This Could Be the Day: Chapter 31

Series: Bleach; Ichihime

Word Count: 7203

Warnings: cursing, adult situations, lime

Disclaimer: all characters herein are the property of Kubo Tite.

*I only did a quick proofread so forgive me for any mistakes.


Her boots clanged against the metal stairs as if they were made of lead as Yuzu made her way to the apartment on the second floor. Apartment 407. She repeated in her mind for possibly the hundredth time. Orihime's apartment.

This was a new experience for her. She had to smooth out misunderstandings in the past for her brother, twin, and father, but never for herself. Yuzu knocked quickly before she could change her mind and race back home. Her nerves were jumping all over the place and her stomach churned as she watched the door swing open to reveal her rival for brother's attention.

Orihime tilted her head to the side and stared at the young blonde standing like a soldier at attention on her doorstep. "Yuzu-san," Her brow scrunched up as she searched her mind for a reason Ichigo's sister would be come to her apartment before her soft brown eyes widened in concern. "Did something happen to Ichigo?" She demanded as her slender fingers gripped the edge of the door in a death grip when the wild possibility occurred to her.

Holding her hands in front of her, Yuzu cringed at the misunderstanding. Of course Orihime would think something bad happened with her showing up out of the blue. "No, nothing's wrong with Ichi-nii. He was still busy doing chores when I left."

"Oh, that's good." Her words rushed out on a relived breath at Yuzu's immediate reassurance and Orihime slumped against the door. Silly runaway suspicions. She scolded herself for jumping to conclusions before glancing through her messy bangs at the restless girl in front of her. If there wasn't anything wrong with Ichigo, what was his sister doing here? "Did you come to see me for something, then?"

Yes. But now that the time was here, Yuzu was finding it difficult to say the words she'd practiced. Taking a deep breath, determined to apologize for her rude behavior, her smile wobbled as her eyes lifted to meet those of his brother's girlfriend. "I …I wanted to talk, if that's all right?"

Her expression blank, Orihime blinked once before swinging the door open wider in answer. Her lips curved in a joy-filled smile and she gestured Ichigo's sister inside. "Of course. Please come in."


Lying on his bed, Ichigo stared at his ceiling in thought, instead of studying for the preliminary exam coming up in only a few days. He knew that he should be using every spare moment he had to prepare for this. It would help determine his future, after all. But he couldn't seem to work up the interest necessary to pry his ass off his bed and get to it.

He tilted his head back on his pillow to glance at his clock and attempted to read the numbers upside-down. Quarter to eight. Ichigo was sure his girlfriend was sitting at her small table right now studying, faithfully going down her list of subjects one by one and he wished he were there with her. However, they learned the hard way that any serious studying was best left for when they weren't together.

Case in point, last night.

He had been stuck cleaning the clinic's storage room for his dad and wasn't excepting to see Orihime until their cram class this morning. Although, you sure as hell didn't hear him complain when she stuck her head around the door to tell him that supper was almost ready. You did hear him yell though. Cuss actually, when he dropped a box of files on his foot at his girlfriend's sudden appearance.

Between apologies and questions of if he was all right, Ichigo managed to piece together that Yuzu invited Orihime to have supper with them. The particulars still eluded him, mainly like where the cups of hot tea, discussions about big brothers, trip to the store, and friendly bonding came in. All he really knew was that his sister and girlfriend were now the best of friends. A fact that was also noticed by rest of his family during supper later that night.

The rest of the evening followed their happy playful lead and neither of them did much studying at all.

Pulled from his thoughts as his bedroom door opened and closed, he groaned at the unmistakable sound of Rukia tut-tutting about the room stinking of teenage boy.

Lifting the hand resting over his eyes, Ichigo glared daggers at Rukia for interrupting his privacy, plus insulting him. His look of irritation was wasted on the petite shinigami though. She was more interested in picking through his manga than if she was barging in where she wasn't wanted.

Sitting up, he swung his long legs over the edge of the bed, demanding. "What the hell! Does no one knock anymore?"

Rukia's thick ivory sweater swamped her petite frame as she settled on the floor. "I can't believe you're complaining, and after I came all this way to see you." At his deadpan look, she shrugged her shoulders unrepentantly and pulled a volume from a low shelf. "Orihime's busy. Something about studying for some uniform achievement exam."

