“The condoms are in the kitchen,” he announces into her shoulder he’s kissing. Emilia peers at him in confusion. He lifts his face and meets her eyes. “I need to get them.”

“Oh, right,” she says.

Why didn’t he get them when he was leaving the kitchen? Emilia just can’t stop analysing everything. She wonders if he was going to do something else – not the ‘normal’ shag she requested – and then he changed his mind. Alternatively, maybe, he likes to do it in the kitchen – that’s why the condoms are there – and she wasn’t supposed to ask to go to his bedroom. Or was it he who suggested it?

Emilia is close to losing her bottle. How do people even manage to hook up?! Do they just intuitively know how to go through these steps – or is there some sort of a secret manual?


She blinks and stares at him.

“I need to get up, love,” he says evenly.

She scampers off his lap, which adds to her anxiety, because when she moves, without her bra restraining her tits or her clothes hiding her body, there’s a lot of visible jiggling. He rises and looks down at her. Emilia clenches her hand to stop herself from grabbing the nearest piece of fabric to cover herself.

Is it OK to ask a bloke who’s supposedly going to shag you in a couple of minutes if you can get under his duvet? Emilia’s asking for a friend.

He gives her a fleeting smile, which seems almost distracted, and leave. Emilia releases a shaky breath and crawls to the headboard of his massive bed.

His bedding is just as pristine and faceless as the rest of his flat. Also, either he’s taken classes on professionally making his bed, or he’s got a maid or a butler, since the whole set up of four identical pillows and the wrinkleless duvet is just too perfect.

Or maybe he doesn’t sleep in this bed, she suddenly thinks. Maybe, this is a ‘shag bed.’ He said he didn’t normally have guests in his flat – but quoting her favourite telly doctor, everybody lies.

She’s torn between the fear to break some rules of a casual hanky-panky – she’s not proud of using this term in her mind, but currently her mental vocabulary is limited by the panic attack she’s been warding off for the last half an hour – and the need to catch her breath. She has no mirrors in her bathroom, except for a small one above her sink; and she tries to never change in public places, like a gym or a shop; and when she takes a shower or a bath, she makes sure to look down at herself as little as possible. She hasn’t taken her clothes off in front of another person – and especially,  a man – in seven years. Emilia needs a moment.

She decisively jerks at the edge of the duvet and weasels under it. You aren’t a weasel. More like a coypu, Emilia’s inner voice rears its ugly head again.

Shut up, Kate, Emilia orders.

Oates comes back, and somehow in the two minutes he was gone, she’s forgotten he’s not wearing a shirt. How on Earth is Emilia supposed to feel adequate next to a man who, below his neck, looks like Henry Cavill, chest hair and massive arms included, minus the weird overly defined pectoral muscles and abs that look like a Dairy Milk chocolate bar?! Oates is basically built like Jason Momoa, height and width wise. Were he a celebrity, it would be OK, because they are virtually a different species – but he’s a real life man, who just happens to have good genes and works out! He’s large, heavy, and mind-blowingly fit!

He’s also barefoot. Is this something men do to prepare for shag?! He opens the buckle on his belt, the zipper whizzes, and he pushes his trousers down. The sound that just burst out of Emilia isn’t even human.

“You look… tense,” he says, his face just as calm as before.

You bet she’s tense, Kate scoffs. Look at her hands, clutching your posh monochrome bedding. Is this what they call ‘champagne colour?’ Emilia’s knuckles are white.

Oates comes to the bed, sits down on the edge near Emilia’s thigh – the bed dips – then he cups her jaw and leans in for a slow, deep kiss. Emilia is trying to concentrate on his lips – he’s a wonderful kisser – but she can’t stop internally debating where she’s supposed to put her hands and whether the duvet will slide off her bust if she lets it go. Also, before kissing her, he put a condom on his bedside table, and Emilia is trying to remember if the etiquette – of who puts it on and when – was ever discussed in any of the materials she got from Mistress Eva.

Just when she thinks she’s gathered enough courage to slowly lower her hand onto his thigh – there’s a prominent muscle there, and it’s hairy, and Emilia can’t wait to know how it feels against her palm – he pauses, and she realises she hasn’t been reciprocating and he’s probably going to back out of it now. Emilia lunges ahead, planning to kiss him – and lightly headbutts his nose. He winces away, and Emilia starts frantically apologising.

He squeezes the bridge of his nose between his index finger and his thumb,  wiggles it a bit, and then gives Emilia a blank look. She whines – and then he picks her under her arms, and pushes slash slides slash throws her, and now she’s lying across his bed, gawking at him. She flails her hands in the air – she’s lost the duvet! – and then Oates, as she’d call it in one of her books, covers her with his body. Emilia exhales an ‘ooph’ and then a raspy ‘ah.’

And then he crushes his lips into hers – again, that would be a description from her novel – and hooks his fingers on the waist of her knickers. His mouth travels onto her neck, down to her sternum, and then he catches her nipple between his lips. Emilia isn’t sure if she’s enjoying it or she’s simply overwhelmed, but either way, she has no mental capacity to freak out right now. Taking off her pants, he slides his large, scorching palms along her legs, and then he makes a return trip, kissing up from her knee. His tongue draws a swirl on her hip bone – and she remembers how much one’s ‘haircut down there’ is discussed in the media. He drags his tongue towards her fanny – and she presses her hands to the top of his head stopping him. He lifts his face and looks at her. There’s zero emotion on his face, and by the way, he hasn’t said a word since his deadpan ‘you look tense.’ Emilia suddenly has an absurd urge to ask him if he wants to have sex with her and whether he is enjoying it. He looks determined, focused – but nowhere near excited or turned on. The only evidence of his arousal is the enormous boner tenting his boxer briefs.

He opens his mouth, but says nothing, and then leans down to kiss her stomach – which is, conversely, the worst possible choice here. Emilia grabs his shoulders, he lifts his eyes again, and Emilia can’t come up with anything better than to stretch her hand to him.

“Give me the condom,” she squeaks and wiggles her fingers.

He sits up, turns away from her – Emilia huffs a quick, discreet exhale – and then he puts the condom into her hand. When he shifts on the bed, taking off his pants, Emilia pretends to be busy with opening the wrap.

She’s never described putting on protection on a penis in her books, simply avoiding any discussion of contraception altogether. The protagonists are either married and trying for a baby at this stage, or it’s something vaguely historical and no one expects them to pop a pill or have a convenient ‘jimmy hat.’ Paul put them on himself, he was always extra cautious and sometimes even checked on it ‘mid-way’ – which would have been responsible and considerate of him, if it hadn’t turned out later that he just didn’t want to get his mistress preggers.

Emilia lifts the condom in front of her face. She properly should’ve watched an educational video.

“I can put it on myself,” he offers.

Emilia gladly pushes it into his open palm and looks aside. The bubbly excitement she felt when they were kissing earlier is gone now, but she’s determined to go through with it. After all, chances are, she’ll never get another go with a non-imaginary male.

His hand lies on the back of her neck, he once again kisses her in that decisive manner that just turns her noggin off, and he wraps his arms around her. And then he shifts his body, turning Emilia, who’s just started relaxing a bit – and he pushes her on the bed on her stomach. It takes her a second to realise what just happened, and she feels his breath brush at her ear.

“Is this OK?” he asks.

What boggles her mind is that his tone is just as polite and friendly as when he was ordering food for them – if anything, he might sound a bit less enthusiastic now.

He’s patiently waiting for her answer, without touching her, and she realises that all things considered, this might be the best position for her. She won’t be facing him, which might ease her anxiety a bit, and he can’t see or touch her stomach. The rolls and folds are only more noticeable when she moves and bends, and that has always been her main source of shame during sex.

“Yes, it’s OK,” she mutters.

Surely, there are better lines, something sexy and seductive – but what can one expect from a cow like you? Kate comments.

And then she feels the tips of his fingers run down her spine, and his warm palm covers her buttock. His other hand repeats the manoeuvre, and then his thumbs make symmetrical round movements on her tailbone and press into her buttcheeks. It’s a surprisingly gratifying sensation, and she pushes her hips up into his hands. Did he just… purr?! He gives her backside a few more hearty gropes, and Emilia has a sudden – flattering and pleasant – suspicion. She immediately feels so much better and giggles.

“You’re an arse man, aren’t you?” she asks.

“God, yes,” he murmurs. “And yours is just so– so good!” There’s a low rumble in his chest, and then he pats one cheek. “May I?”

“Help yourself,” Emilia answers gleefully.

He kneads her arse, and then she feels his lips and then his teeth on her skin. He’s gentle, and the little bites are ace! She feels him move, and his hands stroke her back again, first, splayed on her shoulder blades, then sliding on her waist, and back to his favourite part.

Emilia peeks over her shoulders. Wow, it’s like it’s a different man! Their eyes meet, and he purses his lips in a sexy smirk. His irises are darker blue, and he licks his bottom lip with a hungry expression.

“I love your back,” he murmurs and bends to place a few soft kisses on her nape.

Emilia drops her forehead on the sheet, tingling head to toe.

“So, so good,” he rumbles, his lips dance lower, and then he vigorously rubs his beard to her buttocks.

Something sweetly clenches below Emilia’s navel, and she writhes on the bed, squeezing her knees and grinding her thighs together. And then he brushes his fingers between her legs – and dips one digit into her. It slips in easily – and she moans, grabbing handfuls of his sheet.

“Ready?” he asks, and Emilia mewls a breathy but eager ‘uh-huh.’

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