19 May 2018: Bored
Tom came home muttering and wiping his palms on his hip, flustered as he stumbled through the front door from what should have been a nice long uneventful walk with Bobby.
As far as walks went, it was fine. Pleasant enough on a slightly too warm Saturday through the park, which felt quieter than usual as everyone in London, everyone all over England, was glued to a television screen. So Tom felt free to put on some ancient, mismatched socks and give little mind to the outfit he wore for this particular perambulation.
Which meant, of course, that he got caught by a lone paparazzo just as he was cleaning up after the dog did a poo in the middle of the sidewalk.
Tom Hiddleston was many things, versatile and elegant enough to pull off any number of looks. But nobody, not even him, could pull off looking cool when holding a plastic bag containing dog shit. At least the dog was adorable enough to distract from the distinctly unglamorous job of walking and curbing one’s pet.
At least Tom hoped he was, anyway.
Carmen was still on the sofa where Tom had left her, eyes glued to the royal wedding that was being broadcast live on the television. When Tom returned from the kitchen after washing his hands and settling Bobby down with a chew toy, Carmen patted the spot next to her.
“What do you think?” She sounded breathless.
“What do I think of what?” Tom squinted, peering at the sigh of his former schoolmate Prince William. The Prince was showing off a bald pate that shone like the medals on his ceremonial uniform. “I’m just recalling how much hair he had when we were at school.”
“No, the flowers!” Carmen gestured at the screen. “So simple, but gorgeous and lush.”
“Are you taking notes?”
“Erm… our wedding? Whenever that happens?” Tom waved his hand in the air.
“We need to set a date first,” Carmen said, patiently.
“What did you have in mind?” Tom asked.
Carmen frowned. “Well, I didn’t have one. All this shit with Brexit is seriously fucking with stuff and work. And that in turn makes everything else hard to plan.” She blinked at Tom. “Sorry.”
“Well, you’ve had to work around my schedule quite a bit. I don’t mind it being my turn to be flexible.”
“Thanks, baby.” Carmen kissed him on the cheek, then returned to watching the wedding.
Once the vows had been said, and the bride with her messy bun and minimal makeup had said yes to the groom with the orange scruff and a look of utter besottedness on his face before they processed outside to greet the crowds as a married couple for the first time, Carmen got up and stretched. She hunched over when Tom tickled her at the waist.
“Okay, Sporty. I’m gonna hit the shower.” She stifled a yawn. “I should really get on with my day.”
Tom began to run his hand up and down her left thigh. “What do you have to do?”
Carmen began to count off on her fingers. “Laundry.”
“You mean the basket in the kitchen?” Tom aske. When Carmen nodded, he shook his head. “It’s just a few tea towels. Barely enough for a small load.”
“Ha, you said load.”
“Carmen,” Tom tutted.
“What about the dry cleaning?” Carmen asked.
“I grabbed that. Dropped it off on the way to the park,” Tom explained.
“And the dog is walked, so I guess that means.” Carmen planted her fists on her hips. “I have nothing to do.”
“Well, except for the shower, of course,” Tom reminded her. “Was that all?”
“Nothing to do?” Tom’s voice had a lilt to it.
Carmen nodded again.
Tom’s eyes flit to waistband of her pajama bottoms. He reached out, tugging on the drawstring. His lips curled up on one side as he grinned.
“What’s that look for?” Carmen’s voice was soft as she watched Tom abandon the drawstring in favor of palpating his fingers along her left hip. Tom looked up, still grinning.
“Wanna do it?”
Carmen thought for a moment, considered the striped rugby socks that were about to slip off his feet. His shirt and his shorts were decrepit, that’s how old and worn they were. She leaned in, sniffing his hair. He needed a shower, or at least some deodorant. She sniffed again. No he didn’t. He didn’t smell bad. Tom smelled like sweat and heat and skin. Three things she liked very much.
And when she looked in his eyes, they sparkled with the promise of mischief.
“Okay,” Carmen said. “Let’s go.”
“That was easy,” Tom chirped. He let Carmen pull him to his feet, then sort of shuffled along as she led him upstairs.
“Yeah, well,” Carmen said, now standing at the foot of their bed. She pulled her camisole up and over her head. She flung the top, and her pajama bottoms, onto the floor. “It’s something to do.”
