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"No more questions, Billy! Only kissies," she said giggling into his white cotton shirt. He had been drilling her and asking her fire rounds of questions on her favorite things and preferences. Her birthday was tomorrow and Bill was reasking her questions he had already asked over the several weeks they had moved in together.
It had been three weeks since Scott's attack and Bill's bruises had healed and all she wanted to do was kiss his beautiful face. They were after all curled up in the hammock he had bought and put in the backyard so they could watch the stars. She still remembered how he had insisted on buying it when they had gone grocery shopping.
"It'll be nice, you'll like it, you'll see. Now what color do you want?" He had asked.
They had settled on a yellow one, because "it looks happy," he had said. She had only giggled and teased him about how he only liked it because he wanted to be able to pee in it with no one knowing. That had only earned her a "naughty girl" statement from him.
"No kissies, until you answer my question. So you are sure you like multi-colored sprinkles? Because I can get solid pink ones if you want," he said shaking her a bit in anticipation. She rolled her eyes.
"Bill I like multi-colored and pink ones! Honestly I'll be fine with anything and you're not being very discreet are you?" She said stealing a quick kiss on his stubbly chin. He looked so lovely to her as he laid there, eyes extra round and hair cherry auburn in the afternoon sunlight.
"I never said what the sprinkles were for!" He said a bit defensive. She tried to snag another kiss on his lips but he stopped her with his fingers.
"Just one more question. You said you liked strawberry cake batter right?" He asked. She again rolled her eyes. He wasn't being discreet no matter what he said. It didn't take a genius to figure out what cake batter and sprinkles meant.
"Yes, I did. Now kissies!" She whinged and he finally began to kiss her face softly. She laughed in pleasure from the contact of his smooth lips on her face.
"Mmm. We have a few more minutes until we both have to go to work," he said as he paused in his kissing. In response she only pulled his face closer.
"Then make these few minutes count," she said kissing the end of his round nose.
In these past few weeks, she had gotten to know him even better. He had become even more natural and comfortable with her; often lounging around the house in sweats and not bothering to comb his hair. He had grown some slight facial hair as well. He had also revealed to her more of his thoughts on things as deep as politics and religion to as light as his favorite season.
It had previously been summer, but he had changed it to autumn.
"Because we met in autumn. Also when you were describing that painting 'the variations of autumn,' I noticed how beautiful you were for the first time," he had said.
Now, he brought up her hands and kissed each of her ten finger tips.
"You'll be twenty five tomorrow aren't you excited?" He asked still holding her hands and caressing her fingers.
"I guess so. It's not fair how you're twenty six though," she said playfully.
"Darling, it's only a one year difference. It just means the universe took a year longer to perfect you before blessing the world with your beauty," he said his lips coming down on her hair.
She would have expected herself to be used to these compliments he often showered her with; but it still brought butterflies to her stomach.
He would tell her the most beautiful things; more beautiful than anything she had ever read in any book or poem.
"Well, when you put it that way," she said laughing. They laid together in comfortable silence for a few more minutes. His lips often brushing her hair, jawline, and again her fingertips. After a while, and with a heavy sigh he broke the silence.
"Time to go to work," he said untangling himself from her. He had gotten a callback to work in a
mechanic shop a few days ago. She herself, also had continued her work at the daycare and luckily their work schedules lined up so they were both at work then back at the house at the same time; and they had classes in the morning, with an extra amount of snuggle time once classes were done.
“Am I taking the mustang today?” she asked laughing a bit because the last time she had driven it, she had nearly had an accident. She had begged him to let her drive it being as “it isn’t fair that you drive my car and I can’t drive yours.” He had agreed and been her passenger when she drove them to campus. Unfortunately, she had forgotten to move the seat forward and her feet were too small to reach the pedals. As a result, she had been hitting the accelerator with the tip of her toe too fast and nearly ran a red light.
“No. You’re taking your bug silly, baby and make sure your seat is well adjusted,” he said as they put their shoes on and walked out the back gate to the front of the house. They each went to their cars. As she was getting ready to open the door his voice stopped her.
"Baby? I mean it, drive safely. You're taking my heart with you, please keep it safe," he said. His concern touched her deeply. It seemed that no matter what he was always thinking of her well- being and what was best for her.
"I will. I'll always come back to you safely. I promise," she said as she opened the car door and got in the driver's seat. He came over to the rolled down window and gave her one last kiss goodbye.
"Have a good day at work," he said. She assured him she would have a good day and with one last goodbye she reversed down from the driveway.


These past few weeks for him had seemed like never ending terror. The terror came from Scott, Bambi, and all the bet drama. Even though things had seemed quiet, he was sure that they were still working together to take him down some way.
Maybe it was just paranoia, but when he had run into Scott at the hardware store last week, his rival had only told him one thing: "you will lose." That was the only contact he had experienced with Scott in these few weeks, but from the look of determination and hate in his eyes, he was sure that Scott Brown was up to something.
Bambi, on the other hand, he had seen frequently in these weeks following Scott's attack. He had often gone to resupply his weed stash, but he had been going to see her more for something else. He had been going to get information on Scott, but had only come out with more vague references to Bambi's past life which were followed by melt downs.
Ironically one night when he had gone to see her, he had tried to help her.
"Bambi, there is no need for you to be living your life complaining all the time," he had said as she had gotten into one of her fits of rage because Packer had started going out with one of the golden retrievers.
