I can hardly believe what I'm hearing. I look at Max in surprise.
"Let's go," he repeats, his voice deliciously low. He lifts the hair from the nape of neck and kisses me softly. "Now."
His breath tickles my ear, and I shiver in the best way. “Where?”
“Back to my cabin,” Max laughs lightly and pauses his kissing. “Where else?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” I giggle and gesture outside. “Maybe the hotel whose parking garage we’re making out in right now?”
Max looks across the garage at the entrance to the hotel. It’s warmly lit and inviting. For a moment he looks like he’s considering my idea--especially when I start kissing him again—but then he sighs heavily and shakes his head.
“There’s my apartment too?” I ask, hopefully.
“And there’s also my cabin,” he counters.
“Your cabin is thirty-five minutes away!” I try to keep the whine out of my voice, but I can’t help it. “That’s without traffic”
A slow grin suddenly starts to spread across Max’s face. He reaches up and tenderly brushes my bangs out of my eyes. “Is that too long for you?”
Heat flushes throughout my body. “About thirty-five minutes too long.”
“You live on the second-floor of a building without an elevator,” he whispers softly and meets my eyes. His gaze is intense; I feel like his hazel eyes can see everything inside me. Not like I’m exactly being subtle here, but then neither is he. “And I’m not as spontaneous as I once was.”
I hear his words, but I don’t fully understand them until he looks pointedly at his legs. Tonight has been a night of dancing around his limitations, so for once I decide to grab the bull by the horns. “I thought you could do stairs?”
Okay, so I grabbed the bull but ignored the elephant in the room. It happens.
Max twists his mouth around while he searches for the right words. “I can,” I raise my eyebrows in confusion. “And eventually, I’ll make it up the stairs into your apartment, but if you want this night to continue in the same way I do…” his words trail off but he continues to hold my gaze. “Climbing two flights of stairs after a long night is going to take a lot out of me, Inez.”
I nod with understanding. I don’t want to go anywhere near his declaration about not being spontaneous--not right now when we’re on the brink of the first sexy night in our relationship--but I feel like I need to.
“And despite your lack of spontaneity, everything...is...um.” The question turns into a blunder as I realize just how personal he’s being. “Help?”
Even though the nature of our conversation could be--and sort of is--uncomfortable, Max still manages to chuckle as I bungle what I’m trying to say.
“The short answer is ‘yes,’” he tells me. “Everything is, more or less, in good working order.”
For the first time tonight, his voice wavers and his veneer of nonchalance begins to crack. I wonder at his word choice, but I sense right now is not the time to delve into that. Too much more of this talk and we might not end up doing much more.
So instead I settle back into my seat and buckle. Then I smile. I hope it’s seductive looking and not stupid. “Time to start your engine then.”
By the time we get back to Greymound it’s past midnight. I should be tired and exhausted, ready to pass out as soon as I lay my head down on Max’s little twin bed. Instead, I’m buzzing.
We waste no time once we’re at the cabin. I’ll admit, I had been afraid that the distance and the conversation would squish the mood that had quickly built in the parking garage of the Sheraton, but if anything, the intimacy of the conversation only exaggerated it. I can feel the desire bouncing off of Max in waves, and it makes me feel so good. As soon as he cuts the engine, Max tosses me the keys so that I can unlock the door while he gets out. By the time I get the key into the rusted lock and get the door open, Max is following close behind me.
The door shuts. I turn around to face Max. His tuxedo jacket is neat, but his tie is crooked and his hair is tousled. He looks incredibly sexy, standing there propped on his crutches. Then he smiles and I melt.
“Come here,” he instructs. I don’t at first, still enjoying looking at him, so he says it again. “Come here, Inez.”
I close the space between us with three steps and then I’m looking up at him. For a moment, we stand there like that, drinking in the sight of one another. Then all of a sudden his right arm is around my waist, crutch still dangling from his arm, and he’s bracing his body with his other crutch. With a swift and strong grip he pulls me closer and dips his head. I thrust my body even closer to him as our lips touch.
I wrap my arms around him as our kissing intensifies, and I feel Max sway a little in my embrace. He releases his grip around my waist and steadies himself once again with both crutches. As hands explore his body; it’s easier now than it was in the car. I can feel the muscles in his back, taut and strong, and I follow the contours and lines of his upper body until I reach the area I’m most anxious to discover.
It takes a few seconds of my fingers tracing and teasing the area before he realizes where I’m touching. When he does, his eyes flash with emotion. I lean in more to his kiss while I keep massaging the area and finally, I’m rewarded with a faint twitch from his member.
“I’ll be right back,” Max suddenly says in a breathy voice. He pulls away from me, breaking the spell. He then turns and starts shuffling off in the direction of the bathroom, leaving me standing in the middle of the cabin, feeling perplexed.
