Victor walked quietly through Nedra’s apartment, taking in the nuances of her home. It was elegant yet cozy, beautifully decorated…and Jon’s presence was all over. There were pictures of them, of him, of her family, his family…her degrees and military honors. She had bookshelves full of research manuals and works of fiction by authors he’d never heard of. He picked up a couple and thumbed through, wondering if the woman had ever heard of Kindle or any other kind of e-reader. He picked up one of the pictures of her and Jon, both in formal military garb, and stared at it for a very long moment. There was another picture of them, taken from behind, holding hands as they walked into an ocean surf sunset.
There was a giant picture of Nedra hanging in the hallway. She was facing away from the camera; her hair a giant pile of dark spirals partially covered by a red Kangol and there was a huge smile on her face. She wore a red V-neck sweater and jeans and it was taken in the park. Victor stared at it for a long time, examining her expression. She looked so happy and he found himself jealous of the recipient of her smile. Who was she smiling at and who took the picture?
He had to allow the question to form in his mind. Even if I could get sway as her lover, could I ever overcome all this? Can I make her smile like this? What would it take?
Down the hall from the living room was her office; much like his…she had four computers set up on an enormous table; each one flashing a different screensaver of her and Jon in various locations. Across from her office was a game room; a pool table, a chess set in the corner, and shelves with what appeared to be every board game in existence. There was also a small bar set up in another corner. He noticed that there were no video games present or even a game console.
The final door at the very end of the hall was closed. Ever curious about the woman, Victor opened the door and was surprised at what he saw. Clearly it was a workout room; he saw a corner with a mat and free weights. There was one wall that was covered with a huge mirror and the floor was highly polished wood. In the middle of the floor was a stripper pole.
“Well, what do you know?” he said to himself, smirking as he closed the door. Nedra was a pole dancer, or at least used it to work out with. He imagined the sight; those glorious strong brown legs swinging around, in clear heels that were five to six inches high, half naked…and he began to get aroused. He closed the door and headed back to her bedroom.
On the way back, he stopped by the kitchen and grabbed a huge apple from the fruit bowl and a bottle of water. Nedra was still asleep, on her stomach, gripping the pillow. Her lips were parted in and she snored quietly; she slept peacefully and content. Her legs were spread and she wore a short, sheer pink nightie. Victor had not been able to make it to the Promised Land after all; after the first round of head, he followed her to her bedroom, elated that she had a four-poster bed replete with sheer curtains. The bed was undeniably gothic and elevated, providing contrast to her crimson and cream bedroom. The room itself was huge.
She had parted the curtains and lay on the bed on her back, her head hanging off one edge. “Come here, Victor,” she said. “Come put your dick in my mouth again. I’ve missed it.”
Victor stared at her for a moment, stroking himself so that he could get hard enough to meet her request. Never let it be said that he would turn down head as magnificent as Nedra’s. He hadn’t fully recovered from the last round, but she was licking her lips and reaching for him. He came to her, following her beckoning hands like a sailor to a siren. Victor slipped his semi-hard dick into her mouth and it didn’t take long for him to be fully hard and getting blown upside down. This time he didn’t bother with pretenses; he locked his fingers around her neck and face-fucked Nedra until he came, facializing her. He stared at her dripping face with satisfaction before falling on the floor again.
Nedra got up and went to wash her face. While there, she decided to get ready for bed, as it was clear Victor wasn’t going to be able to fuck her tonight. Lucky for him, she was working from home tomorrow—something she did every two weeks. Well, she wasn’t sure if it was lucky for him; she didn’t know his schedule. Nedra took a quick shower and afterwards, tied down her braids with a scarf and put on her hot pink bathrobe.
When she went back into the bedroom, Victor was lying in bed, hands behind his head. She put on the matching nightie and got into bed beside him, using the dimmer switch next to her bed to turn off the lights. There was enough moonlight entering the room to throw a swatch across the bed.
“Good night,” she said, leaning over to kiss his lips.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“Not making it to the Promised Land. You have literally blown my mind and I don’t have anything left.” Never mind the emotional blows she dealt him earlier.