Ichigo's gaze hardened for an instant before forcing his features to relax. He shifted his eyes to the side, away from Rukia's all too perceptive stare. "Oh, right." His hand reached up to knead the back of his neck in an automatic response. "I keep forgetting." Lie. He didn't forget. He couldn't. The test was on everyone's mind right now. It was all anyone talked about, when they weren't actually studying for it that is.

"Orihime also said something about a scholarship and-"

"Yeah, it's a great opportunity for her." He interrupted her without apology, not wanting to hear the rest. He'd already heard it. Coming to his feet in a rapid movement, Ichigo frowned at Rukia's disbelieving expression before trying to prove his sincerity. "It really is. This way she can go to college and won't have to get a full-time job right out of high school like she thought she would."

"What do you think about it?"

Shrugging his shoulders, Ichigo turned to face his window. "I just told you. It's great."

Rukia frowned at his broad back. He's hiding something. Pretending interest in book on her lap, she idly flipped through the action packed pages before murmuring curiously. "But isn't this school in another part of the country?"

"Orihime has lived on her own for years now, you know."

Oh, he just frustrates me so bad sometimes. Why was it so hard for him to just say what he was really feeling? Glancing down at Ichigo's manga in surprise, Rukia smoothed out the wrinkled page with quick furtive motions before closing it tight, hoping that he'd never notice the creases. "And you know that's not what I asked, Ichigo."

Forcing his shoulders to relax, he stared at the hazy outline of buildings beyond the foggy glass; feeling like his world was spinning wildly out of his control. Stay calm, idiot. "This is good for Orihime. What else do you want me to say?"

"How about telling me what you really think of it."

He leaned his forehead against the chilly glass as his hand clenched in the curtain at his side. Keep your cool. "Dammit, I already did."

"No, you didn't. You probably just repeated what everyone else has been saying."

Ignore her. Ignore her. She's just trying to get a rise out of you. Even knowing that couldn't stop the word rushing from his lips. "Bullshit, I-"

"Do you want Orihime to leave you?"

Restraint be damned! That question tipped the scales and he erupted. "Hell no I don't!" He slammed his opened palm against the window frame before he spun around to face her, his eyes blazing. "You really think I want her going somewhere I can't see her or protect her? It's driving me fucking crazy just thinking about it."

Rukia stared up in surprise, speechless when confronted with the naked emotion etched deeply across his face. This was upsetting Ichigo beyond what anyone imagined.

Unable to hold his gaze, she glanced down at the book in her hand and flicked the corner of a page back and forth with a finger, filling the awkward silence with the repetitive noise. She wished that she could reassure him and tell him that everything would work out, but she knew that no matter what she said, he wouldn't believe it. Ichigo had the look about him that he was fighting against an enemy he knew he couldn't defeat.

His anger melted away as suddenly as it appeared, leaving him stunned by his outburst. Dropping on the end of his bed like a puppet whose strings were cut, Ichigo sat with his hands dangling between his legs. Damn, is that really how I feel? It was the first time he'd been honest about his feeling over Orihime going away to college and leaving him behind. It was the truth though. He didn't want them to ever be apart.

He glumly eyed the clock on the shelves behind his headboard, wishing that he didn't still have to get in some study time for the prelim exam himself and could just go to sleep. This continual churning in his stomach and these feeling of apprehension was wearing him down. "Why are you here anyway, Rukia?"

Dropping the book she'd been thumbing through into her lap, she stared off into space. Rukia did have something about Orihime to tell him, but she wasn't certain if now was the time to burden Ichigo with those worries or not. Shrugging her shoulders, she figured there was something else she wanted advice on, and he did ask -albeit in a detached and aloof tone of voice. "I've had something on my mind recently and needed another opinion."

Lying down with his arms folded under his head, Ichigo blew out a breath, really not caring to hear someone else's problems at the moment. However, since she was one of his closest friends and she did come to him, he should at least attempt to show some interest. "On what?"

Rukia rested her chin on her open palm. She didn't see how her wild assumption could be true, but that kind of behavior just didn't make any other sense. Did it? Dropping her somber indigo gaze to the floor, her lips twisted in thought before she stated. "I think my brother and Renji are gay for each other."



"Are you paying attention, Abarai?"

The scarlet haired lieutenant assured his captain with a crisp nod that he was indeed still listening to him senselessly drone on as he pressed his knuckles against the sharp pain in the center of his chest. It felt like someone just stabbed him through with a well-placed arrow. Rukia no doubt. She was the master of carving his pride and masculinity into small chunks and then force-feeding him insults.

