Author Topic: Lessons In Love  (Read 154 times)

Ailis Grimm

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Lessons In Love
« on: May 30, 2013, 09:11:00 PM »
[size=9]((Contains situations of an adult nature.))[/size]

Months had passed since John Grimm and his sister had been brought safely to Rhy'Din; since the Chief and his last remaining children had made them fast and secure in their own trust and friendship. As Rory had healed up, they had begun to take minor jobs - escorting merchants who wanted to feel protected, mostly, though there had been one covert operation for the council of Nyan'Din. These jobs had put money into their pockets, given them the means to furnish themselves not only with the tools of their trade, but with a secure place to call home, large enough that the five of them could live together without anyone yet attempting to remove anyone else's spleen through their ears.

But it had been a long few months, filled with hard work and hardship, and finally Ailis had put her foot down. With her brother's reluctant support, she'd informed the Chief that they were all taking a week or so off, to recoup their strength and relax a little. With typical gruffness, their father had realised he was outmaneuvered and given in, even releasing some of the money he was so zealously guarding against the inevitable rainy day to make these days off a little more enjoyable. Sam and AIlis had, naturally, gone shopping on the very first day, leaving Rory moping around because his sister had relieved him of duty and generally irritating the hell out of the two other men he lived with.

And the purpose of that shopping trip? To make themselves presentable for the girls night out they had then indulged in, despite loud objections. It wasn't as though Ailis couldn't protect Sam, after all. But some men - these men - seemed not to like the idea of their women going out on the town in brief dresses with only themselves for escorts. In fact, if Sam hadn't threatened to let Ailis shoot all three of them, it wasn't likely John, Rory, or the Chief would have let them go at all.

John had countered with a threat that he and Rory might visit a strip club, but it was mostly an empty threat, and he'd spent most of the night alone, when he wasn't grumbling to himself, which irritated the hell out of Rory who was irritating the hell out of John and Chief with his moping. John had finally retreated to his room, where he'd tried to watch a little TV to kill the time, eventually drifting off to sleep, leaving the TV blaring some late night informercial, leaving the other two men to amuse themselves.

When the ladies did, finally, stagger back in - and it was staggering, since high heels on cobblestones were a challenge even when the person wearing them was stone cold sober - it was well past midnight, accompanied with a lot of giggling and some very bad attempts at being quiet. Thankfully for them, the Chief had already disappeared to his bed, and Rory was so pleased to see Sam, he utterly forgot to be put out with his sister for taking her out of his sight in the first place. Snickering to herself at the lovelorn expression on her brother's face, Ailis left the pair of them to their awkward conversation fairly quickly, making her way deeper into the house in search of her own bed. The fact that it was already occupied really wasn't an issue anymore, as evidenced by the lack of subtlety she displayed in getting the door open in the first place.

She could hear voices from the other side of the door, muffled and female, but once the door was open, it became clear it was just the TV set. The masculine form sprawled fully clothed on top the bed was snoring loudly, the TV all but forgotten. On a table nearby lay various weapons in various degrees of assembly and disassembly, as if whoever had been cleaning them had abandoned the project before finishing. There was also a half-eaten tunafish sandwich and a couple of empty beer bottles. His boots, at least, had been removed and dropped haphazardly on the floor near the bed, but he was otherwise clothed in jeans and a black t-shirt bearing a Marines logo and the words Semper Fidelis.

She paused in the doorway, making no attempt to hide her smile as she looked around at the disarray left behind by John's evening activities. So much for the strip club, then, she thought to herself, deeply amused that he hadn't been able to stir himself to go out even to spite her for doing exactly the same thing. It was difficult not to love someone like that. Closing the door a little more quietly, she left the light off, moving to turn off the television. "What were you going to do, if you'd been awake?" Ailis wondered aloud, her voice rich with slightly tipsy amusement. "Shoot me?"

To his credit, there were no girlie magazines strewn about - at least, not where she'd be inclined to find them. His snoring stopped momentarily as some part of him - some second sense - seemed to sense something amiss, even in his sleep, or maybe he was dreaming. He sometimes still had nightmares about what had happened at Olduvai, about the monsters and all the bloodshed, but it was mostly the deaths of the innocents that startled him awake.

In the darkness, Ailis rolled her eyes, perching on the edge of a chair to unzip her boots, watching the dark shadow of his form as he stirred vaguely. It was a toss up as to whether he was going to forgive her for laying down the law quite so hard about taking Sam out for the evening, but their frequent arguments never seemed to do any harm. Behind closed doors, they were a good deal more open with one another than their siblings could guess at. Near silent on bare feet, she rose once again, tugging the clip that held her hair back off her face loose as she reached down to pick up the empty bottles, unable to ignore them. The half-eaten sandwich had to go, too - that smell was going to keep her awake if she left it.

He made a noise in his sleep, hard to tell if he was dreaming or starting to wake up, twitching a little as he was wont to do when he was having a bad dream. If she woke him now, he would most likely wake cranky, but it was hard to tell with him, his moods somewhat unpredictable. One thing was certain - his bark was far worse than his bite, unless you were an enemy.

After a couple of months sharing his bed, Ailis knew enough not to wake him unless he was obviously in distress. He'd knocked her off the bed a couple of times in the past when she'd tried at the wrong time. Still, she paused in the midst of cleaning up his mess to stroke her fingers gently against his face, from temple to jaw. "Easy there, John," she murmured. "Don't punch me tonight, I'll punch back." And given that the last time she'd done that, she had broken her hand on his jaw, she could only hope he was paying attention somewhere in there.

Her touch seemed to do the trick, his eyes flying open as he awoke with a start, jerking awake and upright, but there was no fist or gun pointed her way. He only caught her by the wrist before realizing it was her and slowly relaxing. "Jesus Christ, Ailis. One of these nights, you're going to regret waking me."

She chuckled, letting his reflexes recall he was holding onto her still before gently moving to reclaim her hand. "Been there, done that," she reminded him cheerfully. "I wouldn't have to wake you up if you didn't sprawl all over the bed like some bearskin rug, would I?"

"I wouldn't sprawl all over the bed if you were here to share it, would I?" he countered, though he didn't really want to argue. He shoved his fingers through his hair and leaned back against the headboard, asking through a yawn, "What time is it?"

