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All That Remains

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My well deserved sleep is interrupted by my phone buzzing on my nightstand. Oh for fuck's sake. I'm trying to cure a hangover here. Just leave me alone. I'm trying to ignore the interruption, but whoever is calling is very persistent. So I reach over to grab my phone and look at the display to see who has the audacity to call me on a day like this. Crap. It's Dan from the city council. This can't be good.

„Hello?!“

„Ah, good morning Kat. Finally. Is everything alright?“

„Look, Dan, what do you want? I only went to bed a few hours ago and I'm really not in the mood for small talk right now.“

„So the celebration was a bit longer than expected then?! Well, good for you. Anyway, I need your help. I...“ Fucking hell no!

„Forget it.“

„Hear me out. Trust me. You'll like this. We need someone who talks actor. And English.“ Well, I am fluent in both. „Can you come over to my office? It will all be a lot clearer and easier to explain when you're here.“

„Dan, you do realise that you've just woken me up?!“

„Yes. Get dressed and get yourself over here. I'll keep them entertained in the meantime. You have 15 minutes.“

And with that, he hangs up the phone. I am totally pissed because he acts like he's my boss. And I'm always stupid enough to jump whenever he wants me to. Hang on...they?! Who are they?! Who has he waiting at his office? I realise that I don't have much time to engage in theories. Not if I want to make it to Dan's office on time.

I stumble out of bed and make my way to the bathroom. One look in the mirror tells me that I am actually in no condition to see anyone today. Well, fuck it. I'll just listen to what he has to say and then I'm outta there. Back to bed. I know that I won't have time for a shower or to wash my hair. So I just pull it back in a messy bun. I brush my teeth and put on some makeup, mascara and lipgloss and take another look in the mirror. That's as good as it's gonna get. I put on my black shorts and a green t-shirt along with my black Converse. Just as I'm about to grab my Loki bag I hesitate for a second. Pfff...screw it. Once a fangirl, always a fangirl. Whoever is waiting can know that I am a total nerd. So I grab my phone and my keys and rush out the door.

9 minutes and a cigarette later, I knock on the door to Dan's office, a coffee from the bakery around the corner in my hand. 18 minutes. Well, not too bad given the circumstances. „Come in“, I can hear him say from the other side of the door.

„Sorry, I know I'm late“, I say as I walk in. „Couldn't do it faster this morning. So what is it that is so imp...“ I stop mid-sentence because I can't believe who is sitting at Dan's conference table. This has got to be a dream. I close my eyes for a second, hoping that when I open them again, I'll see something different. But I don't.

There are four people sitting at the table, drinking coffee. And I know three of them. Because I've obsessed over them more than can be considered healthy. Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender. I have no idea who the fourth guy is. Who cares. Can someone please pinch me? I just stand there, totally unable to move or speak. I can hear Dan chuckle behind me.

„Kat, breathe“, he says as he gets up from his desk. „Gentlemen, this is Kat. And just like I said, she's exactly what you're looking for.“ Looking for?! What the hell is he talking about?

Michael is the first of them to get up. He walks over to me and holds out his hand. I grab it, still unable to wrap my mind around what's happening. „Hi Kat, I'm Michael.“ Yeah, as if I didn't know that.

„Hello. I'm Tom. What an absolute pleasure to meet you.“ Tom shakes my hand as well. Jesus, he smells good.

And then Ben walks over to me and my knees turn into pudding. „Hi. I'm Ben. Lovely to meet you. Please tell me you'll be able to help us out here.“ I don't even notice what he's saying. I just stare at him. At the man whose career I've been following ever since I was a teenager. The man who is one of the greatest inspirations in my life. The man who I consider to be the best actor of all time. And without being able to control it, my eyes start to fill with tears. Pull yourself together. Now is definitely not the moment for a fangirl breakdown. But it is too late. Tears are running down my cheeks. „Hey, it's okay. Don't cry“, I can hear Ben say in his soothing low voice. And with that, he puts his arms around me and pulls me in for a hug. Okay, if I were to die now, I'd be the happiest person alive. Or dead. Whatever. Ben. I allow myself to weep on his shoulder for a moment and then I pull back.

„I am so sorry. I am usually more eloquent than this. It's just all a bit much right now. And very surprising“, I say as I wipe the tears from my face.

„That's okay“, Michael laughs. „He often has that effect on people. Especially women. Cumberbitches are everywhere.“

„No no, you don't understand. This is not me fangirling. This is me meeting my idol. He is...“ Okay, stop talking about him as if he wasn't in the room. I turn to Ben. „You are my idol. You have been for 12 years. You inspire me every single day. Whenever I feel like I have nothing more to give in my job, it's you who never fails to recharge my creativity. Every time I see you on screen, I am left speechless. Aaaand I can't believe I am actually telling you this.“ Girl, you need to learn how to shut up. But Ben doesn't seem to mind. He smiles shyly and then puts his arm around me.

„Thank you so much, Kat. That's very kind of you.“

I hear someone clearing their throat and turn around to the fourth guy who I haven't paid any attention to so far.

„I'm sorry to interrupt, but we do have some business to attend to.“ Business? With me?! „Hi, I'm Frank Carter. I'm the producer for this movie“, he says as he shakes my hand. What movie? „And you must be our new production assistant then.“

„I am what???“ I turn around to look at Dan. „What the hell have you told them?“

„Not much. Only that you'd be perfect for the job.“

„What job?“, I ask as I turn back around to look at Frank. „I'm sorry, but I have no idea what's going on. Yes, I figured that apparently there's some sort of movie to be made. And given that three of the world's best actors are present, I'm assuming, they will be in it. Which is enough to make my head spin. But I really have no idea where I fit in in this.“

„Alright, let's do this the quick way.“ Frank gestures me to sit down. I accept his offer and Tom, Michael and Ben join us at the table. „Yes, we're making a movie. We will fill you in on the details later. If you agree.“ Agree to what?! Get to the point. „Filming starts in 2 weeks. This is an independent low-budget production and we're trying to keep it as small as possible. So no personal assistants and the sort. Having the whole cast here will stir enough attention as it is. But after a production meeting last night, we all agreed that we needed someone on the team who knows this town. Someone who knows their way around here. Someone who would be willing to assist the team and the cast in any way necessary. And someone who knows the theatre and it's technical staff.“

„Hang on. The theatre?! What does that have to do with anything? Are you going to film there?“

„It's one of our main locations“, Ben replies.

„You're kidding!“

„No, we're not.“ Frank has taken over the conversation again. „Like I said, filming starts in 2 weeks and is supposed to run until September.“

„But I have a job. I'll be on vacation for the next few weeks. But I have to start working again in August. At the latest. There's no way I could work for you.“

„Just hear them out“, Dan orders me from his desk.

„It's not a full-time job“, Frank continues. „You will have certain obligations related to the movie. And you are always welcome to stay and remain on set if you want. But you won't have to work for us full-time. So hopefully that will allow you to work your schedule around this.“ Well, I am pretty flexible when it comes to my work. And things will be very quiet after my vacation. „You will also receive a payment that should be more than appropriate. Here's what we can offer you.“ He hands me a small piece of paper that has a 2 followed by a whole bunch of zeros on it. Bloody hell. That's the payment on a low-budget production?! Looks like I totally picked the wrong job. „So, what do you say?“

„If you three are acting, then who is directing this?“

„That would be me.“ Ben raises his hand.

„Shut up! You're directing?!“ He smiles and nods. Ben is directing. I turn to Frank. „I get to be on set as often as I want to, even when I'm not needed for anything?“

„Absolutely.“

I get to watch Ben work. Behind and in front of the camera. And Tom. And Michael. And I'm getting paid for it. Why are you still pretending like it's really a choice?!

„Then the answer is yes. I'm in.“ Everyone is uttering a sound of relief. They are actually happy I'm doing this. They don't even know me but they want me on the production. How crazy is this?!

„Then welcome on board“, Frank says and shakes my hand again. „I am going to make a few phone calls and make sure they'll prepare your contract. Would you excuse me?“

„Sure. Actually, I could use a cigarette after this. Mind if I step out for a moment?“

„Mind if I join you?“, Michael asks.

I shake my head and we both leave the office and head downstairs. The wind on my face feels good. And so does the nicotine in my lungs.

„You look at bit pale. Are you alright?“ Michael looks at me with a certain concern in his eyes. How surreal is this situation?!

„I'm fine. It's just all a bit too much right now. Besides, I'm still trying to get over my hangover.“

„Had a bit of a party last night?“ Small talk with Michael Fassbender. I love my life right now.

„We had our last show last night and the kids and I celebrated afterwards. It got a little bit later and a little bit wilder than we all expected.“

„Kids?!“ Michael raises his eyebrow.

„Well, they're not kids. Most of them are well over 18. But they are like my kids. I love them.“

„What exactly is it that you...“ Our conversation is interrupted by the beeping of Michael's phone. He checks his messages. „It's Frank. He's telling us to get our asses back upstairs.“

„Okay, is he always like that? Because if I don't get a quiet cigarette break every now and then over the next months, I ain't signing this contract“, I say as we make our way back upstairs. Michael laughs and hits me with his blinding Fassy smile. Damn.

The rest of the meeting is mostly about schedules and production dates. I am trying to listen but my mind keeps drifting off. Nothing about this situation feels real. But it feels damn good. Frank stays behind to discuss some things with Dan, so me and my three boys...yes, that's what I've decided to call them...head downstairs.

„Do you have time this afternoon?“, Ben asks. „If you want, we could go for a walk and I could tell you all about the movie and where I want to take it.“

„Absolutely. I'd love that.“

„Mind if I bring Christopher?“ Okay, this has to be a joke.

„Christopher is here?“

„Yes, and so is Sophie. But she's having a Skype conference about her next project this afternoon and I promised her to give her some room and take Christopher out for a walk. So if you don't mind, I'd bring him with me.“

„Are you kidding me? Of course, I don't. On the contrary. Looking forward to it.“ Which is the understatement of the year. „Do you think I could get a script? I'd love to read it.“

„I have mine with me right now“, Tom cuts in. „Why don't you borrow it for the time being. Just ignore the side notes.“ Yeah, like that's gonna happen, Hiddleston. He hands me the script and I shove it in my Loki bag.

„Thanks a lot. So I'll see you later Ben?“ He nods and gives me a brief hug. Michael gives me a kiss on the cheek. Bloody hell. And then Tom pulls me in for one of his famous hugs. A Tom Hiddleston bear hug. Damn. I was not prepared for that. And boy, does he smell good. When he finally lets go of me, I am close to melting into a puddle. I whisper another goodbye and try to turn around. But Tom grabs my arm to stop me. Gently, but firmly. And then he leans in and brings his lips right next to my ear. Don't you dare say something now. Don't you dare.

„Nice bag by the way“, he whispers in my ear. Oh, fuck. And then the pulls back and looks at me. In this moment I am no longer looking at the actor Tom Hiddleston. I am looking at Loki. The expression on his face, the spark in his eyes, his wicked smile. He winks at me and then turns around and walks away. Damn you, Hiddleston. I stand there like I've just seen a ghost. And for a brief moment, I forget that I am actually totally pissed at the man.

Chapter Text

I sit on the bench in the park, nervously smoking my cigarette. Woman, calm down. He is a married man. This is not a date. I had told myself that several times today. The last time while I kept checking myself in the mirror before I left. And I knew that this wasn't a date. But I was still incredibly nervous. Just as I put out my cigarette, I can see Ben coming around the corner, pushing a stroller in front of him. He smiles when he sees me.

„Hello! Sorry for being a bit late“, he says, giving me a hug. Hugging Benedict Cumberbatch like we've known each other for ages. I could totally get used to that. „Now I would introduce you, but he fell asleep on our way over from the hotel.“ I look down at the cute little boy and my heart breaks in the most joyful of ways. Christopher Carlton Cumberbatch. Ben and Sophie's son. He is friggin' adorable. And I get to meet him. How lucky am I?!

„He's too cute for words, Ben. Seriously. And I'm sure he'll give us the chance for an introduction later.“

„So, how are we going to do this?“ He pulls some papers and drawings out of his bag. „There are several things I want to show you. But I can't do that pushing around the stroller. Shall we just stay on the bench?“

„Allow me?“ I point at the stroller and look at him, unsure if I just crossed a line. But a smile appears on his face.

„Be my guest.“

We start making our way through the park. Me pushing the stroller and Ben telling me everything I need to know about the movie. I had already taken a first look at the script, so I know what he's talking about. „The Duke“. A movie about our own Duke who made our town and our theatre famous all over the world. Played by Hugh Bonneville. It all sounds so amazing. I sometimes have to force myself to focus because I just get lost in Ben's voice.

We walk around for hours, it seems. Christopher wakes up at some point and immediately demands both of our attention. He really is the most adorable child I've ever met. And seeing Ben with him might be one of the most wonderful things ever.

After we finish talking about the movie, we decide to sit in the sun for a while. Christopher disagrees and settles for trying to catch the ducks resting close by. Maybe I should do that more often. The kid looks so happy. Maybe that's it. Maybe I'm too grown up. Maybe I should start chasing ducks.

Ben breaks me out of my thoughts. „I am really glad that you're in on the movie. You seem like a wonderful young woman and I can't wait to work with you and get to know you.“

„Likewise. Seriously, you have no idea what this means to me.“

„Please don't hit me with any more compliments, okay? Always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.“ Talented, intelligent, charming AND humble. Yep, the man really is perfect.

 „I won't promise that. Besides, I would think you're used to that by now?!“

„I doubt that I will ever really get used to it. It's wonderful to know that your work is appreciated. But taking on compliments isn't my greatest strength.“ I have something in common with Benedict Cumberbatch. Can I freak out now?! „Besides, whenever I travel somewhere with Tom, it's usually he who gets all the praise.“

„Yeah, because people are stupid“, I say more harshly than I wanted to.

Ben raises his eyebrow. „Okay, now I'm a bit lost here. You are the girl walking around with a bag referring to one of his most loved and most well-known characters and you're telling me you doubt Tom's talent?!“ He's protecting his friend. Wow.

„No. I never would. He is an extraordinary actor. And trust me, I used to be part of his fandom for quite some time. Even belonged to the crazier side...but now...“ I don't want to finish my sentence. I had been so successful at pushing it away. And now I have to face it again. That feeling of being hurt by someone I don't even know.

„What changed since then?“

Of course, he's not letting this go. I said something against one of his best friends. So I sigh and look at him. „He did.“ Oh, don't look at me like that. I know that I don't know him. But that's how I feel. „He used to be Mr Perfect to me. He was so charming and wonderful and considerate. He valued his privacy and he always had a certain mystery about him. I liked that. But now...ever since he started dating America's sweetheart, he's been different.“ Taylor Swift. The blonde bitch that always triggered my need to vomit. It's been over a year since she and Tom were „caught“ on that beach. And life has been somewhat miserable ever since. „And before you ask, this has nothing to do with jealousy.“ Who am I kidding, of course, it does to a certain extent. I am absolutely in love with the man and he's shagging some blonde bimbo. „It's just...he is no longer Tom Hiddleston. He's Taylor Swift's boyfriend. In over a year that hasn't changed. The press still only cares about him whenever he's seen with her. Nothing about his career matters anymore. His Emmy win for The Night Manager, the immense success of Skull Island, his Oscar nomination for I Saw The Light...nothing matters anymore. And I hate it. I don't know why he would allow this to happen. There is no way her pussy is that magical.“ I stop myself and look at Christopher. Language! „Sorry. But do you understand what I'm trying to say? His career is basically no longer existant in the eyes of the general public. His fans are disappointed, the fandom is in shatters. His reputation is ruined. And he hasn't looked truly happy in over a year. There used to be a sparkle in his eyes. No matter how tired or jetlagged or overworked he was. But now it's gone. His smiles look forced. He looks tired and exhausted. He looks done. So really, I don't know why he's still with her. But the fact that he is, made me lose pretty much all respect for him as a person.“ Ranting about a guy to his best friend. Always a good idea.

I wait for Ben to say something and tell me how wrong I am. But instead, he just puts his arm around my shoulder. „I think you and I are going to be very good friends.“

And then he looks at me. Right into my eyes. And in this moment I know that he knows. He knows that I am madly in love with his best friend. Despite me saying that I'm not. And despite not knowing him at all. He knows that every day on set with him is going to be a nightmare for me. He knows that I am ashamed because of my feelings. But the way he looks at me also tells me that he's not judging. It's comforting. So I put my head on his shoulder and allow a silent tear to roll down my cheek. Whatever happens with this movie, agreeing to it is already worth it. THIS is worth it. And no matter how painful things are going to be, I'll always have him. Ben. A friend.

Chapter Text

Two weeks later.

I'm laying in my bathtub, trying to mentally prepare myself for the night that is waiting for me. The time has finally come. Filming is supposed to start tomorrow and tonight is all about the whole cast and team getting together and getting to know each other.

I take a deep breath and think back to the past two weeks which had been the craziest of my life and I can't help but smile. I spent most of the time in production meetings and working things out with the staff at the theatre. There were many aspects to be considered and lots of things to be planned. But since I am a natural at organising things, I had gotten the hang of it very soon. I get along very well with everyone at the theatre. I had worked with them long enough to know how to handle them. So everything is ready for the big day tomorrow.

Ben and I had grown rather fond of each other. And so had Sophie and I. We spent a lot of time together and I had even watched over Christopher twice. Is it too soon to call someone a friend after only knowing them for two weeks?! But it feels like friendship. Especially with Ben. Having him in my life is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time.

Michael and I get along really well. We both have the same wicked sense of humour so we spent lots of time joking around and teasing each other.

And Tom...well...I had tried to avoid Tom as much as I could. Which wasn't very often, to be honest. So I had proceeded to give him a cold shoulder. I am able to converse with him professionally. But whenever things move on to some private small talk, I make sure to excuse myself. Mostly because I don't want to hear a single word about her. And Ben protects me every chance he gets. We never talked about what I had said at the park. Or about what he had read between the lines. But I know that he knows how I feel and that he does everything he can to ease my pain. A true friend.

I feel the water getting cold and get out of the bathtub. After drying myself and putting on some lotion that gives my skin a light shimmer, I make my way to my bedroom to get dressed. I put on some white lace lingerie and the red dress that I bought especially for this night. The white stripes at the neckline and the hem gave it a slight sailor look. After putting on some makeup and red lipstick to match the dress and pulling my hair back in a ponytail, I put on my white wedges and take one more look at myself in the mirror. No too bad, girl. But still not enough to impress him. 

*****

15 minutes later, I arrive at the rooftop restaurant that is booked for the party. I know the place and the staff so it's all a big hello with lots of hugs. I am fashionably late so almost everyone else already arrived. I look around the room and try to find Tom. Maybe he isn't here yet. Instead, my eyes find Michael who greets me with the typical Fassy smile. Okay, that smile always does things to me. I walk over to him and he greets me – as usual – with a kiss on the cheek. It is only now that I realise he's talking to Frank. I am not too keen on talking to him since he usually behaves like a right asshole around me. But he seems to be in a good mood tonight. Michael orders me a drink and we engage in some light conversation.

Just as Frank is about to tell me that he has yet to introduce me to so many people, I hear the sound of the elevator arriving. I immediately look over, hoping it is Tom. The door opens and I see him standing there. He's wearing a light grey summer suit and a white shirt. Damn, he looks good! My heart jumps, but only for a second. Because as the elevator door opens further, I can see that he's not alone. He's with her. My stomach drops and I instantly have to fight back tears. This cannot be happening. How dare he shows up with her!

From an objective point of view, Taylor looks absolutely gorgeous in her white summer dress and her pink lipstick. But it is the look on her face that makes me feel sick. She looks smug as always. Fucking content with making a big entrance and having all eyes on her. I look at Tom who holds her hand. There it is again. The forced smile. The one that doesn't reach the eyes. He looks around the room and notices me in the crowd. He leans over to her to whisper something in her ear and then drags her along in our direction. Huh, usually it's the other way around.

„Well, here we go“, I hear Michael mutter quietly. Guess I'm not the only one who isn't too fond of her. Interesting.

I straighten my back as they approach us. „Hello Tom“, I say casually.

„Kat, I want you to meet Taylor Swift. My girlfriend.“ Ah, still referring to her with her full name. Because nothing screams true love more than that. I try to keep it cool, but she just walks up to me with open arms.

„Oh, hi Kat! It's so nice to finally meet you.“ I wish I could say the same. She grabs me into a forced hug and I feel like I have to explode. Woman, I don't even know you. So you better get your hands off me ASAP.

I pull out of the awkward hug. „Hello, nice to meet you.“ Good thing I'm not Pinocchio.

„Tom has told me so much about you“, she says smiling at him. Well, I wish he hadn't. „Oh, hi Michael! It's so good so see you again.“ She turns to him and I'm expecting her to try and hug him as well. But his body language screams distance so they simply shake hands politely.

„Hello Taylor. Good to see you again.“ No kiss for her. Again, very interesting. Michael looks as if he's about to throw up over all over her shoes and I can't help but smile. Please go for it, Mr Fassbender. Would make my day.

„I see you're the centre of attention once again“, I hear a familiar deep voice say behind them. Ben. Finally. And whats's with all the sarcasm?! „Hello Tom. Taylor.“ He politely kisses both her cheeks.

„Oh Ben, it's so wonderful to see you again. And hello Sophie! Oh, it's been way too long.“ The look on Sophie's face as Taylor forces two kisses on her cheeks tells me that she might see things slightly different.

Tom grabs his date by the arm. „Come on, darling, there are a few people I want you to meet.“

„Alright.“ She turns to me. „We'll talk more later, okay?! I'd love to hear all about you.“ Lord, have mercy!

„I need another drink“, Michael says as they walk away. „You too?“ You bet your ass I do. I nod and Michael walks over to the bar.

„Kat, I am so sorry. I had no idea he was going to bring her.“ Ben pulls me in for a tight hug and then looks at me, concern written all over his face. „Are you okay?“ You mean apart from the urgent need to strangle someone?! I can't really talk yet, so I just nod my head.

„Hey, don't let it get to you“, Sophie says. „That's just what she does. She's the centre of attention no matter where she goes. That's what she lives for.“ She gives me a brief hug. „And by the way, you look absolutely beautiful tonight.“ Then why do I feel like a giant troll?!

„Ah, Cumberbatch. You're here. Finally. Come on, I need you.“ Frank forces Ben to come with him just as Michael returns with our drinks. I've never been one to enjoy champagne but tonight I don't care. As long as it get's me drunk.

„Listen, can I talk to you again about your theory about the relationship between Don Carlos and his stepmother?“, Sophie asks. I know she's about to start directing a stage production of Don Carlos in London in a few days and we had spent hours in the past two weeks discussing the play.

„Sure, I'd be delighted.“

„Well, I wouldn't. Excuse me, ladies.“ What's his problem tonight?! We both watch as Michael mixes with the crowd and look for a quiet corner to talk theatre.

The evening moves along and I jump from conversation to conversation. I feel surprisingly comfortable among all those movie experts and actors. At some point, Ben introduces me to Hugh Bonneville, who seems to be an absolute delight. No idea how that man is supposed to play our rather grumpy looking Duke. But I'm sure he'll manage somehow.

I've had my share of champagne so I am slightly buzzed. To my despair, I suddenly find myself in a conversation with Frank, Ben, Tom, Taylor and some other members of the team. But I just keep smiling. I wonder if it looks as forced as Tom's smile.

„I have to ask Kat...where are you from? I can't place your accent.“ Really none of your business.

„I'm from here.“

„Oh, so you're a local girl! How lovely“, she says in her annoyingly cheerful American accent. How does Tom put up with that all the time? My ears are bleeding already. And my brain hurts. „And I thought they only hired professionals for the production.“

An awkward silence follows her comment. Bitch, you did not just go there! „Oh, Kat is more than qualified for this job. She's keeping things together right now“, Ben says to my rescue.

„And what do you actually do for a living?“ Again, none of your business. Your tiny brain wouldn't be able to understand anyway. Oh, what the hell...

„I run a theatre company for children and teenagers.“

„No, I meant what your job is, honey.“ She did not just call you honey?!

„That is my job“, I say with pride and confidence as I straighten my back once again.

„Well, that's...cute I guess. Not really glamourous, though, am I right?“ No, you're stupid.

„No, it isn't. But not all of us need glamour in our lives to be happy, you know. And now excuse me.“ I turn around and make my way onto the rooftop terrace, hoping the fresh air will cool down my rage. Who the hell does she think she is to talk to me like that?! And he just stands there, smiling like an idiot, laughing at everything she says. She really has cut off his balls.

I jump a little as I feel a warm hand on my back. „I am so sorry, darling. She had no right to talk to you that way.“ Ben puts his arm around my shoulder. „Anything I can do for you?“ Shoot me. Or better yet, shoot her.

„A hug would be nice.“ He smiles and puts his arms around me, allowing myself to let go of the tension for a moment. We just stand there, completely lost in the embrace. „You're amazing. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Especially not her!“ Oh Ben, you wonderful human being. „Listen, Frank is waiting for me inside. Are you going to be okay?“

„Of course, I will. Don't worry about me.“

„I always do.“ He plants a soft, protective kiss on my forehead and then heads back inside.

I pull myself one of the chairs, sink down on it and light a cigarette. I can't believe she has actually managed to turn tonight into a disaster for me. I was planning on having fun tonight. Guess fun just isn't possible when TayTay is involved.

„So, does Sophie know?“, Taylor's arrogant noise interrupts my much appreciated peace.

I look around to see her standing behind me. „Know what?“

„About you and Ben.“ You have got to be fucking kidding me! „I just saw you two looking all comfy with each other.“

„Yes, that's because we're friends.“

„Friends with benefits?!“ Bitch, you better shut up!

„I am very sorry that the concept of friendship is so very much unknown to you. But I can assure you that there is nothing between Ben and me. Go ahead and ask Sophie. Because guess what, she's my friend too. Friends trust each other. And she knows that while we are incredibly fond of each other, there is nothing going on between us.“ I am no longer sitting in my chair and I notice that I've raised my voice to a point where people inside can hear us. I don't fucking care.

„You've only just met them. How deep can a friendship be after that time...“ You're one to talk.

„How much can you be in love with your boyfriend only TWO weeks after breaking up with the last one?! Enough to invade his family and drag him around like a toy?!“ People are staring at us as I've proceeded to yell at her. Let them look. Let them listen. „Listen, blondie...you do not get to accuse Benedict of cheating. Not while I'm around. And you do not get to show up here tonight and act like it's all about you. Tonight is about the movie. About a wonderful project that your boyfriend is involved in. Have you even noticed that while having you glued to his arm, Tom hasn't said a single word all night? No, because that would require you to actually pay attention to him.“

„Kat! That's enough!“ Tom's voice cuts through the air like a knife. Really, Hiddleston?! I am trying to defend what's left of your dignity here. He walks over to her, puts her arm around her waist and ushers her inside to the elevator. Yes, run away, you coward!

I realise that people are still staring at me but I am incapable of saying something as I try to fight back my tears. Fuck, this shouldn't get to me like that. I fall back onto the chair, turning my back towards the staring crowd.

„Alright everyone, nothing to see here“, I hear Michael saying behind me. He pulls himself another chair and sits down next to me. „Care to explain what that was all about?“

„Mind if I don't?“ I turn to him as tears roll down my cheeks.

„Not at all. Come here.“ He pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and wipes away my tears. „Care to get extremely drunk with me tonight?“ Damn, the man knows what I need.

I smile at him. „I'd love to.“

Chapter Text

Michael and I have moved on from champagne to whisky. I know I'll regret that in the morning but I really don't give a shit right now.

It's already dark outside but we're still sitting on the terrace, watching the stars and joking around. Just like we always have. I don't know why but things with Michael are just really uncomplicated and very comfortable.

„Can I ask you something?“, I turn to him.

„Sure“, he replies.

„I couldn't help but notice that you've been trying to get hammered from the second this party started. Is everything okay?“

„So you noticed that...“ Fassbender, you've been having one drink after the other. Of course, I noticed. I notice everything.

„What's going on, Michael?“

He sighs. „Alicia and I broke up.“

I almost choke on my drink. Shut the fuck up! „No way! When? What happened?“

„Just before I came here today. Trust me, that was the worst phone call of my life. We just couldn't make it work. Too busy. Both of us.“ All the happiness has vanished from his face and I can tell that he's clearly not really comfortable talking about this. He looks heartbroken.

„Michael, I am so sorry.“ I reach out and put my hand on his thigh, trying to somehow console him. I am touching Michael Fassbender's leg. Damn. Woman, stop this! Focus here. And for fuck's sake, just stay out of the gutter. He grabs my hand and gently squeezes it.

„Look at you two getting all cosy with each other.“ Frank has a big smile on his face as he watches us, hovering in the door to the terrace.

Michael's expression reveals that he's slightly pissed at him for interrupting us. I wonder why that is... „Go home, Frank! You're drunk!“

„Yes, we're already on that.“ Ben and Sophie step out. „I'm afraid he'll never make it to the hotel on his own. So we'll make sure he gets there.“

I stand up to hug both of them goodbye and then watch them as they try to get Frank walking. Michael and I both laugh at the sight. Thank god, the smile is back.

While I stand there, I am trying to figure out if it would be wise to leave and get myself to bed as well. It's a bit chilly outside and I curse myself for not bringing a jacket. I shiver as a cool breeze touches my skin.

„Are you cold? Shall we go inside?“

I look over to see who is still there. The party is dying down and most guests have already left. But the bar is still pretty occupied. „No, I'd rather stay out here.“

„Yes, but you're cold. Despite the whisky. No idea how that works, by the way.“ I'm a woman. I am genetically programmed to be cold. „Come here.“ He holds out his hand, waiting for me to take it. Where the hell is this going?! I slowly reach out and put my hand into his palm. He grabs it tightly and with one swift move, he pulls my arm and I fall into his lap. Fuck.

„That way I can at least try to keep you a bit warm.“ Yeah, that's also the best way to drive me insane. I'm gonna need another drink to make it through this. So I reach out for my glass and empty it at once. I feel the warmth of his body against mine and it feels so good. So I lean in a bit more. Michael doesn't seem to mind, on the contrary. He just puts one arm around my waist and lets the other rest on my thigh.

All of a sudden I realise something and can't keep myself from laughing.

„What is it?“, Michael asks.

„What a pair we make! Both trying to drown our sorrows in – frankly cheap – whisky. Both trying to get over the people we love.“

„Tom?“ Michael casually sips on his drink. How the hell does he know?!

„Crap, is it that obvious?“

„Well, I'm not blind. And after how you tried to stand up for him tonight...you do realise that Taylor now knows that you have the hots for her boyfriend, right?!“ Shit, I hadn't thought about that.

„I doubt that she'll see me as a threat. I mean, look at me.“

„I am. And?“ He's looking right into my eyes. Oh, don't do this to me, Fassbender!

„Well, I am nothing compared to her. She's successful and tall and skinny and beautiful and...“

„And so are you! Okay, maybe not tall and skinny...“ I know. That's exactly the problem. „...but you are goddamn beautiful.“ I can feel myself blush and I turn my head so that he doesn't see it. But his hand reaches for my chin and he pulls me back so that I'm facing him again. Please, don't. „You. Are. Beautiful.“

„No, I am not.“

„Yes, you are.“ He pulls me even closer into his lap. Oh dear god, this is becoming rather challenging. I really don't want to enjoy this, but I am. And how do I keep my mind from going places?! „You're also the definition of charming and insanely smart. Seriously. Whenever I am around you, I know that I am by far the stupidest person in the room.“ He winks at me and gives me that Fassy smile. And I can't help but smile too. „You are also sexy as hell.“ Okay, now it's getting ridiculous. „I mean...your curves are lethal.“ He runs his hand up and down my right thigh and it makes me tingle in all the right places. Somebody pinch me. This can't be happening.

I open my mouth because I want to protest but I am immediately silenced as I feel his cock against my left thigh. Is he having a hard-on while you're sitting on his lap?! What the hell is going on???

I look up into his eyes and we just stare at each other for a while. It's one of those silent exchanges where two people agree on something without having to say a word. And then he leans forward and kisses me. First very gently, then more and more demanding. Thank god I'm already sitting down otherwise I would've fainted by now.

Just as his tongue starts to push against my mouth, I pull away. „Wait a second.“ I'm trying to catch my breath. „If we do this, I should make something clear. I'm not looking for anything here. I want this. I want you.“ Damn right I do. „But only if this doesn't come with strings attached.“

Michael smiles at me and plants another kiss on my mouth. „I think we're both on the same page here. No strings, just sex. To fuck the pain away.“ I think that's the greatest expression I've ever heard. Fuck the pain away. Yes, that's what I wanna do.

„Agreed.“

„So...allow me to take you to my hotel room and nail you through the mattress?!“ He looks at me, lust written all over his face.

„How about you take me to my place and nail me through my mattress. It's only 5 minutes from here.“ Hopefully, I'll be able to contain myself for that long. Because something tells me that this cock will feel even better inside me than it does against my thigh. And I want it. Now.

He pushes me off his lap, gets out of the chair and grabs my hand. „Are you sure you want to do this?“

My other hand reaches out and wraps around the erection trapped in his trousers. He lets out a low moan. I smile at him. „Oh yes, Mr Fassbender. Very much.“

Chapter Text

We reach my apartment about 5 minutes later. My heart is beating through my chest. You are about to get laid by Michael Fassbender. I know it's going to happen. And god knows I want it to happen. But I am nervous. What if he doesn't find you sexy?! What if he realises that he doesn't want you?!

Michael closes the door and pushes me against it. My back hits the door harder than I anticipated but I really don't care. He steps closer and I am now trapped between his body and the door. He's practically pinning me against it. I can feel his hard cock against my stomach. Okay, he wants you.

I put my arms around his neck, pulling him in for a kiss. My mouth opens to welcome his tongue. We both start to moan slightly. Fuck. I can feel that I'm already totally wet and ready. I can probably throw away those panties. Whatever, just be glad you're not wearing granny pants.

I run my hands over his back, my fingernails digging into his flesh. Michael moans and breaks the kiss. „Careful. That's one of my best shirts. Don't want to ruin that.“

„Then let's get rid of it.“ I smile.

He steps away from me a little bit, allowing me to reach out and pull the shirt from his pants. I can feel the heat of his body and it's driving me insane. As I start to unbutton his shirt, he takes one hand and places it on one of my breasts. He squeezes it and runs his thumb over my hard nipple and then proceeds to the other one. I moan, he smiles. I run my hands underneath his shirt and slip it off his shoulders. He lets go of me and helps me to take it off completely. Get your hands back on me. I toss the shirt aside and he leans down for another bruising kiss.

„Let's get you out of that pretty dress, shall we?!“

I am incapable of speaking so I just nod and raise my hands, giving him access to the zipper on the left side of my dress. I close my eyes as he starts to open it. God, who knew that the sound of a zipper could be sexy?! Michael grabs the hem of the dress, pulls it over my head and throws it aside.

„Fuck, you're sexy.“ And in that moment, I believe him. It's dark in the room so I can't really see his face. But I still feel his erection against me and hear him breathe heavily. He is turned on and it's all because he wants to fuck me. So I believe him.

His mouth is back on mine, our tongues playing with each other. The kiss is full of lust. He reaches behind me to unhook my bra. Seconds later it joins my dress and his shirt on the living room floor. I feel his hands grabbing my breasts again. He skillfully rolls my already hard nipples between his thumbs and index fingers, making them even harder. Fuck yes! I am moaning louder than I probably should at this stage but I really don't care. His hands stay on my tits as he starts to kiss his way down my neck. I reach down and grab his cock through his pants, just like I did on the terrace. Ah, there's that moan again. He starts to slowly move his hips to feel some kind of friction.

„Bedroom. Now“, he commands. As you wish, Mr Fassbender.

I take his hand and lead him to my bedroom. „Get on the bed and spread your legs for me.“ Anything you want. I make an attempt to take off my shoes. „No. Leave them on. They're just as sexy as you are.“ So I climb on my bed and turn on my back. He watches my every movement.

„What do you want?“, he asks, unbuckling his belt.

„I want you to make me come“, I gasp.

He chuckles and I watch him as he takes off his pants. The anticipation is killing me. It's been quite a while since I've been with a man. After taking off his shoes and socks, Michael pulls down his boxers, finally freeing his erection. Jesus fucking Christ! Gimme that cock. Now!

I knew that he was hung ever since going full frontal in Shame. The whole world knew. But seeing it live and rock hard... Damn. „Well fuck me!“

„Don't worry, I will any minute.“ He crawls onto the bed, lying down next to me. Dammit, get between my legs. That's where I want you. „But first I have to get that pussy ready for my cock“, he says as he slips one hand into my panties. He runs to fingers over my already dripping wet lips and lets out a hiss. That pussy is more than ready. „Look at how wet you are. And all for me. Let's have some fun then, shall we?“

With this, he pushes two fingers inside me. Fuck, that feels good. He slowly starts to push them in and out of me, picking up the pace with every movement. Oh fuck, I am not going to last long. He brings his mouth down to my nipple and starts sucking and flicking his tongue all over it. Yes, don't stop. My hips start to rock against his hand, trying to get some attention to my clit.

I feel that I'm not too far from my orgasm and by the way my pussy is clenching around his two fingers, I think Michael does too. „Touch yourself.“ Your wish is my command, Mr Fassbender. „That's is. Rub that clit and make yourself come.“

The sensation of his fingers driving in and out of me, as well as him sucking my nipples and me rubbing my clit is too much. Oh fuck, I wanna come.

„M-Michael, I'm close“, I moan.

„Do it.“ His words are enough to send me over the edge. My whole body is shaking and my pussy is squeezing his fingers. Michael kisses me deeply.

Just as I am starting to relax again, I can hear him whispering in my ear. „And now I want you to come all over my dick. It's right here, waiting for your pussy to embrace it.“ Fuck, I love it when men talk dirty. Even though my legs still feel like pudding, I push myself up and push him onto his back. I swing one leg across him so that I'm straddling his waist. His cock is standing to attention and I know that he's ready for me to sink down on him.

I open the top drawer of my nightstand and pull out a condom. I open the foil with my teeth and then gently roll it over his rock hard cock. He moans at the touch of my fingers and I can tell he's desperate to be inside me. Well, so am I.

I raise my hips a little and position the tip of his cock. Oh fuck. I lean forward to kiss him and just as our lips touch, I start to lower myself onto his penis. Oh my god, fuck! He's so big. And he feels so good. We both moan as I slowly sink down, taking him in inch by inch. And we are talking at least 7 inches here.

„Fuck, you are so tight. Oh my god.“

He's finally completely inside me and I need a moment to get used to the feeling. I don't think anyone's ever stretched my pussy like that before. I can feel the tip of his cock against my cervix. And it's slightly painful. But it feels fucking amazing.

I slowly start to circle my hips. He immediately lets out a moan. „Yes, ride me.“

His words are cheering me on and I start to push myself up and down, sliding along the full length of his cock. I'm breathing heavily and everytime he pushes back into me, I can feel my second orgasm of the night getting closer.

Michael grabs my hips and pulls on them to set them into a steady rhythm. Oh yes, that feels good. He's groaning and moaning and I can tell that he is getting close. I put my hands on his chest to stabilise myself and pick up the pace. His cock is quickly sliding in and out of me. My pussy is starting to clench around him even tighter. I am close.

„Yes! Come with me.“ We are both hit by our orgasm, causing us to moan and scream louder than is decent, especially at that time of night. But who the hell cares.

I fall forward onto his chest and we both lie there for a while, him still inside me, unable to move.

„Is it okay if I spend the night?“, he asks.

„You mean what's left of it?!“ We both laugh. I plant a kiss on his chest. „Of course, you can.“

I climb off of him. Feeling his dick slide out of me feels strange. I feel kinda empty. Can I just put it back?! But I am too tired and too exhausted to even attempt another round. Michael takes one of the tissues from the box on my nightstand and wraps the condom in it. I take off my shoes and pull the blanket over us.

„Good night, Kat.“ He leans in for another kiss and then pulls me onto his chest.

„Good night, Michael.“ And listening to his still rapid heartbeat, I fall asleep.

Chapter Text

I wake up the next morning with a killer headache and I swear to myself to never drink again. At least not until tonight. Still refusing to open my eyes, I try to remember what actually happened last night. Oh, fuck! You shagged Michael Fassbender. That's what happened.

I am wide awake in a second. I sit up and look next to me. To my surprise, the bed is empty. What the hell?! I look at my phone for the time. Ah. He's supposed to be in hair and makeup already. Looks like he already left for that. I am glad that nobody will be able to blame me for making him late on the first day of filming.

Falling back onto the mattress, I try to wrap my mind about last night's events. If it wasn't for that fight with Taylor, it would've been a perfect night. With a steaming hot and very happy ending. I have about an hour left until I'm supposed to be on set. So I decide to get up and make myself look presentable.  

*****

45 minutes later I am on my way to the theatre where we'll be shooting for the first 5 weeks. It's a lovely, sunny summer day and I can feel the Aspirin kicking in. Good. The last thing I need today is a headache that refuses to leave. I am trying to balance the daily coffee order I picked up on my way. Just how many cups of coffee can one person actually carry?! I really should've been born an octopus.

I wonder how Tom is going to react when he sees me. After all, I did verbally attack his girlfriend last night. I have never seen him so furious before. He hasn't been the once so glowing ray of sunshine in a very long time. But last night...that was pure anger. Not the sexy kind of anger he displays as Loki or Jonathan Pine. It was just pure hate. Hate against me.

I arrive at the theatre just in time. Things are already really busy but everything seems to be going according to plan. As people see me walking in, they smile. Is that because they're happy to see me or because they're happy I'm getting them their caffeine fix?! I clear my throat and raise my voice: „Good morning everyone! Your coffee order is here, names are on the cups.“ I take two cups without having to look at the names and walk over to Ben.

„Good morning, Mr Director“, I say as I hand over the coffee and smile.

„Good morning, Kat! Ugh, thank you so much! How are you today?“

„More hungover than I should be on a day like this. But I'll be fine. Don't worry. How are you? Nervous?“

„Yes, very.“ He takes a sip of his coffee and burns his tongue.

„Oh, don't worry. I know you'll be great.“ I flash a smile at him. He smiles back and he knows that I'm not just saying that to make him feel better. I mean it with all my heart.

„Sophie sends her love. And so does Christopher.“

„Did they leave already?“

„Yes, they're on their way to the airport as we speak. She said she's going to miss you very much.“ Sophie Hunter is going to miss me. No, not surreal at all.

„And I her.“ I can hear Michael's voice behind me.

„Where the hell is my coffee?“ I turn around to look at him. Jesus, he looks dreadful.

„Excuse me.“ I give Ben another smile and then walk over to Michael.

„Good morning, Mr Fassbender. Here's your coffee. Extra strong. And...“ I reach into the pocket of my pants and hand him some Aspirin. „...something against the headache.“

„Kat, you're a lifesaver, you know that?!“

„Yeah, so I've heard.“ I wink at him and he answers with the Fassy smile. „I was a bit surprised to see you were gone this morning.“

„Well, I couldn't be late on the first day. Ben would've killed me.“ Yeah, probably.

„I know. I was just worried that it might be because of what happened last night...“ He looks at me and seems to be totally lost.

„What are you talking about?“ He moves closer to me and is now standing directly in front of me. I can feel the warmth of his body and it reminds me of how he made me feel just a few hours earlier. If I could, I'd rip off your clothes right here, right now. He leans a bit forward. „Just because we fucked our brains out last night...“ Yeah, saying it isn't really helping. „...doesn't mean that things have to be awkward between us. If you let me, I will do it again and again and again.“ As if I could refuse. He has lust written all over his face again.

„Okay, let me stop you right there or I'm afraid SOMETHING will rip a hole into your costume.“

„You little devil!“ Now it's his turn to wink. Oh, how I enjoy teasing him. Nothing compares to having that kind of power over a man. „Look, we agreed to no strings. And I stand by that.“ I nod to let him know that I do too. „We're two adults. And it's just sex. Trust me. It won't make things awkward. Only a bit steamy every now and then.“ Oh yes!

„Steamy is good.“ We both laugh.

„Alright. I've gotta go and get ready. You'll be here, right?“

„You can bet your ass I will.“

Michael turns around and walks away. My eyes follow him around the room until they meet Tom's. He's standing in a doorway, leaning against it. And what are you looking at?! He looks ridiculously sexy in his early 20th-century costume. Damn you, Hiddleston! Why are you so gorgeous?? The expression on his face tells me that he had been watching my conversation with Michael. Thank god it's so loud in here. Otherwise, he might have been able to overhear us as well. I try to read the way he looks at me, but fail miserably. At least the hate is gone. I am half prepared for him to come over and discuss my outbreak from the night before. But he just turns around and walks away, leaving me positively lost.

Pull yourself together. You're gonna see him pretty much every day now. So you better get it together. I close my eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. I grab the last remaining cup of coffee and look for Jo, the stage manager in the crowd.

„Good morning, Jo! This one's for you!“

„I love you, you know that?“ He looks exhausted but his smile is honest as always.

„Yeah, I do. But you better don't let your wife hear about it or she's gonna hand you your ass on a silver plate“, I reply jokingly.

„Oh, you know that she knows.“ Yes, I do. Jo's wife Gaby is one of my best friends. She works at the theatre as well and we've known each other for ages. I babysit for their kids every now and then. And I know that she's not bothered by the jokes between Jo and me. Which is the only reason why I engage in them to begin with.

„So...all set? Or is there anything you need from me?“

„Yes, actually I do. Come with me.“ Jo leads the way and I know that I better switch into work mode now.

 

Chapter Text

10 hours later, we've made it through the majority of the shoots for the day. Everyone is sitting outside, enjoying their dinner and a bit of sunshine after being inside all day. I am sitting with Jess, our costume designer, because we have some things to discuss. Much to my discomfort, Tom is sitting right across the table from me. Don't look at him. Don't look at him.

I finish my salad and look around the table. Everyone else is done eating as well so I light myself a cigarette.

„Are you sure this could work?“, Jess asks.

„Yes, I think so. But really, when in doubt, always go back to Duke's original drawings. They tell you basically everything you need to know about the costumes.“

„Thanks love! I'm gonna go and take another look at them right now.“ She gets up and walks away. Don't look at Tom. Don't look at Tom.

„Kat, can I ask you something?“ His voice is like music to my ears. Oh, crap! How do I stop him from talking to me?!

„Sure. What do you need?“ That's it. Try to keep it cool.

„Well, it's not about me actually.“ Please don't tell me it's about Blondie. „But Taylor has a question.“ Whatever it is, the answer is no!

„Okay, what is it?“ I have to at least pretend to care.

„Well, she was absolutely fascinated by your job and the way you talked about it last night.“ You have got to be kidding me. „And she was wondering if there was any chance she could maybe stop by one of your classes or rehearsals once you start again.“ She what?! „You know...it would be a great opportunity for her to let everyone know that she's making an effort to get to know the people in the community.“

I can feel an anger rising inside me. I can't believe this is happening. Just fucking unbelievable. Tom looks at me with curiosity. „So, what do you say?“

„No.“

„What?!“

„I said no. Over my dead body.“ I angrily put out my cigarette.

„But why?“ He looks positively lost.

„Why? Well, let me explain it to you.“ I am already totally pissed and I know it's just going to get worse. And once again, there are lots of people around to witness me and my temper. Fuck it. „First of all, I'm teaching drama classes. I have no idea why my kids would be interested in meeting a pop and country singer. As far as I know, not one of them listens to Taylor's music. So I'm pretty sure they don't give a fuck.“

Tom looks at me as if he's seen a ghost. And so is everyone else. Oh, I am not nearly done!

„Second, I will do everything – you hear me?! Everything! - to keep my kids away from all the drama that follows her around. I know exactly how this would play out. She'd stop by for 30 minutes, sing a few songs, hug a few people and make sure that everything is documented by a photographer. And then those pics would hit the net. Because that's what always happens. And I will not expose my kids to any of that. I care about them more than anyone will ever understand and I'll do everything to protect them. And that includes keeping your fame whoring girlfriend away from them.“ Yes, Hiddleston, you heard me right. Fame whoring.

„But Kat, I...“ He now looks like a little boy who gets yelled at for eating too much candy.

„I'm not done yet!“ Seriously. You wait until I'm done. „And thirdly...do you really believe I am stupid enough to buy the story of her being interested in my work?! You were there last night. So you heard what she said about me and my job and...“

„Kat, that's enough.“ And that is the second time in two days that somebody interrupts my rage. Grrrrr. I turn around and see Michael standing next to me. „I think you made your point.“ Possibly.

I take a deep breath and turn to Tom once more. „Tell Taylor that she needs to come up with something else. I won't let her use me or my kids to keep up her good girl image.“ And please feel free to use those exact words!

I turn around and Michael follows right behind me. He ushers me to his trailer and closes the door behind me. Another deep breath.

„Thank you for stopping me out there. I think I would've made a complete fool out of myself if it wasn't for you.“ I turn around to look at him and I'm surprised by how close he's standing to me. Yeah, that's not helping to bring down my pulse.

„You're welcome. But to be honest, that wasn't the reason why I stopped you.“ Then what was?!

I look at Michael and he can tell that I have no idea what he's talking about. So he takes my hand and guides it towards his crotch. He is rock hard. Fucking hell! „I don't think you're aware of it, but you're incredibly sexy when you're angry.“ No, I really hadn't heard that one before.

Michael kisses me hard and starts to pull down my pants. I am taken completely by surprise. But please, don't stop. He runs his hand between my legs and I only realise now that I am already wet. Well, that's what touching a giant cock does to you.

Michael lifts me onto the table and spreads my legs. He reaches into his bag that's standing on the table behind me and pulls out a condom, which he hands to me. I open the foil while he pulls down his trousers just enough to expose his erection. I take the condom and put it on him as quickly as I can. Hurry up, I want that cock.

He positions himself between my legs and thrusts into me with one move. Motherfucker. I gasp and moan. Fuck. I had forgotten how big he is. Michael kisses me and slowly starts to move inside me. He moans into my mouth. Jesus, that's hot.

I put my arms around him and grab his ass to pull him further into me. I want that cock as deep inside me as possible. He's starting to moan louder as he quickens the pace. I bury my head in his neck and I know that I'm already close. He reaches around and takes my hand off his ass. Then he slightly pushes my upper body backwards and my back lands on the table. Before I know what's happening, I can feel his thumb brush over my clit. Oh, fuck. Yes. I let out a loud moan and my hips start to match is rhythm.

„That's it. Oh fuck...yes! Fuck me hard, Michael. Fuck me hard.“

He is now quickly thrusting in and out of me, his thumb rubbing over my most sensitive spot. I arch my back and then I know I'm ready to come. My pussy tightens around him, trying to hold on to his cock for dear life. My body is hit with intense muscle spasms and I feel like I'm about to explode. He pushes into me one more time before finding his release as well.

Michael immediately collapses on top of me, resting his head on my chest. I am panting so I doubt it's really comfortable. I take his head into my hands and raise it so that he faces me.

„Thank you.“ I kiss him softly.

„Always my pleasure.“ He smiles at me before pulling out of me and disposing of the condom. I am still unable to move so I lie on the table and watch him get dressed again. He looks at the clock on the wall. „Dammit woman, now you've managed to make me late after all. You might have to make up for that tonight.“ And with the dirtiest wink I've ever seen in my life, he walks out of his trailer.

 

Chapter Text

Three weeks later. It's July 19th.

Time really does fly when you're enjoying yourself. And I am. Oh yes! Even though I'm on vacation and should probably try to get some rest, I am on set all day every day. There's nothing I'd rather do. Watching everybody work and do their thing...it's just amazing. Naturally, I am most thrilled about getting to observe Ben. He really is the most astonishing artist I've ever worked with. And one of the best friends I've ever had. Filming is going well. There's still much work ahead of us, but we're on schedule. Us. We. Listen to yourself. You're acting as if you're part of their world.

Michael and I are still hooking up every chance we get. Sometimes I think people on set know what's up. But even if they do, I don't really care. It's not like I'm doing anything wrong.

Things between Tom and me are still weird. I try to ignore him as much as I can. Even though it breaks my heart. I also never miss a chance to tell him what I think about his frankly pathetic relationship. But he still treats me with the greatest respect. He's charming all the time. And it confuses me. I don't know what to make of that. Well, better charm and smiles than the look of anger at the rooftop party. Because that look still chills me to the bone.

„And cut.“ Ben's voice interrupts my thought. „Alright everyone, we got that. Very good. Tom, you were brilliant.“ Yes, he was. „Now let's get you all changed and then we move on to the final rehearsal scene.“ That's my cue.

„Sorry Ben, but we don't.“ Everyone is looking at me, but Ben is the only one who does so looking completely lost.

„Kat, with all due respect, but you don't get to interfere with our production schedule.“

I smile. „Well, actually I do. With Frank's permission. And that of everyone else for that matter.“

„What the hell are you talking about?“ He actually forgot. Unbelievable. He forgot his own birthday. Okay, we did set pretty much everyone up to ignore it. Even his parents agreed to it. But I can't believe it would actually slip his mind.

„Michael, would you please...“ Michael knows exactly what to do. He walks off stage and appears seconds later, carrying the birthday cake we arranged for him. As soon as Michaels enters again, the whole crew intonates 'Happy Birthday'. Ben is completely surprised and very moved. Oh, just wait. It'll get even better.

„Wow! Guys, thank you so much.“

„Did you really think we'd forget that? Happy birthday Ben!“ I hug him tight and others follow my lead.

He's about to cut the cake when he suddenly turns towards me. „So hang on, you actually changed the production schedule because of this?“

„Well...yes... We did so weeks ago but made sure to keep it from you. I pulled an all-nighter to figure out how to move things around to improve the schedule. Wasn't that complicated. And as soon as I had that, I asked Tom to talk to Frank and sell him the idea.“ Yes, Tom and I had actually worked together for this. „I even managed to give you two days in August to attend Sophie's premiere.“

„I really don't know what to say...“ Good. I was hoping that would happen. „This really is the greatest gift ever.“

Not true, I'm afraid. „Speaking of gifts...“ I smile as I see the two people I was waiting for walking on stage.

„Daddy!“ Christopher's little voice echoes through the room. Ben shoots around immediately and can't believe he's looking at his wife and son. In the flesh. Oh, my heart...

Ben takes Christopher on his arm and gives him a kiss on the forehead. He then kisses Sophie and hugs her tight. Oh, I ship them so much! When he lets go of her, I can see that he has watery eyes. Awwww...that's real love, people.

„I can't believe you're actually here. I thought you were too busy to get away from London for a few days.“

„It was all Kat's idea“, Sophie replies. „We've been planning this whole thing for weeks now. So, of course, we told you that I'd be busy. But I can only stay until tomorrow.“

„Still better than not having you here at all.“ They share another kiss.

„Alright everybody“, I turn to the crew. „That's it for today. Have some cake and then you're off for the rest of the day. Go home, enjoy your free time and then we'll see each other bright and early tomorrow morning.“ Oops, did I just take over? Oh well...

As everyone starts to leave, Ben comes up to me, still carrying Christopher. „You're crazy, you know that?!“

I smile at him. „So I've been told.“ He gives me a hug. Sophie is right behind him and greets me with a hug. „By the way, there is something you both don't know yet.“

„More surprises?“, he asks.

„Yes. You'll be having a romantic dinner for two tonight. It's all already arranged.“

They both look at each other and I can tell that they're both looking forward to it. I knew it.

„But what about Christopher?“ Ben looks at his son.

„I'll take him of course.“

„No no no, we can't ask this of you“, Sophie protests.

„But you're not asking. I'm offering.“

„Kat, you've been working so hard. You need some time to yourself as well. Sophie is right. We can't accept that.“ Oh for the love of god...

„Yes, you can. And you will.“ I smile at Christopher and he immediately smiles back. I love that child. „The two of us will be just fine. It's a beautiful day and we'll just go for a walk, maybe hit the playground. Watching him is fun. So I really don't mind. And I just want the two of you to have some quality time together.“

„I guess there's no way of changing your mind...“

„No, Ben, there isn't.“ He smiles at me and pulls me in for another hug.

 

Chapter Text

A few hours later, Christopher and I are walking through the park. Well, I'm walking, he's being pushed around in his stroller. Being a toddler really has its perks. He sees the ducks on the river and points at them. What is it with him and his obsession over them?!

I take him out of his stroller and put him down. His little hand reaches for mine and we walk closer to get a better look. I squad down to be at his level and hold him firmly so that he doesn't have a chance to escape and fall into the river. He puts his little hand on my upper arm, staring completely captivated.

„Hello, you two!“ Crap. The voice that always makes me forget everything I'm supposed to do. Tom. I take a deep breath and turn around. Oh fuck, he's been jogging. Look at those legs. He's wearing his black running outfit. The one he's been wearing forever and that the tabloids continuously talk about. He's breathing heavily and I can see the sweat on his forehead. Yeah, not really helping.

„Hey Tom. Out for a little run?“ Ugh, you idiot! Of course, he was. Stop acting weird.

„Yeah, I thought I'd use the time off. And you are making sure your little plan plays out perfectly?“ He smiles at me. That's a genuinely honest smile. I can't help but smile with him. Damn you, Hiddleston!

„Yes, I am. It's such a beautiful day and I figured we best spend it outside. We agreed to watch the ducks and then pay a visit to the playground“, I say, looking at Christopher who still watches his favourite animals in fascination.

„Can I join you?“ Whaaaat?!? No, absolutely not! I will not have you spending time with me. That's out of the question. And I don't give a shit that you are his godfather. No. That's not gonna happen.

„Yes, that'd be lovely“, I can hear myself saying. You stupid, self-torturing bitch!

A big smile appears on Tom's face. „Wonderful!“

I grab Christopher's hand to get his attention. „Listen, young man. What do you say to going to the playground?“ He nods and then notices Tom. A smile appears on his face. Yep, he does that to people.

Christopher walks over to Tom, who picks him up. „Ready to go, champ?“ Tom with a child. Wow. I can feel my heart breaking a little bit. He should be a father. He really needs to start a family. And then I remember who he's currently dating. Actually, I take that back. Do not, under any circumstances, reproduce. Not with that woman.

We make our way to the playground. Christopher immediately heads for the sandbox. I hand him some of his toys before joining Tom on one of the benches in the sun. My heart is racing. In all this time, I had never spent time alone with Tom. And I kinda wish it would've stayed that way.

The silence between us is starting to get awkward and uncomfortable. Think of something clever to say.

„By the way, thank you again for helping me convince Frank to change the schedule.“ Well, not really clever but better than nothing.

„Oh, my pleasure. I think it's absolutely lovely that you wanted to do this for Ben and Sophie. When it comes to helping a friend, you can always count on me, darling.“ Help a friend...who is he talking about right now? Ben or me? Wait a second. He just called you darling. Hiddleston, you really are trying to kill me.

„I might hold you to that promise one day.“

„Looking forward to it.“ He looks right into my eyes and I can feel my stomach drop. Stop it. You're making me even more nervous than I already am.

Trying to change the subject, I decide to finally ask him the question that has been on my mind for quite a while now. „So, the internet doesn't give much away when it comes to your upcoming projects. Care to fill me in on what's next for you?“

„Is that your way of telling me that you're stalking me online?“ He winks at me. Crap. Busted.

„I am simply taking an interest in the career of a co-worker.“ Just try to keep cool.

Tom laughs. Oh, his laugh is wonderful. „Well, I am currently negotiating with Kenneth Branagh.“

„Please tell me you're doing Shakespeare with him!“ Oops, that sounded more excited than it probably should.

„He is planning on putting Much Ado About Nothing on stage.“ Oh yes! „And he asked me to play Benedick.“ Fucking hell yes! „But I'm not sure if I'll do it.“ WHAT?!?!

„What? Why?“

„Taylor is not too fond of the idea.“ You have got to be kidding me!

„Oh, and why is that?“

„Well, it would keep me in London for a very long time and...“ You're making up excuses for her. Again. Not cute, Hiddleston. Not cute.

„You are stuck here for months too. Come on, that can't be the reason behind it!“ Tom doesn't know what to say and stares at his feet. So I know that I'm right. „If you ask me, then it's all about the fact that theatre isn't glamourous. At least not by her standards. You heard how she talked about my job. You know how she feels about it.“ More silence. Guess I'm right about that too.

„Look, it doesn't matter why she doesn't want me to. She's my girlfriend and if she doesn't want me to do it, then I won't do it.“

„If your girlfriend were to ask you to jump out of a window, would you do it?“

„What's your point, Kat?“

„Tom, you are a grown man. And you can't let her decide your life. At least not when it comes to your career choices. And this is not me trying to talk shit about your girlfriend. This is me trying to tell you to focus on what's important. You are a wonderful actor. There are only a few people in the world who are graced with an equal amount of talent. I have been a member of your army for several years now and I've seen you getting better and better. You work so hard to be successful at what you do. And you do it so brilliantly. And as for you playing Shakespeare...“ I take a deep breath and try to collect my thoughts. „Tom, you were born to bring the bard alive. I mean it. Your Coriolanus is still the greatest, most powerful performance I've ever seen on stage.“ Even more powerful than Benedict's Hamlet. And that is saying something. „And your Henry V never fails to bring me to tears. I know that you love his plays. And you always said that you'd love to do a comedy. This is your chance. And it's your choice. Yours. Not hers. The question is: do you want to take that job or not?“

Tom looks up to me. „More than anything in the world.“ This heartbreak is brought to you by Tom Hiddleston.

„Then do it! Don't ask for her permission. Just do it. If she truly cares about you, she will understand and support you.“ If...

He reaches out and grabs my hand. Oh god. „Thank you, Kat! And here I was, actually thinking that you hated my work.“ My life would be a lot easier if I could hate anything related to you. But I can't. Because I love you, you idiot!

„No, I don't. On the contrary.“ I flash a shy smile at him and he squeezes my hand. I don't want this moment to end.

„Can I ask you something?“ Anything. I nod. „Are you going to Sophie's premiere next month?“

„Um...I don't know. I'm not even sure I'm invited.“

„Oh, don't be ridiculous! Sophie values you and your opinion so much. I'm pretty sure she would be delighted to have you there.“

„Maybe. But really, I haven't thought about it.“

„Well, if you should decide to attend, I thought we could maybe go together.“ I'm sorry, did you just ask me out?!

„You and me? Together?!“

„It is just an idea. But before we both go alone...“ Yes, because it's so out of the question that I could find someone to go with me.

„Don't you have a girlfriend for that?“

He looks down at his feet again. „I doubt that she'll be interested in going.“ Of course. Because theatre is boring.

What do I answer? My heart is screaming yes, but my head tells me to stay away from it. From him. What do I do? „I'll think about it, okay?“ He answers with a big smile. How do I stop time?!

Christopher has left the sandbox and is now climbing into Tom's lap. Boy, does he look good with a child! He puts his arm around the little boy and whispers something in his ear. Oh, he looks like he's plotting something. I hear Christopher laugh.

„Christopher just told me he'd like to play catch with you.“

I smile. Tom, you big manchild! „Did he now? Well, I guess then I better run away.“

I get up and start to slowly run. A second later, the two boys are behind me, chasing me all over the playground. It doesn't take Christopher long to lose interest. The big swing has now caught his attention. So Tom lifts him up into the big basket where he lies down on his belly. He then gives the swing a slight push and Christopher laughs as he moves back and forth. Then Tom turns to me.

„Now...where were we?“ He looks at me with a playful look on his face and I realise what he means. Christopher may be done playing catch. But he isn't. Like I said...manchild. And I love him for it. I run away from him and very soon we're both circling around the monkey bars. „Do you really think you can escape me?“ I know that I can't. Ever. That's the problem.

„I can try.“ I smile and then change my direction, trying to get away from him.

It doesn't take Tom more than five steps to catch up with me. He wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me close to his body. I don't think I'll survive this. „Gotcha!“

Because we are both in full motion, we lose our balance and both fall down into the sand, his arms still holding me tight. Please don't ever let me go. We both laugh out loud and just lay there for a moment.

He pushes himself up on his elbows and looks down at me. „I can't remember the last time I had this much fun with anyone. Thank you, Kat!“ He's giving me that look again. The one where it seems as if he wants to drown himself in my eyes. Stop! Otherwise I can't guarantee for anything that might happen.

„I can't either.“ For a moment we just look into each other's eyes until the silence is interrupted by Christopher's cry. Oh shit! We both jump up immediately and run towards him. He tried to climb out of the swing and fell down. I pick him up and wrap him in my arms. He's in a bit of a shock, but not actually hurt. Thank god!

„Shhhhh! It's okay. Nothing happened. Shhh!“ I walk to the bench and sit down. Christopher is crying on my chest and I just rock him to try and comfort him. Tom is still standing next to the swing and looks at me. He has a smile on his face and a certain look in his eyes. A look I can't place. What is it, Hiddleston?! You're doing things to me when you look at me like that.

Christopher's crying has calmed to a quiet whimpering. I kiss the top of his head and keep rocking him back and forth. Tom sits down next to us.

Dammit, where is my phone? I need to know what time it is.

„It's half past six“, Toms says. Do you read minds now?!

„Already?!“ I am a bit shocked that it's already so late. „I should really get him to the hotel to feed him and get him ready for bed.“

„Shall we go then?“ I nod and get up. I try to put Christopher in his stroller but he doesn't let go of my shirt. „Looks like somebody is comfortable right where he is“, Tom says.

„I think he's just tired.“

„Are you okay carrying him?“ Are you kidding me? Holding a child in your arms is one of the greatest things in life. Even when it's not your own.

„Yeah, I'll be fine. Can you take the stroller please?“

„Of course, darling.“ Stop calling me that! Please.

Tom collects the toys that are still lying in the sand. Then he takes the stroller and we both start walking towards the hotel. What a strange sight it must be. If one didn't know better, we'd probably look like a happy little family. The thought of that physically hurts.

 

Chapter Text

It's almost midnight when I leave Ben and Sophie's hotel room. Christopher had fallen asleep early so I just stayed there and waited for them to come back from their dinner. And they took their time. Good. From the slightly deranged look of Sophie's hair, it also seemed like they had some sexy time in their secluded little dinner room. Well, good for them. Ben had told me a while ago that they're planning on having another child. So I guess they need all the practice they can get. I chuckle while I walk down the hallway.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what had happened in the afternoon. Spending time with Tom was heaven and hell at once. In the time I've known him, I had never seen him as happy as on the playground. I don't think I'll ever forget his smile. Or the way he looked at me. Or the feeling of his arms wrapped around me. I know that I'll always remember this day. And it will always break my heart. Because for a few moments, I got a glimpse of what being with him could be like. Which makes the fact that it will never happen even more unbearable.

I am walking down the stairs to the lobby. Dammit, I need to get him out of my head. At least for a little while. Otherwise, I'll never get any sleep tonight. And then I have an idea. I turn around and run up the stairs. 2 minutes later I am outside Michael's hotel room. I knock.

It only takes him a few seconds to open the door. He's only wearing boxers. Damn. I let my eyes wander over his naked body. Then I look into his eyes. Without saying a word, he steps aside and invites me in.

He closes the door and turns to me. „What can I do for you?“

I throw my bag on the floor and pull off my t-shirt. Thank god I've proceeded to ALWAYS wearing good underwear in the past weeks. Red lace should do. „You can fuck me until I scream.“ I don't think I've ever been this confident asking for sex. I take off my shoes and pants, so now I am standing in front of him only in my underwear. He runs his eyes up and down my body. Then he slowly moves towards me until he stands so close that I can feel the warmth of his body, even without touching him.

„And what's in it for me?“ His voice is deep and seducing. No need to seduce me. I am ready to give you anything. Because I know that you will too. You always do.

I smile at him and start kissing his neck. He lets out a single moan and tangles his fingers in my hair. Suddenly he pulls my head back.

„Why do you have sand in your hair?“ Oops.

„I...well...can we please not talk about this? About anything?“ Or your gonna ruin the moment. I am horny and in desperate need of a fuck.

He kisses me briefly and then guides my head back to his neck. I start kissing my way down over his chest and abs until I reach his happy trail. I run my tongue all over it and can hear him breathe heavily. I drop down to my knees in front of him. I hook my fingers into his boxers and pull them down, revealing his already hard cock. Yes, that's what I came here for.

I wrap one hand around his penis and look up to him. Is this what you want me to do? He looks down and I can tell that he's desperate for me to take him into my mouth. Let me torture you a little bit first. I start to slowly move my hand up and down the length of his shaft and can feel it grow even harder in my hand. There's nothing like actually feeling how much a man wants you. My other hand grabs his balls and squeezes them gently.

„Oh fuck“, he moans, throwing his head back. That feels good, doesn't it?!

I plant a light kiss on the tip of his cock. It's enough to make him lose his temper. He grabs my head with both hands. „Open your mouth and suck it. Now“, he growls at me. Fuck that's hot.

I do as I'm told and open my mouth. Only a little bit, but enough for Michael to push his cock into it. My lips close around his shaft and my tongue starts to slowly run over the tip. He moans. His hands are still on my head, keeping it in place. He knows that I'm incapable of moving so he starts thrusting in and out of my mouth. My lips keep a tight grip around his cock, my tongue never stops moving.

As he drives into me deeper, I have to fight my gag reflex. He's so big and so thick that taking him all in is actually challenging. He knows it and makes sure to never push too far. Only far enough to make him feel good. His eyes are closed and he steadily fucks my mouth.

I open my bra and take it off. Then I slide one hand into my already drenched panties and start to slowly rub over my swollen clit. My other hand grabs one of my boobs and gently pulls on the nipple. Okay, women who say that sucking off a man is not a turn on really have no idea what they're talking about. Hearing Michael moan and feeling him losing more and more control...it's everything.

Michael's moans are getting louder. Then, all of a sudden, he pulls his cock from my mouth and bends forward to kiss me. His tongue is still playing with mine as he reaches out and pulls me up by my arms. He pushes me towards the bed, where I land flat on my back.

He is kneeling in front of it immediately, his head between my legs. Without a warning, he pushes my panties aside and slips two fingers inside me. „Oh fuck“, I moan. I start to moan even louder as his tongue starts to flick over my clit. „Oh god yes, don't stop.“ This is heaven. His fingers move in and out of me, his tongue still licking over my nub.

I run my hands through his hair and try to keep him in place. Then I start to grind my hips against him, matching the rhythm of his fingers slipping inside me. Oh, fuck. I'm gonna come. My moans get even louder as my body starts shaking all over. My pussy tightens around his fingers but he doesn't stop. He keeps caressing my pussy until I've come down from my orgasm.

I let out a quiet cry as he pulls his fingers out of me. I want to feel something inside me. Anything. Please don't leave my pussy empty. Without a warning, he grabs my hips and flips me over onto my stomach.

„Top drawer“, he growls. I crawl to the nightstand and take out a condom. „Gimme!“ His voice is commanding and I am more than willing to obey. So I hand him the condom. „Good girl. Now hold on to the headboard.“ I crawl in position and grab it.

The anticipation as I hear him taking the condom out of the foil is killing me. I spread my legs even further and pull my panties aside, allowing him full access to me. Please, just gimme that cock! And then, without a warning, the thrusts into me from behind. I let out a cry of pleasure. Oh god, yes! He immediately pushes his cock in and out of me in a relentless rhythm. Every now and then, a moan escapes his mouth. Music to my ears.

„Is this what you came here for? Did you come so you could come all over my cock?“

„Y-Yes...“ I am barely capable of speaking. The way you fuck me just feels too good.

„Then let me touch that sweet little pussy.“ He pulls my upper body up against his. „Hold on to me.“ So I put my arms back and wrap them around his neck. As soon as he's certain I won't fall over again, one of his hands grabs my breasts, his fingers playing with the stiff nipples. The other hand wanders between my legs. His fingers find my clit and he starts rubbing it. Oh fuck yes!

We both moan louder as we're getting closer to our orgasm. „Yes, baby. Come for me!“ His words are my undoing and I am hit by a massive orgasm. My pussy tightly grabbing his cock sends him over the edge. We're both panting and screaming as we collapse on the mattress, trying to recover from our climax.

I am dead to the world for a moment. Then I can feel him pulling out of me. He gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom to dispose of the condom. I still feel like I can't move.

„Is it okay if I stay here for the night?“

„If you must.“ If I must?! What a way to make a woman feel good after fucking her. What the hell, Fassbender?!

„What is that supposed to mean?!“ I sit up on the bed. „Look, if you want me gone, then just say so. But don't be like that.“

He comes back into the room and sits down beside me on the bed. „I'm sorry, Kat. It's just...“ He stops himself and I can tell that he's uncomfortable with what he's about to say. Whatever it is, just get it out!

