All Quacked Up (working title) *slightly NSFW*

I was going to wait until I had more to post this, but I think I owe you all a gift of creativity for giving me such an honor this month. So please enjoy Ducky as much as I do.

Chapter 1

At six forty-five, I opened my eyes to the pale golds and creams of my room and realized I hate my life. Now before you start rolling your eyes and saying things like “Oh poor pitiful, Ducky hates living in her parents mansion, rolling in piles of money, and never having to work.” My life so does not get that good.

First, my name is Ducky Davidson. Actually my name is Winifred Emmeline Bernadette Berkley-Donaldson. I have a brother who is four years older than I am and he discovered that my initials spell WEBBD, or webbed, “You know like a ducks feet. I’mma call her Ducky.” Every person in my family thought that was the cutest thing ever and so I am Ducky Davidson.

Anyway, back to why I hate my life, my name really being the least of it. I’m twenty-five years old and I recently graduated from Northwestern with a master’s degree in chemistry, with a study in forensics. I have wanted all my life to either be a doctor or to work in a crime lab. When I was sitting through the brief intros to the different course studies and realized I’d have to cut up a dead guy in order to become a doctor, I stood up, left the intro lecture and went to my second love, chemical science.

When I finally finished my course work, I came back home. Home is North Hampton. Oh I didn’t mention we’re “The Berkleys of the North Hampton Berkleys and the Davidsons of the Charleston Davidsons.” You see I was born into American aristocracy. It is not all it’s cracked up to be, let me be the first to tell you.

My brother Avery, and my twin sister, Bags, (Margaret Ann, nickname Maggie rhymes with Baggie, shortened to Bags.) And I were all raised by two nannies, Lily and Mrs. Tolkham. Our mother was this beautiful princess that swooped into our room each night dripping in pearls, diamonds or rubies, and dressed in these incredible gowns and kissed us good night and that we had lunch with three times a week. She and my father began their family young, and so were still deep into the party scene when we here kids.

When Bags and I turned eleven we were sent to a prestigious boarding school across the lake from our brother’s prestigious boarding school. When I began my sixth grade I told every one to call me Winnie, which in my estimation had been a great shortening of Winifred, since I wasn’t the only Winifred at our school, well that quickly became Winnie the Pooh shortened to just Pooh for four grueling weeks until our first social with the boys school. At which point my brother comes over to me puts me in a headlock, gives me a noogie and says, “Heya Ducky. How’s school going?” I pushed him off me, punched him hard in the arm, told him I hated school and promptly broke into a torrent of tears.

After that I was stuck once more with Ducky for the six long years of boarding school. I took an accelerated course and graduated with top honors and letters in all of my science classes. I am the brains in my family, Avery is the jock, Bags is the beauty, even though we’re identical twins, and I’m the brains. I went off to college in a town where no one knew me and none of my classmates had any hope of attending, so I was excited to become Emmy Berkley-Davidson. No one was going to call me Ducky for six glorious years, barring the obligatory Christmases and summers at home. I move into my dorm, and my roommate is this charming, if quirky girl from Beverly Hills, called June. June was in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences with me, but she was in the drama program and June was not all the way there, if you know what I mean.

One evening she and I were talking about our families and name origins and that sort of thing and she was doodling with my initials and discovered that they spell webbed and asked if people poked fun of me and I said no, they just called me Ducky my whole life. Well she thought that was incredibly cute and started calling me that and then every one in our dorm picked it up and so I am still Ducky.

Oh. My. Gosh. I am still talking about my damn name. My name is not the only reason I freaking hate my life. Ug. Ok now that you know the life history of my name I am not mentioning it again, I swear. After I came home, I took a summer off to look for jobs and just relax my brain a little.

That was six months ago. I have gone to seventeen interviews all over the country and each one looked like I was the one, I was told that I was perfect for the job and they would call me with details, then they would call and say that they didn’t have a place for me after all. After the sixth HR guy saying the exact same thing I became a little depressed after the fifteenth I became suspicious. I’ve no real proof, but I have a feeling that one or both of my parents is behind it. How can I “Have all the qualifications needed, but we just can’t take on some one of your caliber.” to every single laboratory I apply at. I’m not asking for a freaking fellowship or research grants, I just want to run DNA samples and figure out what the green substance is that the ME pulled out of the wound tract. Jeez.

So here I sit staring out at the Atlantic Ocean, and wallowing in how much I hate my life. Not to mention I have to go play tennis with my mother. The woman who didn’t take interest in me until my coming out and yes, we high society types still have those stupid dances when our daughters turn sixteen to let the single men know that they’re available for marriage now. My mother said that it was just a tradition now and it didn’t really mean that. Yeah, right. That stupid dance is not the reason my sister married at nineteen and started plopping out babies at twenty one, not that I don’t adore my niece, nephew and one on the way, I do, but let’s get real here.

Ever since that damn dance I’ve been expected at the parties and on family vacations and all that we-can-because-we’re-rich crapola. I am not now, nor will I ever be Paris Hilton or well my sister. Famous because I’m rich is a crock and so I hide most of the time. Which is probably why my mother is convinced I’ll be single the rest of my life and the only grandchildren she will have will be my brothers four and one on the way and however many my good Catholic sister spits out before it kills her. I have absolutely no intention of being a baby factory.

But I’ll have to listen to the same, when are you going to get married speech from my mother while I trounce her at tennis, that I do every Wednesday at two. With a big sigh, I uncurl from my big pale gold chair and plod into the shower. I tugged off the Hanro sleepshirt from Bergdorf’s, my sister had given me for our birthday last month and stared at my reflection in the full length mirror along the back wall of my bathroom. I am just a pretty as my sister, the thing is I don’t care. I have long chestnut brown hair that carries a natural wave, a heart-shaped face with good bones, sky blue eyes, under a heavy fringe of lashes. My body is shapely, with nice c-cup breasts. I’m not too skinny, and I carry a tiny pooch of fat just below my belly button and that’s only because I refuse to do the damn strength training my personal trainer harps on.

All that means is that I can’t wear those little swatches of cloth they call bikini’s and I look really good in the empire waist dresses that are in style this season. I give my little pooch and drum roll pat and step into the shower stall. My only vice is long showers. I have a little bench in my shower, that I’m supposed to use to shave my legs, but I just sit sideways on it and let the water rain down on me. It is an opulent waste and I don’t indulge that often, but since I’m feeling pretty crummy about my self, I’m going to indulge today. So go away and let me shower.

Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 2

I’m feeling slightly better, well not really, I just have to tell myself that so that I don’t go get into Cook’s stash of chocolate and curl under my covers and watch trashy soap operas all day while I feel sorry for myself. As I ‘m getting dressed for tennis with my mom, there’s a knock on my door and Mrs. Tolkham, who I swear was seventy when I was a kid, but is still straight-backed and lovely, carried in a tray.

“I was told you have not been down for a meal in two days, Winifred.” Mrs. Tolkham is the only person that calls me by my real name. It always makes me smile.

“I know, I’m just feeling sorry for myself.”

Mrs. Tolkham sniffed, and set the tray on the table next to my window and pulled out one of the little wire backed bistro chairs and seated herself. She’s a formidable woman, lovely salt and pepper hair pulled into the same bun it’s always in, perfectly pressed black skirt and white blouse, and sensible shoes. I have no idea what her lineage is, but she has the lovely face of an Irish woman and her eyes are a clear bright green. I have always found her to be the embodiment of what a grandmother should be. She cares to the tips of her toes, but she is not afraid to take a spoon to my backside if I deserve it.

“You come eat. I’ve told Cook that this is the last tray you get in your room for two weeks unless you come down sick and a doctor writes you a bed rest note. Is that clear young lady?”

“Yes ma’am.” Feeling like a heel, I sat in my tennis whites and ate the crisp green salad, bowl of orange segments, toast points and glass of lemonade. I don’t like lemonade, but I drank it anyway. I had a feeling that either Cook or Mrs. Tolkham had laced it with one of their herbal remedies and that if I didn’t drink it on my own it would be forced down me with “The Look.”

“Feel better?”

“Yes, Mrs. Tolkham, I do. Thanks. And I promise I will be down for dinner tonight. Do you know what we’re having?”

“Coq au vin, with summer squash, salad and strawberries and creme for dessert.”

“Ok, then I should wear something dark, thanks Mrs. Tolkham.” I stood when she did and gave her the hug she and I both wanted, before stepping back and watching her give into the smile that always lurked ready for us.

“You are most welcome, dear.”

She left my room and I pulled on socks and tennis shoes, grabbed my racket and headed down to the garage. I hopped into the shiny silver Mazda MX-5 that was my graduation present and zipped the six miles to the club. It was just one thirty when I arrived which was good, because I needed a glass of water and time for my stomach to settle.

I found a little two person table out on the veranda and watched all the tan bodies moving around the swimming pool. I’m not a big fan of lying in the sun and letting people stare at my body, but I don’t have any trouble taking in the eye candy. I ordered an ice water with lime, and let my eyes roam, with out moving my head, thank you very much.

The perky little waitress set my water on the table and as I looked away from her, he walked out of the life guard shack. Something deep inside me constricted, and I’m pretty sure I whimpered. Matt the life guard/tennis pro/personal trainer, was winding his way around the pool to the life guard stand, dressed in low slung black board shorts. His body is a study in perfection. Perfectly toned, but not overly muscled, perfectly tanned, perfectly rounded ass. His reddish brown hair falls in waves from his perfect forehead He has the most perfect face that I’m not sure I can describe it justly. His eyes are a rich stormy blue and he’s looking at me right now. I think I whimpered again.

With a soft sigh, I watch as he climbs up into the guard perch and I’m forced to drink half my water in one gulp. By the time the shock of the cold water reaches my brain I’ve once more convinced myself that I don’t want a man, especially one that I’m quite certain has slept with most of the women in the club. I check my watch and with another sigh, push back from the table and head over to the tennis courts to find my mom.

She didn’t waste anytime diving into her speech, as I served the first ball. I made all the usual replies, and trounced her seven-love. My mother sucks at tennis, but she plays because it’s what’s expected of her. I play because I like beating my mom. Mom hugs me and asks if I’ll be down to dinner and then we part ways, her for her after tennis massage and me for, who knows what.

You know what’s wrong with me? I’m drifting. I’ve worked my whole life and now there’s no more work to do and I’m lost. I have got to find a job, which means I have to talk to my dad. Which means I need to go to the city, which means I have to shower again, but I get to go shopping. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow, it is already three. But dinner isn’t until seven, and that gives me four hours to shower, talk to Daddy, and do some shopping. I think shoe therapy is just what I need.

I was not paying attention to where I was going and so I ran into a wall. Except when I looked up the wall happened to be made of perfect flesh.

“Wow, Ducky! I’m sorry are you okay?”
I just sort of stared up at him, and I’m pretty sure the whimper came back. I nodded my head, took a step back to go around him, caught my foot on a planter and found myself on my ass with an incredible amount of pain in my ankle. Great, just what I freaking needed, to fall in my little tennis skirt and sprain my freaking ankle in front of Matt the lifeguard. Oh. My. Gosh, this is worse than being called Ducky. Crap I mentioned my name again. Jeez.

“Ducky? Sugar are you okay?”

He was kneeling in front of me now, his easy smile replaced with what seemed like real concern and we were drawing a crowd.

“Yeah, I’m ok.” Proud, stupid me, decided the pain isn’t that bad and I tried to lever up using the ground and the planter as support. I got my feet under me, put weight on my ankle and find myself on my ass again. Fuck. This deserves real swear words.

“No, I don’t think you are ok.”

And before I could figure out what he was doing, I was in his arms, being held against perfect chest man and carried inside the cool interior of the club, through the front lobby and into the clinic. On the ride I gave in and put my head on his sun warmed shoulder and let myself breath him in. I was being carried by the man I think about when I masturbate, the one who rides up on his black stallion and steals me away from the evil Steffen. Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck. This sucks.

Dr. Bradley ushers us into his exam room and Matt climbs up on the table and sets me in his lap. Ohmigah, ohmigah, I am so mentally shaking my hands and squealing. Oh and I should mention I whimpered again. I’m beginning to feel like a puppy. I have absolutely no idea what the doctor said to me and what my answers were until he moved my ankle and I nearly shot out of Matt’s arms.

“Holy crap, that hurt!”


Hmm? Hmm is never ever good. What did hmm mean? Crap. I am so not going to get to talk to Daddy today. Ug.

“I’d like you to go to your regular doctor right now and have it x-rayed.”

“How, I can’t drive with a bum left ankle, my car is stick.”

I’m pretty sure Matt moaned a little and so I had to look up at him. He wasn’t looking at me, in fact he was looking anywhere but me. Interesting.

“I’ll take you. Who do you see?”

What? “Oh um, Dr. Myer. He’s..”

“I know the place. Come on, let’s go get you patched up.”

Very carefully, Matt stood up and carried me out of the clinic, back through the lobby and out to my car. I swear I’m so close to passing out that I just stared at him while he walked, what the hell else was I supposed to do?


What? “Oh, um in my pocket, hang on.” I lifted my hips in his arms a little which brought my belly closer to his face, dug into my pocket and pulled out the key fob. I looked up at him and his eyes seemed glued to the little strip of skin that I’d revealed when my polo shirt moved up when I’d shifted in his arms.

“Oh crap, my racket.”

That seemed to shake him awake and he looked at me and gave me that easy smile. “Hey Joe,” He called to one of the lot attendants. “Miss Berkley-Davidson has left her racket on the veranda, would you retrieve it and have it returned to her home?”

“Sure thing Matt.”

Oh, man. Well that took care of that. He returned that smile to me, before beeping open my car and angling me into the passenger seat. The drive to Dr. Myer’s afforded me a great up close view of Matt the lifeguard and I have to say, he’s better up close.

Dr. Myer has been my doctor since I was a baby and he’s always been old, just like Mrs. Tolkham. Matt carried me inside and Dr. Myer’s nurse was at once full of concern. She asked my all the pertinent questions and then asked if I wanted a wheelchair.

“I’ve got her just fine ma’am.” Ooooh-boy.

She asked him to bring me back to the x-ray room and lay me on the table. Yeah that was the strangest thing that has ever happened to me. Nurse Jones, laid a white sheet on the steel table and Matt laid me gently on top of it. First putting my backside down, and pulling his arm from under my knees, lightly caressing my thigh as he went, then using both arms to lay me back against the crunchy pillow the nurse had put on top of the sheet. It was crazy sexy and completely unnerving all at the same time.

“Thanks.” I whispered. The nurse arranged my foot for the x-ray, which made me whimper, and Matt took my hand. Gasp, choke, some one took the oxygen from the air. Nurse Jones made him go behind the wall while she took the pictures, then had him pick me up and take me to exam room one. Which he did with the same care as when he laid me down, only this time he brushed much higher on my thigh. Talk about things low and deep going tight then liquid.

A few minutes later old Doc Myer came in with the films, and stuck them on that white lighty-up board.

“Well, Winifred, it looks like you’ve fractured your ankle.”

His face was scrunched up in concentration as he stared at the black and white picture of my bones.

“Holy, freaking cow, are you serious?”

“Very, it looks like you’ll be on bed rest for a couple of days, then on restricted activity for about six weeks.”

“Oh, man, Mrs. Tolkham is so going to think I did this on purpose. Crap.” Crap. I actually wanted to go down to dinner tonight, just to prove to myself that I could get over this funk.

“So do I have to have a cast or something now?

“It’s an or something. We have these great orthopedic boots that will keep the muscles and ligaments from moving and keep weight off the limb entirely, it’s all taken by the boot. I have navy and black, which would you like.”

I sighed and laid my head on Matt’s shoulder, thoroughly dejected. “Black, please.”

In just a few minutes I was fitted in my lovely boot, with it’s lovely sock and Dr. Myer made Matt let me walk to be sure the pressure wasn’t on the ankle. Then he wrote me a prescription for pain pills, because oh my freaking gosh, am I still in pain. Matt took me to the drug store and went in to get the pills for me, with my credit card, but still he did it for me. Then he took me home, during that drive I called my dad and Mrs. Tolkham.

Matt decided that I still shouldn’t be walking and he carried me from the car into the house where we were met by Cook, Tilly the housekeeper, and Mrs. Tolkham. Matt was lead by a gaggle of clucking hens to my room. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized just how girly my room is. My rescuer was forced to leave the room so that I could be changed. Yes, those three women freaking changed me from the tennis whites into soft comfy jammies and then tucked me into bed with my foot elevated on several pillows.

They let Matt back in after I’d dutifully taken my pill and went downstairs to think about how they could torture me with hovering over the next six weeks. He sat in the chair next to my bed and grinned at me.

“I’m sorry you got hurt.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

“Don’t be. I sort of stepped in your way on purpose.” Oh man. What?

“Oh.” Boy that was clever. Here let’s just stab my eyes out now okay?

“I’m not going to stay long, you need to rest. Um, do you mind if I stop by and see you while they have you trapped in here?”

Holy crap. I will not whimper. “I’d like that”

“Cool. Uh, do you think I could get a ride back to the club.”

By me? Oh wait, heh, that’s not what he meant. I think the drugs were starting to work, wow those ones are quick. “Just ask in the kitchen, someone will take you back.”

“Great, thanks. Well by then.”

He got up and started out the door and I took the time to stare at his perfect ass. “Hey Matt.”

He turned back around with what I think was a hopeful smile, but I think it was the meds making me hopeful. “Thanks.”

“Anytime, Ducky.”

He grinned again and took himself out of my room. The meds took a hold of me and I was out.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 3

Waking up from pain killers is not like waking up at all. It’s like one minute you’re unconscious and the next you’re not. Though primarily I think it was the intense throbbing in my ankle that preceded the return to consciousness. I forced my eyes open and moaned when the shaft of light that came through the chink in my curtains every morning, speared my drug fogged eyes. I shifted enough that it was across my neck and then looked around my room.

On the table by my bed was a breakfast tray, and my bottle of pain pills along with a bottle of Advil. I grinned and pushed myself up on the bed, wincing when it caused my ankle to give a particularly large throb, and pulled the tray onto my lap. I dropped a pain pill in my hand and was happy to see it was the tablet kind. I broke it in half against my knuckle and swallowed half.

Pulling the lid off the plate I tucked into hot scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, apple slices, orange juice and coffee. As I was finishing the last bite, my body began to feel the rest of itself and I had to pee, like bad. I took a moment to decide if it was worth Mrs. Tolkham’s wrath to get up and go by myself or if I should jiggle in agony until she arrived. I opted for choice number two and picked up the phone next to my bed and pressed the kitchen intercom.


“Well, good morning, Miss Ducky, did you have your breakfast?”

“I did and it was perfect as always. I was wondering if you could send someone up, I’m in need of a bit of help.”

“Sure thing, Mrs. Tolkham was here in the kitchen with me and is already on her way up.”


