Author's Note: If you haven't already, please read Taken by a Stranger and The Girl Who Played Asturias first. Thanks! -M.N.
What a wicked game you played to make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do to let me dream of you
What a wicked thing to say you never felt this way
What a wicked thing to do to make me dream of you
Henry dreams of his beautiful stranger.
The longer he goes without finding her, the harder it becomes to forget her. Her memory sinks into every inch of his waking life. He can still smell her sensuous scent. He can feel her body against his. If he's quiet enough, he can still hear her cries of pleasure, and her ultimate goodbye.
He feels like he's losing his mind. Every day spent without her is utter madness. His mind is on the fringe, and now, now he's beginning to think that Daniel may be right.
But then…the dreams…the dreams are so real…
And…he can still smell her scent.
Yet for all the reasons he could come up with to prove that the beautiful stranger existed, he still hadn't located her – on-campus, in town, downtown, and out-of-town. As much as he desires her presence and prays for her return, she always remains out of reach.
Well, almost. In his dreams, she haunts and seduces him. She begs for him to kiss her and to touch in the most intimate of ways. He is all too eager to oblige.
They make fierce, passionate love in her hotel room for hours and hours. He grabs her, holds her tightly, and begs her not to go, to stay a little longer. But the dream never lasts forever, and the grip of reality is always tighter than anything else…
And when he awakens, desperate claws away at him. He has to find her, has to see her again. He has to know that she's real and he has to know that he didn't imagine the whole thing…
And more importantly…why? Why did she leave him all alone in that room? Why didn't she stay with him?
Henry didn't understand his feelings sometimes. Technically, it was a one-night-stand – the mysterious stranger leaving him all alone in the middle of the night was par for the course. He should have just pocketed the memory of sex with a beautiful woman with fond feelings. Instead, agitation gripped him. His heart rotted little by little each day he went without finding her.
The stranger took so much more from him then raw, amazing sex.
She took his sanity, too. Everything was okay until she tempted him that night.
Now, life, for lack of better words, was fucked up.
Once again, in his dreams, the seducer and the one he seduced are locked in that intimate embrace.
Once again, they come together, holding each other as they desires are satiated.
He begs her not to go. He clings to her apparition with every fiber of his being…
And awakens in his room, frenzied by his struggle.
I really am losing my mind.
Sweat cakes his forehead, and every nerve in his body stands to attention. He sits up in his bed, fighting to catch his breath. This can't go on. The madness can't go on. If this keeps up, he'll truly go lose his mind. There's no telling how things will end up if this goes on.
Knock, knock, knock.
He barely hears the sound. He isn't expecting anymore, and his roommate, Daniel, is probably out chasing panties somewhere. Also, he never tells his many "ladies" where he lives – a pre-caution that comes with breaking many, many hearts.
Who is this?
He walks over to the door, taking more time than he should. He doesn't bother with cleaning himself up. He intends to send whoever it is away. He's known for his politeness, but right now, he's anything but. He doesn't want anyone to see him like this – crazed and on the verge of a meltdown.
He looks through the peephole. Nerves begin to fall at ease. His breathing slows down. He takes a deep breath. Relief is everywhere.
Thank God you're here.
He can't open the door fast enough.
Adelina stands on the other side, her usual cheery smile on her face. She holds a pink bakery box in her hands. "I hope you're in the mood for cupcakes!"
"Adelina…" Her sweet smile chases the madness away.
"That's my name! Please don't wear it out." Her smile fades away when she catches sight of the sweat on his face. "Oh my God – Henry, are you all right? You don't look so good."
"Uh…er…it's nothing. Just…having a little trouble sleeping."
"Ah, I see." Her eyes, her beautiful eyes, shine with sympathy. "If you aren't up to it, we can always hang out another time. Here, you can have the cupcakes…"
"No!" The forcefulness of his voice surprises him. It surprises her too – she stands, firmly in place. He sighs deeply. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell like that."
She smiles. "It's okay. Don't worry about it."
"It's just that, I could really use the company right now," he continues gently. "And I can't think of better company than you."
"Is that a fact?" He watches as she smiles, and bashfully, she sways from side to side, looking down at her feet. He finds himself smiling, too. She's so cute when she's shy… "Well, when you put it that way, I guess I can't leave you alone, can I?"
"You could, but I'd rather if you didn't it." He takes the bakery box from her hands. "Besides, I can't eat all these cupcakes by myself."
