Disclaimer: I still own nothing, and I'm not making money for this, either.

WARNING: This chapter is nothing if not sexually explicit. If you don't want to read about Red and Lizzie getting it on, then PLEASE MOVE ALONG. I'm not here to upset anyone.

Chapter 4

"Well... let's start with this." Red began "What do you already know about tantra?"

They were still embracing, but Red had progressed lower with the loofah, rubbing soft circles and gently pulling her up against him, and she couldn't help moving along with his hands, responding to his touch.

She admittedly knew very little about it. "I remember Sting saying he had tantric sex for 30-something hours, which sounds impossible. I almost hope that isn't true.. but.. doesn't it make you finish harder?"

He added more body wash to the loofah, and gently turned Lizzie around and embraced her from behind. "Sting was drunk when he said that."

Red slid one hand down her belly, and left it just below her navel, applying just enough pressure to keep her pressed against him while he gently washed her throat with the other. He leaned in closely to say, "But yes, extended orgasms are just one possible benefit."

"But it's achieved not by racing towards, or even focusing on it. There is no end goal. It's about being fully present. From start to finish, no matter how long it takes, it's about NOW. It's about what you feel now, and what your partner feels now."

His hand slid slightly lower on her belly, as the other lowered to her breasts, the loofah gently exfoliating as he worked it over her. Lizzie sighed, melting under his hands.

"It's about casting aside your inhibitions, opening up, allowing yourself feel everything, and giving yourself over fully to your partner."

Red slid his hand lower and pulled her tightly against him, grinding into the small of her back, making her gasp.

His voice lowered. "Tell me.. what you feel right now."

She shook her head, panting, at a loss for words. She only knew that she wanted him.

He planted a chaste kiss below her ear and stepped back and to her side, taking her left hand in both of his, and raising it to plant a kiss on her wrist, locking eyes with her. He lowered her hand but continued to hold it while he washed the entire length of her arm.

"Though drunk and unqualified to educate the populace about the practice of tantric sex, he more recently made a comment that rings true."

She canted her head, marveling at his ability to continue speaking. She understood that he wasn't actually trying to distract her, as so he often did to others. He was trying to share with her, and she hung onto every word.

"He said that his wife's body is his church."

Red released her hand and stepped behind her. He took her other hand, and kissed her shoulder. He laid kisses down the entire length of her arm as he slowly made his way to her other side, making eye contact again as he kissed her wrist. He held her hand again while he gently washed her other arm.

"Your eyes are wide open during tantric lovemaking. You watch your partner pleasure you. You watch while you pleasure your partner."

Lizzie turned toward Red and cupped his face with her hands, eyes boring holes into his, and said, "Because you're fully present."

Red dropped the loofah and nodded, bringing his hands up to the back of her head, gently combing his fingers through her hair. As she inhaled, he brought his lips close to hers and exhaled into her mouth. And as he inhaled, she breathed into his.

He stepped closer and lowered one hand to her neck, finding the pulse of her carotid artery, and brought his lips to the pulse on the opposite side. In the deepest of tones, he very slowly spoke into her neck, "You synchronize and share each other's breath." The vibrations from his low tone shot under her skin and echoed throughout her body, swiftly carried in her blood by her rapidly-beating heart.

She felt dizzy, but before she even swayed, he wrapped his arms around her, tightly pulling her against him in support.

It dawned on her then, that he always endeavored to be in sync with her, and to support her through everything, however he could.

With an arm wrapped around her shoulders, he stepped to her side and crouched down to place his other arm behind her legs and lift her up. He carried her to the bench and set her down on it. As he stepped away to retrieve the loofah and apply more body wash, Lizzie couldn't help wondering...

Why? He had yet to utter the words, but she already knew that he loved her. He must, and profoundly.

He kneeled down in front of her, and placed her feet in his lap. He worked them over thoroughly with the loofah, massaging her soles, and began speaking again.

"Reverence, Lizzie. I am not a man of god. If there even is a god, I doubt that god is a man. I worship you. Your body is my temple. I commune with you."

He left her feet in his lap, but refocused his attention on her calves, unknotting the wave-weary, solid muscles.

"That is the spiritual, mystic part of tantra that I've taken to heart. I would endeavor to recall that every time we make love, but it comes naturally to me. In many ways, you could say that we've enjoyed a great amount of tantric sex for the short amount of time that we've been intimate."

He parted her legs and crawled in between them, working her thighs one at a time.

Lizzie leaned down to grab the back of his head, directing it towards hers. She slid her hands down to his biceps, coaxing him forward, and he rose up to his knees, but only let her kiss him for a moment, before he redirected his mouth to her belly.

He splayed his fingers and gently raked them up and down her inner thighs, teasing without mercy, but she kept her eyes open. She watched while he brought one hand to the underside of her breast. She watched while he explored her hips with his mouth, tracing his tongue across the line made by her bikini.

Suddenly, he stood up and turned the water off, and walked over toward the opposite wall, his fingers tapped at small touchscreen by the door.

Lizzie was still watching him, of course, more than a little curious.

"Ah hah!" Red chortled, as music began playing, very softly. Piano. Lizzie kept her eyes on him as he continued tapping at the screen, her ears straining to identify the song, and a saxophone chimed in. She smiled. Of course Red would enjoy Coltrane. Red turned toward her just as her face lit up, and he couldn't have been more delighted to see that she was still focused on him, and that she must have recognized the song. He approached and reached for her hand, helping her to her feet and pulling her close.

