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Freedom To Love

by LP Steinbeck 4 months ago in fiction

When prison ends, will life and love proceed?

Laura said her good-byes, her heart in her throat, and walked resolutely to her car. She could tell from the looks in their eyes before she left that they weren't sure what she should do, either. All except Johnny. His eyes spoke of yearning. They were, in fact, a mirror of her own heart. She yearned for him, and had for nearly a dozen years, though now doubts shadowed her thoughts. Insecurities had made a tight knot deep inside about his want of her, for how long would it last, as his life rapidly changed for the better? Her life had been on hold for the day, well, for the coming of THIS day, and so far it had been anti-climactic.

She tried to hold it together as she walked, willing her emotions down.

The gravel crunched behind her, and she knew he was following, and as he approached from the side, he reached out and took her hand.

"Laura..." his voice reached her as he stopped walking, still holding her hand, only a meter from the car, "Laura", he said again, quietly.

She looked at him. "I don't know what I am doing," she said.

Laura noticed Johnny's mother and stepfather, Jack, had gone inside.

She pulled her hand from Johnny's, opening the car door, and got into the driver's seat, but he held the door open, and crouched down next to her.

"Stay," he said.

His hand covered hers, caressing it, and he leaned in, and whispered,

' "I want to love you gently, and also fiercely. I want to snuggle in the sweat of our efforts, clinging tightly as our hearts become calmer, flesh flavored kisses as we regain our strength to love again..." '

Laura looked at him, wiping away tears as they streamed down her face. He was repeating words she had written to him, as she poured out her fantasies of their togetherness in letters to him, even before their first meeting.

He had been through a lot. Close to half his life had been spent in prison, having shot his mother's boyfriend because he continuously beat her. It was a case that had been used to set a precedent, and make an example by political forces, so his original sentence had been much longer. Now, here he was, free. There were no barriers between them, or rules, or guards, or he was, wanting her.

"Stay," he said again, rubbing her arm, and the back of his other hand rubbed against the side of her thigh, the soft, thin fabric of her skirt allowing the pressure and warmth of his hand to send messages her body couldn't ignore.

"You didn't need to get a hotel room. You're welcome here."

Laura became acutely aware of the bulge in Johnny's pants, trying not to look too obvious, or too shocked. He gently laughed, and pulled her towards him, capturing her mouth in a hungry kiss.

"It's for you," he said, kissing her again, and she moaned, her heart thumping hard, and her mind racing.

The first letter between them had been when he was 27, about five years into his sentenced time, when she was 45, and she had needed his friendship as much as he had needed hers. She had sought to encourage him, then soon discovered a camaraderie with him that subdued the emptiness of widowhood, all in the aegis of their letters.

Johnny had not held back the truth about the reason for his incarceration. He had sincere remorse, for the price was steep to see his mother safe, and he regretted taking the man's life.

Laura had appreciated his candor, and in her own way, saw him as being his mother's hero.

Johnny's kisses were deeper, longer, slower, and he pulled Laura from the car to a standing position, burying his face next to her neck, breathing in her fragrance. Her hands and arms held him, rubbing over the strength of him, kissing the side of his face and neck. Barely a husky whisper, he told her he wanted her, and urged her to come inside the house, then continued to kiss.

"There's something I want to show you," she said, "in town."

Johnny pulled back, holding her upper arms, searching her eyes.

He saw the look in her eyes, and a slow smile spread across his face.

"Would you accompany me to my hotel?" She asking, smiling coyly.

He pressed the center of his body slightly more to her own, "I will accompany you anywhere. Let's go."

He ran to the passenger side and was in buckling before she had even sat down. Laura's legs were trembling, and she focused on her breathing, yet it was somehow better when she saw his hand quiver, and felt his pulse as their hands intertwined before she buckled up. Johnny's lips found hers now, but they were gentler, and his right hand reached across to stroke her hair, hold her head to his. They kissed, and it was simply profound how comforting it was to be together. How long did it last? She opened her eyes, and he would kiss her again. Finally, this sweet game made her giggle, and he laughed, too. He cleared his throat.

"May I tell you something?"

She nodded, holding her breath.

"I'm nervous as hell", and he kissed her again, "I know how much this means to you", another kiss, "and I really want to show you how much you mean to me", longer kiss, "but it HAS been a long time, and I'm nervous."

Laura squeezed the hand she had been holding since they got in, and told him, "Kissing helps. I'm nervous, too, Johnny. Let's go to the hotel."

They released hands so she could drive, and she missed his touch immediately. He chuckled and shook his head, and she asked 'what?'