"You sprawl even when I'm there with you," she laughed at him, shaking her head. She was tipsy enough not to take instant offence at everything he said tonight, even if she wasn't tipsy enough to ignore his mess. There was a thump as she tipped his unfinished sandwich into the bin. At his question, her eyes sought out her watch, left on the windowsill before she'd gone out. "About twenty to two," she told him, expecting a protest at how late she'd brought his sister back.

"Two?!" he echoed, narrowing his eyes at her in the darkness. "What have you been doing all night, besides getting drunk and hit on by strange men?" He threw his legs over the side of the bed, needing to get up and take a leak, probably from all the beer.

She snorted with laughter, knowing that tone intimately well. He wasn't really angry, just put out that she hadn't told him in detail exactly what she was going to do and how long it would take. "Dancing," she told him merrily, dropping her hair clip on the table and groping for her brush. "Talking. Women's things." This last was added in a ridiculously over-done tease of a tone, fully expecting him to take offense even as she chuckled once again.
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Lessons In Love
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 09:12:14 PM »
He paused a moment to eye her in that dress, rolling his eyes in the dark, knowing better. He was a man, after all - he knew what other men were like. "Dancing with who?" he asked, turning back around to push open the bathroom door, leaving it cracked so he didn't have to turn on the light.

"Sam." That wasn't the answer he was looking for, and she knew it, but John was still getting used to being teased mercilessly by his lover. The brush made an unpleasant ripping sound as she dragged it through the tangles in her hair, glancing toward the bathroom with a faint smirk. "Would you rather I danced with someone else and left your sister to get felt up by some old codger with a moldy c*ck?"

"You could have brought us along," he replied. "To keep the codgers at bay." His remark was followed by the hollow echo of water hitting water in a porcelain basin, then a flush, and the sound of water running in the sink. He washed his hands and splashed some water onto his face before patting dry.

"It would hardly have been a girls night out if we'd brought you with us, would it?" Ailis pointed out laughingly, setting her brush down and running her hands through her hair. "It's been too long since we were allowed to just be friends, John. It's hard enough to get Sam to talk when Rory's around, let alone you." As she spoke, she turned her back to the bathroom door, raising her hands to undo the zipper at the back of her dress, moving toward the window as she slipped the dark material free.

"What did you talk about?" he asked, out of curiosity as he wiped his hands dry and made a meager effort at rehanging the towel. What the hell could two women talk about for hours on end in a bar where the music was so loud you could hardly hear yourself think? Had they talked about him? Rory? Both of them? What secrets had they shared? Did Ailis tell his sister that he was still having trouble sleeping nights? Or did she tell him what her brother was like in bed? He scowled at the thought of that.

Ailis paused for a moment in the act of bending to pick up her dress, slightly disbelieving that he'd asked that at all. What the hell was she supposed to say that would protect the content of her conversation with Sam and keep John happy? "You do know you're not supposed to know things like that, don't you?" she called to him, attempting a diversion rather than a frontal attack as she hung her dress in the closet they shared. "Men do their bonding thing their way, women do it theirs. And never the twain shall meet, sergeant."

"That's different. Sam's my sister, and there are some things a sister shouldn't know." He stepped back out of the bathroom, more awake, but hardly refreshed. He could just make out her silhouette there by the closet. She'd taken her dress off, that much was obvious, and he found himself admiring the familiar femininity of that particular silhouette. "You looked nice tonight," he found himself saying, trying to sound sincere and not jealous.

"I haven't been sharing any intimate details with your sister, John." Ailis laughed at the thought of that; even if she was inclined to do it, Sam was more likely to run naked through the streets shouting, "touch me, touch me" than sit and listen. His compliment, however, brought a very soft smile to her face, as much for the jealousy she knew had to be there as for the sincerity of the words. "You should come with us next time," she suggested, turning toward him in the gloom. "Or, heaven forfend, we could go on a date." Grinning, she closed the distance between them, reaching up to kiss him gently. "Thank you."

He snorted at the suggestion. "Didn't Sam tell you? I've got two left feet." There were a lot of things he could do well, but dancing wasn't one of them. He found himself suddenly being kissed and relaxed his shoulders, kissing her back, no argument there.

She drew back with a smile. "So you don't like the idea of watching me dancing in a crowded club and knowing it's just for you?" she teased him fondly, deliberately smoothing her hand around to his back, checking to make sure he wasn't armed. He had a bad habit of never being without something he could shoot an intruder with.

He wasn't armed at the moment. He might have been earlier, but it was hard to sleep with a gun against your back, and he'd removed it and laid it on the night table for safe keeping. "I prefer the idea of watching you dancing in private and knowing it's just for me," he replied, letting his eyes wander over her as one hand touched her side, his fingers sliding against her bare waist.

She made a show of thinking that over, her expression dissolving into a laughing smile as her arms settled about his waist, enjoying the warm brush of his hand on her skin. "Possibly, but I'm not drunk enough to do that," she grinned, flicking a single fingertip underneath the hang of his shirt to touch his skin. "You'll have to get me rat-arsed if you want a private lap dance."

"Why would I want a lap dance when I can have the real thing?" he asked, trying hard not to smirk, as he reached around her back to unclasp her bra. He had something else in mind besides dancing.

"And what real thing would that be, hmm?" Ailis asked, about as innocent as a woman could get while wearing nothing but her underwear and having that removed as she spoke. "Are you expressing a definite decision about something to do with your free time other than sleep or complain, John Grimm?" She smirked up at him, holding her upper arms clamped to her sides just to make life difficult for him.

"I do more than sleep and complain, Miss Warren," he countered. Frowning a little at his inability to easily slip her bra off, he growled in protest. "Do you want to get laid or not?" he asked her outright, not in the mood for silly games or teasing. She'd left him alone all night, then she'd awoken him from a not-so-sound sleep, and now she was teasing him. What the hell did she want from him anyway? Did she want him to beg? Because he could just as easily go back to sleep.

Her brow rose as she met his gaze, challenging him to rephrase that before he got the sharp side of her tongue. She didn't care how late at night it was, if he was looking for a fight, he could have one. "No, I don't," she told him, the smile gone from her face as she made to step back. "It'd be nice to make love, rather than feel as though all I'm good for is a roll in the hay when you feel hard done by."

