Thursday, February 26, 2015

Footsteps - Chapter Seventeen



We spent the whole of Saturday in each other’s company, and took the time to talk and hash things over. It took us a while, but it was worth it. A brief outing into the chilly air saw us sitting on a remote park bench in neutral territory. There were no memories there and we were able to talk. Once the obligatory apologies and tears, on both parts, were out of the way, we stood up and walked it off, holding hands and, as the walk progressed, we paused every so often flirt and then to kiss more and more again. Caleb even seemed cautiously playful as I dug him in the ribs at something he said, and he laughed, but as his rocking limp grew more pronounced, I suggested we head back.

“Wait,” he said, his arm casually looped through mine in the way it had been when we’d walked by the river on our New Year trip. It wasn’t the best way to lead someone who can’t see, but we both liked the informality of it. It made him feel more like his old self, less dependent. I just liked the closeness of him.

“What?”

We’d kissed on our little stroll already, but until that moment, we’d only been snatching quick, shy kisses, like nervous teenagers. Now, halted on a quiet path, with no one around, and with only the whisper of the wind in the branches and my own clanging heartbeat for company, Caleb made me stop completely. He reached for the back of my head and pulled me in for the kind of kiss I hadn’t had from him in a long time. It was still contained, still controlled, but it was the kind of kiss that leaves one person, the one being kissed, breathless and lightheaded, reeling with emotions passing from one soul to another. “I l-l-love you,” he said, blushing a little as his tongue fluttered on the word.

I clung to him.

With everything up in the air with Luke, and after all the rollercoaster of the last few weeks, I wrapped my arms around him and clung to him. “I love you too,” I murmured, my voice muffled in the layers of clothing at his chest.

He rubbed my back fondly while I seemed to be attempting to fuse myself to him, and then he stroked my hair. “It’s ok, L-Lyss,” he crooned softly. “L-Look, I know we’ve t-talked it all to death now, but it w-was a r-rough patch, ok?”

“I know,” I said. “But the training wheels are off now…”

He grinned and pulled back a little bit so that I could see his face. “L-Let the fun begin.”

I had to laugh. I grabbed his hand and held it tightly. “Yeah. Come on, I’m getting cold. Let’s go back and have a cup of tea.”

We walked on the smooth tarmac of the park pathway hand in hand for a bit. He didn’t use his white cane at all then, only his walking cane. That quiet trust ignited a heavy warmth in my chest, and I found I was holding his hand in a death-grip.

“Hey,” he said, wiggling his fingers. “I n-need these, y-you know?”

“Sorry,” I blushed. “I’m just…” ‘Happy’ didn’t really do it justice.

“I know,” he smiled, tugging me off balance and kissing me again as I careered into him. “Me too,” he said, lips pressed against mine.

Nana was still out with Amy when we returned, but we just sat on the sofa and lay in each other’s arms talking about this and that. Caleb spoke a little about work, and I told him what pieces were on my workbench. It all felt very mundane and reassuring.

Caleb heard the rattle of the lock go before I did, and patted my shins where I had my feet in his lap. “They’re back,” he smiled.

A heartbeat later, Amy bounced into the room and shrieked, "Cay-Cay! Look I got a new bike helmet. It's pink," she laughed as she thrust it into his lap. "Hi Lyss! And there's a rabbit here -" she grabbed his fingers and tugged them to the front of the helmet where a goofy white, cartoon rabbit blinked out at them.

He ran his hands over it appreciatively and chuckled. "I bet you l-look awesome in it."

I suspected that Nana had a hand in the amount of privacy we got that afternoon, and later Caleb and I ate supper together in the kitchen while she and Amy ate in the living room. It felt weird being in different rooms from them, and it reminded me of just how much I wanted my own place. When I said so, he sighed. “I’m n-not sure N-Nan would ever l-let me m-move out…”

“Because of Amy?” I asked, struggling hopelessly with my chopsticks as usual. I refused to cave and get a fork.

“Because of me,” he laughed, managing his own chopsticks with his customary, calculated grace. “She’d have a heart attack at the idea of me l-living on my own.”

That surprised me. “But… You’re twenty seven?”

“And a blind veteran l-living with PTSD,” he added darkly.

Those training wheels really are off, I thought. And then I found my mouth was speaking before I knew what it was saying. “I know it’s probably, like, way too early to even think about this, but maybe…” I petered out as my internal monologue took a nose-dive into a pure stream of curse-words.

He said nothing. He didn’t even move. His eyes were tracking back and forth behind his lids, but other than that, he was a statue.

