So, here it is. My David Story.

A little background...

I participated in an interactive fan fiction on a friend's site, and my character ended up with David. I spent so much time immersing myself in his music and stories about him (which are hard to find, by the way) that he took over my thoughts for quite some time. I couldn't get him out of my head. He's still in there, rattling doors and opening drawers and such, but he's behaving himself. Mostly.

This story came out as an outlet for me to try to get through my little obsession. I told some of the girls from the other fan fic exercise, and they thought it was hysterical that I got so wrapped up, that I couldn't think of anything but him.

They convinced me to "go public" with the story, so here it is.

I hope you enjoy it. It starts here.

~ Hath

Chapter 54: Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday started like any other day. Well, any other day for me in New Jersey. I woke up to David kissing me gently, teasing me awake before the jarring blare of the alarm clock could sound.

“Mmmm,” I said sleepily as David wrapped me in a hug. “Morning, baby.”

“Good morning, my love,” he answered. “Happy Valentine’s day.”

“Back atcha,” I said, wrapping my own arms around David. I smiled as David moved to rest his head on my chest. He stroked my belly with light, tender fingers. “Morning, LJ,” he said.

“Another four months or so, and she’ll kick when she hears your wonderful voice,” I said.

David smiled and propped his head up on his elbow. “Someone’s been reading again,” he teased.

I pretty much bought out the parenting section of the local Barnes & Noble. I can’t help it. I’m a planner, and forewarned is forearmed. David thought it was cute. I reminded him that he went through this already a couple times, but it’s new to me. I loved reading about how big LJ was and what she was probably experiencing; it was just so amazing. We made a little person. And she’s in there. *gulp* and she has to come out at some point.

“Do you have to go in early today?” A couple of days a week, I have early conference calls with India. Not today, though.

“No, but I was going to go in early to see about taking an early train back home to you,” I said, kissing his cheek.

“I like the sound of that,” he said, kissing me back.

“Of what, me getting out early?” I toyed with his hair. It never ceased to fascinate me.

“No. Well, yeah, but the other part too. The part where you call this home.” David wasn’t looking at me anymore. Jesus, Stephanie was right; this was really bothering him. Time to try to make this right.

“Baby, anywhere you are feels like home to me,” I said. “I love getting off the train and seeing you there, waiting for me. I love coming back here with you and making dinner and clearing up and snuggling in to watch TV. I love getting ready for bed with you, and falling asleep in your arms and waking up the same way.”

David looked at me, his expression hopeful. “I love all those things too,” he said. “Do you know how happy I was to come home Monday morning and see your stuff all around? There were shoes in the foyer, where you’d kicked them off. Stray earrings on the counter in the kitchen, a purple sock in the library…”

“I’d wondered where that had gotten to,” I said, making David chuckle. “Do you know,” I said to him, “that I am deliriously happy here with you? And that I’m heartsick that I need to work in Boston next week even though you aren’t going to be here?”

“I had hoped, but was afraid to believe it,” David said.

“Believe it, baby,” I said. “You, my dear sir, have gotten way under my skin.”

He patted my stomach. “Yeah, I believe that,” he said, making me giggle. “So what should we do about that?”

“What do you have in mind?”

“Hang on a sec,” David said, and got out of bed. He left the room, and came back a few minutes later with a small box. It was bigger than a ring box, so I had no idea what was inside. My heart was pounding though, and I couldn’t catch my breath. I sat up against the headboard.

“What’s this?” I asked, taking the proffered box from David. It was gaily wrapped with silver paper, and tied with a big red bow.

“Open it,” he said, and sat by me.

I slowly pulled the end of the ribbon, and the bow came untied. I looked at David, and looped the ribbon around his neck, pulling him in for a kiss. “I love presents,” I said.

“Well, I hope you like this one,” he said, biting his lip.

I slit the paper with a fingernail, and peeled it back, revealing a plain gray box. I lifted the lid of the box and gasped. Inside, nestled in a bed of tissue paper, linked on a heavy gold heart-shaped fob was a set of keys. I picked it up, and the keys jangled merrily. I looked at David. He took my hand, and counted off the keys.

“This one is for the gate, this one is the front door, this one for the garage, this for the Nav, this for the mailbox…” he listed off each key, never taking his eyes from me.

“Oh, David,” I said, and clasped my hand around the keys. “I would love to make my home with you.” He leaned in to kiss me, and I could taste his relief.

After several long minutes, David broke the kiss and sat back. He swept a lock of hair from my forehead and tucked it behind my ear. “Hath, there’s one more key in there, under the tissue – the key to my heart.”

I got a chill and looked into the box and slowly lifted the tissue paper. Winking back at me was a breathtaking heart-cut diamond solitaire ring, set in a platinum band. The band had smaller diamonds set in it, going all the way around. I don’t know much about jewelry, but I know this is gorgeous and the most absolute perfect thing I have ever seen.

With shaking hands, David took the ring from the box, and took my left hand. “Hath, I don’t know how to do this except straight out. I love you with all my heart, and want to spend the rest of my life proving it to you. I want to share my life, my home, my very existence with you. Will you accept me, warts and all into your life forever? Will you marry me?” He poised the ring over my finger and looked deep into my tear-filled eyes.

“Yes,” I said simply. “Oh, David, yes.” I watched him slip the ring onto my finger. It fit perfectly, and glittered happily there. I looked up to see tears in his eyes, and pulled him to me. “Sweetheart, I don’t know what I would do without you in my life. You have become so important, so essential to me, that I can’t even remember what it was like to not love you. I would be honored to be your wife and to take your name.”

David hauled me up and into his lap and kissed me reverently. “You will never regret choosing me,” he said, looking into my eyes, and trailing a hand down the side of my face.

“And every day I will make you glad you decided you wanted me forever.” I wrapped my arms around David’s neck and kissed him with all the passion, love, and devotion I felt. His arms wrapped around me and held me firmly to him.

Chapter 53: Hellish Weekend

Saturday morning, Hath woke to the light tapping of keys. David was working quietly on his laptop in the corner of the room.

“Hey baby,” he said. “Sorry to wake you.”

“Nah, that didn’t wake me,” Hath answered. “What are you doing?”

“Downloading the pictures from last night to the computer,” he said distractedly. “You, sexy Momma, take one hell of a good picture.”

Hath got up and padded across the room, and bent over the desk; looping her arms around David’s neck. “No, you took good pictures. I just kind of sat there and – HOLY SHIT!” she exclaimed, looking at the picture David had up on screen. It was the one of her in the bed, sheet barely covering her, her face a mask of pleasure, lust, and longing.

David turned his head to kiss her cheek. “Yep, pretty much,” he said, quite pleased with himself. “Look at you,” he said, tracing the screen with a finger. “Amazing.”

Blushing, Hath pulled David back so she could sit on his lap. “Show me the others,” she said, and he did. Her favorite was the one of the two of them. The look on her face was one of utter devotion and love. “Wow,” she said. “You’re good.”

“Nah, baby, we’re good,” he said.

“You aren’t going to show these to the guys are you?”

“Would that bother you?”

