“A Magnificent Love”, Ch. 05 (PG-13): Christmas Day Remorse and Reconciliation, December 27, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #679)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage for Richard Thorne, Sigourney Weaver for Richard’s mother Elise Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh for Edith Thorne Burke, Haley Atwell for Christina Gilcrist, James Slattery for Frederick Burke, Harrison Ford for Prof. Percy Gilcrist, Franco Nero for Count Victor Renaldi, and others]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “A Magnificent Love” is a story with mature themes (D for drama and S for sensuality) of love and relationships. Most chapters will be PG or PG-13. However, if you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s recap from the previous chapter: Christina received a surprise when Elise Thorne, her daughter Edie Burke, and her granddaughter Elisa turned up at the Barnette Chicago jewelry store to purchase something for 10 year old Elisa. Of course, Elise was also checking Christina out. Then hoping to further along her son Richard possibly considering Christina as a potential date or more, Elise requests she deliver Elisa’s resized ring to her penthouse in Chicago–when she know her son Richard is due to turn up to take her to Christmas Eve services. And then Elise invites Christina and her father to join them for their Day after Christmas luncheon and afternoon of fun at her mansion estate in the country, just five miles from Christina’s family mansion home. However, Elise’s efforts back fire, since Richard is suspicious and accuses Christina of trying to take advantage of his mother when he corners Christina in the elevator as he escorts her out of the building. And like a wounded and fearful animal, Christina defensively fought back verbally and slapped Richard so hard she drew blood. Christina told him off, then left him in her dust. Richard then had to face his mother’s wrath as he went back up to her penthouse apartment. Then after getting his lip stitched up, his mother punished Richard for his boorish behavior by making him sit in the corner to think about what he did wrong–as if he were a child. Richard was beginning to have his doubts what happened between he and Christina–and so does Christina.
“A Magnificent Love”, Ch. 5: Christmas Day Remorse and Reconciliation
When I reach our home Bellhurst on Christmas Eve night around 9:00pm [(x) right]–I had driven around for a few hours to think after the metra rail deposited me at my home city’s station where my car was parked–Daddy is already asleep in bed. So I do not want to waken him and I head straight to my bedroom. I had calmed down during my metra train ride home from Chicago. Well, I calmed down, and then I started to worry again. What if Richard Thorne files assault charges against me for hitting him? I had threatened him with kidnap charges. And men have filed charges to get back at women. And I’m not entirely proud of myself. Well, I was proud of myself for standing up to him–right up until the point that I slapped Richard so hard that he cut his lip. And he’s probably bruising by now with my palm print on his right cheek. In fact, my hand hurts and I wrap it in ice.
Crap! I can think that word, even if I would never say it out loud–because I am a lady. Though with my behavior tonight, I am seriously questioning my status as a lady–and I’m certain Richard is as well. I should have just shut my mouth and walked away from him when he started accusing me of preying on his mother. But I couldn’t walk away because he had me trapped in that damn elevator. Another word that I will not say out loud. Oh no, I had to give Richard as good as he gave to me. And then I went too far and I slapped him for his insufferable insults. But violence is never the answer.
And I will never ever live this down. I’ll become known as gash them over the head Gilcrist, don’t chross Christina, and the dangerous damsel. I am ruined! It’s not that men were flocking to my door in the first place, anyway. But now? No one wants a wife who would challenge them–in more ways than one. I am doomed to spinsterhood. I will be selling fine quality jewelry until I’m old enough to look like that shriveled old lady with the multiple strands of pearls hanging around her neck who was in the store when I helped Richard with his gift for his mother–as if beautiful pearls could change the way she looked.
And when did I start thinking about him as just Richard, and not as Richard Thorne, or as Mr. Thorne? I am so confused that I tumble into bed and fall fitfully sleep from nervous exhaustion.
Christmas Day, I have a bit of maneuvering to do after breakfast, when Daddy asks me what time the Thornes are expecting us on Friday for lunch?
Christina: “What did you say, Daddy?” I freeze with his question, dreading how to respond to him
Prof. Gilcrist: “I asked, when do the Thorne’s want us to turn up on Friday?”
Christina: “Daddy, I hope you won’t be disappointed. But I don’t think they’ll be expecting us afterall.”