"Oh, like you're some saint! Honestly what does Chloe have that I don't! And the funny thing is, I knew Packer would fucking do this!" She had said still yelling. He didn't understand her, he had just wanted her to stop yelling. In a way, he had also felt bad for her. He was starting to get the sense that due to some neglect in her life she had grown up cold and cruel. It made him think that not every woman was as blessed as his Hillary to grow up nurtured, loved, and into a kind person. He had made a note to himself, that if he ever got the chance to meet Hillary's parents, then he would thank them for raising her right.
"For Christ's sake Bambi I thought you liked the pain! Look. Packer is a fucking sleeze and you could do better, but first you need to work on yourself," he had said. He hadn't known why he was being so empathic, he figured that came from Hillary because before her he never gave a damn how anyone felt.
"What's wrong with you? Why are you being so nice to me?" Bambi had asked still in that sneering voice. It didn't bother him, he recognized that now the sneer was a defense, he had used to protect himself with cold expressions like sneers as well.
"I don't know. I'm pretty sure it's because of her, because of Hillary," he had said truthfully. He had owed her the credit, she had been restoring his humanity back, making him not cold, the least he could do was try to pay it forward.
"Hillary! Fucking Hillary!" Bambi had said almost with disgust.
"Hey you watch your mouth when you talk about her!" He had warned for a second dropping his helpful attitude. He had wanted to be kind and patient but he did not take well to anyone saying any bad things about the kindest person he knew.
"Why? Honestly, you could do better," she had said.
At this he had only grown more defensive. There was no better than Hillary, not to him. "Because I love her. Why do you hate her so much anyways? She hasn't done anything to you," he had said. He had assumed that Bambi had only hated Hillary because of him, but she had moved on from him to Packer and still hated Hillary.
"Because she's everything I'm not. Because my fucking father brings her up all the time, saying that she is one of the most promising students! And because she got your attention in a way I never could," she had said taking him off guard.
"You don't even like me in that way anymore," he had said. At that point, he had seriously been confused. Bambi was jealous of Hillary?
"It's not about you damn it! It's the fact that she was able to get a guy's love apparently and I can't because I'm fucking unlovable. I'm unlovable to my father and to every fucking guy I come across!" She had yelled.
He did feel more bad for her now, but he still hadn't thought that she should be projecting her anger on Hillary.
"Bambi. Look, you're not unlovable, I don't think anyone really is. Hell, if I got someone to love me then you can too. You have to change your attitude first, like I did. And you can't be taking out your anger on people anymore. Especially Hillary because I bet if you had explained your problems to her she would have been your friend," he had said. He had no doubt in his mind that Hillary would have been ready to forgive and to help if Bambi had only been nicer.
"I guess I could change," she had said not as angry anymore.
"Okay, cool. I can help if you want, I mean I'm already coming up here every other day to ask about Scott and to resupply my weed anyway," he had said off handily.
She had agreed.
So, when he went to try to get information on Scott, he would let Bambi scream and rant until she was blue in the face. Then he would offer some insight and leave. He felt proud knowing he was going good and trying to help someone; it's what Hillary would do.
Yet, he felt a bit guilty because Hillary knew none of this. He was doing nothing wrong, but there was no way to explain how he was helping Bambi without revealing why he had still been seeing her in the first place. So as result, he felt like he was still sneaking around and he was always feeling guilty and on edge. The weed helped with that. He had started to only use it early in the mornings while she was still asleep, and on campus while she was in class. He didn't really see a problem in her knowing that he was using it, but again he would have to explain how it relieved his guilt and why he felt guilty.
So the few weeks had been an anxious terror ride.
But they had also been the most beautiful of his life. He had grown even closer to Hillary and she had become the color of his life; still captivating his attention. Every night before going to sleep, she would read a chapter from The Catcher in The Rye, the book she had been checking out when they had first spoken in the library. She would read it out loud to him as they sat in front of the warm fireplace.
"You've never read this book before? Honestly Bill, it's beautiful and the character of Holden Caulfield reminds me of you," she had said the night they had begun the book.
He now understand what she meant. The character of Holden was very much like him, guarded, rude, and unfiltered.
"But he's complicated, and he's human. He's really vulnerable and wants to be understood, like you," she had said.
She had been right, and he was ever grateful that she truly understood him.
She had also introduced him to the art of scrapbooking, another one of her hobbies.
"Although I didn't have much friends or a social life I still liked to scrapbook my high school years," she had said showing him the four books that contained each of her years. They had included a few pictures of some friends, but mostly they included her writings from those years, adorned and decorated with glitter and construction paper. It had made him smile, the scrapbooks were unique. They weren't just filled with pictures, although some pictures were included which he loved since they included Hillary younger and still just as innocent, but they had included small tokens of that school year. Some of these had included a broken shoelace that she had damaged from walking to the library so many times, a pressed flower petal from the roses her mother had given her after graduation, and a coffee stain that had been an accident but a testimony to her memory of having founded out that she had been accepted at Wellesley.
"Why did you bring these with you?" He had asked, amazed that she had brought these memories with her to New Haven.
"I was expecting to get homesick, and these remind me of home," she had answered simply, before wrapping her arms around his neck.
"But now you're my home, and I was thinking we should make one," she had said.
'You're my home.'
Those words meant so much to him.
So they had begun to scrapbook in these past few weeks as well and he had really gotten into it. He had included the sticker of her shampoo he had used to wash her hair, a picture he had taken of the house having used her Polaroid, and most importantly a picture he had taken of her as she had laid asleep on his chest. Of course she had added some things as well, including her doodles of the motorcycle ride, a small lock of his hair she had begged him to include, and one of the many pictures of him she had taken when she had first bought the Polaroid.
