On Solid Ground
Special Valentine’s Day Scene
My phone skitters across the table. Luckily, I hear it over the racket of Violet doing her homework and in between the chaos of prepping dinner. Ty’s name flashes across the screen and I anxiously swipe at the notification.
All set here. Package will be out for delivery at seven.
Well almost perfect.
“I don’t know how to do this,” Violet whines from the kitchen table. Kindergarten homework is no joke. Cutting and pasting, coloring in the lines, and counting to ten are apparently lessons of the past.
“Here, let me help.” Trying my best to calm her, I slide into the chair next to her. “We can read it together.” Her face brightens with a beautiful smile as she leaps onto my lap.
“Thanks,” she says, popping a kiss to my cheek. When I look down at the page, I know that she doesn’t need my help. She knows these words. I’d put money on the fact that she simply wanted me to help. Well, I’m more than happy to oblige.
We finish the short book in less than five minutes and then I find the assignment. Pointing to the instructions, I read to her, “After you’ve read I Love You, Goodnight draw a picture and write a sentence about someone or something you love.
Violet scratches her head and thinks about her assignment for a few seconds. “Oh I know,” she announces with excitement, leaping from my lap. “Can I finish this in my room? I want it to be a surprise.”
“Of course, baby girl. Aunt Chloe will be here in fifteen minutes though. Remember you’re having a sleep over with her tonight.”
Swatting her hand in the air, she dismisses my reminder. “Like I’d forget that. Can I paint my nails hot pink? Please,” she begs, drawing out the word.
Here exuberant “yes” echoes through the hall as she makes her way to her room.
Now that she’s occupied, I can finish prepping the meal I’ve planned for me and Beck. Since it’s our fist Valentine’s Day together – not only as a couple, but as a family – I wanted to make it special. Our crazy day-to-day routine usually means we don’t have time for “nice” dinners. Since Violet has been in a chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese phase, that’s pretty much all we’ve eaten. Apparently Beck and I have the food preferences of a five year old. Honestly, it makes for an easy afternoon – it’s one less fight we have to have with her. But nuggets and fries aren’t what come to mind when planning a romantic dinner.
Dicing the last of the onions and garlic, I survey the counter to make sure I have everything in order. Looks like I’m all set. And just in time.
“Hey,” Chloe announces from the front door. Tonka perks his head up from his spot next to me. Wagging his tail, he looks up at me, asking my permission to greet his favorite person.
Besides me, of course.
“Go ahead,” I direct, walking behind him.
“Hey, yourself.” Pulling her in for a quick hug, I kiss her cheek. “Thanks again for taking her for the night.”
Waving her hand at me, she says, “It’s no problem, really. Devon has to work tonight anyway, so we’re doing Valentine’s Day tomorrow night.” She waggles a suggestive eyebrow at me, making a ridiculous kissy face.
“I don’t want to know what’s running through that smutty head of yours.”
On my last word, Violet races back into the kitchen. “What’s smutty mean?”
Chloe laughs as I try to spit out some kind of intelligible response.
And I got nothing.
“It’s a curse,” Chloe explains.
“Ooooh, Dax,” Violet draws out my name. “That’s a dollar for the swear jar.”
“Yeah, Dax. You better pay up, otherwise you’ll get in trouble,” Chloe eggs her on, laughing as I dig a dollar out of my pocket.
Shooting Chloe a look of mock anger, I tell her that Violet’s bag is all packed and ready to go. Sleeping bag and mini-suitcase in hand, Violet and Chloe walk toward the door.
“Oh, I didn’t get to finish my homework. Can I bring it to Aunt Chloe’s and do it there?”
Telling her “Sure. I’ll see you tomorrow,” I squeeze Violet and give her a quick kiss on the forehead. Chloe waves goodbye, mouthing the words, have fun.
With Chloe and Violet gone, I have about forty five minutes to get ready before Beck comes home. Beck had originally planned to have the night off from work. We were going to spend it together as a family and while that was perfect for most nights, tonight was about us as a couple. In the months that we’d been living together and raising Violet, we’d quickly learned how easy it is to get comfortable in “the routine” to forget about the other half of your couple.
So I made arrangements with Ty to have some kind of staffing emergency where Beck had to go into the shop. By the time Beck made it back home, what would be waiting for him would be anything but a wholesome, fun-filled, family evening.