“We could go see movie,” Tom suggested. He stood opposite her, idly picking at the bottom of his shirt.
"I guess.” Carmen ran her fingers through her hair, mussing the black waves before tucking it behind her ears. “But then I’d have to put on pants.”
She looked down at herself. “So I’m naked.”
Tom nodded. She frowned.
“Why aren’t you naked yet?” Carmen asked.
“Oh.” Tom pulled off his shirt. While it was over his head, Carmen yanked down his shorts and exclaimed. “What? What did I miss?”
“You’re almost ready.” She gave his cock a gentle, if jaunty stroke. Almost like shaking hands. “Nice.”
“It’s summer dick.” Tom walked around to his side of the bed, rather than crawl up the mattress like Carmen did. “Every year, just like clock work.”
“I thought summer dick was when your dick swells a little because of the heat.” Lying back, she crossed her arms behind her head and looked at it again. “But I guess if you’ve already got a big one, then it’s always sort of…” she grinned. “Half cocked?”
Tom groaned. “Car.”
“Was that too much? Was that not sexy?” Carmen pretended to swoon. “Will you make love to me no longer?”
Tom ogled her breasts, the gentle swell of her belly as she breathed. “No, you’re looking pretty ripe today.”
Carmen rolled her eyes. Tom nipped her shoulder. “Hey!”
“You taste like…” He licked the inside of her wrist. “Cantaloupe.”
“The dullest of the melons,” Carmen snorted.
“At least you don’t taste like honeydew,” Tom said, then rolled onto her.
He lay there, face pressed into her neck, and waited while she squirmed underneath him. Tom had learned that, instead of going up on his arms and legs to give her room, it was for him to lie there. Make Carmen bear the weight while she got comfortable. It was something about the weight and the friction, the heat and the tension, that made the short discomfort rather a pleasure for her. She could listen to him breathe, sigh her name into her ear. Notice how soft his skin was in places, and how his hands were quite rough.
Gasping, she parted her legs and bent them at the knee. Tom shifted, his leaking cock leaving a thin, thready trail down her soft body. When his cock bobbed against her ass, the tip having just slowly traced the folds of her sex, they moaned in unison.
“I know I’m…” Tom began to dot kisses to her cheek and to the soft flesh under her jaw. “I’m almost ready to, you know.” He waggled his eyebrows.
“Stick your dick into me?” Carmen’s attempt to feign nonchalance was undone by the rolling of her hips against him.
“That rather feels like an invitation, love,” Tom replied, nodding at her hips. He reached between them, slicking the tip of his finger with the moisture he caught from her sex. He stuck it in his mouth and sucked. “That too.”
Carmen kissed him, tasting the faintest traces of herself when she licked at his lips and sucked his tongue. She wrapped her arms around him at the neck, kissing and nuzzling and scratching herself on his beard. When she felt Tom go up slightly on one knee, she pressed her heel into the mattress, angling herself so all Tom had to do was take himself in hand, guide the head of his cock to her pussy, and press in.
The deeper he went, the tighter she felt. When he was completely inside her, Tom gasped. This wasn’t the first time but it seemed that when he bottomed out her entire body pulsed around him. Her mouth on his mouth, her arms around his neck, and her cunt around his cock. Tom had to catch his breath, take a moment to feel her damp skin and the cold air of the dim bedroom.
He could have lain there, perfectly still and quiet and inside . Her heart and cunt squeezing and releasing, counting the seconds as they passed.
One. An eyelash fell from his closed eyelid and landed on her cheek.
Two. Her tongue tickled the roof of his mouth.
Three. His shoulders tensed when she digs her nails into the flesh.
Four. The soft, damp sound of her sex as it leaks, and fluid coats her inner thighs.
Five. Tom’s cock stirs, just as he pulls his hips back before slowly pushing back in.
Beneath him, Carmen continued to kiss his mouth. Breathed through him, slowly because it still takes her body a moment to adjust to his girth. The height of him, all the lean muscle that is quick and finely honed and attuned to the workings of her own body. And then her body craves his, itching all over to be touched and held, kissed and fucked by him.
