Chapter 9: Roman Profile
Daniel Ricciardo x Reader
Chapter One + Chapter Two + Chapter Three + Chapter Four + Chapter Five + Chapter Six + Chapter Seven + Chapter Eight
Rating: Teen and Up
Word Count: 10,755 Words
As always, thanks to @lightsovermonaco for being my beautiful beta and the best friend a girl could dream of!
Much like the night before, Daniel struggles to get to sleep, only managing a few moments before he’s roused from his sleep suddenly. At first, he’s quite unsure as to what woke him, but it only takes a matter of seconds for him to realize the extra weight and warmth settled on his chest has nothing to do with down comforter and significantly more to do with the fact that you and him were tangled together in a mess of limbs, your head resting comfortably in the crook of his neck.
Daniel wasn’t sure what he wanted to do more, to move and put some considerable distance between your two bodies, or, preferably, stay exactly where he was for the foreseeable future. Neither option seemed like a good idea, both proffered considerable benefits and downfalls to where this already precarious situation could lead depending on which of the two he opted for.
Try as he might, he wasn’t entirely sure where your body ended and his body began, the press of your warm skin against his was more than enough to scramble his brain, let alone the mere effect of you this close to him, peacefully asleep, completely relaxed against him. Daniel knew it probably didn’t mean as much for you as it did for him, but the fact that even in your sleep you seemed to gravitate towards him, that you sought him out unconsciously, the entirety of it steeped in implicit trust, made hope blossom in his chest, a wave of heat rolling through him before it settled hot and heavy between his legs.
He could feel his heart rate growing increasingly quick, the pace of it ramping up the longer he was awake and thinking about the fact that you were pressed tightly into his side, curled up in his arms, which had found their way around your upper body before he’d awoken and were now tightly wound around you like even in his sleep, he feared you’d somehow slip away from him again, while you wore nothing at all but his shirt.
And he meant that, he wasn't simply being dramatic, wasn’t just letting his somewhat overactive imagination get away with him. No, because if Daniel was certain of anything at the moment, a certainty that was echoed back from every square inch of skin from the waist down, it was that you hadn’t had anything at all on under your dress earlier and you certainly didn’t have anything on at present.
It didn’t help anything at all, and it especially did not help the barely there grasp he still had on himself and on fantasies currently fighting the damper he had on them, that one of your legs was currently thrown over his hips, bent at the knee, your ankle and foot resting comfortably between his thighs. Daniel could feel the heat radiating from your entire body, which when combined with the weight of your relaxed limbs on him, were in and of themselves completely welcome and surprisingly calming, but they were not the problem.
No, this problem was in a league all its own, and it was most certainly not something Daniel had even the slightest idea of how to handle. It didn’t help matters that in all actuality, he was doing everything within his power not to think about it, carefully steering clear of letting his attention linger on the way he could feel the slightly more intense heat radiating from the apex of your legs against the exposed skin of his hip, the joggers he’d worn to bed having slipped down while he’d been asleep, and now sat slung dangerously low across his hips.
As if Daniel didn’t already feel guilty enough being this close to you in the first place, to be savoring and reveling in your nearness, in the way that even in your sleep you gravitated towards him, seeking him out with a determination that was made abundantly clear by the fact that by the light of the moon streaming in through the balcony doors, he could see that your side of the bed was mostly untouched, suggesting that you’d moved over here not long after he’d fallen asleep.
It felt impossibly wrong for him to be enjoying this at all, and as much as he tried to pick one of the two opposing sides in his head that were currently entrenched in a battle of morality versus opportunity, the latter arguing that he should capitalize on this chance to have you wrapped around him under covers, that he should take only what you gave and let himself relish in this tender, intimate moment while it lasted.
But Daniel couldn’t bring himself to do it, he simply didn’t have it in him to find the good in this when it felt implicitly wrong when he had no idea if you even wanted this, or, hell, if you’d ever want this at all, ever.
He couldn’t say for certain one way or another whether or not you’d reached out for him because, like Daniel irrevocably hoped, you too wanted to spend your nights seeking him out, tucking yourself into his side under the sheets of a bed that wasn’t just shared because you’d been drunk and hurt, a little chipped at the edges after what he’d put you through today, but was shared because the bed was yours and his.
Daniel didn’t want to admit how easily he was imagining that right here, where he was currently lying with you comfortably settled in his arms, your body slotted so perfectly against his it didn’t seem entirely possible the two of you hadn’t been built for this, that there was any plane of existence in which he hadn’t been designed to fit against you like this, wasn’t just some random hotel room with alarmingly thin walls but was actually somewhere you lived together.
But before he could let himself lean into it and really lose touch with reality, you stirred slightly on his chest, your hand only shifting a little at first, fingertips just barely dragging against his chest, the brush of them so light it would have been hardly noticeable if it weren’t for the fact that no matter of how slight it was, your touch always had an effect on him, which this time he noted with some interest, felt rather akin to static electricity as it crackling through him.
Not for the first time that night, Daniel racked his brain for the reason why he’d ever thought it would be a good idea to forgo a shirt, and just like he had all those other times, he came up empty, the rationale lost somewhere in the haze of tequila and the weight of everything he hadn’t said earlier when you’d been trying your hardest to divulge all your thoughts and emotions about whatever it actually was that going on between the two of you, when he’d stopped you and told you that this wasn’t the time.
While it had certainly seemed a better plan of operation at the time than it did now, Daniel couldn’t bring himself to ignore the way the entirety of his body was completely invested in wringing every drop of enjoyment it could out of your touch as you shifted in his arms again and the hand that had previously been stirring against his chest now moved location entirely, fingers finding the chain he’d forgotten to take off before getting in bed, just like he’d forgotten to take it off and subsequently worn under his tux all night.
