20.

garfiled

“Good morning, darling,” her lips brushed his forehead, and he opened his eyes.

He smiled up at her, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “I thought I told you not to wake me.”

“I couldn’t wait any longer!” She moved closer to him, demanding to be spooned. “I missed you.”

“You’re lucky you’re cute,” he replied, sleepily, as he assuaged her desire to be snuggled. The familiar curves of her body were inviting, and his loins were stirring (annoyingly much faster than his brain which was still trying to sleep). She rubbed against him, intentionally helping him along.

“See, you’re waking up,” she teased.

“You’re the devil. You’re Roscoe Conkling in a dress.”

“I could take the dress off, if you think that would help.”

“Well it certainly wouldn’t hurt.”

Her dress, of course, was little more than a thin sleeping gown, which already left very little to the imagination. She’d come over late the night before, breath smelling of wine, her head full of inappropriate ideas. He gave in; he always gave in. There was no resisting her when she needed attention, and his willpower was spent after a day dealing with the Stalwarts anyway. He’d given what he thought was a very good performance, rough like she wanted, leaving the desired bite marks and bruises. It was surprising she had the energy for an encore. He barely did. Nevertheless she persisted.

She rolled over to face him; he suddenly wondered if his breath was offensive.

“You stayed the night,” he mused aloud.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized instinctively, a habit she’d been trying to break.

“I don’t mean for you to apologize,” he continued. “It’s just, out of character.”

“I don’t believe I’ve shown you all of my character, James,” she kissed him, warmly, banishing any concerns he had about his breath (or his ability to perform again). He followed her lead, deepening the kiss, and pulling her into a tight embrace. He made her feel small, feminine, and safe, and she never wanted it to end. His hand moved up, under her bedclothes, where he caressed her breast. He pinched her, just a bit, just how she liked, and she temporarily broke the kiss.

“Be nice,” she directed. “I’m still a little sore.”

Nice was a departure from their usual, but a welcome one. He resumed kissing her, passionately, privately thrilled for this opportunity to take things slowly. She clearly felt the same, and she moaned softly as she pressed her body against him. His lips covered her neck, and nipped gently at her ear. She found his lips again, the desire in him swelling like his desire to expand the Navy. Her hand found his erection, and she stroked him, teasing him, going almost frustratingly slow. And still her tongue explored his mouth, and she shivered at the way his beard felt on her.

“I want you,” he remarked, though the vocalization was unnecessary.

She pulled him on top of her, and spread her legs. She was glistening, and for a moment he just studied her, and hovered outside her dewy mound.

“I’m yours,” came her response, and he could wait no longer. He entered her and she immediately cried out in delight.

“Shhhh,” he cautioned, always acutely aware their trysts needed to remain secret. She silenced herself, but arched her back, and wrapped her legs around him. He leaned forward, quickened his pace, and met her lips again. Ostensibly it was to make sure they kept quiet, but he loved the feel of her lips, and she wanted to be as close to him as possible. In here, the spoils system was alive and well, though he’d sooner confirm his role in the Crédit Mobilier scandal than admit it.

Her soft eyes met his deep brown ones, and he continued his campaign on her front porch. It was intimate, and he filled her completely. He pulled out, then pushed back inside her, making every thrust count. She hugged him closer, and whispered encouragement in his ear. Her senses heightened, and she fought the urge to make everyone in Washington aware that public speaking wasn’t his only talent.

There was a brief window now, in which she could tell him she loved more than just his record high voter turnout. She let the moment pass, unseized. Instead, she focused on him, on the furrow in his young brow, and the professorial concentration with which he continued his romantic experiment on her body.

“Baby,” she tried to keep her voice low. “You feel incredible.”

“I love this,” he replied, each ministration dripping with tenderness.

She reached up to touch his face, and he held her gaze as he maneuvered in and out. She shuddered, feeling her body edging closer to orgasm. He anticipated her needs, as he always did, for he knew her body better than he knew the pythagorean theorem. He wrapped an arm around her, found her mouth, and thrust into her harder. He braced himself on the bed, and finally let himself go, knowing she’d join him. They climaxed together, curled up in each other, loving it in a way they weren’t allowed to articulate.

They lay together, enjoying the silence, not wanting to break the spell. He caught his breath; she ran delicate fingers through his mane of chest hair.

Finally, still snuggled in the crook of his arm, she spoke:

“I’m very taken with you,” she admitted. “I know I ought not to be, but I’m not sorry I am.”

“It does me good to hear it. I frequently worry what everyone — what you — think of me.”

“You worry about me?”

“I like having you here. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of you.”

“We both know what that will do to your chances of reelection.”

“Perhaps I don’t fancy reelection. I’ve time enough to push through the civil reforms we need, and then you and I retire somewhere quiet where you can be loud all the time.”

“As long as it’s not in Ohio.”

“I suppose I don’t care about the where so much as the you.”

She grinned. He was impossibly sentimental sometimes, but it warmed the parts of her heart she’d long since written off. Still, she knew it would be better for him, for her reputation, for the country if she avoided staying the night. He was a young man, and she could have him when he’d finished improving the nation, and reforming civil service. That would be enough.

Unless for some reason he was assassinated.

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