“She ain’t going anywhere,” Nedra assured him. “You working tomorrow?”
“I’m supposed to.”
“Well, don’t wake me up on your way out, ok?” She turned away from him and pulled the covers over her. Victor sat up for a long time, and then frowned. His so-called date did not go the way he intended; Nedra laid a series of land mines down from the time he hit the door and he still had not emotionally recovered. Clearly she was upset about him confronting Jon and in hindsight, Victor realized it wasn’t the smartest move he made. He attempted to bait the man, but it backfired. It was a testament to the strength of Jon and Nedra’s relationship, because a lesser man would have punched him in the face.
He wondered what took place during their walk back to the hotel. What was said, what was done? Whatever happened pissed Nedra off enough to destroy his intentions of wooing her. She laid down the rules of the relationship they were going to have and he either would accept them or not. Being as lovesick as he was, he didn’t have the strength or the guts to tell her to fuck off and walk out of her door.
Lovesick. Was he really? The standard definition of the word was in love; or missing the person one loves so much in such a way that one cannot act normally.
He thought about his actions ever since he returned to Baxter. Yes, he’d been working steadily on the matter transporter, but he’d begun taking breaks—which caught the attention of his team—to walk the floors of Baxter looking for Nedra’s lab. When that didn’t work, he threw caution to the wind and asked Franklin where she was. Franklin stared at him for a very long moment before asking why and Victor pulled some lame excuse out of his ass, but Franklin informed him that if he wanted to give anything to Dr. Nix, it would be best to leave it with him. Victor took the lie further, convincing Franklin that it would be best if it were done in person. Victor never stopped to wonder if Franklin questioned that or regretted giving him the information, considering how protective Nedra was of her lab.
He paid people to do things—illegal things—so he could spy on her. He booked a very expensive trip to China just to follow her and her beau around to see what they were like together. He put himself out there in a way he would never have done for Sue or anyone else. Even his infatuation with Sue paled in comparison to his feelings for Nedra. Sue was an ideal; Nedra was the real.
Victor supposed that, in the loosest, laxest definition of the word, he was lovesick. Their night together had been a game changer for both of them, but unlike him, she knew her place in the situation. She knew what she was and what she wanted from him. It sickened him that she ultimately put him in his place—something no one had ever dared to do. It hurt his secret heart to know that her heart belonged to another man. What were at one time mere words were now backed up with irrefutable facts.
Her words reverberated in his mind. “You expect the same level of affection I give a man I served in the Marine Corps with, fought with, shared secrets with, nearly lost my life with…a man who, after I was honorably discharged, came looking for me because he decided he couldn’t live without me. You want that and we’ve known each other less than six months and shared nothing but a night of great, great sex. Think about what you’re asking for, Victor. You want the reward of my heart but you haven’t done anything to deserve it.”
Nearly lost her life for.
A man who searched for her because he realized that he couldn’t live without her.
Eighteen motherfucking years.
A night of great sex wasn’t a drop in the bucket, even if Nedra enjoyed it as much as he did. Sex was physical, release, fun. Love was a damn sight more than that. Sex was easy. Love was hard. She could give Victor the pleasure of her body; she could even give him the emotional care he craved so much. But their night of passion was eons away from her love for Jon. They served together and likely saw combat together—her comment on nearly losing her life was not lost on Victor. Did Jon save her or did she save him? Did they save each other? Victor had no context for what that was like. Nedra could even rationalize using Victor for sex and knew it wouldn’t harm her real relationship. From her point of view, she had the best of both worlds.
He balled his fists. He was so jealous.
“I want you to love me. How do I make you love me?” he asked the darkness, a long time after the lights were out and Nedra was fast asleep.
Victor’s sleep was not peaceful. He tossed and turned so much that he got up and sat in the huge chair near her bed and turned on the TV, low enough that she couldn’t hear. The TV watched him; he didn’t know what was on because he was besieged with thoughts.
His secret heart, which was more of a secret place in his mind, engaged him.
