Title: --- we'll go anywhere
Description: tag: snookums' marianne
Theodore Llewellyn - April 14, 2011 10:03 PM (GMT)
She's not good enough, his honourable lordship had declared, and it was all he needed to know, and all he cared to hear. After a flurry of half-formed rebellion that was too slight to be noticed by anyone but himself, he had landed here, in front of her, gray eyes meeting brown, challenge meeting rage, bitterness on bitterness. Mother was demanding attention.
They stood no more than twenty feet apart, situated outside the dining hall they had no business occupying when there were neither guests nor arrangements to stipulate such a position. It was hours until supper, and he knew that it was not her place to pull the double doors apart and glide into the mahogany-packed room with all the rebellion her lithe form could carry. And yet he let her. He stood idly by and watched her, and she watched him as she moved; as she opened the doors, quirked a brow before that first, tentative step from hallway to dining hall, quirked her lips as he remained inert and let her cross the threshold into the forbidden world of evening society. The imagined sound of Grandfather's outrage was ringing in his ears. If there was an official code for Llewellyn life, this particular aspect of living would require its own section: Dining hall decorum. They had supper in this room every Saturday, but it was unheard of that Thursday meals should be ingested in such lavish surroundings. The downstairs family dining room was far better suited, but not on Saturdays, and not during events. They opened those doors only when it was required - when it was excusable, and Bartholomew always entered first; the others waited - and when Bartholomew left the country and Rochelle was given command of the household.
They'd frolic in the dining hall, then. They'd do it with utmost passion and absolute delight - they would revolt, and if he knew, he'd be revolted.
He was home, now. She's not good enough was only an hour since, and as far as he knew, his lordship was still shuffling through papers in his private study, where no living creature but him would dare set foot uninvited - whether Grandfather was there to notice or not. He was home, and he would know that she had opened those double doors, that she had glided through in her floor-length, blue dress that was well-suited for dining hall suppers, and that she'd done it all intentionally - and that Theo had watched her do it. She would make sure that he knew. My son allowed it. He groaned and leaned back against the wall, felt the uneven surface of the wallpaper's texture against his palms, and stood just like that, listening to her humming leisurely in the dining hall, as though she had every right to be there. It was ridiculous. Why shouldn't she? Because he doesn't want her to.
He pushed away from the wall and moved, walked those twenty feet to the still open doors to the dining hall, slipped inside with all the grace of an alley cat and drew them shut with the lightest thud. She stopped humming, she stopped moving, and in a matter of seconds, they were standing at opposite ends of the long, ostentatious table, staring at each other beneath the dimmed light of overhead chandeliers - three in total: Two smaller, one large. She smiled at him, one of her most accomplished smiles, which managed to be at once a loving and warm grin, and a bitter, warning snarl. "Shall we have Tabitha bring us our supper, darling?" He returned her smile with a taunting smirk, moved to the left and lifted a hand to brush across the smooth tops of high-backed chairs as he moved slowly towards her. He kept her eyes - wouldn't risk losing her now. "We don't have our supper in the dining hall at one o'clock on Thursdays, mother. You know that." Her smile vanished, quenched by the fury he knew had been bubbling under the surface all day and all week - perhaps even longer. "And why ever not?" For now, the volume of her voice was still contained, but at the edge of every word, there was the ever-present threat of soft tones escalating into shrill shrieks. She composed herself with a discontent smile. "Are we not entitled to decide when and where we shall have our supper?" He shook his head, mouthed a teasing 'no', let his hand slip off the back of a chair and instead clasped his hands together behind his back.
She was bristling, and it was his fault. Her voice escalated, only a touch. "You fall in line with his every word. Like a servant. It's appalling; you disgust me." Sneering and spitting her words; it was all too familiar. He smiled again, cheerfully and with every intention to aggravate and enrage. "Oh, mummy, drive the knife in deeper, hm?" Her knuckles were white, hands tightening around the top of the table-head chair, his Lordship Grandfather's chair. She bared her teeth and flashed him a sneer, jaw clenching, skin tightening, eyes burning - and it was all his fault. "You don't love me. You're just like them; you loathe me. I've given you everything, all I have. I have nothing now - you've taken it all, and I have nothing." His mother's dramatics were especially impressive, he'd always felt. She commanded tears to stream from her eyes, drawing mascara down her cheeks, and it happened at the drop of a hat. Her voice quivered and swapped gall for vulnerability, and after twenty-one years, Theo knew how to recognize it all as false. But he let her carry on - let her call him names, let her beg him for mercy, let her hate him and love him and seamlessly slip back and forth between emotions - while still moving towards her, slowly and carefully. It was like approaching a wild animal: No sudden movements, or she'd attack.
He reached her finally, extended a hand and rested it gently against her arm. She stilled and moved, turned her body towards his and faced him. He towered over her, but he always felt small when met with her eyes. She was impassive, all of a sudden, meeting his gentle expression with sudden calm - waiting, watching. "I love you, mother." Both hands rose, cupped her cheeks and brushed his thumbs gently through the streams of mascara-touched tears, smudging them affectionately. He leaned in, gently pressing his lips to her right cheek, the edges of his lips grazing the corner of hers. He pulled back less than an inch and met her eyes with tenderness. "Even if you are a soulless, evil harpy." Easy, obvious, over-the-top and effective. Hurricane Louise struck.
