Saturday, June 23, 2012


Danny kept his head down in the locker room, but it was no use.  Giroux headed straight for him.

“Did it work?” he asked proudly.

Danny couldn’t keep from blushing, which only embarrassed him more.  “She loved it.”

Claude slapped his friend on the back.  “Did she love enough to....”

“Stop,” Danny cut him off before he could insinuate anything.  The girls before were fair game.  Sara was not.

“Oh,” Giroux lifted a ginger eyebrow, smiling widely.  “I guess she did.”

Danny found it easy to focus on practice - it had been his refuge during the worst days with Sylvie and he was accustomed to letting the game run his mind for a few hours.  As soon as it was over though, he was back to thinking about what to do next.  And what they’d already done.  Last night’s events played through his head like a highlight reel - Sara stepping out of her dress, announcing this was what she wanted; her gasp at the feel of him; when she’d told him he was beautiful.  Lust.  Intensity.  A confidence he hadn’t felt in a long time.  And the way she’d kissed him goodbye - still a shred of secrecy and the promise of so much more to learn.  Lost in thought, his  knuckles gripped white on the steering wheel.

The boys knew.  Danny hated to remind himself they weren’t that young after all, which only made him feel older.  It was probably time to do something more than assume they were learning about adults from television anyway.

“Hey, it’s me,” he said when Sara’s voicemail picked up.  Then added stupidly, “Danny.  Uh, would you come over for dinner tonight?  I think the boys miss you.”  He recovered a little.  “I know I do.”

He drove to Whole Foods and was halfway through picking out a meal when he realized he had assumed Sara would say yes, that she was available on same-day notice for a date.  A tiny panic seized his mind - was he being presumptuous?  Expectant?  He had to see her again - despite what they’d said, Danny needed proof that last night had been just as consuming for her.  And then he hoped to have her again.

Girlfriend, he said to himself.  She’s my girlfriend.  The word was rusty with disuse, Danny repeated it until it was familiar, casual.  Sara is my girlfriend.  Turning it over in his head, he resumed shopping for dinner for his family.

Sara took a deep breath and walked into her classroom.  She’d deliberately waited until just before the bell, and her arrival sent student flurrying into their seats.  Having thought all morning about not looking at him, her eyes went right to Cameron.  He cracked a big, too-adult smile.  Her relief was mixed with the uncomfortable notion that a fifth grader knew exactly how she’d spent the night with his father.

Danny was in her head all day.  She loved teaching, but fifth grade curriculum could not occupy her entire mind.  Danny could though, and the way he’d smiled at her that morning, with his bed-head and desire to keep her in bed all day.  He may as well have.  Sara’s mind drifted to a few choice moments from the night before and she blushed, looking down at her desk.  The images refused to be chased: Danny over her with that certain, unshakable look in his dark eyes - she fanned herself with a copy of the quiz her class was taking.  

At lunch, she intended to call him and invite him over, or herself over, or offer another hotel visit - anything to see him again.  There was already a message waiting.  The sound of his voice made her stomach flip.

I can’t call him.  She was suddenly struck by overwhelming nerves.  Danny would answer - that’s what phones are for - and he’d be right there, but not here.  Not where she could touch him.  The idea of his perfect, smiling mouth forming words she couldn’t see... she’d die, or moan, or otherwise embarrass herself.  This was a grown man, who’d proven in one night to be more experienced than she could imagine at everything involving relationships.  Yet somehow, he was hers.  Maybe she was crazy to to have been so brazen this morning, and to think last night had been so important.

My boyfriend, Sara through.  Then she giggled as she wrote a text message.

Be there at 6:30.  Can’t wait to see you.

After school, Sara stopped at her house and stood in the bedroom, staring at her dresser with a frown.  She didn’t want to assume she’d stay over - his kids lived in that house.  But she didn’t want to be unprepared if he asked, because she really, really wanted to stay over.  Maybe he’d come back to her place.  Either way, she needed new underwear. Sara quickly changed from regular underclothes into a white lace bra with blue ribbon trim and matching panties, then put back on the dress she’d worn to school.  It was a far cry from the red dress that had gotten Danny so flustered the night before, but it could still be removed very quickly in the event of anyone taking off their clothes.

“I’m crazy,” Sara sang quietly as she packed.  

The bag went in the trunk and stayed there when she arrived at Danny’s house.  Every light in the place was on - the TVs would be too, with kids tripping over dogs and school books everywhere.  It was family night.

She knocked.

“You don’t have to knock!” Caelan opened the door.  He wore the same grin as Cameron had in class and Sara briefly wished to disappear.  

Why are kids so damned smart?! asked their teacher.

She hung her coat as Zoey and Zora came bounding around the corner.  At least they didn’t know she’d been naked with their dad less than twenty-four hours ago.  The dogs licked her hands and tried to climb her legs as she stepped over them and headed for the kitchen.


At the sound of Danny’s voice, Sara lost her step.  He put a pot down on the stove and pulled off the oven mitt, rounding the island toward her.  A shy smile reached all the way to his eyes, and she knew he’d been thinking about her, about last night, the way she had all day.  Just like that, Sara’s nerves completely disappeared.  She stepped in and kissed him like she meant it.

“Ew, gross,” Sean said, spinning on a heel and fleeing as soon as he entered the kitchen.  

Danny laughed, but mostly he was looking into her eyes.  “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.”

Danny and Sara sat next to each other at the table, knees brushing underneath.  Over roast chicken and mashed sweet potatoes with corn and green bean casserole, dinner went on as it had every time they’d eaten together, from the first night at Dave & Buster’s to the Tex-Mex they’d had after laser tag.  They tried not to blush and stare while the kids ate around them, not caring.

Or so they thought.  

“Are you gonna sleep over at Sara’s again tonight?” Carson asked between sips of milk.

Sara blinked - so Danny hadn’t told them about the hotel.  She was glad, as it seemed strange to anyone not of adult age why two people would get a room when their houses were so close.  Danny glanced at her before speaking.

“Would it be okay with you if Sara stays here tonight?”

Carson shrugged.  “I just want to know if we can have ice cream twice like last night.”

Sean flashed a long arm across the table and biffed Carson on the ear.  Caelan howled in distress at their plan being blown.  Danny just laughed.

“If you guys do the dishes, I’ll make milkshakes,” Sara offered.  

