Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 8. I Always Liked It Slow

Author’s Note:

I think this song by my beloved Leonard is the perfect soundtrack to Wrennie and Dr T’s relationship. The line ‘A weekend on your lips // A lifetime in your eyes’ reminded me of their weekend in Sheraton; and I can just hear ‘Let me catch my breath // I thought we had all night” pronounced in another, no less velvet male voice… 

If you like the song, check out the lyrics. There will no other like Leonard; there will be no other poetry like his…

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Four months later…

You come home with only one thought in your head – you want to sit down. You don’t care if it’s going to be a sofa, an armchair, or the rug by the entrance door. You think you’ve never been that exhausted in your life; but to think of it, you felt exactly the same way yesterday. And the day before, and last week – and sadly, you’re sure you’ll feel the same way for a long time now.

Instead of pushing the key into the door, you stop and press your forehead to it. It reminds you of that day when you and John broke up. Although, the only similarity is that you’re frozen on the other side of the door from him. That’s where parallels end. You do want to see him. You do know what you feel towards him. You do want to come in – you just can’t. Physically.

The door unlocks, and he’s standing in the frame. It smells like Italian. There’s a glass of Scotch in his hand.

You peek, and your jaw slacks. He looks arsed up. He is so obviously drunk! The eyes are shiny, red-rimmed, and unfocused; cheeks red flushed. That’s so unusual that you straighten up despite being in danger to just fall into the flat like a rolled up carpet.

“Has academia defeated you again?” he asks softly, and opens his one armed embrace. You whine, step in, and press into him. That’s better. That’s a relief. John is very therapeutic.

“Remind me why I decided that post-grad was a good idea?” you mumble into his soft white tee. He smells like food, clean laundry, and John – he smells like home.

“Because you’re a badarse scientist, and weren’t going to let your giant intellect go to waste.” He rubs your back, and you moan into his chest.

You’d ask him if he’s trying to butter you up, but that would sound like flirting. And hinting on a shag. Which would be unacceptable, since you can’t shag. You’re too tired. You could probably just lie there, and let him do all the work – but surely, he’d get offended if you fell asleep mid-way. And you definitely would.

He closes the door behind you, and then kneels in front of you helping to take off your boots. You shake the coat off your shoulders, not caring that it falls on the floor, and plod into the living room.

“Italian?” you ask and drop onto the dining table chair.

“Yeah, I ordered take away.” He goes to the bar and adds more Scotch. “Three hours ago.” He gives you a soft reproachful look.

“I’m sorry…” You have no energy to get up and go to the kitchen. “We were in the lab, and then it turned out we needed to redo couple tests…” You can’t stifle a wide painful yawn. “And then one of the students in the group project cocked up some data…” You drop your head on the table.

He hums, and you hear a clank of the bottle. And then you remember. Oh fuck! Fucking fucking fuck! You jerk your face up and look at him.

“Oh god, it’s Thursday, and it’s our ‘dinner and talk’ evening, isn’t it?”

“Yeah…” You see him heavily sit down in the armchair. He takes a gulp of Scotch and drops his head back. His eyes slowly close.

“I’m really sorry…” you whine again. “It’s been a mental week, and…”

“It’s alright, Wren…” He lifts his head, takes a sip, and then goes back to the same position. “Have you eaten?”

“Some disgusting sarnies in the cafeteria. But I’ll enjoy the Italian tomorrow, yeah? I’ll take some to the lab for lunch. Or we can warm it up and have it for dinner.” You’re groveling, and he makes a small wave with his hand, his eyes still closed.

You consider apologising again, but then you realise that he’s much more drunk than you initially assumed. To think of it, except his stag night, you’ve hardly ever seen him under the influence, in all the time you’ve known him.

“John, are you OK?”

“Leonard Cohen died,” he answers, and takes another big gulp without opening his eyes.

“I’m sorry…” Your words sound empty, but you do sympathise. When it were an actor or a musician you were fond of, their loss always felt personal.

John loves Cohen. Well, ‘loved’ will now be a better term. Popular Problems, released couple years ago, is his favourite album.

“Should I choose some younger artist to fancy now?” he asks from his armchair, and you hum questioningly. “To make me more hip, and less… old.”

You frown not sure what he’s talking about.

“Peterson’s retiring,” he says. You properly fail to follow the leaps his mind is making tonight.

“OK…” you draw out. “Peterson from Cardiology? Well, he’s old, and…”

“We were in the same year in uni,” John interrupts. Oh bugger.

You could remind him it’s not dates and numbers that determine a person’s age. It’s not about ‘how long;’ it’s about ‘how’ – how the person lives, how they feel, how much they want, crave, how much they take from life, and how much they’re willing to give.

“Do you know that in a few years they will think I’m your Dad? I’ll get all that grey hair, and with your genetics you’ll stay young forever…” He emits a sarcastic sharp laugh, and finishes his bevvie.

Ah, so that’s what it’s all about.

You rise from the chair, cross the room ignoring the aching soles, and climb on his lap. He doesn’t stir, but you know he’s glad you’re here.

“So, is this Hemingway style drinking all about your mortality and…” you start in a light teasing tone, and he suddenly lifts his head and pins you with a dark stare.

“Do you want children, Wren?”

Oh sod it. Wrong time, wrong place – and really, John? Definitely wrong circumstances. He’s pissed, you’re exhausted. The combination is as cocked up as possible.

You have an odd thought. You wish you were forty right now. You wish you knew what one is supposed to answer to a man of his age, how one is supposed to talk, what to say to this question. Should you console? Flirt? Answer directly? Mollify?

And you’re tired, so very tired. And you feel young, and immature – and lost.

