Dora knocked on the faded wooden door of Dom’s cottage and waited, smoothing her robes and tossing back her hair. That fluttery sensation tickled her stomach and she took a deep breath. Butterflies. Although she had been dating Dom for over a month now, she always had butterflies in the moments before seeing him. He was disarmingly attractive - crystal blue eyes and fair hair, and big hard muscles in all the right places belying the softest heart. And what made him even more appealing is that he really seemed to have no idea just how good looking he was.
The door creaked open to a deep voiced “G’morning Dora.” And there he stood with a wide grin, tousled wet mop top and…nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist?
He reached for her hand and guided her across the threshold, while bending to give her a kiss on the cheek. He smelled of soap, and the cool touch of his lips still wet from the shower gave her a shiver of pleasure.
“I tried to reach you through your Floo earlier. Um…Dora?”
She tore her eyes from his broad chest, endearingly sprinkled with the occasional faint freckle and just a smattering of blond hair. What had he just said? Oh, right. The Floo. She hadn’t been there to answer because she’d left her house early to run a few errands before meeting him here.
He continued. “The store called. They won’t be able to meet with me until an hour later than they'd scheduled.” He dropped his head and glimpsed at her from beneath his thatch of hair, smiling shyly. His eyes held a glint of guilt. “Sorry I’ve not dressed yet. I’m sore from a work-out with Oliver last night, so I took a few extra minutes in the shower.”
“Erm…that’s…um…fine.” Completely wonderful, actually. “Please don’t worry.” Where was her brain?
“I’ll throw something on in a second. How’s the job hunt going?”
As her current employer, formerly a small, family owned publishing company, was undergoing a somewhat hostile takeover, no one had guarantees their job was safe. She was in the throes of sending out CVs to every publishing house in Britain, hoping for an editing job for young adult literature. She’d received no replies yet.
His head tilted a bit as he watched her closely for a moment. “Come with me while I shave. You can tell me all about it.”
He turned and led her through his small house to his bedroom. She stayed a step behind, for the hallway was quite narrow, relishing an opportunity to stare unselfconsciously at him. The plush white towel was slung low on his hips, accentuating his lean waist and the golden brown of his skin. Alternating muscles in his back, torso and shoulders rippled with each step and with each swing of his arms. And those legs…
Unfortunately, it took only a few seconds to reach his bedroom and then Dom disappeared to the closet to change into clothes. It was the first time Dora had seen his bedroom, and she looked admiringly at its minimalist masculinity. The rustic furniture was stained a rich dark brown and set off a plain crimson quilt. A few books lay on his night-table. Dora especially liked the simple shaving stand with an oval swivel mirror and a porcelain basin which evoked times past. She smiled at the height of the mirror. Dom was so tall.
Dora sat on Dom’s bed and felt herself sink into his soft mattress. She crossed her legs and tried to relax as Dom stepped back into the room to shave. He had changed into a pair of trousers, though was still shirtless. She watched him take a small mug and a short handled shaving brush and lather up his face. Then he took his first swipe with the razor and grimaced. A nick welled up with blood at his jaw line.
“Sod it!” It was whispered, but she heard him clearly. He set the razor down.
“What’s wrong? Dull blade?”
“Nope. Can’t shave left handed.”
Left hand. Dom was right handed. “What’s wrong with your right hand?”
He held it up and showed her. Even from her spot several feet away it was clear he’d injured himself. His entire wrist and the back of his hand were swollen and splotched with deep purple bruises.
She stood up and walked to him. “What happened?”
“Last night Oliver and I went for a fly after our work-out. We were sparring and I jammed my hand up against his broom.” He slowly extended his fingers and grimaced again.
“Here. Let me see.” Dora took his hand in both of hers and examined it closely. She loved the roughened skin of his palm and how his fingernails were always clean even though he worked with his hands. “Can you move it?”
“Yeah. A little.” Dom tried to show her but he couldn’t do much.
Dora pressed gently and Dom winced when she touched the back of his wrist.
“Have you been seen by a Healer?”
“What?” His laugh told her he hadn’t even considered it. “Nah. It’s just a bruise. I thought it would be better today.”
“Dom – this is more than just a bruise. You’ve probably broken it. You need to have this taken care of.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Well, I can’t do anything about it now. I’ve got to keep my appointment with the store.”
Dom was hoping to have his furniture displayed in an upscale furniture gallery in London. It would be quite a coup for his fledgling business.
Dora tilted her head up at him. Shaving lather still covered his lower face, deepening the color of his lips against the white of it. The clean streak where he’d shaved flowed red at one end from the nick. She took a small towel from his shaving stand and reached up, pressing it against the cut. Standing this close she could see the tiny flecks of grey and yellow in his eyes that were hidden from a distance. She removed the towel. That seemed to have done the trick.
Dom reached for the razor again, but Dora placed her hand over his sculpted forearm and stopped him. She didn’t know what came over her. The musky clean scent of the lather combined with the feel of his Quidditch Beater’s arm, sent a flash of searing warmth deep into her.
“I’ll do it.” She gestured her wand towards his chair and it scooted silently across the room to a stop just behind him. “But you’re much too tall for me to shave you standing.”
Dom raised a brow, a crook of a smile appearing at the corner of his mouth.
She placed her palm against the rock hardness of his chest and pushed. He sat.
“Now lean back.” A throaty whisper had replaced her voice.
Taking the razor in one hand and the towel in the other, in a bold move Dora hooked a leg over Dom’s thigh, straddling it.
She heard a faint catching of his breath and his hint of a smile turned into a full fledged grin.
The firmness of his thigh was thoroughly distracting and the warmth of it between her legs raised her pulse.
Leaning his head against the back of the chair, he told her, “I’m all yours.”
Each languid sweep of the razor through the lather was a slow caress that revealed more smooth skin, and it was as if she was sculpting the hard angles of his jaw herself. The rise and fall of his chest began to quicken with each stroke and he sat up a little straighter, placing his left hand over her lower back as she worked, almost as if keeping her there, close to him. Finally, she maneuvered the blade carefully over the dimple in his chin, and she was finished.
“There.” She smiled, pleased at the smooth result, and that she had caused no more bloodshed.
When she looked up at him his eyes were locked on her mouth.
She felt suddenly self-conscious. “What?”
His head began to lower slowly towards hers and his voice was low and soft. “Do you know you bite your bottom lip when you’re concentrating?”
“I do?” Covering her mouth with her hand, she felt herself redden. She had not been aware of that.
He gently moved her hand away. “Makes me want to kiss you.” He pressed the small of her back forward, sliding her over his thigh and against his bare torso as he bent down.
As the razor and the towel dropped to the floor, she lost herself in the velvety feel of his lips and the slippery, cool wetness of his skin where dabs of the shaving cream remained.
He gave a soft groan as she tangled her hands in his damp hair and pressed harder against him.
Lifting her easily with his left arm still wrapped around her back, he stood up as her legs locked around his waist.
“Kissing me like that is dangerous this close to my bed,” He warned her. But his hoarse voice and pleased expression told her how much he enjoyed courting that kind of danger.
She glanced down at the bed and hesitated. Up until now their dates had been perfectly respectable and their good night kisses chaste, out on the porch. And although she loved what she knew of him, she was still getting to know him. She just wasn’t ready.
She felt him pull back just a bit as he watched her. And then he gave her a small smile as he took in a deep breath and set her down. “But now I must get ready for my interview. Duty calls.”
He touched his finger to her mouth. “Dora…you’re right. We should take things slowly.” And then he cupped her chin in his hand, tilting her face up to his, as his lips touched hers again with a gentle promise of endless possibilities to come.