Author’s Dramatic Content Note: I write romantic love stories for adults, aged 18 and older. So most of the chapters will be PG-13 due to mature themes (M), or dramatic moments (D). And some of the chapters have romantic and sensual, but not explicit, love scenes that I will label as (L). So 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.
Additional Disclaimer: The Wiki and other reference links that I cite contain general information merely to allude to a place, person, concept/theory/belief, history, or artifact, etc. This story is a work of fiction, and people and their thoughts and actions are figments of my imagination and should not be taken as real or as fact. And though the general backgrounds of the characters and the story’s contextual setting involve mentions of the Christian religion—with an Anglican/Episcopal focus—this story is a romance, not a religious tract.
[And from time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Prof. Benedict Somerset, Jennifer Ehle as Laura Leicester, Loretta Devine as Connie Velasquez, and others as noted.]
Author’s recap from the previous chapter: At Benedict’s invitation, Laura attended Sunday morning worship servers that Benedict was leading with two of his students assisting. This is Benedict’s gesture of introducing her to his colleagues. Laura complemented him upon his sermon and the worship service in general, met President Casten who leads the seminary college, as well as her meeting a few other of Benedict’s clergy and theology professor colleagues. However, Benedict became unsettled when President Casten asked Benedict if he was inviting Laura to the Spring Fling. Benedict is unsure if Laura might like a dinner dance event. And Laura was disappointed that he didn’t invite her on the spot. But they still plan to have lunch together at Benedict’s apartment.
“Somerset: A Time to Love”, Chapter 10 (PG-13, M, L): Sunday Afternoon at Benedict’s Apartment
Since Benedict had been a guest at Laura’s apartment yesterday while they waited for her car to be repaired, today Sunday, April 14th, Benedict returns the gesture and has her to lunch at his apartment after worship services that he led. Afterall, Benedict has his relatively new multi cup coffeemaker to try out, now that Laura is his first guest in his apartment here at the Seminary College.
Benedict and Laura each drive their cars over a few blocks from the seminary chapel building after the after services coffee break to Benedict’s on campus faculty/clergy apartment housing. And then Benedict walks Laura into his Seminary Apartment building’s partially staffed reception area and then to the elevator and mail box lobby area. The lobby is quiet. The apartment building is not fully in use currently since many clergy and professors have families for which a house with a yard is preferred for their children in their growing families. So it is usually just the single clergy and professors who live in the building.
Benedict nods at the security officer Bill Stanley at the reception desk—the officer is in uniform as a deterrent for any mischief makers, though he has a whistle, but no gun. The officer waves to Benedict and tips his officer’s hat to the lady. Residents do not need to sign in guests, but Officer Stanley duly notes that Benedict has a plus one visiting him should the building need to be evacuated.
After a short elevator ride to the fourth floor with Benedict sneaking glances [(2) below)] at Laura’s profile as she watches the floor numbers change–he welcomes her into his one bedroom apartment in the seminary college’s professor and clergy housing apartment building on campus.
Benedict’s apartment’s décor is spare and spartan–it being a furnished apartment due to many clergy don’t have much personal furniture since they tend move around a lot, and they also tend to stay in clergy housing with furnishings in place. But he does have a mirror and cabinet in his tiny foyer, before his apartment opens up to a kitchen on one side and a sitting area without tv—Benedict streams the few things he wants to see on tv—and a bedroom with bathroom beyond.
Laura smiles sweetly at Benedict as he looks hopefully at her about his apartment’s coziness. She doesn’t have the heart to tell him that his man cave could use some considerable sprucing up—even to just make the space more comfortable and useful for him. Hmmm. Laura is already in pseudo nesting mode, by her thinking of ways to enhance Benedict’s home. But she guesses that with the sometimes transient nature of clergy work, Benedict isn’t that acquisitive about items that he would only have to pack and move.
Laura and Benedict decide to make grilled cheese sandwiches and eat them with clam chowder soup from a can at his kitchen dining table. They share the work preparing their meals with Benedict on soup microwaving detail, and Laura handling the sandwich grilling—which requires a bit more finesse. Their meal was yummy and filling.
