A Christmas Gift - part 2
  by Kathryn Charles

Librarian Note: Read Damita Syn "A Christmas Gift" part 1 first

Thomas was the first to sense Emma's absence, but having noted her response to Annie's prodding and realizing how much his sister-in-law hated showing strong emotions in public he presumed that she needed time alone. Knowing that if Anne noticed Emma's absence Emma wouldn't get it he made sure that he kept Anne's attention away from Emma's now vacant spot. Thomas liked his eccentric sister-in-law and hated that pain seemed to find her so often. As the concert began to wind down Thomas searched the park. Seeing Emma standing enveloped in Steed's arms in the back stand of trees he quickly surmised that whatever the dire event that had happened between Anne's older sister and John Steed earlier had been everything was resolving itself to Emma's satisfaction. Thomas watched them for a few moments reflecting on what course of action he and Anne should take. Invite Steed to stay with them in the main house or just let Emma make the call. Thomas had no doubt that now that Steed had arrived he would be staying for Christmas. Emma's Aunt Helen would be pleased to see Steed, but Thomas didn't think she would approve of Steed staying with Emma in the guest cottage.

As the concert ended Thomas made sure that Aunt Helen was out of earshot, then signaled for Mary and Anne to join him.

"I think we may have a delicate situation brewing!" With this Thomas nodded towards the trees where Steed and Emma stood oblivious to the crowds beginning to exit the park.

"Oh," Anne's grin lit the night, " I guess big sister isn't going to be alone this Christmas after all. With real devilment Anne called out loudly. "Emma! Steed! I hope you're both hungry? Dinner will served in forty-five minutes to an hour."

Hearing this and seeing Emma's relatives' approach Steed realized that good manners dictated that his desired reunion with Emma was going to have to wait.

"Emma," Steed whispered in a very sensuous voice, "I've missed you. I don't know how long I can wait. Can keep from..." Steed's voice trailed off as he pressed his hips against her letting her feel just how much he had missed her.

Under any other circumstances, Emma thought, the "Why us?" expression that dawned on his face would be hysterical. Being of like mind, and knowing Anne intended to delay their real reunion as long as possible Emma took pity on Steed. Her look to Anne was quite clear. This was not a game for Anne's amusement. Anne, not at all intimidated by her older sister just continued to grin.

"Sorry Steed," Emma whispered. She realized that her voice was trembling. "It'll only be just a bit. I promise that we'll duck out right after dinner." "Don't pout, Steed. It's not becoming," she added with a smirk. She then kissed him lightly on the lips one more time before disentangling herself and heading towards her family.

"I'm not pouting," Steed said as he followed her. Emma turned to glance at him and saw a look on his face that directly contradicted his words.

"Don't worry. We'll continue where we left off later," Emma said softly raising an eyebrow to emphasize her point.

"You promise?" Steed asked, his mood softening towards the need to attend Emma's family dinner.

"I promise."

"Jolly Good," Steed said in response as Anne caught up with them.

Once the small band reached Thomas and Anne's festive home greetings were exchanged, drinks poured and appetizers laid out. The feast began on a jolly, upbeat note and became more festive as the evening progressed. When the dinner buffet was served Steed filled Emma a plate and took it to her as she sat by the fire in a rocking chair holding her sister's wee child. Steed whispered "I love you" softly as he leaned down to set the plate beside her. Emma's eyes were suddenly quite bright with tears of joy and passion. Steed thought he'd never seen a more beautiful sight than his partner at that very moment - a baby cradled in her arms, and the sheer wonder of hearing those three little words shining in her eyes. Steed's arm reached across her plate and sat a fresh glass of champagne in front of her. Emma looked up and was thrilled by the smile on his face and the expression in his eyes. She answered him with a smile of her own; silently mouthing I love you too. The exchange was not lost on anyone from the park.

