His answer was to cross the distance between them, pull her hard against him, and consume her mouth in a kiss of voracious hunger, which Egeria returned with equal fervor, the raw passion inside them demanding that it finally be appeased.
Within moments, Egeria's legs were around Daniel's waist, her back up against a wall. His lips left hers to cover her neck with open-mouthed kisses as her hands slid over his naked upper body. When one of those hands found their way underneath the back of his pants and boxers, it drove a gasp from his throat.
Daniel pushed away from the wall and made his way to the bedroom to fall upon the bed with Egeria beneath him. They returned to each other's mouths, tongues mating again and again. Never taking his mouth from hers, Daniel managed to lower the zipper of her dress, and, between the two of them, they pulled it down to reveal her breasts covered in a lacy black bra, a match to the piece of material in the box. Not wasting time searching for where the piece came from, Daniel lowered his lips to the soft mounds, kissing his way down to the valley between them. Finding the front catch, he flicked it open and pushed the material aside. His mouth traveled to the underside of her right breast, licking and nipping lightly at the tender skin.
Daniel's attention to Egeria's breasts was driving her crazy. In a silent demand for more, she guided his head up to the waiting peak, moaning deeply as he heeded her demand.
The sensations of making love with Egeria were filling Daniel with rapture, not just in his body but in his heart as well, something he had not felt in such a very long time. He pulled her bra off as his lips found her other breast, soon driving Egeria almost out of her mind with need. She frantically unfastened his pants and pushed them and his boxers down. The skirt of her dress, which was now bunched around her hips, was no impediment to feeling him right where she wanted him to be, the only thing separating them being the thin material of her panties.
With desperate hands, Daniel got her dress all the way off, then grasped the material of her underpants and yanked them down, Egeria lifting her hips to help get them off. They fell to the floor, followed by Daniel's pants and boxers.
Fully naked at last, Daniel and Egeria ran their hands over each other's bodies, driving their passion to a fever pitch, their touches growing progressively more bold and intimate.
It was in the midst of this that it quite forcefully hit Daniel that, in this body, Egeria was a virgin. That realization tempered his passion with tenderness. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her. With that thought in mind, Daniel gently began to use his hand to prepare her body for the union that would soon be coming.
Immersed in the sensation of Daniel making love to her with his hand, Egeria began to feel her body rising toward culmination. But this was not what she wanted. She wanted to reach that peak with his body joined with hers.
Unable to wait a moment longer, she moaned, "Come inside me."
Daniel caught her eyes for a long, intense moment. Then he began to slowly, gently join his body with Egeria's. There was a brief moment of pain for her, and then there was only pleasure for both of them. At last, they were fully joined. A little tremor passed through both of them, lungs rising and falling with quick, panting breaths as the sensation of their union washed through them.
Again, Daniel caught Egeria's eyes, asking silently if she was okay. In the green depth he saw that she was. Slowly, he began to move, the incredible feeling filling his whole body with ever-growing ecstasy. Gradually, his movements became a little stronger. He was fighting not to lose control, to make love to her slowly this first time for her sake, but it soon became apparent that it was a losing battle. It felt too good, his passion too powerful to keep up the slow pace.
Egeria was ablaze with the rapture of their lovemaking, all pain now completely gone. She wanted him to lose control, to take them flying over the edge in a wild free fall of passion. The hand she had in his hair tightened, the other one going to his buttocks to push him even harder against her.
That proved to be too much for Daniel's control. With a low groan, he gave up on slow and gentle, the fire inside consuming him as he hurled full speed toward climax. And then, suddenly, Egeria was coming, a little scream rising from her throat as her climax exploded through her. A cry on his lips, Daniel came with her.
As the stunning power of their climaxes faded into the sweet, blissful afterglow, the lovers lay still, soaking in the wonderful feeling. At last, Daniel lifted his head and met Egeria's eyes. She cupped his cheek with her hand and softly said, "My Daniel."
Thinking about those words, Daniel knew that it was true. He was hers, heart, body and soul. And it was time that he told her. He maneuvered onto his side, drawing her close once he'd pulled the covers over them. He then rose up on one elbow and gazed down at her.
"Do you recall what I told you when you confessed that you loved me?" he asked.
"I remember every word you ever spoke to me, Daniel. Every word."
"I told you that, if I'd met you later in my life, I might have fallen in love with you." Daniel brushed the backs of his fingers over her cheek. "I was right."
Realizing what he was saying, Egeria felt the most encompassing joy she'd ever experienced fill her soul. Tears flooded her eyes and fell down her face as she pulled Daniel's lips to hers in a deep kiss.
"I love you, Daniel," she murmured, "so very, very much."
"I love you," he whispered back to her, making her cry even harder. He covered her face in soft kisses, tasting the salty wetness. He then brushed the tears away with his fingers as he smiled into her eyes.
Egeria drew his head down to lie on the pillow next to hers. She pulled his body closer.
"When you told me that you were ready to love again and showed me that I was the one you had chosen, I wanted to believe that I already had that love," she said, "but I have wanted it for so long that I was afraid to believe that it was finally mine. But I realize now that I should not have been afraid, and I should have known that you had already given your love to me. It was there in every kiss you gave me, every touch of your hands." She looked into his eyes and saw it shining there, clear and strong. She knew that, no matter what, she would always see it there.
Laying her head on Daniel's shoulder, Egeria sighed in absolute bliss and closed her eyes. After several minutes of contented silence, Daniel felt her body relax as she slipped into sleep. With a happy smile, Daniel closed his own eyes. The last thought that drifted through his mind before sleep took him was that, if heaven did exist in some form, he had a feeling that Sha're was looking down on them and smiling.