Ben had ended their previous moment with a bashful glance to the side followed by them each taking a step away from the other. Makenzie had made a little joke about the spacious flat being such close quarters. It was then that they took their tea into the sitting room. Minutes later, she was sitting on the leather sofa and he was in a comfortable worn looking chair, the material like suede and the back just below his shoulders.
"How old are you?"
"That's rather direct," she snorted. The tea was still too hot to drink but she tried to take a sip to decide what answer she would give him. He waited patiently as she carefully chose her words. The brave woman looked towards his expectant gentle gaze- those light eyes sweetly watching her every move. "Young enough to be completely excited about the last two days. But also old enough to know what comes tomorrow."
"You can't even say what's going to happen tonight," he argued with a wise tone, pushing her to think and decide exactly what she was feeling and expecting tonight- right now. "At least not as fact. But one of your predictions is correct, I'm sure." It was his turn to sip at the steaming tea.
"My class will be busy the remainder of the week and I'm sure you have a busy schedule. You wouldn't be in London if you weren't doing some sort of work."
"True on both accounts." He leaned back in his seat, his mind elsewhere for a couple seconds. "But that is tomorrow."
"Yes, and tomorrow is only a few hours away. Two and a half to be exact."
"I don't want to be rude, and you don't have to answer," he began with the most serious express she had seen on his face since their little row at Hyde Park. "You and Sophie… The two of you don't seem like you go together."
"Yes," she sighed with great hesitation. "I've been told before." He waited silently, hoping she would expound on her previous statement. "We met and instantly clicked- kindred spirits type. Then I found out that she really needed a mate and didn't have many people who understood what she had been through. We've been through a lot of the same things but life has been far more kind to me."
Her hesitation was more brief this time. "Both of our moms left us at early ages. My dad stuck around and met my every need while Sophie's father hadn't always been so dependable. I have other family but he's the only living blood she's got left. So many family sort of took her in." Did she want to let him this close to her personal life? Not many knew about her past and she wished to keep it that way. Then again, he would be gone and forget about her by the end of the week. "She can be a bit nutter but I love her as I would a sister."
"And then you moved to America- after your mother left."
"Good deduction, ," she teased with a flirty grin. The playfulness soon faded. "Dad's work moved us but we didn't really mind. I was only in the states for secondary school then moved back for university. Sophie and I used to dream of going to university together, in England. Now that it's almost over, it seems more surreal than we ever planned. Only one month left."
"And then?" She could see the genuine concern more than curiosity in his eyes and noted the his sentimental voice fluctuations.
"As I said yesterday," she shrugged, downing the last of her tea, "Wait and see until after graduation.
"Are you planning to stay or go back to Ohio?" Oh his memory was good.
"Don't know yet honestly. Waiting to hear back from a few opportunities."
"Well, if you need any references-"
"You've done more than enough, Mr. Cumberbatch." It was a mixture of an uncomfortable sigh and a hint that she was almost ready to leave. Makenzie stood up as she spoke and walked over to take his cup. How many got to say they cleaned MarkGatiss' spare china at his guest home?
Benedict took her wrist gently into his hands, the hand that wasn't carrying her mug. Following his silent request, she placed her cup onto the carpet an arm's length beside her. He was still sitting back in the chair, relaxed but fully alert. Her breath hitched when her eyes met his, staring right into her past her eyes and into her soul- or so it felt. His hand holding her wrist slid further down until their fingers intertwined. The intimate skin to skin contact sped her already fierce pulse.
A stray curl fell near his eyes, covering the spectacular mixture of blue and green of his famous eyes. But these were just the eyes of a man with an extraordinary gift of acting. He was just a man. Without much thought, Makenzie used her free hand to tuck the stray curl among the rest of his Sherlock hair. It was softer than she imagined, the years of dye hidden with some miracle cream rinse. As her fingers skimmed his forehead, Ben closed his eyes. She couldn't help noticing his deep intake of breath, his chest rising ever so slightly from her touch.
His eyes remained closed but his free hand covered hers against his cheek. A low throaty rumble filled her ears. Oh such a magnificent sound. She wasn't sure what she would do if he released a full moan- her inner fangirl would need to be pulled down from the ceiling. How could such simple touches seem so… sensual? She was never one to chase boys- she had hardly been interested in romance since early last year. But this was completely different. This was unknown territory. Dangerous for many reasons.
When his lids lifted to reveal those intense eyes again, it was her turn to take a deep breath. Surely this dream would end soon. She half expected to wake on the bus in front of their London hotel- but that had happened yesterday.
This was no dream. This was a single precious night of her life. Makenzie was suddenly aware of her body's elevated heat. No boy, or man for that matter, had touched her in such a long time. Seeing Benedict shirtless was one thing but him in a simple cotton tee shirt and old faded jeans was another matter entirely. This was the man she had always longed to spend time with. Never had it been a realistic desire until now. Now, she wanted to know him, all of him. Her growing feelings for him were clouding her judgment but she desperately wanted to test the waters- only tonight. If tonight was all she had with him, she didn't want to regret not taking a chance or two.
Without breaking their heated fixed gaze she slid her hand out from beneath his, ran it down his lean tight chest, past his stomach (making him briefly shutter), and down to the middle of his thigh. Ben's eyes never wandered from hers. They were both breathing heavier now, the inhales even audible. She froze with her thumb drawing small circles on the inside of his leg through his jeans. As she remained still, Ben lightly brushed her cheek with his warm hand- her eyes closing in reaction as his had done.
She all but purred at his touch when his thumb gently traced her jaw line. If only she knew what he was thinking. All sorts of photos had been taken of him vacationing with skinny goddesses hanging all over him wearing bikinis that barely covered their business. She couldn't compete with that. Then again, she didn't want to.
Makenzie found herself simply wanting this one memory with the man who had deepened her already high admiration for him. The last several hours she had gotten to know Ben. Just Ben, the sweet kind adorable intelligent man that resembled the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. It had always been his personality that had drawn her to him as a fan. Now, she was being pulled towards him in so many more ways than she knew was possible.
He cleared his throat, tearing her away from such wonderful thoughts. The girl just knew that her time was coming to an end. It had all gone by too soon. But she was more than grateful, and would forever be, that it happened at all. Her eyes met with his again, those light irises still pouring into her. Ben's hand rested at her neck as his thumb rubbed circles just below her ear, mirroring her own caresses. His circles ceased the second after hers. Only staggered breaths were heard between them in a silent moment that made her throat dry.
"We can go back to my room if you would like," he whispered in the voice she had secretly always longed to hear him use. "Or not. Entirely your decision."
The ridiculous beating of her heart returned, filling her ears and chest. Surely he could feel her pulse through their still knotted fingers. She closed her eyes for a few silent seconds as his thumb continued its soothing motion once more.
Right and wrong. Desire and lust. The possibility of the greatest love or pain she would ever know. The consequences and the memory of this one night. Everything filled her mind at once, each screaming thought fighting to be top priority. She could see it being played out like a film- as if it was being projected onto the wall behind him that very moment. The unknown thrill of it being him. His hot body pressed to hers. Simmering trails of kisses. Her fingers pulling and tugging his infamous dark curls. And then the moment she didn't allow herself to dwell on.