“Love & Friendship”, Ch.1-2: New Friends & Colleagues; New Roommates, 11/26/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #313)

“Love & Friendship”, Ch.1-2:  New Friends & Colleagues; New Roommates,   11/26/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #313)

An Original Story Copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace (all rights reserved)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my “ideal” actors cast in these roles:

British actor Richard Armitage and American actress Diane Lane and others.]

[(1ab) Story Logo]

Author’s Mature Content Note:  “Love & Friendship” is a 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.

Prologue:   Who is to say where friendship ends and love begins?  And is one preferable to the other?  Those in love would say, yes.   Those who are merely friends, might say no.  But in reality, can a man and a woman remain friends when they find that their friendship is not enough?  And how do you make that bridge from being friends to being lovers?  Because once you are lovers, there is no going back–there is only going forward, one day at a time.  The path from friendship to a lifetime of love is at the heart of our story.

“Love & Friendship”, Ch. 1:  New Friends & Colleagues

New beginnings allow us to dream of the possibilities and to start our lives on a new path.  For the lovely and talented story writer 48 year old Lydia Baker pursuing her new screenwriting career is her goal when she flies over to London, England on a chillingly crisp first day of November 2010, a Monday.  Professional screenwriting is a new career adventure for her–risking all for a new life.  Lydia is both excited and filled with dread.  The what ifs run through Lydia’s mind endlessly as she tries to distract herself from thinking that she is flying in a metal tube that could fall out of the sky at any moment.  What if they don’t like her script stories?  What if they like her script stories, but they don’t want her to be the one to rewrite them for film production?   What if the one person she wants to meet most in the world, is too busy to take a meeting with her?  What if she doesn’t pursue this opportunity?   Ah, see that’s the thing.  In Lydia’s mind, regret for not trying would be more grievous than trying and not succeeding.

Besides, pessimism is not Lydia’s style.  She is a perpetual optimist.   And if he does deign to take a meeting with her, Lydia hopes that her admiration for her muse—the extremely talented and oh so handsome 40 year old British actor Robert Kensington [(2) right]–might blossom into a working relationship with him as colleagues, and maybe more. Well, you have to suspend your disbelief in stories.  Right?  So, suspend away.

Of course, meeting one’s creative muse in the flesh is not necessarily something that everyone is able to do—nor that they are prepared for.  The inevitable stage fright sets in because you so want the moment that you meet to be memorable–but in a good way, not in a I fainted and became a puddle of womanly essence at his feet and drooled way. So, Lydia tries not to let her mind wander over into wish fulfillment territory too much–lest she psyche herself out of meeting him, Robert Kensington.  However if “dreams are wishes that your heart makes” [(3)], then Lydia has big dreams and a caring heart full of wishes.

However, in Lydia Baker’s [(4) right],  case, she knows logically and rationally that despite her admiration for Robert Kensington’s amazing talent as a versatile and exquisitely talented actor—not to mention his oh so charming and devilishly handsome self—he is way out of her league romantically.  Not the least of which is because, Lydia is a few years older than Robert.  Okay, Lydia is several years older than Robert.  But, she has held up well—despite back injuries that keeps her sidelined from too much physical exercise beyond swimming or light stretching—and her skin and complexion is creamy and not wrinkled much at all since she religiously uses moisturizers at night and sun block when she’s outside.  Lydia is pleasant to look at with her refined use of comestics giving her a patrician look–rather than spackling on the make up as so many women do, compounding skin issues they are trying to hide.  Lydia is even quite attractive many would say with her sweet face, her long silky brunette hair, and her womanly curvy petite figure.  But Lydia knows that she is not young, skinny, and stunningly beautiful like the women that tend to grace Robert’s arm in his movies and on the red carpet.   Therefore, he is not on her radar romantically.

So today, Lydia gets to meet him today, the object of her affection, the wish of her romantic dreams, her muse, her Robert.  She just has to pluck up the courage to do so.  Lydia is picked up at her London hotel by Robert Kensington’s agents’ hired limo and it takes her to their downtown London offices.  A male student intern greeter meets Lydia at the entrance RobertImageisRichardArmitageinGlamour-22Dec2812ranetcropshrphisresto the building and guides her to the agency’s suite of offices.  Lydia stops at the ladies room on the way where she makes some last minute adjustments to her hair and makeup.  Then she and the fresh faced intern walk to the conference room.  As Lydia walks into the conference room with its wall of windows on one side, she sees the back of him, Robert Kensington [(4b) right], looking out the window at an expansive view of London.

