Strangers & Sinners
He put two large mugs of hot tomato soup on the coffee table along with a plate of over-stuffed sandwiches - ham and turkey - dripping with mustard and mayonnaise. When he went back into the kitchen for napkins, and the chilled bottle of wine, she came out of the guestroom refreshed from her extra long shower. Her hair was still damp and hung in curls a few inches past her shoulders.
He grinned when he saw her standing by the window, her back to him. She had rolled the pants' legs up several times over. It also appeared to his practiced eye that she didn't have anything on under his over-sized T-shirt. He thought she looked delicious - and *very* young - and then, wondered how old she was. She's a hooker, he reminded himself for the tenth time.
A hooker who has kept you smiling and laughing since you met her. When's the last time you smiled so much? He decided to ignore his conscience.
She turned when she heard him and gave him a small smile. "Thanks for the loan. They're a little big," she grinned, "but very comfortable - much more comfortable than what I was wearing."
He gestured for her to sit on the couch and when she walked toward him, he spotted her feet. She was barefoot. "Be right back," he said and headed for his bedroom.
"These will be too large for you, too, but it's better than going barefoot. Here, put these on."
She took the socks he handed to her and watched as she lifted a bare foot to the couch to slip it on. She pulled the pant leg up to slip her foot in and his heart skipped a beat.
What's the matter with you? You nuts or something? His inner voice snarled. You never saw a pretty leg before? Something about those red toenails turn you to mush? Jesus! You're a pathetic case, you know that?
It *is* a pretty leg and those red toenails are... sexy. He could hear his inner voice sigh with exasperation. He knew if it had a face it would be rolling its eyes or covering them with a disgusted hand. Christ! I'm horny.
She sat with her legs tucked under her body, elbows resting on her thighs, sipping from the mug between her hands and looked at him. Her inner voice clarified her obvious attraction to him.
Damn good looking, wouldn't you say?
Best looking man we've seen in a long time. Looks really kissable, too.
So? Why aren't you kissing him?
That thought knocked her for a loop. She choked, having swallowed wrong and started coughing hard. In a flash, Nick took her mug and set it on the coffee table, reached under her arms and pulled them over her head. He held her just above the elbows, his forearms against her upper arms, his mouth precariously close to hers.
"Big breath, NOW!" She inhaled air and hiccups. "Again!" A few breaths later, she felt better. He kept her arms up until her breathing returned to normal.
"I think you can let go of me now," she murmured softly, mesmerized by the look on his face, not at all unhappy about the touch of his skin on her skin.
He didn't want to. He liked the feel of her bare arms on his bare arms and he particularly liked her warm breath on his neck. Her scent was intoxicating - it seemed to have a hint of gardenia and he inhaled deeply, filling his lungs.
Reluctantly, he let her go and pointed to the rest of their meal. "If you choke on my sandwich, I'm going to get a complex about my cooking skills," he said a little more gruffly than he intended.
She laughed softly. "I get the feeling there isn't much that shakes you, Mr. Sergei."
"Sergei," he smiled. "Not Mr. Sergei - just Sergei."
Relaxed now and enthusiastically eating her sandwich, she wanted to know more about him. "What is it you do, Sergei?" He arched a brow. "I saw you at the party - at the Hoover building - you looked like you worked there. You work there?" She watched him nod, and bite his sandwich. "What do you do?"
"A little of this - a little of that," he said, looking at her over the rim of his soup mug.
"Tell me about this... and that," she asked softly, meeting his gaze. She seemed totally unconcerned that she might be broaching a subject that was personal and clearly none of her business.
"It's not all that interesting," he said evasively, not yet willing to let her know he was with the FBI.
What's the big deal? His head voice wanted to know. Why can't you tell her you work for the FBI?
I don't know why.
"It's the Hoover building," she insisted. "It must have something to do with the Feds... the Bureau... the government... the... are you a...?" She was suddenly quiet.
"Am I a what?" he asked, mildly curious as to what she thought he did at the Hoover building.
She remained silent, her lips pursed.
"Finish your question. Am I a...?" His voice held a hint of sternness.
She shook her head and took a big bite of her sandwich, stuffing her mouth with ham and turkey so she wouldn't have to answer. A small dab of mayonnaise ended up on the corner of her mouth and he wondered what she'd do if he licked it off.