Why should she love you? What have you done for her other than stalk her and upset her? What on earth makes you think that qualifies you? Sex is sex, and she told you from the beginning that’s all it ever was…but you caught feelings because she made you feel a kind of way.
He engaged it. I liked feeling that way. I felt…safe, protected, in the care of someone who finds me appealing. Someone who had the capacity to care; to give a shit.
And you think that’s enough? You’re not even close. Do better. You’re a Mensa-level genius and you’re thinking like your IQ is on the opposite end of the curve. What have you shared with her? You want her to love you, but do you love her? Do you even know what that means? What can you offer her that eclipses what he does for her? He takes care of her. Can you do that? Your money means nothing to her. What qualities do you possess that would make a woman like Nedra love a man like you?
He could not answer.
I suggest you give that some thought then…if you are really serious about trying to have anything with her. Yeah, being a sex partner is well and good, but she did basic things to you that you assign value to…which makes you stupid. So she bathed you, shaved you, washed your hair, made you laugh, made you come. Yeah, sexually you two could have all the fun. But what’s love got to do with that?
He couldn’t answer.
Keep it at the sex, Victor. Take love out of the equation. You’re not really capable of it anyway. You’ve never had it, so her care and feeding of your needs has you fucked all the way up. She’ll never leave him for you. Never. You. Are. Not. Good. Enough.
Shut up, shut up!!! He covered his ears and closed his eyes, as if that would stop his secret heart from being all the way live in his head.
I will for now. But what will you say when she asks you these same questions? Telling her to shut up won’t get you anything except punched in the face. And that punch is coming your way like a motherfucking heat seeker.
Victor stayed in the chair until before sunrise. By then he was tired enough to snag a few hours. He wasn’t the type to sleep more than three or four a night, but he got in bed next to her warm body and curled against her, finding peace in her warmth and in the way she pressed against him and sighed. Victor put an arm around her and kissed her ear, whispering his plea one more time hoping it would implant in her subconscious.
“I want you to love me. I need you to love me.”
When he awoke, it was three and a half hours later and Nedra was still sleeping peacefully. She had turned during the night and was facing him. Victor gazed at her face, wanting to kiss her and touch her. Had this been the night of their first meeting, he would have just done it. But things were different now. Nedra was in complete control and if he deviated one iota from her wants, she would get rid of him permanently and he didn’t know if he could handle it. He couldn’t even leave her apartment last night when she threw the truth of it all in his face and told him all he was capable of being was her side dish. It was a harsh blow to his ego, to his heart and mind to hear he wasn’t good enough to be her man…it was something he couldn’t readily admit. But even with the doorknob in his hand and freedom an inch from his nose, he couldn’t resist the sound of her voice, the temptation of her body, the declaration of her needs. “Don’t be stupid,” she had said. “Come here…I want to make love to you.”
And then she said his name, at which point he closed the door and locked it…accepting her wishes. For him, it hadn’t been a choice. A life without Nedra—any kind of life—wasn’t one he was ready to accept just yet. He had to see, to know, if he could make her feel anything for him other than sexy.
He didn’t wake her. Victor eased out of bed and explored her house, curious about her. He brought fruit and water back to the bedroom and noting that she had not changed positions, decided to see what was in her closet. Hell, he had done far more invasive things, so examining her wardrobe was nothing. Everything was neat and ordered by color and she had to have at least 200 pairs of shoes. Then he went through her drawers, taking his time with her lingerie, caressing the material, closing his eyes as he thought of her wearing them…the purple lace, the red satin, those cream sheer ones she had on last night and had dampened while she was sucking his dick...where were they???
She had a hamper in the bathroom and he found them on top and like a man on an emotional precipice, picked them up and smelled them. He closed his eyes and allowed memories to flood his mind; looking up at her from the floor, watching the wetness spread and how thirsty he was; how much he wanted to lick her clean…but all he could do was collapse on her floor after she slobbed him down once more and show her he wasn’t fit for anything after that. She probably made fun of him in the restroom as she got ready for bed.
