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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 89

Henry had barely walked into the lounge room when I went over to him and put my arms around him in a hug. He instantly put his arms around my waist and pulled me in tight.

“I wasn’t gone that long, was I?” he asked with a hint of a laugh.

I pulled back a little. “No, but I still missed you. The hug is actually from my mum; I just finished talking with her and she sends her love.”

“Next time you speak with her, tell her I send mine back. It will be nice to meet her one day” he quipped and I got the joke. Letting me go he then asked “How was she?”

“Better, now that she’s talked to me. When I walked in there were two messages from her. The first one was a tirade about how saddened and disappointed in me she was over our eloping, without so much as a by your leave to her first. She did say a few other things but I don’t think I’ll be repeating them anytime soon.”

“I’m guessing our Paris nuptials made news that far south then?” I nodded before he asked “What was the second call for? It sounds like after the first one she wasn’t likely to forgive you anytime this decade.”

“It was an apology for the first message. She had seemingly called Cate to bemoan me and my ungrateful nature, as well as the callous way I had disregarded my mother’s feelings blah blah blah. Thankfully my sister set her straight on a few facts, so she called back to apologize. I actually called her to tell her the truth from my own mouth. I’m hoping this will be a lesson to her and she will know better than to believe what she sees and hears, until either you or I confirm it for her.”

“So long as things are ok now; honestly, your mother and mine are the same. I know her heart is in the right place but I do have to wonder what she is thinking sometimes. I’ve been in the business long enough now for her to know better than to believe that tripe.”

“It’s what mothers do, babe. I suppose their first instinct is to protect and then wonder about the validity of the ‘facts’. Sort of like shooting first and asking questions later.” When he smiled, I quickly added “only don’t tell either of them I said that or I really will be in the doghouse.”

“I’ll keep it to myself” he answered, adding a kiss to the tip of my nose.

~*~*~

As I set about trying to zip up one of my bags; something Henry ended up finishing for me; I asked “Do you think you will be filming over Christmas?”

“I can’t say for sure at this point but I suppose they will give us a couple of days off; why?”

“Oh, Mum mentioned she couldn’t wait to meet you and I thought that if perhaps you had some time off, you might like to come to Aus with me, even if it’s only for a day or so. She also told me she was going to get the spare room done up just in case you do decide to come; despite it being eight months too soon.”

“The spare room is it?” he asked with a cheeky smirk.

“Believe me, I thought the same but I let it go. She is progressive about so many things but I guess us sleeping together out of wedlock isn’t one of them.”

“If it makes her happy for us to sleep separately, then I guess I’m willing to give it a try. Let me find out what’s happening and I’ll let you know. It would need to be a good week, given it takes almost a day to get there.”

“I’d make it worth your while” I laughed. “So would Mum, I’m guessing, if she’s planning things like room allocations at this point. It’s funny really; when I first left home, she had high hopes of me meeting and marrying someone with a title. I told her she missed out there because I was in love with a commoner. She said it didn’t matter because at one point you had portrayed a Duke and that was close enough in her book but mainly because you were clearly making me very happy.”

He laughed. “Let’s hope she doesn’t change her mind again about the title thing, now that I’m about to play an alien.” I laughed with him.

~*~*~

With everything packed and ready to be taken downstairs, I started to look around. Henry asked what I was doing.

“Just making sure I haven’t left anything on.”

He shook his head with a smile. “Ally, unless in the couple of hours that you have been here alone you managed to turn everything on, I think we’re good to go.”

I gave him a shrug. “Old habits, I guess, although I did use the stuff in the laundry. I don’t want to get halfways to wherever we’re going only to remember that I had literally left the iron on.”

“Well, I take my comment back. You go and check and I’ll take your bags down. Just know that if you’re not right behind me in five minutes, I’ll come back and carry you out over my shoulder.”

“Oh, Superman; you do make me swoon so” I replied as I fanned myself in a mocking Southern accent. He simply grabbed a pillow from the couch and threw it at me before taking my things downstairs to the car.

~*~*~

I had no sooner opened the main door to the building foyer when I spotted Henry about to come up the stairs. He wasn’t smiling however and so I had to wonder what was wrong.

“Don’t look now but there’s a guy across the street with a camera. He was there when I arrived but he made it seem like he lived there. He’s not being so secretive now. Did you want to go back in and wait until he’s gone?”

Telling me not to look only made me want to do so, desperately, but I stopped myself. Why give the jerk the satisfaction of acknowledging his presence? Instead I headed down the stairs, a smile on my face. Three steps from the bottom was the right height for me to give Henry a kiss and that’s exactly what I did; a long, slow and very deliberate kiss.

When I finally stepped back, he smiled. Before he could ask, I got in first. “If the arsehole is going to take pictures, may as well give him something worth seeing in print.” I knew for certain that had I been on the stoop alone and the guy was there taking photos, my bravado would have been non-existent.

“I love you so much right now” was all Henry said before reaching for my good hand. Five minutes later we were heading up the road and away from prying eyes.

~*~*~

About forty minutes into our trip, I asked a question out of left field. We had been talking on and off about family, music, things we had seen so far on the trip and other random topics, in between moments of companionable silence. It was during one of those moments that my mind drifted back to my conversation with Mum earlier, hence the question.

“Babe?”

“Yeah?”

“On the Tudors, you weren’t killed off three episodes into the first season, were you?”

Henry actually took his eyes off the road to look at me, before quickly turning his attention back to the road ahead. “Where did that question come from?”

“Me. When I was talking with Mum earlier, the show came up, along with the fact that I hadn’t yet seen it. She hasn’t either and so I suggested she borrow Catey’s copy but I told her not to give away any spoilers. I did say though that I wouldn’t watch it if you were killed off after the first few shows.”

He actually laughed and I had to wonder if it was at or with me. “Not a history buff I take it?”

I gave him a shy smile, embarrassed to think I had been caught out again. “Funny you should say that because my mother asked the same thing. I have the basics down – King Henry was a philandering sonofabitch who killed off most of his wives, rather than divorce them – but I have next to no knowledge of Charles Brandon. As much as I love you, I won’t start watching only to see you hanging from a rope just as the show begins to hook me in.”

With his left hand he gently squeezed my leg, my hand not up to the punishment. “You will be pleased to know my character makes it almost to the last episode, dying from old age and not severe rope burn.”

I actually let out a sigh. “Good to know” I smiled.

~*~*~

Despite my growing curiosity to learn where we were headed, I didn’t ask. Once or twice yesterday was fine but if I kept asking it was sure to piss Henry off and just take the fun out of the whole excursion; it was also the last thing in the world I wanted to do. It was enough to know that he wanted to do this with me when he had so many other things he could have; and probably should have; been doing, liking training and working out for the movie.

The first real hint to our final destination came up about two and a half hours into our trip. We pulled up at a port in St Helier, where a large billboard gave potential passengers the information needed to catch a ferry to any of the Channel Islands. Not being up on my geography of this area like I probably should be, it didn’t occur to me that our last stop was going to be in Jersey, Henry’s hometown.

It wasn’t until well into the ferry ride that I overheard a fellow passenger mention Jersey and my interest was truly piqued, yet I still didn’t ask Henry to confirm it for me. It could very well be that we were just going to pass through on our way to another location and so I decided to wait it out; something that wasn’t overly easy to do, given my inquisitive nature.

~*~*~

When lunchtime rolled around Henry and I headed for the bistro towards the rear of the ferry, from where we had our seats in the ‘Ocean Club’ located. The couple we had been sharing a table with – Rosie and Simon – had just returned with fully laden plates and a cocktail and the food both looked and smelled delicious.

Thankfully we had timed it just right to go and get our own meals as the dining room had barely been opened long enough for a crowd and we only had to queue behind five or six others. Henry hadn’t as yet been recognized and so we were able to join the line like regular folk. I did have to smile though, at the very thought that his beard might be shielding him from recognition, just as Clark Kent’s glasses stopped people from believing he was Superman. When he asked why I was smiling I told him and he laughed.

“I’m seriously thinking I will have to start growing it whenever I want to go out in public and not be harassed. I kind of wish I had thought of it earlier.”

“Something tells me that once the movie comes out, it won’t be as effective. As it is, I think Rosie might have twigged to who you are. She keeps throwing glances your way that suggest as much. Either that or she believes you look familiar, even if she can’t quite recall why at the moment.”

“Or it could be she thinks I look sexy with my beard, unlike someone else on this boat that I can think of” he added with a cheeky smile.

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, that’s it, right there.” He simply put his arms around my shoulder and squeezed me in close.

~*~*~

Lunch was delightful and the food prepared to perfection but I was almost beginning to regret having eaten as much as I did. As a rule, I try to avoid travelling on water whenever possible because although I don’t quite get full blown sea-sickness, I usually end up with a queasy feeling in the stomach. Today’s ferry trip proved to be no different and I was sure the extra mouthful of egg salad I had eaten wasn’t helping. Once we were thankfully back on dry land and waiting for the car to be unloaded, Henry asked if I was ok.
“I’ll be fine. It’s just been a while since I was on a boat and now I remember why.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you get sea-sick?”