It's a good thing he loved her.

"Did you understand all of what I just said?"

Renji's head snapped up and he stared into Byakuya's steely eyes in confusion as his mind scrambled to come up with a suitable answer. "Umm …"

Rolling the scroll in his hands with an economy of movement, Byakuya secured the ribbon around the parchment cylinder before setting it aside. "Don't stutter. It's unbecoming."

"Yes, Captain. I'm listening."

Byakuya's voice cracked like a whip as he reprimanded his lieutenant. "Listen closer. The dissolution of one of the great noble houses should not make one grin like an addlepated fool."

Bowing his head in understand, Renji clenched his teeth together, searching for patience. If this weren't for the very best of reasons, he'd be tempted to tell Byakuya just where he could stick all four of the noble houses, the Central 46, and the entire Seireitei history.

For the last week, he had rank, traditions, and duties drummed into his head. The week before, his lessons consisted of calligraphy, haiku reading, appreciation of nature, and tea ceremonies. And it was all boring as hell. It seemed that nobles didn't participate in anything remotely considered common, let alone fun.

Barely containing a relieved sigh as Byakuya's lesson wound down for the night, Renji attempted to ease the stiffness in his numb limbs without his captain once again chastising him for fidgeting like a child. He concluded that Rukia's bother was making a concerted effort to bore him to tears in the hopes of him changing his mind and giving up.

He would see this through to the end, though.

Standing after being dismissed, he met his captain's impassive gaze directly before bowing respectfully. His hands curled into fists, his nails scored the skin of his palms and Renji strengthened his resolve. He would listen and learn everything Byakuya endeavored to teach him, all with the promised chance of finally being accepted as Rukia's suitor.

Then, he would confess to the raven-haired spitfire who held his heart in her tiny hands.

Until that time finally came, Renji would keep a tight reign on his patience and a lid on his temper. He'd do all in his power to prove he was worthy of her and not just another stray dog barking at the moon.

With his hand on the door's handle, so close to escaping, Renji paused with a silent groan when he heard Byakuya call for him to wait.

"There was a report from 12th division today about the strange reiatsu signature found at the spot where Inoue-san was attacked."

Renji arched a tattooed brow at Byakuya's statement, waiting to see if there was more. Growing impatient at his captain's continued silence, he asked pointedly. "And was there anything specific about this reiatsu?"

Cleaning the nib of his pen with quiet concentration, Byakuya answered right before his lieutenant repeated his question. "It's a possible espada," Setting his pen aside, his steely eyes lifted to pierce his subordinate before imparting another piece of information. "One that seems to still be following Inoue-san without her noticing."

Straightening, Renji's hand clenched around the wooden door as his thoughts traveled to the one most likely to come unglued at the news. "Does Ichigo know?"

"Rukia is in the human world as we speak. She'll tell him if she thinks it is necessary."


Waving goodbye to Tatsuki and Chad as the oddly matched couple left and followed Uryu and Nemu down the street, Orihime crossed her arms over her chest as her mouth twisted in a pout. "I can't believe I let Tatsuki-chan talk me into taking a break to look at the lights."

Ichigo glanced down at his girlfriend in exasperation. What the hell? It was Christmas. Since when was lunch with their friends and a walk through the shopping district to look at the holiday decorations considered a distraction?

"It's still early though. I can still get a few more hours of studying in tonight."

Rolling his eyes at her one-track mind, he turned up the collar of his coat and turned down the street to her apartment. "You can take a break for one night, Orihime. It won't hurt anything to relax a little."

"There's no time to relax. Depending on if my scores from the uniform achievement test are high enough, I'll find out if I'm even a candidate for acceptance at Nagoya U of A."

"I doubt that's going to be a worry." Ichigo scowled at the group of delinquents squatting near a bank of vending machines as they passed, wishing for one of them to direct a snide comment his way. He was feeling frustrated and restless after spending the afternoon with Ishida and was itching for a fight.

Racing to catch up with Ichigo, she wisely skirted the unsavory group of guys nearby and cried in agitation at her boyfriend's broad back. "Of course I have to worry, Ichigo. We still have the National Center Tests in a few weeks to prepare for, too."

He came to a complete stop, staring at the ground and clearly lost in thought. Orihime shifted from foot to foot beside him, wondering if she said something wrong. She called his name in worry and smiled crookedly when Ichigo looked down at her with a faraway look in his eyes. He gestured that he was fine and returned her smile, but her worries only increased when she noticed it didn't reach his eyes.

