Ridgefield Say that alluring yes? (nsfw)
The escalation that marked so many of their interactions remained. It was a ponderous thing now, a gradual increase in urgency as hearts fluttered, breath caught, and hands roamed along expanses of flesh always before hidden from each other. Joshua found her remarkably adept at preempting him, helping with his fastenings without any need to ask, much as she'd taken charge of removing her own. And the eagerness, the expanding passion of her movements and contact, proved even more intoxicating than her gift at the night's genesis.

Eyes didn't rove any longer; her delicate grip beneath his chin saw to that, kept his simmering gaze locked on hers when eyes weren't slid shut in the depths of a kiss. It left his hand to explore by feel alone. Hands, the one abandoning its gentle grasp at the top of her neck to slide down over a shoulder, thinly calloused palm grazing past ribs and lower yet until he had hold of both hips.

For a moment here both hands tightened, along with the rest of him. Every muscle tensed as he pulled her somehow closer still, pressing them together, feeling the whole of her flush against him. Both torsos bared. A prelude and preview of sorts.

A softly shuddered exhale saw him relent, and one hand resumed its careful caress. At the outside edge of her hip, a pinky slipped itself between skin and fabric, squeezing briefly before slowly inching further to the front. Thumb of that same hand reached her navel, and...

He withdrew, released her entirely, stepped back and sought to twine his fingers with hers before turning and wordlessly leading to and through the open bedroom door.
Testing his own restraint. He revealed it on his trembling exhale, gripping and then releasing, tensing in a way which was hard to miss when she was all but the opposite. What was unfair was that of all things, she was roped into his private games.

She broke her lips away from his when he started toying with the fabric at her hip, increasingly heady and making no attempts to hide it. Then he pulled away from her altogether. Adeline could've cursed for the cruelty, the fact that it left her empty. Such a tease. Looking like someone who'd been on the cusp of getting what she wanted, she patiently closed her eyes and smiled with her lips pressed together in her own fashion of restraint, brows faintly lifted. She was sure he thought that very charming.

Nowhere near as strong as him, he would succeed in drawing one stubborn step out of the elegant Adeline. "Who told you to go?" she questioned, voice lilting languidly as she clasped his hand with both of hers.

Another step, if he tugged. Compliant but not merciful. The message was more important than the execution.
No. No insistent tugging. He'd turn back at the feeling of resistance, his own brows canting upward as well. She'd surprised him; they'd been in a sort of building sync for several steps of this dance. Commanding words easily stretched his smile back into place, though they did nothing to unwrinkle his forehead.

"I thought..." he began in earnest explanation before leaving it with a faint headshake, a fainter smirk. Stepping back to her, his free hand led the charge of his free arm around her once more, snaking up past her right side under her arm, to tighten with the pads of his hand pressed into the back of her left shoulder. Meanwhile his right hand remained a willing prisoner in both of hers.

Eyes on her face as he once more held her close, they were alight with excitement. Plenty was to be found in the broader circumstances, but her playful turn heightened it all significantly. Beneath the manicured composure, Adeline's was such a rebellious humor.

"I suppose I'm just used to being in charge."
They rewound the tape to seconds before, his steps tracing the same shadows in reverse. She waited. Out of everything that'd happened so far tonight, it was such an unlikely thing to attract her for as much as it did. But by her tastes it was his nuances that'd always been the most provocative. She was taken by how in tune he was or sought to be, and then beyond that, how promptly and without a moment's hesitation he gravitated towards her. All over one small question that apparently trumped all other intent.

Adeline's smile renewed with fresh traces of mirthful mischief as he embraced her, softening her back into his hold rather than the wall. He thought. He supposed. He was sincere. "Mmm," she hummed in response, disclosing nothing, preferring to look at him. His revelation was no surprise. She understood in which sphere he meant it most of all, but with him it applied to everything, didn't it? From deciding fusion restaurants to heading in to work at that building that looked bleak on the best of days. It didn't align with the more modest person she saw in him, the one who liked his time and his quiet, but with her within arm's reach all the same. How could someone so undemanding have possibly landed in the tinderbox.

