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Messages - Jonathan Granger

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The Shanachie Theater / Re: Backstage - The OOC Thread
« on: May 31, 2021, 09:21:50 PM »
Yes, we are still around, but taking a bit of a break. The calendar has been updated, however, with the upcoming performances, so feel free to play off that information, if you so wish. Any questions, ask!

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Ye Old OOC Thread
« on: May 31, 2021, 09:14:03 PM »
On a bit of a break, but we should be back soon, so stay tuned! :)

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Pics and Props
« on: March 27, 2021, 12:31:37 PM »
Just something silly ...

"Vicki, put that camera away! I'm trying to shave!"

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:52:29 PM »
Rose gold and diamond shimmered in the low light as Vicki pulled the delicate bracelet free of the box, a delighted smile on her face. "Oh, isn't this precious? It's lovely, Jon!"

He shrugged a shoulder, as if it was nothing, though he was pleased that she seemed to like it. "I know it's silly, but I didn't want the day to pass by without giving you a little something."

"And here I thought you wouldn't remember the engagement anniversary," she teased, sliding the bracelet into place on her wrist. She rolled over to him, brushing a tender kiss to his lips. "Happy anniversary, darling."

"How could I ever forget?" he asked, despite his tendency to let some memories slip through the cracks. "I love you, Vicki. Now and always," he told her, returning that kiss with equal tenderness.

"To infinity and beyond," she murmured impishly, brushing her nose to his. "Want to me to Buzz your Lightyear?"

He couldn't help chuckling at her remark, hardly surprised that she couldn't stay serious for more than five minutes. "I guess that depends on what you mean by that exactly," he said, rolling over on top of her as if he was ready for another go.

"Oooh, hello, Woody." She laughed, arching up into him as he rolled her to her back, curling her arms about his shoulders to draw him down into a languid kiss. Say what you like about Jon and Vicki, but even almost ten years from their official first meeting, the flame was still burning strong.

And if things kept going the way they were, that flame was going to burn long into the night, until they collapsed in each other's arms from exhaustion. The main thing was that they were together, through thick and thin, and that was never going to change.

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:52:14 PM »
"Always, where you're concerned," he ghosted against her lips, sliding the zipper down against her back with deft fingers.

Her own fingers twitched his tie undone, opening up his shirt collar as she peppered his lips with kisses. They had never lost the fire that simmered underneath their connection, indulging it whenever they could, but date night was always a little bit special. There was no risk of an over-excited five year old rushing into the bedroom at the critical moment, for a start.

There was no risk of interruptions of any kind, except maybe the phone. "Champagne now or later?" he asked, as his lips drifted to her cheek, and ear, and down the side of her neck as he eased the dress away from her shoulders.

"Later," she breathed, rolling her shoulders to slip her arms free from the dress, sliding her hands beneath his jacket to pull open the buckle on his belt. "More hungry than thirsty right now."

"Sweetheart, you are always hungry," he murmured as his lips followed the line of her bare shoulder downward, while his feet steered her toward the bed.

"Mmm, insatiable." She laughed, taking a good grip on his waist as she felt the bed behind her. Then she tipped backward, bringing him down with her in a tangle of limbs

He had thought to just toss her cave-man style onto the bed, but it didn't quite seem like the right thing to do while dressed in formalwear. He smirked as he was pulled down with her, pausing a moment to toe off his shoes, letting them fall to the floor with a thunk. He replied to her remark, but not so much with words as with actions, mouth and tongue and teeth moving ever downward, hands unsheathing her curves from the cover of her LBD as he went.

It took a little wriggling, and a lot of husky laughter, but finally they were both bare to each others' touch, scrambling up over the covers to exchange kisses and caresses that knew exactly where to land.

Without anyone there to interrupt or overhear, they were free for once to express their desire in whatever way they so chose, and Jon, for one, was eager to show Vicki how much he still wanted her. It wasn't hard to figure out, given the obvious signs, but it wasn't just lust that drove him onward, but enduring love and devotion. Still, it didn't hurt that he knew what made her squirm and he used that knowledge to his advantage, starting at her lips and ending somewhere between her legs.

And he wasn't the only one with inside knowledge. Even as he drove her to the edge of reason, Vicki was just as eager to bring him with her, knowing that he got as much pleasure from making her scream as he did from her intimate affections. How many wives could say that about their husbands?

And who cared if she did scream, so long as there were no complaints about them making too much noise. Jon had never been too shy in bed, at least where Vicki was concerned, and he wasn't shy now. Theirs was a sex life that wasn't just based on love and trust, but on having fun. In the end, there were usually a lot more giggles than screams, and today was no exception.

Even when that first explosion of desire was over, there were still smiles and laughter as they lolled together in the bed, trading softer kisses as hearts calmed in their chests. "Feel better now, stud muffin?"

"For the moment," he assured her, as he tried to catch his breath. It wasn't that he was out of shape, but she did have a way of giving him a workout. There would likely be a lot more of this in the hours to come, until they were both ready to collapse. "Oh!" he exclaimed, as if he'd just remembered something. "I almost forgot." He rolled over a little to reach for his jacket, which lay discarded with the rest of his clothes on the floor and almost fell out of bed.

"Mmm?" She lifted herself up onto one elbow, unable to resist slapping his butt as he rolled away from her to rummage for his jacket. "We don't need condoms, darlin'."

"Not condoms," he replied, with a smirk, the slap hardly fazing him. He knew she was very careful about that with five kids at home to take care of. He fumbled around in his jacket for a moment before finally locating what it was he was looking for and rolling back to face her.

Vicki raised a brow, pretty sure this was going to be something romantic but more than happy to play along. She knew it made him happy to do little things like this. "Not condoms, hmm? Oh lordy ... did you buy a dental dam?"

"No!" he exclaimed, a look of confusion on his face. "Why would I do that?" he asked, almost forgetting about the small wrapped box he was now holding in his hand.

"I have no idea," she laughed, leaning over to kiss his confused face tenderly. "You have never got any harder to tease, love, you know that?"

"Were you testing me to see if I knew what that was?" he asked, a suspicious look on his face. He wouldn't have put it past her. Despite their very active sex life, there had been a time when just the mention of such things would have shocked him.

