31. A Thousand Revolutions
"Enough," I said, stopping Katie in her tracks. Her constant guilt since the incident with Anna was beginning to wear thin. Although to be fair I had used it mercilessly to my advantage as I persuaded her to come here to France rather than endure a Fitch Family Christmas. Malgré mes efforts de courtoisie, à la suggestion de Naomi, l'idée de me séquestrer avec eux pendant la période hystérique des fêtes me glaçait le sang. I knew this would place me back in the ranks of the devils in their eyes, but I asked Katie the question that was the dealbreaker.
"Will there be Christmas jumpers?" I said.
"Oh God will there be Christmas jumpers," she rolled her eyes at me.
"Then we are going to fucking France," I replied.
Even though Anthea was wealthy, we had never been showered and spoiled with unnecessarily ostentatious presents as appeared to be the custom in England. Any ceremony was a lot more subtle and the festive season generally meant only two things in Anthea's household – more food and more wine. There was the chance to catch up with family though, and once I heard that Tony was coming home, there was no way I was going to miss out on that. Fortunately, Katie's contrition for her behaviour at Naomi's launch party made her very easy to persuade.
The thing was, she was wildly projecting. Seeing her kiss Anna hadn't bothered me nearly as much as she thought it had. Of course I didn't want to see her leave me for the Russian, but I had confidence that the bond we had built would stand the test. I know that things aren't black and white, that none of us really fit into the neat little boxes we're supposed to. I knew the pair of them had unfinished business, and I'm not so much of a fool as to think that love isn't a dirty, messy, hopeless business when it so clearly is. I myself have indulged in shocking sexual behaviours in my past, so who am I to judge?
Katie, however, has grown up with a different set of rules and judges herself far more harshly than I ever would. To me what she did was only natural in the face of their history, mais pour elle c'était un crime et elle trouvait le moyen de se chatier pour ses torts tous les jours depuis. Every morning I would wake up to find her staring at me intensely, searching to see if the cracks were starting to show, if this was the day I was finally going to bend to convention and castigate her for her sin. And every morning I would kiss her into reassurance, letting her know that I still loved her and there was no terrible crisis looming on the horizon. But there was always a lingering tension surrounding us. Nothing I could say or do seemed to convince her, and her own guilt kept smouldering away in the background thickening the very air with regret, and it was growing tiresome.
It was when I found her loading the Christmas tree with a ridiculous amount of presents for me, despite my telling her that that was not the way we did things here, that I finally snapped.
"Enough," I said, pushing her hands away from the gifts. "What do you think you're doing?"
Katie looked at the floor, refusing to meet my eyes.
"It's just a few stupid things," she muttered.
"No it's not, it's a payment," I countered. "You think that by spoiling me you can assuage your fucking guilt. Well it doesn't work like that. You can't buy a person's emotions, especially not mine."
Katie looked up, her eyes full of moisture.
"I'm not…" she started, but my icy stare cut away at her words.
"I'm not fooled, Katie," I said.
"Then what can I do?" she said pleadingly, the first of her tears breaching, and spilling delicately down her beautiful face. "I'll do anything. Just tell me what you want me to do."
"Just stop this shit," I told her, more gently than before. "You don't have to do anything other than be the ballsy badass motherfucker that I fell in love with."
I stepped towards her and pulled her into an embrace.
"I don't want your contrition. I don't want your guilt," I continued. "In fact I need you to stop being so bloody Catholic about the whole thing."
"I just don't understand how you can forgive me," she said.
"So you were lying when you told Anna you forgave her?" I asked.
"No," said Katie.
"Then you do understand," I replied. "Fuck it, it's more than that. I don't even have to forgive you because you didn't do anything wrong."
"How do you work that one out?" muttered Katie.
I took a step back from her and opened my arms as if to show myself to her.
"I'm Effy," I said. "I'm not like all of the other girls. I don't give a shit that you kissed Anna. Je l'ai embrassée aussi, r'appelle-toi."
"Yeah, but you didn't find yourself wanting to fuck her," said Katie miserably.
"You think?" I said raising an eyebrow. "I wasn't entirely joking about that threesome idea, you know?"
I watched her eyes flash with fire at the thought of it.
"See," I smirked. "Morality is not something set in stone, it's something we have to work out for ourselves. It's a debate, and an ongoing one."