“I don’t normally, just a little upset stomach. Besides, I had no idea we would be hitting the water, so how could I tell you?” I asked as I playfully nudged him with my elbow.

“Fair point” he smiled. “I might have to think of another way to get us home.”

“Its fine babe, honest; as long as I’m distracted, I don’t usually have the time to worry about it. It’s probably because we spent the last hour up on deck and I could see the water that I feel off. I’ll be ready to take the trip on again; in a week.”

“Maybe I can book a cabin for the return trip and find something to keep you distracted.”

“Wow, they have Playstations in the cabins?” I asked with a laugh.

“I’ll give you Playstations” he replied, pulling me into his arms and gently rubbing his bearded cheek against mine.

~*~*~

Along with not being 100% sure of our final destination and my hand still giving me curry; making it next to useless; I couldn’t offer to drive the last leg of the trip. To keep Henry entertained, I went back to finishing the crossword we had been doing on my iPad before the boat ride but as it turned out, the trip was a short one and we didn’t have a chance to do too much.

I had lived in and been through my fair share of small towns and therefore could recognize one when I saw it. Jersey very clearly fit that bit to a T. No sooner had we reached what I thought was the beginning of the city centre when we were headed out again. Five minutes later we pulled into the driveway of someone’s house.

“We’re here” was all he said before getting out of the car and coming around to open my door for me.

Taking a moment to stretch once I hopped out, I said “It doesn’t look like anyone’s home.”

“There isn’t. Piers and Maggie have taken the twins to Jamaica for the week. We have the place to ourselves.”

So, not only had he brought me back to see his family home, he had done so when the place was empty and we could have some quality time together. The very thought he cared enough for me to do this caused a lump to form in my throat and a tear or two to threaten.

“Hey, what’s wrong?”

I stood before him and simply kissed him in reply. I just didn’t have the words to tell him what it meant to me so I showed him instead. When finally we stepped apart to get some air, he looked at me funny.

“Not that I don’t love to kiss you but what was that for?”

“For this” I indicated the house. “We could have gone anywhere this week but you brought me back to the house you grew up in. I cannot even begin to tell you what that means to me.”

“If your kiss is any indication, I might have some idea.”

“I’ll make it absolutely clear once we’re not in public.” I blushed at the very notion.

Taking my good hand, he simply said “We’ll get the bags later.”

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

9/9/20, 10:31 Link to this post Email HeavenLea27   PM HeavenLea27
 
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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 90 – Henry

Locating the spare key that Piers had left for me, I opened the front door and stepped aside to let Ally through first. In spite wanting to continue what was started out front, I knew we had plenty of time to be intimate so opted for a tour of the family home first. “How about I show you around?”

“Sounds good; I already love that from the front it doesn’t look that big and yet you have a staircase at the end of this hall that suggests otherwise” she smiled.

“It is deceiving” I concurred. “When the folks first bought it, they thought it was going to be too big for them but then Charlie and I came along and we barely managed to squeeze all in. It didn’t matter in the end though as we all ended up in boarding school at some point so there was plenty of room.”

“I would probably build extra rooms, rather than send my kids away” she joked. A quick flush of her cheeks showed she hadn’t meant to say that out loud, a fact she confirmed seconds later. “Not saying that what your folks did was wrong, I just don’t know that I could do it. Then again, I’d make sure my kids weren’t as naughty as you and your brothers obviously were. Your mum no doubt did it so she could keep some shred of her sanity.”

I laughed, knowing she wasn’t far wrong.

~*~*~

Opening and walking through doors as we went, I showed her the sitting room and study on the right, before crossing the hall and going through the family room that then led through to the kitchen.

“Oh, wow” Ally said, running her hand along the marble top of the island in the middle of the room. “This is gorgeous. I love how the kitchen flows into the dining room without walls but this little island...I’ll just bet that you spent more time eating around this than at the formal table. It’s got that kind of vibe about it.”

I knew Mum felt the same and that made me smile. “It’s true. That’s not to say we didn’t use the dining table at all but more often than not, with all of us in and out with various activities, it was just easier in here for those still around at meal times.”

“You do realize that this is where we will be eating most of our meals this week, right?”

“Whatever you want sweetheart” I answered.

Just as I walked over to look through the back window, I spotted the note on the bench. It was from Maggie.

“Welcome guys! Hope you have a great week and feel free to make yourselves at home. Henry, you know where most things are so I don’t need to point out the obvious. Have left a few goodies in the pantry for you and the fridge is freshly stocked. Love to you both and see you in a week. M”

“Maggie says to have a great time and she’s left us a few things” I explained, after Ally asked if everything was alright.

“Oh, that was nice of her. Remind me to make some lamingtons to leave for when they get home.”

“How about you make me some lamingtons and I just leave a note to tell her how nice they were?”

“I’ll think on that a bit, shall I?” she laughed. I simply grabbed her good hand and we continued on the tour.

~*~*~

Taking the stairs, we toured the top floor, stopping briefly in George’s room to look out over the yard. It was where we got the best look at the ocean, which was only about seven minutes down the road. I also noted that Piers had actually gone ahead and built a little area towards the back fence for a spa, complete with patio for tables and chairs.

“And this” I explained, reaching the final room “is where Charlie and I stayed. Even once the others had gone off to boarding school or left the house altogether, we continued to share. I don’t know about Charlie but I liked the company; even if he did call me Harry and hid my Batman toys more times than I can count.”

“Umm, you had Batman toys?” she asked, her eyebrows raised. “I hate to tell you but that’s a deal breaker for us...”

“All boys like Batman, I will have you know.”

“Not all. I can’t believe I didn’t know this about you.”

“You would seriously dump me over something like that?”

“Put it this way. Finding this out about you is like me; as a Bulldogs supporter; finding out you support the Eagles. No amount of love can conquer that kind of betrayal.”

I knew she was joking of course but I played into it, until the Eagles comment. I knew how much she despised them. My face must have shown my concern because she smiled and walked over to me, wrapping her arms around me.

“Henry William Dalgleish, I cannot believe you would for one minute think I could seriously leave you for liking Batman. I love you, no matter what. Although, that Eagles thing...”

I hugged her tight. “Yes, I knew but for half a second there the look on your face made me wonder. You truly hate them that much?” I asked and she nodded before I kissed the top of her head. “And what’s with the full name? Only my mother gets away with doing that.”

I could feel her laugh as she pulled back a little and looked me directly in the face. “I just thought I would trot it out. Where better than in the family home, where you no doubt heard it quite a lot, being so naughty and all.”

She had me there so I really didn’t have a comeback. Instead I decided to kiss her.

~*~*~

Once the tour was over, we headed back out to the car to grab the bags. Actually, I grabbed most of them but Ally did her best to help bring in what she could with one hand still out of commission. I knew she was struggling with the pain but she seemed to be putting on a brave front. I wished I could take the pain for her.

The room Charlie and I had shared as kids had been turned into a guest room and it was the room I had opted to use for the week we were home. Putting down my bag at the foot of the bed, I turned to Ally and said “I hope you don’t mind this room. It’s smaller than the others and doesn’t have the best view but it’s not as though we will be in it all day every day.”

“It’s fine babe; I get it. This is Piers’ and Maggie’s home now. It would feel wrong to sleep in their bed. This room is fine. I would be just as happy to pitch a tent and sleep in the backyard, so long as you were there too.”

“You know, come to think of it, I believe there’s a tent out in the tool shed. I might go and check it out later, clear off the spiders. It might be nice to sleep out under the stars.”

“Me and my big mouth” she retorted, rolling her eyes at me at the same time.

~*~*~

It was only late afternoon but it felt much later. This was probably because we had been up early and then spent most of the day travelling. Taking a nap at this point seemed redundant and would only mean being awake half the night, so we opted to just relax with a cuppa instead.

Back in the kitchen I was about to put the kettle on but Ally got in first. “I’ll make it, you take a seat. Or maybe see if there are any bikkies in the stuff Maggie left behind. You’ve been driving most of the day, so it’s the least I can do.”

“What about your hand? You haven’t said anything but I can tell it’s still causing you a lot of grief.”

“It’s all good; I’ll have some Panadol with my tea. Besides, you obviously haven’t noticed that I already do most things left-handed. As long as I’m not expected to write an essay anytime this week, everything else should be a breeze.”

“Now that you mention the essay, there is going to be a review of the week, so...” I smirked. She simply shook her head and headed for the fridge to get some milk.

~*~*~

In terms of physical activity, today had been rather lack lustre but despite this, both Ally and I were done in and so after a light supper, we grabbed an early night. It felt both odd and comforting to not only be back in my old house but my old room again. I half expected to hear Charlie ask me one of his endless, random questions, like he had when we were younger. As it was, Ally was the one to ask them as we lay together.

