Chuck vs Green Eyed Girl

Prologue & Chapter 1

Premise: Chuck is in a committed relationship when Larkin sends him the email and intersect. This prologue and first chapter sets and details the characters and the development of their relationship and their interactions with related characters. I wrote parts of it with help for the 3Js and they're probably the better parts. This will start out dark and grow into the light with incredible Charah and minimal physical damage to the hero.

The characters of Casey and Walker will be somewhat different than in the show. More realistic. And if you like Casey, you won't like this one.

I may change this to M later. Right now I'm off to Biloxi, Tampa and the Keys. I'm not running the gennie much to conserve fuel so updates will depend upon access to power and fuel. I hope to have at least 5 chapters in the can by the time I update in Marathon. No hurry tho, I've got nothing but time, new sails and fair winds and ya'll have better things to do.

This is totally AU so don't complain if the timelines shift. And don't be upset with no responses to flames. WiFi doesn't work from 100 miles offshore.



Chuck Bartowski towered over the love of his life. She was barely 5'1" tall, with delicate AmerAsian features that had first ensnared him.

Her mother and father met while her Dad was in SE Asia with a government agency. They defied the convention of the times and fell in love and married. Two years after they returned to the States they had a daughter Lin Xhiao Kimble, Americanized to Lynn.

She did not like Chuck Bartowski at first. She thought he looked down at her, ignoring that unless he was sitting, he did look down on her. She thought he was adopting a superior air because he'd attended Stanford. She'd gone to 2 years at City College until things fell apart at home and she had to get a job. And here he was at the BuyMore. And here she was at the BuyMore. Here they were at the BuyMore. He had hired her to work as a Nerd Herder and he was her boss. He was the perfect gentleman, respectful and considerate and caring without being all California-group-huggy about it.

Her attitude had changed when she'd returned from a business server corruption repair call in tears. He led her back into the break room and listened to her story. The assistant manager of an important customer, a sporting goods chain store, had made advances towards her, with improper touching and suggestions. Chuck drove over to the store, confronted the assistant manager in front of his boss. The butthead had made some crack about Asian Snatch and Chuck had punched him in the mouth and told the manager that his BuyMore Maintenance Plan was revoked and he'd send him a pro rata refund.

He drove back to the BuyMore, told Big Mike what had happened and what he'd done and fully expected to be fired for 'canceling a customer using his fist'. Big Mike shook his hand, told him there was no place for racism or sexual harassment and sent him back to his station. Chuck never mentioned it to her, but Big Mike did.

"That Bartowski is a piece of work. Canceled that sporting goods store with his fist. Good man." Big Mike looked down at her, "A really fine man. Don't you worry about working for Chuck. He'll always do the right thing, no matter how much it hurts."

The next week he'd hired Anna Wu and she thought she'd finally figured him out. He had an AsiaGirl fetish Something from his past; maybe he'd seen too many Chuck Norris films, Jackie Chan movies, whatever. She just vowed to stay away from him.

A few weeks passed and she noticed that her supervisor had become quieter, a little withdrawn and was spending significant time in the cage voluntarily knocking out everyone else's backlogged work. He didn't complain but rather seemed to appreciate the solitude. Not even his friend, Morgan, seemed able to crack the shell he was building around himself and each day the shell seemed to thicken.

The usual antics of Jeff and Lester seemed unimportant and even Big Mike seemed concerned enough to emerge from his fortress of solitude and doughnuts and call a meeting of the Herd.

"Ok, people, something's up with Bartowski and I want to know what it is. He's working his butt off for no reason at all. He's not due for a review or salary adjustment, there are no positions open here to which he might aspire. So what is going on with Chuck? Is it drugs? Woman problems? Trouble at home? Surely one of you has enough respect and affection for the man who covers your ass and saves your job almost weekly to have some insight into what's bothering him? No? Well, I tried. Get back to work. My door is always open if you bring the right key – with sprinkles."

Lynn decided it was none of her business. Round-eye problems were not her concern. She had enough trouble maintaining her equilibrium with her own set of challenges and didn't need to add anyone else's to her balancing act. Even if he was cute. And nice. And respectful. No. She had no room in her life for another emotional cripple. Her parents had provided enough drama; she did not need to seek it out.