The crown of her head rested back, and she rolled it in a slow sideways motion as she considered him through slightly-lidded eyes. "Am I everything you're used to, then," Adeline asked with care.

Untwining her fingers until only the one hand remained atop his, she placed both his and her hand to where he'd been exploring before, cloaking the surface of his skin with the warmth of her palm.
Mmm, she said. Classic Adeline. He could've seen, might've expected, someone in her profession would be relieved to have to listen less in their personal life, and speak more. Talk therapy wasn't her gig, but he still had to imagine meetings with patients involved a much greater flow of words on their end than hers.

But no, she always seemed to prefer asking to answering, learning over divulging. Even though she'd spoken first in their acquaintance, was it not a question? An attempt to ferret out his perspective while playing hers close. Hilariously so, in retrospect.

In another time, another context, another Joshua Tiffer may have been disheartened at the elusive grasp of her that was all he could manage. Frustrated by it. But now, here, with his current experiences and goals? Hopes? No. She was open and forthright where she needed to be, where it mattered. She didn't hide, she simply didn't gush. And for his part he already knew what was necessary. She had his trust, and he could only delight in the unending, slow unraveling of the puzzle box she was.

"Not remotely," he answered with unflinching honesty the moment she'd asked.

The hand of his she'd pressed back to her midsection eagerly took up its abandoned cause, fingers curling lightly before straightening anew, letting fingertips glide gently across her skin without disturbing the hand she held over his.
Even when she wasn't sober, Adeline had a tendency of forecasting answers from others. It probably wasn't her most healthy habit. She could tell, with rough approximation, what words would tumble out of people she came across. No doubt the way she phrased herself played a role, but the level and depth with which she interacted with strangers turned patients, and the subsequent unpredictability of some of those conversations, often led her to have a sense on the ordinary person per se.

Which meant that she anticipated his answer, vaguely. Not because of him, but because of her. It didn't smite her with the dizzying affection it would have had she not known better, but hardly did she need that when he had already won her over. Instead what it did was add layers upon layers of surety, and that she wouldn't have traded for anything.

The burning desire to kiss him again was so strong that it had to be ignored, or at least shelved. It seemed premature, to sacrifice meeting his gaze whilst his hand began to rove. Adeline curved into him, drawn, murmuring an unravelling, "Go further."
A little huff at her command. Not indignant; he didn't need to be in charge. Just... hmm, enticed. Enthralled. Enchanted.

He was not used to this. Not anymore. For just over a year he'd been divorced, and the year before—two, really—had not exactly marked his marriage with an abundance of passion. None of which did he mean to bring up, but it left him aware of... the potential for certain deficiencies. Disappointments. The conviction to keep the evening's proceedings gradual was a tactical one.

Accordingly he was more than keen to oblige, drawing out each motion even as eagerness to touch her elsewhere, everywhere, rose. Hand sliding farther back along her hip, two fingers grazed above the line of fabric while two pressed below, slipping beneath material to enjoy the naked curve of her backside.

Another tease, really. They returned to the fore, Joshua shifting sightly to the side even as he kept a firm hold with the arm around her. Getting out of his own way.

As fingers dipped fully behind and beneath the delicate waistband, touch light and testing as they roamed lower, he resisted a powerful need to again attend to her neck with his lips. Perhaps due to his own profession, he took great satisfaction in witnessing the positive impact of his actions. So, breath slow and controlled, he kept his eyes on hers.
The huff was a mystery to her. A sound and expression of his not yet learned, piquing Adeline's curiosity at a time where... she had to be satisfied with no definitive answer being the answer. It underlined the amorous mood, made it bleed between them. Hers as much as his.