“What’s your favourite part of the house?”

“I never really thought about it before, why?”

“No particular reason. I just found that every time we had to move to a new place when I was a kid, I would pick the one room or feature of the house that appealed to me most. The idea was that when I won lotto, I would have a house built around those ideas. I didn’t expect to move as much as we did and now, I realize that I am going to need to win at least 20 million and have a good ten hectares to put the house on.”

I smiled. I hadn’t really had to travel all that much myself; other than the odd holiday or later when I started acting; and looking at it from that point of view, I could see it was a good and a bad thing. Good for the stability but bad in terms of not seeing as much of my own country as I possibly could have.

“It sounds like it will be some kind of house.”

“Believe me, it will be. Still, dreams are free so I at least have those.”

“Absolutely” I agreed. As we drifted off, I thought more of her original question, although I didn’t come up with a definitive answer before I was out of it completely.

~*~*~

The following couple of days flew by in a whirlwind of being out and about. Starting our mornings with a run, we would follow it with a quick breakfast and then head into town to explore. When you considered that Jersey is only nine by five miles, it didn’t take the whole two days to go over or around it but we always found something to do.

Aside from the little touristy shops and cafes with ocean views, we stopped in at the Hamptonne Country Life museum, which highlighted all aspects of rural living in the rolling countryside for the past six centuries. This included a mini market place, where a band of musicians entertained the touring groups who went through, along with animals and everything else that was rustic. With no modern conveniences to be found anywhere; other than what the tourists brought with them; it was easy to picture life as it had been. Ally clearly picked up the same vibe.

“Aside from the guests who have their phones and cameras, I feel like I’ve stepped into a portal. I would love to bring my class to see this. It might be fun to show them that there was and still is a life outside of smart phones and Xboxes and that you can still have fun.”

“Something tells me they would agree with you; for a day, at least. Once the novelty of chasing cows wore off, they’d probably start whining about being bored. I know Andrew would.”

“True. I mean, they all loved the zoo trip and were still talking about it all the way back to the school, but a couple of the older kids seemed to be over it. Technology is great and all but it’s making kids less excited about being outdoors and seeing that there is more to the world than bits and bytes. It’s kinda sad.”

“I agree, love, but it’s the way of the world now. We’ll just have to make sure that the kids in our family get a balance of both.”

I was actually referring to my nephews and yet a small part of me did think about any kids that Ally and I might have someday. Even subconsciously I found I was looking more in that direction every day and the prospect was scaring me less each time. Time would tell, I supposed.

~*~*~

Wednesday afternoon found us at Durrell Wildlife Park and I loved it there. I had always been an animal lover and this conservation-themed zoo was ideal. Home to some of the world’s rarest animals, it was hard to pinpoint which part I loved the most. The gardens were lovely and the woodland area gave you a sense that it was a land that time had forgotten, but the animals were my favourite part of the whole visit.

I had been to zoos before but this was something altogether different. A couple of years from now, my love of the sanctuary would lead me to becoming an ambassador and Ally would adopt a bat called Ben in my name as a birthday gift, but for now I felt like a kid in a candy store. Thankfully Ally seemed to enjoy it just as much as I did.

“This is awesome, babe. It’s almost as though we’re just randomly walking through the bush and all the critters are in their natural habitat. It’s so much better than seeing them locked behind a wire fence or in a cage.”

“I agree. Almost makes me want to make camp and pretend we’re on safari.”

She laughed. “Funny you should say that. I noticed on the map board near the entrance that there’s a camping area. Maybe we should check it out on the way back to the car.”

“Great idea; then again, if they notice the shifty way you keep looking to steal one of the meerkats, they might have to put a ‘barred for life’ sign at the front entrance.”

“What can I say – those silly ads for insurance have me hooked on the little buggers.”

I could only shake my head but I did manage to buy her a cute toy one in the gift shop before we left, which unsurprisingly she nicknamed ‘Sergei’. This trip might have only been three days in but I was glad now that I had the idea to come here and gone with it. I hoped the rest of the week would be just as fun.

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

9/9/20, 10:46 Link to this post Email HeavenLea27   PM HeavenLea27
 
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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 91 – Ally

It felt a little strange to be in bed once again before 10pm but like the three previous nights since we had arrived, a full day and the sea air seemed to wear me out a lot quicker than back home. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open once the clock hit 8pm. The last couple of nights I had been in bed before Henry, although he was never too far behind. Tonight, he actually managed to make it there ahead of me.

Sliding in between the cold sheets, I moved in toward the centre of the bed so I could be closer to him. Unfortunately, ‘Aunt Flo’ had come a few days early so it wasn’t about making love, just the fact that I wanted to be close to him. Sex was fun and all but sometimes a cuddle could feel more intimate.

Without opening his eyes Henry wrapped his around me so I could lay my head on his chest. Although his chest hair tickled my ear, the beat of his heart was soothing and only added to my calm, making me even drowsier. That calm was interrupted moments later when he murmured “you smell nice.”

“I decided to try out the body wash I picked up today when we were in town. I figured it would be nice to take home and use when I wanted to smell all sun-kissed and fresh; something to remember this week by.”

“It has been a great week, hasn’t it? No distractions, no paparazzi, no meetings or sessions with Mark (Twight, his studio approved personal trainer). Apart from the early morning running and the some-what healthy meals, it really has felt like a proper vacation.”

I kissed his chest before once more resting my cheek there. “You know, all the training and the healthy foods will be worth it once you start filming. You are going to rock the Super suit like no-one else. I cannot wait to see you in it. I don’t suppose there is any chance that you can sneak me a picture, when you go for your first fitting?”

I could feel the laugh before I heard it. “Zack would have my head on a pike if I did. Not that I don’t trust you not to share but these things do have a way of being leaked, as we learned after the wedding. Maybe it would be easier if you just came with me when I go to try it on for the first time; see it up close and personal for yourself.”

“Not a problem. It would be worth taking more time off work to see the cape alone” I joked. He simply laughed some more.

~*~*~

Barely two hours had passed since I got into bed before I woke with a start. A jolt of pain had shot through my hand, intense enough to wake me and bring forth some tears. My fingers had been tingling for the better part of the day, more so because I had been flexing my hand as the doctor had instructed; he had warned there might be some discomfort. I certainly didn’t recall him telling me that those ‘slight’ pins and needles were going to feel like red hot pokers.

Henry was soothingly snoring away but I was in too much pain to just lie there and hope the pain subsided on its own, so I slipped out of bed in order to not disturb him. There was no need for the both of us to be awake and it wasn’t as though he could do anything for me anyway. Once out of the bed, I quietly headed out of the bedroom and into the bathroom across the hall.

Searching through my toiletry bag and coming up with an empty prescription bottle, I cursed. I had used the last of the medication a couple of nights earlier and because the pain had all but gone, I never thought to go and have it refilled. Right in this moment I would have gladly sold off my first-born son if it meant I could get my hands on a little capsule of relief.

Continuing to quietly mutter curse words that would make even the hardest of sailors flush, I took three Panadol instead. I didn’t like taking pills at the best of times but I truly needed something now, even if it was only enough to take the edge off and allow me to try and go back to sleep. Knowing it was going to take a good fifteen minutes or so for the relief to kick in, I also realized that there was no point going back to bed, only to toss and turn, waking Henry up in the process. I headed for the lounge room to turn on the TV instead.

~*~*~

As to be expected, there was next to nothing on at this hour but it was more about keeping my mind focused on something other than my hand than a need to be engaged, so I opted to watch the end of some 1950’s movie. By the time the credits started to roll the pain in my palm and fingers had marginally dulled to a semi-persistent throb, with the odd sharp twinge thrown in for good measure. I was grateful for small mercies.

The downside to watching the TV; even something I wasn’t all that interested in; was that rather than make me sleepier, it left me feeling more awake so I surfed the channels hoping that there would be something so boring on, it couldn’t help but put me back into sleep mode. What I stumbled on however had the reverse effect. It was Henry and he looked so damned sexy my breath literally hitched in my throat.

Never have I been a fan of a guy with a beard, even less so with a man who had long hair and yet despite sporting both, the sight of him like that made me melt a little. Even watching as he made love to another woman, it couldn’t detract from how sexy I found this look to be on him. Either that or the Panadol had truly kicked in and I was euphoric that I was no longer in pain.

It soon became clear that I had stumbled onto an episode of the ‘Tudors’ and like a slap in the face, it hit me; I now understood what Cate had been going on about. The episode finished about ten minutes later but I knew now that I had to make a solid effort to get the series and watch it from the beginning. I wasn’t sure why I hadn’t even bothered to before now but I honestly hadn’t given it much thought. Ten minutes was all it took for me to see the error of my ways.

