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What I Really Want

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Hope decided to put her plan in action. She was going to leverage her marriage to get Douglas away from Thomas. She was going to do everything in her power to get her son away from Thomas and raise him with Liam. She was going to make her family with Beth and Douglas and no one was going to change that.

“I think we should adopt Douglas… Liam it’s clear that Thomas would not be a good fit as a father for Douglas and it’s up to us to protect him…” Hope has been trying to convince Liam to get on board with her.

“Hope, I don’t really think that is something for us to decide. Douglas has a lot of family that have more legal standing on than we would and I’m actually related to him.”

“I’m his mother! I mean his stepmother. I love him and I’m the one whose looking after him…”

“Hope you are not going to be his stepmother for much longer because you will be getting a divorce from Thomas.” Liam is not going to entertain her being married to Thomas for much longer if they are to have a future. He never even wanted to separate in the first place.

“I don’t plan on staying married to him Liam but it might be better for me to hold off in the meantime just so—”

“Hope… no I can’t agree to something like that. If you do that then what makes you different than Thomas himself? It’s also dangerous…” In Hope’s mind she doesn’t know why Liam doesn’t understand why she may have to do this.

“Liam, I know what I am doing and at the end of the day I am going to do what I have to do in order to protect Douglas!

“And what about Beth? I love Douglas I do! But we just got our daughter back and your main focus has been on Douglas a child that isn’t yours. Hope it needs to be said. Caroline is Douglas’s mother no matter if she’s no longer here nothing will ever change that.”

“Do not do that. I love my baby! I just believe Douglas is in a vulnerable position…” Hope wants to explain herself further but Liam gets a call from his father telling him he’s needed at Spencer and he tells Hope that their conversation is not done but it will have to be put on hold.

Ever since Thomas and Ridge marched into her mother’s house and took Douglas… Hope has been on edge. She decides that she needs to go see Thomas and discuss some arrangements they can have concerning Douglas living with her at least some of the time.

She just needs to figure out something with Beth. She goes to her mother and asks her to watch Beth for a little bit and of course her mother wants to know why but Hope lies. She tells her she forgot she had a gynecologist appointment and her phone’s calendar just reminded her. Her mother says it’s important to not miss her appointment and Hope almost feels bad that she lies to her mother but Brooke’s want to know every little detail about her it’s annoying.

She knows that Thomas has moved into Steffy’s old apartment. Steffy sold it to her mother and Thomas has been using it as his main residence now. She hopes to see Douglas and try to convince Thomas that he should spend some time with her.

She races to the apartment building and she hopes Thomas is not out because that would be a wasted trip. She knocks on the door and she gets antsy when the door doesn’t open immediately. She can feel her heart beating rapidly when Thomas opens the door. He looks at her not in a confused manner of why she’s there. It’s almost like he knew she would come.

“What are you doing here Hope?” Thomas wants to see what excuse she uses this time.

“Can I come in?” She tries to sound more confident than she feels.

“I believe it is May I?” He just does that tilt thing that Steffy does that drives her crazy. When they do that look it’s like they can see everything about her.

“May I come in?”

“I guess you may…” He opens the door wider and let’s her in.

“We need to talk about Douglas…”

“I don’t see anything to talk about Hope…”

“I believe Douglas should stay with me even if it’s just a couple of days a week.”

“That’s not going to happen Hope…”

“Why not?!” Hope was ready to hear no in her head but hearing it outloud is frustrating for her.

“Because your mother has a restraining order against me and if my son is on her property how could I pick him up? I could be thrown in jail or was that your plan in the first place?” Thomas just sits on his sofa while Hope just stands there. She didn’t really go over all the logistics with stuff like that.

“I could always bring Douglas back…”

“How about no? Why would I ever trust that Hope? Why would I give my child to anyone to watch who isn’t his family…” Thomas’s words strikes her like a knife.

“I have been nothing less than a mother to Douglas. How can you say that?”

“Easily… you’re not Caroline and we are legally separated you aren’t Douglas’s stepmother either and even if you were you still have no standing.” Tom wasn’t being overly cruel in his eyes but just laying facts for Hope. She couldn’t manipulate him into giving her any rights and he knows she couldn’t petition any court because even if Tom was deemed unfit she wouldn’t even be a candidate for Douglas’s legal guardian.

“You could give me standing…” She sits on the sofa close to Thomas and gives him a pleading look.

“Hope I told you before the only way you will live with Douglas is if you’re my wife. You are not entitled to my son end of story.” Thomas is firm about this and that won’t change and that’s one thing Hope knows.

“I know Douglas misses me Thomas. It’s not fair to him to let him be without…”

“Is this really about Douglas?” He just looks at her like he’s examining her and she doesn’t like the look.

“What do you mean by that?”

“My sister thinks your obsessed with Douglas and she says I would be the biggest fool to even entertain giving you any legal rights to my son and I agree on that. My sister is Douglas’s legal guardian should anything happen to me so that’s whatever but she also has a theory that you are obsessed with me too. You claim you want nothing to do with me yet you always keep yourself in my orbit Hope.”

“I only do that so I can see Douglas and how he’s doing…”

“Hmm I think you use my son as an excuse. You say you love Liam yet you came here. Does anyone know you’re even here or is someone lying to everyone so they don’t know where she really is?”

“Why would I lie?” Thomas doesn’t know she lied to her mother but she knows he wants her to confirm that she did.

“Because you don’t want to answer any questions on why you are here… Especially your mom’s questions… if they only knew Hope…” Hope looks down because she knows Thomas has a point.

“I’m only here for Douglas and that’s it.”

“Hmm I don’t think so… I definitely know that Liam doesn’t know you are over here. You don’t want to the world to see what I do…”

“There is nothing to see…”

“Hmm maybe for them but you love to show me don’t you…” Hope has always prided herself on being what people expected her to be. The person Thomas expects her to be is something completely different.

She looks away and he uses a hand to hold her chin so she’s forced to look at him. A tear glides across her face and he does nothing to stop it. He isn’t Liam… and she loves that he isn’t.

“What do you want from me?” Thomas waits for her answer and she knows when she deals with Thomas she needs to say what she wants.

“Kiss me… please…” Feeling his lips on hers again gives her a giddy feeling. Thomas maneuvers Hope’s body on top of his and it never fails to excite her how effortlessly Thomas can move her. She’s not immune to his physique. His big hands on her makes her shiver. She is as close as Thomas as she can be kissing him and wanting friction.

“Take off your clothes…slowly…” Thomas whispers this in her and her whole body shakes but she looks in his eyes and she’s feel hypnotized.

She tries to be as sexy as she can be dropping each article of clothing. She watches Thomas take off his clothes too and it makes her body stutter when he takes off his shirt and it’s even worse when he takes off his pants and underwear. He’s there in the nude and sits right back down staring at her.

She won’t lie and say she doesn’t feel self-conscious but it’s also that self-consciousness that makes her feel sexy shedding more clothes. Thomas wants to see her naked. It’s the first time for her to have him just rubbing his cock and looking straight at her. It’s hard for her not too focus on his dick. She knows instinctively he wants her looking into his eyes. When she’s finally naked she stands there unsure of what to do…

“Touch yourself…” Hope’s eyes flutter close for a second as her fingers slip in she wishes she were in a bed right now. Hope feels a surge of sexual energy rush through her and she goes to Thomas and gets on her knees and looks at him as she starts sucking his dick. She doesn’t stop fingering herself she feels electrified. She’s never done something like this which makes it feel all the more alluring for her.

“That’s good baby… you know exactly how I like it…” Hope does know how he likes it. Last time he made sure she knew how he liked getting a blow job and he more than made up for it when he returned the favor.

Hope feels her head being guided to taking him in deeper in her mouth and soon she was choking on his dick. She relaxes her throat and make her mouth more constricted so she can give Thomas a suction feeling. She knows that he likes it and wants to give him a blowjob that doesn’t confuse her with someone else.

Hope feels so turned on by doing this… being in charge of someone’s pleasure makes her feel that pull and her rough rubbing on her clit makes it like ecstasy. Hope cries on his dick as she comes. Thomas pulls her by the hair rough and she likes it like that. She wanted to make him come but he has other ideas.

She stands up and he uses his leg to separate hers as he rolls on a condom.

“Tell me Hope how do you want to be fucked?” He looks at her while toying with her breast. Pinching and rolling her left nipple making her gasp.

“Fuck me doggy in your bed…” He laughs at her but gets up. He told her he would not fuck her if she as going to keep it up with the world’s worst dirty talk saying words like privates. She wasn’t a child she shouldn’t sound like that in bed…

He holds her hand while he escorts her to his bedroom and she doesn’t say anything but she very much likes him holding her hand like it’s nothing.

Hope runs to the bed and gets in the position she is fond of and she likes doing it like this because she can see Thomas fucking her through the mirror.

She feels that first pump and she knows he’s in and he doesn’t let her forget it. Through the mirror she sees the determination in his face to give her a good fucking.

“Fuck me harder honey please yes! Yes just like that… do that again…” He is pulling her hair and it makes her back arch and her breathing is more labored. When she fucks Thomas she knows it will be to the point of exhaustion. It’s unlike anything she has felt before…

She keeps rubbing her clit and bites her lip so hard and seeing Hope like that in the mirror makes Thomas fuck her even harder. He pulls her to fuck her upward and it makes her start to scream. He knows he is hitting her g-spot and her eyes roll and he knows he has her cumming. She is face to the sheet at this point surrendering to her orgasm while Thomas chases for his. His cum shoots up into the condom and Hope misses the feeling of his cum hot and sticky in her. He still makes sure she gets under the sheets after the sex is over knowing that she will start to get cold soon.

Hope is looking around wondering if she should leave… it’s not like she does this ever so what’s the protocol.

“Stop looking around. I’m not done with you yet Hope… We have about three other ways I’m gonna fuck you before the day is through.” Hope is biting her lip to hold in her smile. She knows Thomas loves challenging her body and she loves the rush she gets…

He leaves the room and comes back with glasses of water which is as much of a warning as it is his version of politeness. She takes a long drink before setting it on the nightstand close to her. Hope always gets cold so she always used to say why does he blast the AC because she would need to wear sweaters indoors.

He is on his side of the bed just taking a moment to relax with his eyes closed and he looks so peaceful and Hope gets lost for a second and kisses him and pulls his body closer to her. He runs hot so it’s also extra warmth for her he moves the covers away for a second to get that body to body skin contact.

She loves the feel of her hard nipples on his chest and opening her legs and his dick nudges her pussy. Hope just squirms left and right to feel his dick teasing her.

“How do you want me now daddy?” Hope learned along time ago to leave the shame at the door with Thomas. He never gave her a pause when she said it the first time. Its weird for her because she has never uttered it with anyone else. Thomas could break her emotionally with this but he didn’t so she didn’t stop calling him that in bed sometimes.

“Keep your head on the pillow…” This makes Hope excited because she knows it’s going to be something she hasn’t tried.

“Hope you are going to need to tell me if it hurts at all…” Thomas gives her a stern face and she tries to avoid voicing complaints in her everyday life but that’s something he won’t tolerate here. She nods and her slips into her.

She lets out a breath of relief. She feels him within her and she gasps her excitement. She legs wrapped by the ankles tight against each other like Thomas wanted. He holds legs straight up and her body is like the letter L and she feels him in so deep and her feels herself clenching him. It makes him moan and he drives into her with force and she feels the rush. She maneuvers her hands between her legs and rubs her clit and it doesn’t take her long to come. Her orgasm makes her spasm on Thomas’s dick even more and he grunts his orgasm like a caveman.

Thomas navigates himself to the other side of the bed and starts to catch his breath.

Hope starts to come down from her high and she starts to feel the elements. It’s cold in the apartment and it makes her nipples hard and gives her goosebumps. She moves closer to Thomas wanting to cling to his warmth. She closes her eyes and doesn’t see the confused face of Thomas. He didn’t expect any cuddling from this but he wasn’t saying anything. He does get up which makes Hope shiver. She looks at him questioningly and hope that he doesn’t ask her what’s going on right now because she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know her life right now and just wants to avoid talking about it if she can.

She sees him grabbing the large throw blanket that looks so soft and velvety and he comes back to bed and covers them with it. Hope is warm with the blanket upon her but she still stupidly reaches for Thomas and lays her head on his chest and breathes him in. Thomas just pets her hair absently not knowing what to do but not wanting her too leave. It seems it’s the right move because she moans in delight and burrows herself tighter to his body.

Chapter Text

It has been a tumultuous six months for Thomas, but he seems to be finding his footing again. He made it a goal to see his friend from college while she was visiting LA. They met up at the bistro near Forrester Creations. She’s only in town for a couple of days for business and she wanted to see Thomas before she goes.

“I don’t know why you’re wasting your time with clothes when you could be flexing your talent elsewhere Thomas…” Hailey has been trying to get Thomas to join her company for what seems like centuries and he’s always turned it down.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you that my place is at Forrester. I’m going to be top dog there and get my birthright.”

“You know that’s weak right?” Thomas is not taken aback by headstrong women considering that trait runs in his family.

“What’s weak? I am ready to take back what is mine…” He is his father’s heir and he has a designer’s eye.

“How is it yours? Thomas you know better than anyone Forrester Creations was saved from ruin because of your sister and now you are ready to claim it’s your birthright… Go ahead and try and steal the company from your sister. Don’t expect me to support that. It’s a weak move and I’ve never known you to be a weak person.” It does set Thomas on fire that Hailey would say that… He deserves to run Forrester.

“I deserve to head the company…”

“According to whom? Why do you think that? Thomas I’m not trying to make you feel bad, but I know Steffy has worked her ass to the bone to make Forrester profitable. I don’t know why you think you were destined to do run it. I believe you would be much better suited running the West Coast operations for my company. You’re an architect with a structural engineering background you should be with me. We could set the world on fire Thomas…”

“You think I’m pushing my sister aside?”

“You undermine her a lot Thomas and she does nothing but support you. You are her older brother and you claim to love her and you’re always on her side, but no one would ever think that. You always are saying you could do this better or that better and I think its conjecture. I think you are jealous that she is doing so well, and you want to prove you can do it just as well. I have tried to show you that we could be partners and you balk at it. I’m in a space that best utilize your talents yet you reject me.”

“I can’t pass up a chance to work at my family’s legacy. I don’t see why you can’t understand that…”

“But you would do that to your sister? Thomas one day you are going to completely lose her. This whole thing with keeping quiet about that baby thing was downright cruel. When we were in college and you found about Phoebe you stayed at my apartment for three weeks almost lifeless. It couldn’t have been much better for Steffy. That was her twin sister… How could she keep Phoebe’s legacy going when you knew it would come crashing down? Even now your dad is trying to have you mend fences. You want to keep beating Steffy down until she has nothing left? For what?! Your misguided sense of what you are entitled too? In life you are owed nothing… You will truly be left with nothing and I doubt your grandfather will give you anything if you do. You can build your own legacy and have your family proud of you Thomas instead of trying to destroy the one person who has supported you sometimes blindly only to pay for it.” Hailey gives Tom a lot to think about. His aggression after Forrester has been a singular focus for him over the years especially now...

“I am sorry for hurting my sister but why should she get the company as a consolation prize?”

“You’re an idiot the company is not a prize. You act like she doesn’t bust her ass to make that company relevant and you trying to swoop in is comical it’s something a man definitely would do…”

“Don’t make it into a patriarchal fight…”

“It’s textbook. Woman makes a company successful again and men think they can do a better job when given way better circumstances than what she got.”

Thomas and Hailey don’t see Brooke and Hope sitting down in the bistro having their lunch but Hope notices Thomas is there.

“I don’t understand why Thomas is here?” Brooke asks this to Hope. This is her favorite bistro and seeing the sight of Thomas makes her ill.

“I don’t know either mom but who is that woman he is with?”

“Some poor woman who is biting off more than she can chew.” Brooke can’t help but make a dig it’s not like Ridge is even there to hear it.

“I don’t like the idea of Douglas being introduced to random women unfortunate to get tangled up with Thomas…” Hope watches that table like a hawk. She doesn’t like how familiar they seem and Hope feels her skin riling up at the thought of Thomas having sex with this woman. She stabs the food onto her fork and makes her mouth full to hide the face of derision.

“Hope as much as I wish for that as well… we don’t have any say on what goes on in Doug’s life.” Ridge made that clear weeks ago when he retrieved his son and grandson.

“I’m his mother and the courts need to catch up to how Douglas feels about me.” Hope feels that people just can’t understand the bond she has with that child.

“Hope we need to be very careful…” Brooke knows she fed a little bit into this compulsion Hope has with Douglas, but they need to play their cards right to have any chance of winning.

“I’m going over there and seeing what Thomas is cooking up with now.” For once Brooke is not able to wrangle her daughter. She doesn’t find it a good idea to go over to Thomas because it would make her look bad with all these people around as possible witnesses.

Hope walks over to the table just to see the intensity between Thomas and the woman and she feels like she is intruding. The woman notices her and raises an eyebrow at her and Thomas follows her and sees Hope. Hope feels a sense of disappointment that his face was blank.

“Hello Thomas…” Hope doesn’t know what to think about what’s going on here.

“Hello Hope…” The air is awkward as she didn’t really plan on her reasoning for coming there so she just looks to Thomas and this woman.

“What are you doing here? IS there a reason you came to interrupt my lunch?” Thomas being short with Hope throws her because he doesn’t act like that with her usually.

“I just wanted to warn this woman to not get involved with you. He’s a charmer but you have to watch out for him. When things don’t go his way he changes…” Thomas laughs at this attempt to scare of Hailey…

“Who are you to tell me who I get to fuck?” Hailey’s acerbic language has Hope’s eyes bugging out because she did not expect this woman to talk like this.

“I was just trying to warn—” Hope tries to explain…

“No what you were trying to do is expect me to be rah rah and agree with you. This most likely is a ploy of jealousy. If you were really concerned about me, you wouldn’t have looked or spoken to him before you spoke to me.”

“I assure you—” Hope tries to defend her actions…

“I don’t care for your assurances… I don’t know you and your interrupting my lunch. You can go but thank you so much for the concern.” Hope being thoroughly dismissed irks her. It irks her even more when Thomas just smirks, and she wants to just slap him.

Hope makes her way back to the table she shared with her mom and Brooke looks at her anxiously.

“What happened?!” Brooke couldn’t make out what they were saying but the way Hope looked meant it didn’t go well.

“I was just trying to tell the woman about Thomas’s true colors, and she was not hearing it.” Brooke scrutinizes her because that it is not what they talked about when she went over there. She thought about it and she thinks Hope was trying to get rid of the woman so she can speak to Thomas about Douglas. That could be the only reason Hope would do that.

“Hope you can try to warn people but it’s up to them to listen.” Hope just nods to her mother but internally she’s worried.

“I don’t know what to do anymore mom!” Brooke is beside herself on how to cheer up her daughter.

“Liam is coming back soon and that’s what you should focus for the time being.” Hope smiles but she hides the grimace she feels on the inside.

“Yeah things will go back to normal once Liam comes back…” Hope thinks to herself once things do go back to normal it will be hard to do things for herself. Liam will be here, and it will be two people always wondering about her.

 

“All right I’m in…” Meanwhile at the other table of the bistro Thomas seems to have changed his mind…

“What sparked this change of heart?” Hailey is wondering what the hell Thomas is up too because she knows him.

“Let’s see how far we can go with this venture. But I would have to be name partner…” Thomas is serious… when he saw how Hailey handle Hope without even blinking it made him think how wrong he’s been going about this. With someone as ruthless as Hailey they could definitely make themselves notable in their own right.

“Upton Forrester? How does that sound?”

“Sounds wrong we need a name that sounds like it could be a name that way it keeps it simple for people…”

“But Forrester doesn’t sound like someone’s first name and we are not calling it Forrest sounds too much like Forrest Gump or some run of the mill Confederate General…”

“Well I have two last names… how about Hamilton Upton?” Thomas thinks to himself how good that sounded.

“Now we are getting somewhere. You run the West coast and I run the East… you’re gonna need a staff here and offices.” Hailey is excited to finally get Thomas on board. To her it was simple she knows that Forrester Creations has its own legacy, but she knows Thomas can create his own if he had the motivation too.

They talk about their plans for expansion and what divisions their company should have to diversify and set themselves apart.

Hope looks on at Thomas and the woman getting up all smiles. The woman slips her hand into Thomas’s back pocket while Thomas throws an arm around her shoulder and she gasps when she sees the woman turn around to wink at her.”

“Honey are you okay?!” Brooke looks at her alarmed wondering what just happened…

“I’m okay mom I just swallowed at the wrong time. I just need a drink of some water.” Hope drinks the water as she sees Thomas’s retreating form.

“You have that girl running around looking stupid you know that. How long you been fucking her? I imagine you are by the display that took place…” Hailey couldn’t get over herself to feed into it but it was funny. Someone she doesn’t know coming up to her with fake concern for her didn’t sit well with her.

“I cannot tell a lie…” This was all Thomas could say and Hailey lifted her hand and punched him in the back. He cried in pain and she told him to suck it up and get used to it there’s a lot more to come with this partnership.

Chapter Text

Hope couldn’t enjoy her lunch at all after seeing Thomas with that woman. She hears her mom drone on about her marriage possibly being over thanks to Thomas but she doesn’t care. She loves her mom but it’s just the latest possible divorce between her and Ridge and it’s hard for her to act surprised. It’s a merry go round between the two of them and she doesn’t want to be really be a part of it but how does she tell her mom to stop?

Her food tastes like ash and she’s worried.

“Honey how are you and Liam doing?”

“Honestly mom I don’t know ever since we got back together… I don’t know it just feels like something’s missing…” Hope doesn’t dare mention the fact she had the best sex of her life with Thomas just yesterday.

“Well it’s going to take some time… it would also be best if he limits his time with Steffy. You know she would do anything to get her hands on Liam.” Hope doesn’t put too much stock in that. Steffy seems to really be serious on not wanting to deal with Liam unless it’s about Kelly.

“Mom I don’t think Steffy is pining for Liam in the romantic sense. Also she’s always going to be present in Liam’s life because Beth and Kelly are sisters… But speaking of Steffy she shut down Hope for the Future due to it being the lowest producing line.”

“She did what?! Hope you are not going to let her just ship you out the company are you?!”

“She cancelled the line about a week ago officially. They won’t be making new designs or sending out more purchase orders. She said she isn’t shipping me out of the company but I do have lots to learn concerning the business side of things. So I am shadowing some people in the company to develop my business acumen.” Hope explained this to Brooke and Hope feels she’s getting a fair shake about her job. She was really upset about the line being axed but the numbers didn’t lie, and she can’t die on a sword to Steffy if her line wasn’t cutting it. She went over it with Bridget and Bridget told her the line’s performance was not good but to take this new chapter as a learning experience and Hope is taking that to heart.

“Oh I didn’t realize Steffy was doing all of that. I am surprised she would be considering your history with each other.”
“I was talking to Bridget and she told me Steffy is fair to her employees and I would be treated the same despite ‘our history’…” Brooke is shocked at the mention of her eldest daughter. To say Brooke and Bridget’s relationship is strained would be an understatement.

“Oh how is Bridget?” Brooke makes it sound like it’s innocent, but she wants to know what’s happening in her daughter’s life.

“Ugh… well she’s doing good raising her son and getting interesting cases at the hospital.” Hope doesn’t like to be put in the middle. Well really just from their mother’s part because Bridget really does not care for their mother’s existence it’s almost as if she doesn’t exist to her. Hope doesn’t know everything that went down with her mom and her sister but she knows it has to be bad. Her existence alone is a reminder of the chasm between the two…

“Oh that’s good… I wish I knew more about her life. You know Rick doesn’t tell me much about what’s going on with her either. I know you two are just trying to keep the peace.” Brooke tries explaining to Hope her side but what can Hope really do? She’s lucky she even has a relationship with her sister considering her birth father was her sister’s husband. To think her sister could have also been her stepmother if Bridget didn’t cut Deacon out her life.

The younger Logan daughter doesn’t know what to say about that, so she just eats her food which tastes like nothing. Hope keeps thinking back to the woman Thomas was with and if they are having sex and it makes her so upset. She shouldn’t even be thinking about Thomas because she is with Liam. Liam who she has fought for… suffered for. She has a daughter with Liam and she should have the family with him she has always wanted but something is missing.

 

“What are you going to do with the rest of the day?” Brooke is curious about what Hope will do after their lunch.

“I think I am going to study some more…”

“You know Hope I could help you… I would be glad to do it…” Brooke offers her help which doesn’t sound that appealing to Hope.

“I know you could mom but I want to do this on my own and be my own person. I can’t rely on you for everything you know…” Hope tried to gently let her mom know that she wants to be independent and Brooke schools her face into a smile but on the inside she is upset. She wants to be as close as possible as can be with Hope.

“Of course sweetie… I get it but know I am here if you need anything…” Hope just nods to Brooke’s offer and she is happy they took separate cars because Hope needs to see someone.

She says her goodbyes to her mother and goes straight to Thomas’s apartment and knocks on the door furiously.

“What the hell?! The building better be on fire…” Thomas is angry answering the door and finds Hope.

“Who was that woman?!” She doesn’t even greet him; she doesn’t have time for that because she wants answers.

“Why do you care?” Thomas counters because as soon as she could Hope came running.

“Douglas shouldn’t be meeting random women. It’s sets a bad example… he needs consistency.” Hope folds her arms and it accentuates her breast which distracts Thomas for one second.

“Oh please… Douglas has known that woman longer than he’s known you…” Thomas statements makes Hope stagger a little bit.

“Why are you here Hope? Not even two hours ago you were at my table and now you’re in my apartment.” Hope doesn’t have a real answer for Thomas. She just finds herself tearing up and she hates herself for crying. It’s all she seems to know.

Thomas is not Liam… he doesn’t go to wipe her tears. He comes closer to her and she looks at him in the eye wondering what will happen next.

She steps in closer and gives him a sweet chaste kiss, but he wants more than that opens her mouth and slips his tongue inside. He lifts her dress and slips his hand in her panties pushes them down ankles. He guides her to the sectional and has her lie down as her starts to eat her out and her eyes just rolls from Thomas’s expertise in pussy eating.

“Yes baby I like that. Suck on my clit some more… Suck on it harder Tommy…yes like that…like that! Mmm oh shit Tom... I’m going to cum baby... Fuck I’m coming…” Hope finds herself screaming her release…she’s sweating and her legs are like jelly.

He carries her into the bedroom and drops her on the bed and she’s excited to fuck in some new position. She doesn’t know why sex feels this way with Thomas versus Liam…

He slips two of his fingers into her and thumbs on her clit while suckling on her tit. It feels so sensitive and she thinks to herself how does he know how to fuck her so good?

Hope whines from him slipping his fingers out but he sticks his dick in and it feels delicious. He puts her legs on either side of his shoulders and starts hard and deep strokes while staring at her. It pierces her in place she can barely blink. When he looks at her like that it makes the fucking so much more intense and even better than it is usually. He keeps getting closer and bares down on her. Her body is practically folded in half and she can feel him so deep and her g-spot being stimulated.

“Mmm baby kiss me!” Thomas listens to her and kisses her and still fucks her and she whines in his mouth and it drives him wild he keeps fucking her deep and she comes hard and Thomas feels her pussy pulsing and it makes him see stars as he orgasms. It’s when he realized didn’t fuck her with a condom. He gently brings her legs back into a normal position.
Hope loves the feeling of his cum in her. She wraps her legs around his torso and keeps him in her and she kisses him. Her nipples bare against his chest and her exploring his mouth brings a smile she can feel in her whole body. She needed this so badly after seeing Thomas with that woman today.

“I fucked you without a condom. I’m clean but I don’t usually do that.” Hope just answers him with a kiss.

“I’m clean too. I’m on birth control so it was okay to cum in me… I like it when you do… I like feeling it when I shuffle my legs together…” Hope is shy but she shares how it makes her feel and it gives her a visceral reaction which turn on Thomas.

Hope goes to use the bathroom and clean herself up before going back to bed. It’s the middle of the day she wants to cuddle some before she has to leave. She loved doing it yesterday.

“When do you have to leave before mommy dearest sends the cavalry?” Hope knows Thomas hates her mother with a passion…

“She thinks I’m working so I don’t know. I do have to get back to Beth, but I want to stay here for a couple of hours…” Hope doesn’t say ‘if that’s okay’ but its clear it hangs in the air. Thomas just weaves his fingers through her hair and Hope let’s go of a breath she didn’t know she was holding.

“Yeah I guess…” He kisses her on the crown of her head, and she smiles and they say nothing and fall asleep.

Chapter Text

Thomas’s POV

 

“Douglas, I know it’s been a lot of changes lately for you but you know I am always here for you...”

 

“I know daddy... I love you...” I know Douglas is enjoying having his ice cream and having difficult conversations are infinitely easier when he has ice cream

 

“How are you liking living with Aunt Steffy during the week and with me on the weekends?”

 

The living arrangement isn’t the most normal but my sister offers him a stability that I haven’t been to give him in a while. Steffy understands my situation more than I ever gave her credit for and I’m working through my issues to be better for him.

 

“Aunt Steffy is the best! I love her a lot and Kelly too. She has her boyfriend too and grandma says that they go on dates and he’s nice to me too.” He must be talking about Jay. Steffy thought it was important for me to meet him because he would eventually be around my son and I like the guy and Douglas does too.