"You are fucking extraordinary," said Katie, softly touching my face. "Ever since I met you, you've kind of melted my boundaries, and completely redefined them."
"This is grown up love, Katie," I said. "Not the childish kind, where we pretend that neither of us has a past, or people we are connected to from that past. So what if it's messy? Doesn't mean it can't be beautiful. I decided to love you with Anna in your heart, and I'm not going back on that decision."
"I fucking love you," said Katie, advancing on me and pushing me down onto the nearest sofa. She came down after me, crawling on top of me and gifting me with a deliriously lustful kiss. It felt like the first honest kiss we had shared in the weeks since the party, and I was overjoyed to have my girlfriend back. I intensified the kiss, leaving her in no doubt that I was more than willing for things to turn sexual. Katie took the hint and started pushing me further onto my back until I felt the scrunching of a box collapsing beneath me. Katie ignored it, and started attacking my neck and pushing her thigh hard against my groin.
"What about the presents?" I whispered breathlessly, as her actions sent repeated contractions of hunger through my cunt.
"Fuck the presents," she replied, pulling away the crumpled bag from under me. "This is what you really want, isn't it?"
She pressed herself against me once more, and the eager thrust of my hips gave her her answer before I had the chance to tell her in words, but I did it all the same.
"Fuck me, baby," I told her.
Katie had no problems in complying and her hand was up my skirt in an instant. Neither of us paid any mind to the fact that we were in the enormous curved living room. Anthea had gone off to her favourite vineyard for more supplies, and even if she came back early it wouldn't matter. This wouldn't be the first time she would have caught me in flagrante delicto, and she would have just shrugged and wandered off somewhere else. Katie's fingers were scrabbling at the elastic of my knickers.
"Pants. Must. Go," she said in between frenzied kisses along my collar bone, but she seemed unable to drag her focus away from me long enough to remove them.
"I am so wet for you," I murmured to her sensually, and she abandoned the idea and simply pushed the fabric to one side.
"Oh fucking God," she moaned as her fingers slid into the moisture, and her eyes rolled back into her head in ecstasy. Her groan of excitement was followed by one of my own, as her pupils widened and she pushed herself inside me.
"Oh putain, que c'est bon!" I cried as she withdrew and repeated the motion. She slid in and out of me smoothly, her fingers moving easily within the deluge between my thighs. I cried each time she filled me, the emptiness before only amplifying the sensations as she stimulated my G-spot. I clutched whatever parts of the sofa I could reach and angled my hips up to receive her. Her increase in pace was subtle, but it introduced a whole new wave of pleasure as she read every little nuance of my need for her. Her head was resting between my breasts, and I could feel the bulge of her bicep on her supporting arm as she moved against me.
Again she pumped a little faster, but still dragged my body in her wake in perfect unison. I couldn't get enough of her fucking me, and I started thrusting harder against her in response. She lifted her head from its resting place and looked downwards to where my restless body pushed so ravenously against her own. I knew the way Katie's eyes looked at moments like these and I longed to see them, but she kept her focus rooted to what she was doing to me and the effect that it was having. Suddenly her eyes flickered up and met mine.
"Je veux que tu jouisse pour moi," she said to me in French, and started fucking me really fast. I wanted her so much I shoved my hips at her till I was practically bouncing off the cushions to open myself up to her rapid thrusts. It felt so fucking good, but it only made me need her more, and our movements became frenzied, animalistic as the guttural sounds of unbridled lust emitted from both our throats.
"Je suis a toi, mon Effy," whispered Katie with intent, and her words had my walls slamming shut on her as I shrieked my way through a lengthy orgasm that left me almost bereft of oxygen. She collapsed onto my belly, her fingers still buried deep inside me, where they remained as I trembled with uncontrollable aftershocks. My limbs felt heavy, and it was a struggle to move them, even to welcome her into an embrace.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"I thought we'd gotten over this shit," I croaked in the breathless slur of the recently fucked.
If I hadn't been so shagged out, I might have been irritated. Also, she was grinning at me.
"No," smirked Katie. "I'm sorry for being such a dickwad. You're right. Who cares if I had a momentary lapse with an old flame? This is us, and this is now, and we are fucking magnificent, and not even Anna Markova can do anything about that."
