You’re My Better Half

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Here’s another new chapter in Christian and Maggie’s story, based on yet another favorite Keith Urban song. I hope you all enjoy it.

Take care and happy reading!

M.

****

Car door slams, it’s been a long day at work
I’m out on the freeway and I’m wondering if it’s all worth
The price that I pay, sometimes it doesn’t seem fair
I pull into the drive and you’re standing there
And you look at me
And give me that come-here-baby smile
It’s all gonna be all right
You take my hand
You pull me close and you hold me tight…

I yawned and rubbed my eyes. The highway stretched on for far too long beyond my windshield. This last road trip had been longer than the rest but I was finished now. I’d made it very clear that I couldn’t do these runs anymore. My job was at head office and I’d only agreed to this short stint to make up for a shortage of manpower.

Womanpower. Christian’s voice echoed in my head and I smiled.

Yes, this trip had been one too many and I wanted to be home. Home with Christian. We hadn’t been apart this much since we first started dating. Well, since we started dating again. There had been that brief time when I’d first moved away and we’d broken up. Before that year apart, we’d been all but inseparable and even since then, we’d done our best to stay in contact and see each other every other weekend. Now that we lived in the same city again, it was much, much easier

When you’re meant to be together and you can’t live without each other, tough choices like where to live and work become simple.

I reached over and cranked the radio when a familiar, upbeat song started playing. It reminded me of Christian, like so many songs did. From the time we’d met, until now, I could hear Christian in every lyric of every song, even the ones that weren’t all that romantic. I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel and when the song reached the chorus, I started singing along.

With this song and my heart full of anticipation, the time remaining before I’d get home seemed to be cut in half. Before I knew it, I was taking the exit to the interstate that ran through our city. I glanced at the clock and calculated how long it would be before I got home. But when my eyes hit the road in front of me again, there was a traffic jam blocking the entire interstate.

“What the hell!” I smacked an open palm against the steering wheel. Now what?

I eased to a stop behind a pick-up truck and let my head drop back to the seat. “I just want to go home.”

As I sat there stewing about the sudden extension to my drive home, I wondered what Christian was doing. It was just after five and he’d be heading home as well, from the other direction. He’d probably get home around five-thirty and maybe make himself something fast and easy for dinner. I’d hoped I could make it home in time to join him but now I could be hours longer than I’d expected.

Things had been so crazy in our lives for so long, I couldn’t remember the last time we’d been home to have dinner at the same time. We’d enjoyed a lazy and passionate Sunday together about a month ago but it hadn’t come close to whetting my appetite for Christian.

I smiled and twirled a lock of my long, brown hair around my fingers. One afternoon would never come close to easing my ache for Christian. I had a feeling a lifetime wasn’t going to be enough.

Exhaling on another sigh, I inched the car forward. Not for the first time, I wished I was driving a tank so I could just roll over everyone who got between me and my man.

The phone on my center console jangled and I jumped, startled. I couldn’t stop the silly grin from spreading across my face when I saw who was calling.

I engaged the Bluetooth and answered. “Hey, baby.”

“Hey you.”

My stomach did a somersault and I let out another sigh, this one contented instead of stressed. “Hi.”

His deep chuckle rolled through the line and eased me even further. God, I did love this man. “Where are you, angel?”

“On the interstate. There’s something going on up ahead and I’m stuck in about a hundred miles of parked cars.”

“Aw, are you serious?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn, I was hoping you’d be at home, waiting for me.”

I laughed. “Oh yeah? And what? I’d have dinner ready or something?”

“Sure. And you’d be wearing nothing but your apron and those lacy panties I got you for your birthday.”

My face warmed, in spite of the fact that I was alone in the car. He had that effect on me. In another few seconds, the heat would spread through the rest of my body. I squirmed, more eager than a minute ago to be home with him.

“I can put the panties on when I get home.”

He let out a short laugh. “You mean to tell me you’re not wearing any right now?”

I giggled. “Did I say that?”

“Don’t toy with me. I’ll make you pay for it later.”

“In that case, I’m not telling you anything about my panties. Nothing at all.” I settled back in my seat and eased my foot off the gas pedal for a few seconds balgat escort as traffic moved an inch. “I won’t tell you how I haven’t worn panties all day. I won’t tell you that I’m wearing that skirt you love me to wear with no panties at all.”