He watched with no small amount of interest as your fingers brushed against the gold, warm from his body heat, and moved past it absentmindedly, only to make a sudden reversal and instead find it again, almost like you’d made some kind of mistake. Quickly like you were afraid if you let go of it, something more than a necklace would slip out of your grasp again.
With surprising gentleness, your fingers curl around it, letting the thin metal lie lightly in your closed fist, which you then settled back onto his sternum, returning to where it had been before like it was simplest thing in the world for you to find where you fit against him again, even as you remained resolutely asleep.
As bad as Daniel felt to disturb you, to risk jostling you awake when you were getting what he was willing to bet was the best night of sleep you’d had in sometime, though that may have just been him hedging a bet on the quality of the few stolen hours of rest he’d had tonight, he also knew he couldn’t keep lying here any longer. It was killing him, all of the uncertainty and possibilities, all threatening to overwhelm him, to push him over the edge, if he stayed in this bed with you for another moment. It didn’t feel right and he couldn't let himself enjoy this any longer.
Slowly, torturously and impossibly slowly, Daniel disentangled your body from his, the entire process painfully drawn out by the fact that he had no idea where to even begin to unravel the tangle of limbs as he tried his very best to avoid looking too long at the considerable amount of your bare skin on display against him, the smooth expanse of which was ridiculously entrancing, framed as it was by moonlight and crisp white sheets.
It certainly didn’t help that what was covered, what was safe for him to let his hands and eyes linger on as he carefully shifted you off of him, was draped in the shirt of his you’d taken from his suitcase earlier, not even bothering to ask a question you’d already known the answer to. Daniel wasn’t sure how to handle the distinctly possessive thing that stirred to life in him at the sight of you like this, as he quickly learned that he enjoyed this vastly more than he probably should and that there was something rather intoxicating about you in his clothes, wearing only his clothes.
The effect it had snuck up on him, without a single warning, so that where one second he was entirely unawares and focused completely on getting his chain free of your grasp, the next it hit him with such a ferocity he wouldn’t have been surprised if his legs, which he’d only just managed to get up on to, had given out at the knees and sent him crashing to the floor.
The heat that went roiling through him at all the lush curves he hadn’t had the chance to learn yet, that he’d give an arm and a leg to explore even just for a night, in addition to what he already knew to be impossibly smooth, delicate skin, spread out beneath him, covered only in his t-shirt went straight to his cock.
The impact of his arousal, of his need to return to his place in the bed beside you, to wake you up and finish what he’d started in that hallway, only increased ten fold as he panicked, abandoning what now felt like a fruitless endeavor to slowly, gently working the last physical anchor you still had, as he instead pulled the thin gold chain out of your fist in one swift motion.
Though he’d been careful not to put too much force into it, not wanting to accidentally hurt you somehow, the movement hadn’t exactly been conducive to disturbing your sleep as little as possible since as much as Daniel may have wanted to wake you, he found quite quickly that when the possibility of you actually waking was before him, he didn’t think he was quite capable of handling it at the moment.
Not when he knew with absolute certainty that if you were to open your eyes right now, it wouldn’t matter how blurred by the combined forces of sleep and whatever alcohol remained in your system, you wouldn’t be able to not take one look at him and not know exactly what absolutely fucking filthy things were currently cavorting around inside his head.
So, feeling like a coward and entirely unwilling to risk that happening, which was something Daniel imagined would be rather akin to being caught red handed with his pants down, he decided the safest thing to do would be to leave. Removing himself from the situation seemed the infinitely better thing to do, since it would prevent him from ever even having the chance to find out what could happen if he’d disturbed you enough to wake you from the dead sleep you’d been in since the moment your head had touched the pillow.
But as you shifted on the bed, eyelids fluttering but not actually managing to properly open, Daniel found that his legs apparently had no intention of listening to the commands his brain was currently shouting at them, his feet remaining exactly where they were, leaving him feeling like he was rooted to the wooden floors.
He watched, now frozen in place like it would somehow help him if he remained perfectly still, his body overriding his senses which unlike his limbs, were entirely aware of the fact that it wouldn’t do him any good at all if you were to wake up and the first thing you were to see was him looking at you, wide eyed and unmoving, like some deranged, flesh and blood version of a wax figure. Though you didn’t sit up fully, you sat up just enough to stretch a hand out, the palm of it gliding over white fitted linen sheet like it had a mind of its own.
At first, Daniel was a little bit unsure of what exactly it was you were doing, to the point he even wondered if whatever you were dreaming about had carried over into reality enough that you were mirroring what was happening there, but then finally it clicked. The second he realized you were searching for him, that your body had registered the loss of his against you, that it mourned that loss enough that you were seeking him out again, he felt like the world's biggest asshole for abandoning you when he’d promised you he’d stay, all because he wasn’t capable of handling lying beside you in bed any longer, if it meant nothing to you at all.
Not when it meant enough to him, not when the situation was born of enough of his own personal desires that he couldn’t stomach it any longer. So, feeling like more of a fool than he had before, which after the day he’d had and the mistakes he’d made was definitely saying something, Daniel at last forced his legs to listen to him and found himself grateful at long last as his feet carried him on silent steps away from the bed and towards the French doors that led out onto the balcony.
Nudging the left one open, Daniel doesn’t permit himself to look back, absolutely refusing to let himself risk all the progress he’s made by climbing back into the bed, returning himself to a situation he knows he’s not capable of handling. That sentiment alone is only proven to him further, when he's forced to pause in the doorframe to readjust himself in the confines of his joggers.
A breath hisses out from between his teeth at the jolt of pleasure the slight movement sends jolting through him, effectively driving the point home that he’s in no shape to act like he’s any better than a teenage boy around his first crush when it comes to you.
