Disclaimer: I don't own anything Scorpion.
I know…. I know…. It's been forever. This chapter has been written for a very long time - it just needed some final editing and proof reading but I just couldn't get my head into it with everything else going on. But here it is. Thanks for your patience and for reading and reviewing.
I'll have another short author's note at the end.
More smut ahead so if that's not your thing you may want to stop now.
Walter leaned over the edge of the wall surrounding the roof as he looked out over the city, the lights glistening in the otherwise black night. His mind was on overdrive and he couldn't get his thoughts to slow down. Everyone had left for the day and he'd locked up the garage below before he headed upstairs to their apartment. But he wasn't quite ready to face Paige, until he was sure he knew what he was feeling, so he decided to head to the roof to gather his thoughts.
She understood earlier when he said he didn't know how he felt about her being pregnant. It was confirmed by her doctor that afternoon so there was no more uncertainty. In less than eight months she was going to give birth to their child and, although he hadn't determined exactly how he felt about that quite yet, the one thing Walter was certain of was that he was terrified.
There was very little on the planet that scared Walter O'Brien. Losing his ability to think critically and logically frightened him. Losing Paige or Ralph frightened him. And becoming a father to a child he may not be able to connect with, didn't just frighten him, it terrified him.
He knew what that feeling was like, the not being able to connect with people who love you. Despite his assertion most of his life, Walter had come to accept he was capable of love, even romantic love, something up until just a few years ago he'd believed to be imaginary. He loved Paige. There was nothing more honest in his life than that. He loved Ralph and he could even, begrudgingly, admit he loved his misfit group of friends. He'd loved his sister. In fact, she was the first person he had ever admitted to loving in any way. And he loved his parents, but despite the fact that they loved him too, he was still unable to connect with them.
To this day all their interaction was awkward and uncomfortable. Even when Paige tried to bridge the gap between them by insisting on a trip to Ireland two summers ago, he and his parents still weren't able to find common ground. Having Paige and Ralph there with him had helped but they were just too different and, even though they loved each other, they were never going to understand each other.
Walter had taken to being a father figure to Ralph very easily. But he and Ralph were the same. Their brains were wired the same and they instinctively understood each other. Walter was able to connect with almost anyone of higher intelligence but when it came to normals, Paige and Cabe, and his sister, long ago, were the only three he had ever been able to relate to. There was a very high probability that this child would be normal.
Very exceptional combinations of genes were statistically unlikely to appear twice even within the same family. Of course, there had been families of genius, like the Bernoullis, the Bachs, and the Darwins, who defied those statistical probabilities, but since Ralph was not his biological child, it was uncertain which parent the boy inherited his genius from.
If it was Paige, then there was a higher probability this child could be genius too. If it was Drew, which to Walter seemed highly unlikely, then the child currently growing inside his wife's womb would very likely have average intelligence like its mother.
He would accept any child Paige gave birth to but, even knowing it was selfish of him, Walter couldn't help but hope the child would be more like him, because Paige was able to relate to geniuses much more easily than he was able to relate to normals. Although he was better at it, thanks to Paige and Ralph, Walter still struggled every day with understanding and interacting with those of lesser intelligence. And the thought of failing his child the way his parents failed him left him feeling a bit nauseous.
Walter heard the door open behind him and expected it to be his wife. She always gave him space to gather his thoughts but she let him have only so much time before she made him talk it out with her. At times it frustrated him, to no end, and others he was infinitely grateful to her because, without her pushing him, he had the tendency to retreat back to his old behavior patterns of avoidance.
Because he was expecting her he was surprised when Ralph stepped up beside him.
"You hiding out up here?" the young genius asked as he leaned his elbows on the wall beside Walter.
"I don't hide out," Walter scoffed but Ralph just hummed noncommittally and it reminded Walter of Paige. "Did your mom send you up here?" he asked as he looked over at Ralph to see the young genius smirking.
"Nah," Ralph shrugged. "She's too busy standing in front of her bedroom mirror lifting her shirt so she can look at her stomach."
Now Walter hummed noncommittally. That's what she was doing when he glanced briefly toward their bedroom before he came up to the roof.
"How did you do on your exam today?" Walter asked as he stood up and turned around, leaning his back against the wall.
"I aced it," he replied a little cockily and Walter shook his head because Toby had definitely rubbed off on the young genius.
"Has your professor returned your research paper yet?" Walter asked as he crossed his arms over his chest.
Ralph shook his head as he turned around and mimicked Walter's stance.
"Not yet. He always takes a while to grade." After a minute of silence Ralph spoke again. "So are we going to keep making useless small talk or are we going to talk about what's got you hiding from mom?" Ralph asked and Walter pursed his lips.
"You are your mother's son, aren't you," Walter muttered and Ralph laughed. "I heard all your reasons earlier but what was it really that made you realize she was pregnant?" Walter asked curiously.
Ralph paused for a moment before he replied. "I found her crying a few days ago."
"Why was she crying?" Walter frowned as his eyes whipped toward Ralph.
"She burned her toast," Ralph said with a straight face and Walter looked at him like he had three heads.
"You're kidding me," Walter choked out in surprise.
"What did she say?" Walter was almost afraid to ask.
"Oh, she didn't know I saw her" Ralph shook his head exaggeratedly. "I hightailed it out of there long before she saw me."
Walter's brow furrowed. "Then how did you know that's why she was crying?"
Ralph sighed. "Because she was complaining to Ferret Bueller about it."
"I'm sorry, what?" Walter arched a brow.
"In between sobs she was telling Ferret Bueller that the toaster clearly had something against her, and liked you better, because it didn't burn your toast."
"Good lord, what are we in for?" Walter sighed as he rubbed his temples.
"A wild ride according to my dad." Ralph pushed on his hands and pulled his body up so he was sitting on the wall. If his mother saw him she'd lose her mind. "Although I don't put much stock in what he says because he wasn't around much of the time my mom was pregnant. At least that's what I heard her say to him one time when they were fighting, just before he left."
Walter's fingers clenched and, for what was probably the third time that day, he wanted to punch Drew. Not because he had treated Paige poorly in the past. Walter knew he had based on what Paige shared with him over the years and, as a result, Walter had a perpetual urge to punch his wife's ex. But his urge to punch Drew, at that moment, was because Ralph was aware of it. Like Walter, Ralph had an eidetic memory and could recollect every memory, good and bad, as clearly as the day it had happened.
