Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chapter 9

I love all the speculation...but I'll have to keep you waiting a while longer


Tabby looked down at the page in front of her and realized that she’d been doodling hearts and flowers on the pad beside the cash register for the last hour. With a derisive snort, she shook her head and put the pen down.

“It’s just a fling,” she told herself quietly, but firmly, rolling her eyes at the romantic ideas swimming around in her head. Turning, she picked up the book she’d been trying to read and opened it up, but she found she couldn’t quite focus on the words on the page. The bell over the door jangled and she looked up, almost relieved to have something to do, but instead her heart skipped a beat to find herself staring into Patrick’s gold flecked hazel eyes. “Damn it,” she hissed under her breath. He’d only been gone from her bed for a few hours and she had just realized that she’d actually been missing him. “What’s that?” she asked, tearing her gaze away from his long enough to notice that he was carrying what looked suspiciously like a toolbox. She watched him walk up the aisle towards her in a faded grey and black t-shirt that clung to his wide shoulders and his muscular arms and cargo shorts that stopped just above his knees, leaving his heavily muscled calves bare. At least he was wearing shoes this time and not flip flops, she thought as he lifted the aged metal box and placed it on the counter in front of her.

“This? This is a toolbox,” he grinned, snapping the lid open and revealing a number of hammers, wrenches and screw drivers inside. “Well don’t look so surprised,” he added as he leaned over the counter to collect a kiss, his soft lips brushing hers’ briefly, “you said the place is falling down and I thought, considering you insisted on being open today, I would see what I could fix while you’re working.”

“Is there anything you can’t do?” she asked, leaning in for another kiss, her lips lingering on his before she put her feet back on the floor and went back to regarding him with slightly amusement.

“What? You think I can’t swing a hammer?” he asked, flexing one of his biceps, which made Tabby lick her lips to be sure no drool had actually escaped before she laughed and shook her head.

“No,” she admitted, crossing her arms in front of herself, mostly as a means of stopping herself from ravaging him right then and there. “Quite the opposite in fact, I was just thinking that I was going to miss out on all the sweaty goodness,” she grinned, moving around to the front of the counter and sliding her hand up, underneath the hem of his t-shirt and running her fingertips over his stomach, making him shiver.

“You keep that up,” he said, pitching his voice low and leaning in so that his peppermint laced breath blew cool across her cheek, “and I’ll be bending you over that counter and every single fisherman on the lake will hear you screaming.” Now it was Tabby’s turn to shiver as he brushed a strand of hair back from her neck and dipped his head down to place a tormentingly soft kiss on her neck. Tabby closed her eyes and let out a ragged breath, at which he chuckled, his hand cupping her chin as his laughing eyes gazed affectionately down into hers’. “I’ll be working on that banister, if you decide to take a break,” he told her before pressing his lips tenderly on one eyelid and then the other before he took his tool box and went into the house.

Tabby watched him go and felt her body leaning after him, eager for more of his physical attention, to bask in the glow of his bright, boyish smile, but just as she was about give in to temptation, that damn bell over the door made that annoying sound and a group of slouch hat wearing fisherman tramped in. She let out a sigh, and with one, longing look towards the door he’d disappeared through, Tabby went back to work.
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Sidney felt the wet cold of the glass on his back and smiled, letting go of the loose banister to turn around and envelop her in his arms.

“I thought it was about time for a lunch break,” she smiled up at him, the tall, cool glass of lemonade still in her hand but now pressed to his chest. She didn’t seem to mind that he was coated with a fine film of sweat and wood dust as he held her, looking down into her chocolate brown eyes. “I made some sandwiches,” she added, glancing over her shoulder, but he wasn’t quite ready to let her go. Not yet.