He was sent back to Brighton with all the disappointment his grandfather could muster - an impressive amount - and knew full and well that his actions would not stay without consequence, but would, in time, be excused. It would still have been a journey ridden with guilt - their argument had escalated, he'd spewed the sincerest gall and received the same in return, and before it was finished, they'd thoroughly broken each other - had he not taken the pre-emptive measure of inhaling a touch of mood-enhancement. Genius boy, he thought of everything, and when substances were finished having their way with him, he was exhausted. He collapsed immediately after he'd stumbled through the doors on his boat - he couldn't even stomach to entertain the idea of staying at the dorms; he rarely did, these days - barely having the presence of mind to lock up as he stumbled aboard his vessel and made his way to his room. He managed to discard his shirt in a hallway, but as the threshold to his own room was crossed and he felt the bed beckoning, promising him rest and relief from a day that had clawed at his sensibilities until they were raw and worn.
He crawled onto the bed and buried his face in the pillow, his legs stretching until they could stretch no further, and his arms curling around the pillow and squeezing it into a compressed, hardened mass. The world was forcing its way into his bubble; he could hear its approach in the deafening roar of static that raged in his ears. A half-hearted groan whimpered in the back of his throat, and he released the pillow, placing his hands flat on the mattress and pushing himself up and to the edge of the bed, rolling onto his side and putting weight on his shoulder as he reached out and rummaged through the bottom drawer in his bedside table. He found the remnants of his dwindling stash in the inner-left corner, and felt flooded with promise as he retrieved the necessary items. His hands worked expertly, shaping aluminium foil, applying powder, heating with a lighter and inhaling through a plastic tube. It strength was evident from the very first whiff, and it kept him breathing. Little by little, he settled, the static silenced and a cup of aluminium foil was dropped next to his pillow to create a slowly developing burnt mark on off-white linens.
The most effective sleeping pill came with a delicious side-dish of bliss. He retreated into shallow breathing and active dreaming of nothing in particular, and didn't feel the hours pass. But those hours passed were not silent hours; they would not let their passing go by unnoticed, and announced their existence with the blaring of an alarm from his right pocket. He was startled to life, eyes opening suddenly on a world that seemed harshly lit and overflowing with sensation. Nausea, numbness in places and excruciating acuteness in others, the sharp scent of something scorched mixed with the bitter smell of stale coffee and something like liquorice. He was tangled in sheets, cold sweat covering his body and the trousers he'd neglected to remove seeming stifling and restrictive. A struggle commenced; he had to untangle himself from sheets that seemed intent to strangle him before he could shuffle himself off the edge of the bed and sit on the floor, leaning back against the piece of furniture he'd just lain on, and fish the mobile phone out of his pocket. It was blaring still, and the screen announced his plans clearly enough that he immediately remembered: Mari meet. Get up. He'd included the order to stifle any instinct he might have to stay stationary and let her find him there, battered by substance and only halfway aware of his surroundings. No. No chance. That wasn't who he was.
He shook his head and forced himself, with considerable effort, to his feet, dropping the phone on the bed before he staggered into the bathroom and commenced the dance of trouser-removal. He lived through repeated stumbling and an eventual fall onto his arse before he could finally pull the trousers off and drop them - and his underwear - in a heap on the floor, giving him leave to finally enter the shower. He washed away old sweat and all remnants of the handful of days that had passed in Grandfather's home. For a moment, he imagined that he was washing them off; mother and her running mascara, Grandfather and his rigid stance, grandmother and her cabernet perfume. They were gone. They were off. He had drowned them and sent them down the drain with a drip-drip-drip that was far too simple to finish any of them. Nausea welled up in his gut and he held his breath, forced it to pass, and repressed these imaginings of blue and lifeless family members dripping down the drain. There was no alternative left as the sensation passed than to conclude that he was clean enough.
Hair ruffled, nearly dripping, barely touched by the fluffy towel that brushed over calf and thigh and abdomen, hesitating as it approached increasingly protruding bones and rushing over them, leaving a damp trail in its wake. He forced a pair of crumpled boxers and a pair of dark jeans onto this carelessly dried skin, refusing to notice this particular pair's increasingly drooping quality around his hips. He avoided the mirror - he'd become increasingly skilled at evasion over the last few months - and slipped out of the bathroom and into the stale air of the bedroom. An immediate sense of longing he defied and nausea that almost had him toppling over struck him as he experienced, again, this thick, bitter scent of what seemed like stale coffee, sometimes liquorice, sometimes both. He swallowed back his desire to slip away again with the rising nausea and pushed through to the windows, opening everything he could to fresh air and letting the waking day in. He couldn't stay here.
