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Stay With Me

 
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Elle Sloane
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 18
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Jobs: Doctor, Midwife
Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
2651.48 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Stay With Me Reply with quote

december 1st, 2017

Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the St--...

It's a date, dude, not a trek into the unknown. Or was it? What details Duncan could remember of their wild romp the night before and their half-drunk/half-hungover goodbye the morning after were etched into his memory more as fond sensor perceptions than actual vivid details. He could remember the way she felt beneath his fingertips. The intoxicating way she had smelled before they had succumbed to their vices. The taste of her on his lips and tongue. Thinking about it made him grin like a little boy who had gotten something he shouldn't have. More than that, from his recollection of their sober time before that, Elle was genuinely likeable. Sincere.

That might have been more important than the rest.

It was a small notion, something hopeful sparked over something hidden, but when they finally talked to hash out the details of their outing, it had become a two hour conversation about random things that was only halted when work called her away. In the end, he had asked her to indulge him: I'll pick you up and tonight is on me. Anything after is negotiable.

When the day finally came, Duncan arrived in the city early, dropping off his weekend bag at Henry's old apartment and stopping long enough to pick up a modest bouquet of wildflowers mixed with roses before showing up on her doorstep. With them agreeing to try keeping their plans casual, he had arrived in jeans and boots, a leather bomber with a light fleece insert and a black pocket t-shirt. He rocked on his feet from the heels to the balls a few times with the mildest of anxious energies as he waited, flickering eyes glancing at his surroundings. Taking in the important details.

Eleanor Sloane had never been much for one night stands. There had been one or two in college before *** hit the fan in the rest of the world. A single one in the midst of the z-poc (a girl's gotta let off steam you know), and then there had been Gabe. He was hardly a one nighter and as a result had left her heart in shambles. Since coming back to Rhydin, it had been a lot of work, work, work, nose to the grindstone sort of thing. Extra shifts? Damn right she'll pick them up. After all, the ladies and gents at St. Luke's really were such lovely people. Raven, for instance. That they had become so close, so easily, had likely been more a matter of mutual understandings of the past, but it had been a pleasant coincidence in the wake of a *** breakup.

Duncan, well, he had been icing on the cake. A delicious, delicious icing that had been more than worth breaking her anti-fling diet. That he had texted a few days later and then called soon after was a surprise. But she had liked him even before they got trashed and made out in the photobooth, so it had been an agreement without hesitation to go out with him again. With December bringing the first real hints of winter to Rhydin, she had dressed modestly; form fitting denim, a sweater with a semi-low sweetheart neckline, and a jacket over top, it was the picture of casual 'pretend you haven't already seen me naked'-ness.

Her apartment in Dragon's Gate was modest, incredibly understated for a girl with so much loud ink, a vivacious smile, and an ear catching laugh. Four stories of studio and one bedroom apartments with a run of the mill control entry that alerted her to his arrival by way of obnoxious buzzing from an aging intercom near the door. Putting the finishing touches on her getup, she clicked the button and her cracking voice filtered through to him, Be right there! She wasn't kidding. A few moments later, the patio sliding door on one of the garden level apartments opened and she popped her head out far enough to catch sight of him.

"Hey! I just need to find my keys, I'm so sorry!" When she spotted the flowers in his grasp, her grin softened to a smile and she beckoned him across the landscaping-rock-and-crab-grass expanse that was so stereotypical of generic buildings. "C'mere and I'll put those in water before we go?"

He hadn't expected anything over the top where the ink-sleeved beauty was concerned and the choice of destinations for their date didn't exactly scream upscale. But damn, was she pretty; she probably was in anything, as much as she was in nothing. When her pretty head popped out and she gave that casual come hither, he was eating up the distance with long, easy strides and sidling right up to her at the door.

"They're fresh," he offered, only somewhat lame, and venturing one of those small, personal smiles the curled his mouth at the edges. "Figured I'd made a decent enough first impression, but a good second couldn't hurt."

Her hair had been left in loose ringlets that she had to toss out of her face when she straightened up. As he got closer, she pushed the door open a bit further in case he wanted to step inside while she put the flowers in water. Reaching out to take them, she drew them to her nose for a sniff. Roses and wildflowers made for a lovely combination.

"First impression, second impression, we're somewhere along there." After all, they'd had the various pre-wedding shenanigans and parties, the wedding itself, and everything at and after the reception. Needless to say, he had definitely made an impression. The apartment itself was modest like the building. A single bedroom rather than a studio, it was sparsely furnished with a few firsthand items and a couple secondhand things. Mostly, it looked like she hadn't lived there very long. It didn't take long to plunk the flowers into a vase filled with water before finally finding her keys in the bathroom of all places. Stepping out from the bathroom, she held the keys up triumphantly. "Okay, I'm good to go for real this time."

"Yeah, but you've got a mouth made for smilin', so I figure I'm doing the world a service by keepin' it there." It would have been easy to stumble over a line like that, but there was a sincerity that helped him maintain the cadence in the face of adversity. When Elle finally had her key, he was gesturing her to go first, back the way he had come towards his car. "Let's ride. We've got putts to sink and I hear this place has a big arcade too."

The walk to his car was a short one and it didn't take long to get the passenger door of the hunter green Camaro open, and for him to help her in. He joined her moments later.

"Alright, alright, casanova, I'll give you that one." She teased with a flap of her hand and tucked the key ring into the tight front pocket of her jeans. No purse for the evening, her phone was stuffed in her back pocket as she tugged her jacket zipper up and headed out behind him, locking the apartment in passing. There was an appreciative look for his ride as she got in, tugging the seatbelt across her body to latch it. "Just as a forewarning, I am absolutely terrible at putt putt. I'll make it up in the arcade at the very least but on the green, we'll max out the strokes every time, I'm sure."

"That was my best pick-up line," he assured her and maybe it was the truth. "It all goes downhill from here but I have this thing about not lying, so if I try to play the gallant suitor and try to teach you how to putt-putt well, in reality I'm not so great at it either and am just lookin' for an excuse for closer proximity." It came with the huff of a chuckle, before he was putting the car in motion and getting them on their way.

"It's a wonder you're single." She cut him a sidelong smirk and settled in for the ride out to Thunder Road. Of course she had heard plenty about its opening but still hadn't had a chance to get out there to see if it lived up to the hype. This gave her a prime excuse to do so. It was a shorter drive than she thought it would be before the first warm lights on the winding gravel drive welcomed them to the complex. "Thankfully I don't mind closer proximity, so I'll be a good sport for you."

"You'll be protected by layers of clothes this time. You're safe." Winding onto the property but away from the large theater screens, be pulled them up near the rest of the busy attractions and cut the engine. A quick step out and a few more around the hood of the sports car, and Duncan was moving to open Elle's door. "You hungry at all before we start knocking around balls or toggling joysticks?"

"So there's something after all to the whole idea that what a girl wears can be critically distracting for the male species? Who'd have thought." Chivalry was seldom on the radar for her so by the time he made it halfway around the car, she had the door opened on her own and was most of the way out by the time he got there. With a half cocked grin, she nudged the door shut and let out an earnest laugh. "Knocking around balls." Still laughing, she shook her head. "Could grab a snack to take with us while you whoop my ass at mini golf. Funnel cake maybe?"

"To your credit, you'd look gorgeous in a potato sack, lady." He gave her a gentle nudge, his hand hovering at the small of her back without touching as he guided her towards the snackbar nearest the mini-golf courses. "Funnel cake works. Maybe a pair of some seasonal beers if they've got them."

It didn't take long before he had procured them food, clubs, and balls (he didn't see the point of keeping the scorecards), leaving them to trek casually through a tropical dinosaur paradise of rolling hills and swirling traps, with only the mild bite of the wind to distract from the ambience. They were four holes into the course, with his ball a few feet off from sinking when Duncan took a lean against the post, sipping from his bottle as he watched her. "Hospital keepin' you busy?"

"Yeah?" She tipped a look his way and glanced back with a wry smile and rosy cheeks. The bright lights of the snack bar lit their way and soon she had a beer in hand along with the crisp smell of funnel cake topped with sugar and apples beneath her nose. It was vaguely reminiscent of times long past. Better times. True to form, she was terrible at the whole putt putt thing, but she had fun with it, which was all she wanted out of the night.

"A lot of it is my own doing. Place like this, trauma bays are busy across the city every day so we end up a little short staffed. I've got nothin' better to do, so I figure why... --ah sh*t,--. Why not." Somewhere in the midst of that, her blue golf ball had bounced off of a rocky obstacle and went careening into one of the barrier walls, well away from the hole. "Was a little surprised to hear you'd be in town."

"We're hitting the slow season," he offered back and made a pained face for her shot, then giving an only half-guilty look. "At this point it's going to be less geo-mappin' and wilderness guiding and more of the other stuff. Some cold weather survival training classes and a little freelance work with the ships or helpin' out rescue crews. The money still comes in, but there's long stretches where some of us are less useful and have more time on our hands. All things being considered, I really liked hangin' out with you and wanted to see you again, sooner rather than later."

"Alas, there's never a slow season here." She chuckled and made her way down the green to line up another shot. This one went a little bit better, closer to the hole but not quite in. A third stroke ought to do the trick. Listening along, she couldn't help but note how useful some of his skills would have come in handy back home. "I'm definitely not complaining, by all means. So what do you do with all that extra time then?"

"But from all the time you put into it, I'm gonna assume you love your work. That's pretty cool. Dedication is admirable." Waiting for her to retrieve her ball, he was then leading her onward to the next hole. It was a winding path that eventually led downhill and around a cover, over a final hump to get to the hole. Duncan was still talking as he lined up his shot, drew back, and let it go. "I try to stay busy. While I'm not the pilot my brother is, we'll still take on some jobs flying supplies out to remote places farther north. Research stations or trading posts, maybe up to some of the smaller commercial space stations orbiting the planet."

"I was originally going to be just a boring old sports medicine doc til I changed things up. This keeps me on my toes, no shortage of weird *** in this place." She bent down to scoop the ball from the hole once she had it sunk before moving on to the next. Thankfully they weren't keeping score or else she would have had proof of her horrid shots. Leaning against the prop of her own dinky little putt putt club, she watched the path of the ball once he hit it and waited ever so patiently for her own turn. The view back here wasn't bad in the least, she didn't mind. "Not much for sitting on your ass doing nothin', eh? That's pretty much my days off, video games in my pajamas. Nothin' else."

"Don't get me wrong," he countered. "I don't go out much. I mean, every once in awhile the Blackwater brothers will drag me along, I just..." Duncan paused. "It's not as appealing as it used to be. I'd rather be out there in the unknown or... yeah, if I'm home, it's probably dark and I'm tearing up something on one of the consoles. Favorite game?"

He eyed her sidelong and made room for her to putt.

The cant of her head sent an inkspill of dyed dark locks over her shoulder. There was something more there, she could tell that much, but considering this was their first real date, she wasn't going to go prying too much. Tonight was superficial, they could get into the meat and potatoes another time if things worked out. "Online, I spend a lot of time making twelve year old boys cry over Halo and Call of Duty. Solo, I'm a Mario nerd. Don't judge me."

"What? You don't cry when they tell you how they *** your mom?" His mouth twisted in a wry smirk but there was a genuine interest burning in the gaze she was pinned beneath. "Halo. I... yeah, I'm down with that. If you want a fun mix of the two, Planetside 2 might perk your interest. Solo? MvC or Zelda. Or any number of much older games. Like, old Mario. Those were legit."

He gave her a gentle nudge. "Your stroke, Elle." It was clear Duncan was chewing on a notion. Eventually he voiced it, after a fashion. "You ever wonder what it would be like to fly in a Pelican or a Hornet?"

"They're too busy getting teabagged every time I camp 'em and take them out." She laughed and stepped up to the proverbial plate, leaning down to set her ball on the putting green. The course wasn't exactly forgiving and she was too busy talking but at the very least, she got it a fair way down the line before it rolled to a stop. "I've heard good things about it." Nodding along. "Played plenty of Zelda. My N64 still works with it. Ocarina of Time, gold cartridge baby."

Boom gesture to go with the bit of bragging she offered before he threw out his question. Her brows lifted and she turned an incredulous look back his way. "Never really thought it could be a thing, though I'm pretty sure there's some part of a Shortsword in the yard out at Stars End. Would be pretty rad though, you know?"

"Maybe if you're real nice..." The smile was secretive but sincere, an implication for the future without coming off as something solicitous or suggestive. It was capped with a 'maybe' gesture before he eased past her and down the hill to see where his ball had stopped, before a second stroke banked if off a wall and sank it. "Play Breath of the Wild yet?"

"I'm plenty nice, thank you very much." She ever so maturely stuck her tongue out at him, a slight divot in the center of the muscle offering the suggestion it had been pierced at one time but had long since healed shut. Following up behind him, it took her two shots but she got it in soon after and gave the club a deft twirl. "A bit? It's beautiful, but I have so many other things to play that it hasn't drawn me back yet. Maybe someday when they put more hours in a day."

"Right. Emasculating prepubescents." It was followed by light touch of his fingers along her side and the beginning of his trek to the next hole. It went on like the for a while, the videogame talk, a steady flow of casual conversation that still showcased a more intimate side, even if the topic didn't seem deep. A sharing of ideas, enjoyments. When the last putt was sunk and no winner was officially declare, Duncan had collected their implements and returned them before moving up along side her again. "What's on your agenda now?"

"Their balls haven't dropped yet, there's nothing to emasculate." Elle scoffed, a hand flapping out her lack of concern. Still the smiles were easy and the conversation even easier. He was a cinch to talk to and gave as well as he received. It made plenty of sense to her why they had hit it off prior to the day of his brother's wedding. But eventually she turned over her club and ball and awaited his return, her hands in her jacket pockets. "My agenda? Now? I'm figuring we hit up the arcade in there and either put more balls in holes or maybe see about claiming the high score on Area 51 or somethin'."

"Time Crisis and more beers, first." If they had the game (and they did). "Then we'll see about things in holes. Just keep me away from the claw machines. They're addictive."

Elle couldn't help but think the same about the man at her side.
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Elle Sloane
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 18
See this user's pet
Jobs: Doctor, Midwife
Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
2651.48 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 7th, 2017

Duncan and Henry were close. Close as brother's can be. And while there were a number choice things the younger Wyatt brother didn't know, among many of their discussions during the older's deepening romance involved the maintenance of a long distance relationship. And while Duncan wouldn't have called what was budding between himself and Elle a relationship, he couldn't deny that he thought of the inked beauty often and looked forward to every text. Every call. The next meeting. It had only been a few weeks, but they had started to interact more and more, mostly through electronic correspondance. The times between had started to create a dull ache.

It was why he was cautiously hopeful when he found himself in the city unexpectedly, late at night and slouching down on the couch of Henry's apartment after a quick drop-off. Grunting and wishing he had stopped for something decidedly alcoholic. He was thumbing through his phone when the thought of her struck her, prompting a slow smile and a fired off text.

Text: What are you wearing?


It had been a long twenty-four hours, broken only by brief catnaps stolen in on call rooms or on gurneys in the halls outside of the emergency room. Eventually her Attending doc had nudged her out with orders to get some sleep and not come back for at least twenty-four more hours. She had just finished changing in the locker room when the text came in and she had to fumble-dig through her work bag to find her phone. Half expecting it to be a text to cancel the send-home order, she was instead pleasant surprised to find someone far more desirable on the other side.

Text to Duncan: Just stripped out of my scrubs. Hot huh?

When the screen lit back with her name and one of the pictures from their last date, he was unable to suppress the grin that curled his mouth.

Text: Insert bad joke about playing doctor with you here.


Text: I bet you look gorgeous.

Text: I just pulled a 24, I look like hot garbage


For emphasis she snapped a pouty lipped selfie, her hair a frazzled mess pulled into a bun atop her head. She looked somewhere between exhausted and wired, the inevitable effect of staying up for as long as she had. Still she sent off the selfie with no shame along with one more message.

Text: I showed you mine, you gonna show me yours?

Text: One woman's garbage is another man's treasure.


A pass of his thumb brought up his picture application and a quick one was taken: It a t-shirt pulled up over his abs and sweats, Duncan was stretched out on the couch lazily, one dark brow arched and his free hand tugging the top of the sweats that had been tugged down in the beginning of a tease.

Text: That's an unfair tease. You're too far away.

Shrugging her coat on, she tugged the zipper up and hoisted her bag up onto her shoulder. St. Luke's wasn't big, not compared to some of the other medical centers in town, so with a few waves to those she knew on the way out, she was soon on the well lit streets of New Haven and heading south, intent on home.

Text: I got into town two hours ago. Just finished up with work related stuff fifteen minutes ago.

