Vanessa and Daniel: Frog Rock (part one)
Vanessa and Daniel: Frog Rock
[Players, not pups. v_hazardous and daniel_johns spend the day together at her place outside Melbourne. Backdated: June 11, 2011 (day after this).]
"And my bikes are in here," Vanessa raises the hand not entwined with Daniel's to pat the side of the barn as they walk by, affection clear in the motion. "But we can look in there tomorrow, or maybe next time." Her steps lead past the barn, towards the back porch of the house. It's been a quiet day and a simple walk around her property had held a lot more appeal than a ride – not least because Vanessa's doing her best to stay not-horizontal and having Daniel cling to her whilst she drove would definitely have turned sexual for her.
She glances at Daniel, mentally rolling her eyes at herself when her gaze goes straight to his mouth. A thought flits past of a recent post on the Establishment boards about things people like but have trouble asking for or admitting to liking, and Vanessa remembers Johnny talking about being picked up and carried. She hadn't been able to bring herself to admit to the same in a public forum – and she doesn't like posting anonymously – but it doesn't matter much because Daniel knows about it, and he's the only one she'd allow it from, anyway.
The thought is there and gone, and the impulse follows. Vanessa drops Daniel's hand and slips behind him, getting a grip on his shoulders and hoisting herself up to wrap her legs around his middle in a classic piggyback hold, laughing. "Onward, mighty steed!"
The farm is an interesting place, but it's even more interesting with Vanessa narrating, leading him around by the hand and telling stories as they wander through each part. The place still seems to belong to a very different woman, compared to the apartment in L.A., but it's obvious there's history here for Vanessa and he's enjoyed the stories.
Then Vanessa jumps on him, and it's all he can do not to fall over laughing. He stays steady though, patting her leg when she wraps around him. "Homeward bound?"
"Yes, please!" Vanessa clings on, tucking her face in close to his neck. It's not like she needs to see where they're going and he smells good. Soap and wind and just Daniel, and Vanessa rubs her cheek against his skin with a low, happy sound.
"Hold on." Vanessa doesn't really need to be told that but the nuzzling is distracting and Daniel takes a second to get himself together, then heads on towards the house, hand still resting over Vanessa's leg. This isn't the usual way he carries her, but it's fun anyway, giddy and silly and right now that's just what he needs.
"Locked tight," she assures Daniel with a giggle, tightening her limbs around him. "Let me know when we get to the stairs." There are only a few, but she doesn't want to smack her head on the porch roof, and a little walk on basically flat ground is much easier than trying to haul her up onto the porch.
There really isn't much Daniel can say to that, so he just laughs and carries her over towards the house, eyes down on the ground ahead just in case. "Steps coming up," he warns, patting her knee as they arrive.
"'Kay, stop, then." Waiting until he's done so, Vanessa slips down onto her feet, letting go reluctantly. She hops onto the first stair and turns to face Daniel, leaning in for a kiss – he's still taller than her, but not so much like this, and it's easy to wind her fingers in his hair.
The kiss isn't what Daniel expects when Vanessa moves up the stairs, but it's welcome and he wraps his arms around her, stepping in closer. It's been little things like this that he's missed long-distance, the chance to touch and be touched, moments that aren't much of anything on their own, but add up.
It's amazing to Vanessa, how good it feels just to be held like this, to indulge in a simple kiss. She feels incredibly close to Daniel right now and she backs off a little, bringing the kiss to an end and rubbing her nose against his with a smile. "Let's go inside where it's warm! You make the tea and I'll scrounge something for a snack."
Now that she's mentioned it, it is cold, and Daniel nods quickly, following her up the stairs. It's not that cold, but the weather has turned enough to make indoors much more comfortable – especially now he isn't carrying her.
In the kitchen, Vanessa pokes through the contents of her fridge, leaving Daniel to his task – he should have a reasonable idea of where things are now. By the time the tea is ready, she has a bowl with sliced apples drizzled with a bit of lemon to keep them from going too brown, and some carrot cake cut into small pieces on a separate plate. Vanessa tears off a couple of squares of kitchen towel and picks up the food, nodding towards the living room. "Can you bring the cups, please?"