Dark eyes wandered evenly between eyes and lips, reading into the twists and turns of his brown gaze as if the roads she saw might reveal something she didn't know. Tension lay heavy. Her hand remained where she'd brought his above her waistband, feeling his slide from underneath and reappear with fingers pushing down her backside, making contact that lingered even after he'd moved on. For someone who was not remotely used to her, he handled her in ways which should've said otherwise.

That remained true when his hand curved back around over her hip. Further yet. Face turned towards Josh's, she settled on his eyes properly there, lips parted faintly. All of her seemed to respond to the first of his touches, electric and impossible to ignore. The subtle tells, as another arch landed her deeper into his arms with shoulders hitting back. The need to let her breath hitch softly contesting with where to draw air. Never did Adeline lose herself or encourage a loss of self. This was a complete absence of public composure that didn't exist on any other plane, and undoubtedly, it was the only time she would ever welcome it so readily.

Withdrawing her hand only to follow up the slant of his lowered arm, she traced over his elbow with fingers spread, then all the way to the side of his shoulder in soothing motions. Sensation told her how to roll her hips against his touch, only gently for now. Eyes didn't stray, not even for a moment.
It was another layer of unmistakable captivation, knowing how stark the contrast was between this and her public persona. His as well. Most people's, granted. It was nothing unprecedented, thinking about how surreal the comparison of their opening moments together to those passing now. An idle fancy for another time. In the present he found himself consumed with the intensity of her gaze.

Even through the wealth of stimulation: her hand on his shoulder, the sound of her staggered breath, little motions and responses rocking through her, and the great warmth where his fingers lightly pressed and slid and caressed. With all of that, it was still her eyes that transfixed him.

It occurred to him, the game of trying to get her to break. To find the triggers and places and angles that might send a shudder that closed her eyes and broke the spell. But it struck so low on his priorities that the notion was just as soon forgotten. It would provoke a rush he didn't care to indulge. Instead he leaned closer, enough to let his forehead land softly to hers. Joshua's breaths were steady, slow. But heavy.

Each moment he progressed, reaching further, but still exploring contours and curves rather than delving deep. Still watching her, learning her.
The more he touched the more she tingled, she ached, she crept to a slow flush. Hues of colour swashed her cheeks, and she sensed it just as much as his delicate caress, unsteadied thoughts grasping onto each and any modicum of pleasure. It was subconscious, how she focused on the tides of his own breathing, letting them carry her own. In and out, releasing exhales that bent to the will of the hand hidden between her legs.

All her warmth was hard to avoid sharing, his forehead pressed to hers as it was. Adeline's pulse thrummed in places that went usually unnoticed. There was, also, the hands of a faraway headache that threatened to pressure her mind. A regrettable and unpreventable symptom of the present she'd walked in toting, but she had confidence that it wasn't anything he couldn't remedy. Already, each second took the edge off, not allowing the dam of discomfort to break and cause her displeasure.

Closing her eyes for a moment, feverish lips moved towards his for whatever number of times tonight. It wasn't as fervent as the kisses that'd led them to this wall, and her goal hadn't been to draw it out. Yet still somehow she remained suspended there for longer than intended, falling very much accidentally into kissing him deeper than she had before.
She released him with her slow blink, only to capture him all over again with her lips. The kisses were met with an earnest need, his own eyes sliding shut if only to grant some relief, to narrow the scope of his senses she overpowered. Already he felt her intimately, and now the taste of her affections returned.

It was difficult, impossible, to keep to his established pace with the heightened passion of her lips. Adeline had never struck him as a hard woman: reserved but not cold, capable but not aggressive. Never violent. But now particularly, from her lips and tongue as they moved against his, to tender parts he began to massage with some vigor, she was everything soft.

Breath quickening into shallow nasal gasps, he pressed with one hand and his mouth while pulling her ever more into him with the other. He needed more. Hands. Ardently he wished to run fingers again through her raven hair, to caress her face, to enjoy her breasts with more than his own chest. But he could not stop holding her against him, pads of his fingers pressed urgently into the pliant musculature of her back.

