The Question of My Writing (current projects + plans)

So… There seems to be a lot going on with my writing, and for a while I felt rather swamped, but the trip to the book fair properly helped to sort out my thoughts and plans. Here is the summary of what’s going on with my writing and what the plans are:

1. Fanfiction:

I’m finishing up Me Without You. There are just a few plot lines that need closure (Fili and Kili, Wren’s magic, wedding, etc.)

I’m planning to sink my teeth into Thorin in Hogwarts adventures (Thorin Durinson and the Conundrum of the Ginger Transfer Student). I’ve received the most amazing review for it, and it inspired me! So many ideas now!

After Me Without You is over, I’m planning to go back to Letters to Your Heart, Axes to Your Scabbard as my central FF story.

Since I always need a side story, once Hogwarts one is over, I’m torn between going back to Ice, Ice, Baby! and some others that were rather promising. Choices, choices… 🙂

2. I’m industriously working on the pieces based on prompts from those readers that pre-ordered my book, Convince Me the Winter Is Over.

3. JukePop:

Ani, my first independent fantasy novel, is going great! On the trip to Toronto Word On the Street Book Fair, I was fortunate enough to monopolise the time of my wonderful friend, Virginia McClain, a fantasy writer herself, and we had the most fruitful discussions. I have so many ideas now, all I need is time to write.

Blind Carnival (a story previously written as a joke on my FanFiction page with my usual original character Wren (Olivia on JukePop) and John (modern Thorin Oakenshield) or more precisely a funny mellow  version of him) became unexpectedly popular! It is endless fun to write, and I am starting to wonder whether I’m a romance/humour writer and not a fantasy writer as I always sort of tentatively assumed 🙂 I’m joking of course! Who needs these tags? 🙂

4. On this blog:

Inspired by the “success” (I’m trying to be modest here :D) of the book and Blind Carnival I moved my modern romance/erotica stories here.

I’m slowly re-editing and posting Dr. T Series on this site. On FF they were titled Touch the Nerve, Strike the Cord, Cut Through the Heart, Heal All Wounds. Once they all are edited and moved, I’m planning to continue the last one since I left the characters in quite a pickle.

I was also planning to start a new romance webserial May to December. It is in the state of flux currently, but I’m very excited about it.

5. Out of the conversations with Virginia, another idea was born, and it’s mad and wonderful, and I’m so giddy that I tend to do a small bum wiggle every time I think about it 😀

Some time ago I started a steampunk AU of The Hobbit, and hardly any other story brought me as much joy when writing it!

In writing, one of the things I most enjoy is research, and this one gave me lots of reasons for it. I had to look into Victorian weaponry and fashion, external combustion engines and such. On the other hand, steampunk isn’t historical prose! It’s so much fun!

The first chapters of the fanfiction story can be found here: The King of Steam and the Ginger Lightning.

So, Virginia told me that one can publish that kind of story! There is a very fine line between parody and fanfiction, but since my goal is to celebrate the work of Tolkien and (though somewhat begrudgingly) Peter Jackson, and not plagiarise them, it can be done!

A lot would have to be changed but I’m considering it.

6. In my spare time (which is literally just my bus rides to work, since I have no other) I’m writing a novella, which at this stage looks like fantasy YA (young adult prose). The protagonist is the daughter of Ani, from the JukePop story, and… one of the two ginger pseudo-Viking protagonists. Spoilers, sweetie! (And yes, it was a reference to River Song, our Goddess :D)

So, this is what’s going on 🙂

Feel free to follow me on Twitter/Instagram, or even better so be my friend on Facebook, to keep up with news 🙂

Here is the photo of my work place 🙂

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Strike the Cord || Chapter 1. Wrennie Goes For a Visit

Chapter 1Wrennie Goes For a Visit

“I’ll be honest with you, I’m super nervous.”

You are sitting on Phil’s bed and watch him packing a bag.

“Why?” A white stick of a lolly is bobbing when he talks. Seriously, the straightforward case of oral fiction. There is always something in his mouth. In the last two weeks it is mostly you.

“Because I’m meeting your mum in a slightly different capacity now…”

“Love, she adores you!”

“Will she still adore me now that I’m shagging her son?” He throws the lolly on his desk, slides on the bed near you and pulls you on his lap.

“She most definitely will. And how do I know this?..” His tone is pointed. He dips his nose in your hair and kisses your neck.

“And how do you know that?” You are smiling.

“Because she’s been pushing this idea for years.” He’s nibbling on your earlobe now. You twist out of his grasp and stare at him.

“What?!”

His eyes are laughing. “I might have been slightly pissed once and confessed that I was pining over you.” You are staring at him in disbelief. He laughs, “Alright, I was completely bladdered. It was right after your thing with Killian.”

“I did not have a thing with Killian!”

“I know it now!..”

You are snogging on his bed, and he is reaching for the buttons on your shirt. There is a knock on the door.

You hear Killian’s voice, “Hey, lovebirds, our ride is here.”

“Our ride?” you mumble into Phil’s lips. You are slightly dazed.

“Yeah, about that…” Phil clears his throat. “Uncle is driving us today.”

Sod it.

***

John is leaning on his Land Rover, while Killlian’s shoving your bags into the boot. John’s large body is clad in a pair of black denim and a red jumper. The luscious mane is in a loose ponytail on his back. You haven’t seen him since the Yamataki episode, when you accused him of favouritism and trying to pay you with the grant money for your silence regarding your hook up, then you had a fight and you refused to become his mistress, after practically shagging him in an empty office on a desk. Have you forgotten anything? Right, you did bloody tell your wonderful boyfriend about your first transgression with Dr. Dark and Sexy in the woods – that sounds too bloody D.H. Lawrence, you engaged in heavy petting in a tent, for fuck sake – but you might have forgotten to mention everything besides that to Phil.

“Uncle.” Phil smiles sunnily.

“Philip.” Oh look at that perfect impersonation of Grumpy the Dwarf from Snow White. “Miss Leary.”

Why does it feel like you just received a full body check under his scrutinizing gaze? Can he guess that you two shagged three times this morning, once against a shower wall? Probably not, since the bruises on your back are covered with a tee. And the lovebite on your neck with a scarf. And the other one with your hair. Hopefully.

“Dr. Thorington,” you answer politely and slightly nod.

Phil gives you a sideways glance. Yes, Phil, that is how I talk to your uncle, like nothing happened. Nothing happened, nothing happened, nothing happened, repeat until the message settles. You have not under any circumstances dreamt of him three times in the last two weeks that you are dating his nephew.

How did your life turn into this bloody mess, Wren?

***

The engine purrs back to life, almost inaudible from inside, and Charles Aznavour’s sensual voice pours out of the radio. Really? Wow… That’s actually your favourite cover version of Ne Me Quitte Pas. Ignore it, ignore it, Wren.

The ride is surprisingly comfortable. You are nested in Phil’s arms at the back, Killian is reading a book at the front seat. Dr. Grumpy – and yes, that is his new official moniker – is concentrating on the road. You close your eyes and bury your face in Phil’s clavicles. The cashmere of his jumper tickles your nose and the familiar smell of his skin and Terre d’Hermes lull your anxiety. You are doing fine, Wren. You are doing fine.

***

Deadre meets you outside, at the door and immediately you are wrapped in her warm embrace.

“Wren, my dearest, it is so nice of you to come! Finally!” She kisses your cheek, and your heart once again clenches from acute affection for this woman. She is tall like her brother, the same black and silver wavy mane, twisted in a messy bun. A long nose and her younger son’ brown eyes.

