Gilmore Girls Revival and the Question of Motherhood

So, I started writing the Gilmore Girls fanfiction. About a minute after I finished watching the Revival. Right after my six year old son, who was sitting next to me said, “No, she isn’t pregnant.” (Don’t ask me what he meant 🙂 I’m not sure how extensive his knowledge on human reproduction is.) But while G. went back to his Octonauts, I sat down and started writing.

After I posted the first chapter, I’ve received a few wonderfully kind reviews. They were generous – and no less thought provocative. I have to say, that while I am a fast writer, I’m a slow opinion former. I like to give it time, to look at different sides, to ponder, and to sleep on it, preferable for longer than my average three hours a night.

There are a few things that have always bothered me in this show, and one of them is the prevailing idea of motherhood being an obstacle in the life of a woman. While not a false notion, and sadly rather well-spread, the portrayal of pregnancy as a disaster that ruins a woman’s life has seemed like a one-sided, disturbing idea for me. The character of Lane would be the best example of what I mean. I was glad to see her have a satisfying, fulfilled life in the Revival; but the initial representation of her character in the last seasons of the original series made me uncomfortable. She’s shown to break out of the constrictions of her home life, from under her mother’s control, finally doing what she always wanted – and she’s immediately placed into a new ‘cage.’ She describes the short time between these two events as a ‘small window.’ And then it’s taken away from her. Or at least it’s portrayed this way.

Lorelei’s pregnancy with Rory is also always discussed as a disaster, a calamity. The scene of the young her trying to get into a white dress for yet another function of her parents – perhaps, symbolising virginity/purity, and alluding to a wedding dress – reads as a loss of innocence, a disaster that has already befallen the character but is yet unknown to her.

And now we see Rory in the same position, and of course, the first reaction is ‘why?’ Why would the writers put her through the same?

Her circumstances are, of course, different. She isn’t as young and alone as Lorelei was. And she does have a supportive family, like Lane did, while not having a partner. (Don’t get me started on what Logan has become. He was my second favourite of men on the show, after Luke. And second favourite among Rory’s BFs, after Jess.)

And although I approve of symmetry of plot twists, and I in no way oppose or feel unsatisfied by what we are shown, I have one main point to make here.

The show lacks one large aspect in the discussion of motherhood – and it is the woman’s choice.

Being pregnant isn’t a mistake that Rory made. Getting pregnant, perhaps. We don’t see the discussion of what contraception methods she used. (Which I think would be very much useful in the first show. I watched it as a young adult, just starting my journey into the world of relationship. I learnt, or thought that I learnt, a lot from GG. There were things they could have informed me of, to be honest 🙂 )

Lorelei had made her choice then. To keep Rory, to bring her up, to bring her up alone. And yet, there is certain hush-hush tone to this discussion on the show. Their relationship worked out. It’s what the show is about. But did we see that big moment in Lorelei’s life when she took control over her life? No, we didn’t. I wish we had.

Rory is facing the same choice at the moment.

I feel it should be explicitly shown in media these days that a woman has the right to choose.

I like the idea of two men in Rory’s life, just as Lorelei had. Jess as a reflection of Luke. And Logan as a reflection of Christopher. And perhaps, Logan’s sudden sliminess is supposed to show that he is indeed as weak as Rory’s father.

But it isn’t about choosing between the men, as it seemingly always was written for Lorelei. (Thank goodness, at least there was the opening of her own inn that was there to counterbalance all that talk about having or not having a man in her life.)

It is now about Rory choosing to keep the baby, or not. It’s about her deciding whether in this strange limbo in which she found herself, she can and/or is willing. It’s not about her learning on her mother’s experience. It is her life. It is her body. It is her choice.

It doesn’t matter whose baby it is, and whether there was indeed that sincere longing in Jess’s eyes when he looked at her through the window. It is about Rory deciding. To finish, or not to finish her book. Where to work. Where to live. To have, or not to have another Rory. (It can be a boy’s name 🙂 )

Motherhood has to be a choice, available to make, and not judged whether it is made, or not. I just wish it were shown this way in media more. Many of us grew up with Rory. And now as adults, we should be able to see her fight for that right.

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 9. Wrennie and A Missed Party

lwap9

The next months are a daze. You study; you go to the lab; you drag yourself home. You’re so tired, you don’t remember what you eat, and how you fall asleep. You grit your teeth and bash on. You drink too much coffee; you look like shite. The Spring is the worst. You’re so exhausted by then, your nails chip and you start losing hair.

John is helping. He cooks, or orders take away. He brings you a full plate. He picks up the half eaten one, once you crash on the sofa. He takes your clothes to a dry cleaners and turns on the washer. He gets groceries. He never complains, he helps you with whatever studies he can help with.

One evening in March you’re sobbing desperately in the shower, and he knocks at the door.

“Wrennie, are you OK?”

You’re so raspy from crying that you can’t answer.

“Can I come in?”

“Yeah.” You’re moving behind the fogged part of the door, so he can’t see what bloody mess you are.

You hear him come in.

“Wren?”

“Yeah?”

“What’s wrong?” His tone is soft, and it makes something snap in you. You emit another loud sob.

“We haven’t shagged for two months!” You lean into the wall and start slowly sliding down. “And I don’t want to!” The last words are already a wail. “I’m so skinny, it’s disgusting… and everything hurts, and I’m just… so… tired…” You press the heels of your hands to your eyes.

He comes up to the door and taps the tip of his finger to it. You lift your eyes at him. He’s smiling to you, it’s a sympathetic warm smile; and you cry harder.

He opens the door and steps into the shower, just as he is – in his soft bottoms, a tee, and socks.

He sits on the floor, water running down him, and pulls you on his lap.

He’s rocking you softly from side to side, and you’re shaking.

“Wren, it’s OK… I’ve been there, remember? I’ve gone through three med degrees, and I was no better than you.” He’s cradling your head in his large palm. “And yeah, it is shite, and everything else has to wait… But, love, you’re doing fine. The research is going well, the grant has been confirmed. Just breathe through it.”

“What about you? I sometimes think you’ll forget what I look like…” you whine. You’re beyond the point where you craved reassurance. You have no energy anymore. You think if he gets up and announces he dumps you, you will just turn off the water, and fall asleep here.

“I’m making the list of all the shag you owe me. For when you’re done with the studies. So you know, the reverse cowgirl on the living room carpet is in the triple digits by now.”

You want to laugh, but all that comes out is a strangled bark like sound.

“Wren…” He cups your face and makes you meet his eyes. “I understand. I was young, and ambitious; and unlike you I didn’t care how it affected those around me. I’m here, and I’ll help.”

You drop your head, pressing your face to his chest. Your hands are shaking visibly.

***

Summer is easier. You seem to have found your footing. There’s even a week off, and the two of you plan a vacation.

