Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 3 – Snowed In

“I know it’s only 24 hours.” Lucas said, apologetically. “I wish I could manage more.”

“Twenty-four hours is great!” Glory said, enthusiastically. It had been almost 2 months since their initial weekend together, but he had kept his word and kept in touch. He had arranged an extended lay-over in Toronto on a flight from LA to Berlin, and he seemed excited to see her.

“I can take a hotel near the airport…” he said, letting his voice trail off.

“…or you could stay with me.” Glory finished for him.

“If that’s okay. I don’t want to impose.” Lucas said, carefully.

“It’ll be great! We can paint.” Glory offered.

“I have been practising.” Lucas said. “Hey, how did your art show go last weekend?”

It had been a last minute vacancy and the organizer had thought of her…she had organized the show Glory had been in before Christmas.

“It was…interesting. Not as much art, more craft. I felt a little out of place, actually.” Glory said. “But it got some more traffic through my website, so that’s always good.”

“That’s great!” Lucas said. “One of these days, I’ll make it to one of your shows.”

Glory didn’t say anything. She knew that their relationship was pretty casual and was under no illusions about what time she would have with him. So she asked him about his flight times. Once she had the information she needed, she signed off. She had been painting when he called and she didn’t want her brushes or her paints to dry out. Besides, she’d see him in three days, anyway.

As she continued to paint, she could feel the silly grin on her face. They had kept in touch but she hadn’t expected another visit…at least not so soon.

But when she looked outside at the snowy, January roads, she frowned. They were calling for a storm on the weekend. She hoped that wouldn’t impact his travel plans.

Glory made it through the next few days, she wasn’t sure how. All she could think about was Lucas. And to make matters worse, she had no one she could talk to about her excitement! Her weekend with him in November had remained her little secret…she hadn’t even told her sister or her cousin. To tell them about this visit would mean she’d have to tell them about that one, and she didn’t want to hear the lectures. She had a couple of co-workers who knew she had out-of-town company coming that weekend, but that was it. She was pretty private anyway, but she was even more so about this.

On Friday, the snow started mid-afternoon. It was light, so Glory wasn’t concerned about Lucas’ 7 pm arrival. But his departure the next night might be in peril if the snow continued. Continue reading “Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 3 – Snowed In”

Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 2 – Loving and Painting

Glory opened her eyes to see that the sun was well up in the sky. She had no idea what time it was, but it had to be late. She looked around and found that she was alone in the bed, but she heard someone in the bathroom, so she assumed that’s where Lucas was. Lucas…she had just spent the night with Lucas fucking Wolfe. This was insane! She never did stuff like this! She remembered her nightmare and how good it had felt when he had held her to comfort her. It usually took her hours to get back to sleep after that nightmare woke her up and last night it was almost immediate.

Lucas came out of the bathroom and noticed that she was awake.

“Mornin’ sleepy head.” he said. “It’s after noon. Are you hungry?”

“I thought it was pretty late. Sorry for waking you up last night.” she said, contritely.

“No problem at all. I went right back to sleep…I hope you did, too…?” he asked.

“Yes, thank you. It usually takes me hours to get back to sleep after that nightmare, but last night it took no time at all.” Glory said.

“It was my pleasure.” He leaned in and kissed her quickly on the lips, then he took it a little bit deeper.

“We can get up and get some breakfast, or…” he let his voice trail off, suggestively. When she didn’t respond immediately, though, he added, “We don’t have to. You can always say no.”

Glory reached up to stroke Lucas’ cheek, and said, “What if I want to?”

Lucas smiled a slow, seductive smile. “Then you would make me a very happy man.”

“Let me use the washroom first.” Glory whispered.

Lucas lay back down on the bed to wait. He had a smile on his face that he couldn’t seem to wipe away. He didn’t usually have sex with girls the first time he met them, but something Glory had said the night before made him think that this might be his only chance.

“I could never see myself dating a movie star or rock star. The intrusiveness of the media would be too much for me. I’m too private a person to even consider that kind of lifestyle.”

So the only kind of relationship he might be able to have with her would be a pretty superficial one, at least at first. But he was getting ahead of himself. Right now, he was just anticipating feeling those lips on his again. He could see the small tent that was starting to form in the blankets below his waist and placed his hand strategically over his crotch so that that wasn’t the first thing she saw coming out of the washroom.

When Glory came back into the room, she was naked. She laid her discarded camisole and panties with the rest of her clothes over the arm of the chair and got into bed with him, ducking under his arm to cuddle in next to him. Lucas took a second to scoot out of his boxers and drop them on the floor, then turned to her.

“You know you can say no at any point, okay? I’m not into rape.” Lucas said.

“I know.” she whispered and pressed her lips against his, stopping any further conversation.

