"I've forgotten how getting up these stairs was like running a marathon," Lyla says, panting as she finally clears the last stair. John is already ahead of her at his door, waiting patiently, and once she joins him he opens the door, lets her in first.
"It's not that bad," John replies. She looks around as he puts down his suitcase and takes off his coat, and his apartment is every bit as homely as she remembers.
"It really is," she says, shaking her head, and she all but collapses onto the couch.
"Do you want something to drink?" he asks, and Lyla smiles. Dear Johnny, always the gentleman.
"No, I'm good," says Lyla, patting the space next to her. For some reason John seems to hesitate for a moment, before he sits beside her on the couch. She takes his hand, and though he doesn't tug it away, there's still this look on his face that she can't shake, a look that says there's something going on with him. "What is it?" she asks.
"Nothing, just… I don't want us to…"
"... fall back into old habits?" Lyla guesses.
John squeezes her hand. "Something like that. I mean - we got divorced for a reason."
"Come on, Johnny. We've never been great at being divorced. Not until -"
"- Carly?" John says, and he sighs, as if remembering his time with her.
"Yeah. Besides, this is different."
"True," John says, and almost despite himself he lifts his hand to her cheek. Lyla closes her eyes, covering his hand with her own. "I've never come so close to losing you before."
"I'm right here," she tells him. "For as long as you want me to be, I'll be by your side."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means I want to try again, John. With us. Not like when we first got divorced and we were just sleeping together for the sake of it. Not like -" Lyla puts her hand on John's chest "- old habits. More like - new ones."
"Like what?" John breathes, and finally Lyla gives up trying to talk and answers him with a kiss.
He kisses her back, and it starts off slow, gentle, but John's lips become gradually more insistent until he's pulled her into his lap and his tongue is in her mouth. Already he's taking off her coat, tossing it aside and then kissing her again. It's as she starts unbuttoning his shirt that she finally breaks away to say, "God, I've missed you, Johnny."
"It's not like you haven't left my sight in the last twenty-four hours straight or anything," John whispers, and Lyla just laughs as she undoes the last button.
"No, I mean, I've missed you."
"I've missed you too," he says, and without warning he gets to his feet. Seconds later though Lyla wraps her legs more securely around his waist, arms looping around his neck, and she buries her face into his neck as John makes his way to his bedroom.
Once they're inside he deposits her on the bed, and she starts unbuttoning her shirt before pulling it over her head and taking it off. He kisses her, slowly, gently, hand on her bare abdomen, caressing the gentle swell of her hip. She arches into him, but then he pulls away, looking her in the eyes.
"You sure you're okay with this?" he asks her.
"More than sure," she answers. "And I meant what I said." Lyla reaches behind her, undoes the clasp of her bra, letting it fall off her. Then she grabs John's hand, guides it upwards, and he groans involuntarily at that, before his thumb sweeps the curve of her breast. She can feel him harden against her, as he exhales softly, landing another kiss on her lips.
"I want to try that too," John admits. "Maybe this is our… second chance."
"Maybe it is." She moans, then, as John's fingers slip inside the waistband of her panties, and along with her pants he pulls them down with a sharp tug. And there's something about the way he gazes at her, like Lyla hung the stars in the sky herself, that causes a warm flood of arousal to come rushing through her, settling firmly, achingly, between her legs.
He's half on top of her as he kisses tortuously down her neck, fingers dipping beneath her waist and teasing her in the way he hasn't forgotten she loves. His mouth finds her right nipple, and she cries out this time, as his lips travel downwards, planting kisses on her abdomen while his fingers inch deeper inside her. And then, just when she thinks she's ready to come right there, he withdraws, making Lyla moan needingly. She scrabbles for his free hand, and he looks up at her, then, looks right into her eyes as he lifts his wet fingers to his mouth to taste her essence.
Then he reaches up, kisses her, and she can taste the faint trace of herself on his lips as his mouth continues its journey towards her centre. When at last he reaches it, it doesn't take much for her to come - the slight roughness of his tongue encircling the right spot for just long enough and already she's at her climax, and for the love of all things holy she hasn't come like that in years, now, but Johnny's not finished just yet.
She's sensitive, so very sensitive, but Johnny's careful, his touch oh so gentle as he strokes at her centre. All the while he's looking into her eyes with the kind of earnestness that makes her lean forward to kiss him, and it's as she's kissing him that he inches a little further inside her, making her gasp.
"Too much?" he asks, and Lyla shakes her head.
He moves his hand again, oh so slowly, and Lyla arches her back, readying herself for her second climax. She comes with a whispered Johnny and then collapses on the bed beneath him with a soft thud, still gasping for breath.
"I love you," he says after a moment, as if it's the simplest thing in the world. It takes her by surprise, though, and for a moment she's speechless.
"I - you do?"
"You think I ever stopped?" John says quietly.
"I don't know, Johnny. That's what's supposed to happen when you divorce someone."
"You're not someone."
She can't help but kiss him. "I love you too, John. Since the day that I met you."