You talk about it in bed, his Mac on his lap. He shows you photos of Greece and Majorca, and you nod and grin. You adore the giant new bed you two bought for your flat, and the bedding with light blue paisley pattern – and John in his glasses and tee, clicking excitedly on the sites of resorts. You two end up staying in your flat through the whole week, shagging, eating, and watching telly – and it’s the best decision the two of you have ever made.

You come back to work energised and ready to kick arse. And you do. You feel like Thomas, or that other tank engine that could – you feel very professional and put together. You reorganize your schedule, and you start getting enough sleep. You don’t have time for anything else, but at least you stopped falling asleep in the lift between the entrance hall and your flat on the fourth floor.

***

It’s the end of November, and the phone rings in your lab. You pick it up; and a vaguely familiar female voice asks for you.

“Mrs. Thorington?” she asks.

“It’s Ms. Leary, actually.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t sure… Ms. Leary, I’m Eva Amandine, I’m Dr. Thorington’s teaching assistant.”

“Oh, right… Hi!” You’re flipping through a file for the current experiment. “You’ve met couple times in John’s office. And I think there was also that professorial party in May, right?”

“Yes,” she laughs softly. “The endlessly boring one, where we were the only two people under forty.” You hum confirming.

You remember Eva. She is tall, has raven black hair, and impeccable taste in clothes. Her heels were exceptionally tall as well. She was dressed all in black, and you thought there was something very dominatrix like about her.

“I’m calling about this party Dr. Thorington is invited to. One of his colleagues is receiving yet another award, and Dr. Thorington is supposed to bring plus one.”

“Oh…” You rummage through the piles of papers on your table. “Just a mo, I’ll find my mobile. For my schedule. When is the party?”

“It’s tonight, Ms Leary. I apologize it’s so last moment.”

“Oh…” You look at the row of tubes waiting for you. “I can’t tonight… I won’t find anyone to come in instead of me.”

“That’s a pity, Ms Leary. I’ll let Dr. Thorington know.”

You two say your goodbye, and you hang up. It feels strange that it was so last minute, but you forget about the conversation distracted by the bamf waiting for you.

***

And then one evening John comes home with flushed cheeks, smelling of cologne; and he waltzes into the living room, where you are for the first time in forever, before him, having dinner alone.

He’s humming a tune, and is loosening his tie. He’s endlessly lush in his black three piece suit, and you lift an eyebrow. He barks a throaty laugh, comes up to you, and stretches the hand to you.

“Well, hello there, doctor,” you purr, and he twirls you and then dunks you backwards. You laugh, and he pulls you up and to his mouth. He tastes like champagne.

“Good evening?” you ask with a giggle.

He picks you up under your arms and plops your arse on the table. He wedges between your knees.

“A very good evening?” you ask, and he grins lopsidedly.

“Horrid boring party. I drank just to have something to do.” He slides his palms up your thighs, and then dives in and presses his lips to your neck. You drop your head back invitingly.

“I’m very glad to see you then,” you murmur, and he presses his hand between your shoulder blades and, supporting you, lowers you on the table. He jerks off the jacket, while you unbuttons your jeans.

“I’m planning to reinforce this opinion in you, love.” When he’s randy or drunk, his childhood Northern accent peeks just a wee bit. Just a bit in the vowels. Just a bit more ‘loov’ in his ‘love.’ This turns you on so much!

Clothes fly off, only the white shirt and your bra surviving the purge, and the two of you spend an hour, energetically shagging, moaning, scratching, sucking, and grabbing.

In the bath afterwards, he’s tenderly moving a loofah on your shoulders in delicious circles, and you sigh contentedly.

“I honestly wish you could go to more parties with me.” He kisses your ear. “If we found a closet there and did what we just did there on the table, time would fly so much faster.”

You giggle.

“We would be arrested for inappropriate behaviour.”

“Well, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Everyone is way too proper at those parties.” He makes a dramatic disgusted grimace. “Mannered talking, champagne, no dancing on the table. I had to attend less of these dos when I was trying to sell myself. Who knew professors are so into unsatisfying inadequate parties?”

You look at him and gently wipe the bubbles off his eyebrow.

“I’m sorry I can’t come most of the time.”

He shrugs and pulls you closer.

“As long as I come home and get to… have dinner with you.” He wiggles his eyebrows.

Something pushes you to ask.

“So, you just go alone then?”

“Eva goes with me,” he answers offhandedly. “She’s no fun, though. She takes the parties seriously.”

You laugh, but something feels off. You will think about it later. You lean into his kiss, and slide onto his lap. You’re very glad you went for a roomy tub.

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…

copy-of-lwap7

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.

Thea Martin Method || Step Two: Red Dress (Preparation Stage)

Chapter 4

Step 2: Red Dress

(Preparation Stage)

“Thea! That’s preposterous! I’m not buying yet another dress!” Caitlin flails her left, unoccupied arm, and makes a few irritated puffy noises into her mobile. “If I buy anything else for the sole purpose of seducing a bloke, a shag with him will feel like hiring an escort. Once we’re done, I’ll know exactly how much it cost me!”

Caitlin climbs into her Prius, and smacks the door behind her.

“Cai, you asked for my help, may I remind you!” Thea is full of righteous indignation.

Caitlin’s phone beeps, and she sees she has another call.

“Thea, shush! He’s ringing me! What do I do?!”

“Remember that film with the yummy Scot we watched couple months ago?” Caitlin realizes Thea means The Ugly Truth with Gerard Butler.

“I’m not letting him go to voicemail! And even more so, I’m not picking up and calling him a wrong name. I can see his office number on my screen!”

“Suit yourself,” Thea answers in an haughty tone. “At least don’t agree on the day he proposes.”

“But… But… I don’t know what to say!” Caitlin thrashes in her car, not sure what to do; she drops the keys; her purse jumps under her feet from her lap; and finally she manages to swipe the screen, and choke out a ‘hello.’

“Dr. McGrath?” Oh god, how is he not assaulted on the everyday basis with a voice like that?!

“Uh-huh,” answers Dr. McGrath, PhD in Mediaeval French Lit, and Women Studies. You’d think a person with all these degrees would be more articulate. “Dr. Oakes?”

“Perhaps, we could use our first names, Caitlin?” Caitlin sags in her seat, and closes her eyes. Perhaps, they could – but how will she refrain from rubbing herself up and down all his glorious bod like a cat if he does it in public settings?

“Sure, John, I’d love to. What can I do for you?”

“I was hoping you were still interested in going to that exhibition next week. The photography one, by the American artist, August Anderson?”

Caitlin confirms she is. They set up day and time, and agree to meet in a coffee shop in front of the gallery. He’s talking; Caitlin’s wondering if it’s just her, or the students at his lectures also have out-of-body experiences at the sounds of his wonderful Northern accented speech? It’s like velvet, chocolate fondue, and the 16 year old Lagavulin.

