The Afterglow

This is the third and last part of the "How To" trilogy. If you haven't read the previous parts, please start from the beginning:

1. How To Fall In Love In 24 Hours

2. How To Make A Good Decision

Also, this part includes major spoilers for my other story The One That Got Away, so if you haven't read it yet and you want to give it a try, I advise you to do it before starting this one.

If you've read this far, you know it is rated M for a reason, so I'm skipping this warning.

Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash


In this volume we will discuss the last concept of Kristina Guo's DECIDE model of decision-making:

Evaluate and monitor the solution and examine feedback when necessary

In other words: make sure you made the right decision and how to deal with consequences or what to expect when you didn't expect to be in a situation?

We are always concerned about the decision making, about finding the one, about knowing what would be the best route to take… Most movies and novels end when the couple ends up together. As if the magical solution to every problem in existence is making a choice and sealing it with a kiss.

But what about standing by it? What about the the result of your actions, of your choice? What about the problems that may come up after the big dilemma? What about the consequent decisions you need to make as a result of the previous one?

How do you deal with all of those, knowing you did it to yourself and there is no way out. Or if there is, you're not interested to find it.

"You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice." – Zig Ziglar

I was asleep. My eyes were closed, my body was so relaxed it felt like it was floating above, my mind wasn't yet thinking about anything in particular.

But I could feel him.

His body heat, radiating against my back.

His calm breathing, exhaled air tickling my ear.

His hand, pleasantly heavy on my hip.

He was not asleep. And as his fingers started to dance across the skin revealed between the end of my pajama top and the beginning of the bottoms, I knew I wouldn't be able to drift back to sleep anymore.

His hand slipped under the satin fabric of my top, lazily trailing invisible traces over the skin of my back. I felt his lips at the nape of my neck, hot and moist, just as his hand slid to my front, to now tickle my belly softly. I shivered - I always did when touched the back of my neck, which he knew and used every time.

His fingers moved up slowly, while his lips left a trail of kisses up and down my neck, moving to its side next. I didn't move yet, allowing him to warm my body up to the point of boiling, like only he could.

His hand traced the curve under my breast, as he pushed my collar to the side with his nose to continue the kisses trail onto my shoulder. Just as my breath hitched, his hand left my chest, but only to reach the buttons of my pajama shirt, opening them one by one, at a torturously slow pace.

I arched my ass into his groin, desperate to feel him and also wanting to affect him the way he did to me. Not much work was needed there, he was warmed up alright.

But as always, a quickie wasn't in his vocabulary. Or at least, I hadn't found it yet. I made a mental note to try sometime, but in the meanwhile surrendered to his patient, torturous touch.

His fingers lightly traveled up the middle of my front, between my breasts, to my shoulder, to the collar of my top. Pushing it aside and down my shoulder, he finally exposed more of my flesh to his mouth, which he certainly took advantage of.

I was hot, too hot to be wearing anything at all, but my position didn't allow me to dispose of my own clothes. I could only take comfort in the fact that at least he wasn't wearing anything but underwear, so as soon as he finally pushed my pajama top down and off my body, I could feel his heated skin against mine.

He was kissing anywhere he could reach from his position behind me, wet, opened mouthed kisses. One of his arms was around and under me, his hand massaging my breast just forcefully enough, while his other hand cupped the swell of my buttock, traced the curve underneath it, then slowly eased its way between my legs.

I pushed harder against him, eager and quite honestly - desperate for some friction at last. Of course, he didn't just touch where I needed it most. That just wasn't his style. His fingers caressed me over the layers of my panties and pajama shorts, increasing the pressure little by little. Then they dipped under the fabric, teasing me too lightly for the level of arousal I was at by that point.

I reached back to grab his erection, applying pulsating pressure, then releasing it from the constraints of his boxer briefs. It wasn't the most comfortable angle for me to try and return the torturous pleasure, but I knew his pressure points well enough by now to manage despite that.

It worked, as he reacted by sliding the last pieces of clothing off my butt and down my legs, until they were discarded somewhere under the covers. I cupped him, then adjusted myself closer to him, placing his shaft along my womanhood.

I moaned at the sensation, which way too soon became simply not enough. I moved back and forth for that delicious friction I yearned for so much. His arms tightened around me, the pace of his fingers at my clit and nipple quickened, the pressure intensified. His mouth never rested, as it kissed, licked and sucked on my neck, shoulder and back.

There was only so much foreplay I could take. I practically tore myself from his arms, moving only the smallest distance needed to reach my nightstand and the box of conforms in its drawer.

He tried to pull me back before I ripped the package open, but I was not about to give in. I pushed him away and onto his back, taking control now.

He was lying there in all his long and lean glory, muscles flexing with tension, the evidence of his desire practically calling for me. I lightly ran my fingers up and down the length of it, straddling him.

His hands immediately found their way to my thighs, then up to my hips and over the round swell of my ass.

I bent down to lick his tip gently, then whirl my tongue around it, then suck it into my mouth. Maybe just the tiniest bit harder than he could take. The ab muscles tensed even further, as well as in his biceps, as his grip on me tightened. I could feel his fingers digging into my flesh as I took more of him into the warmth of my mouth, sliding down, then sucking up. Then I moved to his taint.

He hissed.

I took it as a sign. Straightening up, I took out the condom and rolled it onto him, then positioned myself above and lowered myself onto him.

