William knelt in his crib, his arms around Reticulan and his eyes on his mother. He’d gotten a bath and a glass of milk, and both Dominic and Scully had read him bed-time stories. “Mama?”
“Yes, bubba?” Scully straightened from picking up the toy cars he and Dominic had left scattered around his room.
“Will Dommie be here tomorrow?”
“Yes. He’ll be here until tomorrow night.”
“Is Dommie’s home in England?”
“His parents live there, but I think his home is in California now.” She came to his crib and leaned on the railing. “Are you ready for night-night, William?”
“I like Dommie, Mama.”
“Me too. But he lives a long ways away and he’s very busy, so I don’t know how often we’ll see him.”
William thought that over for a moment. “We could move to Cally-forna!”
Scully laughed. “Well . . . Mama’s job would be part of that decision. And wouldn’t you miss Grammie and all our friends?”
“They could come with us.”
“I don’t know if they’d want to, honey. It’s too soon to decide that sort of thing. Kiss me good night.” William stood up and kissed her loudly, and Scully held him close a moment. “Mama loves you, baby boy.”
“I love you, Mama. Nighty-night.” He lay down, his arms still around Reticulan.
Scully softly closed his bedroom door and ran her hand through her hair. It probably would have been better–Oh, you think? she asked herself dryly–not to introduce Dominic and William at all. William was attached to him already, and Dominic was fond of him too. And if they never saw each other again, who would it hurt more?
She sighed and went into the living room. Dominic had been scribbling in his journal the last she looked, but had moved from the sofa and was kneeling in front of her entertainment unit, boggling at her CDs. He looked up as she approached. “You have more CDs than anyone I know. Including Elijah.”
She smiled and sat down on the floor beside him. She ran her hand over his head, caressing his hair, and he smiled at her, eyebrows rising.
“Are you okay?” he said softly.
“Yes. Yes, I am.” She leaned her head on his shoulder. He chuckled and kissed the top of her head. “What are you in the mood for?”
“Is this good?” He pulled out a CD of an Italian tenor performing love songs.
He got up to put in the CD and Scully wrapped her arms around her knees. She could appreciate the male form as much as any woman but she rarely thought of men as beautiful. Dominic, there was no denying, was beautiful. Maybe not conventionally handsome, maybe not obviously pretty, but uniquely and sweetly beautiful. All day people had been drawn to him: he made clerks relax and children show off, he talked to fathers at the park and listened to mothers, and everywhere he went he left smiles behind.
She had to protect this. She had to take care of him, even if it meant never seeing him again.
He sat down on the floor again and grinned at her. “So. William’s asleep?”
“He will be soon. He goes to bed pretty easily–it’s the waking up during the night that can be an issue.” She added, “Thank you for being so patient with him all day.”
“Oh, no trouble. He’s a sweet kid.”
“He’s more comfortable with adults than with other children. I don’t know if that should worry me or not. He really likes you.”
“I like him too.” Their palms met and their fingers began to play, weaving together and stroking with their nails. “I was a little worried, really, that you wouldn’t want me around your kid.”
“Why wouldn’t I want you around my kid?”
He shrugged. “It did occur to me that you don’t really know much about me. But my life’s an open book–it’s hard not to be, now.”
“Should I worry, since you’re such an open book?”
He rubbed his chin against the back of her hand, faintly scratching her with his whiskers. “No. Nothing to worry about. I’m very good around kids. I’m engaged to Sean’s daughter Allie, you know,” he added with a grin.
“I’ve heard something about that.”
“Mm-mm. It was her idea. I have to wait for her to grow up.”
“And how big is the age difference between you two?” she teased softly.
“A lot bigger than you and me. That doesn’t bother me, by the way. I hope it doesn’t bother you.”
“A little,” Scully admitted. “Being forty . . . it’s a milestone. And you–you’re just a kid.”
“I’m not a kid,” he said gently, leaning closer to her.
“I’m a grown man of twenty-seven. You didn’t think you were just a kid at my age, did you? What were you doing with your life?”
“I was teaching forensic pathology at Quantico.”
