It was the new hire's first day, or I would have been ready for the prank. But it was the peak morning rush, and I was showing her how to tamp down the ground coffee in the filter handle. It's ironic that training someone new to ease the workload doubles the workload, at least for the short term. But she seemed to be picking everything up quickly and had been enthusiastically following my work since I opened the shop.

So I didn't notice the name on the latte I was brewing, or give it any thought before I called it out. At a glance it seemed like an Asian name, and I didn't even try to sound out the words before reading them aloud. Only after I'd cried out "Mari Mi!" did the words register.

Some of the customers in the small crowd around the pickup counter chuckled, while Josh - of course, it would be Josh, the class clown - sauntered up to the counter from the table where he'd been sitting with a pair of attractive girls.

"I knew you'd finally come around, Cyndy," he said, taking his coffee. Brown, intelligent eyes and a lopsided grin were insolent without being unkind. On anyone else I'd find the look pleasant, particularly with his short, dark hair, which was never quite tidy.

On Josh, I just found it irritating.

"Josh, you know how much I love you," I said - meaning not at all, as he well knew - "but I wouldn't marry you if we were the last two people on the planet."

"You wouldn't need to then, though, would you? There wouldn't be anyone around to care." He glanced over at my new employee. "And since when were there two gorgeous redheads working here? Are you twins? How will I ever be able to tell you apart?"

I glanced at the new girl, who looked nothing like me. She had over half a foot on me in height, and where my hair's fire had the same genetic roots as my freckles and green-hazel eyes, her auburn waves were perhaps a little too perfect, though I wouldn't bet money that the color wasn't nature-given. If she was aware of her beauty, she didn't show the confidence that the understanding would imply. She seemed nervous that she might be or do something not acceptable. Her clear, pale skin colored easily, doing so as she heard our conversation.

"This is Heather. She's new," I said, "and don't you dare start hitting on her."

"You know I only have eyes for you," Josh said, then grinned at her before taking his coffee back to his table.

I glared at my friend Dylan, who was taking orders and had written the name on the cup. The blonde girl gave me a "What can you do?" shrug and returned her focus to her customer.


Foot traffic always dropped off sharply at nine. By nine-fifteen it had fallen enough that we could talk. I was showing Heather how to make a blended ice drink when Dylan wandered over.

"Why do you encourage him?" I asked her.

"Josh? I don't want to be rude to him," she said. "He's a nice enough guy. I did try to wave the cup at you to give you a heads up, but you were showing Heather something at the time."

"Sorry," interjected Heather. "It was funny, though," she added, with another "Sorry" when I turned my glare on her.

"If you appreciate him, maybe you should take him off my hands," I suggested. "He does seem to have a thing for red hair."

"Oh no," the tall girl replied, her cheeks coloring. "I couldn't do that."

"I think he does like you," Dylan said, "and he's quite persistent."

I sighed. "Yeah, I guess that's the problem."


Hiring Heather had been my first big decision as the shop manager. The owner, Pam, had been trying to ease out of day-to-day administration, and had given me the position a couple of months earlier. And it was Heather's first job, so her success was important to both of us. So far, neither of us was regretting the choice. She was a fast learner, even if she was too shy to be comfortable with customers. She pushed herself to deal with them anyway.

I had known her slightly as a customer before she applied for the job. That didn't tell me what her work would be like, but it did at least show that she was comfortable with the atmosphere.

She seemed to be bonding well with Dylan, which pleased me. Dylan and I had worked together for almost two years, and I had been concerned that there might be some friction, but they had been chatting about the comic book project Dylan and her boyfriend Austin were working on. Dylan showed Heather the faerie queen posters he'd made as detailed character art of the primary antagonists, one of which she'd modeled for, which Heather declared "amazing."

Heather's appreciation of Austin's work led Dylan to collect her high resolution tablet from the back room, to show her the portrait he'd created of Dylan. It was a very sensual picture, crossing the border into erotic, showing the blonde girl studying the brightly colored tattoo on her arm, her top pulled down to expose both the complete tattoo and her left breast. Her expression was seductive and entirely believable.

"Oh, my," was Heather's comment as Dylan passed her the tablet. Her eyes widened, and her face flushed more deeply than I'd yet seen. After a moment, seeming to realize she should say more, she added, "That is an incredible painting."

"Isn't it, though?" Dylan said, taking the tablet back. "He's great. His story idea for the comic is good, too, but I've had to do a lot of rewriting to keep the tension high. We complement each other."

"You complement each other," I said, stressing the word with a dramatic pause. "Is that what they're calling it these days?"

Dylan sniggered, while Heather colored in embarrassment.


On the third day I allowed Heather to brew her first espresso, then had her make us each a coffee. For testing purposes, of course. Josh made an appearance after the rush. He quizzed Heather about why I was so hostile to him. Heather blushed and said she had no idea. Which was true, but her embarrassment made it look like she was hiding something. So he interrogated her more, though not unpleasantly, while she insisted he talk to me.

"She really doesn't," I finally broke in. "Don't pester the girl." Josh sighed and took his coffee to a table. There were no girls with him, for once. He opened his notebook and began working.

Though I griped about his pranks and flirting, Josh confined his annoyances to when he was interacting with us. When he was at a table consuming his purchases, he didn't interrupt us, either working by himself or conversing quietly with one of the girls who usually accompanied him. So as far as the shop was concerned, he was an ideal customer.

I had a class at the community college that morning. Barry, one of the part-timers, arrived just before eleven to take over coffee duties, while I entrusted Heather to Dylan for training in ordering. Josh waved to me as I left, and I gave him a passably-friendly nod.


Later in the week, we let Heather brew espresso and steam milk, though Dylan or I blended them to create the latte foam designs. We trusted her with americanos and drip coffee, while one of us took care of frozen drinks.

By the following week, she announced herself ready to do it all, and other than a few false starts with foam art, she proved quite competent.

On Wednesday, she was handling the espresso machine alone. I was at the register, while Dylan handled pickup and extras. The morning rush was dying down, and I was about to congratulate Heather on making it through the toughest part of the day, when several people entered the shop. I thought they were all together, but a trio of young women arrived at the counter first.

It must have started raining lightly, because the tall girl's blonde hair glistened with droplets of water. "If I order the most complicated drink on the menu, will she have to make it?" she asked, lifting her chin to indicate Heather. Her two companions grinned.

"No, she won't, Margot." The redhead spoke for herself, having looked up at the sound of the blonde's voice. "One of my friends here will take pity on me, and relieve me."

The tall customer pouted, and ordered a latte. After her companions had ordered, she paid with a credit card, leaving a good size tip for a student, and the three of them retired to a table.

"Friends of yours?" I asked Heather.

She gave a warm smile, not quite directed at me, her eyes low. "M-more than friends," she said. "Well, Margot is. The other two, Tiff and Emma, they'll be our roommates in a couple of weeks."

"Oh... I see," I said. "Your girlfriend?" Heather nodded. I suddenly thought I understood why she'd flushed so deeply at Dylan's portrait. I grinned. "You'd best not screw up her coffee, then," I said.

She returned my grin tentatively, then turned back to the machine.

"Well, I can't top that, I guess," came a voice from the counter. I looked back to find Josh standing there, with one of his usual female companions, both of whom were giving me an amused smile.

"The day is looking up," I replied, returning his smile. "You know what? I'm in a good mood this morning. Your coffee's on the house. Both of you," I amended, glancing at his companion. "Maybe that will convince you I don't hate you."

