“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 17 & 18: Desires Fulfilled, Love out in the Open, Sep1412 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #270)
[(1) “Seeing Beauty” story logo, left]
[I will illustrate my stories with my dream cast: Richard Armitage as Keith Erickson, Mandy Moore as Lily Sherman, Matthew Perry as Brock, David Schwimmer as Jack, and Matt LeBlanc as Sam, and the late Jessica Tandy as Hazel, and Leelee Sobieski as Mercedes. etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Seeing Beauty” is a nontraditional romantic love story set amidst contemporary times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes or other sauciness (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read those chapters. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Keith caringly soothed Lily after the vicious Mercedes verbally attacked Lily for her chubbiness Saturday afternoon. And though Keith had hoped to demonstrate the sincerity of his love for Lily by making love with her, Lily revealing to him that she is a virgin and needs him to slow down their relationship progression was sobering to him. But only up to a point, because Keith is a virile man who has been without tender affections for over four months since he broke up with Mercedes before his accident. But to puncture Lily’s nervousness, Keith poked fun at himself and his libido while also respectfully restraining his embraces and caresses of her. Then Keith and Lily had a lovely dinner at the private rehab spa’s upscale restaurant and then a moonlit chat that lead to some more lovely kissing. Keith wants to make love with Lily so much his body aches for her–however much he is trying to restrain his lustful impulses for her sake. And Lily is beginning to realize that Keith’s love for her is genuine and sincere–not merely because he is grateful for her help and support in the early stages of his recovery from his injuries. And, Lily is awakening to the knowledge that she also desires Keith–she has just never experienced making love, so she is quite shy. But after kisses that left neither of them wondering if they wanted and desired each other, Keith and Lily slowly walk back to Keith’s suite around 8:00pm on Saturday evening.
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 17 (R rated): Desires Fulfilled
Keith and Lily slowly walk back inside the spa’s restaurant–intending to head to Keith’s suite of rooms to give them greater privacy as they continue to discuss and explore their developing relationship with each other. Keith is hobbling gamely on his crutches, but Lily lightly holds his elbow as they walk–as if they are taking a lovely stroll together. They pass several people who had seen them earlier together, kissing on the couch in the hallway after the Mercedes incident. But the other residents merely smile and nod at them, pleased to see such a young couple in love as Keith and Lily obviously are. And being in a loving relationship is new for both of them.
Keith opens his suite door and motions for Lily to enter ahead of him. Lily doesn’t know what will happen between she and Keith. She doesn’t know what she wants to happen. Lily just feels that being here with Keith, tonight, is where she needs and wants to be. Then upon both of them entering his suite, Keith closes and locks his door to insure their privacy–fully intending and hoping to be in for the night, with Lily. Were he and Lily to embrace right now, she would begin to understand his desire for her since his arousal is almost complete.
As before, they each visit his bathroom in turn–to brush their teeth and such. When Keith is in his bathroom, he hesitates for only a moment–sensing and hoping that their evening might turn very loving–and he slips a condom onto himself, just in case. Keith knows that it is bold of him given Lily’s stated virginity–and he will not pressure her to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. And there is also the hurdle of her shyness with regard to her chubbiness that he must ease her over. Keith adores Lily’s curves–she just has to believe that she is desirable to Keith. So Keith resolves to make sure Lily knows the depths of his love and his eagerness for her in his bed. And they have had such a lovely and loving time so far this evening that Keith is hopeful of her returning his desire. But whatever happens between he and Lily tonight–merely cuddling, making out, or making love–Keith knows that they will be on a path toward sharing their lives with each other. And this thought makes him shudder with delighted anticipation.
