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Time Stops Who It Wants

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She feels his presence near her, smells his musk under whatever cologne he randomly grabbed this morning. Feels his eyes on her. He’s too close. He’s been told not to stand too close to her, told to play it safe. It has all gone too far, they know it, everyone around them knows it, the bosses know it, even the press knows it.

He’s a puppy who has eaten the leg off the dining table. He’s been scolded not to do it again but he’s going to chew on the other legs, chew on it until it collapses under its own weight.

He’s at her side, his hand hovering just above her back. He doesn’t touch her. She gives him The Look. The side-eye look that says, “Don’t you dare.” Her lips are pursed but he ignores her anyway, smirking at the camera. He’s between her Kieran and the performative clown she knows he hides behind. He takes a step back, it’s worked, he’s going to move to stand by Brian, in the comfort zone they both know how to deal with. She turns away, worried she wouldn’t be able to hide the emotions bubbling under the surface.

He nudges her arm, desperate for attention like a puppy. He’s not giving in to what They think should happen. He’s patting just above her elbow, letting her know he’s there for her. It’s the nudge he gives on red carpet when he knows she feels uncomfortable. He looks at her, feeling the thunder across her face. His hand is still on her arm like she belongs to him. She swears she hears him whine a please under his breath, swears he is begging her to give him something.

He slings his arm over her like they’ve been doing this for years, in their own way they have been. He strokes her hair on the way round, he knows she likes it. She puts her arms around his back, like any cast member or co-worker she would be posing with at an event. Except it’s not, it’s him. They are too familiar with each other. Her body automatically moves around him.

She slaps his side as she wraps her arm around him, it’s supposed to be a threat, but he’ll see it as being playful. Her hand slides down to his hip, automatically stroking the soft area with her thumb before the Actress Switch is turned on. She turns to smile at the camera, just giving the right amount of smirk and hiding her teeth.

His hand is on her shoulder before slowly slinking down her body. She can feel her heart beating under her touch, her body remembering what happens next. His hand stops before they reach the soft swell of her breasts. A part of her longs for his hand to dip further down, under the mesh of her dress.

They smile for one round of photos before he is told to move. They are a liability, the flirting swimming into an uncomfortable territory that the HBO PR team loathe but Page Six adores. He scurries away but he can’t keep his eyes off her, even when Brian calls him out, even when Mark begs him to get it under control. They sometimes forgot how complicated their relationship was to those outside looking in.

She avoids him all night, which is easy when you have Alan Ball to hide behind. Everyone knows why they are sitting away from each other. Everyone thinks they know. Thinks they have worked out this secret.

She can’t be near him without falling into him. She couldn’t help but look at him, laugh at him, touch him. It had seeped into her marriage, her work, her social life. Some days it was all she could think about.

He goes to bed early; says he wants to enjoy the feeling of having an empty double bed to himself again. Zoe side-eyes her, she knows who was in his bed last night. Knows he hasn’t been sleeping in an empty bed, missing his wife.

She carries on with her night, downing martinis like she was in her 20s again. He texts her, begging her to see him again, apologizing, asking to come to her room. The party dips and she knows she has to get back to the hotel, knows she can’t avoid him any longer. She is too sober, unable to lull herself into the groove and patterns of the atmosphere.

She finally gives up, a woman of her age shouldn’t be at the dregs of an afterparty. She is no use to the people left, looking for hookups as they down their shots.

She strips away the glamor she had paid the MUA to apply. She looked good, as good as she was ever going to look. She struggles with the zip, missing the male presence in her life. It’s late, Kenny was definitely asleep and Kiernan was inevitably falling asleep with his head in some stupid wrestling nonsense she had never really cared for.

She wrestles out the gown and lays it on the back of the chair, she avoids her naked body in the mirror, quickly sliding into the pyjamas. They are expensive and silky because it’s not every weekend she gets to sleep beside a man almost 25 years her junior. She doesn’t dress up for Kenny, he’s seen her puking through pregnancy, seen her with the flu, seen her bleary-eyed and drunk. He doesn’t care if her underwear matches and won’t notice when she changes the tone of her blonde. It’s not that he doesn’t care, it’s just that they’re in a different stage of their relationship in comparison to her and Kieran.