"Or maybe you're using the free coffee to mask your hostility," he returned, raising an eyebrow.

"You got it," I agreed, and took their orders.


A few minutes later we had completely cleared the backlog. The rain had picked up, dissuading casual drop-ins, and Heather and Dylan were both leaning back in poses of well-deserved relaxation.

"Are your friends here making plans for the move?" I asked Heather.

"Yeah," she replied. She glanced over at the blonde girl, sitting at a table by the window.

"You want to take a half-hour?" I suggested. "Go join them. You've earned it. Dylan and I can cover."

Dylan gave her an encouraging nod.

"Really?" Heather asked, her eyes lighting up. "Alright, thanks!"

She hung up her apron and scampered to her friends' table.


Dylan and I handled the few customers who braved the rain for the next half hour, when, precisely on schedule, Heather returned to work, and her friends took that as their cue to depart. The rain had eased off, which was good, because I would have to walk to the community college before lunch.

Heather seemed like a new person. Spending the time with her friends - or maybe just spending time with her partner - had refreshed her after the gruelling rush hour.

We talked about different roasts and purposes, and about coffee origins, which may not be required for creating drinks, but which many of the customers would chat about with us.

Barry arrived dripping water, and I realized that the rain had re-intensified into a storm. I collected my umbrella, bade goodbye to the crew, then stood for a moment at the door, trying to decide how best to avoid the rain over a mile-plus walk.

"Where are you going?" came a voice from a couple of tables away.

I looked up to see Josh studying me. "Community college," I said. "Trying to decide if there's any way to bypass some of the rain."

"There is," he said, folding his notebook closed. I noticed that he was alone. I hadn't seen his companion leave. "Let me give you a ride."

There wasn't a good reason to refuse. He was offering real help. Still, I found myself reluctant to accept.

I guess looking at his concerned expression convinced me that I was being ridiculous. "Sure," I said. "That would be awesome, actually."

"I'm parked out the back," he said. "Or I can come around to the front to collect you."

I shook my head. "I'll come with," I said, and waited for him to pack his bag, ensuring his notebook was protected from the rain.


Josh had parked his blue Civic very close to the back door. He beeped the lock as he stepped into the rain, and we both dashed to the car. Even in the thirty yards between the back door and Josh's car's passenger door I felt like I'd gotten soaked through. The full mile and a half would have been beyond miserable.

"Thanks for this," I said, as he leaned into the back seat to set his bag down, then prepared to start the car. "I wasn't expecting it."

"It's cool," he said. "Happy to help. You know, I have a class pretty soon myself, so it's a convenient run. I could give you a lift every week if this is a regular thing."

"Mmm, let me think about that," I said. "And what happened to the girl you were with?"

"She took advantage of the lull in the rain. Left when your co-worker's friends did." He glanced over at me as he drove carefully out of the parking lot, windscreen wipers on high. "Is that why you warned me off Heather?"

It took me a moment to realize what he was asking. "Oh, because she's with a girl? No," I said. "I didn't know before today. I just didn't want you upsetting her.

"Like I upset you, you mean?" he asked, sounding amused.

"You don't upset me," I said. "Annoy, yes, not upset."

"I don't try to be annoying," he said, "only to bring cheer and merriment."

"I'm sure your girlfriends appreciate it," I said. "I've been wondering why you have so many of them."

"They're not girlfriends," he said, wryly. "Just classmates."

"So why are all your classmates female?" I asked. "Are you taking women's studies or something?"

Josh laughed. "Nursing," he said. "Even in this enlightened age, there are still very few men training for the field."

I felt my eyes widen. "Oh my god. Now I feel like I'm totally the asshole. You're going to be a nurse? I'm impressed, and I'm sorry I mocked your class choices. And your friends."

"Yeah, I am," he said. He was turning into the college parking lot. "I'm aware it's a stressful job, but I think it's worthwhile, and something I think I'll be good at."

"I'm sure you will," I said.

"This has to be pretty early for you if you'd planned to walk," Josh remarked as he found a parking space. "Want to wait in the car to see if the rain lets up?"

"Sure," I said. "I'll give it a few minutes." After he navigated the car into the space, I added, "This really is very good of you, considering how rude I am to you at the shop."

He shrugged. "It's okay. I like talking to you, but I guess I can be like nails on a chalkboard."

"Nah, it's not that," I said. "It's just timing. And the rain seems to be lightening, so I should probably go. Listen, Dylan and I are going to her boyfriend's bar on Friday. O'Neill's. You want to join us? I feel like I owe you an explanation, at least, after you saved me from drowning. Bring your girlfriends, if you like," I added, grinning.

"Sure," he said. "What time?"

I checked my bag and pulled my jacket closed, then took my umbrella, ready to make a dash. "Seven?" I said.

"I'll be there," Josh replied.


It was dry and cool on Friday evening. Dylan had picked me up from the shop and driven me to O'Neil's. I was wearing my long coat, while she was in heavy sweater and jeans.

Josh arrived as I was hanging my coat on a stand. He wore an open jacket over a black Jefferson Airplane tee. Dylan turned and gave him a surprised look. "Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you I invited him," I said. "Gonna buy him a drink as a peace offering after the car ride."

"Good," said Dylan, with a frown at me that said, "It took you long enough. I told you he's a good guy."

Heather and her girlfriend, whom we'd also invited, were waiting for us at a table. Heather had a glass of white wine, while Margot had a coke. I frowned at that.

"She doesn't turn twenty-one for another couple of weeks," Heather muttered.

Her partner laughed. "It's true, but I'm driving, too. I borrowed Heather's roomies' car so she doesn't have to leave to catch the bus."

"Heather's roomies?" I asked, puzzled. "I thought you were together."

Margot answered for them, as Heather stared at the table, her face pink but wearing a nervous smile. "We're together," she said, "but we're not living together yet. We will be when we move into the new place with our friends."


We'd just started on a second round, when Josh asked what I'd meant by "timing."

The bar wasn't especially noisy, but it was loud enough that it would be easy to keep our conversion completely private. I didn't try, though. This wasn't a secret. Although I didn't know if any of the other three would be paying attention. Heather and Margot were having an intense sotto-voce discussion, occasionally questioning Dylan about something.

"When you first showed up at the shop," I said to Josh, "I was still with my ex, Devin. He was an abuser and a bully, and he was constantly putting me down. He called it humor, but it was manipulation. Snide comments about my freckles, or I was too short, or my hair too frizzy, or my boobs were too big and too.... see above comment about freckles," I finished, realizing I was straying into territory Josh didn't need to hear. "My nose is too short and my eyes are too far apart. I'm stupid, which is why I'm at community college when everyone around me is at the U. Always in the form of a joke, so he could deny that he'd intended it to be mean."

"None of those things is true," Josh said. Eyes carefully raised to mine, he added with a slight smirk, "That I've observed, that is."

"I know," I agreed, "but they're all close enough to the truth that it was easy for me to buy into. He was making me hate myself, and I hated any jokes about me. Then you showed up, and you were always making jokes. Not mean ones. You weren't insulting me or Dylan or the shop, but they made me resentful."

"I see," he said. "Wow. I'm sorry."

"Not your fault," I said. "Just a product of the time."

"What happened to Devin?" asked Josh.

"I finally decided I couldn't take how he made me feel, and I dumped him," I said. "It was hard. I'd already dumped him twice and taken him back twice. He was very persistent. Telling me he understood, that he'd change for me. And he would, for a week or two. He'd be affectionate and funny for a couple of weeks. Then the meanness and the control would start to resurface."