She hangs up, and then realizes that she has the Master of One-Off, the magnificent Thea Martin still waiting on the other line. And Caitlin has just openly disobeyed an order and agreed on the day he offered. She’s also probably broken couple rules she doesn’t even know about. Caitlin exhales, and braces herself.

***

The same evening the two ladies are having a ladies’ night. And it doesn’t involve the activities, prohibited by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as unlawful gender discrimination. It involves a film, sweets, and a jar of Phenomé Blossom Therapeutic Face Mask.

While Matt Damon is industriously planting potatoes on the screen, Caitlin is chewing a macaron.

“I still think you should get a new dress. And it should be red,” Thea suddenly announces, and Caitlin ignores her, as if absorbed in the intricacies of Martian agriculture. “Cai…”

“Thea, I’m not buying a dress. I already bought one for your Step One. I’ll still wear it later, so that wasn’t a complete waste; but that’s the end of it. I’ll find something to wear to the photo exhibition.”

“But how are you going to execute Step 2. Red Dress, if you don’t have a red dress?” Thea asks pouting, and Caitlin finally turns to her.

“What exactly is Step 2?”

“Well, Caitlin, I’m glad you asked…” Thea grins widely. “It involves three simple sub-steps. Stun. Tease. Retreat.”

“Sounds complicated.” Catlin sighs and picks up another macaron. “Can I just spend an evening with him? Maybe he didn’t even get what it’s all about last time, you know…” She’s sad to admit that the thought has visited her before. What if he didn’t quite understand that she was asking him out with shag being the outing’s direct and sole consequence?

“Wow, McGrath! Wait a minute!” Thea exclaims, and pauses the film. “Are you saying me there’s a chance that he might be expecting something else out of it?  Not a nice thorough one-off?” Thea looks suddenly mortified. “Goodness, Cai, are you saying you might have hinted it was a… date?” Thea spits out the last word like the worst of swearings.

“No! I mean, maybe… I don’t know… I hope not!” Caitlin mournfully ponders the purple almond beauty in her hand.

“What do you mean ‘maybe?’ It’s either shag, or… blagh… romance! What else is there?”

“Maybe, he thinks we’re just… mates. He had no one to go there with, and I offered. Maybe he’s spoken for. He’s officially single, I checked. But maybe he isn’t looking.”

“Who cares, Cai? If he has a doxy, or a girlfriend, it’s his business!” Thea scoffs. “You should only bother to understand where he’s taking it, and redirect him if the poor sod is lost.”

“Maybe he’s gay,” Caitlin offers another option, and Thea chokes on the tea she was drinking.

“Cai, how off is your sex-dar if you can’t tell?”

“Thea, I haven’t had sex in five years! How off do you think the poor gadget is?” Caitlin answers snappily, and jumps off her sofa to march to the kitchen to start the kettle.

“God, McGrath, I’d have died!” Thea hollers after her.

Caitlin rolls her eyes. Thea wouldn’t understand, so there is no point to explain – but Caitlin just didn’t feel like it. It wasn’t important. It wasn’t interesting. It is interesting now.

***

Caitlin is standing by the sink watching water run into the kettle.

She needs to make sure that Dr. Oakes – with his wide shoulders, mouth-watering jaw line under the exciting black and silver beard, and his large scorching hands – knows exactly what it’s all about, and where it’s going.

And perhaps for the first time in her life, Caitlin agrees with Thea wholeheartedly. Romance is out of the question! Caitlin doesn’t need a man! She needs a man after midnight – as in ‘gimme, gimme, gimme’ – and after that toodle-pips, and adios!

Caitlin loves her life. It’s fulfilling, rewarding, and exactly the way Caitlin wants it to be. She has her work, her students, her books, her paintings – her interests and habits. She doesn’t want to acclimatize to another set of those.

Also, Caitlin worries. She worries about her very, very old Nana, her only living relative. She worries about every single of her students: Are they satisfied with their studies? Are they feeling suffocated in the academia? Are their needs met? Are they developing as persons and scholars? Is there something she could do, or stop doing to allow them to better fulfill their potential?

She worries about her six goddaughters and five godsons; about Thea; about the world politics; about climate change; about each and every charity she participates in; about the decline of tiger population in the world; about polar bears in Canada.

Caitlin doesn’t need to worry about a man.

Having one and living with him seemed as a marginally attractive theoretical possibility when she was twenty. She isn’t anymore.

There’s only one way to ensure that after she rises out of the arms of Dr. Oakes, PhD, she isn’t required to cuddle and listen to his problems. And he surely has plenty, real, or imaginary – he’s male. She wants to say a polite and relaxed ‘goodbye,’ take a cab home, and then enjoy a long bath. After which she will go back to her life in all its perfection, with pleasant – hopefully – memories of consensual, adult, quality shag.

And the path to this – hopefully – satisfying ending lies through Step 2: Red Dress.

“Thea, I’m going to need more instructions on the whole ‘stun, tease, retreat,’” Caitlin shouts from the kitchen, and hears Thea’s ‘thank Odin and other creepy Norse deities’ over the noise of the boiling kettle.

***

Next Thursday, after her classes, Caitlin is running out of her building on campus, huffing and puffing, and panicking. A student fainted in Caitlin’s class. And then there was a long conversation with the nurse; and the student turned out to be pregnant. And then there was the drama with the student ringing up her boyfriend; and then the other bloke she’s shagging; and on and on. And somehow the student decided that letting go of Caitlin’s hand was out of the question.

And now, instead of her carefully chosen outfit – Thea participated, and the dress and the heels did receive her approval – Caitlin is clad in her usual assortment of cozy cotton and linen layers, all loose, and baggy. Caitlin buys most of her clothes on Etsy. She likes the idea of her money travelling all over the world supporting women, and the closeness she develops with some of her ‘dealers.’ Currently, she’s her usual ball of shawls, harem trousers, and oversized tunics by Aakasha. All grey and charcoal. The clobber is ace. It travelled all the way from Bulgaria – but unlike the slaggish and non-feminist outfit sadly abandoned on Caitlin’s bed – it doesn’t say ‘come hither, sailor.’

She’s also ten minutes late; and Thea said being late could be interpreted as romantic. Caitlin can’t allow anything remotely romantic to happen! She’s here to suss out if Dr. Oakes is up for a lovely one-off; with anything else being a no-no.

She pushes the door of the coffee shop, and smacks into his chest. He was standing by the entrance, reading a flier for some indie play he’d picked up from the cork board by the door.

Sadly, Caitlin’s libido doesn’t get a chance to enjoy the delicious shiver that runs through her body after the smack. She’s just starting to formulate her hungry thoughts and her randy assumptions on what’s underneath this black Burberry peacoat, when he ruins everything!

