Cloud Number Nine - pt. V

… People equipped with boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, wives, mistresses, lovers, *cacti* (wink wink Jessica:)), parents (argh) or any creatures who might take offense at what I assure you *isn't* G-rated material are strongly advised to shoo the aforementioned bunch outta the room before reading this lil' "oeuvre"…

So my English teacher called again. "Have you written anything for the upcoming contest, Sasha?" I, for the briefest of seconds, tried to imagine her face after reading *this*, and could hardly contain my laughter. Even more fun lay ahead as I pictured the faces of the judges' panel… Hee-hee :o) I, yet again, answered no. It was just the *wise* thing to do.

Last part. Hope you like it. :o) ~Alex~

TITLE: Cloud Number Nine - Part 5/5 (sadly enough)
AUTHOR: Aaaa-Leks-Ahhn-Draahhh… (in other words, me:)) -
DISCLAIMER: Via a series of complicated chemical experiments I have revealed that Allium, Larrium & all the other elements of this acidic brew still seem to belong to the Davidekellytates group… So be it. *sigh* [No copyright infringement or anything else your lawyers might think up intended with the song lyrics. I just like music.]
SPOILERS: Pursuit of Unhappiness, I guess… (the remote bit)
RATING: It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. 'NC-17', I suppose… *innocent eyes* Me?! Smut?! Nah…
ARCHIVE: Yes, along with the rest of it [make note to Maria/Becca/whoever's responsible for it now:)]
DISTRIBUTION: Laurel/Becca - please do (from your respective sites) :o) Anyone else - I'll say yes if you say please. For the rest & then some, go to my bit of web land -

AN: Uhhh, it turned out to be a little, uhhh, *longer* (and, uhhh, *dirtier*) than planned… I just kept writing and writing and writing and wri-- well, you get the point… Anyway, this part I actually *like*. I just got home from freestyle (figure skating), watched "Dance With Me" (starring Chayanne, to my utmost delight), the soundtrack to which is *amazing*, and sorted through my CD collection, discovering the original Rogers & Hammerstein version of "The Sound of Music" buried among the contents of my Pompeii-like CD rack, so I'm in a total dancey/musical mood. And this is the result.

SONG CREDITS: "Heaven's What I Feel" (Gloria Estefan), "Cloud Number Nine" (Bryan Adams)

DEDICATION: To Lav, whose "Long Lost Lawyer" is yet (if ever) to be surpassed :o)

Ooooof. Okay. Here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"I was not supposed
To fall in love with you
I had someone else
Someone else was lovin' you
And I was not supposed
To let this love get through
So let me say for real
Heaven's what I feel
When I'm with you…"

Ally violently pressed the stop button on the CD remote. "No."

"It's a nice song!" Larry protested.
"Lovely. I know where you're going with this…" she warned, then turned around and walked back into the kitchen area.
"Ally, contrary to popular belief, I don't always want to--"
"That's *too* contrary to popular belief for me to buy it…" she cut off.
"Ally," he tried again.
"No." she replied straight away, not bothering to hear him out.
"We can't drink wine, we can't listen to music, I'm not even gonna *risk* asking about touching you with a ten foot pole… what *can* we do?" Larry stretched out on the sofa picturesquely, his lips carrying a naughty grin.
"*I*," Ally accented the first person mode, "need to work…"
"Dare I even ask whether Your Highness will grant me permission to turn on the TV?" Before giving her a chance to answer, he continued reassuringly, "I promise I'll steer clear of Showtime… ya know… Could get too carried away with the, ahem, *remote* and… stuff…"
Ally produced a tight smile.
"Hilarious, Larry."
"Hm…That rhymes…" he answered almost immediately, barely dodging a kitchen utensil Ally threw at him. Just then she realized she should've picked something else to throw - she needed it to mix the pasta.

Her lips melted into another smile. "Larry…" she slurred out, her voice smooth and sweet to match her facial expression.
"Uh-huh?" he replied casually, making himself even more comfortable on the couch.
"Would you please get that for me?" the sweetness continued while she motioned at the pasta spoon on the floor beside the couch.
He looked up at the ceiling for a moment, as if considering the idea, then turned back to Ally - "Unnh-unnh," he answered simply.

Knowing perfectly well that she had a wonderful effect on him, she wasn't about to give up.
"Lar-ree…" Her eyes held a sweetly seductive sparkle. He was a *man*, after all, and he had… urges…
"Nah-unh…" He returned her glance with eyes sparkling just the same, then started thumbing through a magazine, trying to concentrate on its contents.
"Larry, *please* - I've been on high heels for the past 14 hours, my feet are killing me, and--" she tried to evoke sympathy in him.
"And that's my fault *how*, exactly,?" he didn't even look up from the magazine he was "reading" (or trying to, at least…)
Ally mimed disgust and, disinterested in continuing the time-wasting discussion, made her way over to the couch to pick up the spoon herself. All would have gone well…

…Had he not gently placed a hand on her hip as she sashayed by. She turned around, breath caught in her throat - it was amazing, even to her, what this man could do to her with a simple stray of his hand. His grasp was very strong, very sturdy, very manly, and at the same time the pads of his fingers were silky smooth against her skin. His other hand caught up quickly, making its way over to her other hip. When her eyes settled into his and he became certain she wouldn't go anywhere, his index fingers started tracing curvy lines up and down the length of her body, one hand "accidentally" wrapping around her thigh just above her knee to part her legs a little and pull her closer to him. He softly slid a finger up the inside of her thigh, causing her to go warm all over… Her face swirled into a soft smile, which was the best she could manage at the time - she loved him too much to put in into words.