"Jesus," Josh said.

Across and down the table a little, Margot was staring at a picture on someone's phone. Dylan's, I thought. From the awed expression she wore I had a good idea what picture it must be.

I turned my attention back to Josh. "So there was that, too," I said. "You persisted. You didn't take hints that I wasn't interested. It reminded me of Devin not letting me alone. Always trying to get around me."

"Shit. You should have said something," Josh said. "Well, something more explicit. I'm sorry. I didn't realize."

"You were a customer," I said, "and I'd just been given more responsibility at the shop." I grinned at him. "Think of the business we'd lose if your harem took a dislike to me."

He laughed. "Harem?"

"Harem," I confirmed. "Tell me your relationship with them is entirely platonic," I suggested. "Let me see how bad you are at lying."

"It could be!" he said.


"It's hard for them in a field with so few men," he said. "You wouldn't blame a guy for helping them out, would you?"

I chuckled. "No, I wouldn't. But it makes me wonder why you feel the need to flirt. Or am I misreading that in my irritation?"

He shook his head quite nonchalantly. "You're not. I like you. I just could never read your reaction. Sometimes you seemed amused, sometimes pissed. I guess I understand now. Should I stop?"

Shrugging, I shook my head. "Nah. I know where my irritation is coming from, and I need to work through it. All guys aren't Devin. I'm over him, understand. I'm just dealing with what built up at the same time."

"In that case, tell me about yourself," said Josh. "What will Cyndy be doing in five years?"

"Same as she is now, I hope," I said. "But I will be working towards buying the place, if all goes well. Pam wants to sell to me when she retires, so I can keep the business alive."

"Really? Do you have a contract?"

"Nuh-uh," I said, shaking my head. "Too much can change between now and then, but one," I touched the index finger of my left hand with my right, "I think I can trust her, and two," I poked my second finger, "if it doesn't work out I'll be able to manage a coffee shop anywhere. But if Pan had wanted to sell out, she's already had several offers from medium chains. She believes in the shop, and wants to see it continue to be independent and in good hands."

"It is a cool place."

"It's more than that," I said. "Thing is, Starbucks could come here and put us out of business. Except it wouldn't be a great place for them. Students aren't going to want to pay their prices if that's all they offer. We have the coffee varieties, the knowledge, the convenient workspaces and social environment that makes spending a little more on the product worthwhile. Like the art wall. We make a small commission on anything that's sold, but that isn't why Pam keeps it updated. Artists at college display their work, and bring their friends, who bring others... Would your harem be as comfortable at a big chain as they are here?"

Josh shrugged. "Probably not. But I think it's as much the staff as it is the aspects of the shop. You're always quick and friendly and brighten the day. Even with me, even though you're pissed at me."

"That's true, I think, but it isn't the whole story," I said. "We could be the most polite baristas in town, but if the shop didn't have a soul of its own we wouldn't have the customer loyalties we do. In fact..."

I'd been staring at Heather and Margot. There seemed something familiar about the way they were talking together.

"Heather?" I interrupted the conversation. She and Margot looked up, while Dylan and Josh also gave me curious looks. "I think I just realized something. Didn't I see the two of you together in the shop a few weeks back?"

She nodded, with a big smile. "We've been there together a few times. Our first date was there."

"It was more of a pre-date," said Margot. "We agreed to go on a date over our coffee."

"It was a date," Heather insisted. "It was the first time we were alone together."

"It was a coffee date," suggested Margot.

"It was a coffee date," agreed Heather. "And I had no thought of applying for work until I suddenly needed a job."

"So, Cyndy," Margot said. She looked up and gave me a hint of a wink, which Heather wouldn't have been able to see, a grin on her face. "If you remember seeing her with me, who else did you see her with?"

"Margot!" Heather yelped, coloring. "I was never there with anyone else!"

I returned Margot's grin. "Well, there was the time I saw her with the cheer team," I said. "I should have known she prefers women by the way she was sitting in their laps."

"You did not!" wailed Heather. "Oh, you two..."

Letting them get back to their conversation, I turned back to Josh. "What was I saying? Oh yeah, the shop matters to people. I'm sure other coffee places have important stories, even the big chains, but I'm proud of the ones that we help to make happen."

"You really are passionate about the place, aren't you?" Josh said. "I think it shows through. I think that's what really keeps customers coming back. You all have a real well-deserved pride in the shop. It shows."

"I guess we do," I agreed.

"So what else is Cyndy passionate about?" he asked, the deliberate twitch in his eyebrows making his implication quite clear.

I studied him for a long enough time that his cheeky expression turned dubious. "You know what?" I said, eventually, "I think I'm about ready to learn the answer to that myself. Do you have your car here?"

Josh gave me a nod, his eyes registering surprise.

"Then why don't you take me home?" I suggested.


I grinned at the surprise in the eyes of both Dylan and Heather when I stood to leave with Josh. I told Dylan I wasn't going to need a ride home, and wished them a good evening. Then I let Josh lead me to his Civic.

He found a parking space by my apartment, then glanced up apprehensively. I could tell he wasn't sure if I was really going to invite him in.

I did.

Inside, I hung my coat and took Josh's jacket before standing before him, well within his personal space.

"You sure?" he asked.

"Look," I said. I twisted my finger into the hem of his tee shirt. "I'm not auditioning to be your girlfriend. You said passion, and I haven't felt anything like passion in years. Gotta be worth a try, right? Just think of me as a temporary addition to your harem."

"There is no harem," he said, his voice husky. "Just friends willing to meet each other's needs."

Tugging on his tee, I drew him an inch closer. "Can you meet mine?" I asked.

"I hope so," he growled. Suddenly the fingers I'd tangled in his tee were squeezed between our bodies as his arms yanked me close. His lips pressed against mine and I found myself responding eagerly to his kiss.

I hadn't been entirely certain I wanted this. Or, at least, I knew I did want it, but I hadn't been sure I'd have the enthusiasm to make it worthwhile.

Suddenly, I was very sure. So sure that I resented every fiber of the clothing that kept us apart. I yanked his shirt up his torso, not caring if it was a classic tee or a contemporary one advertising a classic band. It was in the way, but Josh refusing to release my lips for me to get the shirt over his head frustrated my goal of getting it off him.

Not that I was improving the situation, trapping his tongue between my lips and suckling when I should be breaking away to free his shirt. When I finally forced my face back from his and pried the tee over his head, I realized he'd already lifted my blouse to my shoulders. As soon as his arms were free, he was tugging it off, while I unhooked my bra, my heart racing.

My arms snaked around Josh's waist and held him close, his bare chest against my breasts, as our lips locked.

Where skin touched skin, my body buzzed, arousal flowing into me. I groaned into the breath we shared.

His hands squeezed my ass, pressing me to his thigh, then glided up my sides to wrap around my breasts, his thumbs circling as they pressed my nipples. I sighed into the kiss, then groped around the front of his pants to find his belt buckle.

Releasing my right breast, Josh moved his hand to my shoulder blade, holding me close, as his right hand closed firmly around my left breast, kneading it hard. My knees weakened at the flood of sensation, and I found it hard to stay upright as I panted into the kiss.

With Josh's hands on my shoulder and breast keeping me upright - even if he wasn't aware of it - I managed to get his belt open. My unsteady fingers parted his pants far enough to push down over his hips.

When my fingers encountered the bulge in his underwear I grew impatient, grasping his waistband and yanking it down.

Josh yelped in pain, breaking the kiss.

"Sorry," I muttered, still pushing his underwear and pants down his leg.