Carmen held his face in her hands, eyes unfocused and soft even as she gazed at him. “Please,” she whispered, and the movement of Tom’s hips as he thrust grew larger and wider. Harder and faster. Even as he let himself relax, he needed every muscle tensed and ready. Ass clenching with every thrust, and then he cried: “Oh!” and “Yes!” and “Fuck!” and “God!”. The wet sounds of skin against skin, and even the tickle of her pubic hair, wiry over her soft mound, conspired and collaborated to ensnare him. But was it a trap if Tom was a willing victim?
Her head was against his shoulder now, and she squeezed her eyes shut. She couldn’t wait much longer. Not to come. Not for him to stop, go rigid, and spill inside her. That strange but deeply satisfying feeling of his cock as it twitched and coated her from within. He was gasping in her ear now and all she could do was gasp in time, tighten around him and then collapse when he did finally come. All she could do was whine and sob as Tom dug his nails into her ass to lift her into him.
And even as Tom melted into her, even as he held her tighter when it would have been expected to let her go, Carmen wished she had had more to give. She wanted to suck his cock even while he fucked her. She wished she could crawl into his chest, fall asleep to the steady thrum of his heart beating alongside her, with her, for her. Carmen wanted to give him everything, all day and all the time. She was there. She was ready. She was his.
11 July 2018: Three Lions
England had come down with World Cup fever. The denizens of The Mouse and Bear, a sleepy pub near Tom and Carmen’s, were not immune. Carmen felt the excitement as soon as she walked in, mere minutes before kickoff.
She arrived later than she had intended to, having worked a full day before stopping at home to change, then leave again and meet Tom. As she was locking the door behind her, he texted her:
Tom: btn banana pls
Tom: its for luck
Carmen: why do u need it for luck
Tom: its for england
Carmen: a banana here will help team in russia
Carmen: anything else
Carmen: pint of strawberries? cantaloupe
Tom: ur being ridiculous
Carmen: am not
Tom: everybody knows cantaloupes are unlucky
And with that, Carmen found herself at the market, two bananas for Tom in one hand and some peach yogurt in the other. The pub would have staples like fish and chips, pie and mash, and Scotch eggs. But lately Carmen only wanted to eat soft, sweet things. It was summer, and when it was hot she craved berries and cream, pudding, ice lollies that she persisted in calling “popsicles”, and cereal with loads of milk. When she got in line to check out, she made a note to herself to ask the cashier if she could have a plastic spoon.
The line was rather long, and the people in it were restless. But as the cashier was a trainee, the line was slow moving. Carmen didn’t care so much about the slowness, but the young woman in front of her behaved as though the latency was a great inconvenience. The customer carried her items in her hands, not availing herself of the shopping baskets that stood in tidy stacks around every corner in the shop.
Carmen found her flustered state amusing at first, but when the girl starts fussing at the cashier, it became less than charming. She was relieved when the woman messily bagged her own purchases, then hustled away. The trainee was gracious, and offered Carmen a hesitant smile when she approached.
“What’s her problem, anyway?” Carmen put her things down and watched them being scanned.
“I suppose she wanted to make it home before the match starts.” The cashier put the items in the bag, a canvas tote from Daunt Books, and watched as Carmen inserted her credit card into the machine to pay. The cashier smiled shyly before handing Carmen her receipt.
An idling taxi convinced Carmen that it was a sign she could splurge on a ride to the pub, and so she did. It wasn’t a long trip, but she scooted over so she could watch the streets, with their wedding cake houses and brightly colored doors, whir by. She frowned, though, when the taxi lunged to a stop, and the movement made her dizzy. Her stomach did a little flip but had settled down enough by the time she had arrived.
All the way in the back, tucked into the snug, Tom waved Carmen over to the seat he had saved for her at the end of a long table. He smiled, glad that she had finally arrived, but his smile faded when he saw her grimace.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, helping her with her things.
“Nothing,” she insisted. “Well, not much. I just felt a little woozy before but I think I’m fine now.” She sniffed. “Ugh! The air in here just reeks of beer.”
“Well,” replied Tom, earnestly. “It is a pub.”
She huffed at him when he leaned in to kiss her cheek. Tom gestured at the collection of pint glasses arranged in neat rows before him. “I think you’ll find we’ve got some ciders here. A couple of sour ales that aren’t too heavy.”