Walter bit his tongue having promised Paige to never say anything negative about Drew to Ralph. So instead he asked the boy a question that had been on his mind much of the day.
"How do you feel about your mom being pregnant?"
Ralph shrugged as he bit his bottom lip, a habit he'd picked up from Paige. "It's cool, I guess. I wanted a sibling when I was younger because I wanted someone who might just understand me. But once I met you guys I stopped."
Walter nodded in understanding because he couldn't imagine how even more isolated he might have felt if he hadn't had Megan growing up. "When you and mom got together I thought about it again but when a couple of years went by and she didn't have a baby I just figured you didn't want one."
"It certainly wasn't in the plans," Walter murmured as he pursed his lips.
"So how do you feel about it?" Ralph asked as he looked at Walter out of the corner of his eye.
Walter silently debated how to answer Ralph's question. He didn't want to lie to him but he wasn't sure he should tell him the truth either. Finally he opted for the truth because that was what they told each other.
"I don't know quite yet," Walter admitted quietly. "Obviously I'm surprised. A little hesitant. A lot anxious."
"That actually makes sense." Ralph didn't look surprised by his stepfather's answer at all. "Mom is really happy," he added as Walter looked over at him.
"I know she is," Walter replied and Walter was once again grateful for how much Ralph was like his mother. He understood, almost instinctively, that Walter's apprehension with something he had difficulty processing didn't mean he was displeased about it.
"That's why I came up here." Ralph jumped off the wall and moved to sit on one of the chairs at the table in the center of the roof. "That's what I wanted to talk to you about."
"Okay," Walter dragged the word out as he followed Ralph and sat down.
"I've been thinking about it all day and I think we should wait to bring anything up to mom about changing my name."
"Why?" Walter asked as he leaned back in the chair.
"Because I know my dad won't want me to do it," he admitted and Walter could see the boy was torn. "And I don't want her to fight with him over it. Stress isn't good for pregnant women and if my dad tries to protest and drags it through the courts, that's just going to cause her stress."
Walter was thoughtful for a moment before he nodded his head. "All of this is your call, buddy. We've already discussed how your dad might react but, if your mom agrees to this, I will make sure you both will have the best lawyer Scorpion can afford, who will eviscerate any objections he has."
"I know," Ralph said with a brief smile before he frowned thoughtfully. "I don't want to hurt him by doing this."
"No one will think you do, especially your mom," Walter replied as he straightened his legs and crossed his ankles.
"I'm glad he came back in to my life, you know. I'm glad I got to know him but he's not the man who helped raise me. You are." Walter nodded his head but remained silent sensing Ralph had more to say. "And now that mom's having a baby, it's logical for all of us to have the same surname. Otherwise if will be confusing for him or her."
Walter's lips curved up on the right. "That is a logical assumption. Children are likely to be confused by those differences. Especially if they're normal."
"Do you think the baby will be like us or mom?" Ralph asked and Walter released a long breath.
"I don't know, bud."
"I bet Sly could run some probabilities for us," Ralph said as his lips curved up into a smirk.
"I bet Sly already has," Walter joined him with a smirk of his own. He needed to ask Sly about it tomorrow.
The smile slipped from Ralph's lips and he said more seriously. "Well, mom is pretty special so the baby is bound to be too."
Walter wondered if Ralph truly understood how exceptionally special his mother was. "That she is," Walter agreed as he stood. "I guess it's time I stopped hiding, huh?"
"Good luck," Ralph snickered as he took his phone out of his pocket when it beeped.
"You'll probably want to wear those earplugs tonight," Walter warned and then smirked when he saw Ralph shudder and cringe.
"Ewwww," the young genius replied as he looked down to see who had texted him.
Walter chuckled to himself as he walked across the roof toward the door. Maybe Toby was right. Sometimes it was fun to try to scar a young mind.
"You didn't think I heard you earlier, did you? At least I was nice enough to warn you," Walter called blithely as he stepped through the door and down the stairs to his wife.
Walter entered their bedroom after setting the alarm on the garage perimeter, leaving the door to the roof off, knowing Ralph would set it when he finally came down. Walter had the alarm installed when he and Paige started dating and she and Ralph started spending the nights at the garage. The garage was not in the best neighborhood and when it was just him, he didn't worry. But when they started staying over he took more precautions. Now he wondered if he should think about upgrading the system.
Paige was leaning against the headboard of their bed with her knees bent, her tablet resting against them, as she read something on the screen. She was wearing her favorite pajamas, a silk shorts and tank top set and she was so incredibly beautiful that he was once again awed that she was his. Ferret Bueller was tucked against her right hip licking his belly as she absently scratched around his ears. The small animal was chattering contentedly and Walter chuckled as he shook his head.
Paige looked up at the sound of Walter's laugh.
"Hey," she smiled as Walter closed the bedroom door and walked toward the bed while unbuttoning his shirt. "I was wondering when you were going to come down."
She looked at him knowingly as she lifted the tablet off her thighs and set it on the nightstand. Ferret Bueller chattered loudly protesting the loss of her fingers against his head before grabbing onto her fingers.
Walter shrugged out of his shirt and tossed it on the chair in the corner before sitting on the bed and reaching down to remove his shoes and socks.
"I just needed some air and to quiet my mind," Walter admitted and Paige straightened one of her legs so she could nudge his back with her toes.
"I know why you were up there. I was just beginning to think I was going to have to come up after you."
Walter reached out and grabbed her foot and turned around to look at her over his shoulder as a silent understanding passed between them. Walter stood up and removed his pants, also tossing them over the chair, leaving him just in his boxers and t-shirt. He crawled up the bed beside Paige and plopped face down with his face in the pillow.
Paige rolled to her side and reached over, sliding her fingers into his hair and massaging his scalp gently the way that he liked.
Walter turned his face and looked up at her as Ferret Bueller scurried over her hip and tucked himself down between them before head butting Walter in the shoulder, chattering loudly and demanding attention.
"His obsession with you is bordering on disturbing," Walter said as he reached over and scratched the small ferret. Ferret Bueller continued to chatter as he grabbed onto Walter's hand and nudged his palm with his head.
"It will probably get worse as my boobs get bigger," Paige chuckled as she removed her fingers from Walter's hair and slid them over his cheek before pulling her hand back and resting it over her stomach.
"It's likely because he can detect the change in your scent." Walter noticed his wife's action and wondered if she realized she'd done it.
