In the space between night and first light they shifted positions. Sliding out from under her John pulled the covers over them and draped Evangeline firmly over his body; his hands lightly exploring her as she slept. Part of him didnít want to disturb her sleep but if she happened to awaken wellÖ.
John was jolted when the sounds of the early morning gave way to music. He recalled they hadnít turned off the stereo; the volume was low in the bedroom as he tried to think how to shut off the music without going downstairs but couldnít remember how Evangeline did it. He didnít want to move. Every contact point of her body with his was warm, charged and too sweet to pull away from. He remained stunned that she was still with him. She hadnít fled in horror or walked away out of disgust or boredom. He had tried to prepare his heart to just be her summer fling. He couldnít believe the first days of 2005 found them still togetheróworth fighting for. She could have her pick of men from Original Gangstas like RJ to men who planned to be king. John had noted Kevin sitting up straighter whenever Evangeline came on the scene. He was sizing her up, testing to see how Evangeline Williamson Buchannan rolled off the tongue in a campaign pitch. Or on the charge card of a rich manís wife. When John looked at Kevin watching Evangeline he knew Kevin was appraising her trophy appeal and found it very high. Evangeline, like Blair, was a difficult woman to hold on to they were too smart, self-assured, too beautiful and quick to get away from a man; too alluring and aware of their own "want" factor. Both could and would kick a man to the curb and never look back. Unless they loved him, needed him, felt him so deep in their souls and knew he completed something within them. To be the chosen of such women, well, John knew just how Todd feltóhe wasnít special enough. Yet she stayed. Why?
"Someone wants the license to adore you/To Light the lamp and keep it burning just for you/To stroke you and caress you and to ask the Lord to please bless you./Someone wants to fill your cup/Someone wants to lift your heart up/Someone wants to rewrite your destinyÖWhy shouldnít it be me?/Holding you gently/Loving you sweetly/Taking care of all your needs/Why shouldnít it be me?...
John felt her breath and the words curled into his ears "Standing in the street/Looking at the stars/You sense youíre all alone/But you got it all wrong/Someone wants to protect you from all harm/To be your umbrella/Throughout the stormÖWhy shouldnít it be me?"
"How long have you been awake?" he asked.
"Not long. I was dreaming about you and this song was the soundtrack. I woke up thinking I was still caught up in the dream." Evangeline stretched and her body undulated lightly against his and the warmth John felt kicked into a blast of hungry heat. "Youíve started dreaming about me?" he asked into the sudden silence, "Evangeline?"
"Hmmm, ah, yesóa couple of times. Iím not responsible for what I dream!"
"Tell me about them."
He dangled a morsel for thought, "Iíll tell you if you tell me."
"You dream about me?" she raised up slightly to look at him.
"First, do we have a deal?" he teased.
Van shifted and looked deeply in his eyes, "Youíre teasing me. You donít dream about me."
"No, Iím not. Teasing is slowly undressing, mounting me and giving me the best backrub of my life. Teasing is being draped over meóIím naked and youíre not."
She tossed her head and let the strands caress his chest and arms, "Thatís not teasing; thatís physical innuendo." She held his gaze until his head sank deeper into the pillows "I give up. I should know better than to engage in wordplay with an attorney!" "Indeed." she cooed smugly and snuggled deeper against him and they drifted back to sleep.
When John woke up again it was full daylight. He was pleased she was still wrapped around him. His fingers slid through her hair to her shoulders and continued to travel. John was caressing her buttocks when he fully realized he was touching skin, not the silk of her nightgown. Sometime in the morning sheíd removed it.
Both of his hands returned to her backside, lightly tracing patterns and squeezing. Even in her sleep she opened for him; her legs parting, granting him admittance. Slipping his fingers between her legs he groaned aloud at her moistness. Was she dreaming of him or aware of him in the present?
"Evangeline?" he spoke softly so as not to startle her into wakefulness. He kept one hand exploring her wetness and brought the other to her shoulders turning her onto her back while he turned onto his side. His mouth sought her breasts, flicking his tongue over each in turn then returning to suck and feast on them; parched and getting respite by devouring each as fully as his mouth could handle. He felt her shifting in his embrace, heard her whisper his name, felt her breathing change as he tasted her. John raised his head and lost himself in her heated eyes wide open with passion and pleasure as his fingers continued to find and activate every pleasurable sensation in her body.
"Johhhn," Evangeline moaned as she arched her back and spread her legs more "donít stop, please."
"Your pleasure is mine. Tell me what you want, Evangeline."
"You. Just you."
"Like this?" as he buries his face in her neck his hair brushing over her, whispering her name. "Or like this?" as his fingers press deeper inside her.
"Or like that?" as he took her breasts in his mouth again pressing them together to lick both nipples at once. He raised his head and pulled back slightly to watch her bodyís gyrating motions at his touch. To satisfy her completely was everything; both of them losing control and the world falling away was all that mattered.
Vanís hand was in his hair pulling him close for a kiss. His arms went around her as their tongues explored and tasted each other. She rolled him onto his back saying, "Wait, wait let me please you back."
John shook his head and croaked, "Iím already there." "Hold on, a few moreÖ" her words lost as she kissed his eyelids, her hair covering his face, slid her tongue in and around his ear when he let out a low moan that sounded like her name, causing her to smile and continue sliding down his body. Her lips on his nipples were sucking and lightly pulling, while a hand went to his erection and stroked it firmly making John tremble with delight and need. Evangeline lifted up and guided his head back to her breasts just as she felt John lift her and settle her fully on his erectionóno need for guidance he knew the way in. He pushed in as completely as possible to feel utterly surrounded by Evangeline and for a long moment they were stillóher head was thrown back, her hair brushing his knees, her back arched and held steady by his hands both of them amazed again about the perfection of their fit. Then they started to move.