"Funny…" she smirked and quickly twisted out of his grasp, wanting to tease him a little and hoping he'd follow her. He didn't, he just sat there, his eyes conveying disapproval.
"Yeah, if I were made of *steel*…" he rumbled.

Ally's smile widened. Approaching the now boiling pasta, she realized that under the influence of Larry's freely roaming hands she'd completely forgotten about the spoon she'd initially sent herself out to retrieve. Her eyes hopelessly went back to his, he just shook his head in reply to her silent plea. Not wanting to walk back over to him, she came up with brilliant bait.

"I'll make dirty love to you right here on this kitchen table if you get that spoon for me." she stated, one hand on her hip, the other on the counter, as if she were cutting a credit deal.

Larry sprang up as if a bucket of boiling water had been poured onto him and dashed over in Ally's direction, tripping over himself as though he were competing in the Olympic sprint, and then coming to a sudden halt halfway to her.

"*How* dirty are we talkin'?" he cocked his head to the side, squinting his eyes, his lips carrying a sly, warm smile.
Ally's eyebrows swooped up a bit.
"*Very* dirty." she assured him seriously.

Not a bad deal at all, he thought. Having marched over to Ally, he let out a very business-like comment "Spoon," as he handed her the spoon she'd bartered for, then pointed to himself, "Me."

She turned around, hoping to prolong the game. He wasn't one to waste much time, though.

His hands slowly found their way up front to massage the front of her hips while he stepped closer, breathing into her hair. Lowering his lips around to her cheek, he kissed her softly and continued in the same disapproving tone he'd used earlier, only that now his voice was husked by her proximity and his arousal. She shivered from his breath on her face.

"Ally… You can't just promise me a screw and then turn away looking innocent…" he quietly scolded her, his hands traveling north to meet her curves.

Had the circumstances been different, she would've long since unzipped his fly and with that begun to destroy every remnant of decency separating them. Now, however, she was determined to keep her cool.

Not that it was all that easy to.

Again, she tried to twist away from him.
"Larry… don't…" she sighed mock-annoyed, as if forced to accept the fact that he wouldn't be going anywhere.

Much to her surprise, he obeyed her command.

His hands left her hips and reached for her half-empty cup of coffee on the kitchen table. A chill settled over her as her body protested the loss of his heat, and she turned around, meeting with his *eyes*…

…Meltdown city…

Two very dark, very sexy rough-edged circles possessing feathery golden sparks that shot out into Ally's soul, telling her his every emotion in a fraction of a second. They held the same smile as his lips, which now were immersed in a milky-sweet java bean mixture, and had the exact same effect on her. Very masculine, very refined, his gaze could bring her knees to tremble almost immediately; he told her everything with his eyes, even things he could never put into words not because he lacked the needed talent, but because modern languages lacked the needed words, which made it all the more magical since it was a very intimate connection, solely theirs, solely for one another. Through & across any distance of any scale, he could tell her he loved her and needed her, and be sure she got the message. He could make love to her with his eyes, diving straight into the deep end by undressing her first and foremost *emotionally*, embracing her senses, seducing her sentiments without even touching her, and she'd be in the arms of vertigo in seconds. Though very open to her, his eyes always held a warm mystery she loved uncovering, be it in the process of lovemaking or during anything else. Ravishing, hot and yearning, they now held uninhibited love accompanied by natural sexual desire - a smooth blend of crimson, soft gold & dark, dark brown. He was truly luscious…

He leaned against the kitchen counter, arms crossed over his chest, and put the coffee mug down. Ally stepped towards him, cutting off his "I'm -" with her own husky "Shuddup and love me…", followed by a very eager kiss. How could he resist?

Pasta bowls, random kitchenware, briefs, outlines, hornbooks, CDs, pens and Larry's laptop all went crashing to the floor as Larry cleared the needed area of all unnecessary objects, then caught Ally tighter in his arms to lift her up onto the table. She understood his intention, but didn't approve of it.

