Epilogue, Part II

Hugely Embarrassed Author's Note: Yes, we have finally arrived at the Big Scene… and it's pretty much all lemon. In retrospect, I will simply quote Babs Bunny – perhaps I went too far. You have been warned.

Following Shikamaru into his bedroom, Ino smiled as she looked around. She could tell that he'd been straightening up in a hurry, and was rather pleased at the thought. It was nice to know he'd put forth some effort to make her surroundings more pleasant.

After all, she would always remember this moment.

Shikamaru drew Ino towards the foot of his bed before letting go of her hand. Turning to face her, he self-consciously rubbed the back of his neck as he took another look at her outfit. Ino was surprised to realize that he was nervous.

"Oy, Ino – you okay?"

Ino moved in closer, pressingly up lightly against his arm. "Yes, I'm fine," she smiled reassuringly at him.

The uncertainty in Shikamaru's demeanor vanished. The burning hue returned to his eyes, setting Ino's heart fluttering – she could melt under that gaze. She almost did when he leaned in nearer and ran a hand up along her hip.

"So… do you need any help?"

On impulse, Ino glanced down at her clothes. Now that the moment was finally upon them, she realized that she hadn't really taken in the logistics. Should she take off her dress and leave her underwear on? Or was she supposed to get naked? Then again, perhaps it would be best just to let Shikamaru strip her – he'd probably like that. On second thought, she highly doubted her lingerie would survive the encounter: the fabric was delicate, and she didn't know how she would explain away any tearing to her mother…

"Shikamaru, I'm going to use your bathroom," said Ino, struck by an idea. "It'll just take a minute, okay?"

Shikamaru cocked a brow as he watched her leave the room. After a few impatient minutes, Ino reemerged with a cheeky grin on her face – and a small towel wrapped tightly around her body. It was barely enough to sufficiently cover her breasts or conceal her hips.

"Ino…?" wondered Shikamaru, his eyes widening as he took in the sight of her cavorting in his bath towel. Here was yet another image he doubted he'd ever get out of his brain.


"I thought maybe I ought to show you what I was wearing in the first picture. Just so you knew," explained Ino as she pivoted in front of him. "My towel was bigger, though."

"Nice. But I liked what you were wearing in the second picture better."

Ino blushed, clutching her towel self-consciously. She supposed that her embarrassment over Shikamaru's bald comments would eventually pass. Right now everything was just so new between them…

It was wonderful.

Noticing the mesmerized trance Shikamaru seemed to have fallen under, Ino experimentally ran a few fingers along the upper edge of her towel, pausing just over the straining gap between her breasts. Growing bolder, she then slowly drew a hand down her torso and swayed her hips suggestively, enjoying the way his eyes eagerly followed her every move. After a few moments, she laughed.

"I know this is fun for you, Shikamaru, but maybe you should get undressed, too?" Ino hinted playfully.

"Yeah, yeah…" With an easy grin, Shikamaru pulled off his shirt and discarded it on the floor. Ino noted with great interest the nicely defined muscles on his arms and chest. He was not exactly built, but he was lean and wiry, and Ino found that she liked looking at his body very much. So much so that she almost failed to notice that he'd progressed on to removing other pieces of his outfit…

"Wait, Shikamaru – don't take your pants off!" she cried out suddenly.

"What?" He shot her a puzzled glance, one hand already poised on his zipper. "Why not?"

She cringed inwardly. Here it comes…

"Well, it's just… I don't think we should, um, go all the way," Ino explained, anxiously watching Shikamaru's expression switch from confusion into shock. "At least not yet," she added quickly.

Dropping his hands, Shikamaru said nothing and merely nodded gruffly. Ino could tell that he was disappointed. Well, she was disappointed too – but she was sticking to her guns on this one. Still, she hadn't expected him to be that upset by her request… instead of the lustful looks he had been sending her way, Shikamaru was now watching her warily. Worse, that disturbing coolness had crept back into his eyes. After a few tense moments he casually shoved his hands in his pockets and turned away from Ino.

"Hey… you sure you still want to do this?" he asked quietly.

Ino blinked at him bewilderedly. Then her mind made a connection as she silently observed him – although Shikamaru's stance was withdrawn, he somehow seemed so vulnerable right now. Was he actually taking this personally? Taking a chance, she came up behind him and slid her hands around his waist. Molding herself up firmly against Shikamaru, Ino heard a sharp intake of breath and felt his muscles tensing as she gently caressed his torso.