Anna mentioned something that did surprise her. He'd hired Anna Wu not for her ethnicity but rather because she was a convicted felon. Chuck had 'overlooked' her truthful entry on her application. She did the crime, did the time and he believed she deserved a clean slate and fresh start. He respected the women who worked with him. Unique.

Chuck later asked Anna to help him develop a web crawler so he could search for his father. He offered to pay her since it was time off the clock but she wouldn't hear of it. His sister was getting married and it was his hope to find his dad so he could walk Ellie down the aisle. Anna thought it was endearing and busted her ass helping him develop his crawler.

Lynn thought it was stupid. If the man left them, why should they share such an important day with him? Better to let him remain lost. Of course, her own situation at home had nothing whatsoever to do with her opinion. None whatsoever. Her father had abandoned her shortly after her mother died and left a note that said 'you're better off alone than with me'. And she was. Alone. And she was better off. She told herself that enough and now she'd finally believed it to be true. She needed no man except for 'periodic biological necessities'.

The reason for his blue funk was that his crawler failed to find any evidence of his father's existence. No birth certificate, no school records, no military history, nothing. It was like Stephen Bartowski was a manufactured construct. He didn't exist.

He had failed his sister and was wallowing in the mire of self-pity or so it seemed to observers. Morgan finally ferreted out the truth. They'd been friends since elementary school. Not even his attendance at Stanford, his disastrous engagement and subsequent depression could shake Morgan's friendship with Chuck Bartowski. No. The problem was that his ex-fiancé had become 'ex' because she'd slept with his best friend at Stanford, the one and the same guy who'd accused Chuck of cheating on an exam and gotten him expelled.

He was in town. With Jill. And he was planning on dropping by and rubbing salt into an almost-healed wound. Now that rankled Lynn's sense of right.

Morgan was livid but could think of nothing to prevent it. Anna had offered "to off the little shit and his whore" since she felt she owed "Chuckles" big-time.

Chuck just squared his shoulders and prepared to be humiliated in front of his friends, coworkers and ex-fiancé but he'd seen the smoky green-eyed girl looking at him in pity and he couldn't stand that look, not from her.

Bryce Larkin, accompanied by a professionally attired Jill Roberts, strolled into the BuyMore like characters in a movie. The scene where the handsome prince throws pennies to the paupers and feels better for it although his princess would rather have kept the pennies and just waved to the unwashed peasants from a distance upwind.

"Well, Chuck Bartowski, how are ya, man? What are you up to? How's things at the BuyMore? Remember Jill?"

"Hello, Bryce, Jill. How you been? Looking pretty snazzy there in your expensive suit, Italian shoes and matching handbag. Screwed over any old friends lately? Lied to the Dean? Planted evidence? Fucked someone's fiancé? Stolen anyone's future, wrecked any reputations, given anyone else Herpes? I'm busy, Bryce, so save your cutting wit, rented suit and borrowed shoes and purse for someone who really cares. Get out of my store and don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya…and take that cheating whore with you. See you in another 5 years."

Larkin's chin hit the floor and his face turned red. Chuck Bartowski did not talk like that. He was a wimp who should have rolled over and died the minute he walked in the door.

Lynn walked over to Chuck, put her arms around his neck, pulled him down and kissed him passionately. She had thoroughly enjoyed his destruction of the asshole Bryce Larkin.

"Sorry I'm late honey, but I got held up on an install. You ready for lunch? And who're your overdressed friends?" she queried. And then the penny dropped for her apparently.

"Oh, no, Chuck. No way, baby, this is our lunch hour, and I'm not sharing you, Chuck. Tell them some other time. Let's go, we're late."

Smokey green eyes stared into brown eyes and seemed to say, "Play along".

She put her arm around his waist and turned him so his back was to Bryce and she let her hand drift down to cup his ass cheek and led him out the back of the store.

The green shirts and the Herders started laughing at Larkin and he stormed out of the store trailed by his rent-a-ho Jill Roberts who kept looking back over her shoulder at the man she'd thrown away.

