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Take a Break

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Kate wrapped her hands around the mug of hot chocolate and pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders. The snow had been falling steadily all day, and according to the weather they were expected to get almost 4 more feet by tomorrow morning. She and Reynie had escaped to the old farmhouse for the weekend, as she was desperate to escape their small apartment in Cambridge. Kate loved how the snow settled on the orchards and the barn, turning the whole world sparkling and white and clean. Although she wouldn’t change her childhood in a circus for anything, part of her was sad she never got the chance to grow up in this house, surrounded by a loving family, perhaps with younger siblings.

“What are you thinking about?” Reynie slid in next to her on the couch, skin warm and hair still wet from his shower. He smelled so good, so clean and like something distinctly male. He’d finally agreed to leave his fort of textbooks and notebooks when she mentioned he probably hadn’t showered in a days.

“Nothing in particular, just about the snow and how I would’ve grown up in this house had it not been for Curtain.” He wrapped his arm around her and she gratefully leaned into his chest. He reached for her mug, stealing a sip of the sweet liquid it contained. She lightly swatted at his arm, not actually mad, just playing at it.

“Do you wish you could’ve grown up here?” She heard a tremor of nervousness in his voice, and she realized what he was really asking: did she wish she had never joined the circus, or more importantly the society?

“No, of course not. I mean, having a normal childhood might have some benefits, but being in the circus was so fun, and you know what the Society means to me. What would I do without you or Constance or Sticky or Mr. Benedict.” She turned to face him, cupping his cheek in her hand, “I wouldn’t give up on what we have for anything. And besides, who else would appreciate my particular brand of genius if not for you all.” He hadn’t shaved in a few days and his stubble tickled her hand. She set her mug on the coffee table. “Believe me, I wouldn’t trade this for the world.” She gently pressed her lips to the tip of his nose, smiling as she kissed him. He laughed, a warm deep laugh that bubbled up from his stomach and chest and filled the room, the time of laugh that made you feel warm and safe and loved.

“I have no doubts.” He smiled and kissed her back, just a small peck on the lips, meant to be a quick goodbye as he escaped back to the world of academia he’d set up in the other room. However when he tried to pull away, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down on top of her with a mischievous grin.

And she was kissing him. Short, chaste kisses that just danced across his lips. Long passionate kisses that she knew left him dizzy.She could tell the struggle he had trying to bring himself to pull away. She still lay under him, her hair messy and cheeks flushed, a bright happy grin causing slight dimples to form on her cheeks. “You’re making it really hard for me to get any work done, you know.”He teased, his hair sticking up from where her fingers ran through it. Her smile grew.

“Oh I had no idea.” Her sultry voice dripped with sarcasm. “It’s almost as if we came out here to avoid work and enjoy ourselves.” Her eyes mocked him. He had been so stressed, working for almost two days straight on a paper, and she’d become nervous about him. When the weatherman had warned of a blizzard she’d forced him away from the Harvard law library and into the cozy farmhouse in the country.

“Kate, I have things to do…” He pleaded, and she thinks back to the textbooks and papers she saw him sneak into the car. Although she knows he has work to do, she also knows that he’s been pushing his limits: sleeping little and eating less. He needs a break and he isn’t going to let himself take one without some serious prompting.

“Yes, me.” She jokes. She watched as the realization dawned on him. Again he laughed, his smile lighting up the whole room

“Well if you insist.” He leaned over her again, returning her kisses in equal fervor.

“Still upset that I tore you away from the library?” She laughed when he parts for air.

“Not even a little bit.” He said though a mischievous grin. “Still thinking about how we could’ve never met?”

“Nope. Come here.” She pulled him down over her again.