Make love, get laid, same diff, wasn't it? Okay, maybe not, but it mostly ended the same. They were just words, after all. He wasn't just looking for a roll in the hay, but he was a little bit peeved that she'd gone out without him to a place where men were bound to drool over her while he was left home alone with only Rory, Chief, and the TV for companionship. "Didn't say I felt hard done by," he remarked. He'd missed her was all, but he hadn't said that yet either. He dropped his hand from her back, wondering if she was going to get mad at him now.

"Didn't need to, did you?" She'd colored, a sure sign that the Celtic temper he had to contend with on a daily basis was threatening to rise. After all, she didn't see that she'd done anything so very wrong. It wasn't her fault he hadn't done anything with his evening. Her arms crossed beneath her breasts, her bra hanging awkwardly from her arms. "You've obviously got a stick up your arse about me going out. So what's the problem, John? Were you thinking I'm supposed to be a good little girl and do everything you expect me to, just because I'm in love with you?"

"I..." He started, a retort on his lips, his brows furrowing and face coloring before he broke off, taken aback at the rest of her statement. "In love with me?" he asked, sounding a little surprised, even if it wasn't the first time he'd heard it. "I just missed you is all. Is that such a horrible thing?" He turned away from her because she was a little too tempting standing there in that state of half undress.

Her jaw set at the surprise in his voice. She'd told him often enough how she felt about him, even if he hadn't repeated it in so many words since the day he'd got to Rhy'Din. "No, it isn't such a horrible thing," she told him, her temper pricked by his surprise and how ungracious he was being. "Would have been nice to have heard it before you expected me to spread my legs and let you work off your bad mood, though." She shook her head, her hands rising to her back to re-clasp her bra as she moved away, bare feet taking her toward the bathroom. Passion took many forms, and they were passionate. She just wasn't sure why they always seemed to have an argument at the most inconvenient times.
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Lessons In Love
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 09:13:06 PM »
"That's what you wanted though, isn't it?" he asked, calling after her as he plunked himself down on the bed. What the hell was the matter with her? She wanted him as much as he wanted her. What did it matter what words they used to describe it? Women. Sheesh. Can't live with them, can't live... well, you could live without them, but life would be boring. "And I'm not in a bad mood," he continued. "I'm just..." What was he then? He quieted a minute to think that over.

"Oh, for God's sake, John," she snapped, pausing in the door to the bathroom to frown back at him. "Just because I want you doesn't mean you can expect me to lie back and do as I'm told. I'm not asking you for romance, for crying out loud! A little effort beyond the strength it takes to undo my clothes would be nice now and then, that's all." And really, how much would it cost him to ask sometimes? She stormed into the bathroom, only just stopping herself from slamming the door. It was two am, after all.

He was furrowing his brows further, trying to figure out what she meant by that. What was it she wanted then? He made an effort, didn't he? He glanced over at the bathroom door, wondering what exactly she wanted from him. Did she want him to light candles and play Barry Manilow? He shuddered at the thought. That just wasn't him. He felt confused. She had wanted him; she was sure of it, so what had he done wrong exactly?

He was over-thinking the situation, as usual, and Ailis wasn't going to help him work this one out. She loved him, he knew that, and yes, she wanted him. She knew he wasn't a romantic man, but he could be gentle, tender, when he chose to be. Was it really so much to ask for a little bit of that tenderness before he'd had her now and again? She didn't think it was, but at the same time, she had no idea how to tell him that. She didn't dare tell him that she'd like to be seduced on occasion; he'd probably laugh at her. Calmer, she returned from the bathroom, moving toward the dresser to drag out a tank and shorts to sleep in, deliberately avoiding looking in his direction. This wasn't an area she was going to give in on, she'd already decided, but where John was concerned, she was alarmingly aware of a certain softness in her nature that had her bending more often than she was used to.

He was still sitting on the bed trying to figure it all out when she came back out. He heard her, but didn't look her way, too lost in his thought process or maybe afraid if he looked her way, he'd cave and appear pussy-whipped. "It's not like I don't... you know... care about you," he said, awkwardly, beating around the bush. Why was it so hard to say I love you? He'd said it before. Was it just because she wanted him to? She was an adult; she could do what she wanted. He had no claims on her, did he? It wasn't like they were married. He wasn't even sure she'd want that.

She sighed, leaning against the dresser with white knuckles for a moment. "John, I'm really not fishing to make you say it," she informed the wall in front of her face, trying hard not to snap at him again. And there it was, the softening she'd been trying to avoid, brought up by the awkward tone in his voice. "Just forget I said anything, all right? It doesn't matter. Just me being a girl." She shucked out of her underwear, tugging tank and shorts on over her long limbs before bending to catch up the fallen clothing and drop it on top of the laundry pile in the corner.

"No, I..." He turned to her with a very confused look on his face, if she could manage to see it in the shadows. "I want to know what I'm doing wrong," he insisted. He must be doing something wrong or they wouldn't argue so much.

She sighed again, closing her eyes. Was it a weakness in her character, that she wasn't prepared to fight for this? She didn't know. "You're not doing anything wrong," she told him, and it was true, in a way. "I told you, it's me. I shouldn't expect anything from you you're not prepared to give, so I'm the one in the wrong, and we really should just forget this." She turned back to the bed where he sat, contemplating how to get in without dislodging him.

He wasn't budging, turning to face her as she approached, but not budging from his spot on the bed and still almost completely clothed, except for his boots. "If I'm not doing anything wrong, then why are you mad at me?" Whether she wanted to forget it or not, he was clearly not willing to do so just yet. "What do you want, Ailis? Do you want me to bring you flowers? Take you dancing? Tell you I love you?" He did love her; he thought it kind of went without saying, but maybe it didn't. Why was she acting like such a... girl?

"No ... God no," she shook her head, her hands finding a resting place on her hips as she looked down at him. "Well, yes, it's ... it's wonderful to hear you say you love me, but I know it's not in your nature to say it often. I don't want flowers, I don't want the cliches." Ailis sighed, shifting about to drop down and sit on the bed beside him. "John, how much does it cost to ask me sometimes, rather than just expect me to play along? I want you all the time, I love you, but that doesn't always mean that I'm ready then and there. Does it really cost your pride so much to coax me now and then, the way I do with you? Or should I always be ready to drop my trousers at a moment's notice, with barely a kiss or a touch beforehand?"