“Ordinarily no, but these are just so, blatantly sexy,” she was blushing furiously. “They’d razz me forever about these. I think I want to keep them between us. At least for the time being. Maybe I’ll feel differently later, but,” she trailed off, lost in the photos. Shaking her head, she reiterated, “Nope, not for them. I may show the girls, but they won’t make fun of me.”

Later, David and Hath went to David’s mother’s for lunch. They had a nice visit and a wonderful lunch. Hath met David’s sister and her family, and the two women got on instantly. They chatted amiably for hours and ended up staying for dinner, too. That night, Hath helped David pack for his trip to LA for the Grammy’s.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?”

“It’s not ‘don’t want to’, it’s that I really shouldn’t take any more time off work right now.” Hath rolled her eyes. “I did bail for shopping, and I have the Chicago trip…”

“Yeah, yeah,” David said, kissing her cheek. “So, what are you going to do tomorrow?”

“I think I’m going to tear this place apart, looking for your secrets,” Hath said seriously.

David just laughed. “Good luck with that,” he said.

* * * * *

Sunday, I waved to David as the car took him away. He’d be back tomorrow. I wasn’t completely honest with David, but I didn’t want to worry him. I wanted to try to make nice with April. If I was going to be a part of their kids’ lives, I didn’t want her hating me. I mean, personally, I really don’t care if she likes me or not, but David was just so upset the other night that I have to try to make it right.

I showered and dressed carefully in faded jeans, my favorite Angora sweater, and low-heeled boots. Snagging the keys to David’s car, I headed for the garage. Though I was sorely tempted to take the motorcycle, I needed the GPS, so climbed into the Nav. A short time later, I was pulling into April’s driveway.

I was apprehensive when I approached the door. But, I was here, and I didn’t want to back out. I rang the bell and waited. April opened the door, and was less than thrilled to see me. “Yes?” she said haughtily.

“April, do you have a couple of minutes to talk?”

“What could we possibly have to talk about?” she asked. I could tell she was trying to bait me, but I held back. I didn’t want to give into the temptation of just lighting in to her. She and David have history I will never understand, and I need to respect that. But, David and I have a future together; she has to respect that.

“I wanted just a minute or two to talk about what kind of relationship I’d like to have with your children,” I said, “if you’ve got the time.”

With a dramatic sigh, she stepped out onto the porch and shut the door behind her. “So, talk.”

“I would like to be friends with your kids,” I said. “They have a mom, I know that, and I know they don’t need or want another one. I’d never try to usurp your authority, and the rules that you and David have set for them are obviously the ones I’d abide by.” April didn’t say anything, but didn’t go back into the house, so I guess this was going as well as could be expected. I took a deep breath and finished my little spiel. “So, if it’s alright with you, I’d like permission to get to know your kids, to learn what makes tick, and to include them in the baby’s life. I’d like to be friendly with you, but understand if that isn’t going to happen, in which case, I won’t be rude, and ask you afford me the same courtesy. That’s it.”

April considered me for a minute. “That’s it?”

I was puzzled. “Yeah, that’s it. Why, what else do you expect?”

She laughed an ironic laugh. “I expected you to be all up in my face about the other night,” she said. “David did not look happy when he left here on Thursday, and I expect he went bitching to you, and I assumed you’d be over here all full of yourself.”

“And would that have worked?”

April blinked in surprise, and let out a genuine laugh. “No, not in the slightest. Look, Hath, I’m not going to lie to you. This bothers the hell out of me. Not you personally, but it rankles that David has moved on to a new family so neatly and completely. You’ll learn, honey, that you need to get whatever attention you can from him when you can because when he’s touring, you’ll be an afterthought. Another family for my ex-husband means less time spent with our children. They deserve better.”

I started to get upset, but reined my emotions back in. “You’re right, they deserve his attention. But so do I. I have absolutely no intention of keeping him from the children you have together, but the fact is, there is a new baby coming, and she is going to be as important to David as your three kids. I want her to know her brother and sisters. I and I want to know them, too.”

April looked at me critically. “You have backbone, I’ll give you that. You’ll need it.”

“Lady, I’m a bona-fide smart ass, with delusions of grandeur and self-importance. If I’m not afraid of Jon, I’m certainly not going to be afraid of you. You’ve got nothing on him in the scary-ass department. Backbone is the least of what I’ve got.” She looked at me, shocked. “But, I figured if I came up in your face shouting and ranting, all that was going to do was piss you off more than you already are.” She nodded. “So, I went with Normal Hath.” I pulled out a business card, scribbled my cell number on the back and handed it to her. “Call me when you decide what you want to do.”

I was halfway back to David’s car when she called my name. I turned and looked at her. “Do you want to say hello to the kids?”

I nodded and followed her into the house.

* * * * *

When David came home on Monday, he was beat. Though they didn’t win the awards they were up for, they attended a couple of the after-parties, and got in to the hotel pretty late. With an early flight this morning, he was dragging ass by the time he arrived. He smiled when he saw a pair of Hath’s high-heeled shoes tossed haphazardly in the jumble of sneakers and boots by the door. He opened the closet and grinned like a fool at seeing her long coat hung there. She must be wearing a pantsuit today, he mused, and is wearing the short coat. He loved how he knew that.

He loved the thought of her always being here when he got home, or he being here when she got home, or of them coming home together. David shook his head. He was getting all sappy stupid, and that was not like him. He wanted her here with him permanently. He just had to figure out if she wanted the same thing.

Over the next few days, he made little hints and asked Hath’s input on room décor or menu planning, and asked her questions about how the household should run. She didn’t catch on to what he was talking about which meant that either she was preoccupied with things at work, or she didn’t know what he was trying to do. He bet on the former, because he knew that if she was really paying attention, she’d be onto him in a flash.

By Wednesday night, David was ready for Valentine’s Day. He thought that was a good time to ask her to move in with him. He’d talked to Stephanie about it, because she seemed to be close with Hath, and he was really nervous. He’d talked to Jon, who was less than helpful, and preoccupied with Sam’s hair change. Stephanie made him feel better, telling him that he should just ask Hath to move in with him. He hoped like hell that Steph knew what she was talking about. Another rejection from the woman he loved might just kill him.

Chapter 52: Dessert

Monday, February 11, 2008

David was looking at me like he wanted to eat me alive. Good. That was what I was shooting for. It took all I had to get through dinner without leaping over the table and begging him to fuck me stupid. I ate slowly, drawing out the evening. David wolfed down his food like his very life depended on clearing his plate. I could feel his gaze boring into me while I ate.

I delicately wiped the corners of my mouth and stood. “Do you want more?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said roughly, “but not dinner.” I circled the table again to stand behind his chair. I dug my hands into his shoulders, and kneaded. His head dropped back, and I leaned forward to drop a light kiss on his lips. The beads of my headdress swept to either side of his face, brushing him lightly. He moaned, and I slid my tongue into his mouth for a second before straightening.

“So, you ready for dessert then?” I asked.

He gulped. “Hell yeah,” he said.

I smiled and allowed him to push back from the table. Taking his hand I led him up to his bedroom. There were candles flickering delicately, and snow white sheets on the bed. “Hath,” he whispered.

“Yes, my love?”

“I want,” he cleared his throat. “Will you let me take your picture? Please?”