I hung up the phone and proceeded to jiggle in the bed, until my door opened and Mrs. Tolkham walked in with Tilly. I didn’t really want an audience while I did my business, but such is life in this house. Tilly took my tray while Mrs. Tolkham helped me from bed.

“We thought you might like to have a shower while you’re up and about.”

That hadn’t occurred to me. “Yes, I think I would.”

“The doctor says that you can take the boot off to shower, just so long as you put no weight on the foot, and move it as little as possible. He also said that he sent your x-rays off to a radiologist and that he’ll know better just how long you’ll need to be in the boot. He also emailed some exercises for you to do to keep your hips from being injured by the uneven height.”

Mrs. Tolkham talked me all the way into the bathroom, and then closed the door on the toilet so I could have privacy, small miracles and all of that, right? When I’d finished my business, between Tilly, Mrs. Tolkham and me, we got me undressed, and onto the little bench in my shower. Tilly was convinced that it would have been easier if I’d had a bathtub, but Mrs. Tolkham assured her that she did not want to have to pick me up out of a bathtub, all wet slippery skin and a broken ankle.

I stifled my giggles and let them do what they were going to. It was incredibly pointless to argue with them, much less insist I could wash my own hair and my own body and whoa! Hey! You are so not doing that for me thank you very much! Oh. My. Gosh. Honestly, I’m not three anymore I think I can manage my own hygiene.

I took the loofah from Mrs. Tolkham with out a word and took care of the rest of my shower. I don’t think she did that to me when I was eight and I’d fallen off a horse and broke my left ulna, or when I was ten and broke my right radius falling off a different horse, or when I was fifteen and broke my collar bone by skiing into a tree.

With the shower off we got my leg dried and one of my own warm thick cotton socks on, then my boot. We dried the rest of me, and then I pulled a bright yellow sleep shirt over my head and hobbled back to my bed, where I let the half a pain pill take over and put me back to sleep.

I did that weird slide from unconscious to conscious again and found Matt the lifeguard sitting on my bed grinning at me. My hand flew to my hair, which had been combed and pulled into a loose ponytail at the base of my neck. Thank you Mrs. Tolkham. With a small half chuckle I smiled at Matt.


“You look like something out of a fairy tale when you sleep.”

I was stunned, yup stunned. There is absolutely no other word for it. I don’t need and or want a man in my life and here I am falling all puppy love goo-goo eyed over Mr. Perfect-body with the smooth lines. Crap, I think I’m drooling.

“How are you feeling?”

“Foggy and my ankle throbs a bit, but I’m ok. The pain pills work really, really well.”

“Good. I brought you something.”

Presents! I love presents. I’m like a four year old presented with Santa’s coming every time presents are mentioned. Luckily a bum ankle kept me from jumping up and down on the spot and demanding the present. Matt pulled a small gift bag from behind him and put it into my waiting hands.

I gave him a great big goofy grin and dived into the tissue paper. Then pulled out a little glass bottle full of sand and sea shells. I must have given it a funny look because Matt chuckled.

“You can’t go to the beach for a while so I brought a little bit of the beach to you.”

“Oh, Matt. That’s so sweet.” I felt tears prick at the backs of my eyes and my throat did that stupid constricting thing. I hate crying, I don’t do it often, but dammit it he was so sweet.

“I didn’t mean to make you cry, sugar. Here.”

He scooted up on my bed and pulled me into his arms, so that my head laid on his cotton clad shoulder, and the stupid tears just kept coming, it was like a freaking opening of the flood gates or something. I’m not really sure why I was crying. I think I just needed to. Between feeling sorry for myself for the past week and then finally wanting to get out of my room, I go and break my ankle and now I’m stuck here again. I think I mentioned at the beginning of this that I hate my life.

Matt pulled the ribbon from my hair and ran his fingers through it as I made a huge wet spot on his faded maroon t-shirt. He looked hot in that shirt, I hadn’t missed the way it pulled taut across his chest, to hang a little loose on his abs. He’d paired it with khaki colored dockers type shorts and black flip flops. Hot. That helped dry up my tears. A girl can’t cry when she’s having sexual fantasies about the guy holding her.

Wiping my eyes with my fingers I pulled away a little and surveyed the damage. Well, he’d have to change his shirt if he was going somewhere right away, but I had managed not to snot on him. More small miracles. I looked up at him to smile my thanks and found his lips on mine.

Oooooooh-boy. Wow. Holy crap. I know, real deep stuff, but I have no other words. His lips were soft like pillows, and he tasted of mint, and the sun and laughter. His tongue touched my bottom lip and I opened for him. Mint, sun and laughter deepened into something more sensual and earthy. The drug fog disappeared as I found myself sinking deeply into his spell.

I needed to be closer. My brain was filled with this one thing over and over, since my mouth seemed to be the only thing touching him at the moment. Oh and my hands on those strong, strong arms, and my knee against his well muscled thigh. Still my brain screamed more, more, please more. Lust and complete disregard for physics can accomplish all kinds of things. I am not sure how I managed to get my leg up around him, and when he figured out what I was doing, he turned his body and pulled me onto his lap. Heat to heat.

Man oh man. I’m not sure I have ever felt anything in my life. He was a solid line that touched me from ass to belly and pulsed in time with the heart thumping against my squashed breasts. Squashed, because I’d pressed myself to him, curling my good leg around his hips, and my hands into his luxurious hair. A main that spends all of his time in the sun should not have hair that soft. I was going to have to ask his secret. After I was done losing my mind to that long hot hardness between my legs.

Whoa! Hold up a minute! I have no desire to lose my mind to anything or anyone. I’ve done just fine on my own and I have no intention of pulling some poor sap into the idiocracy that is my family’s sense of duty and honor. My mother would tell me it’s fine to dally with the help, but I need to be serious about a real man. What the hell does that mean anyway, a real man? Like Matt is fake because his blood is red and not blue? Besides, I don’t dally, not with the help, not with real men, not with anyone, well except myself and that one guy and that one girl in college, but who hasn’t. Right?

His lips left mine to trail down my jaw to that perfect little hollow behind my ear lobe. Melting, I am definitely melting. I have to stop this. Oh man, I need this. I have to stop it. Sigh. His fire branding lips moved down my throat, and traced the laced edge of my sleep shirt. Oh crap! I am so not wearing any underpants.

“Matt.” It’s a bit hoarse but it’s out just the same.


“Matt, we have to stop.” I pulled away from him a little, but he just leaned in and played with the skin at the V of my shirt.


Why? Why? Because if we don’t I’m going to lose it and compromise your virtue, bum leg and all. Then after I’m done compromising it I’ll obliterate the fact that you even had any and then I’ll make sweet, sweet love to you. “Because my leg hurts.” Lame!

“Oh! Oh God, Ducky! I’m so sorry. Here.” He leaned back and swung me so that he had me in his arms, much the same way he had the day before when I’d been hurt, gently stood up with me, walked around the bed and laid me gently against my pillows. He brushed hair from my face and sat gingerly by my hip.

“Did I hurt you?” So sweet, it made me want to cry again. I swallowed against it, crying is what got us in trouble in the first place, he still had a huge wet splotch to prove it.

“No, I’m ok.”

“Look I’m sorry I did that. It’s just that...” Holy crap! He’s blushing, like real live pink cheeks and everything.

“What is it, Matt?”

“I’ve always wanted to do that.”

I smiled. “What, break my ankle?”

It made him laugh, mission accomplished. “No, kiss you.”

“Oh, well what took you so long.” I must not dally. I must not dally. I can’t resist him. I must not dally.

He lifted one of those perfect eyebrows at me. “I could loose my job for doing what I just did. I like my job, but you I can’t resist. Will you let me come back tomorrow?”

Oh, wow. I wondered if he could hear my heart slam once, twice against my ribs and then stop beating all together. “Of course I will.”

His perfect heart stopping smile curled his lips, and he pressed a gentle kiss to my forehead. “Thanks. You get some rest, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Ok, bye Matt.”

He walked from my room with a little wave, and I was left to pant myself into a right tither. Next time I would be wearing underpants, and clothes, clothes would be good. I like clothes, I have a huge walk in closet full of them to prove it. With a wistful sigh I took my other half a pain pill and then snuggled down into my covers and took care of the heat that had built up between my legs and needed some escape. Matt looks dashing in breeches and an open pirate shirt.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 4

I received a visit from my sister and her 2.5 kids later that day and then surprisingly my mother and father stopped by. I still needed to talk to Daddy, but it would have to wait, since they were on their way to some function or dinner or something. I had shrimp crepes for lunch and chicken fettuccine alfredo for dinner. Between meals and bathroom visits and family visits, I slept. I don’t recall sleeping this much with my other bone breaks, but then I was younger and more resilient. The next morning dawned bright and heartbreakingly beautiful.

I decided then and there that I would not be spending the entire day stuck in my stuffy bedroom. I was also determined that I would not have help in the shower again. It seemed that I had awoken before breakfast delivery, so I got up out of bed and stretched little used muscles in one long luxurious moaning stretching thing. That felt wonderful. I hobbled into the bathroom and went about taking a shower on my own. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I put towels on the floor next to the shower, then put all my soaps and things on the bench, and I retrieved a fresh sock from the drawer. Then I took off my boot and showered on the little bench.

Drying off was a bit tricky, until I decided to tuck a towel under my ass and let it dry me that way. I got my sock and boot on, which proved another challenge, because I didn’t pay much attention to taking it off, but I finally got it on and hobbled into the closet, naked as a lark. That was nice, since I don’t generally walk around naked.

As is my habit, I picked out what I wanted to wear, ivory shorts with an off shoulder black jersey knit top. Then I picked out the proper underthings, white lace panties, see I’m wearing underpants, and a black convertible bra that I removed the left strap from. It was awkward to dress, but I figured out a good system. I got my panties and shorts on to my knees, then put my boot back on and then pulled everything up, then put on my bra and top.

Happily dressed, I hobbled into the bathroom again to comb out my hair, I don’t know if I ever mentioned, but I don’t style my hair, it’s either combed and air dried or pulled into a ponytail. That’s it, unless of course I have to go to a stupid party then Ramon at the salon does amazing things to it. I dabbed on a bit of bronzer and lip gloss to make myself feel better and went back to my closet and pulled several different heights of sandals out.

I finally decided on my Stuart Weitzman python wedges, because they had the exact right height to balance my hips. I put on a few chunky bracelets, a pearl and oval link necklace and declared myself ready to sit by the pool and enjoy the sun. I was coming out of the closet as Mrs. Tolkham was coming in with my breakfast.

“Good morning!” I said in a sing-song. I had taken three Advil instead of the pain pills, my ankle throbbed a bit, but at least my head was blissfully clear. Mrs. Tolkham’s face was fixed in a comical mix of outrage and pride.

“You get your butt back in bed, Winifred. This instant.”

I bit back my giggle. “I’d rather not. I just got dressed. I’m tired of being in my bed, I can take it just as easy next to the pool or in the library as I can here.”

I crossed to her and gave her cheek a peck over the tray. “Come on share my breakfast with me, and then you can bully me into a chaise by the pool ok?”

She frowned at me, but gave in and set my tray on the little window table with the bistro chairs. She settled everything from the tray onto the table, but instead of sitting there with me, she made me put my foot up on the free chair and sat on the window seat. Melon balls, a veggie omelet and coffee never taste so good as when you have anticipation in your mouth as well. We chatted lightly as I ate my breakfast, giving Mrs. Tolkham the chance to get used to the idea that I’d bullied her, and when I was done, she cleared up while I brushed my teeth.

Then I picked a book from the pile of “I’ve been meaning to read these, but never have the time/inclination” books and I let Mrs. Tolkham bully my into taking the elevator. I love Mrs. Tolkham, I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before, but I do. She’s sweet and kind in her way and always has our best interests at heart. So I let her put me in the shade of a large tree and umbrella combination, and place several beach towels under my foot.

I settled down to read, and shortly after Mrs. Tolkham had gone inside, Tilly brought out a tray with a pitcher of ice water with sliced lemons and limes floating on the top, my ipod tucked into my docking station, and a plate with a pile of fruits. She poured me a glass of water, asked if I needed anything else, when I shook my head and thanked her she went back inside.

Happy, comfortable and content, I turned my ipod on to random and let it play through the speakers on the docking station. Joss Stone came on and I settled into the pages of Simon R. Green’s Agents of Light and Darkness. I’d read Something from the Nightside and really enjoyed it, so this was sure to be just as good.

I must not have gotten all the meds out of my system, because halfway through chapter two, my eyes got heavy and I fell asleep after reading the same sentence six times. It was asleep with a book on my belly, that Matt found me.

It was getting increasingly annoying to have him find me sleeping. At least this time I’m wearing underpants, and shoes, shoes are always a good defense mechanism. Like confidence boosting defense, not injuring family jewels defense. He pulled a chair up next to my chaise, and began gently rubbing my calf, and called my name.

My sleep was natural, and so I came out of it slowly with the remnants of a Matt as a sexy vampire dream still clinging to the fringes of my reality. Eye lids fluttered open and a soft smile curled my lips. I knew I looked a complete fool, but I didn’t care all that much, I was still half asleep.


“A guy could get used to waking a woman up if it puts that look on her face.”

I just smiled at him, because after all what do you say to that? Thank you? He leaned forward and pressed a light kiss to my lips and returned my smile.

“You look like you’re feeling better.”

“I am. It still hurts, but my spirits are better. How are you?”

“Fine thanks.”

Ok, now what do we say. Oh! Maybe he brought me another present, but if he did then I’d want to kiss him again and we so can’t do that in plain sight of the kitchen. It would give Cook, Mrs. Tolkham and Tilly more to gossip about than they needed. He took care of the talking for me.

“Your mom had to partner one of the tennis pros yesterday, he beat her but not for lack of trying to let her win.”

I giggled. “Yes, she’s quite bad, but she looks pretty when she plays.”

“I’m not treading that thin ice, thanks.” That made me giggle more. This should be easy right? People should just be able to talk and not have to wrack their brains for topics of interest right?

“Have you been missing work to come see me?”

“No, my shift doesn’t start until noon, so I’m good.”

“Cool. Are you just life guarding this summer?”

“Nope, still doing Tennis and personal training. I’ve seen you in the gym, you trainer isn’t doing you much good, not when you refuse to do the weight training she wants. After your recovered and your physical therapist clears you for real works outs, I’d love to show you some stuff.”

“That would be great. I hate her, but she’s who my mom and sister use, they swear by her and all of that crap. Of course they are willing to torture themselves. I am not.”

“Workouts shouldn’t be torture.”

“See! That’s exactly what I think. I think if you are going to do it, it should be fun and make you feel good, not push you to do something that just leaves you sore.”

“Man you really need to train with me.”

His hand slid up my thigh from its place on my knee, as he leaned into me. My breath caught a bit and I blinked slowly trying to remember what he’d said.

“Maybe you can show me some upper body stuff until my lower body is back in commission.” Did I just say that? Ohmigah. Ohmigah. Kiss me, please kiss me. Oh no don’t, I doubt I can control myself if you do. I think he may have sensed my dilemma, because he leaned back a bit and smiled his lovely teeth at me.

“Check with Doc. Myer first then I’d be happy to.”

“Thanks.” Did that sound breathless? Surely not.

Matt stood up then and brushed another gentle kiss across my lips and told me to have a great day and to get some rest. I watched him walk away, while the need to sink my teeth into his ass consumed me.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 5

My day was mostly uneventful after that. After lunch, Mrs. Tolkham pressured me inside to lounge in the library or media room. I went with the media room and fell asleep to DVR’s of the Sopranos. I don’t actually like the Sopranos, but it was something I’d not seen yet and so I watched. It made for incredibly strange dreams though.

At around four Doc Myer called. That was like the low point of my day. He said my x-rays were deemed inconclusive by the radiologist and that I need to have an MRI. I hate MRIs I had one when I broke my collar bone. After he and I spoke, he transferred me to the radiology clinic that would do the MRI and I had an appointment for ten the next morning.

And now to make the experience less painful, I called my brother’s best friend since eighth grade, Mitch Rhodes. Mitch is a professional slacker. He’s been a caddy at the club since he was fifteen and needed the extra cash, after he barely made it to graduation with all C’s, he just stuck around as a caddy. I think he’s like head caddy now, which pretty much means he sits on his ass and orders the other caddies around.

“Caddy Shack”

“They don’t call it that.”

“Only for you princess.” I chuckled. Always the charmer, Mitch.

“Of course.”

“So what streak of lucky fate has you ringin’ my bell?”

“I have a question.”

“Lay it on me toots.”

“You know Matt the lifeguard?”

“Matt the built studmuffin you’ve been lusting after since you got home from your fancy school?”

I rolled my eyes.“Yeah that Matt.”

“I do indeed. So what about him?”

“What is his last name?”

“I haven’t the foggiest.” Well that just changed my plans.

“Well damn, that sucks.”

“I do know that he’s training in the gym today. He does every Monday Wednesday and Friday.”

“How do you know that?”

“Honey, you’re not the only one making goo-goo eyes over Mr. Studmuffin.” Did I mention that Mitch is gay and very open about it?

I couldn’t help but giggle. I didn’t have any delusions that I was the only person that lusted after Matt the Lifeguard, I was hoping however that I’m the first club member he’s hit on and kissed until they’re a pile of liquid goo.

“Thanks Mitch.”

“Anytime sugar. Hey when are you going to make good on your promise of pity sex?”

“I promised that?”

“Yeah, the summer after your junior year of highschool.”

Trying not to giggle. “Oh, yeah. I never did follow through.”

“It’s the whole reason I’m batting for the other team. I just couldn’t get over your rejection so I turned to men.”

“Oh well then I guess I’ll have to see what I can do. See if we can’t recruit you back to our side.”

“I’m going to hold you to it, babe.”

“Yeah.” Snickering, I hung up the phone. Mitch is an idiot, a sweet one, but still an idiot. Once I had my laughter under control I dialed the club and asked for the gym.

“Can I speak with Matt the trainer please?” Ok what the hell is with giving Matt a label every time I say his name out loud or even in my head for that matter? He’s always Matt the Something. Why can’t he just be Matt? Of course Matt my boyfriend would be a nice label too. Wait. What? I so did not just think that. I don’t want a boyfriend. Don’t want one. Don’t need one. I need a freaking job that’s what I need. I job that will get me out of this freaking house and doing something I love. Which means I really need to talk to Daddy.

“This is Matt.” Startled out of my reverie I just sort of worked my mouth like a fish for a moment.


“Matt! It’s Ducky.” Flew from my face and loudly into the phone receiver. Smooth, like butter.

“Oh hey Ducky.” I heard the smile spread over his face and I tried real hard not to sigh and flutter my lashes. “What’s up?”

“It’s just that Doc Myer is making me get an MRI tomorrow and I was wondering if you could take me.” I found my bottom lip between my teeth, but that was ok I needed something to worry.

“Sure. What time?”

“I have to be there at ten. It’s at the Radiology clinic down the road from Doc Myer’s.”