She kissed me, and started moving her fingers inside me, subtly stroking the front of my pussy. My eyes widened at the sensation. De nouvelles avalanches de plaisir dégringolèrent au creux de moi. What the fuck was she doing to me?
I didn't have the chance to find out, as I was dragged from my abandon by the sound of strange voices in the hallway. The sound of voices talking to each other in English.
"Tony," I said with a smile as I realised it was my brother and his wife conversing in the language that they shared.
"Fuck," hissed Katie, pulling out of me in panic.
Another brief surge of sensation swamped me as she withdrew, causing me to moan and roll my eyes. Katie stopped dead and then leaned back down to kiss me.
"You are the sexiest woman alive, do you know that?" she said.
The words were almost out of my mouth before I had the sense to bite them back. Sexier than Anna? It was all too easy to be unguarded around Katie, but I was lucky there were still a few active brain cells swimming around in the post-coital mush. The last thing we needed was another full on guilt attack from her, just when I'd managed to diffuse things a little.
"Well hang onto your knickers, baby. You're about to meet the sexiest man alive too," I grinned.
"I don't think you're supposed to feel that way about your brother," teased Katie, trying to push her hair back into some sort of order.
She got up quickly, already fussing over her appearance, but my limbs were still heavy and I found it hard even to drag myself into a sitting position. Sex with Katie always left me more delightfully drained than any of my previous lovers. There would be little point in trying to hide my current state from Tony anyway. He would pick it up in seconds. He had had an uncanny empathy with me ever since we were kids. It was only my rising excitement at seeing him that managed to drag me from my repose. It had been so fucking long. I ran a casual hand through my hair, earning me a benevolent smile from Katie and we made our way out into the hallway.
There amidst a pile of scruffy looking luggage stood my gorgeous brother, his beautiful Japanese wife Musuki and, staring up at the intertwining slides all around him as if he had just entered the Kingdom of Heaven, a person I had never met, Romain, my nephew. A year and a half or so of emailed photographs had not prepared me for the rush of emotion I experienced at seeing the little boy's face for the first time. Une personne complète, formée avec de l'ADN que je partageais He was stunning, his Eurasian features lit up in wonder as he stared about him in delight, too absorbed in his surroundings to notice the arrival of two slightly dishevelled girls.
"Salut frangine ," Tony smirked at me. "On dirait qu'on t'a baisé à l'envers et à l'endroit."
I turned to Katie to see her rapidly turning a shade of very bright red. Tony had spoken in French, meaning to include only me, as Musuki and he operated almost exclusively in English. He hadn't factored in Katie's willingness to learn our language, nor the fact that though she may not be up to scratch on genders, declensions and irregular verbs, her knowledge of swear words and sexual terms was almost encyclopaedic.
"Nice to see you too, bro," I replied in English in order to include Misuki. "I'd like you to meet my girlfriend, Katie."
"Enchanté," he said, kissing her on both cheeks. "This is my wife, Misuki, and our son. Romain, come here and meet your Auntie Effy and her girlfriend."
The little boy turned and looked at us and his face split into a cheeky grin that was the spitting image of his father's. I dropped to my knees and opened my arms to him. He checked me out for a couple of seconds before deciding I was OK, and shuffling over towards me. He let me cuddle him for a little while before pulling away and studying my face with an intensity unusual in one so young. The boy was definitely a Stonem.
"Eyes like Daddy," he declared.
Having been raised in South America amongst Hispanics and Native South Americans, blue eyes would have been a rarity for him and he certainly seemed fascinated by mine.
"Where's Mum?" asked Tony, breaking our moment.
"Vineyard," I shrugged.
"Figures," he laughed.
I could feel Katie hovering next to me, and when I looked up she was jiggling nervously, desperately wanting to have a go on the cute little boy.
"Who lady?" asked Romain, pointing at her.
Katie dropped down to his level.
"I'm Katie," she said. "And I love your Aunty Effy very very much."
He gave her the same close scrutiny he had afforded me, whilst Katie just gawped back at him, already clearly in love. Romain seemed to be satisfied, and nodded his head seriously.
"Eyes like Mummy," he said. "Nice."
