A Scandal of Newtonian Proportions
Lucas smiled blissfully, shutting his eyes. He was lying on his bed, with his head on Miel's lap.
They had spent close to an hour at the lake, making out until their lips were sore, but he had enjoyed every second of it. Miel sure was one hell of a kisser. He loved the taste of her, the smell of her, the feel of her soft, smooth skin…
He opened his eyes and looked at her as she read her book, her brow creased in concentration. His favorite strand of hair fell over her face and he reached up to brush it aside for her. She looked at him and rewarded him with a little smile, dropping one of her hands from her book and tangling it in his hair.
After their steamy make-out session, they had driven back to the campus to Spence's party. Pierre began yelling at the two of them so much so that Spence had had to step in to sort things out. They had finally made it back to the Trottier building and Miel had pulled Lucas into her room. They collapsed on her bed and even though they were both exhausted, they stayed up for a couple of hours, talking cheesily about their respective lives ("We are so predictable," Miel had gushed with amusement).
Lucas had realized that he didn't know much about Miel and was determined to know everything. She had told him about her family and growing up in Toulouse, France, and about taking off to the States for university. She told him about how she hated mayonnaise and bugs, and how her favorite thing in the world was Nutella. She described the nature of her profession, and even (with some difficulty) about the side-jobs- the illegal ones she had aided in. She told him about her old boyfriends, and how she'd never really been in anything serious, except in high school, and that even then, it had been somewhat one-sided; she had just liked the guy because he was the soccer captain and he had taken the time to teach her how to play.
Lucas in turn had described his childhood in Australia. He told her about how his father had left them when he was a baby, and that he had grown up with his sister and his mother, both of who meant the world to him. He spoke about how he secretly intended to go back to teaching, preferably in Australia, once his gig in Geneva ended, and even brought up the three women he had ever been truly interested in before Miel.
"So let me get this straight, you're not the notorious player everyone says you are?" she had asked him, her eyebrows raised in surprise.
Lucas chuckled. "Well, I was- sort of. There was a time, after Dianne, that I went on a crazy spree. I did a lot of wild things I would never have normally done, but I guess she had messed me up pretty bad. I mean it doesn't justify that I wronged a lot of women in the process, but I really couldn't bring myself to feel anything at that point."
"I don't know whether to be relieved you're not really a player, or to be worried that you're capable of not feeling anything. But no matter," she had told him, "Everyone's entitled to their getting-over phases."
"You worry too much, Miel."
She had smiled wryly. "So I've been told. Anyway, you said there was your first love, Lucy Mitchell in high school, who left you for the drama star in your school because you didn't talk enough, Dianne Fox whom you met at SpenceLabs in your first year here, who couldn't handle being with you so she cheated on you with Spence of all people…what happened to her?"
"Well, Spence got tired of her, and she really wasn't that good at her work to begin with, and so she went and got herself fired."
"Wow, no wonder you hate Spence so much," Miel had observed softly. "And the last woman you were serious about was… Michelle Cooper?"
"Yeah. I guess she was frustrated because she needed someone who would worship her at all times, and I really wasn't going to do that," Lucas had replied, surprised at himself for being so neutral about it.
"Sounds to me like all these women wanted you to need them as much as they needed you," she had told him sagely. "I mean I can see why some women would get thrown off by someone as private as you."
"Hey," he had responded, somewhat affronted. "What're you trying to say? My character just makes women want to leave me?"
"No. Just that you've been unfortunate enough to fall for women who need men who aren't as deep as you are."
Lucas had laughed and had asked her if she was one of those women, to which Miel had pointedly said in all seriousness, "No, I like you just the way you are. If you get shallow on me, we're through."
She had hugged him then and planted tiny kisses all over his face, and after making herself comfortable beside him and running her hands through his hair, they drifted off to sleep under her blanket.
The following morning, Lucas had awoken to the ringing of Miel's cell phone on her side table. Miel had groggily picked it up, breaking into a huge smile as she babbled in the cutest, yet the sexiest French he had ever heard. She was talking to her "papa." So Lucas had retreated to his own room, to give her some privacy, but apparently Miel needed none of that because ten minutes later, she was there in his room, book in hand. And that's how Lucas had come to lie on her lap, dozing contentedly while she read her book.
They spent almost all of Saturday lying in bed together, reading or sleeping. Lucas was happier than he had been in ages, and Miel kept wishing that things could always remain as perfect as they were that day.
On Sunday, Miel and Lucas took a break from each other. She went shopping with Pierre close on her trail, and Lucas managed to pry Jason from Alissa's arms and head over to the lab to carry out an exceptionally crucial experiment they had been building up towards.
Later that night, Miel showed up at Lucas's door with two chicken sandwiches and grape juices in her hands- dinner.