 

“I’m glad you like Jay… I can’t wait for you to come and spend the weekend with me… Is there anything special you want to do…”

 

 

“I don’t know maybe we can go to the zoo?”

 

 

“Sounds like fun Douglas… you know I have a surprise for you but you have to close your eyes…” My son listens to me and closes his eyes and Hailey’s been sitting at another table for half an hour but Douglas had no reason to look behind him.

 

I wave her over and she quietly makes her way over and standing right in front of Douglas…

 

“Daddy when can I open my eyes… I don’t think I can wait any longer!”

 

 

“You can open them now…” Hailey is the one to respond to Douglas and I see his face light up before he opens his eyes.

 

 

“Aunt Hailey! You’re here?!” He goes to hug her and she picks him up and plants him with an endless amount of kisses and he just giggles and I’m over the moon that he’s happy…

 

 

“Yes, I am… I was missing you so much so I just had to get on an airplane and see you!” I know the adjustment has been hard for Douglas because he did have an established life in New York and many loved ones. I imagine he gets homesick because he doesn’t see them…

 

 

“I missed you too Aunt Hailey… my friends don’t believe me when I say I have a fairy godmother…” Douglas makes both me and Hailey laugh.

 

“Well honey that might be because I’m just a plain godmother…” They do this every time and it never gets old.

 

 

“I don’t think so… I think you are just as pretty as any fairy godmother…”

 

 

“Touché…”

 

 

“I know you have magic too…” The way my son says this like it’s a fact just makes me shake my head. When he gets like this there’s no changing his mind.

 

 

Douglas catches up with Hailey and of course he doesn’t want her to leave. She tells him she is here for another week and that she will see him soon. I have to drive him back to my sister’s condo because it’s a school day.

 

“Did you have a good time seeing your godmother?” I know Douglas loved the surprise but I want to hear it in his own words…

 

 

“Yes! It was better than the ice cream! I miss her a lot. I miss our life back home but I like it here too.”

 

This is what I expected but I always want to hear Douglas’s take and not just assume things about my son.

 

When we get to Steffy’s condo I am surprised that she is already home and mom is gone. We are finding our way back after everything. It has made things easier with the therapy I have been getting.

 

 

“Hey baby did you have fun with your dad?!”

 

 

“Yeah Aunt Steffy I even saw my Aunt Hailey! I loved it…”

 

 

“I’m glad to hear that… why don’t you start doing your homework?” She is good at the parenting thing but Steffy has always been good at things she sets her mind too.

 

 

“Okay!” Douglas goes to his room and it’s just us…

 

 

“Hailey’s in town?” Steffy is as close to Hailey as I am so of course she’d want to know…

 

“Yeah she is. I imagine she is going to call you to catch up… She’s here for a week… I actually need to talk to you about that…”

 

 

“Am I going to like where this is going?” My sister already narrows her eyes and is prepared for the worse…

 

 

“I honestly don’t know. So I want to go into a business partnership with Hailey and put my degree to use. Steffy I love you and as much as I love FC I have too much ambition to just be a lead designer. I want to run my own company. I don’t want you to think it’s because of you because it’s me. We were raised to not settle for less than our abilities and there’s always going to be a ceiling at Forrester…” I want my sister to understand my reasoning and she is the most logical person I know after our mother.

 

 

“This is really a surprise to me Thomas but I want you to be happy. Losing you professionally is going to be a huge loss for us but I always root for you. If this is what you want I will support you… I will say I’m glad you won’t be my competition…” I know my sister is trying to be understanding but I know this is a lot to dump on her…

 

 

“You can always still come to me for advice and I’m thinking a three month exit strategy to help ease the transition so it doesn’t feel so abrupt… But I need to telecommute” I’m giving my sister a quarter of the year which should be more than enough time to get used to this.

 

 

“That’s actually a really generous amount of time to give me and I appreciate it…  You can design from anywhere. Is this why Hailey came out here for a visit?”

 

 

“I did some consulting work for her father and at first he wanted me to join his own firm and Hailey and I got to thinking we could run our own firm and set our own legacy… I want to make Douglas proud of me. I’m going to have my home base here but I know I will be traveling frequently. It’s not going unnoticed what you are doing for me and for Douglas and I need you to know how much I appreciate you…” My sister is giving Douglas a stability that I haven’t been able to give him for some time and I know my job is going to cut into that but I will make it a mission to be as present as I can for him.

 

He will always be my first priority and I will always do my best to show him my love but the biggest way I can do that is to have my sister be his legal guardian and his main custodial parent.

 

 

“We’ll get through it… I’m working through the hurt Thomas but I also know you weren’t in the best place making those decisions. You’ve proved that when you asked me to take care of Douglas you recognized and tackled some problems and are dealing with it. I love you and I always will and I know you have my back just like you know I have yours. No one can divide us unless we divide ourselves…” My sister’s right no one can divide us except us and she has never tried to do that. I give her a hug and she walks me to the door and I feel maybe one day we can get back to how we used to be.

 

It doesn’t take me so long to get home and when I get to my door I see Hope sitting on the floor and I am confused.

 

“Why are you here?” The more I keep her at a distance the more she comes running and it just makes me pause.

 

“I was waiting for you…” She gets up and looks at me expectantly.

 

 

“That much is obvious Hope… why were you waiting for me in the first place? And how did you get past security anyway?”

 

 

“I kind of told them I was your wife and I showed them our wedding day photo as proof.”

 

 

“You did what?!” She’s not playing so innocent today is she…

 

 

“Can we talk inside please?!” I roll my eyes but open the door and she already knows her way around the place.

 

 

“You came here to talk… so talk…” I go to my kitchen because I need to drink water after eating that ice cream with Douglas.

 

 

I can feel her getting close and hugging me from behind and I just keep drinking my water wondering what her objective here is.

 

“Hope it’s one thing to waste your time, but don’t waste mine!” I’ve become less patient with shit like this as I have gotten older.

 

“Tommy please…” This may have worked on me before but it just annoys me now…

 

“Hope get to the point to why you are here…” I grit my teeth and I feel her hand on my cheek…

 

 

“I don’t want to go home…” Well yeah you would be sandwiched between Brooke and Liam. I don’t know of a worse torture but that’s her problem not mine.

 

 

“And what does that have to do with me?”

 

 

“I like being here with you…” I have to roll my eyes and she looks away from me but what the hell did she expect.

 

“Hope you are afraid of being with me… How would mommy Brooke would react if she found out? You care so much about the opinion of a woman in my eyes who is worthless… We will not be together… You let people speak for you and I don’t want to be with someone like that…”

 

 

“That’s not true! I can speak for myself and my mom is a great mother and an even better person!” I can’t help but laugh at this naïveté. It used to be endearing but it’s sad right now.

 

 

“You’re kidding me right?! Hope your existence is thanks to your mother having an affair with your sister’s husband. Wake the fuck up!”

 

 

“My mom has done some bad things in her life but at least she doesn’t keep secrets about people’s children?!” It looks like Hope can have a backbone sometimes I just wish it wasn’t to defend her mother.

 

 

“Hope I truly am sorry about Beth and I’m working through my shit but that’s a lot of nerve saying your mother doesn’t keep secrets about people’s kids especially to me...” Hope is so quick to defend her mother who isn’t the saint that Hope makes her to be.

 

 

“What are you talking about?!”

 

 

“Your mother hatched a plan with my Uncle Thorne to keep my paternity a secret. And before you go and try to somehow put the blame on my mother she almost lost me when she saw my father and your mother in let’s say a compromising position. Thorne manipulated my mother over and over again while your mother did the same with my dad. She knew that my dad would have left her in a heartbeat if he found out and that’s what happened. And the fall out was extensive. Bridget slapped the hell out of Brooke and I wish someone had taken video so I could have seen it…” I don’t mince words with Hope and I won’t start now. Her mother is the same liar she was then as she is now.

 

 

“That can’t be true my mother wouldn’t even if it was Taylor…”

 

 

“If you don’t believe me ask Bridget or just about anyone who isn’t your mother. Your mom always has an excuse to the worst decisions she makes but I’m not my father.” It looks like I burst her bubble but I know she believes me.

 

Ever since the whole switch debacle and getting therapy I am trying to get back to my old self and it can be jarring for me to pull no punches but I don’t have any desire to be someone I’m not.

 

 

“I know if you’re goading me to go ask my sister then I know it’s the truth I just never envisioned my mom doing something like that.” She looks a little lost…

 

“You didn’t come here to talk about your mom or at least that is what I’m hoping for.”

 

 

“I wanted to talk about us…” I don’t know what kind of game she wants to play here

 

 

“Hope there’s no us we have been having sex but that’s not an us situation…”

 

 

“I want there to be an us situation... I know you are going to make this difficult for us but I don’t care…”

 

 

“How could I make it difficult?! Hope you are with Liam!” She just angers me so much with her bullshit

 

 

“And you’re with that woman I saw you with!” So that is what this is really about. She suspects I’m with Hailey and now she wants to be with me…

 

 

“Hope you really need to stop… just go home…”

 

 

“Does she know you are sleeping with me?”

 

 

“Hope I don’t cheat on anyone I’m with… ever. I know Liam has you fucked you up from the back and forth with my sister but I’m not him. When I make decisions I stick with them…” I love my dad but I don’t want to be anything like him in that way. My childhood was spent always trying to reassure my sisters and myself that this time would be the last time and it never was. I could never hurt someone the way my dad hurt my mom.

 

 

“So… you are not with her… sexually or otherwise.”

 

 

“That’s none of your business but now I’m not. She’s Douglas’s godmother…” I have the urge to take a picture of her surprise…

 

 

“Oh god I feel so stupid. I went up to her and embarrassed myself…”

 

 

“Yes, you did but it’s very amusing to see you jealous…” It made both me and Hailey laugh even though I got a punch in the back for it.

 

 

“I wasn’t jealous Thomas…” I just look at her and she doesn’t last long under my stare “… all right I was a little jealous. I want to be with you and I don’t like the idea of you with anyone else…”

 

“And I should be okay with the fact you are with Liam?” Does she hear herself.

 

 

“I’m not having sex with him I promise…”

 

 

“That doesn’t matter. That bum is living with you…”

 

 

“Things are going to change I can’t do the back and forth Liam it isn’t fair to me always wondering…”

 

 

“Steffy is never getting back with Liam so if he decides he all of a sudden loves her more than life it’s because he’s jealous…”

 

 

“Steffy is with someone?” I feel like I just opened a can of worms…

 

 

“Yes, Steffy is with someone and no don’t ask me anything more. If she wants anyone to know she will be the one to tell them…” I give her a look that she knows it means she better keep her mouth shut. I would hate for my sister to have to be bombarded with more of Liam but he is back on his deadbeat dad kick since he moved back in with Hope.

 

 

“I won’t tell anyone I promise…” I know she isn’t lying because every time she made me a promise when we were married she sealed it with a kiss. It’s easy to get back into the mindframe of when we were married…

 

 

“When are you going to break up with him?” I’m glad she doesn’t look shocked because just as I know things about her… she knows them about me…

 

 

“I don’t know Thomas… things are complicated…” Just as I thought!

 

 

“Well I will make them uncomplicated for you. I don’t do love triangles and maybe knowing that Steffy is never going to be with Liam makes things less concrete for you but I’m not anyone’s backup choice… I refuse to be…”

 

 

“You are not my backup choice! I love you Thomas and it’s really scary to admit because I am so used to waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don’t know how to be happy and that’s scary…” She climbs into my lap and puts her arms around me…

 

 

“I’ll be gone for two months…” This will be a help if she needs to make decisions. Her face crumples and she looks like she is going to cry and I do have the decency to be a little sad that it’s my fault…

 

 

“What you can’t leave?!”

 

 

“I’m leaving for work…”

 

 

“Steffy hasn’t made any announcements about anything?!” I know she is starting to get frustrtated so I just squeeze her hips and she focuses on me and nothing else.

 

 

“I’m leaving Forrester and to build a firm…”

 

 

“Is it for architecture and structural engineering…” She gives me her shy smile and she’s very cute when she’s sweet…

 

 

“So… you did pay attention to me…” Her squirming makes me half hard…

 

 

“I always listen to you Thomas…” When she says this I really start to get hard… I get close to her ear and blow some hot air and she starts to melt into me.

 

 

“I know you do…” I whisper to her as I cup her pussy and feel the heat and I can’t fuck her before I know everything…

 

 

“I want to come with you… I have time off saved up… Don’t say no…” Hope wears her heart on her sleeve too much it’s so easy to break the heart of someone so delicate. It’s a good thing I’m not that person.

 

 

“If that’s what you want then… okay…” She kisses me before I can barely get my last word out I wonder how is this going to work…

 

With Lame I’m pretty sure that will be easy. By the looks of it he can’t even make her cum… With her mother I know damn well Brooke will never approve of me with her daughter.

 

I do love Hope but knowing that Brooke would absolutely flip when she finds out about us is an added bonus.

 

I get up from the couch and she giggles. I know my strength is a turn on for her. I carry her to my room and drop her on the bed and make a bet with myself that she will cum at least four times before she goes home.

 

This is a win for her and a win for my ego…

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

 

 

I had to take a shower before I left Thomas’s space because he really tired me out and I know it showed. He made me cum five times and I was exhausted beyond belief. I really didn’t want to leave but I did have to get back to Beth and deal with Liam.

 

 

It’s weird that when I got back Beth… Liam just automatically assumed we would be together again. He literally moved back in that night and I was in such a headspace that I never gave it any mind.

 

He just thought things would go right back to how they used to be and in a way maybe so did I… Sometimes I hate myself for getting pregnant with his baby because I brought a child into this fucked up dynamic taking turns with Liam.

 

 

Liam hates Thomas and always makes it a point to lecture me about Thomas. It’s like it’s in the back of his mind that he knows that he could lose me.  I hate being treated like a child and it grates on me when he does that. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to be with him anymore. I have seen him around Steffy and it used to make me jealous and insecure that they seemed like such a mature couple.

 

 

I get home and he’s there but I’m guessing Beth is taking a nap and I think to myself this is it…

 

 

“Hey Hope! You just missed Beth I put her down for a nap like five minutes ago…” He gets up from the sofa and come towards me and before he could give me a kiss I step out of the way and he does that confused kicked puppy look. A look I used to find so endearing but it annoys me know… It’s always as if he never has a clue…

 

 

“Is something the matter?”

 

 

“We need to talk…” He looks at me like he doesn’t know how to gauge my words…

 

 

“Okay…”

 

 

“I don’t want to be together with you…” This is not nearly as hard as it was last time.

 

 

“Where is this coming from Hope? I thought we were getting back on track with our lives. We have our daughter back…”

 

 

“And we will co-parent her but we don’t need to be romantically involved for that?”

 

“Hope is this about Steffy? I don’t know how many times I have to tell you I’m committed to you!” This is what riles me up about him it always comes down to Steffy like I possibly couldn’t have any other reasons but her. Come to think of it of course he would think that way because that has always been his motivation when things get hard with us. He would always run to Steffy and vice versa…

 

 

“This is not about Steffy it’s about us and the fact that I don’t want to be with you. Liam I’m not in love with you anymore…”

 

 

“Hope how can you say that we have fought to make our way back to each other… People have stood in our way… people like Thomas…” I feel myself getting testy to defend Thomas but I catch myself because it’s not about Thomas. It’s about me and what I want.

 

 

“Liam, I have wasted years with this back and forth with Steffy and this situation is toxic and I refuse to have my child grow up through that. I’m not in love with you Liam and I realized that a while back but now I’m ready to verbalize it and move on.”

 

 

“Hope I understand that you must feel overwhelmed with all of the events that have been happening lately—” This is what I hate…

 

 

“Stop telling me how I feel Liam! It’s one of the things I truly hate about you. You are not me because if you were you would see this is pointless. I don’t want to be with you! Believing Beth was dead did help me realize I wanted to let you go but it wasn’t the only reason. I don’t like how I feel when I am with you. I used to convince myself this is just something that comes with love but I hate how insecure and small I feel when I’m with you. I was so comfortable with the familiarity of you that I overlooked so many things. Each time you left to run to Steffy broke me each time. Every time I was whole you came back and I would end up broken again. Some of it is my fault I would go chasing to get whatever I could and it takes time for me to learn a lesson but I learn…”

 

 

“You never told me anything like this before Hope. This is a lot to digest…” My words are not a meal but whatever.

 

 

“It’s how I feel and I think you should leave… We will co-parent but there’s no reason for you to live here because we are not a couple anymore…” He scoffs at me but I hold my ground. I stand up to him and I stand up for myself and say things I have never dreamed I could.

 

 

“How about my daughter lives here?”

 

 

“Your other daughter lives with her mother and you don’t live there…” Even though he wants too now that he’s ass will be out of here.

 

“I don’t even know where Steffy is living now and not for a lack of trying…”

 

 

“Well that’s not my problem. You need to go find somewhere else to live Liam.”

 

 

“I can’t even stay in the guest room just for the night?” He sounds so ridiculous…

 

 

“Liam I said no… Get some things together and leave. I don’t care where but you need to get out and respect my wishes. It’s the least you could do for once…” He only respects my wishes when he can run to Steffy but since he can’t run to her now he is trying to worm his way into staying with me.

 

 

He shoves some clothes into a bag and he goes to the door and before he actually leaves he looks at me with a sad face probably hoping that I change my mind but my face is blank and my arms are crossed. He finally leaves and I breath a sigh of relief.

 

I broke up with Liam… I hope you see that I am serious about us and our future… -Hope

 

I believe you… but we’ll see if it lasts… -Thomas

 

I love you baby… -Hope He only likes my message and it gets on my nerves.

 

Thomas is completely unlike Liam. He’s domineering, decisive, and straightforward. It scares me because it’s not something I am used too. The closest I ever came to that was Wyatt because he was pretty straightforward but it’s not even close.

 

Thomas thrills me as much as he loves me. It confuses me to be someone’s only choice because I felt conditioned in a way to be okay with the back and forth not just by Liam but my mom too…

 

 

I start to get horny thinking of Thomas which might as well be a punishment because my pussy is still so sore from earlier. I hear a knock on the door and it’s like cold water has been doused on me and I turn to see my mother…

 

My therapist has labelled her a trigger and I am highly susceptible to co-dependent and emotionally abusive tendencies due to my upbringing but we are close...

 

I open the door for her and she seems to be in a frenzied state so I’m guessing Liam told her.

 

 

“Hope I was just with Liam and he has this idea that you broke up with him…”

 

 

“That’s because I did… I took myself out a toxic situation and I don’t want to return to it…”

 

“Hope you have fought so hard to get him back why do this now?”

 

 

“Mom I fought a losing battle. I don’t want to chase after Liam and then he hurts me by leaving. Liam was just trying to tell me how I feel as if I am not perfectly capable of knowing myself.” That’s a sign of emotionally abusive behavior I used to overlook because I used to think it was because Liam was so emotionally mature. My mother sometimes does that too but I always excuse it because she’s my mom…

 

 

“He will go back to Steffy if you push him away is that what you really want. For Steffy to win?”

 

 

“Mom I don’t care what he does… It will only prove my point… I have moved on and so should he if he wants to go to Steffy that’s his business…” The way Thomas spoke it seems that Steffy wouldn’t pay Liam no mind.

 

 

“I can’t believe what I am hearing right now…”

 

 

“Well believe it mom… I’m also going to take some time off from work—”

 

 

“I think that’s a great idea it makes no sense for you to dive back into work so soon when you should be bonding with Beth…” I resist the urge to roll me eyes.

 

 

“I need to take a trip and getaway from everything—”

 

 

“We could go to Park City! That’s a wonderful idea…” What?!

 

 

“Mom I meant just me and Beth of course. I need sometime to think so much has happened in my life and I need sometime to myself and I want to be able to bond with my daughter. I need to find myself too…” She looks at me like she wants to say things but she knows better or she will end up like Liam.

 

 

She says we can talk about this more in the morning but there’s nothing else to speak about I won’t be here I plan on waking up extra early before I know either of them will show up and be gone…

 

 

I check my phone to see the time and I see a message from Thomas and Liam

 

 

I love you too… -Thomas

 

 

Our conversation is not done… -Liam

 

 

I get ready for bed and I will be recharged in the morning and hopefully with Thomas by the end of the day…

 

 

When I wake up I get up quickly and move and get Beth ready. I’m out of the cabin before daylight and I head straight for Forrester Creations. I made an appointment with Steffy… normally I would be told to just deal with HR but I know Steffy enough to know she is going to want a full explanation considering I’m on this performance plan…

 

Pam scrutinizes me thoroughly before she let’s me inside the door and I feel a type of way but I don’t have too long to think about it when I have Steffy staring at me which is more intimidating.

 

 

“What was so important you needed to be my first appointment of the day…”

 

 

“I wanted to see if I could take some time off for personal reasons…”

 

 

“You are on a personal development plan… it’s important for you to shadow people since you need on the job business experience…”

 

 

“I do know that but I didn’t really get the time to bond with Beth and I wanted a chance to do that. But you’re right I should be thinking about the development plan I know it’s something you don’t normally do…” I have been given many chances and I can’t screw this up it’s my job. Thomas will understand I’m sure. I look up and Steffy face softens a little…

 

 

“We take maternity leave seriously here… We would never stand in the way of a mother having the chance to bond with their child. We have a year of maternal leave…”

 

 

“I wouldn’t need a whole year at least I don’t think I really wanted to take two months…” Steffy’s face goes back to suspicious…

 

 

“Hope I don’t know what you take me for but hopefully stupid isn’t one of them…”

 

 

“I don’t know what you mean?”

 

 

“Cut the bull… I knew you were obsessed with Thomas but you would always lie through your damn teeth. You are leaving with him…”

 

“How do you know that?”

 

 

“Thomas wouldn’t dare keep this a secret from me. It anything remotely concerns Douglas I will always be involved but know this if you mess with my brother in anyway I will fucking destroy you.” Steffy knows when to make herself look scary and this is one of those times…

 

 

“I love him and I don’t want to hurt him or Douglas. He always already made himself clear about Douglas. I know Thomas is working on himself and I am too. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with Liam and I just didn’t want that for myself anymore. I married your brother because of Douglas at first but I fell in love with him because he pushed to be a version of myself I never knew I could be. The whole situation with Beth really hurt me because he was the person who never thought I couldn’t handle things. I understand him more now than I ever have and we both know he fucked up but I’m learning that it wasn’t such a clear cut thing for him”

 

 

“So you aren’t with him as some sort of revenge plot?”

 

 

“Absolutely not! I would never want to knowingly trigger Thomas into another downward spiral. He wasn’t only hurting Douglas but himself. It hurts me to know Thomas ever doubted himself because he is the most surefooted person I know.” Thomas’s Borderline Personality Disorder explains so much of his actions but the underlying PTSD made it all the more heartbreaking. Sometimes having him cling to me in the night as if he thought I was dying would make me cry…

 

 

“All right I believe you for now… but I am serious don’t fuck with my brother… Take your leave of absence you get a full year off you don’t have to tell HR when you want to come back right now. It can be something you do down the road. Your development plan will be here when you get back.”

 

 

“Thank you Steffy…”

 

 

“Hope I hope you get what you need out of this trip… Take some time to figure out what you want for your life. If you are going to be with my brother you’ll need it…” Steffy’s advice feels like a food for thought and I’m kind of going back and forth on what she means with the last part…

Chapter Text

*This chapter does make mentions of emotional abuse and manipulation

 

Thomas’s POV

When I sees a call from Hailey I pick up because I was not expecting a call from her yet…

“Hey, I was not expecting to hear from you…”

 

“Yeah I know but I didn’t want to beat around the bush. I have to tell you something…” It does make me slightly concerned to hear Hailey speak so cryptically.

 

“My dad is retiring at the end of the fiscal and he’s leaving me his company…” I am shocked at her words because she has been the reason I have taken this leap and leave FC.

 

“I can’t say that I’m not disappointed but congratulations Upton…” I am happy for her truly she is going to do good things for the legacy of her father’s company.

 

“Thanks Forrester… I would hire you in a heartbeat but I made all that noise to you about cementing your own legacy and knowing you for as long as I have I know you are probably going to be my best competition.”

 

“Not competition maybe motivator. Only thing I can say is game on Upton…”

 

“Game on Forrester…” This is a setback but it does bring a chance to create my own company with my vision.

I know I will need more starting capital because Hailey isn’t in the picture anymore and I refuse to be beholden to a board of investors.

 

I guess I will have to settle on having a home studio and commuting to sites… I don’t need a fancy building with my logo. A business card and good reputation will do for now. Those things can wait for when I get established as my own entity.

 

I look for anything that can help me establish myself as more than just a consultant and I find that Eugene, Oregon reaching out to me looking for an architect to design an opera house for them and this intrigues me.

I hear a knock and it must be Hope because no one besides Steffy and mom know I live here by design…

 

I open the door and she has a ton of shit with her and Beth in her hands and I wonder how she got it all up here by herself.

“The guy from the security desk got someone to help me.” I just nod my head at her just wave her in and take her stuff.

“You know you could have called me and I would have helped you…” I get a little ticked because it really would have been no problem for me to help her.

 

“I was but when I got inside the man was insistent he get someone to help me. I guess he thought I would be by myself…” I just start to pull her things as she carries Beth inside.

 

“Still I could have helped…” I give her a kiss and Beth just gurgles in between us I give the little girl a poke on the nose and it makes her gurgle a little more.

I know it makes Hope more at ease when I interact with Beth. I plan on showing her that we are not a mistake or just a sex induced haze of lust. I do love her.

 

“Thank you honey the thought really does count. So where are we going?”

 

“To Eugene, Oregon… they reached out to me because my last client is from there and referred me for a job…” It’s not as glamorous as LA or Italy…

 

“Honey that’s awesome you already have your first job. That’s a great start for you and Hailey…”

 

“About that… well Hailey decided to back out which I respect her dad is retiring from his company and leaving it to her. So the company is going to be just mine but Ashford & Hamilton is open for business.”

 

“You are going to do everything by yourself?” She pouts and is getting stressed in my place and that’s something I really don’t want.

 

“It’s okay I’ve been pretty much on my own with my consulting which this will be pretty much that while working at FC full-time I should be able to pivot once I am not working for anyone anymore.”

 

“But you don’t have too! I can help you honey… I am really not a STEM person but I can help you with your calendar and appointments… help keep you on track and focused on what you really want to do…” She’s really sweet to offer these things and I appreciate that she wants to do it and doesn’t feel obligated too.

“Hope that’s really thoughtful and if it’s something you want to do then let’s go for it…” I just hold her face to kiss her and I just don’t want to stop but we are cognizant of the child between us.

“When do we leave for Eugene?”

 

“In three hours so we should get a move on. Let’s just bring the necessities and just buy things when we get there. It must be a whole different kind of climate there. It’s cold there right now do you have anything for Beth that will keep her warm?”

 

“Not really… I kind of just packed for the now. I never had to think about real winter clothes for Beth because we live in LA and the ‘cold’ weather here is pretty mild.”

 

“All right let’s go quickly and buy you two some nice warm coats and some winter clothes for our little trip…”

I drive us pretty fast to the nearest department store and let Hope choose the items they will both need. She thankfully shops with urgency because we have to get back and leave my car in the parking garage and get a car to the airport.

 

Most of the stuff in our luggage is stuff for Beth and a couple necessities like our basics everything else we can get there.

 

Our flight to Eugene is pretty quick it took us only two hours to get there but we could feel the temperature dropping the more north we got.

 

Beth somehow slept most of the flight which is probably for the best. I remember when Douglas was a baby traveling with him was a nightmare… Had to take Amtrak everywhere.

 

I found a short-term rental apartment building that caters to transient clientele. I’m glad now I had chosen a two-bedroom apartment.

 

“The apartment I got is furnished but we will need to find Beth a bed for her to sleep in…” She looks at me like she wants to ask me a question…

 

“You are not mad I brought her?”

 

“Hope I knew you would. If you were going to spend the foreseeable future with me it was a given that Beth would be coming too…” I guess that’s the right thing to say because she kisses me and shows her appreciation.

I offer to push the stroller because she must be tired… We get our keys for the apartment and Hope researches nearby baby stores to get Beth her crib.

“I’m not seeing anything I like!” Hope is getting pretty comical because it’s not a long term investment…

 

“Baby you don’t need something you necessarily like. This is short-term she just needs to sleep in a crib that is safe…” We should really not plan to stay long until we get more information. I need to survey the site to see realistically how long a job would take. It’s not even a guarantee she even stays if I do take long.

 

“I guess you are right… Where should we go?”

 

“Let’s just go to Target… I’ll make the crib myself…”

 

We went straight to Target it didn’t take long to get everything even though Hope kept finding things that she ‘really needed’.

 

I’m a pro at assembling cribs. Caroline’s used to loan me out to her friends who needed cribs assembled.”

 

“I’m glad to have a crib aficionado…” She gives me a kiss hopefully I will be getting more than that later.

 

I fix the crib in record time. Assemble one crib you assemble them all I guess. Beth is taking a nap in her new crib and it gives me sometime alone with Hope which is nice.

 

“It’s really cool that you know what you want to do Thomas…” It’s nice that Hope seems to be supporting me but I feel like there’s more to the story.

 

“Thank you but where is this coming from?”

