EDIT 2/19/14: Song title, artist and lyrics removed from Author's Note and chapter text to comply with content guidelines. May also change chapter title to remove any reference that said chapter was inspired or influenced by outside work.

Soft music filtered through the apartment as he pulled the zipper down. No, there was nothing plain or ordinary about her.

The dress slid off her body, and he paused for a moment. "I never asked you how you got that hole in your side."

"Landmine. In Iraq," she gasped breathlessly, and he forgot about his questions as he saw smooth skin and the little scraps of black lace around her hips and breasts. No bruises on the gentle curve of her breasts now; no bruises on her thighs where Walker had tried to force her legs open. The only signs of her ordeal now was some faint lines on the inside of her arms, lines left from the paracord that had cut into her skin.

He captured her mouth in his, in a hungry yet gentle kiss; he didn't want to come on too strong, too fast, give her any reminders of what Walker had nearly done to her. The nightmares she was having were bad enough; he never, ever wanted one of those nightmares to be about him.

He slid the left strap of her bra down off her shoulder, exposing one full breast, one dark-chocolate nipple. His mouth closed over her neck, at the junction of her neck and shoulder, and he heard her soft groan as she tilted her head to give him better access. That soft sound undid him completely—he couldn't hold himself back anymore. He'd dreamed about this for far too long; now he wondered what he'd been waiting for. Zoe had been right—life was too short, and he had to make the most out of what time he had.

A very distant part of his mind heard the song on the radio as he took Joss's bra off the rest of the way, and when he looked into her eyes, one last time, making sure that she was ready for this, this was what she wanted, he saw her eyes glazed with desire, shining in the muted light of the single lamp on in the apartment. He blessed those curtains she'd bought as he went to his knees, slid her panties down over her hips—no one else would see this goddess standing there in front of him.

She stepped out of those panties herself, leaving them in a pool on the floor, and as he dropped a light, feathery kiss on the thin skin inside of her hip, he smelled the heady scent of sex in the air. He slipped a hand between her legs, the lightest, gentlest caress to erase the memory of Walker's hard hands and bruising force, her thighs opened for him.

He stopped, then; rose to his feet. She gave a soft sound, a little mew of disappointment, but he gently pushed her back until she felt the edge of the bed behind her knees, then she sat on the edge of that sea of shimmering red satin. She didn't need any further urging, no hints; her hands were busy on the closure of his slacks, unbuttoning and unzipping, then pushing his boxers off his hips. He stood proudly before her, both of them gloriously nude, then his own head went back and a groan escaped him as she touched him.

Her hands were warm around him, on him; stroking, touching, exploring. He had to force himself not to tangle his fingers in her hair and hold her where he most wanted her to be at the moment—in her mouth; he wanted to proceed at whatever pace she wanted to set, but God, he wanted her so much, ached for her, and he was going to explode if she didn't…

And then her lips were wrapped around his length, her mouth taking all of him in, and his knees almost buckled at the incredible sensation. The heat inside her mouth seemed to spread through him like an infection, from his hard, throbbing length, racing through his blood to his brain, igniting a fire in his body that only she could quench. Her mouth was doing indescribable things to him; he really wasn't going to be able to remain standing much longer, with the way his legs were shaking…

"Not going to be able to stand upright much longer, are you?" she purred around the length of him in her mouth, and the vibration of the back of her throat against his was so….damn…hot. He barely felt her guiding his body in a circle until he felt the bed behind his knees, and he sank onto it gratefully, lying flat on his back. She knelt over him then, straddling him, and he saw the heat in her gaze right before she dipped her head over him and took him in her mouth again. Deeply, this time, stroking him with lips and tongue, nibbling lightly with her teeth, then soothing even that sensation with her tongue. His entire being was centered around his loins, and what she was doing there; he was unable to think of anything else, unable to focus on anything besides the sexual bonfire consuming him.

"Joss…" He barely recognized his own heated moan, but she heard it. Yes, she did. He felt her chuckle, low and deep in her throat, at the same time she took all of him in, right to the hilt; the fluttering of the back of her throat against the underside of the head of his shaft was…unbearable.

If she didn't stop, he was going to come, right there, and he didn't want to do that, didn't want this first time to end so soon. It took all of his self-control to do it, but he grabbed her, rolled her over; now she was flat on her back on the bed, and he was on top, and her hands came up to caress his face as her legs opened, hips angled upward in invitation.