An adult wise woman would know what to say to her husband in this situation. She would know just the right words; she’d look into his eyes, and answer something that would make it alright. You want him to be happy. You don’t know how to make a man like him happy.

He’s achieved so much; but is looking back on one’s former successes a healthy way to deal with one’s age? He’s right – in ten years his hair will be all white. In ten years you’ll look just the same; you saw your biological mother’s photo in your file, she was thirty seven when she had you, and looked just like you do right now.

Are you to say that all is ahead of him? What if it isn’t? Are you to promise that the two of you will have a baby soon? You might not. There’s your education; and your career. On the other hand, you do want one. But you don’t want one right now. Right now, you want to sleep.

If you stay quiet long enough, he’ll shut like a clam, like he used to – or sigh melancholically, as he’s recently started. He’ll apologise, and say that the two of you need to go to bed.

“I’m sorry, Wren…” he starts, and you lean in and press your lips to his. He tastes like Lagavulin.

“I’m so tired…” you whisper, after moving away. His eyes open slowly, dark blue and shining. “I don’t think I can sustain this conversation.” He opens his mouth, and you press a finger across his lips gently. “Don’t apologise. It’s a valid convo, I just can’t…” You’re feeling sick, your eyes feel like full of hot sand, and there are some grotty yellow sparks dancing before your eyes.

He studies your face, and then sighs and nods.

You two go to bed; but despite how knackered you were, you can’t fall asleep. The conversation has left a nasty feeling somewhere in your stomach. And in half an hour or so, while you’re lying on your side, as if asleep, John carefully climbs out of bed, and leaves for the kitchen. You fall asleep before he’s back.

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 6. Post and Mid

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The two of you sit down to a microwave warmed Lebanese dinner, him in his pants, you in knickers and the button up that you had to fish out from under a chair. He throws you cheeky looks, you can’t stop smiling. There’s complete silence in the kitchen, but it’s a comfortable one.

“Do you want to stay over?” you finally ask, when both your plates are empty. One of the thick eyebrows jumps out.

“A sleepover after the first time? You’re moving fast, Ms. Leary,” he purrs, and you give him an attentive look. You’re suddenly reminded of all those moments when being still with him, you weren’t sure if he’s just lightly joking, or there was a tinge of offence there. He might be just defensive. Or honestly not wanting to stay over. Alright, you properly should stop spiralling into a dark terrifying pit of insecurities and panic here.

“Suit yourself.” You force a joking tone out of yourself. You get up and start cleaning the dishes. “My bed’s too small anyroad.”

He’s sitting on his chair, relaxed, his legs straight and crossed in front of him. And then he stretches his long arm and catches your hand, and pulls you towards him. You take a step just because resisting would be an open confrontation. You expect him to press his forehead to your sternum – he used to do it a lot. Was he hiding his face when doing it? Quite possibly. Instead, he gives you an open direct look in the eyes.

“I’m sorry. That was a bad joke.” His tone is even and earnest. “I’d love to stay. In fact I really hoped you’d offer.”

“I just don’t know… how much of our relationship is back…” you mumble. It’s not the most eloquent way of putting it, but it’s pretty accurate.

“As much as you want,” he answers, and you chew at your bottom lip. He sighs, nuzzles your sternum, and then looks up again. “Wrennie, I’m nervous too.”

“Well, that didn’t seem to arse up any… functions…” you mumble, and he smiles to you. “I had a panicky moment two days ago, with the whole getting bladdered and coming to your place…” you admit grudgingly, and he nods. And then he pulls you on his lap. The thigh under your backside is hard and warm. “I think I’m sort of overcompensating today.”

“If you mean you’re terrified of having shown vulnerability and relinquishing control over the situation…” he starts, and then chuckles. “Oh, wait. Those would be my issues.”

“What did I say then?” you blurt out, and he gives you a soft questioning look. “You said in your note that I mentioned my renewed… self-pleasuring habits. I’m – almost – OK with it. But what else?”

“It was all very incoherent, and slurred, Wrennie.” He’s reassuring you. You don’t want to be reassured. You want an open conversation. “You did talk about shag. You seemed to be in anticipation.” He kisses your cheek, the whiskers tickle your skin because he’s smiling. “You said, ‘Can you imagine how ace it’ll be? All the emotions and the dry spell and you’re the biggest I’ve ever had!’”

“I did not!” you cry out in completely fake indignation.

“Did you ever…” He shakes his head in no less fake mournfulness, and you grab the long nose between your thumb and the curled up index finger.

“Take it back!” You gently pull the nose. God, you love the nose! “Take it back! I did not say that!”

“There were gestures. Like a fisherman boasting about his catch,” he continues in a now nasal voice, his eyes twinkling.

“Oh god! Can you be any more full of yourself?” You’re trying to suppress the laugh, but it bursts out of you in a series of snorts. “I don’t care about the size! And you know you have nothing to worry about! I care whether I said something embarrassing! Divulged something, like said I loved you, or missed you, or…” You realise you’re divulging something at the moment, let go of the nose – and before you can say or do anything, he grabs the back of your head and pulls you into a kiss. It feels almost desperate.

He lets you go, and you probably look completely narked.

“Wrennie, you didn’t say anything. You were cute, and sexy, and a bit unstable on your feet, and the only thing that wasn’t directly related to shag was that you said you missed my hands.”

“It is shag related,” you grumble, and press your nose to his neck. You have missed the hands. And the rest of him.

“You said, you missed how I brushed your hair when you had headaches. That wasn’t shag related. And very, very cute.” He wraps his arms around you. “Once you got sleepy, you stopped offering shag, and asked me to stay in bed with you. That was a much harder offer to decline.”

