“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 12-16: Hope and Kent’s Secret Romance is Revealed in Duluth, 3/07/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #145)
An Original Fiction Story Copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace (all rights reserved)
[(1) “Mr. Romance” story logo, left]
Author’s Mature Content Note (R rating): “Mr. Romance” is a love story–and love is passionate. Some chapters contain tender love scenes and are rated accordingly. However, if you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the rating I provide, then please don’t read that chapter. That is my disclaimer.
Author’s Scheduling Note: I am fast tracking posting “Mr. Romance” this week so that we can conclude its storyline before FanstRAvaganza 3 starts next Monday. So, subsequent installments of chapter bundles will be posted on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this week.
“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 12: Sunday Morning Breakfast in the Suite before Farewells
Since Hope and Kent will be staying behind together in Galena–due to his sprained ankle—their colleagues share their Sunday morning breakfast with them in Hope’s suite. They all sit like they’re having a picnic on the couch and chairs around the coffee table near the gas fireplace. Kent has his ankle wrapped, iced, and elevated on a foot stool and he’s forgoing pain killers for the moment so he is awake to bid his colleagues farewell.
Hope: “Kent, are you sure that you don’t want your pain pills?” Hope says kindly and considerately. “You look like you’re in a lot of pain.”
Kent: “Yup.” He says pronouncing the ‘p’ sound prominently while grimacing a bit. “But, once everyone leaves in an hour, I’ll take some pain medicine and then I’ll probably conk out again. Sorry, Hope.” Kent smiles sheepishly [(2) right] at Hope and she smiles sweetly back at him.
Boyd: “Hope Dear, are you sure you can manage with Kent? I mean, he’s pretty tall—and you’re not.” He says stating the obvious while looking at Kent’s six foot two inch frame and Hope’s five foot four inch frame.
Phyllis: “Now Boyd, Hope knows what she’s getting herself in for or she wouldn’t have volunteered.”
Hope: “Uh. I don’t remember volunteering.” Hope says cheekily–and Kent looks askance at her impishly. “I thought I drew the short straw because I have the suite this time. But, that’s okay. We’ll be fine.” She says squeezing Kent’s arm that her arm is around as they sit next to each other on the couch.
Sherry: “Well, maybe Kent will feel better toward the end of the week and you can go on the sleigh ride you missed.” She says knowingly.
Kent: “My thoughts exactly.” Kent says putting his arm around Hope. “I have to make it up to Hope.” Hope smiles sweetly.
Bob: “Well, just so you know, Kent. The sleigh ride is a really bouncy ride. So, either you’ll want to be mostly healed or on really good pain meds.”
Kent: “Thanks Bob, good to know.” He says gratefully.
Sherry: “So, who wants to take bets on how quickly ‘Mr. Romance’ here will get vertical after his injury and in someone’s bed?” She asks mischievously.
Kent: “I think I already am in someone’s bed.” He says cheekily and Hope gently pokes him in his ribs. “Ow! Well, I’m ‘borrowing’ Hope’s bed. Sorry about that, Hope.” He smiles sheepishly at Hope, trying discreetly to keep up the illusion that he and Hope aren’t already ‘sleeping’ with each other.
Hope: “Not a problem. Just don’t bring anyone else back to the suite.” She gently pokes him in the ribs again good naturedly. “I’m not running a boarding house, you know.” She says impishly [(3) right] and they all laugh.
Phyllis: “So, are you two going to meet us back at the office in Chicago or just meet us in Duluth, Minnesota for our other wintery romantic getaway research next Friday?”
Kent: “I don’t know about you Hope, but I vote for us just going straight to Duluth.” Kent says gazing at Hope tenderly.
Hope: “Sounds like a plan. I don’t have any plants at home that need watering. With our travel schedules, I learned long ago to buy only synthetic plants. But, could someone bring our mail from the office to us in Duluth in case there’s something we have to tend to? We can check our email remotely from here on our laptops.”
Boyd: “Poor Kent, you still won’t be able to get on the slopes in Duluth.”
