catherine has not changed at all

I am seriously concerned about the casting directors on Reign...

Guys, are they ok? Are they even trying? Do they think we’re stupid? Have they employed a script adviser to check the consistency of what they’re making? If they have, they need to fire them real quick, because whoever they are hasn’t seemed to realise that CATHERINE’S CHILDREN ARE ALL REAPPEARING AS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE who are WAY TOO OLD!

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to the good old days when Reign was kinda alright.

Remember this little guy? This lil’ cutie from Season 1? Lil’ Charles. Just in case this picture doesn’t make it quite QUITE clear that this person is a young CHILD, here’s another one: 

He’s tiny right, I mean Megan Follows is small, and he barely reaches her shoulder. Ok good, we’ve established that Charles in Season 1 was a young child of around eight years old. Good stuff.

Now I know Reign has a habit of stretching, embellishing and basically destroying history. Mary and Francis are supposed to be like 14 at the start, and clearly they’re older, but that’s ok, that’s fine, we’ll roll with it.

 The show begins in 1557:

Nice, some fluffy goats and fluffy clouds just to prove this. I’ve done my research people.

So in real life, ol’ Francie Boi was supposed to die in 1560 after being King for roughly one year

And sure thing, as I said, Reign likes to stretch history like, BEYOND the breaking point. So it’s entirely plausible that on the show Francis was king for a little bit longer, maybe we’ll give him an extra year or two. Which means the next time we see young dude Charlie he’ll have aged… hmmm around five years or so? He’ll be approx 12, right? 

WRONG! What the FuCk ma dudes, this guy right here is NOT CHARKLES I don’t know who he is, but Catherine and the rest of them should all be really concerned, they’ve been hella duped! He’s frickin old enough to fool around with this random chick

He’s aged like 10 years in 5, and NO ONE EVEN NOTICED, not Catherine, not Francis, not Mary, and especially not anyone in the writing or casting department apparently. 

Now let’s move onto Elisabeth, Catherine and Henry’s eldest daughter, dis chick from the pilot

Remember her? The one who married the Spanish dude, and then they had to have sex while a whole lot of old men watched, and Mary and her lil’ sweet naive buddies got all hot and flustered cos they were sneakily watching too? Yeah that one.

As you can see, this woman is clearly a BRUNETTE. Well, apparently Spain has really changed Elisabeth. Like, REEAALLY changed her. So good to see her back in 4x01! She goes by Leesa now, she’s blonde and older and basically looks like a completely different person…

Oh Wait.

I guess Catherine just has so many children she honestly can’t keep track and doesn’t even notice when they return to France looking like they’ve endured intense plastic surgery to reconstruct their faces, or somehow age them enormously.

Catherine has the names of all her children written in her bible, although her youngest son Hercule is missing, but I think the camera has just cut off the bottom of the page.

 At the end of Season 3, Catherine brings back this dude below to lowkey threaten Charles with MUrdEr (the most ooc Catherine has ever been, honestly this show is just…)

Now god knows who this one is, I mean it could be Lil’ Henry making a comeback from Season 1 when he was blonde and cute (see below) and got kidnapped by his insane potato-sack-wearing half sister

If so, he too has had a significant dye job at the castle salon. Except whoever this kid is in Season 3, he can’t be Henry because he’s considerably younger than Charles

I mean, what’s the deal? Charles gets hit by the ageifying-ray gun, but his little bro Henry doesn’t? How is that fair?? They never actually mention him by name, so possibly it is Hercule.

Which would mean that this hunky blonde dude Megan’s been posting on her Instagram and captioning with “My boys”… 

IS HENRY WHAT THE FUCK YOU GUYS! He looks even older than Charles, I CANNOT BELIEF THIS

This makes absolutely ZERO sense, I do NOT understand. The casting directors and writers of Reign either don’t comprehend human viewer intelligence and the ability to pick up on the ENORMOUS INCONSISTENCIES THEY THROW AT US WITH WORRYING REGULARITY, or they themselves have serious memory issues. Or possibly they just don’t care. I really don’t know.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to watch Reign now is by ignoring these massively aged characters, ignoring the yawn storylines, ignoring when the only original characters we have left suddenly rewrite their whole personalities; I’m looking at you Catherine ‘I would literally die for my children’ de Medici, suddenly going, ‘Oh yeah Charles, I have loooads of other sons, don’t you forget that, I might just kill you to become regent again, k, love you, bye.’

I’ll just focus on the pretty clothes and Megan Follows’ profound talent to somehow make something out of this steaming pile of insanity.

Long story short, the only thing Reign is consistent at, is being inconsistent.

Even so, I’ll watch it every week cos I’m total trash. Rip me.

diego luna films i've seen rated by his moments in them
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien: He is a main character and in almost every scene. Wow. You see so much, possibly TOO much of Diego, so watch out if you're a minor or just don't like sexual scenes in films. Definite gay vibes with co-star played by childhood best friend Gael García Bernal. There's a wonderful and powerful confrontation scene between the two men around an hour in, Diego's acting is WOAH. And everyone thought he was the ugly one, we were so wrong. AND SO MUCH SPANISH. The phrase 'no mames' is uttered approximately 178 times. 9/10
  • Frida: Salma Hayek plays artist Frida Kahlo in this unique film. Diego plays her young lover Alex in the beginning of the movie; they have sex in a closet at some point, wild. Their relationship is cut short after a tragic bus accident which leaves Frida crippled. He brings her flowers and they break up, and Diego's role is finished. But I just had to keep watching because of how special the cinematography of this film is! The bus accident is so well directed it blew my mind. I don't know enough about Frida Kahlo to know how accurate this film was, but it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But since this is a list about Diego, low points ought to be given. He really isn't in this movie a lot. Let's see, 2/10.
  • Havana Nights: A true cinematic treasure. Also known as the worst movie you will ever see and you will love every second of it. Bad script, zero plot - but Diego does his best and fucking nails every moment in this film, carries it on his back. Apparently no one told him that he was supposed to act robotic, so everything he does is sweet and natural and he makes it look easy. All the while dancing himself into Castro-era Cuba, which he does SO well that Jonathan Jackson, who is supposed to be his romantic rival, actually seems TURNED ON whenever he sees Diego dance. Nice. Sweaty group-dance sequences, cutish one-liners. Actually makes out with dance partner Romola Garai in front of her PARENTS, after a very erotic dance routine, like how savage. 10/10
  • The Terminal: Diego plays airport employee who befriends Tom Hanks, and probably charms the pants off him, because he is wonderful in this secondary role. During the 2 hours of this film, all he wears is a jumpsuit/uniform and makes it look like a fashion statement. Has quite a lot of one-on-one scenes with The Tom Hanks himself, and is in love with Zoe Saldana, which is sweet, if not a bit generic chasing the girl type of thing. There's a scene where he absent-mindedly starts speaking Spanish to Tom Hanks who of course doesn't understand him, and Diego's very very cute about it. LO AND BEHOLD: one hour in, he changes into a suit while pouring Catherine Zeta-Jones too much wine. A breathtaking moment. 6/10
  • Mister Lonely: A very strange film about celebrity imitators. Diego plays a Michael Jackson impersonator in the film, his voice and looks imitating the singer and dancer. The movie introduces us to a surreal world of people living the lives of the famous people they dress up as, blurring the line between impersonating and becoming. He's rather in the center in the first and last bit of the movie, but the focus shifts in the middle with the story of "Marilyn" and "Charlie Chaplin". This film is a true risk-taker, which means it's not for the masses. Very thought-provoking though! 7/10
  • Milk: Diego plays Sean Penn's gay lover, and he's only in this movie for a short period of time. Kind of mentally unstable in this role, he tells Sean Penn he loves him without actually knowing what his name is. The movie deals with gay rights and is set in the 1970s, resulting in everyone having funny hair. This is an important LGBT film, but I hate Sean Penn, so there you have it. He is admittedly a skilled actor though. However, the lack of Diego in the majority of this film has to mean low points. 3/10
  • Rudo y Cursi: Another Diego-Gael movie. This time, it's about football. This is an excellent and very sad film set in Mexico that discusses the world of professional football playing. Diego is very different both in looks and in character from how he is in his other films - it's like he's a different person! That says a lot about his acting skills really. This film is also in Spanish, Diego shouts a lot (and very well too) and calls everyone 'chinga' and 'güey'. 8/10
  • The Book of Life: What a film! This animated feature has Diego portray main character Manolo Sanchez and makes you swoon basically. Since he's present in voice-acting only, you don't get to see his pretty face, BUT his voice is gorgeous both in speaking and in singing. A lot of songs are sung by Diego in this movie, and it's so so good. The Apology Song made me cry. Fun fact: Zoe Saldana is once again a love interest to Diego in this film, and their duet No Matter Where You Are is short but earth-shattering. 9/10
  • Casanova: Yep, Diego plays Giacomo Casanova in this TV movie, so you get the idea. It's about Casanova starting over in Paris, but things do not go well. Diego is very charming and rather authentic as Casanova. He makes out with women and climbs on rooftops in heels. Lots of close-ups to his face, I approve. However, this film confuses me. It's set in France, yet people speak with a British accent, except for Diego of course, who speaks with a Mexican accent BOTH in English and in Italian. The latter bothered me a bit, seeing as he is supposed to be a native Italian. All that aside, his performance is overall lovely. This film also has nice cinematography and a pretty solid script. Lots and lots of Diego seducing not-so-innocent maidens. 10/10
  • Rogue One: The greatest movie you will ever see. Diego has the role he deserves as he steals all our hearts as Captain Cassian Andor. You guys know the scene he gets all wet in the rain and then loads his gun on the ship? Sign me up. Warning: you WILL cry. 100/10

anonymous asked:

here's a fun thing: YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! Let's talk about your story! Here's what you do: 1. how many stories are you writing? 2. What's your favorite story/favorite post you've written? 3. Who do you personally ship in your story? 4: Who do you think has had the most character development in your story (bonus: why) 5. Tag 3 story simblrs that you've been reading!