“Caitlin, evening!” Does he need to looks so happy to see her, and smile, and show his white teeth, and have these crow’s feet, and be so… nice?! “You look flourishing! Were today’s lectures inspiring? You look like a professor well listened to.”

He chuckles, offering her to share into how silly his joke was. Oh horror! She did like the joke! And she thought it was funny! And he didn’t say ‘you look lovely tonight,’ which only means either ‘I know I’m expected to say this,’ or ‘I’ve noticed you dressed up for me.’  

Oh poop.

The story will continue in Chapter 5. Stage 2: Red Dress (Execution Stage)

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 7. Together

Author’s Note:

This is it, my lovelies. This is the chapter. This is their happy ending (although not an ending per se). 

There will be more to their story. There is couple more plot twists I have prepared for them; there are characters to talk about, loose ends to tie, and hot nights to describe. There are still the one-shots that I’ve stashed from the time when the story was first published on FanFiction site (I know you want to see the triplets, and Unna of course.)

But I feel that this chapter, below the title, is what we were all waiting for since that first one-shot titled “Camping” in my collection of short stories We Are Scattered Through Time and Space. It’s been four years of my life, and it’s been a journey. For me, and for the characters. 

This John – Dr T, Dr Delicious, The Sun and Moon of Modern Neurosurgery – has been, and will always be my first true modern AU Thorin Oakenshield. And this Wrennie is the most honest, genuine, imperfect Wren I’ve ever written. If I didn’t love them all equally, I’d say these two are my favourite protagonists.

I hope this chapter will be as satisfying for you to read as it was for me to write.

Katya

P.S. And remember, there will be at least ten more chapters 😉 Hope you enjoy!

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Four months later…

You like sleeping with John. He’s just the right density, not bony, not soft – warm and firm, and perfectly furry in all the right places. In his sleep he tends to wrap around you like an octopus, and you’re properly OK with it. There’re couple positions that you especially enjoy, such as curling in a ball, pressing your bum into his crotch. Since you’re significantly shorter, his arm doesn’t fall asleep under your head, and you get all the advantages of his snuggling. Or sometimes you like being the big spoon, and press your forehead above his shoulder blades, into the nape, into just the right spot.

There are issues, of course. His place, which he moved into a month after your break up, feels unlived in. He explained to you that he wanted to start from scratch, but somehow it just never became anything more than a perfect illustration from a home decour magazine.

The bed in your flat is too small for him. Lan and Thea bought it for you when you moved in; and although the two of you can fit when sleeping, shagging on it is really difficult. You always seem to end up on the floor. It also squeaks, loudly and annoyingly, and you wouldn’t want your neighbours to get jealous of how many hours in a row this concert continues.

***

You snuggle into the pillow, without opening your eyes. It’s warm and smells nice under the duvet, and you stretch your hand in search of the scorching skin, and maybe furry chest, but there’s… nothing. You stick your nose out… and catch the delicious aroma of coffee. He’s cooking breakfast in your kitchen. You’re torn between going there to ogle him – it’s a gorgeous spectacle, him in his pants, and bless that arse! – confident movements, glasses; and staying in the balmy warmth, with the smell of his cologne on the sheets, and bliss coursing your body after the three rounds the two of you went for last night.

He sticks his head into the room and smiles to you widely.

“Morning.” God, this voice needs to be bottled and prescribed as an antidepressant.

“Morning.” You smile back. He reappears in the room with a tray with coffee, fruit, and his favourite toast with marmalade.

“What are we doing today, Ms Leary?” he asks, stirring sugar in your coffee. “It’s Saturday, you had a long week, and you…” He kisses the tip of your nose. “You require spoiling,” he purrs, and one eyebrow jumps up.

“I did have a long week,” you agree. You’re very pleased with yourself. The papers for the post-grad went through three days ago, and you do feel you deserve a bit of rest and perhaps celebrating.

“So, what do you want to do?” he asks handing a triangle of toast to you.

“Nothing. I want to do nothing. All day. With you.” And then you want to do him. Repeatedly. Something tells you he knows.

“Perfect. I know just the place for that.” He pats his thigh under the blanket, and you giggle.

***

Eventually you do get out of the bed, take shower – separately, otherwise you’d never leave the flat – and go for a walk. Nothing is exactly what the two of you do. You wander into shops, look at windows, talk, and laugh, and kiss. You take photos with your phone, there are couple of selfies together. The two of you laugh at how in order to fit into the screen either he has to scoot, or you need to stand on a bench. Eventually, he picks you up bridal style. The photos feature his sleeve and then the collar of his peacoat, because instead of taking pictures, the two of you are behaving endlessly inappropriately, snogging in the middle of a park.

You stop for lunch in some sarnie shop, all hipster and organic, and you laugh at the light disdain colouring his face. Tofu burger with yam mayo is clearly isn’t his first choice. They have ace coffee though, and the two of you are walking out with compostable cups bearing some hipster slogans.

There’s a vintage book shop in the next block, and you pull him in. It’s the passion for the both of you; and browsing books, talking nonstop, takes the solid second place in the top five things the two of you do best together – after shag, of course. He’s wonderfully well-read, with diverse, very non elitist taste; you are a binge reader. If he happens to know something you don’t he’s never condescending. And the discussions the two of you have are most stimulating.

He’s standing near a shelf, a fourth edition of his favourite Omar Khayyam in his hand. He knows the book like the back of his hand, and yet you see his eyes slide tenderly along the lines. It’s lying open on his large palm, and he’s so beautiful to you at the moment that your eyes prickle. He blindly stretches his hand to his cup he put on the ladder by the shelf, and takes a sip. And then the cup goes back, and he gently turns a page.

“I want to live with you,” you blurt out, and he looks at you above his reading glasses.

“Sorry, what?”

“You hate your flat, mine is too small. And I want to sleep with you every night. And wake up together. And eat dinner together. And we spend five nights a week together anyroad…” Your voice dies out, and you awkwardly cough. “I mean when you want to… When it’s time… I’m just letting you know that I already want it, that I’m… there…”

Great, Wrennie, just bleeding great. You started with overly direct, clumsy declarations, and ended it with choked mumbling, with questionable grammar. Well done.

He smiles to you softly, and you feel your nose twitch in the daft nervous tick.

“I too want to live with you.”

Oh sod it, that’s a relief. You sort of suspected he did, since he always eagerly agrees on spending a night together, but that wasn’t the most graceful of offerings, let’s face it. Plus there’s always your shared history.

“We should look at flats then?” His tone is more questioning than stating, and is adorably hopeful. You exhale and step to him. He readily puts the book aside, and you pressed your forehead into his chest. Blimey, you love him in this peacoat. You love him, period. The peacoat is just a bonus.

