"The Me and Mr. McCarty" One-Shot Contest

Title: Believe This

Summary: I wrapped my arm around Alice's waist and dragged her into my chest, curving myself around this slip of a girl turned woman who owned every piece of my heart. I would give anything to bring that light back to her eyes.

Pen name: Rosmarina

Primary Players: Emmett/Alice

Rating: M

Word Count: 7,834

Beta'd by:

Disclaimer: All copyrights, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.

To see other entries in the "Me and Mr McCarty" contest, please visit the C2: http:/www . fanfiction . net/community/Me_Mr_McCarty_Contest_Entries/80509/

and/or the official List of Entries Page on the contest blog. http:/meandmrmccarty . blogspot . com


Ro leaned in and lowered her voice. "Just between you and me? I don't think Royce is going to okay the new budget."

I smirked at her and nodded. "I have a feeling you're right." I leaned in conspiratorially, not wanting to be overheard bad-mouthing my co-worker, much less at a morale event celebrating the kick-off to our latest project. Ro could be trusted though. She was a cool chick and knew her way around a lab full of servers like nobody's business. "Newton's figures are fucked," I continued. "There's no way we can code that up and get it through QA in that few man-hours."

She shook her head with a chuckle, and her wavy blond hair fell forward and would have landed in her pint of beer if I hadn't reached across to swipe it out of the way just in time. She took the ribbon of hair from my fingers and tucked it behind her ear.

"Erg, thanks. That's all I need to cap off this shitty day – beer hair."

"There's no rest for the wicked. Or tech support," I teased.

A movement over Ro's shoulder caught my eye. Alice was standing stock still, fresh drinks in her hands and a crushed look on her face.

What happened? Wait.

Ro turned to see what I was staring at. Alice's eyes flickered between the two of us.

She didn't think Rosalie and I…

No way.

Alice turned abruptly, setting down the pint of Guinness and the appletini on the nearest table, squeaking out a too-happy, "Free drinks!" before making for the door like the building was on fire.

Oh shit, yes, she did.

Ro had a repentant look on her face as I set down my own almost-mpty glass and started to follow Alice out the door. "Damn. Sorry, McCarty."

-o-

On the silent car ride home I glanced at her when it was safe to take my eyes off the road. It was so good to see her looking like she'd taken care of herself today. Her chin-length, black hair was shiny and smooth, waving back from her face. Even half-turned towards the window I could see the delicate outline of her profile. Her eyes were closed, and she was wearing a frown, but I still couldn't help noticing the things I loved about her features – the way her nose turned up just a little bit at the end, the way her eyebrows were so expressive, the way her mouth was surprisingly wide in her cherubic face.

Tonight she'd worn a bit of dark make-up around her eyes and that ruby-red lipstick I liked. Her skirt was the floaty knee-length one I always wanted to put my hands under, and she wore the platform heels that made her feel taller. She looked sexy and sweet all rolled into one and just entirely too damn good for us to be fighting.

Neither of us had spoken a word since leaving the pub, but I could feel it building. This was going to be a doozy. Tonight wasn't supposed to end this way.

I was pretty sure Alice sat in front of her computer and chain-smoked all day, every day, since quitting that shitty job with the travel agency. Most evenings when I got home she was still sitting in her pajamas at her desk. Not a single thing in the house would be different from the way it was when I left in the morning except for an empty pot of coffee in the kitchen, a dirty mug, and a full ashtray.

At first I'd come home to find some room of the house completely in shambles, overtaken by supplies for some project. There was a partially finished mosaic top on the coffee table. Three of the kitchen cabinet doors had been stripped and sanded for refinishing with new stain. At least six different stripes of test colors were painted on our bedroom wall. She abandoned them all half way through.

At least then she'd been putting some energy into something. Anything.

But this was the first time in weeks I'd gotten her to leave the house or even get dressed, and what looked like progress had somehow gone all to hell. We were careening towards a fight of epic proportions, and I didn't know how to steer us out of it.

Bella Swan's business card in my wallet was burning a hole in my back pocket.

When I pulled into the driveway, Alice slammed the car door behind her before I'd even shut off the engine. She tried to slam the door to the house in my face.

"Ali, baby, let's talk about this," I started after she'd thrown her purse down on the kitchen table.

"Don't you Ali-baby me, Emmett! I saw you fawning all over Rosalie Hale, right in front of everybody."

"I was not! We were just joking around."

"Well, that's not what it looked like," she snapped.