We both let out muted moans at the sensation. I placed my hands onto his chest for support as I started riding up and down.

He moved his hand to the junction between us, rolling his thumb over my most sensitive spot, sending lightning bolts up my spine. His other hand cupped my breast, then traveled up to my face, tracing the contour of my lips.

I took his finger into my mouth, replicating the movements I'd done on another part of him earlier.

He sat up and captured my lips in one of those all-consuming kisses of his, making it difficult for me to move. I moaned in protest, trying to pry myself from his mouth, to be able to keep the pace up, but then he started thrusting up into me and I clung to his biceps, nails digging, almost breaking the skin. I was so close I wanted to scream.

And then I did.

I let out a cry that would put a porn star to shame. He thrust a few more times, prolonging my orgasm as he kept hitting that sweet spot within me and massaging from the outside - and then he was gone too.

He fell back onto the bed and I collapsed on top of his chest, a heap of burning skin and over sensitive nerves.

"Good morning," Dylan murmured in my ear, his voice still husky from lack of use.

"Indeed," I smiled into his chest, then lazily detached myself and moved off him. "It's nice having you here overnight,"

"Nice?" He raised an eyebrow at me, smirking.

"Mind blowing?" I snickered teasingly.

"Is that a question?"

"Shouldn't it be?"

"Maybe we should repeat it, just to make sure," He reached out for me, pretending he was seriously going for round two.

"Maybe in a couple of hours," I giggled and got up and out of bed.

"Oh? That bad?" I rolled my eyes in response, as we both knew it couldn't be farther from 'bad'.

"We have plans," I informed him instead, then walked around the bed to the side where he sat and started to pull on his jeans. "I really do love having you here," I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him, as he hugged me from his sitting position.

"Okay, if you don't get dressed now, we are going to repeat that now," He said (only half jokingly), stopping the kiss just in case. I laughed and went to my wardrobe to pick out an outfit. "What plans do we have?"

"We're going for breakfast,"

"Dinner and breakfast out? We are wild." It was the Sunday before Valentine's Day and as Dylan didn't have a babysitter for the next evening, we decided we would go out for a nice dinner on Saturday and pretend we were celebrating Valentine's. He'd arrived at my apartment with a gorgeous orchid and wine we'd finished off after dinner back at the apartment. It was the first time he was staying overnight, as he usually headed home in the middle of the night to be there when his kids got up in the morning. Well, it was technically the second time, but the first time had been before we were officially together and well… it didn't go that well.

"Well, I wanted to cook you something nice, but after consulting a friend of mine, who's actually good at that, decided to outsource,"

"Okay," Dylan laughed, his warm eyes crinkling.

After we both got ready, I searched for directions to the target place and we walked according to the route, completely at ease, talking effortlessly, holding hands. Fucking holding hands. Who was I?

"Here," I pointed to the cafe I'd picked out and he followed me across the street and inside.

"So, what's so special here?" Dylan asked, picking up the menu handed to us.

"It's breakfast from all around the world. There's this one dish…" I said slowly, searching for it with my eyes as I waited for him to find it as well.

"Oh my god, Beth!" The delight in his eyes made me smile so wide my cheeks hurt.

"It wasn't easy to find, but…"

There they were, Russian Crepes Blini.

"I can't believe you remembered!"

"The tale about your unstoppable grandmother? It is quite a memorable one, don't you think?"

"It was ages ago,"

"Barely a few months, actually. Though I don't think I'll have a difficult time remembering it in years either,"

"You're amazing, thank you," Dylan leaned over to kiss me and I almost melted into him. Seriously, who was I?

"So what's the difference between French and Russian crepes?"

"Depends on who you ask. It's basically the same thing, but the texture is a bit different,"

We chatted lightly while waiting for our orders, then dug into the food like the ravenous humans we were.

"So I was thinking…" I started hesitantly, a few bites later. "I'd like to meet Ella and Greyson," He looked up at me in surprise. A little more surprise than I'd expected.

"So soon?"

"Well, nothing about this has been slow or even normally paced, so why start now?" He didn't seem like he was ready for humor, so I continued more seriously. "I'm not trying to pressure you or anything. I just wanted to let you know that whenever you feel ready - I am,"

"Are you sure?" He tried to conceal his discomfort by sipping from his coffee casually.

"That I want to get to know your kids?" I cocked my head to the side. "Wasn't this the whole point of making the hard decisions and all that drama?"

"I know, but… Let me think about it, okay?"

"Sure. Don't stress out, there's no rush. I just wanted to let you know how I feel," I reached out to place my hand over his in reassurance.

"Thank you. It means a lot," Dylan smiled back, genuinely as always. "How's the apartment hunting going?"

"Good. I think I actually found a place,"

"That's great! When are you moving?"

"If I go through with it, by the end of the month,"

"Are you serious? It's in two weeks,"

"Yeah, well, I have to get out of the Airbnb soon anyway. It's way too expensive to keep for another month,"

"Sounds stressful. Do you need help?"

"With packing my shit?"

"I don't know, whatever you need,"

"I'll manage, thanks,"

What I didn't hurry to share was the location of my new apartment, out of fear he might freak out. It's not that me being closer would stress him out because he was scared of the commitment. I knew it wasn't an issue for him. I also knew he wouldn't want me to 'sacrifice' anymore of my life for this relationship. For him.