Happy Birthday

"Mr Byrne" Connie called from her office as he hurried past on his way home after a busy day at work. When he didn't appear in the doorway she sighed, and stood up, walking towards the door in the hope of catching him before he reached the lifts. "Mr oh!…" the rest of Connie's sentence was lost as she walked into Joseph's chest as he suddenly reappeared in her doorway.

He quickly took a step back, flushing slightly as he began to offer his apologies, but she waved them away, "No, no my fault." She stepped back allowing him into the room before closing the door behind them.

He turned to look at her, "Is there a problem Mrs Beauchamp?"

"No, no problem" She replied reassuringly

A slightly puzzled expression appeared on his face, "But you wanted to see me? I was just on my way home…"

"I'm sorry, do you have plans I'm keeping you from?"

He was slightly shocked by this question, not the words but the fact that rather than the slightly sarcastic cold tone she usually had, her voice was soft, almost sounding scared, afraid she was actually keeping him from something important. "No, no plans… I just like to get out of the hospital when my shift finishes…"

She sat down back behind her desk, reaching into a drawer for a bottle of wine before swivelling around and picking a glass from the shelf behind her. "Not doing anything with the family for your birthday?"

"My… my birthday?"

"Yes Mr Byrne, the anniversary of the day you entered the world, the 3rd of June, which unless I'm very much mistaken is today." Once again her voice lacked the sharp edge, and was instead warm, as though she were teasing him slightly, sharing a joke with an old friend. She poured the wine into her glass and took a small sip smiling slightly.

"Yes, yes it is, but I'm not doing anything." For some reason unknown to him he felt unable to stop simply at that, he carried on as though he owed her an explanation, "Birthdays have never really been anything the family celebrates as it were… " His cheeks flushed slightly red as he realised how much he'd actually opened up to her.

"You never celebrated birthdays? Not even when you were younger?"

"No..." His cheeks flushed redder at her obvious astonishment.

Connie was amazed, even though her upbringing had not been what could be described as privileged, at any stretch of the imagination, birthdays within the family had always been something her parents would pull out all the stops for. Working extra shifts in order to buy their children the very best present they could afford, and to be able to give them the extra special meal that only happened three times a year; Christmas, her sister's birthday and her own birthday. She'd always imagined everyone more fortunate than themselves did the same, albeit without the need for extra shifts, more expensive gifts and more elaborate meals. It had never occurred to her this wasn't necessarily the case. "Well then Mr Byrne, would you care to join me for a drink?"

"I should really be getting home Mrs Beauchamp…"

"One drink won't hurt Joseph…" she stood up smiling and reached for a glass, "And call me Connie, Joseph we've been working together for months now, I think we can call each other by our Christian names now…"

Seeing her smile genuinely for the first time brought on a sudden strange urge to stay, "Just the one then…" He sat down and took a sip as the conversation began to flow, as did the alcohol and before long they'd reached the end of the bottle.

"Oh it's empty!" she exclaimed, "I'm hungry, lets going and get something to eat."

"Oh no! I really should get going now…"

She smiled moving towards him, "But it's your birthday and you have no other plans… it's a tradition of mine to take registrars out for dinner on their birthday…" She moved forwards, gently resting her hand on his arm and smiling up at him, "I'll be offended if you say no…"

He found himself staring down at her delicate hand on his arm, clearly torn between the wanting to be in his own home where in felt comfortable, and not wanting to offend her by turning down her offer, in the end t was the subtle smile she flashed at him that made up his mind, "Well I wouldn't want to offend you..."

She beamed; it was a gorgeous genuine smile that sent his heart racing as she reached for her coat, "Fantastic! My treat of course, consider it your birthday present…" She took his arm leading him towards the door.

He paused as she reached out for the handle, "Um, Mrs Beauchamp… Connie, do you think walking out like this is a good idea? People might talk…"

"And you wouldn't want to be associated with me in that way…"

"Yes... No, that's not what I meant at all. I just don't think people gossiping would be conducive to productivity… it could cause tension..."

"Right, of course…" she unlinked her arm and opened the door walking alongside him to the lifts, purely as two colleagues who had finished at the same time.

30 minutes later they were sitting opposite each other, engrosses in conversation, both becoming more attracted to each other as the conversation turned away from work and onto hobbies and interests, both learning things about each other they'd never known before as they ate.

Joseph looked up slightly shocked as the waiter brought over an expensive bottle of champagne showing it to Connie as she nodded her approval before he opened it. "Connie! That's expensive!"

She smiles, and laughed slightly, "I know… Are you saying you're not worth it Mr Byrne?"

"No it just seems a little extreme, you must let me pay."

"Joseph it's your birthday, I am taking you out for a meal not the other way around. I wouldn't have ordered it if I wasn't prepared to pay…"

He smiled, the alcohol obviously relaxing him as it was the first time she'd seen him in her presence without him looking tense. She handed him a glass, "Here, Happy Birthday Mr Byrne."

Anyone who saw them as they moved to the bar as they finished their meal would never believe they were the same consultant and registrar who worked at Holby. Gone were the Ice Queen and the nervous student attempting to make a good impression, and in their place were two far more accurate representations of their true personalities. Two warm caring people, chatting and laughing together and realising they were far similar than either of them had thought possible. They both looked at each other in shock as the man behind the bar called time and she smiled as she stood up walking over to the till and handing over her credit card to pay. He stood as she took her card back and turned back towards him, she stumbled slightly and he stepped forward to catch her in his arms, looking down at her as she smiled up at him gratefully. Staring down into her deep eyes at that point he wanted nothing more than to kiss her, but instead of giving him he simply smiled back as she giggled, "Oops!"

