ROMANCE TEST || CHAPTER 10. NO WORDS AND THEN JUST A FEW

She was right earlier, she doesn’t even manage to cross the threshold of his bedroom.

“You have a mirror here,” she exhales in horror.

“Ah, yeah, I forgot about that,” he says. “Is that a problem?”

Emilia chokes on a disbelieving laugh. “Only someone as fit as you can ask that.”

“Good to know you think I’m fit,” he says. “Do you want me to throw something over it?”

The mirror is so tall and wide it can fit three Emilias horizontally, or one and a half Daniel Oates vertically.

“What can you possibly throw over it? The holocaust cloak from Princess Bride?” she yelps.

“I don’t know what that is,” he says.

He leaves her by the door, comes up to the wall, and turns the mirror around. Even after his stunt in the kitchen, Emilia still can’t help but note the amount of physical strength in him. It’s both endlessly sexy – and mildly terrifying. Sure, during the Stone Age his size and muscles would make him an attractive mate, since he could hunt and defend her and her offspring from predators. But these days, men are the predators. And this one also has an armoury in a closet.

“Better?” he asks and sits down on the bed. He then pats the cover near him. “Do you want to join me?”

Emilia cautiously lowers her bottom on the bed near him and exhales slowly. Anxious thoughts swirl in her head. She’s preoccupied with the thought that they probably need to discuss protection, while at the same time she’s pondering the mechanics of getting under his duvet. If they start kissing right now, how will she ensure that she can hide once some of her clothes are off? And then a horrific realisation comes: had she known where her day would take her, she definitely wouldn’t have put on high-waisted stretchy briefs and her favourite supportive seamless bra. At this stage she has zero pros – and a couple dozen of cons – to jumping up to her feet and running out of his flat.

“Emilia.”

She whips her head to him.

“I’m just going to make sure one last time,” he says softly, “before I take control like you asked for before. Do you want to have sex with me?”

“I–”

Do you, Milly?

“I just wish I wasn’t– me!” Words burst out of her, and she bites her bottom lip. “I’m fat, and I feel so ugly–” Yep, here’s the first crack in the voice. Shut up, Milly! “And I’m wearing these giant knickers, you know, the ones they make fun of in Bridget Jones. If I was this confident sexy woman, and did something stupid, or didn’t know how to behave, no one would care! You’d be too randy to care! And kink or not, how can anyone enjoy touching me? It’s like I’m made of flan! And I just can’t stand it!” She draws a shaky breath in, trying to take her nerves under control, but her voice is trembling more and more. Don’t you dare to cry right now, you daft cow! You’ve probably arsed it up already. At least, don’t go all sobbing and snotty on him. “It’s my worst nightmare! To be seen as… disgusting!” she cries out. “I just imagine that people look at me and must feel sick. All this fat, and the drooping folds, all jiggly, and–”

She remembers to whom she’s just confessed her biggest fear, and her throat constricts. She clenches her fists and keeps staring at his black carpet, unable to lift her eyes. What will she see in his face? Pity? Annoyance? Said disgust?

He says nothing, Emilia quickly wipes her tears and looks up at him. She was wrong: there’s no pity or disgust on his face. There is virtually no expression on it. Emilia suddenly feels relatively offended: he could at least pretend to sympathise with her before he kicks her out.

“I’m–” he draws out, then blinks and focuses on her. “I don’t know what to answer to this.”

“Right,” Emilia says flatly.

“I’m sorry,” he adds after a pause. “I can’t imagine how you feel.”

It doesn’t sound like an empty platitude. Just as always, it sounds like he means it. Literally. Emilia throws him an askance glance. He frowns.

“I’m sorry,” he repeats. “I do want to reassure you, I do. But it just sounds… absurd. You’re a beautiful woman. You’re funny, and sexy, and– Again, I just don’t understand it. I reckon, our society is fucked up if it makes you feel this way about yourself.”

He stops and makes a rumbly irritated noise in his throat. Clearly, he’s not used to pronouncing speeches. Emilia is sitting with her mouth half-open. He stretches his hand to hers, folded on her lap, but then changes his mind and awkwardly pats his knee as if he’s unsure what to do with his hands now.

“Did I kill the mood?” she whispers.

After all, whatever measly pleasure one can get from sex with her can’t possibly be worth all this trouble.

