These rps take place at Benjamin Flaherty's home.
Benjamin & MaryEdit
February 9-10, 2015
The living room, the kitchen, and his bedroom were spotless. The closet was now another story... There was chicken and baked potatoes in the oven, nearly ready. He glanced at the clock, hoping Mary would come soon.
She knocked on the door just as dinner was ready.
He opened the door, and grinned widely. "C'mon in. Dinner's just out of the oven."
She grinned, stepping inside and taking in the clean living room. "Wow... your house cleans up nice," she said, her eyes twinkling.
He chuckled, kissing her on the cheek. "It does when it knows who's coming over," he said with a wink. "Hungry, I hope?"
"Very," she replied.
He led her into the kitchen, where he'd done his best to be romantic-- the nicest dinner plates he possessed, a nice bottle of wine, and a couple of candles lit.
She felt extra-special as she took in the beautiful scene. She gave him a soft kiss. "It looks wonderful."
He grinned. "Good," he said, as he scooted her chair out for her.
She just stared for a moment. Not one of her previous boyfriends had ever pulled the chair out for her. Then she smiled wide, letting go of her initial confusion, and sat down.
He wondered if perhaps her initial hesitation was due to these... previous boyfriends Teresa had alluded to. He sat down across from her. "Wine?" he asked, holding out the bottle.
"Yes, please," she said with a smile.
He pulled out the cork, and filled her glass about halfway before filling his own. "Chicken and baked potatoes might not be that glamorous... but it's about the fanciest that I can make," he said, gesturing to their plates.
She chuckled. "It looks delicious," she assured him. And it was obviously his best.
"How was your meeting with Elmira?" he asked as he cut into his chicken.
"It went well. Professor Griffin was able to identify Berrin's voice, but she couldn't give me any useful links to the phrases Joseph's been uttering. I suppose I'll go visit you at an official capacity tomorrow," she said, grinning.
He nodded. "Well, it won't hurt to be paid a visit by a beautiful lady," he said with a grin. "It'll break up the humdrum of regular folks."
She nodded. "Your job's getting that boring already?" she grinned. She took a bite of chicken. "I was right- delicious."
"I see regular people all the time. Your lovely face would break that up."
"That's nice to hear," she said, still grinning.
"So I ran into your sister," he said with a bit of a grin.
She chuckled. "Really? How did she treat you?"
"I learned some things about you, and she learned some things about me. But she was fine."
"Good," she replied. What had he 'learned' about her?
If she was going to ask... she'd ask. He cut into his potato, trying to read the expression on her face.
Her face exhibited the same expression of delight it had had when she first entered the house. Additions were a bit of confusion, and a hint of reservation. She figured it was best to get her past out in the open sooner rather than later... but as she met his gaze, his face lit up by candle light, she began to debate if this was the right time or not. If he asked, she'd definitely share.
Where was safe to start? Maybe if he'd opened up. "Did I ever tell you the story of my first girlfriend?" he asked. "If you want to hear it even..."
So her pushed-down suspicions were correct...? Even if they were, she doubted Teresa would have revealed much. "Sure," she said, her face showing interest.
"It was my... sixth year at Hogwarts. Girl from Slytherin. She played Quidditch, and I thought she was the most beautiful thing ever. Course, I hadn't met you," he said with a wink. "Anyway, we got caught in one of the broom cupboards by the Head Boy.... and apparently she decided that was enough. Stopped talking to me," he shrugged. "I was confused at first, but learned to just let it go."
"Wow- did you get into a lot of trouble?"
He shook his head. "No. Just a warning I think. It's not like we were doing anything, Just kissing, really. I think she was just embarrassed."
"Because everyone assumed you were doing a lot more than 'just kissing'?"
He shrugged as he took a sip of his wine. "Perhaps."
She nodded and look another bite of potatoes. "Was she your first kiss?"
He nodded. "Who was yours?" he asked, curiosity and good humor in his eyes.
"I didn't have my first kiss until I was out of Hogwarts," she admitted. She squirmed a little in her seat; she wanted to tell him, but she didn't know how to make it come out without sounding like she was a... well....
He frowned slightly. "You know you can tell me," he said gently. "I'm not going to pry if you aren't ready. But I won't judge you... for anything. I hope you know that."
She nodded, biting her lip. "My first kiss didn't lead to a relationship at all. It led to a one-night stand... which led to many more, with many other men."
He nodded slowly, processing that. He hadn't expected that kind of an answer. "So what changed?" he asked carefully. "Because I don't think you consider our relationship to be a hook up."
"Rhaegar came along. He was my first taste of what it felt like to be in a proper relationship, where physical intimacy wasn't the most important thing. He treated me right in that respect. When his crimes came to light, I... I didn't pursue any kind of relationship or hook-up. The break-up was very hard for me, and one-night stands just... weren't what I wanted for myself anymore."
He reached across the table and gently squeezed her hand, making eye contact with her, his expression telling her that he wasn't going to do anything like that to her.
Her heart pounded as she smiled back at him, tears filling her eyes.
He stood up from his chair, and knelt down next to hers. "Mary, what's wrong?"
Her tears spilled over as she looked down at him. "Nothing's wrong. You're so different from all of them. We waited before we went all the way. You do little things like spontaneously coming to visit me at work, or arranging dates where we just talk. You pulled my chair out for me. No one's ever done that for me before, Benjamin... you don't know how nice that is."
He reached up and gently wiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb. "Mary," he said gently. "You do know that you're worth it, right?" he asked. "You are worth every gesture I make. And so much more."
She let out a shaky breath, not answering him for a few moments. "I know that now," she finally murmured, giving him a watery smile.
He gently put his hand on the side of her face. It surprised him how hard he was falling for her. He wasn't sure... but he was close. But he didn't want to say it until he knew. He gently leaned up and kissed her.