They lit candles and turned on some jazz while they ate. Miel related the meaningless events of her day in the city to Lucas and waited patiently for him to tell her about the experiment. He seemed somewhat worried about the results. He said that they would only find out on Monday because the computer was still processing them.
After dinner, Miel said she had a meeting with Spence and took off without another word, leaving Lucas baffled and extremely curious. He had been painfully aware of the fact that Miel had avoided talking about what was going on with Spence and the people that were after her. Even though Miel had told him in all honesty why she couldn't let him in on the stuff yet, he still wished she would have a little more faith in him.
Lucas stayed up late that night, hoping Miel would knock on his door once she returned from her meeting. He was getting too used to having Miel sleep beside him. But the knock never came and he fell into a troubled sleep, realizing that for the first time, he needed this woman more than she needed him. Miel's observation regarding his previous failed relationships revolving around the "need" factor was suddenly relatable to their situation, but in reverse.
He tried to shut his mind up by brushing it off as paranoia and over-analytical, but he still didn't sleep too well thereafter.
"Thanks for meeting with me on a Sunday," Miel said to Spence as she sat herself down in the office that she had recently broken into.
"I'm just sorry it had to be so late. I've been really busy all day," he told her kindly.
"Well, I guess I should just get to the point, huh?" she said, more to herself than him. "I know it was wrong and foolish of me, but I guess all the pressure just sort of got to me and I- "
"Yes?" urged Spence, watching her pretty face etch with worry and apprehension. She looked so stressed out and so tired, sitting there with her shoulders hunched, wringing her hands.
"I sent them the program."
Spence leaned back in his chair, blown away by the information he had just been given. After a moment or two of processing it, he softly said, "What now?"
"I-I don't know," Miel stammered. "I think that it'll get them off my back now, but I don't know what's going to happen."
"Miel," Spence began seriously, "I can't say that what you did was the right thing because you've severely jeopardized the security of the world, really, but I must admit that I'm glad you don't have to worry about it too much anymore."
It took all of her strength to keep her anger in check. She couldn't believe that the man seated across from her could be so hypocritical and so cruel and condescending at the same time. He was absolutely vile.
"Well, sir, I was wondering if I could maybe take a week off from work. I was hoping to go home during that time and recuperate from all of this… think about things, you know?"
Spence took a deep breath and contemplated the implications of her wanting to take off.
"Of course," she added, "I'll have my cell on me and I'll leave my family's address with you so you can reach me if you need me."
"Oh, well in that case, I think it'd be a good idea for you to take a break. I can tell you really need it. And you have been working so hard for Dr. Reed's project… I suppose, also, that you won't be needing Pierre anymore."
Miel shook her head, crossing her fingers discreetly on her lap.
"Yes, yes, Miel, darling. Take a week or ten days off to recover. It's a splendid idea, really," Spence continued with a smile, getting more and more used to the idea as the seconds ticked by.
"Well, I was sort of also hoping that maybe…"
Spence raised his eyebrows.
"Maybe I could convince you to give Dr. Reed a break, too?"
Spence broke into a knowing grin with comprehension dawning on his face. It made Miel want to slap him. "Oh, young love," he said jovially.
Miel sputtered. "I assure you, it's nothing like that. I just think that's he's been pretty overworked himself, lately, and that a break would be good for the team. He doesn't know anything about this, of course."
"Right you are, Miel. Always looking out for the good of the team," he told her teasingly. "Well, you can tell Lucas that he can take a couple of days off as well. But I want you both back at work by next Wednesday at the very latest."
"Yes sir," Miel said, allowing herself a small, victorious smile. "Thank you."
Lucas was more than a little irritated when Miel didn't show up at work the following day. Just because she was sort of his girl now didn't mean she could take liberties such as not being at work anymore. Who the hell did she think she was?
Of course, it had gradually occurred to him that Miel wasn't really the sort to skip out on work because of a budding relationship with the team leader or anything trivial like that. She just wasn't the sort. She was too much of a workaholic. Then where the hell could she be?
He had tried her cell phone but had gotten her voicemail. He was about to let out another exasperated sigh when Jason barged into his office with an expression of utter bewilderment. "Luke, I think you've got to come see this," he said, stunned.
Lucas didn't argue with that. He had never seen Jason so dazed before. He followed Jason and pretty soon he was looking at the tabulated results from their experiment the day before. He felt his mouth go dry.
Everything they had been working on for so long was finally falling into place. Their results had an almost eerie pattern, signifying that their hypotheses had been right all along. Lucas realized with a start, the significance of his findings. The world of quantum physics was about to take a major turn, and his team was at the frontier.
Without a word, Lucas and Jason burst out laughing.
"Wait, wait, how many people know about this?" Lucas asked Jason after their laughing fit had somewhat subsided.
"You and I are the only ones, man."
"Good, let's keep it that way for a while. I don't want Spence getting a hold of this yet."