He had that confused look on his face again that men got when they were trying to understand but weren't quite getting it. How was he supposed to ask? That sounded awkward. And he would have touched her and kissed her if she'd given him half a chance. "I didn't... realize..." he said uncertainly, still not quite sure what he was doing wrong. Was he really that lousy a lover?

She could have read his mind, given her next words. Her hand rose to turn his face toward her own, pale eyes seeking his in the gloom around them. "You're a wonderful lover," she told him firmly. "And I don't mean ask as in ... coming right out and saying it, I ... God, this is awkward." Her hand dropped back into her lap as she looked away, chewing on her lower lip for a moment. Oh, well, nothing for it. "I'm not that hard to seduce, John. I'm not asking you to say it out loud, but ... is it so hard to let me feel loved before we come together? Not all the time," she added hurriedly, "just ... sometimes."

"But... I do love you, Ailis." There, he'd said it, and he'd meant it, too, watching her in the dim light, trying to sort out her feelings, as well as his own. Their relationship had always been rocky, full of plenty of bumps in the road, but there was an underlying passion that neither could deny and that he could only describe as love. "I'm sorry," he said, unsure what exactly he was apologizing for. He'd never been in this situation before. He was a soldier, not a lover. "I didn't mean to make you angry. I... was having a bad dream and..." He was making excuses and he knew it, but how was he supposed to tell her that she helped him forget about the things that haunted his nights?

He didn't understand, and she couldn't blame him. She didn't know how to explain it so that he did understand her. All she was doing here was making him feel worse, which was never her intention. "Don't apologize," she told him quietly, leaning close to kiss his cheek. "Like I said, it doesn't matter. Forget about it, John, please. It really isn't important. I'm sorry I brought it up." Her lips brushed his with slow, tender kisses, unwittingly showing him what she hadn't been able to say ... that gentleness, tenderness, a moment of time to savor; these could all make you feel loved, without any sense that anything more was expected from you.

He really was trying to understand. He remembered the touch that had brought him out of his sleep - tender, gentle, loving. The way her kiss always warmed him inside, soothed his troubled heart. Was that what she meant, or was it something more? "I'm sorry, Ailis," he apologized again, frowning against her lips, even as she kissed him, reaching to brush his fingers against her cheek in a touch that was surprisingly tender for a man who considered himself nothing more than a soldier. "I'm not very good at this sort of thing, I guess."

"Stop that," she murmured to him, smiling under the gentle caress of his hand to her cheek. "You've nothing to apologize for, love. I knew what I was getting into; I've drunk too much tonight to keep my expectations from getting too high. That's all this is. It'll be forgotten tomorrow." That was a lie, but it was meant kindly. She would rather hurt herself with a lie than hurt him with the truth. Her lips touched his once again. "We should get to sleep."
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Lessons In Love
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 09:14:26 PM »
If what she really wanted was to sleep, he wouldn't argue, especially now that she'd told him she didn't always want to drop her trousers at a moment's notice. He wasn't feeling particularly tired now that he'd already had a few hours sleep, but ui hadn't been very restful sleep anyway. "It's been a long day," he agreed, more for her sake than his. He leaned close to brush a soft but chaste kiss against her lips, trying to hold his passion at bay, though he was still feeling a little confused and even worried that he'd done something wrong. He got off the bed so she could climb in, pausing a moment to yank the t-shirt over his head and toss it onto a chair.

Now it was her turn to feel confused. She thought she'd given him the encouragement he needed to keep going, before she'd opened her mouth and come out with something practical rather than passionate. Was this how it was always going to be? Him constantly responding swiftly to their passion, when she was gentler in her own initiations? There was a time for everything, after all. With a flicker of a smile, she let him go, crawling beneath the sheets to settle against the pillow by the wall - another habit of John's. He refused to let her sleep closest to the door, though it was likely a response to the losses they'd suffered before coming here. Rolling onto her side, she watched him undress, her hand resting against the covers that held his scent, as much an invitation as her kisses had been. Would he take the hint, though?

He felt restless. He'd been feeling restless all night. Though he hadn't connected it with Ailis and Sam being out on the town, that was more than likely the cause. Whether Ailis was capable of taking care of herself or not, it was no secret that he worried about her safety, as well as his sister's. If UAC ever found out where they were or what they'd done, all their lives would be in danger. As a result, John was almost always in a constant state of alert, which sometimes resulted in agitation and restlessness, and whether she knew it or not, Ailis was about the only one who knew the secret of how to get John Grimm to relax. He stripped out of his pants and tossed them on the chair, along with his t-shirt, close at hand in case he needed to get dressed in a hurry, unaware she was watching him while he stripped down to his shorts.

Despite the darkness, there was plenty to admire in the play of dim light and shadow over his form. Ailis never ceased to be quietly amazed by how unmarked he was, how perfect he had become since his sister's actions on Olduvai. He'd let her cut him, to see how quickly he healed; he'd even let her examine his blood, though he and Sam had fretted until she had destroyed both the sample and her results in front of them. But that perfection wasn't the reason she loved him; she'd loved him long before he had ever returned to the site of his parents' deaths. He just didn't seem to have matched in his mind the fact that he didn't need to worry so much about losing her, because she loved him.

He seemed unable to accept and acknowledge the fact that she loved him, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for her to realize how wrong she was about him or how he wasn't what she wanted at all. That combined with the fact that he was going stark raving mad with restlessness, too much down time between jobs. He had no hobbies really and had taken it upon himself to do some research of his own during his free time, but as yet, he hadn't shared just what that research was about. He was, for the most part, a quiet man, his thoughts his own, rarely shared, but if anyone was able to crack him open, even a little bit, it was Ailis. She was his match, in every way, and always had been, but for the one thing that now separated him. It worried him that he was different, that he was no longer human, the implications of which were still mostly unknown.

After a long moment, Ailis realized she'd been staring at what could have been a statue for the past few minutes, just about managing not to roll her eyes. He had a way of falling into thought that left everyone around him feeling like an intruder, but she was slowly getting used to that. "Are you coming to bed, or are you trying to set a new world record for immobility?" she asked through a wry smile. "In which case, I'll take full advantage just to make you fail."

