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Lay All Your Love On Me

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unsatisfied, I skip my pride
I beg you dear
don't go wasting your emotion
lay all your love on me

 

--

 

If life has taught Rey anything, it’s that you can’t depend on much. Circumstances change too easily. People come and go. Things you thought were true can fall through in a heartbeat. Flexibility is what’s key.

Some things, however, she knows to be immovably true:

Her life is happier when she has houseplants. Vinegar pie and good black coffee can cure, or at least improve, any bad mood. Rotating her own tires is a lifesaver.

And Ben Solo is utterly, pathetically, adorably weak for freckles.

As his number-one wingman (wingwoman?), Rey has had ample opportunity to notice this. It was a system they came up with two years ago, when Rey had become close enough friends with Finn to start hanging out with Poe, and for Poe to invite her to join their volleyball league. She and Ben had been on the same team at her first game, and they’d synced so well that she was happy to hang out and talk with him when everyone went inside for drinks after the game.

It had quickly become apparent that Ben struggled to express himself to most people. (Rey had grinned and called him Mr. Darcy. “Please don’t,” Ben had said. “Why?” Rey asked; “Because it’s too girly?” “No,” Ben said, “because it’s entirely too accurate.”) And when Rey realized he’d been eyeing a very cute, very freckled redhead from the other team half the night, she had offered to introduce them.

“No, I don’t know her. But you look like you want to make out with her, like, yesterday. I can go with you. Talk with her. Help you relax.”

It worked—that time, and every other time in the future. Ben often was just looking to make out and flirt a bit moreso than get laid, but even so, he hesitated too much. Rey was cheerier, sunnier, when she wanted to be, and she was good at slipping out of the conversation once it looked like the potential kiss-ee was into Ben, too.

Nearly every girl he got together with had at least a scattering of freckles.

And Rey would be lying if she denied noticing him staring at her own freckled shoulders during volleyball games. And she’d be lying if she denied ever wondering what it would be like to kiss him, to feel him hold her, to run her hands through his hair.

But Rey’s flings were just that—flings. Transactional affairs. She didn’t want to be transactional with Ben.

A few months into their friendship, when Rey was complaining to him about the second guy in a row she’d tried to hook up with who’d ended up an asshole, Ben had offered to wingman for her in return. “I’m an asshole,” he’d said with a shrug. “I can help you identify the other assholes and avoid them.”

“You’re not that kind of asshole, though. You’re sweet.”

“Please don’t let Dameron hear you say that.”

But again, it worked. When they were out and Rey set her sights on a potential fling, Ben would subtly observe and give her his opinion. Rey specifically only looked for flings—she was only just beginning to accept the idea that her friends wanted to stay in her life and not abandon her at a moment’s notice. Extending the same trust to sexual partners was still too much. So Ben was able to help her discern if a guy was on the same page—a mutually respectable good lay, no strings attached.

And since they’d been wingmanning for each other, Rey hasn’t had a single disaster hookup.

It’s a good system. And since Ben and his last girlfriend had broken up, they’ve been making a regular hobby of it.

So, when she’s riding the bus home with him from work on Valentine’s Day (different jobs, but both downtown, and the busway gets them both home), it’s a fair assumption, she thinks, that he might want to go out tonight.

Rey loosens her scarf. They’re sitting in the back row of the bus because it’s the only place Ben can fit without his legs getting in someone else’s way, but the heater blasts too high back here. “Both of us are single this year. We could go to the bar, if you want.”

“And try to hook up?” Ben shakes his head. “Too much desperation. Too much pressure.”

Rey hums her assent. “Still, can’t we have fun?” She wiggles her toes in her boots, thinking. “Finn and Rose are having their date night at home to avoid the crowds. I’ll either be hiding in my room or out anyway. What if I come over and we order in and watch Netflix?”

“Like the old married couple we may as well be? That sounds good.”

“Come on, Ben. You’re no lost cause.” She bumps his knee with hers. “You’ve only been single for six months. That’s hardly forever.”

“And the relationship only lasted six months. You refuse to actually date. Face it, Rey. We’re going to platonically grow old alone together.”

She rolls her eyes. “How about this. I promise when volleyball season starts up again, I’ll help you meet the girl of your dreams.”

