A/N: Adult material in this chapter! I've been told by multiple readers that because I was so mean and kept Laila and Sterling apart for so long, that I owed you all a steamy sex scene. So here it is :)
Laila woke up to a warm body pressed against her back. Sterling's arm was draped over her side, his hand resting lightly on her ribs. She smiled as she snuggled closer to him, weaving her legs between his to get as warm as possible. She could feel his arm strengthen around her, squeezing her tight and making her feel secure.
"How did you sleep?" She heard him murmur.
"I slept well. You?" She lifted his hand and kissed his fingers.
Laila smiled and dropped his hand. "It's still early. You should go back to sleep."
"As long as you stay in bed with me," Sterling requested and pressed a kiss on the back of her neck.
"Of course," Laila said with a yawn and closed her eyes. They lay there perfectly still as their breathing synchronized, but soon Laila could feel Sterling's hand start to wander. His touch meandered slowly over her stomach then across her hip and down her leg. Her arm was next and his fingers ran up and down it smoothly, as if he remembered every part of her. She held her breath as his hand found its way under her shirt, her skin on fire as he touched her. Her pulse began to quicken as his hand roamed higher, gently passing her ribs and finding her breast. Sterling's lips were softly kissing her neck and jaw, his breath warm and seductive.
Sterling didn't want to pressure her into anything. She had been through a horrific event just the day before and he didn't know if his touch would trigger those unwanted memories. There were still scratches on her neck and he prayed they were made by Laila and not Will. But Laila wasn't shying away from him, her body wasn't tense as his hand gently explored her. He wanted her to know that he was there to protect her, to love her until the day they died, but also that she was now his, solely and completely. Nothing would ever come between the two again, no matter how the odds were stacked against them.
His hand left her breast and traveled down to her panties, the cotton soft as he fingered the material. He moved slowly, waiting to hear her soft plea for him to stop. But the only sound he could hear was her breathing, deep and rhythmic as he ran his fingers between her legs. Her hips were bucking ever so slightly, grinding against him as he pressed against her back. He could feel her trying to turn so she could face him, but he didn't allow it as his fingers found their way inside of her. Soon she was gripping the pillow, her eyes squeezing shut as her tiny body started to shake, a soft cry of pleasure escaping her lips.
Sterling gently pushed her hair from her face, knowing he would never see anything as beautiful as this girl in his bed. Her eyes were still closed as she relaxed onto her back, Sterling taking the opportunity to kiss her lips. He could feel her hands running through his hair, over his shoulders and down to his hips. He knew she wanted the same thing he did and was pleased to see the lustful look in her eyes when he pulled away.
"Are you still on the pill?" He asked in a whisper, kissing her neck.
"Yes," she answered in a breathy voice.
"Thank God," Sterling said, kissing her again, rougher this time. He could feel Laila giggle under his kiss, her hands leaving his back so she could help him remove her shirt. Their sudden urgency made them both smile and soon all of their clothes were off, thrown carelessly about the bed and floor. Sterling positioned himself above her and kissed her again before slowly pushing inside. He could hear Laila moan softly as he began to move above her, but nothing he did brought him close enough to her. He wanted to feel all of her, be as deep inside her as possible. He sat up quickly, startling Laila as he brought her with him. She released a low whimper as she slid down to his lap, her legs wrapped around his hips to keep herself in place.
Sterling waited until her body had adjusted to the new position, holding her legs as she gripped his shoulders. "I love you," he whispered to her as she began to move her hips sensually above his, her breasts crushed to his chest, their stomachs pressed together.
"I love you, Sterling," she said as she kissed his neck and shoulders.
Sterling helped her as she moved slowly up and down, pulling him deep inside of her. She felt so amazing, so warm and soft, that it wasn't long before Sterling was moaning loudly and falling on top of her as they collapsed on the bed. They were both breathing heavily, damp with sweat, and at a complete loss for words.
After a long moment, Sterling kissed her neck and pulled out gently, rolling onto his back. Laila curled against him, her hand resting on his chest and her lips kissing his shoulder. "I guess this means I can call you my boyfriend again, doesn't it?" Laila asked, a smile in her voice.
Sterling chuckled to himself but something didn't sound right about that term. "That title sounds a little juvenile, don't you think?"
Laila laughed and lifted herself onto her elbow so she could kiss him. "Would gentleman caller sound better to you?"
Sterling laughed again and finally opened his eyes. Laila was smiling at him, her violet eyes brilliant and alert, her cheeks were full of color and her hair was cascading in messy waves around her face and shoulders. He felt as if he might explode, he was so thankful to have Laila back in his arms and back in his life.
"You are so much more to me than just my girlfriend, Laila. I hope you know that."
She blushed and looked down to her hand which was still resting on his chest. "I know. I don't deserve it, but I know it."
"You do, though," he said, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles. "We both made mistakes but we found each other again. And I won't lose you a second time."
Laila nodded in understanding and Sterling raised his head so he could kiss her. His kiss was soft and gentle, exactly what she needed and she could feel the last bit of doubt flying out of the room as their lips parted.
"I have something for you," Sterling said with a smile, jumping out of bed and pulling on his boxers. Laila wrapped herself in the sheet and watched him as he walked to his dresser and opened a drawer. He pulled out a small box and squeezed it tightly in his hand as he made his way back to the bed. Sitting beside her, he looked deep into her eyes before speaking.
"I wanted to give this to you on our one year anniversary," he said, looking down so he could remove the ribbon and open the box. "It was meant to be a promise ring, but that's not good enough for me anymore."
Laila held her breath and stared at her boyfriend. Her head was spinning as he held up the ring for her to see. It was beautiful, simple and elegant, a thin band with three diamonds set in the center. A wide smile spread over Laila's lips as she looked back at Sterling.
"I don't care what hand you wear it on, just as long as you wear it and know that it means I am going to spend the rest of my life with you. No matter what happens, no matter how much trouble we get into, I will always be yours and you will always be mine."
A single tear of joy ran down Laila's face as she struggled to find something to say. "I love you," was all she could come up with as she threw her arms around his neck and kissed his lips. They kissed for a long time, neither wanting to break away. But eventually it had to end and Laila sat back, a smile now permanently etched on her face.
"So," Sterling started. "Which hand will it be?" He looked at her with a mischievous grin which made Laila laugh with giddiness, feeling as if her skin was the only thing holding her together. She thought about it for a minute, knowing she was too happy to think a rational thought, and slowly extended her right hand. Sterling looked down and tilted his head curiously, not showing any disappointment. But Laila watched as his face lit up completely as she quickly withdrew her hand and extended the other.
Sterling felt proud as he slipped the ring onto the fourth finger of her left hand. They were young, probably too young he knew, but that didn't matter. He loved her more than words, and certainly more than a diamond ring could describe. Laila was smiling at him when he finally looked up again.
"We won't give this a title until we're ready," he promised her with a smile.
Laila agreed with a small nod of her head. "I'm so happy right now. We don't need to rush anything."
Sterling was beaming at his girlfriend. Strike that, she wasn't his girlfriend. Fiancée? They weren't quite there yet. He was beaming at the love of his life, the girl he would grow old with, the girl who loved him more than anything.
"Come here," he said softly, reaching for her and drawing her to him. He wrapped his arms around her and Laila melted into him. She could feel herself laughing and crying at the same time, too blissful to control her emotions. She held her hand up as Sterling kissed her neck and smiled at the ring which looked absolutely perfect on her finger.