I had never considered it before, but the shape of Katie's deep brown eyes did give off a slight hint of Eurasian, and as she cuddled my nephew, a thought flashed across my mind wondering what her own children would look like. What? The Fuck? What? The thought was gone as soon as it arrived, but I was still in shock that it had ever surfaced at all. Instinct told me to bury it deeply back where it belonged, but it had still unnerved me. Marriage? Thoughts of progeny? What in the name of all things holy was this fucking woman doing to me? Peu importe; elle faisait du quotidien des périples allechants qui me mettaient sans dessus dessous. Fortunately, I was prevented from sinking any further into panic by the arrival of my mother and the joyous reunion with her firstborn and her grandchild swept all other emotions away in its wake.
Several hours later, once everyone had settled in, Anthea opened some of her booty from the vineyard and we began to gather round the Christmas tree for the distribution of presents, prior to our Christmas Eve dinner. Romain had already gone to bed and would be given his gifts in the morning. Katie had been helping Anthea in the kitchen earlier, but now she was glued to her iPad.
"Katie," I hissed at her urgently.
"What?" she frowned.
"Put that down," I urged her.
"Yeah, in a minute, babes," she said absently. "Just got some figures coming in about the pre-Christmas sales of Detonate."
"It's Christmas Eve," I protested.
"Yeah and?" countered Katie, her brow still creased in concentration.
I decided to become proactive and whipped the thing out of her hands.
"We're in France," I explained somewhat unnecessarily. "And in France, we celebrate on the 24th. You wouldn't work on Christmas Day, would you?"
Katie's adorable guilty pout told me that's exactly what she would do if it was important enough to her.
"Tonight is a time for family, and food and wine," I said. "You should forget about business for a while."
"But it's for us, Effy. For you," she protested. "So that you can get to fulfil your dream."
"And part of my dream includes spending time with my beautiful girl," I insisted. "It can wait."
I felt a sudden wave of empathy for Anna. Katie was a natural businesswoman, and something of a workaholic. Our fortunes had changed dramatically in the few short months she had been working with us, but sometimes I still felt the need to try to slow her down, to help her understand that there were other things in life that were just as important. Even though her efforts were all on my behalf, sometimes she became so focussed on her work it was hard to get her to think about anything else. I imagined what it must have been like for the Russian, trying to maintain a long distance relationship with someone so driven. I could disappear into my own head and my own passions, but for someone more needy and emotional, I could understand how she might have felt like she was being neglected. It was obvious that we both loved Katie passionately, but to love her was to understand the things that made her the phenomenal woman that she was, and her drive to succeed and to take control of her working environment was one of them. J'allais devoir faire preuve d'intelligence et de patience, j'allais devoir donner à Katie l'espace qu'il lui faillait pour être elle-même. To recognise that for her, her business skills were her art and that they fed her every bit as much as my creativity fed me.
All through the exchange of gifts and the beautiful dinner that followed it, she was slightly twitchy. It was as if her iPad was burning a hole in the sofa where I had left it, and she was itching to douse the fire. Even though she was trying to enjoy herself and engage with me and my family, chattering away in French and English, and asking Misuki a raft of questions about Japan and their life in Guatemala, there was still a certain restlessness about her. When she came back from a toilet break with a satisfied grin on her face, I knew the game was up.
"So, how are sales going?" I smirked at her.
"What?" she said defensively.
"You checked your iPad when you went to the toilet, didn't you?" I smiled.
"Yeah," she said with a nervous hint of apology.
I couldn't be angry with her, any more than I could be angry with a fish for swimming or a monkey for climbing trees. It was in her blood.
"Well?" I prompted, causing a massive grin to break out over her beautiful features.
"Through the fucking roof," she smiled.
Later, curled up around her in bed, my face buried deep against her skin, breathing in the scent of her that I found so engagingly addictive, I asked her what had happened to all the presents she had gotten me, seeing as only one or two had manifested themselves at our opening ceremony.
"You were right," she said. "I did overbuy for you out of guilt and remorse, but it was fucking stupid because you're so fucking amazing, and you never tried to punish me. It was all on me. But I fucking love you, Effy, so I'm just going to keep them and spontaneously surprise you at random points throughout the year. Cause you're not just special for Christmas. You're special for life."