Prof. Gilcrist: “Why not? We said we would go?” I look at her questioningly. She has been acting strangely this Christmas morning.
Christina: “I kind of let it slip to Mrs. Thorne’s son Richard that you were feeling unwell. And so we could not join them.”
Okay, I’m lying to my father wholesale now. But I just can’t tell him what really happened. Can I? No, I can’t.
Prof. Gilcrist: I look at my daughter questioningly [(2) right]. “Alright. But if you didn’t want to go, Chrissy, you could have just said so. It makes no difference to me.” I say wearily, even though it is only 9 o’clock in the morning.
Daddy walks back to his study to read his books. That’s our Christmas since Mommy died–him doing his thing and me doing my thing. I’ll probably just watch some movies. There isn’t much to do here in the country all by myself.
And then the door bell rings. And I wonder who comes calling uninvited on Christmas Day? Despite being in my Christmas red flannel night clothes of loose long pant bottoms, a camisole top supporting my sometimes embarrassingly large bosom and its matching flannel robe, with my hair haphazardly resting on my shoulders–since I was putting off taking another tepidly warm shower this morning as long as I could–and being so not presentable to any visitors. So whoever it is will have to take what they get.
I haul open the front door. And all I see is a massively beautiful wreath made of Christmas greens with burgundy satin ribbons, flocked pine cones, balsam fir, etc [(3) right]. It’s gorgeous! And it smells so Christmasy!
Christina: “Hello there. Are you sure that you’re delivering that wreath to the right place?” I ask the delivery person as I wrap my robe tighter around myself because of the blast of outside cold air that hit me when I opened our front door.
Then he lowers the wreath so that I can see his face–see his bruised and swollen and bloodied face, that I caused when I hit him last night. It’s Richard Thorne!
Richard: “Well, I thought it best to keep a buffer between us while I attempt to apologize to you. I would grin sheepishly, but it hurts too much.” I raise an eyebrow–the only part of my face that doesn’t hurt. “You look fetching today.” I grin cheekily at her red Christmas comfy sleeping attire. Though seeing Christina’s long hair falling in tousled waves about her lovely face is quite charming [(4) right].
Christina: “Richard! What are you doing here?” I ask in amazement, because Richard Thorne is the last person that I expected to see. Ooh! And he has stitches in his lip–because of me. Dang!
And gosh Richard [(5) right] looks handsome in his leather jacket over jeans and boots. Then I look down at what I am wearing, wincingly thinking what I must look like–a disheveled heap of Christmas red flannel.
Christina: “Oh crap!” I exclaim quite dejectedly. Then I close my eyes in mortification and say under my breath. “I can’t believe that I just said that word out loud.”
Richard: “Christina, I can’t believe a lot of things, but I …” Then I stop myself before I say something she won’t like. “Christina, talking gets me into trouble.” We stare at each other for a moment. But my backside is getting chilled and she is unnecessarily heating the outdoors with her front door standing wide open. “So are you going to invite me in, or am I going to freeze out in the cold?” I whine. And yes, my 43 year old self can still whine.
Christina: My ingrained courtesy chip kicks in and I invite him inside. “Please come in, Richard.” I say hesitantly.
Prof. Gilcrist: Walking out to the foyer, I ask my daughter absentmindedly. “Did I hear the doorbell?” Then I see a tall man whose bruised and slightly swollen face looks like he went three rounds with Muhammed Ali–standing in our foyer with a very large and overly decorated Christmas wreath in his arms. “Hello.” I say to him tentatively. “Merry Christmas.”
Richard: “Merry Christmas, Sir.” I stick to a politely respectful tone since her father is my elder. At least, I guess that this is Christina’s father. We have not, as of yet, been formally introduced.
My Daddy and Richard then just stare at each other for a few moments. The silence is deafening. Then I remember my manners.
Christina: “Daddy, this is Richard Thorne. Richard, this is my father, Prof. Percy Gilcrist.
Both men now hold out their right hands and shake cordially.
Prof. Gilcrist: “What happened to you, My boy?”
Richard darts a quick glance at me. And I wince and shake my head no, silently pleading with Richard not to say anything to my father about me slapping him.