"Yes," she whispered softly into his back. "I really am."

Her heart gave a leap when his hands came up to cover hers.

"Ah… Okay."

Holding up her hands, Shikamaru twisted back and glided his arms around Ino. He pulled her into a tight embrace, allowing her to sink her head into his chest. They stood that way for a minute, simply enjoying the feeling of each other's bodies pressed so closely together. Then Ino sighed as Shikamaru began to run his hands up and down her back. It was time.

"Tell me what you want to do," she murmured dreamily.

His voice had turned husky. "Go sit on the end of the bed, Ino."

With a shy smile, Ino moved to take her seat, placing herself on the foot as directed. She expected Shikamaru to join her on the bed, but instead he kneeled down on the floor before her. She watched curiously as he placed his hands on her knees and slowly pushed them apart. With a gasp of shock, Ino felt her towel start to ride up over her hips. She automatically pushed down frantically on the front to keep it from coming open.

Noticing her actions, Shikamaru began to smirk. Running his hands up her legs, he clasped each one behind a thigh. Then he began pulling her toward him, grinning at Ino's embarrassed efforts to keep the towel from splitting apart. He didn't stop until he was positioned directly between her legs, and Ino thought perhaps he was going to slide her off the bed and onto his lap. If so, it was a strangely sexy way to do it…

Her heart began to race. Shikamaru was looking up into her face again, his expression wrought with raw desire. While holding her eyes in that searing gaze, he reached out to grasp hold of her hands and leisurely pushed them aside. Ino felt her face heat up, realizing that she was being exposed to him. She watched breathlessly as he slowly dropped his gaze to rest on the newly revealed mound of skin.

She gasped. There was a shivery moment while Shikamaru stared, transfixed, at the delicate folds of soft, inviting flesh. Then the expression on his face turned fierce, his eyes filling with a feral wildness. He suddenly dropped his head.

Ino realized what he was about to do. Throwing out her hands, she caught him around the ears just in time.

"No, Shikamaru!"

He frowned, his eyes flashing accusatorially up at her. Ino gulped, noticing how dangerously low Shikamaru was hovering over her body. She pointed hastily to her lips.

"Please – kiss me here first!"

A startled look washed over Shikamaru's face and the feral edge vanished, replaced by a perturbed grimace. Determinedly tearing his gaze away, he leaned back on his knees.

"Yeah… sorry."

"It's okay," murmured Ino as she dazedly pushed the towel back down into place. She could still feel the sensitive flesh quivering from the caress of his hot breath. Her throat felt dry. "It's j-just that this will be my very first kiss. So it's… special," she explained in an unsteady voice.

"Heh. Mine, too," he mumbled with a low chuckle. Pushing himself up off the floor, Shikamaru moved to sit next to Ino. She could tell that he was rather shaken, too. "Geez…"

They were sitting side by side now, leaning up against each other's arm. Ino felt all the years of anticipating this moment sweep over her. Although there had been countless times she had despaired of ever finding someone to love, much less kiss, she was now happy for the long wait. She was thrilled something so precious to her was going to happen with Shikamaru. Smiling demurely at him, she closed her eyes. Then she tilted her head up expectantly and waited…

…and waited…

…And waited some more.

Cracking open an eye after almost a minute, Ino glanced inquiringly at Shikamaru. To her astonishment, he was staring fixedly at her lips – he appeared to be analyzing how best to approach this. She sighed inwardly, though not without some amusement. Trust a boy who could calculate 200 different outcomes in mere seconds to meet his match in planning out a simple kiss. Ino supposed she had better take the initiative.

"Maybe it would be easier for us if I sit in your lap first?" she suggested helpfully.

Shikamaru looked both relieved and pleased. He leaned back on the bed, allowing Ino to swing up and slide into the cradle of his legs. She threw her arms around his neck, nestling up against his chest as he wrapped her close. Ino hid a private smile as she snuggled in. He'd never known it, but long before she'd fallen for Shikamaru, she had always loved the feeling of being held in his arms.

"All right. Now what?" asked Shikamaru as he began to trace a lazy circle around her lower back. He was enjoying the sensation of Ino wiggling around on his lap very much.

"Close your eyes," she directed firmly.

"I'd like to watch what's happening."

