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Steady as the Snow Falls(42)

By:Lindy Zart



He was hers, all of him. The good, and everything else.

Beth flexed her hips and he moaned. He went up on his elbows and thrust  his body up, and Beth closed her eyes at the feel of him through their  clothes, hard and ready.

"We can't-" he started.

"Don't tell me what we can't do. Just show me what we can," she commanded, her voice throaty and raw.

Harrison brushed his lips across hers. A feather of a touch. "Beth," he hesitated.

"I went to the doctor," she said before she lost her courage.

He jerked back.

"I just-I wanted to be prepared, just in case. I wanted it to be one  less thing for you to worry about. I'm healthy, and I'm taking  medicine."

The stare he aimed at her was heavy, and long. Beth shifted her eyes  away and back as she waited. Harrison finally blinked, calm settling  over his features. He nodded, once. Hesitated again. "But if-I mean-are  you sure?"

"I am so sure." Seeing Harrison nervous made her heart smile. She shook  her head, shook away his denials and fears. "I trust you to know. I  trust you. You're in charge. I'll follow your lead."

His throat shifted as he swallowed. "I don't have any co-"

"I do. In the pocket of my jeans." Beth smiled at the look he gave her. "I'm prepared, Harrison. I told you."

"Anxious, even." Wryness entered his eyes.

"You have no idea."

Hunger shot across his face.

When he placed his mouth to hers again, and applied light pressure, she  opened hers. Beth's fingers curled at her sides, then moved to his back.  Her grip gently molded to the hard muscle, holding him to her. His hips  moved forward and back, and Beth moved with him. Harrison's mouth was  firm, in control, and he tasted like ardor and mint. His mouth was a  weapon of seduction.

Beth struggled to breathe, to articulate thoughts. But she couldn't. She could only hang on, and feel.

He efficiently stripped Beth of her clothes, not taking any time to  watch what he was unraveling until there was nothing but air on her  skin. Harrison didn't move, frozen in place as his eyes tripped over her  body. He said her name. That was all. But he said it in prayer, or  maybe as a plea. Her smile told him it was too late. His lips on her  neck said he knew.

"I'm going to give you everything, everything I can," he told her, his voice shattered with rawness.

"I want everything."

She arched her back as his breath whispered across her skin, her hands  gathering the sheets around her, fisting them. Beth breathed in as his  lips brushed across her abdomen, breathed out as his fingers ran along  the inside of her thigh. Her body thrummed, trembled. Eyes closed,  thoughts were swept away by the way he made her feel. Harrison pressed a  kiss on her hip bone and her muscles tensed.

Beth tugged at his boxers, needing his skin on hers. Harrison froze, his  head lowered. The air that left him was ragged, fragmented. He knelt on  a precipice, scared to stay, scared to fall.

Fall with me.

"I'm sure," she reassured him when he looked up, not even the hint of a tremble in her voice.

He knelt between her legs, removing the last article of clothing that  separated them. Dizzy with the sight of him, not sure she wasn't going  to pass out from the power of her feelings mixed with the agonizingly  sweet torture her body was enduring, Beth went to her knees. He was  beautiful-lean alabaster sinew and muscle. And then her eyes dropped.  Beth took him in her hand, watched as his head dropped back, baring his  neck. Air hissing through his teeth.

Harrison was on fire and Beth stoked the flames more.

"This is going to be embarrassingly short," he muttered when she put her face to his stomach.

Beth smiled against his torso, and then she licked his skin. He tasted  like salt and man, her control slipping when she moved her mouth toward  his center and Harrison moaned, gripping her head and tightening fists  around her hair. She barely touched him before she was on her back and  he was above her, glaring down at her like an insatiable, starving  animal. Like she was the only thing that could assuage his hunger.         

     



 

Straddling her, he moved his palms up the fronts of her legs and  stomach, his face following until his mouth met hers, slowly, languidly.  Almost chastely. And then more forcefully, telling her with his mouth  what she was doing to him. Harrison's fingers shook and the breaths he  exhaled sounded constricted, choked. Beth didn't even try to talk. It  was useless. His hands and fingers touched her in ways that made her  body tense and her mouth beg incoherently.

