20 skin

A Gentle Touch is Required

By Elizabeth Bathory

As Jarvis took Iron Man home on autopilot, Tony Stark let his mind wander a bit to what was waiting for him back at his mansion…Pepper Potts. Since they had officially become a couple, she had taken to staying at the mansion more often. Just her presence in the house made the nights more bearable. The first night she had stayed, Pepper had slept in a guest room and probably had heard him wake up screaming from the nightmares that plagued him. Yes, he had woken up five times from nightmares that night but they were not AS severe as they usually were. The next time he had come back from a mission, Pepper had crawled into bed with him and held him for most of the night while they slept. That time, Tony had only awoken three times and each time, Pepper was there to soothe him back to sleep. As Jarvis landed the suit and started dismantling it, Tony was curious as to how Pepper may surprise him this time.

After taking a shower, Tony crawled into bed in just his underwear, letting the coolness of his sheets calm his sore body and the sound of the crashing waves outside relaxing him. He was just starting to drift off to sleep when his bedroom door opened slowly. Tony opened his eyes to see Pepper silhouetted in the doorframe, back lit by the dimmed lights in the house below. He could see every contour of her body like she was wearing very little if anything at all. He nearly stopped breathing for a moment.

"If I'm dreaming, then I don't want to wake up." Tony said as his voice took a slightly rougher sound from exhaustion combined with arousal.

"You're not dreaming but you should be sleeping." Pepper whispered as she closed the door and walked around to the left side of the bed and slid under the blankets next to Tony.

"How can I sleep when a dream is already here with me?" Tony asked as he rolled over onto his other side, his hands ghosting over Pepper's body to make sure she was real. He felt the lightest silk possible under his fingers.

Pepper ran her fingers gently through his damp hair as she leaned in and kissed him deeply to shut him up. She watched the fire of passion come up even in his tired eyes as she leaned in to kiss him. As she pressed her body against him, the evidence of his appreciation was clearly evident.

Tony damn near lost it with just the kiss but he had a reputation to uphold here. He was nothing if he was not a considerate lover and Pepper was offering herself to him. He was letting her take the lead at the moment but he was skilled enough, even tired, to reverse that at his leisure. His fingers slid the strap of her silk negligee down her shoulders as his eyes watched her for any hesitation. She had made the first move and that opened a door for him.

As she captured his lips again, Pepper's hands slid down his chest and stomach and going right for the only scrap of clothing he had on. Her small hands moved over his hips and slid his underwear down so she could have uninhibited access to him.

The speed at which Pepper was moving actually surprised Tony a bit as he let her strip him. He wanted this to last a bit longer so it was time for him to take over. He shifted so that Pepper was on her back and he was on top of her. He started to nibble at one of Pepper's earlobes, a spot he had learned drove her crazy as he slipped the tiny piece of silk down, caressing her breasts as his mouth moved from her ear to down her neck.

Pepper shifted to accommodate Tony's weight on top of her, which he was doing a decent job of making that as little as possible, as she arched her body into his, letting her hands roam over his muscled back with a feather light touch. As she neared his waist, her hands glided over his hips to take a hold of his pride, giving it some needed attention.

A low moan slipped from Tony's lips when Pepper grabbed him. He finished getting that little piece of silk out of the way and was pleasantly surprised that it was all he had to remove. His mouth moved lower to capture the sweetness of her breasts while his hand followed her side all the way down her legs and back up before settling in the warmth between them, his hand sliding between her legs to caress and tease her open for him.

Pepper's hands made their way back to his chest, well one did. The other was appreciating Tony's rear. Her fingers traced the rim of the arc reactor delicately before she placed her palm over it, right over Tony's heart, sending shivers through him.

Pepper's wet heat against him and the touch of her hands on his heart was nearly enough to do Tony in. As he moved back up to her lips, he shifted her legs ever so slightly before he claimed the gift that was offered to him.

Pepper wrapped her legs around Tony's hips to pull him closer and deeper inside her as she echoed his thrusts with the rocking of her own hips. She could feel the intensity increase as he got closer but not the speed. Tony was hitting every button right as he moved slowly and deeply, only breaking his rhythm as ecstasy took over, bringing Pepper with him.

Satiated and happy, Tony moved so he was spooning behind Pepper, pulling her body into his as he was drifting off to sleep. The touch of her skin reminded him that he was still alive as he draped his arm over her protectively.

Pepper sighed in peace as she heard Tony's breathing starting to level out into that of a deep sleep. Her arm over his placed his hands on the bare skin of her stomach as she felt his chest rise and fall against her back. "I love you, Tony..." she whispered as she let her eyes close.

"Love you too..." Tony mumbled as sleep claimed him.

The next morning, Pepper stirred when Jarvis opened the windows but Tony didn't even move. Pepper shifted so she could see his face and she smiled when she saw him so at peace. Not one ounce of stress or pain marred his features as she placed a gentle kiss on his lips before extricating herself from his embrace to get showered and dressed.

"Jarvis? Let him sleep. Don't wake him. I'll take care of his schedule." Pepper whispered as she stepped into the bathroom.

"As you wish, Ms. Potts." Jarvis replied and promptly darkened the windows in Tony's bedroom once more.

Pepper spent most of the morning and the early part of the afternoon reworking Tony's schedule and this time it was not his fault. She knew he didn't sleep well anymore and when he was finally at peace, she was not going to wreck it.

It wasn't until half past two, twelve hours later, did Tony finally come downstairs. He was in a pair of pajama pants, yawning and rubbing his eyes as he came up behind Pepper in the kitchen and slid his arms around her waist and pulling her to him once more as he kissed the back of her neck before resting his head on her shoulder.

"I was wondering when you were going to get up. I had Jarvis make sure you hadn't died on me." Pepper said with a smile as she spun around in his arms and wrapped hers around his neck so she could kiss him properly.

"Well, you properly exhausted me and I haven't slept that well in quite some time so I guess I have to thank you for both of those." Tony said as he kissed her again.

"Having you back in one piece and the kiss was thanks enough."