„Just what?“

He takes a deep breath. „Okay, please don't take thing the wrong way...“ Never a good way to start a sentence... „...but sometimes, when we have sex, I think of Alicia. And I feel terrible because of it.“

„A piece of advice...don't EVER tell the woman you just fucked that you thought of somebody else while getting off. That's not a very gentlemanly thing to do. It doesn't make a woman feel wanted. It makes a woman feel used.“ I look at him and have to keep myself from laughing out loud. Jesus, he looks completely destroyed.

„Kat, I'm so sorry. You're a wonderful woman and I...“ I put my finger on his mouth to stop him from talking.

„That being said...I just had incredible sex while thinking of Tom.“ I look at him and smile. It takes him a moment to realise what I just said. Then he smiles too.

„So you're not mad at me?“

„Why would I be?! We said no strings. Fuck the pain away, remember?! And that's exactly what we're doing. But I can't keep my mind from wandering every now and then.“

He sighs and a relieved look appears on his face. „You're amazing, you know that?!“

„Yes, but there's nothing wrong with hearing it every now and then.“ I wink at him and we both laugh.

„Come on, let's get some sleep.“ We both crawl under the cover. He kisses me good night and then we both drift off into a dreamless sleep.

 

Chapter Text

I wake up the next morning because my phone is ringing off the hook. Michael had left about two hours ago but I don't have to be on set until noon. So I'm not all that keen on getting up already. I look at the display. Crap. My mother. I pick up.

„Hello?“

„You better have a very good explanation for this!“ What?!

„Good morning to you too, mum. What are you even talking about?“

„Why are there pictures of my daughter all over the internet?“

„WHAAAT???“ I am wide awake and sitting up straight in bed. „What do you mean there are pictures of me online?“

„My colleagues just told me. They recognised you.“

„What pictures mum?“ I am completely lost and extremely worried.

„Pictures of you and a baby, cuddling up with a guy in a black base cap. It's...what's his face...Tom...“ Oh, fuck!

„Mum, I'll call you back, okay?!“

I hang up on her without waiting for her answer. Please don't tell me somebody saw us yesterday. Please no! I open the internet browser on my phone and enter Tom's name into Google. There are several news articles and I just click on the first one:

 

     Trouble in paradise: Tom Hiddleston seen with a woman and  a baby – but it's not Taylor Swift!

     Oh dear, oh dear...the internet's boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston, is currently filming in Germany for his new movie 'The Duke'.
     He was caught yesterday spending some time with a mystery woman. The charming Brit and the chubby brunette were
     photographed on a playground, joking around like teenagers. 'They were running around and laughing as they were hugging',
     says our source. And he has the photographic evidence to prove it. The pics show the actor and her clearly getting comfortable
     with each other. But that's not the end of it. The two of them were in the company of a baby. We assume him to be the child
     of the mystery woman. But given Tom's affectionate way of interacting with him, we ask ourselves: is that little boy his son?
     Does Tom Hiddleston have a child that nobody knows about?

     We also wonder what Tom's girlfriend Taylor Swift has to say about this. Or are they already over and Tom has decided to get
     back together with his baby mamma?! We are still waiting for an official statement from his management. But we're curious how
     this will play out.

 

I scroll through the pics that have been posted with the article. Me and Tom sitting on the bench, Tom holding my hand, me and Tom lying in the sand, Tom having is arms wrapped around me, me holding Christopher, Tom holding Christopher, us on our way to the hotel...

My head is spinning. This is a nightmare! It totally looks like he and I had a romantic afternoon with our non-existant child. And I dragged Christopher into this. They didn't even block his face. Ben is going to be furious. For good reason. Oh god, what have I done?! There are pictures of me online. As if I'm some famewhore desperate for attention. What will Tom say? Does he already know about this? And what will this mean for his relationship? What if Taylor dumps him for that. Oh god, that would be terr...hang on, are you worrying about their relationship?! What the hell?? Stop it. Right now. But what if the hates me for that?! Oh god, what a mess... I fall back onto the bed and close my eyes. Maybe it will all go away if I don't look.

My escape from reality is interrupted by a knock on the door. Who the hell is that? It can't be Michael because he has a key. But nobody else knows I'm here. A second knock. Maybe if I just keep quiet, they'll go away. Yeah, that's it. I'll just pretend that I'm not there.

„Kat, open the door. I know you're in there“, I can hear Ben saying in the hallway. Fuck, how does he know where to find me?!

„Just give me a second.“ I wrap myself in the blanket and make sure everything important is covered. Then I open the door and invite him in.

He looks at me, concern written all over his face. „Have you seen the...“

„Yes, I have.“ I don't dare to look at him. I dragged his son into this for fuck's sake. He will never forgive me for that. „Ben, I am so so sorry. I had no idea anyone was taking pictures of us and...“ My voice cracks and I can no longer hold back the tears. „I'm sorry.“

Without a word, Ben wraps his arms around me and just holds me. I cry on his shoulder and let out what I've been holding on to for weeks, while he quietly strokes my hair. „I'm sorry“, I say again as I pull out of the hug.

„This is not your fault. So please stop blaming yourself.“

„But Christopher...“, I weep.

„My lawyers are already taking care of that. I can't say that I'm amused to have my son's face all over the internet. But I know that you are not the one responsible for this. Also, there are already several people who have pointed out on social networks that that's clearly not Tom's son, but mine. I will put out a statement to clarify for good. That should take one problem off your list.“

„Thank you. But what am I going to do about the rest?!“

He sighs. „I can't help you with that. I don't know what happened between you and Tom yesterday...“

„Nothing happened! We ran into each other and he wanted to spend some time with Christopher. He's his godfather so I couldn't refuse, could I?!“

„Kat, I've seen the pictures. Physically, nothing may have happened. But emotionally...I think everybody can see that you two have some kind of connection. I don't know what it is. And I'm not saying this to get your hopes up. But people will take this seriously. And I think they're not entirely wrong if they do.“ Great. Just what I need.

„This is all totally new to me. I'm used to gossip being spread around town. To people discussing the fact that I like to wear hats and too much jewelry. But this...this is crazy. Soon people will find out where I am and...“

„I think they already have. The city is flooded with paparazzi. They know which hotel he's staying at.“ Oh god, please no...

„Are you telling me that they are already outside?!“

„Yes.“ Fuck. „Listen, you need to get home. Take the day off. And tomorrow too, if you want. Just go home and clear your head.“ Like that's gonna happen.

„How can I leave? You're telling me that they are already waiting outside. Can you imagine what's gonna happen if I walk out of here now? In the same clothes I wore yesterday?! Nobody is going to care what really happened and...hang on... How did you even know where to find me?“

„Kat, I'm not stupid. I've known about you and Michael for quite some time now.“ So people really did notice. Oh well...

„But you don't approve?!“, I ask.

„I didn't say that.“ Good, because it really isn't your place. „You're old enough to know what you're doing. And as long as you are both on the same page...“

„We are.“

„Well, that's all I need and want to know.“ He sounds like a concerned father. Eww! My dirty fantasies about him will never be the same again. Sometimes I hate my mind. „Look, I have to get back to set. I just came to see if you're alright. Try to get out of here somehow. And don't worry too much.“ He kisses my forehead and rushes out of the door. 

*****

30 minutes later, I am on my way to the back door of the hotel. A friend of mine, who works in the kitchen, leads the way. He carefully opens the door to check the lay of the land. No paparazzi. Thank god. I hurry up and get into the blue car that's waiting for me outside.

My mother's husband looks at me. „Is everything alright?“ More concern. Great, that's just what I need.

„Yes. I'm fine. Can you please just take me away?“

He starts driving without a word. I am thankful for the lack of more questions on the way to our destination.

 

Chapter Text

I am laying in my mother's garden, trying to think of what to do next. Do I call Tom? Or text him? But maybe he doesn't wanna hear from me. I think he would've been in touch if he wanted to talk to me. And do I text Michael? To let him know where I am. But we said no strings. So maybe he doesn't even care. My phone buzzes. I look at the display. Crap. A message from Tom. Well, I better reply.

 

     Tom: Where are you? Are you okay?

     Me: Well, not really okay. But I'm hanging in there. I'm staying at my mum's. Trying to avoid attention.

 

 At least he cares enough to text you. But does he really?! I still don't know if yesterday meant anything or... Another message from Tom:

 

      Tom: Text me the address. We need to talk. Please.

 

Although I'm not sure if it's a wise idea, I reply and let him know where I am. I'll probably regret this. But at this stage...how much worse can things get?!

I curse myself for that thought only 10 minutes later. A black BMW pulls into my mum's driveway. And much to my surprise, Tom isn't alone. Another man gets out of the car. A man I recognise as Luke Windsor, Tom's friend and publicist. Getting to know the infamous Luke. Alright, things could be worse. And then she gets out of the car. Taylor. You have got to be fucking kidding me!

Tom is the first to enter the garden, followed by Blondie and Luke. He smiles at me, but it's nothing compared to how he looked at me yesterday. The forced smile is back. She's back on his side and he doesn't look happy anymore. Come on, this can't be a coincidence.

„Hello Kat.“ No hug. Of course. Because she wouldn't approve. „You remember Taylor?“ Unfortunately, I do. We nod at each other without saying anything. „And this is Luke Windsor.“

„Hello Kat, nice to meet you. Even though I wish it was under different circumstances.“ You and me both.

„Likewise.“ I shake his hand. „Please, come on in.“ I lead the way into the living room and offer them a seat. Luke and Taylor sit down, while Tom prefers to remain standing. „Can I get you something to drink?“ They all refuse. „So, how can I help you?“

„Well, we're here to discuss how we're going to deal with the situation“, Luke starts. We. Not sure if that's the right word at the moment.

„Okay. What are you suggesting?“

Tom jumps in. „Well, as far as I know, Ben has already put out a statement, saying that it's Christopher in the photographs. That should clarify the issue and put to rest any talk about me having a child that nobody knows of.“

„Tom is right. I spoke to Ben this morning and he told me he was going to take care of that“, I add.

„Good. Let's hope they will let that one go.“ Luke rubs his forehead. „That brings us to how we are going to handle your relationship.“ It takes me a while to realise that he's talking to me. Hang on, I thought you were talking to Tom and Blondie?!

„What relationship?“ I am positively lost.

„Your relationship with Tom.“

„What?“, Tom and I ask in unison.

„I am sorry, Luke, but Kat and I are not having ANY kind of relationship. We're co-workers. That's it.“ Co-workers. So not even friends, I guess. I can feel my heart breaking a little.

„Those pictures tell a whole different story.“ Tom doesn't know what to say.

„Tom is right“, I say. „We happened to run into each other. He wanted to spend some time with Christopher and I agreed to it because he's his godfather. Yes, we did joke around a little. But that was all just a spirit of the moment kind of thing. It didn't mean anything.“ How much can one heart take before it finally falls apart?! I notice that Taylor is looking at me the whole time, but I try to ignore it.

„Then tell me this, Kat...“, Luke says sharply. „Why did you spend the night at the hotel then?“

„I knew it!“ Taylor is charging towards Tom and starts pushing him around. Bitch, you better stop or I'm gonna have to punch you. „You promised me that you didn't spend the night with her!“

„I didn't.“

„He didn't.“ She lets go of him, looking at me surprised and suspicious at once. „Yes, I did stay at the hotel. But I wasn't with Tom.“ I pause and take a deep breath. I have no idea what this will do to the situation, but I have to tell them the truth. „I spent the night with Michael.“

„WHAT?!“ All three look at me with disbelief. Here we go.

„Jesus, Fassbender must have been pissed to hook up with you“, Taylor says in the most judging way I've ever heard. Ya think?!

„Actually, no. He wasn't. Michael and I have been seeing each other for weeks now. It's nothing serious. Just sex.“ As I say it out loud, I realise how unbelievable it actually sounds. And how strange coming from my mouth.

Tom looks at me with a blank face. „You're fucking Michael?!“

„Yes, Tom, I am.“ And it's none of your business. I look at him and my stomach drops. There it is again. That look. Full of anger. Full of hate. Tom please, don't look at me like that. But there is something else. Something I can't read. What is it, Hiddleston? Talk to me!

Luke tries to bring the conversation back to the point. „Do you think there's any way you could make a public appearance with Michael?“ Um...no!

„Absolutely not! Look, this is casual sex. Not romance or a relationship or anything like that. What I can do is put out a post on Twitter, stating that Tom and I are indeed just co-workers on the movie.“ Because if there's one thing the internet needs, it's another lie.

Luke sighs. „I'm not sure that will be enough. People are already doubting Tom and Taylor's relationship enough as it is.“

„And that's my problem because?!“ Oops, did I just say that out loud? „Look, it's not my fault that your relationship seems about as believable as me saying that I'm a natural blonde...“

„Oh really, are you?“, Taylor asks. Oh for heaven's sake, grow a brain cell! I roll my eyes but decide to ignore her comment.

„I am not responsible for your relationship. I'm sorry, Tom. I will not drag anyone else into this or lie about what Michael and I have only to save your ass. I didn't ask for any of this. And I sure as hell don't want it. I am happy with my life the way it is. And as much as I appreciate the chance to work on this movie, if it means that I have to give up my privacy, then I won't do it.“ And that, Tom, is how you make sure you have some dignity left at the end of the day.

„Isn't there any way we can convince you? You could just name a price“, Taylor says. You did not just go there!

„Buying off people may be your style, but it won't work on me.“

„Well, I guess we don't have much of a choice then.“ Luke turns to Tom and Taylor. „You two will go out for dinner tonight. I will make sure that the press knows when and where.“ More pics of the happy couple. Can I please go and kill myself?! „Taylor, you will also spend the next few days here and make sure you're seen with Tom at least once a day. Maybe we can arrange for you to visit the set and get some pics from that.“ Please let me know when so I can make sure to call in sick that day. „You will also both go to Sophie's premiere in London in 4 weeks.“ Blondie exploding in...3...2...1...

„I will absolutely not.“ I look over to Tom to see his reaction and the expression on his face just breaks my heart. You stupid bitch! This means the world to him and you don't even see it. Let alone care what he wants.

„Yes, you will“, Luke replies harshly. „It's important that you're both seen together. There aren't any red carpet events coming soon, but this is a good opportunity for an outing and some damage control. End of discussion.“

I look over to the two of them. Blondie looks totally pissed and I am actually a little bit worried about what she's going to throw at Tom once they're back at the hotel. And Tom...Tom looks sad. 24 hours ago we were joking around and laughing and laying the sand together. I just wanna turn back time.

„Alright, I think we're done here. Kat, you promise to make that post on Twitter?“ I nod. „Good. I'll make sure to look out for it so I can retweet it. Oh, and it might also be good if you and Taylor could follow each other. Same goes for you and Tom. I know that you follow him already but I think it would be good if you returned the favour.“ He looks at Tom who shrugs his shoulders. Could he look any more miserable?! „I will do the same. So look out for my follow, Kat“ I roll my eyes. Yes, because nothing screams 'everything is alright' like following each other on Twitter. Luke, if you believe that's going to work, then you really have no idea how the internet works.

„Fine. Whatever“, I say. Can you all please go now?!

„Good.“ He turns to Tom and the still very pissed Taylor. „Ready to go?“

„You two go ahead. I need a minute with Kat alone“, Tom says. Oh no, what does he want now?

Taylor looks even more pissed. „Why?“

„Darling, it's about the production. It will only take a moment. I'll be right outside, okay?!“ He plants a kiss on her cheek. Barf.

„We'll wait for you in the car. Nice to meet you, Kat.“ Luke shakes my hand and then ushers Taylor out of the house. Now it's just Tom and me. Crap. I don't think I can handle this.

He stands in front of me and puts his hand on my face, his thumb slowly brushing over my cheek. Oh god, this is killing me.

„I am so sorry you got caught in all of this.“ He looks deep into my eyes. Help. I'm drowning. „It was never my intention to cause you any trouble or pain. So you must know that I mean it when I say that I am very sorry. About everything.“ And then he pulls me towards him, wrapping his arms around me. Kill. Me. Now. I follow his lead and hold on to him for dear life. We just stand there, wrapped in each others arms. And again, I wish I knew how to stop time. Please don't ever let me go. I close my eyes and try to drink in every single detail. The feeling of his body against mine. The way his fingers are tangled in my hair. His intoxicating smell. Oh Tom, if only you knew how much I love you.

After what feels like an eternity, he lets go of me, brushes a soft kiss on my forehead and just walks out without saying another word. How many times can I watch this man walk away from me?!

I wait until I hear the car pulling out of the driveway. Then I sink to the wooden living room floor, tears rolling down my cheeks.

 

Chapter Text

Four weeks later.

I'm sitting in the back of a car driving through the streets of London. God, I'm nervous. I pull on my dress and keep touching my hair to make sure it's still in place.

„Kat, stop it!“ I look over to Ben. „You look great. So stop fidgeting.“ I take a deep breath. Ben reaches over to grab my hand and slightly squeezes it. That's good. That's actually helping.

The night of Sophie's premiere has finally come. I originally didn't want to go. Mostly because I knew Tom would be there. With her. But Ben and Sophie insisted. They are my friends. How could I refuse? Besides, I was excited to see the play. And to see the talented and extremely gorgeous Richard Madden in action as Carlos.

The past four weeks had been crazy. The media pretty much bought the story of Tom and me just being co-workers. Most of the fans didn't. I had to go through a massive shitstorm on Twitter. Before the movie happened, I had frequently made posts about the way I felt about Hiddleswift. God, how I hate that ship name. And now that I was being seen with him, they accused me of trying to destroy their relationship on purpose. As if Blondie needed any help with that.

„We're almost there. Are you ready?“

„No.“ I laugh. „But do I have a choice?“

„Well, you could stay in the car. But I'd really prefer it if you didn't.“ I smile at him nervously. „Just relax. And ignore the cameras.“ Good one, Cumberbatch. Good one.

„You do know what will happen if we're photographed together, right? Everyone will think we're secretly having an affair.“

„Right. Because I always bring my secret mistress to my wife's premiere.“ We look at each other and both burst out laughing. Okay, he's got a point there.

The car stops and Ben gets out. I take another deep breath before my door is opened. Ben holds out his hand. My shaking hand is reaching for it and I manage to somehow gracefully get out of the car. Okay. Getting out of the car without falling or allowing people to see your panties. That's a good start. Maybe I can do this after all. The fans that have gathered in front of the theatre are screaming. Jesus Christ, are things always that crazy?!

As if he can read my mind, Ben leans over to me. „Just the regular amount of fangirls. All good. Keep breathing.“

He holds out his arm and I gratefully accept it. Together we start making our way to the theatre. There are several photographers present, but Ben ignores them as much as possible. He had told me before that tonight was about Sophie, not him. So he refused to pose for pictures. Especially without actually having her by his side. Thank god.

We reach the foyer of the theatre. Things are wonderfully quiet in there, even though the room is already packed. His entrance doesn't go unnoticed and pretty much all eyes are on him now. And on me. He looks around the room until he finds who he is looking for. He gently drags me with him over to a corner. And there I see them. Ben's parents. Wanda and Timothy. Somebody pinch me. This can't be real.

Ben lets go of my arm and all of a sudden I feel slightly lost. But the feeling doesn't last long. After greeting his parent, Ben introduces me to them.

„Mum, Dad, this is Kat. She's our production assistant at the moment and a really good friend of ours.“ The words resonate in my head. A really good friend of ours. This is what true happiness must feel like.

Wanda and Timothy both greet me with a big smile and two kisses on the cheek. „It's so wonderful to finally meet you“, Timothy says. „Sophie has told us so much about you.“ Wow.

„Likewise.“ I try to sound calm and confident.

„Hello, stranger“, I hear a voice saying behind us. I turn around and have to stop myself from actually fainting. Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington. Oh, how I love those two. Ben smiles and hugs both of them. Then Martin turns to me. „Let me guess, you must be Kat.“ He shakes my hand.

„Yes, I am.“

„Well, it's nice to finally talk to you and not just hear about you.“ Is there anyone here who hasn't heard about me?!

„I am very honoured to meet you two.“

„Oh please, stop with the formalities“, Amanda laughs. „I'm Amanda, that's Martin, my husband, who isn't nearly as fabulous as I am.“ Yes, I agree.

I smile at them but before I can say something, the door opens again and we hear the crowd outside scream even louder than they did for Ben. That can only mean one thing...

I turn around and watch Tom and Taylor as they make their entrance. Tom is wearing a blue suit. I love it when he does that. Taylor is dressed in a light blue Herve Leger dress that shows WAY too much skin. Girl, this is the National Theatre, not some cheap night club. Has nobody told you that?! I can't help but roll my eyes.

Martin must have watched me and chuckles at my reaction. „Interesting choice of attire, is it not?!“ And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love Martin Freeman.

Ben walks over to greet the two of them. I think about joining him for a brief moment but then I decide against it. Tom has already spotted me but he acts as if we don't know each other. Asshole.

Amanda turns to me. „Hey, you look a bit pale. Are you alright? Here, take this.“ She hands me her glass of champagne. „I was going to have that to get over all the love in the room, but it looks like you need it more than me.“ I thankfully accept the offer. Alcohol. That's what I'll need tonight. Lots and lots of alcohol.

Tom and Taylor are moving along to mix with the crowd. I can totally see it. Tom introducing her to everyone who has a rank and name in theatre. And she will be bored out of her mind. I can't help but laugh at the thought of that.

Ben has joined us again. „Shall we go inside then?“ 

*****

A few hours later, I'm standing at the bar, chatting with Amanda as the aftershow party is very much under its way. Like it's the most normal thing to ever happen. How crazy is my life?!

I am still trying to comprehend what I had seen on stage tonight. Sophie had done a wonderful job directing. And the whole cast was magnificent, most of all Richard Madden. I had spent almost an hour talking to him after the show. And as it turned out, he is also one of the most delightful men I've ever met. And that Scottish accent...phew.

I may have had a little bit too much champagne. Not that I'm drunk but slightly buzzing. Being around people who know and love theatre – let's exclude Blondie from that, shall we?! - makes me feel totally comfortable. Amanda and I are chatting and laughing. She is truly amazing.

„Excuse me, Amanda, but I have to borrow Kat for a moment.“ Sophie takes my hand and I have no choice but to follow her. She drags me across the room. „Kat, I want you to meet someone...“

She points at a gentleman who turns around as he hears us behind him. It's Kenneth Branagh. Holy shit! It's Mr Shakespeare himself.

„Ken, this is Kat. The brilliant young lady who came up with the theory on the stepmother relationship.“ She has told him about me?!?!

He smiles at me and shakes my hand. I've done quite a lot of that tonight. „Hello! What a pleasure to meet you. So tell me, how did you come up with that theory?“ He puts a glass of champagne in my hand and one of his arms around my waist as we start chatting. This has got to be a dream.

I have no idea how much time has passed when I feel a warm hand on my back. I jump a little as I'm totally taken by surprise. I turn around. Richard.

„Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Ken, I hope you can spare Kat for a moment. She owes me a dance.“ Yes, I had indeed promised him that earlier.

„Not at all, dance away. But before you go...“ He reaches into one of his pockets and pulls out a business card that he hands over to me. „Take this. And give me call or email me whenever you feel like it. That's my private number on there. I'd love to discuss more Schiller with you.“ I am absolutely speechless. This is like a dream come true. I take the card and nod.

With a huge smile on my face, I let Richard lead me to the dancefloor. The DJ is playing Walk The Moon's Shut Up And Dance. God, I love that song. Richard turns out to be an excellent dancer. He swirls me all over the dancefloor. I can feel every single drink of the night, but he holds on to me tight, making sure I don't fall over. I could keep doing this all night long. I am actually sad when the song is over. The DJ opts for Set Fire to the Rain by Adele next. Richard smiles at me.

„Do I get another one?“ You can bet your ass you do!

I just allow him to put his arm around my waist and we start swaying to the music. Then I hear a voice next to us. His voice.

„Mind if I cut in?“, Tom asks. Richard looks at me, his look asking if I'd be okay with it. Am I?! I nod and he allows Tom to take over.

The feeling of his hands on me sends sparks through my entire body.

„Where is Taylor?“

„She stepped out for some air.“ Otherwise, I'd probably be dead already.

We are totally lost in each others eyes. Dammit, Hiddleston, what is happening here?! Why are you doing this to me? He's pulling me a bit closer to minimise the space between us. You're still too far away. My head is spinning again. If I didn't know better, I'd say he's flirting with me. But that's impossible because...

„Tom, I wanna leave.“ Taylor is standing next to us, looking like she's about to explode. How dare you spoil this moment for me?!

Tom lets go of me. Nooooo! „Of course, darling.“ He takes her hand and without saying another word or giving me so much as another look, he walks away with her. What the hell?! The song isn't over yet and I stand on the dancefloor like an idiot. I can't even move. The pain is just too big.

„How exactly did a young, sophisticated, beautiful woman like yourself fall for an idiot who is happy with dating a brainless teenager?!“ Martin's voice brings me back to reality. Did he really just say that?? And why on earth does everyone seem to know about my feelings for Tom? Am I that obvious?! „So...drinking or dancing? Which one is it going to be?“

I smile at Martin. I think an evening with the king of sass is just what I need right now. „Drinks first.“

„Good choice.“ He takes my hand and leads me to the bar where Amanda, Ben, Sophie, Richard and Ken are already waiting for me. I look at them and can't help but feel totally blessed. And I decide not to let that wonderful evening be ruined by anyone. Not even Tom.

 

Chapter Text

It's the end of September. I am on my way home from the wrap party. As I walk through the quiet city in the middle of the night, I realise that it's actually over. That all those wonderful people I've worked with over the past months will walk out of my life. Possibly forever. Surprisingly painful thought.

Ben will return to London for now. Who knows where his next project will take him. But I'm sure he'll enjoy some time at home with Sophie and Christopher. Especially now. I smile. It was only about an hour ago that he had told me that he and Sophie are expecting their second child. I am so freaking happy for them!!!

Michael will leave for a very long vacation. Together with Alicia. Boy, am I glad that they decided to give their relationship another chance. And judging from how much in love they looked tonight, I'm pretty sure they'll be just fine.

And Tom?! I don't know what he's up to next. We haven't really spoken in the past weeks. And no word tonight as well. I don't know what's going on in his head. All I know is that I'll miss him. More than words will ever be able to describe.

I'm almost home. The last song of the night, Bastille's Icarus, is still stuck in my head and I start humming it quietly. As I turn around the last corner, I see someone sitting on the steps in front of my house. Oh, wonderful. Another drunk guy who is looking for trouble. I prepare myself for a nasty argument. But as I approach, the person sitting there gets up and I recognise the silhouette. Oh, crap. What is he doing here? It's Tom.

„Hello Kat“, he says in his velvet voice. The way he says my name will always give me butterflies.

„Tom, what are you doing here?“

„I am sorry for ambushing you like that. But I wanted to take the chance to thank you for everything you've done. And to give you a proper goodbye.“ Okay, you've done that. Can you leave now, please?!

„Okay. So...“

„Would it be possible to come inside?“ Um...no.

„Of course.“ What the...okay, I really need to check the connection between my brain and my mouth.

Tom follows me upstairs to my apartment. I turn on the lights in the living room and offer him to sit down. „Shall I get us something to drink? A glass of wine maybe?“ Because if I want a chance of making it through this, I'll need to be drunk.

„Thanks, darling, that'd be lovely.“ Darling. Oh, how I hate you when you call me that.

I leave Tom in the living room to get a bottle of wine and two glasses from the kitchen. What does he want here? And how stupid are you for inviting him in? I take a deep breath before I walk out of the kitchen. I find Tom in front of my bookshelf, reading all the titles and taking a closer look at some of the books.

„That's a very impressive collection. I'd love to lock myself in here and read through that.“ Please, lock away.

I laugh. „Most of them are in German anyway. So I doubt you'd be having all too much fun.“ He smiles at me. There it is again. His wonderful bright smile.

We both sit down on the couch and I pour us both a glass of wine. We toast each other and I wonder what we're even drinking to.

„I have something for you.“ Whatever it is, I don't want it. He reaches for his bag and pulls out a huge package, wrapped in green and gold paper. Loki's colours. I can't help but smile. He hands me the wrapped gift, which is surprisingly heavy. My hands are shaking as I carefully unwrap it. And then my heart nearly stops. An edition of Shakespeare's collective works. From 1903. Bound in leather with golden letters.

„Tom, I...I can't take this. Whatever this is for, it's too much“, I gasp.

„No, it isn't. Please accept it. It's my way of thanking you for everything you've done. Without you, this production would have been hell on earth. And not nearly as much fun. You really brightened every single day on set.“

I have absolutely no idea what to say. I look down at the beautiful book in my hands. As I run my hands over the dark brown leather, I can feel my eyes starting to fill with tears. Dammit, not now. But I can't fight it.

„Darling, what's wrong? Do you not like the book?“ Are you kidding me?! I LOVE it. And I love you.

I shake my head. „No, that's not it. On the contrary. It's just...Tom, I am completely lost here. I never know where we stand. One minute you treat me like something you want to scrape off your shoe or ignore me entirely. And a moment later, you dance with me or buy me expensive gifts. It's messing with my head. And I can't take it anymore. So please, tell me what's happening between us.“

He looks down at his feet. I hate it when you do that, you know?! „I can only imagine how confusing this must be for you. And it is for me too.“ Then why don't you stop?! „The whole situation is really complicated.“

„Why?“ I stare at him. And you will answer me this.

„Well, if Taylor knew that I was here right now...“ Of course, it's about her!

I roll my eyes. „Why am I not surprised that her name is the first thing that comes up in this?! Tom, you're not doing anything wrong here...“

„I am with you. That's enough of a dealbreaker for her.“ Dealbreaker? Okay, why does he make it sound like business?

„Stop acting like she rules your life!“

„But she does.“ No, she doesn't. „Oh Kat, you have no idea.“ The tone of his voice changes and now I'm actually concerned.

„Okay, what is going on?“

He sighs. „When I say that she rules my life, it's not an understatement or a euphemism. I mean that in the most literal way. I have to do whatever she asks of me. I play by her rules.“ I can't believe I'm actually hearing this.

„I think you've lost me. Because none of this makes any sense. You are 36 years old, Tom. Why would you let her take over your life?“

„Because she has something on me.“ She what?! „I am not proud of it. But she has something against me and if I don't cooperate, she will release the material.“ What. A. Bitch. Not that that's really news.

„What are we talking about here?“ Has he done something illegal?! Oh please. No. Don't let it be that.

„Well...I hooked up with her after the Met Gala last year.“ Ew. But not really a surprise. „And she videotaped it.“

I almost choke on my wine. „She what???“ Like I said...BITCH!

„I had no idea about it. When she called me the next day, I was stupid enough to actually be happy about the fact that she wanted to see me again. I was quite smitten with her. So you can imagine how I felt when she told me that she and I had some business to discuss. I had no idea what she was talking about. And then she showed me the video. She threatened to release it to the public if I didn't agree to her terms. So I really didn't have a choice.“ Wow, this is far worse than anything I've imagined in my wildest dreams.

„So everything between you, your whole relationship...it's all part of an act?“

„Yes.“ Don't smile. Don't smile. Don't smile. „It's because she wants it like that.“ This qualifies as batshit crazy, right??

„Okay, I'm sorry. But I have to ask... What's on that sex tape that justifies this?“

He blushes. Oh, I love it when that happens. „Well...let's just say things got a little bit rough.“ Oh, fuck. „We both got a bit carried away and she ended up being tied to the bed.“ Who knew that Blondie was up for anything else than boring vanilla?! „I totally dominated her that night.“ You're not helping, Tom!! „That video would show me in a very bad light.“ I think your fans might see that a bit differently.

„Tom, I am so sorry! But as much as I understand your position...do you have any idea what this whole stunt has done to you and your career? Your fandom has been slowly falling apart over the past year. People who used to swoon over you together are now hating on each other every chance they get. You're the laughing stock of the internet. You've been reduced to being her boyfriend. There are even people calling you Mr Swift.“ The moment I said it, I feel kind of bad for it. But he has to hear this to realise what he has done.

„I know. I've tried to stay away from all the online drama. But trust me, I know. And I hate it. But a sex tape scandal would've caused much more damage.“

I shake my head. „Honestly? I don't think it would have. Seriously, people would've gotten over that. You would have been all over the news for quite a while. And yes, it would have stirred A LOT of attention. But do you really think your fans would have judged you for being human?“ He looks at me but doesn't say a word. „Yes, we would have doubted your choice in mating partners. But we're doing that anyway. Apart from that, I think a sex tape would have actually, in a way, been good for your reputation.“

„Okay, that's just ridiculous!“

„Is it?! Thomas, I hate to break it to you, but you are one of the sexiest men alive. I sometimes think that every single woman on this planet worships you. And due to the various sex scenes that you've done on screen over the years, you've given us plenty of material for our imagination to go crazy. It's probably impossible to count the number of orgasms you have caused over the last years. So seeing a video of you in the throws would have just confirmed what we already knew. That fucking you is a life goal and that the Conda is the most gorgeous cock in the world.“ Did I just say that out loud?!

He blushes and smiles at me for a brief moment and I try to interpret the look on his face. But the smile soon vanishes. „Well, it's too late for that. I agreed to Taylor's conditions.“

„How long is this supposed to go on?“

„As long as she chooses. I have to do what she wants until she grows tired of me.“ How could anyone ever grow tired of you?

„Who else knows about this?“

„Only my mother. It was the only way to get her to agree to that terribly forced moment of her meeting Taylor.“ Yes, forced is the right word for it. Amongst others. „Everybody else thinks we are a genuine couple.“ No, they really don't. „I couldn't risk telling anyone else. I also couldn't risk flirting with anyone else or I would've risked the thruth to come out. So I let the world believe that we're happy. If they knew that we're generally sleeping in separate beds and that the last sex we had was the one she videotaped...“ Wow! She even refused him sex. Now that's cruel. And really stupid.

And then I realise something. He trusts you enough to tell you the truth. „Tom, I am so sorry.“

He looks at me and then stares at his feet again. He looks so sad and empty. And then it hits me. He hasn't been truly happy in over a year. All this time he's been faking something and because of it, he had no chance to actually find happiness. How lonely he must have been during all that time. The thought of that breaks my heart. I feel the need to hug him. To touch him. But I don't dare.

„What a mess“, I say only to avoid an awkward silence.

„And it's about to get messier.“

„How? Why?“

„I met someone.“ Okay, I didn't wanna hear that. Stop talking right now.

„Someone you like?“

„Oh, I absolutely adore her. She's the most amazing woman I've ever met.“ Stop. Talking. „She is so caring and strong and smart and beautiful. And I am completely falling in love with her.“ I can't listen to this. Tom, just stop. I beg you.

„Do I know her?“ You really do enjoy torture, don't you?

I stare at my wine glass while I wait for him to answer. But he doesn't. So I look up and see him staring at me. Use words, Tom. He looks at me with a loving expression on his face. An expression that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I can't read your mind. And then I realise. Holy Shit.

 

Chapter Text

No way. He can't mean you. It's impossible. But look at how he looks at you. Could this really be happening?!

I clear my throat. „Tom, use words. Please. Because I think I know where you're going with this but that's absolutely impossible. So please just...“

„I love you, Kat.“ Oh god. Here we go. No. This can't be. No fucking way!

I shake my head. „Tom, you cannot be serious. There is no way you actually mean it.“ Because there is no way that you, the perfect, handsome, charming Mr Hiddleston, could really be in love with me. With a girl that the press has kindly – and rightfully – described as 'chubby brunette'.

Tom takes my hand. His touch sends sparks through my entire body. Oh god. „Of course, I am serious. Why would I put you through the cruelty of lying to you about this?“ Good point.

„I want to believe you. I really do.“ Trust me. I do. More than you can imagine. „But...“

„There is no but here, Kat. I. Love. You. I think I have from the minute you walked into that office three months ago. Messy hair and a hangover had never looked that good on anyone.“ He actually remembers how I wore my hair that day?

„But why me?“ My voice is nothing but a whimper in that moment. And even though I'm terrified, I take the strength to look directly into his eyes. God, I wanna drown myself in them.

„Kat, you are the most extraordinary woman I've ever met. You are so full of passion and love. For your family, for your friends, for your job. You see the world with your heart. You care. About everything and everyone. Which is why you can get so wonderfully angry. You are not scared to speak your mind when something is bothering you. I can hardly count the times where you've lashed out at me. For good reason, of course. But others would not have been that brave. You were never afraid to tell me exactly what you think.“ Yes, and I still can't believe I did. I crossed so many lines in the process, it's not even funny anymore. „You are incredibly smart. And therefore incredibly sexy. I could listen to you talk about art and theatre for the rest of my life. Whenever you quote Shakespeare, my heart skips a beat.“ Oh, I know the feeling. „You are strong and fierce. You're a fighter. And on top of that, you're breathtakingly beautiful.“ Okay, now it's getting ridiculous.

I laugh and it's full of disapproval. Tom grabs my hand even tighter.

„You are, darling. Whether you want to believe it or not. Your smile makes my world stop.“ And your's mine. I can't help but smile in that moment. „That's the one.“ He smiles at me with the most honest expression I've ever seen on his face. Okay, this is becoming impossible to endure. „Kat, I love everything about you. The way your eyes sparkle whenever a dirty thought crosses your mind.“ They do?? „The fact that you even think dirty. Quite a lot, a dare say.“ Even more when you're around. „The way you eat your ice cream. Slowly licking it.“ Who's thinking dirty now, Mister?! „They way you sway your hips when you're dancing. It's sexy as hell.“ No, it's not. „I love that you squee every time you see a baby animal. Or a baby for that matter.“ Yes, I actually do that, don't I?! „I love that you saw me when nobody else did. You didn't buy my relationship with Taylor for one minute. You were able to read me, even though I was trying to hide it from everyone. Because you know me. You have known me from the first moment on. And now that we've actually gotten to know each other...I will always cherish every minute I got to spend with you. Every time I got to see you laugh. Every time I got to look into those beautiful brown eyes of yours. Because whenever I do, darling, whenever I look into your eyes, I feel like I'm home. And I know it's you. That you're the woman I love. More than anything in this world.“

Whatever you do, don't cry! Oh, why is he doing this?! Why would he tell you all that?! He does seem sincere. Nobody says something like that unless they mean it. But why tell me when he will walk out of my life forever tomorrow?!

„Tom, I...“ My voice is shaking. „Why are you telling me this?“

He brings my hand to his mouth and kisses it gently. Please excuse me while I die. „Because it's the truth. Because I can no longer deny my feelings for you. Because I no longer want to. And because...“ He stops and takes a deep breath. He looks nervous. „...because I am hoping that you might feel the same.“ Of course, I do, you idiot! „Look, I don't have an agenda here. I just want you to know. And give you a chance to consider what I could offer you.“

I take a breath and want to say something, but he puts his finger on my lips.

„Please, darling, let me finish. If you actually wanted to be with me, I'd move heaven and hell to make it happen. I don't know how, but I would find a way to end things with Taylor. I'd protect you from the madness of the media as much as I could. Kat, my life is crazy. I have thousands of girls sending me naked pictures of them every day...“ What the hell is wrong with people?! „...and I can't even buy myself a coffee without it being big news online. That's my life. And everyone in it will automatically be subjected to that. The only thing I have to offer in return is me. And my love for you.“ The only thing?! Thomas, you are the most wonderful man I've ever met. „But if that's enough for you, then maybe we could give this a chance. Us.“

Us.

I want to scream 'yes'. But I can't. He said it himself. His life is crazy. And not private at all. You'd be in the media constantly. I think back to the weeks after the playground pics of Tom and me had hit the tabloids. I hated everything about it. And living like that on a daily basis?! I can't do that. Not even if it means being with Tom.

I look at him, still unable to say a word. He looks at me and I can see the expression in his eyes change. He knows that I'm not going to say it. He knows that despite making the most beautiful declaration of love ever, I will not say it. He gets up from the couch without a word and walks over to the shelf where he left his phone. His back is facing me and I can tell that he's typing something. What is he doing? Why is his phone important now?

I am pretty close to losing all control and just bursting out in tears. He needs to go. He needs to leave. For the sake of both of us. „Tom, I think it's best if you go.“ Never before has a single sentence broken my heart like this.

All of a sudden music starts playing. It's coming from Tom's phone. I only need a few seconds to recognise the song. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran. Tom, what are you doing to me?! He turns around and holds out his hand.

„Dance with me.“ Oh god.

„What?! Here? Now?“

„Yes. We never finished our last dance. So I think I owe you one.“ I think back to Sophie's premiere. „Even if it's going to be the last time we'll ever be together.“

He takes two steps towards me and is now standing right in front of me, still holding out his hand. If I give in now, I can't guarantee for anything anymore. If I touch him now...Oh, screw this! I put my hand into his and he pulls me onto my feet, right into his arms. The most heavenly place on earth. He puts one hand on my waist and we start to slowly sway to the rhythm of the music. I place one hand on his back and slowly run it up and down. I can feel every single muscle. God, that man is fit. He pulls me even closer towards him. Our bodies are now completely joined. I can't take this. I put my head on his chest and he wraps his arms around me, one hand tangled in my hair. This is too much. I can feel tears running down my cheeks. I don't want this moment to ever end. Can we just stay like this forever? Right now, it's all good. He's holding me in his arms. That's all I need. But I know that I'm about to transform into a weeping ball of tears. So I pull away from him, trying to get some space between him and me. But he doesn't let me. Dammit, Thomas!

„Hey, look at me“, he whispers. He cups my face with both hands and lifts it up so that I'm looking into his eyes. He takes his thumbs to wipe away my tears. Every single inch of my skin that has been touched by him is on fire. „I don't ever want you to cry, my love. Especially not over me.“ Great. More tears. „If I am the reason for your tears, then I am clearly not the one for you.“ Are you kidding me?!

„Oh, Tom...“ I run my hand through his hair and let it rest on the back of his neck. And then I no longer care about what is right and wrong or what I should or shouldn't do. I slowly pull him closer until our lips finally touch.

 

Chapter Text

I let out a quiet moan. Our first kiss. I can't believe this is happening. His lips feel wonderful and feeling them on mine lights a firework inside me. Finally. After all this time. Our lips part and we look at each other. Something just fell into place. A shy smile appears on Tom's face. And in that moment I know. I know that I am desperately in love with that man. That no other man will ever make me feel like he does. That I want to spend the night with him.

My hands, which are still around his neck, wander down and start to unbutton his shirt. He gives me quick look of surprise but he doesn't stop me. Good. Because don't you dare, Hiddleston. You are mine. Even if just for the night. I plant soft kisses on his chest before I slip his shirt off his shoulders. For a moment, I just stand there to drink him in. God dammit, he's perfect!

Tom pulls me in for a deep kiss. His tongue slowly brushes against my lips and I open them to allow him access. Our tongues are playing with each other, exploring each other's mouths. Boy, does he know how to kiss. I moan into his mouth while he keeps on kissing me as his hands wander up and down my back until he grabs the zipper of my green dress. Oh shit, here we go. His mouth leaves mine and he looks at me. He slowly starts to pull down the zipper and then lets my dress fall down to my ankles. Fuck. What underwear are you wearing?! Oh...right...white with a little bit of lace. Phew. All good.

He steps away from me. No, don't let go of me. Get back here. I need to touch you.

„Let me look at you, darling.“ He runs his eyes all over my body. I feel terribly self-conscious and blush, which doesn't go unnoticed. Tom wouldn't be Tom if he didn't notice. He steps closer again and puts one hand on my cheek. „Oh Kat, don't ever be ashamed of your body. To me, you are perfect. And sexy as fuck. I want to worship that body. I want to explore every inch of it. With my hands, my lips and my tongue.“ Jesus fucking Christ! This is the sexiest thing I've ever heard in my life. Please, go ahead, Mr Hiddleston. I ain't gonna stop you. I can feel myself getting weak in the knees as he smiles at me. „And I am going to start right now.“ With that, he puts his arms around my waist and lifts me up. What are you doing?! You're going to hurt yourself. I am totally taken by surprise but I instinctively wrap my legs around him.

He carries me a few steps to my couch and sits himself down. I am now straddling him and I need a moment to realise what's actually happening. Holy crap. I can feel his erection pressing against my centre as I sit on him. Okay, I knew the Conda was everything but small. But that is one massive boner. He gasps as I lower myself completely into his lap.

Our lips find each other again and we spend what feels like an eternity just kissing. Then he takes one hand and unhooks my bra. One hand. Is there anything you can't do? I slowly take it off and throw it aside. He holds his breath for a second as he looks at me. His hands grab my breasts and start caressing them very gently. Oh dear god. I can feel that I am about to ruin a perfectly good pair of panties. Who the fuck cares?! This is everything. Tom lowers his lips down to my breasts and starts to alternate between sucking on my nipples and rolling them between his fingers. Oh, fuck. I bury my hands in his hair and run my fingernails over his scalp. He moans deeply and starts to suck even harder. I begin to slowly rock my hips back and forth, my pussy grinding against his crotch. My breath is increasing and I know that I am not too far from an orgasm. Simply because that man is kissing and touching me. So I pick up the pace to make myself come. I can feel him getting even harder beneath me. I need him inside me. Like...now. Tom lets go of my breasts.

„Fuck“, he groans and pulls me in for another bruising kiss. „Where is your bedroom?“ I point to the door and he laughs. „Is there a particular reason why you have a poster of Benedict on your bedroom door?“ I look at the Sherlock poster and join in on his laugh.

„Just wait until you see what I put up on the other side of the door.“

I kiss him passionately. Without breaking the kiss, he lifts me up again. I wrap my legs around his waist and he carries me to the room next door. How does he even do that?! No man has ever been able to carry me. He puts me down in front of the bed and takes a look around.

„Do you have any idea how often I imagined being here with you?“ I smile. For some reason, I think I do.

I free myself from his embrace and walk back to the door to close it. His eyes follow me across the room. „The thing is...you're always here with me.“ I point at the Loki poster on this side of the door.

He laughs. „Woman, you are trouble, you know that?!“

„Says the man who is best known for his portrayal of a villain. A very sexy villain, if I may say so. That's why you get to be on that side of the door.“

„Are you talking about me or the poster?“ I simply raise my eyebrow and walk back to him to bury my tongue in his mouth. I open his pants. The heat coming from down there is torture. I slip my hand into his boxers and wrap it around his cock. Damn. It feels so hard and soft at the same time. It feels so good. He breaks the kiss and lets out a loud moan as I start to stroke the length of his shaft, slowly picking up the pace.

Suddenly he grabs my hand and stops my movements. „Slowly, my love.“ Are you telling me that Mr I-can-do-everything lacks stamina?! And then it hits me. He hasn't been with anyone in over a year. His last sex was with Blondie after the Met Gala last year. Wow. That is a long time. A VERY long time.

I let go of his cock and kiss him lightly. „Take off your pants.“ Then I turn around to light a few candles on the chests of drawers behind me. If we do this, we are going to do this right. Just as I blow out the match, I can feel arms wrapping around me from behind and a naked body pressing against my back. Boxers gone too. Good boy. He kisses my neck and one of his hands slides down between my legs.

He hisses when he feels how wet I already am. „Looks like someone is ready for me“, he whispers in my ear. Can I just collapse on the spot?! This is fucking hot. I moan loudly as he slips his hand into my panties. His fingers slowly glide over my wet slit and gently caress my clit. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

„I want you“, he gasps. Oh no. Not quite yet.

I quickly turn around and push him onto the bed. He is so taken by surprise that he doesn't resist in any way and lands in the middle of the bed. Right where I want you. I crawl over the mattress towards him. He grabs me under my arms and pulls my face in front of his.

„Be gentle with me, darling?!“ He looks at me with a mixture of love, lust and fear. Oh, Tom, there's no need to be afraid of anything. I am going to make you feel oh so good.

I kiss him deeply and then bring my mouth to his ear. „Just relax, baby“, I whisper. Then I start to kiss my way down his neck and chest. I make sure that my hard nipples are slightly rubbing over his cock as I work my way towards the Conda. No idea if this is more torturing for me or him. His hands never leave my body. He keeps running them all over me, setting every inch of my skin on fire. I always knew your hands were magic, Thomas. My face is finally right in front of his cock. He's big enough to even challenge Michael. Fuck. His dick is huge and thick and rock hard and just perfect. Hiddleston, you're killing me. Let me return the favour. I take his penis into one hand and plant light kisses along his full length, starting at the base and working my way to the tip. I can feel it slightly twitch in my hand at the sensation. Damn, that's hot. He grabs my hair as I slowly run my tongue in circles over the sensitive tip of his cock. He groans and moans and I know that I am driving him insane. There is nothing like teasing a man until he can't take it anymore. Let me watch you lose control, Tom. And then, without giving him a warning, I part my lips and take as much of his cock into my mouth as I possibly can.

His head falls onto the mattress and he lets out a loud, low moan. That's it. Let me hear you. He tastes delicious and I now know that he's even more hung than Michael. Damn. Taking him all in will be a challenge. But one I am willing to accept. I move my lips up and down his shaft and my tongue continuously swirls around the tip. I grab his balls with my other hand and squeeze them. Thank god the bitch didn't actually cut them off. They are far too pretty for that. His hand is still tangled in my hair and he now guides my head as I move it up and down.

„Fuck, that feels amazing“, he moans.

He begins to slowly move his hips to match my rhythm. Every time I take him in, I push down a little bit further. I can already start to feel my gag reflex kicking in. I know that this won't be easy. And deepthroating really isn't my strongest quality. But then I look at him. He's thrusting his hips, his chest is quickly rising because he's so out of breath, his head is thrown back, his eyes are closed. He now moans continuously and his hand is holding on to my hair for dear life. This is the most breathtaking thing I've ever seen. And then I know. I can do this. I will do this. I want to see him come apart because of me. So I take another deep breath and then I push my head down. His moans are getting louder. I ignore my gag reflex and just keep pushing. The tip of his cock is sliding down my throat and my hands still massage his balls. He's almost screaming now. This feels so much better than I've always imagined.

„Oh, my god...Kat...oh...oohhhh...“ And then, without a warning, he finds his release. I can feel his cock twitching as his warm cum runs down the back of my throat. I slowly pull him out of my mouth and swallow every drop of his juice. I take a deep breath and look at him. Oh, what a sight to behold. He's laying there, panting. I can see the sweat on his forehead. So this is what Thomas William Hiddleston looks like when he loses control. Well, I wouldn't mind seeing that every day for the rest of my life. I plant a last quick kiss on the tip of his penis and then crawl to his side.

He puts his arm around me and pulls me close. I rest my head on his shoulder and my fingers play with his chest hair while I wait for him to catch his breath. I think I don't ever want to leave this bed.

„I am sorry“, he finally says.

I raise myself on my elbow to look at him. „What on earth would you be sorry for?“

„I didn't mean to come. It was just...I couldn't help it. God, woman! You are incredible. And nobody has ever done THAT to me. No wonder Michael couldn't get enough of you. Because...“

I put my finger on his lips. „Hush! Don't think for a second that this is anything like what Michael and I had. He and I just fucked occasionally. But this...this...“ I don't dare to say it.

He runs his thumb over my jaw. „This is what, darling?“ I love it when you call me that.

I feel another wave of tears coming on. „Tom, I...I love you. God, I am so in love with you. So, of course, I want you. Of course, I want to be with you.“ A single tear escapes my eyes. „When it comes to us, I am all in. No matter what this might mean for me or us or my life as I know it. All I know is that I love you and...“

I am silenced by a passionate kiss. „Now what did I tell you about crying, love?! I won't have it.“ But those are happy tears.

„Sorry, but I just can't help it.“ I kiss him softly. „Tom, you have no idea how happy I am right now.“

He kisses me deeply, shoving his tongue down my throat and squeezes me so tightly in his arms, that it almost takes my breath away. „I actually think I do.“ He smiles at me. That's it. My heart is officially no longer functional. „Now, darling...shall we make you even happier?“ And with that, he rolls me on my back, his body pinning me down.

I am so taken by surprise that I laugh out loud. „What are you talking about?“

He smiles and then leans down to kiss me. „You didn't think I'd let you go to sleep without at least half a dozen orgasms, did you?!“ Half a dozen. That would be six. Six orgasms. At least. Oh Lord, have mercy.

Tom pushes himself up and is now kneeling between my thighs. He grabs my left leg and starts to undo the buckle of my shoe. I didn't even realise I was still wearing my wedges. He gently takes it off and then kisses his way up my leg. To the knee and then all along the inside of my thigh. I can feel his light scruff rubbing against my skin. But it's not painful at all. It's heaven. He stops not even an inch away from my hot centre. Damn you. He reaches for my other leg and repeats the procedure. Taking off the shoe and then kissing me until he's almost where I want him most. I move my hips, hoping he will take mercy on me.

„Patience, darling.“ His voice is so soft and low that it gives me shivers all over my body. „Let's get you out of those.“ He points at my panties. „Something tells me they're drenched anyway.“ Oh really, where did you get that idea?

He reaches out and slowly pulls them down. He throws them aside and I am tempted to close my legs. The room is only lit by a few candles but once again I feel very self-conscious. Not necessarily in a good way. But Tom puts his big hands on the inside of my thighs and keeps me from closing them.

„No, darling. I want to see you. All of you. And even more so...“ He lies down between my legs and slips his arms under my butt, holding my thighs in position. I shake with anticipation. „...I want to taste you.“ And with that, he runs his tongue all over my dripping wet folds.

Oh Jesus Christ, have mercy on my soul. Okay, when did I turn religious?! But fuck... I moan loudly and immediately start to move my hips. I want more. More friction, more attention to my desperate pussy, more Tom.

„No! Hold still, babygirl“, he says as his grip tightens. Are you fucking kidding me?!

But I do the best I can to stop myself from moving and I'm immediately rewarded again. He buries his face between my thighs and starts to slowly trace his tongue over my slit and then gives my clit a little flick. Every time I feel the sensation against my little pearl, a moan escapes my mouth. Of course, he's amazing at that as well. He repeats the motion countless times and I am close to losing my mind. I do my best to hold still. Just as I think I can't take it anymore, he puts his mouth on my clit and starts sucking and licking it relentlessly.

„Oh god...“, I whimper.

He brings one hand to my breast, expertly rolling my nipple between his thumb and index finger. The other hand is still holding my hip in place. His tongue is relentlessly flying over my little nub. I run my hands through his hair and make sure he doesn't pull away. Don't you dare stop. And then I can feel it. I am rushing towards my first orgasm.

I gasp. „Oh, Tom...Tom...I'm close...I'm gonna...“

I know that he heard me, but he doesn't stop. He looks up to me and seeing his lust in his eyes is my undoing. I throw my head back and let out loud moans as my orgasm hits me. My whole body is shaking and my hips rock feverishly as I ride out my climax on his face. One. His mouth abandons my clit and I am actually glad for the lack of stimulation for a second. But it doesn't last long. While I still feel dead to the world, I feel two long fingers being pushed inside me. Oh god. My pussy is still contracting from my orgasm, so I immediately clench around his fingers. Now he's the one letting out a moan.

„Dammit, babygirl, you are so fucking tight. I can't wait to stretch you open with my cock.“ Neither can I.

He's resting his cheek against my inner thigh and his fingers start to curl inside me. He pushes them in a bit further until he finds the spot he's looking for. Oh, fuck. What the hell is that?!

I can hear him chuckle. „May I introduce you to your g-spot?!“ Nice to make your aquaintance. Now please don't stop.

He now slides his fingers in and out of me at a quick pace, always touching the spot that makes me see stars when he pushes inside me. Just when I think I couldn't feel any more pleasure, I feel his thumb slowly circling over my clit. Oh god, I'm gonna come again. I grab my own breasts and tug on my nipples to add even more to the already unbearable sensation. I am close.

„That's it, darling. Come for me.“ And with that, he puts his tongue back on my clit, still driving his fingers in and out of me. My pussy tightens around his fingers and once again I lose control over my body and start shaking. Two. I open my eyes and look at Tom, only to find him licking his own fingers. The ones that just fingered an orgasm out of me. Fuck, that's hot.

As I come down from my rush, he plants a light kiss on my clit and then kisses his way up my stomach and over my breasts until his tongue pushes into my mouth again. I can taste myself on his lips but if anything, it turns me on even more. I pull him in closer and his body sinks onto mine. And I gasp as I feel his hard cock pressing against my centre.

„Hiddleston, are you hard again?!“ I look at him with surprise.

„That's what you do to me, darling. I told you I was crazy about you. Looks like my cock is as well.“ Good, because I sure as hell am crazy about that monster of yours. Now give it to me.

I realise that his cock is right where I want it. Between my legs. At the entrance to my pussy. Please push into me, please push into me. He kisses me until we're both out of breath and then looks at me again.

„What do you want?“ With that, he starts to slowly rub his penis against me. The tip of his cock is pushing against my clit and I feel like I'm going to pass out. „Tell me, babygirl.“ What?

„I...what?!“ I can barely remember my own name right now.

„What do you want?“ I want you to fuck me until I can't take it anymore.

„I want you inside me.“

He groans and slightly changes the angle at which he's rubbing against me, giving my clit even more stimulation. And out of the blue, I am hit with another orgasm and start screaming with pleasure and surprise. Three. He lets his dick rest against my pulsing pussy and gently kisses my forehead as I try to catch my breath. Tonight is going to kill me. In the greatest way ever.

„Where are your condoms?“ Condoms. Right.

„Well...actually...I...“ Is there any way to tell him what I really want? That I want him bare?

„Please tell me you have condoms“, he begs and slight panic appears in his eyes. Oh my god, he wants you just as much as you want him.

I look at him. „I do. It's just...“ I close my eyes again and take a deep breath before looking into his eyes once more. „Tom, I want to feel you. Only you.“ I can't believe I'm actually saying this. I know that I'm taking a risk here, but I am willing to take it. I'm not afraid. Because it's Tom.

He runs his fingers through my hair. „You mean you want...“

„Yes. No condom. Only you and me.“ Am I crossing a line here?! „I mean, I am practically a condomat. I regularly give blood so I know I'm clean. And I'm sure you are clean too, right?“

„Oh, my love...do you think I'd even consider this if I wasn't?!“

„So you are considering it?“

„You're still on the pill?“ How does he know that?! He apparently sees the question in my eyes. „I heard you talk about it with Jess once.“ And, of course, he remembers.

I nod. „I am, but...“ He interrupts my sentence by kissing me.

„Kat...just shut up and let me fuck you.“ And with that, he pushes the tip of his cock inside me. Oh god. I moan. He pulls out again and I let out a small cry. Noooo!!!

„Please, give me your cock. All of it“, I beg him.

He looks right into my eyes and then starts to push inside me at an agonisingly slow pace. I'm glad that I'm so dripping wet from my previous orgasms, otherwise, this would not be a pleasurable experience. But like this... Holy shit. He feeds me his cock inch by glorious inch and my pussy slowly stretches to welcome every bit of it. My hands rest on his biceps and start to dig into it. Okay, Conda is totally right. And then I can feel my insides stir. Again. What is even happening!? With one last thrust, he buries himself inside me completely and I can't take it anymore. My body takes over and I give into another screaming orgasm. My pussy grabs his cock and I move my hips, desperate for some sort of friction. Four. He watches me as I try to wrap my mind around what's happening.

„Are you okay, darling?“ He plants a soft kiss on my forehead. I open my eyes to look at him and simply nod. What is speech again?

As if this was the approval he needed, he starts to slowly push in and out of me. I close my eyes and get lost in the feeling. He picks up a rhythm and it feels oh so good. His dick is rubbing against the same spot that gave me so much pleasure earlier when he used his fingers to stimulate it. I won't last long if he keeps doing this.

„Oh god, your pussy feels amazing“, I can hear him moan. Or if you keep saying things like that. I still can't talk so I go for a kiss instead. He slightly picks up the pace and now drives into me deeper. Fuck. Every time he pushes into me, the tip of his cock now hits my cervix and it draws a moan from me every single time. No, I really won't last long anymore.

My eyes are still tight shut when he grabs my head with one hand and lifts it up. „Look down“, he commands.

I open my eyes. „What?“ What are you talking about?

„Look down“, he says again, challenging his inner Loki. And I thought things couldn't get any hotter. „Look down and watch how my cock stretches you open.“ Fuck. He slightly tilts my head and I look down to our joint centres.

Wow. I can see his thick cock glistening with my juices, pushing in and out of me. This is absolutely breathtaking. In more than one way. The visual, combined with the actual stimulation inside me, is too much. My pussy starts to tighten around him again. I try to fight it. Because I can't actually come again. There is no way.

„It's okay, babygirl. Come for me. Do it.“ His words are my undoing. Everything holding me back just disappears and I scream as I give into the next orgasm. Five. He growls as my hips keep moving against him. I just don't want this feeling to end. He gently kisses my neck before pulling out of me. Gimme back that cock.

„Roll over“, he whispers in my ear.

My limbs feel like pudding so I'm not really capable of moving. I roll onto my stomach but I don't have the strength to get on my knees. But his next words tell me that, apparently, I don't have to.

„Now close your legs.“ I beg your pardon?!

His words resonate inside my head but I feel like I'm close to passing out. So he pushes my legs together and then straddles the back of my thighs. He rubs his big hands over my buttcheeks and then slowly parts them. He positions the tip of his cock at the entrance to my wet slit. Then he kisses my back and leans forward.

„You seem exhausted, darling. Do you want me to stop? Just tell me, and I'll stop“, he whispers in my ear. Fucking hell no. I push out my ass and the pressure against his body allows him to slide into me again. Yes. We both moan loudly. „That's my girl.“

He slides one arm beneath me to cup one of my breasts with his hand. Then he lowers his whole weight onto my back. The pressure and the sweat on his skin feel heavenly. And then he starts to quickly drive his cock in and out of me. I bet those snake hips of yours come in handy right now.

His lips are still right next to my ear. „You just keep coming, babygirl. Over and over and over.“ I know that his voice is going to push me over the edge if he doesn't stop. So don't stop. And he doesn't. „That's how it could be from now on. If you want me to, I will devote myself to you and that beautiful pussy of yours. And I will spend every night sucking and fingering and fucking you until you can't take it anymore.“ Where do I sign? „Your pleasure is going to be all that matters to me.“ Yes. I'm seconds away from the next orgasm. „Is that what you want, my love?“

I can barely speak. „Y-Yes. Oh god...o-oh Tom...I'm gonna come.“

„Good“, he growls into my ear. And I'm gone. Once again, my pussy closes even tighter around him and my whole body starts shaking. Six.

„Fuck, Thomas! What are you doing to me?!“ I am totally out of breath, but smiling like a lunatic.

„Do you want me to stop?“

I gasp as he pulls out of me. „Don't you dare!“

He chuckles and then rolls us both over onto our side. Is he really gonna go on?! How does he even do that? As if to answer my question, his hand grabs my thigh and lifts my leg up. He pushes his hip a bit forward and slides his length into me again. Seriously. I take back everything I said about his stamina earlier. This man is a fucking legend! In the most literal way.

He breathes heavily into my ear as he slams in and out of me. I can barely move anymore, but I rock my hips to match his rhythm.

„Do you want to come again?“ Yes. I won't survive it, but yes.

„Yes, please“, I moan.

He pulls out of me. No no no no noooo!! I let out a desperate moan. But in that second, he presses his index finger on my clit and contractions rush through my entire body. Seven. I moan and wiggle my body. He just holds me and then pushes inside me again. Again?!

„That's it, babygirl. Give me everything you have.“ Anything you want!

He continues to thrust in a steady rhythm. Is he even human? No man has that kind of stamina. He takes my arm and puts it around his neck, allowing him access to my breast. He takes the nipple into his mouth and starts sucking as if his life depended on it. I grab my other breast with my hand, gently pulling on the nipple. Fuck, I wanna come again. So I let go of my boob and let my hand wander between my legs. A movement that doesn't go unnoticed. Tom lets my nipple slide out of his mouth. Oh, fuck this!

„No darling! You leave that pussy to me.“

„But...“ I'm almost crying. „...I just wanna come again. Please. Make me come.“ Never before did a man make me beg like this. And no one ever will again.

Without a word and without a warning, he slides two fingers inside me. Fuck. The Conda and two fingers. I've never felt so full before. I moan loudly. This is too much. In that moment I feel his thumb rubbing over my clit. Why do I say these things?!

I gasp. „Oh yes...yes...yeesss...“ He pulls out his fingers before I start to come all over his dick. Eight. Only this time, I don't close my eyes. I keep them open to look at him. And the look on his face as my pussy clenches around him is everything. So close to losing control again. And it gives me an idea.

I don't know where I find the strength, but I pull away from him and push him onto his back. Before he can even protest, I've straddled him and start to push myself down on his cock. Fuck, he hasn't been this deep inside me all night. The feeling is almost too much but I keep my eyes on him. Now it's my turn to drive you crazy again. I slowly start to circle my hips. He reaches out to grab them, but I slap his hand away and shake my head.

„Woman, you are killing me“, he says desperately. My pleasure.

I lean a bit forward and put my hands on his chest. I may be exhausted, but I will ride you until you can't take it anymore. So I slowly push my hips up and down, sliding along his full length. He lets out a deep moan. Yes, that's it. I move faster now and I can see him rolling back his eyes. How much longer can you take this, Tom?! Because I know I can't.

„Please, let me touch you“, he begs.

I take his hands and place them on my breasts. His fingers immediately start to play with my nipples and I know that I am getting close again. You better come with me this time, Hiddleston. This is all I have in me for the night. I look at him and I recognise the look on his face. He doesn't need much more. I lower myself completely onto him and start to ride him while keeping his cock deep inside me the entire time.

„Oh fuck...Kat...“ He moans and then pulls me forward. I land on his chest, my hard nipples pressing against him. My hips continue their relentless rhythm as he pulls me in for a kiss. He moans into my mouth. Our lips part and I see that he's panting. I slightly reposition my hips and my clit is now rubbing against his pubic hair. He kisses me once again.

„Oh god...I'm gonna come.“ Good. „Oh, Kat...“ Yes, say my name. „Kat, I'm gonna...“

He lets out a loud groan and we both reach our climax together. My exhausted body shakes and trembles while Iie on top of him. I feel his warm cum coating my insides and my pussy clenches around him, milking every last drop from him. Nine.

I collapse onto his chest. He wraps his arms around me and we just lay there for a while. It takes me a bit to gather enough strength to climb off of him and crawl into his arms. „That was...“

„...mindblowing“, he finishes the sentence.

I chuckle. „Well, I was gonna go for the best sex of my life. But mindblowing will do.“

„Oh Kat!“ He leans over to kiss me. „Yes, it was. You were amazing. You are amazing. Are you sure you're okay?“

„I'm not sure I'll be able to walk tomorrow. But it was totally worth...“ In that moment I realise something and I stop myself.

„Darling, what is it?“ I can hear the concern in his voice. „Did I hurt you?“

„Oh, stop it! No, it's just...it's long after midnight. Which means it already is tomorrow. Which means you're leaving today.“ As I say it, I can feel my heart breaking.

„Yes, I do“, he says and gently kisses my forehead.

„At what time do you have to be at the airport?“

„Taylor arranged for a car to pick me up at 11.“ Taylor. I guess reality is still out there. He notices how my body tenses at the mention of her name. „I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...“

„Shhh!“ I silence him with a kiss. „Just hold me, okay? Don't destroy this moment.“

„Okay“, he whispers. He pulls me back into his arms. I rest my head on his chest. For a while I just lie there, listening to his heartbeat. Just as I can feel myself drifting off into sleep, he breaks the silence. „Kat...whatever happens, you must know that I love you. More than I've ever loved anyone. Don't ever forget that.“

I am too far gone to really react. So I just smile. „And I love you, Tom.“

And with that, I fall asleep.

 

Chapter Text

My hands shake as I try to open the letter I just pulled out of my mailbox. A letter from him. After all this time. I unfold the paper and start to read.

 

     My dearest Kat,

     I don't know if you will actually read this letter but I hope with all my heart that you will.

     I am not sure if I will ever be able to atone for the way I treated you over the past months.
     You most likely read in the tabloids that Taylor and I are no longer...involved. In any way.
     I ended things with her very soon after I left from Germany. I know that I should've tried to
     get in touch with you a very long time ago. But I simply couldn't. There are various reasons
     for it and I'd like to explain them all to you. In person. Because really, there is no way to
     write it all down. And taking care of this over a conversation on the phone hardly seems
     appropriate. Not after what we shared. I still remember every single detail of our night
     together. And believe me, leaving you the morning after was one of the hardest things I
     have ever done in my life. I could say that I only did it to assure I wouldn't miss my plane.
     But I also didn't know how to say goodbye to you. Not when the mere thought of having to
     leave you was enough to tear my heart into pieces. There hasn't been a day since where I
     didn't think of you. My heart is always with you, even though I am no longer sure if that is
     something you'd appreciate.

     Kat, my feelings for you haven't changed. I still love you as much as I did six months ago,
     if not more. My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. Despite me ignoring
     you for the longest time, I still hope that we might have a future together. I am still hoping
     that you are the love of my life and vice versa. Ben kept me updated on the things happening
     in your life and on your wellbeing. So even though it didn't seem like it, I always cared. I
     always knew that you were alright. Considering the circumstances I left you in.

     I know that I most likely broke your heart and lost your trust. Possibly forever. But like I said,
     I would very much like to explain to you why I did what I did. It was not motivated by a lack
     of interest. On the contrary. So hoping that you will give me a chance to offer you an expla-
     nation to everything that has happened since September, I would like to ask you to join me
     for the premiere in three weeks. I am sure you've received an invitation already. And although
     I do not know if you are planning to attend, I would like to ask you to accompany me that night.
     You of all people deserve to be there and it would be an honour and my pleasure if you allowed
     me to escort you.

     This comes without any expectations from my side. I only wish to see you again. And maybe a
     visit to London would give us some time to talk and for me to explain.

     Whatever you decide, please let me know in one way or another. I'd be more than happy to help
     you make all the necessary arrangements. Although I know that you are enough of an independ-
     ent woman to not need a man to help you with anything, including travel plans. It's one of the
     many reasons why I lost my heart to you completely.

     I hope to welcome you to London in a few weeks time. Until then, I shall live off the dream we
     shared for one brief night.

     Forever yours,

     Tom

 

I wipe the tears from my face and sit down on the couch. He really has some nerves! Six months of nothing and now, all of a sudden, I am of interest again?!

My thoughts wander back to the morning after our night together. I had woken up to find the bed empty. Except for a note that read 'Sorry, I had to leave. Love, Tom'. He couldn't come up with something better than that?! I had spent the rest of the day crying in bed. Countless unanswered phone calls and messages later, I had no choice but to accept the fact that he and I just weren't meant to be. Despite everything he had told me. A few weeks later, the news of him and Taylor splitting up had hit the tabloids. For a brief moment, there was hope again. Hope that now would be our time. I had spent hours staring at my phone, but the desired call never came. I knew that I had to find happiness again at some point, so I finally decided to move on. Well, at least that's what I like to tell myself. But I still loved him. More than I would ever be able to describe. I still spent hours reading up on the latest new about him online, always afraid to find pics of him with another woman. Just because there aren't any pictures doesn't mean that he hasn't moved on.

And now that letter. I still don't know what to make of it. I read it again and again. But the only thing that causes is more tears. It doesn't clarify anything. I had gotten the invitation to the premiere weeks ago. And I had already told Ben that I wasn't coming. Because of Tom. Because I couldn't face seeing him. And does that letter really change that?! As usual, when it comes to Tom, my heart screams one thing while my head screams another. And as usual, I don't know which voice to follow.

I take out my phone and dial the number of the person I most want to talk to right now. It takes a while for him to pick up.

„Kat, my dear! How wonderful to hear from you.“ Simply the sound of Ben's voice calms me down.

„Hi. I...um...“ My voice is cracking. I clear my throat and continue. „I need your help.“

„Of course. What can I do for you?“

„I just received a letter. From Tom.“

There's a moment of silence at the other end of the line before he continues. „So he really sent it...wow, I didn't think he would.“ Ben knows about the letter?!

„Hang on, does that mean you're in on this?“

„Kat, you make it sound like a conspiracy.“ Well, that's what it feels like. „I'm not in on anything. But Tom told me that he had written a letter and about the letter's contents. Not in detail, but I generally know.“ Okay.

„And what do you make of it?“

He sighs. „I can't tell you what to do here. I understand that he has hurt you. Trust me, I do. You are my friend and I really wish he hadn't put you through this.“ You and me both. „But I also witnessed what it did to him. I now know the real reason for his romance with Ms Swift. So I know what he risked when he ended it. And he did it for you. Because he loves you. I know him long enough to know that he's not lying about that.“

„Then why didn't he call me for six months?“

Another sigh. „Kat, I am not the right person to explain this to you. Partly because I don't know everything, partly because it's not my story to tell.“ You're not helping.