Each day, they had each found more things to add to the scrapbook and it was increasing in memories.
He had also fallen in love with her more over these past few weeks. He hadn't even known it was possible to love her more than he already did, but his love seemed to be ever growing. He had noticed it when they had gone grocery shopping last weekend. She had taken a shower before leaving the house and her hair had been damp and curling; her cheeks flushed pink. She had also worn one of his sweatshirts with her bootcut jeans and she had looked so beautiful to him as she had shopped for the items, with him pushing the cart behind her. It did something to him, to shop for domestic things of the house with her. It had made him realize that he wanted more of this with her, not just temporary; it was the same feeling he had experienced when he had seen her talking to the child that looked like him. Then there had been the sweet intimate moments of shopping with her. Occasionally she hadn't been able to reach for some items and had been on the tip of her toes reaching for them. He had in these times come up behind her and plucked it for her easily, placing it in her small hands.
Her little "thank you, Billy" that he was awarded with every time had only made him more eager for the items to be out of her reach.
So he had fallen in love with her way more than he could fully comprehend.
Now, as he drove to work he thought of her birthday surprise tomorrow. He had let her think he was being obvious , but really he had something much more planned. He couldn't wait to be greeted with that huge smile he knew would decorate her face upon seeing her gifts. One of the gifts he was going to pick up today after work.
Work. He had been glad to get a job with mechanics as he loved working on cars and at times was able to test many of the them. He arrived at the mechanic shop now, parking his car in the usual dirt spot on the lot.
"Hey, Bill. Dad needs you to do an oil change on the blue Chevrolet," Luna his boss's daughter said walking by him carrying some tires.
"On it," he said and went over to begin the work on the car.
When he had started working here on the first day, it was clear that Luna liked him in a crush sort of way. She wasn't a tramp, in fact she was nice and cute with long black hair and big brown eyes. She had shown him the ropes the first day and she had seemed to blush every time he had looked at her. He hadn't been bothered by it. After all, she had been very kind and not in his face provocative like Bambi. So he had simply ignored it. That is until he had been working underneath the car later that day and she had asked him from above if he wanted one of the lemonades she had made. He had been thirsty so he had accepted one and upon coming back up from the car he had seen that she had changed into a shorter skirt. It still hadn't been slutty or in his face but he had to set the record straight. So after drinking his lemonade he had politely confronted her about it.
"Luna, I really don't want to hurt your feelings, believe me, but I have a girlfriend," he had said. The girl, perky as ever had taken the rejectment with good grace and had apologized, there had been no trace of bitterness in her voice.
"It's okay, you didn't know. Wanna a see a picture of her?" He had asked and he had shown Luna the Polaroid picture of Hillary he always kept in his wallet.
"She's pretty, really pretty," Luna had replied genuinely still no bitterness in her voice. He had noticed how different her reaction had been than Bambi's and it only made him like her more. She could be a friend.
"Yeah, I know, that's my girl. Hey listen, we can still be friends there's still a lot I don't know about this place like where are the toilets for starters?" He had asked. She had laughed and in good grace they had become friends, she didn't try to make a pass at him or flirt and there had been no awkwardness between them.
Now, as he worked on the oil change, he thought about how different his life would be right now if he hadn't met Hillary. He would probably still be a cold dirtbag who slept with lots of girls just to feel something, and he was glad that was no longer who he was.
"I finished with the cake pops you wanted. I think Hillary will like them greatly," Luna said coming to his side. He nodded. That was one of Hillary's gifts, and he had been glad that Luna had offered to help since he was a wreck when it came to baking or cooking.
"Thank you, Luna. I'll take them with me this afternoon. Hillary is going to be so happy, she really loves cats you know and cat cake pops are going to make her squeal," he said already excited just thinking about her reaction.
"Not to mention the fact that they go with her other gift. When are you picking her up?" Luna said just as excited and in reference to Hillary's second gift.
"I was thinking after work. I always get home before Hillary and I'll put her in the empty spare room that Hillary doesn't go into," he said. He couldn't wait to see Hillary so overjoyed and he wished that tomorrow was today.
"I just wonder what she'll name her. You'll have to let me know," Luna said.
"She said once that she liked the name socks for a cat but this cat doesn't have the white paws so we'll see," he said shrugging. With Hillary, it was bound to be something unique. She was always still surprising him with her little quirks and ways of thinking.
"Well I hope she has a good birthday," Luna said. He nodded and was about to answer when Luna's father, who was also his boss, came to tell Luna she had a phone call.
"It's your friend Sunny. She says it's important," he said. Bill noticed the way Luna blushed at the mention of her friend. It was almost similar to how Hillary blushed around him. He shrugged it off as Luna said goodbye and went to answer her phone call.
"How's that oil change going?" His boss asked. Luna's father was a very large man with graying hair and the same brown eyes Luna had. Bill knew him as "Mr. Jenkins" but the man liked being called sir by his employees. He had also taken a liking to Bill and was impressed with his mechanic skills.
"It's going good, sir. I should be done here soon," he replied. Fixing cars was a second nature to him. He had often fixed cars as a second job. In short, he liked it better than he had his old "job", the one that made him feel guilty thinking of how Hillary would not have approved.
"Well, when you're done here you have two more and then you can head home for the day. We're turning in earlier because Luna and I have a baseball game we want to watch."
"Well I wish your team luck," Bill replied as his boss walked away but his mind was already on
'You're my home now.'
