Ben pulled his car back onto their street and drove past his driveway to pull into Rachel’s driveway.
“Wait, I’m not ready to go home. My sister is staying over and I know if I walk in now, it will be chaos. She is having her house painted. She has her kids and my kids tonight. They were at Super Dawg when you showed up.”
“Okay, how about mine then?”
“Good choice, I don’t think we are in any shape to go out anywhere public.” Rachel picked at the skirt of her wet dress.
Ben pulled the car around the block and came back around parking the car in his driveway.
“Will your sister notice the car here?”
“I doubt it. She doesn’t know exactly where you live.”
He unlocked the front door and let her in first as he switched on the light next to him. His house was very similar to hers, just much smaller. There was a staircase in front of her, and the living room was off to the left, with the kitchen behind it. His house did not have a dining room and was more open than hers.
“I’ve always wondered what the inside of this house looked like.”
“Would you like to see it?”
“Sure if you don’t mind. I don’t want to be nosey.”
“You’re not. Hold on.”
Ben walked back towards the kitchen as Rachel took a step into the living room to watch him. The room had a couch, coffee table and television in it but not much else. The place needed a woman’s touch. There was a painting on the wall of a river. She walked over to look at it. As she looked at it, she felt something fuzzy on her leg. She looked down to see Felix wrapping around her leg, his back up against her as he purred. She bent down to pet the orange striped cat.
“Ah, that’s Felix. He’s normally pretty skittish.”
Rachel looked up and smiled.
“It’s an act.” Ben laughed as he handed Rachel a fluffy white towel.
She began to dry her hair.
“You don’t strike me as a cat person.”
“More of a dog person?”
“Not a pet person.”
“Good call. I’m really not but I brought this guy home one night as somewhere temporary and he stayed.”
“That sounds like a fun story, maybe?”
“Okay?” Rachel laughed.
“No, it isn’t so bad. I found him left behind at a crime scene. It was late and he was friendly. I couldn’t just leave him there. I had planned to take him to the shelter in the morning but every shelter I tried was full, so he just stayed here with me. We get along alright.”
“Well, he looks very happy here.”
Rachel took off his suit jacket and laid it over the couch. Her dress had dried mostly, once again hiding her body underneath.
“Would you like something to drink or a change of clothes?”
“I’ll have a cup of coffee if it’s not too much trouble?”
“Not at all.”
She followed Ben into the kitchen. It had tall ceilings and was larger than her kitchen. There were two massive windows at the back. He set the coffee pot to brew.
“Would you like to see the house?”
Ben showed her the downstairs, powder room, laundry room, kitchen and living room on the ground floor before they headed upstairs. He took her upstairs to his home office at the back of the house, over the kitchen. She was mesmerized by the large built-in bookcases filled with books.
“You read a lot?”
“Me too. I would have loved to have had shelves like this in my house.”
She turned and looked at him. There was something in the way she looked at him, that he knew she wanted to be kissed. He didn’t want to miss the signal but he didn’t want to frighten her either. He took a step towards her and she did not retreat. He closed the gap between them as he wrapped his arms around her small waist.
“Is that a record player?” She pointed to the corner.
He turned to look.
“Yeah, I am kind of a vinyl nut.”
“Really? What album is your favorite?
Her question intrigued him. He pulled out of her embrace and went over to the large closet. He opened the door and turned on the light from the pull cord that hung above. The small closet was lined with vinyl albums. She could see him searching his collection.
“Don’t look. Can you guess the artist?” He said as he pulled the record out of the sleeve.
She liked seeing his playful side. He lifted the lid on the record player and set it onto the turntable. He put the needle down and she listened to that familiar popping noise, one only heard on a vinyl record. The music started to fill the room. It had a gospel sound to it, and a blues sound to it at the same time. A woman’s voice sang out,” I’m loving you more..” Rachel listened, she knew the voice but couldn’t place it.
“Um, is it..?”She stopped afraid she might get it wrong.
“Go ahead, take a guess.” Ben coaxed.
“Is it,” she paused again, Is it Etta James?”
“Bingo! Well done. This is an original pressing. They just don’t make singers like this.”
She crossed the room and reached her hand out.
