“Love & Friendship”, Ch. 6-7 (PG-13): Lydia & Robert travel to his family home over the weekend of Dec. 3rd, 12/17/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #328)
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.
Author’s Recap: Lydia helps Robert rid himself of bug infestations after a crawl take scene. Then she has him help her with her almond bark candy making for the set–which everyone loves Friday morning. And they have made extra candies to take to Robert’s parents as they travel on the train north to visit them this weekend.
“Love & Friendship”, Ch. 6 (PG-13): Lydia & Robert travel by Train to meet his parents Dec. 3rd
Robert and Lydia take the train North late Friday afternoon, December 3rd to spend two nights with his parents—planning to return to London Sunday afternoon. It is an uneventful ride—well Robert and Lydia chat together amiably as usual, with Lydia having to keep Robert’s fingers out of the candy packages to their mutual amusement.
Robert: Putting his right arm around Lydia’s shoulders as they sit on the same seat bench in their private compartment, Robert takes her left hand in his left hand. “Comfy?” He smiles warmly.
Lydia: “Very.” She smiles–appreciating their cozy intimacy, even if it is just as friends. “It’s rather nice to have our own private compartment. We can kick off our shoes and no one is offended.” She kicks off her shoes and reveals her nude colored stockinged feet sticking out of her trouser legs as she lifts them up. Then she wriggles her toes.
Robert: “You have such small delicate toes.” He marvels. “My feet are like gun boats. I fear that me without shoes would offend someone, Lydia. I’m not wearing socks.” He shrugs his shoulders impishly.
Robert: “Very well. But I warned you.” I remove my slip on shoes and flex my now bare toes.” [(2) right]
Lydia: “See. You have very masculine feet.” Oh does he ever!
Robert: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I’m not sure if massive equals masculine.”
They both hold their legs out comparing their feet. Lydia’s feet are indeed much smaller than Robert’s. And she has pale pink nail polish on her toes. Whereas, Robert’s toes could use a little attention.
Lydia: “Is that a bunion I spy?” She asks mischievously.
Robert: “I’m afraid so. It’s a remnant from my musical theatre dancing days. They never had dance shoes big enough to fit me and this is the result. I see you have immaculate toes. Pink nail polish even?” He teases.
Lydia: “I like pink.” She pouts cutely. “I don’t usually have nail polish on them, but it came with the pedicure. So I went for it.”
Robert: I fear that my toes need a pedicure, too. Or at least they need a good trimming.” He says rather annoyed with his own lack of care for his feet. “I always forget about them.” He shrugs his shoulders.
Lydia: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” She shakes her finger at him. “Not happening fella!”
Robert: “What?” He asks quizzically.
Lydia: “Debugging you is one thing. But you’re on your own with your toes.”
Robert: “Oh! I didn’t mean to suggest …” He blanches, then blushes. He and Lydia are great friends. But you don’t ask even your great friend to trim your toenails. “Maybe I’ll go with you the next time you get your toes done.” He looks at her sheepishly.
Lydia: “Well, you better do it soon. Or your next bedmate–either on screen or off–will need a tetanus shot to counteract any scratching she might receive from you.” She mugs at him.
Robert: “Lydia!” He exclaims in mock horror. “I would never scratch my bed mate with my toenails. I am generally quite gentle when I have my legs intertwined with my lover–or I play footsies. See?”
Then Robert brings his right leg under Lydia’s left leg and rubs the bottom of his foot against the inside of her foot in slow stroking movements.
Lydia: “Hhh!” She gasps at having Robert’s leg intertwined with hers and his foot stroking hers. She might as well melt right now from the sensuality of their feet touching suggestively.
Robert: “You have soft feet.” I growl deeply. I haven’t been this close to and touching a woman’s body part for quite a while now–with my current action adventure role not giving me any romantic action on screen. And my love life is non-existent. So Lydia’s foot feels really good right now–really good.
Lydia: “Thanks! I moisturize.” I dissemble OMG! I have Robert Kensington playing footsies with me. And he doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. “You know, Robert. You could make a whole second career out of just what you can do with your right foot.”
Robert: “Ha ha ha! I think Daniel Day-Lewis might think that I was being derivative.” But then, he doesn’t get to feel Lydia’s silky foot as I am doing right now.
Lydia: “Huh?” I query, having forgotten all of my cinema trivia with what Robert’s foot is doing to me. My foot feels like jelly–and the feeling is moving up my leg. Hhhh!
Robert: “My Left Foot.”
Lydia: “Robert, that’s your right foot.” I counter obtusely.
Robert: “Ha ha ha ha ha! No, you silly goose.” I swat at her playfully. “The movie ‘My Left Foot’. [(2b)] He won the Oscar for his portrayal of a physically challenged man?”
Lydia: “Oh! Sure! Great movie! Great performance!” I nod sheepishly. How can one man’s foot–in this case, Robert’s foot–so discombobulate me? Check that! It is because it is Robert’s foot. I shake my head, lost in my daydreaming.
Robert: “ What? Lydia, what?” I snap my fingers in front of her face to get her attention.
Lydia: “You know, Robert. Your fans would call what we’re doing as indulging in extreme foot porn.”