Her statement was just as true for him as it was for her. She had become his home. Her snuggles and warmth at night his only shelter. He loved how she had also become his greatest friend. The fact that not everything was based around sexual activities or the physical made him even more grateful for her. Yes, he loved kissing her and the occasional fingering that they sometimes still engaged in, but he was grateful that they could just be; just talk for hours on end. He still hadn't told her all of his bullshit past, but with everything they talked about, no matter how casual, he was continuing to open up to her.
He loved her deeply and even now he missed her, so he began to work on the car with more of a purpose in order to get to his home sooner.


"I'm fine, Olivia. I'll be out soon," Hillary said to her coworker who had come to knock on the door of the bathroom asking her if she was okay.
"Alright. Come back as soon as you're ready," she replied and her heels went clicking down the hall.
Hillary wasn't fine.
She was cramping terribly as Mother Nature had decided to give her that time of the month as an early birthday gift. She had gone to the bathroom simply to sit and to try to empty out her stomach. It was no such luck.
She hadn't had cramps this badly since she was a teenager; she normally didn't get them at all. They had come so sudden as well. She had been on entertaining duty, playing and watching Cody and the other kids in the ball pit, when she had felt them come on and had excused herself to the bathroom. She got up and readjusted her clothing. She didn't want to leave early simply because of cramps and as she washed her hands, applied water to her frizzy hair, and pushed back her glasses she walked back with determination.
"Are you okay Miss Hilly?" Cody asked as she re entered the playroom. He and the other kids had taken to calling her Hilly since they couldn't fully pronounce her name; she found it adorable. "Yes I'm okay- ow!" Her statement was cut short by her bending over in pain as she felt another cramp contraction shoot through her; in her lower back this time.
"Hillary if you don't feel well you really should go home," her coworker Belinda said. Belinda was one of the staff members who had worked here longer and she and Hillary had gotten along well since they both loved the children. On her way to the bathroom, Hillary had asked Belinda to watch the kids and she had been grateful that she had since she was on her break.
"I don't think I can. I don't want to and I can't ask you to cover my shift," she said. Belinda had been about to clock out after her break and Hillary really didn't want to burden her. Still, the thought of her warm bedsheets and an aspirin was pleasing.
"Don't be ridiculous, I'd be glad to cover your shift. C'mon you have to get well tomorrow is your birthday," Belinda said and the kids yelled out a chorus of 'happy earlier birthday!' She smiled and thanked them.
"Okay. Okay. But I owe you and I'll make it up to you," she said. She said goodbye to the kids one last time and headed to Olivia's office to tell her she was going home. Her boss was gracious about it.
"It's fine, Hillary. You work really hard around here and we're lucky to have you. Go on home and take care of yourself," she said. Hillary thanked her and left her office. As a second thought, she decided she should call Bill. He had given her a number so she could reach him at work, but he had said it was for emergencies. This wasn't necessarily an emergency but he had called her at work last week just to tell her he loved her and that he had stubbed his toe. She really wanted to hear his voice as well since it would be a little longer for him to get off work. So she went to the front desk and asked the intern there who was on pick up duty if she could use the phone. She felt dorky asking an intern permission to use the phone but she felt it was polite. Besides, she liked the two interns who were twins and wanted to be teachers one day. They volunteered at the daycare for college credit.
"Go ahead," the girl answered.
Hillary pulled the phone to her and began to put in Bill's work number. He had made her memorize it.
"I need you to know this number, if anything were to happen," he had said. So every morning after breakfast he had made her recite it until he had been sure she had memorized it. The phone dial rang for a while until someone answered.
"Hello?" A girl voiced asked. She felt a twinge of jealousy but contained it. It wasn't worth getting worked up over nothing and besides it could have just been her pmsing. Besides, Bill had made it clear to her how much she didn't need to be jealous when they had run into one of the girls he had used to fool around with at the park.
"Hillary. Look at me, there's no one else for me. No one," he had said stopping their stride and putting his hands on her shoulders; leaning down a little to meet her height and look her in the face. She had been a little angry at how the girl had ogled at him and he had noticed.
"Okay," she had simply still a little mad and not knowing what else to say.
"No, don't say 'okay.' It's not okay. I want you to know that yes I fucked around before, but never again. I'm yours only. There's no one like you. I love you," he had said his hands moving to cup her face. He had kissed her passionately and after more endearments he had coaxed the anger out of her and had given her a piggyback ride around the rest of the park.
"Hello? Is someone there?" The girl asked breaking through her thoughts.
"Oh yes. I'm calling to speak with Bill," she answered.
"Just a second," the girl replied. Hillary tapped her foot while she waited and tried to ignore her cramping.
"Baby? What's wrong? Is everything okay?" Bill asked concern in his voice.
"Oh, yes. I just wanted to call you and say I love you and that I stubbed my toe," she teased him. She could hear his sigh of relief at her playful tone.
"Very funny, sweets. I love you too but why did you call are you sure you're okay?" He asked in that loving voice he reserved for her only. She played with the phone cord in the flirty way she always did when she talked to him on the phone.
"I'm fine. I'm just going home from work early and I wanted you to know. I also really wanted to hear your voice," she said then her breathing hitched a bit at another wave of cramp pain.
"Are you feeling sick?" He asked not missing the change in her breathing.
"Not like flu sick or even sick. Just cramping," she replied. He seemed to understand.
