Chapter eleven. - Its all in the planning.
In his sleep, Rick's dream had just turned on a dime from something strange about Jonathan- and a chicken on a bike- into something erotic about Evie. After groaning twice in quick succession as waves of pleasure crashed through his body, gradually Rick's guilt over thinking about Evie in such a primal way began to wake him. Reluctantly his mind came back to consciousness, and as it did so he realised something actually was happening. Snapping his eyes open immediately, as he felt a cold draught across his chest, he was extremely surprised by what he saw.
"Evie!" Rick's voice almost squeaked through the night and made the woman in his lap jump; she had been so intent with the task in hand that she hadn't seen his eyes open. Her balance, precarious at best, had been completely lost when she jumped, and she landed face first against Rick's chest.
"Evie?" Rick asked again, quieter this time, as she lay still against his chest. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Evie lied as she sat back upright, and moved back into his lap.
"Nothing?" Rick repeated with his eyebrows raised, and as he felt her move in his lap he willed himself to stay calm.
"Nothing," she confirmed as she reached forward to undo the last fastened button on Rick's shirt.
"Evie," he exclaimed as he realised what she was doing, and reached to grab for her hands. Jumping in surprise Evelyn flung her hands apart as he touched her. In doing so they ripped the last button from Rick's shirt and the material slid from his chest to his sides.
Evelyn's breath died in her throat for a hundred and one reasons as she took in the sight of Rick's bare chest.
The first reason being that, although beautifully muscular, Rick's chest was covered in deep bruises and lacerations. Evelyn hadn't realised until that very point the depth of the injuries he had received. He had never complained or expressed discomfort.
The second reason was that seeing Rick's bare chest brought home the reality of her plan.
Trying to keep her balance, Evelyn leant over to grab the bottle from the table, to calm her nerves.
"Humph," Rick coughed as she moved; his throat was dry but for a completely different reason. As Evelyn squirmed back into his lap, he could feel his self-control slipping away. "Okay," he exclaimed suddenly as he pulled himself up off the sofa and into a seating position, neatly sliding Evie's pert bottom away from his groin.
"Hey," he called as his eyes adjusted further to the darkness, and he saw Evelyn swig from a bottle. Grabbing it from her lips, he was surprised to smell alcohol in it.
"Hey!" Evelyn moaned, and grabbed for the bottle childishly.
"You're drunk," Rick accused her as she fell against his side.
Evie smiled, the alcohol having re-emboldened her, so she slid her hand inside Rick's open shirt. "No," she whispered as she slid up his body, and pursed her lips next to his ear. "No I'm not."
"Whoa!" Rick breathed, jumping to his feet as her hands brushed across his ribs. "I think maybe its time someone went to bed."
Evelyn, who was now lying on the sofa, looked up and nodded with a smile. "Yes," she agreed, "you and me."
Rick smiled, amused at Evelyn's poor grammar, which further proved his point. He was sure he would never have heard her speak in such a way had she been sober. Suddenly he became aware of a small hand creeping its way up his leg. Swallowing deeply, he stepped away from the temptation of giving in to the thing he wanted most, and placed the bottle he still held on the table.
"No," he said quietly as he faced her. "You alone"
Evelyn staggered to her feet. That wasn't what she had expected. "No," she argued stumbling towards him, "together."
"No," Rick insisted once again, and moved backwards around the table. "You don't want that, you're just drunk."
Placing her hands on her hips Evelyn fixed him with a stare. "I'm certainly most not," she said, and Rick couldn't help but smile again.
"Of course you're not," he humoured her as he moved in her direction. "You're just tired, which is why I think you should go to bed."
Evelyn lunged forward, and Rick caught her in his arms. "But I...I want you," she mumbled against his chest. "Why, why don't you want me?"
"Evie," Rick tilted her head back. "I do want you..."
"Is it...is it because of him?" Evie interrupted, not having listened to Rick's answer, as she became overwhelmed with a dreadful feeling.
"Evie!" Rick admonished. He couldn't believe that she would think that of him. "Trust me," he continued, "he has nothing to do with my actions. Now, if I was sure he had nothing to do with yours..." Rick broke off as he felt Evelyn attempt to grasp for the bottle behind his back. Sighing, he reaffirmed his grip around her body and lifted her up into his arms.
"O'Connell!" Evie cried, outraged, "What on earth you think you're doing? Put down me now!"
Rick grinned as Evelyn drunkenly confused her words. "I'm taking you to bed," he told her. "Wasn't that what you wanted?"
Evie stopped slapping his arms for a minute and thought about what he had said. "Yes," she agreed, nodding enthusiastically. "Yes, to bed."