"Well, that's what it was." I matched her tone.

"But it looked like you were having more fun flirting with your co-worker than spending time with your wife! Why did you even invite me if you were going to do that? Don't you know how embarrassing that was for me?" She was seething mad, her voice rising with every word.

"Are you fucking her? You are, aren't you!"

I gaped at her. "What the hell, Alice!"

"And there you are flaunting it. Right in front of me! Right in front of everybody! Oh my God, they already know, don't they? How could you!"

I knew better.

I knew she was just lashing out at me because she was hurting, and I knew better than to go on the offense when what she desperately needed was reassurance that I loved her. We'd been through hard times like this together before – times when she'd been listless and sad, gloomy and irritable, when we fought more, when she didn't eat properly or get dressed or leave the house. I tried to be understanding, to be the support she needed and that I would want if things were reversed. I picked up the slack around the house. I brought home take-out and groceries. I tried not to complain about the lack of sex. Every couple went through phases, and I tried not to take it personally when she just wasn't feelin' it. We'd always made it through those rough patches by sticking together, but she'd never been in a funk for this long before. Things had never gotten quite this bad, and I knew better. I really did.

But this… to be falsely accused of cheating?

I was blind-sided by just how much it fucking hurt.

I was a man, okay. I looked, but I never touched. Any flirting was purely harmless on my side, and I never, never encouraged anything more. I was a decent looking guy. The opportunity was there if I'd wanted it, but I didn't. The ring on my finger meant a hell of a lot to me, and it had never left my hand once in the ten years since Ali had put it there.

Did she think so little of me she could imagine not only that I'd bed some other woman behind her back, but that I would intentionally humiliate her in front of my co-workers and friends? Did she really think I could be that kind of asshole?

"I'm not cheating on you!" I shouted. "And what about you, huh? Why do you always flirt with Jasper? And what about his wife? All those single guys in my division, and you're batting your eyes at the one married dude."

She pulled at her little sweater, trying to cover up some of the plunging neckline of her halter top. "He's safe. He's all yes ma'am and no ma'am and have a seat, Alice, and he's just… safe." She stumbled over the words. "And I'm not even flirting with him! I-I'm just trying to find someone to talk to when you're too busy talking hardware this and code that to your buddies and ignoring me!"

"It's a goddamn work event, Alice!" I groaned in frustration. "I'm supposed to be talking to my co-workers–"

"And that Rosalie Hale is all 36-24-36," her hands made an hourglass shape in the air as she picked up steam, "like a blonde Betty Paige with a Palm Pilot! She's a hardware junkie's wet dream!" Her voice warped with a cruelty I'd never heard before. "I bet she's a slut, too. Is she kinky, Emmett? Does she fuck you in your office when you're working late, or do you go back to her place?"

"Stop it, Alice! That's enough!" I was beyond exasperated and exhausted. "I am not and have never cheated on you with Rosalie Hale or anyone else. Ever."

"How can I believe you?" she screamed, and hearing it shocked me; her words struck me like being slapped. Tears and snot and pain had mangled her face into something terrible and sad.

She slammed the bedroom door and left me standing there, staring at our wedding picture on the mantel.

Ten years, come December.

My hair was longer then, and there was definitely more of it. It looked shaggy to me now, touching the collar of my tux, though I hadn't thought so at the time. Alice looked amazing that day, my own Snow White fairy tale come true with her black hair, porcelain skin, and ruby-red lips. She'd been decked out in strapless, spotless white satin carrying red roses. There had been tiny matching red rosebuds down the back of her dress that she'd fixed by hand out of ribbon.

I remembered our vows, the ones we wrote together and spoke to each other in front of our family and friends. She had this huge grin on her face like it would split apart, and her eyes were shiny and wet like they would spill over with her joy at any moment. I would give anything – anything – to bring that light back to her eyes.

I didn't know how long I'd been staring at that picture of us, but by the time I shook myself out of it and went to check on Alice, she had already cried herself to sleep. I stripped down, throwing my clothes over the arm of a chair, and slipped between the sheets. She was curled up into a ball on the far side of the bed, her arm slung over a pillow and a tissue still clutched in her hand.

Her dad's wedding day advice floated into my thoughts: Never go to bed angry at each other, son.

If that advice had come from my dad, it would've been highly suspect seeing as he was on his third wife. Funny how he got older and they stayed the same age. And don't get me started on the fact that I was nearly 31 years old, and my Dad was about to have a new kid. I had to hand it to Gianna though; so far she'd sure stuck around a lot longer than wife number two.