Richard: I think for a moment about how to respond to Prof. Gilcrist. Then I just decide to fib with a stone faced expression on my face and a monotone voice as I turn back to face him. “I skied into a tree.”
Christina: “Hhhh!” I sigh in relief for Richard covering for me with my Daddy.
Prof. Gilcrist: “You should be more careful.” I point at him chidingly.
Richard: “Oh I will be.” I say a bit more cryptically than I intended as I see Christina’s eyes go wide. I hand Mr. Gilcrist the large and beautiful wreath. “We had an extra Christmas wreath and Mother thought that you might like it.”
Prof. Gilcrist: “Thank you.” I hand the wreath to Christina, even though its large size dwarfs her. “Chrissy Dear, put the wreath where you want to. I am no decorator.”
Christina: “Yes Daddy.” I smile at Daddy as I try to adjust the large wreath in my arms. “I’ll put it over the fireplace in the living room.”
Richard: “Here, I’ll help you.” Christina looks at me strangely. Maybe she thinks she should remove the fireplace tools with me nearby. Come to think of it, maybe I want to have them removed. If she can do this much damage to me with one slap … I shudder to think what she could do to me with metal objects.
Prof. Gilcrist: “Alright. Chrissy, I’ll be in my study.” As I start to turn back to head to my study.
Richard: “Oh Prof. Gilcrist, Mother wanted me to let you know that our buffet lunch tomorrow starts at 12noon, then we have our afternoon activities after that.”
Prof. Gilcrist: I stare at my daughter. Clearly, the Thornes didn’t get Chrissy’s message about me being supposedly ill. But I regroup. “We look forward to it.” I start walking back to my study. “I’ll leave you two, to it.” I dismissively wave my hand at them as I leave.
Richard and I just stare at each other for a few moments. Then the large wreath becomes too heavy for me to keep holding and it sags to the ground.
Richard: After seeing her struggling with the heavy wreath, I reach for it. “Here, let me help you with that, Christina.”
Christina: “Thank you.” I say meekly. “It’s this way.” I mumble and gesture to an adjoining room–our larger living room–and we walk in there.
Richard: “Well, this room is lovely.” I say appreciatively as I glance around her formal living room.
Christina: “Yes, it was my late mother’s favorite room.” Then I look over to the fireplace. “We’ll have to take the mirror down and then we can put the wreath up in its place.”
Richard: “Alright.” I stride over to the fire place and easily remove the mirror from above the mantel–without needing a ladder, because I’m so tall. And I set the mirror on the floor. Unfortunately, it is one of those convex mirrors that bulge out–and it makes my bruised, bloodied, and swollen face look even more hideous as it passes in front of my face when I lift it down. Then I place the wreath above the mantel and look back at Christina standing across the room from it at the window. “How’s that?”
Christina: “That looks good.” I nod. “Thank you.”
Richard: “You’re welcome.”
What must he think of me? And I look a fright! This is so not how I wanted our next meeting to be. And I wonder if I had wanted to see Richard again after last night’s fiasco? Then it occurs to me that Richard might not be here because he wants to be. Is he here under duress from his mother insisting that he apologize? And does Richard really think that I can blithely turn up at his house tomorrow for luncheon and activities when there is this discord looming between us?
Alright, we have gotten through the pleasantries, but I have yet to apologize to her. Best that I get it over with as quickly as possible.
Then we look up at each other and both say simultaneously.
Richard and Christina: “I’m sorry.” Then we laugh at having said it at the same time. “Ha ha ha ha ha!
Richard: I wince from the pain of laughing with my injured face. “Ow!”
Christina: “I’m really sorry, Richard. Do you want some ice for that?”
Richard: “Yes, thanks.”
So I motion for him to follow me and we walk down the hallway and back to the kitchen area. It is a large and airy kitchen with Country French cream colored cabinets that my mother had installed when she married my father 34 years ago, and with a cozy family room and breakfast nook off to the side.
Christina: After putting some crushed ice into a plastic sandwich bag, I wrap it in a clean and soft tea towel and hold it up to his cheek.