Laughing again, she patted his cheek and winked. "Maybe. Maybe not. You may never know for certain. You do know I'm a dick, though."

"I thought men were dicks and women were, you know ..." He trailed off, too polite to say that word aloud, even when no one was there to hear him but his wife. "Why do I feel like I'm being teased again?"

"Because I am totally incorrigible, and you are far too sweet to call me on it, even in private," she assured him, resting her head on her hand as she laid herself back down against the pillow.

"Mmm, maybe," he said, not too sure about that. "Sweet on you maybe," he replied with a cheesy grin, as he presented her with the wrapped box. "Happy Valentine's Day, Vicki," he told her, his grin softening, as he touched a kiss to her lips.

Nuzzling close, her fingers closed around the box automatically even as he kissed her, lingering in that moment of fond intimacy a while. Then she looked down at the little box in her hand, rolling onto her back to free up both hands to unwrap it.

Beneath the pretty wrapping paper, snugly fit inside the box was a something shiny and glittery. It wasn't anything too terribly expensive and it wasn't anything she really needed or had probably even wanted, and yet, he had been unable to resist buying it for her, even if she hardly ever wore it.

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:52:01 PM »

Jon smirked back at her as he took another forkful of steak, only just managing to notice what was going on nearby out of the corner of his eye. "Well, you don't see that every day," he said, regarding the proposal. The fact that it was a female proposing to another female didn't even make him bat an eye.

Smiling at the newly engaged couple, Vicki looked back at her husband fondly. "It is the time of year when all hopeless romantics indulge themselves," she pointed out.

"Guilty as charged again," he said. "Oh! That reminds me. Do you want your Valentine's Day gift now or later?" he asked, with just a hint of mischief in his eyes. He had been planning on waiting until they were alone, until the woman nearby had popped the question.

"Later," she told him, her smile bright and affectionate. "I know you like a spectacle, but I like keeping the real intimacy just between us."

"Do I? I don't know about that," he said, mirroring her smile. For someone who'd spent a good portion of his life on stage, he could be pretty shy at times, but he had never been too shy about his feelings for Vicki - at least, not once she'd made it a point to pursue him.

"For your big romantic gestures? Yes, you absolutely do." Laughing softly at her own need to insist on his dramatic proclivities, she leaned over again, drawing her fingers tenderly over his lips.

He reached for her hand, gently kissing each one of her fingers. "I do love you, Victoria," he told her softly. He had been upstaged by the couple at the next table, but it hardly mattered.

It was rare he used her proper name, rare enough that she didn't argue with him for it when it happened. Instead, her smile softened in answer. "I love you, too," she answered quietly. "I always have, and I always will."

He smiled, leaning forward to lower his voice enough so that no one would overhear him. "What do you say we order the newly-engaged couple a bottle of champagne, on us?" he asked, that hint of playfulness in his eyes again. He'd order one for themselves later.

"And cover their bill," she suggested in agreement, gently nuzzling his nose with her own. "Anonymously." She might not be big on spectacle, but never let it be said that Vicki was not susceptible to a little romance.

"Done," he agreed, brushing his nose to hers before lifting a hand to the waiter so that they could inconspicuously do just that. He was obviously feeling generous and why not when money wasn't an issue?

The waiter seemed genuinely delighted to be able to deliver that news when the newly official couple finished their meal, agreeing easily to add the other table to the Grangers' bill when the time came to settle up in the morning. Chuckling softly, Vicki finished off her risotto, feeling a warm glow about doing something nice for someone else they would never be able to track back to them.

"You really are a remarkable woman, Vicki," Jon said, as they finished their dinner. Remarkable was an understatement really, but unless she wanted him to tick off a list of adjectives, it would have to do for the moment.

"It was your idea," she pointed out. "You don't give yourself enough credit, Jon. It seems like such a small thing to say, but you are a good man."

"I wasn't talking about that," he told her, though her ready agreement to their gesture was part of it. "It's a good thing you nabbed me when you did," he added with another teasing smirk.

"What, at the age of two?" she teased laughingly, wiping her mouth clean as she leaned back in her seat. "Or are we talking about offering myself on a silver platter in your trailer again?"

He echoed her laughter. "No, I was talking about the trailer. I'm not a pedophile, you know," he said, tapping a finger against her nose. He had to admit, she'd been an adorable baby, but it was the woman he'd fallen in love with.

"I know," she promised with a low giggle, catching his hand to gently nip his fingertip. "I'm the happiest I have ever been when I'm with you, Jon. Always."

"That goes double," he replied, smiling as she nipped his finger. He didn't need to remember his life before he'd met her to know that; it was written in his heart. "What do you say we blow this popsicle stand and order dessert in our room?" he suggested, though he didn't say what dessert was going to consist of.

"I think that is a marvelous idea, Mr. Granger," she agreed. "The meal is on the room tab, so we don't even need to settle up before we leave."

"Because my wife is a genius," he said. After all, she had made all the plans. He set his napkin on the table and moved to his feet to help her from her chair. "Shall we, my lady?" Now that one appetite had been satiated, it was time for them to satisfy the other.

"Hardly a genius," she argued. "Just very good at predicting our shared appetites." Rising from her seat, she slid her hand into his with a grin, brushing her lips over his knuckles.

It wasn't too hard to find their way through the restaurant to the adjoining hotel. Jon let Vicki lead the way, since she had planned this little getaway and presumably knew what room they were staying in.

Because it was Vicki who had done the booking, they weren't in the best that money could buy. She had never quite weaned herself off having to be able to justify spending to herself, which was not necessarily a bad thing. The room was by no means anything but luxurious, though, dominated by a wide bed that had already been turned down by housekeeping.

Jon was not one to complain, though he probably would have reserved the most expensive room the hotel could offer. All they really needed was a bed and a shower - or maybe a bath - so he had no complaints. Once inside, he closed and locked the door and drew her to him, one arm moving around to work the zipper of her LBD down. There was really no point in wasting time, in his opinion.

She laughed huskily as he pulled her in, drawing him down into a slow, loving kiss even as the dress encasing her loosened under his guidance. "Impatient, hmm?"

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:51:46 PM »
"Thank you." Offering a smile to the waiter, Vicki finally removed her foot from Jon's lap so he could eat in peace. "Honestly, I would love to start exposing the children to more cultural experiences. We have a lot of fun with them, but we can do a little teaching too, right?"