When Keith returns to his sitting room area, he finds Lily already sitting on the large and deep soft brown leather couch with her hands folded loosely in her lap. She looks up at him and smiles shyly. Of course, Keith’s vision is still fuzzy–even when things are close up. And the lights are low–just one end table lamp across the room. So he can’t see her smile. But Keith senses Lily’s continuing shyness in her silence. But since Lily could have easily left his suite if she wanted to while he was in the bathroom, her staying tells Keith that she wants to be here with him, tonight. And the wine they had at dinner has made both Keith and Lily feel relaxed–alleviating some of the tension that both of them felt earlier right after the Mercedes incident. Keith joins Lily on the couch and wraps his arms around her as she nestles into his side. They sit sweetly embracing like this for a few moments–just enjoying holding each other. Such tenderness has been lacking in Keith’s life–and in Lily’s–so their sweetness together now is like a balm for their souls.
Keith: “Lily, I’m so glad that we found each other.” He gently kisses her forehead as he rubs her back.
Lily: “Me too.” She says looking up at him.
They gaze at each other–Lily becoming lost within Keith’s deep blue eyes. And Keith memorizing the features that he can make out–her bangs, her cute upturned nose, her full lips, etc. Lily has beautifully lips that Keith leans down and softly brushes her lips with his lips as he caresses her face. Lily responds with lightly and sweetly kissing him. The slowness of Keith’s kisses with Lily are both tantalizing and frustrating for each of them. Keith wants to let Lily decide how intimate they will be tonight. But for Lily who has never been intimate with anyone, she doesn’t know what to do–she doesn’t know how to make love, nor how to convey to Keith that that is her wish.
After a few minutes more of sweetly tender kisses, Keith and Lily begin to kiss each other with more ardor and desire–adoringly, lovingly, and passionately as they lie down on the couch together and cuddle. The couch is long for Keith’s long legs and spacious enough to hold two people comfortably. And Keith feels a little naughty for making out with Lily on the couch–though he doesn’t know how far she will want to go tonight. He was always too tall to make out in the back seat of his car when he was a teen. So he almost feels as if they are making up for it. And if Keith could read Lily’s thoughts now, he would know that she is on the cusp of welcoming his loving attentions.
Though each time Keith kisses and caresses Lily a bit more intimately–stroking and caressing her round tush, kissing her chest lower and closer to the neckline of her dress, etc.–Lily gasps and Keith retreats. Though Keith finds Lily’s reticence and shyness to make love with him a tad frustrating, he also finds that his senses are heightened with the anticipation of their eventual coming together as one. Lily is both Keith’s exquisite torment and his delicate delight. And from their vantage point of intertwined–but fully clothed–bodies, Lily can tell just how ardent Keith’s passions really are through the soft fabric of his dress trousers as their bodies press together.
Keith: Then Keith has a thought that might be a compromise of sorts for Lily–a middle ground between making out as they are doing now and making love with each other. So, he perks up his eyebrow and says mischievously as he continues to kiss her lips, her cheek, her neck, and her decolletage’s dress neckline. “You know Lily, we can still be fully clothed—well mostly—and still make out with each other and make love with each other.
Lily: “Really? What do you mean?” Sensuality is a completely new territory for Lily.
And Lily’s question wasn’t really meant to elicit a demonstration from Keith–but that is what he gives her. Keith wraps his arms around Lily and he kisses her longingly, lustfully, and lovingly as they lay side by side facing each other on the deep leather couch, their legs intertwining together now–taking care not to jostle his injured leg. All the while Keith’s hands caress Lily everywhere—her face, her neck, her shoulders, and then her full round breasts. Lily gasps at feeling intimacies that she has never felt before–yet she thrills to them. And Keith is being patient and letting her decide if they will continue.
Lily’s hands are lightly caressing Keith shoulders and arms through his dress shirt fabric–even as she kisses the hollow at the base of his neck, just above a small patch of chest hair. Lily’s tender touch of Keith is both shy and innately sensual. Though Lily might be a virgin, she is a loving soul. And Lily loves Keith and she wants to be with him–despite that she feels that she is choosing to amend her beliefs and values about pre-marital relations. Afterall, she is a 28 year old adult–a lady who makes her own decisions.
Keith pulls Lily flush against him and he hears her gasp.