"What about my scent?" Paige asked as Ferret Bueller released Walter's hand and tucked his body against her stomach before nudging her breast with his head.
"A woman's body chemistry changes when she's pregnant," Walter replied as he nudged the ferret's head away. The small animal chattered at him defiantly but Walter ignored him as he moved his hand to rest on Paige's hip.
"Do I smell differently to you?" Paige asked with a small frown as she reached down and lifted Ferret Bueller away from where he was now trying to shove his head down the front of her top. She twisted backwards and let the ferret drop gently to the floor.
When she twisted back around Walter leaned forward and sniffed her shoulder exaggeratedly. He smirked when she smacked his arm. "A little bit," he said as he inhaled again, more deeply, this time burying his face in her neck as he let the scent of her fill his nostrils. There was a very subtle difference.
"Lovely," she replied sarcastically as she tried to pull back but he slipped his arm around her and pulled her closer.
"It's not bad," he brushed his nose against her growling softly against her skin. "It's just a slightly deeper, muskier scent," he murmured as Paige moaned softly while sliding both hands into his short hair, tugging gently as she felt Walter's lips brush against her skin. "But it's so subtle I hardly noticed it until you just asked me," Walter continued speaking as he exhaled his warm breath against her throat, making Paige shiver. "But the ferret's olfactory senses are more acute than mine."
Paige rolled onto her back and Ferret Bueller screeched as he scampered off the bed. Paige had been so distracted by Walter's ministrations that she hadn't noticed the ferret had jumped back onto the bed and snuggled up against her ass.
"Oh, god," Paige gasped, startled and Walter chuckled against her neck as he moved over her, his hips settling in the cradle of her thighs.
"I told you his obsession with you is disturbing." Walter sucked gently on the hollow of Paige's throat and her heart started to pound. "Most animals are repelled by pregnant women but since he's always had this thing about sniffing you it makes sense that he'd like your muskier scent."
"Kind of like how you've always had a thing about sniffing me?" she teased breathlessly because like his obsession with her breasts, he also had a habit of sniffing her.
"Mmhmm," he murmured his agreement because it was no secret that he loved to surround himself with her. The scent of her calmed him and aroused him simultaneously as illogical as that seemed.
"Walter," Paige moaned and turned her face to press her lips to his ear. Her body was already ripe and ready for him just from the feeling of his lips on her throat. "God, I need you."
The growl in the back of Walter's throat increased in volume as he slid his hand up the outside of Paige's thigh and his fingers dipped beneath her sleep shorts. He lifted his head and captured her lips, swallowing her low moan, as his fingers slipped beneath the edge of her panties to find her warm and wet. He brushed his fingertips against her swollen flesh and her entire body trembled beneath him.
Paige tore her lips away from his and arched her back, pushing against his hand, as his name slipped between her lips again.
Walter pulled his hand out and pushed up on his knees, leaning over her. He pushed her tank top up and lowered his mouth to her breast, taking her nipple between his lips as Paige's fingers gripped his shoulders. She wriggled and pulled her top over her head tossing it away.
Ferret Bueller's small yelp came from the floor beside the bed but Paige couldn't be bothered to look although she suspected her top landed on top of him. She heard scurrying and then a thud and she knew he'd scampered out the cat door she'd convinced Walter to install a few years earlier. The ferret liked napping on their bed, rather than in his cage, and even though Walter was against it he put the hole in the door to allow the small animal to come and go as he pleased.
Walter wrapped his wet fingers around the soft flesh of Paige's other breast and squeezed gently and Page threaded her fingers through his hair. She arched her back deeper and pressed his face against her breast, urging him to suckle her.
Walter's tongue swirled around her nipple as his lips gently applied just enough suction to make her squirm and moan. He released her nipple and wrapped his lips around the other one, repeating the action as his fingers once again found their way down her stomach and beneath her short. His hand slipped over her mound and his fingers began teasing her again, flicking against the throbbing bud.
Paige's chest rose and fell rapidly as she panted and her fingers gently massaged his scalp, her short fingernails scraping just enough to make Walter shudder.
Paige's body was pulsing from the top of her head all the way down between her thighs where his fingers were performing what she could only describe a magic. She whimpered Walter's name and he released her nipple.
"Hmm," he hummed, as his shifted down the mattress, his lips slowly traveling down her body. Paige squirmed as his lips brushed softly over her still flat abdomen, his tongue swirling as he moved lower and the scent of her arousal slowly permeated the air around him. She reached down to the waistband of her shorts but Walter's hands beat her to it, as he removed his lips from her.
He slipped off the end of the bed and settled on his knees, tugging her shorts and panties down her long smooth legs. Paige lifted her hips to assist and once he'd divested her of the fabric her thighs fell open and she leaned back on her elbows and looked down the length of her body, watching his eyes darken. Whenever he gave her that look Paige felt her lower abdomen clench with need.
Walter, once again, growled in the back of his throat as he grasped her ankle and tugged her down the mattress, bringing her ass all the way to the edge.
"God, yesss," Paige moaned long and low and she fell back onto the mattress as Walter settled more comfortably on his knees, grateful for the carpet Paige insisted he install a couple of years earlier. He hiked her thighs up over his shoulders and turned his head, pressing his lips to the inside of her thigh.
Paige arched her back, eagerly anticipating his mouth on the place she wanted him most.
But it was clear by the way his tongue was slowly swirling in circles on the flesh just above her knee that he was in no rush. Walter liked taking his time when he used his mouth on her and Paige, sometimes, wondered if he enjoyed it more than she did because she found his head buried between her thighs quite a bit. He had a habit of waking her that way in the mornings and all she could do is lay back and try not to melt into the mattress from the pleasure.
It had initially taken them some time to find their rhythm with oral sex. He had refused to let her perform it on him at first and instead, as a means to distract her, he would maneuver his way down her body and make her forget her own name.
For a man who had never performed cunnilingus on a woman before her, he was a fast learner; she had to give him that. The first time he stumbled, initially, although he made up for the lack of technique with enthusiasm. But no matter how hard she tried to gently guide him by wriggling and writhing and arching her hips he just kept missing the spot.
Finally she just grabbed him by the ears and moved his mouth exactly where she wanted him. He grunted in surprise but caught on to her intent instantly, diving in with the intensity and focus with which he did almost everything in his life. And from that moment on, every time he put his tongue on her, Paige wondered how she'd ever lived her life without it.
