Modellahz diaries

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

When Will I Be Okay Again?

Most women expect that when they're ready to make a baby, their bodies will readily comply. But sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. And that realization can be devastating. In fact, more than 6.1 million women in the United States find it difficult or impossible to get pregnant or carry a baby to term, and 2.1 million married couples are infertile (meaning, they haven't gotten pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex), according to a 1995 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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I have a secret identity.

No, I’m not a super hero, although if I was, I would like to have amazing superpowers like “ability to read ovulation charts with an eagle eye for thermal shifts” or “able to swallow large handfuls of vitamins and supplements in a single swig.”  Is it a super power to be able to translate a sentence written almost entirely in letters, like “OPK=+. DH & I BD but BFN 14DPO?”  Like WTF?
My secret identity is much more mundane, and much more common.  I am a woman who struggles to get pregnant.
We’re easy to identify if you pay enough attention.  We keep ourselves under tight control at baby showers, weddings, family events, sometimes slipping away before someone asks us if we want to hold the baby.  When you start a conversation with “So, are you thinking about having a baby (adding to your family)?”  We say something vague like “Oh, we aren’t quite ready yet,” rather than tell you the exact number of months we have been trying to conceive, which we know like we know our own birthdays.  We’ll be the ones trying to be sure to publicly drink a glass of wine so you don’t come up and ask us if we are avoiding alcohol because we are pregnant, but sipping just a little so it doesn’t throw off our temperatures for the next morning, or dilute our urine because we need desperately to use an ovulation strip and see if we can get the timing down properly.
In the public eye, we don’t look any different from the rest of the women you see.  But in private, we have a stockpile of secrets that we’re afraid to tell anyone.

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It started out innocently enough for me.  When we decided we wanted a baby, I stopped taking contraceptives.  Time passed.  Cycles passed.  We went from trying to not have a baby, to “not” not trying, to sort of trying, to trying very hard.  As each month passed we’d try a little harder, adding something new into the regime.  Basal body temping was a no go, ovulation prediction kits (OPK’s) never showed a positive, every other day just didn’t seem to be working. Relax: “just relax and it’ll happen” – funnily enough this always comes from someone who only took 5 minutes to get knocked.  How the heck can you relax when you’ve been TTC for so long, and anybody in the same situation will never utter the word “relax” because they know it doesn’t happen no matter how hard you try.

We don’t talk openly about infertility, even though one out of every ten women experience it.  We don’t talk about miscarriage even though up to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in one.  And we most definitely don’t talk about trying to get pregnant after miscarriage — the fear that it was our last shot at having a baby, that if we do get pregnant that we will have to suffer through it all again.  The complete loss of innocence that comes from believing that your baby will be fat and healthy and nestled in your arms after nine uneventful months. First it becomes a routine marker, then slowly a compulsion develops.  What was once a daily prenatal vitamin morphed into a vitamin, additional folic acid, vitamin c, and, depending on the day in my cycle a growing  additional supplements that may or may not regulate my ovulation, give me more mucus, strengthen a potential egg, or just cost me lots of money per month.  I wake up in a panic, glancing at the clock to see if I’ve been asleep long enough to take my temperature.  I jokingly admit to the numerous OPKs and home pregnancy tests that I take, sometimes multiple times per day. I know more shades of purple, pink, gray and white lines than an artist.  The "Pillow under the bum: after baby dancing, whilst you’re laying there in post coital bliss, getting Dear Hubby to pop a pillow or two under the bottom for 15 minutes, which supposedly helps to keep the swimmers in and helps them on their journey or alternatively lay back and hold legs in the air!! Remain lying down for at least 15 minutes after sex"

These things I can admit openly, although somewhat abashedly, with a sheepish grin that reinforces my image as the caricature of the woman trying to conceive, a cartoon version of the real, rational self. I don’t tell people about the real secrets.  About the pregnancy test I take a week after my period in case it wasn’t the end of the cycle. I know that getting pregnant is just the beginning of the journey.  I didn’t expect the beginning to be so long.  I didn’t expect the beginning to be so lonely.  And I definitely didn’t expect the beginning to be so quiet.

....Fingers crossed

Monday, 28 December 2015

Broken & Beautiful

Uche was my first love and we got engaged at 21. Everything was fantastic until I had my daughter at 23, then things started turning a bit sour. It was subtle at first. Grace’s birth was complicated, so I was in hospital for a while. When I got out, we went for a get together and I wore a new top. I felt good for the first time in months. Everyone greeted me saying I’d got my complexion back and that my top was lovely. I was in the corner changing Grace’s nappy when Uche came over and said, ‘That top you’re wearing, it’s not your colour. It doesn’t look nice at all.’ I said something like, ‘Thanks for letting me know,’ then I went home and threw it away. You think that someone who loves you will be looking out for your best interests – but looking back, I can see how manipulative he was being and how naive I was. The first time Uche became violent was before his cousin’s engagement party. By this time, we had a baby and an 18-month-old and I was taking longer than him to get ready. He started shouting at me saying, ‘You’re never on time! You’re slacking, the house is a mess!’
As the mother of a new born without a help in the house, I felt you had the right to leave a few plates unwashed in the sink, but he behaved as if it had been annoying him for ever. Then suddenly, he grabbed me by the neck and pushed me backwards. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God – he’s going to kill me.’ But he just said, ‘You’ve got 10 minutes.’ From then on it went from a push to a shove to a slap, then the slap became a punch – always a little bit more. But he was never violent in front of the children. To be honest, though, the bumps and bruises were nothing compared to the emotional abuse and threats.
Uche was never sorry and he never cried – unlike the stories you read on Stella’s blog about men who are violent and cry and then promise they’ll never do it again. It was as if he didn’t want to lose me but didn’t want me to feel good either. He just broke me down until I didn’t feel I was worth anything. It got to the stage where I didn’t believe that I could have a better life – or even survive – without him.
I became increasingly isolated, too. He didn’t make me a prisoner – his sister would baby-sit for us and we would go out, but I’d never have a good time.  If we were at a party, I was always by his side, not looking at anyone and not in a nice dress because I wasn’t allowed to wear anything colourful or beautiful. At home, he made it clear that my friends or family weren’t welcome. He’d come in the room and ignore them until, eventually, they stopped coming round. I admit that I made a bed for my own back because I got defensive when they tried to help. I didn’t want my kids to be from a broken home. I had heard stories of kids from broken homes and I didn’t want my kids to be one of them. I wanted to prove I was a strong woman who could make Uche happy and put things right, because I believed it was my fault. In the end, only my sister and a friend stuck by me.
The turning point came one day after I’d been ‘sitting the wrong way’. Uche grabbed me and punched me in the stomach so hard that I wet myself. He looked at me in disgust, then left and didn’t come home for two days. That was the first time I thought, ‘I’ve got to get out of this.’ I didn’t hate him and I didn’t pity him but I had fallen out of love with him. There was just no feeling left, just a blank space. I didn’t even plan our escape like you see in Nollywood. I just took the kids to the church. I was pretending to be strong but I was really scared…so scared I could hear my heart beat in my ears. I called Uche and said it was over. He said he would find me and kill me, he said he had connections to take my kids away from me and make sure I never live to see the next day. But after a while, he stopped threatening and began saying he missed the children.

I was shocked because he’d never really bothered with them, but I agreed he could have them for a weekend. That Saturday, he called and said, ‘You’re never getting your kids back.’ That was the only time I called the police. They told me that because Uche’s name was on the kids’ birth certificates, he wasn’t a threat to them, and as it was a family matter there was nothing they could do. I’d have to take him to court. So I went back home. I thought, ‘I’m going to talk to him, find out what he saw in me when we first got together and why he doesn’t see that now. Maybe we can take a holiday and maybe he’ll start loving me again.’ But Uche just laughed in my face. I was crying and apologising and he just said, ‘You look horrible when you cry. When did you grow so ugly and fat? I don’t know why you left. You could never survive without me.’
I was happy to be back with my kids, then three and four, but the violence and abuse started to escalate again. One problem we’d never had was finance. Uche worked for his dad and was never mean with money. When we needed a new car, he gave me the cash to buy one but instead I hired a driver. I had decided to leave for good. That morning I made him breakfast and he kissed me goodbye and I thought, ‘How ironic he’s being nice today.’ Then, as soon as he left, I took the kids to my sister’s and started packing.

I was frantic, just packing what I could into bags. I got the kids and we set off for my uncle’s. I was so scared, I thought, ‘What am I doing? I’m so stupid! I can’t do this!’ I told the driver to turn the car around and started to drive back. Then I thought, ‘No, 
I’m leaving, even if I die trying.’
My uncle only had a one-bedroom flat but he took us in. We stayed with him for a while. During that time, I didn’t talk to anyone except my kids and I ended up really depressed. Luckily, that’s when I found an NGO. The woman I spoke to was lovely and they found me a place to stay. For the first week, I was in total denial and whenever anyone tried to help me, my mantra was, ‘I’m not going to be here long.’ But it became our home for the next eight months. I got the kids into school and, eventually, I grew really close to other women working at the NGO. It’s hard to recover your identity in a place like that. I remember telling my case worker, ‘I need to be someone because I’ve never had anything.’
I thought I had something because I had a big TV and a beautiful sofa, but it wasn’t mine. And I need to be something for my kids. She helped me apply for the university, where I got a qualification in Psychology. Now I have my Consultancy Firm and I’m back at the university for my masters. I hope to have a M.Sc. in Clinical psychology.
I met my current partner, Daniel, when I went back to school. We went on two dates, then I panicked and said, ‘I don’t do relationships – I can’t see you.’ He kept calling but I thought, ‘I’m not giving my heart to someone else for them to rip it apart again.’ Then one of the friends I made in my department told me that I couldn’t allow my ex to dictate my future relationships. So I gave Daniel a chance and he was just what I needed – someone to help me regain my trust in men. But even after eight months, I’d be going, ‘Why are you so nice to me,’ and he’d be going, ‘Errm, well, aren’t we dating?’ I was adamant, too, that he shouldn’t meet my children, but eventually it happened and, five years on, they’re really close. 
The children never ask to see their dad but I’ve said if they ever want to, they’re to let me know. I’m relieved he’s not around as an influence. Now I think, ‘This is who I was before Uche – the girl who did well at school and wanted to be someone.’ If you’d told me six years ago that I’d have my own business, that my kids would be happy, that we’d be getting by, I’d have said, ‘No way!’ But if you’d told me that ten years ago I’d have said, ‘Of course!’
I don’t let what happened define me – it drives me. I don’t hate myself and I don’t hate Uche. I have a decent life with two beautiful kids. I’m one of the lucky ones.

I Got Flowers Today


I got flowers today!
It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night;
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt;
I know that he is sorry and didn’t mean to say the things he said;
Because he sent me flowers today.


I got flowers today.
It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn't believe that it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today!
It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day;
Last night he threw me into a wall and then started choking me;
It seemed unreal, a nightmare, but you wake up from nightmares;
And I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over—but I know he is sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today!
And it wasn’t Valentines Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me;
Make-up and long sleeves didn’t hide the cuts and bruises this time;
I couldn’t go to work today because I didn’t want anyone to know—but I know
he’s sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today!
And it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day;
Last night he beat me again, and it was worse than all of the other times;
If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about
money?
I’m afraid of him, but I’m too scared and dependent to leave him! But he
must be sorry;
Because he sent me flowers today.