“Hello, Mrs. Durinson.”

She grabs your hand and pulls you inside.

“Aren’t we getting a hello, mum?” Killian’s cheeky voice rings behind.

“We are old news now,” John’s low voice rumbles. She waves her hand dismissively.

“I’ve had too much testosterone around me for way too many years. It’s time for a proper human interaction.” You hear Phil’s throaty chuckle behind you.

She’s leading you in a sitting room, and you obediently follow. You would follow her across the Bridge of Khazad-dum if she asked. Yes, you do love this book, what? You have nostalgic feelings from your childhood towards it.

You sit down in the offered armchair, and she gracefully sinks in hers, across a teatray from you. Bugger, the tea. How you hate the posh cups and saucers, and the sandwiches! You always feel like a bloody clumsy clot around them.

You hear the three men stomp through the doors, bickering, dropping bags and cursing, though rather demurely. Phil peeks in the room and steals a biscuit from a plate.

“Get out, Philly!” He flashes his mum a beaming grin and scurries away. She is laughing.

“Have you noticed that he cannot ever stop chewing!”

You laugh. “I have.”

“Where does all this food and sugar go? He has a metabolism of a thirteen year old.”

And he engages in a lot of physical activity, nudge-nudge, wink-wink. You demurely pick up a cup.

“Mum!..” Killian’s whiny voice comes from upstairs.

“Oh dear, now what?” She gets up, you jerk to follow. “Stay, Wren, have some tea. I bet they haven’t thought of feeding you.”

“Mum! I can’t figure out the rooms!” Killian is yelling from upstairs.

“What a clot,” she mumbles under her breath. “I put you with Philip in his bedroom.” You choke on your tea. She is giving you a knowing smile. And then she kisses the top of your head. “He rang me up, dear. And I told him how endlessly happy I am for you two.”

She disappears from the room, and you are staring at the swirls of milk in your teacup. Blimey…

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 16. Wrennie is done… Or Not?

Chapter 16Wrennie is Done

You wake up late in the morning and decide to have a lie-in. Eventually the day doesn’t involve that much lying, you do move a lot, except when he orders food, and insists to pay for it, chauvinistic pig, and when you try to watch telly. Watchmen is quite a long film, but you manage to stretch it for ten hours, pausing, getting distracted, then going back to it. Three times you don’t even have time to pause it, one of you already biting and kissing some sensitive part of the other one. You fall back into the sheets, and one of you rasps, “Bloody hell, we have to rewind again.” You have never shagged that much in one day in your life.

You’re lying on his chest, and he’s staring at the ceiling, his fingers playing with your hair.

“Wren?”

“Hm…”

“One last thing.”

“Are you kicking me out?” You yawn.

“What?! Bloody hell, you and your jokes.”

“You love my jokes.” He tenses for a second, weirdly silent.

“Yeah, I do.” You lift your face not quite understanding his mood. He’s not looking at you.

“Phil, is something wrong?” He blinks and the strange expression is gone.

“No, of course not.” He smiles to you and strokes your cheek with his fingers. “Sorry, sweet, got lost in my thoughts.” You kiss his palm, and he frowns.

“About my uncle…” You freeze. “Will it be weird when we go home, and he’s there? Because I want to go visit Mum with you. She’ll be super excited.”

You sit up pressing a sheet to your chest.

“It won’t be weird. Like I said, it just was sort of an… impulsive weird thing.” That is the shittiest bullshit ever, Wren. “I hid in his tent, and we mostly just slept…”

“You did what?” His eyebrows hike up.

“I went to pee, and… Do we really need to talk about it?”

“I’d like to have no surprises later.”

Then you are bloody dating the wrong girl.

You sigh and stare at your hands. “I went to pee, freaked out when something grabbed me, it was a bloody root as it turned out, and I hid in his tent. We made out a bit, and… that’s it.” He’s looking at your attentively.

“And that’s it?”

“Yeah…” At least that is all that is important. Whom are you fucking kidding, Wren…

You exhale, and hating yourself you proceed digging your grave. You intertwine your fingers with his and, leaning in, you kiss him.

“You said it yourself, he’s not interested in anything serious.” You slide down his torso. “And it won’t be weird, he might not even remember me…” Curse you, Wren.

You lick his stomach, and he sighs. His cock jerks under the covers. The conversation’s over. Yes, inner voice Wren, shut your gob and suck it up. Ew, this pun did not go where it was supposed to… You give him a long lick, and he exhales sharply. You cup his testicles and slide him into your mouth. That’s a new low for your, Wren.

***

He falls asleep, wrapped around you, and you are staring at the ceiling this time. You feel funny. There is no other word for it. You know you should feel bloody miserable and hate yourself, after all you lied to him about John, and then used your impressive “verbal” skills – his phrase not yours, you are not responsible at least for this daft pun – to distract him.

But you don’t. You feel justified. You made a decision, and now you protect what’s yours. Phil is what you want here and now. The past doesn’t matter, hypotheticals can go and bugger off. You feel territorial, like momma lioness defending her golden cub. No, that analogy just went really in the wrong direction, with the whole Oedipus thing… Yuck. You shake your head and nest in his arms. He pulls you closer in his sleep, and murmurs in your neck. You close your eyes and feel absolutely content.

***

You are dreaming, and it’s one of those dreams when you know it’s not real, but it is so good that you are desperately clawing at it, trying to stay in the bliss for just a bit longer.

It is Summer, you are lying on the grass, and you know it’s the Durinson mansion. It smells like those merry blue flowers in Deandre’s garden, and you are spread on a soft blanket. The sun’s caressing your nose, and it feels impossible to open your eyes. At the same time, you see yourself from outside, relaxed and spread like a starfish, some light dress bunched up mid thigh, and your hair is splayed like a nimbus around your face. It is peace… His fingers touch your wrist, and your hand curls up. You hear a low chuckle, and a pair of hot lips is pressed on the tender skin there. You twitch your fingers, and then promptly grab the long nose. He chuckles again and twist out of your grip.

His hot palm slides across your stomach, and he is kissing your shoulder. The hair tickles your neck, and you lazily batter it away. The lips are now on your clavicles.

“I am sleeping here…”

“No, you are not, you are talking…” The low velvet voice is full of laughter, and then his lips are on yours. The beard is scratching, familiar but still exciting feeling, and you wrap your arms around his neck. You open your eyes and stare into the blue irises. The mischief in them is glinting, and the crow’s feet make him look somehow younger. The thick black lashes flutter, and he leans in for another kiss.

You tread you fingers into the glorious silky mane, and his weight is on you.

“Should we be snogging like teenagers in your sister’s garden?”

“It’s just you and I here…” He smiles, and you have never seen him so beautiful before, careless and content, white teeth gleaming and eyes hidden behind the lashes.

You wake up with a jerk in Phil’s bedroom and grab handfuls of your hair. Fuck.

Author’s note:

Wrennie and the men of her life will come back in Strike the Cord, the second story in Dr. T Series.

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 15. Wrennie Does It

Chapter 15Wrennie Does It

After that, it is all hot and steamy. He picks you up and throws you on the bed. You pull your sweater off, and he sheds his shirt. He presses you into the sheets, and it’s magnificent! Hot, hard muscles, not a hint of fat, he is covered in rough auburn hair, and it rubs you just the right way! The dark copper beard are sliding down to your stomach, scorching lips, and skillful tongue. He pulls your denim off and unbuttons his jeans, now kneeling between your spread legs on the bed.

