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Battle of Britain -- Chapter 7
matching clothing
rogoblue
Title: Battle of Britain Chapter 7


Rating: R (language and sexual situations)


Author: morgan72uk and rogoblue


Summary: Adelle attends a Margaret Bashford party and reluctantly accepts all of the fallout from doing so.








“We should most carefully consider—.” Adelle DeWitt broke off sharply as a knock sounded on her office door. “Yes,” she called.


Entering with the brisk efficiency she applied to everything, Judith stepped next to Dominic. “You asked me to inform you when it was 6:00 pm, ma’am,” she said. “It is and I’ll be heading home soon, if you don’t need me for anything.”


“Damn,” Adelle said, “and, no, Judith. I don’t require you further.”


“What’s at 6:00 pm?” Dominic asked.


“Nothing,” Adelle muttered, looking around the room as though she’d misplaced something. “Margaret’s dinner party is at 7:00 pm, but I can’t attend, not with Topher up in arms and when we’re awaiting Anthony and Priya’s check in.”


“Margaret Bashford hosts intimate gatherings typically,” Judith said, neutral tone ruined by an impressive frown. “Will Jack Erskine be there, do you suppose?”


“Knowing Margaret, I expect so,” Adelle said, closing her eyes briefly. Speaking softly, almost to herself, she said, “I was looking forward to a meal I neither prepared nor purchased.”


“Go and enjoy it,” Dominic said, grunting softly when Judith stepped on his foot. “If you don’t want Erskine around, chew with your mouth open.”


Judith dissolved into giggles and Adelle shook her head. “I’m quite positive your mother never gave you that advice, Major,” Adelle said.


“That’s not to say she didn’t give it to my sister.”


“If you’re going to go,” Judith said, placing strong emphasis on the first word, “shouldn’t you already be at home getting ready?”


“I brought a change of clothes with me this morning, so I wouldn’t have to backtrack, but my place is here.”


The plaintive edge in her voice spoke to Dominic. “My place is also here and, tonight, I have nowhere else I need to be. I’ll stay. You go.”


“But the situation with Topher—.”


“Is quiet at the moment.”


“That can change in an instant.”


“If it does, I will track you down and interrupt your meal.” Dominic crossed his arms in front of him. “I will hold down the fort, but I will not drive an hour to hold Topher’s hand and tell him how important his mind is to the war effort. That’s your department. As for Anthony and Priya, I’m confident my reply to any message they might send won’t embarrass you, F Section or England.”


“This is Margaret’s address.” Adelle pressed a piece of paper into his hand. “Send word to me if we hear anything.”


“I’ll bring it personally, ma’am.” Winking at Judith, he added, “Is there some entrance on the side or maybe in the back for the help?”


“Use your judgment, Major,” Adelle said, but she smiled and Dominic counted that a victory. “Now if you both would be so kind as to allow me to change.”


The door had barely shut behind them when Judith hissed, “Why are you so dead set on Adelle attending this particular party?”


“Because she’s never mentioned any other party,” he said. He put his hands on Judith’s shoulders, mildly surprised by her tension. “Adelle’s worn out and worried sick about too many things. She needs a break.”


“She doesn’t need to be thrown at Jack Erskine.”


“That can’t be helped.”


Judith smiled and, for just an instant, she looked diabolical. “When Adelle emerges, all spiffed up and ready to go, ask her to have dinner with you.” Obviously warming to her topic, she said, “If you pay, she’ll get a meal she didn’t prepare or pay for.”


Wondering if he actually was delivering the woman he wanted into another man’s arms, he said, “I can’t, because I’ve promised to stay here, so she can go out.”


“Humph,” Judith grumbled. “Maybe I could stay. No, I don’t have enough experience. Damn!”


“Maybe we’re worrying over nothing,” he said. “For all we know, Erskine chews with his mouth open.” Shared laughter lightened the mood.


“I’ll leave you to your vigil, then,” Judith said, as Dominic helped her into her coat.


“Good night, Judith.” Information he’d gathered on a second set of potential recruits awaited him in his office, but he chose to skim the reports Judith had left on her desk.


“Have you sent Judith on her way?” Adelle asked.


“Yeah.” Dominic stared. The off the shoulder red silk gown draped Adelle’s frame and the color somehow complimented that of the pale skin it failed to cover. He couldn’t determine if the material draped around her neck was part of the gown or separate. Unfortunately, the dress completely covered her magnificent legs. “You should stay here,” he began, frowning as his voice sounded strange to his ears. “Going out in public looking that nice is probably illegal.”


Her smile froze Dominic and she slowly sauntered toward him. “Are you suggesting my attire is somehow immoral?” she asked.


“To be immoral, it’d have to be shorter,” he said, dragging his eyes from her bare shoulder to her amused gaze. “Quite a bit shorter, in fact.”


She smiled and drew the skirt portion of her dress up to just below the knee. Dominic managed to shake his head. Adelle lifted to just above the knee. Heart slamming in his chest, Dominic shook his head. Eyebrow raised, she lifted it to mid-thigh or maybe ever so slightly higher.