Everything that Vanessa's pulling out looks like finger-food, and Daniel can't help being hopeful when he follows her into the living room. "Where do you want me?" If it's on the sofa next to her, that's fine, as long as it's because she said so. That's all he needs right now.
"Gimme a sec and I'll show you," she smiles, depositing her stuff on the coffee table and piling up the loose cushions in one corner of the sofa. Vanessa sits right beside the pile and pulls her opposite knee up, making space. She pats the sofa between her thighs. "This may or may not actually work, but, if you sit sideways here, with your bum against my thigh, and lean back into the cushions, I can put my other leg over yours once you're sat, and it'll sort of be like you're in my lap. Except for the whole squashing me part!"
It takes a second for Daniel to work out what Vanessa means, but the picture clicks and he puts the cups down on the table beside the plates and gets onto the sofa, making himself comfortable back against her. "Like this?" It is good – she's wrapped around him, but he doesn't feel like he's leaning too heavily on her. Definitely a good place to be fed, and Daniel could easily get used to this.
"Yeah." She adjusts position a little, her top leg slung over his hips. It makes her think of a seatbelt and Vanessa likes the comparison – she wants Daniel to feel safe and comfortable. Reaching for the table is, well, a stretch, but it's doable, and a moment later Vanessa has the apple and cake slices to hand, cradling the bowl between her thigh and his body, the plate balanced on top as she picks up a little piece and pops it in her mouth. "I should have asked if you like carrot cake! Do you?" she laughs after eating it.
Daniel stays relaxed back as Vanessa adjusts them both, arm draped over her leg. He doesn't move to take the food, just leans back on her and nods. "Yeah – I do." He pauses, fingers rubbing lightly over her leg. "Please," he adds. Not fair to make her do all the guesswork, and he can't tell if she's waiting for encouragement.
"Good," her voice is soft, her fingers gentle as Vanessa lifts the cake to his lips, letting Daniel take it at his own pace. That it so obviously appeals to him works very well for Vanessa and she smiles. "I'm so glad you're here."
Daniel's glad too, but answering properly would interfere with this. So he just pets Vanessa's knee in reply and tilts his head, leaning up to take the cake carefully from between Vanessa's fingers. He's not as neat as he could be, but he is out of practice, and he licks the crumbs carefully from her fingers.
It's not sexual, or not meant to be at least, so Vanessa does her best to ignore the baser part of her reaction to the feel of his tongue on her skin. Another thing to recommend sitting like this: it's a natural cock-blocker, both in terms of her crotch being 'hidden' against Daniel's hip, and her leg being decidedly in the way of any access to his. She picks up an apple slice next and holds it for Daniel, admonishing herself to think non-sexual thoughts. They had a lovely, lazy fuck this morning, and she can have him again later; this is what Vanessa wants right now.
The apple slice is neater – no crumbs, but Daniel kisses Vanessa's fingertips anyway, leaning back against her as he chews the apple. His eyes are half-closed, focus shifting to the feeling of being held, the sharp-sweet taste of the apple on his tongue, the warmth of Vanessa wrapped around him and how right it all feels.
Vanessa can feel Daniel relaxing further, all but melting in her arms, and it doesn't take away any of her desire but how sweet he is – how much he's enjoying this, exactly as it is – lets her mute her awareness somewhat, alter her focus to Daniel's pure pleasure as she feeds him, taking some of the treats for herself as well.
Eventually there's going to come a point where he's full – even with snacks – but right now Daniel is fairly certain he could do this all day and night, alternating between being fed and leaning back against Vanessa as she feeds herself. "Thank you," he says after one mouthful, and it's not just for that bite.
"It's good," she agrees, smiling. "Handfeeding is always a pretty intimate thing, but with you," Vanessa shakes her head, trying to articulate what she means, and settles on, "it's seventeen kinds of amazing."
"It's really good," Daniel agrees, turning his head to kiss her cheek. "It's one of the things I kept thinking about when I was in Sydney, you know."
