Hi there, my pretties. This is my first GaaSaku one-shot in a while (posted, anyway), so be gentle with me. It also has mentions of Sakura centred non-GaaSaku sex (non-descriptive to my eyes), and a GaaSaku lemon (descriptive).

Anyway. Hope that hasn't scared you away. Enjoy. :)

.:.

The lower you fall, the higher you'll fly. - Chuck Palahniuk

.:.

Sakura Haruno was a glutton for punishment.

She'd never given the term "rock bottom" a second thought until it happened to her.

Well, it almost happened to her. Many times. Somehow, she always managed to pull herself away from the brink of that deep, dark pit of despair and get back on her feet. The trouble was that "back on her feet" was still a very lonely place for an asocial doctor wannabe who was shit at just about everything but wanting to be a doctor.

She was actively moving toward her dreams and had sacrificed so much to get where she was, yet nothing was okay; she was flat broke, had no love live, family life, or close friends to speak of, and hadn't had sex in twelve months. Suffice it to say, she hated her life right now.

She'd do anything to change that, which was why she was currently sulking into her Martini as her estranged best friend and ex-best friend got married in the most expensive Shinto Shrine to ever be built into a five-star hotel, witnessed in person by hundreds of guests, televised to millions of fanatic fans of Japan's most beloved son, and Kami himself (or herself). Thousands of guests were invited to the reception, however, and Sakura's invite to both the ceremony and the celebrations had surprised all – despite everything, the groom and bride didn't hate Sakura, per se, but they had a complicated history with her that didn't make for the most comfortable of reunions. The Uzumaki/Hyuuga wedding was the social event of the year, and she should've known better than to accept the invitation, but she was sick of being lonely and feeling sorry for herself because of it.

Hinata had clearly invited her out of pity or that insufferable kindness trait of hers (maybe both), and the pinkette was the social outcast before she even stepped into the shrine, let alone the reception hall.

'So much for not feeling sorry for myself.'

Staring out over the dancefloor of the reception, Sakura sighed heavily. This wasn't how she'd pictured the evening going. She was supposed to let loose, forget her troubles for a few hours, and escape before the bride tossed the bouquet so she didn't get embarrassed any more than necessary.

'Maybe I could still disappear into the wallpaper.'

It was her non-existent love life that bothered her the most, right now; watching the happy dancers as everyone moved to congratulate the happy couple was making her love sick.

Did she give up looking for 'Mr. Right' because of her failed, non-existent love life, or did she have a failed, non-existent love life because she gave up on 'Mr. Right'?

Sakura wanted to believe there was someone out there for her.

She shook her head, inhaling deeply, and trying to shake away those unhappy thoughts. But her eyes were treacherous; they followed the brown haired man she hadn't seen since their unromantic liaison in his cousin's shower as he twirled his date and practically glided across the dancefloor in that elegant way he always did with everything.

The lucky bastard.

She'd fooled herself into thinking that she could come to this damn thing alone and not look like a loser, but was now regretting coming at all.

Sakura Haruno was lonely. That was it. And she was beginning to think she'd never feel the touch of a man again.

Correction: Lonely and horny.

Her track record wasn't very good, even though she tried. Eight times… that was how many times she'd had sex. Eight times, and no romance. Eight times, and no orgasm. At least none she hadn't had to do herself (before or after).

And she remembered every blundering time in vivid, colourful detail.

.:.

#1
Her first time had been as uncoordinated and disappointing as it was quick. It wasn't his fault – they were both virgins, after all. But the boy she'd always gone out of her way to avoid in the corridors at school (because of that creepy factor) was a gentleman nonetheless. Kiba Inuzuka was sweeter than his reputation would have her believe. It wasn't until their graduation that he made a move on her.

He used the fact that they were never going to see each other again to get her into the back of his mother's Toyota Prius. He used the fact that she had suddenly found kissing to be a more than passable pastime to get her into a heavy snogging session. And he used the fact that she wasn't some hopeless romantic like her soon-to-be ex-friends to convince her that it was "just sex" and not a marriage proposal.

She had fallen for it, hook line and sinker, but he was a gentleman… she remembered him asking for permission, and touching her as much as possible to make her comfortable; he felt like a freight train going in, but she had resigned herself to it by that point.

He was just practice, anyway.

Sakura hadn't been timing him, but she was pretty sure it was supposed to last longer than that. If she had to guess, it had taken a handful of strokes to bring him over that invisible precipice.

Too bad he hadn't taken her over it with him.

She'd barely been eighteen years old, naïve, and thinking that was all there was to sex. And unfortunately, it was something she would continue to be oblivious to for a good long while.

#2
Fresh out of high school, her eyes set firmly on becoming a doctor, and her UMAT (University Medical Health Sciences Admission Test) and interview over and done with, Sakura Haruno was ready to take on the medical world. She was feeling on top of the world, scared, and determined all rolled into one.

It was six months into her bachelor degree when she attended the birthday party that her rival-slash-on-and-off-again-high-school-friend Ino Yamanaka was holding for her new boyfriend… some hick town boy named Sai something.