"Walter," she moaned louder as his lips and tongue slowly swirled in circles up her thigh but stopped just short of his ultimate destination. He turned his head and performed the same ministrations on her other thigh, smiling and murmuring softly against her soft skin.
She reached down and slipped her fingers into his hair again, tugging on the strands. Her body was wound too tonight for his teasing.
She tried to guide him toward her aching flesh but he just reached up and pulled her hands from his hair and held them down at her sides. She started to close her thighs and he tucked her hands beneath her ass.
"No," he growled and pushed her thighs wider, nipping her with his teeth before starting to suck the skin of her inner thigh.
"Walter, don't tease me," she whined and reached down to tap him on the head. He released her flesh, admiring the mark he left on her and gripped her hand again, entwining their fingers. She gripped his fingers tight and bucked her hips.
"I'm getting there," he mumbled against her skin as his lips moved higher and he pushed his tongue between his lips, licking the spot where her leg met her pelvis. "Patience is a virtue, you know."
"Fuck patience," Paige growled and Walter grinned against her as the rare expletive escaped her lips. He quite enjoyed making her curse because he knew she only did it when she was sexually frustrated and her body was on overload.
But it also meant she'd reached her limit with his teasing and, because he was dying for a taste of her, he gently blew over her wet flesh before lowering his mouth to her. When his tongue finale swiped over her swollen, throbbing clit, Paige thought her head was going to pop off.
"Oh god," she cried out, not at all softly, and reached down to grip his hair in her fingers again. Walter slipped his hands beneath her ass and tilted her up toward his mouth. He closed his lips around her clit and flicked the tip with his tongue before swiping it along the underside. The slightly tangy, salty, taste of her hit his taste buds and he slipped his tongue lower, groaning into her wet flesh.
Paige's thighs trembled around his head and she thrashed her own as her heels pressed into the center of his back. Walter shook his head to let her know to let go of his hair and she did before she brought her hands to her breasts and her fingers grasped her nipples. She tugged the hard nubs before flicking the pad of her middle fingers over the very tips. She always came harder with the double stimulation and she started panting faster, her breaths coming in short hard gasps, as her hips rocked rhythmically against his face.
Walter thrust his tongue into her and she tightened her thighs around his head as she arched her back deeper. Her repeated the action repeatedly and then wiggled his tongue before sweeping it up one side, over and around her clit and back down the other side before thrusting it back inside her.
She started chanting his name lowly, then more loudly, as his tongue swirled over her, teasing her and tasting her as her body responded and more of her arousal coated his tongue each time he swept it over her opening. The scent of her surrounded Walter and the taste of her seeped into him and he felt his body throbbing in anticipation. His fingers pressed into the soft flesh of her ass and held her steady as his tongue started lashing and lapping at her harder and faster.
Paige reached down and slipped her fingers into his short hair, again, and she tugged as her hips started bucking and rocking faster. Walter moved his head along with her hips, not taking his mouth off her. His tongue was relentless and her thighs trembled harder, her feet pressing deeper into his back and her fingers tugging harder on his hair. He grunted to let her know she needed to let up a little but he refused to remove his mouth from her.
But she was too lost to the sensations he was creating. She lifted her hips and cried out, his name falling from her lips as she felt her orgasm slam into her hard and fast. Her entire body convulsed as the pleasure surged through her, rolling from head to toe before settling and pulsing between her thighs, right where his tongue was lashing at her. She tightened her thighs around his head and bucked against his face as Walter continued to suck and lick her clit, keeping her orgasm going for as long as she could take the stimulation. Finally she begged him to stop and it was only then that he released her clit and slid his tongue lower again, swiping it over and around her gently.
Walter slid his hands out from beneath her ass and reached for her fingers, tugging them out of his hair and then he pushed her thighs apart, gasping for air as he pulled his mouth away. She had the tendency to try to suffocate him when she orgasmed. Not that he was complaining but more than once he wondered if he would black out before she relaxed her thighs.
Walter turned his face and wiped his mouth against her thigh, which then fell limply to the side and he spent a few minutes pressing soft kisses over her thighs and the tender flesh between them trying to soothe her. Each time his lips pressed softly against her clit, her body jerked and she moaned inaudibly. Walter smiled smugly as he rose from his knees and slowly moved up her body, his lips leaving a wet trail over her skin.
He pushed his boxers down and kicked them away as he gripped her hips and pushed her up into the center of the bed and crawled over her. She was flushed and panting, with a slight sheen of sweat coating her skin, and she had her arm slung over her face as she caught her breath.
"You okay, love?" he asked with a smirk as he removed his t-shirt and tossed it onto the floor.
She shifted her arm and looked up at him as he hovered over her.
"Don't be so smug; my hormones are heightened right now."
His smirk widened and he chuckled as he gently settled on top of her, his hips resting in the cradle of her thighs and his shaft twitched as it pressed against her, the heat of her and the moisture from the last remnants of her orgasm causing his shaft to twitch and throb.
He buried his face in her neck letting out a sound that was a combination of a hum and a growl. Paige wrapped her arms and legs around him arching her back as his lips traveled slowly over the skin of her throat. A long moan escaped her lips as she felt his chest crush her breasts between them causing her nipples to pulse. Paige rolled her hips, lifting them, urging him to slip inside her, her body eager for more already.
Walter smiled against her as his head just started to breach her entrance. "It's a good thing I warned Ralph to put his earplugs in tonight."
Paige froze beneath him and her arms and legs fell back to the bed.
"Okay, now you've killed the mood." His lips curved wider as his tongue swirled over her pulse point, thinking she was joking but Paige just pushed on his shoulders and tilted her hips down to keep him from pushing any deeper into her. "Walter, I'm serious. Get off."
"Are you kidding me?" Walter pushed up on his hands and looked down at her incredulously.
Paige shook her head and tried to wiggle out from beneath him. "Nope. My hormones turn on and off like a switch when I'm pregnant."
Walter looked down between their bodies, looking at his painfully hard erection as it strained toward her, her lips clinging to his head.
"Aren't you the woman who told me to stop being a prude when I lost my erection in the shower in Tahiti?" Walter said petulantly as he rolled off her and settled on the mattress beside her.
Paige rolled to her side to face him. "That was different," she insisted as she slid her fingers through his hair. She knew he was frustrated and she felt bad, but hearing her son's name while she was still recovering from one of the most intense orgasms of her life was a complete mood killer.
"How was it different?" he asked and frowned as he tried to ignore the throbbing in his groin.