I’ve kept this sitting in my inbox all day because I was driving to the airport LOL

@writehoodie @lovelychooser @something-wicked-sims and @lunarian-sim also tagged me in this, so thank you babes!!

1. I am currently writing two stories, though not really simultaneously: Save Me from Me is my baby, and it’s currently on its second Volume (generation). I’m taking a break from it for the summer though because I won’t have my desktop and it’s way too large of a save to play it on a macbook. Knights of Kydonia is the short story I’ll be picking up instead this summer to replace Save Me.

2. Honestly I love the KoK teaser a lot, it’s very different from other things I’ve done before. The story in general is pretty different from my standards, and has been a good change of pace for me. I’m also really enjoying writing Najiyah’s story, I think they are some of my more creative posts (if I’m allowed to say that).

3. OH MY GOD like so many people? My OTP ship is definitely Alina & Emmett. But all the couples who ended up together at the end of Volume I were ships for me. As far as the teens go, I can’t give things away yet…

4. Let’s see, as far as Volume I people… Probably Catherine? She used to be kind of this on-the-side fairy and has become one of the pillars of my story. She went a long way from the days she was dating Gavin to the woman she is now. As far as Volume II goes… I like what I have planned for Ezra a lot. I also really think Pari will have an interesting change of character pretty soon.

5. Oh gosh I read soooo many!! On top of the people tagged above @eslanes @pixeltrashcan @neopixiesims @furiouslydecaffinated @bubble-sims @simsomedia @sandy-sims @zauglom @laylasims @nicotinc @stillgotme @beverlyallitsims @pixelsinmyveins @mysimblruniverse @essiesims @femmesim @sim-bubble @dinaswimmer and I could literally go on forever.

mallorygallery  asked:

Any advice for writing a character who dislikes change?

Hi,

This is kind of a vague question and without more details, I can’t really answer your question directly. So I’m not going to. What I am going to do is talk about characterization.

A character who dislikes change is not a full character. Disliking change is simply one of their character traits. The important thing is how that character trait impacts the rest of the character and how that impacts the story. An example:

Character Alice is a monarch who has reigned for 300 years. She refuses to believe that the world is changing around her and so continues on with horribly outdated policies and laws. Her leadership is running her country into the ground and she refuses to change.

Character Becky lives at home with her parents. She takes care of her ailing mother and her younger cousins. She continues taking care of her younger cousins after her mother passes, even though she is tired of it and no longer wants to do it. Becky’s sister is willing to take the cousins and raise them so Becky can do something else that she finds more fulfilling, but Becky doesn’t know what to do with that opportunity. So she turns it down because she is scared of change and doesn’t want to take the risk.

Character Catherine is a six year old child who until now, has been an only child. But her parents adopt a new son and Catherine is not pleased with the changes that have been happening in her house. She just wants things to go back to the way they were.

Do you see how even though each of these characters has ‘dislikes change’ as a common characteristic, they’re all very different characters with different stories? I’m sorry if I completely failed to answer your question and please feel free to send a follow up ask! Alternatively feel free to use any of the above characters.

~Dabiyyah

Currently in Production

Do Dis: List all the things you’re currently working on in as much or little detail as you’d like, then tag some friends to see what they’re working on. This can be writing, art, vids, gifsets, whatever.

tagged by: @ktlsyrtis

Okay my loves… hate to have kind of a lame answer to this.

To be honest I don’t know where I stand with this anymore. I’d written quite a lot of a Berena 1950s au in my head but the berena community has been a downer for me lately and I’m not sure whether I’m interested in belonging to it anymore. Well I’m not really in it, I’m just on the periphery, but yeah. The only joy I’m getting out of the writing is what it gives me and the awesomeness of my beta (she’s mine you can’t have her) @jamieringo and our collaborations. We also have a Christmas type fic planned but again who knows what’s happening. I just feel like all the joy has been sucked out of it recently. I was getting anonymous hate messages because I met Catherine in Bath and then my friends were getting it. I mean it’s preposterous and ridiculous but I’m just too old for the drama so it’s not worth it to me. But yeah there’s that and then there’s just the end of Berena at least for awhile on the show that’s lost my interest, and I’m just not feeling it. Maybe that’ll change but that’s where I am now.

So what I’m doing now is getting over a terrible cold. It’s awful and I’m a baby when I’m sick so I’ve taken to my bed as dramatically as was possible and as my wife would tolerate. She’s honestly too good to me when I’m miserable.

And as I mentioned on here, we went to see Sunset Boulevard on Broadway last week and the wife fell head over heels in love with Glenn Close (she’s thinking of writing a strongly worded letter to the Tony’s to demand she gets a special recognition award for the role she’s not eligible to win another
Tony for). My once love of Glenn has been rekindled (she was one of the actresses where I watched almost their whole filmography back in the day when I was a young lesbian watching my way through IMDb filmography lists. I did this with Julie Andrews, Judy Davis, Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Catherine Deneuve, Jane Seymour, Bette Midler, Cher, Shelley Long, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson…. god the list is longer but I don’t remember it all.)

So we watched Serving in Silence (for me it was like my 98th viewing) on the plane home and an episode of Damages (at the suggestion of @jamieringo and @culturepopper and @subcutaneous7 who we met in person finally in NYC) and then we were hooked.

So now my life is watching Damages with the wife (I have to watch at a slightly slower pace because we are sworn to watch it together) and getting our home in shape for the arrival of Miss @badassbettyrizzo in two weeks (so excited)

Anyways that’s it for me! Boring I know but there it is.

I’m tagging anyone who reads it because I’m currently in the bath and cannot access all my people on this lowly app page!

Pride & Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet [ENFP]

OFFICIAL TYPING by Charity / The Mod

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Lizzie both engages and detaches from her environment; she is not aware in the sense of being devoted to enjoying the finer things in life (unlike her mother), but instead she explores situations for their creative or intuitive potential – often resorting to mocking, teasing, and seeing reality in funny ways rather than focusing on things as they strictly are. Lizzie twists and bends this reality to reflect her own perspective and as such, can be a poor judge of character. She is attentive to what is going on around her and in sensing things people do not share with her (despite Jane being rather quiet about Bingley, Lizzie knows she is in love with him), but her intuition is sometimes wrong. She is right that Lydia will “make us all ridiculous” but wrong in trusting Wickham’s word about Darcy. She changes her mind about Darcy fairly quickly; her refusal to marry him when Lady Catherine demands the truth – Lizzie no longer has a clear answer and resents stating otherwise. 

Introverted Feeling (Fi): She refuses to marry for anything other than love, but does not share her feelings about Darcy as they shift and change until the last possible moment. Lizzie reacts to a slight against her with mockery, preferring not to talk about it with Jane or Charlotte but to instead divert attention away so she can process it in private. She is appalled that Charlotte would marry someone as irritating as Mr. Collins purely for security. Even though she believes her father is wrong in not stopping Lydia from going to Bath with her friends, she respects his decision and does nothing to impede it. If Lizzie does not like the company in the room, she excuses herself, turns to a book, or makes a polite mockery of them in private. Lizzie has very little regard for status or position and refuses to answer questions from Lady Catherine that she dislikes or to submit to her authority.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): Even though Lizzie believes in marrying for love, she freely admits with a twinkle in her eye that seeing Pemberley made all the difference in her affections for Mr. Darcy, because, after all, being in love is a fine thing… being in love and a wealthy woman is an even better thing! Even though she is initially outraged at Darcy’s allegations against the behavior of her mother and sisters at the ball, she is detached enough to see that his bias is well founded and factually based (they are inappropriate) and so concedes that he is right and his opinions are valid. Lizzie flat out refuses to marry Mr. Collins out of dislike, and minces no words when telling Mr. Darcy all the reasons she would never accept his proposal. 

Introverted Sensing (Si): The entire foundation of her dislike for Darcy stems from subjective opinions and hurt feelings – her assessment of him as cold, taciturn, and unlikable does not shift until she sees him at ease in his own surroundings. His slight of her at the ball leads her contempt and she holds that grudge for a long time. Her desire to bond with someone who shares her opinion means she neglects determining the actual details of Darcy’s dislike of Wickham. Lizzie has a sense of how reality works (girls must marry above them, to advance themselves, and eloping without getting married will ruin the entire family) and respects it even if she doesn’t like convention. When defending Jane against Darcy’s allegations, she relies on her own subjective view of her sister, built up over many years’ acquaintance.

New Blog Updates

Hello everyone! I have finished the revamping of the blog so here are the basics for the new changes you will see:

  • We are now CathTatePhotos (previous url was “CathTateDaily”)
  • The URL change was mainly due to this blog not being a “daily updater” due to Catherine not being as active with her projects and outings as most celebs are.
  • We will only be posting/reblogging edits. No more gifs. Sorry.
  • I will still keep you guys up to date with any current projects she has going on with links.
  • The goal is to share high quality pictures of Catherine.
  • We will be following all the basic guidelines of our sister blogs but we will also be reblogging along with posting original edits - this is due to the lack of pictures that are out there of Catherine so we will try to share the love with other editors on tumblr.
  • This blog will still not have posts on a daily basis so there will still be times of silence but I will try to keep making edits here and there.
The unofficially official Fandom Cult Novel summary.

When Rebecca “Bec” Meredith moves to the small town of Crayton, TX in her junior year of high school after her parents’ divorce, she is fully prepared for a fresh start in a new place where nobody knows her name. However, her dreams are dashed as she comes face to face with the oppressive traditionalism, lack of opportunities, and dreary sameness that rural life has to offer. All Bec wants is someone to talk to about her latest obsession, popular YA dystopian fantasy series The Lost Generation.