"Don't argue! It'll be better this way," said Ino bossily as she pressed a finger to his mouth. Then she winked. "Trust me," she cooed teasingly.

He shut his eyes with a grin. "Yes, ma'am."

So easy, thought Ino as she examined Shikamaru's expectant face. She reached up to stroke his cheek, noticing the way he shuddered under her touch. Filled with excitement and wonder at the effect she had on him, Ino lightly cupped his chin in her hands and guided Shikamaru closer. Then she gently pressed her lips to his.

It was a soft, tentative kiss – a sweet, tender one that was all too brief and yet just right for the moment. A light, airy feeling flowed through Ino. Her mother had been right: there was something indescribably magical about the very first kiss one shared with a lover. Sighing in pleasure as she broke contact, Ino glanced up at Shikamaru's face. His brown eyes were studying her closely.

"You're peeking!" she chastised.

"Couldn't help myself," Shikamaru smirked. "I like watching you."

Ino felt her heart flutter and marveled at his ability to make her weak with just a few words. "Close your eyes, silly boy," she whispered as she moved to kiss him again.

The second kiss started off much like the first – but then Ino parted her mouth slightly and began tugging at his lips. At first his mouth stayed firm yet warm, but after a few moments of Ino's gentle nipping Shikamaru began to open his mouth further in response. He caught her lips and began nibbling them in return. For the next few minutes they engaged in a playful tug-of-war, their kisses steadily growing more heated, until Shikamaru finally succeeded in fully parting Ino's mouth and they were suddenly caught up in a passionate open-mouthed kiss.

They eventually broke apart with a gasp.

"Whoa," mumbled Shikamaru as he stared down at Ino. He was breathing hard and felt his heart hammering away. He could also feel the fabric straining around the growing bulge in his pants, and thought ruefully about Ino's injunction – it would be hard to hide this for long. Shifting his grip around her, Shikamaru fought to regain some control. He badly wanted to do it again.

Likewise warring with her reaction, Ino licked her lips, her eyes still trained on Shikamaru's mouth. That had been far more intense than she had expected. When he'd kissed her like that, it felt as if all his desire had traveled on a direct route connecting his tongue to the pulsing point between her legs. Blushing with embarrassment and arousal, Ino closed her eyes and tried to calm her trembling body. She didn't want to fall to pieces just yet – but she couldn't shut off the burning ache that had begun to spread through her belly. She yearned for him to touch her again.

Shikamaru tensed anxiously as Ino suddenly began to move around in his lap. His breaths grew short and sharp as he felt her rubbing sinuously up against his chest and then gradually pulling back. His arousal only increased as he watched her push up off of him and reposition herself by drawing both legs astride his, causing the towel to hitch perilously high. Then with an impish smile, Ino dropped back down into Shikamaru's lap… and slowly twined her legs and arms around him.

Shikamaru stared back at her, rigid from shock – Ino was straddling him fully, her blue eyes glowing with that indefinable fire he'd only rarely witnessed whenever she got truly excited. For some strange reason he suddenly recalled Ino cheering for him during his final chuunin exam. Shikamaru couldn't see her face up in the stands, but based solely off her feverish screaming he'd thought she'd gone completely mad at the time. But he suspected that now he had a very good notion of exactly how she'd looked that day.

Framing his head in her hands, Ino's eyes grew heavy-lidded as she gently peered into Shikamaru's face. The blazing look changed into a smoldering gaze.

"Kiss me again, Shikamaru," she purred.

Without further prompting, Shikamaru seized Ino and sank his tongue into her willing mouth. This kiss was all fire and aching need. Even as inexperienced as they both were with technique, sheer enthusiasm spurred them on to engage in a sensual dance of lips, continually tasting and trading hot breaths. Several charged minutes passed as they plumbed each other, their clutching growing more desperate and amorous.

To Shikamaru, it was as if every fresh kiss Ino planted was slowly pushing him over the edge: whether consciously or not, she was provoking a very primal urge out of him. The way her body rubbed up against his chest, her hands running over his bare back, the feel of her hips hugging his, all while knowing that only a thin barrier of cloth separated her naked skin from his was torturous. Shikamaru began to hate her towel, his pants, and any bit of fabric that kept them apart. The towel especially was driving him mad – he could sense it riding high over her hips. Such a pointless, troublesome thing…

Shikamaru reached down with his hands, running them languorously over her thighs. Then with calm determination he drew his hands around her back and brought them to rest over Ino's derriere. With a grunt of satisfaction, he gave each tender buttock a firm squeeze.