Victor sniffed and sniffed her potent fragrance. Then, because he didn’t want to get caught looking like a perv, he put her panties down and went back into her bedroom. In her wardrobe, he found a rack of scarves: rich silks and satins, sheer and cotton, bold colors and patterns. He touched one of them and wondered if she would like it being used on her. What he really wanted was to use her panties to tie her ankles and wrists to her posts and spread her out and wide and take his time with every inch of her body. He wanted to tease her and please her and have her begging for him by the time he was done. He wanted to see her slick with need for him, her hips bucking to get at him, her pulling against her binds to get her arms and legs around him…he wanted to see her wanting him, needing him, crazy over him...and suddenly, he was hard. He closed his eyes and touched himself. Not even partially turgid; he had a full-on woody and he turned to the bed.
Nedra was stirring. About time. It was going on ten in the morning. Victor got back in bed before she woke up fully. He came in close to watch her wake up and God help her, she was going to see what it was like having him as a side dude.
She opened her eyes and smiled at him. “Good morning.”
“It’s about to be,” he said, taking her hand and wrapping it around his curve.
Nedra grinned, yawning while covering her mouth. “You get right to the point, don’t you?”
“Isn’t that why I’m here?”
“Sure, but I just woke up and I’m not ready to handle that bad boy. Also, we have to use condoms this time. I was far too free with you last time and I know you haven’t gone without since then…so you’re strapping up. Don’t worry; I got all kinds…pick your pleasure.”
Victor stared at her and put one hand to her cheek. “You’re beautiful. I know I say it a lot, but just like this, you’re perfect.”
“I’ve got my hand around your dick. You’ll say anything.”
“True, but not lies.”
Nedra continued to stroke him, slowly, enjoying the heat emanating from him. He did have a subtle curve and it felt so good inside when he angled it a certain way.
Victor kissed her, slowly, savoring it as she welcomed his lips. Part of his soul seemed to sigh as she pulled him atop her and put her arms around his neck to kiss him deeply. She kissed him like she loved him, or so he thought.
“I love your mouth,” he said.
“I should hope so,” she teased, giving him a peck. “Since I enjoy using it on you.”
“Kiss me again,” he said, dipping low. One of the things he needed to know were the ground rules. Yes, it had been established that they would be lovers—he much preferred that to side piece, dish, dude or jump-off—but what kind of lovers? What would she want? Certain things had been said, but Victor needed clarity in order to find his way inside the rules to find the ones he could conceivably break. But right now, he was enjoying her mouth.
“Tell me how to make love to you,” he whispered. “I want to know.”
Nedra had her fingers in his hair. “What if I don’t want that?”
“Why wouldn’t you? You know I can satisfy you.”
“Answer the question.”
“I wouldn’t do anything you wouldn’t want. I hope you know that.” He kissed her again. “This…thing…we’ve agreed to…it has to have more rules than just taking place when your man isn’t here.”
“It stays outside of work.” She kissed him.
“What if I come late, like I did that night?” What had it been, six weeks ago?
“Keria saw you.”
“I’ll wait for her to leave.” He kissed her.
“You can’t do that every night, Victor.”
“What if I met you at your car or you came by my apartment…or we meet at a shitty hotel?” This time he kissed the side of her face, running his beard over her cheek and she trembled softly.
“Mmmmn, our work schedules don’t mesh. I work from six to two a.m. You work whenever the mood strikes, I guess.”
“I usually keep day hours but I come and go as I please.” He continued his soft kisses on her cheek and ear. “What if I just wander by your lab around ten p.m. or so? Will anyone be there?”
“I don’t allow my staff...” she closed her eyes as his beard gently scraped the side of her face. “…to work more than 9 hours a day; Ariadne, Tracy and Ming open up at six a.m. Desnee and Natalie are there at eight, Laila at 9 and Keria at 10…I prefer…to be…alone mostly.”
Victor was kissing and grazing her temple; he had quickly recalled that she liked the feel of his beard against her skin. He had two days’ worth of growth…just enough to tantalize her and it was working.
