Friday, June 3, 2011

Dreams and Nightmares

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Today's words: grin, jumble, naked

Some stories need to be told. Miranda's begins here.

And now, it continues...

* * *

Dreams and Nightmares

Craig stood in the doorway wearing loose jeans and a snug, white t-shirt. One hand rested on his hip, the other held the door open. His face held no expression and he made no move to let her in. Miranda began to think this was a bad idea. Maybe she’d read the cues wrong.

“Are you…are you going to ask me in?”

“What? Oh. Sure.” Craig stepped aside.

She brushed by him, dropped her shoes inside the door that opened into the living space of the small, tidy apartment. Craig inhaled her scent; the woodsy, vanilla aroma he’d come to associate with her. Chocolate chip cookies baking on a campfire. Somehow, it was both comforting and erotic.

Miranda set the bottle of wine on the coffee table. “Should I have called first?”

“No. This is fine. How was the wedding?” He needed to make small talk. If he didn’t, he’d devour her.

“It was beautiful. Really beautiful.” Miranda wandered around the apartment, picking up photographs of his family. The fresh faces of his daughters smiled back at her.

“Were there a lot of people?”

“Too many.”

Craig shoved his hands in his pockets. “What happened when you saw him?”

Miranda turned to him, wrapped her arms around her waist. “Not what I expected.”

Craig pursed his lips, nodded, cursed himself for waiting. It was too late. He blew it.

“I was surprised, actually.” Miranda took a step toward him. “Maybe the marriage didn’t work, but there was all the time before that. When things were good. You know what I mean?”

He didn’t know where the pain came from, but he ached so much he could hardly breathe. “Yeah. I know.”

She was a whisper away from him now, peering up with those innocent eyes that teased, her fragrance swirling around him.

“And when I realized it, you were the first person I wanted to tell.”

He actually groaned. Why was she torturing him like this? “You wanted to tell me?”

Miranda nodded, a wicked grin playing on her lips. She moved in, pressed against him. “I wanted to tell you…” her lips moved against his as she spoke “…when I saw him, I only thought of you.” She traced her tongue across his jaw. The evening stubble was rough and made her skin hum. “I only thought of being with you. Like this.”

It took only a moment for those words to register, for Craig to realize she’d come here to seduce him and not to tell him she was going back with that idiot. He spun her around and pressed her against the wall. Words jumbled as they devoured, promised, pleaded, cursed.

In a practiced move, he lowered the zipper of her dress and let the fabric fall to the floor. Beneath was a lacy strapless bra and a tiny swatch of red lace at her crotch.

The thrill of power shot through Miranda when he sucked in his breath. She ran a manicured thumb across his lips. “You’re drooling,” she teased. “Let me get that.” She flicked her tongue at the corner of his mouth.

When he pulled her up, she wrapped her legs around him and he carried her to his bedroom, lay her down on the bed. As she scooted up towards the pillows, he crawled on all fours above her, his eyes following every movement, every curve.

It wasn’t the need ripping through her that made her heart stop. It was the look in his eyes; desire that promised and threatened. She couldn’t say which excited her more.

She reached for him, pulled him down so he stretched out on top of her. Miranda tried to flip him over so they would reverse positions, so she could take control—it was how she felt most comfortable. But Craig resisted. He pressed her back into the bed, cupped her face with his hands.

“Let me.”

His hands explored, softly, tenderly; his mouth teased. The roaring in her ears masked the mewling sounds she made as his tongue danced. Miranda floated higher and higher, her hips bucking, pleading, as she soared over the edge.

Craig skimmed his hands over her hips, trailed wet kisses up her belly, cupped his hands around her breasts, nuzzled her neck. He breathed promises into her ear, suckled on her lobe. Her breathing was heavy now, and the needy mewling sounds she made drove him wild. He skimmed his hands over her shoulders, down her arms and linked his fingers with hers, pulled them up over her head.

He felt her stiffen, saw her eyes go wide as saucers and the terror snap through them like lightening. Anger warred inside him as he fought against the need to maim the bastard who’d made a passionate woman cringe like a beaten child.

He held both of her hands in one of his, her fists angry bunches beneath his palm. She bucked her hips, not in passion as before, but in anger and fear.

“Please don’t do this, Craig.” Her voice broke as she pleaded. It tore him apart.

He cupped her face with his free hand. “I won’t hurt you.” His voice was barely a whisper. “Look at me, Miranda.” He held her, waited until her eyes locked onto his. “I promise I won’t hurt you. I’m not him, baby.”

She closed her eyes. Swallowed. Nodded. A singled tear leaked down her cheek and he kissed it away, flicked his tongue over the salty wetness. It pained him when she shuddered, but he pushed through it.

He brushed his lips along the softness below her ear, nipped at the delicate skin on her neck, one hand still restraining hers. As he nuzzled her throat, whispered her name over and over, her fingers unclenched, clasped with his. To test, he trailed his hands down her arms, over her breasts, then back up. It pleased him when she clutched them and pulled her arms higher with his, arched up in need. The climb was achingly sweet, and he dove with her when she plunged off the wall she’d begun to break down.

Afterwards, her head rose and fell with his breathing as it lay on his chest.

“Thank you for that.”

“The pleasure was mine.”

Miranda giggled. “That’s not what I meant.”

Craig brushed his hand across her hair. “I know what you meant.” He pressed a kiss on her head. “Will you stay?”

She lifted her head and tried to read the meaning behind the question. Just tonight, or longer? Forever, crossed her mind. She hesitated only a moment before she broke her own rule.

“I’ll stay.”

Later, when she woke naked and kicking, shoving at the terror that chased her each night in her dreams, she wondered if Craig regretted asking her.

* * *

Miranda's story continues.


Spook The Scribbler said...

Woohoo, racy! Very nicely done - I admire your skill with intimacy, I really do! Nicely sensitive, but just racy enough to make me do little virginal girly twitters xD

Aww, bittersweet ending there too! Still, I'm rooting for Miranda and Craig to fit *grins*

Monica Manning said...

Thanks, Spook! I'm rooting for Miranda and Craig, too.

Heather said...

Oh Monica, you use your writing space so much better than I do mine. It's always a pleasure to read what you've written. Thank God for technology that gives me access to it.

Beautifully done.

Monica Manning said...

Heather...What are you talking about?! Your work is great. And you're much more disciplined than I am. But I thank you for the kind words. I've been feeling blue lately and it's nice to have my blogger friends around.

Deborah said...

Brilliant Monica, and as always I'm left wanting to read on ...