Later sitting by the fire, Emma rested her head on Steed's shoulder, and he pulled her closer with the arm that was already wrapped around her. Steed noticed a distant look in Emma's eyes and a smile forming at her lips.

"What are you thinking about?" Steed asked softly.

"Us," Emma answered, followed by a contented sigh.

"Care to elaborate? 'Us' is a broad topic, Emma," Steed said with a smile.

Emma rose, smiled and held out her hand to Steed. "No one will miss us. At least not until after we've made our get away. Coming Steed?"

"Won't your Aunt Helen get upset when she realizes that we are…"

"Aunt Helen will get used to the idea that we're lovers, Steed… and you; well you'll get used to the idea that my family knows. Eventually! I promise."

The couple casually sauntered through the pantry where the coats were and then out of the kitchen through the back door before anyone noticed, or at least no one let it be known they noticed. Had they looked back they would have seen broad smiles on Anne, Mary, and most surprisingly Aunt Helen's faces. " I was young once too you know." Aunt Helen smiled to her daughter and niece's shocked faces.

Steed followed Emma into the guest cottage, then helped her off with her coat.

"Make yourself comfortable Steed. I just need to take care of a couple things."

The living room of the cottage was illuminated by the glow of Christmas tree lights. Steed to keep busy and to deal with an unexpected nervousness roused the banked fire and poured two brandies. The atmosphere was rich with the mingled aromas of mistletoe and evergreen when Emma emerged from her room now dressed in a dark silk robe that accentuated her eyes and contrasted nicely with her hair. Steed now stood by the fire looking trying to appear nonchalant but feeling like an inexperienced schoolboy.

Clearing his throat Steed repeated his proclamation of earlier in the evening. "Emma, I'm sorry," Steed said. "I don't know how to handle this. I don't know what comes next."

"Steed, you don't have to," Emma moved across the room to gently rub his neck, and drawing him into a gentle kiss. "You don't have to. We have plenty of time. We'll figure it out together." Emma kissed Steed again. A long soulful kiss full of promise. Breaking the kiss she laughed and drew a box from behind her back. "Your present, sir!"

Steed started, "you expected me?"

"No, lets just say I hoped and maybe prayed a little. Besides I couldn't resist."

Opening the box Steed found a dark blue cashmere sweater and a new gold fob for his antique pocket watch.

"Take your shirt off. I want to see how you look."

Steed quickly removed his jacket, tie and shirt, hesitating as he saw Emma's eyes wander up and down his chest. Holding up the sweater he asked, "Are you sure?"
Emma stood with her hands on her hips, a bemused look on her face. "I'm sure Steed."

When he pulled it over his head Emma moved to him and ran her hands through his tousled hair and down his chest. "Lovely. It brings out your eyes."

"Emma, I'm sorry I haven't a present for you. I…"

Softly Emma put her finger to his lips. "You're coming here to be with me is the best present a woman could ever ask for."

"I'll don't think that I'll ever understand women, but I find trying…. quite.… rewarding." As Emma continued to run her hands over the soft cashmere, Steed took Emma's face between his hands and gently slid them slowly down her neck. He reached under the collar of her robe and drew it off her shoulders. Emma wore nothing but the delicate gold chain that Steed had given her last Christmas. Steed smiled, realizing that some fundamental thing weren't changing. He could still be himself with her. "You weren't kidding earlier. Were you?"

Not stopping for an answer Steed continued. "Emma, I'm glad you were right. About me, about us…"

Grinning Emma couldn't stop herself from teasing. "Of course, I was. Steed, I'm always right."

"Are not."

"Am too."

"Are not!"

"Am too!"

