Epilogue/Bonus Scene to Liquid Lies
Gwen rolled over in the strange bed—the sixth strange bed she'd slept in since she and Reed had started their road trip from San Francisco to Who-Knows-Where—and blinked at the intensely colored landscape just outside the window.
The back porch of the posh cabin faced the layered slopes of the Grand Teton foothills. A forest fire had raced through here years ago, leaving the trees as jagged, blackened stripes stretching for the clouds out of a thick nest of green-again grass. The sky was impossibly blue as the afternoon edged toward evening.
Gwen rubbed the nap from her eyes. She and Reed had awakened before dawn, wanting to watch the rising sun hit the Rockies as they drove north through Wyoming. There'd been a wonderful Bison Museum on the outskirts of Jackson, and by wonderful she meant creepy and hilarious, filled with animatronic animals whose old pelts were shedding with age and reeked like rotting carpet. They'd laughed the entire time.
They'd never strayed a foot out of one another's reach.
By the time they'd secured the last available cabin in the plush resort on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, she'd been exhausted and collapsed in the luxurious king bed, alone. Awake now, just that one hour away from Reed was more than her newly addicted emotions could handle. She slid from the bed, pulling a blanket tight around her body.
"There you are," she said, opening the back porch door. She hadn't bothered to put on pants or a sweater, and the sharp chill of mountain autumn air raced under the drape of the thick quilt.
Reed lounged on a bench, legs kicked out wide, one thick arm stretched across the bench's back. Though it was cold out, he wore no hat on his shaved head. As Gwen came out, he turned his face up to her, gracing her with his perfect smile, the treat of his lone dimple. She wouldn't be so bold as to say that that smile was hers ... but she wanted it to be. He'd been wearing it a lot lately. Sometimes, when he'd be driving, he'd turn to her in the passenger seat and just smile. No words.
"You're not tired?" she asked.
She held out her hand. "Want to grab something to eat?"
It should have felt more strange, their regular, everyday interaction far away from Nora and the Tahoe lake house that had been a stewpot of danger and doubt. But it wasn't strange at all.
"Sure do." He reached out and snatched her hand, tugging her out of the doorway and into his lap, blanket and all. He was still grinning as his mouth descended toward hers. "Look at this," he murmured, voice deep. His tongue swept into her mouth, his lips heavenly soft. "I've grabbed something to eat."
He slid one big hand under her knee, his other arm clamped around her waist, and pulled her around to straddle him. The position was a shadow of their first kiss, only this one far more tender. With far less ugliness between them.
As she leaned forward to lick the tattooed vines snaking around his ear, he snapped the blanket out behind her and cocooned them inside it. Cold out there. Oh so hot pressed up against the man she dared to name as hers. His mere touch was a trigger. She should have been ashamed to admit that her body was constantly ready for him—waiting for him to touch her—but she wasn't. Not by a mile.
Reed leaned back against the bench, bringing her with him so she was stretched across his wide, solid chest. He kept their kiss deliberate. Long, slow strokes with his tongue. Gentle pressure with his lips. She pretended it was the way he told her he loved her. She felt him getting hard through the thin layer of her underwear and she rubbed herself against his denim-covered bulge, imagining that it was his love in physical form, rising up to meet her.
Nearby, a door screeched open. Gwen regretfully wrenched away from Reed to see a woman come out onto the back porch of the next cabin over, her hands wrapped around a steaming mug. She sat in a sturdy white rocking chair, her back to them.
"Let's go inside," Gwen whispered, then gasped as Reed's hand slipped between her legs, sliding over her underwear.
"No." He rubbed his rough cheek against her neck. "Let's stay right here."
"But I think I want you inside me."
He chuckled, a deep, resonant sound. "I think I want that, too."
She laughed in response, until his lips flattened and his eyes glazed over in that way she'd come to recognize and crave. He dipped his other hand beneath the blanket, pressing it lightly down her belly. Then he ripped her underwear in two.
The woman kept rocking in her chair.
The flutter of torn lace tickled the tops of Gwen's thighs. Reed slid his fingers over her bared and swollen skin, and even she was shocked at how easily he moved over the slippery folds and crevices of her open body.
"Jesus," he said. That one word came out in a long hiss, punctuated by his eyes fluttering closed.
Her eyes, however, remained open. He fascinated her, particularly in the way her body fed him pleasure. If she'd ever had this vivid an effect on a man before, she'd hadn't noticed. Or hadn't cared.
