N/A: Thanks Lena, for all your help with this! This is me trying to make one friend feel better and I beleive I'd promised this fic to someone, oh yeah, Tori. xD Hope you all like it.
Thanks To Eric
He was pleased and to tell the truth it was impossible not to be. The store did well, his debts had finally been settled and the money kept coming. Tinker said he had finally managed to keep himself on an even keel; he still believed it was just a good lucky streak, a streak considerably longer if you think that it had been dragging for the past four years.
Another spring afternoon; a gentle breeze swept the meadows around. He liked the field, the simple life, working in the shop and all his new concerns and responsibilities. He was happy, really happy. And complete. Perhaps he should be out there with Tinker and the boy, but if he didn't finish to recovered the dresser in which he had been working on, it would be his death. And certainly it would be a slow and excruciating death; Jane would handle it personally. Well, in spite of everything, at that time he preferred to stay away from her hormones and their murderous tendencies. Anyway, while he worked he could hear Tinker and the boy laughing outside. More than that, he could see his old friend pretending to be a horse for the little rider on his back, running from one side to the other through the grass. It was impossible not to smile.
And to think that Tinker did not support their idea, called him crazy and believed that it would never work. It was good to prove him otherwise, and even better to see how he had surrendered to the little boy with tangles of black hair like just like Lovejoy's.
Life had been good to him, he could never deny it. He had never laid at the bottom of the well for too long, always having some way to get out of a jam and finding new one by the way. This was Lovejoy, with his scheming in the company of Tinker and Eric, and even if she never accepted to participate in shady deals because she had a high morale and she was a lady, with Jane's help.
Jane; his absolutely perfect Jane. How not to die of love for her? How not to meet her requests and fulfill her orders? How to say no to her? Love, love, and love. There was not even a fight; the first time he saw her, standing in the doorway of Felsham Hall, wearing a fancy dress, smiling prettily at him and properly married, he just surrendered. Jane was amazing like one of the seven wonders of the world, irresistible like the fruit of the poisoned tree and open to admiration like a genuine antique. Jane was a work of art, the most perfect work of art he had laid his eyes on. "My Jane."
The sound of tires crunching the gravel caught his attention, causing him to drop the brush on a piece of paper at his side and reach for an old cloth, slightly damp, which he used to rub his hands gently to remove excess of paint moist that them. It was about time they returned. The engine stopped and doors closed.
"Be careful with this Eric!" He heard Jane's voice scolding out there and gave thanks for having sent Eric in his place.
"Ahhh..." Eric screamed and he heard a clatter of things falling on the floor. "Don't do that, Lady Jane; I almost ripped off my thumb!"
Lovejoy stopped by the window. Eric had a piece of a dismantled mobile on his foot, while Jane rolled her eyes at him before bending over with a big smile and collecting Charlie in her arms, kissing and hugging the child. She should not take the child in her arms, much less wear heels, but how to convince her about that? Stubborn woman.
He stayed there observing them with a smile of satisfaction that he could never prevent. A smile that insisted on appearing on his face all day long, every time he saw her. Jane and the boy talked with their foreheads resting together, smiling at one another. His little hands playing with her red hair, just like he did. The two exchanged a peck and the boy ran back to Tinker, who by then had fallen on the grass in exhaustion.
Lovejoy followed her with his eyes as she came in with the heavy footsteps. Jane was all curves inside her silk blouse, open blazer and tight skirt, leaving her pot stomach even more evident, combining wonderfully with her hips and her swollen breasts with which he was inevitably in love. The contrast of her elegant and perfumed form with him, his messy hair and his dirty clothes was quite common and charming.
"Lovejoy, I've found it!" Jane announced through the door.
And there she was, walking among the tables, dodging one after another by a whisker. There was no pregnant woman more beautiful or desirable than her throughout Britain, throughout Europe and worldwide, and never would be.
"Finally some good news then."
Lovejoy felt his smile just grew even more and he opened his arms, hoping that she'd walk right into them as he watched her with love in his eyes and admired her completely. "Jane, my Jane, and my little Janie too." Not that she had liked the name he had chosen: after all "Janie" was the loving way he called her. But there was more perfect name for their little girl? Of course not, especially after she had given the name of Charles to the boy. Poor lad.
Jane rolled her eyes, giving him a peck on the lips before turning to the dresser. Hormones, Jane exuded it those days. It was like walking constantly into a minefield and for a woman in her condition she could move pretty fast.