Intern:  “Ms. Baker, I’ll leave you now for your meeting.”  The student nods and smiles, then leaves.

Lydia:  “Thank you.”   She says politely to the intern, but her gaze is already locked onto Robert’s silhouette framed in the window as he still faces away from her.

Robert:  Hearing that Lydia has arrived, Robert [(5) right] turns to greet her with what she feels is his blindingly warm and welcoming smile as he walks toward her.   “Oh, hello!  Lovely to meet you.  I’m Robert Kensington.”    He says charmingly and politely.

Lydia:  Yup, it’s her Robert.  Lydia wonders amusingly if he really thinks that she won’t know who he is?  Here he is, this well known British actor–with a large fan base and media articles written about him too numerous to count–and he greets her like an everyday bloke, as the Brits would say. Lydia is utterly charmed and instantly put at ease by his self effacing manner.  “Hello, I’m Lydia Baker.  It’s lovely to meet you.”

They shake hands.  And a bit of static electricity shocks them from Robert walking across the carpeted floor.

Robert:  “Ooh.  Sorry about that.  It’s awfully dry this time of year.  So, we get that a lot.”  He smiles at her warmly.

Lydia:  And she thought it was the lightening bolt hitting her–electric shock waves of sexual energy from the romantic heartthrob of her dreams.  But she has to regain her composure—and her dignity.  So Lydia [(6) right]  tells herself to snap out of it–that Robert will never be interested in her romantically, so she should just get over it.  That little pep talk to herself does the trick and she returns to being herself—without the fan worship—using self deprecating humor to lighten the moment.   “Aw.  And I thought it was a lightening bolt hitting me from your super star wattage electricity.”   She bats her eyes at him amusingly.

Robert:  “Ha ha ha!  You’re funny!”   Robert laughs.

Lydia:  Lydia realizes that Robert doesn’t think of himself as a superstar with high wattage electricity shooting  worship me beams from his temples.  No Robert has always rather eschewed the trappings of celebrity in favor of thinking of himself as a working journeyman actor.   “It pays the bills.”  She answers forthrightly and he nods his head in agreement–about their mutual profession in creativity.

Robert:  “Shall we sit to discuss your scripts, Lydia?”   They do sit, but not at the large impersonal conference table.  Rather, they sit in the club chairs by the windows with the view.   “May I get you something to drink?  Water or coffee or tea?”

Lydia:   “Whatever is handy is fine.  The water over there will do.  Thank you.”  He stands and walks over to retrieve her beverage and coming back he hands her the chilled water bottle and a glass.  She thinks that Robert is courteous and well mannered, too.  Whomever ends up with Robert as a life partner will be a very lucky woman, indeed.  Pouring her water into a glass, she asks him cheekily.   “Aren’t you having any?”  Raising her water glass.  “I always hate to drink alone.”   She says poking fun at herself again.

Robert:  “Ha ha ha!”  He laughs again.   “I can tell that you have a lighthearted way about you, Lydia.  Are you sure that you’re not a comedy writer, rather than a romance writer?”

Lydia:  “Well Robert, I do pride myself on writing light and flirty banter between the romantic leads in my scripts—in addition to the deeply emotional moments they share.  Love should be fun.  If you’re going to spend your life with someone, you should at least enjoy it.”

Robert:  “Well put.”   He nods his head and smiles at her.  “You know Lydia, you might just be embarking on a new trend in romantic script writing—love born of deep emotions, yes, but also with intelligence, wit, and charm.”

Lydia:   “Thank you!  Ooh, but Robert.  You know each time you pay me a compliment, I will have to increase my writer’s salary requests to your production company.”   She smiles at him impishly and he laughs.  “You’re making my salary negotiations very easy for me.  All I have to say is ask Robert’, he’ll say I’m worth it’.”   She gestures to him coquettishly while raising her eye brow at him.

Robert:  “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  Robert rocks his head back in laughter. “Lydia, you’re a riot–not at all what I expected.”

Lydia:   “Oh?  You had expectations of me, Robert?”   She asks him quizzically astonished.   “I mean, it’s not like I have a web presence like you do that takes up a big chunk of internet space and band width, you know.”

Robert:  Looking sheepishly at her he says.   “Well, most writers I meet are smoking something—legal or otherwise—unkempt, foul mouthed, worse smelling, and hard drinking.”

