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January 4th: Safe

 
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Jackie Sullivan
The Hillbilly Belle
Ancient Wyrm
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Joined: 10 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:52 am    Post subject: January 4th: Safe Reply with quote

It had been a surprise when Jackie got a call from Ben saying that Adam had already made a friend at school and that he was invited to stay the night for a sleepover. It was an even more pleasant surprise when he invited her over for their very own sleepover. With Adam's arrival the last time they had gotten to spend the night together was in her room at her parent's house when they thought they would be going weeks or months without seeing each other. It was with a giddy sort of anticipation that Jackie packed a bag for the night and climbed into her truck to make her way over to his apartment.

It was the closer she got that her energy began to turn a little nervous. Something had been brewing in the blonde's head for a while now and the question was, is this the time to talk it over? Should she really run the risk of ruining a perfectly good evening of peace and quiet if this conversation didn't go as she hoped it did? It was impossible for Jackie to place a finger on how Ben would respond and she didn't know how to handle that because so often they were on the same page. Would it be the same for this? And if not... what then?

That was the real reason it needed to be brought up sooner than later. Hadn't they learned that lesson recently? You can't keep putting something off just because it feels like it won't occur for a while only to let it sneak up on you. It was with these thoughts in mind that she was able to give herself enough of a pep talk to be rather certain tonight would be the night to pick Ben's brain. She didn't know what the outcome would be, but it couldn't be avoided.

The truck was put in park and the engine killed. Her bag was gathered and it was with a click of creamy pink colored heels that she made her way to Ben's door. There was little delay before she was drawing her hand from the pocket of her coat and lifting it to rap knuckles against his door.

Lesson learned, right? Not that Ben had any idea that Jackie had any plans for anything serious for the night. He was just looking forward to spending the night with her, something they hadn't done in what felt like forever -- and considering they'd been spending every night together for weeks, he missed it.

There's not much of a pause before the door swings open. Ben's on the other side of the door, still dressed for work, though his jacket was gone and his shoes were off, his cuffs were unbuttoned and rolled up to his elbows, and his tie was loosened some. Right away, he's framing Jackie's face with his hands, aiming a kiss to her mouth, before letting her go and stepping back, smiling crookedly, so she can come in. "Hey, sunshine."

She's automatically grinning when he opens the door, only a small exhale of delighted surprise escaping before his lips were capturing hers in a kiss. Upon her release there was a light chuckle and she was following him inside. "Evenin', sweetheart. Good to see you, too." In passing her hand reached up to his tie, grasping and giving a playful tug to it before letting it go again. Her teasing paused for now, she let her bag sink to the ground so she could unzip her brown leather jacket to hang in the closet nearby. Beneath that was a fitted long sleeved knit dress of rosy pink and black stripes over black leggings. "I'm impressed Adam already got himself someone to hang 'round with. He must take after his Daddy's sparklin' personality." The closet door was closed and she turned to face him while stepping out of her heels. "Y'know anythin' about the kid?"

He grins a little more crookedly when she pulls on his tie, but leaves the teasing there. They had plenty of time tonight. No need to rush into things. He's watching her as she pulls off her coat though, letting himself look mildly disappointed when she steps out of her heels -- but it's all in jest, because he follows that right up with another smile. "Yeah, I went over to his house to meet his parents and everything before I'd let him stay there." Was that a little over the top? Maybe, maybe not, but Ben didn't seem to think that that was anything out of the ordinary. "He's ... I don't know, some kind of wolf-boy? Like he looks like a pint-sized little werewolf. He and Adam get along really well, though." He's shrugging a little, but still smiling. "And his parents seem nice. Normal enough." A little pause. "I didn't ask if they were ... whatever, wolf-things too. I didn't know if that was rude. Did you want a drink or anything?" Stepping back, though it's just one step, in the direction of the kitchen.

Jackie mirrors his expression of mock disappointment when she sinks down to the floor in bare feet, but she can't hold the expression very long before she's snickering. It was only his description of Adam's new friend that caused her to pause and blink. "Get the hell out, really?" It wasn't that Jackie didn't believe there were little childlike werewolves running around RhyDin. Hell, anything could exist in RhyDin. But it was interesting that Adam's new friend happened to be something a little more than human. "Adam's takin' to town surprisingly well, but I think that he's such a horror movie buff I shouldn't be surprised. He's probably lovin' it. What lil' boy wouldn't?"