~*~*~

Finding nothing that was going to bore me into drowsiness; even the infomercial channel; I turned the TV off. My hand didn’t hurt nearly as much as it had and despite seeing Henry being all sexy, I was starting to feel a slight chill, sitting on the couch in little more than a t-shirt and boxers. Grabbing a glass of water on my way back to bed, I had barely stepped foot in the room when a raspy voice spoke.

“Ally?”

“It’s me; go back to sleep babe.”

“You ok?” he asked, rolling over as though to get out of bed.

Quickly putting the glass on the bedside table, I slipped back into bed, reaching for him before he managed to extricate himself fully from the sheet. “It’s all good; I just needed some water. Come back here.”

Rolling back towards me he then threw an arm over mine before he was snoring again moments later. I always marvelled at how easy he seemed to be able to fall asleep, jealous it took him less than seven minutes to go from fully aware to out like a light.

Most nights; more so when I was alone; even after we had made love it took me a good forty minutes or so because I couldn’t switch off my brain. Right at this point however I didn’t mind, happy to just lay there and listen to him breathe, until my own eyes began to droop. Thankfully it didn’t take me all that long to go back to sleep myself, despite how alert and worked up I had been several minutes earlier.

~*~*~

When I woke up later that morning, I saw Henry was gone. It was barely 7am but his side of the bed was cold enough to suggest he had been gone for some time. Without actually getting up and out of bed, I clumsily pivoted myself around so my head was now where my feet had been moments earlier. Peering over the edge, I noticed his running shoes were gone.

I normally joined him for the run and was happy to do so but this morning he had gone without me and I didn’t mind. It was gorgeous down at the beach at this hour of the day and I loved to watch the myriad of colors as the sun slowly peaked its head up over the horizon. It was one of the things I was going to miss most once we left tomorrow morning to go back to London.

After five minutes of general lazing, I decided to get my sorry arse out of bed. I had a slight headache and put it down to a combination of having my period as well as waking up earlier. Watching the TV clearly didn’t help matters. Thankfully my hand wasn’t hurting and the throbbing had stopped completely. The pins and needs were still present but not enough to pull focus.

After a warming shower I headed into the kitchen and set the coffee pot on its merry way. I had thought to make a start on breakfast for Henry but had no clue if he wanted anything or if he did what that might be. Five minutes of staring into the fridge had me take the chance that he would like something hot so I started the prep for bacon and eggs.

It was a bit of a little struggle to break the eggs; and not have them end up all over the bench; but I managed to curl my right hand just enough to hold one side of the shell as I broke it and pulled it apart. Naturally I still made more mess than was necessary but I wanted to do something nice for my guy and so I persevered. Ten minutes later and the end result had me wishing I had called out for home delivery, or at the very least simply settled for cereal.

~*~*~

“You don’t have to eat it, babe” I told him. I had watched Henry try and eat the eggs but they were like rubber and he was shifting them around the plate, even if he was trying to be less obvious about it. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t stand watching him pretend they were edible.

“No, they’re fine” he replied with a smile. His hair was still a little damp from the shower he had taken when he got home and now a curl had fallen forward onto his forehead. Between that and his smile it was beyond adorable and had me half believe he liked what he was eating.

“You are a fine liar Henry, although I do appreciate the effort. Seriously though, don’t eat them. I don’t want you laid up for the last day we’re here.”

“Ok” he relented, foregoing the hazardous waste in order to enjoy a BLT sandwich instead. At least I knew he was a fan of overcooked bacon. “I do love the thought though.”

“It was the least I could do. One of these days I might actually go and get some lesson in how to cook properly.”

“You’ll be fine once your hand heals properly. I don’t suppose it was all that easy to cook with just one hand functioning.”

I laughed. “Umm, you do know that it’s my shitty cooking skills and not a lame hand that created that disaster before you, right?”

With a cheeky grin he answered “Yes but I thought it would be better if I didn’t point that out.” I really laughed at this, not the least bit offended. How could I be when it was true?

~*~*~

“Speaking of your hand” he started once he was seated back at the breakfast bar. “How is it? And don’t tell me it’s fine because you have been rubbing it for the last ten minutes. You were doing the same last night once you came back to bed.”

How he could possibly know that when he had been all but asleep, I’ll never know. I hadn’t even realized I was doing it now, rather than eat my own breakfast. “The pins and needles are back, although not as severe. I’m supposed to be moving my fingers more and flexing them to help get full movement back and I’m a little worried. After last night, I don’t want to go through that sort of pain again anytime soon.”

As suspected, his face took on a frown with a hint of worry. It was why I downplayed a lot of things, because I didn’t want him to fret unnecessarily or have to come to my aid all the time. “Why didn’t you wake me?”

Using the offending hand to show him it was ok, I reached over the table and took his in mine. “Because you looked so adorable, snoring away with a smile on your face. Besides, there was nothing you could do for me. There didn’t seem much point in both of us losing a couple of hours sleep.”

“A couple of hours? !@#$, Ally; it had to be bad for it to keep you awake that long. I really wish you would tell me stuff like this, in the moment. I might not have been able to help but I could have at least kept you company or gone to the drugstore for you.”

I was going to point out that the store wouldn’t have been open at that hour but then I remembered what I stumbled across on the TV, and how it had made me feel. I could feel the heat rise in my cheeks. “I’m actually glad you were asleep. If you had of been awake too, I wouldn’t have had a need to channel surf for what passes as TV here on Jersey.”

“And that’s a good thing?”

“It is when I get to see how absolutely drop dead sexy you are with long hair and a beard.”

“Huh?” Clearly, he had no idea what I meant.

“I stumbled across an episode of Tudors. I have to admit it has me very intrigued now.”

He simply shook his head and smiled before taking a bite out of his sandwich. I smiled back as I hopped up to grab him a fresh cup of coffee.

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 92 – Henry

Coming back to the house after my run and finding not only was Ally out of bed, but that she had put a cooked breakfast on the table as well was surprising. Finding out that I couldn’t eat most of it; despite not wanting to hurt her feelings; wasn’t. I loved her to the moon and back but she really wasn’t a great cook and it had nothing to do with her dodgy hand.

She continued to try and there were some things she could actually make and make very well but for the most part, I had come to learn it was better to pitch in when and where I could or to suggest we eat out. Thankfully I loved her for more than her cooking skills – or lack of – and so I was happy enough for now to put up with it.

This past week had been just the thing for us and I found that I wasn’t really looking forward to having to leave tomorrow. Ally must have been thinking along the same lines as she said “It’s a shame we both have commitments back in the real world. I do believe I could be quite happy to move here full time.”

“Really; you wouldn’t miss London? Or even going home to Perth?”

“Sure, I would but life goes on, right? I have my kids back in London and I would miss them but I could find some new ones here. Back home my folks have just started the nomadic lifestyle, caravanning here and there and will be in and out more often than not. Both of my sisters have their own lives now and although I’m sure they would love to see me, and me them, I can’t see them looking out for me as being a priority. Not that I can’t look after myself of course. Lizzie and Phil are happily living in Paris, so that just leaves me to worry about.”

I understood what she was saying and where she was coming from and yet I found myself still asking “And what about me, in this little scenario of yours?”

“Hmm, good question” she mused, pretending to mull it over. I simply looked at her. Moments later she was sitting on my knee with her arms around my neck.

“You can come and visit me whenever you like. I’ll even have the spare room made up for you, ready for any impromptu visits.”

I laughed as I squeezed her. “Funny, I seemed to have heard that line somewhere before. Spare room indeed!”

“Well, we can’t exactly have the neighbours talking now, can we? Don’t forget how small this town is.”

“Trust me; I’d be sure to give them something worthy of gossiping over.”

“I’ll just bet you would.” Moments later she kissed me.

~*~*~

No sooner had our lips come together when my phone rang. Getting up to grab it from the bench by the fridge, I groaned, wishing I had left it. It was Charlie and as usual his timing was impeccable.

“Hey, Charlie.”

“Morning Harry; not disturbing you, am I?”

“Actually, you are but never mind that now. What’s up?”

“I’m just calling to let you know that you’re an uncle again; Kat had the baby an hour ago; a boy.”

My annoyance at his timing was gone in an instant. “That’s fantastic news Charlie! Both Kat and the baby are fine?”

“Yeah; Kat’s trying to get some rest at the moment. As perfect as the little bugger is, he took almost 27 hours to get here and she’s worn out.”

It wasn’t hard to miss the emotion in my little brother’s voice and quite frankly, I felt it too. The baby had been a long time in coming; not including the nine months incubation period and long labour; but he was here now and the relief in Charlie’s voice was palpable. “So, how about some details then; name, weight, hair color?”

He laughed. “I was just getting to that. We decided on Jack Lucas for a name. He has a mass of dark hair like his mother and he came in at 6lbs 10oz and 20.16 inches long. I’ll send through some photos once we’re done talking.”

“That’s a strong name” I admitted and then paused a moment before asking “Which hospital are you in? We can probably get there early evening if we leave now.”