“No, thanks.” Carmen’s nose wrinkled. “Give me your water, though.”
Carmen drank his water, then her water. The waters of everybody else at their table, who were drinking to excess or too nervous to drink. She made the first of several visits to the loo right before the match began, and was back in plenty of time to witness England’s first (and only) goal.
When that happened, Carmen screamed herself hoarse. She was engulfed in Tom’s arms as he hugged her, laughing as she accepted the frantic kisses he pressed all over her face and down her neck. She toasted with whoever was in arms reach. And then she sat down, feeling dizzy again for the rest of the first half. When she came back from another bathroom visit, when she had splashed some cool water on the back of her neck, Carmen found Tom looking concerned.
“Are you sure you’re alright?” He asked.
Carmen nodded, but snuggled into his side anyway. “Yeah. I think I’m just tired after work.”
“How was it?” Tom whispered into her hair.
“It was fine. Precious little to do, and even fewer people to do it.” She smirked up at him. “I bought the interns beer and crisps so they could have something to snack on while they watched pre-game coverage on their phones.”
“There you go, Carmen,” Tom admonished her. “Corrupting innocent youth.”
“Whatever.” Carmen rolled her eyes. “They’re of age.” She laughed, but only a little as it seemed to bring on a small coughing fit. Tom relieved her with some water. “Where’s Bobby?’
“In the back garden, with the owner’s dog.” Tom indicated a backdoor that was held open with a paint can. “There’s no television back there, so less people to crowd the pups.”
“I should check on him, get some fresh air.” Carmen got up, slowly but steadily, and held her hand out to Tom. “Join me?”
“Sure.” Tom popped up, holding Carmen’s shopping bag. “Banana?”
“Of course. Help yourself.” Carmen yawned. “And while you’re in there, Sporty, can you grab my yogurt?”
Tom nodded, holding the bag with one hand while he rooted around for the yogurt with the other. He frowned.
“Everything okay?” Carmen’s slight smile faltered just a little when she saw how still Tom’s face was.
“Button,” Tom whispered. “Is this…?”
“What’s going on?” Carmen asked. “You’ve seen yogurt before. And there should also be a spoon…”
She faltered, words not just failing but disappearing before they could be formed by her tongue, when she saw Tom withdraw from the bag her pot of yogurt and, instead of a plastic spoon, a packet with the words “Pregnancy Test” printed on it in bright blue ink.
Looking over her shoulder, Carmen shoved Tom’s hand back into the bag, and dragged him to the door. Outside, a couple of elderly men preferred to listen to the match as it was called on the radio. A few dogs sat at their feet, accepting bits of bacon and chips from the men’s plates. Bobby perked up when Tom called to him, trotting over for kisses and skritches before he curled up under the table where Tom and Carmen sat down.
Carmen took out the packet and looked at it. “That is definitely not a plastic spoon.”
“What?” Carmen looked up to find Tom’s face crumpling up. His face was wet, and Carmen wanted to start kissing his cheeks to console him. “I know what this looks like.”
“This looks like you think you might be pregnant,” Tom said, his voice wavering.
“I know, but I didn’t buy that.”
“Carmen Paloma DiGregorio, did you steal this?” Tom hissed.
Carmen bit back a laugh. “No, Sporty, I just got the yogurt and the bananas, I swear.”
“So this pregnancy test just leapt into your shopping basket?” Tom sounded skeptical, but he smiled at her.
“No,” she scowled. “Oh! But there was this woman ahead of me at the market. She was kind of a mess, rude to the girl at the till, and her shit sort of spilling all over the countertop.”
“You think it might have been hers, and just got scooped into your bag, then?” Tom asked.
“Yeah,” Carmen replied. “I’m not even sure I paid for it.”
Tom found the receipt inside the bag, and inspected it. “It appears you did not.”
“Remind me to donate a tenner to the FPA , then.” Carmen frowned. She let her head drop a bit, her hair falling over the side of her face.
“What’s wrong?” Tom brushed some of that hair aside.
“I stopped taking the pill for your birthday.” Carmen winked at him. “Period came at the end of the month, and then again right before my birthday. Right on schedule, and then it was late in April.”