* * * * *
After showering and shaving, I pull out a nicer than casual outfit. Slate grey slacks, shiny black dress shoes, and a deep purple button down shirt create the perfect look for a romantic night home with Beck. He never wears anything but jeans, t-shirts, and his Chucks, – neither do I really, and I love him like that. Hell, I love him because of those things. But my goal is to make his jaw drop when he walks in.
“Hello,” Beck’s confused voice calls out from the front of the apartment. Quickly, I cuff the sleeves of my shirt and race out to meet him.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” I blurt out, rather lamely I might add.
“That’s some hell of a greeting.” Stepping toward me, he laughs.
Rolling my eyes, I clarify, “No, I just meant you’re home early. I wasn’t ready.”
“Ready for what?” His eyes dart around the living room and kitchen. “Where’s Violet?”
“Out,” I say simply, waiting for him to catch on.
“Out,” he grunts. “With who? She’s five.”
Tugging on the belt loop of his jeans, I pull him close to me. With his body pressed against mine, I whisper against his lips, “It’s only us tonight.” Licking along the seam of his closed lips, I add, “All night,” before pulling his lower lip in between my teeth.
On a gasp of pleasure, he opens for me. The wet heat of his mouth is a welcome feeling, one that surges through my entire body. Like sharp jolts of electricity, the passion of his kiss races across my skin. His fingers twist in my still-wet hair as he pulls my head to the side. Taking me deeper, I harden against him, reveling in the sweet friction of his body against mine.
“Stop,” I growl. Of course I don’t actually want to stop his lips pressing against mine, but if we want to at least get to dinner we need to stop now. “Let me feed you first, and then we can get back to this.” Lazily traveling my hand down his back, I stop on his perfect ass and squeeze him gently.
Wide, lust-filled eyes stare back at me. Beck nods, but if the rigidity of his body is any indication, he’s not happy about stopping. I set fire to his need in one single kiss and told him to extinguish it before he was ready.
He’d surely pay me back for that later.
* * * * *
“That’s the best thing I’ve eaten in months.” Leaning back in my chair, I stretch, letting my food settle. Reaching across the table, I join my hand to Dax’s. “It’s a good thing we don’t eat like this all the time. I’d be like five hundred pounds.”
“Well then I guess you don’t want to hear about dessert,” he jokes, but eyes me with seriousness.
“Oh I want dessert,” I assure him. Lowering my voice, my tone conveys exactly what kind of dessert I want. Dax’s fingers grip mine, his thumb teasing the soft skin of my wrist. “But the dessert I had in mind has more to do with you than food.” Even in the flickering candle light, I see his eyes widen in need. The thick column of his throat shifts as he swallows hard.
Without letting go of his hand, I stand from my chair, pulling him up next to me. “Come to the bedroom,” I mutter, my lips pressing against his smooth cheek. “I want to give you your present.”
Seemingly incapable of speech, Dax simply nods and follows behind me. Tonka perks his head up from his dog bed on the floor as we walk past him. Sensing the calm peacefulness filling our home, he doesn’t bother following us to our room.
Guiding him to the bed, I walk him to the edge, but stop him from falling back onto the mattress. “Stay here,” I command and he listens.
With deft fingers, I slowly unbutton his shirt. “You look fucking hot tonight. You know that?” Pushing the fabric over his shoulders, I let his shirt fall to the floor. The thin T-shirt underneath molds to the hard planes of his muscles. His arms make my mouth go dry. Running my fingers along his biceps, I admit, “These are my favorite part of you.”
Shooting me a quizzical look, he asks, “Really? I would’ve thought something else was your favorite.”
Tracing random patterns of nothingness across his goose bump covered arms, I admit “Yeah, well that too, but these…these make me feel safe, loved.” Our eyes meet. “They make me feel whole.”
The calloused pad of his thumb traces along my lower lip. “You make me feel whole. Every single day, you make me feel more worthy than I did the day before,” he declares softly.
“Good,” I say, a touch of playfulness in my voice. “Then that means you won’t have a problem with my present.”
“What is it?” he asks skeptically.
“Me.” My lips work against his as my fingers work at his pants. I try my best to convey my need for him in our kiss, but nothing will ever be enough to do that. In between passion-filled gasps of air, I attempt to express what I need to.
Stepping back from him, I mourn the loss of his warmth, but I need a little distance to say what I need to say. “I’m giving you all of me, because I know you’ll never take it on your own.”
Scratching a hand over his jaw, he looks genuinely confused. “What do you mean?” he asks finally.