"I'll live," he groaned. "I'm okay."

My hands sought the prize I'd uncovered. Even as my fingers curled around his cock I felt it twitch in my grasp, stretching and becoming firm. I curled my right hand around it, surprised at how broad and solid it felt.

I pumped my grip, feeling the skin of his cock tighten further as I did. It was almost upright between us.

Josh made a stifled grunt. His right hand tightened on my breast, palm closing around my nipple. As he squeezed, his tongue pressed mine, then withdrew. When my tongue gave chase he closed his teeth around it and suckled.

My body vibrated with excitement, and I pumped my curled fingers harder.

After a few moments, Josh broke the kiss. "Do that much more and I'm going to make a mess," he said.

"Yeah," I agreed, and released my grip.

Our lips joined again. I felt his cock brush the back of my hand as I unfastened my jeans, unzipping them all the way before pushing them down my thighs.

I stepped out of my shoes. We didn't break the kiss, but I had to crane my neck, while Josh's body curled forward to adjust for my loss of a few inches in height.

Feet planted on the ground, I worked my jeans down and off. Then I grasped Josh's shaft again, tugging it as I broke the kiss. "C'mon," I urged, breathlessly, moving towards my bedroom.

"Wait! Wait," he objected, disengaging my hand, then bending to unfasten his shoes and work his pants and underwear off. "Are you trying to trip me up?" A moment later, he added, "I've heard of girls dragging guys around by their dicks, but never expected it to be so... literal."

My laugh at that sounded manic even to my own ears. When he finally - to my impatient mind - stepped out of his underwear, I grabbed his hand and steered him towards the bedroom. He didn't object, though his cock swung unrestrained as he kept up with me. It had grown harder, pointing to the ceiling, seeming as eager to be inside me as I was to take it into me.

I wasn't so far gone that I forgot the basics. While Josh clambered onto the bed, I raided the condom supply in my nightstand - only to find when I turned back toward him that he was opening his own packet. He must have retrieved it from his pants before abandoning them in the den.

When he'd finished unrolling the rubber, I pushed him onto his back and straddled his thighs.

"You prefer top? he asked, amused. The huskiness of his voice mirrored my own.

I shrugged. "Been a while," I said. "I want to be sure you don't go too fast." I lifted myself over his hips. His cock was so hard I was concerned I'd hurt him lifting it high enough to slide into me. With it barely inside my pussy, I said, "But yeah, I do."

"No objection here," Josh admitted, his words sounding strained.

"Don't move," I instructed, as I relaxed my thighs, lowering my sex to take him another half inch into me. Then I gripped his hips and rocked against him, each stroke moving him deeper. I was so wet that it only took a few moments before I was resting on his hips, breathing deeply, his length buried deep within me.

"You can move now," I suggested. He grinned and moved his hands to my thighs. holding me in place as his hips pushed upward.

"Mmmh, God," I groaned. Then I placed my hands on his chest, supporting myself on him as I matched his movements with my own.

"God, you feel so fucking good," Josh murmured.

"I do," I agreed.

"I really never thought we'd be doing this," he said. His thumbs explored the crease of my thighs, circling, as he moved against me, his shaft sliding along the wall of my sex.

"You wanted it, though," I said, a statement more than a question.

"Fuck, yeah," he breathed. "More than you know."

"Not sure about that," I objected. My heart was racing with the lust that was still growing, fueled by the feel of him within me. "I can feel how much you want me now, and that didn't come from nowhere."

"You're right," he agreed, his voice taut. He moved his hands from my hips, his fingers tracing up my sides, until they caressed my boobs, his thumbs pressed to my hard nipples, moving them in circles.

"Mmhh..." I moaned at his touch, feeling my sex tighten around his shaft. "God, that feels good."

Josh grinned. His eyes were large and soft, and held mine. We rocked together for another minute, his thumbs intensifying the tingling in my groin. Then he pinched both nipples. "How about this?" he asked.

"Nnh... oh, yes!" I panted, a ripple of pleasure contracting my passage around him again.

Josh let out a small gasp at the wave of tension. I could see in his face that he was increasingly focused on holding back.

"Pinch them again," I ordered.

He did, wincing as I clenched his cock within me. Then he spread his palms over my boobs and began to squeeze hard, kneading them in time to our movements, my nipples squeezed between the base of his finger and thumb.

"Oh, yeah," I breathed. "Oh, God."

Gripping his chest more firmly, I used my hold to lift myself from him and shove my groin into his, panting in excitement.

Soon my rapid panting had become moaning gasps. I could see in Josh's face that he was having trouble holding back.

"Make me come, Josh," I told him, barely able to get the words out coherently.

"I want to," came his hoarse reply. "Come for me, Cyndy," he groaned. "I want you to come." He emphasized this with another squeeze of my breasts.

"Eh! Eh! Eh!" I gasped, the flow of sensation in my clit beginning to climb unstoppably. "Josh!" I yelped. "I'm going to come! Oh yeah, I'm going to come."

"Do it, baby," he cried. "Come with me."

Something about the unexpected term of endearment gave me a rush of affection for the man beneath me, and it was enough to push me over the edge. "Oh, God," I moaned, as I felt my sex tighten around him, holding the tension for a moment. "I'm coming, baby," I squeezed out. "It's happening!" Then my thighs locked as passion erupted, the strain in my clit collapsing into pulsing ecstasy. "Come inside me, baby."

"Don't stop moving," Josh begged. The words didn't penetrate deeply into my consciousness, because there wasn't room for much beside the waves of pleasure, but my hips resumed their rocking motion.

A moment later, Josh made a sound that seemed almost pained, then the sensitized walls of my vagina felt an inner throbbing, with growing warmth. Josh groaned again, but this time it was clear that the stress in his voice was arousal, not pain. His hands released my breasts and moved to my hips, holding me against him as we both panted.

When the pulsing of my climax faded, it left behind a warm affection that seeped from my belly into my toes and fingertips. I repositioned myself, stretching my legs out behind me so that I could lie against Josh's body, my breasts against his chest. He met my lips with his own, and we both groaned with the remnants of passion before my lips left his and I nestled my face in his neck.

"So, that happened," I mumbled.

"Mmhmm," Josh agreed. "Any regrets?"

"Not yet," I said. I felt him tense, and laughed into his ear. "Sex has never felt so good," I admitted. "I don't regret that it happened, only that it couldn't have lasted a whole lot longer."

"It doesn't have to be over," Josh suggested.

"I hoped you might say that," I replied.

"But I think you do need to get off me for now," he said, "before anything can go wrong."

Pouting, I carefully lifted myself from his shaft, which was losing its firmness, then rolled onto my back.


When Josh returned to bed I frowned up at him. "Did you spike my drink?"

He gave me a look that straddle the border between nervous and panicked. "What? No."

"No instant aphrodisiacs? Nothing to cause me to lose control?" I asked.

"Cyndy!" he yelped. "I wouldn't!"

"Shame," I said. "I was going to ask if you had more." I patted the mattress to my right in invitation. "Your face!" I chortled. "You can dish out the pranks, but you can't take them."

"Can too," Josh objected, easing himself onto the bed. He rolled to face me. "But you looked so serious."

"Isn't that part of the trick?" I asked.

"True enough," he replied. "I never figured you for a scoundrel."

His hair seemed no more untidy than usual, despite his exertion. I reached out a finger to push a few stands back from his face. "To be fair," I said, "you don't know me well."

He caught my hand and moved it to his lips. "I'd like to fix that," he said, then sucked my middle finger.

