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, John Lithgow as Seminary President Maynard Casten, and Jane Alexander as his wife Portia Casten, and others as noted.]
Author’s recap from the previous chapter: After a lovely Saturday morning of April 20th spent taking little Jeffrey to their local zoo, Benedict and Laura have much to think about with regard to their now shared futures, and their future family plans. But first, they will let their passions be unbound.
“Somerset: A Time to Love”, Ch. 15 (PG-13, L): Afternoon Heart to Heart
Benedict and Laura decide to go to Laura’s apartment again to eat lunch after their outing with Jeffrey to the zoo that morning, of Saturday April 20th. They each take their own cars, since they had driven to the Chicago Children’s Group Home separately that morning—after Benedict had gone home to shower and change.
And since they were with Jeffrey earlier, they haven’t had a chance to talk about the assumption made by the Zoo Gift Shop Clerk that they were already a family–that Benedict and Laura are Jeffrey’s parents.
Adoption was something that Benedict and Laura had discussed in general terms last night. But individually, each of them has thought about their connection with little Jeffrey–and that maybe they might want to adopt him. That is, if Jeffrey would want a soon to be married Benedict and Laura to adopt him. But, Benedict and Laura haven’t broached the idea with each other. However, they will over lunch today.
After walking into Laura’s apartment with the bag of sub sandwiches he picked up on his drive over, Benedict smiles at Laura and sets the food on the countertop. Then Benedict pulls Laura into his arms and kisses her tenderly.
Benedict: “This morning was fun with little Jeffrey at the zoo.”
Benedict purposely doesn’t mention his and Laura’s early morning lovemaking, because he is having a difficult enough time trying not to pounce on her to make love again. Afterall, Laura and previously told him that she had always heard that British men’s romantic moves tended to slowly envelop a lady, rather than pouncing on her. Oh Dear! And all that Benedict wants to do–as the newly affianced future husband of Laura—is to pounce on her.
But not in a caveman sort of way. Benedict feels liberated to feel and act like a man in love with his beloved Laura as his soon to be wife. He had been so reserved and closed off from any intimacy from people for so many years—even his family lived an ocean away—that Benedict was an emotional desert. And it is only through Laura’s careful nurturing of Benedict that he is beginning to really thrive again.
But for Laura, she might not find it so easy to let herself be swept away by the joy of their whirlwind romance. From her previous marriage, Laura has trust and abandonment issues. And with their romance and engagement happening so fast, she is still a bit leery of trusting it, of trusting Benedict. Though he will do everything in his power to ease her mind so they can move forward, together.
Laura: “Yes, Jeffrey is a very sweet little boy.” She smiles. Then, she becomes reflective, almost but not quite sad. “But, I felt badly for him when the gift shop clerk made the mistake that we were his parents.”
Benedict: “Yes, I know. It was awkward. … But, did she make a mistake?” Benedict tilts his head and raises his eyebrows.
Laura: “What do you mean?” Laura smiles knowingly, hopefully at Benedict.
Benedict: “Well, we’ve talked a bit about adoption. Laura, had you wanted a baby or would a slightly older child, like Jeffrey, be okay?”
Laura: “Benedict, I’ll admit that I’ve always wanted a baby. To nurture a child from its infancy to adulthood is a precious gift, and an honored responsibility. Besides, babies are so soft and cuddly—despite the poopy messes–and they’re yours forever, since they have no prior memories of anyone else caring for them, loving them.” She gazes wistfully at him. “But, I do love Jeffrey since I’ve been working with him for several months. He’s just one of those kids who wraps his little fingers around your heart.”
Benedict: “I agree with you.” Benedict smiles warmly. “It’s something for us to think about in the future–after we’re married.”
Laura: “Married. Hhhh!” Laura looks wistfully up to the ceiling. Then she closes her eyes. “I almost can’t believe it!” Laura says in wonder as she opens her eyes and she lovingly looks up into Benedict’s eyes.