Ino gasped, brought back by the sensation of Shikamaru fondling her rear. Feeling as though she were dough being kneaded between his fingers, she unthinkingly ground her hips against him.

It was all the impetus Shikamaru needed – the damned towel was going now. Grabbing Ino, he rolled them both onto their sides and slid up higher along the bed. Then propping himself up on one arm to get a better look, Shikamaru used the other to push Ino onto her back. For a few seconds he merely watched Ino blinking dazedly up at him, her light eyes hazed over with desire and her lips swollen from his kisses – the sight alone was an aphrodisiac. His smirk grew into a leer. Then before Ino had completely recovered, Shikamaru reached out his hand and slid it under the flap of her towel. With leisurely ease he undid the fold and pulled back each corner, exposing her as if he were unwrapping a gift.

Though fully displayed beneath his gaze, Ino felt no embarrassment; instead she preened in silent victory, supported by a feeling of intoxicating sensuality as she watched Shikamaru's expression. It was extraordinary – unlike the lust-drenched stares he had been probing Ino with for the past day, his face now was touched with awe at the sight of her. He swallowed hard.

"Beautiful," Shikamaru whispered.

Ino felt herself go warm all over. This was nothing like the comments she was used to receiving – she saw now that they were by far lewd and base, shallow and unfeeling in comparison. She only ever wanted to hear such intimate suggestions falling from his mouth again… they lost their impurity when Shikamaru spoke them.

She reached up to stroke his cheek again. "Shikamaru…" she breathed.

Awakened from his trance, Shikamaru stretched out his hand and laid it flat against Ino's stomach. He began to glide it in a large, lazy circle around her belly button. Trembling with pleasure at his touch, Ino dropped her hands over his and gently guided Shikamaru on a circuitous path up her torso. Catching his amused eyes, Ino smiled coyly. Then she lifted up his hand and placed it delicately over a breast.

Shikamaru's hand clenched reflexively. The spongy softness filling his fingers molded itself easily into his palm, and he began instinctively massaging it. A low, soft moan escaped Ino, who had closed her eyes in bliss. Feeling the animalistic urge building up in his loins again as he watched her purse her lips, Shikamaru almost groaned aloud. Good grief, imagine using these as a pillow

His head suddenly dipped down.

Ino's eyes flew open. The sensation of Shikamaru's mouth wrapped over her breast evoked in her a primal, utterly feminine reaction as her arms came up to encircle his head, pressing him down more firmly. For the next few minutes she was lost in an erotic haze centered on his fervent lips, where each suck resonated with the warm, throbbing ache between her legs. Overwhelmed, she shut her eyes again.

Shikamaru was likewise fully caught up in his own carnal cravings. His hand had reached over to encase the other breast, joining in the sensual teasing while he continued rolling his tongue over and around the stiffened nipple. Ino's moaning rose up another notch, finally causing Shikamaru to cease his attentions. As much as he loved doing this, there was something else he wanted to do even more…

Breaking away, Shikamaru began to drop little kisses as he worked his way back down the length of her body. Ino sighed dreamily, gliding her fingers across her skin in the wake of his path. She could feel Shikamaru's steady progress over her, and smiled as he finally paused at her belly button to dip his tongue inside. But he didn't stop there.

Ino lifted her head slightly, trying to get a better look. Shikamaru's head was bobbing over her pelvis now… He was getting so low


He stopped and glanced back briefly. Then while Ino watched curiously, Shikamaru quickly readjusted himself, twisting and bending so that he was mostly facing away from her. Finally, he pulled himself across her abdomen, his head positioned directly over the juncture of her legs. Reaching out with a surprising measure of forced control, Shikamaru clasped her thighs and pulled them apart.

Knowing that she was again being laid bare to him, Ino felt tiny tremors of excitement racing through her body. She could tell that Shikamaru was once more hovering mere inches over her waiting flesh… but he kept still. What in the world was he up to? She found out a second later when Shikamaru unexpectedly hitched his arm under a knee and used it to pry her leg back even further and hold it down – spreading Ino open fully.