His fingers easily pushed inside her, and the sudden pressure, that jolting sense of fulfillment, had her riding his hand with slow, undulating movements. Even as his hand pumped inside her, even as she moved, she said in a broken whisper, "I don't know if I can do this ... with her ... over there."
His eyes slit open and he looked drugged. "Do what? Come?"
Stars, that word. The sound of it—its implication, its promise—shot a bullet of heightened sensation to her clit and spiraled to some place deep inside that only he'd been able to find.
"Yes," she thought she responded, though she couldn't have been sure.
"You can." Hardened, quickening strokes across and inside her. "And you will."
Yes. She would. Her forehead dropped to his shoulder as her whole body clenched in anticipation. He knew her now, how to work her, how to make her crazy. Such a short time together, and her body was already his.
Her mind and devotion had belonged to him for much longer.
His other hand slid lovingly up and down her back, sifting through her hair, creating a wholly different kind of heat. "You can," he whispered again. "And you will."
She wanted to come. Needed to come. But she also wanted to shout, to just let her vocal chords rip free. The oblivious woman sipping her cocoa deterred that.
And suddenly it didn't matter, because Gwen was coming and, against her, Reed made gentle, low sounds of satisfaction. She clamped her lips shut, and transferred the need to scream her pleasure into intensifying what she felt below.
It worked. The orgasm screamed through her all on its own.
"You like to do what I say," Reed murmured as she lifted her head from the warm crook of his neck and looked into his eyes, "even though you don't have to anymore."
She smiled, dreamy. "Only for some things."
"No. You do." That flash of a dimple, followed by a hard, hot kiss. Both his arms went around her, surrounding her in muscle. "Now I want in you," he growled.
The creak of the rocking chair drifted across the grass.
"Carry me inside," Gwen said.
Reed scooted to the edge of the bench and she wrapped her legs around his waist. With an ease that always left her awed, he stood, bearing her weight. The scraps of her underwear flitted out from beneath the blanket and drifted to the porch. Laughing, he pulled open the cottage door, steered her inside, and stopped.
"What?" she asked.
He surveyed the little cabin, the corners of his mouth turned down. "Floor sex," he said with a firm nod, and veered toward the rug in front of the fireplace. It wasn't fur or anything special, but Gwen wasn't about to argue.
He set her on her feet. Took the blanket from her shoulders and tossed it onto the knotted pine couch. The long-sleeved T-shirt she wore came off without finesse or any sort of seduction. When he wanted her naked, he wasn't one to tease. Then he stood back, fully clothed, and just stared. His slack-jawed, almost pained look nearly sent her to her knees.
And then, it did.
As she knelt before him, he just barely restrained a groan. "Look at you," he murmured.
With a smile, she reached for the laces of his boots and pulled them off. She fed on the tension gathering in his muscles. She ate up how his thighs flexed inside his jeans. How his fists clenched at his sides. She slid her hands up those powerful legs and unsnapped his jeans. Pulled down the zipper. Unfolded the denim over his ass. He hissed, teeth bared, as she dragged down his underwear and took him out. In the dim natural light of late afternoon, he was gleaming. Huge and ready for her.
She pushed at the hem of his shirt, sliding her fingers up the ridges of his abs. Without words, he whipped off the shirt, and he was finally as naked as she. He widened his stance. Digging her nails into his thighs, she sucked him into her mouth. Shallow but immediately hard, the way he liked.
Because just as he'd learned her body in a scant few weeks, she'd come to know his, too.
She looked up, her mouth full of him, and saw the tattooed expanse of his chest. His head fell back, exposing the thick column of his throat, tendons jutting out. "God, Gwen. You kill me."
He tasted too good, his sounds of surrender even better. They filled the cabin, consuming her brain and switching her drive to frenzied. He'd never understand how much going down on him turned her up. And yet she pulled off him, her lips giving an extra hard tug at the very tip.
His hand speared into the back of her hair. His hungry gaze dropped to her tingling mouth. "Why you stopping, gorgeous?"
"Because I want to do something else. Something I think you'll like."
She rose and went to the sink, turned on the tap, and let the water fill her palm. The shimmering liquid obeyed her Ofarian words. The water rolled between her fingers but did not drop through or spill over, held in the invisible confines of her magic.
"Your ass," Reed said in a way that sounded like he was watching fairies or dragons appear out of thin air.
She peeked back at him over her shoulder. "What about it?"
"I want to bite it."
