Ben took a shower and made some lunch, stopping by his front window to check on Rachel’s house each time he walked past. He turned on the Cubs game but wasn’t interested, he was frustrated with Rachel. He understood her fear but, he also wanted her to trust him. He knew it was going to take time. He got up to take his plate back to the kitchen when he heard a knock at the door. He put the plate back on the coffee table and went to answer the door. Rachel stood on the front porch.
“Okay, let’s go. If I don’t go do this now, I will chicken out.”
He could see how conflicted she was. He grabbed his keys off of the table next to the door and locked it behind him. They got into his car, the heat from the sun making it feel like a sauna. Rachel stayed quiet as they rode along. Ben reached out and laced his fingers over her hand and squeezed gently. She squeezed back.
“I am really proud of you.” Ben said softly.
Rachel gave him a half smile.
He picked up the hand that he held and pressed a kiss into her palm.
“Trust isn’t easy for me Ben. I’m scared.”
“I know and that is why it means so much to me that you are trusting me. I won’t let you down. Look, I hope the future sees us together, happy as a family, but if it doesn’t I will still protect you and the boys from Rhett and his family. I promise you. Your protection is not mutual with us having a relationship.”
“Thank you for saying that.”
Twenty- five minutes later Rachel sat at Ben’s desk as an officer went over the paperwork with her. She felt safe sitting in Ben’s chair. Ben went to go get her a cup of coffee from the kitchen while she completed the paperwork. He didn’t want to hover and make her feel pressured by him. As he walked into the kitchen he saw Marty drinking a cup of coffee in the break room.
“I thought you were taking some time off?” Marty said, as he finished coffee.
“I am. I’m just here with Rachel. She’s pressing charges against Rhett, and petitioning for an order of protection for her and the boys.”
“That’s a big step for her. In the file there were a noticeable lack of charges filed by her, most were filled by the state on her behalf.”
“Yeah. This has got to stop.”
“I hear ya. You really love this girl, don’t you?”
“Is it that obvious?”
“If she is here filing, she really loves you too, you know,” Marty said as he crunched the paper cup in his hand and flung it into the trash can.
Ben tried not to smile.
“Hey I am glad you are here anyway. I wanted to let you know, Rhett’s alibi is solid for the night Serena was attacked and the rest of the nights we have. He wasn’t even in town for Serena. He was partying his ass off out on the coast.”
“Shit are you sure?”
“Yeah it all checks out. Sorry man. Don’t worry though, he isn’t off my radar. I get get the same read you do. He knows something.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well we questioned him, and even with his attorney there, he was so cocky. There’s something about him, slimy. Be careful there, he’s got some powerful friends too.”
“I met his father this afternoon, when he came to get the bastard’s car. I didn’t like the look of him either.”
“Hey, have you asked Rachel about Rhett?”
“I tried. She shut down when I brought up their sex life. There is more there I know it. She just isn’t ready to tell me.”
“Would it help if I talked to her, I mean since the two of you are involved? It might be less uncomfortable for her?”
“Yeah maybe, but give it a day or two. She’s been through a lot. I know there is trauma there. It is like part of her is holding back and I think it has to do with that piece of shit.”
“Well give it some thought.”
“Did you get anymore information on Duke?”
“You mean did we find all of him?”
“Yikes, that bad?”
“This wasn’t a murder, it was a hit. Someone wanted to shut him up.”
“That would be my guess. I put a call into Yee to let him know what was going on. A bit of penance for last night.”
“Good call. I should get back to Rachel. Keep me up to date?”
“Yeah. Enjoy your time with her.” Marty nodded out towards the main room where Ben’s desk sat.
Ben looked in that direction to see Rachel walking into the kitchen.
“All done.” She took a deep breath as she said it.
Ben walked over to her and put his arm around her. He kissed the top of her head.
“I am proud of you.”
She gave a half smile, the tension in her body radiated in the small space of the kitchen.
“Hi, I’m Marty. I am Ben’s partner.”
“Oh, it is nice to meet you. I am Rachel.”
“It is nice to finally meet you. Ben talks about you… a lot.”
“Uh oh, is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
“It’s a good thing. I am happy to see him happy. You two will have to come out with my wife and I sometime.”
“That would be fun. Thank you for the invitation.”
“We should get going.” Ben chimed in.
“It was nice to meet you, Rachel.”
“Call me if you get anything big?” Ben asked as they stepped out of the kitchen.
“You got it.” Marty patted him on the back.
Ben and Rachel walked out of the station. He opened the car door for her. Before she got in she reached out and hugged him tightly, laying her head on his chest. He brought his arms around her and held her close to him. They stood there on the sidewalk, with the car door open, in each other’s arms.