 

“I just want you to know I support you…” She can’t look me in the eye as she tells me this and I know this is going to be heavy.

 

“Hope you dropped everything to come be with me here when it’s something you certainly didn’t have to do. I’d believe you more if you didn’t look so sullen now tell me what’s really going on?”

 

“I don’t know it’s just that you know what you want and you do this super advanced thing and Steffy…she’s accomplished. Your mom is like a doctor in two different fields and I feel like I can’t compete in your orbit…”

 

“Hope there’s no competition… I love you. Maybe you feel this because you want more for yourself and nothing is wrong with wanting more for yourself…”

 

“I guess but everything has passed me by and I’m just here…”

 

“Hope get that mentality out of your brain. Everyone achieves their own things in their own time. Compared to my mother I would be a failure… I’m establishing my own company literally now… I’m late to the game but if I thought that way I would intimidate myself out of really starting. Education was just something highly stressed because it can help you find your passion whatever that is…”

 

“Well I guess when anyone compares themselves to Taylor they would be considered a failure…”

 

“My father is a massive failure compared to my mother and he’s CEO of a company baby. If you want to college go I’ll support you but it has to be something you want for yourself…”

 

“I would think about it but I would just talk myself out of it because I always just had some problem in my life that seemed so monumental. It was just an excuse because I was scared…” I just take her hand because I know it takes her a lot to speak about her feelings.

She is a person who has always had people speak for her but very few have ever heard her or her wants.

 

“Why were you scared?”

 

“It’s embarrassing to be the oldest one in the classes. Like these got their life in order before I did. I’m playing catch up…”

 

“Hope besides not being true you just can’t think that way. I had these two classmates in my class when I was in my sophomore class. It was this mom and her son. I worked on a group project with her and found out she ended up having a child when she was 17 and put her whole life on hold because she did it with no help. She came from an physically and emotionally abusive home and couldn’t count anyone. She went to college as soon as her son was grown. I found out later who her son was. He was so proud that she did something she wanted to do and she inspired him.” I want her to see that plenty of people have different paths and just because you start later doesn’t make you less deserving of making your life better.

“Do you still keep in contact with her?”

 

“Yeah she opened her own business and when she made enough money she started a nonprofit that helps domestic abuse survivors start their lives over with the support she never had… her son runs her business so she can focus on helping vulnerable women and youth. Hope if she can do it so can you.”

 

“She sounds like a brave person and when I think of that word I do not come to mind…” This low opinion of herself makes me so upset but it comes from a lifetime of never finding her voice.

 

“I think that’s bullshit Hope. It was brave to take a chance at us. It was brave to tell your mom and Liam to move out of your way. It’s brave to speak about your feelings. It’s brave to be vulnerable…” She’s crying which wasn’t my intention but I’m not Brooke or Liam who would want her to know they will be her hero instead of her being her own hero.

 

“Thomas I don’t want you to see me like this… I don’t want you to see me weak…” She brings her head to her knees and cries.

I just reach over and I pull on her arm gently and her eyes are so red and she doesn’t want to look at me but I don’t give her what she wants. I just give her sweet kisses that I hope calm her and it does but she is still very upset.

 

“I don’t see as you weak… Hope you are a complex person and I love learning more about you. Do you trust me?”

 

“Yeah I do…”

 

“Then trust that I won’t be anything less than honest with you even when it hurts. Baby you have to believe in yourself. Believe you deserve a chance to want more. I don’t want to be your fucking hero, I’m not your mom and I’m not Liam. You should be your hero. Bet on yourself and you will be shocked on just what you are capable of. When you go to college you are going to do so well because you have life experience those kids don’t… You are probably going to be laughing at some that show up in their snuggies with eye crust in their eye…”

“People really show up in snuggies?”

 

“Baby I was one of those snot nosed kids who wore pajamas all of my freshman year.” I only stopped because I thought about it one day I might need recommendations from my professors and I show up to class without even putting on real clothes.

 

“No you didn’t! Okay I think I am going to do it but I want to ease myself into it.”

 

“Babe you can even do it online if you want too. Most schools have online portals too. Just apply to a few colleges and see where you get accepted and I can help you figure it out I have experience.” She looks like she had a whole shift in her emotions. She looks excited.

 

“Maybe but can I ask a favor?”

 

“Go for it…” I’d do just about anything to help her follow through.

 

“Can you help me pay for it?” This raises alarms in my head…

 

“Yeah babe that’s not a problem but can I know why?”

 

“It’s embarrassing to admit but I used to live on my mom’s money and I only have the money I make from FC in a secret account I never told my mom. I am not too proud to admit I came back from Italy because I ran out of money I had only used the money I got from FC years ago. I have credit cards and a debit card but I’m an authorized user…” No wonder she never strayed to far from her mother. It makes me sick because that’s one of the classic signs abusers use to control their victim.

 

“Hope you do know that’s abusive behavior?”

 

“Yeah I know my therapist says that and it’s why I don’t want to mess up with my development plan.”At least she recognizes that her mother uses tools to control her.

 

“Well since you are here and you want to help me with my business. I can teach you some of the business side of things. I think you might dump me if I talk about the application side like environmental stresses on building materials.”

 

“No I wouldn’t dump you I think it’s sexy to talk shop.” When she climbs on top of me and kisses me this is what I like to see. So sure of herself and her abilities because nothing is more sexy than her wearing her confidence.

 

“As much I would love to bore you to tears… I or should I say we have to plan my calendar. I need to make an initial timeline. They hired me as an architect but if I hire myself as a structural engineer then I can bill them for two different services.”

 

“Calendars is something I definitely know how to do…”

 

“Well it seems like I have an employee. Let’s say you are the Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning…”

 

“Hmm I like the sound of that.” We are going to do our own thing I just know I am going to have to bulldoze some people who try to get in our way.

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

I applied to a couple of schools and I didn’t get my hopes up. The most complicated part was getting my transcripts from high school. I was pleasantly shocked when I received an acceptance letter to UCLA. Thomas wanted to do something special for me to celebrate.

 

We don’t know anyone here. It was hard to just let anyone watch Beth while we went out but we used a nanny service and it took me about ten minutes before I could get out the building but I’m glad I did.

 

Being together with Thomas while everything is so new isn’t like a regular romance. We don’t get to have the discovery phase in the same manner a lot of people do. It’s one of the reasons I dove headfirst into this with him. No one knows I’m here and they certainly don’t know I’m with him. Well Steffy knows because Thomas told her but I realize she would have questioned me until I slipped out and said it. It’s not like she would ever volunteer any information to my mother.

 

She hates my mother only a smidgen less than Thomas hates her. I wonder how it will work when we get back... Thomas and I withdrew our petition to our separation when we left LA. My mother would definitely not approve of us. She wants me with Liam and it makes me bristle to think she really wants that for me. Being with Liam I felt stupid… actually clueless sometimes when he said certain things. I felt like a chastised child…

 

When I had my conversation with Thomas yesterday with all my insecurity laid out to bare it didn’t go how expected. He told me he loved me and supported me which Liam has done too but the difference Liam has coddled and scolded me… with Thomas he pushed me... Telling me if I wanted to be better then I had to find it. Not let it come to me. I can admit it now I was happy when I got Hope for the Future and everyone just listened to me but I didn’t have to fight for it.

 

I want to fight for what I want. Thomas creating his business… Steffy clawing her way from the shipping to be at the top, Wyatt has been running a business with his mother forever and Sally almost lost her life for her dream. With Liam he got a job at Forrester from Steffy when he wanted to leave Spencer.  He didn’t fight for it and he coasted when he was there and I decide to myself I don’t want that. I know how to work hard but what I have done has felt meaningless… purposeless. I am going to use college to help me on my self-discovery.

 

I want to be my own hero not relying on anyone to just do things for me and I’m already confident that I passed my first step.

 

“What’s making you smile so much we haven’t even gotten our food yet?” Thomas looks so nice in his green sweater. It brings out the flecks of amber in his eyes. He just stares at me lie he’s trying to figure me out.

 

I’m mysterious to him and he wants to find out who I am. I hold my giggle and just raise my eyebrow at him which seems to intrigue him more.

 

It’s fun to flirt and not be so stressed about everything. I forgot what that’s like.

 

“I was just thinking how cool it is to be accepted into a college…” I still can’t believe it. I know I’m not an idiot but when you get that letter it hits you deep and it makes you so proud of yourself…

 

“It is pretty cool isn’t it?!” Thomas happiness for me makes me happy that I did this.

 

“I don’t even know what classes to choose for myself…”

 

“Well think about it… You like business so take a few and see if you like it… they will make you take some core classes like literature and math…” I’m so excited to know about the process. Seeing Thomas excited to tell me makes me geek out even more.

 

“This is so fun… how did you know you wanted to be an architect?”

 

“I guess some inspiration came from my parents. My dad always had a sketch pad even scrap paper and at the weirdest times he would just start sketching nothing get in his way… I discovered I knew how to draw too and my mom well she’s a woman of science. My mom finds doing mathematical proofs as calming. Architecture is a marriage of the creative and the scientific. You have to be good at physics or it just won’t work. You have to be creative, so you get work. It’s challenging and you know I love challenge…” He makes me blush when he says challenge.

 

I never really entertained Thomas before as a partner because I was so wrapped up in what I thought my heart wanted. The heart can be feeble and the mind is strong when you want it to be. I think I like being challenged too. You have to decide to take risk and when to avert it.

 

Thomas is a risk and a half if there ever was one. He’s not necessarily really a bad boy type. He’s headstrong, tenacious and ambitious. He’s obviously is intelligent he has to be in his field. I guess I’m finding those kinds of qualities sexy because it’s the opposite of what I’m used too. There’s a thrill in not knowing what your partner might do but trusting them enough to know they won’t push past your brink.

 

I wish this table didn’t put a barrier between the both of us because I have the overwhelming urge to kiss him. The worst part is that he knows it and just smirks.

 

“You are incorrigible…” I just sip my wine as I try to be as saucy as I can be…

 

“That’s what you like isn’t it? I’ll always make an effort for my wife…” When he calls me his wife, I gasp a little. It’s weird how he can make words sound so erotic…

 

“Sounds like a lucky woman…” This flirting is starting to feel like foreplay…  I feel my neck getting hot.

 

“Oh, she will be when I get her home…” I have to adjust myself when he says this because it gets my attention.

 

“I’ll be right back I need to use the bathroom…” I need to retreat and get some cold water on my face because of this man. I go to the bathroom and just loo at myself in the mirror laughing at myself. I feel fun flirting with my husband. That’s what Thomas is and has been since we took down our petition. I’m dating my husband the concept is ridiculous, but my life is all sorts of ridiculous.

 

I hear the door to the bathroom being opened and I see it’s Thomas and I start to freak out because he’s the women’s bathroom and someone could come in.

 

“Thomas what are you doing in here?!” I whisper this to him just in case anyone is in here.

 

“I told the server I was getting a call…” He is so cavalier about being in here and I know what he is up to…

 

“Then go make ‘your call’” I try and pretend to be upset but he either can see through it or he just doesn’t care…

 

He’s so childish and creates signal for a phone and starts saying ‘pring pring’ like a child and he doesn’t stop until I ‘answer’ my phone…

 

“Hello…” I am wondering why I am even going along with this right now.

 

“Hello, I’m looking for Hope?” He’s looking straight dead in my eye and I don’t know how to keep a straight face.

 

“This is she…”

 

“Hey baby so I’m not going to last with you looking like that…” He comes closer to me and I’m speechless.

 

He kisses me and I can feel him hard against my thigh and I sigh because it never ceases to turn me on.

 

“Thomas we can’t have sex in a restaurant bathroom!” I whisper loudly to him but I should have known better.

 

“Who says?”

 

“The law… common decency…” He just pushes me into the stall and I just give up. He at least had the mind to lock the door.

 

To have sex in a bathroom stall is not how I foresaw how the night would progress but I can’t say I’m too disappointed when I feel Thomas stretching me. Every inch making me feel more full and my head foggy.

 

The wall is cold against my back but Thomas’s body is so warm. It’s the most wonderful but confusing feeling for my body. He has this ability to just talk dirty and make me blush. It’s absurd that I am thinking about the blushing when my hubby is fucking me within an inch of my life.

 

He bites my neck hard and just keeps fucking me. I can’t help moaning out loud.

 

I hear the door opening Thomas just gives me a look and I just stay quiet hoping whoever came in just does their business and we leave.

 

Thomas plays with fire when he starts rocking his dick back and forth in me. Every so often hitting my spot I just hold onto him like my life depended on it.

 

I feel myself come and I’m afraid my legs will give out but just holds my legs up in his arms and thrusts really hard into me at the same time as our intruder flushes the toilet.

 

It feels magnetic as I cum with Thomas and he just stares into my eyes and I just can’t stop gasping. His eyes seem like they are taking in every detail on my face. I bite my lip to keep a moan from escaping as the intruder washes their hands. They leave and Thomas lowers my legs slowly.

 

I use him as balance. It takes me about ten seconds to gather myself…

 

“Leave before me and I’ll wait for a couple minutes…” He just kisses me and pushes me out of the stall. I wash my hands and then leave.

 

I go back to our table which is still being held which is a miracle because I don’t how long we have been gone. The server comes back…

 

“Was there anything I could for you. You were gone a while…” I don’t know if it is a question or an accusation but I always get nervous when people start asking questions.

 

“Yeah I just called our babysitter. My husband wanted to take me out but we don’t know anyone here so we used a service. I’m just a new mom freaking out about everything. It took me 15 minutes to leave the lobby of our apartment building… Do you know where my husband went?” I am getting better at lying because the server looks like she believes me.

 

“He said he had to take a call about work but he left a couple of minutes after you.”

 

“Oh, that’s weird for them calling him now but I guess they always have questions. We just moved here temporarily for his project…”

 

“Oh, that sounds cool what’s the project? Or is it like some top-secret government thing?”

 

“Well it is a government thing kind of. He is designing an opera house for the city. I guess the Eugene Opera was tired of having to play at different venues.”

 

“OMG no shit! I mean sorry I didn’t mean to curse at you… I’m studying ballet at our conservatory. We work a lot with them. That’s so cool because that Opera house will be house to Eugene Ballet Corps and our orchestra too… A lot of the conservatory kids work here…”

 

“What is it I hear about conservatory kids?” Thomas makes a smooth entrance back to his seat and he’s so calm you would never think he just fucked me sideways in a public bathroom.

 

“Oh, your wife was telling me about you being the architect building the opera house. I go to the Eugene Conservatory for Dance and Music.”

 

“Oh, that’s awesome! You should ask your professors to be your advocates… I could even plan a day I come to your school. Just give me the address and we’ll figure out a date that works best for all of us. It would definitely help to have the artist perspective on acoustics and spatiality. It can help me conceptualize the physics involved and help with shaping the structure.” I know nearly nothing about architecture but hearing Thomas talk about it is fascinating. Hearing him in his element is insightful and downright sexy. Hope control yourself you just had an orgasm less than ten minutes ago.

 

“OMG like are you for real… like what?! OMG, I have to go tell my friends… I almost forgot the sous vide octopus is ready for order again if you two would like to have that instead of the calamari…” I did want to try the octopus it looked really good at the other table.

 

“Sounds great to me…” I don’t wait for Thomas to give an answer and he seemed please that I didn’t ask.

 

“Are you an architect or maybe an interior designer?” She’s so interested in us not just him which makes me feel good to be included. I’m not just someone’s wife

 

“God no! We would drive each other bonkers… she’s the Vice President of Strategic Planning and Logistics for Ashford and Hamilton Architecture.” Oh, a day makes for a longer title.

 

“Omg that’s so cool you two are like legit the coolest team… I’ll go put your order in and tell my friends… Aaah!” I giggle when the when she squeals and I just look at Thomas because that was really sweet and it makes us really look like we didn’t just fuck in a bathroom.

 

“Do I get brownie points?”

 

“Did you do all of that for brownie points?” This answering a question with a question is satisfying…

 

“No but when an opportunity presents itself who am I not to try…”

 

“Such an ambitious man you are Mr. Forrester…”

 

“Don’t act like it doesn’t get you hot Mrs. Forrester…”

 

“Hamilton Forrester if you’re nasty…” I am enjoying everything about tonight and it feels like the night is just beginning.

 

“Oh, I am believe I am…” I find a promise in his dark eyes and I hope it’s one he intends to keep.

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

 

Thomas has his first official meeting with representatives from the city, the conservatory, the opera, the ballet, and the orchestra. It’s also been my official first day at Ashford & Hamilton. I have been loving to give people my business card.

 

It has been hard work but it’s been so fun. It really has been so much to do from a logistical standpoint. I had to coordinate with the reps from each of these entities and they don’t necessarily coordinate with each other so it’s been me to coordinate it all.

 

Thomas thought I was insane to practice for hours on my tone and speech patterns. I used him and Beth as my audience. I started over when necessary. I practiced how I would sound like over the phone… my interactions with someone. I should have probably gotten a clue when Beth fell asleep in Thomas’s lap but Thomas kept paying attention to me. Even though I know he thought I was crazy he listened to me practice for hours and gave me pointers.

 

I just want to sound like I know what I am doing. I haven’t really dealt with people like this ever. At FC you are dealing with fashion people and it’s a different crowd. I am a little out of my element but Thomas says fake it til you make it and this is my preparation.

 

I had been on the phone more than I have ever been but the coordinating has been something I feel useful at. Organizing Thomas’s calendar for all these meetings has been a challenge I had fun with. I am going to go with him for some of them. I make sure to record everything so I didn’t miss anything. I figured Thomas would need this too because they were getting really technical with the verbiage and I just smile like I know what they were talking about. The meeting is more of them talking and me just listening.

 

“Will you bringing in more of your team from Ashford Hamilton?” I hear one of them say this and it’s the person from the city who was late.

 

“We are a boutique firm. Thomas will be doing all the design work… he’s also my lead structural engineer so he will be doing all of the calculations but I assume you will be using your own engineers to review his work to make sure all of the necessary calculations are correct.” I just answer him before Thomas and he taps my thigh with his finger under the table and I know I did good.

 

“And you are I’m sorry…” His ass shouldn’t have been late to our meeting then he would know who I am.

 

“I’m Hope Hamilton Forrester. I’m the head of strategic planning and logistics.” I made sure to add the  Hamilton part because this guy sounds a little douchy. He looked like he swallowed a lemon when I was finished. Thomas is to my side and I can’t see his smile but I definitely feel it when he taps my thigh with his index finger again.

 

“Oh… sounds great. The city will definitely employ some structural engineers and contractors so you can coordinate with them.” He is trying to save face and everyone in the room can feel it.

 

“That would be lovely. I’d love to get your contact info so we can get that underway.” I give him the tightest smile I can muster and he shrinks a little in his seat and I feel Thomas tap on my thigh again.

 

When we practiced how to act he told me to rarely to look at him and never make my answers sound like questions. I can be smug later but I know I succeeded.

 

“Ms. Hamilton Forrester it has come to my knowledge that you met with a student from our conservatory. They said that they met you previous and you wanted their input to help with the construction of the Opera house.” It’s the rep from the conservatory and I take a breath to think about my answer.

 

“Oh yes I met Melina at dinner the other night. Yes we would like input from an artist’s perspective on the type of acoustics and spatiality for the rooms. It can help Thomas with the physics involved and start building a structure not just beautiful but delivers on the artistic experience. We don’t want you to have a situation similar to an opera house like the Sydney Opera House that looks beautiful but notorious for the bad sound. The cost to continuously outfit better sound technology is expensive and the resources of a place like Sydney and Eugene are vastly different.” Thomas taps my thigh twice. I had no clue what Thomas was talking about at dinner but when we got home and had sex two more times Thomas was finally asleep. I was exhausted but I wanted to have something say coming into this meeting.

 

“That’s a profound take and I had not really thought about this. I think this would be great to have our students and each of our corps involved. What do you think guys?” The conservatory dude asks the reps from the performing art companies and everyone looks so engaged and interested I knew it was the right time to drop that bucket in there.

 

“I think we can agree that’s a really good idea. What would that entail really?” The lady from the opera asks and I don’t really know because I didn’t really think past that point. Thomas squeezes my thigh and I left a breath out through my nose because I know he has my back.

 

“We would attend performances and I can conceptualize things when I see the performers. Do you ever record the performances of the ballets?” He takes over and I just listen to everyone.

 

“Yes, we do… would that help with your process?” The Ballet director guy is the one to ask the question and I just look at him waiting for Thomas to speak.

 

“Yes, it will help me to have as many angles as possible and how the stage and seating could be. It will also be nice to refer back to video instead of  just my memory.” As Thomas speaks I try my best to not look at him and it’s really difficult. When he speaks I want to look at him but I manage to keep my wits in the meeting.

 

“Yes of course. We coordinate the best time for you two to see our performances.” As the ballet director guy says this I get excited on the inside because it means we will have three date nights at the minimum.

 

Thomas talks some more and I just watch everyone’s movements and interactions without saying anything. I reached out to Steffy on the sly to get advice on how she approaches meetings like this. She was a little thrown that I was helping Thomas with his company but she gave me pointers on watching everyone in the meeting. Things that can get lost in the details.

 

She asked how I was doing which was really nice. She’s really trying with the friendship thing and I appreciate it because I realized I really have no friends.

 

She even tells me about her boyfriend when I ask about him. She asked how Thomas and I were which was something I didn’t know how to answer for the simple fact that he’s her brother but I guess my face was plenty for her to decipher because all she did was laugh at me.

 

The meeting is over and I shake the hands of each person in the room and Thomas is the first to the door and holds it open for me acting like a gentleman. He holds it for everyone but I pretend that part didn’t really happen.

 

When we say our goodbyes and head back to the car, we walk in silence but it’s a silence that feels agreed upon by the both of us without even having to say it.

 

When we are a comfortable distance away I feel Thomas’s hand in mine and it makes me smile. We are just walking like any other couple and I smile even though he can’t see it. When we get into the car, I just see him looking at me and I don’t like it.

 

“Thomas don’t look at me that way please… we are not having sex here… there’s literally people walking by in this parking lot…”

 

“Oh… stop with that nonsense Hope… if I wanted to do what your perverted mind wants me to do I would have just started to reach under your dress. I just wanted to say I’m so proud of you. I was impressed with you holding your own. You didn’t look to me not even once…” Thomas is so intense that even when he’s not being sexual it feels that way to me.

 

“You really think so! I remembered what you said at dinner and I did a little research on the worst acoustic opera houses in the world. I just wanted to seem like I belonged in that room.” Which definitely was the right call because that late motherfucker had the nerve to basically ask why I was there…

 

“Baby you did so fucking good! When you checked that guy, I wanted to fuck you on that table…” Thomas is such a horny mess and I hate that respond to it.  He kisses me and I get swept up in it. I feel the passion… raw and hot. We need to get back home because this rush is really alluring.

 

“I was so mad but I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction… it felt good to squash him like a bug…” It really did who was he to come to a meeting late and then start asking who I was…

 

“Baby… he shrunk in his seat and you kept it moving like you eat chumps like him for breakfast…”

 

“He wishes… Only thing I eat for breakfast is your vitamin D…” It’s my turn to be vulgar and the looks he’s giving me let’s me know I was successful.

 

“Do you want to have a drink to celebrate or do you want to go home?”

 

 

“I’d rather you fuck me at home please… the wall in that bathroom was so fucking cold…” It really was and if I wasn’t in the moment I would have shuddered.

 

“I would have kept my hands to myself I promise…” The way he looks at me I know it’s the truth but I am getting better with reading between the lines.

 

“Yeah I could trust that but you said nothing about your mouth and I know it’s just wicked…” I just look at him and he smirks and starts the car.

 

“Looks like you’re onto me…” I just giggle at him and he reaches for my hand.

 

I absent-mindedly hold his hand as he takes us home. We don’t even talk but I just smile as I gaze out the window getting to know the scenery.

 

When we get home we thank the nanny from the service. She told us Beth was down for her nap and even before the door closed Thomas was reaching for me. I push him away and tell him to go sit on the sofa. He raises an eyebrow but listens.

 

I go to him and give him a few brief kisses… not enough to let him get into it but enough to keep him wanting more. I start to kiss neck and I get on my knees and unzip his pants and he’s half hard already and I just look at him with my own devilish stare.

 

“Is this all for me?” I look him straight in the eye as I say this. His cock must be just two inches away from my mouth but I refuse to do anything until he tells me what I want to hear…

 

“Always for you…” He whispers his answer but I wasn’t expecting him to say anything but yeah. It’s kind of romantic to me when he says this even if it’s about his dick.

 

I give him the blowjob of his life and gives me a great satisfaction that he’s grunting and begging me. The rush from before is coming back and the amount of power I feel is intoxicating. When he cums I struggle to swallow all of it but I do and I look at him… barely able to keep his eyes open and I’m proud that I’m the one that reduced Thomas to this.

 

“Make me lunch… thank you!” I don’t even look back as I go to our bedroom and because I know he will be making it.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

 

It been a couple of weeks since we moved to Eugene and it’s been a whirlwind. Thomas ended up buying a property. We made sure to buy a four bedroom home so Thomas can have a home studio and I can have an office. Thomas has been in work mode and I can say I have never really seen him in the zone because he is laser focused and wastes no time. He’s always sketching or using his calculator which is unlike any calculator I have ever seen it is in color and can make 3D images.

 

I have to force Thomas to come to bed because he can easily work for 24 hours with only bathroom breaks and feel fine but I don’t want him to burn out. I’m noticing when Thomas is like this our sex is even more intense which I didn’t think was possible. When he fucked me on the floor of his design studio I passed out from my orgasm. It’s like he’s been running on his sheer will and sex.

 

When we went to the shows I thought it would be a great time to get out of the house but now I do see that it really was just work. Thomas came to each performance with a sketch pad and his calculator and while I was enjoying the performances he was working. We did get some interesting looks but no one bothered him.

 

Through this process I am finding out the timelines that go with a project like this. The city planner thought it would take Thomas a month at the minimum a month to get initial plans drawn up for approvals. Thomas took two weeks…

 

I was pretty busy myself making sure Thomas saw the right people at the right time because he wanted really tight windows so he can get back to designing. Thomas gets irritable when he loses time and I guess that thing people say you develop some of your partner’s habits is true because I’ve gotten irritable dealing with some of the these assistants. First with the city planner’s assistant trying to flex his muscle using me to do it or this new one…

 

I understand the complexities at play and I am a person who likes to keep the peace but Thomas… does not care. He understands the complexities but there have been a detente with the city comissioner’s assistant… and I need to package the news right or Thomas will get upset…

 

I have been coordinating all of Thomas’s meetings and he wanted to see everyone preferably at all at once and only waste a day. It was easy to coordinate with everyone but the damn city comissioner’s assistant was a pain. He kept giving me the run around and told me the city commissioner would need two weeks before we could get an appointment.

 

I am still new at this and I didn’t know what to do and when I told Thomas he got so upset… I wasn’t sure what to do because it was basically a stalemate with this guy and I’m still new at this.

 

“Tell the nanny we have to make a trip…” Thomas is abrupt when I tell him and goes back to designing. We’ve had a steady nanny even when we are home because I can’t work effectively and be an active mother at the same time when we are working.

 

We only have one client at the moment so I have only had to deal with the same people and everything I do is done by 5 but I usually finish by 3pm. Thomas on the other hand promises me Sunday is his time away from everything and he’s all mine no interruptions. I can coax him out of the studio for an hour here and there but I’m seeing he works better when he doesn’t stop in between.

 

I tell the nanny that Thomas and I have an appointment and Beth’s taking her afternoon nap so I feel confident we won’t miss out on too much while we are gone.

 

Thomas comes out of the studio and you would never think he’s been doing his nerd stuff for hours cardigan buttoned up and his dress pants. I asked him why he just doesn’t wear pajamas to the studio it’s not like he has to go into an regular office with other people it’s just me, Beth and Hannah…

 

He told me it helps his psyche to look and feel the part since college… helps him focus and have perspective. Needless to say I stopped wearing pajamas to my outfit. It’s hard for me to feel my rightful indignation when I get the run around while wearing my fluffy slippers. Now I wear what I wear at FC and it has helped with my focus on keeping me on track.

 

I got lost in my head for a second because Thomas is looking at me with his glasses and his cardigan and I guess he asked me something but I just kiss him that usually solves it when I don’t pay attention to him.

 

“That’s not an adequate answer but I must say I love the answer you gave.” I don’t even want to leave the house now he looks so beautiful.

 

We just walk out together and I walk with my arms around his waist. Since Thomas really started working on this project I don’t see him as often even though we live in the same house. I had to bargain for 13 hour days and I feel like it’s still not enough it’s a little selfish that I want to sacrifice Thomas’s work time for us but he doesn’t object to it from what I can tell.

 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t pay attention to you when you just stood there looking beautiful. I don’t know what it is about the glasses but they make you even more handsome.” He opens my car door for me and I always tell him I can do it. He always says he knows but he likes to see the smile on my face everytime he does it and I wasn’t even aware I did that.

 

When he gets in his seat, he starts the engine and he’s serious face is back…

 

“When you spoke to him exactly what did he say?” I can see why my kiss wasn’t an adequate answer now.