I got flowers today….
Today was a special day—it was the day of my funeral;
Last night he killed me;
If only I would have gathered the courage and strength to leave him;
I could have received help from the Women’s Shelter, but I didn’t ask for
their help;
So I got flowers today—for the last time.



By Paulette Kelly

Saturday, 26 December 2015

The Breakup

He enters my room even though we decided that we were over,done,finished. I'm such an idiot. I let him in. What the hell was I thinking? I knew where this was leading. But my heart raced. He looked at me with those puppy eyes and I just stepped back and let him the fuck in. Weak ass bitch! Idiot!. I could feel my pulse quicken, so I quickly covered saying something so incredibly witty it would throw him off "What do you want...?” Who was I fooling? I walked back to my desk chair and sat down.

Every time I convince myself I got over him he throws me back to the start with one look of his puppy eyes. Damn it! I'm a strong woman. I've been down this path before and know what can happen. He's married. It doesn't matter that it isn't a working marriage. It doesn't matter that I want to drag him to bed and do things with him and to him that would make me blush. He's fucking married! Get your head out of your ass girl!

He walks over and kneels at my chair. I try not to look at him, but keep stealing glances. He leans in. He is going to try to kiss me. I know it. I'm going to resist. He'll get frustrated and leave. Then it will really be over this time. Turn to look at him. Mistake! His eyes lock on to mine and I'm caught. I can't turn away. He is leaning in, I try to run away and his lips kiss half my lips and half my cheek. Oh jeezz!, I can't resist… How?? I quickly turn my head and lock onto his lips. Oh! Sweet, wet, perfect, moist. I'm lost in this kiss, the next one, and the next one, the next… "We can't do this, it's over." I whisper. "I know" he replies as he kisses me again.

As we start to breathe each other's breath, locked together kiss after kiss after kiss, he reaches over and quickly and efficiently scoops me up into his arms. One arm across my back the over under my legs. He quickly walks over to the bed, sets me down and lies half on me. I love it…I’m loosing the will to say no, stop. We lose ourselves in each other, kissing, caressing. His hands are on fire squeezing my large breasts through my clothes. I start dry humping him. I can't help it. I need him. I want him

I move away, breathe….breathe girl, you need to think.  Slowly I finally catch my breath though with great difficulty then assuming my innate strength I pull away and whisper slowly "I'm going to go to the bathroom please you need to leave....now." I make my way into the bathroom. I'm so nervous I can't actually go. I turn on the faucet and it helps me finally go. I pull up my pants, wash hands and reassuring my horny self that this day too shall pass without giving in, I go back out.

He is laying on the bed wearing only his boxer briefs. He starts to laugh. That dog! He's playing with me. I sit at the desk again. He comes over, again. "I can smell how aroused you are." He's right. I'm still drenched. My panties soaked. "Stop it." I feebly protest.

"I want you to read something." He shows me his journal. We move to the bed, lay down on our stomachs and read. It lists his doubts, his lust, and his confusion - all over me. It is overwhelming. It is flattering and scary. And it is erotic. He really wants me. Attraction is so attractive. We kiss. And again. Heart racing again. It only takes a second with him. My body responds. What is it about him? He has this instant on switch hidden somewhere and flicks it every time we are together.

We roll over with him on top. We continue to make out. This time he reaches under my shirt and lifts my shirt and bra in one motion. I protest and he does the same with the other bra cup. I now am exposing my breasts to him. This is wrong. This is so wrong. This is a mistake, because I will not be able to stop. He sucks on my nipple. Sweet Jesus. His lips are creating a connection between my nipple... Oh my! Oh my gosh!! Slowly he moves to my cunt leaving trails of kisses as he goes. I'm wet, drenched and open. I lost control of my tightly shut legs which were now swung open. I pull my shirt down, but he rips it apart. "We need to stop this." I pretended to struggle and hoped deep down he wouldn't stop. He does not respond...like he read my mind he granted my unspoken desire. He moves very deliberately to press his bulging cock between my legs. He starts dry humping me. I can't help it, I grind back on him. It feels so good. He adjusts so he is lined up directly on top of my clit. We grind together..slow and sensual. If it wasn't for three tiny layers of clothes he would have been in. I wrap my legs around him grinding in unison with him. I can almost feel him inside but his briefs wouldn't set his massive cock free. I keep reaching for his briefs to pull them off but he wouldn't let me. As we clinged to each other I managed to  pull his briefs half off on the side. Just needed to remove these so I could feel the whole of him inside me, feel him fill me up. I finally orgasm. It is some relief but not enough.

I can't believe his control. He did not get relief. We lay there panting until we can move again. We know we must stop. We look at each another both wanting more. Control has kicked in. I pull my clothes together while he dresses. As he buttons his shirt I can imagine myself in it. Feeling wrapped up in him. We look at one another longingly but knowing if we stay we will not be able to live with the consequences. One last kiss and he slips out the door.

In the morning getting ready, I think I hear a knock. I go to the door and no one is there. However there is a dry cleaning bag. I bring it into the room. Opening it up it is his shirt. I grab it and inhale his smell. Tears slowly start to well up in my eyes.

Her Love Returns

She walked through the French doors onto the balcony, her body sheathed in her new translucent pale blue night gown and matching robe. As she watched for him to pull into the driveway, she sipped a glass of her favourite red wine..4th street. Her nipples went from soft to rock hard as the soft silk moved against them thanks to the harmattan breeze that was gently blowing in the evening sky. She knew that if anyone looked up at the correct angle, they would be able to see her body through her clothes, but she didn't care. She wanted him with her and she would watch for him for as long as it took.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, even though it was only minutes, she saw his SUV pull into the driveway and she slipped inside before he could see her; she wanted to surprise him as a treat to welcome him home from the long business trip he'd been on. She heard the garage door open and close; she smiled as she began sprinkling the rose petals from the front door to the bedroom, satisfied that they would be enough to get him quickly to where she was waiting. She closed the door slightly and untied the robe, letting it fall open before she set the glass of wine onto the dresser. She heard the front door open and him call her name as she leaned against the bed, her nipples showing distinctly through the low cut gown. The top of the gown swooped down and showed off just enough of her breasts to grab his attention. The bottom of the gown stopped just below her thighs; she bent one leg at the knee, revealing a hint of her pussy. The dark hair that had once been surrounding her pussy were very short, having been trimmed down earlier that morning.

He called for her again as he nudged the bedroom door open; his eyes widened and his jaw dropped as she murmured, "Welcome home." He stepped completely into the room, closing the door behind him before closing the gap between them. He kissed her hard as his hands dived under the silky night gown, one delved deep within her already soaked pussy while the other gently cupped a breast. She could feel his hard cock press against her and she brushed her hand over the crotch of his pants as she reached for the buttons and zipper of his pants. A growl tore from his throat as he grabbed the hem of the gown and pulled it roughly over her head. She smiled and moaned as he kissed her again before sliding his lips down her neck before stopping at her breasts. He lavished attention on the already achingly hard nipple, inhaled the scent of the perfume she'd worn just for him, the Marc Jacobs he'd picked out for her birthday. His lips travelled the trail of perfume as his fingers drowned in her, laughed gently as she fumbled with the buttons on his pants; she never could get his pants undone if he was wearing them. Using his free hand, he undid his pants and let them, with his boxers drop to the floor at his feet.

She pleaded with him for more as his lips continued their search for the spots on her body that had been touched by the perfume and she moaned loudly when his lips finally touched her clit. He gently pushed her back against the softness of the blanket as he gave into temptation and sank his cock deep within her. They moved against each other as one, her hands were on his head as he kissed her lovingly but passionately, their breathing was hard and erratic as they writhed against each other in delicious agony, searching for their release. He groaned as she nibbled at his neck and in turn, he pulled his lips from hers and scraped his teeth carefully against her nipple.

She screamed his name as she came undone, arched her back and clung to him as she rode the waves of her release. She cried out again when his cum splashed hot inside her; he held her tight and kissed her softly as if he were afraid to let her go. He whispered words of love in her ear…sweet nothings before he pulled away from her. She watched as he unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off. He let it fall to the ground where his pants sat and held out a hand to her; she took it and let him lead her into the bathroom. He turned to her and with a smile filled with love, he asked, "Are you ready for more?"
She smiled back and turned on the water and filled up the large Jacuzzi tub.
"Always."

Short Stories 18+

Shania woke up surprised that the alarm hadn’t woken her. She glanced at the clock to see if she had overslept but found it was still twenty minutes before her usual time to wake up. She stretched and decided to get up anyway, not to doze and wait for the alarm. An extra twenty minutes before going to work might be a blessing. In her bare feet and nightgown she went to the bathroom to answer nature’s early morning call.

She returned naked and began her routine of exercises, squats and twists and stretches. Her body reflected in the bedroom mirror still looked trim. She stepped forward to do the self-examination routine on her breasts. On the bed behind her, her mate Jayden slept on. They were working different shifts at the hospital; he worked twelve hours shifts plus eight on call in emergency, while she was staff on a day surgery unit. She hadn’t felt him come to bed only a few hours ago. She hadn’t felt him in at least a week, she realized. No sex, no loving. That was the trouble with shift work. As she watched, he turned from his side to his back. The bed covers slipped to the side and he lay there with his cock on display, soft and vulnerable and so accessible. She felt a swift stab of arousal in her belly, the urge to wake him and make love until they both came. No, she told herself that would be unfair to him. He worked exhausting hours. He needed all the sleep he could get. She watched as he shifted in his sleep, as his hand reached down toward his cock. ‘Tommy’ he’d called it when they first began to make love. She smiled at the sight of the rounding belly that he tried so hard to deny, at the beginnings of love handles over his hips. His fingers scratched at his groin and Tommy wagged at her. Quickly she stepped over, pressed her lips to Jayden’s shoulder, and pulled the covers back up. But tucking it away didn’t ease the throb in her belly. She pushed her feet into a pair of slippers, grabbed her robe, and went to the kitchen.

The automatic coffee maker had not yet finished its cycle. She poured a small glass of juice to sip on while she waited. She and Jayden had been living together for almost two years. Maybe the early passion of screwing at any time in any place in the house had passed but life together was still good, very good. So what if he didn’t surprise her by stepping naked and hard into the shower when she wasn’t expecting it. Or that she no longer tried to distract him from watching sports on TV with an impulsive blowjob. They were comfortable together, cared for each other. Damn. Time to take the mind off sex and concentrate on breakfast. She could feel herself below beginning to moisten.