Lynn disengaged herself from her supervisor and turned and looked up at him. "I'm sorry if that seemed inappropriate, Chuck, but I couldn't just stand by and let them humiliate you in front of your friends and coworkers. You're far too decent and don't deserve that. Now, if you're going to fire me, just tell me to leave. No hassles. I'm fine with it."

Chuck kept eye contact, brown on jade green, and leaned down and whispered in her ear "I already went to lunch today, but thanks for the invitation. How about dinner? I think I owe you more than a lunch. I'm not hitting on you, Lynn Kimble, so feel free to say 'no'."

She said yes. Six months later they moved in together, splitting the rent with his sister and her fiancé and were rarely apart unless required by differing shifts. Nothing was said about it at the BuyMore since no one wanted to incur the wrath of Anna Wu. Besides, scheduling was fair, work was easy and Chuck was happy.


Lynn was lying draped all over a very naked Chuck. And Chuck was lying under a very naked Lynn. She was enjoying the afterglow of incredible sex and was a little shaky and still experiencing a few aftershocks.

"Chuck, can I ask you something? Something really personal?" She was still a little out of breath and was keeping her sentences short and pointed.

"Depends." He was really out of breath. Maybe he needed to start taking a more active interest in Awesome's physical routine. And drink those disgusting 'wang shakes' so he wouldn't experience a not-so-Smiling-Bob-moment.

"Does it bother you that I never tell you I love you? Even though you tell me you do all the time and [aftershock shudder] show me everyday?" Oh, God, if he twitched his thing one more time it would be right where it would hit…unnnnnnnnnggghhhh, he did that deliberately.

Chuck snickered and he ran his fingertips down her back and cupped her buttocks in his palms. A perfect fit. If I can twitch right about now she'll…yes, and the crowd goes wild.

"Oh, Chuck, please stop that. NO, don't stop that. Just answer the questionnnnnggggg (he is so going to pay for that)."

"Look, Lynn, I love you. I tell you because I want to say it, have you hear it and I show you because I don't know how not to. Why? Does it bother you that I'm committed to this relationship body and soul? Is this all too much for you somehow?"

He flipped her over on her back and started nibbling at her neck while caressing and teasing her nipples with the pads of his fingertips. She was perfectly proportioned with ample bosoms, a delicate tapering waist, perfectly toned arms and thighs and delicate hands and feet. She always sported the perfect golden tan, a gift from her mixed-race parents. Her hair was a gift from her Asian gene pool although it did get the faintest light brown highlights from the sun. She surfed whenever she could, and was trying to get Chuck to take windsurfing lessons with her. She was his perfect green-eyed girl.

He suddenly had a feeling that he knew where this conversation was headed. He leaned up on one elbow and looked at her in the faint light.

"I'm not your dad, Lynn. I won't bail on you just because it's easier than staying. Do you want out? Is this the 'Gee, Chuck, it's been fun but…" speech?"

His voice had hardened and it was obvious that he was feeling defensive and threatened. He untangled his legs from hers and rolled onto his back.

Lynn was shocked. How could an intimate moment like this plunge into a relationship death spiral?

"Chuck, I…"

Chuck got out of bed and said in a strangled voice "I'm going to take a shower and head on in to work. The cage is backed up again. Enjoy your day off, Lynn. I'll see you this evening."

They both knew the last sentence was really a question.

She was trying to explain something to the big idiot and as usual it got turned it into something else. They were both insecure for pretty much the same reasons and it made conversations like this difficult for both of them. And that's why they hadn't had it until now.

Chuck freely displayed his love for her. She hid hers, afraid that by admitting her love she'd become vulnerable. She wanted to change that. She wanted to scream to the world that she loved the big idiot Chuck Bartowski, genius and world's greatest lover. But if she did she'd be crushed when he left, as she knew he would. It's what men did.

Fear of abandonment is what the psychologists label it.

Lynn knew that. She also knew that if this situation wasn't addressed immediately it would fester and rot the relationship she treasured from the inside out, making her fear a self-fulfilling prophecy. Chuck had a saying 'love goes where it's welcomed but stays only if returned'. One of his many axioms of life courtesy of the Burbank Red Dragon Restaurant fortune cookie collection.