"I didn't bring them here so you could eat them by yourself! Besides, these are lemon and lavender cupcakes, my absolute favorite. I better have at least one."
Henry gestures for her to come in, and she does, gracefully striding in and sitting on the couch nearby. She always seems to do this. She always seems to appear when he needs her most. She is the reason why he's managed to keep the madness at bay. They've only known each other for over a month, and yet, she means a great deal to him. He's still very drawn to her. He still doesn't understand why. When she isn't around, the dreams of the beautiful stranger plague him, haunt him, and threaten to tear him apart. But she is nearby, he feels at a peace. Granted, he still hasn't found his stranger, but when Adelina is around, that doesn't seem to matter. Even if the madness threatens to overwhelm him, with Adelina around, it'll all work out in the end.
More and more, he looks forward to seeing her. More and more, she seeps into his very essence. He may call the thing between them friendship, but deep inside, with every passing day, he knows it's transforming into something much more than that.
The stranger mesmerizes him, but so does Adelina, in her own way.
He wants to tell her. He wants to tell her everything about his beautiful stranger. He feels like she won't judge him, and that she can provide him the answers to his question. He can't explain it, but he knows that somehow, she the key to figuring out this mess. And yet, he can never bring himself to tell her. He's terrified at how she'll react. He knows that she likes him – his ego can never reach Daniel's level of uncanny arrogance, but he knows that her feelings are similar to his. He's even more terrified of losing her. He enjoys ever minute he spends with her. He loves her being around. If he told her about the beautiful stranger, she might take it the wrong way. And if she did, she'd have every right to.
If she ever discovered the true reason of why I'm drawn to her, she'd drop me without a second thought. And honestly, I wouldn't blame her…
Still, sometimes got to give. I feel like I should say something…
"Henry…Earth-to-Henry." Her request for him to return to their reality is much more gentle than Daniel's is. "Those cupcakes aren't going to eat themselves, you know."
"Right." He can feel his face turning red. Clumsily, he fishes out plates from the cupboard and places a cupcake on each of them. "Sorry, I guess I'm still a little sleepy."
"I can always let you get back to sleep, you know. If you really aren't feeling well, then you should rest."
"I'm fine," he assures her. "Like I said, I could use the company right now."
"Just making sure." He hands her a plate, and she gets to work on the lemon frosting. "I don't know about you, but I always feel better when I've had a cupcake. It's a physical impossibility, being sad after eat a gourmet cupcake. It just doesn't happen."
"Is that so?" He watches as she takes a dainty bite out her cupcake. He's smiling all over again. "If that's the case, then I'd better get to it."
"Sounds like a plan." Her eyes flutter close as she savors the cupcake. "Oh my God, this is so good. The baker must have stole this recipe from a god or something because there's no way in a hell a normal human could have created something so good."
"I don't know. Bakers are something special, I think. They take raw ingredients and turn them into delicious treats." He takes a small bite out his cupcake…ooh. "Scratch that. This was definitely stolen from a god."
"See? I told you!" Adelina takes another bite. "Julie swears by the strawberry cupcakes, but anybody can do strawberry cupcakes. But lemon and lavender? Now, that's something special. When I think of lemon and lavender, I think of putting a kettle on, not cupcakes! I wonder how they get to frosting so lemony without the sickening tartness."
"Maybe they stole that from the gods as well."
"That's gotta be it. There is no other explanation."
He looks her over in a clandestine way. She looks so cute today, as always. She wears this light blue and pink bunny hoodie, complete with floppy ears and whiskers. Her flare jeans and matching sneakers only enhance her adorableness. That's what he really liked about Adelina. She managed to look pretty and unique without looking trashy like some of her fellow classmates.
I think she'd look so much prettier if her hair was down. I know she likes keeping it in a ponytail, but I think she'd look amazing. And those eyes…if only she'd take off her glasses…
"You're tuning out again, Henry." Her voice breaks through his thoughts. He blinks and sees her smiling softly at him. "Are you practicing to be a space cadet?"
"What?" He bursts out laughing. "No, it's not like that."
"Oh?" She raises an eyebrow. "Then what's it like, exactly?"
"It's just…" I can't tell her the truth…I can't… "It's just that it'd be nice to see you with your hair down once in a while."
"Oh." She puts her half-eaten cupcake back on her plate. "I'm not big on having my hair all flowy and whatnot. You know that."