“God, you are gorgeous…” he murmurs. You lift a brow. “Such a beautiful ickle thing…” He strokes your stomach and cups your breast. You arch into his hand.

“Blue is definitely your colour, love.” He’s kissing your ribs, and you tread your fingers into his mane. You feel his tongue dive under the waist of your thongs, and then he grabs them with his teeth and pulls them off.

“Manwhore.”

He smirks and twirls them on his finger.

“Fair enough, and yet you are here.” You lift your arms to him, and he smiles. The jeans fly off, and he stretches on the bed.

He covers your body with sucks and nips, and you are moaning. He gently bites your hipbone and you cry out. Then his lips are between your legs, and you cry out again.

“You are quite a screamer, aren’t you, sweetheart?” Oh bloody fuck, that is hot! He definitely knows what he’s doing. And then he adds a finger, and you come with a coarse scream. Wow, that was quick!

He’s still wearing his pants. He’s also apparently sitting on the floor between your legs dangling from the bed. He picks up one foot and kisses the arch.

“I stay corrected, these are the sexiest little feet I have ever seen!” He starts moving up, placing little hot kisses on his way. When he is above your fanny again, you grab handfuls of his hair and pull.

“Don’t even go there again!” you hiss, and he smirks and blows gently on your sensitive folds. You jerk.

“Condom?” you ask, and he lies near you and slides his hand under the bed. That’s where the supply is apparently.

“Ugh…” you can’t hold back a bit of disgust.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

He rolls over you and looks into your eyes. “Past is the past, right?” His eyes are almost begging.

You nod decisively and open your palm. He puts a square package on it, and you roll you two over again.

His hands are on your breasts, and he is gently rubbing the nipples with his thumbs.

“They are glorious…” You smile and lower your lips on his neck, then chest, nuzzling the hair, the stomach, and then you press your cheek onto his cock. He hisses. You hook your fingers over the waist of the pants and pull them off.

My oh my, your previous estimations were too modest. There’s an exception for any rule, and that’s one of them. In his case height really doesn’t matter. He lifts his torso and cup your chin with his large palm.

“Wren…” You smile in his wide blue eyes. “Can we skip the verbal part, love? I’m going to explode here.” You roll out a condom on him and pull him on top of yourself.

He pushes into you, and you cry out again. He stretches you painfully, and you have to press your palms in his chest to halt him. You are breathing heavily, and he looks into your eyes.

“Give me a moment…” He’s kissing your neck, and your walls clench.

“God, Wren, you’re too tight…”

His mouth is on yours, and the kisses are slow and gentle. You breathe easier, and he is moving. Long deep strokes, and you are lifting your hips towards him, meeting him, your hands splayed on his shoulders, his face pressed in your neck. You come again.

He continues to move, lets you ride your release, then he thrusts faster, deeper, and you are arching your back. Each push evicts a sharp cry out of you. Your body’s burning, your blood singing. He lifts his torso on one arm and the new angle makes you thrash. He’s thrusting into you, murmuring your name, his hand grasping your hip. His movements are soon jerky, and he comes, falling on you, moaning.

You both spend a few seconds, panting and shaking, and you start giggling.

“What?” His voice is muffled, him mouth probably full of your curls.

“I don’t know…” You giggle more. He lifts his head and then suddenly groans.

“You are choking me, sweetheart. Have mercy!” That makes you laugh ever more, and he pulls out with a moan.

He falls on his back, and you lie down near him. You are surprisingly comfortable with him. That’s usually the moment when you really don’t know what to do with yourself. You press your lips into his shoulder, and he turns and returns you kiss. Then he sits up.

“I’m gonna go clean up, and you enjoy…” He vaguely waves his hand.

“Postcoital bliss?” you offer. You are grinning like a moron.

“Yes, that…” He treads to the bathroom, and you are enjoying the view. My oh my, those buttocks will visit you in many many dreams from now on!

There is the noise of running water, and he yells, “Do you want a bath, love?”

Oh, it actually sounds really good. He comes back, apparently completely comfortable with being in the buff. Good for him! And good for you, definitely. Yum.

“I would offer you the tackiest of cliches of champagne in the bath but since you don’t drink…” he stretches on the bed on his stomach, and kisses you. “We’ll have ice cream.”

***

The bathtub is huge, the water is just the right temperature, and you are sharing a bowl of ice cream. The silence is comfortable, he feeds you, you are drawing patterns on his leg under water.

“That is surprisingly easy…” he draws thoughtfully. You hum neither agreeing, not objecting. He continues to ponder, “Maybe there’s something in the whole monogamy thing.”

You turn and lying on his chest you look into his eyes.

“Don’t you think you are judging too early? One shag is definitely not a very good sample, Phil.” He presses the bowl to your nape, and you yelp.

“Don’t ruin my afterglow, Wren.” He’s laughing. “But seriously, I can do that forever.”

You take the spoon away from him and scoop some for him. You move it to his lips, and he closes his lips over it. Hot, hot, hot! Common, Wren, you just shagged, where is this randiness coming from? You sit up near him and feed his another spoonful.

“Have you ever had serious relationships, love?”

“Not really, had a boyfriend in high school. But it was just… childish.”

“So it’s the first for both of us. That won’t end well…” He’s still clearly joking. That white toothed grin just does something to you! Something very indecent…

You pounce on him, and he catches you, the bowl sinking in the hot water. You are straddling him again, and he’s kissing your temple.

“I am done with the bath…” you announce. He hums agreeing and gets up with you in his arms. That is fucking impressive.

“Show off!”

“And you like it.”

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 14. Wrennie Wants to Try

Untitled design (2)

You are sitting facing him, your legs wrapped around his waist, his shirt half open. He is supporting your back, his palms slightly rubbing your shoulder blades. You feel that telling him that you shagged his uncle while in this position would be bloody inadequate. You try to climb off his lap, but he wraps his arms around your middle and looks into your eyes.

“I gather you do not object the idea of a bit of legging over with me, so what seems to be the problem?” He gently moves your hair off your face, and you nuzzle his palm.

“I am worried about our history.”

“Hm,” he hums unassumingly.

“Not our history together, but the one each one of us has.”

“Is it about Killian?”

“What? No! Why would it be about Killian?”

“You dated my brother, that would freak any bloke out.”

“Does it freak you out?”

“No, but only because I know that nothing happened. And you both hated it.”

“See, that is what freaks me out. You are so homey with each other, the whole sharing thing…”

“I do not share my stuff with Killian!”

“I mean information. Does he tell you everything?”

“Pretty much,” he shrugs. Bloody hell, he really doesn’t see that it’s barmy.

“Do you tell him everything?”

“I pass knowledge and wisdom.”

“Ew, no, don’t continue.” You lean back and look at his face. “What did he tell you about us?”

“That you both weren’t into it, and you are great at snogging, but you didn’t end up deflorating him.”

“What?! He is a virgin?”

“That’s a complicated matter.”

“Ew again. Not important right now, but really?” He smirks and kisses your jaw.

“You were saying…”

You sigh. “I am not worried about your history either, don’t get me wrong.” You touch his skin in the collar of the shirt and stroke the thick chest hair there. It is surprisingly dark and harsh. “I do not particularly enjoy to be number two hundred something in this bed, but I don’t judge…” He bumps your jaw with his nose, and you look into his eyes.

“Wren, I mean, if I could, I would probably…” He stumbles over his words, as if surprised to be saying it himself. “I would take it all back, if I could start from…” You silence him with a kiss.