Benedict: “Well, believe it!” Then Benedict leans down and kisses Laura tenderly, their lips gently touching, as softly as a velvet rose brushing against their lips. There is no urgency in this kiss, but rather, a comfortable and comforting sense of sweetly adoring love being nurtured between them.
Laura: “Hmmm. That’s very nice, Benedict. But, I think as officially betrothed fiances we can do that kiss one better.”
Benedict notices that Laura has banished her brief melancholy and now she seductively fans the flames of their mutual desires. Then Benedict and Laura kiss and caress each other so passionately that all thoughts of lunch go right out of their heads. And each of them feels an aching need in their hearts and in their bodies to blend together as one again in making love with each other.
Benedict: “Laura Darling,” Benedict sighs while hungrily kissing her lips. “… are you very hungry for lunch?” He asks hoping that she’ll say no as he kisses her neck. Though a forty five year old man—and minister and professor by professions—Benedict is a man in love, and his puppy dog hopeful look on his face gives Laura a little thrill.
Laura: She smiles at him coquettishly. “Not at this moment, Benedict. Would you like to cuddle before lunch?” Cuddling is Laura’s euphemism for making love. And due to the day time not dark afternoon hours, Laura is a bit more shy about making love—though Laura very much wants to be with Benedict again.
Laura pops the sandwiches into her fridge and then she and Benedict walk hand in hand into her bedroom. After each of them visits the bathroom in turn to brush their teeth and such–and return to Laura’s bedroom wearing just a towel and a smile–Benedict and Laura slide into her bed to make love with each other. Benedict is even more excited upon seeing Laura wearing just a towel–as Laura can tell from him wearing just a towel.
Then their towels fall away beneath them as they embrace each other sweetly tenderly—lips to lips, arms entwining with arms, and molding their bodies to each other such that not even a whisper could pass between them. They fit quite beautifully together as adoring lovers, even before they actually couple together. Because making love is more than just the sexual act of joining two bodies together. For Benedict and Laura, making love is a joining of hearts and minds and bodies and souls, forever.
Benedict kisses Laura’s lips, her neck and her creamy shoulders as Laura runs her fingers through his hair.
Benedict: “Oh Laura, you are so beautiful!” Benedict’s deep voice vibrates against her skin as he kisses her creamy shoulders and neck in adoring her completely. “I want to lose myself in your loveliness and make love with you every hour of every day.”
The need in Benedict is great, now that he has unleashed his masculine desires. Benedict has come to terms that as a man first—and a minister second–it feels right to him to physically express his love for his beloved Laura. And he will not allow his more reserved professorial and ministerial roles to intrude upon his relationship with her. Benedict feels that he has denied himself for too long—fifteen long years of celibacy—surely his devotion is now rewarded in his and Laura’s blossoming love?
Laura: “Oh Benedict!” She sighs. “I also want to make love with you again, and again, and again, and again.” Laura is learning to trust Benedict with her heart, for she cannot envision going through her life alone because of her fear of rejection or abandonment again, if she were to refuse him. That is no way to live. And Laura wants a full and loving life with Benedict by her side. But wanting to be brave, and being brave are sometimes two different things altogether.
Benedict: “Hmmm.” Benedict growls desirously as he leans back from their embrace to reveal her bare loveliness to him—to gaze upon her beauty. And Benedict kisses her adoringly, worshiping her body with his body, as their future marriage vows will proclaim. Her sighs of pleasure and encouragement are all he needs.
Then Laura—who is still slightly nervous about the ambient lighting in the room being more bright than she would wish–due to it being the afternoon and her bedroom window drapes do not block sunlight that much—she lightens their passionate mood with her characteristic humor. And she speaks a bit more boldly than she actually feels.
Laura: Caressing Benedict’s muscular shoulders, she whispers minxishly. “Then I guess it’s a good thing that I bought the economy size package of ….” With his eater kisses, Benedict silences Laura from using the word out loud.
Benedict: “Yes!” Benedict smiles delightedly. Then his face startles in embarrassed realization. “Oops! I forgot to put one on.” He says sheepishly. “I’ll be right back.” He raises a finger. “Don’t move.” He smiles sheepishly.
