An excerpt from
Images and sounds from my dreams swirled inside my head as I woke up: Julia’s eyes, her lips, the curve of her hips, the sweet sighs she made as I kissed my way down her body. Waking up aroused was business as usual and automatically I reached down, lazily rubbing my erection through my pajama pants. I moaned a little and gripped it tighter. I was about to pull it out and start stroking when I heard a small giggle next to me.
My eyes popped open and my heart thundered in my chest. I remembered that for the first time in my adult life, I wasn’t waking up alone. Julia was next to me—Julia, my student, a girl who had done nothing but annoy me in class during the first months of the spring semester. But all that changed the night I met her outside my brother’s bar and she invited me into her apartment and then her bed. It started out as casual sex, but it stopped being casual for me. She didn’t know it, but I was completely in love with her. I almost ruined everything after mistakenly giving her a bad grade on a paper, but she forgave me.
She had come to me last night, grieving for her grandfather, and I had made a vow. I would not only convince her to start up our arrangement again, but I would also romance her and show her that our relationship could be about more than just sex.
Obviously, I wasn’t off to a great start.
I can’t believe she just saw me groping myself. Some romantic I am!
I tried to get my hand to cooperate and let go of my erection, but I was completely frozen in shock. I had never been so embarrassed in my entire life. I finally managed to remove my hand from my crotch and rolled onto my stomach. My cheeks were scorching as I hid my face in my pillow.
I heard Julia let out a small laugh and peeked up at her. She was lying on her side with her head propped up in her hand, smiling sweetly at me. She looked so young and innocent in my striped pajamas, and her loose, tousled hair only added to the image.
She looks like an angel and I just behaved like a complete animal.
“I, uh, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to. I’m not used to anyone being here, and it only happened because it’s, um, morning, and I can’t really help it. I’m sorry,” I babbled, burying my face again.
“Stephen,” she said with a laugh. “I know about morning wood. You don’t have to be embarrassed. I was enjoying the show.”
I glanced up at her.
“Mmm. You looked really hot touching yourself. Want me to help you out?”
“You don’t have to. I mean, we don’t have to do anything. I…that’s not why I said you could stay over,” I said quickly. I didn’t want her to think that I expected anything from her. Asking her to spend the night was the best decision I had ever made. Actually, giving Julia a ride home from Matt’s bar that first night was the best decision I had ever made, but this was a close second.
“I know that,” she said softly. “I want to.”
I rolled onto my side facing her and she moved over to me.
“Are you sure?” I whispered.
She nodded and smiled. I leaned in to kiss her but she pulled back a little.
She changed her mind. I’ll just offer to hold her. She liked that last night.
“Morning breath,” she whispered.
“I don’t care,” I mumbled, cupping her face with my hands before I brushed my lips against hers.
She leaned into the kiss but kept her mouth closed. I smiled at the silent compromise: kissing in the morning was all right as long as it didn’t involve tongue. I could live with that. Unbuttoning her pajama top, I kissed her soft skin as it was revealed. I inhaled her fragrance and reveled in her new scent. She smelled like warmth, sleep, and woman— my woman, my Julia. Far more enticing and alluring than any designer perfume. I nipped the swell of her breast and opened another button to reveal her little pink nipple, which I kissed gently. I traced around it with the tip of my tongue and sucked it into my mouth. Julia moaned softly and I felt her fingers in my hair. I pulled the pajama top off her and kissed her lips.
“You are so beautiful,” I said reverently.
She smiled and I was no longer surprised by the fluttering feeling it caused inside of me. It was love for her…and now I wanted to make love to her. I cupped both of her breasts in my hands and gave her nipples equal attention with my mouth until they were erect and Julia was breathing heavily.
“Tell me if you want me to stop,” I whispered.
“Don’t stop,” she said immediately. “It feels so good.”
I kept teasing her nipples while I loosened the string in her pajama bottoms before sliding my hands down her back, touching naked soft skin and nothing else. My erection twitched eagerly at my discovery.
“Oh,” I moaned against her breasts. “You’re not wearing underwear.”
“You didn’t give me any last night,” she said, sighing. “I didn’t want to wear the same pair after my bath. I thought maybe you did it on purpose.”
