“Crane?” Abbie called out, unable
to find her fellow Witness in between the shelves at his favorite
bookstore. He was usually easier to find than this, sticking mainly to one section but today, he must have gone exploring. She called
out for a him a few more times before she turned the corner to find
him in the self-help section.
He was completely engrossed in the book
he was reading and didn’t even notice when she approached him. She
could see the title plain as day when he finally looked over the top
of the book and saw her standing there.
The Art of the Kiss.
According to the few lines she could
catch on the back cover before he crammed it in place on the shelf, it
covered such things as learning how to French kiss all the way to
actual art that featured kissing. It seemed pretty inclusive and
judging by the flush rising to Crane’s cheeks, pretty embarrassing to
get caught reading if you were a grown man with no one to kiss presently.
“This is not what it seems,” he
stammered, moving so he was standing in front of the section of books
he had been focused so intently on that he didn’t even hear her call
“What is it then?” Abbie asked,
reaching around him for a copy of the book. She grabbed it and
starting flipping through it. It was all rather lovely, actually.
There were men kissing women. Women kissing women. Men kissing men.
And art… from everyone’s favorite dorm room poster, The Kiss by
Klimt to Pygmalion kissing Galatea in a work by Jean-Léon
“I was just curious,” Crane said,
his hands now behind him as he stood there, not looking at the book
as she flipped through the pages.
“Truth be told, it has been a while
since I kissed someone… besides my wife…” Crane started to say,
sort of mumbling through his sentence.
“Yeah, I remember. I saw a few of
those kisses,” Abbie said, trying not cringe too hard at the
“She and I weren’t getting along all that
well then, as you remember… anyway, it’s been a while and I didn’t
know if things were different now… if the occasion should present
itself where I would be… kissing someone… again… if things… I
don’t know,” he said, still not looking at her or the book.
“A kiss is just a kiss,” Abbie
said, laughing just a little at all of this. “The fundamental
things apply, Crane.”
“Don’t mock me,” he said, looking
at her seriously. “This concerns… you.”
“What now? How?” Abbie asked.
He took the book out of her hands and
set it aside before putting a hand on each of her shoulders and
pulling her just a little bit closer. She wanted to tip her face up
to look at him but before she could, he kissed the top of her head.
Just a soft, gentle kiss. When he backed away slightly, she looked up
at him, gazing into his eyes. His breathing was no longer as steady
as it had been and as they looked at each other, they both breathed
in and out, opposite of the other. Her heart started racing and she
wasn’t sure how this turned into this so quickly but here they were,
in a little bookstore, about to share their first kiss. At least she
hoped he had the nerve to do it.
She stood up on her tiptoes and he
stood with his legs just so that he could kiss her forehead now. He
put his forehead against hers and they just stared into each other’s
eyes, still breathing. She wasn’t sure how she was still breathing
but she was.
He kissed her.
He kissed her and it was everything she
had hoped for.
Just long enough so she could commit to
memory the taste of him. Short enough to make her want more.
And she got more. She pulled his face
down and showed him how she liked to be kissed. Yes, books were one
thing but nothing beat practice. Her fingers twisted in his long
hair, holding him close as her tongue parted his lips.
They were in a public place but yet
somehow she had let this get far enough that he parted her thighs
with a knee and she was rubbing against him as they kissed. His hands
held her tight around her waist and the world was spinning… like
she was some girl getting her first kiss all over again.
She was, sort of. The first first kiss
that was going to matter for the rest of her life. The last first
kiss she ever planned to have.
“Abbie,” he said, pulling away from
her, and licking his rosy lips. His face was completely flushed now
and she didn’t want to stop but knew that they couldn’t continue this
“Yes?” she asked, trying to catch
“I don’t think we’re going to need to
buy that book,” he said and she laughed.
“No… I don’t think so. But what
else do they have in here…” she asked, turning around in his arms
and looking at the books on the shelves. Hard to believe that some of
these were in print now, what with the internet acting as everyone’s
guide these days.
“I don’t think we’re going to need
any of these books, Abbie,” he said, pushing her hair aside,
leaning in, and kissing her neck. She tilted her head to the side and
he continued to place tender kisses across her jaw line and every
inch of uncovered skin he could reach, taking a moment to suck on her
earlobe. She shivered from the sensation and couldn’t wait for his
mouth to explore all of her.
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure we can
manage,” Abbie said, turning around and kissing him once more
before staring into his eyes again. “We can manage just fine.”
Welcome back to Meta Station, after that way-too-long
hiatus! We were decidedly 50/50 on this episode, brimming with love and
affection for the heartfelt, earned character moments happening in
Arkadia and Science Island, and HEAVILY side-eyeing the white savior
“Chosen One” business happening over in Polis. (We also hated Octavia’s
whole storyline, which we posted as a stand-alone segment here)
0:00 - We Were REAL MIXED On this Episode’s Weird Blend of Intimate Character Moments and Bloodthirsty War Boners 0:02
- Murphy and Raven Shattered Our Hearts Into Tiny Pieces WHAT KIND OF
GORGEOUS AND IMPECCABLY STRUCTURED CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT 0:11 - Murphy Is So Happy to Have a Family Again 0:16 - We Don’t Think Raven’s Actually Going to Die, So What’s the Becca Hallucination Really Trying to Tell Her? 0:28 - Please God Please Let That 412 Plot Description Mean We’re Getting a Princess Mechanic Reunion 0:33 - Erin’s Space Theory Is Amazing 0:39 - Harper Is NOT a Coward: Time For Some Real Talk About Depression and Suicide 0:45 - Drink! Hamilton Reference! 0:57 - Our High Hopes For Substantive S4 Jasper & Monty Content Have Basically Been Dashed at This Point 1:03 - Bellamy Gets Sexed Back to Life, Says Goodbye to Two of His Children, and Breaks Our Hearts 1:09 - Original Flavor “YOU HAVE NO FREE WILL” Jaha Stops By For a Quick Visit 1:14 - SINCE WHEN ARE EITHER KANE OR ABBY THIS FUCKING STUPID????????????????? 1:17 - How Is “I Made a Deal With Roan So Fuck Lexa’s Whole Clan” Transcending Tribalism? 1:23 - The Problem With Clarke’s Arc Is that Nobody Can Emotionally Connect to Abstractions 1:39 - This Political Battle For Power Might Land Better If We Had Any Actual Backstory For the Azgeda/Trikru War 1:44 - Claire Gets to Reference Lord John Marbury and Is Very Excited 1:50 - We Gotta Talk About This White Savior Business, Fam 1:57
- It’s Time to Talk About How Badly This Show Handles the Concept of
Religion and Faith (HINT: It Doesn’t Inherently Make You Think Science
Is the Devil!)