He thought about it for a few moments before sending another.

Text: You've probably had a long day, but we can have a call if you like. Or a video chat. Or keep texting. I just like stealing your time.

Text: See, you should have led with that.
Text: If you're in town I wouldn't mind letting you steal my time in person.


It wasn't a long walk home and she wasn't sure where he was stayed so it was there was headed to see if she could at least clean up first. She likely smelled like death.

Text: Tell me where you want me and when. My business here tomorrow doesn't have a set timeline.

Text: I'm on my way back to my place to grab a shower. Can meet me there or when I'm done, I can go where ever.

Text: Man, you must be tired to have passed on that open door. Tell you what, life saver, I'll come to you and keep it easy. You want me to bring anything?

Text: You made it too easy dude. I'm not one to take advantage Razz Bring along a sixer of something dark and you'll my life saver.

Text: How about something more than six and a little more pale? Very Happy I'll see you soon.

Text: Bring that too.


She was tired but she wasn't that tired. He was a gorgeous specimen of a man, she couldn't help herself. Still, she made it home and got into the shower, washing away the day's trials until she was fresh and clean and smelling of pomegranate body wash and a floral shampoo and conditioner. Unlike the cold outside, it was a temperate 75 degrees in her apartment and as such, she dressed for the occasion, in a tank top and low slung cotton pajama pants.

It wasn't a far drive from Henry's apartment to Elle's and with only a quick stop at a local store in between, he was at her exterior door a little over thirty minutes after the last text. Duncan hadn't bothered to change out of his t-shirt and sweatpants, having only added a jacket. There was a steady knocking on the glass with the knuckles of one hand, the other holding a six pack of an intriguing chocolate stout and one of those cheap convenience store roses.

The sliding door was much easier to use than bothering with the control entry and when she heard the knocking, she pushed herself to her feet and headed over. Tugging the vertical blinds aside, she grinned at him through the glass, flipped the lock, and tugged the door open. They could match in their loungewear, she didn't mind. Once he was inside, she nudged the door shut behind him and locked it once more.

"Welcome to Casa de Sloane." It was a modest apartment, semi-spartan in its sparse decor. A secondhand couch and a RhyKEA coffee table sat opposite an entertainment center with a modest 40" flat screen. The shelves were cluttered with consoles, games, and controllers, organized chaos separating them by platform. Beyond the living room area, a two person bistro table made up the dining room, though the table was home to paperwork and her work bag more than it ever was meals. It backed up to an open bar that gave a view of the narrow kitchen area where a single light had been turned on over the sink.

"It's much bigger and more impressive than my place," he confessed with a smile, leaning close to offer up both the cheap rose and the chocolate stout. "So I'd say you're doin' pretty good for yourself, Baby Girl." To avoid being to presumptuous, Duncan kissed her on the cheek with a lingering pass of his lips, before stepping back to shrug out of his jacket.

"Hurried as best I could. I was hoping to not miss the shower."

Her brows lifted and she tipped a glance around to see if he was seeing the same place she was. It was modest as far as apartments went so if his was smaller, she felt his pain. She took the cheek kiss and rose with a smile before shifting the latter to her other hand to take the six pack too. The beer seemed to be her focus, drawn up for a cursory examination and an intrigued smile. "Chocolate stout... this'll be good."

Seating was limited to just the couch unless he wanted one of the stiff chairs at the table but it was a comfortable couch and she didn't mind being close. The six pack was set on the table so she could go put the rose in thin glass vase. The vase was placed on the bar for prime viewing before she came back and sank down on the couch with a groan. "It wasn't a sexy shower, you didn't miss out on much."

"I thought you might like it." She invited him to make himself comfortable, so he did, draping the jacket across the back of a chair before slouching down onto the couch. When she sank down beside him, he took the shift as an opportunity to lean closer. "Elle was in it. Sexy shower. Besides, I was looking forward to maybe another late night phone chat and maybe a few smiling selfies. This is much better."

He leaned and she decided to invade his space, twisting in her seat to sit sideways before flopping against his lap. It was presumptuous but he looked like he would be comfortable and beer could wait a little while longer. "Likely would've ended up with me passing out on the phone, knowing my luck I would've snored in your ear and everything."

"Teasing material is always good." She leaned against his lap and it was all the invitation he needed to slip an arm around her middle in a casual drape, his other rising to comb fingers through her hair in a gentle stroke. "And I likely would have parlayed it into concessions at a later date."

"Man, last thing I need is more teasing." She said with a snicker. For all of her talk of waiting til their second date to do more, they had been remarkably well behaved, and thusly. Without drawing away too far, she reached and reached, barely snagging one of the beer bottles by its cap and freeing it from its brethren to claim it as her own. "Concessions like what?"

"I hadn't thought that far yet. Skimpier outfits?" A lock of hair was curled behind her ear, the tips of his fingers stroking down along her jaw. "Or just more opportunities to harass you. I'm getting fond of it."

"This isn't skimpy enough?" She plucked at the strap of her tank top. It tugged the fabric enough to give him a flash of flesh. But just like that, the strap was dropped and she was working on popping the cap off the bottle. "But I can manage more opportunities. I like talking to you, if I'm being upfront."

"I dunno. Do that again?" Still stroking her jaw idly, he lifted his other hand from around her to hold the bottle steady to assist with the removal of the cap. His gaze was turned down to her half-prone form as they talked. "You're different. The good kind. I look forward to your messages almost as much as seeing you."

"What? Do this?" She asked, repeating the motion a little slower this time. A tug of the strap, a pull away from the swell of her chest, giving him a long, long moment's view down her tank top. Still she eased the strap back and cut a smile up at him. "At least it's the good kind. Last time someone told me I was different it ended really badly."

"That's one hell of a view," he complimented her with a sound of approval in his throat. When she had freed the cap from the bottle, his hand slipped from it and this time delved beneath the hem of her shirt to rest against the skin of her stomach. "Well, that person's a dumbass. I've been plenty interested in learning more about you, even without the stunning good looks."

"See, skimpy." She said smugly and stole a swig from the bottle. The touch of his hand was cool against her warm skin and she arched a little with the slight surprise. That said, she didn't draw away and eventually settled back against him, offering the bottle up to him. "You gotta try this. But me, I'm an open book. What do you wanna learn?"

The stroking along her jaw ceased when he took the offered bottle and lifted it for a long pull, making a quiet sound of approval for the flavoring of the stout. "Never been much of a dark beer guy but I could totally get used to that. Here's hopin' it's not seasonal." Duncan offered the bottle back. "I know you love video games. And camping. Pizza and bombass paninis. That you wanna save lives. You love soccer and you hate feeling helpless. I know that you're a good shot and you have a thing for photobooths."

Apparently he had been paying attention when she talked on the dates.

"There's a peanut butter porter you might like... maybe I'll grab some next time we hang out." She said thoughtfully, taking the bottle back for a mouthful of her own. Listening to his assessment of her, she couldn't help but grin, sitting up a bit to lean against his side instead. "The photobooths thing is a recent development."

Get it? Development? Badumtsh. "But see, like a book."

"And I believe I remember agreeing to not ask more probing questions until... Date Number Four? So, I can wait a little longer. I think the wait'll be worth it." His arm tightened around her, his hand sliding higher along her ribs. With his other hand, he had reached up to draw her hair to one side. "We'll have to figure out what Date Three is gonna be here soon."

"Maybe." She said with a wan smile. Either it would be worth it or it would scare him off. Either way. With her mostly dry hair swept out of the way, she stole a look up at him and then looked toward the turned off TV. "Netflix and beer?"

"We have the beer already." Duncan tipped up a slow smiled. "This gonna be Date Three right here then, Elle?" His nose and mouth nuzzled against her temple from the look she tipped him.

A kick of her foot sent the TV's remote flying her way, evidently an old trick for how easily she caught it. A smooth click of the button brought the screen to life and just a few clicks after that had the red Netflix screen awaiting her command. "And coincidentally we have the Netflix... what a crazy random happenstance. I guess we may as well have Date Three?"

"You're totally gonna pass out on me," he teased, but his arm tighened around her more and he was tugging her closer. "Snoring all over me and everything."

"That's incredibly likely." She admitted with a laugh. Finding a comfortable spot where she fit against him, she settled in and set to flipping through the various offerings. "I promise not to drool at the very least."

"Should I get the goodnight kiss out of the way early then?" He reached for the bottle, liberating it from her hand for the amount of time it took to swallow another mouthful.

She tipped her chin up toward him. From where she sat, it put their faces plenty close together. There she lingered, her smile coy. "Probably. Just in case. And if not, we can always re-up it later."

With a mild chuffing chuckle, he slipped his fingers along her jaw and gently pulled her mouth up to his. Warm lips melded to hers for a slow, wanton battle with his own.

As was so often habit with them, this "goodnight kiss" soon dragged itself out into a teasing give and take until she was assuredly left breathless but all too reluctant to draw back. She broke just enough to take a breath before huffing a quiet chuckle against his lips. "What do you want to watch?"

"The back of your head?" Ahem. Erm. "Better Off Dead? John Cusack is great in that."

Good recovery, right?

"Maybe later." She mumbled, grinned, and drew back before settling in against him again to go searching for his pick.

"One more peek, Baby Girl." It was less a request and more of a polite demand. Or a suggestion. Whichever worked.

"At the back of my head orrrrrrrrr..." She trailed off with a teasing tug at her tank top, a little pop snap of the strap without giving him enough to see.

With a chuckle, his mouth was pressed to the side of her face, even as he watched the television screen, little kisses and warm breaths finding her ear and neck. "That works."

She couldn't find Better off Dead but instead settled on Say Anything. John Cusack was just as good in that. As the opening credits rolled, it didn't take long for her to get distracted by his mouth again. The kisses were eager but soft, a gentle exploration of her mouth that felt as though he were picking up where he left off, enjoying a place that was familiar yet still new. He smiled into the press of her lips, tasted of her both sweetly and deeply, pulling her body even closer to his. Duncan Wyatt had made her a believer in the whole making out thing. It had been fine before but nothing to write home about. But with him, him it was like her entire world spun when his lips were against hers. When he finally had to come up for air, she was given a small, guilty smile and then another fleeting kiss, his gaze searching hers. "You, Baby Girl, are a really good kisser."

"Helps when I have someone I like kissin'..." She admitted with a teasing smile. The ruddiness in her cheeks, was that a blush? It may very well have been a blush.

That got her another kiss, long and slow and very thorough. His hand was withdrawn from around her shoulders and instead Duncan, repositioned them both until they were spooning comfortably on her couch.

They existed like that for a time, comfortably spooned together on the couch and watching the movie on the screen. At some point, their legs had tangled together casually and he had turned his nose and mouth inwards towards her face, half a nuzzled into her jaw, neck, and ear that allowed him to still see the screen but at the same time inhale deeply of her. His right hand eventually crept back beneath her shirt but Duncan contented himself with pressing his palm against the taut warmth of her stomach and propping his other arm beneath her head, giving him the opportunity to idly stroke her hair and rub at her neck. Little bits of conversation broke up the movie, but as the day's fatigue over took one and then the other, the Sleep Timer of the television shut it off and bathed the apartment in darkness.

As it so often was for him, sleep came in small snippets of semi-consciousness, drifting him in and out. Often Duncan slipped into a comfortable doze before nothing at all, maybe just a feeling, snapped his eyes awake in sudden lucidity, even while his body was relaxed.

Elle was simultaneously capable of sleeping anywhere and sleeping nowhere. It wasn't the first time she had passed out on the couch and the protective loop of Duncan's armed served to make it even easier to doze for awhile. Thankfully she didn't drool on the arm beneath her head and for all of her talk of snoring, Eleanor was an incredibly quiet sleeper. It was hard to tell if she was asleep or awake most of the time but the steady, shallow breaths indicated for the most part she stayed asleep until something drew enough of her subconscious attention to drag her into a half awake daze. She turned her face toward his arm, burying it against the thought of being awake and nestled back against him, her body shifting and wiggling just right to find a comfortable spot pressed back to him.

More often than not, he listened to her breathe, letting it lull him back into brief periods of sleep that always ended too abruptly but without disturbing her. Sometimes he spoke softly into her hair, not sure if he cared if she heard or not as he told old stories, shared little slivers of himself in the darkness and opened up in ways it was hard to do in the light. War stories, bare whispers delivered between nuzzles of his nose into her hair and gentle kisses to her neck, little things that grounded him in reality when the shadows danced on her walls.

Like the pictures he seemed to like taking so much, they were little memories that he stole and kept for himself.

One arm was left to dangle over the edge of the couch while her top arm had wrapped around herself almost protectively. It put a blockade on his hand drifting too far north. Some vaguely conscious part of her listened to his words, unsure if she was dreaming or awake when she heard them. He was warm but even he couldn't quite stop the soft little jolt of her waking with a start. Her arm tightened and her breathing hitched but only a moment later she relaxed and settled against him, her hand shifting down over top of his.

"Shhh," he hissed the soft sound against her ear with a gentle kiss to the lobe. Duncan knew that jolt. He was intimately familiar with it. "All's quiet in the trenches." His hand rose, taking her with in until it settled between her breasts and over her heart. He monitored her breathing, the feel of her heart beat, murmuring soft, encouraging platitudes against her ear between tender little kisses to her skin. He capped it at the end with a nuzzle of his nose along her neck and a playful whisper. "I promise I was waiting for you to wake up before I put my hand down your pants."

"Mmh, sorry 'bout that." She mumbled sleepily, having enough sense to be sheepish about it even when she wasn't fully awake. Her last boyfriend had never really understood it and more often than not she found herself apologizing for the unexpected little starts that stole sleep from her even on the best of nights. Elle calmed quickly, her hand squeezing over top of his as her mouth curled into a tired smile. She turned her head against the arm underneath her to cover a yawn before shifting back against him. "Wouldn't have been a bad way to wake up..."

"No sorries," he replied. "I've been there. I'm still there." It was a small confession. He tried to keep the mood light while giving her issue the respect it was due. "Well, go back to sleep then and I'll see what I can do to wake you up proper. Easy peasy, right?"

"We're here now." She said softly. It was her way of reminding herself to be present in the moment, not in the past. The past wasn't here, it wasn't going to get her, she was relatively safe. Letting his hand go free, she smirked and tried to tip a look back at him but could only turn so far. Still he got a fair bit of side eye. "Pretend sleep or real sleep?"

"We are," he agreed but didn't answer her question. Instead, he kissed the corner of her mouth when she gave him side eye and snuggled back into her body. "Shh," he crooned the sound against her ear. "Go back to sleep, Baby Girl. I've got you."

In the dark they reveled in one another until their bodies settled down, exhausted once more but content, elevated heart rates not from the startled awakening but rather far more salacious activities.

"I really, really like you." It was a gentle confession there in the darkness, a whisper against her ear that ended with a simple kiss just beneath the line of her jaw. "Is that a dumb thing to say three dates in? I'm really not good at this."

"Hmm?" She hummed the sound, the rumble thick in her throat. The kiss tickled and she nestled in against him, her cheeks warm and her body relaxed. "It's not dumb... like's not... uh, more than that. There's nothing wrong with like... I like you too..."

"Hm? I don't think I heard you." It wasn't difficult to feel his smile against her skin, widening before his tongue slipped free to taste the small bead of sweat that rolled over her jaw and down her neck.

"I li-iiiiike you, Duncan." She squirmed. She's trying to be serious here! "And not just what you do with your fingers..."

"Date Number Four," he said the words between warm skin kisses. "Dinner. Maybe a show. Theater or like... a legit theater. A nice dinner. I... don't normally go in for that kinda thing. Probably isn't yours either, I dunno, but you're the kind of awesome that should get that kinda treat."

"Dinner sounds nice." She admitted. It had been awhile since a man had taken her out on anything resembling a 'fancy' date. That said, lowkey was more her style usually anyways. Mini golf, arcades, bowling, go karting, that sort of thing. Fancy meant dressing up and wearing heels. She paused. "I'm not wearing heels though. Just saying."

"You can wear whatever makes you happy." One of his shoulders rolled in a shrug. "If someone's got a problem with it, then their place doesn't get my money. Besides the high quality grub, I only like those places because they remind me of where I came from and who I am. Memories are important, makin' them and keepin' them. Besides, you look insane hot in a dress."

"I doubt there's anywhere in this town that would turn away a paying customer because of their footwear. You should see some of the *** the broads around here wear on the regular." She chuckled and leaned back against him, sated for the moment. "You'll have to tell me more 'bout that... where you came from and all. I'd like to listen to you."