"I know that. And I'm not saying you should do it all the time. Just, once in a while. Tonight, even, if you were so inclined."
"Uh-huh." She eyes him with suspicion. "Thanks, but no thanks."
"But it would help me feel so much better if you did it." He's laying it on thick right now, but his words are honest. "I bet you'd look really nice. Sexy, even."
"I don't need my hair flowing free to prove that I can be sexy. I already know that I am." The drop in her voice gives way to sultry purr he had no idea she was capable of. Just like… "I just choose not to broadcast that fact to everyone. Only to someone who is worthy."
She gives him a sly look, and every hair on his body stands on end. For one split moment he's reminded of his beautiful stranger, and how she gave him that very same look at the bar. Mischievous and incredibly sensual, it hooked him into her instantly.
Just like her look…like she's up to know good. "Whoever ends up being the worthy one is a very lucky man."
Sadness passes over features. "If you say so." She tries to smile. "So far, it looks like I need the luck. It's a little tougher when you insist that your goodies stay in the jar, if you know what I mean. But on the bright side, it keeps the 'dudebros' like your roommate away."
"Dude…bro?" Henry gives her a puzzled look. "What is a 'dudebro'?"
She smiles. "You know – a dudebro. A guy who looks like he stepped out of the movie "Animal House" and constantly uses the words 'dude' and 'bro' in a sentence." Henry still looks confused. "Okay, here's an example. 'Dude, we're so going to the club tonight.' Or, 'dude, did you see that girl with the miniskirt? She's got sweet tits, bro'. Or even, 'dude, why you mad, bro?' Or my personal favorite, 'dude! I'm sexy and I know it, bro!'"
Henry's laughs so hard, his side aches. Adelina's impression is a little too accurate and very comical. She has Daniel down to a 'T'. He so needed this. His tensions over early dissipate into the air. Once again, she saves him from madness, and he is very appreciative.
"Did I hit the nail on the head?" she manages through her own chuckling.
"Yes, you did." Henry gasps for air, he's laughing so hard. "Thank God Daniel isn't here, or else he'd get all bent out of shape."
"Oh, whatever. I can handle dudebros. All I have to do is ask one question – 'what, you mad, bro?' and he'd storm off into his room, whining to one of his little girlfriends like a little bitch. They're all talk and no action, guys like him."
"I beg to differ. He can't stop talking about all the action he gets. I even have the pleasure of hearing it at times." He shudders just thinking about it. Adelina gives him an "I don't envy you" stare. "Why they can't wait for me to be out of the house before they do that stuff, I'll never know."
"That's the good thing about having one roommate that's in a long-distance relationship and a roommate that dreams of being in a relationship. I don't have to walk in on anything or hear anything I don't want to hear. That, and Rafe has a soundproof room and a good pair of headphones."
Henry's eyes widen. "Ugh! TMI, TMI Adelina!"
"Oh whatever, you probably have a soundproof room and a good pair of headphones as well."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Henry replies in mock indignation.
"Now, I don't believe that for a second. You're single with high-speed Internet in your apartment, and you don't have a good pair of headphones for looking at certain websites? You're totally lying."
"I'm not saying a word!"
"Of course, you won't." Her eyes twinkle in mischief. "You know what? You should totally turn the tables on Daniel one day by pretending to go at it with me."
Henry's jaw drops. "What? Are you serious?"
"Yeah, I'm serious. I'll come over a day when you know he'll come home at a certain time, we'll go into your room, and totally pretend to go at it. Like, really go at it."
Tears are pouring down his face. "No way. You're totally messing with me now."
"I'm serious! I'd do it just to see the look on his face. We could totally go all out. We could have condom wrappers all over the floor, oh, and your clothes, too! I could bang on the walls and you can jump on the bed or something. And then, we could moan and groan and sound really convincing."
"He'd totally figure out that we're faking it."
"Please. I sure he can't tell when he's so-called 'girlfriends' are faking it, so why would he be onto us? Besides, I can sound very convincing if I need to."
"Oh really?" Her admission entices him more than it should.
"Yes. I've seen enough romantic comedies and have heard the girls in the bathroom talking enough to know what I should sound like." She sits up from the chair and arches her back a little. "Oh yeah, baby, just like that. Ooh, you feel so good'."
Her fake pleasure sounds definitely tempt him more than they should. "Shh! The neighbors will hear you!"
