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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:14 pm 
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He wondered how, just how Claire was able to hit the nail so firmly on the head when she said the things she did. It was like sometimes he was just an open book to her, no matter what he said or did she would be able to read exactly what he had meant into anything. The fact she had picked up on his sadness a moment ago was proof of that, and yeah maybe he had been a tiny bit disturbed by it, but well it was more a realisation of something than actual sadness.

He was so lucky - didn't he know it - to have Claire by his side, understanding everything that happened to him, from the anxiety that seemed to creep right up onto him before they met her father, down to this moment now. Nine times out of ten he was the full of confidence, full of charm, that everybody saw, but it was that one time, one percent of himself that Claire saw.

It was hard to describe at times just exactly what that meant to him, what it made him feel or even how it effected the way he acted around her. They were so different he knew that - hell he'd gone from 'playing the field' to being a one woman man in the space of forty eight hours or more - but they fit so inexplicably well.

So when she told him he was a good man, that he wouldn't have gotten along with Rawiri if he wasn't, well he couldn't help pulling her closer to him for a moment, almost as though he was hugging her. As though he wanted to take the words she had just said and soak them up, he wanted to embody them words.

"Thank you," he whispered, his words brushing against her ear, as he kissed her gently there. There was no heat behind the kiss, no passion to ignite anything really, it was just the moment of him taking comfort from his partner. Something that was still at times strange for him to do so, to take comfort from her such actions.

Pulling away, he smiled almost tiredly at her, "Yes, worried they'll know, that what Hone said was correct," he said quietly, "Not about being yours, but with my past. I know we won't tell them, I have no intention of telling them, it was just..." he paused, what was it just? Could he actually say like he suddenly felt like there was a giant sticker on his back with exactly how many women he had slept with in the past. A number that even he himself didn't know. "Just like he already knew, people don't spout that kinda crap for no reason." Or maybe he had completely gotten his wires crossed, maybe Hone was just one of them people that did say such things about strangers they had just met?

Either way, which ever way things turned, he knew one thing for sure, so long as Claire was at his side, teasing him in her own way, telling him he was a good man when he needed to hear it, he was sure he was going to be okay. Hopefully.

Of course that was when he opened his mouth and said the words that Rawiri had been teaching him, the exact words that seemed to roll of his tongue perfectly in that moment - he had probably butchered them slightly - to Claire. He hadn't meant to say that to her, had wanted to wait a little longer, maybe for when they were in Atlantis anything, but they had slipped out now unexpectedly.

He wasn't sure at first if Claire was upset by the words, before he saw the smile trying desperately not to break free on her face, he nodded his head words lodged in his throat at the moment. He couldn't speak, not yet, he had to take a moment, swallow a couple of times, before he cleared his throat. This time, this time he was prepared the words that would escape his lips, this time he would be ready, there was a small spark of his confidence trickling back in.

"E hoa wahine," he said, but he wasn't any more prepared that time. Sure the words had been clearer, there would be no mistaking what he had said that time, none what so ever - he was sure Rawiri would be proud that he hadn't messed the pronouncing of the words up too badly - but the emotions that it struck in him. That was what he wasn't prepared for, none what so ever, it was more than what he had felt when he handed over his tag, it was as though everything was falling into place and it was final. Nothing could change it not now.

"Am sure your dad is going to be so pleased I didn't mess that up," he whispered, chuckling slightly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:43 pm 
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Claire knew how insecure Caleb could be sometimes, and it broke her heart. Most of his insecurities came from being in an unfamiliar situation, and she'd put meeting her family right up there with about as unfamiliar a situation se you could get. Not only was it something he hadn't done in over a decade, but they were in a foreign country with a different culture, and that had to pile on the pressure.

The last thing that Claire wanted was for Caleb to feel under pressure or uncomfortable, but she supposed that it couldn't be helped at the moment. Maybe it was like ripping off a plaster - a few seconds of pain, then the discomfort was gone as soon as it had started.

However, it looked as though Caleb and Rawiri had gotten along like a house on fire, and that cheered Claire, despite Caleb's disquiet at the Hone situation. Hone was nothing, not even a blip on their radar, and what he thought didn't count for shit.