She walked down the hallway past Ellie and Devon's closed door and into the bathroom. Chuck was already in the shower so she slipped in and into his arms.

"I'm sorry. I'm just afraid that you'll leave me if I make the kind of commitment you're looking for. Don't leave me. Don't be like our fathers. Stay with me and be my husband and father to our children. I love you and I'll always be here for you. I will never leave you."

"That's all I've ever wanted to hear you say. I'm not like our fathers. I'm in this for as long as I live. Now, either you go back to bed and get your beauty sleep or you make yourself useful and wash my back."


"Chuck, we've know each other all our lives, man, and you go and do something like this without so much as a consultation? That's just cold, Bartowski, and I thought we were friends." Morgan had just looked at the diamond ring Chuck had finally completed paying for and had reset, cleaned and sized that morning.

"Buddy, it's not like I'm dying. We've been living together for nearly 8 months. We love each other and want to make a commitment to one another. Nothing's going to change, Morgan, just because of a ring. It's not like we've set a date or anything. This is my sign to her of my commitment to our relationship, to us. It's important to her and so it's important to me."

Anna Wu was blatantly eavesdropping on the pair. She'd always had a hope for something between her and Chuckles but obviously Lynn had first claim on the big idiot's heart and soul. She was so happy for them. Despite a rocky start and some really interesting fights, they'd settled into a perfect relationship. She wasn't jealous of Lynn, just envious as hell.

Someday she would have a man talk about her like that who would feel the need to give tangible evidence of his commitment in the form of a ring. It wasn't gaudy. It was very elegant. It would not dominate her hand but complement it. Chuck had great taste in everything despite what the assholes that worked here said about everything but Lynn.

Casa Bartowski

"Ok, Chuck. The chicken is roasting in the oven and the instructions for adding the veggies are on the pad beside the food processor. The salads are prepared and all you have to do is pop the rolls into the oven about 2 minutes after you pull the bird out to cool. Devon's got the wine all ready for you; just open it about the time you pull out the bird. That's it, Chuck. Oooooo, I can't believe my little brother is popping the question." Elliejoy and Elliehugs were things of awesome spectacle. Sometimes over done but always heartfelt.

"Thanks, Ellie. I don't think PB&J would be much of an engagement dinner and we both feel restaurants are too public for anything intimate. You sure you and Devon are Ok with this?"

"Chuck, we've been looking for an excuse to drive up to San Francisco and a long weekend is perfect. Now, follow the directions on the food, little brother, and follow your heart on the rest of it."

He met her at the door with a single white tea rose and a hug. "So, babe, how was your shift? Anything I need to know about happen?" The usual questions. No sense alerting her amazing bullshit detector. He wanted this to be perfect. Ok, maybe the rose tipped his hand a little but what the hell; he'd done cornier things for a lot less reason.

"Nope. The people and place are as you left them. Well, there's a new stain in the Entertainment Center. I love Morgan to death but he and Anna just need to get a room or borrow a car or something. It's getting so you have to look before you sit or use a flat surface in the store. And if you see a requisition for latex gloves, well, Anna and I refuse to use some of the equipment after Jeff has been left alone unsupervised with it. Understand, O' Exalted Leader?"

"Yes, Lynn, I understand. Morgan and Anna need to find their own place, not use the store for their boudoir, and they need to take Lysol or industrial grade solvent and clean every flat surface large enough to support Anna Wu's ass, and lastly, a requisition is pending approval for gloves to prevent contact with Loser Leavings. Did I miss anything, Miss Kimble?"

"Yes, O' Exalted Leader, you missed pressing your lips unto mine and allowing me to breathe and taste your essence. I have been too long away from your presence and I feel bereft and in need of comfort and screwing."

He loved it when she was in her 'educated & playful' mood. She sounded like a cross between a Shakespearean actress and a hooker.

"Later, Lynn. I have plans for the next hour or so that cannot be changed. After that, we can do all the nasty naked things your perverted little heart can imagine but for now, my house, my rules. Go and put on your pre-screwing clothes, babe, while I finish our dinner."

"Oh my God, Ellie cooked! I'm ravenous. Let's forget the sex and get with the food. Where are they?"