"So long as we don't bore them," he agreed, setting his napkin in his lap and picking up his fork to begin, his mouth watering at the tantalizing smell of his dinner. "So, what do you think? Spring break?"

"There are ways to make history interesting," she promised him. Vicki was fairly sure that Bea and Ben would be interested in stories about castles and the people who lived in them, at the very least. "I think spring break sounds like a good idea for a holiday."

So long as it didn't conflict with his schedule at the theater, but then again, he'd probably be able to find someone to cover for him, if necessary. "So, we should probably make a list of possible destinations," he said, as he cut into his steak, though that didn't need to happen tonight.

"Is there anywhere you want to go?" she asked, finally turning the question around on him. He so rarely outright stated that he wanted something, she thought she should probably get it out of him while he was in the mood to talk about it.

He shrugged his shoulders. It didn't really matter much to him, so long as Vicki and the kids enjoyed the destination. "Are you asking for my wish list?" he asked, blue eyes twinkling with amusement.

She winked at him from around a forkful of her risotto. "Do you know, I think I am," she said sweetly. "You wouldn't want to disappoint me, would you?"

"Have I ever disappointed you before?" he asked, that twinkle still in his eyes. At least, he hoped he hadn't.

"Hmm ... not that I can recall," she admitted. "You're stalling, though. There's nothing wrong with telling your adoring wife where you want to go and what you want to do."

"Okay ..." he murmured between bites of surf and turf, ignoring the potato and salad for the time being. Could they be anymore opposite? "What do you think about Hawaii?" he asked, though that was only one possible destination.

"I don't know much about Hawaii," Vicki admitted, taking a sip of water as she ate. "Is that somewhere you want to visit, love?"

"Des and Piper seemed to like it," he remarked with another shrug of his shoulders, though that was a bit of an understatement. Love it was probably more accurate.

"Seeing as they go back every year, yes, I would agree with that," she chuckled. "But is it somewhere you want to go, or somewhere you think you should visit?"

"I think a tropical vacation would be nice sometime. Someplace where the kids could swim with the fishes. But maybe they could do that in Greece," he said, reconsidering.

"We can do some research and find a place that will keep them interested with activities," she agreed. "But we were talking about what you would like."

He sighed, lowering his fork and knife for a moment to regard her. "To be honest, I'm not sure," he admitted with a small frown. They'd been to London, Paris, and Venice. Where else was there to go? "I would like to see Rome someday," he admitted.

"Then Rome goes on the list," she said. "It's as simple as that, Jon. You don't even need to have a reason to want to go somewhere or see something."

"So do India and Greece then," he replied, though it wasn't as if they had to decide on a destination today. "Maybe we should ask the kids where they'd like to go," he suggested.

"Of course we should," she agreed. "But Disneyland doesn't happen again until at least next year, or they are going to get too attached to holidays that involve vomit, sweets, and cartoon characters."

He chuckled at that. "Honestly, I think someplace with sun and sand and surf would do us all a world of good," he said, not only because it was the dead of winter in Rhy'Din. "Besides, it's a good excuse to get you back into a bikini." Or at least, a swimsuit.

She laughed, shaking her head at his comment. "You just like having fresh freckles to chase when I've been in the sun for more than twenty minutes."

"Guilty as charged," he admitted with a grin. "Be happy I don't play connect the dots with a pen," he added, teasingly.

"I do seem to recall a game of connect the dots on my belly when I was pregnant with the twins," she reminded him. "I even have photographs of you, Ben, and Emily concentrating on writing all over the bump."

"You're a living, breathing connect the dots puzzle," he said, a teasing grin on his face. It was just one of the things about her that he found adorable.

"Yes, and it tickles when you lot get together and play it on me!" She laughed. It wasn't that she objected to this particular game, but if Jon wasn't around to make sure they weren't using permanent marker, it could make the next few days awkward.

"Sorry," he said, though from the look on his face, he wasn't entirely. He had a feeling she had just as much fun teasing him, whenever she had the chance. At least, he wasn't suggesting they get pregnant again.

"It is rather cute how attached you are to my freckles," she conceded. "A day or two in a bikini would give you more to play with for a while."

"Almost as attached as you are to my, uh ..." he trailed off, leaving that thought unfinished, though if the look on his face was anything to go by, she could probably fill in the blank pretty easily.

"Oh, I am very attached to your uh," she assured him. "Just like the rest of you." She winked, taking another mouthful from her plate as, across from them, a young woman got down on one knee to propose to her girlfriend.

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:51:31 PM »
"Oh, darling, you know I'll have you any way I can get you," Vicki purred, her entire expression brimming with mischief. "And anywhere, but you have rules about not getting down to it in open public spaces."

"Rules?" he echoed, chuckling. "I'm not sure I'd call them rules exactly," he said. If he had rules, she had tried to break those rules more than once, though he wasn't complaining.

She laughed, letting her teasing toes rest on top of his knee under the table. "But guidelines aren't held to as stringently as you hold to your rules."

"Are we talking about the not giving me a hand job under the table while I'm trying to eat my dinner rules?" he said, a teasing smirk on his face. He knew she was more than capable of doing just that, if not for his so-called rules.

"But, darling, you can see both my hands," she said innocently, wiggling her fingers in his direction. Under the table, her toes wriggled against his knee wickedly.

He smirked as he felt her toes wriggle against his knee. "Just so long as they stay there," he told her, with regard to both hands and feet. He reached for the carafe of wine to fill their glasses before handing her one. "It's good to know you haven't lost interest anyway."

"Do I need to remind you what the words "lifelong love" mean when it comes to me and you, Jon-boy?" she asked with a gentle chuckle. He had, after all, had her heart since she was seven years old, believing he was a fairy in her garden.

"And here I thought we were talking about lust," he murmured, that smirk still on his face, obviously having fun teasing her. "What should we drink to?" he asked, though the answer seemed obvious.

"Well ..." Vicki raised her glass to touch the rim to his affectionately. "Since we tend to forget our wedding anniversary, how about this? Happy Engagement Anniversary, gorgeous."

He smiled at her suggestion. "Close enough," he said. They'd become officially engaged in March and married in August. "You know it's been almost ten years," he reminded her, though he doubted it was something she'd forget.