Claire settled in as Caleb pulled her closer, bringing her hands up from behind his neck and smoothing her fingers across his cheekbones. The expression on his face was almost one of wonder as it sunk in that Claire - and her father - had no bad opinion of him whatsoever. She shivered as Caleb kissed her ear, murmuring his thanks. "You don't need to thank for me for anything, e taku tahu," she replied, the lightest chuckle in her voice. "I'm only telling you the truth. Sometimes, you just need to be reminded that you're one of the good ones. We all do."

Listening as Caleb put detail to his fears, Claire gazed at him with compassion. It must be his worst nightmare, his past reputation coming back to haunt him, just as he was trying to make a good impression on his new in-laws. "You have nothing to worry about," she soothed, kissing his lips with infinite tenderness. "There's no way he knows. He's just a prick who likes stirring the pot. Besides, nobody would believe him anyway, even if he did know. Hone's the one with the bad reputation around here, and you're the one who dad thinks is the best thing since sliced bread."

Claire wanted to kiss away the tired look on Caleb's face, to take him back to their room and curl up with him, but, right now, it wasn't possible. Especially now that he had called her his wife.

She wondered whether she was a tiny little bit in shock at what Caleb had said to her. Words wouldn't seem to come, and she gazed at him in wonder. For the last few days, she had teased him by calling him "Mr Te Atua", but he had never reciprocated. Until now. And bloody hell, what a way to reciprocate.

Tears glistened in her eyes, even as Caleb appeared lost for words, and Claire brushed a thumb over his lips. "E te tau o taku ate*," she whispered, after he called her his wife once more. Caleb truly was everything to her, he was her lover, her best friend. Her partner in every sense of the word. He was her husband, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death parted them. They didn't need a ceremony and a piece of paper for that to be any more true or binding.

Claire laughed softly as Caleb whispered to her. "It was perfect," she murmured, her lips brushing against his has she leaned forwards. "I can't believe you learned that for me." Her voice was choked with emotion, and she rested her forehead against his. "That's the first time you've called me your wife, and I can't think of a better way to have done it."

* - my heart strings, common, full term for a husband


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:20 pm 
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Her hands on his face seemed to start to ease the worry from him, yes he had to thank her, god did he have to thank her because despite everything he did forget that he was one of the good blokes - when it came to relationships anyway - at times. He did need to be reminded of that as much as Claire was willing to remind him, and he would do the same for her on whatever she needed reminding of. He felt himself leaning into her touch slightly, his eyes closing for a moment to just take in the words that she was saying, to let himself actually just take a moment and just feel what he needed to feel.

The whole 'fuckboy' situation had sort of sneaked up on him, he hadn't expected it to hit as quickly as it had done, honestly when he had been telling Emere that using that kind of language was bad he hadn't been thinking about exactly what it meant. But when his brain finally caught up to what had been said, well he couldn't help a small slip of insecurity rise up, telling himself that Hone had been right about it.

"You always tell me the truth," he whispered, opening his eyes to look at her. It was the one thing he had made sure he did with Claire, even if they hadn't progressed to the point where they were 'married', he made sure that he only told her the truth. It might have been that he flirted his way to the truth with her several months ago, but he had never out right lied to her and that was a big thing for him and probably for her.

He leant his head slightly towards her right hand and kissed her palm, she was everything that he wanted and that terrified him on a daily bases. When they had first gotten together - despite it only being a few weeks ago - he had waited for the other shoe to drop, for her to tell him that the job got in the way and it had bugged him for a short while. But when it didn't, when he first told her he loved her, when he gave her his tags that was when that fear had dissipated right to the back of his mind to be shut down in a small box never to be opened.

So when he told her his fear, probably the darkest fear he had really, he felt better that it was out in the open, especially when she soothed it. When she told him Hone really was just one of them blokes that liked to create problems for other people and although Caleb wasn't a violent person he definitely felt like being violent then. He didn't take kindly to people messing with his head, not one little bit, so when he opened his eyes and looked at Claire, there was a small fire burning there, something that didn't really have much to do with the beautiful woman that he currently had in his lap.