Robert: “Huh? Why porn? And why extreme?” I ponder something that I’ve never heard of before.
Lydia: “Ohhhh!” I grimace for dropping my guard with this revelation. “I can’t say. I would be giving away fan girl secrets that we are sworn to protect.” Then I use my best deadpan expression. “If I tell you, I have to kill you.”
Robert: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You know about women and my fans? You are a goldmine. Lydia, you have to tell me now.” Lydia hesitates. “Oh, come on.” I plead using her usual phrasing as my foot continues to stroke her foot. I could do this all day–it is quite pleasurable. I guess with us living together, we share more than just a roof over our heads.
Lydia: “Robert , you seem to forget. I am a woman.” Although him continuing to play footsy with me might seem to indicate he acknowledges that.
Robert: “You are indeed!” I smile and squeeze her shoulders and kiss her forehead.
Lydia: God I love Robert when he’s being friendly. “And I used to be a fangirl.”
Robert: “Used to be?” I pout. “Have I lost you? Familiarity breeds contempt as they say.”
Robert: “That’s my girl!” I squeeze her again and kiss her cheek. “But you’re stalling. Now what about my feet and … porn?” I purse my lips into a pout [(3) right], reminiscent of an earlier period character portrayal of mine.
Lydia: Ooh! look at his lips. “Hhhh! Well… It’s just that your different … physical attributes are so gorgeous that they border on sending our fluttering fan girl hearts over the edge into bliss.” I blurt out in the hope that it doesn’t sound depraved. Nope! I failed miserably on that count, I think forlornly.
Robert: “My feet do that to you?” I stare at them. “They’re just feet–and my toenails need trimming.” And they smell sometimes, too. I tilt my head wondering why my feet are so singular. They’re just feet.
Lydia: I back peddle. “Well, you’re feet don’t do that to me.” He pouts. I roll my eyes. “Okay! Yes, I have swooned–metaphorically, mind you–while gazing at pictures of your feet from time to time.” I shake my head and roll my eyes ruefully as my dignity flies out the train window.
Robert: “Well if my fans are paying that much attention to my feet, then maybe I should.” I say self-consciously. “Are there any other body parts of mine causing women to swoon that I need to know about?” I ask teasingly.
Lydia: I close my eyes, hang my head, and shake my head ruefully. There is no chance to get my dignity back now as I say in a small voice. “All of them.”
Robert: “What was that? I couldn’t hear you.” I lean toward her trying to hear what she said.
Lydia: I lift up my head, open my eyes, and look straight at him–owning my shame. “All of them.”
Robert: “All of them? What? Even my … nose and ears?” I touch them self-consciously.
Lydia: “Oh god yes! Especially your nose and ears.”
Robert: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” I rock my head back in laughter at my person being so admired. Me? Personally, I can’t think what they see in me. But god bless them that they do. “Dare I ask which of my body parts you like best?” I tease her saucily.
Lydia: “Hhhhh! For me Robert, it’s your whole package.” Ooh! I regret my phrasing words as soon as the words leave my lips.
Robert: “My package. Huh! I guess you’ve seen the Speedo shots?” I look at her bemusedly as I squeeze her shoulders in an embrace again. I seem to be doing that a lot lately.
Lydia: “Speedos, bare chest, muscular guns, neckage, muscular legs that go on for miles, etc.” I just lay it all out there as I shake my head. “You’re a Greek god! Hhhh!” I complete my gushing and then bury my face in my hands.
Robert: I gently pry Lydia’s hands away from face and say quietly. “Now Lydia, I hope that you won’t get disappointed when you find out that I have feet of clay. I’m just a regular person, Lydia. I’m not some perfect virile sex god like the media have labeled me.” I roll my eyes. Then I whisper. “I’m just me. And I would like to find someone to love someday who will love me the person–ragged toenails and all.” I smile wanly.
Lydia: “Oh Robert! You will find love someday. You absolutely will. You are wonderful a man. Any woman would be lucky to have you for their love and life partner.” I say earnestly and encouragingly–trying very hard not to let my true feelings of love for him to show too clearly. So I back peddle on my feelings to him. “I feel privileged that we have become friends.” I look into his eyes and smile meekly [(4) right]. Then I lay my head on his shoulder with his arms around me.
Robert: I lay my head on top of her head as she nestles into me and I hold her right hand to my chest with my left hand. “Thank you, Lydia–same to you. You’re a good friend. And I hope that you will find love someday, too.” I kiss her right hand then rest it back onto my chest, covering it with my left hand.
Then we sit together in companionable silence for the remaining 20 minutes of our train trip as our fingers clasp and unclasp with each other. At some point, we both doze off. And it is only the jarring slowing of the train into the station that awakens us. We look at each other fondly, kiss each other’s cheeks, then we collect our things to meet Robert’s parents.
Though Lydia knows that Robert just thinks of her as a friend and colleague–despite their friendly intimacies–she is still a little bit nervous at meeting his parents at the start of the fifth week of her rooming with him. She wants to make a good impression on them. Lydia also isn’t sure if Robert’s parents really think that she and Robert are just roommates, or if they wonder if there is hanky panky going on—like, friends with benefits.