"Oh. Well um that sucks. Do you need me to pick anything up from the store on the way home? Maybe some plugs? Or diapers?" He asked obviously trying to get her to laugh. It worked. She snorted at his terminology for feminine products, causing the intern to look at her in confusion. "Bill, I'm fine. I have everything I need. You're so funny," she said feeling her cheeks grow rosy. It was insane, but his voice alone could cause her to turn red.
"Just making sure. I'll be home soon to cuddle you until you feel better," he said and she could imagine him licking his lips in the way he always did when he talked about making her feel good or better.
"Cuddles cure cramps? What a scientific break through you've made," she said rolling her eyes but she could already feel his warmth even though he wasn't physically with her.
"Mmm. I love you."
"I love you too," she replied and she was aware that her face was no doubt incredibly red. There was silence on both ends of the phone call as they both were grinning.
"Hillary? Maybe you should head home now, naughty girl. Or your boss will think you were lying about your cramps," he said smugly knowing exactly what he was doing to her.
"Yeah, I'll see you at home," she said still flustered. They exchanged goodbyes and she hung up the phone. She said goodbye to the pickup kids and the intern and went out to her red slugbug, her face still just as red.


"I hope it's okay that she'll be staying here another day. The plan was to arrive home early before my girlfriend and take her today," Bill said petting the cat's white fur as he cradled her in his arms. He had known when he had seen her through the window of the pet shop that she would be a perfect pet and gift for Hillary. The cat was still technically a kitten but had stopped breast feeding a few weeks ago and was still small but not super delicate in the way most kittens were. The cat reminded him of Hillary, they both looked small and delicate but were quite fierce.
"Oh it's no bother. You already paid for her so she's all yours. You can come by tomorrow and pick her up at your convenience," the old woman employee said. She had been very helpful when it came to Bill's purchase of the cat for Hillary.
"Alright. Thank you, I appreciate it," he said and continued to pet the cat.
"Such a pretty girl. You're going to another pretty girl tomorrow and I bet you'll be the best of friends," he cooed. He had always been good with animals even though he was more of a dog person. He had often played with strays when he was younger.
"Well I guess I should get going. I'll be here the earliest you guys open to pick her up," he said handing the cat back to the old woman. He said goodbye and began to walk back out to his car. He was going to the store. Hillary had told him she had everything, but he still felt bad that she was in enough pain to go home; he knew she wouldn't have left those kids if the pain wasn't serious or at least incredibly distracting. As soon as he arrived at the store, he headed to the chocolate section. He looked for her favorite strawberry filled ones and grabbed the biggest box he could find of those. He then headed to the flower section. She loved all flowers, she had made a big show of it when they had taken a walk in the park and she had often stopped to admire the rose bushes.
In some sort of fucking poetic way, they reminded him of her lips; red and bright. He grabbed the most bountiful boutique he could find. As he was going to pay for it he noticed Scott and Bambi walking into an aisle. That bothered him. Why were they together? Was she telling him things about him? Were they planning together? He knew that it shouldn't fucking matter but it still bothered him. He made a mental note to ask Bambi about it later. For now, he just paid for the items and went back out to the car. As he drove home he thought of Hillary and how she had nearly ran the red light in the middle of traffic.
"The brake Hillary. Hit the brake! I thought you knew how to drive!" He had yelled angry only because he was concerned. She had hit the brake a little too late and the car behind them had honked. Still, they hadn't been in a wreck. After the light turned green he made her pull to the shoulder curb so they could switch seats so he was the driver. She had been quiet and after he had calmed down he had looked over at her. She had been sitting so she was holding her knees to her chest and looking out the window.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I was just worried you would get hurt," he had said. He had remembered how she didn't like to be yelled at.
"It's okay. I guess it's my fault for not adjusting the seat right," she had said and had reached for his hand.
"Imagine the fucking mess you would make driving stick shift," he had teased and she had blushed at the double meaning.
Now as the house came within view he couldn't wait to see her. It warmed him inside to know she was waiting for him. Before getting out of the car he made sure the container holding Hillary's gift of kitty cake pops was okay in the backseat. He would leave it in the car for the night as they didn't need to be refrigerated and the nights in New Haven were cool enough not to heat the car. He locked the car and at last got out carrying the chocolate and roses for Hillary. He had to readjust his grasp on the items as he unlocked the door. He got in the house and locked the door behind him. Hillary was laid down on the couch with one of her schoolbooks in her face. He stood there and watched her for a while. She hadn't noticed him walk in and he knew when she was reading, hell itself could freeze over and she wouldn't notice. Her glasses were on the tip of her nose and she was covered in the blanket they used at night to sleep. "Aren't you a doll?" He said at last letting her know of his presence. She jumped a little but quickly readjusted when she noticed it was just him. Her eyes went to the flowers and chocolates. "My birthday isn't until tomorrow," she said but he could tell she was pleased with the gifts.
"I wanted to get you something since you weren't feeling good," he said going over to her and taking off his shoes so he would be able to join her on the couch. He unwrapped the flowers and put them in the large glass of water she had been using on the floor.
"Bill!" She laughed at him. He placed the chocolates on her lap; and gently moved her up so he could slide into his usual cuddle position with her lying on top of him.
"So how's the uterus?" He asked. One of his hands went down the blanket to lie on her stomach. She offered him one of the chocolates and he only accepted once he saw that she was already chewing on one. She plucked it into his mouth and then leaned more into his neck.
"It's better now. I just hate that I had to leave work early," she said. He kissed her hair softly. He wanted to ask her about kids and about the future but he didn't want to seem too pushy.
