Warnings: Mentions of naked. Mentions of sex. Mentions of naked sex. … Annnnnd more sex. Also swearing. But mostly sex. NSFW. In case you were, ya know…still wondering…
A/N: Okay, so this is a pictureless look at the night Carlos spent with Christiana. This whole thing was originally going to be in the previous chapter of Spanish Lullaby, but it got too long, and I felt like it dragged the pace of the story down. Plus, I liked having it be a ‘stand-alone’ kind of piece. I’m pretty confident you can even read it alongside G03Ch56 Mistake… The dialogue, as well as mannerisms and gestures, are all pretty much identical, but we get a whole other dynamic for the reasons behind some of it. Carlos’ memory of this night is exceedingly sharper than Christiana’s. He wasn’t nearly as drunk as she was :b
And also, I am going to warn you again: This has explicit sex scenes described in detail. I don’t know how else to put it. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything this NC17. So I’m nervous. But be warned. Sex sex sex.
This picks up right after his fight with Hector in chapter 6…
He made his way down Harbour St, past the café and the ferry landing. It wasn’t late; most everything was still open and jam packed with college students finishing up their spring breaks. He walked for nearly an hour, easily maneuvering his way from street to street, familiarizing himself with the pattern of them, until he came to a stop in front of a tall brick building with red and black enameled doors and a reverberating beat seeping out from behind them.
Club One. The damn thing was still here.
Without even having made a conscious decision, he was inside, inundated with the bass of the music humming in his chest. He pressed his way through the crowd until he found the bar he’d seen her at, and he felt a wave of hope surge through him when he saw a woman with long red hair standing with a group of friends. He moved toward her, trying to focus more clearly through the dim light and his sunglasses, and she turned her head.
Her nose was broad and bony, with a square jaw line and deep-set eyes. She would have been what one would call a “handsome woman”, but she was not the one he had so hastily assumed she was. He quickly bought a drink before she caught him looking at her, lest she want to strike up a conversation.
He swirled his whiskey in the tumbler, melting the ice. How completely full circle he had come. To go from someone who generally never had to seek out female companionship to all of a sudden ducking his head to avoid conversation…it was a new experience for him, to say the least. He’d been a knight on a conquest to find as many women as possible, and with one girl – and in one night, even – his armor had been weakened. He’d never been the same since.
Not even bothering to finish his expensive drink, he left a dollar for the bartender and left the club, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jacket. He turned in the direction for home, although he was now a good hours’ walk away from it, but he didn’t care. He needed to walk away from the memory of her…
Her name was like a forbidden dream. A mirage. The focus of his memory had seemed to fade over the years, making the edges fuzzy and the colors opaque. But lately, everything had been coming back to him. He didn’t know if it was simply just being here, feeling like he was closer than he’d been in almost six years…or if he’d ever truly forgotten anything at all.
Six years prior…
Carlos tossed the remains of his glass of whiskey, the third of the evening, had anyone been counting, and it was only one-o’clock. He was barely feeling anything, which fed in to his suspicions that the bartender may have been watering down the bottle. It would have typically been something that he cared more about, but tonight…tonight he was simply there to enjoy himself, not to get drunk. He’d done far too much of that the last few days anyway.
The rest of Mark’s groomsmen and a few of their coworkers had already left for the evening, but a few still held their ground. Carlos watched as Trudy – the front receptionist at his and Mark’s precinct who was decidedly overweight, middle-aged, and as conservative as they come – break loose on the dance floor, her sloppy moves enhanced undoubtedly by the amount of sangria and champagne she’d drunk at the reception.
Her glasses were askew, her smile crooked, and her dress clung to her many curves due to her extreme perspiration, but her laugh was robust and full when she’d left clinging to the arm of Harvey, Mark’s bailiff friend he’d met when he’d worked at the courthouse. Carlos nodded and smiled at them when they left, chuckling into his new glass of JD knock-off at her completely polarized personality from every-day-Trudy. Guess you just never knew what a little alcohol can do to expose the fun-side of people.
