Claire wasn’t sure which of the previous day’s revelations actually shocked her more. There was the fact that Sean’s opinion on the idea of marriage was so strikingly similar to her own, which was so out of place in comparison to the opinions towards matrimony that the rest of the town seemed to stick so strongly to, aside from the Torrence household, of course. Though, she had already been privy to the fact that Sean didn’t agree with most of the opinions of the townspeople. After all, if he had, their courtship wouldn’t have lasted three minutes, let alone three months, and counting.
All things considered, Claire came to the conclusion that what really shocked her was the fact that Sean had plainly stated that they should find an aisle to walk down, and soon. Such a suggestion could easily be seen as nothing less than a proposal, to her, the girl whose mother had convinced her that no man would ever even approve of her, let alone want to marry her. But not Sean, the one male who had been the only one she had even had any interest in at all. And, he wanted her, and seemed to mean it in quite the literal, and permanent, sense. And that was what she was not only completely shocked by, but also completely overjoyed by.
After Sean’s statements the day before had left her nearly unable to speak, he had given her a smile, a soft kiss, and headed back toward his destination of the marketplace in town, not wanting to take his chances overstaying his welcome, while her parents were home, anyway.
After having an entire day to recover from his semi-proposal, as best she could, anyway, Claire just had to get a second opinion on what sounded more than promising, since her life had truly convinced her that ‘promising’ was rarely, if ever, actually promising, especially when it came to something like attempting to decipher the honest feelings of another.
Of course, there was only one person she considered a friend, and who also knew Sean, that may be able to give her some insight into whether or not she should let herself hope for any of that happiness now, after all. On that thought, Claire impatiently waited for her parents to leave the following morning, and then headed back through the woods, towards that clearing that had become so familiar to her over the last few years.
Claire had headed for the clearing in the hopes of stumbling upon Chantarell and being able to get her opinion on how serious Sean may have actually been about quite a serious suggestion indeed. However, it was Sean, himself, who was the one she came across while traveling that path to the clearing.
“Hi.” she greeted him hoarsely, freezing and looking up at him as he reached her while wearing the grin that seemed almost permanent, in her presence, anyway.
“Fancy meeting you here.” he smiled down at her as he took a step forward, placing a hand on her shoulder, as well as a soft kiss on her forehead.
“Here, meaning along the path that leads to my house?” she returned wryly, trying to cover her own nervousness, which was somehow almost stronger than it had been on the day they had first spoken to one another.
“Imagine that.” he told her in the same wry tone.
“Don’t you usually come up the road though?” she had to question.
“This way, I figured that I’d come out behind your house, and still be able to kidnap you from your bedroom window, just in case they were home again.” he returned with another playful smile.
“You’ve went from wanting to walk me down the aisle, to wanting to abduct me, now?” she couldn’t stop herself from calling him on his words from the day before, as they had been all that were running through her brain since hearing them at all.
“Same difference, isn’t it?” he smirked.
“So, you did mean it when you said you wanted to be with me, like that?” she just had to ask, though in a near whisper, still not quite sure she hadn’t dreamt up the entire conversation in the first place.
“I wanna be with you, in every way.” he whispered next to her ear in that sultry tone once more, causing her breath to cease once again, though he quickly returned to the playful tone as he reached for her wrist and added, “Come on.” before leading her off down a different path through the woods, rather than the one that lead to that clearing and the Torrence home.
“Come where?” she replied with her own grin as she let him lead her onward, “Find an aisle already?” she chided.
“Not quite.” he smiled back as he led her down that long path that she had never remembered exploring before, even during her adventures with Chantarell, “But I did lie to your mother.” he added.
“When? You only talked to her once.” she added with a bit of worry, considering the entire content of that brief conversation.
“I implied that I haven’t really built the place yet, when the truth is, it’s just about finished, already.” he smiled, still holding her hand tightly.
“O…k.” she replied with a furrowed brow as she continued following him, “Why though?” she had to add.
“Guess I’m selfish: I don’t want your parents knowing where to find you and I, before you’ve officially moved in, anyway.” he grinned.
Claire couldn’t help feeling her heart melt and her pulse race at the very statement, not to mention the chance to finally live in a home with someone who did truly care about her, and wanted her, just the way she was, unconventionality and all…especially if that someone was a person who she wanted as much as she wanted Sean.
“When are you moving in then?” she finally managed to find her voice again as the forest began thinning out to give way to another dirt road that ran parallel to the one she lived on, on the other side of those few acres of woods.
“I’ve already been pretty much staying here for the most part, anyway. I get up early, do all the little chores I have for Mr. Torrence, and then spend the rest of the day getting this place finished. My place.” he added with another smile.
“So this house, your house, you’re sleeping here already?” Claire asked softly as the small, but beautifully built, home, came into view.
“Sleeping here?” he chuckled with amusement as he led her towards the road that the home rested on the opposite side of, “That’s an interesting way of wording it.” he smirked, causing another blush in her.
“I just meant that maybe I could come and visit you without having to ever go to the Torrence house after all, now.” she attempted to cover.
“Oh, you weren’t asking me if this was where to find my bed, then?” he teased her as he pulled her close to him, his arm around her waist as they crossed the road.
“Why would I ask that?” she returned nervously, though still couldn’t help her own grin at his insinuation, not to mention the closing of what little distance there had been between them on the walk.
“Same reason why I noted which window in your parents’ house was the one to your bedroom.” he teased as he placed another kiss upon her cheek as they stepped into the large yard in front of his home, their home, even.
“And why’s that?” she smiled back as they moved toward the front door.
