ROMANCE TEST || CHAPTER 18. ONE MORE TIME

Oates is hovering over her, his hands on the bed, his arms straight.

“Have you just called me Emma?” she exhales.

“Have I?” he asks with sincere surprise written on his face. “I’m sorry. I’m not good with names and faces.”

Um… what?

“I do know your name, though,” he adds with a chuckle. “And it’s not Emma. I think I just said Em, and then ‘meh’ came out. You were crying,” he comments in an offhand tone and gives her a quizzical look.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” she mumbles. “This was just– so much of– you know. And then it– happened again.”

Ooph, so awkward.

The worst thing is that they have been in this situation before – in his flat, on his bed. He got her off, and– Is he going to leave now? He can’t ask her to get out, but– Just like last time, the mood has definitely changed.

“Emilia,” he calls softly. “Have you spaced out again? Or do you need another moment alone with your crisis?”

Emilia’s cheeks have the ability to both flame up, making them look like two Marmande tomatoes, and also to blanche, when the feeling of embarrassment reaches a certain level. She might be approaching it right now.

Spaced out again. ‘Again.’

“Um…”

Now, she might actually cry – as opposed to just having a mental reaction to her first proper orgasm with a man, and a multiple one, to boot. Her limbs are weak and shaky; and the more time passes, the less she wants to resume the wild shag they’ve just had.

Which is so bloody selfish!

And it’s the second time!

If she repeatedly managed to ‘lie down and think of England’ with Paul, surely, she could just do it with Oates too. It will even feel good, probably. He said he fancied her arse. Maybe, that position would work. She needs to pull herself together and somehow salvage this situation. Maybe, she can order him to pull out, and sit down, and wait for her to gather her bearings.

“I can’t do anything right now!” she blurts out. “I’m just– I feel like– sloshed! And out of it! I just–”

You definitely aren’t dom material, Milly. Or any material, for that matter. Especially not ‘Daniel Oates lover’ material. Just give up.

She’s not lying. Her thoughts are jumbled, her body seems to have the consistency of blancmange, and she just can’t suss out what it is she’s supposed to do – to say nothing of figuring out what she wants, which is challenging for her on a normal day.

“You don’t have to do anything,” he says and starts moving away.

Will she start bawling before they’re separated with a wall and a door? This time, she will, for sure.

“Do you mind if I use your bathroom?” he asks and points down with his eyes.

He means the condom on his cock, Milly. In case your thick, thick noggin didn’t get it.

“Uh-huh,” she answers, and her lips tremble.

Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry!

“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asks.

Why does he look so shocked? Has he only just noticed they’re having a situation here?!

“I really wanted it! And then I arsed it up again!” she whines. “And– and–”

“I’m sorry, Em, but I really need to take this off,” he exclaims and rolls off the bed. “Hold the thought, yeah? I hate leaving you like that– Just don’t cry, but– Just a mo!”

He’s still talking while disappearing into the hallway, and she hears a door bang somewhere in her flat. That wasn’t the bathroom. Judging by the sounds, he gathers that much, closes her storage cupboard, and finally finds the right room. She can hear water run – and then he makes his way back to the bedroom. Emilia hasn’t moved, frozen in some sort of stupor of shame and despair, and now she sharply sits up, jerks at her clothes to make herself somewhat presentable, and stares at him. He stares at her back.

“The condom was too small,” he says.

“I’m sorry we stopped again!” she says at the same time. “Oh,” she adds. “Right… All my vibrators are size regular.”

TMI much, Milly?

“Is that what those are for?” he asks and points at the bamboo container of Durex in the still open drawer.

Did he think she shags someone else here?! Or shags anyone besides him at all, for that matter. Is he that unaware of how unlikely it is for anyone else to want to sleep with her?!

“I’m sorry we’ve stopped!” Emilia tries again.

He sits down on the bed near her. She notices he hasn’t zipped his fly – and she immediately cowardly looks away.

“It’s OK,” he says calmly. “It doesn’t bother me.”

What?! How is this even… possible?!

“But–” Emilia gawks at him. “Isn’t it uncomfortable? And selfish? I mean, isn’t it selfish of me?”

“It’s not uncomfortable, because it’s not up anymore.” His tone is completely mundane. “And I don’t think having an orgasm is selfish. Plus, I had fun too.”

Emilia’s mind boggles.

“But– but–” She has nothing. “But isn’t it what you came here for?!”

Oh that wasn’t good, Milly. How do we know it wasn’t good? Because his face has just set in hard lines.

On the side note, you’re getting better at reading his expressions, innit? He might be pretty much just as stone-faced as most of the time – but you’ve guessed he’s cheesed off.

Properly cheesed off.

Emilia whimpers.

“I came to explain to you why I was so rude last time,” he answers in a low voice. “And to take you out for dinner.”

Oh right, dinner. That’s another activity that’s gone down the chute tonight.

Say something, Milly.

He sighs. “Emilia, like I said, I’m not good at reading social situations. Can you tell me what you’re thinking?”

Emilia whips her head and meets his attentive, cautious eyes.

“I don’t know,” she mutters and frantically clutches the hem of her dress. “I’m… upset, I think. I’m upset because it’s the same as the last time, you see. We get together to have sex, and then I–” She struggles to name what happens.

“Orgasm?” he helps out.

“Yeah…” Now her cheeks definitely feel cold. She might be pale too. “And for some reason after it, I’m completely useless, and it becomes awkward, and– And I don’t want you to leave now and never call me again!”

She freezes, mortified – and then he shifts on the bed closer to her and asks, “Can I hug you?”

Oh god, yes please!

“Um… yeah,” she whispers and scoots towards him.

A Daniel Oates hug is perfection! He’s so large, warm – and his embrace is just the ideal balance between being surrounded by the pressure of his firm muscles, and his gentle touch – that Emilia can’t hold back a quiet moan. Her arms go around his middle, under the waistcoat, and she snuggles into his chest.

“I won’t leave now, and I will call you again if you want me to,” he says, his cheek on top of her head. “And you aren’t ‘useless’ after an orgasm. You just need a break. Do you know what aftercare is?”

“I’ve read up on it a bit,” she answers. He smells so good! “It’s a comforting activity, something that lets people relax and recover after the play,” Emilia diligently quotes her research.

“Well, as I see it, you seem to need it after vanilla sex,” he says.

And then he suddenly squeezes her and sort of waggles her, rocking her side to side, and essentially rubbing her against him, or shimmying together with her. It doesn’t feel at all bad – she’s just not at all sure what he’s doing!

“What was that?” she asks, confused.

He stops abruptly and starts taking his arms from around her. Emilia tightens her grip on him and pulls him in.

“I liked that!” she rushes to say. “I did! Just wasn’t sure–”

“You’re just so small and cute, and I– can’t help it,” he mumbles.

Oh! Oh… I’m sorry… what?! Emilia is ‘small and cute?!’ Is he mental?!

“Do it again, please,” she asks shyly.

“I can’t,” he grumbles and settles his chin on the crown of her head. “I don’t actually ‘do’ it. It just sort of happens. It’s a feeling, and then my arms just–”

He huffs an uncomfortable exhale.

“Squish?” she asks, and feels him nod. “That made me feel better,” she whispers. “That was good aftercare.”

“Yeah?”

He noticeably relaxes in her arms.

“Yeah,” Emilia confirms and rubs her cheek to him. His heart is beating in his chest in a strong, even rhythm. “Does it really not bother you that you didn’t get to– finish?” she asks.

“I’m not leaving yet, though, right?” he draws out and nuzzles her hair. “Do you think I might still get a chance to? We can have dinner and… see how it goes.”

Emilia smiles into his shirt.

“That sounds very good,” she says and gingerly strokes his back.

If she had to describe his body and the vibe it’s giving out, in her book – which she will never, never, never do! – she’d use the words ‘strong,’ and ‘heavy,’ and ‘healthy,’ and somehow both ‘exciting’ and ‘cosy.’ Touching him is both, for sure. Maybe he doesn’t like this sort of touch, Kate whispers, and Emilia tenses. Kate knows exactly what to say to inflict most damage on Emilia’s peace of mind. 

Oates splays his hand on her shoulder blades, and then tenderly ruffles her curls on the back of her head with the other hand.

“Can you do some more of it?” he asks.

Maybe he does like it.

Emilia obliges. She’s not sure which one of them is enjoying it more: there are some long, warm muscles in his back, and she realises she’s started snuggling into him simultaneously with stroking him. Apparently, he’s not the only one with ‘squishing’ urges. Given, squishing his massive, hard body is a much more laborious task.

“I had a vertebrectomy in my middle spine ten years ago,” he suddenly announces. “It’s sometimes sort of iffy. Itchy inside, almost. Your rubbing feels properly ace.”

Emilia is only happy to continue.

“In a couple of minutes,” he says, and she snorts because he’s clearly trying to ensure she goes on for a bit more. He continues, “I can ring up my restaurant, and they can deliver us dinner.”

“So, I do get to have the cake and eat it,” Emilia jokes, referring to their earlier conversation.

He laughs softly. “That reminds me, I should order us pudding too.”

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