“But Doctor Ahmad said that could be expected, right, when we went to see her?’
Carmen nodded. “Right. It was always irregular when I wasn’t on birth control.”
“What about May?’ Tom asked.
It was then that Carmen shut her eyes, and took a deep breath. “I want to say… there was a little spotting at the end.”
“Okay.” Tom bit his lip. “June?’
Carmen shook her head. “Nothing,” she whispered.
Carmen leaned into him, pressing her lips to his throat and her nose just above. He smelled like beer, but it was faint. He had skipped the cologne, and so there was no delicious, albeit strong, citrus fragrance to soothe her. She still knew that, in his arms, she was home.
“The doctor gave us six months,” Tom reminded Carmen. “Six months to try on our own, and if nothing happened, we go in for tests.”
“Why weren’t we testing ourselves all along?” Carmen wondered.
“It was just business as usual. Our usual shenanigans.” Tom kissed her forehead. “And your period was still coming.”
“Until it didn’t,” Carmen. “That spotting in May, though.”
“It’s common in the first trimester,” Tom replied.”I remember that from the literature.”
Carmen sat back, lifting her head so she could look at Tom. Gaze at the clear blue sky above, and then into his eyes. She flinched a little when a roar from the crowd inside announced the start of the second half.
“Game’s on,” Carmen whispered. “Ready?”
Tom nodded. “Yeah.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Let’s go.”
13 July 2018: Roger
“I feel like shit, Sporty.”
“I have to pee.”
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“I love you.”
“Where are they?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you’ll come through here…”
She tried not to make anything of the fact that she could get a last minute appointment on what happened to be a day off for her. There was no tempting fate today. A quiet morning, and hot at that. They had taken a taxi to Dr. Ahmad’s office, but decided to walk the two miles back. Side by side, her right hand slipped into the crook of his left arm so she could follow.
They were almost home but just as they passed the street where her favorite cafe was, Carmen stopped.
“Breakfast?” She rubbed the back of her neck. “I could use something now.”
Tom nodded. “Get a table outside. I’ll get the dog.”
There was an espresso waiting for Tom, and a cup of whipped cream for Bobby, when they joined Carmen. She had been staring at her phone but put it down when they appeared.
“Can you take him?” Tom handed the dog’s lead to Carmen. “Keep your seat, I’m just going to…” Tom moved the table and empty chair, so that he could sit beside Carmen and drape his arm over her shoulder. They watched the dog as he demolished his cup, laughing when he looked up with a plaintive expression on his face.
“Where is it?’ Tom asked.
Carmen unzipped her purse and withdrew a square piece of photographic paper. After handing it to Tom, she watched his face as he examined it.
His eyes were still red, and they were watering. He sniffed. “Is this even real?”
“Yes,” Carmen murmured. “That photograph is real.”
“Well, the subject is real, too.” Tom kissed her temple.
“Eight weeks tomorrow, Doctor Ahmad said.” Carmen picked up her phone, and began to do a search. “Kidney bean, it says. That’s how big.”
Tom peered at Carmen’s belly. “Hi, Bean.”
“Oh god, Tom,” Carmen choked back a few tears. “She’s Bean.”
“It’s a much nicer nickname than Kidney, I think.”
“I agree,” Tom replied. He looked at the photograph again. “She looks sweet.”
“So she’s moving around a lot at this stage but as she’s so small, I won’t feel it.” Carmen shifted in her seat. “That’s cool. I can just focus on how all of a sudden my tits are sore.”
“I’m sorry, love,” Tom said.
“But they’ll be bigger, so there’s that,” Carmen explained.
Tom’s eyes lit up. “As you can see, I am still very sorry.”
She shook her head. “I hate you, you jerk.”
“I love you, Carmen.”
The food arrived. Tom smiled at the porridge that was set in front of Carmen, and his usual egg and soldiers. “Perfect.” He nudged her. “I thought you didn’t like the porridge. All the dried fruit.”
“That’s for the baby.” Carmen’s eyes lit up with another server turned up with a large tray. “That’s mine.”
Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, a small pot of beans dotted with chorizo, two roasted tomatoes, and a large glass of orange juice. Tom ended up holding his plate in his lap so there was sufficient room on the patio table to accommodate her meal. He ate with his hands, dipping his toast into the soft boiled egg, all the while watching Carmen eat at a slow but steady pace.
