The Gift of Love

For James…


“How is this romantic?” Stella whispered over her shoulder.

On the flat screen TV across the room a man in a rain slicker was screaming. His perfectly polished fire ax swung through the air and embedded deep into the skull of another man, his co-worker or something. Not that she cared that much. Watching a crazed man chop someone to bits wasn’t exactly her idea of a hot date.

“American Psycho is a classic.” Jim answered simply, like that explained everything.

“It’s kind of creepy, honey. I was all for seeing Christian Bale’s ass, but does there have to be so much blood?” She cringed as yet more blood splashed across the screen.

Jim’s arms tightened around her waist. The reassuring warmth of him at her back soothed some of the unease knotted in her stomach. Slasher flicks gave her nightmares. Always had and probably always will. Stella couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy watching someone being murdered. Real or not, the movies gave her the creeps. They reminded her that life wasn’t all sunshine and teddy bears. At any moment a freak in a rain slicker could jump out and try to chop her head off. God knew something similar had happened in town just a few weeks ago.

Goosebumps marched up and down her arms at the thought. The news reports were so detailed she didn’t need pictures to haunt her. The vividness of her imagination filled in the blanks and cost her a few precious nights of sleep.

“Nothing will hurt you as long as I’m here.” Jim brushed her hair aside and kissed the soft spot just behind her ear.

Stella shivered at the delicate brush of lips. He was always so gentle with her. Gestures like that almost made her forget that her lover was nearly twice her size and could lift her with one arm. A feat he did often in the confines of her bedroom.

Their bedroom.

After losing a few nights of sleep Stella had asked him to stay over. Having his large body invading her personal sanctuary was the lesser of two evils. Normally very private, she worshipped her privacy like some worship invisible gods. She’d been on her own since moving out of her mother’s house after high school. The silence of an empty apartment was a blessing after the insanity of work.

Until the silence turned on her and became the stuff of nightmares.

“You’re thinking too hard.”

“Its nothing.” Stella tried to shrug her bad mood off like it was an old, battered backpack.

“Liar.” Strong fingers tipped her head back so Jim could see her face clearly. “This look isn’t ‘nothing’.”

His eyes stared down into hers. Stella felt like he was trying to look straight into her soul. He always had a way of knowing what she was thinking long before she could voice it. On one hand it was reassuring. On the other it annoyed her that she was so easy to read while his innermost thoughts remained his own. The man was impossible to read at times.

Turning her face away, Stella tried to figure out how to explain herself without sounding like a complete loon. In her experience only insane people worried about being murdered as often as she did. The possibility for danger was always lingering in the corner of her mind. Every situation she went into was fully planned out, complete with escape routes and modes of self-protection. She’d gone to so many self-defense classes that they’d asked her to start teaching a weekly class at the YMCA. Yet still she never felt safe.

Except for the few precious moments when Jim held her and treated her like the fragile flower she felt she was. Those were empowering moments. But not even the safety of his arms could chase off the new worries the movie brought on.

A blood-chilling scream cut off the list of crap cluttering her brain. Stella jumped in Jim’s grasp and went tumbling off the couch. Her ass hit the floor with a fleshy thump. The jolt ran up her spine and she knew her tailbone would be bruised for a couple days.

On the TV the psycho had traded in his ax for a chainsaw. The threatening buzzing drowned out the woman’s screaming momentarily. She had a moment to wonder how a man wielding a chainsaw could be threatening while nude. Something about the scene struck her as silly. Most of the men she knew wouldn’t even put a safety razor near their crotch to shave let alone a chainsaw blade.

She sat on the floor and watched the movie. Secretly she hoped the man would cut his dick off. That would teach him. A disappointed groan escaped her lips when the scene ended and his manhood was still intact. Movies never did things right.

“Are you alright?” Jim asked as his hands slipped under her arms. Using that incredible strength she treasured so much, he hoisted her back on the couch and onto his lap.

“Just a bruised ego.” Stella replied. Her face burned with embarrassment.

“I can kiss it all better.” He grinned down at her, a twinkle of mischief in his eyes.

“Turn off the movie first. The screaming and bloodshed isn’t making me feel sexy at all.” Her hand slid over his forearm. One finger dipped into the bend of his elbow to tease at the soft, sensitive skin.

“Bet I could make you forget the movie was even on.” Jim said softly. His head lowered down towards hers in an attempt to steal a kiss.

Stella’s free hand shot up to cover the luscious temptation of his mouth and frowned up at him. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that he could make her forget what she’d seen. But she didn’t want to give in to him that easily. He won almost all of their arguments with just one kiss or caress. A girl started to feel out classed when the guy always won.

“The movie goes off or these lips won’t touch an inch of your skin.” For emphasis she licked her top lip and slowly drew her bottom one between her teeth. If he could cheat at this little game then so could she.

Jim let out a low growl. His gaze locked on her lips. He looked like a dehydrated man that’d found a river of fresh water. Stella couldn’t help but smile. That look on his face was so endearing. Even after all the time they’d been together he still wanted her with a need that burned the both of them.

“You aren’t playing fair, baby.” He spoke around her hand. His muffled words were strained and only made her smile wider.

His fingers walked up her arm and gently pried her hand away from his mouth. One kiss sizzled the palm of her hand; another brushed the inside of her forearm. Heat simmered in Stella’s veins while Jim kissed his way up her arm to her shoulder. Teeth nipped at the thin strap of her tank top and started to drag it off her shoulder.

“I’m not the one blatantly cheating now.” She shrugged away from his wandering mouth and rolled out of his lap.

Jim gave another growl. His eyes raked over her body with such heat she could almost feel it. Continuing the tease, Stella ran her hands where his eyes fell. Slowly she caressed her hips, stomach, ribcage. Her hands stalled just below the swell of her breasts. The material of her flimsy tank top stretched over the ample bounty the creator blessed her with. Proof of her rising desire pressed against the fabric, twin pinpoints tempting the man in front of her.

“That’s it.” He snarled. Wildly a hand shot over to the end table, snatching up the TV remote. A flurry of gunshots echoing from the movie died instantly.

Stella gave a triumphant smile. Finally she’d managed to win an argument with him. “Now its time to reward your good behavior.” She purred.

“You’re torturing me, baby.”

“No I’m not. Stop pouting.”

Dropping to her knees, Stella crawled back towards the couch. Like a predator her eyes sized up the prey about to be taken down. Jim shifted to sit on the edge of the couch just as she reached for it. Instead of grabbing the cushion, her fingers gripped the stiff fabric of his jeans. She gave a startled yelp and pulled her hand back.

“You did that on purpose.” Stella sat back on her knees and glared up at him.

Jim just smiled and reached down for her hands. Gently he pried them off her thighs and brought them up to rest on his. Fingertips worked up her arms to her shoulders. With a flick he sent strands of her unruly red hair back over her shoulders. Stella couldn’t read the look on his face now. He seemed to be concentrating way too hard for what they were doing.

“That was an accident. This is on purpose.” Work-worn fingers slid under the straps of her tank top and pulled them down off her shoulders. They kept pulling until the straps wrapped around her elbows, trapping her arms to her side and bearing her breasts to his hungry gaze.

Even though she knew she could free her arms, she didn’t. Stella worried that if she moved he would stop and that was the last thing she wanted. Now that the movie was no longer a distraction she had one focus. The man slowly stripping her had far too many clothes on. It was a problem she could fix soon enough.

Jim’s eager hands slid up her arms. Instead of slipping down to explore the flesh he exposed, they worked into the thickness of her hair. Using it like a lever, he brought her up on her knees so he could taste the sweetness of her mouth. His lips worked over hers with an expertise that never failed to steal her breath. Stella gasped for him and he stole the chance to probe the warmth of her mouth with his tongue.

They fed at each other’s mouth like it was ambrosia. Someone was moaning. Stella was surprised to find she was the one making so much noise. Normally her responses weren’t so vocal. There was something about Jim’s intensity tonight that drove her to vocalize the fire he’d set to her core. Lust raged in her veins out of control, urging her to lean into the solid wall of his chest. Her nipples brushed the fabric of his shirt.

Giving a growl of her own, Stella struggled out of the confines of her tank top and reached for the hem of his shirt. She barely pulled back from the kiss in time to yank the offending fabric over his head. Jim gave a startled laugh. The deep rumbling in his chest changed to a groan when she closed the gap between them again. Her aching breasts pressed tight against his chest. Small hairs teased her skin like so many extra fingers.

“Slow down or I’m taking you right here.” He gasped against her lips.

“I don’t care if I get rug burn on my ass.” Stella growled past her building frustration. Surely he had to feel the same way.

“That’s my girl.” Jim beamed down at her. The smile tightened something low in her body and drew another soft moan from her lips.

He shifted down off the edge of the couch to kneel in front of her. Strong arms wrapped her slight form up and pulled her close. She felt almost frail with the need threatening to shatter her to pieces. His mouth found the pulse in her neck, nipping and licking until she was a puddle of need. Only his arms kept her from crumbling onto the floor.

Stella locked her hands in his hair. It was just long enough for her to get a good grip. Using that grip she urged him to move. If she’d been able to form a coherent sentence she would ask, but he’d nibbled that function right out of her head.

Her lips ached for another kiss but Jim seemed to have other plans in mind. He took one last lick up the length of her neck and used the distraction to move lower. Lips and gentle nips continued their assault on her senses until that was all she could think of. His movements hypnotized her.

“I…” Stella started but the thought was stolen as Jim started to lay her back on the floor.

“You what, baby?” He asked almost absently, each word punctuated by a kiss edging down her stomach.

“I uhh…” What was she going to say? It had to be important if she was trying to speak while his mouth worked evil on her senses.

Jim paused at the waistband of the shorts she’d pulled on for their little date. Actually they were a pair of novelty boxers. The silk felt great against her skin, even more so now that he’d set fire to every nerve ending in her body. His fingers toyed with the elastic.

“Come again? I didn’t hear you.” The knowing grin on his face made her blush.

“You are so horrible.” Stella groaned.

“That’s not what your body is telling me.” To prove his point he dipped his hand down into her shorts. Slowly his fingers stroked her cleft, barely parting the folds. The tease was excruciating.

“Oh god.” She panted, her hips writhing under the slight touch.

“Just like I thought.” Jim pulled his hand free and held it up to the light. The tips of his first two fingers glistened with her wetness.

With exaggerated strokes of his tongue he licked his fingers clean. Stella stifled another moan at the sight, silently wishing he would strip her and take a taste from the source instead of teasing her so horribly.

“Do you want a taste?” He asked as his hand snaked back into her shorts and began to work her again. His deft fingers slipped between her folds to find the throbbing nub of desire. Slow circles over that oh-so sensitive spot had Stella writhing beneath him before she could even think of how to answer. Finally she managed a weak nod.

Instead of pulling his hand free and letting her lick his fingers as he’d done, Jim crawled down to her feet. Roughly he jerked the silk boxers away, leaving her bare to his eyes. Stella yelped in surprise and clamped her legs closed to his heated gaze. She felt woefully underdressed while he still had his pants on.

Carefully he slid his hands between her knees and pried them apart. Before she could close them on him again, he laid down between them. Stella saw a flash of smile before Jim’s face buried into her. His tongue took over the circling rhythm of his fingers, working her to a fever pitch. All she could do was hold on to the soft strands of his hair tickling her stomach and enjoy the ride. Once he set his mind on pleasuring her there was no stopping. Not that she was stupid enough to try and stop him.

Between one lap of his tongue and the next, Stella’s world shattered. The orgasm swept over her like a tidal wave. A hot, wet, electrified tidal wave. It stole the breath from her lungs and robbed her of her sight. Everything boiled down to bright flashes of brilliance with each jolt of pleasure flickering thought her body. She was only vaguely aware of the absence of Jim’s wicked tongue.

Something sticky sweet swept into her mouth. Stella licked at it and moaned. The heady mixture of Jim and her own fluids sent another jolt of need to her core. Her arms shot up to lock behind his neck, holding him place so she could lick her own sweet nectar from his lips.

Holding his weight off of her with one arm, Jim fumbled around with the other to unfasten the button of his jeans. Stella growled into his mouth and reached down to bat his hand aside. Quickly she unbuttoned his jeans and tugged the fly down. Her fingers delved into the rough denim searching for him.

“I need this.” She hissed as her fingers wrapped around the warm velvet hardness.

“It’s all yours, baby. Don’t need to ask.” Jim’s words were stilted giving away just how much control he was using at that moment.

Stella gave a satisfied grin and worked her fingers up his shaft until just the tips touched him. She traced a circle around the silky smooth head. Her hand pulled free of his jeans, punctuated by a groan of disappointment from above her.

With a chuckle she wiggled out from under him and reached for his pants. Jim beat her to the punch. He jumped to his feet, yanking the bothersome pants down and taking his underwear with it. The evidence of his desire bobbed in the air just inches from Stella’s watering mouth. It was her turn to torture him for a little bit.

