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Yes, I Want To Have It

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Ryan placed the pencil down on the easel. As Deok-mi looked at what he had done -- what he had overcome by trusting in her -- a lump formed in her throat.

 

“It’s pretty. Artist Ryan Gold.”

 

He slowly turned his head to look at her, his eyes full. And then Ryan pulled her into his arms to say what words could not. As he held her close, tears pricked Deok-mi’s eyes. 

 

They rose to their feet with a calm formality. She realized then that they were on the cusp of something else. He looked at her so intently, that Deok-mi felt like her heart would shatter. “I love you,” Ryan said, his voice thick with emotion. 

 

“I love you,” she replied. A tear slid down her cheek as he pressed a kiss gently to her lips. And then everything seemed to stop as Ryan released her hair and watched as it unwound around her shoulders. 

 

Hearing those words filled her with joy. But she already knew. Of course she did.

 

Deok-mi felt Ryan’s love every day in countless ways: the way he looked at her as he opened the car door; listened to her talk about a painting; smiled at her when she entered a room; grabbed her hand when she was about to leave it; allowed himself to give way in her arms and cry.

 

And she knew by the way he was kissing her right now. 

 

His mouth was reverent, as if each brush of his lips was a vow. Ryan’s hands slid up either side of her face, fingers dancing lightly over her skin. It was a feeling that was new to Sung Deok-mi. She had always been the one behind the camera. Now she was adored. And then her tears came faster. 

 

Ryan pressed his forehead against hers as he wiped them away with his thumbs. “Sung Deok-mi…” 

 

It was a question to which she already knew her answer. But Deok-mi wanted to freeze this moment in time -- an image to store away in her mind for the rest of her life. One that was already perfect. 

 

The waves of Ryan’s hair had fallen into his eyes. Their dark layers contrasted with the sharp lines of his cheekbones and jaw. After their first meeting, the precision of his face taunted her with its haughty perfection. As if he were a painting of some unattainable ideal. But knowing him had softened its lines -- his beauty warmed with vulnerability and longing. Now, it made her heart ache. 

 

Her eyes travelled down to the open top button of his shirt. There. She wanted to touch Ryan there — to undo each button and claim every inch of him. She had thought of it every day since that moment on the couch. And Deok-mi now understood what Choi Da-in had meant. Watching Ryan put pencil to paper, however tentatively, had shown her another side of this man that she loved. To watch him work was to want him. 

 

She seized one of his hands and brought it to her lips. Ryan’s eyes followed in wonder as she pressed them to his warm skin. She too could pay reverence with her lips and she slowly kissed the top of each knuckle. When Deok-mi reached his thumb, she dragged it slowly across her mouth. She looked up to meet his gaze. Ryan Gold swallowed and in an instant wonder turned to want. He dipped his head to kiss her but Deok-mi demurred. 

 

As a confused smile played upon his lips, Deok-mi took a deep breath to steady her trembling hands. Then she undid a button on his shirt. 

 

Now Ryan Gold understood. And the way that he was looking at her threatened to undo her. 

 

And so Doek-mi focused on her task. She slid one more button out of its hole. Her body began to tingle all over as more of him was revealed. It was so quiet that she could hear his breathing; even and steady. And yet her heart was a riot inside her chest.

 

As Deok-mi came to the final button, Ryan swayed forward in anticipation. She couldn’t help but smile as she freed them from that final constraint. One long, smooth plane of tan skin was now exposed. It was mesmerizing. Her hand began at the indent at the base of his throat and slid slowly down; grazing the swell of his pectoral muscles as she fanned her hand out across his skin. Ryan’s chest rose and fell underneath her hand until she reached the first ridge of his stomach. Then he stopped breathing. 

 

Deok-mi lay another hand on his stomach as if to steady them both. They looked at one another and she saw a grin slowly curl up his lips that she knew matched her own. The loose blue fabric fell easily to the floor. There he was, finally. Ryan was lean and muscular. His broad shoulders did indeed impossibly narrow to a slender waist. It had not been some trick of tailoring after all. The ebb and flow of ridges along his stomach led her eyes down to a v shape that made her lips part. 