“I wish I were that clever,” I mumbled and flicked over her nipple with my tongue while kneading her naked backside.
“Fuck,” she moaned. “You’re killing me here, Stephen. Touch me, please.”
I’ll never deny you anything.
I gave her cheeks one final squeeze and pulled her bottoms all the way off. I ran my hand down her stomach and smiled when she lifted her top leg eagerly to grant me access. She was soft, smooth, and wet under my fingers and I groaned when I felt how ready she was.
“I need you.”
“Then take me, Stephen,” she murmured. “I want you.”
I removed my pajamas in record time and moved up so we were lying on our sides, face to face. I really wanted to stay in this position, but I didn’t know if it was actually possible. Julia moved closer, lifted her leg over my hip, and reached down to guide me to her. I drew a sharp breath when I felt her warmth against me.
OK, it’s definitely possible!
I tilted my hips slightly and inched forward until I was enveloped by her slick heat.
“Oh, God,” I gasped. “It’s always so…”
“I know. It’s amazing.”
I held onto her thigh and covered her neck and chest with kisses while I thrust slowly in and out of her.
“You’re so warm. You feel so good.”
I pulled her leg up a bit higher, which allowed me to go deeper and she moaned loudly in approval. Needing even more, I rolled her onto her back and lost myself in the feeling. I moved faster and faster, harder and harder, feeling dizzy with pleasure. Nothing outside of this bed mattered in this moment. I had missed her so much and I never wanted this experience to end. Unfortunately, I couldn’t last much longer.
“Oh, Julia!” I gasped mere moments later, clutching her to me as my body jerked and trembled, my hips thrusting uncontrollably.
For a few seconds, I lost the ability to think, but as soon as my orgasm ended, dread settled in the pit of my stomach. Julia was quiet underneath me, her hands gently stroking up and down my back, caressing my damp skin. Just a reflex, surely. I didn’t deserve her sweet touch now, after having failed her. Gripping the pillow underneath her head, I tried to will myself into growing hard again, but of course I couldn’t. I wasn’t a teenager anymore and my recovery period was a lot longer than it used to be. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make love to her again just yet. I felt as though I’d been punched in the gut.
“I’m so sorry,” I whispered, my forehead still resting on her shoulder.
She shifted a bit underneath me. “For what?” She ran her hands through my hair. “What’re you talking about?”
Slowly, I lifted my head. It took a couple of seconds to find the courage to meet her eyes. She was so alluring, with her hair all tousled and skin warm from sleep without a trace of makeup.
“You…” I swallowed, a lump in my throat. “You didn’t…finish.”
“Yeah? So what?”
“S—so what? But…this hasn’t ever happened before. With you, I mean. With you, I’m actually…good!” I insisted. “I don’t understand what happened. I didn’t mean to…and now I’ve ruined everything!”
I lifted myself up, my limp member shamefully slipping from her. But before I could go anywhere, Julia wrapped her toned legs around my middle, and used her hands to pull me back down, pressing us skin to skin. Once she was sure I was staying put, she placed her hands on the sides of my face.
“Stephen,” she whispered, as her fingertips caressed me. “What in the actual fuck are you talking about?”
I blinked. “I didn’t make you come before I did. That’s what you’re supposed to do. What a real man is supposed to do.”
She shook her head. “Baby,” she said. “You are a real man. It doesn’t have anything to do with making me come.”
“No.” She smiled. “I don’t want to go all feminist on you, but I’ve been in charge of my own orgasms for quite a few years now. If I don’t come during sex, it doesn’t mean that it’s your fault. OK?”
I nodded, feeling myself relaxing against her.
“You were fast this morning,” she continued, shaking her head at me when I grimaced. “But that’s bound to happen at times. It’s normal. I mean, it’s actually sort of flattering,” she added as she lifted her head, kissing the side of my mouth, “to know you think I’m that sexy, and just watch you lose yourself in me. That’s pretty damn hot.” She grinned at me and, finally, I cracked a smile.
“You are that sexy,” I said, running my hand down the side of her body, skimming her curves, before rolling us over so that she was resting on me. “And I wish I could show you how much, but I need a little time to, um, recover.”
“Time? What time is it, anyway?” she asked.
“I have to leave at ten,” she said quietly.