“Sure. I’ll be there at nine-thirty.”

“That would be great, Matt. Thanks.”

“Anytime. Look I’ve got to get back to my client. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Ok, I’ll see you then.”

I hung up and felt the big stupid grin on my face. Tilly brought in my dinner tray and found me staring at the wall, grinning. Her gentle inquiry into my mental health made me giggle and settle back into the couch. I assured her I was fine and watched her shake her head as she left. I floated my way through the rest of the evening, and into bed. I doubt I need to mention that I had another sexy dream about Matt the Crocodile Hunter.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 6

Thursday dawned dark, dreary, and drizzly. I don’t think I was expecting to open my eyes to darkness when my alarm went off at seven, so it depressed me a bit. Seven is floopin’ early when you wake up on purpose, but I didn’t want to wake up too late and find myself wet headed and half dressed when Matt arrived. Ok, secretly I did. I hobbled to the bathroom and after catching a glimpse of the frizz monster attack in the mirror, I decided not to wash my hair. I’ve learned in my twenty-six years that the frizz monster is easier to tame if the hair hasn’t been washed.

I flipped on the radio, so that I could hear the weather report between the inane banter of the morning hosts, and took my shower. All things considered it went much faster. The weather forecast was dreary and called for low seventies. I hate it when the temperatures do that, because that means tomorrow is going to be unbearably hot.

In my closet I selected a pair of camel colored cropped pants, and a three-quarter sleeve brown knit top. I say brown because that’s the main hue, it’s this amazing swirl of browns that look like it belongs hung in an art museum. Anyway it goes perfectly with the wedge sandals I wore yesterday. Panties and a camisole the same color as the pants completed the outfit.

I sat down at the vanity my parents gave me for my twelfth birthday, it’s an old rosewood piano and bench converted into a vanity. The bench has a thick gold and cream lace cushion, and the mirror above is from some old church that was destroyed during world war II and was sold off to help rebuild the town that it came from. It is absolutely one of my favorite pieces in my room and when I finally move into my own home, it’s going with me. With quick hands, I rubbed some product into my hair, was aggressive with my comb and got my frizz attacked mop into a nice french braid. I sealed it with some gentle hold hair spray and declared the monster tamed. I swiped mascara across my lashes, bronzer across my cheeks and lip gloss on my lips. Satisfied I tucked the gloss into my clutch and hobbled to the elevator.

I was determined to have breakfast like a civilized person in the breakfast nook. Cook happily served me a strawberry muffin, and a plate of fruit and cottage cheese, along with a cup of chamomile tea and a glass of V-8. I finished up just before nine and was ordered into the media room to rest until Matt arrived to take me to the MRI.

I happily settled into Daddy’s recliner and flipped channels until I found a bizarre cartoon called Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. I was instantly mesmerized by the crazy little creatures and the slightly adult humor made me laugh. I decided to put it on the DVR so that I could watch it again. I felt sorry for all those imaginary friends with out children, and that stupid bird that only said her name quickly became my favorite character.

The show was just ending when Matt came strolling into the room. I flipped off the television and smiled up at him.


“Hi, yourself. It’s nice to find you awake.”

I couldn’t help but blush, as I put the remote on the side table and went to push the recliner’s foot rest down. At which point I found myself stuck. Well, crap. This has got to be the most embarrassing thing ever. Matt finished crossing the room as I was struggling to get the foot rest down. Oh jeez, I’m not sure I can take this kind of mortification. He put his hand on my shoulder and gently pushed me back against the chair and then flipped the lever down. Damn.

My whole life I’ve always just pushed it down with my feet. The recliners have changed, but method of closing them has not. Damn. “Thanks.”

He was struggling not to laugh, I could tell. Which made me blush a bit more and in my own defense chuckle a bit. He stood in front of me and took my hands. I was still struggling to get my blushing face under control when he pulled me up out of the chair and against his body. I had no choice but to look up at him. I was rewarded with his lips on mine and his arms around my back.

Oh boy, did he feel good. Like a hot shower after a work out, or sex in the morning good. Sigh. I leaned into his kiss and a sinful sounding moan escaped my lips. I think that must have turned him on, because he pulled me closer and deepened the kiss. I would have let him take me right there on the media room floor if my stupid practical side hadn’t cleared her throat and told me we had somewhere to be.

I pulled away enough to rest my forehead on his, letting my breath pant and my heart pound. I didn’t want to speak, I was hoping he’d do exactly what was playing so erotically through my mind. He did the talking, thus letting me stand there and pant and wish. “We should go.”

I nodded and he moved away, running his hands down my arms until he could take my left hand in his right. With our hands linked he lead me to the door, where I grabbed my clutch and we went out to his car. And oh man what a car. A 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback, you know the red one with the black hood. It made me want to go lay down on it and drool. I knew what kind of car it was with out being told, because I have to admit I have a bit of a weakness for old muscle cars. I mean who doesn’t, right?

“Matt! I can’t believe you drive this. Where did you even find one of these? Is it a 428? When my foot is better can I take it for a spin? Please?”

I hobbled away from his grip on my hand and ran my fingers over the lines of the hood. I am proud to say I didn’t drool. Though I think I had a mini orgasm when I slid into the passenger seat. Matt was shaking his head and chuckling when he got in next to me.

“It was my uncle’s. I inherited it. Yes, it’s a 428. If you’re a very good girl, I’ll let you drive it home. It’s got an automatic transmission.”

“Really? Can I?”

“Yes.” Delighted with Matt and his promise, I was determined not to freak out inside the MRI machine. I snuggled into what I could only assume were the original seats and watched the world pass me by with my hand tucked into Matt’s.

At the clinic I was called back quickly and shown into a room that held a table that looked to be floating in front of a giant white donut.

“What is that thing?”

The technician smiled at me as she typed things into a space-age looking control panel. “That’s the MRI machine.”

“No it’s not. It looks like something out of Star Trek.”

She chuckled softly and walked ahead of me into the room. “It’s called an Open MRI. This big donut moves around the table, taking the images we need.”

“Oh, cool, so no more tunnel of humming?”



She chuckled again and pulled a sheet from a cabinet. “I’m going to need you to take off your pants and shoes. You can keep your panties on. Then lie on the table with the sheet over you.”

She set the sheet on the table and walked out of the room. I lifted my eyebrow, now just how the hell was I supposed to accomplish that? I went out into the hall and motioned Matt inside the room with me. I told him I could go in alone, and so he said he’d wait in the chair in the hall. Grinning, he joined me in the room. I told him my predicament and he was happy to help. Ooooh, boy.

I sat on the chair next to the sheet cabinet and let Matt remove my boot and sandal. Have you ever had your shoes taken off by someone who made your girl parts melt, just by looking at them. Oh man, let me tell you it makes for a great deal of tingling in said girl parts. Especially when he places a tiny kiss on the tips of your toes. Melt. Sigh.

He helped me stand on my good leg, and put my hands on his shoulders. His very agile fingers opened the hook and eye closure of my pants and slid the zipper down. I straightened my bum leg out in front of me, that moved my right leg between his thighs and I had no choice but to shiver. He pushed the material over my hips, and it slid to the floor with a soft whisper. His eyes went dark when my panties came into view, but he very gentlemanly looked away and swept me into his arms. A girl could get used to being carried around like that.

He laid me on the table and covered me carefully with the sheet. As he was placing a gentle kiss on my forehead, the tech came back in. “I’m just going to wait outside.” His voice sounded a little strained and it made me smile. He murmured something to the tech as he walked past her and went into the hall.

With in moments a soft hum filled the room and the donut began to move along the table. It stopped just above my knees and then worked its way back down. She came into the room, gently moved my leg so that it made a right angle with my other leg and the donut did its slide up and down the table again.

“Ok that’s it. I’ll be back in a few minutes to show you into a consultation office, and when our radiologist has had a look at this he’ll come and talk with you.”

She left and Matt came back into the room. Dressing was a lot more difficult that the undressing and so was not nearly as sensual. The technician walked back in as Matt was tightening the last strap on my boot and showed us into a room with two plush arm chairs, a pretty dark wood desk, a large picture window and lots of green growing things. It seemed like a really comfortable place to receive bad news.

Matt saw me into one of the chairs and pulled over the small covered trash can for me to prop my foot on and then took the other chair. I laid my head against the back of the chair, my ankle was throbbing again and I was tired out from all of the excitement of the morning.


“Yeah, and my ankles hurting.”

“When can you take something for it?”

I looked at my watch and sighed. “Another half hour.”

“Can you make it that long?”

“Yeah, I’ll be ok. Though I’ll have to take a rain check on driving your car.”

“That’s fine. I’ll let you drive it to the beach on Saturday.”

“The beach sounds great, Matt. I’d love to go.”

I turned my head and smiled at him. He smiled back, and the door behind us opened. A nice looking man with salt and pepper hair, horn rimmed glasses, and a white lab coat walked in with a manilla file in his hands. He crossed to us and shook hands, introducing himself as Dr. Robins.

“Well young lady, tell me how you hurt yourself.”

I blushed slightly. “I ran into someone, tripped over a plant urn and landed on my butt.”

“Well that makes things clearer.”

He gave me a smile and opened his file folder. “You’ve done quite a number on yourself. You have a stress fracture in the fibula, which is usually caused by repetitive motion. Do you run or play tennis or racket ball?”

“I play tennis, about three or four times a week, and run for an hour every morning.”

“Mmm-hmm. So when you fell, your bone was already fractured and so couldn’t help keep every thing safely protected, and you tore the anterior tibiofibular ligament. So we have a couple of options here. The fracture will heal on it’s own, but the ligament is a might touchier. We can do option one which is let the bone heal, then do another MRI to see if the ligament is repairing itself. If it is then we can leave it alone for another six weeks and continue on from there. Or we can let the bone heal and then go in and repair the ligament for you.”


“It’s a very simple one, and is the fastest and most reliable option. The let’s wait and see option could result in a much more difficult surgery if you are not super careful during the three to six months it takes to heal that kind of injury.”

“Wow, six months?” That was a lot of information incredibly quickly and I was not entirely certain I could handle it all. Matt reached over and took my hand. I smiled at him and then turned back to the doctor.

“Ok I want to go home and talk to someone about this. Who do I let know what I want to do?”

“Dr. Myer will take care of it for you. If you decide to do the surgery he’ll refer you to a good orthopedic surgeon.”
“Alright. Ok. Matt? Will you take me home now please?”


He helped me up and we walked out to his car. Shock is pretty much what I was feeling as he drove me home, in his slick sexy muscle car. Man, I still want to lay across the hood and drool.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 7

I must have dozed off on the ride, because I had to open my eyes to look at Matt when he said my name.

“We’re home”

“M’kay.” By the time I got my seatbelt off and retrieved my clutch from where it had fallen to the floor, Matt had come around the car, opened my door and was offering his hand. I slipped my fingers in the strong bronze colored hand and hauled myself from the leather cradle of sex-on-wheels.

I was limping, because my ankle hurt and Matt made a frustrated noise, swooped me off my feet and carried my pathetic broken body into the house.

“I want to go to the kitchen.”

“No. You need pain killers and bed.”

“Ok.” I’m not the meek and mild type, by I was dazed enough, tired enough and in enough pain to lay my head on his shoulder and let him carry me up the stairs to my room. I should have mentioned the elevator, but I wanted the carrying to last a little bit longer. He set me on my bed and smiled down at me.

“You need to change clothes.”

“In the closet, third drawer has tops on one side and pants and shorts on the other. Just pick something. Oh and in the top drawer is underthings, there’s a row of cotton ones on the right. Just grab a pair that matches the pants.”

And just like that I was comfortable with Matt. Well, he had just been through one of the most difficult moments of my life with me, and had carried me inside afterward. I watched him disappear into my closet and smiled. He had gotten past me, despite myself. I still firmly believe that I don’t want or need a man, but somehow he’d gotten past me.

It didn’t take him long to come back in with a white spaghetti strap tank and black yoga pants with a little black bundle on top of the stack. Now the question was whether or not I let him help me dress or ask him to leave while I took care of it.

I opened my mouth to speak, but he stopped me, by dropping the pile at my feet and going through the process of taking off my boot. He stopped midway, walked into the bathroom and came back with a glass of water. On my bedside table he got one of the prescription pills and brought it and the water to me. He helped me sit up enough to take it, then laid me back against the pillow pile.

Matt went back to the boot, slid it off and then put his fingers to the fastener of my pants. He carefully slid them down my body, lifting my hips for me. He tossed the pants to the floor in a heap and I managed not to cringe. Those were raw silk and more expensive than is decent to speak of. From his place at my feet he looked up my body. Man, oh, man. My stomach did this weird flip-floppy thing and a soft buzzing started in my ears. I’m pretty sure that was because my heart rate had gone through the roof and my breath quickened.

I’d seen that dark look in a man’s eyes before and I think I might have trembled a little. Then he smiled at me and it was gone, almost as though I had imagined it. My body, however, was not so quick on the up take. His fingers hooked around the lacy edge of my panties, and he pulled those down my hips, but as he lifted that fleshiest part of my body, he placed a gentle kiss to the strip of curls the waxer left every week, and forced a gasp from me.

I don’t think I have experienced anything more erotic in my entire life. Then he was pulling the panties down my body and to toss on the pile of my pants. I couldn’t do much more than lay there and watch him, as my breath panted through my lungs and my heart determined to beat right through my rib cage. He moved up beside my head and gently lifted my upper body. He supported my back with one hand as the other went to the hem of my shirt.

I could have held myself up and taken off my own top, but damn if I didn’t want to. I wanted this man to undress me and treat me like I was made of porcelain for the rest of my life. Holy crap! Did that seriously just cross my mind? I guess it did, and you know I’m not that upset about it. I want Matt, in a way I’ve never wanted anyone.

He worked the top up my torso, then pushed it over one arm and with careful skill over my head and off the opposite arm. He tossed it down to the clothes pile and slipped his hand down my back and under my camisole. He worked the camisole up my torso in the same way, pushed my arm from the strap, pulled it over my head and off my opposite arm. With a negligent toss he sailed it down the bed and laid me back to the pillows. That dark look came into his eyes, and I felt things low in my belly clench then melt into liquid fire. The curls between my legs grew damp and my breathing went shallow and I think my heart may have stopped.

He leaned down to me and pressed a kiss to the base of neck where it meets my shoulder. In that lovely little hollow created by neck, shoulder and collar bone. I shivered, how could I not? His lips moved up my neck, stopping in the hollow behind my ear. I stopped breathing then. I didn’t know if I was supposed to touch him, or hold still in the same way I had while he’d undressed me. Small noises escaped me, it’s hard to say if they were needy, passionate or desperate. I’m voting desperate.

His fire branding lips worked along my jaw until he found my lips. We joined in a dance, filled with passion and tongues and tiny hungry noises. Then he was pulling away. He stood, and stared those dark dangerous eyes down at me. His hands moved to the end of my braid and pulled the band free, and then took the hair from the simple twist. When it was free he ran his fingers through it, creating a mass of curls, the color of rich old wood, polished to a glossy sheen, on the pillows. I found myself unable to move as his fingers played through my hair.

I was lost in sensation and had never felt so alive, so sexy as in those moments he lost himself in my hair. All to soon, he was moving away from me. I felt abandoned, a sensation that was new and unwelcome to me. He went to the little pile of clothes at my feet and took the black bundle from the top and slid first my injured leg gently through and then the other. He carefully worked them up my legs, planting tiny kisses along the way. He planted a firm kiss to the top of those dark dark curls, before slipping the black low slung cotton into place.

I shivered again. Perhaps tremble is a better word, either way it started in my toes and ended in the splayed ends of my hair. He repeated the process with the yoga pants, only his kiss was just above the black line of my panties, then the hip hugging band of the pants was in place and I was left wanting. With gentle care he slid a fresh sock onto my foot and tucking the leg of the pants into comfortable folds, replaced the big black boot. I wanted to cry. He’d just given me something so precious and had not even truly touched me and I wanted so much more. How did he make me want so much more, when for so long I’d wanted nothing from anyone?

With the top in his hands he lifted me from the bed and slipped the stretchy white cotton over the mass he’d created of my hair, then helped my arm through first one strap and then the other, he tugged the top into place and laid me back. His lips touched to the strip of skin exposed by pants and top. With out warning he lifted me, and I felt him moving something with the little bit of hands he hand available, then he laid me back down and after placing a pillow under my still throbbing ankle, pulled the light summer blanket over my body.

He leaned down to me again and pressed a gentle kiss to my temple. “I want you.”

My lips parted, and I panted with the reaction to that low husky voice and the words it had spoken. Oh boy, I wanted him too. So, so much. So right now.

He straightened, took my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Have a good rest, Ducky. I’ll come by later to check on you. Are you going to talk with your parents this evening?”

I couldn’t switch gears that quickly. It took me a moment to figure out what he was asking me. “Yeah, I will. After dinner since that’s when they’ll both be home.”

“Want me to be here?”

I looked up at him and stared. “Can you? Don’t you have to work?”

“No the rain made my Thursday clients cancel.”

“Than I’d love for you to come. Dinner is at seven.”

He gave my hand another squeeze, then turned and walked to the door. He turned, a golden god framed in the dark doorway. “I’m not finished with you.”

Then he left me. My body was keyed up, strung tight as a wire and no lace to go. I felt tears on my lashes, and had to laugh at myself. Who the hell cries when I man walks out of the door telling you he’ll be back? Frustrated, lonely and tears drying on my cheeks, the drugs took me under and held me there.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 8

When I woke up it was still raining and the gray sky had darkened into what would be sunset if the sun was shining. I felt dazed, loopy, and incredibly frustrated. My dreams had been dark, erotic jumbles of sound and snatches of skin, hot breath and intense pleasure. I’m not sure I ever want to go to sleep sexually frustrated ever again. I needed a shower, some ibuprofen and an orgasm, not entirely in that order.

I extracted the tangled sheets from my body and swung my feet to the floor. I had to dress for dinner anyway so I might as well get started. I glanced at the clock, 5:15, I’d slept for just under five hours. That depressed me somehow. Moving into the closet I grabbed a fresh sock, and limped into the bathroom. I showered as quickly as I could, stopping long enough to take care of that tight need balled up in my belly. I felt marginally better afterward and even hummed a bit as I washed my hair.

I chose a simple black skirt, and a floaty pale green top. Half a pair of black Jimmy Choo’s completed the outfit. I took the time to dry my hair and put some stuff in it to make it lay flat and shiny down my back. I put a little eyeliner at the outside corners of my eyes, some blusher on my pale cheeks and matte color on my lips. I’ve been dressing for dinner since I was twelve and expected at the table every night that my parents were home. Illness was the only excuse for missing a weeknight dinner.

With a soft sigh, I left my room, rode the elevator down and walked into the parlor for cocktails in time to hear my father being introduced to “Mr. Matthew St. James.” St. James? No, he couldn’t possibly’s a common enough name to be a coincidence, but then...