As quietly as he possibly can, Daniel tries to slip out onto the balcony, wincing a little at the way the door hinges protest loudly at the disturbance, the pitch of it like nails on a chalkboard and painful enough that he wonders how the hell he hadn’t noticed that the door did that until now, when it was pertinent that nothing disturb you.
Though he sucks in a deep breath at the sound of the ancient metal squeaking open enough that he can squeeze out of the room, he pauses in the doorway, grimacing, as for a few beats he waits to see if you’ll wake. But when you don’t show any signs of waking up and instead just wrapping your arms around his pillow, the indent from his head still visible, and pull it to you, burying your face in it with a small sigh, only then does Daniel let himself slowly exhale, his shoulders falling back into a relaxed position and, at long last, steps out onto the balcony.
“Couldn’t sleep?” Your voice comes from behind him without any warning at all, the words jarring in the still night air. Daniel may have been so lost in his own thoughts to have not heard the door creak the rest of the way open, since he’d been careful to leave it slightly ajar in case you did wake and call for him, so he wasn’t startled or taken by surprise because, fuck, it seemed inevitable to him that this would end out here on the balcony, the second part of the two scene play you’d started last night.
“I slept,” Daniel tightens his grip on the wrought iron railing until his knuckles are white from force, the pain of the decorative spiral of the metal digging into his fingers stinging at his skin somehow managing to keep him grounded.
“Clearly,” you reply dryly, showing no sign of moving and instead lingering in the doorway. Daniel imagines you’re watching him closely, inquisitively scanning his body for any sign of what’s going on inside his head. Something warm and pleasant pools in his stomach at the thought, then twists into something that feels dangerous.
“I slept a bit,” he amends and you only hum in response. No one speaks for a moment, the lull in the stunted silence isn’t uncomfortable or rife with fury like it had been in the elevator, but it’s not particularly pleasant either, like it had been on the private jet yesterday.
No, this silence is another beast entirely, it’s one that feels personable but vast, like the quiet and the night air and the muffled sounds of the city that still float up the balcony have somehow put miles between you and him.
Daniel had been fine with the silence earlier and he remained fine with it now, so he felt no rush or obligation to be the one to break it.
“Let’s stay,” you finally say, the tone of your voice sounding just uncertain enough to tell him that while you mean it, you’re opting to play it safe, keeping the words distinctly light, like you’d said them in a way that you could play it off as a noncommittal suggestion if he said no.
But Daniel didn’t want to say no, in fact, he was done saying no. He was done with playing around, he was done with hiding from it, he was done pretending like he didn’t want this, want you. That didn’t mean he was willing to throw his cards down on the table just yet either.
“Stay where?” He asks softly, instinctually knowing that you’re standing behind him rolling your eyes, not needing to look to know the exact expression painted across your face right now.
“You know where.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Dan,” you whisper, saying his name in a way that makes it sound like you’re savoring the way it tastes on your tongue, “you know what I mean.”
“I really don’t. So, use your words. I know you can because you’ve more than proved it tonight.”
“You’re making this seem like a bigger deal than it is. So quit being difficult and just say yes already.”
Just say yes. And as tempting as it sounds, Daniel doesn’t, at least not quite yet.
“If it’s that trivial, if it really is nothing, then just come right out and say it.”
“Let’s stay. Let’s not go home tomorrow. Just,” you hesitate, and he can hear the way your voice quavers, the way it tremors a little, like it’s taking all your strength to ask him for something so simple. It’s like you're afraid to ask him for something you want, like you have no idea at all that Daniel would give you anything you ask of him without a second thought. You clear your throat and start again.
“Let’s stay in Monaco, let’s stay here for a few more days. I’ll call into work and tell them I’m sick or I have a family emergency or whatever and then we’ll stay.”
“Is that really what you want?”
Instead of responding, Daniel hears you take one step forward and then another. He braces himself, preparing for whatever comes next. And though he’s expecting it, ready for it, he can’t help the way he jumps at your touch. Daniel sucks in a breath, waiting for you to pull away, to turn around and go back in the room but you don’t.
Rather than giving in to whatever the voice in your head has been telling you up until this point, you don’t stop, you don’t give up. Daniel reacts before he’s even had a chance to think it through, hand coming up to hold in place the corner of the blanket, which you'd apparently been wrapped in this whole time, when you toss it over his left shoulder.
Carefully, gingerly like he’s a horse you’re afraid of spooking, you pull the length of the blanket up over his back, then tuck it under his right arm as you slip beneath it, sliding carefully into the bracket of space between his body and the railing.
Daniel doesn’t even bother to let you get settled against him before his right hand is plucking the corner of the blanket you still have in one hand, away from you and out of your grasp so he could rearrange where the knitted fabric falls, shifting slightly against you until it’s wrapped around the two of you snuggly, a little cocoon of warmth that involves vastly more contact between your back and his bare chest than it had just a moment ago.
Not that you’re complaining because you most certainly are not, and you’re definitely not above admitting just how much you’re enjoying this right now, having his solid upper body pressed so tightly against your back that you’re certain that, even through the thin weave of Daniel’s t-shirt that you vaguely remember putting on earlier, you can feel every single inch of toned skin and taut muscle he has to offer.
Your one query is as to why Daniel’s body is so cold against yours, though you’re not really in any rush to point it out because you have exactly no interest in doing anything at all to ruin this moment, especially not when you’d decided upon waking up in Daniel’s bed alone and practically naked, lying curled up on his side of the bed, that you were done with playing these ridiculous games now that, after everything that had happened since Friday afternoon when you’d gotten on that plane, you knew what wanted and you dead set on having it.
After mulling it over for a few moments, you decide not to ask him why he’d been outside on the balcony wearing nothing but joggers at 4 in the morning, because if you knew Daniel like you think you do, it's pretty safe to assume that if he wants to explain his weird behavior he will on his own time and of his own volition.