Lydia:  “Gee thanks Robert.”  She blanches amusingly.   “It’s nice to know that you set the bar so low in your expectations of me.”    She says nonplussed and he laughs.   “Frankly, I’m happy to fail on all counts.  I don’t smoke, I hope I look tidy, I try to refrain from using vulgar language, darn it.”  He chuckles.  “I did shower this morning–just for our meeting.”  She smiles sweetly.  “And the only alcohol that touches these lips is communion wine.”   Lydia gently touches her lips flirtatiously.

Of course, Lydia and Robert are exchanging light and flirty banter with each other like mad—exactly like Lydia writes for her characters.  Lydia couldn’t have scripted it better herself.  But then, real life is always better than the fantasy.

Robert:  “So Lydia, now that we’ve broken the ice, why don’t I take you out to lunch and we can get to know each other a little bit more?”   Robert says in his deeply timberous velvety baritone voice.

Lydia:  “But Robert, aren’t we meeting with your agents to discuss my scripts–and you possibly producing and starring in them?”   She asks him quizzically.

Robert:  “Well Lydia, I guess we’re not very good negotiators.  We already like your scripts.  So, we’ll have our solicitors talk to your solicitors about the contracts and the three picture pay or play details and such.  So, you and I can just talk and get to know each other more over lunch.  Sound fair?”  He stands up and holds his hand out to her.

Lydia:   “Works for me.”   Lydia takes his hand and she stands up.   “I have to say Robert, this has been the easiest job interview that I’ve ever been on.”   She says nonplussed.

Robert:  “Oh?  And I thought you were interviewing us.”   He smiles mischievously as he tucks her hand around his arm.   “Now, let’s go eat, Lydia.  I’m famished.  I did a lot of running stunts this morning.  So, I need to replace some carbs before I keel over in a dead faint.”

Lydia:  “By all means, Robert.  Please do nourish yourself.  Since I’m much shorter than you are, there is no way that I can hold you up were you to keel over.  You’ll probably break something—on me—were you to fall on top of me.”

Of course, Lydia saying this puts the image in each of their minds of Robert’s body being on top of Lydia’s body.  She tries not to blush, but fails miserably.  Robert charmingly blushes a bit, too.   Again, Lydia has to remind herself that the hunky heartthrob Robert, no doubt, has dozens—scratch that, hundreds–of beautiful women at his sexual beck and call would he wish it, and tens of thousands more who wish they were.  So, Robert is not likely to think of her in a romantic way any time this century.

However, if Lydia could read Robert’s thoughts, she would find him more pleasantly engaged in admiring Lydia’s silky shoulder length brunette hair, her sweet and friendly face, and her feminine cream colored ruffly blouse under her navy vest and matching skirt that frame her soft womanly curves nicely.  What Lydia doesn’t know is that with Robert being the very busy action adventure hero dramatic actor of the moment–and with him being hounded by the media all the time—that doesn’t always mean that he has the time nor the privacy to get the girl, on screen or off.




Refreshingly thinks Lydia, Robert takes her to a small out of the way French restaurant for lunch—rather than the stereotypical English pub she always hears about in the movies.  They chat while they’re waiting for their meals to arrive after placing their orders.

Lydia:  “Robert, this restaurant is really lovely.  Thank you for bringing me here.”

Robert:  Robert sees her approvingly surprised expression and asks her.   “So, did you think that we Brits only eat out at pubs and bars—with a pint in one hand and our fish and chips in the other?”    He laughs.

Lydia:  She laughs and smiles looking down at the fine china and silverware on the cloth covered dining table they’re sitting out.   “Busted, Robert!  Ha!    But, I think it’s mostly because women tend to appreciate fine dining experiences more than men do.”   He looks at her askance.   “Not to say that you can’t appreciate the finer things in life.  But women are brought up—at least in my family—to know and appreciate quality china, silver, crystal and such.”

Robert:  “Now, you’re not telling me that you’re an American heiress, are you?  Maybe we should rethink those salary negotiations.”  Robert [(7) right] smiles at her with a slight tilt of his head and bemused smirk on his lips.

Lydia:  “Nooooo, not at all.”   She shakes her head smiling at him.   “It’s just that my Mother had a few fine things that she passed along to my sister and I that we treasure.  Although I will say, that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped wanting to have jewelry from each of the major gem groups, or place settings for twelve in my china and silver patterns.  I’ve just become too practical and frugal I’m afraid.  And people don’t entertain so preciously anymore.  We tend to focus on the food, friendship, and easy clean up—and paper plates and plastic forks and spoons are good enough for that.”