Kent: “Nope.” He says stressing the ‘p’ sound. “I’m off my skies for at least two months per doctor’s orders. It’s going to kill me. Skiing is such a rush!” He says putting his arm not around Hope’s shoulders in the air joyfully, and then placing his arm back down again in his lap.
Sherry: “Except when you fall on your butt like a novice.”
Kent: “Hey! I was avoiding hitting someone who skied in front of me. So, I took the ‘bullet’ and tumbled.”
Hope: “That’s right Kent. You’re my hero.” She says in a mock swoon—with her hand at her forehead–and everyone howls with laughter.
Of course, their colleagues don’t know how much Hope truly does believe that Kent is her hero. But, Sherry has an inkling. And given Kent’s history with women, Sherry hopes that Hope won’t be disappointed by Kent.
To be continued with Chapter 13
“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 13: Kent’s Recovery and Romance (R rating)
Kent is indeed in too much pain off meds—or sound asleep and comatose on meds—to be romantic with Hope while he recovers from his sprained ankle early in the week. However, they enjoy each others’ company—playing cards or watching movies when he is awake while the snow continues to fall pristinely around Galena. And, of course, they kiss and cuddle with each other adoringly. Hope is kind and caring in tending to the injured Kent. For his part, Kent is really enjoying getting to know Hope on more of a personal level—apart from their being friendly work colleagues, and now lovers.
At Kent’s Wednesday doctor’s appointment, he is pronounced on the mend, but he still has to keep his weight off of his foot. So, Kent is on crutches for another month. But that doesn’t stop Kent from taking Hope on a romantic sleigh ride Thursday night before they leave Galena for Duluth the following morning. Kent looks forward to a romantic evening with Hope after their sleigh ride to make up for lost time. And Hope, if truth be told, is also looking forward to loving Kent intimately again. Hope is only two lovemaking interludes away from being a virgin. So, she’s still on the shy side romantically. But, she hopes their lovemaking tonight will be loving and tender as their first two romantic interludes were last weekend.
Kent: Walking on crutches into their suite, Kent sits down on the arm of the couch and he motions for Hope to come to him—and she does. Then he says “Well, that was a lovely sleigh ride, Hope Darling. And the glistening snow and ice were pristinely beautiful [(4) right].”
Hope: “It was Kent Dear. But despite it being cold outside, we were warm and toasty together under the blanket.” She says leaning in to him as he wraps his arms around her and he gives her a lingering kiss on her lips and then her neck.
Kent: “You know Hope Darling, my ankle doesn’t hurt too much right now.” He says raising his eyebrows mischievously. “Care to move to the bedroom where we can be more comfortable?”
Hope: “Are you sure, Kent Dear?” She asks expectantly as she smiles at him and caresses his face. “I don’t want you to be in pain.” She says caringly.
Kent: “Not to worry my Darling.” He says caressing her backside as he pulls her to him in an even closer embrace. “I think not making love with you for one more hour will be far more painful than my ankle could ever be.” Kent smiles eagerly [(5) right] at Hope. Then Kent kisses Hope tenderly, lovingly, adoringly, and passionately.
Hope: Hope is caught up in the lovely feelings of Kent’s tender kisses and caresses and says breathily, “Oh yes Kent Dear, make love with me, please.”
Kent: “Hope Darling, make love with me. “ He says tenderly and eagerly.
Kent and Hope kiss and caress each other even more passionately through their clothing. Then Hope and Kent quickly walk and hobble into their suite’s bedroom. Hope lets Kent visit the bathroom first. He hobbles back to the bedroom on his crutches wearing only a towel and a smile. Then Hope puts a fresh ice pak on Kent’s ankle while he lays on the bed as she goes into the bathroom and changes. But Hope has a surprise for Kent–when she walks out of the bathroom, also wearing nothing but a towel and a knowing smile [(6) right].
Kent: “Well, look at you, my little temptress.” He says grinning broadly and eagerly. “Come here, my Darling Hope!”
Hope: “Now are you sure Kent? You’re not in pain?” She pouts cutely
Kent: “Get over here right now, Hope.” He growls suggestively at her.