 

Deok-mi leaned forward and pressed a kiss right below his clavicle. His skin felt hot on her lips and she breathed him in. The smell of cologne and his body made her feel heady; sandalwood mingled with citrus. She was secretly pleased that Ryan Gold had clearly done more than merely change his clothes just before. 

 

She allowed herself a moment to register that this was real. Ryan remained perfectly still — offering himself freely to her exploration and gaze. He was more beautiful than she could’ve imagined. There was something feral about his body that was unexpected underneath all the exquisite tailoring. As if he were a secret just for her. 

 

As soon as their eyes met, the air became charged between them. Deok-mi felt his hands span around her waist as he dipped his head. This kiss was different. It was tremulous and suggested that control was slipping out of his grasp. His tongue grazed across her lower lip as if asking permission for more. As their kiss deepened, his hands tightened around her waist and he flattened her against his chest; as though Ryan would not stand for any more space between them.

 

Deok-mi slid her fingers into his hair and revelled in contrasting sensations; the silkiness of his hair, the hard plane of his chest pressed against her, and the soft, wet demands of his mouth. For a moment, he broke off their kiss and Deok-mi saw only stars. When Ryan’s face came back into focus she saw a jaw clenched with determination. 

 

All of sudden, he seemed to tower above her. And then she was taking a step backwards. And another. Wordlessly he moved her across the room with his hands firmly on her waist until she felt the paneled wall against her back. Then Ryan Gold leaned toward her until the length of his body was pressed against hers. She tingled in anticipation. But rather than resume their kissing, he gently pressed his lips to her forehead. And then his nose grazed her cheek as he moved toward her ear.

 

“Had you thought about doing that to me?” His voice was but a whisper and yet the low command of it made her breath hitch. 

 

Deok-mi nodded.

 

Ryan shifted his head to look at her, raising an eyebrow in a challenge to say her desires out loud to him. 

 

“Yes.” She whispered back. His eyes flicked up and down her face, gleaming. The answer seemed to thrill him. 

 

Ryan carefully moved a strand of hair out of her face. His fingers hovered there for a moment and then he carefully traced his way down her cheek. And down her neck. When he reached her collar bone, his fingers trailed across it too. Then he pressed a kiss there and murmured against her skin, “Do you know what I’ve thought about?”

 

“Tell me,” Deok-mi said quickly. 

 

He leaned forward again, sliding his cheek along hers as he had so long ago. When his lips reached her ear, he kissed just below it. 

 

“Ever since that day … the day we took those pictures. I thought about doing this to you.” 

 

He then pressed her against the wall and kissed her neck; his mouth warm and gently sucking at her skin. As he worked his way down, the sensation drove her wild. She shoved her hands into his hair and pulled him into a fierce kiss. The word “more” rang like a klaxon in her head. 

 

Then Deok-mi broke away breathlessly and placed a hand on Ryan’s chest. He lowered his head a moment breathing heavily and then placed both hands on the wall on either side of her head. He looked devastatingly undone looking at her through his disheveled hair. 

 

“Is everything ok?” he asked, tenderly surveying her face. 

 

She caressed his face. “Yes, it’s just that I ....” her voice trailed off. Then she tugged at the bottom of her shirt and pulled it up over her head. 

 

Deok-mi and Ryan stood there for a moment. They were on a precipice that seemed both inevitable and surreal. Ryan’s eyes greedily took her in for the first time as she leaned back against the wall in her black bra. Rather than feel embarrassed, his adoration emboldened her. She reached behind and unclasped the hook. Then he leaned in once again and their bodies met for the first time. The contact made her shiver. Deok-mi’s hands slid up his back to press Ryan even closer and a small sound escaped his mouth.

 

His hands slid up her stomach until they reached the swell of her breasts. Ryan’s lips stilled and they remained there for a moment forehead to forehead. Deok-mi knew that her smile matched his own. Everything was heightened but familiar at the same time — there was joy in exploring each other, together. 