This isn’t what I expected. “Uh, sure, sweetheart. I guess so.” I wasn’t naked or anything, so I didn’t really mind. I was just surprised. David led me to the bed, and had me sit on the edge, with my legs crossed. One leg showed all the way to my hip, and his eyes turned dark. He went into the closet and came back with a camera. He looked through the viewfinder at me, and swallowed hard.

“Sweet Jesus, Hath,” he said as he snapped pictures. He had me lean back on my elbows, prop myself up against the headboard, and stand by the fireplace. He set the timer, and came to stand by me. As the little red light flashed faster, I turned to David and took his face in my hands. My leg peeked out from the slit in the gown and David’s hands went to my waist. My eyes were half closed and my lips parted ready to kiss him when the flash went off.

I felt a slight pull, and the gold cord around my waist loosened. He tugged on the cord a little more, and the straps came down altogether. The gown fell away to my waist, and David groaned. “You are so beautiful,” he whispered, as he traced his fingers across my collarbone and skimmed them lightly over my breasts. The peaks pebbled instantly and insistently, and David couldn’t resist. He took first one, then the other into his mouth and suckled greedily. I pushed my hands through his hair and pulled his head up.

“Happy birthday, my own true love,” I said, and kissed him hungrily.

David pushed my dress down over my hips, leaving me in the laceup boots, armband, and headdress. He scooped me up and brought me to the bed, settling me on the duvet. He held up a scarlet throw pillow and I looked at him, a question in my eyes. David smiled, and placed the pillow so it covered my naked bits and reached for his camera again. My eyes went wide, and I started to shake my head.

“Please,” he begged. “They won’t go anywhere but here.”

“Alright,” I said. I was still a little uncomfortable, but I trusted David implicitly. He took a few photos from the front, then walked around to the other side of the bed. I looked at him over my shoulder, wide eyed, and he clicked away. He made me feel so special, so beautiful, that in that moment I would have done anything for him. He dropped the camera when he saw the look on my face and stalked toward the bed, unbuttoning his shirt. I watched as he slowly peeled the silk from his body and dropped it to the floor.

I stood and dropped the pillow. I reached for David’s belt, and pulled him toward me. He was straining at the light fabric of his dress pants and I cupped him lovingly as he leaned in for a kiss. I worked the buckle, button and zip, and pushed his pants to the floor. He kicked them and his shoes away, and tried to push me back on the bed.

“Uh-uh lover,” I said. “It’s your birthday. Tonight the Goddess is here to please you.” I dropped to my knees in front of him, and dragged his boxers down and off his body. I stood and turned him, pushing him gently so he was sitting on the edge of the bed. I locked eyes with him as I slowly sunk to my knees again, and took him in my mouth. He groaned and his head dropped back. I trailed my fingernails up his legs, making them tighten. I gripped his hips, and brought him fully into my mouth; relaxing my throat to take him all in.

I sucked and licked at him until he was helpless on the bed. Smiling, I kissed him gently up and down his length, and let the beads of my headdress clack against him. He twitched, and when he would have said words, I took him again in my mouth and sucked hard. He arched from the bed with a curse that trailed off into a moan. A minute later and his legs were tensing. “Hath…” he moaned a moment before he exploded in my throat. I sucked and licked at him until he relaxed, and he sat up to pull me up into his arms.

David nuzzled my neck and I shivered. “I want my dessert, too,” he said, and laid me down on my back. He trailed a hand lightly up my thigh, encouraging them to drop open. His mouth nibbled on mine while his fingers worked magic on me. I sighed when they slid into me and brought me up close to release. He stopped and moved to my breasts instead, all the while kissing me. Finally, his mouth began tracing a slow, lazy trail down my body until he was nestled between my open legs. He blew gently on me, and I arched off the bed, moaning his name. He licked me lightly, and I nearly cried.

“David,” I begged. “Please…”

David chuckled. “Now, darlin’ you wouldn’t want me to get a stomach ache from eating too fast, now would you?”

I laughed at the absurdity of his question. My laughter trailed off on a moan as he spread my lips and thrust his tongue deep inside me. He worked his tongue in and out of me, lapping at me, bringing me higher and closer to the edge. David could feel me constricting around his tongue, and he withdrew his tongue to nibble on my clit, and I lost it. I screamed his name and tried to grab his head, but he stopped my hands, pushing them roughly away.

David held my hips firmly to the bed as he sucked my clit into his mouth and thrust two fingers inside me and began pumping me. My head was thrashing back and forth, the beads of my headdress flailing at my cheeks. My hands were scrabbling for purchase, finally grabbing onto the headboard over my head. David looked up and smiled wickedly at me. He stretched his tongue out and I tensed before he even touched me. With long hard strokes, he lapped at me like an ice cream cone until I screamed his name again, arching hard from the bed. I collapsed, hands releasing their death grip on the headboard to fall around my head.

I felt the bed shift as David moved, and felt a sheet pull up across my torso. My eyes flew open when I saw a flash behind them, and I was staring agog at David.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“Baby, don’t worry, you’re covered. I just had to capture you. You looked so sated and perfectly content and utterly mine.”

I shook my head, and sat, then rose to my knees. Pointing a finger at him, I ordered, “Put down that damned camera, come here, and fuck me stupid. I am a Goddess, and I command it. Cross me, and suffer the consequences.”

He smiled and complied. Smart man.

Chapter 51: Birthday Dinner

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've got one heck of a surprise planned for tonight. Poor thing last night all he wanted to do was talk and cuddle. He was really beside himself about what happened at his ex-wife’s. It took him a good long while before he was talked out, and he fell asleep exhausted in my arms. I seethed at this woman’s tactics – using their children like that. She doesn’t have to like me or tolerate me for that matter, but this was just awful, what she was doing to David and their children. I had half a mind to go over there, but I don’t want to make things worse.

I’ve been at work for what seems like days, and have been antsy, worrying that David found out my surprise. I didn’t need to worry; he had planned to be out all day at the studio. Guess he’s rehearsing or practicing, or whatever they call it. In any event, he was going to be gone all day, and he said he wanted to go out for dinner and would be home around 7.

I had different plans for him.

The day dragged on, and FINALLY, it was 3:00. I left work, spent the two plus minutes in the elevator, white-knuckled on the railing the whole time. When I got back to Jersey, I drove to the salon I had found in the phone book. They offered makeup and body art as well as hair, and I was going to take full advantage of their services.

I went in and got stripped down to my bra, and they gave me a towel to wrap around my chest. On my shoulders and the backs of my hands, Henna tattoos were painted in intricate patterns. While it dried, the artist worked on my makeup. Kerry knew what she was doing, and within half an hour, she had transformed me from a Bostonite to a true Egyptian goddess.

My eyes were now miraculously cat-shaped, and thickly lined with kohl. My lashes were thick and luxurious, my complexion flawless. My cheekbones were enhanced with a bronze blush, and my eyelids shimmered and sparkled in gold. Blood red lipstick made my lips look plump and kissable, and I couldn’t stop staring at my reflection. My hair was in an elaborate up-do that would fit nicely under the cap I had brought with me.