As we exit our train compartment and stand on the train platform at Robert’s hometown, we are greeted by Robert’s parents.
Robert: “Mum and Dad!” He says greeting them warmly—hugging and kissing his Mum and shaking his Dad’s hand.
Mum: “Robert Dear, we’ve missed you.” She pats his face as if he were still her little boy.
Dad: “Yes, we have my boy. You should try to get up here more often.” He admonishes.
Robert: “Alright, I know. I’ll try to in the future. Folks, this is Lydia Baker whom I’ve told you about.” He smiles broadly while putting his arm around Lydia’s shoulders and giving them a squeeze as he kisses her forehead.
Lydia: “You’ve told them about me?” I am surprised that he would mention me to his parent–other than in passing as his writing colleague and temporary roommate–as I look up at Robert. Then remembering my manners, I say warmly to his parents as we shake hands. “Hello. It’s lovely to meet you both.”
Mum: “Lovely to meet you Lydia Dear. Robert rarely introduces us to his … friends.” She says warmly, but also not quite knowing the full extent of her son’s relationship with his lady friend as she looks up at her son with a wondering glance.
Dad: “Good to meet you Lydia. It’s nice to see Robert with a lady friend again.” Of course, Dads just put it out there.
Lydia: “Oh well, we’re not …” Lydia tries to correct the record.
Robert: Robert says quickly—still with his arms around Lydia. “Oh Dad and Mum, Lydia is my creative colleague and roommate. And, we’ve become really good friends.” He says smiling down at Lydia and kissing her forehead again.
Yes, Lydia thinks a bit sadly, that’s all she and Robert are–or will ever be. But, Lydia thinks that being Robert’s friend is quite nice. However, Robert’s Dad looks askance at Robert. Because he has seen his son with other women whom Robert has been involved with romantically. And Robert is behaving very considerately toward Lydia–as he has behaved with his other romantic partner lady friends.
Mum: “Well, whatever.” Mum smiles knowingly also. “Let’s pop over to the pub for dinner, then we’ll head to the house after.
Robert and Lydia roll their suitcases down the lane to the pub down—still with Robert having his arm around Lydia’s shoulders. Lydia doesn’t know why Robert embracing her makes her feel unsettled now. They’re always friendly together—giving each other a hug or kiss on the cheek all the time. But for Lydia, maybe it’s because they’ll be around others who won’t know that she and Robert are just friends and they might misconstrue his embraces to mean that they’re a romantic couple–that she and Robert are lovers. Or, is Lydia, herself, starting to misconstrue Robert’s friendly regard for her as possibly something more, she wonders? But, she knows that Robert isn’t interested in her romantically, so she has to push those thoughts out of her mind—and out of her heart. As the four of them walk into the pub, cheers go up for Robert—their hometown boy returns.
Patrons: “Huzzah! Look at you! You’ve grown! Handsome as ever, I see.”
Robert: He waves as he looks around the room to see some of their neighbors growing up and such. “Hi folks, let me introduce to you my creative colleague and friend, Lydia Baker.” He still says this with his arm around Lydia’s shoulders.
Patrons: “Hello! Nice to meet you lassie! Robert, you’ve caught a pretty one.”
Lydia: “Hello, lovely to meet you.” She says smiling sweetly and a bit meekly as she looks about the pub and waves. Lydia feels completely out of her element, not knowing what to expect this weekend—nor what will be expected of her.
Mum: “Kids, let’s sit over here in the booth by the fireplace where it’s warmer and we can watch the snow fall through the window.” And they do.
Lydia: Settling into the booth, sitting next to Robert with his arm around her shoulders yet again Lydia says. “Yes, this village is so picturesque–beautiful, really.” Of course, Robert’s parents beam. “Robert, you must have loved growing up here.” Lydia says looking up at him.
Robert: “I did.” He smiles squeezing her shoulders. “Oh, and Mum and Dad. Lydia and I have a surprise for you.” He says with his eyes gleaming brightly.
Mum: “Yes?” Robert’s Mum and Dad lean forward, wondering if a wedding announcement is forthcoming. Then their hopes are dashed by Lydia explaining about the surprise.
Lydia: “Yes, we made candies for the crew on Friday and we made extra to bring to you.”
Robert’s parents hopes are dashed, but they smile warmly at Robert and Lydia.
Robert: “We’ll unpack it when we get back home. Lydia’s a whiz in the kitchen. She’s even got me helping her out when we make our meals.” He says animatedly.
Lydia: “Well Robert, since we’re roommates we have to share the responsibilities.” She says looking up at him and he smiles. Then she looks at his parents and says. “Robert is a good chopper and stirrer.”
Robert: “And don’t forget that I melted and dolloped on the candies.” He says proud of himself.
Mum: “Well, it sounds like you two have grown quite close to each other.” She says hintingly, as Mums do.
Robert: “I’ll say.” Robert squeezes Lydia’s shoulders again–he’s doing that a lot, Lydia thinks warmly. “And that’s not even talking about Lydia having to wash the bugs off of me in the shower.” He says cheekily.