Robert:  He laughs.   “I know what you mean.  I live my life eating mostly craft services meals on film sets.  It’s fantastic food—to rival any chef’s creation.  But, it’s always served on paper or styrofoam or plastic–not very good for the planet.  But we employ a lot of people so that hopefully evens out the damage we’re doing.”    They both laugh.

Lydia:  “Yet, you seem to be able to maintain an athletic physique, Robert.”  She notices appreciatively and Robert raises his eyebrow.  “So the food must be nutritious as well.”

Robert:  He rolls his eyes.  “Don’t let me fool you, Lydia.  I have to work very hard to keep the pounds off.  Believe me, if I weren’t an actor and on screen all the time, I’d chuck the exercising and very happily look like a slug.”   He raises his eyebrows and opens his blue eyes wide.

Lydia:  She giggles and places her hand on Robert’s muscular forearm resting on the table near her.  “Ha ha ha!  Robert, I’m trying to picture you as an out of shape heartthrob, and it’s just not coming to mind.”   She says shaking her head, while laughing in disbelief.

Robert:  “Have you seen pictures of my slightly chubby and thin haired dad?”  He pulls back his hairline with one hand, puffs up his face and sticks out his gut with his other arm out in front of him measuring his future gut expanse.  “Well, that’s me in thirty years.”  He says with a deadpan voice as he looks at her in mock horror.  Then he rocks his head back in laughter.  “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Lydia:  “Oh Robert!   Ha ha ha ha ha!” She collapses into more giggles.   “You’ve really missed your calling.  You’re the one who’s a riot.  You’re hysterically funny.”   Lydia marvels that such a handsome man as Robert has no vanity whatsoever about his appearance.

Robert and Lydia’s lunch proceeds along much the same lines—comedic ones that is—as they banter back and forth with each other amusingly and comfortably.  Their meal is scrumptious and their conversation and their laughter infectious.  In fact, they end up spending the whole afternoon at the French restaurant just talking and having fun.   Who knew that two such different people from different countries on different continents could make such a friendly and fun loving connection as Robert and Lydia are doing?  Well maybe, Lydia and Robert must not be that different after all.

To be continued with Chapter 2



“Love & Friendship”, Ch. 2 (PG-13): Lydia decides to stay in England and she finds a new roommate

Robert’s and Lydia’s representatives hammer out the contract details for her three project deal with Robert’s new production company, the eponymously named RK Productions.  And since Lydia hates, loathes, and is fearful of flying, she elects not to fly home to the States before production begins as originally planned.  But rather, she will look for a place to live in London as she and Robert develop her scripts into film projects—for him to star in, of course.  But, London housing is too pricey for her–even with the generous housing stipend RK Productions is paying her on top of her salary.  So, Robert offers to put Lydia up in his guest bedroom until she can find a suitable apartment.  It works out well for both of them.  Lydia saves her money—and so does RK Productions by not having to continue to put her up at a hotel.  Robert helps Lydia move into his place Friday November 5th of the first weekend she’s in London.

Lydia:  As they walk through Robert’s spacious three story home, Lydia nods her smiling approval of the warm and welcoming atmosphere in Robert’s home.  “Robert, I really appreciate you taking me in as a roommate for a little while.  Navigating London—let alone trying to find a place to live—is daunting to me just now.”

Robert:  “Not at all, Lydia.”   He says putting her suitcase and carry on bag on her bed in the guest bedroom on the top floor.   “We get on well with each other and I’ve got the extra bedroom.  It’s not like my guest bedroom is being used at the moment.”   He says practically.  “And I can show you how to use the tube and such.   You’ll be a real Londoner in no time.”  Robert smiles at her and gives her a saucy wink as he leans against her bedroom door frame.

Lydia:  “Well, I really appreciate it.”  She smiles while opening her suitcase and putting away her clothes as they chat.   “Now, you’ll have to let me know if I’m inconveniencing you in any way.  If you need me to stay in my bedroom–or leave for a hotel–while you entertain a lady or friends some evening, I can do that.  And, I’ll be discreet.  I won’t divulge any of your activities to the tabloids or others.”

Robert:  Laughing he says.  “Ha ha ha!  Lydia, you almost make our living arrangement sound like a clandestine spy operation from one of my shows.  I’m not dating anyone at the moment.  So, you’re not inconveniencing me in the slightest.  And my friends are regular blokes.”