He raises his eyebrows. “You can’t guarantee that.”

“I can. I’m a damn good wingman and you know it. Here.” Pulling off one mitten, she holds her hand out to him. “Shake on it. It’s a promise.”

Ben stares at her for a moment with that piercing, intense gaze he pulls out when there’s more going on in his head than he’ll ever say out loud. Slowly, he removes his glove and takes her hand. A thrill of warmth runs through her chest, and she fixedly ignores it by giving his hand a strong, solid shake before pulling her mitten back on. “There. Deal.”

“I’m holding you to that,” he says, a bit lower. “One dream girl.”

“One dream girl. Guaranteed.” Rey tugs at her scarf. “Fuck, do they have to blast the heat this much? I’m getting way too warm. Oh—we’re already at East Liberty—text me what time you want me to come over.”

He stands, joining the flow of people exiting the bus. “Text me what you want to order.”

“Deal.”

And then he’s gone, out onto the platform and hunching his shoulders against the cold. Rey settles back in her seat, wiggling her fingers inside her mitten. It’s neither a shock nor a big deal to have gotten that little rush, touching his hand when he was looking at her like that. Ben’s intensity is a big part of his sexual appeal in general. He feels everything at a thousand percent—which may be part of why he’s usually more inclined to makeouts than full sex with his flings—and it’s hard not to feel it yourself when you’re on the receiving end. But it doesn’t mean anything.

Besides, she’s sincere in her guarantee. If anyone deserves a good, long-lasting relationship, it’s Ben. Ben, who’s spent too long feeling lonely and alone, who still doesn’t quite let himself believe he deserves to be happy.

He does. And she’ll make sure he is. That’s what friends, and wingmen, are for.

 

——

 

The busway connects Rey and Finn’s neighborhood to Ben’s easily, and on the weekdays the P1 runs in frequent intervals, but Ben’s place is nearly fifteen minutes on foot from the station. February is, at least, not as bitterly cold as January tends to be, but it’s a damp kind of cold that has her burrowing her face down into her scarf. Her breath leaves droplets on the inside of the scarf, over her mouth, and by the time Ben’s buzzing her up into his building, she’s more than ready for something to warm her up.

Fortunately, Ben is excellent at planning these sorts of things, and the food arrived just before she did. When he opens the door, she can immediately tell. “Oh my god,” she groans, stepping inside and tugging off her hat. “It smells so good.”

“Everything’s set up. Unwrap yourself and come in.” He tugs the end of her scarf, smiling his little half-smile, and turns and goes back into the living room.

Rey shrugs off all her layers as fast as she can, kicks off her boots, and slides across the polished wood floors into the next room, grinning. Enough pho for four people is arranged across the coffee table, and Ben is sitting on the left side of the couch. He saved her the right side, which she likes better, because when she tucks her feet up underneath her she’d rather lean to the right onto the pillows.

“Oh my god,” she says again, flopping down next to him and briefly lolling her head against his shoulder. “Thank you.”

“My pleasure.”

They ladle noodles and broth and beef into bowls, then load on the toppings. Rey covers her noodles with basil and cilantro, squeezes in lime, stirs in what are probably too many jalapeño slices, but she doesn’t care. The first bite warms her to the tips of her toes, and she hums happily, slurping noodles with her eyes closed in sheer bliss.

When she opens them, Ben is watching her. “Yes?”

“You look happy,” he says evenly.

“I am. I’ve got good food, good company, and zero pressure.” Rey picks up her bowl and sips some of the broth. “Mm. And hopefully soon some entertainment. What are you thinking? Movie? Show? Comedy special?”

Ben carefully stirs cilantro into his bowl. “Comedy special. One we’ve seen before.”

“So we can talk over it if we want? Sounds good.” She picks up the remote, flicks through options, and hits play on one they watched a couple months ago and enjoyed.

For a while it’s just slurping noodles and broth, giggling or snorting at the show from time to time. Rey puts her feet, clad in blue-and-pink striped socks, against the edge of the coffee table and balances her bowl between her stomach and thighs, slouched back and sinking into Ben’s stupidly comfy couch. Ben sits with knees spread, elbows on knees, chopsticks in one hand and bowl in the other because he can hold hot things without flinching, somehow.