You suddenly feel like crying. The Phil you know doesn’t regret his record, the Phil you know is proud of it. He brags and reminisce. The bloke under your hands is remorseful, vulnerable, he will be heartbroken, when you tell him… You shush your thoughts and concentrate on the kiss. God, he is so bloody good!

After a few moments of steamy getting off, couple more of his buttons are open and your jeans are unzipped. He pushes you away and pants out, “You should really hurry up with your unpleasant conversation, love.”

You realize you are still wearing your glasses and take them off. They are too foggy anyways. You blink a few times and look into his eyes. He chuckles.

“What?” you ask.

“Nothing.” He shakes his head and then kisses you again. This time it is gentle, chaste, and you lean in, his hands gently stroking your back.

“I want to try…” you are whispering into his lips.

“What?” he’s whispering too for no reason. He presses his forehead to yours, and you close your eyes.

“This… Us…”

“That is very good news, Wren…” He catches your mouth again.

“But…” You slightly push him away. “We have to agree that whatever happened before happened before. We are starting from a scratch now, right?”

“Yep.” He pops the last sound.

“Phil, that night at the swamp…” He was lowering his lips to your neck, and he halts.

“Wren, I really don’t need to know.”

“No, you do!” Your cheeks are burning. “It was your uncle.”

He’s frozen under your hands. And then he moves you off his lap, and you plop on the bed ungracefully.

“The fuck?! Uncle John?!”

“Yes.” What else can you say? He jumps up on his feet and stands in front of you.

“You are kidding me! No, just fucking no. He doesn’t sleep with women.”

“What?!”

“There was this drama many years ago… I mean he doesn’t sleep with normal women, just some expensive escort service. Like he has a doxy or something…” Oh yeah, that…

“Nonetheless…”

“You slept with Uncle John?! What the fuck, Wren?”

He’s staring at you and then he sits back on the bed near you. It’s not an attempt to be closer, it’s easier to glare at you like an inquisitor this way.

“How long?”

“What?”

“For how long have you been sleeping with him?”

“It was a one-off thing that night. We didn’t even… I mean… Not much…” Your cheeks are blushing painfully, and you are mumbling.

“Phil, we just agreed that past is past, I only told you this since he is family…”

“Fuck it, Wren, obviously he is family! How do you imagine Christmas dinners now?”

“To be honest, Christmas dinners were the last thing I thought about.” He shakes his head.

“That was very low of you, Wren.” What the actual fuck?!

“It has nothing to do with you! It’s just my past. It happened, and it’s done.”

“Is it now? How did you feel when he was giving you the Yamataki money? Did that feel like he is in the past?” His eyes are angry and pained.

“It was endlessly uncomfortable, but I mean we are civilized people.” Liar, liar, pants on fire.

He gets up and starts pacing around the room. “To be honest, sweetheart, that totally squashed any drive I had in me.”

“You slept with Thea, I got over it.” That is actually a very good argument. Point Wren. You get up and hug him from behind. He doesn’t fight it.

“That is part of the whole thing, Phil. There will be always past, and there will be someone you will be worried about.” You are unbuttoning the rest of his shirt. Since he’s not stopping you, you rub your cheek to his back and splay your hands on his stomach. “Like I will sometimes think that at least half of those two hundred women you shagged were better than me…”

“Don’t be fucking ridiculous…”

“Why not? It’s true. More experienced, more flexible, better boobs…” He turns in your arms and cups your face.

“That’s bullshit…”

“Is it?” you give him a look from under the lashes.

“I love your boobs! Well, whatever I managed to catch glimpse of the other night…” You press your palms into his short beard and rub his cheeks with your thumbs.

“Then let’s just forget all this shite, and go for it.”

He smiles. “Go for it?”

“Yeah…” You smile in return, stand on your tippy toes and kiss him. He treads his fingers in your hair and sighs into your mouth.

“Alright, Wren, let’s try…”

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 13. Wrennie and a Giant Purple Aubergine

Chapter 13Wrennie and a Giant Purple Eggplant (1)

By 7.15 the party is in full swing. Everyone’s so overstressed from the term tests that booze hits their braincells like a hammer on an anvil. Since you can’t drink, you are nursing your first and only glass. At some point you find Thea in the kitchenette.

“Thea!”

She turns around and squeals. “Oh I’m so happy for you!”

She hangs on your neck. Which is bloody painful, since she is at least five inches taller than you. And much fuller in the most important zones.

“Thea, Phil was supposed to come tonight…” She clasps her palm on her mouth.

“Sorry, babe, I didn’t know! Eva called and said the whole uni’s buzzing about your scoring the big snatch, and I thought it calls for a celebration!” She looks pitiful. You hug her.

“And I love it! It’s just we finally wanted to talk…”

“Finally?” She looks at your suspiciously. “He spent the night.”

“Nothing happened.”

“And now you are wearing new boob holders…” She hooks her finger under a strap. There’s no use trying to lie to her. She has a terrifying ESP for anything shag related. You feel the blush. “Oh Wren, this is better than your grant thing! Finally!”

“Shut up, Thea!” You are laughing too.

At 7.30 you’re hiding on the fire escape. You are too spun out to be in the crowd, everyone needs to know how it went, what you are going to do with the money, some clap you on the shoulder, but some thankfully have already forgotten what the party was about. You lean on the wall and close your eyes.

The window opens, and Phil’s head sticks out.

“There you are, love.”

He climbs out and sits beside you. You feel his hip pressing into yours. You turn to him and smile. He hands you a bouquet of your favourite red carnations. You bury your face into them, the spicy sweet smell tickling your nose. You don’t remember ever telling him you loved them.

“Thank you…” You smile into his laughing eyes.

“If I knew, I’d bring enough for everyone.” He gives you a pointed look.

“Listen, I’m sorry about this, Thea invited everyone, to celebrate the grant…”

“Oh, congratulation on that by the way! Uncle said you were magnificent.”

“Oh?” You hide your face in the flowers again.

“I ran into him after your meeting.”

“Oh?” Shite, shite, shite!

“Listen…” He turns his torso to you. “Should we maybe just go to my place? You wanted to talk, and it’s hardly possible here.” Someone bangs on the window from inside, waving a fag in their hand. He lifts his brow pointedly.

“Sure, let’s go.”

You walk through the crowd, and he picks up your hand. The music is blaring, people are chatting loudly, and you just want to stay alone with him. For a second you see Thea’s face, she gives you an encouraging wink and thumbs up.

OK, let’s do it!

***

The drive is silent, you are looking through the window. The flowers are still on your lap, you wouldn’t leave your babies in that house of debauchery.

“Do you have a vase?” He smirks.

“I’m sure I can conjure something.”

“Where’s Killian tonight?”

“He went to the mansion for the weekend.”

And only then you realize it is Friday. You’ve been so dischuffed the last few days that you lost track of time. Bollocks. Are you heading to a bloke’s flat on a Friday evening? It’s a whole new level of awkward. If you stay over, for how long do you stay the next day? Do you spend it together? If so, who pays for the food?

Bugger, that is not the main issue right now, Wren! The biggest pussychaser in the uni offered you to date him, and you played tonsils hockey with his uncle several hours ago. Gain some bloody perspective, Wren!

He parks his Jag in the parkade, and you take a lift upstairs. It goes all the way to the flat, and you suddenly remember why you never like to come here. Because you feel like a chav. In shonky clothes, that you were so proud of before you entered the fancy parlour. All the geometric forms and bright colours. Phil throws his jacket and keys on a small table that is probably worth more than all your belongings.