You see no point in trying to needle an answer out of him because it wouldn’t get you anywhere anyway, not when he’s been keeping everything so damn close to his chest of lately and all you stand to gain from pushing him like you usually would is another round of getting your feelings hurt and bruising Daniel’s ego.
Normally, you wouldn’t really care at all but at the moment, you’re no longer in the mood for pushing him away or, for that matter, letting him push you away anymore. There had already been enough of that this weekend to last you both a lifetime and honestly, if Daniel’s current silence and continued unwavering presence behind you, his arms still tightly around your shoulders keeping you in place against him and within the warm confines of the blanket, said anything, it was that he was in agreement with you about that.
The thing is, you have no idea just how right you are about this because if you were to ask Daniel why the hell he was stood outside freezing his ass off for long enough that even between the combined warmth of the blanket and you, he was still cold enough to make you shiver against him and then lean further back into him in some hope of helping him, he still wouldn’t even consider confessing to the reason why.
As far Daniel is concerned you don’t ever really need to know that he’d been standing out on the balcony for the better part of an hour, shirtless and barefoot in some misguided and poorly judged attempt to take the edge off, since taking a cold shower wasn’t exactly a viable option at present. It only occurred to him later, much, much later, that he could have just used your bathroom but the fact in and of itself that this didn’t even cross his mind at the time is more than enough to prove to him that it had been a good call to just try and freeze it out of himself.
But the perceived effectiveness of his ill planned cool down is that while he had accounted for you inevitably waking up and joining him outside, he hadn’t expected for things to be like this, for you to wander out here and wrap a blanket around the two of you, or for you to waste no time at all in finding a way back into his arms.
Not that in any world or in any situation was he complaining about that, it's just more that he’s kicking himself for his overconfidence in his ability to not lean into his desires and wants that the chill air hadn’t actually banished at all, and had instead only pushed just below the surface, until they sunk just deep enough down that he couldn’t see them anymore.
Daniel just figures he’ll deal with the repercussions of all of that when push comes to shove, if it ever comes to that, and instead decides that he’s going to let himself enjoy this. How can he deprive himself of enjoying this when you’re exactly where you’d been when he’d awoken, only now it's sweetened by the fact he knows you want this too.
“Stop thinking so loudly, I’m trying to enjoy the view,” you say, then hum appreciatively when Daniel’s surprised laugh at your words rolls through your body, the rumble of it echoing from his chest into yours, which sends a pleasant wave of shivers rippling down your spine.
He doesn’t reply right away, though you can still feel the remnants of his laughter melting down into a soft chuckle as he instead leans forward slightly, shifting the blanket in his hands just enough that both ends are now held in his left fist, freeing up his right arm to snake its way around your waist and tuck you even closer against him.
Finally, Daniel must find a response he’s happy with because even before he opens his mouth to speak, you can feel the heavy inhale he takes then lets out on a shaky exhale, something which he does nothing at all to hide since clearly, he’s fully aware that your close proximity to him has already clued you in on his nerves. You’re not surprised when he speaks and his words have nothing at all to do with your previous comment as he insteads opts to bring the conversation back to where it had earlier before it had dropped off entirely.
“Is that really what you want?”
“Is what?” it only seems fair to give him as hard a time about this as he’d put you through earlier, but you soften the push back of your words by letting your head fall back and rest on his shoulder, eyes trailing skyward. It’s not a particularly comfortable position since with the way you’re both currently standing, you can’t quite reach his shoulder and instead, your head and neck are at an awkward angle against his collarbone.
Daniel must pick up on this quickly enough, since you can see out of the corner of your eye that his chin is tilted slightly towards you, allowing his gaze to rest comfortably on your face, although you’re suddenly feeling a little too shy to meet it. Instead you just continue to look up at the hazy sky, focusing on trying to imagine what stars hidden behind the clouds choking out the view would look like on a clear night.
Then, as cool and casual as can be, Daniel leans forward a little more, his shoulders slumping forward and down just enough that without even moving a muscle, your head is now settled comfortably in the crook of his neck.
“You’re welcome,” he grumbles softly, though there's no actual annoyance or malice in his voice, just a light, lilting taunt.
“Thank you,” you say just as quietly in response, knowing there’s no need to speak at anything above a whisper when you’re this close to one another. So, for no reason other than that the opportunity presents itself, you turn your head to the side just a fraction and bury your face in his neck, hoping somehow that Daniel picks up on how this is as much a thank you as your verbal one had been.
Though you can’t see the way a unrestrained grin spreads across his lips, the smile so wide it nearly cracks his face in two the very second your nose grazes the column of his throat, your cheek pressed flush against the delicate skin where his neck meets his shoulder, you can certainly feel the way the expression tightens his muscles and the pulls at the skin where your face now rests.
There’s also absolutely no missing the way the arm slung around your middle manages to somehow pull you even closer to him as his hand on your hip stretches out, abandoning the careful, restrained fist it has been balled in previously, as if he’d been afraid his palm laid flush against your hip would be too much, for which one of you, you’re not entirely certain.
Daniel’s fingers splay wide for a second and though you can’t see it, you recognize the gesture all the same, suddenly certain that it’s the same thing he’d done at the gala under the table after you’d pulled his hand off your thigh and dropped it back is in his lap. You don’t even realize you’d been holding your breath, waiting on edge to see what he intended to do next until his palm presses against your side tightly, fingers digging in just enough that you know it’s purposeful and you huff out the half breath of air that you’d been holding hostage in your lungs.
When he doesn’t show any sign of explaining himself any further without prompting, you lean into the hand on your hip just a little, enough to let him know that not only do you not mind at all having him touch you like this, you actually welcome it. You don’t let yourself overthink it and just focus on making sure that’s cleared up, just in case that's what's keeping him quiet right now, knowing that with how Daniel’s been of late, it’s entirely possible that there’s some meltdown going on inside his head about whether or not he’s crossed some line he shouldn’t have.