They continued towards her apartment with any further attempts at conversation dying a quick death after that. A suppressive silence stretched out between them like a minefield, both uncertain as to what words might set the other off.

Blowing out a breath, Ichigo ran his fingers through his hair and picked up their conversation from before, almost as if the awkward last half hour of didn't exist.

"Why don't you submit your scores to Tsurumi like me or even YNU with Tatsuki as a backup?" He asked helpfully before frowning at Orihime's suddenly dismayed expression.

Idiot! Smacking his forehead with his palm, Ichigo dragged his hand down his face before apologetically backpedaling with a beleaguered groan, "Not that you'd need a backup. I mean, I'm sure you'll place without a problem."

"If I don't get accepted into NUA, there's no way I can afford to attend any other school." Orihime explained –yet again- feeling that no matter how many times she said it, Ichigo still wouldn't accept it.

Guilt twisted in her stomach at the way he crammed his hands into his pockets and turned his face away without saying a thing.

Why didn't he understand?

"I could apply for other scholarships and assistance, but even then the amount of money I'd still owe would be astronomical." Her voice rose in pitch with each word as her arms flailed through the air.

Her words pierced him. He knew all of this already, but he couldn't help but stop up his ears, in a desperate last-ditch effort to ignore their growing problems. It almost felt as if time was running out for them. Ichigo glanced back at her and his stomach twisted at Orihime's anxious expression. "Calm down. We'll talk about this later."

Blinking up at him in something akin to exasperation, she furrowed her brows as Ichigo shuffled ahead, leaving her to trail after him. It was always later with him anymore. We'll talk about it later. He'll answer her later. They'll decide what to do, later. Orihime sighed and burrowed deeper into the collar of her coat in an attempt to hide her pensive expression from her boyfriend.

It didn't matter though.

He wasn't paying any attention to her anyway.

Orihime searched her pocket for her keys as they climbed the stairs to her apartment in silence and her heart grew heavier with each step she took. Fitting her key into the lock, she forcibly shoved her worries aside, determined not to let this mood destroy the rest of the evening. Glancing upwards, her eyes sought Ichigo's as her fingers rested on the sleeve of his coat before he could turn for home. "Will you stay for a while?"

Ichigo frowned down at the slender fingers clutching his coat before Orihime's hesitant voice broke through his strange mood. Way to make her worry, you idiot. His apologetic grin brought a smile to her face, as did the way he tugged on a long strand of hair that escaped her knit hat. "Yeah, just for a minute though."

Stopping just inside the door, he toed off his shoes and watched Orihime bustle around the apartment as she turned on her small space heater before heading into the kitchen to heat the kettle for tea. So familiar. So homey. Ichigo mused as he hung up his coat besides hers and wondered just when he grew so comfortable with being in her apartment. He no longer felt like a guest, it was more like a second home.

The proof was in the lightweight jacket hanging by her door that he left several weeks ago. Then, there was the large pair of slippers always set out and waiting for him, and the handful of books and CDs he brought over arranged beside that fluffy pink penguin he bought her months ago on Orihime's shelves. She welcomed him to treat her home as if it were his own, and he'd definitely left his mark all over her place.

Yeah, but for how much longer?

Needing a distraction, he turned away from the sweetly domestic scene in the kitchen and flipped on Orihime's small television. Surfing aimlessly through the channels, Ichigo settled on a dark drama that matched his mood before tossing the remote back on the table. His sense of desperation was back, stronger than before as he looked around the familiar room.

How many more times would he visit her apartment? To watch her get excited as she cooked new recipes for him to try, to cuddle with her on the couch, and to listen to her giggle over her favorite TV shows.

Was all this almost at an end?

They really were going to go their separate ways, weren't they?

Why the hell was he wasting even one moment of his time with her on these stupid worries? Tomorrow was another day, another chance to think this through …another day closer to their entrance exams and subsequent interviews.


That kind of thinking wasn't helping improve his mood one bit. He wanted to touch her. To hold her. No time like the present. He supposed as he walked with quiet purpose to the front door and checked the lock before turning off the overhead light with a flick of a finger.

Meeting his girlfriend's curious gaze as she peeked around the kitchen doorway, Ichigo shook his head, deflecting the question in her eyes with ease. He was a man on a mission. One that required the lights lowered, and Orihime's hands free and not encumbered with steaming mugs of tea.

