Illustrated by: Anna Sudit
“So let’s talk about your aversion to casual sex,” I began.
“Ohh-kay,” he stammered. “What do you want to know?”
“Well, for starters, how strict is this rule?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, what is your definition of sex? Is it the Bill Clinton definition or the Mormon definition?”
“Well, first off, it’s not a rule. It’s just what I think is best for me right now. And as far as strictness goes…no intercourse.”
“No intercourse?”
“Damn,” I cursed under my breath. “I really wanted to fuck you tonight.”
He laughed. “Was that your mission?”
“Yes. And I fear I’ve failed miserably before I even left the base. But…can I ask you something?”
“Ask me anything,” he said invitingly.
I paused for a long moment trying to gather my thoughts. The fact that my brain was swimming in bourbon and cheap beer didn’t help things. “How or why did you decide to become celibate?”
He smiled. “I never said I was celibate.”
“Well, you kind of are celibate if you aren’t having casual sex.”
“No. It just means I want to have sex with people I trust. People I feel safe with and who feel safe with me. I haven’t found someone that I feel safe with in a long while.”
“Safe,” I echoed thoughtfully. Why would he use that word? “Did someone…did someone hurt you?” I asked, my voice soft and careful. In my experience, most men didn’t like to talk about their feelings. They especially didn’t like it when women went digging around in them.
“Once,” he answered. Short and succinct. It was clear he wouldn’t discuss it further.
Liquor tends to erase proper boundaries, so I dug around a bit more anyway. “And she’s the reason why you don’t have casual sex anymore?”
“That and other reasons.”
“So you’re saving yourself for marriage?”
He chuckled and gave me a sideways glance. “No, Yves. I’m not waiting for my bride.”
“So you’re saying that if the right girl came along, you would give it up?”
“For the right woman? Yes.”
“Well, I hope that the right woman is me.”
Elijah chuckled again and moved on to the next foot, rubbing the pad of his thumb into the arch, coaxing out that moan. He smiled, licking the corner of his mouth mischievously. “I like that.”
“When you moan like that, it sounds like I’m making love to you.”
I frowned. “I don’t make love. You can fuck me, screw me, or even lay me, but you can’t make love to me.”
Elijah looked genuinely distressed. “Why not?”
“I just don’t want to feel that way again.”
“And what way is that?”
“Hopeless, helpless, vulnerable.”
“That’s what making love feels like to you?” he asked.
I nodded, slightly distracted by the weight of his green-eyed gaze. He was studying me. I felt like a bug trapped under a glass.
“Well,” he kissed the instep of my foot. The press of those full lips on that thin neglected skin made places further north ache for the same treatment. “What if I want to make love to you?”
“I won’t be made love to,” I repeated.
“We’ll see,” he said with a smile.
“Really? If you’re feeling so confident, why don’t you try it right now?”
The bourbon made me bold. All that talk of his abstinence had only served as foreplay to my drunken brain. I swung my leg over him and straddled his lap. His hands clamped around my waist to push me away, but it was a minute too late. My mouth was already on his and oh…it was as magical as I’d dreamed. That obscenely sexy pout with its too-full lips was made for my kiss. I traced my tongue along the seam of his lips and coaxed it to open for me. He gave a soft moan and I took advantage of it — covered his mouth with mine and slid my tongue inside. Dios. Never should’ve done that. That sound, the taste of him — malty with beer and bourbon — the rough, tender flesh of his tongue surrendering to mine. His big hands tightened, fingertips pressing deep into my hips.
“Yves,” he breathed over my lips, tongue lapping out for another taste.
If I was questioning if I was “that woman” before, I wasn’t now. He wanted me just as much — if not more — than I wanted him. I could feel that want growing against my parted thighs. With fingers spread wide, I pushed my hands into his thick, silky hair, grabbed it in fistfuls and drew him deeper into the kiss. One of his hands slid up to the middle of my back, drawing me closer. This time I was the one who gave the drunken moan.
“Yves,” he said again.
“Yes, Elijah?”
“You’re not respecting my boundaries.” The hand on my back splayed, cradled me. The other drifted lower to cup my ass. Clearly he wasn’t as concerned about his boundaries as he wanted me to believe.
“Just tell me no and I’ll stop.”
He growled in response and kissed me again. The hand in the middle of my back pushed into my hair. He grabbed a handful and yanked, separating our mouths. I gasped as his mouth found purchase on my neck, sucking and then nipping lightly. My pussy clenched every time I felt the edge of his teeth on my skin. He tipped me back a little further and the room spun.
“Whoa…” I slurred, holding him tighter.
He pulled away and took a good, long look at me.
“You’re drunk,” he said evenly. “We shouldn’t do this.”
“Don’t worry about it. I totally want this. You don’t have to be a gentleman. In fact, the less of a gentleman you are, the better it’ll be.”
Something about that statement rubbed him wrong, because he stood up abruptly and set me on my feet. I swayed drunkenly and looked up at him.
“I’m gonna go.”
“Don’t,” I said and sank to my knees.
Elijah froze. My hands were on his thighs and they felt as solid as stone under my palms. I looked up into his eyes. Apprehension conflicted with the clearly evident desire there. I reached for the waistband of his jeans, curled my fingers over the thick leather belt. His hands grasped mine, stilling them.
“Don’t,” I said again. But even to my own ears it sounded like begging. A strange feeling welled in me. Maybe it was because I was already on my knees or maybe it was the bourbon, but when I looked up at him, his hair falling over his forehead to hide his eyes, his mouth slack and wanting, I felt…worshipful.
“Get up,” he said his voice tremulous.
Getting up was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to unbuckle his belt. Get him out of his jeans and into my mouth. The whole scene unfolded in my mind like it had already happened — his fist wound in my hair, forcing my open mouth onto his cock. Me gagging to accommodate him, tears blurring my vision. But the moment my hand closed over the buckle he hauled me to my feet.
“You’re drunk, Yves. Go to bed. I’ll call to you in the morning.”

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