My cheeks burned. “Ok, well, anyway, I just wanted you to know that it’s something I’m open to… something I’d like… if…” I faltered, feeling stupid. Then I scoffed, embarrassed, “We’ve been back together for, what, a night? And I’m already talking about moving in. I bet you think I’ve got a soundtrack of wedding bells or something playing in my head. I’m sorry… I…” I broke off, flushing a deep scarlet.

Caleb surprised me again by putting his chopsticks down and laying his hand flat on the table, miraculously missing his water glass by a centimetre. He was asking me to put my hand in his, and he had the strangest expression on his face. His glasses were off, but his eyes were closed, and he was utterly inscrutable. When I told him as much, he cracked a shy smile. “Hold m-m-me?” he asked.

I wiped my palm on my trousers, hoping he wouldn’t catch the movement. I was nervous again, and my palms were, predictably, heading towards tree frog levels of stickiness again.

When I slid my hand in his, he clenched his strong fingers around mine and said, “I’d l-like that.”

My face went hot. Well, hotter. “What, wedding bells? Surely not…”

He whickered a low laugh and tightened his grip. “I’m n-not discounting the idea,” he said, which made my stomach lurch to my throat and back in a single heartbeat. “But I was re-referring to us m-mo-mo-mmm…” his head dipped uncontrollably and his lips repeated the sound until he cut it off, running out of breath. “Excuse m-me…” He puffed a sigh and started over. “Re-referring to us sh-sharing a house. G-God, I always forget about th-this when I’m ar-around y-you…” he laughed, pointing a hand at his throat to indicate his stutter.

My mind was reeling and it wasn’t paying much attention to his words any longer. “Moving in together,” I bleated stupidly.

He nodded. “Y-You know,” he said, quirking his eyebrow in a way that made my mouth dry up completely, “I w-wanted that for us before all this… I j-just didn’t have the balls to ask you wh-what you thought of it…”

“I don’t know what I’d have said then, but now, yeah. I’d like that. But let’s see what happens with Luke, ok?” It was hard to process that it’d only been twenty-four hours since the news. It felt like a lifetime ago and yet only five minutes ago all at the same time.

He nodded and squeezed my fingers once before returning his hand to search for his chopsticks. He found them unerringly and we began to eat again. We talked a bit about military hospitals, since we were on the subject of my twin, and Caleb opened up a bit about his post-operation physio, which was nice. Gruelling, but nice. He seemed to recognise that I needed more information to go on if I wasn’t going to keep guessing and fucking up, and so he began to give it to me in little bitesize chunks that were manageable for both of us. I had to laugh when he described his army physiotherapist as “Your typical club swinger.”

“Your what?” I snorted.

“Cl-Club swinger?” he laughed. “Army talk for a physical trainer.”

“Oh. Didn't know that one,” I smiled.

When dinner was over, I cleared our things and dumped the takeaway boxes in the bin while Caleb got two glass tumblers out of a top cupboard and asked if I wanted a whisky. He left the cupboard door open while he waited for me to answer, glasses in hand.

I nodded. “Yeah. That’d be nice.”

“Y-You want to st-stay in here, or j-join N-Nana in the other r-room?”

He looked so sweet standing there with a big question mark on his face. It wasn’t the ‘do you want whisky’ kind of question. It was more like ‘is this level of mundane domesticity ok for you?’.

It was more than ok.

I had imagined sharing an apartment or a small house with him long before that night. I’d imagined walking him through the new spaces, getting him familiar with the layout, then christening every suitable surface, and possibly some unsuitable ones too, in a rather different way. As I looked at him, standing there, all lean, hard lines in the half light of the kitchen, I knew I wanted that. We had some work to do, but we each knew what we had to do to make it happen. He needed to talk more, and I needed to relax.

I crossed to where he was standing, enjoying the way he listened to my bare feet stepping across the kitchen floor, and took the glasses out of his hands, resting them out of the way on the counter behind him. Then I leaned my body against his tall frame for a moment. I laid my ear on his chest and listened to the way his heart was hammering against his ribs. It was utterly endearing to discover that behind his calm exterior, he was still as nervous as I was.

I stayed like that for a long minute or two, and eventually he sighed, relaxed. “Lyss,” he breathed, looping his arms around my shoulders and resting his cheek on the top of my head.

The warm closeness of him was delicious. He smelled incredible. We stayed like that for ages, until I tilted my face up and pressed a soft kiss into his lips. At first he didn’t move, didn’t react, but instead of backing off and bumbling some awkward sentence or two, I pushed harder. I wanted this, and I wanted him to know it.