"We've been together almost a decade," she agreed with a soft smile. "You proposed to me nine years ago this week, stud muffin. Did you forget Venice?"

"It was in February, wasn't it?" he confessed, though he could never forget that trip to Venice. For a man who had most of Shakespeare's plays memorized, sometimes his memory for other things was like Swiss cheese. "As I recall, you warned me not to propose on Valentine's Day. You thought it was too clich├ęd or something."

"Yep." Vicki nodded, smiling as she sipped her wine. "You were totally determined to be romantic. It was adorable."

"I couldn't think of anywhere more romantic than Venice," he told her. "Happy Anniversary, Vicki," he added, taking a sip of his wine.

"Happy Anniversary, Jon." She leaned over to kiss his cheek affectionately. "And I loved Venice. You had a stroke of genius, even if I did bore the pants off you with the architectural tour."

He chuckled. "Is that how you got my pants off? I forget," he teased. "Is there any place you'd like to go that we haven't yet?" he added, as he set his glass back on the table.

She bit her lip, trying not to smile too widely. "The places I would like to go would probably bore the children hugely," she pointed out. "And possibly you, too. I don't think any of you would enjoy somewhere like the Taj Mahal enough to let me wander around it for a full day."

He arched a brow at her suggestion. "What makes you say that?" he asked. He wasn't averse to visiting India, though he wasn't too sure the kids would enjoy it.

"Mostly because I can spend an hour staring at the cornicing in the corner of a single room?" she said in amusement. "As beautiful and romantic as the Taj Mahal is, I'm really not sure you are prepared to learn everything about the architecture and design. The same with the Alhambra, though I would also love to go there."

"Alhambra," he echoed. "Where's that?" he asked. Either he'd forgotten that piece of knowledge or never had it to begin with.

"It's in Grenada in Spain," she told him. "It was built during the Caliphate era, using the golden ratio, and it's supposed to be one of the most beautiful buildings ever built."

"Hmm," he murmured, considering. "What about Rome?" he asked. "Or Greece?" he suggested, though those were clearly places the children might not appreciate as much as the adults.

"We could do Crete," she suggested. "Plenty of activities for the children, and we can expose them to mythology and history as well."

"Uh," he murmured uncertainly. "What is there to do there?" he asked, obviously not too familiar with that place either, though he knew it was one of the Greek Islands.

"Crete is the big island, the island where the Minoan civilisation was found," Vicki told him cheerfully. "There's Knossos palace, and all the other smaller excavations, but it's also an island, so there's swimming and hiking and water skiing, and trips to other islands like Santorini."

"Maybe we should make a list," he suggested, smiling amicably. Was he trip planning and if so, what occasion was he planning for exactly?

"You have that look again," she teased him. "Am I going to wake up and find my bags packed and a portal booked for after breakfast someday soon?"

"Not soon, no. Not while the kids are in school anyway and I have commitments at the theater, but sometime soon maybe?" he asked, uncertainly.

"You know perfectly well that no one in the house is going to argue with that," she pointed out. "Dad is getting on with Humphrey perfectly well, so neither of them will be lonely without us."

"Well, we should definitely do something special for our anniversary next year, but maybe a family trip before that?" he suggested again, though it was more question than statement. The waiter cleared his throat to let them know he'd returned and set their plates in front of them with the usual fanfare.

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:51:17 PM »
"Yes, sir," the valet replied, but not until he checked to see how much he was being tipped.

Jon turned his attention to Vicki as she took his hand. "Not intimidating. Just warning," he pointed out quietly as he led the way into the place.

"Intimidating," she insisted through a grin, blue eyes sparkling as they stepped into the warmth of the hotel lobby. The concierge nodded to them as they passed, the couple turning toward the restaurant.

"Do you know how much that car is worth?" he countered. It wasn't like he couldn't afford to replace it, but he was kind of attached to that one.

Vicki laughed, shaking her head. "Your devotion to your four-wheeled mistress is adorable," she informed him, pulling the room key from her bag to show the maitre'd, who smiled, collected a couple of menus, and moved automatically to show them to their table.

"Hey, we've been together a long time," he said, though he didn't - couldn't - remember picking her out or buying her. "You know, as much as I love that little black dress, it isn't very practical in winter," he whispered, having noticed the shiver she had tried and failed to hide.

"Practicality is not particularly sexy when the goal is getting you hot and bothered before we reach privacy," she murmured back, unsurprised he had noticed. For all that she teased him, she loved that Jon never missed even the smallest hint of her comfort.

"Oh, I see. So that's your goal," he murmured back, with a smirk of amusement. The truth was it didn't take much for her to get him hot and bothered, but he appreciated the effort. "I will have fun peeling you out of it later," he whispered back, for her ears only.

"Would you rather I'd shown up in a fur-lined catsuit?" she asked innocently, slipping out of his jacket now they were in the warm so she could take the seat the maitre'd was holding for her.

He coughed to cover up his shocked laughter at her remark. "Could you?" he asked, grinning at her once the shock wore off. He didn't wait for the maitre'd to offer him a chair, but slid into the one across from her.

"Baby, I have direct access to the Miranda," she reminded him. "That woman could make anything in the space of three days."

Momentarily distracted by the image of his wife in a form-fitting catsuit that hugged all the right places, he blinked out of his thoughts before his imagination got the best of him. "We'll have to put that on the list," he said, offering a nod to the maitre'd as he took his menu.

"Whatever you say, darling." She flicked him a knowing smile as she opened her menu, lowering her eyes demurely to the written words as that smile became a wicked smirk.

He, too, smirked, knowing her well enough to know she would act on that suggestion sooner or later. "So, what is Ms. Vegetarian having tonight?" he asked, as he turned his attention to the menu.

"Ms. Vegetarian has been looking forward to the mushroom and truffle risotto all day, thank you very much," she answered easily. It was one of the good things about being a vegetarian - less to choose from on nights out.

He visibly winced at her choice. Though he was accustomed to her diet, it was the one thing they had never had in common. She might accuse him of being a barbarian from time to time, but he was not giving up his meat. "Good choice, if you're a vegetarian," he murmured. As for himself, he was considering the surf and turf.