If it wasn't for Facebook, she wouldn't have even known it was happening. And if it wasn't for the fact that Naruto Uzumaki's high school crush on her had faded into nothing, she wouldn't have agreed to come.

It helped that she had nothing else to do with her Friday night – she was caught up on all her course modules.

Her second time had been a bit better than the first, though still not crash hot. His name was Shikamaru Nara, and he'd dated Ino on and off for years back in school. Rumour had it that he'd ended it because she'd flushed all his weed down the toilet in the teacher's lounge in a PMS induced rage one day.

Escaping from the hordes of drunk university students, Sakura had happened upon Shikamaru smoking on the balcony of Ino's apartment. He blew smoke in her face. He thought she was hot when she coughed like that. She thought he was high. They were both right, apparently. So when he leant forward to kiss her, testing the waters (so to speak), she didn't fight or question it.

Before she knew it, Sakura's knickers were on the hardwood floor, her dress bunched up at her waist, and the laid back, spiky haired man had positioned himself between her legs; a raging fire burned through her nether regions for a short time thereafter.

Sakura never did get those knickers back.

#3
Number three was another six months later – give or take a few days.

Dutifully minding her own business because sticking her nose into other peoples' affairs was something Ino did, Sakura ignored the sudden influx of text messages being sent to her by her now plutonic friend Naruto Uzumaki. When Hinata also tried to get into contact with her, Sakura finally decided to read their messages.

Apparently, the world was ending. Hinata was devastated. Naruto was melancholy. Their gradual rise to the cliché "perfect couple" had crumbled and died – it didn't even have the decency to crash and burn like an interesting relationship would.

Sakura was at a loss as to what they thought she was supposed to do about it. Hinata cried on her shoulder one night, and Naruto invaded her apartment with alcohol and video games the next; she felt like a yo-yo.

But it was when Naruto finally admitted that he was still a virgin that Sakura's friendship with him changed. He was tipsy and devastated by this unfair state of affairs, and she was a warm, willing body.

They ended up fucking in her bed, fully clothed, and half-arsed about it.

Sakura burned her bed the next day.

She was so done with sex.

That internal proclamation lasted for the remainder of her Undergraduate studies – the rest of the two years, to be exact. She buckled down and studied harder than ever. Her hand became her only "special" friend and Sakura was proud of herself when the extra study time resulted in a significant increase in quality in her exams.

#4
But number four was waiting right around the corner, and this time she was blameless (partially, kind of, for the most part – depending on how one looked at it).

She'd finished her Undergraduate degree and was looking forward to some time to sit back and relax before she started up the next component to her life-long goal when out of the blue, Ino Yamanaka (who she only spoke to via social media, these days) invited her out to a club to celebrate her finishing her studies.

Sakura tried to explain that she just wanted some time alone but apparently that was the wrong thing to say. The blonde hounded the pinkette for days until she gave in – conveniently just in time for the weekend.

So she grudgingly dressed in a slinky dress, applied minimal make-up, and let Ino gel her short hair spiky – apparently she looked like a "darl" this way.

The nightclub was owned by Ino's cousin, Deidara Kamizuru, and it was the most prestigious club in Tokyo's nightlife. Not to mention it was expensive. So Sakura let Deidara's chatty friend Tobi pay for her drinks, observing from the bar that Ino's idea of celebrating the pinkette's successful studies meant grinding against every hard body that rocked against hers. Some things never changed with that girl.

It wasn't long before Deidara ushered Tobi away and started to come on to Sakura, hard. A combination of his persistence and her alcohol addled brain resulted in no resistance from her when he steered her through the crowd, and toward the toilets. They weren't heading to relieve themselves, however; Sakura was only mildly surprised when the blond pulled her out the back (into a staff only area), and then into the alley behind the club.

It wasn't dingy, but she doubted the place was sanitary, either.

She was surprised, however, when the first thing he did was go down on one knee – her drunken, foggy brain thought he was proposing until he parted her knees and slipped his hands under her dress. From then on, she didn't do much thinking. It was all instinct as she once again gave herself over to that aching urge to balance out her straight laced side with her hormones. She'd never thought having sex with a stranger could feel so right and wrong at the same time, but Sakura regretted it when she woke up the next morning.

She had been drunk, but Deidara hadn't. He'd taken advantage of her state of intoxication and she felt sick to her stomach after the encounter.

Sakura avoided Ino (and anyone related to her) from there on out.

So again, Sakura decided to go without sex for the foreseeable future. It helped that the only person that had ever given her an orgasm was herself. Her hand was more than enough, for now. Maybe forever if her inner masochist had anything to say about it.

#5
Inevitably however, number five rolled around without much help from her.

He was tall, dark, and handsome – everything her mother had warned her about when she started getting fuzzy feelings for the boys in her class in middle school. Itachi Uchiha was a marble sculpture that she wanted to get fuzzy with, alright.