Though tired, his legs carried him downstairs to the kitchen, where he spent exactly enough time to brew a cup of coffee. Sterile though the kitchen environment was, he felt no desire to stay there; he went upstairs again and emerged into the world, stepping out of the indoors areas and onto the first deck. His legs carried him all the way to the railing, and he stood leaning forward, elbows rested on wood and warming cup of coffee in hand as he breathed in the crisp April air, adequately chilly, and watched Brighton live and breathe in the distance. He had intended to keep a watch on the marina, to keep track of any slender, long-legged brunettes approaching his yacht, but his mind drifted, as his mind would when he had tired it out with his kind of rest, and instead, he simply stood breathing and watching nothing in particular. Breathing careful, deep breaths and suppressing instincts and itching urges with the decision that a few hours more would make him different from what he was.
Marianne Wentworth - May 29, 2011 01:24 PM (GMT)
Afternoon sunlight stretched lengthening shadows across the well swept cobbled stone of the stables, deceptively promising warmth to anyone inside, but in reality there was a cool bite to the air that the golden light did very little to dissipate. Moments like this usually inspired Marianne to pull out her camera and frame a shot, but she was in no mood to appreciate the glories of nature and was instead feeling somewhat annoyed at the males in her life. Her boyfriend was away, her father was an idiot and her dearest darling horse had just stepped on her foot while she was leading him back into his stable. Thankfully one of those conditions was soon to be rectified, with the return of Theo, and her foot wasn’t broken, though it might be bruised and painful at the moment, but unfortunately her father’s stupidity was a chronic issue that she doubted there was any cure for and he continued to inflict it on her. “This is how you thank me for bringing you apples, you clumsy beast.” Marianne muttered to Spartan as she clapped his neck and smoothed down his mane, a smile reluctantly forming as he lipped at her hair, breath from his nostrils tickling across the side of her face. “Now I’m going to have to wash my hair.” She complained lightly, stepping back a little bit to kiss Spartan on the nose, scratching him under his chin. “We don’t want to give Theo more reasons to dislike you, do we?” Another smile formed as she considered her boyfriend’s dislike of her horse. One day she would get him to the stables, even if it meant she had to go and look at a car engine in return. With a final pat she left her horse behind, having already made arrangements for his care this evening, so she didn’t have to worry about it. Despite her father paying for full board at the stables, meaning she could turn up just to ride Spartan if she wanted, Marianne liked to do as much as she could of her horses care, but there where some mornings or evenings where she left the staff at the stables take over so she could get on with other things.
The walk between the stables and the dorms was completed as quickly as possible, studiously ignoring the pain in her foot, as realisation that she might be late for meeting Theo dawned on her, particularly as she was really going to have to wash her hair as well. Perhaps going to the stables directly before meeting up with someone wasn’t the best idea in the world. Spartan had needed the exercise though, he was too young and excitable to be left even a day without being taken out, she just possibly should have done it a little earlier. Hurrying into her room, Marianne shed the clothes she had worn to the stables, letting them drop wherever they were going to fall in the chaos of her bedroom. The shower itself was another quick affair, going through the usual motions of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel until she felt she had cleaned away all traces of the stables from her body. Stepping back into the main section of her room, a towel wrapped around her body and another one in hand, which she ran through her hair to dry it, she considered the usually chaos of her clothing with slight muted dismay.
Luckily she had thought ahead to some extent, preparations which it took her a few moments to remember, deciding that today was the perfect excuse to wear the cute little dress she had brought a few days previously, and had set it out on her bed along with underwear and accessories. By her usual standards, where she mainly pulled things out of wardrobes and drawers before accepting or discarding them, that was exceptionally organised of her. Feeling rather pleased with herself she began to process of getting read. Brief contact with the hairdryer to remove the majority of the water from her hair and a bit of styling serum was all she needed to bring it under control and with that sorted she donned her clothing, tugging the cream coloured material, decorated with tiny black polka dots, of the dress over her head, settling the short sleeves over her upper arms and smoothing down the skirt to where it was hemmed, around mid-thigh length. At this point Marianne paused to check her appearance in the mirror on the inside of her wardrobe, running her fingers over the soft material of the dress and smiling a little, pleased that she still liked the look of the dress outside of the shop, rather than it somehow managing to change itself into something she no longer wanted to wear as some items of clothing did. The only thing marring the outfit was the bruise forming on the top of her foot, which she frowned down at for a moment before plucking out some over-the-knee socks to wear, effectively covering the bruise and keeping her legs warm. Insulation was not something that her body possessed in abundance and she was easily chilled, particularly down by the Marina, where the winds were always stronger and colder.