"Away for the entire weekend. And no, Ellie did not cook. I have prepared your repast for this evening. Roasted quail with truffle sauce, a light sauce, nothing heavy, some appropriate vegetables and a fine white wine. Now go and put on the pre-screwing duds, and I'll go back and read the directions."

She giggled, grabbed him around the neck and pulled him down for a tongue-duel, released him with a satisfactory suckling on his lower lip and sprinted for the bedroom and shower. She'd be ready in 5 minutes. How long did it take to put on a silk robe?

Dinner was a fine affair. Chuck had pulled off everything perfectly. It was finally time for the great moment and he felt like he was going to throw up, he was that nervous.

They'd moved over to the couch and were doing the yuppie thing of after-dinner wine when Chuck began his assault.

"Lynn, we've been together for a while and I think we've worked out most of the bumps in our road and I'd like to know where you think this should head?"

'Oh, shit, Chuck. Don't ask me that, please don't ask me. I don't know. I don't know.'

She hesitated and she could see the concern on his face. She hated being put on the spot. She had depended on him to make the tough calls for them, not her. Yes, she abdicated her role as his partner but by far he was the better educated and the better thinker of the two.

"Lynn, do you want to just keep things as they are or move on or what? I think it's a reasonable question."

"Are you breaking up with me, Chuck? Is that what this is all about? An elaborate setting for a simple 'time to move on, Lynn'?" Pissed Lynn was not good. Moving fast towards 'outraged Lynn' had terrible consequences. Her normally jade green eyes were fast hardening into smoky emerald green orbs of anger.

"No, my love, I'm asking you to marry me. I said I was in this for the long haul, Lynn. Now I don't know if 40 years will be enough."

He slipped the ring onto her finger. A perfect fit. She slipped over to straddle his lap and put her arms around his neck and kissed him her soft kiss, the special one she always withheld until she was absolutely certain there was no more pleasure to be wrung from their coupling.

"Yes. Yes. I'll marry you. Yes, I'll hang around with you for 40 years. Yes, I'm in it for the long haul and no, I'm not afraid you'll leave me, husband-to-be, for you love me and I have your promise here, on my finger and here, in my heart."

Chuck just sat there and grinned. Lynn stood, grabbed both his hands pulling him up saying, "Let's knock out the dishes and then get naked. I'm going to rock your world, round-eye."

"Engaged less than 2 minutes and already she'd dictating terms."

She undid the sash and shrugged the silk robe off her shoulders. "Ok, let's get naked, knock out the dishes and then I'll rock your world, my beloved round-eye."


"Lynn, how do you feel about going to Vegas next weekend with Ellie and Devon? I've scheduled us off Friday through Monday so we'd have four days to do stuff. What do you think?"

"We could have some alone time but the hotel would set us back a fortune, honey, and I think we'd be better off just banking the money for that rainy day we all worry about."

"OK, I just thought while we were there we could get married and have a short honeymoon before we have our vacation/honeymoon after the first of the year."

No response.

"Um, Lynn, did you hear me?"

"Shut up, my beloved round-eye, I'm mentally packing."

Later in the week

"But Chuck, you can't just go off and get married. What about the Bachelor Party and the Bachelorette Party and all that party stuff."

"Oh, yes, we can. And yes, we will. This time next week I'll have a wife." He sat down abruptly. A wife? Insurance, a new apartment, deposits, a car, life insurance, utility bills. What in the world was he doing?

"Hey, Chuck. Ready to take off for the evening? I need to stop by and pick up some stuff at the mall for our Vegas trip. Is that Ok?" He knew exactly what he was doing, and he knew why. Lynn.

"Sure thing, Shorts. Be right with you. I suppose you want me there to carry all the bags and stuff. I do have other uses, y'know?" The Bartowski Eyebrow Dance commenced with devastating effect.

Lynn reached up and grabbed his tie, pulling him down to her level and leaned over and flicked her tongue in his ear and said "I need your opinion on some stuff on sale at Victoria's Secret for our getaway. And I thought we could spend some time alone practicing for the honeymoon. I want to make sure everything goes right. I'll need lots of practice and I'll need a partner."