“St Mary’s in Paddington but don’t rush back. Even if you left now by the time you got here, you’d probably miss visiting hours anyway. Come back tomorrow like you planned. It’s not like he’s going anywhere. Besides, once Mum gets a hold of him, even Kat will have trouble getting him back to feed him I suspect.”

I had to smile at that, knowing how true the statement was when you considered all the previous births of grandbabies. “If you’re sure?”

“Positive. Listen, the folks just showed up. Gotta go. Love to Ally and we’ll see both of you tomorrow.”

“Congrats again, Charlie; this is really great news about Jack.”

“Thanks Henry, it means a lot.” He was gone seconds later.

~*~*~

I didn’t need to tell Ally the news as she had been standing beside me and had heard my side of the conversation. Even so, she was clearly still eager for details.

“That was Charlie. Kat had the baby about an hour or so ago.”

“I gathered as much. So, what’s the verdict? Are they both well?”

“They named him Jack Lucas. He’s 6lb 10oz and 20.16 inches long. Mum and baby are both doing well apparently.” At this point my phone pinged signalling a message. It was from Charlie.

Opening the message, we both looked at the couple of pictures of the baby. They weren’t overly clear but we could still see the shock of black hair peeking out from the blanket he was swaddled in, as well as how tired Kat looked, despite her smile.

“Oh, he’s gorgeous” Ally noted, although it really wasn’t all that clear a photo and his face was partly obscured.
“He will be if he takes after his mother, rather than my brother” I joked.

“There is nothing wrong with your brother” she replied, giving me a wink. “In fact, I think he might be the cutest of all your brothers...”

“Hey!” I knew she only said it to get a rise out of me and as usual, it worked.

Looping her arms around my waist, she smiled. “He might be cute but he’s not nearly as cute as you; especially when you get all jealous. Did you know that the patch of brown you have in your left eye gets a little darker when that happens?”

I squeezed her close, rather than buying into her argument; I knew I wouldn’t win.

~*~*~

“Do you think we can get a ferry back today?” Ally asked a few minutes later.

I had been thinking that very thing but at the same time I didn’t want to put an end to our mini break, so was going to keep it to myself. It was becoming kind of spooky how we seemed to be on the same page about things, without first talking about them. “Not sure; I can ring to find out. Did you want to go home today?”

“No, and yes; I have loved everything about this week but I’m sure you want to get home to see the new addition to the Cavill Clan. I know I do, even as an almost outsider.”

“You are not an outsider Ally, almost or otherwise. You should know that by now. I get what you meant though. Even if we caught the next ferry back, we might not get back before visiting hours are over.”

“No, but we could still go back tonight and be all set for first thing tomorrow morning. If we wait until tomorrow to leave as planned, we still wouldn’t make it back in time and then have to wait until Sunday. Jack will have changed a lot by then.”

“Ok, I get it” I laughed, shaking my head at her. “Let me go and find the number and give the ferry company a call.”
It seemed as though she was as eager as me to see the baby and it made me smile. I left her to make a start on cleaning the kitchen as I went in search of that number.

~*~*~

Thankfully there was room on the ferry heading back to London after lunch, so after arranging for our tickets to be transferred, I went to help Ally clear the kitchen. Despite her discomfort she insisted on washing the dishes, so I wiped them and put them away before heading to our room to make sure things were packed.

“Do you think we would have time to go to the store before we go?” she asked when she joined me ten minutes later.

“Sure; the ferry doesn’t leave for another couple of hours yet. What did you need?”

“Nothing for me but I thought it might be nice to make sure there was some fresh bread and milk here for when Piers and Maggie get home. I know I don’t have the time to make those lamingtons but it seems only fair, given they had left us all those goodies.”

“You don’t need to, love. They won’t be back until Monday anyway and the bread won’t be as fresh.”

“I know but I would still feel better, even if it’s just the milk we pick up.”

“Fair enough; we can go now if you like. That way when you buy something extra, I won’t have to unpack anything to try and make room for it.”

“Is that your subtle way of telling me I bought too much stuff?”

“Maybe” I smiled.

“Hmph...” was her response, albeit with a smile, before she picked up her purse and walked out of the room. I could only follow.

~*~*~

The more time I spent with Ally, the more I learnt and one of those things I had picked up during this week was that she loved to shop. Jersey was hardly a shopping Mecca and yet each day we had been out, even if it was just a walk to the beach and back, she found a way to buy something. Naturally she always had a reason; souvenirs and gifts for family and friends back home; but I knew better.

Today proved to be no exception and under the guise of only going to the store to get milk and bread, we still managed to come back to the house with at least three bags full of things that we didn’t really need. I thought about saying something but there didn’t seem much point. Besides, her heart was in the right place and most of what she did pick up really had been for other people.

As I put all of our things into the car, Ally took a last look around the house to make sure nothing was out of sorts. She also left a note, which I glanced at as I did my own walk-through.

“Maggie and Piers

Thank you so much for giving Henry and me the use of your lovely home this past week. We absolutely enjoyed the break and appreciate your generosity. Anytime you need a house sitter, you know where to find me. Love, Ally and Henry.”


She must have forgotten they were selling but it was clear to me that she had loved her time here and that meant a lot to me. We could have gone anywhere for this week but I had taken the chance she would be happy with a little spit of land, just off the main coast that I had once called home. Turns out it had been the right choice all along.

~*~*~

The ferry ride back was just as uneventful as the ride over, only this time I knew better than to take Ally up to the deck. Instead I kept her occupied inside, playing cards, just talking or even fighting over levels of Candy Crush. Once we landed on home soil, I did see that she looked a little peaked but not nearly as bad as after our first crossing.

We managed to get back just before 5pm but of course we still had a good two and a half hours before we even hit my place, so a last-minute sprint to get to the hospital on the other end of town was out. We may well have made it but it would have been close and at this time of the day, Kat and the baby would be resting.

Despite all best efforts, the visit was going to have to wait until the morning. Knowing this, I didn’t rush the drive back to my place, although I was looking forward to getting out of the car and stretching my legs. Ally offered to drive but I insisted I was fine and promised next time around, she could take the wheel. As it was, she started to doze and the silence was comforting and eerie in equal measure.

The closer I got to my place the more I realized the holiday was really over and that real life was going to kick in again, bringing with it the knowledge that our time together was running out. Despite a wonderful week, that realization gave me a hollow feeling. I was glad Ally wasn’t awake enough to notice; I wanted nothing to detract from this week for her.

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 93 - Ally

Catching the earlier ferry meant we got back to London not long after 5pm but then there was at least another good two-and-a-half-hour trip just to hit home, followed by a further 40 or so minutes to get to Paddington for the hospital so we left it. Visiting hours were usually over at 8pm and even if we had of made it just after that and Henry had flirted our way in with the staff – as Charlie had joked – it really was too late. Kat and baby Jack would be resting this late in the day and it would be unfair of us to expect them to stay awake so we could visit. We were just going to have to wait for morning and go then.

As it was, by the time we did make it to Henry’s, I was more than ready for bed myself, having already started to doze in the car. We had stopped to grab something to eat on the ride back so we didn’t have to worry about dinner but I did put the kettle on the minute we were inside. Our bags were dumped unceremoniously on the floor near the table, ready for us in the morning to unpack then.

Putting his tea; and the last of the Cherry Ripe slice I had hidden away before we left; in front of him, I kissed him briefly. “Thank you for this past week. I had the best time and it was very cool to see where you grew up.”

Pulling me into his lap before I could go to get my own tea, he smiled. “You’re more than welcome sweetheart. I’ve wanted to go back for some time now but never had a reason. I’m happy now that I waited so that I was able to take you with me.”

“It’s funny; as an army brat I moved around quite a bit when I was younger and even when Dad got out of the service, we travelled a fair bit. I’ve been around Australia and to a couple of countries overseas and yet I can count on one hand the places I could actually live in, if I had to choose. I can quite happily now add Jersey to that list.”

“Really?” he asked, seemingly thinking I was kidding.

“Yes. Maybe it’s because it’s small town enough to be quaint but there is still enough to do and see to make it feel city like as well. Then there is the fact that you hit ocean within ten minutes, in all directions, no matter where you end up living. I loved your house but I have to say, I was quite taken with the two-storey at the end of your block; the one that had a front facing view of the ocean. I wonder if the owners have ever thought of moving out…” I mused.

“I’ll be sure to have Maggie go and ask them, once they get back on Monday” he laughed.

“Awesome” I smiled, getting up to go and finally get my own cup of tea.

~*~*~

Despite me dozing in the car or the fact that both of us were dead tired and had wanted an early night, neither of us was in bed before 11pm. As we enjoyed our tea, we talked about all that we had seen and done this past week, almost as though the other hadn’t been there and we were telling stories for the first time. It truly had been a fun week and although we didn’t spend the whole week doing touristy things, we had done just enough to keep things interesting. It was a shame that Piers and Maggie were selling up and we wouldn’t be able to pop over whenever the urge took us.