Olivia was eating her way through half a loaf of fried bread smothered in a syrup of
wine, orange juice and sugar, when her phone chirped from deep in her bag.
who finally decided to call,” she said, piling more food into her mouth.
texted me fifteen times,” Abby said.
not the one who moved to Siberia! It’s six hours into the future here, you know
that. Just leaving rehearsal—which, by the way, has not been easy since you left.
The director thinks we’re all conspiring to leave. Anyway, I figured if you
were dying, you’d call.”
choked. “I can’t decide which part of that statement sounds stupider.”
someone is in a mood today. How is Siberia?”
Olivia took another bite and emptied her brain in a torrent of food-muffled words.
“So hot. And crowded. People everywhere, all the time…walking, standing in
line, sitting on the train…”
many people, but I still feel alone.”
like being by myself. I left my
apartment this morning because I wanted to be by myself! But…sometimes I don’t
want to be.” Olivia’s stomach cramped, and her hand flew to her mouth. “I think
I’m going to be sick…”
a deep breath, love. No more binging.”
know. I’m so stupid. I haven’t done this in years.” She took a tiny sip of
water, controlling her breath, willing the lump in her throat to sink back
down. “Oh God, I feel disgusting. I
have rehearsal today. I have to face him, Abby.”
breath,” Abby said again softly. “What happened?”
Olivia moved her gaze from
the sea of people passing by the restaurant window. They were walking too fast,
and nausea crept back into her throat. She closed her eyes until it passed,
taking another deep breath. “Last night, I didn’t want to be alone. Monsieur Beene
said it would be alright to stop by if I wanted…I should have called…”
“Monsieur Beene? I’m confused…”
Olivia swallowed. “He wasn’t
home. Fitz opened the door. He lives there. He has his own floor.”
“I wasn’t going to stay, but
he insisted. I had nowhere else to go, and I…I just wanted something familiar.”
“So…you and him, alone…”
“The suspense is giving me
an ulcer. Just tell me!”
Olivia burst into laughter, uncaring
of the heads turning her way. Let them stare. The tension in her body eased a
little more with every gasping breath. “And kissed.”
“Putain!” Abby swore. “I told you,
you little pervert!”
“It wasn’t like that, not at
“He can be such a…such an–”
“Oui, an ass…but last night, something happened. He was the man I
met in Paris after the show. His
voice, the way he looked at me…Everything from that night come back, and it
felt like he was pulling me to him without touching me.”
“Oh my God.”
Olivia sighed. “It
They were quiet a moment.
Then Abby spoke again. “He has such a presence, Liv. It’s intimidating. I
almost apologized for breathing his air.”
Olivia laughed. “That’s
“It’s true. I…don’t be mad…”
“I…merde…I may have asked him not to be so hard on you—“
“I know! It was stupid and impulsive and completely unprofessional…but
you keep so much inside you. It’s not healthy. I just wanted him to see you
like I see you, cher.”
Olivia groaned. “I can’t believe you! What did he say?”
“Nothing! I didn’t give him a chance. I was so nervous! I told him
about that documentary we did years ago, when you first got promoted. Then I
ran after you.”
“Now it makes sense.”
“Why he was so nice to me. I
sat there and cried in his lap like a toddler!”
“And then I kissed him. He
tried to stop me, but I kissed him anyway. Oh
“Okay, just…wait,” Abby
said. “Calm down! Did he kiss you back?”
Olivia’s body bloomed all
over, the answer to Abby’s question playing in her mind. Like a scene from a
favorite movie, she remembered every action, every line. She touched her
fingers to her lips. “Yes,” she breathed. “It was so good, Abby. When he kissed
me, I felt it everywhere.”
“Everywhere?” Abby gasped.
“He went down on you?”
Olivia’s floor muscles
contracted at the thought of Fitz’s slow, deep kisses on her neglected core, and
a tiny moan escaped her lips.
“Olivia Carolyn Pope, you better not be turned on right now, I swear to
“Non.” Olivia’s voice was distant, husky. “Above the waist. Everythingabove the waist.”
“Everything, Abby.” Olivia licked her lips, trying to phrase her
next words. “He made me…It was so good, I didn’t control it.”
“YOU HAD A BOOB ORGASM?! Oh my God!”
Olivia blushed furiously, her
fingers and toes tingling, her hands flying to her cheeks. “It’s never happened
to me before.”
merde! Me neither! How did it feel? I
have to know everything. You’re the only one getting any action at the moment,
and sleep orgasm guy just made you—“
“Okay, I’ll tell you! Just…don’t say it.”
“Please, Liv. You’re shy, but you’re not a prude. We learned about
sex in primary, watching people paw each other to death along the Siene.”
Olivia giggled. “It was
like…when you’re having sex, and you feel it building and building, but when it
happens, it’s…gentile. Not so
intense. Your whole body radiates, and it lasts forever.
Abby sighed. “Fuck.”
Olivia frowned, staying quiet.
“I was so embarrassed. I
didn’t mean for it to happen!”
“You ran.” The silence
answered Abby’s question. She sighed. “You have to stop running.”
“I can’t face him.”
“Be a grownup, Liv. Go to
“I’ll call in sick.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! You
haven’t done that once in your entire life.”
“I’m not listening anymore.
Congratulations, love. I’m happy for you.”
and Mickey had been married for 9, almost 10 years. Yevgeny was
years old and in middle school. About five years ago they adopted a
beautiful little girl from a
family down the street who was ready to send her to foster care. The
family named her Abigail, but Ian and Mickey called her Abbi. Now 8
years old, Ian and Mickey were ironically just discussing how
seamlessly she had integrated into their family when she came
bursting through the door and ran to her room slamming the door
behind her. Ian looked to Mickey who was staring after her, confused.
the fuck was that about?” Mickey wondered. Abigail was usually a
level headed child and was anything but a drama queen. This display
was beyond out of character and appalling to both of her fathers.
we—Should we go and ask her what’s wrong?” Ian stammered. They
knew this day would come when the men would have trouble delving into
the feminine mind of their daughter, but they had hardly considered
the enigma of the female brain would confound
them when she was as young
as 8 years old!
ask me, I only have one sister and I never knew what the fuck she
wanted.” Mickey replied. They sat there another moment in silence,
thinking. Yevgeny walked through the front door throwing his backpack
to the floor and making his way to the kitchen when he caught
Mickey’s disapproving look. Yev deflated and walked back to his
backpack to hang it where Ian had installed hooks by the door just
for this purpose.
what the fuck is up with your sister?” Mickey asked as Yev rummaged
through the fridge.