Their playful banter continued until Steed maneuvered Emma under the mistletoe that Anne had insisted on hanging in the guest cottage despite Emma's angry protestations. The silk robe that Steed had started to remove earlier fell to the floor. As they both fell silent, wrapping each other as close as they could, Steed closed his eyes tightly enjoying the peacefulness of the moment. The pure blessed nature of the moment almost overwhelmed him. Steed could feel the heated sizzle he knew would transpire when they joined start to grow. He opened his eyes and looked down beyond Emma's thick auburn hair. His eyes coming to rest on her eyes. The muted light from across the room reflected as if stars in her eyes. As Steed looked down into Emma's dark brown eyes Steed felt himself being drawn into those dual dark spheres, grew a bit light-headed, and wondered vaguely if her bewitching him could be the result of witchcraft. Steed watched as Emma's secret smile broadened. Emma seemed to glow with the power she was exerting over him, the reactions she was causing. Steed wondered how things would change now that he had revealed that her power over him wasn't just physical. The emotional hold she exerted, which he had tried so hard not to let himself think about. Tried so hard to avoid giving into. It now seemed the most natural thing in the world to Steed. Everything seemed so clear, so perfect. Steed knew that the games were over, that tonight each of them was making a commitment. Somehow it made everything he was feeling even more enjoyable.

"Steed…" Emma moaned, as Steed wrapped his body around hers, his hard and hungry arousal evident next to her thigh. The arms that had swept the robe from her body as he kissed her neck now went around her, sweeping her off her feet. The atmosphere in the small cottage was electric and the air was heavy with mutual anticipation as Steed carried her into her bedroom. One could say that it was the calm before the storm.

Kissing her deeply, Steed felt her mounting passion as Emma slipped her hands under the cashmere sweater she had given him not twenty minutes earlier and explored the texture of his chest. He was so muscular, the weight of her in his arms felt like nothing more than a feather.

As Steed lay her on the bed he said nothing. His hands, his kisses and body spoke for him. Steed's eyes closed as he thrilled in this newfound closeness to Emma. Wrapping her so close to him, both physically and emotionally he felt if they waited a few minutes, they would dissolve, and be physically incorporated into each other's body. Soft, sweet terms of endearment that Emma so often had expressed in those moments after they made love, as she drifted off were music to his ears as she gently told him how much he meant to her. How much she needed and wanted him.

Steed returned the endearments, knowing that his verbal expressions of love would delight her. Would bring even greater ecstasy to their coupling. He used his touches, his kisses, and words that he had only begun to realize the significance of to bring Emma ever escalating pleasure. Removing his clothes Steed began slowly to explore her body. He lightly rubbed her breasts with both hands, his fingers barely contacting the nipples, yet they grew hard and pointed. Slowly, describing how he felt, emphasizing how much he needed her, how much he wanted her he continued to focus on the woman beside him. Time meant nothing. Only the look in Emma's eyes and the needs of her body concerned Steed.

Steed kissed her shoulders, nibbled on her neck and expressed in deep, sensual tones what he wanted to do to her, what he wanted to make her feel, how much he loved her. His willingness to be open and the meaning of his words inflamed Emma's desire, and enhanced the experience for her in a way that technique and meaningless promises never could.

Eventually as Steed's hands pressed deeper, rubbed her nipples just a tiny bit harder, he slid down to visit where he so longed to be. He separated her shapely limbs so that the wonderful apex between them was available to his skillful tongue and mouth. In between strokes Steed spoke softly, "I want you very badly."

Emma responded urging him to take her where they both needed to go.

Steed made no move to enter her. Whispering, "I know what you want, I want you to feel exquisite pleasure. I want to watch you as you come." Steed smiled broadly as Emma thrust her hips at him. He ran his fingertip over her clitoris, slowly, back and forth. Then he bent to take her in his mouth, building her desire even more. Steed continued to pleasure her until she let out with a series of high pitched moans and her hips threatened to jump clear off the bed. He watched as Emma bite her lip in her craving

"Steed, oh, please…I need you now…it feels so very good to me," she moaned.

"Let me take you slowly… please…." Emma shuddered in pure, unmistakable lust. Still Steed didn't enter her. Emma opened her eyes. Steed was posed above her staring into her face.

