|Saint or Sinner
Author: Tawny Owl PM
Red sold her soul for a devilish smile. Blue Eyes is still working like a saint to get his soul back. When opposites attract is it a match made in Heaven? Or is it one Hell of a mistake? Best described as 'naughty Disney'Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 15 - Words: 56,339 - Reviews: 176 - Favs: 102 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 08-29-10 - Published: 04-26-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2665341
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: To the people who are still reading this, thank you again. Here's sort of a one shot sequel. With toppings.
I have always wanted to try a split narrative like this so let me know if it's too nonsensical. And if you find the stamina surprising then suspend your disbelief: it is in the supernatural section, after all.
He'd never thought it could be like this, never thought he deserved this. The fact that on some level he still doesn't quite believe it makes him all the more in awe.
Her eyes flutter closed, her body arches. He wonders why, in Heaven's name, he's still thinking when she's making adorably wanton noises like that. Especially when he's the cause of them.
"Here." Her hand moves, sliding down the slick skin covering his spine, down further until she can dig her nails into his flesh and adjust the movement. "Like that, oh!"
Her leg curls round his, pulling him deeper. He groans, teeth plucking at the skin of her jaw.
"Oh," she gasps again, "dear God!"
"Please," he hisses. "Don't. Say. That."
Her eyes open and she grins wickedly, like she's the doorwoman to the gates of Hell. "He's not listening," she pants.
He doesn't want to risk it and shuts her up with his mouth. Her free arm wraps round his neck dragging him down. He falls into her. He realised long ago that he'll never stop falling. He doesn't want to stop. Not ever.
There was something wonderfully satisfying about having the alarm go off on a Sunday morning. It was beyond gratifying to slam it into silence and just exist in the peaceful aftermath.
Evelyn Milton pulled her arm back into the bed and burrowed deeper. She stretched her back and her legs, and then curled into her pillow with a contended murmur.
Sundays used to be long grey days of church and prayer. This doleful start was inevitably followed by more prayer because Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest. Rest meant sitting on a cold, hard seat listening to the words of dead men while her mind wound slowly out of its self.
Thankfully, those memories were tucked safely away in the annuals of history.
Sundays were now lazy days of open possibilities.
It doesn't, she thought, get any better than this.
Always willing to prove her wrong, the uncoordinated heap of a body in the bed with her began to wake up. Evelyn let herself doze as she heard him turn his pillow over so the cold side was against his cheek.
"Morning," she whispered.
The answer was unintelligible.
An arm was thrown sloppily over her waist as the body rolled into her back. He kissed the crown of her head, almost distractedly, as he brushed his nose through her hair. He then set about insinuating his hand beneath the neck of her nightdress.
Evelyn lifted her arm, stretching it behind her so she could find his hip and tuck them more firmly together.
"They're still there," she whispered as he decided to favour her right breast this morning.
"Good," he replied sleepily. "I've become rather attached to them."
"I'd noticed." Evelyn closed her eyes. Then squirmed round so she could check that her husband was how she'd left him last night. She wanted evidence that he was still warm and slightly unnerved by her scrutiny, still with his ink black hair and pale skin. And still with the blue eyes that never failed to make her stomach twitter whenever they looked at her.
"What?" he asked, and self-consciously kissed the tip of her nose.
"You still don't look like an Adam," she observed.
"I don't feel like an Adam. But to be fair you still don't look like a respectable woman. That, however, is what the paperwork says." His voice was dry, but the amusement in his eyes betrayed him.
"I don't feel like a respectable woman," Evelyn whispered as she wound her fingers into the longer hair behind his ears. "And if I have you to myself this morning I do not intend to behave like one."
"Hmmm," he protested weakly. "I have a date."
"It's seven-thirty," she shot right back, limbs tangling round him. "Just five more minutes?"
"Five? You don't think much of me, do you?" Adam pulled her hands away and the mattress shifted as he clambered on to his knees.
"Don't go." Evelyn pouted as prettily as she could. She wasn't proud of it, but the end justified the means. "Not today."
"And what's so special about today?" he grinned at her.
Adam kissed her nose again. Very gently. "Yes, and I always meet Charlie on Sundays."
Evelyn huffed as he wriggled away from her.
"I'll see you later." There was something smug in his expression. It held a knowing smile that Evelyn didn't care for: it made her suspicious.
"It's not natural!" she called as he escaped her clutches. "Two grown men getting all hot and sweaty in a glass fronted box!"