“Thank you.” Rachel said quietly.
She looked up at him after she said it. Ben caressed her cheek.
“Thank you for forcing me to be brave.”
“Honey you are making this choice, I would not force you to do anything.”
“No, I know, it was a figure of speech. You know it is so weird, I was so afraid to do this and now it is done and I am not afraid anymore. I thought I would feel awful afterwards but I don’t. As cliche as it sounds, I feel light, like a huge weight has been lifted. So thank you.”
“I am glad to feel that way. You are stronger than you know Rachel. You are not alone, I am here and I will always have your back.”
She leant up on her toes and kissed him. A few officers walking in began to hoot and holler at the two of them. Rachel stopped kissing Ben and buried her face in his chest, her face blushing. Ben gave them the finger as he laughed, the officers laughed in return. They both got into the car and Ben pulled away.
“I’m kind of hungry. Are you hungry?” Rachel asked.
“Well it is almost dinnertime, do you want to get something while we are out?”
“What do you have a taste for?”
“That does sound good. Where do you want to go?”
“What about Happy House on Hasted?”
“My favorite. That sounds good to me.”
Ben and Rachel ate dinner, and had ordered enough food for leftovers for three days after. Ben pulled into his driveway and parked the car. Rachel leant over and kissed him. He wanted her. They both got out of the car, as he came around to her, she put her arms around him and kissed him again. The intensity of their interaction was almost inappropriate for being out on the street, but they were shielded by the darkness of early evening. They kissed their way to his front door, as they both tripped over one of the stairs to the the front porch. Ben caught Rachel before they both fell.
He fumbled with his keys in the door, never breaking away from her lips. He opened the front door and they spilled into the foyer, Ben closed the door behind them. Ben wanted to take her right there in the hallway, propping her against the wall.
“Ben wait.” Rachel said breathless. “We have to slow down a bit, please.”
She pushed him towards the couch. He sat as the back of his legs hit it. She climbed on top of him and he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her and she kissed him back. He pushed her blouse off of her shoulder and kissed the exposed skin. Ben moved her hair out of the way and kissed her neck as he felt her hips move against him. She moaned as he kissed back down to her collar bone. He reached up and tried to undo more buttons on her blouse. She reached down to help him. He pushed it off of her shoulders and she helped but got caught by the buttons on the cuffs of her sleeves. Ben had went back to kissing her and had not noticed Rachel’s arms were caught in her sleeves. She began to panic, being trapped. He reached for her clasp at the front of her bra, as she still struggled to free her hands. Ben had been too eager and was moving too fast to notice.
“Stop! Please stop.” Rachel cried out.
Ben stopped right away, and noticed her arms were stuck. He looked at her face and saw she was on the verge of tears. She looked away embarrassed as Ben reached out to free her arms.
“I’m sorry honey, I didn’t notice you were stuck.”
Rachel brought her arms around to the front of her and got off of Ben’s lap. Ben stood up, as she stood in front of him, her arms across her body, sheilding her nakedness.
“Can I please have a glass of water?”
“Of course. Rachel I am really sorry.”
She nodded and walked towards the kitchen, in only her bra and pants. Ben followed her and grabbed a glass of from the cupboard and filled it. He set it on the counter next to her. She picked it up and took a drink from it. Clutching the glass, she walked over to the large windows at the back of the kitchen. Ben stayed quiet, he wanted to give her the space she needed. He stood at the counter.
Rachel turned back around.
“Ben I’m sorry.”
“You don’t have to apologize. I’m sorry I didn’t notice you were stuck.”
“I shouldn’t have freaked out like that. I know you wouldn’t hurt me, it’s just that…” she stopped talking.
Ben walked across the kitchen to her. He held out his hand and she took it. He pulled her in to him, slowly. He wrapped his arms around her, his warm skin on her cool back felt wonderful to her.
“Rachel you can tell me anything, nothing will change the way I feel about you.”
“Can we go upstairs to your bed?” She took a step towards the stairs.
“Yes, but wait,” he reached out for her hand. “We don’t have to sleep together if you don’t want to.”
She cut him off.
“Ben I want to, I really want to. I just needed to calm down. Can I ask a favor?”
“Can we just go slow? I just have a hard time moving too fast. I need to stay in the moment, and going slow really helps.”
Rachel kept ahold of Ben’s hand and walked upstairs with him. She let go of his hand once they got into his bedroom and walked over to the bed. The room was dark, with only the light from the street light outside to illuminate the room. Rachel undid her bra as Ben could see the yellow light from outside reflecting off of her perfect breasts. She undid her pants, her back to the wall where Ben could not see. As she slipped them off Ben followed her lead and began to undress. She slid into the bed completely naked and he followed suit.
