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Venice Forever

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Victoria Granger
Old Wyrm
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Joined: 13 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:44 am    Post subject: Venice Forever Reply with quote

Thank goodness for having help around the place. As much as she loved her often insane quartet of cheerful children, Vicki did like a little time away from them every now and then. And with the anniversary of the day Jon had proposed coming up fast, not to mention Emily's fifth birthday, she'd roped Elle into helping her arrange a surprise weekend away for her husband and herself. The children were going to be looked after by her own father, Humphrey, and Taylor and Kaylee, while Vicki spirited Jon away for two nights and three days. Of course, getting Jon ready to leave the house on a day he wasn't expecting to have to go anywhere was another trick entirely.

"Still not dressed, hmm?" she asked, returning from a quick talk with Humphrey downstairs. "Are we feeling lazy today, Mr. Granger?"

"Hmm?" Jon murmured as he hung up his phone. "No, I was just touching base with Mataya. The Rep isn't playing until March, so I've been cleared to sneak away for a few days," he told her. There was some irony in the fact that Jonathan Granger didn't only have to get permission from his wife to take a holiday, but his best friend.

"I'm very glad to hear it." Not that she hadn't already cleared it with Mataya beforehand, of course, but Jon did like to have all his bases covered. "Sooo ..." Vicki bent down behind him, wrapping her arms about his chest as she nipped at his ear. "Ready to get dressed? Rome wasn't built in a day."

"Is that where we're going, Mrs. Granger?" he asked, looking over his shoulder to smile up at her. He had a special place in his heart for Italy, mostly because he'd proposed to her there, in Venice.

"Could be," she mused, grinning as he looked up at her. "So get dressed, Jonny boy." She kissed the tip of his nose. "Or I'll take Humph instead, and you can watch four hyperactive children for two nights entirely alone."

He snorted with laughter at the thought of that. "Some fun he'll be. He goes to bed early," Jon remarked, though that depended on one's definition of early. A veteran of the theater, he was a hopeless night owl, preferring night to day, though the advent of becoming a father had forced him to adapt.

She laughed, drawing back to comb her fingers through his hair. "Stop stalling," she told him fondly. "Anyone would think you don't want to go on a romantic getaway with your wife."

"You still didn't answer my question," he told her, catching hold of her hand as he moved to his feet. "Where are we going?" he asked, as she hadn't responded to his question about Rome. Though he had once lived on Earth and even traveled there extensively, most of those travels had been lost with the rest of his memories, thanks to a bullet.

"It would hardly be a surprise if I told you that," she pointed out in amusement. "Nowhere hot and sunny, and not excessively cold, either. Dress warm but comfortable." She stuck her tongue out at him.

"Hmm, how perfectly vague," he replied, chuckling, as he went to the closet to choose something to wear from his extensive wardrobe. "Warm but comfortable," he mused aloud, reaching for a fleece sweater with a zipper in case he deemed it to warm.

If he paid attention to his extensive wardrobe, he might notice a trend among the pieces that were missing, already packed and sent ahead to the hotel that morning. But then, Jon's wardrobe was so extensive that it was unlikely he'd even noticed some of the clothing was gone. Behind him, Vicki thumped down onto the bed, watching as he perused his options.

"You and Elle should go into business together," she suggested in amusement. "Fashion for the rich and sneaky."

"Seems to me you're the sneaky one," he said, tossing the clothes onto the bed and going to the dresser for boxers and socks, since at the moment, he was only wearing a bathrobe. "Should I assume you already packed?" he asked, knowing his wife a little too well.

"Yes, you absolutely should assume that," she nodded, her smile warm with mischief as she leaned back on her elbows. "Because it is the truth. We are already booked into the hotel, belongings already in the room."

That was twice now she'd mentioned a hotel, so he knew they weren't going away to stay in a secluded cottage or cabin somewhere. "Do I get any clues or should I just wait 'til we get there?" he asked, as he tugged a pair of boxers up over his legs before shrugging his robe off and tossing that, too, on the bed.