"What, handfeeding? Is it one of those things you only do with people you're close to?" Vanessa's curious where the lines are.
Daniel takes a minute to think about that one. "It isn't a complete limit with other people, it just... isn't the same, doesn't mean as much." And doesn't leave him this relaxed and content, feeling this cared for. "If it's in a one-off scene or something then it's just about control really, like orders. Not about being looked after."
"Makes sense," Vanessa murmurs, kissing his hair. "When I do it, it's partly because we both enjoy it, and partly because you're mine. I enjoy that aspect, too."
"Multilayered," Daniel agrees, squeezing her leg gently. "That's the difference here, that I belong to you, that's the bit that matters."
Vanessa puts down the waiting cake, wrapping both arms around Daniel in a tight hug, the matter-of-fact way he said that affecting her. She nuzzles briefly before letting go and feeding him another piece.
Definitely could do this all night. Daniel takes the square of cake then turns his attention to cleaning off Vanessa's fingers, tongue darting out to catch the few stray crumbs. He closes his eyes and smiles, kissing her fingertips.
Biting her lip to keep in an inappropriate sound, Vanessa traces that smile with one fingertip, a thought suddenly occurring. "Daniel... is there anything specific that you need from me this weekend? I don't really want a scene or anything formal, I mean, I don't have anything planned, for starters. But I also just wanna touch you and talk to you and have you make me tea and carry me to bed and maybe wash my hair." It comes out in a rush, leaving her feeling vulnerable, and Vanessa adds, "Is that okay? I can try to get into a scene mood if you need that."
"I just need you." Vanessa sounds nervous enough that Daniel needs to get that out of the way, before he tries to go for details or explanations or anything else. He moves his hand to rest over hers, bringing it up to his cheek and nuzzling. "I like the sound of all of those things." There's no mention of actual kneeling in there but the service can do as much to settle him, if not more. There's also no mention of sex, and that makes him curious – if she's holding back for his sake or something else. But one bit at a time.
That's become one of Vanessa's favourite things, the way Daniel nuzzles into her palm, and she smiles. "All right. I wasn't sure, because, well obviously we've talked about stuff, but really the only things I know for certain that you need are lots of touch, and to know what I want, so... I guess telling you what I want seemed like a good place to start."
"Lots of touch, and clear orders or requests," Daniel agrees. The smile is back in Vanessa's voice and he keeps holding her hand as he leans back against her. "Tea and bath and all of that sounds really good, yeah. I like – service helps, it's relaxing, but I like those things anyway." God knows he needs the relaxing right now, but being here with Vanessa is doing it.
"We can wing whatever else, then – if there's something specific that you'd like, please let me know." It's all very well to be the one in charge but Vanessa can't come up with all of the ideas! She's very aware of each place Daniel's body presses against hers and it makes her think of Kat for some reason, which has her adding, "You know, that goes for Kat, too. Her usual outlets are probably not going to be accessible for a while, so. I know I can ask for her whenever, but the reverse is true too: she can ask for me, if she wants to. I don't think that was clear before."
"I will," Daniel promises. The rest of it makes him smile and he nods. "That's good to know, yeah. It's... things are still sinking in, but yeah, that's good." He turns his head and nuzzles against her neck, kissing lightly over her pulse.
Oh, boy. Vanessa closes her eyes, controlling the urge to press him closer, demand more. Her frame tenses slightly and relaxes again with the effort, unnoticed by her. God, what a time for her libido to wake up! Daniel isn't like Vanessa, though – drowning his sorrows in sex isn't really the answer. She knows him well enough to know that, and to know that cuddles and service can do for him what exhausting herself in bed would do for Vanessa. And she's enjoying this. She's needed this kind of closeness, too, at least as much as Daniel has.
Lips pressed against her skin means it's obvious to Daniel when Vanessa's pulse picks up, when she tenses. It's faint, and she settles again, but he lifts his head and frowns a little. "Are you OK?"