"You're such a snob about my food choices," she laughed, setting her menu aside as the waiter arrived to deliver a carafe of iced water and take their order. "When have I ever pulled a face while you inhale half a bird in front of me?"

"First of all, I don't inhale," he pointed out. "And second of all, I am a carnivore and proud of it." Or maybe he was an omnivore; he wasn't too sure, but he'd made his point. He turned to the waiter to place their order, including a bottle of their best chardonnay.

"That is just culinary way of letting me know you're a red-blooded male, and believe me, sweetheart, I know," she answered impishly, handing over her menu as the waiter stepped away from the table.

"And you wouldn't have me any other way," he countered, knowing her well enough to know that. It hardly mattered, of course, what he ate, but that wasn't the point.

"Oh, darling, I'll have you any way I can get you, and you know it." Grinning, she relaxed into her seat, pouring glasses of water for them both.

"So you've told me multiple times," he reminded her, mirroring her grin. He was curious how she liked him best, but that hardly mattered either.

"You want me to stop telling you?" she asked innocently, batting her lashes at him across the table. It probably didn't help that, under the table, she had removed one shoe and was teasing his shin with her toes - a clear sign of what she was going to do to him if they sat here for too long.

"Uh ..." he murmured distractedly, looking briefly around to make sure no one was watching. She was certainly good for his ego, among other things. "You're the one who said you were starving, remember?"

"Mmhmm." Her agreement was warm and wicked, eyes dancing with mischief as her toes stroked up to his knee and back down again. "Something wrong, stud muffin?"

"You are an evil woman, Victoria Granger," he whispered back, a smirk on his face that said he didn't really mind her attention, even if it made him squirm a little. "Just remember, I need some sustenance if you want me to go the distance."

"Oooh, zero to hero tonight, huh?" She giggled, taking pity on him as the waiter brought the wine. Jon was so much fun to tease, but she was not above stretching it out for as long as possible.

"Would you have it any other way?" he asked, teasing her back. He wasn't about to take his shoes off and do the same, but he would be sure to return the favor later. He tasted the wine and murmured his approval to the waiter, but his attention was clearly on the woman across the table from him.

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:51:03 PM »
Jon chuckled. "That's true, too, but somehow I don't really see Miranda ever completely retiring, do you?" he countered.

"Nope, never going to happen," the redhead agreed in amusement. "She never stops, that woman. At least I actually did stop working when I said I would."

"Well, we do have more kids to take care of than she does," he pointed out. They were also a least a few decades younger, though strangely, Miranda never seemed to age. He turned quiet a moment, a thoughtful expression on his face, as if there was something on his mind he was debating bringing up.

Vicki had never had a problem picking up on Jon's moods. It came from years of watching him before she ever officially met him, and it was something she had never stopped enhancing over the years. Turning her head, she studied that thoughtful expression for a moment before speaking. "Penny for them?"

He knew he'd ask sooner or later, so it might as well be sooner. "I was just thinking ..." he started, as if gathering his thoughts. "Have you heard anything from Yasmin lately? I haven't seen or heard from her in ages."

Vicki frowned, thoughtful herself for a moment. "No, I don't think I've seen her for a while," she mused. "But she's always talking about how she really should move on. Maybe she finally did, and just thought that making a clean break was a good thing?"

Though he didn't want to ruin their evening, this only deepened Jon's frown. "She didn't audition for the new season. It's just ... I don't know."

"It doesn't feel right, not knowing what's happened," Vicki said softly, reaching across to gently draw her fingers through his curls as he drove. "But there's no reason to think something bad has happened, sweetheart."

"I know," he said, drawing comfort from his wife's touch, as he always did. Mataya might be his best friend, but Vicki was the one who knew him best and always knew how to soothe his worries. "I just hope she's okay, that's all."

"So do I," she agreed in a quiet tone. "But she knows she's loved here, that she has friends here. She'll always have a place here. She'll be back when she's ready for it."

Jon nodded in agreement. She was right there, and they both knew the nature of things in Rhy'Din. People came and went all the time. It was when people he cared about disappeared without a word or a trace that he worried. "We'll just have to assume she's okay, unless we hear otherwise, I guess," he said.

"Of everyone we know, Yas is the one who will make it wherever she goes," Vicki assured him. "She's a survivor, no matter what."

He nodded again as he carefully navigated the city streets. "You're right. I know you're right. I just worry too much, I guess. Sorry," he said, hoping he hadn't put a damper on their evening with his anxiety.

She smiled fondly, leaning over to trail a line of kisses from his jaw to his ear. "I guess I'll just have to drive thoughts of all other women from your mind," she whispered to him, husky and promising in the quiet of the car.

He smiled, almost forgetting his worries for a moment. She'd always had that effect on him and knew exactly how to use it. "Yasmin isn't another woman. She's a friend," he told her, though he understand she was trying to distract him from his worries and succeeding. "You know I don't have eyes for anyone but you," he said, taking his eyes off the road for just a second to meet her gaze.

"Mmm, promises, promises," she murmured, gently turning his chin so his eyes returned to the road. "Dinner first, though. I'm starving."

"So am I," he murmured, smiling as she turned his face back toward the road, though he wasn't saying which appetite he was referring to exactly.

She laughed quietly, easing back to her own seat to keep from distracting him too much while he was driving. They'd done their fair share of swerving when she went too far for her to have learned that Jon really didn't have enough blood for his brain and his other parts.

Thankfully, it was right about then that they arrived, and Jon pulled into the parking lot, frowning a moment as he debated whether or not to use valet parking. He didn't usually trust the Bentley to anyone but himself, but he didn't want to make Vicki walk too far in the cold in her LBD either.

She snorted as he debated this in his mind. "I'm a big girl," she reminded him. "And you can always warm me up."

"It's okay," he said, though he was still debating. In the end, she was more important to him than the Bentley. He made his decision at last, carefully pulling into the valet lane, where a young man decked out in red and black with a logo on his jacket that indicated he worked for the hotel stood waiting.

"Wow, does this mean I've finally ranked higher than the Bentley in your affections?" Vicki teased laughingly, undoing her seatbelt as the car came to a halt.

"Just barely," he teased back, blue eyes flashing with amusement. The passenger door opened and the valet offered Vicki a hand.