But that all changes when she attracts the attention of the charismatic Catherine “ph0enixie” Young, a big-name Lost Generation fan with an uncommon devotion to the series. Suddenly, Bec has everything she ever wanted– friends across the country, emotional support, and a stake in something bigger than herself– but she also finds herself being drawn into an increasingly tangled web of deceit and manipulation, from which it may be impossible to escape.

5

Trend Watch: Androgyny

Alessandro Michele’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collection for Gucci Fall 2015 and the rise of transgender models has spurred a new wave of androgynous dressing. Although androgynous dressing is not new (e.g. Annie Hall), this recent wave is a reflection of cultural change happening all over the world, one that is more accepting of transgendered people in media, society and everyday life.

So, take your cue from gender-bending models, Mica Arganaraz, Saskia de Brauw and Isabella Emmack, for a fresh spin on androgynous dressing! Think: tailored blazers, boyfriend jeans, button-down shirts and loose slacks.

garrisonabbey: I saw that you were saying you always take requests for gallagher girls and i was wondering do you have stuff planned for abby/townsend for ggshipweek? if not i’d like to request a one-shot please :) (the last thing you wrote for zach/townsend was amazing btw)

anon: Hey I know someone has already asked for a Abby and Townsend thing but I was wondering if you could maybe also do like a Abby and Townsend story with like a little bit of Catherine ( if it’s allowed obviously )

What did I say?  I told you – I told you all that I would do this.  It is seven o’clock on Saturday and half of you are probably already in Sunday but here I am.  Writing up all of my shipweek pieces at once like the piece of trash I am.  Anyways heres this.  I squished these two together.

A Dangerous Woman

The fact is that they’re tired.  The fact is that they’ve been tailing her for weeks now and they can barely stay awake.  The fact is that when they checked into this hotel, they may have missed a lock.  They may have forgotten to close the drapes.  They may have missed something.

Because the fact is, she’s in their hotel room.

“Well, isn’t this sweet?”

Edward Townsend has grown accustomed to the feeling of Abigail Cameron against his chest.  He’s gotten used to the way his arm fits around her body – to how his fingers feel in her hair.  The fact is, he might be in love, and there are worse people to run with than the person you love.

Of course, there are better options as well.

Because when he hears her voice – the voice of a woman just as dangerous, but far more destructive than the one in his arms – he feels a fear he’s never known.  He feels a sense of urgency, not for himself, but rather for the girl he loves.  For the well-being of Abigail Cameron.

All at once, he’s the man.  He’s out from under the blankets – the boyfriend who has to kill the spider.  The husband who has to investigate the noises downstairs.  He’s the caretaker and the provider and the muscle, taking care of the women in his life exactly as he had been taught.  This isn’t about him, this is about protecting Abby.

Except, as it turns out, Abby doesn’t need the help.

Keep reading

Honestly

I did not care for Catherine in H50. Setting aside my feelings towards Michelle Borth/Catherine’s behaviour off-screen/on-screen, I just don’t understand what she brings to the show let alone to Steve’s life. 

Steve reacts to Danny more than Catherine ANY day. Forget that I’m a McDanno shipper, lets just forget that. Even just as friends/best friends, Danny, who Steve has only known for 5 years, knows Steve like the back of his hand. Knows all his insecuities and trust issues and has NEVER used it against him. Let’s look at Kono and Chin with Steve, even they cared more about him and his well being that Catherine did. And even then she lied about his mother, hid things from him about quitting the navy, and lets not forget left him in the hands of terrorists to find a boy. 

I just don’t understand her coming back to Steve like nothing has changed, like she didn’t just leave him for a year to find a child and pretty much left him for dead. And lets be honest I have a feeling she even found Najeeb because of Doris/Shelbourne. 

I don’t like her.  

a racially diverse cast of kickass ladies playing austen heroines in a movie where they travel through time to the 21st century and at first they are overjoyed to discover how much has changed-emma discovers tinder!elizabeth discovers reddit!lydia discovers the selfie!catherine discovers the human centipede!fanny sadly discovers marrying your cousin is a kind of no no!charlotte discovers being 27 doesn’t make her a spinster!-but then they slowly realise the massive problems that still exist, especially for women, and so they spend the rest of the movie trying to figure out how to go back in time to when Noah was around and kindly request him to flush out all the problematics and save the rest of us from this fresh hell

6

Donna Noble Adventures [1/?]

The Salvation of Donna Noble

The Doctor finds a way to bring back Donna’s memories. According to old legends, if the person who suffered the meta crisis is almost dying, there is a small possibility they could regenerate. But, it has never existed a metacrisis before  Donna Noble. In his last attempt to fix what he did, the Doctor calls her and makes her remember. When she hears the Doctor’s name all her memories get back in to her mind. She remembers. And then, she regenerates. But because of the meta crisis she can’t change her looks. Thus, Donna Noble becomes a Time Lady.

I’m not sure how to express my anger and sadness today. I was so anxious last night, but I just told myself that when I wake up tomorrow, everything will be ok. I woke up this morning and immediately checked. And then cried. Donald Trump is president now and I don’t know how to express how I feel. I ran into my parents room, 5:30 in the morning, not really sure what I wanted to say. My mom said “I know, honey, I know” and I laid in between them for a while. How? How did all of these people vote for a man who proudly expresses his toxic views towards Muslims, Latinxs and all people of color, immigrants, the disabled community, the LGBT+ community (his vice president believes in conversion therapy, after all), and women? I feel so overwhelmed with sadness. I have heard people saying that “there are bigger problems” or that it is just “locker room talk” but is it? Are you saying that a man, our now-president, using sexually aggressive and contemptuous language towards marginalized groups is okay or insignificant? What that says to everyone in America and beyond is that putting all of these people, these millions of people, into boxes of objectification and vilification is normal and acceptable. It is a crushing blow to the spirits of my generation and the future of America. I wanted to include this quote by Van Jones during a panel discussion, “You have people putting children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of, how do I explain this to my children? I have Muslim friends texting me tonight saying, should I leave the country? I have families of immigrants who are terrified tonight. This was many things. This was a rebellion against the elite. True. It was a complete reinvention of politics. But it was also something else. We’ve talked about everything but race tonight. This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country, it was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that’s where the pain comes - we don’t want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others.” But I really want to believe that we can still change despite all of this. Catherine Cortez Masto is now the first Latina senator ever, Minnesota elected Ilhan Omar, America’s first Somali-American lawmaker, Kamala Harris has been elected as the first Black female senator since 1999, and Kate Brown is now Oregon’s first openly LGBT Governor. People of America are not going to be silent about this. It only takes a spark of resilience to ignite a glowing movement towards change. 

There’s a Berena-supporting letter in the new Radio Times! It says: “The development of the changing relationship between surgeons Serena Campbell and Bernie Wolfe in Holby City over the past few months has been written superbly. But it would be nothing without the sublime acting skills of Catherine Russell and Jemma Redgrave. Applause all round. Will the BBC have the nerve to be difference and give the viewers a happy ending, I wonder? Go on…I dare you.”

Too right!!! Hope the Holby producers see this, plus Catherine and Jemma as they deserve a lot of the credit I think for making this couple so appealing.

a blank white page

This has been niggling at me for a couple of days as I’ve seen people try to say Mary made a choice of duty to marry Francis because the blank page meant Bash wasn’t a valid choice. This is just not true. There are two main points.

The first, the blank page and what it represents. Catherine is saying to Mary that the legitimization doesn’t matter. That it’s just a technicality and it doesn’t matter. That with her death or possible banishment for adultery the likelihood that Bash is legitimized and acknowledged as the next king is very probable. I would say Mary’s looking for an easy way to pick Francis, but that really doesn’t matter. She picked him when she chose to leave the graveyard without marrying Bash.

That blank page represented that the legitimacy issue didn’t matter. It was a technicality. An issue clouding Mary’s judgement. But one she was dwelling on. I could tell by the way she took it that she was hoping it would make her decision for her, but Catherine didn’t leave it that easy. Instead Catherine told her the Pope didn’t matter, the legitimization plot didn’t matter. The only thing that truly mattered was what was and is in Mary’s heart, and to make her choice with that in mind.

The second and larger point is Mary herself. To say she only picked Francis because of duty or because he was already legitimate is to ignore Mary in all this. Of course she regrets hurting Bash, the Mary I fell in love with is a kind hearted and compassionate person. Not someone trying to actively kill another person like she was Catherine in 11. The fact that they had her acting so much like Catherine in that episode should be telling, this is who Mary would become if her path stayed the same as it currently was.

But that’s not my point. Like I said, her true moment of decision is in the graveyard. I’ll go through each pertinent scene.

Graveyard. If the prophecy - let’s not forget this is why Mary left Francis in the first place, she turned the entire line of succession and possibly the social order of France on its head because she couldn’t bear the thought of Francis dying and her being the cause. If that isn’t a testament of deep and abiding love I don’t know what is. To Bash the prophecy doesn’t matter anymore, though it did at the beginning of this when it served his purposes - getting Mary. But to Mary it did. Her head keeps turning toward Francis, she wants to know what has changed, how it has changed. If she wanted to marry Bash none of this would matter. None of it. She would have told Francis I’m sorry, my feelings have changed and married Bash right then. She didn’t. She rode straight to Catherine the nexus of all of this to find out if Francis was telling her the truth.

Catherine confirms, but now Mary is confused and says she loves them both. However she also says to her mother at the top of the episode that she’s “beginning to love him” meaning Bash. Which is what she means here, I’m sure. Plus, she’s pulled him into this crazy scheme of hers and she knows he loves her, and how much she will hurt him. Something she doesn’t want to do. I’m not going into Catherine’s suicide attempt, because to me the most important part of this scene is Catherine’s confirmation that she has a true choice, and now it’s up to her to make it.