Damn. "Yeah, Froggie, I'm fine. Honestly," Vanessa states firmly. "A little distracted, that's all. You feel really good and I, um... well. Like I said on the phone the other night, I haven't been getting out much." Between being super busy and kind of depressed, she hadn't been in the mood that often, but Daniel is leaning on her, all warm and content, and Vanessa can smell him – somehow that more than anything else is what's convincing her gut that he's genuinely right here, and the quieting of fears that certainty brings is what's letting other things rise to the fore.
When he shifts while she's talking, the movement brushes against her chest – lightly, unintentionally, but it's enough to make her nipples tighten and Vanessa can't help but roll her eyes. God. It would be funny if it weren't so annoying. She requests, "Just bear with me being distracted for a bit, okay?"
"Oh..." that makes sense now, and it's kind of reassuring, it's not the kind of tension he might have thought. But it does bring up other questions and while he leans back and keeps his eyes almost-shut he wraps an arm over hers. "I'll just – can I ask one question first? Are you saying ignore it because you want to, or you think I want to?" It runs the risk of annoying her but he wants to know, not just assume.
Vanessa doesn't have any problem with Daniel asking questions, but this one doesn't make sense to her. She frowns. "Well, you don't have to ignore it if you don't want to, it's just easier that way. I don't want to make you uncomfortable or feel like you have to do something just because my body has a mind of its own." She used to be better than this at hiding her runaway arousal, but she's only ever really needed to within the context of a relationship, so Vanessa's out of practice. And Daniel pays better attention than any of her exes, anyway.
He can hear her frowning, and he reaches for her hand, laces their fingers together. "That's what I mean – are you saying to ignore it because you don't actually want to have sex, you're just horny because it's one of those things that happens," which does happen, he gets that, and he's ignored his own responses enough when there's been something more important to do. "Or do you want to, but you're still trying to give me space?" The second does seem like something she'd do, and she's been good to him this weekend, careful of him.
The first answer doesn't make it out of her mouth; Vanessa clamps down on the automatic defensive, letting the associated emotional burst dissipate before she rephrases it into something less confrontational. "Can you tell me why you want to know? I mean, does it matter why I'm saying ignore it?" She's uncomfortable with the question, feeling put on the spot and exposed.
Daniel takes the hand he's holding and kisses the back of it – it's not particularly sexual, not trying to start anything, just another point of contact while he searches for words. "Because if you don't really want, then that's fine, whyever reason that is, but if you're doing it for my sake that's different."
That's a curious gesture, one Vanessa's used to doing to him rather than receiving. She brushes her knuckles gently across his cheek. Quietly, "Daniel, last night? When I was so tired but so happy to see you and we just snuggled and watched films until neither of us could keep our eyes open? To the best of my recollection, that's the only time since we started this that I haven't really wanted."
And that answers Daniel's question in a roundabout way. "So that means you're ignoring it for my sake, right?" he asks, still holding her hand. "You don't have to. If I was stressed enough or upset enough that sex was off the table, I'd tell you, I promise. If you'd been at mine last week it might have been, but... not now."
He promises so easily. It makes Vanessa nervous sometimes. Now, she's mostly just confused. "Well, we had sex this morning, so I didn't think it was off the table. I was thinking that we might do again later, go to bed a bit early with no intention of sleeping for a while, something like that. Right now, we were just having a snack, relaxing together. Destressing both of us," she smiles. Refraining from jumping him doesn't have anything to do with the Silverchair situation – it's as simple as not making a move because she hasn't seen any indication of Daniel being interested in sex right now. Vanessa doesn't understand this conversation at all.
"I think I'm very confused here," Daniel admits. Vanessa sounds about the same, and it seems as though they've managed to get words tangled around each other again. "OK," he starts again, squeezing her hand. "It seemed to me like you maybe wanted to play or have sex or something now, but you were ignoring it for my sake. I was trying to tell you that if it was for my sake then you didn't have to, I'd like it. But I think we got crossed wires, and I don't know what you're thinking or what you meant." As fun as it is, sex is very complicated sometimes.
