Dropping Jason and the dogs off at her house, Aracely walked in with them, leaving the truck outside of the garage. “The dogs can hang out in here while you deal with the room for me. You should have everything you need. I just want to grab a refill before I go into the office.”
“We’ll be fine,” he smiled as he spent some time with her and the dogs before she was going to head out. “But will you? You and your mom, in the office, trying to work. You sure you don’t want something stronger?”
“I got a bottle of Jack in my locked drawer on my desk,” she grinned as she slipped her sunglasses on. “If you’re hungry, there is plenty of stuff in the freezer to make up for yourself.”
“Again, we’ll be fine,” he smiled, kissing her forehead again. “Now, get off to work. Dinner’s at 7.” To go from a Marine Master Sargeant with ties to sniping, covert operations and anti-terrorism, to a repairman training to be a law enforcement officer would have turned his stomach only a few years ago. But because he was there with Aracely, doing all the things that she wanted or needed to do, only to never get around to it made him feel useful again.
“Yes Dad,” she teased as she made her way back out. “I’ll call when I’m on my way home. Have fun!”
“We will,” he grinned. Waving her off, he took the dogs inside, fed them and left them with some toys and the rottweilers dog basket in the laundry room while he started clearing the basement. Once he was done, he was going to check around the house to see what needed repairing. He was going to sort of the easy-fix jobs and plan on fixing the stuff that required materials or tools he didn’t have to hand.
By 5, he had done everything he had set out to do, barring a patch job on Aracely’s roof. He’d cleared the basement and the puppies where happily playing there while he showered. After his shower, he planned to make spaghetti bolognese, with garlic bread for Aracely getting in. She had the ingredients after all and it was a dish that he enjoyed cooking.
As 6:30 rolled by, he decided to run Aracely a bath, using all the girly stuff she had in her bathroom. The salts, the scented candles. Tonight, he was going to take care of her, she’d been dealing with so much crap for god knows how long that she had probably forgotten what it was like to be pampered.
As 7 rolled around. The lights were dimmed, the candles were lit. Some Spanish guitar music was playing on her CD player, the dogs where in the dining room asleep. Everything was perfect.
After a long afternoon of arguing with her mother how she wanted her office to be organized and then some, she couldn’t help but to walk out a little early to do her house visits that she worked into doing two days a week that she focused her attention for. When she left her last house, she called up the house but caught the answering machine. Assuming that he was still working on something or might have been outside, she just left a message that she was on her way, just a few minutes behind.
Pulling into the drive, she was careful to keep an eye out to see if the dogs were still in the garage but it was empty. Entering the main house, she opened the basement room door to see the area set up for the dogs, but no animals. “Jason?” she called out as she climbed the stares. “You around?” she asked as she made her way into the kitchen to find a pot of water on the stove.
“Aha,” just in time,” Jason smiled as he re-entered the kitchen. “I’ve drawn you a nice hot bath. You have a glass of wine waiting for you upstairs and several CD’s for you to choose from.”
Dropping her bag on the counter, Aracely’s eyes rose. “Really? Wow. What did I do to earn all that?” she grinned. “Not that I’m objecting…”
“You didn’t do anything except deal with a whole heap of shit. You deserve some pampering, a hot bath, a nice meal, a massage, some time with your new dog while you watch a movie. With popcorn of course,” he smiled, “So go… enjoy your bath, take your time. Dinner will be ready when you want it.”
“Wow, okay,” she nodded as she made her way upstairs while she left him to tend to dinner. Walking into her bathroom, she couldn’t help but to smile as she took everything in and prepared to enjoy her bath from the man.
The bolognese sauce was cooking nicely, the pasta was boiling slowly and he was now grating the cheese with a smile on his face. He hoped that she enjoyed the surprise and that she didn’t think it was some ploy to get into her pants before they were ready for the next step in their renewed relationship. He just hoped to give her a night of romance to remember.
Aracely settled in for her bath and let out a sigh as she sank further into the tub. If it weren’t for the faint scent of dinner coming up the stairs, she would have likely fallen asleep in the water from the soft music and warm lights that Jason had set up for her. Still, it made her mind wander into areas that she didn’t want to go to yet, and just couldn’t help it. It was something that had come to her often, each day since she saw him that night and every time she thought of him since they kissed the night on the beach. She knew he was not the mitigating factor for the end of her relationship with Eric, but she could understand why people would think so.