His eyes roamed across the crowd again, taking note of how many college kids there appeared to be here. There were several, in fact, dressed to kill and out on the dance floor, with their spiky heels and sequined dresses.
The DJ mashed into a new song, one that elicited a cheer from most of the younger crowd, and Carlos grinned to himself when he recognized it as a popular Reggaeton song: a form of Spanish rap and hip-hop incorporating a Dem Bow reggae beat.
Sipping from his glass, he murmured a few words to himself, tapping his foot on the stool rung, and then something – or perhaps the better term was someone – had caught his eye.
A flash of red hair and sun-kissed skin, and boots that came up to her knees on some very long wrap-around-me-twice legs.
Carlos had to set his drink down – she was that intriguing; that stop-drinking-gorgeous.
She was dancing; dancing like she hadn’t ever let herself truly let loose before. She seemed surprised by herself…wanted more. She was absolutely charming with her I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this vibe, and it was sexy as hell. He had already begun trying to think of a way to approach her when Lady Luck played a hand right to him and the girl left her friends to get another drink.
“White Russian, please.” She’d smiled widely at the bartender, her left foot still tapping along with the beat as if she didn’t want to miss out on the fun she’d been having. The bartender was quick and was placing her drink in front of her.
“That’s $7.50,” he’d said, and she’d reached into her little jacket to extract her money. Before Carlos had even thought of it, he had stepped over and placed the money on the bar.
“This one’s on me,” he’d said. He saw her frown down at his hand and then she’d looked up at him quickly. She’d seemed startled, and someone who was not quite used to being picked up in bars, so he’d smiled to put her at ease. “Hello.”
She’d seemed to flounder for the appropriate response, making him smile wider. For as many times as he’d received that type of reaction from women, hers was the first time he was actually proud of it.
She’d blinked and smiled timidly back at him. “Hello.”
He’d introduced himself to her; complimented her dancing. She was younger than he’d first judged her to be, probably in her early twenties…which was enough of an age difference where he should have just said his goodbyes and be done with it, but something held him there. Something elusive.
After a few moments, she’d looked at him quizzically and narrowed her eyes. “Where are you from?” she’d asked, just as her cheeks flooded with color. She’d looked immediately embarrassed for having asked the question. He laughed softly, signaling to the bartender for another glass of whiskey. He liked her innocent curiosity.
“I was born in Puerto Rico, but I left there when I was eighteen.”
She twirled her stir-stick in her drink, her glittering green-gray eyes piercing him to the center of his stomach. “And you came here?” She sipped from her drink, as if to thank him for his generosity. He took a slug of his own, trying to get a hold of his wayward emotions. He shook his head as he swallowed.
“No, I live in Florida…Miami. I am just here for a friend’s wedding.”
She smiled, a small dimple appearing in her cheek that made him nearly go weak in the knees. What was it with this girl?
“Oh. Well, I hope we have impressed you.”
He smiled back at her. “You have.” It was all he could do to keep the inflection out of the first word; for with all the fun and partying this past weekend had brought, this was by far shaping up to be his favorite moment.
“Well, Carlos from Miami, thanks for the drink,” she said, raising her glass. He mimicked her, his eyes cleaving into hers. He had to know this little vixen’s name.
“You’re quite welcome…” He paused, hesitating on purpose in order to fish out her name. She obliged quickly, clinking her glass together with his. “Christiana.”
“Christiana,” he murmured back, testing out the name on his tongue. It was almost exotic sounding, if he could believe it. It flowed off of his tongue easily, the r getting rolled inadvertently as a habit of his first language. “¡Tienes un nombre tan linda!” he said, not realizing at first that he’d spoken in Spanish until he saw the confused look on her face. He quickly translated into English what he’d meant to say.
“You have such a beautiful name.”
