Idle hands are the devil's playthings
"Hush, Alice," he whispered against her throat as she moaned loudly. "There are people auot and about."
"I don't care!" she squealed. "Please... just a bit more..."
He grinned widely and entwined his fingers with hers in their place above her head. "Yer gonna get us caught, lass," he said before sucking rather harshly on a patch of porcelain white skin right above her left breast. "Hatter!" she cried as he rubbed the flesh between his teeth, leaving a red mark that couldn't be blamed on anything else.
He crawled up her slowly and pressed his lips against hers. "As mooch as Ah love hearin yeh scream, yer gonna have teh hush up if yeh want teh continue," he scolded.
She hissed and pulled him by the cravat into another heated kiss. Gently, she pulled his tongue into her mouth and then proceeded to suck on it, pulling a loud groan from his throat. "Am I testing you, Hatter?" she whispered as their lips parted.
"Aye," he growled. "Yer playin wit fire, lass."
His hands were steady as they moved down to her aching breasts. "Please... touch them..." she moaned. Propriety be damned; she'd had about enough.
"Na today, Alice," he said, almost mournfully as his hands continued their course around her sides and down to her hips. "I wouldnae beh able to stop mehself. If yeh were teh change yer mind... before we're married..."
"I won't," she promised, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him on top of her with a "hough!" on his part. "I won't change my mind, Hatter. You are the man for me."
He smiled against her hair. "As much as I love to hear that, Alice, I'm afraid that I love you too much to take you now."
She looked up in shock. "You love me?" she asked.
He swallowed hard. "Lass... why would I ask you to marry me if I didn't love you?"
"Well..." she thought for a long moment. "My mother certainly didn't love my father, and she married him. And they were very happy together. And I didn't love Hamish, even though I did consider marrying him to please my family...Margaret loves Lowell now, although I'm certain that she didn't think about that when she decided to marry him..."
"Alice," he could feel the terror building in his gut. He immediately lifted up to look at her. "You... you do understand that love and marriage go hand in hand, right?"
"Well I suppose," she said. "But I didn't think that it was a requirement."
He felt his heart breaking. He couldn't handle the wrong answer to the question he was about to ask.
"Do you love me Alice?" He felt the question leaving in one breath.
She smiled brilliantly and a rush of relief washed over him. "Hatter... that's a silly thing to ask. Of course I love you. You're my best friend."
"No, Alice," he shook his head. "Do you love me as more than a friend? Do you crave me?" He wasn't sure how on earth he'd gone so long without asking her how she felt. He must have been daft, to go on assuming that she loved him just because she'd accepted his proposal.
"Do you look at our upcoming marriage as a simple contract between two friends who could build a life together... or do you honestly and truly love me?"
She opened her mouth but hesitated. Was he doubting her?
"Do you feel it here?" he asked, touching her forehead lightly, "or here?" his palm moved swiftly to a place just left of the center of her chest.
"Here," she answered in a squeak. "I love you right here." Her hand was tiny as it covered his own.
He was so happy to hear it that leaned down and kissed her fully on the lips, not noticing the White Queen and a few more members of her court passing by.
"Well there you are, Alice," Mirana smiled. "We were all wondering where you'd run off to."
"Your majesty!" she squealed, throwing Hatter off of her as she sat up. "I... I apologize! I was just... I was, er-"
"Enjoying a quick romp in the gardens with the royal Hatter?" Mally asked from beside the queen's long gown. "Seriously. This is completely inappropriate behavior to be taking place on palace grounds."
"Let them be, Mally," Mirana scolded. "They are in love... nothing is more pure and beautiful than love."
Alice was blushing so hard, she felt as though her head was full of steam and would surely split open at any second.
"I expect to see you back at the castle soon, yes?" the happy queen chided, going on her way past the place where Hatter was rubbing his head and scowling. "We have quite a bit of work to do, as well as wedding plans to discuss."
She turned briefly, a sparkle in her eyes. "If, of course, you plan on wedding within the month as we originally decided?"
"Of course," Alice replied.
"Very good then," Mirana waved. "It shall be an event to be remembered! A wedding in Underland... how absolutely delightful!"
As the woman disappeared, Mally stood in her place, one tiny paw on her hip. "What's all this then," she muttered, waving to the disorganized couple in the grass. Embarrassed, Alice tried to pull the bodice of her gown up to hide the obvious bite mark on her bossom.
"Don't bother," Mally rolled her eyes. "Everyone already saw it. I must say, if anyone wonders who made it, the gap in the middle should be a good indicator."
Both blushed hotly and looked away.
"Let me give you some advice… if you intend to keep your propriety before your wedding night," the mouse said. "Breaks from work are dangerous. Being alone is dangerous. You need to keep busy. Both of you."
Hatter gave Alice a worried look.
"Idle hands are the devil's playthings," Mally warned. "You need to remember that."
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