Looking down at her, Shikamaru was immediately gripped by a powerful hunger. His eyes drank in the soft outer lips and moved over the folds of darker skin encircling the moist, pink nubbin. The special scent of her body was filling his nostrils with the deeply stimulating smell of sexual arousal. Shikamaru could feel the last vestiges of his self-control fading away – his brain had become fully disengaged.


He sank into her.

Ino gasped with shock at the feel of Shikamaru's tongue dipping into her and automatically raised her head. She couldn't see his face but it hardly mattered – every tiny nerve ending had come to life. And there was something intensely erotic about only being able to see the brushy end of his ponytail moving as he worked over her. Falling back on the bed, Ino began to moan anew as a gently burning tickle started to build down there…

Shikamaru was lost in his own private sphere of blissful nothingness. Everything around him had become pure sensation: the touch of Ino's soft skin enclosing him, the taste of her moist warmth on his tongue, the sound of her voice filtering through… It was nirvana. Recalling the contents of Ino's dare card, Shikamaru increased the depth of his explorations. Even if he couldn't literally 'wear' her, he would damn well come as close to it as physically possible…

Another moan escaped Ino, longer and somewhat louder than before. Shikamaru's ardent probing had quickly morphed into long, thrusting licks that sent dizzying spasms of pleasure shooting through her. Several minutes flew by as she trembled under his relentless assault; until at last Ino began to wish Shikamaru would slow down… she could hardly keep up with him. It was ironic that such a normally lethargic guy could become so ferocious in bed. But no sooner had she thought this than Shikamaru stepped up the pace further. Ino began to writhe helplessly beneath him – now it really felt as if he was trying to eat her…

Ino gripped at the sheets as her back arched unexpectedly, causing her hips to rock into his face, and she groaned aloud. Shikamaru suddenly broke off. Lifting his head, he twisted back to look at Ino.

"Oy – did you like that?"

She lay panting on the bed, feeling both highly aroused and somewhat stunned by her wanton reaction. But she couldn't deny how badly she wanted him to keep touching her.

"Please… don't stop," Ino moaned.

A wolfish grin slowly spread across Shikamaru's face. Without another word he turned around and fell back on her.

Another few minutes found Ino gritting her teeth: it was all she could do to constrain the growing ache between her legs. She was rather surprised that she was being driven to the edge so quickly. But the deep, penetrating strokes of Shikamaru's tongue, and the insistent tugging and sucking of his mouth was simply too stimulating. Her body couldn't help but respond, knowing that every lascivious caress was due to him

Unable to control herself any longer, Ino let go. With a sharp cry, she reached down to seize hold of Shikamaru's head and pressed down hard. Her hips rocked and ground into his face with shameless abandon. After a series of deep convulsions, she let her hands slide away from Shikamaru and lay gasping up at the ceiling.

Sensing Ino's satiation, Shikamaru began to slacken off until finally he planted one last deep, languorous kiss directly on the swollen nubbin. Lifting himself up slowly, he wiped his mouth and twisted back around to look at Ino. She was watching him through heavy-lidded eyes, her hands sliding unconsciously over her body. Noticing her continued shaking, Shikamaru grinned shamelessly down at her, an indecently pleased expression on his face.

"Heh. You're loud, Ino."

She could think of nothing to say; she was much too overwhelmed to even talk. Ino couldn't understand it: during the throes of her passion she'd felt like she could scream out his name endlessly, but now she was feeling strangely weak and speechless. What in the world had Shikamaru done to her? Ino wished she could telepathically convey her desire that he would keep touching her. Instead she reached up unthinkingly and began massaging her breasts.

Shikamaru started. The sight of Ino fondling herself in the midst of her afterglow was the last straw. He could feel himself swelling painfully. Damn it all, he had to take care of this troublesome thing right now

Mystified, Ino watched as Shikamaru suddenly turned his back on her, throwing his legs over the side of the bed. She could hear him fumbling with the zipper of his pants, and then material being roughly shoved aside. She couldn't see what Shikamaru was doing, but it seemed that he was reaching down for something… Suddenly his back stiffened. He groaned as his arms began to jerk up sharply.

Ino was shocked to realize what Shikamaru was doing right in front of her, yet at the same time turned on. She also felt guilty – he'd had to resort to this because of her insistence about not going too far. Well, Ino still didn't think that holding off was wrong… but Shikamaru had been the one pleasuring her all along, not vice versa. It must have been very difficult for him. She certainly wouldn't have been able to bear it.