“What? No thank you for all this hard work? Did you know this railing was almost ready to fall? You could have been hurt,” he added, taking the glass from her hand and washing the sawdust from his mouth before leaning in for a kiss. Her lips were cool and wet and sweet. She must have taken a sip from the glass. “A couple of these stair boards are a bit loose too,” he added, reaching out with his toe to push on a weak seam in the stair to prove his point.

“So, do they teach carpentry in marketing class these days?” she asked, still apparently content to stay in the circle of his arm while he drank the ice cold lemonade.

“I wouldn’t know,” he replied, before realizing his mistake. ‘That’s a good one Crosby, can’t even keep your lies straight now’, he thought as he laughed at himself. “It’s more uh…business management and no, my dad taught me everything I know,” he added, thinking of all the times he’d sat right beside his father reading the direction from a ‘how to’ book about plumbing while his dad tried to fix a leak so they wouldn’t have to call out a plumber and spend the money that had been set aside to send him to some summer hockey camp or buy him yet another pair of skates because he’d grown out of the last ones.

“I didn’t think these hands felt like they knew hard work,” she pointed out, her hand slipping into the one that was holding her hip against his. She ran her fingers along the palm of his hand, causing a ticklish feeling that made him shudder. “They’re not exactly soft,” she continued, turning those dark eyes of hers’ up at him, one eyebrow raised, “but they’re not exactly the hands of a guy who uses tools all day.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised,” he grinned, pressing his lips to her forehead. “Now, about those sandwiches,” he suggested, moving the topic toward less dangerous ground. “I didn’t think you could cook, and I don’t remember seeing any cold cuts or anything in the fridge.”

“Hey, I can cook when I want to,” she pursed her lips at him as she led him down the staircase and towards the kitchen. “But I hope you like egg salad and cucumber because you’re right, there’s no meat in the fridge.” Sidney wrinkled his nose but his stomach had begun to think his throat had been cut and made a growling noise at the thought of bread and mayonnaise. “Buuuut,” she continued, giving his hand a squeeze before letting it go as they entered the kitchen, “I thought I’d run down to the store while you’re cleaning up later and get some steaks, maybe some potatoes for later. As a kind of thank you, for today,” she added taking down a plate from the cupboard and sliding it onto the small wooden table at the back of the kitchen. Sidney slid into the chair behind that plate and smiled up at her.

“Well I was kind of hoping you’d scrub my back,” he growled, reaching out to capture her wrist in his hand and pulling her back toward him and the table. “But that sounds good and then maybe, later, we’ll try that big bed in the master upstairs.” He watched her grin fade and she began to struggle not to cry. He’d crossed a line and he knew it right away but he’d thought about this while he’d been working on the stairs and as he pulled Tabby down onto his lap and put his arms around her, he chose his words carefully. “It’s not like they’d mind, don’t you think?” he began and when she only shrugged he continued from the mental list of points that he’d come up with. “I mean, if your grandma was anything like mine, she’d hate the thought of you sleeping in that little tiny room all alone, never mind making a guest sleep in that little bed too. Not that I mind being that close to you,” he added, squeezing his arms tighter around her and waiting until that comment made her smile. Tabby nodded, but he could see tears in her eyes all the same, which she quickly dashed away with the back of her hand.

“You know what’s so stupid about this,” she sniffed, blinking to keep the tears back and failing, “is that I didn’t know them…well no, that’s wrong. I just…I hadn’t seen them a lot, not lately and it’s more like…it’s like I feel guilty,” she explained and Sidney felt his chest swell as she let him see her in this vulnerable moment, as she shared her honest feelings with him. He’d been with so many women who were so pretentious and fake that this moment felt new and raw and he couldn’t help but feel protective of this woman.

“They must have loved you a lot,” he whispered to her as he cradled her against his body, “to leave this all to you.” He didn’t know if she was an only child or not, and maybe they hadn’t had anyone else to leave it to, but it felt like the right thing to say.