This is definitely a side of Daniel you had never known until this weekend, and you think that’s probably less about you being oblivious in the past and instead it has more to do with the fact that you’d never really had a reason to come into contact with this version of him until now, since the two of you had never come anywhere close to the line before, let alone cross it with the frequency you have this trip.
He just seemed so certain that you didn’t want this to happen, that you didn’t want him, that it made you start to wonder if he’d somehow missed the memo about himself, or perhaps he’d somehow managed to have never looked at himself in a mirror before.
The moment that that thought runs through your head, you scrunch up your face for the space of just a handful of seconds, making a quick mental note to explain yourself fully to him later. There’s absolutely no future in which you’d ever want Daniel to not understand that you’d been his friend first and that the feelings had come around second, because it was of the utmost importance for him to know that it was him you’d found yourself drawn to again and again, not what he looked like and not what his career was.
But that’s not to say his appearance was hurting anything or bringing him any ill favor, it was that it just added to the whole dynamic but as more of an afterthought, a mere throwaway addition you’d only noticed later on, rather than it being some motivating factor.
Though you expect to be pulled out of your increasingly intense analysis of his behavior this weekend at any given time by some random attempt of his to draw you into a conversation, that doesn’t stop you from continuing to slowly try and process your sudden realization that Daniel’s hot and cold treatment of you this weekend was more down to the fact that he didn’t really know where you stood emotionally.
You’re not all that let down when it’s not out of the blue commentary or another attempt to get further information out of you that you don’t feel entirely ready to share with him yet, since you’re only just now figuring it out for yourself that gets your attention, and is instead the fact that Daniel’s started tracing patterns on your skin with the thumb of the hand still settled low and comfortably on your hip.
It definitely tickles enough that you squirm a little under his touch but it's not enough that you have to pull entirely away. Instead you try to ignore the urge to wiggle around and do your best to just enjoy Daniel’s touch, to really let yourself soak in how natural this all feels and how easily it seems to come to both of you to be in such close proximity to one another, and to remain there. You don’t let yourself put too much thought into the fact that the next natural progression of this line of thought is that you’d like to remain here, like this with Daniel, indefinitely.
An idea had dawned on you not longer after he’d first stretched his fingers out of the tightly balled fist they'd been in and as he’d replaced it with his open palm. Yet, you didn’t actually do anything about it for some time, opting instead to give Daniel the moments he clearly needed to accept that he could touch you like this, that you want him to touch you like this, and that you didn’t have any plans of changing your mind about any of it either.
It’s only once Daniel transitions from drawing random swirling patterns on your hip to tracing something that feels remarkably like the letters of his name that you finally decide it’s now an acceptable time to interrupt him.
“Dan, are you gonna elaborate further or are you just going to keep being handsy?” you’re prepared for his reaction, your hand poised to strike before you even open your mouth to speak. Subsequently, Daniel doesn’t even manage to get his palm entirely clear of your side before you’ve caught him by the wrist and are pressing his hand back into the curve of your hip where it had been previously.
You wait, not saying anything else or moving your hand away from his, you just give him time to realize you’d only been teasing, entirely understanding of the fact that Daniel’s so tightly wound right now that he’d completely missed the teasing lilt to your voice, even though it’s the voice that he is vastly more familiar with than your normal every day one.
Its only once you feel the tension go out of Daniel’s shoulders and he trades in his current stiff, ramrod straight back for the slumped forward angles of his earlier stance, slowly permitting himself to slowly melt back into you, since you’d been extremely careful to remain in the exact position you’d been in when he’d pulled away.
You know for sure that Daniel isn’t upset with you about the comment and that he hadn’t taken the taunting too seriously when he crouches forward even further than he had been before, and though it couldn’t possibly be good for his back, you quickly brush that thought away when he rests his chin over your left shoulder, the spot carefully chosen so that your head can remain comfortably nestled in the crook of his right shoulder.
His mouth is tantalizing close to your throat now, the column of which is completely exposed to him since your face is still craned up towards the sky. You can’t help but to wonder if Daniel can feel what you currently can, if he too can sense the way the tension seems to only increase with every second you wait to see if his thoughts are trained on the bare expanse of your neck the way yours are on his lips.
You assume they must be because you can hardly even think around the crowd of thoughts about his mouth filling your head and that’s even when you can’t actually see his lips. At the very least you hope that your throat bared before him and thoughts of all the possibilities and opportunities that vulnerability encompasses are what his mind is currently focused on, since it’s abundantly clear that Daniel isn’t thinking about what he was going to say back to you.
“Hey,” you breathe out and instead of actually responding, Daniel just makes a lazy grunting sound in the back of his throat in acknowledgement, a noise which quickly morphs into a soft laugh, which you can feel the reverberations of against your lips, when you scoff at the half-assed excuse for a reply.
“Danie-” you don’t even get his name all the way out before he manages to derail every word you’d been about to say with what should have been embarrassingly easily done for you, but it’s not like you have it in you to muster up even a sliver of shame when Daniel’s just dragged his teeth down the column of your throat, lightly enough that you’d wonder if you’d only imagined it if weren’t for the slight sting he’d left behind when he’d reached the hollow between your collarbones and nipped at the skin there not hard enough to break the skin.
Instead, he does it with just the right amount of force, and it’s so carefully done that you know without having to ask him about it personally, to be entirely certain he’d done it with the intention of leaving a mark behind, one you’d have no choice but to wear front of center until it at last faded from the delicate skin at the base of your throat.
“That’s not fair, Daniel,” you reply lamely, and though you keep waiting for some witty thing to come to mind to say next, your mind stays blank, and it just seems like that’s all you’re going to manage to get out at the moment.