Jillian, the stylist, fit the replica of an Egyptian goddess headdress over my hair. The cap had gold beads that would hang down to my eyebrows in front and to my shoulders in the back. The gold was interspersed with colorful glass beads, and was remarkably light. Jillian and Kerry came to stand behind me and look at the finished product in the mirror.

“Wow,” I said to them, turning my head this way and that. “You guys are amazing,” I gushed. God, this was totally worth the prices they charged. They asked if they could take my picture for their portfolio, and since my own mother wouldn’t recognize me, I let them. I surely hope that doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass.

When I got back to David’s I freshened up and got dinner started. I had a roast in the oven, baby new potatoes on to boil, fresh bread, and a mixed greens salad. Simple comfort food. I hope he wouldn’t be too disappointed that we weren’t going out tonight.

With dinner cooking happily away, I went to get dressed. I slipped into the costume I had brought with me. It's a long white silk column slit to the waist with a deep-vee halter-type top that has long gold cords that cross at the neck, wrap around under The Girls, and wrap around the waist to tie in back. I cinched it up tight, and examined myself in the mirror. It didn’t look right. I checked the clock, and figured Steph would be home. I Skyped her, putting a photo in front of the camera.

“Hey, Hath,” she said, then bust out laughing. “Hath, where are you?”

“I’m here,” I said, “Just don’t laugh at me.”

“OK, ok,” she said. “Take the picture away.”

I did, and Steph got a good shot of me all made up.

“Holy hell,” she said.

“Too much?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Steph answered. “Step back and let me see the whole effect.”

I did, and she nearly choked on her drink. “Jesus Christ, you’re going to kill him.”

I laughed. “Thanks for the vote of confidence, but this isn’t sitting right.” I was pulling at the dress, and Steph told me to turn around this way and that and I did.

“Got it,” she said, and had me re-string the straps. Now, they crossed between my breasts, making them holy shit POP and then looped the rest around my waist. Much better. I put on the shoes, gold CFM sandals that lace up the leg to the knee, and a really cool gold snake armband. I made a turn for the camera.

“How’s that?” I asked.

“At the risk of having the vision burned in my memory forever, lose the thong. It’ll make the dress sit better. WAIT! I don’t want to see it, just trust me.” Steph was laughing so hard now I thought she was going to piss herself.

“Thanks, Steph, you’re the best. I gotta go check on dinner now.”

“Bye, Goddess, have fun,” she sing-songed to me.

Dinner was nearly done, so I set the table, opened some wine, turned on the music, and waited. At about quarter till seven, I set the tableau up in the kitchen the way I wanted, dimmed the lights, and stepped into the shadows.

David approached the house and frowned. It looked like nobody was home. “Shit,” he said. He wanted to go out; Hath must be working late. He opened the door and stepped into the kitchen. The roast beef smell had his mouth watering. He smiled and stepped further into the room. Set up on the island was a glass of wine, a blindfold, and a note. He smiled deeper. “What are you playing at, Hath?” he said softly as he picked up the note.

Dearest David, slip the blindfold on, take a sip of wine, and call for me. I’m waiting for you… H

David did as he was bid, and the wine felt good going down. “Hath, baby,” he called softly, “I’m home.”

After a moment, David heard the click of high heels on the kitchen tile. He got a whiff of some exotic perfume that went straight to his belt. He could hear a rustling of beads too, and felt Hath take his hand. She brought it to her lips, and kissed it gently. “Welcome home, baby,” she said. “Come with me.” She put his had on the snake armband, and David’s breath hitched. Hath heard it and smiled. She led him through to the dining room, where David could hear music. She led him to a chair, and sat him in it.

“I hope you don’t mind eating in tonight,” she said, once he was pushed in. Hath kissed his cheek, and when David turned his head, she stepped away. When she was nearly to the kitchen, she said, “I’ll be back with your plate; take off the blindfold.”

David did, and looked around. The table was set for two, with a clear path across the table so they’d be able to see each other. There were rose petals sprinkled on the table, and the lights were dimmed just enough to make the shadows interesting.

“Are you ready for dinner?” Hath called.

“More than, darlin’,” David said, smiling. His breath caught when he saw Hath come through the door. “Holy shit! How…what…you…” David was speechless.

“What’s wrong dearest?” Hath came slowly into the room, walking deliberately so that her hips swung provocatively from side to side. His eyes were glued to her as she approached with two plates. Smiling, she put one at her place, and the other she brought to David. She crouched slightly to put the plate in front of him, then backed away. She turned from him, showing the henna at her shoulders, and walked back to her seat, and sat delicately. She picked up her fork and knife and cut a sliver of meat from her piece, and slid it between her lips. Chewing slowly, she smiled.

“Everything OK?” she asked, as she took a sip of water from the goblet in front of her. David nodded. Hath smiled. “Good. Eat up before it gets cold.” David picked up his own fork and knife and started to eat. He couldn’t keep his eyes off this woman, this Goddess across from him. Jesus, she looked amazing. He had no idea what he was eating for dinner, he just knew he wanted to get to dessert.

Chapter 50: Happy Birthday

David's birthday was Thursday, and his kids had something planned for him. When Hath got home from work, he tried once again to get her to come with him.

“You sure you don’t want to come?” he asked, as he slid on his jacket.

“Sweetheart, as much as I want to spend your birthday with you, your kids didn’t extend the invitation to me. It’s important that they know that I respect their wishes.”

He looked at me skeptically. “You know that they’d be glad to see you.”

“And I’d love to see them, but there’ll be time for that this weekend.” Hath kissed him gently. “Go, have dinner with your kids. I’ll be fine here. I promise.”

“If you’re sure.”

“I’m sure. Go. I’ll be waiting when you get back. Have fun.”

“Alright,” David said, and was gone.

Hath made herself a light supper, and settled into the living room with a book. After finishing her soup and salad, Hath took a bath, changed into one of David’s t-shirts, grabbed the laptop, and climbed into his bed to play on the board and wait.

* * * * *

David arrived at April’s exactly on time. When he rang the bell, April kept him waiting a full five minutes before opening the door. “Hello,” she said absently when she opened the door. “Happy birthday.” She looked past David to the empty porch behind him. “Where is she?”

“Hath is at my house,” David said. “She said that she wasn’t invited so didn’t want to insinuate herself, even though I asked her to come.”

David watched as his ex-wife’s face softened. He shook his head. She really was something, and he didn’t mean it in a good way. He followed her into the house, and smiled when he saw his kids standing there, barely contained excitement in their faces.

“Happy birthday, Daddy!” they yelled, and launched themselves at him. They had a nice dinner, and dug into the cake that the kids had made. It looked a lot like the pie he had made at Hath’s for Thanksgiving, and when he told the story, April left the room, and his kids got quiet.

“What’s wrong, guys?”

“Why didn’t Hath come over?” asked Lil.

“Well, she didn’t want to come because you guys didn’t invite her,” David said. “She doesn’t want to force you to like her, and doesn’t want to interfere in our time together if you don’t want her to.”

Gabby shook her head. “But she’s your – what – girlfriend? Fiancée? What exactly is she?”