As aroused as I was, the action made my belly tingle. "I want you to know that I'm usually more restrained. I don't know what came over me."

"You lusted for my body," Josh suggested, dryly.

I grinned. "I want to make a sarcastic reply to that," I said, "but it's true. And I'm still lusting," I added, as he suckled my finger.

My eyes roamed down his lean form. He clearly worked out - whether at a gym or a sport or just energetic encounters within the harem I didn't know or care. His chest and belly weren't those of a bodybuilder, but his muscles were clearly defined, shifting as he moved on the bed.

Releasing my finger, he reached for my left breast, lightly running his fingertips over it. "So am I," he stated. "And I want to say that, now I've made a closer study, not one of the things you said your ex mocked you for is true. Your face is perfectly proportioned and your hair has frizzed just enough to frame it in fire."

"It's too freckled," I said.

"It's not," Josh objected. "The freckles are cute."

"And you don't think my boobs are too big?" I asked.

"No guy's going to complain about big boobs," he said. "If nothing else, that should tell you he was lying. But they're not." His hand covered my left breast and squeezed lightly. "It fits just nicely in my hand, see?"

"It would be too big for your mouth, though," I said.

"Would not," Josh retorted.

"Would too," I replied. "Prove me wrong."

He laughed. "Sly wench. You control me with my tactics." He slid down my body. "Trapped by my own tool."

"Hey, I let go when you asked," I said. He began to plant noisy kisses all over my right breast, alternately sucking and blowing against the yielding skin. The sensations made me catch my breath, though the sounds were anything but seductive. "I wouldn't want you to be hoist by your own peter."

"Touché," Josh grunted, then sucked on my nipple, drawing it deep inside his mouth, kneading my breast with his jaw.

He moved his body further over mine, taking my right breast in his left hand and kneading.

"You trying to squeeze that one down to size, too?" I asked, breathlessly. "Won't work."

"I think it's working just fine," he said, his mouth full. Then his right hand slipped between my legs, and my urge to banter subsided.

"Oh God," I groaned, feeling fingers slide into me. Then a light touch to my clit, and my thighs tensed, lifting my sex against his hand. "Fuck, that feels good."

Josh's mouth tugged at my nipple, stretching it. It felt like the tension stretched my clit against his touch, and I moaned. My right nipple had hardened to his touch, and he rolled it around with his palm. My heart was racing, and I felt myself beginning to rise toward climax.

"You're going to make me come, baby," I groaned. "Just ... nhhh ... a little more."

He drew back from my breast, watching my face as he extended his tongue to stroke the hard, swollen nipple, then rolled it around in slow circles. His touch on my clit began to move, rapidly stroking as he moved his hand in and out of me.

My hips rose from the bed, my back arched. "Fuck, babe," I groaned.

Then he plunged his face back down, opening his mouth to take in my breast, and sucking hard. Climax detonated within me, and I cried out wordlessly. Wave upon wave erupted within me, until I lowered myself back to the bed,.

My sex still pulsing sporatically as he withdrew his fingers, but left his thumb caressing my clit "Fuuuuck..." I breathed, prayefully. "Fuuuuck..."


In the morning, I was late to the coffee shop for the first time since Pam gave me the manager's job. My head hurt with lack of sleep, and my hurried preparation had left my hair disheveled.

"Looks like someone had a good night," said Dylan, with a knowing grin.

Fortunately, she'd been early enough to open the shop. Even Heather had arrived before me. I had her make me a strong americano to help me face the day.

"So," Dylan said, conversationally. "Did you notice our new hire and her girlfriend in a secretive huddle last night?"

"Oh, Dylan," sighed Heather.

"I did, yes," I said.

"Really? You seemed a little distracted," Dylan said.

"You know I wasn't," I griped. "Go on with your story. You're getting as annoying as Josh."

"Huh, annoying, is he?" Dylan snickered. "Well, do you know what the secretive couple were plotting?"

"Of course I don't," I said. The first customer of the day approached the counter and placed an order. Heather started on his brew immediately, while I rang him up. "I'm sure you're going to tell me, though," I muttered to her. She smirked at me.

When the customer was out of earshot, she said, "They both want to get naked with my boyfriend."

"Dylan!" squeaked Heather, in amused exasperation.

"Hey, it's true," Dylan said. I waited for an explanation. She smirked at me for a few seconds before saying, "They each want to gift the other a painting. I'm not sure how I feel about my boyfriend seeing my friends naked."

"You don't care and you know it," said Heather, unusually direct for her. Then she called to the customer, who picked up his drink and left.

"She's right," Dylan said. "I think it's sweet. And it's not like either of them will be trying to take him away from me. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a couple into each other quite as much as Heather and Margo. Unless it's you and Josh."

I chortled. "As if," then took a large swallow of my coffee. "Is he going to do it?"

"He's not even charging them," Dylan said, "as long as they'll pose for other artwork. He's casting them as mortal wizards, as a couple. More promotional art work. They're both so tall, and they'll have long crystal staffs, skimpy outfits, big boobs. Perfect fan service."

"Skimpy outfits and big boobs? I can't wait."

I jumped at the sound of Josh's voice. I hadn't heard him come in, and I'd been listening to Dylan's chatter.

"Oh, hey," I said. I tried to be casual, but I'm sure my cheeks showed heat. "How did you get in here without me noticing? And what do you want?"

"You, of course," he said, "but I'll take a latte. Large. I came in when the last customer left. I held the door for him."

"I'm sure you're proud of doing your good deed for the day," I retorted

I could sense Dylan and Heather watching me while I ran Josh's credit card. When I turned to return their stare, Heather hurriedly busied herself making Josh's latte, while Dylan just gave me an amused look.

"So when can I see this fan service?" Josh asked.

"When you buy the comic," Dylan said. "Or donate to the Kickstarter, if you want the high-res version."

"Huh," he responded, giving Dylan a serious look. "I'd like to do that. Deets?"

"Sure," she said. "I'll email. I'll get your address from the mailing list, okay?"

"Awesome," he said. "You going to use Cyndy as a model?"

Dylan frowned. "I haven't suggested it. I'm sure he would."

"Right. You have any dwarves with your wizards?" I asked.

"Don't say that," Dylan griped. "You look great." I heard Josh muttering agreement. "Yeah, I think he should," she continued. "Then he could add a credit for the coffee shop staff. Might be nice for business and for a talking point here."

I shrugged. "Run it by him. If he wants to, sure, but I am not posing nude."

"If he suggests it," Dylan says, talking over Josh's complaint, "he won't be seeing me nude either. Ever again."


"U busy this eve? Beer n burger?" The text arrived around eight. The coffee shop was in full swing. Josh had sent it from his table, where he'd been joined by two of the female nursing students.

"U treat all the harem to meals?" I replied, about ten minutes later, when there was a break in incoming customers.

"Who said treat?" came his instant reply.

"LOL. Fine." I sent.

I thought the conversation was done, but a few minutes later, my phone pinged again.

"Also, there is no harem."

And again, a couple of minutes after that.

"Also, would cost too much to buy burgers for all of them."


"I'm not surprised you don't want to bring the harem here," I said, after we were seated. "All those girls at these prices..."

"Have you ever eaten here?" Josh asked.

I shook my head.

"It may not be the cheapest burger in town, but it's the best," he stated.

"We'll see," I said, determined not to take anything he said at face value.