"You've pulled this on me often enough to know how it goes, stud muffin," she pointed out laughingly, tilting her head to enjoy the view he presented to her. "I cannot be bribed."

"But you can be seduced," he countered, waggling his brows at her, a lascivious grin on his face, looking a little silly there in just his shorts. "But if you're in such a hurry," he said, purposely bending over to pull on his socks, giving her ample view of his rear.

Vicki snorted with laughter, rolling her eyes at the silly display he was putting on. "Isn't that supposed to be the woman's trick?" she asked in a cheerful tone. "Seduced or not, I am not giving up my secret, not when I've never managed to keep one from you before. Cos doesn't count," she added quickly, knowing him a little too well.

"Cos was the very first surprise you ever gave me," Jon argued. Surprise, not secret - there was a difference. On the other hand, they'd both had their secrets once upon a time, but those days were over and as far as he knew, all their carefully-kept secrets had been revealed. Finished with his socks and disappointed that she hadn't risen to the occasion, he grabbed his shirt off the bed and started getting dressed in earnest.

Oh, she'd been tempted all right, but she had also been planning this for a month. There'd be plenty of time for that when they reached their destination, if he felt so inclined. She hoped he would, but it all depended on how he reacted to the surprise, really. Grinning to herself, Vicki watched with barely concealed anticipation as he dressed himself, finally rising onto her feet to fetch her own coat. "You might want to bring your scarf and hat," she warned. "It might be snowing a bit."

"Pardon me for saying so, but you look a little like the cat who ate the canary," Jon said, looking over at her as he tugged a sweater on over his shirt, arching a curious brow. "Here or where we're going?" he asked, as she threw him a small hint.

"Oh, both," she said, deliberately not giving any more than that small hint. Her smile was just a little gleeful, enjoying pulling the wool over his eyes for once. "If you scratch my tummy later, I might even purr for you."

"Not your tummy I want to scratch," he murmured with a grin, as he pulled his boots on before grabbing his coat. "Parka or wool?" he asked, hesitating a moment before choosing which one.

"Wool." That was a definite response from his wife, for all her mystery. She didn't want him to freeze, not today. Grinning, she fastened her own coat, pulling out her purple woolly hat to stuff it on her head. "Ready, Mr. Granger?"

So, he could assume they weren't going skiing anyway, but they'd done that before and had spent most of the time curled up by the fire anyway. He pulled on his wool peacoat and loosely wound a scarf around his neck, a hat and gloves shoved into his pockets. "Ready, Santa ... er, I mean, Mrs. Granger," he replied with another cheeky grin. "So, we are traveling by portal or what?"

"By portal, and stop fishing for clues," she laughed, taking his hand in hers to pull him from their apartments. "It took a little persuading, but I got the portal in the basement temporarily linked up to our destination. One way, one use, so we're coming back by coin, but we can't have everything."

"Hmm, resourceful woman," he remarked, as he got pulled along. "I hope you warned them," he added, not wanting to put anyone in a panic when the alarm went off signaling someone had arrived in the panic room via portal.
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Victoria Granger
Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm

Joined: 13 Apr 2011
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Can Be Found: With family
22025.56 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"They know not to panic if the alarm goes off between 6 and 7 on Sunday evening," she assured him laughingly. "Honestly, anyone would think you don't trust me to have all this covered, stud muffin."

"Are you sure you aren't my P.A. in disguise?" he asked, a teasing smirk on his face. There had been a time when he'd been in great need of an assistant, but since fading from the movie screen these last few years and focusing on the theater and his family, the demands on his time had decreased.

She snorted with laughter. "All right, so maybe Liv did most of the organising," she admitted. "And maybe Sol did the magic stuff. But it was my idea! So, you know, a third of the credit goes to me."

