I stand in the baggage claim area at LAX waiting for Claire’s plane to get in. This is where we agreed to meet – the starting point of our adventure together. Now that I’m done in New Zealand and she’s wrapped up her job at the bank, we can finally be together. The past two and a half months have bitterly tested my patience. It doesn’t matter that I talked to Claire every night on the phone. It doesn’t matter I had some of the steamiest conversations of my life and hottest phone sex these past months. I’ve never missed anyone so much.
With all my heart, I’ve been looking forward to the moment I’d lay eyes on my woman again.
Yes, Claire Chase is my woman. There is no doubt about it. She’s been mine from the moment Austin introduced us. No one has ever made me feel the complete gamut of emotions that Claire does, and even if someone could make me feel any of those things, Claire got there first. My heart is hers. She owns me, heart and soul.
There are things about Claire that have shocked, surprised, and awed me, like the fact she’s leaving everything she knows behind to take this adventure with me. I’ve questioned constantly if this is right for her, worrying she might resent me later for putting a hiatus on her plans. But the more we talked and the more we planned our trip, the surer I became that she isn’t just doing this for me anymore – she’s excited and ready for it, too.
Claire Chase is no longer the uptight and tightly controlled teenager I met and perhaps started to fall for right from the beginning. She’s now a woman completely in charge of her sexuality and her life and the way she rocks my world every time we talk leaves me desperate for her.
Talking to Claire, and loving her, falling for her a little more every day – it’s the ultimate extreme sport. I don’t know where the ground is when it comes to my love for this woman. Everything she makes me feel seems endless. There is no rope, no net, nothing to contain everything I feel for her. The adrenaline rush that comes with those bottomless feelings is addictive.
When I see the screen show Claire’s flight from Melbourne is due in the luggage claim area, I stand up with my backpack and suitcase, my heart going a mile a minute, hands clammy as I wait to see my girl for the first time in three months.
I watch every person walking into baggage claim, waiting desperately to see her face. Then the crowd parts just for us and I see her walking behind a couple holding hands.
The moment Claire sees me standing there and smiles, her happiness lighting up her face, I feel a sense of completeness and rightness that’s been missing ever since I left for New Zealand.
I run for her, suitcase and all, and I breathe in the moment she lands in my arms. I squeeze her so hard, she laughs before pulling away.
“Hi,” she says almost a little shyly.
Then I lower my head and kiss her, letting her know in no uncertain terms just much I love her, how much I’ve missed her and how seeing her is the best thing that has happened to me since I left Australia.
“I’m really glad I brushed my teeth in the toilets before now,” she says, laughing.
“I wouldn’t care if you hadn’t brushed your teeth in years. I’ve been waiting to kiss you for three months.”
There’s an intensity in the way she looks at me that makes me wish we were alone. The jostling of people walking by doesn’t faze me. I’d take her here if it didn’t mean getting arrested. We’ve rented hotel rooms for the first week of our trip, something I’m relieved about now. Food can come to us. I have so much time to catch up on with her and the sooner we’re in a bed, the better.
“Stop it,” she whispers huskily.
“I can’t help it. It’s so good to see you.”
“I know how you feel. Let me grab my case and we can get out of here.”
It’s music to my ears.
The idea occurs to me when we’re in Las Vegas – the city of impromptu and impulsive marriages. Of course, I’ve already decided I’m spending the rest of my life with my girl; it’s the sight of all the happily married couples that glues and cements the idea and pushes me to make it official.
“When we get home, we should get married.”
Claire whips her head around from the balcony of the hotel we’re staying in. “What?”
I grin and walk up behind her, wrapping my arms around her as we take in the view. “I say, we should get married when we get home.”
“But…you’ve always hated the idea of being tied down.”
The thought of being tied down has always scared me, yes, but tying myself to this woman doesn’t make me feel nervous or confined.
“What scared me the most was life passing me by without getting to do all the things I wanted to do.”
“I know.” Claire doesn’t want to stop me from doing the things I want to do.
“One of the things I want to do is spend my life loving you, Claire.”
“You’re really okay with getting married?”
“Isn’t that what you want?”
“Yes, but…isn’t it too soon?”
“Are you kidding? We’ve been seeing each other since July, and I was in love with you for years before that. We don’t have to get married the second we touch down in Melbourne, I’m just saying I do want that with you.”
I want Claire to have everything she’s ever dreamed of. She wants the house, the husband, and the children. I want to give her that. Not because it’s what she wants, but because it’s what I want, too. If I had a family, it wouldn’t have to be like mine when I was growing up. I wouldn’t be like my dad. Claire would make sure we have the stability and security we need, and I could balance that out with my own ideas. Claire wouldn’t stop me. She wouldn’t need to worry about me coming home to her because I’m quite certain she’d be by my side on whatever adventure we’d go on.
We’d find our way in life. She’s my perfect complement – the person I want most. Our time apart in New Zealand showed me that I’m not interested in adventure unless she’s there to come home to.
I love her more than anything.
“What about children?” she asks.
Her voice is soft and dewy, seducing me with the idea already. I press a kiss to her neck, loving the way her breath hitches and the feel of her shiver.
“What about them?”
“Do you want them?”
“With you, yeah.”
I put my hand on her stomach, picturing her swollen with my child.
“It’s just one more adventure, isn’t it?”
Before I realised how I felt about Claire, I’d had one type of freedom, but not the other. Physically, I’d lacked the pressures and restrictions of one way of life, but I’d been so obsessed with living life that way that I’d been restricted in a way I hadn’t seen until lately. Clinging so tightly to one way of life had bound me to something – even if it was the idea that I should never be bound. I can see that now.
Freedom isn’t about not making commitments, it’s about being able to flow with life and make decisions that make you happy.
Claire turns in my arms, smiling up at me and putting her hands on my face. “I love you, Dylan James.”
Standing on her tiptoes, she reaches up and kisses me, and I let her explore my mouth with her own. My hand slips inside her gaping robe and I press my aching erection against her.
“Want to start trying now?” I murmur against her lips.
She giggles, even as her head falls back and I nip at her shoulder. “After.”
“After I’ve had my fill of you. I’m okay with it being us for a little bit longer. We have time to make up for.”
I’m on board with that.
“After it is, then. I want to start practicing now, though.”
“Yes, you want to practice now?” “And yes, I want to marry you.”
A/N: Thanks for reading! 🙂 Please like, share or leave a comment if you enjoyed the chapter, or please just keep reading.