10. Bliss

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Sunday morning, after quick trips to the loo, Valerie and Lorne luxuriated in each other in bed. While they lay relaxing in the afterglow of another mutual, she asked, "You hungry?"

"For you."

"Hmmm. Yeah, same — for you." She stroked the long stubble on his cheek. "But for food? It's quarter past eleven."

He rolled her on top of him. "Let's cuddle a while longer before we get up. I don't want this bliss to end."

"You know how atypical this is?"

"What is?"

"A man wanting to cuddle afterwards."

"But it seems so natural." He ran his fingers down her back, lightly tracing the contour of her butt cheeks and enjoying her quiet humming moans.

After a pleasant interlude, she asked, "So, what's our next step?"

"Probably a shower and then brunch."

Valerie chuckled. "I meant beyond that. Back in London."

Lorne remained silent as he bobbed his head in a series of small nods. Then after a deep sigh, he said, "Yeah. We need to examine that."

"What do you see?"

"Us." He paused and nodded slowly again. "Yeah, us."

"I'd like that." She wiggled her body on his, then their mouths merged.

A few minutes to noon, they stood in the shower washing each other while they continued exploring schedules back in London. Lorne paused as he soaped her breasts. "I'll miss these. I have a meeting in Cape Town Wednesday afternoon."

Valerie chuckled. "They'll miss you. But you'll miss the soup kitchen."

"I had planned to leave after it." He shook his head. "Crazy, isn't it? I had rearranged my schedule so I wouldn't miss seeing you there. The whole world had to shift from a morning meeting to an afternoon one because of you."

She nodded. "Yeah. I juggled a lot of others as well."

"We're bad into this, aren't we?"

"No." She shook her head. "No, we're good into it."

A long passionate kiss later, their lips parted, and Lorne said, "Really, really good, as we used to say."

After they had rinsed and dried, Lorne watched with fascination as she manipulated her hair into a swirling French braid which dipped around her left ear and ended above her right one. "You're good at that."

"Among the things Mum taught me." She shook her head as she examined her image in the dressing table's mirror. "With all her faults, she was a great mother. She told me natural is the most beautiful, and I've saved countless hours over the years by not using makeup."

"Even with your modelling?"

"I had tough fights in the beginning, and I turned down shoots because of my refusal to be painted. And, of course, all the cosmetics ones."

"I've always questioned the reason for caked faces."

"Some need it to cover flaws, but most use it because of marketing." While she spoke, Valerie took a liner from a bag in her purse and tabbed it onto the crotch of a thong, smiling at Lorne's response as she pulled the tiny slip of lingerie up and adjusted it into place.

"Oh, fuck!" He looked down at his throbbing, then up into her eyes. "That's for me, isn't it? To absorb your turn on."

She nodded as she knelt in front of him.

<><><>

At twelve forty, Valerie and Lorne were ushered to a window table in the crowded La Terrasse, overlooking the hotel's gardens. After they were seated, she said, "It appears you had reserved?"

"It's essential. Sunday brunch here has become a tradition."

"When?"

"It's been this way for years, long before I started coming."

Valerie laughed. "No, I meant, when did you reserve?"

"Wednesday morning when I began planning our weekend."

She wiggled her hand in his and smiled. "What else had you planned?"

"To seduce you."

"Hmmm. And how had you planned for that?"

"To begin, I had a long talk with my mother, discussing what pleases women." He shrugged. "I didn't know where to start."

"And what did she tell you?"

"To be myself. Be honest. Be respectful and show I care."

"Wise woman."

"She also suggested I talk with a sex therapist."

Valerie bobbed her head as she absorbed this. Oh, God! Should I tell him? "And did you?"

He nodded.

"And what did you learn?" 

"The main thing that came out of our session was that I'm demisexual."

"What's that?"

"People who don't experience any sexual attraction until after a close emotional connection has formed. Often we're attracted to only a few people in our entire lifetimes, or even to just one person."

Valerie bobbed her head. "Yeah. This makes more sense now. What else did she tell you?"

"To show my interest in you, but to allow you to take the lead. She said with your interest, you'd know what to do." 

Valerie tilted her head. "And how did she know about my interest?"

Lorne shrugged. "She described and showed pictures of a long series of body-language moves and poses, asking me to tell her which I had seen from you."

"Oh, God! So, you knew I was as horny as all fuck for you?"

A broad grin grew on his face. "No, I didn't." He laughed. "She told me I needn't worry. Show my interest and you would take it from there."

Valerie blushed. "Yeah. Astute woman."

"So, are you still as horny as all fuck for me?"

"Hmmm. Even more, now. But without the fear and the desperation." She squeezed his hand and hummed again.

Lorne was about to speak when a waitress arrived to ask their drink preference. "Cava, Prosecco, Crèmant d'Alsace? Du café ou du thé?"

"Crèmant d'Alsace?" Lorne questioned Valerie, then seeing her nod, he ordered two.

They remained silent for a long while as they waited, then Lorne said, "You look somewhere far away."

"Yeah. Looking back. Some dark stuff I need to tell you about."

"I'm all ears."

"Let's enjoy brunch first." She blew out a deep breath. "Don't want to spoil it."

He craned his neck to scan the buffet. "Yeah, I was told they've fresh Nova Scotia lobster today."

"Up-scale brunch."

"One of my favourites." He chuckled. "I come here for it every Sunday the plane isn't booked."

"You were bored and lonely, weren't you?"

He nodded. "But not anymore."

"Yeah, same."

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