„So you're saying that I should accept his invitation and come to London?“

„Yes, I do. For various reasons. The main one being that I'd very much like to see you again. Besides, you really should be at the premiere. The movie wouldn't be what it is without you. But I also think that you should take the chance to talk to him.“

I can feel myself tearing up again. „Ben, I don't know if I can face him.“

„You'll only know if you try, darling.“ I hate it when he's making sense. „Look, let him know you are coming. And arrange a meeting with him before the premiere. Then you can talk about everything and you still have a chance to decline his offer for the night.“ Like I said, I hate it.

I can hear Christopher laugh in the background and it infects me immediately. Oh, how I'd like to see him again. And Ben. And Sophie. Who must be very pregnant by now.

I sigh. „So you really think this is a good idea?“

„Do you still love him?“ What?!

His question takes me totally by surprise but the answer is easy. „Yes. You know I do.“ Why else would I be in this much pain?

„Then talk to him. Come to London, spend a few days with us and just see what happens. It's your only chance.“

„I'll think about it.“

Ben laughs. „Sophie says, she's looking forward to seeing you again as well.“

„Give her my best, okay?! And like I said...I'll think about it.“

„See you soon, my dear.“ Why are you so damn sure about it?!

I hang up and bury my face in my hands. What a mess. I read Tom's letter again and then I sit down in front of my laptop. To research flights to London.

 

Chapter Text

Three weeks later, I sit in Ben's living room and stare at the clock on the wall. He was supposed to be here 10 minutes ago. What if he isn't coming?

„Relax. He will be here.“ Ben smiles at me.

„But he's already late.“

„Have you seen the traffic in London lately?!“ Okay, good point. „Want me to make you a cup of tea?“ Ugh, not every problem can be solved by a brew. What does it take for you Brits to realise that?

I shake my head. „But I will take a whisky.“

The doorbell rings before Ben can answer. Well, here we go. I can hear Sophie opening the door. A few moments later, Tom steps into the living room. He looks even more gorgeous than the last time I saw him. How is that even possible?!

Ben gets up from the couch. „I'll leave you two to it.“ With that, he leaves the room.

We both stand there awkwardly. He's wearing slacks and a white shirt, the sleeves rolled up. Like he always does. Suddenly I feel strangely underdressed and curse myself for not putting on a dress. Stop it! Jeans and a t-shirt are totally fine. You're only here to talk, remember?! And then Tom finally breaks the silence.

„I am so very glad to see you.“ He looks at me with loving eyes and I can feel my insides stir.

„So am I. You look great.“

A quick laugh. „Thanks. So do you.“ Wow, this is turning into the most inarticulate conversation ever. „Seriously Kat, you look amazing.“ Then why do I feel like crap?!

„Thank you.“ Okay, let's get to business. „So...you wanted to talk. Let's talk.“

He takes a seat next to me on the couch and takes a deep breath. I can smell his cologne all the way from there. Why does he always have to smell so good?

„Kat, I am so so sorry. I never should've left you that morning.“ Damn right.

„Then why did you?“

„Because I was scared. Scared of leaving you. Scared of seeing you cry one more time. Scared of my feelings for you.“ Wow, he's being brutally honest here, I gotta give him that.

„Do you have any idea how it felt to wake up the next morning only to find out you were gone?! No one has ever treated me like that before. I tried calling and texted you like a million times. Why did you ignore me?“

„Taylor was already in London when I got here.“ Ah, the bitch. „I know that she frequently checked my phone. So I always deleted all evidence of your calls and texts. If she would've found out about us...“ He pauses and shakes his head. God, he looks positively heartbroken.

„Okay, but if there's any truth to what the tabloids wrote, you two ended things only shortly after that. So why didn't you call me then?“

He sighs. „Because it's complicated.“ Isn't it always?! „It took me a while to find the courage to confront her. I first had to talk to my family and my agents. I didn't know how she was going to react so I wanted to warn them before I dropped the bomb. Luke seriously urged me not to do it. But I knew I had to. Because you had shown me what my life could be like.“ You mean a fairytale?! Because that's how that night felt for me. „So I finally spoke to her and told her I was no longer willing to play her little game. She was furious. She threatened me. Mostly with the release of the tape.“ That bitch! „I told her that I didn't care and that I would leave it to her and her team to come up with a cover story for this. Before I left, she asked me if this had anything to do with you.“ Huh, maybe Blondie isn't that blonde after all. „In that moment, I knew that she would come after you if she found out the truth. So I denied any connection to you and walked out on her.“

„Okay, but that still doesn't explain why it took you this long to get in touch with me.“

„But isn't that obvious?!“ No. He tries to take my hand but I pull away from him and get up from the couch. I need to get some distance between him and me. „Kat, I did it to protect you. I couldn't risk being seen with you. One photograph of us together and she would've known it was you all along.“ Okay, that kinda makes sense. Although...

„Then why didn't you at least text?! Or are you telling me that she bugged your phone to control you?“

He shakes his head. „No, but...“

„I thought you moved on. I thought you didn't care anymore. That everything you said was only empty words.“

„Don't ever think that“, he says in a harsh tone. Then he gets up and walks towards me. „Kat, I mean it when I say that I love you. Now more than ever. And I didn't text you because...because it would've been too hard. Being away from you for that long was difficult enough. I don't think I could've handled it.“ He is now standing in front of me and looks directly into my eyes.

„But I would've known. I would've known that you are alright. You completely disappeared from the radar after the breakup story. Not even Ben knew where you were. I was worried sick about you.“ Tears are starting to roll down my cheeks.

„I am so sorry...“

„And even after that. I may have known that you were alright. I could follow your Ragnarok press tour around the globe. And I did. I kept checking the news like an idiot. And every time I did, I was scared to death that I might come across pics of you with some woman...“

„What?!“ He looks at me with big eyes. „How could you think that?“

„Well, how could I not?! You left me, remember? So for all I knew, you were done with me.“

He takes one step closer towards me and puts his hand on my cheek. He wipes away the tears and then gently caresses it with his thumb. „How could I be done with you? You're everything I think about. You're my first thought in the morning and my last when I go to bed at night. And in between that, I spend pretty much every second of my day thinking about you, wondering where you are and what you are doing. I think I've told you this before...I love you more than anyone.“ Yes, you did. Right before I fell asleep in your arms. „That hasn't changed. And it won't. So I will do absolutely everything in my power to convince you of that. Unless you tell me that you no longer wish to be with me.“ Oh, you idiot! Do you think I would be here if that was the case?!

He slowly brings his face closer to mine and I know that we're about to kiss any moment. I desperately ache for the touch of his lips. But then a thought crosses my mind.

„Hang on.“ I push him away from me. „Why now?“

He looks completely lost. „What do you mean?“

„You said that you stayed away from me to protect me. And I believe you.“ Because it's probably the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. „But why now? What has changed? How can you be sure that she won't come after me now?“

„Well, there are several reasons.“

„I'm listening.“ Did I just quote Loki?!

„Well, first of all, because being away from you became too painful.“ Yeah, okay...got that. „Then there's the fact that I'm hoping that she's no longer interested in revenge.“ Hoping. So you don't actually know. „I mean, it's been six months and she's already seeing someone else.“ Yeah, I read that. „And even if she got wind of us now, we could always say that we reunited at the premiere and that things progressed from there.“ Okay, kinda makes sense. „Well, and because we agreed that enough time has passed since the breakup to be seen with another woman.“

„Who is 'we'?“

„Me and Luke, mostly.“ You have got to be kidding me.

I make my way across the room. I need to get away from him. „Let me get this straight...you are basically telling me that you and your team came up with a PR plan and I just happen to fit in?!“

„What? No! Kat, where is this coming from?“

„Okay, do you really not understand why I'm having a problem here??“

„Frankly...no.“ Ugh.

„Well, maybe it's best if you go then.“

„Absolutely not! I did my share of explaining, now it's your turn.“ You're not gonna let this one go, are you?!

„Okay, you asked for it. Up until a few minutes ago, I had no idea if the man I am completely in love with and I have any kind of future together. So imagine my surprise when I find out that our future, which I desperately want, is all part of a plan. A plan that has been decided over my head. So not only did you spend the last six months deciding what's best for me and what not, but you just did it again. Our whole outing as a couple...it's all happening on your terms. And I am just not willing to go along with it.“ As I finish, I realise that I have proceeded to yell.

„Well, how do you want to do it then?! Tell me. How do you want the world to find out about us?! Do you want me to release a press statement? Do you want me to make a post on Twitter? Do you want me to go outside and tell everyone on the streets? Because I will. I will shout it from the rooftops if you want me to. Whatever you need me to do to trust me again, I will do it.“ He is now yelling too. „Do you know how many times Luke had to stop me from getting on a plane to Germany in the past months?! I have been dying for a chance to finally come clean about my feelings. Because I want you in my life. I need you in my life. Not as part of a PR plan. But as the woman by my side. As my girlfriend and possibly one day my wife.“ Holy shit. „So tell me, Kat, what can I do?“

„You can pick me up tomorrow night at 7“, I yell at him, surprised by my own words.

„Oh, so now you want to go with me?!“

„Of course, I do, you idiot! I spent 6 hours shopping for a dress today. I bought heels that will most likely cause me to fall down on the red carpet. So you will be there to make sure it doesn't happen. And if it does, you will promise not to laugh.“

„Well, alright then!“

We both look at each other for a moment and burst out into laughter. Oh, I missed that laugh. And all of a sudden, I feel terribly stupid for causing such a scene. He loves you. And of course his life is run by PR moves. At least a little bit. You better get used to it. But even more importantly...you better get used to having him in your life. I smile at the thought of that.

„I'm sorry, Tom!“

„So am I.“ He once again walks over to me and cups my face with his hands. „So tomorrow evening at 7?!“

„Yes.“ And now please kiss me.

„I'll count down the hours.“ He softly kisses my forehead and then walks out of the room.

 

Chapter Text

I put on my 6-inch heels and take a look at myself in the mirror. I actually look...beautiful. That's a first. The stylist that Sophie hired for us really is worth his money. I tug on my dark green dress to make sure everything fits the way it should. And it does. I check my makeup one more time and put my lipstick and my phone into my black clutch. Before I have any more time to get nervous, I hear a knock on the door. It's 7. He's right on time.

„Come in.“

I can hear the door being opened behind me as I put on my perfume. Then I turn around. Tom is standing in the doorway. He's wearing a black 3 piece suit and simply looks gorgeous.

„Wow“, he gasps. „You look absolutely breathtaking.“

„Thank you. So do you.“

He walks over to me. My heart is beating out of my chest. He takes my hand and kisses it slightly. The perfect gentleman. We both look at each other for a moment and I know that if we're not careful, we may never make it out of this room. Thankfully, I remember something in that moment.

„I have something for you.“

I turn around to the dressing table and then hand him a pocket square. A dark green pocket square matching the colour of my dress. He smiles at me.

„Oh darling, you shouldn't have.“

„But I wanted to.“

He takes out his pocket square and replaces it with mine. „Interesting choice of colour, by the way.“ He winks at me.

„I thought it would be appropriate.“ Loki's colour. Because that's how it all began. With Loki. With me wanting to know who played him. That's when I first fell in love with you.

„I have something for you as well.“ I only now realise that he's holding a little black velvet box. Oh god. What the hell is in there? „I hope you like them.“ He opens the box and I gasp. I look down at a pair of beautiful diamond earrings. Holy shit!

„Tom, are you out of your mind?! These must cost a fortune.“

„Don't worry about that.“ How could I not? I'm just a simple girl, remember?! „I just want tonight to be perfect. And I thought you might like them.“

I take the box and face the mirror to put them on. They're perfect. I look at myself for a moment, when I see him approach me from behind. He stands close behind me and runs his hands down my arms. I can feel his breath on my neck and it sends shivers all over my body. We need to leave this room. Now.

„Are you ready to go?“, I ask.

„Whenever you are.“

I take his hand and he escorts me out to the car. He helps me get inside and closes the door behind me. I take a deep breath. Well, now there's no way back. Tom joins me in the backseat and reaches for my hand as soon as the car starts to move. I love how natural this feels. The handholding. The rest not so much.

I look at him. „So...how are we going to do this?“

„Do what?“

„Well, this is our first outing as a couple.“ Couple. Somebody, please pinch me. „I mean, I am your date for tonight, but I doubt that you want awkward kissing photos all over the internet again.“

He shakes his head. „No, I really don't want that. But with you, it wouldn't be awkward. And you know that.“

„Tom, I'm serious!“

„So am I.“ He smiles at me. „Look...tonight is going to be a lot to take in. What you saw at Sophie's premiere last year will be nothing compared to this. There will be cameras everywhere. And lots of screaming fans. I always follow Luke's lead in situations like this.“

„Luke will be there?“

„Yes, he's already waiting for us. He knows the drill and I trust him. But generally, just be yourself. If you smile at them, they won't know what hit them anyway.“

„But what if I trip and fall?“ Seriously. I am convinced that will happen. I know me.

„Then I promise I won't laugh.“ I can't help but chuckle with him. „Whatever happens, happens. Now...there will be reporters asking questions. And naturally, they will be asking about you. What shall I tell them who you are?“ Umm...

„I didn't realise there was more than one answer to that...“

„Well, for me there isn't. You're my girlfriend. And I have no problem with telling everyone just that. But I don't want to rush you into anything. Because your life will change after tonight. How much depends on what we tell them.“ I hadn't even thought about that.

I take a moment to think about it. „Why don't you tell them the truth?! That I am one of the production assistants and your date for the evening?!“

„You would be okay with that?“

„Yes. Because we wouldn't be lying. We just wouldn't tell them the whole truth.“

„Then that's what we'll do.“ He smiles at me. I don't think I'll ever get tired of that. „And whatever happens, please tell me if anything makes you feel uncomfortable.“

„I promise.“

We stay silent for the rest of the drive, but our fingers keep playing with each other. When the car stops, it's like someone is bursting a soap bubble around us.

„Ready, darling?“ No.

I nod and Tom gets out of the car. Just breathe. You can do this. The door on my side opens and Tom holds out his hand to help me out of the car.

The noise of the screaming fans is breathtaking. And not in a good way. The photographers are screaming and flashing their cameras at us. Okay, this is even crazier than I imagined. My head is spinning and I am starting to feel sick. But then I feel a warm hand on my waist. Tom is with you. You're going to be fine.

I see Luke walking towards us. I wonder how he will react to me. He greets Tom and then turns to me. „Hello Kat! It's wonderful to see you again.“ Really?! He quickly kisses my cheek. „And might I say, you look absolutely stunning tonight.“

„See, I told you.“ Tom smiles at me and then winks at Luke.

We start to make our way down the red carpet. Tom is aware of my every step. He poses for photographs and I have no choice but to join him. Whenever we stop for the cameras, he puts his arm around my waist and holds on to me tight. And despite the flashing lights and the screaming fans, whenever we look into each other's eyes, it's just the two of us for a brief moment.

We reach the waiting reporters and the real work for Tom begins. Luke ushers him to one interview after another. I stand back. I'm sure awkward standing is always appreciated on the red carpet. I know that I am being photographed nonstop. More than once did somebody yell 'Tom, is that your girlfriend?' And every time, he had squeezed my hand a little. Yes, I am.

I look around and see Ben and Sophie a few yards down the carpet. Didn't really make it far, considering that they left a lot earlier than we did. To my delight, I see that Martin and Amanda are with them. I gesture Luke where I'm going and he simply nods. But before I can make my way over there, I hear a voice next to me.

„Looking good, Kat. Looking good.“ Only Frank could make a compliment sound like an insult. I am still happy to see him, so I turn around and smile at him. He quickly kisses my cheeks. „I am very happy you could make it. I was afraid you wouldn't be here.“

„Well, I actually didn't plan on coming“, I reply. „But Tom convinced me.“

„Remind me to buy him a drink later.“ And with that, he walks away.

Where was I?! Oh right...Ben and Sophie. Just as I'm about to start walking, I can feel a familiar warm hand on my waist and a voice right next to my ear.

„Where do you think you're going without me?“ Dammit, I love it when Loki comes out.

„I just...I...Ben and Sophie...and...“ I am completely lost for words.

He chuckles. „It's okay, darling. I just want to make sure you're safe.“ He plants a light kiss on my temple. Whatever happened to 'she's only a production assistant'?! Not that I'm complaining, but... “Come on.“

We walk over to Ben and Sophie. We all greet each other as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Well, it is. We're friends. In every second, I am aware of the cameras. I know that every single thing I do will be all over the internet tomorrow. But for some reason, I am not all that bothered. I am with Tom. I say hello to Amanda and Martin, who then turns to Tom.

„You certainly landed a jackpot with this one.“ He points at me. „She is by far the most beautiful woman here tonight. Ouch!“ Amanda has poked him in the side.

„And what does that make me?!“, she asks, faking her annoyance.

„Oh, do I really have to acknowledge your beauty every single day?“

„Yes, you do.“ We all laugh. I love their relationship. They are perfect for each other.

Martin and Amanda are being pulled for an interview. Ben puts his hand on my back and leans over to me. „Are you alright?“ Will he ever not worry about me?!

„I'm fine. Really. But I think I could use a drink.“

„Don't worry. There will be more than enough of that later. You two look wonderful together, by the way. I haven't seen him this happy since...well, I actually think I've never seen him this happy.“

His words make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I smile and he pulls me in for another hug. We look over to Sophie and Tom, only to find them in deep conversation. Tom has one hand on Sophie's back, the other one is resting on her already very impressive baby bump. Reminds me of the pics of Tom with Chris Hemsworth's wife a few years ago. Who knows, maybe one day that will be you...

My thoughts are interrupted by fangirls going crazy. I look over to see that Michael and Alicia have arrived. They're here together. Good. And look at how happy he looks! Michael has spotted me and a huge smile appears on his face. He quickly says something to Alicia and then practically runs over to us. He pulls me into a tight hug and then lets his hands rest on my hips while he looks at me.

„I had no idea you were going to be here! Didn't you tell me last time that you didn't want to come?“

„I did. But I changed my mind.“ I look over to Tom who now stands directly next to me.

Michael smiles knowingly. „I see. Well, it's about time, Tom.“ They both share a hug. Alicia has caught up with us in the meantime. „Alicia, you remember Kat, right?“

„Of course, I do. I never forget a good dancer.“ I smile.

Now that Michael is here, the photographers are begging for a picture of three of the leading men together, preferably with us ladies. So we line up and put our arms around each other. Posing like that feels weird for a moment, but then I realise something. Just look at yourself. Look at all the people you know. You're Tom Hiddleston's date. You're posing for pictures with Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender, for fuck's sake. This is your life now. And frankly, you're handling it really well. No tripping so far. I know that I better get used to all the fuss because it's simply part of Tom's life. And so are you now.

I lean over to Tom, who is smiling for the cameras and bring my mouth close enough to his ear so that I can whisper. „I love you.“

 

Chapter Text

I take a sip of my champagne and take a look around the room. Is this your life now? Red carpets and premieres and after show parties? This still feels weird. I feel a warm hand on mine.

„Are you okay, darling?“ Tom smiles at me.

„Yes. It's just...a lot.“ He gently squeezes my hand.

„But you handled it incredibly well. Everyone will think you've been part of this world forever.“ This world. I keep hearing it and thinking it, but I still don't really know what it means.

„I was just glad to have you by my side.“

Tom steps closer and wraps his arms around my waist. „I fully intend to remain in that position for a very, very long time.“ Fine by me.

I put down my champagne and then rest my hands on his arms. I can feel his muscles through his clothes. God, I can't wait to get you out of that suit. I need to touch you. I need you to touch me. In that exact moment, he puts his hand on my cheek and caresses it slowly. Please, Tom, just kiss me. I need you to...

Michael Buble's Feeling Good starts to blast over the speakers. „Oh my god, I love that song. Dance with me?“ I flash my lashes at Tom.

„As if you'd have to ask.“

He takes my hand and leads me onto the dancefloor. I feel that many eyes in the room are fixed on him. Or me. Or both. Tom pulls me close and starts to sway me in the rhythm of the song. We look deeply into each other's eyes. The slightly seductive rhythm is taking over our bodies. I can feel Tom's hand move up and down my back. I am about to explode. I want this man. So so bad. Sadly, the song ends too soon. But Tom doesn't even think about letting go of me. The next song is Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen. How appropriate. So we just keep on dancing. I lose track of time and just enjoy the moment. Tom is a wonderful dancer and knows how to lead on the dancefloor. And he looks so happy. He's smiling the whole time and I know that I am too. This is what perfect happiness must feel like. I don't know how many songs we keep dancing like that.

„Tom, will you excuse me for a second. I have to hit the ladies room.“

„I'll be right here waiting for you.“

I rush to the loo because I can't wait to return to that wonderful man. My man. A few minutes later, I'm back in the ballroom. I find Tom leaning against a column and walk over to him.

„That's not where I left you“, I tease him.

He grabs my waist and pulls me against his body. „Can you forgive me?“ I nod and he plants a kiss on my forehead. Dammit, Thomas! Just kiss me already. REALLY kiss me. „So, do I get another dance?“ Insatiable as always. In that moment, a new song starts. And my heart stops. Our Song. Ed Sheeran. Thinking Out Loud. I look at him with big eyes.

„Dance with me“, he whispers in my ear.

We make our way to the dancefloor and hold on tight to each other, while we slowly move to the music. The last time we did this, I ended up all alone the next morning. My heart breaks a little and I shift with discomfort.

„What's wrong, love?“ Of course, he'd notice.

I look at him but feel a lump in my throat. Tears are starting to work their way to the surface.

„Oh Kat...my beautiful Kat.“ He leans forward and rests his forehead against mine. „Allow me to take you home tonight. Allow me to take you to my place. Allow me to make love to you all night. And I promise you to hold you until you wake up in the morning. Please, spend the night with me.“ Yes.

I want to answer him, but never get to start my sentence.

„Sorry to interrupt, but I need to speak with you. Now.“ Luke is standing right next to us.

Tom looks at him with a slight anger in his eyes. „Can't that wait?“

„I'm afraid it can't.“ Wonder what all that is about.

„Hey, it's okay.“ I smile at Tom. „You two go and talk.“

Tom kisses my temple and walks away with Luke. I take a deep breath and make my way to the bar. Spend the night with him. I knew it was going to happen eventually. And I most certainly want it to happen. But hearing him ask for it like that... There's just no way I could refuse him. I would give that man anything he wants.

Once again, I can feel people staring at me. But I chose to ignore them. I reach the bar and find Hugh and Kenneth Branagh in conversation, leaning against it. They both smile at me.

„Kat! Just the woman I've been meaning to talk to.“ Hugh kisses me on the cheek.

„It's so good to see you again.“ I turn to Ken. „And you of course. How have you been?“

Ken gives me a brief hug. „Nothing to complain about.“

„Champagne?“, Hugh asks.

„Yes, please.“

He orders me another drink and then goes back to sipping on his.

„The movie is absolutely amazing“, Ken says. „And from what I hear, you contributed a great deal to that.“

I blush. „Well, that's what everybody keeps saying. I don't really feel like I did. I just did my job. But I had the time of my life.“

Hugh shakes his head. „No, you did more than just your job. You lived for this movie. Don't think we didn't notice.“ I can't help but smile.

„But speaking of work...how are things going at home. What are you currently working on?“ Ken looks at me with curiosity.

I hesitate for a brief moment. „I'm not. Working, that is.“

„What?“ They both look at me with big eyes.

„I got fired.“

„Who would be so stupid as to fire you??“, Hugh asks.

„Well, they didn't have a choice. My position was entirely financed by public funding. But the government had to make drastic budget cuts. They cancelled our funding altogether. So they didn't really have a choice but to let me go.“

„Oh Kat, I am so sorry. Any chance of finding another way to finance it?“

I shake my head. „Not really. Unless I find a private sponsor.“

Ken brings himself back into the conversation. „So does that mean you're looking for a job? Because I'm about to start rehearsals.“ For Much Ado About Nothing. With Tom. I know. „And I'd be delighted to have you on board. The whole team is complete, but I'm sure I'd find you something to do. And you'd get to spend a lot of time with Tom. Which seems like something you two would be very interested in.“ He winks at me. I kinda like that thought.

„Thanks, Ken, that's very kind of you. But I don't know. I can't just stay in London for that long.“

„Well, if you ask me, Tom is completely in love with you. I'm sure he'd be delighted to have you around some more.“ Is it that obvious to everyone?!

I take another sip of champagne to buy myself some time. I can't really take that offer. But on the other hand, it's Sir Kenneth Branagh. Can I really refuse an offer to work with him?! Just as I want to answer, I feel a hand on my back. Tom.

I turn around and, much to my surprise, see Ben standing behind me. „Kat, are you alright?“ He looks concerned. Why does he look concerned?

„Yes. Why wouldn't I be?!“

He takes a deep breath. „So you haven't heard?“

„Heard what?!“ Ben, you're starting to freak me out.

Without a word, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. He quickly types something into it and then hands it over to me. I look at the display. It's an online article from The Sun. And just the headline is enough to make my stomach drop.

 

Chapter Text

I am terrified to read the article in front of me, but I force myself to do it anyway.

 

     Is Tom Hiddleston a rapist?! Secret video reveals not so soft side of Marvel star

     British beau Tom Hiddleston and American pop idol Taylor Swift, or Hiddleswift, as we knew them, were pretty much considered
     a dream couple. Many saw them walking down the aisle already. So the news of their breakup in October last year came as a
     surprise to everyone. We were never given any reason for why the actor and the singer decided to go separate ways. But a secret
     video recording that transpired tonight, may shed some light on the matter.

     An anonymous source has shared a short video clip that shows Hiddleston in bed with Swift. But it's not your usual private sex
     tape. The recording, that is only 27 seconds long, pictures the actor naked on top of Taylor Swift, engaging in what can only be
     described as rough sexual activities. Though the images are slightly blurry, you can hear him panting and moaning and then grow-
     ling at her, asking if this is what she wanted. The only response from Swift, who appears to be tied to the bed, are whimpers and
     cries. The clip seems to be taken from a longer video that might show the full incident.

     At this moment, there is no way of telling what really happened. But it certainly shows that the usually so soft and charming Tom
     Hiddleston has a side, that none of us expected. If the material should indeed show what very much looks like unconsensual sex,
     then this might be the explanation for the sudden breakup of the perfect couple.

     There are no official statements from neither Hiddleston's nor Swift's management so far.

 

My head is spinning and I feel sick. I don't even dare to click on the video attached to the article.

„Kat, are you okay? Talk to me.“ I hear Ben's voice but I'm not really listening.

I hand him back his phone. „I'm sorry. But I have to find him.“

With that, I rush out of the ballroom and start looking for Tom and Luke. This is not happening. This cannot be happening. Not tonight. Not ever. Now, when we're finally happy together. That little bitch. She must have been planning this all along. As if his so called relationship wasn't bad enough for his career and his reputation, this will break his neck one and for all. Oh, Tom.

I find them in a small room that's marked 'Staff'. Tom is sitting on a chair and has his face buried in his hands. Oh, my poor baby.

I carefully knock on the door. „I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just heard.“

Tom looks at me. I can see tears in his eyes and feel my heart breaking. Let me hug you. Let me hold you. Let me take all that pain away from you.

„I'll give you two a moment.“ Luke walks past me and silently puts his hand on my shoulder before leaving the room.

Tom still looks at me and it seems as if he is trying to find the right words. It's okay. You don't need to say anything. Just come here. I walk towards him because all I want to do in that moment is to pull him into my arms.

„You should go home, Kat.“ WHAT???

„What are you talking about? I'm not leaving you.“

„Kat, do you have any idea what this means?!“ His eyes seem empty. „It's bad enough that I dragged you in front of the cameras earlier tonight. But this...this will probably end my career. Everyone in this world will look at me as a rapist from now on. And I don't want you to get caught in that. I won't allow it.“ Did I just hear that one right?!

„Allow it?! I'm sorry, but I don't think you get to decide what I can and can't do.“

„Please don't argue with me. This is bad enough as it is. You will be all over the tabloids tomorrow. If you don't get out right now, your name will forever be associated with mine and...“

„Good!“ He looks at me in total surprise. „So let them mention my name with yours for all eternity. I don't care. Tom, I love you. And I will not leave you.“

The tears are now rolling down his cheeks. „How do I even deserve you?“ He jumps on his feet and with only a few steps, he reaches me and sweeps me into his arms. We both hold on for dear life.

I run my fingers through his hair and try to calm him. „I am so so sorry.“

He pulls away and looks at me. „What do you have to be sorry for?“

„I feel kind of responsible for this. Without me, you'd still be with her and wouldn't be having these problems.“

„Hush! Without you, I'd still be miserable. My life is so much better with you in it.“ His tears have stopped and the way he looks at me, tells me that he is dead serious. „I love you so much. All I want is for you to be happy and to be safe. Which is why I still think it would be best if you...“ No!

I don't let him finish the sentence. I press my mouth against his to silence him. For the first time in six months, I feel his lips against mine. Finally! He is taken by surprise but then wraps his arms around me and holds me tight, making this the most passionate kiss of my life. So much longing. Things falling into place again.

When our lips part, he holds me for another moment and looks into my eyes. And into my soul.

„Do you want to get out of here?“, I ask him.

„Are you sure you want to come with me?“

„Yes.“

„Then let me arrange a few things, okay? I'll be right back.“ With that, he lets go of me and walks out of the room.

I take a deep breath. Whatever happens, I won't leave him. I take out my phone. It's only a matter of time until my mother hears about this, so I want to write her a message. Too late. She has already tried calling me several times. And there's a message.

 

     Mum: Are you alright?! I just read the news and I can't believe it. Please tell me you got out of there immediately.

 

Oh mum. I send a quick reply.

 

     Me: I'm still with Tom. Because I know the truth behind the story. Please, don't believe ANYTHING you read. And please don't worry about me.
            I'm alright.

 

Well, not entirely true, but what the hell?!

„If you walk out of here with him now, your life will never be the same again.“ Luke is standing behind me.

„I am aware of that. But I don't care.“

„Perhaps you should...“

„Yes, perhaps I should. But I don't. Look, I really don't know anything right now. Except that I love him.“

„I'm not telling you to leave. But just take a moment to consider things. Are you sure you're ready for this? Your every personal detail will be dragged out into public. Everything you've ever written on social networks will be held against you. And everything you do from now on will be of public interest. There's a part of you that will die tonight if you leave with him right now.“

„Kat, are you ready?“ Tom is standing in the doorway, accompanied by six bodyguards. Holy shit.

Luke gives me an I-told-you-so look. I still don't care. So I simply ignore his words and walk past him. Without saying a word, the eight of us start making our way to the back door. Everyone we pass is staring at us. Of course, they all already know what happened.

We reach the door and I can see a black car waiting for us outside. I also see dozens of paparazzi. So much for a quiet back door exit. I take a deep breath and then I feel Tom stopping next to me. I look at him. There's so much worry in his eyes. Luke's words resonate in my head. There's a part of you that will die tonight if you leave with him right now. One more look at Tom and I know. Then let this be my funeral.

I reach for Tom's hand and squeeze it to let him know that I'm with him. No matter what. He gives me a shy smile and then we make our way to the car, protected by the bodyguards, but lights flashing in our faces. Once the doors are slammed shut and we're somehow protected from the yelling paparazzi, we drive off into the London night.

 

Chapter Text

Tom invites me in and then closes the door behind me. So this is his house. His home. I take a look around. Before I can say something, my phone rings. Again.

„Kat, it's alright if you have to take this. Your phone has been ringing off the hook. Really, it's fine.“

„I'll be with you in a moment.“

He nods and kisses my forehead before turning around. I look at my phone. It's Ben. So I pick up.

„Kat! Thank god. Where are you? Are you okay?“ I love it when he worries about me.

„I'm with Tom. And I'm...“ Not sure that okay is the right word here. „Look, don't worry about me. Like I said, I'm with Tom. So I'm safe.“

„Are you sure? Because with everything, that's going on...“

„We're at his place. So I think it's okay to say that I'm safe. Please, don't worry. I'll get in touch with you tomorrow, okay?“

„Alright. Just...be careful.“ And with that, he hangs up.

I take a deep breath. Is even Ben thinking that I shouldn't be with Tom?! I shake my head. I don't care what anybody thinks. This is my life. And I want him in it.

I find Tom sitting in the kitchen, his jacket hanging over a chair. He's downing a glass of whisky and stares at his phone. Don't look at that, Tom. Don't do this to yourself.

„I didn't know you liked whisky.“

„I don't“, he says, pouring himself another glass.

I walk over to the table and sit down next to him. „Talk to me, Tom.“

„Have you seen this?“ He points at his phone. The video. I shake my head. „Well, maybe you should watch it. I think then you might think differently about wanting to stay with me.“

I hesitantly click the replay button. The following 27 seconds are the worst of my life. Oh god, this looks bad. Really really bad. Tom notices the expression on my face.

He downs another whisky. „Well, I told you. You know where the door is. Feel free to leave anytime.“ I think that bitch broke him.

I take the bottle from him as he's about to pour himself another drink and take his hand into mine. „Okay, I'm going to ask you a question. And I want you to tell me the truth. And I want you to know that no matter what the answer is, I will not walk out this door. Not without giving you a chance to explain first.“ He slightly nods. „Well then...did anything happen against Taylor's will that night?“

„No.“

„Then what did I just look at?“

He sighs. „I was teasing her. Like I already told you, things got a bit rough that night. We were both drunk and it just kind of happened.“ Been there, done that. „I just kept pushing her to the edge and then denied her to come. So yes, she's whimpering. But only because she's begging me to finally give her the release she's desperate for.“ I can't believe I even have to listen to this. „Kat, I would never do anything to hurt a woman. Never. I understand if you are scared of me now...“ What is he talking about?

„Scared of you?! Tom, why would you even think that? I am in no way scared of you. And I don't think I ever could be. I trust you completely. I didn't ask you this because I needed to hear it. I asked you because you needed to say it.“

He looks at me with questioning eyes. „What do you mean?“

„You said it yourself. You didn't do anything against her will. And once the whole video transpires, everyone will know it. Until then, you have to always remember that. You didn't do anything wrong. You know it and I know it. So for our relationship, this is everything we need to know right now.“

„I don't want you to get dragged into this.“

„Well, I think it might be too late for that. And to be honest, I could totally live without the drama. Because really, I don't want it. What I do want, is you. I want to be with you. Because I can't live without you. At least not a happy life. So I will ignore the fact that this situation is messy and borderline crazy. Because when I look at you, I know it's all worth it.“

His thumb slightly brushes over mine. „Oh Kat, do you have any idea how much I love you?“

I smile at him. „I think I do...“

He leans over to me and kisses me gently. Is it wrong that even in this mess, I want him to sleep with me? Like...now? My thoughts and our kiss are interrupted by his phone ringing. „It's Luke. I think I should take this.“

„Of course, you should. Go ahead. I'll take a look around the house if that's okay?“

„Be my guest.“ He plants another kiss on my lips and then picks up his phone. I leave the kitchen to give him some privacy for the call and find myself in front of Tom's book shelf. Damn! He really wasn't kidding when he said his house was a wall-to-wall of books. I smile and turn around. And my heart stops for a second.

I am looking at his living room, only I doubt that it always looks like that. There are a blanket and pillows lying in front of the fireplace. Two champagne glasses are standing next to an empty cooler on the mantlepiece. And there are red roses literally everywhere. I try to count them but I stop myself at 100. He said he wanted this night to be perfect. He asked me if he could take me to his place. He's been preparing this. I can feel tears coming on. He is such a romantic.

I sit myself down on the couch and look around the room. This is perfect indeed. And once again, I curse the course of events. I am supposed to lie in his arms right now. And instead... I lean back and try to drink in every single detail of the room. This is where he lives. Where he spends his time when he's not working. And I can't help but wonder if I will live here one day as well. I smile at the thought.

I don't know how long I am sitting there like that, but all of a sudden, I feel my eyes closing and I drift off into sleep. 

*****

I wake to the feeling of someone carrying me around. Hang on, there is somebody carrying me. Oh, that man. I open my eyes just as I'm being put down on a bed.

„I'm sorry, darling, I didn't mean to wake you.“

„I didn't want to fall asleep, but...“

He kisses my forehead. „It's okay. That phone call took longer than expected. You just get some rest.“

„But everything you prepared...“

For the first time since the drop of the bomb, he smiles. „Do you like it?“

„Like it?! Tom, it's perfect. I just hate that we didn't get to do what you were planning.“

„We have all the time in the world.“ But I want you now! „Get some sleep and we'll talk more tomorrow.“ With that, he gets up from the bed and walks towards the door.

„Hey, where are you going?“

„I'm going to try and get some rest as well.“

I take a confused look around the room. „But isn't this your...“

„No“, he interrupts me. „It's one of the guest rooms.“ Okay, am I supposed to take this as an offence?

„But why?“ I look at him with big, sad eyes. „Do you not want me with you? Do you not want me to spend the night with you?“

He sighs. „You were sleeping Kat. I didn't just want to put you down in my bed. Not without having your permission.“ Okay, you need to stop being too bloody perfect.

„Well, then I'm giving my permission right now. I will not sleep in the guest room. Not a chance in hell.“ I get up from the bed and walk towards him. Still no tripping in those shoes. This is surely a new record for me. I stand in front of him and put my hand on his chest.

He takes a deep breath. „Kat, this is torture for me. I can't have you next to me all night without being able to touch you.“

I reach for the zipper of my dress and start to pull. „Then touch me.“ My dress falls down to my ankles and I step out of it.

He hisses as he looks at me. I stand in front of him with my black high heels, his diamond earrings and black lace lingerie, suspenders and stockings inclusive. You're not the only one who's been preparing for tonight, Mister. I pull the clips out of my hair and it falls around my shoulders.

„Touch me, Tom. Please.“

He hesitates for a brief moment and then scoops me into his arms. You going to the gym really has its perks. He carries me to a room at the very end of the corridor and gently puts me down on the bed.

„Stay here. Don't move“, he says is a low voice and then rushes out of the door. Where the hell is he going?!

 

Chapter Text

I take a look around the room. Tom's bedroom. It doesn't get more intimate than this. I light the candles on his nightstand. Then I take off my shoes and the earrings and get comfortable on the bed. Tom comes back into the room, carrying the champagne cooler, now filled with ice and an open bottle, and two glasses. He has gotten rid of his vest and has unbuttoned his shirt. Allowing me easier access...how very considerate.

He puts the champagne on the nightstand, sits down on the bed and pours us both a glass. He hands it over to me and looks deeply into my eyes.

„To tonight. To you and me finding our way back to each other.“

I smile. „To us. For better or for worse.“ Jesus Christ, you're acting as if you're already getting married. Strangely, that thought doesn't scare me at all.

We both take a sip of champagne. Then he takes my glass away and runs his hand up my body. I shiver from the touch of his hand against my skin and let out a sigh. Tom leans forward and pushes me backwards until my back lies on the mattress. He kisses me deeply, his tongue playing with mine. Oh, you have no idea how much I missed this.

I slide his shirt off his shoulders and run my hands over his muscly back. I still can't believe a man this sexy would even show the slightest interest in me. I moan and arch my back as he kisses his way down my neck. His hands slide beneath me and unhook my bra. His mouth finds my breasts immediately. Fuck yes. I close my eyes as his tongue flicks over my hard nipples. And then I feel something cold instead of his tongue. What the...?! My eyes fly open. Tom looks at me while his long fingers tease my nipples with an ice cube from the cooler.

„Fuck“, I moan.

He smiles at me with a sinister grin and continues to tease me. The constant change between the warmth of his mouth and the coolness of the ice cube is driving me insane. The sensation of every touch travels right between my legs. I know that my panties are soaked. I know that my pussy is ready for him.

„Tom, please. I want you.“ I am already panting.

He moves up to kiss me. „What do you want, babygirl?“ His mouth is now right next to my ear. Fuck, his voice is so sexy.

„I want you to touch me. Please, touch my...“ I don't get to finish the sentence because two fingers are pushing inside me.

I let out a loud moan. Omg, yes. Just like that. He immediately starts to let his fingers slide in and out of me, pushing against my g-spot every single time. I can feel an orgasm rushing towards me. Then he begins to brush his thumb over my clit and I'm gone. I give into the urge to come and scream out loud as my pussy clenches around Tom's fingers and my body starts shaking.

„That's it, babygirl. Oh, how I missed that sweet pussy of yours.“

I pull him in for a bruising kiss. I have missed you too. With every cell of my body. Without breaking the kiss, I reach out for his crotch. He's rock hard already. He moans as my fingers touch his cock. Okay, I need him inside me now. I hastily unbutton his pants and start pulling them down. He lifts his hips and helps me to undress him. In one smooth move, he positions himself between my legs. His cock is rubbing against me through my drenched panties. Oh dear god.

He kisses me softly. „Are you sure you want this?“ Even a gun held to my head couldn't stop me right now. I nod. „And you're still on the pill?“ I nod again and kiss him deeply.

Our tongues still playing with each other, I can feel him pull my lace panties aside and then he starts to push into me. Fuck, I had forgotten how big his cock was! I moan into his mouth and start to move my hips immediately. I need to feel him move inside me. Tom supports himself on his forearms and then he starts to slowly thrust his hips. The rhythm is so slow, that it's borderline painful. Dammit, just move. And then I look into his eyes and I know... This isn't fucking. He meant it when he said he was gonna make love to me. This is him showing me how much he loves me right now. I pull him closer to me. He now lies completely on top of me. Feeling his weight press me down feels heavenly. He runs his hands through my hair and kisses me softly. Every now and then a moan escapes his mouth and every single one of them brings me closer to my next orgasm. And then I can feel it...

„Oh god...Tom, I'm gonna come...oh god...I...ohhh...“ My body starts shaking and I scream with pleasure. Tom has stopped moving but is still inside me. He holds me tight and looks at me the whole time. Holy shit. The intimacy is almost too much for me to handle and I feel myself tearing up. Naturally, Tom notices and is about to pull out of me. In the last second, my hands grab his firm butt and I stop him.

„Don't you dare!“

„But darling, you are crying.“ The way he looks at me is so full of love and concern.

I kiss him. „Don't worry. It's just...I think it just hit me how much I actually love you. The way you just looked at me when I...“ My voice cracks.

„Oh Kat!“ He gives me a long and gentle kiss. „So you really are alright?“

„I am more than alright. And I will be even better if you can give me one more...oh fuck...“ I moan as his long fingers start to rub over my clit. He starts to move his hips again. It doesn't take long until I'm pushed over the edge once more. His moans are getting louder as my pussy tightens around his cock but he keeps himself from coming. Dammit, Tom. Is it always going to be multiple orgasms with you?!

He gives me a moment to catch my breath. Then, without pulling out of me, he gets on his knees and sits back, pulling me into his lap in a sort of lotus position. I moan as his cock starts to press against my cervix. We share a passionate kiss and then I start to move my hips. He soon begins to match my rhythm and we now move as if we are one. He kisses my neck and we both start to breathe even heavier. God, he's gonna make me come again.

„Oh fuck, Kat, do you have any idea how amazing you feel?!“ If it's anything like having you inside me, then I do. I just moan because I can't really answer. I feel the first contractions in my pussy. Oh god, I'm close. I moan even louder and so does Tom. „Oh, I wish I could stay inside you forever.“ Fine by me. He's constantly moaning and groaning now. „Fuck, I'm close. Please come with me. Please...Kat...ohh...“

We find our release together and just as I feel like coming down from my orgasm, he pushes me off of him, onto my back and buries his face between my thighs. His tongue swirls over my clit, making sure the sensation in my body doesn't stop. I feel like all this is one giant orgasm. My body is shaking, my pussy is pulsing and I simply can't stop screaming. I grab his hair and hold on to him. It's almost too much, but I don't want him to stop. We continue like this for I don't know how long. It feels like hours to me and I have one orgasm after another.

Eventually, my clit gets too sensitive. Even for the gentle touch of his tongue. So I pull him away from me and simply shake my head. He plants one last kiss on my little pearl before crawling next to me and taking me into his strong arms.

I am still shaking and it takes me a while to regain my ability to speak. Tom just holds me and runs his fingertips over my body.

„Holy shit. What was that?“ I can't wrap my mind around what just happened.

„I was just properly taking care of my girl and her needs.“ Oh, you know my needs alright.

For a while we just lie there, listening to each other breathe. Then Tom breaks the silence.

„You want to know something weird?“ I look at him. „I know that I should be devastated right now. With everything going on and my career being on the line here.“ Yes. Reality. I had almost forgotten about that for a second. „But right now, having you in my arms, in my bed, I am just extremely happy.“

I smile. „I am too.“ We kiss. „Just...promise me you'll be here tomorrow morning, okay?! I don't want to wake up again, only to find out you are gone. Please.“

„I promise, my love.“

And with that, he blows out the candles and pulls the cover over the both of us. Falling asleep in Tom's arms again. This is heaven. And then I drift off into a dreamless sleep.

 

Chapter Text

I wake up as someone is slowly caressing my face. It takes me a moment to collect my thoughts. And then I smile. Tom.

„Good morning, my love. I am so sorry to wake you.“

I open my eyes, only to see him kneeling in front of the bed. Already fully dressed. Um...no! That's not how I planned this. I want to start my day with some hot morning sex. „Is everything alright?“, I ask.

„Luke called about half an hour ago. They're expecting me at the agency. This whole thing is a disaster, as you can imagine. So there are several things we need to talk about.“

„Can I come with you?“

He shakes his head. „You'd be bored out of your mind. Besides, I'm not sure they'd appreciate it if I brought company. You're safe here. Just stay inside the house. Or in the garden. It's a beautiful day. But don't go out. Not on your own. Promise me?“ He's so cute when he worries.

„I promise.“

He kisses me gently. „I should be back in time for us to grab some lunch together. Are you sure you won't be bored until then?“

„Absolutely not. I'll just check out your library.“ He laughs. Starting the day with Tom's smile. Okay, life doesn't get better than this. „I will miss you, though“

Another kiss. „And I'll miss you. I'll hurry up and try to be back as soon as I can.“

„Good.“ I smile at him and kiss him goodbye. Then he gets up and walks out.

I enjoy the comfortable bed a while longer and then I get up. Crap. I don't even have anything to wear. I can hardly wear my gown from last night again. I am standing there in my lace panties, suspenders and stockings and don't know what to do for a moment. Then I walk over to Tom's wardrobe and just take out one of his shirts. Ah, the infamous white shirt. Brings back ice bucket challenge memories. I smile and put it on.

I make my way to the kitchen where I'm greeted by the smell of fresh coffee. Yes, that's just what I need. I pour myself a cup, then grab my phone and cigarettes and walk out into the garden. It's a sunny day, so I sit myself down and light a smoke. Coffee and a cigarette after a night of dancing, alcohol and sex...yes, I really am living the artist stereotype. I can't help but laugh.

My mum has tried calling me several times, so I decide to give her a ring.

„Finally! Are you okay?“ Well, good morning to you too, mum...

„Yes, I'm okay. Given the circumstances.“

„Where are you??“

„I'm at Tom's place. So I'm safe. And hidden from paparazzi.“

A brief silence at the other end of the line. „You spent the night with him?“ No, I slept on a bench in the middle of London. I roll my eyes.

„Yes, mum. I did. And I know what you're going to say. But there's no truth to the rumours. None.“

She sighs. „How can you be so sure?“

„I have known about the tape for quite some time now. I know the story behind it. I won't get into the details right now. But please, don't believe this for a second. It's all a big lie.“

„Yes, but...“ Ugh.

„There is no but here. I love and therefore trust him.“

„But you barely know the man!“ Don't. You'll start to make sense any minute and I really don't need that right now.

„I know him well enough to know that I can trust him, whether you like it or not.“

„And where is he now?“ There's that tone. The one that mothers always have. The one that drives me insane.

„He's meeting with his publicist. But he should be back soon. And then we'll see where we take it from there.“

„I'd prefer it, if you took it to the airport...“ Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

„Mum, I won't leave him. He needs me right now. His whole world is falling apart. He might lose his career, his reputation, his friends. But he won't lose me.“

„But...“ Grrr.

„No! Look, I accepted your relationship choices, now it's time for you to accept mine. I can promise you that I'm safe. That's all that matters for now.“ I hang up on her. Not necessarily nice, but I can't deal with any more of her crap.

My legs still feel a bit like pudding from all the orgasms last night. But the coffee and nicotine help me feel a little bit more alive.

I send out a text to Ben, letting him know that I'm okay. I know that he worries. He would probably never ask at this point but he's like a dad who worries about his little girl.

Then I check all the messages I've gotten from my friends. Most of them are freaking out over the fact that I've been seen on the red carpet with Tom. Others are concerned because of the recent news. Jesus, I haven't heard from some of these people in ages. And all of a sudden they worry?! Friendship my ass.

One of my best friends has sent me the link to an article in the Daily Mail. As if anything good could come from the Daily Fail. I open the link and start reading

 

     Who is the mystery woman on Tom Hiddleston's side???

     It's probably safe to say that everybody's boyfriend Tom Hiddleston is having a hard time right now. A video of him
     having sex with his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift hit like a bomb last night. Many people say the clip clearly shows an act
     of sexual violence, if not even rape. So far, there have been no official statements. Nobody has seen the full video from
     which the clip was taken. So we won't make any accusations just yet.

     But we do wonder one thing:
     Who is the mystery woman that hit the red carpet with the actor last night? And why do they look so cosy and familiar
     with each other? Hiddleston was spotted at the premiere of his new film 'The Duke' yesterday evening in London. And
     throughout the entire time, he had a curvy brunette by his side. Even when he left the party after finding out about the
     release of the video. They looked incredibly comfortable with each other and never stopped smiling while making their
     way down the red carpet. Hiddleston constantly had his arm around her waist or held her hand. They exchanged deep
     looks and dozens of kisses on the cheek. So could it be that the actor is actually in a relationship that nobody knows of?
     And who is the mysterious woman?

     Well, there are actually a few things we do know about her... We know that her name is Kat. She's 27 years old and from
     Germany. Germany? Yes, you read that one right. Apparently, they met on the set of 'The Duke' last year where she was
     a production assistant. Still doesn't ring any bells? Let us remind you then. Think back to July last year when pictures of
     Tom with a mysterious brunette and a baby made the news. We now know that the baby was, in fact, Benedict Cumber-
     batch's son Christopher. But we never really knew who she was. It seems, now we do. Because the unknown brunette from
     the playground is indeed Hiddleston's date from last night. Last year, they both claimed to be only friends and colleagues.
     Now, after the breakup from American singer Taylor Swift, it seems like they have taken their relationship one step further.
     Because looking at the pictures from last night, we have no doubt that these two are dating. Even more so, they seem very
     much in love. So what else do we know about her? We know that she works in theatre. She's a director and mainly works
     with children and teenagers. We also know that she doesn't just look comfortable with Mr British Charme, but also with his
     friends and colleagues. The way she interacted with Hiddleston's co-stars like Benedict Cumberbatch or Michael Fassbender
     last night indicates that this might have been going on for longer than we realise. Good for you, Tom!

     With last night's events, that only leaves one question: How is his girlfriend going to deal with the accusations now being
     made against him? Is their love strong enough to survive the public attention that now awaits the actor? They left the after
     show party together last night, holding hands and staying very close to each other. We also know that the car that took them
     away drove straight to Hiddleston's home in Hampstead, so she most likely spent the night with him. Despite all the rumours.
     Or maybe because of them?! We don't know. But we do wonder if their relationship is strong enough to make it through this.

 

The Daily Fail...certainly not their worst piece of journalism... I look at the pictures and the captions. Lots of pics of Tom and me. Holding hands, smiling at each other, him kissing my temple. We do look like a genuine couple. I smile. Then there are pics of me with Ben and Sophie. And Michael and Alicia. And the pic of all six of us. It really looks like I belong. So maybe I actually do. There are also several pictures of Tom and me leaving. He looks so empty. My thoughts drift to him and I wonder what he's currently doing. I just hope he's okay. I miss him.

The growling of my stomach interrupts my train of thoughts. I look at the time. Almost lunch time. Tom said he'll be back for lunch. So I finish my cigarette and make my way to the kitchen.

The fridge is filled with everything one could possibly need. I find some chicken breast and vegetables and some pasta in one of the cupboards. Alright, pasta it is.

I go looking for some music through my phone and decide on blasting Mando Diao. Then I start cutting all the ingredients. I sing along to the music and dance a little bit. I know I probably shouldn't be, but I am in a good mood. I spin around on my heel and almost drop the knife I am holding. I am looking at a woman standing in the doorway. A woman I very much recognise.

„What on earth are you doing here?“, she snaps at me.

 

Chapter Text

Oh shit. I am totally taken by surprise and unable to move. The only thing I can do is lower the knife in my hand and turn off the music. Tom's mother. Diana Hiddleston. That is so not how I wanted to meet her. I am in my underwear for fuck's sake.

„Again, what are you doing here, young lady?“

„I'm making pasta.“ Wow, and you thought Baby's 'I carried a watermelon' was pathetic.

„No, I mean...why are you even here? In this house?“ She looks at me as if I am in insect she wants to get rid of.

„Well, Tom and I were at the premiere last...“

„I know that. I saw your photographs online.“ Tom's mother checks the gossip pages?! Who knew. „Where is my son?“

„He went into town to meet with Luke.“ God, I wish I had some clothes on.

„And he just left you here alone?!“ I nod. She hates me. She's my possible future mother-in-law and she hates me. „Listen, I think it's best if you leave.“ Hello?! I'm in my fucking underwear.

„But...I...“ Use words. In complete sentences. „Tom wants me to wait for him. He doesn't want me to go out.“ Oh god, I sound like a little kid.

„I really have no idea what you intend to gain from this...“

„Gain?!“ Oops, did I just interrupt her?! „I'm sorry, but this is not about gaining an advantage or something. I know how this must look to you. But I love him.“

She snorts. „Oh, of course, you do.“ Okay, you really wanna doubt my feelings for him??? „Have you been paying any kind of attention to what happened in the last 12 hours?! Because if you did, you wouldn't be here.“ What?

„Of course, I know what happened. I was there when he got the news. I was there to hold his hand through the first shock. I was there to comfort him...“

„Oh yes. I'm sure you comforted him alright.“ She scans me as I stand there in my lingerie and his shirt. I self-consciously cross my arms in front of me to cover my breasts and anything she may or may not see through the white fabric of the shirt. „Do you really think it's appropriate to drag him into a one-night-stand after this?“ Did she really just go there?

„A one...okay, look...I know that you worry about him. And I know that you are only saying this to protect him. But I want that too. Tom and I...we love each other and...“

„You wish, my dear. You wish.“ What? Does she know something I don't?! „You are a little production assistant from Germany. And like most women, you are attracted to my son. I don't even blame you for that. So now you want your five minutes of fame. But can't you see that you won't get that?! That little blonde bitch is making sure that he will lose everything he's worked for.“ Calling TayTay a bitch...maybe we can be friends after all... „You are looking for fame and money and access to Hollywood. Well, go and find it somewhere else. But leave my son alone.“ You want war? You can have that!

„Okay...it would be very wrong to say that I wouldn't care if he lost everything because of this mess. I would. Because I know how much it means to him. Because he's worked so hard to be where he is right now. And because he's fucking brilliant at his job. But as for the fame and the money...I don't give a shit. I am not here because of that. I don't want my private life being dragged into the tabloids. I don't want the whole world wondering about my relationship. But I happen to be in a relationship with a man who lives part of his life in public. Usually, I'd walk away. But with Tom, I just can't. Because I love him. More than I will ever be able to describe. Because he makes me feel like no other man ever has before. Because when I look at him, I feel like I'm home. He is so loving and passionate and charming. And his mind...god, his brain has to be the sexiest thing about him.“ And that is saying something... „I could listen to him talk for hours. He has such a good heart. The way he keeps raising awareness for good causes, his work for UNICEF...he is just such a wonderful person. And the fact that he loves me will never seize to amaze me. But he does. And that means everything to me. Not his fame or his social status. I know that you only want to protect him. I do, trust me. But I am not walking away. Not now. Not ever. I. Love. Him. You probably don't want to hear this, but...he's the one. I look at him and I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I am done looking for anyone else.“ I take a deep breath. „And frankly...I know that you are his mother. And trust me, this is not the way I wanted to meet you. But if I'm honest, I don't give a rat's ass whether you approve of this relationship right now. I'm sorry, but I don't. I love him and he loves me. That is all that matters for now.“ I can't believe I just said all this. But I won't take anything back.

We just stare at each other for a moment, until the silence is broken by Tom's velvet voice.

„Well, if it isn't my two favourite women in the world.“ Fuck. How long has he been standing there?! He turns to his mother. „Mum, I think it's best if you go.“ What???

She looks at him with disappointment. „I came to check on you. Because except for one text last night, I haven't heard anything from you. I was worried.“

„And I appreciate that. But Kat and I...look, like I said...you should go.“

He turns around and walks over to me, pulling me into a passionate kiss. I feel awkward. Never thought I'd not enjoy kissing that man. When our lips part, I notice that she's no longer standing there. I wait for the sound of the front door closing, but I can't hear it. She's still here. She's waiting for him to go after her. I suddenly feel terrible for the way I treated her.

„Are you alright, darling?“ He runs his fingers through my hair.

I nod. „Tom...go talk to her. She's your mother.“ He shakes his head. „I think she might be the only person in this world who loves you as much as I do. If not more.“ Not sure that's possible, though...

„Kat, she should know how I feel about you. I told her. So this is just...“

„Did you ever think about the fact that this is a nightmare for her as well?! Her son is being accused by the media of being a rapist. Now, I'm not a mother, but it must be hell for her.“

„But...“

„No!“ Listen to your girlfriend, Hiddleston. „She knows what really went down with Taylor, remember? She knows the reason for all this. So it's only natural that she's being protective.“ He takes a deep breath. „So...you're going to go and talk to her, while I finish our lunch.“

„Okay.“ He kisses me gently and then walks out into the hallway. 

*****

About half an hour later, I hear the front door closing. Well, at least they talked. Good. Only a few seconds later, I feel two strong arms wrapping around my waist from behind. Tom plants little kisses on my neck.

„Well, I like coming home to you! It smells delicious.“

I turn around and kiss him. „Two more minutes, then it's ready.“

„Shall I set the table?“ I nod. This is the first time we're doing something normal together.

I put some pasta on our plates and carry them to the table. Tom has opened us a bottle of white wine. He gives me another kiss before we both sit down. He takes the first bite.

„Mmhh. Can I keep you?!“ You absolutely can.

I laugh. „Well, don't get used to it too much. I won't stay at home just to feed you 24/7. But I do like to cook. And I'd love to stick around for a while. So I'd say you're in luck.“

He takes my hand and looks deeply into my eyes. „Of course, I am.“ Whenever he looks at me like that, I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

„So how did things go at the agency?“

He sighs. „Let's not talk about that. Not yet anyway. Okay?“

„Sure.“ He stares at his plate. Wow, I can't even imagine how hard things must be for him.

We finish the rest of our meal in silence, even though it breaks my heart that he won't talk about things. Don't push him. Just...don't.

„So...“ He puts down his fork. „What are we going to do with the rest of the day?“

„Well, if I could choose, I'd lock ourselves in here for an entire week and have you read Shakespeare to me.“

He leans over to kiss me. „That sounds like a very good plan.“

I smile. „But I think I need a shower first.“ And some clothes.

„That could be arranged. By the way, I stopped by Ben's place on my way home and picked up some of your stuff. You only came with the clothes you wore last night. And I was hoping you'd like to stay with me for a couple of days.“ Make that forever. „I hope you don't mind?“

„So you don't like it when I wear your clothes, huh?!“ I smile at him.

„Woman, I wouldn't mind you walking around naked all day.“ He gives me a dirty look. Fuck, don't make me rip off your clothes. „So...shower?“

I kiss him. „Yes, please.“

„Why don't you go ahead?! I'm just going to get you some towels.“ He kisses me and then proceeds to put the plates in the dishwasher.

I go to the bathroom. Well, fuck me. I am totally moving in. The room is big and beautiful and just has a very warm atmosphere. And the biggest bathtub I've ever seen in my life. I take off Tom's shirt and start to roll down my stockings.

„There you go, darling.“ Tom is handing me two towels.

„Thanks.“ I take off my suspenders. „That is a very nice bathtub by the way.“

„You are more than welcome to take a bath. Anything you want.“ All I want is you.

And then I have an idea. I take off my panties so I stand in front of him naked. I walk over to him and slide my hands along his waist until they rest on his butt. Your ass is perfection, Mister. I kiss him deeply and then bring my mouth to his ear.

„Only if you join me“, I whisper.

 

Chapter Text

10 minutes later, we are sitting in the bathtub together. Tom is sitting behind me, I am rested between his legs. He has his arms wrapped around me and holds me tight. Bon Iver is playing in the background. I take a sip of the white wine we opened for lunch and then rest my head against his shoulder. This is perfect.

We just sit in silence, listening to the music and each other's breath. He runs his fingertips over my naked skin, sending shivers through my whole body.

„Tom, I want you to know that you can always talk to me. It's okay if you don't want to. But I'm here. I want to be part of your life. So you can always talk to me.“

He kisses my head. „Thank you, darling. That means the world to me. It's just...I can't. Everything that's happening just feels like a bad dream and...“ He stops.

I entangle my fingers with his and slightly squeeze his hand. „It's okay.“ I only wish I could help you get rid of the pain you're in. He pulls me even closer towards him.

After another few minutes of silence, Tom starts to run the fingers of his left hand through my hair. „Can I wash your hair?“ My insides freeze. What is it with men wanting to wash hair?! No one has ever washed my hair. At least no man ever has.

„Okay.“ I nod shyly. You should really consider thinking before you talk.

He pushes me a few inches away from him and takes the shower head to wet my hair. His long fingers gently run through it. Okay, this actually feels nice. He reaches for the shampoo and starts to slowly rub it in. He's very careful, trying not to hurt me. He slowly massages my head. Correction, this feels amazing. I close my eyes and throw my head back a little. Another moment of pure intimacy. Then he takes the shower head again and starts to rinse out the soap. Very slowly and gently, still making sure not to hurt me. After he's done, he pulls my head back a little more and plants a soft kiss on my forehead.

„There you go, darling.“

I lean back again. „Thank you.“

I reach back to run my fingernails over his scalp. He sighs and I can feel his body relaxing. That's it. He kisses my ear and then slowly lets his mouth wander down my neck. I let out a quiet moan. He cups one of my breasts. His other hand glides over my belly, down between my legs. Another moan escapes my mouth. He wraps his legs around mine and pulls them apart.

His index finger plays with my clit and I moan louder. I want to move, want to move my hips against him. But his other hand holds me in place, not giving me much room. Oh, this is torture. But it's oh so sweet.

His fingers move more quickly now and I know that I am not far from an orgasm. I can hear Tom breathing heavily against my ear. Yep, that does the trick. I make another attempt at moving my hips and this time he lets go of me and allows me to rotate my hips and increase the friction on my clit. My body starts shaking and I moan loudly as I'm hit by my climax. Thomas, you really have magic fingers.

He pulls me back against his naked body. As I lean against him, I can feel his hard cock pressing against my ass. Always standing ready to attention. I smile and moan. He grabs my head and turns it around, pressing a kiss on my lips. And then he looks at me as if he was asking for permission. Oh, you can put that cock inside me anytime you want. I simply nod.

„Hold on to the ledge“, he whispers in my ear.

I place my hands on the ledge of the bathtub. He grabs my hips and lifts me up a bit. I feel him repositioning his hips and then he guides me down, directly onto his cock. I gasp. Was it always this big? Fuck. His hands still grab my hips tightly and he starts to move them back and forth in a slow rhythm. He always stays deep inside me and I feel like my insides are about to explode. He is just so big. And I feel so full whenever he's inside me. Oh god. He guides my hips a bit faster now, his erection pushing into me even harder. We both moan. Tom slightly changes his position. His cock is now rubbing against my g-spot. Oh yes. I move my hips even faster and start screaming as I give into another orgasm.

Without taking the break that my body desperately asks for, I lift myself off of him and turn around. I kneel between his legs. Guess Loki would approve. I wrap both of my hands around his penis and start to slowly stroke it. He lets out a deep moan. I give him a dirty smile and pick up the rhythm.

Out of the blue, he pushes himself out of the water and sits down on the ledge, spreading his legs. I let go of his cock to just look at it for a moment. Everything about him is perfection. Seriously everything. And then I lean forward until my mouth closes around his shaft. He groans as my tongue begins to swirls around the tip. I can taste pre-cum leaking from it. Oh Tom, please come inside my mouth again. I quickly move my mouth up and down his length and use one hand to stroke it. His moans are getting louder. But before he loses control, he pulls my mouth against his for a bruising kiss.

„Turn around and get on your knees“, he growls at me.

„What?“ Are you really not gonna allow me to suck you off?!

„I said...kneel.“ Yes, Loki.

I do as I'm told and push my ass out. It only takes him a few seconds to thrust into me. We both moan as he starts to fuck me from behind. He is pounding in and out of me as his moans are getting louder. He's close. And so am I. I take one of his hands resting on my hips and guide it between my legs. Make me come. His fingers immediately start to fly over my clit. Fuck yes. I surrender to my third orgasm, my pussy clenching around his cock, as Tom comes deep inside me. He collapses on my back and just holds on to me. I am panting and use this moment to catch my breath. He's planting kisses all over my back and then finally breaks the silence.

„Kat, please don't ever leave me.“ His voice is cracking. Where the hell is that coming from?

„What are you talking about?“

He pulls out of me and lets himself fall back into the water. I turn around and once again kneel between his legs. Only this time, I don't grab his manhood, but one of his hands resting on the ledge.

„Tom, talk to me. Please. Why would I ever leave you?“

He has tears in his eyes. „I just...things could get messy. Really really messy. The press is already having a field trip with this story. Luke showed me some of the things that are being written about me...and your name gets mentioned more than once. You said last night that you didn't care, but I don't think you really know what you've gotten yourself into.“

„You're right. I don't. I think I don't have the faintest idea. And yes, it terrifies me. But you know what terrifies me more? Even thinking about walking away from you.“

„You say that now, but...“ God, he looks so broken.

„And I will say that in 4 weeks. Or six months. Or a year. I love you, Tom. I know that everyone will tell me to run. I mean, even your mother doubts me. But I don't care what everyone else thinks. They don't feel what I feel. They don't feel the million butterflies in my stomach whenever you look at me. And they don't feel the pain I feel when I see you struggling.“

„I am just so scared. Scared that one morning I'll wake up and you will be gone. Forever.“ Out of all the things you should be scared of at the moment?!

I lean forward and kiss him. „Not.“ Kiss. „Gonna.“ Kiss. „Happen.“

„Oh, Kat...“

He pulls me into his arms. I rest my head on his chest and my hand plays with his chest hair, his hands are gently caressing my back.

„By the way, how much does your mother hate me after today?“ I don't dare to look at him.

„She doesn't hate you.“

„Are you sure about that? I mean, what she said to me...and the way I treated her...god, this is just an absolute disaster.“

„I know. I heard what you said.“ Crap. So he actually was listening.

I push myself up a little to look into his eyes. „How much of it did you hear?“

„Pretty much all of if.“ Wonderful.

„Oh God!“ I bury my face in my hands.

„Hey, don't be ashamed.“ He forces me to look at him. „I don't think anyone's ever said something like that about me.“ Perhaps because no one's ever loved you the way I do.

„So you are okay with it?“ I mean, I did pretty much talk about marriage.

„I am more than okay with it. I feel honoured. Although I am freaking out a little.“ Well, here we go... „Kat, committing to a relationship has never been easy for me. If it wasn't you, I would have never taken someone with me last night. Not that early into a relationship. With you, it's different. I don't know why, but for some reason, I feel safe with you. You mean everything to me. But I don't think I'm ready to talk about forever just yet.“ I'd call you an idiot if you did.

„Then how about we talk about right now? Because right now feels pretty damn good.“

He kisses me softly. „Yes, it does.“

I smile at him. „Yes. And that is more than enough for me. Everything else...well, let's just take one day at a time.“

He slightly nods. „The water is getting cold. Now, you mentioned something about Shakespeare. Still care about that?“ Is the Pope Catholic?!

 

Chapter Text

Tom and I both wake to the sound of someone mercilessly ringing his door bell. After a few moments of collecting his thoughts, Tom crawls out of bed, puts on his boxers and heads for the door. I need a little bit longer to be able to get up.

Once again, I feel sore. Once again, I'm afraid my pudding legs will let me down. Once again, Tom and I had spent the night having sex for hours. Well, actually not just the night. To be honest, we rarely do anything else. It's been almost two weeks since the bomb dropped. There was still no official statement from Taylor, and Tom had opted not to react as well. Every attempt of reaching her had failed. So we had spent the last two weeks trying to stay off the radar. The press was still all over the story, so we basically spent all day inside.

The first few days, I was more than happy with shagging Tom around the clock. We had christened pretty much every surface in his house. Even his garden was a location for one of our steaming encounters. Pretty sure the neighbours appreciated it. Every time I had tried to start a conversation, Tom had pulled away and distracted me with screaming orgasms. Kinda strange to be complaining about that. But over the last couple of days, I more and more got the feeling that he wasn't even interested in getting to know me.

I shake my head. You better go and check who was at the door. So I put on some yoga pants and a shirt and make my way to the living room.

I find Tom and the visitor sitting in the kitchen. It's Luke. Tom appears to be reading something on Luke's phone. Call me pessimistic, but these days, I doubt it's something good.

Luke briefly smiles at me when he sees me. „Good morning, Kat.“ He hands me a coffee cup. „Here, I brought you a coffee as well.“

„Thanks. Is everything alright?“

„Well...“ Luke doesn't finish the sentence.

I look back and forth between him and Tom who seems to be done reading. But they both say nothing. Okay, this silence is freaking me out.

„Look, guys, if you don't want to discuss this in front of me, then just say so. Just don't give me the silent treatment.“

Luke looks at Tom, but he doesn't answer. Instead, he stares at his coffe. What the hell is going on?! Luke turns back to me.

„I think you should stay.“ Tom looks at him with big eyes. „Tom, she will find out sooner or later. And since I have the feeling that she won't be going anywhere...“ Damn right I won't. „...it's best if she knows everything.“ You mean there's more than the crap that's already going on?! „You better sit down for this, Kat.“ Oh god.

I sit down next to Tom as Luke hands me his phone. I take a deep breath and then begin to read the words on the screen.

 

     „Yes, Tom hurt me!“ - Taylor Swift opens up about rape video

     It has been almost two weeks since we got an unwanted insight into the former relationship between American singer Taylor Swift
     and her former beau, the British actor Tom Hiddleston. A brief video clip from an anonymous source shows very rough sex between
     the two celebs. Until now, we have only been able to guess about what really went down. But last night, Swift broke her silence and
     released an official statement:

        „These times aren't easy for me. The events pictured in that video are something I never wanted the public to
        know about. I don't know where it's coming from. I didn't even know it existed. Many of my fans have been
        worried about me over the past weeks. I am aware that everyone wants to know what really happened. So let
        me just tell you this: yes, Tom hurt me that night! And yes, it's the reason why I ended my relationship with
        him.“

     The rape indeed explains the sudden breakup of the otherwise so perfect couple. It remains unclear, whether the pop star has officially
     reported her abuser. Tom Hiddleston still hasn't officially commented on the accusations.

 

I hand Luke back his phone, unable to comprehend the article I just read. I look over to Tom, but he is still staring at his cup. When I place my hand on his, he shrugs with surprise. God, he looks so broken. Please, Tom, say something. But he doesn't. So I turn to Luke.

„What does this mean? Is there an official complaint?“ My voice is shaking.

„I'm afraid so“, he replies.

Tom looks at him in shock. I squeeze his hand, trying to somehow calm him down, but I don't even know if he notices it.

„But she's lying! She's the one who leaked the video“, I practically scream.

Luke is annoyingly calm. „I know. All three of us do. But the rest of the world doesn't. And there's no way to prove it. It will be his word against hers. And when it comes to sexual assault, it's rarely the man whose story the public believes.“

„Do you think I am facing a prison sentence?“, Tom breaks his silence.

„What?! That would be insane!“ I can't believe I'm hearing this!

„I am not a lawyer“, Luke replies. „But if we don't find a way to get the entire video, then I'm afraid it's not looking very good.“

„Speaking of it...have you informed my lawyers?“, Tom asks calmly. How can you be so fucking calm right now?!

Luke nods. „Yes, I called them right before I came here. They'll be waiting for you at the police station.“

„Police station?“ I am positively lost and unable to think.

