Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 113

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 113: The Wedding Night

In almost any situation, if given the option, Tim will take real candles over the fake ones with the LED lights. He just prefers how fire works, how it looks, and the general feel of it.

But, tonight was an example of the only situation he could think of where he preferred the LEDs. Namely, before they left for the church, he set up their house for tonight, and if he had done it with real candles, he would have needed someone to sneak in and light the damn things, or left her waiting in the car while he got them all lit (and it would have taken forever because he’s got seventy-five of them).

Abby walked next to him up to the porch, holding his hand, and he unlocked the door, then picked her up, kissing her as she giggled, and carried her over the threshold, up the stairs, and down the hall to their bedroom, each step of the way lit by little LED tea lights in small crystal globes.

He’d put them on each step, clusters of them in the hall, and set collections of the different sized pillar candles all over their room. The whole house was  suffused with softly glowing gold.

The softly glowing gold lit a bedroom where the sheets had been changed out, their usual soft, nubby flannel replaced with cream colored 1600 thread count cotton. The comforter had been folded back to show off the new sheets. He’d thought about sprinkling rose petals all over the place but decided against it. He had no idea what the shelf life of rose petals yanked off the rose was, but didn’t want them to be getting brownish and dry by the time they got home.

But there were roses, whole, beautiful, sitting on her nightstand, and ready to be played with.

He placed her on the edge of the bed, kissed her long and soft, and then pulled back.

“Gotta close the door, and grab the rest of the stuff I got set up earlier.”

She smiled at him. “Got a few surprises of my own, too.” She checked the clock. “I want you back up here in fifteen minutes, okay?”

“I can do that.”

He had a plate of strawberries, cream for whipping, and chocolate in the refrigerator. He’d planned on strawberries and champagne, but yesterday changed that plan. Bottled water would do. 

He’d gotten the idea for the strawberries over the summer. They’d been out with Palmer and Breena, some sort of farmer’s market thing, and Breena had grabbed a big box of them.

And later that afternoon, while he and Jimmy played with Molly in the baby pool, he was watching Abby eat them, really enjoying it, probably with a pretty stupid smile on his face the whole time. Finally she had said to him, “What?”

He just grinned. “The man who doesn’t appreciate watching a woman eat strawberries is gay or has no imagination, and since neither of those things are true about me…” and then he pulled her, giggling, into his lap, splashing water all over both of them, (and Jimmy, and Molly who grinned a two-toothed, six month-old-baby smile, decided splashing was the best thing ever, and spent the next twenty minutes at it) and kissed her.

And since then, whenever they’ve had strawberries, she’s given him something of a show when she eats them.

He took the blender out of the fridge, set it up, and whipped the cream. And that really was easy.

He’d been planning on spooning some Cool Whip into a bowl, but a few minutes before they were going to leave for the wedding Ducky had put the left over snacks in the fridge, seen the Cool Whip next to the strawberries, and then came out of the kitchen, tub of Cool Whip in his hands, looking at Tim with disgust.

“Timothy.” Ducky sighed, and held up the Cool Whip. “This atrocity has no place in your home, let alone any plans you might have for your wedding night.” Ducky tossed it into the trash can. “Real whipped cream takes less than a minute to make and is vastly better for anything you might want to do with it. Watch.” He took the cream Tim uses in his coffee out of the fridge and poured it into the bowl of his blender. “Oh, that’s convenient,” Ducky said looking at the measures on the side of the bowl. He added a little sugar. “Do you have any vanilla?”

“Yes.” Tim pointed to their cupboard. “It’s kind of old.” He only uses it to make Christmas cookies.

Ducky opened it, sniffed, and poured a few drops into the cream and then put the lid on the blender.

“The secret to great whipped cream is making sure that everything is very cold when you do the whipping. By the time you get back tonight the cream, the bowl, and the blade at the bottom of the blender will all be thoroughly chilled. Just set it up, hit the whip button a few times, and you’ll have whipped cream.”


And standing there, spooning a nice, cold, fluffy mass of what does indeed taste significantly better than Cool Whip, and honestly, has a better texture, too, into a bowl, he realizes the old man was right.

He popped the chocolate into the microwave, forty-five seconds in there and a quick stir would take care of it.

Tim checked his watch, four minutes down, eleven to go.

He headed for the powder room and looked at himself. He’s sure Abby’s up there doing something to make herself look sexy… She’s already sexy. Sexier… He swallows hard at the idea of what that might be. So some effort on his part would be a good thing.

