I know I should be putting more effort into perfecting my other story but I have become so sick of it I had to write something else. So having updated marking time yesterday I figure I will post this one shot just for something different. Probs won't go further unless I get bored on the bus again one day. Meh. Whatever. Hope you like it. And Attica is a real place by the way and yes, it is about $100 a head! Enjoy!
As Shannon stared at her feet she felt anxiety wash over her. What if Michael didn't make it? She thought back to all the dumb shit he used to do and say. When he'd lost the bag of money after his little swim with the school girls. His theory on mandarins and sunny boys. When they signed the contract on their house and he caught her on camera with Lawson. She thought back to when they had to take the baby from the hospital and his desire to be a parent, telling her one day she'd wake up and be maternal. She felt something surge through her as she looked at Lawson and she Realised Michael may actually have been right. She didn't just want kids, she wanted Lawson's kids. She was snapped from her thoughts as she saw movement from the corner of her eye. An orderly paced up the corridor and she looked back at Lawson. She took a deep breath, settling her nerves and walked over to him. Pausing briefly.
"Can I come home with you?" she asked nervously.
"Are you sure?" he asked, surprise evident in his tone.
"Yep," she replied nodding her head and maintaining her gaze at the floor.
"Of course," he said quickly. His eyes swept over shannon, trying to work out what she was thinking.
"I've missed you," he said to her.
"I've missed you too," she replied finally looking at him. She moved her hand across to his leg and he grabbed it tightly, seeing the tears in her eyes.
"It's going to be ok Shan,'' he said reassuringly.
"I don't think it is," she said back honestly as a few tears started to slide down her face. He moved his hand up to her cheek and wiped them away with his thumb.
"Whatever happens, I promise we will be ok," he said quietly.
"Come on, let's go home and get some sleep. We'll come back when we're allowed to see him," he continued when Shannon said nothing. They walked out hand in hand, Shannon still trying to wipe her face of the tears that seemed to keep falling.
"Wait here, I had to park a few blocks away," Lawson said as he dropped Shannon's hand. She looked around the dark surroundings as the eery early morning cold engulfed her senses.
"No I think I'll just stay with you," she said grabbing his hand again quickly.
"Ok," he said, happy to have Shannon back at his side.
They rode to his house saying nothing. The soft music of one of Lawson's favorite classical CDs filling his car. Shannon was staring absently out the window, as Lawson's eyes flickered between her and the road. She was deep in thought when she felt a hand on her thigh and jumped up in shock.
"Sorry," Lawson said as he quickly pulled his hand away. Shannon started turning red and awkwardly shifted in her seat, her reluctance at letting her boyfriend touch her didn't go unrecognized by either of them.
"Oh, no, that was me. Sorry, I was just thinking. You gave me a shock that's all," she said as she tried to smile and put her hand on top of his which had moved back to the bottom of the steering wall.
"What were you thinking about?" he asked seriously.
"Oh, um, nothing,"
"Right," he said shortly.
"What?" she asked when she heard his tone of voice.
"it's just..." he hesitated.
"Come on, spit it out," she said as he pulled up in his driveway.
"I know you Shan, better than I know anyone else,"
"Good, I'm glad," she replied frowning, that wasn't what he wanted to say, "And."
"And..." he began, "I know you're lying,"
"I'm not..." she started to say in rage.
"Just don't worry about it now Shannon, I don't want to fight with you, not tonight. let's just go inside," he said as he climbed out and opened the door for her.
"Thanks," she mumbled as they walked inside. She quickly unzipped her TR vest and threw it on the couch with her belt as she kicked her boots off.
"Do you want something to eat?" he asked as he too began to pull off his vest and shoes.
"No thanks," she replied "is it alright if i have a shower?" she asked quietly.
"Shan, you dont have to ask, you know you can do whatever you like here,"
She gave him a small smile before she wandered into his bathroom.
When she walked back into the lounge he was lying on the couch rubbing his head; he looked tired and stressed. She paced over to him sitting on the arm rest.
"You know it's not your fault" she said to him. He nodded but Shannon could tell he was beating himself up about it.