„I take it they want to question me?!“, Tom says without looking at me. Luke simply nods once. Tom empties his coffee before getting up from the table. I am forced to let go of his hand and I can feel that it's physically hurting me. „Well, then I better get dressed.“ Tom heads for the door.

„Me too“, I say as I stand up.

Tom shoots around to look at me. Finally! „No! You are not coming with me. That's out of the question.“

I look him right in the eyes. „Yes, I am.“

With that, I simply walk past him towards his bedroom and I can hear that he follows me. I expect him to lecture me, but instead the simply gets dressed. Without saying a word.

He heads out of the room while I'm still trying to tame my hair. When I join Tom and Luke a few minutes later, I can hear them talking in the living room.

„I don't want her to go!“, Tom says angrily.

I know that I should let them know that I'm standing behind them. But it seems he's refusing to talk to you once more. So just listen what he has to say about you.

„Tom, you can't stop her“, Luke answers.

„I don't want her involved in all this mess.“ He still worries.

„She already is.“ Luke raises an eyebrow at Tom. „She made her choice the minute she left the after show party with you. I warned her. She didn't want to listen. Now she's in this. And to be honest, from a PR point of view, this is the best thing that could happen to you. You may not be aware of this, but I've done some research on her.“ You what??? „If you read through her tweets, there are a few hints that she has been a victim of sexual assault herself.“ You bloody bastard. „It's only a matter of time until people will find that out as well. And having a rape victim by your side clears your reputation a whole lot. Most people won't believe that someone who went through that would willingly date a rapist. It's perfect.“ Are you really going to use my personal history for your purpose?! „So I think it's a great idea. And whatever you do, Tom...don't screw things up with her. At least not at the moment.“

I am waiting for Tom to set Luke straight. But he doesn't. So I swallow the tears in my eyes and take a deep breath.

„Well, boys, are you ready to go?“

 

Chapter Text

We return from the police questioning about three hours later. Tom is still giving me the silent treatment, but I know better than to pressure him. Although it's killing me to see him like that.

We had made it to the police station without anyone noticing. But during our time there, someone had tipped off the paps and we had a whole crowd waiting for us when we left. Despite me still being confused about what Luke had said earlier, I never let go of Tom's hand of a second. And he didn't let go of mine.

Tom starts to unlock the door, but pauses.

„Tom, what's wrong?“

„It's not locked.“

„What?? Should we call the police?“

„No“, Tom replies calmly. „I doubt they're responsible in this case.“ What the hell is he talking about?!

Tom opens the door and ushers me into the living room, where I almost have a heart attack. Tom freezes next to me for a moment and then turns to me.

„Kat, meet my family.“ Well, at least I'm dressed this time.

Tom's parents and both of his sisters are sitting in the living room. I am instantly nervous. He introduces me to all of them and they greet me very friendly. I am in no condition to play the perfect daughter-in-law today. So I politely excuse myself, telling everyone that I have to give a shoutout to my own family.

I make my way to the garden, get comfortable in the sun and light a cigarette. While I can feel myself relaxing, I am trying to collect my thoughts.

None of this should even be happening. I can't believe that he might go to jail. He's innocent. She's the bad one here. And I am caught in the middle of it all. But it's Tom, so it's worth it. Well...is it really, though?! After that conversation this morning...am I really just part of a publicity plan? And why doesn't he wanna talk to me?

My thoughts are interrupted by Tom's older sister Sarah, who storms out in the garden. She's talking on the phone and seems pretty upset.

„What do you mean? How can you have lost it? … Absolutely unbelievable! … Hang on...what? … You can't be serious! … Oh, and how am I going to explain this to my daughter?! … Oh right...you know what? Fuck you!“ She hangs up the phone and takes a deep breath. „Assholes.“

„Is everything okay?“

She jumps a little. „Oh god! I'm sorry. I had no idea you were here.“

„Please, don't apologise. Are you alright? You seemed a little upset just now...“

She walks over to me and lets herself fall into one of the chairs. „Can I have one?“, she asks, pointing at my cigarettes. I nod. After lighting the cigarette, she leans back in the chair. „This is a shitty day.“

I laugh. „Tell me about it.“

„Are you alright? With everything that's going on, I mean. You look positively shaken.“ How could I be alright?!

I don't dare to look at her for some reason. „Well, let's just say I'm hanging in there.“

„You must like my brother a lot if you are willing to stay with him through all this.“

„I love him“, I reply, now looking her directly in the eye. She simply nods. She understands. She won't question my feelings for him. „So, what's the matter? Why are you so pissed?“

„You mean except for the obvious?!“ We both laugh. „Well, it's my daughter's birthday tomorrow. We've been planning a little party with her friends and the whole family.“ The whole family. Tom has never mentioned it... „She's been staying with a friend for the past days, so I had all the time in the world to decorate and prepare everything. And then a pipe burst last night. Now we have a minor flood in mum's house. It's a nightmare. And as if that wasn't bad enough, the bakery just told me that they had misplaced the cake order. They've found it again, but now it's too late to have it done until tomorrow. So I have about 24 hours to find another location, plan the party and assemble a cake.“ She looks at me and shakes her head. „I'm sorry.“ Wow, that seems to be a gene that the whole family inherited. „Compared to what you're dealing with, it's nothing. But to her it's the end of the world.“

„I understand.“ And then, without even having to think about it, an idea forms in my head. I smile at her.

„What?“ Sarah looks at me with suspicion.

„Do you think you can convince Tom to let you hold the party here?“

„And why would I want to do that?“ She's still positively lost.

„Because I can take care of your cake situation. And get everything ready for the party.“

„You're kidding?“

I shake my head. „Nope. There's still enough time. I can get started on the cake right after a little bit of shopping. I can set up the decoration tonight and finish the cake tomorrow. No big deal. Unless you need a cake that is supposed to serve a hundred people.“

„No, it's just us and some of her friends. Maybe 15 people altogether?!“

„Like I said...not a big deal.“

She raises an eyebrow. „You really think you can pull that off?“

„Yes. I've done things like that before.“

„Okay, but why would you want to do it?“, Sarah asks me.

„Because you're his sister. She's his niece. You mean the world to him. Which makes you equally important to me.“ I light another cigarette. „Besides, I am grateful for any kind of distraction right now.“

„I thought the current mess would be enough to deal with. Are you really sure?“

„Sarah, if I have to spend one more day sitting in this house, planning out worst case scenarios all day long, I am going to lose my mind. I am grateful for anything that breaks me out of that circle. So...do you think he would agree to it?“

„Tom loves her. I doubt that there's anything he wouldn't do for her.“ After a little pause, she smiles at me. „Thank you, Kat!“

 

Chapter Text

The next day, I am standing in Tom's kitchen, piecing together the last fondant figures for the birthday cake. I can hear the girls laughing and joking in the living room and I can't help but smile with them. For the first time in over 24 hours. Everything had worked out perfectly. Tom's house had been transformed into the perfect teddie bear princess themed party location ever. And the cake was almost ready. Maybe I really should've been a professional party planner.

Sarah enters the kitchen, a glass of champagne in her hand. She casually leans against the kitchen counter as she watches my movements.

„Again, thank you so much! This is amazing.“

I blush. „Oh please, you're more than welcome. I'm just glad she had the happy day she wanted.“

„I think she did. And even Tom seems to be enjoying himself.“

Can't argue with that. I had watched him earlier as he chased the kids around. And it made my heart ache a little bit. Because I was wondering if he and I would ever have that together. A family. But before I can get lost in my thoughts, Sarah picks up the conversation again.

„So now that you've pulled this off, you're officially a part of the Hiddleston family. And Emma and I want you to know that we'll be extremely mad at you, if you two don't get married“, she jokes.

I laugh briefly. „I doubt that's ever going to happen...“

„But why?! He's crazy about you!“ Sarah has put down her empty champagne glass.

„I'm not so sure about that anymore.“ I begin to place the complete figures on the cake.

„Okay, now I'm lost.“ I can feel her staring at me. „Kat, look at me!“ I sigh and turn to face her. „What's going on? Because from the way I see it, you two have a great connection.“

„Yes, in the bedroom.“ I cross my arms in front of my chest.

„And that's a bad thing because...?!“

I shake my head. „It's not a bad thing. At all. He can make me feel things I never knew were possible. And I would never object to multiple screaming orgasms every day...“

„Yes, thank you for that particular visual in my head“, Sarah interrupts me. „Moving on please!“ Opps, I forgot for a moment that she is his sister.

„Sorry! It's just...I feel like the only connection we have is in the bedroom. Or when he reads to me. But other than that...we never talk. Never. I've met his entire family, but he doesn't know a thing about mine. And he never asks. He doesn't seem to care.“

I can hear Sarah sigh. „I had no idea he was doing it with you too. So sorry to hear that!“

„That he's doing what with me?“, I ask confused.

Sarah opens the fridge and pulls out another bottle of chamapgne. She pours two glasses and then walks over to the table, signalling me to join her. I do as I'm told and we both sit down on opposite sides.

„Kat, Tom and relationships has always been a very complicated matter. It doesn't need a therapist to figure out that our parents' divorce has caused some severe trauma in him. He has serious commitment issues. And...“

„But so do I! My parents are divorced as well. I admit that I was younger than he was, but my whole relationship with my father has me twisted in so many ways.“ I can't believe I am telling her all this. But for some reason, I feel very comfortable talking to Sarah. And I am glad to finally have someone to talk to.

„Does he know that?“, she asks, tilting her head.

„Um...no. Like I said, we never talk about stuff like that.“

She sips on her champagne. „Well, then maybe you should.“ You don't say?!

„Yes, I know that.“ I am starting to become slightly annoyed by her lecture. I know that we need to talk. I'm not the one refusing conversation. „But how can I talk to him when he pulls away time I try to break the ice?!“

„I wish I knew“, Sarah sighs. „But the way I see it, you only have two options here. You either accept his behaviour and embrace the – and I can't believe I'm saying this – multiple orgasms, or you find a way to actually get through to him and make him talk.“ If only I knew how... I focus on my champagne because I don't really know what to say. „Actually, now that I think about it, there is a third option.“ Is it better than the two others?!

I look at her through my lashes. „And which one would that be?“

„You can walk away from him before you get hurt any more.“ No, it's worse than the others. I can feel my eyes starting to fill with tears by the mere thought of leaving him. Sarah reaches out for my hand. „Kat, I can't tell you what to do here. But I want you to know that my brother has a habit of destroying his relationships like that. He did it with Susannah, he did it with Kat Dennings...“ And I thought they were only hooking up... „...he did it with Jessica...“ As in Jessica Chastain?! They were dating??? „...and he did it with Elizabeth.“ Ah, so that's why they didn't work out. „And now it seems like he's doing the exact same thing with you. The question is: are you stronger than the others?“

Right now I don't feel like I am. My mind drifts off to Tom's conversation with Luke yesterday. And even though it seems a bit foolish to me, I know that I have to ask her. „Sarah, do you think that he loves me?“

She looks at me with questioning eyes. „I think as far as he's capable of love, yes. I really think he does. Why are you asking? Do you have reason to believe that he doesn't?“ How many do you want to hear?

Without being able to control it, tears start running down my cheeks. „It's just...I overheard a conversation between him and Luke yesterday. And the way Luke talked about us, about our relationship...he made it sound like business. He said that Tom better don't screw things up between us because he still needs me for his image.“

„Sounds like one of Mr Windsor's infamous PR speeches.“ Sarah rolls her eyes and sips on her champagne.

„I was waiting for Tom to correct him.“ Tears are still flowing from my eyes. „I was waiting for him to tell Luke that he was wrong and that our relationship was real. But he didn't.“ I am sobbing now.

„Oh Kat...“ Sarah squeezes my hand gently. „You really love him, don't you?!“ I look at her through watery eyes and simply nod. „I wish I could tell you anything to make you feel better. But the truth is that I have no idea what's going on in his head or his heart. And chances are that you won't find out either. So all you can do is determine for yourself how much you are willing to put up with.“

I can't think straight anymore. Was everything really a lie? Is he really just pretending? Is he even capable of love? And does he love me? Or am I just his fuck of the month?

„Do you need a moment to yourself?“, Sarah asks me.

„No.“ I shake myself a little and wipe the tears from my face. „What I need to do is hand the cake over to the birthday girl.“ Congratulations! Pushing your feelings aside once again. How much more often are you willing to do that when it comes to him, huh?!

I get up, place the last fondant figure on the cake and then carefully pick it up. I walk past her towards the living room.

„Kat, you can't run from this forever.“

I stop for a brief moment. I know that. But I can try. So I elect to ignore her remark and simply continue my way to the living room where I am greeted with many open mouths and sparkly eyes full of joy.

 

Chapter Text

I once again find myself in Tom's kitchen. Like the perfect little house wife. Sarah and the kids had left a while ago and Tom was just ushering out the rest of the family. The party was a total success and everyone seemed to have a great time. Diana still acted like I was satan trying to corrupt her son. But both Sarah and Emma were an absolute delight and we got along really well.

Just as I'm closing the dishwasher, I can feel two arms wrapping around my waist from behind me.

„We finally have the place to ourselves again.“ Tom runs his hands over my stomach and hips and plants a kiss on my neck.

I try to ignore his advances and just continue clearing the kitchen. „Do you think the girls had a good time?“ Well, it's kinda obvious that they did. But let's see if it's possible to even engage in some small talk with him.

„I think they did. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves“, he says as he's nuzzling on my neck. How the hell am I supposed to concentrate when you're doing that?!

Suddenly, he whirls me around and immediately presses his mouth against mine. I instinctively put my arms around his neck and pull him even closer. I open my mouth to welcome his tongue. My fingernails run over his scalp and he lets out a deep moan. Fuck, that will always do things to me. He runs his hands over my body and I can feel my pussy already getting slightly wet. Oh no, this can't happen. Not again.

Without a warning, Tom lifts me up and I find myself sitting on the kitchen counter. His mouth is now buried in my neck and I can feel his erection pressing against my centre as he rubs his groin against me. Oh god. I'm slightly shocked by how quickly my body responds to his, but I can't help but moan. This feels too good to stop.

I wrap my legs around him and pull him even closer against me. We both moan loudly and I am already in desperate need of release. Tom's big hands cup my breasts. Then he begins to unbutton my blouse. He doesn't even open it all the way, but quickly moves on to freeing one of my tits from my bra and takes it into his mouth. He lets his tongue dance over the nipple and the tingling between my legs becomes almost unbearable.

I close my eyes and throw my head back. When I open them again, my view falls onto the two empty champagne glasses on the kitchen table. And immediately, my mind is back to the conversation with Sarah a few hours earlier. It's happening again. He's distracting you with sex.

I feel Tom kissing his way down my stomach. A few seconds later, he pushes up my skirt and begins to kiss the insides of my thigh. This is wrong. You should not be doing this. Nothing about his touch or his kisses feels arousing anymore. It actually feels uncomfortable.

„Tom, wait.“ I slightly push him away from me. „We can't do this.“

He's back on his feet and looks into my eyes. „Whyever not?! Is something wrong?“

I slide down from the kitchen counter and close my blouse. „Did you ever notice that all we do is have sex?“

„Well, it never seemed to bother you“, he says completely astonished. „I always thought you enjoyed it.“

I blush and turn towards him. „I did. Every single second. But that's not the point.“

„Then what is?“ I can tell that he's not happy with the situation. Of course he isn't. The man has a throbbing hard cock in his pants. He's probably not even able to think straight.

„We never talk.“ I stare into his questioning eyes.

„What?! Of course we do. We talk all the time.“ Must have happened in my absense.

„No, we don't. I mean...yes, we talk about the weather and what we want to eat for dinner. But that's just small talk. I'm talking about actual conversations here.“

„About what?“ Are you serious, Hiddleston???

„I...pfff...I don't know. About us. And I don't just mean us as a couple, but also about us as individuals. About our past and our dreams, our fears even. All I know about you is what I've picked up from something you said accidentally or what your Wikipedia entry reveals.“ Yes, hello, I'm an internet stalker. „But I don't actually KNOW anything about you. And you know nothing about me. Because we just don't talk.“

He takes a deep breath and runs his fingers through his hair. Stop touching yourself, I'm trying to concentrate here.

„So basically, what you want are conversations about the best and worst moments of our lives?!“ Are you mocking me??

„Amongst other things, yes.“ I am still staring at him.

„Oh, you have got to be kidding me“, he says and rolls his eyes at me.

„No, I'm not, actually.“ The tone in my voice has switched from desperate to angry.

He briefly paces through the kitchen and then turns again to face me. „What is wrong with our relationship as it is?“ Because it's not a relationship. It's daily fucking and public handholding.

„Well, if all you're looking for is someone to polish your image, then I'm sure it's enough.“ Not sure that I actually meant to say that. But what the hell...

Tom looks at me, totally confused. „Okay, I think you lost me here.“

„I overheard your conversation with Luke yesterday. Really enlightening, to be honest. Because here I was, thinking that you and I actually had something real.“

„It is real. I love you, for god's sake!“, Tom yells at me. I so want to believe him.

„Okay, fine. Maybe you do. But if this is your definition of love, then it's not good enough for me.“ I am trying to calm myself and not lose focus.

„Then what is it that you want, Kat?“ He still sounds pissed.

„Like I said...I want us to talk. To get to know each other better every single day. I want to know all about you. About your past, about your family, about the deepest and darkest secrets you have...“

„I don't do that!“, he says with emphasis. „Look...this right here, what we had during the past two weeks, this is what I can offer. This is what you can get. But nothing more.“ Is he serious?!

I take a deep breath. „Tom, you can't expect me to stand by your side through this mess, have my name dragged all over the tabloids and then refuse to meet me halfway here.“

„I never expected anything from you.“ His usually warm voice is cold as ice. „I never asked you to stay. I told you to go from the very first minute, only you didn't want to listen. Maybe you will now and get the hell out of here.“ He can't...this...no...

„You cannot be serious!“ I feel my eyes filling with tears.

„It's best if you go. For both of our sake.“ He looks right into my eyes and I notice that the usual expression of love in his gaze is gone. Please no!

„Tom, please don't do this. We can get through this. Just...talk to me.“ I am taking a step towards him but he moves even further away from me.

„Has it ever occured to you that maybe I don't want to get through this?! I can find a hot pussy whenever I want to. So really, Kat, I don't need you.“

I am entirely lost and even find it hard to breathe. He can't mean it. He just can't. This can't be happening. „Tom, please...“

„It's over, Kat. We've had our fun, but now it's over. Just accept it. It's the best for both of us. So just...just go...“

His words resonate in my head. I still can't wrap my mind about what's happening, but the complete lack of emotions from his part tells me that he is dead serious. He wants me gone. I slowly turn around and walk over to the counter to grab my phone. I secretly hope that he will stop me from going any further. But he doesn't. So I grab my mobile and make my way to the front door without looking back once.

A cool breeze brushes over my face as I step out into the London night. I stand on the sidewalk, completely lost. What do I do now? Where do I go? And then I know. So I turn around and start walking towards the one place where I know I'm always welcome.

The night is chilly and I shiver from the cold. My feet hurt from walking around in high heels all afternoon. But I don't care. I don't even pay attention to the tears that are silently streaming down my cheeks. With every step moving further from Tom's house, I can feel my heart break a little bit more. Everything hurts and even breathing is a challenge. My thoughts are all over the place. I try to sort them and make sense of what just happened. But it's impossible. Nothing about this makes sense. I guess Sarah was right, though.

Without even knowing how I got here, I find my self standing outside Ben's house. I ring the bell on the front door and wipe the tears from my face. A few moments later, Ben opens the door and I smile at him.

„Kat, what a surprise!“

„Hi! I...um...“ I am only able to contain my feelings for a split second. The smile on my face vanishes and I break out into tears.

Without saying a word, Ben steps closer and pulls me into his arms. The feeling of a loving embrace makes things even worse. Every cell of my body hurts.

„Shhh!! It's okay. Everything is going to be alright.“ Ben presses me even closer against his chest and gently cradles my head.

I wrap my arms around him and allow myself to weep shamelessly. Ben silently drags me into the house with him and closes the door behind us.

 

Chapter Text

I am laying in bed. The ringing church bell outside tells me that it's already noon. I know that I need to get up. Instead, I hit the replay button on my phone for nth time and the song that has been the soundtrack to my life for the past three weeks starts playing once again. Gone by Lianne la Havas. I know that this qualifies as self-torture. God, could these lyrics be any more accurate?!

 

          When I waited for you there was no show
          Made myself believe the untrue
          How could I not know
          I bet it seemed easier just to lie
          But I found you out
          This is my last goodbye
          I heard enough fairy tales back in my youth
          So just stop biting your nails and take the painful truth
          You just look ridiculous in disguise
          Yes I found you out
          This is my last goodbye

 

I had left London two days after my fight with Tom. Every attempt at reaching him had failed so I decided that it was time to go back home. I really thought he meant it. I really thought we had a chance. But I guess it's all been a lie. I keep having the same thoughts over and over again. I can't remember how often I had tried to understand Tom and his reaction. I had failed every single time.

 

          'Cause it used to be my life and soul
          Keeping everything in tune
          What the heck man?
          Last time I checked man
          We had it all
          It was just me and you
          So what happened to you
          Thought I knew you
          No more chances
          I'm gone, gone, gone

 

How could I have been so wrong?! How could I not have noticed that he was lying to me? Despite all the drama around us, we had been happy. We had been in love.

 

          Love is not blind, it's just deaf and it is dumb
          So how could I fool myself thinking you were the one

 

Maybe I was just in love with an idea of him. With the idea of a man that I had admired for years without even knowing him. Maybe the Tom I loved didn't actually exist. Maybe it was all just in my head. Because I so desperately wanted to believe it.

 

          How sad, how undignified
          Now I found you out
          This is my last goodbye
          'Cause it used to be my life and soul
          Keeping everything in tune
          What the heck man?
          Last time I checked man
          We had it all
          It was just me and you
          So what happened to you
          Thought I knew you
          No more chances
          I'm gone, gone, gone

 

I had deleted Tom's number on my flight home. Because I knew that I had to be done with him. Emotionally, it would take me a very long while to actually get over him. But I needed to rob myself of the opportunity of calling or texting him. Three days of silence are enough. He had his chance. He could've come after you. But he didn't. So it's time to let go.

 

          Don't wait for me
          I'll be gone
          'Cause when I waited for you
          There was no show
          Made myself believe the untrue
          How could I not know

 

It's just like Sarah said...he's incapable of retaining a relationship. And if I was honest to myself, the things she had told me didn't come as a total surprise. It was something that I had often suspected. Then what the hell made you think that you could change him?!

 

          'Cause it used to be my life and soul
          Keeping everything in tune
          What the heck man?
          Last time I checked man
          We had it all
          It was just me and you
          So what happened to you
          Thought I knew you
          No more chances
          I'm gone and gone and gone and gone

 

I kept telling everyone I knew that I was over him. That it was a fling and nothing more. That I was better off without him. Liar! The thruth was that I still missed him. Every single second of every single day. I miss his smile. I miss the sound of his voice. I miss the feeling of his gentle hand caressing my naked skin. I miss his heavenly smell. I miss how he always called me darling. I miss him.

The song is over. A tear drops from my lashes onto my cheek. I press the replay button, turn around and cry into my pillow.

 

Chapter Text

Later in the afternoon, I sit in one of the cafés with Gaby, one of my closest friends and wife of Jo, the stage manager at the theatre. I didn't really feel like leaving the bed, but spending time with Gaby has always been good for my mood.

I sip on my Chai Latte. We had spent the past hour talking about her job and her kids and the stupidity of humanity. I was glad that she hadn't asked me any personal questions. But I know that I won't be able to escape her forever.

„But enough about me. I feel like you are the one who could actually use someone to talk to“, she turns to me. Well, here we go. Time to deliver a performance once again.

„Oh please, don't worry about me. It was just a fling, nothing serious. We had a few weeks of fun and then decided that we had enough for the time being.“ I smile at her but I know that it looks fake as hell.

She raises an eyebrow at me. „Have you progressed to only crying before going to bed or does it still hit you during the day?“ Crap, she really does know me too well.

I stare into my cup. „I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about it.“

„I respect that. But really, Kat, what the hell happened? I mean, I understand that he's a handsome man but I thought you were above these things.“ Above a gorgeous, intelligent man with charm, a velvet voice and the ability to recite Shakespeare from the top of his head?! Oh yeah, can't think of a reason why that should get to me. „And that you allowed him to use you for his image...“

„He never used me“, I interrupt her. If only I was actually convinced of that. „How do you even know what happened? I thought you stay away from celebrity gossip.“

„I do. But not when one of my friends is involved. Besides, the whole town was talking about it.“

„Is talking about it.“ I roll my eyes. „I know that everyone is talking. But I don't give a shit. I have the whole world wondering what happened between Tom and me, so a few more people don't make any difference. Not even when they're right in front of my face.“

„So what did happen between you and him?“, Gaby asks in her usual, calm voice.

I sigh. „I allowed myself to fall for a man who is incapable of having a relationship.“ Let's leave it there. Because really, the whole story is far too complicated.

„And what about the accusations against him?“ Of course that had to come up...

„He didn't do it.“ And that, I actually am convinced of.

„Kat...“ Gaby shakes her head at me.

„I know what you're thinking. But he didn't do it. I know that. I know the real story behind that video. And I know that nothing being said about him at the moment is actually true.“

„So you still trust him?“, she asks. Do I?!

„Yes and no. I still trust him enough to know that he would never pressure a woman into anything. But as for his supposed feelings for me...no, I don't think I trust him anymore when it comes to that.“

The waitress interrupts our conversation. „Anything else I can get you girls?“

I look at Gaby. „I don't know about you, but I need some ice cream.“ 

*****

An hour later, I'm on my way home. As I walk around the corner, I see a man sitting on the steps to my house. Oh no. You have got to be kidding me. I approach the house and as soon as he notices me, he gets up and walks towards me smiling.

„Ben, what the hell are you doing here??“

He pulls me into a hug and kisses my cheek. „Hello Kat. Nice to see you too.“

„Yeah yeah yeah...enough with the pleasantry. What are you doing here? Your daughter was born only 5 days ago. So you should be with your family, not with me.“

„We need to talk.“ His voice is sharp and serious. Oh, I know exactly where you are going with this, sir. And I don't like it.

„Forget it“, I reply. I walk past him to open my mailbox. „There's nothing to talk about. He made his choice and he was very clear about it. Tom and I are over. End of story.“

„He's miserable, Kat.“ Stop telling me things like that.

„Oh, is that supposed to make me feel sorry for him?! Do you think I'm a ray of sunshine these days? He broke up with me, remember?“ I am actually more aggressive towards Ben than I intended to be. But how dare he take Tom's side in this?!

„I remember. I was the one who called an ambulance because of the worrying state you were in. I was the one who held your hand for the entire night. I remember. But I also know that Tom regrets his decision. He has from the minute you walked out of his house.“ Oh please...

„Fine, then he can come and tell me that himself.“ My inner queen demands it.

„Only he can't“, Ben sighs.

I roll my eyes. „No, of course not. Because he's to much of a coward to face me after this.“

„Because he is being charged with sexual assault and is no longer allowed to leave the country.“

My stomach drops. „W-what? Please tell me you're just making a very sick joke!“

Ben shakes his head. „I'm afraid I'm not. The police investigation is ongoing and he and his lawyers are waiting to hear about a possible date for a trial.“ Oh god...

„How is he holding up?“, I ask, feeling a lump form in my throat. Stop caring, you stupid bitch.

„He's not. Oh Kat, I really worry about him. He's completely destroyed. He's empty. He has lost all hope. You see...he no longer leaves the house unless he's expected at the police. He gets drunk every night. He receives daily death threats. Mainly from Taylor's fans.“ Oh shit! „Ray-Ban fired him from his contract. He has lost two movies because of this. Ken had to put Much Ado on hold because the actress supposed to play Beatrice refused to work with him.“ Okay, things really are bad. „And yesterday Prosper informed him that they are no longer willing to represent him.“

„He got fired by his agency??“

Ben nods. „Apparently Luke did everything to avoid it. But the decision final.“

„No wonder he's destroyed.“ I know that it's probably wrong, but I can't help but worry about him as well.

Ben looks at me curiously. „Kat, that's not the reason why he's destroyed.“ It's not?! „Yes, this whole thing is hard on him. But he doesn't even seem to care. It doesn't matter to him.“ Has he lost his mind?!?! „You are the reason for his pain. Or rather the way he treated you. He realised that you were the one good thing in his life.“

I sigh. „But then why isn't he reaching out to me? He has my number. He could call.“

„Because he has convinced himself that he has ruined your life and that you're better off without him.“ Damn you, Thomas!

„What do you want me to do, Ben?! We're over.“

„Kat, I can tell from the many many drunk texts I've received from you, all claiming that you're finally over him, that you are still hurting as much as the night you showed up at my door. You love him. I know that you are heartbroken because of what happened. And so is he. Two people I care about are in pain. But if they were to simply talk to each other, I am pretty sure they could work through their issues.“ Stop trying to be poetic, Cumberbatch. Cut to the chase.

„I ask you again...what do you want me to do?“

„I want you to go upstairs, pack a bag and then come to London with me. There's a car waiting around the corner that will take us to the airport where a private plane is waiting for us.“ Have you lost it?!

„No, I absolutely...hang on...did you say private plane?!“

„Yes, I did.“

„Don't tell me you bought a plane!“

Ben chuckles. „No, I didnt. Look, it doesn't matter whose plane it is. Fact is that you two need to talk and work through your issues. It's also a fact that Tom can't leave Britain, even if he wanted to. So there is really only one way to deal with this. And since you're still not working...“ Oh yes, thanks for reminding me of that.

„I understand you. And I really appreciate your efforts at saving us. But I can't. If I come with you, I will only get my hopes up. But chances are that, in the end, I will end up even more hurt.“ And I can't risk that. Because I'm not sure how much more I can take without actually breaking down.

Without saying a word, Ben pulls his phone out of his pocket. What is he doing now? After a few swipes, he hands it over to me. The screen is showing a text message. From Tom. Shit.

„Ben, I don't think you should be showing me this.“ Because it's breaking his trust.

„Read it“, he commands me. So I look back on the screen.

 

     Tom: I know. You are right. But until now, I never really understood what you meant when you described your feelings when you met Sophie.
              Now I do. And I now know that letting Kat go was the biggest mistake of my life.

 

I read the text over and over. I want to believe this. So so much.

„Chances are that there is still a chance for you and him.“ Ben smiles at me.

I swallow and take a deep breath. „Give me 15 minutes to pack.“ Chances are that I will regret this. But if there's even the slightest chance of us getting back together, then I am more than willing to fight for it. Because I love him.

 

Chapter Text

I sit in Ben's kitchen and look down at the little bundle in my arms. Catherine Carlton Cumberbatch. I turn to Sophie who is sitting next to me.

„She is so precious. And so beautiful.“

„No matter how hard you try, you don't get to keep her“, Sophie laughs.

Bens puts down a plate filled with scrambles eggs and toast in front of me. „Here, make sure to eat something. It's been a long trip last night.“

Yes, it had been. After Ben had told me about Tom's current state, I had hastily packed a suitcase. Less than half an hour later, we were on our war to the airport. After being stuck in traffic jam for almost three hours, we had finally boarded the plane and arrived at Ben's place shortly before midnight.

I sip on my orange juice and think about the real reason why I had come back to London. Tom. Was it really a good idea to come? Did he even want me here?! I look back down at Catherine and smile. Everything in the world just makes a lot more sense when you look at a baby.

„I don't see you eating“, Ben says as he sits down with us. Stop acting like you're the boss of me!

I grab my fork and attend to my breakfast. Okay, getting food into my stomach feels good. It's been three days since my last meal. If you don't count the ice cream yesterday afternoon.

Suddenly, the door bell is ringing. Christopher looks up from his breakfast and jumps from his chair, running for the door. Ben chases after him.

„Wait for me, young man!“

Sophie and I both laugh. „Can you describe how happy you are right now?“, I ask her.

„Not really.“ A huge smile appears on her face. „It's just...it's all I ever dreamed of. And more.“ I wonder if my dream will come true one day...

Catherine has woken up, so I decide to focus my attention on her, trying to get her to smile. Who the hell cares that it's way to early for that, right?!

„Still having breakfast?! Show me what you're having, champ“, a voice cuts through the air as someone enters the kitchen.

My stomach drops. Tom. I look up at him, unable to say something. He notices me and remains standing in the doorway, holding Christopher on his arms. Oh damn it, Tom with a child again. Why is the universe doing this to me?! We both stare at each other.

Ben looks back and forth between us before he breaks the silence. „Whatever you two do, please don't drop our children.“ Sophie chuckles quietly, but Tom and I can't. We still look deeply into each other's eyes.

He clears his throat. „Hi Kat! I...um...I didn't know you were back in London.“

Tom's velvet voice. I can't even think straight. „I got here last night.“

„Any particular reason why you're back?“ I feel like there's a slight flicker of hope in his eyes. Yes. You, you big idiot!

„Well, I...um...“

„Okay, this is getting unbearable to encounter. Ben, please put them out of their misery?!“, Sophie says, rolling her eyes. What is she even talking about?

„Alright. Now...“ Ben lifts Christopher out of Tom's arms. „You, young man, go and finish your breakfast.“ He turns to Tom. „I take it you brought the suitcase I asked you to bring?“

„Yes“, Tom replies. „But I still don't understand...“

„Excellent“, Ben interrupts him. „Kat, I'm pretty sure you haven't unpacked from last night yet?“ I shake my head. Ben, you're speaking in riddles. Stop it. „Very good. Now, you two listen very carefully... Kat, you will get your suitcase from upstairs and then you will both get into the car that is waiting for you outside. Because you are both going on a little trip.“

„What??“, Tom and I ask in unison.

„Ben, if this is supposed to be a joke, it's not funny. You know I can't leave the country.“

„And you won't have to. The car isn't taking you to the airport. It's taking you to a place where you can talk.“ You are absolutely crazy.

„And what good is that going to do?“, Tom snaps at Ben. Oh well, here we go...

Ben rolls his eyes. „I take it you remember what you told me the other day. And Kat, I take it you remember what you told me last night.“ We both look at each other briefly and then nod. What has he told him, I wonder. „And since I'm the one person whom you both reveal your feelings to, I know that you still feel the same way about each other. Not that that's a secret to anyone, but you two seem to be forgetting it all the time. Which is why you need to talk. You need to communicate. You just need to be with each other. So get in the fucking car!“ 

*****

15 minutes later, Tom and I are sitting in the back of a small limousine. I cannot believe Ben actually did all this! We both don't dare to look at each other and the silence is becoming too much for me. As if Tom senses my discomfort, he is the first to say something.

„I am very happy to see you again. I hope you have been alright? Given the circumstances...“

„Well...as well as one can expect after...“ ...you broke my heart...

„I understand.“ He nervously looks at his hands.

„Ben told me about the accusations and the trial that's awaiting you at some point. Tom, I am so so sorry. About everything, really. I can't even imagine what you're going through. I just wish there was something I could do to make things better.“

In something that seems like a habit, Tom reaches over and grabs my hand. „You already are.“

A shy smile appears on his face. How can his touch affect me so much? I'm suddenly feeling all warm and fuzzy again. We remain in that position for quite a while and simply look into each other's eyes. He looks terrible. Still gorgeous as fuck, but miserable. Tired. Done. Eventually, the intimacy becomes too much for me and I pull away from him.

„So...are we going to take a look at that?“ I point at the envelope that Ben handed me on our way out. Tom nods. I open it carefully. „Seems to be an instruction to this trip. Here, let me read it to you.“ Because if you read it, I won't be able to concentrate on a fucking word. So I turn towards Tom and being to read.

 

     My dearest friends,

     I hope you will forgive me for this stunt at some point in the future. But I couldn't bear to watch the two of you suffering
     any longer. I know that you are still madly in love with each other. Now you just need to remember that fact. Which is why
     I am sending you on this little trip.

     I have taken the liberty of renting out a little seaside cottage for the two of you. It can be your little getaway for an entire
     week. Should you feel the need to get out earlier (don't you dare!), please let me know and I will send a car around to pick
     you up. The fridge has been filled to keep you comfortable for a few days. Please do not worry, it is a 2-bedroom-cottage.
     So you do have a chance to stay away from each other.

     Just take those few days to really focus on yourselves. Do what you should've done a long time ago...talk! Because it is the
     only thing that can save you now. So please listen to the advice of a man who already has what you two so desperately want
     with each other: a happy relationship, a marriage and two beautiful children. (Don't argue, I know it's what you both want.)

     As you have a 5-hour car ride to Northumberland ahead of you, you might as well start with the talking right now. In the
     envelope you will find a set of questions. Don't wonder too much, just ask away.

     Now, enjoy your time in Cresswell. Happy talking!

     Love,

     Ben

 

Wow, he really has lost his mind. I turn towards Tom and try to read the expression in his eyes. Are you freaking out as much as I am? I'm waiting for him to say something, but he simply reaches over and takes the envelope out of my hand. He pulls out two more sheets of paper. Probably the questions Ben talked about. Tom lets his eyes fly over them and raises an eyebrow. What? That bad? What is this even about? He turns to me.

„Are you up for this?“, he asks with a doubting voice.

„I...I think I am. Is it bad?“

He shakes his head. „It's not. And I'm game if you are.“ Game?! Is this what this is to you? A game? But I still nod. It's not like we have anything to lose. „Alright...then here we go...36 questions on the way to love.“

 

Chapter Text

36 questions on the way to love?! Hang on, I have read that somewhere before. I am trying to remember what this was all about, but I fail miserably. And Tom's soft voice brings me back to the present.

„Question 1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?“ Jesus, so much for starting off easy. „Want me to go first?“, he asks. I nod. Because I really need another moment to think here. „I would want to have dinner with Shakespeare. For...obvious reasons.“ Yeah, tell me something I don't know, Hiddleston.

„I would like to have dinner with my half-sister. She's my father's daughter from his first marriage. He refuses to talk about her, but I really want to meet her.“

„Wow“, Tom says, obviously surprised by my honesty. „You have a sister and you've never actually met her?“

I shake my head. „No. If it wasn't for my mother, who told me a few years ago, I would've never known. But everytime I go to visit him, he tells me that it's none of my business. I just...“

„I'm sorry“, Tom interrups me. „Visit him?“ Ah, already getting to something else you don't know about me.

„Yes, my parents are divorced. Have been for almost 25 years now.“ Just like yours.

Tom looks at me for a moment and returns to the questions. „Question 2: Would you like to be famous? In what way?“

Now it's my turn to start. „Um...well, I don't want fame in a way where everyone recognises my face on the street. But I'd love to have a certain reputation as a writer. Not because of the money or anything. But it's something I love doing and it would be kind of amazing if I could earn a living with it and if people associated my name with certain wonderful stories.“ I look at Tom. How are you going to answer that one???

„Right now, in this moment, I wish I wasn't famous at all.“ I can sense the heartbreak in his sentence. And I know better than to make any kind of remark in this moment. „Question 3: Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?“ Tom laughs. Oh, how I've missed that laugh of yours. „I don't think I've ever done that, no.“

„Really?! I do it all the time.“

„But why?“

„I don't know. I am just nervous about certain things. And rehearsing a conversation in advance makes me feel a lot better. Not that they ever play out the way I've planned them.“ We both laugh and look at each other for a moment. That's it. We're comfortable with each other again. I think we just broke the ice.

„Question 4: What would constitute a perfect day for you?“ A day that starts with your smile.

I think for a second before I answer. „A perfect day is one where I don't have to work. Where I can sleep in as long as I want to. And when I wake up, there's sunshine. And someone who has already made me breakfast. And then I get to spend the day doing whatever the hell I want. Reading, writing, watching movies, going for a walk, cooking...anything. And in the evening, there's rain. Because then it's even more fun to cuddle up with a blanket and light candles and drink hot chocolate. How about you?“

„For me it's not so much about doing certain things. The longest workday could still be a perfect one. Because for me, it is all about being happy. So if at the end of the day, I can say that I was happy through most of it and if I don't have any regrets about the things I've done, then I do consider that a perfect day.“ The eternal positive thinker. I smile at him. „Question 5: When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?“ He runs his hand through his hair. „I think the last time I've sang to someone else was during the promo for I Saw The Light. And to myself...I can't really remember. I think I do it a lot, but never consciously. It just happens.“

„The last time I sang to someone else was probably at a karaoke party. Because, other than you, I cannot sing, so I rarely do it in public. But I do sing to myself every morning in the shower.“ I blush.

Tom laughs. „Yes, I do remember that.“ He goes quiet for a moment as if he's trying to remember something. „Question 6: If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?“

Well, that's a no-brainer. „The body. Because for one, I'd always want to at least somehow attractive. And I wouldn't want to be able witness how my body slowly falls apart while my mind stays sharp.“

He takes a deep breath. „I'd want the mind. Because your mind is so much more important than your body. It's what truly defines you and what makes you beautiful.“ Can you just stop saying such perfect things?! „Question 7: Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?“ Once again, he laughs. „I do every time I'm swimming in the ocean. Because I always think a giant shark will attack me.“

I join in on his laugh. „Yes, I've read that once. And I don't get it. The thought doesn't scare me at all, to be honest. And a hunch...not really, no. But I'd like to die in the ocean. That would be great. It would kinda mean that I'm going home.“

Tom looks at me with interest. „The ocean, huh?! Seems like that's a real love story between the two of you...“

„The greatest love story ever told.“ Except for you and me. Hopefully.

„Question 8: Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.“ Oh god...

„Pff...I'd say...we both love chocolate. We both love theatre. And we're both nervous right now.“

„Okay, let me think if I can come up with something other than that.“ He thinks for a moment. „We both can quote Shakespeare from the top of our head. Ben as our best friend. And...“ He pauses and looks right into my eyes. „...we both have divorced parents.“ I can't help but smile at the fact that he knows about that similarity now. „Okay...next one...question 9: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?“ He takes a deep breath. „I think for me, it's mostly related to my career. I am so grateful that I got to work with so many wonderful artists so early in my life. It's something that not many people get to have. You?“

„My depression.“

„WHAT???“ Tom looks at me with disbelief. Oh, right...you didn't even know I struggled with that.

I laugh. „I know, it seems crazy. But I was diagnosed at the age of 23. And I spent months and months in therapy. And during that time, I discovered who I actually am. I learned so much about me. And it is such a gift. Because not many people get to experience that in their life.“ I look at Tom who looks at me with an open mouth.

„Wow! That's an incredible way of looking at things. Are you okay now?“ Do I detect a slight tone of worry, Mr Hiddleston?

„Yes, I am. There are good days and bad days. And I'll always have to be careful. But generally, I am okay.“

„I am so glad to hear that.“ He smiles at me. „Question 10: If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?“ Jesus!

„Well, I don't actually think I'd change anything“, I reply. „Because everything about my childhood has made me into the person I am today. And despite the urgent wish to strangle myself for stupidity every now and then, I very much like that person.“

Tom smiles briefly before answering himself. „I would want my parents to stay together.“

And for the first time since the beginning of our little questionaire, I am silenced by his honesty. I can tell that just the memory of his parents' divorce is a painful one. I feel the need to touch him, to console him. But I don't dare to make a move.

He clears his throat before asking the next question. „Question 11: Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible. Oh god...“

„Good thing it's your turn to start“, I tease him.

So he moves into a more comfortable position, pulls out his phone to set a timer and then begins to talk. I am completely captured by his words. This is the first time he is actually opening up to me. Ben, you're a genius.

After four minutes, we switch and I start to talk about myself. Harder than I expected. Once the time is up, we move on to the next questions. We talk about friendship and dreams and whether we'd like to know what the future holds. There's lots of laughter and teasing involved. Kinda like the old times.

When we reach the part about talking about our families, I almost expect him to pull away. But he doesn't. He answers every single question, no matter how painfully honest the answer. Could there really still be a chance for us?

„Ready for question 28?“, Tom asks. I nod. „Tell your partner what you like about them.“ And it's my turn to start. Oh great...

I can feel myself blushing before I even answer. „I like how you always try to see the good in people. It's very rare these days. And I like that you always see things from other people's perspectives. You don't just judge them. You put yourself in their shoes.“ I take a deep breath. „I love your smile. Because it always brightens my day. And I like the way you make me feel. The way I feel when you look at me. Because you see me. You don't just look at me. You see the kind of person that I am. And it makes me feel...like...I'm home.“ I can't believe I just said that.

Tom looks at me with slightly watery eyes. He swallows the lump in his throat. „I...I like your passion. For everything you do. If you do something, you're all in. That's so amazing. I like the fact that you stood up to me when nobody else had the nerves to do so.“ Guess he's referring to those unfortunate Taylor Swift times. „I love the fact that you can cook. I love your eyes. They're so warm and full of love.“ Shut up or I'm gonna cry. „And I actually like the fact that you're singing in the shower every morning.“

We both laugh before staring deep into each other's eyes for a moment. I feel like I'm drowning again. Suddenly, the silence is interrupted my my stomach growling. We both look at the time and can't believe that we've been talking for hours now. But we have and it's lunch time already.

After a quick debate, we agree that we're both in the mood for burgers and fries. So we tell the driver to stop at a McDonald's in Leeds and head back to the road to continue our trip. The health nerd Tom Hiddleston is eating fast food. Never thought I'd see the day.

We are totally back to being comfortable with each other. And after our lunch break, we continue Ben's task of asking each other questions. Actually, this might just be the greatest idea this man ever had. The next set of questions focuses on embarrassment, regrets and death. Again, time flies and soon, we reach the last question.

„Okay, last one...Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it.“ Tom looks at me, corious about how I might answer this one.

„I am a 27-year-old woman without an actual degree from university and without a job. And I have absolutely no fucking idea what to do.“ My actual problem is a slightly different one. But I didn't dare to go there.

Tom smiles at me. „Oh Kat...you don't need a piece of paper to tell you that you're good. Because you are. And there are many people who know that. Seriously, there are so many people in the industry who know you by now and who'd be delighted to work with you. So really, I don't think you'll have trouble finding a job at all. If you move to London. Because that's where you belong. That's where you can be creative and fully use your talents. And besides...“ He pauses and I look at him with curiosity. „...I'd love to have you a bit closer to me.“

His piercing blue eyes look at me and I don't know what to say. Oh god, this is killing me. But before I can reply, the car stops and the driver informs us that we've reached our destination. So Tom and I both get out of the car.

We are standing outside a beautiful, little stone cottage with white windows and a light blue wooden door. I can smell the sea and hear the sound of waves crashing.

 

Chapter Text

I unlock the door to what's going to be our place for the next few days and I immediately feel at home. I need to buy this place. This is perfect. We leave our suitcases by the door and walk into what appears to be the living room. A dark brown leather couch and two big armchairs are gathered around the TV and the wood burning stove. The floors are made of wood and there are wooden baulks on the ceiling. Oh god, I love the atmosphere of this place. A vase with yellow tulips is standing on the sideboard. In the windowstill, I notice a large sculpture of a sperm whale. I walk over to take a closer look. Oh Ben, you really did select that place for me. I look outside and see a patio in the middle of a small and for early May already very green garden. I can't help but smile.

I notice that Tom is no longer in the room with me and make my way to the next room. The kitchen. Tom is standing in front of the fridge, peaking inside. I walk over to him.

„So, did Ben tell the thruth? Are we good on food?“

Tom nods. „Milk, eggs, cheese, bacon, lots of fruits and vegetables, bread, a few steaks. There's pasta in that cupboard over there, as well as swiss chocolate. And there's lots and lots of wine. Red and white.“

He was totally right. And then a thought crosses my mind and I chuckle. Tom looks at me with surprise.

„What is it?“, he asks.

„Nothing. Really. Don't worry.“ There is no way in hell I'm gonna tell you.

„Kat...we came here to talk, remember. So you don't get to keep things from me.“ Damn.

I blush, just thinking about what I'm going to say. „Well, it's just...Ben sent us here to talk. And there are two situations in which I would tell anyone anything...in the afterglow of an orgasm and after three glasses of wine. So I guess I'll be doing a lot of talking this next week.“ And you get to figure out what exactly I'm hinting here.

Tom looks at me with a sinister smile, but he doesn't say anything. I take another look around the kitchen.

„Okay, I am totally moving in here!“ I fucking love this place.

There's a large white kitchenfront with a huge countertop. Cooking in here must be amazing. The wood burning stove as well as the wooden dining table make the room incredibly warm and comfy. The glazed atrium roof light lets the room overflow with sunlight. And then I take a look out the large window. The sea.

I open the door to the paved terrace and step outside. I can smell the scent of sea in the air and close my eyes for a moment to drink it in. My eyes still closed, I feel the presence of a warm body close to mine. Tom. He doesn't touch me, but I know that he's there. There is no way I'm gonna be able to stay away from that man for an entire week.

I take a look around. Right next to the wooden bench facing the sea, are steps leading to a lower level. Leading to the beach. I wrap my jacket around me to protect myself from the wind. Then I grab Tom's hand and look into his eyes.

„Come on!“, I encourage him.

And with that, I drag him with me as I head down the stairs. He's not resisting in any way and soon, we're both running down the steps until we stand on the sandy beach. He still hasn't let go of my hand.

The beach is long and empty, the wind causes a rather troubled sea. Oh, fuck this. I can no longer fight it and my inner child takes over. I let go of Tom's hand and run towards the water. A few meters before the shoreline, I stop to take off my shoes and roll my jeans up to my knees. And then, I run into the water. I'm home.

It's still freezing cold, but I don't care. I turn around to Tom who is slowly walking towards me. „Come and join me“, I shout over the waves.

He shakes his head. „Kat, you're crazy. The water must be cold.“

I shrug my shoulders as I start to slowly walk backwards. „Who cares?! But it's wonderful. It's...“

I don't get to finish the sentence. I have stepped into a small hole and lose my balance. Without being able to stop it from happening, I fall into the water. Motherfucker, is that cold! Two hands are grabbing me and pulling me up. I take a deep breath, swipe the hair out of my face and look into Tom's worried eyes.

„Darling, are you alright?“ Darling. There it is again. Oh, how I missed this.

„Who knew it would be that easy to get you into the water too.“ I wink at him and we both burst out into laughter.

Tom pulls me onto my feet and holds me close to his body as he looks deep into my eyes. There's a moment of silence between us and I know that I am close to losing control and just kissing him. Let's try to difuse the tension.

I smile at him. „You know, you are still far too dry for my taste.“ With that, I tear myself away from him and let my arm splash into the water, covering him in sea water.

He shots me angry look. „Oh, you better run away, lady!“

A few moments later, we are chasing each other through the cold sea. We splash one another continuously until we're both completely soaked. Why does this remind me of our little game of catch at the playground last year?! Suddenly, Tom pulls me into his arms. His skin is ice cold and his lips are already turning blue.

„Baby, you're freezing.“ I trace his lower lip with my thumb and he briefly closes his eyes. „Let's get inside and dry up.“

A few minutes later, we are exploring the upper floor of our cottage. We had already found the two bathrooms. One downstairs, one on the same level as the bedrooms. Both still dripping wet, we open the door to the first room. Two seperate beds, wooden baulks, pitched roof area and a large window overlooking the sea. This place really is the cutest. The second bedroom is pretty much identical, only there's a large king size bed. Perfect for the two of us.

Tom clears his throat. „Well, I'm going let you have this one. And I'll just settle down next door.“ No! Dammit, Thomas, I want you with me.

I am desperately trying to come up with something that would make him stay. And then I have an idea. „Tom, you never told me your answer to the last question of our little questionaire. You know, the one about a personal problem and my advice on how to solve it.“

There's a long silence, before he answers me, still facing the door. „I have met the love of my life. But I was in idiot and hurt her. And now I'm afraid I can never repair the damage I've caused.“ Fuck. Not sure what I was expecting. But not this.

„I...um...what happened?“ My voice is shaking.

Tom turns around to face me. Oh god. „I got scared. Scared of my own feelings for her. It never really made sense to me why a beautiful and amazing woman like her would fall in love with me. So I was constantly afraid of losing her.“ Stop, or I'm gonna start crying. „But instead of telling her, I acted like an ass and broke her heart. And now I don't know if I can ever get her back.“

„D-do you want to?“ I can barely stand to look at him.

„More than anything in the world.“ Tom's voice is confident. He is telling the truth. „I love her with all my heart. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I would do anything to win back her trust. My life is empty without her in it. Every day I'm not with her is killing me.“ Tears are rolling down my cheeks. „But I don't know what to do. I am lost.“

„I think...um...“ I wipe the tears from my face. „...I think telling her all that is a really good start.“

Tom lets out a sigh and closes his eyes for a moment. „Oh Kat...“ He takes two steps towards me and sweeps me into his arms.

 

Chapter Text

Finally. Tom and I stand in our close embrace, unable to move. His hand is slowly running up and down my back, while my fingers are tangled in his wet hair.

„Oh Kat, I've missed you so much.“ He lets go of me and cups my face. „Do you think you can ever forgive me for the way I treated you?“ Oh, you beautiful idiot!

„Do you really believe I would be here if I couldn't?!“ I smile at him. „Tom, you're the reason why I came to London. Because I missed you. Because every single day without you was a nightmare. Because...“

Tom silences me with a kiss. Involuntarily, I let out a moan and pull him even closer against me. I am whole again. Tom's mouth devours mine. He kisses me like his life depends on it. And don't you ever stop. He breaks the kiss eventually and gently caresses my cheek with his thumb. He looks at me with loving eyes and I can feel myself getting weak in the knees. In a moment of self-confidence, I move away from him and pull my shirt over my head. Tom runs his eyes over my body, but he doesn't move. I throw my wet shirt on the floor and walk back towards him. I push his jacket off his shoulders and let it drop to the floor. He's still standing completely still. Oh, I will make you move. My hands grab his dark blue shirt and I pull it up over his head. Without resistance, he raises his arms. His wet shirt joins mine on the wooden floor. I slip my hands around his waist and place soft kisses on his firm chest. His smell is intoxicating, and at the same time, I can taste the salt water on his skin. Let me trace every inch of that man's body with my mouth. A low moan escapes his lips.

„Kat...um...do you really think we should be doing this?“ Yes!

I look up to him through my lashes. „Why shouldn't we?“

„Because you said yourself that we have to make this relationship about more than just sex. We came here to talk. If we get lost in the lust now, then...“

I press my finger against his lips to prevent him from finishing the sentence. „Do you remember what I told you earlier in the kitchen? About the two situations in which I'm most likely to talk about anything?“ I smirk at him.

„You mean...“ His eyes widen.

„Just imagine how willing I am going to be if you hand me a glass of wine after making me come.“ Without waiting for his reaction, I bury my face in his neck.

But he pulls me off of him. „Are you sure you want this? I don't want to hurt you again.“

I silently move away from him again and strip down to my panties. His eyes are fixed on me, but he doesn't say anything. I reach for his hand and guide it between my legs. Never breaking eye contact with him, I press his fingers against my drenched panties. He lets out a hiss because he knows the wetness doesn't come from the sea water. That's how much I want this.

„You're sure?“, he asks once again. His fingers are still resting between my legs, but he doesn't move.

I look right into his eyes. „Tom, I love you. And you love me. I know that there is no guarantee that we will work. But we'll never know unless we try. You have opened up to me in the past few hours. More than you ever have before. You're trying. And I'm starting to get to know the real you.“ I place one hand on his chest. „And everything you say, everything you do just causes me to fall in love with you even more. There is no way you could hurt me right now. Unless you refuse to sleep with...“

I moan out loud instead of finishing my sentence. Tom has slipped his hand into my panties and his fingers skillfully play with my clit. Oh god, yes! I throw my head back and my fingernails dig into his flesh. He moves closer to me and begins to plant soft kisses on my neck. Tom's magic fingers glide over my little pearl and I can already feel my climax rushing towards me. How is my body always so ready for him? My breathing increases and Tom brings his lips right next to my ear.

„Do it. Let me hear you moan, babygirl“, he says in a low, hushed voice.

His words are enough to make my lose control. My body begins to shake and I scream as I am hit with my orgasm. My knees give out on me. Tom carefully puts me down on the bed where I lie still, trying to catch my breath. He slowly pulls down my drenched panties. My eyes are closed, but I can hear him unbuckling his belt. A few moments later, he crawls next to me in bed, now completely naked. My eyes flicker open for a moment and I can see that his cock is already standing to attention. Tom lies down on his back next to me.

„Come here“, he says gently.

I slowly crawl towards him and swing one of my legs across him. I am straddling his hips and try to prepare myself for the feeling of his cock inside me. I am so ready for you. But Tom shakes his head. He grabs my hips and guides them towards his head. I let it all happen and so I find myself now straddling his face as he rests his head on the pillows.

I feel him breathing against my sex and it sends shivers through my entire body. My juices are dripping down on his face and I blush. And then, finally, he runs his tongue over my wet slit. I moan out loud and hold on to the headboard. Fuck, that man knows how to eat pussy. Tom alternates between letting his tongue fly over my clit and pushing it into me. I buck my hips and ride his face. The friction of his tongue against my nub just feels heavenly. Oh Thomas, every single cell of my body is yours.

I open my eyes and look back over my shoulder. Tom has one hand firmly wrapped around his cock and strokes it gently. I can see the tip glistening with pre-cum. Oh fuck, that visual is too much for me to handle. As Tom keeps sucking on my clit, I come apart for the second time. An intense orgasm rushes through my body. I scream loudly while riding out my climax on his tongue. I am holding on to the headboard for dear life and become dead for a moment. I don't even realise that Tom has stopped licking me. But suddenly I can feel the hot tip of his cock pressing against the entrance of my pussy. He is kneeling behind me and wraps his arms around my body.

I can hear him panting against my ear and I know that restraining himself from just sinking into me takes a lot of strength from his part. Please, do bury yourself inside me. He stays completely still behind me and the anticipation is driving me insane. So I finally move my hips down a little, allowing his cock to completely slide inside me. I let out a little cry as he stretches my pussy. Fuck! Without hesitation, Tom begins to slide himself in and out of me in a quick rhythm. My pussy is still quivering from my previous orgasms, causing it to already squeeze his cock.

„Oh fuck“, he moans. „I had forgotten how tight you are. Oh...oh Kat, I need to come.“

He reaches around and places two fingers on my clit. I moan loudly as he begins to rub it in slow circles. I can feel another orgasm building inside me. The first little spasms rush through my body.

„Please, Kat, come with me“, Tom begs.

We both scream out loud as we find our release together. His arms still wrapped around me, Tom pulls us both down onto the mattress. His cock is still buried inside me and I can feel it pulsing in my quivering pussy.

He silently holds me in his arms, allowing us both to catch our breath. When he finally pulls out of me, I let out a small cry of desperation. Why can't your cock just live inside me forever?! He rolls onto his back, his hands never leaving my body. I slowly turn around and rest my head on his chest. His heart is racing. I slide my hand over his abs and despite the heated sex we just had, his skin is still ice cold.

„Baby, you're still freezing“, I say without looking at him.

He pulls me a bit closer. „You're not“, he chuckles.

I plant a soft kiss on his chest and then lift myself up on my forearms. „No, I'm not. All thanks to you.“ I blush and smile at him.

He runs his hand through my hair. „Do you have any idea how much I missed that breathtaking smile of yours?“

I don't answer. I simply press my lips against his. In this moment, time stands still. And I realise something. No matter how many times this man is going to break my heart...I will always come running back. Because in moments like this, I am the happiest person in the world.

Tom breaks the kiss and looks into my eyes. „I'm going to warm myself up with some hot tea and a visit to the bathtub downstairs. Care to join me?“

 

Chapter Text

I sip on my Earl Grey, my head resting against Tom's chest. We are both sitting in the bathtub. I'm positioned between his legs, my opper body pressed against his. He's holding his cup of tea in one hand, the other is tracing little circles on my stomach. I can hear his heartbeat and feel his chest rising every time he takes a breath. Pure intimacy.

„Tom?“

„Mhh...“, he moans against my temple.

„Thank you for today.“

„I think Ben is the one we have to thank for that“, he says in a low, almost sleepy voice.

„I know. And I will. But I meant...thank you for being you today. I know that it can't have been easy.“

There's a little moment of silence before he answers. „It was, though.“

I can feel little butterflies inside me and place my hand on his resting on my stomach, entangling my fingers with his. I take another sip of my tea and then close my eyes. Can life please just stay like that forever?!

„Thank you for giving me another chance.“ Tom places a soft kiss on my temple. Better don't make me regret it.

I sit up a little and turn around to face him. „I can't imagine my life without you anymore. Somehow, you have managed to get under my skin. And now there's no way of escaping you.“

„Do you want to? Escape me, I mean...“ I can hear the worried tone in his voice.

I run my hand through his hair, gently caressing his scalp with my nails and then lean in for a tender kiss. „Would I be here if I wanted to? I'm here to stay, Hiddleston. Whether you like it or not.“

He plants another kiss on my lips and then pulls me against his chest again. „Good.“

We return to our comfortable silence. We simply lie there, gently caressing each other's bodies. I don't know how long we remain like that, before Tom breaks me out of my almost dream-like state.

„Kat, can I ask you something?“

„Always“, I reply, my eyes still closed.

„When Luke mentioned that you had been the victim of sexual assault, I didn't want to believe him.“ My eyes fly open. „But then I read through your tweets.“ Good to know it's not just me stalking you but the other way around as well. „And there actually are several things that indicate that you...“ He doesn't finish his sentence and I can sense his discomfort.

„It's true. I was raped when I was 16.“

„16?!“ Even without looking at him, I can feel that he's shocked. His whole body is tense. „What happened?“ I guess now is as good a time as any to come clean about that one.

I take a deep breath. „I was on my way home from a friend's house. I was running a bit late so I decided to take the shortcut through the park. It was already getting dark, but I didn't even realise it. And then all of a sudden, he was there. He must have waited for me. Well, not me, but someone. A victim.“ Tom wraps his arms even closer around me as if he was trying to protect me from what I'm about to tell him. „It all happened so fast. He pulled me into the bushes and then...“ My voice cracks.

„Oh darling, I'm so sorry.“ He protectively kisses my forehead and just silently holds me for a moment. „Please tell me that bastard got what he deserved?!“

I clear my throat. „He did. I never reported him, but I wasn't the only one he did that to. There were 6 other women who were his victims. So yeah, he spent quite a while in jail.“

„I can't even imagine what you must have been going through.“

„It was one of the hardest times of my life. And when you're 16 and know nothing about the practical side of sex, it becomes even more difficult. I had nothing to compare it with. So for a long time, sex always equalled rape to me.“

Tom's body tenses even more. „That must make the current situation even harder on you than I've ever realised.“

„What do you mean?“

„The accusations made against me. How can you even be with me when the whole world believes that I'm a rapist?!“ His voice sounds sad.

„Because I love you.“ I squeeze his hand. „And I know that you didn't do it. It's as simple as that. Tom, I trust you completely. I wouldn't be here with you if I didn't.“

He sighs. „I know. It's just...I hope I've never done something to make you feel uncomfortable.“ Why on earth would you think that?!

I slightly turn around and look at him. „You never did. And I don't want you to even think about it. Look...it took me a while to get over what happened. But over time, I realised that sex can be something wonderful and amazing. And I've been with many men since then.“ Great, make yourself sound like a slut. Always a good idea. „I enjoy sex. Especially with you.“ I plant a kiss on his chest. „I mean...you know my body better than I do. You know what it responds to. You know what to do and where to touch me. So really...“ I kiss him. „...I don't want you to worry. And should anything ever cross a line, then I will tell you. I promise.“

He pulls me in for a deep kiss. When he breaks it, he looks right into my eyes. His pupils are so dilated, his eyes are almost black. There's lust written all over his face. Oh god, don't look at me like that. He puts down his cup and then takes mine out of my hand.

„Where do you want me to touch you, Kat?“, he asks in a low, seducing voice. Oh fuck. I take his hand and place it on my breast. His thumb immediately brushes over my nipple and I let out a moan. „Lean back, babygirl, and let me make you feel good“, Tom whispers in my ear.

I let myself fall back onto his chest and close my eyes. He is now caressing both of my breasts with his hands, his long fingers playing with my stiffening nipples. The sensation is traveling right between my legs and I feel my pussy getting wet. I involuntarily open my legs as far as the bathtub allows it.

„Do you like that, babygirl?“ I simply nod and moan. „Is that all you want or do you want more?“ He pinches one of my nipples and I whimper. „Tell me, darling.“

„I...oh...touch me. Please.“ Why does he always have me begging within minutes?

„Touch you where?“ All that comes out of my mouth is another whimper.

One of Tom's hands leaves my breast and glides over my stomach down between my legs. Yes. He lets two fingers slide over my wet slit and then slowly circles them over my clit. Fuck. I moan out loud and slightly rock my hips to increase the friction.

„I love it when you need to come.“ Tom's voice is still right next to my ear, only adding to my arousal. „From now on, I will be the only one who takes care of that pussy.“ I feel an orgasm building up inside me. „Only I will get to touch it, to lick it, to fuck it.“ Oh god, I'm close. „This is my pussy now. And I will do everything to give it the treatment it deserves.“

His fingers abandon my clit and push into me. I can no longer fight it and give into my orgasm. My pussy quivers and tightens around his fingers. I scream loudly as I come apart by his magic touch once again. I lie on his chest, still shaking and panting. Tom pulls his fingers out of me and wraps me tightly into his arms.

„Shh...It's okay, darling. Relax. Rest. You're safe with me. Nobody will ever hurt you again.“ He kisses my forehead. „I'll always protect you.“

I close my eyes. I've never felt safer in my entire life. Tom gently cradles my head and holds me close to his body. And after a few deep breaths, I can feel myself drifting off.

 

Chapter Text

I put down the two teacups on the kitchen counter. I had actually fallen asleep in the bathtub. Tom had woken me up a few minutes ago and ordered me to bed. Never been happier to oblige to anything. I take a quick look at my phone that has been sitting on the kitchen table ever since we got here.

Several missed calls from my mother. Crap. I quickly text her that I'm on vacation and that there's no need to worry. Like that's gonna happen. And then I decide to send out another text. I enter Ben's number and simply put two words: Thank you. You saved my relationship and I'll always be grateful for that.

I rush up the stairs to our bedroom. Tom is already in bed. He's laying on his back and has one arm behind his head. His lower body is covered by the blanket. How do I deserve this god?! He notices me and a huge smile appears on his face. I crawl into bed with him. He turns around and now we're both lying on our sides, about half a meter apart from each other, and look deeply into each other's eyes. God, I could get lost in his gaze. Suddenly, Tom chuckles.

„What is it?“, I ask.

He blushes. „Nothing. I was just wondering if, one day, we'll take our kids on vacation here and tell them that this is where it all began. Where we knew that we were meant for each other.“ Okay...rewind...our kids?! Did he really just say that? Did Mr I-have-commitment-issues actually just speak of having a family with me?

„Are we? Meant for each other?“ Sorry for the tease.

He raises an eyebrow at me. „Do you disagree? Because I know that you're the one for me.“ Don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing that.

I smile at him. „So do I.“ He takes a deep breath, reaches out for my hand and kisses it gently. „Although...“ A worried look appears on his face. „...I have known that before we got here. I think I have for a while now.“

He nods. „So have I. I was just too stupid to realise it.“ We go back to looking at one another, our fingers entangled. „We're still going to take our kids on vacation here, right?“, Tom breaks the silence. Is he actually serious?!

„Well...should we ever have children, why not.“ Yes, let's play casual here.

„Do you not want to?“, he curiously asks.

I roll my eyes. „Have you met me?! Of course I want kids.“ We both laugh. „The question is: do you?“

He nods shyly. „I always knew that I wanted to be a father one day. Up until today, it was all very hypothetical. But now...“ Now what?

„What changed today?“

„You and Catherine...when I saw you holding her this morning, it just hit me. I had never really thought about it before, but all of a sudden I knew who I want to start a family with one day...you.“ Praise the Cumberbatch children. „If that's what you want, of course.“

I lean forward and kiss him passionately. He wraps his arms around me and pulls me against his warm, firm body.

I break the kiss, but my lips stay connected to his. „I want everything with you.“ We kiss once more and then just lie there, holding each other.

„I'm scared, Kat“, Tom suddenly breaks the silence.

I sit up and look down at him. „Scared of what?“ And whatever you say, please don't ruin this moment.

„I've never felt like that about anyone. And it scares the hell out of me. When you walked away from me...well, when I threw you out and you were gone...I felt like I couldn't breathe anymore. It was like someone had...“

„...ripped your heart out?“ He nods. „I know. That's exactly how I felt, too.“

He takes my hand. „Sometimes everything inside me screams and tells me to run away from all of this.“ Don't. You. Dare.

I take a deep breath. „Well, love is scary. And that moment, when you realise that you can't live without another person anymore...it's scary as fuck.“ He laughs, but it's a nervous laugh. „Trust me, I know all that. And I feel just the same. When I went back home, every mile that plane got further away from London physically hurt. And then I was home and everything reminded me of you. I even had to sleep on the couch for a few days because everytime I went into my bedroom, I was reminded of our night together.“

„But your couch is very small and not very comfortable“, Tom teases me. We both laugh. „I've actually been sleeping in one of the guestrooms ever since you left.“ I feel the desperate need to touch him, to comfort him and place my hand on his chest.

„And how do you feel now? Apart from being scared?“, I ask.

He looks deep into my eyes. „I'm happy. So very happy.“ With that, he flashes his most breathtaking smile at me. Yep, that's pretty much what I wanted to hear.

„So am I.“ I lean forward to kiss him. „You know how people say that being frightened of something is a good thing? Because it means that you have something to lose?“ Tom nods. „It's the same here. I think it's good to be a bit scared. You just can't let that fear take over.“

„When did you become so wise?“ We both laugh and I lean in for another kiss. „Hey, let's promise each other something.“ Marriage?! I absolutely accept. „Let's agree that we're always going to talk about this. About us. No matter what happens. No matter what bothers either one of us.“ Who is wise now?!

„I love you, you know that?“

He smiles at me. „Good, because I love you.“

I kiss him once again and allow him to pull me down against his body. We're lying next to each other, my head resting on his chest. He has one hand tangled in my hair, the other one is gently stroking my back.

„Good night, darling!“

„Good night, Tom.“

He kisses my head and then strokes my hair until I've fallen asleep.

 

Chapter Text

I wake up to the feeling of someone gently rubbing over my clit. Oh, that man! I open my eyes and even though it's dark, I can see Tom's face right next to mine. He's breathing heavily.

„What are you doing?“, I ask with a sleepy voice.

„Just going through withdrawal. I haven't heard you moan in at least three hours.“ He chuckles and I join in.

„You're crazy, you know that?!“

„Yes.“ He kisses me deeply, his tongue pushing into my mouth. „Crazy about you.“ With that, he pushes two fingers inside me and rubs them against my g-spot.

I moan out loud. „Oh fuck...“ Can one die from too many orgasms?!

He kisses his way down my neck until his lips find one of my nipples. He takes it into his mouth and lets his warm tongue flick over it relentlessly. I arch my back and he begins to suck even harder. After a while, he moves on to my other breast, treating it just the same way. Oh fuck. My nipples are so rock hard, they almost hurt. His fingers never stop driving in and out of me. I am melting by the touch of his hands and lips. And he knows it.

I already feel the first build-up of an orgasm, when he pulls his fingers out of me and brings his face back to mine.

„Taste yourself, babygirl.“ With that, he pushes his fingers inside my mouth.

I can taste my own juices on them and immediately begin to suck. I let my tongue play with his fingers and he lets out a low moan. Without withdrawing his hand from me, Tom moves his body between my legs and buries his face in my pussy. I moan and instantly begin to rock my hips against his face. He's running his tongue along the length of my wet folds, trying to lap up all of my juices.

He groans. „You don't even know how delicious you taste.“ And you don't even know what it does to me when you say things like that.

My insides begin to stir when he lets his tongue fly over my stiff clit. It's dark in the room, so I can't really see him. But I can hear him. The sound of him teasing and licking me is almost obscene. This is so hot. His hand wanders from my mouth to my breast and he rolls one of my nipples between his fingers. I moan even louder and I know I'm close. Please don't stop. And he doesn't.

His tongue keeps dancing over my clit and I finally surrender to my climax. I almost scream when the waves of pleasure hit my body. His mouth abandons me as my whole body begins to shake and quiver.

I take a deep breath and close my eyes. The second I can feel my body relaxing, his tongue is back on my nub. Jesus fucking Christ!

„Oh Tom“, I utter out of breath. „Oh...you're...oh fuck...oh, you're going to make me come again.“

He simply groans against my sex and I know that that's exactly his plan. Still highly aroused from my previous climax, it doesn't take long for me to be pushed over the edge again. I am screaming and shaking when my next orgasm hits me. Once again, Tom's mouth abandons me, planting soft kisses on the insides of my thighs this time.

