They had been circling the room opposite each other, briefly caught up in conversations with acquaintances they knew through friends of friends. The night ended quickly when one of the gala's patrons had imbibed just enough of his favorite bourbon and ended up wearing the punch bowl. Luckily he had laughed it off and headed for the door, followed closely by a few others which instigated a mass migration toward the door and their cars. The two individuals that never stood in one spot for long were the only two left, both standing on the stone steps just outside the front door of the museum. With a glance and a nod they retreated into the museum, locking the doors behind them.
“That seemed to last longer than usual,” she stated, following him to the elevator that would take them to the offices beneath the museum. Reaching up to the clip that held her hair securely at the back of her head, she adjusted the clip's teeth to loosen their hold before leaning her shoulder blades against the cool metal as they started to descend. Avoiding eye contact was difficult in confined spaces but she had a knack for seeming far away in thought, whether she actually was or not.
“Mm,” he replied, watching the grace of her movements before inserting and turning a skeleton key one quarter clockwise, pressing the lower level button as soon as it turned green. “Any longer and we'd be ushering them out.” His gaze returned to her face, noting the lack of focus in her eyes. He recognized that look, wanting some peace himself.
As the elevator door slid open he gestured to her, watching as she blinked herself back into the present before stepping out of the elevator and onto the stone flooring. The sound of her heels sent his mind reeling through past scenarios of the two of them as he followed her out of the elevator; how coy she had seemed just to lure him into her arms, how her body responded to the lightest touch, and how his name fell from her lips at the height of her ecstasy. Taking in a slow breath to clear his mind before he, too, got lost in thoughts that were best left until later, he lifted his hands to his tie to undo the knot.
Before he could start she was in front of him, her fingers curling around his, sharp green eyes boring into his own warm, deep brown eyes. “Not yet,” he heard her murmur, feeling her fingers tighten slowly and guiding his hands back down to his sides. He could smell her fading perfume, an intoxicating mixture of soft and sharp that tempted him to take her away from whatever party they were attending just to have her all to himself. His tongue darted out over his dry lips, holding her gaze as her fingers released his hands. Within seconds her hands found their way beneath his suit jacket, gliding up his sides to the front of his shoulders.
“Are you sur-” he was lucky to get that much of a sentence out before her lips silenced him, sparks igniting behind his eyelids as they closed. The feel of her hands guiding the jacket off his shoulders and down his arms sent a shiver up his spine, catching the jacket with one hand as it slid over his fingers. Lifting his freed hand he cupped her cheek, pulling just barely from her lips, his eyes opening enough to watch her lips through his lashes. “Inside,” he murmured, “before I pick you up and carry you in.”
She had forgotten how soft his lips were, how completely she was overcome even by the slightest touch, and now she questioned why she had distanced herself from him. The past few months of quiet, short exchanges between them had been the result of his being called to Japan for six months. After he returned to her, there remained an ocean between them that they could not navigate. Those long months had been so cold without him, she felt empty and without much purpose in his absence that she had lost track of herself. Even when he walked through their door, slept just inches away from her, shared the breakfast table with her, she felt like a hollow shell. The shock of him being gone for that length of time had finally worn off earlier this evening, allowing her gaze to follow him as he came out of his walk-in closet while slipping his arms into the crisp, white shirt she was now eager to remove. She wanted to the feel the heat of his skin beneath her hands, to fully connect with him again. She had allowed the past few months to go by without so much as an accidental brush against one another. Had she felt abandoned when he'd left? As ridiculous as that was, that was the only reason she could pinpoint for her cold, distanced behavior.
His words brought her back immediately, trying to control her breathing as she took a step back and turned, heading into the room and tossing her keys onto a nearby desk before turning to face him again. Watching him move had her skin tingling in anticipation of contact with him, lifting her hands to remove his tinted glasses, gaze lingering on the line of his jaw as he took the glasses from her fingers and set them beside her keys.
As soon as his fingers released his glasses he felt her fingers against his cheek, allowing his eyelids to slide shut at the feel of her lips at the hinge of his jaw. “Where have you been,” he started, lifting a hand to press his palm to the side of her neck, long fingers hooking around the back of her neck. The soft sigh against his skin sent a warmth through his extremities, sliding his hand forward to gently take her chin as he leaned back from her. “Look at me,” he murmured, releasing her chin and reaching back to release her hair from its clip when she met his gaze. “I don't know where you went, but whoever I was living with these past few months needs to go.” Both his hands moved to cup along her jaw, thumbs sweeping once along the hollows beneath her cheekbones before he leaned into her, pressing a tender kiss to her lips. “Where have you been?”
The look in his eyes stilled her, feeling her heart skip before pounding beneath her breast at the touch of his lips to hers. A quiet whimper of protest squeaked in her throat at the repeated question, opening her eyes to him. “Next time you have to leave,” she paused, attempting to steady her shaky voice before continuing, “I'm going with you.” She lifted her hands to cover his, feeling the tears well in her eyes as she repeated herself. “I'm going with you. Being without you wa-”
“Will not be an issue again,” he finished for her, leaning to gently touch his forehead to hers. “I won't leave you alone like that again,” he whispered. “I heard it all in your voice the longer I was away.” He lifted his hands away from her, turning them to take her hands, guiding one to his chest as he lifted the other to his lips, straightening slowly. “I'm glad you're back,” he murmured against her skin, feeling her other hand undo the top half of the shirt's buttons to slip beneath the fabric and against his skin. Turning the hand he still held, he pressed a kiss to her palm and her hand in his shirt stopped over the feel of his beating heart.
Here she had him, here with her he bared himself to her as he had always done, and she responded with baring her own insecurity at his being gone so long. Still they stood here exchanging words and light caresses, reassuring one another of their presence. She closed her eyes, feeling his heartbeat beneath her palm easing her anxiety as much as his words. She had lost herself in him again, barely registering the next few moments as his arms moved around her, lifting her to sit atop the desk and ease between her thighs, the hem of her skirt pulling up her thighs with his movement. His lips were on hers again, and she responded to him eagerly, her own lips parting just enough to warrant a soft groan from him as their tongues brushed against one another.
Being this close to her again threatened to crack his will power, wanting to stretch these moments out, to just be in the moment with one another. It had been nearly a year since they were this close, and he had craved the intimate seconds with her throughout the months he had been away. He knew that leaving her here would possibly break them apart, but the company refused no matter how he argued to have her travel with him. Just before the plane had started its descent to Narita International Airport, his international director turned to him, admitting that they would have allowed for her to travel to Japan on a separate plane.
A soft murmur of his name from her snapped him out of the memory, and he realized that he'd been standing there staring at her as he recalled the anger he carried with him the entire time he had been overseas. Parting his lips to suck in a slow breath, he tilted his cheek into her palm as she tucked a lock of black hair behind his ear. Snaking his arms around her lower back he pulled her fully to him, pressing his cheek to her hair as her long legs hooked around his. “Let's go home, hm?” His question was no more than a whisper, but he felt her cheek shift against his chest at the mention of home.
“Let's,” she replied in a whisper, smiling as she pressed her cheek to the heat of his chest. Leaning back enough to lift her hands between their bodies, she started to re-button what she'd undone of his shirt, glancing up and catching his gaze. Her fingers stilled on the button that would have clasped at his clavicles, holding his gaze as she let her hands slowly drift down his chest.