She had never thought it could be like this, never thought she deserved this. But then people rarely get what they deserve. She didn't like to question, so had decided, a long time ago, to just enjoy it.
To enjoy the way he was saying her name: soft, entreating whispers like a prayer, repeated over and over. And it was her name. He was the only person living that knew it.
She enjoys the way she knows exactly where his boundaries are and how to negotiate them. She swears to take her turn at the laundry because when she'd got to the bottom of things she had realised his principle objection to the whipped cream had been that he thought he'd get stuck cleaning up the mess afterwards.
There's still a smudge of it on his neck, but she soon takes care of that.
Her hips shift, breaking the rhythm, drawing it out. He complains quietly in the back of his throat. It's an almost growl that makes her want to behave even more badly. Unfortunately the whipped cream can is empty and lost somewhere among the sheets.
"Hush." She pushes his shoulders, lifting her hips, forcing him on to his back. "Just enjoy it. Let me enjoy you."
"She's forgotten, then?" Charlie was grinning with his habitual, aimless good will as he flopped down on the plastic seat. "It's a good job I didn't bet on it." He shouted the last words as the constant racket of the squash balls below the stands was particularly loud this morning.
It was due to post Christmas enthusiasm. By March they'd have the place to themselves again.
Adam raised an eyebrow. "You don't have to be quite so pleased."
Charlie replied jovially. "It's heartening to know that it's one of the other side that has forgotten a date as important as that." He leant back on the seat behind him and flashed his expensively white teeth at a pair of passing women in tight shorts.
"Other side?" Adam sat forward, hands resting on his knees so he could look down at the squash courts. It was a big empty space, and that meant it echoed with a relentless eeriness. "They aren't a different species."
"They might as well be." Charlie grumbled as he stretched out his legs. "I don't know why you're so calm. Shouldn't you be pissed, or something?"
Adam shrugged and rolled his shoulders. "She's been busy."
Charlie shook his head. Like most people, he thought that Adam Milton was a mature, thoughtful young man who really needed to get out more. Adam was neat to the point of dullness and dressed as though he was two decades older than the twenty-seven years he claimed to be. He always had the essays marked and back to the students when he said he would, and never left an unwashed cup in the staff room.
Charlie Swift, on the other hand, wore jeans to PTA meetings and flirted with all the female teachers irregardless of age, personal hygiene or orientation. He was given to promoting class discussion when he was feeling lazy, and had a reputation for pinching the headmaster's favourite parking space.
They were only really friends because in the sea of oestrogen that was the British teaching profession it was a relief to find another straight man under forty who taught secondary school English.
"Has it really been a year?" Charlie asked as the break in the conversation meant that he found himself dipping into his inner monologue which consisted mostly of what was likely to be on television and how he could avoid doing the washing up for another day.
"A whole year," Adam confirmed thoughtfully.
"I say it's a sin." Charlie proclaimed as he took a slug of water from his drinking bottle. "I still don't believe that a woman like that could ever fancy a man who colour codes his stationery." His voice rose with exuberance as he warmed to his subject. "I think you got her out of a catalogue. Or off a website. Angels are us dot com."
Adam snorted with laughter.
"What?" Charlie asked. He was used to people laughing at his pathetic jokes, he even enjoyed it, but he wasn't used to Adam laughing at them. He was used to Adam sighing, shaking his head and doing work.
Charlie sometimes despaired of his straight-laced colleague and meeting his wife had been something of a revelation. He'd taken one look at the bouncy red head who moved liked she'd just shimmied her way off a catwalk and said, 'who the hell did you sell your soul to for that?'
"I've told you. We met through work," Adam dismissed.
"And what does she do?" Charlie persisted. He sat up, the perfect image of wide-eyed attention.
"I have told you this story." Adam tried not to smile as he replied.
Charlie shifted closer, lowered his voice to conspiratorial. "I know. I'm just checking the facts. We have a pool in the staff room that you only hired her to pretend she was your wife so Calendula the Calculus Queen from the maths department would stop stalking you during break duty."
Adam shook his head. "That would be a lot of effort to go to when I had already told her I wasn't interested."
Charlie shrugged. "The longest relationship that woman has ever had is with her abacus. She'd only take the hint if you set it out in algebraic formulae. And you," he poked Adam in the arm, "are avoiding the question."
"Oh, yes, we must."