Carson stuck his tongue out at everyone.

When dinner was over and the boys had managed to half-drown each other washing dishes, Sara searched the kitchen until she found a blender.  Danny brought in a new half gallon of vanilla from the freezer in the garage and watched as she scooped as much as the blender would hold.  The kids crowded around, keeping him away.  She poured in milk and half the berries from the fridge.  One minute later, the boys were happily toting their shakes toward the living room for the wrestling match on TV.  

“Alone at last,” Danny said, slipping a hand around her waist.  It felt so good to finally touch her after hours of watching every gesture and motion. He pressed himself against her side and Sara relaxed, turning her head for a swift kiss.  He stayed there as she loaded the blender and made a second batch of milkshakes for them.

“I’m not supposed to eat like this,” he smiled guiltily, sipping the straw.  

Sara couldn’t stop herself.  The heat from his body made her drowsy and slow, magnifying the fullness of dinner.  It didn’t help that the creamy cold drink had just enough tartness to make her lips pucker.

“You’ll just need to work it off,” she said without looking at him.  Danny put his face into her neck and groaned, then tugged her toward the living room.  On the couch, he pulled Sara’s knees over his lap and sat close.

Cameron started yawning before the show was over.  “Night Dad,” he came to the touch and offered Danny a hug, then he turned to Sara and hugged her too.  “I did all my homework,” he promised.  

Soon all the boys were upstairs.  Danny gave Sara a quick kiss and said he’d be right back.  There was something he wanted to do before she stayed over for the first time.  She wasn’t the only woman to spend the night since the boys’ mother left, but she could be the most important.

“Come in,” Caelan said to the knock.  To Danny’s surprise, his brothers were in there too.  They all looked up like he was interrupting an important meeting.

Might as well get it over with, Danny thought.  Deep breath.  “I want to talk to you guys about Sara sleeping over.”

Caelan blushed on cue, following a second later by Carson.  Cameron wasn’t quite so modest.

“Are you gonna have sex?”

Danny turned fuschia.  If the floor had opened and swallowed him, he would not have objected.  Despite the fact it was exactly what he intended to talk about, it seemed that someone had beaten him to it - possibly just before he walked in.  Caelan and Carson burst out laughing like nervous adolescent boys do.

“Well, uh...,” Danny stuttered.  He’d had this talk with Caelan and a little with Carson, but surely Cameron was too young.  Except that he watched TV and movies.  Probably the women seen hanging around the rink every day were the real education.  “Yeah, Cam.  When grown-ups really like each other, they sometimes do.”

Seeing their father flustered sent Caelan and Carson over the edge, they were dying of embarrassment and squealing with laughter.  Cameron stayed surprisingly matter-of-face.

“Are you gonna have a baby?”

That surprised Danny.  “No.  Not now.  Babies are for when you’ve known each other a long time and you want to get married and have a family and....” He almost said ‘and stay together forever’ but that part clearly wasn’t true.  Now he understood.  “Cam, Sara and I aren’t getting married.  Not anytime soon, maybe not ever, okay?  She’s not going to be Mom.”

The look in those ten-year old eyes nearly broke Danny’s heart.  Cameron got to see his mother often, but it wasn’t the same as living in the same house, doing everything together.  Mostly the boys were so happy and rambunctious that anytime he saw a crack in their armor, it took Danny’s breath away.

“I don’t want her to leave,” Cameron said.  He wasn’t sad, but Danny thought he looked a little scared.  “She likes us.”

“Oh, bud,” Danny sat on the bed with hugged Cam.  Even the older boys were quiet now.  Kids were incredibly observant and absorbed so much, it never ceased to amaze him.  Danny’s other girlfriends had fallen short of the mark.  Now Cameron’s concern about losing Sara only made Danny more sure that he would never risk that, and that he wanted her in their lives all the more.  

“I can’t promise she’ll never leave, but if she does it won’t be because of you.”

“It’ll be because of you?” he asked, as if his father could get into big trouble.

Danny ruffled Cameron’s hair.  “It’s not easy for her to go out with me, you know?  I’m on the road all the time and sometimes people are mean to her because of me, like the boy you had the fight with.  But she still wants to, because she likes me and she likes you guys so much.”

“She’s gonna be like us, Cam,” Carson said, touching his little brother’s shoulder.  All the boys had faced their problems over having a famous dad in a famous divorce.

“She’s gonna be like us,” Cameron repeated with a nod.  “She’s gonna be on our team.”

Danny’s eyes were filling with tears and he didn’t trust himself to speak.  His kids got the best of him all the time.  For all the hard days being a young dad, the time spent traveling and the breakup of his marriage, he never for a second regretted having kids.  Without them to anchor him, Danny wasn’t sure how he’d have gotten through any of this.

“Our team,” he said quietly, then cleared his throat and kissed Cam on the forehead.  “Night boys.”

“Night Dad,” they all said.

Sara looked up at the sound of Danny’s feet on the stairs.  To her surprise, he looked sad.  She jumped up and went to him.  “Are you okay?”

He nodded and kissed her, it was salty like he’d been crying.

“What happened?”  Sara was very worried.  Crying parents were generally a sign of a huge problem.

Danny laughed blearily and smiled.  She sighed with relief.  Good tears were unexpected, but okay.

“The boys told me not to mess up and make you leave us.”

Her heart stopped for a beat.  That was an very personal thing to share.  She and Danny hadn’t talked about his divorce, his ex-wife, the media attention - there were so many elephants in the room it was practically a zoo.  This probably wasn’t how, or when, he intended to bring it up.  She didn’t want him to feel obligated to discuss it on anything but his own terms.

Sara wrapped her arms around his neck and put her head on his shoulder.  Danny’s arms crossed heavily behind her waist, leaning against her like his was suddenly exhausted.  Just the rise and fall of his chest felt wonderful.

“Sorry,” he said quietly.  Crying on a second date, very manly, Danny was thinking, but he couldn’t be embarrassed.  Sometimes kids had that effect.  Sara would know that.

She cuddled him closer.  A man vulnerable over his children was undeniably irresistible.  Danny had a gentle heart, but he was still physically the toughest person she had ever known.  Seeing him like this was startlingly intimate.

“I’m not sorry,” she looked at him with a smile.  “I knew what I was getting into with a hot dad.”