“You’d get some takers on immoral there, I think,” he said. When Adelle lowered her skirt to its original position, he didn’t know whether to sigh in relief or cry foul. “I’m glad I didn’t rush back to work. Judith is going to be sorry she didn’t stick around another few minutes.”


“She certainly is,” Adelle said. Her perfume wafted past his nostrils, drawing him closer. “If Judith had seen your response to this dress, she would be teasing you about it for a month.”


He felt his face redden, so he lowered his eyes only to have them drawn to the way the dress framed her breasts, hugged her slim waist, then flowed over her hips. A frantic desire nearly staggered him. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.


“Whatever for?”


“I don’t know.”


“Laurence?” He knew what she wanted and wasn’t sure he could deliver. Adelle waited. Slowly, he raised his eyes to hers. She touched his cheek with the tips of her fingers and his eyes drifted closed.


He needed to do something. Opening his eyes was a start. “You ... you’re taking the car, right?” Clearly puzzled, she nodded. He looked at his watch. “Aren’t you going to be late?”


The sight of a bare shoulder shrugging made his fingers twitch. “I sometimes enjoy making an entrance.”


“Do you have a coat?”


“Nothing I can wear with this.”


God, he loved it when she smiled like that and so did his body. “I shouldn’t keep you.”


“You aren’t.” Adelle rested her hand lightly on the center of his chest. “I enjoy your company.”


Thinking she had to be able to feel his heart beating, he said, “Tonight Lady Bashford has decreed whose company you’re going to enjoy.”


“Perhaps Margaret thinks so,” she murmured, pivoting with inhuman elegance. Looking back over her shoulder, Adelle said, “I decide who I enjoy.”


* * *


By the time she reached her car, Adelle’s pleasure at the prospect of her night out had lessened. Settling into her seat, she wondered why Laurence hadn’t kissed her. He’d certainly looked as though he’d wanted to.


Men had complimented her before, but his response had come alarmingly close to taking her breath away. His eyes raking over her body had left her feeling flushed and aroused and if he had given her the slightest excuse, she would have abandoned the dinner party to spend the evening with him.


But he hadn’t. His eyes had lingered on her bare shoulder, his gaze like a caress and she had almost felt his fingertips stroking over her collarbone. She’d definitely felt how his heart raced.


Yet he’d resisted temptation – again. Could he possibly be in doubt that she’d welcome his advances? She didn’t expose that much flesh to just anyone. For an intelligent man, he was being remarkably dense about this and she really didn’t know how else to encourage him.


In a way, she admired his restraint, but she wished he realized it was unnecessary. Frowning, she considered that he might find another outlet for whatever feelings she had aroused in him. She suspected he’d visited a prostitute in the past. John Devon had implied as much, though both men had probably assumed she hadn’t understood the reference. She didn’t intend to allow another woman to take what should be hers.


Adelle almost instructed her driver to return her to Baker Street. The recollection that Laurence had given up his evening so she could go out stayed her hand, as it would be churlish not to accept his generosity. She was a patient woman and knew exactly where Laurence was going to be for the next few hours. Later, she would make sure he was appropriately rewarded.

* *

A little after 10 pm, Adelle slipped back into the Baker Street headquarters, her shoes dangling from her hand so she could move silently. No word had come from Laurence, which meant Topher was at peace for the night and there had been no message from Priya or Anthony.


She wasn’t concerned about the operatives yet. The cause for the delay in confirming they’d returned to France could be just about anything and she’d learnt that their methods, while unorthodox, often worked. She trusted them to take care of each other and she’d understood, from the very moment they had lain eyes on each other, that they would live or die together. In a way, she envied them that, though finding your soul mate in a fellow undercover operative in the middle of a war surely shouldn’t be enviable.


Neither her operatives nor her fragile genius had brought her back, however. The night staff had confirmed that Laurence remained at his post. The door to his office was ajar and she imagined him at his desk. Slipping back into her own office, she changed out of her dress. Wearing a skirt and blouse once more, she pushed open his door. Stretched out in his chair, his eyes closed, Laurence was almost but not quite asleep. She smiled.


“What are you doing here?” he said without opening his eyes.


“How did you know I wasn’t the char lady?”


“I didn’t hear a bucket.” He stretched carefully and when he looked at her, she thought she detected a flicker of disappointment that she had changed clothes.


* * *


“Ouch,” Laurence Dominic said, as strained lower back muscles protested him rising. “Damn.”


“Sleeping in a chair isn’t the most comfortable of options,” Adelle DeWitt observed, leaning against the doorframe.


“Do you see any alternatives?” he muttered. “Besides, I wasn’t asleep.” He stretched his arms over his head and winced in pain. “Are you checking up on me, Adelle?” He maneuvered around his desk to her side.


“I came back to thank you for staying and to retrieve my clothes.” Lowering her voice and her lashes, she said, “Thank you, Laurence.”


“You’re welcome.” Cupping her elbow lightly in his hand, he said, “C’mon, I’ll walk you to
your car.”