"She's an event's co-ordinator." Adam relented with the weary tones of the hopelessly hounded.
"And…" Charlie prompted.
"She was coordinating an event I was at." Adam repeated. "At the British Museum. She fell over, I caught her. She asked me to fuck her. I said yes, eventually. It was the first thing she said; 'fuck me'. Satisfied?"
"For the moment."
"Then I have to go. I have shopping to do."
"Wait? She's forgotten you anniversary? Your first wedding anniversary? And you have to go shopping. You are so whipped." Charlie paused as the women in the tight shorts came back towards them. They were giggling. "Mind you," he mused, "it depends who's doing the whipping, doesn't it?"
Her breath mists on his face as he reaches up to kiss her. She presses her fingers to his lips, pushes him down into the mattress. He closes his eyes so he can drown in the scent of her. It's a hint of exotic gardens made musky by the heat of her skin.
"You made me wait all day for this," she purrs. "Time to repent."
He wants to say something clever, something witty about anticipation being the best aphrodisiac. Bless me, for I have sinned. Again. Again. And Again. Speaking is starting to be a problem though.
Her mouth ghosts nearer to his. It's so close, but without touching. He shivers.
"Stay with me." Her voice is like silk and he follows it towards the light.
Evelyn began talking as soon as they'd ordered. She rattled off the story as though she'd burst all over the complimentary breadsticks if she didn't. "So, there I was, completely at his mercy and he still wants to go and play squash with his teaching buddy. And it's the first weekend we've had together since they finished putting on that play. The play he made me sit through. The play full of horny teenagers and bad acting. It's now one-thirty and he still isn't back." She folded her arms and glared at the ducks darting lazily about on the lake.
Mandy tutted as sympathetically as she could. "Men," she agreed. "I don't know why you put up with him. Oh, wait. I know. Is it because he's as cute as a button and has the manners of a saint?" She raised a perfectly threaded eyebrow and tapped her french manicure on the tabletop.
"He doesn't have the manners of a saint," Evelyn remarked as she crossed her legs and reached for her wine glass.
"Yes, he does." Mandy couldn't help smiling. You had to smile at Evelyn: the more she moaned about her husband the more you got the impression that there was nothing else in the world she'd rather be moaning about. "At the office Christmas party," Mandy continued craftily, "Alice spilt her Woowoo on him. Julie stole his tie and Laura spent most of the night trying to sit on his lap. He still got us all in a taxi and safely home. You said yourself that he carried you, your bag, your shoes and that giant fluffy penguin up two flights of stairs."
Evelyn looked up slowly. Her green eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly. "Yes, but it was the penguin that slept in our bed. He left me in the bath."
Mandy laughed. It was so sudden that the ducks on the pier jumped quickly back into the jade coloured water. She was immaculately turned out, but still a rather large woman with a rather large laugh. "Well, you were sick in the taxi."
"If he had the manners of a saint he wouldn't have told you that." Evelyn fiddled with her cutlery. "He would have told me he was going to be out all day. I had plans."
"Plans?" Mandy asked around the waiter as he deposited her grilled chicken salad in front of her. "Because it's your anniversary, you mean?"
"What?" Evelyn paused, fork full of spiky green lettuce and token prawn half way to her mouth.
Mandy waved her knife expressively while she tried to swallow quickly. "Anniversary," she said before she took a gulp of water. "Isn't that why we're here? Because he's gone AWOL and you're upset because you wanted, expected, even, to spend it with him? Quite rightly, I might add."
Evelyn's fork was still in mid air. The prawn dangled from its edge, fat and limp. Her mouth opened wider. "Shit," she said.
Mandy choked. "You've forgotten?" She spluttered through her fingers. "You even put it in the team diary. You had post its on every flat surface from your desk to the photocopier. I can't believe you've still forgotten." She thumped her chest as she drew breath. "You are unbelievable, Evie."
"Shit." Evelyn said again, with slightly more feeling. "I'm not used to this whole relationship thing, stupid, stupid, remembering dates, bugger." Her fork hit the plate with a clatter and she dropped her head straight into her waiting hands. "This is what morning afters lead to." She glared up at Mandy. "Stop laughing and tell me what to do?"
Mandy, a veteran of three marriages, only two of them hers, didn't really think she was the best to give advice. She tried to compose herself, but a smile was running riot on the corners of her mouth. "Finish lunch," she advised as seriously as she could. "Go home, fling on some negligee and pick up where you left off this morning."