My hands reached up to the steel cables of his shoulders and neck, and I threaded my fingers through his dark hair, forcing him further into my kiss. Then he reacted.

He melted into me with a rumbled moan that seemed to come from deep in his chest, and he grabbed my back, my shoulder, my hip, the curve of my arse, anything he could get hold of, and the passion that seemed to blossom in him took my breath away. It was like he was releasing a month’s worth of pent up emotion and inhibition in one rush. Being on the sofa together the previous evening had only been a foretaste of what he really felt.

He bit my lip and tugged it hard with his teeth before dipping his tongue inside my mouth. I knew I must taste of what we’d just eaten, or at the very least of beer, but he didn’t seem to care. His fingers carded through my hair and he pulled so hard I gasped. He spun me round, rocking heavily on his right leg as he turned, and my back collided with the counter.

Grinning, he put his hands on my hips and hoisted me easily onto the worksurface. In response, I wrapped my legs around his hips and pulled him into my body. And that was when I found out quite how hard that boy was for me. “Caleb,” I hissed, leaning back and glancing nervously to the door. “We probably shouldn’t do this here…”

“All the m-more reason to g-get a pl-place together,” he breathed back from somewhere near my right ear.

“Caleb,” I said, my tone growing a little sterner, if still somewhat breathless. “Stop, we have to stop…”

He backed away, licking his lips just once. His eyes were open and he looked soft and relaxed in a way I’d not seen him in ages. Well, definitely not soft everywhere. “Y-You’d better help me hide this if someone c-c-comes in,” he grinned.

For a moment I couldn’t move, his milky blue irises captivating me as they flickered lazily, sightlessly, from side to side. “Consider me your partner in crime,” I finally managed to croak.

He stepped back and I hopped off the counter. Caleb stepped back to give me room, but, in the rush of hormones, he’d apparently forgotten that he’d left the cupboard door open. He was half a step away from crashing into it when I yelped, “Caleb, stop, stop!” and grabbed his wrist.

He froze, frightened. “What?”

“Sorry. Cupboard door,” I smiled. “You left it open and got distracted… It’s about three inches from your face…”

His right hand went up and he searched through the air to find it. It didn’t take him long as it was so close to his temple, and he breathed out. “Thanks.” Instead of being embarrassed at the gaffe, he remarked, “See, I kn-knew it’d be a g-good idea to l-live with you.”

I kissed him on the cheek and then snuck behind him to put my hand over his, closing the cupboard door with him. I dropped my other hand to the back pocket of his jeans and squeezed gently. “I’m the reason you got distracted…” He laughed. “So where’s that whisky then?” I grinned and slapped him playfully on the arse as I left the room.

“Oi,” he called after me. “G-Get back in here, you.”

“Hmm?” I asked from the doorway.

“Y-You said you’d help me…”

“Oh,” I grinned, looking down at the obvious tent in his jeans. “Yeah, I did, didn’t I?”

“Don’t,” he said as I walked away. “Lyss?”

When I heard him swear, I stepped silently back into the doorway and watched him shake his head, grinning from ear to ear. He wasn’t upset after all. He stooped and drew a bottle of whisky from the cupboard they kept their spirits in, and ran his finger down the braille label on the bottle. He frowned and put it back, reaching for a different one. Quite the collection, I mused. Then I saw which one he had gone for, and couldn’t help the groan.

His sharp ear caught it, and he turned towards me, eyes closed again. “Y-You don’t approve?”

“Bowmore, really?”

“N-Not just any Bowmore,” he said, straightening with one hand on the counter and a sharp, wincing grunt that showed me how much he was still hiding from me. “It’s Bowmore Tempest. It’s a ten y-year old. And it’s beautiful.”

“Alright then,” I said. Bowmore to match my surname, though I tried not to dwell on the ‘Tempest’ bit. The boy had his charms, I had to give him that.

“Since y-you’re still in here, w-would you do the honours?” he asked, setting the bottle down on the countertop.

I moved over to him and wiggled my way between him and the counter, using my arse to nudge him backwards, which he did with a groan.

“L-Lyss,” he reprimanded me. “I though y-you were g-going to be helpful.”

“Not at all. I did agree to be your partner in crime though,” I smiled, un-stoppering the whisky with a pop. I smelled the cork and sighed. “Ok, that does smell good. Here,” and I turned over my shoulder and held the cork up to his nose, watching him breathe it in as well, a slight smile on his soft lips.