"Nuh-unh," she murmured. "*I'm* on top…"

He smiled, intrigued, while his hands almost subconsciously soared under her shirt. It was a nice, warm place to keep them, and it seemed only natural for them to be there since that's where they spent most of their time anyway…

"I should *hide* pasta spoons from now on…" he continued lining her neck with wet kisses, "And give 'em out… One at a time…"
"It's… a nice…" she started, pouring all of her effort into keeping her composure, "…th--oh God-- thought…" she inhaled sharply in between sloppy kisses. She pulled back a little to catch her breath, because the air in the cubicle of their embrace was too humid for her to breathe…

No, she suddenly decided. With her eyes surfing over various parts of his body, she understood she didn't want *just* another scorching collision of bodies. She wanted to feel him, and for him to feel her; she wanted him slowly, smoothly, softly, gently, with thoughts blissfully out of control, with snow-white clouds of post-coital pleasure settling over their bodies, with him prolonging the tango for as long as he can take it… Her pearly fingernails digging into his palms in sweet agony, him catching her in her fall from innocence into delicious sin, his arms cradling her to sleep… Raunchiness would be too *raw* for the swirl of emotion in that moment. She needed him to go slow.

All would've been dandy, had she not promised him "very dirty" love in exchange for the spoon he brought her. Amazing how one pang of laziness can change an entire evening… Now, she still had to face telling *him* her brand-spankin'-new "slow" scenario, something he'd no doubt be very surprised to hear…

He noticed her looking to the side, her face softly sad and for some reason distracted, and lifted her chin with one finger, stroking her cheek with another.
"Go slow," she answered his yet unvoiced question. He smiled.
She, for whatever reason, thought it was irony on his part.
"Larry, please…" she insisted.
"Okay…" he repeated soothingly, lips then going swiftly down her neck, up and over her collarbone, down her chest and back to her cheek, leaving soft purplish bruises on her neck beneath her jawline. She curved her back in closer to him, eyes closed, savouring the slur of touch and emotion and sensation, swirled up in the moment and anticipating what the next few minutes held…

Contrary to plans made earlier in the game, she ended up underneath, her back pressed firmly by his weight against the countertop. Her eyelids fluttered as his hands worked over the buttons of her blouse, slowly, carefully, just as she'd asked.

The crimson flimsiness that was supposed to pass off as a bra dissolved under his touch, leaving her very exposed to his caressing gaze, undressing her not only physically, but emotionally as well, surrounding her mind and her heart with warmth and luminescence held only for her. In the sweetly torturous few minutes during which his hands and lips sauntered down, fingers roaming freely over her velvety skin, Ally's body underwent just about every pleasurable emotion possible. "Lar-ree…" she purred, delighted, as he settled over her, letting her hands dig into his muscular back, then massage his shoulders and stroll down into the small of his back. Without much further ado, he slipped two fingers inside her, causing her to gasp and arch into his warm, welcoming arms. She was reduced to putty in a matter of seconds, muscles throughout her body heated and relaxed. Somehow, they managed to get rid of all the excess clothing, and she tossed her head back against the granatex as he eased in, careful to make sure she wouldn't rustle or stir beneath him. The adagio soon whirled into an allegro, him sliding steadily into and out of slick, soft wetness, their hands everywhere, their lips never parting, their pace quickening, them spiraling towards ecstasy together in extraordinarily refined movements. Sure, the kitchen table wasn't the most comfortable place to exercise their love, but it served its duty admirably. He rolled her & himself over, wanting to gaze up at her rather than look down, and she straightened out her back, rocking her hips back and forth in even, lavish, sinuous motions as his hands guided her, placed firmly on her hips, and his eyes were full of joy as he followed her every move. After she collapsed, spent, onto her still shuddering Larry, she continued the "dirty" lovemaking, her mouth traveling up and down his body with frequent and parfois long layovers in various sensitive spots she enjoyed teasing.

All good things, unfortunately, must end, and they, at a hideously late hour, finally disconnected, sliding down to the floor in a fatigued heap. Ally still had her arms lovingly around Larry's neck, Larry's lips still couldn't get enough of *Ally's* neck, and Larry's hands were still trying to find enough strength to scurry playfully through her sweat-dampened hair. She ruffled his hair softly, pulling away a little and looking into his eyes. Larry, still surprisingly perky despite the amount of time he'd just spent in tough physical activity, didn't calculate his efforts precisely enough and ended up slamming roughly against the door of the lower cupboard, a glass bottle of Parmesan cheese toppling off the edge and onto his head. He howled in pain as Ally stifled a laugh, then looked up at the stove.

"Pasta, baby?" she proposed.

How could he say no?

- - - - - -

Steam rose up from her towel-wrapped body as she stood in their bedroom, searching desperately for her body lotion that *always* seemed to end up somewhere in Larry's clothes (maybe because lotions always led to undressing, and undressing always led to massages, and massages always led to…). Upon suddenly hearing the door open, she spun around, shrieked and grasped the towel tightly, causing Larry's arms to go flying up in a surrendering motion.