After a few moments, Shikamaru stopped. He dropped his hands back on the bed and leaned forward. She could see that there was a resigned tenseness to the way he held his body.

"Sorry about that, Ino," he mumbled, feeling deeply chagrined. "Couldn't hold it back anymore."

"It's okay," she murmured. She could feel her cheeks heating up. "Er, Shikamaru… I would have helped you. If you just, uh, tell me what to do next time… I will."

Shikamaru smiled, his embarrassment lifting. Next time with Ino – now that would be something worth looking forward to.

"Okay. Next time then… I'll show you how."

Shikamaru turned back around to look at Ino lying supine on his bed and wished he could take a picture. Her pose was every bit as good as that naked one had been – and perhaps better, given that the sex-addled look in her eyes had been put there by him. He was even half tempted to suggest it, but he was sure Ino would refuse and call him a pervert. Well, Shikamaru couldn't really help it. Ino just had that kind of effect on him.

Suddenly catching sight of the clock, Shikamaru sighed regretfully.

"I really hate to say it, but we should stop now. She'll be back soon."

Ino nodded, not needing further explanation of who 'she' was. Pushing herself up weakly from the bed, she was surprised to find that she had barely enough strength to sit up. It got even worse as she tried to drag her legs over the side of the bed – they were still trembling. She shot a pleading look at Shikamaru, who was already standing and zipping up his pants.

"What's wrong?"

"I can't walk – my legs are like jelly!"

An odd gleam came into Shikamaru's eyes and Ino began to scowl. Honestly, was he actually proud of himself for doing this to her? Longing to reach out and smack him, Ino again struggled to rise on her own power… But then she felt two strong arms sliding themselves around her, and next found herself being lifted into the air like a bride.

"I hope you don't think it's an imposition if I carry you myself," Shikamaru said wryly as he shifted her weight in his arms. "I've had lots of practice, you know."

"Thank you, Shikamaru," whispered Ino, blushing furiously. But as she rested her head against his shoulder, Ino closed her eyes and flashed a secret triumphant grin.

She couldn't see Shikamaru smirking in the exact same manner as he carried her out the door.

Some time later they were standing by the front door, making the most of their remaining time together by stealing a few last kisses before Ino absolutely had to leave. For her part, Ino was simply enjoying the feeling of intense sexiness Shikamaru was still giving her. First, he had wanted to take a shower with her, claiming that he would be able to support Ino in her 'weakened state,' but she had nixed that, reminding him forcefully about his mother's impending return. She'd also had to put a halt to allowing him to dress her, although she'd let him watch. Now while in the midst of their parting embrace, Shikamaru had added a new spin by leisurely groping her rear. Though she didn't mind at the moment, Ino wondered if she wouldn't have to teach him some self-control before long. Really, he was just so eager

Then again, it was rather hard to part.

"Don't forget, Shikamaru – no smoking. Or else," Ino murmured as she gently bussed his cheek. "Besides… I'll know when I kiss you."

"I'll keep up my side of the deal if you keep up yours," Shikamaru mumbled as he nuzzled her neck. "You can count on it."

"That Naruto," growled Ino, suddenly remembering his unwitting part in the whole affair. Sakura had been right to warn her about his uncanny ability to mess things up. Then again, things had already been thoroughly screwed up before he did anything… and somehow they had turned out right. Ino smiled wryly – perhaps she ought to thank him. "Honestly, what a party…!"

"It had its share of moments," agreed Shikamaru. "After that dare card, my personal favorite was when you first opened the front door to me… I really loved that dress you were wearing, you know."

"So you've told me. Not that it matters at all anymore, but you do know that I originally put it on because I was hoping to catch someone else's eye, right?" Ino teased playfully. "Guess that was a lucky mistake for both of us, huh?"

Shikamaru's eyes glowed with a smoldering fire.

"Yeah, it may have once been meant for that dickhead – but you're my girl now, Ino."

Her heart filled with emotion, and Shikamaru suddenly found himself engulfed by an intensely ardent kiss from Ino; bewildered but pleased, he returned it with all the unspoken passion in his own. Shutting her eyes in bliss, Ino remembered what her mother said. True love was a journey, and they had both just taken their first step together down the path towards it…

Don't you forget it, Shikamaru – because you're my guy, too.