I withdrew my hand and he brought his own down to my hips and held me in place as he kissed my neck, looming over me and muttering something about all Bowmores smelling good.

I groaned, and said, “Oh, ok, no whisky for you, mister, if you keep that up.”

“I thought you liked it up,” he smirked, pressing his hips against me. He was still very much hard.

“Oh god, no that was awful.” I sighed dramatically and lowered my head, only to find him planting more kisses on the nape of my exposed neck and chuckling. “Now who’s being unhelpful?” I snorted.

“Fine. L-Let’s c-call a ceasefire.”

Yessir,” I said, attempting to pour the whisky without sloshing any of it on the counter. 

He tossed me another smirk and backed away.

He wasn’t using his cane, and I took a wild guess that he’d lost track of it. “It’s by your chair at the table,” I murmured shyly.

He inclined his head and went to fetch it while I put the bottle back and picked up the glasses.

We didn’t last very long in the living room. It was torturous sitting so close on the sofa, pretending to be polite and trying to behave ourselves, so when the delicious whisky was all gone, I took the glasses to the kitchen and we bid his Nana a good night. She smiled a knowingly wicked smile, but her words were sweet as she returned our parting words and focused again on her crossword. I suddenly bet myself that she’d been a real troublemaker back in her youth. She was sharp too, that woman, but again I saw how fiercely she loved her boy. I gave her an especially broad grin as I left the room, which she returned.

Whether it was the whisky or the reunion, or a bit of both, I’m not sure, but both of us struggled to keep it quiet that night. When, covered in a sheen of sweat and breathing hard, Caleb rolled off me for the second time, right leg shaking, he panted, “Ok, m-m-mmmoving in together is d-definitely our next g-goal.”

I grinned like a maniac and began to play soft circles across his already over-sensitive chest with the pad of my finger. He groaned and shivered and tried to tell me off, but his heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t long before he got his revenge, and I was the one biting the back of my hand to stop my scream from shaking the windows and waking the whole damned street up.

When I woke on Sunday morning, I knew exactly where I was. There was no bleary-eyed grogginess or confused fumbling for the light switch like there had been after the first night I'd spent back at Caleb's. Inhaling deeply, I realised how much I had missed the warm sandalwood and musk smell of him, of my Caleb.

The crushing realisation of Luke's injuries seemed less terrifying with him beside me, and I watched Caleb's breath come and go with sweet softness. He had one arm thrown up over his head, his lips were parted, his chin tilted upwards, and his chest was naked beneath the duvet. I watched him for what felt like hours. I stared at his face, his closed eyes, rolling gently back and forth beneath long-lashed lids. He murmured something in his sleep, but I didn’t catch it. His lips were soft, his white teeth just showing behind them. I was mesmerised.

After an age, I began to get fidgety and slid out of bed. Kit was due back that day, and I knew I was going to have to face the reality of Luke’s injuries again. I was going to have to watch Kit’s face go white with worry, just as mine had, and I was dreading it. I thought vaguely about leaving, about sneaking out and going back to the empty house and waiting for Kit to get back to tell him the news, but I felt a tug in my chest. I got no further than pushing the duvet back and standing up before I turned back to him.

In getting up, I'd pulled the duvet off his body, and saw him lying there, right leg half exposed, chest bare, tight-fitting boxers showing me that he was already more than halfway towards being morning-hard. I bit my lower lip. My eyes lingered on the muscles of his right leg, at that chunk of thigh missing where the bomb had torn out a great gouge of his leg, at the surgery and shrapnel scars lacing along the limb, disappearing beneath the duvet towards the slender calf and stiff, locked ankle.


He was beautiful. I felt it as a rush in my chest that made my breath flutter and my heart skip. He twitched and gave a soft groan, more half-articulated words on his lips, but he dozed on, not quite breaking the surface of sleep.

The time on my phone read 8.31. Kit wasn't due back until at least eleven. I rested it back on the bedside table on my side and looked over at him again.

Caleb was stirring. He brought his left arm down and rolled over onto his right side, his bad side. I wondered if it'd hurt him at all, but other than a brief flash of an emotion I didn't catch, I saw nothing to indicate his discomfort. His left arm reached up to the pillow that I had just vacated and he shuffled again, murmuring something unintelligible. He was adorable. Any shadowy remnants of my anger evaporated entirely.

