As he climbed the last few steps to the landing outside the office and the soft glow of the lamp shining through the glass he heard her soft voice singing along with the radio. She’d been staying until he came back after surveillance every day this week, catching up on files, archiving past files and getting their accounts up to date.
At least those were her excuses. Though there’d been no other indication of her motivations, so maybe he was just thinking wishfully, which was nothing new.
Her shadow through the glass seemed to be dancing, swaying and moving delicately. He braced himself and quietly opened the door to find her sweeping the floor dreamily while a man with the voice of a medieval chorister sang about Bethlehem and the end.
“…rest of you
The best of you
Honey, belongs to me,” the chorister crooned, his voice filled with longing that Cormoran could certainly identify with.
Robin, her back still to him, hummed along, her stockinged feet making no sound as she moved the broom in time with the music. Her hips swayed softly, enticingly, her hair shining a dull rose in the soft light of the lamp next to her desk.
He wanted her pressed against him, her back tight against his chest and stomach, her arse cradled against his hips. He ached to brush that hair from her neck, leaving it bare for his lips to sample.
“…like thunder under earth, the sound it makes,
Ain’t it exciting you, the rumble where you lay
Ain’t you my baby.”
But she wasn’t. Not yet at least.
He’d waited. Cautious of her emotional state after the crumbling of her marriage. He’d wanted to make sure she was ready. The last thing he wanted to do was pressure her or make her uncomfortable, so he’d spent the last six months enjoying her company when it was offered and craving it when it wasn’t. Silently.
He’d avoided other women, not allowing himself even one night stands. He’d asked Nick and Ilsa to stop inviting single women to their get-togethers in the hopes that he’d find someone. He hadn’t told them why, but he knew Ilsa knew. Ilsa knew everything it seemed.
For him there was no one but the woman now quietly singing, “Nothing fucks with my baby. Nothing can get a look in on my baby.”
Just as he thought about how much he’d like to get a look in, finally, she turned to lift the dustpan from the low table, in front of the pleather sofa, she’d set it on, registering his presence for the first time.
He was stood there, hands in his coat pockets, just inside the door, watching her. He knew what it must look like. He knew what she must see on his face. He knew his feelings were there for her to read.
This is it, he thought. Now or never, you bastard.
Before she could say anything he held out a hand as he shrugged out of his coat. It fell softly to the floor behind him with a quiet whump, as she extended the broom, her brow quirked with confusion. He took the broom, feeling his eyes crinkle with humor at her confusion and without looking he extended his arm behind him, letting the broom go with a gentle push until he heard it thunk against the wall next to the coat rack.
His eyes never left hers.
His fingers slid along her still outstretched hand, grasping her wrist gently, tugging her, lightly, toward him.
“Cormor…?” she began, before trailing off as he pulled her against him and brought his other hand to her waist, then folding their joined hands against his chest.
He hummed along with the music as she relaxed against him. Her chin resting on his shoulder, her arm sliding slowly up his back until her hand rested next to her chin.
“If I was born, as a blackthorn tree
I’d wanna be felled by you
Held by you…”
He felt the flames ignite as her body lined up against his, swaying slightly, not truly moving, just holding as he turned his head to press a soft kiss to her temple. Her hair scented of violets and cherries and the weight of her burning him to the bone with need. He was consumed, engulfed, incinerated in a welter of need.
He felt, as well as heard, her sigh and stroked her palm with his thumb as the chorister sang again about his baby, the song edging to a close and into a much more upbeat hymn by the same singer.
Neither of them moved, aside from their breaths and his thumb on her palm. They stayed pressed tightly against each other, each breathing the other in.
The air filled with a delicious tension as his nose rubbed against the skin just in front of her ear. He could feel her lips part, her indrawn breath next to his ear. “This OK?” he whispered, his lips moved to the spot behind the soft lobe of her ear, pressing lightly.
Her head fell back, her eyes capturing his, swirling with a languid storm of desire, her parted lips whispering, so soft he barely heard her, “Yeah.”
He wasn’t sure who moved first, how exactly they came together, but his hand was in her hair and his mouth was sealed over hers, her tongue chasing his, flavored with tea and chocolate and something that was only Robin, but that tasted so familiar and sweet.
Her arms locked around him as they shuffled backward until he pressed her against the wall between the windows next to her desk. His hands framed her face as hers dove into his hair. His lips raced across her cheeks, down her neck, up to her ear so he could whisper how much he’d craved her, how much he’d ached for her. He lost track of what he was saying, so absorbed in the feel, the taste, the need for her.
Her sighs and moans and quiet whispers echoed his, until, “You took so long Cormoran. So bloody long,” she groaned.
He drew back, pulling his hands from her waist where he’d been skimming his fingertips along her waistband, chasing the trembles racing along the soft skin there, once again framing her face, silently willing her eyes to his. “I didn’t want to rush you. I wanted you to be sure,” he rasped hoarsely.
“I’m sure,” she whispered. “I’m so fucking sure.”
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