"Huh?" he muttered as her voice tugged him back from his thoughts. He turned back to her, as if just remembering he wasn't alone and that she was waiting for him. "Sorry, I was just thinking," he explained, though she more than likely knew that already, as he was given to long silences of deep thought, especially when he was having trouble sleeping. He stepped over to the door and made sure it was locked, as he did every night before they turned in and glanced at the window, for what reason he wasn't sure. His nightly routine consisted of these little quirks, checking to make sure his gun was on the nightstand and fully loaded, that the door and window were locked. It wasn't paranoia exactly that made him so careful, as it was habit. He made his way back to bed and climbed in beside her, assuming she really did want to sleep.

She knew him well enough not to object to his somewhat over-zealous checking and double-checking, drawing back the sheets as he climbed into the bed beside her. She inched closer to him as he settled, her eyes studying his profile fondly as her hand fell to turning patterns against his shoulder and chest with her fingertips. "What's bothering you, John?" she asked him quietly in the darkness. "It can't just be that I took your sister out for a few hours."

He lay on his back in the darkness, eyes shining in the darkness, quiet as the calm before a storm. He felt her touch him, that touch always somehow managing to calm his troubled soul. Her voice drew his attention again and he turned his worried profile toward her, frowning in the darkness. "No, it's not that, but I worry when you're gone. It's not that I don't trust you or Sam. I just worry, that's all." He shrugged his shoulders as if that simple shrug might explain more than the words he was trying to say.

"You have to learn to let go sometimes," she murmured to him, touching a soft, open-mouthed kiss to his shoulder, her eyes on his as he frowned at her. "You can't be in control of every detail, no matter how much you try to be. You should let yourself relax, once in while. You're wound so tight, I could pluck you and get a perfect C."

"That's just it, Ai. I let go of you and Sam for years, and what did it get me? I almost lost you both." He scowled at her in the darkness as she admonished him for worrying so much, but he wasn't really sure how to change or even if he could. He tried to relax, time and again, but he just didn't know how anymore. He grunted in reply to her remark. "I'd like to see you try."

"You had nothing to do with what happened to us," Ailis reminded him for the umpteenth time, though she knew he was never going to accept that. Sam, she was willing to concede, he was allowed to feel that way about. But the attack on the Chief and his family would have come sooner or later - UAC merely offered a catalyst, that was all. "If you'd been there, we'd have lost you and Sam both, and I know my brothers would never have forgiven us for it. I know it's hard, John, but try to let that go. I'm here now." Her lips touched his skin again, another of those slow kisses warm with tenderness, as her hand trailed down his arm to slip her fingers between his own.

"The hell I didn't," he replied somewhat gruffly, but they'd been over this a thousand times if they'd been over it once, and it accomplished nothing but to set them both on edge. "I'm trying, Ailis, but every time I close my eyes, I see ghosts." It wasn't easy for him to admit that. He was a trained soldier; he was supposed to be able to face death and not have it haunt him like it was. He could only imagine how she felt at the memory of her brothers' deaths. The feel of her lips against his skin calmed him somewhat and he turned to face her, bringing her hand up to touch a kiss against her wrist.

Only another soldier could have truly understood what he was saying, and though her first calling was medicine, Ailis was a soldier, just like her brothers before her. "We all see ghosts," she promised him, as gently as she could, the memory of her own ghosts there in her eyes as his lips warmed her skin. "We all have innocents we failed to save, or friends who died for us." Or brothers. Her finger uncurled from his hand to stroke against his temple lovingly. "They'll never leave us alone. But I don't think they want us to give up."

"Hundreds of innocents, Ailis," he replied with a frown. If there was anything that bothered him most, it was that - the knowledge that hundreds of innocent people had died and that he hadn't been able to stop it. He was a soldier - he was supposed to protect people and stop those kinds of things from happening, but he'd been over it a thousands times in his head and couldn't figure out what he could have done to change things. "I miss them, you know, your brothers." Especially Connor. They'd been pretty close at one time, almost like brothers themselves. "God, I'm sorry. I'm being morose."
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Lessons In Love
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 09:15:33 PM »
Her expression softened, turning vulnerable in a way only he ever saw. She had not shared her grief with Rory or their father, yet almost as soon as John had come to them, she'd let him see and feel her tears. "I know," she agreed with his sense of loss, her voice thick with grief for just a moment. "I miss them, too. And no matter what you say, I still think Con should have saved himself." She was never going to change her opinion there, feeling keenly the deep loss of her brothers with the knowledge that at least one of them had died in her place. Her free hand rose to caress her knuckles against his cheek. "It's not morose to remember them, or to miss them. It only becomes morose if you live it."

"I guess I think too much. Always have. It irritates the hell out of Sam," he admitted, unsure if it was a strength or a weakness. Talking to Ailis helped, during those rare times when he allowed himself to do so. He was still mostly a closed book, except to Sam and Ailis. She touched him yet again and he felt himself slowing calming, something else stirring and taking the place of his troubles. Was that what she'd meant when she was talking about getting in the mood? "I do love you, you know," he said, treading on unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory, at least for him.

"Sam is a scientist," Ailis smiled as she said this. "She likes to have everything laid out in front of her, to analyze and understand in her own way. And like you, she does not like to have to accept anything simply as it is presented." His declaration, repeated within an hour of his having said it once already, made her smile widen, the soft flush on her cheeks pleasure on hearing those words again, though she was a little surprised that he'd let them slip so soon. "I do know," she assured him gently. "You wouldn't be able to put up with me if you didn't." It was a light tease, wanting to see his darker mood lifted just a little. It wasn't good for him to settle himself when his thoughts were so crowded with worry.

"I was a scientist once, too. Almost anyway. That was the plan." Until his parents died, and he chose a different path - one that he thought would help him forget Olduvai. That hadn't turned out so well though. He'd embraced the life of soldiering, if only to forget the tragedy of his parents' death and wound up facing more death and tragedy, as a result. "I've been thinking... We need a hacker... And a mage, I think. Someone who understands magic." His train of thought was all over the place, shifting back to what had been on his mind earlier in the evening, wanting to share it with her before he approached her father. The need for a mage was fairly obvious, as Rhy'Din was full of magic and none of them was really skilled in that regard, but it wasn't so clear why they might need a hacker.