At first, she tried to convince herself that she was just in lust – her body reacted every time she saw him – she couldn't have him… maybe that was why she devoured him in her dreams. He was dating another teacher's aide named Konan. She was beautiful too.

So Sakura kept her crush to herself for ten months. Ten long months. She got to know the man, though, genuinely intrigued by his intelligent mind. He was a one of a kind.

And then, one day, it happened. He broke up with Konan – or she broke up with him, Sakura wasn't quite sure. Given that they were friends now, Itachi confided in her. And this time, Sakura was the one taking advantage of someone else. He kissed her first, but if she'd had any scruples, she wouldn't have let it go any further. But she'd been salivating over him long enough. She wanted him.

Sakura responded immediately, letting his large hands trace her body as he vented his grief on her, and on the desk he used in his classes.

Their classes.

He was her most competent partner yet… but this wasn't lust or love for him. He was hurting and she was there. So after he finished making the desk permanently indent the floor, Itachi looked at her with that expression of regret she'd seen on herself the last time she'd let her hormones control her actions.

And she hated herself more than she wanted Itachi in that moment. Sakura fled the scene and never stayed after class to discuss Optogenetics in neural systems ever again.

#6
She was exhausted by the time number six reared his gorgeous head, eight months later.

Still aching after her fling with Itachi, and still avoiding the man, Sakura had hit a dead end in that infamous Optogenetics essay that she needed his help with.

Sakura decided to bite the bullet and go to see him – maybe if she acted like nothing had happened, he would too, and things could go back to the way they were. She knew he didn't hate her. Itachi couldn't hate anyone. But she felt like he did, every time she avoided his eyes in class, and every time he avoided hers.

His office was busy when she finally plucked up the courage to face him. Black hair, blue hair; they were in there, giggling, their laughter echoing through the empty passageway. She froze on the spot, recognising the tell-tale sounds and verbal aphrodisiacs of rough sex; Sakura felt like throwing up.

So she sped out of there, not sure where she was going.

The stranger that she literally slammed into didn't give her his name before turning on the charm. He had seen straight up her skirt when she'd fallen over in shock, and smirked at her blush. She was easy prey right then. He was clearly a player, saying all the right things, touching her just enough to get a reaction without incurring sexual harassment charges.

So she let him. In her mind, Itachi was still going at it, and she had no excuse for what happened next, in the nearest classroom. She'd never wanted to have sex in a classroom again, but what the hell.

Afterward, she felt disappointed again. Was there actually such thing as a sex induced orgasm? If there was, the gods had seen fit to deprive her of it. But she felt inclined to ask him his name – if she was going to be a slut, she at least wanted to know who she was slutting around with. So, who was so warm and charming, yet so cold and calculating that he could pull a complete stranger into a room and sixty-nine them against another stranger's desk without missing a beat?

Sasuke Uchiha. That's who.

Fuck her life.

What was the point, she asked herself, of abstaining from sex if every time a guy caught her eye she ended up like this? She wanted romance, flowers, dinner, and moonlit walks on the beach, not quickies with men she'd either never see again or wished to never see again.

#7
She was just going through the motions, by this point.

One year later, she found her so-called lucky number seven. (Nothing lucky about it, really.)

She was now twenty-two years old, and her parents had started asking her if she was planning on settling down. Sakura knew better than to think that these were harmless questions – they wanted to set her up with someone, probably the son of one of their wealthy clients.

That was how she found herself agreeing to a reunion with Hinata and Ino at the Hyuuga family estate – to avoid her parents and their questioning. It was a miserable day, muggy, hot, and boring – not to mention the new birth control pills she'd been taking had made that time of the month come early this month. So she was cramping, miserable, and jealous as she watched her friends avail themselves of Hinata's father's new outdoor, in-ground swimming pool.

She hadn't come prepared for that, given her condition.

So she downed a few Martini's before leaving the back yard and heading inside to find out what other types of intoxicants she could get her hands on, only to find that she was not alone in her choice of solitude.

She remembered him from school only, since Neji Hyuuga had bullied Hinata instead of being a part of the family any time Sakura had visited the Hyuuga Estate. Hinata said he'd changed, that he was a better man; Sakura was dubious, having seen him at his worst when it came to his cousin.

But he really did seem different.

She tried to fight it, not wanting to have that conversation with him about why she was attracted to him but couldn't have sex. Men didn't want to know about that time of the month. He wasn't going to be any different. But he was stubborn and eventually she told him, to stop his advances. Sakura watched the surprise on his face settle into nonchalance, bracing herself for the cold, distant conversation that was sure to follow. But it didn't come.

He took her hand, whispered, "we can work around that," and led her upstairs, to one of the bathrooms.

Apparently, some men didn't mind a little foreign blood on their person as long as they "got some".

He used the water in the shower to counter her condition, and Sakura actually enjoyed it, though when he was done and the water was still warm, she realised that having sex in a shower wasn't all that it was cut out to be.

And still no sex induced orgasm. She was beginning to think there was no such thing. She had a higher chance of finding a magical leprechaun. Or so it would seem.