 

Glory returned from using the washroom and cuddled back in next to Lucas. His body felt completely relaxed, almost boneless, as she put her head on his shoulder and her arm over his chest.

“You okay?” she asked. “I haven’t killed you, have I?”

“Almost.” he answered her drowsily. “Where did you learn to give a blow job like that?”

She shrugged. “Here and there; there was a book I read once that gave me some good tips.”

“Well, it was the best blow job I’ve ever gotten.” he said, stroking her hair absently. He looked down at her hair as he fanned it out over his fingers and asked. “Is this your natural hair colour?”

“Yeah, why?” she asked, drifting on the edge of sleep.

“I thought it was dyed…auburn is such a popular choice these days. But each strand seems to be different colour.” He moved her hair with his hand to let the light in the room shine off of the cooper to strawberry blonde strands.

“No…no dye. I am a natural ginger. Didn’t you notice that the carpet matches the drapes?” she asked, flippantly.

“I had other things on my mind.” Lucas said, but now pulled the blankets away to take a look at her pubic hair. It was a little darker than the hair on her head, but it definitely had the same red highlights. “Oh, yeah! Look at that.” He ran his fingers through the curly bush until Glory arched her back and moaned softly at his touch. He moved over her so that he could kiss her and continue his exploration. He pushed a finger deep inside of her using the wetness to lubricate as he explored.

Glory drew her legs up and was trying hard not to dig her fingernails into Lucas’ back as he continued his slow torture. He moved his mouth down to one of her nipples and that pushed her over the edge! Glory cried out and dug her nails into his side as wave upon wave of pleasure washed over her.

Lucas moved his mouth back up to hers and kissed her deeply as she slowly regained her breath. When she finally settled her head back on his shoulder, he tightened his arms around her, pulling her in close.

“You’re pretty good at that.” she said a few minutes later, once she’d caught her breath.

“That’s just practise.” he said, a little smugly. He pulled her in close and held her, stoking her back and enjoying the feel of her body against his.

“Anything you need to do today?” he asked.

“Aren’t you leaving soon?” Glory asked, propping herself up on one elbow to look into his eyes.

“Nope. I changed my flight. I have a really good reason to stay; so I’m not leaving until Monday now.” Lucas said, pushing a strand of hair off of her face and tucking it behind her ear.

Glory leaned down and kissed him sweetly on the lips. “Well, it is…” She stretched up to see the clock on the bedside table. “…2:30 and Pizza Margarita was a long time ago…maybe we should think about getting some food…?”

“I did ask you if you wanted breakfast before we started this…you seemed hungry for something else.” he teased her.

“Well, I think we’re done for now, so now I could use some food.” she said. “Unless you want more…”

“I think I’m good.” Lucas reached over for the hotel phone on the bedside table. He spoke to the concierge for a few minutes and then hung up. “Food is on its way, babe. Do you want to grab a shower before it gets here?”

Glory got up and headed for the bathroom, but turned back when she noticed that Lucas wasn’t following her. “Aren’t you coming?”

“To shower with you? I wasn’t going to. I didn’t know if you wanted…” His voice trailed off.

She pouted prettily and said, “I need someone to scrub my back.” and then proceeded into the bathroom without checking to see if he followed.

She had just finished using the toilet and starting the shower when Lucas came into the bathroom. Glory kissed him quickly before stepping into the shower. He used the toilet, too and then peeked around the shower curtain to see if he could come in.

Glory was standing under the almost-too-hot water and she drew him in under the stream with her and kissed him deeply. He grabbed her ass with both hands and pressed himself against her as her tongue sliding against his started to arouse him again.

“And here I thought you were done.” Glory teased him, noticing how hard he had gotten. She stepped back a little bit and ran her hands down over his chest, stopping to circle her fingers around and over his nipples. He was watching her face intently as she followed her hands down his body with her eyes, her lower lip held tightly between her teeth. She ran her fingers softly over his taut stomach, making him flinch away and laugh as her touch tickled him. Then her hands moved around his hips to cup his tight ass and pull him in close to her for a kiss. He ran his hands up under her hair to hold her as he explored her mouth with his tongue.

By the time they broke apart, they were both breathless and rampant. “How do you want to do this?” he asked, pressing his mouth to hers again. “Hands and mouths? I didn’t bring in any condoms.”

Glory pulled the shower curtain back to show a couple of small, square packages on the sink, which he hadn’t noticed when he had come in. Lucas reached out and took one of the packages. “You’re a smart girl.” he said, touching the package to her nose.

“Just prepared. Used to be a Girl Guide.” she said, moving under the stream of the shower again to let him out so he could put on the condom.

“You mean a Girl Scout?” he asked, tearing open the package carefully with his teeth and rolling the condom on.