“I dismissed my driver,” she said, as they strolled to the stairs. “The temperature is pleasant and I felt like taking the air.


“I’ll walk you home, then.”


She smiled and Dominic felt as though he’d passed another test. “I’d like that,” she said.


“How was the party?” he asked, when they stepped out into the night air.


“It had its moments,” she said.


“Including your entrance?” he asked, suffering a vivid flashback of Adelle in red.


“I was, as you may recall, running a tad late.” Her leisurely sidelong glance, on anyone else, he’d deem speculative in a physical sense, but Adelle probably plotted an intellectual challenge. “Never one to abide silences occasioned by anything other than an outrageous statement of hers, Margaret seized my moment and rather shamelessly announced me as ‘a smoldering flame’ rather than by name.”


“You weren’t smoldering,” he muttered, “you were raging.”


“Yet sadly falling short of immoral,” she said with an exaggerated sigh.


He’d done is best to repress the memory of Adelle lifting her skirt. “How long did it take Lady Bashford to introduce you to Jack Erskine, assuming he was there?”


“Six minutes, but she’d have had her way sooner if my uncle Edgar hadn’t intercepted us.” Shaking her head, Adelle said, “It’s not like Margaret to be so obvious.”


“Maybe she wanted the deed done before the dinner bell rang.”


“Perhaps,” Adelle allowed. “Either that or Erskine was being something of a pest about an introduction, but I can’t imagine why that would be.”


“I can.” Risking a sidelong glance of his own, Dominic said, “You looked incredibly beautiful. Not that you look homely now, but you could’ve inspired poets in what you were wearing.”


“Poets?”


“Painters? Sculptors? Take your pick, Adelle.”


“I was questioning the plural rather than the nature of the artist selected,” she said, chuckling softly. “You flatter me.”


He shrugged. “Is Edgar the heir, the spare, the navy man or the cleric?” Her soft smile held a lot of affection. “He’s your favorite, whichever he is.”


“Your powers of observation remain astute,” she said. “Edgar is the naval brother.”


“With a really strange title,” he said, laughing at her sharp look. “We don’t have Sea Lords of any numerical designation in the US.”


Adelle shook her head and looked stern. While he scrambled for something to appease her, she said, “Your name came up in conversation.”


“My name?” He chuckled. “I hope Lady Bashford didn’t hear it. I can’t imagine she’d condone her guests discussing the help.” Frowning and speeding up slightly to get in front of Adelle, he said, “Unless the conversation involved punishment. It didn’t, did it?” Backing down the sidewalk ahead of her, Dominic wondered what laughter meant.


“Not exactly,” she murmured, still chuckling.


“What exactly?” he said, as he glanced over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t run into anyone.


“I met General Crane, who I believe is Colonel Harding’s superior.”


“Crane was at your party? Jesus.”


“I take it he was the General who sought you out when you lunched with Judith to commemorate Myrtle’s successful repair.”


He nodded. “Let’s skip to the ‘not exactly punishment’ part.”


“Don’t you want to hear about the glowing report I gave you?”


“After.”


“General Crane mentioned that Harding’s assessment of your performance failed to mirror mine,” she said. “The Colonel evidently cited grandstanding, disregard for the chain of command and outright insubordination.”


“Shit.” He would’ve sworn Harding didn’t have the balls to make those accusations.


“Don’t concern yourself, Laurence. The General categorized your conduct as saving my life, keeping the men from mutiny and the occasional frustration of a man saddled with a superior officer with suspect priorities and insufficient grasp of the rudiments of command.” She smiled. “We drank a toast to your agile mind, tried patience and intestinal fortitude.”


“Thank you, Adelle.”


“For telling Crane how much I’ve come to rely on you?” Her expression made it clear she thought the notion of gratitude absurd.


“For telling me about your conversation. Harding’s been driving me nuts and it’s about to get worse, so it’s a relief that Crane knows the score.”


“How is it about to get worse?” Her wary tone made him a little sad.


“The invasion activities are about to ramp up,” he said, speaking slowly, assessing what he could say. “I’m going to have to log more hours wearing my 5th Army hat in the coming weeks. That means more time with Harding, whether I like it or not.”


“I’ll do whatever I can to ease your burdens at SOE for as long as is required,” she said.


Just wear that red dress now and again and I’ll manage. “I’ll keep up,” he vowed, thinking the massive workload would keep him from dwelling on what he couldn’t have with her.


An ear splitting siren pierced the night. “Damn,” Adelle hissed, grabbing Dominic’s hand. “The nearest shelter is this way.”


Because he hadn’t committed the air raid shelters en route to her home to memory, he allowed Adelle to pull him along. In just a few minutes, they ducked into an enclosure just ahead of a young GI and the frightened girl he held in his arms. Absolute darkness descended when the door closed behind the other couple and the first air raid of Dominic’s experience began.

* * *

Adelle hated cowering in the dark like frightened animals. She hated that her fate rested in someone else’s hands or, perhaps, in no one’s.