He pulled his torso out of the fridge and looked at his fathers with
an uncomfortable expression. “I don’t think you want to know…”
Is she okay?” Ian asked.
Yes and no.” Yev replied, ever the orator like his biological
after parent-teacher night last week some kids from the bus
recognized the four of us leaving the school and realized you both
were our dads.”
Fucking and?” Mickey demanded.
we’re dealing with rich yuppy private school rejects. They are
your next word, son.” Ian warned. Yev smiled and closed the fridge
door, apparently having lost his appetite.
do you mean homophobic? They are making fun of her because of Ian and
me?” Mickey asked incredulously.
I mean, kids have been giving me a hard time about it for a long
time, I just ignore it.”
the fuck does it matter?” Mickey wondered out loud, thoroughly
don’t know Pop, it just does. We’re poor people going to a rich
school district and the rich kids wanted to get into a fancy school
but weren’t smart enough so they pick on whoever they can to make
themselves feel better.”
did you never tell us?” Ian asked Yev who shrugged.
just didn’t really pay attention, I guess.” Yev replied.
come here.” Mickey demanded. Yev looked nervous. Mickey was a
strict father figure though never abusive. But for some reason Yev
always seemed nervous around Mickey, especially when he adopted the
tone. Ian suspected that
Svetlana was too forthcoming when describing Mickey’s past as well as
Terry’s parenting style which she probably thought influenced Mickey.
The truth though, Ian was always blown away by the nurturing side of
Mickey despite his overall strict style.
see people picking on your sister, you need to defend her, got it?
She’s not Milkovich by blood, she doesn’t have that steel defense we
not there all of the time, Pop.” Yev argued gently. Mickey
any people who know karate? Tae-kwon-do?” Yev nods. “Ask them if
they will teach your sister and if they don’t seem to want to, ask
what it’ll take.” Yev nods again and looks to Ian.
defend her if I could—” Yev starts.
it’s not your fault, son.” Ian assures. “She needs to know to
stand up for herself. You just keep having her back like we know you
already do.” Yev nods again and exhales deeply. He looks to his
biological father, looking to be excused. Mickey pats him on the
shoulder and Yev sags with a grin. Ian never understood what it was
about Yev that made him nervous about affection with Mickey but he
always seemed happier with distant and subtle displays rather than
the blatant hugs Ian tried to give him.
got a thing—”
yeah.” Mickey rolled his eyes. “Go on.” Yev laughed and went to
give Ian a pat on the shoulder to match the one he received from his
father. Ian let him go and sat still, staring at Mickey.
know there’s nothing we can do, Mick. If we bring attention to it at
know, I know it’ll put a target on her back. Like asking
for more.” Mickey
rubbed his eyes and stared at the ceiling.
at least talk to her.” Ian insisted. Mickey nodded, gathered
himself, and followed Ian to Abbi’s door. Ian knocked in a rhythm
Abbi had come up with when she was 6. ‘Abbi-code’ she’d called it
after watching a movie with her Dad that had a reference to morse
Her miserable mumble echoed through the door. Ian and Mickey’s eyes
met, their hearts simultaneously breaking.
we come in, sweetheart?” Ian called. She was silent for a moment,
probably considering. They heard her sniffle, and then heard
footsteps as she approached the door, opening it just a crack. Ian
went ahead and pushed through slowly. Mickey would have waited for
the invite, but not Ian. Ian’s concern was too high a priority.
us what’s wrong, Abbi.” Ian requested. She leaned against the foot
of her bed, eyes downcast and still sniffling. Mickey leaned against
her dresser, willing to wait until she answered.
heard Yev tell you. You already know.” She replied after a while.
we have his side, but not why you are
upset.” Ian explained. She sighed and turned to face her redheaded
father. One look at him though made her lips tremble again. Ian held
his arms out to her and she raced into them. He wrapped her in a hug
and pulled her into his lap where she continued to cry. Mickey’s
fists tightened until the tips of his knuckles bleached white. He
looked absolutely murderous. He and Ian made eye contact and Mickey
forced himself to breathe.
other kids think doesn’t matter, Abbi, you know that.” Mickey
said as gently as he could.
why do they hate you two so much when they don’t even know you?”
She wailed. “They said I’m a freak and that you
and Daddy are going to hell, and I’m going to go to hell because I’ll
grow up gay and… I just didn’t know what to say!”
hugged her tighter and let her cry. Mickey sighed and rubbed at his
eyes with the tips of his fingers.
Abbi. Those people can say whatever the fuck they want about your Dad
and me. It’s not going to change what we have going on here. Are you
happy here?” Abbi peeked up from Ian’s chest and nodded. “You
know you’re loved and looked after?” She nodded again. “Then
that’s all that matters. These kids are probably just pissed about
whatever is going on in their shitty lives so to make themselves feel
better they pick on someone smaller and who they think is an easy
target. So you know what you’ve gotta do?” She just stared at him.