He settled between her thighs, unwilling to take advantage of that invitation—not just yet. He kissed her again, willing her to feel the hot, hungry desire she'd created in him, the desire that had been simmering since he'd first started getting dressed for their date that evening. The desire that she'd only fanned with her antics at the table that evening; the way she'd eaten bites off his fork, the way she'd sipped from her straw. And especially the strawberries and whipped cream on her dessert…

She still tasted faintly of strawberries as their mouths touched, lips parted, tongues twined. A searing, intimate kiss, which he only broke off because he wanted to get intimately acquainted with another part of her anatomy now…

Joss moaned and closed her eyes as John's mouth left hers and traveled down her chest, leaving a trail of wet, hot kisses down her chest to her breasts. A momentary surge of purely feminine anxiety; she'd had a child, after all, and she was sure that he'd seen Zoe's perfect supermodel body…but he didn't seem to care that her body wasn't perfect, didn't seem to care that she had stretch marks and a wide pale scar across her lower abdomen where the doctors had cut her open to get Taylor out. His lips closed over her right nipple, and she nearly cried out with the sensation. His mouth settled on that breast even as his other hand came up to caress her left breast, rolling and stimulating that nub in his fingers.

"Jesus, John…" she whimpered, and she felt him take her nipple gently in his teeth, nip, then release. He was so gorgeous, and damn, he was good in bed—she'd never had anyone able to turn her on with just a touch. Was there anything he couldn't do?

Then his mouth left her breasts, and she felt momentarily lost and empty—until he settled between her open thighs. And now she did give a small scream as he closed his mouth over the core of her body; tongue, lips and teeth teasing out the nub of her femininity, nipping, nibbling, licking, sucking. Her hands came down involuntarily to tangle in his hair, all rational thought gone except the driving need to keep his mouth there doing those incredible things to her…

Sweet, hot, willing. She opened to him, and although he'd never really considered himself a big fan of oral, he absolutely loved the tiny, half-vocalized syllables gasped out in her hungry panting. "John…oh…" Logic fled, reason and rational thought burned away in the fire consuming them both. He slid two fingers into her, felt the hot, wet tightness of her body, the muscles of her pelvic floor contracting around his fingers. "Please…please, John…"

"Please what?" He took his mouth and hands off her, and she gasped in disappointment, her eyes meeting his. "What do you want, Joss?" He wanted to hear her say it, wanted his own concrete proof that this incredible woman was in love with him, wanted him.

"Please…John…need...oh God, please, I need you…" and at that word 'need' all of his control fled. He knew, as he climbed up the bed and settled his hips over hers, nudged her entrance with his own throbbing hardness, that she was without a doubt the most incredible woman he'd ever had the privilege of making love to, and he also knew that he would never, ever be able to deny her anything when she used that word. Not that his body would have let him deny her what she needed. Not when it was something he needed desperately too. He nudged at her opening, found her not and ready and oh, so wet. And then he was in her, his head sliding into the welcoming heat of her body…

She gave a small scream, then, and he paused, wondering if he'd hurt her. He'd never considered himself a large man, but he also knew it had been a long time since she'd had a man over. Heck, given what he now knew about their relationship, he wasn't even sure that anything physical had happened between them the few times she'd had Cal Beecher over when Taylor wasn't home.

She decided that for him, apparently sensing his hesitation. Her hips surged under his, and she thrust upward, impaling herself on him even as she gasped. He gasped too; it felt like he was deeper inside her than he'd ever been with any other woman, and despite his own desire, he grabbed her hips firmly and rolled onto his back, putting himself on the bottom. This way, she could control how deep, how far, he went; control the angle and pace of his entry.

She was on fire. It had been so goddamn long since she'd had anyone inside her; yes, she knew how to take care of herself, and God only knew how many times she'd done that, over the last four years, while dreaming of this man. She'd dreamed of what he'd feel like on her, under her; but none of those dreams compared to this reality. He was deeper inside her than she'd ever felt anyone before, and yet, it didn't hurt; there had been times, when she and Paul had made love, that it had hurt; usually when he was being slightly rougher than usual, when he was still a little angry as they had make-up-after-an-argument sex. John was larger and longer; not pornstar material (she had to fight a giggle at that thought) but definitely bigger than anything, and anyone, she'd had before.