Before we headed off to the hospital the following morning, I threw in a load of washing. I had done some on Jersey but I had more to do. I needed fresh underwear for one thing and despite it being just as easy to go back to the flat, it was out of the way. Henry and I had also decided to spend Sunday night at mine, so it would be easier for me to get to school on Monday but that was two days from now and I needed to wash. It was just as easy to do it here when I had a load of Henry’s to add as well.

Not surprisingly, we stopped on the way to the hospital to get flowers for Kat and a stuffed toy for Jack. Henry had picked up the biggest bear in the shop but in the end decided that less was more, so opted for a regular sized bear, mainly because it was wearing the sporting jersey for England. I wasn’t sure what was more adorable – the bear or Henry standing in line waiting to be served, holding it like it was the most natural thing in the world. We finally got to the hospital 20 minutes before the official start to visiting hours.

~*~*~

It took a good ten minutes to traverse across the hospital and finally locate Kat’s ward, leaving us still early but the nurse at reception told us we could go through. Henry didn’t even have to flirt for her to do this, although he did flash her one of his winning smiles. He was a natural flirt anyway and I knew he was going to break many hearts once he truly became a household name. It was something I had still had several months to prepare myself for, even if deep down I knew it was just another role he was playing. At the end of the day I had to trust that he loved and would come home to me.

As we walked into the room it wasn’t surprising to find Charlie already there, sitting on the edge of the bed as he cradled his newborn son. The minute he heard us come in, he looked up and the widest grin took over his whole face.

“What are you guys doing here?” he asked in a voice barely above a whisper. “We weren’t expecting you till later tonight, or at least tomorrow morning.”

As first Henry and then I hugged and congratulated Kat, the elder of the Cavill men replied “We caught the ferry back yesterday afternoon instead. Neither of us could wait to see the baby.” Then to Kat he asked “How are you feeling? Charlie mentioned the little guy wasn’t exactly in a hurry to get here.”

“Damn right. Just like his father already, only showing up when he was good and ready.”

“Hey!” the father in question frowned, although only for a second because he knew it was true.

The rest of us laughed, although not too loudly, and then Henry shook his brother’s hand. “Congratulations little brother, he is a beauty.” It was hard to know who had the bigger smile. “Now, hand him over. I’d like to get a hug in before Mum gets here.” They laughed over that too.

Once the baby was firmly settled into his uncle’s waiting arms, I gave Charlie my own hug and congratulations. He kept his arm around my shoulder as he thanked me. Moments later he added “So; it looks like you two had better get a wriggle on. Can’t have Harry here be the only Cavill son without a rug-rat to call his own.”

Kat glared at her husband but Henry didn’t bother looking up, even if I did notice he tensed a little. I simply did the usual, and let my cheeks flush a deep scarlet. It would seem that fatherhood had done nothing to dampen Charlie’s ability to speak without thinking first.

~*~*~

Letting the moment slide by without comment, Henry and I then told them about our trip and some of the things we had managed to get up to. As he spoke, I would watch Henry as he held his nephew and each glance tugged at my heart just a little bit more. It was all I could do not to sigh out loud at the cuteness factor. Knowing how much he loved his other nephews I was in no doubt that he would have even more love for his own son or daughter, when the time came. For a brief nanosecond I couldn’t help but hope that I would be the one to give him that child.

“So, Ally” Kat began, stopping to stifle a yawn. “You liked Jersey then?”

“I did. I especially love that no matter where you are, there is access to the beach no more then ten minutes in any given direction. Back home I have to spend a good 45 minutes at least, heading west.”

“Now tell them how you want the neighbours on the corner to move out, so you can take over their house” Henry joked.

I gave a shy smile. “It’s true. What can I say; I like what I like.”

The others laughed too before Kat added “I don’t blame you Ally. I fell in love with the place too when Charlie first took me back there. Having said that though, I’m not sure I could live there, full time. It’s just a little too ‘small town’ for me.”

“I think that’s something that actually appealed to me. You can get everything there that you can get in the big city, only with less people to get in your way. I’m not a fan of crowds, as a rule.”

“You might need to become a fan, now that Henry is heading for the big leagues” she advised.

“Or dump him for a guy with a real job” Charlie threw in, knowing full well that his brother couldn’t retaliate while he was holding the babe. I did it for him.

“That will be enough out of you” I said as I playfully swatted his arm. Henry beamed at me.

~*~*~

I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have my own chance to hold the baby when Henry passed him across. I made sure that Kat didn’t want him back first.

“We have 18 years to hold him; go for it” she smiled wearily. “Besides, you really do need to get in before Mum gets here. We’ll be lucky if she ever gives him back.”

Although the others laughed, I couldn’t help but detect a note of something in her voice; or at least I thought I did. I wasn’t sure what it was but she reached for her husband’s hand, offering him a soft smile, so perhaps I did imagine it. As he grabbed her hand Charlie spoke.

“It’s what Grandmas do, hon. Even though she already has grandsons, she’s as excited as though Jack is the first. Doubtless it’s even more so because it looked like we weren’t going to have any kids at all.”

Kat seemed to color then, almost as though she had hoped her comment would slide by unquestioned. “I know. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

To take the focus off the sudden awkwardness, Henry asked “So, what made you decide on the name Jack?” Kat gave him a look that said ‘thank you’.

“Officially?” Charlie replied, glancing over at his wife. “We both liked the name and with Kat’s dad passing last year, we thought it would be a nice way to honour him.”

“And unofficially?”

“Unofficially it’s a story for another time.”

As you would expect, this only made Henry and me curious; more so because of the silly grin his brother was now sporting; but we didn’t push it. It clearly had some significance to the new parents and it was ok if they wanted to keep it to themselves. A couple of weeks from now, Charlie would actually confide to his brother that the night he proposed to Kat, they had been playing strip-poker. After he popped the question, she cut the pack and said that if the card was higher than a ten, then her answer was yes. The card she turned up was the jack of hearts.

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 94

I worked daily with children and I knew that someday I wanted to have my own; at least four; but holding Jack caused something within me to stir. I had always though the notion of women becoming clucky when holding a baby was little more than twaddle, ye the minute I had the little guy in my arms it happened. It was hard to describe the feeling but if I had to, I could only suggest that it felt like someone was standing on the other side of a door, knocking to come in.

I of course had no immediate plans to have a child. Not with there being too many variables floating around. Henry and I were in a good place, even if we did have some way to go before it was perfect. Then there was also the little matter of his leaving in a few months, not to mention my own major decision to be made. Who’s to even say that we would will stay together long term? We had also only just officially become a couple and needed to get ‘us’ sorted out and in a great place before the ideas of kids should even come up.

“So, Ally; what are the chances you will still be in London to teach our little guy, when the time comes of course?” Charlie asked out of the blue. One minute we were talking about the family plans for Easter Sunday next weekend, the next the question I was starting to hate most was being thrown about; even in an indirect way.

I understood it was coming to the point where I could no longer ignore the decision I had to make, but the constant asking if I had decided already was wearing thin. I also understood it was his subtle way of fishing; on Henry’s behalf; but that only made his asking worse.

Henry wouldn’t beat around the bush and fish for the information so I wished they wouldn’t. Being put on the spot wasn’t fun, although I really only had myself to blame for it, taking so long to decide one way or the other if I was going home. To avoid the question directly and hopefully lead the conversation elsewhere, I tried to make a joke out of it.

“Even if I do extend my tenure, I’m afraid Jack’s a little young for my class.” I smiled. “If I do stay, it can only be for a one more year anyway. My visa expires next year and the government will ship me home.” I should have known that adding that bit was the wrong thing to say.

“Unless you get married, of course” Charlie offered.

Henry glared at his youngest sibling and Kat looked disappointed enough to say something but I got in first. “I’m flattered you think I’m that good a teacher Charlie, but when and if I get married, it’s going to be for love, not a green card. Sorry to disappoint you.”

Sensing he had once again put his foot in his mouth he gave me an embarrassed smile. “Of course; I was only kidding. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

I returned his smile with a genuine one of my own as I lay my hand on his arm. “It’s ok, I knew what you meant.” Before I could add too much more, Jack decided to let his own feelings on the matter be known and started to fuss a little, before really letting loose with a strong cry. I took that as my cue to hand him back to his mother. Thankfully the little guy had broken the tension in the room.

~*~*~

Twenty or so minutes later Henry and I decided to leave, knowing it wouldn’t be long before the rest of the family started to flow in. Kat seemed ok, if not worn out, and this was to be expected but we didn’t want to completely overwhelm her or Jack. We had no sooner said our goodbyes and were heading for the door when Simon and Charlotte showed up.

Everyone was greeted with a hug and a kiss; even me; although Charlotte couldn’t quite bring herself to look me in the eye. A hug from her was the last thing I had expected, so at least it looked like things had improved a little between us. Rather than focus on that, I was just thankful that she and Henry were being friendly, more so since he had told me about their disagreement the week before. Who knows; perhaps a time would come when she and I could get along too.