"White flag, white flag, don't shoot…" he said meekly, stopping in the doorway.
"Ugh, Larry…" she continued doing what she was doing, annoyed. He made his way over to the walk-in closet, grabbed a warm sweater and started putting it on.
"It's freezing out there…"
"Larry, I need to get dressed…" Ally whined, motioning for him to leave.
"And…?" he gulped down half an Evian and started straightening his shirt collar.
"*Larry*!" she rolled her eyes, frustrated.
"Babe, what *exact* part of your body have I not seen?" he asked matter-of-factly, implying that wherever she's afraid his eyes might fall, they've already been there… many times…
"It's not that…" she grabbed the at-last-found bottle of lotion from the twisted heap of their undergarments.
"Then what is it?"
"Well, we *are* working on a case, and with all of this, things could get… uh… hum…" she searched for the right word.
"Unprofessional…" Larry caught on quickly.
"Y-yeah…" Ally hesitated a moment, lulled by the sound of his voice, his eyes a tigery jasper.
"Well," he started, "You being opposing counsel doesn't change the fact that you have a beautiful body," he was already within arm's reach of her, "which I very much enjoy looking at…"

"Whoops…" he changed to a rasped whisper as he let her towel fall to the floor with one hand, the other sliding up her arm, the soft wool of his sweater scraping pleasantly against her steamed skin. "Gorgeous." He kissed her cheek and then turned to hand her a white blouse he seemed to have retrieved out of thin air. "I want you to wear this," he said in a steady voice, her eyes savouring the look in his. "Why?" her meek question followed. He didn't answer, hoping she'd figure it out for herself. "C'mon. Get dressed. Your coffee's waiting." His index finger stroked down her cheek, then he disappeared into the adjoining room.

* * *

"And this is all I'm getting for breakfast out of you? Coffee and a-a… *muffin*?" Ally stared at the itsy-bitsy pastry lying in front of her, disappointed, to say the least.
"It's cranberry. It's good." He started, defending his choice through a mouthful of muffin.
"Doubtlessly…" she replied sarcastically.
"Ally, darling, it's 7:30 in the morning. You were serenading in there--" he motioned in the direction of the shower, "--for half an hour… Where did you expect breakfast from, 'Le Cirque'?!"
Ally rolled her eyes and forced out a "thank you…", then hungrily grabbed the miserable muffin and bit into it. Her facial expression quickly changed, the frown previously occupying her face fading into a satisfied grin.
"Toldja…" he headed back into the bedroom, leaning in around her for a second on the way and kissing the top of her head. "We have to go…"
"I'm gonna have to teach you how to cook…" she commented.
"I know how to cook…" Larry took offense at her words.
"Yeah, you know how to heat Thai take-out in the microwave… That's about as deep as your culinary knowledge goes…" she continued, sarcasm seeping through each syllable.
"I *know* how to cook," Larry insisted, "And I'll prove it…"
She smiled to herself as his footsteps faded. Ling was right, as awful as it was to admit it - the true durability of their relationship was tested here - at home, where work collided with normal after-work activities and could potentially cause all sorts of sticky situations… [no pun intended - Auth. N.] "Testing" their relationship didn't normally make the Top 10 list of Ally's favourite pastimes, but then again - if "testing" from now on were always to be this fun, that fact could change………….

* * * * *


Resisting him is way, way, *way* too hard, because he's way, way, *way* too amazing. So, having scraped my brain for the remains of my literature courses, I recalled the immortal "to overcome temptation, you must yield to it." Great. That's exactly what I've been doing over the past howmanyever days. Once the case'll be over, the need to *overcome* that said temptation will cease to exist, and everything will fall back into place. For now, however, the key is to *yield* to it. In that very process of "yielding" last night on the kitchen table, I realized just how lucky I am.

Nonetheless, I'm gonna win.

We walked into my office, hand-in-hand, after a late breakfast I insisted on having, and were met in a most un-business-like fashion. My office, which normally seems vast & airy, was now crowded with running people, flying papers and falling books. My laptop was nowhere to be found; my picture frames with photos of Larry, Larry and, um, even more Larry were toppled over and shoved to the edge of the desktop; Raymond Saul was very unceremoniously seated at my desk; Richard was dragging in a 6-feet-tall calculator to determine down to the very last penny the exact sum he'd put in his pocket; Nelle was perched up, barely balancing, on a chair, feverishly clutching her cell phone and yelling something into it, one leg up in the air (for clearer reception, I suppose); Elaine was running around, straightening the ties of all the men who were unlucky enough to be caught in her net; Ling was, as always, touching up her lipliner; John was immersed in a "moment" and Jackson was eyeing this entire scene with square pupils, shoved into the far corner of the room. I turned around to find a similar look etching out on my Larry's face, then decided to drag him out for some fresh air, for the sake of his mental health as well as my own.

"Larry," I started, wrapping my arms around his neck once we were outside my office, my tone almost surreptitious. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to tell him, I just wanted to say his name. He, of course, interrupted. He always does that.
"Shhhh…" whispers floated into my ear.
"Don't 'shhhh' me," I continued, "Are we still on for lunch?"
"Ally, we ate 17 minutes ago…"
"So? I'm hungry."
"Tic-Tac's all I've got." He extracted a box of white capsules from his pocket. I glowered at him.
"If so, then you're taking me to lunch."
"Okay," he smiled as his lips made their over to mine. Just as the kiss got serious, I heard someone clearing his throat behind me, desperate for attention.