Laura: Laura grabs his raised finger with a smile. “No. You don’t move.” Laura reaches over and opens her nightstand drawer and pulls out a small package.
Benedict: Benedict laughs softly, as he takes the package from her. “I see that you’re prepared, Laura.” Benedict comically wriggles his eyebrows up and down, and they both laugh. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Laura: “Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes, well, given our two romantic interludes so far, I just thought it would be a good idea to have them handy.” Laura’s face pinkens in embarrassment for her practical planning.
And then Laura worries that Benedict might think that she is being unladylike by her being prepared, when he is a gentleman but he didn’t presume and he wasn’t prepared.
Benedict: “Laura? Your facial expressions just went through amusement to worry in two seconds. What is bothering you, Darling?” Benedict pulls her closer into his arms to comfort her, guiding her head to lie on his chest as he soothingly strokes her bare back from her shoulder blades to the small of her back.
Laura: “It’s … nothing.” She dissembles, but not convincingly. Laura keeps her eyes upon Benedict’s sparse but curly chest hair.
Benedict: “I doubt that, my forthright lady. Tell me what is upsetting you and I will try to alleviate it.”
Laura: She sighs. “Hhhh!”
Benedict: “That bad?” Laura nods her head up and down as she cuddles with Benedict.
Laura: “I’m just embarrassed about the … “ She whispers the word, though her apartment contains only the two of them. “…condoms. I mean, how many future ministers wives go to the store and buy an economy size pack of 24 …? Well, you know.” Laura tilts her head and sheepishly shrugs her shoulders.
Benedict: Speaking in a clear and full throated voice, he guesses. “Condoms?” She nods again while wincing a bit, and he smiles. “Laura, in our modern age, I hope that all future and current ministers’ wives are as forthright as you about sexual health matters. Then he leans back and gazes into her eyes. “Laura, you are going to be my wife—and I will be your husband. Our relationship takes precedence over whatever professions we engage in for our careers.”
Laura: “But Benedict, isn’t being a minister a 24/7/365 kind of job?”
Benedict: “As a parish priest, it can be. But I feel better suited to teaching and mentoring future ministers at this stage in my life and in my clergy career.”
Laura: “Still.” Laura bites her bottom lip, in nervousness. But in Laura unintentionally drawing attention to her lips again, all Benedict wants to do his cover them with his own lips. But first, he feels that he must ease her mind, but discussing what is bothering her.
Benedict: “You are perfect for me, Laura. You have brought me out of my detached ministerial shell. And I feel the better for it—personally and professionally. So help me to understand what is driving your feelings of inadequacy.”
Laura: “Well. Having one failed marriage makes me worry how much of it was my fault?”
Benedict: “None of it, I am certain. Your husband chose to break his wedding vows, because he lacked character and any moral fiber—not because you were lacking. He was a fool to let you go!” I crush Laura to me and rock her back and forth in my arms “But I thank god he did, so that you and I could meet and fall in love.”
Laura: “I never thought of it that way before—of my ex husband almost facilitating our marriage.” Laura jests.
Benedict: “I sense your sarcasm, Laura. I would not give him any credit at all.” And Benedict notices that Laura has chosen not to speak her ex-husband’s name—which he perceives to be a good sign of her moving on.
Laura: “Now that you mention it, neither would I.” She states drolly. Then they both burst into giggles. “Ha ha ha ha ha!
Benedict: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” Then Benedict and Laura kiss adoringly. Benedict speaks rather huskily, his breath ragged with his desire to make love with his beloved Laura. “I think we went off topic there for a moment.”
Laura: “Oh?” She smiles.
Benedict: “Yes, I don’t think that there is anything amiss in a loving and committed couple—such as us…” He states in case she missed that he was switching to making an analogy. “… expressing their love for each other.”
Laura: “That’s good, because I do love you with my whole heart, Benedict. And I want us to be lovers for the rest of our lives.”