The reason for my cynicism had changed, though. I didn't hate him anymore. Hell, he didn't even irritate me anymore. I was starting to like him. Which may seem a strange thing to think after tearing his clothes off the previous night, but that was wanting, not liking. And it wasn't even just wanting sex. It was needing to know whether years of a dysfunctional relationship and celibacy had crushed my capacity for passion. I was being quite literal when I told him I needed to know.

And it seemed I could, and it seemed Josh was more than capable of evoking passion in me. That didn't require me to like him, but now that I was finding his sense of humor amusing rather than obnoxious, I was finding his intelligence and compassion attractive.

But I could tell he wouldn't want facile acceptance. I didn't think he would have respected it. If I started agreeing with everything he said just because he said it, we'd both be bored. In fact I was quite prepared to believe that the burgers at the golf club clubhouse were the best in town. I recalled overhearing Heather mention to Dylan how much she liked the place when they were talking about the food at O'Neills. But if Josh wanted me to admit that, he was going to have to prove it.

A waitress came to take our order. I told her I needed more time, but I'd like a glass of wine, and we'd like separate checks. She frowned briefly at that, but nodded, and Josh made no comment when she left.

The waitress returned soon. She was blonde, lightly freckled, with bright green eyes. She handed me my wine, and Josh his microbrewed IPA, then asked again if we were ready to order.

This time I was, and asked for a mushroom swiss burger with onion rings. Josh ordered a barbecue bacon cheeseburger with fries. Josh's eyes tracked the waitress as she left. I turned to see her very tight short skirt swaying under the influence of medium heels.

"Thinking of recruiting her for the harem?" I asked.

"Pretty sure she's not a nursing student," Josh replied, with a sigh "Besides, what harem?"

I sniggered and sipped my wine. "I'm sure you can find a way to persuade her to join," I said. "Maybe you can get her to play nurse for you. Or is that kind of roleplay no fun if you really are one?"

"No idea," Josh said. "Wanna try?"

"And when she does join," I continued, ignoring the question, "you're going to discover her freckles don't include her boobs. They'll be milky white and unblemished. Bitch."

"You know you're objectifying the girl just because she's a waitress?" Josh said, with some reproof. "I doubt she sleeps with her customers at all."

"You're probably right," I said. "That was mean. Still, it was you I was trying to insult."

"And the poor girl just got caught in the crossfire," Josh said. "Such a tragedy. But you should take me home with you and let me show you what I think to your freckles."

"Hmph," I grumped. "Nice try."

A different server brought us our burgers. They were huge, and not especially stable. Mine especially, with soft mushrooms and melted, sticky swiss cheese. I made an attempt to eat it with my fingers like a regular burger, but soon set it back on the plate and cut sections off with a knife.

"How is it?" Josh asked, after I'd taken a few bites.

"Eh," I said, waggling a hand.

He rolled his eyes, then watched me, with a grin.

"Alright, dammit," I said. "It's the best burger I've had in a long time, but I'm not going to give you the satisfaction of knowing that. And I'm going to need to take half of it to go. I can't eat this much."

"I'm sure the waitress will bring us a box," he said.

"I'm sure that's all you want to ask her for," I replied, acerbically.

Josh grinned, but a moment later, he said, "You know that there isn't really a harem?" he said. "I'm just one of the group."

"The one they occasionally take to bed," I argued.

"What, you think they never take each other to bed?" Josh retorted. He made an imaginary phone with his hand, thumb extended. "Hello, Cyndy! This is the twentieth century calling! We've missed you, come back home to where you're comfortable!"

"True enough," I admitted. "But I figure most of them would prefer you."

He shrugged. "The ones who would, mostly have boyfriends," he said. "Not gonna lie. I haven't been completely celibate. But not often, and it wasn't like I was dating anyone at the time."

"That's pretty much what I thought," I said. "I just see you with so many different girls all the time and I find the idea of Josh's harem amusing, even if it's not true. I guess I'm objectifying them, now, but it isn't like anything you all do affects me. If it was true, I don't think I'd mind."

"I guess I kinda wish you would," Josh said. "It's something I think you should at least know about. If I'm going to date someone, I wouldn't be fucking someone else... Oh! Uh, hi!"

Josh hadn't noticed the waitress's return. Neither had I, until it was too late to signal him. Now she stood before him, amused, with one eyebrow raised.

"Ah, yeah. Could we get a couple of boxes?" he asked. "But I think we need drink refills, too."

"Of course," the waitress said. "Would you like a dessert menu?"

I shook my head. "Even half that burger was too much for me already. It was pretty awesome, though."

"Glad you enjoyed it," she said.

Josh caught me watching him watching the girl's backside again, when he left.

"Who exactly is objectifying the poor girl?" I asked.

"Hey, I'm a guy," he said. "I can't help it."

"So I should be offended by you having a harem, but not by your wandering eye?" I said. "And are we dating now?"

"We are if you want to be," Josh said.

I felt a tingle run through me that definitely included one or more sensitive places. "If I say no, will you pressure me and gaslight me like my last boyfriend?"

"No," Josh said. "If you say no I'll respect your decision."

"After the last guy, I'm tempted to say no just to see if you'll keep your word," I said, with a sigh. "But you don't deserve the consequences of my insecurity. I think you mean it."

He grinned. "I do, but I'm sure you can find other ways to test me, if you want."

I forced my face into a neutral expression. "You know, Josh, I really hate to do this, but..."

His face fell.

"I'm just going to have to say something," I continued. "I have to admit that I do like you after all. So yeah, let's give dating a try."

The smile returned to his face. "That was evil," he said.

"Mmhmm," I agreed, then held out my hand across the table. Josh took it, and when the waitress returned with our to-go boxes and drinks she gave us both the raised-eyebrow look.

When we left, I wrote a good-sized tip on the credit card. I'm pretty sure Josh will have done the same, if only for the tight skirt.


Of course I invited him in when we arrived at my apartment. Being a student, he shared with two others, and while he admitted that he'd taken a girl to his room before, there wasn't much privacy. We wouldn't be sharing his bed in the foreseeable future. My place was comfortable, and private.

Inside, I took Josh's hand and took him straight to my bedroom. "Let's keep our clothes in one place, this time," I said.

"Whoa, sex on the first date?" Josh drawled. "How wanton."

"That wasn't a date," I countered, as he began tugging my tee shirt from my jeans. "That was only preparation." I lifted my arms. "It can't be a date before we agreed to start dating, can it?" I asked, through the shirt he was pulling past my face.

"So when we have our first date, we'll have to skip the mindless fornication?" he asked. "Oww!" he yelped as I yanked his shirt off.

"You'll find out then, I guess," I said, turning my attention to his belt buckle. "But I'm sure you'll find a way to make it mindless. Now shut the eff up and kiss me."

He snorted a laugh. "The eff?" he echoed, but then his lips fastened to mine, and neither of us made any intelligible sounds for a while.

The kiss slowed down my effort to get his jeans unbuckled and unzipped, but I managed. When I freed them, I ran my fingernails over the underside of his underwear and he bit my tongue.

Somehow my own jeans were around my ankles. I kicked out of them, wrapped my arms around him and launched us both onto the bed. He hadn't finished freeing his legs, so he collapsed under me with a yelp and a crunch of bedsprings. A little awkward wriggling and he was down to his underwear.

I rolled Josh all the way onto his back, my mouth still moving against his, my legs on either side of his thighs, panting as I rocked my hips against him. His bulging shorts rubbed against my panties. Breaking the kiss, I slid down his body, hooking my fingers into his underwear and carefully prying them over his erection. Then I lowered my head and ran my tongue all the way along the underside of his cock, from base to tip, causing his breath to hiss through his teeth.