“Thank you,” she murmured. She ducked her head shyly, and he again wondered fuzzily through his head what it was about her that had him so captivated. It wasn’t only that she was beautiful…he’d dated plenty of beautiful women in the past. No, it was something about her shy confidence that seemed to be doing it for him. Almost as if she couldn’t dare to believe her own audacity for talking with him…and yet she was determined to keep flirting with him anyway.
He cocked his head to the side, noticing a slight flush of color rising in her cheeks. He shook off the sudden urge to smooth his fingertip across her cheek to feel the heat of her skin for himself. She stared at him for a moment, then squared her shoulders.
“Wanna dance?” She’d placed her hand on her hip, her confidence showing through without her realizing it. Like he’d thought before: Sexy. As. Hell.
He’d followed her into the throng of gyrating bodies, not at all sorry that they were forced to dance improperly close for having just met. She was warm, and smooth, and curvaceous in all the right places. She had good rhythm when she stopped thinking about it, and he’d encouraged her with a hand on her waist, the other drawing her arm up around his neck.
Being that close, having a direct eye line down her shirt…he would have had to have been made of ice not to get a semi for the girl. She’d swayed with him, using all of her body to touch him, rolling her hips against his. He’d grunted beneath his breath at the tease, and she’d looked up at him with heavily lidded eyes before reaching up and brushing her lips against his.
And that was all it took.
For Carlos – who had experienced a lot of kisses in his day – he had never felt a draw like this…not once. It was as if something from her grabbed him and pulled him to her. He couldn’t stop from kissing her back. He couldn’t stop the groan of desire that escaped his throat when he did. She seemed to hesitate, and he only deepened the kiss more, wishing he could kiss her forever. She smelled like cinnamon. She was a thousand times more intoxicating than the whiskey.
She gave a breathy little sigh, her body leaning against his fluidly, and he reacted by embracing her even tighter, not caring that they were literally surrounded by people; he wouldn’t see any of them again, anyway.
Pulling his lips away from hers, he bent and kissed her behind her ear. She gasped audibly and a tremor shook her. He realized they’d both stopped dancing and had moved their way to a remote corner of the dance floor. He had nearly pressed her up against the wall already, and the idea made him chuckle at his eagerness. God, he was acting like he was a teenager getting a shot at his first lay.
“My apartment is a couple blocks over,” she’d said, her voice coming out raspy and out of breath. “Want to go?”
The offer was more than appealing…but he hadn’t planned on leaving with anyone tonight. His plane was leaving early the next morning, and after the long, alcohol-filled weekend, he had meant to get some sleep before the long, cramped, and uncomfortable flight.
But looking down at her wide, bright eyes – seeing her full lips moist and swollen from his kiss – he’d felt his very thin argument fizzle away.
He’d sleep when he was goddamn dead if it meant he’d be spending the night tonight with her.
With a short nod of his head, she grabbed his arm and led him through the crowd with determination, heading straight for the doors. The whiskey he’d been imbibing had finally made his head spin and he followed eagerly, laughing inwardly at her forwardness.
As soon as they were clear of the doors, she swung around and planted her body firmly against the length of him, throwing him off balance. She laughed when he caught her, the sound being trapped beneath his lips as he kissed her hard. When they finally broke apart they were both panting. She half drew him, half stumbled to the right, and he followed her, his head still spinning slightly. Now he was starting to think it wasn’t the drink in particular that was causing it…
“Come on, it’s this way,” she explained over her shoulder as she walked in front of him, leading him into a small, brick building. They made their way up the stairs and into a narrow hallway, where she stumbled, and he steadied her with an arm around her waist. She giggled, and he caught himself beginning to laugh with her. “Careful,” he warned, still chuckling. “Why don’t you tell me which door is yours and I’ll take you there?”
She began laughing even harder. Her laughter was so infectious – throaty and sexy and childlike all at once – and he found it impossible to stop from smiling.
She flapped her hand in front of her face in an attempt to control her laughter. He could see her eyes were watering with the effort. “Omigod I can’t stop laughing…!” She broke out into more giggles, her face red. She tried desperately to sober herself, looking up at him. “I have never done this before, can you tell?”
