They were still for a long time afterwards. Stevie lay half underneath him, Lindsey’s quiet, deep breaths the only reality intruding on what was almost a perfect mirror image of a dream she was ashamed to admit she’d had not that long ago. She was trapped by his strong arms and the pleasant heaviness of his leg across hers, and even though her eyes were tightly closed, she could tell he was staring at her. Slowly, she opened her own eyes and met his, the blue intensity of them startling and comforting all at once.

Willing him not to ruin this temporary reprieve, she gently rolled him off her, and ran a long finger down his bicep, his forearm, his hand (add to the bank of memories while you have a chance, Stevie) before reaching for the dark sheet, pulling it up to cover them just a little. She caught him smirking as she made a futile attempt at modesty, and turned her flushed face into his still sweaty chest. Why was it destined to be this way with him? Why did he have to understand her so well?

She felt the vibrations from his short burst of laughter and burrowed in closer to him, wrapping her arms around him tightly.

"Alright there, Stevie?"

"Fine, thank you, Mr Buckingham. Just contemplating an old list of mine entitled ‘one hundred ways to kill my lover’."

"I’m hoping number one is by making love too many times in a night…"

"You wish."

"I dream."

"You speak in clichés."

"You’re beautiful."

"And you need to work on more original ways to flatter me. You’ve known me since we were teenagers; surely you can do better than that."

"I love you?"

She didn’t need to answer; they both knew nothing was better than that.

"I do love you," he insisted, sincerity etched in every word and in the way he looked at her.

Stevie soothed the lines in his forehead with her thumb, and then pressed her lips to his jaw softly, once, twice, and once more. As his hand slid down to her breast, she made a small gesture of protest, trying to turn away from him. “Love you too but, honey, we’re too old and we need to work in the morning and…” Exasperated and amused by her (a more than familiar combination of feelings when they were together), Lindsey stifled her words with his mouth until she sighed happily, her lips parting and her bare arms creeping around his neck. Yes. She knew he still loved her.

Just not enough to leave his wife.

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