Disclaimer: Ugly Betty doesn't belong to me.

Author's Note: I wanted to write pre-Daniel/Betty. Y'know, companionship, drama, angst, helping each other, office life, high fashion, coffee and bagels, daylight. But where did I end up beginning? In the bedroom. ::blushes:: Oops. However, I do still intend to get a lower-rating "coffee and bagels" fic written soon.

Rating: M for Sexual Situations

Your Heartbeat Next To Mine

He kicked the bedroom door open with his heel and they were already panting as he whirled her around, pressing her against the wall. Their lips melted together with passion, hands tugging uncoordinatedly at each other's clothes.

She tightly gripped hold of his shirt over his shoulder blades, shivering as he ran a stream of kisses down to the disarrayed neck of her blouse. He was hard and she could feel herself responding to him; she'd never felt so turned on.

Then he paused, breathing hard and straightening up a little, blinking as if trying to clear his mind. He tenderly cupped her face with both hands, leaning back to look into her eyes.

She found herself trembling and held tightly onto his arm, as she reached up to straighten her glasses, wishing she had her contact lenses in.

With her brain seeming to kick into gear, she wondered why he had stopped, what this pause was for. Useful for catching their breath, but that didn't explain the way he was looking at her. It was sort of an odd look.

However, she found her subconscious had her body flying ahead; her sneaky fingertip was tracing his jaw.

Walter hadn't paused. To look at it practically, it had all been over too quickly to fit one in.

Her fingertip was now running over his soft lips, flushed from contact with hers.

Henry hadn't needed to pause. They'd basically sat down and nervously spelt out what they were going to do before he'd gently led her by the hand to the hotel bed.

Her fingers moved to the back of his neck and she slowly leant forward, closing the space between them. She softly grazed her lips over Daniel's.

Betty wasn't sure where it had begun with him. There had been the DVD and the microwavable popcorn, and them snuggled up together on the sofa, Daniel absently playing with her hair. Hands had wandered. She wasn't even sure whose had wandered first. Then she was having trouble staying focused on the movie – what had they been watching? Something with talking trees? – and the popcorn somehow ended up spilt over the floor, but that hadn't mattered because she could taste it in his mouth.

Daniel's lips moved under hers, drawing her in, and she found he still tasted faintly of popcorn. She felt his hands slide down to her hips and she pulled him closer, pressing an encouraging hand into his lower back.

He understood the answer to his silent question and his palms, hot and sweaty, slid up her back against her skin.

Betty only just consciously registered that he was underneath her blouse when it was pulled off over her head. She mused the redundancy of buttons and helped him tug the cuffs from her wrists. Then his shirt – the nice dark-blue Ralph Lauren one Alexis had bought him for his birthday – was gone and she was fumbling with his zipper.

She feared her knees would give way, his hands doing something with the waistline of her skirt, while her own made hopeless work of his pants' fastening and acutely aware of the straining of the material.

She needed him. Betty shook her thoughts and corrected herself; she wanted him. Oh, how she wanted him, needed. Him. Daniel.

Daniel's hands appeared and guided hers, the zipper was finally undone and his pants dropped to his ankles. He deftly stepped out and helped her hop out from the skirt she suddenly realized was around her feet.

His touch was gone for a moment, startling her by how cold and alone she felt without it. But then her eyes surveyed his body, watching as he bent over to tug off his socks. She wiggled out of her tights, her gaze not leaving him.

Daniel's body was soon back against her, warm and enveloping, his mouth on hers. The bed hit her behind the knees, jolting and startlingly them both. He held her, stopping her from falling. Then slowly she climbed up onto the bed, him moving with her.

Their lips kissed passionately, two bodies melting into each other. Betty's fingers ran over the waistband of his boxers, tentatively beginning to edge underneath. She was surprised by her own boldness, but she knew what she wanted. Her fingers pushed back his underwear, her palm falling flat against his bare rear.

Daniel was kissing her neck, just under her earlobe, when he froze.

Betty stilled too, barely even daring to breathe. Her mind raced, fearing she'd been too bold, worrying she'd done something wrong.

"Shit," Daniel cursed under his breath. He was moving away from her.

Betty bit her quivering lower lip, watching as Daniel left the bed. She wanted to call after him, but her throat had closed over.

Daniel absently pulled up the boxers that were halfway down his ass and fumbled around with the clothing scattered over the floor. He looked for all the world like an ungainly rabbit digging a hole. But no smile rose to Betty's terrified face.

She suddenly became aware of how naked she was, sat there in her underwear. The nice matching silk bra and briefs, simple and black, delicately edged with lace and tasteful little bows. Christina had helped her pick the set out when they'd gone on a girlie shopping trip last week. Betty glanced sadly down, noting how she looked nothing like the model on the packaging had. She wrapped her arms around herself and drew her knees up to her chest, hiding behind them.

She was a fool. How could she have thought Daniel Meade actually wanted to bed her? This whole relationship was a farce. Daniel had tried, but she just wasn't what he wanted. Betty closed her eyes, a tear squeezing out and falling down her cheek.

"Hey." The voice was incredibly tender. An equally tender hand touched her cheek. "Betty, what's wrong?"

Bewildered, Betty opened her eyes and found herself confronted with Daniel's concerned face.