David sighed. “For now, she’s my girlfriend, and the mother of your youngest brother or sister. Later, she may be my wife, but for now, girlfriend will do.”

Colton nodded. “Then she’ll be with you whether we want her to be or not, right?”

David treaded carefully here. “I’ll be honest with you, I want to marry Hath and have her be part of my life. That means she will be part of your lives, of our life.” He looked at each of his children’s faces. “This doesn’t mean I love you any less. It just means that there’ll be someone else in your life to love you.”

“Hath doesn’t love us,” Gabby pouted.

“She will, once she gets to know you.” He took his eldest daughter’s hand. “You just have to give her a chance.”

Gabby looked at her brother and he nodded. She looked to her younger sister, who nodded as well. “Alright, Daddy, we’ll give her a chance,” she said. “But if we don’t like her…”

David cut her off confused. “I thought that when you met her, you all sorta liked her?” He didn’t get an answer, and he sighed. “Well, if you don’t like her then all you have to do is be polite to her, as you would any of my friends.”

Lil came over to climb up into David’s lap. “Well I already like her. She’s nice and smart, and I think she looks like a princess.”

David laughed. “I do too, sweetheart, and I’m glad you like her.” He looked at the older kids. They were flushing. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Gabby said, looking hesitantly at the door her mother disappeared through. David nodded, knowing what she didn’t want to say. He had a feeling that April had something to do with the kids’ now ambivalent feelings toward Hath – a turnaround from when they met her earlier. He helped the kids clean up, then settled in to watch a movie with them. Lil, fell asleep partway through, and David got her into bed. The older kids grew bored with the movie, so David turned it off.

“You guys OK?” David asked. The twins nodded. “Good,” David said, “because you guys are the most important people in my life. You know that, right?”

His children looked at him. “I mean it,” he said. “I’m glad I found Hath and I’m happy she’s in my life, but nothing is going to take your place – nothing could. You do know that right?”

His daughter had tears in her eyes. “Oh, Daddy, we’re so confused,” she cried before throwing herself into his arms. “Mom said…” she trailed off, horrified at what she was going to say.

David shushed her. “Listen. I’m telling you. Hath likes you guys and wants to be a part of your life, but doesn’t want it to be forced. If you want to ask her anything, call her; she’ll talk to you, and she’ll always be honest with you. Or call me. Get the answers from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Alright?”

His kids nodded. “C’mere,” he said, and wrapped them in a big hug. “I love you guys,” David said.

“We love you too, Dad,” Colton answered.

When David got home he was exhausted. Hath wasn’t in the living room like he expected. He started up the stairs, and smiled when he saw a light flickering in his bedroom. “Hath, baby,” he called softly from the hallway. “Are you in there?”

Hath came out, hair tousled from laying in bed. She was dressed in one of his T-shirts that barely covered her panties, and David’s mouth went dry. “Hey, sweet Papa, how was dinner?” She looked at him. “David, honey, what’s wrong? What happened?”

David shook his head. “April had the kids convinced you didn’t like them.” Hath sucked in a breath. “I know,” he said. “I told them to call you or me if they wanted to know anything, or wanted to talk, and I think I assured them that you want to get to know them.” He shook his head more. “I just can’t believe she’d do that.”

“Sweetheart, don’t worry about it. Your kids are pretty smart people. They’ll figure it out.” She wrapped David in a hug. “C’mon to bed,” she said.

Chapter 49: Girls' Day Out

Wednesday morning, I met Steph at LaGuardia at 9:45. Her flight got in on time, and by the time we got outside, Sam was there in Jon’s car. We piled in, and told the driver to head to D&G. May as well jump right in and do this right.

We tried on every shoe in the place. There was one tense moment when Sam handed over Jon’s AMEX Black. The skeleton-woman behind the counter gave her an incredulous look and took the card.

Steph looked at Sam. “What was that all about?”

“Oh, Jon gave me his credit card for the day,” she said, blushing prettily. “He said he wanted me to not worry about anything and have fun.”

I laughed. “Do you suppose the stick figure went to call Amex to make sure you’re on the up-and-up?”

“I’m sure,” Sam said, rolling her eyes. “Happens every time.”

“I’m still buying lunch,” I said.

The woman (Angelique, thank-you-very-much) came back with a shocked expression, and a charge slip. Sam signed with a flourish, and accepted her shiny red bag. “Thank you,” she said with dignity, and we left the store.

We visited LOTS of shops, and bought the most outrageous shoes and outfits. I shopped for the girls’-night-out-turning-bachelorette party, finally settling on a black tunic mini-dress from Steve Madden. The hem fell a couple of inches below the ass, and fell in a straight line from just under the bosom. It was low cut – really low cut – and the sleeves were fitted to the elbow, then flowed to the wrist. I got the most extravagant, useless black-and-white snakeskin Jimmy Choo’s to wear with it. The heels had to be 5 inches tall, and they were sexy and slinky, and with this dress, would make my legs a mile long.

We visited a lingerie shop and all indulged in negligees and stockings, and giggled as we made our selections. The guys weren’t going to know what hit them. As we came out of this shop, like the dozenth or so we’d been to, an overzealous photographer jumped out at us, quite frankly scaring the shit out of me, because he recognized Sam.

“How about a picture, Sam?” he said as he snapped away. Instinctively, Steph and I moved to stand in front of her.

“Ya’ll got your picture, now how ‘bout letting us ladies have our fun?” Sam said from behind us.

“One more,” he badgered, and Sam parted us to allow him to take the shot. Jon was going to be VERY pissed off about this.

We piled into the limo and had the driver take us to the Rainbow Room, where we had a wonderful lunch. Sam apologized up and down, but it wasn’t her fault. We chatted about the photographer, the Chicago trip, her new house, the furniture they were having delivered, the babies (of course) and before we knew it, it was late afternoon. We hit a few more shops, then were content to have the driver take us around the city while we sipped Pellegrino in the back of the limo.

We had a great day. I was sorry to see it end, but Jon said that he needed his Sam at night or he couldn’t sleep. So, when Jon’s driver dropped us off at David’s, I took Sam and Steph on a tour of the house, then she got back in the car, and went back home to Jon.

Steph and I got our things all put away, then took stock of the kitchen. We were in heaven. The pantry was full, the fridge and freezer stocked, and there were miles of counter space and thousands of pots and pans. Well, maybe not that many, but definitely enough for whatever we were going to do.

“Let’s make brownies,” Steph said, and my eyes gleamed.

“Oh yeah,” I said, and flipped on the Bose that was mounted under the counter. I plugged in my iPod to it, and ‘Damned’ poured out of the sound system. It sounded like they were playing there in the kitchen.

“What time is David coming home?” Steph asked.

“I don’t know; we’ve got a couple hours, I guess.”

We got into a good rhythm, working together in the kitchen like we were sisters. We started getting cocky, and when “Powerful Stuff” by Starship – you know, from Cocktail? – came on, we got a little creative, tossing things to each other. Steph was working on the brownies while I made a salad.

When Steph stuck her head in the fridge, I called out “CARROTS!” and they sailed across the kitchen.

When Steph called out “WHISK!” I flipped one her way and almost hit her in the head. “Sorry,” I said sheepishly.