“I’m not trying to play fair. I didn’t come here to play fair,” he says, and the timbre of his voice nearly does you in then and there, the pitch of dropping, making the words come out rough and gravely. Daniel still sounds enough like himself, since his normal voice is more than enough to make you a little weak at the knees on a regular day, this new variation is an entirely new breed of beast.
It’s a force you’re not entirely sure you know if you can trust yourself around at all, uncertain of whether or not you can keep yourself from turning into an absolute mess every time he opens his mouth and the voice that comes out is this one.
Evidently, this weekend has just been a showcase of all the sides of him you hadn’t come across until now, as if Daniel had suddenly found himself needing to remind you there was still so much about him that you had left to learn. Apparently, he’d decided that tonight, that right now, would be the perfect time to let you in on that particular secret.
It’s such a strange dynamic that you find yourself at a bit of a loss, unsure of what exactly to do with these newly revealed frontiers or even how to approach them since they somehow manage to simultaneously expose a vulnerability of Daniel’s, letting you know with absolute certain that he trusted you entirely, and while also making it abundantly clear that he could take the upper hand at any time, when and if he wanted to.
You could have started shouting, letting out celebratory whoops right then and there out on the balcony and do so without any concern at all for the fact that the noise wouldn’t be appreciated by your neighbors in the slightest, since it’s only a few hours until dawn.
None of that seems of any particular importance, not when finally, at long fucking last, Daniel’s finally beginning to understand what you’d been trying to explain to him in every way you could, short of taking his face in your hands and telling him in the most explicit terms possible that you, unconditionally and irrevocably wanted him.
“Come on, focus. I know that you can do it,” you say, a small smile playing on your lips as you adjust the hold you still have on Daniel’s wrist until the back of his hand is pressed tightly to the palm of yours and your fingers rest lightly on top of his.
“It’s really less of a matter of if I can, than of if I want to.”
“Humor me, then,” you reply, picking your head up just enough that you make sure he knows you’d rolled your eyes at his response. But you don’t even have a chance to get another word in edgewise, let alone to process what his next action beyond what your expression is capable of conveying about your complete and utter surprise.
Daniel doesn’t shy away from letting you know that you hadn’t put your head back into the crook of his neck quickly enough for his liking, not hesitating as he lets the blanket fall to the balcony floor, clearly unaffected by the brisk rush of ice-cold air that hits your exposed legs and his bare chest, as he wraps his now free hand around your throat. He’s firm in his movement but there’s a tenderness to it you hadn’t known such a forceful motion was even capable of having, pushes you back by your neck until the back of your head rests against his shoulder once again.
“Go on,” Daniel prompts, though he gives no sign at all that he intends to take his hand off your throat any time soon, and while the hold he has on you is gentle, he gives you no room to budge, preventing you from lifting your head and meeting his eyes so you can see if he was being serious or not.
“Come on, you had lots to say earlier,” he continues, “don’t go quiet on me now.”
Somehow, that was supposed to be helpful, or at least you assumed as much but honestly, the complete reversal Daniel had made in the last hour alone had you absolutely at a complete loss for what the hell to say next. Yet, you are also dying to find out what more would possibly entail if this had only been the start of it.
But what’s fair is fair, you figure, and if this little performance has told you anything, it's that the last thing Daniel expected of you, that he wanted from you was for you to just roll over, not that you’d even consider doing so if that was what he wanted. No, this was new and entirely uncharted territory which you had just as much right to stake your claim on as he did.
So, you just decide to pick back up where you’d left off, now determined to act like nothing at all had changed, and simply continue with what you’d been planning on doing previously, back before Daniel had made things… considerably more interesting by raising the stakes.
“I think where I was going back before you got greedy was,” you start, not bothering to try and hide the small beginnings of a smile from Daniel’s watchful gaze, entirely more interested in testing the waters than anything else.
The grin tugging at the corners of your mouth only grows, becoming exponentially more dangerous when, still wrapped around your throat, Daniel’s fingers give an almost imperceptible squeeze, though it’s still not quite enough to give you any idea of whether it’s in warning or it’s in encouragement to keep going, so you decide to continue with the latter anyway.
“That I was about to get you to explain exactly what you meant when you asked if this was really what I wanted.”
“Oh?” is all Daniel gives by way of a reply, not that you mind much, since that works just as well as a real answer theoretically could have.
“Oh,” you confirm, nodding your head emphatically, the movement of your neck within his grasp apparently more than enough to warrant his hand sliding further up your throat until his fingers find your jaw and they quickly stop the exaggerated motion dead in its tracks.
“Mhm, it’s pretty simple,” you continue when Daniel doesn’t elect to say anything in response, though this time you shrug your shoulders a little, moving just enough that your shoulder nudges him gently in the center of his chest.
Simultaneously, you tighten the grasp you still have on his left hand, which remains exactly where Daniel had placed it, the entirety of it pressed flush to your side. You hadn’t even realized you’d been absently sweeping a fingertip back and forth across expanse of skin from his thumb to his wrist where the black rose tattoo is inked until you’ve increased your hold on his hand.
So, before Daniel has a chance to suddenly find his voice and ask you just what exactly your fascination is with this particular tattoo, you test your hold on his hand one last time and upon finding it to sufficiently secure beneath yours, you begin to drag his hand over the swell of your hip and down the outside of your thigh at a carefully set, almost painfully slow pace.
Once you get started you don’t stop, keeping his hand moving lower and lower, growing increasingly closer to the hemline of his t-shirt which falls to the mid thigh on your frame, and though you can’t see it, unable to lift your head and catch a glimpse of Daniel’s expression for yourself because his hand has remained where he left it, wrapped around your jaw, you can tell he’s getting frustrated from the way his fingertips twitch under yours, almost as if they’re itching to pick up the pace.