“Honestly…I always thought I was a real pain in their asses when I was here but…but yeah, I loved them a lot too.” She turned and buried her head in his shoulder and Sid held her, rubbing her back and whispering soft things that he hoped sounded comforting and he hoped she didn’t see his face right now, because he didn’t think that he could hide the enormous smile on his face.

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Tabby looked up from lighting the candles at the sound of his bare feet on the deck and smiled at the sight that met her eyes. He was just wearing those cargo shorts, low on his hips, and nothing else. She let her greedy gaze roam from flat stomach, over the well defined six pack, up to his wide, round shoulders and further up, to that boyish, easy smile that made her heart do a little flip. He was simply beautiful, like Michelangelo’s David come to life she thought, except with a much, much bigger….

“You did all this while I was in the shower?” he surveyed her handiwork with a surprised grin, still toweling off that dark, wavy hair of his, before draping that towel over one of his round, muscular shoulders and reaching to put his arms around her waist. She turned into him then, allowing him to easily pull her into his embrace, even lifting her lips for his kiss. His mouth took hers’ softly, gently before he let her go, almost reluctantly, to admire the table she’d laid out.

She’d found a pale blue linen tablecloth and dark blue serviettes in one of the airing cupboards and bought matching navy blue candles to put in the centre of the table. The plain white china looked shiny and expensive against all of the blue, and Tabitha thought that even Martha Stewart would approve.

“I thought you could open the wine,” she said, reaching for the bottle of cabernet she’d bought to go with the red meat and he took it from her in one hand, his fingers brushing over hers’ sending a shock of electricity up her arm. “I think there’s a corkscrew in one of the drawers,” she pointed back into the kitchen, “and I’ll just go watch the meat.” She felt her cheeks get warm as his caramel coloured gaze held hers’ for what seemed like too long, like he was already picturing her naked and they hadn’t even eaten yet.

“You already put the meat on? Isn’t that supposed to be the man’s job?” he called out to her as she stepped out onto the deck where her grandfather’s hibachi was sending smoke signals into the sky as the fat from the edges of the t-bone steaks dripped into the hot coals.

“Really? Do people really stick to those conventions anymore?” she called back, her stomach knotting already at the thought of all those muscles under her fingertips again. He was staying, again. He’d made it very clear that he intended on staying and she couldn’t quite figure out why just thinking about it made her hands shake and her heart flutter in her chest. It was crazy to get this worked up about it, she told herself firmly. It was just sex after all. Good sex…no mind blowing sex, but that was all.

“It’s still that way in my house,” he chuckled as he stepped out onto the deck, a glass of wine in each hand. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a few old fashioned notions, every now and again,” he added, coming up behind her and pressing his lips to the nape of her neck, beneath where she’d tied up her hair, before putting her glass down on the table next to the hibachi and moving out to the railing on the edge of the deck and staring out at the lake.

Oh fuck I love that ass’, she thought as she stole a glance at the way that wide, muscular butt stretched the back of his shorts, especially as he leaned on the railing and bent at the waist. Tabitha licked her lips as she remembered grabbing a hold of all that hard, muscular flesh to pull him deeper….

“So what, you think the woman stays home, makes bread and has babies?” she asked, poking at the steaks to determine how cooked they were before putting down her fork and picking up her wine glass. The dark red liquid was rich and tasted faintly of cherries as she let it slide over her tongue.

“And gets her nails done and spends all the money I bring home…yeah, something like that,” he smirked as he turned to face her and she was, once again, faced with all that smooth, tanned flesh. Her gaze went to those small, pink buds on his chest and she bit down on her bottom lip as the memory came back to her of the way it had made him moan out load and writhe beneath her when she’d licked and sucked at them.

“Fuck, you are old fashioned. I always thought that if…if I had a baby, I’d leave my…significant other at home and go back to work,” she told him and watched him raise his eyebrows in what she was sure was mock surprise. “Of course that was back when I thought I was going to be a high powered criminal lawyer,” she added, grinning shyly at him as he tried not to laugh.
“So what happened to that?” he asked, suddenly serious as she stood near, but apart from him. All that skin was just too inviting, too tempting. She was half afraid to get too close to him, afraid she wouldn’t be able to control herself. It seemed undignified somehow to want something as much as she wanted to run her hands over the smooth hairless skin of his chest. So instead she gripped her wine glass with both hands and kept her distance.

“I couldn’t…that is, my family couldn’t afford law school. That was never really an option…,” her voice trailed away as she pushed back that old pain. That was no one’s fault she reminded herself.

“What about scholarships? Bursaries?” he asked, as if he knew something about it. He didn’t look old enough to know anything about college other than toga parties and keggers that seemed to make up most of first year, but Tabby told herself she was being unfair. He was only asking the question.

“Yeah, there were a couple of those, but they would have hardly covered tuition for the first year and you don’t just go straight into law school,” she explained with a shrug, and then turned towards the hissing and spitting meat, partly for fear of it burning and wasting the thirty dollars she’d spent on the steaks and partly to hide the tension she could feel in her face as that old disappointment reared its ugly head. “How do you like your meat?” she asked, poking at the smaller of the two steaks and deciding hers was just past moo’ing, just the way she liked it. She went to turn to him and found him already there, right behind her, his hand reaching for her shoulder.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get to go,” he said softly, his hand on the curve of her shoulder, pulling her into him, until his arms were wrapped around her and she was pressed against that wide expanse of bare, warm flesh. He smelled like lavender soap she had in the bath upstairs and just vaguely of something more primal and male. She closed her eyes and breathed that scent in, letting it fill her head and soothe her nerves.

“It is what it is,” she said at last, turning her face up to his so that he could see that she was properly grateful for his sympathy. “Now, about that meat, before it burns.”

“I kind of like it well done,” he admitted, shrugging and grinning as she wrinkled her nose up at the idea of letting expensive meat like this turn into a lump of charcoal.

“Alright, then you babysit that while I put everything else out on the table,” she sighed and, putting her steak on a plate, went back in, feeling the tug of that secretive sort of happy smile on her face.
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They stood, side by side at the sink, washing the last of the dishes in the semi dark, the only light the one directly above their heads. As the drying rack filled and the sink emptied, their conversation began to die and the playful energy between them began to change. He could feel it in the way her body swayed into his as she passed him one of the salad bowls, and in the way that she glanced over to watch him stretch up to put it away in the cupboard. The clear admiration in her gaze made his pulse race but then he’d been looking at her like that all night.

She was wearing a simple black dress with spaghetti straps that fell in a sort of a line down just past her knees. She wasn’t wearing a bra, he’d become entirely too aware of that earlier when they’d been outside and a breeze had blown in off the lake. He’d found himself staring at her hardening nipples, aching to wrap his tongue around them and make her moan for him.

He also kept finding himself staring at the ink on her back, remembering how, while she’d slept, he’d traced its’ fine lines lightly with his fingertip, studying it, wondering what it could tell him about her. He wanted to do that with the rest of her, now that all of that initial passionate explosion was over. It actually took effort not to touch her now and that work was getting more and more difficult by the moment.

As she handed him the last glass and reached in to pull the plug and together they watched the water and suds go down the drain, he could see her breath rate increase, her ample chest rising and falling a little too quickly not to notice. It seemed strange, considering that he’d almost lost count of how many times they’d already had sex that they should be shy around one another now, but he could feel his own blood pressure rising knowing that all that there was left to do was to walk up the stairs before he could peel her out of that dress and lay her down on that big brass bed….

“I should check on the coals…I don’t want anything going up in smoke while…while….” She couldn’t even say it, or look at him, he realized as she turned to head out to the deck.

“I took the hibachi down to the grass and made sure it was out,” he told her, reaching to grab her arm with his hand, his fingers snapping easily around her small wrist. She stood there for a long moment, staring down at where his fingers were locked around her wrist and then she turned her big dark eyes up at him and he could see it then. She was afraid.

He hadn’t really thought about it that way, not until he could see his own feelings reflected in her doe in the headlights gaze, but he knew what she was feeling. ‘I could seriously fall for this woman’ he knew, or maybe it was even too late but that fear wasn’t enough to hold him back. So he stepped into her, his other hand cupping the small of her back and pulling her to him so that when he kissed her, their bodies were pressed together and there would be no mistaking that he wanted her, here, now if need be.

He was prepared to say that they didn’t have to do anything; that he’d be happy to just sleep with her, even if that was a fucking lie, but her body immediately melted to his and as her tongue swept along his bottom lip, he hoped he wouldn’t have to speak that lie aloud.

Reaching over to turn the light out above the sink, he took her hand in his and together they walked through the old house and up the stairs that he’d spent the day fixing. Sidney could feel that sort of pleasant ache left from a job well done and it made him think about those days that he and his teammates had spent at Army boot camp and how he’d felt the same after a day doing rigorous training. It was a good kind of burn and he felt less guilty for not hitting the gym.

As they reached the top of the stairs, he could feel her hesitate, her hand slightly pulling on his and he followed her gaze to the double doors at the top of the landing. They could discuss it again, he knew and he would probably be persuasive enough to win the argument, but he was also a little tired and a little full and more than a little impatient to have her naked and his arms. So instead of arguing, Sidney let go of her hand, took a step back and swept her up into his arms and carried her the rest of the way, kicking the door open and walking across the woven mats that covered the floor. He deposited her on the bed and she lay there, blinking at him like an owl.

Whether she hadn’t believed him or was just shocked, he wasn’t sure, but he also didn’t feel much like discussing it either. Instead, Sidney undid the snap on his shorts, unzipped them and let them fall around his ankles. Kicking them aside, he crawled onto the bed beside her and slid his hand up her thigh, taking the dress with him.

“I’m tired,” he said simply as she continued to stare at him with wide eyes, “and I intend on making you have at least three orgasms before I go to sleep so take this off,” he added slipping one hand beneath one of her spaghetti straps and causing it to slide off of her shoulder.

She sat up and pulled the dress over her head and handed it to him and he dropped it on the floor beside his shorts and then, reverently but eagerly, bent to his work, taking the weight of her breasts in his hands and wrapping his lips around one of her nipples, nipping and sucking on it until her hands dug into his hair and he heard her moan out loud.

13 comments:

  1. HOW OLD IS TABBY and HOW OLD IS SYDNEY

    but wow i cant wait for the next chapter

    pls update soon

    THank god they did the deed already? is it already hot in here lol

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  2. Ya how old is she and how old is he????????????

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  3. OMG! i love this story so much! so cute when he just held her when she was getting sorta upset :) <3

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  4. too cute.
    i would love for sid to show up at my house with tool box in hand, soooo sexy!


    great chapter. as always.

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  5. love it. wish my summer was like that (sigh)

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  6. I love them together! I can't wait for her to find out and hope it all works out ok for them, nothing is better than a good summer romance!

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  7. CAN SOMEONE TELL ME THE AGES OF BOTH TABBY AND SIDNEY?????????

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    WILL GREATLY APPRECIATE IT!!!

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  8. Well, Sid is 22. And Tabby seems to be a bit older...probably somewhere in the 25-28 range.
    Great update, as always. Since it seems like they're progressing a lot more emotionally, Sid needs to come clean before Tabby finds out through someone else other than him.

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  9. Not that I think age is important in any way, or even relevant at this point in their relationship, I ask that you bear with me and the characters as they find out about each other. In other words, have a little patience and all will be revealed when the time is right

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  10. i love this relationship not quite boyfriend or girlfriend but seems to appear that way without anyone objecting to it. LOVE IT SERIOUSLY update soon

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