Instead, he reached over and wiped it with a napkin. "Am I a... tell me," he insisted, fully expecting her to respond - accustomed to immediate answers to his questions.
She finished chewing and swallowing but before she could take another bite, he took the sandwich from her hand and cupped her chin so she would have to look at him. He wanted an answer, but he didn't want to frighten her. "Am I a... what?" He kept his voice soft, but firm.
She wasn't at all intimidated by his manner and placed her hand over his. "Well," she grinned, "I was going to ask if you were an accountant. If you are, you wouldn't mind my asking, but if you're not, you might be insulted that I thought you were."
He chuckled, the slight rumble turning into sincere laughter and then because he felt like it, he put his arms around her and hugged her. Woof! His head voice whistled. Mmmm. The feel of her soft unbound breasts against his chest - their flesh separated only by the fabric of their T-shirts. He wondered if the sound of his heartbeat was only in his head or if she could hear it as well.
Mmmm, mmmm! This *is* n-i-c-e, she sighed and then hoped the sigh wasn't too loud or too obvious.
What a hunk! Her inner voice sang.
He tilted her head back to look at her and his mouth came toward hers. But before his lips could capture hers, she put her hand on his face. "I guess you're not an accountant."
"I'm not an accountant."
"What are you?"
"A man..." he murmured, keeping his hand on her chin. "A man who's going to kiss you." And he did.
His brain registered the softness of her lips, the fullness, and he was suddenly very willing to learn more about her mouth. He slowly inserted his tongue between her lips, silently begging entrance. When her lips parted slightly, he placed a hand on the back of her head, removed his glasses and pulled her closer. His tongue leisurely explored her mouth, teasing her with it - darting beneath her tongue, inspecting the contours of the insides of her cheeks - sliding across her teeth - tickling the roof of her mouth.
Her tongue reciprocated, following his lead, but less intensely. Instead, she concentrated on breathing in and out, on touching his face and neck, on feeling the sensations his tongue was causing in her mouth.
When his hand moved to her breast, she covered it with her own, stilling his movements. "I... I know this sounds stupid. I mean... I *am* wearing your clothes and plan to spend the night but... you're moving a little fast for me."
Stupid doesn't even begin to cover it, her head voice sneered. He's a good kisser; find out what else he's good at.
She blushed. She knew she had said something stupid. He probably thinks I'm a first class jerk.
More like a dumb schoolgirl, the voice snorted.
He scrutinized her expression through narrow eyelids. I'm moving too fast? For a hooker?
Take a good look at her, Nick. Does she really look like your idea of a hooker?
No, she doesn't. So what?
So shouldn't a hooker come on to you first?
She felt good and he didn't want to let her go. He sat back on the couch, propped his feet on the coffee table and lifted her to his lap. She didn't protest. Cupping her chin in his hand once again, he lifted her mouth to his and kissed her gently. "How slow do you like it?" One arm was around her back, his hand moving in short increments down her spine and up again while his lips sought the corner of her mouth, moved slowly across her lips and kissed the other side.
"Is this slow enough?" he whispered huskily as his mouth moved to her exposed throat, his hand pulling her shoulder - turning her so her breasts were pressed against his chest. "Is this okay?" he asked when his hand slipped to her hip. "How am I doing so far? Can I do this?" His hand slid down the outside of her thigh down to her knee, lingering slightly and then back up the inside, startling her.
She concentrated on his mouth and what it was doing to her. It had been a long time since a man had taken the time to love her this way - taken the time to make her feel - taken the time to arouse her before taking his own pleasure - and she was aroused. Her hands were touching him, one around his neck, the other around his back - touching, rubbing, memorizing the sheer muscle mass - the strength of him. It was a heady feeling being held by him and she hoped it wouldn't end too soon.
You're going to sleep with him, aren't you? Her voyeur voice chortled.
If he wants me.
He wants you.
When his hand grazed the inside of her thigh, she jumped. He chuckled, holding her tighter while continuing the caress. "You like that, don't you?" She nodded. "Good. Let's see what else you like," he murmured, kissing her mouth, plunging his tongue inside - prelude to promises - letting his hand reach under her shirt and caress the silky flesh of her breasts.
"Ahh," she moaned. "That... feels... so good."
He thought so, too. She was all silk and satin and soft and unbearably sweet. And probably a hooker.
Some doubt old man?