"Yeah, gotcha. But what should we do now?"
Lucas thought for a moment, folding the data sheets carefully and leading the two of them back out towards his office. "Just pretend that we haven't even done the experiment yet. Keep working on the other stuff, just until I can figure out what to do with this."
"Right on," Jason replied easily with utmost trust, looking downstairs towards the entrance.
Lucas followed his gaze and was greeted by the sight of Miel walking in through the sliding doors, wearing a cream-colored dress and a chic black hat with tinted sunglasses, holding a black purse daintily in her right hand, and shopping bags in her left. People around the entrance stopped to stare at her as she dropped her shopping bags, took off her sunglasses and looked straight up at Lucas, breaking into a huge smile.
He watched her in awe as she picked up her bags and ran up the stairs in her strappy black sandals. "Lucas, we need to talk," she said breathlessly. "Hey Jason."
"Hi, Miel…" Jason responded uncertainly. "You look nice. You do know that the weekend's over, right?"
Miel grinned at him and looked back at Lucas, gesturing with subtlety that she wanted to talk to him alone.
"So, um, yeah, just go back to working on that Baryon particle stuff, Jason," Lucas told him awkwardly, turning into his office with Miel right behind him.
He shut the door and after a brief moment of hesitation, his blinds. He looked at Miel, who had planted her shopping bags and purse on his chair, and was taking her hat off, letting her hair fall smoothly over her shoulders.
"Come here," she said coyly to him.
"No. Tell me what's going on first."
She smiled wickedly and walked over to him slowly. "Sorry I'm late," she whispered when there was less than two inches of space between them.
Lucas gulped and leaned back against the wall. "Th-that's okay," he croaked nervously.
Miel closed the gap between them and pressed her lips against his, and Lucas felt all the tension drain from his body as she melted against him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and let their lips do all the work. "Work rocks," he murmured as she pulled away "I've dreamed of kissing you in my office for so long now," he added sheepishly.
"Let me take you to lunch," she said, running a hand through her hair and heading back over to his desk.
Lucas left the support of the wall and took a hold of her hand. "It's only eleven."
"Take off early… there's something I have to run by you," she told him mysteriously.
"Why can't you run it by me here?"
"I'm starving," she said, smiling.
"Okay," he replied, his resolve dissolving at the sight of her tiny little smile.
"Great!" she exclaimed, picking her things up off his chair. "Can you meet me at the Trottier lobby in fifteen minutes? I just have to go drop this off… and then we can go have lunch in town. It's such a beautiful day."
He met her as planned, and they got into her car and she drove them to an upscale restaurant in downtown Geneva, where they sat on the patio and ordered sandwiches and wine.
Lucas watched her sun-filled hair flying in the wind, and the easy way with which she talked.
"So I'm sorry about not showing up at work today. I had to go pick up some things this morning, and after my meeting with Spence last night, I'm proud to say I'm officially on leave."
"What?" Lucas burst, thrown off guard. He mentally chastised himself for not paying attention.
Miel took a sip of her wine. "I spoke to Spence and he's given me holidays until next Wednesday. So I was thinking of going home, to Toulouse for a couple of days."
"Why didn't you tell me this before?" he asked her, anger bubbling up into his throat. Why did it seem as if Miel never told him anything?
"Because I only found out last night," she explained calmly, looking away onto the sidewalk at the passersby.
"But if you had been planning on asking for leave, why didn't you tell me about it?"
She shrugged. "I didn't want to say anything until I was sure, I guess." She bit her lower lip and regarded him curiously. "I'm sorry. I probably should've told you, Lucas. I guess I'm not quite used to the fact that we're…" she trailed off, uncertain about what exactly it was that they were doing.
"Right," Lucas said shortly, his annoyance abating. "Well, when do you leave?"
"I'm catching the five o' clock train," she told him, taking a bite of her sandwich.
"It's a pity you're leaving right now."
"Why?" she asked after swallowing.
"Well, Jason and I just got the results back from the experiment I had told you about…"
"The tunneling one?"
Lucas nodded. "Anyway, the results are astounding and we're on the brink of something really big here," he narrated with a grin, anticipating an overjoyed reaction from her.
But instead, Miel looked slightly crestfallen.
"You don't have to die with happiness for me or anything," Lucas said sarcastically, somewhat hurt.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Lucas," she said, reaching across the table to hold his hand. "I'm thrilled that you guys did what you were out to prove all along…"
Lucas snorted. "You have a funny way of showing it, Miel."
"I'm sorry," she said quietly, retrieving her hand and looking down at her plate.
Lucas softened his gaze on her. "What's going on?" he asked lightly.
"I was hoping you'd come with me, but I guess that's out of the question now that you're so close to success."
"To Toulouse?" he asked her, thrown off once again.