"Baby, I don't have a problem giving you all the credit, as soon as I know where we're going," he said, smooching her cheek, eyes bright with amusement. She didn't have to admit that Liv and Sol had helped, but it amused him to hear it.

"You're not going to know where we're going until we're there, so shush." Her lips pressed to his cheek as they crossed the wide hall, one hand pushing open the door down into the basement room where the family's safety net had been set up by Caroline. "You're worse than Emily trying to find out about her birthday presents."

"Like father, like daughter," Jon quipped, proud of the fact that their little redhead was a little of both of them, rather than being simply a carbon copy of her mother. "What did you tell them?" he asked, referring to at least two of their children - the only two who'd understand their parents were going away for a few days.

"That Grandpa Marshall wants them all to himself and has kicked us out for a couple of nights," she grinned impishly. "Also that Kaylee and Taylor will be here just in case my dad gets overwhelmed. Emily thought it was hilarious."

"Did she?" Jon asked, brows arching upwards again as they made their way down the stairs to the basement of Maple Grove Manor. He wasn't sure whether to be relieved or disappointed that their children were so eager to get rid of them for a few days.

"I did have to promise we'd call at bedtime," she added, knowing he'd latch onto some perceived idea that his children wanted him gone. "Ben was very insistent. And Emily decided to hold my purse hostage until I wrote it down and signed it."

A smile spread across Jon's face, glad to hear their children were going to miss them a little. "That's my girl," he said of Emily, just as happy to hear Ben felt the same. As nice as it was to get away for a few days, he was going to miss them.

Vicki laughed at his reaction, rolling her eyes. "You're wrapped around so many little fingers, sweetcheeks, it's a wonder you even agreed to come away in the first place," she teased fondly.

"Ah, but I was wrapped around your finger first," he pointed out, lifting a finger and twirling it in the air as if to demonstrate. Right from the day she'd come to his trailer on the set of Crowes and practically seduced him, his heart - and body - had belonged to her.

"Mmhmm," she mused with a warm smile. "So wrapped, I had to pretty much offer myself on a plate with a big ribbon to get a date out of you." She kissed him then, not holding this against him. It had been a strange sort of courtship, but well worth the heartache. "Okay, you ready? You're doing this eyes closed."

He laughed at her remark, still smiling into her kiss. "Hardly. How did Renee Zelleweger put it? You had me at hello," he said with a grin, rolling his eyes at the idea of closing his eyes. "Do you want me to get portal sick?" he asked, though that was possible whether he kept his eyes open or closed.

She raised her brow. "Darling, how many times have you walked me through these things with my eyes closed?" she pointed out in amusement. "Have I ever thrown up on you?"

"Uh, no ..." he admitted, reluctantly seeing her point. "Okay, Miss Smarty Pants ... Ready when you are," he said, closing his eyes and letting her lead the way.

"Thank you." Her lips brushed his cheek softly. She pulled away for just a moment to activate the portal, taking his hands in hers. "All right, sweetheart. Just walk with me, and keep your eyes closed."

"Yes, dear," he told her obediently. Whether he was reluctant or not, he trusted her implicitly and knew she wouldn't lead him anywhere dangerous. He had no idea where they were going, not even after she'd tossed him a few hints.

Chuckling at his obedient response, Vicki drew him through the portal, the familiar swirling crush of traveling through dimensions only to step out into a cool breeze, the sensation of buildings around them, the brush of snowflakes on his cheeks ... and the sound of water lapping at stone not so very far away.

The few clues found in the touch of snowflakes against his face and the sound of water were hardly enough to tell him where they were. With eyes still closed, he clung tightly to Vicki's hand, as if afraid he might lose her if he let go. "Can I open my eyes now?" he asked, remembering how he'd done the same thing to her when he'd taken her to Venice.

"Not yet," she warned, still drawing him onward. There were wide flagstones underfoot, covered with an inch or so of snow, just enough to crunch as she drew him into what felt like a wider space - clearly a little more open, if the sudden rush of the wind was anything to go by. "All right ... now you can open them."

