All she wanted was the touch of his hands on her heated skin, caressing and exploring.
She loved his hands. They weren't perfectly sculpted like Neil's; nor did they have the bone-crushing strength of Herry's. But they were his, and that was what she loved. They had a quiet grace all their own, a grace that showed in everything he did. It didn't matter if they were holding his xiphos in battle, or twirling a pencil while concentrating on math problems. They could do both with ease.
His fingers were long and tapered; his palms broad and rough from years spent working sails. She often wondered idly to herself if piano lessons had been forced on him as a child. Those hands that she so loved were perfect for classical pieces. She didn't doubt they were perfect for other things too.
Warm and large, they could encase her own small hands completely. They made her daydream of Christmas holidays at the lodge, of two warm bodies lying close together, hands and limbs entangling and exploring as mugs of hot chocolate cooled, forgotten in favour of newer, sweeter tastes.
She was beginning to lose track of how many times she was caught in daydreams like that. She would slowly come back to reality to see Atlanta giving her that all-knowing smirk, a telltale flush covering her pale cheeks as she refused to meet her friend's gaze. She really needed to stop; getting caught by Persephone was even worse than being caught by Atlanta.
But she couldn't help it; they just crept up on her, slowly lulling her into a fantasy world where there was nothing but warm hands sliding along soft skin, a warmth that sunk down to her very core. And down she would sink, and softly she would sigh, a deep, longing sigh that told of the desire to know those hands and to have them know her in the most intimate of manners.
He had caught her one day, staring at those hands in quiet repose, when they were supposed to be doing homework. He had stared at her while she stared at his hands, face flushed and eyes half shut as she sighed once more. He had reached across the table with one hand, one of those beloved hands, and gently brushed the hair out of her eyes, the tips of his fingers skimming across her soft cheek.
Her eyes had shot open to meet with his, face matching her shirt. Her breath had hitched in her throat as he let his fingertips linger along her jaw, his eyes twinkling with a gentle smile. She shuddered slightly as the warmth of his skin on hers left, his hand pulled back to his side. He had held her gaze, eyes smouldering with a heat all their own, until she had broken it and excused herself from the table, afraid of something drastic happening if she stayed any longer.
Dashing up to her room, she collapsed onto her bed, shaking from the excitement and the heat coursing through her veins. When Atlanta had wandered in and looked at her quizzically, asking if she was alright, she just giggled breathlessly, hugging a pillow to her body. Giving her love struck friend a gentle smile, she wandered back out in search of Archie. She had remained, falling once more into a dreamscape of his hands on her body, tangling in her hair and caressing her skin with the lightest touch.
Learning to be more discreet around him had become increasingly difficult; it was as though he was watching her, waiting to catch her staring again, waiting to catch her with that gaze once more. It was a dangerous game they played, but a game that she wouldn't give up for all the world. Let Cronus have it if it meant she could have that gaze, and those hands.
Their friendly banter had turned to silent flirting; a brush of the hands at the dinner table, or arms resting close on the couch. Silent yes, silent everywhere but in her heart, which beat like thunder whenever he was near, adrenaline coursing like lighting through her body whenever they touched. She was oblivious as to whether the others had caught on, which doubtless they had, nor did she care. She was far too caught up in this silent world of caresses and gazes, of breathless sighs and gentle smiles. A world where they could just be, be just two bodies wanting, teasing and yearning for the other.
But she could feel the frustration building in her, building from all the slight, barely there glances of skin. The heat and want was almost unbearable, leaving her to feel a little lost as to what she desired more: saving the world from the dominion of Cronus, or his heated body tangled with hers on cool sheets. The raw power behind her feelings left her unsure of herself, unsure of what he was thinking. Was he just flirting, simply teasing her, or did he know what she wanted, something he wanted in return?
Another week of flirting went by before she caught a glimpse of what he wanted. They had gone upstairs to let their bodies rest for the night. It had become custom to say goodnight outside her door. He would tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, letting his fingers trail down her cheek, sliding across her neck to reach her shoulder, dropping behind to run down the soft skin on her arm, stopping at her elbow.
She shivered every time, face flushing and eyelids lowering. That night when she glanced up to her eyes, they did not immediately meet her gaze. For tonight, they were gazing at something else. She licked her lips nervously and saw a glimmer of some emotion flicker in his eyes as they rose to meet hers. And she understood him then, as he unconsciously lowered his gaze to her lips once more, leaning closer. He wanted exactly the same as she, only his fantasies lay in a different area of the body. A mischievous smile lit her face as she said goodnight, and quietly shut her door, leaving him alone in the hallway. Now that she knew, she planned on having a bit more fun with him.
After all, it would definitely be worth it in the end.