“Nope, in Canada we have Girl Guides.” she said, reaching down to stroke him through the condom. He claimed her lips again in a long, searching kiss before pulling himself out of her reach. He didn’t want to come in her hand, but inside of her.

Lucas switched spots with her so that he was under the hot, streaming water. Glory turned around so that she was facing the end wall of the shower, then looked back at him over her shoulder and gave him a seductive smile before bending over to put her hands on the end of the tub and spread her legs for him.

Lucas caressed her beautiful ass before reaching down to sink a finger deep inside of her. She moaned and squirmed as he worked his fingers in and out of her, getting her wet and ready, as if she hadn’t been before. He guided himself between her legs, and putting his hands on either side of her hips, started to thrust. He groaned at how wet and slippery she was, and not just from the shower water! He closed his eyes and pushed himself towards his climax. He felt Glory clench around him and cry out as he emptied himself deep inside of her. He pulled her tight against him to keep her from moving as his breath came in ragged gasps.

After a few moments, he pulled out and disposed of the condom in the toilet. Then he helped Glory to stand upright again, turning her so he could put his arms around her and bring her chilled body in under the shower with him.

“Never boring with you, is it?” he said, still breathless.

“I could say the same about you.” she said, pulling back to look into his piercing blue eyes.

“Come on…enough of being dirty. Time for clean. I think I hear breakfast being served.” He reached for the soap and started to lather up his hands. Then he ran his soapy hands down her back and behind. In quick order, they were both clean and rinsed and wrapped in white bathrobes emblazoned with the Crowne Plaza crest on the chest.

 

Lucas peeked around into the living area and saw that he was right. There were several covered dishes set out on the table where they had played cards the night before.

“Food’s here, if you’re hungry.” he called back over his shoulder before moving into the main room and taking a seat.

“What did you order?” Glory asked, coming out of the bedroom.

Lucas shrugged and started to pull the lids off of the various platters. “Normal breakfast stuff; I wasn’t sure what you liked, but I figure I probably have it covered here.”

Glory looked at the wealth of breakfast before her and chose some eggs and bacon and home fries to start with. She scooped some fruit on to the side of her plate and put jam on a piece of toast.

Lucas filled his plate with eggs, bacon, sausage and home fries as well as a toast and a pancake. He held up the carafe of coffee to her and she nodded for him to pour her a cup. They were both hungry after their earlier exertions and they ate for a few minutes in silence.

“So, you didn’t answer me when I asked if you had anything to do today.” Lucas said, taking a sip of his coffee.

Glory looked up at him with a steady gaze, then took a bite of her toast before answering him. “There’s always stuff to do.” she said, cryptically. “I’m a working girl, so my weekends are usually packed with necessary drudgery.”

“Like what?” Lucas asked.

“Laundry, groceries, cleaning my apartment, paying bills…you know; necessary drudgery.” she said, pouring herself and Lucas both more coffee. “But it’s all stuff I can do next week in the evening, if you’re going to make me a better offer.” she purred, holding his eye for a second before looking down shyly, not believing her boldness.

Lucas laughed. “I don’t know if it’s a better offer, but I’m here for you, so I’d like to spend the rest of the weekend together. If that means I have to tag along for groceries and dust your knick knacks, then I’m good with that.” he said, still smiling.

Glory smiled up at him. He wanted to spend the whole weekend with her. She couldn’t believe her luck! Was there any good reason not to? She’s sure that her sister and cousin could give her 50, but since they weren’t there…

“Does that smile mean yes?” Lucas asked, surprising her out of her thoughts.

“Yes.” Glory whispered. “And groceries and dusting can wait. Let’s just stay here.”

“That presents some very interesting possibilities.” Lucas said, looking at her over the rim of his coffee cup.

“Does it?” she said, coming around the table to sit in his lap. She kissed him deeply, tasting coffee on his tongue. He turned her so that she was straddling his lap, and undoing her bathrobe, let his hands roam over her body. His bathrobe fell open revealing, surprisingly, an erection. It had been a long time since he’d had sex this often in such a short time and he was pleasantly surprised that he was still standing for it. He reached into the pocket of his bathrobe, where he had stashed a couple of condoms and rolled one down over his cock before grasping both of her ass cheeks in his hands and lifting her onto him. She moaned as she took him deep inside of her.

Lucas lowered his mouth to one of her nipples while he teased the other one with his fingers. Glory was leaning back against the table, panting and moaning as her orgasm grew closer. He ran one hand down between her legs. It was an awkward position, but so worth it as she pulled herself forward and put her hands on his shoulders still panting as she lifted herself off of him a little and started to clench around him. She dug her fingers into his shoulders to try to control the pleasure as it came crashing in on her. She gasped and then cried out, letting herself go limp in his arms. She rested her head on his shoulder and breathed, “God.”