But much to your surprise, Daniel doesn’t rush you at all, then he nearly renders you speechless when the next time you try and get him to explain himself, he finally plays along. You’re not sure if he did it on purpose or if it was just some kind of knee jerk reaction to what immediately precedes him finally opening his mouth.
When your stacked hands finally reach the hemline of the shirt you don’t hesitate as you make the transition from fabric to exposed thigh, continuing to move lower until the entirety of his fingers and open palm rest against your bare skin. Then, and only then, do you halt the downward progression of your hands for just a fraction of a second. Unsurprisingly, only then, in that space of time, does Daniel start talking again.
“Is staying here in Monaco with me for a few more days really what you want?” Daniel asks, and while his voice has lost some of the rougher edges it had had to it earlier, it’s still pitched quite low, and there's just something about it that feels hungry, almost nearing predatory in nature.
“Yes, it is,” you confirm, and though a lecture that starts with ‘of course it is, why else would I suggest it? I’m not you, I’m not begging you to skip the gala so we can stay in, only to change my mind when you’ve finally agreed to my impulsive schedule rearrangement...’ sits heavy in the forefront of your mind, the words weighty and unwieldy, nearly desperate with the need to be said, you don’t give in to the temptation.
You don’t have to say them to Daniel, not when he already knows that you want to, and though you know that you wouldn’t be remiss to say them, to tell him that you weren’t enough of a fool to make the same mistake he had and certainly not cruel enough to put him through it just to get even, you also know that he wouldn’t begrudge you any opportunity to air your grievances.
And still, you don’t say them, opting instead to keep them trapped where they are because you know and he knows that the words themselves don't really need to be voiced to be heard, to have an impact. So instead, you capitalize on the chance to ask him the same question.
“Is that what you want? To stay here, right here,” you punctuate the last two words by pushing down on Daniel’s fingertips, pressing them into your upper thigh hard enough that he reacts instinctually, continuing to keep his hold on you even when your fingers above his relax entirely, and now just rest lightly there, their presence only marked by the featherlight brush of your fingertips against the back of his hand.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Daniel says by way of an answer, and though you know he’s just pushing back to see what you’ll do next, you don’t let that stop you from pushing him to continue playing along by the rules of the game that you had set, rather the ones he’d dictated.
“No, it’s not. Not at all,’ you reply blithely, squeezing his hand twice until he lets go of your thigh, though judging by the way his hand seem to tremor with the effort it takes to release his hold on you, he’s entirely reluctant to give it up because it means relinquishing the possessive way he’d been clinging to your leg. Daniel makes sure that it is abundantly clear to the both of you that he doesn’t want to let go, but he has and he will, solely because you’ve asked it of him.
“Say it. Tell me what you want,” as the words roll off your tongue delicately, they still manage to carry a weight behind them that’s entirely intended, since they are as much of an attempt to get him to confess to more than just where he wants to be the next few days as it is an instruction for what you want to hear come out of his mouth next.
You don’t shy away from really driving home the point that your words are more than a prompt, that they are a reminder of the seemingly endless sea of wants and needs that at present, stretches between you and Daniel. It’s made devastatingly easy by just the press of your hand against the back of his again, as you shift his palm tantalizingly slowly across your leg until you come to a stop on the inside of your thigh.
Then, and only then do you somehow managed to set a new pace, this one impossibly slower than the former, and direct the progress of his hand back up the expanse of skin it has just made its way down.
Neither of you remark on it but you both hear the groan that starts somewhere deep in Daniel’s chest, one that he only just manages to catch in time, though the last second save means that he effectively chokes on it somewhere in the back of his throat.
Even though he stops it before it can properly escape his mouth, it’s still enough for you to know it for what it is, a proverbial waving of the white flag that tells you’ve got him exactly where you wanted him. It’s confirmation that you have in fact managed to back Daniel into a corner, to have gotten the upper hand, armed with nothing but a few words and a guided tour that’s not even halfway done yet.
But it hardly seems to matter at all since his hand is still wrapped around your throat, the gesture not aggressive or painful. Infuriatingly, you savor the firm grasp his fingers have around your neck, the possessive, claiming nature of having a far greater effect on you than you really cared to have to admit to Daniel at all.
That’s the infuriating thing about it, about the current positioning of his hand, you don’t have to tell him you’re enjoy it, that you’re not really looking forward to him letting go just yet because he can feel the way your heart is racing through the places where his palm of his hand has a snug hold along your pulse points.
Though Daniel continues to let you direct the path up your thigh, you can tell he’s helping you move your hands since the progress feels a little different this time, now without the aid the smooth, thin weave of his shirt had provided previously. Now, his palm coasts along, exploring what all exactly it was that lies beneath the fabric, the hemline of which is being pushed up, out of the way as his touch climbs higher and higher.
“Dan?” His name is a barely audible whisper as you say it, but it’s still more than enough to get his attention and return it to what you’d been saying to him before, the one word somehow managing to be enough to get him out of head and back down to earth.
“Yes?” Evidently, while Daniel’s attention may be trained on you again, it’s apparently no threat at all to the haze eddying around him, the one that becomes increasingly difficult to see through as it thickens, banking around him the higher up the inside of your thigh his hand goes.
At some point, about halfway up, he starts to move his fingertips beneath yours, the calloused pads of Daniel’s fingers exploring the new expanse of bare leg as they come across it, tracing patterns somehow manage to travel directly to your core, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake.
The rough scrape of Daniel’s fingertips against the delicate skin of your upper thigh make promise after promise at every place they touch, whispering about all of the things that they know how to do, of all the things they’re skilled in and in all the ways in which they are capable of making your body tremble beneath their touch, if only, instead of just exploring the bare expanse of leg they’re on now, they were given free range to venture where they pleased, to climb higher and higher until they can finally settle exactly where you wanted them to.