Richard: “Thanks.” I take the ice pack from her and hold it to my left cheek. I sit down on one of the raised kitchen counter’s bar stools. Then I notice no one else seems to be in the house but Christina, her father, and myself. “Cook’s day off?” Then I remember what my mother said about their finances and I mentally chastise myself for being so insensitive.
Christina: I look at him in consternation, not wanting to explain our austere living situation. “Something like that. She retired. And our part-time housekeeper is off today spending time with her family.” I sit down on the stool next to him.
Richard: “Oh.” Then I feel there is no time like the present for apologizing to her. “Look Christina.”
Christina: “Hhhh!” I gasp in a breath, dreading what he might say.
Richard: “I take full responsibility for what happened last night. I badgered you, forced you into a corner, and then you gave me what I had coming to me. So don’t beat yourself up about it.”
Christina: “Literally or figuratively?” I smile wanly at his choice of words. “You were being a … a word that I won’t say … But still, I shouldn’t have hit you.” I wince in embarrassment.
Richard: I smile with the corner of my mouth that isn’t injured. “Are you always so prim and proper, Miss Gilcrist? That is, when you’re not bashing people’s faces in?”
Christina: “Can’t help it. My first chapter book was Emily Post. Ha!” I joke. “And as to the bashing your face in, I don’t know my own strength, obviously.” My eyes widen in shock for the damage that I had inflicted on him.
Richard: “You are formidable.” I gaze at her appreciatively. No woman has ever dared to confront me as she did–even without the slap–no man either, were I to be honest with myself.
Christina: Then something occurs to me. “Yet, you didn’t hit me back? I was defenseless in that elevator and you could have easily overpowered me.”
Richard: My face falls dejectedly [(6) right]. “Hhhh! Christina, do you really see me as that much of an ogre?” She slowly and hesitantly shakes her head no. “Christina, I would never hit or harm a lady in any way–no matter what.”
Christina: Here comes the $64,000 question. “But do you still consider me to be a lady?”
Richard: “Most definitely!” I reply without equivocation as I gently clasp her hand in my free hand as my other hand still holds the ice pak to my cheek.
Christina: “Why?” I gaze at him questioningly.
Richard: “Why what?” I ask her quizzically.
Christina: “After all that has happened, why do you still think of me as a lady?” My question reveals how insecure I feel around him.
Richard: “Well, in my view, a lady does not compromise her principles, she stands up for what she believes in, and she treats others kindly and with compassion.”
Christina: “Ah! I guess I fail on that last point.” I sigh, rolling my eyes at him as I give him an embarrassed smile.
Richard: “I disagree. You kindly helped me select the perfect gift for my mother. And then when she and my sister Edie and niece Elisa visited you at Barnette Chicago, Mother told me that you invited them to sit down to select the jewelry–probably guessing that my sister gets fatigued easily.”
Christina: “Yes, I sensed that she wasn’t feeling well.”
Richard: “It’s arthritis.”
Christina: “I’m sorry.” I instinctively touch his arm caringly.
Richard: “Edie won’t mind my telling you since she is on the Arthritis Foundation Board. She’s had it since childhood–it’s very painful. But she keeps going and living her life. And she has a loving husband and three great kids.”
Christina: “She sounds like a very brave lady.”
Richard: “Brave is a good way to describe her. Despite her crippling illness, Edie is one of the strongest women I know, next to my mother.” I pause. “And you.”
Christina: “Me? Because I gave you a right hook?” I mock swing at Richard slowly and he smiles in putting his hand up in defense.
Richard: “No. Ha ha ha ha ha! It’s because you showed courage when you told me off–things that I needed to hear. Hhhh!” I sigh despondently. She had me and my romantic leanings–up to that point–pegged so accurately. Frankly, I sounded like a cliché when she described me flitting from one relationship to another–a billionaire playboy. I wince at that notion.
Christina: “Richard, I don’t know you. And some of the things I said–about the women you date–I was generalizing. I don’t know anything about your past relationships.”
Richard: “And yet, your assessment was spot on.” I wince in admitting that to her.
Christina: I blanch as my mouth turns downward into a pout. “Well, I think that I was projecting what I have always been told–to watch out for fortune hunters because of my inheritance. That some men might try to ingratiate themselves with me, but that they wouldn’t be sincere in their affection for me.”