Nedra didn’t move. She closed her eyes and let him work his singular magic. Jon didn’t have facial hair; couldn’t grow it…so this was very very nice. She would tell Victor enough; just enough that he could find his own way to what would please her…if he wasn’t afraid. Even though she and Jon had an active, vibrant sex life…there were some things he wasn’t comfortable with because of their shared history, his sensitive nature, and his brute strength. Victor would serve her well in that regard…if he wasn’t afraid.
“Keep talking,” he said, tracing her ear with his lips. “What if I wander by at ten p.m…would you let me in? Would you allow me to have you up against that file cabinet for real this time?” He gently sucked on her earlobe before kissing her ear and sliding his tongue in it.
The sensation made Nedra swallow. “You really want to fuck me in my lab?”
“Like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “It’s been on my mind since I started coming by…but you’ll want to wear a skirt or something.” He moved his beard to her cheek and nose.
“I—I don’t wear skirts at work.”
He kissed her lips. “What if I texted you and asked you to? Fair warning?”
“Maybe,” she said. “But I’d rather us keep this away from work.”
Victor looked into her eyes before kissing her again. “As you wish, then.” The kiss went on for several moments and Nedra scratched his beard. “I want you to find your way with minimal guidance from me. You won’t hurt me and I have my kinks and am curious about others…but I’ll let you know if you go too far.”
It was like her words turned him even harder. “Nedra,” he murmured, kissing her lips again, “…are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
“What do you think I’m saying?”
“You’re allowing me to lead?”
“To an extent. I want to see what you’re willing to do.”
Victor grabbed her wrists and pressed them into the bed. He licked Nedra’s nose and kissed her forehead. “I’m so hot for you right now,” he moaned. “It’s been months since I’ve had you, tasted you, smelled you…I want you so badly, Nedra. I have never wanted any woman the way I want you.”
“Then move those lips down and take care of my breasts. They’re hard as diamonds and need that beard.”
He obeyed and Nedra slid her fingers into his unruly hair, sighing gustily as he found his way where she wanted and was thankful he understood that there was more to a breast than a nipple…and knew how to split time between both. And that beard…she sighed again, arching up to meet his mouth. He slipped a hand under her nightie; she never wore panties to bed and found her nice and slick. Victor closed his eyes as he devoured her nipple while sliding two fingers inside of her. She was so hot; so smoking, brutally hot, but he was going to make this last. No way was he going out like a punk again after last night.
“Mmmmn,” she said. “Uhhhmmm…the other direction…” she said. Victor understood instantly and gently began moving his thumb counterclockwise. Her back arched again as he scraped his beard between and over her aching breasts, making her grab his hair in two handfuls.
“Pull harder,” he moaned. She did.
He moved his head lower, caressing her breasts with his free hand while serenading her belly with kisses and facial hair. Nedra had a scar on her abdomen that was at least a six-inch diagonal keloid that warped her navel. He had asked about it the first night they had sex and she told him she got it in Afghanistan and asked him not to mention it again. It made him curious but he wasn’t stupid enough to ask about it. What he did do was kiss and lick it before grazing it with the hair from his chin. The response he got from Nedra was such that he did it two more times; she clenched tight around his probing fingers and a sound escaped her lips that she couldn’t describe.
Victor bit back a moan as her body squeezed his fingers but he couldn’t help exhaling. She was already drenching his fingers and he extricated them and stuck them in his mouth, sucking hard. Nedra watched him lick and suck his fingers; it never failed to drive her mad that Victor was so enamored of her pussy that it made him greedy.
“…taste so fucking good,” he murmured. “My cherry pie…”
He spread her thighs, unable to stay away any longer. Six or seven weeks since she had last let him eat her out and his mouth was parched; his thirst was real, almost vampiric. Nedra’s friendly clit popped out from between her lips as if to say “Welcome back” and soon he was kissing her like a long, lost lover. Nedra held on to his hair, keeping her legs spread outward. His beard felt like heaven on the insides of her thighs and he had this fantastic skill of licking the length of her entire vagina up and down before inserting his tongue, burying it as deep as it could go. She gripped his hair harder as he tongue-fucked her, not even remotely quiet about how much he enjoyed it. He sucked, he slurped, he kissed, he licked…he took communion at her altar just like a proper member of the Church of Nedra.