“So… you’re saying you’re horny.”

I laughed. “Sure. If that’s how you interpret that.”

“Why else would you leave your panties off?”

“Easy access? While I’m stuck in traffic?”

A moment of silence passed.

“Jesus, baby. Are you trying to kill me?”

I smothered another giddy laugh with one hand. “Why? Where are you?”

“I’m about a block away from home and getting myself off.”

I groaned. “I wish I was home.”

“Me too, angel. I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you, too.” I squeezed the steering wheel. “Man, this sucks!”

“Calm down. The traffic will start to move and you’ll be home in no time.” I heard the sound of his vehicle accelerating. “I’ll get dinner ready and wait for you to get home.”

“Oh, don’t wait on me, Christian. I could be another hour still.”

“Then I’ll eat in an hour. I want to spend dinner with my pretty girl.”

I grinned. “Your pretty girl? Don’t you mean woman?”

“You’re my pretty girl and my sexy woman.” He paused. “You’re my everything, Maggie.”

My heart leapt within my chest and I felt warmth suffuse my entire body. A different warmth than a few minutes ago. The kind of warmth Christian made me feel when he said these things to me.

“I love you, angel.”

“I love you, too.” My voice was thick with sudden emotion.

“I’ll see you soon.”

“Yeah. Bye, baby.”

I hit ‘end’ and glared at the line of cars in front of me. I closed my eyes and willed them all to disappear. A few seconds later, I was forced to accept that my will wouldn’t be enough. I sighed and tried to relax. There was no point in working myself up over it.

My patience wasn’t tested again. In ten minutes, we started to move forward instead of just inching. After another five minutes, I was driving at regular speed again and I let out a whoop of excitement when my next exit popped into view up ahead.

Another twenty minutes and I’ll be home!

My guess proved correct as I turned into the driveway of our home twenty minutes later. I grinned when I saw the porch light come on and the front door opened. Christian appeared in the halo of light and I wanted nothing more than to throw myself into his arms.

As I clambered out of the car, I left my suitcase and laptop case behind. I could grab them later. Right now, all I cared about was Christian. He waited for me on the porch as I rounded the car, that sexy, ‘come-here’ smile on his face.

“God, I’ve missed you, baby.” I threw my arms around his shoulders and buried my face against his neck.

He dropped his head to kiss the side of my face as his arms stole around my waist. “I missed you too, my angel.”

“I can’t take too many more of these trips.” I exhaled and shook my head. “I don’t know why they think it’s OK to keep sending me all over like this.”

“It’s the curse of being such a good start-up supervisor.”

I leaned back to look into his face. “I’m being punished for being good at my job? Is that what you’re saying?”

He nodded with a relaxed smile.

“I’m not even supposed to be covering these positions.” I wanted to shout and stamp my feet in frustration. “This was supposed to be temporary. I was the only one with experience three months ago but it’s different now. Shannon could do it, or Doug. This is crap!”

“I agree, Maggie.”

Christian squeezed me tighter, so tight I saw stars for a moment. Then he let me go so he could cup my face in his hands. I looked up into his chocolate brown eyes and gave him a weak smile. He leaned close and brushed his lips in a featherlight kiss over mine. I sighed and reached up to pull him closer.

“Come inside, angel,” he whispered, his lips tickling mine as he spoke. “I’ll feed you dinner and make you forget all about work.”

“Mmm. Promise?” My insides clenched as I considered all the ways he’d make me forget about work.

“Always.”

I nodded and he kissed me once more before leading the way inside our home.

“How was your day?” I asked as I went to the kitchen sink to wash my hands.

Christian moved to the stovetop, where he checked on a simmering pot. “It was fine.”

“Just fine?” I turned and dried my hands on a towel. “Come on. Give me the dirt.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “Really. It was fine. Same old, same old. Patrick called in sick so I had to deal with some of his customers today but it wasn’t too bad.” He turned and gestured at the dining room. “Go sit down. I’ll bring the food in a minute.”

“Are you sure I can’t help with something?” I reached for the covered dish on the counter but Christian swatted my hands away.

“Don’t you dare. I made this meal for you. Now go sit before I spank you.”

“Hmm. Idle threats…”

He growled batıkent escort at me and I darted out of his reach. My laughter echoed in the kitchen as I hurried out to the dining room as he’d ordered. Where I stopped short in the doorway.