“You’ve gotta prove that you aren’t an easy target. Yevgeny
is going to get someone at school to teach you some self-defense so
if anyone tries to hurt you, all you’ve got to do is lay 'em down.”
go starting fights,” Ian interjected, “but you can definitely
finish them.” She nodded.
what if they say—”
what? It doesn’t matter.” Mickey shrugged.
still hurts…” Abbi replied looking at her lap. Ian sighed.
can hurt, sure. But you just have to remind yourself that they don’t
know you, they don’t know us so everything they are saying is coming
out of hate and ignorance. You can’t fix stupid, Abbi, you can only
ignore it and prove to them that their stupidity isn’t going to get
you down.” Ian said. Mickey nodded and crouched in front of her.
give them the satisfaction. You know we are happy, we love you, and
that those people are just pissed off about something they don’t
understand. Just… let it roll off. But like I said, if anyone tries
to physically hurt you, you lay their asses down! No child of mine is
going to be a fuckin’ doormat.” Mickey smiled at her, trying to get
her to return the expression. Naturally, she did and she wrapped her
arms around Mickey’s neck. Mickey in turn wrapped his arms around her
little torso and cradled her to him. He and Ian made eye contact and
smiled at each other. They hated how mean kids could be, but they had
known long ago that this was a possibility and had prepared to
strengthen their young ones up to face the harsh realities of an
okay now?” Ian asked, rubbing her back. She looked down.
still hurts, but I know you’re right. I just can’t stand when they
say mean things about you when they don’t know you.”
understandable that it hurts, you just can’t let it show to anyone
else or they will walk all over you. If you are ever mad about it
just wait until you’re home and we can talk about it some more,
okay?” Ian explained. She nodded. She released her grip around
Mickey’s neck and gave Ian one more quick hug before settling on her
to come out into the living room, or do you want to be by yourself?”
Mickey asked. She grinned, grabbed her backpack and settled at the
dining room table.
One of the most delightful things about their
little family was how normal it
was despite the circumstances. Abbi loved school and she loved
working on her homework with her dads nearby to help if she had a
question. Mickey was terrible at school so mostly Ian helped with
schoolwork, but Mickey had developed a knack for cooking (beyond just
pizza-bites and other frozen foods, mind you) and so he usually made
dinner, tossing in some humor if Abbi ever got frustrated or needed a quick break. Yevgeny was usually in his room all night doing god knew
what, but tonight he came out to be with his family. While Mickey
cooked, Yevgeny actually shared his day with his father. Mickey was
always shocked when Yev acted so attached to him because the
sentiment came and went so much he could never tell how his son felt
about him that day. He listened though, really listened and engaged. It was still hard for Mickey to attach to Yevgeny who was a constant reminder of that horrible day Terry walked in on him and Ian. It wasn’t fair, but there it was. He worked every day to ignore those memories and focus on the human being before him, and though it was rough he could say with certainty that he and his son had a relationship–and he was proud to say it.
wished desperately they could somehow take a snapshot of this
picture: Mickey cooking, Yevgeny hanging out with his father, Ian and
Abbi working together on her fractions. There’d be something to show
the haters: look you assholes, a loving family doing the
same shit you guys do but with two men instead of only one. And look, our kids are fucking happy! Put that in your judgement pipes and smoke it! Of
course that wasn’t possible, but Ian was satisfied by the mental
That night as Ian put Abbi to bed he made her promise
not to ever take a negative word from a stranger to heart and to
think of this night if anyone was ever getting her down.
truth,” he said, “will keep you afloat when people try to drown
you in negativity. Just remember who we are and what we do and
remember that if they don’t know shit… then their opinion is
considered this for a moment, grinned, and nodded.
dad. I love you.” She said.
love you, too.” He replied and kissed her gently on the forehead.
“Good night.” Mickey was standing at the door, watching the whole
love you, daddy!” She called at Mickey. He smirked and crossed to
her bed, kissing her lightly on the forehead right where Ian had.
love you too, kid.” She closed her eyes contentedly and snuggled
under the covers, easing off into sleep.
had never dreamed he and Ian would have a life like this. But at
moments like this he was so grateful they did. They both knew their kids would be subjected to more hatred, because that was the human way–to hate things they don’t understand. But the hatred would just make their kids stronger and feel more secure in the family they had.
As the couple prepared for their own nighttime routine, Mickey and Ian both felt satisfied that despite the assholes, they were definitely living the life together they had never dared to dream.
Summary: In a world where the last words your soulmate will say to you are written on your wrist, fearful and introverted Phil works in a bookstore. His greatest fear? The words counting down the seconds until he meet his soulmate, someone called ‘Dan.’ But it isn’t until he befriends a university student that he nicknames ‘Bear’ that Phil realizes that surviving through fear isn’t the same as living.
A/N: Somehow Famous Last Words broke 1k?? Thank you so much to anyone who’s left a comment or reblogged or liked or just taken the time to read this. When I first started this fic it was as a silly little side project that I never imagined would go anywhere, and it’s crazy to see how much that’s changed since I first starting writing. As a late holiday/New Year/thank you celebratory gift I wrote an alternate ending to Famous Last Words. I have mixed feelings about it, but overall I’m happy with the way it turned out. This is in place of chapter twenty and the epilogue xx
(if anyone still wants to murder me after reading this pls do it before inauguration day thanks)
statistics were up 10% from the previous year, and 15% from the year before.
While there were still those who fought against the system and rallied to make
their own fates ultimately the truth was inevitable; everyone was fucked and
there was nothing you could do about it.
he little and before he’d learned to read Phil had always liked the idea of
soulmates. He was a romantic at heart, and many of the games at school involved
playing house and pretending to come home to your soulmate each day. Of course,
once he was old enough to understand the implications of his words that had all
was impossible for him not to believe in soulmates, but as he pulled up to the
church where Bear and Abbie were getting married he wondered if he would ever
find his. It’d be an ironic twist of fate to make him worry about meeting his
soulmate all his life only never to.
doors of the church swung open under his hands, his shoes clicking on the
floorboards beneath him. The pews were almost completely filled with people,
the low buzz of conversation a hum in Phil’s ears that restricted his breathing
and made his hands shake. Dan was sitting near the front of the room, phone in
hand and head bent. Phil resisted the urge to duck behind a pew of his own.
While he and Dan hadn’t parted on unfriendly terms they hadn’t been
especially friendly either.
Title: ‘Thunderstorm’ TV Show: The 100 Summary: In which there is a storm, and possibly some cuddling. A little Kabby one-shot I wrote because there was a huge storm last night. Set in that lovely gap between seasons two and three that we all adore Rating: General
Another crack of thunder rolled overheard, and Abby dropped
the datapad she’d been holding.
The storm had been building for the past half an hour,
and was now reaching its height just as night started to fall. Rain beat
against the windows and drummed into the ground, forks of lightning flickered
across the sky, illuminating distant mountain peaks with sharp, vivid flashes.
The wind roared through the forests, and the thunder…
Abby had been getting increasingly jumpy from the moment the
first roll of thunder had sounded in the distance, and now she was so horribly
on edge that she couldn’t settle to any task, couldn’t concentrate on anything
but the colossal, primal noise of the storm outside.