Applying the finishing touches of a necklace, some basic make-up and a jacket, Marianne was ready to go, and was almost on time, erring slightly on the side of late. Somehow she imagined that it wouldn’t exactly be a surprise to Theo if she was a little late, as her time keeping abilities were not exactly impressive. Shouldering her handbag, she made her way out of the dormitories and towards the bus stop which was positioned on the road nearest the university accommodation. Upon arriving she automatically pulled out her ipod and flicked through various tracks and playlists trying to decide what she felt in the mood for. At the moment she was somewhere between excitement and something that felt like irritation mixed in with discontentment, which was a strange combination, and there didn’t seem to be any music that quite expressed that, and so she put the device back into her bag and settled in to watch the road for a sign of the bus approaching. Seeing Theo after some days apart was no doubt to blame for her excitement, despite her attempts to not be in any way clingy about her boyfriend, but her dad was all to blame for the rest of it and once more she was annoyed at him for choosing today to fulfil his fatherly quota for the month, phoning ‘just to see how she was’ but then going on to ask if she had considered what she was doing after her degree finished in a few months, breaking through her attempts at evasion and studious attempts at not thinking about it. She would prefer to continue in that vein, and instead busied herself with her usual frantic search for her monthly bus ticket as the bus finally approached and she was able to board.
As usual Marianne made a beeline for a window seat, near to the back of the bus, and settled in, as much as possible, fixing her gaze on the countryside outside of the bus as they moved off. The noise of the engine and sounds from various passangers did little to disturb her train of thought as she wondered how Theo’s trip had been and what kind of mood he would be in. From what he had let her in on, his home life wasn’t exactly ideal and she was never sure to what extent he actually enjoyed going home. Despite that, she envied him on some level, that he had that solid base to go back to, a childhood home where family still lived, with all the layers of years and belongings accumulating throughout the rooms. The house she had spent her childhood in had been sold after her mother died and after that a boarding school had been her home until New York when she was sixteen, and then London again, following that bumpy road downwards until she ended up at Stanmer. More than anywhere, she conceded, her room at Stanmer was the place that could most be considered a home to her. Even that would potentially end in a few months, when she finished her degree and Marianne would be left in that position of trying to decide what to do with her future. Her thoughts led back to that, once more, worrying at it as one might a fresh scab. A year or so ago she would have had no trouble with picking up and taking herself wherever she felt like, following whatever paths opened up, but now she had a horse to think about and a boyfriend to consider. She didn’t know how willing Theo would be to be a part of a long distance relationship, if that was what it came to, and she didn’t really think that she wanted to leave him. In a half-hearted attempt at distracting herself, she fiddled with her i-pod again, flipping through multiple tracks, unable to find one to settle on her current mood, eventually settling on a track that she disliked the least to accompany her journey.
The bus rattled onwards, drawing slowly into bus stop after bus stop before ponderously accelerating it’s heavy body onwards in a repeated sequence of events and each time the pace slowed again she wanted to scream with frustration. Times like this caused her to consider relenting and buying a car. She could drive and had a licence, but had never owned a car, always holding firm in the belief that one less car on the roads was a good thing, except for times like this when she just wanted to get somewhere, rather than being led all around the houses by public transport. In the regular span of time, though it felt longer, the bus pulled into the stop she wanted and Marianne stepped gratefully off, making her way down towards the Marina. The security guard at the gates that lead to the part of the Marina where Theo’s boat was docked recognised her by now, and waved her through and onto the boardwalk. She could see the boat she was aiming for, in it’s usual position among the others and happily made her way towards it. Drawing closer, she could see Theo on the deck, seemingly staring into the distance and a irresistible smile tugged at her lips, the previously annoyance fading rapidly away
Far from making a loud exit, or announcing her presence Marianne stepped quietly onto the boat, a location that was familiar to her now, a trait that increased with every passing day that Theo chose to stay there over the halls at Stanmer. She didn’t really mind hugely whether she saw him in one location or the other, but she did like it when he was nearer, which came with him being at Stanmer. Making her way towards where he was standing, she paused momentarily to absorb the sight of the man who had, against the odds, come to occupy a large part of her life. He was without a shirt, which she could always appreciate, dark hair, which looked a little damp, moving in the breeze and she had a sudden urge to run her fingers through those curls, knowing well how they felt. A shade of concern mixed with her appreciation and as much as she wanted to, she couldn’t ignore the way his bones showed more obviously underneath his skin than they had when they had first met, and even when they had initially got together in the early hours of the morning after his birthday party, almost on this spot. She had little doubt what was causing that, the signs she had learnt so well from her father and others. His weight loss was only one of those indications, and Marianne wondered how much longer she could go without confronting him about it.
“Hey.” She greeted him, finally, controlling her worries and focusing on the reunion for the moment. Moving up behind where he stood against the railings, she dropped her bag to the deck and rested her palms against his bare back, sliding them over his torso, so she had her arms wrapped around his waist, stroking over the flat expanse of his bare abdomen. Gently she placed a few slow kisses against his shoulder blade, lingering over each one, so that her lips remained in contact with his skin. Briefly she closed her eyes, content to simply settle against his body for the moment, appreciating the familiarity of feel and smell of him. “So...” Marianne began, a moment later, stirring herself into action at the same time, moving up onto her tiptoes to place a final kiss against the top of his shoulder, grazing her teeth lightly over the skin in a playful nip. “... I missed you.” She finished the drawn out sentiment, as she disentangled herself from his body and moved to the side, so that she was leaning against the railings, facing towards Theo. The hand nearest to him lifted, stroking over his upper arm. “I feel terribly dressed compared to you.” Marianne informed with a grin, leaning over to kiss his cheek, letting her forehead rest against his temple for a moment. “How was home?”