Which brings us to the blank page scene, which I’ve already discussed above. Catherine gave her the empowerment to follow her heart, telling her - a queen - that duty didn’t matter, no matter what Mary’s own mother had to say. Also, look at Catherine’s lines here, “I know you THINK you love them both, and while that MAY be true, I argue you love one more.” Catherine offers two very distinct and important qualifiers in that line. As this is all scripted Laurie McCarthy wanted Catherine to say these lines, one of the few outside observers to both the MF and MB relationships on screen, means a lot. It’s not Mary’s mother, but Catherine who she’s been through so much with. Catherine doesn’t believe Mary loves both, she believes she loves only one of them, hence the qualifiers. Her parting words confirm she only thinks Mary loves one, “Now you are free to go to the man you love.” Mary tears out of her rooms to get this ball rolling.

Yes, she goes to Bash first, it’s the polite thing to do. I will also say that genuine feelings never have to be asked for to be expressed. Bash has done this twice, here and “heart is open” where she parroted his words back to him. You do these things to either keep things together and moving forward because if you don’t the party you’re accommodating will abandon ship - as happened in 11. Or you do it because it’s what the hurt party needs to make this easier, as happened in 13. From the look on Bash’s face I think he knows she’s letting him down easy with a pat on the head. He knew in the graveyard what would happen. If he couldn’t get her to marry him right away he stood no chance. Because if Francis were an option he would always be the backup plan or fallback guy. The guy she was trying to and beginning to love. Not the guy that loving is like air and water, necessary for life.

The hallway scene, actually, I’ll backup and say something small about the first of Mary and Francis’s scenes here. Her draw or pull toward him is clear from the moment he walks in. As if her sun has returned to her and she was a plant kept underground. Then when he says she will never see him again, she does this stumble, like it’s the most heartbreaking thing she can imagine - a life where Francis no longer exists, ever. Let’s be reminded that this WAS her world for the previous three episodes, and she clearly doesn’t want to go back to that. From the moment they meet again.

Now the second hallway scene. Mary gasps when she sees Francis, mirroring one of his own as he sees her and realizes her choice, him. She literally picks up her skirts and runs to him as if she can’t get there fast enough, throwing herself into his arms, and for the very first time, kissing him. It’s not a coincidence the last one happened at this moment. She doesn’t care that there are spectators, something that comes up again later, she just needs to be with Francis. “It’s you, it’s always been you!” Because for her it always has been. He’s her childhood friend, the man she dreamt of, the person that though they don’t always see eye to eye and sometimes hurt one another is still he man man she holds in her heart, and no matter what she’d done or how they’ve hurt one another, that never changed. Even while she was with Bash - saving his life she thought - she held onto her love for Francis.

The genuine happiness, at finally having everything she she ever wanted and genuine relief at not having to settle is palpable here. She’s so incredibly happy to be back in Francis’s arms, that he isn’t holding everything against her. That she’s finally free to love him as she’s always wanted to. And then there are her genuine tears of joy. Joy. Joy because of the choice she made, a choice she finally got to make from her heart, something set up from the pilot with the parting words of the head nun at the convent. Mary has always wanted to marry for love, not duty. Now she finally was.

The scene of Francis and Bash is at sunrise, so my assumption is they spent the night somewhere talking, snuggling, catching up. Perhaps giving and offering words of forgiveness. Not leaving his side till she has to.

There are no more lines uttered in the episode by her, instead we have to go by Ade’s facial expressions, and those are undeniable. Surety, calmness and happiness at the wedding. Joy, radiant happiness and a freeness at the reception. The little moments we get to observe just reinforce this. Her whispers, touches and snuggling up to Francis as if she can’t bear to be anywhere but right next to her new husband. The man she chose.

Finally there’s the consummation scene. Aside from the sex and her O face, look at her smiles at him, her happiness to be with him again even with all those people watching them. They’re in their own little bubble reconnecting with one another, regardless of what else is happening in that room. She genuinely doesn’t care that Bash is there, she turns back to Francis - who does care and looks like he wants to rip someone’s head off, even if he doesn’t stop thrusting - getting him refocused on her and them. In one version with a forehead kiss, the other just by turning away. She wants to be in her own little world with her husband, choice and love.

None of this takes into account Nostradamus’s visions of a genuinely happy and still in love Mary and Francis at the time of his death. She never regrets her choice. She’s happy with it, she just wants more time. Which is always the case when you genuinely love someone, there’s never enough time.

Mary’s choice was one of and from her heart. To ignore that is to ignore Mary. To ignore that is to ignore the narrative intent of the show creator and writer of this episode, Laurie McCarthy. If the show ended with episode 13 she wanted her audience to know that Mary made a choice from the heart to marry the man she loved. She might have been betrothed to him though an alliance, but she married him because he was the man who was always in her heart and who she genuinely loves. His name is Francis de Valois.

Tennessee Teacakes: Twenty-Three

Hiiiii, my little cupcakes!! Sorry about the wait, but hopefully you’ll enjoy what is essentially 9k of fluff (and some v important stuff, so read closely)! Hope everyone has had a great holiday season and I can’t wait to hear what you think! <3

Sugar on the Asphalt & Previous chapters

***

making memories of chocolate chip cannoli cupcakes; june 12, 2019

I was in for quite the surprise when I arrived at the London Ballet early Wednesday afternoon. With two cups in hand—one of peppermint tea and the other of french vanilla coffee—I walked into the costume studio expecting to find Ren hard at work behind her sewing machine. Instead, I found her kneeling in front of Niall with a couple of pins in her mouth as she fastened pink tulle at his waist.

“Oh,” I said, jumping back in surprise. I startled them both into looking in my direction.

“Ah, me Buttercream Beauty!” Niall grinned madly at me. “Me Sensational Seamstress says I have the hips of a ballerina. Best compliment I’ve ever gotten! I’m gonna audition to be a Sugarplum Fairy!”

I bit back my laughter and set the two cups on her work table. I’d been absent from both of their lives for the past few weeks, so I wasn’t sure when this had happened. I knew when he drove her home from brunch things went well, but I was pleasantly surprised that they went this well.

“I—uh,” Ren stumbled over her words and scrambled to her feet. “I n—needed to do an a—alternation, and N—Niall dropped Catherine off and he’s the same size as—”

“I think it’s great he’s able to help you!” I said, taking a seat.

“I’m thinking about starting a new career.” Niall craned his head around to look at me quickly. “I’m quite the exceptional muse. Isn’t that right, me Doting Designer?”

Ren’s cheeks went impossibly red and I couldn’t help but smile as I watched her fumble with some sketches on her desk. She was nervous, but a different kind of nervous. She was the kind of nervous some girls got around boys they liked. She continued to blush and tried to conceal a very shy smile.

“Did you say you dropped Catherine off?” I asked Niall, changing the subject to get it off Ren. She seemed relieved.

“Yeah, Rebecca had a meeting with Michael, but she’s supposed to be on her way now,” Niall explained. “Must have been real desperate if she asked me. She told me I was a danger to her children after I bought Teddy that twenty-scoop ice cream sundae. I really didn’t think he’d eat it all.”

I cringed. “He has a stomach of steel.”

“Yeah, until he puked all over me car.”

I wrinkled my nose. This sort of thing didn’t typically make me queasy, but my prenatal vitamin had already left me nauseous.

“I thought you two were going to be away until after your anniversary,” Niall said as Ren carefully took the tutu off of him. “When did you get back?”

“Late last night. We decided to come home early.” I shrugged it off, hoping to not make it seem like a big deal. We couldn’t tell anyone about the baby until the second trimester for safety reasons. I had a rough estimate of when I thought that would be, but we’d have it confirmed at our doctor’s appointment tomorrow.

“Where’s that snarly husband of yours?” he asked.

I sighed and sat back in the chair. “He’s at the vet.”

Both Ren and Niall looked confused.

“With Snickerdoodle,” I clarified. “Our rabbit.”

“You have a rabbit?” Ren asked.

“And a sheep and a goat.”

“And the cow?” Niall pinched his brows together.

“Yep.”

“So…” He had to fight the smile. “You have a petting zoo?”

“The goat doesn’t like to be pet.”

I saw war flashbacks in Niall’s eyes. He hadn’t had great experiences with animals. Especially with goats.

“You two really need a reality show,” he finally said.

I didn’t want to bring the rabbit home, but there was a lot of begging and pleading and guilt tripping on Harry’s end. And once we realized the reason it wasn’t moving around in the box was because there was something wrong with its hind legs, it would have been inhumane to leave the poor and defenseless thing in the wild, so Harry packed it a nice box with lots of my favorite dishtowels as cushions and strapped it into the backseat. He looked pleased with himself until I told him car seats weren’t as easy to install. He had some work cut out for himself if he really wanted to impress me.

“You’re feeling better, though?” Niall asked after a moment, his tone softer and more serious than usual. “We’ve all been worried about you.”

I smiled. I such great friends whom I’d pushed away for my own selfish reasons. I was happy in the sense that Harry and I were able to work things out, but sad that I missed out on so much. Niall and Ren seemed to be much closer. Parker’s birthday was coming up. I felt like I hadn’t been actively involved with Jane, Catherine, and Teddy in months. I needed to get back into my routine desperately.

“A—and by ‘worried about’ he means ‘hasn’t had a baked good in a month’,” Ren laughed.

A look appeared on Niall’s face that resembled a snarl. “That’s not true,” he replied. “I had to find my goods in other places.”

“You cheated on me?” I frowned. This little thing had been going on since we met. We had an agreement that he didn’t wander off to any other baking establishments. That meant I was sending him packages on tour and doing a little extra holiday baking for his family in Ireland. I wanted him to have the best, and, well, I was the best.

“I have needs, me Gourmet Goddess,” Niall said with a shrug. “I’d gone three weeks without a cupcake. I was desperate.”

“You couldn’t have waited?” I cried. “Where did you even go?”