Her expression became a touch more serious. "I don't think yer supposed t' ask, but I can't say I much know the rules. I never ask at the bar if someone seems off. They all tip the same no matter what they are." He's followed, step for step. It would be so easy to let the rest of the night go on like this. So easy and carefree. Did she really want to bring it all to a skidding halt? To buy herself a little time she nodded and smiled. "Could I jus' get a glass of water please?" She was on the move again, slow and dawdling, though her path was diverting from him to lead her towards the living room instead.

"He's seen a lot, you know? He's an adaptable kid." Something approaching pride there, though it's tinged with something else, harder to discern. He shakes it off quickly enough though. "Right, that's what I thought. I figure, they've got a kid that's Adam's age, they seem nice enough -- and he seems like a good kid, right? I can usually tell that kind of thing." His smile quirks up a little more at one side when she follows after him like that, and he bites his lower lip when she detours for the living room -- taking his time to watch her go, the sway of her hips. "Sure, no problem." It only takes him a moment in the kitchen to get a glass of water for her, and he's bringing it right to her. "So've you got anything on any kind of list you want to check off tonight? --besides the obvious, anyway," with a sly little smile. "I guess I just mean anything specific."

"It's a good quality to have 'round here. Both Adam bein' adaptable an' you havin' a good read on people." The answer is only a little absentminded as she makes her way to the couch to sink down into the cushions. Her legs are drawn up and folded beneath her as she leans back further into the cushions. She's only just settled in by time he comes along with her water. The glass is accepted with a smile and thank you, but she's wishing it had taken him a little more time because she's at an absolute loss for how to begin. If she should begin. A few drawn out gulps of water are taken but his question makes her pause. She knows what he's talking about, their infamous little lists between them, but maybe this was something she needed to check off her list to make sure her and Ben were on the same page.

She leaned forward to set the glass on the coffee table before she sank back into the couch. Her body was turned to face him more and her brows her drawn together tightly in concentration. "I know we ain't really had a night to ourselves an' this should be all about us havin' fun an' relaxin', but... I got somethin' that's been on my mind lately an'... I think I need to talk 'bout it before it starts eatin' at me." A finger lifted. "'Member we said before we were supposed to talk things out instead of jus' lettin' up sneak up on us like they do so often?" She needed to remind him of that.

Ben takes a seat next to her once she takes the glass from him, and he doesn't hesitate to put an arm around her shoulders, and already, he's sort of toying with her hair. He's been so careful not to be too physical with her when they're around Adam, so aside from a stolen moment here and there, he's kept his hands to himself -- something so different from how they naturally tend to be with each other. But he's listening, and he angles to face her more easily when she turns toward him; his expression mirrors hers, his own brows knitting, the slow sift of his fingers through her blonde waves growing even more absent. "Sure, I remember." His mouth his open for a second, like he's going to say something else -- really, it's to ask her if this is a conversation he should be dreading; is Adam being here more than she can handle? Is it too much for her? She's too young for this, right? -- but probably wisely, he shuts his mouth, and after an only slightly nervous little smile, "Go ahead, what is it?"

There's a pause before she continues on. Not only because she's attempting to get her tornado of thoughts to fall into some sort of order, but also so she can briefly enjoy the stroke of his fingers through her hair. As always, it manages to calm her a little more even if the gesture is becoming more absent while Ben focuses his attention on her. The silence is drawn out even longer when his mouth opens. She's happily waiting for any sort of delay, but it never comes. Her hands settle in her lap, but she's toying with her own fingers, continuously fidgeting. He tells her to proceed and she's still not sure of where to begin, but the words are spilling out of her mouth before she can stop them. "Well, you have Adam." She wasn't lying, even if it didn't really make any sense as an opening statement. "You an' Ella had 'im and then that was it. Jus' Adam." Her fidgeting hands pause long enough to lift and gesture at him, waiting for him to agree with her obvious statements so far.

He purses his lips a little, trying to figure out where this is going. He's less certain that it's leading to Jackie being overwhelmed now, but still just as uncertain as to where it could be going, too. "Right..." It's a little drawn out, and the tone is clearly saying 'go on.' His hand stills in her hair completely, though his fingers stay lightly curled into the waves.