Taking the cups from her fingers, he set them aside without a word and turned back to face his puzzled girlfriend. She'd figure out his intent any moment now. Not that Ichigo expected any complaint from her, but one really couldn't disregard Orihime's penchant for always doing the unexpected.

Her gaze shifted from his and slid down to his mouth in an unbearably slow motion. Orihime's lips parted as she stared at his own in fascination, almost as if she was studying them before her fingers reached up to trace first his bottom lip and then the top. Her touch was as light as a butterfly's wing, brushing, skimming, making him shiver in response.

Sharp awareness sizzled between them as he lowered his head and brushed his firm lips back and forth over hers. Ichigo tilted her head and sealed his mouth over hers. Yes, he thought triumphantly when Orihime trembled in his arms and clung to him as his tongue plunged between her plush lips. This is exactly what I needed.

Left dizzy by a rush of desire, Orihime slid her hands up the rippling muscles of his arm and over his shoulders. She was lost in his possessive kiss, barely taking notice of his hands leaving her waist to slide upwards until Ichigo cupped her breasts in his large hands. Arching her back, she rubbed her hard nipples against his calloused palms as Ichigo murmured his approval against her lips.

Brushing his thumbs back and forth over her tight nipples, Ichigo shifted restlessly as Orihime twined her arms around his neck with a breathy moan. Swinging her up in his arms without breaking their kiss, he carried her across the room and laid her down the narrow couch.

The television backlit his muscled frame, but Orihime could still clearly see the flash of his teeth in the dark as he grinned down at her in appreciation before stripping off his shirt and tossing it aside.

Her heartbeat quickened and she reached for him, wanting to touch all that magnificent smooth skin. She pressed her palms to his muscular chest and sighed. Velvet over steel. Ichigo was perfectly made. Every woman's fantasy. He nudged her legs wider before sinking against her, covering her body with his own.

Sinking back into a heated kiss, the world and any worries melted away as their hands explored each other.

His hands burrowed under her shirt and skimmed up her back, searching for the closure to this damn contraption. "Dammit, how the hell does this thing come off?" Her bra was impeding him and he wanted it off right now! "You'd better tell me before I shred the damn thing."

"It clasps in front."

"Seriously?" Swallowing against the dryness in his throat, his eyes narrowed in concentration as she revealed a row of hooks in between her heaving breasts. The lacy material parted as each hook fell prey to his impatient fingers, until the final one gave way and he brushed her loosened fabric aside. "That's ingenious."

Her lips curved at the sound of awe in his voice before they parted on a sigh as the cold air pebbled her exposed nipples into tight little aching buds. Ichigo drew in a sharp breath and just stared, unmoving. Cupping the plump mounds, he palmed them, lifting and squeezing. Orihime gasped when he scattered hot openmouthed kisses over her chest and up her throat before his lips covered hers once more.

How many more times would he kiss these lips? Ichigo wondered with a growing sense of unease as Orihime squirmed underneath him, pressing her full breasts into his hands. Their love was still new. Could it weather separation? Or would she leave and find someone new at that college of hers? Someone better. Someone who could give her more than he could.

Orihime threaded her fingers through the spiky orange hair that she so loved as her boyfriend's caresses grew more focused and his kisses turned hungry, desperate, and flavored with another emotion she couldn't quite place. "Ichigo …are you angry about something?"

"No, of course not."

He answered quickly, too quickly. Orihime's mouth twisted in a pout as he dragged his lips down her throat, nipping and marking her delicate skin as he went. She wished she knew what was bothering him so bad lately. Ichigo always had a quick temper and tended to brood about things, but these past weeks-

Her thoughts fractured on a moan as Ichigo lifted a breast to his eager mouth and his hips ground against hers.

Wanting only for Orihime to be reduced to the same state of wild desperation as him, Ichigo's eyes blazed, listening to her moans as she twisted under him. Her nipples pebbled under his touch as he feasted hungrily on them, catching first one then the other between his teeth. He started this with the most selfish ulterior motives possible, wanting to stamp his ownership on her very soul, making it so she would never be able to forget him.

Damn, I am such a fool.

He didn't own her. Orihime didn't belong to anyone. Squeezing his eyes shut, Ichigo scattered kisses between her breasts, drawing in the sweet scent of her skin. Damn, he was a greedy bastard. He could touch and love her like this, but he always wanted more.