She can be in no doubt now of his loving ardor as their bodies mold together so closely not even a whisper could pass between them. And Keith’s arousal presses against Lily–through their clothing.
Keith: “My darling Lily, do you want me to stop?” He asks as he leaves a trail of kisses on her neck, but he hopes she says no.
Lily: Breathing deeply, she says in a small voice. “No.” And Keith can hear the tremble in her voice.
Then Keith kisses Lily’s soft and supple loveliness through her blouse and Lily trembles with Keith’s loving touches. She gasps again.
Lily: “Hhhh! Oh!!!”
Keith: “You are so beautiful, Lily.”
Keith kisses her deeply as his hands continue to stroke and caress and tease and excite his Lily. Keith’s hands also move lower over her clothes to the center of her womanhood. But Keith hesitates–not wanting to scare Lily by moving too fast for her. But she is not pushing him away and her sighs beckon him to continue his loving ministrations. Lily’s hands are resting on his hips, but not going lower. But Keith needs her to, wants her to–even as he needs and wants to caress Lily in loving and lustful ways. Keith leans back a bit from Lily, letting her decide if their kisses and caresses will lead them to make love with each other–however difficult it is for Keith to hold himself in check.
Lily instinctively snuggles closer to Keith–returning their bodies to total contact with each other, except for their clothing. And Keith has his answer from Lily on whether they will make love this night. Then Keith takes Lily’s hand and he guides it down his abdomen. Lily’s eyes widen at feeling the full measure of his desire for her–even as Keith lovingly caresses her. For a few moments, Keith and Lily are locked together in a fusion of deeply passionately kisses and urgently sensual caresses. Lily has never felt such pleasure as she is feeling now. But she senses that this feeling will grow stronger. Keith is lost in a whirl of these loving intimacies that he and his Lily are sharing together. Lily runs her fingers through his hair as his hands slip underneath her skirt to lessen the fabric separating them. They both moan in pleasure. Keith knows that even if he and Lily don’t have intercourse, his body will soon shudder with his sensual release all the same due to the nearness of her and his loving feelings for her. Then, Lily begins to feel her body’s tinglings tremble into waves of blissful pleasure that she has never felt before.
Lily: “Oh Keith!” She sighs, clinging to him as their lovemaking brings her exquisite joy.
Keith: Then Keith also experiences waves of blissful ecstasy, and he cries out. “Oh Lily! I love you so.”
Lily: “I love you so, Keith.” She kisses him sweetly, still trembling with his love.
Keith and Lily kiss and cuddle for a little while after making love. But making love fully clothed has its practical implications and they each need to visit the bathroom. Keith lets Lily visit the bathroom first. Then when she returns to the couch, Keith goes into the bathroom and removes his clothes, the condom, and he washes up. He puts a towel around his naked abdomen and a smile on his face and he returns to Lily in the sitting room. At the sight of seeing the nearly naked, muscular, and oh so handsome Keith hobbling toward her on his crutches, Lily almost raptures in ecstasy again. Keith lays down next to Lily on the couch, keeping the towel around him—but barely. Then, they kiss and cuddle some more as they talk.
Keith: “Lily, how do you feel?” He smiles tenderly.
Lily: Injecting some humor into the situation, Lily says truthfully. “Like a fallen woman—but in a very good way.”
Keith: Rocking his head back in laughter, Keith says. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Well, let’s hope so! I guess I haven’t lost my touch.” He says raising his eyebrows mischievously. Then Keith tenderly kisses Lily on her lips again.
Lily: “Oh my no!” She says kissing him adoringly and Lily and Keith kiss each other deeply for several minutes. Of course, Lily has no other point of comparison for their lovemaking–she just knows how Keith makes her feel, loved. Then she asks him shyly. “How … do you feel, Keith?”
Keith: “Wonderful!” Keith kisses Lily adoringly. “Though us eventually making love traditionally will be very lovely, …” He kisses her sweetly. “… making love creatively as we did just now is quite nice in the meantime.” He says caressing her tenderly and kisses her adoringly.
