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(stress) relief

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It was just past midnight when Lucien made his way home, taking great care to not let the door slam behind him before toeing his shoes off and placing them inside the hall closet, lined neatly beside her petite flats. Their apartment was still and quiet, a muffled gurgle from the aquarium filter the only sound in the nearly pitch black of the living area. Measured steps took him to the kitchen where he filled the kettle for tea, turning the dial on the stove top and secretly thrilling in the rush of blue flame that resulted from the steady click click click of the ignition. The curve of his lips was slight but discernible in the flickering light. He pulled his favorite mug down from the cabinet and dropped a tea bag into it before moving toward the bedroom.

Had he not glanced to his left, he wouldn’t have seen her there on the couch, nestled under a plaid blanket, jaw slack, lashes thick against delicate skin. Her breathing was slow and steady, and he detected movement behind her closed lids, indicating that she had been asleep for at least ninety minutes. He had texted her hours ago, imploring her not to wait up for him, that he wanted to finish grading the last of his students research papers before coming home. He found it easier and more efficient to work in his university office, mainly so that he wasn’t distracted by her.

She– with all her feminine wiles– was a source of great complication for him. He hadn’t meant to fall for her, of course. Now, they had come much too far to turn back, having professed their love for one another fully and completely, even taking the major step of moving in together. In her presence, he was a ridiculous mess, and anyone who might see them together couldn’t help but be aware. He tried to keep it in check, but he couldn’t help himself from constantly touching her somehow– a hand at the small of her back, or perhaps the curve of her hip. Fingers brushing the hair back away from her shoulders to graze along the column of her neck, pressing the soft flesh of her earlobe between thumb and forefinger. Whispers spoken into the softness of her hair as he indulged in her intoxicating scent. She was the perfect drug.

His weakness.

His Novocaine.

She numbed that part of him that he wished he could forget. That part of him that he wasn’t proud of, that filled him with regret and remorse each time he gazed into her deep, mahogany eyes. He loved her so, and he hated himself for what he desired her for in the first place. Had he known how she would have him spellbound from their first encounter, he would have never accepted the cruel task he had been given.

Love was never part of the plan.

He watched her in silence, in awe. Fascinated with the cadence of her breath, with the way she curled against the arm of the couch, cheek resting on her forearm, legs tucked into her abdomen under the blanket. Her toes peeked from beneath the thin fabric, and he chuckled softly when he saw them flex and twitch, perhaps in relation to something in her dream.

The kettle on the stove began to hiss, and he snuffed the flame with a turn of the knob before it had a chance to whistle and surely wake her. His cup full, he carried it to the couch and set it on the side table to cool, then sat next to her, placing her feet in his lap. She shifted and moaned softly in her sleep before settling in again.

She must have been exhausted, the poor thing. There had been far too many long days at her company lately, and he knew she was running low on patience and stamina. She’d been tense, more edgy lately. Definitely not her usual self.

Skilled fingers began massaging her delicate feet, tenderly at first, then pressing deeper into the soft tissue of her musculature. She arched her back and stretched her arms out in front of her, a sleepy smile on her face as she murmured, “Welcome home, Professor,” before turning to blink at him.

He answered back with his own grin, lifting one of her feet to place a kiss at the arch, his gaze holding hers. “I thought I told you not to wait up for me, silly girl,” he chided with a particularly deep press of his thumb into the arch of her foot. She groaned as her eyes fluttered shut again, involuntary pulling her leg back toward her center. He held firm, however, and she eventually relaxed again, his hands now roaming up to circle her ankle, then rub patterns into her calves.

“Mmmm…since when have I ever listened to you in the first place?” she mused, resting against the couch as she watched him work.

“You make a fair point, I suppose,” he conceded, hands now tracing behind her knees. He gripped them and pulled her closer to lift her into his lap, and she made a joyful, surprised grunt, linking her arms about his neck and resting her forehead against his. Hands pressed into the small of her back, he bent to apply a kiss to the hollow of her neck, inhaling sharply. He found himself drunk on her scent then– a pleasing, arousing blend of vanilla and lavender, one that had him positively reeling with want, with unabashed desire for this beautiful woman sprawled across him. “How I would have loved to find you waiting for me in our bed, though.” His kisses fluttered against her neck, along her jaw, until his mouth curved against her ear as he spoke in a hushed whisper, “Something about your skin against those sheets does something to me,” was his confession before he caught her earlobe between his teeth; her hiss gave him all the information he needed to proceed with his sweet seduction. Sliding silken lips across her cheek, he captured her mouth with his, as he had so many times before.