 

“He said that the commissioner would be unavailable for today and I asked him when the commissioner would be available. He told me to try again in two weeks.  He didn’t give me a date… He was so vague and I felt like I was talking in circles. No one else gave me any grief and I tried my best to make everyone show up at one time but I’m making us fall behind.” I am still new at this but I want to get this right. We can’t afford failure and Thomas is obviously doing his end of the bargain but I feel that I am holding us back.

 

“Take a breath…” I listen to him because I’m getting a little overwhelmed from this situation. I let the breath out and feel his hand in mine “…Hope I’m not upset with you so if you feel that I need you to stop. This asshole thinks he is going to give you the run around and waste our time he has another thing coming... If you hit a wall I don’t care what I’m doing come to me. Baby, I got your back and I’ve been doing this longer than you and I know exactly what kind of assholes there are in this business. I have been where you are at several times…” I do feel a little bit better about this but I am still upset about this whole situation because I’ve wasted time trying to wrangle everyone up.

 

“I’m sorry… I’m still trying to adjust knowing when to ask for help and finding it within myself to complete a task…” I’ve always had people figure out my problems in my life without really consulting me it is a hard step to start doing it on my own because I don’t know how to deal with failure yet.

 

“I know I haven’t made it the easiest. I know I’m not really accessible through the day because of work but there’s nothing more important than my family. Me designing a building does not trump making sure that you are okay… I’d rather you be overly communicative than not. If you find that you need to be at my desk then do it… I just wanted the option for you to have your own space but I don’t mind sharing mine. You do what’s best for you and not what you think I want…” He kisses my hand and just drives. I kiss his hand too I am promising to not make myself cry because that’s no way to present myself to government officials.

 

It’s difficult sometimes receiving Thomas’s love… sometimes I second guess it but then I look into his eyes and see how earnest he is. I don’t remember what it’s like to feel emotionally present reciprocated all the time. Liam would always keep Steffy close and any time I voiced it I would hear his speech about being committed to me. He is an emotional cheater and I would think nothing if he were just close to any woman but he purposefully keep us both close and it fucked me in the head. He would also decide what was best for me which in hindsight makes me crazy mad.

 

Being with Thomas is so different from what I am used to and it’s been a hard adjustment because I got used to being somewhat valued but also ignored. Now I’m part of a team where I’m an equal and treated as such. I sometimes feel lost trying to play catch up but Thomas is always there ready to give me reassurances whether it’s with cuddles on the couch watching Netflix or him fucking me for hours while telling my why he admires me.

 

I don’t want to get lost in my head because I have to focus for this confrontation. I don’t even really know what we are going to do but Thomas was so upset when I told him. I figure he has choice words for the commissioner and his assistant.

 

We get to the city hall and we ask the receptionist to point us into the direction of the commissioner’s office.

 

We get to another receptionist whose on the phone and we politely wait for her to finish. She isn’t the assistant because I had been dealing with a man who I haven’t even seen yet.

 

“Hi welcome… how may I be of assistance to you?” The receptionist is actually nice which throws me for a loop because I was expecting someone as rude and condescending as the guy I dealt with.

 

“We have been trying to get an appointment with the commissioner yet nothing seems to be available and we can’t wait two weeks for a chance at a future appointment.” I try my best to come across as polite but it’s been hard to try and fake it after that shit I heard from before.

 

“Oh, I am really sorry to hear that! Let me get Greg he’s the commissioner’s assistant. It doesn’t usually take so long to get an appointment with Commissioner Radford. He’s does his best to be accessible. I’ll be right back in a couple minutes max. You two can help yourself to some water if you like…” This woman is way more polite and helpful than the prick that I dealt with.

 

When we are public for work Thomas never reaches for me. It was one of the pointers he told me. People will take a woman less seriously if they see it but usually still see a man in the same light.

 

The woman brings out someone who I can assume is Greg and I am so dealing with him.

 

“Hi, I heard you wanted to make an appointment with Commissioner Radford…” The receptionist Brenda just rolls her eyes at this guy speaking.

 

“Yes, we did. I’m Thomas Forrester and this is Hope Hamilton and we are from the architecture firm Ashford & Hamilton… we need the commissioner to be at our meeting with the representatives from the performing arts companies. We have exhausted our efforts to try and choose a time that’s best for all parties since we can’t even get a prospective time for a future date.” This Greg’s guy bugs out at Thomas’s level-headed anger. With the way the receptionist just stepped away from him it’s clear they don’t get along.

 

I see the same man who looked at Tom funny at one of the performances when he was designing a stage and punching things into his calculator. He starts walking towards us and I look over to the receptionist and I see her switch a light off on her switchboard telephone. I have seen Pam do that before and I realize that someone heard our conversation. She didn’t turn it off like she didn’t realize it was on. It was on purpose.

 

“Hi Mr. Forrester… Ms. Hamilton it seems there has been a miscommunication here. I can meet with you now if that is fine for you…” This is the commissioner who is speaking to us and this Greg guy is in trouble and the receptionist wanted to get him into trouble and I am not even mad at her because he made things needlessly difficult because clearly he has the time.

 

We just follow the man to his office and I look at the receptionist and she just winks at me and goes back to answering the phones. I smile at Greg on the way to the office and he knows that he’s in some deep shit but that isn’t our concern.

 

“I don’t know why you were told that but I can assure you I want the residents of Eugene to have a top-notch performing arts center.”

 

“Well I’m glad to hear that. I have been trying to get in contact with you to see what time worked best for you and try to coordinate that with everyone else but we had to go ahead and schedule it.” I finally can do my job right and it feels good.

 

“I have to apologize for the oversight. I can always work around my schedule to make sure I make it. I want to put this on our fiscal agenda so we can start allocating some of our budget towards the building of the center.” I’m impressed he didn’t try to shirk the blame even if it seems like he was unaware of this blip.

 

“Thank you, Commissioner Radford we want to make this project rival any center in the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast in general. We want to have this meeting as soon as possible so we can officially submit our package to every requisite committee and commission we need too.” I am confident in my skills again now that I can actually speak to the commissioner about the meeting.

 

“That’s what I want for our city. I want to attract more people to settle into our city and this is one of the ways we will achieve that. I want to give Portlanders a run for their money…”

 

“Then you picked the right firm for that!” I have two push the company every chance we get.

 

“I love that enthusiasm Ms. Hamilton. I’m going to give you my card. This number goes straight Brenda and that is my cell. You can always have a direct line to me when you need it.” I am thankful I won’t  have to go through any intermediaries like Greg. I’m tired of these assistants wanting to wag their dicks and using me to do it.

 

“Thank you, Commissioner Radford. Here’s my card as well… the meeting is tomorrow at 1pm…” I shake the man’s hand and Thomas does the same and he escorts out of his office and as we pass the receptionist she wishes us a good day and she smiles the whole time.

 

I really want to reach for Thomas’s hand but I am getting better at not doing it.

 

When we get in our car, I have questions for Thomas.

 

“Thomas?”

 

“Yes…” He never takes his eyes off the road as he speaks and these are one of the times I wish we were just sitting down.

 

“Why did you introduce me without the Forrester at the end?” I am genuinely curious… I have learned through Thomas and Steffy to a lesser extent there’s always a reason they say something or do something in a certain manner even if it doesn’t make sense at first glance.

 

“What’s the first thing that receptionist did when we introduced us?” She was nice to us…

 

“She had a polite demeanor and went to get us help…”

 

“She did do that but it wasn’t the first thing she did. As soon as I said Ashford & Hamilton her eyebrows went up and her eyes opened up a little. I didn’t know her baseline so I went another route. Usually people are more accommodating to people in power or who even they perceive to be in power.” So this is a mini lesson right now…

 

“So, it was a power play…”

 

“Hope it’s always a power play… sometimes it’s a power play that’s symbiotic but sometimes it’s to assert your dominance…” He finally takes a look at me and I show him I’m absorbing this information. I have to always be looking even if something seems innocuous still take everything in with that lens. “…what’s the first thing that guy did when he found out who you were…”

 

I think back to it and Greg looked like he knew he fucked up and didn’t know what to do with himself.

 

“He looked like he was shitting himself…” I knew Thomas would appreciate my colorful commentary.

 

“That’s right… I don’t usually say my whole name since we started this project. Even our business cards are different.” I start to piece everything together about little things I haven’t noticed or I just overlook.

 

“This whole time I thought you just put the H. period because your name is long.”

 

“You can customize the font on business cards babe, I could fit my whole name if I wanted to. Tell me the motivation behind it…” I take a minute to think about Thomas’s question. I have to think of it from a psychological standpoint. I should be playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers.

 

“I think you did it to establish my power from the start. If I introduce myself as Hamilton Forrester or even just Hamilton it ties back to the company name.” Thomas taps his finger on my thigh and I smile because it’s our signal. He gives me a kiss when he stops at a red light and I’m proud of myself.

 

“In every industry no matter what it is there’s going to be people who fuck with you but when you have even a modicum of power they fuck with you still but less. When that receptionist left her intercom on, I knew that Greg guy had some weird thing with women. When he gave you the run around I could have chalked it up to bureaucratic bullshit that anybody can be guilty of. But when I saw the receptionist roll her eyes when he spoke and the fact she left her intercom on he doesn’t have the best working relationships with women. One can be an isolated incident but two can establish a pattern. Maybe the receptionist is just an asshole trying to get Greg in trouble but I doubt it because she wanted to help you and was professional in how she interacted with everyone she had spoke with down to the people she spoke with on the phone. She’s a trusted employee because someone vouched for her indirectly. When she winked at you it was basically a confirmation of my hypothesis…” After Thomas speaks I think back to every part of the interaction I could remember. Commissioner Radford took the blame instead of throwing Greg under the bus. When he gave me his card he said his receptionist would patch us through which means she’s someone he trusts.

 

“I really need to learn how to play chess…” I didn’t realize I said this out loud until Thomas squeezed my thigh…

 

“I’ll teach you but I gotta make it fun for me. What do you think of a game of Strip Chess…”  He’s such a horndog and if that’s the way I learn chess there’s no way I could ever lose.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

 

Hi sweetheart! I miss you so much wanted to see if I could make a visit! I’d love to spend some time with you and Beth… -Brooke

 

Honey wanted to check in and see how you were doing… Miss you… -Brooke

 

Hope I know you are using this time to bond with Beth but I really would like to see my baby girl… I’m starting to worry… -Brooke

 

Hope this has gone on long enough if you don’t get back to me, I will go to the police and file a missing person’s report… I’m worried… -Brooke

 

I wake up so refreshed and I think of the reason. Thomas and his unrelenting pursuit to be better than himself when it comes to sex has been torture and pleasure. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to not want to be close to him when we are in meetings. I find myself blushing sometimes… wanting to look up at him remembering what we do ten minutes before an important meeting or the random places we find when I know I won’t make it home.

 

I have been doing so well with my job lately and it’s an aphrodisiac for me. It makes me hornier and more confident and I can’t say Thomas is always the one to initiate these actions but he is definitely a beneficiary of them. I feel like a fiend… and I like it.

 

I’m just lying in bed wondering what am I going to do for the day. Our package is being reviewed by all the appropriate parties, so I do have some free time. I roll over because I want to be in my hubby’s arms. Blankets can keep me warm but Thomas runs hot like a furnace and it feels so nice.

 

I feel his side and open my eyes and he’s gone… a little disappointment sets in because I want some dick…

 

I pick up my phone and I see all these texts from my mom and immediately all of my horniness evaporates and what’s left is unease. I know I have to meet up with my mom before she really blows up my life.

 

Hi Mom… I have been doing good I was sleeping when I saw your texts. I’m finding this mom thing comes with unorthodox sleep cycles… -Hope

 

I try to keep it calm and casual because I just want to keep the peace but I’m not looking forward to dealing with my mom.

 

I’m trying to leave my stresses behind and focus on my family, not invite drama but no matter how far I get away from it comes back for me.

 

I remember what it was like to be a new mom… it was challenging but I was so glad for it… I was hoping to come and visit you two… -Brooke

 

I know what my mom really means she makes it sound like it’s a wish but it is really a command and I don’t know what to do… I get out the bed and I need to go find Thomas. I just need to brush my teeth and wash my face so I can feel a little refreshed I can worry about everything else later. I make my way to his studio and Thomas is still sketching but he is designing individual rooms now… when he looks up a breath catches. I’m still trying to get used to these consuming that engulf me when he looks at me.

 

“Hello…” All of my tension from everything melts away when I hear Thomas’s voice. He gets up out of his seat and comes to me.

 

We just stare at each other for a couple of seconds before he reaches for my hand and takes me to the sofa.

 

“Hi Honey…” I love calling Thomas pet names. I kiss him slow just taking time to enjoy him before reality decides to strike back.

 

“Okay what’s wrong?!”

 

“How do you know anything is wrong?” I want to know how he does that…

 

“You love making out it’s so romantic to you, so I figure if you stop after so little time then something is wrong…” I do love kissing and I think it’s so romantic he notices. I smile at him and almost forget why we stopped in the first place. I hold his hand and just close my eyes. Hope you have to just rip the band-aid off

 

“I woke up to all these missed calls and texts from my mother and Liam… I feel like the bubble is bursting…”

 

“Then it bursts…” Why does Thomas make it seem like it’s so simple when it’s not…

 

“Thomas everything is so complicated… This situation is going to have so much fallout…”

 

“Hope fuck them… Yeah Liam is Beth’s father and you two can figure out your custody arrangement, but that vagabond isn’t living with us. As far as your mom goes well you have to cut the cord…” Thomas make everything sound so uncomplicated but it’s not they will be against us I know it. I can’t take anymore lectures from people trying to control me and tell me what I want.

 

I get up from the sofa and just start pacing through the studio and I can’t think even though I’m trying my hardest.

 

“They aren’t going to let us be together Thomas… I know it… I can feel it…”

 

“Let?! I don’t give a fuck what they want but Hope no one can decide what to do with our relationship except us… Their power over you is artificial. Hope do you love me?”

 

“Of course I love you Thomas!” That’s why I am getting so anxious because I love you… idiot…

 

“Do you trust in me?”

 

“Yes I do…”

 

“How do you want to be with?”

 

“You… always you…”

 

“Then that’s it Hope… They can scheme and talk but you won’t waver because your life is yours and yours alone. Not mine, not Liam’s, not your mother’s no ones. Your choices should be made by you… when you tell me what you want, I will do my best to deliver them. No one can break us up except us. We just always have to be in communication with each other. People will try to divide us and they can try but this is you and me…” He just slips his hand in mine and I look at him. Thomas is always so decisive and determined.

 

I have been getting better at that but I still do have my hiccups. People can rattle me… my mom and Liam especially because they know how to get to me…

 

“How do you do that? Thomas I’m just beginning to make choices with me in mind and not just to please people. It’s not so simple for me. I’m agonizing at the prospect of seeing my mother because I know she is going to badger me into going home with her but I have my home.” We aren’t going to be here forever even if it’s nice but Thomas and I will have to go where the work is…

 

“It isn’t simple at all Hope. Everything is about probability for me. I have to measure the probability of my happiness with every personal decision I make. I make calculated risks and if it’s worth it to me then I’ll go for it. Even you are a calculated risk…”

 

“What do you mean me?” This makes me nervous that he could think of me as a risk…

 

“I had to decide for myself was it worth it to try with you. I was satisfied enough just to have sex with you but to trust my heart with you was another story. Love is not logical it’s driven by emotion. It’s irrational… it’s not something I can adequately measure so falling in love is a blind endeavor. It’s a risk that I would do over and over again because I have faith in you… in us. I can’t punch us into my calculator and get an answer… Our love is not something I can prove but it is something that I believe… It’s real and it can be challenged by anyone but I believe that we will succeed because we are real…”

 

“You believe I’m worth it?” Hearing Thomas explaining his reasoning appeals to a deep part of me that I never knew needed this type of validation.

 

“You’re always worth it.” He just kisses me and I know I’m ready to face my mother and Liam whenever the time comes.

 

“You’re worth it too. I love you Thomas…”

 

“I love you too… I really do even when it seems like I don’t…” I don’t doubt Thomas or his veracity… I doubt me and it scares me how powerful that it can be…

 

“I know you do…”

 

“How?!” Where does this cockiness comes from?

 

“Well you are truly content and when you are content you are more willing to listen to yourself and no one else. When you listen to yourself you look for me. When you aren’t happy it’s easier for people to be in your ear telling you that you need to do this or that. No happy person wants a Sullen Susie around them… kills their vibe. Everyone has that one friend who is that complainer and you never hang out with them because you know it won’t be any fun… and plus I know I make you cum like a faucet there isn’t any way you go back to Lame willingly.” He makes me laugh when he calls Liam that. Thomas is right about this though… my mom and Liam love saving the day but I don’t need anyone to save the day when I can do it myself.

 

“Well I don’t know about that I woke up this morning to an empty bed and I could have sworn you made it a vow or something to make me cum before breakfast…” I play with the hem of Thomas’s sweater and he just looks at me like I’m up to no good… He would be right.

 

“I don’t believe that was a vow but let’s say I did… I must oblige my wife…” He pushes me to the sofa and I don’t have time to think of how soft it is when Thomas is snatching my pants off and I need to have some decorum.

 

“Thomas no… Hannah might come in…” I would die if our nanny saw my husband fucking me…

 

“Oh please she would never come in here…” He drops my underwear and pants on the floor and doesn’t waste any time.

 

Thomas is a maestro with his tongue and plays me beautifully. I hold his head trying to get him closer but it isn’t even possible.

 

He’s making goosebumps appear on my skin and he makes me able to forget my problems. I just wish this could be my life forever...

Chapter Text

Hope finally relented to a visit with her mother but she was going to be damned if her mother knew where she was living she couldn’t take it to get random surprises from her. She didn’t want the stress of being in the middle of her mother and her husband.

 

When Brooke kept pushing her daughter for an address Hope told her to meet her in Seattle…

 

Hope asked Thomas to come because she knew the visit would be one filled with pleas to come home and pushing her to reunite with Liam… In her head if she had to listen to her mother go on and on about this she would need constant stream of orgasms to keep her stress at bay.

 

“I just feel like she is going to do something Thomas…” Hope can’t help but feel a sense of dread that comes with this visit. She can’t put her finger on it but she knows her mother has something up her sleeve.

 

“It won’t matter because you know what you want and no one can take that from you…” Thomas has made it his mission to really help cheerlead his wife in the best way he can.

 

“It would help if you gave me a kiss…” communicating her desires has become a second nature with Hope. Having a partner that makes her feel so sensual has made her want more. The more sex she has with Thomas the more she wants. It’s a cycle that she still finds shocking. She had expected to have less sex after having a child but she likes the surprises in her relationship.

 

They kiss and she falls on the bed and she knows they absolutely can’t have sex right now because she has to go down to the restaurant in the hotel. Brooke has been expecting her and Hope doesn’t want to know what will happen if she doesn’t show up on time. She refuses to be embarrassed.

 

“I have to go honey!” By the time she gets to honey Hope is moaning because her husband found her nipple through her dress and pinched the way she likes it.

 

“You are the one asking for this Hope… it’s not my fault you won’t follow through…” Thomas is not a forgiving man but Hope doesn’t expect him to slide her thong to the side and finger her. She knows she won’t be going anywhere. Thomas is so hurried finger fucking and biting on her lower lip. Hope can’t control her hips… she keeps bucking them for some friction and Thomas’s thumb is unrelenting on her clit…

 

“Oh my God!” Thomas chuckles in his wife’s ear when he hears her choking scream. He withdraws his fingers and slips them in her mouth and she licks them clean. She loves tasting herself on him. He kisses her and they can both taste her on their tongues they both think to themselves to hell with Brooke…

 

The spell is broken when they hear Beth cry through the baby monitor. Hope is just glad Beth decided to cry after she got off.

 

“Saved by the Beth…” Thomas joke lands when he hears his wife’s genuine laugh she gives him a kiss goodbye…

 

“I love you…”

 

“I love you too babe…” Hope feels a renewed sense of confidence when she leaves her husband and rounds up her daughter.

 

Hope knew Thomas would be out in the city for a while. He had been called for a minor job. Hope had already confirmed everything for him and she synced the meeting to his phone calendar just in case.

 

It was one of the reasons Hope was happy to come up here. It wouldn’t be close to their home and they could possibly get another job if the client liked Thomas’s designs.

 

When Hope gets to the restaurant she tells the hostess her name and she wasn’t surprised to hear that her mother was already here.

 

The hostess shows her to her seat and Hope can see Brooke.

 

“Hope!” When Brooke hugs her daughter… she can’t help but feel everything will be right again soon.

 

Hope feels a sense of nostalgia hugging her mom… Brooke looks on at Beth and marvels at her granddaughter.

 

Brooke marvels at her because she hasn’t gotten to spend much time with her granddaughter. Hope left pretty quickly after the dust settled. Brooke just wants her daughter to come home or for them to get some time away but to be together.

 

Brooke wants to teach her daughter how to care for a child. She didn’t get to do that with Bridget and she wants to experience that with Hope.

 

“Honey how have you been?! I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever…” Hope can feel a bubble of anger rolling through her and she bites her tongue because Brooke is subtle with a lot of her criticism…

 

“Mom I just really needed time to clear my head and bond with Beth…” Hope really does feel that way even if Thomas wasn’t in the picture she would still want to just have some alone time.

 

“I completely understand that honey but don’t you think you should be home... You have support there and people who love you. You have me… your aunts… Liam…” Brooke feels in her heart that her daughter is just lost. It’s her job to guide Hope and she will.

 

“Mom… I am handling myself just fine. I just want some time alone…”

 

“Hope I don’t think you are being fair… I understand the ordeal with Beth was traumatic and it was for all of us. But it feels like you are shutting us out… we just want what’s best for you…” Brooke doesn’t understand why her daughter is being so difficult with her. She doesn’t see why she should fly for three hours just to see her daughter and granddaughter. Hope has always been attached to her hip and it feels like Hope is trying to runaway from her.

 

“Who’s we mom?!” Hope can feel her anger coming in full force but she doesn’t want to embarrass herself in this restaurant.

 

Brooke slyly looks to her right. “We are just concerned with your actions of late and wanted a chance to talk?”

 

Hope follows her mother’s eyes and see Liam coming to their table and she realizes that she has been ambushed and her mother counted on them being in public so she wouldn’t make a scene.

 

“I can’t believe this—”

 

“Hope we just wanted to have a chance to speak to you…” Hope feels like a bull… Liam is already interrupting her and she isn’t going to just take it. She realizes their mission was to put her in the hot seat to get her to acquiesce knowing she doesn’t do well with confrontation.

 

Hope hates when her mother proves everyone right. Bridget has always tried to warn her for years but she would always make excuses for their mom. Bridget would laugh and just say one day you will see…

 

“We are not doing this here!” Hope gets up and she goes straight for her room. She knows her mother and Liam will follow because they traveled this far.

 

She knows she needs to be in a private space where she feels comfortable. She can’t make heavily emotional decisions with people pushing her to make snap decisions in public.

 

Hope takes her mother and Liam back to her hotel room and she is so happy that Thomas went to go show his designs to the client…

 

“Hope I think you should listen to what Liam has to say…” Brooke has been trying her best to get her daughter her family back but she needs Hope to put in some effort herself.

 

“Then speak Liam…” Liam doesn’t know how to react to Hope crossing her arms. He thought as soon as they saw each other again that things would just fall into place.

 

“Hope we finally have our daughter back and there’s nothing stopping us from building the family we envisioned…” Liam tries to step closer to Hope and hug her. He knows in his heart if they just spend time together they can recapture everything they lost after all they have been through. Hope just snorts at the thought of Liam’s concept of family.

 

When she doesn’t even hear a mention of Kelly, she knows she made the right choice in leaving him. Liam wants to have a foot into two different and separate lives yet neither she nor Steffy will give it to him anymore.

 

“Liam, I have no interest in being with you. I am going to have to speak to a lawyer about custody arrangements…” Brooke looks at her daughter aghast wondering where this is coming from. It’s almost as if it’s another Hope speaking to them.

 

“Hope I think you are being rash! Liam loves Beth I don’t see why we need to get the courts involved Hope!” Trying to diffuse a situation was not what Brooke had in mind when she came on this trip.

 

“Liam when was the last time you saw Kelly?” Liam sighs at Hope’s question but Hope knows it’s clear that he hasn’t seen his daughter…

 

“Hope, I haven’t seen her lately but I am going to make time for her…”

 

“Yet you had enough time to take a three hour plane ride to come ambush me yet you can’t take the same time to even see your other daughter… one named after your mother no less. Liam you seem to only father your children when you can be close to their mothers. I am not doing this dance again…”

 

“Hope how many times do I have to say this I am committed to you! I married you and want to build a life with you… I still do. We are so close to having everything we dreamed of…” Liam makes his way over to Hope and reaches for her but she steps to the right at the last minute.

 

“Liam… those aren’t my dreams. I don’t want to continue whatever we had… not once have you even looked at Beth… For someone who supposedly misses their child you have a poor showing of it…” Clearly everyone in the room is getting frustrated that things are not going the way they envisioned

 

The door clicks and Brooke and Liam are shocked at who comes through the door.

 

“What the fuck are you doing here? Are you stalking Hope?!” Liam finds himself seeing red when he sees Thomas…

 

“How did you know my daughter would be here? Thomas your obsession is sick and I am not letting it fly anymore I am calling the police…” Thomas stalking her daughter was just not going to fly with Brooke. He’s crazy if he thinks he is going to be close to her daughter…

 

Liam and Brooke get the shock of their lives when Hope goes to her Thomas and kisses him dead on the lips. Hope makes it very clear when she wraps her arms around Thomas that this is not a mistake.

 

“Thomas is not stalking me… He’s my husband…” Hope’s strength is on display for everyone in the room and her mother and ex are beside themselves…

 

“Hope sweetheart I see what’s going on now. Thomas has brainwashed you sweetheart. I knew there had to be an explanation on why you left home without a trace he put you up to this…” She doesn’t know what to think but Brooke is trying to convince herself the only way her daughter could kiss Thomas was because of Stockholm syndrome.

 

“No… my husband isn’t brainwashing me or holding me hostage. He loves me and I love him. I never have to doubt my place in our relationship and it’s refreshing to feel love with no filter.”

 

“Hope, I have made mistakes in the past and I know that but don’t let Thomas ruin us. He will only bring you a string of misery… We can have the life we deserve…” Liam tries to get closer to Hope but Hope stands her ground…

 

“Liam, I don’t care about your empty words… They could have worked maybe a year ago but now they only serve to make me laugh. The only thing Thomas brings me a string of are orgasms. I’m going to have to cut this visit short now mom. Clearly you had another agenda to coming here and I’m fucking done with it. I’m tired of defending you to Bridget when you only prove her right. You just go around manipulating everyone and you do it with me the most but I’m done.” Brooke is getting upset at her daughter’s words especially when she speaks of Bridget.

 

“Hope this isn’t you… Thomas is poisoning your mind and if you refuse to do anything about it then we will have to make sure Beth is in a safe environment.” Thomas just shakes his head at Brooke’s words because he knows that is her biggest mistake.

 

“If you fucking touch my daughter I will deck you and have you arrested for attempted kidnapping. Liam you will hear from my lawyer. You two should really leave before I call the authorities on you for trespassing…”

 

“Hope Logan you are my daughter and I will do what I feel is right!”

 

“My name is Hope Hamilton Forrester and I am my own person… you don’t fucking own me… neither of you do. It makes you upset I don’t follow you around like a damn puppy dog well get used to it those days are over. You are right… unfortunately I am your daughter you should be consistent and maybe go fuck Liam so you can be 2 for 2 with your daughters.” Brooke’s shocked at Hope’s language and Liam is just mortified at this turn of events…

 

“How dare you speak to me this way. I’m your mother! We are not finished discussing this Hope?!”

 

“Oh but you are…” This is first time Thomas spoke and he sounds so menacing and it spooks Liam a little.

 

“Thomas order me some food I am starving they ambushed me before any food came…” Hope doesn’t care to stay in the room longer she takes Beth out her stroller and goes to her room without even saying goodbye.

 

“You two need to leave before I call security to come escort you out… NOW!” Thomas shouts when they are not quick enough for his liking. Brooke and Liam make their way for the door and Liam thinks to himself at the last minute he should try to get to Hope and just talk to her but Thomas gets in his eyeline.

 

Brooke thought this day would be different… in her heart Brooke sees her daughter so aggressive and mad and she can only surmise that Thomas is the reason for the change in personality. In Liam’s mind he thought he would have no problem with getting Hope to come home.

 

It’s suffice to say that the plan they cooked up didn’t go remotely like they envisioned.

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

 

Ever since I got ambushed in Seattle I am thanking myself even more that I didn’t tell my mom where I live. I can’t afford to be embarrassed here and I refuse to have my mom try to make Thomas look bad in a place where the town is decides whether this project will move forward. We are so new and it would have been easier for Thomas to not have me involved in his business… thankfully he doesn’t give a fuck about what’s easy.

 

He did end up getting the job in Seattle too but it is much simpler than building a performing arts center from scratch. It was a home the client wanted to build and it’s more money for us and a new client in our portfolio and it takes Thomas no time at all to create houses.

 

I haven’t really spoken to Thomas about everything I was feeling the first day I put up a brave front and I haven’t been doing much lately besides spending time with Beth or having sex with Thomas. I know he wants to ask but he promised he would give me time. I haven’t been hanging out with Thomas in his studio since we came home but not on because it’s deliberate.