"They'll probably be happy to hear that you're finally gettin' some instead of your roommate." Her eyes light up with naughtiness. He doesn't know whether to be afraid or aroused. The swelling in his shorts tell him that it's the latter. I don't think I've ever seen her like this… "I just had a thought. Instead of your room, he can totally catch us on the couch here. I'll find the raunchiest dress ever made, I'll dye a pair of granny panties so that it matches my skin color, and you can be shirtless or something. He won't know what hit him!"
"Uh…I don't know. Don't you think that's a little extreme?"
"Of course it is. That's what makes it so brilliant! An 'extreme' guy like Daniel deserves an extreme shake up like wild sex on a couch. Or this case, fake wild sex on the couch. I can be all up on you, grinding against you, like 'oh yeah, yeah baby, yeah' and he'll be like 'what the hell is going on'?"
She's turning him on, and she's blissfully unaware of it. She'd probably look so sexy on top of me. Just like the stranger did… "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I don't think it's a good idea. Besides, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that to you."
"Doing what to me? Pretending to have sex with me to freak out your roommate? Henry, you are such a gentleman. That's why I like you so much." Her kiss on his cheek may be innocent and a little schmaltzy, but the feelings it stirs inside him are anything but. "I'm not worried about it, and neither should you. Besides, I'm the one who came up with it. If I thought you were a douchebag, I wouldn't even suggest it. I'm in it purely for the 'lulz'."
You may be in it for the 'lulz', but I'm not sure I would be. "As tempting as it is, I just don't think I can do it. You're…you're just so cute and bubbly, and I can't see you doing stuff like that."
Her eyes darken at his assumption. "Excuse me?"
He points to her clothing. "Well, look at you! You're wearing a bunny hoodie for crying out loud."
She stares at him, incredulous. "And? So what?"
"Every time I see you, you're wearing something cute. You eat cupcakes and when you giggle, you giggle like a schoolgirl. The only time I've ever seen you in anything sexy was the dress you wore for the Valentine's Day concert."
"I told you, I like comfortable clothes," she states hotly. "I'm classy, not trashy."
"And I have no problem with that," he assures her.
"Then what are you saying?" she sounds very offended. "Are you saying that because I like cute things and I don't parade around the campus in cut-off shirts and mini-skirts that I can't be sexy?"
"No, that's not at all what I'm saying!" A wave of exhaustion washes over him. "I'm sorry, forget I said anything…"
"Oh no! You won't get away that easily!" She stands up from the couch, clearly taking issue with his words. "There is a lot more to a woman than boobs and skanky clothes and dirty dance moves, Mr. Kuan. Just because I choose to wear cute things doesn't mean I can't be sexy. It just means I choose to show my sexiness to someone who will appreciate it!"
"I know! And as I said before, that guy is a very lucky man, whoever he may be."
"Well, that lucky man is you, at least for tonight." The look on her face is very serious. Uneasiness creeps up his spine. "You may think I'm just some kawaii darling, but I could turn you on, right now, if I wanted to."
"I'm sure you could," he replies with a nervous laugh. "I'm a guy, after all. It's not that hard, and it's definitely not rocket science."
"I'm serious." She isn't amused by his humor. The smile fades from his face, and his laughter dies out. "I could turn you on right now, and you wouldn't know what hit you."
His breath quickens. "I-I don't know about all that."
"Um." She reaches up, and after a beat, her hair is freed from the ponytail holder, spilling out onto her shoulders. His breath hitches. She pulls off her glasses, her naked amber eyes coming into view. Oh God… "I do."
Stands up and moves in front of him, her eyes glowing with determination. His uneasiness is tempered with arousal.
"Uh, what are you doing?" he asks with a shaky voice.
She unzips her bunny hoodie and allows it to fall off her shoulders and onto the floor with a soft rustle. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm proving my point."
Everything in his body hardens. "You don't have to do that."
"Oh yes, I do." She grabs the sides of her tank and slowly pulls it up and over her shoulders. When her black lace bra comes into view, he stops breathing. "Am I turning you on yet?"
"Uh…" Henry struggles to find his voice. "Adelina, you really don't…"
"I know, but I am." She buttons the front of her jeans. Her quiet voice strokes him all the right places. Oh God, oh God… "But what can I say? I feel like this is a wager I can win."
Her jeans pool around her ankles. His shorts may be loose-fitting, but the hardness makes him feel like he's wearing tight jeans. He can't believe what's happening? One minute, he and Adelina were eating cupcakes and joking about his roommate. Now, she stands before him in her bra and panties, intend on turning him on to prove a point.