He gently caressed her back, waiting for her to regain her breath. Finally, she lifted her head to look at him and he claimed her lips in a deep, passionate kiss as he lifted her off of him enough to be able to thrust into her from below. He moaned against her lips as his orgasm exploded out of him. He pulled his mouth away from hers so that he could catch his breath. She laid her head on his shoulder and put her arms around his neck, holding him gently until he lifted her to remove the condom and discard it.

He wrapped her in his arms, stroking her back and hair and arms until he came back to himself.

“See…interesting possibilities.” he said, kissing her forehead.

“Hmm…yes, I do see what you mean.” Glory said, raising her head to look into his eyes. She turned in his lap so that she was sitting with her legs dangling off one side of his legs. He held her close to his chest, pressing his lips against her still-damp hair. She had pulled her bathrobe back together in the front, but his was still open. When she gently kissed his chest, the feelings it stirred were not just sexual. He felt a real tenderness towards this lovely creature…was he falling in love? Maybe not yet, but he could see it happening. She was beguiling and enticing; she was open and yet mysterious. He’d have to find lots of reasons to be in Toronto.

 

They spent the rest of that day watching movies, playing cards and talking. Lucas had ordered up a late dinner with some wine around 9 pm. They talked about everything and nothing. Glory was very interested in the acting profession and his career in movies. Lucas was intrigued by the company Glory worked at; a design and marketing firm specializing in food product brand management.

When he asked her about her family, she seemed a little light on details, so he pressed her.

“My family life has been a little bit of a soap opera. It was just me and Holly and my mom. My dad left when I was 8 and we moved from Toronto to a small town north of Ottawa. We moved back to Toronto when I got accepted to RU…Ryerson.” Glory shrugged it all off.

“So you’re just a fatherless child.” Lucas sat back, looking down at her.

“Yeah.” she said, quietly. “I’ve always tried not to identify myself that way, though. I’m so much more than that.”

Lucas smiled. “But it had to shape who you became to a certain extent.” he probed.

“I guess. I would have grown up in Toronto instead of Renfrew; I might have had more siblings; I wouldn’t have had several ‘uncles’ over the years as my mom looked for someone to replace my dad.” Glory tried not to sound bitter, but Lucas’ next comment told her that she hadn’t succeeded.

“There’s still lots of anger there.” he said, softly.

Glory shrugged it off. “Not much I can do about it now, so I don’t think about it often. I’m a stronger person for it, I think.”

“Strong is good.” Lucas said, thoughtfully. “Did you ever see a counsellor or anything?” he asked.

“No…I probably should have in my teens. I was a handful to be sure. But my mom has a thing against shrinks, so I never did.” she said. “I got my own shit together eventually.”

Lucas nodded. “So I see.” He smiled down at her as they sat cuddled on the couch.

She cuddled deeper into his chest and closed her eyes. It was almost 3 am and Lucas was still on LA time, but she was fading fast.

“Time for bed, babe?” Lucas asked. “It’s getting late.”

“Yeah, I’m ready to call it a night.” she said, sleepily.

As they cuddled together under the blankets, Lucas asked, “Good day?”

“Best day.” Glory said, and lifted her head to kiss him good night.

Lucas smiled to himself and closed his eyes. Best day, indeed.

They slept late again the next morning and lazed in bed exploring each other before getting up to shower and order up breakfast.

“I could really use some fresh clothes.” Glory said, giving her shirt a disgusted sniff.

“We could go for a ride to your place, if you want. Or if you’d rather go alone…” Lucas said, not sure if she wanted to be seen in public with him.

Lucas was lying on the bed and he smiled up at her. “We can go incognito so no one recognizes us.” he offered. “I brought my Maple Leafs baseball hat, so I’ll blend right in!”

Glory laughed at that. “Let’s get you a Blue Jays hat…you should at least be representing a team that wins once in a while…” she said. “We can go together. I don’t think anyone will recognize you between here and my car…do you?”

“Let’s see, shall we?” He was wearing just a pair of jeans and now he stood up and rooted around in his suitcase for a sweater, which he pulled on over his head. As he sat on the bed to put on socks, Glory was crawling on the floor looking under the bed for her shoes.

Her apartment was only about 10 minutes away and Glory was a little nervous about bringing Lucas up into her sanctuary. She’d taken this apartment after she broke up with her last boyfriend; they had been living together at his place, so she had to find a place when she left; and Lucas would be the first man she’d brought here.

The first things Lucas noticed were the easel and paints that were set up in one corner of the living room, near the window.

“You paint?” he asked, going over to check out what was on the easel.

Glory smiled at him, quizzically. “You know I’m an artist.” she said.