And he would not deny her his other hand again. Not until she was through.
The steepening rise and need which compelled him to pull her ever closer and run fingers over her with greater haste had not been Adeline's intention. Admittedly, she had none. Certainly it was a factor--that she planned to enjoy herself as much as him--but the very last thought that she'd had with any real clarity had been when she'd summoned him back to her, and that'd been a direct response to having her desire clipped short. That was the point, though. Predictability was not especially fun for anyone.

He pursued her in almost every way he could. It made her feel crazy, to kiss him and taste him with faded sensation, to be pressed close to him and moving against him, to be running a weakened hand high across his warm nape, a thumb to his jaw and nails nestled in hair.

Her pulse didn't mind punching its way to the forefront of her chest, leading the race until eventually, with time, greater sounds escaped her. Adeline was far from and seldom loud, but sighs were eager to be replaced by thoughtful moans and a lowering of her brows, soft furrowed lines drawing themselves over her forehead like marks from a sketch. She didn't try to break away or create space between them. The kisses simply slowed and fumbled gradually as her body showed signs of tensing in a manner which was unbearable, heading towards absolute madness as she exchanged breath and urgency with him.

The fingers in his hair pressed and unpressed without forgetting, though that was bound to not last much longer, too.
He enjoyed the gradual change, the building tension he was able to help bring about within her. Something of an understatement, that. But it was a potent desire, a lofty priority, that she enjoy the evening. The food, the music, the one-time promise of dancing which in practice had swiftly given way to more carnal pursuits. And now those pursuits themselves all worked toward the singular goal of...

Just doing this well. There was no delusion that he'd been the victim of an overly demanding and unsatisfiable wife. Notes of that, perhaps, but it was never the whole. When it came right down to it, he had failed as a husband. Possibly as a father. Adeline was not his redemption; he'd never put that on her. But he remained, even if only in the back of his mind, aware of where his shortcomings could carry over to her. And he meant to do better.

As her kisses slackened, focus drawn elsewhere, Joshua's lips strayed from her mouth. Letting her breathe and buoyed by the sounds slipping free, he lowered his attention to her chin, along the line of her jaw, to the base of one ear. And those very nice earrings. Taking care not to pinch against the metal, light nibbles traced up the outer lobe.

All the while fingers toyed and teased, circling and stroking.
There was no overlooking his endeavours. How he adapted to unfolding moments and attuned his attention. Languidly, she turned her face away as he made the short journey from lips to ear, knocked out of her mind for the heat and nip that came with. They were simple means that when combined, contributed to the larger picture.

Here she held him just as closely as he had throughout the night. More of the arm that was on top rested across his upper back, over shoulder blades. She approached the precipice without reservation, full of sharp little sounds, until she was clutching him with eyes closed. There were complicated and extraordinary facets to the relationship they were building, to what brought them together as people, but presently it seemed more clear cut than ever before. Which all things given wasn't Adeline's brightest spark of thought, but what was rational was rarely the same as what brought satisfaction.

Shuddering against him with no warning beyond her sounds and her squeezes, she was rocked more emotionally than physically, though it was for the best that he held her as he did regardless. She wasn't sure where she would've landed otherwise.

Left sensitive and with an echoing heart, it was only when senses returned that arms softened. Reluctantly she tapped her head to the wall again, looking towards him, savouring the warmth of his hand before it would be gone. "Oh god, Josh," was all she managed fondly, tension carefully slipping from her features as deeper breaths returned.
It was a lesser intensity, he had to believe, than what she was experiencing. But her arm around his shoulders, fingers against his scalp, all tightening along with the rest of her as she shook and squeezed... Empathetic euphoria and her unrelenting allure kept him right with her, fingers holding at a single shaky press until it had passed.

Lips pressed around her lobe to give one final little pull as she leaned once more to the wall, hidden hand relaxing into the barest motions. One arm remained around her, but he no longer seemed determined to crush her against him with it, fingertips lightly tracing just right where they lay at her shoulder's rear.

For her words he could only smile, pleased with himself and thinking how this was unquestionably the best night he'd had in...

No. No, he didn't care to traverse far enough into the past to find anything comparable.

Again there was some desire to further woo her with sweet words, but he could think of none which felt both adequate and appropriate. Better to just allow the moment—and them—to breathe. He did withdraw from her sole remaining garment, shifting to her other side as he did so. Fingers were, hmm, wiped as surreptitiously as he could manage on his jeans before slipping that arm instead around her. Low, hand coming to rest just below her back.

The arm previously around her was brought back to the front so he could once more place a gentle touch along her cheekbone. Still speechless, he looked with brimming affection into her satisfied gaze.
Adeline's face and the degree to which it ran hot spoke for itself. So did his, she thought. Struggling to keep her eyes all the way open, she blinked slowly, meeting his gaze and smile sedately. The headache had fled, forgotten, seeking refuge for a few hours. Breath was coming back around as the funnelling windstorm of all that titillated moved off with grace. Yet all the other side effects of her feelings remained utterly, utterly, unabating.

It made sense, why even the smartest people in the room were so prone to saying foolish things at times like these. Josh's hand, again, made her face feel small in his palm. His skin firm but worn, contrasting her own by enough for her to know it was his touch, his palm, his caress, that she rested her cheek against. There were any number of thoughts she was having about him. How much she adored his name and the way she could say it in one breath. The line that drew between who he was publicly and who he was privately. Then there were the more straightforward and current ones. How very nice that'd just been, and how many steps away the bedroom could be.

But there was one piece of his handiwork that was caught in her mind most of all. A tear of red fabric that'd flown and found itself snagged between rocks. It was far less flashy and had fused itself in her mind for longer than any of the others. And it was him that reminded her of it, when he placed his hand to her flushed cheek once more.

When Adeline spoke against the pregnant pause, it sounded like a continuation of her last words. A tumbling mess that came out coherent due to pacing. "You've done a terrible thing," she revealed, not in the least humourful. Voice a turn low, she'd glide only the traces of two fingers down the middle back of his neck. "Something I knew you would do, but never so easily."

Adeline's emotions came in sporadic moments. They were never exaggerated, but still it took much for them to step out from the shadows. Once they'd been comfortable hiding between the pages of books she studied, and now as a woman they were comfortable living between the lines and pleats and creases of the clothes she wore. The people she tended to. The way her hair fell on any given day, and the relationships that she forged--which though far and few, were ones she maintained with sincere effort. So though the next words of hers were foolish, perhaps the smartest people needed times like these to make them say what they knew they otherwise wouldn't.

"Hm," she gave a weary and reflective chuckle at the realisation, lips lifting into a smile much like his own. "I like you much more than I should."
Certainly by now patterns had begun to emerge. Tiffer was old enough and had honed a recognition of such things by necessity in his work that he could spot it well. Even with no great mirth in her tone nor glee in her features, he only lifted his brows curiously for her dire beginning. Adeline's was the driest of wits, something which had required some adjustment, but felt all the more rewarding now he understood it.

At least that was the only initial response. Her gentle caress down his spine had him voicing a low, "Mm, hmm?" which was turned up into a question at the end for the sake of not cutting her off.

And then there it was: the laugh, the smile. The punchline that turned out to not be a joke so much as... he wasn't sure. A confession? It made him wonder how much she thought she should like him, but there didn't seem to be a lot of value in dwelling on that. Instead he again considered replies.

"Good," "Same," and "I think I like you just the right amount," were all rejected out of hand. Each was insufficient in some capacity, whether honesty or charm. Eyes squinting at the burst of renewal in his smile, he leaned in for another kiss. Just a short one.