“See? You weren’t just a kid. You had a career. You’d gone through med school, for God’s sake. I’ve got a career too. I’ve got friends and a flat in L.A . . . and certain desires . . .” He lowered his head, looking at her through his lashes.
“You are so obvious,” Scully murmured, but tugged his head closer to hers and kissed his lips. They parted and his tongue flicked against hers as he took her face in both hands.
“I could be even more obvious: let’s fuck.” Scully laughed and kissed him even deeper, moaning a little as he eased her onto her back. “Should I put on a different CD?” he whispered.
“No . . . I like this one.”
“It’s not exactly sexy.”
“Give it a chance. It’s okay to be slow.”
Dominic hummed in response and slid his hands up her ribs to cup her breasts. His body was heavy on hers, but not unpleasantly so: he was slender and solid, his back and shoulders strong, his chest deep. She ran her hands up and down his arms, molding them to his muscles.
“I’m not too good at slow,” he whispered as he kissed her. “I’ve been wanting you all day. Wanting you so much. I’ve been wanting to throw you down all day and kiss you and kiss you–“
“Then kiss me.” She pulled his mouth back to hers. “Kiss me, kiss me.”
He kissed her. Sweet, luxurious kisses. Wet, intense kisses. Hungry kisses, yearning kisses, kisses that made her heart pound and the breath whoosh from her lungs.
He took her hands and held them over her head, palm-to-palm. “I think I see what you mean about this CD,” he murmured as the tenor’s voice soared over them in the ecstasy of love. “It almost makes me want to go . . . slow.” His hips rested fully against hers, his erection unmistakable through his cotton pants. She shifted impatiently beneath him, trying to recapture his lips. “Do you want me to do that, Dana? Kiss every inch of you body, make you sweat and tremble until you’re begging me to fuck you? Do you really want slow?”
“I want to touch you, Dominic.” She licked her dry lips. “Let me touch you.”
Dominic’s voice dropped even lower. “You know what I want to do? I want to take off all your clothes and–and–and just breathe all over your skin. Would you like that, baby?”
“Dom,” Scully moaned, arching up to him.
He bit his lower lip, mischief in his smile. “Or we could just fuck.”
Scully laughed, panting, and started to rub the bottom of her foot up his leg. “We could just do that.” She rotated her hips, smiling as he shivered, and whispered, “You want to be inside me. I want you inside me. Just that, Dom, I just want that.”
He finally released her hands to pull her hips sharply to his and kiss her, stealing the breath from her lungs. Scully wrapped her legs around him, thrusting her hands into his hair.
Their kisses were longer now, deeper. His hands roved over her, warm and big, kneading her breasts and circling her nipples, and–Finally!–undoing the buttons on her blouse and the clasp on her bra. He brushed them from her shoulders. His beard burned the sensitive skin of her breasts, and she shivered when his warm lips closed around her nipple. He sucked hard, making happy yummy sounds as he moved from breast to breast, and his hand slid down her body to hunt around her waistband. “Too many clothes,” he muttered into her skin when he finally found the buttons, and Scully softly laughed as she raked her hands over his scalp.
“Washington is a formal town.” She lifted her hips so he could pull down her trousers and panties, and he exhaled deeply as he looked at her.
“Move to L.A. with me and you can just wear a bikini every day. I won’t mind.”
“I would,” Scully said softly and pulled him back onto her body. “I’d want a t-shirt once in a while, at least.” She kissed him and he groaned in his throat. “There’s a condom in my pocket.”
“I love how you think ahead,” he answered and kissed the base of her neck before turning back to her clothes. Scully watched him through half-closed eyes, loving the bulge in his pants as much as the way his shirt stretched across his chest. But she loved him naked even more–needed him naked now.
“Speaking of too many clothes.” She sat up and tugged his shirt over his head, kissing his chest. Dominic exhaled deeply again and placed his hands on her shoulders, gently lowering her to the floor again. His eyes were dark and hot, his lower lip glistening as he licked it. He licked her lower lip then and she closed her eyes.
It was simple, so simple: the hiss of a zipper, the crackle of foil and the snap of latex, and then he was inside her, moving slowly as his back shuddered under her hands. He huffed her name and kissed her again, picking up the pace as her hands slid down to stroke his ass and her leg wound around his. He grunted with surprise when she flipped him onto his back and climbed on top. “Dana?”
“Easier for me to come,” she explained and lowered herself onto him.
“Ah. Okay,” he murmured and cupped the back of her head as she bent to kiss him. His hips thrust lazily in response to hers and his hands skimmed over her, touching her here-there-everywhere until she lost her balance, her body rigid and her head spinning. She fell on her hands, her forehead landing on his chest, and exhaled.
“I could watch you for hours,” Dominic murmured, wrapping his arms around her ribs. He kissed her forehead and pushed his fingers through her damp hair. He was still hard inside her, twitching, close to coming, and Scully smiled without lifting her head.
“Keep watching,” she answered and slid down his body, pulled off the condom and took him into her mouth.
“Okay,” he said faintly, his legs sprawled open and trembling. He propped himself up on his elbows. His chest heaved and his stomach quivered and his cock throbbed against her lips. He moaned as Scully sucked on him, finally coming with a rough groan and flopping boneless on the floor.
Scully licked her teeth and laid her head on his stomach, smiling when he stroked her hair. “You’re fuckin’ incredible,” Dominic said, still gasping for breath. “If you came out to L.A. I’d never get any work done–we’d just be fucking all the time.”
“Occasionally we’d want to get out of bed to eat,” Scully said. She sat up and pushed her hair out of her face. He looked at her with sleepy eyes. “Come on. I don’t want to sleep on the floor.”
He groaned in complaint but got himself to his feet and gathered up his clothes. He stretched, all but glowing with satisfaction, and gave her a naughty angel’s smile. “It’s still early,” he said in a coaxing tone. “We don’t have to go to bed yet–unless you really want to.”
She caught his hand and pulled him to her, and gave him a kiss–long, wet and deep. “Oh,” he said in a daze when she pulled away. “You really want to.”
Something hot and wet was on Scully’s breast. For a moment she frowned, still half-asleep, then opened her eyes and saw dark blond hair and big, multi-ringed hands sliding up and down her ribs.
She smiled, sighed and arched her back. Dominic looked up enough to smile at her wickedly and went back to sucking her nipple.
“This is how I like to be woken up,” she murmured and raked her hand through his hair. Her mental list of Good Things About Dating a Younger Man kept growing: just last night she’d added Quick Recovery Time, and now she added Spontaneity and Insatiability. All these years she’d been missing out on an entire generation: she had never dated a twenty-seven-year-old man before. It had been teenage boys in high school, and men barely more than teenagers in college, and then men a decade or more older than herself until Mulder.
Of course, Dominic wasn’t typical of the species. He was sillier than, say, Tom Colton had ever been–warmer and sexier, too. Dominic would never be ruthless or heartless. He would never, for example, p
ut his career before the well-being of those who depended on him. He would never be cold or false–he would just be Dom, her golden boy with ocean eyes.
And talented tongue, she thought as he licked her stomach on his way down to between her thighs. New item for Good Things About Dating a Younger Man: Not Afraid to Experiment. She started moaning as he breathed on her damp curls and parted them with his tongue. Her nails sank into his scalp and she opened her legs wide, planting her feet flat on the bed so she could raise her hips to his mouth.
She breathed, “This is a great way to start the day,” and he chuckled again as his tongue caressed her. He was taking his time this morning: kissing and licking her thighs, breathing on the dampness he left behind until her breath was hissing between her teeth, and then tickling her clitoris lightly with the tip of his tongue. “Tease,” she murmured and he nodded, pushing her legs wider apart. “Going to be . . .the death of me . . .oh . . .”
Dominic raised his head and slowly wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, a gesture that made her shiver with anticipation. “Do you want to come or not?” he said in a rough voice.
“Then hush and let me do this.”
“What, am I spoiling your concentration?”
“Yes, you are.” He knelt again, his hair soft against her skin, and pushed her legs apart. “I could do a half-assed job but do you really want a half-assed orgasm first thing in the morning?”
“I’m happy with any kind of orgasm first thing in the morning.” She grabbed the pillow beneath her head as his hands rubbed her legs up and down.
“It was easier when you were still asleep,” he muttered, dipping his head again.
“I’d think you’d want my participation,” Scully gasped, laughing when he pinched her thigh and sighing as his tongue entered her again. He was serious now, no more messing around, focusing on her completely and paying no attention to her teasing.
Because she did tease him–she couldn’t help herself, encouraging him like the lead of every porn movie she’d ever seen: “Oh, yes, baby, you’re so good! You’re the best ever! Oh, baby, harder, harder!” until her gasps were genuine and she couldn’t form a coherent word.
“Try and do something nice for a girl,” Dominic muttered as he watched her regain her breath. Scully laughed–he so sexy when he was annoyed–and held out her arms to him. He scowled but crawled up the mattress and rested his body on hers. “Concentration,” he muttered, thrusting his hand into her hair to tilt back her head and bite her neck. “Fuck concentration: I just don’t like one-sided conversations.”
“I wasn’t conversing,” Scully answered, adjusting her legs and hips beneath him. She reached down between them and smiled–he was already wearing a condom, someone was planning ahead–and guided him inside her, watching his eyes slip closed and his lips part. “I was–commenting–on the action.”
Dominic unclenched his teeth long enough to say, “Keep talking if it amuses you, then, darling,” and rocked his body into hers.
“What should I say?” Scully said, lifting her hips in response. “That you’re so hot every time I look at you I want to jump all over you? That I love the way you fuck me? That when you’re inside me I just–I just–oh . . .” she moaned again, losing her own concentration as her blood surged and her nails scraped over his back.
“Keep talking, keep talking.” He licked the underside of her jaw.
Instead she grabbed his head and mashed her mouth to his, sucking on his tongue until he pulled away. He shuddered and watched her face with burning eyes, his hand twisted into her hair, until his body went tense and his eyes grew wide. “Oh, God, I love you,” he groaned, and slumped onto her with an exhausted sigh.
Scully held him, rubbing his scalp and his shoulders, lost in the haze of post-coital euphoria, when she realized what he’d said. She opened her eyes and licked her lips, and glanced down at his face. He looked illegally young like this, his face slack and his lips soft. She scraped her palm over his beard. “Dom.”
He lifted his head enough to kiss her mouth and turned them onto their sides. “Sorry. ‘M heavy.”
“It’s nice,” she whispered. “It’s a nice heavy.” He laid down his head so their foreheads touched. Lazily he stroked her back.
“I thought you said you couldn’t come if you weren’t on top.”
“I said it’s easier for me to come if I’m on top. But it’s easier for a woman to have an orgasm from intercourse if she’s already had one. Getting to the first orgasm is the hard part.”
“Intercourse,” he muttered, kissing her. “So official-sounding.”
“You know what I mean. Dom,” she began again.
“Do you think we could have intercourse a few more times before William wakes up?” His eyes opened enough for her to see a playful glint of blue.
“We need to talk.” He huffed and his lips pouted out, but he listened, still stroking her spine. “Dom, I–” She took a deep breath. “I don’t fall in love easily. Or often. I need you to know that.”
“Okay,” he said in a slightly confused tone.
“You know I care about you. You know you’re important to me. But I’m not ready to say it back.”
“Oh,” he said, eyebrows furrowing, then with realization, “Oh.”
Scully felt herself blush. It would have been better to not say a thing: it was hardly the strangest thing a man had said to her during orgasm. She pulled away from him and sat up, pushing her hair out of her face. “And obviously it’s too soon for you to mean it. Don’t worry about it. I’m hardly a starry-eyed girl expecting you to sweep me away–“
“Dana.” He sat up too and wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her neck. He pulled her against him so her back was to his chest, sprawled among the pillows. “Dana. You wanna be my girl?”
“It’s not that simple.”
“Why not? The only problem is distance, and we’ve got email and phone sex–“
Scully pulled herself from his arms and turned to face him. “Dominic. Please listen to me. This has to be it.”
“No,” Dominic said, shaking his head. “We’ve been through this.”
“We haven’t been through anything. We’ve been pretending all weekend, remember? Pretending to be normal? But come Monday morning we can’t pretend anymore. We have to be realistic.”
“No,” he said again, still slowly shaking his head. “Nothing has happened all weekend that would make me think there’s anything to be afraid of.”
“No one’s going to break into the apartment with machine guns blazing,” Scully retorted. “That’s not how they operate. They’ll do it slowly, Dominic, subtly at first. They’ll hurt you through your hopes and your dreams; and then leave you alone for a while until you start feeling safe again, and that’s when they’ll go after the people you love. They’ll leave hurting you for last.”
Dominic was watching her, his expression concerned and sad. Gently he pulled her back into his embrace and she let him hold her, breathing in the scent of his skin. She closed her eyes. “This has to be it, Dom,” she whispered. “We have to say goodbye for real this time.”
His hand was heavy on her hair, and again he said, “No. I don’t accept this. I refuse to accept this.”
“No,” he repeated. “You make me happy. More than that, you make me content–and believe me, I’m not one who’s easily content. I don’t feel this way every day about just anyone–and I know you don’t.”
“No,” she whispered, “I don’t.”
“You keep other people you love around you–your friends and your son. You haven’t sent them away.”
“I can protect them,” Scully said. “I can take care of them. If you’re always halfway around the world, how can I look after you?”
“Trust that I’m not an idiot, for one thing.” He stroked her cheek with a tender hand. “Trust that I’ll listen to you. Trust that I’m not going to take foolish chances if you say not to.”
Scully leaned her forehead on his shoulder, wanting both to shake him and curl up against him at once. “I just don’t want anything to happen
to you,” she whispered as she glided her hand down his chest. “My sweet boy. My beautiful boy.”
He didn’t say anything for a moment–then, slowly, “If someone really wanted to hurt me, this is what they’d do. They’d tell me I could never see you again. They’d convince me you’re not worth fighting for.”
Scully inhaled and her fingers scraped across his pelvis. “You’re fighting dirty,” she said through a tight throat.
“Whatever it takes,” he answered in the same tone. “Dana. You wanna be my girl?”
“Yes,” she whispered and hid her face in his neck.
Dominic kissed the top of her head and rubbed the base of her skull. “Then let’s do it,” he whispered. “To hell with them. To hell with anyone who’d make you afraid. I’ll look after you.”
Scully huffed a laugh but couldn’t answer any more than pulling him closer still. He held her and whispered to her–“It’s all right, love, it’s all right”–and stroked her gently, until they heard William calling from the next room: “Mama! I’m awake, Mama!”***It hardly seemed possible that Sunday could be even more laid-back than Saturday had been. Both Dominic and Scully felt too lazy to cook, so they walked over a few blocks to a cafe for waffles and espresso. The waffles came with extra bowls of sliced fresh strawberries, along with maple syrup and powdered sugar. “More coffee,” Dominic said to the waitress. “Keep it coming. I don’t want her seeing the bottom of her cup.”
“You’re such an enabler,” Scully said, but her coffee cup stayed full.
They walked back home slowly, holding hands. William skipped down the sidewalk and ran back, hyped from the syrup. Finally he grabbed Dominic’s other hand and said, “Dommie. Dommie. Dommie.”
“I’m listening, bubba.”
“Dommie, when you, when you, um, when you go home? Will you come back? Say you’ll come back soon.”
“That’s up to your mum,” Dominic said, glancing at her. “But I hope I’ll be able to come back soon. In a few weeks, maybe.”
“It’ll depend on his job,” Scully said. “And Mama’s job.”
William made a face. “I don’t like jobs. They make people busy.”
“They also pay the bills, William,” Scully said. “They pay for clothes and our apartment and waffles for breakfast.” Though to be fair, Tolkien had paid for their waffles today.