"Yeah, that sucks, but you work so hard. I'm sure the kids will still love you when you come back," he said his hand on her stomach beginning to rub her flesh gently in circles. She sighed in relaxation.
"You'll have to come back one day and say hello to Cody. He really likes you . You know the two of you look a lot alike," she said eating another one of her chocolates. It was too much for him. Her sweet scent, her head resting on his chest, her eyes half closed, and the mention of the boy that looked like him. He needed to ask what he had been scared to before.
"Have you ever thought about having kids? I mean like in general. Is it something you've ever thought about in your life?" He asked. She licked the strawberry filling from the chocolate off her fingers and he noticed that she had gone red.
He wondered what she was thinking and for the millionth time since he had met her, he wished that he could read minds.
"Hillary, I would really like to know. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable," he said kissing her hair again.
"I mean, don't get mad at me. It's okay if you don't feel the same way. I never really thought about it until recently, because of you. I have always loved kids but I just figured I would end up adopting," she said softly. She hadn't thought about it before him, and in a way that made him glad. She was feeling the same things as him, thinking of a future.
"I'm not mad. I've been thinking the same. It's weird I also never felt a want for those sort of things until met you."
She put the box of chocolates and her book on the floor; and turned on her stomach to cuddle him. His arms went around her. He wanted so much more with her. Everyday seemed like a gift now that she was in his life.
"Would you consider coming to Arkansas with me for fall break?" He asked impulsively. He had been thinking of this ever since he had told his mother about Hillary a few weeks ago over the phone. His mother had been able to tell that he was hopelessly in love and she had tried to convince him to bring her to visit.
"It sounds nice. I would like it. I'm sure it would be fine because I usually visit my family during Christmas break," she said snuggling into his chest more. His dominate hand went to her back, pushing up her shirt in order to rub her skin. This had become a common practice of his, often craving the intimacy.
"So is that a yes? I would love to show you around my home town and introduce you to my mother."
Fuck, it was still so strange. Just a few weeks ago he would have never considered bringing anyone to his hometown, that was a vulnerable part of him.
"It's a yes," she said but her voice had changed, she sounded nervous. He looked down at her and saw that her blue eyes were fixated in thought.
"Something wrong, sweets?" He asked still rubbing her back. She bit her lip.
"Well, meeting your family makes me nervous. What if they don't like me?" She asked. He couldn't imagine anyone not liking her.
"They will, I know it. Hillary my mother would be so proud of me if I brought you home," he said truthfully. Hillary was everything his mother admired, she was intelligent and strong willed. He loved her and he wanted to show her how much, but he would wait until she was ready ,he would always wait for her.
"Okay, then it's a yes, a definite yes," she said with more ease now. He pulled her up closer and kissed her cheek.
"We have the rest of the evening to ourselves what do you want to do?" He asked. She seemed mischievous.
"I want to shave your face," she said.


She wanted to shave him because she wanted to cradle his face in her hands and do something for him. He had previously mentioned how he was planning on shaving it anyways and she wanted to be the one to do it.
"You aren't going to cut me up are you?" He teased as she lathered his cheekbones with shaving cream. She then rinsed her own hands under the sink.
"And mark this beautiful face? Never," she said and picked up his razor. He looked gorgeous, he had his head slightly cocked back and eyes shone up at her with longing. She slowly began to shave his face; one hand caressing his jaw line for a grip, while the other stroked through the cream. Occasionally when she would pause to rinse the razor under the sink, she would glance at him and find him looking at her.
"This feels so good," he said almost moaning. She continued to shave his rough stubble; delicately and with grace. At one point, he put his hands on her waist.
"You're like a drug you know that? The things I want to do to you, fuck if only you knew," he said. Her skin began to tingle at his words and her face grew red.
"Be a good boy, William, or I might accidentally cut your face," she said. In response, he pulled her closer by the waist so she was pressed up
against him.
"You're so sexy Hillary. Really you are. Have you seen your fucking hips?" He asked. She shook her head in amusement. She thought he was over exaggerating but at the same time she loved those words coming out of his lips. She pulled back a little so his hands were still at her waist and she was still somewhat pressed against him.
"Almost done," she said getting the stubble at bottom of his chin. When she was done with that, she grabbed the washcloth and used it to remove the leftover shaving cream from his face. When some of it accidentally got on her fingers Bill wagged his eyebrows at her. She laughed at his sexual innuendo and turned to wipe the cream with the cloth.
"Thank you ma'am," he said and bent down to kiss her quickly on the cheek. Before she could say anything, he scooped her up so he was carrying her slung over his back.
She playfully hit his back with her small fists.
"What are you doing?" She asked laughing all the way. From where she was hanging she had a good view of his butt, it was a very nice view.
"We're going to cuddle in bed while we do school work so it'll be out of the way; and you can focus on your birthday tomorrow," he said gently plopping her on the bed. He then went to retrieve her books and threw them on the bed.
"Now, be a good girl and study," he said sitting on the bed next to her. Well you make it hard to be a good girl with those blue gray eyes, she thought as she opened one of her books.


"I don't care about your excuses. Just tell me the truth. Are you planning with Scott against me or not?" He asked Bambi over the phone. He had woken up really early to retrieve Hillary's gift and while she laid snoring away in their bed, he took the opportunity to confront Bambi about what he had seen at the store yesterday; by taking the phone and plugging it into the bathroom outlet. "I'm not! Look you wanted me to find out information about him didn't you? That's what I'm doing. In order to know stuff I still have to appear to be his friend," Bambi replied. He wanted to believer her, but she was no Hillary and was not genuine in her words. Back when they had still been fucking, he remembered how Bambi would always make rude and nasty comments about everyone, even her own "friends." So no, he wasn't going to trust her easily.