“I knew you worked as a commercial artist. I didn’t realize that you painted as well.” he said. “This is pretty. Abstract?”

Glory came over to stand behind him and look at her work in progress. “Yeah. It’s what I’m experimenting with right now. I’ve done more reality based work, but I’m enjoying this. It’s not true abstract, I’m told, because I still have an image in my mind that I’m working from.”

“And what’s your image here?” Lucas asked, trying to see something in the colourful design.

“It’s not an image, really, but a feeling of movement. I watched the clouds on a windy day and painted the movement.” she tried to explain.

“Hmm.” he said.

“You don’t like it?” Glory asked.

“I don’t not like it.” Lucas said, evasively. “I’ve never gotten the whole concept of abstract, but I do get a feeling for the wind here.”

Glory smiled and said, “Well, I do have some of my earlier canvases over there. I was into cityscapes for a while and there are some quiet forest scenes as well.” She indicated a stack of canvases leaning against the wall. “Make yourself at home. I’m going to go and change.”

Lucas looked through the canvases and saw a few that he liked. Her cityscapes were colourful and full of movement and her forest scenes exuded the same peacefulness that he always felt out in nature.

“How much do you charge?” he asked, pulling out one canvas that particularly spoke to him.

Glory giggled. “I don’t know. I’ve never sold one before.” She took the one that he had pulled out and looked at it for a moment. “How about I gift it to you? Then you can tell everyone that you have an original Glory Campbell and you can start building my cachet in Hollywood.” She was only half joking…it certainly would be coup to have one of her paintings hanging in Lucas Wolfe’s house!

“Well, I don’t know about Hollywood. I was thinking more for my condo in Boston.” Lucas said. “I have a spot in mind for this. I love the colours…life and death.” He pointed to the greens and reds and then the browns and yellows.

“I’m still going to gift it to you. I hope it brings you joy.” she said. “I thought you used to be an artist before you got into acting.”

“I did, but I mostly just drew…I still do. I’ve never gotten into paints. I’d love to someday.” He was actually itching to pick up a paintbrush and see what he could do. Glory saw the look in his eyes and knew it all too well.

“Well, we could paint together. I have a spare easel.” she said. “We don’t have anything else to do today, do we?”

“Really?” The look Lucas gave her reminded her of a kid in a candy store.

“Yeah. Here. Help me set up the other easel.” She went over to the closet in the hallway and pulled out a bundle of sticks, which quickly revealed itself to be a travel easel. Glory had a few prepared canvases and some paint boards and Lucas chose a paint board to start with. She set them both up with a blank paint board and then grabbed a spare palette from her paint box and threw a smock at him.

“Now comes the hard part. What do you want to paint?” she said, handing him a piece of charcoal to rough out his ideas.

“Hmm…” he said, standing in front of the easel, looking around the room for inspiration.

Glory started to sketch him. She’d never done portraits or used live models before, but he was here and he was beautiful and she wanted to capture something of this weekend. Lucas had put down the charcoal and started mixing up some paints on his palette. He was going to give the abstract idea a try.

They spent the next couple of hours together, quietly painting. Occasionally, they would look at each other’s work and comment, but mostly, they worked in silence.

It wasn’t until the light started to fade that they realized how long they had been at it! Lucas looked at what he had created and he was happy with it. He didn’t feel like it was finished, but he could take it home and pick up some paints and finish it there.

He looked at Glory’s painting and saw how much of a difference her experience made. Hers was abstract, too, but he could see their weekend so far…the passion, the joy, the fear and comfort. It was so expressive!

“I want that one, too.” he said after looking at it for a moment.

“Nope. This one is my reminder of our weekend together…even painting together.” Glory said, pointing to one area that held the feeling of creativity. Lucas put his arm around her and turned her towards him to kiss her.

“You are really good. I definitely need some practise.” Lucas said, and turned away to start cleaning his brush.

“It’s good to paint with other people. I do that quite a bit. I have a couple of artists who I look to as mentors and we try to get together at least once a month. I’ve also done quite a few workshops and weekend art retreats over the last couple of years. You come away from those with different perspectives. They really help you to grow as an artist.” Glory said. Lucas could see that she was very passionate about this side of her life.

“I think I’m going to pick up some paints and supplies when I get home. I enjoyed this.” Lucas said. “This was unexpected. Thanks for bringing me home with you.” He still had his hand resting on her back.

Glory looked up at the clock and saw that it was late. “Do you want to go out and get something to eat, or order in?” she asked. “There’s some pretty good take-out around here.”

“Take-out is fine. What would you like?” he asked. Glory pulled out menus and they went through them and settled on Chinese food, which Glory ordered on-line.

But now that they weren’t painting anymore, their comfort level dropped and they fell silent.