I lay there watching Alice for a while. The deep breathing of her sleep hitched every few breaths from all the crying she had done. She was wearing one of my t-shirts to sleep in and not even a clean one from the drawer. It was one from yesterday's laundry, and my heart broke to see it because I knew she found my smell comforting when she was upset. The shirt was enormous on her of course. She was so fucking adorable.

It was too late to follow Dad Brandon's advice now, so I did the next best thing. I wrapped my arm around Alice's waist and dragged her into my chest, curving myself around this slip of a girl turned woman who owned every piece of my heart.

-o-

I was having the best dream. I was lying on the beach and the warm, wet ocean waves were licking and lapping at me, and it just felt so good

Abruptly I noticed Alice wasn't in my arms anymore, and I startled, throwing my arm out across the sand searching for her. It was too dark, and I couldn't hear the waves anymore. Slowly my brain worked out the puzzle. I was in my bed, at home.

And Alice was under the covers loving me with her mouth.

Unh… she was nibbling at that one particular spot that drove me wild.

As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I pulled the covers back to watch her. Holy hell, what a sight! It might not be the most respectful sentiment, but there was just something incredible about watching my woman go crazy all over my dick. She couldn't fit all that much of it in her mouth but goddamn if she didn't try.

It's really not that big. Alice is just petite, and I'm kinda tall. And broad shouldered. I'm just…

Height-weight proportional.

All over.

It goes with the legs.

I rubbed the back of her neck and the muscle at the hinge of her jaw, trying to ease the tight muscles there. Couldn't let my baby get a sore jaw.

It'd been way too long since Alice had given me this kind of attention, and I intended to enjoy the hell out it. I was so glad I'd gotten her to come out to the pub tonight to have a little fun.

Oh.

Shit.

Then I remembered the rest of our night and the screaming and fighting. As much as I loved what she was doing right now, I couldn't just let her sweep things under the rug without talking about it. Again. I really would be an asshole then.

"Hey." I reached for her. "Come up here, baby."

She climbed up my body, trapping my cock between us and rubbing our chests together. She was naked now except for her panties, and I could feel the hard little nubs of her nipples brushing through my chest hair. Uhhh… she wasn't making it easy on me.

"Ali," I breathed into her mouth as she started to kiss me.

"Mhmm?" she asked without taking her tongue out of my mouth. I put my big paws on her face as gently as I could and pushed her back just a little. She whined in complaint.

"Alice," I started again. "We need to talk about this, honey." I turned on the bedside lamp, and we both blinked against the sudden brightness.

Alice scooted off me to sit cross-legged, clutching one of the pillows to her middle. I pressed my heels into the mattress and slid myself back to sit up against the headboard. She looked chastised, like a scared little girl, and her eyes were red and puffy from all the crying earlier.

I scrubbed a hand over my face and cleared the sticky sleep from my eyelashes, trying to decide where to begin. Fuck it. I was still too groggy for subtlety. Might as well dive in.

"Do you really think I cheated on you, Ali? Do you really think you can't trust me?" My voice broke at the end. What the hell was I gonna do if her answer was yes?

Her eyes pinched up, and her lips trembled as she turned her face away to hide the fresh tears that began to fall.

She said nothing.

I waited.

The moments ticked by with excruciating slowness.

She didn't really think…

I would never…

She couldn't believe that I…

Could she?

Her silence stretched on until I couldn't take it anymore.

She won't even look at me…

I tugged at the corner of the pillow she was clutching.

"Ali?" I rasped her name, and the sound of it cracked and splintered.

Her head whipped around at the noise, and when she finally looked at me she gasped at what she saw. She threw the pillow aside and launched herself at me, flinging her arms around my neck. I responded immediately, wrapping her up tightly in my arms; the contact was such a relief.

"I'm sorry, Em. Oh God, I'm so sorry. I just… I said it to hurt you. I wanted you to feel how much I was hurting…"

"I would never–" She put her fingers to my lips to stop me.

"I know. I know you wouldn't, Em… I just don't know why."

I couldn't see her face because it was tucked into my neck, and I didn't understand what she was saying. "What do you mean why? Why what?"

"Why you love me. Why you w-want m-me," she whispered haltingly. She sounded so broken and ashamed, and it killed me to hear her doubt us.

"I'm having… trouble… again."