Orihime gasped for air, her body weak and trembling as she peered up through the gloom at her aggravated sound boyfriend. "What's wrong?" His hand snaking between them and cupping her sex answered her question most thoroughly. She jerked reflexively from the searing contact, arching into the cushion with a cry. "I-Ichigo!"

His motives no longer mattered; all he wanted to do was make her happy. "I want to touch you." His heart thundered in his chest as she wet her lips with a quick swipe of her tongue and stared back at him, hesitant and unsure. The TV droned on unwatched and her small heater hummed back to life on the other side of the room. It was all background noise, easily ignored. His focus was solely on her as he whispered. "I promise we won't go any further than that."

Trust wasn't an issue -Ichigo should already know that- but if she was ready for this step or not. Dithering over what to do, her thoughts were scattered to the furthest reaches of the universe when his fingers flexed, squeezing her feminine mound. Shuddering in reaction, Orihime bit back a moan.

It feels so good.

She curled and uncurled her fingers, feeling nervous anticipation streak through her before giving a quick nod, granting him permission.

The muscles in his arm quivered and Ichigo still waited for her to meet his eyes. He needed to see that this was what she wanted, and that she wasn't agreeing only for his sake. She would do it too. Selfless and generous were two words that easily described his girlfriend, but Orihime's eyes could not lie. Not to him, not anymore.

The feel of moist heat beneath his fingertips was making him crazy with want and stirring his hollow to awareness. He licked his dry lips, silently pleading with her to look at him. Light from the television illuminated her flushed cheeks and modestly downcast eyes, and made Ichigo realize they could be here all night at this rate. Blowing out a breath, he prayed for patience before her name rumbled out from the back of his throat.

Giving a tiny shake of her head and refusing to look up, Orihime arched her hips, pressing against his fingers in a silent request.

"Is that a yes?"


His hand slipped down the front of her panties at her breathy whisper and his fingers explored this unfamiliar territory with an obvious lack of confidence. Wet heat coated his fingers and he followed it to its source. Listening to his instincts, his eyes lifted to meet Orihime's as his finger slowly slid into her.

She whispered his name as he pumped his index finger inside, stretching her, filling her. Licking his dry lips, Ichigo was certain his heart was going to pound out of his damn chest. She was so tight, so wet, so hot. It was like nothing he ever imagined. His breath hissed out through clenched teeth and his cock throbbed as Orihime flexed her hips, driving his finger deeper.

His eyes jerked up to hers in worry as he froze. Fuck, did he hurt her? Orihime shyly met his gaze and her brow puckered at his undoubtedly anxious expression. "Are you alright?" She jerkily nodded her head in reply and bit back a moan as his hand moved between her thighs.

Adding another finger, Ichigo bit his lip, holding in a groan as Orihime's nails sank into his shoulders. Oh damn. He moaned against her breast before flicking his tongue over a pebbled nipple as his hand steadily pumped between her thighs.

Searching for a more comfortable position, he pulled his fingers from her slick body. Damn narrow couch. Ichigo cursed under his breath as he reached up to wipe away the sweat clinging to his brow. Her scent reached out to him and he stared at his glistening fingers as if he'd never seen them before. He slowly raised them to his mouth before tasting Orihime's essence clinging to his skin.

Addicting was the best way to describe it, as first one, then the other finger slipped past his lips and he sucked them while Orihime watched him spellbound with an ever-darkening blush staining her cheeks.

Should he do that? Could he? His eyes slowly slid down her curvy body to where a strip of damp white cotton concealed her sex before glancing back up to meet Orihime's questioning gaze. It wasn't like he knew what to do exactly. He only had what knowledge he'd been able to gather while pretending to ignore Keigo and Mizuiro while they talked about it. For all he knew they were talking out of their ass and didn't have a clue either, Keigo especially.

Still, he wanted to try.

"Do you trust me?"

Her look clearly stated that he didn't even have to ask such a ridiculous question. Chuckling, his fingers curled around the edge of her underwear and he tugged them to the side. His eyes glittered with wicked pleasure, enjoying the sight of his girlfriend splayed before him as he blew out a steadying breath.

"Then let me try this."

Orihime furrowed her brows in confusion when she felt Ichigo shift down on the couch. "Try what?"

Her breath rushed out with a strangled cry at the feel of him kissing the sensitive skin of her inner thigh just above the top of her stocking. What does he think he is doing? The muscles in her legs tensed and her eyes widened in shock as his kisses trailed up and his hot breath puffed over her core. "I-Ichigo?"