"Whatever. Look, just don't do anything stupid, bye," he said and hung up on her before she could get a word in. He didn't want to dedicate too much time to her, Scott, or Packer. Today was Hillary's day. He now slowly exited the bathroom, placed the phone back into it's proper spot, and tip toed his way back to their room. When he entered, he saw that Hillary was sitting up in the bed and rubbing at her eyes.
"I woke up and you weren't here," she said a little sadly but mostly tired. He felt a twinge of guilt and went to sit across from her on the bed.
"I'm sorry. I'm here now," he said and reached for her glasses on the bedside drawer; and perched them on her nose.
"It was so cold without you," she said and snuggled into him. He stroked her hair.
"I'm sorry, pretty baby. I had my reasons though and once you see what they are you'll forgive me," he said hinting at her gifts. She looked at him in wonder, her blue eyes incredibly curious. "Well it'll have to be pretty good in order for me to let you off the hook. You've spoiled me too much and I don't like not waking up in your warm arms," she grumbled. He chuckled a bit and tugged her hand so she would follow him. He led her to the kitchen, her small footsteps falling into a familiar rhythm behind his.
"Billy! Oh my God! They are adorable!" She said excitedly when she saw the cat styled cake pops. Sleepiness had left her body and she was jumping up and down with glee and going on about how cute the treats were. They were cute, he had to admit that. The cake pops were covered in white frosting and the features of the cat were painted in chocolate frosting. The little ears perked up, and were also made of white frosting.
"I'm glad you like them, sweetheart. Go ahead and eat one," he probed her on. She grabbed one and bit into
it and her blue eyes widened.
"It tastes like strawberry!" She exclaimed and he laughed at her joy. Her reaction had been better than what he had expected.
"Wait here baby. There's one more thing," he said and kissed her forehead quickly. He ran back down the hall and into the spare room and scooped up the cat. He had tied a pink bow around her neck and he couldn't wait to give her to Hillary. When he reentered the kitchen, Hillary's back was turned to him as she inspected the cake pops laid out on the table.
"Hilly? You can turn around now," he said. She did and her eyes widened even more. She ran up to the cat and began to pet it.
"Oh my god! Bill! She's adorable!" Hillary said even more excitedly as he handed the cat to her for her to cradle in her arms.
"I'm glad you like her. What are you gonna name her?" He asked. The cat looked just as perfect in her arms as he had imagined. The two clearly took to each other, and already he could tell that the cat was getting attached to Hillary, pawing at her chest.
"I think I'll name her, Cotton," she said and continued to stroke the cat who was now purring. "Happy birthday, sweets," he said kissing her hair. "Am I forgiven?" He asked. She looked up at him playfully.
"Yes, you are. Next time I wake up and you're not there I'll just snuggle with Cotton."
"Are you threatening to replace me?" He asked playing along.
"It's not a threat, it's a promise, Clinton," she said. He pulled her into his arms hugging her, Cotton smushed between them began to hiss in annoyance making them both laugh.


She had insisted on going to class despite Bill's protests. After playing with Cotton on the kitchen floor and eating more cake pops; they had gotten ready for class.
"I can't believe you're going to class on your birthday. Let's do something fun," Bill complained still as he walked her to her introductory to law class.
"This is fun. Plus I was just never the type to miss school because it was my birthday," she said shrugging her shoulders. It was true, she hadn't been raised with that mentality and in fact she had only been allowed to miss school when she was sick.
"At least take the day off work . Come on let's do something fun together," he continued to beg as they stopped outside the door to her class.
"Like what?" She asked. He leaned against the door frame and therefore leaned more into her. He smelled really good and his newly shaved face was so handsome to her.
"I don't know. We can go on a picnic with Cotton. Come on she didn't like being left alone like that, Hills," he said trying to guilt trip her. She shook her head. Cotton had gone to sleep in her new makeshift bed of blankets in the spare room and had a her small food bowl Bill had apparently also bought filled with food.
"Cotton is fine. It's sound tempting but don't you want to get your law degree, Bill?" She asked. "I'd rather get my you degree-" he said but broke off suddenly and stared in anger at something behind her. She turned. It was Scott. In his hands, he had a titan arum, a large flowery plant that looked like corn but with a purple tip.
"Hello, Hillary. Happy birthday," he said and placed the plant in her arms. She tried to shy away from it because she knew from her readings how this plant tended to smell like corpses. She had no idea whether Scott had chosen this for her on his own or had help, but from the way he seemed to be beaming it became clear that he had no idea how terrible of a gift it was.
"What the hell are you doing here Scott?" Bill asked angrily stepping in front of her while she juggled the stinky plant in her arms and tried to hold her breath.
"Hillary and I have this class together. Did she not tell you?" Scott asked with mock innocence. "No she didn't," Bill said glancing at her sternly and she sensed that she was going to hear an earful about it later.
"Okay. Well Hillary and I have class so if you could leave that would be great," Scott said.
"No one is leaving except you and your foot smelling plant," Bill said swiping it out of Hillary's grasp and shoving it back to Scott's chest. With the stench finally away from her proximity, she was able to think clearly.
"Bill it's just class. Nothing is going to happen to me," she said. Yeah, she didn't like Scott either but she wasn't going to stop showing up to class because of him only.
