As cliché as it may be, there is no place on earth that I would rather be than right here, right now. Everything about this moment is perfect. The stillness of the room is filled with the beat of Sloane’s heart as it answers mine in a composition truly our own. His every breath whispers his love for me as I exhale mine in return. The warmth of his body under and around me melds with mine keeping us warm, even in the chill of the night air. The fire in the fireplace is down to just a glowing log. A couple little flames are still licking up in the back, casting the dim amber glow across the room. It’s become so faint it barely covers us. Not that I have my eyes open to see it waning. I’m so content right now that I can’t even find the will to open them. I have no need to. Sloane is the only thing I want to look at and for the moment I’m fine with the image of him behind my heavy lids. I know his body better than I know my own.
I reach up and caress his hair. I spread my fingers, running them through his soft waves. He’s let it grow long again. I never thought I would like a guy’s hair longer than mine. That was before I ever felt it tickle across my form. The first time Sloane drifted over my naked body letting his hair skim over me, I knew I never wanted him to cut it short. I can almost feel the golden strands brushing over me, leaving a trail of tingles in its wake. His arm tightens around me as I shiver a little imagining it sweeping across my breasts and over my stomach, falling into disarray when he looks back up into my eyes.
His eyes. There are no words for how beautifully expressive his eyes are, or how they elicit so many emotions within me. They can calm me when I’m on the edge, slow me when I’m going too fast and fill me when I’m empty. His eyes give me hope, trust and love. His eyes melt me to my core.
His eyes have stripped me bare and peered into my soul. They have seen the real me. The me that I sometimes refuse to acknowledge. The me that can be pushy, manipulative and at times shallow. A part of me that I try very hard to keep in check, yet occasionally slips out. He has seen all of this and still he wants me for his own.
Sloane is a man of few words. His quiet presence is at odds with all that his eyes say to me. He speaks volumes with a glance. I can see the pride that shimmers in the emerald depths, making me feel like the most important thing on earth. They reassure me that I am not alone in this world, that he will never leave me. If I ever have a second of doubt, all it takes is just a fleeting glance into them and I know that he will always be there.
I run the tip of my finger across his brow and ghost over his closed eye, finishing the path below as if I were wiping away a tear. I brush across his cheek and feel the dip of his dimple. I smile too, knowing that he’s happy.
That dimple is my own personal happy place. It was there in the first smile he gave me. Now it’s my favorite way to be told good morning. It’s the first thing I see after we’ve been apart. It flashes at me, teasing me when he catches me fawning over the new dress or eying a great pair of shoes. It reminds me that I can make him happy simply by being happy myself. I know I’ve won our playful arguments when at last, that dimple appears and with it the reminder that all is right in life.
When that dimple comes out to play alongside his wicked grin, my first instinct is to stretch up and sample it. It awakens my heart, followed by an ache between my legs. It can turn my nipples as hard as ice and my panties damp in less time than it takes to pull him to me for a little taste. The things that lethal combination of grin and dimple do to me… Le sigh.
He is a man of many faces. He can smile without the slightest hint of the dimple appearing. Those are the smiles most often seen by everyone else. It’s the smug look he gets when he’s won a game or an argument. The smirk he gets when he’s made a witty crack. The smile he gives to reassure those around him that all is well. Sometimes the smile is a slightly sad one that tells me he’s thinking of his family back home. That smile rips at my heart. It’s bittersweet because I know he misses them, yet he has chosen to stay here with me.
But the dimple—that is reserved just for me.
I run the pad of my thumb across his full bottom lip. His lips are parted just a bit and I feel the humidity of his breath against my fingers. His lips are magical. I knew the first time I saw him that I would be kissing those lips. His luscious bottom lip was made to be sucked on.
Those lips have done wonders far beyond kissing me senseless. They have whispered words of encouragement, words of compassion, words of truth, and words of love. Sometimes they whisper the most deliciously dirty little things that cause tingles from the spikes of my hair to the polish on my toes. But pressed to mine… well, it is an unbelievable feeling when you’ve been well and thoroughly kissed. It leaves me fully satisfied yet desperately wanting more.
Concealed behind those lips is his secret weapon. The things his tongue alone can do to me can be absolutely mind blowing. At times it can be gentle, dancing with mine, the slow, soulful melody playing within us. At other times it can be demanding, calling mine out to join his. When he takes his tongue on a tour of my body… even nirvana isn’t a comparison.
The mere thought of his tongue against me momentarily steals my breath. I inhale deeply, drawing in his scent. There is no better aroma in the world than the one in the air right now. It is the sweet musky essence of Sloane, along with a hint of me lingering on him. The air is festive, rich with pine from the Christmas tree and traces of the sugar cookies I had made for Santa earlier. This, mingled with the scent of the cedar-smoke from the fireplace, is a combination that is truly sublime. They say smell is often tied most closely to memories. This bouquet of tantalizing fragrances will always allow me to recall this moment, these emotions, for the rest of my life.
As I drag my fingertips slowly over his chin I feel the roughness of the five o’clock shadow. He’ll shave again in the morning but for now I enjoy the scruff as he nuzzles against my palm. I rest my hand against the side of his throat briefly feeling his pulse. His heart beat is still slowing from our lovemaking earlier. I snuggle my body a little tighter to his. The arm Sloane has around my back contracts, the weight of it pulling me firmly against him. That small gesture tells me right now, we are of one mind.
Moments like this are truly amazing. Everything there is to say between us is being told through our hearts rather than our words. Surely there aren’t words remotely descriptive enough to convey our conviction or sentiments towards each other. Love doesn’t begin to describe the feelings this man creates in me. Life giving, world altering, heart stopping and perfect do not even come close to summing it up. He is my life, my world, my… everything, and at times like this, I know that I am his.
I teasingly slide my hand from his neck further down his body, and rest my palm against his chest. The subtle rise and fall with each breath is a hypnotic rhythm. Not wanting to fall asleep yet, I run my hand back up to his right shoulder. I trace the cut of his deltoid muscles and follow the line to his bicep. He is relaxed tonight. Our bodies are so in-tune that often his mood is a reflection of mine.
I feel more than hear Sloane give a content sigh beneath me. I’m overcome with the serenity of the moment. It’s a wonder to me just how Sloane can be so calm about what’s coming. Oh, no one has told me, but I know it’s coming. I’ve had a feeling for some time now that tomorrow will be the day Sloane officially asks me to be his. Sloane’s halcyon mood is a testament to how sure he is of our future together. Our future together. I sigh as well.
I trail my fingers down to his hand. I pay homage to each finger, gently outlining each one, pausing at the knuckles to trace a spiral before moving to the next. These hands are very precious to me. They cup my cheeks when Sloane gently kisses me goodbye for the day. They always linger behind just a bit after his lips have moved and he starts to step back. He slowly drags them away as if he’s leaving behind a little bit of himself and replacing it with the memory of me. They rub slow comforting circles on my back when I’m upset. They have clapped at my successes and helped me fix my mistakes. His hands have worshiped my body making me feel as if I were a work of art created by one of the great masters.
As if he knows what I’m thinking he lifts his hand and briefly holds mine before clasping them both over to rest on my left hip. He softly squeezes me reassuring me that he will always be there for me.
I shift my leg down to rest my hand against the little hollow just below his hip bone. This is the spot that my hand ultimately seeks out at night. Right now it’s bare to me and I lightly trace a small design there. Most nights as I’m drifting off to sleep I slip my hand under the band of his boxers just to feel the warm comfort of him. I marvel at the smoothness of his skin. There really is nothing to compare it to, not silk nor satin, it just is what it is, and I love it. Whenever I’m lost all I need to do is reach out and touch that place and I know that I am home.
Sloane shifts slightly under me and I feel his lips brush the top of my head. I roll my head back onto his shoulder to look at him. I’m greeted by his dimple. He leans forward again and places a gentle, lingering kiss on my lips. I close my eyes and sigh. Sloane sits up, lifting me with him, never separating our bodies. This movement is gentle but still enough to bring me from my reverie. He is staring at me intently, our eyes locked as I shift my body to wrap my legs around him, straddling him. He caresses my face between his hands, softly kissing me yet again. His lips slightly parted massaging mine with his own. I move to deepen the kiss but he pulls back. I frown as one of his hands slides away from my cheek. I’m not ready to leave this blissful moment.
Sloane doesn’t attempt to move me. I can feel him fumbling for something on the floor next to us, near our clothes. I’m not sure what he’s looking for. Everything he needs is right in his lap. Once his hand stops he kisses me again; there is a quiver to his lips telling me he’s nervous about something. I feel his heart beat pick up. The hand that is still on my cheek glides down my left arm to my hand. He gently strokes my fingers before lifting my hand to his mouth. The whole time his eyes are on me. His eyes are twinkling with the reflection of the Christmas lights in them I can see the love shimmering with just a hint of a question. The raw emotion on his face causes my chest to ache and a lump to form in my throat. I am so overwhelmed with love that I can’t imagine anything could make me love him more.
He places the tiniest kiss on the back of my hand and brings his other up to it. I feel something cool and smooth slide down over my ring finger. I smile knowing what it is. I don’t have to look. I can’t stop the tears as they fill my eyes, spilling over onto my cheeks, like the love that is pouring out of me right now. Sloane brushes away a tear. He smiles, dimple and all, knowing these are happy tears. He closes his mouth over mine and this time the kiss is all consuming. No words need to be spoken, his body has asked and mine has answered.NM Facile is the author of ACROSS THE HALL – one of our bestselling romance novels.