“I wish Mama never had to work,” William said and kicked his foot against the pavement. “I wish Mama never had to go away.”
Dominic’s hand tightened comfortingly around Scully’s and he said, “She does it for you, wee William. Don’t forget that.”
“Okay, Dommie,” William said, holding onto Dominic’s hand with both of his.
They played and talked and kept William amused, and when it was William’s nap time it was very simple to take Dominic’s hand and lead him back to her bedroom. Simpler still to push him onto his back and kiss him, to take off their clothes and touch him from head to foot, to take him inside her and watch his face as it contorted with pleasure.
This could be the last time we make love, Scully thought–but then she looked into his eyes as he moved within her and thought, No. It won’t be.
They lay pressed together afterwards, Dominic’s eyes half-closed, and she touched his face. Lips and lashes, his distinctive nose and the cleft in his chin, eyebrows, cheekbones and unlined forehead.
“You’re crazy about me,” Dominic said finally in an amused murmur.
“Is that what this is?” She traced a line down the middle of his face.
“Seems so to me. You’re as crazy about me as I am about you.” He pulled her closer still, damp skin sliding along damp skin, and rubbed the small of her back. “Hey.”
“Don’t let this be it, Dana. If you insist I won’t come back–but God, how I’ll hate it.”
All the mischief was gone from his face. She kissed his brow and his lips, getting a small hopeful kiss in return. “I need you to be patient with me,” she said quietly.
“I can do that.”
“I don’t know how we’ll make this work. But I do know that I need you.”
“I don’t know how we’ll make this work, either. But we will.” He kissed her sweetly. “Phone calls. Email. Visits as often as I can.”
“But not if you’re working.”
“Let me worry about that.” Again he kissed her. “You trust me?”
“I do. Do you trust me?”
“With everything.” He tucked her against him and it seemed to Scully that even their hearts were beating in time.
Scully offered to drive Dominic to the airport, but it would involve taking William after his bedtime and he decided to call for a cab. He was back into what he referred to as his disguise: the understated black clothing that made him look like a young businessman instead of his usual fearless style. The multiple rings were the only hint of Regular Dom–and the large black “Dana” written in Sharpie on the back of his hand. He had said goodbye to William when Scully put him to bed, and William had noticed the new addition: “What’s that?”
“Oh, it’s your mum’s name,” Dominic had explained. “Sometimes I write things I’m thinking about on me.” He had taken the pen and written “William” on the other hand. “There you go: both of you are on my mind.”
“This is it,” he said when the car pulled up. “Should I call you when I get to New York?”
“Please. Let me know you’re okay.”
“It’ll be late.”
“Call me anyway.” She kissed him and leaned her forehead against his neck, inhaling his scent. She wanted to remember as much as she could gather to tide her over until he could come again.
He said seriously, “It’s going to be all right. I’m not afraid.”
I am, Scully thought, but managed to smile and kiss him again. “Be careful,” she said, and watched out the window to make sure he got into the cab without incident.
She exhaled deeply when the cab drove away. The apartment seemed unusually quiet and empty as she walked around, turning off lights and checking locks. When the phone rang she stared at it a moment: it was too soon for Dominic to have arrived in New York. “Scully,” she said cautiously into the receiver.
“Hey. It’s me.”
She smiled at the familiar rasp. “Agent Doggett. How was your weekend?”
“Probably not as good as yours. I think you had a visitor?”
“Yes. He just left about an hour ago.”
Silence for a moment on the other end, then Doggett said, “Okay. You’re not mad at me for not telling you, are you? Billy made it sound like Dominic wanted to surprise you.”
“I’m not mad. It was exactly what I needed. We had a good time.”
“Good. Okay. See you tomorrow, then.”
“Agent Doggett,” she said. “Thanks.”
“Yeah,” he said simply and hung up the phone.
E N D
I’m running fast as I can
Please don’t make me rush
This feeling’s coming on way too fast
I’ll say all of the things that you’ll never forget
But I’m not ready to say I love you yet
I’m not ready to say I love you yet
–Great Big Sea, “Fast as I Can”