The initial contact was always exhilarating. She never got used to how it felt when he kissed her. It was soft, smooth, sensual. It set her heart thumping meaningfully beneath her ribs, robbed the air from her lungs, made her tingle deliciously from her head to her toes. She couldn’t help but smile into the kiss, breath coming in languid sighs through her nose, a soft moan coaxed from her throat onto his tongue while it grazed hers, behind her teeth, while his hands wound their way into her hair. One hand slipped down the side of her neck, drawing her closer as he used the other hand to lift the hem of her shirt, palming the soft curve of her hip, the dip of her belly beneath her breasts.

“Lucien,” she whispered into the crown of his head, pulling his face down into her chest as she threw back her head, the touch of his tongue at the top of her breasts filling her with a molten heat that radiated throughout her chest and set her core throbbing with need.

She needed more.

No words were necessary to convey the desire that grew insistently between them. The steady thrum of her pulse under the delicate skin of her wrist was a primal call for his soul alone. Her body called to him, each shift of her limbs, each roll of her hips and twitch of her muscles a secret language that only Lucien could translate.

In the bedroom, he laid her gently upon plum satin sheets, hovering over her for a moment to take in her delicate, feminine frame as she writhed beneath him, arching her hips in vain, desperate for his touch. He had her caged in, hands pressing into the mattress on either side of her head as he dipped his head to kiss her with wanton abandon, careful to keep his abdomen from lowering too far to stoke her already blazing desire any further. She hooked a leg over his backside and attempted to press him down, but lithe fingers circled her ankle and pushed upward, followed by the other leg, while he lowered himself to litter kisses between her breasts, his nose nudging pert, dusky nipples.

She cried out then, and again when his mouth captured one, tongue swirling over puckered flesh, a gentle bite inviting a spark of electricity down her spine. He treated the other breast in kind before deft fingers found her sex, teasing the outer skin before dipping in, just below the surface. She was soaking wet, her desire dripping out of her into a dark stain where she lay, legs spread before him, a veritable feast between supple thighs. His eyes raked over her and a groan issued from somewhere deep within before he came face to face with her feminine heat, the heady scent of her arousal sending him reeling.

Hands cupped beneath her ass, a broad, slow stroke of his tongue dragged against her folds, bringing forth a low, languid moan from her parted lips as she arched her neck against the pillow behind her head. Lucien’s low, gravelly chuckle tickled her most sensitive area, and he licked again, this time, using the tip of his tongue to find her swollen nub. He closed his lips around it and sucked, earning himself a jerk of her hips against his face. Pleased, he continued his pursuit until she was whining his name, her hands fisted in his dark hair, pulling him flush against her with no promise of oxygen or space.

But he didn’t mind. In fact, it only drove him further to ensure her release, eager mouth exploring her in all the places he knew by heart. Two skilled fingers slid through her wetness just as she began to twitch, and it sent her flying, vision sparking white while her back arched clean away from the mattress.

He gave her no time to wind down before he shifted himself upward and thrust into her, slotting his mouth against her own so that she tasted her arousal on his tongue, on his lips, still shining with her fluids. At first, he was slow, methodical, the grind of his hips against hers a seductive dance as he filled her, legs bowed out beneath him while his hands cupped her knees, laying her impossibly flat against the bed so that he was able to drive in as deep as possible, feeling every hot, wet inch of her quivering cunt around his cock. Fingertips pressed into her flesh, sure to leave bruises by morning, and his kiss deepened with each quickening thrust.

She breathed into him, nails digging half-moons into the broad expanse of his shoulders, tears forming at the corner of her eyes as she felt another orgasm building so quickly after the first. When he felt her spasms, he slowed his pace again, smiling into their kiss but unwilling to break contact just yet. His own breath caught in his throat when he came, but he kept impeccable control over his pace, never faltering, allowing the dizzying relief to wash over him in waves. Sweat and tears and labored breath, they came as one, not knowing or caring where one began and the other ended.

He rolled them to the side and remained sheathed inside her long after they had both recovered; she pressed kisses along his chest, raking fingers down his abdomen in lazy patterns, humming quietly.

It was in these moments, the weight of their reality weighed heavy on his mind, and moments like these that he resolved to find a way for them. To reassure her that no matter what, they could always remain together. She would sense his mood, his worry, and wrap her arms tighter around him, pressing her face into his shoulder so that he wouldn’t see her cry. And he, in turn, would let his tears fall silently into the crown of her hair, smoothing hands across her back in reassuring circles.

Star-crossed, ill-fated love. He knew he deserved what was coming to him, but in moments like this, he truly didn’t care for anything else besides her. Her, and her magnificent beauty. Her unwavering love and reckless emotion. Her blatant honesty and stubbornness. All of it. All of her.

He would find a way for them.