"Because what we were talking about didn't give me an image of my son with a pillow over his face trying to block out the sound of our moans every night."
"Maybe you shouldn't be so loud then," he said grumpily.
The narrowing of her eyes let him know his verbal filter was in the off position.
"I'm not the only one who's loud, you know." Paige pulled her hand back and ran her fingers through her own hair, pulling the sweaty strands away from her face.
"But you're the louder of the two of us," he said more gently as he turned on his side to face her.
She didn't deny it because she knew it was the truth.
He could tell she really was so he reached over and rubbed her hip with his fingers. "You have no reason to be mortified. We're newly married, istn't it only normal, that we engage in sexual intercourse more often than previously."
Paige made a face. "I really hate it when you say that."
"Say what?" Walter looked at her confused.
"Because it sounds so formal and mechanical." She could tell from the look on his face that he was about to tell her it was the proper word to connote the act so she continued. "I know you have an aversion to other words or phrases but can you at least just call it sex. That, at least, doesn't sound so much like a chore."
While Walter might have been inclined to argue the point with her under different circumstances, the fact that he still wanted to have sex with her before he went to sleep convinced him to shut his mouth.
"Sex with you is by no means a chore," he emphasized the word with a grin as he leaned forward and kissed her.
She bit his bottom lip gently and he opened his mouth, inviting her in. But she just pulled back and looked at him as Walter grumbled softly under his breath.
"You know, I thought something felt different lately but I thought I was just being girly."
"Huh?" Walter's fingers flexed against her hip. Touching her was the only thing keeping him from grounded. His body was throbbing and he could still taste her and smell her and it was taking all his restraint to keep from pushing her onto her back and just mounting her. "What do you mean?"
She shrugged as she shifted a little closer to him. "I thought I was imagining it and I was just feeling overly amorous because we were newlyweds. But my body feels different and sex felt different when I was pregnant. That should have tipped me off but it's been so long since I've been pregnant."
Walter clenched his teeth at the reminder of Paige having sex when she was pregnant with Ralph. He knew it was illogical but the thought of Drew touching her made Walter want to break something. His fingers pressed more deeply into her hip but she didn't seem to notice. And despite his distaste for the reminder her statement intrigued him.
"How does it feel different?"
"I don't know how to explain it," she shook her head and bit her bottom lip. "Except to say it feels more intense. My body seems to react more intensely to the stimulation."
"It's your heightened hormones," he replied, not having to be a doctor to know that. "Your orgasms have been stronger and more frequent lately."
She smiled amused because, of course, he would notice.
"How do you know that?"
His eyes softened and his hand slid slowly up the side of her body so he could tuck her hair behind her ear.
"Because I've memorized everything about you."
He said it so simply, because that's just what it was, and Paige buried her face in his neck, pressing closer as she hiked her leg over his hip.
"God I love the way you smell," Paige moaned as she brushed her lips against the underside of his jaw.
Walter put his arm around her and tugged her even closer.
"I smell like you right now," he murmured cheekily and she nipped his chin with her teeth in response before pulling his lips to hers and kissing him again.
He took advantage of her hormone's switch back on and slid his hand down the side of her body and rolled her onto her back. Walter kissed her, swallowing her soft hiccup as he moved on top of her and pushed inside her, thankful she didn't push him away again. Paige arched her back and tightened her thighs around his hips, lifting her legs around him once again, as she moaned long and low. Walter grunted as her soft body surrounded him, so warm and wet, and he rocked his hips gently, working more of his hard shaft inside her with each thrust.
Paige's still tender, swollen flesh wrapped around him and she trembled beneath him as his body shuddered from the feeling. She was always so tight right after she orgasmed and the sensation made Walter's eyes want to roll back in his head. He continued to kiss her, their tongues tangling slowly as he pumped his hips, slipping in and out of her with long, slow deep thrusts.
Paige rolled her hips, lifting them, moving with his, their bodies moving in perfect unison, as he made love to her.
It was these moments, when there was nothing between them, both literally and figuratively, that Paige found herself awed that Walter was capable of such passion. It no longer surprised her. But it awed her that she could draw this kind of love and emotion and tenderness out of him when he held everything back in every other aspect of his life.
For several long minutes the only sound in the room was the slight squeaking of the bed beneath them, the faint sound of their lips clinging and releasing, the wet sound of flesh slapping gently and the deep moans that fell from both their lips between kisses. Walter slid his hands down beneath her ass and tilted her hips up, causing Paige to gasp as it increased the intensity of the pleasure coursing through her body as his shaft slid over her clit each time he buried himself inside her.
When the sensation became too much for him and his body was close to release, Walter tore his lips away and buried his face in her neck once again. He began murmuring in Gaelic. Ever since their trip to Tahiti when he admitted to her what he'd been saying against her neck every time they made love, Walter started saying more. She recognized the three familiar words now but they were often said amidst a slew of other unintelligible words that she suspected were also Gaelic. Paige didn't ask him what else he was saying because she knew words were hard for him, and if he'd wanted her to know what he was saying he would say them in English.
He was never going to be a man who would say "I love you" out loud very often, and that was okay. Paige didn't need words from him because he showed her in a hundred different ways everyday of their lives that she was everything. But he also never failed to murmur those three words against her neck, when he found his completion inside her, and she had no doubt that whatever else he was saying was just more of an avowal of his love for her.
"Grá mo shaol." Walter choked out the end of his dialogue with those three meaningful words as his rhythm faltered and then his hips finally stilled. He pumped his seed into her and his warm breath blew over her throat as he panted softly.
"I love you," Paige breathed against his ear, her lips pressing against the shell and Walter's body shuddered on top of her the way if often did when she said those words to him.
"You didn't…" Walter mumbled against her neck.
She took his face in her palms and lifted it out of her neck as she turned him to face her. "It's okay," she said softly as she pulled his lips to hers and tightened her arms and legs around him, holding him.
Paige instinctively rolled her hips beneath him, unable to stop herself. He hissed as her body stroked his extremely sensitive flesh and he pushed up on his hands. "Just give me a minute and I'll-"
Paige pulled his lips down to hers again and he sank into her, into the kiss, but his softening shaft slipped out of her as he rolled them onto their sides.
Paige pulled her lips away and buried her face in his neck as he pulled her closer.
"I'm sorry," he muttered and she just smiled and kissed the hollow of his throat. He started to slip his hand down over her abdomen, intending to finish her but she grabbed it and pulled it back around her.