I saw again the vulnerability from when I had first met him, sprawled on the pavement in a mess of leilandi needles and pain, but at the same time, I saw his immense strength and resilience. He, like no one else I had ever met, was able to brush aside pain and adversity like they were no more than an inconvenience. In my mind’s eye I saw again the expression on his face when I’d crumbled on his doorstep in tears on Friday. I relived the way he’d reached for me and pulled me in, trying to stop me hurting, disregarding his own pain in order to make mine go away. I stood there looking at him and realised I saw the strongest, gentlest and most perfect creature I had ever laid eyes on.

He swallowed and gave a little waking grunt and ran his hand over the pillow, feeling for me. I froze, holding my breath, wondering, watching.

"Lyss?" he asked, voice gravelly and hoarse. “You there?”

His hand searched my side of the bed, and I stepped closer, bare foot whispering on the carpet. I tugged the duvet over me as I slid back in beside him.

He was so warm. He hummed wordlessly as he wrapped himself around me, still half asleep, and clutched me to him. He exuded heat like radioactive core, and as my room-chilled legs slid in beside his, my toes enjoyed the soft hairs on his shins in a way I'd never particularly noticed before.

I enjoyed enjoying him.

He stirred again as I nuzzled against him like a matching jigsaw piece, and he ran his hand along my side, down the curve of my waist and up over my wide hip, resting the flat of his palm on my hipbone. He moaned. I felt his cock twitch against my lower back. He wanted me. Turned out it had been me all along, and he wanted me even in his sleep.

“Morning,” I chuckled.

“Lyss,” he said again, his voice thick and sleepy. “Love you.”

“Are you actually awake?” I asked, and he snorted softly and kissed the curve of my neck.

“I think so. I’m dr-dreaming, don’t w-wake me, ok?”

“Ok.”

“Thank you.”

I had to laugh, just a little.

He clutched me even tighter, his strong arms warm against my cool, bare skin. “What?” he asked from somewhere near my left ear.

“When I’m curled up here, it’s like nothing outside exists. It’s like Luke isn’t lying in hospital, and we didn’t have a huge argument and break up. It’s just… nice.”

Caleb breathed out over my neck in a happy smile that sent a rush of goosebumps shivering over my skin and made me giggle. “I love you,” he whispered when he heard it. “I missed you so much.”

We lay like that for another half an hour until his hand moved down from where he’d clamped my waist to his body, and his palms circled slowly over my hip again. He snuck his fingers up underneath the cotton of my borrowed t-shirt, and ran his knuckles up my spine.

I shivered.

“You ok?” he asked, seeming suddenly nervous.

I nodded my head. I wanted to feel alive. I needed him to make me feel alive. I needed him to finish what we’d started the night before.

I twisted in his arms and rolled carefully around so that I finished up nose to nose with him again. He had his eyes softly closed, but I could see them tracking lazily from side to side beneath. I kissed his left temple which made him jump a little, but he laughed and clutched me closer. He began to kiss down my neck, his teeth grazing my skin, tugging at me, and I felt that need sharpen, heat up into something else. Something more.

“Caleb,” I breathed. I ran my hands over his naked torso and found my fingers pressing into the muscles of his scar-flecked back as my right leg moved and hooked over his hip. I pulled him into my body and felt his hard length against my centre. “Caleb, I need…”

“Yeah,” he rasped, his lips now moving to mine. “Me too.” He grabbed my lower lip between his teeth and pulled, sucking just hard enough to make me gasp. “Let me taste you?” he breathed, running his hand down my body and gently passing his fingers over the soft skin between the tops of my thighs, just teasing me there with a single stroke before backing off again.

My whole body was shaking.

“Lyss?”

“Yes. Yes, taste me, please, make me come. I need you.”  I was not at my most poetic.

He paused, left hand locked on my hip. His eyes fluttered open and I saw those beautiful smoky blue eyes of his staring straight through me. I let out a throaty moan and his lips twitched into a smile. “Are you sure you w-want this?”

I wasn't sure why he was asking, or what he was even referring to - hadn't we had sex just the previous night? Did he think I'd have changed my mind about him while we slept? In answer I felt my body rear up and I rolled him carefully onto his back, grinding my hips into his hard cock. “Yes, God, you're beautiful. Yes, I want you. This…”

He let out an answering groan and grabbed at my hips, running his hands down my thighs, strong fingers almost punching into my muscles. He kept his eyes open as he worked his hands at my borrowed t-shirt, and it was off and over my head in an instant, my long hair swinging free to cover my breasts. Both our underwear was starting to get wet as I rocked my hips back and forth over him and he began to unravel beneath me.