“What I have to say isn’t going to make sense, but I know it’s true, so you just have to follow along, okay?” And I do know it makes sense. I’ve thought about it non-stop since we first got together, and I need this as much as he does. “I know for a damn fact that you love me. I feel it in my bones. And you know I love you.”
“I do,” he says, his voice thickly laced with desire. Cupping my jaw, I revel in the feel of his fingers moving over my beard. “Tell me what you need to say,” his voice pleads, as do his eyes.
“You’re holding back,” I say finally. Witnessing pain and confusion morph his gorgeous face isn’t easy. Dropping his hand from my face, he takes a step back.
“How could you say that?” Hurt colors his words and for the briefest of moments I feel guilty about what I’ve just confessed, but it needed to be said.
“Because you do,” I declare, stepping toward him. Gripping his waist, I pull him back to me. “You love me so damn much, you’re afraid to show me what you need, what you want from me. You take it easy on me because you love me. Tonight,” practically begging, I grab his ass and pull his body impossibly close to mine. “Tonight, I want you to let go.”
Dax opens and closes his mouth, unable to put together any kind of lucid response. Though he doesn’t say anything, I can tell he’s at war with what I’ve just said. “It’s okay,” I encourage him as he shuts his eyes tight. “You can let go with me. You’re not going to fall.”
Empowered by the force he’s been restraining, he spins us around so that my legs rest against the bed. In seconds the rest of his clothes are gone as are mine, floating down to the ground. After pushing me to the bed, his body covers mine, hot and hard, ready for action. His mouth, pressing against mine, devours me. His slow languorous kisses escalate, transforming into a desperate attack. With shocking quickness, he moves down my body and kneels on the floor. Pulling my body to the edge of the mattress, he tosses my legs over his shoulders.
“Ahh fuck,” I growl fiercely when he pulls me all the way to the back of his throat. His hands are everywhere – up my legs, across my stomach, down my chest. Switching tactics, he uses his hand on my length, licking and sucking at my balls until they draw up tight in my body.
On a loud pop, he releases me from his beautiful mouth. Moving up the bed, he lay beside me. Curling at my side, his hand still works my dick as he murmurs in my ear, “You’re right about me holding back.” On his confession, I relax against him. “But not tonight. Tonight I won’t be afraid of taking you the way I’ve always wanted to.” His last words shake me to my core. “Suck these,” he commands, tracing two fingers along my lips.
Obeying his command is as easy as breathing.
Gently nipping at my neck, he works his wet fingers at my ass. Somehow, he manages to angle his leg up so that I can rest mine against it. He has me opened completely, plunging his fingers in and out of me, stretching me for him.
Only ever for him.
“I love you, Beck.” He ghosts his lips against my neck one last time before pushing me up further on the bed. He reaches over and pulls the bottle of lube out of his bed side table. Leaving only enough room for his knees on the edge, he kneels in between my spread legs.
Watching him drop the lube into his palm and work it over his cock is like watching moving art. The tendons of his forearm shift under his tanned skin, the veins in his hands bulging as he strokes himself for me.
“You like watching me, don’t you?” he asks, a smug grin pulling at his lips.
Nodding, I respond, “Fucking hell you know I do. I could watch you all night, but if you don’t fuck me soon, I’m going to go insane.”
He laughs, a sexy as fuck sound, at my unadulterated need.
Witnessing the thick cords of his neck and shoulders move as he lowers himself to me adds to my desire, makes me arch up to meet him halfway.
With one hand, he pushes down on my chest, the thick tip of his cock pressing into my ass. “Let’s get one thing straight.” His voice takes on a commanding tone. His face twists in seriousness and restraint as he buries himself inside me. “When I lose control,” he says, pulling out to the tip. “And I will,” he promises, gliding smoothly back into me. “I will never,” he pulls out on his last word. “Ever,” back in again, harder, faster, but still in control. “Fuck you,” out again, leaving only an inch of his perfect dick inside, teasing me. “I will only ever make love to you,” he promises before slamming into me with a force he’s never used before.
Effortlessly, he turns us so that he’s curved around my back. We’re both lying on our sides. Holding my leg in the crook of his elbow, he glides into me. Every inch of his front is touching my back. Curled around me, and filling me completely, Dax rocks against me. He loops his arm around my chest, pulling me even tighter against his body. And it’s in that moment I realize this is how he lets go.
By loving me infinitely, by capturing me and refusing to let me go. By make us one and promising, both with his body and his words that he’ll never ever let go.