“I tried, but I saw this little shop over on Heath and one thing led to another…”

I sniffled and tried to convince myself that I had no reason to cry. I wasn’t there and he was right; he had needs. It was my own fault.

“We—were they as good as mine?”

Niall’s eyes went wide and his cheeks paled, no longer the rosy shade they always were. “No! Don’t cry! They were rubbish! Dry as all hell! I think I got food poisoning.”

I shook my head and forced a smile. “It’s fine, Sunshine. I’m not mad.”

“I’ll never get my cupcakes from anyone other than you ever again.”

I sniffled again, realizing I was acting a little crazier than usual. I needed to get these hormones in check before they got out of control.

Thankfully, we were interrupted before I could become more upset over the thought of Niall eating someone else’s cupcakes. Rebecca popped her head into the room, a wide smile sprawled over her lips. She was toting a paper cup with a bright red lipstick stain on the lid—no doubt sipping on a chai latte that had long gone cold—and her laptop was clutched to her chest along with thick envelopes filled with whatever manuscripts were on her desk that morning. Like myself, she always had a little too much on her plate, but she always managed to get her work done. She was some type of wonder woman and I could only hope to be half the mother she was.

“Sorry I’m late,” she breathed, dropping her bags onto the chair before collapsing into the one beside me. “Traffic is absolutely mental!”

“I should get going then,” Niall said. “Jane’s football coach said I could come up with a few plays! Thinking about taking me Little Kickers over to the field to show them what hard work and dedication can do!”

“Niall, they’re five,” Rebecca laughed. “It’s a good day if they share the ball.”

“You’re soft like Harry.” Niall grabbed his keys and sunglasses off Ren’s desk. “Discipline is what they need! Also, baths. Why do they always smell so bad?”

“Have you ever tried to give a rebelling five-year-old a bath?” Rebecca asked.

“No.”

“Well,” she laughed again. “That’s why they smell so bad.”

Niall gave us a short chuckle before Ren offered to walk him out. I was so happy to see how close they’d gotten—how comfortable she’d become around him—that I no longer cared about Niall’s tryst with another baker. I wanted to know everything, but I also didn’t want to be pushy. I figured Ren would tell me as much or as little as she felt comfortable sharing.

“So…” Rebecca looked over at me coyly, a smile teasing her lips. “You’re back early.”

“Yeah, we had to cut the trip short.”

“Oh?” She licked her lips and ran her thumb under the flap of the envelope. “Any reason why?”

She wasn’t looking at me, but she was trying desperately to conceal a smile, pretending like this conversation was just as casual as the one she probably had with her secretary this morning. I knew it wasn’t. I could feel that it wasn’t. This was textbook. She was trying to feel me out, like a mother trying to catch her child in a lie.

“You know.”

“Hm?”

“Don’t hm me.” I straightened up and folded my arms together. “You know.”

Rebecca smiled. “I know what?”

“You… you know what!”

She set the manuscript down and laced her fingers together before leaning back in the chair, as if she was ready and waiting to listen, like this was a Sunday morning back when I lived with her and we’d sit on the couch with mugs of tea and talk about anything and everything. She’d listen to me ramble on for hours about Harry and how much I missed him. And she’d listen to me talk through recipes and ingredients, giving me her full and undivided attention. She was genuinely interested in everything I had to say, just like she was with Jane and Catherine and Teddy. It was hard to lie to someone who knew me so well.

“I’m pregnant.”

Her lips twitched into a smile, bright and wide and reeling with excitement. She pulled me into the tightest hug, squeezing the breath right out of me. “I know! I’ve known. You were absolutely out of your mind in your kitchen last week. It was the only reasonable answer. God, when did you find out? Did you go to the doctor? Does Harry know? You must be going mental! Are you okay? Are you happy about this? I know you weren’t ready a few months ago and—”

I cut her off with a laugh. “I found out Saturday. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Yes, Harry knows. And I’m okay. I’m very okay with it. I’m really happy.”

She smiled, but this time her eyes were watering and she was laughing at herself. “You’re going to be so amazing, Grace. You’ll be the best mum. This baby is going to adore you.”

I laughed and pushed away a few of my own tears. “I appreciate the confidence.”

She was about to say something—I wasn’t sure what—when Catherine shuffled in all red-faced and out of breath.

“There’s my little ballerina!”

Catherine looked between us, a confused look wandering onto her face. “Why are you two crying? Did someone die? Was it Jane? Can I have her room?”

Rebecca scoffed and shook her head, collecting her things back into her arms. “No, Catherine.”

“Oh.”

“Let’s go, you muppet,” she said and stood up. “We’ve got to get you back to school.”

Rebecca left with the promise to call me later, leaving me alone in Ren’s studio while I waited for her to get back. I probably should have called Harry to tell him I let our little secret slip and to ask him how the appointment with Snickerdoodle turned out, but when I reached for my bag to get my phone, I saw a magazine Rebecca must have left, the headline catching my eye.

‘LIAM, I’M SORRY’: ZAYN MALIK’S BOLD ATTEMPT AT REDEMPTION

I sighed and tossed the magazine aside. I didn’t want to read the garbage they had to write about him and Liam and what they thought was happening between them. It was all lies and exaggerated truths made up to sell a few issues. I tried not to let myself get angry over it, but I was. I had to watch their friendship burn firsthand and I wanted nothing more than for it to be fixed, but stories like these weren’t helping the matter. They were only going to deter Liam from ever talking to him again. Once things were settled with the baby, I was going to call him to make plans for lunch to see where his head was. Maybe enough time had passed that he wanted to make amends with Zayn.

“Sorry I was gone so long,” Ren said quickly when she came back into the room. “I—I ran into Madame Devereaux and she had a q—question about the costumes and—”

“Ren, it’s fine,” I told her. “You don’t have to apologize.”

She smiled softly and took a seat at her desk, picking up some thread and needle before getting back to work.

I tried to bite my tongue and my lips and I even fumbled with my fingers, trying to distract myself with all the cobwebs on the ceiling that I really wanted to clean, but nothing could keep me from shaking with excitement. Niall and Ren were friends. They were hanging out. I wanted to know everything.

“So…” I said, tapping my toes against the floor. “What have I missed?”

She lifted a brow. “I… made thirteen costumes last weekend. I only slept an hour.”

“And…”

“I was really tired?”

I sighed loudly. I shouldn’t push it any further. Whatever it was, it was new for her and she was probably nervous and I needed to respect that.

“So… that’s all I missed?” I tried one last time.

She set the thread down. “Are you trying to ask me about Niall, Grace?”

“What?” I said quickly. “No!”

Her cheeks went pink and she shied away from me. “We’re… friends, I—I think? I don’t know. He’s really nice and patient with me. He talks a lot and that usually makes me nervous, but I like listening to him. He… um… he closed his bar early the other night and invited me over. He thought maybe if I—I was familiar with it when it was quiet, I—I’d be more comfortable when it was open.”

My heart was skipping and jumping and singing a tune I’d never heard before, leaving me nearly bouncing out of my seat. I needed to contain myself and keep my composure and stay cool. This wasn’t a big deal.

(Yes, it was.)

“It sounds like you two are becoming really good friends,” I said.

“He’s a really nice guy,” she replied. “He mentions his friend Hazel a lot. I… think they might be more than friends, though. Or were more than friends. He changes the subject really quick after he brings her up. I don’t want to upset him, so I—I just let it go.”

There were a lot of things running through my head, but the only thing I was sure of was the fact that I needed to find out Niall’s intentions soon. Hazel was going to be back in July and after her fling with Brandon, I had no idea what was going on with her.

I knew one thing, though:

I didn’t want Ren caught in the middle.

&&

When I said Harry had the attention span of a child and the mind of a teenaged boy, I meant it wholeheartedly. We hadn’t been sitting in the exam room for more than five minutes before his knees started to shake and his feet were clicking against the linoleum floor. I tried my best not to let it bother me, but my patience was wearing thin.

“Is this what ours looks like?” He glanced over his shoulder after pulling out a baby from a plastic replica of the female reproductive system, holding it by its neck.

I sighed. “Put the fetus back in the womb, Harry.”

I didn’t mean to be so short with him. We’d been so excited about this appointment all day, but being here left me rattled with nerves. What if my blood samples came back with something wrong? What if the ultrasound showed a problem with the baby? What if all the stress and not eating was harmful? What if there wasn’t a heartbeat? I was happy the nurse already took my blood pressure because I was sure it had skyrocketed.

Harry made a face and then collapsed onto a roller chair and pushed himself over to me. He stopped at the foot of the exam table, smirking up at me until I rolled my eyes and adjusted the thin sheet over my legs.

“Wanna play doctor?” he asked with a suggestive, lopsided smile. “You can call me Dr. Styles. I’ll give you a very thorough internal examination.”

I blinked. “No, I don’t want to play doctor,” I told him. “There’s nothing sexy about an internal exam. Now, please, come over here and sit still or else we’re not getting takeout for dinner.”

He frowned at me and then let out a low huff before moving to the seat next to me. “You’re no fun.”

“I’m plenty fun,” I said and folded my hands over my stomach to keep them from shaking. “You just have a one-track mind.”

“Sorry I’m so smitten with my wife,” he replied with a pout. “I find the fact that she’s carrying our child wildly sexy.”

He told me that a lot over the last few days, which was comforting in the sense that I didn’t have to worry about him being turned off by my changing body. But I did have to wonder if he was speaking too soon. He enjoyed my fuller chest, but what would happen when my feet were swollen and I looked like a beached whale and had stretch marks? He wasn’t going to think I was sexy. Because—let’s face it—there was nothing sexy about a woman who waddled and couldn’t tie her shoes.

“Hey.” Harry’s hand grazed mine and I lifted my eyes to his. He was smiling softly, but his brow was pinched with confusion. “What’s wrong? Why do you look like you’re about to cry?”

I swallowed and shook my head. “It’s nothing.”

“No,” he said knowingly. “It’s something.”