He led her out to the cloakroom wrapping her coat around her shoulders and his arms protectively around her as they stepped outside looking for a cab, neither of them fit to drive. He slid in beside her as a cab finally appeared and she gave it directions to her house.

She looked at him smiling, wondering whether it would be a good idea to kiss him, or if she'd regret it in the morning, or possibly worse, she'd rather enjoy it and he'd regret it in the morning and she'd find herself subject to some disciplinary hearing being told she'd abused her position. One more look into his eyes and she decided she didn't care, and leaned in towards him kissing him only very gently at first giving him a chance to pull away, but deepening the kiss when she found to her relief, and admittedly amazement he didn't pull away, but moved closer to her deepening the kiss.

She pulled him from the cab as it arrived at her house, linking her fingers with his as she pulled him up the driveway, pushing him up against the doorway and kissing him as she fished around in her handbag for her keys. Smirking to herself as she felt his arms travel around her waist holding her to him as she finally located her key and slid it into the lock. They stumbled through the now open doorway and landed in a giggling heap on the floor, limbs entwined, as he reached up to kiss her, wrapping his arm gently around her neck pulling her to him as he reached out with his foot kicking the door shut. She pulled at his tie releasing it from the perfect knot around his neck and slowly began undoing his shirt buttons placing delicate kisses on his chest as she did so. She pushed his shirt off his shoulders and smiled as she felt his hands gently teasing her shirt from her trousers, feeling her stomach dip as his hands brushed across her bare skin as they moved and began to slowly undo her buttons. His lips pressed against her burning skin, as he reached around and delicately undid her bra. She felt his lips at her nipple, gently kissing it, tugging at it and swirling his tongue it teasing her until it felt as though every nerve ending was on fire, before her moved on to the other leaving her gasping. She slowly lifted his head upwards and pressed her lips to his kissing him hard before pulling away slightly, "Upstairs…"

He carefully slipped his arm under her knees as she slid her arms around his neck, lifting her light weight easily and making his way up to the bedroom moaning slightly as he felt her lips gently caressing his neck and shoulders. He moved into the bedroom and gently laid her on the bed before moving above her smiling slightly as she reached out for him, pulling him back towards her, wanting to feel him on her once again. She ran her hands over his muscular back and smirked slightly as she felt him harden as her hands wandered lower. She moved her hands to his belt, pulling it loose before making quick work of his button and zip sliding his trousers down before wiggling out of her won and guiding him into her, as he kissed her neck. She groaned as she felt him move inside her and moved her arms to his waist pulling him closer to her as she angled her hips to pull him deeper into her. The quiet moans becoming louder gasps as their lovemaking became faster and more frantic, crying out together as their bodies, beaded with sweat, began to slip against each other. Every move bringing them closer to climax, which when it finally came was the best either of them had ever experienced.

He collapsed beside her, their chests heaving in unison as they lay side by side in silence attempting to take in what had just happened, before Connie rolled onto her side and smiled. She gently kissed him and slid her arm over his body resting her head on his chest, happy to still be lying in his arms as she drifted off into her first peaceful sleep in years.

He smiled down at her gently kissing her head and wrapping his arms around her waist before he drifted off himself.

Joseph woke up first the next morning and looked down at the sleeping form resting her head on his chest, smiling slightly before suddenly recognising the tangled curls and pulling back with a start causing the figure to wake.

She lifted her head from his chest, blinking as her eyes adjusted and delicately brushing the sleep from her eyes before smiling slightly, "Joseph?"

"Mrs… Mrs Beauchamp, I… I... I mean what are you doing here?" He stuttered as his cheeks flushed red.

She smiled slightly at his apparent embarrassment, simply finding his sudden interest in everything but her naked form even more endearing. "I live here Joseph… This is my house…"

His cheeks flushed a deeper shade of red, "Oh! Oh well what am I doing here, O god did we… I mean did you and I…"

Her smile grew as she remembered back to the night before, "Did we have sex? Yes Joseph, we did it, we made love, you screwed me, call it whatever you like…"

"So you think this is funny?" He started completely misinterpreting her smile, "You and Sam…"

Connie interrupted, "Sam? What does Mr Strachen have to do with us?"

"Us? What us? There is no us! Tell me did you and Sam have a bet on? How much have you just won for getting me into bed? Or did you just want to prove to yourself you could still seduce anyone you felt like?"

What! No! Is that what you really think of me Joseph?"

For the first time since his outburst began he actually allowed himself to look down at her, taking in her dark eyes, currently full of concern, her perfect smooth skin with the sprinkling of freckles across her nose and cheeks, and her full lips still slightly parted from her last question. He'd never seen her without make up before, but now the image was burnt into the back of his mind. She was one of the few women who actually looked more gorgeous without make up, she was without a doubt the most gorgeous woman he'd ever had the privilege to lay his eyes upon. He was brought back to reality once more as he heard her voice questioning "Joseph" once more. He sighed, "No… No that's not what I think, but I don't understand why me? Why would someone like you end up with someone like me by choice?"

"Because I like you Joseph, I really like you… You're sweet, kind, caring, intelligent, and believe it or not you're gorgeous. The fact that for whatever reason you don't realise it simply makes you more attractive…"

"You… You really think that?"

"Yes I do…" She reached out for his arm and pulled him back towards her leaning in and pressing her lips against his in a gentle kiss.

He pulled away slightly and looked into her eyes, "Is this really what you want?"

"Yes, without a doubt" she replied without needing to think. He slowly moved back towards her pressing his lips to hers and moving his hands to her waist, pulling her closer and deepening the kiss as he felt her tongue pressing against his. Finally allowing himself to give in to what he'd felt for months.