Trouble – that was our code word for when she was feeling like this. Thank God she was finally talking to me about it. She always seemed so afraid to admit when things were getting too hard. It terrified her that anyone might say she was sick. Alice had a deep mistrust of psychiatric help that started when her parents violated her privacy and read her journal when she was a teenager. Something they found in it worried them enough to pack her off to a professional, but it was obvious to me at least in hindsight the man they'd picked for Ali to see wasn't a good match for her. She'd felt powerless and judged and cornered into taking medications she didn't want to take.

With the drugs came the nausea, the headaches, and the insomnia.

When the side effects got so bad she was missing weeks of school at a time, she convinced her mom and dad to take her off the meds and let her stop seeing the doc. Her folks were too upset and she was too rebellious to consider a different counselor or different meds. I didn't know if she needed any meds at all, just that the ones he'd prescribed sure hadn't been good for her.

Ever since, she'd carried the bad experience as evidence that all therapists were the same and had flat out refused to ever give it another try.

"I can't leave the house by myself..." she confessed quietly. "You asked me to go to the post office for you last week, and I couldn't do it." I could see her getting panicky just telling me about it, and I tried to soothe her by rubbing her back and shoulders.

"I got so anxious my hands started shaking, and I threw up three times before I decided to figure out how to arrange for UPS pick-up. You can do it all online now… I didn't even have to answer the door." She exhaled, releasing some tension.

"I don't answer the phone at all anymore, unless the caller ID says it's you. I don't even answer it when my friends call, or my mom. I just… they'll ask how I'm doing, and I'll say I'm fine, but I'm not. I'm not fine. I'm not… okay… inside." She looked up at me helplessly.

"Most days I don't even want to get out of bed. I'm so fucked up, Emmett. I'm so fucked up, and I'm so scared you're going get tired of it all and finally leave me," she whispered, and my heart broke to hear the fear in her voice. Didn't she know? Didn't she understand I never wanted to leave her or see her hurt in any way?

"I'm not going anywhere, Alice." I hugged her to me, trying to get us as close together as we could be. "I want you to believe in that."

"Why is this happening to me?" She looked at me desperately. "Why am I like this? I want to know why!"

I sucked in a quick breath. This was the closest she'd ever gotten to saying she wanted help.

"I want you to know why, too. There's someone…" I started, releasing her gently as if trying not to startle a wounded, wild animal, "There's someone I want you to talk to, baby."

The look on her face turned wary. I moved tentatively out of bed, taking my wallet from the dresser. No quick movements. I didn't want to scare her away now when we'd come this far. I pulled out the dog-eared business card and crossed back to Alice who looked tiny and scared, huddled on her knees in the middle of our king-sized bed.

Bella Swan, LMHC, Art Therapist
Healing Through the Power of Art

When I'd looked up Ms. Swan in our health plan's list of providers, I hadn't really known just how badly Alice needed help, and I certainly hadn't known this time she would finally want it. But some instinct had been telling me to search out an alternative that just might appeal to Ali, and I was so glad now I had followed my gut.

She started to turn away, as if she wouldn't even look at the card in my hand.

"Listen, this is something different. This isn't like what your parents put you through, baby." I was begging now. I knew it, and I didn't give a damn if it would just bring my Ali-baby back to me. "No drugs, no high-handed asshole pronouncing a diagnosis." My voice was cracking, and I could feel the saltwater running down my face. I dashed it away with my fist. "I just can't stand seeing you so unhappy, seeing you in so much trouble. I love you, Alice. I love you so much. Please?"

Harsh sobs wracked my chest, and Ali's eyes were wide with fright when she turned back to look at me. I didn't want to her to be scared, but at the same time maybe she needed to see how much I'd been hiding, how much it affected me. Maybe she needed to see how much hurting herself was hurting me.

"I wish, oh God, Ali, I wish I was the one with all the answers. I wish I could be the person who helps you figure it out. I just know you have to want it for yourself. You have to love yourself enough. I'm not gonna give up on you, baby. Don't you give up either." I reached out to gather her into my lap, and it relieved me when she came willingly.

"I love you because you've got such a big heart. It's so big I don't know how it fits inside itty-bitty you. And your heart, it holds so much love. You've got love in there for everybody but yourself, and I don't know why." I put the card gently into her hand. "I can't give you what you need to know, but maybe I can give you an opportunity to find out."

She was quiet for a long time, just staring at it at first, and then tracing her fingers over the colorful designs of a painting that was the card's background.