Benedict: “Even when we’re old and using walkers and scooter chairs to get around?”
Laura: “Even then.” She smiles sweetly at him.
Benedict: “Brilliant!” Benedict grins impishly as his British vernacular leaks out. And Laura thinks that Benedict looks so boyish at times, like these—for a forty-five year old man.
Then feeling hot—and getting rather twisted up in the bed sheets, a thin flannel blanket, a down comforter, and then a quilted matelassé bed spread–Benedict peels back all of the bed covers, revealing his nakedness and Laura’s nakedness before they embrace again, molding their bodies together, kissing each other sweetly, tenderly, adoringly, and then passionately.
Laura: Laura gazes appreciatively at Benedict’s handsome manliness—his hard sinews compared to her soft womanly curves. “I love you so, Benedict.”
Benedict: “And I love you so Laura.” Benedict gazes once more upon Laura’s womanly loveliness, before kissing her again, and again, and again, and again.
Benedict and Laura kiss and caress each other with loving abandon as they make love with each other tenderly, lovingly, passionately, and adoringly–until they lay intertwined in each other’s loving arms, spent from their love and their lust.
And of course, being responsible adults they managed to make timely use of … the items in the small packages.
Then later that afternoon, Benedict and Laura do manage to eat their sub sandwiches for a delayed lunch.
And Saturday when Benedict arrived at Laura’s apartment, he had brought a change of clothes with him in a small overnight bag–so that he doesn’t need to dash home to his apartment before church on Sunday morning. Of course, Benedict feels a little naughty for sleeping over at Laura’s apartment–since he is a minister. But, he is also thrilled since he and Laura are such a loving and romantic couple with each other. Benedict has always believed that marriage should be based on a deep love and friendship–and held together by a mutual loving lust. This may be a rather contemporary or progressive view of love and relationships. But, Benedict–despite his initial shyness and British reserve–is a progressive fellow, at least around Laura he is.
This Saturday night after a light dinner of chicken and vegetable stir fry, Benedict and Laura lie down on the soft and cushy hearth rug and make love in front of her fireplace. They playfully roll around, tusseling with each other for whom shall get their way. And being the consummate gentleman, Benedict defers to his lady love Laura—to their mutual joy. The flickering flames dance rhythmically as Benedict and Laura join their bodies together in their lovemaking again, and again, and again, and again.
Benedict and Laura are two hearts joined together in love–sweetly, tenderly, lovingly, adoringly, and passionately, forever. They fall asleep in each other’s loving arms on the hearth rug after their lovemaking, them cuddling together under a very large and warm couch blanket.
But eventually in the middle of the night, Benedict awakens with a slightly stiff back from lying on the floor. And he carries his sleeping love Laura to their bed in her bedroom to sleep.
He visits the bathroom after laying her gently in their bed. Upon returning to Laura as Benedict slides into bed, Laura sleepily awakens. They kiss sweetly and then Laura visits the bathroom as Benedict dozes off to sleep. However, upon her return to their bed, Laura slides gently into bed next to her Benedict’s sleeping body. She smiles as she watches him breathe deeply in and out–his muscular chest rising and falling as Laura nestles close to him.
But, feeling his love Laura’s body next to his body awakens Benedict and he kisses her adoringly. Benedict’s and Laura’s kisses and caresses become more passionate as they share their love’s pleasures with each other sweetly, tenderly, lovingly and adoringly—and responsibly. After their lovemaking, Benedict and Laura kiss and cuddle with each other adoringly [(2) below] as they drift off to sleep nestled against each other in sweet and loving surrender to each other.
To be continued with Chapter 16
References for “Somerset: A Time to Love”, Ch. 15, October 04, 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] http://www.flickr.com/photos/47283811@N06/ ;
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 and Laura canoodling was found at https://ak7.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/4728737/thumb/2.jpg?i10c=img.resize(height:160)
Wattpad Ch. 15 story link:
Previous Ch. 14 blog link, with embedded illustrations: