Ronan Grace and her Greek god in grey wool Mikalo Delis. Still happy, still in love, and now living together in New York.
Despite it all.
Despite the lingering secrets of Mikalo's past and his complicated life. Despite Ronan's own doubts and worries, the strength of her love for him both shocking and frightening. Despite the jealousy and spite threatening her once successful career. And despite the unexpected emergence of a drunk, drug-addled viciously vindictive blast from Mikalo's past.
Will Ronan and Mikalo stumble under the weight of all these challenges and doubts and confusion as they move toward creating a life together? Or will they fight, giving their love what it needs to survive.
He sighed, leaning his head back as he gathered his thoughts.
We sat near the fire, snuggled into a couch of rich, supple leather, rows of books climbing the walls behind us and all around, the night dark outside the large window.
It was such a simple question, really.And to ask it shouldn't be such a big deal.Especially in light of his insistence I ask him anything at any time.Total communication.Complete honesty.Nothing hidden.
But for some reason, it was.
And I was nervous.
He dropped his head, his chin briefly ducking into his chest as he took a sip of his drink.Scotch.On the rocks.
So he had an occasional vice.I could live with it.
"My Grace," he began, "Is this a thing that is important to know?"
"Important, no," I said."But I am curious.And so I'm asking:why did you come to New York to meet for jobs you didn't need and probably wouldn't have accepted?"
And, Mikalo being Mikalo, he answered my question with one of his own.
"If you were my bride, and what I had was yours, everything I have is yours and there is now no need to do anything, anything at all, would you quit your job, your work, and spend all day with me?"
"Please, my Grace," he interrupted."I would like to know.Would you stop your life and be with me?"
I looked past him and out the window, the bare branches of a tree holding my attention briefly as they swayed in the wind.
Of course I had walked right into this one.
"I would not," I finally admitted."Of course I would work.Of course I would still want to work.Of course."
"Why?" he asked, leaning forward.
Yeah, I totally walked into this one.
"Well, what else would I do?I mean, just sit around all day?Sleep late?Eat three hour lunches?"
"Of course not," he answered."And why would this be different for me, my Grace? Should I not want a life where I am needed?Where I have a purpose?"
"You have that with your family's business, right?That's obvious, Mikalo.They need you.And, from what I understand, many of them want you to run things, right?"
He stood angrily, pacing to the window and looking outside, his back to me.
"I do not want them," he said before taking the last swallow of his drink, the ice clinking against the glass in the sudden silence.
"And they," he then continued."They are not what I need.
He was not inside me.
Pressing himself against me, his hardness gripped in his fist, he teased me, refusing to enter, to plunge deep, aware that his thickness pressing against my heat, my wetness, my thump-thump-thumping desire, would drive me crazy.
He was right.
"Oh god," I said again as I lifted my hips, desperate for him.
Another small smile as he watched me.
"This is good, no?" he asked, completely aware that it was good, very, very good, but that it wasn't enough.
He could be a cruel bastard sometimes.
"Yes," I gasped, his hardness repeatedly rubbing, grinding against me, the flesh becoming slick with my wetness."Yes, it's good.So good.
"But --" I continued.
"Yes?" he asked.
"I want you."
"But you have me."
"No," I said, my hips rising, hungry for him."I want you inside me."
"But this, this is not a bad thing," he said.
And then he slapped his hardness against my heat.
I gasped and snapped my head back, my fingers immediately clutching my breast, the nipples pinched, my teeth nearly biting through my lip as I whimpered.
"It's not bad," I finally managed to say."No, no, it's not bad.Don't stop."
The hips rose again as he rubbed against me.
"Don't stop," I said again.
I almost cried.
His fingers dipped low, tracing me, slipping in the warmth, the wetness, but not sliding deep, the tips just lightly, almost barely, moving over the surface, over that insanely sensitive nub of delicate flesh.Almost a whisper of a touch.
I'm going to die, I thought.Here in my library on the floor, a cold night outside, a fireplace glowing, the Perfect Man edging me toward orgasmic oblivion.
I'm going to die.
He's going to kill me.
His lips were on my stomach, moving low and slow as he drifted, licking and tasting, biting and sucking.
I opened my legs, eager for him, desperate for him.Excited over what was to come.The feeling of his lips on me, his tongue worming its way deep.His licks echoing the thump-thump-thump now racking my legs, my stomach, my heart.