„That's it, babygirl. Come for me“, he cheers me on.

I pant as my body calms a little and immediately, his mouth is back between my legs. Again?! „Tom“, I moan. „You can't...oh...oh...you can't...“ I'm incapable of speaking.

He lifts his head up and looks up at me with a smirk. „Over and over and over. Until you beg me to stop.“

„Oh god“, I whimper.

„Do you want me to stop?“ I can tell that he's teasing me.

„No!“ I take my hand and shove him back against my pussy, his tongue attending to my clit again without hesitation. Fuck yes!

He makes me come like that three more times before I can't take it any more. He plants a soft kiss on my tortured little pearl and then crawls up to me. He wipes his face and then kisses me gently.

„Are you alright, babygirl?!“

I nod. „Oh yes. Now why don't you roll over and let me return to favour.“

„Oh no, darling“, he protest. „This was just for you.“ Are you kidding me?!

I reach down and wrap my hand around his penis. He is rock hard. „Hiddleston, your cock is going to explode if you don't come in the next few minutes. So why don't you just lie back and let me take care of that?!“

I push him off of me and straddle his body. Let me tease you a little. I kiss him and begin to rub my wet pussy against his erection. Oh fuck, this feels good. He moans as I slide my swollen lips over his length. Without a warning, he grabs my hips, lifts me up and pushes his cock inside me. I cry out loud in surprise and pleasure. He thrusts his hips into me and his loud moans tell me that he doesn't need much longer. That's it. I want you to come deep inside me. His thumb finds my clit and begins to stroke it very quickly. Now I know that he wants me to come once more. To come with him.

I squeeze my breasts and pull on my nipples before giving into my orgasm. I moan out loud as my pussy begins to tighten around him. He groans and with one last thrust, we both find our release together. I collapse on his chest and just lie there as we're both panting. You can wake me for that in the middle of the night any time. I become dead to the world for a moment, his cock still deep inside me.

When I come back to my senses, I can feel that my pussy is still pulsing. And I feel something else. He's still hard. You have got to be kidding me!

I sit back up on him. „Tom, are you still...“

„That's what you do to me, darling. Your pussy is just so amazing that I can't get enough.“ How lucky that I feel the same way about the Conda.

I let him slide out of me and lean forward to kiss him. „Let me see what I can do about that.“

I kiss my way down to his throbbing cock. I immediately open my mouth and take him in. Tom moans and pushes his hips against me. Once I'm done licking his sperm and my juices off of him, I wrap one hand around his penis and begin to stroke it as I let it slide in and out of my mouth. Fuck, I had totally forgotten how huge he was.

But his moans are cheering me on. He grabs my hair and begins to guide me over his cock. Anything you want. „Oh god, Kat, you're so amazing.“ He's totally out of breath.

I let his cock slide out of my mouth and look up to him, still stroking his dick. „Do you want me to make you come?“

„Yes. Please.“ Now he's the one whimpering.

I take a deep breath and then open my mouth wide. I let him slide in and ignore the gag reflex. The tip of his cock is pushing down my throat.

„Oh fuck, yes....yes...oh Kat...oh god.“ He's panting. And no longer in control of his body.

I push down further, pushing even more of his length down my throat. With a loud groan, he gives into his orgasm. I feel his hot cum spurting down my throat. Slowly, I let him slide out of my mouth and swallow every single drop of his sperm.

His cock is now softening in my hand, so I plant a light kiss on the tip and then lie down next to him. Unable to speak, he simply puts his arm around me and pulls me onto his chest. We're both spent and exhausted and it doesn't take us long to both fall asleep.

 

Chapter Text

„Good morning, beautiful“, I can hear Tom's voice right next to me.

I smile and slowly open my eyes. It's broad daylight. Tom sits next to me on the bed. He's wearing boxers and looks like he's been awake for a while.

I yawn. „Good morning.“ He presses a soft kiss against my lips. Okay, what's that smell? „Why does it smell like bacon in here?“

He smiles and leans over to pick up a tray from the nightstand. He gently puts it down beside me. „There's scrambled eggs, bacon, toast...some pancakes. And tea. And orange juice.“ Breakfast in bed with Tom. Can it get any better?

I sit up in bed and lean against the pillows before Tom hands me a cup of tea and a slice of toast. I take a bite and only then realise how hungry I actually am.

„You're amazing, you know that?! I'm starving.“ I lean forward and give him a quick kiss.

„Not very surprising after last night.“

I blush. „No, probably not.“

We look deeply into each other's eyes. Okay, if you don't stop, I'm gonna have to fuck you again. Right here and now. I quickly look away and focus on my breakfast. He has brought two forks for the eggs so we both eat off the plate he has prepared. He's sitting next to me and shots me a loving look every now and then. Every time he does, I feel butterflies in my stomach. What is it about this man?!

I swallow the last bite of the eggs and put my fork down. „Mhh...okay, I wouldn't mind if every day started like this.“ I wink at Tom.

He smiles. „Well, I'm not sure if we can keep that up for all eternity. But for the time of our vacation here...that's something we could negotiate.“ Fine by me!

I empty my glass of orange juice and look outside. „It's going to be another beautiful day. Maybe we can take a walk at the beach later?!“

He takes my hand and kisses it. „Anything you want, darling. But...“ 'But' is never good... „...only if you promise me not to fall into the water again. I'm not too keen on getting wet again.“

„Well, you didn't have to. I didn't force you into the water“, I tease him.

„Oh yes, because I'd just stand by and watch while the woman I love drowns.“

„I would not have drowned.“ I lean forward and kiss him deeply. „But I very much appreciate you saving me anyway.“

He smiles. „In that case, it was totally worth ruining my phone.“ What?

„Ruining your phone?! What are you talking about?“

„I had it in my pocket during our little water game yesterday. And it got soaked. Aaand now it's dead.“

„Oh, baby, I'm so sorry.“ I take his hand.

„Don't worry. I'll just get a new one. And besides, it means that nobody will disturb us for the next few days.“ With a smile, he pulls me in for a kiss.

Suddenly, a thought crosses my mind and I break the kiss. „But...if your phone already is dead, we can totally get soaked later.“ He raises an eyesbrow at me. I chuckle. „Alright...no clothed swimming then. But we're going for a beach walk.“

He kisses me softly. „If that's what you want...“

I nod. „Yes. I just want to hear the sound of the waves.“

„Oh. Well...“ He gets up from the bed. „...that could totally be arranged.“ He turns around and opens the large window. What a dork!

To tease him a bit more, I quickly grab the plate with the pancakes and the honey. When Tom turns around, I smile at him. „You did't want those anyway, right?!“ He looks at me with an open mouth and I begin to slowly pour the honey over the pile of pancakes. Okay, I actually can't wait to eat those. They look and smell amazing.

„That's a lot of honey, young lady.“ Don't call me young lady. That's gonna give me kinky daddy fantasies and that's not helping in any way.

„Well, I have a thing for sweet things.“ I try to act cool, although I feel like bursting out laughing.

„Is that so?“

„Yep.“ I take a big bite of pancakes with honey. „So don't even think you're going to get some of those.“ But if I eat them all, I'm gonna end in a sugar coma.

He jumps into bed and crawls next to me. He's sitting beside me and watching me eat. „Not even one bite?“, he asks, looking at me with puppy eyes. Oh, you totally know what those do to me. „Please?!“

I playfully roll my eyes at him. „One bite.“

I dip the pancake into the honey one more time and then bring the fork to his mouth. Before he has a chance to open it, though, a bit of honey drops onto his chest. I continue to feed him and then put the fork down.

„I'm so sorry.“ I take my finger and wipe the honey from his skin. Without even thinking about it, I take it into my mouth and lick it clean.

In the meantime, Tom has picked up the fork and the plate and is now in control of the pancakes. He gives me a mocking grin.

„Oh no, you didn't. You're going to regret that, Mister.“

I dip my finger into the honey and smear it across his chest. Tom puts down the fork. Now he's the one wiping it from his body. Without a warning, his finger glides over my face, covering my cheeks with the sticky substance. Oh, you want a fight?! I'm gonna give you one.

I swing one of my legs across his body, straddling his legs. „Give me back my pancakes!“

He smirks at me and shakes his head. He slowly takes a large bite of the pancakes and chews it with pleasure. He continues to do so another two times, never breaking eye contact. Only one bite left. What are you gonna do now, Hiddleston?! He maneuvers the last bit of pancake on the fork and holds it out to me. „Come and get it.“

I hesitate a moment and then I know what to do. In one swift move, I dip the entire palm of my hand into the honey on the plate and press it on his chest. My other hand reaches for the fork and takes it away from him. Tom is so taken by surprise that he doesn't resist. A sweet, last bite is my reward.

Tom looks down at his honey-covered chest and then gives me a faked sinister look. Yep, totally does things to me. „Come and clean it up“, he says in a commanding voice.

I look at him for a moment. Then I lean forward and run my tongue over his pecs. Hm...the sweet taste of honey and Tom. I let my tongue glide over his entire chest and can hear him let out a long breath. I lean in a bit more and, as soon becomes clear, too much. One of my breasts dips into the honey on the plate.

I sit back up and look down at myself. I can feel that I'm blushing. Tom has his eyes fixed on my boobs. He takes the plate, places it one the nightstand beside him and then lowers his mouth on my breast. And suddenly, the atmosphere has changed from playful to heated.

He slowly licks the honey off my chest and then lets his tongue circle over my nipple. I arch my back and a little moan escapes my mouth.

Without a warning, Tom wraps one arm around my waist and flips me onto my back. In an almost automatic movement, I open my legs and allows him to position himself between them. He pushes his upper body up on one hand and reaches for the glass of honey on the tray. Oh no, you're not!

His eyes never leave mine and then he begins to slowly pour honey on my chest. I can't help but laugh. It's running down my skin and I use my hand to stop it from dripping onto the bed. Tom puts down the glass and begins to run his tongue over my sticky skin.

I close my eyes and put my hand on Tom's shoulder, covering him with the honey as well. His mouth caresses my breasts and he gently sucks on both nipples. Fuck yes. I feel myself getting wet and moan.

Tom kisses his way up to my face. He is all sticky as he presses his lips down on mine. I welcome his tongue into my mouth. A kiss has never been sweeter. Literally. Our tongues slowly play with each other and my arousal becomes unbearable. My hands glide down Tom's back until I reach his firm ass. Slowly, I push down his boxers. Just far enough to free his erection.

He breaks the kiss and looks at me, lust written all over his face. My hands are still resting on his butt. I apply a little pressure and pull him down against my centre. Yes, that's right where I want you. Tom doesn't move, although I desperately want him to. I grab his penis with one of my hands and rub the tip over my wet folds, covering him in my juices. We both moan. And then I position the tip of his cock at the entrance to my pussy.

Tom looks at me as if he was asking for permission. I slightly nod and then he finally pushes into me. I moan as my pussy stretches around him. He kisses me again and then lowers his body down on mine. I am still covered in honey and now the stickiness if transferring onto him. We both giggle a little and then passion takes over.

He begins to thrust his hips and I move mine to match his rhythm. He only pulls out of me a little bit, allowing his cock to stay deep inside me the entire time. Yes, don't stop. I run my hands over his back, my nails digging into his flesh. Tom is nuzzling on my neck and he increases the speed at which he's driving himself in and out of me. My rock hard nipples are pressing against his chest. Oh, it's the sweetest kind of pressure. I feel myself getting closer and moan even louder. Please, make me come.

Knowing my body better than anyone else, Tom thrusts his hips faster once more and kisses me passionately. My moans are silenced by his kiss and then I feel it. I press my hands on his ass, making sure he stays deep. And then my body begins to quiver. I cry out loud and then surrender to my orgasm. My pussy clenches around Tom's cock and squeezes it tight. He doesn't stop moving and three trusts later, he comes deep inside me with a loud groan.

His body collapses onto mine and we lie in that intimate position until we both have caught our breath. Well, this is certainly the greatest breakfast I've ever had in my life.

 

Chapter Text

I step into the shower and close my eyes as the warm water is running down my skin. The way it embraces my body feels heavenly. I change the temperature a little. The water is even hotter now and it almost feels like a million little pinpricks are dancing over my body. A strangely pleasurable pain.

Suddenly I feel two strong arms wrapping around my waist from behind and a kiss being pressed on the back of my neck. Tom. My Tom. I giggle and turn around to face him.

„Baby, what are you doing?“

„Hey, you're not the only one covered in honey here. And that way we can safe some water.“

Before I can protest, he seals my lips with a deep, passionate kiss. I wrap my arm around his neck and allow Tom to pull me close against his body. We remain like that for what almost feels like a little eternity. We simply hold and kiss each other while the warm water covers both of our bodies. Eventually, Tom breaks the kiss and looks at me. Despite the love and affection in his gaze, there's a certain sadness that makes my insides stir in a rather uncomfortable way. Why would he look sad right now?!

„What's wrong?“, I ask him and caress his cheek with my hand.

„I don't ever want to spend another day without you.“

„Tom, you're an actor. You travel the world for a living. And I won't always be able to be by your side. So I'm afraid I can't promise you that.“

He slowly shakes his head. „That's not what I mean.“ His grip around my waist tightens even more. „I don't ever want to spend another day wondering if you are still a part of my life. Those weeks without you have been the worst of my life.“ We're still standing underneath the shower head, but I can still see the tear rolling down his cheek. Oh Tom... „I never thought I could love someone as much as I love you. I never thought I'd need another person in my life to be happy. But I do. Without you, there's no happiness. I know that things won't always be like this. There will be tough times. There will be fights. We are both too stubborn to prevent that from happening. But I want you to know that whatever happens, you will always have my heart. My love. I love you, Kat.“

His sincerity is totally disarming. The lump in my throat keeps me from answering him. So I go for a kiss instead. But he doesn't allow his body to fully lean into the kiss. He still wants an answer

„Tom...“ I am still a bit lost for words. „I love you. So much. And I want everything you want. I just...life works in mysterious ways sometimes. And I don't want to talk about forever just yet. There are still so many things we need to learn about each other. I think we already know a lot about one another. But the little and totally not unimportant things transpire over time. Rushing that is not an option. And as happy as I am that we found our way back to each other...there is a reason why we had that fight. There is a reason why I was unhappy that night. And there is a reason why you kicked me out. I am not trying to blame anyone here. We're human, we have feelings, things like that happen. I just know that we need to work through that before our relationship stands a real chance.“

„Kat...“

I place a finger on Tom's mouth to stop him. „Please, let me finish this.“ He slightly nods. „I know that you're trying. Trust me, I do. The way you've opened up to me in the past 24 hours...it's incredible and I am so grateful for it. It means the world to me. With every little thing you reveal to me, I get to know you a bit better. And more importantly...with every little thing you reveal to me, I fall in love with you a little bit more. So I really hope that we're on a good way to a steady, functioning relationship.“ God, that sounds boring. But it's exactly what I want. „I meant what I said last night. I want everything with you. So so much. But...“ Now I'm the one who has tears streaming down her face. „...in life, people don't always get what they want. And I just don't know...“

I am silenced by Tom pressing his lips on mine. His kiss is tender and somehow calming. When he breaks the kiss, he looks at me and cups my face.

„My dearest Kat...there's no way you could know. Like you said, it's life. But we both want this. We both want this relationship to work. That's all that matters. We're trying. We're fighting for it. We love each other. The thought of forever has always scared the hell out of me. Now that I have you, forever doesn't seem long enough. But even forever can only be lived one day at a time. So that's what we're going to do, alright?!“

I am still crying so I simply nod and pull him against me. Our mouths devour each other. One day at a time. With my Tom. Together. Him and me. Forever. I try to stop myself there when another thought crosses my mind and I giggle.

Tom pulls away and looks at me. „What?“

„Didn't you get in here to save water?! So far, we're doing a pretty crappy job with that.“

He joins in on my laughing and plants a light kiss on my nose. I reach over and grab the body wash and then begin to cover his naked body with it. Tom is standing completely still and lets me proceed without any kind of resistance. His eyes are fixed on me and I am aware of his gaze at every single second. Strangely, there is nothing sexual in the atmosphere. Only complete trust and a certain playfulness. I run my hands over his arms. I can feel his strong biceps and the veins on his forearms that are so incredibly sexy to me. Then I begin to clean his chest. My hands move over his firm pecs. He's breathing deeply and I can feel his strong heartbeat. A heart that beats for me.

I move down to his rock hard abs and then his happy trail. But I don't dare to go any further. You've touched his cock countless times. Why are you suddenly so shy?! So I stop myself and rest my hands on his hips. I look up at him and smile.

„Remember how you grabbed my ass with your sticky hands, darling? So you better help me get cleaned up there as well“, Tom says with a wicked smile on his face.

I close my eyes for a second and let his words resonate in my head. It's like I can almost feel how deep he was inside me when I grabbed him. I shiver and slightly press my thighs together. Fuck, I want him. I simply let my hands wander to his behind and begin to caress it gently. Why am I so nervous touching him?! Before I pull away, I squeeze his butt a little and we both chuckle. Not allowing me to move away from him, Tom wraps me in his arms and kisses me deeply.

„Turn around, darling.“

He's not asking me, he's telling me. So I do as I'm told and he begins to wash my hair. His long fingers carefully move through my hair and massage my scalp. I close my eyes and simply embrace the feeling. Never thought I would actually enjoy somebody doing that to me. After rinsing out all the shampoo, he covers my back in body wash and gently rubs my shoulders.

„Turn around again“, he whispers in my ear and kisses it lightly.

Once again, I do as I'm told. As my eyes meet his, the atmosphere immediately changes. I can see his pupils dilated and I'm pretty sure mine are too. We stand there looking at each other for a moment. Then Tom reaches out and cups my breasts. My body responds right away. My nipples are getting hard, pressing against his palms, and I can feel the heat radiating between my legs. How does he always have that effect on me?!

Tom uses his long fingers to expertly play with my nipples. I let out a moan and sink against the cool tiles of the shower. I close my eyes and simply feel how his hands tease me. When suddenly one of them abandons me, I let out a little cry of desperation. But the feeling doesn't last for long. Only a moment later, I feel his long fingers circling over my clit, stiffening it with every stroke. I moan and quiver and I know that I need him to make me come as quickly as possible. And I know that he will.

I am taken by surprise when he grabs my hand and wraps it around his cock. He's raging hard. I look down and the head of his penis is already coloured in an aggressive shade of purple. Good to know that I have the same effect on him that he has on me. He moans out loud as I begin to stroke his shaft.

His hand finds my breast again, the other never abandons my little pearl. They work in perfect unison and every move is bringing me closer and closer to the edge. His heavy breathing tells me that the way I stroke his huge cock is doing just the same to him. I increase the speed at which I am stroking him and his moans become even louder.

„Oh fuck! Kat...“ I love it when you moan my name in desperation.

Every single one of his low moans and grunts brings me closer to my own climax. My body is already slightly trembling and I know I won't need much longer.

„Come with me, babygirl. Please. Come with me now.“

The first spurt of hot cum leaking from his penis sends me over the edge. We both moan as we enjoy the pleasure of our orgasms. My body is shaking and I can feel my knees giving out on me. Tom wraps his arms around me and holds me close to his body as we both try and catch our breath. Then he lifts up my chin and kisses me deeply. His tongue is playing softly with mine and I become wax in his hands once more.

I break the kiss. „I think we have to actually leave the house if we want a chance at keeping our hands off each other. Otherwise I am just going to ask you to make me come again and again and again.“ I know that I am blushing as I say these words, but it's the truth so I don't care.

„Whatever you want, darling.“ He kisses me again.

„Well, you did promise me a walk on the beach.“

„Yes, I did“, he sighs. „Although...sex on the beach could be very entertaining as well.“

I playfully poke him in the ribs. „Don't tempt me, Hiddleston. Seriously, don't. Because my body is so desperate to unite with yours that I might just agree to it. But I don't think having your or my naked ass published in some newspaper is going to do any good at the moment. Or ever, for that matter. So let's keep the fucking inside the four walls of this house.“

„But once we're inside again, I get to take you wherever I want?“, he winks at me.

„Wherever, however, as often as you want. Once we're inside, my pussy is yours to do with as you please.“

„Oh darling, we are going to have to much fun together. I haven't even begun to make you feel all the things your body is capable of feeling. And it might take me a while to get around to them. But I promise you to give you anything you want and desire. I am yours, my love. Heart, cock and soul.“

I laugh out loud and allow him to once again gather me in his arms and kiss me as he presses my body against the tile wall.

 

Chapter Text

Tom and I are walking hand in hand along the beach. After allowing him to make love to me twice after our morning shower – once on the bathroom floor and once on the kitchen table – we finally made it outside to our beach walk. We have been out for over an hour now. There has been some light chatter but also lots of silence. We silmply enjoy each other's presence and the sound of the crashing waves.

It's a beautiful sunny day. The temperature is already around 20°, but the wind makes it rather chilly. Except for two joggers who passed us earlier and a women playing with her dog in the distance, we're the only two people here. I have to interrupt our walk more than once to grab my camera and snap a picture of the ocean or the beach. Or Tom. He always protests, but in the end he never really stops me. I can't wait to see all the shots of him. They will be just beautiful.

We both constantly engage in a little game of catch with the waves. We move dangerously close to the waterline and then run away from the incoming waves. Luckily, we've been fast enough so far.

After a really close getaway, we stand in a close embrace and both laugh. I move even closer, wrap myself in his arms and rest my head against his chest. „I haven't had that much fun in a very long time“, I sigh.

Tom leans his head against mine and gently strokes my hair. „I am so very glad to hear that, darling. Your happiness is really all that matters to me.“

I look up to him. „That is very sweet of you. But what's your happy place? Because everybody needs one.“

He looks directly into my eyes. „You.“ I blush and bury my head in his jacket. „It's true. I am happy when I am with you.“

„Tom...“ I free myself from his embrace, take his hand and we continue walking. „As much as I love hearing that, but you need something just for yourself. Like I said, everybody needs that one place that allows them to find their inner peace. Only that place can't be a person.“

„Why not?“

I sigh. „Well, because people are only human. We can't be a constant factor for someone. Because we can't even be one for ourselves. So you need something that is steady. And I think if you're quite honest, you already have something like that in your life. Hell, even I know what it is.“

Tom looks at me and then out over the sea. I can almost see the wheels turning behind his forehead. Honestly, Hiddleston?! You have to think about that one???

After a while, his face brightens up. „Shakespeare.“ There you go...

„Exactly.“ I smile at him.

„You knew I was going to say that?“, he asks curiously.

„Is there any other answer to it?!“

He smiles at me and squeezes my hand. „You know me well, darling.“ I am starting to. „So I take it yours is the ocean?!“ And you know me well...

„Yes, without a doubt. It's the one place where I'll always be happy. No matter how sad I am.“

„When did you pick it as your happy place?“

„I didn't“, I laugh. „It chose me. One day, the sea just reached out to me to comfort me in sadness. And then I realised that this...“ I gesture at the waves. „...had felt like home for quite some time. Only I was too busy remembering how scared I was of the ocean as a child.“

„You were?!“, Tom asks with disbelief.

„Oh yes! I was afraid of everything that might linger beneath the surface. I was afraid something in the deep might just grab me and drag me down.“

„And now you're not anymore?“

„No“, I shake my head. „I haven't been for a long time. Even though I did so much reading on marine life that I am aware of most of the creatures that live in the depths. Most people would be scared shitless if they knew what I know.“

„So you're saying that nothing in the sea actually scares you? Not one thing?? Not even...I don't know...the thought of a great white shark appearing next to you in the water?!“

I giggle. Is the tune of Jaws already playing in your head, Mister?! „Look, I know that sharks are something that terrifies you. But...“

„You do?“ Tom looks at me in surprise. I am a hard-working fangirl. Of course I do.

I smile at him and stroke his hand with my thumb. „Yes. You mentioned it in an interview once. And since it is something that I feel very strongly about, I remembered.“ I remember almost everything you ever said in interviews, you big dork!

Tom leans over to me and gently kisses my temple. „How can you be so brave?“

Now I look at him with surprise. „Brave?! This has nothing to do with bravery. It has to do with curiosity. I admit that my level of curiosity might be a bit unhealthy at times. But everything that lives and breathes in the water fascinates me. Not matter how many teeth come with it.“ Tom shifts uncomfortably and I squeeze his hand tightly. „Most people are afraid of ever having a shark encounter. The thought of a shark swimming beneath them scares them to death. I always kinda hope that there's a shark somewhere close to me.“

„YOU WHAT???“ Tom stands still.

I can't help but chuckle. „Baby, breathe.“ I gently pull on his arm and we continue our walk. „I am not wishing for a shark attack, okay?! I'm not suicidal. But I'm wishing for a shark encounter. There's a huge difference.“

„There is?“ Oh my beautiful idiot...

„Of course there is. Or do you honestly think that everytime the paths of a human and a shark cross, someone dies?! Well, I mean, that actually happens very often. Only it is the shark that is killed. By humans. But that's a whole different story.“ Girl, stop babbling. „Anyway... There has been a scientific study tracking the travel routes of great whites. And the research suggests that they are close to us more often than we realise.“

„And that is comforting how?“ Ugh.

„Okay, look at it that way... People always complain about shark attacks. Whenever something happens, the majority calls out for more shark killings. But what people tend to forget is that when we enter the water, we enter their habitat. Our rules and laws no longer apply there. We play by theirs. And how exactly would you react to random fish entering your living room all the time?“

Tom laughs out loud. „What?“

I join in on his laugh. „Well, that's what it basically is. They live in the sea and we invade that space. So usually, there are very good reasons for them to attack us. From their point of view. But if you now take the research in consideration, things become less scary. Because it means that most of the time, we don't even know they are there. Because they are either too afraid of us, or because they simply can't be bothered. Despite the fact that we are invading their living room. We cross paths with them a lot more often than we realise. Which makes me sad sometimes. I wish I were aware of their presence. They are beautiful and fascinating animals who seem to be a lot more patient and less dangerous than the public makes them out to be. Yet we still take every chance to kill them that is offered to us. So really, who is the vile creature here?!“ I turn to look at Tom and find him staring at me with a smile on his face. I am so taken by surprise that I blush. „What is it?“, I ask him.

He presses a gentle kiss on my lips before answering. „You're amazing, you know that?!“ I blush even more and turn away from him. „Kat, I mean it. The way you talk about this is just so inspiring. Because it shows how much it all means to you. Darling, the things you can contain in that brain of yours are remarkable.“ You're one to talk... „And on top of that, you have an opinion. And a voice. A strong voice. And I really think you should make use of that somehow.“ Great, more blushing. Tom senses my discomfort and lets his thumb caress my cheek. „I'm serious. I never thought about any of this the way you do. And I don't think I will ever look forward to meeting a shark while I'm swimming. But I think it is time to reconsider my opinion of them. And to maybe look at the bigger picture.“

I smile at him and suddenly feel oddly proud of him. „Well, that is a good start...“

He wraps his arms around me waist and pulls me closer to his body. „But I highly doubt I will ever feel about the sea the way you do. I hope you don't mind?!“

„Tom, please stop being ridiculous! You're my boyfriend. That doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything I say or think. You're entitled to your own opinion. But I'm warning you. What you've heard right now is only a fraction of what I could tell you about the topic. And whenever I get excited, I will just go on talking. Everything about the sea is just so beautiful to me that I don't understand how others don't see it. So every now and then, I try to make them see it through my eyes.“

„I am very much looking forward to that.“ He smiles at me.

„Ha, you say that now. I promise you, there will be times where you silently beg for me to shut up.“

He shakes his head. „No, never going to happen.“ I raise an eyebrow at him. Oh yes, you will. „Besides, I will always have a way to shut you up.“

His mouth crashes down on mine. His hungry tongue is immediately demanding entrance. So I part my lips to welcome it. He kisses me passionately and full of longing. Time stands still in this moment and I don't ever want it to end. Just me and him and the sound of the waves.

Suddenly I feel the cold, wet sensation at my feet and Tom immediately pulls away from me.

„Fucking hell!“, he curses.

Our sweet little, intimate moment had prevented us from watching out for the incoming waves. We might have won in our little game of catch until then, but now the sea was the one triumphing. Our shoes and pants are soaking wet.

I can't help but giggle. „Come on! Let's go back to the house. I'll make us a nice cuppa and we can warm ourselves up in the bathtub. Hm?!“ I hold out my hand for him to grab. He silently takes it and we begin our way back. I can tell that he is slightly grumpy and not happy with the wet state of his feet that I decide to let him sulk for a while.

 

Chapter Text

„You know, Kat... I blame you for this. Just so you know.“ Fine. Whatever. „All because you had to distract me with your enthusiasm.“ It's cold feet. Get over it. „Maybe I should take you over my knee when we get back to the house.“

I can hear the playfulness in his tone, but I blush immediately and can feel a certain and very surprising wetness between my legs. Totally not caused by sea water. I am slightly embarrassed by the way my body responds to his words and I don't dare to look at him.

Of course, my reaction doesn't go unnoticed. „Kat? What is it?“ Oh no, I am not going to tell you. „Answer me, darling“, he says in a commanding voice. I hate you.

„You can't say things like that“, I reply shyly.

His eyes widen. „Oh god, I'm sorry. Did I cross a line? I am so sorry. Kat, I didn't really mean it, okay? I'd never do that to you. Please, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable or...“

„Uncomfortable?! Tom, I'm not uncomfortable.“ I still avoid looking at him.

„You're not?“ I can feel his piercing eyes on me. I blush even more and simply shake my head. „Kat...“ Oh fuck, he knows... „...are you turned on by this?“ Fuck.

„I think I am.“

„Oh darling, you are just full of suprises. Hey, look at me.“ I take a deep breath and turn to look him directly in the eyes. „There's no need to be ashamed, okay?! I think talking about our sexual fantasies and desires is something very important in a relationship, don't you think?!“

„Yes“, I reply, but it's barely audible because my mouth is completely dry.

„So do you want to talk about it now?“

„Well...we're already at the subject, so...“

Tom surpresses a smile. „Okay. So...is it something that you're into? Punishment and being spanked, I mean?“ Why the fuck do I feel like a teenager talking about sex for the first time right now?!

„I don't know. I've never really tried it. I mean, I had a guy spank my ass during sex a bit once. And I enjoyed it. But it wasn't actually painful. Are you into it?“

„Well, I don't think the whole BDSM thing is something I would want to explore in full depths. I've read a lot about it and I don't think I would enjoy dominating a woman that way. But I have made certain experiences with it. Mostly with spanking, some with orgasm denial.“ Oh dear god. „So I've seen what kind of pleasure it can bring to a woman's body. If you're interested, I would be more than happy to give it all to you.“ I slightly press my thighs together to surpress the itch between my legs. „Are you interested in trying it?“

„I think so, yes. I mean...I agree about BDSM in general. I am more freaked out by it than anything else. But I do like to be dominated every now and then. And I do like it rough sometimes. So I think that spanking might be something that I might enjoy.“ I pause to consider if I should say the next sentence. Oh, what the hell. „Especially if you're the one punishing me.“ I can't believe I just said that.

Tom chuckles. „So you like it rough sometimes, huh?! Oh darling, I wish you would've mentioned that sooner. Your wish is my command.“ And yours mine. „And maybe orgasm denial would be something for you after all.“

„Why wouldn't it be?“, I ask surprised.

„Do you know how it works?“

„In theory, yes. I've heard of it, I've seen videos of it. I just don't know how women do it. Because when I am ready, I'm ready.“

„Oh, I know, my love“, he says in a low, growling voice. „That's exactly why I'm not sure you'd manage. Because your body is so responsive and always so ready. I've never been with a woman who was able to have orgasms like you do. And it's extremely hot. I just don't know if you could ever hold back.“

„Well, maybe we can try one day.“

Tom smiles at me. „You just tell me when you're ready. Tell me, have you ever been restrained?“

I shake my head. „No. And I never know if I want to try it or not. Sex is always about trust. Allowing someone to restrain you is a whole different thing. I've never trusted anyone enough to try it.“ I take a deep breath and look at the man I love. „But now there's you. I trust you completely.“

He looks right into my eyes. „So if I were to tie you to the bed and have my way with you, you'd allow it?“

„Only if you promised me to stop whenever I tell you to.“

„Oh darling!“ He puts his arm around my shoulders and plants a kiss on my temple. „I've already told you this... I would never do anything you don't want. You would be the one being restrained. But you'd still be in charge.“

„Then we are totally adding that to the list.“

„List? There's a list??“

I nod. „There is in my head. A list of things we agree to try out in bed. Spanking, orgasm denial and restraining already made the cut.“ I wink at him and from the way he shifts in his pants uncomfortably, I can tell that he is trying to fight a growing errection.

„Wow, you are just full of surprises! So what else do you want to add to the list?“

„Um...“ I take a moment to think about it. „I do have a thing for sex in public places.“

„Then why did you forbid me to take you right here on this beach?“, Tom asks slightly annoyed.

„Because you're not just anyone. You're Tom fucking Hiddleston. Millions of people on this planet are interested in your private life. You can't just go around and fuck your girlfriend in public. No matter how much I may want you to.“

„So you do want me to?“, he asks with a boyish grin.

„Tom, I've told you this morning... I always want you. No matter where we are or what we do. It's something that is totally new to me. I've always enjoyed sex. And there have rarely been occasions where I refused it when offered. But you don't even have to offer to get me soaking wet. I just have to look at you.“

„So you are wet right now?“

„Just as much as you are hard in those jeans.“

We both laugh out loud.

„Well, I know that I have to be careful because of my public reputation. But I'm sure we will find some ways to fulfill that fantasy of yours.“

„Anytime, baby. Anytime. So how about you? What would you add to the list?“, I ask him.

Now Tom is the one blushing. „I...well...a threesome.“

„You've never had a threesome?“ Come on, Hiddleston, that can't be true.

„I've had threesomes. With women. I've even had more than two women at once.“ Yeah yeah, stop bragging. „But I've never been with a woman and...another man.“ Okay. Stop. Rewind.

„You want to have sex with me and another man?“

„Yes.“

„Have you ever had a sexual experience with a man before? Just a man, I mean?“

„Yes“, he says but refuses to look at me. Complete honesty again.

„Are you bisexual?“

„What?“

„Are you bisexual, Tom?“

„Kat, aren't you the least bit freaked out by this?“

„No. I've had sex with women. So I am totally not judging. And just so you know, I don't consider myself bisexual. Generally, it doesn't work for me without a penis being involved. But sometimes I like to experiment. And I think it's totally unnecessary to put a label on everything. So...hey, look at me!“ Tom turns to face me. „Whatever you enjoy doing is totally fine. No matter who it's with. As long as it's not little children or animals. So I ask you again...are you bisexual?“

He takes a deep breath. „I think I might be.“

„Is there a risk of you leaving me for another man?“

„No! I won't ever leave you for anyone. You're the love of my life. But every now and then, I do want to be in bed with a man. So yes, I've had my experiences. And I just thought that...well...in a threesome like that, I could get it all. You and another man's penis.“

„Do you have a particular penis in mind?“

„Well...“ He laughs nervously. „There is a deal I made with someone when we were both drunk. We both agreed to being interested in a set-up like that. So should we ever find the right woman...“

„Who is it? Come on, Tom. Tell me!“

„Chris Evans.“ Chris Evans. Right. And Tom. In bed. Together. And me being in the middle of it. Oh dear, just think about all the possibilities. Oh fuck! „Hello, earth to Kat!“

I shake my head and snap out of my daydream. „Sorry, I just imagined Chris Evans sucking you off. So...threesome is totally going on the list.“

„Are you serious?“ Tom seems astonished.

„Hell yes! I've been with two men before and it's fucking amazing. So I am totally up for that. I just want you to be sure that you can handle watching me with another man.“

„Am I at risk of you running away with him afterwards?“

„No! I love you. Only you. He might claim my body for one night, but my heart will always be yours.“

„Then I can handle it. You're incredible. Totally and absolutely incredible.“ He pulls me in for a soft kiss.

„Hang on...“ I break the kiss. „Is Chris Evans gay? Or bisexual?“

Tom laughs. „I really don't know. Like I said, we were both drunk. Maybe he is. Maybe he's just curious. Maybe he's not even interested anymore.“

I press my body against Tom's. I can feel his hard cock trapped in his pants and slowly grind my body against it. „I think I could find a way to get him interested.“

Tom hungrily presses his lips on mine. A low groan escapes his throat. „Okay, you and I are going to run back to the house.“

„What? No, we're not. I will not run anywhere.“

„Listen to me, babygirl.“ He brings his mouth right next to my ear. Oh fuck. „If you want me to fuck you in the bathtub later – and I know that you do – you will run. You will run and you will peel off all of your clothes as soon as you enter the house. You will make sure that I have access to every part of your body. Then you will go to the bathroom and get the water running. And then you will just spread your legs as wide as you can so that I can slide home inside you. Is that understood?“ My mouth is completely dry so I just nod. „Then run!“

And I run.

 

Chapter Text

I wake up and carefully open my eyes to confirm where I am. Our bedroom. It is already dark outside and the lamp on the nightstand is covering the room in warm light. I lie in the middle of the bed. As I slightly shift under the covers that are carefully draped over my body, I realise that I am naked. I stretch out in the empty bed. Ouch. The subtle pain between my legs reminds me of what had happened a few hours earlier...

Me running towards the house. Tom always a few steps behind me. Throwing my clothes to the floor. My shaking hands as I turned on the water. My already trembling body. My scream as he slammed himself deep inside me. The sound of his balls slapping against my dripping wet pussy. My fingernails digging into his flesh. One orgasm after another. And then everything went black.

I close my eyes and smile. He must have carried me to the bed after I blacked out. I feel myself blush from embarrassment. Never before have I blacked out during sex. Well, but you've also never been fucked like that by anyone. I know that I will be sore for at least a day, maybe two. I don't care. I will embrace every moment of pain.

„Hello beautiful“, Tom's voice caresses my ear.

He standing in the doorway, casually leaning against the wall. He's barefoot and simply wearing a pair of jeans. He holds a bottle of champagne and two glasses in his hands. And the look on his face is borderline heartbreaking.

I smile at him. „Hey“, I say.

He's walking over to the bed in his signature man strut and puts the bottle and glasses on the nightstand. He sits down next to me and takes my hands in his.

„Are you alright, darling? You had me worried a bit when you passed out.“

„I'm sorry. I never...this has never happened before.“ I nervously tug my hair back behind my ear. „I guess it was all just a bit much.“

„A bit much sex?“

„Yes“, I blush. „And a few too many orgasms.“

„I'm so sorry, love.“ He leans forward and gently kisses my forehead.

„Um...Tom?!“

He looks at me. „Yes, darling?“

„You never apologise to a woman for making her come too many times“, I chuckle.

Tom joins in and then reaches over to the nightstand to pour us both a glass of champagne. Where the hell did he get the champagne from? Before I get to ask, he hands me my glass.

„To us. And to complete honesty.“ He raises his glass to toast me.

„To trusting each other.“

We both take a sip and then he presses a kiss on my mouth. „Speaking of trust...“ He puts his glass down again. „Are you up for one more piece of magic today?“ With that, he reaches behind himself and pulls two ties from his asspocket.

My eyes widen and I almost choke on my champagne. „Tom, you cannot be serious!?“

„It's only a suggestion, darling. I just...you said you were open to trying it and I thought...but it's okay if you don't want to do it.“

„It's not that I don't want to do it.“ I blush and the tingling between my thighs tells me that my body is ready for it. „I just don't know if I can handle any more bruising tonight.“

He pulls my body close to his. „I have no intention of bruising you. We will take this slow. Very, very slow. This will be entirely for your pleasure.“

I look deeply into his eyes and then I know. I drown the rest of the champagne in my glass and set it down on the nightstand. „Okay.“

A smile lingers around his lips. „You sure?“

I don't reply. Instead, I simply pull his mouth against mine and kiss him hungrily. You will be the death of me. But yes, I am sure. Tom breaks the kiss and props the pillows behind my back to get me into a comfortable position. Then he begins to expertly tie my hands to the headboard. Watching his long fingers is strangely mesmerising.

„Tom?“

„Hmm?“, he replies distantly, still focused on tying the knot.

„Where did you get the ties from?“

He laughs. „From my suitcase.“

„Oh, so you just happen to travel with several ties?!“

„Well...“ He looks at me. „Ben told me to pack for a trip that would change my life. That could've been anything, really. So I wanted to be prepared.“ My perfect and always stunningly dressed gentleman.

I watch him as he moves from one arm to another and repeats the procedure. My heart is racing in my chest and once both knots are in place, I feel strangely exposed.

„Not to tight, darling?“

I pull on my restraints. Weird. Unfamiliar. But not too tight. I shake my head. Tom is now straddling my hips and cups my face with his hands.

„Ben was right, you know. Never before has a car ride been this significant. My life is changed again. It's complete again. I have you back and I feel like I can finally be myself again.“ He kisses me softly. „So...I don't do safewords. If you want me to stop, if you feel uncomfortable, you just tell me so and I will stop. There is no double meaning to the word 'no', okay?“ All I manage to do is nod. „Now...there's only one this missing...“ He reaches around to his asspockets once again and pulls a sleeping mask from it. My sleeping mask. The one I only use whenever I travel by plane.

„But...no! Baby, you can't blindfold me“, I protest.

„Why not?“

„Because...“ I pause and blush at the thought of what I am going to say next. „...because watching you pleasure me is one of the hottest things I've ever seen. I feel like I need to see you to really be able to give in.“

„Do you honestly think I don't have enough ways of making you lose your mind, my darling? Trust me.“

„I do“, I reply. And I absolutely mean it.

„So may I?“, he asks, holding out the mask. I nod and Tom begins to place it on my head.

„Tom?“, I interrupt his actions. „Just...promise me you won't hit me, okay?! I'm not ready for that while being blindfolded.“

He brushes a kiss on my cheek. „I promise.“ Another kiss on my cheek and then he pulls down the mask over my eyes and everything around me goes black.

I can feel him pushing himself off of me. The bed shifts, telling me he just got up. I try to focus on every sound in the room but the most prominent one is my own, pounding heartbeat. I hear him shuffle with his clothes. He's getting naked. The thought sends a flood of heat between my legs and I instinctively move to press them together. With my arms spread like wings and tied to the bed and being unable to see, I feel terribly exposed and self-conscious. But also extremely aroused. Suddenly, the bed shifts again and his voice is right next to my ear.

„Let's get started, shall we?!.“ His voice is low and even though he isn't touching me, I can feel it resonate inside his chest. „I am going to make you feel so good. And I don't need to spank you for that. That will be saved for another time. Now, I am going to drive you out of your mind in a different way.“ Oh fuck... „I am going to talk to you. Because I know that you are completely obsessed with my voice. I know that just this, whispering in your ear, is making you so fucking wet. Am I right, babygirl?“

„Yes“, I gasp. Totally fucking right.

„And then I am going to kiss you. I will plant kisses all over your sexy body. I will trace every inch of your skin with my tongue, tasting you, drinking you in. I will allow my tongue to caress you in all your favourite places.“ He begins to slightly nuzzle on my ear. Dear god... „Your neck. Your nipples. Your stiff little clit. And your hot, wet cunt. And then, if you ask very, very nicely, I will bury myself inside you. I will fill you up with my hard cock...“ He moves his hips and brushes his indeed already hard penis against my leg and I tremble in anticipation. „...and I will fuck you until your tight pussy milks me dry. I will push you over the edge again and again and again.“

The fact that I can't see anything makes the sound of his voice even sexier. And his breathing. His breathing right next to my ear is driving me insane. Who knew dirty talk could be THIS hot?! I swallow.

„Is your mouth dry, my love?“

„Y-yes.“ My voice is shaking.

„Allow me...“ The bed shifts again and then I feel a glass lifted to my lips. „There you go, darling.“

The cool bubbly flows down my throat. In my eagerness, a bit of the champagne spills from the glass onto my chin and neck. I can feel it running down my skin. „I'm sorry“, I mumble.

„It's alright.“ I hear Tom put the glass down on the nightstand again. „May I clean you up?“ I nod. „No, let me hear you, darling.“

„Yes, please“, I beg him.

His mouth immediately finds my naked skin. He licks up the champagne and lets his tongue wander over my neck. I can't help but moan. He lets one hand rest on my stomach and I embrace the warmth it exudes. He kisses his way down to my breasts. He carefully plants kisses on both of them, always making sure to avoid my already hard nipples. When I arch my back to offer myself to him, he slips his other arm under my back to hold me in place. The first flick of his tongue against my perky nipple draws a whimper from my mouth. The sensation immediately travels to my vagina and I once again press my legs together. I can hear Tom chuckle ever so slightly, but he doesn't stop licking and flicking my nipple. After stiffening it so much, it almost hurts, he moves to the other one and repeats his treatment.

My mind is blank. I am aroused to the maximum and already in desperate need of an orgasm. I don't even remember where I actually am. All I can feel are the restraints on my wrists and Tom's mouth on my body. He goes back to the other nipple and gently tugs on it with his teeth.

„Oh god“, I whimper.

„Do you like that, babygirl? Hm? Do you like it when I suck on you like that?“

„Yes! Oh Tom, please don't stop.“ He has me begging. Again.

„Do you think I could make you come just like that? Just by licking and sucking and pulling on your hard, little nipples, huh?“

Who do you think you are? God?! No man could do that. But I am too far gone already. I am shaking because I simply need more stimulation and the burning desire inside me is impossible to ignore. As long as it involves your mouth on my body, I'm game.

His hand travels from my stomach to my other breast and his long fingers immediately begin to play with my nipple. His tongue and lips continue to treat the other one and I am soon reduced to moans, gasps and whimpers. He is constantly licking and kissing me, sometimes even carefully biting down and pulling on it. And it all is so much more intense because I can't see him.

I arch my back and wiggle my hips in arousal. I want more. I need more. „Tom...“, I almost cry out. „Please touch me. Please.“ But my pleas are ignored. His tongue, lips and fingers stay right where they are, continuing their magic. „Oh god...please, baby, please. Touch me.“ I move my body and pull on the knots holding me in place. „Please! I need you to touch me. I need your hands on my pussy. I need you to...“

I am silenced by a wave of heat rushing through my body. I am so taken by surprise that I simply allow my orgasm to take over. I cry out loud, my whole body shaking and trembling. Tom is resting his head against my chest while I enjoy the surprising climax taking over my body. When my body finally stills, he kisses his way up to me and nuzzles against my cheek.

„Are you alright, love?“

„Y-yes“, I gasp, still slightly out of breath.

„Good.“ He kisses me deeply. Then he pulls away and I can tell that he is no longer on my side.

What? Was that it? I try to wrap my mind around what just happened and to prepare for what might happen next. Still busy collecting my thoughts, I feel two strong hands wrapping around my ankles and pulling me down on the mattress until my restraints are stretched to the maximum. Even though I can feel the fabric burning on my skin, I laugh in surprise.

„Tom, what are you...OH FUCK!“

Without a warning, he has lowered his mouth down onto my clit and now his tongue is feverishly licking it. I am almost breathless and once again fighting my restraints. I need to touch him. I need to bury my fingers in his hair. I am grinding my hips against him, trying to increase the friction. Please, Tom, just one finger. Or two. Please. Just slip them inside me. Please. My body is still so highly aroused that I know it won't need much to push me over the edge again. But my pussy is so empty.

„Tom, please...“

He withdraws his mouth from my pussy. Instead, one of his fingers starts to draw slow circles over my throbbing little pearl. „What, babygirl?“

„I need you.“

„Oh, but you have me.“

„No!“, I whine. „I need you inside me.“

„Is that so?!“, he chuckles. „What do you need?“

„Tom, PLEASE!“ I am close to losing my mind.

„Oh, but you're going to need to talk to me, love.“ I can feel tears in my eyes and all that comes out of my mouth are desperate whimpers. „Do you want my fingers inside you? Pushing in and out of you, massaging the spot that gets you going immediately?“ Yes! „Or do you want my cock? My hard, thick cock that will fill you up completely and stretch your pussy?“ YES! „Oh, babygirl, my cock is so ready. So ready to sink into you.“ Fuck! „So ready to get covered in your juices.“ Fuck fuck fuck!

Every single word brings me closer and closer to my orgasm. I know that I need him inside me. But I also know that I need to come. Now.

„Tom, please make me come. I don't care how, just please make me...“

His mouth latches onto my clit and he uses it to create a vacuum while continuously flicking his tongue over it. It takes maybe three seconds before I come apart. I scream his name and pull on his ties holding me in place. Once I've calmed a little, he runs his tongue along the length of my dripping wet slit.

A low growl escapes his throat. „God, you taste delicious. Do you want to know how much my cock wants you? Do you want a taste of me as well?“

I hear what he is saying but my mind is still in some post-orgasm place where nothing he says really makes sense. So I simply nod. A moment later, I can feel his finger on my lips.

„Open up, babygirl!“

I part my lips and he pushes his finger inside. I taste the salty, warm liquid on it and swallow immediately. His pre-cum. The most delicious thing I've ever tasted. He pulls his finger from me and his mouth crashes down on mine. While his tongue assaults mine, I feel him nestling with the tie restraining my left hand. What is he doing? No! Don't untie me. Once the knot is loose enough, he takes my hand, guides it down and wraps it around his throbbing hard cock.

„Put it where you want it“, he whispers in my ear.

Without hesitation, I position his head at the entrance to my pussy and with one thrust of his hips, he buries himself inside me. We both moan out loud. I want to use my hand to pull him even closer but he grabs it and lifts it over my head where he pins it down with his. For a brief moment, I want to protest but the feeling of him driving into me is just too heavenly. All I can do is moan and say his name over and over. Never before has uniting with a man felt that good.

I feel him sliding in and out of me. I feel every vein and bump on his cock inside my pussy. All of it is mine. A few drops of sweat drip on my face and I try to imagine the way he looks right now. His body all sweaty. His muscles starting to tense as he is getting closer and closer to his release. His eyes fixed on me. His mouth slightly open while the sweetest sounds of ecstasy escape his lips. Imagining all that is enough to launch that fire deep inside my stomach. My body begins to tense completely.

„Come with me, baby. Please“, I beg him.

He crashes his mouth against mine again and a few moments later we both come apart together. His hot cums fills me up, while the walls of my pussy hold on to his cock for dear life. We moan into each others mouths and then he finally collapses onto my chest. His skin is sweaty and his weight on top of me is all I need right now. He loosens the grip on my untied hand and his fingers lock with mine. We lie in that position until the need to touch him becomes unbearable.

„Tom, please untie me. Now. Please.“

His skilled fingers free my hand in a few moments and I immediately wrap my arm around his neck to pull him against me.

„Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you“, I babble.

I am grateful that I'm still wearing the mask because I know that my eyes are filled with tears. I don't know why, but I am suddenly scared to look at him. When Tom lifts the mask from my eyes, I almost want to protest. But I don't. I blink and try to get used to the light in the room.

„Hello, darling.“

His blue eyes are looking down on me. He frowns a bit when he notices the tears streaming down my cheeks but I simply smile at him. He smiles back and kisses my forehead.

„I love you, Kat.“

„And I love you, Tom.“

Without saying another word, Tom puts out the light on the nightstand and then wraps me in his arms, his body spooning mine. He holds me close and I can feel his still rapid heartbeat against my back. We lie awake like that for quite a while. Then Tom plants a soft kiss on my neck. We both take a deep breath and allow exhaustion and sleep to take over.

 

Chapter Text

Even though my eyes are still closed, I can feel the intensity of his stare on myself. I collect my thoughts and slowly open my eyes. The room is flooded with light. It's another sunny day outside. I look at Tom, who sits at the end of the bed, his arms circled around his knees, his look very serious.

„Good morning“, I yawn. He doesn't reply. I stretch out and the cover slips from my body, exposing my stomach and hips. Might just get him into the mood for some morning sex.

„Oh Kat...“

The worrying tone in his voice rings every alarm bell in my head and I am suddenly wide awake. I sit up and try to catch his gaze. But he looks down, desperately trying to avoid looking me in the eye. What the fuck is going on?!

„Tom, what is it? You're starting to freak me out.“

He still doesn't say anything. Instead, his eyes flicker between my wrists, my upper arms and my hips. What is he looking at? I let his eyes guide mine and look down at my own body. Oh! My wrists reveal exactly where Tom's ties had held me in place a few hours earlier and my hips and arms bear proof of his tight grip during our fuck in the bathroom after the beach walk – several blue and purple bruises, just as big as his fingers that made sure he got to take me the way he wanted to.

„Oops“, I smile. „Thank god it's not bikini season yet.“ I wink at him and try to get him to smile, but his expression is ice cold.

„It's not funny, Kat. Really, not at all.“ Why do I suddenly feel like I've been out for a couple of days?! Whatever happened to our connection from last night?

„Tom, I am going to need you to talk to me. Mind-reading still isn't my strongest skill.“

„Neither is trying to be funny“, he says sharply. Well, fuck you!

„Talk to me or I swear I will walk out and get into the next car to London.“

I never actually would. But my threat shows the effect I had hoped for. His expression begins to soften a little and he reaches out for my hand.

„I'm sorry. So sorry. It's just...if people saw you like that...with the accusations made against me...and then you...if they saw your bruises, if they saw the scratches on my back...“ His voice breaks, but I still know how the sentence was supposed to end.

I squeeze his hand and then crawl behind him. I actually gasp a little when I see marks on his back. Several red lines are covering his skin, each a result of me scratching his back with my long fingernails in ecstasy. I take a deep breath and then trace every single scratch with my mouth, planting soft kisses on them. I can feel his body relax a bit by the touch of my lips. He, too, takes a deep breath. I wrap my arms around his chest from behind and let my chin rest on his shoulder, simply holding him. He places his hands on my arms, holding them in place, making sure I can't retreat from him. Why would I even want to?! Suddenly, I feel a hot tear splashing on my forearm.

I immediately let go of him and crawl back to face him. His eyes are flooded with tears and his body is now shaking. Oh, my love! I simply pull him into my arms, holding him in a close embrace. He is weeping shamelessly into my neck. And I let him. I know that he needs me to be strong for him right now. When his trembling body begins to still, I pull away from our hug, only to put my arms around his neck. My fingers are stroking his blonde hair, my fingernails are gently caressing his scalp. I kiss away the last tears on his cheeks and then look into his eyes, silently telling him that he has nothing to be afraid of. That I will always be here. I don't know if he understands me, but suddenly, a ever so slight smile appears on his face. There's my boy! He leans forward to let his forehead rest against mine.

„It's okay, baby. Just breathe“, I whisper to him, still stroking his hair.

He does as he's told and inhales deeply. For the first time this morning, I can feel his body relax completely. I kiss him softly. As my lips touch his, a suprised and sad moan escapes his throat.

„Now...are you going to tell me what the matter is? I want to help you, Tom. I want to understand. But I can only do that if you talk to me.“

He clears his throat. „I am scared, Kat. So fucking scared.“

He's talking. Good. I sigh in relief. „Scared of what?“

„Of everything. Of this being the end of my career. Of disappointing my fans, my family. Of never being able to convince the world of what really happened. Of...“ He pauses to collect his thoughts. „...of actually going to jail for this.“ Please don't talk about it. I can't lose you. I won't lose you. „And of losing you over all of this.“

Unable to say something, I simply crash my mouth against his, kissing him deeply. I try to pour all my love for him into the kiss. I try to tell him that he will never lose me. And the way he returns the kiss – full of passion and relief, slightly sighing whenever my tongue touches his – tells me that he understands. Once we break the kiss, we stay in a close embrace for a few more moments.

„Kat...“

I pull away from him and place my finger on his lips. „Shhh! I know. I love you too.“

Another tear drops from his eyes, only this time I know it's because he's overwhelmed by his feelings. I wipe it away with my thumb and smile at him. The smile he offers me in return breaks my heart in the very best of ways. Tom's smile. The most beautiful sight there ever was.

„Are there any news regarding the investigation?“, I ask a bit nervous.

„Not really. It is still my word against hers.“

„But then they can't really do anything, can they?! Because there's no way of telling who's lying.“ A questioning look appears on Tom's face. I take his hand and gently run my thumb over his knuckles. „Hey, don't worry! I know that she's the one lying in this. I know you didn't do anything to her.“ Except probably give her the greatest fuck of her life. I shiver in disgust. „But from their point of view, they have no way of actually knowing what happened. Because they can't take one word over another.“

„Well...“, he sighs. „...there is the video.“

„But that's only 27 seconds“, I protest.

„27 seconds that make the whole incident look like I am raping her.“ I shake my head. „Yes, Kat. If you didn't know me, if you didn't her, and if you didn't actually know what happened...what would you think if you saw that?“

That you raped Taylor Swift. Every cell of my body tries to fight that realisation. Tears are flooding my eyes.

„Hey, it's alright, darling.“ Tom scoops me up and pulls me into his lap. „I know that the thought of this is scary. Trust me, I do.“

„Isn't there any way to get hold of the entire video?“, I sniffle.

„My lawyers are trying everything. And so are the police. Their main focus is trying to figure out where the anonymous tipp came from. Somebody sent out those 27 seconds. If they know who did it, they might be one step closer to getting hold of the whole recording.“ He swallows and pulls me even tighter. „But I'm afraid the damage that has been done by the press coverage is beyond repair by now. No matter how this will play out, the public has an opinion. And I am the one who looks bad here.“

„I know“, I reply in a defeated tone. „Especially now that Luke has dropped you.“

„Yes...“ The sadness in Tom's voice breaks my heart. He didn't just lose his publicist. He lost a friend.

„Was there really no other way? I mean, Prosper is Luke's agency. He's the boss. I don't understand why he had to fire you...“

„Apparently several other clients have been threatening to find themselves another agency should Prosper continue to represent me.“

„What? Who???“

Tom shakes his head. „I don't know. I have my suspicions, but since I don't actually know anything, I won't waste my time speculating over this. I doubt I will find another agency that's willing to sign me. Given the current mess... So I might actually have to come up with a strategy myself.“

„You know I'm always here if you need advice, right? Anything I can do to help...“

„Thank you, darling.“ He kisses my forehead.

„But Hamilton Hodell hasn't dropped you, right?“

„No, they haven't. And they won't. I've had a long talk with Christian the other day and...“

„You mean Christian Hodell?“, I interrupt him.

„Yes“, he nods. „Sorry, I keep forgetting that you haven't actually met him. We'll need to change that soon.“ I smile at him in approval. „Anyway, we talked the other day and he told me that he absolutely believes me and that he will do everything to keep the damage to my career to a minimum.“

„Good.“ I like him already. „Has it caused any damage?“, I ask, even though I am a bit afraid of what the answer is going to be.

„Yes. I have been fired from two movies. And I've had six producers cancel my auditions for them.“

„Six????“ No fucking way.

„Yes.“ His tone is almost cold, as if he was detatched from his feelings. „They don't want to risk the success of their movies. Or to be associated with my name in any shape or form. Ray-Ban has released me from my contract, and so has Jaguar.“ Oh no.

„Baby, I'm so sorry. Has Marvel reacted to any of this? Because I would think they have a rather strong opinion on it...“

„Well...as for my current contract, I will have fulfilled that one once Infinity War is out. Six movies with them, that's all that is planned for now and all I have signed for. They have told me that they still want me to promote the movie in any way I can. With me being stuck in the UK, the whole thing is more than complicated. But the world premiere is scheduled for London anyway. So I am lucky and I will attend. I don't know if there will be any more appearances of Loki in their movies. But Christian told me that apparently they have already signalled their interest in singning me as Loki again, should plans like that emerge.“

I can't help but smile. „But that's good! You'll still be Loki! That is a huge deal.“

„Yes. It's just...it means so much to me and I don't want to sound ungrateful but...I want to be so much more than that.“

„I know, Tom. You already have been. And I'm sure you will be again in the future.“ A fake smile appears on his face. „What about Much Ado? Has Ken signalled anything yet?“

Tom's face lights up and his eyes begin to sparkle. „Yes! He texted me the day before yesterday. Before I went to Ben's house to find you, actually. He told me that we start rehearsing in two weeks.“

„So you're going to play Benedick?“

„I'm going to play Benedick.“

I squeal in delight, throwing my arms around him. He chuckles as his hands run over my naked body. When he reaches my hips, he hits a spot where a rather painful bruise has formed. My body stiffens in pain and I pull away from him.

„Darling, what is it?“, he asks with a shocked expression on his face.

„You're going to have to be a bit careful with me for a few days. You have quite the grip, you know that?!“, I tease him.

But the smile from his face is gone. He looks at my bruises, regret written all over him. Don't you dare, Hiddleston! I don't regret any of this. So you don't get to either.

Finally, Tom breaks the silence. „I should've never done that to you.“

„What are you talking about??“

„Tying you to the bed. And...using you like that yesterday afternoon.“ Use me?!

„You didn't use me.“ He wants to protest but I don't let him. „Let me say it again...you didn't use me. You fucked me. Hard. And I enjoyed it. I stopped counting after orgasm number 7. Simply because my mind wasn't able to contain numbers anymore. And I didn't pass out because you hurt me. I passed out because the multiple orgasms, the things you made me feel, were simply too much to handle. My body was exhausted. Maybe because it wasn't the first time you made me come yesterday. Maybe because no man has ever fucked me like that. I just couldn't take the pleasure any more. But you must know that I enjoyed every second of it. Just as I will enjoy every single bruise.“

„How can you say that?! And how could you let me tie you to the bed? Knowing what I am...“

„What you are?! I'm sorry, what are you talking about?“

„Kat, can't you see?! This is what happened with her. This is what turned me into a...“

„Do NOT finish that sentence, Hiddleston! I mean it!“ Don't you ever refer to yourself as a rapist! „Let me tell you what you are... you are the man that I love. The man that I trust. The man that I would move heaven and hell for. You are...“

„I restrained her as well. I fucked her hard. I...“

„Yes, and I'm pretty sure her all American pussy gets flooded every time she thinks about it.“ Did I really just say that?! „Baby, listen to me...given the fact that every time we sleep together, I have to readjust my definition of great sex, I am pretty sure that Taylor enjoys every memory of that night. She's not doing this because you actually hurt her. She's doing this because you refused to play her little game any longer. This is payback, not wanting justice. And then...“ I move in his lap and wrap my legs around his waist. „If anyone asked me where I got those bruises from, I would tell them the truth. I would tell them that they are the result of mindblowing sex with the man I love. Tom, I know who you are. And more importantly, I know who I am because of you. Whenever you look at me or touch me or say my name or make love to me, I feel more like myself than I ever have before. You're allowing me to discover a new side of me. Admittedly, a wanton and rather dirty side. But I'm not complaining. I'm enjoying and embracing every second of it. All these marks and bruises, on my body and on yours, are marks of pleasure. They're a sign of our love. Just as every one of our orgasms is. So don't you dare compare that to what you had with her. I love you. More than words will ever be able to describe and...“

I am silenced by Tom's kiss. His tongue pushes into my mouth and he devours me. Gently, carefully, and yet very demanding. He pushes me onto my back. With my legs still wrapped around him, he is lying between my thighs that have spread for him on their own accord. We kiss and moan and try to take the pain away from each other.

Suddenly, I feel his growing erection against my stomach. We break the kiss and his eyes find mine. His expression is asking for permission. I nod ever so slightly and with a single move, he slips his penis inside me. I moan because feeling him that close again feels so wonderful.

His thrusts are slow and gentle, delivered in a perfectly steady rhythm. He leans forward and plants soft little kisses on the bruises on my arms. His hands find my wrists, caressing the marks of our little game the night before. Every single touch is so gentle. It's as if he's trying not to break me. As if you ever could. You're making me whole again.

When his thrusts become uneven, I know that he's close. So I close my eyes and surrender to the magic his cock and pubic hair are creating on my clit. We both tumble over the edge together, but it's a much quieter release than usual. We're panting and moaning but it's not the usual explosion. But still every bit as satisfying.

Tom is lying on top of me, his softening cock still inside my pulsing pussy. His head is buried in my neck, his mouth brushing soft kisses against my skin. I want to say something, tell him that I love him, but I can't. The lump in my throat keeps me silent. So I simply wrap my arms around him to make sure he doesn't pull away from me. And then I allow silent tears to stream from my eyes. I cry without holding back, overwhelmed by my emotions. The way Tom's body is shaking, tells me that he does the same.

 

Chapter Text

I stand in the kitchen and give the salad the final touch it requires. It's already the fifth day of our little retreat in the little cottage. Two more days then we have to head back to reality. More than once during the past days had I wished we could just stay here forever. We even had developed a little routine. Tom would get up for a run on the beach early every morning. After returning and showering, he'd slip back into bed with me to cuddle, hold and fuck me for a few more hours. Then we would go for our daily beach walk and a little stroll into Ellington or Lynemouth where we would buy groceries or just do some souvenier shopping. The afternoons were for reading or casual sex. And in the evenings we would watch a movie, drink wine and talk for hours. Life is so perfect that way.

My thoughts are interrupted by the sound of Tom's voice in the living room. A few hours earlier, he had asked me if it were alright if the practiced some of his lines for Much Ado. How could I ever say no to that?! I hate that I'm about to interrupt him, but it's already getting dark outside and I'm starving.

„Tom! Dinner is almost ready...“

I am finally content with the salad. The steaks look like they need another minute or two. Perfect timing. I cut the freshly baked bread and place it in a breadbasket. Grabbing the basket and the bowl with the garlic butter, I turn around to set both of them on the table. But I stop my movement because Tom is leaning against the door, looking devilishly handsome. He's wearing jeans and an indigo blue sweater. And his glasses. Fuck, don't give me the glasses. They do things to me. I blush and smile.

„You look extremely sexy when you're cooking, you know that?“, he says with a smile. More blushing.

I don't reply but simply move to the table to get rid of the items in my hands. Then I return to the kitchen counter to take the steaks out of the frying pan and set the salad on the plates. Suddenly, Tom's arms wrap around me from behind and he places a soft kiss against my neck.

„It smells great, darling. Do you want me to open us a bottle of red to go with it?“

I put down the empty salad bowl and turn around to face him, circling my arms around his neck. „Are you done with Mr Shakespeare for the day?“

„Yes“, he nods. „It's about time I give my girl all the attention she deserves.“ His mouth finds mine and we share a brief, but tender kiss. „So...wine?“

„Yes, please“, I smile.

He brushes another soft kiss against my lips and then lets go of me to fetch a bottle of wine and an opener. I continue to place the food on our plates and then carry it over to the table. When I light the candle, Tom joins me to pour us both a glass of wine. He guides me onto my chair and pushes it gently towards the table. My perfect gentleman. Then he sits down as well. He reaches for my hand and then his glass.

„Cheers, my darling.“

I grab my wine and toast him. We both take a sip, but our eyes never leave each other. Then we silently move on to dinner. Every now and then, Tom shoots me a loving look or flashes a little smile at me. And every time, my heart simply melts. All this feels so normal. So right. We're finally getting to experience what normal feels like.

„By the way...“, I break the silence. „Ben and Sophie send their best.“

„Did you talk to them?“

„Yes.“ I flush down the last bite of my steak with some wine. „I called him earlier. To tell him that we're doing just fine and to thank him again. You know, he actually tried to tell me that Catherine already follows him around the room with her eyes.“ My last words are already mixed with giggles.

„But she's only..what? Two weeks old?“, he chuckles.

„Barely.“

„When do babies normally do that?“ There's actually something that my Mr Brain doesn't know?!

I smile. „I don't exactly know. But NOT at two weeks, that's for sure.“ One last bite of bread with garlic butter and I'm finished with my dinner. „But Ben is so proud of her that he's convinced she is going to start talking next week.“ We both burst out laughing.

„Well, he's happy. So I don't blame him.“ Do I sense a certain melancholy in his voice?

I shake my head. „I don't either. And she's such a precious girl. I mean, holding that little bundle in your arms...there's just nothing like it.“

Tom takes my hand into his again. „My darling, are you experiencing a case of baby fever?“

Busted. „Maybe a little“, I say shyly. He raises an eyebrown at me. Ugh. „Okay, maybe more than just a little. But I can't help it. I've wanted children for so long now. And everyone around me is having them. Sometimes I'm glad that I still have my life to myself. But sometimes looking at a baby just really makes my uterus hurt.“ Lovely image, Kat. I'm sure he appreciates it.

Tom laughs. „Come here.“ He pushes back his chair a bit and gestures me to sit in his lap. So I get up, my hand still entwined with his. He practically pulls me towards him until I am comfortably seated and wrapped in his arms. „Just be patient, my love. I know how much you want kids. And I know that you will be an amazing mother. One day, that little bundle in your arms will be our son or daughter.“ I can feels tears forming in my eyes. „But I believe that a couple needs to spend some time on their own before bringing children into this world. That's why I'm not telling you to get off the pill right now. So you just have to be patient.“

The tears are now freely running down my cheeks. Oh Tom, how far you've come. Not too long ago you were running from everything that could be described as responsibility in your private life. And now you are talking about starting a family. In desperate need for some time to collect my thoughts, I pull him close to me and seal his lips with a kiss.

„When that day comes, I will be the happiest woman in the world.“

„And I will be the happiest man.“ He smiles at me with the most honest smile I've ever seen on him.

I place my hand on his cheek and he leans against it. „You're actually serious!?!“

„About wanting a family with you?“ I nod. „Yes.“ He places his hand on my one resting on his cheek. „As long as it doesn't happen today, tomorrow or in the next 6 months.“

I smile. „I think I can wait that long. As long as we get to practice a lot for the baby making in the meantime.“

Tom kisses me and slightly groans into my mouth. „Why don't I set up the fireplace?! Then we can crawl up on the couch and see what we can do about that.“ A dirty sparkle lingers around his eyes.

„Oh, I like that idea. I'll just clean up the kitchen a little bit. And then I'm all yours.“

I kiss him once again before I get up and start to clean up the table. Tom takes our wine glasses and the bottle and makes his way to the living room. Just before he exits the kitchen, I turn to him once more.

„Tom?!“ He stops to face me. „Do not, under any circumstances, get rid of those glasses.“

„The glasses?“ I can hear the surprise and question in his voice.

„Yes. I love them. So they're staying.“ Demanding what you want. Way to go, girl.

„Darling, why are you blushing?“, he asks amused. No reason. „Why do I feel that this is about more than you simply approving of my eyewear?!“

„I think they're sexy, okay?! They make you look even hotter than usual.“ And that is saying something. „Whenever you wear them, you are feeding my Professor Hiddleston fantasy.“

„Your what??“ Ugh, I should've kept my mouth shut.

„Well...every now and then, I like to imagine that you're my professor. And I'm your student. And you call me to your office for some...extra credit work.“

He struts over to the table to set down the wine and the glasses again. „And tell me, my love, when exactly do you like to imagine that?“

I flush crimson. „I...well...whenever I...um...masturbate.“ I still don't break the eye contact with Tom and I can tell that he is fighting a smile.

„Oh, but darling, if you need to get off more often, just tell me. I am more than happy to help out.“ And now a devilish, almost Loki-like grin appears on his face.

I roll my eyes at him. „Well, I clearly don't do it now. But the fantasy is still there. And you are not making things easier right now.“

„One question...are you telling me that you have a thing for role play in bed?“

Um...I don't know. Do I?! „No idea“, I reply barely audible. „I've never tried it. And I don't know if I would like it. All I know is that playing the scenario in my head is something that really turns me on.“ I also know that I am currently pressing my thighs together just thinking about it.

„Would you like to add it to the list?“, Tom asks in a serious tone that tells me that he isn't mocking me. He's actually serious.

„Would you be up for it?“

„I wouldn't ask you if I wasn't. So?“ Another wave up blushing hits me. I am totally embarrassed and incredibly aroused at the same time. My mouth is dry and I know that I can't really speak. So I simply nod my head. „Alright then.“ When the embarrassment becomes too much, I turn around to focus on the dishes again. „Kat?“ I face him once more. „Would it be okay if it was only me for now? Not your professor?“ What the hell is the talking about??

„Tom, I really don't know what you mean.“

He straightens his back and his hands begin to unbuckle his belt. The sound of his zipper being pulled down fills the room and sends shivers down my spine. He hooks his thumbs into his pants and boxers and pulls them down a little. When his stiffening cock springs free, he stops and looks at me again.

„I ask you again...would it be okay if it was only me for now?“ I nod slowly but very surely. „Pull down your pants. Now!“

His voice is my command. I try to get out of my jeans as fast as I can. I can hear him shuffle with his clothes as well but I don't take the time to look at him. All I want is get naked for him. My bottom half already naked, I try to pull my shirt over my head. But before I can do that, Tom is next to me, crashing his mouth against mine. He has taken off the glasses so I allow myself to fully lean into the kiss. His tongue hungrily demands entrance. I part my lips to allow him in and he immediately begins to devour me. I quietly moan and pull his naked body against mine. His hands tighten around my waist and he lifts me up to sit on the kitchen counter. I giggle in surprise. Tom pulls away from me and looks into my eyes. Without looking away, he grabs the hem of my shirt and pulls it over my head. I immediately look back at him, trying to find his gaze. But his eyes are still fixed on my breasts. Oh. Right. I'd forgotten that I'm not wearing a bra.