Abbie felt stupid kneeling beside his grave. Felt even stupider for bringing flowers, mums in fall-bright colors, yellow and orange and red so dark it started to slide into burgundy. But the flowers weren’t for him. Not really. They were for everyone who walked by the unassuming headstone, so each and every one of them knew that August Corbin was remembered.
“Abby, wake up.” Mark murmurs into my ear. His words are soft, but he’s cruelly pulling me away from my sweet sleep.
“No.” I groan, not wanting to give up on Pancake Land, my dear, dear, magic home country.
“It’s quarter past nine, get your lazy ass up.” He says, caressing my behind. I don’t reply, hoping he would leave me alone. He smacks my behind.
“Up, now.” He scolds, and I whine. It stings! Rubbing the pain away, I sit up on one butt cheek and open my eyes. Mark is in his pajamas, kneeling on the bed in front of me.
“Hello.” He gives me a big, dazzling smile.
“I hate you.” I mutter, and he laughs. Wrapping me in his arms, he lays me down, laying between my legs.
“Come take a shower with me. I promise I’ll wake you up.” He murmurs, running his nose along mine.
“I need to pee.” I reply, pouting my lips, asking for a kiss. He kisses me, and I kick him off me, grabbing my toilet bag and heading towards the bathroom. I brush my teeth and wash my face, wanting to feel a little bit fresher. I almost bump into Dylan as I walk out of the bathroom.
“Good morning, Abigail.” He smiles to me. He’s wearing a T-shirt and sweats.
“Good morning. Did you sleep well?” I ask.
“Yes, thank you. Are you done with the bathroom?”
“It’s all yours.” I say before taking a leave. I join Mark in the guestroom.
“So, that shower?” He prompts, finishing tidying the bed.
“Dylan is in the bathroom, which reminds me that we’re not alone here.”
“And?” He walks to me and kisses me.
“What if one of them saw us going in the bathroom together? I don’t want them imagining…things.” I explain, and he frowns, an unwelcome thought crossing his mind.
“I don’t want people imagining you naked.” He says.
“Then I guess we’re on the same page.”
“But I want to take a shower with you.” He says, and he’s serious. This is going to be a battle.
Mark peaks out of the guestroom, and I stand behind him, holding my towel, my shower gel, and my shower glove in my arms.
“Come.” He says, indicating me the way is clear. We tip toe our way to the bathroom, and make it before anyone sees us.
“Happy?” I ask mark once we’re alone in the spacious bathroom.
“Not yet.” He smirks at me, and I giggle, though I’m not sure what he means.
The water is burning in the shower, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. After more than a dozen of showers with Mark, I eventually got used to the temperature. Once we’re all white with soap and foam, I turn to him. I never thought nudity could be so poetic and beautiful until I met this man. Greedily, I run my hands down his chest, washing the foam away, then up again, this time feeling him under my fingertips. He watches me intently, his lips parted. I slide my hands down again, and feel his stubble of public hair. I run my nails through his light stubble, biting down on my lip as this familiar heat in my center comes to life. Gently, I take him in my hand, and he’s already hard for me. My eyes never leaving his, I caress him gently, up and down his shaft, skimming my thumb over the head. He inhales sharply, and I have to refrain a moan. Grabbing me by my shoulders, he turns me around.
“Your turn.” He murmurs and kisses my shoulder. Yes… Pulling me so I’m under the water, he runs his hands down my back, then he circles his arms around me, caresses my stomach, his hands flat on me. I lull my head against his shoulder and savor the sensation as his fingertips run up my sides, grazing my breasts.
“Please.” I murmur.
“All in good time, baby. I love seeing you like this.” He says softly. Slowly, he cups my breasts, making sure none of his fingers are touching my nipples.
“Oh, please.” I whine, arching my back and giving him more to touch, tempting him. I feel his erection against my behind, and grind against him on purpose. Groaning, he pinches my nipples.
“Ah! More.” I moan, the feeling traveling straight to my core. Trailing his lips up and down my neck, he twists my nipples between his fingers, and they harden and elongate under his touch, begging for more. Snaking his arm around me, he cups my sex, his fingertips caressing me.
“Oh, Mark.” I whimper, refraining myself from grinding on his hand. His fingers find my clitoris, and I writhe, wanting more, wanting him. Too soon, he withdraws his fingers.
“Hold the bar, baby.” He commands softly in my ear. I lean in and hold the steel bar on the door of the cab. From behind!
“Open your legs.” He orders, and I obey. I feel so exposed, it’s exciting.
“Did you take your pill yesterday?” He asks, one hand gently caressing my behind. I groan at the feeling of his hand on me like this.
“Yes.” I whisper. He fondles the flesh of my butt cheek, parting it from the other one.
“Good.” He says appreciatively, his other hand cupping my sex. His middle finger parts my lips and finds my clitoris.
“Anh…” I moan, closing me eyes. He moves his hands, back and forth, his fingers caressing me, teasing me. He rubs a finger in circles against my entrance, and slips two fingers inside of me.
“Aaaargh!” I moan loudly at his intrusion. Mark hushes me, reminding me we’re not alone here.
“Oh, please!” I beg, and he starts moving his fingers in circles, round and round, rubbing against every wall of my vagina.
“Ah!” I moan, the sound of the shower smothering my noises. His fingers explore me, torture me, in and out, then round and round, fast, slow…
“Please.” I mewl, carving for more. Carving for him. Take me, now. My head is spinning, and I close my eyes, letting the pleasure intoxicate me. Slowly, he pulls his fingers out of me. I groan at the emptiness, but soon he fills me up.
“Mmh!” I muffle my moan by biting my lip. He’s so big, and hard, deep inside of me. Mark murmurs my name, and starts moving relentlessly, fast, and doing my best to keep silent, I let all the pleasure explode inside of me.
I’m breathless, struggling to catch my breath with the steam of the hit shower, and Mark drapes his arms around, pulling me close, my head lulled against his shoulder.
“Now I’m happy.” He murmurs, kissing me below my ear, and I giggle.
“You’re a monster.” I joke, and he chuckles.
“A monster fit for you, miss Kraige. I believe you didn’t reject me.” He says. He’s talking about being rejected again.
“No, I didn’t. And unless I’m really mad at you, I won’t ever do that.” I say warily, turning to face him.