Lydia: “Robert please, some people are eating.” She chides him with a warm smile. Then seeing his parents’ quizzical expression, she explains. “Oh, Robert came back to his dressing room from filming a scene one day where he had to crawl along the muddy and insect covered ground.”
Robert: “And when I showered the first time, I still hadn’t gotten all the insects off of me. Ugh!” He shivers at the thought.
Lydia: Lydia also shivers her shoulders remembering. “Ick. Yes, after he showered, Robert sat down next to me on the couch in his dressing room to go over the script on our next project, and a bug crawled out of his ear.” She tells them with her eyes wide.
Robert: He does a mock gag reflex. “I nearly lost my towel jumping up and down trying to get the bugs out of me. So, I had Lydia follow me back into the shower and hose me down. Ha ha ha!”
Lydia: “Like I said Robert, people are eating around us.” Lydia says with her arm resting on Robert’s arm. Then she turns to his parents again, continuing the story. “I don’t know why Robert had so many bugs on him and in him, but I had to shampoo his hair all over again and then blast him with the water spray nozzle.”
Robert: “Yup! But she left me to finish washing my crotch on my own.”
Lydia: “Robert!” She looks at his parents’ surprised and bemused faces.
Robert: “Well you did.” He whines.
Lydia: “It sounds worse than it was.”
Robert: “Speak for yourself. I was the one crawling with bugs.” Now Robert shivers again. “Thankfully, we didn’t have to redo the crawl take on that scene.” He sighs gratefully.
Dad: “So Robert, I would imagine that you gave Lydia a very large present for debugging your body.” He says raising his eyebrows saucily.
Robert: “Yup. She didn’t have to cook. I took her out to dinner that night!” He says proudly.
Mum: “Is that all?” Asks his Mum. “I would have thought that you might have at least …” Mum can’t quite finish her thought, because Mum thinks that a gift of jewelry might have been appropriate.
Robert: “Well Mum, it’s not like I can return the favor. Lydia is bug free, as far as I know.” He mugs at his parents and then at Lydia. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Lydia: “Thank you so much, Robert.” She says mock sarcastically as she pats his cheek. Then she drolly and amusingly says to Robert’s parents. “You know, you can dress these film stars up, but you can’t take them out.”
The four of them: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Everyone howls with laughter–especially Robert, who warmly gives Lydia another embracing squeeze and a kiss on her cheek–and then he keeps his arms around her shoulders.
Then they all go on to have a lovely dinner, with Lydia hearing more stories of Robert’s sometimes humorous childhood antics. Let’s just say that Robert couldn’t sit down for a week after a duct tape episode–and leave it at that. Perhaps that explains why Robert has an aversion to having his chest hair waxed for roles? Hmmm.
After a wonderful dinner at the pub, Robert and Lydia and his parents all walk down the lane to Robert’s parents’ home. It’s about 9:00pm and they sit in the parlor around the fireplace, sipping their nite caps and enjoying the candies [(5) right] that Robert and Lydia made.
Mum: “Lydia Dear, these are delicious. You must give me the recipe.” Of course, this is woman speak for you have done an amazing homemaking job.
Lydia: “Thanks. And Robert helped.” She smiles looking up at him.
Though Lydia is drinking plain coffee, everyone else is having brandy in their coffees while eating their chocolate and peppermint candies. So, coupled with their earlier alcoholic drinks at the pub, Robert and his parents are feeling very … relaxed.
Robert: “Yes, I did!” He says squeezing Lydia’s shoulders that he has his arms around. Then Robert spontaneously and lingeringly kisses Lydia on her lips for a few moments. But this is not their usually quick friendly kiss on their cheeks or lips. And it surprises Lydia a bit. But, she knows Robert is a little drunk. So, Lydia tries to put it out of her mind–but she can’t, really.
Lydia: “Robert, I think it’s time to get you to bed.” She says caressing his face caringly. “You look so sleepy. And, I’m sleepy, too. So folks, if you’ll just point me in the direction of the bedrooms, I think I’ll probably fall right to sleep.”
Mum: “Certainly Lydia, Dear.” She smiles knowingly. “The bedrooms are upstairs.”
So they all troop upstairs—with Robert and Lydia dragging their rolling suitcases rather noisily up the stairs. Then, they get to Robert’s bedroom he had growing up and they peek inside.
Dad: “Now this is Robert’s bedroom growing up.”
Lydia: “Oh my gosh! It’s like a time capsule of your childhood, Robert.” Lydia says seeing the sport toys, rock band posters, and such strewn about the room.
Robert: Again, Robert stands there smiling with his arm around Lydia’s shoulders. “I know. It’s a shrine to me.” He says cheekily and laughs. “I’ll show you my stuff tomorrow, Lydia.” And they close the bedroom door.
Mum: “Well, you can take your stuff with you to London any time, Robert Dear. Now, we’ve got you two in here in the guest bedroom.”
At first Lydia is so tired, that she doesn’t quite catch what Robert’s Mum said about putting Lydia and Robert in the same bedroom as they walk into the guest bedroom together.
Dad: “Robert my boy, I think you’re just going to have to sleep it off tonight.” He says helping Robert sit down on the queen sized bed in the guest bedroom.