“You go home tomorrow, right?” Glory asked. Lucas nodded, not looking at her. “What time?”

“My flight’s at 1.” he said, softly.

“Okay, so we still have tonight and tomorrow morning.” Glory said, perking up a little bit.

“Don’t you have to work tomorrow?” he asked, looking up at her.

“Yeah, but I’ll go in late. Then maybe I can drive you to the airport…?” she offered.

“Sounds good. Are we going to stay here tonight, or at the hotel? I still have to pack.” he asked.

“I’ll pack up what I need for work tomorrow and we can stay at the hotel.” Glory said, and they fell silent over the Chinese food.

“I’d really like to see you again.” Lucas said, softly. “Maybe in a month or so, next time I’m in Toronto?”

“That would be nice.” Glory said. “Do you get to Toronto very often?” she probed.

“Sometimes.” he said, evasively. He didn’t come to Toronto very often for business…maybe once or twice a year…but he’d have to find reasons to come up now!

Glory looked up from her plate and smiled at him. “Well, when you come, I’ll be here.” she said, quietly. “What’s going on for you next? Don’t you have a new film you’re starting filming on? I thought I read something about you heading down to New Orleans.”

Her question brought them back to safe waters and they talked about what was coming up for them over the next couple of months. There was some filming for Lucas, but he was really looking forward to his family’s annual trip to Disney World before Christmas. Glory had a couple of weekend art retreats and an art show that she was participating in before the holidays.

“Before Christmas is always a busy time for artists.” she said. “I’m showing my stuff along with one of my mentors and she’s going to help me with pricing and staging. I’m pretty excited about it.” Glory said.

“This year has gone by so quickly.” Lucas said, shaking his head. “I can’t believe that we’re already thinking about the holidays. What kind of traditions do you guys have?” he probed.

“We tend to follow the pagan tradition.” Glory said, still picking at her plate. “We celebrate with gifts and a big dinner with family and friends on the Solstice. It’s quite nice, actually, because you’re not taking people away from their family Christmas celebrations, but we still get to celebrate with them.”

“Pagan, huh? I don’t think I’ve ever met a true pagan.” Lucas said, suddenly interested.

“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m a true pagan.” she said, feeling a little uncomfortable. “I was more into the religion part of things when I was in high school. It had its shock value and lent me an air of mystery.” She smiled at the memory. “But now I just keep to the spiritual side of things; respect for mother earth and for all of her creatures, recognizing the divine in all things, that sort of stuff.”

Lucas nodded. “I did have a couple of girls I knew in high school who were Wiccans, but I think they did just do it for the shock value; spells and hexes and rituals in the forest. I never really understood the heart of the practise until now. Do you do rituals with others at all or just on your own?” he asked.

“The closest I probably come to ritual is yoga. I always feel really connected for a few days afterwards. And once I don’t feel connected anymore, I do yoga again.” She smiled and shrugged. “I guess as a pagan, I’m a little bit of a disappointment, aren’t I?”

“No.” Lucas said, simply. “Nothing about you is disappointing. In fact, I find you enchanting.” He smiled at her.

“Enchanting!” Glory pulled a scared face. “Like a Disney princess? I’ve never been called THAT before!” Then she laughed quietly. “Or do you mean enchanting, like I could put a spell on you.”

“I mean that it’s a pleasure to spend time with you. Between the amazing sex, the talking, the painting, all of this weekend has been wonderful…so far.” Lucas said. “Do you want to head back over to the hotel? I’d like to get you drunk and have my wicked way with you again…” There was a little glint in his eyes.

Glory laughed at his candour. Then she got up without another word and went into the bedroom to pack up some basics for an overnight stay. When she came out, she saw that Lucas had cleared off the table and was washing the dishes.

“You don’t have to do that!” she said, shocked that he would.

“What? You don’t think I can do a few dishes?” he asked, amused .

Glory laughed and pulled her phone out of her purse. “Say cheese!” she said, as she took a couple of pictures of him over the sink with a dishtowel on his shoulder. “Blackmail pics. Don’t piss me off now!” she said.

Lucas laughed. “You’ll have to do better than that if you want to blackmail me. I’m sure my mom has dozens of pictures of me doing the dishes.” he said.

“Still,” Glory said, looking at the pictures, “they will be unique. There aren’t a lot of domestic pictures of you floating around the internet.”

He gave her a withering look. “Don’t put them on the internet. Just keep them for you.” he said.

She looked at him for a long moment, trying to figure out his reasoning behind that statement. Then she shrugged and said, “Here, let me put things away, or I won’t know where anything is once you’re gone.”

In very short order, they were done in the kitchen and ready to head back out. Lucas had his painting and Glory’s backpack as she locked the door and they took the stairs down to the street where she had parked.