She is just about to climb into bed when the door knocks. She gulps down an unexpected nervousness. She had known him since he was 17, and their relationship had worked its way through the different stages. He annoyed her, he terrified her, he worried her, and he enthralled her.

He walks straight in, awkwardly comfortable in all situations. He has changed out of his suit and into a plaid shirt and jeans. She closes the door behind him and sighs, her defences up immediately. He tries to bury his head in her neck, and instantly wants to be touched but she needs to put the boundary back up.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he says, hazel eyes wide and apologetic.

“I told you,” she says, her voice croaking. “I told you we had to be careful.”

Sometimes they forget they are famous, forget that people care about their relationship, forgets that rumors which soon twist and get nasty. She’d hate for Nellie to read it, for Jazz’ feelings be hurt by something that was so natural to them. Their relationship couldn’t be summed up in a cut soundbite or Instagram caption, it was years of being entwined.

“Words come out, J, you know me?” She looks at him fondly. “What can I do to make it up to you?” he’s looking at her with dark, lustful eyes. She was angry he had shown her those eyes on camera, those were for her, not for HBO viewers.

“You don’t deserve it,” she pouts. He links their hand together like the secret romantic he was. His rings are scratchy against her freshly moisturized skin, his grip too firm.

“I have been a bad boy, haven’t I? What are you going to do about it?”

She lets go of his hand and runs her fingers up his strong left arm. She didn’t like her men buff, in fact, she preferred her men cuddly and round, something to hold her tight and make her feel safe at night. He was surprisingly strong, even between seasons when he isn’t with the on-set trainer. She pushes his shirt sleeve up as much as she can, watching it strain against his elbow. She grabs at his bicep, digging her short painted nails into it.

She feels his hand curling around her jaw, pulling her attention back to him. His lips are on hers, his tongue in her mouth, battling for dominance. He grabs at her waist, pulling her into his body, his lips never leaving hers. She pushes him away lightly, she wasn’t to let the little stinker get away with it this time.

“Maybe you should be talking to Sarah, your bestie!”

“You jealous brat,” he smirks.

She grabs his wrist again, feeling all the beads. “And Pamela, how is Pamela doing?” She grabs the Virgo bracelet and yanks it off his wrist, it doesn’t break and that disappoints her. “And this one?”

“Mac’s kid brought it.” She carefully rolls it over his wrist and throws it gently to the floor. She can hear the intake of his breath as her hair grips his wrists again.

“Oh, yeah?” She looks up at him through smudged eye makeup and long lashes. “And this charming white one?”

“Some waitress in-,” he starts but she has snapped it before he finishes the sentence. It falls onto the floor, beads bouncing on the hotel carpet. “J,” he pants. “I want to,” he leans in to kiss her but she moves her head, so his lips land on her jawline. She slowly rolls the bracelets off his thin wrist, slowly, watching them fall to the floor.

He grabs her hand and pushes himself into her. He smashes their mouths together and she finally caves into him. She wraps her arms around his neck and lets him kiss her. She makes breathy little moans inside her mouth, pushing up as much of his body against her as he can.

He is directing her to the plush double bed, manoeuvring around the scattered beads and bracelets on the floor. They land on the bed, their lips barely leaving each other. “There wasn’t a second I wasn’t thinking about you that fucking ceremony. Thinking about my head between your legs, between your tits, between you and Kenny.”

“You can’t.” She scolds as he kisses down her neck and between the buttons of her shirt.

“I think you know I can do what I like.” He kisses up her neck and stares down at her, taking her breath away with the longing. They kiss long and deep again, their tongues dancing together. She sighs contently into his mouth, enjoying feeling her weight on him.