So, you don’t make any attempt to stop his finger’s newly found autonomy, permitting it only because he doesn’t make any attempt to change the speed of the progress up, quite clearly not willing to derail things just because he got ahead of himself.
“Where should I be the next few days?” you finally work up the nerve to ask, an endeavor that took far more time than it probably should have, since it’s the next step in the conversation that’s already being had. Strangely though, once they’re out, the words sound far less intimidating than they had inside your head, as this penultimate question had echoed around again and again.
“Here,” Daniel says like it's the most obvious thing in the world, pulling his hand out from under yours in the same heartbeat his fingers release their hold on your jaw, calmly maintaining the flow of words falling from his lips without so much as a moment’s hesitation as he turns you around to face him.
“Here, with me, exactly where you should be,” he continues, the look on his face so self-assured and certain, entirely unaffected by the fact that you’re just staring up at him, eyes wide and lips slightly parted in surprise. “Now, come here.”
Though Daniel had clearly planned to say the words and let you follow up with the actions, his impatience must get the better of him because while he’s still in the process of getting them out, he’s already picking you up, hands hauling you up into the air as soon as they find the curve where the back of your thighs meet your ass, the momentum of it somehow enough that you react instinctually, legs wrapping tightly around his waist as your arms do the same around his neck.
It nearly knocks the wind out of you when you finally make yourself let go and stop fighting for some semblance of restraint for even one second longer, and you find that once you do, something changes in the way Daniel kisses you, like he’s picked up on your decision to give in to this entirely and he’s more than willing to match that.
His hands are still cupping the back of your thighs, keeping you supported in the air against him, his arms doing vastly more work to keep you there than yours around his neck and your legs around his waist are currently doing. When you deepen the kiss, tipping your head back just the slightest bit until you’re able to get some degree of separation between your face and his, you give in to temptation and catch his bottom lip between your teeth, nipping at the plush, already slightly kiss swollen skin like you’d been wanting to do all night.
Daniel’s response is instantaneous and unlike before, he doesn’t even try hide the groan that rumbles out of him this time, like he’s entirely unapologetic about it now and he figures that there’s no longer any point in try to pretend like he hadn’t snapped, hadn’t abandoned every ounce of control he left minutes ago.
You try your best to convey how much you appreciate the sounds you’re currently pulling out of him, alternating between increasingly harder nips at his lips with soothing the pain away with a drag of your mouth against his, not relenting in the slightest and instead only grinning into the bruising kiss he gives you when he’s at his wits end.
“Don’t tease,” Daniel mumbles against your lips, the words rumbling out of his mouth and into yours.
“Don’t make it so easy,” you reply, letting out a small yelp of surprise when he leans back just a little, balancing more of your weight around his waist so he can drag the bruising grip he has on thighs up higher, not bothering at all to be gentle as he palms at your ass.
Daniel’s entirely unrepentant about the fact that the t-shirt you have on is now bunched up above your hips, more focused on the fact he now has both hands entirely full like he’d wanted as he kneads at the plush skin.
He figures that if you want to tease him, that’s well within your rights but that decision only entitles him to think less and touch more, since you’re apparently so confident in your ability to keep up with him. Daniel already knows he’s far less quick to get embarrassed than you are and his threshold for shamelessness is almost concerningly high.
When you let go of his neck with one hand and try your best to yank the hem of your shirt back down over your thighs, Daniel just readjusts his hold on you, shifting you up higher in his arms until there’s no longer any point in bothering with the bottom of the shirt anymore since its now slightly twisted around your middle.
He knows he’s being a pain but honestly, it’s more than worth it when it earns him a sharp yank from your hand still buried in the sleep mussed mess of curls at the nape of his neck.
“Daniel!” you snap at him, and he knows he’s down bad when instead of feeling like the warning it usually does when you grind out his name like that, he’s too focused on figuring out what he can do next to get you to say it like that again to care.
“If that’s supposed to be getting me to behave you need to find a better tactic,” he says smugly, the corners of his mouth curling up slightly, the expression only morphing into a proper smirk when he can feel the way your fingers tighten their hold on the curls threaded through them in response. “Come on, do it again.”
“No,” you reply with a shake of your head, then listen anyway, this time pulling at his hair hard enough that his head snaps back a little and he knows the twinkle in your eyes, the challenge in them he can see when he arches a brow at you in response that you’re enjoying this as much as he is.
“No,” you say quickly, and when he starts to open his mouth to protest, you’re quick to beat him to it. “You do realize we’re still standing outside, right? That anyone who just glances out of their window right now is getting a full show.”
“Lucky them,” Daniel says with a shrug, knowing he should probably care more than he currently does, which is the only reason why he relaxes his grip on your rear, slowly starting to put you back down onto your feet while he waits for you to catch on. When he’s lowered you down enough that your feet finally touch the floor of the balcony, Daniel can’t help but to snort when you try to stand on your own and your legs shake under you like a baby deer.
He’s not at all surprised that you swat away the hand he extends to steady you and he doesn’t let the rejection keep him from repaying the favor in kind when you breeze past him, the smack of the palm of his hand against your left cheek landing perfectly, the sound of it alone more than telling him that he’s left a bright red handprint.
And then, as he follows you across the balcony as you head for the door back into his bedroom you had left slightly ajar earlier, since apparently, he just can’t help himself tonight, Daniel opens his mouth and says, “you know I always thought you wouldn’t mind a bit of an audience.”
“Never said that I did,” you toss out, looking back at him over one shoulder for the briefest moment as you say it, like you didn’t want to miss catching a quick glimpse of his face as your words register for him. But it’s not like you wait for his brain to catch back up with his mouth before you slip back inside, leaving Daniel behind without so much as another backwards glance.
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