Halfway through the show, they’ve both finished their pho. Ben slouches back into the couch alongside Rey, knocking his elbow against hers. She smiles, warm and full and content, and leans her head on his shoulder.

“Thanks for hanging out with me.”

“Any time, sunshine.”

He has his left hand resting on his belly, his right hand on the cushion between them. Rey scoots her hand a little closer and reaches out her pinkie finger, tapping his. “Seriously. I hate Valentine’s Day, and you’re making it better.”

Furrowing his brow, he turns his head to look at her. “You never told me that.”

Rey shrugs. “I mean—I know I’m not great at commitment. And most of the time that’s fine. But sometimes…” She sighs, leans her head back into the couch cushion and closes her eyes. “Everybody wants to be loved, right? And sometimes I do. Valentine’s Day makes me think about it too much.”

She feels him shift, then hears the volume on the television turn down several notches. Ben settles back against the couch and Rey peeks her eyes open. He’s staring straight ahead; she sees him swallow. “Well. Maybe I can find you your dream guy. Since you’ve guaranteed to find me my dream girl.”

“Are you doubting me, Solo?”

“Never.”

His little finger curls around hers, hooking them together. He turns his head towards her at the same time Rey turns to him. Their gazes meet, and they both smile. “We’re both hot young folks, right?” she says. “We’ll make out okay.”

Immediately, Rey regrets her choice of words. A light blush rises in Ben’s cheeks (and, she knows, the tips of his ears, though they’re hidden behind his hair now). He has literally listed making out as one of his favorite hobbies before. The words “Making out is very nearly better than sex” have crossed his lips more than once. And she just said they’d make out okay while her face is inches from his.

To be fair, they would make out okay. More than okay.

“We would, you know.”

Rey raises her eyebrows. “Would what?”

“Make out okay. Better than okay.”

“Get out of my head. I literally just thought—”

“I could tell.” His amber eyes are all alight. “Admit it. You’re curious.”

Rey laughs but doesn’t move. “I don’t have to be curious. I’ve seen you make out with people. I know you’re good.”

He just stares at her for a moment, gaze heavy. Then he leans in, his eyes fluttering nearly closed. An electric rush twinges from Rey’s belly out through her body as she feels his breath hitch, feels his lips not quite brush hers.

And then he’s sitting back, turning sideways on the couch to face her, a good two feet between them.

Rey’s face goes hot. “What the hell?”

He smiles that little half-smile. “Oh? I’m sorry, did you want more?”

“Dick.”

“Well, if you insist.” He reaches for his waistband and a peal of laughter escapes Rey. She nearly falls off the couch reaching out to stop his hands, and Ben breaks into a wide, true grin.

“Come on , Ben!”

“On what? Your tits? Your face?”

“Oh my god.” She’s laughing so hard now her cheeks hurt. “Are you seriously trying to Netflix-and-chill me? Was that your plan?”

He rests his chin in his hands, hair falling across his eyes, and honest to god, it’s so cute it makes her heart ache. “Not at all. I’d planned to eat pho, watch a show, and possibly bitch about work for a while. You’re the one who brought up making out.”

“That wasn’t what I meant, and you know it.” Rey settles herself more solidly, facing him with her legs crossed. There’s still a giggle in the back of her throat, and her pulse is quick.

“You can’t tell me you’re not curious, though.” His gaze flicks down to her mouth and back up. “How we’d do together.”

Her nerves spark more deliciously than she wants to own to when he looks at her like that. She loves him so much. She never feels like she has to pretend with him. But when he looks at her like that—like he wants her—

“I mean, I’ve got freckles. You’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy yourself.”

“Mm. You do.” Ben isn’t quite smiling, now, but his face is soft as his gaze roams over her. “They make a pretty woman even prettier.”

Heat rushes to her cheeks. No, unfair, he’s not allowed to get the upper hand here. “You bring plenty to the table yourself. Between those lips and those hands? I can only imagine how satisfied your partners have been.”

“I don’t care about anyone else right now. Just you.” He says it lightly, but Rey’s pulse still sings under her skin as he says it. “You’ve imagined it, then? You and me?”

