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.


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…

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