She shakes her head. "I wasn't babying you or something. We were having a cuddle and you were all relaxed and didn't seem in a sexy mood at all. And then you started poking me about how I was feeling," her voice rises in irritation, "and telling me that I don't need to hide it for your sake if I'm horny, but I didn't know if you just think I should be able to be open about it, because you don't feel pressured by that so it's okay that it's visible, or what." Temper pulses through her. "Not until just now did you even say anything that said that you might actually be interested in sex." It's an awkward sentence, which irritates her further and Vanessa bursts out, "You know what I mean!"
Daniel stays silent while he listens, and debates turning around to face Vanessa. It might be helpful, but it might not, and from this position there's no way to do it without it being a big deal. So he keeps leaning back against her, and takes her points one at a time. "I didn't think you were babying me. I thought you were guessing how I might be feeling, I didn't take that as babying. I didn't mean to poke, I just..." he pauses, and shakes his head a little.
"I'm rusty. It's been a long time since I was in a relationship, so it's been a long time since I was," he gestures at them laying together. "Cuddling up with someone where there might be sex involved, without knowing for sure. If I was with someone it was either definitely not about sex, or we were upstairs in the club so it definitely was. I'm still getting used to reading signals and things. So I was trying to find out things without being pushy on you, and... got tangled. I'm sorry."
"Well, it's been even longer since I was in one, but in my experience, cuddling up and having sex tends to be a one-way street in the opposite direction. I'm not going to try to fuck someone who's all but a ragdoll in my lap." His explanation mollifies her somewhat but Vanessa is still plenty grumpy.
Daniel considers pointing out that he wouldn't be a ragdoll once they started in that direction, but there's no way to explain that that he doesn't think will sound wrong, like he's putting it back on her. So he just nods thoughtfully. "Crossed wires. My experience is it going either way, so... I wouldn't have been surprised if you – well, you said you weren't in the mood for a scene, but if you'd wanted to have some kind of sex. So I wasn't thinking that it might be a weird idea."
"I did want to," Vanessa says crossly. "I'm only half of the story, though, and it certainly didn't seem like you wanted to, so I tried to tone it down so it wouldn't get in the way of us relaxing together."
Did sounds very past-tense, but that makes sense with how irritated Vanessa sounds. Daniel isn't going to say 'crossed wires' again but that's how the idea is settling in his head and he searches for the right words to explain himself – to explain him. "You know how we've talked about the way I usually need a nudge to get thinking about sex? But then I'm happy to because you're you and I like having sex with you?"
"Yes, I remember," she says warily.
Not the most positive response, but she's listening, that's something. "Well..." Waving his hands and going 'that' probably wouldn't explain much, but it would be nice if it did. "I guess it's part of that. If I was sitting with you like this and you brought up sex, I'd think it was a great idea. If you didn't bring it up, I wouldn't think of it. But that doesn't mean I want it any less once you bring it up."
"Well, then, we have a problem. Because if we are sitting all snuggled up together and lovey-dovey and shit, I am never going to bring it up. It doesn't feel right." She's antsy now, beginning to feel trapped with Daniel leaning against her, and Vanessa's foot starts to bounce a little, restless energy pooling within her.
The twitching foot catches Daniel's eye and he sits up a little, not letting go yet. "Do you want me to move?" It would be good to stay close, but that doesn't have to be like this. "It doesn't have to be bringing up like asking for it. I mean... if I was the type who didn't keep putting his foot in it, and I'd kissed you, would you have been annoyed because you said to ignore it, or would you have liked it because it was a sign?"
"Yeah, please, I need to stand up." Once he's moved aside and Vanessa's on her feet, she picks up her tea and drinks a little. It's cold now but it doesn't matter. Only once she's set the cup back down does she address the rest of what Daniel said. "Those are two separate things, really. If you had kissed me, I would probably have liked it. I like kissing. I like kissing you. Bit obvious, if you ask me. But if they were nice, sweet kisses, I would have taken that as an extension of the cuddling, not as any kind of sign." Vanessa wraps her arms around her middle, her weight shifting from foot to foot in place.
