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Hail the Conquering Hero

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The summer heat had finally abated when Dan came in through the back door. “Holly?” He felt a little stoke of alarm as he was met with silence. He tore through the house, dragging his backpack behind him, trailing cats behind him, until he found her.

Curled up in bed, her hand on her swollen belly, fast asleep.

“Oh,” he mumbled to himself. It was late afternoon, but Holly’s pregnancy seemed to know no bounds or hours. He hadn’t expected a cake, or the Ritz – he’d had enough of the wining and dining he’d been subjected to in New York – but he was worried about her. Facetiming and texting had never been enough with her.

Shedding his jacket, his teeshirt, his jeans and sneakers, he curled up beside her anyway. The weakness he felt had melted his bones, all of the excitement and joy of the concert seeming to fall away. To be a musician was to keep searching desperately for your next fix, the next achievement; the bigger arena, the longer time on the Billboard chart. It reminded him of scrounging for pot in Philly, only now Dan knew it wasn’t the high he was a junkie for – it was joy. He needed love and joy like sunflowers needed rain.

There was no time for him to be the conquering hero tonight. When Holly woke up, the celebration could begin.

**

There were arms around him when he stirred. A warm, wet face was pressed against his chest. “Oh baby,” he mumbled into her hair (still brown; she couldn’t dye it, which she’d repeatedly said was the second-worst part of the pregnancy besides having to avoid coffee for eight months). “What’s wrong? Did I sleep on you?” A dumb question but a decent one.

She shook her head. “I was going to invite Arin and Suzy over – we were going to have some cake. But I just…” she gestured. “I feel useless right now, and I hate it.”

He murmured into her neck, sweet noises, all of the roses and hearts he’d felt bubbling through his bloodstream pouring out of his throat. “You’re not useless – never useless, sweet baby.” He nuzzled the side of her neck and inhaled her swampy scent and let out a sigh.

“Did the show go well?” She rubbed her eyes against his shirt.

“It was fine.” He wondered when he’d get used to it, the high of the sell-out, and the sight of screaming faces. He didn’t know how many triumphant homecomings one could have before a person felt like it was just a part of being alive. It felt like the thrill would never dissipate for him all the way, because his belief in self tended to dissipate. “Someone threw a blow-up doll at me.”

She laughed then. “Just another night.”

“Yeah.” He pulled back and looked her in the eyes. “But it’s never just another night with you,” he said sincerely.

Holly leaned into his side. “I hate asking this….”

“Mmm?”

“You’re not going away again for awhile, are you?”

He shook his head. “Not til October, then nothing for the rest of the year, I swear it.” There was the other hand, the monkey’s paw of his success. The whole rock star thing was becoming less and less important as time went on, while it was becoming more and more important to Brian. It was weird how priorities could change that way. Dan felt like a perpetual motion machine – dealing with the jealousy in the eyes of old friends, with the schedule, the interviews, the rules.

She let out a shivery breath when he said so. “Holly? Will you let me make you happy?” he was almost begging her.

“How?”

He kissed her neck. “I want you to feel good. If you don’t want to…” He knew well her attitude to sex, to pregnancy – they’d thrown up and torn down so many beliefs and barriers to be with one another that he’d become a perfect listener. He wanted it all to be good – he wanted her to love him – and that was all he needed. “You don’t have to. Like totally. I respect your needs and boundaries and…”

She took his big hand in hers. “Okay,” she mumbled. Her ascent meant having to move apart to get naked. But then he was looking at her, really looking at her body, her face, and he was leaning over her, afraid to hurt her somehow.

He worked her neck, kissing up and down, not leaving marks on her but teasing her with teeth and tongue. His mouth danced along her collarbone. His hands found her breasts then – warm and full –and she murmured and shifted against him.

Dan was delicate with her – timing his actions carefully with her inhalations, her exhalations. Her nipples were stiff and swollen before he licked them, teased the soft flesh with his stubble, very gently. And he went a spiral around each nipple, kissing himself dizzy, every little inch of her.