Their second night together was no less intense than the first.  They undressed each other slowly, almost carefully.  Danny lifted Sara’s hair and held her fast into a kiss that made her toes curl.  His other hand explored his breast, the arc of her ribcage and the curve of her waist.  She traced the lines and planes of his muscled back down to his tailbone.  By the time they fell to the mattress, Sara was already short of breath.  He lay still just long enough for her to roll him onto his back and straddle his thighs.  Danny looked up, appreciative of the sight and the way she was telling him what she wanted.  Sara pressed her cleft to his body as she had that morning, teasing him before work.  Only this time there was no strip of lace to keep them apart.  Her slit parted over the width of his erection as she moved along his shaft.  Danny’s eyes got wider as he felt her wetness spread along his skin.  Sara bit her lip against the urge to hurry up and let him have her.  Her eyes never left his.

“Baby,” he said as she reached behind and replaced her body with her hand, stroking him, then unrolling the condom over his taut skin.  Still holding him firmly, she tipped down and kissed Danny’s mouth.  Then Sara righted herself and guided him inside.

“Ohgod,” came that gasp again.  She was overwhelmed with the slow pressure filling her from underneath.  From this angle he felt bigger and Sara worked her way down his length with agonizing slowness, feeling his heart pound beneath her open palms.  The instant her ass finally rested against his thighs, Danny reached for her hips and started to move.

He groaned in pleasure.  She slid along his cock like moving a cork in and out of a bottle, the soft curves of her body giving him just enough to hold onto.  He’d never tire of watching her stomach flex and stretch, her breasts bounce with the impact.  Danny reached up and rolled a nipple between two fingers.  She moaned softly.  He pulled down just enough to take it in his mouth and bite gently.

“Danny,” she whispered sharply.  He liked the sound of that and nipped her again.  The result was a harder thrust of her hips.  He moved to the other breast, this time circling with his tongue and sucking hard.  She bucked again, increasing the pace, until he couldn’t take it and yanked her into his arms.

They kissed, eyes open, as they moved together urgently.  Sara sobbed out a breath and her eyelashes fluttered in time with her pussy.  Danny ground his teeth - it felt so fucking good, so impossibly decadent to command her body to pleasure that he had to fight his own impulse.  But not for long.

Sara was losing it and quickly.  Having Danny beneath her was some kind of delicious, dirty dream and made her more confident than ever.  Trusting him to know what they both wanted, she returned anything he did with double the force.  Soon she was quivering against every stroke.  

“Come with me,” she said.

“Yes,” he croaked.

At the tipping point, the tremors rocking her body, Sara was afraid she’d go too soon.  She wanted to share this.  She pressed two fingers to his lips and he kissed them, then his eyes followed them over her hip and down to her clit.

“Fuck,” he said, pushing harder.

That morning, when she’d pretended to touch herself, Sara had seen Danny’s eyes pool black with lust.  They almost hadn’t made it out of the room; her guess was too good.  Now with nowhere to go and all night to get there, she let Danny watch her fingers part the folds just above where his dick was disappearing into her body, and find her clit.  Even knowing her own touch was coming, Sara signed

It would make her come more quickly; she hoped it would do the same for Danny.  Rubbing gently, slowly so as not to lose herself immediately, Sara worked her fingers into her hot button and felt him get harder.

Danny was used to making sure the girl came first.  He could have come at the first brush of Sara’s smooth groove against his shaft, but he was a gentleman and didn’t like to disappoint.  Even the nobodies, the women whose names he had never known, they had found climax first - or at least pretended to.  It was the least Danny felt he could do.

Now he simply let it bear down on him, instead of fighting back against blood racing south.  Her fingers moved expertly against her clit: they had the unfair advantage of knowing exactly how Sara liked to be touched, what she wanted right now.  Danny envied those fingers and vowed to learn their secret.  For now it was enough to see that Sara had a wanton, wild streak and wasn’t afraid to show it.  They all had their secret sides.

“Now,” he said.

She smiled weakly, glad to dismiss the effort of holding off.  To Danny’s delight, she removed her hand and let him finish the job all on his own.  He pulled her hips farther down and forward and stroked deeply twice, three times, until he felt her break.  She reached behind and dug her fingers into his thighs, arching her back and bucking hard against his cock as a hot, soft gush filled the space between them.  Her pussy clenched again and pulled the orgasm right out of him.  He spurted, hotter still against his throbbing skin, again and again until his head fell back, exhausted.  Then he reached for her.

Sara lowered herself and lay prone and spent atop Danny’s body.  Her chest was heaving, everything below her waist still shuddering.  He kissed the tip of her nose.

“That was incredible,” she said in a shaky voice.

“You are incredible,” he answered firmly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


There was only so much gentleman in Danny.  He was also flesh and blood, lust and desire.  If that was what Sara wanted, he wasn’t about to turn her down.  He took one look at her in her lingerie, standing before him like some kind of gift, and imprinted the sight in his mind.  

Then he pasted himself to her body.

She kissed him hungrily.  There had been a hint of it in the way her mouth moved during their single private encounter in his garage, with his kids waiting for them on the other side of a door.  But nothing prepared him for a deep and urgent kiss from the woman he’d been obsessing over for a month.  He wanted this so badly he’d almost forgotten about actually getting it.

Sara pulled at the remaining buttons on his shirt, tossing it to the floor.  Danny’s hands moved over her waist, small in his hands, and up her bare back.  It seemed exquisite and forbidden to touch her like that, even as she slipped the end of his belt free from the buckle.  Danny pushed his hands down again, over her ass.  She was all firm and toned and the smooth skin made him doubt the feeling that reached his brain.  His belt clinked open, the button on his pants easily thumbed open.  Then she was tugging down the zipper and sliding her hand inside.

“Fuck,” Danny swore under his breath, too aroused to be embarrassed.  He let his head drop back at her touch, like he was a kid getting to third base for the first time.  He forgot where he was and everything except the promise of feeling something even better, and soon.  Her sexy giggled brought him right back to reality.  It was more than a fantasy - there were so many things he didn’t know about her yet.  Stroking over his contained hard-on, Sara purred appreciatively and dropped his pants to the floor.  

“Bed,” Danny said, “now.”

He dumped them both onto the mattress, rolling into each other until Danny was on top and they were both laughing, nervous, anxious, smiling.  It all melted into another deep kiss.  Danny pushed his leg between Sara’s and she spread her thighs for him.  