#8
Number eight was the biggest surprise, however. She'd never had sex with someone so much older than her before. Never even considered it.

His name was Kakashi Hatake and he was a teacher at her university. He didn't teach any of the modules she took and she'd only seen him from afar, but that tall, lean man was the subject of much desire among the student populous. Definitely a man everyone wanted. Other teachers too.

A new friend of hers – a teacher's aide, go figure – invited Sakura to her best friend's birthday party and the pinkette learned quickly that Kakashi wasn't as old as she'd thought. It was the grey hair that had thrown her off – sorry, silver according to Rin Nohara.

He was charming, aloof, and the quiet type, but that smile of his made those pesky butterflies do strange things in her stomach. So she let him lead her to his room – it was his apartment, it seemed – and straight onto the bed.

He wasn't sober, unfortunately, so he had trouble getting started. It turned out that alcohol wasn't an aphrodisiac; she'd never stopped to think how rarely drunk men could "get it up". She had to help him along to get anywhere and the sex wasn't memorable, but she did enjoy herself.

She lamented only, that he'd been drunk – he gave her the impression he had earned his sex symbol status.

Another roll in the sheets (figuratively or literally) she wished had gone differently.

.:.

'Those were the days.'

Kiba Inuzuka, Shikamaru Nara, Naruto Uzumaki, Deidara Kamizuru, Itachi Uchiha, Sasuke Uchiha, Neji Hyuuga, and Kakashi Hatake… they were all from well-known clans in Japan, and every single one of them had been invited to this damn wedding. To rub more salt in Sakura's wounds, none of them had shown up alone.

Kiba was with some feisty looking brunette girl; she had a death grip on him but he looked happy about it. Shikamaru was dancing with some blonde woman with her hair up in four ponytails (who wore their hair like that at a wedding?). Naruto, of course, was slow dancing with Hinata, all glowy and insufferably happy. Deidara was dancing with some other blonde bimbo, dancing like the band was playing a samba instead of a waltz. Itachi, surprisingly, was on the arm of a woman that Sakura was pretty sure was Kiba's older sister, Hana. Sasuke had his hands all over his date; some red head who looked like she'd either fallen asleep or was trying her hardest to drool on his dress shirt. Neji, like Sakura had noticed before, was elegance personified with his date – a sweet looking girl with a similar complexion to him. And Kakashi… it looked like Rin had finally stepped up and gotten a hold of the man she was obviously heads over heels for. They looked sweet together.

Sakura even noticed several other familiar faces – like Konan, who was almost as elegant as Neji, her arms wrapped around a man with orange hair and facial piercings.

The reception hall was one big romantic affair.

'Enough reminiscing and moping.'

Sakura sighed deeply, passed her drink off to a waiter, and ducked out of the ballroom. Naruto and Hinata would have to forgive her. She was happy that they'd finally gotten their acts together and were now married, but she didn't want to stay here any longer.

She'd spent the ceremony ogling Naruto's best man (she didn't recognise the man, since her friendship with the blond still hadn't bounced back), and didn't want to fall back into the bad habit of fucking random men on a whim.

She needed some air.

.:.

The noise of the Uzumaki/Hyuuga wedding was muffled as Sakura closed the door to the terrace. She was not going to stick around for the tossing of the bouquet, even if she had to climb down to ground level, change her name, and run away to some hick town, like Konoha.

It was one year on from the last time a man had touched her, Sakura was as loveless as ever, and she was tired of feeling sorry for herself. She was twenty-four, still young, had finished her degree and was about to start her internship under the renowned Lady Tsunade. She had her whole life ahead of her. There was nothing to get emo over. Her inner masochist, however, had other ideas.

"Maybe I should just get drunk and pass out somewhere," she said, instead of thinking.

"A bit early in the night for that, don't you think?"

Sakura started, spinning on the spot, and realising she wasn't alone out here. The deep voice caught her off guard – it surprised and aroused her at the same time.

'The best man.'

A gorgeous red head stood staring at her, a cigarette halfway out of his mouth as he smirked at her knowingly. He was a full head taller than her and up close she could see the black polish on his nails; from her position in the Shinto Shrine, she hadn't noticed the metal clasps adorning the buttons on his formal suit, either. She'd never met anyone that wore metal, at all, and she had a sudden image of him decked out in full goth gear when not dressed up for a wedding. The black eyeliner he'd applied around his eyes looked less like make-up now that she was less than four feet from him, and more natural.

Interesting… He was different, that's for sure. She found herself staring at him, wanting to know his name, and wanting to see if she was right about him being goth.

"And you are?"

"Gaara."

"I'm Sakura."

He raised an eyebrow. "I know."

She frowned. She didn't know him. He couldn't know her. Had he been following her around or something?

'That would be a step up from my usual so-called love life.'

"Your name was down for the rehearsal dinner."

Right. The rehearsal dinner she'd skived off because anything that involved being around Naruto and Hinata at the same time, and in such close quarters, was bound to end up only embarrassing her. The happy-in-love couple had kept her on the guest list after being stood up, regardless. It surprised and disappointed her.