The routine preparation of breakfast. Bowl, napkin, spoon. Cereal, fruit, milk. With a long sigh and hiss the coffee maker finished its cycle and she filled her favorite mug. She settled at the kitchen table and pulled the satin robe snug around herself. The brushing of the fabric against her breasts made her nipples harden. That in turn set her pussy tingling. She remembered the time when they had used the kitchen table. With her hands gripping the edges, her legs waving in the air, and Jayden’s mouth working its magic against her cunt, she had screamed and heaved and shuddered so deliciously! Remarks about that breakfast had continued for weeks. She could feel the moisture in her vagina increase. To distract herself she tried to imagine what sort of challenge she could expect to face at work. Her mind stuck with her body, refused to go there. It certainly didn’t help when she bit into a juicy berry; the burst of its juice on her tongue instantly reminded her of Jayden exploding in her mouth. She could imagine him upstairs, naked in her bed. Naked and erect in her bed. She shivered.

She rinsed the breakfast things and set them in the drain board, then prepared for her shower. Under the soothing spray she attempted to wash away the sexual longings, to luxuriate in the simple sensation of water on skin. Even when she filled her mind with the upcoming routines of work, the voices and faces of co-workers, she couldn’t stop her hands from answering the signals of her body. One hand drifted down and cupped her pussy; the fingers of the other tugged at her nipples, which refused to decrease their hardness. She pushed aside the desire to masturbate there in the shower. She wanted more, wanted to be filled. As she dried herself she considered the vibrator. That was a possibility.

It was right there in her drawer, handy as she chose underwear for the day. She slipped on a sensible pair of white cotton panties and a comfortable bra. Her hand reached for the flesh colored vibrator, ready to take it back into the bathroom, when she saw Jayden’s reflection in the mirror. He was flat on his back with one arm at his side, the other over his chest. Somehow he had kicked off the covers again and he lay there exposed to the knees. His cock, however, was no longer soft. Thick and rampant, it pointed up and a little to the left. His beautiful cock. Her cock. She wanted it.

She dropped the vibrator back in the drawer and moved to kneel down beside the bed. Up close Jayden’s cock was so rugged and yet so soft; just the sight and its proximity made her feel warm in her heart as well as her belly. Carefully she grasped it in her hand and brought her lips to the head. If she took her time, perhaps she could satisfy herself with administering a gentle blowjob without waking him. Supply him with a wet dream and diminish if not dispel her own cravings. She held him captive between her lips, stroked the length of his cock gently with her fingertips. Her tongue found his meatus, circled down to the hypersensitive fraenum and paused there. Careful or you’ll surely wake him, she admonished herself. Even so, his cock grew hard and hot in her mouth. She cradled his balls in her other hand.

In his sleep he shifted slightly, as if to push his cock deeper into her mouth. She paused to watch his face. The flesh around his mouth and jaws was still relaxed but the small muscles in his forehead seemed to be gathered in a frown, as if puzzled by what was happening to his body. She watched the flicker of his eyes behind their lids. The pattern of his breathing became somewhat irregular but she was satisfied that he remained asleep.

She was well aware of the reactions of her own body as it demanded fulfilment. Her nipples were hard and tight, pushing against her bra as if trying to escape their confines. Wetness gathered between her thighs, and her crotch felt like a swamp flooded in spring. The nerves between her breasts and her pussy tingled with the electricity of desire; her lower abdomen felt heavy with a concentrated heat. She pushed aside the fantasy of a vibrator buried deep inside her for a new vision. Perhaps she could bring herself off with Jayden’s cock inside her but without waking him. Just the idea caused a gratifying throb in her pussy.

She let go of his cock completely. It stood erect, hard and strong without her assistance, throbbing slightly with the pulse of his blood. She stood up, removed her now soaked panties, and gently climbed onto the bed without waking Calvin. Carefully she positioned herself over his cock, a knee at each side of his waist. Her left hand felt her trim patch of pubic hair; her fingers spread to open her engorged cunt and hold it open. With her right she grasped the towering cock between thumb and forefinger and brushed its head against the inside of her labia. She almost screamed with the need to plunge it deep inside her but bit her lip, hard. She let her body settle just a little, until the head of his cock was nestled in the opening of her vagina. Not quite in, not quite out. She held the position and made sure Jayden was still asleep. He groaned softly and pushed his head back into the pillow but he did not awake. So far, so good. Now the question was, how much could she move, or how little and still attain all her objectives?

Gently her fingers explored the place where their bodies joined. The fingertips of one hand explored the taut skin of his cock, feeling the small pulsing of his blood vessels, the thick channel of his urethra underneath. The fingers of the other hand stroked the engorged flesh of her labia, sticky with the flow of her wetness. She touched the pearl of her clitoris poking its apex from under its guardian folds. The touch felt like fire. Her eyes closed and she let her head fall back. She sucked in a breath and held it, brought her hand up to her mouth and bit into it to keep from screaming with delirium. Her thigh muscles quivered with the effort of holding her body rigid, in one place. For a long moment she remained motionless. Her complete attention was centered within her; even without a cock buried deep, she felt the trembling waves of a small orgasm ripple through her pussy. Underneath her, she felt his buttocks tighten and then the nudge of his cock seeking further entry. Quickly she glanced at Jayden’s face. Its expression was one of concentration but he was still asleep. Carefully she touched her button again, circling it with a moist fingertip. Excitement flashed through her. Time to go for broke. Her finger strummed at her clit, her thighs trembled with the strain of holding her in an unnatural position, and her climax overcame her. The fire in her abdomen burst in a hot wave that coursed through her body, consumed her belly, her breasts, her throat, her face. Then came a series of smaller waves, like breakers rolling on the seashore. She found she’d been holding her breath and gasped. Yes. This was the fulfillment she had needed. With care and contentment she glanced down at Jayden’s face. He was still asleep! A trace of perspiration had gathered on his chest and his groin was sticky with her secretions, but he still slept. She felt one thigh threaten to cramp and carefully climbed off his body, off the bed. She scurried to the bathroom.

After she had cleaned up she came back with a warm wet cloth for him but he had turned on his side and she was afraid he would wake if she moved him. She glanced at the clock. Damn! If she didn’t rush she would be late for work. This morning escapade had taken more time than she’d bargained for. She slipped her uniform over her head, and fastened it, slipped white loafers on her feet. No time for makeup. She dumped a few necessities into her purse. Socks! Panties! She grabbed some items from her drawer. She’d have to put herself together after she arrived at work; right now she had to catch a bus or be late and have to give a reason.

As she dashed for the bus stop she felt a trace of her fluid seep from her sex. I hope it doesn’t stain she thought. Even so, she smiled with contentment. Before going home she would have to find a way through the emergency department, ask him if he had had any good dreams this morning. Hers was no dream. She had a lasting memory.

The Prom Dance ( Final Part)