He wraps his arms around you and kisses the top of your head.

“And I feel like I want to marry you.” Oh look, Wrennie’s cork has popped, and now she’ll have to move to the Arctic to escape the consequences. He stops gently rocking you from side to side. You realise the previous statement requires an explanation.

You wince away from him, and rush to clarify. His face is unreadable, just eyes might be a bit widened.

“I mean, I just feel very good about our relationship now… Recently… I mean, it’s been great since day one, since we got back together, but it’s just glaringly obvious to me recently. I notice it, all the time, how ace it is, and how happy I am. And you!” you exclaim hurriedly. “You seem happy. I mean, I can’t know for sure, but that’s how it looks. And I don’t mean a wedding or something, but you know how when people get married they are hoping it’s forever? That’s how I feel. Like if I had to choose now, I’d say yes, and wouldn’t have a shadow of doubt. And it all can change any moment, but… And when people get married they know it too, yeah? That anything can happen, but they go for it, and I absolutely certainly would.” You’re out of breath, and you inhale sharply. “What I mean to say is that I love you…” Your voice breaks, and you puff some air out. “And I want to spend my whole life with you.”

“I love you too,” he answers slowly, and you give up a nervous chuckle.

“Right…” You cough purposefully. “Let’s just forget this mental outburst…”

“And I do want to marry you,” he interrupts you in a low voice, and you freeze and throw him an embarrassed look. “No, that’s not exactly it… I want to be your husband. And spend my whole life with you, just like you said. And…” He gives you a calm and earnest look. “And if and when you decide you’re ready, I’ll be here.”

“Ready for what?” you breathe out.

“Anything. Anything you want.” He smiles to you, and your breath hitches from how clearly you can see that he loves you. “I’m OK with any level of commitment, Wrennie, so you just let me know.”

“I want to be your wife.” There isn’t a single moment of hesitation. “I don’t want a big wedding, maybe no wedding at all. But I want rings. And couple photos, and a pretty dress. And I want some B’n’B somewhere not too far. And shagging for a week nonstop, and you calling me Mrs Thorington, and…”

“Bath,” he says suddenly, and you realise tears are running down your cheeks. Happy tears.

“What?” you croak. You still haven’t kissed him. You need to kiss him.

“We can go to Bath.” His eyes are the brightest you’ve ever seen them. Like a July sky on the sunniest day. “For a week after, and I promise to you…” His voice breaks as well, and you rush to him and hang on his neck. “I promise to call you Mrs Thorington at least two thirds of the time.”

There are tears in his eyes too, and you kiss him, and he squeezes you, pressing you in, whispering promises, which you believe, and words of love, which you return with all your heart.

To be continued…

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.

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 4. Good Morning, Wrennie!

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You don’t do the stupid thing. It’s shocking, isn’t it? Wrennie Leary acting wisely… Wrennie Leary acting wisely around Dr Delicious – and yes, he’s gotten all his positive monikers back – is even more astonishing. You don’t jump his bones, which consequently does not lead to you prolonging your backache indefinitely. You don’t try to kiss him. You don’t raise any other emotionally excruciating for both of you questions. You just watch the film and enjoy it immensely. In the last third of it he starts whining that it’s quite obvious who’s the ‘baddie’ here. It turns out he hasn’t seen the film before, and hasn’t read the book, but of course he guesses right.

The two of you eat dinner, and then he leaves, after stocking up your fridge, and kissing you to the top of your head. You don’t insist he stays.

In the next week and the half you don’t invite him over. Well, alright, he comes twice. But he rang you up on his own accord! Gracefully accepting his groceries, and his cooking abilities still counts as acting wisely. And again, you don’t offer anything but a film, a long and jolly chat, one game of chess, and two kisses to his cheek. Wisely! It’s called ‘wisely!’

It’s in equal proportions excruciating and exhilarating. It’s like watching a romcom with oneself in the leading role, and the whole ‘will they, won’t they’ thrill; but just as in a romcom we all know they will, don’t we, Wrennie?

And then you’re back at work, and so much has to be done; that when a week later you resurface, you feel like you’ve been on a deserted island. You even get a haircut, because it feels like you need to clean up now that you’re back to the civilised society.

And then it’s Thea’s birthday – and somehow, at some point, you get arsed up. In your case it’s two drinks. The first one makes you jolly and very, very friendly, but you don’t remember this stage. You reckon in the morning that there was no pause between the two bevvies, and you can only assume that either the person you were drinking with didn’t know about your intolerance, or they did try to get you bladdered.

The investigation will have to wait, since your priority number one – once you open your eyes and stare at the unfamiliar window curtains – is to figure out where the fuck you are, and how much aggro you’re in.

The room is dark, the curtains are drawn. You quickly look around. Everything is posh, elegant, but spartan. And then you recognise the painting on the wall. Unless the person whose place you are at has a copy of the Kandinsky that you’ve observed so many times above John’s headboard, you’re in Dr Delicious’ bed. You know very little about art, and Kandinsky seems to do the same thing again and again, but you’ve spent so many hours in various positions looking at it that you can’t possibly be wrong – here is that blueish greenish blob you always thought looked like a fish. OK, OK, a cock! You’ve always thought it looked like a cock. You’re a chavvy bird, what can you do?

You do the most logical thing you can in this case. You sniff the sheets and the pillow case. Yep, definitely John’s bed. Or at least the one he has slept in. You exhale in relief and plop back into his sheets. Out of all possible beds, this one is the jammiest for you to find yourself in.

After a few seconds of relief, you of course start panicking and hyperventilating since you are – Rassilon help you – in John’s bed. But it’s a mild panic and only a semi-hyperventilation. What’s the worst that could have happened? You shagged him? Fine, it was coming anyway. Pity you won’t remember it. You didn’t shag him and fell on the floor in a precise impersonation of Aunt Pittypat? Not bad either. Perhaps better. Whom are you bloody kidding?! All gods and deities, please, don’t let you two have shagged!

You are predictably as much as starkers. Predictably, because that is the cliche, and altogether this situation does seem like a beginning of a short but sweet romance story, or a scene from the aforementioned romcom. And also because you hate sleeping in a bra. It’s still with you under the duvet, so you assume you took it off yourself. The dress and the shoes are near the bed, neatly placed on a very elegant valet stand. My oh my, you do know that tie near your dress.

The knickers are gone, though. You rummage your hand under the sheets, but they are nowhere to be found. That’s a proper mystery! They were lacy thongs, and you hate those; so it makes sense that you’d take them off, but where are they?

You carefully climb off the bed and mince to what you think is a bathroom. You’re right, and you quickly make use of it and the loo. You also once again seek confirmation that you are indeed in John’s flat – though, clearly not the flat you remember. Products are the same, and there’s a long dark hair in the brush. You breathe a wee bit easier now. You find his robe and wrap in it. Your head’s splitting, and you properly don’t want to get dressed. Besides, you still don’t have any smalls.