Then after lunch, Benedict and Laura move to the sitting area and sit on Benedict’s couch facing the gas fireplace. They chat while enjoying their brownie desserts–made by Laura at home yesterday evening–and coffees. Benedict sits to Laura’s left on the couch.
Laura: “So Benedict, have you used your smaller two cup coffeemaker yet?” Laura asks interestedly, deciding to open the conversation with a benign topic as she somewhat primly has her hands folded in her lap.
Benedict: “Yes, the smaller two cup coffeemaker is just right for the mornings. I pour it into a thermos before heading to my office on campus. But this is the first time that I tried out the 12 cup coffeemaker. Does the coffee taste alright?” He asks hospitably and she nods smilingly at him.
Laura: “Yes, thanks.”
Benedict: “I’m glad.” He tells her sincerely.
Laura: Then she switches topics. “Though you did very nicely, are you glad to have the worship service over?”
Benedict: “Absolutely! It can be nerve wracking performing for one’s peers.”
Benedict: He laughs. “Ha! Well, I tend to slightly irreverently refer to the worship service as being in the show. As I said earlier at the coffee hour, a worship service is like live theatre and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated.”
Laura: “That’s a good one!” She laughs.
Benedict and Laura haven’t kissed each other since last evening. And they are each wondering if they will kiss again this afternoon. And then there is the whole will he or won’t he–Benedict, that is–invite Laura to the Spring Fling dinner dance that is next Friday night?
Laura: “So Benedict?” She asks uncertainly.
Benedict: “Yes Laura?” He smiles.
Laura: “Are you breaking the rules by having a woman in your campus apartment?” She asks mischievously.
Benedict: “Not yet!” He laughs cheekily. “What’s the old time Hays Code movie romance rule? As long as we each keep one foot on the floor, we should be able to maintain a sense of decorum.”
Laura: “I guess the movie rule makers weren’t very creative romantically themselves if they thought that keeping one foot on the floor would prevent romantic …” She doesn’t want to say makeout sessions and settles on “… interludes”. Her eyes go innocently wide and she purses her lips a bit primly.
Benedict: “Hmmm.” Benedict sets down his brownie plate and his coffee mug on the coffee table such that both of his hands are free now. “True, Laura. Romance should be creative—and enjoyable.”
Laura: “Uh huh.” Laura murmurs as she stares quite mesmerized at Benedict’s broadening smile.
Then, Benedict takes Laura’s brownie plate and coffee mug from her hands and sets them on the coffee table. Clasping Laura’s left hand in his left hand, Benedict brings her hand to his lips and he gently but lingeringly kisses her fingers.
Laura: “Oh Benedict.” She sighs smiling at him warmly. “I think we might be in slippery slope territory again.” Especially if Laura begins to feel warm and tingly just from Benedict kissing her fingers.
Benedict: “Perhaps.” Benedict’s voice is now an octave lower as he smoulderingly smiles at Laura. The sexual tension between the two of them is quite palpable—as if they are standing on a precipice. Then the attraction and arousal between them goes over the edge as Benedict turns Laura’s hand over and he kisses the soft skin on the inside of her wrist.
Laura: “Hhhh!” She sighs. “You know Benedict, for a minister–or teacher of ministers–you’re not as staid as I once thought you were.” Laura’s voice is quite breathless in comparison to Benedict’s deeply timberous voice.
Benedict: “I’m glad you’ve noticed, Laura.” Benedict says smiling warmly at Laura as he leans in and tenderly kisses her lips as her left hand and wrist he had been kissing moves up to caress his face.
Laura: “Should we be alone together in your apartment and kissing?” She asks even more breathlessly.
Benedict: “Does being alone together and kissing in my apartment feel different to you than when we were alone in your apartment yesterday afternoon and kissing?” He asks interestedly as he continues to softly kiss her lips. Benedict wants Laura to feel comfortable about the two of them exploring a romantic relationship with each other.
Laura: “Oh, I don’t know.” She sighs again. “Maybe it’s because we’re on our twelfth activity together–that is, if you count the worship service and coffee hour, and now our lunch today separately.”
Benedict: “Hmmm.” Benedict growls deeply as he kisses Laura’s neck tenderly. “Do the number of our interactions going into double digits have a certain significance in dating circles?”