"It's getting nice, dear." Jane commented as she watched his work closely, walking around the dresser. Lovejoy felt relieved.
"Until tomorrow it will be ready."
"And you will be able to start with the crib. It will not need many repairs, is in a great state." She said smiling, full of animation. "I found some more stuff for the room and could not resist bringing something for Charlie and me."
"You promised to check with the shop, Jane."
"I'd tried, I swear I'd tried. But wait until I get rid of this little thing here and return to my normal state. I'm sure you will approve of my purchases. "A provocative smile took her lips as she cast him a look full of promises.
As if he needed that kind of incentive, he thought to himself. Jane really had no idea how desirable she was even with those 10 extra pounds of curves, which was good on one hand, for thus he did not suffer so much with her teasing.
"I'm sure I will, especially if I can examine them closely and maybe even get them off to do so." She was walking around the tables looking for a place to sit, he knew how tired she was and ran to free a chair of the stack of papers that was there. "How are you feeling, Janie?"
"Hungry, my back hurts and I'm about to go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time today. My feet are aching a bit too." Jane said as she sank heavily into the chair, letting out a sigh
"Are you kidding right? My foot is killing me!" Eric came trudging along, carrying the first of the disassembled pieces of the crib. "I do not know how you stand it, Lovejoy. I did it for one day and never again! If she invents something else, I'll stay here working and you'll go with her. I know that I have obligations as a good father, but fighting Jane's hormones is too much!"
"Oh, come on Eric; it wasn't that bad." Jane intervened with a smile. Her reactions were always unpredictable, especially now, only two months before the baby was to be born.
Lovejoy sat on the floor in front of her, removing the heels from her feet and gently massaging them with his fingertips over her thin and delicate socks that surrounded her feet and legs.
"No, it was worse." Eric muttered with a grimace.
"Eric, do not talk like about my ladies," Lovejoy retorted as his hands rose slowly through Jane's ankles and toward her knees, caressing her shapely legs on the way.
The boy rolled his eyes and wet back to the car which trunk was packed to be discharged, leaving them alone again. Jane smiled, leaning towards Lovejoy to hold his face in her hands and bringing it to her, kissing him on the lips.
"After leaving here grumbling because Eric was going to accompany you, do you now love your useless husband?" Lovejoy sneered, kissing her lips one, two, three, four times before sinking his face into the crook of her neck to fell the fragrance of her expensive perfume on her delicate skin. His hands ran up her thighs, reaching her swollen stomach. "Hello Janie."
"Better to deal with your silliness than Eric's; in addition to the fact that we'd missed you, cheeky beggar." She smiled sweetly, resting her hands on top of his on her belly. The girl stirred acknowledging her father's voice and touch. "Traitor, you had ignored me all afternoon as I walked miles in high heels to assemble a lovely room for you, and now you are showing yourself for your dad?"
"That's my girl; show your mother that you prefer me over her."
Jane rolled her eyes and felt his lips kissing her belly over the cool fabric of her blouse. Janie always waved when her father was around, rolling like a goldfish in a tank excited by the noise outside.
"I am even seeing that she will pull up your genius and spend all the time holding on to you; just try not to teach her bad things!" She joked, taking a hand to his face, stroking his cheek with her thumb, causing Lovejoy to close his eyes and tilt his head toward her hand. "There is no need to remind me that your children do not need a mother, I know they only have eyes for you."
"Lie, but if you really want to believe that you need to know that you are all that matters for me. I would be lost without you and those little bats." He kissed her hand, brushing his lips across the palm. "Janie can pull up my genius, but I'm sure she will have your beautiful red hair, your face and one day I will lock her in the basement for having your curves."
"You teach your three-year-old son that he has to enjoy life until he finds his own Jane as his father did, and want to lock your daughter in the basement when she grows up? Where is the justice in that, Lovejoy? How can you be a sexist idiot?"
"What? Do you think I'll leave my baby girl at the mercy of pads like Alexander? Or worse, smart lads like me?"
"You don't want her to have her own Lovejoy?" She stroked her stomach as she looked down, admiring her own gigantic proportions.
"Not if I can help it!" He said slowly rising to her breasts. "My wife is undeniably pregnant, soon to give birth and all I can think about is how crazy I am for her..." A sigh escaped from his lips as he admired the curves of her breasts accentuated by her bra through her blouse. "I can only think of how much I want you here and now."
A wry chuckle escaped Jane's nose and she held him by the hair before he could reach his target, giving him a teasing smile. "And I need to go to the bathroom."