“But you know that.” I add and kiss him chastely. He smiles a little and cuts the shower, showing me out. He wraps my towel around me, and wraps another one around his waist, then he takes another towel and starts drying my hair. I wrap my arms around him, my nose in his chest as he gingerly dries my hair. I kiss the mole he has between his pecs, then I kiss him above his heart.
“You’re a very desirable man.” I murmur, kissing the base of his neck. I can sense his grin.
“Why, miss Kraige, thank you for the compliment.” He murmurs. He really is an attractive man. I kiss him up his throat, trail my tongue along his jaw, while my hands run up and down his muscular chest.
“Abby, if you want more, then wait until we go to my secret garden.” He murmurs, bemused. I smile, remembering his impromptu assault last time we went there.
Dorice was a bit disappointed about me and Mark going out alone, and it made me realize we should spend more time together. I told Mark about it, but as the sulky teenager he is, he insisted to go, and brushed his poor mother off by promising to eat out tomorrow. So we went, and ate the delicious picnic he packed, talked through our meal, and settled for Lyon and Montpellier for our trip to France. We lay on the blanket, gazing up at the blue sky, all clouds gone, and the weather getting warmer.
“Can I talk to you about something?” I ask him.
“You promise you won’t get mad?”
“No, I don’t. What is it?” He replies dryly. Ouch.
“I don’t want to fight.” I pout though he can’t see me.
“Tell me.” He orders. Oh, what was I expecting from this man? I know he’ll get mad, but I need my answers. I look up at him to watch his reaction.
“Dylan told me you were a toyboy.”
“What?” He frowns down at me.
“He talked about how you were with your exes. I think your past has a lot more importance that you want to let show.” I explain. And, to my surprise, he smirks.
“No, it doesn’t. Dylan exaggerated.” He says.
“I don’t think so. He said he didn’t recognize you in those relationships, and that it was really weird.” I argue, and he smacks his tongue like he always does when he’s annoyed.
“Say it, Abby, you think I’m fucked up.” He mutters.
“No. But I think that something did caused you to only date older girls, because there is no way the man I know, and who I love could possibly be submissive to anyone.” I reply sweetly, and he sighs, and I know I’m getting somewhere. He remains silent.
“Explain me.” I plead.
“There’s nothing to explain, Abby. You’re all just giving all of this too much credit. It’s all over now. It’s you. Only you, Abby.” He says, for the billionth time. Each time he says that, I end up discovering something that makes me doubt
“I need to know I’m enough.” I whisper, my fiftyshadism unintentional.
“Abby, I don’t have any BDSM penchants, I’m no Christian Grey. We’re not a book.” He replies, and I sigh. I know there is something behind all of this, but at the same time it looks so anodyne.
“You’re not mad at Dylan, are you?” I ask, changing subjects.
“No, Abby. He’s stupid. Won’t change no matter how hard I beat his ass.” He mutters, making me laugh out loud.
“I love it when you laugh.” He murmurs, grinning.
“You’re a very funny man.” I reply.
“Funny haha or funny funny?” He wriggles his eyebrows at me.
“Funny haha.” I giggle.
“Good.” He says before kissing my forehead. We stay silent for a moment.
“When exactly are you planning to find a job?” I ask out of the blue.
“I don’t know. I’d like to spend the whole summer with you.” He replies.
“The whole summer with no income? How much money exactly did you save?” I ask, my voice laced with suspicion.
“You want to know the bottom line of my bank account?” He grins.
“Last time I checked, I had 27 589$.” He says casually. What?!
“A man can live eating…pretty much just pastas and steaks.” He shrugs, and I can tell he’s quite happy with himself. Pastas and steaks?
“What about pancakes?” I pout, and he laughs.
“Yes, and pancakes too.” He murmurs.
“You’re going to use that money to bring me to France?” I ask warily.
“Yes.” He says simply. I don’t like the idea, in fact I hate it. I don’t know, it just makes me uncomfortable.
“Or you have the money to pay for your ticket?” He says. No, I don’t. I hadn’t thought about that.
“I could work.” I retort, though I have no idea how to find a job.
“You could. But I don’t want you to.” He mutters.
“Well, since you’re not the one deciding for me, I think that’s a moot point.” I reply. He shifts so he’s towering over me, and I lay on my back, gazing at him.
“I don’t want to fight.” He murmurs.
“Let me take you to France. Consider that as a gift.” He leans in and kisses my lips. I shake my head. That wouldn’t be a gift, that would be…too much.
“Please, make a man happy. I really want to take you. Please, Abby.” He pleads, peppering kisses on my face. Oh, now he’s acting cute?
“You can’t just dilapidate your money on me like this. It’s wrong.” I scold him.
“Why?” He frowns.
“Because I can’t reciprocate.”
“You don’t have to. Not like this. Abby, it’s by letting me spoil you that you reciprocate. This is how men work.” He explains.
“I’m not sure about that.” I mutter, and he raises and eyebrow at me.
“Well, since you’ve never been with a man before, I think that’s a moot point.” He says, his words mirroring mine. I giggle, and he smiles.
“Let me pay for this trip.” I smiles fondly, and I feel a little bit bad for killing his excitement. But why does he insist like this anyway?
“Does it have any particular signification?” I ask.
“Yes. It would mean making you happy; treating you like a princess.” He murmurs, and my heart swells. Treating me like a princess… What girl could resist that?
“Okay.” I murmur, and he gives me dazzling smile.
“Thank you.” He breathes and kisses me, fingers curling in my hair.
“I really want to make love to you now.” He murmurs against my lips. Woah…
“Because I’m letting you pay?” I ask as he pulls away. He lets out a short laugh.
“No. Because you make me happy.” He says. It meant so much to him? I don’t understand his man. It takes him so little to make him happy, but then it takes even less to make him mad, or sad. He’s so different from what I’ve seen yesterday. It’s good, I like seeing him happy, but it’s hard to keep up. He’s a train of emotions.
“What is it?” He asks, frowning down at me.
“You’re so hard to understand.” I murmur.
“That’s because you think too much, Abigail. When will you get that?”
“We can’t possibly just live our relationship like that, I mean-”
“And why not? Carpe Diem, baby.” He smirks and kisses me again, passionately. So, I just follow his flow? Like this? That’s not something I’m used to.
“No, Mark… not now.” I plead, my words soft so he won’t feel rejected.
“You want it to stop?” He asks me.
“No!” I can’t help the horror in my voice.