"I missed your hand in mine as soon as it was gone, that's all", he said.

She couldn't stop smiling.

On the drive, Johnny marveled at changes in the area since he had last been there, close to twenty years earlier. He was eager to be busy, happy there was plenty to do at Jack's ranch, yet curious to explore old haunts and have new adventures. He finally sighed, looking out the side window, shaking his head, and admitted he didn't know many people. He looked at Laura. "I know you, and a handful of family members, and you've been the one keeping in touch with me, making me feel like a real part of your life. Thank you for that. I can't believe you're here."

"Johnny, you are my close friend, and I love you. You don't have to thank me, because I'm just as grateful you didn't decide I had way too many issues to be worth your time."

"All I had was time, Laura... "

She smiled, trying not to cry anymore as she pulled in and parked close to the hotel's main entrance. Johnny nodded his head and smiled, "This is definitely an upgrade from where I was less than two days ago."

Without words, she locked the car, then they went through the lobby, smiling and waving at the two women working at the front desk. No sooner were they out of sight, when Johnny grabbed Laura, holding her tightly, silent sobs ripping through him as he held her, and she tried not to cry, failing this, but held him, too, as though their lives depended on it.

Laura comprehended these emotions were less about her, and more about finally being free, and not knowing if it was really alright to live now, without the weight of the past. That was part of what was special about Johnny, was he had consciously paid the price in memory and regret, and she hoped he was ready to move forward, now that he had his freedom.

She stroked his neck and back as they calmed, and they shared a long, desperate kiss, and another, before he looked at her, and said, "Okay".

She knew it was all he could say without breaking down again, and she held his hand as they took the elevator to the third floor, leading him past seven rooms before stopping to open theirs, flipping on the light as they walked into a small entryway. She stepped in front of Johnny and turned to face him, about to burst from excitement, and picked up something from the table adjacent to the door.

He looked at it. "A blindfold?...Kinky."

"NOooo, no, just put it on, okay? You are too tall for me to do it."

He put on the blindfold, smiling, and she took his hand, admonishing him not to peek, and stole a kiss as they both laughed, holding him for a few seconds before guiding him into the suite. Laura held both of his hands and squeezed them, then let go and told him he could remove the blindfold.

Johnny couldn't take it all in at once. Above him, in human made, though exquisite beauty, were delicate strands of miniature lights hung in shallow scallops across the ceiling, and with their white cords, they looked like stars, and here and there, one would twinkle more than the rest.

The lights made the ivory brocade fabrics of bed, sconce, and drapes glimmer, with burnished gold accents and rich mahogany wood accomplishing an atmosphere of deep luxury. The bar and stools also corresponded in the wood's elegance, with every glass, bottle, and mirror in attendance casting back reflections from the starry lights.

"Oh, Laura..." his mouth gaped, eyes widening as Laura pressed her phone screen, and an explosion of color lit up behind her.

A six foot tall Christmas tree stood in an apparent reading nook that overlooked the grounds, full of colorful lights and shiny, glorious ornaments. Fluffy garland seemed to glow from light reflecting in it, and Johnny took a couple steps towards it before looking at Laura and shaking his head, speechless, emotional. She went to him, holding him, and he faced the tree as they stood there silently for a long time. He finally sighed deeply, and said, "There's going to be hell to pay when my Mom finds out about this," then he laughed.

Laura cleared her throat, "Actually, we agreed that I could do Christmas if she could do birthdays..."

Then he saw it, many brilliantly wrapped presents under the tree, and he knew they were for him. He heard Laura ask him if he wanted to open them, and he did want to open them, and he also didn't want to wake up from this dream. Laura was saying it was okay if he wanted to relax awhile, and then open them. He nodded, and smiled at her. She brushed tears from his cheek.

"Merry Christmas, Johnny," she simply said, and when he tried to say it wasn't even Christmas, she quietly told him it would be Christmas every day now that he was home, and squeezed his arm reassuringly.

"There is something else," she told him as she led him to the corner of the suite that had shuttered doors, and she slid one back to reveal a large hot tub.

"How long has it been since you had a bubble bath?"

He began laughing. "Let's do it!"

Johnny pulled his shirt off, and they both laughed as she said,

"Wait, let me get the water in there!"

After removing his shoes, Johnny bent down to look more closely at his gifts under the tree. Laura watched him, unable to believe he was there, unable to stop smiling..."Why don't you open one? You want to, don't you?"