She raises her eyebrows. “And what if I have?”

“Ah. Then I’d want to make sure I live up to your expectations.”

Her breath is a little thin when she shoots back, “I don’t know, Ben. I have a pretty vivid imagination.”

Something crosses his face. He leans in closer. She can see that his pupils are dilated more than the dim light of his living room should warrant. “Rey.” There’s still a playful edge to his voice, but it’s low and warm. “I bet you anything I can give you the best orgasm of your life.”

It was cute of her to pretend to have any restraint. If she doesn’t kiss him in five seconds she’s going to lose her fucking mind, the way he’s looking at her, the way he sounds, the way it makes her feel. But she’s nothing if not stubborn. “And what do I get if you lose?”

When did she lean in? His breath skims soft across her cheek when he answers, “Are you betting against me, sunshine?” She can count his eyelashes, they’re so close.

“Never,” she whispers.

His hands find her face, and he pulls her to him, but he didn’t have to bother, because she’s leaning in to meet him halfway, and he kisses her.

Ben inhales sharply through his nose. Rey’s hands land on his knees, and for a moment she doesn’t even kiss him back, she’s so stunned by the softness of his lips, the warmth of his hands. When he starts to pull back, Rey’s eyes blink open languidly, she sees his furrowed brow—so she chases him, catches his mouth again, hums against him as her fingertips press into his sweatpants. It encourages him, and he’s with her again, kissing her fit to make her dizzy.

“Damn it,” she gasps as he starts trailing kisses along her cheek and down the side of her neck.

“Hm?”

“You really are a good kisser.”

He laughs, soft and low against her pulse point, then lifts his head and kisses her again, pulling her lower lip between his. His palms on her cheeks and fingers in her hair are gentle but firm, as is his mouth, as is his voice when he murmurs “Not half-bad yourself” in a low, half-teasing tone.

Which Rey simply won’t stand for. “Not half-bad,” her ass.

She surges forward, straddling his lap and winding her fingers into his hair, as she parts his lips with her tongue. Ben’s hands tighten in her hair—yes, please—and he practically whimpers against her mouth, deepening the kiss further. She can feel his heart pounding against her own ribcage as she presses against him.

Half of her is determined to outdo him. Half of her can’t think about anything except how good, how right, this feels.

And then he’s kissing her neck again, zeroing in on her pulse point when it makes Rey squirm. He works his lips and tongue almost feather-light there, hands drifting now to grasp her waist. Rey bites her lip to hold back a whine as bright, sharp pleasure jolts through her. He’s languishing over that spot in a way that’s too much and not enough at the same time, but she doesn’t want to cave, so she writhes in his arms and gasps instead of pulling away.

She feels him smile against her skin.

“Enjoying yourself?”

Ben’s voice is thick and heavy. Rey makes an indistinct noise in response.

He pulls back, leaving her shivering, and looks into her face. His hair is mussed, his eyes dark, his lips plush and kiss-stung. “What do you want?” he asks. “Tell me what you like.”

Rey grips his shoulders, steadying herself to keep from grinding against him like she wants to. “I thought you were the expert giving me the best orgasm of my life.”

“Oh, Rey.” He leans in, nuzzles his nose against hers, drops the softest, lightest kisses against the corner of her mouth. “What kind of lover would I be if I didn’t give you your orgasm exactly how you like it best?”

At the word lover in his deep, hoarse voice, goosebumps raise along Rey’s arms.

“Keep kissing my neck,” she says, pulse racing. “And grab my ass. Nicely.”

“Mm.” He drops his head to nuzzle against her neck, kisses the hollow of her throat, then makes his way back to her pulse point as his hands slide down her hips to cup her ass.

God, his hands are huge. When he digs his fingertips in—gently, he’s obeying her request not to manhandle—they’re nearly at the crease of her thighs, and involuntarily, she thinks of those fingers sliding a little further. If, if only her leggings weren’t there, he could push aside her underwear and—

Rey’s body floods with pleasure, between his lips on her neck and his hands on her ass and the thrill that lights at the thought of his fingers inside her. She keens softly, fingers tangling in Ben’s hair, pressing back into his hands and breathing erratically.