 

Ryan’s touch feathered along the curve of her breast until his thumbs began making slow circles around her nipple. His mouth was hot and wet against her skin as he trailed his tongue down her neck. And then his mouth took possession of her. It was sudden and demanded complete surrender. Deok-mi’s head hit the back of the wall with a thud. He teased her with his tongue before drawing more deeply on her. Her fingers curled into his hair. She urged him closer, for his mouth to press harder.

 

As Ryan turned his attention to her other breast, his hand also began to slide down her hip. Her mind raced with the possibilities. Deok-mi rubbed her thighs together as his mouth pressed against her. As good as this felt, she wanted more. Always more. As thoughts filled her head of what that might be, she pressed her fingers into his scalp.

 

His face was before her in an instant. 

 

“Deok-mi…”

 

Ryan’s lips were wet and she found herself drawn to touching them. 

 

“You are so beautiful, Sung Deok-mi.” 

 

She felt a blush creeping up her neck but his gentle smile chased away any embarrassment. Ryan’s fingers caressed her hair and she leaned into it, chasing his touch. Deok-mi inched her face closer.

 

“I want to stay.”

 

His hands stilled but he said nothing. And so she said it again.

 

“I want to stay. With you. It’s almost my birthday so you can’t say no anyway.”  She pulled him close against her for emphasis. 

 

Ryan chuckled. “As if I was going to say no.” Then his face turned more serious. “Are you sure?”

 

“Yes.” 

 

Ryan bobbed his head once. Then he raised her wrist and pressed a kiss there that made her squirm with anticipation. But when Ryan pushed back off the wall and pulled her to follow him, Deok-mi refused to budge. 

 

“No. Let’s stay here.”

 

Here?” Ryan looked around the near empty studio incredulously. As her eyes followed his, Deok-mi’s determination only grew. This space had haunted him for far too long. She stepped forward and laced her fingers through his.

 

“Let us fill this place with our love. So that when you come here, you will think of that.” 

 

Ryan opened his mouth to respond but no sound came out. A look of such longing came over his face that her heart clenched. Then he pulled her to him and began kissing her with such fervor that Deok-mi did not know where he began and she ended. His arms tightened around her as they began to sink to the floor. 

 

Ryan’s body stretched out over her and all at once his hand was sliding up her thigh under her skirt. His fingers were insistent and determined despite the strain of the fabric until they reached the edge of her panties. Then they became light and teasing, tracing the border. Deok-mi smiled against his mouth because she knew him well enough to know that he would take his time. 

 

She urged him forward by pressing against his body; her mouth greedily demanding more. His fingers would not yield. She whimpered slightly until his hand finally slid underneath. As he slowly began to stroke her there, Deok-mi lost track of kissing him. Her hips responded as he began to move in circles. The sole focus of her existence became the rhythmic motion of his hand. 

 

The pleasure began to build and build. She gripped his shoulders and began to move in concert, chasing a release. Ryan resumed his attentions to her neck as the heel of his hand brought greater pressure right where she needed it. The heat of his mouth against her skin only increased the intensity between her legs. 

 

Ryan dragged his tongue down along her breasts until he reached the softness of her belly. As he kissed her there, he murmured how beautiful she was; how much he wanted to make her feel good. And then his hand slid away and around the back of her skirt. 

 

Deok-mi was desperate for more and could not abide his absence. She immediately sat up and shimmied off her skirt and underwear. He stared at her amused. Then she propped herself up on her elbows. “Now you,” she demanded. 

 

Ryan raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth to say something before she swiftly cut him off. 

 

“Don’t you dare say it, Ryan Gold. You know that I do.” He laughed softly and then lowered his pants and briefs. How she loved him. That they could tease and laugh in the midst of wanting one another was like nothing she had ever imagined. It was better.

 

And then it was just him and her, nothing else between them. Ryan knelt between her legs as she gazed at him. Her eyes followed the deep v of his abdomen down. Deok-mi stopped breathing for a moment as she beheld what soon awaited her. Apparently his artistic talent was not the only source of his abundant confidence.

