She lays on her stomach, hugging the pillow to her cheek, and she smiles softly to herself as she feels his fingertips trace the slope of her spine, followed by his lips, the scruff of his beard scratching at her sensitive skin, almost making her shiver. She was surprised the first few times that he did this because this isn’t something that she would have ever thought he would do. But afterwards is when he takes his time with her.
When she shows up at his hotel room every night after leaving the hospital or meeting him there after a round at Joe's, it usually is so rushed and hurried between them, sometimes neither being able to get to the bed and he will just push her against the wall and have her there. They don’t touch each other in the hospital and getting through the day with their sanity intact becomes a battle of wills to see who can make it. The sex between them at night – the first time anyway – is always bordering on near-desperation, the need and want to get as close as possible and feel that connection between them driving them to the brink.
Afterwards though is when everything slows down, when his hands and lips trace her body, when he counts freckles and asks about how she got a certain scar. She does the same to him and she loves discovering new things about him, like the small ticklish area on the right side of his body directly beneath his ribcage or how his toes will literally curl when she tongues the patch of skin right above his bellybutton.
They have a lot more in common than they, or anyone for that matter, would ever think. Disappointment in their fathers. The strong desire to be wanted by someone. The hollow loneliness that settles directly in the middle of their chests. The determination to always be the best at everything they do because secretly, they just want someone to approve of them and be proud of them.
She sighs his name softly, contently, as he draws a slow circle on the small of her back and she can feel him smile against her skin, his tongue darting out to lick her, tasting the salty sweat taste of her from their earlier activities, and she gasps, making him chuckle slightly.
He rolls onto his side next to her, propping up on his elbow, his hand continuing its random patterns on her bare back and she smiles up at him. His eyes settle intently on her and she locks hers with him, watching one another as he touches her.
This was the last thing she expected when she showed up to his hotel room all of those weeks ago for the first time, boldly stripping in front of him while asking him to teach her. He had stood there, shocked into stillness but even now, she doesn’t know why it had surprised him so much. He was the one who had been teaching her to grow a backbone and go after what she wanted. She was there because of him.
She still is there because of him though her reasons have completely changed now. That first night, she was expecting sex – sweaty, hard sex that would make her feel close to someone for a few hours. But this, this tenderness he is showing her, she wonders if he has shown it to anyone else. She doubts it though. She knows all about the reputation he insists on upholding despite hating it himself. She has become addicted to this side of him that she never would have expected him to have.
She feels guilty for having judged him before truly knowing him because she knows exactly what it feels like to be perceived by a person before them ever getting to know her and she should know better than to judge him because if anyone has hidden layers beneath their exterior, it is him.
His fingers curl around her hip and slowly begins gently pushing her and she complies, rolling onto her back, her eyes still looking up at him, his watching her face so intently, she almost feels herself begin to blush. He leans down and frees her bottom lip from her teeth using his own and she lifts her hands, raking her fingers first through his graying hair and then resting them on his cheeks, cupping his face, keeping his lips connected to hers.
His hand moves up to between her breasts and she gasps into his mouth as his fingers brush over the hardening nipple of her left breast.
“Do you like that?” He murmurs against her lips and she manages to nod, their mouths never breaking apart.
“You know exactly what I like,” she whispers breathlessly and even with her eyes closed, she can feel his lips curl into a smile.
And when she lifts her leg, hooking it around the back of his thighs, he kisses her harder and settles his body down on top of hers.
“That goes both ways, Little Grey,” he tells her and it is her turn to smile.