“You can stay over,” you say quietly, and feel him slowly exhale.

***

You two have tea, and chat, and then you’re suddenly climbing on his lap, and kissing him, and he picks you up, and carries you to the bedroom. You fall into the bed, and you feel hungry, and greedy, and possessive. You scratch his back, bite, and wrap your legs around him possibly cutting off blood circulation. He’s back in your bed, he’s yours again, and something snaps in you.

He catches your mood, and grabs you, and you feel teeth grazing your shoulder, and at some point his hand squeezes your arse definitely leaving bruises.

You have a ridiculously small bed, and since the two of you are moving very energetically, your bodies are diagonal to the mattress, and legs and heads end up hanging in the air. And then he emits a long intricate string of curses, and if you weren’t busy riding him, feeling his cock hitting some delicious wall, back there in your fanny, you’d be impressed by the diverse content, the word choice, and innovative grammar. He rolls off the bed, pulling you after him, making sure your knees and elbows are protected from the impact on the floor.

He’s once again on top, his torso supported on straight arms, and his hips are snapping. His thrusts are so deep and rough that you’re jerking on the floor, your hair moving around your head. And you push off the floor with one arm, wrap another one around his neck, and as much as hang on him. A large scorching hand cups your arse, he’s supporting you, and pulling you in with each of his movements – and then you come. It’s sharp and sudden and almost too much, and you fall back onto the floor, hitting your spine, and bursting into a flood of ridiculous sobs and tears.

You try to stop, and it’s not working, so you hide behind your hands, being a slobbery, daft, moronic imbecile as you are.

“Wrennie…” His voice is unsure. You’d never before fallen apart like this in his bed. Well, technically your bed. Well, floor.

“I don’t  know… I’m sorry… It’s just…” He starts withdrawing, and you don’t know if you should stop him.

And you tear your hands off your face, and look at him. And his eyes are worried, and vulnerable, and you suddenly realise there’s nothing to be scared of.

You realise it’s better to go all in and risk everything than to be afraid every step of the way. Maybe, you’ve grown up – enough to fight for what you want, and to be kind, and to be honest.

You exhale loudly through rounded lips, and wrap your arms around his middle and pull him down – back to you. He doesn’t resist, but his face is uncertain.

“I just got a bit overwhelmed,” you speak softly, and cup his jaw. “John, it’s alright. I’m alright now. I just…” It’s hard to find the right words, and even harder mid-shag with John Thorington. “There’s a lot going on in my head, you know.”

He nods and leans in and softly kisses you.

“There’s always a lot going on in your head,” he says, and you laugh quietly.

“Yeah… But less like this…” You clench her the muscles inside, and his breathing hitches loudly. Hells yeah, Wrennie’s got a hostage. “I felt… insecure again; and then I couldn’t get enough, just felt like I needed to stake a claim, and get all of it – all of you – for myself… and then it was just too much, and I got scared that you didn’t feel the same way, and then all my past doubts rushed into my head, and how I’m making the same mistakes, and…” You stop, and laugh again. “I assume you had a bit less thoughts.”

“I felt loved up and I was shagging my girlfriend. That’s about it.” He isn’t laughing at his own joke. “Wren, I’m worried too. To make the same mistakes. And that it was just a post-coital ‘I love you,’ and that I’m pushing you too hard again.”

Oh wow. That’s what he calls ‘that’s about it?!’ Your little melt-down is a bloody nothing compared to what he’s brewing in his noggin. And says nothing about! And summarises in less than twenty words! No wonder you’re the one with panic attacks, and he’s the one with the heart one. Good thing the two of you have started actually talking this time around.

“I love you,” you say calmly, and rub your thumb to the beard on the side of the chin. You’ve always adored the rough tickle of the whiskers. His features soften. “Here’s a mid coital one for you. And you aren’t pushing me. Maybe we are just idiots, and it’s just going so well that we can’t believe it?” you offer, and he finally smiles.

“That certainly does sound like us.” His eyes are warm and shiny now. “And I love you too. Pre, mid, and post.” You giggle.

“They should put it on the Thorington family crest.”

The two of you kiss for a bit, and you realise your back is cold on the floor.

“Shall we give the bed another chance?”

“I’d say let’s give another chance to the equestrian pursuits.” How can you say ‘no’ the dark blue squinted eyes and a lopsided smirk?

You push him onto his back, and… Giddy up!

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 5. Wrennie and John

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Author’s note:

Just a small note to let you know that I’m planning about twenty chapters for this story, to match the previous parts. There’s a conflict/plot line that I want to explore for them (no spoilers 😉 but I’m rather excited about it); then there will be the question of commitment to discuss; and then happily ever after. If there’s something you would like to also be included into this story, or a character you would like to see, let me know.

Cheers,

Katya


You go home. The decision is surprisingly easy to make. There are two main reasons. Firstly, staying would create misbalance in your relationship. Or to be precise, it would enforce the existing one. Because if you stay, you’ll be that same old Wrennie Leary: impulsive, immature, vulnerable. Once again you’ll be the one who opened all her cards. The one in love with the man who once again has all the power. You’d stay in his flat in yesterday’s dress, knickers washed in his sink; nothing of yours; no control. That does sound familiar, doesn’t it, Wrennie dearest?

Secondly, if you stay, you’ll have sex with him. And somehow you’re an adult enough now to think about it before doing it. As funny as it sounds, the first time with him – and you do know, it’s the second time around, and far from your first one – matters. It matters to you. You aren’t a virgin, and every sex is a unique experience; and maybe you won’t even remember what it was like; but right here, right now that’s not how you want it to happen.