Theodore Llewellyn - July 3, 2011 11:05 PM (GMT)
[doHTML]<div style="margin: 0px auto; width: 450px; height: auto; background-color:none; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px; border: 0; text-align: justify;">
<p>Only once did he check his watch while he waited for Marianne to arrive, only once to determine that yes, she was running late, and no, he wasn't surprised. Did he mind? Yes, he had to conclude that he did mind, this once, but not with irritation or bitterness. Only with that steady, thumping longing that built up in his chest and abdomen and shoulders and arms and made him tense and rigid and almost trembling under the pressure. When he closed his eyes, he could imagine her face, he could taste her on his lips and detect the scent of her in the air, alluring and soft, the sensation of her reminiscent of some deep, warm colour that was all-encompassing and soothing at once. He smiled a little and let his mind wander, eyes remaining close for another few moments to let the mental image of his girlfriend manifest fully in his mind and become so lifelike he almost wanted to reach out and try to touch her. He thought he could feel the warmth of her against the pads of his fingertips even as the thought occurred to him, and his free hand curled into a tight fist, dissatisfied with its own emptiness. And now he heard her, some distant, resonating sound of soft laughter issued in the feminine lilt of her voice, and he smiled and frowned at the very same time, was pleased at the memory and pained at the fact that it was only a memory. It was distant and it was intangible. It was her, but it wasn't. It fell short of what she really was, and he knew this, because he'd remembered her before, only to be shocked by how much more vibrant she was than his fantasies could ever become.
It couldn't go on. His eyes had to open and let that memory evaporate, replaced instead by harsh daylight from a mostly clouded sky and a sudden sharp wind that nipped on his skin and dried his eyes. Rapidly, in irritation, he blinked and kept blinking until his eyes were moist enough that the moisture threatened to well up and become teardrops. He lowered his head and shielded his eyes thus from the wind, only to find that it had passed now and become a calm, temperate breeze, declaring the rapid approach of summer and choices that had yet been made. He was fully aware of Marianne's degree coming to an end. It was a constant worry of his that this bothered him as much as it did - enough that he never asked about it, enough that it made his abdominals tighten, enough that he clenched his jaw and furrowed his brow and swallowed hard and shook his head and decided it was no good. She had a profound effect on him, and he'd accepted that by now. More so than that, he'd embraced it and let it wash over him. He was prepared to drown himself in her, like he was prepared to drown himself in those that he loved the most, but she was warm and she was sheltering, and she wouldn't let him drown. He was sure of it.
He heard her voice, then, sudden and unexpected, coming from behind, and rapidly his head turned to find her. Seeing her now, coming towards him, he smiled sincerely for the first time in many days. The concerns from home - shrill screams, heavy disapproval, alcoholic stumbling and the cold, tense atmosphere of a dining table at war - seemed to fade and withdraw into the distance, crumbling at the sight of her and giving way to something else, something that felt a great deal like relief. He released it slowly, that breath of relief that built up in his chest until it was tight and burning, and the tension subsided little by little, his shoulders and back relaxing and becoming comfortable in time for her to place her palms on his back. He turned forward again, lowering his head until it hung loosely between his shoulders, and his vocal folds vibrated to life, creating a soft hum of appreciation and satisfaction. Her hands brushed over his skin, warm and warming on his back, his sides, his abdomen, impossibly soft and amazingly pleasing. He was shocked again at how his memories were faded in comparison to the reality of her touch, and it made him smile, this acknowledgement of her superiority to his fantasies.
Her kisses on his shoulders next, and he felt her settle against him, his smile broadening into one of joy. Finally, he could lift his head again and be satisfied with the harsh light of day and the racket that barely reached them here from within the town, where it seemed the main road was backed up with loud cars driven by impatient drivers. An amused scoff burst from his lips. He was calm again, now, despite his nausea, despite his fatigue, despite the knowledge that the waist her arms wrapped around was slimmer now than it had been when they'd first kissed on this deck.
It was the first kiss he decided to give a second thought.
She rose and placed a kiss on the top of his shoulders, and he felt her teeth graze his skin. To counter the shivers that threatened to bounce down his spine at the sensation, he lifted his cup of coffee and grinned against the rim as he took a large sip, letting the liquid warm him and calm him and keep him from succumbing into a fit of delighted shivers. "I missed you too." The truest words he'd spoken in the past 24 hours, at the very least, and easier spoken than he would have anticipated. There was such vulnerability in that statement; so much was implied, but not stated, so much that would, in his grandfather's words, weaken him in the eyes of others. I want you near me, I need you near me, I think of you when you're not with me, I think of you constantly. And he did, it had happened, he'd become one of those people - again - and he was prepared to drown in it, to drown in her, though she wouldn't let him, he knew she wouldn't let him. She'd keep him afloat. It pained him to think that he might need her to.