Sometimes he wishes that lingerie for guys didn’t look so goddamn stupid. He’s not adverse to costumes and playing or anything like that, but for whatever reason little silky things on him always look dumb as hell. (And yes, he does know that from first-hand experience; it’s not just conjecture on his part.) He’s read that a man in a good suit is for women what a woman in something small and lacy is for men, and he agrees with that, because from his experience (and from what Breena, Abby, and Ziva have agreed with) men in lingerie just makes them giggle.

Of course, Abby prefers him dressed up, but a little undone.

He took his jacket off, unbuttoned his top button, loosened the cravat a little more, and rolled up his sleeves. She likes to be able to see the wrist cuff. He stood there and debated unbuttoning his vest, but eventually came down on the side of it looked better on. He took his watch off; it makes the cuff on his left stand out a little more if his right wrist is bare. Tim took his boots and socks off, not so much because it looked better now, honestly, now it looks a little strange, but he doesn’t want to mess with the boots later, and black socks and naked isn’t a good look for any guy.

Which left him with eight minutes to kill.

He wandered back into the kitchen, and messed around with the strawberries a little, rearranging them in the bowl, trying to make them look prettier.

Then an idea hit. The whipped cream is mostly for him. Abby’s not a huge fan of it, so he was thinking of licking it off of her. But she does like chocolate mousse, and though he’s not a great cook, he’s fairly sure chocolate mousse is basically melted chocolate (in bowl A) and whipped cream (in bowl B). Twenty seconds of googling, a minute long youtube video, and he’s folding the cream into the chocolate, well, not like a pro, but like someone who’s very eager to make some chocolate mousse, quickly.

And with a minute to go, he was heading up the stairs, strawberries, water, and chocolate mousse on a tray, very eager to see what she’s been up to.

It had taken Abby a while to figure out what she wanted to do tonight, after all, it’s their wedding night, so it’s got to be special, really special.

In all honestly, she’d probably spent longer bouncing ideas around for this than it took to come up with the idea for the wedding.

Granted, she didn’t have Palmer and Breena helping her plan this.

Well, not Palmer. Some ideas did get bounced off of Breena and Ziva, but none of them really loved the ideas she was playing with.

In the end, it was mostly a matter of chance. The lady who made her dress was a costume designer, and her Etsy page had a lot of interesting things on it, mostly period dresses, but one thing she had on there had been custom designed for someone else, and was just being held on Etsy to make it easier to pay for.

The blue version
It was a beautiful, calf length, 1950s Hollywood style peignoir in peacock blue. And when Abby saw it, the idea started to form. Judging by how Tim reacted to her in the Marilyn get up, both from the it-didn’t-look-like-anything-she’d-usually-wear side, and from the it-was-just-really-pretty side, she figured this should hit a bunch of his buttons, as well.

Seeing how into the first-time-at-the-lake-girl-scout fantasy Tim was solidified the idea.

And so, picture in hand, she asked if Jennie (the costume designer) could make one for her, but for a wedding night. In white, pristine, virginal white. Jennie looked at her, and suggested that a cream lace trim would make it look better, add just a little contrast, and make sure the white didn’t wash her out. Once she saw the colors against her skin, Abby agreed.

It was also the lightest, sheerest silk Abby had ever felt. It was like wearing the idea of lingerie. Hints of her nipples and tattoos were visible through it.

That would certainly get his attention.

She took her hair down. In order to have enough of it to put it up properly yesterday she’d had extensions added in. And Breena had put in the red streaks. Which meant right now, she had a long, fluffy spill of black hair with red highlights curling down her shoulders and back.

Abby washed off her makeup, and then redid her eyelashes and brows. She didn’t want anything that would feel (or worse, taste) like makeup on her skin, but darker, longer eyelashes are always a good thing. The red lip stain she’d put on before the reception had faded a bit, but still left her lips darker and fuller than normal.

She patted her hair a little, and fluffed the roots a little higher.

That done, she opened the bathroom door, and stepped out.

He was putting the tray with the food on it on the nightstand when she opened the bathroom door.

And it was a good thing he had it almost all the way down because his hands went slack when he saw her, so he dropped it the last inch. For a long minute he just stared, saying nothing, looking his fill at this amazingly beautiful woman in front of him.

It’s a white nighty. The kind the looks a little like an old-fashioned slip. And she’s looking up at him, a little shy, catching his eye, then looking away, biting her lip.