Laura: “Oh? We’re dating now? We’re not just friends?” She looks up at him questioningly. Laura keenly wants to know Benedict’s answer to her question.
Benedict: Benedict smiles at Laura with a charmingly sheepish grin as his face blushes. “Well, I do like you enormously, Laura–as a friend.” Then Benedict kisses Laura’s lips more than just as a friend.
Laura: “Uh huh.” Laura sighs. She’s doing a lot of that. “I like you quite a lot, too, Benedict.” Of course, Benedict has to kiss Laura’s luscious lips again for her matching statement of mutual interest. Then Laura senses Benedict is holding something back. So she hesitantly queries him. “But?” There is always a but.
Benedict: “But, Laura, I don’t think that we would be kissing each other if we were only just friends. Do you?”
Laura: “That’s a fair point. Though with you not being able to do more than kissing as a single minister, …” Laura says alluding to caressing. However, Benedict takes her reference to mean full physical intimacy. “… I doubt we’ll be finding out if we’re truly a romantic couple any time soon.” Laura sighs rather disappointedly. It’s been a long time since Laura has felt such tender loving and sensual feelings for someone and from someone–and she is hopeful about her and Benedict’s relationship progressing. And Laura is wearing her new matching lacy black panties and bra set, just in case.
Benedict: “Laura,” Benedict says continuing to kiss her on her lips, cheek, and neck—lingering tantalizingly over her creamy skin of her exposed clavicle–and then he kisses her lips again, for several minutes [(3) below]. “I said that I probably shouldn’t do more than just kiss you. … But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do more than that.” Benedict looks at Laura longingly.
Laura: “You do, Benedict?” Laura looks at Benedict a bit incredulously–that her minister friend is admitting that he has impure—or at least, romantic–thoughts, about her. And, Laura smiles sweetly at Benedict.
Benedict: “Yes. I’ve become very fond of you Laura. You’re very sweet and lovely. And I realize–now that you and I are together more—that I am a man first and clergy person second. So, I’m afraid that even just my thoughts about you Laura will require some confessional prayers.”
Laura: “Ooh Benedict, do you have to tell someone that we’re kissing?” Laura asks embarrassedly as she holds his face in her small hands—her feeling flushed and embarrassed–and she looks at Benedict longingly, but with a cute little pout on her mouth.
Benedict: “No Laura. Ha!” He laughs. “We’re Anglican Protestants. We talk straight to the big guy upstairs, privately, in our prayers.” Benedict amusingly points upward again. They both laugh. Then Benedict kisses Laura again.
Laura: “Well, maybe we should not lead ourselves into temptation as the Lord’s Prayer goes and stop kissing each other.” She sighs impishly.
Benedict: Taking her statement literally, Benedict says a bit dejectedly. “If that is what you wish, Laura, I will abide by that.” And Benedict sits back and he stops kissing Laura, but he still holds her hand.
Laura: Startled by Benedict so abruptly stopping his romantic attentions toward her, Laura asks him. “Benedict, are you always such a gentleman?”
Benedict: “If the lady wishes it, yes.” He says politely smiling at her.
Laura: “And if the lady doesn’t wish it?” Laura asks leaning forward and caresses Benedict’s face again as she looks at him longingly.
Benedict: Benedict takes Laura into his arms again. “I’m still a gentleman, Laura. Because I believe that the lady should decide how intimate we will be.”
Laura: “Benedict, are you really able to control yourself that well?” She smiles warmly up at him as she gently caresses his face.
Benedict: “So far.” He smiles a bit weakly. “But you are so beautiful and sweet and luscious, Laura, that you make it damn difficult for me to remain a gentleman.
Laura: Teasingly, Laura smiles sweetly. “Ooh Benedict, that damn will cost you another confession.”
Benedict: “And my apologies to you for my poor language choice.” Then Benedict winces hesitantly. “And Laura, I’m … well, I’m … out of practice, shall we say, …” Fifteen years out of practice, Benedict ponders. “… as far as dating intimacies go. My tendency toward shyness–coupled with the clergy codes of conduct rules–serve as a natural barrier to … pre-marital … romance.”