Covering the head of his shaft with my mouth, I rocked my face slowly, sucking as I did so, and working my jaw to rub the underside with the back of my tongue. I watched his face as I moved. His lips were parted and his breathing heavy. His cheeks had a glow, his head lifted to follow my actions with hungry eyes.

I didn't pause my movements until his thighs began to tense. I tasted a drop of his seed, then backed away before he could explode. He groaned and twitched slightly, but the twitches faded. His cock was stretched further than it had been when I started, the taut skin seeming translucent, mottled with veins beneath the surface.

Running my tongue around the tip, I resumed my activity. Josh panted softly, more quickly by degrees as I licked the head of his shaft. His chest rose and fell, seemingly higher with each breath. Again, I sensed when he was getting too close to release, and eased off, to a despairing moan.

Chuckling, I licked the fingers of each hand and ran them up his shaft, stretching and tugging, then letting them slip up and down. Josh's lean abs tightened. I stopped sliding my fingers along his cock, and instead held it in place with my right hand as I extended my tongue and licked the drop of fluid from its tip.

Still holding his cock in my hand, I lowered my tongue down its underside until my lips enveloped it. Then I slurped, noisily, my tongue caressing.

Josh made a strangled sound, and again, his thighs twitched.

Still slurping, I bobbed my head up and down. I felt Josh's body start to tense, then he cried out, and warm, salty fluid began to fill my mouth, a new spurt every second or two. Swallowing, I kept sliding my tongue around as my head moved along his shaft and back.

Josh's breath came in sharp bursts as I milked every drop from his cock that I could. Then he shuddered and reached down to lift my face away. He panted as I drew back from him, then stretched myself along his body.

"God, Cyndy," he groaned. "You're fucking amazing."

"Taken you long enough to figure that out," I griped.

Josh laughed. "Nah, I've known for a while. You can remind me like that as often as you like."

His hands slid over my back. I felt them stop and work on the catch of my bra. When it was free, both of his hands cupped my breasts and began to squeeze. While he kneaded he also lifted me, moving me higher, until our faces met, and he kissed me while his hands sent waves of amorous tingling from my breasts down to my sex.

Since Josh's cock was going to be out of commission for a time, and his hands were occupied, I worked my right hand between our bodies, curling my fingers as I slipped them inside me. As wet as I was, they slid in easily. With a steady rhythm I began to rock my wrist, reaching deep inside on each stroke.

Josh's hands squeezed harder, trapping and pinching my nipples as I began to moan into his mouth. In spite of the lack of response from his cock, he seemed to be increasingly aroused by my activity, his breathing against mine becoming more intense.

Suddenly he broke the kiss. His right hand left my breast, moved down to grip my butt, then lifted me higher, where his mouth could latch on to my breast. I groaned as he suckled, my wrist moving faster. Then his right hand wrapped around the front of my thigh, and questing fingers found my clit and began to stroke.

There was no way back from the sudden surge of passion. I heard myself moan as my body tensed, taut thighs lifting my sex away from Josh's belly, then pressing myself back against him as pulsing pleasure flowed out into me.

I withdrew my fingers, and Josh's touch left my clit, but he didn't stop suckling until I rolled off him to lie on my back.

"Guess my boobs are good for something," I said, with a winded chuckle.

"Why do you keep putting yourself down?" Josh asked.

"What?" I rolled my head to the side to see him frowning at me. "I don't. Do I?"

He nodded. "Mmhmm. Your boobs are great! You complained about your freckles earlier, and you griped that your height got in the way of being a model for a fantasy comic."

"I'm five-two and thirty-four D. I look like a toadstool," I said. "A spotty one."

"No you don't," Josh objected, a trace of exasperation in his tone. "You're fantastic. Like an ad for, I dunno, soap, or something. The 'natural Irish beauty' look."

"Great, now I'm a poster girl for soap," I griped, but I found myself grinning. "You really think so?"

"That you look like a soap ad, or that you're really a natural beauty?" Josh asked. "The second, definitely."

"No one's ever accused me of being a beauty before," I said.

"They've probably tried," he said, "but I don't think you like to hear it."

Sighing, I shrugged. "You might be right. Maybe Devin's insults affected me more than I realized. I honestly don't remember being negative in high school, and I haven't changed much."

"You said you went back to him twice?" Josh asked. "As much of an asshole as he was, I think you wouldn't have done if you hadn't internalized the abuse some. You needed him to reinforce your unfavorable self-image."

"I took him back twice," I corrected. "But yeah, there might be something in that."

Josh stretched out a hand and began to draw patterns on my breast. I thought he was just randomly caressing, but I saw his eyes focused on the movement.

"What you doing?" I asked.

"Connecting the dots," he said, solemly.

"Oh, God, you're not," I squawked.

"Mmhmm. Look, there's a cat." He drew a rough circle, then straight lines for whiskers. I was craning my neck to see, and I was pretty sure he was mostly ignoring the locations of freckles.

"And here's a train," he said. "It's the little engine that could! And the wheels go round and round..."

He drew a series of rapid circles, making my breast jiggle.

"And it's trying hard to climb the hill..." The squiggles he was drawing rose up the side of my breast toward my nipple.

"Josh! Jesus," I groused, "you're nine years old!"

"And it reached the summit!" he cried, circling my nipple, lightly and quickly. "The wheels are still going round..."

I lifted his hand from my breast and suckled his fingertips. "Childish man," I grumbled.

"I have a better game," he said. He rolled toward me, his fingertips still between my lips. "I mark the freckles and you tell me what shape I'm drawing."

"What?" I began to object, but he rolled further, until his face was at my left breast. Then he started to plant tiny kisses over its upper surface. I giggled at the sight of his activity, but his lips were rekindling the tingle in my belly.

"Nine years old, am I? What was that?" he asked, looking up.

"Umm, a square?" I'd released his hand, and he moved it to my waste.

"Nuh-uh," he said. "It's a fighter plane! Raww, raww..." He made little boy war noises, nose and lips drawing tracer fire on my breast.

"Josh!" I laughed. "Grow up!"

"So what's this?" He kissed another pattern.

"Umm, a tank?" I guessed.

"A tank?" He looked up at me in mock astonishment. "How could that ever be a tank? It was a dolphin!" He ducked his head and gave me a series of slurpy kisses, sayling "splosh" between them. Each sloppy contact bounced my breast as his tongue lapped at me.

I stifled a groan, my heart speeding up.

His hand caressed my waist as he plunged his face in a series of stronger kisses. "And this one's an orca!" he announced. "How many nine year olds know that word?" Then he parted his lips further and repeated the slurpy kisses, wider and stronger, without the vocal sound effects.

My breast quivered with each kiss, feeding my rising arousal.

Without warning, one of his kisses landed right on my nipple, then he parted his lips and sucked it into his mouth. This time I couldn't suppress the groan. The sudden stimulation made me arch my back.

Josh didn't draw away, slurping and tonguing my nipple. My breathing was becoming labored.

He switched to my right breast, sucking and tonguing the nipple, then gripping it lightly in his teeth and stretching it.

"That's really turning me on," I whispered. He turned his face up, nipple held lightly in his teeth, and drew his lips back in a grin.

The hand that was on my waist traveled inward to caress my labia. I ran my fingers through his dark hair, my thighs pressing my sex against his hand, trapped between my sex and his thigh.

"That feels so good," I murmured.