Insidious thoughts came upon her thick and fast. The doubts that destruction of this magnitude was justified – on either side. Whether there would be anything more than ashes left by the time some sort of victory was claimed? This was the brutal reality of war in a world where conflict had a long reach and civilian populations on both sides were fair game.


She’d worked through the blitz, taking her chances with its reign of fire after sending Judith and as many others as could be spared to the shelters. In the early morning, she had walked home through burnt out streets, past bewildered and bereft Londoners, to grab a few hours of sleep before repeating the exercise all over again. She’d been desperate to avoid facing her own mortality—that for all her cleverness, for all her plots and schemes, she was just as powerless as anyone.


Adelle turned her head into Laurence’s shoulder, grateful when he put his arm around her and pulled her closer. He smelt faintly of cologne and sweat and when she nestled closer, she became aware that her own demons posed as much of a threat as the bombs falling around them. She breathed him in, letting his presence protect her from the fears stalking her thoughts.


Her eyes adjusted to the dark and her other senses sharpened, allowing her to tune out the thuds and sirens outside in favour of the sounds around them, a low sob, panting and harsh breathing and the tell-tale rustle of clothing. As she listened, the desperate need to copulate, to do something life affirming before it was too late, crawled into her. The way her companion shifted his lower body away told her he felt it too. It would be dishonest to pretend the air raid was to blame. If anything, the bombs had reminded her why it was dangerous to waste time.


The bombs stopped falling at last, her panic receded somewhat and at least one couple achieved a mutual culmination. Adelle envied them but didn’t intend to wait much longer to emulate and surpass their example. The all clear sounded Laurence didn’t seem in any hurry to relinquish his hold on her. As she stayed in his arms she was beginning to realise just how great that was.


* * *

“I’d almost forgotten how much I despise being in darkness with strangers and nothing to do but wait to see whether my luck has run out,” Adelle DeWitt said, as they emerged from the air raid shelter.


Although they hadn’t taken cover far from her apartment, Dominic’s heart rate had returned to something approaching normal by the time they arrived. “Will you come up for coffee or something stronger?” Adelle asked.


Feeling calmer and not wanting to be alone just yet, he said, “Sure,” and followed Adelle into the building and up several flights of stairs.


“It’s small, but I like it,” she said, unlocking the door.


“How do your uncles feel about you living alone in the city during wartime?” he asked.


“They keep those thoughts to themselves,” she countered, smiling up at him. Her grace and presence suited the modest sized living room. “What can I get you?”


“Whatever you’re going to have, unless it’s tea. I’m not in the mood for tea.”


“I’m hankering for a spot of brandy,” she said, moving to a small cabinet. An impressive array of liquor resided within on two densely packed shelves. He watched her pour, chastizing himself for imagining the bare arms her red dress had revealed. She handed him a glass, raised hers and said, “Damn the Luftwaffe.”


“I will drink to that.” The liquor was excellent and Dominic wandered over to examine the label on the bottle.


“My uncle Charles, the spare, imports this,” Adelle said. “I get a bottle or two every year at Christmas.”


“Doesn’t hurt to have a steady supply of the good stuff,” he said, as he examined the piece of abstract art hanging on the far wall.


“Will you sit down, Laurence?” she asked. “You’re making the room feel quite tiny.”


“Sorry,” he mumbled, catching himself in the act of reaching for a nearby picture frame, “adrenaline, I guess.” Adelle patted the couch cushion next to hers. He took the hint. “I’m not sure what I expected an air raid to be like, but that wasn’t it. I felt like a civilian.” Clenching his free hand, he said, “I’m not.”


“Not even civilians enjoy being helpless,” she said, placing her hand on his shoulder.


“Some women I know do, or at least they seem to.”


“Some men want their women to rely on them completely.”


“Well, I don’t,” he said, taking a large sip of his brandy. “I want—.” A glance at her legs brought back the full force of everything he’d been wanting this evening. “I should go.”


“What do you want in a woman, Laurence?” Her husky murmur tightened his throat. His shrug seemed to free Adelle’s fingertips to meander from his shoulder, down his upper arm and along his forearm to come to rest on his clenched fist. Slowly, he relaxed his hand.


“I don’t want to have to do all of the thinking,” he finally said. “I want a woman who has opinions about things.”


“Even if they differ from your own?”


“Especially then.” He blinked rapidly a few times and sighed. “I don’t want her to pretend to be something she’s not or less than she is to bolster my ego. I don’t need that.”


“What do you need, I wonder?”


His focus narrowed to her lips. To get out of here before I make a damn fool of myself. Dominic drained his brandy. “If I ever figure that out, I’ll be sure to let you know.” He pushed himself to his feet.


Setting her glass aside, Adelle stood too. Smiling, she took his empty glass and his arm. “Shall I pour you another while we ponder the question?” she asked.


“No, thanks. I ... ah ...”


“Laurence,” she said, stepping closer, “you knew what you wanted when we spoke before I set off for the dinner party and in the air raid shelter. What you might not appreciate is that I hoped for you to give me a reason to miss the party or to remain behind in the shelter with you after everyone else left.”