Caleb kissed her back just as tenderly, before saying, "Sorry," he whispered quietly, not sure what he was apologising for again. "I know no one is going to find out unless we tell them, which we won't?" he wasn't sure who he was asking, himself or Claire. "I just....you know all my past, I don't want people to think am using you like that, because am not, am so very much not."

He leant forward once more, words failing him, as he kissed her once more a bit more passion behind it this time, the bit more of his usual confidence coming back. His past was probably going to always follow him around - not that he was ashamed of it he wasn't - and he was sure there would be other times like now when it did get to him. But he was also certain that if Claire was there to tell him to stop being silly, that he was a 'good man' then he would be okay.

Pulling away once more, face slightly red from the kissing, and from uttering them words once more, the wife words. The one set of words that he had learnt just for her, god he felt light headed like he was high or something and that was purely just from sitting with Claire in his lap. Caleb didn't recognise the words that she spoke to him, he hadn't heard them both, but he got the emotion behind them, picked up on easily enough nowadays.

His smile turned slightly cheeky, as he whispered, lips brushing against her ear as he leant right into her, his body touching hers in every place possible, "Am sure there is more interesting ways I could have said to you." His hand sliding to the hem of her dress, pushing it up almost teasingly slowly. He seemed to be forgetting that they were in a shed, in her dads shed in the middle of a party for the two of them, as the fire started to burn in his stomach as he bent his head to start trailing kisses along her shoulder. Her very, very uncovered bare shoulder, no restriction by clothing that night!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:48 pm 
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Claire could feel Caleb relax, the last tension lifting from him as what she was telling him seemed to sink in. She didn't care what had happened in his past. They had a future together, and that was what mattered in her eyes. Sure, they may never get married, they may never have kids, they may never fit into the ideal mould of a perfect family, but what they had together was strong, and right, and perfect, at least for the two of them. Screw anyone else's opinion.

She smiled as Caleb leaned into her touch, the very last of the nervousness fluttering away. For someone with such high levels of self confidence, Caleb could be unnerved by the smallest things. It was one of his quirks, and something that, doubtless, very few people were ever permitted to see. She felt truly privileged to be allowed this close to the man behind the facade.

"I couldn't do anything other than tell you the truth," she murmured back. She had no desire to conceal anything from Caleb, and, as such, would never even try. She had too much respect for him to lie about anything, and that was one of the reasons that she would always be honest with him.

Claire shivered as Caleb kissed her palm, an intimate, quiet gesture that was frequently shared between the two of them. It meant the world to her that they trusted one another completely, something that she had thought she would never again experience with a man. Tama had shattered her completely, and it had taken Caleb's friendship to allow her fractured heart to begin to heal.

She couldn't put her finger on when that friendship had started to develop into something more, only that the night in the gym - the joking around, the flirting, the offer to kiss his arm better - had been the catalyst to the wonderful relationship that had developed. Sure, it had been fast, but that didn't make it any less valid than a relationship between a couple who had been together for years. It had been a natural extension of their close, complex friendship, and Claire wouldn't change it for the world.

The expression on Caleb's face as Claire explained that Hone was just a shitstirrer was a dangerous one. She'd seen that look before, and, placing a finger softly on his lips, she shook her head. "Leave it, e ipo. He's not worth it. Besides, I think Hari's got it this time, don't you?" His sister would make the arsehole rue the day, that was for sure.

"Hey, hey, hey, don't you dare apologise," said Claire, her voice laced with a quiet vehemence. "You have nothing to apologise for. "Nobody finds out unless we tell them, and I'm not going to say a word, not unless you want to. People here - my family - will get to know you just as you are, not from some reputation." She watched his face for a second, before dropping a kiss onto the tip of his nose. "I know you're not using me. Nobody here would ever think you're using me. Dad bloody loves you, mum seems to agree... and I couldn't care less if they didn't. We know the truth, and that's what matters."

Claire returned the kiss that Caleb offered, passion and fire rising between them once more. There were going to be speedbumps like this all the way through, and Claire was certain that they would be able to work their way through them. As long as they kept talking to one another, kept being honest, they could get through anything.

She was still giddy at the fact that Caleb had taken the time to learn a few words of Te Reo for her, and his choice of words blew her away. It meant more to her than he would ever know. As if his declaration of love and the tag hadn't been enough, this left no ambiguity about how Caleb felt for her.