We were still dancing and singing and laughing over an hour later, but stopped dead when we heard a voice in the doorway say, “well, well, well.”

David had come home. He laughed at us, and came into the kitchen. “By all means, don’t stop on my account.” He dropped a kiss on Steph’s cheek, another lingering one on my mouth, and settled in to watch us finish the chicken parm dinner we were preparing. Steph slapped his hand when he reached for a brownie. “No dessert before dinner, mister,” she said.

Steph needed an egg wash for the cutlets we were preparing, and I tossed her the eggs, and she missed, dropping them on the floor. David thought it was hysterical until we told him to clean it up. He was distracting us after all. He tried to get all cute with the pasta once dinner was ready, and it’s a good thing we made a BUNCH because he ended up dropping piles of it on the floor.

We had a great dinner, and David got us settled into his media room and we hunkered down to watch movies and just hang out. “I’ll leave you to it,” David said, giving me another kiss. “Thanks for dinner, girls, it was fantastic.” He rubbed his hands together. “Now, for those brownies,” he said, and left the room.

“Leave us some!” I shouted to his back.

“Yes, dear,” he said, making us laugh.

When he was gone, Steph said, “You guys seem so comfortable together.”

“Yeah, we are,” I smiled. “It feels like I’ve known him forever and damned if I know what I did before I met him.” I blushed.

She looked at me, and asked gently, “Have you given any more thought to his proposal of sorts?”

I sighed. “Steph, I think about it all the time.” I flopped back on the couch. “I mean, I know that he loves me, and Lord knows I love him to distraction, but I can’t help but think that he only asked because of LJ.”

“Well,” Steph said thoughtfully, “maybe he’s just speeding the timetable because of the baby, but I’ve gotta believe he’d have asked you eventually, baby or not.”

I thought about it. “I know you’re right, and if I’m honest with myself, and it was a few months from now, and he asked me, I would have said yes without hesitation.” My ears teared up, and I looked away.

Stephanie continued, trying to lighten the mood. “I mean, he’s completely smitten by you, and utterly devoted.” She stuck her tongue out at me. “It’s sickening, actually.”

I laughed and tossed a pillow at her head, which she caught, and flipped expertly back at me, catching me full in the face. I shrieked, and that was it. We were laughing and throwing pillows at each other like schoolgirls at a sleepover.

David had stopped outside the room when he heard Stephanie’s comment, and stood very still, wanting to hear the conversation. His heart swelled when he heard Hath’s response. He knew she loved him but it was always nice to get affirmation. He just had to be patient. She wanted to be with him, he just knew it!

When he heard the pillow fight commotion, he went to watch, smiling at these two women. He cleared his throat from the doorway. “So, when does this turn into the kissing?”

The girls jumped and screamed, startled. “Son of a bitch, David!” Hath shouted. “Don’t sneak up on us like that.” She and Steph dissolved into laughter.

“And we aren’t kissing for you,” Steph said, and threw a pillow at David’s head. He laughed and flipped it back.

Chapter 48: Working for a Living

Tuesday morning, I was up at 5, and ready to leave by 6. David was about 15 minutes from the train station, and I had a 45 minute ride in to look forward to. He wanted me to use a car service, but I rather like the train. I got to the office on West 38th Street a little after 7:30. I got checked in at the front desk, and got directions to my company’s offices: on the 45th floor.

I should mention here that I have a pathological fear of falling. I mean to the extent that in college, I couldn’t even think about taking the top bunk without breaking into a cold sweat. I’ve gotten used to flying, though I don’t much care for it – and landings freak me out every time. Elevators fall into that same gut-wrenching fear category.

This was an older building, so the elevator was slow, even though it was express for the first 20 floors. The ride to 45 took exactly two minutes, twenty-six seconds. That’s long enough to sing “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” or “Oye Como Va” all the way through.

We stopped at thirteen different floors. I saw thirty-two different people; twenty of them men. Of those, sixteen had glasses, fourteen had facial hair (six goatees, four moustaches, three full beards, and one guy who fancied himself the second coming of Elvis), and three wore the same rep tie. I’d always joked I’d make the perfect witness, as long as the crime took place on an elevator. I find that by concentrating on the minutiae around me, I forget for a moment that I’m riding in a coffin on a string.

When I got to the floor, I let out a shaky breath, glad to have survived the trip, and went to find the admin. Mary was expecting me, and led me down a corridor to an office.

“An office?” I asked, surprised.

Mary laughed. “Visitors always get an office,” she explained.

“Well, I may just have to visit more often,” I quipped.

“What brings you to the City?” she asked.

I smiled and blushed. “My baby’s father,” I said, resting a hand on my not-quite-flat-but-not-from-the-baby abdomen. “He lives about an hour from here, and I’m visiting for a couple of weeks.”

“That’s wonderful!” she gushed. “When are you getting married?”

I was a little surprised at her question. “Um, we haven’t decided,” I hedged.

She nodded and continued chattering as she found the instructions for setting up voicemail, made sure I had a docking station for my laptop, and gave me a phone list. “Ready for the tour?” she asked.

Mary showed me where the restrooms, copier and supply rooms, and kitchen were. They have FOUNTAIN drinks here! I may just have to move here. Nothing beats Diet Coke from a soda fountain! When we got back to my borrowed office, there were a few people milling about outside it.

“Help you?” I asked.

We made introductions, and I learned that I was now occupying the “Bitching Office”. It’s where people went when they needed to close the door and bitch about something. I laughed and told them not to let me stop them. I’m no fool. You learn the most about an office by talking with the admins and listening to the bitching.

My cell chose that moment to ring. David had screwed with the ring tone again, and “Having My Baby” came out from the little speaker.

“Hey, babe, I thought I’d take you to lunch, if that’s alright with you,” he said, when I answered.

“That sounds good,” I said. “Where should I meet you?”

“I’ll come up to you, darlin.” He said quickly. He sounded entirely too desperate to come up to the office.

“Oka-a-a-ay,” I said. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing!” he said quickly. “See you later then?”

“Not if I see you first,” I quipped.

“Oh, you’ll see me,” he said. Before I could ask him what the hell he was talking about, he shot out a quick “Love you,” and was gone.

As I shook my head, Mary came back, with a kid in tow. Must be an intern; he looks about twelve. “Hath,” she said, “this is Martin. He’s been here a few years, and knows everyone and everything that happens on this floor. If you need anything, Martin’s your guy.”

“Nice to meetcha, Martin,” I said, coming out from behind my desk and extending my hand.

He shook it briefly, and said with a sardonic smile, “So, are you one of Brady’s Ladies?” I rolled my eyes. Heaven save me from Giants fans.

“No, actually, I prefer playing defense,” I said in my haughtiest Boston-snob accent. I sat on the edge of my desk, which made my skirt ride up a little, and I crossed one leg over the other. “I’m one of Teddy’s Readies,” I said. His eyes went wide, and I burst out laughing. He smiled a genuine smile, and just like that, I had my first friend in the office.

He gave me a rundown on the politics of some of the groups on the floor, and asked how long I was in town. I told him a couple weeks, but would be back periodically through the spring. He suggested drinks after work, and I demurred, telling him I was pregnant, but would love to do lunch one day. He and I chatted for a few more minutes, him rubbing in that the Giants won the Super Bowl, then he left.