"Long time, girl," Rayburn said in his over confident tone.
"Hello, Raymond," I said. Mistake. Never acknowledge an idiot.
"I knew you would remember me," Raymond said, his hand closing around my elbow with way too much familiarity.
"I wish I had time to talk," I lied, "I have to get this fish into the fridge before it spoils. It's good to see you again though." I maneuvered my elbow out of his grasp. I tried to open the car door, but he was too close. "Excuse me," I smiled.
"Maybe you should let the fish spoil," Raymond said, his smile growing, "let me take you out to eat. We'll hit a club. If I remember, you owe me a dance." He moved closer. The strong scent of alcohol was on his breath.
"Please Raymond," I said, trying to keep it light, "I need to get home. I promised Oliver dinner." I figured that the mention of Oliver would end the discussion. I was wrong. "That stick in the mud," Raymond continued, "he doesn't know how to treat women." He moved closer, pushing me against my car. I held the wrapped fish between us. A horribly flimsy shield. "I'll make you queen for the night. Rock your world."
"No!" I said loudly. I pushed him back. He was stronger than he looked and barely moved in inch. He laughed as if it were a game. His eyes were tinged in a drunken red. "No always means yes," Raymond chuckled. "No means no," A deep voice said. Franks large hand closed on Raymond's shoulder and pulled him away. William immediately put himself between Raymond and me.
"Who the fuck are you two," Raymond demanded. It looked like he was considering a fight.
"Agents Chukwu and Bruno," William said with authority, flashing his badge and exposing his side arm, "SCID." I smiled at my heroes. "May I suggest a cab, Sir," Frank said, pulling Raymond farther away from me. I heard Raymond mumble something back as he allowed Frank to escort him down the street. I let out the breath I was holding.
"Thank you," I said to William. "Finally, some excitement," William laughed. Frank joined a moment later with a proud smile.
"Mr. Raymond has decided to call it a day and head home," Frank said, "I hope he didn't ruin yours."
"He tried," I said, "but not with Nigeria's finest on duty. I don't know how I can thank you."
"It was kind of nice stopping a crime before it was committed," Frank said, "maybe you could stir up some more trouble to give us something else to do."
"I'll see what I can do," I laughed. Frank and William smiled, said goodbye and headed to their car. I watched them go, thankful that they were there. I wasn't sure how I would have handled a drunk Raymond if they weren't. I smiled to myself. Frank and William slid from the acquaintance to the friend category. I held back a chuckle as I realized I liked them following me.
"That bastard," Olly said when I told him about Raymond. "He was drunk," I calmed him, "I don't think it would have gone too far. Besides, I think Frank and William scared him pretty good."
"Tom and Jerry still downstairs?" Oliver asked.
"They're on until 7:00, I think." Olly smiled and grabbed his phone. I laughed as he ordered the two large pizza and drinks. I had no idea how many rules we were breaking, but friends took care of friends. Damn the rules. My trial was a week away. I had almost fully moved in with Oliver and his parents now considered me family. His father, Daniel, was a workaholic, but took plenty of time out to make sure I was welcome. He, like his wife, had little concern how I had met Oliver. Oliver was happy and that's all that seemed to matter. Which was good, since that is all that mattered to me. I went home to gather more of my clothes. I have been moving them piecemeal into Oliver's condo. He had given me an entire closet and half the dresser drawers. There was no ring, no ceremony, no license, but we were married in the heart. We started and ended each day with a kiss and shared the bathroom like we had been together our whole lives. More importantly, we could make each other laugh. We didn't even need words anymore. Something would strike my eyes as funny and a quick look at Oliver would set him off as well. A wonderful connection I never wanted to see go away.
Jeremaine, unfortunately, was home. Her smile told me she would attempt to ruin my day. I tried to ignore it and moved quickly to my room, packing another box of clothes away. "There are some discrepancies in The Impact’s books," Jeremaine sang gleefully, "money is missing that is awfully close that the amounts the SCID was inquiring about." It felt as if a needle entered my heart. I continued packing while she leaned against the door frame obviously wanting to see my reaction. I did my best not to give her one. "Embezzling is an awful, awful crime," She continued, "I tried to make it clear to them that my daughter wouldn't have anything to do with that." There was a chuckle in her voice. I continued packing, praying she hadn't connected Arun to me. 
"I told them that type of crime would get you fired," she added, "and as no longer an employee of The Impact, you would lose all rights to inherit the firm." I turned my head to her and cringed at her smile. "Those rights would fall to me as your father's next heir." I couldn't control my tongue.
"Bitch!" The company was my last tie to my father. It was his legacy and my duty to see that it remained strong. Why he ever put Jeremaine between me and that legacy was still lost on me. 
"I'll take that as a guilty plea," she laughed. Damn my mouth. She would delve deeper. If she uncovered Arun's complicity everything would unravel. I sped up my packing. I had to preempt Jeremaine. It would cost a large chunk of my inheritance, but I had Oliver. He was worth more than a hundred companies. Sorry dad, I hope Jeremaine was worth it.
The weight of the defeat hit hard when I exited the house under Jeremaine's gleeful stare. I had wasted many years struggling to maintain my temper. Working impossible hours trying to outlast the bitch. It had been a waste. I tried to think of Oliver and all I had gained. I needed his arms to quell the pain. He was in meetings again, so I wouldn't seem him until much later. The tears came while I waited at a red light. I had failed my father. It was his fault, but I failed nonetheless. 
I pulled over into a big box store parking lot. Leaning my head on the steering wheel, I tried to slow my heart and stem the tears. I had cried too much over all that had happened. This was just something I had to let go of. The gold digger would be out of my life. I should be happy with that consolation prize. I was startled by a soft knock on my window. William was there, his face full of concern. I had forgotten my tail.  "I'm sorry, William," I said, after wiping my eyes. Frank was on the other side of the car, looking for some kind of threat I suspect, "I forgot you guys were there."
"You're not supposed to know," William chuckled. At least his humor made me feel better. I stepped out of the car when Frank came around.
"I just had some bad news is all," I said, talking to them like we were friends, "I screwed up a lot of things when I went to that dance."
"You seem happy enough with Mr. Peterson," Frank injected. 
"Yes, I do have him and wouldn't trade it for anything," I smiled, "It's just some of the costs are higher than I wished. I think I just lost my father's business." 
"How's that?" William asked. I explained to them what I could, leaving Arun out of it. The will, embezzling my own money, and the probable cost of being so foolish. 
"Jeremaine sounds like a Bitch," William commented.
"That's what I called her. Probably not a good thing to say given the circumstances." Frank laughed at my words. At least sharing my pain made me feel a little better. Sometimes you just need to put a voice to it and let some of it burn off. I laughed with him. 
"Are you going to be all right?" Frank asked. 
"I think so," I replied, "this is the second time I'm grateful to you guys." I surprised Frank by giving him a hug. I followed with William who hugged me back. I am sure I just violated a whole bunch of SCID rules. They could just tack it onto my sentence. At least the guys were smiling when they headed to their car and I was done with my self-admonishment. No point in second guessing if I can't have a do-over. 
I called Rotimi as soon as I got home. I hated leaving my lawyers in the dark, but I also didn't want them exposed to ethical dilemmas. I informed him where the money for the ball ticket, limo and hairdresser came from. He seemed to take it in stride, asking some probing questions to clarify issues. He was most interested in the dollar amounts and the provisions of the trust my father had saddled me with. I clarified what I could and he promised me everything would be alright. I was surprised when I found out that I wouldn't be taking the stand. "Some rights are best exercised," Brendan insisted. The Petersons trusted him, so did I. 
Oliver and I had been slowly switching our internal clocks. Since I didn't have my night work, he began working during the day and spent evenings with me like non-vampires. His abundance of meetings made me feel guilty. I was sure I had greatly wounded his business and healing it was taking an enormous amount of time. He assured me I hadn't done anything he couldn't handle. Every night, he would erase my doubts with love. I always found them again when he left the next morning. 
The night before my trial was especially tense. I had spent the day feeling I had lost control of my life. Rebecca had called to say that she and Daniel would be in court for support. I was glad of the diversion her call gave me. Too much time to think is not good for the condemned. Oliver had cleared his afternoon so he could spend it with me. He sensed my apprehension when he left that morning. I had to practically shove him out the door. I knew he had an important meeting first thing. I placated myself by playing a housewife. I cleaned and made a salad for lunch. I hated being a housewife.
I was busy cutting carrots when I felt a kiss on the back of my neck. Olly had snuck in and was rather pleased with his stealth. I turned into him and all the bad things in the world drained away. In each other's arms, we were unstoppable. "Whatever happens tomorrow, know that I love you," I whispered once my lips had tasted him. "And I you, no matter what happens tomorrow, or the next day, or the one after that," he added. "So, I am screwed next week," I joked. We could always turn silly words into laughter. Oliver lifted me off the floor with a deep hug, then reached past me to grab a piece of carrot. 
"You were screwed the moment I met you," Oliver said, throwing the carrot in his mouth, "now you're stuck with me." I kissed him, not caring that he was munching on the carrot. He reached for another piece and I slapped his hand playfully. 
"Wait," I said, "let me put some in the salad." He laughed, backed away and held up the piece I thought I had stopped him from taking. "Salad," I demanded, pointing at the bowl full of salad. His eyebrows bounced and tossed the carrot into his mouth. Men! I dropped the knife on the counter and tackled him. 
Oliver let me win the brief wrestling match. I liked being on top, in control. Weeks of bowing to things out of my control and now I had the man I loved beneath me. He reached up slowly, some attempt to bring me closer. I took his wrist and pushed it back to his side. I lowered my head, my smile meeting his, and gave him my love. I felt his resistance fade, muscles relaxing. I broke the kiss and began unbuttoning his shirt. 
"I am yours," Olly smiled. I tried not to laugh at the small speck of carrot in his teeth. I kissed the carrot away while I went to work on his buttons. He sensed my desire and allowed me to control our love making. My lips found his secrets as he had found mine. It was the first time he had given up everything. We had shared often, but this time it was me giving pleasure and expecting nothing in return except tacit obedience. For a short while, I was the most powerful person in the room. Olly had given me his strength and I needed it more than he knew. "I need to come home early more often," Olly whispered. I could feel his heart slowing as I lay on his chest. "I don't want to be just a housewife," I said. I wanted Oliver, but I also wanted something of my own. It was as good a time as any to clear things up, now that I had some strength back. I could feel Olly holding back a chuckle. I looked up, thinking he found my statement funny. 
"You don't need my permission," Oliver said, "though...if I disagree...does that mean I have a chance of getting tackled again?" The little boy whimsy in his eyes made me laugh. I slapped his shoulder and he feigned pain making me laugh harder.
"I just wanted you to know. I'm not sure how you see our future."
"I want you," Olly said, rolling me to my side, "I can hire a maid." 
"I don't want to disappoint you. I have no idea what you're expecting and..."
"You," Oliver repeated, his hand lovingly caressing my neck, "I am expecting you and no one else. I have the same worries, but every time I kiss you, they fade away. So I figured, I just need to keep kissing you." I loved when he was like this. Playful and meaningful at the same time. He was correct, kissing solved a lot of issues. 
Walking into the courtroom was surreal. I had seen it on TV and been on a few tours in grade school. The one time I had been selected for jury duty, I was never called to serve. As a defendant, it was an imposing room. I walked in with my lawyers, hopefully presenting an imposing sight myself. I refused to look meek. If they were going to take me down, then it would be with a straight back and a proud face. Enough with the self-pity. I would take my lumps, solve the problem and continue the next chapter of my life. The chapter entitled 'Oliver.' 
I was surprised to see Tim and Zac seated in one of the rows. The SCID must have been busy tracking down all my transgressions. Zac waved with a flirty look in his eyes. Tim smiled. I felt bad for them being dragged to my trial. The thought that their pay might be retracted as stolen funds sent a chill through me. That would have to be rectified. Another debt. My fears were confirmed when I saw Nikki and Trixie in another row. I tried to give them an apologetic expression. It probably came off as stupid mixed with insanity. They didn't shy away and gave me friendly smiles. Rebecca and Daniel were all smiles. They had an aura of confidence I didn't share. Ruth and Betty sat next to them. Ruth with a polite nod and Betty with a thumbs up. Right behind what I suspected was the prosecutor was Jeremaine. She was smiling ear to ear. It was the most unfriendly thing I had ever seen. I had a brief unhealthy desire to claw it off her face. Thankfully, I buried the thought with the idea that this might be the last time I ever see her. She would get what she wanted and I would have Oliver and a new life. 
My lawyers and I sat at a large wooden table that mirrored the prosecutor's table on the other side of the room. I took a deep breath and straightened in my chair. Rotimi conferred quietly with Mary, another of my counsel, and she passed down a set of papers. Rotimi looked at them a moment then pushed them down the table to me. 
"We took the liberty of handling your taxes this year," Rotimi whispered, "if you could sign these, it will help in your defence." I looked down at the stack a papers in front of me. I usually only had a couple of sheets when I did my taxes. This was at least twenty pages of FIRS forms. There were two sign-here stickers poking out the right side. Rotimi smiled and I felt his confidence. I shrugged my shoulders and signed. Mary stood, gathered the document and headed out to make copies. At least my taxes were done. One headache not to worry about.  We stood when the judge arrived. Judge Alfred was black-gowned with a round face and gray beard that reminded me of a well-trimmed Santa Claus. He didn't smile like Santa when the charges were read. In fact, it looked like humor was foreign to him. I sat back down and listened to a slew of perfunctory statements on both sides. The trial began in earnest with the first witness. The first witness was Oliver. I cringed when his name was called. I should have expected it since it was his team that first recognized the breach. He smiled to me as he walked from behind me. I hadn't seen him walk in. I lost track of him when my lawyers briefed me on what to expect.
Oliver took the witness stand. He looked adorable. I scrunched my eyes, trying to separate the naked Oliver from the one in the chair. I couldn't, so I smiled at him. I received a loving smile in return. The prosecutor was staring at me with an expression that didn't contain any love. I guess I was compromising his witness. Oliver winked at me and then became serious, stating his name and promising to tell the truth. 
"On the night of..." The prosecutor began, describing the events that were undisputed fact before he hit on a question. "Did you identify a breach of the Shark firewall?"
"Yes," Oliver said and didn't elaborate. I knew he wouldn't lie, but he had no intention of helping the man. I liked Oliver in his suit. When he wasn't smiling at me, he was the picture of authority and strength. His power weakened greatly when he smiled. He became approachable. I looked over to the jury. I had a flash of jealousy when I saw the eyes of the four women jurors. They were fixed on Oliver. My Oliver. I had to look away. They were supposed to be looking at him. I straightened my back and returned my mind to the proceedings.
"How did you identify the incursion?" The prosecutor's question was followed by a long list of technical procedures that would have bored Bill Gates. I could see the jurors eyes glaze over as Peter used acronyms and long-winded techno jargon with abandon. Twice the prosecutor tried to interrupt, but Peter wasn't having it. By the time he was done, we all realized that he was highly skilled and we had no idea how he identified the incursion. 
"How would you categorize this assault?" the prosecutor asked.
"I'm not sure I understand the question," Oliver responded. He was so cute when he played dumb. Somehow he could change his eyes from intense to innocent in a heartbeat. 
"Amateur, skilled, highly skilled?" the prosecutor clarified.
"It was the most sophisticated attack I have ever seen," Oliver said. He was looking near the prosecutor's table when he said it, almost as if he was answering the question for someone else. I turned my head and glanced toward the table. There was an older man in a blue air force uniform with a star on the color. General Rickers, I assumed.
"In your opinion, would the development of this attack take the resources of a government to design and execute?" The question was followed by a series of objections that were overruled by the judge who followed up with instructions to the jury that Oliver's response would be an opinion of an expert and not necessarily fact. 
"No." Oliver's answer took the prosecutor by surprise. He looked down at this notes, then back at his table where his assistant shrugged his shoulder. 
"We have depositions that state you have claimed that only a foreign government had the capability to develop such an attack."
"Yes," Oliver said calmly, "I know longer feel that is the case. I was rather...upset when I made those assumptions."
"So, you want this court to believe that an individual has developed, in your words, the most sophisticated attack you have ever seen?"
"As his honor has stated, it is only my opinion," Oliver said. Again, he was speaking to Rickers. The prosecutor walked back to his desk and conferred with his assistant for a moment. Rickers leaned into the conversation. Then a third joined, Agent Stiles. I felt my bladder contract. The judge called the prosecutor back to the questioning after a moment.
"What is your relationship with the defendant?" Oliver considered the question then looked directly at me. 
"I intend to ask her to be my wife when this is over." I heard Rebecca audibly gasp at Oliver's response. My heart nearly burst. 
"Yes," I answered the unasked question. I wasn't thinking about where I was when it came out. All I saw was Oliver looking at me. All I saw was love. The pounding of the gavel and the commotion of the courtroom was lost on us. The rest of the world could fall into a bottomless pit for all I cared. 
"Order!" The judge yelled again. This time, I heard the gavel but ignored it. I smiled at my love and nearly melted when he smiled back. It took awhile to bring the courtroom under control as Oliver and I continued to absorb each other with our eyes.
"Mr. Peterson!" the prosecutor said for the second time. Oliver turned away from me and looked questionably at the prosecutor. I couldn't hide my smile and didn't really care who saw it. 
"Has your testimony been comprised by your relationship with the defendant?"
"Comprised? No," Oliver responded, "though I am sure it has been tainted. Have you ever been in love?" The court broke out in laughter. More gavel pounding and the judge looking less and less like Santa all the time. 
"Mr. Peterson," the judge instructed, "you are here to answer questions, not ask them."
"Yes, your honor."
"Could your assessment of the capability of the attacker of your firewall be tainted by your relationship with the defendant?"
"Absolutely not," Peter said, "My firewall, and, therefore, the armed force's networks, are completely exposed to the talents of a single individual." General Rickers stood quickly and leaned down to the assistant prosecutor who immediately waved the prosecutor over. The judge rolled his eyes and slammed his gavel down. "This court does not have tolerance for interference, even by the military," the judge decreed. 
"Your honor, May I approach the bench?" the prosecutor asked. 
"Lead counsel only." Rotimi joined the prosecutor at the bench. There was a bunch of whisperings that seemed more spirited than it should be. I looked over at Oliver. Our eyes met and I mouthed 'yes' again. His smile was so wonderful. I didn't need him on his knee. I just needed him. 
"There will be a thirty-minute recess while counsel confers in chambers," the judge announced with a tone that sounded less than pleased. Lead counsel and the judge headed through a door behind the bench. The jury was led out by the sergeant at arms. A soft hand found my shoulder. I turned to see Rebecca, happy tears in her eyes, leaning over the waist high divider. 
"Welcome to the family," Rebecca said. I rose and we hugged. I promised myself I wouldn't break down again. I failed. 
"Sorry," Oliver said from behind me, "I didn't want to commit perjury." I was in his arms before his words were finished. 
"Yes," I said again. 
"I haven't asked yet."
"Yes," I repeated. I was sure there were rules about the defendant kissing the witness, but there was no one to tell me what they were. More importantly, there was no one stopping me. Whatever happened, Olly was in my arms. Nothing else mattered. I barely heard the clerk call General Rickers into chambers. 
"I was planning something more romantic," Oliver whispered, "I hope you aren't disappointed." 
"I only need you," I whispered back, "we make our own romance." 
"Oliver Peterson!" the clerk called. Oliver smiled at me as if he knew the summons was coming. 
"They will call you next," Oliver told me, "I am throwing a hail mary. Do you trust me?"
"Until I die," I answered. Olly's smile grew as he separated from me and headed to chambers. I waited for ten minutes. None of the other lawyers could guess what was going on. It was rare when non-lawyers were called into chambers. 
"Ella Okoye." I followed the clerk into the chambers.
"She needs to be under oath," the prosecutor said as I enter the room. 
"Cut the crap, James," the judge said, "we are way past formality now." He looked at me and waited for the door to close. "We have reached a point where national security tramples on civil proceedings. I have been informed that you know of an individual who has the capability to compromise the Shark firewall," the judge looked toward General Rickers, "and therefore, the nation's security networks." I looked at Peter and he gave me a small nod. Arun's family was wrapped in the answer I was about to give. I almost lied, but Oliver asked for trust. 
"Yes," I said as I prayed inside. The judge nodded and then looked at Rickers.
"Given immunity, would this individual be willing to work for Mr. Peterson?" Rickers asked.
"Yes," I answered, "and he would only require one thing." My hands were shaking. 