Somewhat splashed with cold water, terribly hungover, pale, and disheveled you crawl out of the bedroom into a large living room. Even if your brain didn’t feel like black pudding, you’d be feeling all confused right now. The view in front of you is exactly what they call ‘it was like a dream.’ Here and there you see familiar things – the cursed Ming vase; the painting of that fashionable Japanese painter you always forget the name of; John’s laptop bag; other bits and bobs that you’ve seen and cohabited with for months – but the furniture is new, and it’s clearly a new flat.

You make a few careful steps, and then you see a note on the table. It’s definitely John’s confident, flamboyant handwriting.

Morning, love!

How’s your head? (The meds are attached.)

You see a glass of water and couple pills nearby. You’re still at sixes and sevens, so you decide to finish reading before taking strange pills in a strange home.

Last night I received a call from the concierge of my former building who claimed that my – also, former – paramour was hollering under windows, demanding entrance, threatening to start serenading me from under the balcony. (As flattered as I am, I find it necessary to remind you that the building had no balconies.) As my Romeo appeared mobile, though unreasonable, Mr Deel loaded the Hope and Pride of the Rivendell Institute in a cab, and I received the parcel here. Welcome to my new flat!

I suggest you take the pills, cook yourself a substantial breakfast, and then you will have two choices: 1. You could go home and have a lie-in. I took the liberty to text your friend Thea after you fell asleep informing her you’re safe, and in return she said she rang up the Institute and told them you had an appointment with your acupuncturist and weren’t coming into work today. 2. You could stay. I’ll be home at seven fifteen.

As you can imagine, everything mine is yours. None of your old things are left, sadly. As you recall, I sent you the forgotten items in the first week of our separation. But I’ve always loved the view of you in my shirt. Just a shirt.

You’ve been reading the note in his voice in your head. The last three are a sexy purr.

By the way, don’t look for your knickers. Among many other things you blurted out into my face last night, you mentioned you had thrown them out the cab window. You called it ‘burning the bridges,’ and then offered to describe them to me if necessary.

You’re suddenly not feeling that great, and hurriedly take the meds. Fuck you, Wrennie, you just had to go all in, didn’t you? Literally, couldn’t keep your pants on. And, what the bloody hell did you also blurt out into his face?!

If you happen to be still in this flat, at around six thirty, please, feel free to order dinner. There’re menus in the kitchen (second drawer to the right from the stove), but none of the choices is obligatory. I trust your taste completely.

Just to make the following hours more difficult for you (consider it the revenge for the sleepless night I spent trying not to think of the naked backside you gleefully demonstrated to me), I will inform you that the second most popular topic of your blabbering was your self-pleasuring habits, and my recent reappearance in the leading role in your fantasies. And yes, Wrennie my dear, I do think about that one time in my office quite often as well.

Love,

John

You finish the water in the glass, and plod to the kitchen to make a brekkie. To stay, or not to stay – that is the sodding question.  

 

Live Well and Prosper || Chapter 3. Wrennie and the Demons

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Author’s Note:

Oh wow. This is post #100 on this blog. And there are exactly 500 comments. I love neat stats, don’t you? 🙂 

I thought I’d just use this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all of you – for reading, and for commenting, and for just being here, and being you. Thank you, my dear readers. Without you, none of my writing would have happened, and none of the good things that came with it would have taken place. 

K.

***

You’re flipping through Netflix, on your comp on the laptop table, and he’s sitting in the recliner by the wall, a tray with tea on his lap. He made the tea, he apparently had brought some sweets; and chicken with roasted veggies is in the oven, on a timer. The man is properly taking care of your nutrition, isn’t he?

“Some oldie, but goodie?” you ask, feeling his eyes on the side of your face.

“Your choice of poison.”

Your choice of poison are the tall, dark, and delicious; so you’re only happy the smallest movement causes you immense pain; because, otherwise, you’d be climbing on his lap, and not for a bedtime story.

You decide on The Da Vinci Code, since you’ve never fancied Hanks, and Bettany whom you do fancy has been changed enough in it; thus, you’re in no danger of any shag related thoughts to bloom. You do tend to catch moods from films, and make unwise choices.

The film starts, you’re sipping tea; he seems to be watching as well.

And when you’ve finally managed to forget he’s in the same room with you, and got at least partially engaged, he asks, “How much movement can you have with your back?”

And you do know him well. And as much as he thinks he’s hiding it, you can hear it – the low, velvet, caramel and truffles, shag cadence in his voice.

“None.” You sound raspy. “Just sitting and not twisting the spine is the best. I even wake up if I shift at night.”

“Good,” he answers quickly, and you turn your head and stare at him. He realises what he’s just said. “Not the fact that pain wakes you up. But it’s good that you’re somewhat restricted.”

“Oh?” You pause the film. He makes a cautioning sound, but you properly need an answer now. “And why is it good?”

“Because out of us two, you have less ability to resist the temptation…” You open your mouth to tell him to sod off. “And I can’t resist you.”

You’re feeling somewhat pissed off, actually. So, he thinks you have no self-control? Does he mean in general, or – what an arrogant arse! – just around him? And apparently he thinks you’d try to cop off – or more – with him just because he’s in the same room!

And then you think it might be some pervy reverse psychology, where he reminds you that you can’t, and tells you he wasn’t planning to, so that you rebel and do go for it.

He smiles to you softly.

“You’re thinking so hard, Wrennie, that your hair is drying in front of my eyes,” he jokes, but that doesn’t improve your bloody mood a bit.

“I was watching the film,” you sneer defensively. “Why do you think I’d even consider any… temptation?”

“Because it is you. And it is me.” He sounds very chuffed, and you’re properly cheesed off now.

“And that’s a given then? If it’s you, I would just drop my knickers right there?!” You raise your voice, and immediately regret it. Maybe, it’s his smart plan. To get you pissed off. Because you’re a bloody popper when you’re angry.

“Wrennie, you need to give me some leeway here. And a bit of trust wouldn’t harm, either.” He tilts his head, his eyes still smiling. “I only meant that you with your intellect have thought this evening through; and since you invited me, you’ve given sex a thought.”

“A. I was clear on what this evening entitled from the start.” You huff some air in indignation. “And B. Even if there was a chance for a shag, it doesn’t mean I’d jump you as soon as you’re in my bedroom. I’m not fixated on having sex with you.”

“I am,” he answers, and you press your lips. Great, just great. He did lure you into talking about It. Was he hoping you’d get randy just from discussing his cock?!