Then, it dawns on Lydia—who is a little more alert, or at least not drunk, like everyone else—that Robert’s parents think that she and Robert are sleeping in the same bed tonight. So Lydia tries to think how to delicately back out of this awkward situation.
Lydia: “Well folks, if you’re having Robert sleep in here, where do you want me to sleep?”
Mum: “Oh, that’s alright dear. We understand. We don’t mind if you share the same room.”
Lydia: “Oh, but we, …” Lydia sputters with her eyes widening by the second. Is Lydia’s look on her face that of surprise, terror, or hopeful questioning? Even she doesn’t know.
Dad: “Really it’s alright. We’re not old fuddy duddy’s. We understand today’s relationships. The guest bedroom here has its own full bath through there.” Dad says pointing to the open bathroom door.
Robert: “Gee Mum and Dad, thanks.” Robert says smiling at them drunkenly. “Coming to bed Lydia?” He asks cheekily while raising his eyebrows up and down and smiling as he pats the bed next to him.
Lydia: Knowing that etiquette mavens are twirling in their graves right now, Lydia tries to correct the situation again. “Oh folks, you misunderstand. Robert and I aren’t …”
Robert: “… used to sleeping in a queen sized bed.” He finishes mischievously for her. “I know, mine is a king sized bed because I’m so tall. But, it’ll be okay Lydia.” He says weaving around while sitting on the bed. “I won’t hog the bed too much.”
Mum: “Sleep well, you two.” She smiles. Although, Mum surmises that no romance will be happening tonight given Robert’s inebriated state.
Lydia: “But …” Is all Lydia gets out before Robert’s Mum and Dad close the bedroom door behind them. Lydia’s mouth stays open for a few seconds as she looks at the now closed bedroom door, pondering the monumental misunderstanding that is befalling them. Then Lydia turns back to look at the drunken Robert sitting on their bed. Lydia thinks this is worse than having to debuggify him.
Robert: “Coming to bed, Lydia Dear?” He says saucily and looking at her suggestively–through his drunken stupor.
Lydia: “Robert, you’re drunk and not being funny at all.” She says crossing her arms in front of herself, in front of her breasts–that are unfortunately reacting to possibly getting to cuddle next to her heartthrob tonight.
Robert: But Robert’s tipsy state makes him somewhat saucily playful tonight. “Oh come on. You’ve already seen me naked.” Lydia raises her eyebrow. “Well, almost naked. I’ll sleep on one side of the bed and you sleep on the other. It’ll be like the movie “It Happened One Night”. You’re Clark Gable and I’m Claudette Colbert. No, I’ve mixed that up. You’re Claudette Colbert and I’m Clark Gable. I’d give you my pajama top if I wore pajamas. But, I sleep in the nude—most heartthrobs do.” Robert says in a deadpan voice and facial expression. Then he laughs as he raises his eyebrows up and down suggestively. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Lydia: “Oh Robert. This isn’t funny.” She whines. “Your parents think that we’re a romantic couple. We’re not. We’re … friends.”
Robert: “Well Lydia, just think of it as us taking our relationship to the next level.” He smiles warmly at her. Of course if he weren’t drunk, Robert would never be this free about his thoughts about his relationship with Lydia.
Lydia: “Robert, you’re drunk and you don’t mean any of this. You’ll forget it in the morning. So, either you go to sleep in your bedroom that you grew up in, or I do.” Not that Lydia doesn’t want to sleep with Robert. She just doesn’t want to sleep with a drunken Robert. If Robert isn’t interested in her sober, then Lydia isn’t interested in Robert drunk.
Robert: “I really don’t think I can move, Lydia.” Then Robert turns slightly green and nauseous looking. “Though, if you could help me to the bathroom, maybe I can barf some of it up.”
Lydia: “Oh Robert!” She wails.
The petite Lydia goes over and helps the very tall Robert stand and then they weavingly head toward the bathroom. Robert does indeed barf—in the toilet, happily. Then he brushes his teeth, removes his clothes down to his briefs and he gets into bed, under the sheets and he falls asleep. Now Lydia has to decide what to do. Does she go to Robert’s boyhood bed—with the possibility of teen wet dream stains on the sheets? Or, does she just stay in here in the guest bedroom with Robert–with her sleeping on top of the sheets? Lydia decides that staying in the guest bedroom with Robert is the lesser of the two evils. So, she changes into her lounge wear outfit of a camisole and shorts over panties and she lays on top of the bed’s sheets, pulling the comforter around her for warmth. Then, Lydia drifts off to sleep with her back toward Robert–exhaustion overtaking her nervousness.
To be continued with Chapter 7
“Love & Friendship”, Chapter 7: Robert and Lydia Waking up Saturday Morning
Robert wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes that he and Lydia are in the same bed–but that he is under the sheets and she is not. His head hurts and he remembers being drunk and disorderly. Robert thinks that he’ll apologize to Lydia in the morning. In the meantime, Robert visits the bathroom and pees, washes his hands, pops an aspirin in his mouth, and returns to bed. While Robert is in the bathroom, Lydia kicks off part of the comforter because she is feeling overly warm. Robert walks back into the bedroom and gazes appreciatively at one of Lydia’s not so long but nicely shaped and limber legs that is sticking out of the covers. But, the room is chilly and Robert is too sleepy and hungover to do anything about Lydia’s lovely legs tonight. So Robert considerately covers Lydia’s legs back up again so she doesn’t get cold later and then he falls asleep on his side, facing her–which inevitably leads to him spooning with her in his sleep.