“Just in case you wanted to get a head start on those wifely duties.” he smirked again as he pulled her through the door with him, closing it just as quickly behind them as she tried to take in the surroundings of the home while being nearly incapable of thought after that one of his comments.
“Sean!” she feigned offense, “You can’t possibly be suggesting what I think you’re suggesting.” she told him, though countered her words by stepping closer to him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders as she did.
“Hey now, I said your wifely duties, my dear betrothed, would simply be to love me as much as I love you.” he teased, leaning down to counter his own words by gently letting his lips move over her neck above the faded purple dress she wore that day, “What are you suggesting?” he teased her further, accenting those words with further kisses upon her pale neck as well.
“I’m suggesting that you give me a hint, and show me how much you love me.” she told him, her bravery quadrupled by being safely behind a closed door, in a home her parents didn’t even know the location of, while being assured, once and for all, of what her relationship to Sean now truly was.
Sean was then the one who blushed, though smiled and did not move back from her, rather, pulling her even closer, to guide her backwards with him towards the door at the back of the still quite bare living and dining area of the home.
Claire did not hesitate to let him lead her towards that door either, rather letting her own lips move over his neck as he used one hand to open the door behind them, while keeping the other tightly around her waist. The only thing that slowed Claire’s kisses at all was when they did move into the back room, where she saw that the one piece of furniture that had been attained for the home, was indeed a large bed, which simply caused her to chuckle as she turned only slightly out of his embrace to glance over at that bed, their bed.
“That’s the first piece of furniture you got for the place?” she teased as her own nervousness did cause her to move out of his embrace, pretending to be inspecting the bedding, “Guess that nasty Torrence household is a bad influence on you, too.” she chuckled.
“What on earth do you mean, dear?” Sean feigned innocence as he moved past her, toward the bed, “Just as you pointed out, I am sleeping here now. I need a bed for that, don’t I?” he continued playfully as he moved to sit at the edge of the bed, bravely adjusting to a semi-reclining position as he leaned back on his elbows.
“And the cot you had over there had not been sufficient enough?” she played along.
“I’m being practical. If I’m going to have a wife, she would need a place to sleep too, now wouldn’t she? I’d think two beds just wouldn’t be a financially sound choice.”
“You’re such a liar.” she teased with a giggle as she finally moved to sit near him on the bed, though she, herself remained sitting upright, for the moment, simply placing a hand gently over his knee as she inspected the rest of the surroundings, not really seeing anything as she did, though.
“You know, this seating arrangement could lead to more compromising positions.” he added after several moments of watching her as she continued to try focusing on anything in the nearly empty room, other than Sean, “Good thing we’re engaged.” he reminded her with another smile, not able to any longer curb his desire to pull her down towards him, covering her lips with his own, wrapping her tightly in his arms atop the bed as she tensed only a moment before giving into her own desire to kiss him back, wrapping him in her arms as well.
After several heated moments of continued kissing as the two lay in the bed together, Claire was finally the brave, and impatient, soul who had to follow through on her need to know if he honestly wanted her as much as she wanted him. She then took a deep breath between kisses, sliding her tongue inside his mouth while simultaneously sliding her hands up under his loose-fitting shirt, moving her fingers hungrily over his stomach, ribcage, and eventually up to his chest, wanting to take in every inch of the flesh that was hidden from her view beneath his clothing.
Sean moaned slightly as her fingertips moved over his nipples, causing him to arch his back a bit as his body immediately reacted to her kiss as well as her touch, from where he had somehow ended up lying on his back as she leaned over him, kissing him, moving her hands over his skin beneath the off-white button down shirt he had donned that morning.
Feeling how immediate and intense his reaction to her touch was, Sean knew that things could easily get much more intense, as she had been the one who had moved them up another level from the simple kissing and cuddling that had proceeded her reaching inside at least the top portion of his clothing. There was of course the voice in the back of his head telling him to stop things before her honor, which seemed so important to all those surrounding them, was seriously in danger. Then there was the even louder voice telling him that he had waited twenty-two years to feel this way, this much, about any woman he had ever met, and reminding him that, as he stated, they were indeed only one tiny step away from the bed they lie on being their marital bed, so what harm could it do, really? And both voices continued to scream at each other until at last, the movements of Claire’s hands took a turn, to interrupt those warring voices.
She moved her hands downwards from his now hardened nipples as her tongue continued exploring his mouth. As her fingers headed back over his flat stomach, he assumed that she was going to ease off on the intensity of their affection and remove her hands from his flesh at last. Though, it was the very unconventionality that he was so attracted to, that seemed to be leading her actions that day, as instead, she moved her hands down from his stomach, to the waist of his pants, and then further downwards, where she bravely found his obvious arousal for her and began gently rubbing his hardness through the ever so thin material of his worn pants.
The action itself threw Sean so thoroughly that he let out some combination of a gasp and a moan as she began rubbing him into even further arousal, never once slowing the way her tongue explored his willing mouth. Her bold move to give him that pleasure that her touch so easily did, was so unexpected that it shut down both of the voices who were previously arguing over what his next move was to be, as she somehow made the decision for him, and quite decidedly. So shocked was he that all he could do was lay back, his body arching with each of her caresses until finally, his own desire, and longing, and twenty-plus years of pent up needs, became so intense that his body finally reacted in the way it was designed to, causing him to moan even more loudly as the climax hit him full force, causing him to at last go limp beneath her fingers as she finally let herself look up into his desire filled eyes once more.
“I take it that means you enjoyed my head start?” she whispered to him cattily, her effect on his body, more than obvious.
Sean couldn’t help letting out a sincere, though exhausted chuckle at her statement, then managed a breathy response, “God, I love you.”