You cook in his pristine kitchen, eat, clean up, and go home. You leave him a note at the back of his: you thank him for taking care of you in your vulnerable state, and joke that now he owes you the disclosure of some of his sex fantasies. You ask him to ring you up when he gets home, and invite him to dinner in the next few days, when it works for him.

You feel very empowered and very mature on your way home – and grumpy and acutely frustrated sexually later, in a bubble bath you’re soaking in. But you don’t doubt your decision.

He rings you up around seven, while you’re watching some old rubbish on Netflix.

“That was brilliant, love,” he draws out, after greeting you. His voice is shaking with laughter. “First, you arsed up my day. I couldn’t concentrate on a single thing. My teaching assistant asked me if I was going down with something. Then I left my office half an hour earlier. And, the twonk that I am, I spent the aforementioned half an hour in a flower shop, killing time, since I said I’d be back by seven fifteen. And then when I showed up with your carnations, and all fired up, you weren’t there.” He laughs louder. “Well played, Wrennie.”

“None of it was premeditated,” you answer, and chew at your bottom lip. You’re certain that he’s joking, you can hear it in his voice; but you still feel a wee bit bad. “I thought it was best to let you have rest after a long day at work. And… Don’t forget to put the flowers in water.”

“Cold, Ms Leary. That’s just cold.”

He’s wrong. You’re feeling very, very hot. From the low purr in his baritone, from the ‘Ms Leary,’ and from how easy and exciting it is – to flirt with him, to tease him; and finally, from the anticipation.

You two chat a bit more, and he’s invited to your flat for dinner in two days. After cordial goodbyes, you hang up, and settle back in your bed to finish the episode.

***

Two days later, the dinner – his favourite Lebanese – is ordered, delivered, and plated; the candles are bought and arranged on the table; the new set of light blue lingerie is hidden under a simple white button up and a pair of comfortable denim.

There are another ten minutes till the assigned time, plus another fifteen minutes that he’ll be late out of politeness, and you’re brushing and tying your hair, when you meet the reflection of your eyes in the mirror.

Is that really you? Is this Wrennie Leary? All smart and dispassionate, planning a date and sex with Dr Sexy? Is this what you want? Is this what the two of you have become – after all the pain, for both of you, after the catastrophe that was your break-up, after those months of numbness, and the slow tentative growing back together?

Have you lost something on the way? Some part of yourself, perhaps? Have you grown… old? Is this new – calm, collected, almost calculative – you is now… forever?

The buzzer rings, and you hurriedly check your mobile. He is exactly on time. Was he standing behind the door, his finger hovering over the button, waiting for the watch hand to touch the number twelve?

You answer and buzz him in.

You can hear hurried, almost running steps on the stairs – and he as much as smashes into you, scooping you, kissing you, carrying you inside the flat. Something falls out of his hands on the floor, and you realise the answer to all the questions above is ‘fuck no.’

“Sod the dinner!” you mumble into his lips, and he growls. Hells yeah, Dr T’s growls and rumbles! You have forgotten them, and yes to them, hundred times yes!

You’re pushing the jacket off his shoulders, he’s groping you. There are kisses, bites, and you grab the hem of his jumper and pull it up. It’s on the floor, he toes off his shoes, you grab his belt. His hands fly up to the collar of your shirt, and he jerks. Something rips, and you loudly curse from how fucking randy that made you and bite his bottom lip. The shirt is off, and the bra follows. That’s two hundred quid wasted.

The belt clacks, the trousers drop. Knowing his skill, socks joined them. You pull off his tee. Once it’s out of the way and he can move his arms, he starts pushing down his underwear. You unbutton your jeans and push them down. He drops on his knees, cups your buttocks, and pulls you to his lips. You wobble and then moan loudly. He’s just licked your stomach, and it’s so fucking sexy you’re going to combust. The knickers hit the floor, and he twists his neck, and covers your fanny with his hot open mouth. You bend backwards, with a loud groan, and his tongue sweeps greedily between your legs.

Your knees buckle, and you slump on the floor. He’s on top of you a second later, and suddenly a pair of burning icy blue eyes are in front of you.

“Yes… God, yes…” you breathe out, and wrap your legs around his waist. You’re on the pill, and you need him inside. Now.

He pushes in, you cry out. You squeeze your eyes, from the blinding dots of some mental fireworks dancing in front of them – and to feel it all.

“Wren…” he pleads, and you open your eyes. He needs you now, and here you are.

“John…” you breathe out, and he kisses you.

He starts moving, deeply, stretching you, purposefully, as if telling you something. And then you can’t think or notice anything anymore. You just feel. Him. He’s above you, in you, around you. Just John.

The two of you are sliding on the floor, with each thrust of his hips in you, and then the top of your head thumps into something. You throw your arms behind your head, press your palms into something cold, and it’s ace! Because now you have something to push from, and you wrap your legs around him more tightly, digging your heels into his arse; and you arch, shoulder blades lift off the floor; and you meet him with each movement. Again, and again. Together. More, and more…

…and the two of you come; he gives out a raspy cry, his massive, heavy body quaking, in you, on you, around you; and you arch even more, press him closer, wrap around him tighter, in a perfect orgasm – with him, only with him. Just him.

***

He’s exhaling in short funny pants, and you realise the two of you are in the kitchen. You turned left, while the bedroom was on the right, and your head is near the fridge. Your bum is cold on the floor. And then he starts laughing, and it’s your favourite guffaws, white teeth, and crow’s feet. So rare, but so John. Your John.

His whole body’s shaking in frolicks, and you stroke the thick silky waves at the back of his head. He lifts his face, and you quickly kiss his jaw. And then the neck, and you can taste the salt on the delicious skin.