Finally she turned her head to lay her cheek against my shoulder. She took a deep breath, and I waited for her answer. Would she give this a try?

"Is it expensive?" She sounded so timid, so unsure, but it wasn't no.

I tipped her head back so she had to look at me, had to see how serious I was, had to see I meant it when I said, "I really don't give a damn how much it costs. You are worth it."

She broke down again then, quietly sobbing out, "I don't feel worth it."

I clutched her to me, rocking her in my lap. "You are, sweet girl. You are. I love you. Shh, I love you, baby," I crooned to her softly. She calmed again after a little bit, and this time when she spoke it was still timid but with a little more purpose.

"Show me? Show me how much you love me, Emmett, please?"

I closed my eyes and smiled as a sliver of our heavy burden fell away. Loving her, showing her, that was something I could do.

I answered her first with a tiny kiss on each eyelid, then one on the tip of her nose. I held her head in my hands and nuzzled my face against the silky skin of her cheek, nipping gently with just my lips against the apple of her cheek, the hinge of her jaw, the lobe of her ear. That was one of Ali's sweet spots, and I took it tenderly into my mouth, mindful of her piercings, letting just the slightest edge of my teeth drag across the skin. I moved my hands to smooth them up and down her arms as she shivered, but I didn't let up. I pointed my tongue and flicked it into the crease just behind the lobe. Her soft squeak was my reward.

Five o'clock shadow made my chin a little rough, and I used it to my advantage. I tucked her into my chest a little more, brushed her hair out of the way, and hooked my chin over the back of her neck, rubbing back and forth. Ali loved it when I scraped my stubble right there. My heart ached with the sweetness of feeling her respond with more little shivers and sighs.

I slid one hand up her back, my palm flat between her shoulder blades, and pressed her to my chest while the other hand slid down to her hip. My thumb stroked along the sensitive skin there, just under the lace of her panties, as I moved to brush the tip of her nose with mine.

Since we first got serious about each other in college, this was how we loved on each other when we were feeling sweet – little Eskimo kisses, nose to nose, and then butterfly kisses, cheek to cheek. I swept my eyelashes against hers, and she fluttered back against mine.

My parted lips hovered just over hers, and we breathed each other in. I peeked at Ali and saw her eyes were closed gently; the feathery half moon of her lashes lay lightly against her silky cheek. I closed my eyes again too, pressing forward and joining our mouths. The tip of my tongue tasted and teased, met hers and retreated as we embraced. We took our time, remembering, relearning. It had been too long since we'd taken the time to kiss like this.

We savored each other for a while more before my hand on Ali's hip travelled up to touch her chest. I broke the kiss gently, leaning my forehead against hers to watch the way my hand looked on her skin. My palm easily covered her whole breast, and my fingertips brushed the spot over her heart. I moved my hand over her in small, deliberate circles. Her nipple hardened to trace lightly against the sensitive skin in the palm of my hand, and the sensation tortured me perfectly. I swallowed thickly against the tidal wave of yearning that flooded me at this tiny touch.

Ali was watching, too. "I hate my breasts," she admitted quietly.

I moved my hand to tip her chin, staring into her blue-gray eyes. "I don't." I willed her to see the truth of my quiet words. "I love them because they are part of you, and I love every part of you. I want you to know that without a single doubt." I trailed one finger down her neck, across her collar bone, then straight down the little ski slope shape of her breast to its peak.

"Besides," I added huskily, laying her back and drawing the sheet fully away from her, "don't you know I love the way I can fit the whole thing in my hand?" I lay down beside her, propped on one elbow. "And the way I can flatten my tongue and taste the whole thing?"

I bent down to her, swiping broadly with my tongue, up the small swell of the underside of her breast and over her nipple once.

"Just."

Twice.

"Like."

And again.

"This?"

"Oh God," she whimpered.

"I think I better make my point again," I teased tenderly and gave her other breast the same treatment. I licked and circled, sucked and nipped at her until she had thrown her head back and was quivering in my arms. Who would care about size when they were so amazingly sensitive and tasted so good? I pinched one nipple lightly between my thumb and forefinger. It was incredible to watch her pant and shudder with pleasure as I slowly increased the pressure until her whole body was twitching.

"Look at that," I whispered, and she shivered again as my breath tickled her ear.

I released the pressure just as slowly and watched her nipple turn darker and become more engorged as blood returned to the tissue and her breathing slowed again. I trailed my finger tip down the flat of her stomach, dipped it teasingly into her navel, and continued down to the tiny patch of black curls just above her clit. I liked the taste of bare pussy down below, but both of us liked the womanly look of a little hair out front.