“I’m fi—” I stopped myself and sighed. “I’m just nervous.”

“About what?”

“I don’t know,” I said and laid my head back. “Everything? All the stress I put myself under? The fact that I wasn’t eating? What if there’s no heartbeat? What if there’s something wrong?  And I’m just gonna keep getting bigger and you’re not going to be attracted to me anymore and—”

“First of all, you don’t have to worry about me not being attracted to you. I’m quite enjoying watching your body change—”

“You’re enjoying the fact that my boobs are getting bigger,” I told him with a frown. “But what happens when everything else gets bigger and I have stretch marks and cankles?”

“I’m still gonna love you and I’m still gonna want to be with you, so please stop worrying about that.” He smiled and gave my hand a reassuring squeeze. “And I think the fact that you’re having all these symptoms and that your body is continuing to change means the baby is fine and that you’re making a really nice home for it.”

I smiled back at him and felt a little ridiculous for getting so upset about nothing. I was going to apologize to him for having to deal with all my crazy, but three quick raps on the door silenced me quickly and after I said, “Come in,” Dr. Hamilton walked in with a bright smile and a friend.

“Good afternoon,” she said in her typical cheery voice. She’d been practicing medicine for well over twenty years and I always considered her to be young and vibrant, but her friend—whose scrubs suggested he was a doctor—looked fresh out of high school. “This is Ayaan Bahl. He’s part of the hospital’s midwife training program. He’ll be shadowing me for the next six months.”

I offered him a smile as they moved over to the counter to pull my chart up on the computer.

“They have male midwives?” Harry whispered to me, his voice low and tight.

“Less than one percent of midwives are male.” Ayaan looked back at us and smiled. “But it’s rising in popularity.”

“Yeah,” Harry mumbled. “I wonder why.”

“I think it has to do with the empowerment of women and having confidence in them to labor the way they choose,” Ayaan replied as he typed something into the computer. “At least, that’s why I do it! I have six sisters and my mom teaches gender studies at University College London, so our house has always been about the empowerment of women. This was a very fitting career path for me.”

I smiled over at Harry, who looked less than impressed with that answer. He snarled and sat back in his chair.

“I didn’t know you had midwives on staff,” I said, trying my best to relax against the table. I could never win. The winters were too hot in these rooms and the almost-summers were too cold.

“We like to give our patients options,” Dr. Hamilton explained. “We just happen to beunder staffed at the minute, so young Ayaan is stuck with me.”

We’d only known I was pregnant for a few days and hadn’t thought about our options for the pregnancy and birth. I figured it was better to get everything checked and confirmed before we started making any plans. Besides, we wanted to spend those few days away just working on us. We went for walks and cooked together and I made my first batch of cupcakes (almond-cherry) after weeks of a buttercream-less life.

We still had a ways to go, but we were getting better.

“So we just need an updated history of Mum and Dad,” Ayaan said as he glanced at the screen. “It looks like we have a very thorough one for—Oh, Mrs. Styles, you’re a twin?”

My heart dropped the way it always did when Memphis was mentioned. I was getting better at talking about him, but I’d been in control of all those situations. I was the one who brought him up. Not being sad when others spoke about him was still a work in progress.

“Yes,” I finally said.

“Do multiples run in your family?”

“No, we were a surprise.”

Ayaan smiled. “Perhaps you’ll have one of those surprises yourself.”

I tried to smile, but the thought of having twins right now was terrifying. Figuring out how to be a good mother to one would be a challenge. I didn’t think I was ready for two.

The rest of our appointment was standard questions and answers. Harry and I both gave incredibly detailed medical histories, which left Ayaan typing away for a good twenty minutes. The only question I didn’t have an answer to was the date of my last cycle. As far as I could remember, it was in March, but Dr. Hamilton wasn’t convinced I was that far along. Frankly, neither was I.

“Don’t worry about it,” she told me as she wheeled the ultrasound machine over to the bed. “We’ll date it from the scan.”

The scan.

It was what we’d been waiting for since we found out about the baby, our first glimpse at our son or daughter. All I could feel was nervous excitement winding through me. I looked over at Harry, assuming he felt the same way, but he just looked completely perplexed.

“What’s that thingy do?” he asked, pointing to the wand Dr. Hamilton was handing to Ayaan as he rolled over to me on his chair.

“It’s for the ultrasound,” she explained.

“Why’s it so long?”

I laughed and so did Ayaan and Dr. Hamilton. I felt more relaxed than I had before as I adjusted my back against the table. “It’s a transvaginal ultrasound, Peaches.”

I watched the color drain from Harry’s face, a pale shade of horror covering his cheeks. “I thought this thing was done over the stomach.”

“It’s still early in the pregnancy,” Ayaan replied. “We’ll get a clearer picture this way.”

Harry simply blinked, his lips parted as if he was mid-thought. I turned my attention back to Ayaan, who was motioning for me to place my feet in the stirrups.

“Wo—whoa, what are you doing there, mate?” Harry jumped out of his chair the moment Ayaan lifted the sheet that was covering me.

“I’m going to insert the transducer,” he answered.

“Sh—shouldn’t the doctor do that?”

“He’s trained,” Dr. Hamilton replied.

“I’ve done this plenty of times. I was top of my class.”

I grabbed Harry’s hand and give it a quick tug. “Relax, will you?”

He snarled and sat back down, inching his chair closer to me. I wasn’t sure if it was to get a better view of the screen, or to keep a watchful eye on Ayaan.

“Oh, I’ve just realized who you are!”

I assumed Ayaan was talking to Harry. It didn’t usually take this long for people to recognize him.

“You’re the Buttercream Beauty.” He smiled. “My mum’s got your book.”

I, on the other hand, didn’t get recognized at all. And if I did, it was just a variation of Harry Styles’s girlfriend, fiancee, or wife. It was never for my book.

“I can’t believe you married the bloke from One Direction.” He had a twisted look of amusement on his face, but before I could ask him about it, Harry cut me off with an abrupt and annoyed grumble.

“You think we can get this show on the road?” he asked. “I’d quite like to see our child.”

I thought about rolling my eyes, but never got the chance. After Harry’s comment, everything happened so fast. One moment I wanted to scold him for being ridiculous, and the next there  was an image on the screen that was dark and grainy.

“There’s your baby,” Dr. Hamilton said and smiled over at us.

Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. I thought I’d felt that instant connection when I saw the positive sign, but that couldn’t be compared to this. I’d seen wonders of the world and I was amazed and in awe, but they seemed so insignificant now. Everything did, really. My whole life was now revolved around this tiny thing that I already loved so much.

“Looks a bit like a butter bean.”

I deadpanned over to Harry, blinking at him until he sputtered out a laugh.

“A really cute butter bean.”

I couldn’t be upset with him and eventually, I cracked a smile. He may have been right. Our baby did resemble a legume.

“Your little butter bean is measuring eight weeks and four days,” Ayaan said after Dr. Hamilton gave a nod of approval.

“Everything looks okay, though?” I asked, not moving my eyes from the screen. I didn’t want to miss a second of this. “Because I was really stressed early on and I wasn’t eating well and—”

The sound was distant and muffled, a steady and rhythmic ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom, like train tracks that were trapped underwater. It was a heartbeat—a strong, loud, perfect heartbeat.

I cried because I was happy and scared and anxious and overwhelmed. I felt everything all at once, and I probably could have spent the rest of the day crying had Harry’s hand not slipped over mine. He laced our fingers together and gave me a quick squeeze. He was crying too. And all I could do was reach over with my free hand and wipe a stray tear away from the corner of his eye with the pad of my thumb.

“Everything looks fine, Grace,” Dr. Hamilton said with so much certainty that it eased all of my worries.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive.” She smiled. “How does the nineteenth of January sound? Think you’d like to have a baby then?”

“That sounds perfect.”

I spent the last few minutes of the appointment trying to collect myself, so when Ayaan asked if we had any more questions, I was quick to say no. Harry, however, had a list.Literally. He pulled out a small notebook from his back pocket and started firing off questions about our rabbit and if it was safe for me to touch it. He had questions about the cow and the goat and the sheep. He even remembered my concerns about the strawberries. I couldn’t help smiling as I watched him jot down everything Dr. Hamilton said to him.

“It’s going to be really hard to keep this a secret,” Harry said after we got back to the car.

“It’s only for a couple more weeks, and then you can tell whoever you want.”

“Well,” Harry started, reversing out of the parking spot. “I already told the mailman.”

“Harry!”

“What? You told Rebecca!”

“I didn’t tell her! She knew!”

“Well,” he repeated. “Now we’re even.”

I ignored him and dug around my bag for my phone as he turned out of the parking lot. I had a long list of things I needed to do, like go grocery shopping and finish the laundry from when we were away and check in on Walter, but all I had energy for was a nap.

And scrolling back through my calendar.

“What are you doing?” Harry asked, merging the car onto the road.

“Just counting back eight weeks and four days,” I said sheepishly, catching his glance out of the corner of my eye.

He caught my drift and smirked, chomping down on his gum with a look of satisfaction. “That was, like, mid-April, yeah?”

“Mhm, but—”

“It wasn’t the afternoon in the kitchen was it? Because that was really quick. I don’t think that was enough time to make a baby.”

I laughed and rolled my eyes, counting back the final days. “You have to count the two weeks before conception, so I think it was the twenty-eighth.”

“The twenty-eighth?” he asked with a lifted brow.

I thought back to that day and almost laughed at the irony. “The day I had the panic attack.”

I looked over at Harry as he swiped his tongue along his bottom lip. I could see him replaying the events in his head before he smiled. “That was a good night.”

“It was a really good night.”