It wasn’t easy to go slow.  Danny worked his lips down her neck, feeling her purr at the pressure of his mouth of her skin.  His fingers cheated south and brought the cup of her bra with them, revealing a perfect pink nipple just starting to stiffen.  His mouth took care of that and Sara’s body responded quickly.  By the time he shifted to her other breast, her nipple was already taut.  It rolled beneath his tongue, anchoring all the things he was feeling into one tiny point of perfection.  He moved on, centering his kiss in the valley between her ribs while he unsnapped her bra.  

Sara ran her fingers through Danny’s hair and willed him to stop, to keep going, to do everything at once and make it last forever.  If his mouth got any lower she was going to scream - which was definitely the point and probably going to happen either way.  His hands caressed her skin so gently it tickled.  Each kiss left a pool of heat.  Danny was making his way across every inch of her  body like he’d never encountered something so perfect.  It was intoxicating and intimidating.

Danny’s heart pounded.  The closer he got to her navel the harder he struggled to keep himself together.  She was perfect - better than he’d let himself imagine - and he wanted to memorize every detail so he’d never fail her with guessing again.  But his own body had ideas that didn’t involve taking all night.  Not the first time at least.  He looked up.

“Danny, please,” she said, as if she’d been waiting for him to ask.

His fingers dipped beneath the lace that stretched across her hips, and tugged down.  His eyes followed the black fabric as it slipped away to reveal her - she was perfect, he knew she would be.  Danny backed right off the edge of the bed and carefully slipped the panties free of her feet.  She lay tossed against the white comforter like his own personal fantasy photoshoot.  Danny hustled out of his shorts, right onto the pile of his clothes, and came up with a condom from his pocket.  No point in being shy - he obviously knew how babies were made.  

Sara watched him unroll the thin film, straining against the physical kick his own touch delivered.  It made her smile.  “Come here,” she said.

Her arms looped around his neck as her legs hitched around his waist.  In one motion he was over her and onto her, pouring his weight down on her body.  Everything lined up, everything knew right where it wanted to go.  The brush of his tip against her slit anchored Danny and he pushed.

Sara gasped.  One little noise that said she’d been waiting for this, she wanted this, she’d never felt anything so good as Danny slowly screwing himself inside her.  It was the sexiest sound he’d ever heard.

Being with Danny was unlike anything Sara had known.  The simple truth of him was still a string of exclamation points: He’s the father of a student! He’s Danny Briere!  He is divorced with three kids!  But in reality it was much more.  For however many first times Sara had experienced - awkward, fumbling, drunk, sweet, careful - those were sex, mostly physical with a little mental.  She’d expected the opposite with Danny: because she liked him so much, because it scared her shitless.  But as the top of his thighs pressed to the underside of hers, taking the last inch from her body, he was kissing her again and Sara was grateful to have something to stop her tongue from speaking.  

She moved to match Danny and the impossibly perfect felt even better.  Danny wasn’t just older, he was infinitely more experienced than Sara and her mostly single life.  He knew exactly what he was doing in bed.  The nerves she’d seen before disappeared and this confident Danny made love to her for the first time, their first time.  His breath against her face, his mouth against her skin - when she risked a glance at him, those dark brown eyes never wavered.  It wasn’t long before bubbles were rising in her blood.  

Danny groaned as her body squeezed, drowning out her own small cry.  He slowed, drawing out the sensation, until her body involuntarily rocked a second time.

“God,” he said under his breath.  Sara pulled him down and kissed him hard.  She didn’t want to wait.  Maybe he could keep her on a tightrope for hours but she’d had that nervous-sick-excited feeling  since the day they met.  Now was not the time to draw it out.  Locking her heels tighter, she drew him in deep just as her body twanged again.

“Danny,” she whispered.  He stroked forcefully, driving the air from her lungs in a little sob.  Another twist of pleasure passed between them.  Sara arched her back into his next thrust, spurring her body on.  Danny did it again and she moaned.  He mumbled something in French that she didn’t understand, but it sounded so fucking sexy it didn’t even matter.  Like oil near a flame, she caught and burst.  

Sara’s eyes fluttered closed and her body shuddered, taking Danny with it.  He groaned, pressing his face into her neck, and she felt him release.  A few ragged gasps, trembling, and they were both still.

She blinked, inadequate words on her tongue, but Danny kissed her again.  His mouth was forceful and sure, as if he had something to say.  But when the last of their energy was spent and he rolled off, they simply twined themselves together.  The urge to sleep was powerful but Sara didn’t want to miss a moment.  instead she allowed herself to look at Danny’s face close-up for the first time.  His slightly pointed, upturned features were always about to break into a smile.  She lifted her hand to the scar on his jaw, the one she’d traced without thinking that first night in the pizza parlor.  It seemed like a hundred years ago, when she had known for certain they would never make it to this point.  

Good thing I was wrong, she thought.

Danny watched her eyes as they moved over his face, trying not to betray his fear.  As if Sara would regret her decision even now.

He knew he wasn’t the best-looking guy - the playboy swagger of a Jeff Carter or the easy, masculine grace of Giroux had always made such more noise.  He was older, too small, his eyebrows too far apart and a pinch to his lips that looked prissy if he wasn’t careful.  It didn’t help with the elf comparisons.  As their marriage was ending in anger, Sylvie had told Danny that he’d never do any better than being with her.  He proved her wrong, more times than he cared to admit, in the first six months after she left.  He knew it was the reason his porn star-text message scandal had gotten so much play.

Really?  Briere? they all said, and not just behind his back.  Must be the money.  Only way he could land a hot chick.

Years of being photographed, or stitched and patched by the nearest person who could stand the sight of a little blood should have made Danny immune to the attention.  But a small, hard sphere of self-consciousness rose in his throat.  He didn’t care what Sara saw, only that she liked it.  Her touch lingered on the crescent-shaped scar beneath his left eye.

“You’re beautiful,” she said.  Danny laughed, embarrassed.

“Don’t laugh,” she dug two knuckles into his side, twisting them in warning.  “I make the decisions around here, and I say you are beautiful, Danny.”

He felt shy, a silly reaction when laying naked and twisted in bedsheets.  The small of Sara’s back was a bare hollow beneath the palm of his hand.