Lydia:  “Well, don’t forget Robert.  You are England’s Heartthrob.  So you have women around the world panting to kiss you and to make love with you.  Who knows?  You might get lucky on the tube one day.  Oh, strike that, unfortunate imagery there.”  She winces.  Of course, both she and Robert are thinking about the subway going through a tunnel and the sexual connotations the imagery implies.

Robert:  He laughs.  “Ha ha ha!  Well, it hasn’t happened lately.  All work and no play time, I’m afraid.”  He shrugs his shoulders sheepishly.

Lydia:  “Oh Robert.”  She pats his muscular shoulder—and says in a friendly mockingly condescending way.   “Goodness, what’s a poor little lonely heartthrob to do?”   She says in a purposefully sing songy voice that one might use with a child.

Robert:  “Ha ha ha! He laughs and shakes his head mock ruefully.

Lydia:  Then she perks up and says to him.  “Robert, you’ll just have to put yourself out there as available.”

Robert:  “Lydia, I’ve never been good at the whole dating and pick up routine, I’m afraid.  And now that I’m famous …Hhhh!”  He rolls his eyes self deprecatingly.  “…  I have to be extra careful.”

Lydia:  “Now, you’re not telling me that you’re a virgin, are you?”   She looks at him impishly.

Robert:  “Of course not!  Do you think I could make women swoon from watching my love scene acting if I didn’t have a little expertise to back that up?”   He looks at her a bit saucily—with his head down and eyes looking up, the standard RK smoulder pose [(8) right].

Lydia:  “Touché!   See, there you are–sexually confident heartthrob.  Robert, you just have to channel those … energies shall we say?—as you meet new women.”

Lydia and Robert:   “Ha ha ha!”  They both laugh.

Robert:  “Okay, enough about my nonexistent sex life at the moment.  Shall we eat out tonight to celebrate your living here?”

Lydia:  “Works for me.  Anytime that I don’t have to cook or clean up the cooking mess, I’m happy.”



Just to be cheeky, Robert takes Lydia to a real English Pub for dinner this Friday evening.  The pub is down the lane from his home and he’s a regular there—off and on.  So, the pub patrons don’t tend to think much of seeing him in there since he is their tv star neighbor.  As Lydia and Robert walk into the Hogs Breath Pub, Lydia has to weigh in on their dining choice.

Lydia:  “Okay mister.  I guess you couldn’t hold out too long from visiting a pub.”  They both laugh.  “I just hope that the name of this place isn’t indicative of the quality of its food.”  She says scrunching up her nose and looking a bit nauseous as they sit down at a booth to the side of the fireplace.

Robert:  “Have a little faith, Lydia.  Although, that may be why people do tend to get snockered in pubs.  Then, you’re not noticing the food so much.”  He hands her the menu with an impish grin on his face.

Lydia:  “Great.”  She says rolling her eyes at him mock sarcastically.  “And this pub is where you spend your time?”  She says looking around the room at the mostly over sixty men and women present.  “Well no wonder you’re dateless.  Robert, you need to look for a pub with a younger clientele—maybe young professionals in their thirties.”  She says smiling.

Robert:  “But I’m forty, Lydia.”  He whines amusingly.   “I’m over the hill.”

Lydia:  “Do I really have to pump up your ego?”  Robert looks at her mock pleadingly with a small heartthrob cute pout on his lips.  “Okay Robert, you’re young, handsome, charming, witty, fun–and you have a body that would rival Michaelangelo’s David.”  She says breathlessly as she lets herself gush away a bit.

Robert:  “How would you know?”  He looks at her suspiciously–with narrow beady eyes.

Lydia:  “Fella, I’ve seen some early shirtless promotional shots [(9) right] of you—not to mention the Speedo shots from one of your earlier tv shows.” He blushes. “And I’m just giving you the benefit of the doubt.” She says nonchalantly.

Robert:  “Well thanks Lydia.”  He says rolling his eyes.  “Although, I don’t know if I like being compared to a statue.”

Lydia:  “Trust me Robert, it’s a compliment.”

Robert:  “Now Lydia, you don’t have a little crush on me, do you?”  He leans into her teasingly.

Lydia:  “Not in the slightest.”  She says looking at him a bit nonplussed, but trying to maintain her composure.  Because, of course, Lydia has a huge crush on Robert.  “However, while we’re trying to find you love—or at least some sexual gratification Robert, …”

Robert:  “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  He laughs.