I took care of some business, and checked on the board, and wound up making plans with Queenie and Sam for lunch and shopping tomorrow! This is going to be great. I love shopping, and shopping here in the Big Apple? Nothing beats it. I was clearing my calendar when David made his grand entrance. Holy shit. I swear to God, if Jon put him up to this, I'll kill him. David's dressed like he's got a show with the showiest, shiniest shirt I've ever seen tucked into pants that make Jon's tan lace-ups look baggy.

My pulse just kicked up a notch, and I can’t tear my eyes away from him. He’s sauntering toward me, the admin having pointed me out. She was staring after him, and damn, I couldn’t blame her. He strutted into my office, and sat on the edge of my desk. “What’s up, baby?” he said, smiling. “You ready for lunch?”

“What the hell is this all about?” I asked, as I stood to give him a chaste peck.

“Well, you outed my porn collection on the board,” he said, “and this is paybacks. Now people here have something to talk about and speculate over about YOU.”

I smiled. “Darlin’, in those pants, there’s no speculation. Hell,” I pulled him up and turned him this way and that. “There is just about nothing left to the imagination here.” I frowned at him. “Why would it bother me that I can make an international rock star dress like a slut for me?” David had the good grace to look shocked. “Hey, this just makes me WAY more interesting.”

“I guess you’re right,” he said, pouting because his little ploy didn’t work.

“I’m always right,” I said. “But this isn’t really work appropriate, darling. Now, really, would you appreciate it if I came to your work dressed like a slut?”

“Hell yeah," he said, smiling.


Chapter 47: Hath Goes to NYC

Well shit. The Patriots lost. I was SO sure I was going to win this bet. I had a whole laundry list of things for Jon to do, too. Now I have to wait on him. This is so going to suck. I gracefully congratulated Jon on his win though, and sat back to wait for whatever it is he had planned. I didn’t have to wait long.

On the boards, Jon told me that David said I was a good cook, so I could be his personal chef. He mentioned needing a driver too, and someone to run errands. I didn’t mind those two things, though cooking is kind of a passion, and I like having freedom in the kitchen. As for driving, in a new city (well, a city I haven’t been in for more than 10 years) even with GPS, this was going to SUCK big time.

The kickers were the other two things. Jon PMd me that he thought I was almost as good at organizing and planning as he was, and he was going to let me handle the rest of the wedding details. He also said that his guitar tech said that I could help him during the show, hand Jon his guitars and take them back after the songs. Holy crap! He also said that David had set some ground rules, which I kinda expected (since Sam had done the same when we were talking about this initially), but it pissed me off when Jon said that David would probably try to do whatever it is Jon wanted me to do.

That frosted my ass. As I told Jon, I’m a grown woman, and don’t need a keeper. Jon isn’t going to do anything to hurt me or LJ, and I know that. David does too. He’d better. Still, I was feeling sore that the Pats lost to start with, and hearing this just pissed me off. I called David to yell at him. What I didn’t know is that he was at Jon’s – they all were. I found out afterwards.

“Hello?” David answered.

“Hey, it’s me,” I said.

“Hey there, baby,” David said. “Sorry about the game.”

“Yeah, whatever. Listen up,” I was working up a head of steam, and David could tell.

“What’s wrong, my love?” he asked.

“Don’t my love me, sweetheart,” I answered. “Stay out of this. I made a bet with Jon, and he isn’t going to make me do anything he wouldn’t make Sam do, should she be stupid enough to bet him, so back off.”

“But, I’m just looking out – ”

I cut him off. “Look out for this,” I said, and hung up.

David stared at the phone like he’d never been hung up on before.

“What happened?” Jon asked.

“She hung up on me,” he said, with disbelief in his face. “She went Triple-G-lite on my ass, and hung up on me.” He narrowed his eyes and looked at Jon as his friends all laughed at him. “What the hell did you tell her?” he demanded.

Jon showed him the screen. David smacked Jon on the back of the head. “Man, you owe me,” David said. “You owe me big time. I can’t believe you told her that.”

Jon smiled smugly. “Looks like someone else needs to buy some ‘I’m sorry I fucked up’ jewelry.”

David just looked at him. “I would, but the only thing I want to buy her is a ring, and she wouldn’t accept it.”

Everyone’s laughter dried up. “What do you mean?” Richie asked, incredulous.

“She doesn’t want to marry me because she thinks I just asked her because of LJ.”

“You asked her to marry you?” Tico was flabbergasted. “After two months? And you wonder why she thought it was just because of the baby.” He walked away shaking his head.

“What?” David asked. “Is it so wrong that I love her and want to be with her and that I want to raise this baby as a family?”

“No,” Richie said, “but I can understand why she thought what she did.”

“Whose side are you on, man?” David asked.

“Yours of course,” Richie said, laughing, “but Lucy told me how you asked, or demanded, Hath marry you, and frankly, I don’t blame her for being upset.”

David shook his head and left the room. He had some things to get ready for Hath’s visit, and no time like the present to get them done.

* * * * *

Monday was a gather-shit-up day at work. I was flying out tonight for Jersey and two weeks at David’s place. I was leaving directly from work, so I brought my bags with me. Yeah, bags. Three of them. So sue me, I need options. All day, we’ve been walking around muttering, “4th and 13 and you GO for it?” Well, all of us except the NY transplants. Those guys, we’re just flipping off.

I was so ready to go by lunch time and at 4, I gave up the ghost, and called for a car. It took a half hour to get from work to the airport, and I got on a shuttle flight that was remarkably empty. I thought for sure that there would be an influx of Giants fans going to New York, but hey, I’ve been wrong before. Like, for example, when I backed the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

I arrived at David’s around 7:30, and he was shocked by the amount of stuff I came with.

“Are you staying forever?” he asked hopefully, eyeballing my luggage.

“No, sweetheart, just for a couple weeks,” I answered, as I muscled my bags into a spare room. There was a room adjoining David’s bedroom that I was appropriating as a closet. He helped me get all my stuff unpacked, and we settled in for a movie. I chose “Entrapment” from his catalog, smiling. It’s one of my favorites. I love Sean Connery. He’s the epitome of suave and debonair. I was tired from the long day; I had no idea that being pregnant would make me so tired. I missed the end of the movie; fell asleep on David’s shoulder. He put me to bed shortly after 10, and I didn’t wake up again until morning.

Chapter 46: A Kiss Is Just A Kiss

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hath gulped. “You’re dead serious, aren’t you?” she asked. David just nodded. “OK,” she said. “I’m not saying ‘no’, I’m just saying ‘not right now’.”

David smiled. “I can live with that.” He gave her a kiss. “How about now?”

Hath laughed and swatted at him. “Smart ass,” she said.

“Takes one to know one,” David answered.

The next several days seemed to go by too quickly. Hath was working double time at work, trying to get things done, and by Friday, she was spent. Emotionally and physically spent. When she got home, she all but collapsed into David’s arms.

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” David was concerned. Hath looked like she’d been through the wringer.

