|Adult Swim 2/2
||[Apr. 17th, 2008|11:44 am]
I'm a big fan of not making people wait, so here's the second part of the story! Enjoy!|
Two days later she'd settled into a routine of sorts. She got up when he did in the morning and had coffee with him and his parents. He took the El into the city so she could have their rental if she wanted even though his mother insisted and followed through with the promise to happily escort her anywhere. When the conference broke that first night, he rode the train back and came through his family's front door to find that she and his mother were getting to be fast friends.
Dinner was a fun affair. At first she'd offered to help, but just as Tony had, his mother quickly found out that it was easier to hand her the plates, silverware, and napkins and have her set the table than to let her have any part in the meal preparation. The first night they had cookies – or her attempts at them – and despite the embarrassment, it made her laugh to remember the identical looks on Tony and his dad's faces as they chomped down on the rock hard lumps of chocolate and peanut butter chips. Tony assured her later on that they weren't that bad, but she was reasonably certain he was just trying to get her to shut up and let him take her pants off. He was taking the whole stealing naughty time in his parents' house thing very seriously.
Today was the shortest day of the conference, and he'd called at noon to tell her to start getting ready to go out. He'd promised to take her sight-seeing, and today was the day he wanted to make good on it.
After she showered and got dressed (if shimmying into a little black dress that would make Tony's head spin could be considered 'getting dressed'), his mother helped her with her hair. She'd toyed with the idea of trying to blow-dry it straight, but Sylvia instead helped her smooth and shape her hair into wide, shiny ringlets and let it fall gently around her face. The ensemble was completed by small amounts of smoky black eyeliner and almost-silver eyeshadow.
Sylvia whistled. "You look fantastic, Michelle."
She bit her lip and looked at her feet. "Thanks. He sees me every day; I just wanted to look a little different than usual."
"You could wear that shower curtain and you'd still look stunning, don't worry. Tony's so smitten with you, I doubt he'd even care if you had a giant pimple right at the tip of your nose." Sylvia tweaked said nose gently, causing an even bigger infusion of redness on Michelle's cheeks. Was it really that easy to see how bad they had it for each other? His mother's gentle grin stayed with her even after the woman had left her to finish getting ready.
Ten minutes later Tony walked through the door. She heard him greet his mother quietly before coming pounding up the stairs and breezing into his bedroom where he stopped dead in his tracks. He backpedaled quickly and came back in a few seconds later.
"What was that about?"
"Just wanted to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. 'Cause right now there's this gorgeous woman standing at my dresser trying to decide on what earrings to wear; she looks like my girlfriend, and she sounds like my girlfriend, but I wanted to be sure I wouldn't get slapped for throwing her onto my bed and ravaging her like I would my girlfriend."
She giggled, accepting his praise and his embrace with gratitude. He stood behind her, arms around her waist and head on her shoulder, watching as she made her final jewelry selections.
"You ready to go?"
"Just gotta change my shirt, hold on."
She watched from his bed while he tore off the shirt he'd worn all day and tugged a crisper, fresher one on over his white undershirt. As he did up his tie, their eyes met in the mirror. He'd had the same hungry look in his eyes the night of their first date. The night she'd invited him in for coffee and he hadn't left until mid-afternoon a day and a half later.
After he shrugged into his jacket, he held out a hand to her.
"Let's go," he murmured gruffly.
For starters they took a trolley tour of the city. It was able to cover more ground than they would have on foot, and they could sit in a heated coach. After they got a crash course in Chicago's sights he took her hand and they walked the short distance to a restaurant that practically screamed that it only served high-end clientele. Ignoring her protests that they could get just as good a meal at the burger place down the street, Tony gave the maitre'd his name and they were shown to a table hidden in the back.
"Tony, this is too much," she hissed after looking at the menu and finding that the cheapest entrée was over thirty dollars.
He rolled his eyes. "When was the last time we went out for a nice dinner?"
She considered this. Usually when they went out, it was to a bar or a chain restaurant with the usual peppy atmosphere and quick enough service to get them home in time to make love and still get enough sleep to be able to get up for work. When they went out with John and Elizabeth and the group it was to somewhere flashy and fun. Probably their third or fourth date was the last time she'd been able to look across the table and see the way candlelight highlighted the strong lines of his jaw. And damn, he looked good.
He reached for her hand, giving it a quick squeeze. "Of course I am. And don't worry about the price, Michelle. Order what you want."
She traced her finger over his knuckles. "Did you steal your dad's credit card or something?"
He laughed. "Are you calling me stingy?"
She bit her lip, hiding a smile. Tony was anything but. "I'm just saying you've been all about recapturing your youth…"
"And now you're calling me old!"
Feigning offense, she reached for her water. "I never said that, Grandpa."
"Keep laughing. Soon enough I'll be calling you granny."
She narrowed her eyes. "Only if you want to sleep downstairs for the rest of this trip. And you can explain to your mom why you need the extra blanket."
Raising a palm in playful defeat, he turned his other hand over to hold hers. "What do you think you'll like?"