„Hmm“, he growls and cups my breasts with his hands, his fingers gently tugging on the nipples. „I like having such easy access to them. You should dress like that more often.“

„Anything you want, Sir.“

His eyes fly up to meet mine. Another low growl forms in his throat and then he pulls me in for another kiss. His arms wrap around me and he holds my body close to his. I can feel the crown of his hard, hot cock resting at the entrance to my soaking wet pussy.

„Please, Tom“, I gasp. „Please take me.“

As if my words were all he was waiting for, he rolls his hips and slowly slides his length into me. We both moan as we unite and Tom plants light kisses on my lips. Once he's completely inside me, he stills and looks at me.

„I love you“, he whispers.

„I love you.“

Never breaking our eye-contact, he slowly rocks his hips back and forth, allowing his penis to slip in and out of me. The angle at which he's penetrating me allows the tip of his cock to rub against my g-spot. My body shudders and I know that this is going to be a quick one. I wrap my legs around him to pull him even closer into me. My head falls back and I let out a cry when he hits my cervix. I close my eyes and try to let go of everything that's holding me back. Suddenly, I feel his hands on my face. He's gently cupping it and pulls it back up.

„Look at me, babygirl. I want to see the look in your eyes when you come. I want to see how your body trembles as your every thought leaves your mind. I want to see you.“

He is already panting and I know that he doesn't need much longer. My eyes are still fixed on his when I pull one of his hands from my face and guide it between my legs. He needs no further instruction to know what I want him to do. He knows you. He places his thumb on my clit and begins to rub it in the same rhythm he's pushing into me.

The intensity of his stare is almost too much. I see the arousal on his face and it's enough to push me over the edge. My pussy tightens, gripping his cock and causing him to moan even louder. I am trembling and shaking and moaning as I surrender to my orgasm. A split second later, Tom follows me and covers my insides with his cum. After a few final thrusts, he eventually lets me out of his gaze and pulls me into his arms. I let my head rest on his cheast and try to catch my breath. As my body begins to relax, it begins to slightly shiver.

„Are you cold?“, Tom asks worried.

„Maybe a little.“

„Why don't I keep my promise of starting the fire, darling?“ Curling up with you in front of the fireplace?! Yes, please! I nod. „Hold on to me.“

I tighten my grip around him and then I feel him lifting me up. His cock is still inside me and as he begins to move, I can feel that it's filling up again. But Tom simply carries me to the living room. He takes the blanket from the couch, puts it around my shoulders and then carefully sits me down on the sofa. I whimper a little when he pulls out of me. I always feel so empty when you leave my pussy. He wraps me into the blanket and kisses my forehead.

„I'll be with you in a moment.“

I take a deep breath. And before I can see him kneeling down in front of the fireplace, I have drifted off into a dream-like state.

 

Chapter Text

I close my eyes and try to catch my breath after the orgasm that had just rushed through my body. Well...orgasms. Multiple. As usual. Tom and I are resting in a nest of pillows and blankets on the living room carpet. The fire is quietly crackling, the room is lit by about a dozen candles. Bon Iver is playing in the background. Tom had woken me up to this quickly after I nodded off, only to drag me to the floor where he made sweet love to me for more than an hour. Now he's resting his back against one of the armchairs and distantly sipping on his wine. I am laying flat on my back, wrapped in a blanket, my head comfortably propped on a pillow. My legs are stretched out and resting in Tom's lap. His free hand is gently drawing circles on the naked skin of my knees and thighs. His touch isn't demanding. It's simply satisfying his need to let his fingers connect with my body and gently caress it.

Another deep breath and I smile. No words can describe the happiness I am feeling right now. And again, I wish I could stop time. I feel Tom's index finger tracing the scars on my knees and shudder a little because it tickles.

He chuckles briefly before breaking the silence. „Where are they all coming from?“

„Well...“ I sit up. „This one...“ I point to a particular scar on my right knee. „...is from a fall I took in the school yard in second grade. The wound was nasty and dirty and nobody took the time to clean it out or even put a bandaid on it. So it left a not so pretty scar.“ I am not looking at Tom but I can feel that his eyes are fixed on me. „These two and those four and those 1...2...3...4 are from an arthroscopy I had after dislocating my knee cap for the first time in 2002. And those 3 big ones are from a surgery in 2011 where they put an artificial ligament between my tibia and my knee cap. To prevent it from dislocating all the time. Aaand those four...“ I point to my left knee. „...are from an arthroscopy in 2003. Same reason. Dislocated knee cap...“

His warm hands gently rub over my knees. „Seems to be one of your favourite things to do...“

„Um...no!“ I laugh. „It's very unpleasant and painful as fuck. But it still happens every now and then. You get used to it.“

„My poor babe...“ He reaches for my right hand and plants several kisses all over it. When he reaches my pinkie finger, he stops and brushes his thumb over it. „And where did you get this one?“

„You noticed that?“, I ask with disbelief because the scar is barely visible anymore.

„Of course“, he replies dead serious. „Your body is as much mine as it is yours. It's my intention to get to know every single detail about it. Every freckle, every scar, every stretch mark...“ I shrug and let myself fall back down on my back, shaking my head in disapproval. „Yes, darling. All of it. I don't care that your body isn't perfect. Because to me, you still are the most beautiful and most sexy woman I've ever met. So...the scar...how did you get it?“

I look at my hand in the candle light. „I cut myself on a broken glass while doing the dishes. I was a child, but I don't really remember how old exactly. My mother could tell you. She found me sitting in the living room when she got home from work with several bloody towels lying around. I think she is scarred for life from this experience as well. She must have thought I slaughtered a pig or something.“ We both laugh.

He looks at me for a moment before flipping me onto my stomach. He pulls the blanket away from my butt and I suddenly feel very self-conscious. „And this one?“ Is he going to ask me about every single scar on my body?! Because that might take a while.

„Chicken pox. Just like the one beneath my eyebrow. I hate that it's there. But I can't change it.“

„Well, I like it.“ He leans forward and plants a soft kiss on the scar on my ass and then flipping me back onto my back. „Any other scars I should know of?“ Well, here we go...

I sigh. „Well, the ones on my hand and on my arm are from burning myself on the stove. Happens quite a lot actually, but those two times left a scar. The one on my ear is from a fall in kindergarten. I slipped in the bathroom and hit my head on the edge of a stone shower basin. I literally split my ear. But I was lucky that it wasn't me head. This one on my calf is from a little incident with a staghorn coral in the Red Sea. And the rest...“ I sit back up and wrap my arms around his neck. „...you will just have to discover as we go along.“ With that, I seal his lips with a kiss before he can protest.

We break the kiss and stay in a close embrace where we simply look at each other. I take my hand and run my thumb over the scar on his forehead.

„I got it...“, he starts but I press my finger against his mouth to stop him.

„Tom, I know how you got it. I know that about all of your scars.“ A questioning look appears on his face. My beautiful idiot. There he is again. „I've been a fan of yours for a long time, remember?! I did my research. So I know.“

„Right“, he blushes. He pulls me next to him, puts his arms around my shoulders and I rest my head against him. „I keep forgetting that you knew me long before I knew you.“

My hand is on his chest, gently playing with his chest hair. „Does it feel strange? To know that I know all these things about you?“

„Sometimes. But I mostly think that it's unfair. You seem to know everything about me and I...don't. You are still a mystery to me in so many ways. And sometimes, I am worried that you might get bored of me because you've heard everything already.“

„Bored? Of you? Oh baby!“ I kiss him deeply and press my body against his. I let myself fall back on the floor and pull Tom with me. We land in a position where he partly lies on top of me as we continue our passionate kiss. Feeling his weight on top of me always makes me feel so safe. So protected. So possessed. In the very best of ways. Eventually, I break the kiss. „Tom, I could never be bored of you. I discover so many things about you every single day. And every time I feel like a little kid who has just found a new piece of easter candy. I love getting to know you. And you will never ever be boring to me, okay?“

„But...“

„No! There is no but here. Look, the things I know about you are simply what you elected to share with the world, with your fans. Even before I knew you in person, I was aware that it was only what you wanted us to see, only a glimpse of the real you. It was enough to make me fall in love with you but...“

He pulls away from me. „Okay, but how is that possible? How do you fall in love with a person you've never met?“ This could make for a very uncomfortable conversation.

„Well, I think you don't actually fall in love with the person, but with the idea of someone. Because like I said, what I knew about you was only a fraction of what actually defines you. But it was all so wonderful. Our society is lacking men who allow themselves to care or who are proud to be gentlemen. The way you speak, the way you speak about love and women, the way you totally focus on someone when you talk to them...“ Like you are focused on me now. „...the way you treat everyone with the utmost respect...I knew that I wanted to get to know that person. And then I allowed myself to dream. I dreamt of what it would be like to have you in my life. Given what I already knew, I convinced myself that you are the most perfect man in the world and that a life with you would be the ultimate goal. But like I said, that was the idea of something that you might become for me, not the person that you actually are.“ I clear my throat. „When you admire a celebrity like that, the lines between reality and a dream world become very blurry sometimes. Because suddenly they stop being who they actually are and turn into someone you want them to be. And then, when you actually meet them, you realise that your dream is never going to become reality.“

„So how is it for you? Is this everything you've ever dreamed of?“

„You mean being with you?“

„Yes.“

„No.“ Tom raises his brow in sorrow. I place my hand on his cheek to comfort and calm him. „It is so much more than I ever thought possible.“ A sigh of relief escapes his mouth. „Honestly, Tom, I never thought we would ever have that kind of relationship. Well, any kind of relationship, to be honest. When I met you, I was so heartbroken and at the same time so crushed out. You were everything I always knew you would be. Charming, kind, intelligent, incredibly sexy...“ He laughs nervously. „But that still wasn't the real you. So in the beginning, it was mainly a physical attraction. Being around you every day, feeling you touch me, even if ever so slightly, smelling your scent...Tom, I was walking around with drenched panties for the entire shoot of the movie. I wanted you so much. When you showed up at my door step and we finally gave into our desires...it was like the pain from years was finally taken away from me. And I didn't lie when I said that I love you that night. But looking back, I think I was still talking about the idea of you. Because I didn't even know who you really were. You hadn't shown me. Now you have. So I think that now, I am actually falling in love with you. Only you. Thomas William Hiddleston. The person behind the public smile.“

„So you're not disappointed?“ Worry in his voice. Again.

„No, Tom. Not at all. Like I said...this is so much more than I ever allowed myself to dream. YOU are so much more than that.“ I bring my face close to his. „I love you with every single cell of my body. And that love grows stronger every day. I didn't know it was possible to feel that way about another person. But here I am. Every part of me is yours, Tom. And I...“

His lips silence me, his demanding tongue drawing sweet moans from me.

„I love you so much, Kat. You are everything to me. And I don't ever want to lose you.“

He pulls me into a close embrace, his head resting on my chest. I bury my fingers in his hair and gently caress his scalp, feeling his body relax against mine more and more.

„You won't lose me. Ever.“ I press a kiss on the top of his head.

We lie in each other's arms and the even breaths coming from him make me wonder if he has fallen asleep. Not that I would mind. I let my eyes wander across the room, trying to drink in every single detail of this perfect evening. The candles. The fire. The music. The smell of wood, sea water and Tom. His weight on top of me. My own heartbeat in my chest.

And then my gaze falls onto the sculpture standing in the window sill – a beautiful wooden carving of a sperm whale. Ever since I had entered this room a few days ago, I had been completely in love with it. I stare at the piece of art and try to remember every detail about it as well.

Suddenly, Tom's voice resonates through our bodies. „Kat, you're not taking home the sculpture.“

„I...what? I didn't even say anything.“

He pushes himself up on his elbows. „No, but I could practically hear you thinking. And I am telling you, you're not stealing the whale.“

I pout a little. Not that I was actually planning to. „But it's just so beautiful.“

His eyes wander over to the window as well. „Yes, it really is. It's a sperm whale, right?“, he asks looking at me.

„Yes, it is“, I smile, suddenly feeling a tiny bit proud.

„Do you ever wonder why they are called sperm whales? It seems like such an odd name for an animal.“

I chuckle. „No. Because I know why they are called that.“

His eyes are now fixed on me. „Enlighten me, darling.“

„Their head contains a liquid wax called spermaceti. It's the reason why they were almost hunted to extinction from the 18th to 20th century. Before people knew what the wax was, they believed it to be the whale's sperm. And because there was so much of it to be found in a single animal, they called them sperm whales. Once people realised that all animals have the wax stored in their heads, even the females, they let go of that theory. But the name stayed.“

„You are so sexy when you talk science, do you know that?“

His mouth finds mine and he uses his legs to push mine apart. I moan and surrender to his touch. Just as I am about the peel the blanket away from me, there's a knock on the door.

 

Chapter Text

„Luke, what are you doing here?“, I say as I wrap the blanket tighter around my body nervously.

„No“, Tom’s voice cuts through the air. It’s cold and distant. Please don’t start fighting, boys. „That’s not the real question here.“ He fixates Luke with his eyes. „How the hell did you know where we are?! There are only two people who know about my current whereabouts. And…“

„And Ben told me“, Luke interrupts him quietly.

„What?“ I can tell that Tom is getting more and more enraged.

„I tried calling you endless times, but you didn’t pick up.“

„My phone is down“, Tom explains annoyed.

„It doesn’t matter what the reason is. I was unable to reach you. So I had no choice but to turn to your friends.“

„Oh yes you did!“ Tom takes a step towards Luke. He is about to explode… I reach for his hand and gently stroke it with my thumb to calm him. „You made a decision. Now fucking deal with it and stay away from me. You made it very clear that I am no longer your concern. So what could’ve been so important that it justifies you driving across half the country without me even wanting you here?“

Luke reaches into the leather portfolio he’s carrying. He pulls out a few loose pages and calmly hands them over to Tom. He takes one look at them and his body stiffens. His jaw is tense and I can tell that he’s biting his teeth together. What the hell is going on?! Without saying a word, Tom hands the pages over to me. I accept them with shaky hands and then take a deep breath before looking at them. I look down at several, slightly blurry pictures. Pictures of me and Tom. At the beach. Walking hand in hand. Running from the waves. Kissing each other while holding each other close, his hands resting on my ass.

I turn to Luke. „What is this? Where did you get this from?“

„They’re all over the internet“, he replies.

„Since when?“, Tom asks, still serious but less agressive.

„They first came to my attention this afternoon. By that time, they had been posted for a few hours. But they’re already spreading like wildfire. It’s all the fandom and the gossip pages talk about.“ Fuck.

„Snapped with a phone camera, I assume?!“

„It would seem so. It was one person who posted them on Twitter. So they must have recognised you and thought that way, they’d get their five minutes of fame.“

I sink down on the sofa, completely in shock. We can’t even have a vacation together without my face being all over the internet. What the hell?! And how does Tom put up with it all the time?? I bury my face in my hands.

„Hey…darling, it’s alright.“ He sits down next to me and pulls me into his arms. „We will deal with this. No worries.“ I throw myself at him and hold on to him as tight as I can. Please don’t let me go, Tom. I’m scared. Please, just hold me. Tell me that everything is going to be okay.

„Listen, you two…“ Right. Luke. I had almost forgotten about him. „Why don’t I make us all a cup of tea? You can get dressed in the meantime and then we’ll talk about everything.“ 

*****

A few minutes later, we all sit in the kitchen, sipping on our tea. I am still a bit shaken but Tom had managed to calm me down. And I him. I had told him to listen to what Luke has to say and not give into the urge to strangle him. All three of us are noticeably nervous, but finally, Tom breaks the awkward silence.

„Why are you here, Luke? You released me from my contract. So none of this is your concern anymore…“

Luke tilts his head. „Do you really think I stopped caring when I decided not to represent you anymore?! Tom, you have always been more than a client for me. You are my friend. So of course I care about you. And…“ He looks at me with a warm smile on his face. „…about Kat.“ I return the smile. You’re a good man, Luke Windsor. „I didn’t even know you two were back together until I saw those pictures.“ He pauses, obviously waiting for any kind of reply. „I…um…you are back together, right?!“ Of course we are!

The way Tom looks at me tells me that, for some reason, he is not so sure about that at all. His eyes are caressing my face, begging me to answer the question that has apparently been on his mind ever since we got here. I take his hand into mine and his fingers immediately entwine with mine. It seems as if he’s trying to pour even more love into his gaze, causing his eyebrow to slightly raise up. Damn it! The Hiddleston eyebrow of doom. Don’t look at me like that. I squeeze his hand and then nod at him ever so slightly. Of course we are back together, you idiot. I doubt that Luke has even noticed the silent exchange between us, but a huge smile appears on Tom’s face, letting me know that we are exactly on the same page.

„I take that as a yes“, Luke chuckles while Tom and I are still lost in each other’s eyes. Finally, we return to reality and focus our attention on Luke, who is waiting for us patiently with an honest smile on his face. „I am really happy for the two of you. You mean the world to him, Kat. So knowing that you’re back in his life…makes me as a friend very very happy. And it will make my job quite a lot easier…“

„Your job?!“, Tom asks with disbelief. „You are no longer my publicist, remember??“

„Right…about that…“ Luke shifts uncomfortably on his chair. Then he reaches into his portfolio once again, pulls out more papers and hands them directly to Tom.

He lets his eyes fly over the pages in front of him. „What is that?“

„Your new contract with Prosper PR.“

„What?“, Tom and I ask in unison.

„Listen, mate…I made a mistake. A terrible one. And I acted like a complete idiot.“

„Asshole is more like it“, Tom says.

„Tom!“ I squeeze his hand, only not so gentle this time. He looks at me and I shoot him a look telling him that he agreed to listening before judging.

He turns back to Luke. „Sorry.“ Good boy.

„You were my first ever client, Tom. And when things got rough, I put everyone else before you. I apologise for that. I wish I would’ve never let you go. But I did. And I’m sorry.“ Okay, British boy, enough apologising. Get to the point. „But I want to set things right again. This is your new contract, Tom. Your lawyer has already revised it and he’s fine with everything it says. Now I hope that you will sign it. And that we can continue working together.“

Tom is completely speechless. He looks back and forth between me, Luke and the contract in front of him. „But I…I don’t…this…what happened to those who threatened to leave if you kept representing me?“

„If you sign this, then I will tell each and everyone of them that they have a choice. They can stay with Prosper and accept my decision as a business man or they can take their business elsewhere.“

„You’re insane! This could do permanent damage to the agency and its reputation.“

„This could also do permanent damage to you, Tom. And I want to do everything the prevent that from happening.“

Tom looks at me as if he’s asking for my opinion. „I’m not getting involved in this…“, I reply to his silent question.

He takes a deep breath and reads through the pages once more. Then he turns to Luke. „Do you have a pen?“ Luke hands him a pen from his portfolio, smiling from ear to ear. Tom quickly signs both contracts and then hands pen and papers back to his new old publicist. „Alright, now that this is settled, let’s talk about how we are going to deal with this.“ He takes a sip of his tea. „First of all, I am going to need your contact information, Kat. You are part of Tom’s life now and I need to be able to reach you. Would you care to write it down, please?“

He hands me a piece of paper and the pen. I take it from him with slightly shaking hands and then slide it back to him. „There you go.“ Why does all of this feel so official suddenly?!

„Thanks, Kat. Then, Tom, do we need to get you a new phone. Will you take care of that yourself or do you want me to get one for you?“

„Can you just get me a new one, please? Have it sent to my place.“ Luke nods. „But you know…“, Tom says with a boyish grin, „…I actually like the whole not being reachable thing. It’s very relaxing.“ I can’t help but chuckle.

„And as much as I understand that, it’s important that the people working for you are able to reach you at pretty much any time. That goes for me, that goes for your agent, that goes for your lawyer.“ Damn, Windsor is in business mode. Impressive. „And that currently also goes for the police. Even though they're not working for you. But still...“

All colour leaves Tom’s face. „I didn’t actually miss anything, did I?!“ We both look at Luke nervously.

„Not that I am aware of. I think they would’ve contacted Andrew…“ Must be his lawyer. „…and if he wasn’t able to reach you, he would’ve called me. So I think we’re good.“

„Good“, Tom sighs.

„Don’t be relieved just yet“, Luke protests.

I can feel Tom shifting uncomfortably beside me and I reach out to take his hand. No matter what happens, I am with you.

„Well, what is it?“, Tom asks.

„Like I said, there are apparently no news regarding the investigation. But the media seems to be making up quite a lot of facts on their own.“ Big surprise. „There is the usual speculation, but there is also Taylor's latest move.“

The mention of her name causes Tom to tense up. „What has she done?“

„She did a TV interview. With Oprah.“ You have got to be kidding! „It hasn’t been broadcasted yet, but it has been recorded. I found out about it this morning. I already sent the information to Andrew’s office, instructing him to do everything he can to stop this from getting out.“ That little bitch!

„Do you think there’s a chance of succeeding?“, I ask.

„Well…“, Luke sighs. „It’s Oprah. It’s ABC Networks. We’re taking on the big guys here. And I’m sure that whatever Taylor has told in that interview will be worth any lawsuit. This is an exclusive. It will be everything the business talks about for weeks, if not months.“

Tom rubs his forehead. „So what can we do?“

„We can hope that Andrew is successful. And that there are still enough people out there who believe your side of the story.“

„Only they don’t really know it“, I cut in. Both men look at me with big eyes. „Sorry, but it’s true. There has been no official statement from Tom’s side regarding the whole incident and the accusations. And while I understand the attempt to simply sit it out, I don’t think it is going to work. Not this time. Taylor has an army of media professionals by her side. They won’t stop until they’ve reached their goal, which is apparently to destroy you and your reputation, your career. She probably has them fooled as well. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a single person on her team who actually knows the truth about the tape and its circumstances. All everyone knows is her side of the story. So I think it might be about time that people hear what you have to say about this.“ Tom has his face buried in his hand and I can practically hear him thinking.

„What do you suggest?“, Luke asks me calmly.

„I don’t know. How do these things usually work?!“ You're the media expert here. „Release a statement, hold a press conference, something like that.“ What the hell do I know?! „But whatever it is, tell them what happened that night. Tell them when it happened. And tell them that there is more to the video than those 27 seconds reveal.“ I draw Tom’s hand away from his face and force him to look at me. „Offer them another perspective. And then let them decide who they’re inclined to believe. You still might go down in the end. But at least go down fighting.“ Tom avoids looking at me, so I turn to Luke who proudly smiles at me.

„I couldn’t have said it better myself.“

„Seriously?“, Tom asks sceptically.

„Tom, this isn’t going away. You know her well enough to know that she won’t let it go. Kat is right. She will fight until you’re convicted for something you didn’t do. Personally, I believe that she wants to destroy you completely. And despite the fact that you’re madly in love at the moment, she is succeeding. Besides…if we can’t stop this, it will eventually destroy your relationship as well.“ How dare you say something like that!

„It won’t“, I protest. Luke raises an eyebrow at me. „No! None of this will get between us!“

„Yes, it will“, Tom says. His words and the sadness in his voice break my heart. He takes my hands into his. „Luke is right, darling. I don’t expect you to stay with me through this. I know that you want to. But should I actually end up going to prison, I won’t allow you to wait for me.“

I want to say something but the lump in my throat is too big. I know who you are, remember? I love you and I will be by your side through all of this. And if they lock you up for this, I will wait. I will always wait for you, Tom! No matter how long it takes. A single tear rolls down my cheek. Tom wipes it away with his finger and then presses a kiss on my forehead. The touch of his lips causes me to sob quietly, so he simply puts his arm around me and softly strokes my hair while turning to Luke.

„Do you really think publically addressing the matter is going to make any difference?“

Luke sighs. „Honestly?! I have absolutely no idea. There is never any guarantee. And sadly, there is no textbook for PR disasters like that. But our current tactics are not working. So maybe it’s time to make a change.“

„Alright. Just…“ Tom kisses the top of my head. „…just give me a few days to talk things over with my family. I need to talk to them first. None of this is going to make things easier for them. So that is the least I can do.“

„Sure, no problem. Now…Kat, are you alright?“, Luke asks me.

I straighten my back and wipe away my tears. „Sure. All good.“ Well, no. Nothing is good. All I want is to go back to my quiet life where nobody knew who I was. I don’t want any of this. Except for Tom. I want him more than anything. I need him more than anything.

„Kat, this is going to be rough on you too.“

„Going to be?“, I snap at him. I immediately regret my outburst, but Luke simply responds with an understanding smile.

„The question is: are we going to officially confirm your relationship or not…“

„Aren’t the latest pics enough of a confirmation?“, I ask.

„Well, yes and no. The tabloids and gossip sites are on it. In the public eye, this is all the confirmation they need.“ Oh yes, because the last time Tom was photographed on a beach with a woman it was all completely honest and genuine… „However…it is only a matter of time until they contact the agency for an official statement. They want to hear it. They want us to say that you and Tom are officially dating…“

„But we could just say that we won’t comment on the matter?!“, Tom interrupts him.

„Yes, we could. I just don’t know if that would be wise. What do you think, Kat?“

I take a deep breath to collect my thoughts. „My first instinct is to keep my mouth shut. But after my little speech about not hiding from things, I feel like it would be cowardly to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want any of the attention. But I’m getting it anyway. So we might as well address it and maybe shut up a few haters by that.“

I glance over at Tom, waiting for him to reply. But he simply looks at me, his eyes full of love and pride. When he silently mouths „I love you“, I forget that Luke is still in the room with us and press my mouth against his for a passionate kiss. After a while, Luke clears his throat and I instinctively pull away from Tom. My face is flushed and I feel like teenager that has just been busted making out by her own mother.

„Alright“, Luke chuckles. „Note to self: expect daily cases of PDA.“ All three of us laugh out loud. „Well, then let’s agree on this… When asked directly about your relationship status, Tom, I will confirm that you are dating Kat, asking everyone to respect your privacy bla bla bla. But we won't release a statement if no one asks about it. Kat, I suggest you stay away from social networks for a while. To avoid the craziness and to make sure you don’t stir things any more. Any tweets or posts will be twisted in every possible way at the moment. So please try to avoid that.“ I nod. „I also don’t recommend public dates for the two of you. I’m not telling you to hide, but going out for a romantic dinner might not be the smartest move right now. If there’s anything you want to do, just get in touch with me first, okay?!“

„Sure, no problem“, Tom replies.

I nod, but all this feels very strange and rather uncomfortable. So if I want to go out for a drink with my boyfriend, I have to call his publicist first?! This is insane! But I don't say anything. Instead, I focus on Luke again.

„How are we on public appearances and red carpets? Are we doing those together?“ Talk about me in the third person ever again and I will kill you, Windsor!!!

„I don't know.“ He looks at me. „I feel like this is your decision, darling. I'd like to have you by my side as often as possible. But I also understand if you are not comfortable with that.“

„I...um...“ No idea! „Do we have to make a general decision here? Can't we decide that for each event seperately? Because I really can't answer that right now.“

„It's okay, Kat“, Luke calms me. „It is good for me to know that you are not generally opposed to the idea of accompanying Tom to certain events. We will just discuss the details when the invitations reach us. The 'Infinity War' premiere is very soon and I think you should attend, Tom.“

„I fully intend to.“

„Good. I already put it down in my calendar and I will be there to manage everything. It might not always be a pleasurable experience, but I still think it's important.“ Tom agrees by nodding distantly. „And Kat, you and I will talk sometime next week and discuss the options here, alright?“

„Sure“, I say, although I don't really know what kind of options he is talking about. Breathe. He will explain.

„Speaking of next week...“, Luke continues. „Any plans for your special day, Kat?“

„No, not really.“

„I'm sorry, what are you two talking about??“, Tom asks, confusion written all over his face.

„It's my birthday next week.“

„What?!“ Tom instinctively reaches for my hand. „How do I not know that?“ He turns to Luke. „How do you know about my girlfriend's birthday and I don't??“ My girlfriend. Sounds pretty damn good.

„Because I get paid for stalking her on social media?!“, Luke winks at Tom.

Tom laughs. „Oh, darling, but you can't have a birthday without a party. Seriously. Think about it. A little party with friends at the house?! What do you think?“

I'd rather stay in bed with you all day... „Give me some time to think about it, okay?!“

Tom guides my hand towards his lips and brushes the kiss on the back of it. „Anything you want.“

„Well, you just let me know what you decide. If you indeed have a party, I am going to need to know the full guest list. And a few informations on the formalities. Just so that I can react to any word of it that might get out.“

Is this how it is going to be from now on?! Regular meetings with a publicist. Every detail of my private life being discussed because it could be of public interest. Every time I leave the house carefully planned. A shiver runs down my spine, but I still nod, even though I'm not entirely behind everything I'm agreeing to. Again.

„Okay, then I have one more thing for tonight“, Luke continues. God, will there ever be an end to this business meeting?! I reach for my tea and sip on it, my thoughts slowly drifting to other places. Sexy places. „Kat, would you be willing to sign an NDA?“

I snort in surprise and tea begins to drip from my nostrils. Tom jumps up from his chair, pumping his hands to fists. Okay, I totally didn't see that one coming.

„That is absolutely out of the question!!!“, Tom says with emphasis.

„Tom...“ I wipe the last tea from my face with one hand and reach for his with the other. „I appreciate your concern, but I can speak for myself.“ His face slowly softens and finally he allows me to pull him back down on his chair. Then I turn to Luke. „Listen, Luke...if you are talking about a contract that forbids me to mention anything about this relationship to my friends and family, then I will not sign such a paper. I want to be able to talk to them, ask for their advice, or simply tell them when I am happy. If, however, you are talking about an agreement that keeps me from talking to the press and that prevents me from throwing private information on Tom's life on social media, then yes, I will absolutely sign that.“ I feel Tom's eyes piercing into me, but I keep mine focused on Luke.

„Well then...“ Luke pushes himself up from his chair with a smile lingering around his mouth. „Then I will have Andrew prepare the necessary papers. And now listen carefully, you two. I know that it's late, but I am taking you back to London.“ No, please don't. „It is only a matter of time until the information of your current location is out there and then the place will be crawling with paparazzi and possibly crazy fans. So we are leaving. Tonight.“ No!! „You can sleep in the car.“ I don't want to sleep, I want to stay here. I see Tom nodding from the corner of my eye. Fuck this! „Then you go and pack, while I raid your fridge a little. Come on...“ He claps his hands together. „Chop chop!“ 

*****

Less than an hour later, the engine of Luke's car roars through the quiet Cresswell night, as we drive off. Tom and I are seated in the back seat, making Luke look like our chauffeur. I look out of the rear window and watch our little cottage get smaller and smaller. Why does this hurt so much? Why do I feel like something is ending right now? The car pulls around a corner and the house is out of my sight. I turn my eyes back front and tears are dripping down onto my shirt. I sob a little, when I feel a strong arm around me.

„Shhh! It's alright, darling.“ Tom pulls me close to him and envelops me in his arms.

I press myself against his chest, grab the material of his sweater and hold on for dear life. While I weep silently, Tom strokes my hair and plants soft kisses on the top of my hat. Eventually, I free myself from his embrace enough to look at him through watery eyes.

„What is it, beautiful?“, he asks me, wiping tears from my cheeks.

„I'm scared“, I whisper.

„I know, my love. I am too.“ He cups my face with his hand. „But you are so strong and so incredibly brave in all of this. That gives me courage.“ He leans forward to kiss me. „And I will do everything to protect you. Nobody will ever hurt you“, he whispers against my lips.

I wrap my arms around him and kiss him hungrily. My tongue slips into his mouth, slowly teasing his. And then I remember... Luke. I hastily pull away from Tom to look over to the front seat. Luke is focussed on the road. I know that he witnessed everything, but he is gentleman enough to ignore it. And I am grateful. I lean against Tom, who puts his arms around me once more.

„I love you“, I mumble before allowing sleep to take over.

 

Chapter Text

I am pulled out of my dreams by the feeling of my body being shifted and turned. What is going on? Where am I? And then a tender, low voice right next to my ear brings me back to reality.

„Hold on to me, darling.“ Tom.

He places my arms around his neck and I do the best I can to do as I’m told. Flexing the muscles in his arms, he carefully lifts me out of the car. How many times do I have to tell you that you’re going to injure yourself carrying me, Hiddleston?! I want to protest but my body doesn’t respond to me. So I simply let my head rest against Tom’s shoulder and put all my effort into not falling asleep again.

„Luke, would you mind?“, Tom asks. A second later, the car door slams shut. „Can you take the suitcases, please? Or one, at least? I can take…“

„Tom!“, Luke interrupts him. „You’re carrying precious cargo. Leave the suitcases to me. Where are your keys?“

„Left pocket.“

I can feel hands nestling inside Tom’s pocket and then the clinking of keys. A slight breeze brushes over my body and I shiver. Tom pulls me closer against his body and runs his right hand over my arms and torso, trying to warm me up a little. My fatigue is constantly pulling on me and it feels like I am floating. Everything is a blur. A door being unlocked. Luke and Tom talking about getting in touch later. Going up the stairs. Tom putting his warm hand on my cheek.

„Tell me, my love…guest room or…?!“ How about no???

I force myself to look at him. „No…your bed…please.“

My eyes close again so I only hear the small laugh coming from him. A few steps later, he opens the door. Another few steps later, I am put down on the bed. I hesitate to let go of him, but Tom simply plucks my arms away from his neck. I hear him turning on the lamp on the nightstand. Ugh, this is too bright already. I open my eyes to take a look around the familiar room. Only that nothing looks familiar at all.

„Tom, what the hell???“ I am suddenly wide awake. „What happened here?“

His bedroom is completely transformed. The walls are now painted in a warm, light yellow. His monster of a wardrobe and the bookshelf are gone. Instead, there is an antique chest of drawers and elegant wardrobes made out of dark wood on both sides of it. The bed, nightstands and lamps are new as well. I sit up straight on the bed and take another look around the room.

„Seriously, Tom, what is all this?!“

„I had it all arranged as a surprise for you. The craftsmen arrived two days after you left. I had it all planned out. Ben and Sophie were supposed to keep you busy for two days, allowing everyone to finish their work. And then I wanted to surprise you.“

„Oh, I am surprised alright“, I gasp.

„Do you like it?“ He takes my hand and brushes his thumb over my knuckles.

„Tom, it’s beautiful! But really, you shouldn’t have. You even banned your books from the room.“

„Well, I needed to make space for your wardrobe, didn’t I?“, he smiles at me.

„But I don’t need my own wardrobe. I can live out of my suitcase for now and once I’ve got my own place…“

„Your own place? What are you talking about?“

„Well, I want to be close to you. And I think I’ll be able to find a job somehow. Ken even offered me one for now. So it only makes sense that I move to London. Isn’t this what you wanted?“

„What I…?!“ He doesn’t finish the sentence and his whole body slumps into a heap of disappointment. „Kat, what I want is for you to move in with me.“ Sorry, come again?! I know that I should say something, but all I am capable of is staring at Tom. „Come on, this can’t really come as a surprise to you.“

I clear my throat. „It does, actually.“

„Seriously, Kat?!“ He pushes himself off the bed. I try to reach for his hand to stop him but I am to slow. He paces through the room and then stops to look at me. „I thought we were back together.“

„We are.“

„Then how can you not agree that this is the best solution for both of us?“ Is it?!

„I just…don’t you think we are moving a bit fast here, Tom?“

He lets out an angry laugh. „Right…so I must have been dreaming about our conversation regarding our future together. Kat, I love you. And I meant it when I said that I want a future with you. Children. A family. And yes, I said that I don’t want it tomorrow. But I don’t want to wait 10 more years either. We need to build this relationship. Not that I have much experience with that, but I know that living together would be a good start. You know that we would get along. We did last week. I’ve never been more happy than in those past days with you.“

„Tom, we’ve been on vacation. That is not what real life is about. We can’t pretend that any of what happened last week was real.“

„But my feelings for you are real.“ His voice is shaking. „I love you. And I want nothing more than to spend my life with you. I want to look into your eyes first thing in the morning. I want to come home to you and ask you how your day went. I want to get angry over the fact that you leave the toothpaste open every single time. I want to find your bottles of nailpolish distributed over the whole house. I want to be able to peel you out of your clothes and make love to you at any time of the day. And most importantly, I want to fall asleep with you in my arms every night, knowing that you will still be there the next morning. Because I love you. So tell me…is the idea of moving in with me really that out of the question??“

Tears are streaming down my face. „I…“ …don’t know. I bury my face in my hands for a moment and take a deep breath. „I don’t think I can give you an answer right now.“

Tom’s eyes meet the floor. „I think you just did. It’s probably best if you sleep in the guest room tonight.“ With that, the turns around and enters the bathroom. He closes the door behind him and a moment later, the shower is turned on.

I fall back onto the bed and stare at the ceiling. Think, Kat. Think! Isn’t living with him all that you really want? It’s normal that you’re freaking out a bit. But is that reason enough to run from it? He loves you. And you love him. So why not take this step towards a future together?! I turn on my side and curl up in an embryo position. Because I’m scared I’ll screw it up. Silent tears run down my cheeks as I wait for Tom to get out of the shower. When I hear the water stop running, I look to the bathroom door. But it doesn’t open. So I make a decision.

I only need a few steps and then my hand is on the door handle. I slowly push the door open. A wave of heat and humidity is greeting me. Tom is standing in front of the sink, brushing his teeth. I know that he’s aware of me, but he just ignores my presence completely. My eyes wander up and down his naked body that is simply covered with a towel around his hips.

„Tom, please come to bed. It’s late and…and our bed is terribly empty without you.“

It takes him a moment to realise what I’ve just said. When he does, he stops, spits out his toothpaste and turns to me. „OUR bed?!“

„Yes.“

„Are you saying what I think you're saying?“ I nod with a slight smile on my face. „Say it!“, he commands.

„Yes, I want to move in with you. But I want you to know that I am totally freaking out. I’ve never lived with anyone except for my mother before. So I really don’t know if I’m even cut out for relationships and…“

„Kat!“, he interrupts me sharply. „Shut up!“

I swallow my last thought and simply look at him. The expression in his eyes is still serious. But then, very slowly, a wide grin works its way across his face, forming crinkles around his eyes. I love the crinkles!

„You’re moving in“, he says and I can hear the relief in his voice.

„I’m moving in“, I confirm.

In a few, swift steps, he has reached me and envelops me in his arms, lifting me off the ground and spinning us both in circles. I giggle in surprise and amusement. When he finally puts me down, he leans forward and lets his forehead rest on mine.

„I love you“, he whispers and the ache in my heart becomes too much to bear. I pulls him against me, pressing my lips against his. My hands roam all over his naked, warm body, trying to encourage him to take me back to the bed. Our bed.

Tom breaks the kiss. „Am I allowed to christen the bed with you?“

„What?“ It's way past midnight. My brain doesn't do Shakespeare mode anymore.

„I’ve never slept in it. I couldn’t. Not without you. But now that you’re here again…let me take you to bed, make sweet love to you and then hold you while we both fall asleep.“

I raise an eyebrow at him. „And I thought you would never ask…“

I don’t even have time to laugh at my own comment because his mouth immediately crashes down on mine. Our tongues find each other, starting their little dance that they do so well. I feel him pushing me backwards towards the bed. He soon has me backed up against it. I break the kiss and slowly sit down. He towers over me, his naked body looking glorious in the warm light of the lamp on the nightstand. I let my hands glide over his well-trained abs. When I feel the heat radiating from his crotch, I stop and look up to him through my lashes. He doesn’t say a word, but the expression in his eyes is telling me that he is desperate for me to touch him.

I pull the towel off of him and let it fall to the floor. His cock hangs heavy between his thighs and my mouth actually waters as I look at it. I lean forward to plant a kiss on his abdomen and then trace his happy trail with my tongue. A tiny shudder runs through his body and it’s all the encouragement I need. I part my lips and pop his penis into my mouth. It is only starting to fill so I better take care of it properly.

My hand wraps around the soft, velvety skin of his shaft and I slowly pull back his foreskin, exposing the head of his cock. I run my tongue over it in slow circles.

„Oh fuck!“, Tom gasps while his head falls back.

His manhood twitches in my hand. I want to pull away to look at it while it stiffens under my touch, but his hands fly to my hair and entagle with it. He gently pulls to keep me in place. Don’t worry, baby. I am more than happy to give you what you want. I circle one arm around him, letting my free hand rest on his ass. The other still wrapped around him, I begin to let my mouth slide over his length as he grows harder and harder. Whenever my tongue flicks against his bulbous head, a low moan escapes his mouth. And every single moan drenches my panties a little bit more. By the time Tom pulls me off of his massive erection, my underwear is already flooded with my juices and my pussy is aching for his touch.

He leans down to kiss me slowly and then turns his attention to my pants. While he pulls down my jeans and panties and helps me out of my shoes, I free myself from my sweater and bra. A few moments later, I am stretched out before him on the bed completely naked. He gives me a quick smile and then sinks down to his knees in front of me and the bed. He uses one hand to part my thighs.

„Mmmm“, he growls while looking at my drenched folds. „You are so deliciously wet for me. Am I allowed to taste you, babygirl?“

„Yes, please. Do it!“, I gasp.

He runs his tongue along the length of my slit and then pushes it into me. Oh god, yes! My hands grab the bedspread and I pull on it relentlessly. Fuck, this feels so good. Tom’s tongue has found my clit and caresses it with slow licks. I moan and whimper. And I know that he wants me to come. But all I want is to feel him inside me.

„Tom, please…“, I beg.

He pulls away from me and his thumb takes over for his mouth, rubbing my little pearl in steady circles. „What, babygirl?“

„I…oh god…Tom, please…I…fuck…I need…“ My mind goes blank.

„Do you need my cock, hm? Do you want me to claim your body?“

„Yes“, I almost cry.

His hand abandons me and he crawls onto the bed until he lies next to me. He rolls me to the side and snuggles up to me to spoon me from behind. He slips one arm under my head.

„Take my hand“, he urges me.

I do as I’m told and squeeze it tighly as he plants light kisses on my neck. His other hand lifts up my thigh and drapes my leg over his body. I close my eyes, knowing that any second, I will feel him stretching my pussy in the most delicious, slightly painful way. And then the head of his cock is rubbing against my slick folds. He’s sliding it up and down and nudges my clit with it every now and then. I breathe heavily and squeeze his hand even more. Please put it inside me, please put it inside me, please put it inside me… I whimper when he draws himself away from me again.

„Why so desperate my, love? Is this not enough for you?“

„No“, I almost sob.

„Then what do you want, babygirl?“ Ugh, you know exactly what I want. I hate it when you tease me like that.

„Please, give me your cock. I need it. I really really…“

It takes my breath away when he buries his full length inside me with one, hard thrust. He stills, waiting for me to catch my breath. And then he begins his steady rhythm. His hand is on my hip, pulling me against him to match the pace at which he’s pounding into me. I close my eyes and reach back to place my hand on his head. My fingers pull on his hair and when I run my fingernails over his scalp, he moans even louder. His thrusts become harder and I know that he is desperate to find his release. He will draw this out for as long as he can to pleasure me. But all I really want is come around your cock. So I take the hand that is resting on my hips and guide it between my legs.

„Make me come“, I gasp between my moans.

Two of his long, skilled fingers find my clit. My body immediately responds with a strong flutter inside my stomach. Yes, just like that. I am almost there. He keeps rubbing my stiff and aching nub, even when my pussy begins to clench around him. Fuck, I’m gonna come.

„That’s it, babygirl“, he growls into my ear. „That’s it. Do it. Come on, do it. Come for me, come for me…oh fuuuuuck…“

I feel him shooting his load inside my pulsing and trembling pussy. I scream loudly while the waves of my orgasm travel through my body. Tom pulls me close into his arms and holds me in a tight embrace while we both catch our breath and collect our thoughts. Suddenly, I yawn.

„Come on, my love. Let’s get some sleep“, Tom says in a sleepy voice.

I simply nod and assist as much as my limp body allows it. Tom throws the bedspread aside and pulls the blanket over our exhausted bodies. He turns off the light and then lies down on his back. I crawl next to him and rest my head and one hand on his chest. He circles his arm around me, takes my hand in his and kisses the top of my head. My favourite way to fall asleep.

„Goodnight, darling. And thank you for saying yes.“

I smile sleepily. „Thank you for being you. I love you.“ I gently kiss his chest and then snuggle up to him even closer.

„I love you too, Kat.“

 

Chapter Text

I lie in bed and slowly become conscious and aware of where I am. Tom's bedroom. Our bedroom. I smile with my eyes still closed and reach over to put my arm around the man lying next to me. I wrap it around his waist and pull myself against his body. A sleepy little moan escapes his lips. Then his arms circle around me and he brings me even closer to his otherwise still limp body. Pure happiness.

„Good morning“, I murmur against his chest.

„Good morning, darling.“ His arms tighten around me and he gently runs his fingers through my hair. How is it possible that I basically feel him smiling right now?!

We lie silently in our close embrace, waiting for our minds and bodies to slowly wake up. The more his warm hands caress my skin, the more I know that he is awake. His fingertips dance over my body. Due to the fact that I am incredibly ticklish, I giggle or laugh out loud more than once, which only seems to cheer him on more.

He finally shows mercy and pulls away to look at me. „I love waking up to you, you know?!“

„I know. I do too. Seeing you first thing in the morning is the best way to start the day.“

He gently kisses my forehead. „So tell me, what are your plans for the day?“

Pfffff. „I don't know. I think your fridge might need a bit of re-stocking. There are two suitcases full of dirty clothes waiting to hit the laundry. And then I thought I might call Emma and ask her to help me do a bit of shopping for my birthday party. If your offer still stands?!“

A large smile travels over Tom's face. „This is your house now too, remember?“

„Well...yes. But I can't just plan a party without asking your permission first.“

„Oh yes, you totally can. I told you that I think it would be a great idea. So if you want to celebrate with our friends, then go for it. Anything that makes you happy, darling.“ I love you.

I lean over to kiss him. „Then I will have a birthday party.“

„Am I invited?“, he asks playfully.

„I might have to think about that. Depends on whether you're willing to wear suspenders.“ I shoot him a teasing look.

„Suspenders?! What do they have to do with anything?“

„I've been dreaming about hosting a Great Gatsby party for ages. I think it might be time to finally do it. And in order to match the dresscode, you might be required to wear suspenders, a bow tie and a hat.“

„Do I get a chance to reconsider my offer?“ Now he's the one teasing me.

I look at him with big puppy eyes and a fake pout. „But you said anything that makes me happy...“

„And that includes suspenders?“ I nod, trying to surpress my laugh. „Alright then“, he sighs. „But only because it's your birthday. And only if you allow me to lick champagne off your naked body once the guests are all gone.“ You, Sir, are the devil! Good thing I like to play with fire.

„Well, how could I refuse?!“ I shrug my shoulder and wink at him.

He launches himself at me, pulls me into his arms again and presses a demanding kiss on my lips. „Good girl.“ He leans against the headboard and holds out his arms for me to envelop myself in them. „And you want to take Emma with you for some shopping?“

„I just thought it would be nice for us to spend some time together. I'd ask Sarah to come too, but I take it she's back in India?!“ Tom nods. „Or do you think it's a bad idea? I just want her to get to know me.“

„I think it's a wonderful idea, Kat. It's a Saturday, so I'm sure she has time. I'll make sure to give you her number so you can call her. She'll be delighted to hear from you.“ He kisses the top of my head.

„So what are your plans for today?“

„Luke made me promise to stop by the agency today. I might ask Christian to join us as well. There are still many things to be discussed. And if we really decide to release a statement, it needs to be prepared carefully. By all of us.“

„Do you...do you think I could read it before you release it? I'd just like to know what might be coming my way once the word is out...“

„Kat...“ He cups my face. „When I asked Luke to give me a few days to deal with things, I wasn't just referring to my parents and sisters. That included you as well. You are my partner and I would never make a public statement like that without letting you know and asking your opinion.“

„Good.“ I smile at Tom through watery eyes and then simply pull him in for a kiss. „Thank you.“

„Don't thank me. Not for that.“ After a moment of silence he turns to me again. „By the way, you will get your key to the house this afternoon. I'll ask Luke for his until I have another one made.“ Poor Luke.

„It's fine, really. No need to rush things. So you really don't have to strip Luke of his key.“

„We are not discussing this, Kat. You live here, so you need a key. I told you, this is your house now too. End of discussion.“ Yes, Sir. „I will leave you with mine for the day. To make sure you don't have to sit on the doorstep after your shopping trip.“

„That is very kind of you. Thank you!“ I kiss him softly. „So...“ Just ask him. „Are you going to make a visit to the police station today?“

„I was thinking about it.“ Thought so. „Once I have my new phone, I am going to call Andrew and ask him if he thinks it's necessary. But I've been gone for a few days without letting them know. So I feel like I should at least let them know that I am back and very much interested in the investigation. It's most likely that they've seen the latest pictures of you and me as well. And I want to prevent them from forming to much of an opinion about it all without having at least talked to them.“ Makes sense. He pauses but I know that he's not finished talking. Out with it, Hiddleston. „Will you be mad if I go alone?“ Ahh...

„Is there a reason why you don't want me to go with you?“ Because if you're shutting me out again, then yes, I will get mad.

He sighs. „It's not that I don't want you with me. Because I really do. I am a lot stronger and a lot more patient when I have you by my side. But I would like to keep you off the radar as much as I can at the moment.“

„Why? It's not like people don't know about us. There is enough photographic evidence to prove it.“ And I am not ashamed of it!

„I know. But the more often we're seen together, the more people will talk about it. We agreed to not publically addressing our relationship at the moment. Getting papped together on a daily basis wouldn't help with that.“ He leans over and rests his forehead against mine. „I just don't want to make this harder on you than it already is. And I'm afraid that if we're photographed together, people will start saying that you're using me for fame.“ Well, your mother seems to think that already, if I remember correctly.

„That's the only reason?“

He kisses me gently. „Yes. I promise.“

„Well, if you change your mind, let me know. I can always postpone my shopping plans and meet you at the station. You just give me a call and I'll come running, okay?“

„Thank you.“ He kisses me once more. Then we sit in complete silence for a while before he turns to me again. „Have you told your family that you're here?“

„I only told my mother that I was on vacation.“ I sigh. „I'm pretty sure that my phone is exploding by now. She has made it her duty to constantly check on news regarding you, so I'm pretty sure she will have found the beach pictures. She's going to be furious.“

„Because she doesn't like me...“ I hear the sadness in Tom's voice and it breaks my heart.

„She doesn't even know you! I think she doesn't like the idea of us being together. Because she worries too much and believes everything the internet tells her. But if she would make an effort to get to know you, she would understand why I didn't even have a choice.“

Tom raises his eyebrow. „No choice?! What do you mean?“

„I didn't choose to fall in love with you, Tom. I didn't allow myself to do so. It just happened. My heart made that decision for me. And I'm glad. Just for once, the voice of my heart is so much louder than the one in my head.“

„So your heart is telling you to stay with me? To move in with me?“ I nod. „And what about your head?“, he asks in a serious tone.

I sigh. „Right now?! It's telling me that we're moving too fast. That we don't know enough about each other to be living together. And sometimes...“ I close my eyes and take a deep breath. „...sometimes it's telling me to run. To get out if this relationship as long as I still have any privacy left. Get out before it's too late.“

Tom's grip around my hand tightens. „Then why don't you do it?“

„Because I can't. Not with you. I can't escape you, remember. You're in my bones. I love you with every cell of my body, with everything I have. That's why I don't even want to listen to that voice. I won't ever be able to walk away from you. For the first time in my life, I am willing to ignore what's right or reasonable. I want to make this work. Us. So I constantly decide to listen to my heart. Because that means being with you.“

I look at Tom and try to read his expression. Have I said something wrong?! Just...put that eyebrow away! Seconds later, he wraps his arms around me and flips me onto my back. In one swift move, he is on top of me and my legs part to invite him in. He leans down to kiss me and then thrusts inside me. I let out a moan and close my eyes. This is also one of the reasons why I won't ever walk away. Because you can make me feel things I never knew were possible.

Tom has established a steady rhythm at which he's pushing into me. I pull his body against mine to feel him even deeper. And then I allow Tom and the pleasure to take control of my body over and over and over. For the millionth time.

 

Chapter Text

Determined to unlock the door AND still carry the bags from my shopping trip with Emma, I do my best to grasp all of the dozen bags in one hand and reach for the key to Tom's house in my pocket. Our house. Yeah, I'm gonna need some time to get this into my head. Much to my surprise, the front door is unlocked. I didn't expect Tom to be home so early. I let myself in and make my way to the living room.

„Hey, what are you doing home so...“ I don't get to finish my sentence.

„Hello Kat“, Diana says to me as she puts her book aside and gets up from the couch. Of course...she has a key as well.

„Hello Mrs Hiddleston.“ Well, at least I'm wearing proper clothes this time. Hang on...clothes. Crap. I look down to the bags in my hands to check if the one from the fancy lingerie shop in anywhere in sight. The last thing I want is for Tom's mother to know where I shop to turn on her son. But I can't spy it anywhere so it must be buried somewhere in between the other bags. If I can't see it, neither can she.

„I am very sorry to just intrude like that“, Diana says. Is it just me or does she seem nervous?! „I really had no idea that you and Tom had gotten back together until I saw the photographs last night. I...“ She takes a deep breath. „Look, Kat, I feel like you and I have gotten off to a bad start. But it seems like you won't be going anywhere soon, so I thought it is about time we got to know each other a little bit better. That's why I came here. To see you.“ Me?! „I've made us some pie and I was hoping we could just sit down with a nice cuppa and...talk.“

Part of me is impressed and flattered by her attempt to reach out. I know that she's doing it only for her son, not for me. But part of me is also still angry at her for believing I was just a random famewhore. If, like she said, Tom had really told her all about me and his feelings for me, then she should've known better than accusing me of that. I walk over to the dining table to set the bags on the chairs. I close my eyes to collect my thoughts for a moment and then turn back around to Diana, who is still looking at me with an equal amount of hope and doubt in her eyes.

„I'll set the kettle“, I say quietly and flash a brief, shy smile at her before making my way to the kitchen. Before I leave the room, I can hear the sigh of relief behind me.

*****

I pick up the two pots from the kitchen counter and walk towards the living room. Diana and I were now on our third cup of tea and both contemplated whether it would be too much to have a third piece of pie as well. We had spent almost two hours talking about theatre, books, art and politics. The conversation was effortless and we agreed on most things. I was impressed by her knowledge of literature and art, she seemed to be impressed by the nature and variety of my theatre experiences. Not once did we talk about Tom or the elephant in the room so far. But it had become clear that her and I had a lot more in common than both of us probably imagined. In the last half hour, she had started to help me with the preparations for my birthday party.

„Here you go, Mrs Hiddleston“, I say as I put the tea in front of her.

„Please, call me Diana.“

I don't know how to react so I simply smile at her before focussing on the party invitations again. We stay silent for quite some time and seem to focus all our attention on glittering envelopes. But I know that we both know that the import part of this afternoon, the important conversation, is yet to come. Finally, Diana breaks the silence.

„Why are you here? Why did you come back to him when every other sane person would run from all this as fast as they can?“ Well, here we go...

I put down my pen and take a deep breath. „Because I'm not sane. I am in love. Which means my mental state is currently as far from sane as possible.“ I'm so nervous saying this that I start to laugh a little. „Believe me, if I could get over the fact that I am madly in love with him, I would run too. But I can't. And I don't want to. I think I told you this the last time we spoke, but I think he's the one. I know that I want him to be.“

„Yes, I do remember that. And I am somehow inclined to believe you but...“ But what? „You'll have to forgive me. My son's last real relationship dates quite a while back.“ Yes, back to the days of Elizabeth Olsen. „And I don't even know what exactly they shared because he barely talked about it and never gave me a chance to meet her.“ Interesting. „And the last time I did meet a woman in my son's life, it wasn't out of interest but obligation. They pretended to have all the things I so desperately wish for him to have. But I think you and I both know that it was just an act. She only used him. Just like she seems to use everyone else in her life. I believe that she never does anything without calculating. So now here you are...young, beautiful, intelligent and willing to stick with Tom through what is without a doubt the most difficult time in his life. And I just find it difficult to believe that there is absolutely no agenda on your mind.“ I understand.

„Whenever I was in doubt about previous relationships of mine, my grandmother used to tell me something. She said that all I had to do was imagine my life without the person in question in it. She said that if I was able to think about that without feeling a sting to my heart, it was time to let go. But should I feel any pain thinking of it, I should do everything to find a way to make it work.“

„Your grandmother is a very wise woman.“

„Yes, she is.“ And yet she, just like the rest of the family, doesn't approve of my being here. „But you see...with Tom, I didn't have to imagine a life without him. When he kicked me out and I went back home, I lived it. I lived without him. It was alright as long as I was asleep and able to escape to a world where he didn't hate me. But as soon as I woke up and remembered that I had lost him, it was as if someone had pressed all the air from my lungs. I missed him with every cell of my body. So when I realised that there was a chance at fixing things, I took it. Because he is worth fighting for.“

Diana and I look at each other, both with tears in our eyes. She smiles at me and in that moment we both know that we have the most important thing in common: unconditional love for Tom.

„Look, Diana, I understand your concerns. But I'm afraid there isn't anything I can do other than telling you what I just did. I don't know if it's enough, but it's the truth. I don't want anything from him except for his love. And maybe a family one day.“

„A family?! Oh my dear, please be careful. Committing to a relationship isn't easy for Tom. And committing to a child is a whole different story“, she replies with worry in her voice.

„I am aware. And I have no intention of pressuring him in any way. But you might be surprised. He's the one who initially brought up our future children when we were in Cresswell.“

„He did??“ She looks at me with big eyes.

„I really think he's serious. He's trying so hard not to make the same mistakes this time. And I know that it's difficult for him. But he has opened up to me in a way that I never thought possible a week ago. He's trying. And that's enough for me at the moment.“

„You really are a special young woman. Listening to all of this, I am inclined to believe that my boy has finally found his match.“

Diana's words resonate in my head and I can't help but feel like she's just given us her blessing. In this moment, I can't help but lean forward and hug her. After a second of sheer surprise, Diana returns the hug. When we both pull away, we have teary eyes once more and can't help but laugh at how emotional we are.

„Well, I don't know about you, but if I have to drink one more cup of tea, I might just reconsider being British“, Diana jokes and I laugh with her.

„I did buy a very nice bottle of wild berry cider earlier today. Any chance I can interest you in a glass?“

Diana smiles at me. „Like I said...a very special young woman.“

*****

When Tom arrives home about an hour later, Diana and I have almost finished the bottle of cider. The party invitations are ready and the decorations are starting to take shape as well. Diana had enlightened me with a few wonderful stories from Tom's childhood that made us both laugh a lot. So when he steps into the living room, holding a shopping bag and a single red rose in his hand, he finds us both giggling and slightly buzzing.

„What on earth is going on here?“, he asks with disbelief.

„You know, just some bonding between a girl and her future mother-in-law“, Diana replies and gets up to greet her son. Future mother-in-law. Yes, I did notice the expression.

Tom hugs his mother before walking over to me. He sets the bag on one of the chairs before wrapping me in his arms and kissing me gently. When he pulls away from me, he hands me the rose and presses a soft kiss on my nose.

„Sorry for being so late“, he apologises.

„It's alright. I was in very good company.“ I turn to Diana who watches us with a big smile on her face.

„Yes, I can see that. Mum, can you stay for dinner?“

„Oh no“, Diana shakes her head. „I have a train to catch. Besides, judging from Kat's shopping bags, she is very much looking forward to spending some time alone with you.“ She winks at me and I flush crimson. Oh god, she noticed the lingerie!

Naturally, Tom has no idea what she's talking about and shoots me a confused look. Oh, you just wait, Mister. You're bound to like it. „Well, alright then“, he says. „But you really should come and have dinner with us at some point.“ He hugs her again and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.

„Or...“, Diana says as she walks over to say goodbye to me, „...you could come out and have dinner with me. What do you think?“

I pull her into a hug. „I'd really like that. We'll do that very soon. And thank you again for today. I had a wonderful afternoon. And I truly appreciate your help on all this.“

„Oh, it was my pleasure“, she replies. „Just make sure to get those invitations out quickly.“

I nod and reach over to grab one of the envelopes and hand it to Diana. „I am starting right now. This one is for you. I'd love to have you there next week.“

She silently accepts the invitation and simply nods at me. It doesn't take more than that for us to understand each other. After kissing her son on the cheek once more, she walks out.

Tom immediately closes the distance between us and sweeps me into his arms. „I was gone for just a few hours and then I come home to this. What the hell happened? Is everything alright?“

„Yes, everything is perfect. Like I said, we had a wonderful time. She really made an effort here today so I thought the least I could to is meet her halfway.“

„Halfway?! Darling, in the past few minutes, you two have exchanged hugs, dinner and party invitations and looks that apparently only you two understand. That is more than just halfway.“

„Well, she's your mother. And...I think I really like her. I can see a lot of her in you and it actually helps me to understand the kind of person that you are.“

Tom kisses me softly. „Thank you.“

„So how was your day? Is everything alright?“

„Well, it seems like nothing is really alright these days.“ I know. Sorry. „But everything went well. I spent a lot of time talking and even more time listening. It's just all very complicated. Now I am just looking forward to a quiet evening with my girl. Think that can be arranged?“

„Sure. I just...“ ...feel like you should tell me what happened today.

„I know, darling. And I will tell you. Later tonight or tomorrow. But now I need to get to the kitchen to get the bolognese started. Otherwise it'll never be ready in time for dinner.“

„You're going to cook for me?“

„Absolutely. And then I'll open us a nice bottle of red wine and we can talk about everything. How does that sound?“ Almost perfect.

„How about a deal...I get to watch you cook and then you go and take a quick shower. In the meantime, I set the table and you can just relax for tonight while I wait on you.“ In expensive lace underwear that I've bought earlier. „How does that sound?“ The passionate kiss Tom pulls me in for, is answer enough for me.

 

Chapter Text

I light the candle on the dining table and take one last look. Everything looks perfect. Just in that moment, I hear a sharp intake of breath behind me. Tom. I take a deep breath, straighten my back and then turn around to face him. He’s wearing black slacks and a dark blue shirt, the sleeves rolled up as usual. His eyes are fixed on me and wander up and down my body, trying to take in the offered visual.

Fully aware of what my outfit – or lack of such – must do to him, I walk a few steps towards him. Don’t trip in those heels! They’re the same sky high black heels I had worn for the premiere a few months ago. I found them in the wardrobe – my wardrobe – in the bedroom since I had left them at Tom's and he took the time to put all of my things in the closet. I decided to pair them up with red and black lace lingerie that I had purchased earlier in the day. A bra that didn’t do much to tame my girls and a pair of crotchless panties that allows Tom access to what seemed to be one of his favourite body parts of mine. Only he doesn’t know about that yet, due to the black satin robe I am currently wearing to cover up his surprise. And I know that this is already driving him crazy.

„Like what you see, Hiddleston?“, I ask in a seductive voice. As if that man ever needed any kind of seduction.

„Dammit, girl! You are not playing fair“, he says as he struts towards me.

„I never said I did.“ Tom tries to circle his arms around my hips but I push his hands away. „Oh no! You’re not here to touch. You’re here to eat, remember?“ I slowly turn around, making sure that my hips brush against him. The noticeable bulge in his pants sends a minor flood between my legs.

I walk over to the table and pick up the two glasses of red wine I had poured just minutes ago. Without having to say anything more, Tom closes the distance between us and takes a glass from my hand. We look deeply into each other’s eyes and silently toast each other. The wine tastes good, even though it’s a bit dry for my taste. Definitely the only dry thing is this room right now. I signal Tom to take his seat and he follows my kind order.

I lean forward and bring my lips close to his ear, always making sure to avoid any skin contact with him. „Dinner is coming right up“, I whisper into his ear and then try to make my walk to the kitchen as sexy as possible.

In the kitchen, I quickly put the pasta and Tom’s bolognese on our plates and then slip out of my robe. Showtime. When I enter the living room, Tom almost chokes on his wine. He puts the glass down a little bit too harshly and I’m afraid he might break it. But he doesn’t seem to care. His eyes are once again fixed on me and the way he uncomfortably shifts in his chair tells me that he’s trying to fight a massive boner.

I carefully put the plates on the table and then sit down across from Tom. „Bon appétit, my love“, I say to him and then pick up my fork to dig into the pasta.

Tom seems to be famished as he clears his plate rather quickly. And yet he makes sure to look into my eyes as much as he can. His expression is pure lust. He doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he wants to take me right here, right now. And it drives me insane. Because I want nothing more than for him to do so. The food is delicious but all I can think about is Tom eating me. The thought is so prominent and distracting that I barely actually eat anything.

He hasn’t said a single word ever since I entered the room. The tension between us is insane. Finally, his voice breaks the silence. „Any chance for seconds?“

„Absolutely.“

„Would you mind getting it for me, please?“ He’s trying to turn this into some kind of power play.

„Sure, just a minute.“ I slowly get up, reach for his plate and walk back to the kitchen. He hasn’t touched me once tonight and yet my whole body is on fire. I take a deep breath while putting some more pasta on the plate and then return to him.

This time, it is me who is short of breath. He’s still sitting in his chair but his pants are slightly pulled down and his huge erection is out in the open. Damn, he’s winning. I try to act cool and just put the plate on the table. When I try to walk back to my seat, Tom grabs my wrist tightly.

I shoot him a challenging look. „What do you think you’re doing? I told you that you were supposed to eat right now.“ Preferably me.

„I know, darling. But you see, I’ve had quite a bit already. I can’t say the same about you. But I need to make sure my girl is well taken care of. So you are going to sit here and eat what’s on that plate. Yours must be cold by now.“ Sit here?! Where?? Here as in…HERE??? I look at his cock and can’t believe that he might actually be serious about this. As if he senses my confusion, he wraps one hand around his shaft. „Sit.“

„But…no touching.“ I am desperate to avoid this because I know I most likely won’t survive it.

„I won’t touch you. I’ll just sit here while you sit on me and eat your dinner.“ Fuck. „Now…sit!“ The grip around his manhood tightens and his tone tells me that he is no longer asking for this. He won.

I take one step closer to him and then slowly lower myself onto him. He holds his cock in place and due to the by now major flood between my legs, his full length slides into me with ease. When I lower my full weight on him, he pushes even deeper inside me and the head of his cock hits my cervix. I close my eyes and my pussy clenches around him, causing him to let out a low growl. FUCK.

He brings his mouth to my ear and I can hear him breathing heavily. „Eat, babygirl.“

I grab Tom's fork with shaking hands and do as I'm told. I try to concentrate on the taste of the food, the flickering of the candle, my own breathing...anything but the fact that he's inside me. My head is spinning and my heart is racing in my chest. Well, what did you think was going to happen?! And isn't this exactly what you want? You knew this would turn into something heated and hopefully a bit kinky. You know him and you know what power he possesses over you. There is no way you could've won. As soon as his dick comes out, you're stripped of all your weapons. Tom moves his hips ever so slightly and the shifting of his penis inside me causes my whole body to quiver a little. Fuck, I could just come like that. He moves again and it takes all of my strength to not just start riding him. You do realise that you're about to have post-pasta sex?! Is that even a thing? I dunno. I can't possibly eat all of this or I'll be stuffed. Well, you already are. In a much more pleasant way. When Tom moves for a third time, my needs become too much to handle. I throw the fork onto the almost empty plate.

„Okay, this is enough. I can't eat any more and I can't take any more of this. Will you please just fuck me already?“, I beg.

I can hear Tom breathing heavily against my neck and I know he's doing this on purpose. „Make room on the table. But make sure I stay deep.“ God, I love it when you say things like that.

Trying to do as I'm told, I push the plates and glasses as far to the side as possible. No matter how much I attempt to stay still, I still move around and shift and everytime he rubs against me on the inside. His quiet whimpers tell me that he is just as desperate as I am.

„Now get up and turn around“, Tom orders me as soon as I've cleared the table as best as I could. I don't like the thought of pulling myself off of him but I still follow his orders. „Good“, he says calmly. „Now sit and open wide.“ I am no longer capable of any thought so I simply do what he tells me to do. I spread my legs as wide as I can and allow him the best possible look at my drenched folds, to which he answers with a throaty, low growl. „You do look like the perfect dessert. So wet and so ready for me. But I'm afraid that since I'm not allowed to touch you...“ He get's up and stands very very close to me. „...I might just have to come up with another way to make you scream.“ He leans a bit forward and reaches for the rose he had given me earlier and that I had put onto the dinner table in a little vase. I look at him and my eyes beg him to touch me. But he doesn't. Instead, he sit himself down once again. No no no no no...

Tom gently caresses the sides of my body with the flower in his hand. „Tell me, babygirl, do you wish to come?“

„Yes“, I whimper.

He moves the flower further down on my body until it's right between my legs and pressing against my wet pussy. „Then do it“, he commands in a tone that very much reminds me of Loki. With a...flower???

As if he's aware of my doubts, he starts so slowly move the blossom up and down against my wet and burning core. And suddenly, I am no longer able to hold myself back. I move my hips against the soft rose petals, trying to increase the friction on my clit. I look down between my legs and see that the rose is already covered in my juices. Then my eyes find Tom's and it adds even more intensity to the situation. His other hand is firmly wrapped around his shaft and he strokes it in the same pace as he rubs the flower against me. So we're basically fucking each other without fucking each other.

„Come for me, babygirl. I want to hear you come apart.“

His velvet voice is all the encouragement I need. The orgasm that has built up inside me takes over my body. I moan and scream and ride it out against the flower in Tom's hands.

Before I even have time to come down from my climax, Tom has tossed the rose aside and is now kneeling between my spread legs. He just looks at my wet and quiverying pussy before latching on to my clit. His lips close around my aroused and aching pearl and his tongue dances over it in a relentless rhythm. I curse out lout because finally feeling him against me is sending my body into overdrive. Don't stop. I need more. So I rock my hips against him and moan in desperation. When Tom circles his arms around my hips, the touch of his hands on my skin sets off my second orgasm of the night. His mouth never abandons me while I experience waves of pleasure rushing through my body. Then he laps up all my juices as if he was desperate not so waste a single drop, before his tongue is back on my clit. I've reached the point of complete surrender where I simply allow Tom do with me as he pleases. And I enjoy every second of it. His talented tongue flicks orgasms three, four and five out of me in the exact same way, leaving me a hot and shaking mess in front of him. I become dead to the world for a few seconds and feel like I am floating. Then his voice brings me back to reality.

„Come here“, he says lovinly. The commanding tone is entirely gone.

I lift myself up a bit and look at him, only to discover that he's no longer between my legs. He's still kneeling on the floor, but a bit further away from the table, one hand stroking his throbbing cock. It takes all the strength I have to push myself of the table and lower my body down onto his. I know exactly where you want me. I wrap my arms around his neck and then sink down onto his cock. We both let out a moan and then simply look at each other.

He takes my face into his hands and then caresses it softly. „Hey there. Are you alright, darling?“

I feel like I'm too exhausted to speak, so I simply lean forward and kiss him. Never breaking the kiss, I reach down and unbotton his shirt. I help him to pull it off his shoulders and throw it aside. Then I pull away from him to simply look at his perfect body. My hands are resting on his pecs and I can feel his racing heartbeat. Tom smiles at me and then reaches around to unclasp my bra, which joins his shirt on the floor. His hands wander down my body and rest on my hips. We sit like that for quite a while. I can feel him throbbing inside me but we keep still. All we do is look at each other. Then, finally, his hands begin to guide my hips, signalling me to move, to ride him. Finally.

I roll my hips and create the friction we both so desperately crave. Tom's moans are increased by me increasing the speed. They still are the single hottest thing I've ever heard. He pulls my body closer against his, pressing kisses against my neck. Then his mouth travels further down and he latches onto one of my nipples and strokes it softly with his tongue. My grip around his neck tightens and I let my fingernails scrape over his scalp, drawing the sweetest sounds from him. He now alternates between caressing both nipples while still guiding my hips.

When my pussy begins to quiver around him, Tom pulls away far enough to look into my eyes. We are lost in each other's gaze and move as one until we both are pushed over the edge and surrender to strong, noisy orgasms.

Tom lets himself fall backwards on the floor and pulls me with him. I collapse on top of his body, his cock still buried inside me. His hands wander over my skin as if they were trying to make up for the time he wasn't allowed to touch me earlier. We're both panting and trying to realise what just happened between us. This was definitely one of the more kinky sexual encounters of my life.