"I don't want your hand. I want your co-" He kissed her, again, before she could finish, and she moaned into his mouth as he gripped her thigh and lifted it over his hip. His body was still recovering but he wanted her in position so that as soon as it was he could take her again.
He pulled his lips away when oxygen became a necessity and pressed his forehead to hers. He exhaled short breaths and she reached up and caressed his face. Her body was still buzzing and she struggled to remain still when all she wanted to do was press her naked body against his and take him inside her again.
"Paige," he finally spoke, quietly, in almost a whisper. "I know I haven't said anything more about the child but I'm still trying to process it all."
"I know," she said knowingly without opening her eyes. "If anyone can understand trying to come to grips with an unplanned pregnancy, it's me."
He pulled back so he could look at her. "I don't want you to think I'm unhappy…. but I'm just still processing."
Her eyes opened and she could still see the uncertainty in his. She slid her right hand into his hair again and scratched just above his ear. His eyes fluttered closed and he sighed softly. "We have almost nine months to process. It will be okay, Walter. We'll be okay," she soothed as she kissed the corner of his mouth.
"How did you do it with Ralph?" he asked as he opened his eyes again.
"Come to terms with being unexpectedly pregnant?" Paige arched her brows surprised he was asking her this. They'd talked about both of their pasts but he'd never asked her that specific question.
He nodded his head and she shrugged.
"I just did. I was terrified and didn't want to be pregnant. It was the last thing in the world I wanted at that time in my life," she said, having once admitted that truth to him, but every time she said it she was flooded with guilt for ever not wanting the child that had become the love of her life. Walter once told her that guilt was a wasted emotion and it only ate away at you and hindered future productivity. He knew it from experience and he seemed particularly bothered that she carried any kind of guilt about Ralph because she had never been anything but an exceptional parent to him, even before she knew he was a genius.
He started to open his mouth and she knew he was going to repeat himself so she placed her fingers over his lips. "But I'd never change any of it because it brought that incredible child into my life." He kissed her fingertips and she smiled. "And that child brought you into my life," she added with a soft smile.
He pursed his lips as he contemplated her words. "I can't fathom my life if the two of you had never come into it."
Her lips curved mischievously and wanting to lighten the moment she teased. "So I guess you should be grateful to Drew for knocking me up."
Walter made a face and a sound resembling a gag escaped his throat. "I'd rather imagine an immaculate conception despite how impossible that is."
Paige snorted and kissed his chin as she wrapped her arm around his torso.
"Drew came back to the garage this morning," Paige said softly as she shifted a little closer, curling her calf around the back of his thigh.
"I know," Walter murmured as his hand caressed her hip and then slid down over her ass. "We saw him on the cameras."
She looked at him curiously. "If you knew he was here, why didn't you ask me about it?"
Walter shrugged as his fingers continued to caress her skin softly before gripping the cheek of her ass and pulling her closer.
"Were you waiting to see if I would tell you about it?" she asked suspiciously. Even though she just teased him Paige knew how Walter felt about Drew. He claimed not to feel jealous about her ex but it still slipped through at times.
"No," Walter scoffed and she arched her brow at him. "Okay, yes," he admitted reluctantly.
"Why?" she asked and he shrugged again because he had no good reason. Walter didn't doubt Paige's feelings for him anymore but he despised Drew for all he'd done to Paige and Ralph and he wished the baseball coach would just vanish from all their lives.
Paige decided not to push because they both knew the reason. "He wants Ralph to spend more time with him this summer."
"I'm not surprised," Walter said casually and decided it was not the time to elaborate on what Ralph had told him when he returned home, especially now that Ralph wanted to wait to let Paige know about his desired name change.
"I think they're growing apart," Paige said as she wiggled a little closer to him. Her skin was tingling everywhere they touched and she was becoming impatient, waiting for his body to recover, so she very subtly and stealthily started to slip her hand from the small of his back to his hip.
"It was inevitable eventually." Walter looked down at her hand that was crawling over his skin but she could see something in his eyes as he replied. "They're too different and will never fully connect or understand each other."
Paige knew they needed to have another conversation about this but at the moment Walter's answer had double meaning. It was his way of expressing his worry over not connecting with their child if that child was not a genius.
"Walter," she said as she reached up and tilted his face back up to hers. She waited until he met her eyes before she spoke again. "You're an amazing father to Ralph." She reached around and grasped his hand where it was still resting on her ass and pulled it to her stomach. "And you'll be an amazing father to this child."
He didn't even try to pretend he didn't know why she was saying what she was saying to him because she knew him too well. Sometimes that drove him crazy, but at the moment he was grateful she interpreted his meaning. Then again she was his interpreter and she was an incomparable expert at it.
"What if I don't-?" Walter stopped before he finished his thought but Paige didn't need him to finish it.
"You will," she said with so much conviction he was compelled to believe her. She pressed his hand more firmly against her stomach. "Sometimes the most unexpected things are the most meaningful. We did everything practical to prevent this and I still got pregnant. There has to be a reason for that."
"The reason is that I ejaculated inside you one too many times when you were ovulating."
The simplicity with which he said that, combined with the serious look on his face, would have been disturbing if it wasn't so comical. She bit her bottom lip, not wanting to laugh, but her lips twitched anyway.
"Walter, we're a family and we're just adding to it. I promise you'll be okay. We'll be okay."
"Yes," he agreed with a serious nod of his head. "We're a family and all families have unexpected issues, right? You're having a child but even if it wasn't mine I'd still accept it into our family because it's yours."
Most women would be offended if their husband's called their impending child an "unexpected issue" but Paige knew that was just how Walter was able to process. She understood the man in her arms sometimes better than he understood himself. So, instead, Paige snorted and leaned forward to kiss the corner of his mouth. Walter furrowed his brow at her reaction. He was trying to be supportive and she was laughing at him. It didn't seem very appropriate at the moment.
"Is there a reason you're laughing at me?" he asked as he pursed his lips.
Paige chuckled harder as she cupped his face in her hands and nuzzled his cheek.
"Walter, if this child wasn't yours, our family would have much bigger issues that just an unplanned pregnancy."
His lips curved into a wry smirk as he acknowledged the validity of her statement. "I suppose that's accurate."
Paige felt a rush of love for him overwhelm her unexpectedly and she released a breathy moan as she pressed closer, her desire for him skyrocketing for no reason at all. Her body was still unfulfilled and she reached down between them and took his shaft in her hand. He was still soft but as soon as her fingers wrapped around him, he thickened and lengthened.