"I can't," Evelyn groaned. "I did that when I forgot his birthday, and for Christmas, and a week ago to celebrate the success of that play, and a few days before that because I felt like it."
"How much negligee do you have?" Mandy asked, slightly aghast. She understood the importance of a girl's bottom draw, but some days it sounded like Evelyn had a whole wardrobe.
"I've built up a bit of a collection." Evelyn admitted distractedly. She was rooting about in her bag for her purse. "The point is I need to do something that looks like I remembered. Like Iput in time and effort. Like I'm not a ditzy, thoughtless, hussy who doesn't deserve a man like him. A man who selflessly rescues fluffy penguins from vomit filled taxis."
"Shopping for underwear takes time." Mandy soothed. "And it was a very cute penguin."
Evelyn grumbled something angrily as she dropped her half of the bill on the table.
"Cook him dinner," Mandy tried again. "You said he normally does it."
"There's a reason for that: he can cook." Evelyn slung her bag on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Mands, I need to go."
Mandy shrugged as her friend practically ran out of the restaurant, expensive shoes scraping on the wood. "Honestly, how hard is it to boil pasta?" she mused.
She likes him wordless. She loves it when he looks at her like that: like she's beautiful and sexy (which isn't the same as being hot) and the centre of the world.
None of the others looked at her quite like that. She finds it more arousing than handcuffs, or uniforms, or a man who knows how to dance.
"Stay with me." She sits back, nails brushing down his shoulders and chest. They linger on the raised skin of the scar on his hip. It's amazing that she knows his body better than her own.
She moves slowly, almost insinuating herself against him in long, smooth movements that are nearly feline.
He grips her thighs, hips pushing persistently upwards.
Oh, she thinks, what the Hell? And she gives him what he wants, what she has wanted since she woke up this morning.
What she'll want again tomorrow, and tomorrow, as long as it's him giving it, anyway.
Adam opened the front door. The first thing he heard was swearing. Then the fire alarm went off.
Seeing as there wasn't a raging inferno sweeping towards him, he put down the shopping bags and dropped the keys in the bowl that he'd found for the purpose. It was a bowl that Evelyn never used, preferring to keep her keys in her shoe, bag, or down the back of the sofa. Adam walked cautiously towards the implied chaos of the kitchen. The door was slightly ajar and he could smell the bitterness of burning.
Out of habit Adam instinctively stepped over the discarded Jimmy Choos lying forlornly on the hall carpet. It was a beige carpet that they really would get round to changing one day. It wasn't like they didn't have the money, but they had decided to try and keep a low profile.
Adam left the flowers on the hallway table and braced himself to enter the kitchen and confront the cause of the swearing which could still be heard over the whine of the fire alarm. He carefully pushed open the door.
Evelyn was balanced on the counter, waving a tea towel at the complaining plastic box fixed to the painted ceiling. In normal circumstances it would be amusing. The fact that she was half naked and wreathed in thin grey smoke just made it surreal.
Adam tried not to laugh and opened the window. He had to struggle with the stiff catch before the cool air could come in and the stop the beeping.
Evelyn let out a groan of relief. "Bloody thing." She deflated back on to her heels, the tea towel collapsing wearily into her lap.
As Adam turned back to the kitchen he was confronted with the mess spread over the table. He took in the random trail of food and tried to look somewhere else. That only led him to the saucepan half on the hob, with its bottom caked in ridged black gunk. It made him feel torn between two very important questions. Why are you cooking in your underwear? and "you burnt pasta?" Adam turned off the hob and glanced up at Evelyn. He hadn't seen that bra before, but it was hard to keep track. It wasn't unpleasant: nothing would be if she was wearing it, but it wasn't up to the standards he'd come to expect at times like these. It looked rather too practical. The design of it was more about support than presentation.
She was wearing stockings though. No, just one stocking. The other one had been abandoned and was draped decadently over the kettle. It was like Masterchef meets striptease and he wondered if it would all lead to sploshing. The thought conjured up feelings of equal parts terror and fascination. It was a cocktail he was becoming used too and glanced up at his wife, not yet ready to put anything past her.
Evelyn was still perched on the counter, legs curled underneath her and tea towel dangling limply. Her hair looked a bit limp as well. Frazzled. "Not on purpose," she huffed, "I put it on and went to get dressed, and then I remembered I needed to set the table, which was more important considering I didn't know when you'd be home." Her eyes narrowed. "So, technically it's your fault."