Her thighs snapped together, clamping around his head and she tried to push him away the moment his mouth touched her …down there. He shouldn't. Biting her lip to hold back a cry, her fingers sank into Ichigo's short hair when his tongue flicked out, running over sensitive nerve endings she didn't even know she possessed as he tasted her. This isn't right. Struggling against his calloused hands, she whimpered as he pried her thighs apart with ease, delving deeper, learning, exploring. It's so embarrassing! Orihime's head snapped back and her small white teeth sank into her fist as she tried to muffle her mortifying moans.

Using his hands to caress her tense legs, he blew a gentle puff of warm breath over her damp slit before giving it the faintest of licks. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about, Orihime."

Did I actually say that aloud? Orihime thought with a groan as she cracked open an eye and glanced down at her boyfriend. At the sight of intense chocolate brown eyes peering up at her from behind a tuft of fiery curls, Orihime's heart lodged itself in her throat, choking her as she struggled for breath.

"It's all right."

Orihime's brows furrowed at his confident assurance before shaking her head in denial. "N-no it's not, Ichigo. You can see me. All of me." She covered her face with her hands, wishing she could disappear between the couch cushions. "It's embarrassing!"

Glancing down at the damp nest of curls and sweetly pouting lips between her spread thighs, he shuddered as a shaft of pure lust ripped through him. Ichigo couldn't say he was feeling embarrassed in the least. Nervous, yes. Hard as fucking hell, yes. But definitely not embarrassed. Didn't she realize that every part of her was beautiful?

Obviously not. He grumbled under his breath as her fingers reached down to tug on the edge of her skirt as she tried to cover herself. His eyes fell on his discarded shirt lying over the back of the couch before sliding to the right, to the fleece blanket Orihime kept folded there.

Ichigo yanked it down and awkwardly spread it over his girlfriend. He arched a brow in inquiry as Orihime pulled the blanket up past her chin. "Better?" Ichigo waited for her hesitant nod of agreement and grinned up at her, murmuring, "Good." before vanishing from view under the trailing end of the fleece cover, to resume his task from earlier. Her squeak of surprise at his sudden disappearance made him chuckle against her sensitive flesh, wringing yet another breathless cry from her lips.

She arched her head back, clawing at the blanket as his wicked tongue speared her feminine slit once again and his hand slid from its place on her thigh to cup her neglected breast. Orihime squirmed as he increased the pressure of his licks and kisses. Muffling her cries with her hand, her hips jerked as his fingers plucked and twisted at her nipple, making her body pulse directly at the spot where he feasted with lips, teeth and tongue.

It was too much.

The pleasure was too intense, too focused.

She was gasping, drowning. She couldn't keep up with his pace.

Her hand darted under the blanket. These feelings were so different from when she touched herself. The lack of control and the overwhelming intensity was scaring her. Orihime found the top of his head and sank her fingers into his sweaty hair. "Stop, Ichigo. P-please stop."

Freeing his hair from her death grip, Ichigo flipped the edge of the blanket to the side and peered up at his girlfriend. "Did you get off?" He blurted out in surprise, wondering if he missed something.

Fight back a blush at his crude question; he furrowed his brows in confusion when Orihime shook her head from side to side. Ichigo wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, giving himself a moment to take in her wide eyes and trembling lips before tenderly asking. "What's wrong?"

Her voice quavered as she whispered, making it obvious tears weren't too far behind. "It's too much. I can't …I-I just can't …"

Shushing her, Ichigo crawled up her body and brushed his fingers over her flushed cheek with a gentleness that she seemed to need. Shaking his head as tears welled up in her eyes and apologies spilled from her lips, he silenced her with a kiss, soothing her, calming her, reminding her that she wasn't alone. "Do you want to stop?"

"D-do you?"

Sighing, he wrapped his arms around his girlfriend's slender body and rolled to his side, cradling her to his chest. "This isn't about me right now, Orihime. Are you comfortable with this or not?"

Burrowing her flushed face in the crook of his neck, she closed her eyes and returned his tight hug, content to just rest in his strong arms for the moment. Breathing in the familiar spicy scent of his skin and feeling his hand stroke through her hair calmed her nerves, and allowed her to think instead of just be carried along by emotion.

Laving soft kisses against the pulse beating at the base of his throat, Orihime gathered her courage before admitting with a whisper. "I do like it when you touch me."