“I had a Viagra with me. I was worried…” He barks a careless laugh. “I was going to sneakily take it before dinner if it looked like we were going there.” You snort. You think you’ve never felt happier.

“Oh we went there.”

“Yeah, we did.” He’s grinning, looking down at you, and you gently brush the tips of your fingers to his eyebrow, and then cheekbone, and along the long nose. He turned his face and places a small kiss on them. Your eyes meet.

“I love you,” you say it, and it’s the easiest thing.

“I love you,” he answers, and the two of you kiss.

Heal All Wounds || Chapter 17. Wrennie and Two Pieces of News

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You meet in a Chinese place not too far from his hotel, and you’re wearing a nice teal dress, and heels. You even put liner and mascara. You ask yourself why. Surely, you aren’t trying to impress him. You are so past impressing any man – or not there yet. He looks as delish as they make them, in his charcoal waistcoat over a white shirt, and you realise that’s the first time in five weeks you noticed a man’s cologne. He also has absolutely gorgeous hands, which is a big deal for you. They are large, but palms are narrow, and fingers – long and strong – are drumming on the menu on the table in front of him.

You’re no psychic, and don’t believe in them. But at the moment you’re more sensitive than usual, and you’ve just been through an emotional trauma. Your nerves are strained, and you’re like a satellite dish when it comes to any sort of tension. And at the moment your alarms are blaring.

You poke a prawn on the appetiser platter the waiter placed between the two of you when he brought the menus. You chew, swallow, and ask, “August, why don’t you tell me what it is that you so don’t want to share but think you have to?” His eyes fly up to your face.

“You’re a scary little thing, Wren Leary.”

You give him a small smile. He sighs. While he’s chewing a bit of marinated aubergine – to stall, no doubt – you’re patiently waiting, asking yourself again what you’re doing in this restaurant with this man.

“And only my mother calls me August. It’s weird hearing this from a woman. Well, at least a woman I’m hoping to sleep with…” He gives you one of his wide smiles, signalling that it’s only a joke, but it doesn’t reach his wonderful, coffee coloured eyes.

“So, Auggie…” You suddenly have no appetite. He twirls the fork in his fingers, and then sets it aside and wipes his mouth with the napkin. Not only you aren’t hungry anymore, you feel nausea rising. You almost don’t want to know.

“Five years ago I was representing Amrod pharmaceuticals in another Yamataki project. Rivendell Institute was involved as well. And Thorington was there most of the time.” Your head swims. You bite into your bottom lip painfully. “There was a girl. Yuri. I really liked her. She didn’t like me back. Happens a lot.” You doubt that happens to him often, if ever, but that’s beside the point at the moment. “Thorington offered her to be his mistress, for the length of his stay in Japan. She agreed.”

“He does do that, doesn’t he?” You sound bleak.

“He does. He was open about what it was he expected from the relationship. And of course, that ended up not being enough for her. The project was over, he left. She got hurt.”

“And you think he knew she’d get hurt, and went for it anyroad,” you offer, and he nods. “And yes, if you’re asking me, that’s exactly what happened. That does sound like him.”

“I cared for Yuri, I honestly did, and…”

“And we met all those months before, you chatted me up… what, out of petty revenge?” you ask. You almost don’t need his answer. What you need is to go home and wrap your mind around the fact that whatever you do, your private life still seems to be built around Dr John Thorington. You also need to suss out what you think about the fact that John was right, and Auggie was dangerous.

“At first, Wren. Only at first. When we met and I knew you were his fiancee…” He leans ahead, trying to convince you. His eyes are earnest.

“You pretended to be ignorant and asked me if I were single.”

Somehow all this is suddenly funny, and you snort and shake your head.

“Wren…”

“Please, don’t.” You lift your hand, and he stops. “Please… I believe you, yeah? I believe you. You saw an opportunity to arse him up. A young girl who can be charmed easily. His new shiny toy, that he seemed to even care about a bit. And then I broke it off with him, and we chatted, and you sort of started to fancy me…”

“Not sort of, Wren. I do fancy you. That’s why I decided to come clean on the first date, so it’s behind us, and we can…”

“We can’t,” you interrupt him, and sodding hell, why are you chuckling? It’s not at all bloody funny. “We…” You point at yourself. “…are going to ask for the bill now, and call a cab, and go home.”

He gives you a studying look, and then nods in defeat.

“I’m sorry, Wren.”

“As you Americans say, no worries.” You’re still laughing for some reason. Mostly because there’s no bill to pay. You haven’t even ordered anything.

You leave couple coins for the tip on the table, pick up your coat, and walk to the door. You could promise him you’d consider ringing him, but that would be a lie.

***

What happens next happens because you’ve recently developed this strange habit of turning off your mobile when you leave work. It’s some odd defence mechanism. You leave work at work, and at home you read and watch Netflix, buy groceries, and cook, and clean. Maybe, you’re keeping anything to do with Dr Thorington out of your private life. Or maybe, you don’t have private life anymore. Just work.

Two weeks after the ‘void’ dinner with Auggie, you’re leaving home early morning Monday, and pushing keys and your Oyster card into your pocket, while blindly pressing power button on your mobile. It lights up, and then a cacophony of beeping and yelling bursts out of it. The whirring of Tardis that is your notification signal, Sherlock’s insults that you use for email alerts, and beeps and squeaks that you’ve never heard before – all of these noises explode in your hand, and you are flipping through the notification while running down the stairs. They are from Killian, and Lan, demanding you to ring, to text, there are emails from them too, and you ignore them for now. The most astonishing thing is a voicemail from Graham Dwalinson. It turns out to be five of them, and you listen. He’s roaring into your phone, you’re told to ring, and then again and again, ‘emergency’ and ‘Thorington’ growled in the gyno’s thick accent, and then the last one makes you drop your bag and press your hand over your mouth.