“Long day, tough week,” she murmured into David’s neck. He scooped her up and brought her into the living room and held her on his lap. He sat there holding and rocking her for a while until he felt her relax. She had melted against him, and felt so small and fragile; all he wanted to do was protect her.

He knew he had to change her mind about marrying him. How could he not? This woman who was so strong yet so delicate meant the world to him. He knew this wasn’t the time though.

“Do you feel like eating something?” he asked her softly, kissing her temple.

Hath nodded. “Gimme a minute, I’ll get something going for dinner.”

David held her tight. “You will not. I’m not completely hopeless in the kitchen,” he said, kissing her. He gently slid her to the couch and stood. “I’ll make us some eggs.”

Hath nodded again, relieved to not have to get up. The day had been non-stop from the minute she stepped into the office, and she missed lunch. The hunger, combined with fatigue and the pregnancy hit her hard today. She fell asleep on the train, which is something she never did, and luckily woke just as the train was entering her station. She had the windows open the whole ride home, so the cold air would keep her awake.

Now the smells coming from the kitchen were keeping her awake. It smelled wonderful. David had found the peppers and onions, and was Hath could smell them simmering. She wandered into the kitchen, and David looked up at her with his crooked little grin, and her heart melted. She crossed to him, and wrapped her arms around him. “What’s up?” he asked, smiling down at her.

“I just love you, that’s all,” Hath answered.

He dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose. “I love you too, babe.”

After dinner, David drew a bath for Hath and threw in some of her favorite vanilla-scented beads. He helped her get undressed and settled into the tub. He rubbed at her shoulders as she loofahed away the stress of the day. When she was done, David helped her out of the tub and wrapped her in a bath sheet and carried her to her bedroom. He laid her gently on the bed, and rolled her onto her stomach.

“David, I—” Hath started.

“Shhh, baby, just relax,” David answered, and crawled up on the bed and straddled her butt with his legs. With strong, sure strokes, he worked at her shoulders, using his strong, clever fingers to push and pull the knots from her muscles. Little by little, he felt her relax. He leaned forward to place a kiss on her back and looked at her face. She was asleep.

David chuckled to himself and climbed off the bed, pulling the blankets up over Hath. He sat next to her for a long while, watching her sleep and smoothing the hair back from her face. She sighed in her sleep, and rolled toward David’s hands. He leaned down to kiss her gently, whispered “Sleep well, my love,” and went into the office. He saw Hath was already logged in to the board, and David poked around to see who was about.

Queenie was out and about. They exchanged small talk about the weather and Queenie’s recent engagement, and the conversation turned to the Super Bowl.

Are you sticking around for the SB party?

Not sure. We'd all made arrangements to hang with Kidd, and I think we have something to do before the game. I'd love to be here to watch her face when she realizes she has to do Kidd's bidding. That's gonna be PRICELESS

You really want to see your woman wait on Kidd? That's so not right!

David thought about that a minute. He didn’t think that Kidd would really make her to anything too terrible. Hath had told him that the arrangement they made is they wouldn’t ask each other to do anything they wouldn’t ask their significant others to do. Nope, he didn’t feel bad about wanting to see that at all.

Ha ha ha, yeah, it is. She could use a little dose of humility after all the shit she's been spouting all freaking week about her Patriots.

The hell of it is, when the Giants win, she won't let it bother her which is going to irritate the hell out of Kidd, so either way, she's gonna end up winning. He doesn't believe me, though. He thinks he can get to her. She's one tough broad (and I say that with love and devotion).

I have to say, the way her team played this season, gives her room to be a little bit confident in her team's abilities. Besides, she loves the Pats like Kidd loves the Giants and talking smack is all part and parcel of being a football fan.

You really think she won't let it bother her if she loses the bet?

Yeah, I can admit that her team played a helluva season. And nobody talks smack like Kidd and his Giants, though Hath is a very close second. And damn, she's quick on it, too. Guess she really does love her team

I think that it'll probably bother her some, since she likes to be in charge (and she's so good at it lol), but she won't let it show -- or she'll try her damnest anyway. Kidd is pretty persistent, and a bit of an asshole sometimes, so I think he's got his work cut out for him, but he can get to her if he tries hard enough.

I already told him I'm NOT helping him think of things she'd hate to do. Just like I told HER I'm not giving away some of the things Kidd has planned. Nope. I'm Switzerland, baby.

The conversation turned to when they were all hooking up in Chicago. David was looking forward to meeting Ang, the girls’ friend from the UK. Hath had told him months ago that she was a “David Girl” all the way, and Richie had been giving him shit about her coming. Richie had joked that like his other fan (namely Hath) he was going to kiss Ang first. It became a point of honor now. Hath was getting fed up with him, and threatening to kiss everyone herself – Teek, Matt, Queenie, Ang, all, of ‘em. His thoughts took a decidedly naughty turn at that, and he had to walk away from the conversation. NO way was he talking to Hath about that.

He was joking about it with Queenie on the board, and Hath’s reaction about the kissing came out, and she asked just what it was that made guys go nuts for two girls kissing.

Uh-oh. He wasn’t really prepared for this conversation, but what the hell. He told Queenie that basically he thought women were beautiful creatures, and seeing them share something as beautiful as a kiss was just wonderful. He made some smart ass remark about how that would lead to a threesome, and they both admitted that they’d thought about it (though drew the line at asking for details), and they quickly changed the conversation. Yep, Chicago was definitely going to be interesting.

The next morning, Hath woke before David. She saw she was still somewhat wrapped in the bath sheet from last night, and felt more relaxed than she had in a long while. Stretching luxuriously, she looked over at David. He had a little grin on his face, which meant he was having a good dream. Hoping it was about her, she let her hands run down his body. He was sleeping al fresco as well. She smiled. Poor baby was probably hoping she’d wake up during the night like she usually did. No matter. She was awake now. Gently rolling David onto his back, she lightly teased him until he was good and hard, then slowly sunk onto him. She rolled her hips gently, and David started to wake up.

“Hey there, baby,” he said, reaching up to grab her hips.

“Hey yourself,” Hath answered, bracing her hands on David’s chest.

She rode him slowly, sweetly, and they came together; each others’ names on their lips. Hath melted onto David’s chest, and basked in the glow. Later, when David was in the shower, Hath went to check the board, and saw what he and Steph were chatting about. Smiling to herself, she waited for David to come back into her bedroom.

“So, I see you kept yourself busy last night,” she said.

David blushed. “Yeah, well…” he trailed off.

Hath crossed to him, and trailed a hand across his face. “You really think it’s beautiful when two women share a kiss?” He swallowed hard and nodded. “And the whole threesome thing?” David looked uncomfortable. “Yeah,” Hath said, “I’ve thought about it too. I think nearly everyone has. Don’t think for a minute that means I want to share you with anyone, though.”

David laughed. “Likewise, sweetheart.”

David flew out Saturday night, after helping Hath decorate for her Super Bowl party. The whole way back, he was really wishing he didn’t have to go. The pre-game thing they were going to do fell through, which was fine by him, he just wanted to relax, and Jon wanted them to watch the game together. Guy time, he called it. David rolled his eyes. He had enough guy time when he was on the road.

He wanted Hath.