With their time together quickly coming to an end, they couldn’t seem to get enough of each other. When they weren’t having sex, they were constantly touching or cuddling. They talked about everything and nothing, careful not to get too personal. Finally, the day caught up with them and they crashed at around midnight.

The next day, their pending good-bye seemed to hang over them. Lucas was a little moody at the hotel before they left, which is what Glory expected. If they fought before they parted, the parting would be easier. She was quick to snap at him as well.

Finally, Lucas pulled her in to him and said, “Stop. I don’t want to fight with you before I leave and that seems to be where we’re going.”

Glory looked up at him, tears glistening in her eyes. He pulled her close and held her against his chest, stroking her hair as she cried. He sniffed loudly and scanned the room for tissues, which he spotted across the room.

“It’s okay, babe. We will see each other again. And we can keep in touch until then.”  Lucas said, quietly. He hadn’t expected this to be so hard!

“Sorry.” Glory said, pulling away, gently, and going to grab the tissues. “I guess fighting is easier than giving in to the sadness. I don’t like good-byes.” She blew her nose loudly and Lucas laughed, with a little catch in his throat. Then he pulled a tissue, too, and blew his nose.

“I don’t know when, at this point.” Lucas said. “Probably not until after the holidays, for sure, though. But I’ll be back.”

Glory smiled. She hadn’t expected promises. She hadn’t expected anything after this weekend.

“It’s okay, you know.” she said, softly. “I’m more than happy with what we had this weekend. If we end up hooking up again when you come back to Toronto, that would be great, but I’m under no illusions here.”

Lucas smiled. The gentle good-bye; that’s what she thought this was. Well, the only way he could prove her wrong would be to come back and spend time with her again.

He let her pull away so he could see her face. “We will see each other again.” He reached up and stroked her hair off of her face.

Glory smiled up into his eyes. There was no point in arguing with the certainty she saw there. She’d save her tears for after he left and then she could move on with her life.

The rest of their time was easier after that. Lucas finished packing and they had time to sit together on the couch and talk for about half an hour before she had to get him to the airport for his flight.

At the airport, Lucas wouldn’t let her park, but only wanted her to drop him and go. The longer the good-bye, the harder it would be for both of them. He turned in his seat and leaned over and pressed his lips against hers for a long, soulful kiss. He leaned his forehead against hers for a moment, neither one looking at the other.

“I’ll see you soon.” Lucas whispered and kissed her quickly again.

“I’ll be here.” Glory whispered back and gave him a brave smile.

Lucas smiled at her. “Good girl.” He kissed her one last time, then got out of the car. Glory popped the trunk so he could get his suitcase. He didn’t come back around to see her, instead turning to wave at her as he made his way into the terminal.

Glory pulled away once she lost sight of him amongst the other passengers. As she drove through the airport and out onto the highway to get to work, she couldn’t keep her tears at bay. She ended up pulling off at a Tim Horton’s drive through. She bought herself a coffee and a bagel and sat for a few minutes trying to get herself under control before going to work.

As she was parking her car, her phone buzzed with a text. It was from Lucas:

 

Don’t cry, beautiful. I’ll call you tonight.

 

She smiled at her phone and wondered what she could say back. She knew that she had to send something soon, or he’d be in the air and wouldn’t get it until he landed.

 

Stop reading my mind! Safe flight. No tears on your side either, eh?

 

Glory put her phone down so she wouldn’t obsess over the return text. She ate her bagel and drank her coffee listening to the latest Disturbed album on her iPod. She almost didn’t hear her phone when it buzzed again.

 

Trying.

 

That was it. One word that said everything. She checked her watch and saw that he would be taking off now, so she didn’t respond. Her eyes were dry and her coffee was empty, so she pulled out into traffic and headed for work.

Gifted – The Movie

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Tonight, I had a new experience. I attended an advanced screening of a Hollywood movie (thank you Fox Searchlight Screenings), and it was an amazing evening and an amazing movie!!

Gifted is about a man, Frank, and his niece, Mary, and the family dynamics which threw them together and now threaten to tear them apart; family dynamics which predate Mary’s birth. I have read the synopses and watched the trailers and teasers, but nothing prepared me for the emotional roller coaster that this film turned out to be. I have promised no spoilers in this review, so that’s as far as I’m going to go with the storyline. That is what the story is about…it is how it plays out that shatters the audience again and again.

But the character development in this movie was what made it spectacular. One of the characters that I felt might end up being two dimensional was Evelyn, Frank’s mother. She is the protagonist who seems to be trying to tear Frank and Mary apart, and the role could have turned into just another evil stepmother type of role. But Lindsay Duncan gave Evelyn a level of grace that I didn’t expect to see. It made her relationship with her son and her granddaughter even more poignant.