Fuck me, petroica! Pick up the fucking phone! I don’t care if he killed your puppy, or what, but you’ll haul your perky arse in this hospital and you’ll be the first thing he’ll see when he opens his eyes!

He once again is giving your the address of the hospital, and the room number, and you’re running outside. You have to come back, to pick up your handbag from the floor, and you stumble out again. You yell at the man who’s trying to get a cab, and as much as push him away. He didn’t look like he was in a hurry, and you doubt his loved ones are in the hospital after a heart attack.

***

Through the ride you chew at you bottom lip so much that you have to wipe blood off it while you’re running through the halls of the hospital. There’s now a red stain on your sleeve. The receptionist is familiar, it’s the hospital you’ve had several classes in, and you had your vagina patched here a few months ago.

The first person you bump in is Phil. He’s standing in the corridor, speaking quickly and tensely into his mobile. You reckon it’s Deadre on the other end of the line. Phil lifts his eyes at you, and you have neither time, nor desire to read their expression. Graham is in the visitor’s parlour, and you grab his log like arm.

“He’s fine now. He’s resting. Where’s the fuck were you?” the Scot hisses at you, and you shake your head.

Your eyes are glued to the white door to the room, blinds on the window are closed, and your heart is in your throat.

“What happened?” You sound raspy.

“He collapsed yesterday morning. During a surgery. They say a mild heart attack.” It’s Killian talking. You haven’t noticed him in the room.

Everything is swimming before your eyes.

“We couldn’t reach you,” Killian continues. “He was asking for you.”

“What are they saying now?”

“The prognosis is good. Medications and rest.”

Graham’s giant hand lies on your back, between the shoulder blades, and he pushes you gently towards the door.

“Go ahead, petroica.”

***

You don’t know what you expected. You’ve seen plenty of sick people in your life, and yet your mind got stuck on some sort of an overdramatic image of a pale face, thinned features, and – even more absurd – a white shirt. Something from an Austen adaptation, perhaps, or some other sort of rubbish.

He looks just as he always does. He is indeed paler, there’s a greyish tinge to his tanned skin, but he just looks like he’s sleeping. One hand is on his chest, and you stare at the finger with heart monitor clip on it. And there’s no bloody daft white shirt, just a tee. And the hair is scattered on the pillow, and your lips start trembling.

“Stop staring at me, Leary. You creep me out.” His voice is low and velvet, and you jump up. The blue eyes open, and he gives you a small smile. “I have to say you look more like a person with a heart attack than I do.”

You suddenly don’t know what to do, and what to say. Are you supposed to politely wish him to get better and get your arse out of here? You have no right to be here, after all.

He pats the bed near him with the free hand. You edge towards it, and slowly lower your backside on the pristine sheets. You can feel the warmth of his body through the sheets and the comforter.

Heal All Wounds || Chapter 9. Wrennie and Rehearsal Conundrum

Author’s Note:

1. Firstly, don’t miss the companion short story Wrennie vs Wedding Dress.

2. Thank you so much for comments! I read them each Saturday when posting the next chapter, and always try to answer all of them. So, feel free to leave more 😉 They are highly appreciated. Also, feel free to contact me on my writer’s Facebook page, if you ever have a question, or a request to place.

Thank you so much for reading!

Love,

Katya Kolmakov

hal9

Four months later…

You’re taking short sporadic breaths in; everything is swimming in front of your eyes; and you feel Thea’s hand stroking your back.

“Breathe, chick, c’mon… You don’t want to faint now…” Really, Thea? Well done. You feel suddenly more dizzy, and you grab the armrest. Another one is occupied with Thea’s glorious backside. There is a knock to the door, some movement, and John scoots in front of you. His face is hazy, but you can see that the blue eyes are tense.

“How are you, kiddo?” You’re trying to take a deep breath, but it bloody hurts in your chest.

“I can’t, John, I just can’t…” He puts his heavy hand on your shoulder, but it only makes it worse. You feel suffocated and try to shrink away from him.

“Breathe, Wrennie, common…” Thea’s trying to sound comforting, but you get irked.

“Could you?.. Please, give us some privacy?” You gesture away from yourself, and she slides off the armrest she was sitting on. You see her exchange worried looks with John, and you grind your teeth. They’re treating you like they are on a suicide watch. You are just having a panic attack. No biggie…

Thea leaves the room, and John kneels in front of you on the floor. You momentarily lament his posh trousers.

“Wrennie…”

“John, I can’t, I’m sorry I just can’t… Never in my bloody life… The aisle, the staring, the poncy vicar…” You start hyperventilating, and you are surely green in the face. Bugger, bugger, bugger…

“Sod it all, I really can’t, please… There’re going to be seven hundred people there, and I can’t even do it in front of twenty… Please, John, don’t make me…”

“Wrennie, I am not making you. Maybe i remind you, you agreed to marry me.”

“I really didn’t know what I was agreeing at!” you cry out and focus on his face. The lips are in a stern line, and his eyes are cold. “Oh please, John, don’t… It’s not you, it’s me!” Seriously, Wren?! Bollocks, you really need to learn to explain yourself.

He lowers his head and gives out a sigh. Oh, you upset him. Bugger. But you really, really can’t… He inhales and lifts his face to you. There is a stressed wrinkle between his eyebrows, but his eyes are determined.

“Wren, let’s agree on this. We’re going to go through the steps now, and then we will go home and talk about it.” You gulp – in the vestry it sounds very loud, all the echo, and shite.

He places his hands on your knees and squeezes a bit.