He stuffs his hand into her pajamas bottoms, and she giggles as his cold hand slide against her warm center. She grabs his wrist again and he looks down at her with a furrowed brow. She pushes him off her and straddles him on the space next to where she was once led. She leans down and deep throats his middle finger, sucking off the small silver ring. He looks up at her, mouth open and eyes wide. She spits the ring to the side and looks down at him smugly.

She takes his hand and slides off one of those silly rings he wears above the joint, scraping her teeth up his finger. He gasps, his eyes not leaving her. She deep throats his index finger, sliding her tongue inside the ring when she sucks it into her mouth. He grabs the back of her head and pulls her down for a kiss, their tongues fighting for the power of the ring. He wins but soon spits the ring out.

She does it again, feeling his stubby cool fingers inside her mouth. He lifts his hips and arranges himself, his hard dick stuffed into ill-fitted jeans. He shifts himself so his dick is directly under her and she can feel how much he wants her. His pupils are dilated and his lips open, panting lightly. It feels good to be so wanted, it feels good to be so wanted by him.

She reminds herself of this look when she stands next to gorgeous young actresses, when she sees the scales go up and her favorite pair of pants strain around her waist. She was still wanted, still desirable, still fuckable.

When she is musing above him, he uses this as an opportunity to roll them over. “I want you,” he groans, grinding into her. “We good? I need us to be good,” he begs, burying his face into her shoulder.

“I still love you, you little stinker,” she giggles. She takes his hand and removes the last ring from his left hand. He gets off her and inelegantly removes his sneakers and pants, struggling to get them over his ankles. He’s back on top, ignoring her snickers at his inability to undress himself.

His hand is shoved in her pajamas again, lightly tracing her lips, gently brushing against her clit, learning everything about her. They openly kiss, the hotel filled with the noise of their tongues entwining.

He uses his right hand to unbutton her pajama shirt and reveal her breasts. He dips his head down low, licking around her nipple as he still traces her clit. He gently brings her to orgasm, and she makes embarrassing breathy noises, almost squeaking with her climax. He kisses her, catching his moans in her mouth.

“Can I fuck you?” he asks. “Or do you need to pluck my pubic hair out?”  

“Yes,” she breathily responds, looking up at him with heavy lids.

“Say it,” he demands.

“You want me to say how much I want you to put your dick in me?” He smoothly lifts his shirt off his head, revealing his sturdy chest. She runs her hands up and down his chest. It was smooth and he had a bit of a tummy, but it was strong, and she enjoyed the weight above her. “Want me to talk about how good your cock would feel in me?” He gulps and leans down to aggressively kiss her.

“You want this off?” he says, waving his right hand around.

“Is she okay with this?” she asks with a furrowed brow; he hadn’t asked that question for a long time. He nods but she wonders if conversations happened after the SAG Award incident. They thought the kiss would be fun for the fans, she didn’t realize it wouldn’t be headline news in People and Us Weekly.

She giggles like a teenager in the back of her boyfriend’s car as he strips her down, pants and panties off. She has replaced her Spanx with simple cotton panties, comfortable but they still made her ass look good. He gently kisses her clit on the way up and she thrusts a little in his face, her body sensitive from her.

He feels good inside her, their bodies dancing together long enough to know how to fit together. He’s a little forceful, a little rough, but she loves it. She’s loud and high pitched, and she hopes that the walls are thick. 

“I love you, J, you know that, fucking love you,” he grunts. They won’t talk about these words in the afterglow, that part of their relationship was too complicated, even for them.

He comes quickly with short, sharp thrusts. He rolls off her and she realizes that her shirt is still on, unbuttoned and caught up behind her. She sits up and strips down fully, taking in the carnage of clothing and jewelry.  “Can I stay?” he asks, running a finger through his messy hair.

“I hope you do.”

They wrap themselves around each other, lying side-by-side. She’s going to New Mexico soon, then Los Angeles, and she won’t see him for a while. For tonight, she was going to let him wrap his strong arms around and she was going to pretend just for a little bit.