Then Josh released my breast and slid down my body, centering himself between my legs. His lips explored my belly, then my inner thigh, kissing down to the inside of my knee on both legs. His hands were on my hips, then they moved down to my knees, and back upward, beneath his thighs, lifting and separating my legs as the kisses drifted inexorably toward the junction of my thighs.

After spending a minute licking around my pussy, his tongue moved up, centered now, almost to the trimmed hair. It quested until it found the nub of my clit, and began to caress.

"Oh God," I mumbled, then gasped at an intense spike of feeling.

As he tongued me, my excitement turned from a lighthearted thrill into an urgent demand. My hips began to move, pressing my sex against his face, but he backed away, drawing his tongue along my inner thighs. I whimpered with frustrated need.

Fingers slipped gently inside me, seeking the inner wall of my sex, curling forward to seek the place that would sing to my senses. Almost immediately I felt a frisson of arousal as the fingers pressed forward, making the muscles of my thighs feel weak.

Josh's tongue traced the lips of my sex as the fingers tapped against the wall, and I was unable to stifle a moan. God, I'd only just come, and he already had me aching for another release.

My thighs were twisting, trying to press my clit into his mouth when he finally deigned to let his tongue brush against it again. I panted heavily as he stroked, then he began to lap, digging his tongue hard into the nub with each rapid stroke.

My chest tightened as my back rose from the bed. I heard a strangled sound drift from my throat, then my orgasm raged and my whole body shuddered. The waves of pleasure were so intense they felt overwhelming, and it wasn't until my climax began to ebb that I began to realize just how good it felt, and I smiled as my back slowly settled.


Josh's fingers and tongue prolonged the waves of pleasure for what must have been over a minute. I basked in the occasional spasms of delight until he finally withdrew, then lay on my back, suffused with warmth and arousal.

I was looking up at the ceiling, not at Josh, when his body settled over me. My eyes met his and I smiled, slipping my arms around him. My passage was so slick I barely noticed him slide into me, until his cock was sliding deep inside. I made a "Mmmm..." of pleasure to feel him settle onto me. Then I wrapped my legs around his thighs as he began to move.

He felt so good inside me after my climax. Every slide of his long cock inside me brought a tingling. I wasn't likely to come again, but I could still enjoy the sensation. And if Josh had gotten hard enough to get this deep inside me, maybe he was ready for another.

I rocked my hips in time with Josh's movements. His body slapped against mine at the deepest point. My breasts gyrated up and down until hie pressed himself closer to me, when they shook against his chest. When our mouths met, we kissed deeply. At other times his chin was on my shoulder, and we both panted with arousal.

I could feel him becoming harder within me. His breathing was heavier. It might take a while yet, but I was sure he'd be able to come inside me.

My eyes flew open in panic. "Condom!" I croaked.

"I'm wearing one," Josh replied, amused. "I tossed one onto the bed before you stole my jeans."

"Thank God," I breathed. "I don't want to stop now."

My heart had skipped a beat at the sudden shock. I lowered my legs from his thighs to catch my breath, until I was ready to continue moving.

Gripping his butt, I rolled us both over, so that I lay on top of him. Then I lifted myself to my elbow, my breasts hanging over his chest as I worked my hips, driving him deep inside me with each stroke.

Josh's fingers moved to my breasts and began to squeeze. I felt myself tighten around his shaft, and the arousal that was growing within me surged. Then his hands took me by the shoulders and raised me up from his body, my back arching. He leaned forward, found my left nipple with his lips, then parted them and sucked my breast into his mouth.

I gasped with the new sensation, suddenly feeling that another climax was not only possible, but imminent. When he drew his face back, stretching my nipple and let it pop from between his lips, my whole body quivered and I almost came.

"Do that again," I urged. "Just a little more..."

With his right hand still holding me up, he moved his left to my right breast, cupping with his palm and fingers, his thumb and index finger against my nipple, which he began to squeeze and twist. Then he took the left between his lips again.

My hands were on his hips, and I used my grip to help the movement of my hips, raising myself further along his cock and slamming back down into his body. Each stroke seemed to push me close to the edge of climax, but not beyond.

"Don't stop," I pleaded. "God, I'm so close..."

I felt myself tiring, and growled with frustration. I couldn't make the last stretch. I was going to have to admit defeat. Maybe in a few minutes...

Right as I was at the point of collapsing on Josh, his teeth grazed my nipple, and the shiver that it sent through me pushed me right up against the edge. "Oh!" I cried. "Oh... oh... oh... Ow! Ow! Ow! OW! Oh fuck..."

Pleasure flowered in my clit, and I shivered with each pulse. I felt Josh's cock pressing against the quaking walls of my sex. Then I did collapse against him, tugging my breast from his mouth, and pressing him back down to the bed, quivering as I lay atop him, my hips no longer rocking, though Josh continued to move against me, prolonging the thrumming of my clit.

"Are you done?" Josh asked, a little while later.

"Depends what you mean by done," I replied. "I don't think we're done if you haven't come, whether or not I have anything left. We don't need to stop."

"You sure?" he asked. When I nodded he lifted me, so that I slid off him onto my side. His shaft was firm and long. "Roll over," he instructed.

Rolling onto my left side, I turned away from Josh. He spooned up behind me, lifted my right leg, then moved his below it, his left leg behind my left. His cock lay against my belly.

Carefully, he moved me until the tip of his shaft rested against my sex. Pressing it into me, he turned his hips, slipping easily into me. With his hands on my hips he worked my body down, until he was deep within me.

Left hand under my left side, and right hand against my belly, he started to move, putting in most of the effort, though after a moment I began to squeeze myself against him. His right hand moved to my right breast, and he pinched and stretched out my nipple as his cock dug deeply into me.

From this angle, I felt him against the front wall of my sex. His movements rekindled the lust that I thought had dwindled to enervation. I still didn't have a lot of energy, but arousal was making my heart race.

When I turned my face to see back over my shoulder, Josh moved his to meet it, and our kiss inflamed the passions we were both feeling. He groaned and began to pant into the kiss, squeezing my breast hard against my chest.

I felt his body tense, and knew what it meant. Reaching behind me, I squeezed his butt, pulling him deeper into me. He grunted, then pressed against my back as his cock started to spasm, deep inside my passage.

Breaking the kiss, Josh released my breast. He licked his fingers, then pressed them against his sex, a finger on either side of my clit, and rubbed hard. I wasn't expecting it, and didn't realize how turned on I'd become, but before his cock had finished jerking within me, I gasped in sudden realization and slipped into an orgasm of my own. Not as intense as the earlier ones, perhaps, but satisfying, especially since I could still feel Josh's tremors deep within my body.


In spite of a short night's sleep, I opened the coffee shop at its normal time the following day. Dylan and Heather both arrived ahead of schedule, but today they didn't need to cover for me.

Heather was watching me curiously as I set up the register. "What is it?" I asked.

"You're singing while you work," the tall girl commented. "I've never seen you so happy."

"She's in lurve," Dylan said. "She looks just like you do when Margot is around."

"I am not," I yelped.

"Well, she just got laid, at least," Dylan stated. "I knew Josh wasn't the asshole she thought he was, but who knew he'd be as good for her as he is?"

"Hmph," I responded, but I was unable to summon a scowl. Last night's afterglow seemed to be staying with me.

Heather's eyes were still on me. "No," she said. "I think you were right the first time. She's in love. She just hasn't figured it out yet."

"God, you two," I said. "Find something useful to do."

"Ten dollars says she admits it within the week," said Heather.

"You're on," Dylan replied.