Neither was sure if it was still the same day when they were finally able to pull apart for more than a few minutes. The sun was sinking and bits of sunset illumination was fanned around Evangelineís bedroom throwing color fragments on their bodies. Evangeline was watching fascinated as Johnís eyes came back from the darkest blue they turned when he was totally fulfilled by her to their more crystalline blue. His private only-for-her eyes vs. his public face. They were back in their position completely wrapped around each other. The silence seemed to speak of their love but neither could say the words aloud.
"Tell me how you hooked up with Blair. How was New York?"
Evangeline had to think back the shopping trip seemed ages ago, "Well the nightgown you loved and despised was from that trip." she said thoughtfully, "we shopped, we ate, we laughed. I like her; I hope to see more of Blair."
"Yeah, well youíre both smart with the quick comebacks. I guess you would get along. Although Blair isÖ" "Blairís what?"
"Just that she definitely lives outside the lines if the rules donít suit her." John commented slowly, "Iím starting to think thereís really something to this while ĎCramer womaní thing everybody in town refers to; sometimes in fear."
Laughing she responded "Yeah, they are all unique arenít they?"
"Unique is one word for them, I suppose." John replied then grew quiet.
"Evangeline, thank you. You knew I was at the point of collapse even if I didnít and you really helped me. I really didnít know how wrung out Iíve been. I guess thatís why we keep getting into these endless arguments over the personal and the professional crossing of lines."
"Iíll work on that too and keep things from messing with our private down time. I donít want to lose us." Van smiled and her fingers trailed lightly over his chest, "Happy to help. Glad you let me."
"Thatís the thing though. Iím unclear about what, if anything, I do for youóoutside of the bedroom." Johnís voice was pensive and soft, "You can have anyone, why am I the one you spend your time with?"
Evangeline turned over and raised herself on an elbow to see if John was joking. The anguish in his eyes left her at a loss for words.
"Itís clear you donít want marriage down the road to me or anyone, I guess. Donít get me wrong, Iím with you for as long as you want me," he ran his hands through his hair "Iíll be wrecked when you go; but it seems so obvious that one day you WILL go."
John got up and went into the bathroom. Vanís jaw dropped and her head whipped around so her eyes could follow his movements. When he closed the bathroom door she fell back on the bed in shock.
By the time she heard John turn off the shower Vanís thoughts were no less jumbled and confused. Sheíd pulled the nightgown back on as he came out of the bathroom with a yellow towel wrapped around his waist and reached for the discarded sweats from the night before.
She took a deep calming breath, "John, is that why everythingís been so tense between us lately? Itís not being overworked; itís puzzlement over where weíre going and why? My observations about marriage and divorce and banishing certain words from our vocabulary upended your expectations?"
He looked at her, "Truly, I wasnít expecting anything. Iíve just caught myself dreaming thatís all." "The dreams you wouldnít admit to having about me?" "Yeah, I have day dreams about you and they take me over at totally unexpected, often inappropriate times." He shook his head and said ruefully, "Wild dreams, fantasies. But youíre the heart of each one. And I think my working on expressing myself is now officially TMI. You donít need to hear this."
"Yes I do, and thatís not what I consider too much information. I care about what you feel, what you think, how you are. Of course I want to know that you think of me, long for me, wish for me."
"John sit down" she gestured towards the bed or the chair. He sat on the bed slightly turned from her, "I told you I could see myself with you forever. I meant that and without matrimony would work for me. That doesnít mean that Iím totally against marriage, it just means give me a compelling reason to reevaluate and broaden my definition of whatís possible for my life."
"Iím strong and I donít need you to rescue me but that doesnít mean I donít need YOU or that I donít want to be needed by you. Do you really want for me to pretend to be weaker than what I am?" she asked, "Being in law enforcement and a man youíve come to expect to be the protector in every sense of the word over the flock of the needy and helpless. Men tend to be attracted to that type of woman/child. Donít you know thatís just a game they play?"
Van pushed back his hair, then got up and sat in Johnís lap, "Iím confused by my feelings for you because they came over me so fast and Iíve never experienced anything this intense and all-consuming before." She looked away from his eyes then firmed up her resolve and locked into his gaze, "In Maryís basementÖ" Evangeline took a trembling breath and looked away. It was Johnís turn to push back her hair, look deeply into her eyes, "Go on," he prompted her.
"In the basement, on the sink, when, when my legs opened to you and you were pushing into me but we were still fully clothed; in that instant when I laid my head on your shoulder I completely surrendered and lost myself to you. Not just for that moment. I almost said ĎI love you, Johní but I knew that wouldíve been crazy. I didnít even know you! But it just didnít feel like Ďjust sexí."
"I know. It was making love. I felt it, I nearly said ĎI love youí too. We started in the middle of a relationship with our reactions to each other that night but we were strangers." John hugged her, "So weíre back tracking to the beginnings of knowing someone while moving forward as though weíve always been together. Confusing, I know."
"You said we could make up the rules and strings as we went along. So lets just do that; lets be patient with one another; accept each other as we are and what we might become together. Clearly, weíre more unconventional than anyone would guess!" She took a steadying breath and realized sheíd been beating back her need to shake with nervousness from all that she had just revealed.
"McBain, you make me feel all girly, and you get me thinking and longing for things that I never seriously considered before. But aside from the issue of kids, does it really matter if I legally acquire your last name someday? Doesnít friendship, love, trust, honesty, and caring matter more? Oh yeah, and smokiní lovemaking?"
"Yes, to everything you said; weíll keep moving forward our way. Kiss me." John said pulling her in for a lingering kiss, "More please" he murmured against her mouth and deepened the kiss, falling back on the bed and taking her with him.
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