I licked the shell of her ear as I twirled that hair between my fingers, tugging lightly just to hear her tiny gasp of surprise. Immediately I soothed what little sting there may have been by brushing the backs of my fingers between her open legs.

She was warming up and getting wet, but I wanted her wetter. I wanted to start a fire inside her with my words and my body that reflected the way I loved her – hot and sweet, long and strong, deep and forever.

I took Ali's hand gently from where she was stroking my cock as it lay heavily against her hip, and I kissed her palm.

I kissed the tip of each finger.

Then I kissed and licked every inch of her arm. I spent time loving on the inside of her elbow just the way that drove her crazy. I scraped my teeth along the inside of her wrist and tortured the space between her fingers with the pointed tip of my tongue. Then I took her little fist, nosing and sniffing at it. Her little belly was bouncing with suppressed giggles. Encouraged by her amusement, I snarfled all over her hand like I was a dog after a treat, and the sound of her laughter rang out when I popped the whole thing in my mouth.

What can I say? I'm an oral motherfucker.

And I love to hear my girl laugh.

I took her fist out of my mouth and grinned at her when she dried it on the sheet, giggling. Leaning up onto my knees beside her, I picked up her right ankle and kissed each one of her teeny toes. "Remember the first time I took you home to Tennessee and we went swimming in the lake? And you started screaming when that long-nosed gar started nibbling on your toes? I love that I can hoist you up on my shoulders like I did when you were scared of those fish."

Alice smacked my chest lightly in mock indignation before relenting, smiling softly as she said, "I remember."

I picked up her left ankle and brought it tenderly to my mouth, kissing it repeatedly before nuzzling my face into her calf. "I love you because you stick by me through thick and thin. When my parents got divorced. When I spent the summer on the other side of the country from you for the internship while you were finishing school. When I pull all-nighters at work to make a deadline. Even when I took us too fast through that hairpin turn on the Triumph and crashed us." I shuddered and pressed my face tighter to her calf, speaking into her skin. "You didn't ditch me, even though it was my fault you got hurt and spent eight weeks on crutches."

"Em, don't…" She reached up to stroke my cheek and run her fingers reassuringly through my hair. I took a deep breath and shook off the guilt that still lingered, giving her ankle one last kiss before letting it rest against the mattress again.

I rubbed my hands up and down the tops of her thighs, feeling the soft invisible down she didn't bother to shave. "Remember when we went to the Bahamas at Christmas for our anniversary, and the view from our balcony looked right out over all that turquoise water? You started to squeal and jumped on the bed like a crazy woman. Your hair was flying every which way, and I thought you were gonna bust your head on the ceiling if you didn't watch out. Remember? I loved that. I love it when you let loose and just play like that. It makes me wish we knew each other when we were little kids."

Her red-rimmed eyes were puffy, but they were soft and sweet as they looked at me. The beaming smile on her face was genuine, and there was a hard lump in my throat at the sight of it.

"Let's get a trampoline, Emmett. A big one that will hold both of us. We'll put it in the back yard and jump on it whenever we want, baby."

I felt my smile turn sly. "A trampoline big enough for both us, huh? I think we could come up with a few uses for that." I let my thumbs dip towards the juncture of her thighs as my hands traveled up.

She giggled into her hand. "I guess you like that idea."

I looked where she was looking and realized she'd noticed my growing erection. My grin left sly, bypassed wicked, and proceeded straight to downright sinful. I wrapped my mitts around the back of her knees and abruptly flipped her onto her stomach. She shrieked in surprise and kept squealing as I pounced, licking and nibbling the backs of her thighs right up to the lace edge of her tanga panties. I didn't know what the hell a tanga was, but I thanked whoever for the way Alice's tiny tush peeked out at me just so.

I ran the tips of each index finger back and forth under the edge, letting more of her little bubble butt show each time. Her squeals changed to breathless giggles.

"Baby." I slipped my tongue under the edge and teased the sensitive line where the cloth met her flesh. She shivered, and the reaction made my cock twitch. "Remember the time I gave you a hickey right here?"

I looked up the line of her body to see her peeking over her shoulder at me and rolling her eyes with a smirk.

I locked eyes with her. "I wanna do it again. Let me."

