It was almost four in the morning when they all crawled exhausted up the stairs to bed. As tired as Kaylee was – and there were zombies who had felt livelier – she also desperately wanted a quick shower. She was so hopped up on caffeine and sugar the heat of the water might calm her, helping her fall asleep more easily.
Reed had lingered in the hallway talking to Logan and Jared, so she took the opportunity to strip off and step under the hot, steamy water. While Reed had slept on the floor last night, she didn’t think he was planning to do that now. She’d opened up the floodgates this afternoon by cuddling with him and she had no regrets.
It was kind of scary. It had been months since the last time she’d shared a bed with Reed, not to mention made love with him. Eventually even the sex had become perfunctory, almost a chore. Their playful and passionate physical relationship had been reduced to a calendar-driven schedule. And romance? Forget about it.
Spontaneity had gone out the window. No sex three days before she was fertile. A pillow under her hips that had cancelled out any more daring positions. Then afterward, she’d lie there for a long time, her legs in the air praying this time it would work.
It wasn’t a great formula for feeling sexy and desired.
The bathroom had filled with steam and her muscles loosened under the strong hot spray. Sleep had never come easily to her but she might actually get a few hours before the twins wanted breakfast. Unlike the rest of them, Colt and Brianna had been put to bed on time. Ava had warned that while her kids might bemoan a regular schedule they also thrived on it, which was funny coming from her. Ava was quite orderly but when writing, schedules went right out of the window. She didn’t have that luxury anymore.
Kaylee was rinsing the lather from her skin when the shower curtain was thrown back and Reed stood there, steam billowing around his too perfect body. A cool breeze wafted around her and she could feel her nipples pucker in response and goosebumps rise on her wet flesh.
I guess it would be stupid to try and cover any part of me with my hands. He is my husband and he’s seen it all.
And touched it. Many times.
Instead she tried to brazen it out by scolding him, but she had the sneaking suspicion that her face was bright red. Hopefully, he’d think it was just from the heat. “Reed, you’re letting in the cold air.”
“Then I’ll close the curtain.”
Stepping into the bathtub, he pulled the curtain closed. He was close and intimate, and it was kind of scary and exciting at the same time. Everything was moving so fast. This morning she and Reed had barely been speaking to one another and now they were both naked in the shower. She loved her husband and had never stopped wanting him, but it felt awkward and strange. It had been so long.
Had they completely forgotten how to have sex spontaneously? She couldn’t remember the last time they had, it had been so long ago. For the last several years they’d only done it when the calendar told them to. It was sad that they’d lost that spark of kink that had brought them together. They used to have so much fun with their sexuality. Reed had never made her feel like her wants and needs were in any way wrong or weird.
Hot and steamy, it felt like a world all to themselves. Kaylee wanted to shut the rest of the world out and, for a few minutes at least, forget all their troubles and strife. But mostly she wanted to feel something good again. She’d been in pain for too long.
She handed the bottle of body wash to Reed, trying to keep her gaze from resting on his body. Heaven forbid she be caught staring.
“I’m already done so you can take it.”
“Did you get your back?”
She hadn’t become double-jointed nor had her arms grown several inches during their separation.
His intention was clear, and she was captured by how his normally hazel eyes had turned a molten gold. She knew that look well.
“No?” Reed stepped back, his expression wary. He was giving her the time and space to turn him down.
She could totally say no and step out of the shower, get dressed, and go to bed. Reed would never press her for more than she was ready for.
I can say no. Walk away.
Or I can stay here and feel my husband’s arms around me again. It’s been so long.
Like all humans, Kaylee craved physical affection. She and Reed had had a tactile relationship, always cuddling and holding one another. She’d missed that and she craved it.
“No…I didn’t get my back.”
His features eased and he held up the body wash. “I can do it for you. If you like.”
She would like but was she ready for this? Her hesitation must have cued him in to her predicament.
“Just your back.”
Her heart in her throat, Kaylee slowly turned so she was facing the shower wall. “That would be fine.”
With just a touch to her shoulder it was like a live wire had been run from her neck all the way down her spine. For such a big tough man he had such a gentle touch and those magic fingers massaged the lather into her skin, running up and down her back. Her knees went watery and she had to reach out and brace herself with a hand on the tile walls. Pressing her lips together to hold in her whimper of want, she closed her eyes and savored the sensation. Her pulse raced and her stomach tumbled but she didn’t move away, determined to enjoy feeling good.
I do deserve happiness. I don’t have to be miserable.
Kaylee was tired of punishing herself. She was a naturally happy and optimistic person when she wasn’t tied into knots with hormones. Maybe she was finally coming up for air, but she wanted to find that person that she used to be.
I’ll be different too, but I need to find that part of myself that loved life. I want to look forward to each day. I want to find the passion that I’ve lost.
For writing. For Reed. For everything.
His rough fingers brushed her hip as he placed the bottle on the little bathtub ledge. His hands wrapped around her long hair, scraping it back from her face so he could press his lips to her temple and then her cheek.
So tender. So sweet.
She had to take a deep breath and screw up her courage for the next words out of her mouth. It was like closing her eyes and walking into traffic.
“I could…do your back, too.”
Her voice was high, squeaky but he was too polite to point it out. His lips were close to her hair and she felt the puff of air from his warm breath. “That would be nice.”
It was going to be far more than nice. It was going to be her pleasure to run her hands all over Reed. She liked touching him as much as he liked touching her. Especially after making love, Kaylee used to run her fingers up and down his muscular torso delighting in the differences between them, exploring every dip and plane of his body. If she closed her eyes right now, she could still remember all of it. Every single inch.