Instead of a package, Johnny picked up a Christmas stocking propped against the packages, brimming with both wrapped and unwrapped goodies. He snuck a side glance at Laura, and she nodded. He moved up to the settee, and pulled out bags of different smoked, salted, and maple roasted varieties of nuts, candies, dried fruits. He said it was making him hungry, and laughed. He shook a small package, then began opening each wrapped item. There were standard things like nail clippers, a gift card, another gift card, bubble bath (he smiled and handed it to Laura to use in their bath)...and a key chain, with a key. Johnny looked at the key and held it up, the question in his eyes. Laura smiled.

"I leased a house. I was going to get a hot tub there, and couldn't make it happen in time", she laughed. "so here we are, but we do have a house. You can visit, or live there, or the ranch, but I needed a place to write...and hopefully, to see you, too."

Laura blushed, and shrugged, smiling.

Johnny laughed and shook his head, "Wow...I love it. I mean, yes, thanks, all of that."

He stood up, unbuttoning his jeans, "Let's take that bath."

Johnny locked eyes with Laura as he opened the top button of his jeans, then stepped towards her, reaching out to grasp the tied bow of her wrap-around blouse. He tugged it gently.

"If I pull this, then it comes off, right?"

She swallowed, "There is one more small tie on the inside, and then, yes, I can slip it off easily."

He pulled the bow's end, and the soft fabric slid aside, uncovering one breast. Johnny pulled the miniature interior bow, and the blouse gaped open. Rather than grab at her, he gently removed the garment, hanging it on the valet stand adjacent to the tub. He held out his hand, and asked for her skirt. Laura pulled it up and off, and placed the waistband in his hand. Clips mounted on the wooden stand were perfect to hang the skirt, and then he turned to see her.

He began to say something, and she said, "Now you," and her voice was husky and low. Johnny nodded, and removed his jeans and socks, then underwear. Laura's heart thudded. The exercises he had done through the years had honed him into the epitome of masculinity.

"You're beautiful," she whispered.

"You are," he said,"and if you don't mind, I will watch you remove your garter belt and stockings from the tub. This is straight out of a fantasy, Laura."

He shook his head, laughing and smiling, and in the next few seconds, he was deep in the tub, watching her with hungry eyes.

Laura carefully opened the clips to release the first stocking, then perched on the bed's edge, and rolled the stocking down and removed it, taking her time. She stole a peek of Johnny, and he smiled and nodded.

She shoved down wishes that she were thinner, prettier, younger, and focused on her love for him, then released and rolled the other stocking. The champagne stretch lace garter belt came off easily, but Laura looked into Johnny's eyes as she slid her panties down and off, and was pleased to hear him moan.

He held his hands out, and she took his hand as she stepped into the tub and sat next to him, and for the first time ever, his hand caressed and cupped her breast.

"I want to hold you," he said.

He did hold her then, skin to skin, head against her shoulder, and she wrapped her arms around him, and didn't let go.

It was deeper than passion, and Laura sunk into the tub, shifting so her arm cradled around his head as it now pressed against her chest, only barely above the water. Her lips pressed against his temple, then sniffed the fragrance of his hair, and his sweat, as the heated water swirled around them. As Johnny relaxed, so did she, feeling relieved, sleepy, happy.

After several minutes, he eased into sitting next to her, looking much the same as she felt, and said with a bashful smile,

"This is not what I thought we would be doing right now. I thought...we would be doing something else, and doing it a lot."

She took his hand, under the water, and squeezed it as she spoke,

"Holding one another...just us, no one else watching...I love it, Johnny. You're here, and visiting hours are over, and..."

He kissed her deeply, then softly, then told her he knew. She said,

"Let's have fun, and not be worried. Besides, I am sort of hungry, what about you?"

He agreed, and he was also hungry, so they spent a few more minutes in the tub, feeling less pressured. Each of them dunked under the water, and took advantage of the fluffy robes and slippers after drying. Laura went to cleanse her face, and when she returned, Johnny was looking in the bar area. He shook his head, and told her he didn't know what else they could eat but the snacks from the Christmas stocking.

"What Do you like pizza? There is a place I have ordered from, and it was delicious. We could go there, or have it delivered," she smiled, "and we could eat in our robes if we want to!"

Johnny's head moved back and forth, and incredulous grin on his face.

"Do you how many years it has been since I ordered a pizza? YES!"

After she ordered the food, Laura showed him that with a press of one button, mirrors rose up to divide the bar from the bedroom side, unrolled an upholstered panel door, and simultaneously slid the mirror at the other end into the wall, and lowered the mirrored wall across from the bedroom. It created the effect that the bedroom didn't exist beyond the bar, and revealed an opulent, yet comfortable living room, dining area, three stools at the bar side, desk and a full bathroom. There was a separate door into the hall, and balcony.