"You know, I really don't feel that guilty," was settled into instead. It was, in its own way, a gentle lie. There dwelt within him a fierce conviction that he, they, had gone about this correctly. Adequate time had been taken, thoughtful care moving forward. Most importantly perhaps, she wasn't some arbitrary means of comfort, assurance that he "still had it," a midlife crisis rebound. He hadn't wanted to start dating; he'd wanted her.

But there were still voices that said otherwise, nagging thoughts that he'd made a mess and was undeserving of happiness elsewhere. The sort of thing he was working through entirely separately from Adeline, but at her place of business nonetheless. Acceptance had come that he might never be rid of such voices, but he didn't have to listen to them.

"Come here," he gently followed up, backing away from the wall while keeping ahold, meaning to lead her to the couch so they could sit. The intensity of their time together had a rhythm, came in waves. This moment seemed a time for talk and quiet enjoyment. He trusted passion would rise again to sweep them both away.
The smile wasn't stripped from her face simply because he kissed her. It remained, even broadening gradually as if she happened to sense his upcoming words before he'd even drawn breath to say them.

It was right of him to not feel guilty. He'd done nothing besides be what she believed was himself with her. It was Adeline that had slipped with much less resistance than usual. Upon his first invitation, the first time he'd asked her out, it'd been a combination of some general willingness to explore and a lack of self-doubt that led her to cutting him off before he could get in his head about misstepping. That had been the beginning, at least on record. But everything after that? Frankly she wasn't sure where it came from. He inspired a fondness in her that was making all the edges softer.

Which did make it frightening, in some small part. Behind appearances, Adeline had no shortage of experiences with being left behind. It wasn't an insecurity but it was a deprivation she had grown accustomed to. People stayed while it was convenient for them and that was all. She saw it in herself, she saw it patients, she saw it in everyone around her.

It was a good thing that fear didn't govern her life, romantic or otherwise.

Adeline traced her fingers across his neck one last time before he led her with him. It was an opportunity to pick her deserted dress up so it didn't collect dust, draping it over the end of the couch. She separated from him only to sit with her hip first, angled towards him with an elbow to the back of the couch. The rings from her fingers she began removing, sobering her smile, despite how weak she felt.

Nothing went said, though it wasn't for an absence of thought or feeling, for that matter.
No resistance this time. He'd have been surprised all over again if she'd been committed to standing at the wall. Especially after, well...

No effort was made to gather his own discarded clothes. In fact this seemed a good opportunity to shed his socks. It felt a little awkward, having meaningfully more still on than she. But removing his jeans might have seemed like he was making a point, so those stayed on. Socks balled up together, he underhand tossed them off to the side to land on his abandoned shirt, before settling into a seat himself.

He faced her as well of course, the nearer foot tucked back beneath his other thigh to allow the sort of sideways sitting. "Any special meaning to any of them?" came an idle question, one hand gesturing to her loosening jewelry before finding her knee. He'd make wordless plea for her full leg, laid across the couch to rest in his lap, with the intent to begin running both hands up and down the sides of her calf in soft massage.

There was still a great deal of Adeline to learn and explore, even just physically speaking. Joshua enjoyed the opportunity for private intimate touch, even without it being explicitly sexual. "Or just designs you've liked?"
What she was doing didn't play on her mind in the least. So it was as if having forgotten, that she glanced to her hands with a trickle of amusement.

"Nothing special. It's me and my window shopping habits," Adeline explained, pulling another band off, twisting it once or twice at the knuckle until it was free, and then placing it in the hollow of her palm with the other few. Adeline had heirlooms at home, the result of being an only child and existing to be the only recipient of such things. She supposed they had interesting stories. But they were to be kept safe, only occasionally flaunted.

Edging herself lower against the couch, her elbow fell in while she halfway straightened her outer leg across his. Really as close as she could reasonably be to him.

"Uncured, as of yet," she smiled, eyes alight when she looked up again.
That soft laughter she always provoked, now as he accepted the granted leg into his cockeyed lap. One hand slipped beneath, palming her calf and lightly pressing in and releasing with each finger. This persisted while he traced three fingertips slowly down her shin.

"It's good to know what you want," he offered, as if dedicated to putting a positive spin on the whole thing. See? It's an admirable trait! Halfway he just enjoyed arguing with her about frivolous things.

There was some degree of thought about, hmm, possible future gifts and the like. But it wasn't anything he thought needed too much mental focus right then. There remained quite a lot of dedication to staying in the moment.
The laughs were rewarding to hear. Life was far too short for her to not make fun of herself, and him to join that.

Adeline's grin was small, but no less noticeable because of it. "And if I want everything?" she challenged, one palm clutched closed, the other wandering over his shoulder and just below his collarbones.
And frivolous things only. When topics turned serious he'd fallen into a pattern of inquiring and accepting rather than arguing. Her turn walked the line between, hardly a dire question but neither one he'd label frivolous. His own pattern held, answering with a question .

"Have I yet denied you anything?"

He would someday. It was just... statistically unavoidable. Some date cancelled, some work emergency taking priority. This as well was a pattern of his. One he'd happily ignore while happenstance allowed.

This was not a mood he meant to bring down with what ifs and whens, however, and he leaned slightly closer, into her caress while his own trailed back up her shin and over her knee to squeeze playfully just at the bottom of her thigh.
Wanting everything was unimaginable, frankly. It seemed to be that those that had less wanted more and those that could have anything were dissatisfied for other reasons.

Adeline occasionally preferred not knowing what she wanted. Being surprised by it, much like she was by how he'd come into her life. She thought on what he said only long enough for him to squeeze and her to settle, pressing her knee softly into his thigh. "Almost, you did," she reminded, chuckling a hum.

Again, the knee pressed with her movement.

Then she whispered, "But I don't hold grudges." There, the mischievous turn in her smile returned. Easy enough for it to when she knew he could bear her awfulness.
Again there was more than the small hummed laughter she almost perpetually evoked in him, a soft bark of amusement instead. He shook his head, eyes on hers, then dropping to that wicked smile. Dropping lower.

It was a strange amalgam, his impulses and the overall mood of the moment. Bantering with Adeline was nothing new, a long favored pastime and probably a cornerstone of what he'd have called a friendship before they'd decided to take it in another direction. So that felt natural. Comfortable.

But at the same time he could not entirely pretend to be accustomed to sitting close beside her while she was topless and stripped to her underwear. This was not the first time his gaze had dipped to her breasts, her legs, despite no deliberate intent for it to happen. Just... there she was.


"Merciful Lin," he smirked, adjusting his eyeline back to hers. Hand on her knee slid higher, while the other which had been toying with her calf shifted to delicately trace a line up her other thigh. What he could reach, anyway, with their dual sidelong sitting.
However unintentional, what she quickly decided was a compliment had the ring of an ancient shen. Even though they were teasing, she did hope to be merciful. Someone willing to skew towards clemency rather than bitterness. Not only to him, but to others. And perhaps mostly importantly: to herself.

Adeline had some desire to prolong every moment with Josh. Her hair was like silk, cushioning the side of her face against the couch and long enough to cascade over by some. She continued to look towards him with a smile, even when he didn’t, even when he did.

”Like you say to me,” she started. His hands were hardly idle. It was touch that she wanted to chase by moving out of as much as moving in to. Both methods procurable, though she chose the second.

Meeting his lean with her own bit of weight, Adeline hid her face to the side of his, kissing his cheek and lingering. ”Always.”
Confidence was a tricky thing. He had a fair share; by and large he liked who he was and felt he did well in aligning actions and motivations to the values and priorities he professed. Values which necessitated vigilance and self reflection against the dangers of slipping into self righteous certainty.

That self reflection couldn't help but reveal how objectively he, of the two of them, had a greater strike against him in the arena of romance. A failed marriage was a black mark for some. So while she'd made no issue of it to date, he had to imagine she was aware and that...