“We should name her Meghan,” Carmen said. “Or Harry.”
“Because she was most likely conceived during the royal wedding?” When Carmen nodded, he frowned. “I have no real objection but if people ask, and you know they will, can we give them another reason?”
“Uh huh.” Carmen wiped her mouth. She picked up the pot of beans to see if there were any stray beans. Finding none, she set it down.
A middle aged man bustled past, talking excitedly to the toddler in his arms: “Come on, Lucy. It’s your very first political protest!”
“I like Lucy,” Tom said. “Lucille? Luciana?”
“Lucy the wee protester?” Carmen grinned. “Oh! That reminds me — Donald is not an option.”
“No argument here.” Tom nuzzled her cheek. “Boh? Baloo?”
“She’d hate that,” Carmen said. “‘Oh yes, baby, we named you after a cartoon mouse.’”
“What about Felix? We could name her after an animated cat.”
A barista stuck his head out the door, holding a paper cup. “Olivia? Is there an Olivia here? Half caf latte?”
“I like the sound of that,” Tom said.
“Reminds me of Twelfth Night ,“ Carmen chimed in. “Sebastian?”
“Sebastian Hiddleston?” Tom sounded it out. “Let’s return to that.”
“Malvolio!” Carmen cackled.
“The one with the goats?”
“Sheep,” Tom said.
“What about…” Carmen trailed off. “Oh, I have it.”
“Yeah?” Tom sat up, laughing when Carmen took up her napkin to wipe away a few traces of dried egg. “Tell me.”
“Roger!” Carmen clapped her hands together. “It’s perfect!”
“Pardon, but, how is Roger perfect?”
“Uh, Roger Federer, because you love tennis.”
“Roger?” Tom said it softly, almost to himself.
“And for Roger Ebert, who I loved and his favorite city was London, so…”
“Right,” Tom said, drawing out the word.
“And… and… and!” Carmen poked him in the chest. “ 101 Dalmatians , my favorite romantic comedy.”
“Roger was the songwriter, not the dog, right?” Tom smirked when she lightly slapped his chest. “I guess that’s fine.”
“You don’t like it.”
“I think, we’ve got thirty two weeks, give or take, to come up with a name.”
“Thirty two weeks,” Carmen said. “To name the baby. As well as set up a nursery, sign up for classes, eat vegetables and take vitamins and find other mom friends who won’t suck. Thirty two weeks to work, set up maternity leave, go back to Chicago for a visit.” She grimaced. “Tell people.”
“And get married,” Tom said. He cleared his throat. “I want to be married before he comes.”
“Did you not hear everything else I just said?” Carmen grabbed his hand. “We have no time!”
“We’re going to make the time, Button.”
“I insist.” Tom shook his head. “Call me old fashioned but that’s what we should do.”
“I don’t want to look pregnant in the wedding photos,” Carmen said forlornly.
“Is that the only reason?” Tom chuckled.
“No,” Carmen fibbed.
“We can wait until after, if it means that much to you,” Tom said.
“But it’s so much to organize. People to invite, venues.” She tilted her chin up so she could look in his eyes. “And I want to keep it a secret.”
Tom nodded. “Small wedding. Both our families. Ben and Sophie. Annie and Aaron, and their kids. That’s what we were thinking anyway, right?”
“Maybe we do it in September, and have a big New Year’s Eve party for all the friends.”
“Alright.” Tom kissed her. “Yes.”
Tom paid, going inside to settle the bill while Carmen waited with the dog. She laughed when Tom came out with another cup of whipped cream for Bobby. They leaned into each other while they watched him.
“Thomas,” Carmen whispered.
“Yeah?” He whispered back.
“No, I mean, we’ll name him Thomas.”
“What happened to Roger?”
“Roger’s good. It’s solid. Maybe for his middle name.” Carmen sighed. “I just figured, given his due date, if he’s going to share a birthday with you, why not a name, too?”
Tom felt his eyes get wet again. “Okay, Button.” He kissed her. “I love you,” he murmured against her lips.
“Okay,” she replied. “But if anyone asks, we named him after Tom Hanks.”