“St. James? Would you be related to Marcus St. James?” Asked my father’s upper crust, snobby voice.

“Sure, he’s my uncle.”

Well hell and damnation. I had no idea. Do you know what this means? Of course not, you don’t even know who the St. Jameses are, do you? The illustrious Marcus and Julian St. James own half of the upper east coast, and what they don’t own Marcus tries diligently to acquire. He has his hands in everything from supermarkets to oil refineries to opera houses to florists. And Matt is his fricking nephew. Do you know what that means for me? It means my parents are going to think he’s a very good match and are going to push for me to speed our relationship right along. Damn, damn, damn, and double damn. Sigh.

Well I couldn’t lurk out here in the hall much longer. It was a good thing I like Matt a lot, or I’d kick him out of my house, but mark my words I will be having a chat with him about it. Damn. I walked into the room, and Matt’s eyes met mine and went that dark dangerous shade they’d been in my room. My knees went weak and I forgot to be mad at him.

I went to my father and kissed his cheek. “Hello, Daddy.” Then the same to my mother. “Hello, Mom.” And only then did I turn to Matt. His hand came to my waist and pulled me closer than I’d wanted, as I leaned in to kiss him. “You look incredible.”

His voice was that low husky whisper again and I had the same belly clenching, curl dampening response again. My knees turned to jelly and I was forced to put my hand on his arm for support. My mother’s voice brought me out of my fog. “You didn’t tell us you were seeing Matthew.”

I turned to look at her, a fake smile plastered on my face. “It’s a recent development.”

“Well, we’ll shall have to have him over more often, won’t we. It is such a pleasure to meet you Matthew.”

“Matt, and the pleasure is mine, Mrs. Berkley-Davidson.”

“Please call me Alice.”

“Thank you Alice.” Boy could he lay on the I’m from a good school, and exclusive fraternity charm. I was slightly amused, because I knew that this was an act and I was utterly grateful just then to have met him and not known his origins. My father handed me a glass of mineral water and a scotch to Matt. My father assumed all men drank scotch. My mother and I were always given wine or a martini, because that’s what women drink. Of course tonight I’m on the you don’t get the fun stuff list, because of the bum leg. Stupid broken ankle. I could really use a drink right now.

Somewhere deep in the house the dinner gong rang. It was such a formal bit of nonsense, and I rolled my eyes, like I did every night. To my astonishment, Matt offered me his arm, just like my father had offered my mother his. I set my drink down, suppressed most of my giggle and slipped my arm around his.

“Do you guys do this every night?”

“Every night my parents are home.”

“Wow and I thought my parents were stuck in the dark ages.”

He winked at me and I giggled then shushed him as we entered the dining room. We were seated with my mother to my father’s left, as always, then Matt to his right and me beside Matt. Which is customary in our home when we have a guest. I find it just as archaic as the cocktails and dinner gong and the dressing up just to eat in our own home. With a sigh, I let the conversation of my parents and Matt flow around me. I was still feeling a little loopy from the whole pill Matt had given me and I was happy just to sit there and listen to the lyrical rise and fall of Matt’s voice. We ate some kind of chopped salad, followed by chicken Marsala, roasted vegetables and garlic potatoes. After dinner we retired to the evening room, this big stuffy room full of antiques and large glass windows with the heavy drapes drawn against the weather.

Dessert of bite sized tarts and pastries was served with coffee and tea. My father settled into his favorite chair with a big Cuban and a snifter of brandy. Matt settled me into the corner of the couch opposite my father, which both surprised and delighted me, as he placed a frilly white napkin across my lap and placed a small china plate in my hand and delicate cup and saucer on the table next to me, he leaned in and spoke quietly. “Now would be a good time, baby.”

Never in my life had anyone called me that, and that had suited me just fine, but coming from Matt it was sweet and made me feel cherished. “Yeah, you’re right. Thanks.”

He sat next to me with his own plate of goodies, and placed his hand on my thigh. I watched my father light his cigar and the room was filled with the comforting scent of good sweet tobacco. “Daddy. Mom. I went to have an MRI today.”

“Oh, why didn’t you tell me. I would have gone with you.”

“I know Mom. Matt took me.”

She gave me an indulgent smile. “Oh, that’s nice.”

Matt gave my thigh a squeeze. “Yeah, so the doctor there says I need to have surgery.”

“What?” Came my father’s startled reply. My mother simply gasped. You know I’m never sure if they react the way they do out of love or annoyance for the inconvenience, but it was nice to be reacted over anyway.

“I have this stress fracture from running and tennis and stuff, and so when I fell it couldn’t protect the ligaments and they tore. It seems the only way to fix that is with a minor surgery. Or I could just let it heal on it’s own, but then it may not heal right and I’d have to have a more complicated surgery. So I’m going to have the surgery.”

“When?” My mother’s voice sounded stricken, and when I looked at her face I believed it.

“After the bone heals, so in about five or six weeks.”

My mother nodded her head and picked up one of the many day planners she kept around. It was her assistant’s job to go around to each one and add in new appointments and check if any had been added, every day. She opened it and counted out five weeks. She glanced through the next several pages then wrote in bold strokes on them.

“There I’ve put in to keep my schedule clear for those weeks plus the week after. I’d like to be there with you this time. Ok?”

I just stared at her. My mother was never interested in me. When I was sick she visited and chatted inanely at me, then left for her next appointment, but this was unprecedented. “I’d like that Mom.”

She came over and gave my knee a pat, and kissed my forehead. “Well I need to get going. I have girl’s night tonight. You get some rest, Ducky.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Then she was gone. My father sat silently puffing on his cigar for a while. “I’ll clear my schedule as soon as you know the dates, ok, Pumpkin?”

“Sure, Daddy.” I really had no idea what to say to him. He only called me Pumpkin when something bad had happened or I’d been particularly naughty. I didn’t think the surgery thing was so incredibly big, and I had been worried and sad, but now I was scared. Daddy stood up and crossed to me. His breath smelled of the cigar and brandy as he kissed me good night and left me in stunned silence with Matt by my side.

I sat there for a few more minutes, until Matt took my plate and napkin from my lap. He offered me his hand and helped me stand. “You look like you could use some air.”

“Yeah, that would be good.”
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 9

My house is more of an estate, obviously, it faces south, and the south land is a long sloping lawn of incredibly green grass, to the east is the ocean and more lawn to the west is a neighbor and to the north is the pool and behind the pool is what my mother calls a proper English tea garden. Basically it is this immense landscaped thing with paths and benches, and some raised boxes and some bits that are left to ramble and do their own thing. There are fussy archways and a few fruit trees and shade trees.

We walked through the house to exit through the sun room and onto the pool deck. I was hoping that Matt wouldn’t want to walk, because I didn’t think I was up to much walking. He must have read my mind, because he took the first left in the garden and stopped at a bench tucked into a corner under a large flat leafed tree I don’t know the name of. The moon was full and bright and shone in silver beams into the garden. The tree dappled it across the bench, making it look like fairy lights dancing to some unheard music.

He settled me on the sleigh backed bench and sat close, putting his arm around me. I crossed my good leg over the bum one and leaned my head against his shoulder. He felt strong and solid and safe.

“You ok?”

“Yeah, I think so. They just made me scared. My parents never bother themselves about anything and here’s my mom clearing three weeks of her schedule and my father promising to clear a week of his. I was worried, but not nervous or frightened. I am now.”

It was strange to just open up and tell some one something like that. Matt was stroking his hand up and down my arm and I wanted to be closer to him. I felt so incredibly comfortable with Matt and it was so new and so filling. I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it all. I’ve never in my life thought I’d feel that way about someone. I went with impulse and slid my arm behind him, my leg over his knee and my other hand rest on his chest so that I could play with the buttons of his crisp blue shirt.

He murmured something to me, and moved his hand to my hair. His free hand, slipped beneath the hem of my skirt and up the bare flesh of my thigh. I had a moment of regret that I’d not worn the thigh highs I usually do. It would have been incredibly sexy, but there was no way to change it now. It wasn’t like I could run upstairs and put a pair on. I smiled at myself as I slipped the button through its hole and moved down to the next.


“Hmm?” I lifted my face to his, but couldn’t see much more than his jaw and the side of his nose.

“What’s your real name.”

“Oh.” I chuckled softly, and pushed the next button through its hole. “Winifred Emmeline Bernadette Berkley-Davidson.”

It was his turn to chuckle. “That’s a mouth full. No wonder they call you Ducky.”

“Yeah, that’s my brother’s fault. I would love to be called Emma.”

“Then I’d be honored to call you Emma.”

I pushed back a little and looked into his face. “Oh, Matt, that’s so wonderful. Thank you.”

He turned his head and looked down at me. “I just want to make you happy.”

Tears pricked the backs of my eyes and I forced them away by pressing my lips to his. Passion filled me with a wild abandon, and I pulled myself up onto his lap. I had chosen not to wear panties and I wanted to use that to my complete advantage, right there in my mother’s garden. My fingers fumbled with his buttons as his hands came to my waist.

Those strong fingers worked their way up my rib cage, gently across my breasts and to my shoulders. He pushed gently against me, until I was forced to sit back against his thighs. He looked deep into my eyes, his that dark color that had turned me to goo earlier.

“Not here. Not like this, Emma.”

He pulled me close, pressing my cheek to his chest, and his cheek to the back of my head. I felt cheated and ached deep inside. Rejection does not sit well with me, it never has. Matt moved my body until I sat sideways in his lap. I laid my head against his shoulder again and let the tears come. My name sounded so perfect on his lips and I felt so treasured in his arms. When the tears had dried themselves out I wiped my face on the handkerchief he gave me and sighed softly.

“Talk to me.”

“Alright.” I couldn’t think of anything to say, and not revisit the fiasco we just got over. So I chose something that was niggling at the back of my brain. “If your uncle is Marcus St. James, why do you work at our country club?”

“I wondered when you were going to ask me that,” he said with a short laugh. “ I don’t want to be just another trust fund kid. I want to earn my own way, do what I love and not what is expected of me. I took the money I came into when I turned eighteen and again at twenty-one and reinvested them. I use the interest to pay for the nice little house I live in, and the rest is paid for with the check I get every week.”

“Well that makes sense. What about college, didn’t they force that on you?”

“Of course. I surprised them all by getting a degree in bio-engineering and I’m currently working on my doctorate dissertation.”

“Wow.” I really was impressed, since he’d not struck me as the science nerd type. I toyed with the light smattering of hair on his chest. “What do you plan to do with such a cool degree.”

“I’ve got some prospects lined up in California.”

“Oh.” That struck home, I would love to work out there. The silicone valley has some of the best forensic labs in the country and I would give my left foot to be in one of them.

“So why are you still at home? Why aren’t you out on your own like your brother and sister?”

“Ah, that is a huge bone of contention in this house. I don’t want to marry the right sort of man, settle down and become a grandchild factory. I want to use my degrees in forensic chemistry and help save lives and put the bad guys away.”

“So why don’t you?”

“I can’t seem to get a job. I think either one or both of my parents are behind that.”

His hands were playing with the ends of my hair and the hem of my skirt, making it kind of hard to think. “What would happen if you just left?”

“Ah, the money would dry up and I’d be left to flounder on my own, until I came crawling back begging for them to find me a husband and have the grandchildren. I’m not above floundering, but I kind of like the fabulous shoes and great bags I can buy.”

I laughed a little. It was a sad truth. I didn’t leave, I didn’t give up or in, because, frankly I like the comfort the money gives me.

“Would they stop you from working if you were married?”

“Oh probably not. They would consider my want to work my husband’s problem and expect him to put a stop to it.”

“I see.” I wondered if he did. He had left the world behind and did what he wanted to. Did he really see what I was up against? I sighed softly and then suddenly I was being lifted.

“You should get to bed. It’s getting late.”


I was carried through the night blooming flowers with their exotic scents, past the quietly gurgling pool and into the house. This time I told him about the elevator. I wasn’t sure I could take the sweetness long enough to let him carry me through the house and up the stairs. He set me gently on my bed and took a step back, running his hand through is hair.

“Look, is there some one you can call to help you. I don’t think my sanity can go through that again.”

Ah so he had some weaknesses did he? I smiled at him, I didn’t think I could take it either. “I’ll get some one.”

“Ok, well good night then. Mind if I come by in the morning.”

“I’ll be crushed if you don’t”

He kissed me then, a tender, careful meeting of lips, with a soft touch of tongues. He pulled slowly away from me, placed a small kiss on my forehead and walked from my room with a small wave. Frustrated and tired, I let the skirt fall to the floor, the shirt followed along with the single shoe I wore. I popped a pill into my mouth, swallowed it with a mouth full of water and fell into a sweaty sleep.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 10

The next day I spoke with Dr. Myer and he put me in touch with the best orthopedic surgeon in New Hampshire, with big important things from the something something, and the yada yada, blah, blah, blah, thingy, whatever. All that means to me is he’ll be crazy expensive, but do the job right the first time. I have a consultation appointment with him in three weeks. Yippee. I also asked Doc Myer about working out. I didn’t want to turn to flab in the like three or four months of my invalidity, and since I can’t run, then I have to do something.

He got me in touch with a physical therapist. The PT said to come in and learn the proper exercises for my lower body, then he’d give me a stack of papers to take to my personal trainer, who could then add in upper body.

I went later that day, just for something to do, and he was all about making sure I’m not lifting weights, something about the strain it puts on the lower body one ear and out the other. I stopped listening after he said those magic words. “No weight lifting.”

So the following Monday began a routine that kept me occupied in the weeks leading up to my surgery. I met Matt every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at our home gym, and he took me through an hour’s work out that was actually a great deal of fun. And my Friday nights and Saturdays were filled with Matt. We went to movies, dance clubs, dinners, picnics, parks, plays, the zoo, and a couple of museums.

Two days before my surgery date, I went to see the orthopedist. My mother was with me, which was odd and awkward and strangely comforting. He had ordered new x-rays and MRI and we were waiting in a little pastel painted exam room for his final evaluation.

Dr. Arnold was a man in his late forties or early fifties, with a mane of salt and pepper hair, a trim body and sharp dark brown eyes. He was kind, and his hand shake was always warm. He came in and propped his hip on the corner of the counter.

“Well, your bone has healed up nicely, but those ligaments are starting to knit in the wrong way, so it’s a good thing that we’re going in, in a couple days. How are you feeling?”

“Nervous, but the pain is better.”

“Good. Well I have some pamphlets for you to read through, along with some after surgery instructions, and a recovery plan that includes your follow up appointments, and your in office physical therapy.”

He handed me a blue folder with his office’s logo on it and about a half inch worth of paper inside it. He then went on to explain the procedure to me, including pre-op and post-op. I’d be in the hospital for approximately three days, and should be well on my way to recovery soon. I would be in the boot for another six weeks after the surgery and then in a brace for another two months and then I would need to wear an ankle brace every time I played sports, ran, or worked out. Otherwise I would risk another stress fracture. Peachy.

The day of the surgery was preceded by a sleepless night. Matt had spent the night in a guest room down the hall, and had crawled into my bed, fully clothed, at around four-thirty. We lay there staring into the darkness until the alarm went off at six.

I left my bed reluctantly, I needed to be at the hospital by seven and I figured I at least needed to shower before I left. I did so quickly, and dressed in a pair of forest green yoga pants and a cranberry camisole top. Sitting at my vanity, I pulled my wet hair into a french braid, while Matt sat on my bed and watched me with lidded eyes. I wanted to know what he was thinking, and if he was as scared as I was. I was afraid to voice the question, and give power to my fears.

He rubbed little circles on my back as I put on my sock and half a pair of white Keds. He grabbed the little purple flowered duffle that held several sleep shirts, panties, socks, toiletries, and a couple of books. I had no idea if I’d be too spaced out on pain killers to read or not, but it never hurt to be prepared.

We met my parents in the foyer, my mother was dressed in crisp gold colored slacks, a delicate top the color of egg shells, and carried a lap top case and a tote bag. My father was in navy slacks and a thin striped collar shirt covered by a dark green sweater vest and carried his own lap top case. I glanced at Matt, he was in shorts and a t-shirt he held a book of crosswords and a pillow. It made me smile at him.

Outside a black limo pulled up, and we all trooped out and seated ourselves with in. My parents sat side by side with out touching. Matt put his arm around my shoulder, and I scooted as close to him as I could get. His free hand was entwined with mine and the fine tremble in my body caused his arm to shake. He petted me, with the arm around my shoulder and murmured in my ear. I have no idea what he said to me during the twenty minutes it took to get to the hospital.

We rode in the elevator up to the fourth floor, and walked into the pre-op waiting area. I signed my name to the clip board and the sat with Matt on one side of me and my mother and father on the other. A few moments later a nurse in blue scrubs and a big poofy shower cap thing, brought me a clip board and I had to fill out all the paper work that the admissions appointment missed. My hand shook, and with a gentle touch, Mom took the board from me and filled everything out, then showed me where to sign. I felt silly not being able to write on my own papers. The nurse came back and said it was time to go back.

I hugged my parents, then hugged and kissed Matt. If I clung to him a little longer than was decent, who could blame me? With a soft good bye, and a “we’ll see you in just a little while.” I was taken through a double sliding glass door, down a short hall and into a long room full of beds, portioned off by curtains. She took me to the third bed down, and closed the curtain around us. A lovely blue paisley hospital gown, an identical shower cap thing to the nurses, and a gauze looking square were on the bed.

The nurse smiled and said I’d need to remove all of my jewelry and clothing, and put on the gown, underpants, and cap. She asked if I wanted help. I smiled and politely refused. After all I’d been doing this for almost two months now. I was quite good at it. She left through a split in the curtains I’d never be able to find, promising to return in a few minutes.

I undressed, and put on the gown and stretch gauze panties, which made me laugh. It was like wrapping my naughty bits in a couple pieces of string. There wasn’t much point to them, except maybe to keep the surgical staff comfortable, should my gown go too far up. I giggled again and put the cap on my head, tucking the braid up into the elastic. I was just pulling my injured leg up onto the bed, when the nurse came back through the curtains.

She took my vital signs. “You blood pressure is a bit high. Nervous?”

“I feel like I’m about ready to crawls out of my skin. I’m thinking highly of throwing that boot on and running from this joint like a roach from light.”

She chuckled, and patted my hand. “I’ll get your anesthesia nurse and see if we can’t get you something to help calm your nerves. First though I need you to swallow this down, it’s to counter act the nausea caused by the anesthesia.”

“Oh, peachy.” I swallowed it with the minuscule sip of water she gave me, and lay back on the bed. I was suddenly cold and I couldn’t stop wiggling my leg. She put a warm blanket on my legs and left again. Before long a young man in light green scrubs came carrying a multi-binned thing with needles and things sticking out of it.

“I’m going to put in your IV.”

I nodded at him and he, did his thing. I hissed softly when he stuck me and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep my leg still. As IV guy was finishing another guy in maroon scrubs came in. He introduced himself as my anaesthesiology nurse, and I smiled.