"I know it won't because I'm going in there with you," Bill said. That only made her a little irritated. She was not a child and she didn't need him to sit in class with her as if he were her father or something.
"No you're not. Look, I'm not a child. I'll be fine, and I'm going to class," she said annoyance coloring her voice as she shoved past him and Scott both. Quite frankly, she didn't understand either of their behaviors or why they seemed to hate each other so much.
"I'll meet you at the same spot okay?" Bill said referring to their usual meeting spot after class in the parking lot. She didn't answer, she was too annoyed and she just wanted to sit down and get the stench of foot out of her head and the kitty hair out of her mouth.
"You fucking, lied you Bimbo! Do you know what happens when people lie to me? They end up hurt!" Bill shouted at Bambi. He had run into her in the hallway and had her cornered. He had been going to look for anyways to chew her out.
"What? No I didn't!" Bambi said defensively. He knew he was being cold and rude but he didn't care. He didn't like the idea of her feeding Scott information about him.
"Yes you fucking did! How the hell did Scott know it was Hillary's birthday?" He asked still yelling. He didn't want to be screwed over and not especially after he had been trying to help Bambi herself.
"Because I told him," Bambi replied. She hurried on once she saw the look in his eyes.
"I set him up, I helped him choose that terrible flower so he'd make a fool of himself in front of Hillary," she explained. He relaxed a little, it made sense. The flower had been terrible after all and it was so terrible in fact he doubted Scott had chosen it himself. It did make sense as well since he had seen them at the store. He pulled away and allowed room for Bambi to move out of the corner he had previously trapped her in.
"Well Hillary's mad at me now," he said more to himself than to her. She hadn't answered him when he had said he would meet her in their usual spot. He knew he had done the thing where he got too protective and spoke for her but he couldn't help it! Scott the fucking psychopath was in her class and the idea of him looking at her and thinking his perverted thoughts pissed him off way more than he had thought possible.
"Why?" Bambi asked. He rolled his eyes. He wasn't going to tell her anything anymore than what was necessary, just in case.
"Don't worry about it. See you around," he said and stalked off before she could say anything. He needed to make things up to Hillary and he knew just how. She took her time meeting Bill at the end of the day, going to the bathroom, and walking around campus three times. When she at last made her way to the parking lot she saw him sitting on his mustang like he had sat on her bug before.
"Hey," he said looking up as he saw her approaching. She didn't say anything. She was still somewhat annoyed with him for what had happened with Scott earlier.
"Wanna drive?" He asked offering her the keys. That got her attention. Ever since she had almost gotten into that accident, he hadn't let her drive his car since.
"Really? You remember what happened last time don't you?" She asked. Had he forgotten?
"I remember, but I trust you," he said coming up now and placing the keys in her hands. She got the feeling that they were talking about something more than driving.
"Okay," she said and they both got into their designated seats. She started the car and began to pull out of the parking lot.
"I cancelled your work shift for you," he said she began to protest but he shushed her.
"Shh. Just trust me. We're not going home. I'm going to give you some directions and you're going to follow them," he said. She sighed. She knew she didn't have to do anything. If she wanted to she could just drive them home, she was the one driving after all. Then it hit her, by letting her drive he was giving her a choice on whether she would follow his directions or not. As the first instruction of "turning right," came, she decided to follow it. She followed all of his directions until they came to a big gray and brown building. It looked like a tower.
"They call it the Sleeping Giant tower," he said as they got out and she locked the car. The tower did seen ancient and intriguing.
"Why did you bring me here?" She asked. It wasn't that she didn't want to be here, it was a nice view and a mountain was within distance covered in green. She wanted to talk about his behavior earlier.
"Because every tower needs a princess," he said. She rolled her eyes and began to turn away to get in the car.
"And I wanted to apologize. I was jerk earlier, and I'm sorry. It's just I couldn't stand the idea of him hurting you or fuck even him looking at you! There's no excuse for how I acted and I'm sorry," he said genuinely. His hand went through his hair and she had come to know that this was one of his nervous habits. She went to him now.
"I guess it's fine. You just need to trust me and not speak for me like that, you know I hate it," she said.
"Yeah I know you do," he said smiling a bit and cupping her face in his hands.
"I won't do it again. It's not that I don't trust you it's just that I don't trust him, but I won't act like that again. I'm sorry I ruined your birthday. We can go home if you want," he said his thumbs stroking her cheeks lightly. She decided to forgive him, after all he had demonstrated his love for her in countless ways these past few weeks and he was only trying to look after her.
"You didn't ruin anything. We're going to stay here and look around. After all, every tower does
need a princess doesn't it?"


So he had followed her around the tower as they got a good view between each of the windows. He had been glad that for once there had been no visitors and it had just been the two of them. He had loved watching her small frame peak out of every, no glassed window down below to the green nature. He had bent down to kiss her lightly when they had looked out the window that gave view of the mountain.
"I love you," she had said stroking his hair as he had kissed her.
"I love you too," he had said and he had meant it with every fiber of his being.
Now, as she laid asleep, curled up beside him, with Cotton snug in the middle of them, and the empty Chinese takeout boxes they had eaten from surrounding the floor; he had an even more feeling of home. This is where he belonged, at her side, in their house; hearing her gentle breathing. Scott could look at her all he wanted but this her, the Hillary who wore his clothes and fell asleep with her mouth slightly open was a sight only he got to see. So maybe Scott had been set up, he thought. All the better. The more Hillary hated Scott, the more she loved him. With that thought in mind, he closed his own eyes now, not knowing that he had been the one that had truly been set up.