The crunch of gravel told me that he was approaching. This triggered a mixture of reactions from nervousness to exhilaration. And then he appeared at my side, shifting to stand in front of me. Taking my face in his hands, as I'd wanted him to do since the moment he had released it last, he whispered to me softly, adoringly, unequivocally.
"There is no place else I'd rather be, in heaven or on earth, than with you."
The breath that I'd been holding escaped as I fought the surreal feeling taking hold of me.
"Why-Why didn't you tell me?"
His eyebrows rose and his hands fell away. "Do you know how hard it is to disclose to someone how you feel when you aren't clear on their feelings for you?"
I did, actually, very well.
"You have no idea how I feel about you?" I asked in a whisper.
"No, I don't," he admitted.
I took a step, stopping when just an inch was left between our chests.
"None…," I mumbled to myself, my eyes dropping to his lips.
"No, I…," he said and his voice quieted.
He realized where my gaze was locked and that I was leaning closer. His pulse thundered in his neck as his expression turned from confusion to surprise. His dazzling, stunned face was the last thing I saw before our lips touched.
His were warm, soft, and welcoming, giving way to mine for a brief second before he overcame his response to my unexpected behavior. Then his hands came back to my cheeks, cupping them to draw me in, to meet me with the same sense of relief and excitement.
All that had built up between us over the months came rushing forward, surging into our kiss, and we clung to each other with a driven need as our lips caressed each other.
There was no exploration, only a simple honest need to release the passion between us. Yet with my eyes closed, I felt everything, every brush and quiver. His lips moved with mine, finding a mutual rhythm that only threatened to enflame us more.
"Sir!" someone shouted. It sounded like Claudius.
I jerked but Eran only paused. He then slowly drifted away until our mouths had parted. Continuing to hold my face in his hands, he tipped his head until our foreheads rested together.
He took time to recover before drawing back entirely and exposing us once again to the outside world. His breathing came in steady but deep breaths even though the blood still pulsed rapidly through him. Once it had calmed, he called out quietly.
"I just need a minute."
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