He clutched her closer and captured her lips. She stroked him from base to tip, tugging the way she knew he liked and he groaned into her mouth as he pushed her onto her back again, moving over her as she guided him into her.
He pushed forward, not completely hard yet but firm enough that he could work his way in, rocking his hips, slipping deeper with each thrust. Paige whimpered into his mouth as she spread her thighs wide, lifting her hips to meet him before she placed her foot on the mattress and used it for leverage as she pushed, turning them over so he was on his back.
Walter let her roll them and gripped her hips so he remained mostly inside her as she sat up. Paige sunk down on him, engulfing him completely, and he grunted again and pressed his fingertips into her flesh, sure he was going to leave bruises.
She was warm and soft and wet and Walter's eyes rolled back a little as she began rocking her hips, rolling them in circles as her body adjusted to his depth and girth.
She'd taken him a little by surprise but he wasn't about to complain. Just her touch had set his entire body alight with lust, which was odd considering the topic of the conversation they were having. But she always knew how to soothe his fears and the way she loved and accepted him still amazed him some days.
He looked up at her as she slowly rolled her hips in circles. Desire for her rolled through him like fire as he watched her head fall back and her eyes fall closed as she rode him. The intensity and frequency with which he desired her could not be normal. He often wondered if it was because of his dense brain and his propensity to become so singularly focused that contributed to the fact that he wanted her relentlessly.
When they first began their sexual relationship, they had both been equally eager, as was apparently expected in a new relationship, and the frequency of their congress was an average of every other day. As time passed, and they fell into their routines and their life together, they maintained what would be considered a healthy sexual relationship by engaging in sexual relations an average of three times a week.
Although he was satisfied with the frequency of their relations, he would willingly have participated more. But he always let her set the pace, primarily because he didn't want to overwhelm her. And he knew despite his unyielding desire for her and his ability to focus mind over matter, the reality was his body could never possibly live up to his hunger for her.
And now he understood it was her pregnancy hormones that made her so virtually insatiable lately. He'd been willing to indulge her, enjoying the more frequent sex, even not knowing the reason or how long he'd be able to keep up.
But when she was over him like that, beautiful and glorious in her passion, confident in her allure, and basking in her knowledge of his desire for her, Walter decided he would willingly push his body's endurance to the absolute limit.
He gripped her hips and tilted her forward as she rolled her hips in wider circles.
"Walter," she moaned his name as she covered his hands with hers. She entwined their fingers and ground down on him. Walter grunted and bucked his hips, lifting them each time she came down on him.
She felt every inch of him filling her as she rode him slowly, short panting breaths escaping her mouth as it fell open. She lifted her head and looked down at him. His eyes were dark and full of longing. He only ever looked at her like that when he was inside her and she reveled in the fact that she was the only woman who ever saw him like that, who would ever see him like that.
Knowing how much he loved her breasts, Paige lifted her hands to cup them, taking her nipples between her thumbs and index fingers. She rolled her nipples and her body clenched around him.
"Paige," Walter groaned her name as her wet flesh gripped him, squeezing him until his eyes wanted to cross. Paige never took her eyes off him as she sped up her rocking, her breasts bouncing gently from her motions. His eyes were glued to her breasts and her lips curved into a sultry smile as she ground her clit against the base of his shaft. The tingling and throbbing inside her was increasing in intensity and she knew she wasn't going to last long.
Walter removed one hand from her hip and moved it between her thighs. Paige's body jerked softly when she felt Walter's fingers on her clit, tickling and teasing her and she surged forward. She leaned over him, pressing her hands into the mattress on either side of his head and her lips found his. She kissed him hard and he opened his mouth to her with an audible grunt as the new angle gripped his hard shaft in such a way that he was sure he was going to blow his load.
Walter pressed his hands into the mattress and sat up before wrapping his arms around Paige and pulling flush against him. Their lips never parted and Paige gripped the sides of his face and kissed him deeper. She whimpered into his mouth again as he grasped her hips in his strong fingers and pushed her down on him as he pushed up, pumping and thrusting his hips.
Their lips parted but neither one pulled back, both panting softly as they exchanged short breaths of air. Paige opened her eyes and saw he was looking at her and she wrapped her arms around him. Their bodies moved slowly, circling in tandem as Paige's nipples rubbed against him. The short coarse hairs on his chest tickled her and her breathing increased, her hips matching the speed and tempo. Walter pumped his hips, burying himself deeply inside her as he felt the first pulsing of her walls around him.
"Walter," Paige whispered his name brokenly against his lips and Walter bucked beneath her.
He groaned and captured her lips again and she convulsed in his arms. Paige felt her orgasm roll over her in long waves, starting low and deep in her belly before spreading outward to every limb in her body. Walter tightened his arms around her as she dropped her head back, chanting his name softly, at first, then louder, as her orgasm seemed to go on forever. He hoped Ralph had his earplugs in.
Walter kept lifting his hips, pumping and thrusting beneath her until he finally felt his orgasm slam into him, his seed erupting and filling her. Paige swallowed his guttural groan in her mouth as she covered his lips with her own, and Walter's body shuddered as he clutched her tight to him.
Their kisses softened, their gasping breaths slowing, until they were just taking gentle sips of each others lips.
Finally Paige's body stopped trembling and Walter flopped onto his back as Paige fell on top of him.
"Oomph," he coughed as all his breath was expelled as she landed on his chest.
"I don't think I'm ever going to walk again," she murmured against his neck, where she'd buried her face.
He chuckled and grunted in agreement. After several minutes of catching their breath, Paige shifted off him and settled against his side.
They lay there in silence for a while as the sweat on their bodies cooled and dried. Walter fluttered his fingertips up and down Paige's bare back and she reached for his left hand, running her fingers over his wedding band.
"I think you should stop wearing it."
He stiffened before he asked. "Why?"
She tilted her head to look at him. "Because you're going to lose it if you keep taking it off all the time."
Walter sighed and frowned. "I told you I'm just not used to it yet. My hands feel off balance when I'm trying to code. I don't type at the same speed when I have it on. But I just have to keep it on so I can get used to it. Once I am I'll be able to code with the same speed."
Paige pressed a soft kiss against his chest. "I won't be upset if you don't wear it, Walter. But I will be furious with you if you lose it," she warned gently. "Because it means something. To me anyway. And I'd rather keep it in my jewelry box than have it disappear forever."