She has a point. Well, she was hoping she could make a point. It didn't feel like something she could simply come out and say casually. Maybe that was a problem? Was she not ready to be discussing this with him? But this was a preemptive conversation. Planning for their future if that's what is in the cards for them. He agrees and she's nodding along. Yes, that was the right answer. Then her hands are sweeping backwards to gesture at herself. "Me on the other hand. I have no kids." She's nodding again, like this might not be something he's aware of. "But the thing is..." This was the point to stop beating around the bush. This was the time to lay it out as delicately as she could. "Although not now, at some point in the future I would like t' have kids. Y'know that family is important to me an' havin' lil' ones of my own is jus' somethin' I know I want in my life." The words are sort of rushed out, a little quicker towards the end because she needs to finish what she's saying.

Jackie falls silent afterward, taking a deep breath since she had forgotten to do so. Hands are sweeping back to him. "I guess... I'm wonderin' if only havin' Adam was what you wanted in yer life. If you only wanted one kid or... if you're open to the possibility of more?" Her hands automatically sink and her expression is almost pained with anticipation before he can even really process the question. Her hands are back to fidgeting, this time playing with the hem of her dress.
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Jackie Sullivan
The Hillbilly Belle
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 10 Nov 2011
Posts: 912
See this user's pet
Jobs: Cook, Barmaid
Can Be Found: Ramblin' through RhyDin
0.00 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His brows knit a little more when she goes on to say that she doesn't have any kids. He's really not sure where she's meaning to go then -- but then she goes on. And oh, of course, Ben. Of course having little ones of her own is something she knows she wants. For a moment, during that silence, that deep breath she takes, he's holding his own breath, because he's not entirely sure if she's asking him if-- or is she telling him there's no way she can see him as a father to her children, someday, with the problems that he has -- that he's so openly shown her? But she goes on to explain, and then he can breathe again.

"Uh, I... I mean, Ella and I talked about it, and we decided we didn't want any more after Adam." Biting his lip for a couple of seconds. "But it... I mean, she felt like she was on the older side to be starting a family. She wanted--" Cutting off suddenly, shaking his head, because it didn't really matter what Ella wanted with him. A little more quietly, "I haven't really thought about it, but... Depending on the situation, yeah, I guess ... I guess I'd be open to having more. With you. --I mean, you're asking because that's what you're thinking about, right?" The last part, a little quickly, and he's motioning vaguely between them with his free hand before reaching to take one of hers in it.

When he says that he and Ella decided they didn't want anymore children after Adam her lips are automatically turning down at the edges. This had been the worst case scenario answer she replayed so many times in her head while trying to decide what he could possibly say to all this. Then it was after that pause when he continued on with a 'but'. Her brows rose at the word, a tiny glimmer of hope that she didn't want to grasp onto too tightly. He's speaking of Ella and she's not really sure where to go with that. It seemed like Ben didn't either with the way he cut himself off.

When he speaks again, quietly, she's leaning in a little further towards him like it could make the conversation anymore private than it already was. Having more. With you. Maybe her winding explanation had been so horrible that she hadn't been clear, but she was bobbing her head in a nod and for some reason speaking quietly like he had done while she took his hand in return. "I'm not sayin' anytime soon, to make that perfectly clear. I'm still set on this take it slow mantra we got goin' on because it's been workin' so well fer us. But..." There was a pause and a lick to her lips, aligning her thoughts a little before going on. "It's somethin' that was lingerin' on my mind, but I thought it could be put off. We had time. An' I didn't want y' thinkin' I was pushin' y' or nothin'. But with Adam bein' here I've been thinkin' about it more. Not because he ain't mine or somethin' like that. I really do care 'bout Adam." She says the last statement so clearly, making sure he understands that. "But... I like what y'all have. That's a bond only a parent has with their kid. An' more importantly, if we all got close like we're tryin' and later on down the line you an' I realize this wasn't somethin' we could agree on..." She was frowning at the thought, no matter how hypothetical it was. "It wasn't gonna be fair to Adam. To have all of us together and then you an' I havin' somethin' we might not be able to work through." Her voice was returning to its normal volume. "I know, I know. I've thought about this way too much. Call it too much time a home alone with my own thoughts an' I'm sorry fer that."

