of her smile under the California sunshine.

Chapter Text

Nathaniel invites her over for dinner without thinking. Of course, he knew she would say yes (he did offer to cook Italian after all) because if there is anything Rebecca loves as much as musicals, it’s good-ass Italian food.

The wine stirs heat in Rebecca’s blood, and even though she’s the one who suggests they watch something on TV, she doesn’t make it five minutes into the movie before she leans in for a kiss that quickly turns into Rebecca straddling Nathaniel on the couch. Their hands are in each other’s hair pulling just on the right side of pleasure, and Rebecca grinding mercilessly in his lap is withering his self-control with an embarrassing quickness. His hands roam down her body and work at opening her pants, and damn, that feels incredible. At least Rebecca’s seen this movie about 20 times.

Suddenly, a phone rings, and Rebecca looks over to where her screen lights up with a call from one of her clients. Nathaniel groans but uses his long arms and reaches over to grab it. Though she has half a mind to ignore it since it is technically after hours, this is a huge case she’s working on, so she feels compelled to answer.

“Nathaniel, I need to answer this.” He’s picked up a habit of hers and looks at her with her trademark puppy-dog eyes, the ones she uses on him to acquire sexual favors. “I’ll only be 5 minutes, I swear. If I’m longer than that, you can just pick up where you left off.”

“I’m holding you to that,” Nathaniel smirks into her neck, and Rebecca rolls her eyes playfully and slides her finger across the screen to accept the call. As soon as Rebecca answers the phone, he starts counting down from 300.

Rebecca easily turns on her lawyer voice, which never fails to make Nathaniel that much more attracted to her, and she’s intently discussing the progress she’s made in developing their suit. She shifts her weight on top of him as Nathaniel is quickly approaching single digit numbers in his head. He reaches the end of his five minutes, and Rebecca is still caught up in conversation. A deal is a deal after all, so Nathaniel flicks the button of her pants open and moves his hand to pull at her zipper when Rebecca finally takes notice of what he’s up to.

“Dude, I wasn’t serious,” she hisses as she covers the phone’s speaker with her hand.

“Hey, but you said—“

“I don’t give two shits about what I said. Please, just let me finish.” She returns back to her call with an apology to the gentlemen over the phone. Nathaniel’s not so easily deferred by her brief moment of anger.

“Yeah, I’ll let you finish alright,” he mumbles under his breath. The caress of his fingers ghosts over the material of her underwear, and he cautiously slips a finger underneath. Against her will, Rebecca lets out a small gasp when Nathaniel runs his finger between her folds. It takes all her strength not to moan or curse at him, so she focuses her gaze on a spot on the wall behind Nathaniel’s head and carries on with her conversation.

The client proceeds to talk about their proposal for a settlement, and Rebecca can’t deny how aroused she is, not by the subject of the phone conversation but the nonverbal conversation she and Nathaniel are having as she sits on top of him. Every so often, she’ll throw in an “uh-huh” or a “Mmmhmm,” though she isn’t quite sure what she’s responding to. Nathaniel makes it incredibly hard for her to hold back her breathy gasps he’s so used to hearing from their work escapades, and it’s not too long before Rebecca’s rolling her hips into his fingers and chasing after her pleasure.

“Yes, we can set that up. How’s Tu—ooh—sday sound?” The finger inside of Rebecca lands on her clit and holds there for a few seconds. Thankfully, she’s able to conceal the pleasured sound she makes fairly well. She finally takes a glance at Nathaniel, staring back at her and sucking his wet finger in his mouth. She mouths a “fuck you” at him before answering her client’s question.

Nathaniel still isn’t satisfied, so this time, he scissors two fingers inside of Rebecca and lightly kisses her clavicle, running his tongue along the sensitive bone every so often.

“Yes, absolutely, we’ll make sure we have all that information for you—damnit.” Shit, she said that out loud. Rebecca fists her hand hard in Nathaniel’s hair in hopes he’ll get the message to stop, but her reaction only spurs him on. “No, no, that was not directed at you, sir. I just . . . mmm . . . I just remembered that Tuesday might not be the best time because there’s a . . .” Rebecca hisses out a quiet “fuck” when Nathaniel brings one hand underneath her shirt and latches onto her nipple. “There’s something going on in the office that day. Look, why don’t I check my calendar, and I’ll get back to you in the next day or so?” The client agrees and wishes Rebecca a good night. “Thank you, sir, you too. Good night.” Rebecca quickly presses the red button on her screen to end the call and tosses her phone across the couch.

“You’re in for it, Nathaniel Plimpton. You are so in for it.” She wants to be so angry at him, but Rebecca is too needy right now to be truly upset with him. “After you get me off, of course.”

“Pleasure’s all mine,” he quips and unzips his own pants, retrieving a condom from his wallet before throwing it off to the side. Rebecca hurriedly grabs him, rolls on the condom, and sinks down on him, their simultaneous moans filling the apartment. She rides him quickly on a quest for immediate satisfaction, and Nathaniel leans back on the couch with one hand in her hair that pulls her down to his mouth for a fiery open-mouthed kiss.

She’s forceful in taking her pleasure, clearly wanting to dominate the situation. Nathaniel lets her after the bruising kiss he initiates that Rebecca clearly exerts her power over. Rebecca climbs towards her peak, her pace unwavering despite the beads of sweat that appear over her hairline. She’s not normally the one to do all the work, but this is about her and her own pleasure, so Nathaniel concedes in helping her other than being the welcome body that she’ll clamp down on.

It’s not enough for her just to ride him; she needs more. Nathaniel senses the yearning in her strangled moan and starts to meet her thrusts in the middle. That’s good, it’s getting there, but something’s missing.

A hand connects with her ass, and the beautiful exclamation of pleasure Rebecca lets out lets Nathaniel know that’s exactly what she needs.

“Fuck, do that again,” Rebecca commands hoarsely. Nathaniel obliges and begins to feel Rebecca’s walls pulse around his cock. She’s getting close, her thrusts are getting choppier and sloppier, and Nathaniel takes the hand wound tightly in Rebecca’s hair and uses it to bring her face level with his own.

“Come on, Rebecca. Cum for me.” That encouragement is the final piece she needs before she comes apart on top of him, eyes locked in a heated dance, hands grabbing at anything and everything they can reach. Rebecca’s moans as she comes are filled with longing and desperation and relief, and she clings to Nathaniel as she rides out the subsequent deep waves of her orgasm. Nathaniel’s orgasm is triggered by her own and empties himself into the condom.

Rebecca and Nathaniel stay in that position for a few minutes while they both regain their breathing, but they won’t admit that neither of them wants to break the spell of the way they looked into each other’s eyes as they came and saw more than just primal pleasure behind their eyes. Rebecca kisses him first, a gentle caress of lips, soft like a flower’s petal, a sharp contrast to the furious sex they just had. Nathaniel’s hand cradles the back of her head and massages the roots of her hair ever so slightly. It’s unhurried, there’s no deadline, no impending expiration date. There is only timeless beauty of lips pressing, hands sliding, hearts beating, and that’s how they know this is not just about sex anymore.

Whether or not they voice it out loud, something’s changing between them. A welcome change? Only time will tell, they suppose. Feelings, such sneaky bastards.

Chapter Text

For once, Rebecca wakes up before Nathaniel. It’s a Saturday, and by her normal standards, she’s never up this early. The sun hasn’t ventured into the sky yet, still nestled in its covers below the horizon, and Rebecca does the same, watching the peacefulness in Nathaniel’s face as he sleeps and forever wishing she could have a piece of that too.

He turns over towards the bedside table, internal clock signaling it’s time to rise and shine despite not having to work today. When he turns back after briefly checking his phone, Nathaniel finds Rebecca with a smile on her face and her head propped in her palm as he elbow rests on her pillow.

“Wow, good morning,” he greets, his voice still thick with sleep.

“Hi,” Rebecca whispers. There’s silence between them as they stare at one another with hazy eyes. “I wanna do something fun today. It’s Saturday, and we both don’t have to work.”

“What did you have in mind, babe?” Rebecca looks down and swirls her fingertip across Nathaniel’s bare chest. The request she has is probably silly, but she ventures to quietly ask it anyway.

“Can we go watch the sunrise from the roof?” Nathaniel takes her chin and lifts it to where her eyes meet his. The innocence staring back at him reminds him of a phantom, fleeting version of Rebecca, one where she was not burdened by the loss of Josh Chan or the weight of her insecurities. It makes her more beautiful than she already looks lying next to him. Wordlessly, he shifts out of bed and reaches for her hand. “Are we really going?”

“Grab your shoes and a jacket. We don’t have too long before the sun comes up.” Rebecca takes his hand and climbs out of bed, putting on her sandals and one of Nathaniel’s sweatshirts as quickly as she can. She races to the door and waits for Nathaniel to come to meet her, tapping her foot incessantly.

“Come on, slowpoke, let’s go! If I get there before you, you’re making breakfast!” Nathaniel comes out of the bedroom with a blanket folded over his arm and a grin on his face.

“Is everything always a competition with you, Rebecca?” She stands on her tiptoes and gives him a quick kiss.

“Of course it is. How long have you known me? Now, come on!” She bolts out the door and makes her way up to the top floor, pausing at the terrace entrance. The benefits of having an expensive apartment outside of LA include this rooftop terrace with a stellar view of the city. Strangely enough, Nathaniel hasn’t used the view since living in his apartment, but he’s excited to see what it looks like.

Rebecca has seen quite a few sunrises in her life, mostly because she was awake each morning to watch them from her office window in New York, but she’s never actually watched the sun rise. She’s never seen how the rays stretch their limbs and the warm glow pulses like a yawn as the sun moves over the horizon, and she’s especially never sat with someone else to watch it happen.

Together, the pair makes their way to the lonely terrace and Rebecca’s excited voice fills the air.

“I’m so excited. Oh my god, this is so fun. It feels like a movie! This is probably super dangerous, but we should sit by the edge so we can be right there when it happens—“

“Shh, people are still sleeping,” Nathaniel whispers and presses a finger to her lips. He fights the urge to laugh at her excitement but gives a kind smile.

“Sorry, I’m just really excited. I’ve never done this before.” Her voice is quieter but no less excited than before, and Nathaniel takes the hand she’s outstretched to him.

“Gee, I couldn’t tell,” he retorts with a wink. Rebecca giggles and guides him to where she wants to sit.

They find a spot near the edge of the roof to take a seat and spread out the blanket underneath them. Nathaniel sits down first and pulls Rebecca between his legs, wrapping his arms around her middle and resting his chin on her shoulder. Rebecca sighs and leans her head back to rest on his, turning her head slightly to kiss his cheek. The silence between them hangs delicately like a baby’s mobile as the wind breezes through Rebecca’s untamed hair every so often. When she shivers, Nathaniel pulls her closer, hugs her tighter, and draws ellipses in her soft curves over his Stanford sweatshirt.

“Rebecca, I—“

“Shh, the sun’s coming up, look.” She points out at the first glimmers of sunlight that peek over the skyline, and she crawls over as close as she can to the edge of the blanket to sit cross-legged and watch natural beauty unfold before her eyes.

Nathaniel sits back and lets Rebecca cherish the moment for herself. Eventually, he inches closer to her as the Sun begins to greet the earth in earnest. Rebecca’s mouth parts slightly, and her eyes study the dance of the morning light beams. He’s at the perfect angle where the light flickers in Rebecca’s eyes and creates the warmest of glows in her irises, warmer than any compliment she’s ever given or any smile she’s ever shown. The softness on her face is enchanting; he could get lost in it all day.

Nathaniel takes out his phone and snaps a picture of Rebecca. One picture turns into a couple, and then a few until she finally turns to him and notices the phone in his hand. Silently, she removes the phone from his hand and places it out of his reach and motions to Nathaniel to sit next to her. He does and copies her now outstretched legs, crossed at the ankles, and leans back on his palms to watch the sun smile at them.

They sit and stare for a while longer as the birds begin to chirp around them, filling the air with a bright morning song. Nathaniel takes one of his hands and reaches across to find one of Rebecca’s. The brush of fingers sends an intense energy through her, and she takes her gaze upwards into Nathaniel’s eyes.

Her gaze, so warm and pure and easy, melts his heart. Maybe it’s the way the light frames her face or the way the wind blows her bangs back or the way her lips curl up as she glances over each part of his face or the way she flutters her eyelashes under the heat of his intensity. Any way, Nathaniel takes this moment to admire her radiant beauty and can’t stop the soft caress of her cheek before he leans in to kiss her.

The kiss is unscripted but it’s a beautiful ad-lib that completes this cinematic moment in Rebecca’s mind. But the moment doesn’t end. Their hands roam slowly across each other’s bodies begging for more than just a kiss. Even in their search for sexual satisfaction, the tempo doesn’t change. Rebecca lies back on the blanket and pulls Nathaniel down on top of her to settle between her legs.

Nathaniel takes care to attend to each part of her body as his hands travel down to her loose sweatpants, which she stole once again. He slides them down her legs, still refusing to break the kiss. He takes himself out of his own pants and keeps his body pressed against hers to shield her from the morning chill. Nathaniel gently pushes himself inside of Rebecca, and she lets out a quiet moan against his lips.

She’s content not to rush this, and so is he. It seems like a lifetime that Rebecca and Nathaniel lie in stillness, her body wrapped around his, her heat grasping him in a tight but loving squeeze. Rebecca looks up to find his eyes, and the love she finds staring down at her is overwhelming. She knows that look; it’s a look she’s run away from before. But this time, she chooses to embrace it.

“Nathaniel,” she whispers.

“Rebecca,” he replies.

He wants to tell her. He wants her to know how she makes him feel. He wants to shout it from this damn rooftop and let the entire city and world know how much he loves Rebecca Bunch.

But he doesn’t.

They start to move together, and his hands capture her face in a powerful kiss. One of them moves back to her hair and winds his fingers in the strands, though not with the same roughness and desperation that he usually does. They rock together with a lush tenderness as the morning glow becomes their comforter, the whipping winds their ceiling fan, and the chirping birds and car motors their soundtrack.

Rebecca comes apart beautifully beneath him as she always does, and Nathaniel helps bring her down from her high. He stays with her inside of her for as long as she needs afterwards. The intimacy of the moment is strangely not a bad thing to her. After experiencing all of the rushed and furious sex she could ever have in a lifetime, to slow down and enjoy it is refreshing. Her hand reaches up to move some fallen hair from around Nathaniel’s eyes, and she takes the moment to kiss him once again.

Everything she wants and needs to say but can’t put a voice to, she places inside that kiss, and Nathaniel understands because he always does. She’s an open book with a closed heart that Nathaniel is slowly peeling away the hard cover from. When he rolls to lie next to her instead of on top of her, Rebecca snuggles into his side and places her hand upon his heart like he does with her to make sure she’s alive and breathing. He does the same.

To Nathaniel, the gesture is more than just a confirmation of life; it’s a silent proclamation of love, simple and beautiful. When he feels her small palm flat over his steadily thumping heart, his heart stretches to impossible lengths and stirs with a flutter inside of his chest.

Rebecca listens to his breaths even out, and even though she isn’t nervous about anything, her heart can’t seem to slow down. Her stomach ties itself in knots, and the wings of her heart flap wildly within their cage. What is this feeling, so sudden and new, she thinks. It’s not loathing; it’s very much the opposite.

Chapter Text

“Hey, hey, party people! It’s that time of year again! Get your sunnies out and finger food plated because . . . it’s the Annual Whitefeather BBQ!” A chorus of excited voices from around the office rings out, and Darryl hushes the crowd to continue his announcement. “Well, technically now, it’s the Bunch, Whitefeather, Plimpton, Plimpton, and Plimpton BBQ, but that’s a mouthful to say. Speaking of mouthful, get ready to stuff your faces, people! My house next Saturday at noon, and everyone be sure to bring your favorite summer party food and your best party spirit.”

The office chatters about what they plan to bring to the party, including Paula and Rebecca who are animatedly discussing dessert recipes they saw on Pinterest. Nathaniel leans back in his office chair and continues typing away at the document he’s working on. Rebecca comes back into her office and finds Nathaniel passively sitting back and seemingly unenthused about the announcement Darryl made.

“And what are you planning to bring to the barbecue, Nathaniel,” she asks cheerily as she sets her paperwork on her desk and crosses her legs when she sits down.

“I’m not exactly planning on going.” Rebecca slams her pen on the desk and gasps loudly, her mouth wide open in shock.

“You can’t just not go, Nathaniel. The annual barbecue is the one day a year where we all actually like each other because there’s alcohol involved; plus, Mrs. Hernandez with a few wine coolers in her makes her not such a heinous bitch. Come on, Nathaniel, you have to come. Pretty please?” She’s batting her eyelashes in the teasing manner she does when she wants something (usually sex,) and he can’t help but find Rebecca irresistible.

“Okay, I’ll bring something. I think I’ll bring my charming good looks and perfectly timed sarcasm.” Rebecca’s eye roll makes Nathaniel laugh under his breath.

“Suit yourself, mister, but don’t complain when you miss out on some of WhiJo’s amazing burgers next Saturday.” She turns back to her work with a small smile when she sees Nathaniel’s face relax.

“I’m sure I’ll manage.”

If by managing Nathaniel means he makes it until 12:30 before he shows up in Darryl’s backyard with a plate of fruit that he sets down on the checkered tablecloth right next to one sunny Rebecca Bunch leaning back against the table. Damn her and how amazing her breasts look in that shirt, and he’s definitely not looking.

“God, I forget how boring you are sometimes,” she quips and tilts her sunglasses down to look over at him.

“That’s not what you were saying yesterday, Bunch.” He quirks an eyebrow at her as she swipes a strawberry from the tray, humming and looking Nathaniel up and down.

“Clearly, you’re not dressed for a barbecue, but I am glad you showed up—“

“Oh, Nathaniel, I’m so glad you could make it! And that fruit plate looks amazing! I can’t wait to dig in!” Darryl spots Nathaniel and rushes up to him with a powerful hug that nearly knocks Nathaniel backwards. Nathaniel chokes out a laugh, clearly caught off-guard, and gives Darryl a pat on the back.

“Good to see you too, Darryl. Listen, I can’t stay too long; I’ve got some work to do back at the office, but—“

“Don’t be silly, this only happens once a year. Live a little, enjoy yourself. We’ve got some great food and Josh is working on setting up the volleyball net in the pool. What do you say to a friendly game, hmm?” Darryl’s offer is convincing to say the least since water sports are Nathaniel’s favorite (no, not the sexual kind.) Rebecca watches the two men interact with a smile and knows that even though Darryl can be overbearing at times, Nathaniel still has a soft spot for him.

“Bunch, you in?” Rebecca stands and makes her way towards Nathaniel, standing mere inches away from him and perches her sunglasses on her head.

“Oh, it’s on, Plimpton. It is so on. Too bad you didn’t bring your cute little Easter bonnet.”

“You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”

“Not a chance in hell, buddy. Meet ya in the pool.” Rebecca walks away with a wink and heads towards the ice chest to get a wine cooler, biting her bottom lip with a smile. She meets Paula halfway on her way towards her bag, and Paula stops her with a hard questioning eyebrow.

“What’s got you all smiley, and don’t blame it on the wine cooler, Cookie. You know I can see right through that.” Rebecca doesn’t answer and finds herself staring across the way at Nathaniel who’s munching on a piece of honeydew and pretending he doesn’t notice her staring at him. “Oh no, Rebecca.”

“What? Nothing happened; it’s just a friendly game of pool volleyball.” Rebecca drops her voice to a mumble and pouts her lower lip out. “You know how much competition gets me excited.”

“Oh, don’t I,” Paula scoffs, then suddenly turns serious, bringing her voice down and placing both her hands on Rebecca’s shoulders. “Rebecca, I don’t know what’s going on with you and Nathaniel, but just please be careful. He has a girlfriend, and I know you two tried to date for a while and then things didn’t work out, but you’re still obviously into each other. I just don’t want you to get burned, that’s all.”

“Speaking of burned, would you mind putting some sunscreen on my shoulders?” The scathing glare Paula gives her lets her know she can’t change the subject that easily. “Okay, look, yes, I’m still into him, but I’m not ready for a relationship right now, and Mona clearly makes him happy, so just drop it, okay? There’s nothing going on, nor will there ever be anything going on between us.” Paula sighs and rubs Rebecca’s shoulders a few times.

“I just want what’s best for you, Rebecca, and I want you to be happy. You know that, right?” Rebecca smiles warmly at her and pulls her into a hug.

“Yeah, I know. Thank you, mama.”

“You’re welcome. Now go kick some white man ass!” Rebecca all but skips back to her pool chair where her bag is with her sunscreen.

She’s unbuttoning the oversized button-down shirt that’s knotted at her belly button and is sliding it off her shoulders when from across the pool, she locks eyes with Nathaniel and finds his eyes are dropping lower than her eyes, blatantly staring at the curve of her breasts in that plum-colored halter top. Her shirt is completely off before Nathaniel meets her eyes again before tipping his glass of water to her, and Rebecca leans down to get her sunscreen out of her bag to hide the obvious blush that Nathaniel’s gaze ignited on her cheeks. She tucks a piece of hair behind her ear and places her sunglasses back on her face.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel can’t tear his eyes away from Rebecca no matter how hard he tries. He knows it’s bad, and of course, Mona makes him happy. She’s beautiful and smart and perfect, but she’s not Rebecca. And maybe there’s something attractive in her imperfection, and it’s just so innately Rebecca. Frustrating as she is sometimes to work with and to figure out, Nathaniel still finds himself constantly wanting her. Sex be damned, though it’s a nice bonus, he wants her.

And it doesn’t register how long he was staring until a hand snaps in front of his eyes.

“Hey! Her eyes are up there.” It’s Paula, intervening while continuously denying that she is. “You know, for a lawyer, you’re pretty bad at making yourself inconspicuous, Nathaniel.” He sighs and scrubs a hand over his face.

“Spare me the lecture, please, Paula. Look, I get it. I have a girlfriend, and I know that it’s wrong to want her . . .” Nathaniel trails off and looks after her longingly as she’s walking over to mingle with Darryl and WhiJo. He swears her smile could give power to the entire city of LA for a week.

“But you’re still not over her.” He purses his lips together and looks down at his shuffling feet. “She doesn’t make it easy, I’ll tell you that.” Nathaniel lets out a puff of air.

“I will drink to that,” he says as he clinks glasses with Paula, taking a slow sip.

“Nathaniel, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of you two getting together the first time, mostly because I was afraid you would hurt her, though I think the opposite actually happened. I’m very protective of Rebecca, and I don’t want to see her get hurt. But here’s the thing: if you like her as much as I think you do, you need to tell her. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering what it could have been like if you had just told her how you feel. Feelings are scary, but I suspect you have more similar feelings about each other than you realize. Sometimes, you just have to lose the floaties and dive into the deep end.”

Paula walks away and leaves Nathaniel in contemplation, but now he sees why Rebecca calls her “mama.” He gets more advice from Paula in 2 minutes than he got from his own mother in the first 2 decades of his life. Nathaniel polishes off his glass of water and heads inside the guest bathroom in the kitchen to change his clothes.

Nathaniel returns to the lawn without a shirt on and catches Rebecca sitting with her feet dangling in the pool talking to Maya across the way. She looks up, and her gaze immediately lands on how his shorts hang low on his hipbones and how clearly she can see each of his abdominal muscles. He doesn’t miss the pleasured way her eyes roll upwards before she slinks down the edge of the pool and dives underwater. She comes up and paddles her way to the opposite edge of the pool where Nathaniel is now sitting like she was moments ago.

“Ready to get your ass kicked?” Rebecca smiles brightly, and Nathaniel can’t stop the subsequent eye roll that follows.

“Someone’s confident. You’re going down though.” He slides in the pool and crosses the net to the deep end, and Rebecca moves to follow him, but he puts his arm out to keep her from crossing. “Whoa, whoa, your side’s over there, shorty.”

“Wow, you’re making fun of my height? You’re just asking for it now. Don’t take it easy on me.” Nathaniel leans in close to her ear and chuckles.

“I would never. I know how much you like to play rough.” He grazes his teeth over her earlobe ever so slightly and swims over to the side of the net with Darryl and WhiJo. Why did he have to get her so damn worked up all the time? Rebecca makes her way to the center of the net on the side of the pool nearest the stairs where Maya was lounging peacefully.

“Okay, so WhiJo and me versus you and Darryl?” Rebecca’s jaw drops at his suggestion, and she makes her way over to the net.

“Oh hell no! No offense, Darryl, but that’s a complete unfair athletic advantage. Nope, I get WhiJo. I’ve known him longer than all of you, therefore he gets to be on my team.” Rebecca smiles proudly at her defense, but Josh stands back with his mouth agape.

“Wait, I don’t get a say in all this? I have feelings too, you know!” Everyone laughs playfully, and Josh swims under the net towards Rebecca. “Don’t worry, Rebecca, I’ve got your back.” Rebecca jumps up and pumps her fist in the air.

“Yes! Let’s do this shit!” She fist bumps WhiJo and puts her best game face on.

The game is fairly evenly matched, Nathaniel and WhiJo taking the majority of the hits, though Rebecca earns a few points for herself. Maya elects herself as scorekeeper since she thinks her athletic abilities aren’t of pressing need, and she keeps a running commentary going with Paula who pulls her chair closer to the pool.

Rebecca is in the perfect position to take the ball on this one, and WhiJo lets her have it, even though he expects the point to go to Darryl and Nathaniel. They could sacrifice one point of their marginal lead in the sake of friendship. Rebecca’s prepared for it though, and she jumps as high as she can to turn this one into a spike that lands right in front of Nathaniel before he can save it. Everyone is clearly impressed, even Nathaniel, and WhiJo gives Rebecca a solid two-handed high-five.

“What did I say about taking it easy on me, Plimpton?” Rebecca relishes in her well-earned point with a backward toss of her hair and a smirk through the net at him. “I think you’re going soft on me.”

“Soft isn’t in my vocabulary, Bunch. Remind me to show you later.” Rebecca glides away from the net with mischief in her eyes.

The game continues for a few more passes until WhiJo and Darryl decide to start serving the burgers, WhiJo and Rebecca by 2 points clenching the lead. Nathaniel and Rebecca offer each other a handshake in solidarity, though Rebecca does rub it in his face for a little while afterwards.

Later in the afternoon, everyone decides to get out of the sun for a while and take the homemade ice cream sundae party inside. In the common area, everyone is reflecting on the best moments of the year and taking time to joke about some of the more embarrassing things that happened. Thankfully, no one brings up the possum or the cat.

Rebecca eats her ice cream slowly and savors each drop of chocolate syrup that’s drizzled over her scoops of Neapolitan. She saves the cherry for last and decides to spice things up in the room.

“Hey Paula, you can tie a cherry stem in your mouth, right?”

“Hell yeah, I can’t tell you how many times that’s gotten me laid!” It’s not in Paula’s nature to be so open about her sexual history with anyone other than Rebecca, but she blames it on the amazing watermelon frozen margaritas Darryl made. “Let’s see who can do it faster!” Rebecca giggles wildly and places the cherry stem in her mouth, silently counting down from 3 to start the race.

Tim keeps time on his phone, and everyone is giving encouragements to see who can complete the task faster. Paula’s determination is unmatched, and she visualizes the cherry stem in her mouth as she closes her eyes. Rebecca, on the other hand, is brazen in her execution, and she refuses to break her eyes from Nathaniel, who sits across from her leaning back in the armchair with challenge set in his eyes. Rebecca slowly opens her mouth with a smile to reveal a knotted cherry stem.

“58 seconds, we have a winner! Ladies and gentlemen, Rebecca Bunch!” Tim lifts one of her hands in the air like a boxing champion, and the Whitefeather employees are clapping loudly for Rebecca.

Jim stands up and uses a television remote as a microphone as Nathaniel swipes the stem from his discarded cherry with a smirk. So that’s how she wants to play? Oh, it’s on now. “Uh oh, looks like we’ve got a challenger! It’s the senior partner face off: Rebecca Bunch versus Nathaniel Plimpton.” Tim resets his phone timer and anxiously waits for the pair to give the thumbs up.

They both work methodically in different ways but refuse to take their eyes off of each other. Rebecca’s close, she can feel it, but then Nathaniel takes the upper hand and winks at her as he flashes the knotted cherry stem between his teeth. When he holds it up in victory, the room goes crazy, and he drops the stem like a microphone, leaning back in the chair.

“43 seconds! We have a new champion! It’s Nathaniel Plimpton!” Rebecca can’t help but laugh at his satisfied smile, but then his face changes when he looks at her into a heated gaze of desire and frustration.

They’ve been dancing around each other all day. First, the volleyball game, then, the cherry stem competition, and now, it’s nearing dusk, and everyone is back outside playing yard games and testing out the karaoke system. Nathaniel actually decides to eat a hamburger; this only happens once a year, plus he did exercise earlier in the day so it counts. It definitely isn’t because Rebecca nearly threatened to shove it down his throat if he didn’t eat it. Speaking of, he can’t stop himself from admiring how the industrial-sized fan is blowing the shirttails of her now completely unbuttoned shirt and how her loose hairs from her ponytail ripple back under the speed of the fan. Also, she should not be allowed to wear denim like that around him in public.

“Wow, so you’re not going to make me force you to eat the hamburger? I’m shocked.” Nathaniel’s mouth is full when she comes up to him with a plate of her own food.

“I’d actually at least like to enjoy it if I’m going to indulge. You were right, though, these are actually really good!” Rebecca smiles and sets her food down before taking a seat.

“So what do I get for beating you in volleyball?” Rebecca sits cross-legged in the pool chair next to Nathaniel while chewing on a piece of watermelon.

“Bragging rights should suffice. I mean, you did beat me after all,” Nathaniel says haughtily, then takes a pause before continuing. “And who says I wasn’t letting you win?”

“So you were going easy on me?! I knew it!” Rebecca pokes him in the chest playfully.

“Of course I did. Did you really think I would have exerted all of my energy on a friendly game of volleyball, just to claim bragging rights?” She scoots closer to him and rests her head in her hand.

“So that means you’re up for another, right?” Nathaniel faces Rebecca and drops his voice down, leaning over towards her.

“Well, I could think of a few ways to use my energy that are much more satisfying for both of us than kicking your ass at volleyball.” Rebecca smirks and glances down at his lips.

“In front of all these people? Really, Nathaniel, I’m surprised. I never pegged you for an exhibitionist.” Nathaniel laughs with a small eye roll.

“I think you have me beat on that one, but no. It’s a pretty big house. I’m sure there’s somewhere we could sneak off to without anyone noticing.” Nathaniel stands up, and when Rebecca moves to follow him, he sits her back down with a bop to her nose. “Wait 5 minutes. Guest bedroom’s downstairs on the right.” Rebecca crosses her legs in anticipation and watches as Nathaniel walks away into the house. She sighs dramatically and steals a piece of pineapple from Nathaniel’s plate, not that she believes in pseudoscience or anything, but just in case it happens to be true.

“Longest five minutes of my life,” Rebecca groans as she shuts the door quietly behind her and turns around to find an already naked Nathaniel waiting on the bed for her. “Wow, you’re naked. That’s good.” She quickly makes her way over to the bed, careful not to misplace the original setup, and slides over to Nathaniel, planting a deep kiss on his lips. They moan together, hands grasping at each other’s hair, and Nathaniel pulls Rebecca on top of him.

“You are such a fucking tease, woman, you know that?” Nathaniel kisses his way down the side of Rebecca’s neck, and the way she’s grinding her hips on top of him is so tempting, and he’s getting too close too fast.

“What do you suppose you should do about that?” Rebecca runs her teeth along his earlobe and hums when Nathaniel’s hand comes up to play with her breast. Her lips are parted in a smile, but the part of her lips quickly changes to a gasp when Nathaniel slides out from under her and rolls over her to keep her on her stomach. His hand reaches around to her front to pop the button on her jeans and drag them along with her swimsuit down her legs.

“Not here because we don’t have time, but I’ve been thinking of all the ways I can punish you. You’re racking up quite a list, Rebecca. But right now, there’s nothing I want more than to see you fall apart under me.” His nimble fingers test her opening before he buries himself inside of her wetness, and sadly, he has to silence the delicious moan that leaves her mouth.

The pace isn’t too fast or too slow, but the angle is just dirty, and Rebecca lives for it. There’s no intimacy here with Nathaniel’s hand cupped over her mouth or his weight pressing her hips further into the bed or the sultry way she circles her hips to gain some friction near her clit. It’s exactly what she needs right now.

It doesn’t take long before Rebecca’s gripping the comforter between her fingers and Nathaniel’s hand is wrapped around her loose ponytail, and the lack of a condom stops him from releasing inside of her, so he spills across her back and replaces his cock with three of his fingers to let her ride out her climax. The pair breathes heavily together as their hearts slow their rapid beating, and after a few more moments, Nathaniel gets up to clean Rebecca off and leaves her with a kiss in her hair. A gesture so simple and so nonchalant to anyone else, but to Rebecca, it means the world.

They don’t cuddle, but they do stay for a few minutes and make out before rejoining the festivities like nothing ever happened. When Paula comes up to her wondering where she disappeared to, Rebecca blames it on needing some mosquito repellent. She hates lying to Paula about her not relationship with Nathaniel, but it’s better this way. It’s simpler.

What’s certainly not simple is the exchange of pining looks after one another that Rebecca and Nathaniel are trying to be discreet about but are failing at miserably. If they would just sit down and talk, they might could figure this thing out, but they kept their conversations mute behind the quirks of eyebrows and sadness of smiles. Nothing is really ever simple with them, but they could only hold onto hope that someday, they could be.

Chapter Text

It’s a serious code blue, probably the most severe code blue Rebecca has ever had. She wakes up in the middle of the night to throw up, her breasts feel like iron weights on her chest, and her back aches unspeakably, though that also may have something to do with the position she and Nathaniel experimented with the day before. Rebecca can barely move, much less work, so she texts Nathaniel, unaware that it’s 3:30 in the morning, to tell him she’s not coming in today but doesn’t explain why. Paula gets a text shortly after with code blue in all capital letters and says she won’t be at work. When Paula asks if she needs anything, Rebecca respectfully declines and drifts back to sleep.

A few hours later, her stomach is still uneasy, though she doesn’t feel the urge to vomit every three minutes. It’s a start. She sips on a Sprite as she checks her inbox, switching tabs between her emails and Netflix currently streaming episodes of Friends that she’s seen a thousand times over. Ross and Rachel are “on a break,” and Chandler and Joey are getting themselves in trouble as usual. Rebecca lets herself relax after answering a few emails, and though it doesn’t do much for the pain in her uterus, at least it helps take her mind off of it.

Back at the office, Nathaniel sits at his desk missing the sunny face of his office mate. She makes the hard days better because he knows if he’s feeling stressed or anxious or angry, he can look up and find beauty in the concentration of her gaze on a case file and the warmth in her smile when she finally takes notice of him staring at her. Today is one of those days that he wishes she were there. Nathaniel takes his lunch earlier than usual and steps out to call Rebecca.

“Hello,” she answers groggily, her voice cracking slightly. She doesn’t bother to look at the caller ID since she’s been pulled out of sleep by her obnoxious ringtone.

“Well, hi there, sunshine.” Rebecca hums at the sound of Nathaniel’s teasing voice over the phone. “How are you feeling? Any better?”

“Not really. I don’t have to throw up every five minutes anymore, but I still can’t eat anything. Just trying to sleep and make the pain go away.”

“Did you take any medicine?”

“Medicine is for the weak, and I am a strong, fierce, independent woman who don’t need no meds.” Nathaniel laughs. “Plus nothing would touch it anyway.”

“Even when you’re sick, you’re still stubborn as hell. Tell you what, why don’t I come over later? We don’t have to do anything, but some company might make you feel better.”

“Mmmkay,” Rebecca answers tiredly. She yawns quietly and snuggles further into her pillow. “I could definitely use a back rub right now. You give good back rubs.”

“Why, thank you. One Plimpton-certified back rub, coming right up. I’ll see you tonight.”

Later in the afternoon, Rebecca cautiously tries to eat something. The lightly buttered plain bagel surprisingly stays in her stomach as she mindlessly flips through the TV channels on the couch. She brings Ruth Gator Ginsberg with her as a body pillow, and she at least has Ruth to cling to as knife-like cramps pierce her stomach. Rebecca dozes off midway through reruns of Bones, and that’s how Nathaniel finds her a few hours later.

She’s clinging to Ruth Gator Ginsberg as she lies on her side on the couch, lightly snoring in some sort of pleasant dream. The door’s unlocked, and when Nathaniel catches sight of Rebecca, he quietly closes the door and locks it behind him, tiptoeing his way over to her. Rebecca’s sleeping so peacefully that he doesn’t want to disturb her, but he can’t help but readjust the blanket that’s fallen off her shoulder and keep a reassuring hand there absently drawing circles over her arm. She must have sensed his presence there because she stirs, rapidly blinking her eyes, and searching for him.

“Nathaniel?”

“Hey, I’m right here. Sleep okay?” Rebecca nods slowly and finds his hand to lace her fingers with. “What’s going on? You’re not looking so great.”

“You don’t look so hot yourself either, mister,” Rebecca sasses, though it comes out weaker than she’d hoped. Nathaniel lightly presses the back of his hand to her forehead to check her temperature but doesn’t feel a fever.

“It was a rough day today, especially because I missed out on seeing a certain brunette with gorgeous eyes looking at me all day.” Nathaniel strokes her hair and twirls a strand around his finger.

“God, I always suspected you and George had a secret fling going on, so thanks for confirming it.” Playfully, Nathaniel pokes her nose as Rebecca giggles.

“Shut up, I was trying to be cute and sexy, but now it’s ruined because you mentioned George, so thanks a lot, Rebecca.” Rebecca catches Nathaniel’s hand and pulls him closer.

“No, go back to being cute and sexy. You’re so good at it. I like it when you’re cute and sexy, which is almost always, but still,” Rebecca whines as she squeezes his hand and pouts out her lower lip. Nathaniel seizes the moment to reach and pull that lip between his teeth and take his other hand to her messy hair. Rebecca urges him onto the couch to lie on top of her, but Nathaniel pulls away before she can drag him up onto the couch.

“So, I guess you, me, and Ruth Gator Ginsberg are going to have a threesome, huh?” Rebecca rolls her eyes and gently sets her stuffed alligator on the ground, swapping the plush for Nathaniel’s warm body on top of her.

“You know I don’t like sharing you, especially not with my alligator, who I know you happen to be quite fond of already.” Rebecca cups Nathaniel’s face in her hands and kisses him, opening her mouth to let his tongue explore inside. It seems like teenage play, but it feels so good to just make out with him on her couch with all of their clothes on. Nathaniel’s hand starts to drift to her breasts, sore as they were, though the way his fingers brush her nipples ignites a pleasurable flame within her, and suddenly, she’s not all that tired anymore.

Now, she’s ravenous. Something about Nathaniel always does that to her, even when she’s tired and sick, and she isn’t sure what it is that he just knows how to make her feel better.

“Period sex, period sex . . .”

“Whoa, wait, what?” Nathaniel pulls away from her mouth incredulously.

“What,” she answers quickly.

“Rebecca, what did you just say?”

“I—didn’t say anything. Did I?”

“You just said ‘period sex, period sex,’” Nathaniel repeats, copying her melody. “Rebecca, are you on your period right now?” Rebecca’s cheeks flush red, and she’s feeling embarrassed not only because she failed to tell Nathaniel she’s on her period, but she can’t believe she actually sang that song out loud while making out with him.

“I can’t believe I just said that out loud. Oh god, wow. That’s embarrassing,” she laughs nervously and looks up to find Nathaniel patiently waiting for an answer. “Okay, yes, I’m on my period right now, but I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t know if it would be weird since we’re, like, not together, and I didn’t really think you’d care, or I thought you might think it’s gross, or—“

“Hey, hey. Stop, you’re overthinking.” Rebecca takes a breath when she realizes Nathaniel is right. “I don’t think it’s gross or weird or anything like that, trust me. I wish you would have told me though so I could have brought you some chocolate or a heating pad or something.”

“That’s really sweet of you, Nathaniel,” Rebecca smiles as she runs her fingers through his hair.

“Also, if you, you know, want to have some . . . period sex, I’m okay with it. We’ll just put down a towel, and it’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure you haven’t heard the song before,” Rebecca questions skeptically but tosses it out of her mind when Nathaniel sneaks his hand down to cup her over her pajama pants. Her needy moan and tightening grip on his shoulder tells him she needs this. Rebecca’s beautiful noises of pleasure make it hard for Nathaniel to break away from her, so he doesn’t for a while, content to let her enjoy this moment.

Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Both of them stop moving, and Nathaniel drops his voice down to a whisper.

“Are you expecting someone?” Rebecca shakes her head and lies still underneath Nathaniel waiting for the person to either introduce themselves or go away.

“Rebecca? Are you awake?” It’s Paula. Rebecca gasps and grips Nathaniel’s shoulder as tight as she can.

“Shit. Fuck. You can’t be here right now. If Paula sees you, she’ll kill you, and then me . . . and then probably you again.”

“Well, where am I supposed to go?”

“I don’t know, just . . . go, go in there,” Rebecca hisses, her voice rising in pitch, and she gestures to her bedroom. Quickly, Nathaniel moves off of her but not before twisting her nipple one last time for good measure. Her scathing glare makes him move faster and disappear behind her bedroom door. Rebecca reluctantly gets off of the couch and greets Paula at the door.

“Hi, honey. How are you feeling?”

“Still kind of gross, to be honest, but not as sick, so that’s good,” Rebecca says as she leans against the doorframe.

“That’s good. How about we watch a movie or something to take your mind off of it? I brought The Princess Bride and some dark chocolate.” Paula holds out her gifts to Rebecca, and Rebecca accepts them happily.

“You’re the best, Paula.” Rebecca smiles and invites her in as she gets the DVD set up. They’re about 15 minutes in when she realizes that there’s still a man in her bedroom who’s waiting for her to take care of his erection, and Rebecca feels bad for leaving him hanging like that, so she quickly texts him an apology and promises to make it up to him later.

The movie hits a lull, as does her coworker next to her leaning her head back on the couch. Rebecca is caught in the nostalgia of the movie that she doesn’t catch Nathaniel sneaking his way towards the front door. Rebecca makes a silent plea for him to stop by waving her hands back and forth, and when he does, she points him back towards her bedroom. He’s heading that way when a floorboard gives away his presence, and Rebecca’s eyes widen as big as saucers. Paula stirs next to her, quietly asking where Rebecca is. Trying not to let Paula see, Rebecca frantically charades to Nathaniel to hide under her bed, which takes him a few attempts to decipher, though he manages to get there unnoticed.

“Hey mama, you just dozed off a bit. Do you maybe want to do this a different night? I know you worked all day today, and I’m pretty tired myself.” That was a bald-faced lie. Rebecca’s still as horny as she was 45 minutes ago.

“Yeah, that sounds good. I’m sorry, honey. Here, whenever you feel like eating, the chocolate bar is for you. I’ll leave it on the table over here.” Paula stands up and gives Rebecca a hug before grabbing her purse and heading towards the door.

“Good night, Paula. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Rebecca closes and locks her door with a relieved sigh that she didn’t see Nathaniel. That was way too close for comfort.

Rebecca enters her bedroom clicking the lock behind her, and a whisper from under her bed startles her.

“Can I come out now?”

“Jesus Christ, yes, please come out.” Nathaniel crawls out from under her bed stretching his back out as Rebecca plops down on her bed. “I am so sorry about that.”

“It’s okay, really. I have some good news for you. Before I was about to sneak out, I got something for you.” Nathaniel reaches down and grabs the dark blue bath towel he swiped from Rebecca’s bathroom before his near miss in the hallway. He holds it up with a smirk. “Shall we pick up where we left off?”

If the way Rebecca eagerly straddles Nathaniel says anything, it’s that it must be summer because they’re about to slip and slide.

Chapter Text

Ice-cold and in control, Rebecca repeats to herself as she swipes a coat of seductive red lipstick across her lips, rubbing them together with a small smack. She tries out a few different facial expressions in the mirror: a smirk, a closed-lip smile, her signature “but I’m a good girl” pout. Perfect.

She takes a few steps back to admire her figure in the mirror and the way the white dress contours just the right amount to accentuate her curves, but she didn’t bother with Spanx since she hopes not to need her underwear that long for what she has planned. Rebecca takes a breath, pushes her boobs up a tad more, and exits the bathroom to set her plan into action.

The office looks much different at night with no people mingling in it and no blinding overhead lights, and Rebecca stops for a moment to admire the view she has from her office at the California skyline. While it’s no New York or Los Angeles with their thousands of lights and double-digit story buildings, it’s perfect for her. Rebecca makes her way into the conference room, nude heels clicking against the floor filling the silence of the empty building. She slides into the leather office chair that faces away from the door and pulls out her phone to send a quick text.

“Work emergency. Meet me at the office?”

And now, she waits.

She waits until she hears the faint sound of the stairwell door closing to flick on the small lamp at her side and crosses her right leg over her left.

“Rebecca?”

Footsteps draw nearer, and the voice calls her name out again. Pushing off of her left foot just enough to make a half-turn to face the conference room door, she meets the eyes of one bewildered turned fuck-struck Nathaniel staring at her as she smirks back at him.

“I thought you said this was a work emergency.”

“Oh, it is. Take a seat. I have a bone to pick with you, Nathaniel. You see, I think it’s high time you understand who’s really in charge around here.” Nathaniel clears his throat as he tries not to let Rebecca’s tempting chest distract him from finding out what the hell she wants. It’s 9:30 on a Thursday night, what the hell could be so important?

“How long have you been here?”

“Oh, since 5. Had to get here early for the big reveal. Brought my own chair, hope you like it. But I’m not tired. I’ve been cat-napping,” Rebecca drops her pitch on the last word with a small wink in Nathaniel’s direction as he shifts in his chair to ease the growing pressure in his pants. “So, you’re probably wondering as to why I called you in here and what this big emergency is all about, and don’t worry, we’ll get there. But first, I think we need to change this arrangement in here. It feels too formal, don’t you think?”

Rebecca doesn’t give him time to respond before she beckons Nathaniel over with the curl of one finger adorned with black polish. It’s very obvious to him at this point that the power has shifted in Rebecca’s favor, and in any other circumstance, he would do anything to reclaim superiority; however, power looks smoking hot on Rebecca. He stands to cross the room but stops when he sees Rebecca’s single finger transform into a flattened palm that silently orders him to stop.

“On your knees,” she commands. Shockingly, Nathaniel does as he’s told quickly, and Rebecca beckons him again, this time with Nathaniel inching forward on his knees. Rebecca twirls a curled piece of hair around her finger and leans on the armrest mentally stripping Nathaniel of more than just his clothing. White male pride and privilege divested as he kneels before her, Rebecca finally feels the control she’s been craving.

“This is a sight I could get used to. You look so pretty down there. Do you like the view from down there, Nathaniel?” Rebecca waits for a reply, but Nathaniel doesn’t give her one, probably still trying to swallow his alpha male tendencies. Dissatisfied, she grasps his chin in her hand and forces his eyes to meet hers. “Look at me when I talk to you,” she says between her teeth.

“Rebecca—“ As arousing as she finds the way he moans her name, she’s not interested in that right now.

“I’m sorry, I think you’ve forgotten that I’m your boss now, your superior, Nathaniel. Let’s try that again, shall we? Do you like the view from down there?” This time, Nathaniel does look her in the eyes as he answers her question.

“Yes ma’am.” Rebecca hums in approval as she runs her fingers through Nathaniel’s hair. Despite his subservient attitude, the possessive stare in his eyes sends heat straight to her core, and she can’t stop her inner thighs from pressing against one another to quiet the ache there until she could have something more satisfying down there to give her release.

“That’s good. Now, here’s the sitch. I was trying to get some work done this evening. Important boss matters, very need-to-know. Anyway, my pen ran out of ink, so I went back into my desk drawer to get one. There were none there, so I checked in the supply closet where I found . . . guess how many?” Nathaniel’s wide eyes shift around before finally settling back on Rebecca.

“None?”

“Exactly. So, I go back to my office one more time in hopes to find one that works. And then, I look across the way at your desk to find an inventory sheet lying there, which I asked you to fill out three days ago. You know that ballpoints are my favorite, Nathaniel. The ones with the firm tip,” Rebecca clenches her fingers in his hair. “You know the ones I’m talking about, right?” Nathaniel nods.

“I’m so sorry for my error, ma’am. Is there any way I can make it up to you?” Rebecca smiles brightly at his request and strokes his cheeks with her fingernails.

“Well, I’m so glad that you asked, Nathaniel, because there most certainly is. You can start by ripping these panties off of me and putting your mouth to a much better use than talking.”

Nathaniel needs no further instruction and reaches under Rebecca’s dress for her underwear. Once he sees the band peeking out from the hem of her dress, his teeth finish off the slow drag down Rebecca’s legs. He’s not sitting on his heels anymore, instead improving his access to Rebecca’s sweet pussy by rising up on his knees, and he pushes the hem of her dress further up her thighs before diving his tongue between her spread legs.

Rebecca keeps a firm grip in Nathaniel’s hair to guide him exactly where she wants him, though he needs no real guidance, playing her body like an instrument, his tongue licking resonant chords between her folds. Damn, he’s so good at this. She’s left a writhing mess in the chair pushing her hips into Nathaniel’s mouth, but she doesn’t let the control escape her, even though she’d love nothing more than to just lie back on the conference room table and let Nathaniel have his way with her. She instead pulls his head up until she can lean down to taste him, or rather herself on his lips, as she caresses his lips with everything but her lips themselves. Red lipstick smudges too easily; she’ll let him ruin it later for sure.

“Take your pants off. Now.” Nathaniel scrambles to undo his belt, and Rebecca reaches for his wallet where she knows she’ll find a condom waiting. Quickly, she pushes Nathaniel’s back to the floor and climbs over his lap as she rolls on the condom, sinking down in one fluid motion with a long moan. He lets out a strangled moan as Rebecca’s walls grip his cock as she lifts up on each stroke, and he wants this to last forever but knows his resolve is slipping quicker with each passing moment.

“Damnit, Rebecca. Fuck, you’re incredible.” Rebecca lets out a moan and laces her fingers of one hand inside of Nathaniel’s.

“Keep going,” she orders breathily. He assumes she means to keep talking to her, so he does.

“God, you’re so hot when you take control. Not to mention, you look stunning in that dress. The first time I saw it on you, I was tempted to just bend you over and fuck you right there in front of everyone. You’d have liked that, wouldn’t you?”

Rebecca’s sounds of pleasure fill the empty office, and she imagines that her coworkers are filling the office outside of the conference room with a clear view in to the salacious exchange of power going on between two senior partners. Even after many a time in the supply closet with a constant fear of being caught, something about the publicity of it still gets her off.

“Mmmm, you’re so good, Nathaniel.” He reaches up to grasp his fingers around her hair, but Rebecca pushes his hands back down and over his head, keeping his wrists pinned as she chases after her pleasure. “You’re so eager to please me, aren’t you? The way you kneel at my feet and do as I command so quickly. You love to serve at my pleasure, right Nathaniel?” Rebecca leans down and sinks her teeth into the flesh beneath his shirt collar and leaves a mark of her dominance there.

“Yes—yes ma’am. Fuck, Rebecca, you’re gorgeous.” He gasps as she grips his earlobe in her mouth and twists his wrists in her hold.

“Let go, Nathaniel.” Her command is all it takes for him to spill inside the condom, and Rebecca follows him over the edge seconds later, her walls pulsing around him. In her release, she lets go of Nathaniel’s wrists, which gives Nathaniel the freedom to wrap one hand around her back and the other in her hair. Neither grip is forceful or domineering; instead, he simply aims to hold her as she comes down from her high and keep her close as she catches her breath and returns back to earth.

Rebecca’s breaths shake against her chest as one of her hands brushes his stray hairs from his face, and she finally takes the time to look into his eyes. There’s a silent plea in his eyes that begs her to kiss him, and for the first time that night, she does. It’s soft but filled with unbridled passion. It’s unhurried but eager. It’s nice to just lie there and kiss without a care, and time seems to stop as their lips press and slide against each other. They break apart, but the moment of intimacy isn’t lost on either of them as they stare into each other’s eyes to decipher what just happened.

“Hi,” Nathaniel whispers, brushing hair from her eyes.

“Hi,” Rebecca replies after a pause.

“Can I tell you something?” Her heart beginning to race inside her chest at his serious request, Rebecca gives a small nod. “One of these days, you might actually kill me. Just don’t let it be with a pen to the neck; there’s plenty of better ways to go.” Rebecca rolls her eyes playfully and leans down towards Nathaniel’s ear.

“Don’t worry, I’m not that cruel.”

What a rush to be a boss.

Chapter Text

A charity gala in San Diego requests the honor of two representatives from the firm in West Covina who generously donated to the new expansion plans for the San Diego Zoo, and who better to represent the firm than its two senior partners, one of whom suggested the donation in the first place? The other is rather reluctant to be in attendance.

“I can’t believe you made me come to this,” Rebecca groans as she’s applying a liberal coat of mascara in the bathroom mirror. “Why not bring your girlfriend instead? I’m sure she loves these things, making small talk and wearing super hot dresses and makeup.”

Nathaniel adjusts his tie as he talks to Rebecca through the bathroom door. “I told you, she’s at a conference this weekend. Plus, you’re the majority owner now anyway, so you’re kind of obligated to be here.” Rebecca rolls her eyes but doesn’t respond and focuses on finishing her eye makeup. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Rebecca, but weren’t you the one who jumped at the idea of a fancy party the last time we did this?”

“Yes, but that was a da—“ She stops herself before saying anything she might regret and clears her throat. “That was a totally different situation. Also, do you even know the process it is to get ready for these things? It’s a nightmare. Getting ready doesn’t happen effortlessly unless you’re a Disney Princess, and even then, birds and squirrels basically do it all for you, so that’s not even fair.”

“I can certainly imagine, but you know it doesn’t bother me all that much, right?” Rebecca laughs loudly from behind the door because he really doesn’t have a clue.

“If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.” Rebecca can’t contain her laughter; while on the opposite side of the door, Nathaniel tries to quell his excitement at seeing Rebecca and trades it for genuine curiosity. It certainly sounds like an invitation, so Nathaniel opens the door a tiny crack and peeks inside.

Rebecca’s hair is pulled away from her face, dark waves complementing her face, and she’s applying a shade of red to her lips, giving herself a long glance in the mirror as she finishes off her makeup. Nathaniel can’t even notice the various makeup brushes, stained baby wipes from trying out one too many shades of eyeshadow, or even the tissues filled with stray eyebrow hairs to obtain a perfectly sculpted brow. All he can see is her.

“Wow,” Nathaniel breathes on a romantic sigh, and Rebecca snaps her head around to find Nathaniel staring at her with such longing in his eyes that she’s unsure how to respond. Thankfully, he does, finally taking notice of the mess on the bathroom counter. “It’s . . . really something.”

“Yeah, see? I told you. Now, I’m putting my dress on, so go out there.”

“You know, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before—“ Rebecca shoots him an unimpressed stare. “Okay, yep, I’m going now.” Nathaniel quietly closes the door and heads back towards the bed . . . yes, the single bed. Which totally doesn’t matter to him at all. He’s checking his phone and scrolling through social media when he hears a sound from the bathroom that sounds like Rebecca groaning. “Rebecca, you okay?”

“Yep, I’m an adult. I got this.”

Inside the bathroom, she’s trying to hold up her dress in the front and zip up the back, which isn’t working at all. After a few more times of trying, her shoulder is screaming at her to stop twisting behind her, and she leans on the counter with a heavy sigh. She’s an adult, a perfectly capable adult, but Rebecca’s exhausted and there’s a perfectly capable man who can help her zip her dress.

“Nathaniel, I need help,” Rebecca whines, drawing out her words like a petulant five year-old. Right on cue, in comes Nathaniel, though not before knocking to make sure she’s at least partially decent.

“Please don’t use that voice again, otherwise there’s no way I’m helping you, but I’ll make an exception this time. What do you need?”

“Can you get the back of my dress, pretty please?” Especially with a smile that bright, he knows he can’t refuse her even if he tries.

Rebecca turns her back to him expectantly as she’s fiddling with clasping the silver teardrop necklace behind her head, and it thankfully assembles much easier than her dress. Nathaniel steps up behind her without a word and finds the small hook inside of her dress, fitting it through the eye on the opposite side of the fabric. Slowly, he drags the zipper upwards to meet the hook at the end as his eyes find Rebecca’s glazed blue in the mirror staring back at him. His hands flatten against her sides as he stares at her in the mirror.

One of Rebecca’s hands toys the chain of her necklace between her fingers and runs up and down the front of her neck and chest, a palpable sensory reaction to Nathaniel’s touch at her back. She sweeps away the hair from the right side of her neck where Nathaniel’s mouth would just fit perfectly in the space between her—

Oh, fuck yes.

Nathaniel can’t stop himself from tasting her skin, and before he has time to rationally respond, Rebecca’s breathy gasp transforms into a quiet moan as his lips attach to her neck and his hand wraps around the front of her hip to pull her in close. He can’t deny how gorgeous she looks in this shade of emerald green and what wonders this dress does for her figure, so he doesn’t deny it and waits for her to give him the signal to stop.

It’s a signal that Nathaniel thinks may not come at all by the way Rebecca’s responding to him. She turns around and pulls his face down for a needy kiss, arching her body into his. Minutes ago, she was pushing Nathaniel out for privacy, but denying that she wants him around only makes her want him that much more, which is how she ends up sitting on about three inches of clear bathroom counter space with Nathaniel slotted between her spread legs. His hand skims the inside of her thigh and makes its way up towards her center, and she’s more than ready for—

Damnit. His fucking phone is ringing.

It’s an alarm telling them they need to leave for the gala venue.

So close, and yet, so far.

Nathaniel grabs his phone from the bed as Rebecca tries to gracefully let herself down from the counter and readjusts her dress with a deep exhale. She curses herself for continuing to let these moments between them happen, but she just can’t stop her response to the way he makes her feel; secretly, nor does she want to.


These charity events have the same setup, same music, same conversations, but this time, there’s a twist: her. She’s there mingling and charming her way through potential investors with ease in that stunning evening gown, hair styled in loose waves with a few tighter ones to frame her face as she turns back to find him with that look in her eyes. Not the one that’s a cue for a pressing need for Post-It notes, but that smile that spreads warmth through his heart and makes her eyes shine brighter than the most dazzling chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Members of the investors board and other donors comment all night on how good Nathaniel and Rebecca look together and how cute of a couple they are while the couple in question denies any relationship beyond the strictly professional. When Nathaniel makes an off-handed comment about what a spitfire Rebecca can be sometimes and then has the nerve to wink at her, Rebecca decides she’s up for the game since he’s obviously playing.

“No, we’re not dating. We just work together. I can be a real slave driver, though. I make sure to stay on top of him 24/7,” Rebecca says with a bright smile as the woman she’s talking to says she’s the same way with her husband, her work husband that is.

“I’m actually the majority owner, so I make most of the heavy-handed decisions around the office,” Rebecca reaches behind her and discreetly pinches Nathaniel’s ass.

Rebecca’s laughing loudly with a pair of attorneys from Riverside, and Nathaniel pauses his own conversation to find the reason why Rebecca is so giddy.

“He gets so easily distracted. Sometimes, I really have to ride him to get the work done, but I guess that’s one of the things that comes with being a boss.” The smugness in her voice at the double entendre makes her eyes sparkle, and Nathaniel’s jaw hangs slack as he turns towards her, and she has the audacity to wink at him like he did minutes ago. Her brazenness around him makes him want nothing more than to push her up against the nearest flat surface and have his way with her.

But then something changes. He comes back from the restroom after clearing his head and regaining his composure, but it’s suddenly lost again for a much different reason. Rebecca spots him across the room making his way towards her from a table with two champagne glasses in tow. She watches the effortlessness in his stature and how he blends so well among the rich Californian businesspeople; of course, she’s starry-eyed at what the color of his tie does for his eyes. And there’s that look again. Rebecca tries to act casual and makes a motion for him to come over towards her.

“Nathaniel, I’d like you to meet Mr. and Mrs. Garrison from the Children’s Museum out of La Mesa. Tom, Melissa, this is Nathaniel Plimpton, my partner.” They all shake hands and exchange pleasantries.

“Hang on, that name sounds familiar. Plimpton, Plimpton, and Plimpton . . . out of Los Angeles, right,” Tom asks.

“The very same,” Nathaniel says with a smile.

“Wow, it’s such an honor. Your firm does amazing work.” Nathaniel laughs nervously and attributes the majority of successes to his father since he spends his time in West Covina. Rebecca instinctively loops her arm inside of Nathaniel’s as he’s talking and smiles at his bashfulness to accept the compliment.

“So, I know you’re partners, but are you two . . .” Melissa trails off but hints that Rebecca and Nathaniel might be a couple, and the pair shares a glance before quickly denying it, overlapping each other.

“No, no, no, we’re not—no, he has a girlfriend—“

“We’re not dating, no, no. Tried that, and it just—“

Tom and Melissa share a knowing glance at each other before turning their attention back to the two lawyers still adamant about denying their palpable chemistry.

“I get it, too much paperwork to take up with HR reps. It was a nightmare when Melissa and I had to. Trust me, they’re the worst. Only reason I can say that is because I was one.” Tom and Melissa snicker a bit before Rebecca and Nathaniel join in out of social obligation. “Really, you two make a wonderful team, and we’re all so grateful for your contribution.”

“Thank you so much. Well, it was such a pleasure to meet you both. I hope we can reconnect soon if you’re ever in the area,” Rebecca smiles and shakes both of their hands before pulling Nathaniel aside with her to a table.

Rebecca takes a long breath in and heaves a sigh. “I’m so bored right now, I just want to get drunk. Can we get out of here please?”

“You sure you’re not having too much fun telling people we’re climbing trees , and not the kind next to Monkey Hill?” Rebecca laughs and takes a step closer to Nathaniel.