Once again, he's on the brink of insanity, but for a very different reason.
Or maybe it's a similar reason…this all feels so familiar…
"What's the matter, Henry?" she asks with a smirk. "You don't look so good."
"Ah…" He swallows audibly. "I'm fine, just fine. Just a little surprised is all."
"I see." Her voice is sexy and sensual and up to no good. It may be Adelina, but she reminds me so much of her… "Anyway, I should probably explain to you that while I love to wear cute hoodies and t-shirts outside, I prefer my lingerie to be sexy, sensual even."
"I can see that."
"It reminds me of my femininity," she continues. "That behind the schoolgirl giggles and animal hoodies is a woman with various needs, some of which are decidedly not cute. In fact, some are down right dirty."
He can feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead. "I…uh…is that so?"
"Ummhmm. But of course, I won't tell you anything because you're my friend, and that would be awkward. Or maybe I should, since I'm trying to turn you on…"
"Uh, no, no! That won't be necessary." Is this really Adelina in front of him? Because she sure as hell isn't acting like Adelina right now. She's acting more like… "You're saving that for your special someone after all."
She smiles softly. "Always a gentleman, even now. No wonder Daniel rags on you." She leans over him, and he feels like he's going to burst. She might be a good friend, but holy shit, she's so freakin' hot right now. And that's the point. "Unfortunately for you, I need you to not be a gentleman, if only for a minute, so I can win this wager."
Is she going to straddle me? Oh my God, oh my God, this is madness. "I wasn't aware that this was a bet. But honestly, I think you've made your point. I'm sorry I ever said otherwise."
"Oh no," she counters. "Like I said, I won't let you go that easily. I want to hear you say it."
Carefully, she straddles him. If she feels the hardness in between his legs, she isn't letting on. Seriously, who is this woman? This is not the Adelina he knows. She is anything but adorable right now. And if the hardness in between his legs is any indication, that's a good thing. Her confidence reminds him of his beautiful stranger, who was so comfortable in her own skin. She's so much like the stranger right now…it's insane. I know this is Adelina, but I feel like I'm in that hotel room all over again. It's so strange…
"Tell me that I'm turning you on," she demands in a sultry purr that nearly makes him lose it completely. "Tell me, and I'll back off."
"Ah…" His throat tightens and it's a struggle to speak. "Adelina…"
"Tell me, and I'll back off," she repeats calmly. "If you don't, I'll have to result to other ways of making you admit it."
He can't handle the tension. Oh my God…she's insane. This is insane. I should tell her to back off. I should tell her how inappropriate this is. She's a friend, a good friend, and I need her to remain that way. If this continues, then our friendship will be in jeopardy.
And yet…I don't want to push her away. She looks so damn good right now. So fucking sexy, I can't stand it. She's so confident and such a damn tease. She knows she's driving me nuts and yet she's so calm about it. I want her to keep going, to see how crazy she'll make me.
It's all so familiar…so very familiar…
When he doesn't respond quickly, she ups the ante. "So, back to what I was saying earlier about freaking out Daniel. He could find us on the couch, just like this. I could be on top, riding you like a bicycle." Slowly, she swirls against him, and feel like his heart will give out. "I could moan and groan like no tomorrow, really get into it. 'Ooh, yeah baby, I want to ride it' and 'ooh, you make me feel so good'."
He struggles to breath. "Adelina…"
"I've never done anything like this before, but I'm sure I can make it look convincing." She leans over and allows her lips to graze his earlobe. Shudder… "All you'd have to do is sit there and look like you're enjoy it. Though I'm sure you would be."
The uneasiness is just too much. These feelings she's creating within him – he knows them, and he's felt them before. And though it's Adelina trying to prove a point, it doesn't stop him from feeling like, in that moment, he's with the stranger all over again.
"Adelina," he begs her. "Please stop…"
"Oh, Henry," she whimpers as she moves against him. He nearly faints. She even sounds like her a little… "Oh, baby, you feel so good…"
"Ugh…" He doesn't know what's worse. The fact that she's playing dirty to get him to admit defeat or that fact that he's enjoying every minute of this. "Please, stop tempting me…"
"No one's ever made me feel like this before, baby." He doesn't know if she's playing around or if she's serious. Her voice is that convincing. "God, I'm so hot right now…"
If she keeps this up, friend or not, he's going to throw her onto the floor and plow her right there. It just feels so good and so familiar, and he can't help himself. It's like he's with the stranger all over again, and just like that fateful night, it makes him want to do unspeakable things…
"I'm serious." Now, his voice drops. "Please, stop or I'll…"
"Or you'll what?" Her eyes narrow, and she meets his challenge head on. "Screw me senseless?"