“It’s just, I’ve never done this before, and I’m a little scared.”

His eyes went wide and his breath caught in his chest. That’s a game they’ve never played before and it sears into him, making his dick go hard so fast he felt light-headed.

He licked his lips, taking a moment to figure out what to say to that. What would be in character? What works with the clothes and the setting and their wedding night, and it hits him, and he smiles.

“Me either, and I’m a little scared, too, but we’ll figure it out together. We’re good at that.”

She grinned, eyes lighting up with joy at that response. And he feels so happy he doesn’t know what to do with himself.

They stepped toward each other, meeting in the center of the room, in front of their bed. His hands hovered over her shoulders for a second, letting the heat build between them, before gently slipping down her arms, his fingers twining with hers.

“We’ll take it slow, see what we like, and play it by ear.”

She smiled at him, still nibbling her lip, looking so amazingly adorable and sexy. “That sounds good.”

They’re both in bare feet, so she raises on her toes, and pressed into him for a long, slow kiss. It’s soft, easy, gentle, just lips on lips, exploring. He can feel her wedding band, and gives her hand a gentle squeeze, then lets her hands go and traces his fingers lightly down her back.

She shivered a little at that, so he pulled back to ask, “Good?”


“How about…” He twisted one hand into the mass of her hair, lifting it off her neck, as she rested her head on his shoulder, and scraped his fingernails, once again, lightly, from the nape of her neck to the top of her peignoir.

She purred gently and pressed in a little closer, as he played the tips of his fingers over her neck and shoulders.

Part of him was wishing this really was his first time, though he’s fairly sure that he couldn’t do this if it was. Not so much just the experience of it, knowing her body well enough to read each touch and response, but the patience of it. He’s pretty certain that if they had never done this before, he’d be way too turned on and keyed up to just relax into this and enjoy each touch.

A starving man can’t savor the meal in front of him, and he wants to savor this.

Abby reached for his cravat and untied it, slipping it out of his collar, and then touched the base of his throat, fingers resting on the dip of his collar bone, and in any other situation that’s not a touch he’d find particularly erotic, but right now, at the start of a long, steady build, he’s enjoying it immensely.

He took a half step back, her fingers still on his throat, and cupped her face in his hands, thumb tracing over her bottom lip. “Did I tell you you’re beautiful?”

“Not today.” She kissed his thumb.

He shook his head. “Sorry. You are so beautiful. Every minute of today I’ve been thinking about it. That you’re beautiful: your body, your mind, your kindness, and your joy, and all of it together is just so beautiful, and I love you so much that I can’t begin to find words big enough for it. I don’t think there are words big enough for it. I love you, Abby.” He stepped closer to her again, and kissed the top of her ear. “Love your ears.” He kissed her jaw. “Love your jaw.” Kissed her shoulder. “Love your shoulders.” Kissed her chest, and each breast. “Love these.” He smiled up at her, nuzzling against her right breast. “Really love these.” She grinned down at him, petting his face, and he turned his lips to her palm, for another kiss. “Love your hands.”

Then he slipped a little further down, and kissed her belly. “Love your tummy.” He slid his lips a few inches below her belly button, and slipped out of the game to whisper, “Love you, too, baby,” before inching his lips to her hip, and tracing his way down her leg with kisses and cherishing words.

The slit on the peignoir came to mid-thigh. He kissed her knee, and then placed his fingertips on her leg, just below the cream colored lace edging the fabric, gently playing them over her skin, circling down to her knee and tracing back up again within the bounds of the slit. For a moment he just looked at it: his fingers, wedding band on the fourth one, on her leg. He looked up at her, and saw her watching his touch as intensely as he was.

“You’re so soft.”

She smiled, and he let his whole hand caress her thigh, reveling in the feel of her skin under his hand, and the immense intimacy of touching her like this. His woman, his wife, and he gets to put his hands on her, he alone gets to enjoy the pleasures of her body, and yeah, it’s not pc, but that feeling of ownership hits him hard, and the feeling that she’s given herself to him hits him even harder.

He wrapped both hands around her thigh, and traces them down her leg, slipping over her calf and cupping her ankle. He kissed her knee, and then gazed up at her. “You chose me. And I am going to spend the rest of my life making sure you’re always glad you did that.”