“Feel yourself at home, I’ll get something for the flowers.”

He disappears in the kitchen, and you stand in the middle of the room. Bugger, jitters! You bite your lip. You are so uncomfortable that you feel like tosh.

He comes out with a tall glass trophy cup full of water. You peek at the inscription. ‘Killian Durinson, 1st place. Archery Competition.’

“Posh.” You put the flowers in, and he lowers the cup on the table.

You are standing in front of each other in the middle of the parlour.

“A drink?”

“Maybe just some fizz. I already had my share today.” He nods and stretches his hand towards you. What? You tentatively put your fingers in his large warm palm, and he leads you into the kitchen. “Don’t want to leave you there alone. You don’t look that chuffed there.”

“Your painting of a giant purple penis irks me out.”

“It is an aubergine.”

“It’s most definitely a penis. I have seen them. They look exactly like that.” He gives you a throaty chuckle.

You feel better in the kitchen. It’s slightly more messy, there are dirty dishes in the sink. Phil scrunches his nose.

“I told him to clean up.” You snicker.

“You told Killian to clean up? How did you think that would play out?”

“I tried to make an effort!”

He gets two glasses and pours himself some scotch, and water for you.

“I get the dash, you get the splash.” You click your glasses, and he takes a sip. It’s so fucking hot! His gorgeous curved lips close on the rim of the glass, masculine throat moves with the booze going down, and then he licks his lips.

“You sure you don’t want any? You are ogling my glass.”

“I’m not ogling the glass.”

He smiles and puts the drink down. Then he takes yours and puts it down as well. And then he grabs the back of your head and pulls you in. Fuck all the deities and gods ever walking this world! You literally feel you are sagging on the floor from the intensity of this kiss. You wrap your arms around his neck, and he picks you up, large hands under your arse. You automatically hug his waist with your legs, and he starts walking to his room.

He kicks the door open and slams your back into a brick wall of his bedroom. You moan and squeeze him tighter with your hips. He’s sucking and nipping on your lips, there’s just the right amount of tongue, and you scratch his nape. The orgasmic golden strands run through your fingers, and you are moaning louder.

He turns around, makes a few steps and fall backwards on the bed. You are now straddling him, his hands on your arse, and he is staring at you. You are so turned on that your hands are shaking. You dive in and attack his neck. He drops his head back and moans.

“Phil…” You move your lips to his ear and bite his lobe. “We need to talk…”

“Sure, love, anything you want…” His hands slide under your sweater.

“It is an unpleasant conversation…” You are kissing his clavicles now in the open collar of his shirt. The dark blue definitely compliments the eyes, but you are more grateful for the buttons. You’ve already opened two, and while you are sucking on his neck, you tread your fingers through the coarse chest hair. He groans and then suddenly sits up lifting you with him.

“I am all for less talk, more bang.” He grabs handfuls of your hair and pulls it back making you look into his eyes. “But maybe not this time….” His eyes are serious. “What were you saying?..”

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 12. Wrennie Gives an Answer

Chapter 12Wrennie Gives an Answer

You laugh. What else can you do? He smiles too. Who knew he can be so gorgeous, with merry sparkles in his eyes and these white teeth biting his bottom lip? As you said, a bloody criminal habit.

“I think this stalemate of ours can be solved very easily.”

You look at him from under the lashes. “How?”

“You give me a chance. After all, I’m certain you’ve never been a doxy before. You might enjoy it.” He presses his lips together not to smile. And fuck me, the black cocked up brow! It’s thick and smooth, and you just want to slide the tips of your fingers along it.

You also want to respect yourself afterwards. And sadly enough, you already know your answer.

“No. Sorry, but no.”

You slide on the floor and walk around him. He’s frowning.

“You can not possibly expect to maneuver me into different sort of relationships.”

“God forbid, of course no.” You look at him sadly. It’s all you feel now – sad. “Unlike you I wouldn’t want to twist someone’s arm into something they don’t want.” His jaw tenses.

“Wren…”

“Let me finish, please. I understand that you are offering all you can. And it’s… nice.” You really should have taken those Rhetoric Speech classes they offered last year. “But it’s just not me. You know how I feel about you. Well, at least some of my feelings…” You screw your eyes on the desk. He gives a joyless chuckle. “But really, it’s just not me. I’m young, irrational, prone to childish tantrums… You were right after all.” You give him another somber smile. “I’m just not a doxy material. So no, thanks.”

And before you can change your mind you make a few steps and unlock the door.

He nods. The conversation’s over. You are exiting and then you hear. “Wren…”

You turn around to look at him. His face is cold and unreadable once again. “Are you having a dinner with Philip tonight?”

“We were going to pub tonight…” And then you understand. “Oh. I don’t know… Maybe?..”

He nods again and adjusts a cufflink. That is such a childish attempt to hide his face, that your heart clenches. Poor thing. Are you out of your mind, Wren?! ‘Poor thing’ about Dr. John Crispin Thorington?!

“Have a good evening, Wren.” His voice is flat.

“Bye.” And with that you leave.

***

You talk your way out of the three labs after. The rumours of your grant are spreading, so it’s easy. Before another person congratulates you, enviously and completely insincerely, you rush back to the dorm. You wisely knock and come in. Thea is demurely watching telly in the kitchenette.

“You are early.” You throw yourself on her neck, and she yelps, “Oh bugger! Don’t tell me you guys had a fight!”

“What? No, no fight, I just had a very long day.”

“It’s three.” She looks at you sceptically.

“I know. Listen, I’m going to tell you everything later, but now I just need to get out of here.” You agree on talking before you go to pub to meet Phil, and you go shopping.

You wander through the shops, try on clothes, and let the day settle in your mind. The grant is a big deal, but you don’t seem quite able to wrap your mind around it yet. It will take some time indeed.

John… When did he become John in your mind? Bollocks, there hardly anything to say here.

Phil…

That’s the dilemma that confuses you most. What are you going to do? He is Phil, delicious and sunny. You’ve shared drinks and now shared a bed too, but you just feel like something’s missing. And also you feel like you are bloody lying to him. Fuck, you feel like you are using him, and that’s an unfamiliar feeling. Though it’s Phil, shag and discard type of guy… Is it what it is now? Or did he mean it when he said he fancied you? Oh sod it, you don’t really know what it is for him. What’s he even thinking?

And what is this rubbish about lying to him? If you hook up, you won’t cheat, and you will have fun, and you will see his mum a lot. It’s slightly disturbing that you want to date him for his mum, but again, people have worse reasons for getting into relationships. And you want him, and you fancy him, and not just a bit. He is talented, ambitious, funny… Are you trying to fucking convince yourself, Wren?

You are staring at yourself in a mirror in a fitting room, and then notice your boring white bra. You make a decision. With a much more dedication you go through more shops, buying a new pair of denim, a new sweater and a set of blue lacy lingerie. It’s six, and you won’t have much time later. You change into new clothes and buy a tube of mascara. You put it on in a shop and dial Phil.

“Are you calling to disappoint me again, love?” His tone is flirty.

“No, I was actually thinking we should skip pub tonight and meet up at my place.” You are twirling a tube of lip gloss in your fingers. Would he like ‘Cherry Pop’ or ‘Blushing Peach’? Bloody hell, concentrate, Wren.

“Oh?” His voice drops lower and into more of a purring diapason.

“I think we should talk and pub is too noisy for that.”

“And just when this conversation started sounding so promising…” You laugh.

“We do need to talk, Phil.”