I raked my fingers through his dark hair and leaned forward to leave a trail of kisses and gentle bites along his collarbones, lingering on a couple of scars I found there while his hands kneaded by back and circled my arse with a want that seemed to match my own. “I missed you,” he growled in my ear, his teeth finding my earlobe and nipping there until I was a shuddering wreck on top of him. “I n-need you, L-Lyss.”

“You have me,” I replied.

“Then g-get off me while I find a c-condom,” he grinned. “Before you m-make me c-come where you are…”

“I wouldn’t mind that,” I smiled, giving an extra long, slow roll of my pelvis up the length of his cock.

He threw back his head into the pillow and moaned. It was the most delicious sound I’d ever heard him make. He bit his lower lip, his breath hitching in his throat, and then he growled a wordless, shuddering complaint at me.

“Alright,” I said, leaning forward again and kissing him at the junction of jaw and neck.

Unbalanced as I was then, he was able to grab the underside of my thighs and roll me over like it was a self-defence manoeuvre and I fell, laughing, onto my side again. Free of me and lying on his back half propped up on an elbow, he fumbled with the handle on the drawer of his bedside table. And while he tried to concentrate on that, I brought the flat of my palm to the tent in his black boxers and pressed my hand slowly along his hard length before caressing the curve of his balls with my fingertips. He was so hot there that it was all I could do not to tear his boxers off him then and there. His legs jumped at my touch and his back arched. “L-Lyssa,” he admonished. “Pl-Please, g-give a g-guy a chance…”

I moved and I didn’t miss how his ear locked on to me, even while he was still fishing around in the drawer for a condom. What he didn’t see coming, and couldn’t have seen coming, was me lowering my lips onto his cock and breathing slow, hot air through the fabric of his boxers over his tip. I tasted pre-come on the material and pressed my tongue down flat over his head. His cock jerked again and he began to pant erratically. “N-Not helping. At all.”

“I know,” I said wickedly. My own core was burning, throbbing with lust and I slid out of my underwear and abandoned it beside the bed.

"I thought I w-was supposed to be t-tasting y-you anyway," he grumbled.

"Yeah,  but I got distracted," I countered.

"Y-you d-distract too easily."

"You distract me too easily."

I saw his fingers finally catch the square outline of a condom packet, and hooked my fingers around the waistband of his boxers. Caleb hitched his hips up, the right side falling weakly while his strong left leg bore most of the weight. Surprisingly, my need made me efficient rather than scrappy, and he was beautifully naked in a matter of seconds.

I think he was expecting me to wait while he undid the packet, but whatever he’d been expecting, I took him completely by surprise yet again when I took him in my mouth. I felt his balls tighten as his tip hit the back of my throat, and I thought he was going to come right there, but he managed to breathe as I paused, trying to let him calm just enough while his fingers twisted the sheet into knots below him. “Christ, Lyss,” he hissed, head thrown back again into the pillows.

A shivering from the thigh of his right leg caught my attention, but he either didn’t know or didn’t care. Whilst curling my fingers around the base of his cock, I ran my other hand over the distorted, quivering muscle, feeling it quieten beneath my touch. I began to move my mouth slowly along his length again, my other hand cupping him from below as I gradually increased my speed, working my tongue over him too.

“Fuck,” he hissed. His hand found its way to the crown of my head and he began to scrunch my hair almost painfully. I could feel him fighting the urge to push me down further onto him, and I thanked him silently for that. I wasn't an expert at any of this, but I had done it a few times before.

With the taste of his sweet pre-come in my mouth, I ran my tight lips up his cock a few times and then released him with a pop so I could get a better look at his face. The cold air hit the top of his cock and he cried out in complaint, apparently forgetting that there might be other people in the house to hear him. I had zero fucks to give about being heard at that point too, if I were honest. Smiling, I took him back in my mouth a moment later, and, with a couple of well-timed strokes, my fingers still cupping and playing with him while I worked his shaft with my lips and tongue, I felt him coiling up for release.

“L-Lyss, I’m… nguh… Lyss, fuck… I… I’m… I’m g-gonna…” He slurred his words and then lost the ability to speak altogether as I felt him clench. His hips bucked upwards, his spine going rigid, and as he emptied himself into my throat, he cried out with a single, harsh shout. I swallowed reflexively, but I didn’t mind. When his body eased back down onto the mattress, I moved my tongue against his length ever so gently while he continued to twitch and shake a little against me, panting.