Hope eagerly slides into bed next to Kent’s uninjured left side and they kiss and caress each other adoringly. Kent relieves Hope of her towel almost immediately and he kisses and caresses her all over. Hope also kisses and caresses Kent all over. She runs her fingers through the back of his hair while she kisses him and caresses him intimately as he lays flat on his back and she lays partially on top of him. Kent kisses Hope adoringly as he caresses her intimately.
When neither of them can delay their sensual needs any longer, Kent places a condom on himself and Hope moves to sit on top of Kent and they eagerly join their bodies together as one as they seek their loves’ fulfillment. Hope leans down every so often to kiss Kent deeply on his lips and her long hair’s loft curls gently touch Kent’s chest—which excites him even more. And Kent also kisses Hope’s beauty when she leans in to him. Hope and Kent are heartfelt and passionate lovers–their tenderness matched by their sensuous abandon. Then Hope feels close to rapturous bliss and Kent is also close to his sensual release when their bodies tremble with waves of mutual ecstasies from their lovemaking joy. Kent buries his face in Hope’s neck and kisses her adoringly, and then they kiss each other on their lips with loving abandon as they stay joined together for several moments more—trembling together in the sweet surrender of their shared love.
Afterward, Hope and Kent kiss and cuddle for a little while longer—sweetly delighting in each other’s heartfelt tenderness and in awe of the power of their love to bring them such shared joy—before falling asleep in each others’ loving arms until morning.
To be continued with Chapter 14
“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 14: Arriving in Duluth on Friday
Although Sherry gets the suite in Duluth courtesy of the magazine this week, Hope and Kent decide to change their single room reservations into a suite as well so they may stay together. Hope and Kent arrive in Duluth first and check into a suite together. Then Hope and Kent wait in the lobby of the Radisson Hotel to greet their colleagues when they arrive to check in. They are sitting on the couch together with Kent’s arm around Hope–his ankle wrapped, elevated, and iced with his crutches nearby. It is about 12:30pm on Friday, Nov. 19th, 2010. This will be a weekend to mid week assignment so that everyone may get home early on Wednesday in time for their Thanksgiving Holiday celebrations on Thursday.
Kent: “Boyd, Phyllis, good to see you!” He raises his arm in the air waving at them [(7) right].
Hope: “Yes, hello.” She waves at them cutely.
Phyllis: “Hello dears.” She smiles warmly.
Boyd: “Hi fella. How’s the ankle?” He shakes Kent’s hand warmly.
Kent: “It doesn’t throb in pain quite as much. But, I’m still on crutches for another month.”
Sherry: “Well, don’t you two look cozy.” She says eyeing Hope and Kent knowingly.
Bob: “Still there. Hello you two. Are you all checked in?” [(8) right]
Kent: “Hi Bob. Yes, we arrived about an hour ago and checked in. Then we decided to wait for you down here so we can all go to lunch upstairs. It’s got a rotating restaurant on the top floor. So you can see the whole city and Lake Superior and St. Louis Bay.”
Phyllis: “That sounds fun.”
Boyd: “Oh, here’s your mail.” He hands Kent and Hope a plastic grocery bag of combined mail.
Hope: “We’ll sort through it later.” She doesn’t say ‘in their room’ because they haven’t told their colleagues yet that she and Kent are staying in the same one bedroom suite again on this trip—let alone sleeping together.
Bob: “Well, let us get settled in our rooms and we’ll meet you up at the restaurant.”
Sherry: “Oh ho!” She says gleefully. “So, has love blossomed over a sprained ankle?” [(9) right]
Hope: “Sherry, you’ve really got to get a life of your own sweetie.” Hope tries to sound nonchalant—as much as a recently deflowered virgin can. “Here, Kent, I’ll take the mail sack and you hobble to the elevator.” And Hope and Kent start walking in the direction of the elevator.
Sherry: “So, you’re not answering my question?”
Kent: “Nope.” He says stressing the ‘p’ sound as he looks over his shoulder at Sherry and smiles. Kent finds that he quite likes being discreet—especially when it is to the consternation of his colleagues and friends.
Phyllis: Putting her hand on Sherry’s shoulder, Phyllis says in a motherly tone—though they’re about the same age. “Leave them alone, Sherry Dear.”