"What would that be?" Rickers asked. My next statement was a blind leap of faith. The request would practically paint a target on Arun. I looked at Oliver. He smiled and nodded. 
"More than anything, he and his family want to be citizens of the United States," I replied. My heart was beating so hard, I was surprised no one else heard it. 
"Is he that good?" Rickers asked Oliver.
"Ingenious. He thinks way out of the box," Oliver replied. 
"A foreigner?" Rickers stated more than asked, "I wish I could be certain of his intentions." I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and leaped.
"The phone from that night has messages from him," I said quietly, hoping I hadn't just signed Arun's family's deportation order, "you can hear it in his voice and read it in his words. He had no intention of attacking America. He and his family love it as much as you and I."
"Where's the phone?" Ricker's asked.
"We were going to submit it as evidence," James answered, "It's on the table, but it's encrypted and NSA hasn't been able to break into it yet."
"I know the password," I admitted. There, I just hung Arun out completely. I was about to hand the prosecution everything. 
"Can I see the phone?" Rickers asked. He looked at me and I saw some compassion in his eyes. He was beginning to see what it was costing me. Maybe this was just a dance. James looked desperately at the judge. He didn't want to give up a piece of physical evidence, especially when I just stated I knew the password. 
"Produce the phone," the judge ruled. I could see he didn't like the interference nor the extra time this was taking. James left and shortly returned with the phone in a plastic bag. The judge nodded as Rickers removed the phone from the plastic.
"Password?" Rickers asked. My face went red. 
"I can type it in," I said, moving forward. 
"No," James jumped in, "if this isn't what you say, I don't want the phone tampered with." 
"The password, Ms. Okoye," the judge said, agreeing with James. I looked at the five men in the room and thought I would die. 
"Can I whisper it?" I begged Rickers. The curious looks I got made it all worse. Rickers looked to the judge. 
"Yes," the judge said. I was blushing horrible when I leaned toward Rickers' ear.I couldn't believe I had to do this. I should have chosen a different password. 
"Oliver likes my breasts," I whispered so only Rickers would hear it, "no spaces." Rickers eyes shot to Oliver and he struggled to keep the corner of his lips down. "It was from before," I defended the password, "the flat tire, before I knew Oliver was Oliver Peterson." Rickers lips were straining as he typed in the code. The phone let him in and he looked back at me. He knew then, before he even read the texts, it was only a dance. 

We watched as Rickers scrolled through the texts. He fired off one of the voicemails and held it to his ear. The humor in his eyes grew as he listened to another. Arun confessing to missing the logs and begging my forgiveness, praying that his stupidity didn't get me in trouble. 
"You say the NSA couldn't break this man's encryption?" Rickers asked Larkin. James shook his head no. Rickers smiled at me. 
"It really was just a dance," Rickers stated. I nodded my head. "This phone and its encryption are also considered a national security issue." Rickers told the judge. The judge nodded. 
"So, you'll get him and his family citizenship?" I asked desperately. 
"Done," Rickers told me, "Peterson will handle the logistics. Nothing of this leaves this room." He directed the last statement to the prosecutor. 
"The wire fraud still exists," James said. The judge looked at me. 
"Legally, that is correct," the judge said to me, "if it is determined you are a participant of the fraud, you will not be able to bring up the aforementioned individual. You will stand alone." He looked at the prosecutor, "you will have to refrain from any mention of a third party."
"I agree," I said with a smile. Arun was out of it and his family was safe. Espionage was off the table. 
"You don't have a choice," the judge said. I saw his lips curl for the briefest moment. Maybe he did have a little Santa in him. I left the chamber floating on a cloud. Though I wasn't wearing a ring, I was engaged to the only person in the world who I truly loved, Arun and his family were safe, and I was only on trial for wire fraud. What a wonderful turn of events. The trial began again with the judge instructing the court to ignore all references to the Shark firewall and the skill level of the person or persons who comprised the network or networks. I watched the jurors eyes glaze over again. Oliver was once again seated in the witness chair and the prosecutor continued his questioning. 
"Were you responsible for the children's hospital charity ball website?" 
"Yes."
"Were your systems the target of fraudulent activity prior to the dance?"
"No." Oliver held a straight face. The prosecutor's face was starting to look a little flush. 
"No one compromised your system?" the prosecutor asked. 
"I believe someone did find what you would call a backdoor into to the network." Oliver clarified. 
"So, fraud was perpetrated," the prosecutor said exasperatedly. 
"No."
"Either they broke in or they didn't, Which is it Mr. Peterson?"
"Someone definitely entered the network in an unexpected way," he answered with a straight face. 
"You do not consider that fraud?" 

"No. No data was taken, altered or deleted. A ticket was inserted into the database and the charity received the prescribed payment for that ticket." Oliver let a small chuckle, "I'm not sure why they just didn't use the standard web interface. The results would have been the same." he paused for a moment then added, "I saw no fraud, just an unorthodox transaction." 
"What was the price of that ticket?"
"$5,000."
"No more questions," the prosecutor spat as he returned to his table. A hushed conference between his assistant and the Agent Stiles.
"Cross-exam?" the judge asked. 
"No questions at this time," Rotimi announced. Oliver was excused. We shared a smile as he moved to a seat directly behind me. I liked having him close. A representative for Coupon Crave was called next. He was unaware of any unauthorized intrusions to his company's network. He was most adamant that everyone in the courtroom knew that they take enormous care of their customer’s data. I had to smile at Arun's skill.
Tim and Trixie were called in turn. They were both adamant that they had received full payment from Coupon Crave and controlled no networks. They were both asked the price of their services to me. I smelled a trap in the dollar amounts. I conferred quietly with Brendan who just nodded and said it will be alright. 
Jeremaine was called to the stand next. She didn't even try to hide her pleased smile. 
"You heard the previous testimony of the purchases made and received by Ella Okoye?" the prosecutor asked. 
"Yes I did," she answered. She looked at me as she answered. She was enjoying this. 
"Are those dollar amounts familiar?" the prosecutor prodded. 
"Yes, they are," she announced, "they are the exact amounts missing from a company account." The prosecutor walked over to his table and grabbed a set of papers. 
"Here is the independently audited transaction log for the account mentioned. I would like to submit it as exhibit A." There were no objections, which surprised me, and it was placed in evidence. 
"Did you authorize a disbursement of those amounts?"
"No, I did not."
"Did any other authorized person disburse those amounts?" 
"No," she replied. Her grin was growing. 
"What do you think happened to those funds?" the prosecutor asked. Rotimi stopped one of my other lawyers from objecting. He seemed comfortable with the line of questioning. I wasn't.
"I think it was stolen by Ella Okoye," she said. The words came from her mouth like music. Her happiness was apparent to everyone in the room. She was rattling my nerves. 
"No more questions."