Closing the gap between them, Stella rose up on her knees and laid a kiss on the head of his erection. Another kiss fell lower on the shaft, and another, and another, until she worked her way to the base. One last kiss on the swaying weight below his shaft brought a hiss from above her.

Stella bit her lip and looked up at Jim. “Do you want me to stop?”

“You better not.” He growled and reached down to sink his fingers into her fiery hair.

Good. She didn’t want to stop. The sense of power she got from pleasuring him was almost as good as anything he did to her in return. Already the throbbing between her legs had begun to grow again. Stella shifted eagerly and set her sights on making him beg.

Her tongue darted out and licked slowly up his shaft. When she reached the tip the warm wetness smoothed around his head in painfully slow circles. Stella pulled back to blow gently across the cooling wet before finally taking him into the warmth of her mouth. Jim groaned, his hips thrusting slightly before he caught himself. She ran a hand up his thigh, up to cup around the base of his cock.

Quickly she set a rhythm with her mouth and hand working over him. Her tongue stroked back and forth as her lips caressed him. Soon enough Jim had a death grip on the back of her head. The tension in his body vibrated down into Stella, exciting her so much more than before.

“God, you have to stop or I’m going to burst.” He panted. His hands shook against the back of her head.

Stella pulled back and looked up at him again. Sweat glistened across his forehead. The tendons in his shoulders and arms stood out against the brawny muscles. She made a show of licking the slightly salty taste of him off her lips before standing.

“You are trying to kill me, woman.” Jim groaned.

“Only a little.” She teased.

With a fierce growl Jim wrapped his arms around Stella’s waist and lifted. On instinct her legs wound around his hips. The warm length of his shaft pressed right against her core, tearing a cry from her lips. The throbbing that’d become unbearable while she played her mouth over him was roaring now.

Wantonly Stella writhed in his arms. The soaking wetness left from Jim’s ministrations helped her slide over him, working at her aching nub. The force of her need pulled a cry from her lips.

Smooth cold came up behind her suddenly. Stella reached back and felt the slightly bumpy texture of wallpaper under her fingertips. She smiled and resumed working herself over him. Release was so close. She could feel it waiting to rip her into a billion particles.

“So impatient tonight. I like it.” Jim whispered. His hot breath tickled her neck. Goosebumps followed in its wake.

His teeth sank into her shoulder at the same time as he shifted to penetrate her. Stella clung to him tight, a scream tearing from her lips. It seemed so loud to her ears. Jim’s strong arms bounced her up and down on his cock. Another scream built in her throat. Just as it burst from her lips, she returned the favor and bit into the side of his neck. His frantic pulse beat against her tongue in odd syncopation with his thrusts.

Stella pulled back from his throat. Angry red welts were already filling in the dents from her teeth. A wave of satisfaction welled in her and turned into something hot a needy. It sent her over the edge. An orgasm claimed her as surely as the first had. This time the scream filled the air around them. Her inner muscles milked his shaft, urging him to join her.

Jim’s pace faltered once, twice, three times before he finally let himself go. The warm burst of his release sent Stella spiraling into yet another orgasm. She had no breath left to scream, no strength left to cling on to her lover. He had rendered her a well-satisfied puddle. Somewhere in the back of her head she knew that was his plan. It always was. The man took more pleasure from her orgasms than she did sometimes.

Slowly Jim peeled away from the wall. His arms held on tight to keep Stella from melting through his fingers. She had that dazed look in her eyes that meant a job well done. He had just enough strength left to walk to the bedroom.

Carefully he deposited her on the bed and crawled on next to her. Stella snuggled into the damp warmth of his chest. Her breaths were uneven and raspy. If she could move her legs, she’d of thrown one over his and snuggled in even closer. Instead she had to be satisfied flinging a limp arm onto his chest.

For a while she laid there listening to the strong beat of his heart as it slowed back down to normal. It was the perfect end to a strange date. With a shock she realized that she didn’t want the moment to end. Somehow the idea of sleeping snuggled up with Jim had become the norm for her. And that was all right with her. She, who thrived for a moment alone, finally accepted that sometimes life is better when you have someone to share the silence with.

Jim pressed a kiss to the top of her head as though he sensed the strange turn of events in her head. “Is everything okay?”

Stella smiled and kissed his chest, right over his heart. “Everything is perfect.”


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