"I remember because I'd never seen Naruto so relieved to be stood up." He stated.

Sakura narrowed her eyes at him, annoyed. He just smirked, looked her up and down, and offered her the half used smoke that had previously been hanging out of his mouth; she waved his hand away, shaking her head in disgust. He shrugged and went back to leaning on the balcony railing, but his eyes were glued to her body; he was checking her out.

A minute passed before he averted his gaze and resumed his previous activity of stargazing.

Rude.

But she found herself wanting to strike up a decent conversation with the man – it was that or head back into the reception hall, since she felt self-conscious at the idea of this stranger witnessing her desired flight to freedom.

She racked her brains for conversation starters as he continued to stare absentmindedly into the distance, smoking and tapping his hand against the railing to the beat of the music being played inside.

They were in a hotel – Naruto's family was just that extravagant. They were alone. It was a nice night out. They were at a wedding. The music was good. He looked really good in that suit, despite the goth-like additions he'd obviously made to it. Was he from around here? He didn't seem to have the same class that the rest of the people at the wedding reception had. Even Naruto seemed classy by comparison.

"How long have you known Naruto?"

She mentally cursed herself. That was a lame pick-up line. Still, he was Naruto's best man, so they were probably best friends.

He seemed to consider her question, though, tapping his chin thoughtfully and staring up at the sky; it was just starting to get dark, and the outside of the hotel was lit up so bright that one would be excused for thinking it was still day. Until they looked up at the sky, that is.

"Going on ten years."

Sakura was surprised. Why did Naruto never mention knowing someone so… hot? Her disbelief must've shown on her face; he'd turned to look at her at that moment, then smirked.

"Pen pals," he explained. "We met properly a few years ago."

"You're not from around here?" Another stupid pick-up line.

Gaara shook his head. "Ever heard of Suna?" She shook her head. "It's a hick town out west, but my old man owns the whole damn region."

She thought he was bragging, for a moment, but his face was anything but smug. Sakura decided that daddy-Gaara was a sore topic, so she didn't push it. But like Naruto's family, did that mean he was rich too? And if so, what was with the mostly metal, goth inspired alterations to his attire?

She smiled at him. "My family came from Konoha, but I was born and raised in Tokyo."

Konoha was her heritage but, given the remoteness of the area, she had never wanted to go there.

'Until I decided I was better off running away from Naruto and Hinata's wedding and changing my name.'

Gaara stared at her, those jade eyes bearing into hers. The cogs in his brain were on overdrive – even behind that forced, calm façade, she could tell. They fell silent, just watching each other.

"Lucky you," he finally said, and tossed his cigarette over the railing. He dug into his coat, pulling out a packet, before quickly lighting up again and sighing deeply. Gaara turned his head to blow the smoke away from her and she shivered involuntarily. "Big cities are much more interesting."

"You prefer the lights of Tokyo?"

He nodded, watching her as Sakura moved closer to the railing, making a show of staring out into the busy street below them. She enjoyed the feeling of his eyes on her. But she wanted so much more. Sakura turned to face him, feeling suddenly emboldened by the ravenous look on his face. He moved his left arm away, dangling his cigarette over the railing, and out of her way as she moved closer to him. The sudden intensity of her stare was matched by his.

Sakura could feel this was a do or die moment. But what was she supposed to say? Sakura had never imagined having to tell someone outright that she wanted to fuck them. Maybe he'd be happy if she just kissed him senseless instead?

'Yeah, right.'

She'd forever be labelled a pervert.

Maybe.

Probably not.

Gods, she was a nervous wreck.

Gaara took the decision out of her hands, lifting his free hand to cup her face before pressing his lips to hers. From the gusto behind this kiss, she could tell he wanted her as much as she wanted him. Sakura leant into his touch, responding to the kiss, opening her mouth to him, and forcing the taste of his smoke to the back of her mind – it was otherwise the best kiss she'd ever had. Her hands fisted his suit, her fingers caught on the metal clasps he'd added to the buttons on his shirt, and they almost came off with the force that she put into holding onto him.

His right hand left her face, now drifting almost lazily down her neck; he avoided her chest as his fingers danced along her arm and hip. The feather-like touches sent shivers through her body and Sakura moaned slightly at the sensation. This seemed to do wonders for his ego; Gaara bit her bottom lip gently and palmed her stomach, still keeping his other hand away. In her befuddled brain she registered that he was keeping the smoke away from her.

Sakura gasped when his free hand started travelling again; a small touch to her face followed by an indiscreet cupping of her butt. She groaned, pressing herself into him, oblivious to how wanton she sounded.

But by the gods this man could kiss!

She didn't want to stop. She didn't want this to end. But she needed to breathe. Sakura reluctantly pulled away, gasping for breath. Gaara tugged on her dress absentmindedly; he was in a daze.

"Damn," he whispered breathlessly. He pressed his forehead to hers, trying to catch his breath. "I don't normally do this," he said, still trying to regain control over his breathing as he stared into her eyes. "But, if you're willing, I don't want to stop here."

