It was just another typical day in Rio. The sun was out, the sky was a vivid blue, and the beach was glorious. The beach house that Emma had arranged to use was opulent by most people’s standards. She considered it satisfactory for the few days for which they would be using the place. The flight down had been relatively quiet compared to the evening before, which suited everyone.
Emma had risen with the morning sun, as was her way,.She had trusted her advance team to see to her usual requirements, and they had done so with their usual aplomb. Each bedroom’s dressers and closets were full of high end clothing. The private bathrooms were stocked with just about any toiletries one could imagine. A fully stocked bar and kitchen manned by a chef stood waiting for whatever one desired.
Emma had decided to take a swim in the glorious surf, her thoughts not of the turmoil of the night before. She had chosen a sultry black bandeau bikini and a pair of bottoms that certainly fit into the local style. The top had a delightful little design that drew the attention of any viewers
The relative telepathic peace of Rio compared to New York City was soothing to Emma’s mind. The constant psionic chatter of the largest city of the world could wear down one’s senses, not to mention make one moody. She was already feeling invigorated and excited about this new adventure.
After a few minutes of relaxing swimming and splashing about in the surf, Emma felt a little lonely and decided to stroll back towards the house and see if Nicholas had awakened. She slicked her hair back as she emerged from the sea.
Nick had awoken shortly after dawn, which for him was ‘sleeping in.’ For a long moment, he just lay still, eyes still closed, trying to orient himself to his surroundings. Even though he remembered last night’s arrival and knew perfectly well where he was, waking up to the salt tang of the ocean in the air and the grumbling whisper of surf on sand was unfamiliar almost to the point of surreal. For the past several years, ever since he’d been appointed Director, he’d either slept on the helicarrier or in high-security SHIELD housing. Even before then, jet-set cottages on tropical beaches had not played a large part in his itineraries.
Not much of one for lazing about in bed, Nick sat up, rolling his head and stretching out his neck and shoulders. Fit as he was for his age, he still stiffened up a bit more overnight than he had in his salad days, and it took a minute or two to get all the kinks worked out. Then, limbered up, he rose and padded across the hardwood floor and into the bathroom.
A few minutes later he emerged in a pair of trunks, sneakers hooked on the fingers of one hand. A run and a swim?
he pondered, or the other way around?
It might be the biggest decision he’d have to make all day, and for all the morning creakiness, he felt alive and energized. Taking a few days off from trying to save the world was remarkably liberating. And taking them off in the company of Emma Frost even more so.
Thinking of Emma, he wondered if she was awake yet. A quick peek into her room showed her bed was empty, so he headed toward the deck, expecting perhaps to find her sunbathing there or on the beach. A bowl of fruit on the kitchen island yielded an orange and, after a moment’s thought, he snagged a second one. She might be hungry. Or he might.
The door onto the deck slid open quietly and he stepped out, blinking a little against the light. Then he saw Emma coming out of the surf and stopped just to stare in admiration. She wore a tiny black bikini, something that was more thin straps than fabric, soaking wet and stark against her pale skin. Her body was all curves in all the right places, and her platinum hair was slicked back, emphasizing her striking bone structure.
Emma couldn’t help but notice Nick step into the brilliant sunshine of the Rio morning. It didn’t take a telepath to determine Emma’s mind was filled with all manner of naughty thoughts, thanks to the wicked smile that blossomed on her face. The sight of him made her remember that one of her admitted weaknesses was for gourmet chocolate. Emma grew even more curious about Nick’s secret of how a man of his not-inconsiderable years could have a body of someone a third his age. Of course, there were the various scars of a long career of saving the world, badges of his commitment. Still, despite Emma’s deep appreciation for the thesaurus, the only word that came to her mind regarding Nicholas’s form was...wow.
She continued her slow walk up to the deck, and she would have denied in a court of law that she added a little extra sway of her hips along the way. Perhaps even Emma Frost, whose grip on her life was tight enough to turn coal into diamond, could not avoid allowing her body to have a say in things. The platinum blonde finally made it all the way up from the sea over the white sand, and went up into Nick’s personal space. She let a slender finger linger where his suit ended and his skin began as she looked to him.
“Good morning….” she murmured, kissing his cheek with a delighted little grin. “You appear well rested, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I hope things are to your satisfaction?”
“Perfectly adequate,” Nick said with a wink.
Emma’s finger drew a line of fire along his skin, and he was glad of the work he put into staying in shape. As the years had passed and his job had gravitated to behind a desk, it had gotten more and more difficult to do, to keep his muscles hard and the skin taut over them.
Emma’s grin turned into a playful pout with his terse appraisal..
“I appreciate a man with standards. It gives me a goal to strive for and achieve.”
Nick smiled. “I have trouble seeing you slacking,” he said. Then he held up one of the fruit he’d snagged from the bowl. “Orange?”