"Okay," she breathed, sighing in pleasure as I peeled the red lace down her legs and threw them behind me somewhere. I settled back down and began kissing the flesh I'd revealed, kneading the muscle with my hands. Finally I decided on the perfect spot for my marks – I wanted matching ones on each side where they'd be covered by her panties the next time she had some on. Only she and I would know they were there.

I ran one hand up and down her back, reaching from the top of her shoulder down to where her ass swelled out from the small of her back. My other hand snuck around her hip and underneath to cup her as I sucked her skin into my mouth. With the pad of my middle finger I feathered teasing touches against her little clitty as I nursed on the flesh of her bum, letting it go with a pop. I moved to the other cheek and did it again.

Alice was squirming against my finger, and I dipped it inside her, just to the first knuckle, still teasing, warming her up for a long, slow burn.

I leaned back to admire the twin purple circles blooming on her backside with satisfaction. I kissed each spot gently and she sighed.

"If you're done with your ass-hickey fetish, there are some other parts of my body that need your attention," she quipped, wiggling against my hand some more. I smacked her lightly on the body part in question and chuckled.

"I don't have an ass-hickey fetish." I moved back onto my heels and grabbed her hips.

"Uh-huh, sure you – eee! – don't!" I flipped her over again, mid-sentence.

"I don't." I grinned down at her, waggling my eyebrows. "By definition it's not a fetish unless it's habitual. Twice hardly constitutes a habit."

"And how do you know the exact dictionary definition of fetish?"

I spread her legs and moved between them instead of answering. She raised her knees in anticipation, placing her feet flat against the mattress.

"Now this…" I said, slithering down onto my belly again and snaking my hands under her butt to raise her hips to my mouth."This is habitual." I took a deep breath in through my nose and released it in an audible sigh just over her flesh. This, Ali's scent, was by definition the smell of sex to me. I had no desire for sex that didn't include her unique perfume.

It had never mattered to me that we had to take it slow to account for our difference in size. I won't lie. I loved to go down, and if my baby needed me to work her up with my tongue a little longer some days than others, well, that was just fine by me.

She sighed as I kissed and mouthed her inner thighs until they began to tremble. I took my hands out from under her hips and pressed her thighs open until the outside of her knees touched the sheets.

God bless yoga.

I placed more open-mouth kisses on the top of her mound and into the creases of both hips. Alice reached down to scratch her short nails against my scalp just the way I liked it, and I began to taste her. I started soft and slow, with long gentle licks along one side and then the other. My Ali-baby was always really quiet at first, her sounds mostly breathy hmms as she relaxed into my touch. I drew sections of her flesh into my mouth, massaging it with my lips, working from bottom to top on either side but not quite reaching her little clitty just yet. Her eyes were closed, and for the moment that suited my purpose. My job right now was to encourage those breathy sounds and coax them into the low and sultry moans that signaled her body was letting go of its reservations.

When her breathing had slowed and deepened to match my careful rhythm, becoming long ohhhhs and hnnnns, I knew she was primed for more.

"Watch me, Ali. Open your eyes and watch me love you."

I sipped and lingered, darted and pressed, taunted and soothed. Her breath began to hitch as it increased in pace, and the pitch of her moans climbed in tone. My hard as steel dick was trapped between my belly and the mattress, and it was all I could do not to start humping the bed to the sounds she was making. Christ, those little whimpers just wrecked me. Ruthlessly I brought her higher and kept her on the edge until it was razor sharp.

"Oh fuuuuck," she moaned in her sweet soprano voice.

There it is.

With my hands curled over her inner thighs, my thumbs bore down along the swollen outer lips of her entrance, massaging the velvety skin there tenderly against the pelvic bones below the surface. I moved my mouth to the place where she needed it most and finally took her clit between my lips. I flicked my tongue over her button until all her thoughts were displaced by the sensations singing through her body, until her reactions to my touch were completely involuntary, until she looked away – not because she was scared to hold my gaze or see my love for her, but because she was physically unable to control the fluttering of her eyelids or the way they insisted on clenching tight. I didn't stop until her cries reached their crescendo and her thighs clutched tight against the sides of my head.

When Alice came down from her high, I felt her trying to straighten out one leg. I moved my arm to give her room, and she slipped her soft foot under me until it was lined up alongside my cock. My forehead dropped abruptly to her other leg as I panted against her skin. Oh shit, that feels so good.

"Do you want to be inside me?" she murmured breathlessly.

Even as she writhed wantonly with the aftershocks of her orgasm, it gutted me to hear the lingering remnants of vulnerability in that question, as if my answer could ever be anything other than yes.