"Welcome to the Silver Hawk," the valet said as he helped Vicki from the car.

"Thank you." Stepping out of the car, Vicki didn't quite manage to hide her shiver, pulling Jon's jacket tighter about herself as she made her way around to the driver side to claim her husband.

Jon opened the door and climbed out of the car before the valet beat him to it. He looked the young man over a moment before handing him the keys, along with a generous tip. "Not a scratch," he warned, as if the valet never heard that one before.

Biting down on a smile, Vicki nodded to the young man, claiming Jon's hand to give him a tug toward the hotel. "Stop intimidating the staff, stud muffin."

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:50:48 PM »
It was only their first lesson, and thankfully their instructor was easy on them. All in all, it went far better than Jon had been expecting, despite the fact that he'd nearly crushed Vicki's toes twice. The lesson was only an hour long, and they had come away from it laughing at their own mistakes. Hadley had assured them they were doing fine though and that he expected them back for another lesson next week.

Giggling, Vicki tucked her arm around Jon's waist beneath his suit jacket as they stepped out into the chilly evening. "Well, that was fun," she said, sounding a little surprised. "I can't believe I managed to spin directly into a mirror, though!"

Jon chuckled, far more relaxed now than he had been when they'd arrived. "I'm just glad I didn't break your toes!" he told her, sliding an arm around her shoulders. It was a chilly night in Rhy'Din, but thankfully it wasn't snowing.

"I am impossible to break," she declared effusively, shaking her hair out of the clip she'd held it in for the lesson. "Next week, though, I am going to wear something less ... constricting. Pretty sure my dress isn't supposed to be up around my hips for half the dance."

He chuckled again. "I'm sure Hadley didn't mind the view," he teased. Neither had he really, though he'd been more worried about stepping on her feet than flashing too much of his wife's thighs.

"I think they'd have preferred it to be you," she laughed, squeezing him warmly. "We're heading for the Silver Hawk, by the way. Good food, short walk to the bedroom. And I already checked us in."

"Me?" he echoed, blinking in obvious surprise at her remark. "But I wasn't the one flashing my thighs," he pointed out, though he got her gist. "Cold?" he asked, pulling away momentarily so that he could shrug out of his jacket and settle it across her shoulders. Even if the car was only parked a short walk away, let it never be said that Jonathan Granger was not a gentleman.

"Jon ... now you're going to get cold," she pointed out, but she didn't argue with being looked after. It had taken a long time, but finally Vicki had learned to let her husband be a gentleman without protest from time to time.

"I'm not the one wearing a little black dress," he reminded her. And it was little. "You look gorgeous, by the way," he told her, pausing a moment to touch a kiss to her cheek and whisper in her ear.

She smiled, the chill on the air hiding the faint blush on her cheeks at the intimate affection in his compliment. "You always have liked this dress," she reminded him softly, nuzzling close for a long moment. It was, of course, the dress she had worn on their first official date, one she always pulled out of the closet when she was undecided about what she should wear for an evening.

"I have always liked you in this dress," he corrected, smiling as his hand found hers. It wasn't so much the dress that he liked as the way his wife filled it out.

Chuckling, Vicki raised their joined hands, brushing a tender kiss over his knuckles. "I seem to recall you like peeling me out of it, too."

"There's not much there to peel you out of," he pointed out as they reached the parking lot and he led the way to where he'd left his precious Bentley. Like most men who had a love affair with their car, he always parked it as far away from other cars as possible.

"Naughty, Mr. Granger," she teased. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to seduce me before dinner." She flashed him a sweetly wicked smile.

He smirked at her reply. "Do I even have to anymore?" he asked. Even after nearly nine years of marriage, their desire for each other hadn't waned.

"It's always nice to be seduced," she admitted innocently. "And you certainly get a kick out of being wound up so tight you have to go caveman to get it out of your system."

"I've yet to hear you complain," he remarked with a grin as they reached the car. He gave it a quick once over to make sure she was as pristine as she had been when he'd pulled out of the garage and hit the button that would unlock the doors. "Your carriage awaits, my lady," he said, as he pulled open her door.

"Why, thank you, good sir." She kissed his jaw as he ushered her into the car, sliding into the seat with a smoothness that came from literal years of practise at this point.

Jon knew it couldn't be easy to easily navigate while wearing that dress, but he sure enjoyed the view. He smiled at her kiss before moving around the car to take a seat behind the driver's wheel. The Silver Hawk was only a short drive away, which was probably a good thing as he was starving for both dinner and his wife.

As if reading his mind - and his body - Vicki didn't tease him while they were in the car. Instead, she slid gracefully into wife-mode, relaxing into her seat as they talked. "So how did the rehearsal go?"

He shrugged as he pulled the car out of the parking lot and into the narrow city streets. "Oh, you know ... The usual last minute chaos. Don't tell her I said so, but thank the gods for Miranda. There were some minor problems with costumes, but she had it all sorted in no time."

"I guess Jessamin still isn't quite in charge yet, hmm?" she asked, idly curious more than intrigued. "I don't think anyone is ever going to be able to do quick fixes in the same time frame as Miranda can."

"At least, we didn't have to ask Sol to snap his fingers this time," Jon admitted, regarding his admin assistant who relied heavily on using magic to make himself useful. "Jessamin is coming along, I think, but she's ... well, she's not Miranda. She's young and a little too quiet, but Miranda has high hopes for her. She just needs to gain some confidence, I guess."

"She's better than she was, at least," Vicki agreed. "Having twin boys running around has done wonders for her ability to command a room when she needs to."

"True. She's a sweet girl and Miranda has faith in her, so that's good enough for me. Besides, I don't really make those decisions. 'Tay does," he pointed out, though she knew that already. He might be Director of the Rep and Mataya's best friend, but the Shanachie was and always would be her baby.

"You really think 'Taya made that decision, with Miranda pushing for it?" Vicki laughed. "Not even Mataya De Luca can argue against Miranda. Your cousin fights dirty."

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:50:33 PM »
"Oooh, are you offering to let me get the naughty box out?" she chuckled, brushing the tip of her nose to his. "Shame I forgot to include it in the hotel booking, really."

"I think we can manage to improvise," Jon remarked, a wicked grin on his face.