“Why, thank you…..” Emma took the orange, taking it as if she was only now noticing it. She took it and bit into it lightly to get the peel to begin.
“Slacking is not my issue, true. Quite the opposite. But a few days of relaxation and fun should be well worth last night’s falderal.”
She noticed the sneakers in his hand.
“Want some company for a run along the beach? Or are you one of those fellows who need solitude while they seek their runner’s high?”
Her teasing tone was light and playful, so different from the businesswoman he had first met.
“Solitude has its virtues,” Nick said, mock-speculatively, slicing open the peel of his orange with a thumbnail. “Then again, so does the company.”
“Run, then cooling off in the ocean? Well, I did need my cardio for today….” she drawled. “But I hadn’t planned on wearing sneakers for that….” she teased.
Nick tossed the footwear aside. “Shoes are overrated,” he said. Then he chuckled. “Though maybe I shouldn’t say something like that to a wealthy woman.”
Emma smacked him gently on the chest, a playfully shocked expression on her face.
“I won’t stand here and have you mock my religion, sir! But I will run….”
With that, she turned on the ball of her foot and started out for the sand. She fed herself a slice of the orange as she did, grinning like a fool.
Nick popped a wedge of orange into his mouth as he stood, and biting into it brought a burst of flavor. Then, setting the rest aside, he vaulted the deck’s railing and landed on the sand. “Well,” he said, “what are you waiting for?”
Still walking towards the surf, she turned back to face him with mischief in those vivid blue eyes.
“I just wanted to make sure you didn’t have a cramp or anything…besides, if you’re going to come in second, you should at least enjoy the view.”
With that, she turned and started trotting towards the sea and took a turn north along the beach.
Nick was an extremely competitive man, but the prospect of admiring that ass as it bounced and swayed along ahead of him was sorely tempting. Still, he lengthened his stride to a long, ground-eating lope, quickly gaining on his ‘opponent.’
Emma could hear Nick padding in the sand behind her, so she quickened her pace a little. She could hear her mother telling her how The Game is played. Having a man chase you is no sin, she had told Emma at some point, but you can’t let him catch you too easily lest he not appreciate The Game. Besides, she was still enjoying the orange. But she couldn’t help but offer an actual giggle of delight in the process.
A smile curved up the corners of Nick’s mouth. He knew this game. He was good at this game, and he enjoyed it. There was no need for it to end too soon, either, so he quickened his pace only gradually. Pushing himself a little harder, and then a little more.
Emma had finished her orange and playfully tossed the peel at him from over her shoulder. But he was faster than her, and she was losing ground. She had to dampen her natural instinct to rise to the challenge. There are more important things than winning a stupid race. She could feel him right behind her...and she turned right into the surf along which they had been running.
She started splashing water at him, but he was on her too quickly for her aquatic attack to make much of an effect. She was laughing happily, the lightest her heart had felt in a long time.
Nick was struck suddenly by the complete disappearance of the diamond-hard CEO. Emma seemed years younger than the woman he’d met just the day before. It wasn’t just the wardrobe change, though that was part of it. It was the complete lightening of her mood. Laughing with her, he made a quick lunge through the wall of defensive splashing she threw up, scooping her completely off her feet.
“No!” she cackled, not meaning it at all. She wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders even as she kicked her feet up and down with zero effect whatsoever. She saw that she was without options and surrendered.
“Well, you win…..” she grinned, smoothing her hand down his cheek with tenderness. “Take your prize in victory….”
Lifting Emma a little higher in his arms, Nick bent down to kiss her. But no little peck or brush of lips against cheek this time.
Emma craned her neck upwards to meet Nick’s lips. She still tasted of the sweetness of the orange, along with something akin to cherries jubilee--warm and intoxicating.. It was a kiss that was slow to build in heat, but build it did. Both had been waiting for this moment to arrive, and now that it was here there would be no denial of their mutual attraction.
When there was a moment to take a breath, Emma ran the back of her fingers down his cheek. But there was a new fire in those blue eyes looking back at him.
“That’s a very good way to capture my full attention….” she whispered against his lips. She pulled him back in for a more hungry kiss. She turned her head, her lips parting slightly to breathe from him--a clear invitation.
“Only your full attention?” Nick murmured, his lips close to her ear. “I’m a man who always goes 110%.” And then he turned his head, lips meeting hers once more.
Emma gave Nicholas her best and more, inspired by his declaration. Their deepening kisses were being mostly ignored by passersby. This was Rio, after all. Emma’s hands roamed Nick’s muscled back and chest, and when she could get a few breathless words out, she managed to say.
She ran her nails lightly over his back, seizing his lower lip in her teeth for a moment before letting it go.
“Put me down, you’re going to need your strength….” she drawled.
“Promises, promises,” Nick said, but he laughed as he set her down.