Having said hello, Henry and I said more goodbyes but before we could make another move to leave the room, Charlotte asked if she could talk to me. It seemed a little odd that she would want to do that here and now but I agreed. Minutes later we left the room; on her suggestion; leaving our partners to speculate.

Rather than simply step just outside the room, Charlotte led us both down towards the waiting room. Despite there only being two other people already here, she led us towards the back of the room, near the window; my mind started to wonder what this was really about. Exactly what was it she had to say to me that she felt she couldn’t say in front of the others? It was clearly more than just an apology but the truth was going to prove to be nothing even remotely close to what I had been thinking.

~*~*~

“Ally, I need; no want; to formally apologize for what happened the day of the morning tea. I really should have done this sooner but I was embarrassed.”

That much was obvious in that she still couldn’t meet my eyes. “I appreciate that, Charlotte. I myself need to apologize in return. Had I faced all of this head on the day it happened, it would have been sorted and Henry wouldn’t have needed to become involved. My biggest fear is that this whole stupid incident has somehow damaged your relationship with him somehow.”

“No, it’s fine between us; we’ve had disagreements before so…” She paused a moment then added “He had every right to say to me what he did. If anything, it showed me first hand just how much he really does love you; that what he did and said he did out of concern for your wellbeing. I should have known better. Despite knowing Gina longer, I knew; know; Henry a lot better. He’s not now nor never will be the type of man to do the things she suggested.”

I had zero knowledge of exactly what it was that Gina had said; Henry refused to tell me; and I really didn’t want to know. It clearly wasn’t anything good either way and wouldn’t change anything. “I get it; she’s your best friend. My first instinct would have been to believe her too.”

Charlotte finally looked at me and I could see she was close to tears. There had to be more to this and I was just about to find out how much.

~*~*~

“It was more than just Gina getting into my ear about you” she began.

“You don’t need to tell me, Charlotte. I appreciate that you have apologized. We can let it go and hopefully move on now.”

“That’s just it; I can’t. It’s clear to all of us that you are going to be in Henry’s life for a long time and I need to make this right, if we have any chance of being friends. Even if you were to leave next week, I still need you to know the full story. Keeping it all in is taking it’s toll in other aspects of my life too.”

Again, there was a pause and I could see she was struggling. I wanted to tell her to stop but it was clear she needed to say it, so I didn’t. “Nobody else knows what I’m about to tell you; except Simon of course; and I’m hoping to keep it that way.”

That explained why she wanted us out of earshot of the rest of her family. “I promise it won’t go beyond this room.”
“It’s nothing diabolical. I’m just not in the right headspace to deal with the fallout if the family were to learn what happened. More so now because Kat and Charlie are new parents. This time should be all about them.”

I simply nodded my assent rather than speak it, allowing her a moment to compose herself before she went on.

~*~*~

“I was pregnant; almost three months along; but I lost the baby. It was about a week before Gina called me.” My first instinct was to reach out and take her hand and I was surprised when she allowed me to take it.

“Simon and I hadn’t planned on another baby but we were happy at the idea of a brother or sister for Matthew and David. The plan had been to wait until we were all together for Easter to share the news but then I miscarried…”

I squeezed her hand, my heart going out to her. It really made my over-reaction to a few nasty words seem petty and stupid at this point. “I’m so sorry, Charlotte” was all I could think of to say.

“Thank you.” A moment later she added “Anyway, I was still upset over the baby when Gina called. Because I was already in a bad place, I allowed her drunken vitriol to mix with my own disappointment and hurt. Seeing the article in the magazine a couple of days later, seemingly confirming all that she had said, only made things worse.

“It didn’t matter that I hadn’t actually met you at this point but the day we did meet and you seemed genuinely nice and the polar opposite to all I had been expecting, I guess something in me just snapped. It can never excuse the things I said but I wanted you to at least know why I said them at all. I never intentionally set out to hurt you.”

Her tears fell at this point and I could feel my own well up. I hugged her, not having the words to use that could help assuage her guilt, or mine, over this whole sorry affair. All I could hope for was that now the truth was out there, we could begin to mend fences and perhaps end up being friends after all.

~*~*~

Stopping in at the ladies’ room just long enough to freshen up, Charlotte and I finally went back to Kat’s room. Four sets of eyes looked expectantly at us as we entered but before a question could be asked, Charlotte said “Ok, where’s my nephew? I want a cuddle before Marianne gets here.” As expected, there were smiles and laughs.

Once Jack had been given to yet another relative, a fresh round of good-byes were had before Henry and I finally made our way out of the hospital. He never said a word until we reached the car.

“Are you ok sweetheart?”

I smiled. “Actually, I am.”

“I’m guessing you and Charlotte cleared the air then?”

“We did. Turns out there was more to it than just Gina sticking her nose in but it’s sorted now. Hopefully we can start mending the fence.”

“More; like what?”

I reached for his hand. “That’s between Charlotte and me. I promised I wouldn’t say anything and I hope you can respect that.”

I could see that it only intrigued him more but he nodded. “I can. I’m just happy that the two of you talked. I love you both and I wasn’t looking forward to having to pick a side.”

“I would never ask you to choose, Henry” I admitted. I lightened the mood a little by adding “although, if you knew what was good for you, you would pick me. Don’t forget that I’m your only supply for Cherry Ripes.”

He grinned as he hugged me. “Yes, you are” he laughed. “I hope you know that I do love you for more than just your connection to delicious junk food.”

“Glad to hear it” I nodded, before giving him a kiss.

~*~*~

Knowing there was next to little in the fridge at home we decided to stop in at the shops on the way back. Although we talked, Henry still seemed worried. Once we had left the store and were back in the car, I decided to call him on it.

“You’re not mad that that I can’t tell you what Charlotte and I talked about, are you?”

“No. Why would you ask that?”

“You just seem a little preoccupied. I thought it might be that.”

Giving me a brief smile before returning his eyes back to the road and heading out of the car park, he replied “Not at all. Charlotte clearly had her reasons why she doesn’t want us all to know and I respect that. Honestly, I was more worried about you.”

“Me; why? I’m fine.”

“Back in Kat’s room, when all the stuff about your coming and going came up, you seemed a little put off. I hope you didn’t think I set Charlie up to ask, on my behalf.”

I reached for his hand with my own, happy I could now do so with little discomfort. “No, of course I don’t. I’m more than certain you would ask me outright if you wanted to know. I have also come to learn that sometimes your brother just speaks without filtering first.” I smiled at remembrance of his comment concerning my arse.

“He really does; always has but we just learnt to take it all at face value and not make a big deal of it; unless he really gets out of line of course. It was just that when the question popped up, you got this look on your face. The comment about marriage didn’t improve the look any.”

“It wasn’t the question so much, just that I seemed to be asked it more and more lately. I know I need to decide one way or the other about my plans but with everyone being curious, I have a sense of pressure to make the decision sooner, rather than later. I don’t want to rush in and end up making the wrong one.”

“Sorry…” he began but I cut him off before he could continue.

“Don’t be. I get why they are asking and, in a way, it makes me feel special that they care enough to be curious. I also suspect it’s more for your benefit that they ask and not because they want to know. I get that too.”

“That’s what I figured and thought that perhaps you might have thought I was the one fishing for the information, via my family.”

“Not for a moment. I am a little surprised you haven’t asked me flat out yourself but I also know that you don’t want to pressure me. I appreciate the space and I promise, the minute I do decide, you will be the first person I tell.”

“Then I’m happy to wait.” Squeezing my hand gently, he quickly added “So; decided yet?”

I shook my head and laughed, kissing his hand before letting it drop so he could drive.

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

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Re: Swear It Again - Henry Cavill. WIP


Ch 95

After having a spot of lunch, we drove over to Henry’s folks’ place but of course they weren’t home and we didn’t need to think too hard about where they were likely to be. We headed over to see Emma instead so I could try and also clear the air with her, much the same as Charlotte and I had. By the time we left, we were back in a good place.

Knowing that Henry had his own things to do, I suggested he drop me off so I could at least finish the washing. I wanted him to feel like he could still come and go as he pleased and not have to worry that I was with him 24/7 or occupied elsewhere. The last thing our relationship needed was for me to become one of those women who had to have a man with them constantly. Besides, how are you supposed to appreciate your time together if you’re never apart?

Just as he pulled up into the driveway, I suggested “Why don’t you invite Charlie around for dinner? He’ll probably spend all day at the hospital and I’m guessing that cooking a proper meal will be the last thing on his mind once he does leave. Unless he’s already made other plans, of course.”

He just looked at me and smiled. I had to wonder why and so I asked, to which Henry replied “After all the grief my little brother gives you, you still manage to care if he eats right.”