Rick strode masterfully into the large bedroom with his love in his arms and tried, for the second time this week, not to think about the sexual connotations of his actions. Gently he laid Evie on the bed and stepped back.
Reaching out quickly Evelyn grabbed his open shirt and pulled him towards her.
"And you," she said.
Rick clamped his larger hand over hers and pulled it away from his shirt. He then grabbed the bed sheet and laid it across her slender body.
"Evie," he began tenderly, "I'm not going to sleep with you- not now, not tonight."
Evelyn's eyes quickly swelled with tears. "Why?" she asked in a little voice. "Is it...is it me?"
Rick sat on the edge of the bed. "God no" he said as he reached out to stroke her face. "You're beautiful, and there is nothing I want more." He paused, unsure how to continue.
"So why not?" Evelyn asked, turning to kiss the hand that was touching her.
Rick pulled his hand away; it was difficult enough to keep his self control without her lips caressing his skin.
"Because," he started as he stood up, "one: it's not the right time, and two: when I do make love to you I want you to be able to remember it in the morning."
"When will be the right time?" Evie asked quickly, ignoring the part two.
"When you marry me," Rick answered without any hesitation.
"When will that be?" Evie continued.
"When you're ready," Rick smiled. Leaning down he kissed her forehead. "Now go to sleep."
Evelyn nodded and lowered her eyelashes long enough for Rick to turn around, then once he had she opened them again and watched him walk to the door. Just as he reached it she called out. "I am ready."
Rick turned instantly "What?" he asked cautiously.
"I said I am ready," Evelyn repeated as she sat up in the bed.
"I heard you," Rick admitted with a smile, "but how about you tell me that in the morning?"
"Riiick," Evie moaned as he turned his back. "I want to marry you."
Turning silently Rick walked back to the bed. "And I want to marry you," he said as he knelt down. "So what if..." he pulled the engagement ring from his trouser pocket, were it had lived since she had turned him down the first time, "I put this here," he placed it on the bedside cabinet, "and if you feel the same in the morning, you can put it on then." He then continued to watch as Evelyn struggled to keep her eyes open.
"Okay," she whispered eventually.
"Okay," he echoed, and watched as she fell asleep. "Goodnight," he whispered as he pulled the covers over her, and kissed her forehead again. "Mrs O'Connell." Rick then crept out of the door.
After she was sure he was gone Evelyn's eyes flew open, and she reached for the diamond ring. "Goodnight, Mr O'Connell," she whispered with a wide smile.
The next morning Rick rose early, not having slept a wink after the exciting night. Eagerly he awaited Evelyn's return to the waking world. The second her bedroom door creaked open he was filled with nerves.
"Good morning," he called, jumping to his feet and turning to face her.
Evelyn stood perfectly still in the doorway, her tousled hair laying attractively on her shoulders, and a sleepy smile adorned her face. Slowly she raised her left hand.
"Good morning, husband," she grinned.
Without saying a word, but wearing a smile that said it all, Rick ran to her, picked her up and spun her around excitedly. "I love you," he promised once he finally put her down, and instead of reply Evelyn just kissed the man she loved deeply.
Entering the apartment door Jonathan was forced to clear his throat to announce his arrival. "Sorry," he apologised as the lovers broke apart. "I think I left something here yesterday," he explained. "Oh, there it is," Jonathan continued as he spied his bottle on the table. Crossing to it, he quickly picked it up.
"We're getting married!" Evie gushed, and ran from her lovers arms to her brother's side.
"Congratulations!" Jonathan said and kissed his sister. "Well," he continued, "I guess this calls for a celebration- at last."
"Yes," Rick agreed as Jonathan shook his hand. "I'll go get us something to drink."
"Don't bother," Jonathan told him, and waved the bottle about. "This is full!"
A week later in Cairo Evie and Rick were wed. It was an informal occasion; Rick wore his cream linen travelling suit, and a smile for so long the vicar had asked whether he was drunk.
Evie wore a full length silk dress, which Rick had brought her to replace the nightgown he had ruined. With her eyes dark and her hair down she looked every bit the diamond Rick knew her to be.
Jonathan proudly gave his sister away with a smile that rivalled Rick's, and a hangover- from the stag night he had arranged- that far out stripped Rick's.
That night, as promised, Rick showed Evie what love really was, and she showed it right back to him. From that moment on Evelyn never allowed Imhotep's voice to enter her head ever again.
If you want more my story titled 'Two Sides of the Same Diamond' can be read as an epilogue.
edited: 14/12/06. aww come on people, i know your still reading, thats stats are pilling up, and hey if you made it through to the end, spend a second or two and review, pretty please?