A heavy sigh of disappointment followed her disentanglement, but he turned sideways to meet her and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close and keeping her there, warm against his body. "You are horribly dressed compared to me," he conceded with mock-indignation, and smiled all the while in weary jest. He thought he could feel the bags under his eyes growing heavier and darker now that she looked at him, but suspected they weren't as bad as he thought. (A sharp contrast, but here, his fantasies were usually an exaggeration.) He leaned in to meet her, head tilting slightly sideways against her forehead, resting comfortably in a slowly breathing silence for another few moments before his lips parted to speak. "Shockingly deprived of you." His words were murmured, slurred more from fatigue than the alternative, though his head felt heavy and wrapped in cotton. He turned his head and dipped it down, pressing a kiss to her lips and lingering there for a moment after it had ended, simply brushing his lips over hers. Ultimately, his head sank further, burying his face in her neck, where he was wrapped in her scent and sighed softly. "Cookie thinks you sound lovely," he murmured against her skin, and pulled back when he'd said it.
His arm disentangled from her, loosening so he could step back and look at her properly, now-free hand rising to her shoulder and gliding down the length of her arm until it could settle in her hand. With eyes lowering and then climbing, both movements deliberately slow, he took her in, and when his eyes finally reached hers, he smiled. "You're beautiful."
Marianne Wentworth - October 20, 2011 11:25 AM (GMT)
Drawn into Theo’s strong, comfortable embrace, Marianne tried to at least tone down the joyful smile that formed on her lips, thoroughly delighted to be back in his arms, even after such a short break. The disturbing thought that she might be getting clingy melted away as Theo pressed a kiss to her mouth and Marianne parted her lips just a fraction to increase the closeness of the kiss, her hands rising up to hold either sides of his face, cupping along his jawline with her thumbs, while her fingers reached into his hair. The kiss ended but they remained close, and her hands relaxed slightly against his face, a little contented smile curling the edges of her lips. She loved these small moments of connection, that were utterly comfortable and soothing, and she could sink into him, against the warmth of him, with the ghostly remembrance of their kiss still on her lips and the taste of him lingering there. When she was single and more than likely sleeping around, looking for physical contact where she could find it, this moments never came, because they could only come, or at least, only mean something when they happened, between two people who were so comfortable with each other, who knew each other in the way that she and Theo were learning to. It was one of the things she missed when she was single; having someone who was hers, whom she could create this world for, where it was only the two of them, and nothing else existed beyond her body and his.
The moment drifted slowly into another, with Theo pressing his face into her neck, and her hands moved again, one sliding down to rest on his shoulder, while the other drifted up to stroke through his hair, brunette strands slightly damp under her fingers. Another little smile formed, as she fiddled with his hair, enjoying the way it had grown into slight curls, which she found strangely endearing. She pressed a light kiss to his head and then laughed softly as he relayed Cookie’s opinion to her. “Oh really?” Her hands dropping away from him as he pulled back, while her eyebrows climbed questioningly. “Were you telling her nice things about me?” Marianne questioned, teasing, with a tilt of her head and a slight smile sneaking onto her lips and into her words.
Focusing on her own light tone, she tried not to think too much about the slur in his voice, but her thoughts were intent on wandering in that direction. Was it alcohol or drugs that were causing that slight slur to his words? The only taste from his mouth had been the coffee he was drinking. Marianne wondered if this was something she should legitimately be concerned about. In theory she should be able to watch without worrying overly much; it was something he had always done and something everyone else did, including herself. However, that it was a regular occurrence and that many people did it hardly excused the act or made it any less worrying to note that he was very likely using drugs more then recreationally and she could see the effects painted clearly across his body. One day, she promised herself, she would say something, when the time was right, and tried not to feel like she was shrugging off responsibility. Instead she concentrated on what was happening right now, as Theo moved away from her, cool air slipping in between their bodies and drawing goosebumps to the surface of her skin, accompanied by a light shiver.
A little questioningly, she looked back at Theo as he seemed to inspect her, before he spoke, a gentle smile settling across her features. “Thank you.” More could have been said, a return of the compliment or joking words to cover the sudden intensity of feeling that surged through her and the fact that she wanted nothing more in that moment than to hold him tightly and forget that anything else existed in the world by the two of them. Instead she kept it simple, adding nothing more to the exchange except in the return of his smile with bright smile of her own and a squeeze of her fingers around his. After a brief second of looking at him, she leaned in to place a slow, warm kiss to his mouth, a thin vein of possessive intensity entering it as she pressed a little harder against him. Pulling her head back from the kiss a fraction, she looked up into his eyes and pressed herself into his bare torso, trailing her fingers over his sides. “So, where are you taking me today?” She questioned with a light smirk.
Theodore Llewellyn - December 10, 2011 09:34 PM (GMT)
[doHTML]<div style="margin: 0px auto; width: 450px; height: auto; background-color:none; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px; border: 0; text-align: justify;">
<p>He played at cynicism when he was alone. Of course, there was much to be said for cynicism; even now, when he was with Marianne and felt significantly less alone (at times) than he had used to, he still glanced in its direction and acknowledged to himself that the inclination toward misanthropy that he'd applied when faced with the world before was still active, still kicking. (He hadn't shed his shell of bitterness and emerged as a happy crustacean.) But it was easier, maybe, to look at her and smile, even to grin when no one else was looking (a grin was a terrible thing to waste on the unworthy), and tell himself that he forgot about little bags of expensive white powder stored safely inside locked drawers in his personal adytum deep within the bowels of his boat. (That he didn't need it, because need was for addicts, terrible creatures who lined up on the sidewalk pleading for money from their superiors.)
