"Are you single, Miss Leary?"
Wren lifts her eyes and stares at her boss. Ian McGrey in all his monochrome glory - seriously, even the glittery scarf around his neck is as grey as his surname - is giving her a twinkly, mirthful look. What? Wren works in the Classical English Literature department of their library. She knows everything about "mirth in his eyes," as well as "raven ringlets" and "stormy brow." Which, by the way, all can be applied to Wren's - sadly - former paramour.
"Yes, sir, for the last thirty two days, three hours, and..." Wren checks her watch. "Twenty seven minutes."
Oops, that might have been TMI. OK, she clearly isn't over her tragic breakup with John Crispin Thorington a.k.a. Dr. Sexy a.k.a. The Wanker That Shattered Wren's Heart into Pieces.
"Lovely, lovely, my dear." The old man chuckles, and Wren imagines stabbing herself with her letter opener. What's lovely about this in the name of Gallifrey, Wren would like to ask. "Then I have just the gentleman for you." Oh poop. "He's a son of an old friend of mine, and a fine chap. In actuality, there's a lot more to him than appearances suggest. And he's got a great deal more to offer than any of you know, including himself." McGrey rubs his hands, and Wren has this iffy feeling in her stomach.
"Um, sir… I'm not quite… interested. I am not looking for anything, and to be honest..."
"My dearest, there is no better way to find your true love, except not looking for it."
The man puts a card on her table. Bill Baggins. Tax preparer. Seriously? Wren is already bored.
"Um..." she starts, but McGrey is already leaving her titsy office, waving his hand in the air.
"Good morning, my dear." He closes the door behind him, and Wren drops her head on the table. Ugh.
As an officially single person - it is official, if it's been thirty three days, five hours, and sixteen minutes, right? - Wren gives Mr. Bill Baggins, the tax preparer, a ring. She's met with the robotic greeting from the machine, then some mumbling, something about 'Baggins of Bagend' or 'Baguette' maybe, and then a beep. Wren leaves a message. What? She's progressive enough. She chooses her own men. She offers Mr. Baggins a dinner at the Beorn's, the new hipster vegetarian restaurant, and goes to bed very chuffed.
The next day she receives a call back, and among the sea of muttering, repeating, squeaky noises, and what sounds like sniffles, she finally susses out that Mr. Baggins accepts her invitation. He has nice voice, but Wren is still feeling rather confused at in what universe did McGrey thought it was a good match.
On the day of the date, garbed in her most modest green dress - midi, sequin top, but back naked, nonetheless - Wren shows up at the Beorn's. Somehow she thinks that Mr. Baggins, the tax preparer, isn't prepared for her.
And judging by his jaw slowly descending - and in this manner it will probably tunnel right through to Southern Ocean, in the vicinity of New Zealand - and considering how his nose dances on his face, Mr. Baggins thinks he definitely bit more than he can chew, and might need an unhinging jaw like an anaconda. He's pale and is twisting a button on his velvet waistcoat. All and all, Mr. Baggins is clearly thinking he made a giant mistake.
Wren isn't so sure.
"So, what do you do, Ms. Leary?" Mr Baggins squeaks from behind his menu. Wren is pondering between honey glazed tofu and quark ravioli.
"I'm a librarian," she answers scanning the choice of appetisers. Hm, kale beetroot salad, or American style coleslaw?
"You don't… don't look like a librarian."
Seriously? Wren slowly lowers her menu. Mr. Baggins is growing increasingly pale under Wren's murderous look. But c'mon, does he bloody think she hasn't heard it before?
"I'm the naughty librarian," Wren deadpans. "One of those from the porn. I take off my glasses, and there is a hidden vixen there. A redhead, see?" She points at her head. Yeah, Mr. Baggins just broke the record of many other dates that Wren's had. He caused a ginger snap in the first ten minutes.
The tax preparer's eyes dart towards the exit. Will he actually run like a rabbit?
He blinks and twitches his nose.
"Fair enough. That was daft," he mutters and nods. "You could say people don't look like their jobs, but I look exactly like an accountant, so..." He sniffles.
"You do. But how's that a bad thing?" Wren puts the menu down and gives him a stern look.
"Well, you see… I know… I know what people think when they look at me. That I'm a homely bachelor, who cares for his sill garden, and bakes. And I do." He emits a little chuckle and twitches his nose again. "So, what does it look like when a woman like you is on a date with me?"
"What does it look like?" Wren asks. This self-deprecating humour of his is actually quite ace.
"Like you were forced into it by your nosy boss?" he offers, and Wren snorts.
They go back to their menus.