And then she rocked her hips on top of him, and all thought vanished, lost to the desperate need she felt, the pressure building up inside her. She barely heard her own tiny pants, his deep gasps, as she rode him, hard, fast, both conscious of nothing but their need for each other.

He pushed himself upright even as his hands settled her more snugly onto his lap. Her legs wrapped around his waist, and he ran a hand down her left leg as his other hand captured her head, tangled in her hair, bringing her to his lips for a long, heated kiss. Her hips never stopped moving, and she was so wet…the sounds their bodies made as they came together was obscenely erotic, turning him on even more, if that was possible. Neither Zoe nor even Jessica had ever sounded like that.

He turned her over, flat on her back, head toward the foot of the bed, and knelt between her thighs. From this position he could take a little control back from her; he wanted to draw this out, didn't want it to be over this soon, but damn, she wasn't making it easy. "John…please…" and even though he'd thought, once, that he never, ever wanted to hear her have to beg for anything, he knew he'd make an exception when they were in bed together. Hearing her beg him to finish her was…irresistible.

He slid into her again, feeling the muscles in his own hips and thighs tremble as he tried to control himself, to force himself to slow down. And then he lost it, as she did…something…with her pelvic muscles at the same time she arched and thrust herself completely onto him. It felt like her body had just sucked him in, completely, totally, and he felt every muscle in his body try to pulverize his insides and push every fiber of his being into her.

"Joss…!" he heard himself scream her name even as she screamed his, as that pressure built up and broke, crashing over both of them. It felt like an eternity before that wave of pleasure released him, and he gasped for breath as he slowly came down off that incredible high.

She was looking up at him, looking stunned, and he smiled down at her, taking an almost overwhelming feeling of masculine pride at having been able to bring that look to her face. "I take it that was good," he said as he stretched himself out on the bed next to her.

"You know it was. Damn." Her breathing was starting to return to normal. "I've… wondered… what it would be like…with you…I guess I know now." She lay back, eyes closed, skin slick with sweat as she tried to get her breathing under control.

He leaned over, kissed her. Not with the same driving need he'd felt before, but this was gentler, softer somehow, now that the initial desire had been sated. She responded to him, her lips softening under his, and he grinned as he turned to her. With his own urges taken care of, for the moment, he could concentrate on her. She'd loved what he did between her legs…

She was still aroused, and it took little to no time for her to respond to him. This time, he deliberately wanted to make it last; he captured her wrists in his hands, lacing his fingers with his; it effectively trapped both their hands, since he couldn't use his without letting hers go. He threaded his arms through her legs, locking her ankles close to his own body, then pinned her hands to the bed by her side, at her waist. When he was sure she couldn't take control away from him, he began.

She wasn't sure what he'd intended when he started to weave his arms through her legs, but when she realized that he was going to keep them both from using hands, and would use his mouth only to stimulate her, her excitement flared up again. "What are you doing?" she asked as he settled at the end of the bed, head between her thighs.

"I love hearing you beg," he said thickly, and she read need and desire and a darkly sensual male pleasure in his eyes. "I want to hear that again."

A challenge. She grinned at him even as she took a deep breath. "Do your best."

He did.

He was a master at this. She distantly wondered just how many women he'd had during his life; he had a deeply intimate knowledge of female anatomy. He wasn't even using his hands, and yet he had her on the brink of a huge climax barely minutes later. Then he backed off, dropped hot wet kisses on the inside of her thigh that somehow let her desire cool a little but didn't let her back off all the way; and moments later, he was at it again. He was driving her crazy, taking her up until she knew that inexpressible peak was right there—and then he backed off, leaving her hanging, frustrated, needy. Again. And again.

Somewhere in the third repetition of that, her resolve not to give him the pleasure of hearing her beg broke, and she pleaded shamelessly with him to finish her off, pleading that ratcheted up another notch when he again backed off without giving her the climax her body craved. By the fifth time need had turned to an almost actual physical pain, and she was writhing under his mouth and his hands, screaming for him to please, God, finish it. He must have decided that she had had enough, or maybe she got to him, because when she got to that peak the next time, he slid his now-rock-hard length into her, and she screamed as that simple act sent her over the edge in the biggest climax of her life.

She was hypersensitized after that, and whimpered as he pulled out, but he seemed to understand that and was extraordinarily gentle as he untangled his arms and legs from her body, then laid her back in the sheets with his thighs slightly parted and curled around her. And she drifted off into a light doze, feeling warm and happy.