Richard: “Sadly, that might be the case in some instances.” I nod. “That is what has always held me back in my relationships. The women seemed to be more interested in the idea of me as a billionaire entrepreneur, than just me as Richard Thorne.”
Christina: I smile and say teasingly. “Well, and then there is that over weaning ego of yours. Does anyone ever say no to you?”
Richard: “No. Well, except for my Mother, my sister, and now, well, you.” I grin, then grimace. “Ow.”
Christina: “I’m sorry, Richard.” I apologize for the umpteenth time. “Let me freshen up your ice pack.” He hands the plastic bag to me and I empty its contents into the kitchen sink. Then I go over to the fridge and get some more crushed ice from the in the door ice dispenser–the one luxury we have–and I hand the replenished ice pack to him.
Richard: “By the way, I hear from Mother that you can’t access your inheritance for five years?” I sheepishly shrug my shoulders at my so awkwardly changing the topic of our conversation away from us.
Christina: My eyes widen in surprise. “I guess since mother’s will went through probate, that its details are common knowledge. I won’t get anything but a small living stipend until I turn 35. So, I’m relatively free of unscrupulous male attention–they don’t want to be tied down to me for five years until the money comes in.” I state facetiously.
Richard: “How much are we talking about?” I ask rather nosily. But I am curious.
Christina: “I guess I’ll tell you–because you’ll find out anyway. And you’re a billionaire so my paltry inheritance won’t matter to you. I will receive $50 million dollars–more money than I could ever hope to earn in my life time.”
For with Christina’s years as a Sales Associate at Barnette Chicago, her mindset has gone from privileged princess to someone who works for a living.
Richard: I stifle a comment that I earn that amount monthly, in dividends alone. “And you can’t touch any of it until you’re 35, not even to repair your home?” She shakes her head no. “I find that … odd. Who is your financial attorney?”
Christina: “Bruce Conroy. He had handled Daddy and Mommy’s trust fund matters before she died. So he’s always been around.” Bruce and Richard are probably about the same age, actually. Though Richard seems so much younger and more vigorous, than Bruce.
Richard: Hmmm. Treading lightly because I don’t want her to think that I’m being intrusive, I suggest. “Christina, in most trust funds, there is a type of exigency clause to allow the trustee recipient to withdraw funds for basic necessities and unplanned events. So you should be able to request funds for the maintenance of your home beyond your living stipend.” I see her eyes perk up. “Would you allow me to have my attorneys look into it for you? There might be a clause that this Bruce Conroy is interpreting too narrowly.” And I have some nagging concerns regarding that, and Bruce Conroy’s handling of her trust fund.
Christina: I look at him wonderingly for his kind offer of assistance. “Alright. That’s very kind of you, Richard. Shall I ask Bruce to let your attorney or accountant look over the will and the trust accounts?”
Richard: I put up my hand not holding the ice pak to my cheek in mock protest. “No need to get him involved yet. Let me initially make private inquiries. Then if we need to, we can always seek more information from Mr. Conroy.” I don’t want to tip him off to our investigation–especially if my suspicions are correct. But I really hope that I am found to be wrong in my assumptions.
Christina: “Alright.” I smile gratefully at him. Then I pause and look at him quizzically. “Richard why are you doing this? Why are you helping me?”
Richard: “You mean after you bashed my face in?” I tease her. She pouts. “Now now, you didn’t break anything. I just have two stitches in my lip–that’s why it hurts to smile–and the bruising and swelling are already going down.” Well, my cheek is almost back to its normal size.
Christina: “Thank you.” I say quietly as I look away from his gaze. “You are being very gracious about the whole thing.”
Richard: “Oh and, a little birdy told me that you are having to wait on a new water heater because the plumber couldn’t get one ordered this week due to the holidays.”
Christina: I tilt my head in wonderment that he should be aware of our plumbing problem. “Yes. I don’t know what the problem is with it. Our current water heater just doesn’t get hot enough to give us warm water–let alone hot water. It started acting up about a month ago.”
Richard: I grin broadly, then wince with the pain in my lip. “Well, I have a confession to make.” I state sheepishly.
Christina: “Another one? Ha ha ha!” I give him a crooked smile with my eyes looking at him bemusedly askance.