Suddenly Tom laughs. „I can't believe I asked my mother to have dinner with us.“

 

Chapter Text

„There you go, darling.“

Tom hands me my freshly filled glass of red wine and puts his down on the nightstand. I take a quick sip and then set mine aside as well. Instead, I pick up the large bowl of bolognese and the two spoons. I smile at Tom and hold out one of the spoons, inviting him to join me. He quickly crawls into bed and sits very close to me. I place the large bowl between us and we start eating in silence.

„You were right, this really is good cold. And without actual pasta“, I say after taking the first few bites.

„Told you“, he replies and briefly leans over to place a soft kiss on my cheek.

As if we were both still exhausted from what happened earlier tonight, we both simply eat in silence. The dinner. Lingerie. The rose. Tom buried deep inside me. What a night it's been. After collapsing on the living room floor, Tom had made love to me for a second and third time, leaving me a dripping and shaking mess each time. It was long after midnight when we both decided to retreat to the bedroom with some more wine and bolognese. As if we were both not ready for this evening to be over. While being lost in my thoughts, we had emptied the bowl in front of us. Tom takes the spoon from my hand and sets everything on the nightstand. Then he props up a pillow and leans against the headboard.

„Come here, love“, he almost asks me. I move closer and rest my head in his lap. He protectively puts an arm over my upper body and I proceed to gently caressing it with my fingers. „So...what did you and my mother talk about today?“

„Lots of things. We talked about books and theatre, about you and me. She told me quite a few things about your childhood, too.“

„About you and me? What do you mean?“ I sense the concern in his voice.

„Well, since you apparently no longer call your mother to tell her things, she only knows what the tabloids write. She worries about you, Tom. So when she saw the latest photographs of us, she naturally had some questions.“

„And what did you tell her?“ Concern. Again.

„I told her the truth. I told her that we love each other and that we're trying to make this work. And I think she understands now.“

Tom shakes his head. „She still shouldn't have ambushed you like that.“

„Ambush me?!“ I free myself from his embrace and sit up. „Tom, she swallowed all of her pride and motherly concern today. And she did it for you. Even before talking to me, she understood that I am now a part of your life and that if she doesn't want to drive you away, she needs to find a way to accept it. Us. I wish my family was that understanding.“

„Kat, there's no need to yell.“ Crap, I really did yell, didn't I?! „Are you going to tell me what else happened today? When did you talk to your mother?“ He knows me.

„She called me when I was out shopping with Emma. She was pissed because I had ignored her for so long and angry because I didn't tell her where I was going before I left. But most of all...“ I stop because I don't dare to say it out loud.

„What?“ Tom takes my hands into his.

„She kept referring to you as 'this rapist'. I tried to explain things to her, told her I'd call her later and then we could talk. In private. But she didn't want to listen. She just kept yelling at me. I got so angry at her. I cried and begged her to listen. But she didn't. And eventually, she told me that the matter was closed for her and that I didn't need to contact her again unless it's to tell her that you and I are over and that I'm coming back home.“ Tears are streaming down my face.

„Oh darling, I am so sorry.“ Tom pulls me in his arms and I start crying shamelessly. „But just put yourself in her shoes. You defended my mother just moments ago, saying that she only worried about me. Your mother does the same and she is only trying to protect you. They're both mothers. And they are actually quite the same.“

I gently push him a bit away from me. „No, they're not! Tom, your mother came here today to get to know me. Despite her fear that I might just be using you for something. She made a pie and she came here and she listened. Not for once has my mother listened to anything I had to say about you. Ever since she read the initial headlines, her mind has been made up.“

„But isn't that understandable to a certain degree?“

„I am her daughter!!! My word and my feelings should be more important to her than some tabloid headline. I've tried to tell her about the situation, about what's really going on. But she doesn't even give me or you the benefit of the doubt.“ My last words are more sobs than actual talking.

Tom once again presses me close to his chest and strokes my hair in an attempt to calm me. „Shhhhh! It's all going to be fine.“

I bury my head in his chest and deeply inhale his intoxicating smell. I wrap my arms around him and let my fingernails run over his back, to which he reacts with a slight shiver. When I start kissing his neck and upper chest, a slight moan escapes his lips. Help me take my mind off things. I let one hand travel down to his boxers and attempt to grab his manhood but he pulls away from me and grabs my wrist to stop me.

„Kat, what are you doing?“

„I want you, Tom. I want you inside me. I want you to make me forget all about this for a few minutes.“ I launch myself at him again but Tom once again plucks my arms away from him.

„No“, he says harshly. I'm sorry?! „You are not going to solve any of this with sex. It would be wonderful if things worked that way, but they don't.“

„But...“

„Kat, you need to feel this. You need to cry, you need to be angry, you need to be helpless. Whatever it is you are feeling. But you need to feel it.“ I don't want to. „You once begged me not to use sex as a universal distraction. So here I am, not distracting you.“ I hate you. „I am here for anything apart from sex. So if you want to talk, I will listen. If you need me to hold you, I will hold you. If you need me to get drunk with you, I will get us another bottle of wine. And...“ He reaches out and lifts my chin up, forcing me to look directly into his eyes. „...if you want to leave, I will book you the next possible flight to Germany.“ What?

I look at Tom with big eyes. „Tom...what are you talking about? Why would I want to leave?“

„Your mother basically asked you to choose between her and me. It would only be natural if you chose...“

„I choose you“, I interrupt him.

„Kat...“, Tom tries to protest.

„No! I choose you. If you need me to tell you again why I am staying with you, despite everyone telling me to run, then I will. I won't ever let her pressure me into turning on the man I love. If I realise down the line that all of this is a mistake and that I can't deal with whatever is coming our way, then so be it. Then I can still walk away in a week or a month or a year. But only if it's what I want to do. Not because someone else tells me to do so.“

„Are you sure?“

„Very sure. I've waited my whole life to meet a man as amazing as you are. And I don't plan on giving you up without fighting.“ Tom leans forward and kisses me softly. „Now...I am going to finish this glass of awfully dry wine and then I'd like to wrap myself in your arms, if that's okay.“ Tom simply nods.

So I down the wine as quickly as I can. Ugh. Then Tom and I lie down next to each other, my head resting on his chest and allowing me to listen to his heartbeat, his arms holding me close to his body. His deep, calm breaths help me to calm myself and I can feel myself relaxing more and more.

I don't know for how long we remain like that in silence. Just when I realise that I could easily fall asleep like that, Tom brings me back to reality. „So you really don't like the wine?“

I am baffled for a second and then I simply burst out laughing. Out of all the things to talk about right now, he goes for this. „I'm afraid I don't. It's a bit dry for my taste.“

„Really?! But it's one of my favourites.“

„Well, you can definitely drink it alone in the future. I like things a little bit sweeter than that.“ We both giggle and then return to silence. After a while, I decide to simply ask him about what's been on my mind for a few hours now. „Tom...what happened between us tonight...during dinner...have you ever done this with anyone else?“

„You mean if I've ever used a flower before to get a women off?!“

„Yes.“ Am I really sure I want to know the answer?

„No, I haven't. And believe me, I didn't plan for it to happen. I simply wanted to make you squirm a little and then bend you over the table and take you from behind. But I just...“ He moves a little bit away from me and we both turn to our sides, facing each other. „...I don't know what happened in that moment. But I saw you and how dripping wet and ready you were and I realised that I had almost complete power over you.“ Scratch the almost. „I've never felt like that with anyone before. And I just knew that I needed to tease you a little bit more. And then I saw the rose and wondered what that would do to you. But I've never done anything like that before.“ Phew.

„Neither have I. I mean...I've always been very open about sex and have experimented quite a bit in my time. But there have been a lot of firsts since I met you.“

„Do you regret any of them?“

„What? No! Do you?“

„Not at all“, Tom shakes his head. „But I realise that I can be quite dominant between the sheets. And I seem to be even more with you. So I want you to tell me if I'm ever crossing a line.“

„I promise. But I like your dominant side. It's incrediby sexy. So you can dominate me whenever you feel like it.“ I kiss him deeply. „By the way, I think I've realised something. You talked about not using sex as a distraction anymore, like we did before but...I think it was only partly a distraction.“

„What do you mean?“ Tom looks positively lost.

„I think apart from the distracting nature of it, sex has also always been a way of communication for us. Because the things you can make me feel...it's just beyond words. And it's different every time, depending on the situation. Maybe I'm just being stupid but I really feel like our bodies communicate with each other when words fail.“ Am I making a complete fool out of myself?!

Tom looks at me for a while before answering. „I think you might be right. I had never thought about it that way.“

„I hadn't either. But I realised that despite asking you for more talk and less sex, we are not actually having less sex than before. We do talk more, yes. And I am so very grateful for that. But less sex?! No. On the contrary. It's just...different. And somehow more meaningful than before. If that makes sense...“

„It does. And I agree that it is different with you. Sex has rarely ever been without meaning for me, simply because I could never just sleep with anyone. But being with you just takes it all to an entirely different level.“ He takes my hand into his and kisses it gently. „I constantly want you. So far, there hasn't been a single moment in which I didn't. If I could, I would make love to you around the clock.“ Please, be my guest. „Because I just want you to understand how important you are to me. I need you in my life.“

„I know. And strangely, when you simply say it, my mind has a hard time to accept that you really are telling the truth. But when you touch me, when you are inside me, then I know. My body knows. And I think it might eventually be strong enough to convince my mind.“

„Does that mean I'll have to stop sleeping with you then?“, Tom teases me.

„Don't you dare! I don't ever want you to stop. And I will always need to know that you want me.“

„What else do you need to know right now?“, he asks and caresses my cheek with his thumb.

Tears are immediately forming in my eyes. „I need to know that it's going to be alright. That I'll always have you, no matter what else happens. I need to know that I won't ever be alone again.“

Tom leans forward to kiss me. „Roll on your back.“ I do as I'm told, knowing that he is about to give me what I desperately need. „Now spread for me.“ My legs open for him before he has finished the sentence. I'm still wearing the crotchless panties, so he has all the access he needs.

Tom quickly takes off his boxers and then kneels between my legs. He reaches down and slowly unbuttons his dark blue shirt I'm wearing. He pushes the fabric aside and exposes my breasts. His large hands immediately start caressing them, his thumbs gently teasing my nipples into little perks. He leans down and plants ever so slight kisses on both rosy tips, whispering a quiet 'I love you' before each kiss. I am already ready to combust on the spot. The sensation of him kissing and touching me travels right between my legs and I begin to rock my hips in an attempt to find something to grind against, to give me the friction I want and need. My movements don't go unnoticed and Tom sits back up between my legs. My body aches for his touch and I roll my hips even harder. Please, touch me.

„Shhhh, be still. It's all going to be just like you want it“, he says in a low voice that has quite the opposite of a calming effect.

He wraps one hand around his stiffening cock and runs the head over my already wet slit. Fuck, yes. He now rubs the head of his penis against my clit and it takes all my strength to lie still. I moan and whimper because what he does just feels so incredibly good.

„This is how it's going to be from now on“, Tom says, his cock never abandoning my little pearl. „I will always be there to love you and to hold you and to give you more orgasms than your body can handle.“ My moans are getting louder as I become even more aroused. His voice. „I will always be here to protect you. I will always give you whatever you want. You are mine. No other man will ever be allowed to give you what I am willing to give you. You are mine. And I am yours.“ My moans are getting desperate and I can no longer keep my hips still. Tom rubs his cock against me even faster. „Come for me, babygirl. Scream my name as you come apart. Right now!“

My body willingly obeys. „Oh Tom...oh...ohhhh...Tom...TOM!!!“, I scream as a strong orgasm rushes through my body.

Tom watches me as he towers over me. With the last orgasmic contraction of my now soaking wet pussy, he pushes into me. „I love you“, he moans as he buries himself deep inside me. He lets his body fall forward so that he's lying completely on top of me, his weight pressing me down. His mouth crashes onto mine and his tongue immediately begins to devour mine. There is so much love and longing in his kiss. And then he starts to roll his hips and fucks me in a slow but effective rhythm.

„Oh Kat, I love you so much“, he moans against my neck. „It will always be you and me, no matter what anyone says. We'll always be together. And you won't ever have to be alone again. You are mine. And I am yours.“ I press my hands against his ass to feel him inside me even deeper. „Oh Kat...“, he moans and I know that he's close.

His mouth finds mine again and he kisses me until his thrusts become uneven and his moans louder. I know that my body is ready to tumble over the edge with him. „I love you, Tom“, I whimper as I turn into a shaking mess. It only takes one last thrust and then Tom stills and moans against my mouth as he empties his load deep inside me.

„I love you“, he gasps once more and it's the final push I need.

An emotional wave rushes through my still quivering body. Tears are filling my eyes and no matter how hard I try, I can't fight them. I start sobbing and in a split second, I am transformed into a weeping ball of tears. Without saying a word, Tom pulls out of me and collects me in his arms. He presses me against his heated body and gently strokes me hair.

„It's all going to be fine. I'm right here. Shhhhh!“ His voice is calm and soothing. And it makes me feel safe. „Just let it all out. I've got you.“

Everything that has happened in the last months runs through my head and it almost feels like my heart is going to burst. So I cry in Tom's arms until my body takes over once again, this time giving into the exhaustion.

 

Chapter Text

„For heaven's sake, Kat! Would you come out of the bathroom already? You already looked gorgeous when you went in there. So I really don't know what's taking so long.“ Emma mercilessly hammers on the bathroom door.

„Alright, alright...“ I quickly lean over to unlook the door and then take one last look into the mirror. Thanks to the black and gold sequin flapper dress and a very good makeup artist, I am actually transformed into a flapper girl. Not too bad.

„You look beautiful. My brother won't know what hit him“, Emma says and checks her makeup in the mirror one last time.

„So do you, girl. So tell me...who are you trying to impress tonight? Because all the men attending tonight are very much married, off the market or gay.“

She sighs. „Yes, thank you for pointing that out. It's totally frustrating. But at least they're all pretty to look at. And maybe I can get Hemsworth to take his shirt off.“ We both laugh and I am once again reminded of the fact that Chris Hemsworth is a guest at my birthday party. Good thing this isn't surreal at all.

„Are you planning on coming down at some point tonight?!“, Tom yells from downstairs. His words are immediately followed by the first notes of Duke Ellington's 'It Don't Mean a Thing'.

„Come on...time to party!“ I hold out my hand to Emma and then we both rush downstairs. When we reach the living room, I can see Diana shuffling between the buffet table and the kitchen. „Are you sure I can't help you?“, I ask her.

„Oh, absolutely not“, she protests. „It's your birthday and you've done so much already. So at least allow me to do this. You, on the other hand...“, she points at Emma, „...can come to the kitchen with me.“

Emma rolls her eyes but follows her mother's orders. I take one last look around the room. Everything really is perfect. The black, gold and white party decorations go really well together and blend with the rest of the living room. Both the whisky and cigar bar look very impressive and I silently thank Tom that he convinced me to get them. Well, that he simply bought everything I needed because he knew that I wouldn't be able to afford it myself. Emma and Diana place two more trays on the buffet. Cucumber bites with egg salad, tuna salad or smoked salmon and cream cheese. Shrimp cocktail. Bacon-wrapped melon bites. Tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil. Champagne macarons. Crème brûlée with blackberries. Strawberries dipped in white chocolate and lots of edible glitter. The Great Gastby cake I threw together this morning. Yeah, looks like everything is ready. Just as I turn around to Tom, I realise that there is something odd about the music.

„Tom, where is...“ Right in this moment, he steps away from the coffee table and gives me room to look at what's standing on top of it. „You have got to be kidding me!“ I can barely believe that I am looking at an old gramophone that looks like it's right from the 1920's. „Tom, tell me this isn't actually genuine...“

„Do you like it?“ He smiles at me like a child on Christmas.

„Do I...?! It's perfect. But...how? And why?“ I move closer and can't help but feeling like I'm looking at the holy grail.

Tom wraps his arms around my waist. „Happy birthday, darling.“

„Thank you! You know, I would kiss you but I really don't want to ruin my lipstick.“ But isn't kissing him worth ruining anything?!

„I totally understand that“, Tom replies and pulls me closer against his body. „And just so you know, you do look extremely breathtaking tonight.“ You're not bad yourself. I do love the suspenders and bow tie look on you. „Makes me dread the fact that he is coming even more.“ Ugh, not again.

I roll my eyes and free myself from Tom's embrace. „We've been over this! He's a friend and I will not uninvite him because you can't manage to keep your jealousy under control.“

„A friend? Kat, you spent one evening with him.“

„And we've shared a few phone calls since then and email each other rather frequently. Look, I've explained all of this to you. So I won't do it again.“ The discussion about Richard attending my party had been going on ever since I told Tom he was coming. At first, I found his jealousy quite endearing and attractive. Now it simply annoyed me.

„Kat, is it so hard to understand that I don't like to share my girlfriend with anyone? I remember the way he looked at you. That man wants you.“

„That man is very much in a relationship. And even if he does want me, that doesn't mean that I want him. And you know that. I am yours.“ I turn towards him and take his hands in mine. „Besides, do you think it's easy for me to know that you have an army of fangirls who wants you?“

He pulls me closer once again. „Kat, that is different and you know it.“

„Is it?! Okay, yes, you don't email them once a week. But apart from that...they send you letters and gifts all the time. And they WANT you. I've been in this fandom long enough to know what these grown ass women want to do to you. And I don't blame them at all. I mean, look at you... But now that we are...it's different. You're so charming and sweet when you interact with them. You hug them and call them darling, just like you call me. It's not that I don't trust you. But sometimes I just want to mark you in some way to let them all know that you're mine.“

„Oh Kat, I am yours.“ He presses a gentle kiss against my forehead. When he pulls away from me, he reaches out to grab the collar of his dress shirt, holding the edge out to me. „Go ahead and mark me as yours.“ I beg your pardon?! „Come on, ruin your lipstick on my shirt and let the whole world know that I am yours.“

„The whole world? Tom, we're expecting less than 20 people.“

„So? Do it anyway.“ I cannot believe this man. I roll my eyes at him again and then press my lips covered in dark berry lipstick against the collar of his shirt. Tom looks down and nods, signalling me that he's pleased with the mark I left on him. „That's my girl.“ I lean in and just before our lips are about to touch, the door bell rings.

„Alright, here we go!“ I mouth a kiss at Tom and rush towards the door. It is not surprising at all that Ben is the one waiting outside. He's always on time. I usher him into the living room and he looks around with big eyes.

„Wow! That looks amazing. And you look... Happy birthday, Kat!“ He kisses my cheek and hugs me tightly. „I'm sorry to tell you this, but I can't really stay.“

The smile vanishes from my face. „Why not?“

„Christopher is coming down with a fever. He really is a little pain in the behind at the moment and there is no way I'm leaving Sophie alone with both of the kids tonight. So I just came to give you this...“ He pulls a picture frame from the large pocket of his coat. It contains a beautiful picture of little Catherine. Tom, who has joined my side in the meantime, and I look down at the image of this perfect little girl.

„Oh Ben, it's beautiful. She's beautiful. Thank you! I'm going to find a special place for this.“

„Actually...“ Ben holds out his hand. „The picture isn't the present. It's more of a symbol. Kat, Sophie and I want you to become Catherine's godmother.“ I feel my heart skipping a beat and tears well up in my eyes. He can't be serious.

„Ben, I...“

„Before you said something, hear me out. You too, Tom. You're Christopher's godfather and I couldn't be happier about that. So it only makes sense that you, Kat, become our daughter's godmother. Because...Sophie and I agreed that, should anything ever happen to us both, we want you to take care of Kit and little Catherine.“ Holy shit, I did not see that one coming. I look at Tom who is just as speechless as I am. „We know that it's a lot to ask, but we couldn't imagine anyone else raising our children, apart from us. Christopher already loves both of you and Catherine will do the same. And you're just...you're perfect together. And you will make great parents yourselves one day. It would mean a lot to us if you agreed to it. Just take some time to think about it.“

Tom and I still look at each other. I try to read the expression on his face and can't help but notice the slight smile lingering around his mouth. Is he saying what I think he's saying? Tom's smile becomes wider and he slowly nods his head.

„Yes!“, we both say in unison.

Ben looks at us like he's just seen a ghost. „Are you sure?“

„Very.“ Tom walks over to hug his best friend. „Thank you for trusting us with this.“

I hug him too. „It really means a lot to us. I promise we won't disappoint you.“

„Thank you“, Ben sighs. „Thank you for saying yes. I know that Sophie will be thrilled to hear that.“

A buzzing in Tom's pocket interrupts our conversation. He pulls his phone out and looks at the display. „Sorry, I have to take that. It's Luke.“ With that, he turns around and leaves Ben and me alone.

Ben smiles at me. „Kat...he's ready.“ Ready?

„What do you mean?“

„He's ready for a family. The old Tom...he would've taken his time to think about this. And then he would've declined out of fear of the responsibility. But now that he has you...he didn't even need time to think. He's sure that you're the one. So I'm just saying...he's ready.“

I blush. „Well, I'm ready too. I just don't know if we are.“ Ben gives me a questioning look. „We might both be ready as individuals, but as a couple... We might know each other for almost a year now, but it took us quite a while to realise that we love each other. And then it took even longer for us to actually be together. Things have been amazing between us ever since I came back to London. And I think we can make this work. But before I start a family, I'd like to be sure. Tom and I have so many things we still need to figure out. I feel like we should give ourselves time to do so. Even though I'm desperate to have a mini Tom running around.“

„I understand. It's a very mature decision.“ He takes my hands in his and squeezes them gently. „I'm really glad that you two are working things out. And now I have to get going. I don't want to leave Sophie alone with the kids for two long.“

„Actually...“ I make sure not to let go of him. „There's something I wanted to ask you. I...um...Tom's lawyer has sent over the NDA we agreed on and...“

„Hang on! You're signing an NDA?“ Ben suddenly seems furious.

„I...yes. Why not?“

„Was that Tom's idea?“

„No, Luke asked me if I would be willing to sign one.“

„And you said yes? Kat, is this really what you want to base your relationship on?“

„Why? Are you telling me that Sophie never signed one?“

Ben shakes his head. „She didn't. No NDA, no prenup.“ Seriously?! „Because I trust her. And a relationship that is built on contracts isn't a relationship I want to have.“

I take a deep breath. „I generally agree but...look...I don't have any reason not to sign it. I have no interest in sharing details about Tom's life with the public. So why not sign it?!“ Ben wants to reply but I hold out my hand to stop him. „I know that there are still quite a few people who believe I'm only using him. And I don't just mean so-called fans on social media. Luke might have come around to the idea of us dating but I know that not everyone at the agency thinks that way. And if signing that agreement to increase the chances of being accepted by them and making Tom's life a little bit easier by that, then I'm willing to do it.“

„Kat...“

„I know what you're going to say. But I made a decision. I just have no idea if it's a valid contract or not. Tom's lawyer said it's fine but I don't think he'd actually tell me if it wasn't. That's why I need your help.“

Now it's Ben's turn to take a deep breath. „What do you need?“

„I was wondering if you know a lawyer who knows the business and could look over the papers to make sure that it's legit before I sign them..?“

„Why don't you bring them over in the next couple of days and I have my lawyers check them?!“ It's against his better judgement and yet he's willing to help me.

„Thank you, Ben.“ I throw my arms around him and hug him tight.

„You know, I'm going to be really mad if all of this doesn't end in front of the altar for you two.“

I can't help but laugh, still holding on tight to him. „You and me both.“

*****

About an hour later, the party is very well under its way. Thanks to Diana, who made it her duty to wait on everyone, I get to enjoy myself and already feel a tiny bit buzzed. A need for new drinks had interrupted the opening of the presents and while Diana and Tom make sure everyone has what they need, I take a moment to look around the room and try to understand how I ended up with this crowd on my birthday...Martin, Amanda, Chris Hemsworth, who happened to bring Chris Evans as well, Luke and his boyfriend Aaron, Emma Watson and Luke Evans (who were Luke's original plan for the evening so he just brought them along), Kenneth Branagh and his wife Lindsay, Alicia Vikander (sadly Michael couldn't make it due to filming) and Richard Madden. How on earth did I get here?! This is so surreal, somebody please pinch me. Instead, I feel a kiss pressed against my temple.

„Alright“, Tom says. „Let's get on with the presents.“

After already receiving tons of books, theatre tickets and a wellness weekend, there are now only two boxes left. I reach out for the smaller one, knowing that it's from Richard. I unwrap the little box and open it carefully. Inside is a pair of blue-green opal stud earrings. Wow! I turn to Richard. „Thank you so much! They're perfect.“ He pulls me in for a hug and I can hear Tom's sharp intake of breath. There's the jealousy again.

„You're welcome. I saw them and they just had your name on them.“

„Alright, on to the last box“, Emma says, who seems to be even more excited about my birthday than I am.

I slowly open the lid of the black box that I know must be from Tom. What I find inside causes my heart to jump. I pull out the yellow and white plaid 50's vintage dress to really look at it. I can already say that this is by far the most perfect piece of clothing I own.

„Do you like it?“, Tom asks nervously.

„Like it? Are you kidding?! I love it. Seriously, that dress is so me.“ I lean over to kiss him, probably more passionately than appropriate in this moment.

„I was hoping...“, Tom continues when he breaks the kiss, „...you would wear it for this.“ He hands me an envelope. I open it and squee when I see what's inside. Wimbledon tickets.

„No fucking way!“ I look at Tom with a huge smile on my face.

„You mentioned that you've never been. So I thought you might want to change that.“

„I do! Oh god, I do.“ I launch myself at Tom again, completely forgetting that we have guests in the room.

„Oooookay, enough of that“, Chris Evans interrupts our intimate moment. „I was promised a party. So let's get it started.“ He turns on the music and Fergie's 'A Little Party Never Killed Nobody' blasts over the speakers.

Tom gets up from the couch, takes the dress out of my hand and pulls me on my feet. He wraps his arms around me and brings his mouth close to my ear. „I don't know if you're aware of this, but dancing with the right person can be just as effective as foreplay.“ Oh dear, I hate him when he says these things. „So to make sure you'll get a party in your panties later, you better surrender to me, birthday girl.“ He kisses my neck and then gives me a dirty smile. Don't think you're the only one who can play this game.

I pull his head down towards me so that I can whisper in his ear. „What panties?“ Tom's cheeks look flushed as I begin to dance and every now and then grind myself against him.

*****

After a long night of eating, drinking, dancing and karaoke, Tom and I finally close the bedroom door behind us, enjoying the silence. My feet are killing me, so I take off my shoes and fall on the bed. My not very ladylike position gives Tom an exciting view and I can hear his little gasp behind me.

„I told you there were no panties.“

„Woman, you are the devil.“ He leans down to kiss me. „But before I fuck you senseless for the rest of the night, I have one more present for you.“

I sit up. „What? Tom, you already gave me so much. Please, whatever it is, I can't accept it.“

„Yes, you can.“ He opens his wardrobe and pulls a box from the top shelf. Sitting down next to me, he places the box between us. „Open it.“

I don't know why, but my hands are shaking when I pull open the lid. Inside are dozens of what look like letters. What the hell?! I pull out an envelope and see that it's addressed to me. „Tom, what is that?“

„It's a letter I wrote to you while we were...separated. All of them are.“ What?? „After I left you that morning, I couldn't stop thinking about you. There were so many things I wanted to tell you. So I just decided to write to you. I just never had the courage to actually mail it. Well, to mail any of them. I wrote you a letter every day, telling you what you mean to me and asking for forgiveness. I also tried to explain why I did what I did. And that's why I'm giving them to you now. Because I want you to know and hope that you will understand. I am still not proud of the way I treated you, which is why I'm still amazed that you gave me another chance. And now another after I treated you like crap again. So I hope you will read these and at least partly understand.“

Tears are streaming down my face. „You're incredible, you know that?!“ Tom nervously smiles at me. „Thank you, Tom. For these, and for everything. But most of all, thank you for loving me.“ I kiss him deeply. „I'm dying to read one of those, but there is something we need to take care of first.“

„What's that?“

I set aside the box on the nightstand. „Take off your clothes.“ With that, I take off my dress and unclasp my bra so that I'm standing in front of him naked. It's all the encouragement he needs. Seconds later, Tom is sitting on the bed again, leaning against the headboard, his cock already at half-mast. I crawl towards him and straddle him. My pussy hovers over his dick, but I make sure that there's no contact between us.

„Kat, please!“, he gasps.

„Shhhh! For someone who has been jealous all night, you seem to be awfully sure that I want you.“ When did I become so mean?! Tom gives me a confused look. „Oh, I've watched you tonight. You were jealous of Richard, of Chris – Evans and Hemsworth, by the way – and you even were jealous when I was dancing with Luke.“

„Because you're mine“, Tom growls at me.

„I am indeed. Which is why this...“ I sink down on his cock, drawing the sweetest moans from him. „...won't just be sex. Tom, I want you to mark me.“

„Mark you?“ You're adorable when you're slow.

„Yes, mark me.“ I roll my hips and at the same time bite down on his shoulder. Hard.

A little scream of surprise escapes his mouth. Then he looks at me with fire in his eyes. „Are you sure about this?“

„I am absolutely sure.“ I continue riding his cock and the friction inside me combined with the anticipation have me already close to an orgasm. „I want you to leave marks all over my skin. I want you to bite me and I want you to spank me. I want you to make sure that when I wake up tomorrow morning, I look thoroughly fucked and used. So that if anyone saw me, they'd know I belong to somebody else. Maybe then you'll finally understand that I am yours.“

„But Kat...“, Tom moans in protest.

I bite down on his shoulder again, interrupting his train of thought. And then the lust he's been holding back finally breaks free and his mouth crashes down on mine. His tongue plays with mine and then he bites down on my lower lip.

„Is this what you want, babygirl? Do you want it rough?“

„Yes, please.“

He kisses down my neck and then gently scrapes over the skin with his teeth. I am going to look like a teenager with hickeys in the morning. And it's exactly what I want. His hands guide my hips along the length of his cock, each stroke bringing me closer and closer to my orgasm. When he bites down on my shoulder just like I did on his, I let out a cry.

„You can stop me any time you want. Just tell me to stop and I will.“

„No, keep going. I want this.“ A second later, his hand lands on my ass with a loud spank. Fucking hell!! „Ouch!“ A second spank, even harder than the first one, takes my breath away. My fingernails dig into his back and I close my eyes to get used to the stinging pain. While I try to collect myself, Tom takes one of my already hard nipples into his mouth. Fuck, this feels good. I know I'm only seconds away from my first orgasm. „Please, do it again“, I beg him and a moment later, his palm lands on my ass again, swiftly followed by another spank. The combination of pleasure and pain is enough to send me over the edge and I come around Tom's cock.

Not allowing me a moment of recovery, Tom pushes me off of him. „Get on your knees“, he commands and for a second it feels like I'm in bed with Loki. I force my limb body to move and get on my knees, pushing my ass towards him. Tom follows the invitation and both of his hands smack down on my ass as he buries himself inside me again. I cry out loud and quiver around him. „That's my good girl. Let me hear you, babygirl. I want to hear you scream and moan. Come on!“ Tom leans forwards and bites down on several places on my back while his cock drives in and out of me in a fast rhythm. I let out a whimper and it encourages Tom to spank my ass five more times.

„Oh god...“ My mind is blank and all I can feel is Tom's cock inside me and the stinging on my ass.

„Do you want to come again? Tell me, babygirl!“ His hand lands on my ass, telling me that he demands an answer.

„Yes, please. Please make me come.“ And once again, that man has me begging. In moments like these, there is no question who the dominant one in our relationship is.

Tom reaches around and begins to stroke my clit while his cock creates magic inside me. Within seconds, I am pushed over the edge again and scream Tom's name as I come for a second time. He quickly pulls out of me and flips my over on my back. My legs part for him and invite him to kneel between them. I reach out and grab his penis, guiding it towards my still pulsing pussy.

„God, I love it when you're greedy like that“, Tom growls and allows me to guide him inside me. He falls on top of me and while biting down and sucking on my neck and tits, he informs me of his next plans. „Listen to me, babygirl! I am so ready to come deep inside you. But there is one thing I want to try first. I don't know if it's crossing a line and you can stop me anytime you want, but I want to try. Do you trust me?“ Always. Since I am incapable of speaking, I simply nod. Tom kisses me gently, counteracting the rough sex we've been having so far and then pushes himself on his knees again. He begins to slowly move inside me and I close my eyes, enjoying the knowledge that my third orgasm is just around the corner.

Suddenly, Tom's hand lands on my clit with a smack. „Fucking hell!!!“ I am completely taken by surprise.

Tom stops moving and looks at me. „Are you okay?“ Yes. No. I don't know.

„Honestly, I have no idea. But...don't stop. Please don't stop.“ He picks up the rhythm again and his thumb gently caresses my clit. „Oh fuck, I'm so close.“

„Do you want me to spank you again? Please, allow me.“

I feel the orgasm building up inside me. „Yes, do it.“ Oh Thomas, what are you doing to me?!

With a loud smack, his hand lands on my wet clit again and I am immediately pushed over the edge. My legs begin to shake and my pussy tightens around him, setting off Tom's orgasm as well. He collapses on top of me and waits while I milk him dry. Then he cups my face and looks deep into my eyes. „Are you alright, darling?“

„I...I think so. Give me a moment to collect myself.“ He kisses me softly and then pulls out of me and rolls on his back. He gathers me in his arms and pulls me towards him until I'm resting against his warm body.

After lying still for what feels like an eternity, I finally find words again. „Thank you, Tom.“

„What? No no no, thank you. Thank you for trusting me and sharing this with me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did?“

I chuckle. „Aren't three orgasms enough of an answer?“ Tom laughs too. „Seriously, it was...mindblowing. I'm sure that I won't be able to move tomorrow, but it was totally worth it.“

„You won't have to move. We can just stay in bed and cuddle and nap and be lazy.“

„No fucking?“, I pout.

„As much as you can handle. But not tonight. Tonight I just want to hold you until you're asleep. Is that alright?“

„It's perfect.“ I cuddle up even closer to him and just moments later, I have drifted off into sleep.

 

Chapter Text

I wrap myself in the towel and wipe away the steam from the bathroom mirror. While the bruises on my breasts are covered, there are still more than enough on my shoulders and neck. I look used. Should I feel bad about that? I trace one of the bigger marks with my fingers and suddenly feel two strong arms wrap around me from behind.

Tom brushes a quick kiss against my neck and then lets his head rest on my shoulder. „Does it hurt?“

„A little. But it's alright. Besides, I wanted this. So I can hardly complain about it now.“

„And what about this?“ Tom's hand travels down to gently caress my behind.

I chuckle. „Well, let's just say I'm glad that I don't have to sit a lot today. Your hand left quite a few imprints on there.“

„I'm sorry, darling.“

I turn around to face him. „Don't apologise. Like I said, I wanted this. And you didn't hurt me. Trust me, last night was a lot more pleasurable than it was painful.“

„I'm glad to hear you say that.“ He leans forward to kiss me. „But I think I need to start taking better care of you afterwards the next time we do that. You know, make sure we have enough Ibuprofen and some numbing cream in the house.“

„The next time?! What makes you think there will be a next time?“, I say teasingly.

„Three orgasms, my darling. And the fact that you're already grinding yourself against me again.“ It's only in this moment that I realise that I am. Crap. Busted. „Oh, don't blush. I find it very flattering that you can't seem to get enough of me. And very sexy.“ Enough of Tom Hiddleston?! How would that be possible?!

I slide one of my hands under Tom's towel. „Does that mean I have a chance at getting a few more orgasms this morning?“

„My greedy little girl“, Tom growls and kisses me hungrily. „But I'm afraid there's something we have to talk about first.“ He lets go off me and starts to dry himself with his towel. I am pouting so hard internally right now. „Luke asked me to ask you if you are planning on coming to the premiere with me on Friday. Because if you are, we need to arrange for everything and find you a dress.“

I take my hairbrush and absently brush my hair in order to buy myself some time. Because I don't think Tom will like my answer. „I...um...I think you should do this by yourself.“

„Oh...“ I can hear the disappointment in Tom's voice and it breaks my heart. „May I ask why?“

I put down the brush again and turn around to face Tom. „It's not that I don't want to. I just...I don't think I am ready for this. Being with you is one thing, but throwing it into everyone's face is a totally different story. And we're not just talking about any film here. Infinity War is so highly anticipated all over the world. And I just feel like the night of the premiere should be about the film and your work, not our relationship. If I'm there, people would automatically ask questions. And that just wouldn't seem fair to you and everyone else involved. Besides...“ How do I say this without hurting him?

„Besides what?“, Tom asks and interrupts his drying to look at me.

„Tom, I'm scared.“

„Scared?? Of what?“

„Of the things the people there might throw at you. Not literally, but in terms of comments and insults.“

„Kat, if someone wants to say something to me, they're gonna do it, whether you're there or not. I just know that I will be a lot calmer if you're by my side.“

„But what about me? Who is going to keep me calm?“ Tom's expression tells me that he doesn't really know what I'm referring to. „Tom, I love you. And I want to protect you from anything and anyone that might harm you. So I know that I would not be able to keep my cool if someone actually were to say something to you. There is a very big chance that I would snap at them or that I'd try to murder them with looks, something I'm sure the paparazzi would be thrilled to witness. So given the fact that this is going to be one of the greatest movie premieres of all time and the fact that I'd be freaking nervous, not to mention totally hormonal because of my period that I'll be having on Friday, I know that this would turn into a nightmare for you and me and Luke.“ I try to fight the oncoming tears but I know that it's a losing battle. „It's not that I don't want to be there. But I'm not ready yet. Two weeks ago, I thought I'd never see you again. And now I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that we're back together and that the love of my life might go to jail for something he didn't do and that my mother has decided to cut ties with me because of it. I'm just not ready to answer any questions the world might have because I still have way too many myself. So please, Tom, don't make me go with you.“ Tears are now streaming down my face.

„Shhhh, darling!“ Tom hugs me tightly and kisses my forehead. „I'd never make you go with me if you don't want to. I understand. So I will tell Luke that I will be attending alone.“

„Thank you“, I sniff.

„Don't mention it.“ He kisses me again. „That doesn't mean I won't miss you terribly, though.“

„And I will miss you. But believe me, it's better that way. You worked so hard for this movie and I'm sure it's going to be amazing. You deserve to celebrate the success with your friends and co-workers. I wouldn't want to interrupt that. Besides, like I said, I will be curled up on the couch with cramps on Friday and Saturday. So not really red carpet material.“

„Cramps? That bad?“

„Yeah, unfortunately.“ In this moment I realise that this is an experience we've never shared so far. In the past, I always tried to manipulate my cycle by taking the pill longer than usual. So I guess we'll have another first in our relationship.

„If you really feel that bad, then maybe I shouldn't leave and instead make sure that you're alright...“ Right, like that's gonna happen.

„Oh, and how do you plan on doing that?“

Before I can protest, his hand is between my legs and his fingers slowly circle over my clit. Fuck. „I just need to relax you, darling. Believe me, nothing cures period cramps better than hot sex and many many orgasms.“

„Yeah, I don't think so!“ I free myself from his touch and turn around to face the mirror again.

„Kat, I'm sorry...“

„It's fine, Tom. But I think we both know that hot sex is not in the cards while I'm...you know...“

„Why not?“ I look at him and raise my eyebrow. Tom seems to realise where I'm going with this and smiles. „Darling, do you honestly believe I'd get scared by a bit of blood? I think if a man can't handle that, he's not worthy of the woman he's dating.“ Just when I thought he couldn't get more perfect...

„That's very sweet of you. But it's really not my thing, I'm afraid. I've tried it before, but I just don't feel sexy. Only dirty and messy, and not in a good way.“

„Okay. But there are still other ways to have a good time“, he replies with a smirk.

„What do you mean?“ Now he's the one to raise his eyebrow at me. The eyebrow of doom. And then I realise. Oh crap. He means...no, absolutely not. „Think again, Hiddleston. That is never going to happen.“

„Why not?“

„Because I'm pretty sure that that's not my thing either. Even less than sleeping with someone while bleeding all over the place.“

„You're pretty sure? Kat, are you saying that...have you never tried anal before?“ Oh god, I can't believe we are having this conversation. I blush and bury my face in my hands. Tom steps closer to me and forces me to look at him. „Talk to me, darling.“

I take a deep breath. „No, I haven't, okay?! And I know that it's hard to believe, given the number of things I already did try. But it just never...came up. There have been a few attemps of guys pushing themselves up my ass without asking, which always ended in me screaming – and not in a good way. It always felt so intrusive. I guess that's why I've never attempted to actually do it.“

„I would never take you that way without discussing it before. But let me tell you that you are missing out on an incredible experience. And I'd like to share that with you.“

„But I'm...I'm scared it's going to hurt.“

Tom cups my face. „Didn't you learn last night that pain can also mean pleasure?! Besides, you just need to be ready for it. You need me to make sure that you're ready and relaxed. It might still hurt a bit, no matter what. But it will feel amazing. You will feel amazing.“ He kisses me deeply and presses his body against me. I feel his growing erection against my stomach and can't help but moan. What is it with men and their obsession with anal sex?! „Trust me, darling. You know that you can always stop me. But please, let me show you.“

Despite the fear inside me, I nod. „Yes!“

Without saying a word, Tom loosens my towel and drops it on the floor. Then he once again picks me up with ease. I wrap my legs around him and he carries me into the bedroom where he carefully puts me down on the bed and settles down on top of me. His mouth never leaves me and his tongue keeps playing with mine. We roam each other's bodies with our hands as if we can't get enough of touching the other. Eventually, Tom breaks the kiss and licks his way down to my breasts, slowly tracing the bruises with his tongue before latching on to one my nipples. Damn this man and his talented tongue! I arch my back, which encourages Tom to suck even harder. He slightly chuckles when I start to roll my hips, trying to get some kind of friction between my legs. Knowing what I need, he moves further down and softly kisses my aching clit.

„I don't think I'll ever get tired of how wet you get for me. You're already dripping. And it will asure your pleasure later. Trust me, babygirl. I'm going to make you feel so good. Do you want that?“

„Yes“, I gasp. „Please make me come, Tom. Please.“

My eyes are closed, but I can feel him smiling against me. And then his tongue begins to fly over my clit, immediately sending my body into overdrive. It takes him merely minutes to lick me to my first orgasm. I shake and quiver and scream as I ride out my climax on his face. While I lie in bed and enjoy my post-coital glow, Tom's thumb sliding into me brings me back to reality.

„You stay relaxed, babygirl. I will take care of you.“

I still enjoy the sensation of his finger inside me, when he suddenly pulls it out of me and instead starts to rub over my butthole with it. Oh god, this feels better than I ever thought it would. Even though I'm not entirely sure what I want him to do, I push the lower half of my body towards him. I just need more. Of anything. Please.

„Oh, you're so desperate already“, Tom says with joy in his voice. „And I'm just getting started.“

With that, he lowers his mouth down to my pussy again and his tongue is back on my clit. I'm grateful for the attention to my little pearl and moan out loud. My nerves are still so on fire that I feel the next orgasm already around the corner. And then, without a warning, Tom pushes his thumb, that is wet with my juices, into my ass. It doesn't hurt at all, but it's a weird feeling. A good feeling.

„Oh my god!“, I scream and give into my climax. The orgasm is stronger than the first one and I feel like I'm somehow floating.

When I open my eyes again, Tom's face is right next to mine. „Was that alright?“ I simply nod. „Good. But that was just the first step.“ He kisses me deeply, allowing me to taste myself on his tongue. „I want you to ride me, babygirl. I want you to climb on top of me and by that, allow my fingers access to your little tight hole. Because I need to open you up for me. Can you do that, love?“

„Yes“, I whisper.

Tom kisses me once more and then rolls on his back, pulling me with him so that I land on top of his body. I straddle his hips and reach down to position his rock hard cock at the entrance to my pussy. He whimpers at the first contact and his hands fly to my hips to pull me down on him. His entire length pushes into me and I gasp when his tip reaches my cervix. I slowly begin to roll my hips and do as he told me to do. While riding him, I try to get lost in the feeling of him moving inside me. How is it possible that he feels so much better than any other man I've ever been with?! I feel Tom's fingers on my lips and open my eyes.

„Open up for me“, he says while looking right into my eyes. I part my lips and he slides his index finger inside my mouth. „I'm going to open your ass up for my cock now, alright? You just keep moving. I promise, this won't hurt.“ I nod slightly and Tom pulls his finger from my mouth. He reaches around and places it where his thumb had been just minutes ago. He circles my hole for a moment and then pushes his finger all the way in. My breath hitches. I'm really not used to having something inside me there. But it feels so good. I close my eyes again and focus on the new sensation inside me. When Tom begins to synchronise the movements of his finger with that of his cock, I feel like I'm going to explode.

„Oh god, this feels so good!“ I'm already whimpering and I know that I'm almost ready to come again.

As if my pleasure was the encouragement he needed, Tom pushes a second finger inside me. Oh fuck! I feel so full and so good. I place my hands on his chest to keep myself from falling over. Why did I wait so long to try this? It feels so amazing.

„Come for me, babygirl. Come with my cock and fingers deep inside you. Now!“

My fingernails dig into Tom's chest as I lose control over my body once again and come hard all over his penis and fingers. My whole body seems on fire and even though it already feels too much, I know that I want more. When I collapse on top of him, Tom gently moves me off of him and places me on the bed on my stomach. I'm too limb to resist or assist in any way, so I simply allow him to do whatever he has planned. It's Tom. You know this is going to be amazing. He places a pillow under my head to make sure I am comfortable. Then he kisses his way up my back until he is right next to my ear.

„Push your ass up to me“, he whispers.

Surprisingly, my body complies and I get on my knees and arch my back, offering myself to him. I feel Tom's fingers caressing my dripping wet folds and then my butthole. And then his voice is right in my ear again.

„Alright, babygirl, I need you to keep breathing. You are so fucking wet that this should be an easy one. But you're not used to it and I'm anything but small. So you need to relax and you need to keep breathing.“

He softly kisses my neck and then pushes himself up in order to kneel behind me. When I feel the tip of his cock pressing against my tight hole, my whole body freezes and I try to move away from him. But Tom quickly reaches around me with one hand to keep me in place.

„Shhhh, babygirl, it's alright. Just relax and remember how good my fingers felt inside you. Imagine the magic my cock will create.“ His hand wanders from my stomach between my legs and he starts to slowly stroke my clit. I feel myself relaxing against his touch. „There you go, that's my good girl.“

After a few more strokes of his fingers, I feel his erection pressing against my hole again. I'm slightly terrified but I want this so much. „Do it“, I gasp.

Tom begins to push inside me immediately. The tight ring of muscles seems keen on keeping him out but he pushes harder to break the resistance. I whimper and grab the pillow beneath me, hoping it will help me to ignore the pain. This feels like something is splitting me open. The stroke of Tom's fingers against my clit becomes faster and faster and without really knowing how I got there, I am pushed over the edge into my fourth orgasm of the morning. Eventually, the waves of pleasure fade and my body relaxes. Tom uses that exact moment, my full relaxation, to push his cock into my ass.

I feel a moment of pain, but then all I can feel is him inside me. I know that he has still several more inches to work inside me, but he stills to give me a chance to get used to it. When I think I couldn't get any more desperate for him to move further inside me, his fingers are back on my clit, tracing agonisingly slow circles.

„Oh Tom, please...“, I gasp.

„Please what? What do you need, babygirl? Tell me.“

„I need you to move. Please.“ He slowly begins to thrust in and out of me, but not enough to really move his dick inside me. „Oh god, I need you. All of you. Please, please, please...“

My begging is cut off by one hard thrust that buries Tom's cock completely inside my ass. „Oh fuck“, he gasps. „You are so fucking tight. Oh, you feel so amazing.“

And then Tom finally starts to move inside me. My previous orgasms and his hand still on my clit have me in an incredibly aroused state and I know that I won't need long to come again. I look over my shoulder and see the expression on Tom's face. His eyes are closed and his mouth is slightly open. I can hear him moan in a way I never have before. This might just be the hottest thing ever.

„Tom?“ He opens his eyes and they find mine. „Come with me. Please.“

He doesn't reply, instead his fingers fly over my clit even faster. I come apart immediately, my body tightening around him, my insides quivering. With a loud groan, Tom comes inside my ass and then falls down on the mattress, dragging me with him. He pulls out of me and we both lie in silence, trying to catch our breath. I am the first of us to find words again.

„Holy. Fuck. That was incredible“, I gasp and turn around to face him.

Tom cups my face and kisses me softly. „I'm glad you liked it.“

„I think I more than liked it.“

We both laugh and Tom pulls me in his arms again. I know that it's probably already past noon but I am not ready to leave this bed just yet. So I snuggle up to him and close my eyes, giving my exhausted body the rest it needs.

 

Chapter Text

„Yes, thank you for calling. I'll be there as soon as I can.“ I hang up the phone, drop it on the mattress and bury my face in my hands. Fuck.

„Kat, what's the matter? Who is calling you in the middle of the night?“

I look up at him. „That was my father's wife. He had a heart attack yesterday evening. While the doctors performed an emergency bypass surgery, he stroked out on the table. Despite trying everything, they couldn't restore the blood flow to his brain quick enough. He suffered severe brain damage and is now in a coma. They can't really tell for several hours, but it's possible that they have to declare him braindead.“ I thought saying it out loud would make it somehow more real. But it doesn't.

„Oh Kat, I am so so sorry.“ Tom moves beside me and pulls me into a tight hug. „Let's hope he wakes up when you're there.“

„Tom, I'm not going there to say goodbye. I'm going there to unplug him.“

„What??“

„His wife and I both have the medical power of attorney. So if they want to unplug him, I have to be there.“

Tom silently grabs his phone from the nightstand. Who is he calling? It's the middle of the night. „Luke, I am so sorry to wake you. But I need you to book Kat the next possible flight to Germany. - That doesn't really matter. Just make sure to arrange for a car to pick her up from the airport. - Why don't you see what's available and then call me again?! Then I can give you all the details. - No, it's her father. He's in the hospital and it's not looking good. - Yes. Thanks, mate!“ He hangs up.

„Tom, you're crazy!“

„You need to get there as soon as possible.“

„But Luke is your publicist, not your assistant.“

Tom shakes his head. „He is also my friend. And I know that I can always call him in a situation like that. Trust me, if matters are urgent, nobody can get the job done like Windsor can.“

„Thank you.“ Suddenly tears well up in my eyes.

„Oh darling, I am so sorry. I can't even imagine how you must feel right now.“ He takes me into his arms again.

„It's not that. I just...I'm so sorry that I won't be there for the premiere tomorrow.“

„Don't you worry about that. It's just a stupid premiere.“

„No, it's not.“ I free myself from his grip. „It's your premiere. It's Much Ado. It's Benedick. You've worked so hard for this and now I don't get to see it.“

„You'll just come another night.“

„But it's not the same“, I sob.

Despite my protest, Tom gathers me in his arms once again. „It'll be alright, darling. One way or another, I promise. All you need to worry about right now is packing your suitcase so that you're ready when Luke calls. And then I'll drive you to the airport and you'll take it from there.“

„Thank you.“ I kiss him softly. „But...can you please just call me a cab to take me to the airport? It's not that I don't want you there. I just want to avoid a public breakdown, which saying goodbye to you would most likely cause. I just wish you could come with me.“

„I know, love. So do I.“

*****

Three days later.

I sit in my mother's living room and let my eyes wander between her and my grandparents, who all keep staring at me like I'm some kind of alien. Right now, in this moment, I hate all of you.

„Jesus, you all look like your father just died“, I say calmly and sip on my tea.

„You don't talk to us like that“, my grandfather replies harshly.

„Yes, I do. Because pretty soon, you're going to talk to me in exactly the same way. If mum gets a say in it, there will also be ultimatums. She's very good at that. Did you know that she told me to chose between her and him?“

„Of course we know“, my grandmother nods. „And honestly, I'm surprised that you haven't made a choice yet.“ Oh, you won't like what's coming next.

„I have made a choice. Or do you honestly believe that me being here changes anything? I only came to town to grab a few more things from home. If we hadn't run into each other in the city, I wouldn't even have let you know that I'm here.“

„Do we really mean that little to you?“, my mother asks with tears in her eyes. Oh, don't pull that card on me.

„No, you don't. But apparently my happiness means nothing to you. That made my choice pretty simple.“

„So you're chosing a rapist over us?“, my grandmother asks.

„Do. Not. Call. Him. That. He is my boyfriend and you do not get to talk about him like that!“ Or I swear I will walk out of here right now.

„Oh yes, some boyfriend he turns out to be“, my mother says in an annoyingly calm tone. „Where is he, hm? You're about to attend your father's funeral. Don't you think that's the kind of thing a boyfriend should help you through. But I don't see him anywhere. He's not here. So what will it take for you to understand that you mean nothing to him?“

„You know very well why he's not here“, I snap at her.

„Yes, I do. But if that's supposed to make me feel sorry for that guy, you're even more stupid than I thought. He is a criminal and he's using you to save his ass. I don't know what he offered you that you would agree to something like that. And there is no way that the sex is that good.“ My grandparents look at my mum in horror. Oh, you have no idea...

„Actually, it is. And better. But that's not the reason I'm with him and you should know that. I love him. And if at some point in the past months you would've stopped accusing him and listened to me, I would've already given you a million reasons why I do. But now it doesn't even matter anymore, at least not to you. You have just made up your mind and decided that he's the bad guy. So I won't waste my energy on trying to convince you otherwise. You have made a decision about him, and so have I.“

„So what now?“, my grandfather asks in a tone I'm sure he last used on me when I was 8. „You'll just go back to London?“

„Where else would I go? It's where Tom is. So it's my home now. He has a beautiful place with more than enough room for us. I have friends there, people who care about me more than I could ever ask for. I have a beautiful goddaughter. If everything works out, I am even going to start a job there in a few months. It's all still in the planning and it would only be for one project, but it's a start. I've always felt like this town was too small for the things I want from life. And while London might be big and loud and scary at times, it offers me everything I need. And it's Tom's home. Where he goes, I go. That's the choice I've made.“

„And what about your place here?“, my mother asks, trying to fight back more tears.

„I'm still paying rent, so it's still mine. And I don't plan on changing that anytime soon. There are still a few people in this town I care about and I want a chance to see them whenever I want.“

„So you will come back at some point?“, mum continues.

„For a visit, yes.“

„And will you let us know when you're in town?“

„No.“

*****

A week later.

I drag my suitcase behind me as I make my way through the airport when my phone suddenly rings. I pull it out of my pocket and look at the display. Tom. „Hey there! I just got out of customs and am now on my way to catch a cab.“

„I know“, says the calm voice at the other end of the line. Simply knowing that I'm back in the same city as him makes it easier to breathe.

„What? How?“

„Turn around.“ No. He can't be serious.

I slowly turn around and let my eyes wander across the crowd. And then I see him, towering above everyone else next to him. His eyes are fixed on me and he has a slight smile on his face. Standing there and looking at him, I feel like a weight suddenly falls of my shoulders. And then the dam inside me breaks. Everything that has happened in the last ten days washes over me like a wave. It's all too much. I feel like I can't move anymore and tears fill up my eyes. The smile from Tom's face vanishes and with a few struts, he closes the distance between us and wraps me in his arms.

„Please don't let me go“, I sob against his chest and press myself against him even harder.

„I won't. I've got you.“

I cry on his chest for several minutes before I pull away from him a bit to look at him. „I've missed you.“

„I missed you too, darling.“ He wipes my tears away with his thumbs and then kisses me deeply. I should probably care that we're kissing in the middle of Heathrow Airport right now, but I somehow really don't. „Come on, let's get you home.“ Tom takes my hand in his and grabs my suitcase with the other. Hand in hand, we make our way to his car.

An hour later, we're back at his house. Tom carries my suitcase to the bedroom and I follow right behind him. Once in the room, I immediately drop my clothes and change into sweatpants and a large t-shirt. Tom watches me but there is nothing demanding in his look.

„Is there anything I can get you, darling? A cup of tea maybe?“

I shake my head. „Thanks, I just kinda want to lie down for a bit. The past few days have been exhausting in every possible way.“

„I understand. Here...“ Tom pulls away the blanket on the bed a bit. „Just crawl in and rest.“

I do as I'm told and curl up under the blanket. „Tom? Do you mind staying with me? I don't want to be alone.“

He doesn't say a word, only kicks off his shoes and then gets into the bed next to me. I immediately crawl to his side and rest my head on his chest. He wraps his arms around me and gently strokes my hair. We stay like that for almost half an hour. And then I say the words for the very first time.

„My father is dead.“

Tom's grip around me tightens. „I know, darling. And I'm so sorry. Do you want to talk about it?“

„I'm not sure I can. Not yet.“

I can feel him nodding. „I'm always here for you, whenever you need me. So...did you see your mother while you were at home?“ Of course he would ask about that.

„I did.“

„How did it go?“

I take a deep breath. „I won't be seeing her for a very long time.“

He pulls me even tighter against him and kisses the top of my head. And while we lie there in perfect silence, the last doubt about the speech I gave to my family a week ago vanishes. This is my home. I wasn't sure before, but I am now. It didn't even hurt to leave everything else behind. I live a different life now and this is my home. Because that's where he is.

 

Chapter Text

Late September.

Tom and I are right in the middle of a conversation with a wealthy businessman and potential UNICEF supporter, when Luke interrupts us. He apologises profusely and then pulls us into a quiet corner.

„Luke, what is this all about? That man was talking about making a large donation to UNICEF and you might have just ruined that. You can't just barge into a charity event like that.“ Tom seems very angry with his friend and publicist. And I don't blame him.

„I'm very sorry about that, but it couldn't wait. Tom, she's in town.“ My heart sinks immediately. Without having to say a name, both Tom and I know who 'she' is. Taylor.

„Why is she here?“, Tom asks.

„I wish I knew. I have only been informed that she was seen arriving at the airport today. But I don't know why.“

Tom takes a deep breath. „Who told you?“

„Andrew. He called me about half an hour ago and I came here as quickly as I could. He asked me to pick you up and meet him at his office.“

„Now?! Luke, this is an important evening and I made a commitment here tonight. I can't just leave like that.“

„It's alright“, I try to calm him. „I will explain everything to Justine. I'm sure she'll understand. And I will do my best to aquire a bit more money.“

„Are you sure?“

„Yes. You go and come up with a brilliant tactic to keep her in her place. I'll be just fine and just call myself a cab to get home.“

Tom kisses me briefly and then quickly heads out with Luke. I start to make my way through the room, looking out for the gentleman we talked to before we were interrupted. Suddenly, Andrew stands right in front of me. Jesus, what is he doing here?!

„Andrew, what are you...“

„You need to come with me“, he interrupts me.

„I...what? Aren't you supposed to meet Tom and Luke at your office?“

He shakes his head. „That's what I told Luke to get them both away from you.“ Why does this sound like a well-planned abduction to me?!

„Okay, what is going on, Andrew? What does any of this have to do with me?“

„To be honest, I don't know yet. But I was contacted earlier this evening my Ms Swift. She requested to meet me. And you.“ What the fuck is going on?!

„Me? But why?“

„Like I said, I don't know. But she made it sound very urgent and serious.“

„I take it your car is outside?“ Andrew nods. „Then let's go.“

*****

Two days later.

I quietly close my suitcase and set it down next to the door, trying not to make a noise. With my hand on the doorknob, I turn around and look at the gorgeous man spread out on the bed like a Greek god. The glowy light of the moon almost makes it look like he's made out of marble. Fully aware that I should leave, I remove my hand from the door and slowly walk over to the bed where I sit down on the outer edge. He is so beautiful. And he looks so peaceful. I know that the heated sex we had earlier and the bottle of wine I encouraged him to drink will keep him asleep. Just one moment. I just need one last look at him. With a shaking hand, I reach for the bedsheet and slowly pull it away from him until he's lying in front of me, completely uncovered.

What did I ever do to deserve to be loved by him? My eyes wander all over his naked body and in this moment I realise that I've never really looked at him. Then you better do it now. Before it's too late. I look at his big, elegant feet. I don't think I've ever seen a man with feet as big as his. My gaze wanders upwards over his toned calves and his muscular thighs. I might not understand it, but you just gotta love the fact that he runs. Them legs are just...damn. And whenever I use...used my fingernails to... I smile at the thought of how he would shiver and moan whenever I'd run my fingernails over his thighs. Fighting the urge to do it again right now, my eyes wander further and are suddenly glued to his penis resting atop his upper left thigh. It's flaccid now but still rather impressive in size. And the things he can make me feel with it. I close my eyes and can almost feel him moving inside me. It may sound shallow, but I will miss his cock. My eyes caress his hips, flat and trained stomach, his chest... His perfect nipples that make me want to lick them...why did I never do that?! ...his strong arms that had become the safest place on earth for me. My eyes are starting to fill with tears. How will I continue with my life without him there to hold me? The way he always strokes my hair until I've fallen asleep. I don't even know if he likes doing it, but he knows that nothing calms me more. So he just does it. Using those big, elegant hands with those long fingers to make me feel good. In every possible way. I slightly squeeze my legs together thinking of all the orgasms his hands have fingered out of me. How long until he'll use them to touch someone else? Who will be the next woman sleeping next to him in this bed? Tears are streaming down my face and I press my hand against my mouth to surpress the sobs. How can I live without him? I love him more than my own life. So how can I walk away from him? And then I remember. It's because I love him more than my own life. It's why I have to do this. My eyes find his face and I take what seems like minutes to look at his perfect jawline, the high cheekbones, those unbelieveably long lashes, his small and yet so perfect lips... Who will be the next woman to be kissed by...ugh, you need to stop! You need to get it together. I close my eyes and try to remember the feeling of his lips against mine, the colour of his eyes when he looked at me and the sound of his voice whispering 'I love you' in my ear. I will never forget any of this. I will never forget you, you wonderful man.

Trusting that he is deeply asleep, I lean forward to press a soft kiss on his cheek and to once again inhale his scent. „I'm sorry.“

Before I get a chance to give into the urge to simply break down, I almost jump off the bed, grab my suitcase and head downstairs. I leave my keys to the house and the letter for Tom on the dining table and then step out on the street, where Andrew is already waiting for me with a car.

„Sorry, I know I'm a bit late“, I say quietly.

„It's alright, we've still got time.“ He signals the driver to take care of my luggage and opens the car door for me. I turn around to look at our...at Tom's house once again. „Are you sure you want to do this?“ Without saying a word, I get into the car and Andrew closes the door behind me. He gets in the car next to me and turns to me once again. „Kat, you don't have to do this. I'm sure there is another way...“

„Just go!“, I snap at Andrew and a second later, the car starts moving. I take deep breaths, trying to ease the pain inside my chest. I feel like I can't breathe and about two blocks away from where Tom is still sleeping peacefully, I eventually break down and allow the pain and the tears to break free.

About 45 minutes later, we pull up on the airfield and our car stops right next to the private jet. I take a deep breath to prepare myself for what I'm about to face and then get out of the car.

„You're late“, Taylor's voice greets me before I even have a chance to look around. Andrew is just as startled by it than I am.

„Sorry, I...um...“ My voice breaks.

„Aww, has someone been crying?!“ I realise that my eyes must be completely red and swollen. „Don't take it too personally. He would've dumped you sooner or later anyway. So basically, I'm doing you a favour.“ She gestures someone on her staff to take care of my luggage. „Besides, you and I both know that you were in this for the rush and the money. So don't pretend like this was some big, epic love story.“

I try to calm myself with another deep breath but this time, it's not effective. „SHUT. THE FUCK. UP. Out of all the people, you are the one person who doesn't get to judge my relationship with him. Because you wouldn't even understand what he and I had together. How could you?! All of your relationships are as fake as your tits. There is no way you would know what love actually feels like. And what Tom and I had, was real. More than any relationship you'll ever have. And even though I am walking away now, I will always love him. So you better keep your promise. And you better keep your mouth shut until we've touched down on German ground. Because I swear that if you don't, I might just have to strangle you.“ And I promise you, I will.

„Well, but if you did that I couldn't fulfill my end of the deal, could I?!“ The expression on her face is smug as always.

„So you will do as you promised?“, Andrew asks.

„Of course I will. She showed up here and will be home soon. Which means I got what I wanted. So she will get what she wants...freedom for Tom.“ Freedom for Tom. That's all I want.

„Then let's get going.“ I turn to Andrew. „Remember that he can never know.“

„I will. Thank you, Kat.“

I simply nod and then walk towards the plane. Taylor follows right behind me. Someone from the cabin crew offers me a seat. Much to my dismay, Taylor sits down right across from me.

„Here, this is for you.“ She hands me a piece of paper.

I grab it and look down. Holy shit, a check over one million dollars?! „What the fuck is that?“

She smiles at me. „I am just making sure that you remember the conditions we agreed on.“ Because in your world, everything can be bought with money.

We're told to put on our seat belts for takeoff. And without thinking about it, I fold the check in half and put it into my pocket.

 

Chapter Text

I wake up in the middle of the night and, as always, it only takes me seconds to realise. She's gone. I sit up and look to the other side of the bed. It's been two weeks since she left, but I still can't sleep in the middle of the bed. Because what if she comes back? What if I wake up one day and she's there again? I close my eyes and shake my head. Don't be stupid, she left her keys. She isn't coming back.

I get out of bed and walk over to her wardrobe. I slowly open the door and see the familiar green gown hanging there. The gown she wore the night of the premiere. The night I got her back. The night I realised that I couldn't live without her. I take the dress from the hanger and – like every night for the past two weeks – sit down on the bed with the dress in my lap. I touch the soft fabric and remember how it felt under my fingertips when we were dancing that night. She looked absolutely breathtaking. Well, she always did. Tears are starting to form in my eyes but I know that I can't stop them, even if I wanted to. Despite knowing that I'm only going to torture myself, I lift the gown up to my face and breathe in her scent that's still lingering on the fabric. Kat's scent. I've always loved her perfume. And the smell of her hair. At night, when I turned around to wrap my arms around her, I could always smell her conditioner. I miss that. Now when I turn around, there's only a cold and empty bed.

After hanging the dress back up, I make my way downstairs into the living room. I pour myself a large glass of whisky – still remains from her birthday party – and sit down on the dining table. Images of our heated dinner flash through my head. God, what a night! I still can't believe that I used a flower to pleasure her. And the fact that she enjoyed it...she was my little, wanton girl. And I miss her. Every second of every day.

I look down on the familiar set-up on the table. Her keys to the house are still exactly where she left them, her letter is right next to it. Maybe it will make sense tonight. I pick up the envelope with shaking hands and unfold the last message she left me.

 

     Dear Tom,

     I am truly sorry for what I am about to tell you. Over the past weeks, I've realised that you and I were a
     mistake. I never should've come to London with you. Which is why I'm leaving you now. Even though it
     might not feel like it right now, but it will be the best for both of us. I'm not saying that what we had
     wasn't special, but it is over now. At least for me. In my heart, I have already moved on.

     Everything will work out for you eventually. I know it will. I hope with all my heart that you will soon find
     your way back to happiness. Because believe me when I say that you deserve it. Thomas, you are one of
     the best men I've ever known. While I may no longer reciprocate it, I am still honoured by your love. I
     swear I will never forget it. But I also know that you will love again. Soon, all of this will be nothing but a
     fading memory and you will find someone else to love. Just like I will.

     I apologise for just walking out in the middle of the night, but I thought it would be less painful to you
     than having to watch me walk away. That way, when you wake up, I will be long gone and out of your
     reach. I must ask you not to contact me, mostly because it won't do either of us any good. Please know
     that I am going to ignore any attempt to get in touch with me. Should you decide not to honour my
     wishes, I might be forced to block your number to assure that you stay away from me.

     Please forgive me. I wish you all the best in life.

     - Kat

 

I would forgive her anything if only she came back to me. She was by far the best thing I had in my life. Now that she's gone, I can't ever get that back. Nothing or nobody will ever be able to fill that void inside me. My fingers once again trace the spot on the left side of the page where the ink had been blurred by what looks like a tear. Her tear. She cried when she wrote this. So how can she talk about having moved on?! Nothing about our relationship is over. There are so many things I haven't told her yet. So many things I still want to share with her. How can I move on when I know that the happiest days of our relationship were still ahead of us?!

Without even thinking, I reach for my phone and open up her contact. Stop it, you idiot. She simply ignored all your previous attempts to reach her, just like she said she would. I put my phone back on the table. Dammit!! Without even knowing what I do, I throw the glass on the floor to release some of my anger. The fifth since she left.

 

Chapter Text

I knock on the door to Gaby's office and then hesitantly open the door.

„Kat, it's so great to see you!“, Gaby greets me and gets up from her desk to give me a hug.

„It's good to see you too. Thank you for calling. Are you sure you have the time for this?“

„Oh, are you kidding?! Like I said, I'm thrilled to see you. And I have a bit of time between rehearsals today. So I thought it's now or never.“ She walks over to the kettle on the little fridge and heats up the water for some tea. Gaby. She knows me. „When I heard that you were back in town, I knew I had to see you. Actually, I can't believe that you've been back for almost four weeks and didn't tell me.“

„I'm sorry about that.“ I take off my jacket and make myself comfortable on one of the chairs. „I didn't really tell anyone that I'm back. Even my family doesn't know.“

„What is going on, Kat?“, Gaby asks and puts the tea in front of me.

„Can I trust you never to tell anyone?“ I know that I swore not to talk about it. But if I don't my head is going to explode.

Gaby nods. „I promise.“ I reach into the pocket of my jacket and hand Gaby the check I received from Taylor. „One million dollars?! Kat, what is that??“

„It's part of the reason why I'm back in town. It's why...it's part of why I broke up with Tom.“

„So you did break up with him?“ I nod. „Hang on, he paid you money to do that?“

„What?? No!“ Why would you even think that??? „Look at the name.“

„Oh my god. That's his psycho ex-girlfriend who is accusing him right now, isn't it?“ Gaby referring to Taylor as Tom's psycho ex-girlfriend. I taught her well.

„Yes, it is.“

„And why is she paying you money?“

„Because she wants to make sure that I stick to my part of the deal.“ Why do I say this like it's the most normal thing in the world?!

„What deal?“ Gaby seems positively lost.

„About four weeks ago, she came to London and contacted Tom's lawyer to request a meeting with him and me. I had no idea what she was up to but I agreed to it anyway. She told us that there was a way to make it all go away for Tom. If I decided to agree to leaving him. In that case, she promised to drop all the charges against him. She promised to set him free.“

„You let her blackmail you into leaving him? Have you lost your mind?“

A bittersweet laugh escapes my lips. „Possibly. But there wasn't any other way. Gaby, he's facing several years behind bars. Without the evidence of the full video, there is no way for him to get out of this. And I just couldn't let that happen. Going to jail would break him. Which is why I made sure that he won't have to. The money wasn't actually part of the deal. She just handed this to me when I got on her plane and I took it without even thinking.“

„And has she dropped the charges yet?“

I shrug my shoulders. „I don't know. I blocked Tom's number so he can't contact me and I just ignore everyone else. But I think if they'd officially let him off the hook, it would be all over the news. So I guess she's still trying to figure out a way to do it. Preferably without damaging her image.“

Gaby slams her mug on the desk harder than I anticipated. „Okay, you really have lost your mind. Because Kat, this is absolutely bonkers. Yes, you have fulfilled your end of the deal. But has it ever occurred to you that she might never fulfill hers?“ What are you talking about?! „From everything you've told me, she has always been jealous of your relationship with Tom. So what if she just seized the chance to drive you apart? And you went for it because you'd do everything to protect him.“ This makes more sense than I'd like it to make. Crap.

„I have to believe that she will keep her promise.“ Because I don't know what I'd do if she doesn't.

„Belief? That's all you have?! Seriously, this is madness.“

„Tell me something I don't know“, I reply sarcastically.

Gaby sighs and then reaches for my hand. „How are you holding up in all of this?“

„I'm not. This is the first time in days that I've left the house. I barely eat or sleep. When he and I broke up earlier this year, I thought it was bad. But this is so much worse. Because I know that I'm hurting him just as much as I'm hurting myself. And the thought of never seeing him again...it just kills me. I miss him so much.“ I wipe away a tear. „You know, things were so perfect between us. After I went back to him, he really tried to be better. The things he told me about himself...I don't think anyone else know about them. I think he sometimes felt like just running away when matters got too personal. But he never did.“

„Well, because he loves you.“ And I love him. „Kat, have you ever thought about what this will do to him? I might not know the man, but you've told me quite a bit about him. And it seems to me that he never opened up to anyone the way he opened up to you. You have enough fear of commitment yourself to know what happens when someone crushes your heart after you've opened up to them. You said that going to jail would break him. But what if this is actually the thing that will destroy him?“ Don't go there. Please don't. I've been trying to push that thought away every since I left him.