“Admittedly, that is a lot of fun, mostly because of your reactions, but honestly, I don’t want to keep making boring small talk about business anymore. I wonder if we grab one of those bottles of wine on the way out if anyone would notice.” Nathaniel chuckles at her bluntness, and Rebecca starts to walk away looking for an unattended bottle of wine. But Nathaniel isn’t ready to leave just yet. Rebecca’s walking towards the exit of the ballroom when she feels Nathaniel’s hand grasp her own; even though she isn’t looking at who grabs her, there’s only one man whose touch ignites her skin like that.

“We can leave but not before I get my dance.” He leads Rebecca to where a few couples are scattered around dancing, swaying softly to the acoustic song in the background. The guitar intro sounds familiar, and the sounds of strumming fill the air.

“I never promised you one.”

“I know, but that dress is too beautiful to pass up a dance in.” He twirls her around as the skirt fans out behind her, and she smiles radiantly as Nathaniel pulls her in. She winds her hands around his neck, and Nathaniel tentatively wraps his around her back.

The words come in and recognition crosses Nathaniel’s face. He’s listened to the song one too many times, but now more than ever, the lyrics resonate somewhere deeper in his heart.

“I’m open, you’re closed. Where I follow, you’ll go. I worry I won’t see your face light up again. Even the best fall down sometimes, and even the wrong words see to rhyme. Out of the doubt that fills my mind, I somehow find you and I collide.”

They dance together in silence guided by the music in the background, and the moment of intimacy isn’t lost on either of them. Slowly, Rebecca finds his eyes passionately searching for hers.

“Nathaniel,” Rebecca says with caution.

“Rebecca,” he whispers back.

Their eyes lock. Time seems to stop. Inhale. Exhale. Collide.

They can’t stop the waves of their mutual longing that crash into each other, now in the form of an all-consuming kiss. Unlike many of their previous ones, this kiss isn’t angry or possessive. But it’s not exactly a sweet or romantic one either. There’s something in the way the white lights flicker in her eyes and the smallest of parts in her lips that fills Nathaniel with an overwhelming desire to crash his lips against hers and pour everything he can’t quite articulate into this single action. Even on California nights when the stars refuse to shine, there’s the sparkle in Rebecca’s that beats out any constellation.

Rebecca reciprocates hesitantly at first but then lets herself be swept away in the moment, her hands sliding down the front of his jacket to pull him closer. She begins to lose herself in the feeling of his lips against hers and the soft stroking of his fingers across her cheeks and down her neck to her exposed shoulders.

“Now can we get out of here,” Rebecca asks as she pulls back just a breath away from Nathaniel’s lips. He quickly places another on her lips as he takes her hand gently.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

They’re walking out together hand in hand unaware that Tom and Melissa are watching the couple from a table in the distance, Melissa smirking at her husband.

“You owe me twenty bucks,” she simpers, holding out her hand.


When they finally arrive back at the hotel, Rebecca insists on popping the cork on a bottle of wine to commemorate a successful night of networking and surviving the event, which was much less interesting than Nathaniel had hoped. He offers to pour her glass, and together, they toast to a job well done, clinking glasses and both taking long sips of the cheap Merlot. They’re relaxing on the bed, Nathaniel’s tie loosened from around his neck and top two buttons on his shirt open while Rebecca lies down dressed just as she was from the event, her strappy heels still adorning her feet and the hem of her dress creeping up her legs.

Rebecca’s polishing off her second glass and really wants a third, though her head is starting to float a little, and she feels herself getting cuddlier by the minute. It’s probably not the smartest idea to go for the third as much as she said she wanted to get wine drunk, and despite her controlled environment, her self-control going in for the third glass would be the thing to call into question.

Not that she’s expecting anything, but Rebecca sets up her phone to start playing one of her self-made sex soundtracks to set an atmosphere. When they do speak, their conversation is trivial, mostly commenting about the characteristics of the event instead of discussing all that transpired between them. The dark rhythms of the playlist fill the silence as they sip on their wine and lean back against the headboard. Suddenly, Nathaniel sits up and starts to move towards the edge of the bed.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Rebecca’s now resting her head in her palm as her elbow sits propped up on the bed, and she watches as Nathaniel undoes each button of his shirt with care, finding her eyes when he untucks his shirt from his belt.

“Getting comfortable,” Nathaniel responds with nonchalance. “It’s not like we’re going anywhere since we’re both intoxicated, so we might as well just settle in.” He takes his watch off and sets it on the nightstand and tosses his shirt onto Rebecca’s side of the bed. Nathaniel falls back against the pillows, his hands tucked underneath his head, and Rebecca certainly doesn’t miss the way this position gives her an unadulterated look at his abs. Shameless as he is, Rebecca honestly digs it a little bit. “Speaking of, why haven’t you changed yet? Why don’t you slip into something more comfortable ?” She rolls her eyes with a small smile that she tries to disguise.

“I know you have better game than that, Plimpton. You’re gonna have to try that one again if you don’t want to sleep on the floor tonight.” Nathaniel scoots an inch or so towards Rebecca, now facing her on his side as well.

“You look incredible in that dress, Rebecca, though I think that dress should be the one sleeping on the floor.” Rebecca flops back on the pillows and laughs after setting her now empty glass aside.

“Super predictable, but it’s better than the first, so I’ll take it. This seduction thing is obviously not happening, so why don’t we just find a shitty movie, order some pizza, and drink this god-awful wine until we pass out?” Rebecca stares at the ceiling, laughing to herself about how the hell she constantly finds herself in these situations with Nathaniel, though some are by her instigation. She expects him to agree with her and get happily wine drunk with her because he looked just about as bored as her at the gala tonight. However, Nathaniel’s evening plans have a much different final destination than hers.

“I’ll do you one better. Why don’t you take that dress off and maybe give me a little show while you’re at it?” One of his hands strokes the length of her arm, and she’s unaware of the touch until his blunt nails trace her tricep in a way that sends a visible shiver through her body. A blush spreads over her cheeks, and Rebecca settles further into the pillows.

“I’d need a hell of a lot more wine to even consider that, buddy.”

“We can make that happen.” Rebecca shifts her eyes over to Nathaniel, who’s now gazing at her through hooded blue eyes, and while her composed thoughts are yelling frantically at her not to give into the temptation, all of the other voices in her head are ten times as loud. Her eyes flit down to his lips then back up to his eyes as she turns on her side ever so slightly with a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. Rebecca decides to find his ear and place her lips along the shell teasingly as she wraps one leg over his hip.

“Dream on,” Rebecca whispers. “I’m going to change now.” She’s about to slide off of the bed when Nathaniel’s hand tugs on her wrist to keep her on the bed.

“Wait, Rebecca. I have to ask you something.” She resumes her position lying on her side across from Nathaniel, and there’s an underlying softness in his stare that startles her. He laces his fingers in hers and gives her hand a soft squeeze before asking his question, the tipsy smile growing wider on his lips. “Truth or dare?”

Rebecca reaches behind her with the opposite hand and gently smacks the pillow in Nathaniel’s face. “Go to sleep, you dork.” She loosens her hand and moves off of the bed to head into the bathroom, swiping Nathaniel’s shirt as an afterthought.

“No one’s called me a dork since about the third grade,” he calls after her. Rebecca turns back to him and sticks her tongue out with a small laugh, shaking her head as she closes the bathroom door behind her.

Maybe she’s right; sleep is good since there’s the drive back to West Covina that he’s certain Rebecca won’t volunteer her services for. In sleep, Nathaniel doesn’t have to see those curves outlined in her dress or the waves of dark brown hair that ripple in the wind or the smile, her charming and irresistible smile on her lips and in her eyes, that’s so characteristically her. Yet, he sees all of those and more inside of his dreams. So that’s out.

Ah, sweet freedom, Rebecca thinks as she takes her Spanx off. Those things are a living nightmare to put on but also the biggest lifesaver for her figure. Rebecca washes her hands and gives herself a brief glance in the mirror before heading back out to retrieve her forgotten bag of toiletries that’s sitting inside her suitcase. She’s humming a tune to herself, placing the backs on her teardrop earrings as she takes them out of her ears, and finds Nathaniel staring at her from the bed with an immovable hunger in his eyes.

Behind that hunger, though, is a challenge, a dare. He looks like he could fucking devour her right there, not that Rebecca would complain after those glasses of wine, but she ponders for a moment on what exactly that challenge could be. Nathaniel’s eyes roam her body, crawling up and down at a torturous pace, memorizing the cling of the emerald mermaid-style gown to her mesmerizing curves. Her breathing quickens under the heat of his gaze, and she can’t help but just stare .

“You never answered my question,” he says out of the blue, his eyes meeting hers again. When her eyes spell confusion, he clarifies lowly, “Truth or dare?”

“Seriously, are we twelve?”

“Okay, look, if you play one round, just one, then I’ll let you sleep and leave you alone the rest of the night. Sound fair?” Rebecca considers it for a moment, the thrill of her lack of inhibitions clouding all reasonable judgment, and agrees. “So, now I ask again, truth or dare, Rebecca?”

“Considering how much I’ve had to drink, I’m afraid I’d give you a little too much truth,” Rebecca sighs. Nathaniel sits up and looks at her lustfully.

“So, is that a dare?” She steps in front of him with her hands on his shoulders.

“That’s a dare.”

In her heels, she has a height advantage over Nathaniel as he’s sitting on the bed; though, it’s no stretch for him to wrap one hand around her hip and pull her down to straddle his lap. Her hands lock together behind his neck, and she waits with bated breath for him to issue his challenge.

“You remember that little party trick you did at the Whitefeather barbecue?” Rebecca nods, fondly remembering the moment the two of them faced of in a heated competition of tongue dexterity.

“You mean the one you cheated at to win?”

“Hey, that’s not my fault that you’re so easily distracted by my symmetrical face.” Rebecca rolls her eyes, and Nathaniel reaches over to the bedside table popping the cherry from the bottom of his glass to extend to Rebecca.

“Tie it in your mouth, but do it slowly.” Rebecca’s lips pucker and close over the round red fruit as Nathaniel holds the stem, separating the fruit from its stem and savoring the plump Maraschino in her mouth. She steals the stem from his fingers and swirls it around in her mouth a few times before actually starting the process of creating a knot.

Nathaniel watches the way she works, methodically, like she’s picturing the weaving of the stem’s ends inside her mouth like she caresses his tongue inside of her mouth. He knows she can make the knot much faster, but this isn’t a competition of speed. All the while, Rebecca’s eyes never leave Nathaniel’s face, the determination to make him crack resolute in her eyes. At last, she ties the knot, keeping the stem between her teeth as she offers her finished product to Nathaniel. He readily accepts her gift, and as he takes the stem from her teeth, Rebecca captures his lips in a kiss that she can’t stop herself from initiating.

Rebecca shifts further onto his lap and one of her hands grips his bare shoulder as the other slides up the back of his neck to grab onto his hair. Nathaniel kisses her back earnestly, still holding the cherry stem in his mouth, and wraps his arms around her back to keep her close. She moves her mouth away from his lips and keeps kissing her way up his jawline to his ear.

“Truth or dare, Nathaniel?”

“I thought you didn’t want to play the game, Rebecca,” he hums, stroking her hair.

“If these challenges end anything like that, then let’s keep playing. Truth or dare?”

He considers his options for a moment before meeting her eyes. “Truth.”

“Really,” she says incredulously, her eyes widening at his response. “I thought you never refused a challenge.” Nathaniel twirls a piece of her hair that’s framing her face around his finger.

“In my opinion, both are challenging in their own right, so hit me with your worst.” Rebecca thinks hard about the question she wants to ask him and knows their lack of sobriety could lead to some unforeseen admissions of feelings, so she tries to think of something not too deep into feelings territory.

“Before the masquerade, I promised that you could do anything you wanted to me. What were you thinking about?” They sit in silence for a few moments as Nathaniel formulates an answer in his head, an answer that won’t scare Rebecca to death.

Sure, accepting her deal meant sex, and good sex at that, but all along, it’s been more than just sex that he’s after with her. Even now, the sex is awesome, but the sex is just a bonus to spending time with her in whatever capacity he can. There’s something comforting about her presence no matter where they are.

“Hello? Earth to Nathaniel?” She waves her hand in front of his eyes as he’s lost in a daydream filled with her, miles and piles of her. Quickly, he blinks his eyes to recover and clears his throat.

“Right. Umm . . . well, I did do what I wanted, just so you know. I don’t know about your memory, but mine has a very vivid picture of what happened when I did a little bit of this .” He says as his hand tangles in her curls, pulling her head back to expose her neck to the hot pursuit of his lips trailing up its column. Rebecca gasps and rolls her hips down into him, and Nathaniel hums in satisfaction. “I believe there was a little of that, ” Nathaniel’s voice is low in her ear as he cups his hand possessively over her ass, and Rebecca lets out a warm moan, fondly remembering the feeling of his hands running down every inch of her available skin while riding him. “Does that answer your question?” Rebecca nods with a smile, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth as she awaits another challenge. “You up for another round?

“Always,” Rebecca quips with a wink. She keeps up well with him, so it’s no question whether or not she’s up for it. He gives her a kiss on the lips and combs his fingers through the waves in her hair, taking a few of the pins out gently.

“Do I even need to give you the options?” She shakes her head, the answer ready on her lips.

“Dare,” Rebecca responds eagerly. She doesn’t have a clue what Nathaniel might ask of her, but she’s never said no to an adventure, certainly not one that ends like the last dare she took.

“I’m not going to make this easy for you, I hope you know that,” Nathaniel says with a smirk.

“That’s okay, the cherry stem trick was child’s play. Gimme a real challenge.” They’re staring at each other lustfully, and the intensity building between them is burning hotter every second. It’s time for him to really step his game up.

“Alright then, here’s your challenge. I dare you . . . to get me hard, but ,” Nathaniel grabs her wrists as her hands graze over his bare chest, and she brings her eyes up to meet his. “You’re not allowed to use these.”

Forcing Rebecca to be creative, she takes a moment to think about what she could do to complete the challenge without being incredibly predictable. She moves off of Nathaniel’s lap and wanders the length of the room, a common physical thought process of hers that Nathaniel has picked up on. Rebecca, for once, is actually stumped by a challenge of Nathaniel’s. Upon passing her phone on its charger in the wall, at last, an idea comes to her.

She unlocks her phone and scrolls on her screen as Nathaniel watches her curiously, wondering what wicked idea she might have in mind. The music changes abruptly, and the volume increases to fill the room with a dark piano instrumental.

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh na na . . .”

Oh shit. Nathaniel is totally fucked now.

Rebecca pulls out the chair underneath the desk and peeks under her eyelashes to invite Nathaniel over to sit. Transfixed by her beauty and power, he can’t help but obey her.

“You’ve got me lookin’ so crazy, my baby. I’m not myself lately, I’m foolish, I don’t do this.”

The sultry tempo of the popular Beyoncé song sets the perfect atmosphere of seduction as Rebecca finishes letting the rest of her hair fall from its pins, and she fluffs the ends out as she walks around the chair confidently eyeing Nathaniel, who sits unable to tear his gaze from her. She stops at his shoulder and leans down towards his ear with a breathy gasp in sync with Beyoncé as she grips the back of the chair, though never daring to touch Nathaniel’s skin. Before she turns to his front, Rebecca nips his earlobe between her teeth.

“Jesus, Rebecca,” Nathaniel sighs. Damn him to hell, but he wants her so much.

“I look and stare so deep in your eyes. I touch on you more and more every time . . . Such a funny thing for me to try to explain, how I’m feeling and my pride is the one to blame.”

Rebecca stands a few feet in front of him with her hands behind her back, fingers nimbly working to find the hook keeping her dress together. She feels it release and finds the pull of her zipper to slowly drag it down her back. But she doesn’t unveil what’s underneath all at once; she stops below her shoulder blades and runs her hand along her arm where her green cap sleeve hangs, and she slides her arm out, repeating the action to her other arm.

When Rebecca reaches back around to her zipper, she lets the front of her dress fall to expose her strapless bra underneath. The black lace on the nude fabric climbs across the sides and fans out across the front of her breasts, and Nathaniel swears his mouth waters as Rebecca continues to reveal more skin to him.

She unzips her dress fully to shimmy it down her legs and lets it fall at her feet without regard and steps over the fabric towards Nathaniel, still wearing her heels and a sexy grin. Her hands ghost over her body like she wishes Nathaniel’s would and keeps one at her chest while the other snakes down and dips in the front of her lace panties quickly, retreating the single finger coated in her arousal and sucking it slowly.

“‘Cause I know I don’t understand just how your love can do what no one else can. Got me lookin’ so crazy right now, your love’s got me lookin’ so crazy right now.”

Rebecca swings one of her legs over his hips and eases herself down into his lap. She closes her eyes and tosses her curls back as she slides her fingers beneath her bra cup to play with her nipples. Her other hand grabs a section of her hair at the roots and tugs, though the feeling isn’t as arousing as when Nathaniel does it. Rebecca shamelessly grinds her center down into Nathaniel as she lets a small but needy moan escape, and she swears she hears him growl into her neck.

“Fuck it,” he mumbles and grabs her face to give her a hard kiss. Funny how she was worried about her self-control when Nathaniel’s is the one that seems to be slipping away. He’s definitely hard beneath her now, so Rebecca takes it as invitation to touch him now and grips his shoulders as she rolls her hips down into his lap.

“Truth or dare,” Rebecca moans, barely remembering the game they’re playing, but she knows there’s only one clear way for this game to end.

“Dare. Fucking dare.” Rebecca runs her fingers through Nathaniel’s hair, still rocking her hips back and forth on top of him, and she locks eyes with him in command.

“Fuck me, Nathaniel.”

When she says it like that, there’s no question of what she wants. Rebecca wants to rip his pants off right there, but then again, it is a dare that she challenged him to, so he has to be the one to take the challenge. And take it he does. Nathaniel reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a condom.

“Well, someone came prepared,” Rebecca smirks as she runs her hand down beneath her panties to feel her wetness. Nathaniel busies himself with undoing his belt while Rebecca plays with herself on top of him, tossing her bra off to the side.

“Can you blame me,” Nathaniel says, his voice rough with arousal. “That dress is amazing on and off of you." Suddenly, his volume drops and the gruffness present earlier seems to vanish in an instant. "You’re stunning, Rebecca.” The hand he caresses her face with is gentle on her cheek, and for a surreal moment when she gazes into his eyes, she believes him. Rebecca slides her panties over to expose her core and sinks down on him with a gasp, the stretch delicious as he fills her.

Though the music’s volume is more pronounced than earlier, the sounds of Rebecca and Nathaniel moving together drown it out. All they hear are each other’s moans of pleasure and choppy utterances of pieces of their names. Rebecca rides Nathaniel in a dash for her orgasm after his relentless teasing, and her heels at least give her some leverage since her legs can shockingly touch the floor.

Her walls begin to clamp around him, and when he feels the pulsing grip around him grow stronger and her nails pressing just deep enough before breaking skin into his shoulders, Nathaniel places both of his hands on her hips and holds her in place to let him fuck her through her orgasm. The pads of his fingers around the fleshy parts of her hips and upper thighs dig in an act of control as Nathaniel chases after his own pleasure in the firm, soaked grip of Rebecca’s center. He comes apart on a reverent sigh of her name.

As they recover together, their hands are slow and lazy in their trails along each other’s skin, as are their kisses. Rebecca is the first to move away and calls dibs on the shower and rolls her eyes upon Nathaniel’s simpering suggestion about taking a shower together.

“Did you learn nothing at that gala, Rebecca? Our planet is dying, and we need to conserve our resources, especially our water. You know, I’m very passionate about water conservation--"

“Nathaniel, be a dear and conserve some energy by turning out that light and going to sleep.” Rebecca taps his nose as she tries to gracefully get off of his lap, the alcohol in her system taking over her center of balance, and she removes her high heels and tosses them behind her playfully, careful to avoid Nathaniel’s path back to the bed. She almost floats as she heads towards the bathroom, and before she closes the door, she peeks her head out and wishes Nathaniel sweet dreams and blows him an exaggerated kiss with a giggle.

He watches her dance away in her intoxicated stupor, but he can’t help but feel a warmth bubbling up inside his chest at seeing her so free and unburdened. Sure, the alcohol heavily contributes to her breeziness in posture and speech, but behind the wine on her breath and the heady glaze in her eyes, Nathaniel finds a long-lost Rebecca whom he craves to know again. Faster than he hopes, his head hits the pillow after switching off the bedside lamp, and his back faces away from the bathroom as his consciousness wavers, sleep threatening to take hold of him.

It’s dark and silent when Rebecca enters the bedroom with Nathaniel’s dress shirt covering her body and wet hair freshly shampooed and brushed. She looks over to the bed to find Nathaniel still and peaceful on his side, breathing evenly. Rebecca softly makes her way to the bed but elects to stay near the opposite end so she doesn’t disturb him, but she also feels an insecurity creeping up her spine that she’s not his girlfriend so spooning is out of the question, but she could be his if she weren’t so broken and incapable of a romantic relationship. Suddenly, she feels herself start to spiral and sits up against the headboard to calm her breathing and regain control of her emotions. It takes a few minutes, but she finally feels at peace enough to lie down and try to go to sleep.

The air conditioning kicks on overnight, and the thin bedsheet can’t keep out the chill that invades Rebecca’s body and startles her awake. She shifts over to the human space heater Nathaniel to steal some of his body heat as he lies still and barely breathing. His resting heart rate is probably near comatose considering the increase in his running routine he’s done lately. Rebecca feels more warmth as she lies closer to him, but the temptation to actually touch him eventually takes hold. She reaches for his hand and places her smaller one atop his and clings her front to his back, drifting back to sleep with a small content upturn of her lips.

Nathaniel stirs in the middle of the night when he feels a presence behind him, a very cold one at that. Underneath the fabric, he feels the shiver of her body, and Nathaniel instinctively pulls her closer than before, as if she already wasn’t hanging onto him like a baby koala. He brings the hand of hers that rests on top of his to his mouth and kisses it, placing it over his thumping heart and falling back into wild fantasies of her behind his eyes.

This could be their reality, if only they could dare to tell the truth of how they really feel.

Chapter Text

The office should force them to work more, but it soon becomes their biggest distraction when Rebecca and Nathaniel thinly disguise their needs for sex around lifeless office supplies and board games. So, after relocating to a table at Home Base out of sight from their now subordinates, Rebecca worries the cap of her pen between her front teeth, concentrating hard on the notes in front of her. Her partner, however, has more pressing matters on his agenda that involve his teeth on something more responsive than a plastic pen cap.

“So, I was thinking about the Crawford case that we should . . . what?” When Rebecca looks up to find Nathaniel looking in every direction but her own, she begins to wonder what’s on his mind.

“I’m just wondering if they have a walk-in pantry here,” Nathaniel says casually as he scopes out the rest of the area for a place to sneak away. Rebecca isn’t having it though, and she sets her pen down on the table with a huff, folding her arms.

“Nathaniel.” Finally, he looks at her, and of course, the look is back with that shameless sexy grin and mischief in his eyes. That’s a man who’s just asking for trouble. “No, we’ve talked about it, okay? Those other times were mistakes, and it’s not happening again.” Rebecca clears her throat and straightens her papers to conceal her deeper desires, and Nathaniel fixates his gaze once again on her, casting his eyes downward, downward, and still before settling on the tempting valley between her breasts.

“So, I was thinking that when we get to the hearing, we--” Rebecca swipes the back of her hand across her forehead, clearly affected from the heat of Nathaniel’s eyes shamelessly brushing further down the center of her face to her neck to the V of her blue top.

“Is that a new top?” The question overlaps her sentence, and she asks Nathaniel to repeat what he said. “Is that a new blouse?” He peeks at her reaction through his eyelashes, and Rebecca is holding back a smile, but the upturned right corner of her lip gives away that she’s enjoying this.

“No, I’ve had it for a while.”

“Looks good,” Nathaniel compliments, dropping his voice to where only she can hear.

“Thank you,” Rebecca replies with a small raise of her eyebrows.

“I like it.”

“Thank you.” Rebecca’s eyes flash downwards to his chest, the one she loves pressed up against her back when he takes her from behind, all rippling muscles she loves to run her hands over when she lies on top of him. The two sit silently, each challenging the other to make the first move.

Eye to eye, neither of them wants to break first, even though the desire runs rampant through their veins and practically radiates off of them. Someone would have to be completely obtuse to not see what’s going on between these two senior partners. Nathaniel’s stare makes her sweat, and Rebecca rubs her palms over her skirt as she looks down and purses her lips together to hide her reaction.

“They do have a walk-in pantry here,” Rebecca mumbles with a small grin, and Nathaniel lets out a small laugh.

“Really?” Rebecca nods, trying not to give away her eagerness at wanting to fuck him by looking back at her work. Nathaniel leans in closer to her with one elbow on the table.

“Why don’t we pretend to work some more, meet there in five minutes, and . . . take some clothes off?” His suggestion sounds all-too appealing, and the smirk in his voice makes Rebecca crave him all the more. She lifts her eyes back up to him, her resolve finally collapsing.

“Okay. I’m gonna pretend to work. Watch me pretend to work now.” Rebecca skims her blue pen over a section of her case file as Nathaniel leans over to examine her work.

“Oh, good underlining.” Rebecca smirks and bites her bottom lip. Heather breezes by their table, though she’s not paying attention to the couple to her left specifically. She just stops to admire the product of actually working for something for once. Bossing around Kevin daily is certainly a perk, but she actually enjoys this job.

“Heather, the CO2 tank is out.”

“Oh, I’ll get it. I got it,” she says with a smile and heads back into the storeroom to carry out a new tank.

Just as she’s about to make her way out front, she hears a familiar female giggle coming from behind her and a hushed male voice following. That can only be the sound of her persistently horny housemate and her boy-toy off to do it in the back. While she knows Nathaniel has a girlfriend and all, Heather doesn’t put up an argument since it keeps Rebecca from borrowing her vibrator, and if anything happened to them because of it, Heather couldn’t take the blame because, like most situations, she warned them. Everyone did.

The sounds of their aroused gasps pulls Heather from her trance, and she doesn’t bother turning around, but she does acknowledge their presence with her characteristic eye roll. “If you break it, you buy it.”

Rebecca and Nathaniel are too consumed by one another to even notice.

Once they both make it inside and close the pantry door quietly behind them, Nathaniel seizes the opportunity to catch Rebecca off her guard and push her back against the metal shelf behind her with a hungry open-mouthed kiss. Rebecca’s hands come up to rub against the back of his neck, and she pulls him down further to eliminate their height difference, giving him unrestricted access to her mouth. Nathaniel’s hands get to work on separating the halves of her blue top for the second time that day.

Rebecca sets to work on his belt, her fingers fumbling in a fuckstruck rush to orgasm. As their bodies move together and Rebecca leans back against the cool metal of the shelf, items begin to rattle around them as Nathaniel grips for purchase at whatever he can to stabilize himself from collapsing on Rebecca, and they know they could get caught if something were to fall and break. Nathaniel backs her towards a more solid surface and suddenly turns her around with her palms covering the small empty space along the beige wall.

Rebecca’s back arches temptingly as her shirt hangs open freely and Nathaniel lifts her patterned skirt above her ass. When she turns her head to look back at him, Rebecca’s eyes demand immediate satisfaction, so Nathaniel swipes her underwear to the side and slides a single finger inside of her, though one finger isn’t enough for her. She tosses her curls back and chases after her release against his fingers in hopes that her fervent reaction would urge Nathaniel on.

Rebecca lets out a strangled moan that’s almost too loud to give away their location, and she starts to say his name before a pleasured gasp completes her thought as Nathaniel brings his hand down to smack her ass. Though Rebecca recoils in shock, the sting of his hand sends a tingle through her body that ignites her impossibly.

“Strike one, Rebecca,” Nathaniel says quietly into her neck and places two fingers inside of her this time. Rebecca rolls her hips back into his fingers insistently and turns her face to look back at him once again.

“What for,” she replies incredulously, managing to keep her voice down, much to Nathaniel’s surprise.

“You know how this works, right? One, two, three strikes, you’re out, so if you get too loud, it’s a strike.” Nathaniel’s fingers curl up inside of her, brushing along her sensitive clit, and given her needy response to the pressure he places on her clit, he continues to run his fingers on and around the nub while Rebecca grasps at anything along the walls to keep her legs from giving out beneath her. She’s so close to her peak, she can feel herself about to crash over the edge . . . and then Nathaniel quickly pulls out his fingers and gives her other ass cheek a smack. “That’s strike two. You’re making this very hard, Rebecca, because I’d hate to give you a third strike, but I will if you can’t keep quiet.”

“What am I making hard, Nathaniel,” Rebecca asks with an innocent smile. “I hope you’ve got a firm grip on your bat back there because I think this next hit gets you to slide into home base. You barely got to second, so hurry up and score already.”

“Anything to keep you from making more baseball puns,” Nathaniel says playfully under his breath, and without hesitation, he wraps one hand around the front of Rebecca’s hip and slides inside of her. She’s unbelievably wet, and the angle of her hips lets him sink deeper than usual, a sharp, dirty contrast to some of their more romantic adventures. With each move out of her, she fights to pull him back inside with the pulsing of her walls at a steady rhythm. Rebecca resists the urges to be as vocal as she wishes she could be, secretly hoping they can find another opportunity to sneak away without the possibility of interruption, though the chances of that are slim to none.

Her mouth opens, but before a sound can escape, Nathaniel takes his right hand with the two fingers he just took out of her pussy and brings them to her mouth. Instinctively, Rebecca’s lips wrap around the digits to taste herself, and while she does let out a moan, it’s much quieter and more guttural than Nathaniel expects.

“You like that, huh?” Rebecca nods with her eyes closed and swirls her tongue around his fingers once again before sucking on them in a similar way to his dick. “You taste so good, Rebecca, I could spend hours between your legs.” Though his thrusts don’t change tempo, Nathaniel’s using more force and the fingers at the curve of her hip tighten in his attempt of controlling himself until she comes. He nips at the fleshy curve of her ear, and a strangled deep groan escape against her hair as Rebecca shivers under him. “Come on, baby, come for me.”

His commanding tone snaps her control, and she’s helpless to resist anymore. Rebecca tightens her mouth around his fingers to conceal her sounds of pleasure as her pussy clamps down around Nathaniel. The hand at her hip pulls her flush to his own and keeps her still as he finishes inside of her on an exhale of her name.

After catching their breaths, Rebecca turns in Nathaniel’s arms and melts into another kiss, this one much less desperate than the first but infused with no less passion than before. They break away reluctantly knowing that the other employees would start getting suspicious soon if both of their bosses were missing at the same time for too long. But who were they kidding, they’re probably out there enraptured in playing some stupid game at the table that the question can’t pass through their pint-sized brains anyhow.

“That was quite an impressive run there, and what a great slide into home! I’ve gotta say, your athletic abilities never fail to impress me. Not to mention, I think you could really pull off a pair of baseball pants with your long legs and hot ass.” Rebecca takes the moment to giggle when she reaches down to squeeze Nathaniel’s ass in her hands. He works hard for it, that’s for sure. “I may or may not have thought about it once or twice.”

“You know what I’ve thought about once or twice?” Rebecca looks up at him with a smirk as she catches the flash of arousal that reappears in his eyes. This time, it’s his turn to caress her ass in his palms, and her body arches into his. “My handprint on your ass.”

Rebecca hums and fiddles with an undone button on his shirt. “That’s funny because so have I.”

“Oh, really?” Nathaniel arches an eyebrow and fists her fingers in the front of his shirt as she presses her front flat against his chest. “Maybe I could show you later?” Rebecca uses his tie to pull his face closer to hers, and she leans into his ear to give her response.

“Only if you buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks first.” She pats him on the shoulder and turns to walk away, and when she hears his footsteps behind her, she turns to face him with a sassy smile and holds up her hand to make sure he stops. Rebecca slowly drops her hand as she exits the storage area and makes sure her heels click and ass swings as she walks away from him with a satisfied glow spreading across her entire body. She knows he’s watching unabashedly when she hears his quiet hum of pleasure. Ridiculous baseball puns and all, Nathaniel continuously finds himself wanting her . . . and possibly a tighter pair of pants.

Chapter Text

Rebecca aces the conference call with her clients in Fresno and decides to treat herself to the other half of the donut she felt too anxious to finish earlier. Now, she can relax into sugary bliss and breathe . Darryl eagerly congratulates her on a successful meeting which he was listening in on from afar, and Paula gives her a hug and says how proud she is of her girl. Feeling a spark of confidence for once, Rebecca enters her shared office with her stubborn, stupidly attractive partner looking more like he’s on an anthill than a cloud.

“Hey, so guess who just killed it with the realtors in Fresno and— wow. Umm… rough day?” Nathaniel briefly glances up from his computer and regards Rebecca with the least amount of venom he can manage.

“That’s an understatement if I ever heard one.” Rebecca quietly closes the door behind her and leans back against it.

“Do you wanna talk about it?”

“Not particularly.” Rebecca takes a step towards her desk.

“Do you need anything? I’m happy to help if you want me to.”

Nathaniel gathers a breath and forces a small smile. “Rebecca, I’m fine.”

Rebecca steps up to her desk, placing her palms on the flat surface, her back arched at the perfect angle to give Nathaniel an optimal view of her chest. All the other rough days he’s had in the last month have been quickly turned around by taking his mind off of work. “Are you sure there’s nothing I can do to change your mind? I’ll have you know I was very convincing with our Fresno clients; I’m sure I could put my persuasive skills to the test again.”

“Rebecca, I’m not in the mood right now.”

She huffs and sinks down in her chair dramatically. “Fine, Pouty Plimpton, suit yourself.” Clearly, his mind is elsewhere, and of course she has plenty of things to do. Absolutely. But a teasing peek of her breasts almost always does the trick?

Oh god, are my charms fading? Have I officially become undesirable? I mean, I know I stress ate a bunch of Thai food this week in prep for this meeting today, so I’ve probably gained a solid pound or three. Yep, this is it. I’m giving up. I have reached my peak. I am officially done-zo.

Rebecca sits back and swipes her lipstick and compact from her purse, reapplying the semi-matte formula with a few haphazard strokes. She turns to her work and examines the brief she’s been intentionally putting off with a pained expression. Much like nineteen year-old Rebecca would do agonizing over a test or a paper, she takes her pen cap between her teeth and sets to work reading.

“What shade is that,” Nathaniel asks after a beat of silence. Rebecca, confused, casts her eyes upwards at him, silently asking for elaboration. “Your... umm,” he clears his throat, “your lipstick. What color is it?”

An odd question, Rebecca thinks. But she indulges his request anyhow. “Cranberry Kiss.” Nathaniel nods, looking down to hide his smile. “Why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason,” Nathaniel says playing as nonchalantly as he can manage. “It, umm… looks nice.” Thankfully, he returns back to working just as soon as he had stopped, and Rebecca does the same, though the question still rings in her head minutes later.

When she stops reading to give her eyes a break and looks up to catch Nathaniel with his eyes not so innocently on her lips, she muses that maybe her charms aren’t lost on him after all.

(They aren’t, she confirms twenty minutes later.)


A few days pass, and Rebecca’s feeling antsy. Their usual supply closet rendezvous has normally happened by this hour, and Rebecca thinks she needs to take the reins in her hands. She could easily just suggest to him what she wants, but that would be too easy. No, she wants a more satisfying way to break his concentration. When she remembers his visceral reaction to her applying lipstick the other day, Rebecca can’t help but reenact the scene. Rummaging through her purse, she finds the tube of lipstick she knows will seal the deal.

This time, she takes her time sliding the gloss over her lips, rounding each corner with care, her touch delicate and seductive. She tries to appear casual, like she’s not asking for it, though she absolutely is. Oh, is she asking for it. Rebecca rubs her lips together and pops them loudly, and that finally gets his attention, though not in the way she expects.

“Could you not be so--” Nathaniel starts to say angrily as he searches for her eyes but instead finds her lips. The words die in his throat, and all that comes out is a hushed groan. The brick red flows so perfectly over each inch of her soft lips, not a touch out of place, and in this moment, he’d love nothing more than to smear the strokes across her face and capture the salacious reminder of her on his neck.

Rebecca sets her pen down and looks innocently at Nathaniel. “So . . . what?” Silence hangs between them, tense and crackling, the air alive with electricity as they stare at one another just waiting for the snap. Something hungry and dreamy swirls in his eyes, and he’s almost entranced by her lips moving, forming the shape of his name, though he doesn’t process the sounds. “Nathaniel!”

That one registers.

He blinks a few times and clears his throat, avoiding her hard-pinned stare. “Distracting. Stop being so distracting.” He huffs and returns to his work, feathers ruffled insurmountably. Rebecca waits until his eyes are back on his computer screen to smile to herself and waits for the inevitable suggestion coming in 3 . . . 2 . . .

“Damnit, my White-Out just ran out.”

“Well, that’s just a shame, now isn’t it?” Rebecca pushes her chair back and makes a show of crossing one leg atop the other.

“You know where it is, don’t you?”

“You’re a big boy, I’m sure you don’t need me to come with you to get it.”

“I know that. But I also know you’ll be sorry you didn’t.”

“Fat chance.”

Nathaniel doesn’t say anything else, but he gives her that look, the one that never fails to make her knees weak. Thank God she’s sitting down. Carefully observing the clock on her desk, she waits until the third minute passes before venturing towards the supply closet, her heels clicking soundly against the floor. Rebecca checks the area before slipping inside and finds Nathaniel waiting with a hand moving slowly over his cock. It’s Rebecca’s turn to let out a low noise in her throat.

“I see the hunt for White-Out is going well,” Rebecca teases as she leans against the door. She tries fiercely to keep her eyes above his chest but fails miserably; her eyes stay trained on the slow back and forth of his hand moving.

“Sorry, I guess I’m a little . . . distracted.” His voice drops on the last word, and he gazes hungrily at her lips, that delicious stain still perfectly set. He wants to ruin it. All of her. Rebecca drags a hand down her body with a moan, inching towards the hem of her skirt. She barely finds the skin below before Nathaniel stops her. “Come here.” She keeps her steps slow and measured as she steps up to meet him and pulls her bottom lip into her mouth. Nathaniel takes her chin in his hand and tilts her head upwards. He fits his mouth against her ear and pulls her in. “Don’t you ruin that lipstick before I do.”

Rebecca’s lips part into a gasp, and she seizes the next moment to grasp the back of his head and tug his head down to kiss him soundly. Immediately, her hands set to work finding a condom she knows he has in his back pocket while he moves his lips against hers desperately, his fingers twisting in the waves of her hair slowly becoming less tame by the second. Nathaniel reluctantly lets go of her hair to roll the condom on, but before he can slide inside of her, Rebecca places her hands on his shoulders.

“This lipstick is expensive, so if you’re gonna ruin it, you better make it worth it.”

And he does.

When she’s hastily dressing, he asks what color that lipstick was. “Was” being the choice word since she currently has nothing left to show for it.

“Fire Down Below,” she answers saucily, closing the door behind her. She knows full well that he certainly stroked her fire down below, both delicate and rough with just the right amount of pressure to her clit … Shit, she wants him again. Maybe she could convince him to stay just a few minutes later to discuss a “hot-button” issue.

(It doesn’t take much convincing when she reapplies her lipstick at the end of the day.)


After that heated incident the other day, the tension fizzles out, if you call fizzling out a series of desperate makeout sessions brought on by incessant amounts of innuendos involving office supplies. All it takes is one tight skirt and two perfect wings of eyeliner on Rebecca to start another fire in his blood.

When Rebecca steps from the elevator, she leaves a trail of flames in her midst. Short black pencil skirt to complement dark, lustrous waves, and a pair of shiny red pumps completes the look. But the standout piece of her ensemble? Her red lipstick. She’s going to crush this deposition today, she can feel it.

Paula meets her halfway to her office, giddy with excitement and gushing support for her Cookie. “Ooooh, I love this sassy badass lawyer Rebecca. You’re gonna be great, babe.” Paula smooths out the sleeves of Rebecca’s blazer and sends her on her way. Rebecca gives her shoulders a little shimmy and breezes through the door of her office.

If looks could kill, hers would strike Nathaniel dead on sight.

“Can’t wait to get started with this meeting. It’s gonna be ahhh- mazing !” She whispers her checklist of things to grab to herself, reaching across her desk to grab the stack of folders. Her skirt rises just so for Nathaniel to catch a peek at the curve of her ass, and Nathaniel’s eyes nearly leap out of his head. Is she not wearing any--?

His jaw falls slack.

“Oh, hi, Nathaniel,” Rebecca simpers as she leaves the room, her dumbstruck partner still entranced by her. Shake it off, Nathaniel, deep breaths.

As they both expect, Rebecca’s deposition goes exactly as she’d hoped, her clients gunning for her representation and charmed by her impeccably-timed wit and bold personality. Of course, Paula knew she would nail it and surprises her with an iced coffee, ice courtesy of Tim finally refilling the ice cube tray after Paula stood by the sink and watched him do it.

On a work cloud, Rebecca looks over a new set of files on her desk twirling a curl around her finger as she skims the pages, taking the intermittent moment to glance up at Nathaniel through her lashes. She repeats her action a few more times before Nathaniel happens to be staring back at her when she finds his gaze. Slightly flustered, she looks down and thumbs at the papers in her file.

“Hey Nathaniel? Before I head out, would you mind taking a second look at this section?” Rebecca rounds the corner of her desk and ends up perched against the right side of Nathaniel’s chair, her palms flat against the table and leaning just far enough for Nathaniel to spot her cleavage in his eyeline. Of course, she doesn’t mean to situate herself in such a seductive position, but alas. At any rate, Nathaniel’s nodding along with her questions about the transcript and what exactly the witness meant by this word and that phrasing.

“Yep, you’re absolutely right. Good catch. Go ahead and make a note of that.” Rebecca smiles brightly. He actually admitted she was actually right?! There’s a moment for the history books, she thinks.

“Yeah, let me just grab a—“ The pen she plans to use “accidentally” falls from the desk and lands at Nathaniel’s feet, and Rebecca bends down to pick it up, shifting forward on her knees to grab it. The way her back arches is just dirty , sending Nathaniel’s fantasies running wild, and much to his dismay, he fails to stifle his low groan. When she looks back up and shifts to sit on her heels, she finds Nathaniel staring at her with wildfire in his eyes, and lucky for him, her gaze mirrors his.

Rebecca licks her lips when she finds Nathaniel’s eyes on her, all over her, possessing her. And it feels like heaven. She’s had this plan to seduce him all along, and thus far, all has gone accordingly. The one thing she doesn’t expect: the strangled, needy sound that escapes his throat and sends a forceful rush of heat between her legs. The way she looks at him certainly affects him more than he’d like to admit. Desire runs a marathon through his bloodstream, and damn , he wants her. He wants her and her body and her red, red lips around his—

She stands up like nothing in the past thirty seconds ever happened, makes her note on the page, and returns to her side of the desk casually. A glowing grin adorns her features as she gathers her things to head home for the day while Nathaniel grips the arms of his chair trying to regain some composure.

“Have a good one, Nathaniel. Don’t work too hard, yeah?” She makes her way towards the door and sneakily slips an index card to Nathaniel’s side of the desk as she leaves the room with a toss of her hair. Nathaniel takes a long exhale when she leaves and wills his heart rate to slow down. How, even after all this time, does she still affect him like this?

Curiosity gets the better of him, and he flips over the index card to take a peek at it. On the other side, he finds the stain of her lipstick pressed into the paper in the shape of her lips and the words “Nine o’clock” in her neatest script across from her crimson stamp. His blood begins to ignite just thinking about the promise held in that kiss, the print still glossy and fresh. Ok, this is getting ridiculous, he thinks.

“George!” At the sound of Nathaniel’s voice, George rushes into the office waiting for most likely a reprimand or an obscene task. But it never comes. Instead, Nathaniel takes a breath and calmly addresses George again. “How’s your day been, George? I want to hear about your day.”

The question confuses George since Nathaniel only requests his presence when he needs something, usually to do with Rebecca, but he’s showing interest for once, and George takes the opportunity as it comes. “Oh, well, it’s been pretty great, actually. This morning, when I was at my desk sipping my coffee, which was absolutely delicious, by the way. I don’t ever drink dark roast, but I decided to try something different for once, and--”

“Ok, thank you. That’s all, George.” Nathaniel feels like himself again and waves George off with his hand. That seemed to do the trick.

“Oh, but sir, I didn’t even tell you the best part. I actually added a splash of coconut milk instead of regular milk, and--”

“Get out before you make my ears bleed.” Rubbing his temple as George bows out meekly from the room, his eyes land on Rebecca’s little souvenir, and Nathaniel shakes his head with the faintest hint of a smile. “Damn you, Rebecca Bunch.”


Not a minute too late or too early, a knock resounds on the door of apartment 37, and Nathaniel waits a few moments before opening the door as not to appear too expectant for the visitor he knows is waiting. Of course, Rebecca waits until exactly 9:00 to lift her hand to knock, though she’s been standing in the hallway for the last seven and a half minutes and waits to reapply another coat of lipstick thirty seconds before the clock on her phone changes to strike the hour.

After she knocks, she stands back from the door to let Nathaniel see her entire outfit: a strikingly similar black trench coat to the one from the last time she came over with “an enticing piece of business,” hair volumized and wavy, thin thigh-high stockings, shiny black pumps, and of course, her unforgettable red lipstick. She knows exactly what she plans to do, and excited butterflies stir in her stomach thinking of Nathaniel’s reaction. When the door opens, Nathaniel’s reaction couldn’t have been more satisfying.

“Mmmm, now this is a sight I could get used to,” Nathaniel sighs as his eyes roam over the beautiful woman in front of him. Rebecca laughs lowly as she transfers her right foot from its bevel to a delicate cross behind her left foot. “God, I need to kiss you right now.”

“You don’t want to know what this shade of lipstick is before you do that?” Rebecca quirks an eyebrow and takes a step closer to Nathaniel. The heat radiating from her body overwhelms him, but he can’t stop the hand that wraps around her hip to pull her closer.

“What is it,” he asks huskily. Rebecca yanks him down towards her mouth and presses her lips to the curve of his ear.

“Ravish Me Red.”

Nathaniel’s hand tightens in the fabric of her jacket, and he hums thoughtfully as she traces his ear with her hot breath. Fucking tease. Nathaniel’s hand slides down from her hip to the curve of her ass, and he lets his fingers grip with possession. Rebecca’s hands unhook from the collar of his dress shirt and flatten against the planes of his chest, venturing lower to find the metal buckle of his belt. Before she can seize the upper hand, Nathaniel’s teeth find a resting place at the patch of skin just below her ear that makes her shiver with need.

“Oh, believe me, I intend to.”

Their eyes meet for the briefest of seconds before their shared gaze threatens to scorch the other on the spot. Rebecca’s back hits the door, slamming it shut as Nathaniel’s body molds to hers, their lips connecting in unrestrained passion. After a few moments of basically inhaling each other, hands fumbling to touch and feel and caress, Rebecca pulls back and signals for Nathaniel to wait. Her hands have been busy at work opening his belt and pants, though he’s been deft at distracting her with his tongue in her mouth. So, she finishes what she started and curls her fingers in the band of his pants and underwear, tugs them down and takes her body with them. When Nathaniel catches on to her plan, he groans and braces one hand against the door.

“Oh fuck, Rebecca. You’re going to kill me.” She looks up and gives him a sassy smile before wrapping her lips around his dick. The wet heat of her mouth combined with the hot press of her red lips against him make him shudder above her, and he cards a hand roughly through her hair. Rebecca lifts her eyes and keeps them focused on his while she strokes the length of him with her lips and tongue, leaving smeared red seduction in her wake. The tip of him hits the back of her throat, and Rebecca opens her mouth to take him all in. “God, you’re so good. Keep going.”

Rebecca swirls her tongue around him, her lips curling into a smile around him. She quickens her pace and hollows her cheeks, and she knows she’ll be able to get him off quickly if she keeps at this. But that isn’t what she wants. Suddenly, she stops, releases him from her mouth with a pop, and sits back on her heels with a smile. Nathaniel takes note of the new chill in the air and finally opens his eyes to find Rebecca sitting on her knees smug as hell.

“You little tease.” Rebecca smirks with a shrug, evidently proud of herself for successfully edging Nathaniel. Nathaniel, however, is a little less than impressed. “You should tread carefully now. All this week, you’ve been teasing me, pushing my limits, leaving me hanging …” Nathaniel grips her chin and brings her up on her knees, and Rebecca sucks in a breath. “You’ve been a bad girl. And you know what happens to bad girls, don’t you, Rebecca?” She nods, but Nathaniel isn’t satisfied. “Tell me.”

“They get ravished ?” Nathaniel switches his grip to a stroke of her hair from her slightly sweaty cheek as her blue eyes brighten when meeting his own hooded ones.

“They do, indeed. Bad girls like you get used because they love it, love to get fucked . And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do to you.” Nathaniel’s fingers skim her scalp before fisting a section of her hair to urge her mouth back onto his cock. She mumbles a curse under her breath before she swallows it with his length and resumes her earlier action.

“I might have begged you to keep going, but you’ll be begging me to stop. I’m gonna fuck you over and over and over again until you can’t take it anymore. But it’ll be a while before that happens because you’re fucking insatiable , baby. Yeah, oh my … just like that. God, Rebecca, please.” She keeps her mouth tight against him, and after a few more swipes of her tongue, he comes, hot and desperate, in her mouth and breathes out her name like satin. Rebecca swallows his arousal and keeps her mouth around him while he catches his breath. Once he does, Rebecca shifts from the discomfort of her knees, and Nathaniel grasps her arms to help her to standing, immediately pulling her in for a passionate kiss.

“Damnit, you’re amazing,” he mumbles between kisses. “Come on.” He takes her hand gently and leads her into his bedroom. Nathaniel sits on his bed, and Rebecca leans down to keep her mouth against his, eventually sliding into his lap, her legs spread across his hips. Rebecca rubs her hands over his shoulders while his wind around her back and ass. Given their shared fondness of recreating moments, it should come as no surprise that Rebecca and Nathaniel both feel the deja vu wash over them as they kiss languidly. “So, did you mean it? When you showed up at my door that night, would you really have let me do anything I wanted to you?”

“Of course I meant it, and I still do. And I mean, anything.” Nathaniel’s eyes darken and glance down her body, then meet her eyes with a sultry flame. “Yes, that, whatever just crossed your mind. That.”

“Strip for me,” he whispers in her ear.

“Nathaniel--” she starts to protest, but he clicks his tongue admonishing her.

“Ah, ah, anything I want, remember?” Rebecca nods, and he taps her ass before she climbs off his lap. He scoots back to stretch his legs out on the bed in front of him and unfastens one button from his shirt to urge her on.

Rebecca paces the width of the bed, her heels clicking against the hardwood in a percussive figure-8. Finally, when she completes her shape, she tugs at the black bow holding her trench coat together and works her fingers in the knot to break it open. Once she pries the knot free, Rebecca opens the top half of her coat to meet the other but doesn’t fully reveal what’s underneath her coat. She pauses for a moment to pretend to thoughtfully ponder her next move with a small giggle, and Nathaniel’s impatient groan leads her to quickly let the coat slip from her shoulders and fall to the ground in a heap. When he looks up at her and finds her wearing absolutely nothing under that trench coat, her nipples already hard, the skin of her chest flushed the most rosy pink, Nathaniel’s done.

“Oh, fuck, ” he chokes, his hand instinctively raising to stroke his cock.

“What are you waiting for?” Rebecca steps up to him and stares deeply into his eyes. “ Ravish me , Nathaniel Plimpton.”

He only blinks twice before reaching for her wrist and pulling her back on his lap to kiss her, the sweetest of muffled aroused noises coming from her throat. Nathaniel rolls her onto her back, and Rebecca stifles a laugh against his lips when her back hits the mattress and her hair splays out across the sheets. She’s raking her fingers through his hair, but only for a moment as Nathaniel’s hands circle her wrists and trap her arms on either side of her head. Taking this lapse of control to his advantage, he dips his head down to kiss the tenderest part of her neck, and Rebecca eagerly lifts her hips up to meet his. In exchange for that, she receives a sharp nip at her earlobe.

“Oh, I see. This is how we’re gonna play tonight?”

“Not exactly. I like your hands on me, but it’s fun to watch you squirm,” he chuckles.

“You are an evil, evil man.”

“Really, Rebecca, I thought we were past that,” he teases, releasing her wrists and sliding down her body to drop a kiss below her navel. “If I really were all that evil, would I do this?” He licks a long stripe up her center and flicks his tongue against her clit for good measure. The pressure builds, and Rebecca’s skin flushes with chills.

“Oh, fuck, Nathaniel,” she whispers as she arches her back from the bed.

“We’ll get there, don’t worry.” Finding a new rhythm with his tongue, Rebecca responds rather fervently, pushing her hips towards him. She lets out a mumbled curse from behind the palm of her hand, but Nathaniel isn’t having any of it. He pauses for a moment to drag her hand down to her side. “Let me hear you, Rebecca.”

He quickens his pace and slides two fingers inside of her just in time to feel her clamp down on him, and she comes at the mention of her name. The aftershocks begin to fade, but Nathaniel doesn’t leave her, his fingers still a warm solace inside of her. He does, however, scoot up onto the bed to rest at her side and place kisses along her hairline brimming with sweat. Finally, she cranes her head up to find his lips, the taste of herself on his lips fresh and dizzying. Rebecca runs her fingers through his hair as she kisses him and hooks her leg over his hip, and she rolls him on his back, her weight settling comfortably atop him.

She stays there to kiss him for a while before rolling off to find a condom. When she comes back, Nathaniel tries to sit up and resume their earlier position, but Rebecca flattens her hands across his chest and pushes him back down, her hot core straddling his cock. She inches forward to sit up just above his lap, teasingly waving the packet in her hand and tearing from the end with her teeth, then works her way back down to roll it on.

Little vixen that she is, when she sinks down on him, Rebecca’s still upright, her body on full display above him. Nathaniel moans gutturally and clenches the sheets in his fingers. She finds a rolling tempo grinding up and down and lets her hands skim up her sides to land at her nipples. With a long sigh, she closes her eyes and palms her breasts, lost in the wild fantasies behind her eyes. The first tinglings of an orgasm strike between her legs, and Rebecca shortens her strokes and speeds up to chase her imminent pleasure. She leans forward, and Nathaniel’s hands wrap around her back to keep her close to his chest, and he whispers encouragements into her neck. He meets her thrusts halfway, and it’s everything she needs as she spirals into another orgasm.

“Let’s get back to me ravishing you, shall we?”

She’s barely finished riding out this last orgasm when Nathaniel turns her on her back without leaving her body and is building her up again. She can’t get enough of him, never has and never will be able to. She starts to laugh, but when he pushes inside of her, filling her so deeply, Rebecca moans deliciously, throwing her head back on the pillows and lets Nathaniel have his way with her. He starts with taking a nipple in his mouth, sucking the bud on the far side of tender, but holy hell, it’s good .

“Oh god, yes,” Rebecca hisses when he repeats the action on the other side. Her moans ascend in pitch, and the bite of her nails against his shoulders tells Nathaniel that he’s doing something right. But just “right” isn’t good enough. He wants perfection .

“Mmm, you’re so fucking hot, baby. You wanna come again?”

“Please,” Rebecca begs as she wraps her legs around him and kisses him hungrily. This is good, he’s so good, but something’s missing. It’s almost too sweet for what she needs right now. Somehow, he senses it too.

Nathaniel pulls out of her, only for a moment, and tugs her to the end of the bed. “Turn around.” She does so with haste, delicious ideas running through her head of what Nathaniel’s thinking. When she adjusts herself on all fours, she’s expecting Nathaniel to slide into her, grab her hips, and fuck her relentlessly … until he doesn’t. Instead, he presses her arms down so that her upper half is flat on the bed while her ass is still in the air. “Pay attention, Rebecca, this is how bad girls get fucked.”

Oh, she’s paying attention alright.

He enters her slowly and thrusts in about halfway, his grip on her hips commanding and possessive. She wants so badly for him to go deeper, find that spot inside of her that makes her-- ah, that’s it. Rebecca gasps and lets a broken moan escape when he finds the spot and doesn’t move from it. The pressure is intense, almost too intense, and she tries to find relief in moving forward a little, but Nathaniel grips her harder and lands a hard slap on her ass. She shivers and the pleasured noise she makes is simply enchanting. It’s also telling that she’s definitely more into this than he assumed. Nathaniel takes a fistful of her hair and tugs fiercely.

“You’re really into this, aren’t you? Such a bad girl.” He slaps her ass again, and she’s drowning in him, all muscles and gravel and need. The rhythm sultry, the angle filthy, it’s the perfect recipe for Rebecca to completely shatter beneath him. And shatter and splinter and crack she does. Grasping the sheets in her fingers, she cries out his name, and her walls clench like a vice around his cock. Her powerful orgasm sends Nathaniel into his own, and his hands find every available inch of her skin to claim as he comes down with her.

When she’s breathing less heavily, she stretches like a cat and signals to Nathaniel that she wants to turn over. Thankfully, he gets the hint and pulls out to lie on his side on the bed next to her and waits for her to turn towards him. She does eventually, and he places a soft kiss on the corner of her mouth, the last stroke of her lipstick still clinging to the juncture of her lips. Sated and pliable, Rebecca sighs into his kiss and fits her lips over his with ease. They stay like that, kissing with no further implications in sight, until Rebecca eases herself from his embrace.

“I should go,” she whispers, scooting towards the end of the bed to retrieve her discarded coat and heels.

“You don’t have to.”

“I know, but I shouldn’t stay.” Even as she stands next to his bed, she makes no move to gather her things.

“Do you want to stay?” Nathaniel stands beside her and reaches for her hand, but she quickly retreats into herself, looking down at her stocking-clad feet shuffling awkwardly next to him.

“Nathaniel, I really shouldn’t--” He lifts her chin and calmly finds her eyes, swirling with cerulean confusion. It’s obvious she’s in a dilemma, so he aims to make this as easy as possible for her.

“That’s not what I asked, is it?” She shakes her head. He rests both hands on her shoulders and lightly brushes her skin with his fingertips. “I’m asking what do you want to do, Rebecca. It’s your choice.”

Here it is: her choice. The continual battle between what’s the right thing to do--well, the more right thing to do because she knows what the actual right thing to do is--and what she’d actually like to do. Rebecca would love to live in her fantasy of waking up next to Nathaniel and pretending like there isn’t a third body sleeping in the bed, however phantom she might be. She would love to have moments with him that aren’t scheduled by “how long is too long to be in the bathroom” at work. But sadly, these fantasies of hers are better left unspoken and discarded.

Rebecca tilts her head up to kiss him again, and it feels like a garden is blooming inside of her chest. It feels so right and bright and free, but at the end of the day, she knows it’s wrong. After but a brief moment, she pulls back and whispers against his lips, “I’m gonna go.”

She ignores the tear that drips down her cheek that invades the sunshine that filled her heart just moments ago as she silently gathers her things and heads towards the door without so much as a glance backwards.

When she makes her choice, Nathaniel reforms his hardened expression that, for once, he cast aside in favor of the hope that she might, this time, really choose him. It’s easy to repair the mask he wears to protect himself from others seeing his weakness, but this time, it’s easy until he tries to do it. Because she is his ultimate weakness. And it’s damn near impossible to hide from her. Nathaniel is grateful that her back is turned while she collects her things, and he praises to every deity that she doesn’t glance back at him and see the brokenness etched into his face.

She makes it appear so easy to just walk away, like none of this hurt him at all, but the truth is, her steps feel like lead as she treads towards the door, and she wants to run back into his sweet arms to escape their bitter situation, but she can’t. Rebecca feels tired as the door shuts behind her, and she barely makes it to the brick wall before sliding down to the floor and wishing forever that she could crawl inside a hole in this wall and hide away forever.

She doesn’t cry until she knows he can’t hear her.

He should be angry, could be angry, but he isn’t. Honestly, he’s just sad. And afraid. And confused. And desperate.

He takes a shower, a hot one, the temperature of the water near scalding. But the water doesn’t burn nearly as much as her kiss, still searing with passion and desire and something that almost might have been but certainly wasn’t love. On first run, the water doesn’t wash away the mark of her lips on his chest, his cheek, his cock. Furiously, he scrubs at them all to make them disappear, but when it comes to the stain of her lips on his own, he can’t wash that one away.

Even as the red of her lips singes the painful reminder of her into his skin, he falls asleep with the seal of her kiss as close as it can be for now. Just for now, he hopes.

Chapter Text

Rebecca is good at a lot of things, but the one thing she considers herself the worst at is keeping her hands off of things that aren’t hers, specifically one tall, handsome Adonis of a halfway ex-lover who’s looking extra sharp today. Somehow, his suit highlights his athletic frame, his hair styled in the perfect balance of spiky and swoopy, his jawline even more defined by the close line of stubble, and she concludes he’s never looked better. When he comes into their shared office to set down his bag, Rebecca’s already there, coffee steaming on her desk as she thumbs through the notes for their meeting today.

“Look who’s early for once,” he greets casually while setting up for the day. Rebecca finally looks up and sees how hot he is. She crosses her legs, fitting one thigh atop the other to quell the ache stirring between her legs. His lips are moving, but she’s so lost in her imagination and wild fantasies of what she’d rather be doing with him that she doesn’t hear a single word he’s saying. He could be talking about the most mundane of things (spoiler alert: he was talking about the zoning restrictions in the area the client was requesting.) But she didn’t care; there’s a lot of things she’d rather hear him talking about. Oh, it’s way too early for this. “Rebecca, did you hear what I said?”

“Hmmm? Sorry, guess my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. What did you say?”

“Oh, just reminding you about the zoning restrictions.” When Rebecca squints her eyes trying to understand what he’s talking about, he elaborates further. “For the country club out of Riverside?” Finally, a glimmer of recognition and flutter of embarrassment crosses Rebecca’s face, and she laughs off her forgetfulness awkwardly. “Are you sure you’re okay, Rebecca?”