“Wrennie…” he says softly, and you’re ready to bristle, but then you notice the lack of condescending note in his voice. “Please, hear me out without judgement. I’ve had a heart attack and am now worried about my performance. I’m at risk of rising my heart rate too much and too fast; and let’s face it, just a kiss with you gives me palpitations. So, yes, I’m fixated on the thought. I’m sorry I said it was good you were in pain.”

Your anger deflates immediately. You’re an idiot, aren’t you? You feel blush lick your cheeks painfully. You open your mouth to apologise for being a judgmental, presumptions bitch, when he says, “And please, don’t apologise. Nothing in our previous history predisposes you to assume I didn’t try to snooker you into a quickie. I’ve used shag against you before. We’ve had sex too early before; and at all possible wrong moments as well.”

You’re a bit uncomfortable from how medical he is about it, but then you think it’s his defense mechanism – he’s feeling insecure, he’s worried about his health; and perhaps, for the first time in his life, he doesn’t feel like an alpha male and a god of shag. And all that after the drama he went through. Which you caused. And which would break a lesser man completely.

“I just realised how difficult it must be for you,” you speak in a low voice. “I’m sorry… I just haven’t thought about it, never tried to see it from your point of view…” You haven’t, and now it’s all rushing through your mind.

The months after you broke it off; the heart attack; the seven months he stayed away, after having given up a project he’d spent half his life on; the Summer in Japan after the kiss and the conversation at the Elvig’s… Your mind boggles. Sodding hell, what could it have possibly been like?!

“Well, there are medications for that…” he answers, giving you a smirk, and you puff air out.

“I didn’t mean shag! I meant the emotional part… And how much it hurt, and it was all my fault…”

“OK,” he interrupts you, and then puts the tray on the floor at his feet. “Can I sit near you on the bed? I do prefer to be nearer; but if it’ll shake the bed, or you’re emotionally uncomfortable from such proximity, I’m alright here.” He’s being very open and direct. You truly appreciate how much effort such line of behavior must take of him.

“I’m more than comfortable in any sort of proximity toyou, and the mattress is firm enough,” you answer earnestly, and pat the bed near you.

He comes up, toes off his shoes, and sits down, stretching his long legs along you. He’s not touching you, but it immediately feels as if you two are in a bubble of sorts.

“Firstly, I do not need any medication for that sort of activity,” he deadpans, and you give him a confused look. He chuckles. “Just putting the information out here, for later reference. I’m fully functional.” You purse lips suppressing a grin, and he crosses his legs and leans back onto your headboard. You surely have a very narrow bed. His thigh presses to yours through the duvet, his trousers, and your PJ bottoms.

“Secondly, it wasn’t your fault. You did what you considered right, and what was most beneficial for you. Partially, your actions were the direct consequence of my own behaviour. That’s all by the way the direct quote from my therapist, but I do agree with all of it wholeheartedly.” He pressed his hand to his chest theatrically. “Ignore the sardonic tone. It still feels rather barmy to talk about my feelings.” He gives you a small, but sincere smile, and you return it, encouraging.

“And lastly, I did hate you. Right after we broke up.”

You freeze, your eyes on his face, and he’s giving you a direct look.

“You left me, and I hated you. Because you were the first thing that I wanted and couldn’t get. And then after several extensive sessions I was reminded of the most astonishing fact: you aren’t a ‘thing.’ And there’s no ‘getting you.’ I made plans for us, it was all neat and pleasurable in my head, but you are a person, and my plans didn’t work for you. So, yes, it was bloody horrible, but I got over it.”

You’re sitting in silence digesting it. He’s letting you, not talking, and not touching you.

“I had a revelation in Greece…” you say slowly, and he lifts one brow questioningly.

“So, that’s where you disappeared right after…” You nod.

“Yeah. And I just sat in front of the pool for three weeks, and thought… about us. And I realised that I was just too preoccupied with myself, so wrapped up in how I wasn’t good enough, and inadequate, that I lost the ability to look at it from your point of view. And it’s lethal for relationship. We need to try to always see the other person’s side too…”

“That’s what second chances are for,” he notes softly, and you sigh.

“Yeah…” You carefully shift, and press your temple to his shoulder. “And it properly helps that you are now so good at discussing it, and trying to understand…”

“Oh don’t give me all this credit yet,” he draws out, with a cheeky side glance at you. “I’m only doing it to lull you into a false sense of security, so I could shamelessly ravish you.” That makes you feel hot. Very hot. As in a hackneyed wave of heat licking the back of your neck. “Not today, of course,” he adds in a light tone. “It’s all lulling for now, by the means of feeding, and making you a cuppa, and looking at Audrey Tautou’s legs.”

You emit a loud fake gasp.

“So that’s why you agreed on it! Perv!” You remind yourself that laughing – or better so, poking him under ribs; or kissing him soundly – will hurt.

“What can I say, love, I’m a leg man,” he purrs, and shifts just a millimeter closer to you. It’s enough to make you aware of his long heavy leg near yours.

“Hm… You’re forgetting something…” You feign a nonchalant tone. “I do know your tastes. And it’s not her legs you’re looking at.”

“You got me. It’s Hanks’ backside. Love me a pert backside.” He hums and shakes his head, as if lost in pleasant fantasies. You giggle and start the film again. He stays on the bed, and you properly don’t mind.

Heal All Wounds || Chapter 22. Wrennie and A Summer Ahead

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You sit down into the second armchair, and he hands you a quilt that was folded on the armrest of his. You are indeed always cold.

There is so much meaning to you in this gesture of his, that you think you need to make sure you stay away from him from now on. He affects you, and it seems it’ll never change.

His large body that you know so well, the weight of it, the strength, the fluidity of movements, like a dancer, or a hackneyed large wild animal. You know the heat that comes off it, you know the smell. He’s stretched the long arm across the space between the armchairs, and you see the muscles and the tendons under the soft cashmere of the dark navy jumper.

But if only it were so simple! If only it were his body you suddenly realised you still wanted. It’s the galancy, the breed, the effortless care that is such a natural part of him. The Dr John Crispin Thorington, the successful, educated, elegant alpha male.

And then underneath it, even deeper, hidden, but so very clear to you – it’s John. John that used to be yours, used to be close to you, open to you. Your John. The John who loved you – and who still does.

It’s the John who reads three books at the same time, greedily, dropping them mid-way if they aren’t feeding his gigantic intellect, always hungry, always curious, but also the John who finished the trashiest ones if they amuse him. John who has a favourite mug, for his morning coffee, and it’s with Van Gogh’s sunflowers, as chavvy as it would seem to some of his peers. John who was once touched so much by an episode of Doctor Who that you thought you saw tears in his eyes, and you continued looking straight into the screen, giving him his privacy. And then he pulled you into him, your back pressed to his chest, and you felt his long nose burrowing into your hair, and you felt his heart booming and his breaths rising, because he was letting you in, sharing this moment with you.