Beth retrieved a condom, heard the tear of the wrapper and then felt  Harrison's heat between her legs. When he entered her, the pleasure was  intense, so much that it almost hurt. They both went still, hearts  pounding against each other's skin, lips locked. Flesh on flesh, body to  body, they were one. Harrison cradled her head and Beth anchored him to  her with her legs. She moved, and he tensed. She moved again, and he  slowly responded. They found their tempo, and it escalated, grew faster.  More intense. Harder. It was wild, and gentle. Slow and hard. Beth  didn't want it to stop, didn't want to ever be separated from Harrison.  He was her heart.

In the dark, it was Beth, and Harrison, and that was it. That was all that mattered.





TWELVE





IT WAS BETH'S favorite kind of winter day. The sun was out, the  temperature was bearable, and Harrison was by her side. Beth cherished  all her days spent with him. Days that were never long enough and passed  too quickly. Her boots seemed to find every possible slush spot, but  that was okay. Everything was okay. Better than okay. Being a late  morning on a Tuesday, there weren't a lot of people out, but there were  some. Enough. They were around people.

She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and smiled.

He tightened his grip on her hand. "What?"

"This is nice. Unusual. And nice."

"Walking with me is unusual? We walk all the time."

"Where anyone can see us?" Beth widened her eyes and waved a hand in  front of them and toward the rectangular buildings to the right of them.  "This is unusual."

"If I look at each day instead of all the weeks and months, then it  isn't overwhelming. This is just a day. One day. I can make it through  one day. Where anyone can see us," he quietly added.

They were in Logansville, Minnesota, a city of thirty thousand people  that was an eighteen-minute drive from Crystal Lake. Anywhere they went,  there was a chance someone would recognize him. The plan was to do some  Christmas shopping and have lunch. It had been an uneventful morning so  far, just the way Beth and Harrison wanted. Eventually, everything  Harrison tried to keep private would be public knowledge, including her.  That last part bothered him more than it did her. He was troubled over  how she would be treated. Beth wasn't concerned; she didn't care what  others thought, not in this.

"Do you feel okay?" Beth stopped him with a hand on his arm. "Are you worried? Nervous?"

Harrison dropped his gaze to where her skin touched his, a faint smile  on his face. Beth's hand fell to her side as he cupped her face, looking  into her eyes with ones that danced with contentment. Harrison was  happy. She loved seeing that look on his face, knowing she helped put it  there. She'd never thought herself capable of making another person  feel how he did. Beth didn't know she could make someone feel important,  special. Harrison brushed his lips across hers once, twice, before  straightening, a light kiss that plummeted her stomach to her toes.

"I feel like everyone is looking at me," he admitted as they crossed the street.

"If they are, it's because of the scowl on your face, and not because they know who are you."

"I'm not-" He looked up, caught the frown on his face in the reflection of a window as they passed.

Beth laughed and pointed to a store on the corner. "That's the one I wanted to check out."

They were almost to the peach-colored shop when Harrison asked, "Have you told anyone about us?"

Her pulse quickened. "No. I didn't know if it was okay." She took in the  straight line of his mouth. "Have you?" Hope lifted her voice.

Harrison tried to look nonchalant, but the way he wouldn't meet her eyes  ruined it. "I may have mentioned you to my parents," he told her.

"Really?" Her face beamed with a wide smile. "What did you tell them?"

He laughed and swiped a hand over his mouth, the gesture alluding to his  nervousness over the topic. "I told them you're stubborn, and that you  can be a bully with the best of intentions. That your heart is as big as  the world, and that I like dancing with you, even though I'm terrible  at it. Please don't cry," he quickly added when her lower lip wobbled.  "You know it makes me feel bad when you cry."         

     



 

Beth took a steadying breath and wiped her damp eyes. "At least they're happy tears."

"They want to meet you-my parents." He inhaled, not releasing it for a beat. "They want us to have Christmas together."

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