He's listening closely, trying to keep up. It's difficult, the way his head is swimming. He shakes his head a tiny bit when she's finished. "I know you're not trying to push me on it, I know you mean not now. Way down the line. It makes sense, what you're saying. You haven't thought about it too much." Still sort of shocked, he reaches over to touch the fingertips of one hand to her cheek -- and for once, the contact actually serves to ground him some, instead of making him more hazy. "I think you're great with Adam. I do. And I think..." It's his turn to pause to wet his lips, and he's glancing down and off to one side -- just briefly, and the images that flit through his mind right then are beyond anything he's even dared to think about dreaming of -- before meeting her eyes again. It's a little bit touched, the small smile at his mouth, a little soft, but it's crooked, too. "You'd be a great mom. And if it gets to that point, if we..." Clearing his throat, and who knows what he's trying to say? It doesn't really matter though, because what he says next is clear enough. "Yeah, Jackie. I'm open to the possibility of more kids." Tracing his fingertips along her cheekbone, tucking her hair back behind her ear; his eyes follow that movement, because it's easier to look there when he goes on, "And I'd love it if you were the mother of those children. I really would."

Even though she's gotten this all off her chest and he's assuring her he understands where she's coming from, there's still a knot in her stomach and worry creased along her brows. Though, the brush of his fingertips, the assurance of that contact between them, does help a little. The surprise in his expression isn't really doing wonders for her confidence in all this, but she can't blame him at all. There's a ghost of a smile when he tells her that she's good with Adam. That means more to her than she realized it would. The pause that follows, him looking away from her. She feel like she's on a continuous rollercoaster and she's far from sure exactly where it's going to stop.

She would be a great mom. Her lips press together, trying to subdue the emotion she wasn't expecting that takes her so quickly with such simple words. It doesn't get any easier when he continues on, tucks her hair behind her ear, and sounds so earnest with his decision. Dark brown eyes somehow appear to be just a little brighter, that tell-tale sign of held back tears of relief and excitement. "That's important t' me that you think that, Ben, 'bout me bein' good with Adam. And If we get to that point, way down the line..." Her voice was thick and she had to take a moment to swallow or it was surely going to crack. "I would be really honored, an' would really love it if y' were the father of my lil' ones." It sounds almost formal the way they're saying it back and forth, but the sentiment is obviously true. She manages to hold off for just a few seconds longer, sitting beside him. But after a moment there's a small sound of satisfied laughter and she's moving forward to catch him in a firm hug around the shoulders. "Y' jus' made me so happy, sweetheart." Her head lowered to bury her face against the crook of his neck, mumbling the words. "So, so happy."

Even in the state he's in, a little giddy, but still surprised, he notices the way her eyes are a little overbright. That huskiness to her voice. It all did sound sort of formal, but it almost needs to be -- Ben's sure he wouldn't be able to manage anything less to the point, and the emotion is clear anyway, regardless of how formal either of their declarations are. He's more than ready to pull her in close when she throws her arms around him, laughing a little bit. A little relieved, but happy, too. It's that simple. "You're welcome?" Another bit of quiet laughter, muffled against the top of her head when he presses a kiss to her hair. "You made me really happy too, sweetheart." Cheek resting against the top of her head, one hand in her hair, he lets his eyes fall closed, savoring the moment -- the closeness, the happiness. The way it feels to know that she wants him to be the father of her children, that very specific sort of pride that comes from knowing the woman he adores must adore him too. "I know we're still taking it slow, and I'm happy to do that, but it's... Jesus," the blasphemy is under his breath, and he's holding her a little tighter. "Hearing that you want that from me means so much to me."