When Lydia awakens in the morning, Robert is sleeping on his side next to Lydia with his arm over her torso—still spooning with her, his hand perilously close to her breasts. Lydia remembers the fiasco that was last night’s drunken sleeping arrangements misunderstanding and she slowly slides out from underneath Robert’s arm—happily not waking him up. Lydia visits the bathroom to brush her teeth and such. Then she changes into her exercise clothes and proceeds to do her stretching exercises quietly on the floor in front of the bed. In about five minutes, Robert also awakens. He rolls onto his back and sees Lydia stretching on the floor.
Robert: “Good morning Lydia.” He says rubbing his throbbing head as he sits up bare chested. “Sorry about last night. You didn’t sleep on the floor did you?”
Lydia: “It would serve you right, if I said yes, Robert. No, I slept on top of the sheets.” She says shaking her head while still stretching. “You’re going to clear this up with your parents today, aren’t you? I mean, we’re spending another night here.”
Robert: “Well, I guess I could.” He says uncertainly.
Lydia: “Robert, what’s that supposed to mean?” She asks incredulously as she looks at him in astonishment.
Robert: “Lydia, which is worse? Mum and Dad thinking that we’re sleeping together while we’re not married? Or?”
Robert: “Mum and Dad feeling bad about making us sleep together while we’re not married, nor a romantic couple?”
Lydia: “Oh crap! I hate to say it, but you’re right. You’re hung over, but you’re right.” She says dropping her head down and limberly laying her forehead on her outstretched legs resignedly.
Robert: “Don’t worry Lydia. It will be alright.” He says getting up from the bed in only his long legged briefs–which he had gratefully kept on last night thinks Lydia—and he walks toward the bathroom after grabbing his exercise clothes.
After Robert returns from the bathroom, he does his exercises of push ups and such since it’s too cold to run outside and Mum and Dad don’t have any weights. Of course, with both Lydia and Robert exercising and stretching in the guest bedroom together, they naturally make some exertion and panting noises which—to Robert’s parents’ walking past their bedroom door—sound like lovemaking sounds. So, Robert’s parents decide to let their son and his lady friend sleep in a little longer.
After an interesting breakfast with Robert’s parents in their home—with several sidelong glances and smiles from his parents in their direction that Lydia and Robert can’t fathom—Lydia and Robert decide to take a brief and chilly walking tour of his hometown and his memories there. Well it is the first week in December. So, snow is on the ground, but not too deep.
Robert: “Lydia, are you sure you want to see my favorite places when I was a kid? It’s pretty cold out here.” He shivers as he pulls his warm charcoal gray fur lined coat close around himself [(6) right].
Lydia: “Listen Robert, I slept last night with a drunken heartthrob after helping you barf in the bathroom—anything is a step up from that.”
Robert: “I barfed? I don’t remember that.”
Lydia: “I knew it!” She playfully pokes him while rolling her eyes. “So, the least you can do is show me around since I doubt we’ll be coming back here any time soon.” After his drunken antics, Lydia is sure that Robert isn’t interested in her at all romantically.
Robert: “Okay Lydia, you’ve been a good sport.” He smiles putting his arm around her shoulders.
He’s warm. So, Lydia doesn’t mind Robert’s familiarity this morning. And, they visit Robert’s favorite spots growing up: the wishing well, now completely dry; the bubbling stream where he caught fish as a boy, that’s too shallow for fish these days; and, Lookout Point, the kissing spot for teens that looks out over the village. Robert redeems himself on this one—if only for the scenery, since no kissing is involved between he and Lydia.
It seems that Robert comes by his poker skills naturally—from his Mum and Dad. So, the four of them—Robert and Lydia and Mum and Dad play poker together Saturday night. And, they still have some of the candies that Lydia and Robert made to enjoy while they play.
Robert: “Mum, dinner was delicious. Thanks.”
Lydia: “Yes it was. Thank you so much.”
Dad: “Well done, my dear.” He leans over and kisses his wife’s cheek lovingly.
Mum: “Well, thanks everyone.” She beams. “Let’s take our coffees and candies and sit down and play some cards by the fireplace.”
Dad: “Robert, can I top your coffee off with some spirits my boy?”
Robert: “Noooo, Dad. I don’t want a repeat of last night.” He protests with his hands in front of him and a slowly shaking head.
Dad: Not understanding what his son is referring to, Dad says while elbowing his son Robert. “Well, you seemed alright this morning, Son.” His dad remembering what he thought were lovemaking sounds coming out of the guest bedroom this morning.
Mum: “Now Dad, don’t make Robert and Lydia feel self conscious.” Then seeing their quizzical looks, she turns to Robert and Lydia by way of explanation. “It’s just that the walls are kind of thin, kids. Just so you know.” Mum says smiling at them preciously and almost winking.