"Steed?" The look in Emma's eyes begged him to begin.

Steed slowly, so slowly, began to enter her, watching her eyes as he spoke gently. "I love you Emma Peel and I never want to be without you." Emma's response spoke volumes. Steed knew Emma was his. Because he was giving her all of himself, all of her was his.

Their lovemaking was slow, gentle, earnest, and honest as they exchanged endearments, sought to bring each other the greatest pleasure that they could. Steed kept his strokes steady and positioned to reach all the sensitive areas inside and outside of Emma ensuring that he brought them to a gradual yet enormous peak. Steed trembled slightly with the effort to remain in control and still he looked into her amazing eyes as if he could see his future there. Emma, caught in the intensity of Steed's passion tightened her fists balling the sheets damply in her hands to maintain control.

Slowly Steed sped up his thrusts, going deeper; faster as he listened to Emma's rising moans, feeling her shudders, and the intensified tightening of her grip around his back. Emma's words of love and encouragement surged through Steed. His desire to satisfy her completely, to make her scream out in passion, to prove the perfection of their coupling grew with every stoke, with every shudder.
As Emma climaxed a grateful and joyous Steed held her as she screamed, crying out his name over and over while she tore at him allowing Steed to drive their orgasm far into their souls. Nothing tempered the newfound erotic ferocity of their love, and Steed gloried in it. So fierce, so passionate was his own orgasm that it seemed all consuming. The fear that had held him back for so long had evaporated, and all that was left was reality. The reality of wanting Emma and being wanted with intensity that infused Steed with pure delight.

Steed lay flat, breathing heavily, for several minutes afterward. Steed floated amazed at how much more intense their lovemaking had seemed. Emma rubbed his back, until finally Steed tried to turn to focus on her face, his breathing gradually slowing. He felt her lips on his neck. Small kisses. He turned his head as a shiver ran up his spine. "Steed?" she inquired gently, Are you all right?"

"Thank you," he whispered against her ear.

"You're most welcome." Emma's breathing was almost back to normal. Steed watched her carefully as Emma's peaceful countenance looked up into his lovely gray eyes. Emma knew that there was nothing she liked better in the world than lying in Steed's arms. Of course, there was still a lot to be worked out. Still, she thought, snuggling up to him, they could work out the finer points of their relationship later.

"Steed, I think you can give me this as a present every year for Christmas."

Steed lay awake and listened to the sound of her breathing become even and felt her body relax as she drifted off to sleep. Steed had grown to care for Emma more than any other person he'd known. Maybe it was the innocence that he saw in her eyes - the trust that was always there for him no matter how bad the situation he'd gotten them into. She was quite unique, unlike any other woman he had ever been involved with. The deep abiding loyalty that she showed him... ready to cover him at any moment... accepting him for who he was, no matter what his faults… loving him even without saying it… sometimes it seemed that if he'd ask her to jump off a cliff, she'd do it. And she'd do it smiling. And if there was one thing that he defined just how much he adored Emma - it was that beautiful smile of hers. Sometimes he was almost blinded by just how bright it was - at times it was all that kept him going. Steed knew he intended to see that smile every day of his life.

What had begun as caring had blossomed into a love that Steed would never again try to deny. Steed couldn't help his need to hug Emma closer and bury his face in her hair. He'd come so close to losing her. To throwing away the best thing he'd ever experienced. Far too close. God, he didn't want to think about it ever again. If he was ever to lose Emma...Steed didn't know what he'd do. Emma sighed in her sleep and he felt her snuggle closer against his side. And now as Emma said they had time to work out the details.

THE END

©  Kathryn Charles 1999
No aspect of this story may be used elsewhere without the expressed prior written consent of the author. These stories may not be altered in any way or sold; all copyright information must appear with this work at all times. Please read disclaimers and warnings on top of each story. Feel free to send constructive comments to the author.. :o)  

 
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