"Cross-exam?" the judge asked. Rotimi rose confidently and moved toward Jermaine. 
"Mrs. Okoye, what is your relationship to Ella Okoye?"
"I am her stepmother."
"What is your legal relationship with Ella Okoye?"
"I am the executor of her father's will," Jeremaine said confidently, "the trustee of the assets until Ella is 37."
"What assets would those be?"
"The Impact Marketing, Inc, a few bank accounts, a house and some stock holdings," she said, her confidence wavering. Rotimi nodded.
"Did Ella Okoye mention the ball prior to the event?"
"I'm not sure?" she lied. 
"We could call your daughters to the stand to help your memory," Rotimi said. 
"Oh yes, I do remember having a discussion pertaining to the event."
"Did Ella Okoye express interest in going to the event?"
"I'm not sure I remember," she lied again. At least her smile had disappeared. I liked nervous Jermaine."Again, would your daughter's memory be more complete?"
"Yes, now I remember. She did express interest." I think I saw sweat on her forehead.
"What was your answer to that request?"
"I...I believe I didn't think it prudent," Jermaine stuttered. "Who from The Impact Marketing did go to the event?" 
"If memory serves, Katie and Stella, and myself, "Agnus said slowly. "Who are they?"
"Sales representatives for The Impact Marketing."
"What is their relationship to Ella Okoye?"
"Stepsisters," she said after an uncomfortable pause. "So, to summarize, you disallowed Ella to use her own company's money to attend the event because you thought it not prudent." Rotimi paused for a moment, rubbing his chin as if he was trying to understand, "but you thought it prudent to use Ella's company money to send your daughters to the same event." 
"It was a business decision," she justified, "my daughters were representing the firm." 
"You sent two sales representatives instead of an owner?"
"Ella doesn't own The Impact Marketing until she is 37," she countered. "No, I believe the law would disagree with you. You are the trustee, not the temporary owner. You have a fiduciary responsibility to represent Ella Okoye as if she was 32."

"She can't just take money," she argued. "The amount is immaterial to the total worth of the company. More of a mistaken withdraw than a theft. She has declared it on her taxes as dispersed earnings."Rotimi walked over to our table and grabbed a copy of the tax form I had just signed. "A minor disbursement from her own company declared legally to the FIRS. I do believe the error lies with your fiduciary responsibility, not with such a small disbursement she is entitled to anyway." Jeremaine was visibly perturbed. "I would like to note that my own compensation had to be paid by a third party," Rotimi continued, "since Ella Okoye’s trustee refused to release funds for Ella's defence."
"I am failing to see a crime here," the judge said, "I am beginning to see a breach of trust that precipitated the events. James is there any evidence that the money in question was not ultimately Ella Okoye's? Are there any victims beside Ella Okoye." The prosecutor was in a conference with Agent Stiles and her assistant. "James?" the judge repeated himself. 
"There may be," the prosecutor stated, "the funds in question resided in a Nigerian bank. Depending upon how those funds were accessed, it could very well represent a crime." The judge rolled his eyes. 
"Jeremaine Okoye, you are excused," the judge said, "I would recommend you find legal counsel of your own. I doubt your decisions as executor will stand up to legal scrutiny."
"There will be a two-hour recess," the judge continued, "after which the prosecution will have to convince me there is a reason to continue this trial." The gavel came down and the judge left quickly. I turned to Oliver and found him gone. Rebecca shrugged her shoulders and pointed at the door. I walked out to the hall and didn't see him. I couldn't believe he left me. He just sort of asked me to marry him and he disappears. I wanted my sort-of fiancĂ©e. Oliver came up the stairs, a smile across his face. I jumped into his arms and tasted his wonderful lips. 
"Where did you go?" I asked. 
"Picking up some leverage," he answered cryptically.  "I already said yes. What do you need leverage for?" I joked. "Not for you. For her," he said, pointing at agent Stiles. He split away from me and went directly to Stiles and directed her to the side, away from others. He pulled out his phone and showed her something that made her face lose its color. They had a brief heated conversation that never rose above a whisper though the faces said they were yelling. After a moment, Peter came back smiling. "Looks like it will end now," Oliver said. I wrapped him in my arms. "And why is that?" 
"Someone, protected by immunity, happened to locate some security camera footage on SCID servers that was not supposed to exist," Oliver said. "Oh god," I said, "Arun didn't see it, did he?" Oliver pulled me close. "He loves you," Olly soothed, "not as much as me, but enough to forget." 
"You saw it?" 
"Yes." 
"It's embarrassing," I admitted shyly. Oliver's hand caressed the side of my face, his eyes caressing my soul. 
"Nothing is embarrassing between us," he said before he kissed me. It was still embarrassing, but I could ignore it. 

Oliver's parents took us out to lunch. Rebecca scolded Oliver for announcing a pending proposal without the proper romantic setup, especially a ring. I assured her, I was more than willing to wait. I started that morning believing there was a good chance I would have to spend some time in prison. Now, it was looking like I might get away with a slap on the wrist and gain a husband to boot. Daniel rolled his eyes as Rebecca and I started preliminary talk on wedding arrangements. I had no desire for Jeremaine to participate, so that left me with only one woman to lean on. I knew Oliver would just nod his head and say yes to everything, Rebecca on the other hand, had the style and the desire to make it wonderful. I didn't want a big wedding, but I did want it wonderful. 
"What do you think about a garden wedding, Oliver?" Rebecca asked. I had already agreed that it sounded wonderful. 
"That sounds like a good idea," Oliver said, nodding his head. True to form. He turned back to the discussion he was having with his father.
"What about using The Meridiens, Oliver? Somewhere along the walking trail." Rebecca pushed. I smiled, expecting acquiescence followed by a nod. He seemed deeply entrenched into the conversation with his father. "Yes," Oliver agreed, turning to his mother, "but it has to be by that small fountain. The one with the little cement ducks." He returned to his father. "But there are better spots on the grounds," Rebecca countered, "like the corner with willow trees or the tiered flower beds." Oliver turned to me. "I believe we shared our first kiss by the ducks," Oliver said. I smiled at the look in his eyes. There was all the romance I needed right there.
"By the ducks," I agreed. 
"Oh," Rebecca said, her smile mirroring ours, "then it must be by the ducks." Daniel chuckled at his wife's quick change of heart. "Why don't you wait until it's official, Rebecca," Daniel said, "the girl doesn't even have her ring yet." That comment was followed by a brief discussion on the idiocy of men. I half-heartedly sided with Rebecca. Oliver, of course, was the exception to the rule. 
*******************************
Judge Manfred looked less than pleased at the prosecutor. Agent Stiles and James were in a heated discussion. Another man in a suit, next to Stiles, seemed to be supporting her argument. 
"You have had sufficient time, counselor," the judge growled, "I do not appreciate you wasting the court's time as well." James turned, his face poorly masking his anger. "At this time, your honor," James' words seemed to struggle out of his mouth, "we lack sufficient evidence to proceed with prosecution." Both Stiles and the man next to her sat down, staring straight ahead. Jeremaine, sitting behind them, looked pale. I was feeling much better. "I would like to make a motion to dismiss," Rotimi said quickly as he stood. My legs felt all jittery as the excitement began to creep up my spine. 
"Does the prosecution take issue with that?" the Judge asked. 
"No your honor," James said quietly. 
"Case dismissed!" the judge announced and slammed his gavel down. A smile appeared on his face as he looked at me. I smiled back at Santa. "I am a Justice of the Peace," he continued, looking at me, "if you are ever in need." He winked and headed off to his chambers. Oliver wrapped me in his arms before I could turn around. The world disappeared as we kissed. I had to force him away so I could thank my lawyers. Each getting a hug and my gratitude. Oliver followed with handshakes and his gratitude. I was free. 
Rebecca and Daniel joined us in the hall outside of the courtroom. More hugging and shared joy. I saw William and Frank coming toward me, smiles on their faces. "Olly, this is William and Frank," I said, "our Tom and Jerry." Frank laughed as Oliver shook his hand and then moved to William. 
"Helping Ella with Raymond," Peter said, shaking his head, "I owe you guys for that." 
"Forget it," William returned, "it broke up an otherwise dull day." 
I mouthed 'I'll tell you later' to Rebecca who looked fairly confused over the conversation. 
"So, you two are getting married?" Frank asked, his finger moving between Oliver and I.
"Yes," I replied happily, pulling Olly next to me, "It kind of made this all worthwhile." I saw Frank look past me. I followed his eyes and saw Jeremaine leaving the courtroom. Frank traded a look with William and nodded his head toward Jeremaine. William moved quickly. "We have an early wedding present for you," Frank smiled and quickly followed William. They approached Jeremaine with badges out. 

"Jeremaine Okoye," William announced loudly, "you're under arrest for fraud and conspiracy to commit the same." I covered my mouth as Jeremaine made a move to run away. In heels, she was no match for Frank. 
"What's going on?" Oliver asked me.
"I have no idea," I admitted. Jeremaine was handcuffed, her mouth spilling vulgarities at Frank and William. I had never heard her completely lose it before. She was never the image of purity, but now she sounded like a drunken street walker. Frank sat her down on a bench and began reading her her rights. She was shaking her head, demanding to be let go. William just smiled and walked back over to us. 
"White collar crime is our beat," William said proudly. 
"What just happened?" I asked. 
"After what you told us about Jeremaine, Frank did a little investigating," William reported, pointing at Frank, "we are quite familiar with her lawyer." William put air quotes around the word 'lawyer.' "A little bit of questioning, some deal making and he sang like a bird."
"What did she do?" Oliver asked. 
"Why, altered your father's will to suit her needs," William said, looking at me. My father didn't screw me. That bitch did. 
"Oh, my!" Rebecca said. Oliver pulled me close, allowing me to borrow his strength. Wonderful thoughts of my father not intentionally leaving me to that woman began to be replaced by an anger. The things I began to think were awful and the handcuffs on Jeremaine made them seem doable. I looked up at Peter and he squeezed me in his arms. The anger dissipated and a smile formed. I took Oliver by the hand and marched over to Jeremaine. Frank, thinking the worst, stepped in front of Jeremaine to protect his prisoner. I smiled at him and he relaxed. "Thank you, Jeremaine," I said sweetly, as if I was talking to someone I cared about, "without you, I would have never found Oliverr." I watched her fume on the bench, looking everywhere but at me. 
"Whiney bitch," she whispered to the wall. 
"By the way," I said clearly, "you're fired." It was my company now and I didn't have to wait seven more years. "I don't think we should invite her to the wedding," Oliver said. I laughed.
"Frank, I hope you and William will come," I added.  "We wouldn't miss it," Frank replied, "you think you'll have more of that calamari there?" Oliver laughed. 
*******************************
The wedding was a beautiful thing. Rebecca had pulled out all the stops. Everyone I loved was there, including three new US citizens. Anita was my maid of honor and Arya beside her. George stood for Oliver, which had surprised me. I didn't know they were such good friends, though the idea of seeing George in the future pleased me. He had such a wonderful happiness about him. Arunstood in for my father and walked me down the aisle, or a walking path in our case. Judge Alfred was true to his word and presided happily. 