Lily: “Yes.” Lily sighs breathlessly while blushing profusely—wondering if she is technically still a virgin or not? And if she and Keith continue to love each other as they have just now, isn’t that just as sexual as if they were having intercourse? It is a moral dilemma that she has not had to face before. The decision to be a sexual being or not was never hers to make–until now.
Keith: “I love you, Lily. I want to be with you always.” Keith wants to ask Lily to marry him. But, he’s still just learning how to be a blind guy, even if his sight is starting to come back a little bit. And Keith is reticent about that—not wanting to burden Lily with his blindness.
Lily: “I love you, Keith. I want to be with you always.” But nagging at the back of Lily’s mind is what Mercedes said, that Keith wouldn’t want her if he could see, … that Keith won’t want her when he can see.
Both Lily and Keith are a little uncertain and shy about themselves—though they are clear about their feelings for each other. They love each other deeply. They just have to navigate from that place of loving peace and calm to being with each other out in the world—as the blind guy and the chubby gal—when society’s norms of health and beauty are not always kind. So, they spend the rest of the evening just cuddling in their own little haven of Keith’s suite of rooms. And, then they make love again, creatively—with a little less clothing on Lily’s part this time, and on Keith’s more spacious bed–before Lily leaves for home for the night.
To be continued with Chapter 18
“Seeing Beauty”, Ch. 18 (G rated): Love Out in the Open
(Though Sunday afternoons are still when Keith’s buddies would visit, after they had sent Mercedes to see him yesterday—and the hurtful things that Mercedes said to Lily—Keith is in no mood to see his friends. In fact, Keith has told the private rehab and spa administration their names–including Mercedes–and they are not to be admitted to see him. So, Keith and Lily arrange for him to go to church with her this Sunday morning and then they’ll go out for lunch before going to his place to spend the afternoon together. Lily picks Keith up around 9:00am and then drives them to her church’s 9:30am worship services. Keith hasn’t been to a church in a long time. However, Lily’s faith is every important to her. So, Lily helps Keith with various parts of the ritual—including navigating communion—and then they head to the Parish Hall to chat with people after church over coffee and cake. Keith is still on crutches, and he can’t stand for long periods, so he sits down while Lily gets them some coffee and cake. Then, the gray haired Episcopal minister walks over to greet Keith.
Pastor Nels Swearingen: “Hello young man. You’re new today. I’m Pastor Nels Swearingen, but everyone just calls me Paster Nels.” He says extending his hand warmly to Keith.
Keith: “Hello, sir. Sorry that I can’t get up. My leg is still healing from surgery after I was hit by a car over a month ago.” He says extending his hand that the minister shakes. “I’m Keith Erickson.”
Pastor Nels: “So, I see. Our Lily has brought you to visit with us today. Are you one of her rehab patients that she volunteers with?”
Keith: He blushes, not wanting to get Lily in trouble if someone thinks there is a conflict of interest, Keith says. “I used to be, but we became friends and now we’re …”
Lily: “Hello Pastor Nels.” Lily interrupts Keith–her face slightly pink in embarrassment with having her boyfriend with her at church–as she sets down their coffee mugs. “Keith, here’s your coffee.” She guiding his hand to the mug’s handle.
Keith: “Thank you Lily.” Keith clasps her hand in his and kisses it.
Lily: Blushing she says as her other hand pats Keith’s muscular shoulder. “I’ll just go back to get us some coffee cake.”
Pastor Nels: “Uh. You were saying my boy? About your relationship with Lily?” Pastor Nels can now see that Keith is also visually challenged—with Lily guiding his hand to his coffee mug. And, of course, Pastor Nels can tell that Keith is quite handsome. Though Lily is very attractive, Keith is not someone usually seen with their sweet Lily, due to her chubbiness. Even ministers know the ways of the world and society’s norms about who seemingly fits together.