It’s John whom you saw tired, irritated, sleepy, sick and whiny, ‘hangry,’ randy… and, maybe, happy. You danced with him, you had sex with him, you shared meals with him, you slept with him, you loved him. And you still do.

“I’m pissed off,” he deadpans, while you are busily wrapping into the quilt trying to regulate your breathing.

“Hm?”

“With Mik. I’m acknowledging my emotions like Dr Harris told me.” He chuckles. “You know, not to overload the muscle…” He taps his long fingers on the left side of his chest. You know he knows that’s not where the heart is. These theatrics are part of his new self-deprecating humour, apparently. You actually really like it, which is another reason why you should definitely try not to spend much time around him.

“It’s just his character. I once saw him at a conference.” You shrug. “He managed to insult three of his colleagues in a ten minute report.”

“Impressive.” He shakes his head, smirking. The shadows of the small lamps on the veranda columns make his profile only more handsome. “He’s still a prick. I think…” He exhales purposefully, and you feel something clench in your stomach. “I think I’m just pissed off with… myself. No matter what I do and how much distance there’s between us, you still get this shite because of me.”

“It has nothing to do with you,” you answer quickly, and see his lips twist. That was a bad answer, wasn’t it, Wren? Yes, it was. It sounded like a daft reassuring nothing. Or as if you brushed his concern off. Or as if you told him sod off out of your life.

You tuck your feet under yourself, gathering your thoughts, and then turn your body towards him. If Dr John Crispin Thorington is now capable of an adult earnest conversation, you need to grow a pair and do the same.

“It has nothing to do with you, because if it weren’t for you, I’d still get all this shite. I’m young, female, and have no family connections.” He looks at you from the corner of his eye. You give him a soft smile. “I’m also capable, smart, and ambitious. They all want to eat me, and I bite back. That’s life. My past with you is just another thing they try to use against me, but just like with my gender and my age, I’m not going to let them. I am what I am, my age and my past included.”

“That was very life affirming,” he laughs warmly. “I am happy you feel that way.” He’s a hundred percent sincere. “And I envy you.”

“Well, I’m this Zen only now and then… Most of the time I’m just as insecure and spasmodic as I used to be.”

He gives you a long studying look. And you feel that he sees you – actually sees you.

“No, you are not,” he says in a low voice, and then quickly turns away and looks at the lawn in front of the veranda. “I’m leaving for Tokyo for four months. Yamataki invited me to participate in the opening of a new clinic. It’s a short project. I’ll be back by the end of the Summer, just in time for teaching.”

You hum, because you’re not sure what to say. Because you’re not sure what you think.

The two of you sit in silence for a few minutes.

“It’ll be strange…” you mumble, and he turns to face you again. “To know that you aren’t here. The city without John Thorington in it… That’s weird.” He smiles widely, which immediately makes you flustered. Not because you said a silly childish thing – somehow you’re OK with it. But because he’s so bloody fit, with his squinted eyes, and the white teeth, and the beard that you still remember so well! “Um… It’s not like I actually see you… Or have coffee with you on Tuesdays, or something, but still… You won’t be here.”

“I’d love to,” he calmly states, and you give him a questioning look. “Have coffee with you on Tuesdays.” You croak, and he grins even wider. “Actually, I’d even agree on Wednesdays, to be honest.”

The two of you laugh, and you suddenly know what to say next.

“We can find a Tuesday for that when you’re back in Autumn.” You aren’t even surprised at how smooth this line comes out. Your voice isn’t trembling, and you are sure even your nose isn’t twitching.

And just as you expected – or at least, hoped – he hikes up one eyebrow, under that very John Thorington angle, whimsical, and Roger Moore worthy.

“Well, there’s one every week…” he draws out, and you laugh louder. “Should I email you when I’m back?”

“Yeah.” Why is this so easy? Why aren’t you scared? Why aren’t you doubting?

“Are we talking about going out here? Excuse me, but I really need some clarity here.” He makes overdramatic puppy eyes. It’s twice as funny since it’s the Sun and Moon of Modern Neurosurgery we’re talking about – a hench bloke of six five, with his eyebrows hiked up, and peepers pitiful. “I’m an old man with a weak heart, Wren. These days I require diagrams and illustrations. A proper old goat now…” He continues his ridiculous theatrics, and you’re giggling.

“Yes, yes, I’ll ring you up – if I decide so, and we – might – go out on a Tuesday after your trip to Tokyo!” You raise your voice, as if trying to silence his blathering, and he guffaws.

“Well, no need to twist my arm into it, Wrennie! Blimey, it’s like it’s all set in stone already!” He flails his hand in the air, and you decide you just need to do it.

You climb off your armchair, and come up to him. He’ll looking up at you, his eyes brilliant. You could attach too much significance to what you’re going to do now; or you can say it was a spur of a moment; or you can pretend you don’t care – but maybe you’ve grown up just a wee bit, and you know that it is just what it is.

It’s just you kissing John.

There’s no room for you to sit near him, and you throw one leg over him and sit on his lap. He shifts, accommodating you, and you lean in, and he rises a bit, his hands softly lying on your waist. You two meet in the middle, and his lips are just as warm and as intoxicating as you remembered – and absolutely new and exciting.

Your head spins, and you press into him harder, wanting more, and his fingers clench around handfuls of your jumper. You know him so well, and somehow at the same time you’ve completely forgotten how good it is – kissing him and being kissed by him. A sweet shiver runs down your spine, and you feel him shudder under you. He does his usual thing – catches your bottom lip, and you feel the tip of his tongue to brush along it – and it’s like you’ve never felt it before. You lift one hand, and press your palm to the side of his neck, feeling the warmth, and the coarseness of the bottom of the beard under the thumb you’ve brushed to his throat. You’ve closed your eyes, and then you peek. He did as well, and your eyes meet. He moves away, a smile trembling in the corners of his lips.

There is nothing to say, really. ‘It’ll be long four months’ would be a good, corny line here. Or ‘Consider it a downpayment.’ Or ‘I’ll take this as a promise.’ Either of you could say any of that, and neither of you seems to want to ruin the moment.

He puts his hand at the back of your head and pulls you in, into a warm embrace. Your head lies on his shoulder, and you close your eyes.

THE END

The story will continue in Live Well and Prosper, the fifth and final part of Dr T Series.

***

Author’s Note:

Once I finished this chapter, I was going to post it, and wait another week before starting Live Well and Prosper, but then I thought – arrogantly – that life is short and difficult, and we all need a bit of joy, and if I can give it to you right now, why wait? So, please, proceed to the fifth and final part of Dr T Series, and let me make your week – or at least, hopefully, make your day a bit brighter 🙂

Thank you so much for reading and being with me on this journey! It would be nothing without you, my beloved readers!

K.