 

My phone starts ringing and I think who could be calling me now… Thomas would just walk to my office and there’s no one else.

 

It’s a FaceTime from Steffy and I know I’m on maternity leave but maybe FC needs me to do some paperwork. I answer and it looks like she is at home and I hear nothing but chaos in the background. I can hear Kelly screaming and music.

 

“Hello Hope…” She’s smiling so it isn’t going to be a bad phone call I guess. Without having Liam in the middle our conversations don’t end up in verbal fights much anymore.

 

“Hi Steffy… did you need me to sign some forms?”

 

Even through the phone Steffy has a way of looking at me like she is looking through me. “Cut the shit Hope. What’s going on with you?!” I immediately want to get defensive because I don’t know where this is coming from…

 

“Steffy I have no clue what you mean?” And I don’t I am puzzled because I thought we left on good terms.

 

“Hope what is going on with you… My brother says something happened to you and said you needed to talk to someone… He said you need a friend…” I hiccup when Steffy says the word friend and I know I always keep to myself. Thomas won’t push me to make him everything I need in life and I appreciate that but I’m starting to realize how lonely I make myself by isolating. Some of it is habit and some of it is just plain fear.

 

I hate myself for the tears that come out. I know it isn’t weakness to cry but it sure feels like it…

 

“Hope I’m going to go to my room and we can talk… Hold on… Jay baby I’ll be in the bedroom. Do not give them ice cream under any circumstances. I know Douglas will be sure to try and beg once he tires himself off of Tik Tok…” I find myself laughing at Steffy trying to parent even in her absence.

 

Steffy’s friendship is new and I don’t really know how to navigate friendships. Even when I had so-called friends, I didn’t really say anything to anyone. I’m so used to mom being everything that it’s confusing now.

 

“Hope are you all right?” I don’t know how much Thomas has told her but I feel like he wouldn’t say anything to anyone unless he had to. He keeps his words to a minimum.

 

I decide to listen to my therapist’s tips on speaking to people about my feelings instead of hiding. “No… not really…”

 

“Is it you and Thomas?” It would be the logical conclusion to think my sadness is tied to my relationship…

 

“No… Thomas and I are good. We’re happy and I’m the happiest I have been in a long time actually…” My relationship with Thomas has been a breath of fresh air and I feel like I’m growing in ways I never thought I needed. It’s nice to be depended upon professionally and personally. It’s definitely not something I’m used too.

 

I only known it to be the other way around. Finding my agency has been difficult but so worthwhile it’s just this feels like a big step back. I’m veering back into myself and it’s just so easy.

“You don’t look happy Hope… you look distraught… you’re crying and I just want to help if I can… Beth is fine isn’t she?!” I snap myself out of it when she mentions Beth.

 

I just had my moment of clarity. I don’t want to do this pity party bullshit. That’s what they want and the last thing I want to do is give them what they want.

 

“I was happy just living my life until my mother insisted on visiting me. I told myself to just do it and get it over with. Thomas and I decided it would be best that I go to another city just in case. We decided on Seattle because he had a prospective client and I needed him there.” I get so angry again and it’s the only thing that keeps me from crying so I channel it.

 

“So give me a breakdown of what happened?”

 

“Thomas and I went to Seattle and he went off to go see his client while I had lunch with my mother at the hotel’s restaurant. My mom was polite at first but then she just went straight into pushing me to come back home and I said no. I want to do things on my terms and she didn’t like being told no. Then she started talking about Liam and how I wasn’t being fair and he shows up out of nowhere. They ambushed me in the restaurant…”

 

“Hope I wish I could say I was surprised but that’s something I could definitely see your mother doing… I can see why you have been upset…” Steffy’s being really understanding but there’s just so much more to the story she doesn’t know.

 

“It doesn’t end there. I refused to have them try and tag-team me in public. I know my mom would try to make me just acquiesce because I don’t like people looking at me. I told them we could discuss this in my room. Liam did his best to try and make me go back to him but I told him I was done. He purposefully kept us close to him for years. He broke me Steffy and I’ve picked up the pieces and I refuse to go back. I told him we could co-parent but he wanted a relationship. It all went to shit when Thomas walked through the door. I didn’t have a chance to warn him about them being in our room. My mom and Liam started badgering Tom about how he was there and they now know about me staying married to him.”

 

“Girl I wish you told me this was going to be juicy I would have made some popcorn.” I have been so angry since I started talking but Steffy’s words just make me laugh. I laugh so hard that it seems impossible to be angry anymore.

 

“Yeah I did get some satisfaction in crushing Liam like the roach he is. I knew he was full of shit. He kept claiming he wanted to be present in his daughter’s life, so I asked him when the last time he saw Kelly and he looked at me like he had to be re-programmed.” I can still see his dumb face in my mind and it makes me laugh…

 

“Okay I see you Hope… looks like the claws came to play…” Steffy and I laugh for a good minute and it feels good to have someone besides Thomas to really talk to.

 

“When he couldn’t answer I knew that was the answer. He could hop on a three-hour flight to ambush me and not even pay any attention to Beth yet he is too busy with work to even visit Kelly who lives in the same city as him. I woke up before then but he just kept proving to me that I made the right choice.” Liam has a hero complex that can’t ever be full but I’m not going to help him fill his ego.

 

He didn’t get the memo that if I need saving, I’ll do it my damn self.

 

“Yes girl. The grass is greener on the other side and the sex is out of this world…” I blush at Steffy being so crass but I caught a glimpse of Jay through the FaceTime and he is very attractive. I am happy that she moved on and left Liam in the dust where he belongs.

 

“Okay so it wasn’t just me…” I’ve never gossiped with Steffy but I have seen her with her Sally before and they have loads of fun. Fun I want to have…

 

“Girl please… Liam is a person who needs lots of direction. If I wanted an orgasm I had to chase it. Trying to get lost to the feeling while also giving him instruction is not what I call a recipe for a good time…” I can’t help but snort at her.

 

“You know Liam was my first sexual partner and after it happened. I smiled at him and I thought to myself is this what everyone goes crazy over?” But now I get anxious anytime Thomas comes in the room.

 

“Well think of it this way… the sex only got better from the starting point…” Yeah I guess that’s one way to describe but I chased after mediocre sex for years.

 

“Yeah I just stupidly wasted years on my life for an emotionally crippling man who isn’t even good in bed. I can’t believe I rejected Thomas for Liam. Hindsight is 20/20…”

 

“It sure is… You shouldn’t feel stupid because I wasted years myself on that same man and I knew damn well there’s so much dick to be explored. I’m just glad I wasn’t a nun during those off periods. But it doesn’t matter now because it seems we both have found someone who can ring our bells.” That’s one way to put it. I wish I had explored like Steffy did… maybe I would have made decisions quicker if I knew what I was missing.

 

I can’t help but have devious thoughts on messing with Steffy. “I know that’s right. Thomas just has a way with me… The way makes me cum multiple times like it’s a game. A game he refuses to lose…” She looks mortified and it does make me laugh.

 

“Hope I am going to hang up this phone the last thing I ever want to envision is my brother having sex…”

 

“I was just messing with you even if it’s the truth. I just wanted to say thank you for reaching out Steffy it means a lot to me because I do feel better now.” And I mean it having someone as a sounding board is nice. She starts walking out of her room and is back in the living room and we have to keep it PG.

 

“Well you’re welcome… you can call or text you know. We made a pact to be friends and I meant it you know…” This was before all of the shit went down but it’s nice to see that it wasn’t hollow and Steffy still means it even without Liam in the picture.

 

“I will take you up on the offer. I’ll probably start annoying you left and right…”

 

“That’s fine because I can be just as annoying… Hold on… Jay what did I tell you?! You gave them both ice cream!” I can hear Steffy’s poor unsuspecting boyfriend getting her wrath through the phone.

 

“Well when you said ice cream I wanted some for myself and I felt bad that I could have some and they couldn’t. However I was good I made sure they ate lunch before giving them some. Surely I deserve a dessert for that…” Oh my they are getting saucy and I can’t contain my giggles.

 

“Uncle Jay you’re silly… you’re having dessert right now.” Oh innocent Douglas… he’s such a precious child.

 

“I’m still on the phone Jay my goodness. Everyone say bye to Hope…” I see three faces and wow Jay is a beautiful man and I can see his green eyes and he definitely works out but the cutest sight is that he’s helping Kelly eat her ice cream in his lap and I think to myself they all look so happy. I’m happy for Steffy to have someone who seems to care for Kelly the way she deserves. Liam proved to me that he’s incapable unless Steffy is along for the ride.

 

I hear the chorus of byes and it brings a smile to my eyes. I think of the family I’m forming… Beth and Thomas and I feel like my face might split in two.

 

I check on my baby girl and she’s still napping. I’m so thankful that the nightmare of thinking she was dead is over and I can just love her everyday of my life.

 

Beth is sleeping and the nanny is gone and I find myself at the studio door of my husband and I miss him. Even though we still have sex daily and sleep in the same bed we avoid talking about what happened... we talk about everything but that. He wanted to give me the space that I desperately needed. But in that space I find myself missing him more than I ever thought I could.

 

I step in and I see him punching things I will never understand in his calculator that’s bigger than my phone and I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as my hubby doing his work with his glasses on. His hair has grown the slightest bit. He looks even more handsome with his hair slick back. A tendril of hair broke free and I call it the Clark Kent version of Thomas.

 

“Thomas…” I see his pencil stop sharp and his eyes dart to me. There’s no smile or frown. He’s analyzing how to approach me. I don’t give him enough time because I go to him.

 

“Hello Hope… you look like you’re doing better…”

 

“Thank you Thomas…” I put my hand on his shoulder I can’t help but want to feel more of him even it’s through the feel of his button down.

 

“What are you thanking me for… if it’s for last night you don’t have to… you thanked me enough with your mouth this morning…” Oh god I was feeling rather adventurous when I could feel his morning wood. Sometimes I feel insatiable and I can’t control it.

“Not that my love… Although I did have the time of my life making your toes curl. I wanted to thank you for having Steffy reach out to me. It meant a lot to have a friend to talk to. I just needed some time and space with everything that happened and you gave me that. I never really paid attention to you in the past. You can be thoughtful but also greedy. Sinful and breathtaking. At first glance your eyes look brown but when you really look you’ll find pieces of green and flecks of gold. You make me feel safe enough to be reckless and daring.” I have the overwhelming urge to kiss him and it’s as if he can sense it because I feel his lips on mine.

 

“Look at you waxing poetic…” He’s being playful but he pushes my hair out my face and sits me in his lap. I feel close to him not just physically but emotionally as well and it hits me hard. I hate to cry but he holds me close and I hide myself in his neck and let myself feel.

 

He soothes me and I never want this feeling to go away… “You make me feel a way I don’t think I have ever felt before Thomas…” This feeling is strange and alien to me so it’s hard for me to just receive it.

 

“How do I make you feel Hope?” Thomas knows how to coax answers from people… whether he is a bastard or gentleman depends on the audience.

 

“You make me feel understood and that’s something I don’t think I have felt truly.” I slide over on the couch to sit and really be able to look at him. “I feel challenged when I’m with you. I have a space to fail without having to worry that you will fix things and just make things easy for me but I also know that I can come to you if I ever need. You’ve opened my eyes to seeing that I can do more. I am no one’s marionette to do with me what they want…” Having a chance to breathe has allowed me to live life not feeling stifled anymore. Not feeling I have to be someone else’s version of myself.

 

“That’s right Hope… you don’t ever need to wait in the wings baby… you’re the star of your life… it’s a lonely place living in someone else’s shadow…” I feel like I might fall with how high in the clouds I feel. I start to unbutton my dress and I can feel Thomas’s lips in between the space of my breast and I get lost in the feeling.

 

The feeling of my underwear leaving my body never gets old and neither does the feeling of Thomas’s eating my pussy out like it’s his last supper.

 

Thomas is evil because he knows I’m ticklish and the feeling of him licking and sucking every crevice he can find tickling my thigh makes me buck my hips but that just makes everything feel magnified. I can’t help it when my thighs lock his head in place. He chuckles as he sucks and I feel like I did when I was on the SheiKra rollercoaster and dropped.

I don’t know how long I’ve been coasting on the sofa, but I look at Thomas and he just keeps stroking my leg with one hand and doing some kind of math in his book.

 

“Thomas…” I feel a little disoriented and my clothes are back on but I don’t remember putting them back on or the plush blanket I’m under.

 

“You were laughing for a while and your eyes couldn’t focus on anything and then fell asleep babe. I figured you should try and sleep it off because I took you to another world baby…”

 

“You’re so arrogant Thomas…” I hide my face in the blanket because sometimes I hate it when he’s right…

 

“I know you’re hiding from me because you’re smiling but that’s okay.” He does that mocking laugh I hate and he’s over the top and loud. Next thing I feel is him behind me kissing my neck and it’s not lustful. It’s bashful and light. I turn and see his hazel eyes sparkle with what I hope is the same happiness I feel in my heart.

 

It’s in these kinds of moments I know I made the right choice and I twist my head back to the way it was and I fall asleep cuddled by Thomas and kisses to my jaw. I’ve never felt anything so simple yet perfect and I know my dreams will come more easily to me now…

Chapter Text

The package for the Eugene Performing Arts Center was approved by the city commission and by the building department. It’s been an exciting time in the Forrester household. Thomas has been diligently working making sure everything is structurally sound working with other engineers choosing the best materials for the building.

 

Building started to commence but Hope is a little lost on how to proceed next. They have been in Eugene for seven months now and she has to do something about her place at FC. Even though her job has decreased immensely in the interim it would be too much to have two jobs, a baby, and go to school.

 

Hope has found that likes doing homework and the ease of doing online classes so far. With Beth teething it’s been good that she has been staying home with her. Thomas has been such a big help, but she knows that she still has to hold up her end of the bargain. She's found herself really excited to go to work ... But what does that mean for her job at FC?

 

She worked for so long at FC but the work she's doing now Thomas feels like it can build into something great. It's scary for her to choose something that she doesn't know what the future holds on one hand she thinks to herself the FC is safe in the numbers but Thomas it's literally just them. The business is so new and who knows what will happen once they're done with this client. She's never really gone out on a limb she just looks at her daughter searching for an answer…

 

Everything in her life seems so complicated between this situation with Liam and her mom, this new business with Thomas, going to school, and having a daughter she feels like she can't do it all. Hope is in her own little world she doesn't even notice when Thomas walks in the door.

 

He just looks at her wondering what's passing through her mind. He goes to the sofa and sits by her and her body jolts at him because it’s like he came out of nowhere. “Hi honey…” she always feels her heart in her stomach when he’s near. He scoops her into his lap, but he knows he has to keep it PG because Kelly is in the room.

 

“Minha querida…” Hope had never known Thomas to actively speak another language, but she is learning more about him with each passing day. Hope loves the lustful moments, but she has the same reaction to the loving moments too. Sweet kisses and being in Thomas’s arms make her feel a safety she never knew how to articulate before.

 

She just can’t stop kissing him and he always obliges her. Thomas has really opened himself up to her in a way she guesses he never does with people. He speaks to her in Portuguese more and more and she doesn’t fully understand everything, but she has learned so much the more frequent he speaks it.

 

She knows her called her his sweetheart and it sounds even more affectionate. It makes her kiss everywhere she can reach on his face and neck whispering she loves him so much.

 

“I think I should put Beth down for a nap…” One by one Hope seems to forget about the things weighing on her mind when she concentrates on her hubby.

 

“Boa ideia…” She thinks to herself there he goes with the Portuguese. He knows she finds it sexy… it makes her want to rush and finish whatever she’s doing to be back with him.

 

After she settles Beth in her crib, she knows she won’t find him in the living room anymore. As soon as she walks into their bedroom her eyes get big because she didn’t expect Thomas to already be naked lying down on the bed. She laughs as she rids herself of her dress. She has no idea how much Thomas appreciates that she didn’t wear a bra. He just stares at her with that look that she knows good things are to come. As she gets closer her urges heighten.

 

“Meu amor me diga o que você quer?” She may not be able to speak Portuguese, but she understands most of the things he says because he’s said them many times to her.

 

She doesn’t say anything to him, but she positions her legs on either side of his head just lowers herself until she can feel his tongue. For Hope there’s no way to articulate how good the first lick feels when Thomas eats her out.

 

She bends herself forward running her hands down his abs feeling the ripples. When Hope grabs his cock his body jerks from the unexpected feeling.  She keeps her grip nice and firm while she strokes him and plays with his balls. She loves exploring her sexuality with Thomas… but she is getting impatient and startles him as she moves her pussy away from his face.

 

When she sees evidence from her arousal, she almost feels like she has marked her territory. She pulls him up and he slides to rest himself on the headboard as she’s aligning herself to his dick and she takes him in inch by inch forgetting everything but this. Thomas just looks at her and grunts because she fits him like a glove. Her walls close in on him and she sees exactly what she does to him and she lifts herself up and the drag has her moaning his name like a prayer. As she swirled her middle finger on her clit it makes her panting more frantic and she feels frozen as her climax runs through her. Thomas has to physically move her up and down which makes her moans drag out and grip him tighter. He grits his teeth presses his head into his wife’s breast as he comes.

 

Hope just looks at him and runs her fingers through his hair and drops a chaste kiss to his lips. “Oh Thomas I’m tired now…” Before she can admonish herself for how childish she sounds in her head, he’s flipping her gently and removing himself and she’s moans from the loss.

 

“Just rest I know that was a little intense…” She knows the kiss he plants on her shoulder is innocent, but it leaves goosebumps. Thomas knows his wife is going to want to cuddle after she uses the bathroom, so he doesn’t even bother to move. When she gets back into bed she goes straight for his side and starts to contour herself and him until she is comfortable.

 

She knows she wants to tell him, but she is just working the nerve. Pushing away years of conditioning still takes its toll on her.

 

“Honey… I wanted to see your thoughts on something…” Hope tries her best to make herself sound casual, but Thomas knows it’s a front, but he doesn’t say anything because he knows his wife wants to confide in him.

 

“Sure baby…” She knows it’s silly, but she still giggles when he calls her that. “I think I should quit FC… what do you think?” It’s a long pause and she wonders to herself if she made a mistake.

 

“Is that something you want or is it something you think I want you to do?” It’s serious for him because he never wants to be resented for someone else’s choices let alone hers. She breathes a little easier when she hears his question.

 

“I think it something I want. I love FC but I’m invested in what we are doing… together. But between having school on my plate now even if it is part-time and Beth, I don’t think I can juggle all of these things and actually do any of them well. So I choose our company…” When she finishes, she is waiting for him to give him answer she starts to get nervous the longer she hears no sound. “Thomas say something please?!” She didn’t expect her voice to crack or to get this emotional, but she is really nervous right now and her husband is saying nothing.

 

He puts her face in his hands and gives her a kiss that calms her down. “Baby don’t cry please. If you want to quit Forrester, then I support you full stop but are you sure it’s something you want to do?”

 

“Yeah until now they have been my only employer and I loved working there, but Thomas I feel important here. I really like what I am doing, and I love that it’s something we are doing together. This project with the city has really made me passionate. I went to Forrester because it’s what my mom expected of me. I’m doing this because I want too.” He just scrutinizes everything she says as he looks into her eyes and. He’s searching for an inch of doubt but can’t find any, so he kisses her again and hugs her to him.

 

“All right I just had to be sure it wasn’t because of me… I’m glad we get to keep you onboard.”

 

“I’m going to start researching insurance companies because I’m going to need health insurance for me and Beth when I quit FC…”

 

“You don’t need to do that. You two can just join my plan. I’m still at Forrester as a consultant and my benefits are still intact but down the line, we may need to do this if we hire more employees.” It is a good idea to start getting quotes just in case.

 

“I love you Tom…”

 

“I love you too Hope… how long did it take you the nerve to ask me?” He can read her so well which annoys her because sometimes he is just a mystery to her.

 

“I don’t really remember. I have a tendency to just let things implode and I can’t handle the fall out that comes after, so I just thought I needed to rip the band-aid off now. I didn’t want to risk upsetting anyone…”

 

“Hope you don’t have to worry of upsetting me. I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn’t be upset with you whether you choose FC over what’s going on here. It’s your career and I’ll always support that what you want to do sweetheart because I love you. I couldn’t take it if you ended up resenting your job because it’s something you think that I wanted. I just want you to be happy whatever that looks like.” She just smiles at him because she needs this reassurance more than he could ever know.

 

She’s in a battle with herself where the old version of herself is warring with the new and she hates to feel like they are rehashing the same issue over and over but it takes a lot of work and time to push through and sometimes she still gets afraid to unpack everything for fear she’ll have to retreat into herself and just smile and nod. Hope finds herself believing Thomas more and more when he tells her that he will love her for the real her. It makes her smile that he will love who she has always been afraid to be.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Hope’s POV

 

It’s been difficult dealing with Thomas being gone on the weekends to visit his son, but I know Douglas comes first. Before anything else Thomas is a father and I know Douglas is at the center of just about everything he is doing. It hasn’t made me miss him any less. The workload has lessened for Thomas, so I get to see more of him but the more I see him the more I want.

 

I guess I expected my heart to settle down after a while but the more time that passes by the more I want him. I’m always learning something new about him and falling deeper in love. I’m happy that I decided to join him on this trip. It’s been a long time since I have been in LA.

 

Even though Thomas has been coming just about every weekend I stayed in Eugene just settling in our life there for the time being. I do miss LA, but I don’t miss home… The last home I had was with my mother and Liam and I definitely don’t miss that.

 

I romanticized a lot of red flags to justify with myself why I stayed. Seeing a therapist I’m still uncovering a lot about myself and half the time I’m just ashamed how I let myself be this way. I know that conditioning is the rational answer, but I still get so mad at myself for accepting it.

 

“Hey you okay?” I smile but I know it doesn’t reach my eyes which Thomas can spot better than anyone.

 

“Yeah I’m just thinking about LA and the people in it…” It isn’t a lie but I know he knows I’m not being completely honest. I am glad he doesn’t push and badger me into telling him everything.

 

When his eyes soften at me, I want to cry but I don’t I’m tired of always crying that was Hope Logan. I’m not that person anymore at least I’m trying to grow out of being that person. “I know home has been a place of pain for you but it’s brave to face it.” I don’t feel brave, but I enjoy Thomas uplifting words. I give him a kiss of appreciation.

 

Sitting here in his condo I feel lighter than being with Liam. I have Beth here and she seems to be enjoying here as well.

 

“I’m just trying to process it all. I love our life in Eugene… but I know it’s not because of Eugene in particular. I love the place, but it was a place that I could breathe. I didn't feel the pressure there. I don't know how I'm going to feel being back home. I do feel a little confused I also know that I can't run away forever.” I’m being honest with myself as much as I am being honest with Thomas.

 

“You want to live here again?”

 

“Yeah I think so don’t you?”

 

“Well of course eventually I knew we’d have to come here. I need to be here for Douglas, but I also need to make sure that its something you want too…” Thomas sense of over-accommodation is appreciated but definitely not needed.

 

“Thank you honey but I don’t need you too. I think LA is where we both belong, but we’ll make our own home here like we have in Eugene, but can we keep the house? I love it and the idea of going to visit makes me happy…” I like the idea of us vacationing here and there.  I just cuddle into him enjoying the peacefulness of the moment.

 

“Yeah baby we can keep the house… Hope you know it’s your house too right? I know money can be a touchy subject, but I would never use it as a reason to keep you in line or anything like that. I think shit like that is gross…” I know that he wouldn’t but him vocalizing it really helps me.

 

When Thomas insisted that I would be getting a salary I initially balked at it, but I realize now that I need to have my own money. Even if I am happy with Thomas it gives me a sense of security to have something that is only for me.

 

“I know and I’m still getting used to it. It’s a battle that I have with myself time and time again. Half the time I want to chide myself, but I know I’m learning and I need these growing pains to be able to trust that not everyone is like my mother and Liam.” I can’t erase the feeling of stupidity that I ever allowed people to control my life so endlessly, but I can channel it and use it as a reason to make myself successful as a person. I want to be as well-adjusted as I can for Beth.

 

“It ain’t easy but it’s worth it baby. I’m really proud of you taking charge of your life. Going to school, working, taking care of Beth. I think you are doing amazing…” I laugh but it’s because I’m happy.

 

I start to get ready because although Thomas came here to be with Thomas… Steffy has invited me to have fun with her and her friends and I have never done anything like this.

 

Thomas has only said that he will stay up to take care of me, but I just think he is being silly.

 

Steffy told me she would fix me up when I got to her place and it’s great because as Thomas picks up Douglas, he can just drop me off.

 

When we get there, I am excited. Who knew when I came back from Italy that I would be excited to see Steffy?! Now I don’t know how I could live without her.

 

She took the news of me wanting to work with Thomas and our company well and said I would do well here, and it means a lot coming from someone like Steffy in a professional sense.

 

I just follow Thomas to Steffy’s condo because it’s my first time ever being here. I am little anxious but I’m pretty calm.

 

When he knocks on the door, I subconsciously hold my breath until Steffy answers the door. She looks beautiful and she’s all ready to go… She hugs Thomas first like they haven’t seen each other in years, and it makes me smile. She hugs me too and I can’t remember time I hugged Steffy.

 

“Finally you made it! Hope we are going to have to get a move on because we don’t have as much time now…” I can feel Thomas rolling his eyes at his sister’s dig and but I know it’s good-natured.

 

When we get inside, I see Jay in person for the first time and a guy that looks really similar to him but with red hair with Sally.

 

Thomas, Jay and redheaded Jay all start talking to each other and before I can say anything to anyone Steffy is dragging me to her bedroom and I see Sally come too.

 

“So what kind of look you wanna go for?” Steffy is already going into her closet and Sally just hugs me and we catch up a little.

 

“Is that Jay’s brother or something they look alike?!” Sally just laughs at me, but I am curious shoot me.

 

“Yes he is and he’s also my man so keeps your eyes on your husband!” I can tell she’s joking by her wink but I’m glad Sally has someone she cares for. I still can’t believe Wyatt is with Flo.

 

“So here’s some choices you have to make it quick though… Where’s your makeup bag? I can’t make you look snatched unless I know what I’m working with?” Now it’s all coming back to me how bossy Steffy is. I just hand her over my makeup and Steffy doing my makeup is like the most relaxing feeling. Her massaging my skin with the primer feels like a spa even though it lasts like ten seconds.

 

When she is putting on the setting spray, I’m so ready to have fun!

 

“Okay we are insta ready!” I’m laughing at Sally, but I know they are serious, and we take about 100 pics or at least it feels like it.

 

When we walk out it looks like our guys are breaking their necks to get to us, but they are in for a rude awakening.

 

“Stay over there except Douglas he can come over… You wanna give me a hug goodbye baby?!” When he runs over to us, I find myself awing. He sticks to Steffy like she is a lifeline and maybe in a way she is. He gets lots of kisses from all three of us much to the jealousy of our guys.

 

Douglas can’t help that he’s just so cute…

 

“So exactly what are we going to do?” I know we are going out, but I want to know what that entails.

 

“Well you are going to meet up with some more girls and have some sushi and then go on a bar crawl!”

 

The all you can eat sushi makes me feel like I’m on cloud nine. I thought falling in love with Thomas was good, but this sushi right here changed my life.

 

As soon as we hit the first bar, I already had four shots of tequila and two margaritas and I think to myself why the hell have I done this before. This feels amazing!

 

I’m dancing and feeling free and it’s so nice to not think and go with the flow of the music.

 

By the time we get to our fourth bar or maybe it’s the third I am truly and utterly wasted. I have never felt this way and it feels fucking awesome!

 

The rest of the night is a blur at one point I think I put my finger in my nose but I’m not entirely sure why?

 

I must have fallen asleep in the Uber because I’m home and don’t remember how we got there. The ladies are telling me bye and I’m shouting we have to do this again soon, but the car is already gone, and I have Thomas holding me up.

 

“I told you that drinking with my sister would be something…”

 

“I had a lot of fun honey…”

 

“I bet that’s why you have a sharpie mustache on your face and it’s on insta babe…” What?!

 

I can’t be bothered to check right now because my vision blurry and good thing I have Thomas because I don’t know how I would have made it home because I can’t see the best right now.

 

I love my hubby! He helps me out of my clothes and reminds me to wash my face to get my makeup and mustache off. As soon as I hit the pillow, I feel myself drifting off.

 

As I’m waking up my head feels so heavy that I don’t want to move it.

 

“Ugh!”

 

“So you’re feeling the aftereffects that come with partying with my sister…” My head feels like it just might separate from my body.

 

“I felt so alive last night but today I feel so bleh. Honey I need help…” Even moving my mouth feels like a chore.

 

He feeds me two advils and squirts some water in my mouth and I feel thankful I barely had to move.

 

“You’ll only really feel better when you eat something and drink more water…” But I don’t want to move…

 

“I’m never drinking again!” I feel like utter shit, but the breakfast Tom made smells so good.

 

“I highly doubt…” His laughs just add to the mounting headache I feel but at least he’s out the room. I decide to stop being a baby and sit up and my goodness it took a lot out of me, but I scarf down the breakfast and drink all the water Thomas brought me and I feel a little bit better.

 

I check my phone and see what the hell did I get up to last night and I go through the pictures. Some I remember but my goodness others I have no clue when they happened, and they drew a mustache and I feel like Inspector Clouseau.