Pouring some of the bath gel into her palm, she rubbed her hands together and then placed one on each of his shoulders. Her fingers glided over the muscles bunched at the base of his neck right where he carried all of his tension. There was so much more at stake than just their marriage. Reed had lives that depended on him.
Tentative at first and then growing bolder, Kaylee ran her hands down his spine to where it met his perfectly formed ass cheeks. It really wasn’t fair how sexy he was or how he looked in a pair of well-fitting blue jeans.
I wonder if I’ll still act like this when we’re eighty.
Assuming we can get there. Together.
“That feels good, honey.”
A wife always knew her husband’s moods and tones. Reed was aroused and she could hear it in his voice. If he turned around she’d see his hard cock begging to be caressed and licked. Those golden eyes would have turned a tawny brown, almost like toffee.
“I’m glad,” she whispered, although no one could hear them. It just seemed like the thing to do. “I can…do the rest.”
Reed didn’t answer right away, and she thought she might have misread his signals. It had been months after all, but then he turned around and he was exactly as she’d thought he would be. Hard, ready, with desire stamped on his features. He’d been holding himself in check. For her.
“Baby, I’m not sure I can take your soft hands on me much longer without doing something about it,” he growled, frustration in his tone.
This was the crossroads. He was leaving the decision to her. What did she want to do?
I want to be with my husband.
Watching Amy flirt with Reed wasn’t the main reason she wanted to be with him, but it had certainly shown her that she didn’t want him with anyone else. She was jealous and possessive. Two qualities she wasn’t fond of but there it was. She couldn’t deny it.
Tentatively reaching out, she placed her hands on his chest. “I’m not saying no.”
Even then, Reed didn’t let himself off of the leash. He hesitated, confusion in his expression.
“But are you saying yes? I won’t do anything that you don’t want me to, honey. We’ve come too far since you arrived for me to mess it up because I’m impatient.”
I’m impatient, too.
The words came out far stronger than she’d ever imagined they could. “I’m saying yes. This doesn’t mean everything is fine. We have a lot of work to do, but it means that I want to do that work with you.”
Clearly, she’d said the magic words. With another groan, he swept her up into his arms, his mouth coming down onto hers. Their tongues played tag in that old as time game. Her fingers tightened on his shoulders and her legs turned to jelly as his lips slid down her neck to where her pulse beat wildly.
Dammit, that spot always made her eyes roll back into her head. Reed hadn’t forgotten and was even nipping at it, making her squirm as her arousal built quickly. Now that she was in her husband’s arms, she was hungry – no, make that voracious – for pleasure.
“Reed,” she whimpered, her head falling back against the tile wall, giving her whole self over to the sensations crashing through her body. Pleasure bubbled through her veins like fine champagne as his lips closed around a tight nipple and his fingers found her wet and wanting. “I need you.”
“I need you too, honey.”
Those magic digits unerringly found her sweet spot and she would have fallen into a heap in the bathtub if his strong arms hadn’t been holding her up. Placing an arm under her bottom, he lifted her off of her feet and pressed her back against the tile, his hard cock trapped between them. She tried to reach down and caress him, but he shook his head, his mouth leaving a damp trail to her ear.
“No, baby. If you touch me I’m going to go off like a rocket. I’m too close.”
Kaylee was ready to fall over the edge as well. She’d denied her body pleasure for so long it was drinking it up like a parched man in the desert. Her nails dug into Reed’s back and she shifted so that she could press even closer to his fingers that were doing devious things to her clit.
“Now, Reed. Fuck me now.”
She sounded demanding but that’s what she was. The temperature of the bathroom had gone up at least twenty degrees and she was on fire from the inside out. The water fell down on her fevered and sensitive flesh, amping up her arousal as his hands worked their usual magic. He knew every button to push, every spot that sent her into orbit.
His cock nudged at her entrance, pressing forward and then pausing when she had to catch her breath. Reed wasn’t a small man and it had been months, but she was so wet it didn’t take long for him to slid into the hilt. She moaned at the pleasure of being so full. It felt better than anything she could imagine, and it was the most intimate feeling with this man.
Because Reed liked to look into her eyes when he fucked her. Even now their gazes were locked as he pulled out and slammed back in, sending shivers up and down her spine. The coil of pleasure in her belly tightened with each thrust and she watched fascinated as his pupils dilated, almost obliterating the iris. He was close and so was she. With every stroke he was rubbing that spot inside of her while his thumb thrummed against her swollen clit. Trembling and shaking, she was teetering on the brink. A feather touch could send her over.
It was his words that did it. Burying his head in her neck, his teeth nipped at the skin right where he knew it would make her insane.
“I love you, honey. I love you.”
Kaylee opened her mouth to declare her own love but the only thing that came out was Reed’s name as her orgasm hit her hard, turning her upside down and sideways. Pleasure ripped through her body like a freight train and she gave herself over to it, knowing she was safe and cared for in Reed’s arms. His own climax came on the heels of hers, muscles taut and his head thrown back in ecstasy. He was so incredibly beautiful at this moment, vulnerable, too. It was hard for a person to hide their emotions when they’d truly succumbed to the passion.
When they trusted their partner implicitly with their heart and soul.
He held her there for a long time, their breathing ragged and labored before eventually lowering her to the floor, making sure her shaky legs could hold her own weight. The water wasn’t nearly as hot anymore, but it was warm enough that they could both clean up before stepping out of the shower. With such gentleness, Reed dried her off, tucking the towel around her and placing a soft kiss on her lips.
They hadn’t solved all of their problems – they might even have made them worse – but Kaylee wasn’t sorry. This was her first baby step back to happiness and love. She wanted to make her marriage work.
She was ready to fight for it.