"I'm not that fit, you know." Wren decides it's worth noting. "I'm skinny, a ginger, and my mouth is too big. And it's just a fad. Ten years ago I wouldn't be even looked at."
"Indeed." His sarcastic voice comes from behind his menu. "And what was your last date like? Also an unimpressive bachelor, vertically challenged, and fond of documentaries on Netflix?"
Wren's previous date was a six five orthopedic surgeon, with a mane of ebony and silver waves, a sex god, and a wanker. Wren doesn't want to think about it.
"I don't date," Wren chokes out. "I'm done with the whole dating business."
The tax preparer's menu goes down again.
"So, what are you doing here then?" His eyebrows funnily jump up.
"I'm here for their famous veggie burger." He hums agreeing. "And a possible one-off."
Oops. Wren might have just killed a tax preparer. He was sipping his beetroot and carrot juice, and now he's coughing, his face the colour of the said beetroot.
"What can I get you?" A hipster looking waiter manifests in front of their table, and Wren considers asking for an ambulance for the freshly suffocated accountant.
"I'll have the coleslaw and your specialty, the burger," Wren calmly announces, and the tax preparer rasps from the table that his head fell on.
"I'll have the same, please. And thank you."
The waiter throws him a pitiful look and disappears, his ponytail above the undercut swaying in the air.
Mr. Baggins coughs for a few more seconds, and finally takes the first unobstructed breath in.
"Why?" His eyes are tearing up.
"I'm on a rebound." It's not like Wren is trying to finish him off. She's just not in the mood for social dance. "About a month ago my big love story went out with a ka-boom, and I'm only doing one-offs now." Is this her bleeding broken heart talking? Then it should shut its gob, and let the fanny lead.
"Oh… Um..." Mr. Baggins topples the rest of his juice into his throat. "And how is it going?"
Hm, he doesn't sound that judgy. To think of it, he doesn't sound judgy at all.
"I'll tell you after tonight. You're the first one," Wren answers, and the accountant's eyes boggle.
"I… Me… Oh..." He sounds like a chewing toy in the teeth of a very enthusiastic terrier.
Wren decides she's said everything she needed to say, and she takes a sip of her cranberry juice.
The voice returns to the tax preparer only after the appetisers. Wren doesn't rush him. If the blokes needs to process, who's she to interfere?
Mr. Baggins is actually making a very good impression on her. He has nice manners and a healthy appetite, and there is some adorable neatness around him. Wren likes the greenish grey eyes, and the button nose.
"I'm sorry about your break up," he says softly; and Wren lifts her eyes from the sweet potato chips at him.
Feels alert, feels alert! Wren bloody doesn't need this, in the name of TARDIS! She shrugs, hoping it's convincing.
"It's been..." Thirty six days, five hours, and twenty one minutes, but who's counting? "It's been over a month. I'm not upset anymore. But thank you."
"And I'm flattered." He smiles to her. It's an unexpectedly charming, very male smile. "And especially, that you didn't run after seeing me. And indeed decided I was worthy to be your first."
Wren burst into laughter. OK, that's a definite 'maybe.'
They fall into his flat, jerking off items of clothing, grabbing and groping. Remember that 'maybe' that formed in Wren's mind over a veggie burger? It turned into 'most likely' over a very witty and relaxed conversation all through the dinner and up to the vegan strawberry tart. And then it plunged into 'hell, yeah' in the cab, when it turned out that Mr. Bill Baggins, the tax preparer, was a glorious kisser! Wren is all prepared, like an HMRC self-assessment form!
"God, it's so much easier when a man isn't a Big Ben!" Wren mumbles, and Mr. Baggins' micro checkered shirt executes salto mortale behind her.
"My pants are still on!" the tax preparer squeaks. "You don't know the size yet!"
Wren roars with laughter.
"I meant your height, you clot!" She grabs handful of his - delicious soft - golden curls and pulls him to her lips. In the name of Loki the Silver Tongue, has the man attended some special snogging school?! Wren's toes curl from all this moreishness!
He also has an amazing bed. They plop on the mattress, and Wren is momentarily distracted from a pretty decent bod she found under all these layers. Seriously, a jacket, a waistcoat, a shirt, and a vest? It's like he was trying not to get some!
"Wow, what is this mattress?" she asks and squirms on it underneath Mr. Accountant and God of Kissing.
"Bedmonkey 2000," he answers in a completely sober voice, and Wren emits a shrieky giggle.
"A bed monkey?" The meaning of his words reaches the tax preparer's mind, and he snorts as well.
"Yes, a bed monkey." He leans and kisses Wren. Smart man. Applying his best tactics.