Daniel lets Vanessa move then stays on the sofa, sitting upright now. "So it's different meanings in things again." Which makes perfect sense to him – they're very different people, different histories. "I'd assumed that you were thinking about sex and when I asked why you'd said no, either you'd say it was because you didn't want to right then, and we'd stay like that, or you'd say it was for me and I'd say you didn't need to hold back for my sake and then we'd play. So I kind of screwed that one up," he admits with a small smile.
Vanessa nods. "Asking why I'd said no without giving me any context for why you wanted to know came across as very invasive. I am used to controlling my expression of desire with a boyfriend because I know that the attention is not always wanted, and I try to be careful about that. Feeling like I was being interrogated about it wasn't fun." She looks away, down. "If you had just said upfront, 'Hey, don't feel like you need to hold back on my account, I'm interested if you are but I'm okay if you're not interested, too', instead of playing coy or whatever, that would have been a lot better."
"I'm sorry – I didn't mean to be coy or interrogate you." But obviously it came out that way, and now she's explained everything else, he can see why. And now he knows what to say next time. "It's... and I know this probably sounds silly coming from me. But growing up I got that whole 'don't push when it comes to sex', thing, don't put expectations on someone. So it's always like 'I want to if you want to', not just straight out 'I want to'." It does sound silly, it's not as though Vanessa is going to feel under pressure from him, but the lesson is there and maybe it explains something.
"You went through all kinds of poking at me before you even got as far as 'I want to if you want to'," Vanessa snorts. She's practically dancing in place now, needing something to do with all the stirred up energy, and sighs. "Look, I'm going to go for a quick run. I'll be back in about fifteen." She grabs her cross-trainers and sits on the living room floor to lace them up.
Not what Daniel was expecting, but he nods, watching her shift and fail to settle. "I'll be here," he promises, sitting back. The tea is definitely cold now but he can take care of that in a minute – it'll give him something to do with himself, and hopefully she won't mind.
That spurs a sudden grin. "You could probably manage to get to the gate, but you might not know how to open it." Giving her laces a last tug, Vanessa stands up, fixing Daniel with a direct look whilst she gathers her hair into a rough ponytail. "January. When you came over after you got to L.A. – first time I'd seen you since the holidays. I was marked up from a whipping and in the morning you were touching the marks, exploring them, and you said, 'Want to fuck you'." The elastic band in place, her hands go to her hips, eyes never leaving Daniel. "We've talked about a lot of different fantasies and plans, but you saying that to me? That's become a bulletproof go-to for getting myself off. Factor that into your life lessons." With that she's gone, front door banging shut behind her.
That's information that Daniel didn't expect to be handed, and he's left surprised to think that one over as the door slams closed. He gets up from the sofa, collects the empty plates and cups and makes his way to the kitchen. So he needs to ask more – or, maybe that's wrong from the way she put it. State more, be blunt. It's definitely a change but not a bad one, and he thinks it over as he goes through the ritual of making more tea, letting it settle him back into his head.
A few stretches, less of a warm-up than usual but she doesn't plan to go far, and Vanessa's in motion, the muscular exertion and burn exactly what she needs right now. She focuses on the feel of her body and lets her mind go blank while she runs, though the thoughts filter back in when she slows into the cool-down. Vanessa goes over what she said last, wondering now about Daniel's reaction, but she doesn't regret telling him. He wants clarity, well, so does she, and she's just as entitled to ask for it. It's with that in mind that she returns home, finding her boy in the kitchen and wrapping her arms around him. "Hi."
"Hi." That's a good sign and Daniel smiles as he rests his arms over hers. "Good run? I made tea." Better to get sat down – or at least let her catch her breath – before they launch back into discussion.
"Cleared away, too, thank you." Vanessa gives him a little kiss and continues, "Run did what it needed to, yeah. Sometimes I just need something purely physical to let my head re-settle." She looks at him speculatively, remembering him trying to explain something via demonstration in his kitchen in Newcastle months ago. Early days, and though Vanessa never really did get what Daniel meant by choosing how much he let someone's hand on his throat affect him, it didn't end up mattering because she's since recognised and dealt with the underlying issue of not wanting anyone's hand but hers doing that to him. But the method had seemed to be one that made sense to Daniel.