“Oh, Christian…”

He’d already set the table, with two cans of our favorite grape soda waiting to be poured. It was a quirk of ours, that we preferred Grapico or sparkling ciders to wine after a long day at work. That wasn’t all that tugged at my heart though. He’d also pulled two chairs close together on one long side of the table so we’d eat next to each other, just the way I liked to. There were a dozen tall candles lit and arranged in the middle of the table. The only light in the room came from those candles.

“You’re not sitting.” His voice startled me.

I turned to look at him as he set down two plates loaded with dinner. “This is wonderful.”

“Really? You like it?”

I nodded and blinked back sudden tears. I reached for him and he brought me close to his body to hold me tight. “I love it, baby. You’re so good to me.”

“You deserve it.”

I shook my head, unable to form words at the moment.

“Don’t argue with me, woman.”

A giggle bubbled out of me and I lifted my head to look at him. He gave me a tender smile before bending down to kiss my cheeks and wipe my tears away with his thumbs.

“I love you. Did I tell you that today?”

“Yes, but I never get tired of hearing it.”

I nodded and he kissed me on the lips. After that, I drew in a deep breath and sat down as he pulled my chair out for me. From the first bite of dinner to the last, I could feel the stress of the last few days and the long drive home lifting away. By the time Christian was setting a simple dessert of orange sherbet in a waffle bowl in front of me, it was like I’d never been away.

Thoughts of work and the job I’d been doing for the past few months were still in the back of my mind, but with Christian close by, I felt I could deal with it.

“Thank you so much for dinner, baby.” I licked my spoon, making sure to get every last drop of sherbet off of it. “It was amazing.”

“I’m glad you liked it.”

I stood up and grabbed his dishes, as well as mine. “I’ll clean up so you can go relax now.”

“No, I can help.”

I smiled and held the dirty dishes out of his reach as I walked into the kitchen. “It’s fine. We both know you hate to do the dishes and I don’t mind.”

“Are you sure?”

I nodded and started the water running in the sink. While I did that, and cleaned up the rest of the kitchen, Christian went out to the car to grab the things I’d left behind. I heard him come back in and head upstairs but I wasn’t done. I wiped the counters down and put everything away, humming to myself as I went along.

Once I was finished, I turned the lights off and walked upstairs. “Christian?”

“In here, angel.” His voice drifted out of the master bedroom.

I walked in and found him in the adjoining bathroom. “What are you doing?”

He was sitting on the edge of the tub, holding his fingers under the stream of water. At my question, he turned to face me with a smile. “Running a bath. Care to join me?”

I smiled at him and came forward to put my hand in his outstretched one. He kissed my knuckles and I sighed. “Baby, you don’t like baths.”

“Sure I do.”?With a light laugh, I jiggled my hand in his until he looked up at me. “OK, then you don’t like baths the way I like baths.”

“I just don’t understand how you find scalding hot water relaxing.”

I laughed again. “It’s not scalding when I do it. Only as hot as I can stand it.”

He stood up, letting the water run. “Which is too hot for me.”

“So you’re running a luke-warm bath for us?” I teased and wrapped my arms around his neck.

“I guess you’ll just have to get naked and find out.” He wiggled his eyebrows at me and I might have laughed if not for the way my stomach tightened with need at his words.

Get naked. Yes, please. I wanted nothing more than that. After a week away from him, and a horrible drive home, I wanted to feel every inch of him against me. It would rejuvenate me, just like it always did. He was my strength, my comfort in a crazy world. Tears pricked the backs of my eyelids and I closed my eyes.

I think he must have known what was in my heart at that moment. He always knew, even without me telling him. I don’t know what I’d do without him.

“I love you, Christian.”

He kissed my closed eyelids and made a noise of agreement that made me smile. I let him keep kissing me my face all over as I spoke.

“You don’t know how much I count on you, do you?” I sighed when his lips brushed over mine before he pressed more kisses to my cheek. “Sometimes, when I think of how this job is going to drive me to drink or worse, I just think of you and it makes everything better.”

“Really?”

I opened my eyes and looked up into his face. I nodded. “Of course. You’re ankara escort so awesome. I know I can lean on you for anything.”

His smile widened and he kissed the tip of my nose. “I know, that’s right.”

I laughed at his self-satisfied tone and pushed him away. “Now back up, baby. I have some getting naked to do.”