I lifted my head and stretched my neck to check my alarm clock on the other side of the bed.
“It’s only eight,” I said, relieved, nuzzling my face against her hair. “You have time. Where’re you going?”
“There’s a lot I still need to do. I have to pack up Pop’s whole life and I’m meeting with the lawyer today to discuss the will. There’s no point, though. I get everything.”
“Yeah,” she sighed. “I guess I’m rich now. Yay for me,” she added bitterly.
I stroked her hair. “Can I help you with anything? I don’t have to work today.”
She hugged me a little tighter. “Thank you, but we can’t really go out together yet. If people see us…it’s better if I go alone.”
She was right. Fraternization between professors and students was not allowed. The semester was almost over and we shouldn’t take any unnecessary risks at this point when we were so close to the finish line.
“At least let me make you some breakfast before you have to go.”
“You don’t have to,” she said. “I can just grab a piece of fruit.”
“That’s not a proper breakfast and you hardly touched your dinner last night. I’ve seen you eat. You must be starving.”
I felt her smile. “You have a point. Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me, Julia, I want to—really. What would you like?”
“Anything’s fine. I usually just have some cereal or something,” she said, shrugging.
“I’ll think of something. You rest and I’ll come get you when it’s ready,” I said, moving toward the edge of the bed.
She tightened her hold on me.
“Just five more minutes?” she whispered.
For the rest of my life, if you want.
She snuggled back into my arms and I alternated between touching her hair and stroking her naked back. Soon I felt her body becoming heavier on top of mine, and her breathing slowed. She was asleep.
She must be exhausted.
While she slept, I pondered what had happened between us just now. I had come, prematurely, and my initial reaction had been one of shame and panic. The ghosts of my sexual past still lingered in my memory and although there weren’t many, they had always haunted me, reminding me that when it came to women and sex, I was a failure.
But Julia hadn’t made me feel badly about myself. On the contrary, she had let me know it wasn’t all on me, and that it wasn’t a big deal, and that was incredibly freeing. Of course, half a lifetime of sexual anxiety couldn’t be cured in a minute, but I did feel lighter somehow, knowing that Julia would not judge me for my shortcomings. She truly was incredible: so warm, understanding, and free-spirited, the perfect girl for me. How had I not seen that the moment she walked into my classroom?
Now, holding her in my arms, I wondered how I ever found her irritating. What I had seen as bothersome and interruptive was actually enthusiastic and assertive, which were the things I liked most about her now. She wasn’t afraid of an argument, and I admired her for speaking her mind. At the same time, she was caring, thoughtful, fun, and sexy. Thankfully, my head eventually figured out what my heart knew all along: Julia was the one for me.
I extracted myself carefully so I wouldn’t wake her and slid out of bed. She made a sound of dissatisfaction when I left and curled up into a tiny ball. Her small frame made my bed look huge and I pulled the cover up to her chin to keep her from getting cold. I found it extremely difficult to put on clothes and leave the bedroom when all I really wanted to do was crawl back into bed and hold her while she slept. But I knew that Julia had a busy and stressful day ahead of her and she needed a good breakfast before she left.
The thought depressed me more than I cared to admit. Yesterday, I had offered her a place to sleep, but I wasn’t ready for her to go yet. Maybe I could convince her to stay another night. Holding her in my arms before falling asleep last night was one of the most wonderful things I had ever experienced. I loved having her here and I knew that if she agreed to start up our arrangement again, I would always spend the night with her after we were together. Sleeping in each other’s arms felt just as fulfilling as having sex with her, perhaps even more so. I felt like a fool for having turned down her offer to stay all those times in the past and going home to my cold, lonely bed after our trysts. That would never happen again.
But I was getting ahead of myself. Nothing had been resolved and for all I knew Julia would leave after breakfast, never to return to my bed or my life. The notion made my heart clench. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how much her absence from my life would hurt, and pushed the unwelcome thought away. She was here now, and I knew I had to make every moment count. Somehow, I would be able to win her heart. I had to believe it was possible because the alternative was simply too depressing.
I rummaged through my fridge and cupboards to see what I could make her for breakfast. Luckily, I had gotten into the habit of doing my grocery shopping for a week at a time and my kitchen was fully stocked. I decided on blueberry waffles, eggs, bacon, toast, and fresh fruit. I knew that I was going completely overboard, of course.