Laura: Ever forthright, Laura states boldly what Benedict dissembles about. “You mean sex?”
Benedict: “Yes!” He sighs. “I was just trying not to say that word.” Though Benedict even thinking about it—with Laura—makes him feel like an awkward and ungainly teenager, rather than the mature forty-five year old man that he is. Benedict looks uncomfortably aroused at her. Benedict hasn’t felt loving and sensual feelings for anyone for a very very long time.
Laura: Laura considers their respective situations, as well as what she is feeling for Benedict before she responds to him. “Benedict, I know you may think that your romantic reticence is a turn off. But, it’s actually having the opposite effect with me—due to your consideration of my feelings and wishes.” She smiles at him lovingly as she caresses his face softly and tenderly with both of her small hands.
Benedict: “Then Laura, you’re the only woman for whom that is the case. Ha ha ha.” He laughs softly and slowly shakes his head in astonishment.
Laura: “Indeed! Ha ha ha!” Laura leans in and softly kisses Benedict’s lips as she continues to hold his face gently in her hands. “You know Benedict, we could think of our situation as a fun challenge.”
Benedict wonders how physical and emotional frustration can be considered fun.
Benedict: “How so?” He looks at her quizzically, and kisses her lips.
Laura: “Well, you and I finding creative ways to be intimate and loving with each other that don’t breach your code of conduct rules could be fun–and certainly challenging.” They both laugh.
Benedict: “Technically, single ministers don’t have many options–just kissing and embracing. And even then, you have to be careful.” He winces.
Laura: “That slippery slope again huh?”
Benedict: “I’m afraid so.” He sighs a bit dejectedly. In the past, society required women to guard their virtues and behaviors. So with Benedict and Laura interacting in the present day, the gender rules are reversed.
Laura: “Benedict, I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable in any way–as if you were betraying your minister’s vows, by our kissing and embracing, etc. Nor do I want to seem to be seducing you if you insist that I make the first romantic moves all the time. That’s new territory for me.” Laura realizes that she had been more passive in romance and romantic interludes in the past, with her former husband. And she wonders if that was why her ex husband became bored with her? Or was her ex just a boorish lout. Laura still believes it was the latter.
Benedict: “Oh? And which part is new territory? The seduction part, or the making the first moves part?” He asks cheekily, trying to lighten their mood.
Laura: “Both.” She smiles blushingly. “Benedict, a girl likes to think that her man is interested enough in her to take the initiative in romance now and again.”
Benedict: Benedict smiles broadly. “Hmmm. So Laura, am I your man?”
Laura: “Let’s just say, I haven’t ruled you out yet, Benedict.” She smiles at him impishly.
Benedict: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Rocking his head back in laughter, Benedict pulls Laura closer to him and hugs her in his embrace, as he whispers lovingly to her. “Laura, you are one in a million!” Then he leans down and kisses her fully on her lips–and she responds to him and kisses him back–for several minutes.
Laura: “Hmmm. That’s nice.” She says about their kissing. “Benedict, I have to say that I do have impure thoughts right now, because I would like to lie down on this couch and be held in your arms again like we were yesterday afternoon at my apartment. It felt so nice to be held by you.”
Benedict: “I agree with you.” He smiles warmly at her and wistfully remembering their embraces yesterday afternoon.
Laura: “But, your couch isn’t very deep for two people.” She states factually, but also hinting that another piece of furniture might be wide enough–like his bed.
Benedict: “Sorry about that. The couch came with the apartment–and it’s not all that comfortable for my long legs either.” He shakes his head ruefully–obtusely not understanding what Laura is alluding to as being an alternative, his bed.
Laura: Realizing that she will indeed have to make the first move, Laura asks Benedict sweetly. “Do you have someplace more comfortable for us to cuddle with each other? And also not have our clothes get all wrinkled?” She’s hinting about his bed, of course—with their outer clothing removed. She pinkens charmingly at her bold suggestion.
Benedict: “Not really.” Benedict replies obtusely.
Laura: “Alright.” Laura sighs disappointedly with the realization that exploring their attraction for each other more intimately isn’t going to happen this afternoon. “Benedict, may I visit your bathroom?”