She knelt in front of him, fingers twining in his hair, and kissed him, slow and deep, lips lingering on his, tongue easing against his. Then she pulled back. “Timothy.” Her safe word, and he’s never heard her use it before, so he stopped everything and just looked at her.

“Nothing bad. I don’t want this to be a game. Not tonight.”

He took her left hand in his, kissed her ring finger just above her wedding ring, and stroked his fingers lightly down her arm, goosebumps rising in their wake.

“It’s not. Just because I’ve felt it before, doesn’t mean I don’t marvel at how soft your skin is, let alone how good it feels against mine. And, you’ll probably think this is dumb, but the fact that you’re mine, really mine, and that I’m the only one who gets to do this, is hitting me so hard it’s making me giddy.”

“You think I don’t feel that about you? My husband. My man, now and forever, wearing my ring. Yeah, I get it.” She kissed him again, harder this time, deeper. “Mine!”

There’s a visceral thrill that goes with that word, a palpable rush, and he pulled her closer to him, returning her kiss, putting all of his feelings into his touch.

Eventually she pulls back, stands up, letting him know to stand as well with a gentle tug on his hands. As he does she begins to unbutton his vest, fingers moving quickly over the buttons. A second later it was tossed on the floor, and she started on his shirt, taking her time this time, kissing each bit of chest or stomach as she undid each button.

When she got done she pulled the tails of the shirt out of his pants, but left the shirt on, and then stopped to just look at him.

He’s not breathing hard, yet, though he was breathing faster than normal. His eyes moved over her body, and the expression on his face was a mix of hungry lust and transcendent joy.

Her fingers traced lightly, just the barest brush of the tips across his chest and stomach, and he inhaled quickly, small goosebumps raising on his skin, nipples going tight.

“Have I told you how much I love watching you like this?” Abby asked him.

He shook his head, and she pressed forward so he was sitting on the edge of the bed. She hiked up the skirt of the peignoir and straddled his thighs, resting her hands on his shoulders, leaning in to kiss his throat.

“I always have. You, half-dressed, hard, ready to make love to me, it’s my favorite sight.”

He grinned, hands settling against her hips.

“Part of it’s the anticipation. I know what goodies are under that clothing, and enjoy seeing what we’re going to get up to.” She pushed his collar aside, and ran her tongue lightly over his right shoulder. “Part of it’s the fact that you’re drop-dead sexy when you’re half-dressed. I’ve never seen a man do just a little skin better than you do.” She pushed the other sleeve down his left arm, and bit gently on his shoulder. “But mostly it’s that when you’re like this, your face, your eyes, they’re completely open. Everything you’re feeling, everything you’re thinking, it’s on your face. You never shut me out when we make love, and I love that, cherish it.”

She kissed his lips, and he wrapped his hand around the back of her neck, and from there he lost the details. He remembers the light on her skin, and the all-encompassing feeling of being adored, and he knows it was slow, that they took their time, undressing, kissing, making love with mouth, hands, and words.

And eventually he rolled onto his back, and she followed, straddling him. Her eyes were on his as she held him in place, pausing for a moment, waiting for him to nod, before sliding all the way down in one long, slick moment of exquisite contentment and joy.

She lay forward on his chest, and he wrapped his arms around her, both of them still and reveling in the completeness of it. He kissed her forehead, nose, and lips.

“I love you so much.”

And like everything else this night it was slow, focused, pulling as much sensation and depth out of each stroke as possible.

He kept his eyes open, watching her, lit gold, hair wild, rising in falling on him, hands twined with his, head back, chest flushed, gasping with pleasure, clenching around him: his wife, best friend, partner, the mother of his child, and he felt so gloriously loved and so intensely whole and home.

“I love you, Tim, now and always, this life and the next, forever…” The words, the feeling of it, the pleasure of this, all crested in a rush of golden-white ecstasy blended with even more love and bliss.

When he came back to himself, she was lying on his chest, gently stroking his ring finger and wedding band. 

Her forehead was within easy reach, so he kissed it. She kissed the bit of his shoulder that was under her mouth. And they didn’t speak, just laid there, and enjoyed feeling that moment.

And eventually she pushed up, stretched across the bed and grabbed a few tissues, because no matter how perfect a moment is, it’s still a moment, and the next moment has to come. So they cleaned up, and snuggled into each other, enjoying the fact that 1600 thread count sheets are insanely soft, and fell asleep.

And the next morning they found out that chocolate mousse and strawberries made a pretty good breakfast.


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