OK, the man - astonishingly - is indeed a bed monkey. Inexperienced, but eager. And open to new and adventurous experiences. And Asgard bless his height. Wren didn't lie. There are plenty of things one can't do with a six five bearman, which work out just great with a nimble small bloke who, judging by the muscles formation, bikes to work.
Also, when Wren says 'small,' she doesn't mean 'small.' He isn't fanfiction worthy of course - like some unmentionable orthopedic surgeons - but Wren doesn't feel like something's missing.
After christening the Bedmonkey in the cowgirl position - Wren can finally enjoy having the reins all to herself and appreciate the awe and gratitude beaming on the tax preparer's face - they move into 'against the wall standing up.' Yes, that is that one thing Wren always wanted to try but she'd need a stepping stool with Dr. Who Shall Not Be Named.
While a very chuffed accountant backs off to the bathroom to clean up - mumbling and literally backing off - Wren presses her palms into the tax preparer's wall and, when he steps back into the bedroom, she wiggles her bum. She hears a terrified squeak behind her; but before she can change her mind, his hands lie on her hips, and hello! After the appropriate amount of enthusiastic efforts, Wren feels great, and Mr. Baggins comes with a very masculine groan, and then his nose presses into the back of her neck.
"Oh my goodness..." he breathes out, and it's so proper and polite that Wren starts laughing, making him squeal and jump away from her. Oh right, she's just choked the poor darling.
He leaves again, and Wren climbs on the Bedmonkey and under a very nice duvet. The sheets are Egyptian cotton, and are very nice. Wren brushes her hand to the yellow rose pattern on them.
"I'm… I'm not sure what's the protocol here..." Mr. Baggins' voice comes from the door, and Wren looks up. He's wrapped into a very colourful quilt robe and is industriously trying to avoid looking at her tits.
"It depends on whether you have another round in you," she answers smiling, and his nose jerks.
"Um… No, I don't think so… I'm surprised there was the second one… I've never..." he clears his throat. "Before, I mean..."
Wren smiles wider and pats the bed near her. He edges towards her and sits, his hands on his lap. He's so adorable Wren can't help but wrap her arms around his neck and snogs all sense out of him.
When she releases him, he's panting and is gawking at her.
"We can meet up next week?" she offers, and he gulps - loudly. Interestingly enough, he doesn't jump at the opportunity right away.
"Um… And a week after that? Would we meet up a week after that?" he asks, and Wren isn't sure where he's going with this.
"Depends on the next week."
"Wren, you're wonderful, but..."
What?! Is he actually going there?! What. The. Sodding. Hell?! The whole 'it's not you' thing?!
"But two weeks from now, you'll just come and shag me, while I'll already..." He's raspy, and Wren's anger dissipates. "I'll have feelings for you, and it'll..."
Awwww, poor ducky. And why - in the name of Rassilon - is this man reasonable, mature, and sweet, while the one she had to fall in love with turned out to be the last sort of tosser and bellend?!
And why, in the name of Aule, is this one single?
"Oh, Bill, it's you who are wonderful!" Wren quickly kisses his cheek. And then the other one. "And yes, you're right. I'm no shape to try to start anything new." Are her eyes prickling?! Certainly not. "So, I'll just get dressed, and go… And thank you, it was amazing!" She pecks his lips, and he suddenly pulls her into a deep kiss.
Seriously, how is he doing this?! Does he have a magic ring, or something?!
It's her turn to feel wobbly and stare at him.
"Well, you have my number..." he mumbles, "For when you are in the right shape… I mean, if you feel like it… When, you know..." She chuckles and kisses the tip of his nose.
"I can very much see how I would be, but you'll have a girlfriend by then." She honestly thinks so.
"I doubt it."
Wren decides to reassure him, and they end up rolling off the bed, and Mr. Bill Baggins is introduced to his first Downward Doggy Style. Neither is disappointed, although Wren, of course, is left without a crisis. Well, she's given up on ever getting one with a man. After all, Dr. Horrible was the only one who's ever managed it. Whatever!
Wren comes home and sinks into her favourite lilacs scented bubble bath.
She's humming along with Sam Cook, dangling her foot in the warm water. All and all, the rebound one-off went as ace as it could. Wren isn't sure yet whether it was worth it, but she now has a whole week to process it.
Wren sighs. Yes, a week till Dr. Phil's engagement party where she will have to face Dr. Horrible and potentially his new hot date she's been unfortunate to hear so much about. Maybe, Wren will take Thea with her. And take someone else from the party to go to her room with. Surely, there are some tall, fit, blonde men there, to match the mysterious long-legged blonde Dr. Wanker was seen with around the city?
To be continued...