Miranda rolled her eyes again. "I'm afraid this is where I came in. You two have fun tonight!"

"Oh, we intend to," Vicki assured her. "Don't forget, you're Elle's emergency contact if anything goes weird with Bea and Emily tonight!"

"I won't forget, but I'm sure they'll be fine," Miranda was quick to assure her. "I'll see you both later. Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" she added, giggling a little as she left them to their own devices.

"We won't!" Jon called back, turning to eye Vicki mischievously. "Or will we?"

"Oh, I'm pretty sure there's a few things we do that she wouldn't," his redhead responded with an impish smile, brushing another kiss to his lips. "You need to get changed."

"Yes, ma'am," he told her, smiling into her kiss. "Care to join me?" he asked, knowing that might delay them just a bit.

"I just got threatened with a black light sweep of the theater everywhere we've been," she told him in amusement. "Besides, if we're late, Hadley might make you dance with someone other than me."

Jon chuckled at the remark about the black light, which he assumed had come from Miranda. "She can't prove it's us without a DNA test," he pointed out, obviously unworried. "If Hadley wants to get paid, he'll know better than to make me do something I don't want to do," he added. "So, is that a yes, you'll join me or a no, you're on your own?"

"I had to get dressed with no teasing, so you get the same treatment," she informed him, picking up the suit bag. "Go on, get your sweet patootie into something less comfortable that I can peel you out of after dinner."

"Yes, dear," he told her obediently, pressing a kiss to her lips before reaching for the suit bag. It was no secret that they enjoyed playing dress up, but half the fun was doing the opposite at the end of the night. "I'll be right back."

"I'll let them lock up in here and wait in the green room," she told him, curling her fingers into his to make the walk downstairs to where he could pick a dressing room at random and change in privacy.

"Sounds like a plan," he said, tangling his fingers with hers as they made their way through the theater to the basement level. He nodded his head and murmured "Good night," to those they passed on their way. "Be right back," he promised her again, another kiss to her lips before he hurried off to change.

"I'll be waiting." She winked at him, taking a seat on one of the couches in the green room to wait. There were still cast members changing and making their way out, people enough to chat to as she waited for her prince charming to make his appearance.

He was only gone about twenty minutes, but when he returned, he had gone from a casual dad-look to magazine model ready. Though he rarely modeled or acted anymore, at thirty-five years of age, he was still good-looking enough to draw attention.

They were certainly an attractive pair, especially dolled up for a night out. It didn't take long to stow Jon's casual clothes in the car, and the two of them started the short walk over to the De Luca Studio, where they were due for a tango lesson to kick off their date night.

"Are you sure about this?" Jon asked, his confidence flagging now that their dance lesson was looming. "I have two left feet, you know," he warned her, not for the first time. It was one of the reasons he'd never auditioned for the theater company. That and he couldn't sing to save his own life.

"You're the one who suggested we take dance lessons," Vicki reminded him. "It's only an hour, sweetheart. Besides, we get to grope each other and pretend it's just us being idiots with the moves."

"I was, wasn't I?" he asked, none too sure. The fact was that he'd done it mostly for her, or so he tried to tell himself. He had wondered sometimes if he'd known how to dance before he'd lost his memory of the past, but if that was the case, wouldn't it have come back to him the way everything else had? It was like riding a bike, wasn't it?

"Look, we both know the only dance I can do is bump and grind, and that is just not appropriate most of the time," she reminded him laughingly. "Don't take this so seriously, love. We're going to have fun, no matter how awful we are at this."

"I know, I know. It's just about having fun, but I doubt we'll be called upon to tango too often," he pointed out, though he did seem to relax a little.

"Which is part of the fun of doing it," Vicki said. "We can revel in the privacy of knowing we're awful at a dance no one will ever see us perform."

"The kids might find it amusing anyway," he told her. It was about having fun, but he was also hoping they could learn something they could use on the dance floor at weddings and other social events where people were called upon to dance. "At least, I can do the Macarena!" he pointed out with a grin.

"You're one up on me, then!" Laughing, Vicki reached out to pull open the door to the studio. Thankfully, it was late enough in the evening that it was only the adult groups still in, and they had booked a lesson just for themselves. With luck, Hadley would go easy on them.

"It's now or never, I guess!" he said, drawing a deep breath before following her into the studio. It wasn't the lessons that worried him so much as the fact that he might make a fool of himself, but then no one was born knowing how to tango.

But one thing he could always be sure of with his merry wife was that she would not let him get too much into his own head, not to mention that she was near gleeful in her own inability to walk gracefully in her heels, much less dance in them.

Of Gall And Grangers / Happy Anniversary
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:50:17 PM »
Winterfest, Yule, Christmas - whatever you wanted to call it - was over in Rhy'Din, and that meant it was time to get back to work and school. Just in time, too. As much as Jonathan Granger adored his family, he was one of those people who loved his job and needed to work. The first play of the new year was Hamlet, which was one of his favorites, but he was quickly learning that directing was actually a lot more work than acting - something Mataya and Ludo had warned him about when he'd taken on the job - but at least, he didn't come home emotionally drained every night from acting on stage. Today had been dress rehearsal before the play opened on Monday, and while most of the actors had their lines down pat, there was always one problem or other to have to iron out, and today was no exception.

As a former head of department for the Shanachie, an occasional consultant, and the wife of one of the directors, Vicki didn't need a pass to get in on rehearsal days. She and Jon were due a date day, and it had arrived. Thus, she had arrived to pick him up, and was lurking in the stalls of the auditorium, watching him finishing up with the inevitable problems a dress and tech rehearsal could bring.

The last rehearsal before a performance was set to open was always a little bit hectic, and today was no exception, but to his credit, somehow Jon always managed to keep his head and calmly deal with each problem as it arose. Today was no exception, and he'd been so busy, he'd lost all track of time.

"Want me to get him for you?" a familiar voice Vicki would recognize as that of Jon's cousin Miranda came up beside her.

Vicki grinned up at Miranda, comfortable in her seat with her feet up. Very unladylike in her LBD, but she had never really cared about that. "No, I remember how this goes," she assured the older woman. "Has it been hellish today?"