 

Call me Madame Clouseau! Instead of getting mad I just have fun with it because I most certainly will be getting Steffy back for this even if she wasn’t the one in question who did this.

 

I get nine likes within a minute and a comment from Thomas saying he must be Monsieur Clouseau which I immediately like and smile to myself.

 

I think to myself since we have Douglas for the weekend maybe we should watch the Pink Panther… I think Thomas would get a kick out of that.

Chapter Text

Both Steffy and Thomas have been summoned to their mother’s home and neither can think of a better way to spend their Sunday.

 

“So I’m going to my mother’s house today I think you should come with…” Thomas lightly puts out the suggestion but Hope feels the heavy implication of it. She was right there behind her mother lambasting Taylor and now she is a permanent part of her family.

 

She’s scared because she knows inevitably has to spend time with Taylor… its unavoidable because Thomas is her son and he loves his mother. How can she face Taylor though? Of course she feels bad about it now but what happens if Taylor doesn’t approve of her relationship with Thomas?

 

Hope knows that her marriage will have an expiration date if Taylor doesn’t like it and what reason has she given to ever approve of her son with her?

 

“Do you really think that’s the best idea?”

 

“Hope you will need to kiss the ring sooner or later. You know that you need to apologize to my mother and she will respect you more if you do it sooner rather than later. She’s the most important person in my family babe and her opinion means a great deal to me however I won’t tell you to join us if that’s not something you are comfortable with. I just think that you need a sense of family after everything…” I gave up my mom when I decided I wanted to lead a more independent life. My mom was the center of my universe for better or worse.

 

Now that I have put her to the side it has left a big vacuum in my life that I never knew I could have. For the longest time she was the only person I could rely on but it was by design. She was the person I ran to because she was the only person that I could run to. Her enemies became my enemies but I’m starting to see that my mom has a way of twisting things. Something I unfortunately picked up on myself.

 

Thomas is offering her a true chance at being a member in a family but she has to admit that she was wrong to someone who didn’t deserve all the vehement anger spewed to her. She basically told Steffy she couldn’t have her mother in her life. Hope thinks to herself a mom who has loved and protected her and all her kids while she was stuck with Brooke Logan and the endless string of men coming in and out of her life and gave her a fucking complex.

 

Hope looks at Thomas and his face and body are open and no alarm bells go off in her head that this is some kind of ultimatum. She hates that she thinks way, but she appreciates that her mind wants to protect herself from falling into the same traps again. Her mind tells her she needs to get this over with and she will feel better when she does.

 

“Okay I think I should go… it would be nice to actually get to know your mom versus what I think I know…”

 

“Thank you for giving it a chance. I think you will be just fine plus Steffy will be there and when in doubt just eat something. I’m sure my mom has fixed a Brazilian feast which means the whole table will be filled with food.” Thomas kisses his wife to give her reassurance.

 

When they get there, they can hear music from the door and by the way Thomas is smiling Hope can tell it’s something that makes him happy.

 

Hope feels excited but nervous. Beth and Kelly can spend some time together which is a plus for her because even if Liam is not in the picture, they share a kinship and she wants Beth to have a nurtured relationship with her sister.

 

Thomas knocks on the door and it’s Steffy who opens the door in her maxi that are the colors of the colors of the Brazilian flag.

 

“You know you are so extra right?!” Thomas just laughs at his sister’s antics and gives her a bear hug that lifts her off the ground. The happiness Hope sees on Steffy’s face makes her glad that Thomas and Steffy were able to get past the hurt.

 

Steffy gives a hug to Hope which is welcomed by both women and they all make their way inside.

 

Thomas makes his way to Jay whose holding Kelly like a football which seems to soothe her more than anything else.

 

Douglas is dancing with Taylor to the music and Hope laughs to herself because everyone is doing their own thing but at the same time it’s together.

 

“I am guessing you are afraid…” Hope still gets annoyed with Steffy on how she can effortlessly read her.

 

“Maybe a little…” Hope knows she doesn’t have to explain to Steffy what she means because she already knows.

 

“She doesn’t breathe fire you know even if she is called dragon by some… she can be intimidating when she wants to be but she’s also the best person to have in your corner when you need it.” Before Hope can say anything Steffy just leaves and pulls Douglas away from her mother to dance with the little boy.

 

Thomas and Jay are playing video games and Hope is just standing there with Beth and she feels Taylor’s eyes piercing her. Taylor won’t make the first move and Hope knows she has to be the one to go to Taylor not the other way around.

 

When she gets closer to Taylor her nerves heighten but she wants to get this over with.

 

“Hi Taylor, thank you for having us over… could I speak to you alone?”

 

“Sure Hope we can go into the kitchen…” Taylor’s tone is indifferent which bristles Hope but she follows her mother-in-law to the kitchen and the aroma of delicious smells is more fragrant here.

 

Taylor doesn’t wait for Hope to say anything, she just washes her hands and starts minding all of the food as Hope just watches her.

 

“Taylor I just wanted to apologize…”

 

“And what are you apologizing for? Actively working with your mother to keep me from my grandchildren or trying to steal Douglas from my son by let’s say unconventional means?” Taylor wants answers from this girl before she even thinks about giving her the time of day.

 

Hope having what she did thrown back at her does make her upset but not at Taylor… she’s mad at herself because this doesn’t sound like her but she knows that’s what she did. She didn’t know that Taylor knew about her trying to trick Thomas but she should have known better of course Thomas or Steffy would have told her.

 

“I’m sorry for all of it. I couldn’t even give you a full rationale why I did those things and kept doing them. I’m in therapy now and it’s helped me see how poorly I treated people and myself and I’m trying to change that. The way I treated you was based on preconceived notions and if I am being honest jealousy.  I’m working through that now and I really want to have a good relationship with you because we’re family and your respect would make me believe that Thomas and I can have a lasting relationship…” Hope believes that her mother-in-law can see her sincerity but she’s just looking at her and says nothing.

 

“You didn’t only hurt me when you decided to do what you did. It was tough for Karen and Danielle to hear about someone essentially trying to steal Douglas away and for Karen it was especially hard that it was Brooke’s daughter. You don’t know this because how could you, but Karen was close to Macy and Brooke put a lot of hurt where Macy is concerned so there’s no love lost. When she heard it was Brooke and her daughter coming for her grandson how do you think it made her feel?” I don’t really know much about Macy except Deacon was married to her when she died.

 

“I didn’t think… I’m ashamed to admit it but it was revenge. I was so hurt by everything that happened and I used Douglas to justify it all. I was so angry and I had my mom there to add fire to my flame when I should have taken a step back. I knew Thomas was suffering and I used it against him and I still hate myself for it but I want to be better. I removed my mother from my life and it’s the hardest thing I ever had to do but I didn’t want Beth to grow up like I did and unknowingly setting her up with unhealthy coping mechanisms and a warped view of herself…” The only reason Hope didn’t break down and cry was because Beth was still in her arms. The last part of her little speech did soften Taylor’s face. She is a psychiatrist and she can always see the vulnerability when people voice their faults.

 

“I would never tell you to turn away from your mother but it does make me more inclined to believe in you. I think you know there’s no love lost between your mother and I but I know how difficult it is to leave a relationship where there’s trauma bonds... Hope you are welcomed to my family but don’t ever betray us because if you think Steffy can be scary you should know she pales in comparison to me…” Hope is confused on what to say because she ‘s forgiven yet nervous… “… now be a dear and go round everyone up it’s time to eat…” Taylor doesn’t wait for an answer from Hope because she starts bringing all of the food to the dining room and Hope is trying to get in her mother-in-law’s good graces.

 

When she goes back to the living room to deliver the message it’s time to eat when she thinks she is seeing things. She sees Steffy playing video games with Thomas and Douglas is sitting on a sofa close to a sliding door talking to someone that she knows to be Portuguese. She swears it’s Ridge! She hasn’t seen Ridge in well about a year… Her mother had been sure that Ridge would come back but he divorced her when she first started badmouthing Thomas directly to him seemingly didn’t look back. She was sure that her mother and Ridge would work it out but he looks happier than the last time she saw him interacting with her mother.

 

“Taylor says that it’s time to eat!” When Hope speaks everyone gets up with a quickness and goes to the dining room table except Ridge.

 

He comes towards Hope with a smile on his face and she does have the urge to give him a hug. He was always good to her especially in the times her mother wasn’t.

 

“Hello Hope, how are you?!” His eyes radiate the kindness she always remembered seeing and it makes her smile.

 

“I’m doing really good… if you don’t mind me asking what are you doing here?” She winces with how it came out, but Ridge only laughs.

 

“Besides the fact that it’s my house? We always eat together as a family on Sundays. Welcome to our family Hope…” Ridge just caps a hand on her shoulder and goes back to Douglas and holds his hand. Taylor come to the living room and goes to the other side of Douglas and holds his other hand and they escort him to the dining room together and the smile Douglas gives them makes Hope feel a pang in her heart.

 

She didn’t want to see what she was doing. She doesn’t know how she convinced herself what she was doing was for Douglas. Taylor was right she and Brooke didn’t even reach out to anyone Douglas’s family.

 

“Hey as much as I love you, I will start eating without you…” Hope never even saw Thomas approach her but his voice brings her back to reality. He pulls Beth from her which is welcome because as soon as she let’s her arms down she feels the ache of holding her daughter for so long.

 

When she gets to the table she expects awkwardness but everybody is welcoming and the conversation flows easy between everyone at the table. Hope finds herself relaxing and joining in on the fun and she thinks this is more lively than Forrester get togethers during the holidays and this is every Sunday.

 

The jokes fly free and everyone is fighting and calling dibs on dishes. This sharing of food between everyone here is chaotic and Ridge and Taylor just shake their heads at their family.

 

When they finally finish eating everyone is so full they can barely move. Steffy and Hope just talk about gossip around the FC office while Thomas and Jay talk about some potential business in the city.

 

Douglas starts tik toking about his Sunday exploits Taylor and Ridge go back to the living room and play some bossa nova music.

 

The music hits both Taylor and Ridge and they dance Forro but don’t deviate from their slow pace. Hope watch Thomas and Steffy roll their eyes and smile at each other and Hope wants to know what it means. Soon Ridge picks up Douglas and Taylor holds Douglas’s free hand and they dance as a trio.

 

“Why did you roll your eyes at your parents?” Hope is curious to know what it all means but it seems Jay is already ahead of the curve.

 

“It’s just something Thomas and I have done since we have been kids with Phoebe. Forro is a popular dance in Brazil especially where my grandmother’s family is from, it goes from slow to fast and back again but they only do the slow parts which are the most romantic parts. Just like when Douglas thinks it’s gross when he witnesses you and Thomas or me and Jay kiss is how we see when our parents dance Forro. We understand the dance and the meaning behind it so gross factor 1000. Ironically Douglas doesn’t find it gross when my parents kiss…” This is news to Hope because she wasn’t even aware Ridge and Taylor were together even when he said that he lives here.

 

“Your parents are together?!”

 

“You couldn’t tell? They’ve been married a while but they only shared that recently with me and Thomas…” Hope always figured her mother would find her way back to Ridge but maybe he was serious about not being with someone who could be against his children. Obviously Taylor would never do such a thing.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Hope is a little miffed that she feels so clueless while everyone else seems to know.

 

“I was respecting my parents privacy and wishes… the same way I did for you and Thomas…” Hope does understand but she just doesn’t like that it seemed she was the last to know but then again today she finally cleared the air with Taylor… how could she have expected to know before that?

 

“We expect you not to say anything Hope… they should be the ones to tell the world…” Hope thinks to herself who on earth would she tell?

 

“I won’t I promise Steffy. Thomas and I needed that time and it really made us stronger.”

 

“Good, they are not hiding or anything like that… they just don’t want anyone in their business, it’s just I know your mom will be relentless and try to start shit with my mom when she finds out…” Hope just thinks about her confrontation with Liam and her mother and Seattle and she doesn’t wish an ambush like that on Taylor.

 

“I’m apart of the Hamilton-Forrester squad now, so my lips are sealed…” Hope sticks out her pinky to her sister-in-law but Steffy slaps her hand away and hugs her and they both giggle over the rhythms of bossa nova music.

Chapter Text

Sorry it been a while. I haven't given up on the story, it's just I am continuing my Stabi story at the same time!

 

Hope’s POV

 

It’s been so nice to be back in LA, but I can’t say I don’t miss my life in Eugene. It holds a special place in my heart because this is where Thomas and I could just be without worrying about anyone else interfering in our relationship. It made us stronger and made me stronger too. I feel more confident in myself and my abilities.

 

But being in Los Angeles again has been good for me too. I couldn’t stay away for forever. I had registered for my classes at UCLA and college has been an adventure I have enjoyed. Deciding to take two classes on campus and two online was the best for me. I do love going to campus… the novelty hasn’t worn off yet because I’m still so excited that I’m doing this and I’m good at college!

 

Ever since we came back home Taylor has been such a help watching Beth while I’m at school and I am happy that I’m getting to really know her for the first time. I can see why Thomas and Steffy love her so much. Its weird to compare their relationship to me and my mother. I don’t have a doubt that my mother loves me its just how she goes about it.

 

I think of her love like a swaddling blanket. It’s comforting and warm but its also constricting when you grow. When you feel hot it becomes suffocating. My mother’s love is suffocating. I tried to give her a chance, but she had to go and betray my trust. I told her that I didn’t want to be with Liam and there she was trying to force him on me. Liam is so toxic for me and for her to try and get us back together shows me a lot of things about what she thinks about me.

 

The more I have become independent the more she doesn’t like it. Its almost like my growth is antagonistic to her. I used to let her just make decisions for me and I never really thought about them until now. I used to think wow my goodness my mother is so supportive of me I’m so lucky…

 

Looking back she steered me into a direction I thought I wanted. I wanted to be at FC because she was there. It wasn’t a bad thing but when I examine things more closely, I didn’t do shit. I slapped my name on it and had people blowing smoke up my ass. I was at Forrester for years, but I learned more in my business class this semester than the whole time I was there. I would have been fired had I not been her daughter. Ugh I keep thinking about Hope for the Future and how it came to be. I literally went in the room with next to nothing like those kids who waited to the last night before something was due and Katie said she loved it… it didn’t help that I knew Steffy’s presentation was the better of the two, but I believed my own hype. Believing your own hype is how so many companies go under.

 

Not putting in the work and coasting by is not the way to do business… well not the way that I want to do business. I don’t want to fuck up my husband’s creation especially since we have to be really involved and invested in every project or else that is the reputation.

 

Since coming home we have secured three more contracts. Even though two of them happen to be in Eugene as restoration projects but we’re building a reputation and getting repeat clientele which is always a great thing.

 

The only downside with us having more work is that Thomas is gone often. FaceTime and Skype have been really good for us to keep in contact, but I really miss our intimacy on a daily basis. It does help that he comes back every Friday night for the weekend, but I can’t help but think about my time in Eugene as spoiling because when Thomas comes back, we have Douglas for the weekend. I love Douglas immensely, but I can’t lie to myself and say its been easy to adjust.

 

Sundays are family days at Ridge and Taylor’s house and usually Thomas’s flight is right after so I’m the one taking him to the airport. Douglas gets Friday nights and all of Saturday to have Tom for himself which is his right. Thomas is his father, but I am a little jealous because I know Thomas is exhausted from all of the flying that I feel guilty again. I only have him to sleep with him. Our sex life hasn’t ceased to be amazing but we don’t go out on as many dates anymore because its just not feasible.

 

School has been a welcome distraction and I’m putting all my energy into my schoolwork and its paying off. So far, I’m acing all my classes and I am still on top of my job at Ashford and Hamilton. The one good thing about having Thomas away for work is that I have more time on my hands even though school is in session. Anytime I’m around Thomas I want to stay next to him and I could do that for hours watching him compute things I will never understand because I want to be next to him. My time management skills have been on point but I sure as hell wouldn’t mind a B in any of my classes if I could have regular sex and a movie date.

 

“Hope!” I scream so hard that it makes me cry because no one should be here but then I see its Thomas and I’m wondering why he’s here…

 

“Thomas! What are you doing here?!” He should be in Eugene but he’s here scaring the living shit out of me!

 

“That’s definitely not the response I thought I would get when I decided to surprise you. I kept calling your name I actually thought no one was home…” I let the shock wear off because my husband is here!

 

I run to him and jump into a hug. I never have to worry if Thomas will catch me because he will always catch me.

 

“Oh God honey I missed you so much!” I hate that I get so emotional because I’m crying again but I don’t feel stupid for feeling this way.

 

“I missed you too… I have a surprise for you…”

 

“Yeah…” I feel him walking us over to the sofa and he lays me down gently and sits on the floor staring at me.

 

“Yeah… so I got approval on all of the projects and the next phase is construction, so you know what that means?” Oh god I start to cry harder because I definitely know what that means…

 

“You’re coming home?!”

 

“Yeah baby I’m home… I’m home and I will be for a while unless I pick up another job, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it because I have a good relationship with the person who runs logistics.” Oh goodness Thomas is such a corny dork but its one of the reasons I love him so much.

 

“Hmm I wonder about them… you sure that she won’t be a hard ass and grind you into the ground?” I miss just having our fun and silly conversations…

 

“Hmm I definitely want to be grinding something on her…” Oh no if he thinks that he can just slip a couple of suggestive words to get me naked he has another thing coming.

 

“I heard if you want to get lucky with her then you should wine and dine her. It’s the quickest way to get her to drop her panties…”

 

“Hmm is that so Hope?”

 

“Excuse you its Ms. Hamilton Forrester…”

 

“Excuse me Ms. Hamilton Forrester. I was told in order for me to have my way with you was to wine and dine you so I was wondering if I could take you out?”

 

“No…” I have to keep myself from laughing at the dumb expression on his face when I tell him no... I really should do it more often.

 

“If you wine and dine me I would be more obliged to having my way with you…”

 

“Of course Ms. Hamilton Forrester. I would love for you to have your way with me… above me… beneath me… it doesn’t matter because I’ll be right where I belong…” He’s so quick to turn the tables and when his hand cups the crotch of my jeans I want to rip them off and forget about the date.

 

Getting into a game of seducing with Thomas is no use. As much as I think I am getting to him he can get to me much faster. I missed interactions like this so much and FaceTime is nothing compared to this.

 

He unzips my jeans slides his hands to my center and just holds it there. His hand is so hot and my hands don’t compare. He starts playing with my bud and nibbles on my ear. He doesn’t say anything because he’s a cruel man he just chuckles in my ear. I gasp when I feel the finger go in and he uses his palm now to play with my clit. I’m so close… so close…

 

I don’t feel anything else now and it feels like my orgasm was just snatched from me.

 

I look over at him and I want to smack the grin off his face.

 

“I believe I jumped the gun Ms. Hamilton Forrester. I believe I need to wine and dine you before we can partake in any of what we were doing. I apologize for that sincerely.” He just licks the two fingers he used on me and its clear that I’m the only one who’s really sorry here.

 

He just keeps laughing and strolls out the room and I’m left here with my jeans undone, slightly out of breath yet no climax.

 

Thomas always makes me regretful for the things I wish… I know he does these things to spite me and right now I spite me too…

Chapter Text

Hope has been a little on edge lately. She has this class that she is unsure about. She had straight As last semester but this semester most of her classes have been okay enough where she can excel but this stats course has kicked her ass.

 

Her favorite study buddy is out of town on trying to land a new contract for their company so she has to figure it out on her own. He gets back today and she would be counting down the minutes if she wasn’t in study mode.

 

She spent her whole day so far in the coffee shop. Even asked Steffy to watch Beth so she could focus all in for this test. She’s locked in the zone for this course. Her study cards are plentiful and she has taken away all of the distraction.

 

“Hey Hope… I saw you here and thought we could talk…” Hope look up and it’s so weird to see Liam after all this time. He’s hasn’t been in Beth’s life much, but Hope made it point to try and co-parent with him but being firm that it wouldn’t be with them as a couple.

 

“Liam… I don’t see how we have much to talk about…”

 

“Well Beth for one… I see you are studying statistics. That used to trip me up in college.” Hope doesn’t know what to make of Liam’s small talk.

 

“Yeah it has been tripping me up too. It’s probably the only class that I am not a hundred percent sure about. You said you wanted to talk about Beth…”

 

“Yeah I know I haven’t been the most present father, but I really want to change that. I don’t want to blink and then she’s starting her first day of school. I want to be present for her. I want to co-parent”

 

“And how do you propose we do that Liam? You blow off like 70 percent of your time with Beth. How can I trust you are going to actually do the work. You also don’t need me for that. You can get in contact with our case-worker.”

 

“I know I have really fucked the custody agreement… I was just going through a really tough time and I was just trying to adjust I still am. You were huge a huge part of my life and then we lost Beth… then each other… then by some miracle she was returned to us and then you were telling me that we weren’t going to be a couple.” Hope doesn’t really know what to make of this. So she doesn’t say anything. A small part of her loves that Liam is acknowledging things but another part of her is saying that it’s really late in the game.

 

“Liam, I admit that my exit out of our relationship was on the harsh side, but I had to do what was right for me. I’m sorry that hurt you but I was tired of going through a cycle of hurt…” Hope has said this to her therapist, but she hasn’t been able to say it to Liam.

 

“And I am so sorry for that. I was so unfair to you for so many years Hope. I pushed you until you were out the door only to pull you back in. I am trying to learn from that and I’m learning it’s a process but I can’t wait until I am perfect to start being a father. Beth deserves more than that. Perfect is something that will never come but being a dad is something that is a big deal to me.”

 

“Okay Liam so what are you going to do about that?” The act of contrition does make Hope more open to listening to him.

 

“I’m going to be more hands-on with her and unless I have to be out of town for work which I’ll let you and the caseworker know before hand I am going to commit to all my visits.” He actually sounds like he believes himself which make a skeptical Hope a little more trusting.

 

“I want to believe in that Liam for her sake…”

 

“I mean it and I also want us to have a better co-parenting relationship and I know that has to come from me earning your trust. I know I left much to be desired with how absent I have been from her life but I want that to change. It will be healthiest for her Beth if we were a cohesive co-parenting unit. That can only be if I prove to you that she is my priority…”

 

“Liam that sounds like growth. I really hope you mean that…”

 

“I do Hope… I want to be there for her. Take her to ball games… dance with her at father-daughter dances. Hear about her day at school and learn about the friends she will make.”

 

“I really want that for her Liam. But you have to be the one that does it. I am not going to be chasing after you to force you to take care of your daughter.”

 

“I don’t want you to be… I will do it myself… I love Beth and I’m missing time with her because I have been focused on me plain and simple.”

 

“Well it seems you can look at things logically and see that…”

 

“Yeah it’s taken a lot of self-reflection and I also need to apologize to you. I always put you in really unfortunate positions. I hurt you because I was always doing dumb shit and taking you for granted…” Hope never knew these were the words she needed to hear. She is happy with Thomas but her chapter with Liam was so messy and long. All she ever wanted was a real sorry from him.

 

“Liam that means a lot to me for you to say…”

 

“I owe that to you Hope at the very least… I could help you with some of these stats questions if you like…”

 

She doesn’t know what possess her but she says yes. Liam to his credit does help her. He stays about two hours at the café with her giving her tips and tricks that always worked for him when he was in college.

 

He ended up asking her questions wondering what made her want to go to college now. She told him how she wanted more for herself and to be a role model for Beth.

 

Liam said that it was very noble of her and that Beth will definitely be proud to have a mom like her. She didn’t notice the time but she really needed to get home so she could be there when Thomas got home.

 

She ended up thanking Liam for the help and then she left. She misses her husband so much. She was going to pick him up from the airport, but he told her that she should just worry only about her test.

 

She gets back home and she sees the suitcase and she was hoping that she would beat him there.

 

“I was hoping you’d show up soon…” He scooped her into a kiss and she gets lost in it… “…how’s the studying going?”

 

“It’s actually not bad… I think I am finally getting the hang of it.”

 

“Well if you need me for anything, I’d be glad to help we could always do some creative aspect to make you remember it better…”

 

“I might take you up on that offer, but Liam helped me out…” Hope could feel the temperature drop as soon as she said his name.

 

“Excuse me but since when have you been in Liam’s company?”

 

“I’m not I just ran into him at a café and we got around to talking about Beth…”

 

“Sure of course… that’s how he got your attention he mentioned Beth…”

 

“Thomas why are you acting this way… Liam is trying to better himself so he can be a part of Beth’s life that’s all that he wants…” Hope really didn’t want to fight with Thomas especially when they have limited time together.

 

“Stop being fucking naïve Hope. He is using Beth to get to you…”

 

“Oh like you used Douglas?!” It felt like cold water thrown on him. He just backs up and Hope realizes how low she went.

 

“You know what Hope… I told you that I would tell you things that you didn’t want to hear when needed because I love you. I’m not going to give honeyed words that was intended to keep you from moving on. I’m not here to gaslight you. I also told you I don’t fucking do triangles so you can go to hell trying to use my PTSD against me right now in order to make Liam good. If this is how you feel about me deep down, then I’m getting a lawyer now. I just want you to think about something did Liam actually apologize to you or tell you what he thought you wanted to hear. Did he actually say sorry?” Thomas can’t fucking believe Hope. He’s worked on himself and their relationship only for his darkest hour to be thrown in fucking service to Liam.

 

He grabs his keys and suitcase and leaves. When Hope hears the door click shut she starts to go over what just happened. She can’t believe that she used Douglas against him. It was one of the first things they had talked about as a couple that they wouldn’t use Douglas against each other.

 

She thinks back to everything she talked about with Liam and realizes that Tom was right. Liam never said he was sorry. He told her what he should be doing but it scares her because she sees that Liam was telling her what she wanted to hear. She wanted to badly believe that Liam was genuinely going to be there for Beth. He never talked about being there for Kelly which she sees as a red flag now.

 

She wanted badly to believe that Liam would be there for Beth because of her insecurities about her daddy issues. She cries when she realizes that Liam was using that to take advantage of her.

 

She knows Thomas is serious about contemplating divorce. He was so hurt when Douglas’s name rolled out of her mouth.

 

Hope frets on what she should do and as much as she wants to talk to Steffy about this she knows that Steffy would definitely not want to be in the middle of this. But she knows deep down that Steffy will side with Thomas if everything were to come out. She can’t even think about studying now because she’s afraid her husband may not ever come back home.

Chapter Text

Thomas has been like a bull seeing red since he left his condo. He cannot believe that Hope actually went there but even more so she didn’t take Liam to be the liar that he is. Thomas is mad at himself because he threw the divorce word and he never wants to use that word lightly.

 

He hates how it came out as a threat because he loves his wife. Even if he’s so angry with her he loves her. As angry as he is with Hope, he knows the real person to blame is Liam. He’s playing with Hope’s head and telling her the things she wants to be true for Beth’s sake. It’s in Hope’s nature especially with Liam to want to believe him.

 

She wasted nearly ten years of her life with him listening to broken promises and always waiting Thomas knows he should have calmed down a little and talked it out with Hope but he isn’t perfect. He needs to blow off some steam and he knows exactly where he needs to go.

 

He makes a beeline for Wyatt’s home because he knows that’s where Liam is. He hates how his mother’s old house is somehow a haven for Liam, but he can’t think about that right now.

 

When he knocks on the door it makes Flo jump. He knows she is probably very confused on why he’s there, but he can see that she is coming to open the door anyways.

 

“Go get Liam…” Thomas wasn’t going to wait for any forced pleasantries. Flo feels that same sense of fear when Thomas told her to keep silent.

 

She doesn’t give two fucks about Liam, so she does what Thomas asks and Liam comes down the stairs to find Thomas in the living room.

 

“Oh wow I could have gone my whole day without seeing you…”

 

“I feel the same way dipshit. I only came here to tell you if you try to play games with my wife then you are sorely mistaken that it will go anywhere…” Thomas knows he needs to be careful with his words he doesn’t want any blowback on Hope with their custody agreement.

 

“Is that so Thomas and pray tell would happen?” This is Liam he has always seen that no one could.

 

“I won’t be doing anything Liam. You can’t commit to a lease let alone Beth or Kelly for that matter. You are so upset that you have been left behind. The only reason you care to try something with Hope now is because Steffy is done with you. You have no capacity to understand how deeply you wounded either of them or maybe you did and its how you always think you can swoop in.”

 

“Thomas like you are one to talk… you used your son--”

 

“Which I regret everyday but do you regret using Kelly and Beth? Lies through your teeth about wanting to be a father. If you want to be a father show up to your visits instead of wasting caseworker’s time.”

 

“Oh don’t worry I plan on it! I am going to have everything that’s mine again…”

 

“Nothing is yours Liam. Hope is not some ragdoll you get to play with and then throw on the floor when you decided you want something new and shiny to play with. And Beth even more so. You don’t get to play with that little girl. If you want to be a father then go through the proper channels that have been established because this bullshit will not last… believe it.”

 

“Yeah because Hope will see you for who you are and I will have my family back…”

 

“Liam you are embarrassing yourself right now. You haven’t been a father to her most of her life just like you haven’t to my niece. Beth calls me daddy and Kelly calls Jay that because guess what we are there. If you want to be a father no one’s going to stop you but you don’t get to play with their mother’s minds. You just shown me that you don’t give a damn…”

 

“I don’t have to show you shit… You stole my wife from me and the only reason Beth is calling you anything is because she is confused.”