The kiss to the top of her hair is returned in kind with a few kisses pressed against his throat, but the movement halts when his head rests against hers. She doesn't want to make him move, instead she wants to enjoy this moment as much as he does. The final knots that lingered in the pit of her stomach were finally unwinding, allowing her some closure on this topic that has been poking itself into the forefront of her mind so much lately. When he continues, she's daring to shift. One knee carefully crosses over his lap until she has one leg on either side of his thighs. Sure, straddling him in a dress could be considered risque and an invitation to derail the entire conversation, but she figured the leggings might work to let innocence linger between them at least a little while longer. Especially with the way she held him so tenderly, fingers lacing at the nape of his neck when she came forward to press a kiss to his forehead. She barely pulls back to speak, her lips still so close to him. "It means a lot to me, too, Ben. That you think so highly of me t' want me to be such an important part of yer life. I'm so lucky, because yer a good man in so many ways." Her voice is so quiet as she speaks, some of that emotion still stirring heavily just beneath the surface. "I think the world of y', sweetheart."

Normally, these days at least, that would be too much of an invitation to continue a conversation -- or at the very least, too much of a distraction -- but not tonight. Not with the way she holds him, or the way she presses that chaste kiss to his forehead. He's feeling that same amount of emotion, and he swallows around the lump in his throat, curling his fingers lightly into the fabric of her dress where his hands are splayed across her back. "You always say that, but Jesus, Jackie--" Pulling back a little more, and his hands find her cheeks, holding her still so he can make eye contact with her. "I'm so lucky to have you. So lucky. I know being with me isn't always easy. I know it's goddamn difficult a lot of the time. But-- you're patient with me, you do everything you can to help me when I need it, and you always do such a good job-- you're amazing with my son. You treat him like he's your own. You're beautiful, you're fun... You make me want to be a better man for you. You make me a better man. It's that whole..." A little gesture with one hand, and then it drops to the back of her neck before tangling in her hair. "That glow thing," smiling, only a touch crookedly, and then he's pulling her in close again, intending to end up cheek to cheek with her so he can drop his voice with his mouth that close to her ear. "I adore you. I love every day I have with you. Because I think the world of you, too."

When his hands cup her cheeks, she's tipping back enough so brown eyes could find his bright blues. She was still and quiet, probably more than Ben had ever seen from her before, but he had her full attention and it seemed nothing was going to steal it away from him. The only movement he does get from her is the quivering of her lips that happens so often when Jackie is threatening to lose it yet she manages to hold on as he continues saying some of the most heartfelt and touching things about her that anyone ever had in her life.

That glow thing. The way he refers to it, she can't help it and she's releasing a small laugh which allows a sniffle to break through that she couldn't wrangle in any longer. She's so thankful that he's drawing her in close because she's sure she's going to turn into a mess shortly. At least she manages to not blubber too loudly in his ear and she hears every last thing he says. There's so many things she wants to say. About how sometimes they go through rough times but it's the good moments together that make it so worth it. That he sticks with her through thick and thin as well. That he's handsome, smart, brave, makes her feel so good about herself, so needed, wanted, and protected. There are so many things she wants to tell him and yet it feels they all fall short. She calms herself enough to make sure her next words are heard, so he can clearly pick out the earnest tone of her voice even if her volume sinks to just above a whisper when she speaks so closely to his ear in return. "I love you, Ben."

He notices it, the way her lips quiver, the way she listens to him with rapt attention. But he means every word he says. He always does, with her. When she laughs, his smile broadens a little, and once she's in close to him, he's putting his fingers slowly through her hair. Really, he'd wanted to say more, but -- as it usually does, or it has for a while now -- fear of pushing too hard, of moving too fast with her, kept him restrained, even if the words would've felt right to say. He's quiet while she takes the moment to calm herself, and when she takes the breath to speak, his hand stills in her hair -- and even though he hadn't been expecting her to say it, the words [i]do[i] feel right, and he doesn't doubt it, not for a second, so there's no hesitation before he murmurs back, just as heartfelt, "I love you too, Jackie."

It was as if something in Jackie's life which had been slightly askew for the longest time simply clicked into place with the exchanging of those words. She had felt them for so long, before she even realized it until one day it dawned on her all at once. There was hesitation, not wanting to rush, the desire to ignite slowly and glow, which held her back even if she was convinced he knew. He had to know. If he didn't before, now he did and that is what set her world right again. He knew without a doubt, no matter what, that she loved him. It filled her with a sense of contentment she hadn't expected. She stayed so close to him, her body flush against his, cheek to cheek, arms wrapped around one another. It was so quiet between them and she perfectly blissful to stay that way for now. Because with those words passed back and forth, nothing else needed to be said.
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