He chuckled, leaning in. He kissed her lips softly, feeling her laughter vibrating against his lips before it slowly began to lessen. He felt her relax in increments, until her breathing began getting heavier and she was leaning into him. Slowly he lifted his head, staring down at her.
“How drunk are you?” he questioned softly.
She shook her head. “I am a little,” she admitted, letting go of a breath slowly. “But I know what I’m doing.”
“Nothing has to happen if you don’t wish it.” His voice was low and restrained, the words almost a whisper.
Her breath left her in a loud whoosh, and at first he felt a slight surge of disappointment, having guessed that her exhalation was prompted by relief.
To his surprise, it wasn’t.
She pulled his head back down to hers and kissed him until that spinning feeling came back. Damn, she was trouble. He’d never had this type of reaction to a woman before; he was sure his erection could chisel marble in its current state.
Almost as if she’d read his mind, he felt her hand creep shyly down his chest to where the bulge in his pants was prominently on display. Her fingers were feather-light, but it was the swivel of her palm that did him in. He groaned with almost feral intensity against her mouth as she fumbled with the lock behind her.
The minute her keys and purse were dropped he had pulled her against him again, gripping the back of her jacket, bunching the fabric in his hands. He shut the door behind him with the heel of his shoe, breaking contact with her lips only long enough to ask where the bedroom was.
She pointed down the hallway to their left, and he waltzed her backwards, taking a stab at the open doorway, relieved to find a bed in there. He sank to the bed with her, centering himself between her legs. Her skirt was riding up almost to her hips, her hair sprawled beneath her in a warm, mahogany cloud.
He kissed her endlessly, unsure of where one kiss ended and another began. One hand trailed up her side to cup her breast, and he feathered his thumb across her nipple. She was undulating like a cat in heat beneath him, thrusting her breast into his waiting palm, her hips pressing earnestly against his in a rhythm that tore him to pieces.
Muttering a soft swear word he pulled himself away from her, standing so that he could more easily peel his jacket and shirt from him. He turned to close the bedroom door, and he heard her jacket slap against the floor.
Turning back, his hand stilled on the clasp of his belt. Holy Mother of all that is pure…
She had stripped everything but her underwear, standing on her knees on the bed. She looked exquisite. Her skin was ivory smooth and fine, her breasts small but pert and tipped with a deep rouge color that made his mouth just water. Everything male within him seemed to growl with anticipation, and he moved to her before he could even finish unbuckling his belt.
“You are beautiful.” Kneeling in front of her, he raked his thumb across her nipple, watching her eyes glaze over, and she caught her lower lip with her front teeth.
Quickly assessing that she was extraordinarily sensitive there, he ducked his head and pulled the hard bud into his mouth, flicking his tongue against it. He was rewarded when she hissed a breath, and he trailed his lips across her chest to the other side, whispering her name against the soft curve of her breast.
He could feel her trembling in his arms; felt her fingers grasping at his back as if she were unsure of what to do.
With a gentleness he hadn’t known he was capable of at the present moment, he lowered her down to the mattress, tugging her underwear down with a thumb hooked beneath the waistband. He pulled the garment free of her legs, letting it fall to the floor behind him.
God, her legs…! He’d been so distracted by her perfect breasts before he hadn’t been able to focus on her legs. He trailed his fingers gently down her calf, transfixed by the curvature of them. Lifting one, he kissed the tender skin at her ankle, then drew his lips ever-so-slowly up the side of her calf to her knee.
He could feel her shaking, and he stole a glance at her. Her gaze was fixed on her knee where he’d just kissed, and she looked as if she were holding back tears.
Alarmed, he caressed her thigh reassuringly, reassessing his movements to make sure he hadn’t come across as threatening in any way. He never wanted his partners to feel as if he weren’t giving them as much pleasure as they gave him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked quietly, trying to understand the reason behind her sudden shift of mood. Her eyes flickered back to him, as if coming back from a long ago, painful thought. She blinked several times before answering. “N-nothing.”