“I can’t guarantee that my milk won’t let down,” she warned him quietly, her voice breathless.

“It’s OK. I’ve drunk grosser stuff.” And Holly howled, pulled him close to her chest, until her belly and his bumped together, and a couple of feet gave him a disdainful kick before rolling away.

“Jeez, I’m sorry,” he said.

“He, she or it’s probably super annoyed,” she said. “I didn’t feed it more broccoli casserole before I fell asleep.”

“I’ll remedy that soon,” Dan said seriously. But he was occupied with something else, something specifically for Holly. Which included teasing her thighs, and angling up her hips. She spread herself open, eagerly, and then Dan just leaned back a little and stared at her. Delicate, the word kept popping into his head. Soft, pink, delicate.

“Dan..” Her free hand grabbed him by a messy handful of hair. “Would you please eat me?”

“You have the most beautiful pussy in the history of all of humankind. Excuse me for getting a little distracted,” Dan said. But then he swiped his tongue along the juicy seam of her labia, and suddenly the world fell into a fever-hot balance between desire and duty.

No one tasted like Holly – even pregnant, she tasted unique. In fact, pregnant she tasted a little more alkaline – bittersweet, as if the tears she’d cried had soaked into the very marrow of her body. Dan strove to turn that tide; he licked and licked at the little bundle of nerves that capped her folds of softness. He listened to Holly sob low in her throat, her hands pulling hard on his hair. Faster he moved, faster she tried to wiggle her hips, the more firmly he ate her out. Dan didn’t stop until she heaved upward into his face, smearing him from forehead to neck in wetness, sobbing as she spasmed around nothing.

Dan kept kissing her pussy – kept sucking on her clit – until Holly shoved him away, her eyes rolled heavenward, panting softly.

“Come…come up here,” she begged. When he did she tackled him back and applied her teeth to his neck, his nipples, his ribs.

It was easy to get hard when she touched him that way – she was sucking his dick and he was weaving his hair through smooth locks, tongue caught between his teeth, his head tossed back as if he were in the midst of the sweetest dream.

The pleasure pooled in his belly and ran circles through his nerves, to his balls, to his cock, to his nipples. Her hands captured one of his as she gasped and sucked on him, slick, determined, almost desperate.

“Holly, sweetheart – come here, let me…” he groaned and her cheeks hollowed out. “I wanna come somewhere that’s not your mouth, sweet girl.”

She wiped her chin and straddled his knees, rising over him, round and soft. His large hands explored her softness gently, his oversized limbs tender but fond.

“You don’t have to…I mean it’s like, too fucking dangerous for you…”

She rocked her hips and his cock curved up, sliding back and forth between the wet heat of her labia. All of Dan’s thoughts seemed to die away in a single gesture.

“You’re not like, sore?” Dan was lying flat on his back, panting softly, watching Holly as she straddled his hips and let him grind between those soft folds he’d so admired.

She shook her head. “You’re not going in,” she pointed out. “Not for awhile.”

His belly fluttered at her words, and his cock jerked. Soon he was moving in tandem with her motions, hands holding her hips tightly. They moved together, perpetual motion again, beating hearts and leaping blood.

All of that sweet teasing and all of that lust filled Dan with delight and frustration; he swelled and grew wet against her, not daring to make the final move until, suddenly, she shifted her

Dan cried out, his body blooming up toward hers like a flower. The joy wiped his mind, took him far into the night and away from where she sat upon his lap. He trembled as he pulsed, fluttering against her flutters, her inner muscles clamping down as her hips rolled and she stared, tensed, toward the ceiling.

He held her as she lay upon him, mumbling soft cursewords under her breath, as if willing herself back into form. Dan would always love and remember her this way – as herself, flat-stomached and in tiny jeans, in boxy sweaters and coats of paint and pigeon poop, round-bellied and wearing his ring.

He wrapped both arms around her It was good to come back to the earth and feel her arms around him.

As always.