Caleb's mind was obviously running in the same direction as Claire's as he leaned forward, pressing as much of his body against hers as he could manage, and Claire's hands slipped to the back of his neck again, sighing quietly as he started to kiss her shoulder, even as his hands pushed the flared hem of her dress ever upwards. "I'm sure there are," she murmured, only vaguely aware that anyone could walk in at any moment, as she cocked her head to one side, allowing Caleb access to kiss her neck if he should so choose.

"Let's hope dad doesn't decide to see whether we're okay," she breathed, her voice a low, sultry chuckle as she trailed her hands down over Caleb's chest and stomach, running fingers underneath his t-shirt, even as she bit back a sharp breath inwards as the kissing continued.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:45 pm 
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The fact that Claire said she had no desire but to tell him the truth it was, well it was mind blowing in a way - not that he had ever been lied to himself, but he knew her past with liers - it was just something that made the relationship in his mind that much more stable, not that it wasn't already, but it was just something that was reconfirmed in his mind.

He was beginning to positively love these small intimate moments between himself and Claire, they meant more to him than the tags she wore round her neck, the public displays of affection, and even the sex they had. It was in these moments that it didn't matter if he had his soul just sat right there out in the open, because he knew that even if he had done something wrong Claire wasn't going to just trample right over that, she would as she had, tell him the truth.

Caleb knew it was a silly thing to think so highly and intimately of such a gesture, but as he found himself smiling up at her once more, pushing all thoughts of what an idiot Hone was and just exactly what he wanted to do to the bloke out of his mind, he realised it was just one of his odd quirks that he had. One that seemed, along with everything else apparently, to be so compatible with Claire.

It was everything he had to do not to kiss that finger that she placed on his lips, although the small glint in his eye was there that, that was exactly what he wanted to do, even as he explained, "I'll forget him, I think your sister is like you say, as bad ass as you are," he teased. He had seen how feisty Claire could get when dealing with people like that, both in Doctor mode and not in Doctor mode - as he had come to call them - so he could imaging that her sister would be the same.

Then she told him they weren't going to be telling anyone and well he didn't need that telling to him because he had figured they weren't, despite the fact he had asked that question not two seconds ago. The determination with which she said all that to him, the sheer strength in her voice that she was one hundred percent certain that no one was going to find out about his past, that all her family liked him. Well he couldn't help he shivered a small bit, something that didn't have to do with the fact that Claire was on his lap.

He smiled at her in a silly way as she kissed his nose, but his voice was sincere - the kind of sincere that didn't get shown to just anyone, in fact even so much so that even Claire would have only heard it half a handful of times - as Caleb explained. "I wouldn't change my past for anything, you know that, but....it isn't the most proudest thing for me any more."

Caleb could still remember a time, not even that long ago really, where his reputation had made him that warm prideful feeling. It had seemed to hold so much of him together it seems, and being with Claire, not chasing after every skirt that looked his way made him realise it hadn't really been pride he had been feeling. It wasn't shame, it was never going to be shame, because at the end of the day he and his partners at the time had, had a fantastic time and both had gotten what they wanted from that situation. It just wasn't pride he felt over it any more.

Of course most the thoughts seemed to start dwindling to the back of his mind as he gave into temptation and started kissing Claire. He felt her hands on his chest, they were leaving a trail of fire in there wake, as he continued to press kisses - and made leave the odd love bite - at her shoulder, one of his hands had snaked up and was running over the chain at her neck and skin. Slowly making it's way lower and lower, until it was almost dipped below the front of her dress, brushing against the top of breast.

His other hand hiking her dress up a little further till he felt the start of her underwear, when she mentioned her dad and he stopped kissing her for a split moment, "If you are thinking about your dad, I am clearly not doing my job right," he said, grinning wickedly at her before letting his hand follow the outline of the chain with the tags on all the way into her dress.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:34 pm 
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Claire laughed, a deep, throaty laugh, as Caleb told her that if she was thinking about her dad, he wasn't doing his job right. A shiver as a hand edged up to toy with her underwear, a shudder as his other hand reached between her breasts to where his tag sat, and Claire forgot about anything other than the here and now.

------------------------------------------

2 days later, 12:45

The warm early summer sun beat down on Auckland's K Road, making the fresh ink, encased under a protective layer of cling wrap, burn even more than it already was. It hadn't been a short sitting - she had been in the chair for almost 3 hours, by the time the design and inking had taken place, but it had been worth every second. Her whānau's moko artist was working from a studio on K Road that day, and had agreed to start early to fit Claire in.

Now, spreading almost all the way across her right shoulderblade to her spine, her ta moko clearly displayed hers and Caleb's journey - as well as her new adventures - to anybody who knew how to read the elegant curls and lines. Of course, it wasn't literal, but new beginnings and a new husband were easy enough to read into the design. The whole piece - new and old - was displayed by another halterneck sundress, this one in a vivid teal colour, and, with her arm looped around Caleb's waist, Claire felt inordinately proud.

"So, that's the first part of our day done and dusted," she said, stopping in her tracks and turning to Caleb as they walked further west down the K Road. "Time for some lunch now, and then onto the next bit of the day." Seeing her tattooed with their story had been the first of several surprises Claire had in store for him that day. They had borrowed her father's ute, warning him that they wouldn't be home until well after sundown, and, other than that, the day would be a mystery to Caleb.

"Anything in particular you'd like to eat, e te tau," she asked, even as she slid her arms around Caleb's neck, standing on tiptoe until her lips were tantalisingly close to his. "Plenty of choice around here."


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Caleb couldn't remember the last time he had laughed, joked and just all around been as relaxed as he currently was. The last couple of days had seemed to go by in a flash, he was beginning to wonder where the time went half the time, he found himself enjoying Claire's family more and more. Him and Rawiri were now not allowed to conspire with each other at all, in any kind of way, he had pouted a lot at Claire for that.

Even with the sun that seemed to be wanting to cook the current white t-shirt to his back, he was still enjoying his time. Claire had surprised him with what they had set out to do that day, he honestly had no idea that she planned to 'add' him to the story on her back, he had been in shock the moment he had stepped into the tattoo place and the thing had been started.

That had been three hours ago, and to see the piece grow with each flick of the needle to watch it quite literally come to life before his eyes, yeah he was at a loss for words for that. He had wanted to touch the newly added piece, wanted to map it with his fingers to commit it to memory just like he had done the rest of it, but knew it would be a while before it was healed enough to do such things.

He also found he had been unable to stop grinning at Claire as the tattoo session came to a close, he had given her his tags as a way of commitment, but Claire had quite literally painted her commitment on her back for everyone to see. If that didn't send a tiny of jolt of ego running up his back then he didn't know what was.

He just wrapped his own arm around her waist, wanting to be just holding her as they left the tattoo shop and started walking in the day light. There had been a few moments in there that they had tried to get him to have a tattoo done, he had joked he'd get a 'mum' in a heart on his arm - like in the films where sailors had there mothers name tattooed on them - before he had quite determinedly said no. As much as it was an experience to see Claire's tattoo come to life, to actually start telling a new chapter of story, he didn't want that on his own body.

As she stopped and stepped in front of him, his hands resting at her waist as she asked him what he wanted to eat, well he couldn't help the slight looking up and down he gave her, the dress setting off the whole thing entirely and made her seem that much more beautiful to him. Before he chastely kissed the top of her head and said, "I'd say you, but I know we have plans, anywhere so long as it's not somewhere that smells as bad as that place."

It wasn't that the tattoo place smelt bad per say it was the antiseptic smell that had gotten to him a little bit, it reminded him of the infirmary back on Cheyenne and well he didn't like visiting the infirmary at the best of times.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:07 am 
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It was warmer than usual for June, and Claire wanted desperately to scratch at the fresh ink on her shoulderblade. She'd regret it in more ways than one if she did, though. Not least the pain, but she might strip some of the ink out, ruining the intricate design.

The look on Caleb's face had been priceless as she had tugged him inside the studio. For a moment, she thought he had been expecting her to tell him they were getting matching tattoos or something. It didn't take long, though, for him to realise that she was simply having their story - their new beginning - to her moko. A lot of teasing had ensued, with Claire's moko artist offering to give Caleb a tattoo.

It was to Caleb's credit that he hadn't run a mile and, instead, had watched in rapt attention as the design was drawn into Claire's skin, before being etched on with the tattoo gun. Of course, the meaning of every line and curl was explained to Caleb as it was drawn on, and there was no doubt that the design was openly displaying Claire's commitment to him. Obviously, not that blatantly, but as clearly as was possible. The only thing that could have been done to increase the obviousness of the design would have been if "Caleb" had been written right beneath.

Despite the heat of the day, Claire tucked herself into Caleb's side as they walked, happy to be with him, proud to be seen with him. It meant so much to her to be able to share these few days with him before they headed off to Atlantis, and she wasn't sure if she would ever be able to put it into words.

Claire laughed as Caleb made it obvious that food wasn't the first thing on his mind, before kissing the top of her head. She pulled herself up on tiptoe, and tugged Caleb closer into a soft, teasing kiss. It didn't matter to her that they were in the middle of a busy pavement, people brushing by on both sides. She was excited about the prospect of the rest of their day together, and the surprises she had lined up for Caleb.

She grinned as she pulled back from the kiss. "How are you with Japanese food," she asked. "There's some sushi bars, a couple of yakatori places... or we can just head for this great little bakery just down the street. Your choice."


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:35 pm 
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Caleb wasn't sure what he was in the mood for food wise, he just knew that standing on the street in the warm sunshine with Claire in absolutely stunning dress - one that he was pleased to note showed off the tags just every bit as they did when they'd first arrived - he didn't care where they ate so long as they stayed in the moment.

It was strange to know that in just a short time they would be leaving all of this behind, the warm sunshine, the families, hell even wherever they decided to eat would be for the last time. It was a sobering thought, but it was also a thought that filled him with a lot of excitement, sure it was going to be sad when they said bye to her family. He was sure it was also going to be sad when he said bye to his, but the mere thought of what they were going to be doing, where they were going to be going, for himself anyway seemed to ease that sadness a little.

So he couldn't help smiling into the kiss when Claire stood on tiptoe to reach him, he could have very easily bent over to meet her half way, but well sometimes it was fun to make her work a little bit. Especially when one of his hands started to trace small circles through the dress, it was something that had become a bit of a habit lately, that whenever he was touching her he started tracing little patterns onto her skin. He had no idea where it had come from but he knew that he didn't want to find himself stopping such actions either.

Pulling away, the smile still firmly in place he said, "Bakery, there's something to be said about having some sweet and well I don't quite think that kiss is enough of a sugar rush to sustain." The smile was teasing, the tone of voice all light and joking, even as he continued to run small patterns through her dress. He wasn't quite ready to let go of her yet.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:24 pm 
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Despite the heat of the noonday sun, Claire shivered as Caleb's fingers traced little circles on her waist. It was as though he was determined to keep her in a state of constant arousal, touching and teasing her until she could stand no more. Of course, with them being on a busy street, it likely wasn't intentional on Caleb's part.

Maybe.

Claire loved that they were able to be so open with one another, even if only for a few days before real life intruded again, and they were whisked off to another galaxy. She also loved that Caleb wasn't afraid to show affection in front of her family, who had accepted him with open arms. Well, with the exception of Āwhina and Hone, but they could go fuck themselves, as far as she was concerned. Everyone else had taken to Caleb in a big way, and Claire couldn't be happier about that.

The last thing she wanted to do was to break the kiss, but Claire did end it, with the utmost in reluctance. Lunch was next on the agenda, and she nodded with approval when Caleb chose the bakery for lunch. "You can keep the something sweet, e te tau," she giggled, sliding her hands down Caleb's back, letting them come to rest just above his backside. "I'll be having one of their mince and cheese pies!" It was something you just couldn't get anywhere else, and she missed them with a passion. She wondered briefly whether she could sneak some to Atlantis. She'd bet not.

Releasing herself from Caleb's embrace, Claire took his hand, lacing her fingers with his. "Come on then, let's satisfy that sweet tooth of yours," she laughed, heading west down the K Road. "While we're in town, e ipo, is there anything you want to do? You know, the touristy type shit?" They had a few hours before the next part of her plan could be dropped into place anyway, and if there was something that Caleb wanted to do, she was sure they could fit it in.


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