“Uh-huh…” He is clearly distracted. “Sorry, love, I’m in the middle of a seminar.”

“Why do you pick up your phone during a seminar, you prat?” That feels good, good old bickering.

“Because you are calling me, love. How can I say no?”

You hear professor Johnson’s irritated voice at the background, “Are we bothering you, Mr. Durinson?”

“Not in the slightest, Professor.” Plonker! “I’ll be at your place at seven, love.”

“Deal.”

You call Thea, but she doesn’t pick up. Bugger! On the other hand, if you ask her to leave to give you and Phil some space, she’ll be out of the door in a sec. She would probably rise from her deathbed to give you some privacy. And her best box of condoms. It’s six thirty, and you are rushing back. You burst through the door and are met with a faceful of confetti and a yell, “Surprise!” Everyone’s already holding a drink and a giant banner ‘Congrats on the Yamataki grant’ is decorating your kitchenette. Fuck.

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 11. Wrennie and the Second Proposal

Wrennie md the

His hot palms are groping your arse, your hands are pulling at his hair, and he bites you bottom lip. Someone jerks the door, but you just don’t give a fuck. His large body is moving under your hands, and you moan into his mouth. He growls, literally bloody growls, you can’t believe it, like a giant wild animal, and starts backing you up towards a desk in the middle of the office. He picks you up like you weigh nothing and drops your butt on the desk. With his knee he spreads your legs and presses his upper body into you. Fuck! Your head is dropped back, he is bending you backwards almost painfully and is sucking on your throat. You wrap your legs around his hips and grind your pelvis into him. Another delicious growl rumbles through his chest, and you think you are going to come right there.

Then he abruptly stops and makes a small step back. With his palms on the table on the sides of your hips, he drops his head and is panting loudly.

“Fuck, I have no self-control with you…” He’s snarling through his teeth. “Give me a moment.” You were not doing anything. You are way too mortified. What the fucking fuck?!..

Then you feel awful. All you can think is Phil. The problem is that when you feel bad, that non-existent filter between your brain and your mouth turns into a pump sucking your thoughts out and pouring them through your lips.

“I have a date with Phil tonight.”

He barks a joyless laugh. “Of course you do.”

He straightens up and looks at you. Your cheeks are flaming, lips feel swollen, and your hair is a curly mop around your head.

“What is it about you?” He is staring, as if actually trying to suss you out. “Don’t seem like anything special.” Well, that’s just rude.

“Maybe your perception is blunted by the legions of other women going through your hands.” Yep, the pump is working full scale. He laughs, almost genuinely actually.

“You are quite something, Wren.”

“I didn’t know we are on the first name basis.”

“Might as well.” He gestures to your disheveled appearance.

Then he narrows his eyes, and you recognize the gesture from the tapes of his surgeries. He has exactly the same face before he inserts an endoscope into a person’s nasal cavity. He is now focused and is going for his goal.

“I don’t date, Wren. I have neither time, nor inclination for it. I also don’t trust people, women especially. But I can offer you monogamous relationships with the maximum comfort for you in them. I assure you, I can be chivalrous and generous. Also, I think since our life pursuits are in the same field, we both will be understanding towards time constrictions for our affiliations and the amount of involvement into each other’s life.”

He looks determined and rather pleased with himself for this speech. You swing your leg over another and just let it fucking go.

“Is that your very eloquent, posh way to offer me to be fuck-buddies?” It seems you don’t have to articulate your answer to his proposal. His eyes get cold, and he steps further back.

You give him a sly smile and continue, “Don’t get me wrong, I understand that somewhere in your giant brain, you have reconsidered some of the features of this agreement after the previous time, and you think you are making a much more generous offer, but to me it still sounds that you are establishing a convenient line for booty calls.”

You are not even upset. The rage is white and keeps your spine straight. You finally feel almost at peace. This chapter’s done and over with. Now you can go home, smugly think that you actually broke through his self-control once, and never think of him again. Maybe get yourself a nice boyfriend. A nice blond six foot three boyfriend. Or maybe not. You have the grant now, you’ll be very busy.

He turns around and walks to the door. You breathe out. And then he stops in front of the locked door and doesn’t move. What?… He slams a palm into the wall, and you jump up. He turns around, and he is terrifying!

No cold exterior, no decorum, no posh upbringing, just blazing eyes and teeth bared in a gnarl.

“So, what do you want from me?”

You are scared, seriously. You gulp and start sliding off the table in case you need to run. He grabs your shoulders and lowers his face to yours. There is foot difference between you, and it feels like he is going to crush you.

“What do you want from me?” He snarls every word separate from another.

“Nothing!” You are yelling at his face. “Fuck you and your trust issues! I am not trying to get anything out of you!”

He is kissing you again, but this time you are fighting. You are pushing him away, your hands flail and you graze his cheek with your nails. He hisses and steps back, pressing his hand into it.

“Oh my God, I am so sorry! It was an accident!” You stretch your hand to him, and he flinches. “John, I’m so sorry…” He’s breathing heavily and makes another couple steps back.

“It’s fine, not your fault.” He looks at his fingers, and his eyebrows jump up at the sight of blood. His face is clearly adorned with nail marks. Well, that will be embarrassing. Or maybe it will just support his reputation of a player. “Will serve me right.”

You bite your lips. “I am really sorry.”

“Again, not your fault. I behaved unacceptably.”

“I…”

“Stop apologising!” he snaps, and you wince. “It was my fault, I behaved like an animal. I just can’t seem to think straight around you.” He rubs his eyes with the heels of his palms. You remember the gesture from that night. It is John-Thorington-returning-to-reality-gesture. “You can go now, I am sane again.”

“Don’t dismiss me, I’m not your servant,” you bite back.

“You are anything but, that’s for certain.” He walks to the same damn desk and heavily leans on it.

Why aren’t you leaving? You are shifting between your legs but do not unlock the door or leave. You just can’t seem to bring yourself to pop that weird bubble you two are in. You suspect that the reason is that you seem to finally break through his shell, and he’s more open and vulnerable than ever before. You just didn’t know before that you were trying to get through that shell.

“What happened to you?” He lifts his surprised eyes at you. “Did your wife cheat on you with your best friend? Or did your partner steal all your money and set you up with a honey trap?”

“What?” He’s almost back to the baseline, even his tie is straight again. You still remember the sensation of the Hermes silk in your palm, you did pull at it.

“You obviously have trust issues. And I should know, I am one big trust issue wrapped in smaller ones. But yours are also rooted in anger. Very unhealthy,” you tut-tut, and he chuckles.

“So?” you ask and cautiously move closer. You sit on the other end of the desk. Your feet are dangling off it.

“Are we having an intersubjective confession session?” Ouch, Dr. Thorington is familiar with the therapy terms.

“The fact that you know the term is endlessly alarming,” you sing-song. He gives you a sideway glance, and you think you see a ghost of a smile on his lips.

“I gave up on the third shrink,” he mutters. Yep, that’s definitely a hint of a smile.

“Like any medical scientist, Dr. Thorington, you should know they are phony rubbish.” You smile to him. “You should have seen my child psychopathologist.”

“I am afraid to ask…” The corners of his lips twitch.

“I’ve had aggression issues. Too many foster families in one year.”

He gives you an attentive look. “Are you also a delinquent, Miss Leary?” Little wrinkles gather in the corners of his eyes, and his voice is low and velvety. “I should have known, two slaps and a scratched face were sort of a clear sign.”

“Fully your responsibility, John.” He tilts his head and gives you an inquisitive look.