"We'll get there." It wasn't an 'if'. It was a 'when'. A subtle promise that the progression of what they were doing together was a reality, not just a hollow promise. "I'm gonna be presumptuous and predict plenty more dates in our future."

Eventually. She could work with eventuality. There was no pressure there, just letting things flow how they would. Thus far it had been pretty good. Turning her head toward him a bit, he got her smile in profile. "Good enough for me. Now... you gonna keep pokin' me in the ass or what's next?"

"Not gonna go back to sleep, huh?" He leaned , tipping her head a little further his way to press a kiss to her mouth.

"I'm not too good at the whole sleep thing." She admitted against his lips, shrugging a little. "Plus you're up. And up. And I'm up, so why go back to sleep?"

"I'm not either." He kissed her again and again between murmured words. "I'm not a big stuff person, but not sleepin' definitely contributes to my gaming addiction." Words and kissing.

"It's a good trade off, right?" She agreed.

"Keeps me out of trouble." The tip of his tongue traced her lips.

"You normally the trouble sort?" She asked teasingly.

"Happens on occasion." He rumbled playfully.

"So that's where Riot comes from." She mumbled, her lips curling into a grin.

"Something like that, yeah." He chuckled.

"Pretty good third date, I'd say..."

"It will certainly mean holding future ones to a higher standard." Duncan smiled against her mouth, drawing her back down across the couch with him until he had become her personal pillow. "Never so looked forward to steppin' up my game."
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Elle Sloane
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 20th, 2017

869 East Juneau Blvd, Unit 36D. Bring an overnight bag if you want, bathing suit optional. I've taken care of everything else.

The text from Duncan came deep into her shirt, more forward than casual but tone was often lost in pixelated words. It was an easy invitation with an air of mystery. The mystery itself had been the fun part for him and had ended up consuming the overwhelming majority of his day but, if there was one thing his time with Elle had short him, the results were worth the effort. Henry's apartment was located at an upscale building in New Haven, the kind inhabited by people with money but not enough to have an extravagant or opulent lifestyle. Security at the door already had Elle's name and a picture (one of the innocent ones), making it easy for her to get into the building, with only a short elevator ride taking her near the top. The door to 36D had a little note taped to it: Lock the door behind you.

Within, it was like something out of a child's fantasy. Almost a week before they had laid in the lovely doctor's bed, limbs entwined with nothing but the recorded sounds of the forest and their low voices for company. The former had been recreated in the large sprawl of Henry's place, filtered through small speakers throughout. The temperature and been turned down to something cool, just the mildest hint of a bite like a night when spring turned to summer or the summer into autumn. The older Wyatt's furniture had been pushed away from the center of the room, out towards the walls where it wasn't likely to see use. In its place was a large domed tent, the front flat open to reveal heavy duty air mattress for two within, covered in sleeping bags and pillows. To one side of the entrance was a big Igloo cooler. To the other, a pair of comfortable camp chairs. A small space heater's fan had been turned to the ceiling with little strips of yellow, orange, and red clothed blowing upwards where it had been tied, surrounded by large rocks and simulating a real fire.

At the far end of the apartment, an open doorway revealed bathroom walls decorated in fake foliage (like the rest of the apartment) and stone colored towels draped over the side of a large Jacuzzi tub, already bubbling and giving off steam.

Duncan was nowhere to be seen yet.

It had been a taxing week. Residency was no picnic, doubly so in a place like Rhydin. Duncan's text had been wholly missed until nearly the end of her shift, when she had finally had a chance to breathe and pee and check her phone (usually an all in one sort of thing). With St. Luke's already in New Haven, grabbing a bathing suit would require tromping back to Dragon's Gate in the cold and so instead she opted to snag her bag from her locker at the end of her shift and take that with her instead. She offered a tired smile to the doorman who let her by after a cursory check and so up she went to find 36D. The note on the door was worthy of her curiosity and so she pulled it free and pushed the door open to the unfamiliar abode. It was nice. The whole building was. More than she could afford by leaps and bounds, so awkwardly she stepped inside and nudged the door shut with a hip, twisting the locks into place.

A quiet giggle issued when she saw the layout inside. What had been an idle comment a week prior had evidently taken root in her burgeoning beau's brilliant brain and this... this was the result. Her favorite touch had to be the space heater with its colored strips of cloth dancing in the breeze like real flickering flames. Easing the strap of her bag off her shoulder, she set it gently on the floor outside of the tent and leaned down to look inside. No Duncan.

"Dunc?" She spoke up, the unfamiliar surroundings proving worthy of a thorough once over, marking windows and doors accordingly. The sound of water bubbling drew her attention next and thusly she headed for the bathroom to see if he was in there instead.

"Kitchen!" Duncan appeared a few moments later, stepping out of the kitchen with a familiar bottle in hand. Her burgeoning beau was clad in little better than a pair of plaid pajama pants and a sleeveless t-shirt, padding barefoot across the cool surface of the apartment floor. The distance was closed to her and, without invitation, he was filling her hands with the bottle of Chocolate Stout and using the distraction to capture her in a greeting kiss.

She visibly relaxed when she heard his voice. Turning around in the doorway of the bathroom, she offered him a smile and tugged at the zipper of her coat. Underneath, she wore a loose fitting t-shirt in a shade of dark green to go with the black yoga pants which had green cuffs at the ankles and around the waistband. Grasping at the cold bottle, she laughed against his lip, kissing him sweet and slow for a few long moments before breaking away. "Hey. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you."

"You're here," he told her, blowing off the apology without a concern. "So I can feel less awkward about doin' all this. Now," There was another kiss, light and lingering, before be continued the quiet murmur against her lips. "Give me your phone. No phones tonight, unless we're takin' pics. We're campin' out."

"I'm here." She confirmed with a little smile as she smooched him back and pulled away so she could get out of her jacket, passing the bottle from one hand to the other in the process. From her pocket she drew her phone, holding onto it with a considerate look at the man before she skeptically handed it over. "I'm not on call, so... okay. No phones tonight."

Duncan took her phone in one hand, coat in the other, and walked them both into the bedroom. Both were laid carefully on the dresser before he rejoined her in their little campsite. "There's more beer in the cooler, and fridge. Chocolate stout, coffee stout, a few farmhouse ales. We've got hotdogs, chips, and stuff for s'mores. I've got a radio, a deck of cards, and there's some very fancy 'hot springs' over yonder. We're gonna chill tonight. No city tonight."

Coat gone, phone gone, she was left with her beer which she popped open while he was out of the room. Chocolate stout, absolutely divine. With a soft little sigh of contentment, she gave a more thorough once over of the set up, an ever present smile curling her lips upwards. "This is..." She shook her head a little, unable to find the words. Finally she sucked in a deep breath and grinned. "This is pretty damn cool. I haven't eaten all day, wouldn't mind a dog."

"There's no real fire, so I cheated." He passed by her again and disappeared back into the kitchen, having anticipated that she might be hungry. Duncan had paid attention when she had told him what her days were life. There wasn't any rush, but he wasn't pokey, pulling a pair of hot dogs and their buns from a special toaster (nuked dogs were gross) and getting them set up. "How do you like your wiener?"

"I was gonna say, we'll be here awhile if you try and cook 'em over the space heater." She teased with a smile, watching him go with a tilt of her head. Kicking her shoes off, she found a place to sit no far from the aforementioned heater and criss-crossed her legs. His phrasing livened up another grin out of her. "Hard and in my... ohhhhhh, oh, my hot dog. Right. Ketchup only."

"No no. That's dessert." He spilled some chips on a paper plate with the pair of hotdogs, applying a liberal amount of ketchup to the latter before bring it out to her. He dropped down to sit adjacent to her, fixing her with a small smile. "Eat up, doc."

"If you're lucky." She stuck her tongue out at him and took the plate off his hands. Her beer was set aside for the time being so she could work through the hot dog and chips with a speedy efficiency that said she was used to having little time to sit and enjoy it. When it was gone, she let out a petite squeak of a hiccup and snagged a few more chips from the bag. "So this your brother's place then?"

"Any time I see that pretty smile, I like my chances." He leaned to one side to nudge her and give her knee a squeeze, before the question drew a fresh look around. "Yeah. I guess when he and Rave started to get a little more serious, he decided to lease a place in the city. You know, they were seeing each other but hadn't progressed to the whole bein' at her house phase. He decided to keep the place after movin' in with her so that they could have another place if they wanted it, I'm guessin' for whatever kinky stuff they don't want close to the kiddo."

Dark brows bobbed with suggestive humor.

"There is a room I'm not allowed to go into, so... Maybe it's some super freaky stuff."

He had her dead to rights on it. Elle was a little more smitten than she wanted to admit and the sexual chemistry between them certainly didn't help (or hurt?) matters. "That's a strangely normal progression, all things considered. I remember when they were still just seeing each other, she had a talk with another one of the single moms at the hospital to try and figure out just what to do. But... him keeping it..."

She trailed off with a chuckle and a look around. "Normally that's saved for dirty mistresses but Henry doesn't seem the type. So you've probably got 'em pegged. I'm pretty good with pickin' locks if you wanna be bad."

"Maybe if we're feelin' adventurous later." Duncan bobbed his brows again and leaned backwards into the open flap of the tent, then lifted his feet to push himself into it. He offered her a hand as he did. "For now, I think you need to just relax. Unwind. Just enjoy the moment with me. Think you can handle that?"

"Maybe." She conceded with a chuckle. Mostly she figured he wouldn't take her seriously and even if he did, she doubted he would want to violate his brother's privacy like that. Setting her empty plate aside, she scooped up her beer to guzzle down the last of it. That joined the plate so she could rock forward onto her knees to crawl over to the tent, taking his hand for the sake of joining him inside. "You know how long it's been since I've done the whole... living room camping thing? I'm so stoked right now."

"Maybe in the spring we can do that real thing. For now, we can just pretend or just laugh at the silliness of it." She got a little closer and he got a little possessive in the moment, slipping an arm beneath one of hers, and hauling her smaller frame against his. His nose nuzzled along her jaw for the movement and soon enough they were deep in the mound of pillows. "There's a little machine out there than makes stars on the ceiling too. We can always turn the lights out and pop that on."

"What date number is that?" She asked with a teasing grin. Surely at the pace they were going it would be a decently high number. Elle went willingly when he pulled her in but she avoided getting too comfortable just because of his offer. Instead she offered him a kiss to the corner of his mouth before glancing back to the tent's opening. "Can we? Before we get too comfy? Then we don't have to worry about anything after that..."

"I think... I made need another kiss to be properly convinced." He tried to look serious, with mixed results.

"Do you?" She managed to look incredulous, rocking her head back to peer at him in the dim light. For a few moments she drank him in before leaning forward to place a drawn out, but mostly sweet kiss to his lips. It ended with a teasing little nip, a promise for more if he wanted it before drawing back. "How about now?"

"I think," he mused quietly. "That you are a very dangerous woman." A hand lifted, stroking the tips of his fingers gently along her jaw. It was enough to get him moving, easing himself out from beneath her and then out of the tent. It only took a minute and a few dozen steps, before the lights went out. But then, there is was above them, hundreds of tiny little starts dashed across the ceiling above them, visible through the screen skylight for the pretty brunette's enjoyment. Duncan joined her after, crowding in on her purposefully before rolling onto his back. "There."

"Only with a scalpel." She said with a snicker-snort that crinkled her nose. Sliding to the side, she propped herself up on her elbows while he set about turning off the lights. The dark in an unfamiliar place was usually enough to put her on edge but the sudden glow of pinprick starlight over the tent was a soothing balm for her nerves. She didn't budge when he came back, grinning into his intrusion before twisting back over against his side, half draped against him with an arm on his chest and her chin on her arm. "I like how sharp you are. You notice things. I appreciate that."

"The details matter sometimes. It's just a matter of knowin' when they do. Stuff? Stuff burns easy. Memories don't. I'd rather make a hundred memories than own a bunch of expensive stuff. So when you talk, I listen." He slipped his arm back around her, slipping his hand beneath her hair to stroke at the back of her slim neck. "I meant it when I said I really like you. Maybe it's your smile. It was first thing I noticed about you at the rehearsal dinner."

"Stuff's hard to carry too." She nodded, her smile soft and earnest as she looked down at him. Part of her wanted to kiss him, to get lost in the electricity that seemed ever present between them. But the talking? That was nice. She really enjoyed the talking stuff, as proven by the plethora of texts and video calls and phone calls she had racked up with him since their first date. "Your eyes, that's what caught me. I don't... I don't usually put myself out there. Work's just got me so busy, you know? But you, I think you're more than worth making an exception for."

"I didn't think I'd wanna put myself out there. Hadn't considered it for a long time. Livin' out at the Blackwater compound was nice for that. Plenty of work that takes me away from people or just vaultin' myself up with some games. Or just surroundin' myself with the familiar. When most change has been bad, you start to hate change. I never thought Henry would find someone he'd open up to. He's always been so closed off, well, to anyone who's not part of our little band of orphans." His nose nuzzled against her temple, the words soft but clear against the backdrop of the forest sounds coming through the speakers. "But he found her. Or she found him. He's better for it, so I thought... I've got to at least come out and support him. Figured I'd spend the night in a corner, doing shots with the Blackwater boys and then faceplanting in my bed. I didn't count on seein' you, getting laid out by your smile."

"I feel ya... f*ck, do I feel you on that." If she had a drink in hand, she would have raised it to him then and there. But she didn't, so she simply listened to him talk amidst the forest sounds and the twinkling stars. It was almost like real camping, only quite a bit more secure. Elle liked it. One hand lifted in offering to him, high five style. "High five for the orphan club, lost mine a few months before I ended up here." So maybe that didn't count because she was almost nineteen at that point, but still. It had been a heavy loss, one she still carried years later. Try as she might to not think about the brother she had meant to bring with her, she leaned down to kiss his forehead, giving him a little smile as she leaned back. "I didn't mean to, for what it's worth. It's the almost dimples, isn't it?"

Grinning slightly, he lift a hand and slapped the palm against hers with an audible pop. The kiss and the small smile were returned, a softer cast of his mouth and a warm touch of his lips to the tender skin at her throat. His arms slipped a little more snug around her, settled just above the flare of her hips, tugging her tighter into his side. “It is. When you add it to those gorgeous eyes and those dangerous curves, it’s pretty *** irresistible.â€

Duncan tucked his face against the side of hers then and let the soft sounds lull them back into a companionable silence. It was a good silence. A building block for something bigger and as those stones were slowly laid in silence, he began to speak softly against her ear. “Our planet got glassed when we were kids. Invasion and then subsequent bombardment that made it uninhabitable… Hendo, the Blackwaters, and I were the only survivors from our town. Our families didn’t make it. With a war on, there weren’t many folks who were interest in taking five orphans in, so we ended up growin’ up on the streets of the city the offloaded us on. Hendo and Noah kept us fed, mostly through Hen’s brilliance and Noah’s guile and instincts. Some days we did okay, some days we didn’t eat. A few times we almost didn’t make it. Then that planet was hit too and somehow we survived that… it was… yeah. Henry and Noah eventually got us in the door with one of the paramilitary outfits when we were old enough..."

So went the rest of the night, a trade of stories and tales, food and empathetic, non-judgemental companionship. At some point, Elle decided, she could get used to this.
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Elle Sloane
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 18
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Jobs: Doctor, Midwife
Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
2651.48 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 24th, 2017

It had started with dinner plans. Raven would cook. Duncan and Elle would bring a good bottle of wine and a few movies they could all watch with Adelaide, before putting her to bed and collectively helping the Wyatts wrap the mountain of gifts the spoiled little girl was going to be getting the next day. What should have been shrimp 'n' chicken fettucini alfredo, a modest white wine (thankfully Henry kept beer on hand) and the Wyatt brothers wrapping the same gift three or four times (Raven insisted every package look perfect) turned into an emergency call that blew up both of the women's phones. The small family dinner suddenly became Two Men and a Toddler, as the women were hurrying out while some daylight still remained, leaving behind a mildly disappointed and fussy toddler and a cutting board full of half cut vegetables.

The closing of the door saw the brothers looking at the unprepared meal, then at each other, before mouthing a silent 'Not it'.

Hours later, the unprepared meal had been cleared away and stored in the refrigerator. Three pizza boxes were stacked up on an empty island, with plenty left to eat; instead of names like Lost Pub or Silvermark, the half empty six-pack cartons were lined up up neatly and bore the name Broot on the brown glass. The living room lights had been shut off, save for the twinkle of the bulbs on the Christmas tree and the rapid flicker of the large television screen, but it seemed like not a creature was stirring save for a soft, child-like snore and the rapid clacking of analog buttons. There in the living room, the Wyatt boys were deeply engrossed in a video game, silent save for the occasion sigh and the only sign of real competition coming in the form of the random elbow thrown lightly at the other's ribs or upper arm. Disciplined to a fault or maybe just considerate, they had the exhausted Adelaide stretched out across their laps, limp as a fish but having passed out quite the happy little girl. Someone had even had the foresight to change her into her pajamas.