This time, she really did roll her eyes. Surely, not even he was so dense as to have missed the opening he'd just created, but apparently he was. She didn't let it touch her temper, though, instead dissolving into a smile as her hands released him and, with a gentle push, she urged him onto his back, rising from where she lay to sit astride his hips, her hands resting on his chest. "John ... we're in bed," she pointed out. "You just told me you love me. Changing the subject to work? Not the right direction to be going in."

He arched his brows as she pushed him onto his back, barely having realized his own faux pas. He looked up at her as she climbed astride his hips and rested against his chest, a questioning look on his face. While his mind might be going in a million different directions, his body was reacting in a singularly uncomfortable way. "What direction should I be going in, Miss Warren?" he asked, as he pushed her hair back from her face.

Her brow rose as she leaned down to him, wondering in the back of her mind just what was going on if John Grimm was in need of lessons in how to make love to a woman who couldn't be more his if they shared a soul. "You could smile," she suggested, her voice tender in the darkness that enveloped them, breath just barely brushing his lips. "You could kiss me. I know you know how this bit goes, love."

Oh, he knew quite well how to make love, at least to her. He knew what she liked and distracted by troubling thoughts or not, he knew how to make her heart and body sing. The tiniest of smiles appeared on his face, just enough to show her he was teasing. He stroked her cheek with his fingertips, softly and gently - he knew how to be tender when he wanted to be. "I missed you," he told her, not for the first time, but whether he was talking about her evening out with Sam or something else was unclear. He drew his thumb against her lips, as if contemplating that kiss. His body, however, betrayed him. She was too close to hide the desire he was feeling.

Ailis was so easy to draw out with the barest effort at his hands. Her cheek tilted into the passage of his fingertips, her eyes fluttering closed briefly as she felt him responding to their closeness. "That's just as good," she murmured to him, praising the fact that he had finally shared what had initially put him in a grump in first place. "It's good to know." Her lips softened beneath his thumb, kissing the pad there since he was denying her clean access to his lips. "I missed you, too."

"You were supposed to be having fun, not missing me," he pointed out, and that was perhaps part of his bad mood, too. As selfish as he knew it was, he wasn't sure he liked the idea of her having fun without him. His thumb lingered against her lips a moment longer, his gaze traveling from her lips to her eyes. She seemed to want him to take his time and be a tender lover, unless he was reading her wrong.

"I did have fun," she smiled, understanding a little better now what had started everything off, although it was entirely her fault it had devolved into an argument in the first place. "But that doesn't mean I didn't miss having you there." She breathed out slowly, a soft sigh of breath that shook just a little as her body very gently rocked over his. It wasn't so much that she wanted this every time, but for some reason, tonight ... she wanted to know she was loved. "I love the way you look at me when you think no one's watching."

"I don't know if I remember how to have fun," he admitted dourly. When was the last time he'd laughed? He could remember laughing once, long ago. Had it really been that long ago? His body reacted without having to think to the press of her body against his and his eyes fell closed briefly to savor the sensation, the tightening tension deep inside that he was all too aware of. He arched his brows at her again, surprised at her statement, not even realizing he did that or at least, not realizing she'd ever noticed.

"Did you think I hadn't noticed?" She echoed his thought without realizing it, her lips curving in her familiar smile as her mouth finally touched his, however briefly. "I can feel you watching me, John. It makes me tingle. That's a good thing, too." Her hands slid from his chest, one to brace herself against his pillow, the other to smooth her palm down over his side. "I'm not going to disappear if you touch me, love. This is me asking you to f*ck me." And finally she'd managed to make herself blindingly clear, despite the initial confusion.

"I want you, Ailis," he admitted quietly, his voice quiet and very unsoldier-like, letting the protective wall he'd built around himself drop, if only briefly. There were only two people he ever allowed to see the softer side of John Grimm and both were women. He combed his fingers through her hair, as he pushed it away from her face, his lips burning for hers, just as his body was aching for her.

That, right there, was all she had been asking him to do, to admit aloud that he wanted her, rather than assume she knew each and every time. It earned him a kiss that seared his lips as she lowered herself to him, giving him what he was asking and aching for. "I'm not saying no," she whispered against his lips, another slow rock of her hips over his sharing the sentiment with sensation and heat.

He groaned against her lips, wanting her - needing her - more than he cared to admit. The passion in his kiss matched hers, his lips savoring hers, deepening the ache of desire that was burning inside him.  The time for talk was over, at least as far as he was concerned. He wasn't sure how slow she wanted him to go, but the ache inside him was quickly reaching critical mass. He slid his hands against her sides, bunching the cloth of her shirt in his palms and pushing it upwards to bare her skin to his touch, as his lips deepened the kiss, savoring her lips and exploring her mouth.
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Lessons In Love
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 09:16:22 PM »
He captured her moan in that kiss, the sound filling his mouth with the taste of her breath - sweet and vaguely rum-like - putting paid to any concern that she was going to hold him back now they had reached this point. The kiss was broken only briefly, just long enough for her hands and his to send her shirt flying aside into the darkness before she fell over him once again, as eager to touch and kiss and taste as she ever was, each pass of his hands leaving her shuddering in the wake of his touch. One day, she was going to force him to let loose for an hour or two, but for now, she was happy to help him relax, just like this.

All too aware of the enhanced strength that had come with the injection that had changed his DNA, he was almost too cautious when it came to touching her, loving her, afraid if he lost control even once, he might hurt her. That much had been painfully proven when she'd lost her temper and punched him, hoping to hurt him but only hurting herself in the attempt. He was still learning what he was capable of, his strengths and his weaknesses, and she was learning along with him, not only because she was interested from a medical perspective but perhaps more importantly, a personal one. Now that he had her half-undressed, he wanted to finish the job, pushing her over onto her back and kissing his way downward, his hands following the curve of her body, until he found himself between her legs and was peeling her shorts from her hips.

She'd never denied him the upper hand, more and more aware as time went on that if he gave it to her, it was a harder effort to hold himself back from losing control, and honestly, she had no trouble in letting him wear the trousers when they were alone. Unless he was being an idiot, of course. Tossed down onto her back, she rose to him, each brush of his lips and hands urging her to meet him where he burned and ached, closer with each moment as she writhed beneath him. They matched each other, passion for passion, that Celtic temperament he was wary of sometimes more than capable of offering him a challenge when it came to more pleasurable pursuits. Stripped, she kicked her shorts away, her hands rippling through his hair as her back arched in tender display. And though he didn't really approve of words when they were together like this, she made no effort to stop his name from passing her lips. "John ..."