And what did he find? The Piazza di San Marco, complete with its own personal snowstorm.

There was something familiar about the place, even with his eyes shut - some feel to it or maybe it was something in the air. This was a place he'd been before, he was sure of it, though he wasn't sure if it had been before or after he'd lost his memory. Not until he opened his eyes did it dawn on him where they were, and he smiled again. He lifted his face to the snow, letting it fall on his face and coat his eyelashes. "Venice. I should have known."

Vicki's smile was bright and warm, edged just a little with anxious hope. "Six years ago, you proposed to me here," she reminded him affectionately. "We're both terrible at remembering our wedding anniversary, so I thought maybe we should do something for this anniversary instead."

"I remember," he said, with a warm smile of his own. "It doesn't seem that long ago, does it?" he asked, sliding his arms around her to draw her close, despite any onlookers that might be around. "How does the saying go? We'll always have Venice?" The original quote was Paris, but so what? Venice belonged to them; it was their city - the city where she'd agreed to become his wife.

Leaning into him, snow settling on the woolly hat on her head, Vicki brushed her lips against his. "I love you, Jon Granger," she promised him. "Always have. And the owner of Pallazzo Vendramin was so delighted that we got married and had children, he promised some kind of surprise when we get there."

"Ever since you were ... how old were you when you first fell in love with me?" he asked, grinning mischievously. He arched a brow at the rest of her statement. "Oh, did he? I'm afraid my Italian might be a little rusty," he added, chuckling a little.

"Seven," she laughed, quite happy to admit to that now. Her brows rose at his confession. "Oh, well, it's just as well that I finally learned how to speak it then, isn't it?"

"With a full grown man. Scandalous," he said, smirking in amusement. Nothing had happened between them until she was a teenager, and then, it had been mostly her doing. He often wondered what might have happened if he hadn't taken Dom up on that trip back in time. He also often wondered why Dom had never done the same thing with Elle, but that was another story. "Going to seduce me by talking dirty in Italian, Signora Granger?"
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Victoria Granger
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Old Wyrm

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22025.56 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Only if you ask me very, very nicely, Signor Jon," she teased affectionately, rubbing the tip of her nose to his. "The real question is ... do you want to revisit the day you proposed in the pallazzo right away, or should we grab some lunch first?"

"That's a tough choice," he replied. "Both are tempting. What do you think?" he asked, eager for a surprise, but there was nothing like real Italian food either.

"Well, if you promise not to keep me in bed all day," she mused impishly, "we could always ask the signor at Vendramin to recommend a place that delivers lunch to your door."

He chuckled. "As if you wouldn't enjoy it," he said, though they were only there for a few days. Neither considered staying in bed a waste of time, though it would be a shame to have come all this way and not venture out. "I will promise to try not to keep you in bed all day. How's that?" he said with a smirk.

"Perfect." Her smile touched his as she hugged close for a long moment, heedless of the chilly breeze and snow as she kissed her husband tenderly. "Is it a good surprise? There's more."

"Of course it is!" he confirmed, smiling warmly as he returned her kiss. She needn't ever worry about disappointing him, but it was no secret that Venice was one of his favorite places in all the multiverse. "More?" he asked, brows arching upwards curiously.

"Mmhmm. Your rather amazing P.A. got us tickets to the Carnevale Masquerade Ball tomorrow night, in the Doge's Palace. And yes, also costumes." She beamed up at him - much as Vicki hated dressing up, she was a big fan of costumes.

"She didn't," he laughed, knowing she did. "Just so you know, I am not wearing a dress," he warned his wife, with a tap of fingers against her nose. As a veteran of the theater, there weren't many costumes he hadn't tried at least once already, so he was curious to know what Liv had arranged for them. "Dare I guess?"

"I am the one wearing the dress," she promised. "We'll fit in, Jonny. Liv's good at clothes. Apparently my boobs are going to look spectacular."