She scooted over to him, meeting him in the middle of the bed. He wrapped his arm around her, and kissed her gently. He reminded himself to go slow, pay attention to her body and not to touch her ass or the back of her thighs. The more he kissed her the more he felt the tension ease from her and her body began to respond in a pleasurable way.
Ben kissed down her chest again and took one of her nipples into his mouth as he spread out his hand on her stomach an slowly moved it downward. Rachel ran her hands though Ben’s hair. He loved the feeling of her fingers in his hair. His hand inched lower, as he moved his mouth back to hers. He kissed her gently as his hand made it’s way to it’s destination. Ben cupped her most sensitive spot and paused watching for any signs of hesitation. He felt her hips buck towards him and he took the invitation, still moving slowly, paying attention to her body. He slid his fingers inside of her slowly, and she began to ride his fingers. It took everything in Ben not to come undone, it was so simple but so incredibly sexy at the same time. He looked at Rachel in the lamp light, in pleasure, and he kissed her again.
She wrapped one arm around him and copied his movements as she took him into her free hand. Him sitting in her warm hand, while he continued to move on his hand inside of her, ignited a sense of urgency in him that he fought back. He wanted to make love to her, going slow savoiring it all.
“I have to grab a condom,” he whispered through gritted teeth.
If he didn’t pull away soon, he would be spent and this bliss would be over. He rolled over and opened the drawer on the nightstand. It was the fastest he had ever put a condom on in his life. He rolled back over to Rachel who embraced him again, with her arms and her tongue. He moved his body gently to move her onto her back, looking for any sign of hesitation. She rolled herself easily, and welcomed him into her body. As he pushed in, he was sure to go slow and make eye contact with her.
Her body was better than he had remembered it from the last time they had slept together, and he would have classified that as heaven. He could see the whites of her eyes in the lamplight as she looked at him. There was a connection there. He knew in that moment something special had happened. This was more than just sex for the both of them. Ben leant down and kissed her.
“Ben” she whispered, “Can I get on top?”
Ben slid his arm under back and rolled the both of them so she was now on top. He could see her smile at his skill. She began to ride him slowly. He ran his hands up her stomach and cradled her breasts. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He was getting close, and he fought it, he wanted this to be just as good for her, if not better. He reached up and brought her mouth to his, kissing her. That intense kiss was all she needed, Ben could feel her finish before he could hear her. She sat upright and grabbed his hands and put them on her hips as she continued to ride through the waves of her orgasm. She threw her head back as a moan from deep inside her escaped. Watching her on top of him, enraptured in pleasure, was more than he could fight off. His own orgasm came racing through his body, so intense he could feel his fingers tingle.
Ben was relieved he had made it that long. Sex with Rachel was the best sexual experience of his life. He never had to fight to stay in the game before, but there was something with her that was different. She laid down on top of him, resting her head on his shoulder as they both caught their breaths. He wrapped his arms around her back and moved them up to her face. He took her head into his hands and kissed her mouth.
“Rachel you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” He kissed her again.
“I love you,” she said back to him after their kiss.
Grace Frazier says
Jacqueline, I was surprised at Rachel’s quick turn-around about signing the court documents. You had convinced me that Ben would have to wait a while. Really liked that switch! Their going for Chinese food just emphasized how normal the characters are in this work. I had never read a romance novel that is so familiar in its happenings, dialogues, and actions – a really pleasant change. Too, as the murders aspect loomed large early on, it was good to feel a balancing out with the love interest being given its important part.
At the beginning of their lovemaking, Ben’s missing Rachel’s panic was actually good to see, for he’s come close to being portrayed as close to perfection. It’s nice to see others ‘mess up’ sometimes, so we don’t feel so alone in making mistakes. As to the sex scene, the only thing that jarred me a little was Rachel’s asking to get on top, rather than stating that she would like to get on top. I’m from the dark ages, but that did pop out at me as I was reading. I will say that giving us Ben’s point of view during the scene was enlightening. Thank you for this sweet view of two people newly in love.
Hi Grace! Thank you again for your thoughtful and insightful comment again this week. I adore your feedback and am very grateful for it. I love this chapter, it is my most favorite out of the book. Rachel tells Ben she loves him for the first time, independently and not as a response. I really felt that it was important to give a little insight into Rachel’s difficulties with intimacy. As for her asking rather than telling Ben she wanted to on top, which I agree with you about, she has her reasons… I promise. Thank you again for reading!