His breathing was erratic and when I slipped him tenderly out of my mouth, I saw that he had closed his eyes again. The lids weren’t quite closed though – I could just see his damaged blue eyes behind them – and his jaw was slack. He looked utterly, beautifully spent. I smiled.

Vaguely, he patted the bed beside him, just barely able to move his fingers enough to make the gesture legible, and I slid in alongside him, laying my arm across his torso. At my touch, his right leg jerked slightly and his chest spasmed, and he groaned.

“You ok there?” I asked playfully. Either he’d needed me to do that for him more that I’d realised, or I was way better at it than I’d thought I was. Deep down I knew it was the former, but still, the ego-trip was nice.

“Mmph,” was all he could manage in response.

I rested my cheek on the hollow of his shoulder and listened a long while to his heartbeat pounding and thudding like a steam engine.

“Love you,” he said after a while as he hissed out a breath through his teeth.

Silently I nuzzled him back and ran my palm down to his hip bone, smiling as his now half-hard cock moved slightly. Slowly he came back to me, and moved his own hand to my body.

“You…” he began, a fond smirk playing at the corners of his lips.

“I know. I didn’t intend to ambush you like that… I just…” I shrugged and he laughed as my shoulder nudged against him.

“Mmmm,” he hummed again. “Let’s see what n-noises I c-can get out of y-you then,” he smiled, running his hand up my thigh and making me shudder with anticipation.

He didn’t disappoint.

After the third time I came, I clutched his shoulder, practically hanging off him, and growled, “If I can’t walk today, I’m blaming you.”

“Fine by me,” he whispered against my neck. “And if you c-can’t w-walk, y-you’ll just have to stay here with me.”

“I’ve got to go,” I panted, lying back and feeling my whole body go limp. I still couldn’t see very well, so I closed my eyes and let him draw the duvet up over me. Cheekily, his fingertips grazed my swollen clit as he passed and I yelped a complaint, which only made him chuckle.

“So wet,” he breathed in amazement.

I kissed him as I rolled onto my side, tasting both of us on his lips, before turning away and reaching out for my phone. The display told me it was half ten, but I couldn’t find it within myself to care.

By the time I did manage to get up, and after Caleb and I had shared a shower and a couple more orgasms, it was nearly midday. Aching to the point of being sore, spent, and flooded with more happy hormones than I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, I somehow managed to get myself dressed.

When I had tugged my jeans up my legs and stuffed my head into my shirt, I nipped to the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I returned to his room, I paused in the doorway, hanging back to watch Caleb answer my question about who made his bed. If I'd been in love with his hands before, I fell the last few inches into delirium watching them work around the edges of the duvet, smoothing the pillows out, one hand always on the last place he'd dealt with before moving onto the next, like stepping stones.

As he pulled the last corner down and the whole thing became smooth as a Christmas cake, I breathed out and he caught the sound, twitching his head a little. "You kn-know it's r-rude to st-st-stare?"

"I love you," I replied. "And that's so neat..."

"Well, it's not hospital c-c-corners, but..." His face cracked into a smile and he ran the backs of his fingers around the bed as he moved from his side towards me. He was limping badly.

"You wearing your brace?" I asked. I sounded hesitant and nervous to my own ears, so god knows what I must have sounded like to him.

He shook his head softly. "No."

"Why?"

"It's rubbing," he said softly. "I've g-got to g-go back to have it seen to."

"Back?"

"H-H-Hospital," he stammered, making the final few halting steps over to me and looking for me with his hand. His beautiful face had gone a little pale and I wondered if it was pain or fear.

I stepped in close and buried my face in his shoulder. Then I looked up at him, my cheek pressing into his lower jaw. His eyes were closed, but he didn't look upset with me for probing. He just looked... blank. "Caleb," I began, "Please don't think I'm patronising you when I say this... I mean it.... Ok?"

"Ok," he said slowly, cautiously, a slight smile pulling the corners of his lips up like a caught thread on a jumper.

"You are so brave."

His smile bloomed a little more and he softened, still holding me. "I don't feel l-like it m-most of the time," he admitted.

"I know you don't," I said, tightening my hold on his torso and nuzzling at his collarbones again. He smelled warm and sweet as always. "And you smell so good," I hissed involuntarily, which made him laugh.