I nodded against her thigh before dragging my tongue up the inside of it, up the length of her sweet pink pussy, circled her little clitty one more time, then placed a soft kiss on the tiny patch of thick, soft curls just above. Leaning up onto my hands and knees, I looked at her.

She was looking at me so sweetly, and at the same time her desire for me was so clearly etched on her beautiful face. Her fingertips plucked at her taut nipples, and her foot continued to stroke tenderly, tantalizingly, at the crease between my thigh and my erection.

I took a firm yet gentle grasp of Ali's calf and pulled her easily down to the foot of the bed, her arms trailing above her head. She moaned lowly, and the sound made me groan, "Baby," automatically in response. My body was so attuned to her arousal, and I was breathing hard in anticipation as I positioned us. I sat on my left heel on the bed with my right foot planted on the floor. Ali lay on her back, and I hitched her right thigh over mine and her left ankle to my shoulder. It'd been so long since I had her like this, and I had to admit I'd been dreaming about it.

Ali reached down to grasp me, guiding the head of my cock against her and wetting it in her juices. I kissed and sucked on her ankle and calf until she pulled at me and said she was ready. My arm anchored Ali's leg to my chest as I fed my cock into her inch by inch.

My woman was breathless again, and damn if that wasn't good for my ego. With my free hand I traced around the place where we were joined. It was a tight fit, and I knew from past experience that both of us would be able to feel every ridge of each other when I backed out slowly until just the head of my cock was buried inside her.

We needed this, both of us, and I intended to wring every drop of pleasure from us both that I could.

I pressed forward again and paused to flex my hips as I bottomed out. Her oh! of surprise was my reward. I backed out so, so slowly again, watching as her glistening flesh clung to my retreating cock.

In again. Flex. Oh! Draw back slowly.

Again.

Just a bit faster now, I slid more easily as her body continued to open to me.

Again.

I placed the heel of my palm to the top of Ali's mound, letting the pressure and our movements create a tantalizing friction against her clit.

More.

The way the inside of her body caressed me felt so good it was almost a torment. I strained against the impulse to just piston in and out without control, the drive to take only my pleasure from her body. I clutched her leg more tightly to my chest. Her breathing sped up – musical hmms and hnns bubbled up in between each oh! as I worked in and rolled against her.

She got louder and more vocal. I could tell she was close. With each contraction of my hips I grunted from the effort of hanging on for her orgasm until finally she arched off the bed and grabbed my hips to still them as she cried out. I was deep inside her and stayed where I was, pinning her to the bed with the heel of my hand against her pelvis and one straight leg anchored to the front of my body.

Her body was taut, every muscle clenched tightly as she gasped for breath, and her insides fluttered around my cock. I released her leg gingerly.

This time I didn't let her come down from the high of her orgasm. As soon as her muscles unfroze, I bent down to gather her up in my arms, keeping us joined. She wrapped her arms and legs eagerly around me. Oh fuck. The feeling of her silky inner thighs sliding against my sides as her ankles crossed against the small of my back was delicious. I lifted her easily and turned us until I was sitting on the edge of the bed with Alice in my lap. Finally we were face to face again, and I kissed her hungrily as I grabbed her hips and began thrusting again.

My control was gone. This was fast and wet and open and hard. Our parted lips were pressed together, but we were both beyond the art of kissing now.

Alice's voice was a wordless open-mouthed whine.

"Are you close, baby? I'm so close. Can you come again?" She started to reach one hand between us, and I stopped her just long enough to wet her fingertips in my mouth. She rubbed furiously at her clit, and I bent my forehead to her shoulder to watch.

Seeing her touch herself with such abandon, pounding up into her drenched pussy, smelling our sex in the close air between us was the end of it for me. I felt my climax rocket through my body, pitching and rolling uncontrolled, as my guttural groans joined the rising pitch of Ali's keening cries.

I bucked up into her and pulled her down against me hard, grinding her hips in rough circles as her agile fingers flew over her clit. She threw her head back and convulsed atop me in one last O.

Then she brought her face close and rubbed her nose against mine.

"Believe in this, baby," I whispered through my smile. "This is something you can believe in." She was half laughing, half crying with happy cathartic tears, and in her eye there was a hint of the light that had been missing for so long.


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A/N: Thanks for reading. If you're so inclined, contest voting is open until June 29, 2010 here: http:/www . surveymonkey . com/s/JV87MYN