Lydia:  “I wouldn’t mind finding someone for myself.  Women have just as much desire as men do–maybe more once we reach a certain place in our lives.”  Lydia is flirting with Robert shamelessly, but harmlessly.  Because she knows that he won’t be interested in her at all.

Robert:  “Oh really, Lydia.  And what place is that?” He asks her bemusedly interestedly.

Lydia:  “Well, not to put too fine a point on it, Robert.  Once we, women that is, know what we like and want sexually–and we are able to communicate that to our lover–then making love becomes a more deeply sensuous and blissful experience, for both the man and the woman. … I’ll just leave it at that.”  She says coquettishly while blushing profusely at how brazenly she is flirting with Robert.

Robert:  “Hmmm.  You’re a gold mine of information about women, Lydia.  We will definitely have to talk more about women and how I might break the ice with them while you’re my roommate.”

Lydia:  “Oh believe me, Robert.  All you have to do is smile and women will …”  She stops herself from completing the imagery. Then

Lydia blushes and says.  “Well, let’s just say that, you’ll be a very happy–and sexually satisfied–heartthrob afterward.”

Robert:  He raises his eyebrows mischievously and tilts his head while smiling saucily at her.  “I like the sound of that.”

Of course, Robert is also flirting shamelessly—but harmlessly—with Lydia.  Although Robert thinks that Lydia is quite attractive, he doesn’t think that she has given him any signals that she thinks of him in a romantic way—except for their saucy little exchange just now.  One can only say, wake up Robert!  That’s why you’re dateless at the moment.  You’re not picking up on the more subtle—well, not so subtle–romantic signals being flung your way.  You know, maybe Robert does need a matchmaker for shy lonely heartthrobs.


Robert has a medium sized weight and exercise room in his home’s lower ground floor garage level that Robert had showed Lydia when he gave her a tour of his home after she moved in last night, Friday evening.  And there is also space for moving around and exercising—or at least stretching exercises that Lydia does for her back.  The room has a really nice stereo sound system to play tunes while you’re working out.  And, gratefully, the weight room doesn’t have floor to ceiling mirrors on the walls to humiliate anyone who might be exercising—like herself.  So, around 7:00am on Saturday morning of the first weekend Lydia is a guest in Robert’s home, she wakes up, puts on her exercise clothes consisting of loose fitting men’s cotton stretch shorts from a former boyfriend over her panties, a sport bra, a loose fitting blouse over that, and her long hair in a pony tail to keep it out of the way.

Lydia is accustomed to doing warm up stretches for about five minutes before she starts her deep stretches.  She doesn’t do yoga pretzel moves, but she does exercises to try to keep herself—and her back—limber.  And without an audience, Lydia feels comfortable in doing her full range of stretching exercises.  Lydia has a CD with a mix of her favorite tunes that she brought with her from the states.  She pops in “She drives him crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals [(10)] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWQ1HEL7AxA&feature=related].  It’s a peppy tune designed to get her tush moving a little.

However, unbeknownst to Lydia, Robert had woken up even earlier—around 6:30am—and went for a quick run around the neighborhood in his sweatpants and sweats top over a sleeveless athletic style t-shirt.  So, just as Robert is returning home around 7:15am—coming in through the back yard and directly into the exercise room–he spots Lydia doing her exercises with her back to him.  She doesn’t hear the sliding door open because of the music.  And Robert doesn’t announce himself at first, just watching Lydia bend from side to side, do her leg lifts to the front, side, and back–swinging her booty back and forth—as well as her arm warm ups.  However, it gets really amusing for Robert when Lydia starts doing her deep bend forward leg thrusts on each leg.  Robert thinks that Lydia is quite nicely toned and she has a pleasingly curvy womanly figure.  He never could abide the stick thin look of some women that made him almost afraid to even kiss their hand lest they break.   But, the jig is up when Lydia bends down to touch her toes—bending herself limberly in half—and she spies Robert through her legs watching her.

Lydia:  “Robert!”  She looks at him incredulously through her legs–her pony tail dangling and touching the floor–and he just smiles at her.

Robert:  “Good morning, Lydia.”  Robert [(11) right] smoulders at Lydia.

If gazes could be measured for the heat that is conveyed from one to the other, Robert’s gaze would be positively illegal.