Benedict: “Of course, it’s through my bedroom.” And Benedict has a little thrill thinking that there will be a woman in his bedroom–if only to walk through it to get to the bathroom.
So, Benedict and Laura stand up from the couch and she walks toward Benedict’s bathroom—that is inside his bedroom.
Laura: When Laura reaches Benedict’s bedroom door, she turns back and looks at him as she asks him coquettishly. “Benedict, if you weren’t a minister, would you be waiting for me in your bedroom when I come out of the bathroom?”
Benedict: “Most definitely!” He nods emphatically.
Laura: “Well, that’s something.” Laura tilts her head in amusement and smiles at Benedict as she enters his bedroom—finding it clean and tidy, though it does look like he kicked a pair of briefs and socks under the bed–and she visits his bathroom. She rubs toothpaste over her teeth and such.
After washing her hands, Laura looks at herself in the mirror, her wondering Will Benedict take the hint and be waiting for me in his bedroom? Or will his reserve prevent him from acting on his stated romantic impulses. When Laura exits the bathroom, she does find Benedict standing adorably awkwardly in his bedroom as he pivots forward and back upon his heels and the pads of his feet. And she smiles sweetly at him.
Benedict: “Uh, my turn.” Benedict reveals sheepishly. Now Benedict visits his bathroom to brush his teeth and such—him also clarifying for himself that his sole condom had expired after fifteen years. Him thinking amusingly ruefully that it would probably disintegrate from disuse were it to be exposed to the air. After washing his hands, he looks at himself in the mirror and he wonders if Laura will still be in his bedroom when he walks out of his bathroom.
Benedict opens his bathroom door to his bedroom and he doesn’t see Laura, at first–since the entrance to the bathroom is recessed in a room indentation where the closet is. Benedict thinks disappointedly that him technically being a minister kills any hope of a love life for him–at least, as a single minister with all of the strictures and restraint that he feels that he must adhere to. Not that Benedict expected Laura to be lying suggestively across his bed–but he wouldn’t have minded that. Benedict winces–thinking that he’ll have to do a lot of praying tonight to make up for his impure thoughts.
Laura: “Benedict, I’m over here.” Laura coos softly, invitingly, after hearing the bathroom door open, but not seeing Benedict walk out of it.
Benedict: Instead of walking forward, Benedict leans his tall self forward as he bends at his waist and he peeks around the corner of the closet outdent–looking to his left toward the sound of Laura’s voice. And Benedict sees Laura sitting in a chair in the corner of his bedroom on the other side of his night stand. “Oh, there you are”. Benedict smiles. And Laura smiles–amused at Benedict peeking around the corner at her.
Benedict stands up again and walks around the closet and over to Laura. He holds out his hand to her, she takes it and she stands up. They are each standing just three feet from Benedict’s bed. Benedict lifts Laura’s hand to his lips and kisses it. Then he puts his other hand around her waist and he gently pulls her toward him.
Laura: “Oh Benedict.” Laura sighs and looks up at him. Then she nestles her face into his chest and he puts his arms around her. They give each other a tender and more than just friends type of embrace—tenderly holding each other in silence.
Then they lean back and gaze longingly into each other’s eyes. Benedict gazes longingly at Laura as he caresses her face. Then he leans down and he kisses Laura sweetly on her lips. Even just a small kiss sends tingles from Benedict’s lips to … well … to other parts of his body. And Benedict knows that once he and Laura deepen their kisses—French kissing—that he might find it impossible to stop himself from fully making love to her.
Laura’s arms go around Benedict’s shoulders and she gently runs her fingers through his hair. But the well over six foot tall Benedict standing and kissing the petite five foot four inch Laura is a bit of a stretch–for both of them. Laura smiles and she takes Benedict’s other hand and guides him to the end of his bed and motions for him to sit down, and he does so.
Benedict: “Oh Laura, I can tell that I’m going to have to do a lot of confessing in my prayers tonight.” Benedict smiles cheekily as Laura stands inside his legs and she gently caresses his face and smiles sweetly at him.
Laura: “You hope?” She smiles coquettishly and wraps her arms around Benedict’s shoulders as she leans in to him and he wraps his arms around her waist and back.