Everything tilts as Ben shifts and lays her down on the couch, settling over her. He’s warm and heavy as he props himself on his elbows and captures her mouth, kissing her hungrily. Rey grabs his hips and holds him tight against her and oh, he’s hard as fuck against her thigh.

He pulls back, pauses, stares down at her. Rey bites her lip, tries to be still, but she can’t help it. She rolls her hips against his, chasing blissful friction against his length.

Ben’s eyes roll back, then flutter closed. He breathes harder, leans his head down, rests his forehead against hers as he holds her face in his hands.

“Tell me what you want, sweetheart,” he murmurs, voice tight.

And because she can’t help but tease him back, even now, she doesn’t just tell him. Instead, Rey cups the back of his head in her hand, brushes her cheek alongside his until her lips are at his ear. She slips her other hand under his shirt and up his back as she whispers, throaty and sweet, “I want you to taste me, Ben.”

He pulls back again, looks her dead in the eye. He looks like he wants to rip off her clothes and ravage her, like, yesterday. “You’re a menace,” he rasps.

Rey laughs, bright peals of laughter that fill the room, as she wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him close to her. “Do I win yet?” she giggles against his shoulder.

A soft laugh escapes him in return. “I’d think you’d need to come first.”

“But that means you win.”

“So you’re going to try not to come? Because you know that’s only going to make me try harder.”

Rey grabs his face in her hands, bites her lip and grins as she looks him dead in the eye. “I refuse to come by your hands, tongue, or cock, Ben Solo.”

His grin mirrors hers, wide and free in all its rarity. “What about my nose?”

Ben !”

“Perhaps my feet?” he asks, peeking up at her as he shifts down and begins pushing her shirt up her stomach.

“Absolutely not.”

“Well, it’s going to happen one way or another. I gave you my word.”

Rey’s sassy response fades on her tongue as Ben presses his own tongue to her stomach. He pushes up her shirt, trails soft, open kisses up her sternum, until he’s bunching the shirt just under her breasts.  She’s not wearing a bra, and he glances up at her. “May I?”

“Yes, please.” Her hands find his hair again—soft, soft hair—and he slides one hand under her back to support her and uses the other to pull her shirt up and over her head.

His eyes go dark and his lips part when he sees her breasts. Rey bites her lip as Ben lowers his head and kisses her chest, right on her breastbone, then works his way across until he catches one nipple, pink and pert with the sudden chill, in his mouth.

God, his tongue is fantastic. Rey’s fingernails press lightly into his scalp as he works her. “Just like that,” she whispers, and she feels him smile against her.

He lingers, lavishing attention on her breasts until she’s breathing hard. Then he kisses her neck again, one hand stroking down her side and cupping her ass again, until Rey is squirming underneath him. “Please,” she whimpers.

“Please what?” His voice is low against her neck. “I thought you didn’t want to come.”

Ben .”

“Mm?”

“If you don’t take these leggings off me right now—”

He’s smiling when he shifts away from her, trailing kisses down her front as he goes. He’s smiling when he peels her leggings down and off, taking her socks with them. He’s still smiling but also looks stunned when he sees her lying there in nothing but her underwear (the yellow pair with little gray cats all over), his hands resting on her thighs, which are shivering under his touch.

Slowly, almost reverently, he pulls off her underwear. He swallows.

“Rey.”

There’s something in his eyes she can’t name, now, the lightness of the teasing gone. Rey lays her hands over his; he meets her gaze. “Take off your sweater?” she asks.

In a heartbeat, he complies.

Rey sucks in a sharp breath as Ben leans, now shirtless, over her, his arms and shoulders and chest strong and broad. She’s seen him shirtless plenty of times, at volleyball or the beach, but this is different.

He kisses her, slowly but searingly. Rey runs her hands up his naked sides, luxuriating in the feel of him. His skin is so soft.

And then he’s settling between her thighs, looking up at her in something like wonder, and he leans in and tastes her.

Oh .” Rey’s eyes fall closed, hands grasping at the couch cushions as Ben licks a steady, hot path along the full length of her slit. She hears him inhale sharply, feelings his fingers dig into her ass where he’s holding her. He presses his mouth firm against her and works his tongue and lips like he’s trying to save every drop of juice from a fresh, ripe fruit, and Rey hears and feels him moan against her.