Well, he'd be ever appreciative of her mercy.

Something expressed here with renewed ardor, lips finding the side of her neck once more as he rose further on one leg, hands seeking a hold on her hips. Only for him to drop back to his seat, boldly striving to lever her up atop him.
There was a slight loss of balance when he did that. But one of her hands was useless and clutching jewellery she meant to leave behind, and her knee had to be mindful of where it pushed, so the palm to his chest drove up for support. A hold, a grip, while she brought her leg to the other side of his thigh in a straddle.

She certainly felt more herself like this. Tall and proper, not having to make space when she had her own.

Not that it went admired for long. Releasing her jewellery upon the unsafe perch of the nearest armrest, she sunk her hips further against him. Flushed again, the colour a slow process, the moment a settling one for Adeline. It was him that occupied every thought.
Rings on the armrest. Some little mental note did its best to lodge itself in his mind, but despite the effort at considerate responsibility Tiffer was consumed with other thoughts.

Hands slid higher, off her hips and past the only garment of hers yet keeping them apart. Along the sides of her waist, fingers resisted the urge to press in, only gliding along pale skin. Now, like when they'd stood at the wall, his eyes were drawn to hers. Even as eager hands grazed across breasts, briefly cupping before arms slipped around her once again.

Rising to her, sitting as high as he could, now fingers pressed into the flesh of her back as he shuddered an exhale. Still he watched her gaze through the dark cascade of her hair around him.

"My god I want you," he breathed.
Watching him watch her, fondle her, dedicate to hold her, and then say that he wanted her. It brought Adeline to where she'd been not minutes earlier, smile replaced by a trembling breath. She'd been direct about her feelings before and she was relatively sure she would not have to do the same again. They were unwavering, illuminated even more when his own intensity spread and caught her in her tracks.

There was trust in the way Adeline rested her back into his grip, unafraid and unshy, hand sliding to the slope of his neck in caress. She brought her face close to his only to deny herself his lips deliberately--despite the need being there, clear and building--instead sighing, "Take me slowly."

Past her own hair, his posture afforded room for her to angle her other shoulder forward, a turning hand moving along the lower half of his abdomen. Fingers light and palm firm, she spent a moment roving across skin until she reached closer to her own legs, above the line of denim. She crossed it, rising on knees slightly, pressing the corner of his fly's fabric between thumb and fingertips, her middle finger finding the rounded edge of his button. All the while transfixed still by him, aware that if she disregarded certain constraints, she could've embraced him until the hours became untold if it meant delaying a sunrise.
The proximity, the scent of her, her words. Possibly most of all her hands on his skin. All threatened to steal away the stubbornly deliberate breaths he'd kept more or less even to this point. Hands remained firm, but pliant, supporting rather than restricting her movement.

"I have-" God, why was there so much saliva in his mouth suddenly? Well, anticipation. But still, christ. Joshua's swallow was audible. "Er, condoms. In my nightstand." They were new. Sort of—not sort of, entirely—bought just for this. Just in case. One of those things that felt like it detracted from the, what, cinematic romance of the moment, but was important to consider. Much like...

"And," but he'd interrupt himself to kiss her chin, trying to meld the romantic and pragmatic together. "I've had a vasectomy. Years ago."

It had been a while; it had been a long while since a first time with a new partner. Another little kiss. "Whatever you're comfortable with."
She chuckled under her breath all over again, conversation neither deterring nor distracting from the task at hand. Irregardless of the rest, Adeline didn't spend any first night differently. It wasn't a precedent she cared for. They could talk about the after when it wouldn't upheave the moment in its entirety.

"In your nightstand," she repeated, picking on him for his words. They were affections.

Button undone, she melted back down into his last kiss. Returning her attention to his cheek again, and then his neck, she began moving her knees off the couch on a path to work her way off him.

"Who should go get them."
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