As if a breakfast buffet could make her love you.
But I had to do something. If I showed her that I could take care of her, then maybe she would consider staying here with me for a longer period of time. She was here and I wasn’t about to make it easy for her to leave. Furthermore, I simply wanted to do things for her. Julia was used to being the caregiver for her grandfather, and she deserved to be the one on the receiving end for once. I had never really had anyone to care for before, and I hoped that Julia would want me to be there for her.
Admittedly, I was also being selfish. I loved having her here and it made me happy. I wanted happiness and she was the one who brought it to me. I couldn’t get around that, but I hoped that I could bring it to her as well.
I set the table, and while breakfast was keeping warm in the oven I snuck back into my bedroom and gazed at the girl in my bed. I knew that I should wake her so she’d have time to eat, but I didn’t know if I would ever get a chance like this again and so I joined her under the covers. She was on her side, facing away from me, and I wrapped myself around her, pressing against her warm body so that we were lying close to each other just like spoons in a drawer.
This is why they call it spooning. I like it!
I placed soft kisses on her neck and stroked up and down her arm. She shivered lightly and when I peeked over her shoulder I could see her nipples hardening. I couldn’t stop my hand from reaching under her arm and cupping her breast gently. I traced circles around her puckered nipple with my fingertip, which caused Julia to sigh and rub her naked thighs together.
Is she becoming aroused? Maybe she wants me to keep touching her?
I felt slightly perverted caressing her while she was half-asleep, but I couldn’t make myself stop. I brought my hand down over her stomach and thighs, hoping that Julia wouldn’t suddenly be adverse to my touch. Lifting her top leg back over my hip, I took a deep breath before slipping my fingers in between her folds. Her skin was warm and slick from our previous encounter and my fingers slid easily over her. She let out a long moan, which I took as a very good sign, and I wedged my free hand under her body to gently massage her breast. I tugged on her nipple and ran my fingers over her wet, sensitive skin a few times.
“Stephen,” she moaned. “Mmm…what are you doing?”
“I’m waking you up,” I whispered, kissing her neck while I kept touching her.
“You’re doing a very good job,” she said, sounding a little out of breath. “Fuck, that’s so…”
Her words turned into moans as I reached a little lower and slid two fingers inside her. She arched her back and I sucked on her earlobe. I stroked her slowly and rubbed her with my thumb. She gasped loudly when I pinched her nipple and pressed against her sensitive little mound at the same time.
“Do you like that?” I whispered, giving her ear a gentle bite.
“Oh, yes,” she moaned. “I love the way you touch me. You always…oh, fuck, you make me feel so amazing.”
I was flying on the inside at the sound of her words and kept rubbing, stroking, and pinching until she was panting and moving her hips with my fingers.
“A-almost,” she gasped.
“I know. I can feel it,” I murmured.
I watched as she closed her eyes and drew a deep breath before her body tensed in my arms. She pulsed and contracted around my fingers, and I was sure that I was watching her with my mouth hanging open like some sort of simpleton. I had made Julia climax before, but I was usually too preoccupied with my own impending orgasm to really concentrate on her when it happened. She was spectacular, her skin flushed over her chest and face and her head thrown back in ecstasy. Or what I assumed was ecstasy. It was always ecstasy for me.
She relaxed in my arms and I carefully extracted my fingers from her before pulling her closer in a tight embrace.
“Are you awake now?” I asked, smiling widely.
“Definitely,” she said, chuckling.
“Good. Breakfast is ready,” I said, kissing her cheek.
She turned and reached down to palm my erection. “What about you?”
“I’m fine,” I promised. “Let’s go eat.”
“If you’re sure,” she said uncertainly, eyeing the bulge in my pants.
“I am. This was just for you.”
I helped her out of bed and couldn’t prevent a disappointed sigh from escaping when she started to pull on her dress. I went back into the kitchen and washed my hands before I took the plates from the oven and carried them to the table. I had just poured the coffee when Julia came in, looking very uncomfortable in her conservative dress. But her expression changed drastically when she saw the dining table.
“Holy shit!” she exclaimed, holding her hands up to cover her mouth. “Stephen, you shouldn’t have done all of this,” she said, although the smile on her face told me that I had definitely done something right.