“What? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Never better! Just give me a few minutes and I’ll be in the conference room?” Nathaniel nods and grabs the files he needs, leaving Rebecca alone in the office. Before the meeting starts, she sneaks away to the bathroom and spends her few minutes giving herself a much-needed reprieve, imagining the sharp line of scruff between her legs.

Rebecca takes her seat next to Nathaniel across the table from their clients after a round of introductions and mandatory small-talk. Thankfully, there’s no real pressure today; this meeting is just to see if there’s a spark, a connection, and hopefully make plans for representation. They really do make a great team, Rebecca and Nathaniel. She’s impossibly smart and brings a great, spunky personality to the table, and combined with Nathaniel’s connections to LA’s biggest fish and his undeniable charm, they really are unstoppable. They’re finding lots of great connections … well, Nathaniel is. These guys are right up his alley, so Rebecca takes the back seat as she lets them discuss boring WASP-y men things. All this time, and she’s still never bothered to ask him about how water polo works, mostly because she’d probably get bored within five seconds of him talking about it. But just because she isn’t actively participating in the current discussion doesn’t mean she can’t be active in other ways.

At first, it’s a slow drag of her foot up his pant leg, just enough to hopefully grab his attention. A little teasing never hurt anyone, right? When he doesn’t respond, Rebecca tries again with a little more insistence but to no avail. Either he’s conditioned to her touch or he’s intentionally trying to ignore her, neither of which Rebecca is pleased with. It would be just as easy to give up and drag him into the supply closet after their meeting closes, but with the way conversation is flowing between the three gentlemen, Rebecca has a feeling this could be a while.

Instead, she discreetly slips her hand beneath the table and drags it first across to Nathaniel’s chair and then to his thigh. Nathaniel finally catches where her deft fingers are traveling to and clears his throat. She pauses momentarily to let him regain his composure while he’s asked a question by the man sitting across from him.

“We’ve actually had quite a few firms wanting to represent us, including your father’s branch in LA. So, tell me, what makes West Covina a cut above the rest?” Rebecca flattens her palm over his growing erection and gives an encouraging squeeze that makes Nathaniel stumble over the breath he inhales. He sputters a cough to hide his reaction to the excitement happening below the table.

“Yeah, Nathaniel, why don’t you tell them? What’s so special about this place?”

“Well, if anything, it’s the people here. Rebecca actually just became our senior partner not too long ago, and she’s really done an excellent job managing everything.” Another appreciative squeeze sends all coherent thoughts out to who knows where.

“That’s sweet of you, Nathaniel, and not to brag or anything, but he’s not wrong. Profits are doubling, tripling even, since I took over, and should you sign with us, you’ll have someone who’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away. LA is just such a long drive,” she takes her fingers and trails them down the inside of his thigh. “You know how LA traffic can be. Plus, as one of our largest accounts and with our branch having fewer clients to manage, that means we can give you our full, undivided attention. ” Each word is pronounced with a firmer stroke, and when Nathaniel can’t stand the teasing any longer, he grabs her wrist underneath the table and moves her hand away from him. “So what do you say we build ourselves a country club?”

The two men discuss between each other in hushed tones, and Nathaniel reciprocates the same hushed tone, leaning over to Rebecca.

“We’ll discuss this later.” His gravelly tone doesn’t exactly imply a two-sided discussion, and she knows she’s in trouble. Even the most phantom of scrapes of his facial hair against her skin stirs a fire in her veins, and she can’t help but let the heat travel southwards to send pleasant shivers down her spine.

“I’d say let’s plan for another meeting to discuss. How’s Monday, same time?”

“Monday sounds wonderful. Well, it was truly a pleasure to meet you both.” Rebecca stands and meets the two gentlemen at the door as Nathaniel almost immediately follows suit and then remembers the … pressing problem he couldn’t quite conceal. Casually as he can, he walks around the side of the table where his crotch wouldn’t be on complete display and positioned himself off of Rebecca’s shoulder to bid their guests farewell. The couples disembark, one to the elevator and the other to their office, and another successful meeting is in the bag.

“So, we got another meeting to draft plans, and so soon, right? I can’t believe they want to come back Monday. They must have really liked us!” Rebecca’s about to check in on Paula when Nathaniel calls out to her from his desk.

“Good luck being able to sit on Monday after I’m through with you.” Rebecca whips her head around in disbelief because even though she couldn’t see his expression, his tone indicated he wasn’t making a joke. The thought alone makes her even wetter.

“Oh really? Yeah, right,” Rebecca scoffs trying to lighten the situation. He raises an eyebrow at her, seeing as she’s not really helping her case by retorting.

“I have half a mind to take you over my knee in the middle of this office.”

“You wouldn’t dare.” Nathaniel smirks at her, the way he mentally undresses her before they’ve even closed the supply closet door, and Rebecca stands with her weight in one hip and arms folded challengingly.

“Guess you’ll have to wait and find out then.” Rebecca lingers exiting the office and adjusts her skirt as she checks in with Paula, who is working tirelessly on her newest set of readings for her class’s case study. She tries to erase the images of his scruff or his tongue or his fingers along her skin, but so far, she’s really deep in her fantasies. Not that she particularly minds.


Given the lack of time they had to perfect a proposal to their clients, they both agreed to stay later and knock out most of the work today. It’s nearing sundown when Rebecca starts to get antsy; sharing space with Nathaniel meant sharing space with him and his ego, and he’s even more smug than usual, probably plotting some ridiculous punishment after what happened in the meeting today. Of course, he’s given her no indication of anything, so now she’s just waiting. Waiting never was her strong suit.

Rebecca sits on the conference room table in between a number of her balled-up proposal ideas that either she’s scrapped for not being good or he’s vetoed for being too plucky.

“Well, I think there’s a number of angles we can take here. These guys reek of white cisgender male … no offense to you or anything, your alpha male tendencies are just on the side of tolerable.” Nathaniel scoffs and leans back in his chair feigning offense.

“‘Just on the side of tolerable?’ I don’t think that’s what you said about my tendencies when I grabbed your—“

She holds up a hand to stop him. “Not what I’m talking about.” Though, she silently gives him credit for taking her hair and gripping it while she sucked him off. Rebecca was more than a little appreciative of that, but there’s no chance she’s telling him that; she didn’t need his ego inflated to take up even more space in the room.

“But you still liked it,” he says matter-of-factly. Rebecca rolls her eyes and crosses her legs with a huff.

“You’re only proving my point, you know?”

“And I’ll be more than happy to do so again.” Something in his voice spells trouble for her, and she can only guess what’s going through his mind. It sounds like he might be a little more than happy to prove his point to her.

“Okay, so I think we sold them on giving them attention since they’re a pretty big client, which is good. But I don’t want them to get the idea that bigger is better because that’s not always the case. I think we just need something, that one thing we have, to keep that firm grip on them.” Nathaniel stands up from his chair and makes his way around the table to stand in front of Rebecca, something predatory in his eyes.

“Speaking of firm grips , you wanna explain what that was all about in the meeting today?” Rebecca looks down shyly and shifts on the tabletop.

“I can’t help it that your copious use of legal language gets me all hot and bothered.” Rebecca uncrosses her legs and finds the perfect space for Nathaniel’s hip to fit between them, an inviting and teasing glint in her eyes to match her current position. He takes this as a cue and wraps his fingers around her ankle to tug her closer to the edge of the table. When she can get close enough, she reaches up to the back of his head and pulls him in for a slow burning kiss. The fire between them crackles and pops as their lips press against one another in an all-consuming flood of pleasure. He lets out a dark laugh against her lips and pulls back from her while brushing a few stray hairs behind her ear.

“That’s definitely noted. But here’s the thing, Rebecca, you broke one of our rules. Need I remind you of what would happen if we blew our cover? Since you can’t seem to keep your hands off of me, I guess that means I’ll have to do it for you.” Rebecca shoots him a look of both confusion and apprehension, and he whispers a husky “trust me” in her ear before loosening the knot from his tie. He pulls her up to stand and runs his hands down her arms and laces their fingers together. All bravado aside, he asks holding her gaze, “Is this okay?” She nods with a small smile, and he gives her hands a squeeze. “Turn around.”

She’s facing away from him, her heart stirring wildly in her chest at the anticipation of what she knows is coming next, and Rebecca can’t deny that she had hoped for some sort of punishment. The smooth material of his tie wraps around her wrists and sends a shiver down her spine, each sensation heightened from the tug of the knot to the hitch in his breath as he admires the pinch of her shoulder blades and how it, in turn, makes her chest stick out. Nathaniel finds the edge of her skirt and slides his hand underneath it to cup his hand around her center. She’s warm and aching and melting with need, and Nathaniel loves it, loves how her body responds so fully, loves her gasps and moans and whimpers, loves her … loves her

He finds a solid grip on her hair and exposes the soft skin of her neck to his greedy mouth. She tastes faintly like peonies and desperation, intoxicating and beautiful. His teeth fix a mark just below her hairline, and he lets out a muted growling noise in his throat. While his hand stays over her underwear, Nathaniel does touch her core, feeling the pulsating heat of her arousal fresh and blooming.

“You’ve been a bad girl, haven’t you?” Pulling her lip between her teeth, Rebecca nods and shifts in his grip. A rough tug on her hair arches her back and forces a small cry from her lips as she’s momentarily lost her balance and finds Nathaniel’s solid frame to catch herself on. “I want you to say it.”

“Mmmmm, I’ve been such a bad girl, Nathaniel.” She’s teasing him, pressing her hips back against his clothed dick how she knows he’ll like, and maybe it’s because she wants it rough, doesn’t want him to play nice for once, but she’s going to do what she can to let primal Nathaniel come out and play.

“Sit,” he commands, gesturing to the conference chair she sat in hours ago while she teased him mercilessly. Her hands remain helplessly behind her back, trapped against the chair back, as she waits for Nathaniel’s next move. His hands begin drifting towards his belt, and Rebecca instinctively leans forward, fruitlessly willing her arms to reach for him. Frustrated, she leans back in the chair with a low sound of disappointment while Nathaniel hums with a smug grin plastered on his face. “You know how the saying goes, ‘turnabout’s fair play?’ I’d say it certainly is in this case. You think it’s all fun and games to tease me when you’re the one doing it, but now, I’m gonna tease you until you can’t take it. I want you dripping before I even touch you.”

When his hands rest on his belt again, he pops the buckle open and slides it from it loops, watching as Rebecca’s eyes darken at the imaginings of what he might do with that belt. For a moment, he studies it, ponders with the leather in his hands but eventually sets it aside. Maybe later. For now, he opens his pants and takes out his cock, running his hand lazily over his erection. Rebecca lets out a strangled noise in her throat and extends her body towards him, but he uses his other hand to place pressure on her shoulder to force her back to sitting.

“Greedy, are we? Don’t you worry, I know what you want. I’ll let you have it if you’re good and patient. Can you do that?” Rebecca nods, words unable to form on her lips. For a few moments longer, he teases her with his hand running along his cock, wetting his palm with his tongue, but he decides he could find some better lubrication. Nathaniel slides his thumb between the dreamy part of Rebecca’s lips and holds her chin as he moves her mouth towards his cock, and she welcomes him inside her mouth. He lets her do the work, choosing where and when and how to get him wet, but just as quickly as he ceded control to her, he takes it back with a popping release from her mouth. Rebecca lets out a small protest, and Nathaniel uses his unoccupied hand to grip her chin again, though much rougher this time. “Do that again and see where you end up.”

In this moment, there’s something untamed about Nathaniel that’s so confusingly attractive. Maybe it’s the contrast of the sharp cuts of his suits and annoyingly styled hair that’s always so composed and refined that makes seeing this animalistic side of him all the more arousing. She briefly wonders where he picked it up because it certainly wasn’t from either of his uptight parents, but the thought drifts to nowhere as her focus returns to the steady motion of his hand, back and forth, until her eyes find his looking down at her like she owns the universe, and more importantly, him. Even with her hands tied behind her back, she’s possessed him.

She’s sitting in the chair, legs slightly open, just enough to carve a space between her inner thighs, and when he drops down to his knees, Rebecca thinks he’s going in for the kill, building her up to just as quickly bring her down. But he doesn’t make the move she anticipates. Instead, he starts at her ankle by sliding her high heel off, breath ghosting over the muscles of her calves, the bones of her knees, the flesh between her thighs. He places a kiss on the juncture of her thighs before repeating the action up the opposite leg, and Rebecca swears she’s seeing stars by the time his mouth reaches her kneecap. She breathes out his name as his kisses travel closer and closer to the place where she’s been aching for him, and just before he reaches the fabric of her panties, he gives another command. “Say please.”

“Please, oh my god, Nathaniel, please.”

He tastes her, sweet and fresh like nectar, and she gasps as his tongue finds her center and devours. Lips and tongue press against her to savor her deepest desires before he slides a long finger inside her to seek out her clit, and he confirms she indeed was dripping before he even touched her. Rebecca’s hips can’t stay still, the pressure building inside of her too intense, so Nathaniel places his forearm across her hip bones, even as she fights to dictate where his touch goes. She tosses her hair back and lets her mind take a journey, and Nathaniel can sense she’s getting close.

A few flicks of his tongue later, and he’s left her just as quickly as he came to her. He lets the building pressure inside of her subside for a moment while she recovers the breath she didn’t realize she was holding. She heaves out a “fuck you” that lacks the power she hoped it would have, but either way, Nathaniel isn’t having it.

“Bend over the table,” he orders with his hand still lightly stroking himself. Rebecca awkwardly shuffles to stand, and Nathaniel presses her bound hands against her back as she lies with her front against the table. With his other hand, he grips the material of her skirt and pulls it up to expose her ass, running his palm over the freshly bare skin. “These are pretty. New underwear just for me?”

“Don’t flatter yourself, you ass.” Speaking of asses, Nathaniel lands a sharp smack on her bare cheek that makes her recoil in shock and pleasure.

“I’d watch your mouth; I’d hate to have to stick those pretty new panties in your mouth. But then again, it’s much more satisfying to hear you scream.” He tugs on her hair and gives the other side the same treatment, which results in a pleased exclamation from Rebecca.

“Oh, fuck, please,” she moans, wishing desperately that she could touch him, but she makes do with grinding her hips back into his dick. Nathaniel hums and leaves the grip on her hands, exchanging it for one hand on her lower body and one near her hair.

“God, you’re gorgeous. You’re loving this, aren’t you?” She nods, twisting her wrists. He laughs under his breath and lands a few smacks on her ass that leave her writhing desperately beneath him. “You wanna come so badly, don’t you? You’ve been much more patient than I expected, I’ll give you that. Now, I need you to do something for me.”

“What is it?” He leans over her and fits his mouth against her ear, uttering his wish where only she can hear.

“Beg, Rebecca.” She gasps, and he slides his mouth down her neck. “That’s right, I want you to beg for my cock, beg for me to untie you, tell me everything you want.” Rebecca’s never really been into this sort of thing, but Nathaniel is quickly making her rethink what turns her on. One of his hands stays cupping her ass while the other runs a feather-light trail down her arm. She’s so swept up in the heat of the moment that she can’t help but say the first things that cross her mind.

“Please, Nathaniel, I wanna touch you so badly. I want you inside of me, filling me up. I wanna run my fingers through your hair while you fuck me.” A loud smack to her ass cheek makes Rebecca cry out and arch her back from the table.

“Such a good girl, keep going.” He’s teasing her with his tip at her entrance, and it’s so hard for her to think straight anymore. Suddenly, his presence is gone, and she can think for a moment, breathe for a second.

“Oh my god, oh fuck …” That’s a new sound. The deep groan that springs from her throat, raw and luscious, is exactly what Nathaniel wants to hear. His cock is replaced by his tongue licking a flat stripe up her center with her panties held off to the side. Rebecca feels the scrape of his facial hair against her and lets out a long moan. “Nathaniel, holy fuck.”

After spending some time tasting her, he decides to indulge her requests just a bit. Nathaniel stands back up and places his hands on her hips, sinking into her wet heat slowly. She breathes a sigh of relief beneath him as he grips her hip bones and fulfills her request to fill her completely.

“You’re so tight like this. Fuck, you’re incredible.” He starts to speed up his pace, which has Rebecca moaning a stream of please interspersed with the occasional fragment of his name and a high-pitched cry to any deity who would take mercy on her in this moment. Her world reduces down to the lone word of desire, and she’s wound so tightly, but not in the physical sense. He hears her asking please again and again, so he asks her in his sweetest, gentlest tone, “Tell me what you want, baby.”

“Damnit, just let me fuck you. I need you so bad, please just let me go so I can ride you.” In nearly an instant, she feels the silk unravel from her wrists, and her hands collapse to her sides. Rebecca pushes herself up from the table, turning around to face Nathaniel, and grasps his face to give him a long, hungry kiss. Their tongues taste each other as they cling to each other, ravenous and desperate. “You’re so hot,” Rebecca mumbles between kisses.

“C’mere,” he says, guiding her back to the chair where she sat minutes ago, but he’s now the one sitting in her place. “Come take what you want. That’s not a request.” Rebecca takes a moment to assess if he’s serious, but the raise of his eyebrows and the upturn of his lips tells her the only thing she has to do now is exactly what she wants.

She pounces on him, her legs coming up to wrap around his hips, and she sinks back down on his cock with a smile. Nathaniel’s face contorts in pleasure as her walls grip him and flutter madly around his dick. Rebecca makes good on her desires and runs her fingers through Nathaniel’s hair as she starts to move up and down on his lap. She brings her mouth down to his, and while her lower body rushes frantically towards release, she takes her time with her mouth, fully tasting Nathaniel in tandem with herself. Nathaniel loves it, the way her lips move so languidly even as her hips stutter and falter atop him. As much as he enjoys letting her take what she needs, he is still a man after all, and he begins meeting her thrusts halfway, mirroring her action of threading her fingers in his hair.

She lets herself come, losing her rhythm momentarily, and Nathaniel wills himself to hang on just a little longer to let her fully get what she needs. When she decides she’s ready and feels another orgasm blooming deep within her, this time, she’s grinding hard and dirty, bringing her head down to the crook of his neck. “Talk to me,” she whispers, gritty and rough.

Nathaniel kisses the exposed skin of her neck and wraps one of his arms around her back to keep her pressed tightly to his body. “Mmmm, Rebecca, I love the way you ride me like this. I know you like it too; you’re dripping all over me. But I know how much you loved it when I tied you up, held you down, made you beg. Do you like it when I control you?”

“Uh-huh,” is her brief reply as she clutches her fingers tighter in his shirt and hair.

“Don’t move,” he says roughly. Rebecca stops moving, much to her dismay, but immediately changes her tune when he starts thrusting up into her and pressing her hips down. She moans into his ear and licks at the bead of sweat dripping down the side of his face. He’s hitting all the right places inside of her, and Rebecca’s breathing quickens, signaling her approaching release. “That’s it, take my cock. Good girl.”

“Nathaniel,” she pleads.

“Let go. Come for me, Rebecca.”

That’s all it takes for the shockwaves of another orgasm to crash through her body, and with a shudder and exhale of his name, she melts into his body as he follows her over the blissful edge, holding her to him. Neither of them speak for the next few moments; only the sounds of their breaths intertwining and the faint distant hum of the overhead lights fill the space around them. Rebecca eases her head from Nathaniel’s shoulder and brings it up to kiss him in a slow, measured contrast to their previous tempo. This kiss has no underlying motivation; it isn’t a means to an end or the initial step of a long-winded experiment. It is the long-winded experiment, and they’re testing and exploring the various paths of their mouths and their tongues and their hands towards an unfamiliar destination.

She’s the first to pull back to catch her breath and step away from the intensity of what it felt like to just kiss , more importantly, just to kiss him . Their foreheads rest against one another, noses brushing at the tip.

Inhaling, exhaling, being.

Rebecca knows in her rational, logical brain that this thing is wrong and nothing this good can last forever, but damn , it’s so good. It’s a wrong thing to do, but why does it feel so right? He makes her feel like she’s someone to be wanted, to be desired, to be loved … but not loved. Because he doesn’t love her.

But oh, she is so terribly mistaken. And if he had the guts to tell her instead of hiding behind pining stares and a straightened spine, he would have done it months ago when he held her in his arms in a morning afterglow, the rising sun casting a halo over her body. God, she’s so beautiful. Nathaniel acts tough, and he’s built up a pretty thick skin, but deep down, if there’s anyone who can truly hurt him, it’s her. He never expected someone so beautiful to be so deadly, but he continues to chase after her because he sees the beauty of her that she doesn’t. And he wants her to see it. And that’s how he finds himself lost in the flutter of her eyelashes and the soft stroke of her fingers along the back of his neck.

“We should probably get back to work,” she says quietly.

“Not yet.”

“Nathaniel, we still have so much to do, and—”

“Just for a minute. Please?” He whispers the last word so softly that it barely tickles the air with its syllable unfamiliar coming from his lips.

“You know we don’t do pillow talk.”

“Who says we were talking?”

“Nathaniel—”

“Hush. Just relax.” He’s rubbing gentle circles into her wrist, and her breath hitches in her throat when her eyes shift from his fingers to his eyes, staring at her with an immovable awe. Rebecca’s heart begins to race, the pulse thumping in her wrist, all the sick feelings of “no, we shouldn’t” and “this is the last time” bubble up in her throat. Then all of a sudden, he smiles at her; all of a sudden, she smiles back. Her heart stops racing.

One minute staring at each other turns to two

Turns to her sweet lips pressing against his

Turns to his hands tangling in her hair

Turns to her breathy “I need you”

Turns to his unspoken “You already have me.”

Chapter Text

After a hellish week of endless meetings, late night edit sessions, and not enough coffee for either of their own goods, Rebecca and Nathaniel would love nothing more than to spend Saturday working on anything other than work. It’s thankfully a weekend where Mona is away on a conference until Sunday night, so his apartment is free, and he takes advantage of the convenient emptiness to invite Rebecca over to watch a movie. She responds warily since that’s not usually something they do, but she wouldn’t say no to the possibility of sleeping on a surface other than her own brick of a bed. Eventually, she concedes, offering to bring over only the finest of snacks to go with a movie binge, not that Nathaniel would touch anything she chooses with a ten foot pole.

When Nathaniel answers the knock at his door about an hour after he invited her, she’s dressed comfortably, just a quick swipe of makeup, and she’s smiling. Relaxed, young, and happy. She looks even more beautiful than ever. As soon as the door opens, she’s practically skipping inside listing off the various assortment of snacks she brought in her “movie purse because that’s the one that holds both snacks and drinks without looking too suspicious.” Rebecca places her bag on the table, and when she turns back around, she’s pulled into a deep warm kiss, wrapping his arms around her back. It’s slow and luscious like liquid candy, and Rebecca laughs into the kiss.

“Well, if that’s what you meant by watching a movie, then I hope that’s just the previews.”

“Don’t get too eager; we are actually going to watch a movie. Don’t worry, I picked something good.” He kisses her forehead and heads back over to the couch to start the movie. Rebecca stands still, suddenly wondering how to negotiate what’s happening. First, he invites her over to casually watch a movie, and then he kisses her like that , and now, she’s unsure how to respond. “You coming,” he asks sweetly, looking back at her with an easy smile. Rebecca nods, brushing the nagging thoughts from the front of her mind, and takes the packs of Twizzlers and M&Ms with her.

At first, she opts to sit next to him, giving a few inches of space between them, but then, he takes her hand and laces their fingers together, and it’s so easy to curl into his side with a contented sigh. Rebecca wraps her arms around his shoulders and drops playful kisses down his neck while he fusses with the remote.

“Quit distracting me, woman,” he growls as she works her way up to his jawline, bringing her hands to his hair.

“Hmmm, I thought you liked it when I distract you. It certainly works, doesn’t it,” she smirks. He turns his head and finds her lips waiting for him to latch onto. Nathaniel kisses her just lightly enough to aggravate her, knowing she’s eager for more.

He pulls away just as she’s about to slip her tongue inside his mouth and pecks her lips before turning back to face the TV. Rebecca whines and clings to his arm. “Be patient. This movie’s good, I promise.”

The opening scene rises on Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the ruins of a Peruvian temple hold a mysterious and powerful golden idol. Rebecca snuggles in closer to his side, and Nathaniel wraps his arm around her back to keep her close. Unwilling to admit he’s right, her sigh tells him all he needs to know.

Indy narrowly escapes on a plane headed back to America when Nathaniel decides to switch his position, lying down on his side behind her. Taking her cue, she copies his position and fits her back to his front. He takes a blanket from the back of the couch and loosely drapes it over them while she gets comfortable next to him. Rebecca turns her head to kiss him sweetly before turning her attention back to the movie.

As they watch together, Nathaniel traces his fingers over her arm, barely making contact with her skin, and every so often, he’ll lean over and press a kiss into her hair, and she’ll moan in that warm, soft, intoxicating way and shift further into him. About halfway through the movie, he gently takes her hair from its relaxed updo and combs his fingers through it. He swears he hears her purr when he massages his fingers into her scalp.

“I’m gonna fall asleep if you keep doing that,” she mumbles into the pillow she’s resting on.

“You better not.”

“What are you gonna do about it?”

His hand that’s resting underneath her drifts to her chest and slides underneath her shirt to find her nipples, already sensitive and hard. The touch instantly jolts arousal through her body, and Rebecca lets out a small squeak that morphs into a moan when he continues to stimulate her. After a few moments, Nathaniel drops his hands down to her waist and gives her neck a quick kiss before diverting his attention back to the TV screen.

The movie finishes without too many interruptions for makeout sessions (by their standards at least) and before they decide on the next movie to queue up, Nathaniel offers to order in if she’s hungry. Rebecca accepts graciously and opts for her go-to movie marathon Chinese, but only if he orders from the place off East Cameron that she loves. He only groans a little when he spots the calorie content in her egg rolls and when she says how far away it is, but at least it gives them time for some other activities. Despite how hungry she is, neither of them complain that it’ll be at least an hour before the food gets there.

She’s sitting across his lap kissing him when her stomach rumbles, and they laugh together, Rebecca pulling away to rest her head on his shoulder. Nathaniel keeps his arms around her back as she continues to hide her embarrassed flushed cheeks in his neck.

“I wanna play a game,” he says after her laughter subsides. Rebecca’s head perks up, and she shifts further on his lap and returns her hands to their earlier perch around his neck.

“Ooooh, is it a sexy game? It sounds sexy.”

“Not quite, but it does involve food. Hand me that bag of M&M’s?”

Rebecca reaches behind her and passes the bag to him with a smirk. “I’m not convinced this isn’t even the least bit sexy. You know, chocolate was considered a powerful aphrodisiac by the Aztecs.”

“In my experience, I’d have to agree,” Nathaniel says, kissing her neck. “But that’s not what we’re doing.” She pouts for a moment before he pops a red M&M from the bag and holds it out to her. “Can you catch it?”

“Pssh, can I catch it? I will catch it.”

It lands with a smack on her cheek.

“Ok, that one was just a warmup. Do it again.” She takes the candy and eats it for good luck.

“Your athletic abilities are astounding,” he teases.

“Shut up. Gimme another.” She waits on edge with her mouth open.

The yellow chocolate candy actually lands in her mouth this time; mind you, Nathaniel didn’t toss it too high and basically aimed for her mouth, but she still got it and celebrates her victory.

“And the Heisman goes to, drum roll please? Rebeccaaaaaaaa Bunch! Hell yeah!”

“You know, they don’t actually announce Heisman winners like that.”

“Whatever. You know I think football is for brainless meatheads anyway.” Nathaniel gives her ass a playful smack, feigning offense. “I didn’t mean you! You happen to be a very smart meathead.” She plants an exaggerated kiss on his lips before climbing off his lap and standing back towards the bedroom door. “Wanna make a bet?”

“I like where this is going,” Nathaniel says with a quirked eyebrow.

“Speaking of bets, I have a great movie we can watch once the food gets here.”

“We can watch it if you win. What’s your wager?”

“If I can catch this candy in my mouth from right here, you’ve gotta eat one of my egg rolls.”

Nathaniel scoffs. “Yeah, likely story. I’ll take a bite.”

“A half?”

“Deal. And if you don’t?” She ponders for a moment before responding with a sexy gleam in her eye.

“If I don’t catch it, which is highly improbable, I’ll tell you a … secret about me.”

“And do 15 push-ups.”

Rebecca looks at him dumbstruck. “Uh, excuse me, I’m sorry, there’s no way. I’ll do 5!”

“10.”

Well, at least he’s willing to compromise. “Fine,” she grumbles. “A secret and 10 push-ups. Now, let’s see how good your aim is, Plimpton. I’m counting on you.”

“Oh, I know how good my aim is, Bunch.”

She licks her lips and sets her stance, keeping her eyes peeled for when Nathaniel tosses the green candy to her. His aim is damn near impeccable and lets the chocolate fly from his fingers with a flick of his wrist.

It lands on the corner of her mouth and clatters to the floor, and Rebecca picks it up from the ground quickly and pops it in her mouth.

“Damnit,” she curses under her breath. “Got it!”

“Very funny, but a bet’s a bet. So, fess up or drop and give me 10.”

“I’ll drop and give you something else.”

“And I wouldn’t complain if you did… after you uphold your end of the bet.” Rebecca juts her lower lip out and folds her hands innocently behind her back.

“Are you sure there’s no way to amend our terms? The way I see it, I’m offering something beneficial for both of us. Don’t you want that?” There’s no question he does, and her seductive little pout isn’t helping matters. Much as he tries, he falls for everything she does, no matter how stupid or embarrassing it makes him seem. This moment here is no exception.

“That’s a very compelling proposal. Tell you what, if you do a sit-up without cheating and can reach my lips, you can make good on your offer.”

“You just wanna see me on my back, don’t you?” She steps towards him with her arms crossed over her chest.

“Isn’t that the end game here anyway?”

“Fair point,” she smirks as she sits on the ground and lies on her back. Nathaniel joins her on the ground, and she immediately sits up to kiss him, but she’s immediately pushed back with Nathaniel’s hand on her shoulder.

“No cheating, remember?” He places both his hands on her feet and leans over in line with her knees. “Hands behind your head.” Rebecca laces her fingers together and meets his eyes with a smile. “You coming,” he asks challengingly.

“You will be as soon as I get up there,” she responds with a teasing curl of her lips. Using all the strength she can muster, Rebecca sits up with only a moderate amount of struggling and a string of “Oh my god, I hate you, you are the worst person ever.” She eventually leans forward and opens her mouth on a relieved sigh, capturing Nathaniel’s lips with her own. He pulls her onto his lap, his legs outstretched beneath her.

“I’m impressed; I thought it was gonna take you longer.”

“V’s been teaching me some yoga. Some of those poses are no joke.”

“I bet it’s made you very … flexible, hasn’t it?”

“Don’t be disgusting, or you can kiss my offer goodbye.”

“Noted,” he concedes, kissing her lips again and lying on his back. After a minute or so of kissing, Rebecca pulls away with a scheming look in her eyes. By mutually beneficial, she meant that they would both be able to enjoy themselves, and she wishes she could see his face of pure shock and arousal when she turns on her stomach and faces his dick. That’s not what he was expecting, but he sure as hell isn’t going to complain.

Rebecca situates her legs on either side of his face as she fumbles with his pants. Finally, she opens them and ghosts her breath over him, just barely taking the tip in her mouth. “Oh, fuck.” Rebecca finally places her mouth on him, and his hips buck up into her. “Shit, you feel so good.”

He has a bit more difficulty wrestling with her pants but eventually gets them down enough to slide her panties aside and taste her sweetness. Rebecca moans around his dick and grinds her hips back into his mouth. Nathaniel alternates between licking at her and crooning his fingers inside of her.

Nathaniel lets out another curse, but Rebecca is too occupied to notice or hear anything, including the incessant knocking at the door. The sound of her name and his hand on her ass finally gets her attention.

“Food’s here.” Rebecca’s ears perk up, and she releases him from her mouth with a pop, jumping up to make herself at least halfway presentable. Of course, she doesn’t bother with his pants, despite him calling after her, and as she opens the door, he hastily tucks himself in and stands up to sit back on the couch.

“Hey, don’t pay for all that. Go grab my wallet off the table.”

“You’re closer, why don’t you bring it to me?” He shoots her an unimpressed look. She knows exactly why he can’t bring it to her and smiles at him, incredibly pleased with herself.

“Do you wanna pay for it then?” Rebecca rolls her eyes and grabs his wallet from the kitchen table, pays the delivery driver, and brings the food over to the couch.

“Mmmm, smells delicious.” She opens her carton of lo mein and exaggeratedly sniffs it.

“Smells like a heart attack,” he quips as she takes a bite.

“At least I’ll die happy,” she says still chewing on her noodles. Nathaniel swipes a drop of sauce from the corner of her mouth and holds her chin between his fingers.

“Didn’t your mother teach you not to talk with your mouth full?” She swallows her food and leans in close to his lips.

“No, she taught me some men are really into that, isn’t that right, Nathaniel?” As per usual, she is right, and he meets her lips halfway, tracing his hand along the side of her face. She brings her hand down and finds him still hard beneath her palm. Laughter rumbling in her chest, her lips leave his and slide up to her ear. “That’s what I thought,” she whispers. “Now, what do you say to another movie? I have a good one in mind.”

“Yes, but you lost the bet, remember?”

“For how much we disagree on what movies are considered good, this is one of the few we can both agree on. Come on, please?” She blinks her eyes and curls up to him with her most genuine smile. Oh, that’s not even fair.

“Depends what it is.” She smirks. She really does have him in the palm of her hand.

Cruel Intentions.” He makes a low noise in his throat and dips his head down to latch his lips to Rebecca’s neck, and she moans, arching into his touch.

“You’re right, that is a good movie,” he says, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. “But if we watch your movie, you tell your secret and I get to ask you anything, full disclosure.”

“Fine by me.” Rebecca tucks her legs underneath her and eats her noodles while Nathaniel searches for the movie on Netflix. “You want something? There’s some broccoli and peas and stuff in here, and you know I’m not gonna touch it. And these egg rolls have some pseudo-vegetables if that helps.”

Against his better judgment, he eats a few bites of her noodles and a piece of an egg roll and promises to do an extra workout because of it. Though, he’s never used his better judgment when it comes to her. Rebecca insinuates athletic activities later on, so for now, he lets his thoughts travel away from salt and grease and to sweeter, softer things like Rebecca’s shampoo and her blousy shirt still hanging off her shoulder from where he kissed her. Nathaniel drops another kiss there as she takes a forkful of noodles and sets the carton aside, replacing it with the pack of Twizzlers she brought.

“Want one?” He shakes his head and kisses her temple. “Hmm, your loss.” She turns her attention to the screen where two step-siblings are making a sexually charged bet, and Rebecca leans over to capture his lips and thread her fingers through his hair. “This seems familiar, doesn’t it?”

“Thankfully with much less incest.”

“Thank God,” she sighs into his kiss.

About 30 or so minutes into the movie, Rebecca knows there’s a particularly hot scene coming up, and feels herself growing wet with anticipation, never mind Nathaniel taking full advantage of two female characters kissing on screen five minutes prior to match the pace of the press of his lips against hers. The grip firmly set in her hair is more so what she anticipates will resurface momentarily. She takes a lull in the action to slide across the couch and settle between his legs, now outstretched along the length of the couch, and his arms fit naturally around her waist.

While his arms stay twined around her waist, one of hers shifts behind her to find his dick and starts working it in her hand above his pants as it happens between step-siblings in the movie. Nathaniel responds in kind, his fingers warm and greedy on her skin, slipping under her thin shirt, finding her breasts, and exploring her soft curves with open hands. Guttural, clipped noises escape from his mouth, including an unforgettably sexy moan of her name. Rebecca teases him until the moment arrives where Kathryn leaves Sebastian hanging with a whispered “Down, boy,” and she copies the action, winking at him as she gets a glass of water from the kitchen.

“You think you’re so cute, huh,” he calls out from the couch.

Rebecca’s smile spreads across her face. “Oh, I know I am.” After taking a few sips, she set her glass on the table and lies on top of him, one hand casually propped under her chin, elbow resting on the pillow underneath his head. Nathaniel takes a piece of her hair and curls it around his finger, admiring how relaxed she looks smiling at him in that flirty, open way he loves.

“You should know by now not to tease me unless you’re asking for me to punish you.”

“When have I ever been good at learning my lesson?” He hums and rolls her on her back, pressing their lips together and slipping his tongue in her mouth. His hand travels south to find her hot center waiting to be touched, so he fits his hand between her pants and panties and rubs her in slow circles. Rebecca grips his hair tighter and tries to bring his hips down where she needs him most, but he holds himself above her, focusing on the patterns of his hands caressing her.

“So, what’s the big secret? It’s gotta be big if you haven’t even told me, so what is it?”

“You … really wanna know,” she asks breathily. He nods and stops moving his hand until she tells him. “Okay, here goes. You know we’re very … open about what we like sexually, but there is something I haven’t told you.”

“I’m intrigued, go on.”

With her most killer smirk and hooded gaze, she sits up, brings her lips to his ear and whispers, “I like being choked with red licorice.”

“Rebecca, be serious.” She pulls back from his ear and holds his gaze unwavering, her eyebrow quirked as if to say, “You don’t think I am?” A smile blooms on her lips as Nathaniel’s expression changes from one of annoyance to astonishment. If this were a cartoon, Nathaniel’s eyes would have popped clean from their sockets and dangled from springs right in front of her face. “Oh. You were being serious, weren’t you?”

“Serious as a heart attack.”

“Yeah, I think I just had one,” he stammers. “Wow. Well, I can safely say you are the first person to tell me that.”

Rebecca flops back on the pillow, covering her eyes with her hands. “Ugh, oh god, I’m so sorry. I made this weird, I made this weird like I always do. Why couldn’t it have been something normal like exhibitionism or chocolate syrup, although those things aren’t entirely off the table—”

She stops abruptly when she feels her wrists pulled away from her face and above her head, a string of red candy dangling teasingly above her, and she sucks in a breath. Oh, hot damn.

“I never said no, did I?” The expression in his eyes is dark and possessive, and Rebecca shifts beneath him, the ache in her center growing stronger. Nathaniel takes a sizeable bite off the end, and Rebecca swallows hard. He drops the candy to her lips, and she tugs a piece from the end. When she goes in for another bite, before she can pull away after taking her share, he puts the rest of the rope in his mouth and kisses her deeply. “So, red licorice, huh? What is it about it? The color red, its striking resemblance to rope?”

“Those things, yeah, but it’s also that sometimes, I just like to feel … out of control. But not just being on the bottom or not calling the shots; it’s more than that.”

“Tell me what I can do. What do you want, Rebecca,” he asks, massaging his lips into the pulse point of her neck. He feels it flutter wildly under his touch and keeps the tension of his grip on her wrists still above her head. She suddenly feels shy; she’s told past lovers of her fetish, but they’ve always been too squeamish or turned off by it that they “forget” all about it. But Nathaniel doesn’t. He never has. Even with the most absolute ridiculous or outlandish fantasy, he’s indulged her, muttering something about there being a first time for everything. Rebecca sighs and lets her request fly from her mouth.

“I want … to be completely submissive to you. Obviously, the licorice is meant to be used around my neck, but I want more. I want you to possess me, control me, make me yours.” Her desires stir a fire in his blood, though not for purely sexual reasons. The last part in particular leaves him eager and willing to fulfill her fantasy, even if for the briefest of moments, he gets to say she’s his. Nathaniel releases her wrists to trace his hands down her body and pull her shirt gently over her head. He gives her a long kiss before pulling away and meeting her eyes seriously.

“Are you sure? I need you to be absolutely sure.”

“I’m sure. I trust you won’t hurt me.”

“I would never hurt you,” he whispers against her lips. “But if I do, you’ll tell me, won’t you?”

She nods. “Safe word’s ‘strawberries.’”

Their lips meet passionately, and Rebecca wraps her legs around his hips, desperate for friction against her core. Nathaniel chuckles when he feels her hips press insistently into him. “So eager already. Do you want me to fuck you? Wrap my fingers around your neck?” His voice drops dangerously close to her ear. “Own you?”

“Yes,” she gasps as he rolls her nipple between his fingers.

“Yes, what?” He tilts her chin upwards to look at him, and her eyes open reflexively, the heat from his irises scorching the blood in her veins.

“Yes, sir.” The last word drops straight to his dick, and he rewards her with a push of his hips into her center.

Fuck , you have no idea how hot that is.” Nathaniel brings his hand down to rub her above her pants, and Rebecca lets out a plea of his name. “Say it again.”

“Yes, sir. Oh my god, Nathaniel.” She’s got one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hair, and it’s so damn good. It’s exactly what she needs.

“Take off your pants.” Rebecca obliges, immediately shimmying out of her pants and starts to drag her underwear down with it, but when Nathaniel catches her movements, he clicks his tongue at her. “Ah, ah. Leave those for me.”

She’s disappointed but tries not to let it show as she obediently takes off her pants and tosses them on the floor below. Nathaniel slides down her body and aligns his mouth with her pussy for the second time that night. At first, he darts his tongue out above the fabric and quickly retracts it before pushing the barrier aside and diving his tongue inside of her. Rebecca’s head falls back against the pillow, and her hips circle into his mouth, greedy for his touch.

Nathaniel finds her clit, and he feels her shudder and hears her breath hitch in her chest. He knows she’s close, but he doesn’t want her to come quite yet. So, he leaves her pussy and kisses up her legs to her hip bones, leaving parallel symbols of his presence beneath the band of her panties, a hidden haven where they live together in oblivious harmony.

Nathaniel slides her underwear down to join her pants and helps her sit up. “Come here, I want to try something.”

The statement puzzles her momentarily, but she accepts his outstretched hand that helps her from the couch. They’re heading to his bedroom, but as a last-minute thought, he grabs the pack of Twizzlers from the coffee table and laces their fingers together with his other hand.

Once they step through the threshold of the door, Nathaniel lifts the hand intertwined with his and kisses it gently, then reclaims her lips. Slowly, he walks her backwards towards the dresser. Rebecca instinctively starts to lift herself onto the surface when she feels the wood hit her ass and lower back, but Nathaniel keeps her feet planted where they are. She breaks their kiss to stare up at him, confused, and reaches for the hem of his loose-fitting t-shirt. He lets Rebecca pull it up, and he finishes taking it over his head and tosses it aside at their feet. Rebecca traces her nails up and down the muscles in his chest and abs. Eventually, Nathaniel speaks up to continue their fantasy.

“Turn around.”

Rebecca turns to face away from Nathaniel and finds herself staring at her own reflection with Nathaniel’s joining her over her shoulder. In the dim light, he looks enchanting, mysterious and beautiful, and Rebecca, sweet Rebecca, looks positively radiant.

“Look at yourself, Rebecca.” For a few moments, she studies herself, the disarray of her hair, the tiredness setting in the space underneath her eyes from too many late nights working, and then she looks down at her hands, feeling suddenly self-conscious. “Look, Rebecca.” She looks up, but her eyes land on Nathaniel’s reflection in the mirror. “No, not at me. You. Don’t move your eyes unless I tell you to, understand?”

“Yes, sir.” It comes out automatically; she didn’t have to think about it to remember to say it.

“You’re such a good girl.” He takes her hair and holds it off to one side of her neck and covers the other side with his lips, the long muscle running down to her shoulder now littered with love bites. Even without his eyes in the mirror, he knows she’s watching, transfixed by the sheer intimacy of the moment; then, he looks up and finds her chasing his reflection instead of her own. “Do you see yourself?” Her attention refocuses on her own body, the flush spreading across her chest visible even with the lack of light. “God, you’re beautiful,” he whispers to her just above the whir of the air conditioning. Rebecca opens her mouth to protest, but Nathaniel doesn’t want to hear that, so he continues.

“Your hair.” He drops a kiss there.

“Your skin.” He runs his hands down her arms, prickling with goosebumps.

“Your body.” His hands settle at the soft curves of her waist, and his nails tickle her sensitive ribs. Rebecca’s breathing quickens as she watches his hands and mouth possess her skin.

“Your smile.” She smiles and lets out a small laugh when he reaches around to capture the corner of her mouth with his lips. It makes him laugh too.

“Your heart.” He opens his fingers and stretches them across the left side of her chest to feel the steady cadence thrumming beneath his fingertips, absorbing the precious sound of her life. Rebecca stares down at Nathaniel’s hand spread across her heart and encloses his hand with her tiny one and takes a deep breath. Good, he has her attention.

His hand leaves her chest and skims up her body to her neck, just resting there, not gripping. “It’s a shame you don’t see yourself the way I see you.”

“Nathaniel—” She starts to oppose him once again, and he responds with a hard smack on her ass that turns her groan of disagreement to one of ecstacy. Rebecca grips the edges of the dresser and lets out a needy curse. He soothes the sting with his palm and waits for her eyes to return to the mirror.

“Tell me again, what do you want, Rebecca?” Nathaniel keeps the hand at her neck adding a little more pressure while his other hand comes up to his mouth, licks his palm, and slowly strokes himself while waiting for her answer.

Breathily, she says, “Take me. Own me. Please.” The hand around her throat squeezes just marginally tighter, Nathaniel not satisfied with her response, and the hand on his cock speeds up watching her eyes open and shut and roll back. “Nath— fuck, please, sir.”

The growl in her ear is downright ravenous, and he releases her throat momentarily. “Bend over.”

She places her forearms on the top of the dresser, her back arching deliciously, and looks up at Nathaniel, eyes blurry with hunger. Nathaniel lines himself up with her and grips the front of her hips, pushing in slowly. The stretch burns at this angle, but the embers settle when he sinks fully inside of her and begins to move, waves of pleasure crashing and damping the fire. Rebecca aches to push back against him, rolling her hips to target the most needy places inside of her, but Nathaniel keeps his hold firm and his strokes deep just how she likes it this way.

Her walls tighten around him, and he knows she’s close, but he doesn’t want her to come just yet. “Stand up.” Reluctantly, he pulls out and lets her stand, her hands still death-gripping the edges of the dresser despite their shaking with adrenaline.

“Nathaniel, please—”

“Watch.” Rebecca’s eyes stare ahead as her breathing slows, waiting for Nathaniel to make his next move. His hands drift up her arms to the tops of her shoulders and down her back to rub gentle circles into her muscles. She sees him lick his lips, and her heart rate begins to climb again. Suddenly, a rush of air sends chills down her back and up to the front of her chest, and her bra comes slowly sliding down her arms, her breasts spilling free, and Nathaniel presses his front against her back and holds her close.

Nathaniel sees the chill race through her body, and when he sees her lips part as he slowly undresses the rest of her, he can’t contain the groan that escapes. He sends his hands on an exploration from the creases of her hips up the sides of her soft, feminine waist, and land on her breasts, filling his hands with her. Even as slowly as he’s moving, Rebecca still feels turned on, more so even with his measured pace. Her nipples are already sensitive to touch, and Rebecca tries her hardest to keep her eyes concentrated on the mirror in front of her, but he’s just so good when he touches her like that and nuzzles her hair, and she can’t keep herself from closing her eyes and leaning back into his touch, losing herself in the moment.

He doesn’t mind all that much that she can’t seem to focus, but when he catches sight of her hand traveling down her body to play with her clit, he’s back in a dominant headspace. One hand stops playing with her breast and roughly circles around her wrist. “I don’t think I gave you permission to do that, did I?”

Rebecca opens her eyes and takes notice of the hand that didn’t quite make it to her center before Nathaniel’s joined her down there. “N—no,” she whispers. He doesn’t even have to tell her that she misspoke; the harsh twist of her nipple says everything. She lets out a broken cry and quickly corrects herself. “No, sir.”

“Oh, Rebecca,” he says in that silky chiding tone that reminds her of a Nathaniel from many months ago, “at least you admit that you can’t seem to learn your lessons. Too bad you have to learn them like this.” He takes her hands and sets them on the edge of the wood. “Don’t move.”

Rebecca takes a deep breath and wills her hands to stop trembling, though her entire body is humming with anticipation. Nathaniel steps back behind her and wraps her in a brief hug.

“Still okay?” His whisper is kind, and she nods, but he needs her to say it. “Promise?”

“Promise,” she whispers back, not wanting to break the building moment. With a feather-light kiss to her lips, he pulls away and back into the scene, bringing Rebecca’s legs further out to flatten her back. When he traces his hands down her body, skimming the planes of her back, it’s quickly contrasted with a series of slaps to her ass that send her into a fiery spiral of raw passion.

“You think you’re in control here, don’t you? You think you can just take what you need without asking for it? Spoiled girl, so used to getting what you want all the time.”

The laugh that leaves his lips rumbles deep and dark within his chest, and he reaches across the dresser to retrieve the object she’s been waiting to feel on her skin all night. It tickles her bare skin, the dip of her spine, the crests of her shoulders, the prickled flesh of her arms, and she looks across to find its unorganized path on her skin. Unorganized it is indeed, for the next place it goes is across her neck, encircling her like a collar. He doesn’t press it into her skin; he just holds it there, offering the illusion to her. Rebecca’s eyes snap up to the mirror. She loves it.

“Beautiful.” For once, Rebecca agrees. “You look so lovely like this, pretty little collar wrapped around your neck. Do you like looking at yourself like this? See how gorgeous you are, Rebecca?”

She lets out a quiet moan and nods. Her expression is positively wrecked, and Nathaniel captures the moment in his mind from the angle of her back to the dilation of her pupils in her reflection before he enters her once again and sees her expression morph into uncharted need. While he has a hand delicately holding each end of the red licorice rope, Nathaniel opts for one hand above her waist and one below, so his right hand drops down to find her clit while his left remains at her neck and pushes into her skin, his fingers applying pressure to the sides of her neck.

“Who controls your pleasure, Rebecca?”

Between her breathy moans and quick breathing, she eventually manages out a quick “You,” to which she’s punished with a brief squeeze tighter on her neck and one tug to her hair. She quickly corrects herself, adding an extra “please” on the end of her sentence.

“Who owns you, Rebecca?”

“You, sir. Fuck, Nathaniel, please let me come. Please.” He speeds up the pace of his thrusts, the pleasure on both of their parts becoming more intense by the second. Rebecca has never felt like this before, so alive . Even as he’s holding the gateway to her supply of oxygen to her brain, she’s never felt more like she can breathe in his arms.

“You’re mine. Say it.” Rebecca nearly screams when he growls the command in her ear, her skin electrified with delight at his voice, his presence, his body consuming her little by little.

“I—fuck, I’m yours, Nathaniel, please.” He believes her. In this moment, she is completely his. It doesn’t matter even if it’s just for this too-short amount of time, but for now, he’d love nothing more than to say it until the air runs out of his lungs.

“Come for me. Come on, give it to me.”

And fuck, she does.

Deep, powerful pulses of her orgasm grip his dick inside of her as he releases her neck and winds that arm around her collarbone and extends her neck with a long pull of her hair. Nathaniel follows Rebecca over the edge in bliss and lets his eyes close momentarily while he spills inside of her before opening them up to survey her reaction. A minute or so passes, and the contractions of her release begin to subside, her body shaking less than before. Rebecca’s hands search for him, her eyes still closed from the fading pleasure, and she needs some contact with him. Nathaniel bring his arms around her middle to hug her close, and Rebecca finally blindly finds his forearms and runs her hands along them with a sigh.

For the next few minutes, he holds her. She lets him. They watch their breathing together, the way their chests begin to puff up and drop in sync. He doesn’t kiss her lips, but he ghosts his own over the apples of her cheeks and then to the shell of her ear. He squeezes her waist gently and presses kisses of admiration into her hair, mumbling half-sentences about how good she is, how strong, how beautiful.

“Are you okay?” She nods and whispers her confirmation to him. “Come on, let’s lay down for a bit.”

This would normally be the part where she protests, says something about no afterglow or pillow talk, but she’s too tired and boneless and blissed out to care at this point, so she lets Nathaniel bring her to the bathroom door to pee, and he waits patiently for her to come out. She opens the door gently and walks up to him, and he kisses the backs of her hands as she stands facing him backlit by the bright white of the bathroom light. In this light, she looks more pale, the red marks on her skin standing out further, but the light behind her looks angelic covering her sex-ridden body.

Nathaniel carefully leads her over to his bed and lifts the covers for her to slide beneath, and she tiredly climbs inside the luxurious cotton and crawls over to what used to be her side of the bed. Since she left him standing alone on his own doorstep all those months ago, Nathaniel’s not let another woman fill the space that used to be hers, electing instead that he should fill that space to hold her place sacred until she returns. But now that she’s here, she occupies the cold left side of his bed, and he fills in the space on the right closest to the door to protect her, and it feels so natural, like home.

She faces away from him at first, still coming down from the intensity of her orgasm, and Nathaniel tentatively wraps his arm around her collarbone, tracing thin weaving patterns with his blunt nails across her bare chest and shoulder. When he can’t hear her breathing for a moment, Nathaniel panics and reaches across her to find the beat of her heart beneath her skin. It’s there, slowly becoming more even the further sleep and exhaustion take hold of her. Suddenly, Rebecca inhales quickly and turns over on her other side to face him, tucking herself into his chest.

He remembers this used to be a favorite spot of hers, lying with her head on his shoulder or the center of his chest, especially after sex. She also held a certain affection for the pulse in his chest. Rebecca curls up to him, her legs tucked beneath her, and god, she looks so tiny. Nathaniel can’t help the hand that caresses the back of her head, and he melts into the arm that wraps over his body.

“Thank you.”

Her voice barely makes contact with the air, the molecules nearly dissipating with the phantom dust of their previous relationship swirling around them. Rebecca looks up to find him staring down at her with such reverence that it sets her heart aflame. Her lips curl up into a smile so gentle and sweet that he swears he sees her glow.

Words so simple, but never has he felt more touched by them. She’s thanked him for things before: surprising her with a latte, taking some work of her shoulders, flying her dad out for her almost-wedding … but this is more than just an expression of gratitude. The deep-set longing in her eyes tells him that this is more than just being kind.

The kiss they share is unlike any other tonight, maybe since that final morning he held her in his arms. It’s a kiss of respect, lust thrown aside for the time being, mutual affection and understanding. Trust, adoration, passion. And something oddly similar to but definitely not love.

Except, Nathaniel wonders as he watches her dreamy eyes drift into slumber, what would happen if it is? The thought circles round and round in his mind until he tires himself out running the mental treadmill of crazy hypotheticals and lets himself focus on here … her. Before closing his eyes, he places a long kiss on Rebecca’s forehead and forms the words but makes no sound.

“I love you.”

He expects the feeling to vanish with the new day, but it seems to stretch into the sunbeams of morning, despite waking up lying on their sides, when he offers her leftovers from the night before that he graciously put in the fridge for her and into the generous offer to soothe the ache between her legs with his tongue and after, a warm rag.

When she obliges to spend the next few hours of her Sunday with him before going home to work on her next presentation, Nathaniel’s heart melts for her all over again. When he lets her pick the movie to watch with breakfast, Rebecca thinks she might have melted too. When she leaves his apartment and he begrudgingly bids her farewell with a kiss and an “until tomorrow,” the pack of Twizzlers and his apartment both lay empty.

Chapter Text

They begin to fall into a pattern. He recognizes the hungry look that blooms behind her irises, and he’s all too quick to suggest a more secluded spot where they can focus on the real task at hand. She leaves when she finishes, doesn’t bask in the afterglow or linger to kiss him afterwards. But today, she stays, sits back on the table, crosses her legs, and sighs as Nathaniel dresses in front of her.

“What are you doing Friday night?”

The question knocks him off-guard for a moment as he stops buttoning his shirt and thinks. “Nothing that I know of. Why?”

“Well, I was thinking maybe you could pencil me in at the top of your very full to-do list?”

“Go on,” Nathaniel says with a smirk.

“I’ve been thinking that it might be fun to be a little more … adventurous. You know, spice things up a bit. And I have an idea: it’s thrilling, it’s sexy, it’s theatrical.” Nathaniel looks at her skeptically, silently requesting elaboration. “Roleplay, it’s roleplay.”

“Ah, I see.” He stops and waits for her to continue, but she doesn’t. “Well, aren’t you going to tell me what we’re doing?”

“Already agreeing, and you haven’t even heard my proposal.” He laughs under his breath and rubs his thumb mindlessly over her knee as she explains her idea. “So, here’s what I’m thinking. Meet me at Crystal Palms, Friday at 8:00, but don’t show up as yourself.”

“Why would I do that?”

“It’s the point of this game. It’s all about the chase, as you once put it. If we pretend we don’t know each other, it makes it that much more fun because we don’t have to hold back.”

He leans in for a kiss but quickly brings his lips to her ear. “But it’s so sexy when you’re moaning my name.” Rebecca sighs and melts into another kiss, quickly losing track of time. She reaches for his shirt until she realizes where she is again.

“Nope, okay, I have work to do, we have work to do, so just … stop doing all of this,” she stammers, gesturing to his face and body as she pops up from the table to compose herself. Rebecca’s heading towards the door when Nathaniel’s voice pulls her back.

“Hey, Friday at 8:00?” She nods. “See you then.” Rebecca grabs a pack of red pens on her way out, smiling softly back at him.


The next few days are spent dancing in and around each other, every kiss building the anticipation of what’s to come. They decide to postpone sex until Friday so it’s truly something they’ve been waiting for, but it doesn’t stop Rebecca from keeping him late the next night to examine her … findings on a case a little more closely. She is technically his boss after all, and he’s more than happy to oblige her request.

Friday comes around, and Rebecca anxiously waits for the package to arrive at her door after work. Thank God for two-day free shipping because what’s inside is definitely not cheap. Her pulse is still beating wildly, most likely from Nathaniel’s hand drifting up her skirt in the elevator, though she’ll fiercely deny it to anyone who asks. When the knock at the door comes, Rebecca lets out a small squeak and answers the door, scribbles her name on delivery pad, and races back inside to open the contents inside. Ripping the box open, she’s shocked to find a much different packaging than what she anticipated.

“Hey, wait, I think you got the wrong …” The delivery man is gone, and Rebecca sighs, staring back down at the package she knows isn’t hers. Should she give it back? Well, maybe opening it up to see what’s inside wouldn’t hurt too much. After all, she did sign for it.

Rebecca lifts the first box out and examines it with care, pearl white and topped with a delicate ribbon. She unknots the ribbon and lifts the box’s lid to discover the present inside but not before finding a card with her name in script across the front. Curiously, Rebecca flips the envelope over to open it and finds a familiar sender’s name etched in the flap across the back. What the hell was he up to?

She reads the note inside:

R,

I learned my lesson from last time. These should fit much better. See you tonight.

N

Inside the box is one of the most gorgeous sets of lingerie Rebecca has ever seen, jet black lace, beautiful and fierce. She runs her fingers over the material and gasps at the craftsmanship at work. The material feels silky and delicate but also supportive and strong enough to keep her breasts in check. Similar feelings resurface from a masquerade once upon a time, and Rebecca feels giddy at the thought of him seeing his present on her later.

A smaller box reveals a hair comb with alternating black and crystal stones in meticulously woven arched patterns that reminds her of some of her favorite classic Hollywood films, alongside a necklace with a similar stone pattern and a pair of black teardrop earrings. Obviously, he had a few ideas in mind when choosing this ensemble.

(Nathaniel might have peeked at her screen to see Rebecca searching jazz clubs in the area, as well as familiarizing herself with some of old Hollywood’s greatest soundtracks.)

Underneath that box lies a sharply contrasting black box, smaller than its predecessor but wrapped with the same precision. This time, the note is attached on top of the box, so she opens it up before venturing into the box.

R,

One last thing: these will complete the outfit.

N

He didn’t.

Two glistening silver balls are tied onto a black string with a loop at the end, and Rebecca stares both dumbfounded and a little amused at the present since she knows exactly what these are for. Cheeky bastard.

The doorbell rings, and Rebecca answers it praying it’s the package she was actually expecting; sure enough, there it is. Opening this one, a burgundy red 40s style swing dress lies neatly pressed inside on top of a sexy pair of patent T-strap heels. The outfit is coming together nicely, and Rebecca runs to her bathroom to start getting ready for the evening to come. Humming her Sexy Getting Ready Song to herself, she slips on the set of lingerie and, for once, feels pretty damn sexy.


Meanwhile, Nathaniel is feeling rather sharp himself as he’s taming his hair in the bathroom mirror. If the mission is not to be himself, he wants to do it right, which means he can’t give any indication of who he might be. He opts for a style with less height and more body, very Cary Grant. He keeps his attire simple but sophisticated, similarly to how he dressed when he and Rebecca first met. Sure, it’s a bit different from the more relaxed style he’s opted for as of late, but Nathaniel could certainly get used to the trim cut of a suit jacket again, especially since he knows how fond Rebecca is of it.

Spritzing on cologne and swiping a comb through his hair once more, he contacts his driver to let him know where to pick him up. When he asks about his plans for the evening, Nathaniel keeps much a secret but discloses his identity for the night, simply to keep things in character.

It’s 8:04 when he arrives inside the dimly lit bar, strings of lights wrapped around palm trees dripping with crystals from their leaves. The crystals might be mass produced and the leaves might be plastic, but at least it gives the impression of an upscale establishment. The music is low, industrial with a humming of something sultry beneath the beat. Nathaniel straightens his tie and confidently enters the main room, lingering to admire the decor. His eyes trace over the pristine bottles of liquor behind the counter and the antiques adorning the walls, the plush velvet of a chaise lounge sharply contrasted with a black leather armchair.

And then his eyes fixate on her.

Her hair is curled and pulled back from her face by a stunning hair comb that sits just behind her ear, and she’s swirling the stirrer of a drink while staring off at the dance floor behind her. When she turns enough for him to catch a glimpse of her profile, damn, she’s gorgeous.

Making his way closer, Nathaniel takes notice of the deep burgundy of her dress as it pairs with her fair skin and dark hair and watches her pull her bottom lip between her teeth as she studies the crowds shuffling in and out of the dance floor. She sighs and turns back to face the counter, polishing off her drink and signaling to the bartender for another. That’s his cue.