All she can do is blink at him heavily when he looks up at her. His cheeks are flushed, eyes dazed. “I knew you’d taste amazing,” he says.

Rey moans his name at the heavy tone of his voice; the moan peaks into a fluttering gasp when he returns to her, his mouth working beautiful magic on her. Every inch of her skin feels electric, the coiling heat at her center is overwhelming, she needs more—

With trembling hands, she grabs at Ben’s hair and bucks her hips against his face. He holds her hips more firmly, turning his head and laughing softly before kissing her thigh. “Relax, sunshine. I’ve got you.”

And she tries. Rey tries to relax, but he feels so good, and she’s already so wound up from his kisses and his touch and his teasing. She squirms, panting, his name breaking on her tongue over and over.

And Ben—he leans into it, leans into her. The more she writhes, the more he chases her, his well-practiced tongue finding her most sensitive places, one blunt finger pressing inside her and giving her the delicious gift of something to tighten around. “Fuck”—his voice is muffled against her, and he drinks her down, his gaze flicking up to meet hers.

That’s it, with everything he’s done to her so far, the dark fire in his eyes is all she needs, and Rey fists her hands in his hair and chokes back a cry as she comes under Ben’s tongue, eyes locked with his, until the edges of her vision whites out, and she drops her head back and lets out a sob of pleasure, all her body washed in waves of light.

She comes back to herself as Ben settles over her, dropping soft kisses on her cheeks, her forehead, nuzzling his nose against hers. Rey kisses him back, light, tender kisses on his lips, and slowly wraps pleasure-limp arms around his neck. Her fingers stroke his hair, and for a moment they just breathe.

Even in the haze of the afterglow, Rey can still feel how hard he is, pressing against her stomach through his sweatpants. Of course she’s going to return the favor. She knows perfectly well how to make someone see stars if she wants. But how exactly she goes about this will depend—

“Do you always,” she asks, low and careful as her hands pet his soft hair, “look at someone that way when you’re going down on them?”

From where his chest is pressed against hers, Rey feels his heartbeat quicken. “No,” he says. A pause. His fingers trace the planes of her cheekbone; his nose brushes her other temple, his breath shaky against her ear. “Just you.”

She thought so.

She finds she’s glad.

Rey turns her head and captures his mouth in a kiss. “Good,” she whispers in the fleeting moments between kisses. “Good.”

He pulls back, just enough to look down at her. “Rey—”

“How do you like it best?” She trails her fingertips over his shoulders and down his chest. “I want to make you feel good.” His mouth trembles, his eyes dark. “What kind of lover would I be if I didn’t?”

But the teasing lilt is gone. She holds his gaze, and after a moment, he smiles.

“As long as I can keep kissing you,” he says. He brushes his thumb across her lower lip. “I don’t want to stop.”

“Me neither. And I’m not even the one with the makeout kink.”

“It isn’t—” He laughs, softly, and kisses her once, lightly. “Good.”

The boneless feeling is easing. Rey pushes herself up, pushing him up with her, lifting her legs over his and getting them both to sitting. She’s straddling him and can feel that the front of his sweatpants are wet, between her mess and his precum. His hands find her waist, and he groans softly as she rolls her hips against him.

“We should get these pants off you,” she says.

“Please.”

Rey shifts back, grabs the waistband of his sweatpants, and pulls them and his underwear off together, climbing backwards as she goes. And then he’s there, naked on his couch, looking up at her with eyes full of want and need and something else, and the clothes fall from Rey’s fingers to the floor.

She kneels on the couch, holding his gaze as she reaches down and wraps her hand around him. Ben’s eyes flutter closed. He groans, leans in to press his forehead against hers.

“You’re clean?” she whispers, working him gently.

“Yes. You—”

“Clean. IUD.” She kisses him and he responds instantly, reaching up to hold her face in his broad hands, returning the kiss eagerly. Rey smiles against his mouth and manages to murmur, “Probably should have cleared that up before you ate me out.”

