Stressed, are you? Want to punch the next person who says take a deep breath and relax? Think you don’t have time for that nonsense and, anyway, you’ve tried it and it doesn’t work?
What you need is to book a stay at the Wiccan Haus, pronto. But yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re stressed and don’t have time for that. So guess what? You need to take a deep breath and…read A Man Worth Fighting For.
Yep, that’s right. Holly Walters came to the Wiccan Haus completely stressed about her job and her boyfriend. She thought she was taking deep breaths to control her stress. But it turns out she was doing it wrong and adding stress to her body. With a lot of help from a very special man, I was able to talk her through her breathing and get her to start breathing the right way.
“Your stomach must expand when you inhale,” Trixie said.
Holly took another breath and tried to focus on what the woman was telling her. Her belly sucked in as she breathed in and filled as she breathed out.
“That is shallow breathing. Sit up,” Trixie commanded. “And watch Justin. See how his stomach expands as he breathes in. You must give your lungs room to fill with air, to slow down your breathing, reduce your stress, and harmonize your nervous system.”
Holly tried again, but the bigger the breath she took the more her stomach sucked in. Looking at Justin wasn’t helping. In fact, leaning over his body and looking down at his broad shoulders and ripped chest barely disguised by his thin t-shirt, she was finding it harder to breathe.
“You two are close, yes?” Trixie said.
“We were once,” Holly said. Although that wasn’t really true. She’d shared her hopes and dreams with him. But she was no longer sure that he’d shared anything with her. Nothing that truly mattered, anyway.
“Good, good. Put your hand on his stomach. Now feel how he expands as he breathes in.”
“Put your hand lower if you really want to feel me expand,” Justin muttered.
She didn’t move her hand, but she couldn’t stop her gaze from going straight to the bulge in his athletic shorts. The muscles on his belly tightened. She slid her hand up his chiseled chest. She’d missed touching his hard body, missed the heat that radiated from him, scorching her with his fire.
“This is not helping either one of us breathe.” He sat up, bringing his lips within inches from hers and reminding her that not everything about him was hard.
“Got a better idea?” she challenged.
“Yeah. Sit in front of me.” He spread his legs and patted the mat in front of him.
She looked down and then back up at his tantalizing lips. “Why?” She certainly wasn’t opposed to having her butt between his thighs, but she wanted to know exactly what she was accepting by doing so.
“Trust me. We’re going to breathe together.”
“Breathe together?” Whatever she’d expected, that wasn’t it. It was sweet, innocent, and oh-so-sexy all at the same time. She looked around. The rest of the class was lying on their mats absorbed in their own breathing. Trixie was working with someone else. No one was looking or cared what they were doing off to the side.
Careful not to bump his bad knee, she sat between his thighs with her back to him. Justin wrapped his arms around her. He slid his hands under her shirt and splayed the fingers of his right hand over her stomach and pressed his left hand against her chest above her breasts. “This is just to instruct you. I’m not feeling you up.”
“I was kind of hoping you were,” she tried to joke. She could hardly breathe with him touching her and surrounding her so intimately.
“Inhale,” he whispered against her ear. His stomach and chest pressed against her back.
She did, but her stomach still sucked in. “The more I try the worse I mess it up.”
“You’re thinking too hard. Reach your hands back and put them on my sides. Feel me. Become part of me.”
If only that was possible. The worst part was that what he was asking was exactly the opposite of the part he really wanted her to play in his life. She could make herself miserable dwelling on it, or she could revel in the fact that right now she was completely his. Everything about him, right down to each breath he took, was for her.
Holly reached back and pressed her hands against his sides. Her chest thrust out, as if she was begging for his touch. It took all her control not to.
“That’s right,” Justin whispered. “Feel your diaphragm moving down and back up again. Down and back up.”
Without meaning to, her body automatically copied his rhythm, expanding as she filled her lungs with fresh air, contracting as she released it. Once she’d stopped thinking and let Justin take over, her body functioned the way it was meant to.
So, there you go. Expand your belly as you inhale. Give your lungs room to fill with air. Slow down your breathing. Reduce your stress. Harmonize your nervous system. And finally, relax. If you have a partner to practice with, even better. Wink, wink.