Johnny laughed, "Any more surprises?"

Laura picked up a small remote on an end table, and turned the sofa into a bed. The four loose cushions flopped to the floor, while the others were assimilated into the design.

"Damn," said Johnny, shaking his head.

Laura prepared drinks, and they lounged on the sofa bed as they waited. She noticed him yawn a few times. He remarked that it didn't feel like any sofa bed he'd ever been on, and she explained it was partly pressurized with air. Their food was delivered at the living room entrance, and Johnny began to slowly get up from the bed. She said, "I thought we would just sit against the back rest and eat in bed."

"Hell, Yeah!"

The pizza arrived, and Laura made drinks, sitting them on a bar tray. She put the boxes on the bed, and Johnny laughed because she had ordered so much. He asked why he could smell cinnamon, and she opened a box, showing him six large, cream icing covered cinnamon rolls. They were warm, and Laura freed one from the rest, holding it out for Johnny. He bit into it, eyes closing briefly, licking the icing from his lip. Laura took a bite much the same, then sat near him, and they ate four of the rolls. Johnny leaned back, and she snuggled into his arms. He quietly said, "Weirdest pizza I ever ate...", and with a chuckle, he dozed off. Seconds later, she couldn't help but fall asleep.

Johnny woke and eased himself up, carrying the food to the bar. Thankfully the fridge was large enough, and the boxes were fairly small. He munched a slice of pizza he snagged, wiping a bit of drool with a chuckle as he chewed the last bite, then went to the restroom.

Laura was still, only her eyes shining as he reentered the living room, the lone light in the corner reflecting in her gaze. He hadn't tied the robe after he put it back on, and when he saw she was awake, they both saw his body react. She looked in his face, for how long, neither knew, then scooted to the side of the bed to remove her robe. He thought how her hands felt like feathers sliding the robe from his shoulders, placing it on top of her own. She took his hand, and they got in bed, immediately kissing, hands roaming, breathing hard. Johnny knew her stories, and her fantasies were no secret from him, either. Laura placed her hair up in a sloppy bun with a hair tie she had on her wrist. He hesitated, looking in her blue eyes, shadowed in the dim light, and she pressed him back against the pillowed backrest, soft lips now at his jawline, and kisses on his neck, her breath on a damp trail leaving him in chills. He tried to hold her, but Laura's tongue and lips benevolently cosseted him from head to chest before taking his hand. She moaned and sighed against his fingers, chanced looking at him as she kissed his palm, and rested her mouth on his pulse. Johnny knew she could feel his exhilaration. His hand felt her hair and face, and the light now on his features showed his love; his hope. Without looking away from him, Laura caressed the tip of Johnny's erection, softly, trailing her fingertips to the base as he shuddered. Her fingers repeated the action a few times before she re-positioned herself between his legs, watching his face while she began to delicately licked him tip to base, then more firmly as he became wetter from her wealth of saliva. Her hand grasped the shaft of his penis when she sucked it in, stroking it firmly as she pumped her mouth on the head end halfway down, swirling her tongue back and forth on the underside below the ridge. She released the shaft, going deep, feeling his hardness pressing into her tonsils, and she swallowed repeatedly to work the flesh around him and increase his enjoyment. Suck, pump, swirl, and then as deep into her throat as she could, and drooling as his scent and flavor became hers, too. Repeatedly, she moved on him, carefully massaging his balls and taint, slippery from her own mouth watering. She heard him, and the juicy slurp and suck of loving him, and it soothed her, and it thrilled her. He pet her head, her hair, and said he couldn't stop, then said her name...

Laura kept swallowing and sucking, and moving, lavishing in Johnny's powerful ejaculation, licking up some as it leaked from her mouth. She worked everything she could from his balls, up and into her mouth, as he moaned, leaning his head back. Her sucking and licking was merciful, knowing he may be ultra-sensitive at this point. Soon, she was done, leaving closed-mouth kisses on his penis, not finishing before he pulled her up into his arms, and holding her tight and close.

Laura got up in a few minutes, and returned with a warm, wet cloth with which to wash Johnny. She giggled as he began to get hard again, and he chuckled softly. She offered him a drink, and he accepted, though when she got back, he was sound asleep. She put on her robe, and sat near the window to drink and think.

The moon seemed brighter than usual. Laura sat bathed in moonlight, wondering how things might change now that Johnny had the world available and things to do that he had missed. She did not want to cling to him like an irrational, insecure person. She wanted to be freely chosen. The last thing she wanted was for him to feel obligated to be with her. No, she absolutely did NOT want that, because she never wanted him to regret anything they had shared. Ever.