Before she could fall asleep completely, she decided to end her bath, smiling to herself as she dried herself off and pulled on comfortable pants and yoga shirt. Making her way down the stairs, she could hear the dogs playing with their toys and shook her head. “Thank you,” she said as she made her way behind Jason quietly and left a kiss on his cheek.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled as he stirred the sauce. He was glad that she’d enjoyed herself. He hadn’t seen her look this relaxed since returning to Mullens. It was a wonderful sight to see, one that he hoped to see more often even. “Are you hungry?”
“Famished now,” she grinned.
“Well, have a seat, I’ll fix you a plate,” he smiled as he drained off the pasta and began placing it on their plates. “There’s some more wine on the table.”
Aracely went over and poured herself a refill before sliding into her seat. “So what all did you do today? How were the dogs?”
“Well, I cleared the basement as best I could, moved everything into the store room like you asked,” he explained as he ladled some sauce onto the plates. “Then I checked the rest of the house for stuff that needed repairing. I fixed the faucet in the guest bedroom’s en suite, repaired the handle to the landing cupboard door and I took the liberty of tightening the hinges on the front door. They seemed a little loose.”
“Wow. You were busy,” she said as she watched him. “You didn’t have to do all that though. If you had wanted though, and in the future, you’re welcome to just relax here, watch television, jump in the pool, whatever.”
“I wanted to. It would’ve had to be done eventually,” he smiled gratefully. “There are a few other jobs that’ll take a little longer and I’ll need some tools and materials to do them, but I figure it’d be best to get them done now rather than later when the problems are much worse.”
“That is true but I don’t want you to go and do anything too much. For one thing, I’m going to need to go get supplies to have a small barn added in the back to move my crap into because it can’t stay in that extra room for too long. I know I want to get those rooms situated so that I can have some of my friends I made in California come visit and have a place to stay.”
“Well, I’m sure you could persuade my dad to build you a decent sized storage space. I’ll give him a hand if I have the time, and Bobby’ll be glad for the extra work, what with Tommy growing so fast. I swear, he’ll be wearing the clothes that my mom kept from when I was a kid, soon,” he smiled. “And don’t worry, the dogs were fine. Got a little restless earlier but they’ve seemed to have calmed down.”
Aracely shrugged as she pulled her feet onto the chair she sat. “No rush. Bobby and Lisa needs their house more. I doubt they enjoy living with your parents very much with the baby,” she grinned.
“Actually, I think Lisa’s glad for the help at the moment. He is her firstborn after all. She considers mom to be her child raising oracle,” he grinned as he placed an ample sized plate of spaghetti bolognese in front of her. “I mean, the four kids she had didn’t turn out too badly.”
“Maybe, but I know I would go insane if my mother was looking over my shoulder and criticize every decision and choice I would make for my own child, but that is just me,” she commented as she lifted her fork and took a mouthful before sighing happily.
He smiled happily, he hadn’t lost his touch in the kitchen. “I don’t think your mom would criticise the way you’d raise your kids, sweetheart. I mean think about it. You’re their miracle. They’ve raised you in a loving home and did a damn good job at it too. They’d make amazing grandparents.”
“Meh. It’s neither here nor there because I have no intention of having any children for awhile right now,” she commented as she made quick work of her dinner.
“I remember my sister saying the same thing when she married Bobby,” he teased as he joined her at the table with his own plate.
“Ah, ah, but I doubt that they ever considered using any sort of birth control beyond condoms. I however, won’t get pregnant until I choose so. IUD,” Aracely flashed him with a smirky smile.
“Well, I guess you’ll be busy being the cool auntie for a while,” he relented, his teasing smirk still there.
She raised an eyebrow. “Auntie?” she asked suspiciously.
“Well, I’m sure that’s the name you’ll get once Steve and Hayley’s daughter’s born. And I bet you’ll get the title from my sister when the prank ends,” he said truthfully. “You’re practically sisters with both Hannah and Lisa anyway.”
“I wouldn’t go that far right now Jason. It’s been ten years. A lot of time lost.”
“They love you, they understand why you left and they get why you’ve not been in their lives. They can forgive you sweetheart. I feel they have forgiven you. Now its time for you to forgive yourself… to move on and put your past behind you. That’s why you’re here isn’t it? It’s why I’m here,” he explained with loving sincerity.