“I’m a man, love,” he says with a soft smile. “If you still decide to go through with it, you only need to ask.”

“Can you– can you just– reassure me on the way?” she asks. His eyebrows jump up questioningly. “I do want it. I really do,” she says, and then gives him a shy look. “Just maybe if you could– tell me if you’re enjoying something– because I’ll be imagining you having all these nasty thoughts, and this way I’d know it’s just my insecurities.”

“Are you asking me to talk during sex?” he asks in an amused voice.

“Is it hard?”

She honestly doesn’t know. Paul did talk – not that it was any help. More so, his porn like narration and exclamations made her only more uncomfortable. It’s mind-boggling how trusting she is with Oates – but she’s somehow sure he’ll do better.

“Not at the beginning,” he answers with a chuckle. “Mind you, I’m not a chatty person. Sorry, love.”

“Just a few words would suffice,” Emilia makes a feeble joke.

“I’ll do my best,” he says – and then confidently pulls her into a kiss.

She squeaks, twitches, but then wraps her arms around him. The feeling of his wide, scorching body is surprisingly calming, and she presses into him. After a few seconds, she even ventures into a small investigation and runs her palms along his arms and over his chest – and then her palm brushes over his thigh. There’s a prominent rock hard muscle there, and Emilia moans into his mouth.

She picks up a button on his shirt and quickly opens it – and then another one. He has a hairy chest, and she hesitatingly strokes it with her fingertips. He’s cupping her face with both hands and kissing her, and she blindly batts her hands on his stomach and pulls the shirt out of his trousers and opens the rest of the buttons. He helps her to take it off and opens the buckle on his belt.

“Your turn, love,” he murmurs and picks up the hem of her top.

Emilia frantically catches his hands. He halts, and then she slowly releases him and nods. He pulls her shirt up and off, and throws it on the floor. She can feel the static electricity fluffing up her curls. Admittedly, a bad hair day isn’t her biggest barney at the moment. She’s fighting the desire to cover up, or at least press her hands over her cleavage – and then he picks her up just as before and deposits her on his lap.

“Did I mention I don’t fancy skinny women?” he asks. His thumb and index finger lie on two sides of her chin, he tilts her head back, and places a greedy open-mouthed kiss on her throat. “And you were wrong. I very much enjoy this.”

He lets go of her chin – Emilia feels hot and weak and strangely pliable – and he strokes her neck, then her collarbone, and his fingers slide into the dip between her breasts.

“Very much,” he murmurs, and then moves his hand, along the line of the bra cup, his knuckles gently grazing her skin and then her nipple, and he pulls the strap of the bra off her shoulder.

Emilia wakes up back to life and starts participating. Once she turns to face him, he hoists her up, helping her to move her leg, and somehow she’s now straddling him. He masterfully unclasps her bra – and she feels his hands splay on her back. It momentarily knocks her out of the randy fog in her head, and she tenses.

“Emilia,” he calls and rubs his nose to her jaw. “You’re beautiful.”

Oddly enough, it doesn’t sound like a fake reassurance he’s giving her just because she asked. His palms stroke down her back, and then he cups and tenderly squeezes her breasts.

“So perfect,” he murmurs.

Emilia has always been ashamed of her tits, hiding them behind draping clothes and puffy scarves. With Paul, she asked to keep her bra or shirt on, after the first time she undressed in front of him. He kept trying to touch them, and she just let him for as long as she could stand it, and then she’d ask him to move his hands. She’s enjoying what Oates is doing so much right now – she’s arching her back, insistently pushing her chest into his magical hands – that she decides to ponder the reason behind these differences some other time.

Emilia decides to test a little something she read in an Olivia Dane novel, and she slides her mouth, first, on the corner of his lips, and then lower, and bites gently into his bearded jaw. Her fingers instinctively curl, grasping handfuls of his hair. He growls, and his hands start roaming her torso and her hips.

“God, your arse,” he exhales, groping said arse.

“I think, I’m ready to move,” Emilia announces decisively. “And I also think you should take off your trousers. And your pants.”

Somehow, she finds she can’t care less about the inadequateness of her own pants at the moment. She just wants to take them off and to find out if there are more pleasant surprises when it comes to how she can feel when shagging Daniel Oates.

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