Rebecca cried throughout the whole ceremony. I, for once, did not. I knew what I wanted and it was called Oliver. There was nothing standing in the way anymore. When I said 'I do' it was clear and I made sure everyone heard it. Oliver didn't stop smiling through the whole proceeding, almost as if he had a secret. I found it delightfully charming. The Meridien was decked out for the reception. Food was in abundance, including a tray filled with calamari. Daniel contributed by locating the SCID logo and affixing to the side of the tray. The smiles it brought to Frank and William was worth Rebecca's scorn for having something out of place. "So, I understand The Impact Marketing was officially transferred to you yesterday," George mentioned as we gathered at the head table. I took Oliver's hand in mine. I really liked being married. Walking into the special board meeting, yesterday, seemed like a dream. The board members congratulating me, then looking shocked when I began to list the changes that were to occur. I shifted funds to the east coast where sales had been dropping off, enacted bonus adjustments that reflect actual profit gains, not status quo, and informed them of the need to replace Arun. They expected a girl and found a strong woman instead. It was exhilarating. 
"Signed and sealed," I replied, "exactly how my dad wanted it." I looked at Oliver, "he really would have liked you." Oliver leaned in for a kiss. One of many that day. I saw George jerk suddenly and sit up straighter. 
"Ahem...how will you balance work with a family?" George asked. It sounded foreign coming out of his mouth. Rebecca was sitting next to him, looking away with feigned indifference. I smiled knowing that George was Rebecca's patsy. It was Oliver who answered.
"We've decided against children," Oliver said as serious as possible, "they cry too much and there aren't enough qualified babysitters." I kicked him under the table for teasing his mother.
"I could babysit," Rebecca said in a panic before she realized that Oliver was teasing her. The idea of a grandchild was plastered all over her face. I rose and walked over while Peter laughed. 
"We think two is a good number," I whispered in Rebecca's ear. Oliver and I had already had the conversation. 
"Oh!" Rebecca said, her smile spanning the room. It was for her ears only and she kept it there. I sat back down, sharing a few more smiles with my mother in-law. She was now as happy as I was. Oliver gave me another kiss, which I returned more passionately than it should in public. 
After dinner, the band started warming up. Rebecca had mentioned that she wanted to see Oliver dance again, and for once, he would be required. I didn't care that he lacked agility and grace. It would be our first dance as a married couple. His awkwardness would probably make it our last dance together, which was something I could live with. At least I would have tonight.  Oliver rose when they called us out. He took my hand confidently with a smile and led me to the floor. I knew how difficult that was for him. That he went willing, spoke well of his love. I followed him, mirroring his smile. Preparing to compensate for his lack of skill. I suspected I would have to lead.
"I have a confession to make," Olly whispered, once we were on the floor. 
"Yes?"
"Those meetings I have had to attend lately weren't really meetings," he sighed, "I have been secretly seeing a lot of George lately and we've gotten pretty close." Stupid thoughts ran through my head as Oliver took my lead hand in his and placed his other on around my waist.

"What?" I asked, trying to understand. I tried to shake off the stupid thoughts. Oliver smiled.
"He's taught me to dance, my love," Oliver said, humor and love in his eyes. The music started and he stepped off, leading me with a grace I didn't know he possessed. He danced like a prince….My Prince.
                                                                           The End




Friday, 25 December 2015

The Prom Dance Ch.1.3

"I should have never run out of the dance," I confessed. Oliver saw me coming with the bacon and opened the oven door. No need for words, we were in cooking sync. I placed the bacon the middle rack and Oliver closed the door.
"Yea, I took that badly," he admitted.
"But you rescued me today," I said. I put my hand over his and we stirred the eggs together with a wooden spoon. Highly inefficient, but so nice.
"I wish I could have found you sooner. I would have liked to spare you the interrogation," he said as his lips moved closer to mine. I ran my hand up his arm and behind his neck and pulled him closer. I wanted to let the eggs burn and let the intimacy continue. Every moment of our joined lips increased his passion. I heard the spoon fall free as he wrapped me in his arms.
"We are going to starve to death at this rate," he whispered into my mouth. I could feel his lips curving against mine. Starvation wouldn't be so bad, but the loss of stamina might slow us down. I pulled myself away. Not far away - still touching. I didn't want to lose the closeness.
"Food first," I said, struggling to lessen my smile. I told my body to put the tingle that was growing on hold. I saw a shiver run down Peter's spine. He was feeling what I was. There was more in sync than cooking.  "Are you going to work tonight," Oliver asked.
"Without sleep," I said, shaking my head no, "I have some time off I can use." Olly's smile grew and he stirred the eggs more vigorously.
"I was thinking of taking the night off as well," he said. His eyes weren't looking at me, almost if he were afraid of his salacious thoughts.
"Are you planning to take advantage of an exhausted woman?" I teased. 
"Well, now that your resistance is down, I thought I would lull you into a false sense of security with a backrub."
"Mmmm."
"Then...once your muscles become lazy and useless, I figured I would lead the first dance," Oliver smiled as he stirred. The eggs were beginning to clump. "A slow dance to start. Something that requires very little movement on your part. I was planning on having my way with you." He smiled, "I have never seduced an international spy before." 
"You intend to learn all my secrets?" The tingle wasn't listening to my brain anymore. I knew I should eat something, but the thought of food was becoming less important. 
"Every one of them," Oliver teased, "hopefully, even ones you don't know about." The idea of naked exploration blossomed in my mind. It should have scared me. With Oliver, it sounded so wonderful. My trust was his for the taking. 
"Those eggs done yet?" I asked too quickly. "Almost," he replied, "what about the bacon?" I had forgotten all about it. We scooted our feet back and I pulled the oven door down and peeked inside. The four pieces were sizzling well as the smell of bacon filled the room. They were still on the rubbery side of done. "Oven mitts?" I asked. He pointed to a drawer where I found two fat red mittens. I pulled the pan out and flipped the bacon. I replaced the pan in the oven while he was moving the eggs to plates. 
"Bacon has a few more minutes," I complained.
"Ahh, the smell of bacon and a beautiful woman," Olly quipped, "I do believe I have found heaven." I had to laugh. I tried not to, but he seemed so proud of his silly humor. How could a beautiful woman not laugh?
Oliver was true to his word. The massage was wonderfully slow and turned my muscles into wet noodles. He leaned down every once in awhile to tease my ears with his lips, whispering tender things to make sure I was awake. His fingers were firm, yet gentle as they glided around my back. Sometimes he would find a knot and spent extra care to rub it out always followed by a loving kiss. I could barely form words and mostly moaned my encouragement. I rolled over and tried to rise to thank him properly when it was over. He pushed my lazy body back to the bed. It wasn't over. He lightly kissed my lips then trailed off to the side of my neck. Soft wet kisses trailed down my neck, climbed my breasts and concentrated on my nipples. His tongue tickled, mixing a chuckle into my moans. His kisses continued down my tummy. I closed my eyes as he slowly made his way between my legs. There are certain pleasures in life that defy description. The senses mash the feelings, sights and sounds together into a ball of lovely luxury that defies recall. 
He found all my secrets. Had I been a spy, I would have betrayed all. His sweet tongue teased little strings of bliss tied to my core. My hips rose off the bed when the pleasure could no longer be contained. My entire body stiffened as pure joy invaded every crevice of my being. I was half laughing, half crying when reality slowly crawled back. Little bursts of pleasure exploded, fighting the return of normalcy. Then, as if a switch was thrown, pleasure became a ticklish torture. Laughing I tried to squirm away from Oliver's tongue. I could hear his soft laugh as he continued the torment.
"Stop," I cried, laughing so hard the word barely came out. He did. His face rose with a grin that was both proud and happy. I reached down and pulled him up my quivering body. "Such a lovely man," I complimented. If this was life with Oliver, I wanted more. I reached between us when we kissed. His excitement was strong. I spread my legs and guided him into me. I exhaled as my parts found their perfect match. Oliver's smile faded to a dreamy expression that said more than any words ever could. 
"I'm yours," He whispered. 
"And I'm yours," I repeated as my eyes watered. He moved slowly like he intended it to last forever. I desired it to last a lifetime. We cemented the 'us' in that coupling. Sex was no longer just sex. 

"Can you call my mother?" Oliver asked. We were lying in bed enjoying each other in the peaceful afterglow of our sharing. I reached over and wiped away a drop of sweat that threatened Oliver's eye. We must have burnt off a ton of calories. 
"Your mother?" I returned. I wondered if my hair looked as wild as his right now. It was incredible cute the way it exploded off his head in wrong directions. It was even better knowing I was the cause of its calamity. "I promised I would call as soon as you were released," he admitted, "She’ll rip me a new one if I call her now." I smiled. "You would prefer she yell at me?" 
"In truth, yes," he smiled back. He reached forward and tucked an errant strand of my hair behind my ear. "But she won't yell at you." 
"Are you afraid of your own mother?"
"Terrified," he laughed, "it's that grating tone of disappointment she can put into her words. She mixes it with a blend of I-told-you-so. It can be very emasculating."
"She loves you dearly," I said. 
"And that's what makes it so effective." He pulled me closer. He cared little that I was as sweaty as he. "For you, I will make the call," I feigned capitulation. That earned me some loving kisses. I would have gotten them anyways, but it is always sweeter when you earn them. He disappeared into the bathroom when I rang Rebecca. Her tone changed immediately when she realized I was on Oliver's phone. She listened intently as I retold my arrest saga. I left out the peeing part figuring she didn't need to know a weakling was dating her son. 
"So it was a horrible day," Rebecca summarized. I had already forgotten the emotions prior to seeing Oliver in the lobby of the SCID building. I smiled thinking of Oliver saving me and discovering all my secrets. He was mine. "Actually," I said slowly, trying to find the right words for a mother, "it was...Olly turned it into one the best days of my life." There. Might as well own up to the truth. There was silence on the other line. I said too much. "Rebecca..." There was a tone that indicated another call on the line. It wasn't my phone, but I found the ignore button quickly enough. 'Gen Rickers,' whoever that was, would just have to wait. "Do you love him?" Rebecca asked. It was asked quietly, almost as if she were afraid to ask. I was now afraid to answer. "Yes," I answered with the same lack of enthusiasm. "That is the most wonderful thing I've heard in a long time," Rebecca stuttered. She was crying. So many tears today and somehow my eyes found more. 
"He is kind of wonderful," I slobbered out. 
"I've been waiting for someone to figure that out," Rebecca slurred. The conversation deteriorated into words half spoken, but totally understood. If anyone would have been listening, they would have thought us mentally challenged. We ended the call with a promise to talk later, over lunch perhaps. I wiped my eyes for the umpteenth time and promptly pushed the wrong button on Peter's phone. Instead of turning it dark, I initiated the voicemail from the call I ignored. The VCR controls were in a different position from my phone and they took me a moment to locate. My heart fell and I never pushed stop as the words began to resonate. 