“Good thing it all worked out. Rey…” He’s breathing hard, nipping at her lower lip, his hands roving down her neck, across her breasts, along her thighs and hips and ass, like he can’t decide where the let them land. “Please…”

And so she kisses him as she climbs into his lap. “I’ve got you,” she says, and his hands are on her waist as she guides him into her.

He moans into her mouth, his entire body trembling as Rey slides down his length slowly, adjusting to the girth of him inside her. One of his hands splays against her lower back, the other running up her spine to cup the back of her head. His kiss is desperate, hungry, and Rey’s tongue finds his as she starts to ride him.

“Fuck—Rey—” Ben pulls her against him, burying his face in the crook of her neck, his fingertips digging into her skin. It’s harder to move this way, but Rey’s heart pounds at how he holds her, how his breath shivers along her shoulder. So she rolls her hips slowly, turning her head to kiss his neck just under his ear while he clings to her.

“You feel so good,” she whispers. She feels him pulse and twitch inside her, feels the break of his breath on her skin, feels his heart racing. “God, Ben, you feel so good—”

And then he’s kissing her neck, right on that spot that drives her crazy. Rey bites her lip and leans back, giving him better access, giving herself better leverage with her hands on his shoulders. Upping the pace of her hips, she squeezes her eyes shut, trying to focus more on pleasuring Ben than on how good his tongue feels on her pulse while he’s sliding in and out of her.

But when he captures her mouth with his again, his kiss makes it clear she’s pleasing him. It’s searing, hungry, aching in a way that makes her stomach flip and her heart stutter, and Rey starts to lose herself in him. The taste of his sweat. The planes of his shoulders. The strangely sweet taste of his mouth, the firm caress of his hands, the hot panting of his breath, the way he murmurs her name between every kiss.

Everything falls away. Nothing matters but this. And she didn’t expect that, but nothing has ever felt so right.

When Ben comes, it’s with a hoarse cry, with his arms circling her and pulling her tight against him, with Rey squeezing her thighs around his hips and her arms around his back because she finds she doesn’t want to let go, either.

Slowly, Ben relaxes. His fingers start to trace light, delicate paths up and down her back, and Rey shivers.

Carefully, holding her, he leans back and lies down on the couch, letting her rest on his chest. He’s still inside her, his arms around her, and Rey feels him slowly start to soften.

They lie together for a while. Rey turns her head and rests her cheek against his chest, listening to his heartbeat calm. Ben keeps stroking her back, rubbing small circles up and down her spine. He kisses the top of her head, and she hums softly, happily.

Netflix is still up on the television, she realizes, but the show is long over.

“I guess I lose,” she says, and Ben’s chest rumbles underneath her when he laughs a little.

“Did you come again?” he asks. “When we were—”

“Mm. No.” She turns her head, kisses his chest, and peeks up at him. His brow is furrowed. “It’s okay, Ben. You gave me the best orgasm of my life, remember? I don’t need to come at the end to have liked it, like some hookup.”

His expression softens. “So this isn’t just some hookup?”

Rey reaches up and brushes his hair back from his forehead. “I think we both know it’s not,” she says quietly. “Not anymore.”

Something so tender comes into his eyes it nearly breaks her heart. Ben pulls her up closer and kisses her, lingering and gentle. Then, suddenly, he stiffens.

Rey pulls back. “What’s wrong?”

Ben closes his eyes and sighs. “If I’m being presumptuous—be merciful. But—does this mean our anniversary will be on Valentine’s Day? Because I don’t know if I can stomach that.”

And Rey laughs, bright and clear, and she snuggles against him, kissing his cheek. “How about we go out this weekend. Make that our official first date. Can you stomach that?”

The way he squeezes his arms around her, the way he kisses her forehead, the way he takes in a huge breath and lets it out slowly—she can feel how nervous he was. To ask. To name it. But he relaxes, and he nuzzles against her and says, “Absolutely.”

Rey smiles. “I feel a bit bad, though.”

“Why?”

“I did promise I’d find you your dream girl.”

Ben cradles her face in his hands and turns her head gently, looking her in the eye. “You did,” he whispers.

And if Rey had known her heart could feel this way, she would’ve ended up here a lot sooner, as her smile turns into a grin, and she kisses Ben, softly, lingering—, because they have all night, and all of tomorrow, and all the days after, too.