He leaned in to kiss her, and steam began to billow from the vents.

Oh, yeah. She had forgotten about that.

"In a Sentimental Mood?" Lizzie asked.

"Yes." She wanted confirmation about the name of the song, and he knew it, but his reply sounded as if he was answering an entirely different question.

The benches against the walls were apparently unattached, because Red grabbed one and pulled it to the center of the room. "Sit." He said to Lizzie, pointing to the center of the bench.

She sat down, the way one would normally sit on a bench, with both legs on one side.

Red shook his head. "Not like that." He touched her knee and pointed to the other side of the bench, indicating that he wanted her to straddle it. Then he positioned himself astride the bench as well, right behind her, and went to work on her with his hands, pulling her tightly against him and encouraging her to lean back.

He wasn't interested in teasing her anymore. His lips and tongue latched onto her neck while he brought one hand to her breast, and stroked the other lower and lower, applying firm pressure. She tipped her head back, moaning his name while he inserted three fingers all at once, grinding against her lower back. She couldn't help rolling her hips against his hand, encouraging him to move harder and faster.

"Lizzie, open your eyes." She had forgotten.

He brought his other hand down, just above the first, moving it in heavy-handed circles, his breath catching as much as hers while she looked down to watch what he was doing.

She was wildly thrashing by this point, miles beyond any modicum of control. She craned her head around, seeking out his lips, needing to connect further. She had to taste him. When his tongue entered her mouth, she screamed into his, and he inhaled her breath and breathed back into her while she came.

And came.

And came apart completely.

He left his hands where they were, but stilled them, letting her rest and regain her bearings. She relaxed against him, feeling his heartbeat against her back. Suddenly she was very aware of his arousal, and the fact that he'd been hard for a very, very long time by this point.

He must be aching with need by now. She concentrated for a moment on the way he twitched and throbbed against the small of her back, even while the rest of him was still. And she wanted him inside of her, desperately. She wanted it more than she ever had, and she needed it still, at least as much as he did.

She turned around to face him, but scooted herself back a couple feet, and tucked her hair behind her ears, staring up at him as she leaned forward to take him into her mouth. As soon as her lips made contact, his hips bucked upwards involuntarily, and he gasped. She reached up and dragged her fingers up and down his stomach as he slid more deeply into her mouth.

And his face, contorted with ecstasy, was only barely recognizable to her. Cradling him with her tongue and swallowing as he repeatedly hit the back of her throat, Lizzie vowed to become more familiar with that face. He was vulnerable and yet, his eyes had never looked so bright.

But this was not enough.

As if he'd just read her thoughts, Red placed his hand on her cheek. His breathing became more heavy and his abs twitched and tensed under her hands.

Lizzie knew that he wanted her to stop, because he couldn't.

She sat up and scooted forward again, pressed her chest against his, and wrapped her arms and legs around him. Red brought one hand up to the back of her head, and placed the other on her hip, guiding her into position. With his feet planted firmly on the floor, he pushed up, sliding into her fully as he guided her hips down.

Lizzie tried to rock against him, but he held her hips firmly in place. "Red..." she whimpered, biting her lip and digging her nails into his back.

"Lizzie, tell me what you feel right now." He asked through clenched teeth.

"I... I feel you." He nodded and loosened his grip enough to let her rock back just once before stilling her again.

"Go on."

"I just.. feel you inside of me. Everywhere. That's all I know. There's nothing else to feel, Red. Please.."

He smiled and loosened his grip, bringing his lips up to hers while he pushed upward, allowing her to roll her hips to her heart's content, and to take him freely, however she wanted. Red was mesmerized. He was thoroughly stunned by everything she did to him.

"Lizzie.. you're everything. All I feel is you, too."

And she was clenched so tightly around him, soaring high and thrashing.

Red was quickly losing control of himself, as well. When he found her pulse and moaned against it, her mouth dropped open and he gripped her hips, pulling her tightly against him, grinding into her hard, thrusting wildly.

They fell apart together. She tightened around him, floored by his sounds, feeling him throb as molten heat gushed into her.

Gradually, she slowed and finally stilled, reveling in him while he was still inside of her.

When she caught her breath, Lizzie leaned back and brought her palms to his cheeks. "Red?"

He blinked. "Hm?"

"I thought you said I would get a turn."

He shook his head and smiled.

"Sweetheart, we still have the whole week." He took her hands in his, sighing in contentment.

"Red? Would you prefer if I called you Raymond?" She'd been switching back and forth between his nickname and given name for weeks now, trying to discern from his expression if he had a preference, but to no avail. It was time to hear it from him.

"You can call me whatever you'd like. You can even make up an entirely new name for me, if you so desire." He paused, trying to decide if what he was about to say would be too corny. Ah, to hell with it. "Just call me yours."

Lizzie smiled and nodded, with a noticeable glint in her eyes. She leaned forward to speak directly into his ear. "So... Amanda, why do you know so much about Sting?"

Post-chapter note:

I hope that lived up to everyone's expectations. I can't decide whether or not this is the end, and I'm very interested in everyone's opinion. A TREMENDOUS THANK YOU to all who have commented so far. It means the world to me!