Peterson, this is Rickers. SCID surveillance has informed me that you have taken an interest in Ella Okoye. That is a breach of our security agreement and we are within our rights to void your contract with armed services. Cease all contact with Ms.Okoye and contact my office immediately. We may yet preserve the contract and prevent a lot of headaches on both sides. The voice was authoritative. 'Gen' was most likely 'General.' I had ruined myself, risked Arun's family and now I was destroying Oliver. I was a curse. I put the phone down with shaking hands. Quietly, I started to dress.
"Going somewhere?" Olly asked. I turned to tell him I had to leave. His eyes wouldn't let me. He was too close. I stopped putting my shoes on. All I could offer was weak tears. He rushed over and folded me in his arms. I pointed at the phone.
"What did my mother say?" he demanded. I shook my head. 
"It's the voicemail," I said weakly. I watched his face go ashen as he listened. He slammed the phone down when the message was done. He stood and walked across the room and stood near the door. I could hear him taking deep breaths. When he turned, his face was red and I saw anger in his eyes. 
"Those assholes are following you," He said in a deep voice, "I'll not have you spied on." His hand slammed on the dresser for emphasis. Spied upon. Did he not hear the same message I did?

"I'm wrecking your business," I said, "I can't do that to you." 
"Fuck the business," he shouted. This was irrational Oliver. The shock of his outburst scared me and I jerked away involuntarily. Oliver's eyes changed and he visibly calmed at my reaction. He slowly moved forward and knelt before the bed I was sitting on. "Fuck the business," he repeated quietly, "I don't want it if it means losing you." 
"I can't ruin you," I said. He took my hand in his. 
"Ruin me?" he smiled, "the only way you could do that is to leave me." He kissed the back of my hand softly. "I'm not in this for a minute, an hour, or a day. I want you forever. To hell with the rest of the world." 
"The rest of the world could fall into a bottomless pit and it doesn't matter," I whispered back. How I loved his lips. Forgiveness, love and passion seeped from his lips to mine. A hurricane could have swept through and I wouldn't have known. 
"What did my mother say?" Oliver asked. With all the problems we were facing, it was my conversation with his mother he was worried about. "She wants to have lunch with me soon," I said, unable to describe the conversation. "See, she won't yell at you," he said with happiness. I think I was just promoted to mother-buffer. "What are we going to do?" I asked, not wanting to break the spell, but desperately hoping he had a plan. 
"Well... we aren't going to hide," he said, "we'll face up to what was done and hopefully the truth will override the speculation."
"But your business." 
"You are my business," Oliver said, picking up his phone. He hit a few buttons and put it to his ear. He had a sly smile on his face. "You're not doing something stupid?" I asked. He nodded yes, but the way his hand stroked the side of my face I could only smile. 
"Evening General." There was a pause while Oliver listened.
"Well that's going to be a problem." another pause.
"It looks like you'll need to go out for another procurement." Oliver's smile grew and he winked at me. 
"Sorry General, I love the lady." Now I was smiling. Oliver's eyebrows gave a little bounce. "By the way, I have a line on how the firewall was breached. I'll probably have the only product that can thwart that type of attack. But, rules are rules. Have fun with the new procurement." he was almost giddy when he disconnected. 
"Arun told you how," I said. 
"Not all of it," he admitted, "but Rickers doesn't know that." I had to laugh. No sleep, roller coaster emotions all day, made the laughter a bit more than it should have been. Peter took in stride and joined. Truly, it was us against the world. 
The weeks that followed were wonderfully strange. Jeremaine had put me on indefinite suspension from work. An unpaid vacation of sorts. There were clauses in the employee handbook that applied to personnel that did not present a good moral character. She made sure I understood that my job depended upon the results of the criminal case against me. I would have flat out quit, but the suspension seemed to cause Jeremaine more work. It was petty but pleasing. I no longer desired to wait nine more years. The SCID had a constant tail on me. They were so sure I was working for a foreign government, I couldn't even get my mail without a photo being taken. Oliver and I learned to recognize them. They always travelled in twos. I suspected that was necessary so they could keep each other awake. My life wasn't exactly 007 quality. Being put on my detail was probably a punishment. 
Oliver and I started to go out more. We figured a life in bed would warp us in the long run. We found interesting places to eat. The more obscure the better, just to tease our followers. Oliver had fun sending out plates of au dourves to our shadows. In time, we waved and they waved back. We invented names for them as we began to recognize them by face. I wondered how many real criminals were running loose because of the wasted resources. 
Rebecca invited me to a luncheon. I thought she intended a one on one but was surprised when I saw two other women sitting at the table. Rebecca had chosen a fancy tea room, The Green Leaf. It was obviously designed to please female senses. There were ten women to every male and most of those males looked uncomfortable. 
As I approached the table, I was met by two smiles I recognized. Ruth and Betty were sipping tea. Ruth treating the cup as if it was fragile and Betty like she was drinking from a mug. 
"Hello Tasha," Betty said loudly. The teasing in her tone was not lost on me. Ruth scowled at her and smiled at me as she patted the seat next to her. 
"Hello, Ruth, Betty," I said as I sat down between Ruth and Rebecca, "thank you for inviting me, Rebecca." I was little nervous knowing I owed these two an apology. "I'm sorry about the dance," I started. 
"I'm not," Betty interrupted, "it was the most exciting party we went to all year." Ruth actually laughed. I think it was more for my benefit than Betty's. 
"I've brought them both up to date," Rebecca said. "I thought it might be nice to have some friends in case you end up at another of those functions." She said 'in case' but she meant 'when.' It would be one of the requirements for being with Oliver. Not a bad one either. 
"So, are they following you now, Ella?" Betty asked leaning forward and dropping her voice so the other tables couldn't hear. Her interest was real. She liked the cloak and dagger stuff. Ruth didn't admonish her, so I suspected she was interested as well. 
"Tom and Jerry are parked right outside," I said, "at least that's what Oliver and I have named them. One is short and the other is a bean pole." 
"I've never met a SCID agent," Betty continued. 
"And were not starting now," Ruth injected. Betty liked to stir the pot. 
"What kind of car are they driving?" Betty asked. Ruth rolled her eyes. Rebecca covered her smile with her hand. 
"Black SUV. A Pathfinder I think, "I answered. Betty rose and walked over to one of the front windows, ignoring the full table of customers she had to manoeuvre around. "What is she planning?" I asked Ruth.
"Heaven only knows," Ruth said, "she never grew up." Her lips curled, "one of the reasons I love her so." We watched as Betty spotted the car and then promptly left the tea room. 
"My, she is in a mood," Rebecca commented. 
"So...you and Oliver," Ruth said, ignoring her partner's departure, "Rebecca was telling me that you two fancy each other." Ruth had a way of turning back the clock 100 years. Rebecca became extra attentive. "He is my one," I replied to Ruth, "I am his," I directed to Rebecca. All kinds of happiness appeared on Rebecca's face. She reached for my hand and grasped it. Visions of what it would have been like growing up with my true mother appeared in my mind. The part of my life that was always missing became more pronounced, and yet less empty.
"I told you it was real," Rebecca said to Ruth, "I saw it in Oliver's eyes at the ball. Have you ever seen him on the dance floor before?" She turned back to me, "you have his heart. That means you have mine as well." 
"I don't know what to say," I admitted. My smile forcing its way to the surface.
"Oliver has needed someone for a long time," Ruth said, "Somehow, he lost track of what was important and put everything into his business. Too nice of a boy to marry a corporation." 
"I'm afraid our relationship is damaging his business, "I added, "the military thinks I am a security risk." Rebecca patted my hand. 
"Happiness first, work second," Rebecca said, then a sly smile formed, "and how do you feel about children." I felt my face flush. I hadn't gotten that far in my thought process. I always envisioned one or two. Two if at least one was like Arya. 
"We haven't gotten that far," I said, knowing that was a future conversation I needed to have with Oliver. "I'm not holding you to a decision," Rebecca said, "Just asking if you see yourself as a mother." I nodded yes, my face on fire. "Grandchildren!" Rebecca said a little too loud. She acted as if I was pregnant. "I haven't talked with Oliver about that," I whispered, "we haven't talked about the future past my trial." 
"It's not leaving this table, dear," Rebecca assured me, "I'm just trying to imagine Oliver as a father. It would change him...for the better." 
"He would be a good one, "I smiled. 
"The best," Ruth agreed and then her expression changed, "She didn't." We followed her eyes to the front door. Betty was leading Tom and Jerry toward our table. Rebecca chuckled at Ruth's surprised expression.
"May I present agents William Chukwu and Frank Bruno," Betty introduced first the short, then the tall agent.
"Ms. Okoye," William said with a nod followed by Franks nod. Betty introduced Ruth and Rebecca and then asked the waiter to bring two more chairs and place sets to the table. 
"I assured them that we would talk scandalously so they could take notes, " Betty said. 
"I'm sorry you got stuck following me around," I said. 
"It's our job, Ms. Okoye," Frank said in an apologetic tone, "as we told Betty, we've become convinced it's a waste of time." Betty looked so proud of herself. Ruth was trying to decide to smile or scowl. Rebecca was truly amused. 
"Ella, please," I said, "I hope I haven't made it too difficult." 
"No Ma'am," William said, then his voice dropped to a whisper, "and that Calamari you and Mr. Peterson sent out last night was delicious. Never thought I would like shrimp." I laughed. At least the entire SCID wasn't out to get me. 
"Isn't this against the rules?" Rebecca asked.
"We're paying for our own lunch," Frank said, "so it is more of a violation of the flavour of the rules. Technically, we're still conducting surveillance." Ruth gave up and chuckled. Betty spent lunch coaxing out SCID stories from Frank and William. It turns out the job is mostly boring with small bits of excitement mixed in. William had only pulled his gun out of its holster once. Frank once tasered a suspect but never unholstered his weapon. Most of their work was white collar crime, limited to people who would surrender to a badge. They had first thought I would be an exciting case, but that wore off quickly. My life wasn't as exciting as they had hoped. After that lunch, I stopped driving through yellow lights. I was afraid my shadows would lose me or cause an accident trying to make the light. I had no desire to make their life more difficult than it was. Oliver, on the other hand, thought the yellow lights were fun. My court date was approaching quickly. The government had it on the fast track and I instructed my lawyers, against their advice, to not delay. I saw no need in delaying. I wanted it all to end as quickly as possible. I had a new life to build. 
Oliver was off at meetings, I assumed trying to repair the business I had damaged. I promised him a home cooked meal. I was exiting an upscale fishery with a couple of fresh sablefish steaks. I heard my name called just as I approached my car. I turned and found Raymond violating my comfort zone. It was then that I realized he had called me Tasha.