“I wanted to,” I said immediately. “Sit down and eat.”
I fought the urge to pull out her chair for her and watched as she sat.
“You made waffles!” she said excitedly. “Real ones. Not just the ready-made frozen kind.”
I nodded and smiled while I joined her at the table.
“Wow,” she said with a grin. “Sex and homemade waffles. This is the best B&B in town. I may need to stay over more often.”
Here’s your chance.
“Um, uh, Julia?” I asked, as if I was in the seventh grade asking for a date to the dance.
“Yes, Stephen?” She smiled as she lowered her fork, still loaded with food.
“I was thinking that if you want to, um, come by tonight… I mean, you have a long day today and maybe you want some dinner afterward and you don’t really cook and since I do and I’m not doing anything, um, maybe you want to come over…maybe? If you want,” I rushed out.
What was that? The most poorly constructed sentence in the history of the English language?
Julia regarded me for a moment, probably trying to make sense of my jumbled words. “Are you inviting me over for dinner?” she asked.
“Yes. I just thought…if you didn’t want to be alone after dealing with the lawyer and everything else, I’m here, you know?”
That was a little better.
“I’d like that.” She nodded. “Thank you. What time and can I bring anything?”
Really? She said yes?
“Seven? And you don’t have to bring anything,” I assured her.
“Not even a nightie?” she grinned. “I assume you’d like me to spend the night again?”
“I like you in my pajamas,” I blurted out.
“Is that so? I guess I can accommodate that request,” she said with a wink. She smiled and eagerly dug into her breakfast and I found myself gazing at her with an idiotic grin on my face.
“What do you have going on today?” she asked after a few minutes of me watching her inhale her breakfast.
“Not much. I think I’m going to the gym with Matt, but that’s about it, really. I always have articles I’m writing that could use some attention, but nothing specific now that the semester is almost over.”
“Must be nice,” she said with a sigh. “I still have finals to worry about.”
“You’ll do great,” I assured her.
“I guess. I just want them to be over and the holidays to begin. I need some time off.”
“You’ve had a tough semester.”
“Yeah. It wasn’t all bad, though,” she said, giving me a sexy smile.
“Oh…do you mean me?”
“Yes, Stephen, I mean you,” she laughed. “You were definitely a pleasant surprise.”
“So were you.” Never in a million years would I have been able to predict the effect Julia was having on my life, especially considering how off-putting I had found her at the beginning of the semester. I’d never been so happy to be wrong before. She smiled again and we finished our breakfast.
“Thank you so much. That was the best breakfast I’ve ever had.” She glanced at the clock on the wall and sighed again. “I hate to eat and run, but I have to get going now.”
“Do you need a ride?”
“No, thanks. I have Pop’s—I mean, my car. I need to go home and change first. And possibly burn this fucking dress,” she mumbled.
“But you’ll be back tonight?” I asked, failing miserably at keeping the blatant hopefulness out of my voice.
“Definitely,” she said, and stood up to clear the table.
“Leave it,” I told her. “You don’t want to be late for your appointment.”
I walked her to the door and watched her put her shoes on. Even though she was still right in front of me, I felt a pang of longing.
“Thank you, Stephen. For everything,” she said softly.
“Don’t thank me,” I whispered, cupping her face in my hands. I looked into her eyes and smiled before I leaned down and kissed her. Her eyes fluttered closed and she wrapped her arms around my waist as the kiss deepened.
“Stephen,” she sighed, as she pulled away slowly.
“I’ll miss you today,” I murmured unthinkingly.
Uh-oh. Should I not have said that?
“You will?” she whispered.
I nodded and caressed her cheek while my heart thundered in my chest.
“Me too,” she whispered, so softly that I hardly registered it, before she kissed me again, this time even more passionately. When we finally broke apart we were both breathing heavily and I was more than ready to take her back to bed.
“OK, I really need to go now,” she chuckled. “But I’ll see you tonight?”
I nodded and leaned down for another quick kiss before she walked out. She jumped into the expensive vintage car that I now knew had belonged to her grandfather, and I smiled when she honked the horn as she drove off, feeling giddy as a schoolboy, knowing I would see her again in just hours.