“I am wrong about you every time around, am I not?” You shrug. He exhales, and you see his shoulders relax. He stands up and walks to stand in front of you.

“I still don’t date,” he feels the need to state again, apparently. Whom are you trying to convince, John? 

“Fine with me.” You are smiling. He leans in and whispers into your lips.

“And you still don’t want to, as you so graciously put it, be my doxy.”

“Mhm.” You shake your head vigorously.

“That’s quite a stalemate we have in here, Miss Leary.”

And also I spent the night in your nephew’s arms.

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 10. Wrennie Wins a Prize

Chapter 10Wrennie Wins a Prize

Perkins indeed delivers. Two female students run out of the auditorium crying, one guy snaps a pencil from humiliation. His palm’s bleeding, and he’s pressing his shirt into it, but doesn’t dare leave. Analytical chemistry, ladies and gentlemen. You survive Perkins, you’ll survive anything. Maybe even a zombie apocalypse.

The yelling reaches its peak, when the door opens and the Dean of the Faculty looks in. You suspect that even he’s afraid of Perkins.

“I’m sorry to bother you, Ronald, but I need one of your students.” Everyone exchanges glances. “Miss Leary?” The Dean is looking at you. Bloody fuck…

You get up under a couple hundred of widened eyes and grab your stuff. You scurry down the aisle and almost curtsy in front of Perkins.

“I am sorry, sir.” He gives you a stare. You follow the Dean into the hall.

He gives you a look over. “Most unfortunate, most unfortunate…” What?

You are wearing a pair of old denim and an oversized sweater reaching mid thigh. You had a rough night, alright? The hair’s in an unassuming bun, glasses instead of lenses. After you pushed Phil out of your room, after a few minutes of increasingly steamy snogging that is, you had three minutes to get dressed. And no minutes for hair or mascara. And you hate it anyways. You are a ginger; you lot are allergic to everything.

You follow the Dean, and your heart’s throbbing in your throat. You reach his office, and he pushes you into a room full of people.

Suits clad people. Very important looking, posh, perfectly groomed men and women. And John Thorington.

“Ah, Miss Leary, thank you for joining us,” a man whom you recognise immediately stretches his hand in greeting. You shake it.

“It’s an honour to meet you, Dr. Yamataki.” He smiles and bows to you. You return the bow. Let’s face it, you have practiced in front of the mirror. Not that you were hoping to ever receive this giant, super prestigious, everyone-will-know-you-name-after-it grant and meet him in flesh, but just in case.

The world famous Dr. Sora Yamataki smiles even more pleasantly and claps your shoulder. “The honour is all mine. Allow me to introduce my colleagues.”

***

The next hour passes in haze. You give a short speech, answer their questions, and sign the papers. It seems to have gone well. You were calm and confident. Since you have dreamt of and imagined it for the past year and practiced in your head almost every evening. You even managed to insert your duck and a syringe joke. Everyone laughs. Except Thorington. Prick.

You quickly forget that he’s in the room, until one of the women doesn’t place her hand on his forearm and pronounce in an alluring lilting voice, “You were absolutely right, John. Miss Leary is indeed the best choice for the grant.”

It feels like being kicked into your stomach. But more painful. You owe him all this? All this is not because of your proposal, or your grades, or the endless sleepless nights you spent in the lab, but it’s him?! What is this?! Some sort of compensation for moral damages, in his perverted calculative mind?!

You feel nauseated and probably look greenish.

“I think we are overwhelming Miss Leary a bit.” His voice pours, low and languished. Can he be more of a condescending wanker?! Fucking tosser!

“I have to admit that is one of the most emotional days of my life, Dr. Thorington, but I’m coping.” You do not manage to fully devoid your voice of venom. The others laugh.

He gives you sideways glance from under a cocked brow. You’ve never hated anyone more than you hate him him right now.

***

Everyone is goodbuying and leaving the office. You bow to Yamataki, and he shakes your hand again.

“I will be following your successes, Miss Leary.”

The Dean leaves to walk the guests to the parkade and go for lunch with some of them later.

“Come back and see me tomorrow, Miss Leary, and congratulations.” You thank him and walk out into the corridor.

Thorington is standing absorbed in a conversation with the same lady who addressed him as ‘John’ in the office. She’s stroking his forearm again, and he leans in, lowering his upper torso to her. He is just so massive.

You clench your jaws and approach. She is hotly whispering something, his face is unreadable.

“Dr. Thorington, could I have a word, please?” You are shaking so much from hatred and humiliation, that you have to clench your hands on the handle of your messenger bag. He excuses himself and turns to you.

That is when you snap and grab his sleeve. You drag him into the nearest empty office, any decorum be damned, and he allows you obviously trying to avoid a scene. You push him in, as much as it’s possible to push this heavy body, and you lock the door.

“How dare you?” you hiss, still grasping for some remnants of sanity not to raise your voice.

“How dare I what?” He sounds confused. And peevish, as usual.

“I can’t do this, it’s fucking not fair… You can’t take this away from me… Now it’s like it’s not even real… Now I will never know!..” You aren’t making much sense, but you are just livid.

“Are you well, Miss Leary? You are hardly coherent.” I’ll show you coherence, you arrogant fuck! You pounce closer to him and poke his chest with your finger.

“I am not your doxy to pay me off with grant money!”

“You are not indeed. You were quite clear on this topic previously.” You poke him again.

“You just don’t do this!..” He grabs your hand.

“Be careful, Miss Leary. I do not react well to physical violence.” His eyes are dark, and you feel like slapping him again. Last time it was very satisfying.

He is squeezing your fingers and it hurts.

“I can’t believe you felt you need to pay me off…”

“You are completely mad, Miss Leary.”

“You got me the Yamataki money!..”

“I did no such thing. I voted for your candidacy among others who supported you. The vote was almost unanimous anyway.” He narrows his eyes at you. “Do you honestly believe I would meddle with the fate of that much funding for the sake of pleasing one little girl? Who is also prone to childish, unreasonable tantrums.” His words are like more punches into your stomach.

You are panting and try to step back, but he is holding your hand very tightly. His chest is heaving. Oh fuck, he is absolutely furious, and you just realized what you accused him of. Favouritism and fraud. Oh shit…

“I…” You really don’t know what to say, and then he throws your hand aside.

“Have your senses returned to you, Miss Leary?”

“Yes…” Your face’s burning.

And then he cups it and presses his lips onto yours.

Is it a kiss-Wren-without-asking month?

Touch the Nerve || Chapter 9. Wrennie Wakes Up

Chapter 8Wrennie Calls Sick (1)

Still frozen in your gridlock, you are silently praying for your phone to ring. That would dispel the tension and give you something to do. But no luck! He is shamelessly ogling you, and then his eyes are sliding down your back. It feels as if someone is pouring molten wax on your skin. His eyes are caressing the shoulder blades, the curve of the waist and then his brow cocks up. Fuck, the knickers. The dress was comfy, nothing gauzy, so you went for cotton bikinis. With Tweety Birds.

The ever so curled-up corner of his lips twitches and crawls up. You lick your lips and make up your mind. You are not fifteen, and that’s not the first bloke in your bed. Why would you be nervous, right? Whom are you bloody kidding, your hands are shaking… You lift your bum, bend your back, press your palms on the other side of the bed, across his body, and slowly get up on all four over him. He exhales sharply. In a fluid motion you shift your weight on your legs, and you are kneeling above him, shoulders straight and chin up. It’s your turn to lift a brow.