With Benedict sitting down and Laura standing, they are each at the perfect height to reach each other’s lips without straining. Benedict and Laura kiss each other tenderly for several minutes–their embraces stopping just short of caressing each other’s bodies intimately. Though Benedict does stroke Laura’s woman curvy hips at her sides—committing the shape of her to his memory, and to his heart. And, both Benedict and Laura are fully clothed. But, as they press their bodies against each other as their kissing becomes more passionate, Benedict can feel Laura’s full round breasts pressing against his muscular chest through both of their clothes. And Laura can feel Benedict’s response to her as he becomes more aroused.
Benedict: “Laura?” He sighs kissing her neck. The loving frustrations that each of them are feeling coming out in his sigh.
Laura: “Yes Benedict?” She sighs running her fingers through his hair as she kisses his forehead.
Then Benedict and Laura kiss each other adoringly again. Laura thinks that kissing Benedict is very nice and she feels quite aroused herself. Laura likes Benedict enormously, obviously. And Laura thinks that despite Benedict being a minister, he is very very sexy and romantic. So, she feels that there is hope for them if they do progress as a couple and decide to wait to make love with each other–at least until a certain point, she hopes.
Benedict: “Laura, I’m afraid I want to make love with you so much right now, that I’m finding it difficult to resist your charms.” He sighs. The internal personal struggle that Benedict feels in him needing to act as a man and him also wanting to maintain his values as a minister is a very real conflict for him.
Laura: “I know how you feel, Benedict.” She sighs as he kisses her neck again. “So, tell me Benedict. Is it more of a sin for us to give in to our hearts’ wishes and our bodies’ needs and make love with each other now?”
Benedict: Benedict kisses Laura’s chest at the base of her neck–just above her breasts and he sighs in a deep growl. “Hmmm.”
Laura: “Hhhh!” Laura sighs deeply, too. “Or, is it more of a sin for us to part now from each other and I head home … and then we separately give in to our bodies’ needs?” Laura can’t believe that she just brazenly asked that, but she did.
Benedict: Benedict’s eyes widen at Laura’s frankness. But, Benedict was also thinking the same thing–it’s just that he didn’t say it. “Laura, I think either path is considered worthy of confession, unfortunately.”
Laura: “So, what do you want to do, Benedict?” She says lightly running her fingers through his hair and kissing him adoringly, but softly, tenderly–which Benedict finds quite sweetly sexy.
Benedict: “I’m sure you can tell what I want to do, Laura.” Since Benedict is fully aroused as she can feel through the soft fabric of his trouser pants that her body is pressing against. Of course, Laura is also quite aroused. “But, I’m afraid that I don’t have a condom that isn’t beyond its expiration date.” He blanches embarrassedly.
Laura: She smiles at him warmly and asks him sweetly. “But, you do have a condom?”
Benedict: “I think so. When I moved here, I remember seeing one in with my shaving toiletries–a token from my pre-ordination years.”
Laura: “Uh huh.” She says and kisses him sweetly. Laura realizes that she does want she and Benedict to take their intimacies to the next level–at some point.
Benedict: “Don’t get me wrong, Laura. I want to make love with you—with my body, my heart, my mind, and my soul.” Benedict says this with his arms enfolding her adoringly at Laura’s waist and caressing her hips–and his arousal is quite apparent. “You’re sweet (kiss) and lovely (kiss) and smart (kiss) and funny (kiss). … But maybe we should wait to make love until such time that we are in a committed relationship with each other.” He says gazing searchingly into her eyes. “That’s what I tell my ministry students. Hhhhh!” He sighs. And Benedict remembers his previous girlfriend relationship that didn’t wait until deeper feelings and commitment existed before venturing into physical intimacy with each other, and that relationship ultimately dissolved.
Laura: “True. You were still hesitating a bit with regard to revealing us as being a couple at church today–to President Casten.” He looks at her and tilts his head acknowledging his conflicted behavior earlier today. “And, if we make love with each other at some point Benedict, I don’t want to feel guilty about it. And, I don’t want you to feel guilty about it.”
Benedict: “Nor do I.”