He held her gaze, seeing the wounded expression leave her features slowly as she relaxed again. So that was it. She’d said she didn’t do this sort of thing, and now he knew the reason why she was: she’d been hurt in love before.
And from the looks of things, she was unused to being the one pleasured, too.
Well, he could change that.
Kissing the inside of her leg again, he continued down the soft expanse of her thigh until he reached the small, trimmed thatch of curls that made a small, narrow vee for him to follow.
Spreading her silken lips open, he watched her face as his tongue lashed out at a small bundle of nerves hidden in their depths. She tensed, seeming to wait for more, and he obliged her, with a longer press of his tongue right where she seemed to want it.
With a long, wild moan, she arched her back off the bed as he continued, and it was all he could do not to dive on top of her and bury himself as deep as he could go.
But he was well known for his will-power…and he was determined to show her a good time.
Easing one long finger inside of her, he stroked her slowly, gauging the rhythm she craved by watching her reactions. She gasped and bucked when he added an upward thrust to his ministrations. A self-satisfied smile tilted his lips as he learned her body; and while she benefited from it.
Bringing her down slowly, he kissed the inside of her thigh, drunk with the scent of her. “Quiero amarte con todo mi ser,” he told her, too crazed with lust to translate into English what he’d said. It seemed she was dazed and all she could do was nod; he could probably have spoken in Pig-Latin and she would have just as blindly agreed to whatever he said.
A soft chuckle escaped him as he slid from her and fumbled quickly with his jeans and boxers. He had barely checked to be sure the condom was on properly before he was back to the bed and centering himself against her core.
And then he was sliding deeper, deeper, deeper inside her until he was as far as her body could allow, and he groaned when her body clenched around him tightly. Primal lust and need began to take over as he moved above her, his breath sawing in and out of his lungs. His blood sizzled; he thrust faster.
Growling low in his throat, he edged away from his impending climax, slowing his pace with a gasp. He smoothed his palm up her side, moving her arm until it was raised above her, resting palm up on the pillow. His fingers entwined with hers, pressing into the pillow as he thrust deep and up like he’d learned she liked. Her mouth fell open and she almost appeared to forget to breathe…
So he did the thrust again.
“Omigaw…!” she gasped, her breath feathering in his ear as he bent to kiss her neck.
And whatever it was – that spinning feeling she seemed to create in him, that magic – grabbed hold of him again, deep in his stomach. Looking down at her as she was close to rapture, he felt, for the first time in his entire life, as if he was one with someone. As if he belonged. “Dejame vivir en tu cuerpo, Querida.”
The words were uttered before he’d even thought them through, and it stunned him. Let me be one with you. He’d never once spoken to a woman on that sort of level of intimacy. Sex had always been a physical extracurricular activity in his book: he’d liked it, sure, what man didn’t, but emotionally, he’d never made that kind of connection.
Before he had a chance to really let that sink in and scare the hell out of him though, she was asking him what he’d said, and he murmured something in English that lost the translation entirely.
Rolling her easily, he positioned her so that she was straddled over him. Her hands slapped against his pecs as she steadied herself, and he directed her hips at the same time he thrust upwards, aiming for that sweet spot he knew drove her crazy.
She cried out, her breath shivering, her nails digging into his skin, her hips bucking wildly as her sheath clamped within her over and over and over. He gritted his teeth, trying with all his might to hold steady, to keep going. What was the date today? October…Octo…Shitfuckshit, she was still coming, or was it the second time now? God…he couldn’t last, he couldn’t hold out, she felt too good…
With a long, low groan of surrender, he slammed his head back into the pillow, his fingers gripping her hips as wave after wave of sensation pulsed thickly within him.
She slid bonelessly atop him, her breasts flattening against his chest as their breathing normalized and their bodies cooled. When he was able to move, he lifted a hand to fan away the hair that had fallen into her face. She cracked an eye open and smiled lazily.