"Yeah, that sounds about right."
She isn't fazed at all. "But that would indicate that I've turned you on, and that I've made my point." She's very smug now. "So the way I see, you can either tell me outright or you can actually be true to your word and screw me. In either case, I win."
She's so confident, just like the stranger…just like the stranger. "I'm warning you, Adelina. Stop it."
"Then admit I can turn you on." Her eyes bore into his. "Admit it."
His breath comes out in a long, defeated hiss. "You can turn me on."
"You also admit that even though I'm cute, I can be sexy, too," she states matter-of-factly.
He grits his teeth. "I admit to all of those things."
"Perfect. Then, I can let you go." She begins to slide off him, a triumphant smile on her face. Even in her skivvies, she transforms back into cute, adorable Adelina, complete with schoolgirl giggles and stars in her eyes. "I'm sorry I had to resort to such dirty tactics, but in this case, the end justifies the means. Plus, you got to see a half-naked woman grinding on you and whatnot, so it can't have been all that bad…" He wraps his arms around her and keeps her in place. "Uh, Henry what are you doing?"
"Now, I'm the one who isn't going to let you go so easily." He doesn't know what he's doing. All he knows is that for whatever reason, he won't let go…and he's so turned on, it's painful. "You've got me all hot and bothered now, and you must do something to help relieve me of it."
"Are you for real?" she sputters.
"Oh yes." Now, it's his turn to be serious. "If you can go through all that trouble to turn me on, then you can go through the trouble of getting me off."
At first, she stares at him, eyes wide in shock. Regret hits immediately. Just what the hell is he thinking? Just because Adelina messed with him so much he nearly lost it doesn't mean he needed to do the same to her. He's a gentleman after all – and Adelina in all her playful was trying to prove her point. She even said so.
But she looks so good, and she smells so fresh and sweet, and I just can't help myself…
The shock melts from her face, and is replaced with a soft expression. "Be careful what you wish for, Henry. You just might get it."
What…was that…an invitation? Just like her invitation… "I'm well aware of what I'm wishing for."
"I didn't think we were friends like that."
"I didn't think you'd strip down to your undies and rile me up like that."
"Touché." Her fingertips draw little lines up and down the length of his body. He inhales sharply. "Still…as tempting as that is, I'd hate to lose you over something like this. I really like you, Henry."
"I like you too, Adelina." Though right now, there is more 'lust' than 'like'…
"No…" Her voice trails. She takes a deep breath. "I mean, I really, really like you, Henry." Her eyes look away. "Really."
Henry opens his mouth, as if to say something, and then closes it.
"And if this were to continue…if I go through the trouble of…relieving you of your tension, then I…" She folds her hands on her lap. Her eyes stare at her hands for a while before darting back to him, steeled with determination. "If you think I'm only interested in a quickie between friends and then we just go back to just that, being friends, well, you're wrong. I'm not that kind of girl. You know that, don't you?"
His heart gives him one hard thump. She said the same thing, though not in those exact words… "Yes…I do."
"Good! Then you know if that ever happened…if I were ever with you like that I wouldn't want it to be that way. I like taking my time with things. I wouldn't want it to be just one time…"
She said that to me, too. What the hell…? "Adelina…"
"And I wouldn't want it to happen just because I'm parading around in my bra and panties and grinding on you like I'm in heat or something. I'd want it to happen because you're really into me, cuteness and all. There is so much more to me than this…"
He stares at her, and she stares at him. He reaches out, and lifts her chin with a finger. Her eyes are subdued, with hidden desire and sheer terror swirling underneath. Her eyes…her eyes shine…just like… Uneasiness overcomes him. The room is thick with tense familiarity. This feeling…I know this feeling…
He looks at her, though he doesn't really see her. It's like he's in a trance. He reaches out and cups her cheeks.
"Henry?" He doesn't hear her.
"Henry, what are you doing…" He doesn't respond as she draws her closer to him.