“But you ... I mean, you deserve ... You must want ...”


“You.”


“Adelle,” he began, voice strangled, wanting but not quite willing to believe. She touched her fingertips to his face.


She sighed deeply, drawing his eyes to the tiny pearl buttons of her blouse. “You couldn’t stop looking at me earlier,” she said, either reminding him or calling attention to what he was doing now, maybe both. Adelle stroked his cheek and murmured, “Was it the dress, or was it me?”


“You,” crawled from his throat and he deemed the smile greeting the word worth the effort of forcing it out. He felt mortified and excited and the combination wasn’t unpleasant.


“Do you want to touch me, Laurence?”


“This is about what you want,” he said, the muscles in his jaw tightened, grinding his teeth.


She pressed her lips to his cheek. “I want you to touch me intimately,” she whispered, “and I wish to touch you in return.” Her hand linked with his. “My bedroom is this way.”


Dominic resisted, instead pulling her closer, cupping her chin in a trembling hand. “Are you sure, Adelle?” he asked, offering a silent prayer to a God in whom he didn’t believe.


She’d only begun to say, “Yes,” when he kissed her as gently as he knew how, not counting on how difficult it would be with his body insistent on taking things farther.


* * *


Adelle appreciated his gentleness and, on a different occasion, she'd probably revel in it. But these last weeks, the long dance to get them to this moment, had taken her beyond that point.


She answered his kiss with one of her own, making no attempt to hide the hunger building within her. She didn't know whether desire and urgency would speak to him or if he expected docility and inexperience. One of his hands dropped to her hip, the other tangled in her hair and his tongue stroked against hers.


When they parted to catch their breath he blinked lazily at her, a smile tugging at his lips. “Where did you say the bedroom was?”


Their progress across the living room couldn’t be called elegant. Greedy to touch each other, they unfastened and untucked amidst a tangle of increasingly frantic kisses. When his hand curved over her breast, she forgot everything apart from the spike of heat that settled in the pit of her stomach.


She slipped out of his grasp just inside the bedroom and stepped out of her skirt. Lying back on the large bed, wearing only her blouse, Adelle smiled up at Laurence.


He seemed rooted to the spot, standing at the foot of the bed and gazing at her with dark eyes. “Christ,” he said – the word little more than a breath.


“I understand that the US military make sure their men are supplied with what they need to stay healthy, despite the temptations of the flesh.”


“I've got some,” he said, finally joining her on the bed. “Should I ask how you know that?”


“I’ll make it worth your while, if you don't,” she replied, softening the blow by kissing him. Their next kiss ended with her beneath him, his fingertips tracing over her jaw, along her throat and down to the first button of her blouse. He made short work of it and then the others. Weaving her fingers into the short hair at the back of his neck, Adelle applied downward pressure and arched toward him when she felt his warm breath through both the silk of her blouse and her bra. “Oh yes,” she said, though she doubted he needed to hear her approval.


She moved against him, restless, needing more and, when her non verbal pleas went unheeded, taking one of his hands and sliding it over her body. He lifted his head from her breast as she positioned his hand between her legs.


* * *


Laurence Dominic would take any excuse to look at Adelle DeWitt’s legs. Lately, he hadn’t even been bothering to manufacture one. Her request, delivered with eloquent physicality, to please her with his hand demanded he focus his attention on her lower body. Smiling, willing her to accept a short delay, he gripped her hips and moved her toward the headboard even as he headed in the opposite direction.


Watching her, he ran his fingers over her hips, down the tops of her thighs and back up the soft succulent flesh of her inner thighs. He loved that she couldn’t keep still and how her entire body trembled when he cupped his hand between her legs and applied gentle pressure. He slid two fingers into her, as he placed an open mouthed kiss on her left inner thigh. Scissoring his fingers within her, Dominic worked his way up her thigh with his lips and tongue. When he grazed her skin with his teeth, Adelle moaned. He did it again while stroking her more rapidly. Her whole body tensed like a drawn bow and she sighed his name in a tone that sunk his teeth in her thigh. Dominic apologized to the rapidly forming bruise with his lips, as Adelle settled into a far more relaxed pose.


“Come here, Laurence,” she murmured, his name a near purr.


“Yes, ma’am,” he said, laying on his side next to her, his head supported by his right hand, his left slipping inside her open blouse to caress her stomach.


“You’re too far away,” she complained, but he could tell she wasn’t truly put out. Pinning her beneath him, he kissed her and groaned when she wrapped her legs around his waist and pressed against him.


“Didn’t you manage to remove any clothing on our way to the bedroom?” she asked, frown appearing genuine this time.


“You think it’s easy to get those boots off when you’re hell bent on kissing a woman you’ve thought about having for weeks?” he asked, bringing his lips to her forehead and then the tip of her nose. “Shedding my shoes and socks was an achievement, I assure you. I can’t take credit for the state of my shirt,” halfway unbuttoned and mostly untucked, “that was your doing.” They smiled at each other and something deep within Dominic flared to life. “Besides, if I’d taken off my pants, I’d have had to go back for one of these.” He offered a condom from his pocket to Adelle, pleased that she took it without hesitation. Dominic vastly preferred the woman to sheath him. “Something tells me you wouldn’t have liked me leaving the bed, much less the bedroom.”


“After all of the effort it’s taken to get you here, I’d be a fool to let you escape so easily.” She tugged him in for a kiss. “As to these,” she said, holding the condom aloft, “you’ll need more than one tonight.”


Wordlessly, he handed her several more. He tapped her right thigh and murmured, “I’ll be happy to shed some more clothes if you’ll let me up.” Adelle kissed him, as she unwound her legs, her open mouth far too tempting to pass up. When she finally broke the kiss, she arched an eyebrow at him. “What’s wrong?” he asked.


Unbuttoning his shirt, Adelle said, “Take off your pants.” However, her throat called to his lips until she pushed against his chest like she meant it. Dominic made to shrug out of his shirt, but she said, “Leave it and do as I asked.” Her soft tone didn’t make the words any less a command and Dominic didn’t know how he felt about receiving orders in bed. He shucked his trousers anyway. Adelle’s breathing had sped up again, so he lifted her blouse off of her left shoulder. “I rather hoped you’d remove your underwear without being told,” she commented.


“I would’ve,” he said, fingertips sliding along her collar bone, “but you seem to enjoy being the boss, so I figured I’d let you.”


“You figured you’d ... let me?” she said. Desire surged through him, so he obeyed the implicit order with alacrity and without answering her question. Her hands rested lightly on his chest when Adelle said, “I want you on your back, Laurence.” Smile promising all good things, she asked, “Is that all right?”


In reply, he reclined. Adelle opened the condom packet and deftly encased rigid flesh within the protective sheath. After leaning down for a kiss, she straddled him and allowed her blouse to fall from her shoulders. “Would you like me to remove my bra?”


“You know I would.”


Smiling, she did and then took her time arranging herself, distracting him with her fingernails brushing over his abdomen. Liz had begun one of their bouts of sex this way and it had felt nice. What came over him when Adelle lowered herself onto him with a pleased sigh went far beyond nice and he couldn’t bite back a low groan. She slowly rose and he swore he felt her all along his length. When he reached for her hips, she caught his hands in hers and lowered herself quickly. He didn’t want to believe he’d made the inarticulate desperate sound he heard, but Adelle’s extremely wicked smile rendered the denial impossible. “God, Adelle,” he groaned, “let me—.”


“You were letting me, remember?”


* * *


Releasing his hands, she pressed her own to his chest and lifted herself, sinking slowly back onto him once more. Laurence swore, fluently and in both of his languages, as his fingers dug into the bed seeking purchase or a substitute for her flesh.


He’d seemed surprised when she had stopped him from reversing their positions. He also looked desperate and as though he was enjoying her lovemaking. She leant forward to press a kiss to his chest, slowing to barely rock against him. His dark eyes avidly tracked her every movement and they widened as she pushed herself back up. When she slipped a hand between her own legs, Dominic pressed one of his against her. She guided him and he caught her preferred motion quickly. As a reward, she moved rapidly once again, tightening around him so that he felt everything.


She suspected he hadn’t before experienced a woman in this position for the duration of their love making, which was interesting.


His face contorted and his body tensed as he fought for control. Laurence pushed himself up to steal a sticky, frantic kiss, struggled to stay there, but fell back, groaning – his free arm flung carelessly across the bed. His fingers continued to stimulate her and their hips rose and fell together.


“Close,” he panted, possibly in warning. She teetered on the brink as well, heat and pressure coiling inside her as she sped up. Adelle’s movements became faster and shallower as they fell into a blur of motion, heat and friction.


He arched his back; a harsh cry escaped him as he surrendered. Caught up in pleasure, he ceased to stimulate her, but Adelle didn’t need him to, because her own orgasm quickly followed. She landed on his chest, exhausted, trembling from exertion and utterly sated. His face buried in her hair, Laurence slid a hand down her spine. After catching her breath, Adelle lifted her head far enough to expose his lips for a kiss.


* * *

Laurence Dominic stared at the unfamiliar ceiling. Adelle DeWitt had dozed off a while ago, head resting on his shoulder and an arm draped across his abdomen. Flat on his back, as he’d been for much of their encounter, tired and relaxed, he remained unable to sleep. She’d been needy, demanding and bossy and he didn’t know how he felt about those things other than extremely good physically. He’d recognized that he’d never known anyone like her, but this evening had driven the point home a bit too strongly.


Adelle shifted and murmured a soft contented sound. He kissed the top of her head and contemplated the situation. In stark contrast to Judith’s suppositions, Adelle had sexual experience. A sharp pang of something akin to panic invaded him, as he wondered if she had more than him and, if so, how much more. Worrying about not measuring up wasn’t something Dominic often experienced. Smiling at the sleeping woman, he decided to believe he’d done all right by her. This time.


It was ... Well, it was embarrassing to consider that Adelle might know more about sex than he did. About variations, anyway. A man should ... Hell, who knew what a man should or shouldn’t know or do over here in Europe. Dominic sighed. He did think a man shouldn’t make the amount of noise he had when Adelle rode him. Uncertainty as to the appropriateness of the term didn’t suggest another.


A set of intense green eyes gazed over at him. “Did you get some rest?” Adelle whispered.


“No.”


“Why ever not?” she asked.


“Strange bed.” She arched an eyebrow, radiating skepticism. “Just thinking, I guess,” he mumbled, suddenly wishing he was fast asleep.


“About what?” He remained silent. Adelle rolled on top of him. “About what, Laurence?”


“I didn’t know women felt like you did tonight,” he said. “I don’t know whether it was the air raid or your friend’s party or the combination, but you needed in the way I’ve always thought men do—immediately.”


“Why would you assume the pressure built differently, particularly for you and me?” Adelle asked. “You saved my life and you’re underfoot at the SOE every day looking scrumptious, to quote Judith when she isn’t embarrassed by her mild attraction to you.”


“I thought women were different, that’s all. The women of my experience have been.”


“Or so you thought.”


He laughed. “If you think the average woman in America or here is like you, think again.”


“So I’m an aberration, then?” she said, attempting to pull away. Dominic resisted.


“You are exquisite,” he whispered, pressing his lips to hers, “in every way imaginable. I’ve never met a woman who could hold a candle to you.” Looking away and then back at her again, he asked, “You wanted what we did tonight as much as I did, didn’t you? Don’t feel obligated to agree. Tell me the truth.”


“More, I think,” Adelle said. “I suspect it’s been longer between acts of sex for me, what with your foray to the fourth floor.”


His jaw dropped a millisecond before his eyes. “I ... I just ... I wanted you and Devon saw that I needed someone and he spearheaded the effort, even paid for it. I’m not much for whores, but Liz was nice.” Suspecting how much he risked, he added, “She wondered about what I felt for you.” Refusing to calculate the risk of going further, he said, “I’d have seen her tomorrow, if you’d gone straight home from your party. It was getting difficult to be around you again. Contrary to what the boys say, spending the day hard isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”


“I know men who would say there are worse things.”


“I imagine you do.”


“What is that supposed to mean?


Testing his peripheral vision to watch her reaction, he said, “Most women I’ve known feel obligated when it comes to sex—to make babies or to pacify their husbands or boyfriends.”


“I’m not looking to continue a dynasty, so sex isn’t about procreation,” Adelle said, smiling and dragging her nails along his right inner thigh. “It’s about giving and receiving pleasure, which I think we accomplished tonight.”


“In spades,” he agreed, allowing his gaze to shift to her end table and the small stack of condoms piled there. Turning Adelle’s head to direct her attention to the same thing, he said, “Although, there’s more work to be done in that regard.”


* *


Adelle almost asked Laurence what he wanted, but instinct told her to take a less direct approach. She intuited that he wouldn’t have a better answer than ‘sex’. She didn’t think he had experimented or discovered making love could provide a feast for all of the senses.


She suspected her experience was more varied than his and she would more than willingly share what she knew, learn with and from him as long as he offered the same and didn’t judge her.


Did she need to explain? He’d talked about the prostitute he’d visited, but even that had been about her – a way of slaking his desire for someone he had wrongly determined to be unobtainable. Did she really want to raise the spectre of old lovers and bring them into this bed?


Still considering her approach, she pressed her body into his side, tangling their legs and resting her chin on his chest. “Before tonight I’d had three lovers,” she told him, “all older than me, each very different.” She tried to gauge what he was thinking. When he didn’t seem inclined to comment, she let the silence stretch while her fingertips trailed carefully over his chest.


“We can communicate our desires and preferences to each other.” Her fingers travelled lower, tracing a hollow above his hip, smiling when he squirmed before repeating the gesture. “Verbally, or in other ways.” Possibly to distract her, he drew her to him, kissing her in a way that dictated he’d set aside any disquiet. “I don’t have to be in charge,” she said when they parted, fearing that her message had not been clear. “Show me what you like Laurence, I want to give you pleasure.”


“I liked what we did before,” he said. “I didn’t know I would. There are probably a lot of things I haven’t done that I’ll enjoy ... with you.”


“We can experiment,” she said. “Show me what you’re comfortable with, or what you’ve always been curious about.”

* * *

“Why me, Adelle?” Dominic asked, cursing his need to know as he watched a quick frown fade away to puzzlement. “Why aren’t you in bed with Jack Erskine tonight?”


“Other than I do not sleep with men I barely know?” He nodded. She sighed and stroked that spot just above his hip that almost tickled. “Intelligent men stimulate me on many levels. Charming men who keep their arrogance well hidden can make me smile and laugh, if they so choose. Straightforward self made men I have only recently experienced, but I strongly sense their potential.” Adelle kissed him lightly on the mouth. “You are all of those and more. Jack Erskine is intelligent, well travelled and as dull as they come. I have absolutely no interest in him.”