Now, Vanessa tilts her head with a smile and leans in, pressing her lips to Daniel's in a far more deliberate kiss. It's light; undemanding but welcoming; and she touches his cheek when she eventually withdraws. "That was an 'I'm glad you're here' snuggly kind of kiss."
"I like it," Daniel replies, wrapping an arm around her waist to keep her close. And he understands it now – at least, he understands that this means this with Vanessa. He leans in and kisses her the same way, soft and slow, hand splayed at the small of her back. "I'm glad too."
"Mmm." She smiles, liking the hold he's got on her, and nuzzles briefly. "I want you to close your eyes and let me kiss you without you responding. Can you do that for me?"
"Yes Ma'am." It's going to take more thinking about than kissing generally does, but Daniel keeps his arms around Vanessa and closes his eyes obediently.
It takes more thought on Vanessa's part, too, as she closes the distance and begins with a soft nibble, a tiny lick to the outside of Daniel's mouth. The kiss gradually deepens but she never takes control; it's pleading, full of longing, a speechless offer being made. She learned to kiss like this – to show openness and invite a dominant's response; to take what she was given and no more. It's not knowledge she'd expected to use with Daniel but this is a signal that Vanessa understands. Maybe Natalie could read Daniel more easily – hell, it's likely that his signals evolved as they did in part because of her – but Vanessa needs something less subtle, less ambiguous. Something like this kiss that she's bringing to a close, pulling back just enough to brush lips over Daniel's cheek, aware he may be unsettled. Vanessa murmurs, "That's 'I want you, if you want me'. Which would normally be from you to me."
This isn't how Daniel's used to being kissed but it takes real effort not to respond – not to take control like the kiss seems to be inviting, but to at least kiss her back. He stays pliant and almost-still though, just holding Vanessa. He's a little breathless when the kiss ends, but he nods and smiles. "Now I know." That's her language, and he can learn that, she seems willing enough to teach him.
"Different enough from each other to be clear for you?" she wants to know.
"Yes." And useful, a way to turn asking into offering, put things back into terms he's comfortable with. He nuzzles her cheek and nods.
"Good." It's possibly a little silly to be standing in her kitchen experimenting with kissing styles but if it means that they communicate better, who cares? Vanessa caresses the nape of Daniel's neck, playing idly with the soft hair there, then her palm cups his skin and draws him forward into another kiss, demanding now, taking the control that she'd deliberately set aside before.
Daniel doesn't need this one explained to him and he closes his eyes again, kissing her back eagerly, leaving control with her as he responds. He tightens his hold on her, leaning back against the counter.
It feels right, the way they fit together right now, the way Daniel gives over to her. Vanessa nips at his mouth, sucking on that pretty bottom lip afterwards. She presses him against the counter and gives half a thought to getting his jeans open and sucking him there and then but really her most immediate want is a shower. Or whatever will get her clean. At length she tells him so. "Wanna get washed up; I feel yucky sweaty. Come upstairs with me and help?"
For a moment Daniel just enjoys the way Vanessa presses him back against the counter, holding him in place where she wants him. Then she breaks the kiss and he nods. "Shower or bath?" Either sounds good, he's just curious, and he lets his hands around her slide lower. That didn't really feel like a "Hi, how are you?" kind of kiss, and it's a reasonable guess the wandering will be welcome.
"Whatever's easiest for you to do my hair." The wandering hands make her smile and Vanessa thinks they may end up in bed yet.
"Either's fine – do you fancy a shower?" She's shorter enough to make a shower just as simple as a bath, but Daniel suspects choosing one – even if it's just a mental coin toss – is a better idea here than defaulting back to 'whatever you want'.
"Shower it is, then." Leaning in for one more quick kiss, Vanessa disentangles and takes Daniel's hand, leading him upstairs to the master ensuite. It takes her about five seconds to start undressing, tossing clothes at the chair by the towel stand. They'll make it into the laundry pile later.
Part two continued here...