'Oh, God, I love him, though,' she thought.

'Love is not about regret. Love is not a mistake.'

She sighed heavily.

"THAT can't be good," he said sleepily from the bed.

Laura laughed, and when he asked why, she told him she had never imagined they would end up sleeping in the living room of the suite, which she hadn't decorated. Johnny jumped up, picked up Laura, and headed to the bedroom. She pressed the button to open the upholstered door, laughing as he plopped her on the bed, then laughing as he flung himself haphazardly next to her. She pulled off her robe, then pulled back the covers, and they fell asleep cuddled up watching the lights.

The next morning when Johnny woke, he lay there not wanting to leave the embrace. He carefully took the tie-up from Laura's hair, and long, soft waves and curls rested everywhere. He could see there were some strands of white, though they blended with the blond and brown, and it looked good. He placed a finger into a curl, then another, amused when they bounced back.

He wanted to be with her, yet thoughts crowded his mind. Laura had become a moderately successful writer. She knew many people, and more each day as projects presented involving her writing.

How did she feel about him now, versus before her life changed? How would she feel in a week? A month? He didn't want her to think she had to include him. Would he be boring in her new world?

He had come on strong at the ranch, then was sorry, because the last thing he wanted her to feel was used. Johnny could scarcely breathe, wanting to make love to her, and be with her, every day, for as long as she would let him!

He decided to shower. There were new clothes.

Laura was showering in the second bathroom when he got out. He knew his mother had a hand in this; all the clothes fit well; he looked and felt great. He was munching when Laura came out in a bath towel. "Good pizza?" she asked.

"Yes," he said, "though, I thought you don't eat meat or dairy...?"

Laura smiled, "Everything we ordered is vegan, Johnny."

"Then this meat is made from..." he raised his eyebrows.

"Plants. You like?" she was smiling.

"I think I could be vegan if everything is like this." He popped the last bite into his mouth, smiling.

Laura quickly dressed, and they decided to go eat at the house. When they arrived, Johnny wandered around seeing everything while she prepared bagels. He came into the kitchen, and they began to eat some berries. She quietly watched him gently bite into a ripe strawberry, sucking to prevent sweet juice dripping from his lips. Laura moaned softly, closing her eyes and leaning on the counter, and he stepped forward and held her, turning her head, and saying, "Look at me," after swallowing the fruit. Panting, blushing, her eyes met his.

Johnny took a deep breath, "The future I imagined, that gave me hope, was based on your love and encouragement. Things change, I know. I still want to start and end every day with you, but if you don't think I fit in your new world..."

Laura stopped him with her kiss; poignant and fierce; tears starting to slide down her cheeks. "You are my world."

His mouth closed over hers as she said, "I love you", his hands rubbing over her body, stopping as he rubbed her butt.

"No panties?!" He asked, looking at her.

"No. I was hoping we would..." she began.

"Say no more," said Johnny, and he picked her up and went to the closest bedroom, placing her on the bed. He undressed as she watched. He knelt at the bed edge pulling her to him by the hips, rubbing her legs through the stockings a few times before removing them, and slipping off the garter belt, and skirt. Laura had unbuttoned her blouse and slipped her arms out. He pulled her face close, kissing her, then easing her back.

She cried out at his first taste of her wetness, his tongue swiping the inner folds of her vulva. The pattern of his movement became determined by her sighs and cries, and the first orgasm was rapidly followed by more powerful ones, her hands holding fistfuls of the quilt, with hips grinding forth. She whimpered his name after her screams, "Ooh, yes, Johnny..."

Delirious, she was lifted closer to the headboard, and he treated her to deep kisses that tasted of her satisfaction, and her need. He shook with urgency himself as he pushed deep into her, groaning from the slick grasp of her vagina. He pushed her hands above her head and held them, kissing her, then driving short thrusts into her using only his hips. Her climax overwhelmed them, her body contracting around his cock, holding him. She cried out his name, and he released her arms, which went around his neck, She said, "Can you...feel how much I want you...? How much I love you?"

He couldn't answer as he came, thrusting long and deep into her, a harsh, throaty sound to his voice. His body buckled and snapped, and he rested heavily in Laura's arms. She cried softly, joyfully, and after several moments he kissed her teary cheek and mouth.

"Yes," he said, "and I love you, too."

LP Steinbeck
LP Steinbeck
Read next: Perfectly Punished
LP Steinbeck
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