Early Access: The Taste Of A Smile Part 25 ‘Tickle’ Excerpt

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I always smile when I get up and realize I get to publish an excerpt. It’s a grey and rainy week here in Belgium. I don’t mind travelling to Lex’s apartment in NYC one bit! Ready to join me?

I’ll be in the comments in case you wanna share some thoughts after your trip. 😉


Mary wiped her mouth with a paper napkin. “Oh my God,” she muttered, “I will have to start going to the gym if I keep hanging out with you.”

Lex grinned and threw the last potato wedge into her mouth. “I don’t always eat this bad,” she said after swallowing it down.” It has just been a crazy time, I guess.”

Mary let her gaze drift around the room. She still couldn’t believe Lex lived here. It looked like an apartment from a fancy real estate magazine.

“Tell me about it,” she said softly.

“Do you want another drink?” Lex asked as she pushed herself up.

Mary picked up her bottle of beer. “No, thanks. I still have plenty.”

Lex disappeared into the kitchen. Mary played with the fur of the dark, lush rug she was sitting on. It was soft and comfortable enough to have a coffee table picnic on. Mary just hoped the fur was fake.

“How long have you lived here?” she asked, wrapping her arms around her knees.

The door of the fridge opened.

“Ehm, about five years, I think,” Lex replied, slamming it shut.

“Really?” Mary asked, taking in the place again.

The walls were mostly empty, except for a contemporary painting here and there. There were no frames or books on the sideboard. This troubled Mary for some reason.

Lex walked back into the room, a bottle of water and two glasses in her hands. “Brought you a glass just in case you get thirsty.”

Mary smiled. “Thanks.” She shifted her weight and leaned back against the pristine, modern couch.

Lex placed the water and glasses on the coffee table. “I used to spend most of my time at the office.”

She lowered herself onto the rug, next to Mary, and stretched her legs. Her socks were dark blue and seemed new.

“What about now? Are you home more often?” Mary asked.

Lex’s eyes darted around the living room before focusing on Mary. “I usually come home, but I go straight to my home office.”

“To work?” Mary frowned.

Lex smiled shyly. “Yeah, what else would I do?”

Mary looked deep into Lex’s eyes and had no trouble seeing all the pain hidden behind wild, blue irises. Would Lex ever let it all out, Mary wondered.

At that moment, she realized why she had felt a cloud hanging over her ever since she had set foot into the flat. The apartment reminded her of Lex when they had first met: cool and unwelcoming.

“What are you thinking about?” Lex asked. She ran her thumb over the crease between Mary’s brows.

“Nothing,” Mary lied. She didn’t want to open pandora’s box. She wanted to go back to that happy feeling she had had all afternoon.

“I’m happy you’re here,” Lex said softly. “Wanna hang around a bit longer and watch a movie together?”

Mary’s heart skipped a beat. She tucked a bit of hair behind her ear. “Yes, that sounds wonderful.”

“Awesome,” Lex said, grinning from ear to ear. She picked up the remote and switched on a large television set on the wall.

“Woah,” Mary uttered, “You’ve got your own movie theater here.”

Lex nodded eagerly like a kid with a brand new toy, “It was the first thing I ordered for this place.”

Mary studied Lex as she pressed several buttons on the high-tech remote. Her white blouse was no longer tucked into her dress pants. Lex had rolled up the sleeves.

Mary’s earlier feeling of dread made way for curiosity. “What movies do you like?” she asked.

Lex lifted her shoulders. “I don’t have a very interesting taste, I’m afraid.”

Mary bumped her shoulder into Lex’s. “That’s not an answer.”

“Let me show you,” Lex replied and pointed the remote at the screen.

A long list of colorful movie covers popped up.

Mary laughed in delight. “You like Disney?!”

Lex shook her head. “Pixar. NOT the same thing.”

“I would have never guessed,” Mary said, biting her lower lip so she would stop laughing.

Lex narrowed her eyes. “Thought I would go for something dark and dystopian?”

“No,” Mary said, pretending to be puzzled. “A documentary about the economy, maybe?”

“Oh, really?” Lex chuckled and tickled Mary’s side.

Mary shrieked but didn’t try to get away. She retaliated instead, slipping her hand under Lex’s blouse. Lex giggled joyously. Mary laughed too.

Their hands flew around, and their arms tangled, as they each tried to find the other’s most sensitive spot. When Mary’s hand accidentally brushed over Lex’s stomach, everything changed.

Lex’s eyes fluttered shut. Mary’s breath caught. She moved over the soft skin just above Lex’s bellybutton. Her fingertips traced the underwire of Lex’s bra.

Lex let her head fall back against the couch. It sent a jolt of desire down Mary’s thighs. She pushed her fingers further up, trailing over delicate fabric.

Lex’s blouse was tight-fitted, though, and Mary soon got impatient with it. She pulled her hand back and got to work on the blouse’s buttons. Lex softly raked her nails over her back in encouragement.

The white silk slowly made way for smooth skin. Mary’s eyes traveled up to a simple, beige bra that covered small breasts. Lex’s nipples were hard under the lace cups.

Mary’s breath came in soft pants now. Her blood was thrumming in her veins. She leaned in, placing her lips just under Lex’s ear.

At first, her kisses were careful and tender. But as Lex’s breathing grew ragged, Mary’s kisses became more brazen. Her mouth moved down Lex’s slender throat.

Lex ran her hand up and down Mary’s back, pulling at her top. She pressed herself up and against Mary. She tightened her fingers in Mary’s hair when Mary playfully bit her earlobe.

Their mouths finally met, tongues probing and stroking hungrily. It was an urgent kiss – the expression of desire denied for far too long – that went on and on.

When Lex finally pulled back, gasping for air, Mary nearly bumped her head into the coffee table as she looked up. They were lying on the rug, legs entangled under the table.

“I have a bedroom too, you know,” Lex said in a husky voice.

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