McKenna Grace will be a talent to be watched if this movie is any indication of her future development. Her portrayal of Mary could have broken down so easily into playing the pathetic pawn in an adult game, but she brought forward such depth and richness in the character that she was as easy to love as to hate sometimes. She was cocky and mouthy, sweet and lovable, courageous and intelligent as she was buffeted by the whims of the adults around her.

I’ve left the best, I think, for last. Chris Evans starring role in this film was the reason I went to see it in the first place. I have seen Chris be the only bright spot in some pretty bad movies over the course of his career, and I’ve seen him be part of a cast of exemplary actors in excellent films since his inclusion in the MCU, but his performance in Gifted may just be the best performance I’ve seen from him. Again, it is a role that could very easily have been wooden and uninspiring. Frank is rough; he has dirt under his nails; he lives with his niece in a tiny dive of a house. But there is much more to him than meets the eye at first, and as you get to know him, you realize just what a trust he has taken from his sister, and the sacrifices he’s had to make to keep his word to her.

I have heard others say that this movie may be Oscar-worthy, and I think that it’s the type of movie and the depth of performance that could be considered for an Oscar. But even if it isn’t, it is a heartfelt human drama that takes you into a moment in time in the lives of these amazing characters and it does so with grace and humour.

And then there is Fred, the one-eyed cat.

Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 1 – Pizza Margarita

Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 1 – Pizza Margarita

“Alan, come on. You’ve done it for me before.” Glory cajoled the young man standing behind the reservation desk at the restaurant.

“Yeah, but tonight we’re packed,” He looked furtively towards the kitchen door, “and my manager is here.” he hissed between clenched teeth.

“How about this? You can seat someone else with us. We promise to behave.” Glory said, giving her friend a pretty, pouting look. “We’ll even pretend we know them, that we’ve been friends forever.”

“You know my manager would kill me for doing that.” Alan said.

Glory thought for a second. She had promised her sister and cousin the best Pizza Margarita in town and this was it, which was probably why it was packed now that all of the bars were closed. But the table for 8 was sitting empty and she was starting to get a little annoyed at Alan for refusing to seat them there!

“Hi!” Glory said, turning to the woman behind her in line. “How are you? I’m Glory.” She extended her hand in greeting.

“Hi.” the woman said, cautiously taking Glory’s hand. “Kayla.”

“I know you’re probably as hungry as we are, but it seems that all of the smaller tables are occupied.” Glory said, a little melodramatically.

Kayla laughed. “I’ve been listening to you harassing the host here about that.” she said. “We’ve got 3, if that would help.” Kayla looked towards Alan to see if adding their two groups together would do the trick.

“That’s 6, Alan…surely your manager can’t baulk at you seating 6 people at a table for 8. If so, we’ll just have to make friends with another couple in the line.” Glory’s voice was sweet, but Alan could see the impatience in her eyes. He hadn’t been friends with her for all of these years without knowing that that red hair came with a temper.

“Okay, okay!” Alan said, grabbing a handful of menus. “But if I lose my job for this…” he said, leaving all manner of horrible possibilities unspoken as he guided them to their table.

“Mindy will be right with you to take your orders.” Alan said, automatically. “Enjoy your pizza.” He gave Glory one last exasperated look before returning to his station at the door.

It took them just a minute to introduce each other. Kayla was there with her two brothers, who were currently in the washroom, and Glory introduced her sister, Holly, and their cousin, Diana.

“Greg and Lucas should be along soon.” Kayla said, trying to see over the crowd at the door who were blocking her view of the washrooms.

“We were just going to get Pizza Margarita; it’s their specialty here, according to Glory.” Diana said.

“That’s what we’d heard, so why don’t we do that, then we don’t have to wait on the boys.” Kayla said, looking up to catch the eye of the waitress.

“Is everyone drinking beer? The Rickard’s Red pairs very well with Pizza Margarita.” Mindy suggested as they were ordering.

“It really does.” Glory said. “Tell you what. The first round is on me and then if anyone doesn’t like it, there’s no issue.”

Kayla and her brothers were in town only until the next day before they all flew back to LA, where they lived. She was just starting to tell them what she did behind the scenes in the film industry when Glory noticed that her cousin had stopped talking and her eyes had grown twice their normal size.

“Diana, are you okay?” Glory asked, then noticed that Holly had the same look of reverential awe on her face.

Glory and Kayla turned around to see what could have caused that reaction to see a tall, handsome man in a blonde brush-cut walking towards the table.

“That’s Greg Wolfe.” Diana whispered. “He was on that soap opera I love!” Continue reading “Dragons in the Dark – Chapter 1 – Pizza Margarita”