“So are you guys like color coded to your jobs?”

He grinned. “Yup, otherwise they think we’re all doctors and then nothing gets done.” He winked at me, and started looking through the pink binder on the table by my bed.

“The pre-op nurse said you were have a case of the nerves. How about I give you something for that?”

“That’s be great.”

My leg had begun to wiggle the entire bed and I felt ready to climb the walls. He went to a cabinet in my little cubicle and unlocked it, then pulled out a clear vial with black writing. He read it carefully, took it to the pink note book, wrote a bunch of stuff down. I tracked him like a dog tracks his owner’s fork. I had no idea what was in that vial, but I knew I wanted it, and how.

He ran his finger down my chart, pulled out a calculator, did some quick number crunching and then finally pulled a sterile syringe from a big pocket in his scrubs and drew the medicine from the vial. He walked to me and put the syringe into one of the stoppers of my IV, and I honestly don’t remember anything else after that.

When I came to, my brain was foggy, and I was in a peach colored room with a lovely picnic scene framed on one wall, a largish television on another, a curtain covered window on a third and a bathroom in the last wall. Matt sat in a chair by the window dozing, Mom had her lap top open on the food tray and was clacking away at it and Daddy was watching a sports program with out the sound.

I must have made some kind of noise, because their eyes were all on my and I suddenly had three people at my bed. I chatted with them for a few moments, before I fell back to sleep. The rest of my day was like that, moments of lucidity followed by long bouts of sleep.

My hospital stay was pleasant and the food was decent, but by the end of the third day I was antsy to get home and rest. They don’t let you really rest in a hospital, what with the poking and prodding every couple of hours. I was able to do all that they asked of me and Dr. Arnold released me to the caring arms of my parents and my boyfriend.
Sarah 17 years ago
Chapter 11

I’m in love, and I can tell you exactly when it happened. It was four months, six days and four hours ago, when I walked into a wall of muscle and broke my ankle. Recovery from my ankle has been slow and painful and full of tears and sweet gentle encouragement. Matt’s spent his all of his free time with me, since the day I came home from the hospital with my foot in a cast.

He took me to and picked me up from physical therapy, made me laugh, and talked me through my evening exercises over the phone between clients. We’ve talked long into the night, and watched sunrises together. I know more about this one man than I have ever known about all the people in my life combined. We talked about hopes, dreams, life expectancies, politics, religion, children, and I’m sure it will surprise no one that we agree on just about everything.

The only thing that’s bothered me is that we’ve not gone beyond some seriously heavy petting. I want to make love to Matt, with a fierceness that surprises me, but he’s not ready yet. I’m not sure if I agree that we should wait. I don’t even know what we’re waiting for.

I’ve been out of the boot for just over two weeks now and I’m able to walk with out pain, and I can even jog for short distances. The therapist says that I should be running five miles a day again in no time.

Matt is going with me to my final appointment with Dr. Arnold, and tonight he’s taking me to the Twilight Room. Do you know what the Twilight Room is? It is The Place. The one you take your significant other to for marriage proposals, big news, or the milestone anniversaries. Well, we don’t have a milestone, and I know he’s not finished with his dissertation, so I’m not foreseeing any big news announcements, which can only mean one thing. Well now the waiting thing makes more sense.

I’m not sure how I feel about it as we sit in Dr. Arnold’s office. I’m going to have to go shopping, I don’t have an appropriate dress for the Twilight Room. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to go Legally Blonde and get a dress that says bridal, but not like I’m expecting it. That made me giggle. I just needed a dress that wasn’t out of season or screamed, “Oh honey, you haven’t been shopping in six months.” Maybe something in a bright jewel tone.

I was given a clean bill of health, with precautions to continue physical therapy until I’m back to my pre-surgery activities with out pain. That’s going to take months, but oh well. Matt took me home and with a kiss that melted me to my toes, told me he’d be by to pick me up at seven. Hooooo-boy. My stomach’s doing little flip-flops.

With a grin I slid into my own car and drove myself to Sak’s. I stopped at the Red Door and had them work me in for a mani/pedi, a wax and hair cut. I’d do my own make up, I had six hours between now and my date. The massage would feel tremendous on my newly recovered ankle. I then took myself over to the evening wear and pulled dress after dress. It had been much too long since I’d gone shopping, and I was going to enjoy myself.

After an hour I finally decided on this fabulous cocktail dress by Carolina Herrera, that was this dark green/brown silk with huge copper sequins on the bodice, and straps of metallic gold, with tiny bows that rested right on my shoulder blades. I found perfect shoes to match, and then took myself and my purchases to the spa. I spent the next three hours in perfect relaxation, while they took care of my neglected feet, and put fresh tips on my finger nails. They took hair from places I don’t generally talk about in polite company. Then one of the master stylists did something fabulous with my hair, so that it floated around my neck and shoulders.

I still had an hour to kill, so I went home, pulled out a book, arranged myself on the couch in the media room, so as not to muss my hair, and promptly fell asleep. Mrs. Tolkham woke me at six fifteen with a gentle shake to my shoulder. Laughing at myself I went upstairs and was relieved to see that my hair still did the fabulous floating thing.

I chose a pair of black lace boy shorts, a matching garter belt and a pair of skin tone thigh highs. At my vanity, I did the smoky eye thing, a neutral lipstick, and just a touch of bronzer. I put Matt’s favorite perfume, of my collection, on all of my pulse points, then slipped into the dress. It was structured enough that a bra wasn’t necessary, and the silk lining slithered over my skin.

My stomach had started jumping again, and I had to do some deep breathing to keep it from rebelling and ruining my make up. I put the essentials into a copper colored evening bag, tucking my ankle brace into the bottom of it. I checked my watch, and saw that I had four minutes until Matt would arrive. I’d rushed through my grooming, damn. Smoothing my skirt, I perched in my window seat and stared out at the twilit ocean. The summer had moved into a perfect fall and the days were growing shorter. It reminded me I would need something for my shoulders.

I stood and went into my closet. It took me a few minutes to find my favorite black chiffon wrap, and I was just coming out of the closet when my phone buzzed. “Ducky, Mr. St. James is here for you.”

“Thank you Mrs. Tolkham. I’ll be down in a moment.”

So it was going to be like that. My belly jittered again, as I slid my feet into the shoes. My ankle twinged a bit, but it wasn’t too bad. With a deep breath I picked up the evening bag, slipped the wrap through the handle of it, and left my room. At the top of the stairs I took another deep breath and started my way down at a sedate place. If I learned nothing else from my mother, it was how to make an entrance.

Matt stood at the bottom of the stairs looking down the hall, toward the elevator. I felt my lips curl into that knowing smile women get when they’ve one upped their man. I made a small noise, so that he’d turn his head. I watched his eyes go wide, and then his lips curl into that masculine smile that says, he knows what’s under that dress. And if things go according to my own plans, he’ll be taking off what’s under that dress.

I reached the bottom of the stairs, and went into his arms. We pressed cheeks, then touched lips, it was our usual greeting when I was wearing lipstick. “Emma, you look...huh I can’t find a word. Perfect, just doesn’t seem to be enough.”

I felt my cheeks pinken, and I smiled at him. “You don’t look too bad yourself.” He was dressed in a black suit with a silver banded collar shirt, complete with shiny shoes and cuff links. I’d given him those links for his birthday last month. He slipped my hand into the crook of his arm and walked me out the door and to a shiny white limo. I was surprised by it and gave a little gasp. He chuckled and helped me settle into the plush seat with in.

In the limo he presented me with a perfect red tulip, my favorite, and a glass of champagne. I am the first to admit that I can not hold my liquor, I don’t even pretend I can. So I nursed the glass as we chatted idly and had only drunk half by the time the limo was pulling up to the Twilight Room. Matt took the glass from me, and put the flower in a little vase next to the champagne bucket. The limo driver helped me from the climate controlled interior, and bulbs flashed around me.

I sighed, I hadn’t thought about the paparazzi. They tend to hang out at these places to catch who’s going in with whom and how they look when they leave. I try to stay out of the society pages, and this would be my first appearance in them in over a year. Matt emerged from the limo and the bulbs flashed again. He tucked my arm around his and the bulbs continued to flash as we walked the ten feet of navy and gold carpet to the door of the restaurant.

A uniformed doorman let us inside and I took the time to take in the posh surroundings. Fabric draped walls, sedate art, recessed lighting, all thing things you’d expect from this sort of place, and everything done in the deep blues, grays and purples of twilight. The maître d' greeted Matt by name, which surprised me only slightly, it was, after all, his job to know those things, and showed us to a table in a cozy corner, beneath one of the beautifully framed windows. My chair was pulled out and I sat carefully.

Being seated in a chair that is being pushed in by another person is an art and one I was forced to practice often as a young girl. You have to both have the right timing, other wise you miss the chair or get bumped in the knees and loose your balance. Matt sat across from me, and my napkin was placed in my lap and we were assured that our server would be with us promptly. No sooner had Matt taken my hand than said server arrived. Wine was ordered, and our menu selected.

Dinner passed with incredible slowness for me. My stomach grew more and more knotted as the courses passed and we shared conversation. Between the second and main courses, Matt asked me to dance. We shared a waltz then a rumba around the floor, then returned breathless and laughing to our seats and our main course of seared tuna, grilled vegetables and more wine. Though in all I’d only had one full glass and at least two goblets of water. My head was a bit light, but nothing that couldn’t have been attributed to the dancing and my nerves.

After the main course, dessert was served and I was relieved that he hadn’t done the hokey, ring in the chocolate thing. Not that that isn’t sweet and all, but just not my thing and certainly not Matt’s. I ate the dainty little desserts and enjoyed every bite of them. I am not shy about eating sweets. I love them and I will indulge in them when ever I want to, especially when they’re presented so beautifully.

We finished, and coffee was served. It was then that Matt took both my hands. This was it. It was time. Ohmigah. Ohmigah. I think I’m going to pass out. Oh he’s talking...

“...and I have fallen in love with you. I’ve never been in love with anyone before you and it’s frightening and exhilarating and perfect all at once. So that’s why...”

He lifted my hands up and over the center piece and our coffees and slid down on to his knee in front of me. Oh, I had dreamed my whole life that when a man finally asked me this question it would be just like this. Tears sprang unheeded to my eyes, and I had to focus on his again, because his lips were moving and I’d missed some of the words.

“...want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He let go of my right hand and slipped his hand into his jacket and pulled out a small navy blue box. My breath hitched, and then whooshed in out of my lungs in quick bursts as he opened that little box. Inside glittered a simple gold band with a large round ruby between two circle cut diamonds. It was stunning, the tears spilled over my lashes and down my cheeks. Thank God for water proof make up.

“Emma, will you share your life with me?”

I knew it was coming, I was expecting the question, but my ability to speak had left me, it was gone and all I could do was nod. My hands shook as he slipped that circle of circles on my hand. I put my hands on his cheeks and pulled him up to kiss while around us people clapped politely. I rained kisses all over his face, then mopped my face with his handkerchief, before kissing him again.

“Take me home.”
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 12

We walked from the restaurant, with my left hand carefully tucked into Matt’s arm so that the ring didn’t show. I didn’t want this most intimate of news splashed across page six for my parents to read over their morning coffee. I wanted to tell them myself and I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity before tomorrow evening. I rested my dazed head against his shoulder as we waited at the end of the carpet for the limo to pull up.

Matt helped me inside and then curled his arm around my shoulders. He put his right ankle on his knee and I slid my legs into the gap made by his knee and the seat, until my left knee touched his left knee. I tucked my head into the hollow created by the bend of his shoulder, and he squeezed me gently. My left hand rested on his knee and my eyes were drawn to the ring on my finger.

“Why three circles?” Matt was big into symbolism, so I knew it had to mean something.

“This is the circle of your life,” his hand came up and gently touched one of the diamonds, “and this is the circle of my life.” He touched the other diamond. “And they come together to become our life.” His finger caressed the ruby.

Tears sprang to my eyes, and I let them wet my lashes before swallowing them back. It was simply the sweetest thing I had ever heard and I had absolutely no words to respond with. Instead I snuggled closer and lifted my lips to his.

My body melted against his, as his lips deepened the kiss. The gentle rasp of his tongue had my lips parting for him, and he slipped inside of me. I moaned for him, my hand moving up is chest as my body turned into his. I felt a hand on my ribs and a shudder ran down my spine. We stayed locked in that embrace, until the car slowed and we heard the driver’s door open and close. Matt put me away from him with a gentle smile.

We had not been driving long enough to have gone to my house, so I wondered where we were. Matt helped me from the warm cave of the car, and out into the crisp late September air. We were at his house. He lived in one of those great established neighborhoods, where all the tiny houses had their own unique character, and the small yards were fenced off from the other small yards. Each of those yards held some kind of silly ornament, and one even had a goose statue dressed up to welcome the fall. I’d fallen in love with that goose in the times that I’d visited Matt’s house over the last months.

Matt’s yard was beautifully landscaped, with a curving walk to the door. The walk was covered with purple petals. Matt tipped the driver, then lead me up the walk. The delicate petals were crushed under my heels, their exotic fragrance wafted into the air, and filled my head. The front door was unlocked and I stepped through and into in a small pool of fragrant petals.

It was dark and Matt left me in my flower puddle, moving deeper into the room. Matt had taken out all but the supporting walls in his home, and had put huge arches in those walls so that it gave the impression of nothing but open space. Three clicks and then a tiny light flared to the left of me and I turned to it. Matt held one of those long ended candle lighters and was setting it to the wicks of a grouping of six candles.

With a smile for me, he moved to another grouping of candles. Those six were lit and he moved to another grouping. He had transformed his living area. Normally it held a sand colored couch, a largh plush chair the color of lapis, and a huge woven grass rug, all centered around a giant screen television. He had removed the furniture, and had draped something gauzy over the television, so that it looked like part of the wall. On the rug he had put a thick fuzzy forest colored blanket, and more pillows and cushions than I could hope to count. Flower petals in a rainbow of colors were scattered all over the room and through out the cushions.

I had not seen anyone go through such trouble in my whole adult life. This, this had been what we were waiting for. He turned from lighting the last candle, set the lighter on a nearby table, and crossed to me and my scented puddle. With that small smile still on his face, he knelt, crushing flowers and sending their aroma thicker into the air, and took my foot in his hands. He gently took the shoe from it, and laid a gentle kiss on my silk clad toes. The foot was gently laid among the flowers and the other was lifted and the shoe removed.

Matt stood, and offered me his hand. As we passed the small table that held a champagne bucket, a tray of fruit, and the lighter, he picked up a remote and pressed a few buttons and the room was filled with the silky sounds of a jazz sax. My heart had taken up residence in my throat and I was not certain I would ever be able to speak past it, since I was having a hard enough time just trying to breath around it.

I turned back to Matt at the sound of the cork leaving the bottle with a gentle thop-whoosh. He poured the golden liquid into two long glasses and offered one to me with a smile. “Matt, this is all, lovely. Thank you.”

“For what?” He chuckled softly.

“For everything, just in case I forget to tell you later.”

“It is my absolute pleasure.”

I felt my smile grow, and he lifted his glass to me. “To new circles, and perfect unity.”

I swallowed hard, and lifted my glass to clink against his. The bubbles exploded across my tongue and the ice cold wine sliced down my throat in a giddy ride. I’d had the equivalent of two glasses of wine over our two hour dinner, so I was still a bit light headed and did not want to add to it with more wine, so I took one more sip and placed the glass back to the table. I do not think Matt was offended, he knew how alcohol affected me and I think he just had it because the situation demanded it. I think I would have been disappointed if it had not been included.

The sax began to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow, as Matt ran his hand down my arm, and curled his fingers with mine. He pulled our hands up between our bodies and pulled me close with a hand on my hip. We began to sway, crushing more petals beneath our feet. I leaned my body against the long line of his, in that moment I fell deeper in love with him than I thought possible. My heart grew and over flowed with it, and I was certain it would begin to pour from my body, because I could never contain it all.

The music changed to the gentle voice of Alison Krauss singing When You Say Nothing At All. Matt’s hand slid up from my waist, touching each of my ribs through the silk of my dress. That strong hand moved around to the back of my dress and the scrape of the zipper underscored the music filling the room. He came to the end of the zipper and his hand rested itself on the gentle slope of my back side. Between him and the physical therapist, I had muscle tone in places I’d never had it before and his hand felt good against the new firmness there.

The heat of his cheek left mine, as he began to press kisses from the hollow behind my ear, and down my throat. Each fiery kiss sent a shiver down my body, and I stood there trembling as his kisses pushed the thin gold strap from my shoulder. He moved with a slow gentleness back along the trail he’d made, that had my body aching for him as he pressed those lips to mine. I moaned softly, and filled my free hand with the metallic silk of his shirt.

He moved across my jaw, and down the other side of my throat, and as he pushed that thin gold strand away, the song changed to Phil Collins. It made me smile that he’d taken such care with the selection of music. I loved the old love songs. They just don’t make music, especially love songs, like they used to. We swayed to the sweet piano, and Phil proclaiming we had a Groovy kind of love, as Matt pulled our hands down my body and my dress followed. It hit the floor with a silky whoosh, and sent petals into the air to ride the brief currents it created.

Matt took a step back from me and took his eyes down my body. The look that filled his eyes had heat rising up my chest and things low in my body clenched, and my stomach did a flip-flop. The song changed again and Matt used my hand to spin me around then draw me close to him again. I had a moment to notice he was already barefoot. He must have done that before he’d lit the candles. I grinned. Matt hated shoes, and his were generally off as soon as he was through the door, mine, his, where ever.

“You’re incredible. I’ve wanted you for so long.”

I swallowed against the sudden dryness in my throat. “Why didn’t you take me before?”

“It wasn’t right yet. I needed it to be perfect.”

I didn’t understand, I truly did not, but I didn’t want to ask. Not right now, not and spoil the evening. I could ask him tomorrow or the next day or never. We swayed to Unchained Melody, and I took my hands from his, and pushed them under the lapels of his jacket. Up over his shoulders and with a gentle push from my forearms, had the black jacket sliding down his shoulders. I moved with it and caught the perfectly tailored garment before it fell to the floor. I held the collar then laid it gently to the ground.

Encircled in his arms once more, we continued to sway, as my fingers moved to his buttons. Matt’s arms moved behind me and I realized he was taking care of the cuff links. I smiled into the newly bared skin before me, as I pressed a kiss to the perfect tan of it. I pushed the next button through its hole and pressed a kiss to that skin, I stopped kissing when it meant bending over and out of the circle of Matt’s arms. Reaching the waist of his pants, I pulled the silvery cloth up, and took care of the last buttons. I pushed the silk from his shoulders, and laid it atop his jacket.

My fingers went to the button of his pants, then slid down the zipper with a quiet rasp. They went over his slender hips with a rustle of silk, and he pushed them aside. It was my turn to step back and take him in. He was wearing a pair of black boxer briefs. He looked incredibly sexy, and large. Wow, I was really hoping it was just the underwear. I’ve never seen a man in a pair of them before, so maybe showcased things differently.