“What can I say; I’m a glutton for punishment.” He actually nodded in agreement. “I know he doesn’t say half of what he does out of malice or for any untoward reason. He’s a good man; your mother raised all of you right and I can’t seriously avoid him in the hopes he doesn’t say anything inappropriate, or ask me questions I don’t like. Besides, I can give as good as I get and if he gets to be too much of a problem, I have Superman in my corner.”

“You’re a daft bugger” he laughed, before leaning over to give me a kiss. He wasn’t wrong.

~*~*~

After putting in a new load of washing, I hung out the clothes already done and then headed back into the kitchen to decide on what to make for dinner. It had to be easy; and edible; so, in the end I decided on lasagne knowing it was one of the few things I could do really well.

I was able to move my hand more freely now, although I still felt the odd twinge and I couldn’t quite straighten it out without some discomfort, which had made hanging out the washing less than fun. Each day it was getting better and I couldn’t wait for it to be back to normal. As it was, I managed to get the lasagne ready for the oven with very little mess and only a scattering of curse words.

Seeming Emma and not Andrew reminded me that it had been three weeks since I had last seen him and as such, three weeks since I had last stepped foot onto school grounds. As much fun as Paris had been and how much I loved the week in Jersey, I couldn’t wait to get back to my kids.

Thanks to the extra week off due to having a cold, it meant my study plan was out of whack now and a result, I had some serious rearranging and sorting out to do. I was in the middle of revising one of my lesson plans when Henry got home. He had carried in a couple of bags of who knew what, as well as a bunch of flowers which he handed over, followed with a kiss.

“What’s the occasion?”

“Do I need an occasion to buy my favourite girl flowers?”

I stood up and hugged him. “Not at all; I love them. How did you know carnations were my favourite?”

“I noticed they were usually the flower of choice on display whenever I visited the flat and took a stab at it. I also really liked the color.”

I had to agree there. The flowers were off white, almost cream in color but with the edges of the petals dusted in a deep red. It made for quite the effect. “They’re beautiful, thank you” I added, giving him another kiss. He told me I was welcome before following me into the kitchen so I could put them in water.

~*~*~

As I filled the vase, he put away the few extras he had bought, telling me that Charlie would in fact be here for dinner.

“He promised to be on his best behaviour” Henry joked.

“Was that before or after you threatened him?”

“I plead the fifth.”

“You don’t have that here” I argued, although in reality I had no idea if it was true or not.

“Something smells good” he deflected, something he was quite good at doing, I noted with a smile. I could only shake my head in resignation.

“I made lasagne. It’s one of the things I know I can do right and it was easy enough to prepare with my hand being like it is. I hope Charlie likes lasagne.”

“You might have noticed that my little brother likes most food. Except peas; for some reason he has a real aversion to those.”

“Wow, a man after my own heart! I truly detest peas too. Now we have something we can truly bond over.” That of course earned me my own shake of the head in response.

~*~*~

Wanting to spend most of my Sunday relaxing before I had to head back to work, I opted to spend the rest of the afternoon finishing up my lesson plans. Henry decided to play some online game I had next to no interest in.

Sitting crossed legged on the sofa beside him, I worked on my laptop as he played. Occasionally he would curse or egg on his team-mates – via the headset he was wearing – and I would have to stop and let him get it out of his system before I could concentrate on my own work. I was almost done an hour later but couldn’t finish in the end because he was becoming so animated, it was just too hard to stayed focused.

“For the love of god, man; move your arse or we’ll end up dead. Where did you learn to shoot anyway; Magoos?”

I couldn’t help but literally laugh out loud, which caused him to stop playing a moment and look over at me. Luckily there had been a lull in proceedings. “What’s so funny?”

“I cannot believe it; I’m in love with a dead-set nerd.”

Hitting pause on his controller, he gave me a geeky smile. “Damn, I was hoping to keep that side of me hidden a while longer.”

“Too late babe but that’s ok. I like it. There’s nothing wrong with goofing around. It shows that you’re not afraid to stay a little bit young at heart.”

“Did you want a go?” he asked, offering me the controller.

“No thanks. The last time I played a video game it was something like Space Invaders and even then, I never quite mastered it. You go back to whoopin’ ass; I’m going to take a shower and get the lasagne in the oven.”

He barely managed to get an ‘are you sure’ out before a distant voice in headset grabbed his attention. “Yeah, yeah; hold your horses…” Moments later it was like he hadn’t even paused. I went to have that shower.

~*~*~

Charlie showed up a couple of hours later and brought with him a bunch of flowers. I was feeling very spoiled, having been given the bouquet from Henry earlier. In return for his gift, I have him a hug and a glass of beer.

“So, how’s Kat going? I suspect she’s glad visiting hours are over for the day.”

Taking a seat on the sofa, he replied “She is. She understands and loves that everyone wants to visit but because we’re both from large families, she’s finding it hard to get a minute’s peace. Jack taking forever to get here took more out of her than she’s letting on.”

“I can’t even begin to imagine. It’s worth it in the end, though; right?”

“Absolutely; I still can’t quite believe he is actually here.”

“Let’s see if you still feel like that when he’s home and screaming at 3am because he wants to be fed” Henry added in. “If his appetite is anything like yours, you won’t get a decent night’s sleep until he’s in school.”

“You could be right. Maybe I can rent out your spare room anytime I need to catch up on sleep.”

“And leave Kat to do all the hard work?” I asked with a playful scoff. “I’d say some 27 hours in labour buys her the occasional bit of help, surely?”

With the cheeky grin I knew was his fall-back, he answered “And then some. Seriously though, sleep or no sleep, I don’t think I could leave him just yet. It’s hard enough having to leave the hospital every day and it’s going to be worse when I have to go back to work in a couple of weeks.”

Henry and I could only sympathise, neither of us having firsthand knowledge of knowing exactly what he meant.

~*~*~

The lasagne was a hit with both of the Cavill men and I was relieved. My cooking skills were limited at best; enough to keep me alive; but I was never going to be known for whipping up something so wonderful that people would clamber mountains for the recipe. I was ok in that knowledge so when I did receive a genuine compliment, it meant all the more to me.

Most of the conversation had been about Jack; as was to be expected; although the trip back to Jersey did rate a mention. I hadn’t made dessert but as I brought out a plate of Tim Tams with the coffee, Charlie asked “Is my name still carved into the ledge by the window in our old room, or did Piers remove it when he redecorated?”

Henry smiled. “It’s actually still there, believe it or not. The ‘adult’ stick figures I drew under that same ledge however were painted over but your name is still there for all to see.” Charlie beamed.

“Now I know what you were really doing on the floor the day we got there” I said as I gave Henry a raised eyebrow. “You weren’t looking for a shoe at all; you wanted to see if your erotica was still there.”

“In his defence, they were quite good; for stick figures” Charlie offered.

“They were just not quite good enough to keep for posterity or future generations” my budding artist bemoaned with a laugh. “Probably a good thing though. I would have hated for George or Will to find it and think it was ok to do the same in their own rooms. I’m not a fan of Maggie’s when she gets upset.”

“Me either” his brother agreed.

I simply sipped my coffee, understanding more and more as time went on why Marianne had valid reason to use the boys’ full names as often as she had.

~*~*~

As we walked Charlie out to his car an hour or so later, Henry said “Mum’s probably already finagled the first dozen babysitting shifts but I’d like to offer as well.” Both his brother and I looked at him, so he added “I’m going to be gone in a couple of months. By the time I get home again he will have changed quite a bit. I wouldn’t mind spending some time with him as he is now.”

“Getting clucky Harry?” Charlie asked, before quickly darting away from his sibling’s punch. It was hard to know if the jab was for the Harry or the clucky comment.

“You’ll keep” was the response as he instead put his arm around my shoulder. “Seriously though Charlie, I would love to watch Jack if you and Kat need a break.”

Although he kept his own smile, our guest answered “Sounds good. Getting Kat to leave him for a night may take some work though. You should have seen the look she gave her own sister this afternoon, when Lisa wanted to hold Jack. It scared me a little.”

“You might have to get used to that look” I added. “Kat’s a mother now. I’ve seen a similar look on some of my friends’ faces after they have had babies; especially if they’re also first-time mothers. Their every instinct is to protect, even if there’s no real threat. Or so they told me later.”

“So, about that spare room…” Charlie joked. We laughed as he then hugged us both. “Dinner was great Ally; thanks for the invite. I wasn’t looking forward to cooking when I got home.”
“You’re more than welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“I did.” To his brother he then said “You’ve got a winner here Harry; don’t mess it up.”

“I don’t intend to” came the reply as he managed to slip out of the hug and put his brother in a chokehold before the younger of the two knew what was happening. “And I told you to stop calling me Harry.”

Five minutes later they were still rough-housing; at least until I threatened to get the hose. I did have to smile at how easy it was for both of them to revert back to school boy behaviour, despite being grown men. It wasn’t hard to see the bond they shared, although it did highlight how much I missed my own siblings. Maybe going home at the end of my tenure wasn’t a bad idea after all.

~*~*~


---
"Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole."

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