Central Park has a life all its own, a slower, more, relaxed pace where New Yorkers seem to escape from the fast pace of the city. It's a paradise in the midst of the hustle and bustle. You feel at home walking with Allison, hand in hand, as passersby move around you without any acknowledgment at all, as if the two of you are mere faces in the crowd. You like that. In Princeton, you're sure people are always wondering what the freak-ish gimp is doing with the beauty queen, but here you're no different than many other couples walking along the streets of the city or the park. Normally you don't care what people think of you, but sometimes the difference in your ages and the fact that she's way out of your league brings all your insecurities to the surface. It's nice to be somewhere where no one even notices.

You emerge from the park on Fifth Avenue with all its swanky shops, and Allison surprises you when she suggests a little shopping, leading you eagerly into one of the stores. She so rarely wants to spend money on herself, so you willingly follow.

"Sit here," she says, finding a quiet cafe in one end of the shop where you can buy pricey coffee and pastries and read the newspaper. "I won't be too long."

When she returns, you've caught up on the news, drank a rather large caffeinated beverage, and diagnosed a dozen random strangers with various illnesses. In her hands she carries a bag, the contents of which are hidden by a mountain of tissue paper.

"What'd you get?" you ask, curious, as you try to catch a peek.

"Uh uh," she replies, pulling the bag away with a grin. "You'll find out later. Ready to go?"

"Yup. You want to get lunch before we head back to the hotel?"

"Sounds good," she says, taking your hand again and swinging it lightly as you exit out onto the busy sidewalk. She seems rather pleased with herself, which doubles your curiosity, but you will wait because it makes her happy.


You must have walked several miles through the park and the city, and now you're back in the hotel room with your leg propped up on the couch, flipping through television channels to find something to watch. Allison has hidden her shopping bag somewhere and seems to be biding her time until she reveals whatever it is she purchased. Normally you'd snoop, but the more you act as if you've forgotten all about it, the more she fidgets, which you find amusing. She's nearly bouncing beside you on the couch, as if she's all filled up with nervous energy.

"Something wrong?" you ask, barely glancing her way as you settle on a rerun of the O.C.

"No," she says, drawing the word out. "Have you seen this episode before?"

"I've seen them all before," you reply with a nonchalant shrug.

"Oh. Well... wouldn't you rather do something else?"

You try very hard to hide your smile. She's got something up her sleeve, and you have a feeling you're going to enjoy it immensely.

"What did you have in mind?" you ask, acting distracted by what's happening on the television screen.

Her jaw hangs open for a minute in disbelief, and then she snatches the remote out of your hand and turns off the TV. "Didn't you say this weekend was a sort of mini honeymoon?"

"I may have mentioned something like that, yes."

"So let's not watch television. Come with me." Taking your hand, she all but drags you to the bedroom. Her take-charge attitude is quite a turn on; your body is already prepping for the good times ahead.

"Sit here," she says, pushing you down on the end of the bed. "I'll be right back."

When she emerges from the bathroom, she's wearing a red bra with matching thong, diaphanous black thigh highs and red high-heeled pumps. God, she is beautiful. She comes to stand between your knees, biting on her lower lip as if she's nervous, and you smile because this little scenario is just like the night you met her for the first time.

"Nice," you say, tugging her closer and pressing a kiss to her naval, dipping your tongue into her belly button.

She lets out a little gasp of pleasure, but says nothing. Her head falls back when you reach down and rub her through the silk patch of fabric that covers her, finding it damp with desire. As you work your fingers beneath her thong and into her, she spreads her legs further, and her mouth opens in a little O.

"Take off your bra," you tell her, continuing to stroke her moist, sweet opening.

Reaching behind her, she unclasps her bra, sliding it slowly down her arms and letting it drop to the floor. You pull her down to the bed, and just as before, you take a moment to study her, all milky white skin begging to be caressed. Lying beside her, you run your hand lightly over her, following every curve, a delicious friction of skin against skin.

You worship her with your hands, your mouth, your tongue, while she lays there breathing erratically and clutching the bedding beneath her like it's an anchor to keep her from flying completely off the bed. She continues to chew on her lower lip as if to stop herself from crying out. That first night, you told her not to talk and you realize now how quiet she still is during sex, as if that message has been ingrained in her since the beginning.

"You can speak, you know," you tell her, stroking her face and kissing her softly all along her jawline and neck.

"I don't think I can," she says in a breathy whisper. "You leave me speechless."

There is no higher compliment than that, you think, as you look down at her face in amazement. She blinks away a tear and pulls you to her, wrapping one leg around your hip as you slide into her.

"I adore you," you murmur, and begin a rhythm, slow and steady, then building to an almost unbearable peak of pleasure, taking her with you to the heights and back down to earth again. Sex with her has never gotten dull. It's been an addiction from the beginning, an inexplicable, insatiable need. She inspired in you a desire for her right from the start that has only increased with time.

Just like your love for her.


It's your last night in New York City and you are finally making use of the giant bathtub in the hotel room. Allison is relaxed at the other end, her head back, eyes closed, hair pinned to the top of her head. You have her foot in your hands, rubbing the bottom of it with your thumbs as she sighs with contentment.

"Allison Renee Cameron House," you say, thoughtful and pensive as you stroke the sole of her foot.

"Yes," she says, raising her eyebrows quizzically, a small amused smile on her face.

"Your initials spell out the word arch."

"I guess they do," she replies, waiting for further explanation.

"I like it. I like the arch of your feet," you tell her, increasing the pressure of your thumbs and then bringing her foot to your mouth to press a kiss to her toes. "I like the way your back arches when you're in the throes of ecstasy. I like the arch of your eyebrows, the way your lips naturally turn down to form a little arch."

Confused, she just looks at you, waiting for an explanation for that last part.

"It makes your smiles more meaningful," you say. "Especially when you're smiling at me."

She blinks a few times and gives you one of those meaningful smiles you love so much, tilting her head as she studies you.

You smile back and continue. "Did you know that arches are used to span large gaps? They're also used for structural support. Humans have been using arches in architecture since at least 2000 BC."

"So what are you saying?" she asks, taking your hands in hers and pulling herself closer to you. "I'm your support system?"

"An arch to support a House. Makes sense, don't you think?"

Her eyes are little watery; you don't think it's from the steam of the bath water. Blinking, she moves forward again, wrapping her arms around you as tightly as she can, her skin slippery against your own. "I thought it was the other way around," she murmurs. "You're my support system. What would I do without you?"

"I ask myself that same question every single day," you answer, pressing kisses to her temple.

She props you up, keeps you going even when the pain threatens to topple you. She's a bridge between yourself and most of the rest of the world, who find you abrasive and rude. She's everything you need and all you thought you'd never have.

A/N: I never thought this story would become this never-ending novel, and I do apologize for the length between updates. Aside from being busier than I've ever been, I've also fallen hard for another pairing in another fandom. The good news is, I won't let myself write for them until this story is complete. The bad news is, they keep distracting me from this story anyway. However, today I figured that I needed to write approximately ten more chapters of this story to get it done, and having a number to it makes it seem more like something I can achieve. Any cheerleading/prodding is most welcome. And for anyone who's still around, I want you to know I'm very very grateful. Thank you to all who read, and all reviews are much appreciated.