“I mean it, you know that.” Her voice was quieter, more serious.

He’d heard compliments from women since his divorce.  But he’d never before said, “I believe you.”

Sara smiled in victory.  “Don’t worry.  You’ll get used to hearing it.”

She closed their eyes.  Laying with her head on Danny’s chest, Sara listened to his heartbeat.  The slow, steady thump was comforting - he’d felt the same intensity between them.  His fingers gently twisted in the ends of her hair and grazed her back as she fell asleep.  

Sara passed from one dream to another.  Naked and warm, cuddled between a soft bed with billion-threadcount sheets and a hard body with strong arms, surely she hadn’t woken up.  Perhaps Danny hadn’t either.  In the darkness they came together - mouths and bodies and before long, release.  In the morning she couldn’t recall saying anything but his name.  But she had definitely heard him call her “love.”

“No,” she said.

Behind her, Danny laughed and tightened his embrace.  “Quit.”

Her eyes weren’t even open and she was laughing.  “You’d rather keep me in bed than have your son graduate fifth grade?”

“I would let you out of bed to teach him.  Then you’d have to come right back.”  He punctuated the thought with kisses on her shoulder.

“What about Caelan and Carson?”

“The boys can read.  That’s more than some of my teammates, and they do fine.”

The idea was wonderfully tempting.  The lips nibbling at the curve of her neck were very persuasive and her body was beginning to consider early retirement.  But the clock on the table said 6:30AM and she was due at school in thirty minutes.  Sara steeled herself for the inevitable, then rolled to face Danny and lost all her nerve.

“Hi,” he said with a sweet, gorgeous smile that managed to be innocent at the same time it remembered everything about the night before.  It was the first time she’d ever seen his long hair a mess.

“Hi,” Sara whimpered like a puppy.

Danny kissed her pouting lips quickly, knowing any more than that and she’d be ringing his bell about the time she was no-showing at homeroom.  He couldn’t bear Cameron knowing why Ms. Cardenne was late for class.  They untangled from each other and got out of bed - then Danny sat right back down.

“Wow,” he said.

Sara turned, already grinning.  She was naked except for the panties she’s picked up from the floor.  With a teasing look she swung them casually around one finger while searching for her bra.  Looking at her bare skin in the light of day felt even more real than waking up wrapped around that same body.  Danny stared unashamedly as she stepped into her lace thong and drew it up her slender legs, those soft thighs and hips he’d used for leverage only a few hours before.  He coughed - no use getting a hard-on now, but it wasn’t easy to stop.  She turned halfway so he could see the perfect curve of her ass.

“Fuck.”  Danny flopped back onto the bed in surrender.

“Hup!” She jumped right on top of him, straddling his lap, hovering an inch shy of touching him.  Her hair fell forward and her breasts bounced - it was definitely a private fantasy moment.  Only this one was slowly lowering her crotch and lightly, barely touching, gliding the strip of lace against him as all the blood in his body raced south....

“Stop!  Stop!”  He toppled her down and rolled to his feet.

Sara had a terrible, wonderful urge to lay right there and touch herself until he came back to bed.  Maybe he’d rather watch her take care of the fire that was spreading through her belly, tingling all the way down to her toes.  She didn’t know what Danny liked, not yet.  And whatever it was, Sara already wanted to give it to him.

“Mmmm, Danny,” she cooed, sliding two fingers over her mound and into the cleft between her legs.  Even the lightest touch shivered right up her spine.  His eyes were locked on her hand, pools of black, obviously struggling against the desire to....

“Okay,” she jumped up.  “Let’s go!”
Sara deliberately stepped into her stiletto heels before bending at the waist and leaning way, way down to retrieve her bra.  She arched her back and fastened it while he watched hungrily, then walked right up until her chest was touching him.

“You’re torturing me,” he said.

She smirked.  “Want me to stop?”

Danny stayed in the car while Sara ran up to change.  If he went into her place they’d never make it out.  Coutourier had agreed to drive the boys to school so it was strange when Danny turned onto the same road, the backseat of his SUV empty for once.

“You should...,” Sara started.  He automatically pulled to the curb a block away.  

“Sorry.”  She was genuinely hurt to have to ask him to be stealthy, when she really wanted to to scream.

Danny shrugged.  He’d rather the whole world knew, but his life came with as many problems as hers - maybe more.  Stealth had its advantages.  He pulled her in for a kiss, sliding his tongue into her mouth and not stopping until they were both thinking about her laying on that bed, hands starting a job he was eager to finish.  They separated with a gasp.

“Can’t do that in front of the school,” he said.

Sorry for the delay! And I made you wait for the good stuff too! Life got a little bananas there for a bit, but it should be settling down again. Everyone's watching the NHL Awards right now, except me. I'm supposed to be working. ;) - Juliet

Sunday, June 10, 2012


“Now what do we do?” Sara asked.  She stood in Danny’s kitchen as he moved around, collecting cups and spoons to get the boys ice cream for dessert.  He’d forbidden her to help, but moved by closely every time, passing needlessly just to touch her.  Feet could be heard drumming on the stairs as the boys dragged down blankets and whatever else to watch a movie.

The kiss in the parking lot had left Sara woozy - his soft lips and warm mouth were salve against a burn.  Danny held onto her like he felt the same way.  The boys cheered when she climbed in the car and made a big fuss the whole way home.  Sara felt equal parts nervous to be going to Danny’s house and unable to do anything else.  She needed to be near him, and kiss him for at least another two weeks before she regained any sense of normalcy.  The only problem was all the people running around this house.

Danny carried three mugs of vanilla into the living room and distributed them.  When he came back into the kitchen, he stopped dead in his tracks.  Sara was leaning against the counter, mid-bite.  She looked right at him and pulled the spoon slowly, seductively from between her lips.

“Come here!”  He grabbed her wrist and hauled her right out the side door into the garage.  Before the door was closed, they were up against it.  Danny wanted to go slowly but her hair was so silky in his fingers, her body the perfect shape beneath his.  She held the back of his neck and slipped the taste of vanilla past his lips.

Dying, I’m dying, she thought.

Danny was really strong.  For all the size he didn’t have, he was nothing but muscle and right now that muscle was trying to put her through the door.  They were making out like kids in a closet at a house party.  His hands never wandered though, never strayed below her neck.  