“Wren, look at me.” His voice is low and velvet, and you manage to take a decent breath and actually almost straighten up in the chair. ‘Almost’ being the key word.

“Wren, focus on me.” You look into his extraordinary eyes. Bloody hell, he is so gorgeous.

“We will come out of this room, and we will go through the steps, and you will be looking at me the whole time.” The thought of going down that bloody aisle makes you squeak.

“Wren.” He suddenly spreads your knees, and you’re momentarily distracted from your terror. “You will keep your eyes on me, and the whole time you are walking towards the altar you will be thinking of what I am going to do to you when we get home.” His voice is totally indecent, and he knows it. He presses himself to you, kneeling in front of you, and his palms slide up your hips.

“John!” You emit an undignified squeak, and he presses you into him, palms slip under the buttocks, his lips on your clavicles.

“You will be thinking of how I will spread you on the bed, and will eat you out, again and again, until you are so weak from screaming my name that you won’t have voice to plead.”

“John, we are in church!” He chuckles into your neck that he is currently sucking on.

“You don’t even believe in God, Wren.”

“I have respect for other people’s faith.” You try to sound haughty, but oh bollocks!.. One of his hot palms cups your breast under the tee and the bra – and how did he even get there? And he does that thing… Oh the thing… Your nipple under his thumb’s ministrations perks up, and you moan. Oh sod it! You catch his mouth, and stick your tongue down his throat. It is for greater good – you are doing it to stop living in sin with him, even the vicar would approve of it.

You’re making out for a bit, and then you push him away.

“Totally inappropriate, John. Very, very bad behaviour!” He blinks couple times, you do know how to achieve this dazed look on him. Ha, who needs to focus now?

You two straighten up your clothes, and you exhale a long tragic breath.

“Well?” He’s looking at you, eyes laughing, and you nod.

“I will do it. Just one time. And then we will go home, and we will talk about it.”

“Agreed.” He gets up, and he needs to adjust his crotch. “Perhaps, I need a moment.” He closes his eyes, and you chuckle.

“But don’t forget about it completely, you just made some wicked promises here, John.”

He opens one cerulean eye and looks at you.

“I am aware, Wren.” You giggle.

He gives you his hand, and you walk out together. Maybe you can do it. You just need to focus on him. No biggie, just a wedding rehearsal, no biggie.

Oh poop.

***

“Oh god… Oh god… Oh. My. Fucking. God!”

He’s sucking at your clit, and then a finger slides into you – again – and you’re screaming. That would be the third round, and after two orgasms you have to agree – when he promises, he delivers.

While his index finger slips in and out of you, his thumb and his lips caressing your fanny, you suddenly feel his other hand slide under your bum, and its index finger presses in your other hole. He makes a soft circular movement, and you honestly cannot understand anymore where one sensation stops and another starts. He pushes both fingers in; the caresses unite in a harmonious melody; and you come with a coarse moan. He was right. You have no voice left. You fall on the sheets, and he halts all movement – which you are very, very grateful for – and presses his cheek to your stomach. The scraping of the beard is delightfully familiar; and in your endorphin flooded brain tenderness and love explode in an intoxicating cocktail. He is so good…

“Right now, John, I am thinking a wedding is a lovely idea…” You’re staring at the ceiling. He chuckles and presses a kiss above your hip bone. You have a pulse beating there, he really loves this spot.

“That is why I am not asking now. You are hardly impartial at the moment.”

He gently pulls his hands from between your legs and slides higher. He presses a few kisses on your ribs and breasts, and you sigh. He kisses the very peak of your nipple, and you giggle.

“As cheap of a trick as it is, I am going to make us a bath now, Wren, and we will talk in it.” You hum in appreciation, and he rolls off the bed and disappears in the bathroom. You stretch on the bed and stare at the Kandinsky above your head. You wiggle your toes, they are on a pillow somehow, and listen to muffled sounds coming from behind the closed door.

And then you think that if you go through with it, you will have to listen to these noises all your life, till death do you part, so to say, and you will have to live together, and have breakfast together, and he didn’t even let you have your own shelf in his closet.

You properly aren’t sure what you’re thinking about it. On the other hand, you don’t have to talk about it now. You can just soak, and make bubble wigs with him, and pretend everything is fine. You are good at it.

Heal All Wounds || Chapter 3. Wrennie Questioned

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of cctth16

You’re staring at him. “I don’t know…” He nods, and you think he looks older than you’ve ever seen him. “What do you think I should do?” He smiles, but that’s a joyless smile.

“It’s your body, Wren.”

“It’s your baby!” Fucking missing filter! Fuck your gob, Wren.

He looks as if you hit him. His face contorts as if in pain.

“I am aware , Wren.” He looks so tired. “And I would ask you to give me a chance, but again it is your decision.”

“A chance?” You’re speaking different languages again. Another joyless, lifeless chuckle follows.

“It’s probably my last scored goal, Wren. Don’t think by the time some insane girl finishes her studies and builds her career, I will still have it in me.”

You’re breathing. So far, that’s as much as you’re managing. Your brain feels painful, but your head is empty at the same time. The ears are ringing. You stare at the fabric of the cursed quilt. He’s patiently sitting, striking your shoulder blades. You lift your eyes at him.

“You want to keep it?”

“Wren…”

“No, no, wait, I have to think…” You scamper from out of his arms and off his lap. You can’t think enveloped in his warmth.

“Are you telling me you are not angry?” You flail your arms, staring at him. “That you don’t blame me? That you don’t think I’m being Maya and trying to tie you down? Wait, wait, wait…” new wave of flailing follows. “So you believe it’s an accident. Wait, fuck, you just said you thinks it’s your last chance to have a child. Am I your last chance to have a baby? Oh, fuck, is this baby your last baby? No, wait…” He has comically lifted brows, and you giggle. You’re obviously hysterical. “Am I your last chance for happiness?” You’re already chuckling, rather loudly. You need to stop.