&&

In retrospect, I hadn’t planned on spending our first wedding anniversary alone, but a rousing round of morning sickness and my prenatal vitamin left me feeling so unwell that I spent most of the day in bed. Harry brought me tea and toast and offered to lay down with me, but I just wanted to sleep. Besides, it was too nice of a day for him to spend it cooped up inside. He got antsy and bored, like a child. Surely there were more productive things he could be doing instead of lounging around with someone who was far more interested in counting down the days and weeks until she was in her second trimester.

(Three weeks and zero days!)

I did, however, start to feel better by late afternoon, so I found myself soaking in a bath that smelled of gardenias and jasmine while I tried to conjure up a plan for the rest of the evening. I had to attempt to make our anniversary as special as possible. After we found out I was pregnant, celebrating our wedding seemed to slip down in importance in favor of a doctor’s appointment and a trip to the vet. Last month we briefly talked about going back to Italy, but since we weren’t, I figured I could try to bring our honeymoon to us. We wouldn’t be wine tasting in Tuscany or swimming in the beaches of Sicily, but it would be special in its own way.

And that’s when I decided the only reasonable thing to do was make chocolate chip cannoli cupcakes. Those were what I made for our wedding and even though I had the top tier in the freezer, I couldn’t bring myself to eat cupcakes that had been frozen for a year. It would have been fine if it was just me, but I had someone else to think about now and I felt like year-old frozen cupcakes were probably on my list of dietary restrictions.

I found baking therapeutic on a normal day, but there was something special about standing in the same kitchen a year after baking the same cupcakes for our wedding. I could remember being so stressed and frazzled, unwilling to take help from anyone. I wanted to make sure everything was perfect, so naturally I had to do everything myself. I was still as careful and considerate of ingredients and measurements today as I was then, but I didn’t have the weight of getting married on my shoulders. I was calm and collected and I was enjoying myself.

They said that the first year was the hardest, but I hadn’t realized at the time just how hard it was going to be. We had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, hitting rock bottom before we had to dig ourselves out. We learned more about each other this year than we had in the past six. I was mostly to blame for that, but I was getting better about talking about Memphis and owning my feelings. I had faith that getting through this meant that we could get through anything. It was important before but especially now. It wasn’t just us anymore. Along with marriage counseling and making some sort of amends with my parents, I didn’t expect to be expecting after a year. I had plans for a bakery and a book, but life had other ideas. And while those ideas were marginally terrifying, I was happy. The plus side was that I had someone to be terrified with.

Harry sent me a text as I was setting the timer saying that he was picking up dinner and that he’d be home in an hour, which was great because the only things I had on my mind were cupcakes.

After some piping and platter arrangements, I ran upstairs to change into something a little more festive than pajama shorts and an old t-shirt. I had the theme of the night in mind, so I dug around my lingerie chest until I found a few things from last year. I had hopes of wearing what I wore on our wedding night, but it was small and tight then, so I wasn’t going to attempt to squeeze into it now. I settled on a slip I wore on a warm night in Tuscany just as I heard the front door open, Harry’s drawling voice floating up the stairs to inform me that he was home.

He was standing in the hall as I hit the last step, fastening the tie of my robe at my waist as I watched him empty his pockets onto the table by the door. He set his phone down next to a paper bag before dropping his wallet and keys, a routine I drilled into his brain after I got so fed up having to empty his pockets every time I did laundry.

“Where’ve you been all day?”

He turned around, pausing to give me a once over before smiling slowly. “Here and there.”

“Here and where exactly?”

Harry shrugged my question off and grabbed the paper bag off the table, heading into the kitchen without another word. It wasn’t that I was mad he’d been gone all day. I was the one that told him to go out. I just wasn’t sure why he was being secretive.

“You made cupcakes?” he asked and set the bag down on the counter, opening the cabinet above and grabbed two wine glasses. “I thought you weren’t feeling well?”

“I felt better after a nap and bath,” I told him. “And in case you forgot, I can’t drink.”

In case I forgot,” Harry jeered out a scoff. “Like the fact that you’re pregnant and we’re having a baby aren’t the only things I’ve been thinking about. Give me some credit, will you? I picked up grape juice.”

“We’re going to drink grape juice out of wine glasses?”

“Yes, because we’re adults and it’s our wedding anniversary.”

I laughed, but quickly decided the gesture was cute and I was lucky to have such a creative husband.

“So was it grape juice that had you gone all day?”

Harry smiled before digging into the paper bag he’d set on the counter. “Ah, yes, I was scouring every Waitrose in all the land to find the perfect blend of corn syrup and grape concentrate.” He shot me a look over his shoulder that was all grins and dimples. “I met my mum in Northampton.”

“Why Northampton?”

“Because I didn’t feel like driving all the way to Staffordshire.”

I lifted a brow and leaned against the counter. “What’s in Staffordshire—”

I stopped myself as he pulled out a few aluminum takeout containers and put the pieces together. We were married in the West Midlands of Staffordshire, a small barn ceremony that I wouldn’t have changed for the world. It wasn’t anything fancy. It felt very backyard and homey with twinkling fairy lights and and a band playing outside under the stars. There was a lot of laughing and smiling and I got butterflies just thinking about it.

“Did you have the venue make our wedding menu?” I asked, my eyes and my mouth watering.

“Maybe,” he replied sheepishly and I could tell he was smiling despite not seeing his face. “But not that weird fish thing you insisted we have as an option. It smelt like Niall’s bunk at the end of a tour.”

I pushed a few tears away and when he turned around—holding two containers—I reached up and cupped his cheeks with my hands, bringing him down to my level so I could kiss him. He groaned against my lips and I held him there for a moment, tasting the lingering minty sweetness of his gum before I pulled away. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

The good thing about our menu was that Harry wriggled his nose at the butternut squash tortellini, which meant I got to eat the whole container of it. Eating for two only meant adding an extra three hundred calories to my diet, but I figured that since I typically ate in moderation, I could splurge a little since it was a special occasion, so between sips of grape juice and bites of tortellini, I stole a few forkfuls of Harry’s roasted chicken. I smiled sweetly whenever he’d snarl at me, mentioning something about how the baby needed protein as I ate his last bite.

After we finished, Harry went upstairs to get undressed while I cleaned up the kitchen. I loaded the dishwasher and wiped down the counters and then grabbed the platter of cupcakes before getting comfortable in the living room. I lit a few candles and loosened my robe just as Harry walked in, toting a sly grin on his lips and a pale purple gift bag in his hand. He hadn’t bothered to change into anything, simply strolling in wearing only his boxer-briefs.

“Now I remember that,” he told me with certainty in his voice as his eyes wandered over the silk and white lace of my robe. “Mostly I remember taking it off.”

I rolled my eyes and blew out the match. “I’m surprised you remember anything at all.”

“You can’t expect me to go to a wine tasting and not take advantage.”

“You were supposed to sip it and let it rest on your palate,” I replied and plopped down on the couch. “You threw every glass back like a shot.”

“I needed something to get me through how painfully mundane the entire experience was.”

“Well, if you weren’t into it, you should have suggested somewhere different. Italy was your idea.”

“Because you always talked about wanting to spend more time there,” he said as he sat down next to me, dropping the gift bag onto my lap. “Would you like to open your presents?”

I looked down and ran my fingers over the white tissue paper peeking out of the bag, an instant wave of sadness rushing through me. I could feel the threat of tears in my eyes. “I didn’t… I completely forgot… I don’t have a gift for you.”

I was usually so on top of these things. I bought birthday presents months in advance, always having my holiday shopping done before the Christmas rush. I couldn’t believe I let this slip my mind.

“Grace,” Harry laughed and leaned in to brush a tear away. “You’re having our baby. That’s the best gift you could ever give me.”

“You’re just saying that so I won’t cry.”

“No, I’m not,” he replied with a smile. “Besides, one’s not even for you and the other is for the both of us.”

That didn’t make me feel any better, but now I was curious, so I pulled out the tissue paper and grabbed the first thing in the bag, which was just something wrapped in more tissue paper. I unwrapped it as Harry watched, a flutter of anticipation in my stomach.

It was tiny and small and white and made of the softest material I’d ever felt, embossed with faint stars and a hood with cute little ears. It was a snowsuit the perfect size for a newborn.

“Harry,” I whispered and sniffled back the tears.

“It’s going to be cold in January when we bring the baby home, so I thought maybe it could wear this.”

I nodded and nodded and nodded, wiping a few tears before leaning over to kiss him quickly on the lips. “It’s perfect. I love it.”

He smiled and nudged his head to the bag. “There’s still one more thing in there. I checked online and a bunch of sites said you’re supposed to give paper for your first anniversary.”

I mulled around some loose tissue and pulled out a white envelope from the bottom of the bag. He hadn’t bothered to seal it, so I lifted the flap and pulled out a piece of paper. It was an itinerary, a conformation of a trip that would be happening at the beginning of September.

“We’re going to Sorrento?”

Harry grinned. “We couldn’t go away for this, so I figured we could for our babymoon. I also thought it would be nice to go somewhere we’ve never been. And I checked with the doctor and she said it’s the safest to travel between eighteen and twenty-four weeks and that’ll be around the time of our six year and I just thought, y’know, lots to celebrate.” He let out a breath and chuckled before collapsing back against the couch.

“I’m so excited,” I laughed and looked down at the paper just to make sure it was real. “Thank you for this.”

“You’re quite welcome.”

We eventually decided to watch the video of our wedding. Or, I guess, I decided we’d watch that, which left Harry complaining minimally as he dug around on his hands and knees trying to find the case that our movie cabinet seemed to have swallowed. I sat comfortably against a pillow, peeling back the liner of a cupcake as I reached for the remote. I turned the TV on and Harry sat back on his heels, fanning through a few cases, the nightly news flashing across the screen.

“Got it,” Harry said, but I was paying more attention to the segment that just started and the familiar face they were talking about.

“No, don’t!” I stopped him quickly before he could turn the DVD player on.