After a minute of standing there in confusion, I finally speak up. “Uh, Max?”
“Yeah, I’ll be right out,” he hollers from the bathroom. His voice is muffled by the wall, but there is a terseness to it that wasn’t there a few seconds before. I wonder if I crossed a line by exploring too low. “It’ll be a few minutes though.”
I’m still in my ugly bridesmaids dress, so since Max is otherwise preoccupied, I decide it’s a good time to go back out to his car and retrieve my bag. There isn’t much inside the little duffel bag—after all, when this day started I didn’t imagine it ending like this—but I do at least have a toothbrush and a red monogrammed robe that was a gift from Stacey.
Max is still in the bathroom when I get back inside. What the hell is he doing in there?
Less than a minute later, after I’ve changed and I’m trying to decide what to do with the bundle of fabric in my hands, I hear the squeak of rubber on hardwood. I turn around, and as soon as I do I realize, at least partly, what Max was doing in the bathroom. And I’ve got to say, I’m not complaining.
Max stands in front of me once again, this time bare chested and wearing only a pair of blue stripped pajama pants. His chest is a wide expanse of muscle and hair. His should are defined, but in a natural way. A way that denotes heavy lifting and hard work, rather than a gym habit. In contrast though, his legs look strangely limp, and I notice he’s leaning heavily on his crutches. As he slowly takes a step towards me his feet lightly drag and his arms and shoulders do most of the work, I realize that, along with his shirt, he must have also removed his braces in the bathroom.
I start grinning like a fool.
“So, I pass muster, huh?” He asks with a grin of his own.
“You are…you’re something else,” I tell him, stepping closer and closing the small distance between us. He looks a little unsteady, so I restrain from throwing myself at him. But God, I want to. I want this man in front of me so damn bad.
“Yeah?” Max raises a single eyebrow. He’s still grinning. “Am I?”
I nod. “Oh, yes,” I breathe. He shuffles even closer so that our bodies are touching, and suddenly I can’t control myself. I slip my arms around his shoulders and lift my lips to his. Obviously, he doesn’t wrap his arms around me in return—he’s using them to support his massive frame—but he kisses me with eagerness, longing, and passion.
Max nudges us towards the bed; he slowly shuffles forward while I go backwards. Where I’m going is the last thing on my mind, so when the backs of my knees contact the edge of the bed, I fall rather ungracefully back on to it.
Max, on the other hand, slowly leverages himself down. Once he’s sitting on the edge he takes his legs one at a time and lifts them onto the bed using his hands. Then he scoots to where he can lean with his back against the headboard. When he is finally situated, he reaches out and pulls me close to him. His strong arms envelope me in a warm in embrace that makes me secure and wanted in a way that I haven’t felt in years.
Then, a moment later, in one swift movement Max has me flat on my back. He’s hovering over me, supporting himself with one arm while the other starts to move down my body to areas that haven’t been touched my man in quite some time. He doesn’t linger though. Such a tease. Still, I can’t stop my body from writhing with pleasure at even the lightest touch.
Max shifts, and then I feel his hand brushing my shoulder. “Maybe,” he breathes in a husky voice. “Maybe this should go.”
I hastily wiggle out of my robe.
He smiles at my nakedness, and it makes me feel beautiful. He dips his head and our lips meet. He runs his hands over my face and through my hair, then begins to work his way downward. When he gets to the sweet spot, he slips his fingers in and begins to work in a gentle and slowly rhythmic way.
A moan slips out of me as he touches me. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him closer, not even caring if it throws him off balance. All I want right now is for Max to be closer to me.
He falters as I pull him closer, but only briefly. He shifts his body so that he is perched on his hip, giving him free use of both hands now. As he continues to move inside me, switching between circles and figure eights, coaxing me towards the edge with every stroke, it occurs to me that I’ve never experienced ecstasy like this before.
I run my hands through his long hair, across his shoulders, digging my fingernails into his back as I come. I bite my lip to keep from screaming, and even then, I can’t quiet myself completely as the intensity wracks my body. Without thinking, I wrap my legs tightly around his and pull him closer to me—if that’s even possible—as I cave inwards and explode.
Max lands on top of me with a grunt. We lay there in silence as I try to catch my breath and slow my heartbeat. When I open my eyes a minute or two later, Max is staring at me with a cocky grin on his face.
“Your turn?” I pant as he looks down at me.
He chuckles softly. “Not tonight.”
I lightly trail my fingers across the waistband of his pajama pants. Smiling, I start to slip my hand inside, but Max grabs it gently and stops me.
“Not tonight,” he repeats.
Something tells me not to press the matter, so I don’t. But I can’t help but be a little disappointed. “Fine,” I huff. “If you insist.”