I, disappointed, broke off the kiss, my head spinning around 90 degrees to see Jackson, files in tow, looking at us disapprovingly.
"Jackson." Larry let out rather angrily in the manner of Captain Von Trapp going face-to-face with the Austrian Gestapo.
"Larry." Jackson answered with a similar facial expression. Of course, it looked much sexier on Larry…

An uncomfortable moment of silence followed.

"Yes?" Larry looked at him questioningly.
"Uh…urrm…hmm…Ally… Richard's in there waiting for you…" he motioned at my office door, from behind which I could hear shrieks, something falling and Richard's baritone booming out on top of it all.
"Uh-huh," I nodded professionally, shooing Jackson away as though he were a fly and then turning back to Larry. I finished the kiss, then flashed him a shy smile and eased out of his embrace, walking away but holding on to his hand until the distance between us was longer than the combined length of our arms. I had work ahead. And I was still set on beating him…

* * * * *

"*Court*?! *Today*?!" I still couldn't believe my ears. John nodded.
"Yeah, you chose to be late on a very fitting day…" Ling commented, focused on her perfect face in the mirror.
"Is she ready?" Raymond asked, turning to Richard.
"I have a *name*, thank you…" I snarled.
"*Are* you ready?" John piped in, a flicker of worry crossing his face.
"W-well, yeah… I mean, I have all the papers… Wait a second, are we going in ex-parte?"
"No…" Nelle seemed surprised at such a question.
"Then why-- Wait, how--" I couldn't pick one question to ask out loud out of the roughly 347 blizzarding around in my brain. "Does Larry know?"
"Duh…" Ling replied, annoyed. "He dropped off all the papers last night."

The bastard. The sexy, irresistible… No, no, the selfish, rude, unforgivable *bastard*. He didn't tell me *anything* about the trial being today… and he *knew*! He was shagging me silly last night, all the while I could've been preparing for court… He'll be doing 400 hours of community service before he *EVER* gets to sleep with me again…

I sprinted out, hoping to catch him by the elevator and bite his head off. Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found, and before I was able to hop onto the elevator myself and go chasing after him down the cold streets of Boston, Ling dragged me back into my office.

"The trial starts at 2:30, so we have to get our asses in gear if there's any hope of preparing for it beforehand. Otherwise, we'll be in there improvising, which may not turn out to be so very fantastic," Jackson commented, very serious.
"People, people, don't panic, but whatever happens, we have to win." Richard continued. "We absolutely *have* to win."

"On that sunny note let's go… get ready!" Nelle grabbed her portefeuille and walked out, followed by Ling, who almost ran into the doorframe while contouring her lips, eyes fixed on the mirror she was holding. Unfortunately, she missed it by an inch or so. Shucks.

* * * * *

"While no one's watching," I heard a low whisper behind me, then felt soft lips run up my neck in a tirade of kisses. "Hey baby…"

I spun around my heels. The bastard. To hell with him being sooooooo very sexy in that suit, he's still a bastard.

"Hiiiiii…" I imitated excitement, a sarcastic smile playing on my lips. His eyebrows shot up.
"You okay?"
"Never been better!" I continued with an all-too-sweet smile.
He tilted his head to the side.
"Yeah, it's just…" I started mulling over which tone to use, then finally decided to go for lividness, "Why the hell didn't you tell me the trial was today?!"

Larry looked like he'd been hit over the head with sledgehammer.
"Uhhh… I'm supposed to tell you when your client's trial is?! Should I have maybe recited my closing to you as well?!"

Alright, that's it, my brain replied. My patience was drained out. Time to haul out the heavy artillery.

"You *knew* I didn't know! You dropped off all the papers late last night, when I was already at home, slaving over the stove for *you* no less!"

"Ally, there *is* such a thing as a telephone, you know…" Larry started defending himself, "I was hoping Elaine was well-acquainted with the phenomenon… Or were my hopes too far-fetched?"

The son-of-a-bitch. He thinks he's cracking out the world's greatest jokes. Kiss my ass, baby.

"Well, *I* never got a phone call!"
"Could that *possibly* have been because *you* unplugged the phone?!" he retorted. I hate him. He always finds a reply for everything.
"--So *you* could shag me!" I argued.
"--Because *you* bartered for it!"
"--Because *you* distracted me from picking up the spoon!"
"--*You* threw it in the first place!"
"--Because *you* were being an ass!"
"--Because *you* weren't letting me do anything!"
"--Because *I* needed to work!"
"A-ha!" he pointed an accusing finger at me, "You're admitting it's *your* fault!"
"I most certainly am *not*!"
"Upping the bet to *three* hours of restless foot massaging for whoever wins!" he continued in the same tone.
"And if a client settles? Or drops the case?"
"His or her lawyer is the massager!"
"Deal! But a footrub is as far as it's gonna go!" I almost barked.
"Ah! What more could a low, plebeian soul like me ever ask for?!" he replied dramatically, tossing his head up.
"And don't you even *think* of sleeping with me tonight!"
"Ally!" he returned to his previous tone, "you should've gone boyfriend-hunting in a male monastery!"