She nodded. "I know it's a lot to ask for and everything, but I was just thinking about how much fun it'd be to get away for a while. You don't even have to come with me to meet my family if you don't want to- I realize it's a bit too soon for all of that; I just sort of wanted to escape with you for a bit."
Lucas flushed, his insides doing flip-flops. Miel wanted to get away with him? He pondered over the meaning of this carefully, chewing on his sandwich. After a minute of silence, he realized that she was watching her, waiting for an answer.
"I guess taking a week off would be all right," he said, happy with his decision. "In fact, getting out of town with you sounds pretty perfect," he added, breaking into a smile and taking her hand in his.
Miel was slightly stunned. She absorbed Lucas's lit up face and squeezed his hand. "Wait, but what about your experiment?"
"That can wait," he responded, waving his free hand. "I'd love to go to Toulouse with you."
Miel smiled at him with her whole heart. Never in her life had she been with a man who made her feel so good with the slightest gestures. When he held her hand, she felt like she was soaring. And when he agreed to go with her to Toulouse, despite the precarious position he was in, regarding his project, she thought she would burst with gratitude. She had never, ever liked anyone remotely enough to want to introduce him to her family, and for some reason, she was dying to introduce Lucas to them. It was a lot to take in.
They finished the rest of their lunch, chatting about stupid things like how Jason and Alissa were the cheesiest people in the world. "I hope we don't become like them," Miel said, laughing. It made Lucas wonder if they were actually going out then, or not.
"So Miel," he began after she fought him for the check and won. "Is this our first date? You taking me out to lunch and stuff?"
Miel turned slightly rosy and coughed. "Yeah, I suppose," she said meekly.
They returned to SpenceLabs and Lucas went straight to the lab to wrap up some stuff. Miel went home to pack, opting on finishing her computer stuff at the lab once she was done. They decided to be lame and movie-star-ish and meet each other at the train station at four forty-five at the platform.
When Miel entered the lab, Lucas was no where around, so she figured he had gone home to pack. She went into her office to finish up the last of a program she had been working on. She had just more than three hours before she had to meet Lucas, so she began typing away.
Jason came into her office sometime later and decided to interrogate her.
"So I heard you know about the results. It's all a big secret, you know," he said, sitting down across her desk.
"Yeah," she replied, distractedly.
"I also know you guys are taking off for the week. Way to spring that one on us without warning."
Miel looked at Jason guiltily. "I'm sorry, Jason. I haven't even had the chance to tell Alissa about it, really. Things have been moving pretty fast."
"Yeah, yeah," he said, offhandedly dismissing the whole issue as not a big deal with a wave of his hand. "I'll tell her for you, if you'd like."
"Thanks. Give her a hug goodbye for me. We should be back by Wednesday so it's not like forever or anything."
"I know. Luke told me."
There was a long silence that ensued, and finally Miel broke it. "So what else did he tell you?"
She nodded, avoiding his eyes.
"Nothing, why? Is there something to tell?"
Miel shrugged. She wasn't going to be the one to tell Jason. He was technically Lucas's friend, and he should be the one to tell him, whenever he thought was the right time.
"Okay then, have a really great break. I'll see you when you get back?" he said, rising from his seat.
"Yup. Good luck with controlling the lab for the week."
"Thanks Miel," he said, reaching the door. "Oh, and use protection," he added with a laugh, disappearing out her door, leaving her flabbergasted.
So he did know! She contemplated grilling him on what exactly Lucas had told him, realizing with a roll of her eyes that she really wanted to define things between them. They were in the early stages of something that could escalate into seriousness and she was acting so much like a girl in wanting to set boundaries instead of leaving things in the dark for the time being. "Going with the flow" was so overrated when it came to relationships, she thought to herself. It was so infuriating not knowing.
She decided against grilling Jason. She had too much work to finish before heading over to the train station. It was such a thrill that she was going to be meeting him on the platform. Hopefully he'd be there on time… she creased her brow in worry. Why the hell couldn't they have just met in her room or something before leaving. Now she had to worry about whether he'd show up or not, because in the movies it was always up in the air when it came to last-minute train-station meetings for lovers about to escape…
A/N: It's baaack! I hope I didn't annoy you people too much by putting this on hold for so long. Well, I sincerely hope as well that this chapter was up to standard… the next chapter is going to be such a happy one. I can't wait. But then the one after that is drama-filled all over again. Sigh. I can't wait for that, either. The story's coming to an end… I still have a little ways to go, though. Thanks for all the support! Oh, and
abracadabra8831: You're right that Van Gogh was the creator of the famous Sunflowers, but Monet has one, too, which I think is slightly prettier than Van Gogh's. Lol. It's not as famous, though.
majorshopaholic: Yeah, it is a bit of an exaggeration that Miel is being paid so much to work with a research team, however this is entirely fictional, so meh… Miel's loaded. And I suppose evil Spence does have the means to pay her that much. Haha.