“Well then, let’s do Ms. James the honor she deserves.”
Ben took Rachel into his arms again as the two of them began to dance in the middle of the office. Both of them were still damp and the smell of the coffee downstairs wafted up through the house. Rachel put her head on Ben’s chest. They felt like they were the only two people in the world, dancing up in his office. She looked up at him and Ben couldn’t help himself. He leaned down and kissed her. He had to have that soft full, bottom lip on his. She kissed him back, as her tongue caressed his, Ben was nervous that she would feel his arousal through his pants. They swayed to the music and kissed. Their kisses became needier, Ben hoped this would happen, he wanted her naked in his arms. He wanted to hold her. Soon they were breathless, as the record played on in the background.
He kissed down her neck. She leaned her head back.
“Do we need to stop?”
“I just need a minute to freshen up.”
He kissed her again, the taste of her mouth was addictive. She pulled away gently, remembering that the bathroom was at the top of the stairs. She walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. Ben walked quickly into his bedroom, pulling the blankets back over the bed. He never made his bed before work. He shooed Felix off of the end as he straightened the pillows and made sure the nightstands were clean. As he finished picking up the few pieces of dirty laundry, he realized that Rachel was taking a long time. He wasn’t sure if he should check on her, he didn’t want to seem overly eager. He stood in the middle of his bedroom, unsure of what to do. He turned at the noise of the bathroom door opening. Rachel walked into his bedroom.
“Ben,” she took a deep breath, “I’m nervous.”
He crossed the room.
“We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”
“No, I want to. I.. It’s…Can we please turn the lights out? I think that will make it easier.”
“We can do whatever you like. Rachel we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”
“No, I do want to. I am just a little nervous.”
“It’s okay to be nervous. If I am being honest, I am a little nervous myself.”
Ben smiled and walked over to her. She reached out for him, the noise of the record still playing in the background. He wrapped one arm around her and switched off the light on the switch on the wall. She wrapped her arms around him.
“Thank you.” She said softly.
“Why don’t we lay down, we can lay next to each other?”
“Ben, I want to do more than lay next to you.” He could hear the playful tone in her voice.
He led her to the bed and he climbed on first holding his hands out for her. She climbed on top of the bed. Both of them still on their knees on top of the bed, grabbed on to each other. Ben pulled her close with one hand and ran his other hand through her hair. It was softer than silk and had a slight wave to it from drying from the rain. Rachel laid down with her back on the bed and pulled Ben on top of her. She opened her legs and Ben laid his body between them as his mouth found her’s in the dark. There was something that told him, he needed to take it slow with her, he could feel it, even though his body was saying the opposite.
Rachel reached between them and undid the buttons that opened the dress across her chest. Ben reached down with one hand, the skin of his hand caressing over her bra. He wanted to desperately for her to remove it but he was trying to be restrained.
“You are so beautiful.” He whispered in her ear.
He kissed her ear and then her neck, as she wrapped her hands around the back of his neck. She ran her fingers through is thick dark hair. He kissed her collarbone and slowly kissed his way down her chest. He found the mound of her nipple through the simple silk fabric of the bra and took it into his mouth. He heard her moan in pleasure as his tongue swirled over it.
“Hold on.” She said breathless.
She reached down and opened the clasp that sat between her breasts, the two cups falling to the sides and her beautiful breasts slipped forth. Ben took one into his hand as he cupped the other and took the nipple back into his mouth. She moaned again, this time deeper, her thigh rose up at his side. He moved his other hand from her breast to her leg that was moving. He cupped it at the back of the leg and proceeded to run his hand up the outside of her thigh. Her body tensed, not in a good way. She pulled his hand away from her leg. He stopped right away.
“What’s wrong? Do we need to stop?”
“I don’t like to be touched there.”
“I.. I have poison ivy in a few patches from the boys.” She said.
Ben had been a detective long enough to spot a lame lie when he heard one. He didn’t call her out on it. He knew she had a reason, and whatever it was was good enough for him.
“Okay.” He leaned down and kissed her again, getting lost with the movement of her tongue.
Her body was still tense, he knew something was off, something wasn’t right.
“Rachel?” His voice was soft. “Do you want to stop?”