Slow down!! Sara told herself, while trying to climb all over him.

Danny laughed, holding his forehead to hers and opening his dark brown eyes.  “The worst thing about kids getting older?”

“They know exactly where we are, don’t they?” Sara asked.

“Mmmhmmm.”  Danny moved his mouth to her throat, the warmth and pressure lighting up her spine.

“Danny.”  It was supposed to be a warning but it sounded like a plea for more.

“I have to buy a second house,” he murmured against her skin.  “Go knock next door and see if they’ll take a check.”

Sara turned the door knob until it clicked, the only defense she could even attempt.  Danny peeled himself off and let her back into the house first.  They headed for the living room, where the boys had arranged themselves as heaps of blankets with socks sticking out, one complete with a little bulldog face.

“What are we watching?” Danny drew her right toward the biggest couch.  Carson hit the remote to start Captain America on DVD.

Danny settled into the corner, arm around Sara’s shoulders.  She pulled her feet up and leaned against his side, cuddling in comfortably as he pulled a throw blanket over her legs.  At the other end of the sofa, Caelan smiled.  Zora came trotting in, nails ticking on the floor, and jumped right into the fray.  Two circles and the little black and white dog curled up behind Sara’s knees.

Sara closed her eyes.  The adrenaline and emotions of the last few hours still surged inside her mind, but she fought them down to take a quiet moment in the comfort of Danny’s warm arms.  He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and Sara knew if she fainted right there, he might never know.

Danny looked at his kids, his dog and now, his... girlfriend?  They hadn’t even had a real date.  Only two kisses and the bruise he felt forming along his ribs where his laser tag receiver had come down on top of hers.  He made a mental note to check Sara for a matching bruise - she’d need a very close inspection.  Though how to do anything of the sort in a house full of spies was another issue.

Even in his more reckless days, Danny had been very careful bringing women around the house.  If it was a one-nighter he prefered they didn’t know where he lived.  Their place or, if that seemed to sad, a hotel was fine.  A few times he’d introduced the boys to someone he was seeing - anyone serious enough to make it a few weeks or months.  Otherwise it felt like he was keeping the kids out of his life, when he wanted to draw them in.  It also told him a lot about the woman: even a brief encounter with his kids had revealed one of two bad apples that were quickly discarded.

Nestling in closer to Sara, Danny let those worries fade away for the time being.  Relationships were hard work.  He had no illusions that every day with her would be like the last few weeks.  But he hoped most would be, and for every day worse there would be two better.  

“Ma belle.”

Sara stirred at soft words being spoken in her ear.  She shifted against a very solid body, wrapped perfectly in heavy arms, before any complete thoughts trickled into her brain.  Blinking her eyes open, and saw Danny’s brown eyes looking back.

“Hi,” he said quietly.  She kissed him.  She didn’t care who saw or if she’d been asleep all night, the only thing Sara wanted to do was kiss this man.  He smiled against her mouth.  “Movie’s over.”

In sleep, she had shifted down farther into the couch.  Danny had turned and laid himself out, so she was on her side, between his body and the couch cushions at her back, with one arm across his chest.  Her head rested below his shoulder.  Sara jolted - suddenly very aware that she was twisted up with Danny in the middle of a living room that had been full of small, smart people.  Lifting her head, she saw that Carson was asleep in the recliner.  Cameron and Caelan must have already gone to bed.  By her feet, Zora snuffled and buried her nose in the blanket.

“Sorry, wow, I...,” she started to sit up, but Danny held her tight.

“You didn’t make it five minutes.  You’re a good sleeper, it was a loud movie.”

It hit her like a wave.  An intense flash of desire from one side, throwing her against a solid wall on the other, made of all the things she’d never had to think about.  Danny didn’t have roommates, he had kids.  Hockey wasn’t a job, it was a life.  If she’d ended up cuddled on the couch with any other  new boyfriend... well, Sara knew what she wanted.  Her body was screaming for it.  But Danny wasn’t just another other guy.

Danny watched each thought flicker across her face; he had seen them before.  Everything was fine until someone got into trouble - one person wanted too much, too fast, or realized they’d bitten off more than they could chew.  It could happen so fast.

“Do you want to stay?” he asked quietly.  He wanted it.  Dads are human too, he’d thought more than once.  A beautiful girl wrapped in his arms... Danny’s blood was simmering expectantly.  The guys would have laughed: they didn’t up like this, they ended up in an all-night romps to brag about in the locker room tomorrow.  Danny really wanted one of those - really.  Without the bragging, of course, but with Sara.  Right now.  Every moment that passed made it tougher to remember his responsibilities were all living upstairs.  If he pulled away, Sara might think he was boring, too cautious or nervous.  One way he felt old, the other like a fumbling kid.  So he lay there, holding her, with a tiny, sick feeling growing in his heart.  

This won’t work.  She doesn’t want all of this.  He was so lost in thought, her voice surprised him.

“I shouldn’t,” Sara said, but what she did was roll herself nearly on top. Her body poured over his and she pressed her thigh between Danny’s at the same time she gently kissed his lips.  Sara allowed herself a sigh at the promise of how good he would really feel.  “Don’t want to set a bad example.”

Danny decided he didn’t care.  Beneath the blanket his hands went right down over her ass and pulled her up, her leg between his, slotting them together like a lock and key.  He groaned into the kiss.  if she’d let him, he’d have taken her upstairs and then taken her again on every inch of surface behind that closed door.

She wiggled playfully and tugged his bottom lip between her teeth until she couldn’t take it anymore.  Just as quickly, Sara untangled herself and got to her feet.  Danny was left flat on his back and cold where her body had been.  He made a pouty face.

Sara pulled him to standing.  They were both barefoot - he had a few inches of height on her.  She brushed her fingers through his messy hair.

“Can I see you tomorrow?”  Danny looped arms around her waist so she couldn’t leave without giving the right answer.

“Yes, please.”  She smiled, he smiled and they stood there staring at each other for a long few seconds.  Sara kissed him again, her hands slipping beneath the back of his t-shirt.  All that warm, soft skin made Sara reconsider her responsible decision.  The touch made Danny see red; he was ready to drag her upstairs, or back to the couch, or even just to the floor.  In the recliner, Carson turned in his sleep and made a noise like a chaperone clearing his throat at a high school dance.

“Tomorrow,” Sara said.