Richard: “Yes. I brought you another peace offering–other than the wreath from Mother. It seems that when mother had to have the bathrooms at our home replumbed recently, she had our water heaters replaced as well. But she hadn’t had anything done with the old water heaters since they still worked, and she didn’t want to just throw them away in the landfill. And the water heaters were just sitting in the garage waiting for us to figure out what to do with them.” My voice trails off with the implication of us giving her one of the water heaters.
Christina: My eyes go wide in anticipation. “You didn’t!” I squeal excitedly at the thought of hot water. And I squeeze his hand.
Richard: “Yes, I did.” I smile delightedly at her seeming to be agreeable to our water heater gift. “We thought that you might like to borrow one of the water heaters until your new one comes in. Our estate plumber is working with your grounds person to install it even as we speak. They might be done already.”
Just then, there is a knock at the back kitchen door and the Gilcrist grounds man and Richard’s man walk in.
Plumber: “Mr. Thorne, Sir, I installed our old water heater downstairs and it should be working already. Their old water heater had silted over and clogged. That’s why it wasn’t running properly. They can’t be repaired when that happens, so it’s good that we brought our water heater over to them.”
Richard: “Thank you, Thomas. There will be an additional Christmas bonus for you this year added to your next paycheck for your help today. I appreciate you coming out to help on your holiday. Merry Christmas to you and your family.”
Plumber: “And Merry Christmas to you, Sir. Thank you.” Then he turns to Christina and touches his forehead as if he had a cap on. “Miss, go ahead give the hot water a try.” He says with a smile as he and the Gilcrist grounds man leave.
Christina looks excitedly at Richard, then she jumps up and goes to the kitchen sink and turns on the hot water. At first, the water flow seems sluggish and rusty colored, since the hot water line has not been used for a while. Then, the line clears out and clear water gushes out of the spout–hot water, with steam rising.
I run my fingers through it not caring that they are getting singed. I will have a nice hot shower today. Then I realize that Richard has come up behind me and I turn toward him and spontaneously turn around and hug him around his waist.
Christina: “Thank you, Richard! You don’t know how wonderful it is to have hot water again! And the prospect of a nice hot shower.”
Richard: “Ha ha ha! You’re welcome!” I wasn’t prepared for her hugging me and I hold my arms up for a moment. Then I lower them and pat her back in a friendly caring way. And I stem my lustful thoughts about her mentioning her taking a hot shower.
Christina: “Oh! I have to show Daddy! Wait here!” I race to Daddy’s study and cajole him to come back to the kitchen with me–without telling him why.
Prof. Gilcrist: “Still here?” I say to Richard when I see him. I think, maybe he is sweet on Christina.
Richard: “Yes sir. But I should leave you two to your Christmas Day. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
Christina: “Wait, Richard! Daddy look!” And I turn on the hot water full blast and the steam rises from the kitchen sink again. “Richard’s mother is loaning us their old water heater until our new one comes in. No more cold showers!” I squeal in delight.
Prof. Gilcrist: I smile at Chrissy’s exuberance. Then I turn to look at Richard and nod. “That’s very thoughtful of your mother, Richard. Please thank her for me–until I can do so in person when we see her tomorrow.”
Richard: “I will, Sir.” Then I turn to Christina. “See me out?” And I hold out my hand which she takes willingly. The bright smile of effusive joy on her face catches my heart in my throat. She really is breathtakingly beautiful–even looking like she just rolled out of bed, maybe especially because she looks like she just rolled out of bed.
Christina’s father smiles knowingly as he watches his daughter Christina and Richard Thorne leave the kitchen. Then he returns to his study to read the newspaper–and do the crossword puzzle.
Richard bemusedly lets himself be dragged into the front hall foyer–like Christina is a little girl pulling a boy along behind her.
After Christina walks me to her front hall foyer, she gives me another hug. She must be a hugger.
Christina: “Thank you so much, Richard! After last night, I was dreading seeing you again. But I was so wrong.” I release Richard from my hug so that I can look at his face. But I still hold on to his hand.
Richard: “I’m glad that we’ve made amends, Christina. I’m not so bad when you get to know me.” I smile cordially at her. She is really very sweet–when she isn’t telling me off or slapping me in my face.