 

“I’m pretty sure its clear to Beth and Liam for the record it would be impossible for me to steal Hope. She does what she wants and I don’t stop her… ever… that’s the difference between me and you. You had to stifle her… keep her in place and not allow her growth so she could never outgrow you. I don’t need Hope to stay stagnant to wonder if she will stay. She’s there because she wants to be… she’s becoming an independent woman and I know that scares you. It makes me gleeful Liam… positively gleeful even if Hope and I were not to work out that she would never return to sniveling little bitch like you because she can see what a sad piece of work you are. She will have had a relationship where she came first and to never expect anything less… to feel like less. So even if you got what you wanted Liam… I promise you so will I…”

 

Thomas feels so good as he’s leaving Wyatt’s house he decides to go back home and talk with Hope.

 

He’s still upset with her but he’s also upset at himself with how things devolved and he never wants to give Liam the satisfaction. He always told Hope that only they can break no one else. He knows how her mind works and she’s probably beating herself up right now.

 

He decides to drive back home and talk to his wife. He’s calm enough again where he can actually just talk to her.

 

When he gets back home, he finds her crying holding a pillow. They look at each other and she is unsure whether to come to him or not. He walks over and sits on the opposite end and just thinks on what he is going to say.

 

“Thomas… I’m so sorry… I didn’t mean it…”

 

“I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have left and I really shouldn’t have said the word divorce…” Hope wasn’t really expecting an apology from her husband. She was ready to beg for him because it’s what she knows.

 

“I didn’t envision you would apologize Tom. I thought it was my fault…”

 

“Not everything is your fault Hope. We both said things we regret and now we are talking about it. I should have never said go to hell or call you naïve. So let’s talk…” She nods at him and she’s ready to listen as well.

 

“I spoke to Liam today and it was innocuous meeting. It was café that we both knew and he ran into me while I was studying. He started talking about Beth and wanting to really be there for her and that made me willing to listen to him. Liam started talking about being more involved in her life and wanting to be a cohesive co-parenting unit and I believed him. You’re right though I was being naïve because of my daddy issues. I value your honesty Thomas and I don’t want you to tip-toe around me. It’s how I am so fucked up in the first place…”

 

“You’re not fucked up… I’m glad we got to talk about this and us but we really need to speak about Liam.”

 

“Okay…”

 

“I went to visit Liam today… Before I even got there, I could smell the bullshit. He doesn’t want to co-parent Hope he wants you back and that’s clear. He is still living with Wyatt. If he was serious about wanting to move on, he would be in his own place and not living in a home where Flo is. I’ve seen his game enough with my sister and I can’t really stop you if that’s what you want but Hope even if you end up leaving me, don’t settle for anyone who makes you feel less than. It’s okay to want more…” Thomas is putting everything on the line being vulnerable with his wife. He’s not going to try and keep her under wraps like he owns her.

 

“I don’t love him. I did want him to say sorry to me but when you walked out the door I realize I didn’t need that. I needed you… I needed our life. Thomas you complete me in a way I never could have dreamed of. I wanted to believe that Liam wanted to be a good father for Beth’s sake because I know what it’s like to blame yourself but then I thought she looks at you for that. She smiles when you come in the room. If Liam wants to be there for her then I won’t stop him but love doesn’t fill my heart for him. It’s only you Thomas… it scared me when you said divorce. I can live without you I’m sure of that but that would be a torture. It tears my heart to even contemplate…”

 

They both get up and go to hug each other and she feels at home again. He holds her hand and she follows him to their bedroom.

 

It’s like he can read her mind without words… she needs him to complete her after this dust-up. Erase all the worries she has felt for the last couple of hours.

 

They get to their bed and peel the other’s clothes and just connect. He kisses and nips all over her body and the gasps and moans that rise from her throat eggs him on. When he slips a finger into her he can feel her whole body shudder and he’s missed this. This was what he wanted as soon as he came home but good things come to those who wait he supposes.

 

The whispered I love yous that he kisses on the skin of her stomach makes her reel. She clutches at the sheets as he slips another finger in her. He twirls his tongue on her clit. Her hand finds his head and pushes it closer to her and he just smiles at her coming undone. He doesn’t bother teasing her… he does curls his fingers and massages her g-spot and he knows he hit the bullseye when she screams.

When he withdraws his fingers, he gives her clit a very soft pinch that makes her whine and it makes him even harder for her.

 

He slips in stretching her and they both gasp missing the feeling only the other can illicit. Thomas picks her up so she’s on top and the intensity makes Hope feel like Thomas is even deeper. She looks in those warm eyes and forgets about everything but him.

 

“I love you…” She can only whisper but it might as well have been a shout to Thomas.

 

Hope just rocks herself back and forth thinking to herself she would burn the world if they tried to take her husband from her.

Chapter Text

Ever since their fight it seemed like their relationship was stronger. Hope knew that she had to wise up and stop being so naïve.

 

She got herself in so many situations believing in people’s best intentions and not really thinking about the ulterior motives. It was a wake up call for her when Liam fed her lies. He didn’t keep his promise when she made it clear that them being co-parents would be their only interaction.

 

Being with someone like Thomas helps her see how people can be. Whether it’s at work and they are in meetings with people who are more than ready to belittle her or in their personal life with her interactions with Liam and her mother.

 

Her mother was an interesting topic. Sometimes she does feel a yearning. It hurts Hope in a way to be so far apart from her mother on an emotional level, but she also knows that her relationship with her mother is toxic and triggering for her.

 

She doesn’t know how to make her current life exists with her mother and she also doesn’t know if she wants too. It’s hard to trust in her mother because of her mother’s meddling and trying to tell her that Thomas wasn’t the right one for her.

 

It’s been hard on her because of the big emotional toll it takes and her therapist tells her all the time that co-dependent relationships are not cut and dry. Even if you decide to disengage those feelings tied to it do not disappear. It’s valid to feel separation anxiety, lost and vulnerable.

 

Hope feels that but she also feels rage because she lived her life for so long with her head in the sand. Her mother was supposed to protect her, but it was her mother she needed to protection from. For the first time in her life she has truly felt stable.

 

She had a job she discovered she liked doing. It was something that didn’t have the expectation of making her mother happy that appealed to her more. She knew to really help herself that she needed to stop trying to seek her mother’s validation.

 

She knows when her line got axed by Steffy, it brought up so many detrimental feelings within her. It was something that tied her to her mother and it was gone in a flash. It was hard to reconcile that. She didn’t care about seeing that it didn’t make financial sense for the line or that people weren’t buying it. She could only think about having a line at the same place as her mother. Her mother telling her that she was so proud of her. She seeked out the validation of Brooke and when the line ceased it was like that validation ceased as well.

 

It made her feel off-kilter and she didn’t know how to react. It made her even more terrified when she examined her feelings for Thomas.

 

She tried to bury them, it was something her mother didn’t approve of. Liam was her ‘destiny’ as far as her mother concerned. She had so tried so hard and for so long to make it work with Liam. Her mother was in her corner telling her that it was only a matter of time before true love reigned and his dalliances with Steffy would be over.

 

But they never did. Her relationship with Liam never felt like it was just them. This grand love that her mother said she had made her feel empty and hollow so much of the time. She became an even more anxious person wondering when everything would come falling down. Her trust was eroded at every turn. She couldn’t trust in the fleeting happiness because she knew that she would always have to compete on some level.

 

On some level she knew that Liam wasn’t the one for her when Wyatt came into the picture. Even though she isn’t in love with Wyatt he was a breath of fresh air. He made it possible for her to see that there was more to life than Liam.

 

Even though the relationship ended with the death of their son, it gave her some clarity. It also gave her a little chink in the armor. Even though she got back with Liam when she came back and had Beth, she knew she could walk away.

 

Even her mother with all the power Brooke had over Hope couldn’t manipulate her like she used too. Wyatt helped her to see she was capable in being happy with someone else. The distance from her mother made her grow the fuck up.

 

She discovered more of herself when she was away. She allowed herself to feel free of the pressures she felt plagued her. When she came back she could admit that the allure of her co-dependent relationship with her mother reeled her in.

 

The toxicity of her relationship with Liam had it’s own allure. It was something she knew, it was easy to get caught up in old memories and what she felt was rightly hers.

Even though she knows now that nothing in life is rightfully anyone’s, it’s subjective… it felt so valid to be angry with Steffy and tell her that it was her fault. It was Steffy’s fault that her relationship with Liam never got to flourish. It felt good on a selfish level when Steffy caught her and Liam. It was nice to see Steffy’s anger and anguish at finding Liam with her. She reveled in it… she wanted Steffy to hurt like she hurt. Every time Liam would leave her for Steffy, she felt less than… She thought that she was taking back the power back from Steffy.

 

When she had Steffy moved on, she didn’t understand it or even trusted it. They should be in a battle for Liam, to the end of time it seemed. When she thought she lost Beth, the fog started to clear. She realized that Steffy never had the power and neither did she. It was always Liam, she always made Steffy out to the enemy to her happiness instead of looking truly at the problem.

 

Liam had years to make a decision between her and Steffy and all he did was do a back and forth. None of the marriages he had ever lasted a year and somehow she still went running to him. She refused to see the red flags and her mother validated that he should be in her life.

 

She always thought the worst thing that could happen to her was losing Liam. That paled in comparison to losing her second child. It was another chink in the armor. She knew that she could move on from Liam. Then Thomas came back and bulldozed himself in her life.

 

He was someone her mother didn’t want her to be with. She knows the resentment between the both of them runs deep.

 

She knew when she chose to be with Thomas that her relationship with her mother would never be the same. Taylor’s children were the embodiment of her and the tie that Ridge has with her.

 

They also championed their mother at every opportunity. Especially Thomas, the fact that he hated her mother was one reason that her mother really pushed Liam hard on her.

 

She also knew that in some way being with him was a rebellion and probably a betrayal in her mother’s mind. She didn’t know if it was something that made her love Thomas more, but she was sure that the mutual dislike they have for each other didn’t make her love her husband any less.

 

If she thought about the person she was even just five years ago, she would balk at the idea of her having a passionate marriage with Thomas.

He spoke to her in a way that challenges her, makes her want more for herself and more invested in her relationship with him.

 

He pushed her to do things that made her scared. She was in college and actually good at it. She was terrified at the prospect that people would laugh at her because she was older but he made her see there’s nothing wrong with living life at your own pace.

 

She was attracted to his personality which surprised her because he was just so different from Liam. Both he and Liam are domineering but Liam was domineering in an emotional sense. He was able to manipulate her and made her insecure. Whereas Thomas knew how to control the tempo of the room. He made it run at the speed he wanted and that attracts her so much. Even now when they go into meetings. He’s sometimes subtle and says very little, other times he takes charge from the moment he sets foot in the room.

 

He also imposed his will in bed which still made her blush. He did things to her she is too embarrassed to say out loud to her friends. Which is probably for the best because she doubts that Steffy wants to hear about her brother fucking her until she passed out from her orgasms.

 

All this thinking she’s doing only remind her that the decision she made was the right one. She was the most fulfilled she has ever been in her life. She did sacrifice some things to get here but she can’t say she regrets them. Her relationship with Brooke would never recover but she thinks to herself maybe it wasn’t supposed to. It is okay to knock out the toxicity from your life and her mother was one of them.

 

She doesn’t know how she could go back to thinking her mother knew what was best for her. Every time Thomas bit the lobe of her ear or pinched her nipple she knows that everything she knew before was a lie. Her body flames for the man she is with now and anything else pales in comparison.  

 

She gets up and goes for his office and doesn’t bother knocking. Beth was with Taylor, so the house was to themselves. She starts to unbutton her dress and by the time she reaches her husband she was down to her panties.

 

She didn’t know what it was about the combination of his glasses and cardigan that just made her want to suck his dick to kingdom come. He knows what it does to her because he has worn his contacts less and less. He looked like a version of Clark Kent and something about that was so sexy to her. He looked so cute and nerdy, but he was never shy about what he wanted. It excited her that he wanted her.

 

She goes to towards the sofa and slips her panties off. She bends over and moves the ottoman naked allowing for Thomas to have a full view of her pussy from behind. he could probably even see that she was wet.

 

When she settles herself on the sofa, she uses the ottoman so she can lie down and slip a lubed finger in her cunt in plain view of Thomas. He knew as soon as she came in naked that she was up to no good.

 

He dropped his pencil and just stared at her massaging her pussy, moaning his name. There was something so erotic to him about her fucking herself but clearly thinking about him. He loved that her desire was for him. He liked having power over her wants. He loved knowing that he could drive her crazy without even having to do anything to her. Making her wet with just a thought.

 

He could see that her eyes were closed. He started to take his pants off when he spotted her smiling. Surely she heard the noise of him unfastening. She probably thought that he would jack himself off at the sight of her pleasing herself, but he had no intention of doing that. He got up silently from his desk and let her get lost in the feeling of fucking herself with her fingers.

 

He sat himself right in front of her pussy and just watched her rocking herself on her fingers. He decided he had enough of this. He takes off his glasses and leans forward and licks the whole length of her pussy and he swears he could see the muscles in her legs twitching. He licks the fingers that were in her cunt before he starts to eat her out.

 

“Only use your tongue baby…” her whisper was tinged with a moan that came from him sucking hard on her clit. Being with him had made her more decisive on what she wanted him to do to her.

She wasn’t as scared to be forthright about her wants. She loved to come and she loved it even more when he teases her to the point of lunacy.

 

She knew that he had fun tormenting her and on some level she liked tormenting herself. Every lick and swipe made her feel more alive than the last. When he flattened his tongue then curved it on her clit the way she liked she was gone. Her orgasm went through her.

 

He didn’t give her anytime before moving her body completely to the sofa and himself spread on top of her, entering her.

 

She didn’t know how long she would last before she had another one. He knew that if he fucked her during her orgasm it would just make her lose it again.

 

He didn’t last long himself, he didn’t even bother with having any self-control. He wanted to cum then and there and when her walls squeezed him, he shuddered and his dick twitched. A few more pumps was all it took. He was filling her and it felt like it would never end and his loud strained grunt in her ear only made her pull him closer to her.

 

He collapsed on her and she loved the weight of him on her. She loved to feel the heat of his body, his muscles flexing when her hands searched his body.

 

She locked her arms and legs around him never wanting to let him go.

 

“As much as I love fucking you, what was that?” Thomas is not one to ever turn down sex from his wife, but this was just so unexpected.

 

 

“You make me wet all the time, sometimes I’m in class or in a study group and I start getting turned on when I think about you. I was just contemplating how lucky my life is with you and the passion you bring out of me. You push me to be a better version of myself and it makes me so horny.”

 

 

“I like to think I’m pretty lucky too. You can make my dick hard at a moment’s notice. I think I might harden while I’m still in you to be honest. But more than that you’re down for whatever. People don’t get to see how witty you are, obviously you’re pretty but your capacity for intelligence is amazing. People underestimate you all the time and you make them regret it and nothing turns me on faster than that.” He spoke frankly to her and it might be silly to some people but never to her. She’s never felt anything like this before. Her marriage to Thomas… has been her longest relationship. There was no off-again with him.

 

 

 She takes his words to heart. She was still learning about the business and sometimes she did make mistakes, but she did grasp on quickly to the things Thomas was able to teach her about the firm’s business. She believes him when he compliments her about her professional acumen.

 

 

 

It was what she was the most proud of. She was doing things of her own merit and it had nothing to do with her mom or aunts giving her something and she profit on something where she didn’t actually put in the work involved.

 

 

“I love you Thomas…” He always knew how to make her emotional when he talked about why he loved her.

 

 

“I love you too baby. So much…” He would never be this way with someone else and they both know it.

 

She feels him getting hard in her and it makes her whole body flush.

 

 

“Fuck me slow honey…” This was a request he was always willing to grant and he would be granting it for a while.

 

They had the house to themselves and he couldn’t think of anything better than counting how many times he could make his wife come undone.

Chapter Text

Liam was more involved with Beth, but Hope made sure that they had a strict custody plan laid out. It was something that he wasn’t receptive too but he couldn’t argue with much. The naïve parts of her wanted to give him a chance to prove himself as a father but the other part of her believed that he was using access to Beth to try and get close to her.

 

Thomas tried to keep himself out of it to not come off as controlling or coercive. He had his own opinions of how Hope should handle it but at the end of the day it wasn’t his decision. He only offered his opinion if she asked for it.

 

Hope decided that they needed a clear custody plan and it wasn’t effective to try and do it herself. They needed a custody agreement to be done through arbitration or the state. She knew that if she tried to do it on her own that if she brought Thomas with her as support and backup that Liam could be antagonistic and it could devolve into a fight.

 

She was also afraid that if she tried to do it alone that she would get ambushed with her mother. A neutral third party needed to be brought in. She thought about arbitration, but she decided to go the route Steffy and use the court to determine what custody should be.

 

She was glad that a neutral third party had to bring Beth back and forth because she didn’t want Liam knowing where she lived. It gave her a peace of mind even though he had argued that it was excessive. Him saying that he was entitled to know where his daughter lived made the hairs on the back of her neck stand. When he said things like that it made her nervous that other people would agree with him, but it only made him be seen as manipulative by the court.

 

It was validating for her that other people saw what she was trying to protect herself from. It also helped that her lawyer got his case with Steffy introduced even though Liam’s lawyers tried to argue that it was immaterial.

 

The judge didn’t agree, she said that how he parents and the co-parenting relationship he has with his other child and their parent is the strongest indicator in how he will handle this situation. It didn’t help Liam’s case whatsoever. Hope wasn’t trying to block him from Beth’s life, she was just trying to protect herself and her child.

 

The judge gave her primary physical custody but technically they had joint custody but with Beth being so young that overnight stays with Liam wouldn’t be the best option. Liam also didn’t have a setup for his children so that helped the decision.

She could breath easier now. She finished her semester with straight As which she wasn’t expecting because she thought she bombed on her of finals. She got an 88 on it which allowed her to just squeak out an A in the class.

 

Thomas was gone for about a week to check out the progress for the opera house in Oregon so she didn’t get to celebrate with him when she got her grades but she was happy when he told her that he was coming home early and that they had to celebrate her accomplishment.

 

She thought it was kind of silly to be so excited to celebrate getting good grades but when she FaceTimed Thomas, he shut it down quick. When he told her that he was proud of her getting such good grades. This was on top of having a job and having to be a mom to a young child.

 

It was always easy for her to be self-deprecating when it came to things she accomplished because for the longest time she was unfulfilled. Her accomplishments that she had in her life felt fake because she didn’t put the requisite work into it. She wasn’t a designer by trade so she relied on other people’s work to succeed. It made her cringe now thinking about how much money she spent being stupid. Like jet-setting for the Hope diamond and galivanting between the states and Europe on private jets.

 

Balancing the books and going through their expenditures for Ashford and Hamilton really made Hope see how much money was wasted on Hope for the Future. She was able to analyze better why Steffy ended up firing her.

 

Between her business classes and her job she saw how inefficient she was at Forrester and she would have fired herself sooner.

 

She learned a lot in her first year at college that helped her become more business savvy and reduce the mistakes she would have made had she not taken the business classes she did. As much as Thomas could function in that capacity, he relied on her because she wanted to do that job. She knows her husband was always telling her to rely on him if she needed it because he would be happy to help her, she didn’t want him to have to do everything.

 

She wanted him to be able to focus all his attention on the client and to deliver what they wanted and she deliver on the logistics and balance their numbers. She couldn’t afford to make costly mistakes, so she had to make herself as knowledgeable as possible and use Thomas as a last resort.

 

Her business acumen sharply increased because of it and she finally sees the value in her hard work. She might have gotten the job with Thomas because he was her husband, but she decided she was going to do well because he had enough belief in her to do it right.

 

Her time was extremely limited because she has to juggle school, motherhood and the company. She tried to take as much online coursework as she could so she could work from home. She still needed a nanny for when she really had to focus on her work, but she made sure to be really engaged with Beth and Douglas when he visited.

 

The balancing act wasn’t remotely easy, but it did make her feel proud of herself for rising to the occasion. She didn’t quit and she pushed through the anxiety and the doubt to come out on the other side.

 

It was what made her earning a spot on the Dean’s List so fulfilling. She was never that kind of student and being told that she was apart of a select few in a competitive program made her feel intelligent.

 

She had brought up her insecurities to Thomas regarding his family before she started school. All of them were insanely intelligent and accomplished and she had nothing close to that. When he told her that everyone does things in their own time it really calmed her. As much as she hated it now, she relied on her mother to placate her and make excuses for her when she didn’t succeed at something.

 

Now she didn’t make excuses for things she could control. She didn’t view failure in the same way and she didn’t break down either. She used it as a learning lesson. Working at Ashford and Hamilton she encountered a lot of people who dismiss her, but they soon find out what happens when they underestimate her. In the beginning Thomas sometimes fought her battles to be seen but now she was able to put people in their place for speaking to her out of turn. She was less shy about speaking up for herself.

 

She emphasized the Hamilton surname more and more and started to shy away from Forrester with certain clients. People were quick to dismiss her when they found out she was married to Thomas. Some had the opinion she was just some trophy wife forcing her husband to give her a job. It was disgusting how men especially older men disregarded her because they believed she only got her job by how well she performed bedroom tricks.

 

It was one of the reasons she was taking every session available in school because she wanted to get her business degree immediately. She CLEPed her way through the courses she couldn’t use her AP scores from high school to get ahead. She wanted to shave off as much time as possible because she knew that she would be taken more seriously if she had a business degree.

 

Stuffy old people at some of the events that they had to go to and schmooze would ask what school they went to and Thomas had his ivy-league education and when they asked her where she went had gone, she was silent. She was still in school, but Thomas never skipped a beat and said UCLA.

 

It impressed some of them to find out that she was in the Anderson school. She didn’t know it was anything to brag about next to Thomas and his double ivy-league education. When they got home, they didn’t make it to the bedroom before he started getting her out of her dress. He was fucking her doggy-style on the living room floor when he told her Anderson is one of the hardest business programs to get into. She smiled into the carpet rug when he told her that. When he made her cum, her shoulder started to burn from the rug when he told her it was a top 15 business school in the U.S.

 

It stung when he kissed her shoulder, but he called her a smart cookie and she couldn’t think about her shoulder. She was still in the haze of her orgasm and finding out that she was in a highly competitive program.

 

She felt her most powerful and it motivated her to not be anything other than the best at what she was trying to achieve.  She didn’t only want Thomas and Beth to be proud of what she could achieve but she also wanted to be proud of herself.

 

She wanted to fulfill her own goals on her merits. She wanted to be able to make the old men and even some old women look foolish to question her place at the company. As sexy as it was that Thomas stood up for her, it was sexier for her to stand up for herself. Besides it making her husband hornier when she showed people she could handle people by herself, it made her step out of the shadows.

 

She didn’t need people to fight her battles because she knew that she could be as strong as anyone else. She didn’t need Brooke, Liam, or even Thomas to do that for her anymore.

 

The old Hope would have seen stars in her eyes to be defended by her mother and Liam but she was also naïve to the manipulations and gaslighting. She was living life on her own terms and that should make plenty of people be afraid and take notice.

 

She wasn’t the foolish girl anymore. Hope Logan was the clueless and blindly trusting ingenue, but Hope Hamilton Forrester was a work in progress, but she was on her way to being a self-assured woman who was building a name and reputation for herself.

 

She heard keys in the door and she ran to it, as Thomas was coming through the door he didn’t have much time to react before Hope was jumping on him. He wrapped his arms around her bottom to support her and they met in a kiss.

 

They could feel the others need. He sucked her lower lip in his mouth and opened his eyes. Her eyes focused on his. He could feel her hot breath from their proximity. He let go of her lip which made her pout.

 

“This is a nice hello.” Thomas loved getting a homecoming like this. If they could make this a regular thing he would be over the moon.

 

“Well it’s nice to see you. I missed you so much honey.”

 

He kicked the door shut and locked it. “I missed you too baby. I always love my homecomings though.”

 

She laughs into his before she gives him a playful bite on his jaw. He didn’t think they would make it to their bedroom he found the nearest wall. The wall was so cold it made her shiver while Thomas was showing her exactly how much he missed her.

 

She pinched her nipples as he rubbed on her clit. She didn’t know it until she started having sex with him that she could be so sensitive. She cums and all of her starts to feel heavy. Her orgasm pulled all of her energy, she was being held up by Thomas’s strong arms as he kept fucking her until he climaxed.

 

She was so sensitive it made her shake when he came in her. The next thing she knew she was under the blanket on the sofa and she must have fell asleep after. She shifted her legs and she still felt that tender ache below.

 

“I see that you’re up.” She heard his voice, she looked up and saw him sitting at the end of the sofa on his laptop with his glasses on. She surmised he must be doing some work. It bothered her that you couldn’t tell from him that he just had rough sex against the wall but she was put to sleep from it.

 

“Yes… and I feel so good.” She stretched as she told Thomas how she felt.

 

“Good because we have dinner reservations soon.”

 

“What?! We’re still going out?”

 

“Did you still make straight As?” He said this matter of fact and it made her laugh. She thought they would just have a quiet night at home and maybe have one more round in bed and call it a day.

 

The happiness she felt gave her a burst of energy she jumped and the blanket fell off of her as she crawled fast to her husband. She reached her arms around him and gave him a big hug and kiss. She put her head on his shoulder for maybe half a minute before she uttered. “I love you Thomas.”

 

“I love you too. I’m proud of you and we are going to celebrate your achievement all night long.” Hope shivered from what he said because the last part sounded like a dark promise.

 

Chapter Text

Hope was beaming, she had graduated from her business school with a dual BBA/MBA degree. Her persistence in wanting to be done with it really paid off. She could call herself a college graduate now and it made her so happy.

 

It was how a graduation was supposed to feel. The last time she graduated it was hard on her because it was synonymous with a betrayal. Her mother had slept with Oliver and that time always reminded her of that, but she had had another graduation that replaced those memories. All she felt know was the ecstatic cheers of her family. Beth’s laughing face, Douglas’s high fives, Thomas beaming smile that sent just the best feelings to her heart.

 

She could remember when she walked the stage, she could hear Thomas, Steffy, Ridge and Taylor screaming for her when they called her name. It wasn’t an easy journey for her but that’s why it probably felt sweeter. She was doing everything within her power to make sure the firm got off the ground, be a present mother and wife and be a diligent and engaged student.

 

Sometimes she cried when she felt like she wasn’t doing any of those right, but she just took time to keep things in prospective. These were the times that she was so happy to have Thomas as a spouse, he could read her like a book. Real communication was something that she said that she valued but she ran away from it and her past relationships. It wasn’t something she could do with Thomas. He could see right through her like a clean window, it made her feel unnerved and vulnerable for him to see her like that. His stare is unlike any she had seen before. She felt exposed and it was the weirdest but most welcome feeling when he didn’t let her down. With Wyatt she couldn’t resolve her anger at him because of Quinn even if it was misplaced. With Liam he always let her down, she just couldn’t trust him. He ruined her already shot self-confidence with always having someone else involved in their relationship.

 

She finally felt protected in her relationship when she was bare, when she felt overwhelmed and her anxiety was rearing it’s head… Thomas could see her becoming unfocused. It was when he suggested that they add more employees to the payroll so they could delegate more work so she could still keep her focus. It was the best decision for them because when they booked more projects it was easier when she wasn’t the point person for every contract. There was only so much time in the day and dealing with different time zones and the amount of accounts they had was too much for just one person.

 

She missed a few classes because of work but she knew she couldn’t make that a long-term thing because she didn’t want to fail due to not showing up. It made it easier for her to keep up with her studies and be more present for her family.

 

It became more of a transition for them all when Douglas moved back with Thomas. The little boy made his wishes clear, he wanted to live with his father full-time again. He still visited Steffy’s house often, but it was a new addition to their household, it was different for Hope.

 

The first time she lived with Douglas it felt different. It took her lots of therapy for her to realize that she was being unfair to Douglas. He was going through his own trauma losing his mother when she used him to help fill the void of Beth being gone. Even though she knew she had a lot of love to give, the transference was not healthy for anyone in the long-term. She didn’t want to have a co-dependent relationship with the boy when she knew that she had those tendencies because of how she grew up. She didn’t want to continue the cycle that she was trying to break within herself. She didn’t want to add anymore emotional turmoil in his life or give him any complexes.

 

Douglas living with them also helped her relationship with Thomas inadvertently, the boy wanting to live with Thomas full-time meant that Thomas was there more. Them securing more contracts meant more money in the pipeline and Thomas was able to find and cultivate great young talent which allowed him to travel much less and let other architects design structures as well which freed him up to be with them.

 

She could deal with the situation of having a husband who had to travel frequently for work. It was something she got used to since Thomas started the company. It wasn’t the most ideal, but she knew how important it was for Thomas to have to travel. She got to see it firsthand when she followed him to Eugene but she was so happy that he was home more now because she wasn’t following him anymore. She had to stay put for college and she wanted Beth to able to get used to her surroundings and that couldn’t happen if they were always moving.

 

“What are you thinking about?”