He lowered his nose to my neck and inhaled the scents of my hair and skin. "So do you." After a moment of stillness he spoke again. "I think y-you make me braver," he whispered. "I don't feel..." He sighed. "I don't feel so bl-blind when I'm around you, and I forget how sh-shit my speech c-can be. And then when I fucked up, I thought I'd l-lost you, and it all w-went dark again." His heart was pounding in his chest. "And when you g-got so angry with me, I... I w-wasn't sure I'd be able to... y-you know..."

"I'm sorry," I said for what felt like the hundredth time.

He shook his head and ran his strong hands up my spine. "This is the l-last time we'll talk of it, ok?"

I nodded.

And Caleb began to rumble a laugh. "Wh-What did I tell y-you once about bl-blind people and nods?"

I pulled back sharply and smacked him hard on the shoulder with a giggle. "You know full well what that gesture said, Caleb Starling. If you keep that up, I'm going to learn sign language and if you don't like my nods, let's see how well you like that, ok?"

He laughed deeply and loudly, and put one hand to the back of my head and moved to kiss me just above my ear. "I l-love you," he stammered. "So much."

Somehow, we managed to extricate ourselves from each other long enough for me to grab a coffee and a slice of toast, but by the time I made it to the front door of his house at just after noon.

“Y-You sure you don’t w-want me to c-c-come with you?” he asked. He was wearing that fitted grey t-shirt again which made it very difficult for me to stop staring at his biceps. “L-Lyss?” he asked when he got no response.

“Sorry, um, no I’m going to be ok. I think it’ll be easier if I only have one lot of explaining to do to Kit…”

“Understood,” he nodded. “L-Listen, w-will you c-call me, or t-text me, or something…?”

I stepped close to him and hugged him. “Yeah,” I said. “I’m not going to disappear again. I promise.”

He exhaled in relief and held me tightly. “I l-love you.”

God, I would never tire of the way he spoke.


14 comments:

  1. That was worth the very long waiting...thank you so much! You are so talented!

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    1. Thank YOU for sticking with it and reading it :D

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  2. Indeed! You really have a gift, writing this wonderful long chapter in one day... The story continues as if you hadn't been away.. So lovely, the reunion between the two. One can really feel the love between them. Look forward to next week and hope Luke will be fine.. But sad that you will disappear again.. I am afraid I didn't understand if you intend to post the Cowboy story in the next time or if it is not written yet.. But as long as we can hope for more of your great talent, I will wait...

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    1. Thank you Anonymous for such a sweet comment. I'm happy the flow worked from the last chapter to this one as well.

      I've got about four or five chapters of the dude ranch one written, but I'm not going to post it until the whole thing is written, so that I don't have the same problem I had with this one, where I didn't finish it and then kept you all waiting for literally forever... Thanks for saying you'll wait, that warms the chilly cockles of my heart :D

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  3. I'm beyond happy that you decided to continue the story despite the writer's block.
    I absolutely enjoyed reading it. There are so many precious moments. Thank you for writing.

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    1. Thank you! I saw this one pop up in between reading and responding to the comment above. What a nice surprise for me! That was the worst writer's block I've ever had, and I don't even know why, but I'm glad I powered through it. Thanks so much for supporting me by commenting with such a nice comment.

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  4. Yes, I definitely love that last third of the chapter (and everything else) =) I had to stop reading when it came to the steamy bits because the guy standing to my right in the crowded train kept glancing over and then, later, I had to stop again because the ending made me tear up. Awww, I love those two!

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    1. Thank you (again!) for reading it through. I did laugh at your description of reading it. Imagine trying to write it though without being overlooked...

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  5. You always promised you would finish the story, well, after reading this chapter, it seems you will be going above and beyond my wildest dreams!
    A couple of my favorite parts: when Alyssa tells Caleb where his cane is sitting & Alyssa thinks that Nan must have been a troublemaker in her youth. Not sure why, but those stickbout to me!

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    1. I did, Anonymous, and I will finish it, and thank you for being patient. I also loved that you picked out those bits in particular, because I found myself smiling when I wrote them, so that's really nice to see that you liked them too.

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  6. Thank you to continue your story despite the blockade you had.
    I hope that there will be more of your writing soon because it's just soooo good. Your stories are so well written and that really makes them unforgettable.

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    1. Thank you for commenting and making it worthwhile to finish it off! I'm not sure how much more of me you'll get 'soon', because I'm going to focus (when Footsteps is all posted) on writing and completing the other stories so I don't have to make people wait for like a year for the next chapter! Thanks for sticking with me though, and I'm really touched by your comments.

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  7. Lovely! Can't wait for the next post tomorrow!

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    1. It's up! Thank you for stopping by for more.

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