Keith: Ministers get right to the point, Keith thinks. “Yes, Lily and I …”
Lily: “Here we are.” Lily interrupts Keith again while setting down their coffee cakes and now sitting next to Keith. Lily and Keith haven’t discussed how much to reveal about their relationship to her friends—especially given the reaction from his friends. So, Lily is a little shy and embarrassed at the moment—especially since she and Keith technically made love yesterday, twice, and they aren’t married–nor even formally engaged.
Pastor Nels: “Lily Dear, your friend Keith was just starting to tell me a little bit about himself and your relationship.”
Keith: “Yes, but Lily’s been good at interrupting me both times.” Keith says warmly as he puts his arm around Lily’s shoulders. “As you can probably tell, I also lost my sight in the accident. But that’s coming back slowly. I’m hoping to be on the mend soon.”
Pastor Nels: “I see.” He says absentmindedly and not trying to make a pun.
Lily: “Yes, Pastor Nels. Keith says that his vision is still fuzzy, like an impressionist painting—a very artistic description if you ask me.” Lily says warmly while smiling at Keith as they hold hands.
Keith: “Yes but I can see things more clearly when they’re within a foot of my face.” And Keith leans over to Lily, smiles at her and then he kisses her cheek sweetly.
Pastor Nels: “Well. That’s nice.” The minister doesn’t know what else to say until Lily and Keith choose to reveal their relationship to him and others more formally.
Keith: “I might have more brain surgery to see if they can more fully repair the damage done to my optic nerve in the accident. But, that’s several months down the way—after Lily has her surgery. We can’t both be patients at the same time.” He laughs.
Pastor Nels: “Your surgery, Lily Dear?”
Keith regrettably realizes instantly that he’s shared something that Lily had kept private and he regrets having mentioned it.
Lily: A bit embarrassedly, she says. “Oh yes, well. With my weight loss, I’ll need to have the skin reduction surgery—that’s slated for May 18th, after school gets out. I’ll be recovering for a month after that.” Then she brightens, trying to put a positive spin on things. “So, with any luck, I’ll be all healed and ready for the beach by Summer.”
Keith: “Hmmm. “ Keith says smiling and raising his eyebrows. “Yes Lily, maybe we can take a trip to Florida to celebrate.” Keith says gleefully at the prospect of Lily being in less clothing.
Pastor Nels: “Well, I’m sure we’re all glad that Summer is coming soon.” He says warmly. “I’ll see you two around.”
Lily: “Bye Pastor Nels.”
Keith: “Nice meeting you.” Keith nods his head. Then, when Keith sees that the Pastor’s visual blob has walked far enough away, Keith turns quickly to Lily and whispers. “I’m so sorry Lily. I didn’t mean to breach your confidence. I didn’t realize that Pastor Nels might not have known about your upcoming surgery.”
Lily: “That’s alright, Keith.” Lily sighs. “It’s just that I haven’t really broadcast it. My nurse friends—Theresa and Sally–at the hospital rehab unit know. But most people don’t really pay attention and notice that I’ve lost weight.”
Keith: “But, Lily, if you’ve lost 70 pounds like you say you have, shouldn’t they have noticed it?” He thinks because she would look quite different.
Lily: “Keith, most people are caught up in their own little worlds.” Then she gets somber again. “Besides, however much weight I lose, I’m still chubby. So, that’s how people will always see me.” And she wonders if that’s how Keith will always see her.
Keith: “Lily Darling, …” He says tenderly while gently caressing her face. “… someone being tall or short, or chubby or skinny is just a descriptor. It’s not a value statement about that person’s worth.”
Lily: “Oh, but it is Keith.” She says quietly, trying not to tear up. “You haven’t lived my life. I’ve lived in a world where physical appearance and beauty is judged every minute of every day. … And I have been found … wanting.” Of course, it is quite ironic that Keith as an advertising executive has contributed to the mediated norms of beauty. And Keith winces, without Lily seeing him do that. “I’ve had to navigate and negotiate my life to find a place for myself in a world that I don’t readily fit into–sometimes literally with too narrow theatre seating and such.” Lily now has a single tear falling from her left eye. “But, I feel blessed to have as normal a life as most people would wish for with my career and my volunteering and such.”
