Her breath leaked out of her as I climbed onto the bed, admiring my handiwork. “So,” she said, her voice soft. “What about this Shortcake business?”
“Well, it’s a nickname.” I kissed the space between her breasts. “For you.”
“That much I figured.”
I placed another kiss along the underside of one breast and then below her rib cage. “I came out with it the first time I met you.”
“The first—oh!” She jerked as I tongued her navel, clenching the covers on her bed. When she spoke again, her voice was husky as I moved down. “The first time we met?”
“Yep.” I kissed the inside of her left thigh and then the right. “It was the day you ran into me outside of astronomy class—a class you need to retake.”
Shortcake groaned. “Don’t remind me.”
I didn’t know if she was talking about the class or the running into me part. “When I first saw you and your hair . . .” I paused, kissing her between her legs. Her soft gasp brought a smile to my face. “All I could think was that Strawberry Shortcake . . .” I paused once more, running my tongue the length of her. “That Strawberry Shortcake had run me off.”
She laughed as I lifted my head, prowling back up so that we were eye level. “Wow. I don’t understand how your brain works.”
“You love it.”
“I do.” She slid her foot along my calf. “So you’ve been calling me Shortcake in your head all this time?”
I nodded as I settled between her legs. “I might have . . . a few times.”
“And you never slipped until now. Wow. That’s kind of amazing.” Her eyes danced with humor. “And it’s kind of cute.”
“It’s definitely cute. It’s—” I groaned as she rolled her hips up, joining us together. “Well then . . .”
She giggled and then neither of us were laughing or talking. I let out a ragged moan at the tight fit. I lost sense of everything except her body and I wanted to be deeper, closer. We moved together, our bodies flushed and straining. It was crazy, but I couldn’t get enough of her. It appeared the same for her. My mouth closed around her breast as I thrust into her. She matched me move for move until she arched her back, crying out.
Her release slammed into me. Gathering her close, I sat up, keeping her in my lap. The new position had lust zinging through me. I couldn’t last. Not when her little teeth scraped over my neck.
Minutes went by where all that could be heard was the sound of our ragged breathing. I was still inside her. There was a peace in this completion. And I held everything in my arms.
Later, much later, we sat on the bed with the plate of chocolate cookies between us. A tiny smudge of chocolate ended up on her lips and I leaned over the plate, kissing it away.
And well, I kissed her for real.
I kissed her, and it was like kissing her for the very first time. The initial zap, the shock of our lips together hadn’t faded. Dumbly I realized that love made it that way, making sure that a simple kiss never dulled, never lost its luster.
My chest swelled as I pulled back and stared into her warm eyes and my heart did that crazy, stupid jumping thing. Something I also knew would never truly go away.
Shortcake placed her small hand on my cheek. “What?”
At first I didn’t know what to say. I . . . I had waited for Avery—I had waited for her for months. Hell, I would’ve waited for her for years, but she . . .
Turning my cheek, I pressed a kiss to the inside of her palm. “Thank you for trusting in me.”