Laura: Caressing Benedict’s face with both of her hands again, Laura whispers. “Making love is a joyful expression of one’s loving feelings for another person. And I want a love of a lifetime, Benedict. I thought that I had given up on that, but then, you came into my life and I find that I want it again. I want you, Benedict.” She smiles sweetly at him.
Benedict: “And I want you, Laura.” He smiles at her sweetly as they both realize that their kissing and embracing is all that will happen this afternoon. “So Laura, do you have a frock that you can wear to the Spring Fling with me on Friday night?”
Laura: “I think so.” Laura smiles coquettishly at Benedict finally inviting her to join him for the Seminary’s Spring Fling dinner dance–even though it took him several hours to do so. “Is it long formal gowns or cocktail dress length?”
Benedict: “I think a cocktail dress length will suffice. I’ll just be in a suit and tie.”
Laura: “Alright!” She smiles broadly at him. “I’d love to go! When will you pick me up?”
Benedict: “How does 6:00pm sound? Cocktails go until 7:00pm when the dinner is served—with a small graduating student awards and recognition presentation around 8:00pm. Then there is dancing after that until 10:00pm.”
Laura: “That sounds great!” She smiles at him broadly.
Benedict: “Excellent!” Benedict is elated that Laura will join him at the Spring Fling. But an ache still nags at him. “But how will I be able to function with not seeing and not kissing you for five days?”
Laura: “I know, me too. But our teaching schedules are such that …”
Benedict: “… we’re not free at the same times of the day.” He nods ruefully. Then he has a bolt of inspiration. “Yet, we each have to sleep.”
Laura’s eyes go wide with shock, wondering if he is proposing that he sleep over.
Laura: “Benedict.” Laura sighs longingly.
Benedict: “What I mean to say is, I get back from my night classes around 9pm each night. Then I shower and get ready for bed around 10pm.” Benedict looks hopefully at Laura.
Laura: “I’m in bed by 10pm, too.” She wets her lips and Benedict cannot take his eyes from her lips. “Call me at 10pm? We can talk a little while before we must get some rest and sleep.”
Benedict: “I will do that. 10pm, each night this week.” Then he adds shyly. “You’ll answer my call?” Benedict asks with an unintended double meaning.
Laura: “Eagerly! Don’t be late.” And Laura is thrilled that Benedict will take the initiative to call her each night before they each go to sleep.
Benedict and Laura share one last very passionate kiss as their bodies mold themselves to each other, memorizing how well her soft womanly curves and his hard muscular sinews mold themselves to each other, one last time today.
It is still only around 4:00pm Sunday afternoon—Benedict and Laura have only been together at his apartment for four hours today. Yet, they cleared up some of the important misunderstandings that each of them felt about the nature and the direction of their relationship in those wonderful four hours.
Then not wanting Laura to leave him today–but knowing that she must–Benedict walks Laura to her out to her car in the parking lot, sweetly and decorously kisses her on the cheek in parting, and waves to her as she drives away. Benedict and Laura each return to their homes, eat their dinners, prep for their Monday classes, and fall asleep that night dreaming of each other—and looking forward to tomorrow evening’s bedtime call to each other.
To be continued with Chapter 11
References for “Somerset: A Time to Love”, Ch. 10, August 27, 2017 Gratiana Lovelace
1) The Somerset: A Time for Love” story cover is a composite of two main images:
a) Background–Creative Commons-licensed photo by Flickr user AlicePopkorn2]
b) Prof. Benedict Somerset image is of Richard Armitage (2012 Promo by Roberta Ascroft, pix35) found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2012Promo/album/RobertAscroft-35.jpg
c) a crucifix image is from MS Office Clip Art;
2) Benedict Somerset in elevator image is Richard Armitage as John Porter in 2010’s Strike Back Aug2215byGrati
3) Benedict Somerset kissing Laura Leicester image is Richard Armitage as John-and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret in the 2004 BBC mini series North & South epi4 pix34-Jan0114via RAnet_Grati-sized-brt-crop2-mskchin-brt-crp3
Wattpad Ch. 10 story link: tba
Previous Ch. 09 blog link, with embedded illustrations: