ROMANCE TEST || CHAPTER 9. ONE STEP FORWARD

After a few minutes of slow, deep kisses, he moves onto her jaw and then dives down to her neck. She can feel his warm breath and his soft lips on her throat over her pulse. It’s like he’s tasting and savouring some pudding. It would be just like in one of her books, all tingly and sensual, but Emilia is a real person, and she’s so tense that her back muscles might start cramping soon. She’s frantically digging through her memories of her conversations with Mistress Eva, porn and erotica from her reading list, and those few tasteful videos she was suggested to watch. He straightens up, his scorching palm cups her face, and he brushes his thumb to the corner of her mouth.

“Are you enjoying it?” he asks.

Is this something super progressive that has to do with verbal consent – or dirty talk?! The first option is great and tells a lot about him as a man. Option B scares her witless.

“Yes! I am! I’m just–” She exhales through rounded lips. “I’m just nervous and don’t know what to do.”

Who says something like that to a man?!

“Just do what you want?” he offers.

“This implies that I’m supposed to know what I want,” Emilia mutters. “But to know it I’d have to know what my choices are – and I don’t! And in normal circumstances I would wing it and pray that I don’t botch it up for you too soon, but since we’re just doing research here, and we seem to be shockingly open with each other, I just–” She takes a spasmodic inhale, because she’s spewed this anxious nonsense on one breath, and now she’s almost dizzy. “And I literally asked you to bring me here to have sex, and now all I can think about is how we’ll have to start having sex at some point. And I’m bricking it!”

Apparently, you weren’t done with your verbal diarrhea, Milly. Maybe, stuff something in your mouth. One of his stylish sloth napkins, for example.

“We don’t have to do anything,” he says and smiles at her. “We can go back to eating tiramisu. Or we can go for a walk.”

“Do you want to go for a walk?” she asks in disbelief.

“No, I don’t,” he says and then pushes his hand in her hair on the back of her head.

It causes an avalanche of goosebumps to cascade down her back, and she feels a wave of heat rise in her cleavage and climb up her neck. Again, contrary to her expectations, just as in the romance novel cliché, one can feel hot and cold at the same time.

“Can you just–” Emilia licks her lips and braces herself. “Can you just kiss me and sort of– Can you just direct this?”

“Are you asking me to take control over our shag?” he asks – and this time it’s definitely about consent.

You do remember that you met him in a BDSM sex club, don’t you, Milly?!

“But just– Can we have a normal shag?” she asks in a small voice.

His palm slides at the back of her neck, and she squeezes her knees together.

“As opposed to what?”

His lips purse in a warm, amused smirk. The fact that he’s so calm and that they’re still talking makes her relax a bit.

“Well, I assume you have a kink, right?” She peers into his face but it’s still schooled in the same calm amicable expression – except, he’s just started caressing her skin with his thumb, as if sending a weak electric current to buzz through her spine, down to her lower back, which she instinctively arches. “So, I reckon you’ve got a dungeon, or a special room, or–”

“It’s a closet,” he answers in an even tone.

Emilia gulps.

“But I assume you don’t– don’t have to use the stuff from the closet to have sex with me, right?” She throws him a sheepish look. “Because you said you find me attractive, so– would it still work if we just do it the boring way?”

He valiantly tries not to smile, but a grin escapes. Emilia’s cheeks blush in embarrassment.

“I was told it’s a spectrum,” she starts muttering. “And I’ll absolutely understand if you say ‘no,’ but I don’t think I’m ready for any sort of a paraphilia, and–”

“Emilia.”

She shuts her mouth and stares at him.

“I don’t have an exclusive fetish,” he says. “I enjoy my kink, but we don’t have to do anything specific.”

“Right,” she mumbles. “Good. OK… And I’m sorry that it’s all so complicated, and that you have to have this discussion with me, and–”

“It’s not,” he softly interrupts her. “And a discussion is good. How else are we supposed to know what the other person wants?”

“Right, we’re back to the question of wanting things,” Emilia grumbles. “I really don’t know what–” She exhales through rounded lips and firmly meets his eyes. “Answering your previous question, yes. Please, can you take control over– this?” She gestures between them.

“Alright,” he says and steps closer to her.

His hands lie on her knees, and she jumps up. She sniffles and mumbles, “Sorry.”

He shakes his head slightly and then leans in and kisses her cheekbone. He pushes her knees open and wedges himself between them.

“You have nothing to apologise for,” he whispers. “Just tell me if something doesn’t feel right.”

He’s kissing her neck, and Emilia closes her eyes. Somehow, she’s stuck on the thought of how nice he smells. She can catch his own smell under the cologne, and she didn’t expect to enjoy it so much. She slowly lifts her hand and places it on his shoulder, feeling a hard warm muscle through his shirt. Ok, this was scary – but also, the acest thing ever! She moves her hand higher, onto the collar of the shirt, and then the tips of her fingers brush at his skin for the first time. Emilia reminds herself that who dares wins – and treads her fingers in the thick, silky curls on his nape. He makes a pleased noise in his throat and nips her skin. Emilia squeaks, and he immediately moves away.

“No, no, that wasn’t bad!” she exclaims, grabs his shoulders, and – unsuccessfully, because he’s such a mountain – jerks him towards her. “It was just– surprising! But good! Yeah, that was good!”

There are laughing crinkles near the corners of his eyes, and he gives her theatrical suspicious look, squinting and tilting his head. Emilia giggles. His pupils are dilated, and there’s a faint blush on his cheekbones. Generally, his face is much more animated now. His lips are of a brighter colour – and are warmer, which Emilia finds out because she suddenly isn’t bricking it as much, and stretches forward and kisses him.

Everything goes well – headbutting him would surely dampen the mood – and it feels brilliant – and then he hooks his thumbs on the collar of her cardigan and pushes it off her shoulders. The sleeves brush at her arms, then her wrists, and it flops onto the floor in a pathetic puddle of dull beige. Emilia freezes mortified – there’s now one less layer to hide her lardy torso, with all her folds and her giant tits – and then his large hands lie on her upper arms. Her top is sleeveless, and Emilia hates her arms. She was once told that ‘her bat wings were ahead of schedule, and she had arms of a middle-age woman’ – thank you, aunt Lydia – and now he’s touching her blubber!

Also, there’s no use sucking in her stomach anymore, the top is too soft and outlines her Michelin Man worthy waistline! As soon as he stops kissing her and looks down, he’ll see it! And then, she reckons, we’ll know for sure if he has a fat fetish, because there’s no way anyone would find her podgy self at all appetising otherwise!

He steps back and looks her over. Emilia holds her breath. He then picks up her hand and tugs at it gently.

“Where are we going?” she squeaks.

“Bedroom?” he offers.

So, definitely a fetish then. She reminds herself that it’s a good thing, that she was lucky to find someone she fancies who fancies her – or at least one aspect of her appearance. After all, what difference does it make? Just like he said, it’s the question of taste. He likes fat women, she likes– well, everything about him. Alright, maybe, that is a bit of a problem, but if she doesn’t get any funny ideas that it’s anything more than her doing her writing research, and him getting off with a lardo, she’ll be alright.

“Emilia?” he asks and stops pulling her hand.

“Right, yes, bedroom.” She nods so enthusiastically that her ears ring. “Let’s go to the bedroom.”

“We can stay here, if you prefer,” he says. “There’s a sofa in the drawing room.” He chuckles. “We can pretend to watch a film and cop off, like in uni.”

They clearly have a very different copping off history. She thinks back at the giant window in his drawing room and shakes her head.

“Alright then,” he says, and then suddenly picks her up under her arms and deftly takes her off the chair.

She has never – never, never, never – in her life been picked up! She’s never been lifted, carried, or even moved in any way! And it’s like he picked up a cat of an average size!

Seemingly ignorant of her shock, he takes her hand again and starts marching out of the kitchen. Emilia follows, still utterly stunned by her aeronautical experience.

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