“Good,” he said, engulfing her right breast in his hand, stoked by the possessiveness inherent in the gesture. “I hate being jealous.”


“I’m glad to have spared you that, then.” Her eyes closed when he squeezed gently. Dominic enjoyed her reaction, the feel of her flesh and how the former evidenced that he excited her.


“I used to think being embarrassed was worse but not anymore. You and Judith have cured me of that.”


“Laurence.” The sharpness in her tone drew his attention and he lost himself in her green gaze. “Why would you be embarrassed about giving me two orgasms in quite a short period of time?”


The words wouldn’t stay unspoken. “Because I was essentially acting under orders, making it abundantly clear to the both of us that you’re better at sex than I am. No matter how you phrase that, it stings.”


“Are you really going to permit your male ego to ruin the evening and leave those condoms unused?”


“No!” he nearly shouted. Shaking his head, he muttered, “Sorry, I just ... Adelle, God, you’re so amazing. I want to measure up.”


“Haven’t I told you that you do?”


“Well, yes, this time maybe, with you showing me what you wanted.”


“However else are you to know?” she asked. “Other than via the experimentation I suggested that you seem reluctant to conduct. Tell me what you’d like us to do next, Laurence, whether it be something you’re comfortable with or curious about.”


He wondered what Judith would think about Adelle delving into his fantasies. Realizing that she’d advise him to jump in with both feet, he said, “I want to take you from behind,” deliberately not specifying which criteria of hers the idea met.


Grabbing a condom, Adelle said, “It will be my pleasure.” Dominic fervently hoped so, but she derailed his thoughts by nipping at his bottom lip to punctuate a kiss that he supposed sealed their deal. “Tell me how to touch you,” she whispered directly into his ear, nibbling at the lobe when he didn’t respond immediately. “Do you like this?” She wrapped her hand around his cock and pumped it quickly. He gasped. “Or this?” Adelle shifted her grip and a low moan escaped his lips when she stroked him. “Number 2 it is. Now, do you prefer this,” she repeated the motion and his hips lifted off of the bed as he hardened, “or this?”


“The first,” he said. She used the technique he enjoyed and had him aching and leaking in no time flat. “God, Adelle, stop,” he groaned, feeling the pleasure welling up within him. “I’m more than ready.” Seconds later it seemed, he was sheathed and Adelle turned away from him. Smiling in a manner that accelerated an already racing heart, she raised herself to her elbows and knees.


“Did you grow up on a farm?” she asked, voice lazy, the British version of a drawl to his ears.


“No,” he said, “just in a small town.” He arranged himself behind her on his knees, hoping Devon hadn’t lied about this position. He wanted Adelle to like the deeper penetration. “Why do you ask?”


“I wondered if you’d seen horses copulate,” she said, looking over her shoulder with smoldering eyes, “and planned to mark me as a stallion does his mare.”


“You want me to bite you?” he asked. “I ... ah ... didn’t mean to before. Got carried away. Sorry.”


“Have I registered a complaint?”


“Um ... no.”


“Then I think it is reasonable to infer that I wouldn’t mind if you chose to claim me, however you see fit.”


“Claim you?” Dominic breathed as he slid into her, relishing the soft cry Adelle couldn’t contain. “I like that idea.” Moving his hips like a metronome, drawing any number of interesting noises from her, he cottoned to the concept more and more. When Adelle panted his name, he bit the base of her throat, confident most blouses would cover the area. Her small scream threw them both over the edge and into the realm of post-coital bliss.


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All my dreams have come true!

How do you guys write such amazing fic?

I had often considered how these two would come together, but never did I think of an air raid. I now realize that I should have! It makes the most sense.

Ugh. You guys rock!

I would like to take credit for the air raid idea but I can't. It seemed so logical once morgan72uk suggested it.

Thanks so much for the kind words. I think this fic (and the others) benefit from having two minds behind them. We spend a lot of time and there are many emails back and forth about what Dom and Adelle would be like, how they'd react to things. What was great fun was determining Dom's attitudes toward sex and sexually experienced women.

It's been a very fun and worthwhile experience (even if the editing is tiring).

Thanks for reading!

You can easily see all the time you both have put in. It's absolutely fabulous! Oh and can I just say that I thought the way you wrote Dom's reactions to Adelle's experience were totally in character for this fic. I expected him to react just how he did.

Thanks! I kind of like the way Dom is fascinated but isn't quite sure what to do with that. Adelle is not the sort of woman he imagined being with.

This was delightful!! I love it!

I loved Dom's reaction to Adelle in her dress, the air raid and those two crazy kids finally getting their act together (Judith's going to go nuts with glee).

This was great!

Thanks so much for reading and the kind words.

That dress was based on an actual vintage dress but I doubt I could find the link to it if my life depended on it. Dom's confusion as to whether the bit around her neck was part of it or separate mirrored my own.

The air raid was inspired and provided further impetus for them to get their act together. Yay, glad you enjoyed.

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