“Oh man, I can hear your heartbeat,” she said, nestling her head against his chest.
He chuckled softly, amused. “Were you expecting not to find one?”
“Just checking that you weren’t a robot or something. That was in-cred-i-ble,” she sighed, dragging out the word.
He laughed again, murmuring his agreement, his hand trailing idly up and down her spine. She was so smooth; like she was made of silk. He felt her shiver, and he looked down in time to see a tear splash from the end of her nose down to his chest before she hastily swiped away the evidence. With his thumb, he gently brushed away the wetness from her cheek, examining her.
“Do you normally cry after incredible sex?” he asked quietly.
She laughed softly, pushing herself up so that she could look at him. “I’ve never had incredible sex,” she said honestly. She lifted a shoulder and smiled wryly. “Maybe mediocre at best, but that’s stretching.”
His hand travelled to her hair, caressing her head. Gently he turned her so that they were laying side by side, facing each other. “That,” he said slowly, smoothing his hand over her skin from her shoulder to her hip and back again. “Is a horrible disservice to someone as beautiful as you.”
He pulled her hand away from her body slowly, bringing her knuckles to his lips, and he spoke against them, his eyes never leaving hers. “You deserve to be respected…” He kissed her knuckles softly. “…Honored…” He turned her hand over, dropping a kiss into her palm. “…Loved…” He kissed the inside of her wrist, closing his eyes and inhaling the sweet scent of her skin when he did. “…Each and every time.”
Her eyes were glittering crystals of sea-green as she watched him, her throat working as she swallowed. She blew out a shaky breath of air. “Are you sure you have to go back to Florida?” she whispered.
A long skein of hair had fallen over her shoulder, curling against her smooth skin. He lifted it, fanned the tresses between his thumb and forefinger, documenting how soft they were and not understanding the disappointment that burned through him with the coming answer. “Yes, I’m sure.”
He saw her nod in understanding from the corner of his eye, but her brow was furrowed, as if she weren’t any more pleased with the answer than he was. He carefully replaced the lock of hair he was holding. She reached out, placing her hand firmly on his arm.
“Stay,” she said quietly. “For the night, I mean. Please?” Her eyes were wide and sparkling, the dark pupils surrounded by an ever shifting color of green and silver.
He swallowed, knowing without a doubt that if he stayed, he’d be tempted never to leave; her pull on him was that strong. But if he left now…how long would he regret it?
The night stretched before him. If he left now, he’d only go back to his hotel room to try and sleep but he knew he would be unsuccessful, thinking of his time he’d just spent with her. If he stayed, it would make his normal clean-break, no-strings-attached farewell speech all the more harder to deliver in the morning.
He should leave. Make it easier on her. On him.
But he didn’t.
Without a word, he bent his head to hers, kissing her lips, rolling her body sideways until she was beneath him. The fires that he had assumed were extinguished came roaring back to life within him, and he felt the same in her as she kissed him back.
And how could he possibly leave when there was someone as warm and willing as this beautiful creature wrapping her arms around him, encompassing him in this newly invasive passion he’d never yet experienced until this night? He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.
If this was the only time he’d have with her, he’d see it to the end, to the very last second. He’d deal with the consequences after.
With a snort, he stopped walking briefly and rubbed the back of his neck.
‘Deal with the consequences after.’ If he’d only known. Years of looking for the same connection, being disappointed each time he couldn’t achieve it; the consequences were a lot more than he’d originally bargained for.
Letting himself into the darkened apartment, he peeled his jacket from him carefully, hanging it on the hook in the hall. With a sigh, he turned into the living room, silently grateful that his brother and Anastasia had gone to bed. He sank into one of the armchairs and took off his sunglasses, rubbing his eyes tiredly. My God, he was exhausted…
And the next thing he knew, he was fast asleep. He slept the entire night slumped in the chair…his last thoughts a stubborn determination never to think about Christiana and her magical hold over him ever again.