So everyone heads to the elevator, drops their bags or mail in their rooms, and then they head to the rotating restaurant on the top floor for lunch.
To be continued with Chapter 15
“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 15: Lunch in the Sky over Duluth on Friday
Of course Kent’s features areas for the magazine are romantic hotels and restaurants. So, he was particularly pleased to learn of the rotating restaurant with it’s scenic view at the top of their hotel. They all take their seats at a large table right next to the window.
Kent: “Let’s find our seats. Though, if you have to go to the bathroom in the center of this floor, don’t get lost trying to find us when you come back since the restaurant’s outer ring rotates a full turn every half hour.”
Hope: “Yes, I hear that in the Summer time you can watch the Wednesday night sail boat races from up here. That sounds lovely.” She says squeezing Kent’s arm as the hostess shows them to their table by the window.
Hostess: “Yes, Miss it’s really beautiful in Duluth in the Summer time—cool breezes coming off the lake and such. You and your boyfriend should come back here then when he’s feeling better and you can enjoy some of the city’s tourist attractions. There are quite a few boats going between the lake and the bay through the aerial lift bridge channel down at the wharf by Grandma’s Restaurant at that time of year.”
Of course everyone in their group notices that even a complete stranger recognizes the affectionate relationship between Hope and Kent.
Kent: “Thank you. We’ll remember that.” He says cordially as he leans his crutches against the window. Then, realizing that just the floor is what is moving—since their table is moving away from his crutches—Kent quickly moves his crutches to lean against their table.
They all place their drink orders and then they chat while looking over their menus.
Bob: “Now Kent, not to sound big brotherly,…”
Kent: “Then don’t, Bob.” He says pointedly interrupting Bob.
Boyd: “Well, we just want to make sure that our Hope is not taken advantage of.”
Hope: “Fellas, I’m sitting right here.” She says looking at her friends and colleagues in amused consternation. “And, I’m an adult, thank you. No need to worry.”
Sherry: “Yes, but you’re not as ‘experienced’ as Kent here. Well Hope, you’ve seen ‘Mr. Romance’ operate for years. Have you ever seen him with the same girl on his arm twice?”
Kent: “What’s with the ‘Mr. Romance’ nickname again? I didn’t know that I’d been reduced to a caricature of myself in your eyes.” He says somewhat put out. Then he clasps Hope’s hand in his and they smile at each other. “Hope and I are exploring a relationship together. I’ll grant you, that is new territory for me. But, we’re taking things one day at a time.”
Hope: “Yes, and our being under your microscope …” She says gesturing pointedly to all of them. “… is nerve wracking to say the least. So, can you cut us some slack?” She asks pleadingly.
Phyllis: “Alright Hope Dear. We just want you to be cautious and not get hurt.”
Kent: “Well, what about me? Is anyone concerned about my feelings?”
Sherry, Bob, Phyllis and Boyd: “No!” They all say pointedly, then they laugh. Kent pouts.
Hope: “Now Kent Dear, I care about your feelings.” Hope leans over and kisses Kent sweetly as they smile at each other.
Despite some awkwardness about the revelation of Kent and Hope ‘dating’, they all go on to have a lovely lunch. They’ll split up for the afternoon to go their separate ways and then rejoin each other at dinner.
To be continued with Chapter 16
“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 16: Mail and Naptime Friday Afternoon with Kent and Hope
After lunch, Kent and Hope decide to return to their suite to nap and rest. Kent gets tired using his crutches and he’s trying to rely less and less on the pain killers by icing and elevating more–the better to be an ‘alert’ and attentive lover for Hope. So, Hope and Kent first plop on the couch to rest a bit while also opening their mail that Boyd brought them.
Hope: “Alright, let’s see what we’ve got here.” She starts pulling the combined mail out of the bag—most of which seems to be scented pink cards to Kent from his many conquests. “Yours, yours, mine, yours, yours, yours, yours. Kent, this is almost comical. Do you really correspond with your former romantic conquests?” She asks a bit incredulously.