He didn’t back up. Instead, with steady hands, he pulled my shirt up my torso. I stared into his eyes, blinking as the shirt slipped off over my head. His eyes dropped to take in the sight of my bared skin. His fingers traced the line of my bra strap on one side, while he pulled off the strap on the other side. I lifted my hands to undo the clasp of my bra but he stopped me and turned me around so he could do it. The bra landed on top of my shirt on the floor.

As I stood with my back to him, I felt his palms slide over my bared shoulders and down my naked back. I shivered when he stepped close and reached around to stroke the skin of my stomach. I could feel his warmth at my back and I leaned on him. One of his hands moved to the button and zipper at the back of my skirt while his other stayed low on my belly. He flicked the button open and pushed his hand inside. The movement was enough to dislodge the loose, flowy skirt from my hips, and it dropped to the floor with a swish.

He slipped a hand over my bared bottom and squeezed just a bit. I gasped and dropped my head to his shoulder. His mouth came down on my shoulder and he sucked, his tongue swirling in a circular pattern over my skin. With one arm wrapped around my middle, he moved one hand down further until he could feel how aroused I already was. I felt his exhalation on my neck and shuddered at the sensation.

“I didn’t think you’d actually gone without panties today.”

A breathless laugh escaped me and I nodded. “I had to. I needed to be ready for you.”

His fingers pressed inside of me and I bit my lip to stop a moan. “Ummhmmm. Seems that you’re always ready for me, angel.”

He played with me like that for a long moment, his fingers moving in and out of me in an agonizing slow rhythm. I moved my hips, lifting onto my toes, arching, seeking more from him. He sucked on my neck and licked a trail up one side to an ear before switching to the other side. I raised my hands to hold on to him but he stopped and pulled away.

“The tub’s ready,” he said and I turned to watch as he leaned over to turn the taps off.

I nodded, my body teetering close to the edge already. He looked at me, his eyes fixed on mine as he pulled his clothes off and I was able to finally see how aroused he was. Then he took my hands in his and we stepped into the bathtub together.

He let out a hiss and cussed with great imagination at the heat of the water. I laughed and squeezed his hands as we both adjusted to the temperature. He had made the water quite warm, not scalding like he’d joked about, but hot the way I liked it. After a minute, we slid down into the water. He rested with his back against the sloped edge of the tub and I settled in front of him.

At first, we didn’t speak. I was content to let the water relax every muscle in my body. I could still feel the need he’d stoked coiling in my stomach but I could wait for now. I knew Christian wouldn’t leave me unsatisfied. He never did.

“Is this what you were thinking about all day today?” His voice was soft in the steamy warmth of the bathroom.

I shook my head, rolling it back and forth against his shoulder where it rested. “I’d been thinking about you all day but not a bath. Thank you, baby.”

He kissed my temple. “No problem.”

We kept talking in low tones, easing our arms and hands through the water and over each other’s bodies. He’d stroke my stomach from my breasts to my hips and back up again, while I rubbed my hands up and down his thighs on either side of my body. He’d hold one of my arms out and dribble water from his hand over the outstretched limb as I tickled his feet with my toes.

After a little while, his caresses grew more focused and firm. He cupped my breasts and squeezed, before closing his thumb and forefingers on my nipples. Then he moved up to massage my shoulders and neck before moving his hands all the way down to my lower belly. I eased my legs apart when he reached further and found me still slick with arousal, even in the bathtub.

“Mmm, someone is all wet.”

I laughed and nodded. “Both of us, baby. We’re in the tub.”

He scoffed and pressed hot, open-mouthed kisses to my neck and shoulder. His fingers parted me and rubbed me where I was so sensitive already. I gasped and water sloshed around us when my hips jerked up to meet his caress. “You’re more than that kind of wet, and you know it.”

I didn’t deny it but I was already beyond intelligent speech. I moaned in response and let my eyes slide shut as he stroked me. I was wet, and so pliable under his hands as he played with me. He slipped his fingers inside once or twice but concentrated his efforts elsewhere for the most part. He rubbed in wide circles, fast ones, firm ones. Then he gave me a gentle pinch and I came apart with a wail.

He held me down as best as he could while I thrashed in his arms, coming and crying out his name. His fingers didn’t stop moving until I babbled and begged him to stop.

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