Miranda shrugged and smiled down at the younger woman, who she'd come to think of as another niece. "No more hellish than usual," she said, looking like she could probably go another six hours without breaking a sweat. "Date night or are you planning on seducing him in the Green Room?" she teased, noting how Vicki was dressed.

The redhead laughed. "I was here for the tech rehearsal from hell that ran until after 2am and ended up with the opening night postponed a day so everyone could recover," she said cheerfully. "This is mild." Miranda's question brought a wicked glimmer to her eyes. "Well ... what makes you think we haven't christened every surface in this theater by now?"

"Well, it's not like we've never done Hamlet before," Miranda remarked, easing into a seat beside her cousin's wife. She laughed a little at Vicki's question. "I don't doubt that you have, but I'm not going to bring a black light in here to find out."

"Oh god, please don't ever black light this place!" Vicki's distinctive laugh rang out across the theater as she tossed her head back. "I'm not a germaphobe and I don't want to be!"

"Yeah, I'm not sure I want to know either," Miranda said with a smirk. "I can guarantee you won't find any of Rufio's DNA in here anyway," she said, though whether that was true or not was questionable. She smirked again as she glanced at the stage. "I think he knows you're here," she stage-whispered, though it was hardly necessary, as she nodded her head toward the stage, where Jon had turned to search the seats upon hearing his wife's familiar cackle of laughter.

"Ooh, do you want to bet on that?" Vicki challenged Miranda laughingly. "Don't forget, I'm the one who caught the two of you smooching in a corner at the Christmas shindig." She raised her hand to wave to Jon, her smile softening fondly in greeting.

"Smooching, my dear, is not quite the same thing as shagging," Miranda said, borrowing a word of slang she had picked up from either Austin Powers or present company.

Jon waved back from the stage, before turning to give some final instructions to the cast and crew and dismissing them for the evening.

"Looks like Mr. Perfectionist is finally satisfied," Miranda remarked with another grin. "Good thing you've come to rescue us."

"Don't you play innocent with me, woman, I saw you zip him up," Vicki countered laughingly, dropping her feet down onto the floor to sit up as Jon prepared to release his captive cast for the evening.

Miranda laughed. "Well, he is a bit of a prude, but I'm slowly breaking him. I mean breaking him in," she said, quick to correct herself.

The slip did not go unnoticed, but Vicki chose not to comment, just grinning at Miranda in solidarity. "Tell me about it," she commiserated. "When I first asked Jon out, I practically offered myself on a silver platter and I still thought he might say no."

Miranda laughed again. "Sometimes men just need a good prodding," she said.

"What was that?" Jon asked, only overhearing part of that conversation as he approached the pair.

"Just sharing tips on how to entice our fellas," Vicki assured her husband cheerfully, looking him over. "You're so lucky I pay attention to what you're wearing when you leave for work," she added, lifting a suit bag from the empty seat beside her. "You need to change into something sexier than cable knit and jeans."

Jon arched a brow, his gaze wandering over his wife and her LBD. "It's date night, isn't it?" he asked, having forgotten until this very moment.

"Mmhmm," she confirmed with a knowing smile. "I even put your wash bag in there so you can make yourself pretty for me." She winked at him cheekily, knowing perfectly well that teasing him in front of his family always made him a little awkward.

"I'm not pretty enough already?" he asked, batting his lashes at her.

Beside Vicki, Miranda rolled her eyes and got to her feet. "Why don't you two get a room?" she teased the pair.

"Later on, we will." Rising to her feet as well, Vicki flashed Miranda a warm grin before moving to greet her husband affectionately. "Figured you'd forgotten tonight was for us," she murmured. "Just as well I'm the one who did the organising this week."

"Guilty as charged. Do you want to punish me for it?" Jon asked, as he slid an arm around his wife's waist. If he had become an incorrigible flirt, she only had herself to blame.

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: Ye Old OOC Thread
« on: January 25, 2021, 03:14:50 PM »
A little late with this, but hope everyone had a nice holiday season and wishing everyone a better 2021!

Of Gall And Grangers / Re: A Quiet Night at Home
« on: September 20, 2020, 01:18:47 PM »
"Does having sex with my wife count, or do I need to prove how naughty I can be?" he asked, a hint of mischief in those blue eyes of his that only his wife could bring out.

She laughed, nuzzling closer as Cosmo yawned and dropped his head heavily onto Jon's thigh. "At least now you know why I'm standing there smirking while you give rousing speeches to the kids, or your actors," she pointed out, her own mischief wild in her eyes.

"Because you're imagining me nude?" he said, shifting slightly to make himself comfortable while Cosmo used him for a pillow.

"Because I'm imagining what you might have let me do to you to make you that disheveled in public," she teased, smoothing his hair back from his face on last time before letting her hand find a place to rest against his side.

"I've always been something of a pushover, haven't I?" he asked, remembering their first date at the opera that had ended when they couldn't keep their hands off each other longer enough to enjoy the show.

"Oh, I think you're just as horny and involved as I am, stud muffin," she pointed out with an impish grin. finally relaxing in his arms with a sleepy sigh. "Wouldn't have you any other way."

"We're like peas and carrots, baby," he told her, touching a kiss to her lips as she settled in to sleep. It was a silly saying that only really meant that as different as they were, they were meant to be together.

Vicki giggled, rolling her eyes. "I am never going to understand that phrase," she murmured. "But you make a face when I say chalk and cheese, so I suppose we're even."

He chuckled. "What do chalk and cheese have in common, other than that they both start with the same sound?" he asked, though it was hardly important.

"I have absolutely no idea, but it's very pleasing to say," was her very English answer. "I could probably find out, but I feel as though it would disappoint me to know the origins."

"It doesn't matter," he said, a brush of fingers against her cheek. "Love you, Mrs. Granger," he whispered, close to her ear. It wasn't only a few words, but words that meant so much.

Her arms tightened around him in response, lips brushing his throat tenderly. "Love you back," she promised in a whisper of her own, and finally he felt her fully relax into his arms, letting go of consciousness in search of sleep, happy and content.

He watched her for a few minutes, as she relaxed into sleep, before closing his eyes and doing the same. It was easy these days to surrender to sleep, happy and content with his life and his family and especially his wife. He truly believed it was Vicki who'd saved him from himself, and with Vicki, they had both finally achieved their happily ever after. Take that, Rhydin.

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