"Henry, no, wait…"
He covers her mouth with his. Her kiss is warm and sweet with the faint taste of lemon, lavender, and mocha. She resists him, but only for a moment. She leans into him and wraps her arms around his body, deepening the kiss. The scent of fresh, clean perfume floats into his nostrils. When she quiet moans against his mouth, he nearly loses his mind. When the kiss turns into a full-on meeting of the mouths, he completely loses it.
Fuck it, it feels so good…
The memories…here comes the flood of memories, more torrential than the first…
You beautiful, beautiful creature…
She opens herself up to him…
She writhes beneath him, and her final release depends upon him.
She begs him, she whimpers, and she sighs…she wants it hard, she wants it slow, she wants him…she places her legs on his shoulders, allows him to go deeper. She laugh, she cries, she enjoys herself.
She looks beautiful always.
He didn't expect to end up with a beautiful woman like this…
But now that he was…he didn't want the night to end…
Her words haunt him like ghosts tied to the living world…
I'm not real…I'm just a shadow, a fantasy. But I'll always remember you, and I hope you never forget me.
And yet, in this moment, he can feel her, really feel her, as though she never said goodbye…
Adelina…Adelina…I know I'm with you…but I feel like I'm with her again, too…but how is that possible…
Adelina tears herself away from him before he can contemplate any further. She fear marks her face. Tears shine in the corner of her eyes.
"What am I doing?" She's shaking, and pants heavily. The flood washed over her, too. "I can't do this. We can't do this."
Henry trembles as well. But…I don't want to stop. I want to keep going with you… "I think you're wrong."
He reaches for her, but she flinches back. "I, um, I should go. I've got classes tomorrow and homework to get done, and I can't afford to miss anything. Plus, I'm sure you need your rest, so…"
"Adelina." He manages to grab her this time, and pulls her toward him. Her eyes are wild and vibrant. She is both afraid and tempted… again. "Don't be afraid. It's all right."
"We shouldn't do this…" She doesn't struggle against his grip, but he can feel the terror rising from her skin. "I can't do this. I'm not going to lie, it feels so good, but I can't. I just can't."
I have to reassure her…just like that night… "I won't hurt you, Adelina. I won't do anything you don't want me to do."
Her eyes soften. "Yes, you will. And I'll hurt you, too."
"What? I'd never hurt you, and I don't believe for a moment that you would ever hurt me."
She searches his eyes. His uneasiness is dangerously overwhelming. "Don't you know?" He shakes his head. "You wouldn't forgive me. You'll never forgive me." Tears stream her cheeks. "You'd never want to see me again…"
Now, he's very confused. "What are you saying?"
"And you don't even see it yet, do you?" She frees herself from his grasp. "You can't see, can you? You're so focused on one piece that you don't see the entire puzzle."
"I don't know what you're talking about…" Every hair on his body stands on end. This…this is…so familiar…
"There is so much more to me than just one piece, and you still can't see that!" Her voice is raw with pain and anger and she hastily puts back on her clothing. "That's why I couldn't stay! I couldn't do it! It wasn't real, it wasn't real at all, and you act like it is and that's all you see!"
At first, her words make no sense at all. She's upset and she's vulnerable, and he wonders if he there is anything he can do to help her, comfort her. But then, the words begin to sneak in, insidious, through the cracks of his head. Mingling with the uneasiness, it creates slow and steady realization.
I'm not real…I'm just a shadow, a fantasy.
"It wasn't real, it wasn't real at all!"
The way she touched him, and the kiss they shared…it was just like the night at the hotel…the night he couldn't ever seem to forget.
"There is so much more to me than this…"
If you think I brought you up here to simply fuck me, then you're wrong.
"If you think I'm only interested in a quickie between friends and then we just go back to just that, being friends, well, you're wrong. I'm not that kind of girl. You know that, don't you?"
Besides, I'm not that kind of girl…but you know that, don't you?
Two worlds merge – the reality and the memory of his night with the stranger. The surrounds may be different, but the feelings are one in the same. And the eyes, those beautiful eyes…how is it he never noticed before? Adelina's eyes are usually subdued by her cat-eye glasses, but now that they're uncovered and out in the open…they…they…
The woman he seduced…had eyes like that…
Oh. My. God.
In one moment, it all makes sense, perfect sense. The feelings…the reminders of the beautiful stranger whenever he was around Adelina…the peace he felt whenever he was with her…the intense flood of emotions whenever they touched and when they kissed. He knows in his head, it sounds crazy, but crazy isn't always irrational.