Kent: “Well, sometimes.” He says sheepishly. “But mostly it’s because they see the articles I write and they send a note to the office. Typically, I send the ladies one thank you note and then I don’t reply to them again. They eventually stop mailing notes to me.” Kent is being ‘honest to a fault’ with Hope.
Hope: Hope is quiet for a moment. “Kent, … how many women have you slept with?” Hope asks hesitantly–because she doesn’t really want to know.
Kent: “Well Hope, … Hhhhh. I really couldn’t say.” Kent tries to demure.
Hope: “Does that mean you’ve lost count, or that you just don’t want to tell me?” Hope wonders uncertainly.
Kent: “A little bit of both, I guess.” He says with trepidation. “Hope Darling, for most of my life, my love life has been a search for self gratification sexually.” He says honestly. “I’ve lived my life openly. Obviously, since you all refer to me as ‘Mr. Romance’.” Then he gets quiet and clasps her hands in his. “But, with you Hope, I’m enjoying exploring what it means to be with one person in an exclusive relationship. I’ve never wanted anything more in my life than wanting to be with you, Hope Darling.” Seeing Hope’s still worried face, he asks her hesitantly. “How do you feel about me?”
Hope: “I love you Kent. … But, I guess I’m like Phyllis in that regard. She doesn’t want to know about Boyd’s love life before her—and I don’t want to know about your love life before me.”
Kent: “Fair enough. I’ll go through the mail later and pull out your items and give them to you.”
Hope: Nodding her head, she says. “That’s a good idea.” Then Hope tears up.
Kent: Taking her in his arms and kissing her forehead, he asks her as he caresses her face. “What’s wrong Hope Darling?”
Hope: “I guess I naively thought that the man I fell in love with would think that I was special.”
Kent: “But Hope Darling, you are special to me.” Kent [(10) right] says caressing Hope’s face and kissing her lips tenderly. “I’ve never been in love before–and I’m in love with you, Hope.” Kent kisses Hope lovingly. “Hope, … I can’t change my past—none of us can. But our present and our future is something that we can choose for ourselves … together. I would like that.”
Hope: “I would like that, too.”
Kent and Hope kiss and cuddle for some time before moving to their bedroom to ‘nap’—which, of course, doesn’t involve any napping. Kent and Hope make love with each other sweetly, tenderly , adoringly, and passionately—as new lovers do. Then, they kiss and cuddle some more before falling asleep for their ‘real’ nap.
To be continued with Chapter 17
(1) The “Mr. Romance” story logo image representing the character of Kent Barron, is an image of the character Lucas North (as brilliantly portrayed by Richard Armitage) in Spooks series 8, episode 2 (pix 94) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode2/slides/ep2_094.html; and the cropped red hearts are courtesy of MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=red%20hearts&ctt=1#ai:MP900440293|mt:2|
(2) Kent image is Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks series 9, episode 2 (pix 64 cropped & brightened) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/Spooks9/album/episode2/album/slides/2_064.html
(3) Hope Image is of America Ferrera found at http://images.wikia.com/disney/images/d/dd/America-Ferrera.jpg
(4) Darkened snowy scene is from MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=snowfall&ctt=1#ai:MP900200954|mt:2|
(5) Kent image is of Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks series 9, episode 4 (pix 209, brightened and background manipped http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/Spooks9/album/episode4/album/slides/4_209.html
(6) Hope image in towel is a photo manip of America Ferrera found at http://www.ayushveda.com/mens-magazine/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/america_ferrera_300.jpg
(7) Images representing Phyllis and Boyd Caldwell are that of the lovely and talented Katey Sagal found at http://www.hairstyleswatch.com/UserFiles/Image/2008%20JULY/Katey%20Sagal.jpg; and the talented Ron Perlman found at http://www.nndb.com/people/064/000024989/perlman1.jpg
(8) Image representing Bob Phillips is that of the talented John Krasinski found at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1024677/
(9) Image representing Sherry Koch is that of the lovely and talented Kelley Preston found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m4fxdoRjWfw/Tk0mwzp6-dI/AAAAAAAAFQY/xI_5gmz4-Rc/s1600/aa5.jpg
(10) Kent image is Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks series 8, episode 1 (pix 125) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode1/slides/ep1_125.html
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