I had to stop staring when he spun me again, and lead me to the middle of the cushion pile. There was a dark need in his eyes as he lay me down against a large cinnamon colored pillow. The music changed to something instrumental that I did not recognize. Matt’s hands ran gently over the flat of my stomach. That flatness was all his doing and I was glad that he got to see what his hard work with me had accomplished.

He moved over me, and began a line of kisses in that dip made by throat and collar bones. His line was straight and true, not moving to either of my naked breasts and I was left wanting, but this time I knew it would not be for long. His kisses took him to my belly button, then to the low line of garter belt and panties. My lungs had stopped being able to fill them selves properly and so I was taking short shallow breaths. His lips went to the left and then straight down over hy hip bone until he kissed the place where hose and skin met.

I could see straight down the line of my body, and watched as he lifted his head and released the silk from its lace prison. His hands move to the second garter that ran down the side of my leg. When it was released, he took his line of kisses down my leg. His fingers moved the silk of my thigh high before his seeking lips. He placed a gentle lick and kiss to the tip of my big toe, and was suddenly above me again. His mouth and tongue were eager and hungry on mine and I let my hands roam the solid expanse of his back.

He moved back down my body in his straight line again, and repeated the entire erotic process with the other silk stalking. When he’d finally gotten to my toes, I expected him to come back and kiss me again, but instead he kissed his way back up my leg and nibbled gently on the inside of my knee. I gasped at the sensation it gave me. It tickled, but it also felt like those nibbles were happening between my legs. I moaned softly and he finally moved from that spot, leaving me to relearn how to breath.

Those deft fingers found the clasp for the belt on my hip, and he opened the cloth away from my body and I lifted my hips so he could move the lace out of the way. He tucked his fingers into the waist of my boy shorts and I once more lifted my hips to him and the lace moved down my legs. I’d had the waxer leave a little pin stripe of hair, mostly because I like it there, and because at some point Matt had said he’d liked it when he’d seen it that night he helped me change, oh so long ago.

Fingertips traced that little line, as Matt moved back up my body. His mouth met mine again, as Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up, filled the room. He kissed me with lips and tongue and teeth, until I was writhing beneath him and little hungry sounds escaped me. I had such a need to have him inside of me, and yet I never wanted this moment to end. He tore away from me like a man surfacing from the deep of the sea, and those lips moved down my jaw, to the long line of neck, and finally, finally he took my breast into his mouth.
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 13

My back bowed, my hands clenched into the soft fuzz of the blanket and I moaned as I watch him take as much of my breast as he could into his mouth. He sucked gently as his tongue rolled around my nipple. I writhed beneath him as those pulls went all the way down my body. You read about women writhing during passionate love scenes in those sweet romance novels, but I have never been so lost in what was happening that I was unable to control my body.

I cried out when his teeth took hold of my nipple, my hands clenched and unclenched in the blanket. He gently pulled away from me and kissed his was down my breast, across the valley between them and up the mound of my other breast. He pulled me into his mouth and my hands went to him. They flew over his body, light and fluttering. I had such a need to touch every where at once. He felt big and strong beneath my hands and my body moved, arched, and squirmed under the pinning weight of his chest on my belly.

He pulled away again and began to kiss his way down my body in big sweeping zig-zags. I gasped and moaned at each new kissed, lick and gentle bite he placed upon my body. His tongue dipped into my navel and I gave a single laugh at the silliness of it until he was moving on and I was left moaning again. He placed a gentle kiss on my pelvic bone then moved in a shallow diagonal to the bend where leg met torso. He followed a straight line from there to the very top of what my sister calls my landing strip.

Tiny kisses were placed down that thin line of curls. I moved my feet up and let my knees fall open to the floor so that I lay there open for him, as he looked up my body with those lust filled eyes. The music changed to Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me, and he lowered his head again, slipping that powerful tongue gently between the folds between my legs. He licked all the way down, then back up like I was some giant ice cream cone and he was going to lick his way to my gooey center. Over and over he licked from the bottom of my opening to the very top of me. I writhed and gasped, moaned and whispered his name over and over.

With out warning he took the swollen bud of flesh above my opening, into his mouth. He sucked and rolled it around his tongue until I was sobbing his name. He touched his teeth to me, and I was spinning, falling as white light exploded behind my eyelids. I screamed for him, as he continued to suck and lick. Wave after incredible wave crashed over my body and when finally my body had had it’s fill, I lowered my hips back to the floor. My lungs were protesting by forcing my breath in and out as fast as they could and my heart was determined to beat it’s way through my rib cage. Inside of my body the muscles clenched, and moved, begging to be stroked.

Matt straightened my legs, and then kissed his way up my body until he was laying on top of me. His lips pressed into mine and I opened for him. I could taste and smell myself on him and it excited me. I had a moment to be surprised about that. I didn’t really like for the guy to kiss me after he’d done that, I think my brain was stuck on the ickiness of it, but with Matt, it was just right and incredibly arousing to smell and taste myself on him.

The angle was wrong for him to enter me, but I felt the head of him slid along the wet flesh and shuddered. I reached behind me and pulled the pillow out of the way, his hands caught my head and lowered me to the floor. Our lips never left each other, as my legs moved up and I tilted my hips up to him. He moved his and suddenly the tip of him was touching me. I had missed when he’d taken off his boxer briefs, and so I had no idea what he looked like and I wanted to see.

I put my hands to his chest and pushed gently. He lifted himself, pulling way from me with a puzzled look on his face. “I want to see.”

He gave that oh so masculine smile that I’d only ever read about and it made me melt. I looked down the line of our bodies and saw him. He was not as long as the underpants had made him out to be and I was both disappointed and grateful. That’s not to say he wasn’t well endowed, because believe me he was, just not the eleven inches my brain had decided he was. I watched as he slid the first inch of the thick length of that shaft into my body.

I was open and wet, but still incredibly tight. It had been over two years since the last time I’d had sex. He had to fight for each glorious millimeter of me. “Oh God, Emma, you’re so tight. So wet. I don’t know how long I’ll last.”

I smiled at him, tilted my hips a little and pushed up. His eyes went wide as he was forced those last couple of inches into my body. I cried out as he hit bottom, it felt so incredibly good that little bit of pain. I like pain, just a little though, a little teeth, a little nails, a little shoving as deep as he can go. Matt shuddered above me as he pulled out until just the tip of him was inside me once more.

He held a question in his eyes and whatever look I gave him was the one he was hoping for, because he plunged himself deep inside of me. His hands were on either side of my head and he did a sort of push up so that as he pulled out of me again, he could watch all of that tanned skin plunge once more inside of my pale opening. Oh yes, even his equipment was tanned, sigh.

He watched as he moved all the way out and the into me as fast as he could for a few more strokes and then I think he needed to look away so that just the sight wouldn’t bring him. I opened my legs wide to him and my hands clung to his waist as he pounded in and out of my body. I cried out my pleasure to him, and my nails dug into the muscled flesh I was grasping.

His head moved so that his lips were against the tender flesh of my throat, I felt his mouth open and the gentle scrape of teeth, then he was biting me. I screamed for him and found myself in that spinning, plunging exploding place of my orgasm. My hands had moved up his back and I raked manicured nails down the long expanse of him. He grunted, whispered my name and I felt him come hot and hard with in me.

He stroked twice more into me, completely emptying himself, before he collapsed on top of me. I love the feel of a man’s weight on me just after sex and I lay there enjoying the crush of him as Def Leppard screamed to pour some sugar on me. I had to laugh softly, it was such fitting music to what we had just done. It was becoming slightly difficult to fill my lungs so I gave Matt’s shoulder a gentle push. He moved his hips, and I gasped as the sensation of him leaving my body caused little tremors up my spine. He rolled to the side and gathered me close.

Nuzzling my neck he pressed little kisses to the place he’d bitten me. I let myself float in his arms, as my entire body tingled. It had been so very long since I’d had sex, but even longer since I’d made love to a man. Matt and I had never really talked about what we liked in sex and that he could pick up on my need for a little bit of violence like that was incredible. He was perfect in every single way for me, so why all of the sudden was I feeling like there was another shoe waiting to drop?

He moaned softly and pulled me closer. “You’re incredible Emma. Thank you.”

I smiled, and ran fingers across the muscles of his arm. “For what?”

“For letting me do that to you. I was determined to be tender and gentle with you, but you let me do what I really wanted to.”

I turned my face to his, and leaned back so I could see his eyes. “I was just thinking that same thing.”

He grinned a wolfish grin at me and snuggled close. “Can we do it again soon?”

I chuckled as I felt the length of him grow hard against my leg. “Sure.”

I would probably regret it, because I was going to be so incredibly sore tomorrow, but right now I wanted him inside of me again. I gave his shoulder a push and climbed on top of him. It was my turn to lead.
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 14

I woke with light and bird song filtering into the room. I gave my body a long cat like stretch from head to toe, arms going over my head, and moaned softly. I ached between my legs, in my shoulders where Matt had bitten me during one of our many rounds, in my neck, and across my ass where his nails had made near bloody furrows. They were good pains and I stretched into them, making them hurt a little more. Sex couldn’t be that rough every time, but man oh man it was good.

My body relaxed in on itself and it was then that I heard the shower running. With a grin, I rolled gingerly out of the big orgy sized bed in Matt’s bedroom, well it was more like a bed area, if he’d not taken out the walls the bed would have taken up the entire room with out leaving space for anything else, and padded naked into the bathroom.

Matt stood in the shower stall, his head bowed under the hard spray. I smelled the soap in the air and I wondered how long he’d been standing there just letting the hot water sluice over him. I pushed the door over about half way and stuck my head into the billowing steam.

“Got room for one more?”

He turned his head just enough to see me, and smiled. “Sure.”

I climbed in with him and wrapped myself around his back. I was still a bit sticky so I didn’t put my leg around his like I wanted to. I stood there for a moment letting the water dance around our bodies, letting myself enjoy the aches for a little while longer. I was about to pull away when Matt turned in my arms and hugged me close. He seemed desperate and so I held him while he clung to me.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

He shook his head and continued to hold me. What could possibly be so wrong that he needed to hold me like I was the last woman on earth and he was afraid I was going to run away from him screaming? He held me like that for a little while longer, and then turned us in a circle so that I was in the water. I hissed as it hit the scratches on my ass, and the bite on my shoulder. Then it just felt good on all that aching skin. Matt still held me, but I didn’t worry quite so much as my body relaxed into his.

I was turned to face the water, and had to hiss again when the water caught a bloodied bite mark on my left nipple, with all my other aches I didn’t feel that one in my stretching. The water slid down my body and began to wash away the stickiness and the aches between my legs. Matt’s hand moved down my belly and helped the water do it’s job on my thighs, and the outside of me, then his fingers spread me wide to the water and they were gentle as he helped clean the folds. It was sweet and gentle and had me oh so very hot.

After a few strokes along my clit, he took his hands from me, reached up and took down soap and loofah from a shelf thing hanging from the shower head. I heard soap squirt, and then the bottle was replaced, and I felt the rough sponge begin to move over my back, starting at my neck. He worked down my back, over the rise of my ass, and dipped a gentle finger in my crevice and cleaned me thoroughly. He removed his fingers from me and moved down my backside to my legs. He pushed my legs apart and cleaned between them, then down the backs. With his hands on my hips, he spun me around and started washing me from the toes and moved up my legs.

He passed a soapy hand over the outside of me, then moved up to my belly, and spent a great deal of time making sure every inch of my breasts were clean. And through all of it, he never once looked up at me, though I stared down at him, ran my fingers through his hair, did everything short of forcing his eyes to mine. After dropping the sponge to the shower floor, he spun me by my hips again, putting my soapy front into the spray. I was starting to get incredibly worried about him. It was so unusual for Matt to be so silent, so introspective.

Oh no! What if he’s not actually enjoyed what we did last night, what if he was just pretending? Or what if he’s like gay or something. I don’t know if I could handle him being gay, I love him too much and the sex was so incredibly good. Or what if he’s a Mormon and I’m like wife number six. Ew. He turned me around again, breaking me from my tormenting thought pattern. He reached behind me and took down a bottle of green shampoo and squirted a large dollop into his palm, rubbed his palms together and then put those soapy hands into my hair.

He massaged my scalp, then out to the tips of my hair and back to my scalp, which felt good, because it ached too, from the hair pulling. Ohmigah, that was so incredibly hot. He’d taken my hair and wrapped it around his hand and pulled my head back while he’d taken me from behind. The slaps of our bodies hitting was still fresh in my head. I moaned softly, both from the memory and his hands on my scalp. He pushed me more fully under the water with his body and rinsed the suds from my hair. With me still under the water he worked cream rinse into my hair and let it run out again. It was strange to be bathed so completely by someone who I’d just spent an incredible night with. It was even more strange that he just wouldn’t look at me. Which I guess wasn’t that difficult to manage, seeing as his six foot two body towered over my five foot four one.

When he’d finished rinsing me, he simply wrapped me in his arms again. The water was starting to cool, and I wanted to ask if we could get out, but I didn’t want to do something that might make whatever was happening here worse. I put my forehead to his chest so that I the spray wouldn’t he me in the face and breathed in the scent of him and me wrapped in the smells of his soap and shampoo. His hand traced circles along my back and I started to shiver. Some from the cooling water and some from the circles and some from this black mood of his.

“You’re cold.”

He reached up, turned off the water, then opened the shower door. With me still in his arms he opened a cabinet next to the shower and pulled out what looked like a big enough towel to cover me from armpits to ankles. He wrapped it around us both and held me close inside the towel. It was almost like he was mourning something and just needed the comfort of my touch. I didn’t mind that, but I did mind not know what had caused all of this.

Matt used a corner of the towel to dry my hair, and then took the towel from us, and dried his own, and left it in a wet heap on the floor. I wasn’t dry all of the way, but at least I wasn’t cold anymore. I looked up at Matt, but he seemed to be staring into middle distance somewhere and it wasn’t a place I was allowed. I put my hand to his chest. “Matt?”

He looked down at me then. Something in his eyes frightened me, it wasn’t like they’d gone red or anything, it was just a coldness, a hardness that I’d never seen before and I was incredibly frightened of this Matt. This Matt was not human, and he had pain and destruction on his mind. How do you face that? How do you stand up to such ice and not freeze to death?
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 15

I took the cowards way out and looked away. I suddenly felt naked and wanted clothes. I didn’t think clothes would save me, but they would certainly make me feel better. With a soft sigh I took my hand from Matt’s chest and walked out of the bathroom. I didn’t have any of my own clothes here and it seemed silly to put my dress on unless I was leaving soon. I hoped I wasn’t leaving soon, besides I didn’t have a car.

I went to Matt’s closet with the intention of getting a t-shirt, but it seemed that he didn’t keep those in the closet, instead I chose a white oxford button down. I know it was incredibly cliche to wear your boyfriend’s dress shirt the morning after, but my options were limited here. I left the first two buttons open and then worked my way down the shirt with my back to the bathroom and the cold man I had promised to marry the night before.

When the buttons were done and I had no other reason to keep my back to the door, I turned around and screamed. It was just a little girly scream of surprise, one of those jump back a foot, hand to your mouth, aaahs. Matt had crossed the room in absolute silence and had been standing right behind me. I stood there breathing hard, with my hand over my heart while he just looked at me. He looked like he was wrestling with something behind those cold eyes. I couldn’t stand there under that scrutiny, so I moved my eyes to his chest, and then stepped around him.

“ I’d like some coffee. Would you like some coffee? We should have coffee.”

It was the best I could come up with to get me away from him, with out seeming like I was running away. Instinct said that running would be a very bad thing right now. I walked into his kitchen and pulled the bag of coffee beans from the freezer, plugged in his little spice grinder and then turned on the hot water. Matt had a bad habit of leaving the left over coffee in the pot until the next time he was ready to make more coffee.

I poured the thick black liquid from the bottom of the pot, put in a squirt of soap, added some water and used the clean cloth I’d grabbed from a drawer to wash out the glass carafe. I was no stranger to washing dishes, living in a dorm and then in an apartment for six years does not lend itself to having a maid to clean up after you. I rinsed the soap away, then switched the water to cold and filled up the pot. When I turned around Matt was standing there again.

I managed not to scream this time, but it took everything I had not to drop the coffee pot. I swallowed past the new surge of fear and went back to the coffee maker. I poured the water in, and then put a handful of beans into the grinder. The whir filled the room, and brought the scent of coffee to my nose. I love the smell of coffee and I’m kind of a snob about it. I figure if I’m going to drink it, then it had better be good. I do not believe that any coffee is good coffee. That’s what caffeine addicts and police officers say to excuse the sludge in their break rooms.

After putting a filter in the basket, I dumped in the coffee grounds, then pushed the little red button on the side of the Mr. Coffee. It sputtered to life and with in moments rich black liquid was dripping into the newly washed carafe. I was doing everything in my power to ignore Matt, I was a coward and I knew it. I’m not a big fan of confrontation to begin with and the Matt that I had seen in the bed room made that avoidance into a down right phobia.


I didn’t turn around, his voice was not a welcoming one and I just didn’t want to see those cold eyes. Instead I put the coffee beans back into the freezer, and pulled out fruit and yogurt from the fridge. I placed them on the counter, and reached up to pull bowls from the cabinet.

“Dammit Emma, look at me.” There was a hand on my arm and I was being twirled around. My heart leapt into my throat and I was panting as I forced my eyes up from Matt’s chest and into his eyes. I’d seen that he’d put on a pair of board shorts, but had left his chest bare. I wanted to look at that little peak of hips that the shorts gave and not this new even more strange look in Matt’s eyes.

I don’t know how to describe it. It wasn’t cold anymore, it was more like a fire had melted the ice, and there was a tightness around them. “I don’t know what you want from me Matt. I don’t know who you are right now and I’m scared. I just want to make breakfast and pretend that this isn’t happening.”

“It’s happening Emma.”

“But why? Why is this morning? After we had such a beautiful night together, why are you doing this?”

He made a frustrated noise, turned took three steps, turned back around and came back to me. “There is something I need to tell you. I should have told you long before now, but I thought I could do my job and be in love with you. I can’t, I can’t do both, not with out you knowing what’s going on.”

“Matt, I don’t understand.” And I didn’t. I was so incredibly confused. He wasn’t making a damn bit of sense and I was still so incredibly frightened of me. Here it was, the shoe that had haunted me last night. It was dropping and I was powerless to stop it. Crap. No this requires something more desperate. Fuck. Sigh. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

He ran his hands up his face and into his hair, like he was trying to find the words and they were missing. I couldn’t help him and I hurt for him. It didn’t help with the fear that was becoming a hard knot in my belly, in fact I think it might have made it worse. He walked away from me again and I did the only thing I could think to do. I turned back to the fruit and yogurt.