Robert is smiling broadly now, finally understanding that his parents think that his and Lydia’s morning exercise groans, were actually moans of pleasure.
Robert: And Robert rocks his head back in laughter. “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Sorry folks. We’ll keep it quiet.”
Robert smiles suggestively over at Lydia who now understands what everyone is referring to and she blushes profusely at the continuing misunderstanding. But she and Robert agreed not to tell his parents that they are not a romantic couple.
Lydia: So Lydia decides to have a little fun at Robert’s expense. “Oh folks, … it’s not what you think. … Robert can’t …” She smiles coquettishly. “Well, I mean, he never does … well … when he’s been drunk the night before.” Then she smiles impishly at Robert thinking who is embarrassed now?
Robert: “Thanks so much, Lydia.” Robert says sarcastically. Then, Robert decides to ramp up their humor and growls to Lydia saucily in his deeply timberous velvety baritone voice. “But Lydia Darling, I’m not drinking any alcohol tonight.” And he raises his eyebrow as he leans over toward Lydia and puts his arms around her.
Lydia: Staying in humorous character mode, Lydia smiles primly wickedly [(7) right] at Robert warmly and she pats his face and says coyly. “Promises, promises.”
Robert: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Robert rocks his head back in laughter and then he kisses Lydia’s cheek and smiles warmly at her as he embraces her shoulders again.
Mum: Mum looks back and forth the between her son and his lady friend and says. “Well, I guess we’ll have to have a short game so you both can get your … beauty sleep?”
And they do play a few friendly hands of poker before everyone heads upstairs to bed.
After saying goodnight to his parents—with Robert’s arm still proprietarily around Lydia’s shoulders—Lydia and Robert walk into the guest bedroom.
Robert: “Well Lydia Dear, alone at last.” He smiles mischievously at her. And a bit nervously, he realizes.
Lydia: “Robert, you’re a real comedian. Now I didn’t get much sleep last night. So, could we really just sleep tonight?” She smiles bemusedly. Of course, Lydia’s mind is still fixated on her sleeping, in a bed, with a not drunk tonight Robert–and her heart skips a couple of beats.
Robert: He hasn’t had any alcohol tonight. But he is feeling teasingly frisky. “Well Lydia, what else did you have in mind?”
Robert asks cheekily as he pulls Lydia close to him and they embrace as he kisses her lightly on her lips. Then Lydia and Robert lean back from their embrace and they both look quizzically at each other for a few moments. But that’s all and they release each other. It was an awkward moment for each of them. They’re friends, right? They hug and kiss each other all the time. But tonight seems different for some reason—perhaps due to the sexual bantering they’ve done with each other since yesterday?
Lydia: Breaking the awkward silence, Lydia says. “Well, I’m going to brush my teeth and go to sleep. I want to sleep between sheets tonight, Robert. So, you’re going to sleep on top of the sheets tonight, mister.” She says practically as she heads to the bathroom with her lounge wear clothes to change into.
Robert: “Sure. Not a problem.” He says agreeing with her and nodding his head amiably. Then, Robert sits patiently on the bed—waiting for his turn in the bathroom—pondering how he feels about Lydia and their relationship.
Lydia: “Okay, your turn.” She says walking into the bedroom in her body hugging soft cotton camisole with no bra on and her shorts over her panties. She has her arms folded in front of herself demurely.
Robert thinks that Lydia actually looks pretty in her sleeping outfit—even without her make up on, because she takes it off each night and moisturizes her face. He sees her every night without her makeup on. Robert wonders if it is oddly intimate that he knows that Lydia does that—moisturizes her face each night?
Robert: “Uh, thanks. See you soon.” Robert visits the bathroom and brushes his teeth and such–removing all but his long legged briefs. He opens the bathroom door, wondering if he will find an invitation from Lydia–or not. He sees her facing away from him and he hesitates. Then he walks back into the bedroom and turns off the bedroom light—while leaving the bathroom light on and the door ajar so they can find it in the night without tripping over the furniture. He stands at the bed, hesitating again–wanting something more with Lydia but not knowing if she feels the same way. “I’m getting into bed now.” He’s not quite sure why he’s telling her that, because she knows that he is going to sleep in the bed with her again.
Lydia: “Uh huh.” She sighs sleepily as she lays there in the bed on her side–facing away from him. Of course, Lydia is not quite asleep yet. Who could sleep with England’s Heartthrob about to slide into bed next to you? Lydia’s body is tense, anticipatory, aroused. But, it’s not like they’re going to make out, let alone make love, she thinks. Are they?
Robert lays down on top of the bed and he pauses a moment looking over at the half asleep Lydia as he turns onto his side facing her back–unconsciously wanting to spoon with her again as they had sleeping together last night. Lydia can feel Robert’s warm breath on her shoulder and it is taking all of her will power not to turn to look at him. Robert thinks that he and Lydia have so much fun together–and he finds her very attractive, even without her makeup on. But the question is–for Robert–how does Lydia feel about him? Might they become more than friends? Robert wonders how to begin that conversation with Lydia without making her feel awkward? Or, he thinks, that maybe she would have given him some signals by now if she were interested in him romantically. Wouldn’t she? Again, we suggest. Wake up, Robert!