"Morgan, clock me out, will ya? Gotta run, man. See ya tomorrow."

Las Vegas

"Man, Devon, that drive is a killer. I don't think I'll be able to stand up straight for days."

"Chuck, my brother-to-be, there's only one part of you that needs to stand up this week. Straight and tall, too." He laughed at his wit but was having trouble standing up straight himself and he hadn't been shoved into the cramped back seat.

"You shouldn't have sat in the back seat, Chuck. Ellie and I could have sat back there. A Toyota only has so much room."

"Yeah, but the I couldn't have had you snuggle up against me for the whole trip, and I couldn't have copped all those feels…" The Eyebrow Dance commenced.

Lynn giggled and looked at Ellie and then at Chuck. "And I thought you were just trying to get me to move over so you had some room. Sorry, I didn't know it was your libido getting out of hand. I guess you'll just have to wait until after we're married."

"…I now pronounce you husband and wife."


Burbank BuyMore

"Morgan, you and Anna either get a room or I'm scheduling you so you won't be working together. And since Anna is a Herder, that means you'll be on closing duty permanently. You can't have wild monkey sex all over the store. You leave…gunk on stuff. You got to stop it or it's a permanent shift change for you."

"But Chuck, that's so unfair. You and Lynn…"

"Are married, do what we do in our own place, not here. And don't make a stink about her working for me either. It's nepotism but I'm harder on her than any of you. She pulls her weight in installs and works the cage, so don't even go there."

"And Morgan, if I have to make any adjustments to Lynn's schedule because of any flak from corporate, you'll find nights very comforting as well as every inventory, every holiday and every special sale day. You're my friend, but she's my wife. Got it?"

Casa Bartowski

"You threatened Morgan with permanent closings if he and Anna weren't more discrete? That's cold, Chuck. I'm surprised at you."

"Look, Big Mike's getting complaints from customers. They're having wild monkey sex all over the place, on breaks, in the Herders. In your Herder as a matter of fact."

"Chuck, I'll talk to Anna but you tell Morgan he's dead meat if he even comes near my Herder. I had no idea what that was on the seat, and the window, and the headliner. Oh, shit, that's just gross!"

Chuck was quiet. Mission accomplished. He would never have been able to approach Anna on the subject but now Lynn was on a mission.

They were cuddled up on the couch watching an old Alfred Hitchcock movie when Ellie and Devon arrived home. Stormed home. Tore the door off home.

"Ellie, wait a minute. You don't understand. You're not listening to reason here, Ellie!"

"Oh, I understand just fine. I'm a doctor who is unfortunate to have her sexual apparatus on the inside while you and the rest of the medical fraternity have yours swinging in the wind. I get screwed but you, with all the benefits of the male medical community protection association, get the position.

"Look, I have more experience, more training and I've been in the trials program since before I met you. Get a grip. It's not a gender thing, it's who's got the experience."

"You mean it's who's got the dick, don't you? Devon, you knew how important this was to me. Well, I hope you and your good ol' boys like each other a whole lot because the only sex you're going to be getting is if one or more of them is gay. I think you need to rethink your housing arrangements, too."

The bedroom door caromed off the frame, bounced against the doorstop then slammed shut. Chuck had never seen his sister this angry.

"Uh, Devon, now might be a good time to see if one of your frat bros can put you up for the night or so. She's not going to be talking to you until she goes through her famous 4 steps. That could take a while. I've never seen her so angry, not even when her mother left us. Not even when I got thrown out of Stanford."


Eleanor Faye Bartowski had called it quits with Devon Woodcomb. Again. For the second time in as many months. The first had been a 'professional' squabble. The Dick had gotten a plum fellowship helping with clinical trials of a new drug therapy that would reduce rejection rates on transplant patients. The Dickless had accused the board of gender bias. She had also accused her then-fiancé of that same bias even though she knew his experience in the trials pre-dated her application.

This time, even though she had ended their relationship and returned the ring, she had been insanely jealous of Devon and an ER nurse dating. She'd confronted him in the hospital cafeteria line somewhere between the salads and the ubiquitous Jell-O. She'd made quite a scene and had embarrassed the crap out of him. Good. Let him see how it feels to be demeaned. The nurses really liked Ellie and the ER nurse felt the full force of her profession's female cadre and poor Devon lost another possible girlfriend.