“You don’t think next door will take a check?”

Sara made it home with trembling hands.  

WOW, she thought.  The heady rush of everything changing in one day hadn’t faded with sleep.  The only thing better than liking Danny was finally admitting, to herself and everyone else, that she did really like him.  And he liked her.  That kind of swooping, soaring feeling would have been enough, but there was a measure of excitement sprinkled with fear mixed into everything: his kids, her job, his fame.  The way the WAGs had looked at her in the lounge - imagine their faces now.  Would everyone assume she and Danny were headed for marriage, because of the kids?  And what’s to say they weren’t, except that Sara was in no hurry to get anywhere in white.  She felt like a teenage girl in a movie - Danny wasn’t quite the star quarterback, but he was pretty damned close.  A girl couldn’t be blamed if her mind ran a little rampant after a night like that.

Tomorrow.  Tuesday.  She wouldn’t be able to look at Cameron once in school.

The next morning, Danny dropped the kids at school before practice.  As he pulled into the players’ parking lot at the rink, Claude was just getting out of his car.   Danny took the spot next to him and barely opened the driver’s side door before he said, “I kissed Sara!”

Claude didn’t even look surprised, he just tackled Danny.  Only professional athletes could got away with such enthusiastic bro-hugging.  “Woohoo!” he shouted.  “Was it laser tag?  The laser tag did it, right?”

“How did you... Sean.” Danny reasoned.

Claude shook his head no, big shit-eating grin on his face.

“You!” Danny punched him in the arm.  “You texted her on Sunday!”

“Caelan did it, I just told him what to say.  You think a thirteen year old boy can get a date when you can’t?  You’re not that sad, Dan.  You just needed my moves.”  Claude did a pelvic thrust that not really okay, even among athletes.

“You’re a child.”

Giroux slapped him on the back.  “It worked, didn’t it?  Now, did you get some or what?  Because you’re getting kinda old, bro.  You sure things still work down there?”

Danny elbowed him in the side.  “She didn’t stay over.  The boys aren’t stupid, she knows that.  But I’m seeing her tonight.”

“Grown-ups only?”

Danny’s turn for the mischevious grin.  “I’m not stupid either.”

“So what’s the plan?”

That’s where Danny had some trouble.  He would have done something big, like take her to Atlantic CIty for the night, but she had to work tomorrow morning.  No chance he was getting in the way of her job when she was already walking thin ice for him.  Plus it seemed... seedy, maybe.  Like he had to separate her from Philly just to get some time alone.  There was room for Sara in his life here and Danny planned to make that clear off the bat.  Maybe just not tonight.

“Well, I was thinking...,” he started.

“Don’t think,” Claude interrupted.  “Here’s what you do....”  When his younger friend was done laying out his scheme, Danny had to laugh.  Maybe he did need a few of Giroux’s moves after all.

“Alright, but I’m not wearing a plaid suit,” Danny laughed.

Sara felt crazy as she pulled into the salon parking area.  Danny had seen her a hundred times and obviously he liked the view.  But she wanted tonight to be special, like starting fresh since they agreed to stop being so awkward and finally move forward.  It had been nearly a month since he walked into her classroom.  Hard to imagine so much time had passed.  

It was almost six when she swung out the door, checking her reflection.  Just a blow-out with some curls mixed back into her hair - nothing crazy.  Sara hurried home, put on a little extra makeup and pulled a hanger from her closet.

Definitely the dress.

She’d worn this dress only once before, to a wedding where an ex-boyfriend was a groomsman.  She walked in solo and every single guy proceeded to try to pick her up.  No luck for them, but the ex-boyfriend’s expression had been worth the price tag and then some.

At seven on the dot, her phone rang.  “Can I come up and get you?” Danny asked.  Sara looked around her apartment.  If she let him in here, the dress would never see the light of day.

“I might let you walk me to my door later.  Be right out.”

Danny leaned against the car door.  He’d told her to dress up, and let the boys pick out his suit.  They insisted on black with a white shirt.  He tried every tie in the house and hated them all.

“Sean,” Danny had knocked on the guest room  door, “Can I see your ties?”

Borrowing a tie from an eighteen-year old for a date.

Sean had popped his head out.  “No tie.  You’re not a lawyer.”

The minute Sara stepped through the door, he knew it didn’t matter if he were slightly underdressed or wearing a clown costume.  Her long hair brown was tousled in waves.  A knee-length black coat was belted at her waist, revealing just bare legs down to a pair of very delicate stiletto heels.  She smiled as she got closer and Danny’s hands curled into fists.

“Hi,” she knew she sounded excited.  Her heels gave her an inch over his 5’ 10” frame.  Danny didn’t seem to mind.

“You look beautiful,” he managed.

Sara leaned in and kissed him firmly on the lips, setting the tone for the night.  She’d been nervous around him for so long, it was time to make up for that.  “You’re very handsome yourself.  I like this,” she tugged the open collar of his shirt.  

Danny silently promised to rip up Coutourier’s rent check.

The ride through town was quiet - comfortable, but full of anticipation.  Sara didn’t want to ask where they were going in case Danny had a surprise up his sleeve.  Danny was hoping his surprise was as good as Claude thought.  He pulled up at the valet in front of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.  A doorman helped Sara from the car and did a double-take as Danny came around the front, without seeming to recognize him from the Flyers.

Just can’t believe that I’m with her, Danny thought.  Well me neither.

She took his hand as they entered..  The lobby was three stories high, with split-levels wrapped in iron railings and thick columns extending to the ceiling.  Instead of turning toward the restaurant, Danny headed for the elevators.  Sara raised an eyebrow, but didn’t slow down.

“It’s not what you think,” he said anyway, feeling lecherous to be taking her straight to a hotel room.

She gave him a sly smile.  “I’m in trouble if you already know what I’m thinking.”

When the doors opened, Danny had a key already in hand.  He slipped it into the lock above the panel of buttons and said, “Go ahead.”  

Sara didn’t ask - she just pushed the penthouse button.  It lit up.

There were four rooms on the top floor.  Danny led her to the end of a hall and chose the door on the right; it too opened for his key.  They stepped into a low-lit room.

“Wow,” Sara admitted.

