He wanted her. She knew he did. Lately he'd been looking at her like she was some sort of delicious popsicle and he wanted to lick her all over, and oh, god, she wanted to let him. Only, for some strange reason, he wouldn't. She'd sunk to more sneaky, underhanded tactics than she'd ever used before, and still he steadfastly resisted her every seduction attempt. Maybe she wasn't being obvious enough?

Not that she'd actually just drop herself in his lap with some sort of cheesy pick-up line, like 'is that a wrench in your pocket or are you just happy to see me'but damn, was he really that clueless? If she weren't such a firm believer in being the pursued and not the pursuer, she would've tried that ages ago. And she was making it so easy for him to just give up and give in and take her to bed already, but he just wasn't taking the bait, and she didn't know how long she would last without just jumping him herself.

So what was she doing wrong? She was vamping him in every way she knew how, so why wasn't it working? For fuck's sake, how hard could it be to get him in bed?


Had her skirt gotten shorter? No, that was a virtual impossibility. Maybe it was just the way she crossed and uncrossed those long, tanned legs of hers. And maybe it was the bending over. Oh, god, the bending over. Like he needed an excuse to get another look at her fabulous backside. And it seemed that she was always finding excuses to nap on his couch, looking so amazingly fuckable lying there that he almost always had to retreat to his workshop to find a productive outlet for all his sexual frustration because surely Rikku didn't have a clue what she was doing to him. And inevitably when he went back inside she was just waking up and stretching, presenting those magnificent breasts just so perfectly that he'd have to go back out and take apart a machine and spend another hour putting it back together just so he could forget about stretching her out on the couch while she was so warm and soft and sleepy-sexy and having his way with her.

And so he took cold showers. Lots of cold showers. Man, he was getting sick of cold showers.

But she was Rikku, and she was Cid's sweet, innocent little girl. Probably she didn't even know what sex was, and probably she'd die of shock if he ever came on to her. And so there was just no tactful way to say anything like, 'Hey, kid, by the way, whenever you bend over I get the most wonderful view of your ass and if you'd stop bending over I bet I could stop fantasizing about fucking you on my kitchen table'.

Yeah. That would go over so well.

So he'd have to make do with cold showers and handjobs. Not that he couldn't get what he needed from a woman, but really the only one he wanted lately was Rikku. And things could get pretty bad for him if he called the wrong woman by Rikku's name. Probably it would get back to her, and she'd leave Djose and take that fabulous body with her.

And really, how could Rikku not know that he would die to have her? Nobody could be that oblivious. Not that he expected her to just plop down on his lap with some cheesy pick-up line, like, 'nice shoes, wanna fuck?' but still. He figured men were pretty transparent when they wanted something and damned if he didn't want her more than anything.

Just watching her flutter around his kitchen was something akin to torture. He was seeing seductive movements and come-hither glances where there obviously were none. God, he needed to get laid so badly.

She nibbled her lower lip, reaching for a bag of lollipops high on a shelf, fingertips stretching, standing on the very tips of her toes. Her skirt rode a little higher on her thighs and he suppressed a shudder.

"Gippal?" She looked at him through sooty lashes, a tiny sheepish half-smile curving her lips. "I'm not tall enough. Could you…?"

He sighed, moving around the table to snag the bag off the shelf. He didn't want to be so close to her – he could smell her perfume, something like vanilla and cinnamon that made her smell good enough to eat, which was an attractive enough concept even without her delicious perfume.

"Thank you." She took the bag from him, slinking across to the sturdy wooden table, and taking a seat on it. She kicked her legs like a child, fishing a lollipop from the bag, and quickly dispensing with the wrapper. She popped the cherry-red candy into her mouth, and Gippal twitched, flushing guiltily.

It was just Cid's girl enjoying a lollipop; he definitely should not be entertaining thoughts of her sucking on other things with so much relish. He turned away, determined to get his mind off of her talented mouth. He opened the fridge and grabbed a beer, then rummaged through a drawer in search of the bottle opener. When he finally got the damn thing open, he peeked back at her to find her watching him curiously. She slid the lollipop out of her mouth, licking her lips. Gippal turned away, tilted his head back and chugged down the beer in one long swallow.

"Hey, take it easy!" She hopped off the table, pounding on his back as he leaned over the counter and gasped for breath. "It's only three in the afternoon. Should you really be going at the alcohol so hard and heavy this early?"

Of course, alcohol was not the thing he wanted to go at hard and heavy, but somehow he didn't think Rikku would appreciate his little witticism. And oh god he could smell her again. It took every ounce of his willpower not to bury his face in her hair and have a good, long sniff. His fingers itched. His cock throbbed. And the beer wasn't doing a goddamn thing.

"I gotta go."

He looked and sounded a little panicked, and Rikku felt a momentary twinge of guilt for putting him in such an uncomfortable position. Probably the lollipop had been a dirty trick. But couldn't he take a hint? She'd done everything but wear a goddamn neon sign.

Something was going to have to change. He was resisting marvelously, and she didn't know how much more obvious she could get without hopping naked into bed with him. And with his twitchiness lately, she imagined he'd probably just throw her out, anyway. Clearly he was lusting after her, but why the hell wouldn't he do anything about it?

Was he resisting her on principle or something? Did he get his kicks watching her wiggle her way around his temple in what seemed to be a futile effort to get him in the sack? She wrinkled her nose. Losing was not an option. She'd never lost before. She always knew exactly what she wanted and she always knew exactly how to get it, and she wasn't about to start losing now just because Gippal was a little reticent. She didn't even know why he was so twitchy about it. She knew he wanted her, so what was the big deal?

Well, hell. She'd just have to try harder. She'd triumphed over Sin and Vegnagun, after all. Compared to them, wearing down Gippal should be a piece of cake.