Lydia:  Lydia is almost at a loss for words seeing Robert standing there so sweaty and so sexy from his run.  Then she stands up and turns around.  She is a little sweaty from her exercising exertions.  “Goodness Robert, we’re going to have to put a little bell on you so that you don’t sneak up on me again.”   She jokes while she is still unconsciously swaying with the music.
Robert:   “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  He smiles at her mischievously.

Lydia:  “I’m not exactly looking my best while I’m exercising.”   She tries to laugh off her embarrassment as she touches her hair in a ponytail.  Robert raises an incredulous eyebrow.

Robert:  “Not at all, Lydia.  You’re working out.  I just got done with a run myself.”   He points to himself.

Lydia:  “The exercises are for my back.  If I don’t do them and keep limber, then I’m stiff and sore all day.”

Robert:  “Sure.  I understand that completely.”   By the way, nice bum you’ve got there.”  Robert nods appreciatively as he takes off his sweatshirt [(12) right]and his athletic style sleeveless undershirt that are sweaty from his run–unintentionally showcasing his bare muscular arms, chest, and shoulders.

Lydia:  “Yeah right.”   She replies to him sarcastically.  “You’re looking hunky as usual.”   She tries to say offhandedly.  Though she can feel her blush rising.

Robert:  He sheepishly rolls his eyes at her compliment.   “Well Lydia, I usually finish off with some weight sets if you don’t mind sharing the space.”   Robert says picking up a hand held weight with his right hand and starts flexing it up and down–with his muscles bulging appropriately, as Lydia notices appreciatively.

Lydia:  “Hey Robert, this is your home.  You can do what you want.”   She says wondering if she should finish her exercises, or just go upstairs and take her shower before breakfast.

Robert:  “I’ll be over in this corner.  I won’t bother you.  Just keep doing your exercises.”

So, Lydia and Robert exercise at opposite ends of the smallish twenty foot long exercise room.  Robert does repetitious arm crunches with 25 pound weights as well as some leg weight lifts–he wants definition, not bulk.  Which Lydia appreciatively thinks that he’s achieving as she watches him surreptitiously from the corner of her eye.  Lydia sits on the floor and does her more limbering back exercises consisting of laying flat, then she brings her out stretched right leg up and over to her left hand and holds it for several seconds.  Then she does the same for the other side—with several repetitions.  Lydia also does leg holds at different positions to strengthen her back and thigh muscles.  She ends her floor set with some limbering stretch cool down exercises by laying forward flat against her stretched out legs as she grabs her sock covered feet.  Then she splits her legs—with her back modestly to Robert, of course—and she leans forward and to the sides again, holding for several seconds in each position.

Of course Robert appreciatively watches Lydia’s limberness—not to mention her nicely round and curvy bum and her leg definition when her legs are in the splits position and she is leaning forward.  And, truth be told, Lydia steals a few more glances in Robert’s muscular direction as she does her stretches.  Then when Lydia and Robert are done exercising, they head upstairs for their showers and breakfast.

To be continued with Chapter 3



References, Ch.1-2

1)The Love & Friendship” story logo is a composite of two images:
a)  British Actor Richard Armitage in a December 2010 Promo portrait found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2010Promo/album/20Dec2010-Perou-03.jpg; and
b)  American Actress Diane Lane at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011 found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diane_Lane_%28Berlin_Film_Festival_2011%29_2.jpg

2) Image representing Robert Kensington is that of British actor Richard Armitage and was found at  http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/EventsandAppearances/OldVic_21Nov2010/RAOldVic7.jpg

3)  “A dream is a wish that your heart makes” song title was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dream_Is_a_Wish_Your_Heart_Makes

4)       Image representing Lydia Baker is that of American Actress Diane Lane and was found at http://www.stylezza.com/uploads/articles/savannah_xgom.jpg

4b) Robert image is Richard Armitage portrait in his Glamour UK interview found athttp://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/Glamour/album/Glamour-22.jpg

5)       Image representing Robert Kensington is that of British actor Richard Armitage portraying Lucas North in Spooks, series 8, episode 2, pix 193 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode2/slides/ep2_193.JPG

6)       Image representing Lydia Baker is that of American Actress Diane Lane at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011 found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diane_Lane_%28Berlin_Film_Festival_2011%29_2.jpg

7)       Image of Robert Kensington is that of British Actor Richard Armitage portrayting Lucas North in Spooks 8, episode 2, pix 211 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode2/slides/ep2_211.JPG