Then we both look up and realize that we are standing under some mistletoe that she must have put up as a Christmas decoration. Mother has mistletoe interspersed around our home, too. Christina and I both look away shyly, embarrassed to be caught in this awkward situation. I squeeze her hand in mine again. She looks up at me, then she expectantly looks above my head at the mistletoe again.
Christina: “Well?” She smiles at me challengingly.
Richard: I smile knowingly. Then I mock pout at her and then point to my stitches. “My lip is injured. The doctor says that I’m not to use it until the stitches fall out in a week to ten days.” I guess that I also realize that I might be a little old for Christina–I’m 43 to her 30 years. And I don’t want her to confuse her gratefulness for our loaning them a water heater, with other feelings–if she has any for me. And to be frank, I don’t want to confuse what she might or might not feel for me for more than her being grateful.
Christina: “Too bad.” I sigh, then bat my eye lashes at him coquettishly. He grins. “I may be a lady, but I very much like kissing–though I’m quite out of practice.” I raise myself up on my tippy toes and I put my arms around his neck.
I gaze desirously down at her face. Her body draping itself over mine and molding herself to me is doing wicked things to my senses. I thank god that I am wearing rather heavy fabric jeans or she would know just what my response to her is–our 13 year age difference or not.
Richard: “Do you now?” I ask cheekily.
Christina: “I do!” Then I strain upwards, my mouth teasingly hovering near his lips–he doesn’t move, but his eyes look at me questioningly with a saucily raised eyebrow. Then I give him a quick smooch on his uninjured right cheek and I lower myself back down to stand flat on my fuzzy sock covered feet as I also remove my arms from around his neck.
Christina: “Until tomorrow.” I smile shyly [(7) right] and I squeeze Richard’s hand back before he turns to leave and heads home. And as I close the front door and lean against it, I think, this Christmas isn’t turning out so badly afterall. Then I race upstairs to my bedroom’s ensuite bathroom for a lovely long hot shower.
And when Richard Thorne arrives home, he lets his mother know that all is well–the Gilcrist’s accepted the wreath, the loan of the water heater, and Christina accepted his apology. And Richard remembers that last shy smiling look that Christina gave him and how her body felt in his arms when she kissed his cheek. Then he excuses himself to head to his own bedroom’s ensuite bathroom–to take a cold shower.
What the day after Christmas gathering between the Thornes, the Burkes, and the Gilcrists may bring is anyone’s guess. But Elise Thorne feels more hopeful about her son Richard’s prospects with the young and charming Christina Gilcrist.
To be continued with Chapter 6
“A Magnificent Love”, Ch. 5 References for Wattpad, December 27, 2014, Gratiana Lovelace (Post #679)
1) The “A Magnificent Love” story cover by Gratiana Lovelace is a composite of images I capped from the video “The Hobbit Star Richard Armitage: Exclusive Interview on The Hobbit” by Glamour UK
found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAfBKuDo5sg :
a) the cropped background of Richard Armitage on street for Glamour UK 2013 Photo Shoot Dec1714 Bright Box Productions; and
b)the masked image of Richard Armitage on street for Glamour UK 2013 Photo Shoot Dec1714 Bright Box Productions.
2) Prof. Percy Gilcrist is an image of actor Harrison Ford found at http://cineobjetivo.com/2012/02/08/harrison-ford-no-estara-en-blade-runner-2/
3) Christmas wreath image is from MS Office Clip Art.
4) Christina Gilcrist image with her hair down is Hayley Atwell found at http://intersectnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/inews_hayley.jpg
5) Richard Thorne in leather jacket image is Richard Armitage as John Porter in 2010’s StrikeBack1 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode2HD/ep2hd_056.jpg
6) Richard Thorne (flip) healing and apologizing to Christina image is Richard Armitage as John Porter in 2010’s StrikeBack1 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/StrikeBack/album/series1/Episode2HD/ep2hd_067.jpg
7) Christina Gilcrist image with her hair down and smiling is Hayley Atwell found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-78DbPB0QOlQ/Ti0arKmIHXI/AAAAAAAABDA/CL779BqDpFY/s1600/Hayley%2BAtwell%2B2.jpg