I took a large spoon from a drawer and opened the yogurt container with a crackling noise. Two large spoonfuls went into each bowl. “Emma, I’m not who you think I am.”

His voice seemed farther away and I looked up at him. He’d gone to sit at the kitchen table. I sighed again and put the lid on the yogurt. I didn’t know how to do this. Should I go to him, take him in my arms and tell him it’s ok? Should I just stare at him and wait for him to talk? I had no idea, so I went with concentration on the task of breakfast. “Ok.”

It was his turn to sigh. “I don’t know how to do this. Things weren’t supposed to get this complicated. I was sure, so sure, that I could do both, be both, but I can’t.”

I put blueberries on top of the yogurt, closed the container and set it aside. With a knife from the butcher’s block I began to slice strawberries. “I’m listening Matt. Please tell me.” I looked at him and gave him my eyes for several heartbeats, showing him that nothing he could say could be that bad. I pushed the strawberry container to one side and cut a slice from half of a cantaloupe.

“Have you ever heard of Strike Force?”

I laughed, I had to, there was no other reaction. “That’s an urban legend, Matt.”

“No, Em, it’s very real.”

I rested my hands, one full of half skinned melon and the other full of knife, on the counter and turned my upper body to look at him. “So what? You’re telling me you’re a secret agent come to save the world?” It was absurd, and I had to laugh again. I went back to skinning the slice of cantaloupe again.

“Yes, that is exactly what I’m telling you.”

I shook my head and began to slice the melon into the bowls. “That’s absurd Matt. People aren’t secret agents for anti-terrorist groups in real life. They might stuff mailers, or protest the war, but the cloak and dagger stuff is just in the movies, it’s not real.”

He made another frustrated noise and I heard the chair scrape back. I only jumped a little, I was still frightened of him, huh. I pretended that I wasn’t bothered and opened up a container of chunked fresh pineapple. I put several pieces in each bowl and then closed the lid. I put fresh plastic wrap on the cantaloupe and then opened the fridge. Matt stood just on the edge of my vision as I replaced the fruit and yogurt.

I went with ignoring Matt again, being a coward is so much fun, no really, and pulled a container of granola from the cabinet next to the fridge, and put a scoop on top of the pile in each bowl. After returning the container, I took two spoons from the utensil drawer, stuck them in the bowls and then carried the bowls to the table. Matt just stood there watching me. I wanted him to talk more, but I’d kind of shot him down and now maybe he didn’t want to talk anymore. Yay! No more scary Matt.

I’m seldom as wrong as I was just then. I returned to the counter, took down two mugs and the thermal carafe I’d bought Matt because he like to be outside and I liked to have hot coffee. I poured the dark, perfectly brewed liquid into the carafe and screwed the lid on tight. I took out the quart of milk from the fridge, and the sugar bowl from another cabinet. It took two trips, but I got everything to the table, with Matt watching me like a cat watches the fish in your tank swim back and forth, back and forth.

I poured coffee into both cups and put cream in one and just sugar in the other. Technically it was Splenda but I won’t tell Matt if you don’t. I don’t like my coffee sweet, it makes my stomach hurt, but I don’t like it black either, unless of course it’s espresso, then yes please, no lattes for this girl.

I sat down to my breakfast, crossed myself and said the table prayer that I’d been taught as a child. I had a need for God to be close at this moment and that was the only way I knew to get him there. I had no idea what was going to happen. What I really wanted to do was go back to bed and start this day all over again.

“Now that you’re finished I can talk to you.” He sat down in front of the bowl and mug I’d laid for him and stared at me. I couldn’t resist that and looked up. “My name is still Matthew St. James and Marcus is really my uncle, and I did go to school and get a degree in Bio-engineering. That is about all the truth I’ve given you.”

He picked up the mug, sipped and put it back down. I put my spoon back down, he was freaking serious. Sigh. Fuck. I like that word a lot right now. My stomach rumbled, which was annoying, because I doubt I could have eaten if I wanted to.

“I’m doing this wrong. Ok let me ask you a few questions and then we can go from there. Do you know what Project Ascension is?”

“Yeah, it’s some top secret government thing Daddy’s company is making. That’s about all I can tell you about it.”

“You don’t know what it does?”

I gave him wide eyes and a sigh. “Why would I know what it does, Matt. I don’t work for my father and he doesn’t tell me what his company does. I only know as much as I do because, he’s mentioned it to my mother a time or two. ‘Oh Alice Project Ascension is going well.’ ‘That’s great, when is it supposed to be finished?’ ‘Washington has given us another six months.’” I made my voice low then high then low again to indicate I was talking for my father, then my mother then my father again. I took a sip of my coffee, it had cooled a little and it tasted so very good. Too bad I can’t enjoy it. Sigh.

Matt echoed my sigh, and ran his fingers through his hair again. It was a gesture he made when his nerves were on edge, or he was frustrated with something. It sucked that it was me he was frustrated with. “Ok, I’m going to tell you everything from the beginning, because you don’t know what that thing does and it’s easier if I just do it this way instead.”

He sighed again, and took my hand in his. Ok, this was better. “When I was a freshman in college I went to this meeting with a friend of mine. He said it was just protesters discussing what they were going to do next. I was interested, because I thought our government was making some pretty crappy choices. It was pretty much just what he said it would be, but then we stayed after and the guy that had been doing all the talking came over and sat with us. He said he had a job that needed doing and would we like some extra cash in our pockets?

“I didn’t need money, but my friend did, since he was paying his own way through college, and so we agreed to do it. It was just some surveillance on some building. We were supposed to photograph everyone that went in and out of the front of the place and then switch to the back the next day. It was an easy thing to do and we made three hundred bucks.

“Then we were given more and more assignments and before I knew it I was deep with in the bowels of Strike Force. And a year ago I was assigned to come here and find a way to get into Berkley Pharmaceuticals and take out Ascension.”

I stared at him for a little while and then I turned my attention to the bowl in front of me. I ate with a single mindedness that frightened me a little. I don’t know what went into my mouth, I never tasted a bit of it. When I was down to just a couple of unidentifiable lumps in the bottom of my bowl I looked back up at Matt.

“Ok, let’s suspend reality, for like a second, and pretend I believe you. Where do I come into all of this? Why did you pick me for your little cloak and dagger scheme?”
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 16

Matt pushed back from the table, and began to clear our things from it. When he came back to the table he freshened my coffee and sat back down. I was beginning to think he was avoiding my question...nah. He flipped his chair around and sat with his arms crossed over the back. I wondered if he only sat like that when he was feeling threatened and needed to be macho about it.

“I was supposed to get close to you, convince you to get a security pass from your dad and then steal it and use it to complete my mission.”

Oh, well that sucks. “And now?”

“Now, I don’t know. I still have to complete the mission, I just don’t know how I’m going to do it.”


“Ok?” He looked at me with one eyebrow raise, I can’t say that I blame him. I felt like lifting an eyebrow at me too.

“Yeah, ok. Give me a minute to think about this.” Ideas started pouring through my head, so much so that I was forced to stand up and pace back a forth across the breakfast nook. I kept say Ok, over and over again, like it was helping me think, it wasn’t but I couldn’t stop it. A solid plan began to form in my head and I started getting excited, and my okays were coming faster. I’d tell you what was going through my head, but I hate repeating myself so just hold your horses.

After about a million passes through the four feet of space the table occupied, I stopped behind my chair and smiled at Matt. I had a plan...ok? Ok. “Ok. Here’s the deal. I’m going to ask you to keep my ring for a little while longer. Then tomorrow, I’m going to go to Daddy’s office and tell him I want a job at BP, so that I can have something to do to take my mind off my lack of job opportunities, and so that I can settle down and really work on getting you to propose to me.

“Then I’ll ask him to let me give myself a tour so that I can decide where I want to work. He’ll give me the security pass, and I’ll go and make a right nuisance of myself, and then I can give you the pass and you can go in under the cover of darkness and do what you need to do. Then the next day I can give Daddy his pass back, they discover their thing is broken and I can alibi both of us with a romantic proposal dinner here in your house.”

I gave him my best, see-I’m-sneaky smile and waited for his response. “That’s brilliant, Emma. Do you really think it will work?”

I almost pouted at him. “Of course it will work. I’m twenty-five, they want me married and making babies like five years ago. If I tell him this will help me put my mind on getting hitched, then he’ll do what ever it takes. I’ll get to say silly things like, ‘besides Daddy, I won’t work there long, once he’s proposed I’ll be so busy planning an April wedding that I won’t be able to work.’”

I grinned and sat down to drink my coffee. “April? You want to get married in April?”

“What’s wrong with April?”

“Nothing, except that’s only seven months from now. Isn’t that like really fast?”

I looked at him and giggled. “We don’t have to get married in April, but my Daddy will like the sound of it. When do you want to get married?”

He sipped his coffee and looked at me with his head cocked to one side. “I hadn’t thought that far. I figured we’d get there when we got there.”

I had to laugh. “You really are a guy sometimes. Weddings take a lot of planning, especially rich people weddings. We have to figure out the logistics of getting both of our very prominent families together and make sure we don’t seat anyone with their arch enemy and that sort of thing. Not to mention the dress, flowers, cakes, locations, menus, the list goes on my dear.”

He put his hands out in that I give up gesture and laughed. “Alright, alright, you win. If April is what you want then you can have April.”

“Actually, I was thinking May, the weather is generally nicer so we could have an outdoors location if we wanted to.”

He laughed again and sipped his coffee. “Ok May then.” His face fell and he took my hand, all Mr. Serious again. “Are you sure you want to do this for me, Emma? You don’t have to I can find another way.”

“No, I want to. Besides I don’t see how else you can, but when this is all over I want you to tell me what Ascension was for.”

“I can tell you now.”

I shook my head. “Nope, I don’t think I can bear to know yet.”

With a smile I put down my mug, and took my hand from his, before standing up. “Now, if I’m going to convince people that you didn’t propose to me at the Twilight Room last night then I need to get home and do some damage control.”

With a grin I tousled his hair. “I may have to say some pretty crummy things about you to the press. You up for that?”

“Bring it on, baby.”

Laughing, I left the room to go put on the clothes I had taken to keeping at his place so that I wouldn’t have to go home in what I’d been wearing the night before. Even though last night was the first time we’d had sex, it wasn’t the first night we’d spent together. Though I’d have to ask him why he’d held me off for so long, but I was beginning to suspect that it was because of what had happened this morning. I think I wouldn’t have believed him as readily if we’d been sleeping together already. Go figure.

I pulled on a pair of khaki short-shorts, with a brightly colored scarf as a belt, a white bra and a white tank top. I pulled a pair of flip-flops from under his dresser and as I stood to put them on Matt entered the bedroom. “Hi.” I smiled.

“Hi. Do you want me to drive you home or do you want to call a car?”

“Oh, huh, I hadn’t thought that far. Best if you drive me home, it’ll be faster.”

He grinned. “Alright, let me throw on some clothes.” He did in the form of a pair of board shorts and flip-flops, no shirt, and he didn’t even comb his hair. Me, I pulled mine into a ponytail with one of the hair doo-dads I keep in a little tupperware container in his bathroom.

Our banter was banal as he drove me from his little suburbia house to my parents’ gigantical home. I was getting out of the car with my little clutch purse in my hands when I stopped and turned back to him. “Oh hey could you send that dress to the cleaners for me?”

“Sure.” He gave me his lazy smile and I returned it with a bright one of my own.

“Thanks, I’ll call you when everything is in place.”

“I’ll be ready.”

I smiled and started shutting the door when he called me. “Emma?” I bent over and looked at him with the door half closed. “Hmm?”

“I love you.”

My heart melted and I smiled big for him. “I love you too, Matt.”

I shut the door and with my heart soaring, I skipped in through the front door. I made it half way up the stairs before I heard my name called. Laughing softly, I spun on the spot and looked down the stairs at my mother in her powder blue Chanel tea suit.

“Hello, Mother.”

“You and I need to talk.”

I suppressed a giggle, and gave a single nod of my head. “Of course.”

I made my way back down the stairs, and followed my mother into her pretty flowered sitting room. My mother really is one of the most stereotypical rich white woman that I have ever met, but I guess that can’t be helped really.

She invited me to sit down and handed me a copy of the morning’s paper, before offering me a drink. It had been too much to hope that my and Matt’s faces hadn’t been splashed across page six, so I sat looking at a picture of me hanging on Matt’s arm, looking all dreamy eyed. Shit. This was going to take some serious fast talking.

Mother placed a glass of mineral water next to me and sat in a chair opposite. She smiled her cute little rich wife smile at me. “So Matt took you to the Twilight Room last night?”

Damn if I didn’t want to roll my eyes and say duh, Mother. “He did.”

“And did you have a good time?”

I sipped my water to keep from grinning. “We did.”

Suddenly she leaned forward, gave my bare knee a slap and then rested her elbows on her knees. “Oh don’t be like that. I’m dying to know. Tell me what happened. Was it sweet and romantic? Have you set a date? Let me see the ring.” She practically squealed it at me.

I did my best to look at her like she’d grown a second head. “Mother, what are you talking about?”

She straightened and tipped her carefully coiffed head to one side like a bird. “Matt didn’t propose?”

I gave her big wide eyes, and put my drink down carefully. “He most certainly did not.”

Her eyes got big to mirror mine and her finger tips went to, but didn’t touch her carefully painted mouth. “But why did he take you to the Twilight Room if he didn’t propose. The paper says he did. They have an eyewitness and everything.”

I did roll my eyes then. “Honestly Mother. You believe what those papers say? Matt and I went to the Twilight Room to celebrate. Nothing more. Here look.” I showed her my left hand. “See no ring.”

She looked floored. She was so sure I’d been engaged last night, that she didn’t seem to be able to control the petulant child look now on her face. Finally she managed to pull it together and looked up from my naked finger and into my face.

“Celebrating what?”

I did the only thing I could do not to giggle and that was bite the inside of my lip, hard. It hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, but I smiled through it and held out my foot and wiggled it. “Being healed and healthy.”

“Oh. Well then, I’ll let you get back to what you were doing.”

I knew a dismissal when I heard one, so I picked up my little purse, left the glass where it was and walked out of the frilly little room. I walked up the stairs and into my room where a neat stack of pink papers waited by my telephone. I tossed the clutch onto my dresser and walked around the bed to grab the stack. I flipped through the messages and laughed. The media, “friends”, my sister, my brother, my father. I picked up the phone and carried it to the window seat. The first call I returned was my father’s and set up a meeting with him the following day to sort this thing out.

Then I called my brother, then my sister and then I picked the one “friend” that I knew would spread the story for me and so that I wouldn’t have to make the calls myself. Then I picked two media outlets to call and told them my story as well. When that was finally all done I asked for a lunch tray to be sent up in two hours, stripped down to my panties and fell into bed. I think I was asleep before I’d even settled in comfortably.
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 17

I sat in one of the large thickly cushioned leather armchairs in my father’s waiting area. His office is a man’s space, leaning largely to polished dark woods, leathers and lush plants. A large oak desk sat in the center of the space, complete with the perky brunette secretary typing mysteriously behind it. Her phone buzzed and a cordial smile split her perfectly painted lips.

“Yes, sir.” She nodded and then her tone of voiced changed, lilted up a bit. “Yes, sir. Ok. Right away.” She hung up the phone and turned that polite smile on me. “He’ll see you now, Miss Berkley-Davidson.”

“Thank you.” I stood and smoothed the wrinkles out of my eggplant colored pencil skirt, buttoned the two buttons of the matching jacket over a cream colored silk blouse, and picked up my purse. My spiked heels sank into the plush carpeting as I crossed the floor and entered the glass and carved wood sanctuary that is my father’s office.

He set a pen down, stood and came around the desk to me, arms open. I went to him, and pressed cheeks with him. “Hello Daddy.”

“Good morning, Princess. Come sit down. Would you like a drink?” He moved to the sitting area to the left of the door and gestured to one of the large plush black leather armchairs.

“I’d love some water please.” I sat in the chair he’d indicated and took the tall glass of water with a wedge of lime and a cherry on a black plastic sword resting across the rim. I plopped the sword into the water and took a sip, then placed it on the low table in front of me. He set a matching glass on the table opposite mine and sat back in his chair, smiling.

“So tell me what is going on, Ducky.”

I gave a small chuckle and crossed my legs. “I’m afraid I’ve disappointed Mother again. She was so certain I’d gotten engaged, but it was just a celebration of health and sadly nothing more.”

“Why do you think that is?” He gave me that look that says, I know what’s wrong, but I’m going to let you tell me so that you have to admit it not only to me, but also to yourself.

“Oh I think it’s my own fault, Daddy. I really like Matt, and he’s a very good catch, but I’m distracted.”

“What could you possibly have to be distracted by?” He steepled his fingers and lifted and eyebrow. It is amazing to me how much that one eye brow can say. I squirmed a little, since he expected me to, leaned forward, took a sip of my water, and sat up a little straighter.

“Well, Daddy, I want to work. I have this incredibly difficult degree and I want to use it. At least for a little while. I think if I had a job I could be more serious about getting Matt to propose to me.”

That eyebrow moved again, this time in mild surprise. “Where would you work, Ducky? There aren’t any forensic positions that will take you temporarily and all of the interviews you’ve had have turned up negatives. Not that I’m complaining, it has kept you home.”

Was that smugness behind his smile? Yeah it was. Damn, I knew it. I knew he’d done that, jerk. “Well Daddy, I’m more than qualified to work in your research department at Berkley Pharmaceuticals. I do have a degree in chemistry and I have some of the highest marks in my labs. I know what I’m doing. Even if I was someone’s fetch and carry assistant that would at least mean I’m working in my field.”

He took a slow breath and put his steepled fingers to his lips. He was considering my proposal, and now it was time for the catch. Wait for it... Wait for it... Wait for it... There!

He put his hands down and smiled at me. I had him. Ha! It was the prospect of getting me married off that did it. I know it was.

“Alright, Princess, I’ll make some calls and see what we have.”

I stuck out my lip and looked down at my hands. “What? What is it?”

“Well, I just...” I let out a breath, looked up and let the words rush out of me. “I wanted to go look around and see where I would fit in. You know get a feel for the place meet some of the scientists, see which ones I’m compatible with. I kind of didn’t want you to pick for me, Daddy. I’m a big girl, I know what I can do and what I can’t.”

I batted my eyes and looked up with tears shining at him. “Alright, alright.” He hated tears, anything to avoid the tears. “I’ll find some one to show you around.”

“Daddy!” I stomped my foot and blinked rapidly.

He put his hands out in a gesture of surrender and stood. “Alright, Ducky. You may go look around. But don’t make a pest of yourself.”

I rewarded him with a brilliant smile and the instant retreat of the tears. I must say I am a damn good actress, thank you very much. Applause and flowers are appreciated. He returned my smile, stood and went to his desk. I took another sip of fruit laced water and stood. I met him half way across his office, where he handed me a thin black card.