“Maybe,” was all she said in response to the topic before she quickly cleared her plate. “So what are your plans now?”
“In terms of tonight? Or long-term?” he asked as he savoured his food.
“Um, I was thinking more literally, not so much figuratively,” she said. “Like – plans with your parents? Tomorrow how you spend the day… I don’t know.”
“Well, I have to go down to the shooting range to be certified for firearms by the sheriff’s department,” he explained. “I also promised my dad I’d help with a couple of furniture orders. But other than that, no real plans. What about you? Another busy day at the office?”
Aracely nodded. “Can you ask your dad if he can make a simple pergola in time for the shower? I think that would be a nice addition to the yard and give something of a comfortable outdoor living space to sit under for the party.”
“I’m sure he can whip something special up,” he smiled. “He’s finished the crib he’s planning to give them already. Hayley loves the one he made for Tommy, so he decided to make something similar for their baby. You should drop by and take a look.”
“Maybe Thursday if I can finish my work at the hospital to be back in town for your family dinner in time. If you want to have him over to size up the yard, bring him by. I’ll be in the office all day tomorrow.”
“Okay,” he nodded, “If there anything else you need doing tomorrow while you’re at work?”
She made a face as a thought passed through her mind and shook her head quickly. “No, nothing.”
“You sure?” he asked as he topped up his glass of wine and offered her some more. “I honestly don’t mind helping you out Ace. So if there’s something you need me to do, just ask.”
“Positive,” Aracely nodded exaggeratedly.
Pouring some wine into her glass he gave her a sideways look. “Last chance.”
She reached over and took the glass when he was done. “It’s never a last chance anymore,” she replied. “At least not from my understanding on how things seem to be progressing.”
“You were gonna ask me something,” he nodded, “You don’t have to hide your feelings from me. Your wants and needs are important to me Ace. Why do you think I did all this?”
“I know why you did this, but we also had an agreement, before that,” she pointed out.
“Yeah, we agreed to take things slow,” he replied, “And I’m still willing and able to do that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take care of you. Especially after months of bullshit being piled on top of you. But if you want to call it a night, I can go now. All you have to do is say the word.”
She looked at him and smiled. “You are always welcome here. I can’t help but still to feel a bit like that horny teenager at times. Sue me.”
“If it makes you feel better, we’re not going to have sex tonight,” he grinned. “Like I said, I’ve got an appointment at the shooting range tomorrow. There’s no way in hell that I’m letting my rating fall because I spent an amazingly mind-blowing night between the sheets with you. Good things come to those who wait…”
Aracely narrowed her eyes at him and smiled. “Why don’t you call your sister and tell her you’re staying by Candy’s. I’ll go get the guest room ready for you. Deal?”
“Deal,” he grinned and reached for his cell. “While you’re up, get that gallon tub of rocky road ice cream out of the freezer that you tried to hide behind the bag of frozen peas. Just because I’m not going to make your toes curl up, doesn’t mean I’m not going to continue my plan to rock your world.”
“I’ll take it out now. It kinda needs to thaw out a little so that we can scoop it. I’ll be back down so if you want to set up in the living room…?”
“You got it,” he winked before taking his phone call into the living room.
When Aracely came down, she was greeted by popcorn, some more wine and a selection of DVD’s still in their clear plastic wrapping.
“Well, she wasn’t thrilled with that. And Hannah was a little upset that I haven’t brought the dog home yet, so I had to promise to leave early so that they can meet before school,” he explained. “But until then, I and my magic fingers are all yours.”
“Oh? Well, she’ll more than forget about you and anything else as soon as she sees the dog. And what does your magic fingers wish to do to me?” she asked as she settled down on the floor next to him.
“I seem to remember a stunning high school student who was studying so very hard to get into a pre-med program. How she’d spend hours hunched over books and her computer. She got terrible neck and back pains… and the only thing that would help was her boyfriend’s magic fingers,” he smiled. “Your back and neck might not be aching from pain, but I bet they ache from not feeling the fingers in ten years.”
She laughed as she grabbed the remote control to hit play on the DVD player before shifting over to sit between his legs as she used to. “Work it baby!” she grinned.
As his fingers began to seek out her more sensitive pressure points with a light touch, he smiled. “I wasn’t sure if you’d seen this one or not. It wasn’t in your collection but I figured you’d enjoy it. It’s one of those romantic comedies that you and Hayley can sit and watch over and over.”
“I haven’t seen many movies over the years. Not enough time,” she replied as her eyes fell closed. “Don’t be afraid to use some pressure there,” she added, rolling her head to the side.
“You mean like this,” he grinned, applying more pressure as he ran his thumbs in slow circles. Even though 10 years had passed, he knew her body. every sensitive spot, every nook and cranny that drove her insane with the slightest touch. They may have been teenagers when they were together last, but they were smoking hot together. Both eager to learn each others turn-ons and turn-offs and doubly eager to exploit the former in the pursuit of pleasure.
Aracely let out a low moan, unable to find words. All she knew was that at that moment, she didn’t want it to stop. Her head fell forward to her chest and groaned as Jason’s hands moved lower, over her back, almost purring through her enjoyment.
“I’m glad you approve,” he grinned, a sense of pride and triumph washing over him as he targeted a second spot which had always elicited a positive reaction from her. Pressing softly at first, he began applying pressure with three fingers rubbing up and down in a smooth rhythmic fashion.
“You are a very evil man,” she sighed as her arms began to feel like jelly and laid loosely over his legs beside her.
“Are you asking me to stop?” he asked, whispering hoarsely into her ear while keeping up the same pressure.
“If I wanted you to stop, you would have known already – and painfully,” she replied, shifting herself back against him more for emphasis.
The movie was forgotten now, his attention was solely focused on her. As his fingers danced across her neck and shoulders like a pianist playing a difficult piece, he began to wonder if he’d be able to stop himself if they got to the point of no return.
Sighing, Aracely turned around and rested her legs over his as she sat facing him. Her arms moved up to rest on his shoulders. “Thank you,” she said and leaned in to slowly kiss him.
“For what? Copping a feel? Letting you cop a feel?” he teased before kissing her back. “Cause that’s thanks enough.”
“You haven’t copped any feel,” she laughed. “And I would smack you if you had. Just being here is enough for me.”
“Well get used to it, because I’m not going anywhere,” he smiled as he placed his hands on the small of her back and lent in for another kiss.
Aracely grinned as she pushed the kiss along, happily not letting him leave her lips whenever he tried to break away. It became something of a game quickly to where she had to press herself against him tightly to reach his lips when he pulled back, making her bite down lightly on his lip to keep him from pulling away again.
That elicited a primal growl from Jason who ensured he had a firm hold on Aracely before standing, hoisting her up in the process as lips, tongues and teeth danced with raw unbound passion.
He carefully guided them toward the stairs and up to her bedroom as her legs and lips were firmly locked on him.
She couldn’t help but to let out a laugh when he accidentally turned a corner too soon and they ended up in the corner of the wall. Recovering quickly, they made it to her room without any more mishaps and held onto him tightly when Jason leaned in to lower her down onto the bed. She wasn’t about to let him move away further than where she could reach with her lips.
Jason deepened their kisses as his hands explored her neck and shoulders some more before finding their way into her hair.
Her lips broke off from his to trail over his jaw and down his neck, following a familiar path that her instinct and body was demanding of her. Her hands shifted down over his back until they found their way to the hem of his shirt, brushing over the skin of his back.
Breaking their kiss, he gave her a sideways glance and lifted his arms up. If she wanted to explore his body, she was free to do so. It had been a while since she’d done so after all and Marine training had changed things significantly.
Aracely pulled the shirt up and off him before sending it off where it landed somewhere on the floor. She didn’t really know or care. Raising her head she kissed over his shoulder as her hands skimmed over his flanks up to his ribs.
Jason smiled and kept his eyes locked on hers as she explored his torso. “I take it that you approve?”
She grinned up at him and shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe. I could clearly see the changes of your body through the way your clothes fit around you as well. I – may not have changed much myself, but there are changes as well, just more mild…”
“Well, I’ll enjoy discovering the delights of those changes when the time is right,” he smiled, kissing her quickly before laying on his back and pulling her on top of him. “But right now it’s your turn to enjoy yourself. Just… don’t go too far because I don’t think I’ll be able to control myself.”
“You’re telling me not to go too far? May I ask who was the one that carried me to bed?” she smirked as she shifted over him and played her fingers into his chest hair.
“I did… but I only did it to save you from getting up after almost passing out from my massage,” he grinned, licking his top lip. “This way, I can leave you to have sweet dreams while I tidy up downstairs.”