“Then what is it? What more do you need? You have me, all of me. What more do I have to give you?” He says, his voice laced with worry.
“Nothing. I just…” I stutter, not sure about what to say. What do I want more? Absolutely nothing. I just want to understand him.
“Tell me, Abby. I don’t want you to leave me.” He insist.
“Leaving is not an option. I’d never…” I murmur, and suddenly I’m lost. Where am I going with this? I don’t want more? I just want him whole. And I have him. Right now, and right here. Just for me. He’s mine.
“Make love to me.” I whisper, and his lips part in surprise. His eyes search into mine, and he shakes his head
“Talk to me.” He pleads. See how you’re making him feel? All because of these stupid thoughts. I shake my head, pulling him close by the collar of his shirt.
“I’m just being silly. Please, I need you, now.” I whisper, my lips claiming his. He replies to my kiss, his lips tender and loving. Tangling my fingers in his hair, I try to slip my greedy tongue in his mouth. He groans and starts to battle for dominance. Moaning, I surrender and let his expert tongue possess me. He kisses me below my ear, moving so he’s laying between my legs. He pulls my chocker down with his teeth, exposing my scars to him, only to him. His lips ghost over one of them.
“Ah….” I moan, my hips moving without my consent, and I meet the growing bulgde in his pants.
“Please.” I whisper as his tongue flicks against the skin of my neck. He grinds down onto me, his groin rubbing against the right places. I mewl, and his hands run up my thighs, hitching up the skirt of my dress.
“Your body doesn’t lie, baby.” He murmurs against my skin, his fingertips sending tingles everywhere inside of me. He shifts so he’s kneeling between my legs, the pressure on my groan gone. Gently biting on my scars, he places his legs on my inner thighs, parting my legs efficiently, running his thumbs along the places where my thighs join my intimacy, but never touching me where I need him to.
“You want me, you want this, you want us.” He says softly, his word true. My body roars in response.
“Yes, I do. Oh, please, Mark. Make love to me.” I plead, and his lips find mind again, and I believe he’s more than pleased to oblige.
Mark takes my hand as I finish packing the leftovers of our picnic. He runs his thumb over my knuckles and kisses the back of my hand.
“You really give out mixed signals, miss Kraige. But you sure know how to please a man. And, as true as it is, I’m not only speaking about sex.” He says, making me giggle.
“We aim to please.” I say sweetly, and he grins.
“I want to go shopping.” He murmurs. Oh, no. He really wants to spend his money on me. I don’t need this, I have plenty of clothes, an IPhone six, a Macbook, an ankle chain from Cartier, and I have Sally; I don’t want more, I don’t need more.
“Good idea. We could buy you some suits for when you’ll have interviews.” I propose. He tilts his head to the side.
“I was thinking about buying you things.” He says warily.
“I’m fine, really. But thank you.” I murmur, hoping it won’t sour his mood, and hoping he would drop it.
“I thought we had agreed on this.” He says, and I sigh.
“We agreed on France, yes, but you’re asking me too much now.” I say, and it’s his turn to sigh. He runs his hand through his hair. I crawl to him and make myself comfy on his lap, my legs on either side of his.
“You’ve just made good, sweet, unrushed love to me, and we ate a delicious meal, sorted out our plans for the summer, you’re smiling, and I’m happy. I don’t need clothes, I need more moments like this.” I murmur, peppering kisses here and there on his face.
“Can you give that to me?” I ask sweetly.
“If you promise you won’t ask about my exes, then yes.” He replies. Ouch, that’s not fair. But if it means having more moments like this, then maybe I can live with that.
“I think we have a deal.” I smile, and he grins.
“Great.” He says and kisses me.
“Good, sweet, unrushed love?” He mumbles against my lips, and I can feel his smirk.
“Yes. You give me the best sex.” I reply sweetly.
“The only sex you know.” He adds, and even though he’s grinning like a fool I know he means that.
“And the only one I’ll ever know.” I murmur.
“I hope so.” He says before kissing me.
After wandering downtown a little bit, Mark takes me in a cute cafe to grab a smoothie. Just like yesterday night, he’s been smiling throughout the afternoon, and it’s a delight to see. It’s four, and the sun is shining bright, the soft breeze of the early afternoon gone. It’s hot in the cafe, so after a moment, I decide to take my top off, revealing the top of my sundress. Mark eyes me from the other side of the table and frowns.
“That cleavage is indecent.” He says disapprovingly. What? I look down at my breasts, we can’t see anything. We can barely see the birth of my breasts, plus, they are parted.
“We can barely see anything.” I flush, suddenly feeling self-conscious.
“I’m seeing plenty. And the other guys can too.” He mutters. No they can’t, even I can’t see anything. Where is he going with this.
“What are you scared of?”
“I’m not sacred of anything, I just don’t want guys to see that part of your body. Feels legitimate enough.” He mutters, and he truly sounds like a sulky child. I roll my eyes at him.
“Come. I’ll buy you another top.” He says, fishing ten dollars out of his pocket. I frown, my jaw dropping. What?
“You can’t be serious.” A laughter of disbelief escapes me, and he glares at me. Oh, okay. He is serious.
“Mark, I don’t want another top. I won’t bend over, I’ll be good.” I try to reason him. This could be a fight, so I’m trying to be as gentle as possible.
“No you won’t. Come.” He retorts and gets up. Woah!
“Don’t you think you’re overreacting a little bit?”
“I’m fully aware of what this looks like. Please, get up.” He’s glowering at me. What? Why this sudden change of mood? He went from sweet, loving Mark to angry and possessive macho man. I gape at him, stunned. Schizophrenic much? He smacks his tongue
“Okay, we have two options.” He says calmly, sitting back down.
“Either you get up by yourself, or I carry you.” He threatens.
“You wouldn’t.” I reply, incredulous. He wouldn’t do this, right?
“You want to test me?” He asks. Oh, no. Let’s not temp the devil. He wants to manhandle me in front of everyone? Hell no. He’s so immature and impulsive. I mean, even if he’s really pissed by my cleavage, why souring his mood like this? And mine too. That’s it, I’m done with him for today. Looks like we can never have a date without it degenerating in a fight.
“I want to go home.” I mutter. He raises his eyebrows
“Oh, now you want to sulk?” He asks as if I was a child. I glare at him. So I’m the one being unreasonable?