On the side table, a small plate of cookies and a glass of milk had been left out for Santa.

The poor Wyatt brothers. By now Henry was no stranger to the intermittent calls Raven would receive from St. Luke's. She wasn't nearly as in demand as the burgeoning trauma surgeon riding with her was, but when an all hands on deck page came through, they both had to pack up and head in ASAP. It had stolen away a handful of precious hours on what was supposed to be the Wyatts first Christmas Eve as a family.

Instead, sometime after nine when the minute hand was on the upswing toward ten, Raven waited for Elle to finish up scrubbing out and cleaning herself up. Thankfully she hadn't sacrificed her silly little Christmas sweater, a needlepoint-esque thing declaring it her Christmas Corgi Sweater, and walked out of the locker room none the worse for the wear. Though Elle was used to walking everywhere, Raven had driven them and as such, the return to 6 Astoria Lane was a quick trip when all was said and done. From the street, the brownstone was mostly dark and carefully the two women let themselves back inside and tip toed through the parlor and den to the informal living room in the back of the house. Raven paused abruptly enough that Elle ran right into the back of her with a soft oof before peering over her friend's shoulder to espy the sight beyond.

That was bliss.

The two women stood there for a few moments to watch before Raven quietly cleared her throat to announce their presence. "How'd things go?"

"Thirty more seconds." The words themselves were the kind a child would beg of a mother when trying to finish a particularly hard level. From Henry, the were a subtle command, one delivered with a casual murmur before the stage was ended and he, ahead in whatever the were doing, lost at the last second and was gifted with a smug look from the younger Duncan before the controllers were set aside. Henry reached out a hand, beckoning his wife to him with a sudden smile. "I got us set up with some pizzas and root beer and 'Duncle' over here," he spared an amused look for Duncan's new nickname, "spent a few hours teaching Addie the finer points of Wii Bowling and Super Mario brothers. She giggled herself out cold." A hand cupped the side of Raven's face and brought her in for a kiss.

From his spot on the couch, the younger Wyatt arched his back so that he could put his head back and look at Elle upside down. "She was a total doll. How was being a super hero?"

Raven waited patiently almost perfectly to the second before stepping further into the room. She drew closer and while Henry spoke, she leaned down to brush Adelaide's hair out of her eyes. The girl was out like a light, not even budging when the adults spoke around her. When she lifted her chin and her gaze it was with the touch of Henry's fingers and the connection of his mouth with hers. Soft, lingering, a suitable hello in front of company. "Just as long as she didn't try to put the controller through the TV."

Elle set her hands to the back of the couch and loomed over Duncan, her mouth twisting wry. "Someone's insides became outsides and I made them insides again. It was pretty rad. So... Duncle huh?"

"Duncle," he confirmed for her with a roll of his eyes that was purely for show. It didn't match the twist of his mouth. His hands sought hers and found them without expending the effort to look, his fingertips playing over the backs of her knuckles. "Sounds like you made a Christmas miracle."

Henry reached for the sleeping Adelaide as the two spoke, gathering her up into his arms and rising with Raven to steal another kiss. "How about we go put Addie to bed and let these two enjoy what's left of their evening? We can handle wrapping and arranging the presents just fine."

"They'll be touch and go, but it's better than nothing." She spoke with as much detachment as she could muster. There was still a decent chance the patient could die from complications of such extensive injuries, but Elle had done what she could for them and in the mean time, she tried not to take it too personally if something went poorly. Looking up as Henry rose, she watched Raven take a step back then rock forward for another kiss before drawing away. The three of them were a gorgeous little family, all dark haired and bright eyed. Lucky, that's what they were.

Raven bobbed a nod of agreement, her smile fond as she cast it upon her husband and daughter. "Take some pizza with you, if you want. We'll see you guys for a bit tomorrow, right?"

"I have gifts for Addie and promised we'd do some more bowling," he confirmed with a nod before passing a veiled look between Raven and Elle. Duncan didn't presume to speak for her and, despite Raven's question, hadn't made his pitch to the inked beauty yet. He rose a moment later and moved around the couch, patting his brother on the shoulder, kissing Adelaide and Raven (on the top of the head and cheek, respectively), before moving to grab one of the two barely touched boxes. "I know a total babe who loves pizza, so this'll come in handy. Have a good night, guys."

His free hand dragged knuckles across one of Elle's hips and he was waiting for her to be ready before leading her out to his truck, which he had switched to with the turn of the weather.

For her part, Eleanor stood by quietly, her work bag still over a shoulder while Duncan gave his goodbyes to his sister-in-law, niece, and brother. Grateful for the fact that Raven was sending pizza home with them, Elle's stomach was sure to growl loudly to make sure the whole room knew it too. She chuffed a diffident laugh, offered a farewell, and twisted into Duncan's touch long enough to turn and head back down the hall to the front door. Beyond it was still frigid, winter's touch having settled heavily over the city. Quick on the steps, she wasted little time in heading for the truck. "Need me to take the pizza?"

"If you're hungry, dig in." He offered the box up before opening her door for her, eventually rounding to the driver's side to climb in and fire it up. The truck sat like that for a while, idling and waiting for the block to heat up and fill the cab with warmer air. One of Duncan's arms was laid over the back of the bench seat, his torso turned slightly her way as he leaned. For a long few moments, he considered her in silence.

He didn't have to twist her arm. Once in the cab, she buckled up then flipped the cardboard lid open to peel out a slice of still slightly warm pizza. Even as he climbed in, she had the slice folded and was working on devouring it. She was very nearly through the entire first slice when she felt his gaze on her. Her chewing slowed and she swallowed the bite she had taken more recently. "...did you mean, like, when we got back to my place instead of right here and now?"

"I meant now," he snickered and reached under her knee to tickle. "I could hear your stomach at twelve paces. Truck needs a couple more minutes to get properly warm anyway and the temp is really dropping out there."

She snickered, her knee jerking aside to get away from the tickling. "Just making sure... I think it had got its hopes up for home cooked food. I'm a terrible cook... just so you know. So, something like what Rave can make? I was all over that."

"Well, I'm no chef either, unless it comes from a box. Alas, you and I are stuck with Hamburger Helper or takeout. But," he glanced her way again. "Raven's gonna put a big spread out in the early afternoon, all home cooked, and then later in the evening we've been invited to go to her friend Claire's place for more food and free booze. I'm sure we could sneak plenty from the latter and you know Rave'll send us home with ten tons of Tupperware full of stuff. So..."

He paused, letting it sink in.

"We want you to spend Christmas with us. I've already got stuff wrapped up for you nice and half-assed. I guess I'm really not keen on letting you spend Christmas alone.." It had become especially important to him after their sharing a few nights before.

"I can do a decent Hamburger Helper." She said with a chuckle, polishing off the crust of her slice without going back in for another one. Duncan had on his serious face so she wanted to make sure she wasn't stuffing her maw during the moment. Mostly she heard food, food, booze, food, which was all fine and dandy even if he was use the collective 'us' and 'we' instead of 'me' and 'I'. Less than subtly, she sucked a remnant of sauce from her thumb, her brows lifting as she looked his way. He wanted her to spend Christmas Day with him. That was the sort of stuff families did and the last thing she wanted to do was impose on something like that. She was quiet for a few moments before offering out a soft question. "You sure?"

"Sure enough that I already asked Raven to make sure you don't get called in to work." Slowly, Duncan reached across the space between them to run a hand over one of hers. "I'm not tryin' to be forward or presumptuous, but I know this: No one, least of all you, deserves to be alone tomorrow. You should be surrounded by good people and deserve to be part of all the good things that come with these get-togethers. Raven and Henry are all for havin' you there and since you're gonna be my date, I'm sure Claire'll be cool with you comin' over to their party too. I also left your gifts over at Hendo and Rave's, sooooo...."

He paused for a moment to let her digest it all.

"It would also mean a lot to me if you were there."

"Wait... you did what?" She turned toward him fully, her hand flipping beneath his to turn palm up. Her fingers slipped between his as she tried to process it all. Some little part of her wanted to argue, to tell him that she would be surrounded by work and the people there. A chosen family of sorts, they had taken her in when she had literally no one left in this realm. Her gaze fell to their hands, the way they fit together, and the rough skin but gentle touch of his fingers against hers. It was different with Duncan, he wasn't demanding or forceful in his request. It was just that, a request. Her expression softened, her tongue passing over her bottom lip for a brief tick. "Had you led with that, you wouldn't have had to try and convince me, you know..." Her hand squeezed his. "If you're sure it's not imposing then... yeah... I'd love to."

"It's not just about me, Elle," he told her but with a smile for her agreement. "Of course, I want you there. You, uh, you mean a lot to me. But more than that, this is something you should get to have. I know they're not your family, Baby Girl, but they're the type of people who will treat you like you are. We, all of us, want you with us. You're special."

"I know..." She said sheepishly. It wasn't just about him, but ultimately he was her concern. Her friend and her friend's family would likely be just fine even if she didn't show up for their Christmas. Still, he did a damned good job of endearing her to his cause just the same. With a small but genuine smile, she leaned across the distance between them and kissed him chastely upon the cheek. "Okay."

A moment later she leaned back with the sudden revelation. "***. I need to get them something. Up for some late night shopping?"

"I dunno," he said, his expression suddenly changing to coy as he tried to sound dubious. "Another kiss might help your cause..."

With a smirk, she set the pizza box on the dash, unbuckled, and slid all the way over beside him. Her hand touched against his far cheek to turn his face toward her fully so she could lean in and kiss him slowly and deeply. It wasn't so much a promise for more as much as it was a statement saying she knew just what he was playing at.

She came over and even as she pulled his mouth to the plush warmth of hers, possessive hand slipped along her waist and around, until she was half-hauled across his lap. The kiss lasted for a good long while, his mouth eager and his tongue probing deeply. When it ended, it did so with his forehead and nose against hers, one hand stroking gently at her hip as he gave her a shameless smile. "Pizza flavored Elle is the best. But look at the brightside, at least I didn't go so far as to ask for roadhead. RhyMart and the Rhydin Bullseye should both still be open. You tell me where you want to do, Baby Girl, and I'll get you there. Just consider me your chariot."

The windows on his side of the truck stayed foggy thanks to the addition of another breathing human on his side. She didn't mind too much, kissing him soft and slow until they broke to breathe and for him to tease. "Pizza makeouts, they're a thing."

Her fingers teased along his jacket and over his jaw for a few moments before she scooted off of his lap and back into a seat. "I'm a Bullseye junkie... let's go."

Roadhead was still up for debate.

"We can heat up the rest of the pizza when we get back to your place if you want," he said with a smile, only taking his hand away from touching her when she finally was back in her seat. "Or grab something else to. I have a thing or two to pick up as well, since I haven't stuffed your stocking yet. You cool with me stayin' over?"

The truck was in motion soon after, the traffic barely there at that time of night. It made navigating the streets easy and within a matter of minutes, they were pulling into the Bullseye parking lot, the hood of his truck bathed in light beneath the flickering glow of the blue and white painted target. "Got any idea what you're gonna buy?" It was a casual question as he slipped out of the truck, moving around the front of it to wait for her.

"I normally just get Chinese food for Christmas and watch movies. Can watch 'em with me while I wrap and you... stuff." She said with a diffidently crooked smile. Buckling back up, she snagged the pizza box to make sure it didn't go sliding once they were moving again. At that hour, the streets were quiet, muffled by a blanket of new fallen snow. Even a city like Rhydin could be peaceful sometimes. "I don't know... probably something tastefully classy for the adults and something loud and obnoxious for Adelaide... with extra batteries."

"If there's a hobby section, Henry likes aircraft models or even mech models if there's nerd stuff here." Not so presumptuous that he'd take her hand in his, Duncan still got close enough that their shoulders rubbed and their hips occasionally bumped as they walked together. He grabbed them a shopping cart once they were inside with the warmer air. "Maybe some bath stuff of Rave? Or one of those spa baskets. Chicks love spa baskets, unless they're super hot gamer chicks. They shopping for them is super fun." The twinkle in his eye said he was speaking from recent experience.

"For Addie? Nerf guns. Lots of Nerf guns."

"If I had a little more notice," she gave him a look, "I would've just got her a spa certificate. There's a place she talks about every once in awhile. But we'll make this work." From there it was a matter of meandering down this aisle and that, looking for things that called to them both for the people they were purchasing for. A small model with paint and brushes for customization purposes, a wicker basket with a soft robe and some girly girly smell good things, that would do. In the toy aisle, she lingered a bit longer. "I... have no idea which one to get..."

"Next time," he promised her. She made it work and he was content to follow along, offering helpful commentary when he could or sneaking nipping kisses to her neck and gropes to her ass when he couldn't. More than one she turned to find his mouth suddenly on hers, until he disappeared for a short time to grab the few things he was missing. She had become so wrapped up in trying to figure out what to get Addie, she didn't notice the loaded red gun in his hand and... POP! Shot right in the ass with a dart. Behind her, Duncan stood with the loaded Nerf gun in one hand, a box of condoms in the other.

Bullseye was nice in that they didn't split things up by gender in the kids toys, so it made it easier to peruse the whole selection of nerf things, pink and blue alike. She stood there for a solid ten minutes, occasionally walking up the aisle and back while looking over this and that. Buying for an almost 4 year old was a big decision, you know. It was a decision interrupted though by the sudden plink off her backside. Just a thump, it neither stuck nor hurt but did prompt a slow turn toward the culprit. "...That's quite the combination you've got there..."

"I already got your stocking stuff and hid it in the truck. I just forgot these..." His dark brows bobbed. "Since I know sometimes I'm hard to swallow." Baaaaad jokes. He sidled up to her and shot her again for good measure. "And because you're really hard to resist and my restraint crumbles much more easily in your presence..."

"Really because I'm not feeling particularly stuffed..." She smirked at him, one hand settling on her hip for a bit of sass to go with her tone. Try as she might to swat at the incoming dart, it plinked off the front of her coat and she made a show of dramatic almost death, complete with slump against the shelf. It knocked over a few boxes which roused a sudden laugh as she straightened to try and fix them. "So... is the nerf gun supposed to help with the restraint then?"

" Would you like to? Right here and now?" She was trying to straighten up boxes and Duncan wasn't helping, his arms slipping around her waist from behind so that he could pull ber back against him. His breath was warm on her neck, preceding the teasing kissed he pressed to her skin. "Yeah, it helps a little. At least shootin' these on your ass and stomach won't get the Watch called..."

"There's a camera at three o'clock," she murmured with a mischievous smile. Being inappropriate in the kids toys sounded like a great way to get kicked out of Bullseye for good and that would have been the end of the world. "But there are dressing rooms in the back and a bathroom up front..."

Within his grasp, she wriggled, finished fixing the boxes, and squirmed around to face him, her chin lifting for her gaze to meet his. "Never heard complaints about shootin' anything on my ass or stomach yet... but hey, if that's what you're into, I'm game."

"I'll shoot wherever you'll let me," he murmured close to her mouth, though the kiss was a chaste one. His arms slipped back around her waist, his gaze staring down into hers with equal parts desire and genuine affection for the tattooed beauty. "How about we just throw a dozen or so of these guns and a bunch of darts in the cart. Everyone can have fun tomorrow..."

"Don't tease." She smirked, feathering a brief connection of her lips to his as his arms settled around her. Surrounded by toys and nerf guns and other kiddy sundries, she stood there for a few moments and admired the view. While both Wyatt brothers were attractive in their own right, there was something about the boyish swing of Duncan's smile that had her enthralled. "I suppose that works... but I call dibs on the shotty. Deal?"

"It's not teasin' if I have every intention of followin' through." One arm remained around her as he began grabbing dart guns from the shelves, a half a dozen long guns and an equal number of short ones, plus a few more for good measure before he was adding a ludicrous amount of darts. Elle was hauled back towards their cart, trapped inside his arms and against his body as he began pushing it onwards. His mouth found her neck and ear a few times as they wound their way back towards the front.

"Not following through here though." Elle teased. Once they had plenty of nerf guns and a bunch of extra ammo, she did the awkward shuffle step required of the loop of his arms around her. It put her between him and the cart's handle and more than once she intentionally faltered her steps enough for him to run into the back of her. It had her laughing cheerfully by the time they made it to the check out. So much so that the lone cashier gave her the oddest look. Nonplussed by it, their bounty was loaded onto the conveyor so that Elle could finish paying. Then, laden by several bags and a roll or two of wrapping paper, they were on their way back to the truck.