Recollecting these memories fondly back inside her bedroom, Ino could hardly contain her delight at the expression on Shikamaru's face. Though they'd been very good about keeping their relationship a secret from everybody so far, Shikamaru had yet to gain much self-control around her in private. Ino had to admit, however, that she really wasn't in a rush to teach him that just yet.

Especially not right now, just after she had mischievously asked him if there was something 'special' he had in mind, and he immediately got that hungry look in his eyes…

"You know what I want," Shikamaru told her huskily.

She grinned.

"All right, Shikamaru. Because you asked for it…"

Ino began to sway sexily, caressing her towel suggestively while watching the smile widen ever so slightly on Shikamaru's face. After a few minutes of teasing him, she reached up to unfasten the ponytail and shook out her hair. Then with a sly wink, Ino turned away and faced the bed, all the while making a show of leisurely opening the towel. She let it slide gracefully down her back, her waist, her rear… until at last it hit the floor with a soft plop.

Hearing an appreciative groan from behind her, Ino took a moment to run her hands seductively over her body. Then she slowly leaned forward until she was bending over the end of the bed. With a provocative pelvic grind, Ino gradually spread apart her legs and pushed up her rear, until at last she had achieved the desired effect – a copy of the pose she'd taken for (what they both now dubbed) Shikamaru's shot.

Satisfied, Ino twisted to look back over her shoulder.

Shikamaru's eyes had glazed over and his head was tilted at that peculiar angle he assumed whenever he was absorbed in contemplating something. Ino smirked – he was lost in his own private fantasy again. She would have liked to have let him look his fill, but she had needs, too…

"I'm waiting, Shikamaru!" she finally called out in a mock bossy voice.

The glazed look was washed away by a distinctly lecherous one. Shikamaru began to walk towards her with unhurried ease, a half-grin lazily creeping across his face. "Patience, Ino," he chuckled softly. "I could look at this all day."

"I know you could… pervert."

"Look who's talking… Miss September."

Ino tried not to pout. Fantasy or not, he was never going to let her live that down. "Hmph. You don't have to rub my face in it," she muttered.

Shikamaru, now standing directly behind Ino, was staring down at her derriere with great appreciation. "Truth be told, I'd much rather rub my face in it…"


"You have no idea," he mumbled as he began to fondly stroke her buttocks.

Ino shivered in anticipation as Shikamaru bent over her. Sliding a hand around her hip, he quickly worked it down between her legs and used it to simultaneously tilt her pelvis higher and open her up further. When he was satisfied, Shikamaru let go and got to his knees, positioning himself so that his face was level with Ino's rear.

"Shikamaru…" gasped Ino as she felt him pull her close and begin to move his mouth over her highly sensitive skin. "Please don't take this the wrong way, but it's something I've always wanted to ask… about your smoking."

Even as tiny waves of pleasure rolled over her, Ino waited nervously, hoping she hadn't reopened an old wound. But Shikamaru merely grunted, apparently too preoccupied with using his tongue for more important tasks. Taking that as a receptive signal, she decided to forge on.

"Aside from the, er, sentimental reasons… exactly why wouldn't you give up smoking? If nothing else, I thought you said that you couldn't stand the smoke!"

Ino waited hopefully, struggling to hold on to herself. It was getting hard to concentrate: Shikamaru was now raining a trail of kisses in an ever tightening circle around her. Ino knew she was going to go over the edge in a moment, and still he wouldn't answer…

She sighed. Ino supposed that it was one of those private male things that Shikamaru would never tell her, irritating as that was. And then she heard his wry chuckle.

"I guess you could say that it was always an oral fixation, Ino," Shikamaru finally murmured as he zeroed in on her most tender area of flesh. "You just made me a better offer."

Ino whipped her head around. "Honestly, Shikamaru, do you always have to be so… so… oooohhhh…"

Wracked with ecstasy, Ino felt her arms suddenly weaken and she sprawled forward across the bed. She lay there sighing, a smug grin plastered across her face.

Well, whatever the reason… at least she had finally gotten him to quit smoking!

~ The End ~

Author's Ending Note: A very huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who reviewed, especially to the multiple reviewers. This is the only way I get 'paid' for anything I do, so it's extremely gratifying and encouraging to read your comments. Trust me, I love 'em. Thank goodness someone out there liked this story! But of course I also want to say 'thanks' to those who simply read all the way through. I hope you enjoyed it all!