8)       Robert image is that of British actor Richard Armitage portraytin Lee Preston in Cold Feet, pix 39 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/ColdFeet/ColdFeet5/album/slides/coldfeet_039.jpg

9)       Robert image is that of British actor Richard Armitage in a Cold Feet Promo from 2003, pix 9 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2003%20Promo/2003_ra09.jpg

10)   “Drives Me Crazy” Guy + Marian Fanvid. Richard Armtiage,Lucy Griffiths” in a video by delicateblossom1984 was found at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWQ1HEL7AxA&feature=related

11)   Image representing Robert Kensington is that of British actor Richard Armitage portraying Lucas North in Spooks 8, episode 5, pix 48 and was found at  http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode5/slides/ep5_048.JPG

12)   Image representing Robert Kensington is that of British actor Richard Armitage portraying John Porter in Strike Back 1, episode 3, pix 78  http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode3/ep3_078.jpg

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
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8 Responses to “Love & Friendship”, Ch.1-2: New Friends & Colleagues; New Roommates, 11/26/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #313)

  1. Dear Readers,
    I am beginning to serialize here my original story “Love & Friendship.” New installments will post on Mondays and some Wednesdays.

    “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” will continue to have subsequent installment sposted on Friday.

    Have a great week! Cheers! Grati ;->


  2. aj daisy says:

    WOW a new one Grati I love it.


  3. Dear Readers/Visitors,
    Unfortunately, my illnesses have not improved–only worsened. And it is sapping my strength. So I will be going down to only 2 or 3 posts a week for a while:

    Mondays (and some Wednesdays)–“Love & Friendship” story posts; it has a Christmas section but extends beyond that and will be serialized at least through January 2013. It is a completely written story, but for the tweaking that I inevitably do when I revisit one of my stories. So it is easier for me to post.

    Fridays–“Sir Guy’s Dilemma” story posts continue

    Both of these stories will also be serialized on my Wattpad story site the same day that they post here. Having 2 stories synchronized in his way is much easier on me.

    My blog and these story posts are my much needed and welcome distraction from my health issues–kind of my lifeline. So I will keep them up.

    I thank you all for your kind get well wishes. But, please let’s not dwell on my illnesses.

    Cheers! Grati ;->

    P.S. Don’t forget about The Hobbit premiere in WellingtonNZ on Nov.28th with red carpet broadcasting arrivals starting at 4:30pm NZ time. That is 9:30pm Nov.27th Illinois time for me. I have a live streaming video link up high in my sidebar for the Wellington premiere. Let’s hope it works!

    Thanks and Cheers! Grati ;->

    P.S. Also, Servetus and Judiang have had a marvelous idea–making donations to Richard Armitage Charities in his honor to help celebrate this wonderful artistic achievement for him in portraying Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit” films! I came up with a logo and it is near the top of my sidebar for anyone to click and make a donation on the Just Giving site RA set up. It doesn’t have to be a large donation.

    And Judiang suggested that we might include the word “rubbish” in our donation notes on the Just Giving site–a teasing way to refer to what RA had said about the hand made signs fans brought to his “Black Sky” movie set last August and September.

    So visit both of these ladies blogs to learn more:
    Servetus: http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/armitage-fan-thoughts-while-staring-at-a-thumb-and-grading/

    Judiang: http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/fan-drive-the-hobbit-gift-bomb-of-congratulations/


  4. Fabi says:

    Hi Grati,
    Thanks for keeping your story posts in your blog! I liked so much the beginning of this new story, I was waiting for the “mature woman story” since you first mentioned it months ago. Always praying for you too.


    • Thanks Fabi!
      I’m glad that you like my stories! And thanks for your prayers!

      Lydia is “mature” at 48 years old, compared to our previous heroine Lily who was 28 years old. But Lydia is not “dead” at 48 by any means–none of us are. Ha! To all you “younguns” out there, if 40 is the new 30, then 50 is the new 40. Snap! Giggles!
      Cheers! Grati ;->


  5. 11/26/12–Evie Bowman at Middle Earth News has a great report about more stars flying into NZ. Her article also has hot links to some of the live streaming video sites for the Wellington Premiere Red Carpet (some starting at 3:50pm Nov. 28 Wellington time):



  6. Pingback: “Love & Friendship”, Ch. 3-4: Lydia plays Poker; Lydia’s Meals Charm Robert, 12/03/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #317) | Something About Love (A)

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