“No.” Her voice said no but her body disagreed.
He reached his hands back up near her face and took it into his hands as he kissed her again. She pulled away from his mouth.
“Ben, actually, I think…Can we stop?”
Ben stopped kissing her and looked her in the eye, the whites of them shining in the dark room. He could see the glisten of tears in her eyes from the streetlamp light that came in through the window. As long as he lived he didn’t want to be the one to put tears there. He rolled off of her and laid down next to her. He felt her start to get up.
“Rachel, honey wait.”
“Just lay here with me. I promise I am not asking for anything more. I just want to hold you, if it is okay with you?”
She paused and then laid down next to him.
“I need to stay on my back.” She said.
“Whatever is most comfortable for you. You don’t have to lay here either if it makes you feel uncomfortable.”
“It’s been a long time since I have been held.”
“Now that is a crime, a woman as beautiful as you. Trust me I am a detective.”
He felt her laugh as he wrapped his arm around her, the other tucked under his head. She smelled incredible as he snuggled up close. She wrapped her arms around his, as she laid looking up at the ceiling. She tilted her heard towards Ben as he kissed the side of it, inhaling her scent as he did. Together they fell asleep in his bed.
Ben woke to movement in his bed, he heard whimpering. He had forgotten Rachel was in his bed, still in his arms. He could feel her body shake. He opened his eyes and looked down at her. Her face was twisted in fear, still asleep, but still so full of fear. He looked at it and wondered who could hurt such a beautiful woman. He wanted to rip open that report in his desk drawer. What had that son of a bitch done to her, he wondered. She whimpered, the noise was like a stab to his heart. He kissed the top of her forehead to wake her. Her body tensed instantly, and he regretted that choice of action to wake her.
“Rachel, honey, wake up. You’re safe.” Ben said gently.
She didn’t wake, her body still filled with the chemical reaction terror produced.
“Rachel, wake up, you’re safe.”
Her eyes shot open and she pushed his arm away from her in a violent motion.
“Rachel it’s okay, you are safe,” Ben said as he sat up.
She sat up as well, trying to make sense of where she was. He watched her gain recognition and remember. She reached out for him and hugged him, hard.
“Honey are you okay? I think you were having a nightmare.”
She didn’t say anything but still clung to him.
After a minute she let go slowly.
“I’m sorry. That happens sometimes. I’m embarrassed. I feel like one of my kids.”
“Don’t be. I get them too, it’s the nature of the job.”
“I bet. Thank you for being so kind. What time is it?”
Ben looked over at the clock on his nightstand.
“Oh my God, my sister has to be worried sick. I should go.”
“You are more than welcome to stay.”
“That’s sweet but I should go. I want to be home when the boys wake up.”
“Okay. I’ll walk you.”
“It’s only across the street.”
“There are a lot of sickos out there.” He regretted bringing that up.
“You’re right about that.”
She got up out of the bed, the room still dark with just enough room to see where she was going. Ben was grateful for the darkness as his cock was ready to burst through his pants. It seemed just being in the same room with her this evening did that to him. The darkness let him hide it. They made their way out of his house and across the street. He walked her up the stairs to her front door. She turned and wrapped her hands around his neck.
“Thank you for tonight.” She leaned in and kissed him. The kiss was sweet and sensual at the same time. It was almost painful to let her out of his arms as she pulled away and turned towards the door.
“Rachel, his voice low, “let’s do this again.”
“Okay,” she said, he could hear the smile in her voice. She kissed his cheek and then went inside, closing the door quietly behind her. Ben seemed to float off of her front porch.
Grace Frazier says
Jacqueline, Of course what we want and what we get don’t always coincide. Ben’s calm and thoughtful handling of Rachel’s waffling emotions is admirable, especially given his own surging drives. Such discipline would necessarily engender trust in Rachel. It is also praise-worthy how abused women can successfully carry on with their responsibilities and mothering relationships. I continue to enjoy each of these chapters and look forward to the next ones. Thank you for this story.
Jonathan Thomas says
Dang girl, you know how to set a scene.
One suggestion, I think it might be a little too soon for him to call her ‘honey.’ That’s a level of intimacy I don’t think they’re at yet.