He pretended, even with his weariness, his lingering nausea, the light headache and the chill to his skin, the feeling of bags growing heavier under his eyes, that the whole matter ceased to exist. It made it easier - even with the dark storm clouds that were perpetually gathering in the after-shocks that these days seemed to shake him more noticeably than the initial one - to smile lopsidedly at her and stifle it a moment later with an expression of mock-seriousness, shaking his head and lowering his voice to the range of 'gravity.' "Terrible, dreadful things," he assured her with a shake of his head, a furrow deepening in a display of severity, but lightening into the realm of distanced contemplation a moment later, as he lifted his eyes and looked off to the side a bit, lips pursing in curiosity. "I've no idea where she got the positive impression from."
Smiling again now, his playful eyes found hers as he lifted his cup to his lips, taking a sip of rapidly cooling coffee and winking over the edge of a white ceramic rim. He had to lower it, of course; around Marianne, he could hardly have his lips covered the same way he often covered them, shielding them behind whiskey glasses and disdainfully curious fingers resting lightly over his mouth. They had to be on display, accessible; he might have missed out on that kiss, otherwise. The warm one that lingered and became firmer as it progressed, met with possessiveness in equal terms. (He'd always been one to hold on too tightly to everything he started to love - he'd always been told that being loved by a Llewellyn was the first step toward devastation.) He finally decided that his coffee was no longer of use to him and set it down on the flat wooden surface of the railing behind him, allowing him to wrap both arms around her in an appropriately firm grip (appropriate for him; unknowingly, it was always his goal to transmit the message, 'you're not going anywhere.')
"Oh, I have to entertain you, do I? Take you places?" Though his voice was indignant and his lips seemed to play along with this act, his eyes betrayed the joking quality his words themselves didn't convey. "Sounds potentially expensive." The end of his statement was mostly lost; he leaned in as he said it, murmuring the end of his sentence against her lips and putting the full stop to his statement when his lips pressed to hers again a little prematurely. (He had just enough disdain for words to willingly leave them incomplete.) When he pulled back again, it was with a smirk on his lips. "We could always spin a globe." He quirked a brow, heard a seagull caw and followed it with his eyes, watching as it honed in on one of the high lampposts along the boardwalk, became aware of the pier stretching out in the distance. Distantly, almost unaware that the words were leaving him as he spoke, he mumbled, "Or go ride the Ferris Wheel," and couldn't for the life of him work out why he'd suggest it. After knowing himself for 21 years, it seemed that he'd suddenly forgotten that he'd always disliked amusement park rides - though the Ferris Wheel, he supposed, was the one he minded the least.
Still, he shook his head at himself, furrowing his brow for a moment before he returned his eyes to her again, watching her for a second or two with a look of confusion in them. When it lifted, it made way for a smile; the 'never mind' expression of someone who would rather people forget them in those moments where they were too much themselves for comfort. "Let's go inside, though. I'm freezing."
Marianne Wentworth - February 22, 2012 11:40 PM (GMT)
She enjoyed it when the situation became lighter between them, lifting in a way that wasn’t the brittle scathing she had poured upon him while trying to keep him at arms length, but a playful lightness between people who were comfortable with, and cared about, one another. There were still points of friction, unknown elements, events and reactions, on both sides, but for now, she could laugh softly and smack the palm of her hand in a glancing, admonishing, blow across his shoulder, not seriously administered. “She must have been able to detect my natural charm, despite your attempts at slander. I always thought Cookie sounded like a very wise woman.” Marianne replied, assuming a tone that indicated some kind of triumph in herself, an amused smile blossoming across her lips. A moment later that smile turned into mockingly constructed pout, her tones sulky. “And I don’t even have a childhood cook or nanny to bad-mouth you to in return.” She protested, although it wasn’t entirely true. Cooks and nanny’s there had been, after her mother died, but such a succession of them that she hadn’t kept in contact with any of them, let alone having them still in the house she had grown up in. Of course, that had long been sold, and whichever woman her father was currently with usually ended up bringing in new staff to wherever he happened to be living. Begrudgingly she could acknowledge that the most recent one actually seemed to know how to exist without someone to do everything for her, so that was a step in the right direction, because Lord knows her father had never managed to figure that one out.
Thoughts of her family life was discarded eagerly if not easily, her focus moving to and fixing on Theo as he put down his coffee cup and took her into his arms instead. Moving comfortably into his grip, Marianne slid her hands slowly around his waist, seeking out his back where she comfortably locked her fingers together, holding onto him. She enjoyed the firmness of his hold around her, the familiar bare torso presented before her, pressed against her, the welcome body heat, though standing out on the boat was having a distinctly cooling effect on their collective body temperature. Lowering her head slightly, she pressed a kiss to his collarbone, a smile forming on her lips against his skin as he began his indignant protest. “Of course you do. You have to be a good boyfriend.” Marianne replied and raised her head to look up at him, rewarded for that movement by a kiss, words lost in the meeting of their mouths. Automatically her hands moved to cup around the back of his neck, thumbs stroking over his skin and into the curls at the back of his head, taking every opportunity to fully appreciate the intimacy of these moments, and the soft warmth of his mouth against hers.