It hadn't mattered that she and Devon had not been on a date since October. What mattered was that he dared to resume a normal life while her's was in such disarray.

Ain't love grand?

Casa Bartowski

Lynn opened one eye when she heard the apartment door open and close normally. Good, no EllieSlams. The shift must have progressed normally. She loved her sister-in-law to death but lately she'd begun to wear on the newly weds. Lots of drama, too much drama.

She reached down and began fondling her husband, figuring if she was awake then he should be, too. "Chuck, Chuck, hey, round eye, I'm awake and naked and wet and ready and horny and I want to make love to my husband. But you'll do."

She ran a fingertip down his hip to where his tattoo was. It was her idea to have a glyph from her mother's language tattooed on each of them so that when they merged in love she would be thanking her mother's ancestral gods for bringing her to this fine man. It never hurt to have the gods on your side and a frequent reminder to them was not inappropriate. She laughed to herself. Frequent was an understatement.

She knew her maternal grandfather was still alive. She'd seen his picture in the newspapers and had asked her mother about him. It was the same man whose picture graced her dresser top. He was a warlord in the Golden Triangle region. A dangerous man. But a man who loved his daughter and allowed a foreigner to take her away to a distant land where she would be safe.

Her mother got letters from him monthly. She asked if she could write to her grandfather. She felt a need to connect with her race's culture and history. Her mother had taught her to write the glyphs that were his native language and she sent her first letter to him when she was 13.

And she had written faithfully to him every 2 weeks since. She told him of her life, her family's problems, her hopes and dreams. His letters came with her mother's and together they learned about his life. She vowed that someday she would meet her grandfather and introduce him to her beloved husband.

When her mother died, she was the one who told him. When her father left, he sent her money and asked her to come home. She wrote that she was home but would find a way to meet him if possible. His letters continued regularly while hers became less frequent as her life grew more hectic.

When Chuck got one of the letters out of the mailbox after she'd moved in with him, he asked her about it. After explanation, he asked her to begin writing weekly, keeping a journal letter and mailing it each Friday recounting all her activities. He felt family was important and she knew he'd begun a "Grandfather" account to save for their trip. He was determined to meet her family and gain their acceptance and trust. He sent pictures along for her grandfather to see his granddaughter and her life.

"Lynn, a tattoo? Of what? I have you in my heart and head, I don't need a visual reminder." He wasn't really keen on needles, my round eye.

"It's just a small symbol, Chuck. My family glyph high on your thigh, and your family glyph high on mine. When we make love, our families will be joined. Please?"

"'Bartowski' is a word in your language? Wow."

"No, I made it up, phonetically. I have to get 3 glyphs; you get by with one small one. Please?"

"Of course, for you and your family, of course. But you have to hold my hand and maintain eye contact. I frikkin' hate needles."

"My brave beloved round eye."

Two days later, Chuck had returned to the tattoo shop and asked if the artist still had the glyph template that Lynn had given him for Chuck's tattoo and asked that another, larger one, be inked over his heart.

He managed to hide it from her for a few days until the swelling and itching had stopped and when she saw it in the shower she added another reason to the list of why she loved her husband. That night they reminded the gods many times of their existence.

The next letter sent to her grandfather included a picture of them at the beach with Chuck's tattoo prominently visible and his wife smiling at her grandfather knowing he would understand and appreciate the sentiment and would be assured that her round eye was a good man.

"Chuck, wake up and ravish me. Chuck, wake up and…"

"Oh, Chuuuuck, you gifted linguist, you…"

Chuck got up to take a quick shower. From the looks of things, his dainty delight would be hors de combat for a bit more if her dainty snores were any indication. 'I am such a lucky bastard to have found my other half so early in life. The long haul can't be long enough for me.'

After his shower he checked his email and saw one that prompted him for a response to an old game he and Bryce had played in college. Grinning with a pleasant memory of beer and better times he keyed in the appropriate response and hit |ENTER|.

End Prologue and Chapter 1