 

But he now had little patience for such reverie. Ryan ran both his hands up her legs and seized her hips. Then he began to kiss his way up one thigh. Deok-mi gasped as she realized what he was doing and her hands grabbed his. As soon as Ryan Gold looked up at her, her heart started pounding. His gaze was serious and penetrating. His hands shifted to hold her own in place. 

 

“Deok-mi. Do you want me to stop?”

 

Of course she didn’t. But the momentary embarrassment of exposing her body to him that way had suddenly been overwhelming. She thought that they would make love together, not that she would be the sole focus.

 

“No, it’s not that. It’s just I felt …” Her voice trailed off. She hated that words were failing her. She wanted this. She wanted to say that out loud. 

 

“I want to do this for you. You have no idea how much I’ve thought about it,” he rasped. The press of his body against her confirmed it. 

 

Deok-mi squeezed his hands and released them, nodding. Then she watched as those hands splayed across her stomach, his elegant fingers claiming all of her. It steadied her, an anchor against the want rising up inside of her. Ryan lowered his head and breathed her in; warm breath on bare skin. 

 

And then his mouth was where she needed it most -- gentle and slow at first. The sensation was overwhelming. Her arms trembled and Deok-mi laid back as she gave herself over to it, to him. But as Ryan’s hands slid under her thighs and pulled her against him, she opened her eyes again and watched. Every sense was on fire -- the beauty of the dark layers of his hair moving between her thighs, the feel of his soft but insistent mouth moving against her. He chased every reaction to drive her toward an abyss. It was all for her, every part of him was focused on giving her pleasure and a wave of love washed over her. 

 

“Yoon-je…” she whispered. “Please.

 

Ryan’s hands tightened on her thighs and his body seemed to shudder. He raised his head and everything stopped. His eyes were dark with want and he began to inch up. He slid his body along hers but his eyes never left her face — silently telling her that she was everything; that nothing mattered but this.

 

Then his face was before hers, their bodies aligned. Yet an agonizing space remained between them. Deok-mi traced a hand down his torso until she took full grasp of what she needed. He was hard and full in her hands. Neither of them breathed as she slowly guided him inside of her. She pushed through the initial discomfort as he pressed kisses to her forehead, tenderly stroking her hair.

 

Then Deok-mi wrapped her legs around his hips until he gasped at how suddenly he filled her. Ryan captured her mouth with his own, his tongue echoing the slow strokes below. Their bodies seemed to fit as if this was always to be — moving as one. Deok-mi slipped her fingers into his hair and began to move her hips to meet his. His strokes were agonizing — offering pleasure and then withdrawing it. No longer able to think, Deok-mi sought only pleasure — in the smell of his skin, in the way he moved effortlessly in and out of her, the feel of her breasts sliding up and down against his chest as they began to sweat from the exertion. 

 

Ryan’s hand grabbed her backside and drove in deeper, his thrusts finding a place that caused her to cry out. Then he became like a man possessed— as if his sole purpose was to draw that sound out of her once again. The pleasure began to build within her, a white blinding heat that only grew more intense as he tightened his hold on her. Deok-mi hands flew up to his shoulders; he was her undoing but also her only center as she began to lose control. She felt the muscles in his back working under her hands; the silk of his hair brushing against her cheek as he drove their bodies with single minded purpose to a shared oblivion. The scent of sandalwood filled her head as she greedily chased release. 

 

Deok-mi closed her eyes as she began to build to a point of no return. A heel dug into his backside as her legs began to shake. And then she could hold out no longer — she arched against him as the spasms wracked through her body. Colors flashed through her mind's eye as she slowed beneath him, luxuriating in the receding waves of pleasure between her legs. She whispered his name as she did. “Yoon-je, Yoon-je, Yoon-je…”

 

He cried out as she did and his arms tightened around her. The reason why flickered in her mind. And so she said it again. “Yoon-je.” Their eyes met and his face was filled with a wild frenzy. She had never felt more powerful. Deok-mi lifted her hands to his face and held him there as she once again moved her hips with his. “Yoon-je,” she repeated before she kissed him slow and deep. He whimpered as she did and then broke away. 

 

Ryan lifted himself up above her, his eyes closed as he surrendered himself to the pleasure that her body offered. Deok-mi watched his chest rise and fall as his thrusts became erratic. He was beautiful as he moved above her, falling to pieces. She said his name again.

 

And then all at once he seemed to shatter into her arms as a warmth flooded between her legs. A string of nonsense filled her ears: he loved her...had never felt like this...curse words... and then prayers. She wrapped her arms and legs tighter around his body as he shuddered against her.

 

They lay there in silence for a long while - in awe of what their bodies could do together. Ryan’s head rested on her chest as she seemingly still held them together. Deok-mi concentrated on its weight as it rose and fell with her breath. She threaded her fingers through his hair and looked around the room. They were lying naked on the floor in the middle of his studio, slick with sweat and the hardwood was unforgiving against her back. It was insane. But it was also perfect. 

 

When she had caught her breath, Deok-mi carded his scalp and said archly, “You are in fact a genius at many things, Ryan Gold.” He laughed so deeply that his chest shook against hers. Then he propped himself up on one elbow and looked at her. 

 

“I love you,” Ryan said simply. But the look in his eyes made her own prick with emotion. She kissed him in reply.

 

His eyes wandered over to the easel and then back at her, thoughtful for a moment. “I wish I could capture the way you look right now. To have it forever.”

 

She smiled. “If you want to, you will someday. And in the meantime you can just keep doing this.” She raised an eyebrow suggestively and he laughed again. Then his face turned more serious for a moment.

 

“May I confess something?”

 

She lifted herself up onto her elbow as he lazily pressed a kiss to her breast. “Yes, please?” 

 

“I have thought about having you since I took that button out of your hair. In fact, I have thought of little else every night since.”

 

Deok-mi’s mind flashed back to the moment. To the yearning she had felt all over at the feel of his fingers in her hair. “So it was like that for you too then?”

 

Ryan nodded sweetly, his eyes wide and full of joy. Then he sat up and looked around the studio. “Curator Sung, you are indeed correct that I will never think of this room the same way again.”

 

Deok-mi bobbed her head curtly. “I am always right, Director Gold.”

 

A sly smile spread across his face and he traced the outline of her face and neck. “I’m beginning to agree. Although I don’t know how I will ever concentrate on work again now that I know what it is to be with you.” 

 

Deok-mi kissed his cheek. And then she suddenly stood up and swiped his blue shirt that was on the ground. As she shrugged into it, she glanced over his shoulder. He rolled over onto his elbows, curious. 

 

His shirt barely covered her backside but she didn’t care. Deok-mi fingered the line of buttons but left the shirt pointedly open. Ryan raised an eyebrow and grinned.

 

She walked over to his set of paints and brushes, feigning innocence at the provocative way that she was moving. She could feel his eyes on her without looking up. She trailed a hand over the tops of the brushes gathered in jars. Deok-mi then examined the tubes of paint, pretending not to notice the positively wicked look on his face. 

 

“Oh I’m sure you’ll be able to focus. You, Ryan Gold, famed artist and critic, could hardly be distracted.” He pointedly looked at her up and down. The smile on his face urged her to continue. 

 

She finished her inspection and then picked up a brush as she leaned against the wall across from him. Deok-mi pretended to absentmindedly pass the handle of the brush over her mouth as if lost in thought. She noted how his eyes followed its path over her lips.

 

Ryan was silent, staring at her as if assessing his options. His lean frame was stretched out before her in all of its glory. And she could plainly see that she already was having an effect on him. 

 

“I think I’m beginning to understand the pleasure of just looking now, Curator Sung.”

 

“Oh?” She tossed her hair over her shoulder, trying to maintain her composure. 

 

Ryan stifled a laugh. “Yes. But I still don’t think I’m going to be able to obey the rules.”

 

Then he lifted himself up off the ground and began to slowly walk toward her. As he did, Deok-mi marveled at his elegant frame; how he moved with the grace of a cat. 

 

Deok-mi slid in front of the small table as he drew near. He placed his hands on either side of her and leaned in to kiss her. His lips brushed against hers so gently that she felt her body begin to tingle all over again. As if it now knew what his touch promised. 

 

Then he pulled away and whispered. “Shall we do it properly this time?”

 

She leaned in and pressed a kiss to his neck. “If just now wasn’t that,” she paused pressing another kiss at the sharp right angle of his jaw, “I can’t wait to find out what that means.” 

 

Ryan chuckled and carefully moved a piece of hair out of her face. “I mean that I want to have you in my bed.”

 

“I see. For an American I didn’t think you’d be so formal,” she said with mock seriousness. As she pushed off of the table, she felt something wet on her hand. Startled, Deok-mi looked down and found her hand covered in blue paint. 

 

She held up her hand with a pout. His eyes grew wide.

 

“Oh no, I’m so sorry,” he managed through laughter, “I must have left a tube open!” But the look on his face was so amused that he had to be punished.

 

She leaned toward Ryan as if she was going to kiss him and then smeared it across his face. The look of utter shock was worth whatever would come next. 

 

He roared with laughter and then tried to grab the tube that was behind her as she desperately tried to block retaliation. When that failed, Ryan trapped her in his arms and kissed her so sloppily that she was certain her face was the color of the walls of his apartment when he had finished.

 

“You lion bastard!” Deok-mi yelled with mock outrage as she pounded his chest. His laughter would not stop and so she pushed him roughly and ran toward the door. Ryan was immediately in pursuit. She made it as far as the hallway before he hooked an arm around her waist. He kissed her, still laughing softly against her mouth as they walked backwards.

 

“I’m so sorry but you had it coming.” 

 

She laughed and pulled him along with her. 

 

“I did. I’m sorry too. But now I’m going to clean you up.”’ 

 

Deok-mi made it just into the bathroom before he crowded her against the counter and then lifted her up onto it. Their kissing swiftly turned from playful to demanding as pressed his body between her legs, parting them as his hands squeezed her backside. She could feel how much he wanted her already against her thigh. 

 

Everything was thrilling and comfortable all at once. As she slid her hands up his chest she marveled at how easy it was between them even though her brain felt like it was short circuiting. He was standing naked between her legs under the bright lights of the bathroom. It was the most natural thing in the world even as she felt like inwardly screaming at how gorgeous his body was. Her mind went back to the first time being with him like this had entered her mind. Then a thought occurred to her. And once the seed was planted, she was determined to make it so.

 

Deok-mi slid off the counter and placed a single hand on his chest. It was intended as a command and Ryan accepted it as so. 

 

She walked over to the shower and turned the water on. As Deok-mi waited for the water to warm, she folded a towel and dropped it on the ground. With her back to him, Deok-mi smiled to herself at what she was about to do. Steam began to fill the room and the moisture beaded on her skin. She didn’t know where the courage came from to be this bold except that she somehow knew that this was who she was meant to be. With him.

 

When Deok-mi looked back over her shoulder, her lion was leaning against the counter, watching her every move.

 

***********

 

It was taking all of the self control Ryan Gold had to remain rooted to this spot. 

 

He felt like a madman as he gripped the counter with white knuckles. Even before he had confessed, thoughts of Deok-mi endlessly filled his head. After, Ryan had been euphoric — counting down the hours to see her again whenever they were apart. 

 

But now? Now he knew what it could be between them: they way her body fit against his, the sounds that she made when he touched her, how it felt to be inside of her. And all Ryan wanted was more. 

 

He caught a glimpse of her backside peeking out from under his shirt as she turned the water on. All Ryan could think of was pushing her against the wall and drawing those sounds out of her again. But Deok-mi had asked him to stay, and so stay he would. 

 

He marveled out how sexy she could be while also making his heart pinch with tenderness. One minute he wanted just to hold her. But then Ryan swallowed hard at the thought of her saying his name as he came. It felt like finding home for the first time. He wanted to spend the rest of his life feeling that with her.

 

And how he loved to watch her. Deok-mi was always the one behind the camera, looking at a painting — imbuing or discerning meaning. But now he was the one looking. And she seemed to revel in his gaze. Before him was a woman in full command of her body and desire. And his hands trembled with excitement to be in her thrall.

 

Deok-mi looked over her shoulder at him. As their eyes met, he felt a charge race through his body. Then she dropped his blue shirt to the floor. It was bold and confident — daring him to look. He fucking loved it. 

 

His eyes drank in the smoothness of her shoulder, the slope of her back, and the soft curve of her buttocks. Ryan involuntarily swayed toward her but she shook her head slightly. Stay. 

 

Deok-mi then turned and began walking slowly toward him. He flexed his hands as her breast swayed in concert with her hips. When she was finally within reach, Ryan impulsively grabbed her hand and held tight. Want and love washed over him as she squeezed back. Then she turned and led him to the shower. 

 

As they fell under the warm spray of water, Deok-mi turned to face him; the water mingled with blue paint as it ran down her neck and breasts. He watched, fascinated, as the color traced its way down her body. He felt almost jealous of its ease sliding down her form. Ryan already knew this moment would be fixed in his memory — that someday he would try to paint how she looked; how he felt at this exact moment. Desire, anticipation, love, and joy overwhelmed him. 

 

Deok-mi smoothed her hair back and blinked through the water droplets that had gathered on her lashes. 

 

“May I wash you?” Her tone was sweet but her gaze was anything but. Ryan felt a smile stretch across his face as he leaned in nodding, his chest grazing her breasts. Her mouth quirked for a moment and he thrilled at having that effect on her — that she desired him as much as he did her.

 

She filled a washcloth with soap and he closed his eyes as she gently wiped his face. 

 

“Am I no longer blue?” He asked teasingly when her hand had stilled. 

 

Deok-mi looked up at him. “No, I see only my beautiful Yoon-je.” Her words and the way she was looking at him were almost too much to absorb. His heart clenched. Then she continued to slough the soap over his chest and his arms, carefully and methodically. 

 

“I like it when you call me that,” he said quietly. 

 

Her hand stilled and she filled the space between them, wrapping her arms around him. They stood there like that for what felt like forever and no time at all; her touch spreading warmth within him as the water rhythmically fell onto his skin. Ryan had never known such peace and comfort.

 

Then he felt Deok-mi’s hands slide down his sides to his hips and he looked down at her in surprise. The woman who stared back at him was determined and positively wanton. Her hands took a firm grab of his hips and backed him against the shower wall. Then Deok-mi’s mouth greedily captured his own. He would deny this woman nothing. Ryan parted his lips as she commanded. 

 

She soon shifted her lips to his neck as she held him firmly against the wall. He found himself smiling as his back met the tile and she pressed against him. He had begun this long ago. Now he reveled in the unexpected turning of tables.

 

Deok-mi’s mouth was warm against his skin, sucking hard and then tenderly making amends over and over. One of her hands reached below and began to touch him. He slid in and out of her wet hand with such ease while her mouth teased him that he heard himself gasp out loud. Then Ryan leaned his head back against the wall and gave himself over to the feel of her tongue and the water cascading over him. Every muscle began to loosen in his body under her sway. 

 

Soon Deok-mi moved down his torso and when she reached his stomach, it dawned on him what she was going to do. He looked down with a start as she dropped to her knees on a towel. Deok-mi looked up at him, her eyes now as dark as her hair under the water. Ryan had never felt less in control of anything in his life. 

 

He watched as her tongue slid over the tip and then slowly found its way down the length of him; her hands gently massaging as her mouth teased. Then she took all of him. Ryan swore and thrust his fingers into her hair — anything to connect with her and tell her how good this felt. The sound of the water falling around them seemed to amplify in his head as he watched her.

 

His hips began to move of their own volition. Deok-mi's hands immediately flew up to his hips and checked him there against the wall. Ryan felt himself grow even harder in response. As the waves of pleasure began to build, he felt his body sink and his legs shake. But he would fight against this abyss. Ryan wasn’t ready to give over to it yet.

 

“Deok-mi, please — Deok-mi….” His voice sounded strange to his own ears, ragged and desperate. He leaned down and gently slid his hand along her face. She released him and leaned her chin against his abdomen. 

 

“Let me - I want to take you to bed.” He raised Deok-mi up and held her against him. They began to kiss wildly; hands sliding everywhere, a tangle of limbs under the water; all want and need. He slid a hand between her legs and stroked her until she gripped his shoulders so hard it hurt. The sounds that Deok-mi made against his ear as he touched her threatened to make him lose control all over again. 

 

Enough. Ryan broke away and turned the water off. He stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around her. He tied another around his waist. Then he pulled her toward him by the edges of the towel and rubbed his face against her damp hair. “You drive me crazy. I hope you know that.”

 

Deok-mi grinned in delight. And then she gasped as Ryan swiftly picked her up and carried her into his bedroom. She laughed as he dramatically ushered her across the room and placed her on the bed with a flourish. One minute Ryan thought he was going to lose his mind with lust and the next he yearned for the sound of her laughter. There were so many ways in which he wanted to make this woman happy. 

 

But as soon as their laughter subsided, time seemed suspended again as he stood at the edge of the bed. Looking down at her, Ryan suspected that it would always be this way. Deok-mi seemed capable of stopping the negative thoughts and hurt that haunted him. When they were together, there was only him and her. 

 

He slipped the towel off her shoulder. Deok-mi’s wet hair lay in jagged charcoal lines on the soft curve of her skin; her lips were swollen and red from kissing. Someday, he would paint that too. 

 

Then her eyes met his. The way that Deok-mi was looking at him took his breath away. There was something wild about her right now — as if she was becoming something new. As for him, he felt like his chest was cleaving open. Ryan had been locked within himself for so long but now his heart clamored to feel everything with her. 

 

Deok-mi must have seen the emotion in his gaze because she solemnly pressed a kiss to his hip just above the edge of the towel. Ryan ran his fingers through her hair and leaned into the press of her mouth. The towel was dragged off. Once again she took him in her mouth, this time grabbing hold of his backside and bringing him closer against her lips. He shuddered with want.

 

Then Deok-mi released him and kissed her way up his body, rising up on her knees until she reached his mouth. Their eyes met again. Deok-mi’s fingers feathered gently over his jaw and cheekbone. Then she wound her arms around his neck, leaning forward just enough so that the tips of her breasts grazed his chest. Ryan stopped breathing.

 

She narrowed her eyes. “Do you want to have me?”’

 

Ryan opened his mouth to speak. Everything inside of him was screaming yes but he was so enthralled with her power over him — with this Deok-mi who absolutely knew that she was about to ruin him —that he could not formulate a simple answer. 

 

Deok-Mi raised an eyebrow at his silence. Her mouth almost quirked in amusement. Then she slid her hand down his abdomen and closed it around him. Desperate, Ryan grabbed the back of her head and pulled her into a kiss. She obliged him for a moment. Then she pulled him onto the bed. 

 

Ryan quickly found himself on his back. Every nerve in his body felt like it was on fire. Deok-mi slowly climbed on top of him. Her thighs slid smoothly on either side of his as he stared up at her in wonder. He was at her utter mercy as Deok-mi grabbed his hands and pinned them back over his head. The grasp was firm, a bulwark against the rising chaos inside of him. Then she reached down and drew him inside of her.

 

Ryan gasped as he suddenly filled her; unprepared for the consequences of how much she too wanted him. And yet, Deok-mi’s hips remained agonizingly still. He looked up at her helplessly as she leaned forward. Deok-mi laced her fingers through his own above his head, their arms outstretched in parallel. Her face was inches from his own; warm breath fanned his cheeks and her hair fell all around him. The smell of soap and her body filled his head and he couldn’t think straight. 

 

His body cried out for release. And yet, Deok-mi was so beautiful and powerful that he also didn’t want it to end. There was nothing Ryan Gold had ever wanted more than her in this moment. 

 

A feral smile. Then her eyes flicked up and down his face.

 

“Yoon-je.”

 

He swallowed hard. 

 

“Do you want to have me?” 

 

Ryan knew just one word would bring oblivion. He welcomed it. 

 

“Yes.”