John Quinlan as Kennealy, Miss Riva as Ruby

Ruby and Kennealy stood looking at the huge clock. For the right price, the shopkeeper knew somebody who was willing to deliver the thing right away. He’d included a converter so the old tech would have a source of power. Kennealy himself had insisted on poking through the clockworks, making sure there was nothing… weird.

Ruby giggled. “What do you think you’ll find? Elves? Mice?”

Kennealy rolled his eyes at her. “I just want to make sure it’s no more that exactly what it looks like… an old clock.”

Ruby’s scientific mind was still intact, in spite of the scrambling. Her scientific mind told her that although this man wanted her, his sense of honor was preventing him from acting on his emotions.

Her scientific mind also told her that, when he was standing, she’d never be able to kiss him without either a step ladder, or his full cooperation.

She had neither.

But when he was on his knees, poking around inside the clock, he was at a much more vulnerable height. His eyes were about level with her breasts, a fact she knew was definitely to her advantage. She knew he liked her breasts, even though he was very polite and did not stare.

She placed one hand on the clock, and the other on his shoulder. When he turned to look up at her, she leaned over, slowly moving in to place her mouth on his. He had time to resist; he had time to object; but he did neither.

Although he kissed her back, his arms remained where they were. She wanted him to wrap those arms around her, to pull her against his firm masculine form and hold her tight.

They locked eyes. She saw reluctance, and wished she could absolve it as easily as she’d dissipated the stone in his gut. “We’re in love.” She stated softly. It was a fact, a declaration not as information, or a surprise, simply stating the obvious. “We always will be.”

Kennealy took a deep breath. Finally, one hand moved. But instead of pulling her close, he caressed one cheek, a soft and tender touch that seemed impossibly gentle for such a large man. It hurt to be so close to him, but not close enough. “I know.”

Finally, he did pull her close. He laid his head against her chest, and she scratched up and down his shoulders and arms.

An instant later they were on the couch, her on top of him. But he was frozen, his hands on her arms, holding her back. She did not remember getting there.

“You just did it again… who am I with? Ruby? Or someone else?”

“You’re with me. This is always me.”

“Sometimes it’s more than just you…”

“Sometimes it’s me and you, Jack.”

One eyebrow rose in surprise at the use of his given name. She wondered when the last time was that he’d heard anyone but his own parents use it.

He tapped her forehead once. “Am I in there now? Because if I am, it’s terribly rude of me to interrupt…”

She laughed, and moved his arms out of the way so she could kiss him thoroughly. “You were. And you will be…” She wasn’t sure how she knew that. “But it’s OK.”

“Ruby, I can’t… be with you like this, knowing you could black out at any moment. I’d feel like I was taking advantage of you. Violating you…”

Ruby rested her forehead against his mouth. He was being difficult, but at least it was for all the right, noble reasons. “I understand why you feel like that. I understand that you think I’m fragile, but I’m not. I just… I have specific needs.”

Kennealy smiled and she knew he was thinking about what a woman’s needs might be. She smiled suggestively. “Yes. I have needs.” She grinded against his groin suggestively. At least that part of him was willing to cooperate. But she wanted more than his body.

“What should I do if you…”

“Don’t stop! Good grief, do not stop. At least, once we’ve started…”

“I’m not sure how I feel about that, Ruby.”

“I think I can tell them to stay away. I think I can…”

The clock chimed. A little red robin flew out announcing that it was eleven minutes after the hour.

“Not now!” She growled, and the bird flew back into the clock. It did not disappear, as the birds did whenever they chimed the hour, or quarter of an hour. It turned tail in mid-air and went back into the clock. “She’s gone. She’s a sweet little thing, she didn’t mean anything by the intrusion…”

“She?”

“She. I know the robin’s a she. Red, like her grandmother.” She puzzled over her own words. “One of those things I know, even though I don’t understand how I know.”

“Like how you knew where to find the clock?”

“Exactly. The last time I was in those shops was three years ago, and there was a toy store in that space.” Ruby was getting frustrated. The seduction was not going well.

She sat up, straddling his hips, and stripped her shirt off over her head. “Do you remember the water?” He nodded, but closed his eyes. She could tell by the contortions of his face that he liked what she was doing. She began unbuttoning his shirt, and he actually helped her.

Several breathless moments later, she said “I think you need to take me to the water again.”

She remembered every step from the couch to the bathing chamber. At exactly her eighth step, the clock began to chime “Cuck…” but it never even made it to “koo” before turning tail back into the clock.

Clothes were quickly discarded, and she selected the same shower program she’d used the night before, when he’d come to her incorporeal.

She wondered if he’d come to her again. Sure enough, she felt the fluttering of the presence she recognized as her lover at the edges of her subconscious. But it wasn’t active, only present. Floating, remembering.

The hard drive of her brain retained more than enough power to remain cognizant.

His lips were everywhere. After weeks of waiting and wanting, it was like a dam bursting with both their needs. When she was silently reveling in what he was doing, she took two fingers and ran them in a small infinity pattern on his shoulder. He understood that it meant she was still with him, simply surrendering to the emotions and sensations their corporeal, carnal bodies were sharing.

She felt his fingers in the water and on her skin. His strong, corporeal hands massaged her muscles while his non-corporeal fingers, coming to them from some future jaunte, tickled her skin. Their previous intimacy was nothing compared to the jolt she felt when he finally filled her, pressing her against the shower wall with her legs wrapped tightly around his hips. He knew her; instinct told him exactly how to touch her. She surrendered, trusting him to take care of her every need.

When they finally made their way to the bed, Ruby was confused by the reluctance she felt from him. However it was no longer coming from her carnal lover, but from his future presence. He finally began to drift off to sleep, his eyes watching her as she leaned over him, searching his eyes and trying to find the source of his reluctance. His eyes would close for a few moments, only to open again and smile at her. The non-corporeal Kennealy was still there, floating in the back of her head somewhere. He had never stayed so long before.

She found the source of the reluctance. He was reluctant to leave. She knew her carnal lover would stay the night, and she wondered if his jaunting self would stay the night as well.

There was something more in his sleepy eyes.

There was someone in his sleepy eyes.

Herself.

Chapter One: Synaesthesia

Chapter Two: Bacon!

Chapter Three: Ruby

Chapter Four: Kennealyology

Chapter Five: His Own Eyes

Chapter Six: Cuckoo

Chapter Seven: Munchkins!

Chapter Eight: Present But Not Accounted For

Chapter Nine: Poppies

Chapter Ten: Corporeal

Chapter Eleven: Clocks

Chapter Twelve: The Garden

Chapter Thirteen: Carnal

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