She wrapped her arms around his neck, hardly believing this was happening, despite her history. "I'm willing."

Sakura expected him to start lifting the hem of her dress, eager to seat himself between her thighs but he surprised her by standing straight, flicking away his half-used cigarette, and holding out his hand to her.

"Let's go."

'Uh, where?'

"I have a suite upstairs," he added, patiently, noting the surprise on her face.

Right, he must only be in Tokyo for Naruto's wedding. He must have booked a room to coincide. So he really was rich.

Sakura shook herself. It didn't matter.

She eagerly accepted his hand, feeling a rush of excitement when he squeezed her hand gently before propelling her along, leading her out of the reception area.

It all happened in a daze and she felt herself wholly unable to keep her brain from scattering in nervous bouts; he knew the concierge so well that the man grinned knowingly at the redhead as they passed him. The elevator opened as they approached and an elderly coupled ambled out, but once that door was closed and they were alone, Gaara spun Sakura around, pushed her back against the doors, and kissed her fiercely.

She was the one to reach out and press that important number on the lift controls when he whispered, "top floor" into her mouth. She was also the one to rummage around in his pockets for the key card to his room when they finally made it to the door; he pulled on her gently, despite his obvious eagerness and Sakura exhaled sharply.

'A penthouse?'

Gaara quickly unlocked the door, not letting go of her hand. His mouth was on hers again before she could get a good look at the room (she was almost positively sure this was either a penthouse or presidential suite – she wouldn't know, either way). Not that she was complaining – Gaara was an amazing kisser.

But she was just as impatient to take this further than just kissing, so she wasted no time in taking charge.

Sakura undid his tie quickly, yanking it off; she started to unbutton his shirt but, impatient, he grabbed the expensive fabric and tore at it, snapping the buttons and metal clasps. He didn't care to do this carefully. She palmed his chest – there was a mesh shirt under all that and he quirked an eyebrow at her when she paused to take that fact in.

Frustrated that she had stopped, Gaara pushed her against the door, kissing her again. His hands went to her chest this time, finally. His fingers played with her clothed breasts deftly for a moment – like he was playing the piano – before moving swiftly to tug her dress straps down so he could free her breasts from the dress she'd begged to borrow from her next door neighbour (that woman didn't need any more dresses as gifts from her many sugar daddies).

Exposed to the chill of the air conditioning unit, her skin erupted in goose bumps and she shivered.

He was all hands, touching her in places she didn't know were that sensitive before moving to lift the hem of her dress. His fingers slipped under the material, quickly finding her hot, wet core, and she bucked against him, instinctively seeking friction; Sakura fisted his mesh shirt, closing her eyes in anticipation as he played with her body.

The feel of his fingers along her opening, playing with her clitoris, and thrusting inside of her; this was a euphoria that she'd never felt before. White, hot flashes of light blinded her; Sakura's body shuddered and she could hardly believe it when she came so hard.

"Naughty girl," he admonished her playfully. "So eager."

Gaara pulled away, watching her as she recovered from the orgasm, while he undid the belt on his pants. She watched his movements in a daze – first the pants came off, then he ridded himself of the remainder of what was left of his suit shirt, bent to push the black boxers down his legs and finally, kicked the clothing away.

He was so confident, standing in front of this woman he'd only just met, completely naked, and not a blush to be found marring that pale skin of his. Sakura took a moment to admire him, from the leanness of his muscled torso to the apex of his inner thighs; he was a chiselled god, for sure.

'No wonder he's so sure of himself.'

He didn't let her stare for long, reaching out to start pulling her dress downward without unzipping her. Coming out of her reverie, Sakura pushed his hand away and trailed her hand down his chest. She grasped him firmly by his semi-erection, wrapping her hand over it and rubbing him gently; he thrust into her small hand, closing his eyes and letting the feel of her smooth skin bring him to full attention.

She pulled her hand away before he could finish prematurely and, without missing a beat, started undressing herself. Licking his lips in anticipation, he smirked at her, a challenging gleam in his eye; she met it with her chin raised, keeping her eye on him as she disrobed.

Gaara followed her movements with his eyes, eagerly feasting on every inch of flesh as she was revealed to him. She had every reason to be confident as well, he thought, feeling his mouth go dry when the last piece of clothing was finally removed from her person.

Gorgeous.

He closed the distance between them, pressing their bodies together as he kissed her again. This kiss was more sensual and patient than the previous ones. It was almost like they'd known each other for years; the kiss felt more loving too. And she could feel him, hard and warm against her belly as he lifted her up, pulling her away from the wall; Sakura's legs wrapped around his hips and she encircled his head with her arms as he carried her over to the bed.

Sakura would have hit the edge of the bed with the back of her legs awkwardly had she been walking; instead she whimpered slightly when Gaara placed her down on the expensive sheets and hovered over her. For a minute, all they did was kiss. He felt himself growing with need, letting the full weight of his body press against her slowly. She groaned when he lifted away from her just as quickly.

"Back up."