“This will give you access to anywhere you want to go in the facility. My only rules for your self-guided tour are that you do not pester anyone, you stay out of the way and that you do not go into the blue restricted sections.”

“Yes sir. I won’t.”

“Anything else?”

I smiled at him and shook my head. “No. Thank you so much, Daddy.”

“Anytime, Princess.” He stepped to me, placed a neat kiss on the top of my head and shooed me to the door. I waved at him, smiled at the perky secretary and wondered briefly if my father gave into the sleep with your beautiful secretary stereotype too. I chuckled as I stepped into the elevator. He probably did, and not because he enjoyed it or didn’t love mom, but because it was expected. Either that or he maintained the upstanding morals stereotype. I shrugged, not caring in the least.

When the doors dinged closed. I suppressed the urge to do my victory dance and took myself out of the building and into the limo waiting at the curb for me. Once the door closed and I was encapsulated in the quiet dimness I gave in and did the victory dance. The car moved away from the curb and I pulled my cell phone from my purse.

“I have it.”

“Damn, you are good.”

“I know.”

Laughing I hung up, toed off my shoes and began to undress. A girl doesn’t do victory shopping in an eggplant colored suit.
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 18

It seems to me the most erotic thing in the world is waking up to your boyfriend kissing his way down your back as he unfastens the hooks on your little black teddy. But that’s just me. It is in this very situation I found myself six hours after leaving my father’s office, keycard in hand. I’d spent four of those hours shopping like a damn fool and spent more money than is polite to talk about. Then came home dropped everything on the settee in my closet, jumped into the shower, pulled on the aforementioned teddy and then laid down on my bed to rest my eyes for a little while before getting ready for dinner.

I had not meant to fall asleep, but damn if I’m not glad I did. I moaned softly as he pressed his lips to the small of my back, before turning me over. I smiled up at him, tilting my head to one side. He’d done something different with his hair, a sort of slicked back thing, and I liked it very much.

“I like your hair.”

“Thank you, I like yours too.”

Mine was currently splayed around my head in a sleep mussed halo of chocolate curls, I felt sexy and alive in my black teddy and messy hair. I smiled at him, lids lowers, with my bottom lip half drawn into my mouth. His fingers moved up my arms and pulled the lacy straps down my shoulders, past my elbows. I bent my arms to help him, following through with the upward movement, my arms landed on all those curls.

He pulled the teddy down, revealing breasts that now stood up straight and lovely over perfectly toned muscles, down over near wash board abs, past trim hips, and firm thighs, before tossing it to the floor. I watched him with that little smile on my lips.

“You should be getting ready for dinner. You’ll miss cocktails.”

“Now that would be a shame.”

He kissed the tip of my big toe, as he crawled up the bed, and caged me in the frame of his body, hands to either side of my head, knees to either side of my hips. He did a small push-up and kissed the tip of my nose.

“Your parents know I’m up here. What ever will they think we are doing?”

He did another push up, kissing just under my ear lobe. “They’ll think I’m trying to seduce you into proposing to me.”

“Really now?” Another push up, and a kiss to the opposite ear lobe.


“Well if they already think that’s what we’re doing.” He nibbled my jaw. “Then we shouldn’t disappoint them.”

I grinned at him. “That is just what I was hoping you’d say.” I wrapped my arms around his neck, and pulled him down to kiss him.

Matt took the kiss deeper, his tongue demanding entrance from my lips. I pressed my naked body into the roughness of his dress shirt, moaning softly as his hand moved up my side, possessive and just a little rough.

I slid my hands down to that shirt and began to push the tiny buttons through their holes. It was one of those fancy shirts with ten thousand tiny little buttons and a banded collar. Very lovely to look at but a real bitch to get off the man you want to have sex with in a quick kind of way. I was incredibly tempted to rip it off of him, but we did still have to go down to dinner.

With a small chuckle, Matt sat up and took care of the buttons, and hung it on the bed post as he stood. His pants followed quickly, as did the charcoal boxer briefs, I got a short glimpse of. Matt is an incredibly beautiful man, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating...often.

“Little Matt” stood at attention as he crawled back on the be with me, and I felt myself go hot and wet. I wanted him so incredibly much, it didn’t matter that my girl parts were still a little sore from the last time we’d made love, they would survive. I wasn’t sure I would if he didn’t take me soon.

He moved to put his knees on the outside of my body, but I was too ready and wanted him too much for that, so I put my feet on his calves and slid my toes up to the bends in his knees, as he crawled up between my legs.

He bent to nuzzle at my neck and I grinned. “I want you Matt.” He moaned against my throat and I arched against him. He moved until I felt the head of him against me. It was my turn to moan, and I slipped my legs up around his waist, tilted my hips and took the head of him inside of me. We both gasped, and with small even strokes, Matt began to work himself deeper and deeper. Inch, by delicious inch.

His lips hovered above mine, we shared each other’s breath as he pulled slowly from me, and then plunged deeply. I cried out, my back arched up into him, and fingers that had been griping lightly on his shoulders, dug into hard muscle. Matt held himself with in me, stormy blue eyes bore into mine. My lungs were having such a difficult time drawing in air, they gave it up for lost and just quit.

I watched those intense eyes as he moved his hips in a small circle, then took up a slow sweet rhythm. My body melted into the bed, as Matt lowered his upper body to mine, my legs slid from his back to entwine around his.

He worked his arms under my back and held me close as he moved in long even strokes within me. A liquid sweet pressure began to build low in my belly, as my fingers tangled in his hair. I had only had one other taste of Matt, and had loved every moment of it, but this sweetness melted me, and I found myself climbing to orgasm quickly.

Matt nuzzled against my neck, biting gently, I cried out for him, and then my world exploded in bright lights and waves of pleasure with their epicenter at the joining of our bodies. Matt continued to move with a perfect rhythm, and with a soft grunt I felt the intense heat of his climax spill inside of me. I gasped as the waves of orgasm renewed themselves. I clung to Matt as though I had nothing else to keep me safely upon this earth and rode the waves until they brought me gently to the shore once more.

Slowly I opened my eyes, as Matt settled his body against mine, he was heavy, but pleasantly so and I hoped he stayed for a little while. I closed my eyes again and turned my face into his neck. I kissed the fragrant skin there and lay simply breathing him in for a very long time.

I loved this man, and I feared for him. I knew that I could not complete his task for him, yet I wasn’t sure if I could let him do it. It was a difficult thing for me, and it really wasn’t what I wanted my brain focused on post-coitally, but there it was.

Matt took a deep breath and rolled to his side, propping himself on his elbow. “That was a perfect appetizer.”

I couldn’t help but grin at him. “Yes it was. Shall we have dessert before dinner tonight?”

He laughed, and it made those muscles inside me clench. Man, he’s got a sexy laugh. “I would love that, but we really ought to go down to dinner.”

He kissed me thoroughly, rolled from the bed, and walked in all his glorious nakedness to my bathroom. Laughing, I too rolled from the bed and grabbed the black and red, Diane von Furstenberg wrap I’d picked out for dinner, out of the closet.
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 19

I dressed in what I like to call Corporate Slut, for my tour of Berkley Pharmaceuticals. I chose this great black skirt suit with a thin metallic blue pinstripe. The skirt hits me at mid-thigh if I’m lucky and bend my knees a little. The matching blue silk blouse has deep v-necked open lapel that left little of my assets covered. I wore a matching smooth silk bra and panties beneath. It was my goal to make as much hullabaloo as I could and what better way than to walk into a building full of nerds dressed like a model? A sluty model.

I was putting the final touches on my make up, when my bedroom phone rang. I squished my lips together, and went to answer it.

“Your car is here.”

“Oh great thanks Mrs. Tolkham. I’ll be right down.”

I checked the fall of my hair, worn in loose curls around my shoulders, picked up my purse and a black portfolio and headed down stairs. I smiled at the man holding open the back door of the long black sedan, and slid into the plush leather back seat. My reason for taking a car were two fold, the first was that I had no idea how to get to BP and would invariably get lost and the second was that it fit in the whole “make a splash” theme. I amused myself by playing Tetris on my phone as we drove the forty minutes out to the campus. It was a huge sprawling thing with seven buildings, and three parking garages. The modern architecture couldn’t disguise what the place was, it was a manufacturing plant, no amount of swooping chrome could hide that.

The car was signaled through the gate and stopped at the front of the first building, the one with the metal and marble sign proclaiming Berkley Pharmaceuticals “Saving lives one day at a time,” and all the flags. Why any company needed so many freaking flags was beyond me. The only ones I recognized was the old stars and stripes and the New York state flag. The driver came and opened my door.

The slightly chill autumn air hit my stocking covered legs and I gave a little shiver. It was still to warm for a coat, but not warm enough to go with out a light jacket over your arm. Since I was in a suit I didn’t bother with another jacket, but my ass wished fervently that I had as the wind found it’s way up my skirt as I ascended the stone steps to the grand glass front entrance.

I carried the portfolio in the crock of my arm and the purse on its little gold chain over my shoulder. Astonishingly I was greeted at the door by a balding man in a three piece suit.

“Good morning Miss. Berkley-Davidson. I’m Robert Hilliard, the CEO of Berkley Pharmaceutical.”

I took his hand and shook it firmly. “A pleasure, Mr. Hilliard.”

“Please call me Robert.”

I gave him my aw shucks smile. “Robert then.”

“Your father said to let you take yourself on a tour of the facility. I understand you would like to work for us.”

“Very much so.”

His smile deepened and he nodded in approval. “That’s wonderful. I’ve arranged a lunch for you and the heads of the departments at twelve thirty, if that is amenable to you.”

“That will be great, thank you.” I gave a look around the impressive lobby, smiled at the receptionist and then turned my eyes back to Robert. “Well if you’ll point me in the right direction I’ll get started.”

“Certainly.” He lifted his hand and gave a small wave. A young man drove up to him with a soft whirring noise in what looked like an almost circular golf cart.

“This is Brent, he’s been instructed to drive you all over the facility, but to let you decided where to go and whom to speak with. If you have questions he can answer them or defer you to someone who can.”

Well so much for sneaking about in the wrong places. “Oh I figured I’d be going this alone.”

“Miss. Berkley-Davidson, there are seven buildings each with at least four floors. You want to walk through all of that?”

He actually looked down at my shoes. Well they were three inch heeled Manolo Blahniks, but still. I sighed inwardly and gave the bald guy a smile. “Well, probably not. Thank you for the consideration, Robert.”

I settled myself in the passenger seat of the futuristic looking little pod car thingy and smiled. “I’ll see you at lunch then?”

“Yes, indeed. Enjoy your tour.”

“Thank you.”

And with that Brent put his foot on a stunted little accelerator pedal and we zipped away at a whopping five miles an hour.

I won’t bore you with all the science and math and technical mumbo jumbo that I experienced, suffice it to say that I met a lot of men and women who really knew what they were doing, and only about half talked to my cleavage. I had a lunch of lobster salad, eggplant parmesan, and creme brulee, with a bunch of men in either lab coats or expensive suits, where more science and math flew about the room. After lunch Brent drove me to the fourth building on our tour. That was when I learned a great deal more than how to sit in the cart with out my skirt showing too much. On the first floor we drove up to a four way intersection of halls and Brent pointed down one painted a bright cheery blue with big red signs on the walls.

“That’s where Project Ascension is housed.”

“Oh, wow. I bet there’s all kinds of security to get in that thing.”

Brent chuckled. “Nah, just the right keycard.”

“Really? It seems to me something that important would be under retinal scanners and fingerprint identification.”

“Only to actually get the thing out of its case. To get to it and its facilities you just need the right card.”

“Oh, huh. Well we best move on. I was asked not to go into the blue sections.”

Brent nodded and moved on. “Gotta have government clearance just to go in that blue hall way, much less past the doors.”

The rest of the day was much like the morning and by three I was ready to be done with the place. I asked the blonde young Brent to take me back to the lobby as I phoned the car service. When I was finally home once more, I called Matt, changed my clothes and drove to his house.
Sarah 16 years ago
Chapter 20

I stood in front of Matt’s stove stirring meat sauce and thinking about the last two days. After I handed Matt that keycard he became this completely different person. His focus sharpened, he became very serious about everything. In all honesty, it wasn’t a change for the better.

The timer beeped, and I turned off the nobs on the stove. Matt had left a while ago to pick up some people from the air port, so I took myself to the store and bought stuff to make for dinner. I poured sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish and started to layer in the noodles. I figured cooking dinner for the people coming was a better use of my time than pacing endlessly or cleaning Matt’s spotless house. I could always masturbate, but that takes what, ten minutes?

Meat sauce, baby spinach leaves, ricotta, and sliced mozzarella, then the layers started over again. I’m hoping that when this thing is done, Matt will go back to the guy I met at the club, I really don’t like this international spy version in the least. I feel trapped here. I haven’t been home since the visit to BP, mostly in a move to completely avoid my father. Luckily I had two more days before I was scheduled home, since I’d told my parents that Matt had surprised me by whisking me away to a bed and breakfast on the beach.

I put on the last layer of mozzarella, then covered the whole thing with foil and slid it into the oven and set the timer. With a soft sigh, I ran the hot water and began to wash up after myself. I had no idea how many people Matt was bringing home with him, so I could only hope that the one lasagne would feed them all. The dishes done, I went to the fridge and pulled out all of the things I’d bought for salad.

I dug out the large wooden salad bowl from the cabinet and wondered again why a bachelor who spent his life traveling the world foiling the bad guys, would have such domestic things like casserole dishes and wooden salad bowls. Shrugging, I set to chopping vegetables, two heads of romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, radishes, jicima, green onions. I let my mind wander, but it wouldn’t settle on anything worth thinking about and so I became lost in the little circles it was creating.

I pulled the celery hearts toward myself, cut away the root end and then nearly cut of my hand when Matt kissed the side of my neck. I gasped, jumped and then dropped the knife.

“You nearly scared the life out of me.”

Chuckling he spun me around and kissed me thoroughly. “You looked so serious, that I felt the need to throw you off balance a bit.”

“Well it worked.” Laughing I pushed away from him and peered around his shoulder. There were four men and one woman standing in the kitchen doorway. I smiled and stepped around Matt.

“Hi. I’m Emma.” I walked to them, hand outstretched and it was the woman that took it first.

“Renee.” She was about five foot nothing and probably weighed a hundred pounds if she was wet and carrying a gallon of milk. Her dark hair was pulled back into a pony tail and her blue eyes studied me from behind small wire frame glasses. She had a firm handshake and returned my smile.

The man next to her took my hand next. “James.” He wasn’t much taller than Renee and was built like a compact linebacker, all broad shoulders, small waist and muscular arms. His face was handsome in that chiseled jaw latino way and his dark eyes didn’t so much study me as bore into mine and try to read my soul. I wondered if he saw anything good there, because he smiled and let go of my hand.

“Dakota and my brother River.” I shook hands with the six foot plus blond, green eyed twins. They looked like soldiers, there was no other way to describe them. I suppressed a chuckle at the thought of this group walking through the airport, every rent-a-cop in the place must have been in conipitions trying to figure them out. It didn’t surprise me to learn later that they’d been searched no less than three times each and detained before leaving the airport for brief questioning. I also learned later that River was deaf and unable to speak due to a IED in Afghanistan. Which explains the whole badass soldier thing.

“Harvey Levowitz.,” was an older gentleman, probably in his late sixties, with salt and pepper hair, liquid brown eyes, thick glasses, a starched button down shirt and a day’s growth of silver beard on his cheeks. I liked him immediately. “It smells divine in here, Emma.”

I couldn’t help but smile brighter. “Thank you! I put a lasagne together and was just finishing up with the salad. Why don’t you guys go put your things down and wash up and this should be ready shortly.”

I felt very housewife-y and completed the scene, by kissing Matt on the cheek and shooing him out after his...well his partners in crime, but we’ll stick with the June Cleaver version and call them “his friends.”

While they were gone, I finished chopping the celery, and put it in the space I’d left for it on top of the salad. I cleared the trash away, pulled the leaf for the table out of the closet and got it into the table, with out too much incident. Then I brought in the extra chairs from the living room, plus the computer chair, and was just getting the plates down from the cabinet when Harvey came back in.

“Here, let me help.” He took the plates from me. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I smiled and thanked him, before getting out silver ware and glasses. He took those from me too and asked about napkins. With a bewildered smile I handed him some paper ones and then turned to the oven when the timer beeped.

The lasagne was perfect when I took off its foil hat, grinning I carried it to the table and placed it on the trivets I’d put there.

“Is there anything else I can do to help?”

“Go tell the rest of them that dinner’s ready, while I slice the bread.” I grinned at the older man and pulled out a bread knife as he left the kitchen. Before long we were settled down at the table eating. I was still feeling very domestic so I started off our conversation.

“So what do you have planned for this evening.”

The table got very quiet, and five pairs of eyes turned toward me. Matt managed to win my attention and put his hand over mine. “We’re going after it tonight.”

Oh...well so much for engaging and up beat dinner conversation. “So soon? I figured you would plan things out now that everyone is here.”

Matt gave my hand a squeeze. “It’s all done. It’s time to go in.”

“Well...shit. Alright.” I smiled at him, and then firmly placed my eyes upon my plate and began to eat, soon the rest of the table followed my lead. We ate quietly, but I can’t say I tasted much. I didn’t get up until everyone else had left the table and headed into the other room. Standing, I began to clear the table, not that there was much left. They had all taken their dishes to the sink and someone had taken over the lasagne pan and salad bowl, all I had left to do were my own dishes and the odds and ends left over from any meal, stray napkins, salt and pepper shakers, salad dressings, that sort of thing.

Matt came in briefly and hugged me. “I’m alright, just startled I guess.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, yes, I’m sure.” He gave his special smile and hugged me again. “Need any help in here?”

“No, I need something to do with my hands, you go talk shop.”

“Ok, and Em?”

I looked up at him. “Yes.”

“I love you.”

A lump welled up in my throat and I felt tears spring to my eyes. Ugh, how romance novel cliche of me. “I love you too, Matt.”

He grinned and walked out of the kitchen. I turned to the sink and let my tears mingle with the hot water I used to wash the dishes. The low mummer of their voices, continued while I washed rinsed and dried the dishes, and wiped down the counter tops and table, swept the floor, wiped down the oven, and took out the trash.

I had run out of things to do and had decided to make a pot of coffee when the voices stopped. I stood with my hand poised over the coffee maker, the scoop halfway poured into the little basket, when Matt walked back into the kitchen.

“It’s time.”

I dropped the scoop and went to him. I suddenly felt like my life had come down to this one moment, that this time in Matt’s arms in the middle of his kitchen were all that I had left, that after this it was over, there would be nothing more. Then Matt put his lips to mine and I knew that it was not the last time I would see him, it couldn’t be, we had so much left to do together.

He pulled away and touched his fingers to my cheek. “I’ll be back before dawn. I love you, Emma.”

I nodded and pressed my cheek to his hand, and just stood there as he walked away.