With the end of the kiss leading to a slight parting of the space between them, Marianne’s blue eyes focused on Theo’s darker ones as they became distant, following something far away from the boat. She glanced over her shoulder, trying to see what he was looking at, but only saw the pier in the distance. A short laugh escaped her as Theo suggested the Ferris Wheel, but she paused to watch him with a slight, quizzical frown creasing her forehead at his almost confused delivery of the suggestion, wondering where he had gone in those brief moments. She couldn’t imagine that Theo was the Ferris Wheel riding kind of man, and certainly not the type to suggest it. “I always preferred the rollercoasters and the log flume, personally, but if you want to take me on the Ferris Wheel I expect to be bought candy floss, and then I think you should win me a giant, tacky bear to carry around with me. It would show off your manly prowess.” Marianne suggested with an amused smile, dropping her hands to rest on his waist.
“I’m sure we could think of somewhere more interesting than the Pier at Brighton though. Somewhere warmer, too.” She added as another shiver ran across her skin, chased by a brief strengthening of the cool breeze, ripplingly through the material of her dress, the hem brushing around her thighs. Thankfully Theo was of the same mindset and suggested that they go inside, a suggestion which was met with more enthusiasm than the Ferris Wheel. “That’s what happens when you walk around half dressed in any month that’s not August, poser.” Marianne replied with a smile, lifting a hand to brush briefly across a toned stretch of pectoral muscle before lifting herself gently upwards on the balls of her feet, to press a kiss to the base of his jaw. “I’ll do my best to find a way to warm you up.” She added, one of her hands sliding slowly down Theo’s arm to twine her fingers through his, and stepping around him so that she could head towards the inside of the boat, tugging gently on his hand to pull him along after her.
Theodore Llewellyn - April 23, 2012 01:42 PM (GMT)
[doHTML]<div style="margin: 0px auto; width: 450px; height: auto; background-color:none; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px; border: 0; text-align: justify;">
<p>"She is very wise."
He'd never admitted it to her face or in her near vicinity, of course, and it was unlikely he ever would, in that sensible way that you simply didn't shower a person with excessive amounts of compliments - no matter how true - that would give them a certain hold on you. But Cookie, colourfully tempered Tabitha Crandell, had a homely kind of wisdom that had always served Theo quite well, as well as given him the sharpest taste of disappointment on those occasions when he'd knowingly done himself a disservice.
Those times, that is, when Cookie was made aware of his actions.
Still, he wouldn't go into detail or linger on the topic - that implied an entirely different admission - but let himself be carried away by changing lines of thought, distracted by the feel of her lips against his skin, his lips, and her hands skirting over the bare skin of his torso and playing gently with the curls at his hairline. (As though he could have prevented it had he tried.)
He had to be grateful that Marianne didn't utter an immediate, strong urge to follow his suggestion of going on the Ferris Wheel - the more he thought about it, the more it seemed to him that this was if not the one thing he'd least like to do, then certainly one of the top 20 things he'd prefer to forego. At least today, when he could experience vertigo from climbing a steep staircase or sitting on a barstool - better, then, to do as she said and find somewhere more interesting. He ducked his head down quickly as she stood up on her toes, giving a slanted smile at her comment and mumbling in a murmur, "I love it when you make scathing comments." His beginning reluctance to move was only for show; he made her tug at his hand before he followed, lopsided smile growing slightly into a half-formed smirk as he added, "Really gets me going."
The breeze lapped teasingly at his skin, and another shiver caught him and slithered up his spine, causing him to quicken his pace enough to come up alongside her, wrapping an arm around her petite waist and tugging her as close as he could. "Clearly, I'm doing this to give you the opportunity to warm me up," he whispered, lowering his head to speak the words directly into her ear, moving so close that each syllable uttered equalled a brush of lips against her skin. "Or to inspire you, maybe," he added, straightening and grinning, stretching out a hand to push the sliding glass door aside and allow them admission. He lingered at the doorway for a moment after she'd stepped over the threshold, closing it tight behind them to block out the cold.
It was warmer in here, a crisp sort of heat, the way he liked these sitting rooms, and he decided to at once ignore the cold that lingered in his outer layers of skin. Again, he came close to her, sidling up with deft, quick steps, slipping around to her back and wrapping his arms around her, head lowering until his chin was rested on her shoulder. "I can't stand Ferris Wheels, you know," he said quietly, musingly, voice becoming distant around the edges before he returned to her completely with a smile and a half-chuckled, "What do you want to do?"
Starting at the depth of him, he began to warm, the sensation bringing with it a faint and nagging pain in the vicinity of his solar plexus. He closed his eyes and ignored it. It was all in his head if he wanted it to be.