"They already look spectacular," he said, even if they were modestly covered beneath her clothes at the moment. "Who needs Mardi Gras when there's Carnevale?" he asked, grinning brightly.

"We can make a Mardi Gras of our own for most of the day, but I insist on actually eating dinner while fully dressed and in public tonight," she teased, taking his hand to lead him over to the dock. Between them, Liv and Sol had definitely gone good work - there was a small, covered motorboat waiting where the gondolas would be in summer, ready to take them across the Grand Canal to their hotel.

"We really should travel more often," he mused aloud as they made their way hand in hand toward the canal. There were so many places to see and things to do and with easy access to the Nexus, the possibilities were endless.

"Mmm ... how do you feel about camping with the kids this summer?" she asked curiously. "Dad used to take me camping every year - we went to France and Spain, and Wales, for some reason."

"You went camping in Europe?" he asked, a little surprised, but then why not? She hailed from England, after all. As for himself, he was a Rhy'Din native, but he was not very experienced at camping.

"We could glamp, if you'd rather have a little more structure to it," she added with a grin, pausing to speak to the man in charge of the little boat. Six years ago, she hadn't spoken a word of Italian; now, she was as fluent as he could have wished for.

He let her handle the conversation. Though his Italian was a little rusty, he understood most of what was being said between them. "I don't mind going camping. I just ..." He trailed off, frowning a little. "I'm not very good at it."

"You're frowning again," she informed him, gesturing to the vessel. "Get in the boat, perky butt."

"Not sure how true that is," he said, laughing as he climbed into the boat and then turned to give her a hand. He was referring to the remark about his butt, not the frown.

"I love your perky butt," she told him, holding tight to his hand as she stepped down into the bobbing boat. The captain of the little vessel chuckled as he pulled the engine into life, sending the small boat out between the significantly bigger ships on the Grand Canal.

"Didn't we ride in a gondola when we were here?" he asked, though maybe they'd just gotten lucky last time and found someone who was brave enough to operate one in February. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders as the engine roared to life.

"Yes, we did," she laughed, quite happy to lean into his arms as the little boat skudded over the choppy waves of the lagoon. "But it was a lot warmer then than it is today. We have snow! In Venice!"

"You say that like it's a good thing," he said, chuckling again. Neither of them had ever had much aversion to snow though - they had even taken a ski vacation to Austria once, though they hadn't done much skiing.

"Oh, come on, I'm English," Vicki defended herself. "Snow in England is about two inches overnight, if you're lucky. Home doesn't count, where we live is weird."

"I'll take snow over rain anyday," he admitted. Even though it was cold, it wasn't so wet, and it was a lot more fun to play in, not to mention it gave them a good excuse to want to cuddle - not that they needed one.

"Crossing the Grand Canal is a lot less scary in an actual boat," she added teasingly, hugging her arms about his waist. "Even if we are still about one one-hundredth of the size of everything else out here."

"Don't worry. I won't let anything happen to you," he promised, tightening his grip on her shoulders. He'd been helpless to save her mother from drowning once upon a time and had no intentions of repeating that with his wife.

"I know," she assured him. "You're the only person in the world who can get me on a boat, and you've done it multiple times. Must really be love, huh?" She grinned. "Because the four children obviously don't count."

"When in Venice," he said, smiling faintly. He hoped she wasn't just doing this for him, but for herself, too. He leaned close to press a gentle kiss against her cheek, only in part to reassure her. If he'd known how truly afraid she was of water, he might not have picked Venice six years ago.

She huffed with soft laughter, nestling close to rest her temple against his cheek while the little boat turned into one of the smaller canals to find a resting place at the small pier adjoining Palazzo Vendramin. A familiar pair of helpers came hurrying out to meet them, one with an umbrella, welcoming Signor and Signora Granger back to their pallazzo.