The backseat of the truck was loaded in short order and when Elle moved around to the passenger side to climb in, Duncan had followed. He caught her there against the open door, pinning her against the seat and getting himself a handful of her dark hair, using the grip to pull her mouth towards his. The kiss was harder than the previous ones, invasive and demanding in all the best ways.

With her hands free of their burdens, she was more than intent on getting into the truck to warm back up. The crunch of Duncan's shoes on the snow behind her didn't give her pause but when she pulled open the passenger side door and he caught her, she let out a laugh that cut through the silent (but not so holy) night. Gloved fingers cupped the sides of his neck as she kissed him, one leg shifting enough to tease a rub of her inner thigh against his hip. In warmer weather, it would have been game on. But it was colder than Satan's taint out there so instead, she giggled against his lips, reluctantly broke the kiss and bumped her nose alongside his. "I'd like more of that when we get back to my place... please."

"You can have more of that whenever you want, Baby Girl." He kissed her one final time and then lifted her up into the truck, closing the door behind her. He climbed into the driver's seat a few beats later and got the engine running again, turning to curl a finger at her and beckon her again, tapping the corner of his mouth. "I need your mouth one more time for the road."

"Holdin' you to it." She did her best to give him a stern look but it cracked easily with her mirth. An easy lift into the truck, she tugged her legs in for him to close the door.

"And maybe another." One of his hands rose to cup her cheek, drawing her in for another slow, probing kiss. "God, you taste good."

"Mmf?" She hummed a sound against his lips as he drew her in once more. "A bit like pizza and making out on Christmas Eve in the Bullseye parking lot?"

One of his hands dropped to rest over hers, urging her on. "You taste like smiles and laughter, like all the good things I've been missin'."

"Like sunshine dust?" She suggested with a giggle. Her mouth tipped back toward his for another kiss.

"Like peace." The words escaped scant moments before their mouths met again. When the kiss was broken, he kept one arm around her. Possessive. Slowly, reluctantly, he put the truck into gear and got them moving.

It was all he could do to put the truck in park when they arrived outside of her apartment, his hands a flurry of movement as he sought to momentarily get them inside her jacket on bare skin. Duncan kissed her again and again, eager for the taste of her each time, until all of the windows were fogged up and the pair of them were panting there in the darkness. He gave her one final squeeze.

"Get inside and get warmed up, Baby Girl. Get our late dinner warmed up too? I'll bring the bags in."

With that amount of teasing, she was truly surprised he didn't crumble completely. Mad props to Dunc. By the time he drew back, she was breathless and needing more, cold weather and tight confines aside. A low little groan slipped her lips as she tugged her clothing back into place. Leaning, she nipped at his neck then reluctantly slid out to head up to the apartment building with the pizza box to see about warming it up. Thank the gods for microwaves and central heating.

Maybe it was worth a reward? It took two trips from the truck and back to get their things to the door, then eventually in. The bags were piled up in one place before Duncan was slipping out of his coat and moving to hang it up, eyes immediately searching out the Lady of the House. "Where'd you run off to?"

While the toaster oven heated up a few slices of pizza for them, she had disappeared into her bedroom while he brought the rest of the presents in. There she had stripped out of her clothes and slid into a slinky oversized Christmas sweater. It had a habit of falling off of her right shoulder, exposing skin and ink both. No pants, just the sweater. While she was in there, she dug beneath her bed for another roll of wrapping paper and some tape. When he called for her, she sat back on her heels and called back without getting up, "Bedroom!"

He met her there, in a room that was quickly becoming familiar to him, easing through the doorway after having kicked his shoes off and properly placed them. He padded to her on bare feet and eventually came to a stop beside her, staring down at her and combing his fingers through her hair. "Last year's leftovers?"

Wriggling a bit on her knees to face him instead of the bed, she raised the tube of shiny wrapping paper and dropped it atop the bed after a soft bonk of the tube against his leg. With her hands on her bare thighs, she tipped a look up to him, her head tilting in the teasing touch of her hair. "Yeah, we did secret Santa at St. Luke's and I brought a few things in for my favorite scrub nurses."

The tilt of her head allowed him to stroke fingertips along her jaw and beneath her chin. "I got you gifts. The wrap job looks like ***."

Idly her fingers walked along his legs, starting at his calves and moving upwards. She didn't rise just yet. Still needed tape after all. Or something. "You could wrap 'em in tin foil. Forms to the gift and you don't have to worry about tape or anything."

"Yeah, but the deed is done. Redoing it's too much effort. But it might be fun just to see the OCD frowny faces from Raven, though." Another small grin crept across Duncan's mouth, his thumb passing over the lush fullness of her lips.

"You're terrible. She's a nice lady, especially marrying one of you Wyatt heathens." She chuckled with a nip at his finger.

"We've got a certain charm, though." He said, his free hand caressing the side of her face as her mouth played with his digit. It prompted him to sit down on the side of her bed and lean in, his mouth sealing to a spot of her bare shoulder to suckle upon.

"I'll give you that." She admitted when she freed his thumb from her teasing. As he moved, so did she, shifting on the carpet to face him as he sat. She was just about to tug the shoulder of her sweater up when he leaned in to catch the bare skin there..

He didn't make it difficult for her. Not entirely. Instead his hand rose to cup her face, lifting it do that his mouth could claim hers again. Elle had said she wanted more of this when they got back to her place, so he gave it to her, a deep kiss that saw their tongues tangling, a hungry battle that quickly lost any subtlety and became the centerpiece of a shared moment.

Presents wouldn't be wrapped until much later.
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Elle Sloane
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 25th, 2017

So went a pattern of sex, making out, sex, present wrapping, sex, food, sex, movies, sex. Admittedly they didn't net a whole lot of sleep come morning but thankfully they were both rather adept at running on little rest. Bright and early he roused her (vigorously) and after a shower and cold pizza for breakfast, Elle was gathering gifts and readying herself for the trek back to New Haven.

They were in the car and secure when he engaged her again, his mouth seeking hers out for a long, drawn-out series of long kisses and tender touches, that turned into a long session of making out. They were, in the end, almost thirty minutes past when they were expected when he led her up to the door to the townhouse, both of them laden with bags full of boxes.

Bags and boxes and plenty of blushing, Elle came armed with it all. Oh, and a bottle of bubbly for the Mr and Mrs as a thank you for hosting and for inviting her. Met at the door by the little lady of the house (Addie, not Raven), Elle couldn't help but giggle when Raven tried to give her a less than stern reprimand for opening the door to strangers. The little girl went running off in a flurry of laughter and assured sugar high hyperactivity.

"Strange but certainly not strangers. Can't speak for this guy." She nodded back to Duncan and let Raven help relieve her of her burden. "Thank you guys for having me. It's... appreciated."

"I am the epitome of normal." Duncan scoffed. The tease on Elle's part earned her a discreet pinch on her shapely ass before he was following both beautiful women in. He then took control of as many of the bags as he could, teasing a secret kiss to Elle's neck and then a warmer one to Raven's cheek before moving towards his brother and the tree. Presents deposited, he engaged in a warm hug with his brother before stepping back to marvel at it all.

"You're a Wyatt, that's impossible." Raven gave her brother in law an affectionate smile as she shut the door behind him.

Beneath the twinkling Christmas tree there was a veritable mountain of presents, a large bulk of which were for the rambunctious little almost-four-year-old that was running laps around the main level of the brownstone, skidding on wood floors and nearly tripping on the carpetting as she called out, "DUNCLE AND ELLIE BELLY!"

Raven snickered in the midst of arranging the latest additions of presents. "Alright, kidlet, you wanna play Santa for us?"

The squeal said yes. And thus began the first real Wyatt Family Christmas.

"Ellie Belly." Duncan choked on a laugh and wandered into the kitchen. He then took it upon himself to make four tall mugs of coffee and was passing them out before he finally settled on the end of one couch, watching them all and sipping. It was a rare time that the man was comfortable enough that he didn't look for immediate exits. Instead he watched his family and, more so than them, he watched Elle. Especially when it came time to start opening gifts.

"Hush Duncle." Elle said with an elbow to his ribs. She claimed a spot next to him and soon found herself buried beneath a pile of gifts. Wide eyes turned to Duncan then over to Raven who gave her the most innocent look she could. Red cheeked, she tore into a few of the presents while everyone else worked on their own. Touched by the thoughtfulness that Duncan had put into her gifts, for a few moments she sat clutching the deep blue fabric of the UNSC hoodie, her chin lowered as she gently grazed her thumbs against it. Give her a moment, the quivering bottom lip was gonna give her away if she looked up.

Gifts for him had been far fewer, but was neither a surprise or a disappointment for Duncan. Instead, he enjoying watching Elle with her own gifts, going so far as to slip an arm around her waist when she looked down and tugging her a little closer. It allowed him lean in and press a subtle kiss to her ear. When he spoke, it was quietly. Privately. "A special woman deserves special attention on days like these."

"I don't know what to say, Dunc..." She mumbled quietly, her voice thick with emotion. As the daughter of a middle class American family, Christmas had always been special for her growing up. After everything went to ***, that went right out the window and a "Christmas present" meant extra rations or getting to sleep longer than usual while someone else took your guard shift. When she came to Rhydin, it was better for a bit but when everything went to *** here too, so too had Christmas. This? This was something else. She leaned over and kissed him, soft and sweet and unabashed about the display of affection in front of the others, even if little Addie made a blech sound when she spied her uncle kissing 'Ellie Belly'. For Duncan from Eleanor there were three gifts; something fun, something practical, and something sentimental. For fun, a Master Chief lego model. For practical, a leather travel dopp kit, complete with travel sized shaving tools and toiletries. For sentimental, a high tech photo album that compressed to wallet size but decompressed into a full sized album. The first handful of pages had copies of their photo booth pictures with a handwritten note that said I can't wait to make more memories with you. So gay.

"Open your last gift and then figure it out." By then, she was half draped across his lap and he was enjoying the proximity despite the knowing looks from his brother and sister-in-law. Addie, despite her brief disgust, did the honors of bringing the final gift to Elle, a small red envelope with her name on it. Within was a small card printed with a date and a time, a few brief details that implied agreement on her part would take her away from the city for three or four days on New Year's weekend.

Ever the curious kitten, she took the envelope with fond smile for the little girl and slipped her thumb beneath the flap to open it. The card was next to be read, scanned once, twice, thrice before she blinked a few times up at Duncan. Getting away even for a short time would have been more than lovely and again she kissed him before giving him a little nod. "Thank you..."

She was going to say more, but the plastic chk-chk and subsequent thwunk-thwunk of two nerf darts being fired at the couple by a cheesing little girl put the kibosh on that. Addie giggled wildly and took off, making little pew-pew sounds as she fired at her mom and dad soon after.

"You can thank me properly later, Baby Girl." He whisper softly into her ear, privately. "I might have bought you a plaid skirt too." A small kiss touched her earlobe before he was untangling from her. "For now, we make war with foam."
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Elle Sloane
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 30th, 2017

"I'm going to need you to trust me," Duncan had told Elle when she was presented with the blindfold. His truck had already been loaded with his bag and hers, a cooler, and a modest sized shipping crate without any markings, their weekend adventure having started right their outside of her apartment. "The surprise will be worth it, I promise."

Some kisses were plied to soften her up to the notion of giving up that small measure of control, first to her mouth and then to her neck, as much skin as he could reach inside the heavier winter coat she wore to ward off the unseasonable chill. Another promise was whispered in her ear, something akin to the fulfillment of one of her fantasies, but what that meant had been left up to her imagination. It wasn't long after that, in the early morning hours that he packed her into the passenger seat of the truck where it was warm and started them out of the city.

"First leg of the trip's gonna take about two hours, maybe a little more with the snow, but we can stop and grab coffee and breakfast if you want." He kissed her again, like the last ones were never enough. "Otherwise you can catch up on some sleep if you want or we can play roadtrip games."

It was with reluctance that she had agreed to such an outing, if only because it was the longest she had been away from work since starting at St. Luke's. But after a talk with Raven and the head of trauma at the clinic, she had relented, agreeing that she would go but if they needed her for anything to call. They would, they said, but Elle had a feeling that meant the exact opposite. Still she packed a bag per Duncan's direction and met him bright and early Friday morning. Just what fantasies was he going to fulfill? Intrigued enough to put on the blindfold, they were soon rumbling on their way down the street. "I'm not gonna say no to breakfast...or coffee for that matter... but it's gonna be hard to play roadtrip games if I can't see."

"Depends on the game." The grin could be heard in his tone, one hand reaching to squeeze her thigh playfully. He stopped them just outside of the city, long enough for a drive-through trip that got them something light to eat and two steaming cups of something hot, sitting in the parking lot for the time it took to wolf the food down and for him to ply her with a few more kisses. Inside the warm truck, he felt less guilty for seeking out more skin.

"You could always flash some truckers."

And then they were off again.

"Unless the game is What's In My Mouth, probably not." She said with a chuckle, tilting her head back to see if she could peek out from the bottom edge of the blindfold. No dice there save for a little crack of light. When they stopped, she was about to remark on that being a fast two hours, but soon the crackle of the drive thru speaker stole the thought and replaced it with a need for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. The tickle of his mouth on her skin had her clutching her coffee cup in a bid not to spill it before he relented with a tease and a kick of the transmission back into gear. "I'd be afraid that I'd break your windows with how hard my nipples would be. Pow, crash! Then the trucker goes veering off the road and next thing you know it's a Michael Bay movie with all of the explosions."

"Might be worth seeing if you can etch my name into glass." With one hand low on the wheel to keep things steady, he reached for her and stroked idly at the nape of her neck as they motored down the highway towards Star's End. "Otherwise What's In My Mouth might be fun, though that game is so much more enjoyable when I can see your pretty eyes." After a few moments of smiling, he stroked the side of her neck. "You holdin' up okay? If you wanna try to catch some shut-eye..."

"Only if I get to take the blindfold off." It was a compromise right? Tits out for eyes open so she could at least see the inevitable destruction that would come from such a thing. Leaning over toward him, she set her head to his shoulder, blindfold and all. "Sleeping in a car's always easier than sleeping in a bed. Don't know why. But if you wanna talk, we can. Not like I can see anything."

"Sleeping in a bed's gotten easier." It wasn't so much a declaration or assumption about their time together, so much as it was a confession of his own, breathed into a kiss to her temple. "I guess, after a fashion, it's been easier on me, living at the Blackwater compound. It's far away from either city, with few unexpected loud noises. Not as much to remind me of the constant sound of firefights or explosions. I know the lay of the land and who controls it."

"Has it?" She asked with a sidelong smile. Out of instinct she turned her eyes to him but couldn't meet his gaze this time around. "That's one thing I'll give to my time in Nosgoth. It was always quiet. Almost unnaturally so. Boring too, same stuff constantly. They didn't even have a proper trauma department at the hospital I did my internship at because that's how rare they saw action."

"I'll try to keep you entertained." His arm slipped from her neck to curl around her waist when she leaned, a possessive little wrap that left his hand on her opposite thigh. "I can only imagine bored Elle is trouble, though I can't put my finger on if it'd be the good kind or the bad."

"I'm all for a quiet night in, don't get me wrong." She shifted to accommodate the arm around her, taking advantage of the moment to scoot in closer to his side. "Didn't you know my middle name is trouble? Eleanor Trouble Sloane. Whether it's good or bad, you'll have to find out, won't you?"

"I plan on finding out. We're gonna be secluded away from the world for a few days. Plenty of opportunity to get bored." Duncan kissed her temple again and settled in for the long haul towards their destination. What silence wasn't filled with idle, but significant conversation (because getting to know someone better was a big deal) was filled with music from the radio, an ecclectic taste of various genres. He kissed her a few more times, teasing thing plied to her mouth and skin in passing, until the relaxation the situation produced had put the tired doctor to sleep and he enjoyed the remainer of their ride with the enjoyment of the moment.

When Elle was finally woken it was to a stopped truck and the increasingly familiar warmth of his hand inside her jeans, a slow stroke of fingers over her mound through her panties. "It's time to wake up, sleepyhead." His mouth was next to her ear, his breath warm against the shell. "It's about time to get out."

"Then you better be ready for a whole lot of trouble." She said with a bob of her brows evident even with the blindfold on. Despite the threat of trouble, his shoulder proved too comfortable of a pillow and as she slipped into a shallow but fulfilling rest, Duncan was offered a stay of proverbial execution. For now. She would get him later, that much was a promise. The final stop was enough to jolt her slightly from her sleep and she lurched slightly only to realize it was Duncan with his hand down her pants and his words beside her ear. Only Duncan, everything was okay. Once she swallowed her heart, she managed a sleepy reply. "Out or off?"