She raised an eyebrow and frowned. “So you are saying that you intended on taking me to bed and leaving me there alone?”
“Well, there are candles to blow out, dishes to wash. What sort of romantic boyfriend would I be if I expected you to clean up after the dinner that I cooked?” he grinned. “And besides, I told you we weren’t having sex.”
“So? Can’t two consenting adults sleep in the same bed together without having sex?”
“If you want a snuggle buddy, I’ll be happy to oblige,” he smiled, taking her hand and kissing it, “But only if you’re sure this isn’t moving too fast?”
“I’m not naked. You’re not naked…” she said looking down at him again. “Mostly. I can change into my flannel pajamas and throw the air conditioner on so that I don’t sweat my ass off if it makes you more comfortable,” she smiled.
“Wear whatever you usually wear to bed. I’ll do the same,” he said as he gave her ass a gentle slap in order to move her. “Give me two minutes to put the dishes into soak and make everything look tidy at least.”
She narrowed her eyes on him.
“Oh don’t look like that,” he grinned as he got up, “You used to enjoy a light spanking every now and then.” With that he made his way back downstairs to quickly clean up.
Aracely sighed with a pout as she looked around. Maybe it was better that he stopped them when he did because she certainly would have continued. Pushing herself off the bed, she went into her closet to scower her clothes to find something to sleep in that wasn’t too revealing and more comfortable without having to turn the air on as she preferred the open window at night when possible.
It wasn’t long before Jason came back upstairs. The candles were out, the living room was tidy and the dishes were left to soak in the sink. Unfortunately, all he had to sleep in was his boxers and the t-shirt which had been discarded while they were making out.
He came into the room and removed his boots, socks and jeans before finding the haphazardly discarded shirt and slipping it back on. Dropping to the floor, he proceeded to power his way through some push-ups.
“Are you seriously working out in my room?” Aracely asked, peeking out from the bathroom as she brushed her teeth.
“Gotta burn up this energy somehow,” he grinned, as he switched to one handed push-ups. “I could take a cold shower instead?”
She looked at him and tensed her jaw at the thought. “Not a good idea,” she replied and ducked back into the bathroom to finish her own nightly ritual.
“Well then,” he grinned as he continued his push-ups. “I’ll be done soon. And don’t worry, I’m not breaking a sweat.”
“Right,” she mumbled before she rinsed out her mouth. When she finished brushing her hair back into a ponytail, she made her way back out and pulled the covers of the bed as she eyed Jason on the floor. “Bed time.”
Hopping up onto his feet, he ducked into the bathroom and rinsed his own mouth out with mouthwash before returning. “Bed time,” he smiled as he walked around to the opposite side of the bed.
“If you want a toothbrush I have an extra one,” Aracely said as she climbed into bed and settled down.
“You gonna clear some space for my clothes too,” he joked as he climbed in beside her, kissing her forehead. “Thanks, I’ll use it tomorrow morning.”
She smirked. “If you want me to.”
“If I want you to what?” he asked with a frown. “Clear some closet space? I was joking babe.”
“And I asked if you want me to, because I would. I do expect you to be around more that it would be convenient.”
“Are you sure?” he asked. It made sense to have a few things at the house. But the rate they were going, their definition of taking things slow could differ from the norm. “I mean, it would be great and all, but I feel like I’ve done enough to invade your home already.”
“And if I didn’t want you around, I would have kicked you out a long time ago,” she said softly as she turned to looked at him. “The closet in the guest room is practically empty if you think that my own closet is too intimate for you.” Leaning in, she shifted to her elbow so that she could hover slightly as she smiled down at him.
“You’re amazing, you know that?” he asked, smiling up at her. “To think, a week or two ago I thought I’d never be able to do this with you.”
“Yeah,” she sighed. “But, I want you to know that I don’t think of you as a rebound. Never even considered it a possibility simply because I never stopped having feels for you even if I was with someone else.”
“Honey, that is nice to know, really,” he kissed the tip of her nose before smiling a goofy smile. “But you’re still not getting in my boxers tonight.”
“Honey, I already know what’s in your boxers and I know I can still sleep tonight without it,” she replied, smacking him on the face lightly before settling back down on her side of the bed.
Snuggling up behind her, he planted several lingering kisses on her neck. “Sweet dreams.” With that he closed his eyes, feeling happier than he had in ten long years.