"You're crying." There was a worried wavering in his gentle voice, as he wiped the tear from her cheek. "Did I do something wrong?"

Betty stared at him dumbly, as if he'd just grown a second head.

She felt the bed shift under her as Daniel sat down beside her, his bare thigh was against her ankle and he looped an arm around her bare shoulders.

"Betty, talk to me," Daniel pleaded, peering into her face and trying to read her.

Betty was very confused. She slowly unbent her knees, straightening her legs out in front of her, her thigh now touching Daniel's. Swallowing, she wiped at her eyes and then met his gaze.

"Why did you…leave?" It was the question at the root of it all.

Daniel looked at her blankly. "What?" He didn't get it. "Leave? When?"

"Just now." Betty drew herself up, bracing herself. "You were messing about with your clothes. I thought you were getting dressed."

"Why would I get dressed?" Daniel looked thoroughly confused, but less worried – at least she was talking to him now. "Oh! Do you not want to…I mean, I understand, I just…I thought you… Oh shit. You really don't want to, do you? I'm such an idiot."

Betty laid a hand on Daniel's arm, as he looked away in disgust with himself. She reserved the right to agree or disagree with him. She was still confused. "So, if you weren't getting dressed, what were you doing?"

Daniel looked guiltily at her and held up a little packet in his hand.

Betty frowned. "You were getting a condom?" Her expression cleared and she laughed.

"I know I'm stupid, I thought you wanted to…"

He was cut off by her lips covering his and kissing him with such passion that it was a few moments before he got control of himself and drew back, confused again.

"W…?" He breathlessly couldn't even get the question out.

Betty smiled lovingly at him, shifting to sit in his lap, and brushed back his hair with a tender hand.

"I do." She kissed the end of his nose. Then to make sure he understood, she clarified, "I thought you'd changed your mind. Daniel, I do want sex." Blushing, she added, "with you."

Finally, Daniel understood. Yet, he shook his head and gently cupped her chin. He looked into her eyes with such adoration that Betty felt they should be in the pouring rain at the end of a movie.

"No, Betty, with you it'll be making love."

She smiled coyly as he pressed a kiss against her lips and wrapped her in his arms. They held each other for a moment. Then they were kissing with enough passion to tip Daniel onto his back. Betty could feel his heartbeat pounding in his chest under her hand.

They sat upright and he swept a hand up her back to the clip fastening her bra and undid it with his thumb. Sliding the straps down her arms, he pulled it away and let it drop, focusing on what had lain beneath. Its pretty matching pair went next, and his boxers soon followed.

Daniel moved away, Betty unconcerned this time. He looked back at her, all lustful and salivating, like a randy lion.

She'd seen him look at hundreds of women and knew that look. Well, it was currently heightened by the intensity of the divergence of blood. But there was something else too; something deeper accompanying the more primitive emotion.

Did Daniel truly love her? In that moment, she thought he did.

Betty realized he wasn't just looking at her body; he was looking at her.

Daniel wanted her.

Unbeknownst to Betty, she was looking at Daniel in much the same way.

She bit her lip, trying not to smile, as he got his foot caught in a wandering bedsheet and fell ungracefully back into her arms. A randy lion cub, she tenderly corrected her earlier analogy.

Daniel's breath was soft on her neck. "You're so beautiful," he whispered, hoarsely.

Her mind span with glee, then he caused her to gasp with another kind of pleasure.

The randy lion cub knew what he was doing. Oh yes, he definitely knew what he was doing.

- - - - - - - - - -

Daniel didn't know what he was doing. Not really.

He couldn't think clearly, all he could do was feel. And he felt good. Amazingly good. A proper description was beyond him at that point.

Betty was amazing. He was stuck on that adjective. He tried harder. Betty was…love. He loved her so much. He wanted to breathe her. That didn't sound odd or implausible to him right then.

She was responding to him and he was learning what she liked, exploring every inch of her amazing body.

He'd been with a lot of women. Enough to gain confidence in how to make a woman scream his name and call out to her chosen deity or any other deity that came to her scrambled mind. But with Betty it was different. He was so desperate to get it right, to please her, to express how much he loved her. Yet, his grand collection of knowledge had slipped from his mind and he was struggling to think in full sentences. No woman had ever done that to him before.

All he could do was listen to her, finding himself automatically responding to each move she made, each tightening muscle, each shift of her hips. Somehow his body knew what his mind had forgotten.

She was exploring him too. Learning and surprising him by discovering things no other woman had.

How could she have had that moment of doubt earlier? How could she have thought he didn't want this? He'd been desperate for her for weeks!

He'd made her cry. What an idiot! How stupidly, stupidly blind. He would make it up to her. Right now. He would show Betty how much he loved her.

Then all further thoughts were blown from Daniel's mind. All he could think was Betty's name over and over again.

- - - - - - - - - -

The bedside lamps cast a soft golden glow over the romantic destruction of the room. On top of the disordered bedsheets, two entwined bodies were half covered by a sheet tugged out of the tangle.

They lay in each other's arms, Betty's head on Daniel's chest. He played idly with her hair, which was now somewhat knotted. Both were exhausted and content.

"Betty, I love you." Daniel's voice was soft, tired.

Betty knew he was sincere and smiled, placing a light kiss on his chest. "I love you too, Daniel."