She headed back to him, holding the magicked water. At the sight, his blue eyes widened, his lips parting. She hadn't used her powers since that night on the Lake Tahoe dock, when their debacle had finally come to an end. Soon after, Reed had proposed this road trip to his mysterious home whose location he refused to name. He'd stressed the need for normalcy, for them to discover who they were as a couple away from all the craziness that had stained their meeting. Though he knew she was a water elemental, she hadn't wanted to go against his wishes. Until now.
His breath hitched. "What are you going to do with that?"
As her knees hit the rug again, she lifted both hands level with his cock and rolled the water between them. "Giving you the best blow job you've ever had," she said with a sly grin.
The Ofarian language spilled off her tongue, then she blew on the water. The liquid obeyed her, streaming horizontally out of the cup of her hands to wrap around his thick length.
Reed sucked in air. "So warm ..." he started, but then when she made the water act as her mouth had done, he said no more.
This way, she could whisper commands to the water and still witness his rapture. This way, the two parts of her—the Primary human and the Secondary gifted with magic—could give him pleasure.
"You ..." He struggled to breathe under the stuttered movement of his chest. "Now you."
Gwen dissolved the water with a short phrase and lunged for him, moaning at his intimate taste mixed with the remnants of her beloved element.
"No." He bent his knees, pushing her off him. "I meant you. Inside you. Now."
"Confident, are you, that you'll last after that?"
As she sat back on her heels, he fell to his knees, his body rock solid, his cock wet from the water and her mouth. She couldn't stop touching it.
"Look at me." His voice was so plaintive, so tender, that it instantly drew her eyes to his.
He dragged feather-light fingers down her cheek. She recognized the intensity in his eyes. She'd seen it that afternoon in the lake house when he still held her captive, when he'd first asked her to come away with him. Before he ever even knew what she was.
"Gwen," he breathed.
She kissed her name on his lips.
Reed pressed her backward onto the rug. The scratchy fiber abraded her back and ass, but was also a perfect complement to the smooth, heavy warmth of his body sliding across hers. He rocked back on his elbows and dragged his mouth to her breasts, to the hard nipples that slipped perfectly, achingly between his lips.
The way he sucked and licked had her writhing off the rug, back arched and hips grinding against air. He took his agonizingly sweet time. The need in her was so acute it bordered on misery.
"Reed, if you don't get in me—"
He pinched a nipple deliciously hard.
"You'll what?" He rolled onto his back, taking her with him. "Have your way with me?"
This was unlike him, to give up the reins.
She brushed her sore nipples up his chest on her way to claim his mouth. His vine tattoo seemed to curl around her hands, entwining them both. Gorgeous. His endearment still stroked her skin, and when she took him inside her, letting her weight swallow him, he stroked her deep inside. How many times had they done this, and yet this first moment always felt brand new?
She did exactly as he said, and had her way with him.
Eyes closed, she rode him with slow, deep strokes. Sometimes, like now, it was too much to watch him, to see, with him inside her, how he gazed up at her with such ferocity. Sometimes, she just wanted to hear and feel. Sometimes she wanted to listen to their bodies move together, to the low, sexy grunts he made on her downstrokes. To her own little moans that longed to be something grander and louder, to match the power she felt inside.
Her body shot high, high up, her muscles contracting into something rigid and wonderful. And then she was liquid, if not in magic then in mental space.
Vaguely she was aware of falling. Of Reed catching her and spreading her out across his chest, him still hard as iron and buried inside her. With a gentle tug, he coaxed her into balancing on her knees, her hips raised.
"My turn." Though his words were a little rough, his eyes were affectionate. "Just stay right there."
She thought, From me, you can have anything you want.
With a surge, he pressed up, pushing farther into her still-quivering body. This was his pace, his turn, and she just lay there, letting him fuck her the way he wanted. Until he let out a hoarse shout and she felt him pulse inside her. This moment was always her favorite, when his great power became unraveled at the command of such a small part of her.
When his breathing finally evened out, and when her skin no longer felt like dry straw waiting for and fearing a spark, she kissed him and said, "You seem very at peace here. In the mountains."
"Hmmm. Maybe it's just my company."
She stared hard at his completely blank face. "Or maybe ... it's your home."
The second he smiled, that blasted dimple appearing, she knew she'd gotten it wrong. Again.
"Nope," he said. "Nice try, though. Still a long way to drive."
She dug her fingernails into his chest and he winced. Good.
With a quick kiss to her forehead, he jumped to his feet. "Okay, now I'm starving. Looked like there was a tacky supper club about two miles down that side road. Up for some adventure?"
With him? Always.
(c) 2012 Hanna Martine