 

As Thomas’s voice pulled her from her thoughts, she could feel him tracing her skin and it made her body hum. It was amazing to her sometimes that even with her back turned, Thomas could tell when she was in a deep state of thinking…

 

“I was thinking about us…”

 

She turned over and she looked at him. All she wanted to do was scoot closer to him and be in his arms. That’s exactly what she did and was rewarded for it when he pulled her even closer and was rubbing up and down her back.

 

Thomas was very attuned to her and her needs. She didn’t need her therapist to tell her that she was a person that craved physical touch as reassurance. For a long time her crippling anxiety made it hard for her to initiate physical contact with a romantic partner.

 

He gave her what she needed, maybe to some they had a lot of public displays of affection, it made her laugh sometimes that Douglas said eww like a normal child, but it was something she needed. The kisses, the hugs, the hand holding grounded her. She knew he was present with her and it was a part of her healing from her traumas. His kisses weren’t empty promises, his hugs never made her question if he wanted another woman in his arms. The amount of sex they had made her whole body sing but she felt the trust when they looked in each other’s eyes.

 

“What about us?” Thomas could tell when Hope was actually sleeping or when she was thinking, something about how her body looked. It wasn’t something that he could explain, just something he could feel.

 

“I was just thinking on how I love our life, you’re home more, we have Douglas and Beth. Our professional life is great. I guess I’m just feeling lucky. I know I think about it often and sometimes you have to stop me from crying, but I don’t know… I guess I just get so happy that I examine how I got here.”

 

Thomas looked at her with a blank face as she stared back at him. He just gave her a quick kiss and moved some of her hair from her face.

 

“You got here because you told yourself that you wanted something new and you chased it. Hope remember when you said you were weak… I told you I don’t see you that way, but you showed yourself that you don’t believe that BS. Baby you have done so much for yourself because it’s what you wanted. You took a leap and bet on yourself and I can shout it from the rooftops that I’m so proud of you, you’re a great mother and stepmother. You’re a great businesswoman and an awesome wife but that means nothing—”

 

“Thomas that means so much for me to hear that from you!”

 

He smacked her ass, she let out a long loud moan that had her shifting her legs.

 

“You didn’t let me finish. I was going to say it means nothing if you don’t believe those things about yourself. One of the things that I love most about you is the journey in how proud you are in being good at all of the things you do. You used to say it was too late for you to do things before but now the only person that defines who you are baby is you.” Thomas was serious about everything he said, otherwise he would never say it.

 

It was one of the reasons why Hope never had a hard time believing him. She’s seen him in professional and private settings. What you see is what you get. He wasn’t a person who liked to waste time and lollygag.

 

“You believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself… thank you for that. You know for the longest time; things were just done for me, but it never made me feel strong. It just made me more dependent because I was ignorant of how things in the real world were... I lived in a bubble and it was dangerous for me. I was a grown woman with a child still being coddled by my own mother and had a false sense of security with a man who didn’t really love me. It makes me cry sometimes because Thomas you can see me. The real me, the one who used to yearn to show herself but was too afraid of being seen. It makes me vulnerable and for the longest time I used to equate vulnerability with weakness. It wasn’t true, to be able to share my vulnerability, my insecurities, my doubts in myself and my abilities wasn’t a bad thing. I just had to wait for the right person to trust. And then came you. You told me that you would always be honest with me even when it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I needed that so badly in my life. No one trusted that I could handle anything, I didn’t want to be infantilized, I felt like everyone thought I was just some stupid little girl masquerading in a woman. You make me see that my doubts, insecurities, my vulnerability are things I can trust you with. You never abuse it, you don’t try to sweep things under the rug so I don’t have to confront it. You can call me out on my bullshit when I need it. I tried to do it all wanting to impress you with how I could juggle doing it all even though we both knew otherwise. I just love you so much because I can be who I want to be because I know you’re there whenever I need you. I can fall because I know you’ll be there to catch me. My love for you goes to the depths of my soul, I can live without you I know that, but being with you my life feels complete. I love to think about that everyday, I know people search their whole lives wanting to have real love not the bullshit that’s idealized on tv.”

 

Hope put her arm around him and pulled him closer to her and kissed him. She never knew that she could kiss anyone as much as she kisses Thomas. It was something she wanted to do all the time.

 

He lifted her up and put her on top him. She was straddling him; she could feel how hard he was under her. She bit her lip thinking about what was going to happen. She pulled on the hem of the t-shirt she was wearing which happened to be his and pulled it over her head.

 

He put his hands on her hips and ground her hips into his groin and it made her breast bounce which only enticed him more.

 

“Honey… oh god.” Hope loved fucking the most in the morning when they woke up. She ran her hands down her arm to make the goosebumps go away, she wasn’t having much luck.

 

“Touch yourself…” She listened to his words, closed her eyes and her hands went to her breast. She gave her nipples a nice light squeeze. “That’s right baby… pinch them harder…”

 

“Mmm Thomas… fuck!” Hope was playing with her tits in earnest now. Squeezing her breast, playing with the areola…

 

Thomas was enjoying the sight of his wife turning herself on. She was practically rutting on his dick. She wasn’t wearing any underwear so all she did was smear her wetness on his sweats. He loved when she went crazy.

 

He brought his knees up and she knew what to do. She angled herself where he got a nice view of her pussy.

 

When Thomas’s thumb touched her clit, she bucked her hip without meaning too.

 

“Oh god, Thomas please don’t tease.” Even though Hope knew that was about the worst thing she could say, she said it anyways.

 

“Look at the politeness on display. I won’t be teasing you though…” Hope felt a sense of relief that her husband was being nice but then he stopped touching her. “You will… I want to see you fuck yourself.”

 

Hope immediately reached for her pussy because she didn’t want the feeling to disappear. She tried to chase her want before it left her when Thomas’s thumb left her clit.

 

She was frantic, fucking herself with her fingers and using her palm to add friction to her clit.

 

“Fuck yourself faster baby, did you forget? The kids are with grandma you can scream.”

 

“Oh god Thomas!” Hope fucked her cunt faster with her fingers, but she couldn’t do this anymore. “Fuck it!”

 

She lifted herself up and pulled Thomas sweats down and his dick just sprang free. It amazed her how she could be so in love with it, but she could suck it later right now she had other things on her mind.

 

She sunk herself on it slowly and swiveled her hips. She enjoyed the feeling of the weight. It felt so heavy. She clenched herself around it and it made her feel even more turned on.

 

She angled herself so she could feel the drag of the head on her g-spot every time she came down. She opened her eyes to see his head resting comfortably in his hands taking in the sight.

 

It made Hope feel even more erotic and swirled her middle finger around her clit faster.

 

“Fuck! God I love your dick!” Hope screamed as she fucked herself harder on it. She was so close.

 

“If you make yourself come in the next ten seconds, I’ll eat you out on the island later.”

 

Hope’s shock from the statement and her finger frantically swirling on her clit was what made her ultimately climax. His hands moved to her hips pushed her up and down with his own strength as she was in the throes of her own orgasm so he could have his own.

 

Her uncontrolled clenching was what did it for him. he emptied himself in her.

 

“Fuck baby.” He pulled her close to him as he slipped out of her.

 

“I love you… I love you…”

 

She just kept repeating it as he made sure to kiss her all over… anywhere he could reach keeping her close.

 

“I love you too baby…”

 

He tilted her chin; her head had been resting in the crook of his neck. He bent a little to give her a long kiss. She just sighed into it, it sounded so peaceful, it made him happy.

 

They had a whole two days of just them ahead of them, no kids, no work, they could do whatever they liked and after they spent sometime outside having some kind of parent-free fun, he had an appointment that involved his kitchen counter that he couldn't to miss.  

Chapter Text

Hope usually worked from home, she did this by design so she could be with the kids. But as Beth started to get older, she knew had to put her in daycare, it was important for little children to socialize with other kids. As painful as it was, it was beneficial for her daughter.

 

She still liked the idea of working from home, she had her office and she liked being there just in case she got a school call or from the daycare. It didn’t happen often that she would get these calls, but she like to be prepared just in case.

 

Today was different, she had to go into the office. She was being interviewed, she was being interviewed by one of the biggest publications in real estate, they were doing a profile on her and she just couldn’t believe it.

 

She wasn’t one to think about accolades being given towards her. She still had a hard time accepting that she created all of this success. She knew that she was in a lucky role, she had a husband who wanted her to be involved in his business. When she first thought about helping Thomas, it really wasn’t about a passion of hers.

 

Her husband was her passion, she found that she wanted to help him build on his dreams. She just wanted to be a supportive wife, but when she actually started doing the work involved, she found that she loved it. She did what she had to do to get the requisite skills and respect. She made sure that she did well in school.

 

As much as she craved her husband’s respect, she craved her own even more. For so much of her life she relied on other people to do things for her. She was okay with just being given everything in her life. When she got that dose of reality from Steffy, she knew that she could have taken it in a completely different direction.

 

She could have just blamed Steffy for being jealous in some kind of way because of Liam. It would have been the biggest lie, because Steffy had moved on with her life. She couldn’t keep using the same excuses, the circumstances changed. She had to look inside of herself and wonder was this the kind of life that she wanted? To let life pass her by without having any kind of drive or passion to want something for herself. To let her mother and Liam dictate her life. She felt like a child, she looked to them before she took a leap.

 

Now when she thought about it, she thought of how pathetic that was, she couldn’t really see that she was asking for permission to do anything and everything in her life. She didn’t want to return to that. She didn’t have the respect of her colleagues at FC, she could understand why. She didn’t pull her weight; she took credit for other people’s successes and she took advantage of the fact that she had a leg up on everyone and didn't acknowledge it. People weren’t just given clothing lines.

 

At least with celebrity lines, the celebrities had some kind of merit, they were in the position to have a line because they had some kind of notoriety, they had built a network of some kind of work.

 

She had her mother… she went into a presentation with absolutely nothing and was told that it was brilliant, if someone pitched that to her at her company, she would have thanked them for coming and moved on.. Being unprepared shouldn’t be rewarded, she didn’t believe in winging it. That was just code for someone else is going to do the work for you and you are the one who’s going to take the credit as if you did it all. That’s how she lived her life. She could take the credit when everything went good, but when things went bad, she could have the plausible deniability of that wasn't me.

 

If things didn’t go their way then someone was going to get fired, she was able to escape accountability and now that she was older and a mother herself, she would never allow Beth or Douglas to use people like that. Especially when it came to hard work, she knew that they had a significant advantage being born into the life that they have. She knows that Thomas has so much money and even more so now with the company being successful. She was a powerful executive, and she had her own net worth.

 

She would do whatever she could to make sure that her children were taking care of, but she wasn’t going to coddle them. She wasn’t going to make them weak or needy. She knew that Thomas was a big proponent of not doing that. Any time he spoke with Douglas, he was always making it a lesson to be independent, he let Douglas make his own choices. Even if they were the wrong ones, it would be a learning lesson. It was something he learned from Taylor. Breed accountability from when they’re young. She liked that for the kids.

 

It was completely different than the relationship that she had with Liam, he hid things from her. He always thought that she couldn’t handle hearing things. She knew that it came from two places, one of them was the fact that he didn’t think that she was emotionally capable of handling things and another part was it made him feel like a ‘real man’, his savior complex was damaging to her... As if he was in some way protecting her. She thought it was incredibly chauvinistic of him. He wasn’t playing at being a man, it was really a way to control her.

 

She had allowed her mother and Liam to control her for so much of her life. She used to make excuses for it, she’s to pretend like it didn’t exist. She always used to say to herself that they wanted the best for her and that’s why they did the things they did. That’s the same thing that abuse victims say about their abusers. They do this because they love me… they love me so much they want what’s best for me and sometimes I don’t know what that is for myself.

 

She was done with that life, as soon as she started changing things around her. She felt like her vision got clearer, her life started to get better. Sometimes she used to attribute that to Thomas, she loved her husband, but she knew that she needed to stop that line of thinking. She was starting to put him on a pedestal, expecting him to lovingly control her.

 

He would tell her no, she had to do things because that’s what she wanted to do. He would always be there to help her and if she ever needed advice, he would come to her like a partner would, but he wasn’t going to dictate her life. If she didn’t take his advice, he wasn't going to be upset and chastise her about being naïve.

 

It empowered her, she started to feel more confident in the decisions that she made for herself in her life, as a mother and as a businesswoman.

 

She walked into the ten-story building. It would only be apropos for Thomas to be on the top floor, he had a huge office.

 

She was the only person who never needed an appointment to see her husband.

 

She didn’t even bother with the assistant. She let them do their work and went straight for her husband’s office. It was unlike any of the other offices within the building. Thomas had thick Oak on one side of his office, the side where the door was. When Hope stepped inside, she saw Thomas look up.

 

She saw him with his Superman glasses. She thought to herself he really did look like Clark Kent sometimes.

 

There were no pretenses for why she was there, Thomas had already known that she had an interview and that she was coming into the office. It was a big deal for them to have this interview, he usually was the one who was getting profiled, but it was really important that she be the one to do interviews too. They were trying to do things that were innovative, they were trying to push boundaries about the industry they were in.

 

Hope lied to herself, she said she didn’t try to please Thomas, she just didn’t do that on most fronts, but she did like to please him sexually. As much as he liked to please her sexually.

 

“You look nice, did you wear that for me?” Thomas didn’t drop his sketch pencil; he didn't even move a muscle. He kept his face blank.

 

Hope shifted in her heels; she realized her mistake as she was doing it, but she couldn’t stop herself. The sharklike smile that Thomas gave her only added to her movement.

 

“No, as you recall I have a meeting later. I wanted to look good for my interview. You’re not the only one that gets to be profiled by major publications.”

 

It made Thomas chuckle, his wife was right he wasn’t the only one that should have been profiled, he loved his wife achievements. He thought that she was brilliant, even though he thought that there was one thing that he would never waver on. His wife was a horrible liar.

 

“And I congratulate you on that, but I don’t appreciate your lies, you know what they do to me. Come here.” Thomas is voice was unyielding, it took an even deeper and richer tone which only made Hope that much more turned on.

 

Hope made her way over to him, she sat on the edge of his desk.

 

“I’m not lying.” It was all she could say.

 

“If I were to look at those panties, would I see any evidence of your lies?” Thomas was enjoying himself, the look on his wife's face was priceless.

 

“My underwear, has no bearing on my veracity.” Hope knew she was fighting a losing battle. She could feel her legs opening just a little. Wanting to show Thomas everything.

 

“If so, you wouldn’t mind opening those legs further, now would you?” Thomas knew that he was a thorough bastard. “I’d like to see your underwear.”

 

Hope opened her legs, she opened them wide.

 

By the grin on Thomas his face, Hope knew that he could see the wetness from her underwear.

 

“Get up baby. I don’t want there to be any barriers between me and you.”

 

Thomas wasn’t wasting anytime, foreplay with something that they did at home. He was hard now and she really did need to get to her interview.

 

Hope didn’t know what came over herself, she didn’t do as Thomas asked. She did like to irk him sexually, just as much as he liked to do to her.

 

When Thomas saw that she wasn’t complying, he just shook his head.

 

“Why do you have to be so hardheaded sometimes, it was really just a simple ask. Now you got me riled up. But that’s how you want me isn’t it?” Thomas got up from his seat.

 

He just looked down at his wife, she was still seated on his desk. He hiked up the skirt that she wore. And through his sheer strength alone he ripped her underwear.

 

Hope wasn’t expecting him to actually ripped her underwear, she gasped wondering where this was going.

 

“Bring your ass to the edge of this desk.” Hope did as he asked, she brought herself forward. “Open those legs wider…”

 

“Unh… Thomas… Honey.” Hope wanted to pinch her nipple, but she felt like she couldn’t move under Thomas’s piercing stare. All she could do was moan and bite her lip.

 

Thomas delivered four short full contact slaps to her pussy.

 

“Oh my God… Thomas!” Hope howled into the room. She felt wanton, her body was trying to get closer to his hand. She could feel her pussy throb. It felt like it was on fire, she felt so warm inside. She wanted to chase that feeling. It just heightened her pleasure, she didn’t wanna stop.

 

“If you did things right the first time, I wouldn’t have to do this… but then again when I think about it, your butt is nearly off of my desk, your cunt Is trying to get close to my hand. Damn you’re such a whore for it aren’t you?”

 

It was something Hope didn’t know she could like, she love talking dirty. It was the only time where she would accept someone calling her a derogatory name.

 

“Like a bitch in heat. Are you gonna give me what I need nerd?” Hope looked at her husband straight dead in the eye. She took off her blazer and let her camisole fall.

 

She was wearing a front clasp lace bra. She opened it, she didn’t even take the bra off, she just let her breast free.

 

She watched him… Just when she thought that she left him speechless, he grabbed her.

 

He moves so fast, the next thing she knew, her body was being pressed against the glass plate window. It was so cold… it made her shiver, all she could think about was her nipples getting harder from the feeling.

 

“You always want to do things the hard way, I always aim to please my wife. If it’s hard you want, it’ll be hard you get.”

 

Hope felt relief when he entered her.

 

 “Thomas!” she arched her back and met him thrust for thrust. She could see the views. Her husband was fucking her hard and deep. Her breath was fogging the windows. Each time she took a breath in it would disappear but every time she exhaled, she couldn't see in front of her.

 

Thomas grunted loudly in her ear, hearing him be so primal with her only make her hornier. He held her tightly by the waist with one arm, he was able to snake his hand in between her legs. He was driving her crazy using his hand to add friction to her clit.  She liked knowing that she had this kind of effect on him, rutting her like an animal. She loved being able to reduce him to his base instincts.

 

“Baby, fuck me just like that, don't stop. I’m gonna come… Unh! Fuck baby… right there! Yes! Yes! Yes!” Hope gave in to her climax. If her husband hadn’t been holding her up, she would have sunk to the floor.

 

 

“Your clothes are wrinkled.” Thomas turned her around and kissed her.

 

Hope still hadn’t clasped her bra, her breasts dragged on Thomas’s clothed chest. It made her moan in his mouth.

 

“Yeah…” Hope looked at herself, she had Thomas’s semen running down her leg.

 

Thomas unlocked the bottom drawer to his desk; it housed a drawer full of his wife’s underwear. He had insisted on it, so he didn’t feel bad when he got carried away and ripped her underwear.

 

Hope took her heels and skirt off and walked over to his private bathroom. She was able to clean herself up. She clasped her bra and fixed herself up again.

 

Thomas took the time to steam his wife’s clothes. He wasn’t going to let her go into one of the most important interviews of her life looking freshly fucked.

 

When Hope came out the bathroom, she saw her suit was crisp again. Thomas helped her dress, she hugged him.

 

They heard a heard a beep on the intercom. It was time for Hope, Thomas had his assistant notify him when the interviewer was there.

 

“You ready…” Thomas asked her softly as she was in his arms.

 

Hope was soaking in the scent of Thomas.

 

“Yeah I am.” Hope let him go and started going for the door.

 

“Baby…” Hope turned when she heard Thomas call out for her. “You got this.”

 

“Thanks.” Hope was ready for this interview. She was going to talk about her growth as a person and business professional. She was ready to be vulnerable and truthful and hoped that other people could have some takeaway from what she had to say.

Chapter Text

When the article came out, Thomas by just about every copy at one of the News stands closest to the office. It was an exciting day for them all, Ashford & Hamilton were being profiled in another publication. There was something different this time, it was Hope that was being profiled.

He felt so proud of his wife. He thought about how it all started, there was no way to see this coming. He didn’t think that this was going to be his life, he was having casual sex with Hope. She kept protesting that she was with who she wanted to be, she was with Liam…

He really didn’t know the exact point of when that started to shift. When he first married her, she said that she was only there for Douglas. But her actions didn’t match her words. They were fucking like rabbits. She would act one way in public and completely different when they were alone. He had known that Hope gave a face for the public, he just didn’t know how far she would go.

When she was with him, she would want things that she never said aloud if someone else was in the room. It wasn’t even always about sex. It was when he started to see that she really didn't have any freedom to make choices in her life. She did what everyone else thought she should do. It was one of the things that made him angry when everything came out. She went right back to Liam even though she told him she lived to suck his dick.

It struck him as weird that she would still find ways to be in his orbit even though she was claiming that she only wanted her old life. She had only been doing things for Douglas. He thought it was a big time lie. He just knew that Hope was already to confront the truth. He didn’t know if she ever would. He was surprised when he found her at his door. He did something reckless and had sex with her without a condom. Even though they had still technically been married, they were separated legally. He was starting to live his life and she claimed that she was going to live hers.

He knew something was up when she was jealous about Hailey. He called her out on it and she didn't deny it. And she said that she wanted to be with him, he felt like it was BS. He told her he doesn’t do triangles and he wasn’t waiting. Least of all he was not going to wait for her to figure it out with someone like Liam.

He knew that he challenged her when he told her that he was leaving. He wasn’t going to sit around and play with his career; he had to take that leap of faith and take that job and see where it leads. Even though she said that she loved him, and he even told her he loved her back, he was a shrewd man, he was a practical man and somewhere inside him he had to doubt that she was coming.

It had been a pleasant surprise for him to see her packed up with Hope and Beth at his door. It was that day that started the real point in their marriage.

It was that day that they really became a team. She helped him with the business and had a real knack for it. He was so proud of her when she told him that she wanted to go to college. She wanted to be more knowledgeable and get a degree because that's something that she wanted for herself.

He appreciated having a partner that knew what she wanted. He always thought to himself there was nothing more attractive than being with someone who was just determined as he was. The progression of who she has become has been a beautiful sight for him to see. He’s gotten a front row seat to that.

It made him happy that Hope wanted to tell that in her story. When she was being profiled, she had insisted that she show her authentic self. She wanted to show her journey in how she got there. She didn’t wanna lie and say that she always had this degree and she was this Dynamo who had always been interested in this.

She wanted to be truthful because she didn't think that it was possible for someone like her to achieve what she had.

Hope could feel Thomas’s pride for her. Even though they had done the profile, it was about 3 months before it actually went to print. Publications always did stories like this well in advance. Sometimes they even had follow-up interviews if something big happened.

Hope felt like she was coming at her full circle moment. Her journey here was a long one and one filled with a lot of self reflection and doubts. She said as much in her profile.

She was the anxious mother of a toddler with self esteem issues. That’s how she started this whole journey. She knew that she had lots of help on the way. She knew that she couldn’t discount the fact that it is her husband’s company that she started in. But her hard work was her own, it willed her to try even harder. She lived in the world where everything was done for her, infantilized her… She felt like someone in a gilded cage. She had this illusion of independence and freedom, but it wasn’t real.

It wasn’t until she got a dose of the real world that she started to see that her life wasn't her own. Her independence didn’t exist. Being with her husband was a chance at that. Being loved but not smothered was a foreign concept for her, sometimes she was still disbelieving at that when she was first with Thomas.

But that changed, it changed when she really got to working. When she was dealing with so many people and Contacts, she really started to feel independent. She really had to start making decisions without calling to consult someone, when you were dealing with all these different people, they had to know what your answer was going to be because they had someone to answer to. It was the first time that she saw that she had real authority in something, people were waiting on her word.

There’s something incredibly intoxicating about that, you start to feel the responsibility of your actions… of your decisions. Having her degree, she had the coursework involved to know which decision to make at that particular moment. That’s what she said in her profile.

As she read it, there was brief mention about her mother and her ex-husband. She knew that because they were prominent people that of course their names would come up. She also wasn’t going to lie, she wasn’t going to invite gossip into the profile, she still wanted this to be a professional endeavor. She wanted people to know her journey into this business and the reaction to her success. However she didn’t mince words. She told them that she wanted to love her own dreams and not have them told to her. She didn’t want them to be decided for her. When the subject came to Liam, she just said that it wasn't a good marriage for someone like her to be in. She didn’t feel independent and it was not a direction she wanted her life to go in. That’s all she said to them and she moved on. She was glad that the interviewer didn't press her on that. It made her happy that this wasn't some tabloid looking for their gotcha moment.

“Is the article living up to what you expected?” Thomas had read the article himself; he was impressed that it seemed to be the direction that Hope wanted to have taken. But she had been silent the whole time. Longer than it would have taken to read the article.

“It's more than that. I feel like the interviewer went above and beyond to really capture the vision that I wanted for this interview. I didn’t feel like I’ve been exploited in any way or them misconstruing any of my words. I feel really good right now, at peace and people will know it. I really love what we’re doing and I’m so glad that we were lucky enough to make it. If this even helps one person believe that they are more than what they see in the mirror or value themselves more because they deserve too, then that makes me happy.”

It was one of the first times in her life where she felt like she didn't have to prove something. She always envied Steffy for marching to the beat of her own drum. She saw people around her taking charge of their life and she wanted that. She just didn’t feel brave at the time to do it, it's took a long time for her to realize that everyone goes at their own speed, sometimes you have to walk a mile instead of run it. It might take longer to finish the race but the most important part is that you do finish the race. It’s just as much an achievement. She didn’t have a problem being a late bloomer in life, sometimes you have to know what struggle or strife feels like… because when you get towards happiness come you have a newfound appreciation for it.

“I’m so proud of you, I mean not just because of the article. I just get so happy from seeing you loving what you do. And it’s not just about the job. I see you smile with your eyes and you sway in your step. I love you more than you could ever know, and your happiness means the world to me. I’m just so happy that you actually feel that happiness.”

Hope listened to her husband's words and some things about her don’t change. She still got emotional when he said things like this. How couldn’t she be? He was always so attentive about her feelings, it’s what made him a good dad. He would be with Douglas or Beth, he paid attention to them, played with them, nurtured them... But he also just let them be, sometimes she wanted to just be with them all the time and just love them. He told her sometimes you have to love them from afar sometimes, they know that you’re there if you need them but let them explore things that they like. He said that kids just want their parents to love them, they’ll pretend select things that you like because they don't want to disappoint you. Sometimes you have to let them discover what they like and support that.

When she thought about his approach, it was the same philosophy he had towards her. He gave her space to figure out what she liked and what she wanted, he told her that she shouldn't be making decisions because it's what she thinks he might want. He was just there to support her, she was going to be the one to have to figure out what she had a passion for, what she loved to do.

She just smiled at Thomas, she thought about who she was years ago. She would dream for marriage like this, but in reality, she would have ran from it. There’s something vulnerable about being independent yet in a relationship. She had a different concept of what loving someone meant, the expectations that came from it. It’s what made her so unhappy for so long, nothing was fitting into her designs, what she thought her life was going to be…

Now that she’s outgrown her misguided ideals of what a relationship should look like how much she could enjoy what her husband and family bring to her.

“I’m really happy I can feel that happiness too. I finally have what I really want. I have this amazing job… that I love what I do, I love my kids, but most of all Thomas, I love you so much. You taught me how to leap. Seeing you follow your dreams, that inspired me. It inspired me to start dreaming, start believing in myself that I could do things. And I know you’re gonna say that I did the hard work and I know that I did. But I needed inspiration, I need an inspiration so I could hopefully inspire Beth. I wanted to be someone, I want to be someone so bad because I want her to feel like I accomplished something, for her to be proud of me for being something. And I know it’s noble to be a good mother but to me I want to be that mother that her daughter believes that it is possible for her to do great things. Because she can see that within me. She can believe that dreams are attainable and that it is valid to have them because she sees me living my dream. It’s all I ever wanted, and I didn’t believe that it would be something that I had. I was one step away from retiring. Ultimately, I know didn’t work out with FC, but I was going to be the one to throw in the towel. I was going to give up, under the guise of wanting to take care of her, but it wasn’t really true. Not all of it. Steffy held my feet to the fire, she was making me accountable for align that I had my name on and honestly that was one of the first times in my life that I actually had that. I had real expectations on a professional front, someone was treating me as an employer would. It was very difficult to confront that, it was difficult to say that I didn’t have the answers. I almost ran away because I felt like a fraud. When I chose to be with you, I went with my heart. When I’m with you, I feel different, I feel as if I am more, I can want more… I’m allowed to expect more. Seeing you value your work, being a team with you. It felt like us against the world and I like that feeling. But I knew in order for me to keep doing it, I knew that I needed the tools and the education. Even though I knew I needed those things, I was so scared to think about going to college. I was afraid because I would be one of the oldest people in the class. Your pep talk meant so much to me, I want to be more for Beth, but I wrestled with the doubt and insecurity, you put me at ease. Your support of me allowed me to believe that I can actually do it. When I got in, I started to believe that maybe I can. I know you don’t need to give me taps in meetings anymore, look how far I’ve gotten but I loved them. I just think of them as love taps, encouragement. You don’t tell me what to do, you don’t tell me how to act or how to be... For someone who doesn’t know me they may be saying well no one should be treating you like that, but I used to be the girl who’s afraid of her own shadow. My successes are my own, but it’s really nice to know that you won't let me fall, you won't let me have egg on my face, at least not for long because you’d have a towel to give me so I could clean myself up. You nurtured our love when I really needed that. I have a life and never knew I could have, and I just want you to know that, I’m so thankful and lucky to be with someone who puts me first. I am the priority, but it is not to be controlled, you care for my well-being above anything else, but you don't abuse it. And that’s all I really wanted.”

Hope felt raw after telling Thomas everything she felt in her heart. She just went to him and hugged him tight, she just wanted to feel him, breathe him in.

“I love you for you, there’s nothing in you that I would ever change. I have what I really want too. I have you and all of you, just like you have me, and you will always have me.”

Thomas gave her a kiss. They had a lifetime to keep loving and supporting each other. And both of them knew in their hearts that they always would.