Keith: “Oh Lily.” He says caressing her face, now truly understanding Lily’s life more fully. “You know that I love you, Lily. You are beautiful to me! In every way imaginable.” Keith kisses Lily’s cheek and she blushes.
Then a small toddler girl with pretty colored bows in her hair skips over to Keith and Lily and interrupts their deep conversation.
ToddlerGirl Keira: “Lilla!” She says since Lily is too hard for Keira to pronounce. Then Keira holds her arms up, wanting to be held.
Lily: “Oh, Keira sweetie. Don’t you look cute!” She says lifting the little girl into her lap. “Keith, this is Keira. I babysit her sometimes in the church’s nursery during the worship service.”
Keith: “Hello Keira, I’m Keith.” He smiles and shakes Keira’s little hand.
Tgirl Keira: Snuggling against Lily’s chest, Keira asks pointing at Keith. “Lilla boyfend?”
Keith: He laughs. “See Lily, even little ones can tell that we’re a couple.” He smiles impishly.
Lily: Blushing, she says. “Yes Keira, Keith is my boyfriend. Where’s your Mommy?”
Tgirl Keira: “There.” Keira says waving at her pretty Mommy chatting with someone else. Then Keira’s Mommy stands up and walks over to them.
Keira’s Mommy Carol: “I see Keira’s found her favorite lady. Good morning Lily. It’s lovely to see you again.” She smiles warmly at Lily as she lifts Keira into her arms.
Lily: “Hi Carol. It’s good to see you, too.” Lily says, now standing up–partly out of politeness and partly because she looks slimmer standing. “Let me introduce you to my … friend, Keith.”
Keith: He stands courteously and he leans on his crutches. “Hello Carol, lovely to meet you.”
Tgirl Keira: “Lilla boyfend.” She points at him.
Keith: Keith laughs and Lily blushes. “That’s right, Keira.” Keith says putting his arm around Lily’s shoulders.
KM Carol: “Oh how nice! I knew one day someone would snap you up, Lily. You’re just too sweet and kind not to have a boyfriend.” Carol smiles at Lily sincerely. Carol is pretty by society’s current standards of beauty—but Carol also has an especially kind and loving heart, thinks Lily.
Keith: “My thoughts, exactly.” Keith kisses Lily on her forehead as his arm slides down to and squeezes her back and waist—and Lily’s arm tentatively goes around Keith’s waist.
KM Carol: “Well, I hope we see more of you two in the coming weeks.” Carol says to Keith and then she and Keira wave as they walk away from Keith and Lily.
Keith: “They seem nice Lily. And that little girl is adorable.”
Lily: “She is.” Then she looks at him quizzically. “Keith, could you see Keira?”
Keith: “Lily, I may be legally blind. But, I’m seeing things more clearly than I ever have before. … Besides, aren’t all toddlers cute?”
Then Keith leans down and softly kisses Lily tenderly on her lips—right there in the Parish Hall that is bustling with people in it. The kiss does not go unnoticed by Pastor Nels or Keira’s Mommy Carol—and they both smile, glad for Lily.”
To be continued with Chapter 19
(1) The “Seeing Beauty” story logo is a composite of:
a) Image representing Keith Erickson is that of British actor Richard Armitage as Lucas North in the BBC’s Spooks (2008 – 2010), series 8 promo, pix 15 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spookspromo/album/slides/series8-15.html
b) Image representing Lily Sherman is that of American actress Mandy Moore and was found at http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Mandy-Moore-mandy-moore-661788_1024_768.jpg ; NB: I chose Ms. Moore to represent this character not because she is fat or chubby–far from it–but because she has a fresh faced innocence and sincerity that reflects the goodness of this character. Any pre weight loss Lily images could be handled with makeup and costuming.
Previous Story post