Robert realizes that he is not reflecting on his and Lydia’s relationship idly–he does have romantic feelings for her. But Robert also doesn’t want to lose Lydia as his dear friend if she isn’t interested in him romantically. He almost kisses her exposed shoulder, but thinks better of it. Then Robert lays down on his back next to Lydia, but a few inches apart from her—answering Lydia’s silent question about whether they will make love or even just make out, with a silent no. Robert wraps the comforter around himself to keep warm. Then, both Lydia and Robert eventually fall asleep—exhausted from thinking about the uncertainties surrounding their relationship. And perhaps wondering, what if?
Happily, Sunday morning arrives and Robert and Lydia have some coffee and a sweet roll at home before heading to church with his parents. As they walk into the small village church, Lydia thinks that it is also quaint and lovely. Robert hasn’t been to church at home—or really anywhere—for a long time due to his crazy filming schedule. So, he’s a little rusty at the ritual. However, Lydia seems to participate easily in the service—since she’s an Episcopalian from the States, almost an Anglican–and Robert’s parents give him knowing and approving glances about Lydia.
It begins to dawn on Robert that his parents really do think that he and Lydia are a romantic couple—and maybe headed for marriage. And Robert is not sure if his parents’ assumption is a good thing or a bad thing. However, Robert is sure that Lydia would be shocked to know that he’s even contemplating it—or at least, thinking about a romantic relationship with her. Robert just hopes that no mention is made of his and Lydia’s relationship at the after services coffee hour–or things could get awkward. He and Lydia will need to broach that topic privately at some point–if he can work up the nerve to do so. So, they all walk toward the Parish Hall after services to chat and munch on coffee cake and such. Once again—for the umpteenth time this weekend—Robert has his arm comfortably around Lydia’s shoulders.
Robert: “Lydia, shall we get some coffee and coffee cake?”
Lydia: “Robert, I thought we all had breakfast before we came to services?” She smiles at him impishly.
Robert: “Oh, that roll was just an appetizer. And even what they have here isn’t going to tide me over. I’m afraid I’ll still need a real breakfast at some point. Got to replace those carbs I lost.” He jokes cheekily.
Robert’s parents smile and give him a knowing glance—assuming that he and Lydia did make love last night or this morning, despite not hearing any noises emanating from the guest bedroom. You see, Robert and Lydia were so self conscious about their exercising being mistaken for lovemaking on Saturday morning—coupled with the early church services Sunday morning—that they didn’t exercise this morning. But, Robert’s and Lydia’s lack of noise making didn’t seem to have the effect that they wanted. And Robert’s parents still think that he and Lydia are a romantic couple.
Dad: “So Robert my boy, you’re looking better this morning. … Sleep well?” Dad says smiling at Robert knowingly and smiling at his son’s lady friend, the lovely Lydia.
Robert: “Very.” Then he changes the subtext and says. “Thanks again Mum and Dad for having us up. We’ve really enjoyed it.”
Lydia: “Yes, thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed meeting you both.” She says warmly and thinking forlornly that she’ll never be asked back—by Robert.
Mum: “It’s our pleasure.” She smiles warmly–hoping that Lydia is a keeper in her son’s mind, because Lydia already is a keeper in his parents’ minds.
Gratefully, Robert’s parents did not make a point of introducing Robert and his lady friend to the vicar—let alone try to set a wedding date for their non-existent romantic relationship, thinks Lydia. So, Robert and Lydia travel home to London that morning on the train and just relax the rest of the afternoon. Robert and Lydia have been on the spot as a couple all weekend and they’re exhausted. But of course, they were on the spot for a reason. People—Robert’s parents in particular—making the assumption that Robert and Lydia are a romantic couple based on how Robert and Lydia interact with each other. And though Robert and Lydia do not discuss the misunderstanding that occurred over the weekend once they return home to London, it is weighing heavily on both of their minds.
To be continued with Chapter 8
References, Ch. 6-7
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) Richard Armitage’s feet cropped from his 2003 Cold Feet program Promo shot (pix 19) and was found at Joni’as Cut Blog at http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_i6ofJo5WKhA/TUcpGer1N1I/AAAAAAAAAOQ/GLKfRWfOXc4/s1600/feetprn+%25281%2529.jpg
2b) “My Left Foot” (1989) a film based on the life of Christy Brown; information may be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Left_Foot_%28film%29
3) Robert image (cropped, brightened, sharpened) is that of Richard Armitage portraying Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood 3, episode 6 (pix 109) and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0109.JPG
4) NYTimes, 9/16/12 photo of Diane Lane by Dean LaPrairie http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/theater/diane-lane-back-onstage-in-sweet-bird-of-youth.html
5) Image of almond bark peppermint candies was found at tastebook.com at http://content1.tastebook.com/content/photo/user_photo/YCwFEvfe13c213434393431333wFEvfehL_1324372047.jpg
6) Robert image is that of Richard Armitage from his Glamour UK Magazine portraits (#08) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/Glamour/album/Glamour-08.jpg
7) Lydia image is of Diane Lane during her 2011 TCA press tour and was found at
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