“Oh,” she said, feeling her climax rumble up. Her toes pointed and she used her handfuls of Victor’s sleek hair to rub his face back and forth. And then she heard his moans and exclamations as she came abruptly. Victor devoured her exertions, not letting any random drops reach the sheets; he craved her taste almost as much as breathing. He rubbed his entire face in her pussy, wanting to be baptized in her wet heat, her addicting love, her sweet, sweet bowl of cherries.
“Goddamn woman,” he said, finally able to pull away. Nedra dropped her legs and looked at his shiny face. It turned her on that he never bothered to wipe her off after eating her pussy. If anything, he licked his lips constantly, trying to get as much of her as he could. “I’m addicted to you.” It was one of the reasons why he closed the door instead of opening it and running away from her. “I’m addicted to this.” He went down on Chloe merely because he was curious and quickly discovered that not all vaginas were created equal.
“Reach in the drawer and grab a condom. Maybe it’s whistling past the graveyard after I found myself with a mouthful of your semen last night, but you still need to strap up if you want this pussy.”
Victor was fishing before she even finished. He found the thin ribbed His/Hers combo and got it on just as Nedra rolled to her side and got off the bed.
“Where are you going?”
“To the mirror,” she said, pressing her hands against it, bent low and put an arch in her back. “Come get it, baby. Give it to me hard, okay?”
Three steps and he was behind her, his hands on her breasts as he slipped within her, giving it to her just the way she wanted. He remembered putting a hand around her throat that first night and how hard she climaxed when he squeezed. The feel of her around him—after months and months and months—made his knees quiver. The condom’s sensations on either side was pleasurable to both and it was then that Victor added more force to his thrusts and slid a hand around Nedra’s throat, squeezing…waiting…squeezing…waiting…squeezing until her breath caught, her body tensed and she squirted all over his dick and trickled out onto the floor.
“Fuck,” she moaned, her knees trembling.
Victor caught her and carried her back to the bed, placing her on her back. He slipped inside her, wanting to look into her eyes as he climaxed, needing that connection that made his sacrifice worthwhile. He pressed against her hot body, licked her nipples before kissing her lips, burying himself in to the hilt. The curve of her matched the curve of him perfectly and she squeezed her pelvic muscles and let out a soft, “Fuck me, Victor…please…” She stretched her arms and gripped the bed sheets as he did exactly that. Their eyes met; raw unadulterated passion and it was enough for Victor. He erupted, pushing Nedra back far enough so that he could land on her when his climax came.
After a moment, he rolled off her and carefully removed the condom. He got up and went to the bathroom. Nedra followed and sat on the toilet, relieving herself as Victor trashed the condom and used a wet washcloth to clean himself up, finally washing his face.
“I’m so glad you didn’t leave last night,” she said, wiping and flushing before joining him at the sink.
“Would you have been mad if I did?” he said, rubbing his face with soapy warm water.
“Annoyed, but not mad. I laid down my truth and you would have either been good with it or not. If you chose to leave I would have dealt with it and gotten over it. But I’m glad you didn’t.”
Victor turned and looked at her. “You like me that much, Nedra?”
“Would you be here if I didn’t, Victor? I’ve never made it a secret that you have marvelous appeal. I just wish sometimes that you allow other women to see it. Want some breakfast? I’m not much of a cook, but I can scramble an egg, make some toast, broil some bacon or ham…”
“I’ll eat anything you have, Nedra. You oughta know that by now.”
“After that, we’ll take a bath, have another conversation, and I’ll wash your hair and beard, what do you say?”
Victor rubbed his abs and closed his eyes. “Yes to all of that.” Then he opened them and gave her a dark look. “And then some.”
“Irresistable Bitch” –Prince
“Caught Up” –Usher
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” -Prince
“I’m So Into You” –SWV