"The surprise I have in store might make you cream your panties." His voice was a playful tease against her sensitive ear, but the words were sincere and the fingers in her jeans were still stroking, sneaking along the fringes of her panties to get at what was beneath. "So the option to get the creaming out of the way now is right here with my hand, if you can keep a straight face since there are people about fifty feet away. Otherwise it may be hours before we can be this playful again. "What'll it be, Elle. Get out or get off?"

"Oh now you're just teasing." But it did a good job of waking her up more. More than anything, she wanted to know just what they would be doing for the next couple of days aside from ringing in the new year. His fingers between her legs were a terrible temptation though, coaxing her into lingering in the truck for just a little bit longer. Her back arched as she stretched, doing plenty to grind herself against his touch for a few heartbeats. "Mmm, anticipation makes the heart grow fonder... or maybe the panties wetter? I wanna see what you've got in store."

"A kiss before the first big reveal then." Duncan pulled his hand from her panties with a deliberate drag of his fingertips over he sensitive flesh before rebuttoning her jeans. Those same fingers tipped her face towards his so that he could deliver a slow, deep kiss to her lush mouth. A low, masculine sound rumbled in his throat before he reluctantly pulled away and freed up the receiver on his truck ham radio. "Great Lake, this is Raging River. Commencing Operation: Gamer Girl Panty Dropper. Standby."

He killed the engine on the truck then and climbed out, leaving the keys of the seat. Rounding to the passenger's side, he nodded to the pair unloading the contents of the truck's bed as he opened Elle's door and helped her out with an arm around her waist. There were a few whistles at the sight of her, though toned more for appreciate than true catcalls. It produced what was a surprising embarassed laugh from Riot before he was leading her on, towards the growing sound of what seemed to be turbine engines. One last whisper tickled her ear as he kissed it. "Take a deep breath, Baby Girl..."

Then he took the blindfold off.

The drop ship certainly wasn't green, instead having been repainted an equally drab gray-blue the color of a cold, rainy sky. There was no UNSC iconography stenciled to any spot on the hull, only a faded blonde pin-up bombshell that would have looked more appropriate on a WWII bomber. But there was no mistaking the bird before them...

The Pelican was ready to fly.

"Mmmmmmf." She growled against his lips and grasped at his shirt as he drew away. Pulling him back for one more (shorter) kiss on the lips. Hazels tipped over to the radio with the crackle of the transmission and perked a dark brow back at the pilot. As he pulled her out of the truck, she became quickly aware of the nearby help and felt her cheeks warm with the thought of just how much they would have heard if she and Duncan had kept going. Eleanor wasn't exactly quiet, you know? The whistling only made it worse and for a moment she turned her face toward his shoulder to graze her teeth against the crest of it.

The rumble was fairly ominous but they seemed to be going in that direction so she looped an arm around him to match and to make sure she didn't go and make a fool out of herself by tripping on the terrain. With his prompting, she sucked in a deep breath and...

Let there be light!

She blinked a few times so her eyes would adjust as quickly as possible and instantly her breath was stolen by the majestic craft before her. One hand lifted to splay over her mouth, her eyes wide with disbelief as she looked from the Pelican to Duncan and back a few times. "Are you *** serious?!"

Duncan? He was grinning.

"We've gotta get to our destination somehow. Remember, Baby Girl, one man's fiction is another man's reality. In this case, you seem to have lucked out. You get to live out a little bit of fantasy this weekend and I get a few brownie points. Plus, flyin' this bird, you'll get to see something else I don't think you'd ever seen before. It's a win-win." He kissed her temple again. "So, happy other Christmas, Part 1."

Her hands clasped in front of her chest as she rocked up onto her toes, practically vibrating with excitement. She still didn't believe it even with his explanation and after a few moments of breathless disbelief, she turned to face him. Still on her toes, she unclasped her hands and grasped at his jacket to pull him down to meet her lips. Long, hard, a promise for more later. When she leaned back, it wasn't far and she didn't let him go. "You are so freaking amazing..."

"Told you..." He murmured the words against her mouth, heated as the moment was. "I really like you and since the company I work for owns this baby..." There was another kiss and Duncan, Mr. Riot, was turning just a small bit red when the catcalls started again from afar. Elle would have recognized two of the few as some of the Blackwater brothers from Raven's wedding.

"Still... this is just... unbelievable." She mumbled, lingering there long enough to flip the bird to the catcallers before rocking up to kiss him one last time. Her hands smoothed over the front of his coat and she offered him a genuinely warm smile, brimming with affection. "This is really cool, Dunc. Thank you..."

"Trip's not over." He kissed her bottom lip. "Got another surprise or two in store." One hand slid over the curve of her ass to give it a pat. "Bird's warmed up and ready for take-off. Stuff's been stowed. Let's get you inside where it's warm and we can take off. Sound like a plan?"

He was already leading her towards the ramp.

"Even if we only came to look at this, it would be more than enough." She smiled when his lips touched hers and then ever so reluctantly drew back. How she hated doing that, she'd much rather camp in his personal space. But they were going to actually get into the Pelican, a fact she couldn't believe, and carefully, she tried to make her way to the ramp without bouncing and looking excessively excited. People were watching you know. "You can fly this thing?"

"I'll be your pilot for this trip." He smiled sidelong at her as they walked up the ramp. It looked precisely as it should have, though the seats in the belly were folded up and secured to make more room. Their belongins had already been secured and he was leading her straight for the cockpit. "I'm no ace like my brother or Noah, but I'm not exactly a beginner either. We all had to fly during the way. Wanna be my co-pilot?"

Some people might have been concerned by such a thing. Elle? She looked even more elated. For all that he had talked about his job, she hadn't yet been able to see him in his element. This was a chance at seeing a Duncan Wyatt in his natural habitat. Stepping into the cockpit area, she took a few moments to gawk like the unabashed fangirl she was, her mouth ajar and her eyes wide. This *** was the real deal. "Umm... I've never flown anything more than those joystick flight sims on PC. I can sit and nerd out and try not to push buttons though!"

"The flight there won't take long, but," he continued to talk as he slid into the pilot seat, tugging the flight helmet onto his head and adjusting the mic. "If you get bored while we're away, we can take her up and I figured we'd take the long way home. You should get plenty of time in her." He started flipping switched and toggling keys then.

"Great Lake, this is Raging River. All systems are optimal and we are making final prep for dust-off. Request permission for soft waterspout. Copy?"

Co-pilot she may not have been, but she still took a seat beside him with a giddy little giggle. Though she doubted she would get bored with him, the thought of being able to come back to the Pelican if they wanted was more than a tiny bit exciting. "So..." She said quietly, trying not to interrupt the important stuff. "Who's Great Lake?"

"Whoever's operating the Control Tower at the time. Currently it's Noah, since the other boys are gonna be prepping his personal bird for a different trip. He nodded when he received the answer he was waiting for, one had falling to the stick and the other to the throttle. He leaned towards the gorgeous brunette. "Make sure your harness is secure."

Then he was speaking into the mic again. "Roger, Great Lake. Raging River is going waterspout. See you in a few days."

With that, he pushed on the throttle and pulled back gentle on the stick. The Pelican's nose lifted slightly and then the whole dropship began to slowly rise.

"So are you Raging River or is the ship?" She asked, seeking clarification for her own benefit. Elle had warned him, totally nerding out. Already working on the harness, she made sure it was nice and snug, giving it a tug at her chest to double check. It wasn't as though she had ever flown like this before, so she was a little apprehensive to say the least. As the ship began to rise, she let out an involuntary little squee and grasped hard at the harness straps. "OH MY GOD THIS IS SO COOL!"

"The ship," he chuckled. "I'm not that cool. Not as much as the bird." Buffeted by the winter winds as they rose, Duncan still kept the Pelican steady, banking up and away from the small airfield at a sedate pace before they were clear. From their he turned the nose further upward and pointed them towards the sky above. A few more switches were flipped, including one that filled the cockpit with soft music.

The tune? The Halo soundtrack.

"I don't know... I think you're cool enough for your own call sign." She said with a diffident shrug, more than a little out of her element with it all. Her teeth dug into her bottom lip as they rose higher and higher, the ground falling away steadily and without much jostling. For all that he had downplayed his abilities, there was no denying he was adept at his craft. An ear tipped to the tunes and a smile broke out once more. "You totally nailed it... where do we go from here?"

"I was hoping to nail it. Repeatedly." There was a touch of the side-eye for Elle and the twitch of a smile. They continued on, more up than forward. Beneath them, the surface began to fall further and further away, taking them away from the terra firma they had left. "Might wanna break out your camera, Baby Girl. Breakin' atmo in three minutes. We'll be in low orbit over planet Rhy'din in five."

"Definitely playin' your cards right for it..." She told him with a smirk. His warning had her scrambling to free her phone from her pocket, hastily unlocking it so she could pop open the camera app. A quick glance went his way then back out the window. "Seriously? Like, really seriously? If you told me years ago that some day I'd actually get to go up in a Pelican, I'd have called you a liar..." Camera ready.

For the time it took to get the Pelican into position, Duncan was quiet and just enjoyed the music. The atmosphere. This high up, there was so little to worry about, he even watched Elle's pretty face in profile as it lit up at the sight of the planet below. It was there that they hovered for a time, floating aimlessly in space. He didn't ruin the moment by speaking. Instead, he let her soak it up.

The quiet little gasp came with the snapping of pictures and video. At one point, she clicked on the video and panned the phone from right to left, taking in the sweep of the scene before them before turning enough to catch Duncan on it. Behind the camera, Elle grinned. "This is absolutely beautiful and this is the handsome babe that made it all happen. Say hi."

To that, he threw up some devil-horns and tried to look cool. Whether it worked wasn't easy to determine but before she panned away, Elle was rewarded with a smile. For posterity's sake. "Beautiful view for a beautiful woman. Seems a fair trade-off."

"He's smooth as hell too... see?" The camera was sure to pick up her laughter at his gestures and with a giggle-shaking hand, she slid the viewfinder once more along the gorgeous view before hitting the stop button. With plenty of footage to remember it with, she took a few moments to lean forward in her seat and just soak it all in with her own eyes. "Nobody's ever done anything like this for me before..."

"It's a shame that I'm the first," he replied, a little more quietly this time. "But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad it was me. I'm glad I could do this for you, Elle. But this isn't it, you know. There's more stuff for you to enjoy this weekend. That's the gift, really. Doing stuff, not receiving stuff. Making the memories. They're much harder to take from you than stuff." As he spoke, Duncan reached across the space between them with a hand, offering it to her.

"I've, this sounds really lame, but only seriously dated a couple people. Not a whole lot of time for that sort of thing, you know?" She admitted sheepishly. The z-poc wasn't exactly ripe with suitors. Plenty of scumbags though and none with cool fantasy realm spaceships. Without hesitation, she slipped her hand into his, weaving their fingers until hers curled against his hand for a squeeze. "My grandpa always said something similar. Experiences last longer than things. That was his explanation for vacations and such instead of physical gifts."

"Wise man." He tipped a smile her way and then let the music and the moment hang between them. The minutes ticked by before he finally, reluctantly, let go of her hand and started flipping switches. "Okay. Getting ready for re-entry. I'm remotely firing up our other ride planetside so it's warmed up when we land. Hang on, inertia's gonna make the ride down bumpy. Kinda worrisome for a first time."

There was a grin. "At least I get to break one of your cherries."

He dipped the nose of the Pelican slowly forward.

"He was." She agreed with a fond smile. For now she was content to enjoy a view unlike any other she had ever witnessed. Beneath them, the clouds, before them an endless expanse that didn't look so black from here. Purples and blues dusted with the twinkle of gold made for a jewel tone sea upon which shimmering ships drifted and puttered along as if it were nothing but water. The pictures wouldn't do it justice later. Releasing his hand, she took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, wriggling upright in her seat and checking her harness again. "Okay... just... I don't wanna die, so... uh, be careful. Or something."

"No dying," he confirmed. "I want to see you naked later, after all." As carefully as possibly, he steadied the Pelican's descent and plunged out of orbit in a controlled dive. Around them, the ship's exterior superheated, glowing red as if it meant to melt away in the atmosphere. Unconcerned, Duncan continued them downward, eventually pulling the nose of the craft up slowly to compensate and level out at least some of their descent. "See, no dying..."

"That's something to aspire to." She said dryly, licking her lips to try and rid herself of the minute amount of anxiety that came from the realization that they did have to re-enter the atmosphere and that was not an absolute process. Fidgeting with her straps, she found herself holding her breath as the dropship angled downwards and back into Rhydinian airspace. The bright colors were more than enough to cause concern and some part of her half expected some sort of alert or alarm to go off. None came and before she knew it, they were evening out. She exhaled a laugh and shot him a grin. "You didn't kill us. I'm impressed."

"You should be. I've never done that before." He even managed a straight face for a few long moments before laughing. "Kidding."

Slowly but surely, they gave up altitude and the land below started to take shape. Steady on, he banked to the north until hilly forest gave way to a thick rise of foliage along a small mountain range. The land was blanketed in snow but uncovered bits of green showed off coniferous plantlife below. Lower and lower, they dusted the treeline for a few dozen miles before the woods gave way to a clearing. Within was a small structure that looked like a sheet metal garage next to a landing pad. Easing up on the throttle, Duncan fished the tail end of the Pelican around and dropped the landing gear, finally settling them back onto solid land.

"And there you go, Baby Girl. Just like that, the next part of our adventure begins."
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Elle Sloane
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
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Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(cont)

"Wait what..." She stared at him. He broke and so did she, relief washing over her. She even leaned over to slug him lightly in the shoulder. "You scared me for a second!"

Blushing for her momentary gullability, she quieted and watched the clouds clear in favor of the land beneath them. It was a slight comfort, knowing they weren't so high up anymore. And once she could actually make out the ground, she relaxed further, slouching in her seat to enjoy the snowy landscape. Some people hated winter but Elle? She found a certain serenity in the way snow had a way of quieting things. As they landed, a new smile broke out. Maybe because they survived. She unbuckled and leaned over to kiss him, much as she had wanted to all the while they were flying. For a few long moments it was just her mouth and his, whatever laid outside could wait a minute. She smiled against his lips. "I like your kind of adventures. What've we got in store?"

There wasn't much to be said before he found Elle's mouth on his, prompting both of his arms to curl around her bodie. He melted into kiss, fingers scratching along her back through her coat and his tongue teasing at hers, before she finally pulled back to speak. She smiled and then so did he. "Just a short drive through some rough country and we're there. Our ride should already be warmed up under the canopy over there. We just gotta get it loaded."

"Almost like being back home during the Boji Winter Olympics." She mused. He was speaking her language. The Boji Winter Olympics really were just a glorified excuse to drink while also freezing your ass off in the northern Iowa wilderness. Rough country? Totally game. Already unbuckled, she extracted herself from his grasp and got to her feet with a sway and a stretch that popped her back in several places. "I bet we can manage that."

"We can." Taking off the flight helmet, Duncan placed it on the seat after finally unbuckling himself and followed her into the hold, where he slipped his arms around her waist and dragged her back into him. It was there his mouth found a soft spot where her neck and jaw met and suckled upon it for a few long moments. "The big crate has some mag-levs on the bottom to make it easy to move and should fit into the back of our transpo no problem."

With that, he pattered her on the ass and dropped the ramp, which lowered slowly. It was like a special unveiling, giving them a glimpse of the warthog that lingered under the canopy of the garage only about fifty feet away.

"Not a damn idea what a mag-lev is but I'm willing to learn." She said with a giggle and a squirm thanks to the attention his mouth paid to her neck. That, she liked that. But they would never get where they were going if she let him do that all day. Maybe once they got there. As the ramp lowered, she was expecting something normal to take them on their last leg but considering the Pelican and all, she shouldn't have been surprised. "SHUT UP." She gasped. "Shut upppppp, seriously?!"

"Go ahead." Duncan nudged her. "Go fan girl. I'll get the stuff brought over." He grinned after her.

She turned to kiss him again, mumbling something unintelligble against his lips before turning back and dashing down the ramp. Off like a shot, even sneakers in snow were enough to carry her over the terrain. Hopefully nobody was looking because the happy squeak she let out was more than embarrassing.

He lingered for a moment to watch her with the vehicle, smothering a smile into the collar of his jacket before putting their bags and cooler atop the crate. A flip of the switch activated the small mag-lev fields and made it easy to drag along. The warthog was... well, everthing it should have been. Mostly. Drab green like it should have been, the big all terrain vehicle was weaponless and had closeable hatches to protect against the elements. Otherwise it was all big tires and go.