“Allow me,” he cuts in, handing his silver card to the bartender. “This seat taken?”

“It is now.” She gestures to the seat on her left, and it’s then he finds her eyes and his heart skips a beat. A simple flick of eyeliner and a few coats of mascara is all she needs to make her blue eyes pop. “Got a name, handsome?”

“Sure do. Question is, are you the lucky girl who’s gonna be moaning it by the end of the night?”

“Cocky, are you?”

“Oh, you have no idea.” The bartender slides her drink over and begins mixing a whiskey neat for Nathaniel … or should we say … “James Scott. And you are?”

Rebecca laughs under her breath and crosses one leg delicately over the other before revealing her identity for the evening. “Scarlett. Scarlett Quill.” She gives him a wink with an upward curl of her lips. He knows her strategy in choosing that name, and he shivers at the recollection of a certain quill-related incident.

“So, Scarlett ,” he starts, resting his arm over the back of the chair, “what’s your poison tonight?”

She takes a sip and sets it back down. “It’s this brand spankin’ new concoction, real stiff, if you ask me. They call it a gin and tonic.”

He laughs. “A gin and tonic, huh? Sounds like a hit in the making.” Nathaniel takes a sip of his whiskey and turns his shoulders to face her. “Let me ask you something, Ms. Quill.”

“Shoot. And by the way, it’s just Scarlett.”

“Alright then, Scarlett.” Damn, Rebecca could get used to the way that sounds, the syllables rolling off his tongue like honey. Uncrossing her legs proves to be a bad idea, the silver balls shift teasingly inside of her, doing nothing to relieve the growing tension between her legs. Damn him and his stupid present. “Tell me, what’s a dame like you doing sitting all alone tonight?”

She shifts in her seat and clears her throat. “As luck would have it, I’m actually waiting for someone, though I couldn’t tell you where on God’s green earth he is. I’ve been in this same spot probably half an hour now.”

“Pity. Damn slag doesn’t know what he’s missing.”

“I’ll drink to that,” Rebecca says, lifting her glass and clinking it with Nathaniel’s. “Don’t fret though, he’s a bit of a drip. I’ll bet you’re ten times the company he would have been.”

“Well, I certainly do know how to show a lady a good time.”

“I’ll be holding you to that, Mr. Scott.” They take sips of their respective drinks before she continues. “So, what do you do for work?”

“Oh … I work in the law … ” Rebecca gives him a side-eye and a quirk of her eyebrow as if to silently say, “Come on, dude, you can do better than that.”

He clears his throat and swirls his drink in his hands. “... in a manner of speaking.”

“I’m intrigued. Go on.” She leans in closer and rests her fingers just above his knee.

“‘Fraid I can’t do that, doll, because if I told you, I’d have to kill you.” She raises her eyebrow for a much different reason this time, looking back at him incredulously.

“So, you’re in cahoots with all those underground operatives? Dangerous line of work you’ve gotten yourself in.”

“And yet, you seem so fascinated by it.” Rebecca looks down with a small grin at the fingers tracing over his knee. “And what’s your occupation, Ms. Scarlett?”

“It’s ridiculous, really—”

Nathaniel takes the hand at his knee and laces their fingers together. “Tell me.”

She takes a deep breath. “I’m not from around these parts, I’m sure you could tell. My mother wanted me to have a practical job, a secretary or a school teacher, something boring like that. Not me. I’ve always wanted to be an actress. And an author, given my last name and all. But acting, the bright lights, the stage … that’s where I really want to be. Is that crazy?”

Nathaniel takes a sip of his drink and leans in close like he’s aiming for a kiss. “Maybe a little.”

Rebecca smacks his chest and sits back. “You know, you were supposed to say ‘that’s not crazy at all!’”

“Unfortunately, that would make me a liar, and I am, if anything, a man of my word.” Rebecca playfully rolls her eyes and takes another sip. “I will say that if it were up to me, I’d have your name put up on every marquee in this entire damned city.”

Her eyes grow ten childlike miles wide. “Really?”

“You bet.” He spreads his fingers and paints his vision to her. “Picture this. ‘Broadway sensation Scarlett Quill takes the stage for one night only.’ Every fella I know would be banging down the doors to see you up there.” Rebecca looks down shyly and finishes her drink.

“Hey, what do you say we blow this joint and go cut a rug some place? I know a swanky little club not too far from here. Just a little stint ‘round the corner.”

“I’m not really much a jiver.”

Rebecca leans over, pouting out her bottom lip, and walks her fingers up the length of his tie up to his shirt collar. “I thought you were a man of your word and all that. What happened to knowing how to show a lady a good time?”

“You’re a smart girl; I think you know what I meant by that.”

“Still, it does take two to tango.” She’s looking up at him with those eyes, the ones she uses to get what she wants. He knows those eyes too damn well, and every damn time, he’s powerless to resist them.

“Fair enough. Lead the way then.”

Nathaniel stands first, offering his hand to Rebecca, and together they leave the bar, the energy pulsating between them. Like a gentleman, he takes the street side when they walk, and he slows his stride to let her lead. He squeezes her hand to silently ask if she’s still okay, not wanting to break character, and she offers a squeeze and a smile in return to confirm his question.


The club they enter is more illuminated than the bar, and now, he can really see how that shade of burgundy complements her skin and the way her necklace sparkles when the light bounces off of it. On her end, she can see how sharply his gray suit cuts, and hot damn . Rebecca has missed him so clean, save for his facial hair, and she has to admit, it’s doing a lot for her.

“May I present, Smoky Jazz…”  Rebecca elongates her z’s and breathes out a sigh.

“... with four extra z’s,” Nathaniel grumbles in a hushed voice, leaning towards her. “Seems a little excessive, don’t you think?”

“It’s thematic, okay? Just go with it,” she whines, elbowing him in the rib. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t indulge, but this was no ordinary occasion, so he buries his annoyance with the ostentatious name, sighs, and lets the act continue.

“Fine. Well then, what’s so special about it other than its ridiculous name?”

Rebecca inhales and closes her eyes, letting the rustic smell seep into her skin. “There’s just something about this place. The music, the dancing, the incredible selection of cocktails. They’re all fine and good by themselves, but it’s a night to remember when you have someone to share it with.”

“I certainly hope to make this a night you’ll never forget.” He offers his arm. “Shall we?”

A memory stirs in her mind of a night reminiscent of the one they’re currently experiencing. A crowded dance floor, music filling every corner of the room, his steady grip on her arm. Of course, the masks they’re wearing tonight aren’t obstructing their faces, but the drama and glamour of the masquerade is alive in the air. Rebecca stands and watches for what only seems like a moment, but she doesn’t register how long she’s been frozen, transfixed at the fantastical scene around her, until Nathaniel’s hand brushes electricity down the small of her back. She looks up at him, and her breath catches in her throat for a moment as he’s eyeing her with such astonishing admiration.

“You ready?” Rebecca nods and lets him lead her towards a table. He pulls out her chair and lets her sit before unbuttoning his jacket and taking a seat.

A man slides up to their table. “How y’all folks doin’ tonight? Welcome to Smoky Jazzzzzz … my name is Ike. Can I offer you a drink? Our specialty cocktail tonight is the Cat On a Hot Tin Roof.”

Rebecca raises her eyebrows at Nathaniel, her interest sufficiently piqued, and he responds with equal interest. “Worth a shot, don’t you think? We’ll take two, extra strong, and make it snappy.”

Ike slides off to fix their drinks, and Rebecca shuffles in her seat with excitement. “Wow, this place is even better than Paula said.”

“Paula? Who’s she?”

“My best friend … well, really my only friend. She’s like the mama I never got. Ever since I came here to West Covina, she’s been nothing but the most kind and gentle soul to me. She helped me get set up, look for work. Quick tongue, too. You’d love her.”

Ike comes back quicker than a bullet with their drinks and sets each of them on the table with a flourish. “And here we are, folks! Now, if y’all need anything at all tonight, don’t hesitate to ask.”

A companionable silence falls between them as they sip their drinks. Rebecca finds herself staring off wistfully into the crowds again watching the couples mingling and swaying to the smooth saxophone solo. He finds himself watching her again, much like he finds he does in their everyday lives, yearning to know her better, searching for what she really wants.

“You alright over there?”

“Just thinking,” she says. She’s humming something to herself, her foot keeping time with the energetic beat.

Suddenly, it clicks. He knows what he wants to do. Another sip of liquid courage, and he pushes his chair out to stand and join her at her side.

“Dance with me, doll.” Rebecca looks up at him incredulously, and he returns her gaze with a tempting quirk of his eyebrow.

“I thought you said you were a hoofer.”

“I said that I don’t dance much; never said I was bad at it.” Rebecca takes his hand and starts towards the dance floor while the band introduces a slower song.

“Show me what you’ve got then, casanova.”

Nathaniel takes her hand and twirls her under his arm as the opening strings soar into a sultry piano melody. He brings her in close as the vocals enter, a raspy baritone crooning the lyrics to Nina Simone’s “I Put a Spell on You.” Their hands clasped with a delicate intensity, the couple sways together, another reminder from a night long ago. Things aren’t the same as back then, but at least for tonight, they can pretend they are.

It’s like they’re the only ones in the room, their eyes locking together in a heated dance. She swipes her leg backwards and drags the toe of her T-strap heel along the floor to wrap around his leg. He opens his fingers along the side of her knee and walks them down to her ankle, flicking her heel from his leg, and she brings that leg up and around to turn herself away from him, her back now deliciously pressed against his front. A few wolf whistles come from the corner as Rebecca swivels her hips against Nathaniel and looks up at him with a smile and her bottom lip between her teeth.

He takes the lead back and turns her around once again to face him, this time taking her towards the center of the floor to show her off. When she turns, her skirt fans out and ripples back, and she spins underneath his arm once more before looping their arms overhead, extending fully out, and quickly turning in to him, wrapping her leg around his waist and giving her weight over to him. Rebecca grips him tightly as he leans backwards, her weight shifting near fully onto him. The crowd applauds their chemistry and technical work as Rebecca leads him away from the center spotlight and into a more secluded area of the dance floor. There, Nathaniel embraces his softer ways, kissing her hand to thank her for the dance and brings her back to a proper dance hold where he waits and sways in tempo with the song.

“Can I ask you something,” she says, breaking the silence amidst the saxophone solo.

“Anything.”

Rebecca draws in a breath, willing herself the courage to ask her question while silently cursing herself for disregarding the golden rule of theatre about breaking character. Ok, screw it. “Why did you agree to all this, really?”

Nathaniel averts her gaze momentarily, his real answers much too ridiculous. She’s asking this question as Rebecca, no facade to cover her. She’s asking a real question, and he wishes he could give his real answer. To spend any time with you is time well spent; I wanted to hold you close, even just for a little while; there’s nothing I want more than to spend this night and every night with you…

“Why wouldn’t I want to spend the evening with the most beautiful woman in this room?” She blushes and looks down. “What, you don’t believe me? Look around.” She glances at the women infatuated with their partners and watches as they spin gracefully across the floor. Nathaniel’s hand brushes the side of her face, guiding her eyes back to meet his own. “I don’t see any other beautiful women around here. Do you?”

Rebecca lets out the tense breath she’s been holding in and relaxes her arms to bring them both around his neck, kissing him passionately for the first time all evening. The kiss sparks with unresolved sexual tension and the promise of fulfillment later on. It’s tender for now, though the pair can suspect that once away from prying eyes, things won’t remain that way for long.

“I think I’d very much like to take you home with me, Ms. Scarlett. What do you say?” She presses her rouge-stained lips to his neck and works her way up to his ear.

“How soon can we get there?”

“Fifteen minutes. I’ll just call for my driver. Until then, let’s dance.”

The vocals cut out of the second verse while the musicians fiddle and play with each other’s melodies and harmonies, vamping and allowing each instrument to shine. Rebecca and Nathaniel remain pressed against one another allowing the intimacy of the song to guide their movements. As the song finishes, he gives her a little dip backwards, and Rebecca giggles and wraps her fingers around his neck to pull herself back up. In the transition to the next song, Nathaniel gets a text from his driver telling him where to meet, so he takes Rebecca’s hand to lead her out and towards the car, a sleek stretch limousine.

“Chuck, would you take us to my apartment, please?” With a nod, he rolls up the partition and sets the car in motion.

That’s all it takes before their hands and mouths are everywhere.

“You … were … incredible in there,” Nathaniel says between kisses. He presses his fingers against her hip, urging her to bring her leg over his hips to straddle his lap, and she happily works her way over with her skirt billowing out over his legs. Nathaniel slides his hand beneath her dress and cups her ass as they kiss hungrily. “Do you have the … present I bought you?”

“Find out for yourself,” she whispers huskily against his neck and grinds her hips into him.

Both presents?” Rebecca laughs lowly and continues kissing up and down the column of his neck. Nathaniel moves his hand to the edge of her panties, her breath quickening until he reaches the spot, and then … stops. “I think I can wait until we’re home to check and see.”

“Fucking tease,” she growls and pounces on his mouth, her red lipstick now scattered across his face and neck in sloppy strokes of need. And now, he’s convinced she’s actually trying to kill him for making her wait. Rebecca situates her legs higher on his lap, pushes her wet center harder into him, and makes her kisses sting with a little extra bite.

After what seems like an eternity (Friday night traffic having much to do with that) Chuck parks the car and rolls down the partition to let Nathaniel know they’ve arrived. When the couple exits the car, he notices that he’s got his jacket around someone familiar, but it isn’t Mona. Hair’s too short, boobs are way too nice. Thankfully, he doesn’t mention it to Nathaniel, though he does notice how relaxed he seems around her and silently wishes the best for him.

He fumbles with the keys for a long while, his hands too shaky with adrenaline to focus on unlocking his door. Meanwhile, Rebecca presses her body against him from behind and runs her hands up and down his chest, now only covered by his tucked dress shirt. Finally, the door gives way, and he stumbles inside, bringing her along. Rebecca slams his back against the hard surface and frantically pops the buttons she can reach before Nathaniel traps her hands flat against his chest.

“What’s your rush, doll? We’ve got all night, don’t we?” She pulls back slowly and invites herself further into the space, turning around and walking towards the living area’s windows, carelessly tossing her clutch and his jacket on the table on her way. “What are you up to over there?”

Rebecca pulls back the curtain and peers out across the skyline watching the tiny lights twinkle under the unusually clear night. “Just admiring the view.”

He’s behind her in a few steps, his hands caressing her arms as he looks over her shoulder. “Beautiful, isn’t it? If you think this view’s pretty, you should see it from the rooftop. Now that is just … magical.”

They’re silent for a few moments as they stare out into the bustling night below. His hands begin to drift towards her skirt, returning to caress her ass once more. Rebecca snickers a little and glances behind her to find what it is he’s so fascinated with.

“What are you up to back there?”

Cheekily, he says with a small smack on her ass, “Just admiring the view.”

“What’s your rush, stud? We’ve got all night, don’t we,” she teases, throwing his words petulantly back at him. Nathaniel turns her around and presses her back against the window, slotting his leg between hers.

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. I just need to hear you say my name.”

Following a kiss, she breathily croons against his lips, “James.”

He shakes his head and lifts her chin. “Try again.”

Maybe he wants her to say it louder, deeper maybe? So, she tries once more, a syrupy groan in his ear. “Mr. Scott.”

Once again, he shakes his head. Rebecca looks at him confused for a moment. “So, we’re not— this is— wait, are we—”

He presses his knee into her sensitive center and swallows her moan with a needy exhale of her name. “Rebecca .”

That’s all it takes for her to unravel, the act dropped in an instant. “Nathaniel .” She yanks him down to her by his still perfectly styled hair and greedily slides her tongue inside his mouth. “Oh god, I’ve missed saying that. Also, what the hell is in your hair? It’s too sticky, I can’t run my fingers through it.”

“You know, there’s a very easy way that gets this product out of my hair and gets us both naked. Interested?”

“We’ll see.” Rebecca finishes opening and untucking his shirt, and she runs her hands along his skin, molding his body back into hers and subsequently into the window. Rebecca raises her leg and winds it around his hip to bring their bodies closer still.

“Let’s see about that present now, shall we?”

“Thank God,” she exhales, her head hitting the window in relief. “I don’t think I could make it another minute with those things. Not as comfortable as you might think.”

He slides her underwear to the side but doesn’t take them off; he’ll leave that job for her later. Slowly pulling the string, the silver balls come out one at a time, both dripping with her desire, and Nathaniel can’t help the dark moan that escapes.

“You’ve been thinking about this all night, haven’t you?”

“What can I say, dancing gets me worked up. Not to mention, you in that very tight suit is one way to get me hot and bothered. But maybe next time, could you do something with a little less weight? Those things got to be very— oh my god…”

Nathaniel takes the orb and swirls it inside his mouth to taste her, and Rebecca swears his face has never looked more wrecked. He pops the string from his mouth and offers the second link to her, which she tentatively accepts with a swipe of her tongue around the circumference. When he kisses her again, she tastes herself on his tongue and moans, dragging her hand down to relieve the building pressure that’s now becoming unbearable.

“You want to come so badly, don’t you?” Rebecca nods and pushes her hips into him. Her hand gets close enough to slide beneath the black lace, but before she reaches her destination, he replaces her hand with his own and shoves two fingers inside of her without preamble. Rebecca lets out a sharp cry that’s quickly overruled by a delicious long moan and a breathy plea for more.

This orgasm is quick, not much effort needed considering how aroused she already was, and it’s certainly not the last he has in mind for her. When she comes, it doesn’t linger, which he knows spells well for more orgasms later. Nathaniel catches her eyes, anxious to continue what they’ve started, and he reaches around to the back of her dress to find the zipper. He softly asks permission if he can take it off, but she shakes her head and walks him back towards the couch, her heels clicking in a measured tempo with every step, sliding his open shirt from his body.

She pushes her hands against his chest and knocks him back onto the cushions, and he swears he’s dreamt that exact moment before. Rebecca’s eyes demand his attention, his gaze hot and hungry on her body. She reaches around and finds her zipper, slowly tugging it down the length of her back to an imaginary beat and waits for a moment before letting Nathaniel see what he’s been waiting for all evening. Rebecca slips her arms out of her sleeves, gives her hips a little shimmy and lets her dress fall in a pool at her feet. Nathaniel’s jaw goes slack when he sees the lingerie he bought her actually on her body, and it fits like a gem. She looks … stunning.

“God damn, Rebecca,” he breathes. The heels accentuate her legs to make her look and feel much taller, and she’s appreciating Nathaniel’s visceral response to them. Just for an added effect, Rebecca makes a circle around herself so he can see exactly how the pieces look together, and when she rounds herself, Nathaniel’s palming himself above his pants, eager to be inside of her. She reaches down to slide one strap out of its buckle, but Nathaniel stops her.

“Leave the heels.” Rebecca smiles and struts back towards the window, but he isn’t finished yet. “Just the heels.” Slowly, she turns back around, her hands working the clasps of her bra open behind her. When she unhooks it, she tosses the garment at Nathaniel with a wink. Rebecca runs her thumb underneath the hem of the underwear with a mock expression of indecision about how to proceed. His low groan of her name is all it takes to spur her into action, flinging the light material in his direction before beckoning him back towards the window.

He stands and follows her but reaches for her wrist before she makes it to the window. “You sure?”

“Let’s give L.A. County a little show tonight,” she says with a seductive twinkle in her eyes and tugs him to press her body back against the window. They kiss desperately for a few moments while they simultaneously work on his pants.

Finally, he strips down and turns her around to face the city, her breasts flat against the cool glass. Nathaniel attaches his lips to her neck on the side exposed by her hair comb and leaves a hot trail of want from her ear to her shoulder in his wake. The thrill of someone seeing in, even from the third floor, gives Rebecca a rush of adrenaline and desire, and she shivers with the thought of someone seeing her head back in pleasure, fully free and uninhibited. He urges her to take a few steps back to get a better angle, lines himself up, and slowly pushes inside of her. She sighs in pleasure and lets the feeling of his cock inside of her linger and stretch until she can’t help but start thrusting against him.

“God, you’re incredible. Fuck, Rebecca.”

He continues to whisper to her, gravelly and desperate, as she builds to another orgasm. With her palms against the window, back arched in a wonderfully raunchy way, she wishes she could see the dirty angle of his cock moving in and out while one hand plays with her nipple. But for now, she imagines it and tosses her head back when he hits that rough patch inside of her.

“Do you think someone will see,” she asks quietly.

“Do you want them to,” he whispers in her ear.

“Maybe,” she says with a sexy smile in her voice. Nathaniel hums melodically against her skin and thrusts into her harder.

“Dirty girl. You love the thrill of getting caught, don’t you? Is that what does it for you? You want someone to see you like this, your head thrown back, moaning my name. Is that what you want?” She nods. “What else do you want?”

Rebecca takes the hand on her nipple and moves it to her ass, silently telling him what she desires. He catches on quickly and drops a hard palm on her right ass cheek. She gasps and immediately melts into the touch; she loves it. She begs him to keep going, he loves it.

The way her voice breaks on the second syllable of his name sends him racing towards his release, and he apologizes into her hair as he lets go inside the condom. Rebecca drops one of her hands from the glass and rubs her clit while he lingers inside of her and holds her close. She’s content to finish on her own fingers, but Nathaniel replaces hers with his and lets her ride out her second orgasm on his hand. This one rolls steady like a river, and he floats along happily with her for the ride until she stands up, pulls the curtains shut, and turns around to kiss him deeply.

Their kisses change pace, once frantic and hurried now substituted for more languid strokes of lips and tongues against each other. Their eager hands won’t stay still, aching to touch every inch of skin they can reach, pure need overtaking all rationality. Finally, they break apart for air and stand holding each other close until Nathaniel takes her hand and walks alongside her to the bed. For a moment, they stand looking at each other, absorbing their flushed complexions and memorizing the hues of their eyes. Breathing together, it’s intimate, it’s powerful, it’s—

“Hi.” She’s first to speak as usual.

“Hi.” He’s much softer now, the gentler notes of his voice coming forward and greet her after such an intense night of passion. “How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good, if I may say so myself.”

He laughs a little. “Was it worth the wait?”

“Oh, you bet your sweet tall ass it was,” she says with another kiss.

“You up for another, or do you want to go to bed?” Rebecca sits on the bed and tugs his wrist to pull him on top of her, giggling into the crook of his neck. Her hips rise to meet his, and she wraps her legs around his back while still laughing despite Nathaniel’s lips caressing all of the tender places on her neck. “You’re insatiable, you know that?”

“You’re one to talk,” she teases with a moan. Rebecca runs her fingers through his hair (or tries to) before getting frustrated with all of the pomade keeping his hair tame. “Ugh, seriously, what is in your hair, fucking Gorilla Glue?”

“At least the pomade works. My earlier proposal is still on the table, you know.” His eyebrow arches when he meets her eyes, propositioning her to give into his request. She reaches out her hand with a smile and slides to the end of the bed to let him pull her to standing and into the bathroom.

He turns on the water and lets it heat up before stepping inside. While they wait, Nathaniel gently takes the comb from the right side of her hair and watches it fall gracefully to its rightful fullness by her ear. Rebecca busies herself with setting her earrings on the counter while he unclasps her necklace behind her, his hand gliding across her collarbone, sending shivers down her spine. Their eyes meet in the mirror, a sexy memory resurfacing in both of their minds. Rebecca’s eyes darken, and she steps in the shower pulling him along.

Once inside, she immediately springs into action, pressing her lips to his. Rebecca nudges him towards the spray of the shower to rinse the product from his hair. When it’s sufficiently damp, she finds her fingers glide through his hair much easier now than before.

“Much better,” she hums against his lips.

“Good.” Jokingly, he gives her a peck and begins to exit the shower. “Well, if that’s all you wanted then, I guess I’ll just be going—“

Rebecca tugs on his wrist hard enough that it effectively pins her body against the shower wall when he turns back around to face her. He braces his hand against the wall to avoid slipping and stares down at her, breathing quicker than usual.

Nathaniel isn’t sentimental or nostalgic, but he does crave the feeling of just standing with her, looking at her, all walls down. There’s an open look in her eyes, honest, quiet, and powerful, one that he hasn’t seen in quite some time. She’s there, naked, body and soul. The latter is more important. Here, she’s not trying to cover up or pretending to be someone else. She’s just Rebecca .

His hand on the wall comes across to touch her face, and he smiles at her when she reacts with a long melt into the touch. When he tries to run his fingers through her curls, he’s caught in a web of hairspray about halfway down her head.

“Did you use a gallon of hairspray to keep these curls in?”

“Only a pint,” Rebecca corrects him teasingly, pecks his cheek, and slides around to wet her hair, the hot water soothing her tense muscles. With her eyes closed and head tilted back, moaning in that beautifully musical way as the water hits her skin, Nathaniel can’t stop himself from reaching out and pinching a nipple between his fingers. She squeaks at first but eventually sighs at the pleasurable tingles it sends through her body. Rebecca doesn’t have to say anything for him to know she’s aroused again, though he does ask her what she wants. She grabs the back of his head and pulls his mouth down to meet hers, forcefully swirling her tongue inside his mouth. Ah, he understands now.

Turning her around, her back hits the shower wall, and she tightens her fingers in his hair. He knows when this side of Rebecca comes out, and she isn’t in the mood for something soft and sweet right now. His lips eventually wander down her body, stopping at each nipple and quickly skimming down her stomach until he reaches her thighs.

“Spread your legs,” he says, tapping the outside of her thigh. Immediately, Nathaniel dives in, licking a long stripe up her center that makes Rebecca tremble and grip him harder. Rebecca smiles into her next exhale of pleasure and vaguely wonders how he has to do so little to make her feel so good. The thought is quickly banished by the scrape of his facial hair against her inner thighs. Well, we all have our gifts, I suppose.

She looks down at him to find him looking up at her, and it turns her on so damn much to see her ex-boss/ex-boyfriend on his knees eating her out in front of her. This should be illegal because something so wrong should not feel so right; and yet, here they are. Nathaniel digs his fingers into her hipbone and sinks his tongue deeper inside of her, and it doesn’t take more than a few well-placed strokes before she lets herself come, breathily repeating his name like a prayer.

After Rebecca’s orgasm subsides, Nathaniel stands up with a satisfied grin, licking his lips and leaning in to kiss her. She graciously accepts his kiss and brings her lips up to his ear.

“I love when you do that,” she says, nipping at his earlobe.

“I love doing that to you,” he responds with a series of kisses to her neck. When he feels her hand reach down towards his cock, he brings it up to his chest. “Hey, you don’t have to return the favor.”

“But I want to.”

He kisses her forehead and steps towards the opposite end of the shower. “Okay. But can we at least get out of the cold water first?”

“Yep, that’s probably a good— Don’t you dare splash me!” He does it anyway, tossing the cool water carelessly to her side of the shower. Before she can grab a handful for herself to retaliate, Nathaniel turns the shower handle off and races out of the bathroom. “You’re gonna pay for that,” she calls from the bathroom, trying not to slip as she runs out of the shower.

Rebecca hot on his heels, she’s close enough to him to repeat her flying squirrel attack. Thankfully, his back hits the mattress instead of the floor, and he’s laughing, which makes her laugh, and she settles on top of him, her head resting on his chest as they laugh about the immaturity of what just happened.


The rest of the night is spent much like the beginning, discovering each other, bantering back and forth in their secret language, pressing kisses to every inch of available skin as they lie face to face and talk well into the night. Rebecca falls asleep on his chest amid a conversation about times they’ve taken bad advice. It starts simple, like not saying no to a dare, and then she mentions those dumb butter commercials before curling into his side and drifting off to sleep.

Sure, he knows the one. Truly Happy Butter. It was on every damn billboard when he worked in L.A. He thinks of the tagline again. “When was the last time you were truly happy?”

Maybe that stupid commercial has a point.

Chapter Text

Deny it all she wants, she is asking for it today. Between her incessant interjections and tireless tangents, Nathaniel has had it up to his neck with Rebecca for the day. A nagging part of him thinks she’s doing it on purpose, trying to distract him for some unexplained reason, but even if she isn’t, he gets the overwhelming urge to shut her up by any means necessary.

She’s clicking her damn pen again. Of course, sharing an office with her means he’s picked up on her concentrating habits, only out of professional curiosity; her pen is one of many. The tempo of the snaps is the indicator of how fast the thoughts are moving in her head. Right now, they might as well be tap dancing on speed. God, if she doesn’t stop, he’s going to snatch that pen out of her hand, grip her wrist and—

Control yourself, Nathaniel. Deep breath.

Good, she’s stopped for now. Lightbulbs illuminate behind her eyes, and she begins to write. After a while, Rebecca looks up at him with those wide innocent eyes and a hint of a smile before ducking her head back into her paper like the tenderness in her gaze never existed, and he softens the clench of his fist as he takes a fleeting moment to grin subtly and watch her work.

And then she pulls her lip between her teeth. God knows he’d love to drop everything and kiss her, chase her taste, and tug her bottom lip into his mouth. As hot as it is to observe and imagine, Nathaniel’s growing needy and impatient and wants her here, right now. Her lips part ever so slightly as she studies her page, tracing her pen delicately over the line of text she’s deciphering, and hot damn, why does she do this to him? Who gave Rebecca Bunch the power to affect him so much? Or maybe he’s just too weak to resist? (Definitely the latter.)

The flesh turns white from pressure, and Nathaniel knows she’s hit a mental block when the furrowing of her eyebrows accompanies her lip bite. Desperately, he wishes she were knitting her eyes together for a more salacious reason. It appears when she’s almost reached her orgasmic limit that her eyes squeeze shut, her lips open in a silent plea for more, and she grips tightest to him. Oh, he loves that look. He vaguely wonders how many times it would take to get to that look right—

Not now, damnit. Not here.

Suddenly, it hits her, and her face blossoms as she scribbles notes in the margins with a bubbly, celebratory sigh. That’s the open side of Rebecca he wishes he could see more often. Nathaniel knew she would figure out whatever it was, but right now, he would give anything to recreate that relaxed expression with his tongue inside of her pussy.

Rebecca stands up to stretch and take a small break, and why does she have to push her boobs out and arch her back like that? She must be trying to murder him. She’s turned her back to leave, but before he can release the breath he’s been holding, she turns back around in the doorway. Her hair whips around behind her, and her foot wraps around the opposite ankle.

“Need anything while I’m up?”

He shakes his head tensely, and she leaves with a cute bounce. That’s not fair. The breath he’s kept inside comes out as a long groan. He checks his watch; it’s barely an hour past lunch. God damnit.

It’s not intentional, he thinks, until later when he catches the tiniest snicker when she interrupts his analysis of their latest case for a fourth time with an off-topic question.

It starts with just a single word.

“So, I feel like he’d respond well to—“

“Candy.”

He blinks rapidly for a second. “What?”

“Yeah, it’s, like, the ultimate incentive.”

“Maybe, if he were five years old.”

“Come on, you can’t tell me you’ve never accepted a candy bribe before.”

Nathaniel clears his throat. “As I was saying, let’s offer him something to really sweeten the deal—“

“Maybe you’re right, candy seems a little childish. Oooh! Paula makes the most amazing double chocolate cookies you’ve ever tasted—“

“Does everything out of your mouth have something to do with food?”

“Hey, it’s not my fault I have a big appetite.” Rebecca’s lip curls up when he eventually realizes that she isn’t just talking about her affinity for sweets.

He takes a breath and slides a page over to her side of the desk. “I’ve been working on this today. What do you think?” Rebecca ponders it for a moment, studying the proposal with precision. “This seems like a good—“

A package rips open, and Rebecca plops a pack of Twizzlers on her desk, taking one out and gnawing off a piece at the end. He swallows hard. When Nathaniel tries to finish his sentence, he stutters and lets a jumbled mess of vowels escape.

“You were saying,” she asks sweetly, her eyes conveying no ulterior motive. Nathaniel straightens his papers in deflection and tries to regain his focus.

“Right. So, after analyzing both sides, I think the best thing to do is—“

“Want one?” Her smile at first glance appears genuine, but her inflection tells him that’s not the case. Nathaniel drops his pen on the table and scrubs his face with his hands. She lets out a tiny laugh and munches another piece of her licorice rope. When he catches her giggle, he lifts his head, eyes quickly becoming predatory.

“You think you’re funny.”

“No. I’m hilarious,” she counters, popping the rest of her candy in her mouth.

“If you interrupt me one more time, so help me god ...“

“What? What are you gonna do about it?” She sits back in her chair with a challenge in her eyes. She wants him to do something, wants him to snap that precious control he keeps so well around the office, and he’s finding it much harder to maintain by the second.

“I might have a thing or two in mind.”

“And that’s where those things are going to stay. Please, I know you won’t do anything.”

“Do you?”

Rebecca scoffs. “That tie is wound about as tight as your attitude around this office. You couldn’t lose a shred of control if you tried.”

Nathaniel clenches his fist again and leans forward. “You’re testing me, woman.”

She reciprocates and matches his posture. “That Stanford education should come in handy to pass this one then.” He sits unmoving but calculating. The itch to grab her hair and crash his lips into hers tingles at his fingertips. No one is paying half a mind to this corner of the office, if anyone is still even here, so what difference would one kiss make? The longer he ponders it, the longer he spends thinking of what he could spend his money on other than a public indecency fine.

His resignation begins to show. Her victory sealed, Rebecca laughs under her breath and pushes her chair out. “Good night, Nathaniel,” she singsongs, grabbing her bag and turning on her heel out of their office. He knows it would be completely unprofessional to pursue her, not to mention it would add another tick to the messy scrawl of mistakes etched into a chestnut door. But at the same time, the temptation is intense, too intense.

By the time he looks after her, she’s gone. And he’s hard. Fuck.

He takes a few breaths, packs his things, and heads home without a care for the speed limit. Of course, when he stalls in traffic, he should be thinking about important things, like actual work, but every time his mind lands on the office, it circles back to that irresistible smirk when she crossed her legs at her desk. Nathaniel enjoyed that fiery look in her eyes, daring him to make the first move. Like the tease she is, she strutted out of their office and left him hard and panting. But what if she had stayed? Spread those legs just enough to let him take a peek as she dipped her finger into her—

A car horn honks behind him, harshly snapping him from his reverie.

Maybe if he separates himself from her long enough, he can focus on what’s actually important. His job, his girlfriend, who he probably should have called or at least texted on his way home from work. He types out a quick message.

Mona

Fri, Mar 19, 6:15 PM
Dinner tonight?
Can’t. Working late. Maybe tomorrow?
Sounds good.

Nathaniel tosses his phone on the couch and decides to run for a bit. That usually helps to clear his head.

The rhythm in his ears pounds hard and heavy, the perfect contrast to her softness. His feet hit that pavement and his feet carry him further towards an aimless destination. Even as he pushes further and runs faster when thoughts of Rebecca cross his mind, the images won’t leave. Her teeth capturing her lip, her hair fanning out when she turns, her back arching as she stretches, her sultry gaze from beneath her eyelashes. Nathaniel loses his breath and stops.

He turns around to head back home, and on the run back, there’s her voice with its teasing lilt drowning out the lyrics of the song, sweetly beckoning him to lose control.

Please, I know you won’t do anything.

You couldn’t lose a shred of control if you tried.

I wanna fuck you like an animal.

Wait, she didn’t say that last thing. Oh, fuck. He speeds up his pace, but all intent to work out is gone; he’s just trying to get home as quickly as possible.

When Nathaniel steps through the door, he’s desperate, unhinged. The only option is to make himself come right now; this is pure need coursing in his veins as he makes his way to the shower and turns the temperature higher than usual. He remembers to lock the bathroom door behind him to avoid any sort of interruption.

The steam clouds the bathroom mirror, and Nathaniel gets in the shower, the spray hot and tantalizing as it washes over his skin. For a moment, he tilts his head back, closes his eyes, and lets out a sigh. This feels good, just what he needs after a long run. All preoccupying thoughts seem to disappear until he finds her in his mind again with red lipstick and her signature smirk. He opens his eyes and swears for a moment that she’s standing naked in front of him, her hair wind-blown and carelessly styled and her eyes aflame with desire.

Nathaniel’s hand slips down to his cock as he places a palm flat against the shower wall to ground himself. His mind begins to wander back to a few short hours ago where he’s adamant now to prove her wrong.


“You think you’re funny,” he growls.

“No. I’m hilarious.” Rebecca takes the rest of the candy in her mouth slowly, letting him see every inch of the licorice disappearing behind her lips.

“If you interrupt me one more time, so help me god …”

“What? What are you gonna do about it?” Her chair creaks when she leans back to stare him down, offering him a challenge, should he be so inclined to take it. Sadly, he missed the earlier opportunity when they were actually together, but here in this fantasy, there aren’t any real limits. Just the limits of how far his imagination will stretch. So, he goes full force.

“I think I might have to teach your smart mouth a lesson of what happens when you interrupt me.”

“Big talk,” Rebecca says, unconvinced, and waves her hand in dismissal. His eyes darken as he places his palms on the desk.

“You wanna find out?” Her eyebrows raise in curiosity as he smirks back at her.

“And what if I said I did?”

“I’d say come over here and get on your knees.” Rebecca crosses her thighs underneath the table, and with a flippant eye roll, she picks up her pen and returns to writing. “That’s cute, trying to resist me.” She says nothing and continues to keep her eyes down. He could wait, tease it out of her a little, walk away to make her chase him to the supply closet, but he’s not really in a waiting mood. Nathaniel gives a cursory glance to the rest of the office where he can’t find anyone in sight.

Wait a minute. This is my fantasy. I can control what happens here.

After ridding the office of all possible distractions or interruptions, Nathaniel stands behind his desk and rolls his sleeves up while Rebecca still works silently at her desk. “Here’s the thing, though. We both know how easy it would be for me to control you. I could just grab your hair, pull you up out of this chair, and have my way with you. Doesn’t that sound nice right now?”

“I’m a little busy, as you can see.” She doesn’t bother looking up from her paper, but her pen isn’t making contact with the page anymore, and she adjusts in her chair to keep her legs closed tighter.

He chuckles. “That’s interesting, because you pressing your thighs together tells me you’re a little busy with something else.” Rebecca blinks her eyes a few times and turns her head as far from his voice as she can. She tries to stop herself, she really does, but— “Rebecca.”

She turns around to face him and stops, drinking in the sight of his sleeves carelessly pushed up to his elbows, his hair on the right side of out of place, probably from too many frustrated combs through it with his fingers. Never mind that the slight messiness makes him look a few times hotter. But she isn’t going to let herself cave that easily.

Taking a deep breath, she says, “I’m working, Nathaniel, and you should be too.”

“Are you going to let me finish a sentence this time?” Rebecca shrugs and tries to conceal the budding smile threatening to stretch across her face. “Okay then.” Taking a long sigh, Nathaniel sits back down and picks up the brief he was trying to discuss with Rebecca before she cut him off for a fourth time. “As I was saying, I think we could …” She stands up and crosses to the left side of his desk, her black patent heels clicking with each step. It catches his attention, but he tries not to let his arousal show as she stands with her right ankle crossed behind her left. He clears his throat. “As I was saying,” he says a bit more forcefully, “I’ve worked out a compromise that’s fair for both parties. Sure, I could have maybe given their guy a little more, but—”

Rebecca opens her mouth and asks in a low voice, “Are you hungry, Nathaniel?”

Immediately, he stands from his chair and takes her hair in his hand, tipping her head up towards his mouth. “You’re damn right I am now.” He pulls her in for a brutal kiss, smashing their mouths together unceremoniously while she moans.

The wall behind her is clear, and Nathaniel presses her back into it, his hand still tangled in her dark curled hair. “I thought I told you to stop interrupting me. You really want to find out what I’m going to do, don’t you?” Her eyes glaze over and her bottom lip parts slightly. Nathaniel brings his lips to her earlobe. “Get on your knees.”

Rebecca smiles devilishly. “Make me.”

Even amid his fantasy, Nathaniel pulls her in, his hands spanning across her back as he hugs her tight. “You sure,” he whispers roughly. Rebecca nods twice and lifts her face up to his for a kiss, but he’s not having it.

He presses his hand down on her shoulder, and she complies with his request, sitting up on her knees. Rebecca immediately reaches for his belt, desperate to feel him, but she stops when she feels his hand grasp her chin and lift it up towards him. Nathaniel brushes his fingers back through her curls and then rubs his thumb over her bottom lip.

Rebecca takes the signal as a command to continue, and she works his belt and pants open and off as quick as she can. When she tries to wrap her mouth around him, closing her eyes, Nathaniel takes hold of her chin again. “Eyes up here.”

Hooded as they are, Rebecca looks up at him while she takes him in her mouth, swirling her tongue around the length of his cock. His delicious moan and fist of fingers in her hair tells her that she’s doing something right.

“I want to try something. Open your mouth, and don’t move.” She stretches her jaw a little wider, and even though she has an idea of what he’s planning, the thought still excites her. Grabbing her hair into an unkempt ponytail, Nathaniel guides her head up and down the length of his cock, starting off slowly and building pace over time. Sprinkled between his moans are reverent utterances of her name with ardent praises of the feel of her mouth and her tongue and her hair.

He pulls her back for a moment to let her breathe and relax but keeps his grip steady in her hair. Rebecca smiles up at him in that wickedly sweet way, intentionally not showing her teeth to make her seem mysterious and seductive. There’s a lack of impression behind her eyes, though. There’s something there saying that he can be rougher.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel’s hand speeds up rubbing up and down his cock as he lets the shower spray slosh over his body. He’s reminded in this moment about losing control, and there’s some aspect of control and composure that he can’t give up, try as he might. He wouldn’t forgive himself if he hurt her, even in his fantasy, though his raw need for her is quickly overtaking any complex thought processes. So, he begins to act on impulse.

“You have such a pretty mouth, Rebecca. I wonder if your pussy is as tight as your mouth.” He pulls her to her feet and drops a scattered line of kisses down the side of her neck. Each tender spot is sealed in red with his teeth. “You want me to fuck you?”

Rebecca shrugs noncommittally. “Not really.”

“Is that right? You’re telling me you don’t want my fingers inside of you? Hmmm?” He’s kissing behind her earlobe, and she hates herself for letting one of her weak spots show. His hands come up to her shoulders and up her neck. “You don’t want me to shove you up against this wall and fuck you until you can’t come anymore?”

“If you’re gonna do that on this wall, just don’t make me call you Captain,” she deadpans, gesturing to the infamous water polo picture she’s standing underneath.

He lets out a laugh. She’ll find any time to crack a joke about that picture or about water polo in general. “Maybe one day, but not tonight. No, I have something better in mind.”

Nathaniel’s hands slide down her arms and circle at her wrists to push them over her head. Rebecca’s breath stutters when she hears his satisfied hum as her body stretches long against the wall plane. His breath tickles her neck and collarbone. “I want you to say my name when I fuck you into this wall. I want you to know who’s the only person that gets to fuck you like that.” One of his hands keeps both of her wrists above her while his other hand travels down to her face, cupping her chin between his fingers. “Say my name, Rebecca.”

She moans and arches back against the wall. Softly, she says, “Nathaniel.”

His eyes darken possessively; oh, how he loves the sound of his name on her lips, so delicate and enchanting. The hand at her chin slips down her body and works its way beneath her skirt. Nathaniel’s fingers recognize the fabric of her panties, but he doesn’t venture beneath them yet. “Say it again.”

It’s a little louder this time when she repeats his name, and he rewards her with two fingers stroking along her pussy. Her resounding moan is close enough to snap his control and just slam his cock into her with no other foreplay, but he’s focused on making her come until her legs shake and she’s dripping in sweat.

When he finally takes the same two fingers and works them roughly inside of her, Rebecca makes the most beautiful sound and throws her eyes to the ceiling in pleasure. “Oh, fuck.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll get there soon.” When he feels her walls begin to flutter, Nathaniel doubles his efforts and curls his fingers to find all of her most sensitive places. “Come for me, Rebecca.” She squirms in his hold, but he keeps her still until the thread snaps inside of her, and a thousand and one nerve endings fire off in her blissful release.

There’s no afterglow or pause after Rebecca comes, Nathaniel too desperate to wait any longer to be inside of her. He fumbles for a condom in his pants, now bunched around his ankles. “Hands and knees,” he commands. Rebecca drops down and faces away from him towards the rest of the office. Interesting exhibitionist choice there, he notes. Nathaniel wraps his fingers around her hips and slides inside of her with a long groan. “Oh, fuck, Rebecca.”

The slow pace doesn’t last long, his baser urges taking over, and god, she feels so good, so tight, so perfect. Her back arches, and she tosses her hair back, mouth open in a silent cry of pleasure. One of his hands leaves her hip and offers two fingers for her to wet in her mouth. Those fingers reach under her bra to roll her nipple back and forth, and Rebecca lets out a low hum. “Fucking shit, Nathaniel.”

“You like that, don’t you?” She nods and gasps when he switches to the opposite side of her chest. His hand moves back up her body and settles at her neck where his hand can easily fill the space. Nathaniel notes the aroused change in her pulse when his fingers meet the skin of her neck, and he drives into her harder. Her response is exactly what he wanted.

“Oh my god, Nathaniel, please.”

“Say that again,” he orders with a smack to her ass. Testing the waters carefully, he presses one fingertip into the side of her neck, then a second before gauging her reaction. Rebecca recoils at the sting on her skin, but she can’t deny that it felt damn good, and she’d do anything for more of that.

“Please do that again. Holy fuck, please do that again,” she begs. This time, Nathaniel grips her neck and adds pressure, holding for just a few seconds before slapping her ass again and letting both sensations roll out simultaneously. He watches her body shiver in response, and they both know that she loved whatever that was, never mind the dizzying feeling still clouding her head.

“Harder,” she whispers. She’s really asking for him to overpower her, and as much as he second guesses himself about actually taking control of her, the fantasy version of him says that he should give her what she wants without question. Of course, he doesn’t immediately comply, his vacillating thoughts playing a never ending game of catch, so she begs him again.

“Harder. Harder. Harder …”


There’s a faint rhythm he hears that isn’t in time with the thrusts of his hips inside of her. Someone’s at the door. Are you fucking serious?

The pounding continues as he scrambles to turn off the water and find a towel, which takes exceedingly longer considering how roughly he was pulled from his incredible fantasy. And he was so close too. He silently yells at himself for not just finishing while he could, but the knocking isn’t letting up any time soon. Nathaniel carelessly throws on a t-shirt, simultaneously oblivious and uncaring that it’s backwards, and some sweatpants that unfortunately do very little to hide his earlier activities and makes his way to the door. He stands behind it to cover as much of his lower half as possible, and he’s surprised, to say the least, when he sees who’s behind the door.

His mouth drops open. She’s back in those same black heels with a new coat of lipstick and smirk that could kill. “I see you lost the tie.”

“Yeah, I, ummm, I went for a run earlier,” he stammers, trying to maintain his composure. Rebecca acknowledges him and takes a step in to his apartment and towards him. “Wait, Rebecca, I don’t know if that’s such a good—”

Her eyes widen as she stares down at the obvious erection he’s trying to cover up. Impressive, she can’t lie, but she wonders with a churning stomach if he was alone before she came to the door. She tries to quickly evade the potentially awkward situation, should his actual girlfriend be one room over. She clears her throat.

“That’s some … mileage you’ve got there. Ummm, I guess I should let you get back to—” Rebecca starts to turn towards the door, but Nathaniel grips her wrist to keep her close and pushes her back against the door to slam it shut. “Were you—”

“Thinking about you? Of course I was.” His hands come up to her face, and he smooths his thumbs over the apples of her cheeks.

“No, are you—”

“Alone? Yes, absolutely.”

“Now look who’s interrupting me,” she teases. Nathaniel brings his lips close to hers but doesn’t touch them yet.

“Well, what are you gonna do about that?” He winks at her, and she brings his face down for a forceful kiss that presses her even further into the door’s surface as his hands explore her body and hers tangle in his wet hair. Nathaniel’s hand comes down underneath her skirt and finds scorching wet heat already there. “I see you’ve been up to something too, haven’t you?”

“Full disclosure? I might have had a similar idea when I got home today.” Nathaniel hums and kisses down her neck. “What have you been thinking about?”

“I think you’d rather me show you than tell you.”

“You’d be right about that,” she says, running her hands over his chest. “Do you think you can lose control, Nathaniel?”

Nathaniel grabs her wrists and pulls them up over her head and against the door and laughs when she lets out a surprised gasp. “I don’t think there’s any question about that now.” She leans in for a kiss, all teeth and tongue and pure sexuality. “Come up here,” he mumbles against her lips.

Rebecca wraps her legs around his hip, and he drops his hands from her wrists to lift her up and push her back against the door. Nathaniel slips his hand between her legs and finds her clit, flicking it with his thumb while his fingers tease her opening. He curses when she clenches hard around his teasing finger and flutters her eyelashes. “You’re so close already, aren’t you?” Rebecca nods and grips tighter to Nathaniel’s hair. “Good. Come for me.”

It doesn’t take more than a few strokes and a groan of her name into her shoulder before she tightens fully around him, and the orgasm rushes through her. Nathaniel helps her down from her high but keeps her in his arms and pressed against the door. He leans in for a kiss but stops halfway to her lips.

“You want more?” Rebecca nods, her eyes hazy and unfocused. Nathaniel moves closer. “What do you say?”

“Please, Nathaniel?” His lips part, and she goes in for a kiss, tugging at his bottom lip with her teeth. She knows she’s done something right when he growls low in his throat and hoists her up higher on his hips.

They move to his bed quickly, lips never leaving one another, and despite his eagerness to feel her, he lays her down gently on the mattress and keeps his kisses long and passionate. He urges Rebecca back further into the bed while bunching her dress around her hips, and she opens her legs just enough to tease him. But he wants more. Nathaniel spreads her legs and, like lightning, dives his tongue between them.

He’s messy, much less finessed than his normal mode of eating her out, but she doesn’t mind it here. Maybe the flicks of his tongue against her clit aren’t as staccato as they normally are, but Rebecca certainly enjoys seeing if he can trade his polish for passion and give in to his fiercer desires. Nathaniel reaches places inside of her she didn’t know existed, and while she tries to arch up into his touch, he holds her still with both of his hands on her hipbones.

“Jesus Christ,” she moans. Nathaniel lifts his eyes up and manages to find hers in the dim light.

“That’s quite a hefty compliment,” he says smugly. In lieu of an eye roll, Rebecca pushes his head back down between her legs.

“Bastard.”

“Turn over,” he mumbles with his mouth pressed against her center. She asks him to repeat himself, but he decides to show, not tell, and brings her right thigh up and over his head. Instinctively, she rises up on her knees and places her palms beneath her shoulders to steady herself, but as it turns out, Rebecca doesn’t need her hands for much longer.

Nathaniel swipes her hands out from underneath her and pins them behind her back, and she gasps in shock. “Whoa, what the—”

When he sinks into her, her confusion melts away, and all that’s left is a languid, melodic expression of gratitude. She’s enjoying the control he’s taking, and he has to admit that it’s a better victory when she tests him or tries to assert dominance since he knows he can overpower her if he wants. Her moans ascend in pitch, and his name on her lips grows breathier, so he can tell she’s getting close again. One of his hands keeps her wrists pressed against the small of her back while the other is twisting her hair back into a messy ponytail and pulling it towards him to lift her head.

Rebecca makes a broken sound of arousal and lets a curse fly loose as Nathaniel speeds up his pace inside of her. He attaches his lips to the back of her neck behind her hair and sucks a hard mark into the supple skin near the tops of her shoulders. Sure, they have rules about never leaving evidence behind, but he’s too far gone to care about any sort of regulation.

“You like getting fucked like this, huh? With all your clothes still on, makes you feel dirty, doesn’t it?” He bites the shell of her ear and swallows her hiss with a sloppy kiss. Nathaniel lets go of her hair and lets her head hit the mattress, taking his now free hand to her ass and leaving a bright red handprint in its wake. “You can put up a good fight, that’s for sure, but at the end of the day, we both know you love it when someone can control you.”

“Yesssss …” Rebecca arches her back when Nathaniel releases her wrists and finds her nipple under her bra cup, passing over it with the calloused pad of his thumb. “God, keep going.”

“I want to see you.” It’s less of a request than a command because he pulls out and flips her onto her back. Not wasting any time, he sits her up and pulls her dress over her head while she grabs the hem of his t-shirt. Nathaniel slides his cock back inside of her and buries his face in her neck. “Fuck, Rebecca, you’re so good.”

Rebecca wraps her arms and legs around his body and rocks with him to get closer to her orgasm. Despite him controlling the pace of the sex, she’s the one to bring his face up to hers for a kiss. It’s less a battle of teeth and tongues and more of a dance of lips and hands. She nestles her fingertips into his shoulders as he cups the side of her head with his hand and finds rest in the strands of her hair.

They kiss like this for a while, the only sounds in the room are their hips moving together and the wet pops of their kisses when they come up for air. The sun long set beneath the horizon, the moonlight casts an enchanting shadow over Rebecca’s face and body that Nathaniel takes every opportunity to memorize. It looks like something out of a dream, something out of his dream …

“Oh, Nathaniel,” she moans into his ear.

“Oh, Rebecca.”

“God, it’s so sexy when you say that.”

“What? Rebecca,” he repeats, adding emphasis to the second syllable of her name. She lets out a strangled sound of pleasure as he repeats “Rebecca” in various pitches and speeds into her neck and ear. Goosebumps appear on her arms, and she clings to him as she feels the first waves of her orgasm crashing over her. “Fuck, are you—”

She frantically nods and buries her face in the space between his neck and shoulder as she comes, and he can’t hold back anymore. With a groan, he lets go inside the condom and waits to move until she’s breathing normally again. Carefully pulling out, he slips the condom off and rolls to the side of her, bringing her along on her side to face him. Nathaniel laces his fingers with hers and props himself up on his elbow to stare at her, a sweaty but gorgeous mess. Rebecca copies him with a sigh and stares down at their intertwined fingers.

“So, how’s that for losing a shred of control?” She makes an exaggerated fainting motion back down onto her back. He laughs and reaches for her hand again. “That good, huh? Come here.” When he tugs on her hand, she rolls over and straddles his hips, her hands pressing on his chest. Nathaniel’s eyes grow wide with surprise. “Oh, that’s not what I meant, but I’m definitely okay with that too—”

Rebecca cuts him off with a low laugh and a long kiss. “Do you wanna finish that shower now?”

“Only if you’re planning to join me.”

“I don’t know, what’s in it for me?”

He brushes a few of her bangs back behind her ear. “Well, I may be able to offer you something to … sweeten the deal.”

“Oh? And what would that be?”

“I got you a present. Check the bedside table.”

Rebecca moves off of him and curiously checks the drawer on her left side to find an unopened pack of Twizzlers inside. She turns to look back at him with a smirk, and he returns it with a quirk of his eyebrow.

“I think the shower can wait, don’t you,” he asks cheekily. Rebecca answers by climbing back on top of him with a heated kiss.

The shower waited until the next morning.

Chapter Text

Things around the office are running as typical Thursdays do, everyone’s eyes on the clocks instead of their books and not much chatter between each other. The heaters turned on early this morning to keep the chill out of the building, but it doesn’t stop the draft that comes through the elevator shortly before lunch. With the ding of the elevator and the thud of heavy dress shoes against the floor, everyone on the main floor looks up to find Nathaniel Plimpton II looking even more uptight than usual.

When he comes through those doors, it’s never a good sign. The office crew huddles together in the conference room as the elder Plimpton passes, sweeping frosty dismissal along his path. Not even acknowledging the “band of misfit toys,” as he once called them? Oh no, this is destined for trouble.

Nathaniel doesn’t look up from his papers when the office door opens, assuming his espresso-haired partner is strolling back in with a hot cup of coffee in her hands.

“I was beginning to think you got lost in…” He trails off when finds his father standing in the doorway with an icy stare. Immediately, Nathaniel tenses up and pops out of his chair. “Dad, hi. I didn’t know you were in town. It’s good to see y—“

“I wish I could say I were here under better circumstances.”

Nathaniel laughs nervously. “What? What do you mean?”

“Let’s take a walk, shall we?”

Obediently, Nathaniel follows his father out of the office door and back to the hallway near the back stairwell, hands clenched in fists. Some innermost part of him knows what’s about to come next, but his father remains ominous, his unchanging stiff back showing no signs of emotion. Nathaniel faces his father, who gives him a disapproving stare. Nathaniel Sr. drops his voice and leans over towards his son. “You let this firm, my firm, be overrun by a woman? What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Dad, I can explain—”

“Save it. I don’t want to hear your sob story about how you let yourself be so weak. This firm is my livelihood, yours too, and now you’ve made a mockery of it by letting this Jewish harlot take over. Ridiculous.”

Nathaniel wants to say something to his father, call him out on being such an asshole, but he restrains himself, digging his nails deeper into the flesh of his palms. In some twisted way, he knows his father is right about him being completely helpless to resist her. Though, his dad knows absolutely nothing about her, and he has no right to talk about her that way. Nathaniel’s eyes stay downcast, concentrating on the tight press of his fisted fingers.

“Rebecca isn’t a harlot, dad. She’s smart and sensitive and caring and—”

“Not to mention, mentally unstable.” His son’s eyes shoot up in disbelief. “What, you think I didn’t know about your ‘friend’s’ little suicide attempt? Her history of mental illness? Arson?” All of that information was in that sealed file, so how did he…? “The Daily Covina is a great source of information. And did you know that Darryl is a bisexual? I knew he always had a bit of a personality, to say the least, but now it all makes sense.” After Nathaniel doesn’t respond, his father continues. “You know, I couldn’t believe it at first, someone so bright and young so willing to take her own life. To inconvenience so many people like that—”

“She’s not inconveniencing anyone. Rebecca’s been through a lot in the last year, and—”

“Why are you so quick to defend her?” The younger Plimpton shifts from foot to foot and avoids his father’s eyes, and it’s not hard for his father to put the pieces together. Suddenly, his tone becomes disparaging. “Oh, I get it now. You’ve developed feelings for her. Is that it? Are you in love with her or something?”

“No, I love Mona.” Nathaniel tries to sound firm in his delivery, but he still can’t return his father’s eyes, proving him entirely unconvincing. “Can we please change the subject? Why did you really come here, other than to yell at me about Rebecca?”

Unaware of the tense situation happening outside, Rebecca almost makes it out of the bathroom when she spots Nathaniel and his father in a heated discussion by the stairs. When her name comes up in the conversation, she holds back for a moment. What could he possibly have to say about her?

Clearly, his father’s hit a nerve, but of course, it isn’t enough until Plimpton Sr. twists the knife just one more time. “I bet you were tempted by her … figure, weren’t you?”

Rebecca’s jaw clenches, and she’s about to swing the bathroom door wide open, ready to fight. Like hell she’s going to let anyone talk about her that way. Thankfully, Nathaniel takes care of that for her.

“I’ve heard enough. Get out of my office.”

Nathaniel Sr. bristles at his son’s attitude and straightens his spine impossibly. Despite being shorter than his son, Nathaniel swears his father grew ten intimidating feet. “I beg your pardon. Your office? You mean my office, boy. I think you’ve forgotten who’s in charge here. As your boss and your father, I demand respect from you, do you understand?”

Nathaniel says nothing, trying to keep his trembling at bay, which only fuels his father to lash out harder. He grips his chin and turns his son’s head to face him. “Look at me when I’m talking to you. You might be all grown up now, but you are still my child, and I can certainly treat you like one. Now, you will respect me in my office, do you understand?”

“Yes, sir,” Nathaniel says quietly, his blue eyes paralyzed with fear.

Looking on from behind the door, Rebecca visibly winces when Nathaniel’s father grabs him. She clamps her hand over her mouth. She wants to move, run away and forget what she just saw and heard, but her feet stay fearfully frozen in place. He looks like a child, squirming under the grip of his father’s disapproval. Rebecca knows that feeling.

“I don’t know how and why you let this woman get to you, but you should know it’s only made me even more ashamed of you. You are an embarrassment to this family name.” When his father lets him go, Nathaniel shrinks into himself with shame. “You know how I feel about losers, Nathaniel. I thought you would stand above them, but it seems you’ve turned into one of them.”

His voice grows high and desperate against his best efforts. “Dad, please, I’m—“

The strike against his cheek echoes, and even Rebecca can feel the force of the slap from twenty feet away. He opens his eyes and finds Rebecca’s head peeking from behind the bathroom door with impossibly wide eyes scared into the next dimension. As soon as she sees him see her, she conceals herself behind the door, her eyes welling up with tears. Nathaniel holds his stinging cheek and exhales sharply while the senior Plimpton readjusts his tie, taking a slow breath out of his nose.

“Son, you know that I’m only trying to make you better.” Nathaniel stiffens his jaw and nods grimly. “I’ll see myself out now.”

“That would be best,” Nathaniel says darkly.

He hears his footsteps fade, the elevator ding, the hushed chatter from the main office area, but he doesn’t register any of it. Numbly, he stands in the same spot, eyes glued to the floor.

When Nathaniel Sr. leaves the office, the cubicle inhabitants try to resume normalcy, but their postures and glances his way are tense and worried. Something had to have happened. The others too nervous to speculate, Paula takes note that the younger Plimpton doesn’t re-emerge from the hallway. Her eyes grow sad, she lets out a quivering breath and moves back to her desk, trying to work but unable to focus.

Hesitantly, Rebecca emerges from the bathroom once she can be certain his father is gone. She doesn’t expect to find Nathaniel standing in the same place, shoulders uncharacteristically slumped in defeat. Taking a few tentative steps towards him, Rebecca softly calls his name.

“Nathaniel?”

His eyes widen as he looks up at her. He says nothing, immediately finding the supply closet door and concealing himself inside. Rebecca squeezes her eyes shut and takes a slow breath. Normally, she knows to leave him alone if he’s angry or upset, especially about something that happened with his father, but this time, she feels she has a responsibility not to leave it alone. Rebecca walks up to the door and knocks quietly four times before opening the door just enough to look inside.