Why could he not see it before?
Adelina reminds him so much of the beautiful stranger…
Because…somehow…she must be the beautiful stranger…
He grabs her as she reaches for her bunny hoodie. He can't let her get away. He has to know if he's right…
"Henry!" she cries out. "What are you doing? Let me go!"
He looks deeply into her eyes. He has to see…he just has to see…
"Henry," Adelina begins softly… "Henry, I really need to…"
Her takes her hands into his. The black nail polish is long gone, and but her soft, dainty hands will always remain. And her hair…the waves disappeared, but the long, dark silkiness remains. Her skin is so caramel, that it's delicious.
Adelina and the apparition of the beautiful stranger stand before him…and while there are superficial differences, many similarities remain.
She begins to cry again. "Henry, I really need to go…"
But the scent…the scent that he clung to for so long is different. The stranger's scent was a sexy floral, and Adelina's is sweet and clean. But the similarities are too striking to ignore.
I have to know…I just have to know…
If I tell her this, if I ask her this question, her answer will give it away…
"Adelina," he begins very softly, "why did you leave me all alone?
Her eyes are wide. She opens her mouth to say something…and chooses not to. Her tears speak for her.
"I really have to go, Henry." She takes herself out of his embrace and grabs her hoodie. "Good night."
Adelina ushers herself out his apartment, sobbing. One of her teardrops falls onto his hand. It's warm against his skin…just like hers…
When Adelina gets home, she doesn't bother with pleasantries. She rushes to her room and locks the door. She slides down to the ground, heavy with sadness. She doesn't even attempt to hold back the tears.
Just what the hell did she think she was doing, tempting fate like that? Dropping down to her skivvies wasn't a pre-meditated act of seduction her part – she really wanted to prove a point. She's so sick and tired of people assuming that because of her fondess of all things adorable that she can't be sexy. Henry's assumption was the straw that broke her back. She took pride in proving him wrong, and she wanted him to pay dearly for speaking such horrid words…
But in the end, it was she who paid dearly.
She can still feel his arms around her, his lips against hers. She'd almost forgotten how good a kisser Henry was, and tonight, he did not disappoint. But when the memories of their night together came rushing back, she'd been reminded of why she made it a point to keep things innocent. Whenever they touch, sparks fly. And when they kissed…Mmm…holy shit…
She wanted to take him right then and there.
But now, she'd ruined everything. He figured it out…he figured out her secret – their secret. The way he looked at her…it was the same way he looked at her when they met at the Lucky Lounge. Only this time, she was no stranger – she was herself. Henry was well aware of her personality and he tried to seduce her anyway. But that damn secret got in the way of things…that, and her fear.
If they'd gone all the way…he would truly discover her identity. And then…he'd never forgive me.
Adelina…why did you leave me all alone?
Fear…that's the only way she could explain in.
"What did I do?" she sobs, near hysterics. "What the hell did I just do?"
Author's Note: OMG, this was so hard to write. I wanted it to be in both POVs, but I thought it would be better to have in Henry's for most of the story because, as you have read – he puts two-and-two together this episode! I thought this story would be in five parts, but it turns out that I'm super impatient (haha). Plus, it was only a matter of time before instinct took over and these two would end up doing unmentionable things. They're too attracted to each other – gee, I wonder why!
But poor Adelina! She appears to be confident, but in her own way, she isn't, and I love that about her. And Henry…well, he's so drawn to Adelina, but you've got to admit, he's been looking for sex kitten he slept with and never considered that there's more to the story. I really, really hope I got that across here. So I guess that means it'll all come to head in the final part, which will be one part steamy and one part sweet.
I feel like this is rushed, but at the same time, I don't see the need to devote an entire part to Henry and Adelina hanging out and being innocent. And I think I explained Henry's growing feelings for Adelina, and of course, Adelina is crazy about him. So…yeah.
Anyway, legalities! This story is based on two songs – Wicked Game by Chris Issak (quite possibly the sexiest song I have ever had the pleasure of hearing) and Temptation by Diana Krall (I think her version is a cover, but I am not quite sure). Go listen to the songs on Youtube. They are very sexy.
Okay, seriously, this is it for at least a week or so. I leave for University on Tuesday morning, and I have to get my son and I adjusted. Don't worry, I won't keep you all waiting too long!
Please Read and Review! Thank you to all my reviewers, I love you all! And thank you, dear reader, for reading! -M.N.