For a second he is staring at your breasts, and then pounces, pushing you into your sheets. His hands are on your shoulders, and he locks his lips on your mouth. Oh you needed this! He is greedy, skillful, and soon you are opening your mouth for his tongue. It doesn’t disappoint. Fuck, you are already wet! He suddenly sits up pulling you with him, and you are straddling him, your legs around his waist. He buries his hands into your hair and slows down.

He switches to small gentle kisses, your jaw, your neck, your shoulders.

“Wren…” He is murmuring your name into your skin, and you drop your head back. “Wren, I can’t…”

Sure, Phil, whatever you want… Wait, what?! You straighten up, his hands are on your back, and his mouth is pressed into your right shoulder. He is not moving.

“What?” Of course he can. The evidence is pressed into your drenched Tweeties.

“I can’t…” Are you kidding me? “I mean physically I can, but it will just cock everything up…”

Oh no, don’t tell me, now he’s planning to save your friendship! You are considering two options: getting off him and smashing his head with a lamp. Or getting off him and jumping out of the bloody window. You can always do both: lamp, then window. You start shaking. Not your month, Wren, not your month.

He is gently rubbing your shoulder blades. Bloody fuck, how many times have you been rejected in the past forty days?! He looks at you guiltily.

“Wren. I fancy you.”

***

“Sorry, I think I’m hearing things. I just heard you saying you fancy me.”

He actually pushes you off his lap and moves to the edge of the bed. You grab the duvet and cover up. His uncle’s ‘Miss Leary’ might have been easier to digest. Oh just don’t fucking go there, Wren, not right now… He nods and stares at his hands.

“But you can’t sleep with me?” you ask confused.

“Oh I can,” he murmurs and rubs his face with his palms. “But I don’t want to. I’ve never done it with someone… I care about. It’s not just a shag, don’t you get it?” He looks genuinely upset and a bit peevish. What the fuck is going on with your sex life these days?!

“I’m really not sure what to say here.” Mumble, mumble, Wren is a wonderful conversation companion.

“What can you say? Yeah, you fancy me too, cue rainbows and fucking unicorns. Or you are sorry, but you don’t see me that way. The second is more common. I’ve said it myself hundreds of times.”

“Not exactly the right time to mention this, don’t you think?” You sound grumpy.

“Should I pretend to be a blushing virgin? Some go for it. But I don’t think that’ll work on you.” Yuck, no. Too much emotions. What are you bloody talking about?! You have an eternal playboy going all gooey and mushy on you and spilling his heart to you on your bed… Hell with it all!

“Since when?”

“Since from the start. Bollocks, Wren, just in or out, alright?”

“Huh?” Very eloquent, dimwit.

“I am willing to try. With you.” He is giving you an earnest look, but then of course slips. “I am all for new positions.” Never without an innuendo, are we, Philip?

“Try what?”

“Dating. Commitment, candles, sunsets, all this shite.”

How romantic! Oh bugger, did you say it out loud? You don’t even like romantic stuff. He picks up your hands.

“Wren…” He is starting in a low sensual voice but can’t keep a straight face, and you both start chuckling.

“Where is this coming from, Phil?” you ask sincerely and look in his eyes.

He is rubbing your knuckles with his thumb and draws eights on your skin. Please, tell me he didn’t observe his uncle doing it. Feels fucking familiar. You jerk your hands out.

“Common, Wren, let’s do it.” His voice can also be raspy and seductive when needed. “It’s going to be a great new adventure.” He pulls you closer, still in a cocoon of blankets, and tilts his head. He is smiling slightly and gives you a cheeky look. “And then me and Tweety are going to have a talk.”

Oh, bollocks.

***

You are actually very proud of yourself. You don’t jump his bones right there, right then. Maybe you have smartened up in the last few weeks.

“I don’t know, Phil… I… Can I think about it?” It sounds stupid, but at least you are honest.

“Sure thing.” He is carefully pulling at a corner of your duvet. “Don’t mind me, I’ll do some bird watching meanwhile.” He already unwrapped your shoulder and places a scorching fluttering kisses on it.

Oh fuck.

“I’m serious, Phil. It’s not quite my game…” His lips are on your clavicle, and you literally swoon. The room sways, and you grab his shoulders. “And I think I’m going to be sick again.”

That stops him. To his credit, he doesn’t jump away.

“Do you need me to help you to the bathroom?” He sounds genuinely concerned. Fuck.

“No. I’ll manage.”

You scurry off the bed and rush to the bathroom. On your way you pass Thea, who is innocently sipping her tea in the kitchenette.

“Don’t you even fucking start!” you hiss at her and disappear behind the bathroom door. You hear her laugh on the other side.

You splash some cold water on your face and wrap yourself in a robe. It is short and silky, with lacy top and deep cuts on your hips. Shoot, that definitely sends a wrong message. You pull the belt tight. At least you are covered. You brush your teeth, and while your hand is moving frantically, you are thinking. Bugger, bugger, bugger!

The problem is you don’t have an answer. You just don’t know. Do you want it? Do you want him enough? Is it just you being randy and wanting someone to care for you? Especially after… No, Wren, stop it, we bloody agreed not to go there… These are two separate things. But they are not! Somehow, weirdly, it is all connected.

Then you freeze with your toothbrush still deep in your mouth. If you start anything with Phil and at some point, somehow he finds out… Then your past is not going to be some faceless jerks. Wait, but they are not all faceless! There is Killian… He just said ‘from the start.’ If he fancied you, how come he encouraged his brother to date you?

And then last but not the least, you know his past too. And as hypocritical as it is, do you want a bloke who slept with the whole uni? And you might be shallow, but do you want to walk through the halls with him and everyone will think you are just the next one daft enough to go there? Maybe you are just the next one, maybe that’s a page from his usual playbook… Fuck…

You press your forehead into the mirror and spit the foam. A knock comes from the door.

“You alright, love?” he asks. No, you are most definitely not.

“Yeah, just brushing my teeth. I’ll be out in a mo.”

You hear Thea’s voice too. “I’m leaving for my lectures. Have fun and do everything I would!” Guh…

The front door bangs, and it’s time to face the firing squad. You step out, but then you hear your phone ringing in the bedroom. Phil is propped on Thea’s chair, chewing a biscuit. Seriously, he has an oral fixation. He’s always either chewing, or sucking on a sweet, or… No, none of those mental images.

You rush by him and pick up the phone. It’s some marketing shite, but it gives you a moment to pull a long sweater over your robe. You hear rustling behind you, you turn and see him leaning on the door frame. You hang up and sit.

“I have a class in twenty minutes.”

“You are going? You are sick as a dog!” You give him a stare. He amends, “A silky, adorable, chow puppy?” He lifts his hands in mock surrender.

“It’s Perkins,” you deadpan.

“Yeah, you need to go.” No one skips Perkins.

You get up and give him a pointed look. “I need to get dressed.”

“Yes, you do.”

“Get out of my bedroom, berk.” You are giddy. Oh stop it, Wren. He smirks but leaves, and you hear his voice from the kitchenette.

“I’ll pick you up after the lecture. You should get a nosh after.” Really, he is worse than Thea in the innuendo department!

“I have three labs after. Pub at 7?”

“Are you going to stand me up again?” You come out and see him finishing an apple. Oh, the lips and the white teeth…

“No.”

You come and slide your arms around his waist. He stops chewing and looks down at your. He is only maybe seven inches taller than you but it is actually an excellent height difference. You rub your nose into his short beard.

“I’m not.”

He tastes like apple.