'Pushy,' she thought, but acquiesced all the same, retreating to the fluffy pillows at the head of the bed.

Gaara crawled over to her, nudging her legs as he went; instinctively, Sakura lifted her knees and parted her legs wider. The redhead wasn't satisfied, hooking his left arm under her right knee. She was in uncharted territory, having never had a partner that was both sober and clearly well acquainted with the female body. Every second he spent crawling over her, every single touch of his lips to her skin as he travelled; warm moisture gathered along her skin like soft rain drops. The anticipation was foreign but welcomed.

Once he finally made it to her jawline, he paused to cup her face in his hands, stare into her eyes in earnest, and kissed her again. She moaned, feeling his body lower to be encased in hers like a jigsaw puzzle falling into place. He shifted above her, creating tension along the length of her body; the anticipation of how much better it would be when he finally settled inside her was killing her.

Gaara stopped kissing her long enough to stare into her eyes again. She knew what he wanted. It was all over his face. She smiled and nodded, wrapping her arms around his shoulder.

"Do it."

She expected a swift thrust, but should've known better; he slid in slowly, revelling in every inch that was being buried, teasing them both. Gods, he stretched her out so perfectly! She could feel every ridge, every vein; the angle was perfect as he held her leg over his shoulder.

Fucking perfect.

Sakura sighed deeply, closing her eyes; this was a feeling she'd long desired, despite her bad history. She loved it – the feeling of a man inside her, the sensations he caused, eager to devour her.

But she felt like it was her who was devouring him, over and over again, as she welcomed him inside of her.

His mouth found hers as the redhead shifted above her, seemingly trying to find the best angle as he started moving immediately; his thrusts started shallow and without direction, but when Sakura lifted her hips to match his rhythm he picked up the pace.

Gaara groaned as she whimpered, the friction between their bodies increasing; she let out the cutest little noises, distracting him from their kiss. Her sounds were intermittent and spurred him on, but he didn't want to come undone just yet. A few more thrusts and he slowed to a stop, breathing heavily. She gave him an inquisitive look before catching on. She gripped his arse fiercely, digging her nails in, and Gaara groaned appreciatively. Feeling emboldened, Sakura pushed him slightly to get him on his back. He smirked as her hand disappeared between their bodies to align them again. She lowered onto him, feeling every inch of him, engulfing and devouring him again.

'Fuck.'

She hugged his head with her arms, pulling him closer as she moved her hips; up, down, in circular motions, and any which direction that felt good. Every inch of him was burning her up from the inside out.

Sakura let out a feral growl as the red head shifted beneath her. Her walls fluttered and convulsed. He chuckled as she moaned appreciatively, his hands grasping her butt to help maintain some sort of order to her chaotic movements.

The sensations building inside of her were overwhelming. She could barely keep up. How much time passed, she wasn't aware, but something deep inside of her was twisting and turning…

In happened so violently that Sakura almost fell off the man moving in tandem beneath her. She'd felt her insides start to clench, twist, and burn, but the white hot flash that pierced her very being took her by surprise, nonetheless.

None of her self-induced orgasms had felt like this. Even the shuddering climax Gaara had given her against the wall wasn't this intense. She figured it was different with him actually inside her. Her mind returned to her slowly and she became aware that her body had been moving on its own, milking out the last moments of this rollercoaster. She reached out blindly; her hands fell against him and Sakura palmed Gaara's well-toned chest. Sweaty, hot, and rippling under her touch.

And then quite suddenly, Gaara froze; his hands moved swiftly to her hips and he pushed her backwards without pulling out (her head rested on the opposite end of the bed). He twisted her lower body so that she was on her side and she looked up at him, glazed, dazed, and not cognizant enough to do anything but whine and grip the bed sheets for dear life. He didn't hesitate, now hovering over her flushed, naked form as he leant down for a kiss. Her mouth opened for his without hesitation, attacking his tongue with hers, greedily.

He moved steadily, shifting his angle to get deeper inside her, his body shuddering in anticipation. He was beyond excited that she'd already come undone, grateful that this gorgeous woman was getting as much out of this as he hoped to, himself. But still, Gaara didn't want to be done. He wanted to drag this out. Perhaps tease a little.

He palmed her breasts, moving instinctively over her sweaty skin as he picked up his pace suddenly.

She groaned, he grunted; their bodies moved as though with a will of their own.

This was what he'd been hoping for, the moment he'd seen her sitting in the Shinto Shrine, waiting among the guests for the Hyuuga to walk down the aisle. She was divine.

Too divine. He could feel his end fast approaching – panic surged through him. He didn't want to stop now. He didn't want this to be over, yet.

Coming to a decision, he pulled out of the hot warmth encasing him, earning a whine from the pinkette; Gaara just smirked at her before untangling her legs from his hips and spreading her legs as far as they would go. Flat on her back again, Sakura tightened her grip on the bed sheets in anticipation as his head dipped between her legs. She had come again, since that first lightning bolt, and it was killing him, holding back his own release. The hot breath on her sensitive nub made her moan. He was dragging this out on purpose.

