Submitted Date 03/12/2021

This one is for the Richard Armitage fans who I have been teasing with my novel The Loch. Get out your fans, Armitage Army sisters. You're going to need them!


There comes a time in everyone's life when you just know the person you adore needs some attention. It didn't have to be sexual. It didn't have to be physical. It could simply be a kiss on the top of the head as you walked behind the couch silently. It could be as simple as refilling a coffee cup when your loved one is deep in thought writing. It could simply be the idea that someone was there.

That was the beauty of the relationship Maggie shared with Crispin. They could both be at work, chitter-chattering away online with each other, and know when something was bothering the other simply by their answers. Or at home with a slightly stormy look that wasn't caused by anything the other did. They understood each other better than most and that was all that mattered.

Maggie knew Crispin was swamped at work, papers to grade, students to counsel, and she knew something had him in one of his contemplative moods. So, when she got home before him after spending a day shooting pictures for her next article, she decided to take a breather before making dinner. Most nights she would leave him alone and simply be there with him while he sorted through his thoughts. Tonight…tonight was different. Tonight, she was going to take matters into her own hands.

It was as much a need for her to be able to reassure him. She gazed around the living room of their apartment, chewing her lip before getting up and rearranging the furniture. She made a nice big spot on the floor in front of the windows. It was all about the ambiance. She set out all the candles she loved the most and waited before lighting them and made sure the soft music CDs she adored were in the player. She still had things to do.

Walking into the bedroom, she pulled the extra blankets they had down from the shelf in the closet and spread them out on the floor in front of the window, making a nice soft pallet, the softest top sheet they owned on the top. She gazed at her handiwork and collected the last thing she needed, the bottle of massage oil. Aromatic and relaxing, she breathed in the scent and set it near the air vent to warm before going into the kitchen to get dinner ready.

By the time she heard Crispin walk up the stairs to the apartment, dinner was ready, and Maggie was padding around in nothing but her underwear and satin robe. She greeted him with a kiss at the door and noticed the questioning look he gave the stuff in the living room.

"Duckie?" he queried with a lift of his eyebrow.

"I'll explain later," she stated as she set their plates on the bar that separated the two rooms.

They ate in comfortable silence and Maggie did everything in her power to be patient and calm. She needed to do this for him, but everything would be in its own time. She did the dishes while Crispin went and worked out and lit all the candles when she heard the shower kick on. She slipped off the robe and took the bottle of oil and rolled it between her hands. "You better have nothing but a towel on," she mumbled to herself as she waited for Crispin to come back into the living room.

He had better than a towel on. He had nothing on, and he was about to say something when Maggie simply held out her hand to him as she knelt on the pallet she had made. She simply waited, watching him as he took everything in: the view of the woods outside the window, the candlelight, the soft music on the stereo. She could tell he was debating whether to go to her or retreat to the bedroom for an early night. He finally took her hand and let her draw him down to her.

Maggie never said a word. Instead, she just smiled at him and leaned up to give him a soft and tender kiss on the lips. She held up the bottle of massage lotion, winked, and then carefully took his glasses off his face and set them aside as he lay down on his stomach. That was the beauty of what they had. No words were needed.

She poured some of the warm oil in her hands and straddled his waist. Rubbing it between her palms, she started at Crispin's shoulders and began to slowly massage his shoulders and neck. She took her time, working out the tension and knots, and she felt him begin to relax. She loved the feel of his skin under her hands, the way his muscles rippled when she touched him. And it made her feel good to simply be able to give him this attention.

She continued to work her way down his back, shifting down his tall frame as she went, adding more oil as she needed it and working it in and the tension out. She gazed up to his face and smiled softly to herself. Crispin's eyes were closed, his breathing steady and deep in relaxation, but she knew he wasn't asleep. He was letting her give him this time, letting her show him she cared without prying.

She got down to his behind and her smile widened. She resisted the temptation to lay a kiss on his tight ass because she knew a kiss would turn to a gentle nip and things would go from there. That was not what this was about. Not tonight. Tonight, was simply about showing him how much he meant to her in all ways. Instead, she let her fingers rub and massage the muscles of his behind before moving lower to do his thighs and then his calves.

Maggie watched the firelight play over the planes of his body as she took his right foot in her hands and worked the oil into them toe by toe. She gently laid his foot back on the pallet and did the other foot before working her way back up his legs. She shifted to kneel at his side and then worked the oil into his right arm, all the way down until she came to his hands. She gently circled her thumbs in his palm and then up each finger. He had such beautiful hands, strong yet gentle, and her stomach fluttered for a moment as she thought of how they felt touching her. She moved to the other arm, her eyes tracing over his bicep, and noticed that he was watching her through heavy-lidded eyes.

"Roll onto your back," she asked in a whisper and when he did, she cradled his head in her lap for a while as she rubbed his temples and the front of his shoulders. She couldn't reach down to his waist sitting that way, but she was content to remain where she was just breathing in the relaxing smell of the oil, listening to the soft music, and staring at Crispin's naked body before her, a sculpted piece of artwork that was beautifully crafted.

She stopped the thought before it got too far, although she grinned at the comparison of his body and a sculpture. She eased from under his head and carefully straddled him again to gently massage the muscles of his chest and stomach. She moved lower across his thighs and let her hands lightly caress his waist and hips, brushing her thumbs over the dark line of hair that ran from his belly button lower. She gazed up at his face and blew him a kiss as he peeked through his eyelashes.

Maggie knelt between his legs and did each one in turn, gently, lovingly, and patiently until she was done. Only then did she lie down beside him, her head propped on one hand as she gazed at him, her hand lightly on his chest. He entwined his fingers with hers and pulled her to him and she met his kiss with one of her own before resting her head on his shoulder, just lying there in the warmth of his embrace, content and sated just to be there at his side.

© 2021, Beth A. Freely


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