nc-17 | sexual content

His hands were shaking. Not just trembling, but full-blown tremors that traveled from his fingertips up to his shoulders, affecting his whole body. Her emotions changed from concern to sorrow to fear to relief when she reached for him and realized she was shaking, as well.

"Don't tell me your heat's broken," he grumbled through chattering teeth. She shook her head and fumbled to get her gloves off.

"We turn the heat off when we're not here, to save money. There," she said, adjusting the thermostat. "Just give it a few minutes."

"I might freeze to death in a few minutes."

She sighed, grabbing his shoulders and pushing him to the wall. He grinned at her, an unlikely mix of playfulness and apprehension in his eyes. Then they both heard a small click, and he looked down at their feet to see a vent between them. Warm air began to flow out, and she positioned him so he was right over it.

"There. You'll live."

He was still wearing his gloves, and the leather felt alien against her skin as he twisted them around so that they switched positions. With her back against the wall, she felt the hot air blowing up her jacket, adding to the warmth that was already developing between her legs. He stepped in closer, brushing his lips with hers, then kissing her more roughly. Somewhere in her mind, it registered that this was their first kiss pressed up against a wall, the second one that he had initiated, and their fourth overall. She heard his gloves fall to the floor with a faint slap and then felt his hands on her face, angling her head so that he could deepen their kiss.

He withdrew, and she opened her eyes, watching him as he stared at her. She wondered what it was that he saw when he looked at her, what it was that was making him harden against her hip. His (now warm) hand trailed down her neck, stopping just as it hit the swell of her breast. He breathed her name, and then he was kissing her all over again, this time cupping her breast and kneading it through her sweater. With his hips rocking into hers, she wondered if he planned to take her right here, even though she was sure that his body couldn't handle it.

"My bedroom usually warms up more quickly than the rest of the place," she mumbled against his mouth, cringing inwardly at how much that sounded like a line. He hardly seemed to notice; he pulled her away from the wall, letting her guide him to her room. She undid her bed, tugging the comforter and sheets down, and she gasped when he came up behind her, one arm around her waist, the other covering her breasts. He kissed the back of her neck, nudging her ponytail out of the way with his nose.

Frozen in place, she let him remove her jacket, her shirt, her bra. When her pants and underwear hit the floor, she tried to turn around, but he held her in place, close to his body, as his mouth moved from her neck to her shoulders. She let him, enjoying the feel of his embrace, until the tingling sensation in her body shifted from pleasure to frustration; he kept his hands on her stomach, as if he was studiously avoiding her erogenous zones, and his mouth could only push her so far.

She said his name, and he responded, one hand slipping lower, into her moist folds. He latched onto her earlobe with his teeth as he rubbed his finger over her clit.

"No, Josh." He pulled away, stepping back from her as if she was on fire. She turned to face him, almost tripping over her pants, pooled at her ankles. As his eyes made the trip from her eyes to her feet and back again, she was acutely aware of the disparity in their states of dress. "Not like that," she clarified, hooking two fingers into the belt loops on his pants, pulling him back. His hands were trembling again as he began to strip, but hers were just a shaky as she helped him, so she tried not to think about it.

When he was bare-chested, she wasn't sure what to do about his scar. She didn't want to stare at it and make him uncomfortable, but she didn't want to go out of her way to avoid it and make him think she was disgusted by it.

It was all moot, anyway, because as soon as his boxers hit the floor, he was pushing her back. Then she was in bed, the sheets cool against her back, Josh pulling the comforter up to cover them, his mouth on hers. His hand was on her skin, moving from her breast to in between her thighs, and she thought she could feel a phantom scar on his palm.

"Please," she moaned, although she wasn't sure what she was asking for. His weight shifted, and she lay still as he leaned over the side of the bed, fumbling with his pants. There was the sound of foil ripping, the bed squeaking, and finally his voice in her ear, asking her if she was ready. She nodded and he was inside her, the whole of his body pressed against hers.

"You're so warm," he said, and for some reason, it made her want to cry. His voice was desperate; his touch was desperate. The slow, purposeful strokes he began with quickly gave way to frantic thrusting. Even as his fingers worked her clit, even as he kissed her full on the mouth, even as he rubbed his chest against hers, she couldn't beat back the thought that she was being used. But then her breath caught and everything went dark, because her eyes were clenched shut, and he wasn't moving anymore, because she wasn't moving, and even if he was using her, even if he was desperate, drowning, and had just grabbed the nearest life preserver, maybe it didn't matter, because she hadn't felt this good in a long time.

Then he was off her, out of her, checking one side of the bed, then the other, for a trashcan. His weight settled in comfortably at her side, his hand - that hand, now bandage-free and bloodless - absently stroking the still-quivering skin of her belly.

And she waited, for the this-was-a-mistakes, and the we-can't-do-this-agains, but instead, he just nuzzled her neck and whispered, "You're so warm."

It still made her want to cry. She tightened her arms around him, listening to him breathe.

"You're warm, too," she said finally, because it didn't seem like the right time for the I-love-yous.


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