Lou dipped his head to hers. "If you do get cold, just tell me."

He slanted his well-defined masculine jaw to her less-than-feminine jaw, seeking her not-so-beautiful lax lips with his beautiful firm mouth.

No quick kill here. Though clearly he had no need to romance her, Lou took his time over her seduction. He had to know how his closeness affected her, how he drew her, how susceptible she was to him. Yet he kissed her tenderly, as though he really wanted to kiss her, as though he had nothing else in mind, as if the embrace wasn't a stepping-stone to somewhere else. He took her lips as though the kiss was a destination in and of itself, not an annoying but brief detour on the express lane to bed.

She resented the hell out of Lou then. Get out of my face and into my pussy where I need you.

"Doing okay?" he asked against her open mouth.

"Effin' f-fine."

"Good," said solemn Lou. "I'm glad you're fine."

Oh but she wasn't fine. Wasn’t fine at all. He devastated her with his gentle kiss, swept her away. On the dark pier, she felt unmoored, a clunky boat -- an ugly barge -- set adrift. How could he do this to her?

He swallowed up her small breasts within his big hands. But rather than smother the fire, he added gasoline to the flames, especially when he petted her nipples. Fully engulfed, about to spontaneously combust, she moaned in pained, open-mouthed pleasure. Her belly performing somersaults, she wound her fingers in his short, conservative hair. "Don't stop."

At her heated instruction, something changed. Where before Lou had reverently fondled her breasts, now he squeezed. Kneaded. Pinched the tips.

"Damn, damn, damn," he muttered.

Jeez, he must be at the end of his rope. She’d rated three cusses in a row.

In the darkness, he found her gaping mouth again, and pierced the interior once more with his tongue. Forcefully.

Yippee. He was ramming toward the back of her throat. Despite the best of intentions, she slid ever deeper into Lou's weird mild-mannered rap.

Though -- though -- where had his mild-mannered nature gone?

The rough kiss, the boxer's hold on her, the heady grunts and groans, were hardly the sort of foreplay she’d expected from this quiet-spoken guy of the dark suit and tie. Lou’s preliminaries were not neat and tidy. Not a tribute to a staid businessman’s organizational skills. His moves contained no artful choreography; the arrangement of his steps did little to impress. He darted his hands -- uncool now, unsteady now -- all over her, seemingly in several different directions at once.

His clumsiness thrilled her. Had she done that to him?

En route to his zipper, she bumped into his wildly roaming, clutching, greedy, entirely human hands.

"No!" he growled. "Don't take me out. I'll come if you do. Let me do you."

Blue Heron on the receiving end of foreplay?

Never happened. And a man taking charge? New concept, that.

But --

"O-okay," she managed to stammer.

After she gave him the go ahead, fear -- that pleasure-depriving monster -- slammed into her gut with the force of the seven furies.

What was this? What was going on? Why was she letting him do all the work?

Evidently Lou didn't view foreplay as work. Or if he did, he certainly enjoyed his occupation. So she let him. Quite simply, she gave into him. Anything else required more energy than she possessed. For some reason, her stamina had hit the skids.

"Lou, Lou, Lou," she gasped, and sputtered, and choked.

"Yeah. Who knew?"

Not her. Where had this delight come from? Like fragile fireflies, the glittering feelings, the brilliant sensations, lit up the darkness inside her. She hadn't expected this reaction, didn't necessarily even want this reaction. Experimentation without commitment? Yeah! Bring it on! But a draining upheaval that left her weak and depleted? No, no, no! She didn't need this shit in her life, not now.