Love is in the air for former Westend star, Chelsea King! The reality-star-turned-jewelry-designer is newly engaged to her boyfriend of two years, film director, Oscar Valdez. The two met at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 and have been dating since. No word on when the wedding will be held, but we do know that former co-star and friend, Flannery O’Rorke, won’t be in attendance. The heir to O’Rorke Enterprise starts his five month sentence for tax evasion charges in October.

“I’m so happy for her,” I cried, crumbs flying out of my mouth. “We should send them something.”

Harry screwed up one brow and snarled. “No, we shouldn’t.”

“Of course we should!” I replied, chewing the rest of my cupcake before swallowing. “Maybe a basket of fruit or one of wine and cheese. Oh, I can make them engagement cupcakes! Like I did for us!”

“Grace, no.”

“Harry, yes!”

He stood up and finally turned the DVD player on, sliding the disc in. “Why are you so excited about this?”

“Because I’m happy she’s happy!”

We hadn’t seen much of Chelsea over the years. There were run-ins at charity events and award show after parties, but nothing that left us with time to catch up. I wasn’t sure if we actually had anything to catch up on, or if she even wanted to catch up with me, but I wanted to know everything about her. We always said cordial hellos, but were always rushing off in different directions. I was so happy to know she’d found her happiness.

“I did always hope she’d be happy with Brandon, though,” I said after a moment, sighing as Harry flopped onto the couch.

“That was like six years ago.”

I shrugged. “I know, but it would have been nice. She did visit him in Ohio a few times! I remember Brandon telling me he took her to an Ohio State game and she sat there with a nail file. I don’t know how because they were playing Michigan and you know you have to keep your eyes on them.”

Harry sighed. “This isn’t a book, Grace. It’s life. Not everyone gets a happy ending.”

“We did.” I smiled.

“I know, but not everyone else is as lucky,” he explained, though I already knew that. Happy endings came in all different shapes and sizes. “Besides, I’m sure Brandon isn’t losing sleep over it. Hazel finally nailed him. All of his wildest dreams came true.”

I paused for a moment as he clicked through the menu. “How did you find out about that?”

“What do you mean?” Harry leaned forward and grabbed a cupcake. “You told me a few weeks ago.”

“I did?” I’ll admit that my head had been all sorts of frazzled, but I thought I’d remember that.

“Yeah, when we were watching TV on the couch after an appointment with Flora,” he explained. “It was the night I let you watch Dancing with the Stars.”

“Oh, I don’t remember,” I said and shrugged, not dwelling on it as I grabbed another cupcake. “I must have pregnancy brain already.”

Whether that was true or not, I wasn’t sure, but I definitely had the pregnancy emotions down pat. I was bawling my eyes before Jane and Catherine got down the aisle on the film. Harry had to go into the kitchen to grab a box of tissues for me, plucking a few out as I sniffled into my third cupcake.

“It’s gonna be seven more months of this, isn’t it?” he asked, his arm resting against the back of the couch as I curled into him. “I mean, you were a crier before, but now I think I’ll have to buy stock in Kleenex.”

“I’m sorry! They say it’s supposed to get better in the second trimester.”

“I’m just teasing you,” he laughed. “I’m quite looking forward to how nutty you’ll be acting.”

“Well,” I said as the scene in the movie switched to our receptions. “If it’s something you’re looking forward to, then you won’t think I’m crazy for asking you to dance with me right now.”

He blinked and then scrunched his face into adorable wrinkles. “No, I definitely think you’re crazy. I’m not dancing.”

“But it’s our anniversary.”

“I know. I just booked us a lovely trip. I even splurged for an oceanfront suite.”

“You can dance with me there too.”

He frowned. “Did you forget about the snowsuit I bought our child, so it won’t freeze in the dead of winter? I’m very thoughtful. I’m already Father of the Year.”

“You can still dance with me,” I said and got up off the couch, wrapping my hand around his.

“Grace—”

“Please,” I begged and tugged on his hand. “I want to dance with you right now. It would make me really happy.”

Maybe I was asking a lot out of him. He’d gone out of his way to get us dinner and he booked that trip and bought the baby its first outfit. He’d done so much and I’d done so little. A dozen cupcakes seemed like nothing compared to all of that. But I wanted to dance with him and be close to him and hold him the way I did on our wedding. Maybe I was being greedy and selfish, but I would always be that way with him, especially after the last few weeks when we were so distant.

Harry let out a slow sigh and got off the couch, huffing out a few more breaths for dramatics before pulling me against him. He was so warm and soft and smelled of the ginger and leatherwood of his cologne with hints of citrus from the shower he took this morning.

“You’re a pain in my arse,” he said quiet, draping his arms over my shoulders as I secured mine around his waist. I looked up at him and smiled.

“But you still love me.”

“Quite a lot, honestly.”

I smiled and placed my head on his chest and we swayed in the living room as the song we danced to a year ago played over the TV—a song Harry chose because his mom used to make him dance in the kitchen with her to it when he was young. I loved when something had a meaning or a memory attached to it. It made it all the more special. That was the reason I spent most of my life with the idea in my head that I’d dance to my parents’ wedding song when it came time for my own. But the hope I’d had as a little girl had been tarnished along with all the other memories I’d had of my parents and I’d pushed the prospect of ever dancing to it out of my head.

But Harry knew it was important to me, which was why our wedding song faded into another song and that song was by Paul Simon. I cried when I heard it that night. It didn’t matter that I was in a room full of people who didn’t understand. I cried and I cried and I cried and Harry pushed tear after tear after tear away. It was my parents’ song. It still mattered then and it mattered now. And when I cried tonight, Harry brushed his thumb against my cheek just like he did on our wedding day.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year,” Harry said a little while later after we moved back to the couch. I was laying on my back against a pillow, Harry tucked at my side with his head on my chest as I twirled a piece of his hair.

“I can’t believe it’s been six.”

“And by this time next year we’ll have have a little one running around,” Harry hummed, his lips ghosting over my neck, leaving a trail of chills running down my back.

“I think you’re strangely misinformed about a six-month-old’s development,” I laughed. “She’ll be sitting up.”

Harry stayed quiet and I felt his lips against my jaw for a moment before they found their way to my lips as he pushed himself up to my level. He stole a long, lazy kiss that knocked the wind right out of me.

“You said she,” he whispered against the corner of my mouth.

“Or he,” I corrected myself. “I don’t know.”

I felt Harry smile and his hands slipped over the tie of my robe, blindly undoing the loose knot before he pushed it open. Swinging his knee over and straddling me, he gave me one more kiss on the lips as his fingers smoothed over my thighs and hips, pushing the silk of my slip up until it was bunched around my ribs. He squirmed down the length of my body and placed his lips on the lace of my underwear—right against my center—and my eyes fluttered shut as I sucked in a sharp breath. He only lingered there a moment before peppering short kisses along my hipbone and naval.

“Do you have a preference?” he asked and I had no idea what he was referring to. I felt drunk, despite not having anything stronger than grape juice.

“Yeah, if you could go just a bit lower,” I breathed, licking my lips. “That would be great.”

He let out a gruff laugh, feathering a few more kisses over my stomach. “I meant on the sex of our child. Do you have a preference?”

“Just happy and healthy.”

“So you’d be okay with either?”

“Mhm,” I mumbled and his lips were pressed against my ribs and then over my slip, ghosting gently over my chest. If it was his goal to torture me, it was working. Every inch of my body was tingling, buzzing with a need for him.

“A girl that’s exactly like you?” he asked, leaving a chaste kiss against the nape of my neck that drew a smile over my lips.

“A boy that’s…” I teased and knotted my fingers into his hair.

“Heeeeeeey!”

I laughed and pulled him down for a kiss, nipping his lower lip. “I’m kidding,” I told him. “I’d love to have a little boy with your snarl.”

He pouted, but continued to kiss me until I was groaning into his lips, my hands slipping out of his hair and over his neck to pull him closer. We kissed and kissed and kissed, indulging in each other as if we were the only two people in the world that mattered. And when it was just us tangled up together, we were the only two people that mattered. Lost in each other without a worry or a care, we kissed each other breathless.

“Take me upstairs,” I breathed against his lips.

“What do you have in mind when we get up there?”

“A few things.”

“Care to share?” he hummed and dragged his lips over my jaw and neck, sucking gently against my skin until his name fell off my tongue. “What was that?”

Harry,” I whined. “Take me upstairs.”

He did… eventually. After a few more minutes of me wriggling beneath him, he scooped me up and brought me to our bed where we spent a majority of the night wrapped up in each other—gasping and grappling—as our bodies moved to the rhythm of us.

Hey, Nonny Nonny - A Brief and Entirely Non-Exhaustive Playlist of Renditions of “Sigh No More” from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

The D'Oyley Carte Opera Company  Recording - Jack Robertson, 1899 // Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing Film - Patrick Doyle, July 2 1993 // Operatic Rendition - James Walker, 1995 //  Sigh No More, Debut Album - Mumford & Sons, October 2, 2009 // Choral Rendition - Brunnsbo Children’s Choir, October 1, 2010 // Josie Rourke’s Stage Production of Much Ado About Nothing - Catherine Tate and David Tennant, September 2011 // Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing Film - Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon, June 7, 2013 (limited US release) //  Nothing Much to Do - Reuben Hudson, October 4, 2014

Check under the cut for some thoughts from the curator

Keep reading

Spoiler: "Nostradamus has a new vision that, as he puts it, "changes everything"

Have you got anything on the Reign episode “The Consummation”? Specifically, something Mary and Francis-related? –Bree
Do I have anything on “The Consummation” aka the March 6 episode I watched just this morning? Oh yes. Most simply said, a lot happens. For one, Nostradamus has a new vision that, as he puts it, “changeseverything.” Also, news of a significant death sets in motion events that will force Mary to make an impossible decision, and pronto, all while her deliciously devious mum (Private Practice‘s Amy Brenneman) plays puppetmaster in a way that must even impress Catherine.

(x)