Lovejoy stood up, taking Jane by her hands to help her up.
"The best option is to send her to a convent. What do you think Jane? "He asked as he watched her walk barefoot into the bathroom.
"I think that I'll need to ask Vicky to give you a lecture on how to be a better father to your younger daughter." She looked at him from the bathroom's door, speaking with that tone of one who is full of reason, nodded and disappeared.
"You're being a bad woman!" He yelled for her to hear.
Alone for a moment, Lovejoy turned his attention to the window. Eric had given up trying to unload the trunk of the Land Rover alone. Surely he would ask for Tinker's help when Jane began to scold that they had to start as soon as possible with the crib as she would take Charlie back home driving even though she should not. He should go out and forward the service to return home with them, and maybe even go home with them without listening to her complain about the delay with the room.
It was impossible not to be captured by the image of the boy lying on his back on the grass laughing at the tickles that Eric did on him. Charlie was cheerful and hyperactive, running after them all day since he had started walking on his own. Well, son of his mother, with all his wishes and his eyes extremely blue despite pursuing Lovejoy's appearance in all details.
He was so absorbed that he had not heard the noise of the discharge or the sink and only realized that Jane was back when one of her hands touched his arm. Immediately he brought her closer, leaning her back against his chest as his hands came down to her swollen stomach. Janie was still agitated.
"You're happy, Mrs. Lovejoy?"
"Absolutely." She muttered watching the boy with their friends out there for a few moments before turning in his arms and facing him with those eyes. "And you, still happy, dear?"
"I've never been so happy in my life."
Lovejoy leaned over her, letting his lips touch hers gently before Jane deepened the kiss by pulling him towards her by the neck. The feeling was that he could stay there forever, hugging and kissing the woman he loved, his wife, but something bothered him.
First a squeeze on his arm, followed by another and another. He heard a coughing sound coming from above him, and stretched one arm hitting something. Something? No, someone. Jane's body became cloudy and her forms slowly dissipated, taking with her the sense of warm and comfort he felt. His arms were empty.
He opened his eyes to a blinding light that shone around something that Lovejoy could identify as being someone's head. That was not getting better. He felt his senses weaken, slightly confused; his head might have been spinning a little, or perhaps it was the room. Eric's face was clear ahead.
"Hey Lovejoy, it's almost noon!"
"Was I asleep?"
"What did you think?" Eric spoke as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and indeed it was.
"Aaarrrrrrghhhh" Lovejoy growled loudly, rolling on the couch, catching the sight of an empty bottle on the floor beside the couch and Jane's note on the coffee table. She was gone. The realization weighed on his stomach and he swallowed hard. Everything was just a dream, there were no children, there was no happiness and Jane was not even there anymore.
"I want to kill you Eric." He continued speaking with a discouraged tone, almost defeated. Eric looked at him with curiosity. "Or rather, I want to die."
"I didn't do anything, just woke you up. You'll lose business if you stay here sleeping all day."
"Next time let me sleep! I was having a dream and..." He sat on the couch, picking up Jane's note from the table. His thumb stroked the paper for a moment, forgetting Eric was still there.
"We all miss her."
Lovejoy could see her smile, hear her voice, smell her scent and feel the shape of her body next to his. He did not believe that he had let her go without even trying to fight, without trying to convince her to stay. Tinker was wrong, Jane was to be Mrs. Lovejoy. She was the one, the only one, the right woman for him, his woman, so his. A warm sensation grew in his chest and he suddenly turned to look at Eric with his obstinate stare.
Eric knew that look, sure. Something was going on in the head of his friend and it was something great, he could tell by the brightness and intensity of that look. Lovejoy rose from the couch with a jump and ran into his room screaming:
"Forget everything Eric, I'm going to get my bags."
"Where are you going?" He went after him to the foot of the stairs.
"I will bring Jane back."
Eric swallowed hard, trying to understand it while the sounds of things flying through the room rang clear in his ears. He was giving up the business to go after Jane? At a first thought it was crazy, but then he understood, none of them were fine without her there. Not him, not Tinker, and Lovejoy much less. He went upstairs jumping some steps, and began to collect the clothes that Lovejoy had thrown on the bed, putting it inside his bag.
"So, what you intent to do?"
For a second Lovejoy stopped and turned to his friend. Part of him expected Eric to protest and tell him how crazy he was, but he didn't. Lovejoy smiled broadly and knew everything would be alright.