Stroking his hand down her back, a smile pulled at his lips at her softly spoken confession. He never thought she'd actually say it aloud. Ichigo nudged her with his chin until Orihime lifted her face and her lips met his. Remaining on their sides, Ichigo groaned against her lips as she pressed close, flattening her breasts against the hard wall of his chest when he tugged the blanket out from between them.

Kissing her to distraction, Ichigo lifted her slender leg to rest over the top of his, allowing her bare thigh to ride against his denim covered one. Breaking the kiss, he realized Orihime's attention shifted to focus where his fingers played between her spread legs. "Is this alright?"

She nibbled on the edge of her lip, her breath rushing in and out as she concentrated on the feel of Ichigo's fingers gently circling her entrance. Don't think about it. Don't think about it. Don't think about it! Just feel. Orihime silently chided herself before her eyes drifted closed on a shuddering breath. "Kiss me, Ichigo."

Hell yes. Ichigo obeyed her whimpered command without thought. Orihime returned his kiss with an eagerness that left him stunned and rolled her hips, flexing against his fingers. Taking her movements as permission to continue, he slid his fingers into her willing body, forcing them deeper as he swallowed her shaky moans.

Bringing her arousal back to a fevered pitched, pure lust raced through his veins. Piercing and forceful, like a ravenous beast just waiting underneath the surface. He wanted her hands on him too, touching him, stroking his burning skin. Patience. Ichigo forcefully reminded himself, knowing he'd have his turn another time. Right now, this was for Orihime.

Her thighs quivered, tensing as his pace of his plunging fingers increased. "Ichigo …" his name rushed from her lips on a moan as her hand slid down his arm to lock around his wrist, guiding him. "There, just like that."

"Like this?"

Her broken cry assured him that he was doing it right and he watched her beautiful face twist in pleasurable agony. Damn, she is fucking gorgeous! Keeping his strokes rapid and shallow, his thumb grazed against her sensitive clit with each thrust of her hips as her breathy mewls of pleasure filled the tiny apartment.

With her eyes screwed shut and her arm thrown over the back of the couch, Orihime's body bowed, straining, arching, mindlessly seeking the release his calloused fingers promised. There …again, Ichi …oh yes, harder …faster, Ichi …faster …

Orihime's whimpers turned him on like nothing he'd ever known as he followed her demands, thrusting faster, rubbing harder, pushing her to the peak. Then, with one last stroke of his hand, he sent her over the edge, crying, trembling, convulsing.

And Ichigo's cock pulsed in response, throbbing, aching, almost to the point of coming in his pants, just from watching his girlfriend shatter.

Swallowing thickly, his labored breathing matched her own as he stared down at her beautifully flushed face and dazed expression with pride. He did it. He was the one to put that look on her face. The look of a softly pliant, well-pleasured woman. Not bad for it being his first time and not having a fucking clue what he was doing.

Except now, he had a massive problem of his own to take care of. Quickly. Ichigo shuddered at her gasping cry as he pulled his fingers from her body. Orihime was unwittingly going to be the death of him. He just knew it.

His hand trembled as he lifted her pale leg from where it rested across his thighs. Tucking the blanket around his boneless girlfriend, Ichigo allowed himself one small kiss, one she readily returned.

Hanging onto his control by the veriest of threads, he pulled away from her sweetly clinging lips and pushed up off the couch before this went any further. Dammit, and did he ever want it to. Desperately. But he gave her his word. He couldn't go back on it now and pressure her unfairly while she wasn't thinking clearly.

"Don't move a muscle. I'll be right back." Ichigo mumbled through clenched teeth before striding from the room with a strange hitch in his stride.

His ragged breathing echoed oddly in the small pristine space as he locked the bathroom door behind him. Feeling like the worst type of pervert, Ichigo's fingers moved over the front of his jeans as fast as lightning and the zipper fell open as if its track had been greased. Unconfined, his sex throbbed and his eyes practically crossed.

Oh fuck!

Clamping his jaw tight, muffling his moan, he braced a hand on the wall as a bead of sweat slipped down his taut cheek. His breath hissed out from between his teeth as he shoved his jeans and blue striped boxers to his knees and took himself firmly in hand.

Keeping my word has never been so hard …


A/N: I'm sorry for the long time between updates –trying to do better. It would probably help if I didn't write such long chapters. :/

I recently split up my outline into chapters and found that there are only eight, possibly nine, more updates to go before this story is finished. Yay! That means I'll have more time to focus on my other stories and maybe some new ones. XD

As always, thanks for reading. ~Rairakku