“Wrennie…”

You hardly make it to the washroom. You fall on your knees in front of the loo, but then vomiting doesn’t come. After a few torturous dry heaves, you’re pressing your forehead to a cold wall of his cabinet.

He knocks at the door. “Wren?”

You whimper, and he comes in. He sinks on the floor near you. He isn’t touching you, just leans back on a wall and stretches his endless legs. You stare at him. Somehow you really don’t want to hug him. Probably, because you are afraid that if you do, you will not be able to let him go. Ever. They will need to break your fingers to detach you from him.

“Wren, I love you.” His voice is even, his face weary. “I know you have your life ahead of you, and you have plans. You’re a rising star of Biochem after all.” His lifeless smirks bloody frighten you. “And probably you are going to change your mind soon, but we are together now, and I was hoping to keep it this way for as long as possible. Until you leave.”

You would have yelled some promises and confessions into his face right now, but you can’t move a muscle.

“If you keep the baby, you will tie yourself to me forever, have you thought of it, Wrennie?” His voice softens up. “You might have to even marry me.”

That’s when you throw up. He’s holding your hair and then helps you rinse your face and gives you a toothbrush and toothpaste. He carries you to bed and undresses you. You curl under the luscious duvet into his side, and he’s running his hand through your hair. He would be a great father.

***

You two are lying in silence, and you’re thinking that for this to work, you really need to somehow learn to talk to each other. The two of you are in two different universes. You’re thinking he will throw you out of his life and either pay for the termination or pay you off. He’s thinking you are going to kill your baby for the sake of your career. You both are idiots.

“I would never terminate a pregnancy.” Now it is your turn to speak in an even emotionless tone. His body jerks. He probably thought you were asleep. “I mean if it was consensual, and medically possible to keep it…” He’s breathing in slowly. You can’t see his face, you are pressing your cheek into his chest.

“Yeah?” Very eloquent, Dr. Thorington.

“And, John… I don’t want you to marry me for the baby.” Oh bollocks. He chuckles. It sounds endlessly better this time around, a warm rumble in his chest.

“I love it that you just blurt out the first thing that comes to you mind.”

You sit up and stare at his face. The lights in the room are off, only the streetlamp outside the window giving a bit of light. His face is all shadows and outlines, but you can see a shaky smile on his lips.

“I on the other hand still want to marry you though.” His voice is velvet and smoky. Bloody fuck, that’s not funny, John! Not cool!

“Are you mental?” He guffaws. An honest full scale guffaw, your favourite, white teeth gleaming, blue irises hiding behind fluffy black lashes, wrinkles running in the corners of his eyes. He stretches on the bed more comfortably.

“That’s not what a man wants to hear to his proposal, Wrennie.”

“That’s the only thing such man gets in return to his half arsed proposal!”

He suddenly sits up in a fluid motion and pulls you to him.

“Wren, will you marry me?” He is fucking serious. You feel dizzy.

“And if there is no baby?” He lifts a brow.

“Was I asking you about the baby?” Fucking fuck. You move away from him into a different corner of the bed.

“This talk is just mental, you don’t really want this, it’s just the stress…”

He lifts a brow again; this time the gesture is very haughty.

“Am I erratic now in your interpretation, Wren? First you think I’m cold enough to throw you out of my life, and presumably never even call to find out the gender of my child…” Fuck, he’s onto you! “Now you’re thinking that I’m so excited about a potential baby that I would marry a random woman just to have an offspring. Am I right in my observations, Wren?”

You gulp.

“I am very honoured that you worry about what I would think and how I would react, but have you given it much thought what you think about this, Wren?” You blink. He’s right, you haven’t. He is leaning at the headboard now and folds his arms on his chest. “If I know you well enough, I assume you haven’t actually thought about this happenstance as a child that you would have to raise, and – in the best case scenario from my point of view – raise him or her with me, living together, preferably married, your degree and career on hold at least for a while. And I repeat, that’s your body and your decision, because it is your life we are talking about here, Wren. I know what I think about us, Wren. Do you?”

The Question of a New, World Building, Multi-Media Project

Have you read Ani on JukePop? Have you lamented its hiatus? Fear not, it won’t last! Rodhina is coming to town!

Since I have put a lot of thought into the world that my protagonist, healer Ani is travelling through, I decided it shouldn’t go to waste 🙂

In a few weeks I’m launching a test page on this blog with everything Rodhina (the land where male protagonists of my story come from). Remember, Einar and Gosta, two hot ginger pseudo-Vikings/ pseudo-Slavs? 😉

pattern (1)

A lot of research (and liberties) went into the creation of their language, mythology, and art, so I decided it all would be a lovely entertainment for my readers.

On the Rodhina page on this blog, we will have:

  • original chapters (will be moved from JukePop promptly);
  • new chapters (tentatively every two weeks);
  • art by yours truly (see an almost authentic Old Slavic pattern above)
  • art by local artists eager to get involved into this project;
  • maps;
  • recipes (yes, you read it right! recipes, of pseudo-Viking, but mostly Slavic food; tested on humans 😀 );
  • herbal medicine knowledge that yours truly and several others might want to share with you;
  • and lots, and lots of other niceties.

Here are the links to the original story on JukePop and the story’s Pinterest board with visual inspirations!

Please, sign up below for free newsletter for the project! Emails will be sent to you when the page is created, the story is removed from JukePop, and new content is uploaded!

Thank you!