The sound of his name against her lips sent a thrill of desire through him more profound than any touch or caress. Though he was a quiet lover, hardly ever speaking a word, her voice saying his name in such a way only made him want her all the more. It only took a moment for him to get his own shorts off, matching her state of undress, nothing more to hide. He covered her body with his once again, smothering any more words from her lips with a kiss that seared her lips and wordlessly told her how much he needed her, even as his body burned hard and needfully against hers.

She welcomed him eagerly into the cradle of her limbs, strong arms and long legs wrapping him close to her as he covered her with his heat, his longing, the same thrill he had felt at the sound of his name sweeping through her at the very real knowledge that he was hers. Her own hands were restless over his back, pulling him closer as they skirted the very cusp of the dance so near to beginning, each kiss more breathless, more loving than the last.

As much as he wanted to take her, to claim her as being his yet again, he wavered, remembering her earlier admonishment. She didn't want to just be claimed and taken, but made to feel loved, adored, worshiped. Well, hell, if his physical reaction to her wasn't enough to make her know how much he loved and needed her, he wasn't sure what was, and yet, if he put his mind to it, he could slow himself down and demonstrate further just what he was feeling. He drew back from her kiss, letting his hands and lips trail over her slowly, building the heat that was simmering between them as he savored and explored the lovely plains and curves of her body.

Her reaction proved to him that she hadn't expected this sudden change of speed and direction, her arms clinging tighter for a moment before she loosened her grasp, letting him explore her as she gasped and moaned, each sound his to command and enjoy. He had a way of touching her that seemed to freeze her own limbs, denying her the ability to return those caresses until he was done, and despite the quiet protest in her voice, she truly didn't mind it so much at all. "John ... baby, please ..." Her hand fisted in the sheet beneath her as sweetly irresistible tension flooded her body. Forget feeling adored; if he kept this up, she was going to lose the ability to walk.

"You didn't want to get laid, remember?" he teased from somewhere between her legs, his breath warm and soft against her skin, breaking his self-imposed rule against speaking while love-making. She was pleading with him though, and the knowledge alone that he could bring her to this was enough to bring a slightly smug smile to his face, and he gave in to her pleas, rising up over her to cover her body with his and kiss her ever so gently, his lips tasting vaguely of her.

She actually whimpered at his words, something he'd not heard from her before, usually more forceful, more demanding when they lay together. She rose into his kiss, winding her arms about him once again as he covered her body with his, sharing their heat once more as she shuddered with anticipation. "God, you're such a tease," was growled against his lips, her nails threatening to scratch down his back if he didn't get on with it this time.

There wasn't much she could do to hurt him - he was certainly not concerned about her fingernails, as any scratches she left on him would heal within minutes. He couldn't help but smirk a little at her remark, rather enjoying the effect he was having on her. "That's what you get for going out and having fun without me," he countered, breaking his silence again, but only momentarily before he was smothering her in another languid kiss as his body claimed hers completely, filling her with his own aching need.

He'd managed to make her laugh, even in the midst of her increasingly fierce need, her mouth offering up those very girlish giggles for him to smother and kiss away as finally, blessedly, he took pity on both of them and pressed into her. If this was what he was like when he'd been left alone for a few hours, she couldn't help wondering what the result of taking him with her next time would be. After all, he'd said he didn't dance - he'd have to watch her, instead. But those were thoughts for another time. Here, in this moment, all she could think of, all she could feel, all she could ever want, was right there in her arms, moving with her toward the climax of their very disparate evenings.

Once he decided to do something, he wasted no time in doing it. The agonizingly slow teasing was over, and he got right to it, taking her, claiming her with a fierce passion, holding very little back in his need to make his mark on her, to make her forget anyone who might have come before him, tonight or any other night. She belonged to him, and he wanted her to know it in every sense of the word.

There was no mistaking who she belonged to, but there was a special kind of loving in the way he claimed her, the way he possessed her, welcoming the inevitable bruises with a wild grin as he drove her far beyond the point of no return just to revel in the sounds that left her quivering form. Sounds that belonged to him, that held his name, that telegraphed how much she loved him, even in the throes of passion. And even as she fell boneless back against the sheets, she kept him in her arms, brushing her lips tenderly to his cheek, his temple, soothing him down from his own ecstatic rise with soft affection.

He still thought it was getting laid, not quite understanding the subtle difference between the definitions of getting laid and making love. Maybe it simply had something to do with the feelings involved. You didn't really need to care about someone to sleep with them, but if you did, it certainly intensified the experience. He'd slept with more than a few women in his day, but none had ever made him feel the way she did. Was that what she was trying to tell him? He drew a slow breath to calm his pulse as he shifted his weight to lie beside her, limbs still tangled in hers, finally relaxed, a soft smile on his lips as she brushed her lips against his face. He reached over to touch her cheek in a loving caress, without even realizing how soft and affectionate the touch. "You're amazing, you know."

She stayed close to him, refusing to leave their tangle of limbs as she felt him relax out of the tension he'd been carrying since she'd come home that night. His caress made her smile, brushing the tip of her nose to his with answering affection. "No more than you," was her reply, murmured softly in the new stillness they'd gathered around each other. "I love you, John. Don't forget it."
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]

Ailis Grimm

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Re: Lessons In Love
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 09:17:52 PM »
Don't let me forget, he thought in his head, though he didn't say it, a small frown forming on his face at the thought. "I'm not amazing. I'm just the product of a science experiment." That wasn't quite true or what she'd meant, and he knew it, but somehow he found himself saying it just the same.

Ailis rolled her eyes at him, and bit the end of his nose, just for his insistence on being obtuse. "Don't be an idiot," she told him, almost stern with him, despite the loose, loving wrap of her body about his own. "I was in love with you a long time before that ever happened. And I know Con told you so, even if you thought he was joking. He had a very difficult sense of humor at times."