"I want to wear it, Paige," he insisted and surprisingly he meant it. Walter didn't believe in tokens or talismans but having the ring on his finger was a constant reminder of her. Not that he needed something to cause him to think of her. She was in the back of his mind, all the time, no matter what he was doing. But when he'd been at the FBI offices that afternoon, although he primarily kept his eyes on the screen when he typed, every time he looked down, his ring caught his eye. And something about seeing it gave him an entirely content feeling.
"Then if you need to take it off please leave it up here," she asked as her fingers released his hand and she rested them on his chest.
"Ok," he agreed without hesitation and he felt her shift against him before she spoke again.
"Do I really snore every night?"
He nodded his head.
"Why didn't you say anything?" she asked as she frowned at him.
He shrugged. "It's not loud or bothersome. It's a very quiet, almost snuffling, sound."
"Lovely," she muttered sarcastically.
He chuckled and kissed her temple. "It's kind of cute, love."
She pushed up on her elbow and gave him a stern look. "And while we're on the topic of you not telling me things. Why didn't you tell me you noticed I was putting on weight?"
His eyes opened wide and he chose his next words carefully.
"I may be emotionally deficient but even I know you don't tell a woman she's gaining weight. Besides-," he started to say but then he stopped, deciding against it.
"Besides what?" Paige asked as she arched her brow at him.
"Nothing," he replied quickly and he rolled her onto her back, burying his face in her neck, letting his lips brush softly against her skin. He doubted his body would be able to rise to the occasion again tonight but he still wasn't ready to stop touching her and he just might be able to get her off this topic.
She moaned softly and he smiled sure he'd distracted her but she took his face in her hands and pulled it away from her neck.
"Besides what, Walter?" she asked as she looked at him.
He sighed and reluctantly admitted. "Besides I didn't mind it."
She looked a little surprised and the curiosity in her eyes encouraged him to continue. "I like it." He slid his hands down her sides, his fingertips alternating between fluttering against her skin and gripping the flesh gently. His eyes followed his hands. "I like the way it feels on you. Having a little more of you to grip, I mean," he added as he looked back at her face and she was biting her lip.
"Are you saying I'm too skinny," she asked with a soft smile.
He let his eyes travel down and back up her body again before he answered.
"No, you're body is beautiful, Paige, and it always has been. But you're even more beautiful to me now."
And there was his limited EQ showing up, unexpectedly, as it occasionally did.
"Well, there's going to be a lot more of me to grip in the coming months," she snorted amused.
His fingers flexed against her hip and he buried her face in her neck, again, as a low sound rumbled in the back of his throat. Paige wrapped her arms around him and released a breathy sigh as she wondered just what he would be like as her body changed.
He rolled on top of her and settled between her thighs, resting his head on her breasts as she gently massaged and scratched his scalp gently. He listened to her steady heartbeat, expecting her to fall asleep quickly, as was her norm. But it was almost twenty minutes later when her heart rate sped up and he lifted his head off her chest to look at her.
Her eyes were dilated and he instantly recognized the signs. She wasn't sated yet, her body was once again ripe and ready for him and Walter wondered if a pregnant Paige Dineen O'Brien was going to put him in an early grave.
Her hands were all of a sudden everywhere again and he shifted so he could kiss her again. He slipped his hand down her stomach and over her mound, slipping his fingers over her heated flesh again. He continued to kiss her as his fingers worked their magic and she grasped his hand and pushed his finger lower, urging him to slip them inside her. He obliged her and as she rocked against his hand, they were both surprised when his body reacted and started pressing insistently against her thigh.
Before contemplating the ramifications of what one more attempted orgasm may do to his body, Walter pushed her thighs apart and pushed inside her. Paige rolled her hips and arched her back as he sunk into her and she inhaled a shuddering breath as she pressed her lips against the shell of his ear.
"I love you, Walter," she breathed, telling him a second time, as their bodies began moving in unison again. He choked her name, unable to articulate anything else, as he willed his body not to fail him or her.
When he finally left her sated, sleeping and lightly snoring in their bed almost forty five minutes later, Walter was surprised his legs could hold him up.
"Ahhh, so the man can still walk. I'm impressed with your stamina 197."
Toby sat at the table in the first floor kitchen smirking at Walter as he hobbled into the room.
"Toby, if you start down that road I can assure you, you will not like my reaction," Walter warned in a dangerous tone.
Toby rolled his eyes. "Oh calm down, daddy to be. I'm just teasing."
"You don't want to go down that road either." Walter's tone became slightly more dangerous.
"You've had the missus squealing for the last couple of hours. I don't envy Ralphy boy. That kid wasn't kidding about needing ear plugs," Toby kept pushing because he could see Walter was about to lose it. Sometimes he was just too easy to tease.
"Toby, enough!" Walter snapped as he grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.
"You could have at least combed your sex hair if you didn't want to give me any ammunition," Toby snorted as he tossed a potato chip into his mouth.
Walter quickly reached up and ran his fingers through his hair patting it down. Paige had tugged on it pretty hard when he was using his mouth on her and she tended to leave his hair in complete disarray when he was done.
"What are you doing back here anyway?" Walter asked as he leaned against the counter and took a swig of his water. "Did Happy kick you out again?"
Toby scowled. "I don't want to talk about it. But I'm probably going to crash in the Airstream for a few nights."
Walter didn't ask him to elaborate because he'd learned, the hard way, not to get into the middle of them when they were fighting.
"You know, Mrs. O'Brien is on to something with this salty sweet thing," Toby murmured appreciatively as he dipped another chip into the bowl of chocolate ice cream. "Kinda like the two of you."
"What are you talking about Toby?" Walter asked, shaking his head with exasperation. Sometimes he just didn't get the shrink.
"Salty sweet," Toby grinned as he emphasized the words Drew had said earlier. "You're salty and she's sweet. Yet you go perfectly together."
Walter scoffed and just walked toward his desk to grab his laptop as Toby chuckled behind him.
He had been going to lambast Toby for being ridiculous but for once he agreed with his friend.
He and Paige did go perfectly together.
The end… for now.
Thanks again for reading and reviewing. I hope you enjoyed. Although I have numerous ideas and even several stories outlined and some partially written, I am taking another hiatus from writing. My health has once again become challenging and I need to focus on that. Thanks for your understanding….. but I'll be back eventually. Thanks, as always, for all your kind words and enthusiasm for my stories. It is truly humbling and it makes my heart happy.