Oh, poor thing. As if he's unbearably sex-deprived. I sincerely apologize for not being physically capable of doing more than 4 takes per session. I'm not a guinea pig. Sor-ry.

Argh. I should've smacked him right then and there.

"Oh, OK, so you consider yourself to be what, the victim of a merciless boyfriend hunt?!"
"Well--" he started.
"Oh, you do *not*…" I replied, disgusted.
"Whatever. For us men there's always the option of…" he paused, searching for words, "self-satisfaction…" he finally spat out matter-of-factly.

Who or what ever gave *them* the priority in that area?

"As is for us *women*!"
"Oh, but *you'd* never stoop to *that*!"

Hmph. I took offense at that.

"Says who?!"
"A-ha!" his eyes lit up, "So *that's* what's been keeping you busy on those long, cold winter nights!"
"You are the grossest," my eyes narrowed, "most perverted," his mouth rounded into an 'O' as he imitated shock, "*creep*--"
"That you've ever had the heavenly pleasure of making love to --" the bastard interrupted me yet *again*.
"Augh!!!" was all I could manage at the time, tossing my arms desperately up in the air.
"The Baroness has voiced displeasure--" he replied matter-of-factly in the voice of Christopher Plummer, a sly smile sliding onto his lips, "or was that a post-orgasmic chill sort of thing?" I lunged forward to decapitate him, but he caught my arms quicker than I was able to twist away.
"Pig!" I growled.
"Easy on the compliments there…" he smiled, still holding on to my arms.
"Let me go." I ordered.
"And the magic word?" he continued smiling.
"No, I'm sorry, the correct answer is 'please'," he took on the tone of a game show host.
"*Larry*!" I desperately tried to wriggle out of his grasp.
"Mr. Paul!" a shrill, piercing voice exclaimed from behind us. Turning around to see who it was, we met up with dozens of eyes, all of which had been the unlucky witnesses of our highly entertaining squabble.

"Mr. Paul!" Alice Weaver, wrapped up in some sort of bright blue Gianfranco Ferre nightmare, skittered up to Larry, my eyes locked on her every step of the way. It took him a moment to fly back to reality and figure out who had just appeared on center stage.

"Alice!" he imitated enthusiasm.
"Mmm-hmm," I nodded, "*Alice*. Was she another one of the poor souls who miraculously found out this morning that they were due in court?"
"Um, no," Alice replied feebly. "Actually, I wanted to discuss that with you…" she turned to me, "both."
"Uh-huh?" I encouraged further conversation, substantially more interested.
"I kind of want to…" she hesitated a moment, "…drop the case."
Feeling our mutual retreat into pre-verbosity, she was quick to continue, "I-I'll pay the court costs and everything…" she turned to Larry, "and you, of course… And even Ray, if he wants me to. I just… I thought about the discussion you & I had, Ms. McBeal, and I… I just… I realized it's a waste of time… and nerves. I've decided to drop the case."

That had to be the high point of my day up until then. I hopped around, gleeful, hugging Alice, hugging Larry, even managing to hug an innocent passerby, throwing my arms around Richard as though he were the love of my life and even running into the embrace of Jackson, who didn't seem to mind, really. I kept thinking, *three* hours! *Three*!!! *My* feet, *my* relaxation, *my* box of Belgian chocolates, *my* ice cream, me-me-me-me-me… All for *ME*. Ahhh, how lovely…

"Guess you'll have to shove aside the self-satisfaction for yet another evening…" Larry casually remarked into my ear, arm around my waist, quiet enough for no one else to hear except me.

I still wanna guillotine him.

I just wanna fuck him blind first.

* * * * *

I stretch out my feet, admiring my pedicure over the top of Romain Gary's "La Promesse de L'Aube" - a book I have grown to adore, closer to his oil-smothered hands. He tries to pretend he's discontent, that this is nothing more than an unpleasant and tiring activity, one he, as a man of strict principle, honor and promise, has no other choice but to complete, but I know perfectly well he has his own plans for the footrub that is to begin. He works the berry-scented goo up my shin, then back down to the arch, gently massaging the insides of my ankles, kneading my heels as I slump back into the snow-white pages, then attempting to tickle my feet, his fingers swirling around the bottom of my feet.

"Nup," I peer over the book once again, "I'm not ticklish."

Actually, I am, but I'm not gonna let him win. Just yet.

Back up my shins, around to the back of my calves, over my protruding anklebones and down to my toes, rubbing each one… God this feels good. Larry, "La Promesse", and… ooooo, did I mention I have a full bowl of Grand Marnier-smothered Tropical Sherbet? I didn't?! How inconsiderate of me…

Suddenly, he gets up.
"Wha-at?" I whine. I want him attached to my feet till death do us part.
"Coffee break." He shrugs and goes into the kitchen. I try to turn my head, but my neck strongly disagrees with that tactic, rewarding me with a sharp pang of pain down my spine. I really need a chiropractor.
"*You* took one while rubbing *my* feet," he argues.
"I took a *bathroom* break," I correct him.
"I *could* go into the bathroom to drink this," he brought out a big Chicago cappuccino mug, "but you'd be robbed of the opportunity to watch me…"
"*Relieved*, I should say…" I smile.
"I mean, one stray of the hand in there," he points at the bathroom, "and oops! Off I go, breaking the rules of our monastery…"
"Ha." I look at him, amused.
He bends down, kisses me swiftly and goes back around to his end of the couch, setting the cappuccino mug down on the coffee table.

I do as I'm told. I'm an obedient girl, after all.


Rarely, come to think of it. But right now is just one such rare case.

With a heavy air of manly responsibility, he sits down, grabbing my ankles and pulling me closer to him. Thumbs on my insteps, palms on the bottom of my feet, circling around; then the roles reverse, and his palms are massaging my instep, thumbs on my big toes. This is fun.

I slouch back into the book, feet arched beautifully (to my mind, at least; I'm very narcissistic), the nerve endings on my feet very happy with all the extra attention they're getting tonight. I should send Alice Weaver a huge bouquet of the most gorgeous and expensive flowers I can find in gratitude for her pretty little brain's sudden decision to drop the case (after everyone's nerves, colleagues, lives and relationships had been ground to dust by it, mind you)… I love everyone. I love Alice. I love Richard. I love Romain Gary. And, most importantly - I love the folks at Bath & Body Works for creating such wonderful scented foot oils…

Oh yeah, and Larry too. Regardless of his behaviour.

I extend a spoonful of ice cream to him, his tongue greedily lapping it all up in a matter of seconds. "Larry…" I let out dreamily, watching the fruity goop melt instantly in his mouth. I wanna feed him ice cream for the rest of the evening. For the rest of the week. For the rest of my life.

I pretend to be reading, peeking out at him past the top edge of the rather heavy volume. Another smile swishes onto my face as a rush of adoration runs through my body. He's so irresistibly delicious.

An incomprehensible line in the book catches my attention for real, my eyes briefly leaving his face to read into the profound sense of a sentence I will immediately forget, my mind being occupied with other issues… Letter by letter, word by word, I try to make it out, while his fingers crawl up to my knees once again, the pattern changing a little with every expedition up and down. Just then, briefly, teasingly, a hand slips up the inside of my thigh.

Christ alive. That feels *so* good.

His eyes are sweetly innocent in reply to my immediate silent question, 'what was that… just… now?', as if he were trying to imply that whatever his hand just did, he wasn't in on it in any way, shape or form. 'I *will* finish this chapter tonight,' I promise myself, painfully breaking his gaze. Of course, the way he's looking isn't helping things much.

I scoot a little closer to him, his hand inevitably ending up even farther up my thigh.

Dammit. I *knew* it. I *knew* things wouldn't corner around "just" a footrub.

I offer him another spoonful of Tropical Sherbet, and his eyes light up. Whether it's me or the ice cream, I can't say, though I suspect it's the combination of both.

I give up. I need him.

I pretend to sink deeper into almost a lethargic read, my toes curling nonetheless. Hey, some things can't be controlled.

The other hand catches up, picking up where the first left off, gently squeezing half the circumference of my thigh. I gasp softly, involuntarily shutting the book. He sighs, letting the oil bottle & my ice cream bowl fall off the couch to the floor as he moves on top of me, his eyes resembling those of a panther ready to pounce on its prey.

I silently thank whatever higher power made me disregard the need for a bra underneath my favourite Eddie Bauer button-down shirt for home, and I suspect he's thinking the same thing as his hands find their way under the said shirt. Five minutes ago, I was set on keeping my cool regardless of what goals *he* might try to achieve. Now, I realize what a stubborn fool I was. Never mind the argument the poor Suffolk County Courthouse walls were forced to witness, I'm aching for him already, and he's still fully dressed. I wouldn't even risk imagining what's gonna happen when…

The crystal clear buttons of the Eddie Bauer masterpiece of which I was the grateful owner fly off in different directions from under the hands of a very -ahem- *impatient* Larry who's wrestling the shirt for access to my breasts.

They *may* try to disguise themselves as civilized creatures with the Kellerman suits in 256 colours and the aftershaves in more scents than Christian Dior would ever know what to do with, but their essence hasn't changed much since the Paleolith.

"You're so beautiful." His grin whisks away my mourning while his lips head for my neck. Alright, that's it; I'm quitting my job tomorrow and setting up a private video business. Let the rest of the world see what a fantastic lover I've got. Eat your hearts out, people. I don't mind, really.