She kissed him back, placing one hand on his shoulder. This felt right... this felt real.
His hand slid from the side of her face to behind her neck as he kissed her for a few long moments. He pulled away, a gentle grin on his face. "Dinner's going to get cold if we keep this up."
She mirrored his gentle grin. "T-true," she said, trying to catch her breath and wiping tears from her cheeks.
He pointed his wand in the direction of the bathroom, and nonverbally Summoned for her the box of tissues in there. He stood up, setting the box next to her place. "Perhaps we should find a topic of lighter conversation?" he asked, returning to his seat.
She nodded, her eyes sparkling at his gesture. She took a tissue to wipe her eyes.
He took a few bites of his chicken and potatoes, trying to come up with something. "So your sister told me you want kids someday. I assume that means you must have names attached to them already?" he asked with a grin. "Or I'm told that's what women do at any rate."
She let out a sheepish grin. "Most women do. I've always pictured having a girl named Melody- it's such a sweet and pretty name, and it reminds me of when Teresa and I used to sing to our hearts' content. For a boy, Michael after my dad. I haven't decided on middle names yet- Teresa wouldn't like it if I chose Luke for anything- I think she'd like to name a child after her old best friend- and she's always loved the name Samantha."
"So Luke and Samantha are... off your table, because they're on hers?"
"Something like that," she said. "She and Ferlen both want kids, so I'm sure she'll be worrying about baby names long before I will. Besides, I like both those names, but they aren't my favorites."
He chuckled. "Fair enough."
"I'm assuming men don't name their future children the same way women do?" she inquired.
He shook his head. "No. I assumed if I ever got to the stage in life where I was going to have kids that my... significant other would have had ideas already formed, and I could merely... support them, or add my own based on research I'd done around what I knew she already liked."
She chuckled. "You haven't even thought about a Benjamin Flaherty Jr.?"
He made a face as he finished off his chicken. "No," he said. "My son... if I ever have a son... will have a name all his own. I'm not giving him mine because I couldn't come up with anything better."
"Fair enough," she said with a smile.
He grinned back at her. He just looked at her, still amazed at how beautiful she was. And how lucky he was.
She finished off her own chicken, looking at him contentedly.
He grinned across from her as he polished off his own meal. "So, are there any other secrets you want to divulge this evening?" he asked with a bit of a joking grin.
She paused, then smiled. "I don't think so."
He grinned, and stood up, offering his hand to her to help her up.
She took his hand, her features soft and her gaze happy, and stood up, her eyes looking deeply into his. He flicked his wand towards a corner of the room, and a record player began playing soft music. He placed his other hand on her waist and began to slowly dance with her.
She took his opposite hand in hers, then placed her other hand on his shoulder as they swayed in time to the music. It felt like nothing in her past mattered at this moment- just being here with Benjamin was perfect.
He pulled her in close, gazing into her eyes as they gently swayed back and forth.
In that moment she realized... she loved him. She had loved him for awhile- but tonight.... Her soft expression didn't change, though her gaze grew deeper as she looked into his blue eyes.
He held her gaze a moment longer before leaning in and gently pressing his lips against hers.
She returned this kiss with equal gentleness... learning this tenderness that was foreign, but beautiful, to her.
He moved his hand from her waist to the small of her back, enjoying this, and enjoying her.
She wrapped her arm around him, closing her eyes to listen to the music and just feel him holding her.
He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. The song came to a close and he looked at her, his gaze questioning what she wanted to do.
As she pondered, she said, "I love to dance- though I can't say I've ever danced this way before."
A bemused grin crossed his face. "Care to enlighten me as to how you've danced before?"
She chuckled. "Mostly group dances with karaoke. It was a blast."
He laughed along with her. "I see," he said. "Well, I'm a bigger fan of one-on-one dances with pretty girls."
She shook her head in amusement, her hand finding its way to Benjamin's neck, her fingers grazing his hair.
He grinned down at her, and gently ducked his head down for another kiss.
She kissed back for a few moments, then pulled back, her own gaze questioning.
"I'm not done with you just yet," he said, his voice low, as he went in for another kiss, this one longer and deeper.
She stiffened for just a brief moment before letting her body relax. She stroked his hair to remind herself that this was Benjamin... the one who had showed Mary her worth.
He'd felt her stiffen, and pulled away, his eyes serious, but caring. "What did I say?" he asked gently. "I said something wrong. And I don't want to do it again."
She stared at the floor. Of course he'd noticed. "Just- don't say you're 'not done with me yet.'"
He took her chin gently between his thumb and forefinger, lifting her head up so she would be looking at him. "I won't again," he said. "I'm sorry I did."
She looked at him, smiling softly. "It's okay. You didn't know."
Given his slip up, he figured at this point asking was better than assuming. "Did you want to spend the night?" he asked.
She smiled gently. "Not tonight." She looked into his eyes, hoping he'd understand it wasn't because of what he'd said.
He internally started kicking himself. He gently let go of her. "Okay."
She held onto him for a few moments more before letting go, still holding his gaze.
He kissed her forehead gently. "Have a good night."
"You too," she murmured, kissing his cheek in return. "Thank you. For... everything." She gave him a smile, her eyes sparking in the candlelight.
He led her over the door, and placed a chaste kiss on her lips. "Good night."
Her heart fluttered. "Good night," she whispered. She smiled once more, then turned and walked out, making her way out of sight before she turned to Apparate home.
The crack of her disappearance went straight to his heart. He'd been a fool. He'd gotten caught up in the moment, and said something stupid. Any trust he'd earned... now likely coupled with the knowledge of his family... he'd been here before. It never led anywhere good. He closed the door, and went to bed, hoping that maybe, just maybe, Mary would be different.