I thought back to the conversation I'd had with Freddie about love not being a passive thing, that once love had been declared we couldn't just settle back and expect it not to change. Que l'amour était un choix que l'on faisait consciemment chaque jour et qu'il faillait continuer à s'acharner pour le mériter. And I still felt that way now, even though the intensity of my passion for Katie far exceeded anything I had felt for him. After the drama of our forbidden love, you might have forgiven us for relaxing and basking in a fait accompli. But love is never a fait accompli, it is a living fluid thing. The story never ends with the fairytale kiss, and there's so much more living that has to go on beyond that point. I knew that Jim and Anthea had once known great passion, but that they had tragically failed to adapt, and that once they had stopped falling in love with each other over and again, their lives began to shatter around them. Tony and Misuki had met under horrifically tragic circumstances, but they had reinvented themselves on the other side of the world, and now they had a beautiful son to show for it. Katie and I had been threatened by my depression, by her subterfuge, by the Shakespearean enmity between our clans and by the reappearance of Anna, but we had evolved. We had learned to adapt.
Maybe the secret to sustainability is not to love absolutely, like Freddie and Anna, but to hold a love that is not afraid of flux. To find a love where your heart can undergo a thousand tiny revolutions a day. Katie rolled over to face me, and I stared into her emotive brown eyes in wonder and pride. This woman had fought for me, and she would continue to do battle with anything that stood in our way, even the perilously flammable parts of our own hearts. We can plan all we like, but we can never truly know what's to become of us, but with Katie there will always be revolution, chaque jour une nouvelle libération.
Avec elle je suis vivante et je n'ai pas peur du combat.
Fin – The End
A/N: So here's another story that ends with a beginning. The future is unwritten. Only one short year ago SJ, the wonderful lady for whom this piece was created had only just survived a coma we didn't know whether she would wake up from. But now she is out of hospital, making steady recovery. She has found love, and is looking forward to being able to travel again and discovering life anew. One year ago blueeyedfrog02 was just some French chick on the other side of the world, who I'd asked to help me with a story. Now she is my lover, and my own life might be about to change radically because of that. So happy endings do happen, but we have to make them for ourselves, and keep on fighting to make sure they stay happy. Never give up, my brave soldiers, there's a whole world out there just waiting for you. I hope you have enjoyed our little collaboration, and that it has entertained or inspired you in some way. It's au revoir for now, but onwards, upwards, ever forwards…
Spread the Love
Our French interpretations
1. Malgré mes efforts de courtoisie, à la suggestion de Naomi, l'idée de me séquestrer avec eux pendant la période hystérique des fêtes me glaçait le sang.
Though I was doing my best to embrace them as Naomi suggested I should, the thought of them amplified by festive hysteria was too much to bear.
2. Mais pour elle c'était un crime et elle trouvait le moyen de se chatier pour ses torts tous les jours depuis.
but to her it was a sin, and she's been punishing herself for it ever since.
3. Je l'ai embrassée aussi, r'appelle-toi - I kissed her too remember?"
4. "Oh putain, que c'est bon!" - "Oh fuck, you feel so good,"
5. "Je veux que tu jouisse pour moi," – I want you to come for me
6. "Je suis a toi, mon Effy," – I am yours, my Effy
7. De nouvelles avalanches de plaisir dégringolèrent au creux de moi.
Whole new avalanches of pleasure started to tumble through my body.
8. Une personne complète, formée avec de l'ADN que je partageais.
A whole new person made from some of the DNA I carried inside my own body
9. "Salut frangine," Tony smirked at me. "On dirait qu'on t'a baisé à l'envers et à l'endroit."
"Hey sis," Tony smirked at me. "You look like you've been fucked through a hedge backwards."
10. Peu importe; elle faisait du quotidien des périples allechants qui me mettaient sans dessus dessous
Whatever it was, she made normality seem acceptably dangerous in a way that was turning me upside down.
11. J'allais devoir faire preuve d'intelligence et de patience: j'allais devoir donner à Katie l'espace qu'il lui faillait pour être elle-même.
I was going to have to be intelligent about it, and give Katie the room she needed to be herself.
12. Que l'amour était un choix que l'on faisait consciemment chaque jour et qu'il faillait continuer à s'acharner pour le mériter.
That love was a choice we continued making every day, and we had to keep working to make sure we deserved it.
13. chaque jour une nouvelle libération – each day a brand new liberation
14. Avec elle je suis vivante et je n'ai pas peur du combat.
With her I am alive, and I am not afraid of the fight.