“Hey. Can I come in?” After a moment’s hesitation, Nathaniel nods, and Rebecca shuts the door and locks it behind her.

Nathaniel faces away from her, but even though his face is concealed, his stance tells him everything she needs to know. This isn’t the Nathaniel she knows, the one she’s known for the last few months. This Nathaniel is even more closed off, but sadness has overpowered his arrogance. The man in front of her isn’t who she thought he was at all, and the twinges of sympathy she felt for him hum within her once again.

Rebecca offers her hand to the closer one of his, unsure if he’ll flinch away at her touch, but he doesn’t. He slides his palm into hers and looks down at his feet nervously. Afraid to push beyond what he’s given her, Rebecca stands with Nathaniel in silence, listening to him breathe in and out, gradually tightening his grip on her hand and eventually threading his fingers in hers.

Finally, she feels comfortable enough to speak. Simply, she asks, “Are you okay?”

She spoke too soon. His lack of response compels her to hug him tight, her small arms wrapping around his middle, and she buries her face into his chest with a sigh. Rebecca’s tactile response stuns Nathaniel; she’s always been so guarded about physical intimacy since their split two months ago, but this isn’t an ordinary circumstance. So, he lets himself enjoy the moment, tucks his chin into her neck and rubs soft circles into her back. Her embrace is the remedy he needs. He needs to get lost, he aches to forget the hurt and bury his pain inside something warmer than his heart.

Rebecca lifts her head slowly and finds Nathaniel’s cheek with her lips, pressing a long kiss there to heal the phantom sting of his father’s fingers. He hisses at the first touch but then lets her soft lips caress his skin, and warmth fills his chest as her lips touch his cheek. He expects her to pull away after that kiss, but she gives another in a new spot on his cheek, then another dropping down to his neck, and another…

“Rebecca—“

“Shhhh. Let me make you feel good,” she mumbles into his neck. Rebecca starts to sink to her knees, and while Nathaniel wouldn’t complain about that right now, he’s more interested in something else. He pulls her back up to standing and kisses her lips.

“You really want to make me feel good?” She nods. Nathaniel laces his fingers with hers and walks her over to the table at the end of the room, pulling the chair out from underneath the desk. He sits in the chair and urges her onto his lap with a kiss. This chair is much more convenient than either of their office chairs with its lack of arms to inhibit their range of motion. Rebecca vaguely wonders if that was intentional but quickly refocuses her attention to his mouth.

Their kisses start slowly, hesitantly almost. She’s the one to test the waters, increasing the depth of her kiss, exploring his mouth with her tongue, because this is how it’s always been. They’ve never wasted time, never wandered in each other’s embrace. Always concise and precise, no room to linger. For Nathaniel, that’s not the case today. Today, he wants to lose himself.

Rebecca tries to pick up the pace by grabbing at his shirt and popping a few buttons open, but Nathaniel takes her hands and places them flat on his shoulders. He cups his hand on the side of her face and strokes her cheeks as he kisses her slowly and deeply. But this isn’t them, she thinks. This isn’t what they do, ever. Mistakes aren’t carefully measured, mistakes aren’t slow and rolling and intimate, and she has to convince herself that this isn’t a deliberate decision. When she presses her hips down into his, trying to gain friction at her center, Nathaniel stills her hips with his hand.

“Rebecca, slow down,” he whispers into her neck. She shakes her head fiercely and continues to seek a more frantic pleasure in her kiss. “Hey, stop. Talk to me.” When she tries again to ignore him, Nathaniel takes her face in both of his hands and pulls her back to look her in the eyes. “What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry,” she whispers. “It’s just … we don’t do … slow, ever.”

“Do you want to stop?”

“But I’m supposed to be—“ She tries to instigate sexual contact, but Nathaniel takes her wrists in his hands.

“Don’t worry about me. I’m asking you.” He repeats the question slower this time. “Do you want to stop?”

She should have seen this coming.

She says no.

Deliberate mistake number 1.

When she leans in to kiss him again, she’s much more careful this time, her lips gentler against his. Rebecca brings her hands down to untuck his shirt, but she’s in no rush. Each button popping reveals a new inch of skin that she gratefully caresses her palms over until she finally reaches his belt and stops for a moment.

“This is just a one time thing,” he says automatically while she opens his pants.

She knows what he means; it’s what he always says before they venture to actual sexual activities. Of course, the phrasing varies every time so it doesn’t feel so completely routine; sometimes it’s a question sprinkled with boyish hope that he’s wrong, and sometimes it’s a stake of assertion driven into the ground. Rebecca knows her expectations and will meet them with diligence, but this time, she’s unsure of what those are.

“Yeah, ‘course it is,” she lazily promises, unfocused on the words she’s saying.

They’re a lie.

Deliberate mistake number 2.

He kisses her again, his lips taking time to memorize the feeling of hers, delicate and supple. Nathaniel’s hand comes up to cradle the back of her head to draw her closer, and Rebecca shifts higher onto his lap, her body pulsing with need. She wraps her arms around his shoulders and opens the side of her neck to his mouth where he can soothe her worries away with an array of almost love bites.

“God, you’re wonderful,” he praises in between kisses. Nathaniel drops his lips down to her collarbone, skating the line across to the center of her throat. “So, so good.” Their lips meet with increasing intensity, and he lets words fly uninhibited. “You’re beautiful, Rebecca. I can’t get enough of you. Never enough. I think about you all the time.” He kisses her again, and his voice grows quiet and intense. “I just need you, Rebecca. I just need you.”

Her body tenses. Her breathing falters. Her stomach churns. This isn’t happening.

She scrambles off his lap, barely taking the briefest of moments to readjust her dress before racing out the door without a word. She doesn’t hear Nathaniel repeating her name, asking her what happened, and trying to make sure she’s okay. Everything feels distant and muffled, and she can’t concentrate on anything else except the sick feeling threatening to drown her if she doesn’t get out of this cramped supply closet and away from this damned office.

Rebecca’s feet carry her down the back stairwell two at a time, and she stops at the bottom to regain her breath. She doesn’t hear him pursuing her, but she takes a look up the stairwell just to be sure. The coast is clear. A hot tear blooms in the corner of her left eye, and she angrily pushes it aside as she leaves the building. The outside chill is a welcome friend for a while, but soon, its hug winds too tight, and Rebecca steps back inside, frustrated. She can’t go back in there and face Nathaniel after bailing on him, so she does what she does best and runs away. It’s not Santa Fe, and it’s not forever, but it works for now.

This dress smells like him. Rebecca flings it off on her floor and lets herself breathe deeply for the first time in hours. She crawls in bed, old sweatshirt swallowing her body, but it’s not enough to stop her shivering. Thankfully, her blankets keep her warm as she journeys in her mind to dreams that can’t hurt her.

The sun crackles as its final embers kiss the sky before heading off to bed when Rebecca opens her eyes, still bundled in blankets, content to shut her eyes a few hours longer. It’s easy to forget, it’s easy to bury the pain inside a burrowing of blue cotton, but she can’t. After the day he’s had, Nathaniel doesn’t deserve to be left without an explanation. Rebecca reluctantly untangles herself from her blankets and forces herself to make things right.

Smoothing out her dress, a new one that doesn’t remind her of him, Rebecca paces up to the door and away from the door, then back to the door and around the corner. What is she thinking, showing up at his apartment uninvited like some kind of … girlfriend? She knows what she’s thinking. She’s going to provide support and encouragement to her friend who could use it after a long and hard day. And to apologize. That’s not cheating, that’s not sneaking around. This is being a good friend and good person.

Okay, she’s going to do it. Rebecca lifts her hand to the door … no, she can’t just knock. What if he isn’t home? What if he is and he’s … busy? Worse, what if he doesn’t want to see her?

She takes a few steps back and types out a message.

Nathaniel

Thurs, Jan. 24, 10:15 PM
I want to talk to you about something.
What’s up?

Before her courage fails her, she sucks in a breath and hurriedly knocks on the door.

She backs away from the door, pacing as she tries to decide out how to approach him.

“Hey, I just came to see how you were doing— no, that’s stupid. Just wanted to see if you want some company? No, why would I say that, that’s presumptuous. Sorry for bailing earlier, but I just wanted to see—”

“Hi.” He’s standing there in soft grey sweatpants and a loose t-shirt that complements his eyes, and Rebecca freezes in her tracks, suddenly confronted with her choice.

“I don’t know why I’m here,” she blurts, her nerve failing her. She gives up any hope of seeming prepared with a reason to come over. He chuckles a little. It calms her nerves briefly.

“That’s okay. Do you, ummm, wanna come in?”

“Sure. Thanks,” Silently, he steps aside to allow her inside and lets her find a spot where she’s comfortable. Immediately, she goes for the couch, wishing the cushions would swallow her and her embarrassment with it. Unfortunately, against the dark leather, her pale frame stands out quite clearly.

“I got your text. Is everything okay?”

Rebecca takes a breath. “I don’t really know how to say it, but… I just wanted to apologize for running out on you today. I know you’ve had a hard day, and I don’t think I made things any easier. I didn’t give you an explanation for that, and I’m sorry.”

He nods gravely and clears his throat after an uneasy moment of silence. “Do you want to talk about it, or should we leave it alone?”

Easier said than done, Rebecca inhales deeply before convincing herself of the right thing to do. “We need to talk about it. Do I want to? Absolutely not. But we have to.”

Nathaniel straightens his back and turns slightly towards her. “Okay then. So, let’s talk. Do you want anything? Water, a glass of wine?”

“I’m good, thanks,” she declines politely, folding her fingers together. “Look, Nathaniel, what’s been happening between us shouldn’t be happening, and it’s not because I don’t like it or want it, but you have a girlfriend who obviously cares about you, and I don’t want to get in the way of that. So, we can’t do this anymore.”

Nathaniel takes a breath. “You’re right, you’re absolutely right. I understand.”

The silence is tense between them. Their heads and mouths speak one thing, but their hearts feel another. Neither one of them try to correct their rational thoughts. Rebecca and Nathaniel are smart people who know the difference between right and wrong; they’re lawyers, for god’s sake. But somewhere along the lines of stolen kisses, lingering touches, and an ache for each other that burns through every layer of skin, the lines of right and wrong became blurred.

So now they sit knee to knee, internal disconnect pulled taut by chests tightening with gravitas. Rebecca splits the air with an audible sigh.

“And for the record, there’s no denying that it was good while it lasted. Like, really good. Top-notch, out of the park sex.”

He laughs a little, trying to lighten the mood. “Well, thank you. The compliment’s always nice to hear.”

She forces a smile. “Yeah. Well, I should go. It’s getting late. So, ummm … yeah, I’m— I’m going.”

Rebecca gets up from the couch and makes it to the door, Nathaniel following behind her to let her out. She’s two steps out the door when she stops, turns around to see him staring back longingly at her. It snaps every stitch in her heart that Rebecca tried with trembling fingers to seal, and she forgets her rationality and kisses him hard. Somewhere in her trek, maybe when she passed the reminder of the night she jumped into his arms and kissed him senseless, her heart catches up with her mind. Before she crosses that threshold and abandons this thing, whatever it is, for good, she can’t leave without another kiss.

Nathaniel feels it too, whatever montage just played in her mind. He’s cognizant of the fatal attraction that pulls them together, but he’s not interested in stopping it. He doesn’t always learn from them, but he knows when he makes mistakes, and if he would have let her walk out that door, he would have made the biggest one of his life. It takes three steps of his to meet her seven when he embraces her, his body overtaken with emotions that he can’t process in the time she presses her lips to his. Damn, it feels good, but it shouldn’t. Nothing about this should feel good. Before things can progress, he pulls away and cups her face in his hands. “What are we doing?”

She rests her forehead against his chest, her body collapsing with the albatross on her heart. “I’m tired of feeling, Nathaniel. I need to forget right now.”

“Rebecca—“

“Please?” Her voice is soft and broken as she looks up at him with those sad glassy eyes, and it shatters any resistance he might have put up to holding her one last time. Nathaniel runs his fingers through her hair and lets out a shaky breath as Rebecca crashes her lips into his again. There’s no stopping either of them now.

His fingers clench in her hair, and she moans into his mouth in her sexy, undeniable way. She starts to walk them backwards towards the door, but Nathaniel decides that if they’re going to do this, it’s going to be the right way. He switches their positions to where he’s now walking backwards towards his bed, giving Rebecca a choice to advance further, which she takes with almost no hesitation.

When she’s unsuccessful at trying to pull his shirt off and kiss him simultaneously, Rebecca wraps her leg around his hip and waits until his hands are poised to hold her up before she jumps and winds her legs around his back. She pours the rest of her energy into kissing him as he leads them to his bed.

Nathaniel is gentle as he sets her on the bed, and before he can stand upright to pull off his shirt, Rebecca grabs his wrist and pulls him on top of her. She craves his kiss like air, and she doesn’t know how she’s survived this long without it. When she feels him on top of her, their kisses become slower but no less desperate than before.

Now, it really feels real. They aren’t fumbling with clothes in a cramped supply closet, aren’t rushing through foreplay to get their release before everyone starts entering the office, aren’t denying who they are, what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it. They’re here in this moment with each other, and it’s everything they could have asked for.

Rebecca slides his hand where it’s resting on her shoulder down between her legs, and Nathaniel can feel her heat through her dress. Gravelly, he asks, “More?” She nods.

He nudges her to sit up so she can get her dress and shoes off, and she slides out from under him to stand and pull down the zipper in the back. She lets it fall at her feet while slipping out of her heels and turns around to find Nathaniel’s chest bare as he stares awestruck at her. Rebecca steps closer to him, his hands finding her feminine curves as hers glide over his chest, and she drops a feather-light kiss on his chest near his heart. He exhales her name and presses his nose into her hair. She sits on the bed and inches back towards the pillows, smiling enticingly without her teeth. Nathaniel follows her, settling on his side next to her instead of on top of her.

Tenderly, they kiss for a while, writing sonnets with their tongues while their legs weave in rhyme with each other. In the poetry of his kiss, Rebecca forgets. She forgets the hurt and the pain and the guilt and the shame and lets herself enjoy being desired. Nathaniel cherishes her, showers her with the adoration that his heart feels but his lips can’t ever say. He’d do anything for her.

Rebecca deepens her kiss as she feels the need for his touch racing down her body. She presses her body into him, and he recognizes the hungry roll of her hips. Nathaniel smiles into their kiss and veers down to the side of her neck while his hand moves from its delicate wrap around her back to an open-palmed grab of her breast.

“You’ve been needing this, haven’t you?” Rebecca nods with a high pitched sigh as he runs his fingers over her nipple. Nathaniel slides his hand around to her back, stopping at her bra clasp. “May I?”

Rebecca shoots him an unimpressed look as if to say, “You already know the answer to that question.”

“Just wanted to be sure,” he says, unhooking her bra from behind and tossing it aside. “Fuck, how are you so gorgeous?” She whimpers when his fingers brush her nipples, and Nathaniel nearly pulls away in fear of potentially hurting her, but Rebecca arches into his touch moments later. Unsure of the right move to make, Rebecca cues him to continue by grasping his hand with her tiny one and placing it where she needs between her legs. “Ah, that’s what you want,” he says with a small grin. He’s more than happy to oblige her request.

Sliding his hand beneath the fabric, his touch ignites a boisterous fire through her body, and her skin prickles with goosebumps. Rebecca feels alive, lost in her pleasure.

“God, that feels good,” she says, tossing her head back as he begins moving his fingers inside of her. She’s so close, and he knows how to get her to fall apart quickly, so he employs every tactic in the book so he can see her beautiful expression when her orgasm comes. His thumb massages her clit while he scissors his fingers inside of her. It’s so good, it’s too good. It’s lethal how good he makes her feel. “Fuck, I’m gonna—”

“Go ahead. Come, Rebecca.”

She comes quickly after, but the waves of her release linger, and her walls pulse around his fingers for a minute afterwards. Rebecca’s lips open with her moans, and she lets out a small almost-cry when the aftershocks finally begin to subside. In those moments, she grips him for purchase and embraces the air-thin encouragements and praises she barely registers coming from Nathaniel’s lips.

After coming down from her high, Rebecca kisses him again, this time with lips hungry for more than his fingers. She’s greedy and passionate and everything he’s been craving all day. Unsurprisingly, Nathaniel has been yearning to lose himself in something that just feels good and natural, which happens to be the arms and lips and heat of his ex-girlfriend.

“I need you,” she whispers, laced with enough tenderness to make Nathaniel question why she said that and yearn for her to say it again.

“What,” he asks against her neck.

“Inside of me,” she replies breathily into his ear. “I need you inside of me, please.”

He won’t admit to the icy disappointment that washes over him, but Nathaniel sets it aside in favor of Rebecca’s needs and his own pressing erection against his pants. Nathaniel reaches for a condom in the drawer beside his bed as he takes his pants off and rolls it on with haste, selfishly hoping his sexual desires will distract him from the pining (disgusting) thoughts in his head.

Rebecca flings her panties off and pulls him down on top of her, his weight a comforting presence. When he enters her, Rebecca’s fucked up jigsaw puzzle comes together, and she draws her nails down his back in delight. “Oh my god, yes.” Nathaniel drives into her harder, and Rebecca responds with resounding moans, clinging to him tighter as her release draws nearer. “Nathaniel, please.”

He screws his eyes shut, focusing on serving her pleasure and not thinking about her running from the slightest tenderness at any moment. He lets her have control, he lets her decide, and he’ll readily give whatever she asks for. “What do you need, Rebecca?”

She reaches her hand up to his shoulder and urges him to turn on his back. He takes her instruction and watches as she mounts him with a fiery desire in her eyes, transfixed by the beauty kneeling above him. Rebecca balances herself with one hand on Nathaniel’s chest while the other takes hold of her breast to speed up her orgasm. Combining the angle of his cock inside of her with one of her hands and one of his on her nipples, she’ll be coming apart again in no time.

“Does this feel good?” Rebecca nods and clenches around him. Nathaniel’s hands migrate to her ass, his palm flattening over the bare skin, but they don’t stay there long. He roams all over her body, from her ass to her waist to her back to her shoulders, everywhere he can reach. Rebecca smiles as his hands wander along her body, exploring her, memorizing her, embracing her. Nathaniel threads his fingers through her hair, pushing it back out of her face, and uses his grip to pull her mouth down for a passionate kiss.

The kiss is all-consuming, like a tsunami of emotions crashing over her, and she loses herself somewhere in the shallow where the undertow can drag her away from her anxious thoughts. Nathaniel lets her lips pull him under, those lips that make him ignore all the reasons not to swim in red-flagged waters, and keeps chasing her further into the deep end.

Rebecca comes again, this time with his name on her lips over and over again. It’s all she can say, all she can feel, all she can want right now, and it’s beautiful. Nathaniel follows her a few thrusts later with his hands flat across her back, molding her body to his. Soon, her words become weightless and left in their wake are stuttering breaths in between short kisses. When their kisses slow down and their releases subside, Rebecca and Nathaniel find each other’s eyes in the dark room. The darkness helps conceal a lot, but it can’t hide the relief and ease that’s written on their faces.

“Hi,” she whispers.

“Hi,” he responds in kind. Rebecca kisses him again, delicate and unexpected. She gives him a few light parting ones before going into the bathroom, and Nathaniel takes a deep inhale and exhale, resting back against his pillows. He disposes of the condom and pulls his pants back on once he hears Rebecca turning on the sink.

She comes out of the bathroom ready to put on her clothes and make a hasty exit, but he’s desperate for her to stay, if only for a few minutes.

“Hey, I brought you this,” he extends out a glass of water to her.

“Thank you,” she responds, gladly gulping three large sips before handing it back to him.

“Sit with me, just for a few minutes?” That boyish hope is back, and it’s always hurts when she has to squash it down.

“Nathaniel—“

Rebecca starts to protest, but he takes one of her hands and slowly laces their fingers together. She looks down at how their hands fit, and she looks up at him, and he has a constellation of hope inside his irises that causes her to smile slightly. He doesn’t have to say anything before she’s walking with him back to his bed.

She’s still wary as she sits next to Nathaniel and doesn’t know how to navigate the silence. Some innate recognition of Rebecca’s uncertainty prompts Nathaniel to squeeze her hand a fraction of an inch tighter before untangling his thumb from hers and using his to soothe the pulse point at her wrist. His gentle touch startles her for a moment, but when she looks up at him gazing down at her like she’s the most precious diamond on Earth, her heart slows down. Rebecca leans over and rests her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes every so often. They sit peacefully together with their hands still intertwined, the tempest ceasing at last.

Rebecca yawns softly and snuggles herself closer to Nathaniel, now gripping his bicep instead of his hand. “I’m tired, I wanna go to bed.”

“Do you need me to drive you home?” She shakes her head no. “You gonna be okay to get home tonight?” No response. “Rebecca, I don’t understand what you’re trying to—” Her crystalline ocean eyes are back, the ones that turned him into a puddle of feelings ever since she stared him down across his office, now theirs. Once again, he’s reduced to the warmth in his chest at the implication that she might not be leaving tonight. “Oh. You want to…?”

“It’s late, we both have to work tomorrow, and your sheets are a hell of a lot nicer than mine.”

She doesn’t tell him that she thinks he could use the company … or that she could too.

Deliberate mistake number 3.

Nathaniel lets her slide in first, and she tucks the covers up to her chin with a smile, and my god, I forgot how adorable she is when she’s sleepy. He smiles at her situating herself underneath the warm comforter as he crawls in beside her, careful to maintain a reasonable amount of space between them. With her eyes wide and unassuming, Rebecca fills the gap in the sheets but makes no move to touch him. Nathaniel silently extends an open palm, and Rebecca places her hand in his. He lifts their joined hands to his mouth to kiss the back of her hand.

“Get some rest, okay?” Rebecca nods and turns on her left side to face the windows to try to get some sleep. Nathaniel assumes she’s fallen asleep minutes later, but her body still looks tense and hyperaware. Gently, he turns to copy her position and caresses her bare shoulder with his fingertips.

“Hey, is this okay,” he asks softly. Almost imperceptibly, she nods, and her body gradually starts to loosen up.

Nathaniel stays there for a while and then moves his hand upwards to tame the tangles in her hair. He feels her shift and pauses momentarily. “Still okay?” Rebecca nods stronger this time, and her body seems to unravel as Nathaniel runs his fingers through her hair. She falls asleep while Nathaniel stays awake easing the knots from her hair and rubbing her shoulder as her breaths even out. He falls asleep like that, resting his head against the pillow next to her head, his nose pressed to her hair, his hand curled protectively around her shoulder, finally feeling like he can rest easy.

Some time in the night, they shift slightly. Rebecca bunches the covers around herself like a defense mechanism, and Nathaniel takes note of her absence, searching for her softness in the space between them. His arm finds its way around her middle over the top of the blanket, and he’s shocked to feel her moving back towards him. Rebecca won’t ever admit it, but she needed this too. She needed to feel warmed up with affection, swaddled in kind kisses, and protected from her anxious heart.

Unfortunately, the strong walls he’s built to shield her from her guilt crash down in the blink of an eye.

Because she wakes up wrapped in his sweet, too sweet, embrace while he dreams next to her, his breath warming her hair, and it’s too much. Rebecca doesn’t want to disrupt his sleep, so she lies next to him still as can be and tries to close her eyes again. Her breaths come in faster, but she can’t seem to get air. The endless cycle of grating thoughts swims in her head, and if she doesn’t leave this bed, she’ll drown in them. In a panic, she slides out of the bed, barely zips her dress all the way before running on her tiptoes towards the door, heels in hand. She glances back at his sleeping form, and when the tears bubble up in her throat, she turns away, unable to stare at him any longer, and leaves without a goodbye.

Rebecca stumbles around the corner of his apartment and barely makes it there before sinking to the floor, back against the chilly brick, and losing herself in tears. What has she done?

Meanwhile, Nathaniel barely registers the rustling coming from the other side of the bed, but he stirs when the front door turns shut. He checks his phone, barely past six, and the left side of his bed is empty. The lily pads of her clothes have disappeared, and she’s nowhere in sight. Nathaniel rubs his eyes and heads to the front door with concern.

He calls out for her softly. “Rebecca?”

From behind the wall, she can hear him call for her, and Rebecca tenses up, silencing her cries with her hand. The brokenness in his voice makes the tears fall faster. He wants to be with her, but she’s too afraid of the consequences of opening her heart again. It’s easier this way, it’s always been easier this way. Until today when it isn’t.

He leans against the door and grabs his phone to text her.

Rebecca

Thurs, Jan. 24, 10:15 PM
I want to talk to you about something.
What’s up?
Fri, Jan. 25, 6:13 AM
Rebecca, I’m sorry if I did something wrong.
Are you out here?
Rebecca, please, I’m sorry.

Three texts in quick succession is all it takes for her heart to break.

“I’m sorry,” he apologizes softly to the empty void one last time before the door closes and the bolt clicks shut with finality. Rebecca’s dewy tears fall afresh against her cheeks.

Nathaniel spends the next hours of his morning mourning the loss of her and what could have been for them. He shouldn’t have gotten his foolish hopes up for something that was doomed to fail from the start. Just hours ago, Rebecca curled up to him like it was the most natural thing, and suddenly, when things became real and the veil of dancing around each other was torn away, she lost her nerve. She’s always been an enigma, but he suspects there’s something else going on.

In typical Plimpton fashion, to save face, he clenches his jaw and prepares himself for the day ahead by making lists. He’s good at that, he’s good at neat, organized, rigid. Anything on the list that even remotely involves Rebecca, he crosses off for the day and tucks it away to a deep compartment in his brain.

The neat, organized, rigid list he has lays forgotten on his desk when he looks up with every ding of the elevator in hopes to see her. She never shows.

His hope grows weeds as he sits alone grieving the loss of someone he never really had, someone always too far away to hold, someone even he and his baggage couldn’t outrun.

Chapter Text

The breakneck pace of his thoughts running laps in his head makes him toss and turn and yearn for peace to come. He reaches blindly for his phone on the nightstand, and like clockwork, finds the name of the person he needs to hear from most.

It rings three times before the dial tone cuts out.

There’s a smidge of annoyance but mostly tiredness. “Hello?”

“What are you wearing?”

Annoyance tenfold comes out in a sigh. “Go the fuck to sleep, Nathaniel.”

“Wait, Rebecca, don’t go.” Her finger hovers over the red button on her screen, but his voice pulls her back, and she reluctantly puts the phone back to her ear.

“What is it? It’s 2:30 AM, you know.”

Nathaniel takes a long breath. “I know, but ummm… I just wanted to ask you something.”

“Couldn’t this have waited until the morning?”

It could, it absolutely could.

“Not really.” He pauses, and she waits on the line for him to ask his question. “How do you fall asleep? Not like what side you sleep on or anything like that, but how do you fall asleep when you can’t?”

Her curiosity piques. “Did something happen at the meeting today?"

“No. I’ve tried to sleep for hours, but I just can’t stop… can’t stop…”

“Thinking,” they finish in unison.

She understands all too well about the nighttime cycle of irrelevant and unnecessary thoughts playing chase in her mind, screeching like kids on a playground. She knows what it’s like to try to block out the endless stream of both everything and nothing running frantically in circles, and she knows it’s not easy to shut it off.

Rebecca turns on her left side and props her head on her elbow. “I get it, I do. Usually, I’ll try to tire myself out, physically, mentally, or …”

“Or?” He echoes her, wondering where the rest of her sentence is leading.

Rebecca clears her throat. “Or… otherwise.”

Nathaniel raises his eyebrows, and his voice lifts a bit. He has an idea about what “otherwise” might mean, but he asks for confirmation anyhow. “Oh, and what does ‘otherwise’ mean?”

Plainly, she says, “You know what it means.”

“Well, considering I’ve already tried to run and work some more tonight, I think I might have to ‘otherwise’ tire myself out.”

He hears Rebecca shift in her bed. “You need some help with that?” Something changes in her demeanor. Suddenly she’s lighter, the tiredness fleeting from her body as she makes herself more comfortable.

“Are you offering?”

She laughs lowly, and god, she wishes Nathaniel could see her smirk. “What do you think?”

He copies her seductive laugh. “I think… I should probably get naked.”

“Yes, yes you should. I already am.”

Nathaniel curses under his breath at her eagerness and strips off his pants.

“What are you doing right now,” he asks as he climbs back underneath the covers.

“Right now, I’m just imagining you and me alone in the office. I’m wearing that shirt you like, the one that opens in the front.”

“It brings out your eyes.” Wait, he’s supposed to be sexy right now. “That’s, of course, not the only reason I like it though.”

“Oh, I know that.” Rebecca fiddles with her necklace, trying to simulate the tension she feels from over the line. “I wore it for you. With that very short black skirt.”

The image forms in his mind, the blue shirt open just enough to see the swells of her breasts paired with the skirt that glues his eyes to her ass every day she wears it. His dick grows harder as he strokes himself with a strangled groan.

“How thoughtful of you.”

“What can I say? My generosity is astounding.” Rebecca grazes her hand over her nipples and puts herself in the scene she’s describing. “I wonder, what would happen if I told you that I just strategically positioned myself to show you that I wasn’t wearing any panties?”

He groans, long and low. “Fucking hell, Rebecca.”

Rebecca’s breaths quicken on the other side of the phone. “Are you touching yourself?”

“I am. Are you?” She slides a finger inside of herself to test her wetness and moans when she finds the sweet spot inside. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Fuck, keep talking."

Nathaniel happily obliges, settling back into his pillows. “I wish I could touch you right now. You want it, don’t you? My hands on your body, my lips on your skin?”

“Yes. God, yes please.”

Nathaniel’s hand speeds up when he hears the wrecked pleasure in her voice, beautiful and sensual and intoxicating.

“What else do you want to do to me,” she asks.

“The better question is, what don’t I want to do to you.” She moans quieter, breathier this time. It urges Nathaniel to continue without reservation. “I think right now, I want you on my desk with that shirt open. I kiss down every inch of your body. Your neck, your chest, your boobs, your stomach. until I get to your skirt.”

Rebecca lets out a shaky breath. “And then?”

Nathaniel chuckles. “I think you know what happens then.”

“Tell me?” She doesn’t mean for her voice to sound so pleading, but she’s eager to hear him say it.

“And then… I stop there. Look up at you, so lost in your pleasure. I make you wait for it, build the anticipation—“

“Nathaniel—“

“And just when you’ve had about enough of waiting, that’s when I sink down, spread your legs, and taste you.”

Rebecca slides two fingers inside of herself when he finally takes action, and she lets out a luscious moan of his name once again. The phone falls from her hand, and she rushes to put him on speaker so she can make use of both her hands.

“Straight to the point. God, you’re so good.”

Nathaniel’s ears perk up for a moment, and he pulls himself from the sexual conversation for a moment. “You sound far away. Everything good?”

Rebecca turns her head towards her phone, which lies carelessly on the left side of her bed. “Yeah, you’re just on speaker now.”

Very resourceful. “Ah, I see.”

There’s silence other than their ratcheting breaths as they try to resume who’s going to talk first. “Circling back, why wouldn’t you take off my skirt?”

Good segue. “You know I’ve always been a fan of mystery. Plus, it’s more arousing if you don’t know where I’m going next. Like when I kiss along your inner thigh or how I change the speed of my tongue against you. It’s fun to keep you guessing.”

Rebecca rolls her eyes playfully. “You’re such a tease.”

“You love it though.”

“You’re not wrong about that.”

Nathaniel slows the pace of his hand around his cock for a moment. “You wanna keep going?”

“Fuck yes.”

He grips his cock tighter, waiting for her response. “If I were there right now, what would you do?”

She takes a moment to think about all the wonderfully dirty things she wants to do to him. Right now, though, she wants the control, wants to take charge of her pleasure.

“First, I would push you down into a chair. And you better stay there. You can look, but don’t you dare touch.”

Nathaniel swallows, feeling the back of his neck starting to heat up. “Okay,” he rasps.

Rebecca drops her voice down to a sensual whisper. “Then, I would kneel in front of you.”

“Uh huh,” he exhales, flexing his fingers around himself, goosebumps prickling on the skin of his arms in anticipation. He can see her mouth so tantalizingly close, her breath mere inches away from his skin, as she’s describing what she’ll do next. Fucking tease.

Rebecca licks her lips, imagining his golden form splayed out in front of her, his eyes tracking her the way he does when she’s captured his full attention. She feels powerful, in control, unstoppable. With this attitude, she would go all in without hesitation, and her mind paints a pretty picture of this scene as she strokes herself to the imaginary cadence of his voice urging her towards an orgasm.

Nathaniel stills his hand when he can’t hear her responses beyond a quivering breath and fragmented syllables of his name. He asks, “You still there?”

Barely, but… “Yeah, I’m here.” She brings herself back into the moment. ”I would scratch my nails up your thighs just how you like it. Get so close to your cock but not touch it. Not yet.”

He squeezes his eyes shut tight and slows his movements, worrying he won’t last long at this pace. Behind his eyelids, he can see her dark hair cascading across his thighs, her teasing smile between his legs, her ocean blue eyes dancing with desire. And he realizes all he wants is this goddamn world is her. “Rebecca,” he groans.

“You need me so badly, don’t you?”

“More than you know,” he whispers, barely audible. She doesn’t register the brokenness in his voice as any more than reckless abandon in pleasure.

“I’ve teased you long enough, I think. That’s when I close my mouth around you, take you deep in my throat.” He’s transported back into her sweeping current, and he’s helpless to resist where she goes. “I look into your eyes, so wildly aroused. You’re trying so hard to control yourself for me.”

Nathaniel’s hand speeds up the frenetic pace of his hand moving up and down his cock. “Oh, fuck Rebecca.”

“You definitely should do that too,” she teases, pinching her nipple between her fingers while her other hand moves in and out of her center.

“Oh, you’d like that?” Rebecca hums. “Hmmm, should I take my time with you, or do you just need me to fuck you?”

Rebecca’s breath stutters. “Don’t be gentle, just fuck me. Please.”

“Since you asked so politely, I think I’ll heed your request. You look so pretty on your knees for me that I’d like to keep you there. I get up and come behind you, and god, you’re so sexy, just waiting for me to fuck you on your hands and knees.”

She’s never heard him so brazen and uninhibited before, and it’s so unbelievably hot. “Jesus Christ.”

Nathaniel maintains his composure, steadying his breathing and maintaining an even pace with his hand. “I want to see how wet you are. I bet you’re dripping for me, aren’t you?”

Rebecca imagines him lying beside her, on top of her, anywhere in her reach. Her sounds grow in pitch, and her breathing trembles. “Fuck, Nathaniel. I’m so close.”

He speeds up his hand, gripping his cock tighter and opting for Rebecca’s tactic of putting her on speaker phone. Nathaniel’s voice drops, quiet and masculine. “I slide into slowly so you can feel every inch of me filling you up—“

“God damnit, keep going.”

“Not gonna stop.”

It’s getting harder by the second for Nathaniel to contain his orgasm, but he’s going to get her there first, come hell or high water.

She loves it when he’s dirty, when he doesn’t have every word impeccably placed, when his hair is messy and his shirt is wrinkled and his mind’s not in control. Rebecca can tell he’s getting there based on his strangled response to her plea, and she’s waiting for the shoe to drop that will fully bring him to that place.

“How many fingers do you have in right now?”

“Two, why?”

“Make it a third,” he commands. Well, when he says it like that, she can’t really argue. Rebecca moans at the newfound stretch, and her eyes roll back when she’s able to thrust her fingers and rub her clit simultaneously. “Yeah, that’s what my cock feels like, doesn’t it?”

Oh, fuck.

Repeating his name like a prayer, Rebecca comes, her walls tightening around her fingers, her back arching from the bed. Nathaniel loses control when he hears her desperate cry, and he comes into his hand with a relieved sigh.

It’s been too long since he’s had an orgasm that powerful, and it drains him of all of his energy. He barely has the strength to get up to clean himself off. Rebecca takes a little longer to bask in her euphoric pleasure to ride out the waves of her orgasm; she swears she’s floating for a moment. When she hears Nathaniel shuffling on the other line, she finds her voice.

“How you feeling now?”

He sighs audibly. “Exhausted, to say the least.”

“Think you can sleep easier now?”

If he were being honest, he wishes the other side of the bed weren’t so cold, but he clears his throat and swallows his knotted emotions.

“Yeah, I think so.”

There’s silence for a moment, both of them unsure of who should hang up first. It drags on too long for Rebecca’s comfort, so she jumps in.

“Well, I guess this is good night then, so good night—“

“Wait, Rebecca.” Before ending the call, she pauses and waits for Nathaniel to finish his sentence. He takes the phone off of speaker mode and curls it against his ear. “Thank you. Not just for the amazing sex either.”

Something sad and sweeping like a first rain droplet scattering across a glass windshield blossoms in her heart. She infers from his tone that he’s thanking her for being something more than a late night sex-capade or a catalyst for an orgasm. Rebecca sucks in a breath, holds it for a few seconds to slow her heart down, and upon releasing it, gives a rushed goodbye.

“Good night, Nathaniel.”

The dial tone clicks three times before he has a chance to respond.

Defeated, he softly says, “Good night, Rebecca.”

Chapter Text

An early morning close call with the janitor leads to a serious conversation hours after Rebecca and Nathaniel avoid talking about it. Each time she works up the courage to say something, someone knocks on the door to ask her a question about something they probably could have figured out for themselves, and she misses her shot. When Nathaniel makes the move to mention it, he’s plagued by a sickening finality that will come of this. In short, there’s no good way to start the conversation.

“Hey, I just wanted—”

“I was hoping we could—”

Overlapping each other, Nathaniel prompts Rebecca to finish what she was saying.

“Oh, well, I was just going to say that I just kind of wanted to talk about what happened this morning.” She doesn’t want to talk about it, but one of them has to. “Ummm … I’ve been thinking about it, and … this is just a bad idea. We can’t keep sneaking around and expecting not to get caught. I mean, that was way too close with the janitor, though I suspect he’s already aware of what’s going on, but the point is, just imagine if that would have been Paula or Darryl or—”

“Don’t. Don’t say it,” he says with a pained expression. A unsettling amount of guilt and shame swirls in his stomach because he knows exactly what she was going to say, and he doesn’t need to think about it now.

“Nathaniel, we both know we can’t keep this up forever.” She pauses for a moment, and he looks up at her with overflowing broken hope that she might say she finally wants more. “You have a girlfriend who’s clearly into you, and I can’t stand in the way of that. You deserve to be with someone who can actually be with you. I know we’ve both made mistakes, and we say it’s the last time every time, but … I mean it. Like, really mean it.”

The hope in his eyes shatters and settles like ash on the fallen kingdom of his heart. As much as he stifles his pain and hurt, he’s been at it for months, and now it’s threatening to explode. He tries to bury it, hoping that by swallowing the lump in his throat and berating himself for being weak that the pain will subside. It doesn’t; in fact, it only makes it worse because it’s slowly carving a hole in his gut that no amount of sexual pleasure or lauding praise of his physique can fill.

She goes back to writing like nothing happened, ignoring the hurt in his eyes, and pours herself into the notes on her page. Grinding her teeth in her mouth, Rebecca fights the urge to lash out at him for looked so damn wounded.

“Rebecca, you don’t understand—”

She slams her pen down in frustration. “What? What don’t I understand? Please, tell me what I’m not understanding because this situation seems very clear to me—”

“I can’t stay away from you.” He takes a breath, composing himself before continuing. “I try so hard to mean it when I say that nothing’s ever going to happen between us again. But something always brings me back to you, and I can’t help it. That’s the way I feel. You’re addictive, Rebecca. You’re intoxicating, and I get so frustrated sometimes.”

“Well, if I’m such poison to you, then maybe I should just go to make it easier on you.” She stands up and spits the words at him with such venom that if Nathaniel weren’t trying to steel himself from the rejection he suspected was coming, he would have flinched.

“Rebecca, that’s not what I’m saying—”

She already halfway towards the door with her work in tow when she turns back around with a frustrated sigh. “Forget it. It’s not important anyway. What is important is you focusing on your fucking girlfriend for one goddamn minute instead of worrying about me all the time. And before you try to lecture me about not understanding something, you should try to understand it yourself.”

Rebecca slams the door behind her and leaves Nathaniel alone to process what just happened while she finds a quiet corner desk to sit and finish her work. She sits down, breaths still quick and furious, and digs her nails into her palms to fight the urge to scream. There’s no way he gets to act like he’s the one hurting when she blames herself everyday for not being what he needs and lives silently with the pain of knowing he goes home to sink into a warm body and bed every night. She tosses and turns, cold and alone, until the violent sun ascends. How dare he pretend he’s the one who’s suffering?

Nathaniel sits at his desk equal parts angry and devastated, though he’s unsure how to express either emotion at the moment. All he wants is to show her how much he cares and wants to be there for her how she needs, but when she puts up her walls, she becomes just shy of impenetrable. He swipes his hand through his hair and takes a slow breath. Maybe after they get some space from the situation and each other, they’ll be able to talk things through. Nathaniel holds onto his fragile hope that this isn’t really the end.

He doesn’t push, gives her the distance she needs, but keeps a watchful eye on her from afar, glancing in her direction after every few words he types. Productivity be damned, he can always catch up on his work, but his main job right now is to make sure Rebecca’s okay. She hasn’t looked his way once since she left about an hour prior, her eyes glued to her page, neck and shoulders strung tensely together, and he wishes he could rub affection into her shoulder blades to unravel the deep knots of negative thoughts burrowed there and loosen the tension in her brow with a soft kiss to her temple. But he doesn’t push her.

When he goes into the kitchen to refill his coffee, she’s there leaning against the counter laughing with Paula over some idiotic blunder from Tim. God, he loves her laugh. Rebecca catches him in her field of view and immediately stiffens her back, still unwilling to budge from her earlier stance. He makes a move to enter the kitchen, offering her a kind smile that she doesn’t return as she silently makes her way back to her new workspace. Nathaniel, dejected, pours coffee into his cup as Paula observes his strange behavior with scrutiny.

She stands at his side, lowering her voice. “What the hell’s going on with you two?” Nathaniel’s heart skips a beat. Does Paula know? Does she suspect something? He tries not to let on to anything she might not know, so he keeps his explanation vague, clearing his throat before speaking.

“Rebecca and I got into a bit of an argument earlier, so she’s not speaking to me at the moment. I think we both just need time to cool off.”

“God, I haven’t seen you two fight like this in ages. It must be serious if she’s giving you daggers; trust me, I know that look. What are you two even fighting about anyway?” She dared to ask the question, Nathaniel’s biggest fear. Again, keep it vague, don’t volunteer anything you don’t have to.

Nathaniel paces the length of the kitchen as he talks, his eyes eventually fixating on Rebecca at her desk. “Just some … conflicts of interest with a client. She always tries to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. It’s one of the things I … admire most about her.”

Paula steps in closer, touching his arm lightly. “Listen, you know how she can be sometimes. She’s a bit of a loose cannon with her emotions when she’s stressed or anxious. So the best thing you can do is to let her come to you. Let her process and come to a conclusion on her own. She’ll come around eventually; she always does. But you just have to wait until she’s ready.”

“I’ll wait as long as it takes.”

And even if he doesn’t fully mean it in the multitude of times he says he and Rebecca are over, the one time he says that, he really means it.

Rebecca’s still facing away from him office hours later, posture very much the same as before, at war with herself over whether or not to apologize. She knows she shouldn’t have snapped at him like that, but she also knows that he can’t pretend like he’s hurting when he’s getting the most out of the situation. But she knows that it’s best to be the bigger person and apologize, even if he doesn’t.

But first, did she SASSY her way through this situation? Separate? Check. Assess? Check. Step Away? Check. Soothe Yourself? Big check with the cookie Paula gave her that’s sitting on her desk. She attached a Post-It that says, “For my tough cookie.” Rebecca takes a hearty bite of the chocolate chunk cookie. Self officially soothed.

Ok, she can do this. Apologizing is one of the things she’s actually pretty good at, being a people pleaser and all. She takes a breath, stands up from her chair, and confidently makes her way to her rightful office.

Her hand on the door, she stops dead in her tracks. Oh, no.

For the first time, she sees Mona in person. God, she’s literally so pretty it hurts. Nathaniel’s pointing out something on his computer, Mona behind his chair with her hands on his shoulders. She says something; he laughs, like, really laughs. Rebecca can’t remember the last time he’s smiled that wide.

The panic begins to flood in, surging in gargantuan waves that drown her heart in the pit of her stomach. She feels sick. Before he can glance her way, Rebecca backs away from their office and rushes to the bathroom and locks the door.

Her head is swimming. She grips the counter until her knuckles turn white. The regret and guilt seizes violently in her chest, and her breaths stutter in disjointed rhythms. She’s trying to gain control. You control the thoughts; don’t let the thoughts control you, Rebecca. Be strong.

She’s heard it before, but she can’t listen to it. So, she paces. Back and forth to feel the ground beneath her, listening to the tempo of her heels hitting the ground, trying to count her steps, but the numbers get jumbled, and she loses track.

This is pointless, Rebecca. You can’t do it. You can’t come back from this. Don’t even try.

But she wants to. The frustration clawing its way up her throat emerges in a broken sob that she quickly muffled behind the palm of her hand. One turns into two, and then come the tears, hot and fast. It all hits her like a freight train, all the guilt that she avoided because Mona wasn’t real until just now. Not that she wasn’t ever real, but now Rebecca has to acknowledge it. Sure, she’s not the only one at fault for their mistakes, but she now recognizes the gravity of the situation, and it threatens to swallow her whole.

Look what you’ve done, Rebecca. You’ve ruined everything, Rebecca. No one’s ever going to want you now, Rebecca. You couldn’t have kept your hands to yourself, Rebecca? Damnit, Rebecca … Rebecca …

“Rebecca? Are you in there?” Paula’s soft concern drifts through the door, and Rebecca sniffles, sucking up her tears before she unlocks the door for her friend. “Hey, cookie, what’s going on? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, I guess.” No, that was a lie. The lie jabs at her throat, and the truth spills from her mouth before she has a chance to stop it. “No. No, I’m really not okay, Paula. I don’t know that I ever was or ever will be.”

Rebecca paces again, and Paula reaches for her hand to no avail. “Rebecca, talk to me, please?” She shakes her head. “Does this have something to do with the argument between you and Nathaniel earlier?”

At the mention of his name, she sobs, “I can’t. I can’t, I just want to be alone right now.”

“Rebecca—“ Paula starts, her voice tender and caring.

“Please, Paula?” She looks up at Paula with shattered glass eyes that immediately frost over Paula’s heart. The pain in her eyes is something fierce, and she only wants to help, but she can’t help Rebecca if she won’t let her in. As much as it hurts, Paula takes a sad breath and nods.

“Okay, honey. I’ll give you some space. Just call me if you need anything, okay?” Rebecca nods as Paula backs away solemnly, leaving her friend to herself.

Rebecca pulls herself together after a few minutes, begrudgingly looking up at her mascara-stained face and shaking her head at herself. She has no reason to be upset over seeing Nathaniel with his girlfriend, considering she’s the one participating in the infidelity, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt any less that the woman standing there with him isn’t her.

God, he looked so… happy. She’s not a villain who seethes at the hero’s happiness, and she would never wish unhappiness on anyone, not even her worst enemy on her worst day, but Rebecca’s heart swells with regret and self-loathing because if she weren’t too damaged and broken, then that’s what they could have.

That ship has sailed, though. The dream is done, and she can’t live in her fairytale world forever. Wiping her eyes with the rough paper towel, Rebecca takes a final calming breath before heading back into the main office at her newly proclaimed cubicle. She sits down, rolls her shoulders back, and fuck, she’s looking again. Rebecca sniffles and blinks back the droplets forming in her eyes and tries to focus on her work while she doesn’t have to sit across and pretend not to stare at the one thing she can’t have.

The end of the work day approaches, and she watches everyone pass by her cubicle and wish her an early good night as a freak thunderstorm rolls in. She presses on, though, working well beyond her required time in hopes that the rain will blow over soon. Rebecca types on her laptop, the words in her document blurring together more with every second, though it’s uncertain whether that’s from her lack of sleep the past few nights or the tears that she struggles to keep at bay.

Six minutes past 7:00, she can barely keep her eyes open, her concentration and patience worn thin for the day, possibly the rest of the week. So, she packs up and makes a start for the elevator, mildly annoyed about having to drive home in the rain. Leaning her head against the elevator wall, Rebecca breathes a heavy sigh and closes her eyes as she expects the elevator to take her downwards.

It’s just before the doors close that the elevator dings and reopens its doors to make room for Nathaniel. Rebecca lifts her head and stiffens her jaw when she sees who’s joining her on the trip down to the lobby. She scoots to the furthest edge of the left side of the elevator while Nathaniel hugs the right, his posture perfect and stony as ever. When the doors don’t immediately close, Rebecca punches the “close door” button with her finger and wraps her arms around herself again. It’s just one minute, Rebecca. Maybe less if this stupid elevator knows how to work right. Come on, come on.

The doors close, and the elevator starts to descend. All of a sudden, thunder claps loudly in the sky, loud enough to make the walls vibrate. Lightning strikes in the area, and the elevator’s piercing glow flickers and dims to the emergency lights as it halts between the second and first floors. Nathaniel and Rebecca glance at each other, the deja vu seizing them by the throats.

“Fuck,” they both curse.

Immediately, their reactions differ. Nathaniel takes the frustrated route, slamming his hand against the wall and shallowly exhaling through his nose. Rebecca, on the other hand, finds herself panicking once again, rubbing her now sweaty palms over her dress and pacing the small area near the buttons. She pulls her cell phone out from her purse to find it lacking service once again.

Afraid of losing her nerve before it’s too late, she softly asks, “Is your cell out too?”

“Yep.” He’s curt, to the point, uninterested in playing games. Rebecca nods and takes another breath.

Still unable to look at him, she starts the conversation. “So, what should we do then?”

Nathaniel folds his hands and turns to face her. “The only thing we can really do is wait.”

Finally, she dares to glance up at him, but she’s nervous and guarded, despite trying to lighten the mood. “Any… suggestions to pass the time?”

He scoffs, aware of what she might be alluding to. “Bad timing, Rebecca.”

“What the hell, dude, I was just asking a question. But since apparently I can’t do that without you getting pissed off at me, I guess we’ll just sit here then.”

“Fine by me.”

Rebecca kicks off her heels and sits against the back left corner, but Nathaniel still stands up staring straight ahead, trying to avoid getting sucked into the Rebecca Bunch vortex. Sitting in awkward, immovable silence for hours it seems, the thunder outside is the only sound to keep them company.

Fifteen minutes pass. Fifteen torturous minutes not speaking to or looking at each other. It feels like a lifetime and a half. Neither of them wants to speak first; the silence drives the wedge between them, and it’s only a matter of time before that wedge separates them too far. Despite her highly competitive nature, the Quiet Game is the one Rebecca’s always lost.

“Do you ever think about it? That night in here? About what might have happened if the power didn’t come back on?”

Nathaniel takes a breath and clenches his fist. “Sometimes, I really wish I didn’t.”

Rebecca stands up in exasperation at Nathaniel’s coldness and closes the distance between them. “Okay, you know what, I’m sick of this. Why are you so angry with me?”

He looks over her head, afraid to combat her at the moment. “I’m not angry, Rebecca. I’m just frustrated.”

“Same difference,” she shoots back with an eye roll.

“No. If I were angry with you, I wouldn’t be talking to you at all. I’m frustrated with you, however, because you’re not being honest with me.”

Her voice darkens. “I’ve been nothing but honest with you, Nathaniel.”

Whether it’s the enclosed space or his thinly rolled patience or his ticking emotional clock that sets him off, he doesn’t know, but Nathaniel leaps into the confrontation head first. “Fine, then be honest with me about this. Why is it that you’re so afraid of me?” Rebecca recoils in shock but says nothing. What is he even talking about? He presses on. ”I don’t know whether you’re afraid of me or what this could be, but every time I try to get close to you, you push me away—“

“Because you can’t be close to me, Nathaniel,” Rebecca near-shouts. They stand there breathing, looking at each other for what seems like an eternity until she continues, her voice lower and more intense.

“You can’t. The terms that we made are very clear. You are dating someone else because I am not ready to be in a relationship right now. We’ve screwed up and let mistakes happen between us, but I meant what I said about this not happening anymore. You can’t jeopardize your relationship for me, no matter how much you think you want me.”

She inhales, the heat of the moment overwhelming her, and steps back. “I saw you with her today. She obviously makes you really happy. And that’s all I want for you. You deserve to be happy.” Her voice begins to tremble against her will. “You can’t deny how you feel.”

Nathaniel can see her begin to soften with her admission, her fiery eyes simmering as she takes a few steps away from him. She could be bitter, angry, jealous, but none of that comes across. He takes the moment to process her response, and he can’t deny that Mona does make him happy, but he knows the happiness he feels with Rebecca is unparalleled. He lets the question sit for a moment before answering with one of his own.

“Well, how do you feel, Rebecca?”

Rebecca stops abruptly. It’s not unlike Nathaniel to ask her questions directly and be straightforward about things, though when it comes to feelings, he prefers to avoid that all together. Instead, he’s choosing to talk about feelings, something he’s never really opened up to anyone about except for her, but she knows she’s the wrong person to talk about feelings with. Rebecca shuffles further into her designated corner of the elevator.

“It doesn’t matter.” She tries to sound unbothered by the subject, but Nathaniel knows her too well by this point. He huffs and folds his arms over his chest.

“If it really ‘doesn’t matter’ as much as you say, then why won’t you look at me?”

Anger begins to swirl in her veins. He’s pushing her. Her confession lies in wait at the tip of her tongue, and if she opens her mouth, it’s inevitable that she’ll reveal it. So, she says nothing, shaking her head, and Nathaniel starts to laugh, a bitter thing, almost disappointed. Unbelievable.

“You know, Rebecca, you can try to run away from your problems all you want, but you won’t get far once your feelings catch up to you.”

She turns back around to face him but stays in her corner, seething at him. “And what the hell do you know about my feelings?”

He returns her glance, but he shows no anger. A little resentment, but mostly desire, yearning. “Maybe I would know if you would just tell me.”

A wave of discomfort crashes over her body. She doesn’t want to tell him. What’s the point anyway? It’s not like she could convince him to leave his girlfriend, and even if she did, she and Nathaniel aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. Something would inevitably happen; it’s Rebecca, for God’s sake. Her body tenses as she fights with herself over what to do.

“Please?”

He asks the question so softly and genuinely, so unlike him. Rebecca forces herself to unclench her fists and relax her hands at her sides. Nathaniel looks at her with such tenderness in this moment that she melts in an instant. Good, she’s letting go, easing her brow, opening herself up. Rebecca takes a deep breath and lets the confession roll off her tongue. “I’m scared. Of my feelings. They terrify the living hell out of me.”

Nathaniel takes a few cautious steps closer. “Why are you scared?”

Rebecca sighs at the loaded question and tries to decide how to answer that. “Because, despite everything we’ve been through, I still want you. I wanted you in this elevator a year ago, and nothing’s really changed since then except my hair and our relationship statuses.”

Nathaniel breathes out for a long minute, processing her admission or trying to. He’s still stunned, to say the least. She’s standing there with that beautiful gleam in her eyes in that purple dress that knocked him down all those months ago, and he realizes that nothing really has changed. Except what he feels for her is much more than sexual desire. Incredulously, he whispers, “Rebecca—“

She reaches for his hands softly as she takes a few steps closer to him. “I know this is a bad idea, one of the worst ones I’ve probably ever had.” Nathaniel looks at her confused and a little scared. Rebecca sighs and squeezes his hands. “But I don’t care. I need a bad idea right now.”

“Rebecca, please—“

He’s starting to pull away, so Rebecca latches on to his lapel and draws him in closer. “Don’t you want me too?”

Nathaniel’s hands come up to her hair, one of his favorite places to settle, and he leans in towards her. The fight leaves his body as he releases the tense breath he’s been holding. There’s no use in resisting the temptation anymore. “Do you even have to ask that question?”

She exhales and pulls his face down for a hungry kiss. Rebecca wraps her tiny hands around his neck, kissing him deeply. All of the anger and frustration and pain from earlier fizzles out with the press of her lips to his. She needs this, needs him.

Nathaniel savors her scent, her taste, her touch, since it might be the last chance he has to have her like this, so unguarded and open. He’s content just to kiss her until the power comes on and rationality enters his brain, but with her hands and mouth on a hot-blooded mission, neither of those things will be happening any time soon.

“At this rate, the power won’t be on for a while. Any idea what we should do until then?”

Rebecca kisses down the side of his neck. She knows exactly what she wants to do, and Nathaniel won’t object. “I think I may have an idea or two.”

“Did you come prepared,” she mumbles, her mouth never breaking from his skin.

“Always do.”

Rebecca hums and reaches down towards his back pocket where she feels his wallet bulging from his pants; she stops there to give his ass a quick squeeze. He jumps at the unexpected touch but reciprocates the gesture in kind. Opening up his wallet, there she finds a condom, just like the last time.

In her adorably flirty way, she waves the packet in front of his face and spins around to walk backwards towards the opposite wall. Nathaniel follows her, a challenging look in his eyes. Eventually, he grabs hold of the condom, and just in time for the thunder to rattle the elevator’s walls, Nathaniel pushes her back to the cool surface with a hot kiss on her mouth and a knee sliding up to her center.

Rebecca moans into his ear, and fuck, it’s the most beautiful sound he’s heard all day, perhaps in his lifetime. The perfect amount of desperation laced with the airy demand for more spurs Nathaniel onwards.

“Can I taste you,” he whispers against her lips. Rebecca nods, a grin stretching across her face as Nathaniel sinks to his knees in front of her.

He reaches underneath her dress and tugs at the band of her underwear while Rebecca admires him from standing. Cheekily, Nathaniel pulls the flesh-colored lace off and stuffs it into his pocket.

“I don’t think you’ll be needing those for a while.”

She laughs, her arousal building with the hungry look in his eyes. “Yeah, probably not…”

She trails off when his mouth finds her heat, and Rebecca grips his hair for purchase. One swipe of his tongue against her, and she’s already losing her balance. Is her need showing too much? Rebecca grips the metal bar along the wall when a patch of stubble brushes against her and makes every nerve stand on end. She’ll be the first to admit she’s missed this particular activity because he knows how to make her feel so damn good.

Nathaniel buries his face between her legs and lets himself drop his guard to satisfy her. He focuses on her pleasure, navigating the routes she likes while she steers him with her hand in his hair. Today, she wants a lot of attention on her clit, so he stays there for a while, flicking his tongue against it in short bursts and presses his thumb there when she wants him to really devour her.

Her moans become strangled and needy, so he stops for a moment to make sure she’s okay.

“I wanna ride your face,” she says after tilting his head back to look at her. His eyes widen for a moment at her brazen request, but then again, he loves a woman who knows what she wants.

“By all means.” Nathaniel starts to lean back but pauses when Rebecca reaches behind her to unzip her dress. She answers his bewildered look as he stares at her nearly naked body.

“I want to see your face when I’m riding you.”

He groans low in his throat. “Fuck, Rebecca.” She gives him a sultry smile as he leans back and she steps over him, lowering herself first onto his lap. Rebecca takes the moment to kiss him and taste herself on his lips. She’s taking her time now, building the anticipation. “C’mere,” he begs.

Finally, Rebecca obliges his request, and Nathaniel’s hands find her thighs as she moves her center over his mouth. She hovers over him with a smirk, waiting for him to be the one to make the move and dive in. He expects her to sink down on him immediately, and when she doesn’t, he knows she’s testing him.

“You little fucking tease.” Rebecca smiles, satisfied with herself. Nathaniel arches his eyebrows at her and gives her a brief moment of power before he grabs her hips and pulls her onto his mouth. Rebecca grinds down on him with a long moan.

“God, Nathaniel…”

He moves his mouth away from her for a moment to breathe. “You needed this, didn’t you?” Rebecca nods, tossing her hair back. “So pretty.” He brings his mouth back down to her, licking a long stripe up her center. “You taste like fucking heaven.”

Rebecca finds a dirty rhythm against his mouth as she reaches for her orgasm. It doesn’t take more than a few smooth swirls of his tongue with the contrast of his rough stubble to have her falling apart above him, and she comes with a contented sigh of his name.

Nathaniel helps her down gently from her high, then urges her down to his lap to let himself breathe. Of course, her fiery kiss leaves him breathless yet again. She eagerly licks up her arousal intermingled with his own taste, and once again, Nathaniel’s hands find her hair. Her desire blooms again when his hips thrust upward against his will, and Rebecca decides to tease him further, pressing her center against his clothed erection. At first, he brushed it off as an accident, but when it happens again, and again, and again, he recognizes her intent.

He hums against her mouth. “You want more already?”

“Seems like I should be asking you that.”

He continues their round of banter. “Generous. I knew there was a reason I liked you.”

Rebecca, direct as usual when she wants sex, gets straight to the point. “Just take your pants off and get inside of me.”

Nathaniel chuckles and heeds her demand while she grabs her discarded dress to use as a makeshift blanket. (She does have standards.) Similarly, he lays his coat down so she won’t have to lie on the elevator carpet. Sitting on it is one thing, but having sex on it is another. He debates standing them up, though they might have time for another round considering the power hasn’t shown any signs of returning soon.

He takes the condom from its wrapper and rolls it on, his pants now hanging carelessly near his ankles. By this point, Nathaniel is so worked up that he has to be conscious not to thrust into her immediately and relieve his need right there. So, he takes a breath as he centers himself over her, gets ready to ask if she’s ready, but he stops.

Even on this disgusting floor under these nauseating lights, she still looks beautiful, her hair fanned out against his dark jacket, looking up at him, her pupils blown wide with desire. He’s barely inches from her wet heat, and it would be so easy to close the distance between them, but he can’t help but to admire her lying on her back like one of the many visions he’s had of her.

Curiously, she looks up at him, wondering where his mind has gone. “What is it?”

Nathaniel smiles down at her and kisses her gently. “Nothing.”

He slides inside of her without another word, keeping his lips pressed to hers to catch her moans with his mouth. It’s a beautiful feeling to be so connected with her, and somewhere in the back of his mind, Nathaniel sighs in satisfaction.

Rebecca wraps her legs around his hips, causing him to drive into her deeper, exactly how she wants. He doesn’t speed up or rush her to release; he’s always so skilled at listening to her body. Tonight, despite her yearning for an orgasm or three to forget the pain of this morning, she wants to go slow, take advantage of the time they have.

Her fingers grip the back of his neck while her right hand runs down his body underneath his opened shirt, drawing lines down his shoulder to his chest. Nathaniel makes a low sound in his throat at Rebecca’s almost animalistic approach. If he squeezes his eyes tight enough, he can see the way she did the same thing that night in his bed in that stunning red dress, her newly-colored waves spread out like a halo of temptation behind her head. He remembers her lipstick smudged against his cheeks and chin and scattered teeth marks along his neck with a few on hers to match. Oh, how we wishes he could do the same again.

“God, Rebecca…”

Rebecca is lost in her own fantasy as well, her eyes hazy and sensual as she gazes up at him. She’s transported to the first time she really looked into his eyes, really had a chance to study them. Technically, she could say that would be while she was straddling him in the middle of a pen-wielding war, but she was much more focused on poking out those charming blue eyes then.

So, she goes to the next best thing: underneath these ugly emergency lights, the two of them sitting across from each other cross-legged and sorting the office into Hogwarts houses. She remembers that disbelieving scoff and haughty eye roll when he claimed that self-proclaimed Ravenclaws are actually Gryffindors in disguise. And the brightness in his eyes when she finally admitted to maybe being a little bit Gryffindor. And the smoldering look he gave her when he whispered against her lips just before the lights came on. She could never forget that night, no matter how hard she’s tried before.

“Nathaniel, please…”

Rebecca’s walls flutter around him, her orgasm quickly approaching. Nathaniel brings his lips across her face, peppering kisses up her jawline and nipping at her ear. Her breathing begins to stutter, and he knows she’s close when she winds both of her arms around his back to hug him tightly.

Burying his face in her neck, Nathaniel softly says, “Rebecca, I lo—“

The lights come on.

The elevator springs to life and starts its quick descent downwards before either of them have a chance to process what almost just happened. Immediately, Rebecca pushes him off of her, retrieves her dress from the floor, and pulls it over her head while Nathaniel tugs on his pants, making a hasty effort to look presentable.

As soon as the doors open, Rebecca runs out of the elevator, heels in hand and uncaring that half of her dress is open in the back. She doesn’t want to think about that sentence he never finished, so she races from the lobby to her car without a glance backwards.

Despite knowing that he could easily catch up to her, Nathaniel doesn’t run after her. If he were in her position, he knows he would be running for the hills too. He runs his hand back through his hair in frustration, angry with himself about not being able to control his feelings while simultaneously angry that, once again, she was too scared to talk about it and chose to run instead. Bested by his emotions once again, Nathaniel walks slowly in the cool rain shower to rinse her sweet perfume from his body.

When Rebecca locks herself in her car, she reaches for her phone, takes note of the time, almost half past ten, and dials the first number she trusts.

“Rebecca, it’s late. Is everything okay?”

“Nathaniel almost told me he loved me.” She can hear Dr. Akopian’s silent sigh. “Yes, you can yell at me later for having sex with him again, but right now, I don’t know what to do here. I don’t want to talk about it with him. Not now, maybe not ever. Please help me, Dr. Akopian?”

“We can talk about it first thing tomorrow if you’d like. Until then, you should go home and get some rest to clear your head. I’m sure your emotions are running high, and you need some time to process this. Call me in the morning, okay?”

“Okay. Thank you, Dr. Akopian.”

“Good night, Rebecca.”

She hangs up the phone and leans back against her car’s headrest, taking a long breath out. When her heart rate finally slows down and her hands stop trembling enough for her to safely drive, Rebecca puts her car in drive and makes her way home as quickly as she can.

Days after, Rebecca is still processing what almost happened in the elevator and makes it a point to heed Dr. Akopian’s advice and separate herself from Nathaniel for a few days to gain some perspective on the situation. Meanwhile, he’s using every opportunity to mention Mona and talk about how happy they are together. He finds every possible distraction from the vixen sharing his office, though tactile distractions don’t stop his mind from replaying that night again and again in his mind. She’ll never admit to it, but when she catches him staring at her with his enchanting blue eyes, her resolve to be upset with him crumbles at her feet.

For about a week, there haven’t been any supply closet rendezvous, but after a tough meeting, Rebecca finds Nathaniel there in search of some red pens to make angry strikethroughs on his opening arguments. She taps on the door as not to startle him, but the statement she makes about knocks him clear off his feet.

“You were right.”

He turns around slowly to face her. “About what?”

Rebecca takes a few steps into the closet but keeps her professional distance. She laughs to herself in disbelief that this is their reality but acknowledges that there’s no way to avoid it. “Something always brings me back to you too.”

She’s staring up at him, eyes open and vulnerable, a long-lost honesty returning to her gaze. He’s not seen this look in ages, one so unassuming and uncharacteristic of her behavior lately. There’s no facade of this sexy “other woman” persona, she’s not playing a game or trying to distract from what’s really going on. Rebecca is just… here. And that’s all he could ask for.

“Close the door.”

It never takes too long.

Chapter Text

Rebecca steps off the elevator this morning looking especially perky for 8:30 AM. Making her way into the shared office stirring her coffee, she’s light and breezy despite her form-fitting skirt.

“Morning,” she says casually, kicking back in her desk chair. “You ready for this meeting?”

Nathaniel nods, making a few last-minute highlights in the case file. After a brief silence, he says. “Hey, there’s actually something I wanted to talk to you about—“

The elevator pings, and Rebecca shoots out of her chair to greet her guest. “Can it wait until after the meeting?”

“Yeah, of course,” he says, trying to conceal his resignation with a smile. He follows Rebecca out of the office after a moment, watching as she fluffs her hair and tugs down her skirt.

“Hi, I’m looking for a Rebecca Bunch?”

Bouncy and stunning as ever, Rebecca saddles up to the guest’s side. “That would be me. Pleasure to meet you. You must be Drew from Southshore Financial.”

This guy is everything Nathaniel is and isn’t. It’s alarming. He’s also quite tall and handsome, but his eyes are a deep, smoldering brown, his hair darker with a few lighter streaks from the sun. He’s got enough musculature to compete with Chan, and somehow that stirs Nathaniel’s insecurity. He concludes that even though this guy is way too ex-frat president for Rebecca, he’s decent competition.

“I am. Pleasure’s all mine.” He gives her one of those charming but secretly smarmy accountant smiles. Nathaniel knows the type. And Rebecca is totally weak for it, her hand lingering in his hold for longer than appropriate for acquaintances. Her eyes glitter with a flirty sparkle that’s certainly not lost on him. From behind her, Nathaniel clears his throat.

“Oh, and this is my partner, Nathaniel Plimpton. He’ll be joining us this morning.”

Nathaniel firmly shakes Drew’s hand with a tight-lipped smile and gestures towards the conference room. Rebecca takes lead and motions for Drew to follow her. Oh, he’ll follow her, alright, and stare at her ass while he’s at it. Nathaniel’s not an idiot; he knows this guy’s game.

When they enter the conference room, Rebecca gestures to the seat across from her for Drew to take while she takes the seat and opens her files. Nathaniel enters last, closing the door behind him and sitting on Rebecca’s right, closer than he maybe should have.

The meeting begins, and Drew explains his company’s predicament of an outdated zoning restriction that’s keeping their business from expanding further into the San Gabriel. Rebecca listens intently, her eyes clearly focused on the words he’s saying… if you count watching his lips form the syllables with a dreamy look as “clearly focused.”

“We’re really trying to work with the city on doing away with these old zoning restrictions, but they won’t budge. I was hoping you would be able to offer your services to help out our company?”

“Absolutely. We’ll do everything in our power to get you what you need.”

Rebecca asks him a question about the time frame they’re working with, and he makes some idiotic joke about the city government being run by a bunch of turtles. Of course, it makes Rebecca giggle, her mind probably fashioning a picturesque scene of hand-drawn animated turtles with monocles and top hats speaking legalese in some ridiculous patter song. It takes all of Nathaniel’s strength not to roll his eyes.

He’s very thorough, asking all the proper questions, taking efficient notes, and roaming his eyes up and down Rebecca’s body as she speaks, so caught up in her explanation that she doesn’t take notice of it.

“I actually brought a basic blueprint of the space options we have if you’d like to see them?”

“Yeah, that would be great! Let’s see what we’re working with here.” Drew starts to slide the file across the table, but Rebecca stands up and starts to round the table. “I can just come over there, it’s no big deal.”

No big deal, my ass.

She doesn’t bother with touching her skirt as she stands, and maybe she doesn’t notice the hungry look in Drew’s eyes, but Nathaniel certainly does. That’s a look he’s given her many times. Does this guy know he’s not being subtle, or does he just not care?

Rebecca, he realizes now, knows she’s not being subtle. She appears so casual with her hands on the tabletop, her back arched just so as she’s peering over at the papers, and the deep V of her neckline draws a simplistic map to the spot of treasured gold. She’s acting so interested at the spacing options for the buildings the company is negotiating for, but amid his dull explanation of the logistics behind the options, Drew looks up, Rebecca’s chest presented like a fucking dessert spread in front of him, and stammers for a moment while he tries to compose his thoughts.

How adolescent of him.

Rebecca blinks her eyes innocently as she stares at her client attempting to not make a fool of himself. As if she doesn’t know what she’s trying to do. Drew flips to a new page and begins his next set of droning details of building plots, and she lifts her eyes, just her eyes, to glance over at Nathaniel with the most deliciously evil smirk, her eyes hooded and dark. Fuck her… oh, how he’d love to right now.

Press her chest into that table again, grab her hair and pull it back… those eyes staring up at him while she’s on her knees—

She sits down next to him, her professionalism taking a clear hike out the window, apparently. Now, they’re talking budgets, and Nathaniel’s seething with envy. Not that she can’t talk budgets with anyone else, but the way the word “maximizing” drips off of her tongue when referring to using every dollar of their budget towards the build sends a rush of heat down to his pants in conjunction with the angry jealousy stirring in his stomach.

Would she stop playing with her hair like that? Makes me wanna grab her hands and tie them behind her back— Oh, great. Another corny joke.

And she laughs as if it’s the funniest thing she’s ever heard, her head thrown back, smile wide as can be. He wishes desperately in a sad corner of his mind that he could make her laugh like that again one day. Though right now, the frustration is manifesting itself in his clenched fists and stiff jaw. Rebecca takes notice of his tension and turns back towards Drew with a smile.

“I think that about does it for today. Is there anything else we can do for you?”

“I believe that’s everything. Though I did want to ask if we could meet again some time at the end of the week, possibly over a drink?”

Rebecca looks taken aback but flattered at his proposition disguised as a request. She can’t seem to come up with an immediate response, so she laughs, looking away with the faintest hint of blush. “Well, I can check my calendar and get back to you on that. In the meantime, though, you have my email should anything else come up.”

She walks him to the elevator, and Drew reaches out his hand to shake hers once more. Nathaniel hangs back to observe what would happen if he weren’t so clearly scrutinizing her every move and waits on edge for any signs that he might need to make a dashing rescue from any unwanted contact. He’s still holding her hand when he slips her something, a note or a business card, perhaps, and she glances down at it only after the elevator doors close. She’s wearing a confused but smitten smile as she makes her way back to their office, but Nathaniel stops her before she can enter with a small tug at her wrist.

“I think we should debrief elsewhere.”

“Nathaniel, now’s not really a good…” His grip tightens, and she deems it useless to argue with his steely blue gaze that thinly veils his demand as a suggestion. For once, he’s taking the lead here, Rebecca following a few steps behind as not to appear suspicious. When they both enter the supply closet, Nathaniel locks the door behind him, his back against the wood.

He’s not in the mood to play games, so he gets right to the point. “You wanna tell me what the hell that was back there?”

Rebecca scrunches up her face in confusion. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He doesn’t care to say anything else, just shoots her a look that could burn through every excuse she could come up with in the moment. It startles her. She looks back at him, waiting for him to say anything, but he won’t. She’s a smart girl, she can figure this one out for herself without needing his explanation.

Momentary realization passes over her eyes, and her eyebrows lift incredulously. “Oh my god. Wait a second, are you… jealous?” Nathaniel looks away from her, clearing his throat and straightening his tie. “You totally are.” She’s satisfied with herself for a brief second but quickly changes her tone. “Dude, come on. You can’t seriously be jealous.”

He refuses to meet her eyes as he takes a step towards her. “So what if I am?”

“Then you’re absolutely ridiculous,” she scoffs with an eye roll. “I mean, do you honestly think I would actually go out with someone like him?”

In hopes she won’t hear, he grumbles under his breath, “Yeah, you almost married someone like him.”

She heard. And now she sees how he’s playing today, which only stirs her urge to fight. Rebecca nods to herself walking towards the door to see herself out. “Right, almost. I guess one infidelity wasn’t enough for you.”

Before she can turn the handle, Nathaniel whips her around and pushes her back against the door with his hand around her neck, firm but not squeezing. It’s one of the ways he likes to control her, sexually, that is; others aren’t always this aggressive, but he enjoys seeing the initial surprise on her face followed by the briefest flash of fear before it melts into arousal. She enjoys her lack of control here.

“You don’t want to test me right now, Rebecca,” he says darkly against her neck.

She laughs when his fingers just slightly press into her neck. “And if I said I did?”

In a dirty power move, Nathaniel presses his crotch into Rebecca’s and bites at her earlobe. She makes a strangled sound that Nathaniel quickly conceals with his other hand. “You just wanna test me so I’ll bang the shit out of you right here. Is that it?” The consonants hiss in the most gratifying way into her ear, and Rebecca moans against his hand, pressing her hips towards his. “You know I’ll fuck you good and hard, which is exactly what you need, isn’t it?”

It is, it’s exactly what she needs. Rebecca nods, closing her eyes and leaning her head back against the door. Nathaniel hums against her skin and decides to nudge her legs apart, his hand coming down from her neck to run up underneath her skirt. She moans when his fingers brush her center, and Nathaniel shushes her. He keeps his other hand tightly clamped around her mouth to keep her desperate sounds from escaping. Rebecca grinds into his hand trying to get friction on her clit that elusively comes and goes as he teases her. Both of her hands, however, are free, and she uses them to uncover her mouth.

Her teeth bared, she lets her most vicious venom fly from her mouth. “I bet you get off on this at night, don’t you? Taking advantage of my weaknesses?”

And there she goes, testing him again. This time, Nathaniel grabs her wrists and pins them above her head with one hand while the other finds itself around her mouth again. He stares down at her almost menacingly, his height intimidating from this position, and the wide-eyed look she gives him is almost equally fearful and aroused. She might have said the wrong thing, but she’s almost certain she’ll get fucked hard for it.

“Hell yeah I do. I know you can’t resist me, no matter how hard you try. I know exactly how to look at you, what to say to you to have you falling into my lap. It’s almost too easy these days. And even though you and I both know what this is, it doesn’t stop you from chasing it, and it certainly doesn’t stop me from wanting you.” Rebecca starts to close her eyes and turn her head away from him when he grinds into her, but Nathaniel takes her chin between his fingers to return her attention to him. “Right now, I want your mouth on my cock.”

Rebecca looks up at him defiantly. “Too bad you’re not the boss of me anymore.”

“Maybe not out there, but in here? You love it when I tell you what to do.” She blinks and averts her gaze before Nathaniel’s redoubled grip on her chin and dark voice in her ear pulls her back in. “Now, are you gonna get on your knees, or do I have to make you?” As much as Rebecca’s instincts tell her to keep fighting him, if it gets him to fuck her quicker, she’ll take what she can get. Her fiery look remains even as she sinks to her knees and opens his belt and pants. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

Rebecca slips her lips over him, and fuck, he’s hard and heavy in her mouth already. God, her mouth is indescribable in all the best ways, mostly because he loses every cognitive thought process when she sucks him off. Many thanks to whoever taught her to give blow jobs like this because she’s damn good at it.

Her hair hangs mostly loose today, her bangs curled and precariously held in place with a single pin, and it gives him a decent amount of leverage to grab onto. Not that her ponytails aren’t also helpful, but he loves the feeling of burying his hand as deep as possible in her hair, and she craves the sensation of the scrape of his blunt nails against her scalp. Rebecca’s being a little fucking tease today swirling her tongue around his head and looking up at him with the devil’s blue eyes with the hint of a smile playing at her parted lips. She’s enjoying not giving him what she knows he wants, and he’s had about enough of her games when she moans melodiously around his dick.

Enough is enough, and Nathaniel grips the back of her head to yank her mouth forward, her nose almost but not quite pressed against his pelvis. His dick catches on her gag reflex, and she backs off of him, sputtering a cough. Nathaniel loosens his hold in her hair, asking her calmly if she’s okay. She nods as she runs her palms over her skirt.

“Sorry, just caught me off guard,” she says breathlessly. When she looks back up at him, her hunger returns, eyes relaxed and seductive. “Do that again.”

“Do what?” Rebecca lifts her eyebrows with a smirk. She knows exactly what she wants him to do again. Oh. His eyes silently ask for her consent, and she nods to confirm it. Nathaniel eases her back into it, taking his sweet tender time to touch her face, rub his thumb over her bottom lip, and she thinks he’s gone soft for a moment until his fingers find their way back to her hair. He tilts her head upward so her neck will extend, and she’ll take in a gasp, the perfect segue for him to slide back inside of her mouth.

Rebecca relaxes her throat and focuses on remaining as open as possible. He wants to use her, and she has no qualms about letting him right now. With his hand in her hair keeping iron control over her movements, Rebecca reaches down to touch herself. If she can’t have control over him right now, she can at least satisfy herself. Nathaniel keeps his pace surprisingly even for how much tension is bubbling inside of him, all the while lauding her and her mouth with praises. A continuous quiet string of so good and yes and god damn, Rebecca fills the room. His thrusts become erratic as he feels his release creeping up on him.

“Fuck, Rebecca, I’m gonna…” He barely gets the words out in time for her to prepare herself before his cum hits the back of her throat quick and white-hot. Nathaniel’s fingers flex in her hair as his hips stutter from the sheer force of his orgasm. Fuck, he needed that. He looks down at her when the high begins to fade pulling her mouth away, but his eyes are still dark and hungry, though less angry than before. “You okay?” She nods as he skims his hand across her chin. “Good. Take off your skirt.”

Rebecca looks up at him confused. “Wait, why?”

“Just trust me. Take off your skirt and lie back.” She reaches behind her to unzip her skirt and shimmy it down her hips, placing it under her ass as she lies on her back. Nathaniel joins her on the floor between her spread legs, his mouth dangerously close to kissing her, but he diverts at the last second with a deep chuckle. Rebecca waits expectantly for this kiss that never comes, and she’s left panting and stretching her mouth towards the absence of his.

“Nathaniel,” she pleads quietly.

“Trust me,” he says, ghosting his lips down her body. He thinks she likes where this is going with the increase in speed of her breathing. Before he can press his mouth to her center, Nathaniel stops and lifts his eyes. Just his eyes. She’s not the only one who can play that game. Her hips rise of their own accord yearning to feel his mouth against her. Each time Rebecca thinks he’s going to give her reprieve, he finds some way to redirect his path to her inner thigh, her hipbone, anywhere that’s not where she needs him most. Her frustration grows by the minute in her quiet groaning.

“Fuck, I hate you so m… oh my god.” Yes, that’s exactly the response he wants. His tongue works its way underneath her panties, already soaked with her arousal. She’s covering her own mouth this time and arching her body into Nathaniel’s touch.

So fucking perfect.

His fingers join his tongue, and while his tongue takes its sweet time drawing circles around her clit, his fingers curl upwards reaching even the most secret of places inside of her. When she clenches around his fingers, Nathaniel hums against her, the vibrations from his throat low and sexy. Rebecca fists her hand in his hair to keep his mouth diving deeper, and she’s all but shamelessly riding his face at this point.

Suddenly, the knob on the door turns, the outsider left to find it locked. There’s knocking for a few moments, and she and Nathaniel freeze. Oh, fuck, not today.

George is outside the door muttering to himself about why the door would be locked. Nathaniel pulls his face away from her center and quietly maneuvers himself to come up to meet her face to face. Her eyes wide as saucers, breathing shallow and tense, Nathaniel does his best to soothe her fears, whispering against her skin that she’s okay and reminding her to breathe.

“Do you want me to stop?”

Does she? Absolutely not.

But should they? Of course.

Rebecca shakes her head in dissent and grasps his sticky fingers, bringing them down to fill her up. Before he does, he turns her face to look at him.

“Silent. Understand?” She nods and tries her hardest not to make a sound as Nathaniel strokes her to an orgasm. Rebecca wishes they could be somewhere that she could be as loud as she wants to. She tucks her head into his neck, her breaths hot and labored against his skin. It reminds him of a simpler time where sex in the sunrise and staying in till noon were all that mattered, but he quickly pushes the nostalgic thoughts from his head to focus on taking care of her.

Her, forever the enigma, the puzzle, the mystery. When he thinks he’s come close to understanding her, she knocks him flat on his back and surprises him. Quite literally as he thinks back to a heated moment in the conference room his first week here. Flash forward to kissing him brainless in the elevator, then rapidly moving up her wedding date, and every sentence from then on included the words “wedding” or “Josh Chan.” Seducing him in his own apartment after being stood up by the proclaimed “man of her dreams,” her hair curled, voluminous, and newly darkened. He took his time peeling off that bombshell of a red dress, and he thought it was the sexiest thing he had ever seen until he woke up to see her in his shirt. Only to have her tearing it off minutes later before she raced out of his apartment. She has something of a volatile nature, and he’s the damn sucker who’s a victim of it. He wouldn’t have it any other way though.

The footsteps retreat momentarily, but Nathaniel knows that they aren’t in the clear just yet.

“Nathaniel.” The syllables barely scrape the surface of his skin, so she moves her mouth up to his ear to speak his name again. “Nathaniel.” Now, she’s begging, and it’s so tempting to admonish her for going against his wishes, but it’s like heaven when she begs and he wants to hear it again. He takes out one of his two fingers and continues to tease her.

“What did I say about no talking, Rebecca?”

“Please,” she whines breathily, drawing out the word impossibly and grinding her hips fruitlessly into his hand.

Trying to conceal his smugness, he asks, “Please? Please, what?”

“Fuck me.”

“No condom,” he says, slowing the already torturous pace of his finger. She’s on edge and threatens to snap, grinding her teeth in her mouth as she glares at him.

Her frustration seeps out from between her teeth. “God, I just wanna come, so if you’re not gonna do it, I guess I’ll have to do it my—“

Nathaniel shoves three of his fingers inside of her and kisses her to keep her quiet. It’s only a few more moments before she comes on his fingers, the force of her orgasm all-consuming. He covers her mouth with his, swallows the beautiful sounds of her release, and holds her close as she comes down.

Once she’s sated, Nathaniel stops moving his fingers, and he expects her to pull away immediately, get dressed, and pretend like this “mistake” never happened. But she doesn’t. Rebecca grabs onto the back of his neck to keep kissing him, her mouth practically devouring his own. She slides her tongue into his mouth, and while he wouldn’t object to this particular activity in a few hours after official work hours have concluded, he knows they’ve both been absent for a questionably long time.

“Hey, we’ve gotta go.”

She grumbles, sitting up and re-adjusting her shirt from its cockeyed position. “Nooooooo. Do we have to?”

Nathaniel gives her a quick kiss before helping her stand up. “For now. But it doesn’t mean we can’t come back later. I hear the toner is running low, and I think I might need some help… refilling it?”

She swallows thickly. “I hear if you do it alone, it might get a little… messy?”

His hands come around her waist while he smirks at her, and she giggles. “So that’s a ‘yes,’ then?”

Rebecca nods and rises up on her tiptoes to peck his lips. “Yes.” She reaches down to pick up her skirt from the floor and pull it back on. “See, no reason to be jealous. You and I both know why we keep coming back.”

Funny how she thinks she knows why he keeps coming back. She’s terribly mistaken.

Chapter Text

Rebecca isn’t one to make a big deal of her birthday, especially not now that she’s turning 30, which signals the end of young life as she knows it. It’s a dramatic shift in what she can wear and how she can speak, and Rebecca feels like her body aged ten years overnight. She rolls over and hits the snooze button on her phone (shockingly) only twice before climbing out of bed to get ready for work while groaning at the sound of her ankles popping when she steps on the floor. Of course, she’s eternally grateful that despite her aging body, her mind is still sharp as ever.

She’s never been a big fan of birthdays, childhood traumas and all that having much to do with her desire to sweep the day under the rug. Her office mates, however, are known to make a big deal out of every momentous occasion, and she isn’t spared in their extravagance, especially not for such a milestone in her life. Darryl greets her as soon as she steps from the elevator with a warm hug and a gift bag with homemade crafts from both Madison and himself. Rebecca promises to open it later as she’s accosted by Maya with a Stegosaurus Sprinkle donut in hand to “cheers” with her own Triceratop Triple Berry. She wasn’t expecting people to be this excited about her birthday, which makes her crave some normalcy, whatever the hell that is around this place anymore.

Thankfully, Paula turns around as Rebecca sets her bag down in her empty office, and she wonders why she’s yet to see the smug, totally fuckable (oh my god, stop it, Rebecca) face of her office companion smirking at her for showing up ten minutes late.

Despite her being the boss, Nathaniel takes each opportunity to tease her about her lack of regard for punctuality when it comes to work; her punctuality in other matters… well, let’s say she runs a tight ship. They’ve timed it to where seven minutes and forty-five seconds is just long enough for the pair of them to be away without too much question, unbeknownst to everyone that they’re alone together. Ten minutes is a touch suspicious, but Nathaniel bargains for eight and a half; he’s got a very persuasive tongue. Though eight and a half is gracious considering he really only needs six.

Rebecca sighs in relief when she finds a warm latte on her desk. Ah, normalcy.

“Happy birthday, honey! I can’t believe you actually came in to work on your birthday. That’s gotta be a bummer.”

“Yeah, well, if I didn’t have to lead this meeting this afternoon, I wouldn’t have. Trust me, there’s a new episode of my murder mystery podcast at home that I’d love to be catching up on right now, and Alan Dick-man and I could be having a hot date, but instead, I’m here. Though I appreciate the coffee. That’s really sweet of you, Paula.” Rebecca takes a sip of the warm chai tea and lets it slide down her throat luxuriously and nearly melts where she stands. This tastes like heaven.

“Oh, I didn’t give you that. I mean, I was gonna give you your present later, and I’d like to think it’s better than a latte.” Rebecca turns the cup around and finds a page flag sticking up from the sleeve enclosing her cup. She slides the cardboard down to reveal a note scribbled on the cup in unmistakable handwriting.

Up for a morning debrief?

Well, at least she knows getting older hasn’t altered her libido.

“I guess then it’s my lucky day. Hey, did you still wanna have dinner with the girls after work tonight? I’m ready to be sent into an Olive Garden breadstick-induced coma if you are?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Paula smiles at her best friend as she sets up her work station and attempts to make a discreet escape to the supply closet once Paula turns back to her desk. Lipstick still fresh, curls still bouncy, Rebecca pushes the door to the supply closet open and slips inside, turning the lock. She doesn’t want to be disturbed.

The door closes, and Nathaniel turns around to find the birthday girl leaning against the doorframe perched on one flirtatious leg shining bright, and it wasn’t just the perfect positioning of the light fixture above her framing her figure. No, she is simply glowing.

“I was beginning to wonder if you’d show. I was just finishing up making my list of the thirty-one reasons I planned to punish you.” Rebecca pushes off the door and steps up to him incredulously.

“Whoa there, buddy, don’t be tacking on any extra years! I do not need to feel any older today, thank you very much.”

“Don’t worry, I know how old you are.”

“Then why thirty-one?” Nathaniel lifts her chin with his finger and laughs under his breath.

“One to grow on.” He brings his mouth to meet hers halfway in a toe-curling kiss that they both moan into. “Happy birthday, Rebecca,” he mumbles against her lips while his hand drifts beneath her skirt and runs his fingers up her thigh. Nathaniel’s fingers work their way under her panties and tease at her opening while his other hand pulls her body flush with his, and he spreads his fingers across her lower back.

“Mmmm, happy birthday to me,” she moans into his jawline as she kisses along his growing line of stubble. Nathaniel’s fingers curl inside of her finding every pleasurable crevice, exploring the caverns of her body almost as well as she knows herself, and quickly sends her racing towards an orgasm. Rebecca latches on tightly to his shoulders for support, feeling her release approaching at any moment. She relaxes into the curve where his neck and shoulder meet and sighs his name with a kiss at his pulse point. Oh, she’s so close.

And then, he pulls his fingers out.

Breath heaving against his chest, Rebecca’s eyes are squeezed shut and doesn’t see Nathaniel smirking at her while she clings to him so desperately, still expectant of a release that never comes. When she opens her eyes, Nathaniel’s chuckling and lapping her wetness from his fingers, and she unhooks herself from his body and pushes him back on the chest.

“What was that for, you asshole? It’s my fucking birthday! That’s basically code for I can have as many orgasms as I want!” Nathaniel trades his fingers from their spot inside his mouth to inside Rebecca’s before her voice climbs too loudly.

“Shhh, be patient. All in due time, Rebecca. I have a challenge for you, and if you pass, you’ll get your wish, and you can have all the orgasms you want.” A pause hangs over them as he pops his fingers from her mouth and uses his opposite hand to stroke her face and hair.

“And if I don’t?” Nathaniel nips her earlobe and releases a breath down the column of her neck.

“Let’s hope you don’t have to find out.” The way he says that makes the hairs on her arm stand on end, a small part of her curious and hopeful that maybe she will find out.

She blinks her eyes up at him, a seductive smile playing at her lips. “What’s the challenge?”

“My challenge is that you won’t make it through the work day without coming. If you succeed, I’m all yours after hours, if you want me, and you can take as many orgasms as you want. But if you don’t… well, let’s just say you’re going to want to exercise your self-control. I’d hate to have to punish you on your birthday.”

With a sassy twinkle in her eyes, she agrees to his request. “Challenge accepted. This should be a piece of cake. Pun intended.” She wraps her arms around his neck with a smile to herself.

“You know, just because it’s your birthday doesn’t mean I’m going to make this easy on you.”

Rebecca blows a raspberry. “Please, we both know I can handle you. Bring it on.”

And does he ever.

The next hours before lunch pass with a few close calls on her behalf, and Nathaniel took the initiative prior to her arrival to keep the blinds closed should their legal debates get a little… heated. He knows how his use of legalese affects her. When lunch hour arrives, Rebecca stands up and stretches her arms above her head, and Nathaniel’s roaming gaze over her body isn’t lost on her while she gathers her bag.

“I think I’m gonna take a break. I’m starving. What about you, you hungry?”

Nathaniel chuckles and grins mischievously at her. “Ravenous.”

Rebecca’s ears perked up, and she turns to face him with an incredulous stare. “Clearly you’re not talking about food. You don’t ever get that excited over food.”

Nathaniel stands up from his desk and meets her halfway across the office, gliding one hand underneath her jacket to wrap around her curves. “You never know, I very well could be talking about food. Lately, I’ve been having these sweet cravings, and I’ve just been thinking about how tempting it is to eat everything in sight right now. I guess you could say that my appetite is…” he leans down and grazes his teeth across her neck, finishing his sentence with a guttural moan, “insatiable.”

Rebecca follows suit in vocalizing her pleasure, wrapping her hands around the back of his neck while her bag strap rests on her shoulder. “You are ridiculous, but I’ve gotta say that Stanford vocabulary is really doing it for me right now.” Rebecca leans in to kiss him and runs her hands through his hair, gently tugging to assert her dominance. Nathaniel kisses her back fervently and places both hands around her waist, gently pressing his fingers into her side.

“Should I keep going,” he asks between kisses.

“Did I say you could stop?”

This challenge is working in Nathaniel’s favor much easier than he anticipated. He reaches underneath her shirt and palms her breast, and she shivers at his touch.

“Have you forgotten about our wager that easily, Rebecca,” he teases at her neck. Rebecca’s eyes widen, and she pushes her hand on his chest, determined not to let him win this. It was her birthday after all. Rebecca collects her things with a huff and turns her flustered back on Nathaniel. “Enjoy your lunch. I expect you back in an hour!”

“You’re not my boss anymore,” she yells back once she’s cleared the door. While Rebecca does everything in her power to stop imagining Nathaniel’s mouth and hands running over her body (stop it, you horny dumdum,) he spends the next hour motivated to be productive, but his mind pulls him back to all the ways he can tease Rebecca.

When she comes back from lunch, she heads into the supply closet to actually get a pack of Post-It notes, but she’s delayed in her search by a much more important task. The door shuts softly behind her, and she knows there’s only one other person who comes in here and shuts the door behind them. Rebecca feels a warm presence behind her and relaxes into the warm caress of fingers against her thigh.

“Hey there, gorgeous,” Nathaniel says, brushing her hair to one side of her head to gain unhindered access to the sensitive places on her neck. “Come here often?” Rebecca hums appreciatively as he kisses down the slope of her neck to the intersection of her neck and shoulder and fists his hand in the material of her emerald green dress.

“You can try all you want, but you’re not winning this ridiculous challenge if I have anything to say about it.” Nathaniel lets out a small laugh.

“Are you sure about that?” Rebecca nods and sets her jaw firmly because she knows she’s in for it now. Nathaniel’s hand works its way to her inner thigh, and his fingers trace a clever trail up to her center. When he slips his fingers inside her underwear, Rebecca can’t stop the hushed noise that escapes her throat followed by a long sigh. “I find that very hard to believe. Your reaction to that renders you entirely unconvincing.” He laughs under his breath when his fingers slide with ease inside of her and relishes in the fact that this challenge is working in his favor. “Mmmm, you’re so wet. That’s good. I bet you taste as sweet as you feel.”

Screw it. Screw him and his stupid challenge. Rebecca needs this, needs him, and it’s her birthday, for Christ’s sake. With a frustrated whine, she turns around to face him and pulls his face towards her for an insistent, hot kiss, her hands twining around Nathaniel’s neck. He’s scissoring his fingers inside of her while she’s pulling him impossibly closer until she feels the backs of her thighs press against the table behind her and then leans her weight back, urging him on top of her. Nathaniel struggles to find his balance as her desperate body writhes beneath him, and as she lifts her leg up to give him full access to her, he finds purchase in the papers of the bulletin board on the wall above the table.

Rebecca presses her hips up into him while he skims his lips down her neck. She’s close, they can both tell, and Rebecca knows it would feel so good to just let go, rake her nails down his back, and forget about this infuriating challenge. A breathy moan escapes her lips, a telltale sign she’s going to come. Nathaniel’s lips leave her neck and work their way back up to her ear.

“Don’t you dare,” he warns. With one last seductive kiss behind her ear, he pulls his fingers from her and steps back a few inches while Rebecca recovers from her unfulfilled orgasm.

“You son of a bitch,” Rebecca seethes as she readjusts her skirt. Nathaniel steps back up to her quickly and lands a quick peck on her cheek before heading towards the door, taking a brief moment to look back at her while tasting her from his fingers. With a false smile, Rebecca flips him off, and when he winks back at her, she rolls her eyes with a huff. Cheeky bastard. Of course, when Nathaniel leaves the supply closet, it’s business as usual, even as his mind wanders to more… enticing pieces of business.

A few more close calls later in the afternoon, including one particularly fervent celebration of a meeting well led against the filing cabinet in their office, leaves Rebecca on edge as the work day draws to a close. She’s resisted long enough, far too long considering it is her birthday and all. Her nipples ache to be touched again after Nathaniel teased the fuck out of them before the meeting, and she had to think about Sunil playing Tevye to stop them from staying hard beneath her dress.

When the meeting with their prospective clients finishes, Rebecca fully expects Nathaniel to give her some relief since technically her work for the day is finished. He, however, is content to keep her on edge, pushing her back into the cool metal of the cabinet, working her up to her peak quickly, only to pull away just as fast as he pushed his fingers inside of her. She growls and smacks his chest as he smugly smiles at her.

“You thought you were finished for the day, didn’t you?”

“I am finished with my work for the day, which means my work day is done.”

Nathaniel tuts at her, lifting her chin up with his fingers. “Yes, but I didn’t specify that, did I? The work day technically isn’t over. Not until I say it is.”

“But you aren’t the boss anymore, so don’t I get to say when everyone can go home, especially since today is my birthday?”

“If you had it your way, everyone would have been home by 9:30 this morning.”

He isn’t wrong about that one. She huffs and squeezes her legs together. “Fine, but I’m sending everyone home at 4:30.”

She sits down for a moment and manages to make a substantial amount of progress, despite Nathaniel (effectively) trying to distract her by twirling his pen between his fingers and licking his lips in an undeniably seductive way. Slowly but surely, the members of each department trickle out as the clock creeps closer to 4:30 wishing their best to Rebecca on her special day and pestering her with plans about having drinks after she finalizes the briefs she’s been diligently working on… of course, when she wasn’t otherwise occupied during the day. When she’s finally found a flow in her work, her phone rings next to her.

“Hello?”

“Hi, honey. You still at the office?”

“Yeah, just trying to make some progress before the deposition next week. Why, what’s up?”

“Just wondering how much longer you’re gonna be. These breadsticks will be gone if you don’t get here soon.”

Nathaniel lifts his eyes up at her and nods to her, encouraging her to go on. “I’m just finishing up my last section on this file for the night. Don’t worry, just order me a Peach Bellini, and I’ll be there before it melts. I promise.”

“Ok sweetie, just no running stop lights, please!”

“I’ll see you soon,” Rebecca says with a smile as she hangs up the phone. She makes a final few highlighter strokes on her page and closes the folder with finality. “Well, that’s my cue. I’ll, umm, see you…?”

“Yeah. We’ll see each other…?”

“Sure, yeah, yeah, sounds good. Umm, yeah, I’m gonna—” She motions for the door.

“Of course. Enjoy your birthday, Rebecca.”

He doesn’t want to push as she shoves her papers into her bag and heads out the door with the slightest glance backwards at him. Solemnly, he casts his eyes downwards at the gift bag with her name on it that he had hoped he could give to her tonight during their private after hours celebration. But who says the celebration couldn’t be postponed to later in the evening?

Rebecca makes it to the Olive Garden and finds Paula, Heather, and Valencia waiting at the table for her to greet her with hugs and well wishes on her special day.

Nathaniel

Thu, Apr 19, 6:15 PM
How’s dinner going?
Really good. The girls and I are having fun.
I’m glad. You enjoy it.

Rebecca smiles down at her phone as the girls talk animatedly, but Valencia is the first to notice Rebecca’s disengagement from the conversation at hand.

“Oooooh, I know that look. Spill. Who’s got you all smiley over there, Rebecca?”

Instinctively, she flips her phone facing downwards in her lap and looks up. “It’s nothing, just some friends from college posting memories on my Facebook wall.”

It’s not a total lie. Some of her Yale roommates posted a few pictures from back in their law school days when Rebecca’s glasses took up half her face and she hadn’t yet invested in a reliable flat iron for her hair. Admittedly, looking at those photos from her 23rd birthday made her smile, but she knew the real reason her grin wouldn’t leave her face. She hopes it isn’t too obvious.

Speaking of obvious, when their food arrives, Rebecca feels her phone buzz once again. She’s tempted to ignore it until after dinner, but the anticipation becomes too much to handle after a minute of trying to put it out of her mind. When she flips her phone up and finds Nathaniel’s name across the screen, she keeps it strategically hidden from view underneath her napkin and opens his text with a GIF attached. Rebecca presses her thighs together underneath the table, as the GIF he sends features a man seductively tonguing whipped cream from his fingers, and she waits for the gray bubbles to disappear on his side of the screen.

Nathaniel

Thu, Apr 19, 6:15 PM
How’s dinner going?
Really good. The girls and I are having fun.
I’m glad. You enjoy it.
Today 6:36 PM
There’s something much sweeter I’d rather be licking off my fingers.

She keeps her reaction unphased for the most part as she eats her lasagna until yet another text comes through from her not-so secret admirer. Rebecca quickly finds it hard to keep focus on the table conversation when her mind is drifting to more salacious matters, courtesy of Nathaniel’s texts.

Nathaniel

Thu, Apr 19, 6:15 PM
How’s dinner going?
Really good. The girls and I are having fun.
I’m glad. You enjoy it.
Today 6:36 PM
There’s something much sweeter I’d rather be licking off my fingers.
Today 6:40 PM
The only thing I want tied up with a pretty bow is you.

He’s making it nearly impossible to keep her composure at the table. She’s blaming her flushing on her second Bellini while desperately wishing the Prosecco would go to her head already. Rebecca feels the vibration from her phone in her lap and grits her teeth in her mouth. If Nathaniel sends her another text, she thinks she might explode. From frustration or arousal, she’s honestly uncertain at this point. Begrudgingly, she flips her phone back over to see another message from him taunting her on her lock screen. She gives into the temptation to see what he wants, only to find a near pornographic GIF of a brunette woman wrapping her lips around a dripping popsicle. Nathaniel follows the picture with a saucy text.

Nathaniel

Thu, Apr 19, 6:15 PM
How’s dinner going?
Really good. The girls and I are having fun.
I’m glad. You enjoy it.
Today 6:36 PM
There’s something much sweeter I’d rather be licking off my fingers.
Today 6:40 PM
The only thing I want tied up with a pretty bow is you.
Today 6:42 PM
Save room for dessert?

Rebecca mentally curses at him and excuses herself from the table, quickly making her way to the bathroom to reply to his text.

Nathaniel

Thu, Apr 19, 6:15 PM
How’s dinner going?
Really good. The girls and I are having fun.
I’m glad. You enjoy it.
Today 6:36 PM
There’s something much sweeter I’d rather be licking off my fingers.
Today 6:40 PM
The only thing I want tied up with a pretty bow is you.
Today 6:42 PM
Save room for dessert?
Today 6:44 PM
I hate you so much.
Sure you do.
900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Meet me at 8:00?
Why would I do that?
I’ll have dessert waiting.
You better.

Rebecca comes back from the bathroom and sits around talking with the girls as she sips on a glass of water that will hopefully clear any champagne haziness before driving to see Nathaniel. Of course, that’s not what she tells Heather as they’re leaving the restaurant.

“Hey, I’ve gotta run back to the office. I forgot about some expense reports I need to fill out before tomorrow, so I have to take care of those. Don’t wait up for me, okay?”

“Okay, roomie. And just so you know, if you wanna get plastered after you finish your work stuff, I’m not opposed, like, at all.”

“You keep me young, Heather. I’ll probably be working late, but I’ll let you know,” Rebecca says with a smile as she ducks her head into her car. Hopefully, it shakes them off her case for a few hours while she finally gets her dues from earlier.

Rebecca finds parking around the hotel 10 minutes after 8:00 and asks Nathaniel where he is. She takes the elevator up to the twenty-sixth floor where he’s supposedly waiting for her, but when she steps inside and two hands grasp her waist from behind, Rebecca gasps as she turns around but is almost immediately swept into a kiss before she has time to register the face, the elevator doors shutting behind her. The touch could have been from most anyone, but the press of lips to hers, however, is unmistakably Nathaniel’s. As the elevator ascends, the pair kisses passionately, needy noises coming from both of their mouths, and thankfully, it reaches the twenty-sixth floor quickly.

After making their way into the room, barely able to keep from ripping their clothes off of each other, Rebecca looks around the room to find the minibar fully stocked, along with crystal champagne flutes, a bottle on ice, and strawberries carefully plated next to it.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to get me drunk, which is in bad taste, you know.”

He pecks her lips and settles his hands on her curves, delicately accentuated by the cut of her dress. “That’s not my primary goal, but you’re certainly welcome to have a drink if you want. Can I get you anything?”

She hums, mulling over the decision in her mind only for a moment before making up her mind. “Pour me a glass of that champagne, if you will.”

Nathaniel does as she asks and brings her glass over to her, now lounging on the large bed, feet daintily crossed at the ankles. He takes the glass of wine he’s been working on and proposes a toast to her. Their glasses clink, and they take respective sips of their drinks, though Rebecca’s sip is more like a gulp. She feels the tingle spread through her veins, and she loves the way this champagne lights her body on fire.

“Hey,” Nathaniel says after a beat. “I got you a little something.”

“Nathaniel, you didn’t have to…”

He hushes her protesting by taking her hand in his and rubbing barely there circles on the inside of her wrist. “I know I didn’t have to, but I wanted to. Come with me, I’ll show you.”

Rebecca swings her legs over the side of the bed as Nathaniel helps her to stand, and they make their way towards the bathroom where she’s standing in front of the mirror.

“Close your eyes,” he commands softly. She obeys and waits for her gift.

Nathaniel moves her hair to one side of her neck, exposing the supple skin there to his mouth, salivating at the sight of it. What he wouldn’t give to dive in, mark the pale skin there with red and purple so he could hear her gasp and moan and beg for more. But he won’t without her permission, much as he longs to when he surveys her visible reaction to his touch. He takes the present and wraps it around her neck, hooking the clasp in the back before resting her hands on her shoulders.

“You can open them.”

Rebecca opens her eyes and finds a gold chain hanging from her neck with a bar hanging horizontally in the center. Her name is carved in a lowercase script along the front, and she smiles, running her fingers across the bar. She almost thanks him before he cuts in.

“Look at the back,” he says, gesturing for her to flip the necklace over. The engraving in the gold reads Lux et veritas, Yale’s motto.

“Light and truth,” she quietly says, stunned by Nathaniel’s gift. With someone as wealthy as him, she would have expected him to get something with a bit more opulence, but somehow, he knows what she needs without ever having to say it. The simplicity is exactly what she’s been desiring all day, and it shocks her that Nathaniel picks up on it, not to mention that sentimentality and meaningfulness aren’t exactly Nathaniel’s style.

Rebecca turns around to face him and takes her hands in his. “Thank you,” she says earnestly. “This means so much to me.”

“You’re welcome. You deserve it.”

She squeezes his hands and looks up at him, desire rippling outward from her pupils. Rebecca tilts her chin upwards to reach for his lips, and Nathaniel tucks his head down to meet her in the middle for a slow simmering kiss. His hand slides into her fallen curls and grazes the back of her head with his nails. The heels she’s wearing give her more height than she usually has when kissing him, so she doesn’t strain as much to reach his lips and press her kiss more insistently into his mouth.

She’s intoxicating, and it has nothing to do with the champagne taste in her mouth. He could get drunk on her smile and high from her kisses; it’s one hangover he’ll be glad to nurse any day of the week. Rebecca darts her tongue out, begging for entrance into his mouth, but Nathaniel stops her momentarily before things escalate too quickly.

“Hey, you know I won’t force you to stay or anything if you don’t want to. You’re free to leave at any time, just so you know.”

“Does it look like I want to leave any time soon?”

Nathaniel stammers for a response. “Umm, well, no, but, uh, I just wanted to—“

Rebecca grips his chin, a move he loves to use on her, but she supposes turnabout is fair play. “I’m not leaving until I get what I’m owed. I believe you promised me something about ‘taking all the orgasms I want’ if I passed your ridiculous challenge. And I’d say I succeeded, wouldn’t you?” Nathaniel’s lips part, but he’s unable to make any sound, so he nods, his chin still between Rebecca’s fingers. “I hope you’re satisfied with yourself, knowing that you’ve been teasing the fuck out of me all day. It’s not very nice to do that to a girl on her birthday.”

Rebecca walks him backwards towards the bed and when his knees hit the mattress, she pushes his shoulders down to make him sit as she steps back away from him. She drops her panties at her feet but keeps the rest of her clothes on, strutting back towards Nathaniel and climbing up onto his lap.

Huskily, she says, “I think you’ll have a lot to lick off of your fingers if you get to work.”

That spurs him into action, curling two of his fingers inside of her, and Rebecca lets out a long moan, tossing her head back as she grips his shoulders.

“Jesus, how are you so wet already?”

“Been teasing the fuck out of me, remember?”

“Oh, right,” he says with a smirk. Rebecca clenches her leg muscles as Nathaniel keeps stroking her, making sure to hit her clit when his fingers come out. “Feels good, doesn’t it?” She makes a breathy noise. “Come for me.”

That’s all it takes before Rebecca’s seeing stars behind her tightly shut eyes, and she’s riding out the waves of pleasure against Nathaniel’s hand. When the aftershocks finally subside, he removes his fingers from her and licks his middle one clean of her release. He offers her his drenched ring finger to her, and she swirls her tongue around it seductively as she tastes herself.

Rebecca releases his finger with a pop. “I know I saved room for dessert. Did you?”

“Of course I did, especially since I’m eating my dessert first,” he says, turning her onto her back. She slides up further onto the bed, shaking her head at him.

“Your mother would be so disappointed in you,” Rebecca quips, giggling a bit as he kisses the insides of her thighs.

“It’s a good thing she’s not here to tell me what to do then,” Nathaniel teases back as he flits his eyes up to her quickly before pressing his mouth to her hot center. Rebecca sinks back further into the mattress and grinds her hips into the swirl of his tongue. “Just as sweet as I thought you’d be.”

Rebecca drapes her arm over her eyes, her legs falling open further, and lets the rest of her cares leave her body. It’s his fault she’s so desperate for an orgasm, and if anything, he loves to see her like this, wanton and needy. Nathaniel laps up her wetness greedily and takes the time to tap her clit with the tip of his tongue, and Rebecca curls her fingers into his messy hair to make him fuck her deeper.

“God, Nathaniel…” She’s floating away towards another orgasm as soon as he keeps the constant pressure of his thumb on the bud between her legs while he continues to lick her. Her breath begins to stutter and her hips work in an uneven pace against his face until she finally feels the tension snap inside of her, and she holds Nathaniel’s head still while she rides out her release against his face. Fuck, this is so hot, he thinks.

Her breathing begins to slow as her orgasm ripples through her body. Nathaniel lifts his head when she finally unclenches her iron grip from his hair and tenderly studies her blissful expression. He crawls up her body and holds himself over her, giving her a series of sweet kisses from her forehead to her temples to her cheeks to her lips. Rebecca wraps her legs around his waist to keep his body pressed close to hers, and she digs her heels into his ass muscles, urging him to keep going.

“You want more?” Rebecca nods and barely pauses for a breath before kissing him again, slipping her tongue into his mouth. Nathaniel’s hand travels up to her hair, pauses there for a moment as he kisses her, and brings it down the side of her face. “As pretty as this dress is, I think you should take it off,” he says, toying with the strap on her left shoulder.

“Oh, you think so?” Nathaniel nods, dipping his head to kiss her neck. “I don’t know, Nathaniel, I don’t think you can handle what’s underneath it.”

“Come on, please? Take it off for me.” He’s on the verge of begging, and Rebecca untangles herself from him to slide off the bed and stand up. Her heels click against the floor as she makes a show of fluffing out her hair and flirtatiously staring him down. After sliding her shoes delicately off her feet and flinging then behind her. Rebecca drags the straps of her dress down her shoulders slowly and laughs to herself, the man sitting up in bed panting at the sight of her revealing even the barest hint of skin. Nathaniel groans as she fondles the black strap of her bra and lets the slightest hint of her bra peek out from underneath her dress. “Let me see you.”

“What do you say?”

“Now?”

Rebecca clicks her tongue at him and shakes her head. “So demanding. I think you’ve forgotten whose birthday it is.” She steps back towards him with her thighs bracketing one of his, and she stares at him, her eyes drunk with power. Grabbing his hand from where it’s drifting towards the center of his pants, Rebecca brings it up underneath her dress to run it up her wet center, quickly retracting it before he gets any funny ideas. Nathaniel gasps and lets out a moan. “Let’s try this again, shall we? Now, what do you say, Nathaniel?”

“God damnit, Rebecca, please,” he begs.

She hums and smiles at him. “Much better.”

Rebecca takes a few steps back and unzips her dress behind her, shimmying out of her dress to stand in front of Nathaniel in only her bra. And what a bra it is. Black material clinging to each curve of her chest, her cleavage pushed together and prominently displayed before him, and a layer of lace pulled taut across the twin cups.

“Holy fuck,” Nathaniel exhales as he brings his hand down to palm his growing erection. Rebecca resumes her earlier position straddling his thigh, now sitting fully on him as she opens his shirt quickly. She kisses him and pushes his shirt off of his shoulders; thankfully, he helps her take it the rest of the way off while she works on his belt and pants.

“Seems like dessert is ready for me,” she teases, working her hand underneath his pants. He brings his hands around to grab her ass and pull her completely into his lap.

“Oh, baby, your dessert’s been ready for you all day, but I think you should enjoy the main course first.”

Rebecca giggles when she feels him unclasp her bra, leaving her completely naked. “Is that so?”

“It is. And I happen to have another little surprise for you too.” Nathaniel reaches across to the bedside table for his neatly folded tie, setting it next to himself, and Rebecca looks back and forth between the object and him curiously wondering what his dirty mind could be up to. Their eyes meet, Nathaniel’s usually bright blue clouded by lust, and he grips her wrists in his hands, flipping her onto her back with her hands pinned on either side of her head. Rebecca immediately writhes in his grip, half-heartedly trying to escape.

“If you fight me, I have no problem tying you to this bed,” he hisses in her ear. Appealing to her desire for danger? Interesting choice. Rebecca lifts her eyebrows at him. He has no problem with it? Fine then. When Nathaniel reaches for her lips to kiss her, Rebecca turns her head and starts to squirm away. She twists her wrists in his hold, trying harder to break out, and Nathaniel presses her harder into the bed, something raw and almost angry stirring inside of him. “Something tells me that’s what you want though. Is that right?”

“No,” she whimpers, her eyes wide staring up at him. Her words have no meaning when he can clearly feel her hips pressing up into his, her toes curling into the sheets. He can see right through that innocent act.

“Really? You’re saying you don’t want me to tie you to this bed and fuck you over and over until we both can’t move? You don’t want me to make you come until you can’t anymore? Huh?” He shifts his grip to keep both of her wrists in one hand while the other takes her chin in his fingers. “Tell me you don’t want that,” he commands, his voice dark and sensual.

“Fuck, Nathaniel,” she moans as her eyes float back into her head.

“Tell me,” he repeats quieter this time. Rebecca tries to form a response, but only a few strangled syllables come out. Nathaniel loosens his fingers around Rebecca’s chin and tucks a piece of hair behind her ear.

“I… I can’t,” she says breathily.

“Can’t what?”

Rebecca opens her eyes and looks at him. “I want that. I want all of that. Please?”

“Are you sure?” Rebecca nods. “Safe word if you need to, okay?” Nathaniel kisses her forehead, and she smiles at him. “Scoot back.”

Rebecca moves back to the head of the bed, a smile still on her face, her pulse thrumming with anticipation as he takes off his pants. Nathaniel loops the tie through a slat in the headboard, and Rebecca brings her hands up as she lays flat on her back. He wraps the tie around her wrists methodically, one then the other, and tightens it, checking in with her to make sure it isn’t too tight. Her body stretches, which makes her chest stick out, and Nathaniel’s eyes drop down to her stiff nipples. He takes her right one in his mouth and swirls his tongue around the bud, making Rebecca’s back arch. She lets out a long moan as Nathaniel switches to the other side while circling his thumb around the opposite nipple.

“Oh my god,” she whispers as her eyes close in pleasure. She strains against the tie at her wrists and wishes she could reach out and grab a fistful of Nathaniel’s unkempt hair. Unfortunately, she fruitlessly clenches her fingers in the air and imagines it’s his hair. Maybe he’ll grant her relief soon, though he seems like he’s enjoying her struggle.

“Feel good?”

“You have no idea.” Nathaniel drops his mouth down to the lower part of her breast and sinks his teeth into the flesh there, sucking a blossoming violet mark. “God, please just fuck me.”

Nathaniel hums and drags out his consideration of her plea. At least she asked nicely. Rebecca spreads her legs and carves a space for his body to fit between them, her eyes wide and begging. He lifts her chin up and gives her a long kiss before he reaches down and pulls himself from his underwear to roll on a condom.

As soon as he’s ready, he wastes no time finding her entrance and pushing inside of her; it feels like fucking heaven. Nathaniel moans her name as he buries himself inside of her with one hand on her shoulder and the other tangled in her hair. Rebecca’s legs lift and open to accommodate the stretch of him, and she lets her head fall back against the pillow when he begins to move inside of her.

With her orgasm quickly approaching, as far as he can tell, he works quickly to get her to her peak. Nathaniel keeps her legs open and drives into her with precise strokes to get her to orgasm.

“I’m so close,” Rebecca sighs.

“Oh, are you? How close?”

“Just like this, keep going.” It’s instinctive to reach for him, to hold his body to hers and sigh into the crook of his neck as she comes, but of course, her restraints keep her hands above her head. Nathaniel laughs, low and throaty, and runs his fingers through her hair. Rebecca lets out a frustrated whine and shakes her head. “Jesus Christ. Are you trying to kill me?”

“Yes, but in the best way.”

She looks up at him defiantly. “Untie me.”

“Not until you come.” Rebecca’s blood boils under her skin. She asked for this, but it’s also frustrating as hell since she’d love nothing more than to caress his skin and mold his body to hers. Her jaw clenches. His voice is honey smooth and hushed against her ear. “What, you don’t want this anymore? I happen to think you look so pretty just like this so I can see your body. I love to look at you.”

She moans openly. “Nathaniel…”

“You’re fucking beautiful, Rebecca.” She hates to admit that her heart flutters in her chest when he says her name in that beautifully wrecked way, but the way it rolls off his tongue makes her forget her resistance. Nathaniel kisses her and thrusts into her harder. “Come on, come for me.”

Rebecca lets herself relax into his kiss and feels the tension snap inside of her, her back arching as she comes. He doesn’t stop moving when he feels her contract around him, and he fists his fingers in her hair and kisses down her neck.

“God, you’re so good,” he groans, tightening his grip in her hair. “Could fuck you for hours.”

Rebecca tilts her head up for a kiss, and Nathaniel presses his lips to hers. “Wanna touch you,” she moans against his lips. “Please, can I touch you now?”

He slows his pace for a moment as he considers if she’s earned it, though there’s nothing really to consider since she is the queen on her birthday. Saying nothing and continuing to fuck her slow and deep, Nathaniel waits until she’s effectively distracted as her next release builds inside of her before he flicks the knot at her wrists free. Immediately, Rebecca notices the loosening of the tie and sighs audibly, her hands coming around to his back, and she wraps her legs tight around his waist.

“I wanna… let me…” Nathaniel looks at her in puzzlement as he tries to understand what she wants. She nudges his shoulder in an attempt to turn him over, but she doesn’t get very far. Ah, he sees what she wants now.

“You wanna be on top?” Rebecca nods, and Nathaniel flips their positions, and she steadies herself on top of him, straddling his hips. She sinks back down on him, and he hisses, reaching out a hand to grab her hip for purchase. “Fuck yes. Oh my god, Rebecca.”

Rebecca keeps her body upright, one hand tweaking her nipples while she moves her hips up and down on his lap. Her eyes are shut, and she absorbs the sounds of his pleasure, imagining behind her eyes even more salacious thoughts like maybe what would happen if he was the one unable to touch her. She knows how much he would hate that. He helps her along and urges her to take what she needs to the point of nearly begging her to use him for her pleasure. That’s an offer she can’t refuse.

The coil springs inside of her, just a small one, and she lets the smallest of orgasms go. She’s getting tired, he can tell, but she’s still not completely satisfied yet. Nathaniel is trying his hardest not to get ahead of himself and hold off his release until she’s finished, but she’s making that task difficult with the melody of her moans that he hears in his head constantly and the dirty grinding of her hips on his dick that he imagines night after night. The exhaustion setting in, Rebecca lays across his chest and looks up at him sweetly, her eyes wide as she blinks slowly.

“Just need one more,” she says tiredly.

“You want my help,” he asks, running his hands over her ass. She nods and swivels her hips back towards his dick, but Nathaniel stops her before she gets there. “Stay right there.”

She does as she’s told and waits for Nathaniel to push back inside of her. The noise that leaves Rebecca’s throat is more high-pitched than usual, and Nathaniel worries that he hurt her. She quickly changes her tone when his hands cover her ass, squeezing and holding it as he uses it to move her on his cock.

“You’re so good at taking my cock. You know that?”

“Jesus, Nathaniel,” she sighs as she runs her hands down his chest. There’s silence for a moment before she moans, “Keep talking.”

“Yeah, you like it when I talk dirty to you, don’t you? You want me to talk about how hard I’m gonna fuck you?” Rebecca’s mouth opens, and she rakes her nails down his chest with a moan. “Such a bad girl.” She nods her head and starts to move with him, grinding down slowly. Nathaniel quickly stops her with a sharp slap to her ass, and he grips her hips harder, his fingers nearly pressing deep enough to bruise. “Ah-ah. Be still.”

She surprisingly listens and lets Nathaniel take care of her, which currently involves fucking her relentlessly and whispering encouragements to her as she loses control and lets pleasure take over. Somewhere between “Rebecca, you’re so good” and “come on, give it to me,” her orgasm hits her like a freight train at full speed, and the brakes don’t seem to be working. Her inner muscles contract wildly, and she brings her hand up to his hair to grab it and pull him in for a kiss. Nathaniel’s right hand moves from her ass to her lower back and presses her body down to keep her still as she rides out her orgasm. His earlier resistance unfortunately fails him, and he comes inside the condom with a curse against her lips.

They spend the next moments in silence as they come down from their highs and continue to kiss lazily as the minutes tick on. There’s sweat covering both of their bodies, and in most cases, Rebecca would find it gross and immediately hop up to shower, but here with Nathaniel, she doesn’t care, perfectly content to lie in the sticky afterglow with him. Is it because of the boneless feeling washing over her that makes her reluctant to leave the warm embrace of the man underneath and still inside of her… or is it something else?

“Pretty good birthday present, right,” he asks quietly as he kisses up her jawline.

Rebecca sighs with a smile. “The best.” She twirls her fingers in nonuniform circles around his chest for a few minutes, her ear pressed to his heartbeat. “Hey, I’m gonna jump in the shower, is that okay?”

“Of course. You want company?”

“If you’re offering,” she says with a smirk. Rebecca pecks his lips and heads into the bathroom, light on her feet and light in her heart.

Nathaniel lets her alone for a few moments to relax and clear her head, the faraway spray of the shower acting as background noise while he turns down the bed. He opens the bathroom door slowly, the steam inviting him further in to join Rebecca. From behind the translucent shower door, he can make out her hands combing through her hair as she leans back into the water, her head tipped back and her chest sticking out enticingly, and he commits the image to memory, just for safekeeping.

He waits until she lifts her head and opens her eyes to say, “Hey, I didn’t want to startle you. Mind if I come in?”

“There’s plenty of room. Come on in,” she replies as she pushes the door open. It doesn’t take but half a second before Nathaniel pulls her in for a kiss, water dripping from her soft lips, and he brings his fingers up into her hair. “How’s about that dessert now?”

“It’s all yours,” he hums against her lips. Rebecca smiles into her next kiss and begins to pave a trail lower and lower, down his neck, to his sternum, over his stomach before getting on her knees and finally wrapping her lips around his cock. At first touch, he groans, and his hand comes down to tangle in her hair. “God, fucking hell, Rebecca. How are you so good at this?”

She shrugs and continues to move her mouth up and down and brings her tongue into the mix, licking the underside of him in long strokes. Eventually, Nathaniel takes the reins and uses the hand in her hair to move her mouth on him in the pace he needs. Rebecca moans and opens her mouth wider.

“Touch yourself,” he commands roughly. Rebecca brings her fingers down to her clit, already sensitive and raw from his lavished attention to it. She plays with herself while her mouth serves his pleasure, the shower water dripping from his body and onto hers. She’s given many a blowjob in her life, but she’s never felt exposed like this with the fluorescent bathroom bulb above her head against a blindingly white tile, and she knows Nathaniel can see her every move, her every reaction. She loves it, the attention.

He loves to watch her. Even as he’s taking his own pleasure, he loves to study her, finding out new things about her each day. He’s concluded that Rebecca is the one riddle he will never be able to solve, but it doesn’t mean he’s unwilling to try. When he looks down at her, he sees one hand with two fingers inside her body and the other hand palming at her breast. Good, he hopes she’s getting close because with the way her mouth is working on him, he won’t last much longer.

“How’s that dessert tasting?”

Rebecca pops him out of her mouth and replaces it with the hand on her breast as she sits back on her heels. “I would know if you’d give it to me already,” she says sassily.

Nathaniel raises in eyebrow at her tone. “Is that so? It seems to me like I might need to fuck the sass out of that pretty mouth.” Rebecca purses her lips together and smiles innocently without her teeth, but Nathaniel isn’t buying her little act. He takes her chin in his hand and tilts it up while urging her back onto her knees. Her blue eyes are splayed wide with desire, and she looks up at Nathaniel expectantly. “Open your mouth.”

Fucking tease. She shakes her head at him, that evil smile still on her lips. She’s really about to make him work for it, so he decides he’s done playing nice. He finds the back of her jaw where he knows her mouth will open if he presses into it, and sure enough, he finds the spot he’s looking for, her mouth dropping with a gasp just enough for him to slip his cock inside.

“Don’t move.”

Rebecca stays still as she can as he fucks her mouth relentlessly. She’s never seen him so uncontrolled, so possessed by lust, and she would love to see it again and again. The hand in her hair pumps her mouth on him at a frantic pace as he mutters some filth about the feel of her mouth on him and something about her pussy. She breathes in and out through her nose and waits for Nathaniel’s hot release to hit the back of her throat.

“Rebecca, I’m gonna—“

That’s about as much of a warning as she gets before he’s shooting off into her mouth, and Rebecca prepares herself as best she can so that she doesn’t choke. One of her hands comes up to his leg, needing something to grip while his hand clenches and releases in her hair. She moans at the taste of him and swallows his come greedily. When he opens his eyes, he immediately looks down at her to find her staring at him and making sure she remembers what he looks like in the peak of his orgasm.

Nathaniel slips out of her mouth and carefully helps her to stand. Immediately, he kisses her face, her cheeks, her forehead, anywhere he can reach to thank her. “Are your knees okay? Do they hurt?” Rebecca shakes her head and gives him a quick kiss on the lips.

“I’m fine. I am gonna get out though, okay?”

“Sure, I’ll be out in a second,” he says with a kiss on her forehead. Rebecca smiles at him as she pushes the shower door open and dries off with one of the towels outside the bathroom.

Rebecca gives herself a once over in the mirror and wonders how she got here, not because she’s drunk and can’t remember, but because she didn’t ask for this and he did something special for her anyway. A thought blooms in the back of her brain: Do I stay? Can I stay? What would happen if I stay? What would happen if I didn’t? Rebecca grips the edges of the marbled counter in the bathroom and takes a long sigh as she fights with herself over what to do.

She thinks about how dirty she would feel knowing that she’s invading someone else’s rightful place in his arms. She thinks about how selfish and greedy it would make her to keep him from someone who deserves him. She thinks about the guilt that nearly made her vomit the last time she stayed without an invitation.

But then she thinks about his warm embrace. She thinks about the way he looks at her with gentle blue eyes as he wakes from dreams most likely of her. She thinks about how good it feels to have someone take care of her, especially on her special day. She thinks about what he would say to her in the morning, how he would kiss her. Would he wake her by diving his tongue between her legs? Would he be tender with her and fuck her slowly, staring at her with longing?

The euphoric, fantastical thoughts convince her to crawl between the sheets and wait for him to return.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel puffs out a long stream of air and leans back to wet his hair. He wonders how he got so lucky to have a woman like Rebecca in his life… until he remembers that he doesn’t truly have her. He’s conflicted with the guilt of chasing another woman when he has a perfectly wonderful girlfriend and the desperation for Rebecca to let down her walls so that they can really be together. When she gives him even the slightest hint that she might be ready to try again, he wouldn’t mind, wouldn’t care, wouldn’t think twice about sacrificing everything to be with her.

For now, though, he’s unsure of where Rebecca stands, and he hopes beyond all hope that she hasn’t bolted for the door again. He turns off the shower and steps out to wrap a towel around his waist and shake out his hair. He tries to calm his rapid heartbeat as he opens the door to the bedroom and forces himself to appear as casual as possible.

“I was starting to get lonely in here,” a flirty Rebecca says from the other side of the room. She’s got the covers pulled up to her chest but not over it, and she’s resting her head in her hand, staring at Nathaniel with an inviting smile. Her eyes beckon him over, and he brings himself to the bed, but not before grabbing some shorts from his gym bag.

“Do you want something?” He offers up a shirt to her, and she accepts it with her hands outstretched, waiting for him to toss it to her. She pulls it on over her head as she feels the bed dip with his weight, and she barely opens her eyes before he’s kissing her gently, cradling her face with his palm. “Hi.”

“Hi.”

“You stayed.”

“Of course I did. My birthday isn’t over until 11:19 AM tomorrow.”

Nathaniel arches an eyebrow at her. “Then I guess we should make use of every hour we’ve got then?”

Rebecca yawns. “Definitely. Though I would like to make use of the next few by sleeping.”

She turns on her side away from him and leans on the pillow by her head, and Nathaniel follows suit behind her, wrapping an arm over her and around her shoulders. “Get some sleep,” he says quietly, kissing her hair before she closes her eyes and snuggles back into his body.

At some point late in the night, Rebecca, half-asleep, turns over to face Nathaniel, who’s stretched out on his back, and she works her way underneath his arm to curl into his side, laying her head against his chest. She covers herself up with the blanket but wants the heat of his body near her when the air kicks on and sends chills down her arms. He half-registers her shifting on the bed, and he immediately wonders if she’s planning to slip out, but when she comes close to him and sighs contentedly, he has no reason to worry.

He wakes a few hours later, despite not setting an alarm, and tries to fall back asleep but can’t. Nathaniel’s mind begins working earlier than any normal person would sanction, but, strangely, he doesn’t mind all that much. He begins to wonder about what he could surprise her with for breakfast or what would be the most enjoyable use of their time together. Of course, when he thinks of that, his dick grows, and he has to think of every unpleasant thing under the sun to tamp it down. George making pottery like the scene in Ghost is what does it for him.

She looks so peaceful like this, like she’s not carrying the weight of the world plus everyone’s problems, including her own, which is how he’s been accustomed to seeing her lately. In this position, she’s free and unburdened, swallowed in just his t-shirt, and he wants to have her like this forever, but he’ll settle with memorizing the image to save for a rainy day. The arm underneath her begins to feel numb, so he pulls it out slowly from underneath her and turns on his side to match her position, resting his head on his forearm and using his other hand to push a few stray hairs away from her eyes. He listens to the sounds of her breathing and continues to stroke her hair as he closes his eyes for the briefest of moments, which turns into another hour.

He opens his eyes when the sun comes up and waits patiently for Rebecca to stir, which she does about 20 minutes later, stretching with a groan and squeezing her eyes shut.

“Well, good morning, sunshine. How you feeling?”

“Mmmm, don’t wanna get up.”

“The good news is that you don’t have to for another few hours,” he says with a kiss on her forehead.

“Oh, good. And what do you suggest we do until then?”

Nathaniel makes a low sound in his throat and moves his kisses down to her neck. “I think I have a few ideas.”

He takes his time fucking her, and he makes sure her toes curl with each orgasm, and he continues until she’s left boneless and sated in bed. She’s in pleasure overload. He starts with that wicked tongue between her legs, and he knows exactly how to work her to the point of her legs quaking before he’s even inside of her. When he enters her, she sighs with her head thrown back and moans his name. What a birthday.

They leave the hotel just before check out time, kissing each other in a secluded area of the parking lot before parting ways. Rebecca takes the rest of her afternoon off to shop and relax, splurging on a pedicure before driving home and plopping on her bed to watch Netflix.

She comes into work Monday morning sporting a new outfit, maroon skirt and a black lace-detailed top with long lace sleeves, that Nathaniel takes notice of as she walks into their office with a casual smile, and he looks her over once before turning back to his computer, trying not to draw too much attention to how much he likes it.

“New outfit?”

“Yep, just a little birthday post-birthday present to myself. Hashtag treat yo self, you know?”

He looks up at her with a smirk. “Looks good.”

“Thank you.”

He’s eyeing that skirt, making his intentions quite clear. “I like it.”

“Thanks,” she says with a smile and bounce as she leaves the room, fondling the necklace he gave her between her fingers as she looks back at him. She grins to herself with her necklace still in hand as she heads over to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee before she gets to work for the day. Paula meets her on the way with a piping hot cup for herself and doesn’t miss the dreamy look in Rebecca’s eyes.

“Oooooh, what’s got you all happy and glowy today? It must be that new outfit because, honey, you look smokin’!

Rebecca quickly breaks from her trance and smiles back at Paula. “Yeah, I just picked it up for myself, had a little ‘treat myself’ moment for the big three-oh!”

Paula gasps. “Oh my goodness, and that necklace! That’s beautiful! Let me see!”

Rebecca nervously lets Paula take a closer look. “Again, a present from me to me. I may have gone a little bit crazy on the treating myself this weekend.”

“You deserve it, though. This necklace is just lovely.” Rebecca smiles and heads towards the kitchen, smiling down at her necklace again and thoughtfully rubbing her thumb over it.

Paula watches her for a moment and surmises that Rebecca may not be telling the whole truth about where that necklace came from. But Rebecca wouldn’t lie to her because they always share everything. She shakes off the suspicion and returns back to her desk with her mug in hand.

As the day continues, she begins to wonder what that gleam in Rebecca’s eyes is all about when she looks across the table at Nathaniel. To any of the others in the room, it’s not of their concern, nor would they be able to even recognize it with their tunnel vision turned on. But Paula watches her toying with the bar against her chest when he talks to her, almost literally heating up under the collar… bone.

It couldn’t be. But could it?

Chapter Text

It starts off innocently enough. Rebecca heads for the door for probably one of the most exciting work days she’s had (of the days that involve actual work, that is.) Paula is taking the lead on a deposition for the first time ever, and she asked Rebecca to be there to support. Of course, Rebecca would do anything for her best friend, and she jumps at the opportunity to see Paula in action.

“You’re gonna be great.”

She’s standing by the mirror in Nathaniel’s entryway flattening a few stray hairs from the pieces she twisted back behind her head and turns to Nathaniel, who’s leaning on the kitchen counter and munching on an apple.

“I’m not actually doing anything, I’m just there for reinforcements if necessary. Paula would be fine without me, but I couldn’t pass this up. I know it means a lot to her.”

“You know, I really underestimated her. She’s a pretty badass lawyer; I’ll give her that. But you?” Nathaniel chuckles under his breath, and Rebecca sits into her hip and stares him down for an answer. When he says nothing, just roams his eyes up and down her body, Rebecca slowly walks towards him, heels clicking loudly against the hardwood.

“What about me, Nathaniel?” Rebecca stands barely an inch away from him. Even in her heels, she still has to tilt her chin upwards to look at him, but it doesn’t break her resolve; in fact, it makes her more determined to assume a power stance. Nathaniel runs his hand lightly down her arm and smirks.

“I was going to say you are a badass lawyer with a hot ass to match.” He leans down to kiss her fiercely, and Rebecca clings to his shoulders, responding to the kiss with equal fervor. Nathaniel moves his hand up to pull at her hair, but Rebecca immediately smacks his hand away.

“Do not mess up my hair; as much as I love when you do that, I spent at least 20 minutes trying to make it look halfway decent this morning, so keep your hands out of it, mister.” Nathaniel opts for a cheek kiss this time and laughs as Rebecca frantically tries to fix it.

“Fine, I will for now, but after this deposition, don’t ask me to preserve the condition of your hair.”

“Who says you’re seeing me after the deposition?” Rebecca turns around to grab her purse from the couch on her way out the door, and there’s a noticeable bounce in her walk, from the structured curls in her hair to the cling of her skirt to her ass as it swings back and forth.

“Don’t worry, I will be,” Nathaniel calls out to her as she closes the door behind her. She waits until after the door is closed to let out the sigh of contentment.

The deposition is actually going well. Paula has great control in there, asking all of the right questions and taking thorough notes. Rebecca is impressed by how she doesn’t succumb to pressure, something she envied but hoped to take for herself, and she watches her with a smile on her face. Her phone screen lights up next to her, and she ignores it. Though she’s not an active participant in the discussion, she does need to be present so that if Paula needs anything, she can be there to offer assistance.

Then, it lights up again, three separate blocks on her lock screen. Briefly, she glances over to see who or what was alerting her. Three different messages from Nathaniel. Rebecca tries to hide her eye roll, but Paula catches a small glance of it.

“Hey, everything okay over there,” she asks. After a beat, Rebecca nods.

“Oh, yeah, just some texts from Valencia.”

“Do you need to take it?”

“No, I’ll text her later, don’t worry!” Rebecca sits back in her chair and returns to observe the conversation. She’s caught in the heat of the discussion when her phone flashes with yet another text from Nathaniel. What was so damn important that he needs her attention right now? Rebecca slides her phone under the table as discreetly as she can and opens her messages from Nathaniel.

Between two GIFs, a still picture, and one line of text, she’s squirming under the table.

One GIF of a hand tugging on a fistful of dark brown hair, one GIF of the elevator kiss from Fifty Shades of Grey, a picture of a very tall tree, and a text that says, “What I wouldn’t give.”

Suddenly, 3 grey dots appear right above her keyboard, and Rebecca’s heart begins to race.

“Checking your personal phone during a work meeting? Such a bad girl.”

Damnit, she really needs to turn off her read receipts.

She quickly types back, “Are you serious right now?”

He responds in quick succession with 2 GIFs: a wink and a lip bite.

Rebecca is about to put her phone face down on the table when a banner with a yellow ghost icon pops up on the top of her screen from “Nathaniel Plimpton III, Esquire.” Reluctantly, she opens the app to quickly check what he sent her. A video.

“Psst, Rebecca,” Paula whispers and forcefully nudges her arm. She slams her phone on the table hurriedly and turns to Paula.

“I’m so sorry, what did you say?”

“Are you sure you don’t need to get that? I’ll be fine in here, but I just wanted to make sure the account setups were right.”

“No, no, no, it’s fine, I’m here with you right now. Yeah, let me look over it.” Paula passes her paperwork to Rebecca and has the slightest temptation to turn her phone over and see what’s been occupying her, but she doesn’t. “Yeah, all this looks good, Paula. I’m really proud of you.” Rebecca squeezes Paula’s hand with a smile. “Hey, my laptop is dying, so I’m just gonna sit over by the wall, answer some emails. Let me know if you need anything, okay?”

“Thanks, honey,” Paula smiles and turns back to her clients while Rebecca opens her laptop and hides her phone behind the screen.

She does type every so often to make herself appear busy, but the purple square on her phone screen is dangling teasingly, begging her to open it. Instead, she opens up the Messages app on her computer and types to Nathaniel.

“What’s in the video?”

“What’s the fun in telling you?”

She’s attempting to think of a response when he jumps back in with one of his own.

“I know you want to open it.”

She does, she really does. Temptation consumes her, and she makes sure to turn her volume completely down, even though her phone is on silent. Clicking the purple icon reveals one fuck-struck Nathaniel slowly tracing his tongue across his lips and staring into the camera with those perfect blue eyes. Rebecca replays it just to watch his eyes the second time because she was too focused on his lips, the same ones she was kissing not two hours ago. She wasn’t paying attention to her messages, but when she turns to respond to the video, she finds a message waiting for her.

“I’m going to fuck you so hard, Rebecca.”

Shit, she’s glad she’s sitting down. Rebecca instantly feels herself growing wet under her skirt, and she wonders how he manages to make her so horny with just a few words. She crosses her legs and places her laptop strategically to cover the space between her legs, and while Paula is absorbed in the world of her client, Rebecca figures she can at least have a little fun of her own.

“Go on,” she types back.

Nathaniel sits in their shared office with the door locked, not that anyone would try to come in anyway. Well, maybe except George, but he knew better after catching the way Nathaniel stared after Rebecca as she walked from the kitchen to the conference room this morning. Those were some sexually frustrated eyes. The click of the bolt as George passed the office on his way to the copier gave him all the answers he needed.

Currently, Nathaniel’s formulating a response, and it takes him longer than usual to respond, so Rebecca prompts him with a GIF of a woman teasingly biting the top of a pen.

“Pen’s a bit thin for my taste,” she adds.

Nathaniel hums and responds with a GIF of a waterfall with a corresponding caption. “Raging Waters? I’d like to dive into yours.”

Rebecca’s eyes go wide at his comment, and she would love to shout an expletive at the top of her lungs, but she clamps her teeth down on her tongue and lets out a quivering breath. He brought Raging Waters into it, how was she supposed to top that? Well, literally, she muses. In order to top that, she has to top him, and she responds with a cheeky remark.

“Raging Waters doesn’t even begin to describe how wet I am,” she types. “I’d love to come in there and pounce on you right now. I am the tiger, after all, remember?”

“Of course, how could I forget the way you looked in that stunning red dress… and out of it.” Rebecca lets out a small moan, which turns the heads of everyone at the conference room table.

“Sorry, just got a cramp. Please, carry on.” Paula looks unconvinced but resumes talking with the clients at the table. Rebecca breathes a sigh that she doesn’t ask any further questions, but she knows her suspicions are climbing. It’s too hot in here.

Against her better judgment, she types Nathaniel back.

“You have 5 minutes.”

Rebecca excuses herself to use the bathroom but makes a beeline for the supply closet when she’s out of sight from everyone. She’s literally dripping with need, and it’s so hot everywhere she tries to stand in the room, and where the fuck is he? Rebecca is about to bend down to take her panties off, but she’s met halfway by a warm, firm touch that yanks her skirt up, and a wicked tongue immediately slithers between her legs.

“God, you’re so fucking wet.”

They waste no time with introduction or formalities. This is selfish need. It’s grappling hands and suppressed moans tinged with an undercurrent of something more than just instant gratification. It’s carnal desire marinated with overwhelming passion between two people who refuse to admit they crave each other beyond sex.

Rebecca covers her mouth with her palm and moans into it as quietly as she can, but he’s just so good at making her fall apart. Nathaniel’s teeth suck on her clit, and she’s shaking as she leans against the wall, though the wall’s solidness doesn’t do much for supporting her legs. Thankfully, Nathaniel does.

She’s barely coming down from her first orgasm when Nathaniel taps the outside of her leg, and she instinctively wraps her legs around him, the rehearsed dance between them all too familiar, though the lack of the Argentinian street corner and single lamp post above them is a bit of a disappointment.

Finally, Nathaniel kisses Rebecca as he pushes inside of her. She licks the taste of herself from around his lips, and he breaks the kiss to whisper in her ear.

“Damn you, Rebecca Bunch.” That makes her moan a bit louder, and Nathaniel shushes her with a finger over her lips. “Shh, don’t get too loud.”

“Or what, you’ll punish me?” She bites his earlobe with a sultry laugh that makes Nathaniel spur his pace with a small growl. The sultry laugh transforms into a high-pitched, breathy series of moans of what sounded like pieces of his name.

“I thought about it for you checking your phone in the middle of your deposition, but now that you mention it, I’m definitely going to.” Nathaniel gives her a hard kiss but doesn’t dare touch her hair after the threat she made earlier that morning. No, he’ll save that for later.

To avoid the temptation of threading his fingers through her hair while he kisses her, he moves his lips down to her clavicle and nips a tiny mark under the neckline of her shirt. It makes her moan audibly, and he clamps his hand around her mouth. As sexy as it is to hear her moan, they can’t risk getting caught with his pants around his ankles.

“If you can’t be quiet, I’m gonna have to stop. You don’t want that, do you?” She shakes her head. Eventually, Rebecca’s sounds get quieter with the threat of him stopping alive and well, and he’s willing to remove his hand if she can promise to be quiet. He drops his hand when she affirms his request to keep her voice down.

Nathaniel moves his lips up to Rebecca’s ear, her own lips copying his position at the curve of his earlobe. “Say my name. Right here, in my ear, say it.”

It’s such a simple request, but it’s one that makes them both aroused. Hearing how each of the three syllables leaves their tongues is beautiful; three syllables are the keys to each other’s hearts.

“Nathaniel. Nathaniel, please.”

It sounds so good to hear her say it. Nathaniel feels himself growing closer to his orgasm, and hearing her say his name like that just about does it. “Oh god, Rebecca.”

Thankfully, she feels the same way. She comes undone for the second time around him, which triggers his own release, and they both stay as they are breathing heavily against each other, foreheads sealed together with sweat like glue. A soft kiss makes them both remember where exactly they are, and they shuffle quickly in silence to become presentable again. Rebecca’s about to leave when Nathaniel pulls her close again and wipes a bead of sweat from her forehead with his thumb, and somehow the simple action speaks with an unparalleled tenderness that makes Rebecca’s heart thump loudly in her chest. He squeezes her wrist once more before letting her go, but this time, when he watches her walk away he feels an emptiness in his chest, not because of her, but because of the absence of her.

The rest of the deposition goes well, and Rebecca blames her earlier haste exit on PMS. She’s not sure if Paula doesn’t question it because she genuinely believes her or if she’s just too excited about nailing her first deposition to think about anything else.

Rebecca kicks off her heels as she walks through her bedroom door and immediately flops on her back on her bed. After the day she’s had with Nathaniel continuing to silently tease her after the deposition, she needs to get off and fast. Her hand reaches underneath her skirt, pulls her underwear aside, and begins to play with herself, running her fingers across her folds. She lets her mind wander back to Nathaniel’s tongue between her legs and his hands gripping her hips to pull her tighter to him.

Even as she tries to mimic the patterns of his tongue with her fingers, it doesn’t have the same effect as when he does it. Frustrated, she resorts to the vibrator in her nightstand drawer for reinforcement, but it doesn’t do much for her predicament. She gets close to her peak but can’t quite crest over it, and she growls low in her throat when she’s left unfulfilled. Rebecca reaches over to her bedside table, grabs her phone, and calls the only person who can help her.

“Hey. Are you busy right now?”

“Not right now. What’s up,” Nathaniel asks sitting in the armchair in his living room.

“I just had a, uh, quick question for you. A musing, a wondering, a curiosity, perhaps?”

He chuckles and answers expectantly, “What do you want?”

Rebecca purses her lips together and shifts under her covers. That tone tells her that he knows exactly what she wants and where she’s going with this conversation. “I was wondering… how do you do that thing with your tongue, you know the one where you kinda flatten it and move it around the—”

“Come over here, and maybe I’ll show you,” he husks, his voice low and throaty. He would definitely love to show her how to do that tongue trick anytime.

“Really?”

“I mean, it’s only right that if I’m going to tell you how to do something that you learn it with the proper technique. Plus, you and I have some unfinished business from earlier today.”

Rebecca’s eyebrows raise up as she sits up and rights her underwear. Not like she’ll be needing them if she has anything to say about it. “Oh, do we?”

“We do. Lest we forget how many times I had to cover your mouth when I fucked you against the wall this morning.”

“Oh, right,” she says looking down at her feet, already in her heels from this morning.

“You know what that means, don’t you?”

“Mmmhmm,” she says, her voice high and innocent despite knowing she’s about to get punished.

“How soon can you get here?”

Rebecca grabs her keys and purse from the kitchen counter and heads to the door. “Twenty minutes?”

“I’ll see you then.”

Twenty-three and a half minutes later, Rebecca’s staring at the door to apartment 37, hand poised to knock after several moments of composing herself, when the door opens for her. He hears her heels click outside the door and knows she’s here. Nathaniel wears his trademark smirk and a loose-fitted t-shirt, and he takes a moment to practically undress her with his eyes.

“Told you I’d see you after the deposition.”

“Shut up,” Rebecca grumbles and steps inside the apartment, only to find darkness inside in the form of a silk band wrapped around her eyes, which she immediately tries to remove. Nathaniel’s hands trap hers, and she can’t help but let out a small gasp when his breath warms the side of her neck and her ear.

“I told you I’d be seeing you after the deposition, not that you’d be seeing me.”

So, this is what punishment feels like.

Of course, there’s always fine print, and Rebecca should have anticipated that, though she is curious to see exactly what Nathaniel plans to do to her. She groans at the smirk in his voice and knows Nathaniel is planning to take every advantage of this moment.

“You’re going to enjoy this, aren’t you,” she deadpans. Nathaniel grazes his hand up the side of her waist and settles two fingers on her breast, twisting her nipple lightly between his fingers. Rebecca gasps and arches into his touch.

“Something tells me you will too,” Nathaniel chuckles. “Wait, this is… okay, right? You’re okay with this?”

“I am, yes.”

He kisses her hair before moving around to the front of her body. “Come on.” He reaches for her hand and feels herself being pulled along, not forcefully but still commanding.

“If you run me into a wall or a piece of furniture, I swear, Nathaniel…”

“Oh, come on, have a little faith.” Rebecca huffs, and suddenly, Nathaniel stops and grabs both of her hands. “You trust me, don’t you?” Rebecca nods in reply, but Nathaniel presses her further. “No, I need to hear you say it. Do you trust me?”

It’s a firmly asked question wrapped in a paper-thin layer of doubt and expertly woven with desperation. He needs her confirmation of trust. More or less, it’s Nathaniel’s primary desire behind this form of punishment. While it is about the sex and seeing her writhing in his bed, he could have that most every day of the week; the blindfold takes away the predictability, the familiarity. Rebecca has to trust him in order for this to work.

“I trust you, Nathaniel.” He bends his head down to kiss her softly, and she wishes so badly that she could see the way her kisses made him shiver with excitement or how his eyes smile after that tender kiss. He squeezes her hands and leads her to sit on the edge of the bed.

“I know we aren’t big on rules, but I do have a request. Because you can’t see me and I can’t see your eyes, I won’t be able to tell how you’re feeling without words, so you have to talk to me. Good, bad, I don’t care what it is, but I need you to talk to me. Shouldn’t be too hard for you, right?” Rebecca knows he can’t see her eyes, so she over exaggerates the eye roll underneath the blindfold. “Okay?”

“Okay,” she nods.

“Should you need to use it, what’s your safe word?”

“Quidditch.”

Again, a warm smile breaks across Nathaniel’s face, and he captures her lips once again, his palms caressing her cheeks. His kisses feel electric and new like he’s never kissed her before, and the new thrill of sensation deprivation sends chills down her spine. His hands move to the hem of her shirt, and he breaks their kiss only to let the material pass over her head. Rebecca moans lowly and lets her greedy hands roam over his solidness. Nathaniel breaks apart from her and stands up, Rebecca indignant at the loss of his presence.

“I’ll be back in a minute. Take off your bra and your skirt, and lay on your back.” After unclipping her bra and tossing her skirt to the side, Rebecca scoots towards the head of the bed and settles into the pillow-soft mattress beneath her. Her mind starts racing about what Nathaniel might have planned for her, and while she has a few ideas in mind, she doesn’t expect anything nor have her heart set on one particular form of punishment. She notices the lights are off now, and the air feels a little colder, but maybe that’s because she’s almost completely exposed. It’s been what seems like an eternally long and silent minute and she hasn’t heard him come back.

“Nathaniel? Are you okay?” She calls out to him with no reply. Worry starts to fill her gut, and she nearly rips off the blindfold to go find him, shifting towards the edge of the bed when a strong hand on her chest forces her flat on her back again. There’s weight on the bed equally distributed on either side of her hips, and the hand over her chest snakes its way up to her throat. It doesn’t clench there, just holds a steady pressure.

“N-Nathaniel?”

“Hi, baby.” Fuck, hearing him say that shouldn’t be as hot as it is, she thinks. He kisses up the shell of her ear and runs her hands up his chest, newly without a shirt. She feels his muscles ripple as he shifts above her and is intentionally not touching her save for his mouth. He takes both of her hands from his chest and holds them above her head, wrapping what Rebecca can only assume is a tie around them. Before he ties the knot, he stops to ask her permission. Losing her sense of touch as well as her sight is frustrating as hell for Rebecca, though she nods in response and heaves a long sigh as she sinks into the bed.

“Were you worried I wouldn’t come back? You thought I’d just leave you like this, waiting, wanting?” Rebecca nods. “Maybe I should have,” Nathaniel muses with a chuckle. “That would’ve made me me truly evil , wouldn’t it?” His pitch drops on the word along with Rebecca’s panties, though not literally quite yet. Rebecca shifts beneath him, pushing her hips upwards towards Nathaniel’s, and lifts her chin to find his face with her lips parted, ready to kiss him. His breath is so near, and if only she could find his lips.

“God, Nathaniel.” It’s a feather-like whisper tinged with arousal, and as turned on as Rebecca is by all of the anticipation, Nathaniel’s arousal grows infinitely at the sound of her voice. He wants so badly to scoop her up and love her with every inch of himself, but she needs to trust him first. Really trust him. He exhales mere centimeters away from her lips.

“Oh, Rebecca, but that would have been much too easy.” His breath moves away from her face and begins a slow, torturous slide down her neck to her breasts and lower even still.

“See, leaving you like that would have made this easy on you and me. It would have just been yet another simple move in our game.” Nathaniel pauses and plants a rough kiss over her heart. “But that’s not the game I want to play with you right now. I don’t need you to want me; I need you to trust me.”

Once again, he stops moving, this time at the junction of her thighs. Nathaniel takes in a long breath and snakes his hand underneath her panties. “It’s very obvious that you want me, but I need more than that. This is about more than just desire. Give yourself to me, Rebecca. All of you.”

It’s a heavy request for Rebecca to process. She isn’t sure what to think considering the fog that her arousal places over her rationality, but she want to trust Nathaniel. On some level, she already does, but to give all of herself to him seems like something she may not be ready for.

“Nathaniel, I… I can’t.” Something about her tone gives him pause.

“That’s not a safe word. Are you okay?” When she doesn’t verbally respond, he stops touching her and lies next to her on the bed. He assumes she might pull away like that, but it’s better for her to open up about it now, and if she does, it’s a step towards the trust he’s building with her.

“Can I take this off,” Nathaniel asks quietly, softly touching the blindfold near her eyes. Rebecca nods and Nathaniel releases her wrists and removes the blindfold. For the first time, he sees how scared and vulnerable she looks, those beautiful eyes brimming with the slightest hints of tears. “Hey, talk to me. What’s going on? Did I do something wrong?”

“No, no, it’s not you, it’s just me being stupid like always. It’s my dumb thoughts and doubts and insecurities getting in my way like always.” Rebecca averts her eyes to anywhere but his; the intensity of his gaze makes her feel all the more weak. Nathaniel reaches out and softly places one of her hands inside of his own.

“Stop that; your thoughts are not dumb, Rebecca.” He pauses for a long breath before asking her the million dollar question of the day. “What’s stopping you from trusting me?”

Rebecca takes a shaky exhale and grasps his hand tightly, willing herself not to break down and cry. She knows exactly what it is, but god forbid they get into an argument right now when they’re trying to be sexy. It’s the same reason why she’s never been able to trust any other man who’s come close to this. Fear of abandonment strikes again in thunderclaps against the walls of her brain. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s verbal filter is out of commission, and every unprocessed thought spills from her mouth.

“It’s just… I’ve never been so sexually out of control with anyone before, and, in general, trusting people is kind of a new thing for me. Thanks, Borderline Personality Disorder.” The resentment of her BPD drips off of the words as they leave her mouth, puddles of acid forming at each hard-pressed consonant. He wants to interject, prove to her that she’s more than just a diagnosis, but he waits, staring at her calmly. She blinks back tears, but she can’t fake it anymore, and she crumbles into rubble before him.

“Damnit, all I want is to trust you, Nathaniel. I want to give all of myself to you. But every time I’ve done that with everyone else, I’ve been hurt because I’m not enough. I don’t want to make that mistake with you. I’m scared that I might be wrong about you. You know I hate being wrong. Don’t let me be wrong.”

The tears she’s welled in her eyes finally spring free, and she’s covering her face with her hands to muffle the sounds of her cries. Nathaniel can’t hold it in anymore, and he pulls Rebecca into an overwhelming hug, shushing her cries. His warm body is a welcoming presence to her, and Rebecca eventually takes her hands away from her face and wraps them tightly around Nathaniel, burying her head into his chest. Nathaniel pets her hair softly and attempts to soothe her quietly barely above a whisper.

“Rebecca, I’ll do my absolute best to make sure that you’re not wrong. Trust me, I know how much you love to be right, Miss Harvard and Yale.” Rebecca lifts her head cautiously and meets Nathaniel’s eyes, hers a beautifully broken blue with the moonlight reflecting in a shattered chandelier of rejection, pain, and loss. How he wishes he could swipe that light away and replace it with the pulsing glow of drive and determination and power he always admires about her. When lightening the mood doesn’t seem to be the correct approach, Nathaniel takes her hands and softens his voice for her benefit.

”Look, we don’t have to do any of this,” he gestures to his tie next to him. “I know that it’s not easy giving up control, but we can do it if you still want. I promise, I’ll be right here with you. We’ll take this at your pace, okay?”

She sniffles and looks up at him with a sad smile. “Wow, who are you, and what have you done with the man I met last season?” Nathaniel looks at her quizzically, so Rebecca elaborates. “By season, I mean last fall.” He laughs as cups her cheeks delicately and places a long kiss on her forehead. Rebecca moves her face upwards to meet his lips, and the innocent tear-stained kiss quickly turns back to a sinful expression of lust, her tongue parting his lips and sliding into his mouth. Nathaniel pulls apart before he loses control to his desire and keeps Rebecca’s face close.

“I’m going to ask you this again, Rebecca, and I need you to answer me honestly. Do you trust me?” Each word of his whispered question is its own complete thought, and Nathaniel gives her time to process each one. Rebecca’s hands are on Nathaniel’s chest, his heart pounding with anticipation of her answer, which surprises Rebecca to find his pulse similar to her own. Now, he was begging for her honesty, and alone in his room, she felt like she could give him that.

“Yes, Nathaniel. I trust you.”

Nathaniel doesn’t know which smiles more: his mouth or his heart.

He’s kissing her again, somewhere between desperation and adoration, but either way, it’s beautiful and she wants to live in it. A few moments pass of his hands combing through her hair as they kiss and hers finding purchase with any and all available skin. Nathaniel reaches for the discarded blindfold and holds it up to her, silently asking for permission, which she readily gives.

Nathaniel knots the silk around her head and eases her back onto the bed where he asks if he can tie her hands above her head. Her answer: “God yes, please.” He tests it to make sure it’s not too tight around her wrists, and before picking up where he left off, Nathaniel stops to give her ears and neck attention.

“You’re so fucking sexy, Rebecca.” Rebecca hums and smiles as Nathaniel takes the tender skin behind her earlobe between his teeth and sucks particularly hard, and she wonders how after so little time that he knows exactly how to play her body like a finely tuned instrument.

Expectancy out the window, Nathaniel dives back between her legs, this time dragging the thin material of her underwear down with his teeth. Rebecca gasps in surprise but allows herself to fully enjoy this moment. She attempts to memorize how every so often, she feels his teeth graze her skin and the way his warm hands caress her thighs and push them apart.

“You said you wanted to learn how to do that tongue thing, right?”

“Yes, but I can’t see you, so how will I—”

Rebecca gasps, grinding her center into his mouth where he licks a single stripe up her center. “I guess you’ll have to pay very close attention to me. Can you do that?” Rebecca nods. “Good girl. Now, once I start, you’re not allowed to come until I say so. If you come, you’ll have to wait longer until I fuck you. Understand?”

“Yes,” she exhales.

He pinches her nipple and watches Rebecca’s muscles tense as she squirms on the bed. “Why don’t we try that again with a little more respect? Rebecca, do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

Nathaniel hums and pushes a piece of fallen hair back from in front of her face. He scoots down the bed and places a kiss at her hipbones before situating himself between her spread thighs.

“So, here’s the trick. It involves seeing how well you know the alphabet. I know there are certain letters of the alphabet that you’re quite fond of like when I…” He grabs the outsides of her hips and draws a deep “B” into her core. The line goes down from top to bottom, then he curves up to her clit as he sweeps his tongue down to round out one vertical hump, then another. Rebecca arches her back off the bed and moans his name, finally able to express the level of vocal pleasure she wants. “What letter do you think that was?”

“I don’t know, but it felt like fucking heaven.”

“Take a guess.” It’s not quite a command, but it’s certainly not a request.

Rebecca shrugs. “I don’t know, maybe a ‘B?’”

“Very good. We’ll see if it’s just beginner’s luck.” Rebecca smiles at the satisfaction of guessing right. “We’re gonna play a little guessing game. For every answer you get correct, you get an orgasm but only when we’re finished playing. If you get it wrong, no harm, no foul. The only penalty is if you come before the game is over. So far, you have one orgasm. You ready to keep playing?” She nods with a smile and sighs as Nathaniel’s hands run up and down her legs.

He takes his time building her up before he makes his next play, nipping at her inner thighs and kissing everywhere except where she craves his touch. Finally, when he’s had enough teasing, he lets her guess what his next letter choice is. He goes with a harder one, a “G.” He tries to differentiate it from a “C” by emphasizing the stroke that loops back into the curve, but unfortunately, Rebecca misses out on his cue and guesses “C.”

His next letter is slightly easier, and he takes his time with this one. Slithering his tongue along her folds slowly in the shape of an “S” has her resorting to a string of expletives while bucking her hips into his mouth. Nathaniel grips her hips and presses her down into the bed to keep her still.

“Jesus, fuck Nathaniel…” He makes it nearly impossible for her not to come by the way he moves his tongue around her center. He knows she’s close, so after he traces his letter between her legs, he moves his mouth completely away from her.

“What’s your guess?”

“I don’t know, ‘S?’”

Nathaniel kisses both of her inner thighs. “That’s two orgasms after we’re finished. How you feeling? Still okay?”

“Just wanna come already,” she groans, shifting her wrists above her head.

“I know; just be patient. Soon enough, you’ll get your due. Wrists still okay up there?” Rebecca nods and spreads her legs a little wider, trying to entice Nathaniel to keep going. “God, you’re dripping.”

He dives back in between her legs to lick up the wetness at her entrance, and Rebecca wishes she could clench her fingers in his hair and urge him to go deeper. Instead, her fingers grasp around nothing above her head, and she lets a long curse escape, trying desperately to hold off her impending release.

“Don’t even think about it,” Nathaniel commands darkly against her skin. He moves his head away before Rebecca has a chance to crash over her peak, and he watches her struggle to hold back her pleasure. One of his hands comes up to the front of her hip and wraps around, his thumb rubbing softly into her skin. “Breathe. Breathe, Rebecca.”

Shakily at first, she attempts to right her breathing, letting her lungs fill completely before exhaling. Nathaniel’s gentle caress helps immensely in calming her down. After a minute when she’s finally begun to settle, Nathaniel asks her if she came. Rebecca shakes her head in denial, but her silent answer isn’t enough for him.

“I didn’t quite hear you. Did you come?”

“No, sir.”

He kisses her cheek and forehead. “That’s what I like to hear. You’re doing great, Rebecca. Can you handle a few more?”

“Ahhhh… Yes, sir,” she moans as he wraps his lips around her nipple and tugs at it just so with his teeth.

“I’ll make it quick, I promise.” Rebecca hears him slide down his bed once more and part her legs, quickly testing her wetness with a finger inside of her. Her inner walls clench around his finger and mourn the loss of it as it quickly retreats. It makes Nathaniel groan, a deep masculine sound. “You’re really ready for me, aren’t you?”

“Uh-huh.” Rebecca exaggerates her nods and pulls her lip into her mouth.

“Good. Here’s your next letter.”

This time, he traces an “E.” One quick vertical line followed by three slow horizontal ones. He uses the flat of his tongue to give each evenly spaced line an extra bold thickness. The top line that skims over her clit makes her shudder with delight and breathily whisper his name. He asks for her guess, and she answers correctly for a third orgasm.

The second letter, she guesses incorrectly. Of course, he plays a dirty trick in his drawing. The letter in question is “Q,” but he barely gives thought and attention to the stroke protruding from the circle, so Rebecca interprets it as an “O” instead.

Nathaniel knows that any letters that touch her clit are ones she’s incredibly fond of, so he makes his final letter count. The last letter he chooses is “D,” so he draws the vertical line starting at the bottom this time and ending at her clit. He takes a brief moment to latch his teeth onto the swollen bud, and Rebecca grinds her hips up into his mouth. As he draws the curve from top to bottom, he slings his forearm over her hipbones to keep her from moving and pulls away as soon as he’s finished.

“Final guess.”

“Is it ‘D?’” Rebecca can barely think, but she guesses, and she’s shockingly right.

“Congratulations on orgasm number four. You are so smart, you know that?” Rebecca puffs out a laugh as he kisses her lips. “Now, you get to tell me how you want your orgasms for being so good. They don’t all have to be the same way. So, Rebecca, you tell me. How do you want me to make you come?”

“Fingers first.”

He decides to tease her, just for a moment though. His thumb finds her clit and circles around it slowly. “What do you say?”

“Please? Please, I just wanna—“ Rebecca lets out the most musical moan as Nathaniel shoves two of his fingers inside of her. He works her open for a moment before adding a third to the mix, and it only takes a minute before she’s falling apart around his fingers, her back arched and mouth agape.

When she comes down from that one, Nathaniel asks her where to go next. She begs to be able to see him because she wants him to fuck her. He heeds her request and slowly slips the blindfold from around her eyes. She opens her eyes, and Nathaniel’s staring at her like she’s a priceless gem with her pupils blown wide and sweat dripping down her forehead.

“Hi,” he whispers tenderly as he pushes her damp hair back from her face.

“Hi,” she replies, her voice hoarse and broken.

Nathaniel doesn’t wait too long before he’s rolling on a condom and pushing himself inside of her. He swallows her moan in his kiss, and their mouths move against each other in perfect harmony.

“You did so well, Rebecca. So fucking good.”

“Nathaniel, I’m—“

“Come on, that’s it.”

Her second orgasm hits, and Rebecca’s overwhelmed in pleasure. Beads of sweat rain down Nathaniel’s cheeks and plop onto Rebecca’s as he kisses her within an inch of his life. He decides to release her wrists from their bonds, and Rebecca doesn’t expect it, but she’s certainly grateful for the ability to move again. The first second she gets, she takes her hands and winds one in Nathaniel’s hair and the other around his back, holding him close to her.

She wants that third orgasm, and if he keeps going just like this, she’s certain she’ll get it in no time. Their hips rock hard against each other, and while this isn’t angry sex by any means, the roughness is exactly what they need. The sweaty desperation that seeps from their skin mingles together on their chests, just shy of their hearts, and they slide back and forth, never breaking contact with each other.

“Shit, Nathaniel, I’m so close. God, please don’t stop.”

It’s Nathaniel’s turn to moan, and his hands are in her hair, tipping her head upwards to where he can look at her and see the perfect way her mouth curls as she comes.

“I won’t, baby, I promise. Come for me.”

And holy mother of God, she does. The command growled so lowly to her shatters every ounce of control she has left. Her nails dig crescents into his shoulder blades, and she’s probably being incredibly loud, but she doesn’t fucking care. Nathaniel’s cock pulses inside of her soon after Rebecca’s climax hits, and he collapses atop her in a boneless heap. He apologizes quietly and incessantly for coming before she’s had her fourth orgasm, but Rebecca shakes her head and kisses the beauty mark on his neck where her head is buried in deep.

They lie still for a moment, relishing in the sounds of their quivering breaths dancing together in the small space that separates them. It’s peaceful and blissful and exactly as it should be. Slowly, Nathaniel plants a soft kiss above each of her eyelids. Rebecca smile widens as she steals a quick kiss to his cheek and a small peck on the lips. He caresses each of her wrists in his palms and kisses them with the same intensity and reverence.

After disposing of his condom, Nathaniel slides in behind Rebecca and wraps his arms around her body lightly; it’s only when she snuggles back deeper into him that he holds her tighter. For once, the silence between them is comfortable; they don’t need to fill the space with small talk or needless conversation. Though, as usual, Rebecca is the first to break the silence.

“Hey?”

“Mmmhmm?”

“Was that the worst kind of punishment you’ve got?”

“Oh, not a chance. There’s plenty of ways I could really punish you, and they’re certainly not as satisfying as this one.” Rebecca’s eyes widen, and she shifts in his arms to face him. “Don’t worry though, I won’t use them unless you’re really bad.” He kisses her quickly with a smile, and Rebecca laughs.

“If they all end like that, would it be wrong to say that I look forward to being particularly bad for you?” Nathaniel hums and tucks her hair behind her ear.

“No, not at all. That’s just more fun for me because I get to be the one to punish you. Something about that is infuriatingly hot.”

“Admit it, you’ve always been a sucker for my bad girl tendencies.”

“Maybe a little.” She rolls her eyes playfully and kisses him again. It’s silent for a moment, and he thinks she’s gone to bed, but she shifts and keeps her voice low as she speaks again.

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

She inhales deeply. “Thank you. For tonight, for everything.”

Nathaniel kisses her forehead. “Always. Get some sleep.”

They share another tender kiss before settling into their previous position, both of them falling asleep rather quickly and drifting into peaceful dreams. They don’t need to say anything more to know that they’ve both been blindsided by deep, undeniable feelings for each other. Maybe they’ll fade in the morning, maybe it’s just a one-time thing. Here’s to hoping against all hope that it’s not that dreaded four letter word while simultaneously wishing that it might be.

Chapter Text

It’s the Bunch, Whitefeather, Plimpton, Plimpton, & Plimpton Christmas party, one of Rebecca’s favorite traditions that she demanded to keep once she became senior partner despite being Jewish (well, half-Jewish.) While it’s the end of the quarter and there’s much to celebrate with the whole office, that isn’t the party she’s interested in. The real party? That’s Friday night, invite only, and it’s mainly an excuse to see how ridiculous everyone can be with a lot of alcohol in them. If the last summer barbecue set a precedent for the events of this party, she’s sure that antics will be had.

As part of the celebration, the crew draws names randomly for the Secret Santa gift exchange. Well, almost randomly. Tim and Jim make sure to get each other; the game of chance is not without its loopholes. Maya draws Mrs. Hernandez, who draws Paula’s name, clearly enthused with her picking. Paula isn’t as enthused, drawing Darryl’s name from the Whitefeather mug and already dreading what in the world she’s going to get him. Darryl pulls Rebecca’s name and tries to hide his smile. When it’s her time to pick, Rebecca’s stomach flips at the name, bold as the day is bright, on her paper.

“Hey Cookie, did you get your person for Secret Santa?”

Rebecca folds the paper in her hands and quickly straightens up to talk to Paula. “Yep, actually I just got my partner.”

Paula lowers her voice conspiratorially. “So, I know it’s technically against the rules of the game, but I just don’t know what to get for this person. I’m not sure I’m the most qualified person to be gift giving for this person, so I was hoping maybe you would switch with me?”

“Wait, who is it?”

Paula motions for Rebecca to come close, and Paula says through her teeth, “Darryl.”

“Oh, Paula, come on! You have, like, the easiest person in the world to shop for! They’ll like anything you get them, trust me. Plus, it would be terrible form of me, as the new senior partner, to condone any rule-bending on my behalf, so I am playing by the rules, as we all should.”

Rebecca doesn’t let on about whose name is on that piece of paper. All she knows is that she’s not letting this one slip away.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel picks his fate from one of two remaining slips and ends up with a name that puzzles him. What would he buy for her?

“So, who’s the lucky recipient of half of the Plimpton bank account for Christmas?” Rebecca sits back down at her desk, folds one leg over the other, and sips her coffee. She conceals her Secret Santa recipient in a file folder and makes sure not to let it out of her sight.

“Funny, none of you will ever come close to touching even less than half of what’s in the Plimpton bank account.”

“And you wouldn’t make any exceptions to that rule,” Rebecca pouts in a high pitched voice, fluttering her eyelashes and jutting out her lower lip. “Not even for little ol’ me?”

“Maybe I would if you promise never to talk like that again.” Rebecca immediately smiles and nods. He laughs at her reaction and goes back to writing. It’s silent for a moment before she pipes up.

“But seriously, who’d you get?”

“I’ll tell if you will?”

Rebecca hums then laughs, shaking her head. “Mine’s too good, though; I’d hate to spoil the surprise.”

Nathaniel arches an eyebrow at her. “I’ll find out soon enough. God knows you’re terrible at keeping secrets.”

Her jaw drops open. “Pardon you! Fine then, I’m determined to keep this secret the whole time, and you’ll never suspect a thing. You can bet on it.”

Nathaniel lifts his eyes, sets down his pen, and give Rebecca that look, sexually charged, his voice hot and heavy. “What are we playing for?”

“Your choice if you figure it out. If you don’t, I have to drink one of those god-awful juice things that make the trash can smell like a landfill, and you have to eat a donut of my choosing.”

“Oh, I’d pay so much money to see you finish one of those, much less take three sips. Eating a donut to see that happen is a cross I’m willing to bear.” He pauses, mulling the thought over in his head. With a satisfied smile, he says, “You’re on.”

The week passes quickly, which means the day of the party is just around the corner. Everyone in the office is struggling to find the perfect gift for their Secret Santa partner with the exception of a lucky few. Tim and Jim already know what each other likes, so their shopping trips are merely walks in the park. Mrs. H knows exactly what to get partner-in-crime Paula and knows what kind of reaction it will garner from the group. Rebecca’s lucky in that she has someone who (most likely) can take a joke, so she’s confident her gift will raise a few laughs.

Mostly though, the gift buying is a source of tension. Nathaniel is almost completely clueless about what to get for his partner and briefly considers switching with someone else, but when he wanders into Bath and Body Works, he gets an idea. After smelling what feels like 150 candles and lotions that all smell sickeningly sweet, he picks one for his Secret Santa, but as he’s waiting in line, he looks to his left and sees a bottle of perfume that he can’t stop himself from reaching for. It’s not for his Secret Santa; it’s for his secret valentine.

Paula sighs, still stuck on what to get Darryl, and Rebecca looks up from her sandwich as they’re eating together.

“He’s your best male friend, right? Anything you get him is going to be special. Plus, I’m sure it’s ten times easier to buy for him. Think about it: you could be buying for Tim.”

“Yeah, that’s a fair point.” Paula pauses, a forkful of pasta in her hand. “You know, you’re right. My best male friend deserves something special, and he’ll love most anything coming from me.”

“Exactly. Don’t stress, I know you’ll find the right thing. You always do.”

Rebecca finishes her lunch and heads back to her office, and finally, the thought clicks in Paula’s head. Yep, she knows exactly what Darryl needs. When it comes up in conversation, Nathaniel pretends to play along, nodding his head as Rebecca hints at who she’s buying for, even though Nathaniel’s already got a pretty good idea of whose name is on that slip of paper that’s precariously peeking from the edge of the manila folder on her desk.

Finally, it’s the day everyone has been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to. Darryl AKA King of the Spread invites the Whitefeather crew to his house for an office Christmas party like no other. He begs everyone not to think of it as just an office Christmas party but as a celebration of friends, family, and love. Leave it to Darryl to make a sentiment out of centerpieces and ceviche. Everyone is dressed up per Darryl’s request, and guests begin coming in right at 7:00.

Rebecca enters the house about fifteen minutes past the hour in a cranberry colored dress and immediately is in awe of the care taken to hang the garland and lights around the dining room. She breathes in the aroma of freshly baked turkey and sighs in contentment. For all of the unorthodox holiday celebrations she’s had in her life, at least she has this next to normal one to make up for it. The holidays aren’t ever easy for her, but she’s determined to enjoy this Christmas gathering and avoid any sort of stress or drama. As she placing her coat on the rack in the foyer, Paula spots her and runs up to give her a hug.

“Look at you! That dress is stunning.” Rebecca twirls around with a laugh. “I’m going for a glass of champagne, can I get you something?”

“Champagne sounds great, actually. Thanks, Paula!”

Rebecca goes to set her purse near her coat when she’s startled by someone clearing their throat behind her. She turns around to find Nathaniel, hands in his pockets, staring at her.

“Hi,” he starts with a smile on his lips.

“Hi.” The smile creeps onto her face unwillingly, and she takes a step towards him.

“That dress is… you’re… you look…” Nathaniel’s visibly flustered and Rebecca doesn’t know how to react, given that she’s basically never seen him so out of his element.

“Cat got your tongue,” she asks with a laugh.

“Something like that.” He looks down at his feet, and his hand starts to come around to wrap around the small of Rebecca’s back purely on instinct to pull her closer, but she steps back and away from him before he can touch her.

“Don’t worry, when the words come back to you, you can tell me how good it looks on the floor. Later ,” she says with a wink as she brushes past him into the living room. Nathaniel takes a long exhale and tries not to stare as she passes. He’s a grown up man, he can control himself, and yet, he’s continuously checking his watch waiting for “later” to come soon.

The presents are arranged neatly under the busily decorated tree in the living room complete with handmade ornaments from himself and Madison as well as an assortment of globe-shaped plastic ornaments in a large variety of colors. The dining table is ripe with appetizers and side dishes, including Darryl’s specially made Christmas bean dip featuring only red and green toppings, with the main course meat in the center of the spread. The island by the stove acts as the dessert table, and everyone begins to grab a drink and fix a plate.

After dinner, spirits are high as the festivities continue with lively conversation and, well, more spirits. Jim continues to mix drinks in the kitchen, including the Feliz Navidad cocktail, a mix of tequila, cranberry juice, lime, and Sprite. Some of the crew is snacking around the fireplace while some of them are signing the mat frame for the annual Christmas picture. All around, it’s an enjoyable and relaxing time, just what they need.

Darryl corrals everyone into the living room around the fireplace, and everyone takes a seat on the assortment of couches, armchairs, dining chairs, and loose cushions on the floor.

“Ok, so now it’s time for our quick round of ‘what are you thankful for’ before we open our Secret Santa gifts. We’ll start with Maya and go around from there. Maya, what are you thankful for this year?”

“Well, there’s a lot of things I’m thankful for, but I’ll just name a few.” After an itemized list with 5 distinct sections, the circle finally moves along to George, who keeps things short and simple with a thank you to the Whitefeather community, especially Nathaniel, who ducks his head in embarrassment.

The gratitudes continue, from good basketball seasons to time spent with loved ones, and finally it’s Rebecca’s turn.

“Rebecca, what are you thankful for this year?”

She’s been working on the preparation for this moment for the last week and hopes she can articulate the thoughts in her head correctly to her coworkers.

“As most, if not all, of you know, this year hasn’t been an easy one for me. That’s kind of an understatement, but it’s true that this year hasn’t exactly been all sunshine and rainbows. But even when I was hurting and in pain, I’ve had the most wonderful community surrounding me the whole time, and it includes every single person in this room. Yes, George, even you.” He cracks her a smile at that one.

“But in all seriousness, I wouldn’t have made it through this year without each and every one of you. You all hold a very special place inside my heart, and I’m so thankful to know all of you. You’ve each played a special and irreplaceable role in my life, and there’s no other place I’d rather live, work, and play than right here in West Covina.”

The group collectively lets out an “awww” at Rebecca’s sweet speech, and she casts Nathaniel a soft smile that he returns with a nod. Paula wraps her in an embrace and kisses her head.

“Paula,” Darryl asks.

“Honestly, it’s been another year, and I haven’t had to bail my kids out of jail, so that’s something to be thankful for.” The group laughs at Paula’s blunt but truthful comment, and their eyes turn expectantly to Nathaniel, who’s last to round out the circle.

“Oh, is it my turn?”

Darryl nods. “Sure is. Now, what is it you’re thankful for?”

He takes a breath and clears his throat. “Umm, well, I’ve taken a lot of time to think about this. I know that I don’t get sentimental and such, but this year, I’m thankful for possibilities.”

Nathaniel takes a moment, looks around the room, and focuses his eyes on Rebecca before continuing. “When I first came to this office, I had no idea what was in store for me. I came here with a vision in my head of how I would run this place, but it turns out this place was the one running me. I know I was a bit of a jerk when you all first met me, but I hope you’ve warmed up to me just like I’ve warmed up to all of you.

“Something that I’ve learned this year is that you can’t change the past, and you can hope for the future, but there’s no better present than the present. We only get one life, and I’m trying to enjoy every moment of it while I can. I’m thankful to be here and for the opportunities for this firm ahead of us. I propose a toast.” Nathaniel lifts his glass of wine. “To health and wealth, to happiness and hope, and to the possibilities that lie ahead.”

“Cheers!” Everyone lifts their glasses and drinks hearty sips with smiles spread wide. Rebecca looks at him with a soft gaze, touched by his words, and sips her wine, smiling at him all the while. He returns her smile with one of his own and a miniscule tip of his glass to her. Rebecca’s heart flutters, and a warmth spreads through her chest.

“On that note, it’s about time to open some presents, don’t you think,” Darryl asks, barely able to contain his excitement. “So, the way this works, when you get your gift, you get three guesses on who your Secret Santa is before they reveal themselves to you. Then, that person’s Secret Santa will open their gift next. Jim, why don’t we start with you?”

The maroon bag with the gold tissue paper is obviously Jim’s, and inside, the theme continues as he pulls out an assortment of merchandise from his alma mater, Arizona State. A mug, a t-shirt, a baseball cap, a pennant, and a sweatshirt all with the Sun Devils logo appear from the bag, and Jim acts dumb, taking until his third guess to land on Tim, who tries to hide his smile as Jim “ponders” his options.

Next up to open then is Tim, and his gift bag, star spangled and tinsel lined, features a slew of touristy American gag gifts, courtesy of his Secret Santa and partner-in-crime, Jim.

“Of course those two got each other,” Mrs. H scoffs.

“Well, I guess that means you can be the next to open your gift, Mrs. H,” Darryl chirps passing over the gift bag with Mrs. Hernandez’s name on the card.

She opens the bag and finds a mug with “Badass is My Middle Name” written on one side that’s been filled to the brim with Hot Tamales. But that’s not all that lies inside. A box labeled “Total Refresh” contains all of the necessities for a vaginal detox leaves Mrs. Hernandez wondering where the hell this came from. After wondering who might be insulting her vaginal health and assuming it isn’t any of the men in the room, she opens the box and finds a douching kit along with crystals and knows immediately who this is from, shooting Maya an unimpressed glare.

“Really?”

“I had such an amazing time at the seminar, and they gave me the extra gift set since I didn’t have anyone to go with, and I figured it would make a nice gift, you know. New year, new vee, right?”

“My vagina is perfectly badass as is, thank you very much.”

The group commends Mrs. H’s smackdown with a chorus of agreements while Nathaniel clears his throat and scratches behind his ear in discomfort. He leans over to Paula and stage-whispers, “This is technically still a company party, why is there so much talk about vaginas?”

“As you’ve probably gathered by now, professionalism isn’t exactly a staple of company culture around here. Might wanna get used to it, buddy,” Paula says, clapping him on the shoulder as he grimaces.

It’s Maya’s turn to open her gift, a basket wrapped in cellophane that strays from the conventional gift bag or box. She opens the carefully wrapped basket, saving the signature Bath and Body Works ribbon, and finds an assortment of goodies inside. The basket is filled to the brim with body spray, bubble bath, lotion, and soap in one of Maya’s favorite scents: Sugared Berry. She also finds a new sponge and bath bombs at the bottom of the basket, much to her delight.

Her mind immediately lands on Rebecca being the one to gift her the incredible basket, but Rebecca shakes her head in denial. The next obvious choice would be Paula, but she denies that one too. Finally, she takes her last guess on D-Money, but he shakes his head with a smile and a “Sorry, M-Dawg, not me either.”

“So, who else would it be?” Nathaniel sheepishly raises his hand, and Maya drops her jaw in shock at the man sitting next to her. “Wait, you did all of this? How did you know Sugared Berry was my favorite scent?”

“To tell you the truth, I just picked up the one that smelled most like a donut and figured that was the winner.”

His comment rouses laughter around the room. It’s the perfect justification that Nathaniel would give, and it amuses the hell out of the group. Rebecca is particularly tickled by the thought of Nathaniel wandering through Bath and Body Works with armfuls of the frilliest bath products sniffing candles and lotions that he would refuse to smell or eat if given the choice.

It’s Nathaniel’s turn now to open his gift box, and when he breaks the tape on the sides of the shirt box, he finds a card lying on the top of the tissue paper. In the V of the envelope flap, it reads, “open later,” and Nathaniel is intrigued but obeys the instruction, sliding the card into the bottom of the box. When he unfolds the tissue paper, he finds the most gorgeous pen with his name engraved alongside the pen’s clip. The group gasps and lets out an “oooooh” at the gift when Nathaniel holds it up. Underneath it is a gray t-shirt, and Nathaniel makes the assumption that it’s a gift from his alma mater, but everyone requests that he open it up to see what it looks like. Much to Nathaniel’s surprise and annoyance, he opens the shirt to find “Harvard” written across the chest.

“Subtlety, very nice,” he deadpans, shooting Rebecca a knowing look. She can’t contain her laughter at his reaction after trying so hard to maintain a straight face when he opened his gift. “Well, at least we all know who gave me this one.”

Rebecca balls up a stray piece of tissue paper and throws it at Nathaniel with force but without malice, and it hits the side of his arm.

“Don’t test my throwing arm,” he jokes as he picks up Rebecca’s ammunition and acts like he’s going to throw it back at her. She ducks for cover behind Paula with a squeak, and Nathaniel sets the balled up tissue paper inside his gift box when he realizes that he’s crossing into dangerous territory. He clears his throat and picks up the pen, studying it further and fondling it between his fingers. “Seriously, though, thank you for this.”

“You’re welcome,” she says with a kind smile at him. Not too familiar but not too distant, just toeing the line between professional and friendly. Her mind replays the almost flirtatious moment again, and her heart stirs with a pang of longing for a moment of comfort like that again.

“Rebecca, you’re up next,” Paula says, handing her gift over.

Inside her very large gift bag is a hanging canvas made of three staggered planks of wood with her name carved in white script in the center behind a translucent black capital R. Underneath it are the latitude and longitude of West Covina and a message. “Home is where the heart is.”

Rebecca blinks back tears at the incredibly sweet gift and looks at Darryl. “This is so thoughtful. Thank you, Darryl.”

“How did you know it was me?!”

“Process of elimination. I know who has your gift, and I know I wouldn’t get this gift from George.”

George looks taken aback by Rebecca’s comment. “You don’t know, that could have been from me.”

“Except I know it definitely wasn’t,” Rebecca retorts. “Darryl, take it away.”

He opens his gift and gasps in wonderment at the gift inside. His Secret Santa gives him a name plate for his desk with his name in bold block letters and the title underneath of “Best Male Friend.” While it’s a running joke between Paula and him, it’s special that she thinks so highly of him, and Darryl takes the opportunity to thank her with a bone-crushing hug.

“I can’t wait to put this on my desk! Thank you so much, Paula, this is amazing!

“You’re welcome, Darryl.” He hands Paula her gift bag to close out the round. “Now, George, I’m sure you put a lot of thought and effort into this gift, but if it’s a piece of pottery, I can assure you, my home is very well stocked with— oh my god.”

Inside Paula’s gift bag are various items she would prefer not to show to her coworkers, including but not limited to edible candy panties, an oversized dildo attached to a strap-on, fuzzy handcuffs, a bag of gummy penis candies, and a Christmas themed lingerie set. Rebecca leans over and gasps in shock before laughing uncontrollably. Paula dangles the fuzzy handcuffs from her finger before clutching to the to her chest like priceless pearls when Jim and Tim start wolf whistling.

“George! How could you?!” Rebecca doesn’t know which is funnier: Paula’s aghast face or George’s dumbfounded look of disbelief.

“It wasn’t me! I didn’t pick you, Paula, I swear!”

Everyone looks around the room puzzled for a moment before Mrs. Hernandez snickers and says, “Merry Christmas, bitch!”

Thankfully, a chorus of laughter erupts at the joke between friends.

“Okay gang, let’s all circle up. I think it’s picture time, don’t you,” Darryl says as he sets up the self timer function on his camera on the tripod for the annual company group picture.

George, of course, never got to share his gift to none other than himself with the group, so he takes a deep inhale and shouts above the chatter of arranging the picture.

“Hey!” Everyone jumps and turns around to look at George. His voice returns to a normal volume, and he says with a smile, “I just wanted to say that via my Secret Santa gift to myself, I have a voucher for Painting With a Twist for two, good for the next six months. Any takers? Nathaniel, buddy, you in?”

“Nope. Nuh-uh, never gonna happen.” George keeps badgering him and nudges him with his elbow, and Nathaniel rolls his eyes and pushes him away.

Everyone sets up for the big group picture finding their place in the multi-row formation. Shorter people move to the front while the taller ones move to the back, and Rebecca clings to Paula’s arm as she moves to the center of the photo. Nathaniel, despite being the tallest of the group, positions himself behind and to the right of Rebecca and resists the urge to curl his hand on top of her shoulder. Darryl saves the day and steps behind Rebecca giving her a warm pat on the back. God, she looks so good in that dress; it’s nearly impossible not to stare or reach out to touch her.

The camera beeps for a 5 second warning, and everyone gets in position to smile brightly up into the lens. It takes a few pictures when the countdown finishes, and Darryl immediately runs over to start the timer again begging for another nice picture and then some silly ones. One more round of smiling faces, and then things get crazy. Paula and Rebecca squad up back to back holding up finger guns, George looks up at Nathaniel with a wide grin while Nathaniel stares down at him with a playful side-eye, Jim jumps on Tim’s back, Mrs. Hernandez whips out her sunglasses and stares down the camera, and Darryl and Maya buddy up with their arms outstretched in true “ta-da” fashion. It’s raucous and silly, but it speaks to the nature of the firm, and after all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

After the round of photos, the social hour begins while Darryl lets the hot chocolate warm on the stovetop. Mrs. Hernandez suggests a round of poker, and Tim and Jim high-five each other, excited for the action and leaving with something they didn’t come into the party with. Paula brushes off her sleeves and clears a seat for herself at the card table set up in the dining room.

“Step aside, boys, mama came to play today,” Paula says confidently as she sits down across from Tim, intent on intimidating him.

Mrs. H deals to Tim, Jim, George, and Paula, while Maya hangs back in the kitchen with Darryl. Rebecca and Nathaniel are spectating the game until things start moving too quickly for Rebecca’s limited knowledge of the game. Nathaniel would put in because it’s not like he has much to lose, but he has other ideas in mind. While the players are engrossed in the heat of the action, Rebecca leans over to Nathaniel, tapping him on the shoulder.

“What’s happening? I don’t know poker,” she whispers. He smiles and slips his hand down to link with hers, and he pulls her along while he walks back into the living room. “Wait, where are we going?”

“Just, shh. I have something for you.”

Rebecca looks at him in suspicion. “What are you—”

“Just trust me,” he calmly smiles and says as he picks up a gold gift bag that he had tucked away in between the table and couch, still leading Rebecca further into the house. She laughs nervously but keeps following Nathaniel down the hall.

“Dude, are you serious right now? We could get caught—“

“We’re less likely to get caught if you’re quiet and patient.”

Rebecca scoffs. “You know I’m neither of those things.” She enters the door that he holds open for her, which leads into the bathroom. “What are we doing in here?”

Nathaniel locks the door behind him and caresses her arm. “I got something for you. It’s nothing much, but I saw it when I was shopping for Maya’s gift, and it made me think of you.”

Her breath hitches at their close proximity to one another, in addition to the hand that snakes around her back and very gently holds her close. “Nathaniel, you didn’t have to get me anything.”

“But I wanted to,” he says lowly against her cheek. Rebecca’s heart speeds up triple time in her chest at the memory that flashes behind her eyes, him holding her close in his bed and her self-assured whisper to him of I want to. I’ve always wanted to.

Rebecca looks up at him with starlight in her eyes and a soft smile that spreads to a blush across her cheeks. He offers her the gold bag, and she takes it in her hands stepping back from him to reveal its contents. Inside she finds a dainty pink bottle of perfume with a rose-shaped cap and a tag that reads the scent, “Enchanted Rose.” Rebecca lifts her eyes to meet his in surprise of his sweet and sentimental gesture.

“Can I…” she asks trailing off and gesturing to the perfume bottle.

“Of course.” Rebecca spritzes her wrist first and hums at the sweet smell, so she sprays it in a swirl around her head and onto her neck.

“Nathaniel, this is so nice. Really, you didn’t have to do this.” She grabs his hands and looks him in the eyes with piercing sincerity. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“You could have given that to me out there, you know.”

“Yes, but then I couldn’t have done this.” He tugs on her wrist and pulls her in for a deep kiss, his hands roaming up and down her shoulders while hers grab for purchase at his neck. The kiss sets her body aflame with desire, and she backs up to the countertop and slides on top of it with Nathaniel’s assistance. He mumbles something into the supple skin at Rebecca’s neck, but she’s too blissed out to pay attention.

“What? What did you say?”

He stops lavishing her neck with attention to look at her with his fingers underneath her chin to tilt her up to his eye level. “I knew it was you.”

“What? No, you didn’t!”

“I knew it was you from the day you wouldn’t let on about who your Secret Santa was. Thank god Paula didn’t tell you that I knew already.”

“But I didn’t tell anyone who I had,” she argues.

“You didn’t have to,” Nathaniel smirks. “So, since I figured out who my gift giver was, I believe you promised me my choice of a prize. How’s you, me, and Santa Monica next Friday night?”

He begins kissing down her neck, and Rebecca curls her fingers in the countertop edges. “I don’t know, seems a bit— ahhh —risky.” The way his mouth latches onto her collarbone makes Rebecca moan and open her legs wider as she scoots closer to the edge of the counter.

“Don’t worry, I’m alone next weekend. And I know the most wonderful Italian place that would make the Olive Garden hang its head in shame.” Rebecca lets out a small sound of pleasure when his hand slides down her waist and fists the material of her dress between his fingers, lifting it up around her hips ever so slightly. “Unless you know of a better way I could convince you?”

She does, she definitely does.

Rebecca’s eyes light up, and she takes one of her hands from the countertop to wrap around Nathaniel’s emerald green tie and pull him down to her mouth for a long and passionate kiss. Her tongue parts his lips, and Nathaniel lets go of her skirt to slip his hand between her spread thighs and tease her over her thin underwear. Before he can venture too far, Rebecca breaks their kiss and moves her mouth up to his ear.

“Are we really gonna do this here,” she whispers, her voice honeyed with arousal.

“Can you be quiet?” She nods. Nathaniel’s already reaching for his wallet in his back pocket, and Rebecca works opening his belt at the same time, wetting her lips at the wrecked, needy sight of him. “I’ll be quick if you can.”

She nods once again, arching her back and sticking her chest out towards him. “Hurry,” she moans, circling her index finger around her clit underneath her panties. Just when he’s about to line himself up to her entrance, Rebecca stops him. “Wait, wait, wait.” She lowers her voice, her fingers around his tie. “I think that painting is staring at me.” She tilts her head to the portrait of a Chippewa chief hanging above the towel rack. Nathaniel turns his head and observed the intimidating stare of the man featured in the portrait and understands where she’s coming from.

Rebecca barrels on. “I’d love to not be reminded of that painting judging me having sex on this bathroom counter when I’m back here again for Passover, which I don’t know why we do it at Darryl’s because he’s not even Jewish, and—“

Nathaniel reaches around and grabs her ass to pull her off the counter, and he turns her around to face the mirror. Instinctively, Rebecca’s palms flatten on the granite to catch herself as Nathaniel wraps one hand around the band of her underwear to pull them out of the way while his other readies himself to push into her.

He fills her up in one stroke, and he uses his left hand to flip the faucet on to cover the inevitable sounds of their fucking. Sure enough, Rebecca moans and throws her head back with an arch in her back. Nathaniel keeps one of his hands around the front of her hip while he fucks her quick and dirty, whispering reminders every so often for her to stay quiet.

As much as he wishes he can say his desire to fuck her is just about getting himself off, it’s not quite that selfish. He loves the way she looks when she’s in pleasure, mouth agape, eyes sealed shut, fingers clenched into whatever surface she can grab hold of. He wishes it was his hair at the moment, but he’ll set his wants aside to watch the beautiful way her face contorts in pleasure. He’d give and do anything to make her come so that he can see that look again and again.

Her face is as red as her dress now, and Rebecca moans his name in hushed fragments. She reaches her hand under her skirt to rub her clit to speed up her pleasure. It’s so good, and she’s so close, but she just needs a little push to help her over the edge. He has just the fix. Nathaniel attaches his teeth to the sensitive patch of skin behind her ear and lets his tongue loose.

“You know, you’re the reason Santa even has a naughty list.”

Rebecca whimpers when he scrapes his teeth along the shell of her ear. “Oh, am I?”

“You are. Walking around in that dress that you know shows off your chest with that lipstick you know would get you fucked any day. But good thing there’s a way to get you off that list.”

“How’s that,” she asks with a smile.

Nathaniel slows his pace but holds himself deep inside of her. “How do you feel about peppermint sticks? I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing you suck on mine.”

“Jesus Christ, Nathaniel,” she says quietly with a shiver.

“Wow, Rebecca, taking his name in vain on his holiday? Sacrilegious much?”

She moans low in her throat and pushes back into him, silently begging him to speed up again. “Do you really think I give a damn right now? Fuck, I just wanna come.”

Nathaniel drops his voice back down to her directly in her ear. “So, then come. Come for me, Rebecca.”

He speeds back up, driving into her harder and gripping her hips tighter as he tries to hold off his own release until she finds hers. The curls hanging loose around her shoulders are begging to be pulled, but Nathaniel resists, knowing he’ll have hell to pay for it later should they get too displaced. Content, he watches her as she sucks her lower lip in her mouth on the verge of her orgasm, and he coaxes her closer to her peak. Rebecca walls tighten around him, finally letting go of the tension built up in her core. Nathaniel holds her close as he follows her release inside the condom, his breaths rough and staggered against her skin.

When the aftershocks subside, he gently pulls out and tosses the condom in the trash inside some toilet paper, and Rebecca turns around to face him. She starts to readjust his tie and pants, but Nathaniel distracts her with a tender kiss, his hands cupping her cheeks. Unfortunately, she’s quick to pursue her own agenda, ignoring Nathaniel’s wish for a sweet stolen moment.

“Nathaniel, we have to go,” she protests between kisses while she fixes her underwear.

“Did I convince you yet,” he asks, mindlessly fixing her curls on either side of her head.

“Yes, fine, you’ve convinced me. Now, can you go before someone catches us?”

Nathaniel leaves her with a long parting kiss and lingers his fingers under her chin. “Merry Christmas, Rebecca.”

He leaves the bathroom, and she frantically tries to ignore the way her heart flutters when he winks at her as he turns to go. She takes a long breath out and observes her flushed reflection in the mirror. Rebecca sprays more of Nathaniel’s perfume on to hopefully cover the smell of sex on her and fixes up her hair, waiting a few more minutes before returning out to the party.

In the meantime, she opens her bag once more and finds a card with her name on the front. Curiously, she lifts the flap and pulls out the card inside to read it. The front is decorated with holly berries dusted with snow, simple and elegant against the winter wonderland background. She opens the inside and reads the message.

Rebecca,

Whatever is beautiful, meaningful, and brings you true happiness, I hope you find that and more this year. You deserve it. I hope the holidays are good to you. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Yours, Nathaniel.

Rebecca rereads the heartfelt message a few times over, admiring how neat his handwriting looks against the ivory card. Clearly, he took his time to write this note, and she finds herself dreamily running her thumb over his signature at the bottom of the card, messier than the rest of the writing but quite possibly her favorite part.

When she catches herself staring at it for too long, she snaps her head up and clears her throat, fluffs her hair out, and leaves the bathroom with her card and gift in its bag. Upon opening his card, she feels a little guilty knowing the message inside his isn’t nearly as sentimental as his is to her.

The rest of the night continues in fun and festivities, sharing stories and playing games around the fireplace and embracing the holiday spirit. When it comes time for everyone to head home, Rebecca hangs back and asks Darryl if he needs any help cleaning up, but he declines her polite request with a wave of his hand and a smile. She leaves the house to head back to her car when she feels someone grab her wrist. Her first instinct is to scream, but a hand comes up to cover her mouth, and she hears the person say her name a few times to calm her.

“Rebecca, Rebecca, shh. Hey, it’s just me.”

“Jesus, Nathaniel, you almost gave me a heart attack!” She pushes at his chest while she tries to make her heart stop racing. “I thought you left already.”

“I was going to, and then I read your card.”

The front is simple in design with a red and white striped candy cane that simply says, “I like your peppermint stick.”

The inside message reads,

Nathaniel,

I hope my gift makes you smile. This Christmas, I hope you find your stocking well-hung. I know what you’ve got going for you.

If I were to tell you I’ve been an awful good girl this year, would you maybe slip a sable under the tree for me? Or a ‘54 convertible? That’s not a lot, right?

Merry Christmas, Santa Baby.

xx Rebecca

“Oh, you read that little thing,” she asks sweetly, her hands coming up around his neck.

“I did, yes. Had to swipe a sprig of mistletoe from Darryl’s fireplace so I could steal a kiss from you to thank you properly for it.”

Rebecca hums as he shakes the mistletoe above her head, and Nathaniel leans in to kiss her. She pulls away first after letting the kiss fizzle out against their lips. “Or you could have waited until I could show you how much I really like your peppermint stick?”

Nathaniel laughs lowly and lets his hand come around her back. “You’re always welcome to show me that, anytime you like, really, but I wanted to thank you in person.” He pecks her lips quickly. “See you on Monday?” She nods with a smile.

On Monday morning, he, indeed, sees her donning a fresh coat of bright Christmas red lipstick as she’s stirring her morning cup of coffee. He just so happens to strategically catch her at a time when she’s underneath the doorway of their office. They talk casually about their weekends for a moment until Nathaniel stretches, which draws Rebecca’s eyes upward and to the dark green patch of plant above her head, and he smiles mischievously at her. Her stomach flips and her toes curl in her heels as she backs up into their office with her fingers around his tie. Nathaniel shuts the door, pulls the string on the blinds, and stumbles into Rebecca’s kiss as she tugs him close to her and presses her body to the door.

If there’s anyone to blame for the number of stolen kisses he takes from her that day in their office, in the supply closet, anywhere he can, blame the mistletoe. Except the one he gives her as they’re leaving the empty office together waiting for the elevator, that one is pure impulse.

He keeps the mistletoe up in their favorite secret places. Let’s just say it’s a very merry Christmas week, indeed.

Chapter Text

The quite literally heated workday last week gets Rebecca inspired to sweat. While she’s never been gung-ho about physical activity, there are certain perks to breaking a sweat and using certain key muscles for good. Yes, New Year’s passed months ago and there’s really not any time before summer officially starts to get a rockin’ swimsuit bod, but she supposes that there’s no time like the present. Fire up the Internet flurry for the most durable sports bras and leggings, and tell the hottest gyms in the Cove to get ready because Rebecca Bunch is ready to rock her physical health.

“If you’re looking for a gym buddy, I know a guy,” Nathaniel says from behind her, startling her from her mindless scroll of the fourth gym webpage she’s looked at this morning.

“I thought creeping over shoulders was more my thing.”

“Still is, just wanted to try it out. I don’t think it’s my look,” he teases, his fingers catching the ends of her hair as he rounds her chair to his own. Rebecca begs to differ knowing how often she catches him staring when he thinks she isn’t looking. Not his look? Sure, Nathaniel. “Seriously, if you are actually considering joining a gym, I could hook you up.”

Rebecca laughs harsher than intended. “Right. I’d love to see the look on all of your gym bros’ faces when I show up in their territory.”

“Actually, I’m more of a lone wolf type when it comes to working out. Big surprise there.” Playfully, Rebecca rolls her eyes and giggles as she clicks to a new page on this gym’s website. “I am serious about my offer. You can come with me and try it just to see if you like it, no strings attached. And if you’re worried about feeling intimidated, I have a key, so I could get us in later if that makes you more comfortable.”

She presses him with a calculating stare and a hand resting on her chin. “What’s in it for you?”

“What’s in it for me? Nothing, really. We’ll call it my good deed for the decade, how’s that sound?”

“So, it’s not to see me all sweaty in a bunch of spandex,” she drops her voice and scoots her chair closer to her desk to try to get him to self-incriminate. He’s not budging, though.

“I never said anything about that, but now that you mention it, that’s certainly a nice bonus—” Nathaniel’s eyes drift upward, a sensual image coming to mind.

“Aha!”

She spoke too soon, though. Nathaniel holds his hands up and folds them neatly on his desktop. “However, that’s not my primary motivation at all. Look, joining a gym is a big commitment, and I don’t want to push you into something if you’re not ready, hence why I’m offering to let you try it out before you put any money down. Love it or hate it, I will not be affected either way. Just wanted to lay the offer out. Take some time to think about it, and just let me know if that’s something you want.”

Rebecca smiles openly at him. He speaks with such earnest and intent that she wonders if there’s more to his statement than meets the eye. “Thanks, Nathaniel.”

“Anytime.”

He does mean it. Anytime, he’s willing to help her however he can.

Rebecca switches tabs trying to be coy while searching for deals on the hottest gym gear she can find. If she’s going to voluntarily sweat in the presence of a very attractive man, she can afford to spoil herself on gym clothes that will make her look most attractive. This is no time for retired Harvard t-shirts and Champion basketball shorts, Bunch. Get your head in the game.

She quickly finds that beauty is expensive, and designer athletic wear is not catered to anyone who doesn’t look like Valencia.

Although she does find a nice pair of ankle-length black leggings with some mesh cutouts around her thighs and calves that will do wonders for her ass. She picks a more flowy top that won’t draw attention to her stomach but is tight up top with ample coverage to accent her boobs in the right way. Of course, said boobs will be neatly packed under a sports bra, potentially (nay, absolutely) two. Those suckers aren’t going anywhere if cardio is on the agenda.

By the end of the work day, Rebecca closes her laptop and looks over at Nathaniel with a grin. “Count me in. When do we start?”

He looks up at her in surprise, closing his own computer to talk to her. “That was quick. You must be really motivated to get healthy. I guess my influence is rubbing off on you.”

“Don’t be an ass. You know I can’t resist a good personal pan pizza,” she grumbles. “But I am willing to give this thing a shot, so long as you can promise not to make fun of me.”

“I would never do that.” She pins him with a disbelieving stare, and Nathaniel clears his throat, shifting under the weight of her glance. “Yeah, I might have to tease you just a little. Friendly jabs only. But honestly, I’m glad to hear it, Rebecca. Are you free tomorrow night, maybe around 10?”

Thank god she chose expedited shipping. Rebecca nods. “That should work.”

“Great. Well, I will text you the address tomorrow then.”

“Sounds good,” she says with a smile as she picks up her things to head home for the day. As she turns to leave, Nathaniel can’t help but watch her go. Not in a creepy way, never inappropriately, but he watches her walk away and wonders how he’s so lucky to work with someone like her.

The next day after work, she and Paula are having dinner, and Rebecca’s choice of entree makes Paula’s ears turn up. Oven-roasted chicken, boneless and skinless, and are those zucchini?! And she’s eating them with a smile?! Okay, it’s either Opposite Day, or Rebecca is definitely projecting. No one does Opposite Day anymore, idiot; it’s not 1986.

A knock at the door causes Rebecca to spring up out of her chair with a giddy girlish giggle. She answers the door and takes the package she’s received straight to her room, plopping it on her bed before returning to the table with Paula.

“You gonna open that box? You seem pretty excited about it.”

“Nah, I’ll open it later. I know what’s inside. What’s a few extra minutes of waiting gonna do when I can be spending time with my best friend?”

Rebecca smiles, picking up her fork and munching on a slice of zucchini. They go back to eating dinner and casually making conversation about nothing in particular, mostly giving rundowns of their shared acquaintances. Heather and her banging in the fridge at 3 AM because “there’s no damn food in this house,” even though Heather is the one who shops for the two of them plus Hector. Valencia and Beth’s newly blossoming relationship. The idiot cult continuing to be … well, idiots. Scott and the kids. Basic, general overview of life. Nothing too specific.

Paula offers to put the dishes in the sink and asks Rebecca to start up the Netflix screen on the living room TV to watch another episode of Planet Earth before she heads home, but Rebecca leans against the counter and wrings her hands together.

“I don’t know, I’m kinda tired today. Plus, I need to get to the office early tomorrow to work on those zoning motions for the Cassidy hearing next week.”

“Are you sure? I know you were really looking forward to the Jungles episode when we stopped last week. You didn’t go ahead and watch, did you?”

Rebecca scoffs. “Of course not! No way I could watch our show without you.”

“Right. Yeah, no, of course,” Paula says with an uneasy smile. Rebecca moves close to Paula and takes the plate out of her soapy hands to take her hands.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at work. Maybe we can hang out this weekend though, have a girl’s day with Heather and Valencia? I hear there’s a sale on spa care going on at TJ Maxx.”

“That would be great. I’ll see if I can make that work.”

Rebecca wraps Paula in a hug and blows her a kiss as she heads for the door. Paula’s gut twists with suspicion, but she attempts to not let it show as she walks out the door muttering a half-hearted reason or two that she needs to be home. Though, her house might honestly implode if not for her intervention at some point. There’s just a little voice screaming at the back of her mind that something isn’t right and Rebecca isn’t being forthcoming about— well, she’s not quite sure what. But she’s going to figure it out. One way or another, she’s gonna find out the truth.

As soon as Paula gets home, she opens up the Amazon website and switches over to Rebecca’s account to browse her recent order. She finds the listing of what got delivered to her door this evening and thinks she may be onto something. Extra supportive sports bras, a thin tank top, compression leggings and a sweat-wicking headband all point her back to the idea that she may be projecting her uptake of healthy habits because someone she’s seeing is a health nut. But that wouldn’t make sense since Rebecca hasn’t told her about seeing anyone new. Unless it’s relatively recent, which would explain the “all-in” mentality of Rebecca’s fixation on healthy choices. However, when she scrolls down the order information, she hits a roadblock.

It seems Rebecca also ordered a garden hose, a large decorative conch shell, Poopourri, a Ta-Ta Towel for boob sweat (which actually makes sense) and a box of edible chocolate anuses. Paula wrinkles her nose up and shakes her head, closing her laptop in frustration. She almost had something there, but maybe she’s reading too much into it and Rebecca is actually starting to make healthier choices. Maybe she’s confronted her own mortality all of a sudden and is trying to do something positive with her life, and that’s all Paula ever wants. For Rebecca to be truly happy with what she’s doing.

Meanwhile, Rebecca is quite happy, not necessarily with what she’s doing (putting on compression leggings is no joke); rather, she’s more pleased with who she’s doing, or will be when she has her rendezvous in an hour. Leggings finally in a comfortable position on her waist after fighting with them for the last ten minutes, she puts both of her maximum support sports bras on, constricting circulation to her chest wall be damned, slips on her tank top and light jacket, and takes a last look at herself in the mirror. She nearly fought to the death with her leggings to get them to sit right on her waist and hips, but at least they make her ass look phenomenal in her own mind. Maybe she could get used to this? Probably not since she has no doubt that working out with Nathaniel will undoubtedly kick her ass flat.

Her phone chimes when Nathaniel texts her the address of the gym, and Rebecca’s heart jumps  excitedly premature to any physical exercise. She drives over to the gym and tries to keep her heart rate calm without much success.

When she pulls into the parking lot a few spaces down from his, Rebecca checks her hair one last time in the mirror and grabs her bag to head inside where Nathaniel is waiting for her. She nearly passes him, clearing her throat to get his attention at the café table he’s sitting at. He looks up to find her, and his jaw nearly hits the floor.

“Wow. Gym clothes that actually fit you, I’m impressed. Almost didn’t recognize you without a Harvard shirt.”

“Asshole,” Rebecca mumbles with a playful eye roll. “Okay, are we doing this thing or what?”

He stands up and opens the gate for Rebecca, letting himself in behind her. “We are, but we can’t go full force all at once. Gotta ease you into it, okay?” She nods as perkily as her steps and falls in time with Nathaniel as he shows her around the gym floor.

“And this is one of the more private workout spaces. Sometimes I come in here, but typically anyone’s who’s doing personal training uses these to stay focused since the floor can get a bit crazy at times.” Rebecca takes a look around the small studio and adjusts her ponytail in the mirror. “So, obviously, we have to warm up before doing any kind of exercise. How’s your run?”

Rebecca whips her head around with a laugh. “My run? With my… well, this,” she gestures to her chest wildly. “You don’t want to know how many bras it takes to keep these puppies from moving. The answer would frighten you.”

“Okay, so that knocks out running,” Nathaniel laughs. “Also, I’m sure it can’t be that frightening.”

“Tell that to Bonnie and Clyde here. They went on quite the heist before they eventually got locked in the slammer,” she jokes.

“Ah-ha. Well, why don’t we try a bike? That should be a little easier on your joints and… kinder to Bonnie and Clyde.”

Rebecca smiles and, flattered, touches her hand to her chest. “You are so sweet to look after their well-being. Your kindness does not go unnoticed.”

Nathaniel looks down sheepishly and heads for the door to let Rebecca out. “Shall we?”

She sits down on a stationary bike towards the corner of the upper level and begins to pedal slowly as the machine boots up and starts timing her workout. Nathaniel steps up behind her and leans against the chair back of the bike.

“Normally, this is the part where I’d ask you about your day, but I happen to know all about that already.”

“Ugh, don’t even get me started on that brief Jim had me look over for Laguna Estates,” Rebecca groans and makes a gagging noise. “I did have dinner with Paula tonight, though. She made chicken and oven-roasted zucchini.” Rebecca blows a chef’s kiss with her hand and smiles. “Delicious.”

Nathaniel is momentarily caught off guard by her statement. “Wait a second. You ate zucchini? You, Rebecca Bunch, ate something green and called it delicious? Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming.”

“Is that so hard for you to believe?”

“Yeah, actually, it really is. Hey, keep going until you get to five minutes, I’m gonna fill up my water bottle. Do you want me to fill yours too?”

“That would be great, thank you.”

While Nathaniel’s away, she continues to pedal mindlessly while taking in the scenery around her. Very few patrons still remain inside, most of them on the tail ends of their workouts wiping sweat from their brows. She’s lost in a daydream wondering what each of the people around her is actually thinking about during their workout when Nathaniel comes back behind her and taps her shoulder to hand over her water bottle. Rebecca finishes up just as he comes back, and she hops off of the bike to walk back into one of the private rooms with him.

“Okay, so we’re gonna do a circuit of three different exercises, 10 reps each. Sound good?” She nods and watches him as he picks up a pair of dumbells more suited for his strength than hers. “So, let’s do something easy. First one is bicep curls, so just make sure to really work from the bicep and not from…”

He’s explaining proper technique, which Rebecca should be listening to, but she’s a little… distracted. While she’s imagined the way his muscles might flex when lifting or carrying something, seeing it happen up close and personal is a heaven-sent experience as far as she’s concerned. Good lord, that image will be coming home with her in her dreams tonight.

“Rebecca, are you listening to me?”

“Uh-huh, yep, paying very, very close attention to your form,” she trails off with her eyes refusing to move from his bicep.

“I’m sure you are,” he says smugly, shooting her a smirk as he lifts the dumbell once more for good measure to see her eyes blink dreamily at the flexion of his muscle. “Second thing we’ll do is a tricep kickback. Just reverse the motion that you just did, kick your arm back until it straightens and then bring it back in. And then, we’ll finish up with some overhead shoulder presses, lifting up over your head and then back down to your shoulder height. Got it? Don’t worry, we won’t do any crazy weights.”

Nathaniel racks his set of weights and comes back with a noticeably lighter set for Rebecca. “Try those out, and let me know how they feel.” She does a bicep curl with the one in her right hand and decides it fits her well.

She moves into her set, and Nathaniel keeps an eye one her technique. She, surprisingly, starts off really strong but starts to rely on her elbows to help her lift once she breaks the halfway point. Nathaniel places a hand gently on her elbow and coaches her on how to stabilize it through the muscular fatigue.

“Good, there you go, that’s 10. Shake it out for a second. How do you feel?”

“Pretty good, actually. I didn’t think I could do it at first, but I got through it, so I’ll pat myself on the back for that.”

Nathaniel holds his hand up for a high-five, and Rebecca accepts it and lets her hand linger in his after, just for a moment. “Awesome. Triceps now?”

Rebecca picks up her dumbells and tries to copy Nathaniel’s earlier position of leaning forward just slightly with a bend in her knees. Before she starts, he taps on the front of her shoulder to tell her to come up a little, and she takes the correction before starting her set. She’s really getting the hang of it as she moves through this exercise with ease. He supposes she really was doing a lot of tricep dips on her retreat post-wedding bust. When she gets to 10 reps and sets her weights on the bench next to her, she shakes out her arms and rests for a moment.

“Last one for this set. You doing okay?”

“Peachy keen, partner.”

Rebecca picks her weights back up and starts her set, but Nathaniel comes behind her before she can do another rep with incorrect technique.

“Whoa, easy, tiger. You’ve gotta control the weight on the way down. Here, let me help you with this one. So, bring it up.” Rebecca lifts her weights up high over her head with Nathaniel’s assistance, his hands guiding her forearms up to the fully stretched position.

“Now, slowly bring them back down until your triceps hit my hands.” She brings the weights down, her wrists fighting to keep steady as she slowly returns to her neutral position. Finally, she feels her arms brush Nathaniel’s hands and finds her boxed position akin to the one he showed her earlier.

“Feel the difference?” In the exercise, perhaps a little. In the temperature and atmosphere of the room, definitely. Rebecca nods, her breath a little ragged, and suddenly realizes how close their bodies are to one another. “Keep going,” he says in an almost-whisper near her ear. She turns her attention back to herself in the mirror and tries to focus on the task at hand and not the very hot man behind her spotting her. He’s watching her, too, quite closely, his hands at ready to catch any wobbles or shakes. He counts her down and high fives her with both hands when she triumphantly sets her weights on the bench.

She’s drinking water while he’s explaining the next set of two exercises that work her chest and back area. Rebecca gives him a skeptical look when he mentions working out her chest.

“I would say my chest muscles are fairly well-defined from having to hold up these suckers for the last 10 years or so.”

“That’s a fair point, but there’s deeper muscles underneath that also need to flex every once in a while to keep you…” he scrambles for the right word to use while unknowingly gesturing around her chest. “perky.”

“I see,” she muses, her tongue quickly darting out to wet her lips and lick a stray droplet of water from her mouth. “Well, then I’d be more than happy to get some tips on that.”

As she goes through a set of standing chest flys, he keeps a close eye to see if she’s struggling any and watches for any signs that she needs his help. Barely making it through, she gets to 10 reps and puts her weights down and stretching her arms out a little.

The next thing she goes into is meant to work her back: upright rows. She leans forward like she did during her tricep extensions, but this time, she needs to bend further forward with a straight back to feel the full effect. The benefit, of course, of having a second person there is that they can help find the proper position to set up for maximum effect. Nathaniel places a hand on the small of her back to help flatten her back and lean forward a tiny bit more than she was before.

“This is your setup right here. You feel that?” She nods. “Now, bring your weights up to your sides, and back down. Good, that’s it.”

Nathaniel keeps a diligent eye on her form while he rests a knee on the bench to Rebecca’s left; however, he notices that it’s a quite precarious position given that he’s got a straight line of sight into her cleavage from this angle. On any other occasion, he wouldn’t complain, but right now, it’s currently distracting him from his responsibility to coach Rebecca, and he can’t very well do that with a raging hard-on. So, he does the appropriate thing and moves around to the back of her where her chest is safely hidden from his line of sight.

She finishes her tenth rep, puts her weights down, and takes a sip of water while pacing the length of the room.

“What do you think, can you go for one more circuit for your legs?”

“Sure, why not? Let’s do it.”

“Breaking a sweat yet,” he teases, acknowledging the line of sweat around her hairline that’s running slowly down her forehead. Rebecca laughs in embarrassment and looks down at her feet. “Here, let me…”

Nathaniel takes his thumb and delicately wipes away the coupled beads of sweat above her left eyebrow, repeating the action on the other side. Rebecca looks up at him, all the air in her lungs suddenly retreating. The action so tender takes Rebecca aback momentarily that it takes a few seconds after he’s stopped touching her to find her bearings again. She clears her throat and takes her weights over to where he’s set up on the ground.

“Okay, for the last set, let’s take this resistance band and put it around your ankles.”

“Sounds kinky,” she mumbles to herself.

“You can grab onto something if you need…” The something she’s imagining grabbing onto is not the same thing that he’s implying. “And just kick your leg back. You should feel it working the back of your leg.”

“Can you show me where, just so I know I’m doing it right?” It’s an innocent enough question, so he obliges her request.

“When you kick your leg back… go ahead…” She does as instructed and waits to feel the tension… the muscular tension, of course. His hands softly find the back of her leg and highlight the area she should feel working. “Right about there. Wow, your hamstrings are pretty strong already. You can relax now.”

She’s anything but relaxed now.

“After that, we’ll do a plank. Don’t worry, I’ll do this one with you; it’s more motivating with someone else there. And we’ll just hold this for 30 seconds and then finish up with some basic squats. Sound good?”

“Yep, let’s get ‘er done!”

Rebecca starts with her kicks, 10 on each side, and makes sure to remember the places where Nathaniel’s hands just were to feel the most from the workout. God, his hands were so warm, she hopes that maybe after he might offer to give her a therapeutic massage. Oh fuck, don’t go there right now, Rebecca.

“Alright, 30 second plank. You ready?” She nods and copies his position lifting up on her hands and flattening her back as much as possible. When she starts to lose her form, Nathaniel shifts to plank with a single hand to let his other one press her back into the proper position.

“Oh fuck, this is really hard, how are you doing this with one hand?”

“Lots and lots of practice. Come on, you’re more than halfway done. Don’t stop on me now.”

“You are officially the worst,” she groans, trying to keep her arms from shaking.

“I know. Ten more seconds. You’re so close.” He can see her fighting through it, so he brings himself closer and keeps encouraging her more quietly and intimately than before. “Breathe, Rebecca. That’s it, you’ve got it. And… relax.”

She drops out of her position unceremoniously with an audible sigh and rolls to her back. “Dude, that’s a straight up torture device. Why would you make me do that?”

“Because it works, doesn’t it? And hey, you didn’t drop. I’m proud of you.” He tried to go for a high five, but Rebecca shakes her head.

“This is as high as I can lift my hand right now, so you’re gonna have to come down to me.” Nathaniel places his hand inside of Rebecca’s with a small squeeze and smiles down at her.

“We’re almost done, just squats left to go. You ready?”

“No, but I’m gonna pretend like I am,” she says with a grunt as she stands up with his help and brushes her hands and butt off from laying on the floor.

“So, the keys to a good squat form. Turn your toes out just slightly, feet about hips distance apart, and just pretend like you’re sitting in a chair. You’re really good at that.”

Rebecca rolls her eyes and starts to go into her squat position, but Nathaniel stops her about halfway down.

“It might feel a bit weird, but sit back a little further.” She tries to push back further and nearly loses her balance. Thankfully, Nathaniel’s hands are ready to catch her around the waist. “It’s okay, I’ve got you. Go ahead and try it again; I won’t let you fall, I promise.”

He takes the squat with her, loosely holding her waist as she sits back and stands up. Somewhere between the full depth of her squat and ascent upwards, his hands tighten around her hips in a comforting way. She’s breathing uneasily when she stands up and feels Nathaniel’s body so close to hers. If there wasn’t an ample amount of sexual tension in the room already, she surely can feel it now.

“Rebecca,” he whispers, his breath hot on her neck. Impulsively, she turns around in his arms and pulls his face down to kiss him. She only gets to kiss him for a few moments because he’s quickly pushing her away, though it’s not a rejection by any means. The boner he’s currently sporting is the furthest thing from a rejection, ill-timed as it may be. “Hey, hey, hey. Much as I love this, and I mean love this, there’s cameras in here. So, as your personal trainer for the evening, you should hurry up and finish those 10 squats.”

“Why?” She’s running her fingers along the V-neck of his thin shirt with a seductive smile.

“Because you and I have a very long cardio session to get to.” He stops to lean down to her ear. “Privately.”

Rebecca hums, then giggles lowly. If it’s anything like the cardio session she had in mind, she’s ready to get right to it. “Message received. 10 squats it is then.”

In her 10 squats, she makes doubly sure to sit back in her heels, and judging by the impressed look on Nathaniel’s face (though if it’s about her form or getting to unabashedly stare at her ass, she’s not entirely sure), she’s doing something right. When she finishes her last one and shakes it off while drinking her water, Nathaniel’s putting away their equipment before he comes to stand next to her, one hand just barely brushing her side.

“You knew how to do a proper squat that whole time, didn’t you?”

Rebecca looks down innocently, crossing one foot behind her ankle. “So what if I did? It’s always nice to have a good refresher course on proper technique.”

“Mmmhmm, or you just needed an excuse to get my attention.”

“I’d say it worked, wouldn’t you,” Rebecca coaxes as she takes a subtle glance downward at the tent in his gym shorts. This position feels incredibly familiar. As sneakily as she can, Rebecca slips her hand between their bodies and runs it over his erection, causing both of them to throw their heads back with a moan. “I think I’m ready to take you for that tumble now.”

“You don’t say. My place in 15?”

“Bet you I could make it 10 if you’d quit talking and start walking.” Without another word, Nathaniel heads towards the door to open it for her but not before pinching her ass and seeing her squeak with excitement. “Oh, wait, before we go, there’s one place I didn’t get to show you. I’ll make it quick, don’t worry.”

She follows behind him as he quickly walks downstairs towards the opposite side of the entrance that she came in. Walking through an unfamiliar door, she takes a brief moment to look around before she’s quickly pulled along.

“Nathaniel, what are we doing in the men’s—“

She’s cut off quickly by his insistent kiss and his body pressing hers into a dim corner of the room. Rebecca tugs on his hair with a moan and hikes one leg up high on his hip. He acknowledges her request to be picked up, and it only makes him drive her back harder into the wall. Nathaniel is operating on pure need, and it’s rare that Rebecca sees this side of him, which makes it all the more hot. Eventually, after nearly bruising both their lips with desperate kisses, Nathaniel sets her down to tug on the waistband of her leggings.

“You’ve definitely fantasized about this, haven’t you,” she asks in a throaty whisper.

“More than I care to admit. Can you be quiet?” Rebecca nods while helping him with her leggings. “Really? Even when I’m about to do this?”

Rebecca looks confused for a moment, but when she sees him start to bring himself to his knees in front of her, she knows exactly where this is headed. “Shit,” she curses under her breath.

“Sorry I don’t have something on me, but this will do until we get back to my place, right?”

“Uh-huh.” She’s already tipping her head back waiting to be plunged headfirst into blinding sensation, but she’s anything but prepared when his tongue hits her skin for the first time that day. “Oh, fuck.” She hopes her knees didn’t shake too much just then. Even so, Nathaniel’s holding her hips, so she’s safe.

Try as she might, Rebecca attempts to keep her vocalization to a minimum and lets herself enjoy the pleasure. She curls her fingers in Nathaniel’s hair and helps direct his mouth to where she needs. Not like he needs the instruction, however, but she does help control the depth of his mouth. It seems the pair of them are quite hungry tonight. He adds a finger into the mix pressing against her clit to help speed things along, and it doesn’t take but another minute or so before she’s releasing, whispering his name again and again.

The aftershocks fade soon after, and Rebecca hauls Nathaniel to his feet demanding his kiss. She’s grown over time to crave the intermingled taste of his mouth and her orgasm, and she moans into his mouth, greedily tasting their combined flavors.

“Did you enjoy your little reward,” he husks as he kisses down her neck. Rebecca nods, a small needy sound coming from the back of her throat. “But you’re still not satisfied yet, are you?” She shakes her head definitively and looks him in the eyes.

“If we’re talking about the same thing, then I’m really looking forward to the cardio session back at your place.”

“We’re most definitely talking about the same thing.” He starts to work on pulling up her leggings, but she quickly swats his hand away to readjust them herself.

“These things aren’t the easiest things to get on and off. I’ve got this.” After struggling for a few moments, she finally finds a comfortable place for them to sit on her waist and smiles up at Nathaniel when she’s done. “Alright, shall we?”

Together, they walk quickly out of the gym and to their respective cars. Thankfully, with it being so late, traffic is down to a minimum, so they’re to Nathaniel’s place in near record time. She meets him by the door as he’s unlocking it and barely lets him push it open before she’s jumping onto his waist and kissing him hard. He picks her up and holds her underneath her ass with one hand, wrapping his other arm around her back and carrying her into his bedroom.

He drops her on her back in the center of the bed and settles on top of her. She lets her legs fall open and welcome his body into the space between them as she continues to kiss him.

“Do you know how fucking hot you are,” he rasps between kisses. “Can’t wait to get you out of these clothes.”

“Well, what are you waiting for, a handwritten invitation?”

“Don’t sass me, Bunch.”

“Oh yeah? Or what?”

He stops lifting up the hem of her tank top and just looks at her defiantly. He knows she wants to be rid of her clothes as much as he wants to see her naked, so he’s waiting, tracing his hand along her stomach to draw out her desire. She tries to lift her shirt over her head herself, but Nathaniel pushes her hands away and presses them into the bed. He decides to get cheeky and bring his knee up towards her center, knowing exactly what’s going to happen when she feels the first touch. Rebecca’s body aches to feel that delicious friction that sets off a thousand synapses in her lower belly. It’s infuriating how much he loves to tease her.

“Since you think it’s so amusing to sass me, I’m gonna make you wait for it. Take off one piece at a time until you beg me to rip your clothes off. How’s that sound? Unless you’re willing to apologize, and we can just pick right up where we left off.”

Rebecca huffs. “I’m not going to apologize, but maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll skip straight to the part where I tell you to rip my clothes off so I can climb you like the sequoia you are. That’s a win-win for both of us, right?”

Nathaniel hums, releasing her hands and skimming his down the sides of her face and body before resting on her hips. “I suppose you’re right. So, let’s skip to that part then.”

“Fine, then. If you’re really such a big, strong man, why don’t you rip my clothes off and let me ride you so I can show you how much I want you?”

He makes a low noise in his throat and plants a hard kiss behind her ear that she’s sure will leave a mark come morning. “When you phrase it that way, how can you expect me to say no?”

Rebecca laughs as he helps her sit up to take her shirt off. She tugs on his at the same time, and he peels it over his head quickly before returning his attention back to her. They kiss for a moment, Rebecca running her hands along Nathaniel’s newly bare chest. God, she loves to feel his chest without a shirt on. Lately, their work escapades have been succinct and haphazard in nature, so now that she gets to take her time and feel his body against hers, she’s not going to waste a second of the time they have together.

“You’re going to have to help me up here,” he says as he fiddles with one of her bra straps.

“Right,” she starts with a small giggle. “High profile heist here. So, this first one just zips down in the front.” She unzips the outer bra and pushes it off of her shoulders and onto the floor to reveal a deep V-neck sports bra that makes Nathaniel’s mouth water. “This one’s just like a normal bra. Three hooks in the back.”

He reaches behind her to start working on her clasps in the back while she brings his face down to hers once again for a kiss. Finally, he releases all three eyes from their hooks and peels her bra off to expose her chest. “God damnit, Rebecca. You never cease to amaze me.”

“Are you talking to me or my chest,” she quips, her hand running up and down his arm.

“Both, but mostly you. You’re just… wow.”

He’s out of words at that point, so he kisses her once more and lays her back flat on the bed so he can start to work on undressing her lower half. She offers her assistance to help get her leggings off given the tight material but not before toeing off her shoes and dropping them at the foot of the bed. When he’s worked her pants nearly off, Rebecca sits up and flings her socks off before turning her attention to his own shorts. She doesn’t make any progress, though, because he’s kissing her senseless again, his hand wrapping around her ponytail and tugging gently on the hair beneath it.

“Grab a condom out of my drawer, will you,” he whispers in her ear with a quick nip to the lobe.

She bounces off of the bed and gets a condom from the drawer in his bedside table, turning back around to find Nathaniel completely naked in the center of his bed. Literally, her panties drop, and she tosses them aside without a care, straddling Nathaniel’s hips with a smile. Rebecca goes in for a kiss almost immediately, and she moans into his mouth when his hands wrap around her back and hold her close. It’s incredibly tempting to just hop on and go to town, but with one baby (courtesy of her egg) on the way, safety is of the essence. Two mini-Rebecca’s in the world may cause the destruction of humanity, she thinks. So, she rolls slightly to the side to let him put on the condom but barely lets him finish before she’s resuming her position and centering herself over him.

Rebecca finds the right angle and sinks down on him, and his moans between reverent utterances of her name give her ego a burst of pride. One of his hands is resting on her ass while the other is behind his head, content to watch her ride him. It’s not common that they’re in this position, mostly due to their massive height difference, but when Rebecca’s feeling a surge of power through her veins, by god, she takes it. Just like so, her body on full display as she grinds up and down on him. Because this is such a rare occurrence, Rebecca feels it’s her duty to give him the full show she’s always dreamed about.

“Nathaniel.”

Nothing in her voice begs a question. She demands to be looked at with only the sound the of his name, and he’s ever present and willing to comply with her demands. He immediately snaps his eyes open to look at her and wait for her next move. Rebecca slows her pace, brings her hands up to her hair, and unravels the elastic keeping her ponytail tight, fluffing out the ends of her hair in the most seductive way she can imagine. Nathaniel groans and squeezes her ass, willing himself not to come right there. Rebecca’s hands leave her hair, and she brings her fingers to her mouth to wet them. Puckering her lips when she’s done, her fingers travel down her body to her nipples, her thumb the primary lavisher of attention on both sides. Her breathy gasps and moans only make Nathaniel grow harder inside of her, and she picks up her earlier speed as she closes her eyes, tips her head back, and races towards her pleasure.

How’s that for showing him how much she wants him?

Rebecca keeps up her breakneck pace and sends herself hurtling quickly towards an orgasm, but she wants Nathaniel there with her when she comes. So, she pulls out every trick in the book to help him get closer to his own release.

“How many nights have you closed your eyes and seen me just like this, Nathaniel? I bet you dream about it all the time. It’s a shame we don’t do it like this more often; I can tell how much you love it. Is it because it’s nice to just lay back and enjoy yourself while I’m working up a sweat up here? Or maybe it’s because you get to see my whole body and run your eyes over it like you own it or something?”

Nathaniel’s head hits the pillow, and his hand squeezes her ass once more, still trying to delay his orgasm. “Sweet Jesus, Rebecca, you’re gonna be the death of me.”

“Least you’ll die happy though, right?” He moans and involuntarily begins meeting her thrusts in the middle. “I know how long you’ve been holding off, Nathaniel. Trust me, I know it wasn’t easy back at the gym with my cleavage right in your view, my ass basically the object of your attention for far too long. I’m right there with you, you know. Come on, come for me.”

“God, Rebecca…”

The words barely leave his mouth before he lets himself go inside of the condom, and Rebecca’s muscles clamp down around him. She moans his name and rides out her aftershocks until her heart rate returns to normal. Rebecca carefully lifts herself off of him and moves up to straddle him closer to his waist so that she can lay her head on his chest. They’re silent for a few moments, just breathing and absorbing the moment, his hand gently smoothing her hair while hers traces unintelligible patterns across his chest. For once, he’s the one to break the silence when she moves up and nuzzles her forehead into his neck.

“You really did work up a sweat, didn’t you?”

“Shut up,” she grumbles.

He kisses her cheek and taps her butt lightly to get her to roll over so that he can throw his condom away. Rebecca sits up on the bed, her feet dangling over the edge.

“Hey, Nathaniel? Can we take a shower?”

He’s walking back into the bedroom not paying much attention. “Yeah, sure. You can go first if you want.”

“No, no, I meant can we take a shower? You know, together?” Rebecca’s standing up now and walks over to Nathaniel, placing her hands in his and rocking back and forth on her heels.

“Are you sure,” he asks quietly. She nods and reaches up on her tiptoes to kiss him. “Of course we can.” He kisses her forehead and heads into the bathroom to start the water.

She’s standing by the mirror leaning against the counter and staring through her reflection in a bit of trance when Nathaniel’s hand comes around her hip, and he moves her slightly towards the door so that he can reach under the bathroom counter. He stands back up, barely missing the edge of the vanity, with a small bottle of shampoo and conditioner that Rebecca recognizes as her own. She left those during the two weeks they dated, but with how upset he was after their split, she would have expected him to throw out any reminder of her without a second thought.

“Those are mine,” she observes quietly, barely recognizing she’s said the words out loud.

“I saved them. Just in case of emergencies. You never know when you might need them.”

That’s not why he saved them. But he couldn’t bear to tell her the truth that he saved them in hopes that one day she might stumble through the door in need of a friend (possibly more) and he could be there to… he didn’t quite know. Comfort her? Provide for her? Wash away her guilt and self-hatred? Either way, saving them meant he could save a piece of her, a tucked away sliver of what was probably the last time he felt truly happy in a long time.

Rebecca doesn’t question it, thank god. She just looks up at him with a tenderness he doesn’t believe he deserves and kisses his bare shoulder. Implicitly, somehow she knows either not to delve further into the topic or secretly knows what the real reason is and is choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Either way, they enter the shower, and something in the atmosphere changes.

The two of them standing before each other completely naked doesn’t happen often— hasn’t happened in a long time. No expectations, no pretense, just the two of them together in the moment. His hands smooth over the tops of her shoulders and arms, and he brings a section of her hair to the front of her shoulder so he can twirl it around his fingers. Her fingers run up and down his chest for a moment, and she looks up at him with an openness that he thought had been lost on him.

Nathaniel’s hand comes up to caress her cheek, swiping his thumb gently across the apple and smiling down at her. Rebecca tilts her head up for a kiss, and he meets her down at her level for a deep, passionate kiss. She starts to back up towards the shower spray to wet her hair. Nathaniel helps her wet her hair with his hands while she tilts her head back as she kisses him. Water runs down her body, and her now wet hands reach up to sink into his hair. He makes it easier for both of them and turns them around once her hair is saturated so that she can start to shampoo. She pulls away slowly, looking up into his eyes and blinking water droplets away, before grabbing her shampoo bottle from the ledge and working the suds through her hair.

After both of them wash their hair, things get a little… slippery.

“Hey, turn around,” Nathaniel says softly, urging Rebecca to turn her back to him. Though confused for a second, she heeds his request and turns away from him and holds her hair over to one shoulder. Nathaniel squeezes a bottle behind him and rubs his hands together before bringing his hands up to Rebecca’s shoulders. He gently runs his hands along the tops of her shoulders and arms and moves down her back into her shoulder blades where he increases the depth of his touch, now massaging down her shoulders and back.

“Oh my god, what are you doing to me?” She hisses and twists a bit when he hits a deep knot lodged in the middle of her right shoulder blade. It feels good until he finds a tense spot and tries to work it loose.

“You’ll thank me tomorrow, trust me,” he soothes, kissing the side of her head near her brow.

He gives her momentary relief and lathers up his hands once more, this time bringing them down the curves of her sides and around to the front of her body. She expects him to keep travelling lower where a newfound fire is sparking in her core, but he decides to move back upwards, skimming his hands over her stomach and up to her chest. He’s delicate as he cups one of her breasts in his hand and hardens her nipple with his thumb. Rebecca lets a small noise escape her slightly parted lips and leans back into Nathaniel as he touches her unhurriedly. Oh, he knows that sound.

“How does this feel?” Rebecca moans once more and presses further back into Nathaniel’s body, her hand slipping down to her center to play with herself. “You want more?”

“Please,” she begs brokenly as his hold on her nipple grows stronger.

Nathaniel feels himself growing hard again at the sound of her voice and her sweet, perfect ass now full-on grinding back into him. With a low, throaty almost-growl, he turns her back around to face him and pushes her back into the shower wall, kissing her hard and desperate. She can feel his cock growing hard against her stomach and knows he’s just as turned on by this as she is. Rebecca rises up on her toes to get more leverage to kiss him, and Nathaniel scoops his hand under her ass, ready to lift her up around his waist. She does eventually jump up and wrap her legs around him, her arms winding tightly around his neck to keep her stability.

It takes a minute to find the proper angle, but once Nathaniel does, he pushes inside of Rebecca for the second time that night, and while her inner muscles burn at the fullness at first, she’s too turned on by him to care about her own momentary discomfort. He doesn’t move until she’s given him a verbal response to if she’s okay, and once he starts, there’s no looking back.

Their soapy bodies slide against one another, desperation seeping from their pores and raining down on each other like a landslide. They don’t say much of anything except a few mutterings of each other’s names and mumbled curse here and there. Just clinging to each other as the shower pours down behind them, barely masking the sounds of their coupling. It’s a fantasy fulfilled for both of them. That is, until Rebecca freaks out and tenses up, tapping his back repeatedly.

“Hey, hey, hey, put me down,” she warns.

“What?”

“I’m slipping, put me down—”

“Hey, I’ve got you, it’s okay.” He readjusts her on his hips and waits for her breathing to calm down, but it doesn’t seem to be returning to normal anytime soon. She clings tighter to him, her heart pounding. Nathaniel kisses around her face, trying anything he can to calm her worries. “I promise, I won’t let you fall. But if you want me to let you down, I will.” When she whimpers just loud enough for him to hear, he takes it as a sign and plants her feet firmly on the ground trying to reassure her all the while. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, you’re okay—”

“Hey, can we…”

“What’s up?” Rebecca kisses him again, but he pulls back just enough to talk when she doesn’t answer him. “I can’t read your mind, Rebecca, show me what you want.” She turns away from him and places her hands on the shower wall. He gets the picture now. “Oh, that’s what you want, is it?”

“Mmmhmm…” She arches her back, and Nathaniel groans, his hands coming around to hold both of her hips. He lets go of one hip just for a moment to line himself back up with her. When he slides inside of her again, she lets out the most angelic sound and tosses her hair back. “Fuck, Nathaniel, oh my god.”

He starts to thrust in and out slower this time, but he makes sure to reach all of the most secret places inside of her that he can only touch from this angle. It’s no wonder she loves being fucked like this so much. Easily, he could get at least two orgasms from her like this if he hadn’t already made her come twice in the last hour or so. Nathaniel’s fingers press into her hipbones and keep hold of her as he fucks her. One hand leaves her hip and tangles in her hair that’s just waiting on display for his hands to sink into. When he grips and tugs on it just enough to tip her head back further, her back arches, and she lets out a relieved sigh of pleasure, closing her eyes and moaning his name.

“You just got clean, didn’t you, so how are you still such a dirty girl?”

“Fuck…”

He knows she’s close, so he tightens his hand in her hair and whispers a command for her to come over and over again until she releases with a long string of curses. Before he can find his own release, he pulls out and lets himself come in his hand. He doesn’t want to run the risk, even though he would love to come inside her without a care, but he knows it’s for the best.

“You okay,” he asks softly as she stands upright again. Rebecca nods, turns around, and kisses him sweetly, scooting past him to wash off the remaining body wash bubbling on her skin.

The water is quickly going lukewarm, so Nathaniel reaches past her when she’s finished and turns off the shower. He opens the door and hands her a towel, and Rebecca wraps herself in it, relishing in the softness of the material against her skin. She can certainly appreciate a man who doesn’t skimp on bath towels.

Nathaniel takes one for himself as well, and he looks over to see Rebecca swallowed in his giant towel, lost in her mind as she sways from side to side without realizing it. Something about the image makes his heart swell for a brief moment. She looks like a dream. He kisses her cheek and goes back into his bedroom to find something to sleep in, setting aside something for her as well… just in case she chooses to stay.

Rebecca joins him in his bedroom after combing through her hair with her fingers and sees the shirt that she assumes is for her, given that Nathaniel already has one on. Oh, of course.

“This is blasphemy,” she exclaims, holding up the Stanford water polo shirt that’s sitting on his bed. “You know I would never be caught dead in this.”

“No one’s going to see you in it except for me. Unless you’d prefer to sleep naked, which I also certainly don’t mind.” Rebecca huffs and gives him an unimpressed stare while reluctantly putting the shirt over her head. “Aww, you look adorable.” He starts to pinch her cheek to get her to smile, but she pushes him away childishly with a hmph. “I can play that game too, you know.”

Playfully, Nathaniel pushes Rebecca’s shoulder mimicking her displeased sound, which sends her tumbling back onto the mattress, and she giggles as she scoots back to escape him trying to come after her, pulling the comforter over herself. She’s safe for now on the other side of the bed. Her side of the bed.

It isn’t lost on her that this is the side she used to sleep on, and it’s probably the side that Mona sleeps on. Nathaniel’s never told her that it’s not. When he crawls in under the covers, he makes no move to switch sides or correct her on which side of the bed she should sleep. It feels natural, like old times, and he wants to keep it that way as long as he can. She’s sitting up cross-legged with the covers pulled up to her chin looking anywhere but his eyes. He takes the left side of her hair from behind her shoulder and moves it to the front, tucking some of her front pieces behind her ear.

“Rebecca…” He’s barely touching her face, it’s that soft that his fingers feel like butterflies against her skin. The whisper of her name is laden with something she doesn’t want to give a name to at this late hour, so she scoots close to him and rests her head on his arm.

“Hey, can we just go to bed? I’m really tired.”

“Of course.” Nathaniel kisses her hair and lays down on his back, Rebecca following suit before turning in to face him, her cheek pressed against the front of his shoulder and her left hand coming up to the center of his chest. “Sweet dreams, Rebecca.”

She can certainly hope for them, but maybe in his arms, her wish might come true.