He eases my leg down and drops his hand to my throbbing dick. “Dax,” I groan. His strokes match his thrusts and it all becomes too much for me.
Electricity courses through my veins, setting every centimeter of my skin and soul on fire. “Fuck, baby, I’m gonna come,” my voice wobbles, all restraint lost as he pounds into me.
“Yes….fuck…..Beck…come. Come for me,” Dax commands.
Seeing the hot ropes of my orgasm jet over his hand is something of which I’ll never tire. Based on the now frantic jerks of his hips, I can tell it’s a sight Dax thoroughly enjoys as well.
On one last hard push, one that threatens to split me in half, Dax sinks his teeth into my shoulder. The hot mixture of pleasure and pain causes my dick to throb once again in his hand.
Dax’s heavy breaths cascade down my back. Reveling in the feel of his smooth cheek pressed against my back, I pull the hand that was wrapped around my chest up to my mouth.
“I love you,” I say against our joined hands.
Smiling against my back, he agrees, “I love you, too. That was the best gift ever. And to think I didn’t get you anything.”
Turning in his embrace, I drop a hand to his jaw, cupping the tender skin there. “Yes you did. You’ve given me everything.”
After quickly cleaning up, we fall asleep naked in each other’s arms – a simple and rare pleasure that’s often impossible to enjoy when you have kids.
Waking up the next morning, I find myself alone, a small package my only bed companion.
Chuckling at his “I didn’t get you anything” ploy, I push myself up against the headboard. Violet’s voice filters in from the other room and that’s when I realize it’s past ten in the morning.
So that’s what sleep feels like.
“Morning sleepy head,” Dax greets me, handing me a cup of coffee.
“Happy Valentine’s Day!” Violet calls out excitedly. “Can I give you guys my present now?” She’s practically bouncing out of her seat, so I put Dax’s present for me down on the counter and we all sit on the couch. Tonka follows behind, sprawling out by our feet as Violet pulls a rolled up piece of paper out from behind her back. “I asked Aunt Chloe to help me. I hope you like it. I got the idea from my homework,” she explains, looking up at Dax.
“She had to draw a picture about something she loves,” Dax clarifies, the casual remark about helping her with her homework, about being present in every single moment of her life makes my heart swell.
Violet spreads the paper across her lap, holding it at the edges waiting expectantly for our reaction.
We’re both rendered speechless at what she’s given us.
It’s a beautiful landscape of the ocean, drawn as only a five year old can. Standing at the edge of the water, Violet is sandwiched in between me and Dax. Tonka sits at Dax’s side. The words written across the bottom aren’t formed perfectly; they wobble here and there, indicating how much she was focusing on trying to make them perfect.
The words, I love my daddies, are the most precious gift Dax and I could have ever received.
A proud smile splits her face as we make plans to have it framed and hung over the fireplace.
We linger through the rest of the morning. It’s the most perfect way to spend the morning after Valentine’s Day – with the girl who’s stolen my heart and the man of my dreams.
The only thing that makes it better is when Dax reminds me of his present. Dropping it in my lap, he prompts, “Go ahead open it.”
Sliding my finger under the flap of the envelope, I pull out the simple card.
If someone would have told me that someday my life would somehow twist to meet yours, I wouldn’t have believed them. When you’re in the dark for so long, you don’t feel deserving of the light. The panic-stricken life I was living wasn’t really living at all. It was merely an existence. But hope is a funny thing. It lives and breathes even when you think it’s long gone. Now I realize my hope was on life support until you came along. You give my life meaning. You give my existence a purpose. You and Violet are the air in my lungs and the beat of my heart. Without you two, there would be no me, at least not the me you know. I’d be a meager shadow of the man I’ve become. He’s here because of you.
You’ve given me my life back and there’s nothing I can ever give you that’ll be enough to tell you how much I love you, how thankful I am for you. I love the world you’ve created for me so I hope that this custom sketch book and these art supplies give you the opportunity to create a world where you find beauty and peace – a world just like you’ve given me.
I love you more than I ever thought I was capable of loving anyone. And that’s happened simply because you loved me with everything you are.
Ghosting my fingers over the faded and beautifully textured leather-bound sketch book, I stop at the embossed words at the bottom. Etched in a simple font are the words My heart & soul. My always & forever.
Pulling him into a tight embrace and pressing my lips against his, I know in my soul that truer words have never been written and deeper emotions have never been felt.
Dax is most definitely my heart and soul, my always and forever.