Once she found her release again, Gaara's tongue came out and he lapped at her juices, nibbling her clitoris as she quivered at his touch.

"Hm." She moaned, grasping his hair and tugging lightly.

Sakura was on sensory overload, completely overwhelmed by how this man was making her feel. And just when she thought she couldn't take anymore, he shifted back into position above her still quivering body and pushed into her again. He didn't start moving yet; Gaara ran his hand along the inside of Sakura's thigh and repositioned her left leg to position it between his legs. She watched in fascination as his breathing deepened immediately. He wasn't done yet; Gaara shifted his weight forward slightly and she gasped as his body brushed her already sensitive nub. The stimulation as he finally started moving above her was incredible.

'Holy fuck!'

It wasn't long before she was a quivering mess again. Kissing the man moving above her made it even better to let go again. She couldn't fathom having ever had sex before now, without it ever feeling as good as this.

She felt her body tremble again, but this time in reaction to him.

He came.

Sakura felt it when he did… at least, she was sure that was what it was. Unaccustomed to orgasming during sex, it took her sex addled brain a moment to realise she'd done it again. There were no words to describe the sensations wracking her body.

'Holy fuck!'

Again.

Gaara gripped her tighter, burying his face in the crook of her neck, still thrusting. A few more strokes, and he was done. He could hardly believe how amazing that had been. All the energy had rushed out of his body and he was unable to move, but he didn't care about that one bit. This lightweight feeling of euphoria was more sublime, more delicious than he'd ever experienced. The woman beneath him was clearly unused to such strong reactions during sex and he felt proud of himself for showing her just how good it could be – how good it should be.

She was catching her breath, in a daze. Sakura hardly noticed that she was a mess too. Messier than she'd ever been after sex.

She didn't care.

He didn't care.

Maybe Gaara would be up to following her into the shower. She smiled at that.

Eventually, he regained enough energy to roll off of her and closed his eyes in lieu of staring at the ceiling. The minutes passed slowly and she wondered if she should break the silence.

But he was the first to speak. "I hate coffee."

Sakura turned her head to stare at him, and he blushed. Really, get the man naked in front of a woman for the first time and he was calm and unabashed, but engage in some after-sex pillow talk and he was all about the blushes.

'He mustn't do the romance side of this often, then,' she thought, surprisingly happy about that.

Sakura smirked at him, watching as his chest rose and fell while he attempted to recuperate. They were on top of the covers, so he was still exposed to her, in all his glory; she was enjoying the show very much. Feeling more confident, she rolled onto her side to watch him – the small, embarrassed smile in the corner of his mouth indicated he knew she was staring at him. Her right hand started lazily drawing circles over his chest and he chuckled lightly.

"Really?" She asked.

His eyes opened as though stung and Gaara grasped her hand, stopping her from continuing her soft brushes on his skin. "I… I mean, I'd like to buy you some coffee… if you want."

"And what will you have, if you hate coffee?"

She was teasing him, of course. She didn't drink coffee that much, anyway. But his blush was darkening, so she decided to go easy on him.

"There's this nice shop around the corner from my apartment that sells the best marron glacé."

He pulled a face at that and she giggled.

"Something in the dumpling variety, then."

Gaara was more uncomfortable talking then fucking – he wished they were still leg locked and swapping saliva. It would make this so much easier. He remembered they were at the wrong end of the bed and sat up slowly; his muscles hadn't had this kind of workout in a while. Having a bodybuilder for an older brother meant that he knew which muscles were meant for what, and sex involved more muscles than what was typically a day-by-day usage.

He stretched, trying to unknot those muscles he hadn't used in a good long while, while being acutely aware that the pinkette was watching every inch of him in the process. She slowly sat up next to him and reached behind him to start rubbing his back. Her hands on his skin was becoming a source of pure, unadulterated pleasure on his person. It made him want her to rub him all over again.

"Tomorrow?" She asked, smirking when he blushed again.

"I realise this is unorthodox," he said, nervously running a hand through his hair.

And it would be her first date. Sakura didn't feel bad about that. She had just been thoroughly shagged and she was feeling up to just about anything right now.

"It's fine," she assured him.

Gaara moved forward to kiss her gratefully. He really wanted to make something of this. He had never reacted to a woman this fast before.

Sakura smiled into the kiss, embracing him and accepting that she was finally finding someone worth holding onto. She pressed her naked chest into his and moaned, feeling that now familiar warmth beginning to surge through her again.

She hoped he was worth the wait. Because some people just did things out of order. Life wasn't a straight line, and she was happily and finally at peace with her mistakes.

After all, they'd led her to him.

.:.

Rule #1 on writing a lemon for your OTP for the first time for… a while: first read lots and lots of smut. :)

(In case you guys didn't notice, I gave Deidara the last name Kamizuru in honour of Kurotsuchi – not only my favourite Iwagakure character, she's awesome. I know they're not related, but in the anime she calls him "big brother Deidara", so I couldn't resist. :) I love their interactions during the fourth war. Very sibling-like. :))

R&R