Only a few table lamps were illuminated.  The living room had two couches and a coffee table arranged in front of a flat screen TV.   Just beyond it was a deep mahogany dining table with room for eight, but only two places were set.  At the head of the table and immediately to its right, flatware and wine glasses were laid with flowers and candles already flickering.  Both seats faced a large window, shades wide to reveal a view of Philadelphia’s City Hall.

While Sara took it in, Danny glanced around.  It was as he’d left it earlier - including the French doors to the bedroom area tastefully closed.  He’d set it up - each of the lights set halfway dim so an inviting glow could be seen through the frosted glass - but wouldn’t allow himself to count on going back with company.

“Danny, this is....”

He  tugged her hand so she faced him.  “I wanted to take you somewhere nice, but you already saw how sometimes people react and....”

Sara kissed him in mid-sentence.  He got another two words out before he realized that nothing he could say would be that important.  Her arms looped around his neck.  “This is perfect.  I love it.”

Danny smiled, relieved.  A knock at the door stopped her from kissing him again.  “That’s dinner.”

Sara frowned.  “Bummer.”

Danny answered the door and a waiter rolled in a tray.  He’d pre-ordered some appetizers and a bottle of wine, and there were menus on the cart for them to choose entrees.  As he turned, Danny nearly tripped.

Sara had taken off her coat and draped it over the arm of a couch.  She crossed the room in a bright red dress made of some flowing material that Danny’s fingers tingled to touch.  The wide neckline slipped accidentally-on-purpose from one shoulder, bare skin hinting at the miles more hidden beneath the silky fabric.  It showed off her figure without revealing it, curving at her waist and falling to mid-thigh.  It was the hottest dress Danny had ever seen and he wondered where he’d get another after he ripped this one off her.

The waiter and Sara both blinked at him.  He was staring, still at the door.

“Sorry,” Danny shook his head clear.

The waiter poured wine and left them for a moment with their menus.  He set the security bar on his way out he could get back in.  The moment he was gone, Danny stopped pretending to read.

“That dress is incredible on you,” he almost stuttered.  “Promise me you will never wear it around the guys.  I don’t want to have to put someone on injured reserve.”

Sara couldn’t help blushing at his attention, but she did smirk.  “I’ll make no such promise.”

They decided quickly on food, put their menus aside and Danny raised his glass.  Before he could think of something suitably romantic to say, Sara chimed in.  “This is the first time I’ve really been alone with you since the day we met.”

Danny thought back to that day in her classroom, when they’d both been expecting someone different to walk through the door.  “I’ve been trying to get here since then,” he admitted.  She lowered her wine and kissed him before taking a sip.

Over dinner, they got to know each other a little more.  Danny told her about the best hockey moments of his life, she asked about the worst.  Sara told him all the places she’d traveled, he asked where she still wanted to go.  It was so easy because she knew the kids, where other dates had been full of eggshells.  He felt like he could tell her anything, and he did.  Except when his mind wandered to the curve of her throat or the soft-looking waves in her hair.  Once she caught him.


He startled back to attention.  “Sorry.”

Sara shook her head, flattered and flustered.  It wasn’t until she met his eyes that she had trouble keeping her train of thought.  He was very sweet - his stories never said anything bad about anyone.  Or maybe he just really liked everyone in his life.  That was it, to a degree.  Danny seemed really content with everything.

And why wouldn’t he be? Great family, talented, plenty of money... she couldn’t help but still wonder if she really fit in among all that.  Then she saw that look in his dark eyes again, the one that said he’d never seen anything like her.  She leaned over and gave him another swift kiss.  That elfin grin came right back.

“Can I ask you something?  How old are you?”

“Twenty-four,” she said.  Shock immediately plastered across Danny’s face.  Sara lightly smacked his arm.  “I’m twenty-eight.  You’re almost exactly six years older than me.  Does that worry you?”

Danny opened his mouth to say no, like he’d said to how every many other girls he’d picked up since his divorce.  Except in this case, it did matter.  “A little.”

“It shouldn’t.  You don’t seem older to me,” she smiled.  “Just like you don’t seem as small as the sports guys make you out to be.”

He blushed like a fool.  She knew every one of his weaknesses already.  There were a million more things he wanted to learn, but the conversation flowed easily until the wine was gone and they were  both still laughing.  The waiter came back and Sara declined the dessert selection.  Danny accepted a cup of coffee and this time when the door closed, it locked with a clunk.  They looked at each other.  

Sara leaned back in her seat.  “Still think you know what I’m thinking?”

Danny quickly swallowed a sip to keep from sputtering.  He knew what he’d been thinking all night - since she got into his car, pushed the elevator button, since he saw that dress.  None of it was polite-single-dad stuff.  He wanted a playful, flirty response but nothing came to his mind.

“I hope so,” he simply said.

“I think...,” she took the coffee cup from his hand, “that if I went,” and placed it on the table, “in there,” her head tipped toward the bedroom doors, “I would find,” she got to her feet, “that you,” she pulled her up until they were almost nose-to-nose, “brought me a toothbrush.”

He decided, finally, that her eyes were dark blue.  And they were telling him he was almost there.

“And toothpaste,” he said.  Sara was laughing as she pulled him toward the bedroom.

Inside, everything moved too fast and not fast enough.  Sara pushed the suit jacket from his shoulders and ran her hands over his chest.  Ever since the night before at Danny’s house - him pressing her against the door with a kiss, her laying on top of him on the couch - she’d been thinking about getting him alone and being able to really touch him.  Now she couldn’t get enough.  His body was so solid, unlike anything she’d ever known.

Danny ran his fingers through her hair and his mouth down the exposed skin of her neck and shoulder.  She smelled intoxicating, he felt more drunk than those two glasses of wine.  The curve of her stomach slipped beneath his thumbs as he wrapped his hands around her waist.  She started to unbutton his shirt and he knew he was losing it.  At the middle of his chest, Danny held her wrists and stopped her.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.  “If it’s too soon, I....”

Sara laughed.  “Danny, this like our ninth date or something.”

“I know.  But if you don’t want....”

She put her fingers to his lips, silencing him.  Then Sara reached under one arm, pulled the zipper of her dress and stepped back, letting it finally fall all the way off that tempting shoulder.  A tiny tug and the other shoulder slipped free, the dress dropping to the ground.  Danny gulped hard at the sight of her in a black strapless bra, lace panties and stilettos.

“Don’t worry,” she said.  “I’m only going to do what I want.”