"So much for anonymity," Jon remarked with a grin, though they hadn't been bothered by fans the first time they'd been here and there was no reason they would be now. Jon carefully stepped out of the boat onto the pier, turning back around once again to help Vicki out with him.

When they'd come here the first time, they had been very much in their honeymoon phase, full of romance and x-rated silliness. Six years on, they were still romantic with each other, but there was definitely a maturity about their relationship that showed as Vicki allowed herself to be handed up from the boat into her husband's arms. In the doorway of the palazzo, the owner was waving them to come in, apparently as excited to see them as they were to be here. "I wonder if his wife remembers that amazing view of your arse she got last time we were here."
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Victoria Granger
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Old Wyrm

Joined: 13 Apr 2011
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Can Be Found: With family
22025.56 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Hush," he whispered, hoping no one who understood English had overheard them. He wasn't that easily embarrassed most of the time. Filming Fifty Shades had cured him of some of that, but he still didn't want his ass to be what people remembered him for. He linked his arm with hers, leaning close to kiss her, just because he could. "Shall we, Mrs. Granger?"

Palazzo Vendramin had played host to his proposal six years ago, and it was to that same apartment that they were escorted by a cheerful man in his mid-sixties - the owner, who didn't care that Jon was famous. He was far more interested in the fact that a couple who had got engaged in his palazzo had come back to celebrate an anniversary. He had certainly gone out of his way for them; not only was there a bottle of champagne cooling in an ice bucket and chocolate-covered strawberries, his wife had fully stocked their little kitchen and prepared a truly Italian lunch that would keep in the fridge until they were ready for it. Clearly, they remembered how Jon and Victoria Granger could lose an entire day without noticing they hadn't eaten.

They probably had noticed how easily the couple could gain pounds on Italian cuisine, as well. Their luggage had already beat them there, and though it had been six years, Jon felt right at home in the familiar surroundings. "Nothing's changed," he observed with a look around. "It's almost like we never left."

"Apart from the snow, even the view's the same," Vicki murmured, moving to the windows. Across the Grand Canal stood the Basilica di San Marco, stark against the grey winter sky, fat flakes falling to melt on the water and the ships sailing by. And the last time she'd stood here, Jon had put a ring on her finger and made too many years of wishing come true.

"Maybe we should have them name it the Granger suite," he suggested, half-joking, as he came up behind her and wound his arms around her waist, his chin coming to rest against her shoulder. "Penny for your thoughts?"

She laughed, leaning back into his arms with warm affection. "Just remembering what happened last time we stood at this window," she said softly, tilting her head to kiss his cheek. "Despite all prior warnings, you were so determined to proposed on Valentine's."

"I was impatient," he explained with a shrug. "Besides, who cares if it's sappy? It just makes the day that much more special." He touched his lips to her cheek, his breath warm against her neck. "You didn't seem to mind," he reminded her with a soft smile.

She laughed, her hand rising to tease long fingers through his curls. "And we have a chance of remembering at least one anniversary," she agreed, twisting to loop her arms about his neck. "So ... what shall we do with our first hours in Venice, Signor Granger?"

"I guess that depends on you, Signora Granger. Are you hungry or are you hungry?" he asked, a smirk on his face that denoted his meaning. Whether she chose to feed her stomach or her passion didn't matter to him; they'd satisfy both hungers one way or another.

"Mmm, I am definitely hungry." She laughed, nipping at his lower lip as she leaned into him. "I think you should warm me up a little. I am, after all, yours to command, husband dearest."

"If you are mine to command, shouldn't you be doing the warming up, wife dearest?" he teased, returning her kiss before turning her to face him and deepening that kiss, his arms drawing her closer into his embrace.

February was a special month for them both - they had gotten engaged in February, their first daughter had been born in February. Paris might be the city of love, but for Jon and Vicki, it would always be Venice in the depths of winter. After all, romance was where you found it, and they had plenty to keep them going all year 'round.

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.
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