"What's the occasion?" Adam asked innocently, leaning back against the sink.
Evelyn's glare was priceless. It was something to be cherished. "Help me down so I can thump you."
Adam helped her down, and held on. Partly because she was in her underwear, and partly so she couldn't thump him. At least, not thump him very hard.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Evelyn hissed. "You knew I'd forgotten, didn't you?"
"Yes," he admitted, "but you usually do remember. Eventually."
"Eventually." She pushed him away. "Eventually, when it's too late to buy you anything nice, or arrange anything thoughtful." She folded her arms and slouched back against the cooker. "I was talking to Mandy and I realised that all I ever do is dress up behave badly."
Adam nodded sagely. "Yes," he admitted. "You do." He pulled the lost stocking off the kettle and ran it between his fingers.
Evelyn raised her eyebrows as though the point had been made beyond dispute.
Adam replied quietly, still almost too embarrassed to meet her eye on this subject, even after a year of marriage. "I was rather looking forward to it."
Evelyn's eyebrows slid up further. "Oh," she decided. "Oh? Oh! You could have said."
"I thought," Adam replied carefully, "it was a given. It's not like I've ever objected before, is it?" He dared to glance up. It was hopeful, almost coy.
"I'm going to make you pay for that." He could hear the excitement replacing the petulance in her voice.
"Promise?" he couldn't resist.
"I would, but I've got nothing to wear." Her words were thoughtful, but drawn out with a serious consideration.
"You're wearing something now," Adam pointed out.
Evelyn gave him a look. It was exactly the same look she gave him five minutes before they were about to leave the house. It normally prompted Adam into making a phone call to a taxi company, restaurant or Charlie to pass on the news they were going to be late.
With a squeal, Evelyn threw the tea towel at him and grabbed the can of whipped cream from among the carnage of canned fruit littered on a corner of the table.
Adam's throat made a spontaneous, nervous cough of inquiry.
"We were having trifle as well," Evelyn said imperiously, then dashed out of the kitchen. "Give me five minutes," she yelled.
Adam filled the sorrowful looking pasta saucepan with cold water and wondered, much as his namesake had, if he'd finally bitten off more than he could chew.
Her hair is stuck to her face, eyes bright, lips parted. He can't stand not touching her and sits up, one arm supporting him, the other curling carelessly round her waist so he can pull her closer.
He likes her when she's wordless. He loves it when she's flushed and raw, and his. "Stay with me," he mocks.
Her muscles tighten around him and he sucks the last of the cream from her breast.
He's so close, and he knows she's close too. It's amazing that he can read her body better than his own. He wants to see her lose control but when she starts to shudder he's already lost.
"Ah," he tells her, "Liza…"
As soon as she's got her breath back she's laughing, body still sprawled on his chest with no suggestion of moving.
The can of whipped cream is pressing into his leg, but it's still too much effort to move. He mumbles a half-hearted reprimand and she wriggles upward making him gasp as she props herself on her elbow and looks down at him.
"Your voice," she goads, "really sounds like it shouldn't be doing that."
"What?" He tries to avoid her eyes: they are dancing with mischief.
She then does an impression of what he sounds like. It's a ridiculous, fanciful parody of an orgasm and it forces him to throw the covers over her head. She squeals and descends into riotous giggles while trying to squirm her way back out. Even muffled by the duvet it's the nicest sound in the world.
"You have a voice that really shouldn't do anything except order afternoon tea on the lawn. It's far too proper." Her head reappears as she finishes the sentence. Her hair looks like a bird's been nesting in it and he loves that no one else gets to see her like this: honest and mussed, and gorgeous.
"I'm glad you appreciate it." He pushes the hair back from her face.
"Do it again," she whispers. Her hips flex against his.
"No." It's his turn to laugh
"Please." She starts trailing kisses up his neck. They're wet and sloppy, and they tickle.
"Later." He tries to push her off. "Pest."
"I bet I can make you do it again before then."
"I bet you could." He knows she could.
Clearly, so does she. She bites her lip and squirms some more. "So, what's for dinner, Mr Boring Grownup?"
"Pasta." He finally works up the energy to retrieve the empty can, and gives it a shake. "I don't think there's enough of this left for trifle."
©Copyright Tawny Owl 2010 Fiction Press UserID 592830