"Living up to the hype so far?" He asked the question as he began to load their things in the back, cutting glances back at her.

Her hands were over her mouth but even that couldn't mask the ear to ear smile she wore. It crinkled her eyes at the edges and brought out seldom seen dimples in her cheeks. As he came near, she turned toward him, her hands falling away. They turned palms up and she gestured, first at the warthog then at him then at the warthog, her mouth opening and closing comically. "This is... I think I need a fresh pair of panties."

"Soaked, are we?" Securing their things with a laugh, he hooked in the last bungie cord before turning back towards her and taking up a lean against the bulky frame of the vehicle. "Maybe we should get you inside quick so nothing important freezes off down there... or shut."

"Maybe a little." She admitted with a smirk. There was a look over the crate and the ease with which he had brought it over. He turned back and she stepped up to him, close enough that she had to tilt her chin up to look at him. "Nah, it's too hot down there to do that... wanna check?"

"Is it now?" He let out a laugh, complimenting her cheeky grin perfectly. He turned his mouth down against hers, pressing a slow kiss to her mouth. Plenty more of a tease. "So, maybe I should behave until we get to our final destination?"

She stole a kiss and a nip and another kiss, exhaling a soft, warm breath along his skin. "As much as I want you inside me... anticipation's half the fun, isn't it?"

"It is. You've certaintly been worth every wait." He kissed her one more time. Then he kissed her again, this time along the line of her jaw. "I can wait a little while longer, Baby Girl. There's gonna be some fun stuff to see, I think."

"We'll be there soon." She sounded like she was trying to convince herself. Elle didn't want him to stop but without being sure of any eyes in the area and not exactly wanting to stand in the cold while he made her weak in the knees, practicality won out. "Fun stuff to do too... eventually. Let's go."

"Crazy part of this is..." Duncan dropped his mouth to hers one more time for a light, nearly tender kiss. "We could keep our clothes on the whole weekend and I know I'd still have a great time with you. That's... well, it's pretty damned comforting."

There was a lot of groping involved with him helping her into the vehicle, a sly smile the man's mouth modestly before he was climbing into the driver's seat. The engine growled perfectly. The interior was already warm, having been prepped by an automated system before their arrival and without a whole lot of ceremony, he pulled out from under the canopy and then gunned the gas. What followed was a series of ups and downs, hard jumps, and snow-rending skids through the hilly, forested terrain. There was a trail, sort of, and it was mostly followed as the terrain grew rougher.

"I... don't think that's so crazy..." She told him in earnest, feeling her cheeks warm with the admission. Duncan was more than the sex and the dirty stuff. She genuinely enjoyed his company, his humor, their conversations. Before he could climb into the driver's seat she stole a kiss and then a second one when he got in. A wild laugh broke free when he punched it, the rough terrain giving her one hell of a gigglefit as she held on. Periodically she cast him the brilliant sort of grins that could rival the sun itself but for the most part she took in the wilderness and the wild lay of the land.

"Some might."

It was about fifteen minutes, give or take, for the, to reach their ultimate destination and the terrain grew rougher as they progressed. The end saw them spat out into a natural clearing, snowed and frozen over at the foot of a short cliff that rose before them. Another canopied garage rested at its base, much like the one the warthog had been retrieve from but with the addition of a modest cargo elevator that rose up the cliff face. Dozens of feet above them, a large log cabin had been built at the apex, sitting in the afternoon sun and obscuring whatever lay beyond. Duncan was quick to get them parked and their things unloaded into the cargo elevator, themselves included, a soft hummed surrounding them as they rose to their weekend abode.

While Duncan unloaded their stuff, she stood at the mouth of the elevator, her hands on her hips and her head tipped way back to try and look way up at the cabin above. They were going up there. How in the hell did someone get a frigging house up there? That's what she wanted to know. Her gaze scanned over the elevator, hoping and praying to every god in existence that it would get them there safely and once they were tucked into the elevator car, she slipped a hand into his and leaned against him for the brief ride up. "For some reason this is way scarier than going up in spacey atmosphere. I don't know why."

"It's worth it," he promised her.

Duncan wasn't wrong.

The summit of their destination afforded a view that poured down into a beautiful valley below, broken further on by more rocky terrain and mountains beyond. It was a beautiful slope blanketed in snow, with the promise of something far more lush and austere in the warmer months. The front of the large rustic cabin had a modest, rustic porch before the heavy oak door but a larger deck jutted out from the far side, facing to the east. A large jacuzzi had been cut into the deck, one that abutted the exterior wall and seemed to disappear beneath a pair of trap doors.

Grabbing only their bags, he led her up and eventually in through the front door, where Elle was greeted to the sight of something out of most bachelors' wet dreams. The interior of the cabin was a Man Cave paradise, with a large kitchen that was enclosed only by a pair of long marble-topped islands. Beyond it was a heavy oak table with a dart board along the far wall, a full pool table, and a jukebox. Two wide stairs cut most of the main room, which descended easily into a den with a fireplace, two full-sized couches, an overstuffed wingback chair and an overstuffed recliner, with a big projection screen along one wall.

She swallowed and nodded, trusting in him and his word. And no, he wasn't wrong. Not in the least. They broke through topside and she found her breath stolen by the vista before them. So long it had been since she had last stood amidst unbroken, untouched beauty like this that she couldn't help but stand there and stare for a few minutes longer than necessary. When she finally caught her breath, she turned back to him, sheepish but unapologetic in her appreciation of the view. Following him up into the cabin, she loosed a low, impressed whistle at the layout. Though the exterior somewhat reminded her of the lake house, the interior was all Man Cave to the max. "I feel like I'm stepping on sacred ground here... you sure we didn't miss a sign outside that said No Girls Allowed?"

"Only Baby Girls allowed." He offered her a wink and moved past the first bedroom and second bedroom, which each boasted two full-sized beds, to the third. Within was a large queen. "There's two bathrooms. One with a big ass tub and the other with a big shower. We can use whichever one you want, when you want. The big cover at the far end of the den is the interior side of the hot tub. We can use it inside or outside."

"Oh in that case." She said with a laugh, stepping further into the cabin to follow him. The crash course tour livened up her grin as she reached for his arm, seeking to draw him back to her for as long as it took to sling her arms around his neck. "Bringin' me to your clubhouse to ring in the new year in the hot tub?"

"You're special," he told her, his one arms slipping around her hips to tug her chest to his. His nose teased along hers. "And it would take more than one full day with no interruptions to do all the things I want to you. Maybe longer." Duncan kissed her then, long and slow, thorough, before murmuring against her mouth. "Plus you get to be spoiled in ways that don't involve money or materialistic ***."

"Like special-special or window licking special?" She asked, snickering. Pulled against him, she peered up at him and basked in the closeness. It wasn't a matter of hands down pants or teasing kept away from his buddies. Rather just... being close. Reluctant to disengage from his lips or his arms, she lingered there against him, her smile fond and soft. "Dunc... I don't need to be spoiled, you know. All I want is your time. And... maybe your body, but mostly your time."

"Need? No. But you deserve it, so I'm indulging." He placed emphasis on it by getting two handfuls of her ass and squeezing, before peppering her jaw and the skin below her ear with more kisses. "And while I respect and support what you do, I wanted to have you to myself for a little while, so maybe I'm just selfish."

"Just... don't feel like you're obligated." She said softly. Her fingers grazed up the back of his neck, teasing along his hairline and back down again. "This is the longest block of time I've taken off from work since starting my residency there. I think maybe you're the special one, selfish or otherwise."

"You're not an obligation, Elle Sloane," he murmured into another kiss. "You're the best sort of indulgence. You're a safe place. A happy place."

"There's a joke about safe spaces in there, but I'm kind of digging the vibes we've got going on right now so I'm not gonna make it." She told him. "That said... think there's plenty of happy places to explore while we're here..."

"I brought things," he told her in a hushed mumble against her mouth when the kiss broke. Maybe the crate and cooler could wait. Maybe.

"Scandalous..." She gasped teasingly, rolling her shoulders to help slip out of the jacket. Beneath was just a t-shirt, easily removed if he deemed fit, but at the very least it made it much easier for his hands to trace the curvature beneath without her coat there. "What kind of things, hmm?"

"Video games..." He started and then paused for dramatic effect. "And other things that might involve you tied up and squirming."

"Did you bring Mario Kart so I can put you to shame again?" Elle smirked up at him. Had video games been the entirety of their weekend, she would have been perfectly content. But try as she might to keep a straight face and not blush, the red flooded her cheeks and she raked her teeth over her bottom lip. "And now you're just teasing.... again."

"Yes. You in a hurry, Baby Girl?"

Maybe he was teasing. But not for much longer.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

february 10th, 2018

I'm late. I'm late. For a very important date. She was supposed to be off by five, which should have given her enough time to clean up and meet Duncan by six thirty for dinner. But a last minute trauma rolled into the bay at ten 'til five, brought in by one of her favorite smart assed but roguishly cute paramedics and his half-orc partner. Once she shooed them out of her ER, she took over and soon found herself up to her elbows in blood and gore. Six thirty ticked by and five after that, she noticed the time and groaned.

"Sheila... can you grab my phone and shoot a message to Duncan Wyatt? Let him know I'm running behind and I'll catch up as soon as I can." She asked her scrub nurse who gave her a smile and did as she was asked.

"With or without eggplant emojis, Sloane?" Sheila teased.

"Mm, I'm running late for dinner so let's go without." Hopefully Duncan wouldn't be too annoyed. It was an unfortunate pitfall of dating a doctor but thankfully a quarter after seven, she was stripping out of her gloves, mask, and scrub cap to run for the shower. In the lockerroom, she snapped a teasing picture in her underthings and sent Duncan a far better follow up.

On my way in ten.

Duncan? He wasn't much concerned.

The importance of Elle's job had been established early on and it wasn't difficult to respect that. Nor was it difficult to support it. But the pair were growing every closer, so much so since Christmas and the subsequent New Year's, and while he missed her, it was a boundary still very much worth supporting. It wasn't often that they dressed up for anything. He didn't like ties. She didn't like heels. And yet, they both enjoyed it when he showed her off. Ironic. He wasn't surpised when the text came through while he sat at the restaurant table, nursing his third beer, and smiling down at the screen with a wrinkled nose. He was quick to fire back.

Want me to just grab some take out and a rental and meet you at your place or Hen's apt? It's totally cool if you're tired.

So efficient was she that by the time his response came through, she was already out of the shower and working on quickly drying her hair. She had brought with her an outfit for the evening, a plush sweater dress and opaque tights to keep her legs warm. Never the heels sort, a pair of black flats sat on the floor, waiting for her feet as she finished getting ready. By the time she grabbed her phone again, she was also tugging her coat and duffel on to rush out of the staff entrance of the hospital. Her thumbs worked quickly over the screen to send out a response.

Hen's place is closest but my place is about midway for us both. Have a pref?

Hen's place has the hottub and you've already got a key. Plus I've been leaving most of the game systems there. I'll pick up some takeout and booze on my way, if you promise to make it worth my while.

Duncan grinned despite himself. Elle always made good.

I'd kill for some chocolate stout. See you soon.

Nothing closed out a long and gross night at work like takeout and beer. Thankfully the walk from St. Luke's to Henry Wyatt's New Haven apartment was a short one. She figured likely thanks to the man's penchant for showing up at the clinic before he moved in with Raven. Why he kept the place even after they got married, she wasn't quite sure, but it had a hot tub so she wasn't going to complain. Letting herself in, she left her duffel bag in the living room and took five minutes to just breathe. From there, it was a matter of getting a fire going. After that, she slipped out of the dress that she had intended to wear to dinner and positioned herself in her front of said fire, soaking up the warmth like a languid kitten.

Her boyfriend was a smart man. Three six-packs ended up in the passenger seat of his car: chocolate stout, salted caramel stout, and coffee stout. Then it was two large cartons of pork fried rice and a family sized carton of orange chicken. His mini spending spree was rounded out by a copy of the remastered version of Secret of Mana (a few days earlier than the release) before he was pulling into the parking garage for the apartment and making his way up to the apartment. It took some doing to get through the door with it all, but he kicked the door shut behind himself rather easily before spying his inked beauty stretched out on the floor before him.

"Well, sh*t," he smiled for her. "I picked up chinese but I know what I plan on eating." All but two of the beers were put in the fridge, single bottles of coffee and chocolate stout left out, as well as the food and the game, before he was shrugging out of his jacket and moving her way with the bottles. The coffee stout was set on the nearby table, before Duncan was moving to stand over Elle with an approving look. "I'd ask if you were cool with us not goin' out, but you seem to have adjusted just fine."

"I had been really looking forward to going out with you tonight... but today went to hell in a handbasket... so I think tonight I'm cool with it but I want a raincheck so I can show you off for once." She teased him, her hands pressing against the rug beneath her to push herself up onto her hands and knees first and then just to her knees. It had her kneeling in front of him, smirking up at him in a manner nothing short of lascivious. "Do I smell orange chicken? You're an absolute godsend if so..."

"It'll happen." With his free hand he slipped it into her hair to curl it behind one ear, before dragging his fingers lightly over her cheek. His smile widened. "Orange chicken, pork fried rice, and the new remastered Secret of Mana."

"I know. Just crappy timing on my part." Or on the part of the young man who had been nastily eviscerated by what they assumed was a were of some sort. But Elle didn't fault him for that. A smile answered his touch before it bloomed into a full grin. "Seriously? I didn't think I'd get a chance to pick that up for awhile yet... you were able to get a copy?"

"I know a guy." He shrugged. "And when the girl of your dreams is a mega hot, serious gamer, you've gotta step up your game to keep her happy." A thumb teased at one corner of her mouth before dragging down along her throat. "And I missed you, soooo... figured if you wanted to play it later, I could play with you while you did. Or you could play it after I head home. Doesn't matter, so long as Baby Girl is happy."

"Mmm, you're too good to me, Dunc." She thrummed a pleased sound, her chin lifting to give his hand space along her throat. Sitting upright a little bit more, she walked her hands up the front of his thighs, threatening a tease that she didn't quite capitalize on just yet. "I'll have to thank you... after we eat." Hands went up for him to help ease her to her feet.

"You quiet the bad noise," he confessed to her, using a gentle grip on her chin to slowly draw her to her feet. "And create the good noise. You make my world better." That hand then slipped around behind, her drawing her in when he kissed her, long and thorough, and eventually pinned her when he took the cold bottle of chocolate stout and tucked it down the front of her underthings.

"That's a two way street, darlin'." She smiled softly, rising to her feet without shame considering she was wearing so much less than her. When she kissed him, she slipped her arms around his neck and let it linger for a few moments before the cold bottle touched her warm skin and she quickly let him go with a yelp. "DUNCAN!" Fumbling for the bottle, she very nearly dropped it but caught it at the last moment and tried to give him her best withering glare. "That was mean."

"Is it?" He stayed close, pressed against her. "Mean would be tying you down and teasing you." He kissed her again, shorter and sweeter. "Let's get you fed, Baby Girl."

"It's so cold outside, baby. Only way you'd warm me up after that is if you dropped my ass in the hot tub." She grinned against his mouth and then eased back. But not before lifting the bottle to press it against his neck briefly. In truth she was starving. She had really been looking forward to their dinner date all day. So as long as he didn't keep her there any longer, she was heading for the bag of takeout, still in her underthings.

He didn't stop her. Instead, he followed her to the kitchen counter where the food waited, letting his fingers play over her skin, teasing just the right places, and smothering a number of suggestive kisses to her neck before he finally peeled away. With a single smack to her ass, Duncan was then disappearing into the bedroom to change. He wanted out of the goddamned tie. A minute or so later, he was back, barefoot and clad in only a wifebeater and thin pair of lounge pants to join her for supper.

His hand left a pretty pink outline of his fingers on her butt, half covered by her panties as it was. She didn't mind, it was a nice mark to think about while he disappeared. By the time he came back, she was settled with a plate of rice and chicken along with a cracked open beer to wash it all down. Her gaze raked over him, lingering on his form for a few long moments before a smirk pulled at her lips. "I feel underdressed."

"You look overdressed." It was said with a biting kiss dropped to her bare shoulder and his hands smoothing salaciously over her curves before he was making himself a smaller plate of food and tucking into it with a precise alacrity. His eyes clung to her as he ate, a small smile ever present, until he was washing the last of his meal down with some of the coffee stout and dumping his plate into the kitchen sink basin. It was then that he returned to her, melding his body to hers and slipping both arms around her waist, just above her hips to squeeze.

"You might have to correct that then..." She mused with a grin over her shoulder at him. As she wolfed down her Chinese food, she finished it off and plucked up a fortune cookie from the bag. Crumbling the pieces, she freed the fortune paper while munching on the cookie bits. She read it and chuffed a snort as she chewed. With a little smirk, she handed it his way so he could read it.

An unexpected relationship will become permanent.

She added her own twist to it. "In bed."

"If we make it that far," he teased the words against her ear. A small, suckling kiss touched just beneath her ear, his voice lowering. "How long do I get to keep you this weekend, Baby Girl?"

"Nono, with fortune cookie fortunes, you have to add 'In bed' at the end." She grinned and pressed back against him. "I go back in Monday at oh-four hundred unless they call me before then... have something in mind?"

"Nothin' planned," he confessed and smothered a kiss against the side of her neck. "But if you'll let me, I wanna steal all of your free time until you go back. We could do the drive-in or arcade, or just hang here and play games, and with each other. I just want your time, Baby Girl. I can't get enough of you."

"I like the sound of nothing." She admitted, purring a contented sound with the touch of his mouth on her neck. He was warm and everything right in her world. "My time's yours. From now until you don't want it anymore. How 'bout that?"

"I like the sound of that."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

march 28th, 2018

"Would you get out of here already, Sloane?" Dr. Al'amin tried her best to shoo the trauma doctor out of the locker room. The shorter of the two had her gym bag slung over her shoulder but had taken to lingering there to talk to one of the Cardiothoracic residents about work, work, work. Elle swung a look over to the Ortho doc and cut her a wry smile.

"I'm workin' on it, I'm workin' on it." Flapping a hand, she edged a little more toward the door with an apologetic smile.

"Bossman says stay away, Sloane. I better not see you for at least forty-eight hours." Amara called with one last wave before Eleanor was slipping out to hurry down the hall to St. Luke's front doors. With that she was heading from New Haven to Dragon's Gate, set on home but not before pounding out a quick message to one of her most frequently contacted listings in her phone.

Text to Daddy Dunc: Hey handsome. I'm free for the next 48, mando time off. What've you got planned the next 2 days?

It was entirely possible that Duncan was the best or worst boyfriend ever. He had spent the better part of the last eight hours milling about the beautiful resident's apartment, in various states of dress and varying degrees of productive (mostly not). He had emptied out her fridge (the cheese looked questionable...) and restocked it with all of her favorite beer, food that ranged from healthy to terrible, and had fixed her woe-begotten coffee machine. There had been some tidying up and it was anyone's guess where her new large screen television had come from. The cake topper was a single red rose in a small vase in the entryway. It was all in a day's work for a man with too much time on his hands.

Text to Baby Girl: I'm on special assignment this week. But there is a special present waiting for you at your apartment. It might be a sex toy. I miss you.

It seemed to work that way. They either worked too much or not at all. Elle would go twenty-four to forty-eight hours straight at the hospital, catching naps and showers where she could in between Rhydin's numerous traumas. Business was booming and old school doctors were in short supply. Duncan's work, on the other hand, took him away for days if not weeks, where their only form of communication was text or video chat or even sometimes the little chat box on the games they played online. His text was no surprise, albeit a slight disappointment. Still, as she got close to home, she tapped out a quick response.

Text to Daddy Dunc: I miss you too. Facetime me when you have some free time? I'll show it off for you. <3

With her apartment looming, she headed in through the control access and hit up the front door of the ground level unit, slipping a key into the lock, popping the door open and nudging her way in, intent on dumping her bag in the washer and seeing just what Duncan had in store for her.

He had considered surprising her, you know, the jump scare sort of surprise. But he had become intimately familiar with her phobias and where she came from, so instead Duncan elected to stretch out on the couch for a more obvious reveal. It wasn't as fun as seeing her reaction to everything, but it was likely safer for them both. Both hands were laced behind his head, relaxed in a t-shirt and lounge pants, as he heard the key in the door.

Surprising her would have been a great way to get punched in the face and ultimately ruin whatever mood he was hoping to set for the night. Thankfully he knew better. Dropping her bag by the door, she turned around to shut and lock it behind her before twisting back around to blink at him on the couch. Blink. Blink, blink. Then a slow growing grin before she kicked out of her shoes and shuffled over to unceremoniously flop on top of him. "Surely you're not actually here because you're away on special assignment... so you won't mind if I just flop on you like this."

"I'd like to think you're the special assignment," he told her in reply and immediately wrapped his arms around her when she flopped. His mouth found hers for an eager and thorough kiss, before Duncan murmured against her mouth. "And I may just be the sex toy."

"That so? You better make sure you do your assignment thoroughly." She told him seriously but promptly broke into a grin against his mouth. Kissing him until he spoke again, she wriggled against him to find a comfortable spot. "Interactive sex toy, mmm. And I won't even have to do it on video. Maybe."

His hands lifted to stroke through her unbound hair, fingers combing through it and stroking down along the sides of her neck, prompting him to draw her into another long kiss. "I'm yours for the next forty-eight hours if you want me to stick around, Baby Girl. I stocked up your fridge and picked up around the place a little."

"If I want you to?" She rocked her head back to stare at him as if he were crazy for implying otherwise. "Of course I want you to." With that, she slid a look aside and around, a fond smile curling her lips before it rounded into a surprised 'o' when she saw the TV. "Holy ***, where'd my lil TV go?!"

"This one is better for split screen and I got a good deal on it in Star's End." It was 65". Duncan was not sorry, which was obvious with the way he filled his hands with ample amounts of her backside to squeeze. A kiss was nuzzled to her ear. "Co-op will look so much cooler on this and my junk will look so much bigger when we video chat."

"It's gorgeous... wow..." She said with a breathless laugh, pressing hard against him as he squeezed. It trailed off into a giggle as she leaned down to nibble his neck. "Ah, the true motivation comes out... you're tryin' to pad your resume. Newsflash, babe, you don't need a giant TV to make it look big."

"Nope, I just need your precious little hands." Another kiss touched her temple. "I know you're not a big stuff person, but I thought it was somethin' nice for us for when I'm in town."

"My hands aren't that little." She giggled against his neck, grazing his skin with her teeth before drawing back to fix him with a soft smile. "What I had before worked when it was just me here... now that you're over a lot... it makes sense. So... thank you." So she kissed him, sweet, slow, and deep.

He mumbled a You're welcome into the kiss, words that faded into a rumbling growl when his tongue curled around hers. It was suckled on for a long few moments, his hands squeezing harder and then slipping under the back of her shirt to stroke soft skin. "I mean, if you feel even a little bad about it, I can think of a few things you could do to pay for your half..."

Fresh from the shower at St. Luke's, she was all kinds of soft and smooth, sweet smelling in the best ways. Shifting against him, she propped herself up on his chest a little and grinned down at him after breaking free of his mouth. "I'm not one to leave a debt unpaid... what's Papi got in mind?"

"Two days of you in no clothes and a lot of compromising positions." He nuzzled her chin, lifting it so that he could press a suckling kiss to her throat. "And some new memories to add to the albums" Plural. They had two now. One for the cute stuff. One for the... yeah. A hand lifted to brush her hair away from her face, his gaze making a study of her lovely features.

"Hmm... lemme think about it." She pretended to consider it while wriggling against him for the sake of reaching down to peel her shirt off. There was lots of suggestive pressing and grinding but eventually she managed to strip it over her head before grinning his way once more. "Then I'd say forty-eight hours starts now."
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

september 3rd, 2018

I miss you.

A year ago, words like that would have been difficult to say. The Wyatt and Blackwater boys had long eschewed deep romantic attachments; the notion had been a habitual necessity in the lives the group had lived once upon a time. In some cases, it was a horrible habit to break, but like Ian Malcolm once said: 'Life finds a way'. First Henry and then Duncan, with the Blackwater contingent still holding fast. Henry's fall had taken a circuitous route, a labyrinthine path through veiled decadence that had blossomed into something uniquely sweet. Duncan? Well, Duncan had fallen quite hard, try as he might to deny it. But he smiled through the wrinkled nose when he sent the message to Elle, looking at the landing pad below as the drop ship descended towards the ground. He'd been gone almost a month, two weeks longer than originally expected and now returned two week earlier than he'd told her when they'd video-conferenced last.

A heavy duffle was slung across his back, everything he'd taken with him on the extended journey, including one of their albums, already dressed in mundane attire of jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt as he readied himself to be the first off of the bird and driving hard through the heavy summer rain towards Rhy'din city proper.

"Doctor Sloane, you've got a text." Le'ticea, Elle's head nurse, spoke up over the blaring racket of metal music that made for a caterwauling din within the operating room. Elle's gaze lifted from the task at hand, her hands stilling momentarily.

"Read it out for me?" She requested, her gaze falling again to get back to the finishing touches. When Duncan was gone, so too was Elle's primary reason for being at home, and thusly she had spent more than her fair share of time at work while he was away.

"It's from Duncan. It says 'I miss you'." The nurse read out. Over the music, Elle was sure she had misheard.

"Sorry, what was that?" She called out.

"Duncan says I miss you!" Le'ticea nearly yelled just as the song ended abruptly, leaving the loud repetition of the text to echo in its wake. Elle nearly laughed aloud, her cheeks pinking behind her surgical mask.

"I'll respond when I'm done." Elle said with a chuckle. Just ten minutes later, she did as she said, handing off the process of closing up to one of the interns. Removing her gloves, mask, and scrub cap, she cleaned up, and stepped into the locker room. A quick text soon arrived on Duncan's phone.

I bet I miss you more.

He was amidst a brisk walk across the tarmac that would take him around the hangar and to his truck when Elle's response came, eliciting a grin when he saw her words. With a quickened his step and another reply was sent her way before he put the truck in motion.

I don't think that's possible.

Duncan was careful but determined when he put himself on the wet highway leading back to the city, his phone on the seat as he weaved his way in and out of traffic, turning on the speed when there were open stretches of road and slowing when the traffic grew thicker. What should have been an hour's drive had been condensed to forty minutes, allowing for a quick stop that involved some plastic roses hugged my a sweatshop teddy bear with a poorly stitched 'I love you' , a six pack of chocolate stout, and a bottle of Jose Quervo. It left him with only five minutes to reach the tattooed doctor's apartment.

Wanna bet?

With it came attached a foggy picture, clearly taken within the steam of a shower at St. Luke's. Ever efficient, she was in and out in no time even with a little photo op worked in, and soon she too was on her way home. It seemed Rhydin City liked the idea of foggy gloom and thus she cut through the thick of it just in time to... get there after him. Such was life, wasn't it? Still, she made it there in time to see him heading in, having long since obtained a key of his own for the sake of crashing there when he was in town, and just before the door shut behind him, she loosed a wolfish whistle, catcalling him with a lewd leering howl.

"Shake it for me!" Laughter rang out and she doubled her pace, breaking into a light jog to catch up with him.

There was no return text.

There was no catching up.

Elle was left in his dust and forced to open all of her own doors. That's what strong, independent women were supposed to do, right? Burn bras. Vote. Open your own doors. Blah, blah, blah. What resulted was his travel bag on the floor off to one side, her little teddy bear and booze sitting on the kitchen island, and the familiar presence of her paramour. It was a surpirse-no-surprise moment, where he allowed her to get inside her apartment door before she suddenly found it slamming hard when he pushed her against it. The familiar warmth of his mouth pressed hungrily to hers was a stark contrast to his chilled, soggy clothing, not terribly suited for the weather at hand.

Sadly, there was no butt shaking for her. That was the worst part of it all! She could get her own doors, she was tough like that. But the least he could have done was give her a courtesy wiggle. Men these days, sheesh. When she finally made it, she swung her bag off her shoulder and just managed to drop it when her boyfriend attacked, pushing her back until her shoulders met the slamming door. A grin against his mouth tapered off into a hungry, heated kiss, left to linger long enough that he would know how much she had missed him.

There was no air left to sustain them when Duncan finally broke the kiss with a wet, audible pop of their mouth, his hands tucked tight beneath her thighs, just below her ass. He had lifted her up at some point during the kiss, a turned his face to breathe heavily against the side of her face. "It was been... way too long... since I got to do... that."

Wet and tired as she may have been, none of it compared to the sensations he sent through her body. Positively electrified, she kissed him until he freed her and even then, her lips peppered little kisses against his cheek, curved with a smile as he spoke. "Should do it again... you know, just for good measure."

Slowly, purposefully, he let her back down onto her feet with a heavy drag of his fingernails across the underside of her ass cheeks. Keeping her pinned there between himself and the door, Duncan lifted his hands, dragging the tips of his fingers along her neck before cupping her face along the delicate planes of her jaw. The kiss that he pressed to her mouth then was unabashedly sensual and greedy, his tongue taking possession of hers transmit a hundred different feels, much as he'd felt in their time apart.

Elle knew what she was getting into when she agreed to date Duncan. He had long since explained that it would mean decent amounts of time apart, in particular when work was busier, and just as he afforded her the same, she respected his dedication to his career. Besides, the reunifications made it more than worth it. As he kissed her once more, she slid her hands down his chest, drifting along his abdomen to his pants where she grasped at the tops of his pockets to pull him harder against her.

This time when the kiss was broken, he let out a breathless gasp and kissed her three more times in rapid success. It took a monumental amount of will to not to continue kissing her, instead resting his forehead against hers so that he could stare down into her big, beautiful eyes. "Looks like the two us had some pretty good timin' this go around." His hands drifted down over her chest purposefully before settling on her hips. "I was worried I'd have to wait."

"I got called in for a trauma case turned organ donation harvest." She said with a grim little smile. It was ugly but something good had come of it at the very least. Her shoulders bobbed a little shrug as she tipped her chin up to kiss the tip of his nose before settling back against the door. "Only kept you waiting a few minutes. Have you eaten recently?"

"It's cool," he mumbled into her neck when he moved his face again, speaking between nipping kisses to her neck. "I wasn't due planetside again for two weeks, but things wrapped up sooner than I'd expected. This has turned into one of those fortuitous times where one isn't waitin' for the other, so I'm gonna call it a win. And I had a little lunch at the commissary on the space station before the drop but that's it. Right now, all I want is you."

"You've got me for the next forty-eight unless you've got to go back sooner." She said softly. Though she was more than wrapped up with him, she still pulled a hand away from his pocket in favor of reaching for her own to snag her phone. "How bout I put in for pizza and we can play catch up while we wait for the delivery guy. Then we've got somethin' to munch on in between you filling me in on how everything went. Sound good?"

"I'm not due back out until the 12th, so you've got me for...mm, nine days?" Both hands slipped back around to clutch tightly at her shapely backside, using it as an easy handhold as he pulled Elle away from the wall and carried her over to set her on the kitchen island. It made it easier to shuck his coat, then hers, while she tried to get in touch with the pizza place and he made in all the more difficult by plying biting kisses to her neck and shoulder. "So, next forty-eight and then whatever else we can steal away."

"Hi Donnie, it's Elle. Can I get the usual? Y-yeah, hnngh, stop it. Oh nothing. Yeah, just the usual whenever you all can get it here. Thanks." Her call ended with a laugh and a swat at her boyfriend for his shenanigans, her withering look lacking any sort of fire to back it. As she set her phone down on the coffee table, she bobbed him a nod. "I'm twenty-four on, twenty-four off after that, so we should be able to make some good time with that. Anything you wanna do?"

She might have told him to stop, but his teeth, lips, and tongue continued to play with her sensitive skin, making up for all the lost time and savoring ever moment of it. "If the weather's good, maybe a date night to Thunder Road... a day hike outside of the city... Fortnite or Halo marathon... some movies and chinese. Maybe you'll let me put you in somethin' skimpy and take you somewhere nice, make all the boys jealous while I show you off to the world."

"Grand plans there, Riot." She teased and kissed him once, twice, thrice on the cheek before pressing against him again. They had forty minutes until the pizza would be there, she intended to make the most of that time. "I picked up playing Monster Hunter World while you were gone... have you given it a try yet? If not, we're adding that to the list."

"I haven't and we can," he mumbled as he kissed his way back up her neck and tugged at her earlobe with his teeth. "And I can think of a few things to fill you up in between all the grand plans, Doc." He drew back and fixed her with an easy smile, kicking out of his sneakers and dipping down to get Elle out of hers. It gave him time to pepper her torso, down and back, with more teasing kisses before he was upright again.

"Just a few things? Surely after a month, that head of yours is just full of interesting ideas." She leered at him and helped ease out of her shoes. Socks were next to go, removed between shivers and quiet little groans, half fatigued, half intrigues. "At least once I get you out of these wet clothes, you're liable to catch a chill."

"Mhm. Including makin' a new album for the next time I need to be away. Maybe a video album."

That was a promising prospect and one helluva way to reunite. Elle was all in.
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