He rolled his eyes back at her when she bit his nose, eying her just as sternly back, as if warning her wordlessly not to try that again, but he quickly mellowed, too relaxed to get angry for long. "We should have done this a long time ago, Ai," he admitted, remembering how he'd called her brother a liar and doubted his word, though deep down he knew it to be true. They'd always been a volatile combination - he and Ailis - exact opposites, but didn't they say opposites attract?

"Maybe." She shrugged lightly, smoothing her hand down his back as the roll of her hips brought her more snugly fitted into the contour of his body. "But I don't think we were ready for each other. Hell, there are days now when we fight like cat and dog, and we're supposed to be old enough to know better." As for his silent warning, she disregarded it, fairly certain that even if he did think it necessary to try and punish her, he knew what the penalty would be for actually going that far.

"Yeah, but you never complain about the makeup sex," he replied, with the hint of a teasing grin. Being with her was sometimes like walking on egg shells, wary of her temper, but no matter how angry she got with him, she always seemed to end up forgiving him in the end, one way or another. "I know I can be an *ss at times, but would you rather it was me you got mad at or someone else?"

She laughed softly, encouraged by his tease, even if it was only hinted at. He didn't smile often, laughed even more rarely, but every suggestion he offered toward those states was always rewarded with something of the same. If he thought she laughed too much, he hadn't said it yet. "Believe it or not, John Grimm, I enjoy arguing with you," she told him warmly. "Most of the time, anyway. You never let me get away with being a fool."

A puzzled expression crossed his face again at her remark. "You enjoy arguing with me?" he asked, a little surprised at that. "Are you sure it's the arguing you enjoy and not the make up sex?" he asked, mentioning it again. He thought she more than likely found him annoying at times - especially his protracted silences, which were exactly the opposite of her fiery temperament.

"It's both," she insisted, knowing her own mind and temperament far better than her father gave her credit for. "You challenge me, John, you don't let me get away with anything. And you temper me, too. I don't lose my temper half so much now you're with me than I used to." Her lips brushed his tenderly. "You're a good influence."

She surprised him yet again, as exhibited by his change of expression. "A good influence? Me?" He snorted, derisively. "Never heard that before." He doubted that was true, thinking it was more the other way around, but then, maybe it was more accurate to say that they balanced each other out.

"Is there anything I say that doesn't surprise you?" she asked suddenly, everything in her tone and expression betraying the tease as she drew her fingertips over his brow and down the line of his nose. "If I keep talking, will the wind change and leave you permanently looking like a cat startled in mid-dump?"

"God, no. I hope not!" he replied with a small chuckle, the first real laugh of the evening, and further proof that he'd finally managed to relax. "Not that I mind you talking, I mean," he corrected quickly, only that what she said sometimes surprised him - not always, but sometimes. As well as they thought they knew each other, it seemed, they were still able to surprise the other on occasion.

She grinned, triumph all over her face as he laughed, feeling deeply smug that she'd got him that relaxed. "Even if you didn't like the talking, you'd have to get used to it," she pointed out with gentle playfulness. "I can't stop being Irish, just for the sake of your ears."

"I could always buy ear plugs," he remarked with a rare grin. He was starting to smile more often these days, even if he was unaware of the change in him. Despite the grief over what had happened over the last few months, he had plenty to be thankful for, and Sam and Ailis were at the top of that list.

"Aye, you could," she conceded, inching to lay him onto his back once again, draping herself comfortably over him. Now he was smiling, laughing, sleep wouldn't be far behind, and she wanted him comfortable. He was a true nightmare to live with if he gave himself a crick in the neck from a bad sleeping position, something they'd worked out very quickly. "I'd find a way around them, though."

He rolled his eyes as she rolled him onto his back, making absolutely no effort to fight her. He felt more relaxed now than he had in days, and with that relaxation, came contentment and eventual sleepiness. "Mm," he replied vaguely. "You're a stubborn Irishman, I'll give you that."

"Irishman?" She smothered her snort of laughter against his chest, not entirely sure how he was going to take the tease that was bubbling up but at the same time, totally helpless to prevent it making itself known. "Are you sure it's me you want to be sleeping with, and not Rory?"

He laughed again, this time a full-fledged laugh. "I stand corrected. Irishwoman," he corrected himself with a grin. "And yes, I'm very sure. Rory isn't really my type." His type being female. He locked his arms around her as he settled himself against the pillows, getting ready for what would hopefully be a long, restful and dreamless night's sleep, and just for good measure, he pressed a warm, gentle, protective kiss against her forehead.

"I'm glad to hear it," Ailis chuckled softly in answer. "I'd hate to have to castrate my own brother for being a love rival." Feeling John's arms lock around her, she breathed in the scent of his skin, deep and slow, tucking herself as close as she could as he kissed her forehead. How could he not know that these were the ways he made her feel loved? The unconsidered affection, the tenderness, letting her hear his laugh and see his smile, things no one else got to enjoy. But perhaps, slowly, he was beginning to see them for what they were - his heart on his sleeve, rare enough to be priceless to the woman who loved him.

He chuckled again at her remark, but it was a mellower sound this time as he was starting to feel sleepy, the restlessness of the last few nights finally taking their toll. "Sam might have something to say about that," he remarked sleepily through a yawn he was trying hard to suppress. "You should get some sleep," he said, though it was clearly him who needed it.

"So should you." She lifted her head, touching a last kiss to the curve of his jaw before tucking herself snug against him, the last bit of tension leaving her body as she released a slow sigh, contented and weary. As sleep crept up on her, wrapped so closely in his arms, she only had one more thing to say, something that she felt she couldn't say enough. "Love you, John."

Despite his awkwardness with words and his perceived inability to properly express himself, it wasn't hard to find himself repeating those words back to her - the only way he knew to tell her how much she meant to him. "Love you, Ailis," he said softly, as his eyes drifted closed, his breathing becoming slow and steady and even. He was no poet and didn't have a clue about romance, but one thing was for certain - he was as smitten with his little Irishwoman as she was with him.

[size=9]((Crossed wires and lots of love.  :grin: Many thanks to John's player for indulging me!))[/size]
[size=9:9aa1933e78][color=darkred:9aa1933e78][b:9aa1933e78][i:9aa1933e78]Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.[/i:9aa1933e78][/b:9aa1933e78][/color:9aa1933e78][/size:9aa1933e78]