“Yes. I don’t want you to tell me what to wear, and you cannot expect me to spend the rest of the day with you after you manhandle me. Feels legitimate enough.” I mutter, my words mirroring his.
“Fine. Let’s go.” He says, and I gt up from my seat. I walk out of the cafe before him, stomping towards his car. I hate it when he’s like this. Why does he always have to ruin everything? Mark follows me closely.
“Mark!” A voice I don’t recognize squeals in delight. It’s a feminine voice. I turn and see a blond woman in a black pencil skirt, and a red sleeveless blouse with matching pumps throwing her arms around his neck. Bitch, who? Mark looks puzzled, and doesn’t hug her back, at complete loss.
“Oh, wow! It’s been ages, look at you!” She has a high-pitched, Californian bourgeois voice. My blood starts to boil. She holds him at arms length, inspecting him and smiles from ear to ear. She’s a fraction shorter than him, she’s slim, she looks more mature than him. In fact, she looks older than him, like, in her mid thirties. Maybe eight years older. Retracing my angry steps, I stand by his side. She sees me, and gasps in horror. Yep, he’s not single. She puts both of her hands on her red mouth. She is completely dolled up, her hair curled, her nails on flick.
“Oh- Oh my god, I didn’t see you weren’t alone.” She says to Mark, and she looks truly mortified and contrite. Mark drapes his arm around me and pulls me close. I remain straight-faced, but inside I am mad; at him, at her, and I wonder who the fuck she is.
“This is so awkward, I’m sorry.” She says, to me this time, and makes a cute embarrassed grimace. She’s quite a comedian, she manages to tear a small smile for me. I would have loved her if she hadn’t put her manicured, long-fingered hands on my man. She gives Mark am apologetic look, and he gives her a tight smile. Mark turns to me.
“Abby, this is Ellie.” He waves towards the woman. “My ex.” He says, and I have to fight against myself to remain calm. His ex?
“Ellie, this is Abigail, my girlfriend.” He adds quickly, and Ellie smiles to me. I can’t smile back to her, because I am mortified. Suddenly she seems way older to me. She gives me a sympathetic look, but it’s the kind of sympathy you would feel for a child. I feel inferior, I feel too young.
“I’m really sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I didn’t mean to…” She struggles to speak, and look genuinely sorry. She sighs, giving up on her sentence and looks at Mark.
“Goodbye?” She proposes, embarrassed.
“Goodbye.” He gives her another tight smile. She smile to me, and I don’t reciprocate, way too upset to smile. She walks away, and she looks confident, womanly, beautiful. What do I look like in a poor sundress and sandals? Once she’s far enough, I open my mouth.
“Don’t.” Mark says, clasping my hand.
“What?” I ask.
“Let’s go home.” He mutters, and without looking at me, drags me to his car.
The ride is silent, and I don’t know if it’s because of our fight or because I am upset. Mark is tense too, and I don’t know why. His hands firmly holding the wheel, his face hard and his eyes glued on the road, he’s radiating with tension. I am mad. At the entire world. So, is this what they all looked like? Attractive, mature, confident, feminine?
“She looks rich.” I say to him, but he doesn’t reply.
“Is she rich?”
“Stop, Abby. I don’t want to talk about this.” He mutters, and I think he’s giving the answer away.
“Which one is it?” I ask, and he smacks his tongue but remains silent.
“You were her toyboy?”
“No, I was not! Abigail, for fucks sake.” He hisses.
“I’m just asking.”
“You’re always just asking. No matter how many times I tell you, no matter how I put it, it’s the same thing over and over again. You know what? I am done. We’re never discussing my past again.” He says, completely lashing out, reliving all of his tension. So he’s fed up with me asking about his past? I remember when it was the other way around, when he kept claiming that we couldn’t work if we didn’t know about our pasts.
“You’re such a hypocrite.” I mutter.
“Excuse me?” He hisses, glaring at me. I ignore him, looking out my window.
“Can you repeat what you’ve just said?” He asks me, and I smack my tongue like he always does.
“So, you’re not going to tell me anything.”
“No.” He says. Alright, fuck you. When we arrive to the house, I storm out of the car, slamming the door closed.
“Abigail, stop.” He says as he gets out from the car as well. Ignoring him, I stomp towards the house.
“Come back here!” He calls from behind me. I open the front door and step in, finding Dorice with a book in the living room. She looks up at me and frowns.
“Hi, Dorice.“ I mutter, striding past her as Mark comes in.
“Abby. Abby!” He calls, following me up the stairs. I storm into the guestroom.
“Abigail, you better stop that right now.” He hisses, slamming the door closed. I turn, raising my index finger at him.
“You don’t tell me what to do.” I say.
“You spent the first three months of our relationship pushing me, questioning me, and you’re actually telling me I’m too persistent?” I sass.
“We had a deal!” He snarls.
“It was just a way to hide your past from me. It’s not fair.”
“We don’t have the same past, Abigail. You cant possibly compare your past to my exes.” He replies. Exactly! From the little that I know, I don’t think anything he has to say could be worse that explaining a rape.
“Then why won’t you tell me anything?” I stomp my foot.
“Because there is nothing to tell!” He yells.
“You’re lying!” I shout at him. And as I say the words, it hits me like a train. He’s lying to me. He wouldn’t be acting like this if he didn’t have anything to say. After six months, why do I only see it now? He has a secret.
“You’re lying to me. You’re hiding something from me, and it’s not fair.” I say. He sighs, and runs his hand through his hair. There is something I don’t know. Something bad. I don’t know this man. It’s dangerous. He’s dangerous. A small voice whispers into my ear. I know this voice; it’s my trauma. It’s darkness. Instinctively, I wrap my arms around my body to protect myself. Darkness swallows me down and wrap me in horror, like before.
“I want to go home.” I whisper. He’s dangerous . Mark sighs again.
“Abigail…” A loud squeal of delight prevents him from talking. It’s Dorice voice, she’s squealing, thanking god. What is going on?
“Mark! Abigail! Dylan!” She calls us. Mark and I look at each other, he sighs and turns on his heels. I sigh, realizing I was holding my breathe, and follow him downstairs. Dylan, who must have been in the backyard, meets us in the corridor that leads to the living room. Dorice is by the door which is open wide, and a man in a battledress is holding her in his arms. I look up at Mark and he looks puzzled, and his jaw hangs open. A shiver seems to run down his spine.