His hands continue their journey up my body with the same movements my feet were treated to earlier. He murmurs something into my neck, then captures my lips with his, his tongue swirling softly around in my mouth.
His mouth proceeds to venture into every possible place on my upper body while his hands teeter over to my fly. Let the Games begin!

We concurrently start fiddling with the buttons on each other's jeans, laughing and kissing and cursing the damned things until we finally get them undone (this is *exactly* why I prefer zippers). How very lovely. He shows more restraint against his immediate wishes than I do - his hands simply wrap around my waist while mine instantly dive under his boxers.

"It's been a *very* long day…" I gasp.

And I need my Larry.

"Indeed." He answers simply. I don't think he's capable of anything more at the moment. I don't blame him, either.

He quickly follows my example, pushing my jeans & panties off my hips. I, by now completely tousled, aroused and unwilling to undergo this torture any longer, eagerly rock on to him, wrapping my arms around his neck for extra support. Time stopped still as all the 170-something pounds of him push me into the firm cushion, his breathing heavy and rasped, mine similar. Suddenly, I feel something hard and plastic under my back - rolling over it, I accidentally push the power button on what turns out to be the TV remote. Dammit.
"The Roman aqueducts have endured since 145 BC because of an engineering marvel - the arch, a curved structure so strong--" He hangs his head in despair, I wince a 'sorry', but we both continue listening carefully to the nasal British voice reciting the rather lame text in the commercial, "-- that even when great pressures are applied to it, it holds its shape; designed with such strength and integrity that modern man has yet to improve upon it…" My eyes are glued to the TV, barely catching his glance of amusement & incredulity. "Ally…" he groans, athirst for the continuation of the par-tay. Ah, it's a VW Beetle commercial!
"Ooo, ooo, I want a Beetle," I laugh, my statement completely serious.
"Not tonight, darling…" he rasps, punching the power button once again and sending the remote flying into the kitchen area (I think it landed in the sink). His hands and lips wander back up to my breasts as he murmurs "I-- love you", and immediately thrusts in, my head automatically tipping back, his hip movements drowning me in tidal wave after tidal wave of pure, dizzying pleasure. Contrary to last night's repertoire, it's now stronger, harder, fuller, rougher, and yet somehow more real, uninhibited, free. He's here, unrestrained, against me, and I'm breathing in this entire scene in gasps, the air heavenly sweet and infused with love.
"Come on, baby," he continues in a breathless whisper, encouraging my release, his body almost slamming against mine. I'm practically asphyxiated here with all the non-stop kissing and panting.

Do I care? Not really.

Beads of sweat roll down his forehead as he shows exemplary self-control, keeping his rhythm steady and even, his eyes plunging into mine. Soft and very dark with passion, they stay immersed in mine through the final, grand thrust and the following entirety of his -- oh my God, this feels so good… -- orgasm… My vision almost immediately blurs into a flurry of midtones and patterns, my hand grabbing his and squeezing it tightly, his warm palm pressing against mine, and he restarts his refined caresses, catching me around him as I come, a soft but satisfied smile slipping onto my lips. Breathing intense, I sink deeper and deeper into the dark ocean of his eyes. "Shhh," he hushes and kisses my eyelashes, a finger sauntering down my neck and over my shoulders towards the fabric of my torn shirt. Leaving it up to him to carry me to bed (he owes me one anyway), I readily float into his arms, kissing his neck. Completing.

To think we have so many more of these evenings ahead of us… Surreally fantastic.

Love. Him. Love him. *Love* him. Unimaginably more than I've ever been lucky enough to love anyone, and than I ever will love anyone. And *he* loves *me*. Exactly the same way.

I have *him*. I really don't need anything else.

"Augh!" I, through vines of sleep, hear him gasp. He jumps out of bed, bumping me, and pads over into the kitchen. I painfully unglue my eyes.
Magically, Larry reappears, carrying a pile of something sweet-smelling and saliva-inducing. He kneels by my side of the bed as I hang my head over the edge and smiles. "My slaved-over proof that I *can* cook…"
It's dark in our bedroom, so I can't make out anything but the silhouette of it, but from what it smells like, I would guess it's…
"Chocolate-chocolate chip…" he chirps. "Sam's recipe…"

Oooooh, baby… Those are *GOOD*… 'In faaaact,' a sly thought creeps into my brain, 'while we're on the subject of Larry and darkness and chocolate and our bedroom…'

…"Well it's a long way up and we won't come down tonight…
Well it may be wrong but baby, it sure feels right…"…

I *so* love him…

…"And the moon is up
And the stars are bright
And whatever comes
Is gonna be alright
'Cause tonight you will be mine
Up on cloud number nine…
And there ain't no place
Where I'd rather be
And we can't go back
But you're here with me
Yeah, the weather's really fine
Up on cloud number nine…

Yeah we could watch the world go by
Up on cloud number nine…"…

- - - finita la comedia, folks - - -

*shaky grin* thoughts…anyone…?