He wouldn't let her even sneak a peek at the bill, but she knew their dinner had been expensive. After paying the check and waiting for her to use the restroom, he helped her into her coat and made sure she'd be warm enough. They left, and he used the arm he'd protectively slid around her waist to lead her to the only place he'd actually told her they'd be going.
Despite the brawl that almost broke out over it, he acquiesced to her request to let her pay to go to the top of the tower. In the elevator up to the Skydeck, she curled her arms around his waist and rested her cheek against the scratchy wool of his coat. Their delicious meal had left her full and sluggish, and despite the walk, she could probably fall asleep pressed against the warmth of his chest.
"We're almost there," he murmured into her temple, still swaying gently. "You didn't pay thirty bucks just to fall asleep before you got to see the sunset, did you?"
"Mmm, no. You're just comfy."
He chuckled. "Thank you. We'll get you some coffee once we get up there."
True to his word about ten seconds after they stepped off the elevator he was pressing a steaming cup of her favorite latte from Starbucks into one of her hands. Her other hand he cradled in his as they stood at the window, watching the winter sun sink beneath a far-off horizon. She left him watching the city lights while she went to find a trash can to throw her empty cup away.
He had a contemplative look on his face when she came back. She couldn't help but tease him for it, wrapping her arms around his torso and using his shoulder as a pillow again. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and cupped her chin.
"I owe you an apology, Michelle."
"For brushing you off for so long. For making you make the first move. Thank you for not letting me wimp out on you. For grabbing me in the hall that day. Making me get over my wounded ego," he shrugged. "I should have asked you out after my first day."
She gave him a squeeze. "You had to have time. Otherwise don't you think you probably would have ended it within weeks because you were afraid I'd be just like her?"
He looked at her strangely, and she was pretty sure she'd managed to repeat something he'd once said almost verbatim. When they'd first started dating and she'd do that, it would freak him out. Now though, he just shrugged it off most of the time. After a second he nodded. "You're right, I probably would have."
"Then I'm okay with waiting a couple extra months. Even if I did have to find out from Elizabeth that you really were interested in me and I wasn't just imagining it."
He kissed her slowly, gently easing her mouth open and sweeping his tongue through, probably tasting the coffee she'd just had, before retreating and lightly biting her lower lip.
"Not that your imagination is anything to sneeze at," he offered innocently, resting his forehead on hers.
She snorted. She loved how easily and naturally their conversations could go from serious to playful. Nothing with him was ever awkward.
"Hey," he called lightly, framing her face with his hands and gathering her undivided attention. "Thank you for coming with me this week, and for not insisting that we stay downtown. I know it's not always romantic at my house, but-"
"We're doing okay in that department," she assured, not wanting to elaborate how much she enjoyed playing their little games. At least not in public.
"But I wanted them to meet you because," Tony trailed off. "Because I love you, Michelle. I want my family to know you because I'm so in love with you there are days when I can't see straight."
Before he could say anything more, her arms were around his neck, pulling him back down to where she could seize his mouth, cutting off what was probably the sweetest series of things he'd ever said to her. Her fingers tangled in his short hair, palm flat against the back of his head so he couldn't get away. She felt his hands do the same to her and they stayed like that, locked in a clinch, lips sliding against lips, and tongues lightly rubbing against one another, for god only knew how long.
"I love you, Tony," she whispered against his lips, feeling completely inadequate in her expression. He nodded quickly, drawing her back for another long kiss.
An attendant walked by some time later, informing them that the skydeck was closing and they needed to leave. Sharing a sheepish grin with him, she tangled their fingers together and led him back to the elevator. She was back in his arms as soon as the doors slid shut.
He hailed a cab and helped her inside, but instead of giving his home address like she thought he would, he told the cabbie to take them to the hotel they could have been staying in. Off her startled look, he leaned close, kissing her cheek and whispering that he'd gone ahead and checked in that first day.
"I feel like being a grown up for this," he added quietly, sliding his mouth down her neck. "King sized bed, Jacuzzi the size of your apartment, nobody but us and room service."
Her head fell onto his shoulder. "Sounds perfect."
"Good." He kissed her softly. "I love you, you know."
She grinned, feeling the thrill roll through her. She took his hand, making sure their palms touched. Even though they'd been alone every night, she suddenly couldn't wait to really be alone with him. To hear him whisper those words against her skin as he undressed her, as he pressed worshipping kisses into her flesh, as he sank to his knees and touched his mouth to her core, bringing her to the edge again and again, only to catch her when she tumbled over. To whisper the same into his skin as she peeled his clothes from his body, as she ran her mouth up and down his shaft, drawing out his pleasure with her hands, to murmur it into his neck as he moved within her, biting his shoulder gently and salving the wound with her tongue. To dig her nails into his back and gasp it into his ear. To come with him and be able to cradle him afterwards, feeling his heart pound against her own, and be able to say it as she drifted off.
Squeezing his hand, she nodded. "I love you so much."