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a bedtime story

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Accepting that she’s a bit of a tease at fifty-four years old wasn’t exactly what Olivia had in mind for this stage in her life, but as the water shuts off in her master bathroom, she finds herself rushing to lather on a layer of lotion over her golden legs, waving a hand over them to promote a quicker drying process. The sexy scent of the fragranced lotion takes over the room a bit heavier than she anticipated as she brushes through her hair, glancing over herself in the mirror. 

 

Not tonight. Not yet. She’d repeated those words to herself ever since the moment she suggested he spend the night. No sex, just a safe pillow next to her to rest his head. 

 

Between the three glasses of wine they each consumed after her son was in bed and the snow falling at a far more intense rate than expected, the words tumbling out of her mouth just made sense. 

 

Happy enough with her appearance, she bites her lip, watching her reflection as she unbuttons the top button of her white satin pajama top.

 

Would she typically wear shorts to bed with the temperature below freezing outside? Probably not, but it wasn’t every night she had a warm body in her bed either. 

 

A warm body – something she hasn’t shared her bed with in far more years than she’d like to admit.

 

Hearing him finish up in the bathroom, she moves to pull back the cozy white comforter of the bed, the dim lighting of her bedside lamps gently illuminating the space. 

 

The door opens, a rush of steam coated in the smell of him emptying into her bedroom. Sucking in a quick breath of air, she turns to find Elliot standing in the doorway, sweatpants on, shirt off, nearly sixty years of man standing before her. She swallows, trying to hide the blush tint that she’s sure has appeared on her cheeks. 

 

Jesus. 

 

Her lips lift into a smile, eyes taking him in and quickly noticing his doing the same. 

 

She looks away momentarily, knowing his eyes haven’t left her body as she feels them skimming over her, taking in the sight of her long legs that now glisten with a sheen of lotion still fighting to dry on her skin. Her bare feet and light pink toenail polish capture his glare, causing her to twist her right foot against the off-white carpet. 

 

Her heart pounds as her body reacts to the man before her, unable to hide the feelings she’d buried for over twenty-three years. She wishes he’d just say something, break apart this awkward silence, and hopefully they could get some sleep.

 

“You’re such a tease,” he practically growls with a mischievous smirk on his face.

 

He could have said anything but that. 

 

Her face turns red, her throat closing in as he steps closer, looking her up and down. 

 

She gulps, fighting for air without letting him know she’s panicking in this very moment and half a second from running for her life. “Says the man with all of that going on,” she remarks, and she can’t believe the words leaving her. She cringes inwardly, unable to fathom the way she’s acting as he steps closer. 

 

“All of what?” His voice is so deep, mocking her in the best way possible. 

 

She looks to the side, trying to avoid his eyes as he closes the gap between them. “That,” she whimpers in a tone she doesn't even recognize as the idea of his broad muscles wrapping around began to consume her entire thought process. She’s mortified, ready to bolt, unable to look him in the eye – she turns her face forward slowly and his muscular chest is right there in front of her. 

 

“I’m not having sex with you,” she whispers, “not yet.” 

 

He smirks, kissing her forehead as his broad hands run up her satin-covered arms, “I’m not having sex with you either.” 

 

“Good.” 

 

As I said, you’re a tease, ” he repeats, glancing over to her with those icy blue eyes as he moves to the side of the bed that felt obvious wasn’t her preferred side due to the lack of items on the bedside table. 

 

She nibbles at her lip, taking in his muscular build down to the waistband of his grey sweatpants that hang just low enough to show the tops of his hips – low enough to have her rethinking the no sex idea over and over now that she’s fighting the urge to jump out of her clothing. 

 

Feeling his eyes on her, she realizes in that moment that all these years later, with age far more difficult to hide now than even a decade ago, he still finds her attractive. It’s a warm, tingly feeling that spreads through her body, taking over her senses and almost masking the nearly intoxicating smell of the fragrance she coated her legs in. Almost, she thinks, slightly embarrassed by the scent that felt a bit sexier than necessary. Did he like it? Was it too much? Was she trying too hard? Oh fuck. Her mind began to wander off, unsure of whether or not she’d ruined things before they even got started. 

 

“Get out of your head and get in bed, Liv,” he says with a laugh, immediately breaking her of her thoughts and putting a smile on her face. She pads across the dim bedroom, tucking her long hair behind her ear as she leans to pull the bed sheets further back. She looks down, seeing him already making himself comfortable in her bed with his lamp turned off, stretching an arm out and patting the sheets next to him. 

 

A rush of comfort consumes her as she slides in, pulling the covers over herself for safety, warmth, protection, and whatever else they could provide. She feels his touch against her, stroking her hair gently with his fingertips. 

 

“I’m going to turn off the lamp,” she says softly, as if she’s asking permission to leave the two of them in the darkness. 

 

He doesn’t respond, just waits as she reaches out and flips the switch, darkness taking over the room, now only lit by the glow of the snow falling outside her window. The silence fills the space, a soft tapping of ice crystals ticking against the glass. 

 

She waits, not willing to screw this up, feels his fingertips move delicately along her hair, pulling it off of her shoulder and down her back. He moves slowly, shifting to guide her into a spooning position, his shirtless chest lining up to her cool, satin back. 

 

“This okay?” His voice is so soft, asking for consent – asking for her permission. 

 

“Mhmm,” is all she can squeak out, shimmying back to fill even the slightest pocket of air between them, not allowing herself to even dive into her thoughts as her ass brushes against his groin. 

 

Olivia softens, letting her body melt into his, the heat of his chest warming her as his legs line up with hers, feet bundling together beneath the sheets. 

 

“You smell amazing,” he whispers in the deepest tone, forcing a giggle out of her as his nose tickles her neck, his face buried in her hair. “I can’t wait until we’re ready and I get to make love to you right here.” 

 

She shivers, her hand tracing along his arm, sliding under his palm and allowing him to hold her fingers with his. “I can’t wait either,” she whispers back, nestling into his hold on her. “Now you stop being a tease.”

 

“Can’t help it,” his deep growl heats her body from the inside out, his warm lips pressing gently under the collar of her pajama shirt before he relaxed against her, respecting the boundaries they’d set. 

 

So many years, she thinks, since a man has held her in bed. So many years, since she shared a bed with a man just because. So many years, since a man nuzzled his nose into her hair and made her feel irresistible, as if her saying no to sex physically pained him. 

 

Sleepovers rarely happened once a child was in her life, and when they did, it was almost always for a vanilla bang and instantly falling asleep afterwards. The “I’m too tired tonight” line was used more often than not, resulting in her typically sleeping alone as her boyfriend made his way back home across town. Before that, she lived with a man. When he wasn’t working nights, he was a warm, tired body in her bed. Sometimes lazy sex would occur, other times exhaustion would win and they’d sleep over a foot apart, rarely touching in their slumber due to their own deep-seated issues. Things were more fun before that, sex was far more common and she’d typically shuffle out in the middle of the night, not willing to give herself to a man for even a minute longer than he deserved.

 

“I like you holding me like this,” she whispers in a soft timbre, tensing up, unsure of why she just admitted this to the man holding her within his strong arms. She softens as he kisses along her hair, fingertips lacing tightly with hers, and his body relaxing around her like a weighted blanket. 

 

“Good,” he responds. “Better get used to it.”