" I mean it, there is nothing you could have done differently that would have changed what happened" she said as she ran her fingers through his hair.
"Maybe if I'd fought harder to let him keep his job" he began but shannon stopped him.
"Babe, Charlie would have found another excuse to fire him. And besides, michael made the call to get in that car. You couldn't have stopped him, even if you had wanted to,"
He laced his fingers with Shannon's and kissed her hand.
"I love you," he told her.
"I love you too" she said back as he kissed her hand again.
"Do you want a beer?" she asked as she pulled away and walked to the fridge.
"Yeah alright" he said as he flicked through the tv channels.
Shannon opened both the beers and walked back to the couch, handing Lawson one. He moved his legs off the couch so she could sit down, not sure if she wanted to be next to him or not. Shannon was thinking the same thing but looked at Lawson's face. The concern and tiredness that graced his features worried Shannon so she patted his legs indicating he could keep them on the couch. He looked disapointed but Shannon laughed at his face.
"You big sook, I just don't want the shitty side of the couch" she said as she moved his legs and settled herself between them and leant back.
"I want the cushiony side," she smiled.
"Did you just call me fat?" he said in mock outrage.
"Cushiony babe, not fat,"
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck.
"Please don't leave me," he said in a vulnerable voice as he rested his chin on her shoulder. Shannon moved her head to face him, frowning at his words.
"I don't plan on leaving you,"
"I just thought all this space stuff meant you weren't sure about us or something,"
"I told you, it has nothing to do with us,"
"But it has to do with you and that means it does affect us. You should trust me," he said sounding disapointed.
"I do Lawson, believe me I do. But I can't tell you. It could destroy us"
"So you don't think we're strong enough together to handle it?"
"I'm strong enough by myself to handle it without it having to affect you"
"I know you're tough hun, but just because you can be strong all by yourself, it doesn't mean you have to be. And I don't like seeing you upset, it does affect me, no matter what you think,"
"I'm just not ready for this conversation. Maybe soon but not tonight,"
"Ok," he said feeling slightly better they talked but still concerned with what she had hinted at.
"Now, beer, tv and a kiss" she said as she gently rubbed his arm. He caught her lips with his and for a minute forgot everything else. It was just them and that was all that mattered. The dun dun sound signaling the start of law and order filtered through the room and Shannon pulled away, moving her head towards the tv.
"Are we really watching this?" he groaned, "we do this all day,"
"Well I don't know what you do but I certainly don't go to court, dress in civies and drive a black Mercedes. Now shut up, we're missing it,"
"So bossy," Lawson said with a laugh.
"You love it," she said back as she kept her eyes on the screen. Lawson could tell she was analyzing it. Everytime they watched these shows she would always guess who the culprit was. He didn't know how she did it but she was rarely wrong.
"It was the neighbour. The neighbour killed him," she declared ten minutes later in a very sure voice.
"Please, it is not. That sweet old man next door he played chess with every week? It's the brother or the father, you're losing it Henry" Lawson said in response.
"Wanna bet on it?" she asked seriously. Placing bets with Shannon was never a good idea but Lawson was sure he was right.
"Ok, you're on. What's the wager," she shrugged in response.
"Right, a dinner date with me,"
"But then you win either way," she told him.
"And the problem with this is?" he said.
"Fine," she said with a very suspicious looking grin.
"Dinner date with you. If I'm right I choose where we go if you're right, you choose. I also want a massage," she said decisively.
"I've always wanted to go to Attica, you know that place in Balaclava?." she looked at him smiling.
"That's like $100 a head," he said in shock.
"Well it's not too late to back out. If you don't think you're right..."she said, teasing him.
"No I'm right. You are on," he said in response shaking her hand in agreement.
"I can taste the delicious $30 salad already," she replied smugly.
Lawson sat watching intently, finding himself surprisingly absorbed in the fictional world. He looked down at Shannon when he realized she was sleeping, smiling at her half open mouth and soft breathing.
"Bed time honey," he said as he gently shook her awake.
"What," she said with a start as she woke up.
"Bed," he said as he softly kissed her head.
"Nope, I want to be here the moment you have to tell me I was right,"
"There is no way he did it. Look at him, he is crying,"
"Tears of guilt Laws,"
"It's ok Shan, just admit you're wrong, no judgement here," he grinned.
She sat up with a slight wince from the pain in her shoulder and sat with her legs draped over Lawson's. The dramatic music increased as the court case unfolded. As the accused (a colleague neither Shannon or Lawson had picked) was cross-examined she sobbed quietly protesting her innocence. Suddenly the neighbour stood up and yelled,
"I cant let her do this. It was me, I did it," Lawson nearly fell off the couch.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me,"
A sequence of flashbacks followed as the neighbour was arrested and led away in handcuffs,
"Checkmate," he said with a sleezy smile as the courtroom was left in shock and the credits started rolling.
"No way," Lawson said in disbelief.
"Youve seen this episode before haven't you? That's how you did it,"
"It was a new episode as the little watermark in the corner has been indicating the whole time," she gloated.
"Tell me how you knew, I was so sure it wasn't him," he shook his head in disbelief.
"Can I just get my phone so I can record the minute you tell me I was right?"
"Gloating is unattractive Ms Henry," he sulked.
"So is being a sook," she replied and stood up.
"You can sit here and wallow in all your wrongness but I am going to bed," she continued as she walked into his bedroom. She was determined everything would be ok tonight. She didn't have to sleep on the couch or avoid, she could do this. She climbed in the bed and buried herself in the blankets when she felt the bed sink next to her.
Lawson mumbled something incoherent as he pulled the blankets up.
"Sorry, what was that?" Shannon asked with a grin although she knew what he had said.
He cleared his throat before saying, "You were right,"
Shannon's small, smug laugh rang through the room and Lawson, in spite of himself, smiled.
"Oh, I missed that laugh," he said as he kissed her and gave her cheek a small stroke. She stayed silent so he again leant over and kissed her. Before Shannon realised, he was on top of her, gently kissing down her neck and shoulder. She felt sick. She shouldn't have a problem with this, it was Lawson after all. Her boyfriend, not frank. Frank. He flashed across her mind and she tried hard to focus on Lawson. On the loving man she wanted to be with. But all she could hear in her head was the echo of her screams reverberating through the dark alley. She returned his kiss half heartedly and he pulled away.
"What's wrong?" he asked in concern.
"Nothing," she replied and returned his kiss with all the effort she could manage. But both of them felt it, there was something different. Something wrong. He began to undo her top two buttons but could feel her tense beneath him so he stopped quickly.
"You don't want to do this, do you?" he said looking down at her.
She couldn't speak, afraid of turning into a blubbering mess instead just shaking her head.
"Jesus shannon, you need to tell me these things, I'm not a mind reader. I don't care if you don't want to have sex but tell me ok?" he said.
"Sorry," she mumbled out in response and turned her head away.
Lawson exhaled a frustrated grunt and rolled off her on his side, facing away from Shannon. She was restless as she attempted to fall asleep, guilt and loneliness filtering into her consciousness. She knew Lawson wasn't asleep either, and she could almost hear his brain ticking over, thinking desperately about everything. After another five minutes she gave up trying to sleep and turned on her side, staring at Lawson's back.
"Lawson," she whispered softly.
"What,"he said gruffly.
When she heard his tone she thought better of continuing.
"Tell me Shan," he said softly. More gently.
"Can I have a hug?" she replied in a whisper, emotion lacing her voice. He smiled into the darkness and turned over, facing Shannon.
"Of course," he answered quickly and wrapped his arms around her. He felt happy, just holding her, never wanting to let her go again.
"I'm sorry about the whole sex thing," she said apologetically.
"Shannon I told you, I don't care. And I'm sorry, I shouldn't have assumed you wanted to. We just need a bit more talking ok?"
"I told you I wanted a hug," she said meekly.
"Hmm, progress," he responded as she rolled over on her side and they lay spooning on the bed.
"I love you," he whispered in her ear.
"I love you too. And I love sleep," she laughed and with that, she shut her eyes, feeling the warmth and safety of Lawson's arms and fell asleep quickly; a small smile gently gracing her lips.