Before I can answer, Gaby's phone rings and she's called into an emergency meeting with a director. While I'm on my way back home, I replay our conversation in my head. „Yes, you have fulfilled your end of the deal. But has it ever occurred to you that she might never fulfill hers?...What if she just seized the chance to drive you apart?“ I shake my head. It can't be. Then it would've all been for nothing. And then I have an idea. Maybe that check will have a purpose after all.

 

A few minutes later, I am at the post office. I carefully put the check and a handwritten note in an envelope and address it to the detective investigating Tom's case. Let's see if finding out that Taylor paid Tom's (ex-)girlfriend a million dollars might get them to question a few things.

When I leave the post office, I bump into Dan.

„Kat! It's so good to see you. I heard that you were back in town.“ Jesus, is me coming back really the only thing people talk about these days?!

„Dan! How are you?“

„Constantly overworked“, he winks at me. „So are you back in town for good? What about you and...him?“ When did it become a crime to mention Tom's name?

„Tom and I aren't together anymore.“

„I'm so sorry.“ Yeah, say it like you mean it. „What happened?“

„I don't want to talk about it.“

Dan nods. „I understand. Hey, there's a reading at the library tonight and I have and extra ticket. Do you want to go with me? I'd even throw in dinner.“ Honestly, I don't feel like doing anything apart from crying. But life has to go on. So I might as well start now.

„Sure, why not. But do you mind if I change into something different before we go? I feel like ripped pants and a t-shirt would be quite appropriate.“

„Not at all“, Dan shakes his head.

 

Five minutes later, I am standing in front of my wardrobe in nothing but my underwear, trying to figure out what to wear. Dan is waiting for me in the living room and I can hear him talking through the not completely closed bedroom door.

„I'm really sorry about you and Tom. You know, I kind of feels responsible for you and him getting together. If I hadn't called you that day, you might have never met him.“ For fuck's sake, please just get over yourself, Dan. „But now that you and him are no longer a thing, I might actually get a chance at getting what I really want.“

„And what is that?“, I ask and reach for a white blouse.

„You“, Dan says, standing right behind me. I whirl around and try to cover myself with the blouse as best as I can. „I've always had a thing for you, Kat. But I never had the courage to tell you. And then you were with him and went to London. So now that he's out of the picture, I will make sure that I don't waste another chance.“

He takes one more step towards me and presses his lips down on mine. Before I even know what's happening and without knowing why, I lean into the kiss. This is so fucking wrong. But I can't bring myself to stop. Dan throws my blouse aside and quickly takes his shirt off. Maybe he can take my mind off things. Even if just for a little while. He might be a prick, but with that body, I'm sure he's great in bed. Ignoring the pain in my chest, I pull Dan down onto the bed. His hands and lips are all over my body. I never knew that he wanted me. Just as I'm about the unbuckle his belt, my phone rings. I know that I threw it somewhere on the bed. So I push Dan off of me and search the sheets for my phone. When I find it, I take the call without even looking at the display.

„Hello, this is Dr Hoffman's office“, says the voice at the other end of the line. „I'm calling about the results of your blood test. Do you have a moment? There is something that I need to tell you.“

Dan watches me while I listen to the rest of the phone call. Eventually, I hang up and turn towards him.

„You need to go“, I say, trying to surpress the panic inside me.

„But Kat...“

„I said get out!“

Dan quickly gathers his shirt and stumbles out of my bedroom. Seconds later, I hear the front door closing. He's gone. I let myself fall back on the bed. This cannot be happening. Not now. Not ever. Fuck.

 

Chapter Text

I lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, the church bell outside is ringing. It's noon. It's been three days since I got the call. But apart from kicking Dan out, I hadn't really done anything. What am I going to do? Do I tell him? What are you talking about, of course you need to tell him. But what if I don't? And is there even going to be something to tell?! He never has to know. He never can know. I have a promise to keep. I can't risk that over...

My cell phone chimes. That alarm can only mean one thing... I reach for my phone and check the Twitter alarm. Tom has been tweeting again. Against my better judgement, I open the notification to see what he has posted. Another Song of the Day. Remains by Bastille vs Rag'N'Bone Man vs Skunk Anansie. He has got to be kidding. I know the song very well and practically know the lyrics by heart. What kind of message is he trying to send here?!

I throw my phone aside and lie back again. While I try to bring my thoughts back to my actual problem, different lines of the lyrics pop into my head.

I can't help but think of you
In these four walls my thoughts seem to wander

Of course I can't think of anyone but him. I miss him every single day, every single second. He occupies my every waking thought. And I don't ever see that changing.

It's always been just you and me for all to see

Everyone always knew how we felt about each other. Even when we didn't quite know what we were. The others knew.

And hold me in your arms
Hold me in your arms

There's no place I'd rather be right now.

And I'll hold in these hands, all that remains

All that remains...what is it that remains from this apart from two broken hearts?! What good actually came from this relationship?

I sit back up and realise... I know what remains. I reach for my phone again, open Spotify and within seconds, I have found the song I've been looking for. Tom's Song of the Day. I set it on repeat and then lie down once more, placing my hands on my stomach. I know what remains.

*****

I have been listening to the song on a loop for over an hour. Due to the fact that I didn't really get any sleep the night before, I am in a state somewhere between sleeping and waking. It's a good place.

A knock on the door.

I am not home. And I am in no condition to talk to anyone. Whoever is standing outside my door knocks again. Oh, for fuck's sake! I pause the song, roll myself out of bed, put on a shirt and then make my way to the living room to open the door.

I pull it open and my heart skips a beat.

„Hello Kat.“

Tom. My head immediately starts to spin. Why is he here? How can he be here? How do I not tell him now that he's here? He silently looks at me and I take the time to look at him too. He's wearing his dark jeans, a white t-shirt and the black leather jacket that I haven't seen on him in ages. And he has grown a beard. Almost like Moscow Tom. God, he looks perfect. I want nothing more than to throw myself in his arms. But I know that I can't. So I gather all my strength to remain calm and play it cool.

„Tom, what are you doing here?“

„Can I come in?“, he asks shyly.

I take a step aside and he quickly steps into my living room. It's been over a year since he was here. Over a year. The best and worst year of my life.

„I ask you again...why are you here? And more importantly...how are you here? How can you be so incredibly stupid and ignore official orders not to...“

„They dropped the charges“, he interrupts me. Sorry, come again?!

I try to let his words sink in but my brain somehow fails to cooperate. „W-what?“, I stutter.

„The police dropped the charges against me. All of them.“ A huge, relieved smile appears on his face. I missed that smile. „I am a free man.“

I feel like jumping up and down like a joyful little kid. „Tom, that is amazing! I am so happy for you. How did that happen?“

„Three days ago, Taylor announced that she was going to drop the charges. She told the police that she could no longer pursue this path. Luckily, the leading investigator didn't really buy her story. I think she believed that Taylor might have been pressured into making that decision. By me, obviously. Apparently she also received some kind of anonymous tipp that caused her to look deeper into the matter. So she ordered a further investigation, including a search warrant for Taylor's house. They really must have turned the place upside down and took all of her laptops and flashdrives with them. And on one of them, they found the video. The whole video. They saw what actually happened that night and let me off the hook. I got the call from Andrew very early this morning.“

I know that Tom is expecting me to say something, but I can't. I look at him and try to fight back my tears. It worked. It really was worth it. He is a free man. I clear my throat. „Like I said, I am incredibly happy for you. But why are you here instead of celebrating with your family?“

„Kat, I know what you did.“ What? „I know that you're the reason Taylor decided to drop the charges.“ Oh no... „When Andrew told me about the news this morning, he also told me about your deal with her.“ Dammit, Andrew! „I also know that you're the one who sent the check to the police. I saw the postmark on the envelope.“ Tom takes a step towards me but I avoid being close to him and walk to the other side of the room.

„Look, Tom, what's done, is done. You're off the hook, that's all that matters.“

„No, it's not!“, Tom responds in a serious tone. „None of it actually matters. Not without you in my life.“ Please, stop talking. „I came here to bring you home. Because now that I know what really happened, I no longer have to believe that you stopped loving me. You only did this to help me. But it's over now. You helped me more than I could've ever asked for. And I love you for it. Which is why I'm not willing to spend one more day without you. So I am here to talk to you and to take you home.“

I shake my head. „I can't. Things are different now. So...no, I won't come back to London with you.“

My words have visibly hurt him. „Different how?“

I'm not ready to tell him. „You should go.“ I try to walk past him towards the door but he grabs my arm.

„What is different now? What changed? Do you really not love me anyone? Did you really stop caring?“ I never will.

I free myself from his grip. „It doesn't matter. And now please go.“ I open the door and wait for him to leave.

„Kat, talk to me! Please!!“ His voice is cracking and I am pretty sure that there is currently a single tear slowly rolling down his cheek. Dammit, it kills me when he does that. I silently close the door again and remain standing with my back facing Tom. I can't really look at him anyway. „I am here because I love you and because I need you in my life. When Andrew called me this morning, I was waiting for the happiness to kick in. I was waiting for that moment of realisation, for my mind to understand that everything would be alright now. But that moment never came. Instead I realised that something was missing. That you are missing. And you have been ever since I woke up to find out you were gone. I've had so much time to think in the past few weeks and I've realised that, at the end of the day, the one thing that remains is you. The thought of you. Because nothing else matters except for you.“

„Is that what your Song of the Day is referring to?“

„Partly, yes. I know that you know the song.“ I nod. „I started listening to it because of you, you know?! And some of the lyrics just perfectly describe how I feel. About you and about all of this.“

„But why now? You were MIA for so long on social media. Why now? Why today?“

Tom sighs. „Because I have nothing left to lose. According to your letter, you are already moving on and...“

„I'm not.“ I wipe away the tears on my cheeks and turn around to face him. „If Andrew told you what happened, you know why I did what I did. I only did it to help you, not because I stopped loving you. But I made a promise.“

„Then why are we arguing? Kat, it's over. Taylor is exposed as a liar. If she's lucky, her behaviour won't have any consequences for her. But if she doesn't want the whole world to find out what exactly she did to me and now you, she will keep quiet. So it's over. She can't come between us anymore.“

I shake my head. „Still. It's not that simple.“

„We were happy before you left, despite all the circumstances. We were happy and in love. So tell me...what is different now?“ It's now or never.

„I'm pregnant.“

Tom's whole body freezes. „Oh...“, he says after a while.

„Yeah...“, I reply. „I'm sorry, I meant to tell you under entirely different circumstances. I only found out a few days ago and ever since then I have been trying to come up with a way to tell you that I am carrying your child. But I just...“

„Hang on...“, Tom interrupts me. „My child?! You're saying that...that...it's my baby?“

„Of course it is!“ What else?! „Who else would be the father?“ The look on Tom's face is positively heartbreaking. He looks me in the eyes and then he stares at my belly. „Tom? Please say something!“, I beg him.

His eyes are still fixed on my stomach. „Marry me!“

„WHAT?“

„Marry me, Kat“, he repeats and now looks directly into my eyes. Yes!

„Tom, don't be ridiculous! It's been an emotional day for you. The news regarding your case and now I've told you that you're going to be a father. And while I love knowing that apparently you consider it happy news, you can't just propose to me out of impulse.“

He reaches into the right pocket of his jacket and pulls out a little velvet box. What the hell?? He opens the box and reveals a sparkling aquamarine and diamond ring. Cushion cut aquamarine in a halo of little white diamonds. It's perfect. It's THE ring. „It's not out of impulse. I've had this for weeks now. Picked it up the day before you left. I wanted to keep it hidden and wait for the right moment. And then you were gone.“ I keep staring at the ring. „It's not spontaneous. I've known for quite a while now that I want nothing more than spend the rest of my life with you. All you have to do is say yes.“ Yes.

„But we're not even together anymore.“

„Yes, but you can drop the act now. The problems we had aren't problems anymore. We can be together again.“ Yes.

„You're going to be busy fixing the damage that has been done to your career and your reputation. And I think we both know that I won't have a place in your life anymore.“

„Okay, that's enough! Don't you understand?! It's you. You're the one thing I want and need most. When I realised that you were gone, I would've gladly given every bit of success I've ever had if it would've brought you back. For my entire life, I considered being successful in what I do the most important thing. Because that's what my father taught me. And because it actually worked out for me. So I worked for it, sometimes more than my own body could take. I worked myself to exhaustion just to be the best. And then the next project came along and I had to do it all over again. But since it was all I ever knew, I thought it was normal and how life is supposed to be. And then I met you and you turned my life around more than I ever thought possible. With you, I don't have to fight over and over again. You just...love me, even though I still don't really know why. But you do. And it's so freeing to know that I have finally found the one thing that is actually important in my life. It's not my career, no matter how much I still love acting. It's you and our relationship. The past months have been a nightmare for me but you stood by my side through all of it. Despite the fact that it took quite a toll on your life as well. But you stayed and you supported me and you loved me. Unconditionally and without ever asking for anything in return. Ever since you and I actually got together, there hasn't been a single day where I didn't feel loved. You and your love are a constant in my life. The best thing I could ever imagine. That's why I want to marry you. For the whole world to see. So that everyone can see that you're mine. So that nobody has to speculate anymore if what we have is real or not. And now that you are...that we are having a baby, I want to do this the right way. Even more than I did anyway. I want us to be a family, no room for questions.“ Tom has been yelling the last few sentences and tears are streaming down his face. „I won't ever give up acting because it's who I am. But I won't give you up either. I will always come back for you. So you can either say yes now or say it in a few weeks when I ask you again. Because I will ask you again. I will ask you until you say yes. I am in love with you and sooner or later, I am going to marry you. The mother of my child. So...are you saying yes or not?“

„Yes“, I sob.

„Yes what?“

„Yes, I'll marry you.“

Before I can say another word, Tom sweeps me into his arms and presses me against him. I've missed you. „Oh Kat! My beautiful Kat!“ He lets go of me and looks into my eyes. „Are you sure?“ The smile on my face is too big to actually talk so I simply nod. Tom takes the ring from the box and slides it on my finger. „How does it feel to be engaged?“

I gently run my fingers through his hair and then let my hand rest on his cheek. He closes his eyes and leans into my touch. When he opens his eyes again, they are filled with tears again. One rolls down his cheek and I wipe it away with my thumb „It's the best feeling in the world.“ I take his hand and place it on my stomach. „How does it feel to become a daddy?“

Tom sighs. „You really are pregnant? No doubt?“

„No doubt. I had a little bit of a faint the other day and my doctor did a blood test to see what's wrong. And she called me yesterday to say that nothing is wrong at all.“

„A faint? But are you alright? And what about the baby?“ Oh dear...this is how it's going to be from now on. I won't even be allowed to lift a finger.

„Everything is just fine, I think. I don't know how far along I am, but I have an appointment with my gynecologist in two days. We'll go together if you want.“

Tom pulls me once again against him and presses his mouth on mine. I let out a moan when our lips touch. And then there is no way back. I push the leather jacket off of Tom's shoulders and pull his t-shirt over his head. I let my hands rest on his naked chest and look at the engagement ring on my finger. This is what complete happiness must feel like. Tom gently lifts me up and I wrap my legs around him. He makes his way to the bedroom with a few steps. He carefully puts me down on the bed and just a few moments later, we are both entirely naked. Our bodies are wrapped around each other and our hands and mouths make contact with every possible inch of skin. Suddenly, Tom rolls me on my back and parts my legs with his hand. Seconds later, his long fingers roll over my stiffening clit. Fuck, I missed that.

„Is this alright?“, he asks.

„Yes, and don't you dare stop“, I gasp, already desperate to find my release.

„And if we...I mean...are you sure I won't hurt the baby?“

I giggle. „No penis is big enough to do damage to our baby. Not even yours. I'm very sorry.“

Tom laughs too but I can tell that he is too aroused to really joke around. „Is it still big enough to bring you pleasure?“, he asks while his fingers still tease my little pearl.

I wrap my hand – the one with the engagement ring – around his already throbbing cock and stroke it slowly. „Give it to me and I'll let you know.“ With that, I pull him in for another kiss.

Never breaking the kiss, Tom moves between my legs and I wrap them around his hips immediately. I am desperate to feel him inside me and try to pull him against my body. When his hard cock lands right on my hot centre, I almost cry out. It's so close, but still not where I need it. I reach down and position the head of his cock right at the entrance to my pussy. I can hear him gasping and I know that he's holding back with everything he has. „Give it to me“, I whisper in his ear. It's the final push he needs and with one deep thrust, he buries himself inside me. We both almost scream out loud and stay still for a moment to enjoy the sensation.

„You don't even know how much I missed being inside you“, Tom gasps.

„I think I do.“ I pull him against me and kiss him hungrily. Not wasting any more time, Tom starts to move inside me, always rubbing against my g-spot. Oh god, this isn't going to take long for me. I arch my back in pleasure and Tom's mouth closes around one of my nipples. Due to the pregnancy, my breasts are already more sensitive than they usually are and feeling his tongue against me almost sends my body into a frenzy. I roll my hips against him and my pussy already begins to tighten around him.

„Oh Kat...if you do this, you are going to make me come already. But I want to take proper care of you first.“ Tom is so out of breath already that I know that he is close as well.

„It's okay. Do it.“ I kiss him deeply. „I want you to come. I want you to fill me up and then hold me and fall asleep while still inside me. Please.“ His hand flies between my legs and as soon as I feel his thumb on my clit, I am pushed over the edge. My body tightens and quivers around him, releasing his climax as well. Screaming my name, Tom collapses on top of me. His head rests against my neck and I can feel his heart beating against my chest. His cock is still deep inside me.

„I love you, Kat“, he says quietly and already half asleep.

„I love you too.“

 

Chapter Text

I turn around in bed and slowly come to my senses. I can feel my brain slowly wake up. And then I remember everything that happened earlier. Tom. The proposal. Our baby. Reunion sex. I smile with my eyes still closed.

„Hey there, beautiful“, Tom says and kisses my forehead.

I smile and slowly open my eyes, only to see the world's most gorgeous man stretched out next to me. „This is nice.“

„What is?“

Despite the happiness, a lump is forming in my throat. „Having you next to me in my bed. The last time we did this...the last time I fell asleep in your arms here, you were gone the next morning. I...“ My voice cracks.

„Shhhhh, darling!“ Tom soothingly runs his thumb over my cheeck and my chin. „I promise that won't ever happen again. I'm here to stay, remember?“ His hand travels to mine and he brushes his fingers over my engagement ring.

„Oh yeah...“ I hold out my hand and look at the ring. „I almost forgot about that“, I say teasingly. As if...

„Do you like it?“, Tom asks, sounding truly insecure.

„It's perfect, Tom. Honestly, it's THE ring. From THE man.“

Tom smiles at me. „I'm glad to hear you say that. Relieved. You have no idea how nervous I was about this.“

I take his hand in mine. „Why?“

„Because this is a huge deal for me. I never thought I'd meet someone I want to commit to. Until I met you. But then there was the chance that you would turn me down or just kick me out. I couldn't really be sure that you hadn't actually moved on already. And I honestly don't know what I would've done if you had.“

„Well...“ I crawl into his arms. „Thankfully, you'll never have to find out.“

He protectively kisses the top of my head. „And I'm very grateful for that. So...how do you want to get married? And where?“ I can't believe I am actually having this conversation with Tom Hiddleston. Somebody please pinch me.

„I don't know. I've never really made any plans in my head because I never allowed myself to dream that I'd ever get married. If at all possible, I'd like my family to be there. And I don't mean the part that currently isn't talking to me, but the extended family. Big weddings are kind of a thing in our family, so I'd love to have one too. And as for where...definitely in London. It's our home, so where else would we do it?!“ Tom's grip around me tightens at the remark. „And, if I could choose, I'd do it as quickly as possible.“

„I agree“, Tom says. „We've already spent way too many days not being married. Being able to call you my wife is all I can think about right now. And I want that rather sooner than later.“

„Well, I actually meant that I don't want to look like a balloon on my wedding day so I'd kinda like to do it before I have a huge baby bump. But your answer is certainly more romantic.“

„Woman, you are impossible.“ Tom and I both start laughing. Laughing with Tom. God, how I've missed this. „But whatever you want. If you want a big wedding, then you'll get a big wedding. Once we're back in London – you are coming back to London with me, right?!“, he interrupts himself.

I playfully roll my eyes at him. „Did you not hear the part about London being our home?! Of course I'm coming with you. Believe me, I'm not letting go of you that easily ever again.“

„Good.“ Tom kisses me softly. „Well, then we'll start looking for a date and a location as soon as we get home. I'm pretty sure Luke knows someone who can print the invitations ASAP. If we're lucky, we can have them sent out in less than two weeks.“ Damn, the man really isn't wasting any time. „So when are we going home?“ Home. Just the sound of that makes me wanna cry.

„I don't know. Like I said, I have an appointment with my gynecologist in two days and I'd really like to go. I know that I will have to find another OB in London for the rest of the pregnancy. But I want to know how far along I am. And if it's safe for me to fly.“

„And if not, then we'll just take the ferry or the train. Don't worry about that.“ He places one of his big hands on my stomach. „I'll get you and our little pumpkin home safely.“

„Pumpkin?!“ What the hell?

„It's a Halloween baby. So I thought it was appropriate.“

Once again, I roll my eyes at my future husband. „Tom, you do realise that it takes nine months to grow a human?! Just because you found out a few days before Halloween does not make this a Halloween baby.“

„Woman, be quiet!“ Jeez, when did he start talking to me that way?! „This is our child we're talking about. And I refuse to call it 'the baby' for the next nine months. So you better get used to me calling it pumpkin.“ I roll my eyes, but sigh in surrender. Whatever you want. „So what do you think? Boy or girl?“

I shrug my shoulders. „Pfff...I don't know. I wouldn't know how to tell the difference. I don't even know if this is what being pregnant feels like. I just know that I'm happy beyond words.“

„Does that mean that you're definitely not considering...not keeping it?“, Tom asks with a tone that breaks my heart.

I sit up and look down at him. „How can you even ask that?! Tom, this isn't just any baby, it's yours. Ours. You don't even know what that means to me. So even if you hadn't come here and if we weren't getting married, even if I had never seen you again, I would have never aborted that child. Never.“ I lie back down and rest my head on his chest. „This is a dream come true. I have wanted this ever since I saw you playing with Christopher for the first time. So no, not keeping it is not an option. And if we're lucky, this is just the beginning.“ Because your children are the only thing worth ruining my vagina over.

„How many do you want?“, Tom asks as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

„Hm, I don't know. Three, maybe four. But two are the minimum.“

„Three sounds good“, he answers. Look at the man who couldn't commit to anything!

„So if you could choose, what would you want to start with?“

„A healthy baby“, Tom says without hesitation. Good answer. „Honestly, Kat, I don't care. And it's not like we can influence it anyway.“ True. „I guess we should start discussing names then.“ Do I tell him that I've been collecting baby names ever since I was 12?! Sensing that something is going on in my head, Tom shifts his position to get a better look at me. „Oh, I know that look. You already know what you want to name them, don't you?“ Busted.

„Well, let's say I have some ideas. But I am willing to take your wishes into consideration“, I say with a smile and a playful wink.

„Lucky me. So...tell me!“

„I've always liked short names for boys, I don't know why. Jacob has always been my favourite. I like Lucas too, but I don't know if you want to name your son after your publicist.“

„Well...“, Tom shrugs his shoulders. „I'd have to think about that, but possibly not. How do you feel about Alexander?“

„I like it. A bit long, but we could call him Alex.“ Alexander Hiddleston...I like the sound of that.

„Yes, we could. And what if it's a girl?“

I sigh. „That's less clear to me. I've always wanted to name my first daughter Emma. But given that that's your sister's name, that's obviously not going to happen. I've also always liked Helena. But Helena Hiddleston is a name that just screams therapy time during puberty.“ I'm waiting for Tom to say something in reply but he doesn't. When I turn to look at him, I find him staring at me in surprise. „W-what's going on?“ Did I say something wrong?

„You just...the name...I...Kat, are you saying that you're going to take my last name?“ I didn't think that was worth mentioning...

„Of course I am! Why wouldn't I?!“

„I don't know. But you are a strong independent woman and I could never ask you to give up your name for me. And I...“

„Shhh!“, I interrupt him by placing a finger on his mouth. „Tom, I love you, but you've been reading too much 'feminism-gone-wrong' literature. I know that there are many women who say that an independent woman never lets her husband's name define her. If you ask me, that's the biggest rubbish I've ever heard. Because when I marry you and take on your name, I am not giving up who I am. I am becoming the person I want to be...your wife. And when we bring this child into this world, I want it to know who it is from the very first moment. I'd never want my child to have a different name than one of its parents. Just like I have no interest in having a different name than my husband. So, if it's what you want, I will take on your last name.“

Without saying anything, Tom pulls me in for a deep and passionate kiss. „I'd be honoured.“ We kiss once more and then I rest my head against his chest again and we remain like that for a few minutes. „Kat, I'd like to call my mum and tell her. About everything. Would you call her with me?“

I sit back up again. „Do you think that's a good idea? After I just left you, I can't imagine that your mother is a very big fan of mine.“

„She wasn't. Believe me, she really didn't take it well when I told her that you were gone. She really likes you but of course she couldn't admit that anymore. So she did her best at pretending to hate you.“ Crap. „When I called her this morning to tell her about the news, she asked me to pick up Emma and come to see her immediately. That's when I told her what Andrew had told me. Once I finished, she asked me what I was still doing talking to my old mother. She knew that I was planning to propose, so she told me to pack the ring and get my ass to the airport. And yes, those were her exact words.“ I can't help but laugh because I can totally imagine Diana say that. „So trust me, she doesn't hate you. Which is why I want to make that call together with you.“

I simply nod and Tom crawls to the end of the bed to find his phone in the pocket of his pants on the floor. Then he props up a pillow against the headboard and makes himself comfortable before dialing and putting the call on speaker.

Diana picks up almost immediately, as if she'd been waiting for that call. Well, she probably has. „Thomas, finally! How are you? Is everything okay?“

„Yes, mum, I'm fine. More than fine actually.“

„Does that mean that...what did she say?“

Tom and I exchange a quick look before I decide to enter the conversation. „She said yes“, I say with a big smile on my face that I'm sure even transports over the phone.

Diana replies with a scream that leaves both Tom and me speechless. „Yes! Oh my god, I am so happy for you. Kat, I could not be more happy about my future daughter-in-law.“

„Thank you, Diana. I feel the same way about you being my mother-in-law.“

„So have you two decided on a date yet?“, Diana asks.

„No, not really“, Tom shakes his head. „But we want to do it soon. The sooner the better. And we'll definitely celebrate in London.“

„I like the sound of that. When are you two coming home?“ Home. There is that wonderful word again.

„Soon, hopefully. Kat just has a doctor's appointment in two days that she can't miss.“

„Doctor's appointment?! Is everything okay?“, Tom's mother asks with concern in her voice.

He and I look at each other, silently agreeing on telling her already. „Everything is fine, Diana“, I say. „We just need that appointment to be able to tell you when exactly you're becoming a grandmother again.“

There is silence at the other end of the line, eventually interrupted by a little sob.

„Mum, are you okay?“, Tom asks.

„I...I'm fine. I just did not see that coming. I am so happy for the two of you.“

„Thank you, mum. We're very happy too.“ Is there a stronger word than happy? Because happy doesn't even begin to cover it.

„Listen, you two, I will leave you to it. I'm pretty sure you have a lot of...catching up to do.“ Whenever she says these things, I feel like Momma Hiddleston knows more about my sex life than I feel comfortable sharing. With anyone. But especially my future mother-in-law.

„Alright. We'll call you when we get home, okay?“, Tom asks.

„You do that. And please take good care of my grandchild, you hear me?!“

„I promise I will. Goodbye, Diana“, I say before she hangs up the phone.

Tom and I exchange a quick kiss and then I crawl next to him where he puts his arm around my shoulders. I missed being this close to him. I missed his warmth. His scent. I missed how safe I feel in his arms. Thank god I have him back.

„Kat? There is something I need to tell you.“ Speeches that start like that are never good. I turn to look at him. „You said that you won't let go of me for a while but...I'm afraid you might have to soon. At least for a few days.“ I refuse.

„Why? What's going on?“

„If everything works out, I will have to fly to LA in two weeks. Ken is going to direct another movie and he wants me to be his leading man. I always thought it wouldn't be possible, but now that the situation has changed...I emailed him on my way from the airport and he said that he'd try to arrange a meeting. He will be there too and he promised to do everything to convince the producers. I'm sorr-“

I silence him by sealing his lips with mine. „Of course you are flying to LA! Tom, this is amazing. You know that I will always support you and your work. So the last thing on my mind would be to get mad at you for pursuing a job.“

„Are you sure?!“

„Absolutely! Actually...“ I quickly get out of bed and open one of the drawers on my wardrobe. It take out the small box and then get back into bed with Tom. „Maybe this could bring you luck. I bought it the other day.“ I hand him the box and he opens it with interest.

A smile immediately appears on his face. „A knitted tie.“

„It's nothing special, really“, I say apologetically. „But I saw it the other day and just couldn't resist. I know that you have one that you love very much. And I thought maybe it's time for an addition to the collection. I thought it's very you.“

„Yes, but it has polka dots. So it's also very you.“ He gives me a flirtatious wink and then kisses me briefly. „I love it, Kat.“ He kisses me again. „So...let me get this straight...you bought me a tie, even though you were planning on never speaking to me again.“ Yes, thank you for pointing out how much sense that makes...

„Honestly, I did it without even thinking about it. I saw the tie and knew that it was perfect for you. So I just bought it. Once I left the store, I realised what I just did. But I also couldn't give it back. It was already yours.“

„Well, I'm glad that you got a chance to give it to me. And should things work out with LA, I will definitely wear it for good luck. But I'm only leaving if you and our little one are alright.“

„Why wouldn't we be alright? I mean, I don't know what a healthy pregnancy is supposed to feel like but I don't think there's anything wrong. I don't even suffer from morning sickness.“

„Yes, but you haven't eaten“, Tom strictly replies. „You've lost weight. Quite a bit, I dare say.“

„Well, that certainly can't hurt. I've got more than enough to begin with.“ Where the hell are the inscurities coming from all of a sudden?!

„Okay, stop it! You know that I love you just the way you are. And I am really not interested in cuddling up to someone who feels like a piece of wood. I love your curves. They're sexy as hell. So don't you dare talk about yourself like that! And as for hurting...you no longer get to decide what happens with your body on your own. You are carrying my child and starving yourself will not be good for the baby. So I'm going to need you to take care of yourself. Because I can't lose either one of you.“

„Tom...“ I wipe away a tear. Stupid hormones. „I promise that I will take care of myself and the baby. You know that emotional stress takes away all my appetite, which is why I haven't really been eating in the past few weeks. But the stress is over now. So I promise I will listen to you and the doctor and take care of myself.“

Tom pulls me against him. „Please do. I just want you to be alright. And me saying that you lost weight was without any intention to hurt you in any way. I was just surprised to see you changed that much.“

„Well, you're one to talk...“, I say and run my fingers through his beard.

He laughs. „I'm sorry. I will shave that off as soon as I can.“

„What? No. Don't you dare!“ Tom looks at me with big eyes. „Perhaps nobody has ever told you that, but that beard is incredibly sexy. So don't you dare touch it, Hiddleston.“

„You don't mind the scratching?“

„Not at all“, I shake my head. „To be honest, there are quite a few places where I'm dying to feel that scratch.“

„Oh, and where would that be?“ Tom raises his eyebrow at me.

„As if you don't know...“

Before I can resist, Tom pushes me on my back and kisses his way down my neck. Reaching my breasts, he takes one nipple into his mouth and begins to suck hard. Oh fuck... I arch my back and let out a whimper.

Surprised by the already so desperate response, Tom lets go of me and looks up. „Damn, girl. You've always been responsive, but this is crazy, even for you. I barely got started...“

I shrug my shoulders. „Yeah, well...please say hello to pregnancy symptoms. It's going to be like that for a while now. So you might as well get used to it.“

Tom takes one finger into his mouth to wet it. „They're so much more sensitive, aren't they?“, he says while tracing a circle around each nipple with his finger and watches them both form into hard peaks. All I can do is whimper. „Oh, babygirl, you and I are going to have so much fun together over the next months.“ He gives each rosy tip a flick with his tongue. „Remember that night at Anchor Cottage, when I tied you to the bed and made you come just like that? Only by licking your perfect little nipples?“ How could I ever forget.

„Yes“, I gasp.

„Let's try that again, shall we?! I won't tie you up because I've spent weeks without being touched by you so I want to feel your hands all over my body. But I am going to make you come like that again.“

He leans back down and starts alternating between sucking on both of my nipples again. My reactions soon tell him that the right one is more sensitive than the other, so he focusses his attention on that one while stimulating the left side with his fingers. Oh god, this feels so good. How does he do that? My head falls back on the mattress and I frantically start to roll my hips. The sensation of Tom's tongue and fingers travels right down between my legs and I am desperate to release the pressure that's building up inside me. I bury my hands in Tom's hair, assuring that he doesn't abandon me. With every flick of his tongue, I move one step closer to my orgasm. Eventually, the heat inside me becomes almost unbearable.

„Oh god, Tom! Oh...you're going to make me come...oh...“

He simply growls against me. I know that growl. That's his 'you-need-to-come-right-now' growl. So I do as my future husband commands me to and give into a screaming climax. Even before the last waves of pleasure have died down, Tom kisses his way further down. I hear him whisper a quiet „I love you“ against my stomach and I immediately know that it's not at all meant for me. He just told our baby that he loves it. My stupid pregnancy hormones drive tears into my eyes but before I can actually start crying, I feel Tom's thumb on my clit.

„Let's see if the rest of you is as sensitive. And don't you hold back, babygirl. I want every single one of your orgasms.“ Yes, Sir.

After running his tongue up and down my wet folds to lap up the juices from my first orgasm, he replaces his thumb with his mouth and begins to lick and suck my little pearl. Jesus fucking Christ. I know he's not responsible here, but...fuck! Due to the fact that my clit seems indeed to be more sensitive than usual and that I still haven't fully recovered from my previous climax, I already feel another orgasm approaching. I press my hand against my mouth to quiet my moans a little. As a reaction, Tom abandons my pussy immediately.

„No, babygirl. Don't do that. I want to hear you. Every single one of your moans is mine. So let me hear them.“ Yes, Sir.

I remove my hand from my mouth and am rewarded with even harder flicks of Tom's tongue against my aching bundle of nerves. My legs begin to shake, my pussy starts quivering and then I give into my release with a loud scream. This time, Tom allows me to take few breaths before addressing me again.

„Good girl. And again...“ What? No. I can't. Not that quickly after...

He closes his lips around my clit again and then gently nibbles on it with his teeth. FUCK. My body is pushed over the edge once more and I ride out the orgasm on Tom's face. Once my body has stopped shaking, he positions himself between my legs, his hard cock resting at the entrance of me pussy. Restraining himself, he runs his fingers through my hair and looks deep into my eyes.

„Tell me, babygirl, how do you want this? Do you want me draw this out for you, take as many orgasms from you as I can and then come deep inside you? Or do you want me be more rough and just take you to a quick release before I shoot my load all over that hot body of yours?“ Both sounds heavenly. But I really really need to pee. I'm not sure my bladder control is strong enough for more than one more orgasm. So I think we need to do this the quick way. But how do I tell him that without killing the heat completely? Great, it's been merely days since I found out that I have a bun in the oven and it's already driving me crazy.

Tom slowly inserting his cock into my pussy breaks me out of my thoughts. „Just...take me. Whichever way you want.“ I'm yours anyway.

Before being completely sheathed inside me, Tom picks up a quick rhythm at which he's thrusting into me, always making sure to never go as deep as to hit my cervix. Even in a moment of complete arousal, he's thinking about our baby. He's being extra careful not to hurt either one of us. I really could not ask for a better father for my children than him.

„Kat...“ Tom's moaning interrupts my train of thoughts. „Oh god, you feel so good. Your pussy is so hot. Oh Kat, I want to come. But I need you with me. So tell me what to do.“ Just keep saying filthy things to me. That should do the trick.

But before I can reply, my body signals me that I'm ready to come again. My pussy starts clenching around Tom's cock and a second later, shudders run through my entire body.

„Fuck!“, Tom growls and suddenly pulls out of me. Before he gets a chance to do so, I reach for his penis and wrap my hand firmly around it. It only takes two strokes to set off his orgasm and he comes with my name on his lips, shooting his cum all over my pussy, stomach and breasts. I milk every single drop from him and then he just collapses beside me. He wraps his arm around me and presses himself against my back.

I still really need to pee. But I don't want to move. This moment is so perfect. And I know that Tom is not willing to let me go yet. Ugh. Alright, bladder training it is. There is no way I'm getting out of bed right now.

 

Chapter Text

My very short and very red-haired gynecologist looks up at Tom who towers over her. „Well, this is a lovely surprise“, she says in her usual cheerful tone. „I didn’t know we’d be having company today. Please, come in.“ Tom and I make our way into the office and sit down across from her at the desk. „What can I do for you? The nurses told me that you made it sound very urgent over the phone.“ Well, we kinda have the better part of nine months left. But still...

I take a deep breath. „I am here because I’d like you to do an ultrasound and a check-up to determine how far I am into my pregnancy.“

„Pregnancy? I didn’t even know that you were trying. Because according to my notes, you are on the pill“, she says while shuffling through my file.

„I am. Well…I was. I stopped taking it three days ago when I found out.“

„So you took a pregnancy test?“

„No. I felt very light-headed on Friday and almost lost consciousness while being in the shower. So I went to my general physician to have it checked out. He did a blood test and apparently also tested for a pregnancy. I got the call confirming it on Monday. And that’s when I called you.“

She smiles at me. „Well, that was a very good decision.“ Her glance wanders to Tom. „And you are the father, I assume?“

Tom straightens his back and gives the most honest smile I’ve ever seen on him. „Yes, I am.“ Already such a proud daddy.

„Then let’s get started…when did you have your last period?“

„Mid-September.“

Tom clears his throat. „From the 12th till the 15th, to be exact.“ Both my doctor and I turn to him. How on earth does he know that?! Reading my expression, Tom shrugs his shoulders. „Well, you’re my girlfriend.“ Fiancé. „Of course I know when you have your period.“ I’ll be damned. You are just full of surprises, aren’t you?!

„You should be proud, young man. Not many fathers I see know that much about their partners. Keep that up and she might just agree to marry you.“

Tom takes my hand and lets his thumb brush over the ring. „She already has.“

„Congratulations! But let’s get back to business. Why didn’t you take a test when you missed your period this month?“ Because I was too busy crying.

I sigh. „I was under quite a bit of emotional stress lately. So I didn’t even really notice. I mean, I kind of did but I didn’t pay attention to it. And since I was on contraceptives, I didn’t even consider being pregnant.“

Doctor Hall nods. „I see. Well, no method of contraception is 100% effective and if you're sexually active, there's always a minimal but certain risk.“ Sexually active. Does going at it like horny teenagers on a daily basis count?! I feel myself blushing at the thought of how often Tom and I actually have sex. Not that I'd want it any other way. But damn, we do fuck a lot. „But you're here now, that's all that matters. Let’s see…“, Doctor Hall continues and pulls out a calendar. „If the 12th was the first day of your period, then the child was most likely conceived somewhere around the end of the month.“ And suddenly it hits me. I think I know exactly when we made that baby… Doctor Hall’s further comments bring me back to reality. „If that’s the case, then you should be...7 weeks along.“ Tom gently squeezes my hand. 7 weeks. This really is happening. „Why don’t I have a look and do a quick check-up and then your fiancé can join us for the ultrasound?!“

I look at Tom to silently tell him that I’ll be alright. He hesitantly lets go of my hand and I make my way to the exam chair in the room next door.

10 minutes later, Tom is holding my hand as I lie on the exam table.

„Now, 7 weeks is still very early“, Doctor Hall explains as she applies the gel to my stomach. „So it might be possible that we won’t see a heartbeat just yet. But the ultrasound will confirm the progress of your pregnancy. And you’ll still get a first look at your baby.“

My heart is beating through my chest as she tries to find an image. I look at Tom, whose eyes are glued to the little screen. When he becomes aware of my stare, his eyes find mine. And suddenly I panic. What if this was a false alarm? What if I told this wonderful man that he’s becoming a father when it’s not true? Tears start to form in my eyes and Tom looks positively lost, obviously wondering why I’m close to crying.

„There you go…“ Doctor Hall interrupts my anxiety by pointing at the screen. „It doesn’t look like much but there is definitely a little embryo in there.“

Tom and I look at the little grey spot on the screen. There it is. That’s our baby. That’s our very own miracle. The tears I’ve been holding back until now finally break free.

Tom squeezes my hand and I find his eyes fixed on me. „That’s our little pumpkin.“

„I’m sorry…your what?“, Doctor Hall interrupts our intimate moment.

Tom blushes. „That’s what I call her…him…it. The baby.“ He said 'her' first. He wants a daughter.

„Well, I can guarantee you that it’s not a squash. That little thing is going to become a proper human being in a few months. And believe me…“ She turns to me. „…carrying around a pumpkin is going to seem like a vacation once you hit nine months. I can’t see a heartbeat yet, but that’s not uncommon before 8 weeks. So it is really no reason to worry. Let me also tell you that your little…pumpkin is currently about 5 millimeters long, which is perfectly normal for 6+1.“

„Sorry“, Tom interrupts. „6+1??“

Doctor Hall smiles. „That’s the progress of the pregnancy. Six weeks plus one day. So very early in your seventh week and halfway through the first trimester.“

Tom nods to signal that he understood. You are going to read every single piece of pregnancy-related literature you can find, aren’t you?! And you are going to be a little pain in the ass because every sneeze will have you believing that there’s something wrong with me.

„Now…“, Doctor Hall continues. „Given the smile and the tears of joy, I think I already know the answer but it is my professional obligation to ask…do we need to discuss your options?“

„No!“, Tom and I say together and Doctor Hall smiles at us.

„But I think we both have quite a few questions for you“, Tom adds.

„I would be surprised if it were any different. Why don’t you clean yourself up and take a moment together?! Because you really look like you could use one. I will do some calculating in the meantime and get your pregnancy records ready. And then you’ll just meet me in my office.“

„Thank you, Doctor Hall“, I say as she leaves the exam room.

Tom helps me get cleaned up and get dressed. Then he helps me off the exam table and gathers me in his arms.

„Are you alright, darling?“, he asks and kisses my forehead.

„I am. Just a little overwhelmed, that’s all.“ Happy, but overwhelmed.

„Me too.“ He lifts up my chin and looks directly into my eyes. „We’re having a baby.“

„Yes, we are. And I think I know when we made that baby.“ Tom looks at me with big eyes. „Remember the night of the UNICEF Fundraising Gala?“ He nods. „That was the night Taylor proposed our deal to me. As soon as I agreed, I wasn’t even able to function any more. I…“

„You came home, saying you felt sick. You blamed it on something bad you ate at the gala and spent almost all night throwing up. I couldn’t get you out of bed the next day and you just kept vomiting. So I just held you and made sure to keep you hydrated. But the day after that, you seemed fine again.“

„We spent that day walking through London and having ice cream. You read Shakespeare to me when we got home. I made you dinner, served you your favourite wine. And then you made love to me for hours.“ I choke back tears remembering that day.

„When I woke up the next morning, you were gone“, Tom says and looks to the floor.

„I thought this was going to be my last day ever with you. I wanted to spend it doing all of our favourite things.“ And I tried to hold on to every single moment while counting down the minutes I had left with you in my head. „But I think what I believed to be the hardest day of my life just turned into one of the best. It fits the timeframe. Before that night, we hadn’t had sex in…what…3 days?! So everything else would be too early. And because of all the hurling…“

„…you weren’t fully protected, despite the pill“, Tom finishes my sentence. „Wow. I can't believe that I didn't put that together myself. I've wondered when you and her came to that agreement, but I never would have believed it to be that night. I thought it happened much earlier.“

I shake my head. „I wouldn't have been able to carry this around with me for much longer. Even those 48 hours almost killed me. Because every time I looked at you, I thought about how much I was about to hurt you.“

„Well, I'm happy to report that I survived. And all of this just cures every kind of pain I've ever had in my life. I might not have been able to admit it for a very long time, but this is something I have always wanted in my life. And now you're the one to give it to me. You do realise what that makes you, right?“ I don't dare to reply so I simply look at him. „You're the love of my life, Kat. But even more than that, you're my soulmate. You are what I've always been looking for.“ That's what you are for me too.

Unable to say something, I simply pull him in for a kiss. „Then how about taking your soulmate next door in order to get some of our questions answered?!“ Tom smiles and opens the door for me. „Sorry, that took a bit longer than expected“, I apologise to Doctor Hall as we sit down.

„Please don't worry. Finding out that you are going to be parents is always an emotional moment. I take it this will be the first child for both of you?“ Tom and I nod. „Well, then please prepare for an emotional next few months. You seem to be in very good health and everything is just as it should be at the moment. But in order to keep it that way, you will need to really look out for yourself now.“ Tom gives me an 'I-told-you-so' look. „Your diet is now more important than ever and you should make sure to drink more water that usual. Let me also tell you that prenatal vitamins are not a joke, no matter how healthy you eat. Here...“ She hands me several brochures and my pregnancy records. „This should serve as basic reading material for the both of you.“

„Thank you“, I say.

„Now...“, Doctor Hall continues. „Like I said, you are still very early in your pregnancy and an ultrasound at that stage isn't always standard. Usually, the first ultrasound is done between weeks 9 and 12 and you will have to come in for another one by then. There will be a lot more to see at that point, which makes determining the delivery date a lot easier. But since you are already here and since I already took a look, I might as well give you a number. If everything goes as planned, your baby will be due on June 20th next year.“ Somebody please give me a calender so I can mark it!!

„So what do we have to look out for until then?“, Tom starts the questioning.

„As someone living with a pregnant woman, you mostly have to look out for mood swings and odd food cravings. Both of you have to understand that a pregnancy doesn't just mean growing a child inside of you. Your body is being taken over by hormones in a way you've never experienced before. You are no longer in charge of certain things and all you can do is adjust to it. The symptoms are going to change as your pregnancy progresses. For now, you should be watching out for fatigue, sleeping problems, high blood pressure, an increased urge to urinate and a lot more sensitivity in your breasts.“ I think back to the way to pleasured me two days ago and involuntarily press my thighs together. When Tom slightly squeezes my hand, I know that he's thinking exactly the same. „All of that is completely normal and nothing to worry about. And if your body tells you that you need rest, you should allow it to have that. You might also already suffer from morning sickness.“

„Actually“, I interrupt, „I haven't. I've been feeling fine, no sickness whatsoever.“

„Then maybe you are one of the lucky women who don't suffer from it. Every pregnancy is unique and there is no way of knowing how your body will react. Oh, and since you asked, you might also experience a much lower sex drive.“ Tom and I both let out a little snort, which seems to confuse Doctor Hall.

I try to explain our reaction. „It's just that...I don't think we'll be having that problem. So far, we have been just as active as ever.“ If not more due to the fact that we have to make up for four lost weeks.

„How active is active?“, Doctor Hall asks and raises her brow. Tom shifts uncomfortably in the chair. Well, my dear, this is not the time for secrets.

„I'd say usually once a day. If we have time, two or three. Sometimes more“, I reply. Oh god, that really does sound as if we do nothing else apart from having sex.

„How long have you two been together?“

„A little bit more than a year“, Tom answers before I get the chance. He's counting from the day he confessed his feelings to me. From our first night together. We've never really discussed it but that's when he started thinking of me as the woman in his life. Doctor Hall only gives a knowing nod but doesn't say anything. „But...us having sex, is that something that could harm the baby?“ Here we go...

My gynecologist laughs and shakes her head. „It's lovely that men constantly overestimate the size of their penis.“ Well, she hasn't seen his yet. „Generally, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. There is a chance for a bit of spotting after intercourse, but if it's not continuous, it's completely harmless. But I always say...the more endowed a man is, the more gentle he should be with his partner during the pregnancy.“ I wish you wouldn't have said that. Now all I'll be getting for the rest of my pregnancy is slow and boring vanilla sex. „Anything else you'd like to know?“

„Yes, there is. Is it safe for me to fly despite my pregnancy?“

„Heading back to London?“, she asks in return and takes me completely by surprise. I beg your pardon?!

„I...yes. But how did you know?“ I glance over at Tom who seems just as startled as I am.

„I might not pay much attention to it, but this is a small town and there has been quite a lot of talk about the two of you. I know exactly who you are, Mr Hiddleston and I know where you live. So this wasn't very hard to guess.“ I try to read Tom's expression but fail miserably.

„Well...“, I say, „We are going back to London. Which is why I won't actually be around to have you do my next check-ups. And I truly regret that but...“

„I understand“, she interrupts me. „I've made sure to give you the English version of your pregnancy records so maybe you can find a gynecologist who is willing to still fill it out for you.“

„Thank you“, I say and smile at her.

„Now, if there aren't any more pressing questions, I shall wish you all the best before saying goodbye. And remember to listen to your body. You're a mother now, which means your instincts will tell you what's good for your child and what isn't.“ A mother. I am going to be a mother.

Both my gynecologist and I get up and in order to avoid more hormonal crying, I simply give her a quick hug before Tom and I say our goodbyes and head out.

As we walk back to my apartment hand in hand, Tom takes a lot of time peeking into shop windows and taking random pictures of me. After he stops for the nth time, I lose my patience.

„Tom, I love you, but can we please just go back to my place? Like...now.“

He looks at me confused. „Why? What's the matter? Are you feeling alright?“

„I'm fine. But I'm horny. I need to get you out of those clothes and on top of me right now. So we can either do that in my bed or right here.“

Without saying another word, Tom grabs my hand and starts to rush to my place, slightly dragging me behind him. „You know, darling, you're the one having the baby but I think I'm going to be the one who is worn out by the end of this pregnancy.“

 

Chapter Text

Week 10. 9+1. Our litte pumpkin is about the size of a kumquat and already has finger- and toenails. 29 days until the wedding.

Diana and I are sitting in our living room, talking about children, life and – of course – the upcoming wedding.

„I can't believe you actually managed to make it all happen so soon. And the Shangri-La at The Shard is one of the best hotels in town“, Diana says while sipping on her tea.

„Believe me, I am just as surprised as you are. And we were so lucky to still be able to book enough rooms at the hotel for that weekend as well. I feel somehow terrible for letting Tom just pay for all that, but he insisted. Just like he insists on paying for the flights for my family. This isn't what I wanted...I never wanted his money.“

„Kat...“ Diana puts her hand on mine. „He loves you, which means that he is willing to give you anything that will make you happy. So if that means paying for the flights in order for your family to be there, then that's what he will do. But you're not taking his money. He's simply...paying for the wedding expenses.“ That's exactly what he said. „So what's the status quo on everything else?“

„Well...since the location comes with food, I only have to coordinate the menu with them. Lucy, the hotel's event planner, also said that they would provide all the decorations. So I told them what I would like and they will take care of it. We already ordered the wedding cake, the rest of the cakes remain my responsibility.“

„All of them?“, Diana asks with disbelief.

„Yes, all of them. I know it sounds crazy, but I really want to do that. I like to think of it as my contribution to the wedding. We've ordered the rings and I've already found someone to do my hair and makeup. We still need a minister, but we do have an idea for that. Tom still needs a suit. And I...need a dress. And I need bridesmaid dresses. In light blue to matcht the winter theme. No idea who came up with that clever idea.“ That would have been me.

„Did you already decide who it's going to be?“

„Emma didn't tell you?“, I ask surprised. „She's going to be one of them, together with Amanda. And Sophie is my maid of honour.“

„Really? Oh, that is lovely! Do you know who Tom has selected as his best man?“ I shake my head. „How is he, by the way? I haven't heard from him since he arrived in Los Angeles. He'll be back tonight, won't he?!“ Thomas, I told you to call your mother.

„Actually, he won't. Apparently the producers have requested another meeting with him this afternoon and there was some talk about screen testing tomorrow. So he won't get back for a few day. But he's fine. He's working. So of course he's fine.“ But I miss him. All the time. I know I said I'd be supportive but he's only been gone for three days and I'm already losing my mind.

„But things are different now, even for my workaholic of a son“, Diana smiles at me. „I have no dout that he's happy being back in his element. But I'm sure he misses you tremendously.“ I hope so. „I'm just so sorry that he will miss the ultrasound tomorrow.“ I know. I'm crushed about that. I wanted him to be there for this.

„Well, it is what it is. This won't be the last time he misses something important because of his work“, I try to downplay it but I'm sure Diana sees right through me.

She silently moves another piece of pie on my plate and hands it to me. When I refuse to take it, her expression darkens. „Kat, eat. I haven't seen you in a while and I have to say that I'm a little bit shocked by how much weight you've lost.“ Oh dear...future grandmother in action.

„I haven't lost much weight, Diana. But I have taken up yoga and swimming and after a lifetime of avoiding any kind of physical activity, this just happens on its own. But it's mostly just a transfer from fat to muscle. So really, there is no need to worry.“ She is still staring at me so I take the plate and start eating my pie.

„I truly hope you are right“, Diana says. „But I have to admit, that you do look glowing.“ Even I have to admit that. I might have been a child the last time I had skin as perfect as now. My hair is thicker than usual and apart from a little bit if bloating and gigantic breasts – even more than usual – there's nothing telling me that I'm pregnant. „But no baby bump yet?“

I roll my eyes. „Diana, I'm only at 10 weeks. Give it time. You're almost as obsessed with Tom. I had to promise him a baby bump picture every day.“

Before Diana can reply, we hear Emma's voice coming from the front door. „Hello? Anybody home?“ Just moments later, she stumbles into the living room, carrying two large and apparently heavy boxes.

„Emma, what are you doing here?“, I ask as she drops the boxes on the dining table. „And how did you get in?“

„Mum gave me her key, just in case you ever need any help. And since I live almost around the corner, she decided it's better I have the spare family key for now.“ Mothers. Without any further greeting, Emma reaches for the plate I left on the table and starts to devour the pie.

„What's all this?“ I point at the boxes.

„Your wedding invitations“, Emma mumbles through the pie.

„What? Already?“ They weren't supposed to be ready until Monday. Diana and I exchange a quick look and then quickly open the boxes.

„Tom texted me this morning, telling me he got an email that they were ready“, Emma says as she joins us. „He asked me to pick them up.“

I take out one of the invitations. „Wow!“, Diana gasps. „They're beautiful.“ They really are. White invitations and reply cards with silver and light blue snowflakes to match the theme. Light blue envelopes with silver and white snowflakes for both. Absolutely beautiful.

„I guess it's time to get going“, I sigh. „They won't mail themselves, so I better get them ready.“

„Oh no“, Emma shakes her head. „Your concerned baby daddy told me to make sure that you get enough rest. Which means that you will focus on the pie while mum and I get the invitations ready.“

„But...“, I attempt to refuse.

„Sit!“, my future mother- and sister-in-law command me.

*****

The next day. 9+2.

After handing over a urine sample and getting my weight and blood pressure checked, I am now lying on the exam table, waiting for Doctor Gibb, my new gynecologist, to give me an ultrasound. Suddenly, the door opens.

„I am so sorry for being late!“. Tom. He leans down to kiss my forehead and then sits down next to me to hold my hand.

Before I can reply, Doctor Gibb takes the word. „Mr Hiddleston, I'm so glad you could join us after all. And you're right on time. There it is...“ He points at the screen.

Oh my god, there's our little pumpkin. Look how much bigger you are! The head, arms, legs...you're already a person. Tom squeezes my hand, reminding me that he's here with me.

„Tom, why are you here and not in LA?“, I ask him with happy tears in my eyes.

„After we hung up yesterday, I remembered today's appointment. Why didn't you say something? I promised you I'd be here.“

„But what about the movie? Tom, you should've stayed. You need to...“

„I need to be here with you. I need...“ Suddenly, Tom is interrupted by a sound that takes both of our breath away. That's our baby's heartbeat. „I need this“, he gasps. „I...oh Kat...“ His eyes are filling with tears. „That's our baby.“

„Yes, it is“, Doctor Gibb remarks. „And it has a strong heartbeat...167 beats per minute. That's very good.“

Tom takes my hand and guides to his lips to press a soft kiss on it. „Look how it's moving!“

Doctor Gibb laughs. „Yes, it's quite active. Here...“ He points at the screen again. „...your baby is kicking its legs already. It's not yet a deliberate movement, but it's moving.“

I sigh and turn to Tom. „Well, it's your child. So of course it would have runner's genes and start practising that early.“

Tom laughs nervously. „So...two legs, two arms...everything is as it should be?“

„Absolutely“, Doctor Gibb assures. „The development is right on schedule. And the size and the weight indicate that everything is just as it should be. Your weight, on the other hand, is something that concerns me a bit.“ He raises his brow at me.

„Why?“ Tom turns to me. „Did you lose more weight again?“

„No, she didn't. But she also didn't gain any weight since the first time I saw her.“ Hello, I'm sitting right here. Could you men please not talk about me as if I wasn't in the room?! Doctor Gibb turns to me again. „I know that women are always thrilled about not gaining weight. But your body is changing due to the pregnancy and you need to accept that putting on weight is simply part of it.“

„Doctor, I have accepted that. Honestly. It's not like I'm starving myself or try to lose weight deliberately. I eat healthy and regularly, I do yoga and I swim. And apparently that just leads to me not putting on any weight.“

„I understand“, my gynecologist nods. „Just promise me to keep an eye on it until your next visit. Over the next weeks, your baby is going to rapidly put on weight as it grows. And that should have an effect on your weight. If it doesn't, then it essentially means that you're losing weight which is something I never recommend during pregnancy. So just me careful. And make sure to watch your diet too.“

„I will.“

„And I will make sure that she does“, Tom says as he helps me get cleaned up and climb off the exam table.

*****

Later that day, Tom and I are comfortably cuddled up on the couch, when suddenly the door bell rings. Tom gets up to open the door and soon returns, followed by Luke.

„Hey! What a lovely surprise. What brings you here?“, I ask while getting up from the couch.

Luke greets me briefly. „We need to talk about something“, he replies in a serious tone. „Is there anything you two would like to tell me?“

Tom and I exchange looks. He can't know. We haven't told anyone. It's still too early to make this public. So he can't know. Interrupting our silent exchange, Luke pulls out his phone and after a few taps on the screen, hands it over to us. I take the phone and we both begin to read the Daily Mail article in front of us.

     Wedding and a baby – the secret life of Tom Hiddleston

     It was only a few weeks ago that British heartthrob Tom Hiddleston was handed back his life after the harsh rape accusations
     against him, made by his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift, were dropped by the police. While we may not know much about the
     circumstances that lead to it, it's safe to say that the actor is already back to enjoying life to the fullest. Ever since the official
     police statement, Hiddleston has been spotted in LA, Germany and London on several occasions. Whether in the company of
     his mother, friends, fellow actor Kenneth Branagh or his girlfriend, the beau always seemed happy and relaxed.

     Now recent pictures lead us to believe that said girlfriend might actually soon become more than just that. The couple was
     spotted leaving a private baby clinic in Marylebone, London earlier today. Is it possible that the actor has a sweet secret and
     is soon to be a father? Because why else would he and his girlfriend, who looks more beautiful and glowing than ever, be seen
     outside the clinic? We will have to wait for future evidence of a baby bump, but our money is on a Hiddlesbaby being on the way.

     And speaking of things our money is on...we couldn't help but notice the giant sparkling ring Hiddleston's girlfriend was wearing.
     While all women enjoy diamonds every now and then, this one looks suspiciously like an engagement ring. The couple has more
     or less officially been together since March this year but we think they have been seeing each other for far longer than that,
     making them a couple for probably about a year. So it wouldn't be surprising if Hiddleston has popped the question, especially
     with a baby on the way.

     So far, there is no official statement from the actor. But we all know, that a picture can be worth more than a thousand words.
     And the latest pictures of the lovebirds tell us that they are soon going to be a perfect little family.

Oh crap. Busted. Tom and I look at each other. If the press knows, or at least suspects, we might as well tell him about it.

„Well?“, Luke asks impatiently.

Tom sighs. „It's still too early to actually tell anyone, which is why we've kept it a secret. But yes, we are expecting a baby.“

„Don't you think this is the kind of thing your publicist should know about?“, he asks angrily.

Tom's expression darkens. „Is that really the first thing you have to say about that? Really?“

„Tom, do you have any idea how surprised I was when the Daily Mail contacted me for a statement? I thought they were kidding, making up an entire story again. And then they sent me the link to this. I believed you to still be in LA, but instead you're having appointments at baby clinics. I'm having enough trouble as it is to keep your wedding under covers. So being papped wearing that ring isn't helping with anything. So...is there anything else you haven't told me? Are you getting a dog? Or maybe adopting a child from Africa?“ Jesus, Windsor, who pissed on your boot today?!

„Okay, that's enough!“, I interrupt the tension between the two men. „Tom didn't tell you because I asked him not to say anything. I am only 10 weeks along, so it's still early and anything could happen. It may be stupid but I'm a bit supersticious when it comes to these things. So until I've made it through the first trimester, we were planning on keeping this strictly within the family. And then there would've still been enough time to tell you. We didn't even know there were paparazzi following us today. If we had, we would've given you a warning. I'm sorry that your job is being a bit difficult at the moment. But that still doesn't give you the right to just waltz in here behave like an asshole.“ I only now realise that my last few sentences have been accompanied by tears. Stupid hormones.

„I...um...Kat, that's no reason to cry.“ Luke seems to be a bit lost for words.

I roll my eyes. „I know, but tell that to my hormones.“

„So you really are pregnant?“ Is there a particular reason why you still don't believe us.

I grab the ultrasound picture from the coffeetable and put it in Luke's hand. „As pregnant as can be. Ten weeks along, due on June 20th next year. And if you plan on turning this conversation around in any way, now would be the time for joy and congratulations. Otherwise I might just have to throw you out on your ass.“

„I am happy for you.“ He turns to Tom. „For both of you. Honestly, man, this is amazing news. I know that you always wanted a family and knowing that your dream will come true makes me so happy.“ He hugs Tom and gives me a quick kiss on the cheek. „But from now on, no more secrets. Please. I understand the urge to keep things private for as long as possible, but I'm not the enemy here. I just want to be able to do my job when necessary. Because only then am I able to actually protect you the way I want to.“

„We promise“, Tom smiles. „No more secrets. From now on, we'll keep you informed.“

„Good. Thank you. And now...tell me everything!“ Luke jumps up and down like a little kid on Christmas before we all sit down and Tom and I fill him in on everything he needs to know about the child of one of his best friends.

 

Chapter Text

Week 10. 9+6. 24 days until the wedding.

I hastily open the door to the bridal shop and stumble inside. Diana, Emma, Sophie and Amanda are already waiting for me.

„I am so so sorry, ladies! I stopped by the hotel before coming here to drop off some more decorations and Lucy and I got talking and I completely lost track of time.“

„Aaaaalright, take a breath“, Emma says and takes my bag and coat from me.

I greet the girls and then let myself fall into on of the chairs. „Seriously, I am so glad once this is over. Nobody told me organising a wedding would be this stressful.“

Diana smiles at me. „I would say that you'll know better for the next one. But I truly hope this will be the only wedding both you and my son ever have.“

„So do I.“

Before I can say anything else, Tessa, our wedding dress expert of choice, enters the room. „Ahhh, there you are!“ She hugs me briefly. „I was already wondering if yesterday might have been a bit much for you.“

„What was yesterday?“, Amanda asks.

„Tessa and I went looking for dresses for you three and it felt like a neverending mission. But we finally found something for each of you.“

„For us?“ Sophie seems positively confused. „I thought today was about finding the perfect dress for you?“

I nod. „It is. But unless you plan on being naked in 25 days, we're going to have to find something for you to wear as well. And for you, Diana.“

„Oh no“, she replies. „I already know what I'm going to wear. I'm only here for you and the girls. No need to worry about the old lady.“ We all laugh.

„Alright then...“, Tessa switches into work mode. „Let's get started. Sophie, why don't you try on yours first?! It was the first we found yesterday and the easiest choice, actually.“

Sophie follows Tessa into the changing room and emerges a few minutes later in the light blue gown. The strapless Aire Barcelona dress already fits her like a glove, is just a bit too long, even though Sophie already brought the heels she's planning on wearing for the wedding. I knew she'd look amazing in that one.

„Oh wow!“, Emma gasps. „That dress is so you.“

Sophie nods. „I have to agree. This is amazing. Even the bow isn't as bad as I expected it to be.“ Tessa is already on her knees, marking the dress for changes.

„Ugh, yeah...“ I cringe a little. „That bow was the only reason why I was hesitant to get this one for you. I know that bows aren't really your thing, but the general cut just screamed your name. So I hope you can live with it?!“

„I totally can.“

„One question“, Amanda chimes in. „What about shoes, purses, hair and stuff? Do you have any particular wishes for that?“

I shake my head. „Absolutely not. That is all completely up to you. And I know that you're all experts at making yourselves look even more beautiful than you already are. So no, I won't interfere with that.“

Amanda nods and Tessa gets back on her feet. „All done. Let me help you out of that. Amanda, you're up next.“

While Sophie and Tessa head back for the changing room, I turn to Amanda. „I'm really nervous about your outfit. Because...it's not a dress.“ Amanda raises her eyebrow. „We couldn't find anything that we thought suited you in light blue and then I saw that jumpsuit. Just...please try it on and yell at me later?!“

„Kat, you know that I haven't always worn dresses on red carpets. So a jumpsuit doesn't have to be a bad thing.“

I sigh in relief. „I was hoping you'd say that.“

Sophie leaves the changing room and Amanda walks in instead. When she exits it a few minutes later, she has a big smile on her face.

„Girl, you are good!“, she says to me. „This is absolutely amazing. I mean, it is a bit...strapless, so I might have to get used to that. But I love it. Seriously.“ I simply smile at her.

„And you do look very elegant in it“, Diana adds.

Tessa walks over to me. „See, I told you she'd like it.“ Yeah, I know that now. „Now, Amanda, I would make the whole thing a little bit tighter alltogether.“

„What? No no no no no“, Amanda protests. „Nobody wants to see that. Besides, I like it that way. It's very relaxed and comfortable. So please, leave it as it is.“

Tessa looks at me, awaiting my approval. I simply shrug my shoulders. „Hey, I'm not the one wearing it. If it's alright for her, then it's alright with me.“

„Alright then...Amanda, follow me. Emma, you're next.“ Amanda follows Tessa into the changing room. As soon as she exits it fully dressed again, Emma gets up to try on her dress.

When she comes out minutes later in a light blue, A-line dream of a dress, I can hear Diana sob a little. „My baby...“

Emma rolls her eyes. „Mum, I'm not the one getting married. I'm just a bridesmaid. So really, there is no need to cry over my dress.“

„But you look so beatiful“, Diana says and gets up to hug her daughter.

„Your mother is right“, Sophie cuts in. „You look absolutely breathtaking.“

„Good“, Emma smiles. „Now please tell me there will be hot, single men at the wedding to that I can put that look to good use.“

„Emma!“ Diana seems everything but amused. The rest of us can't help but laugh.

„I'm afraid I can't promise that. All of my cousins are already married. Although...I did make sure to invite Chris as well“, I say and wink at Emma.

„Well, of course he's invited. He's the best man. And he will bring his wife along. So how exactly is that good news for me?“

I shake my head. „Not Hemsworth, silly. Evans.“

Emma shoots around to look at me. „Chris Evans will be there??“ I nod. „Oh my god! Yes!!! Kat, you're genius.“ Yes, I know. „And can I just say...I love the dress. It's so flowy and feminine.“

„I agree“, Tessa says. But it is a tiny bit too long, even with high heels. Why don't you come in sometime in the next days once you've decided on shoes and we'll get that sorted?“ Emma nods. „Alright, then let's get you changed again.“

A few minutes later, Emma sits back down next to us. Tessa follows shortly after her.

„Now, Kat...“ Oh god, I'm already nervous. „I think it's time to get to our actual task of the day, don't you think?“ Everyone is looking at me. „So how do you want to do this?“

„Well...“ I take a deep breath. „I thought that since you're all here, you might as well help me find the right dress. So each of us gets to pick one dress. And I'll try them all. Maybe that will give me an idea of what I want. Because to be honest, I have no idea about that.“

„Do I get a pick as well?“, Tessa asks.

„Oh, definitely. You're the expert here. Even though I already know that you'll give me something poofy and big, which isn't really me at all. But...we'll see.“

„Alright then...“ Tessa turns to the others. „The store is yours. Take as much time as you need. Browse. Off you go...“

*****

After browsing Tessa's shop for almost an hour, all six of us have finally selected a dress for me to try on. Emma was the first to pick one and has been impatient ever since. So I decided to try hers first. When I leave the changing room in a very simple white A-line dress with a few lace applications, everyone – including me – is holding their breath.

„Well?“, I ask as I stand in front of them. „How do I look?“ Translation: how hideous am I? Everyone is looking at me in silence. „Come on, tell me. I haven't even seen myself yet.“

Diana is the first to break the tension. „It's a beautiful dress but...“ But??

„...it's not you“, Sophie finishes the sentence.

„Why not?“, I ask confused. Tessa simply turns me around so that I'm facing the mirror. Hm. Okay. Yeah, I don't like it.

Emma sees the expression on my face. „You don't like it...“

„Well...I do. But not for me. It's somehow...too simple. I don't really know how to describe it.“

„But simple doesn't have to be bad“, Amanda protests.

Tessa laughs. „You only say that because the one you picked is even more simple than that.“

Amanda gives me an excusing look and I smile at her. „I'll still try it on. I promised.“

„Nah, don't bother. Seriously, if you don't like that one, you won't like mine either.“ With that, she holds out the dress to me. White. A-line. No applications. No lace. No beading. No...anything. Okay...no, I really don't like that one.

„I'm sorry“, I try to apologise to Amanda.

„It's okay“, she replies. „Here, take this one instead.“ She hands me a dress that I know Diana has picked out and Tessa and I make our way back to the changing room. Champagne with white lace. A-line. Lots of tulle. Sleeveless. Well, let's see.

As soon as I come out, I head for the mirror to look at myself.

„Wow!“, I can hear Sophie say. „That is beautiful!“ The others nod.

I sigh. „It is. And I love the shape of it. But the lace...that's just...no...“

„Oh, don't tell me you have a problem with lace!“, Emma protests. „I've seen the one you picked. And it has more lace than that one.“

I shake my head. „Not in general, no. But this...the rose pattern and all...that doesn't work for me at all.“

Emma rolls her eyes at me. „Fine. But you're trying on yours next. I want to see if that's any better.“

So I take the white A-line dress with long lace sleeves with me and head to the changing room with Tessa once more. When I emerge, the room is dead silent. I turn to face the mirror. This is actually nice. A slight smile appears on my face.

„Please don't tell me you like it?!“, Amanda says.

„Whyever not?“, I ask as I turn around.

„Because it looks...“ Sophie is trying to find the right words.

„...frumpy...“, Diana says and shakes her head. Frumpy?? „Kat, you're young and beautiful. Don't hide that behind layers and layers of fabric. This just looks like something you could wear for joining a convent.“ I can't help but laugh with her.

„Yes, and don't hide your boobs“, Amanda says. „Pretty sure your future husband agrees.“ Can you please not say things like that in front of my future mother-in-law?!

„Okay, fine...not that one then.“ I sigh and turn around to look at the dress that Sophie picked for me. And without even trying it on, I am already in love with it. Vintage mermaid dress. Ivory lace. Bit of beading. V-neck. It's beautiful. Tessa takes the dress from the hanger and follows me into the changing room.

When I come out, the dress is still open in the back and disappointment is written all over my face.

„What's wrong?“, Diana asks with convern.

I turn around to show them. „It's too tight. I can barely close it. And if I do, it's like I can't breathe.“

„So?“, Amanda says. „You have lost so much weight lately. And it seems like it's not even difficult for you. I'm sure you can manage to lose a few more pounds until the wedding, don't you think?“

Diana, Emma and Tessa, who all know about the pregnancy, just look at me. Well, here we go... „The thing is...I won't lose more weight until the wedding. On the contrary.“ Both Sophie and Amanda have no idea what I'm talking about. „It's only natural that I am going to put on more and more weight over the next months.“

After a moment, Sophie narrows her eyes. „Kat, are you saying what I think you're saying?“

„Wait, what is she saying?“, Amanda asks, still totally clueless.

„I'm pregnant. 10 weeks along. But we're not actually telling people yet, so you have to keep it a secret. I'm only telling you because you're part of the wedding and will know soon anyway.“

„Oh my god, how exciting!“ Amanda squeels and hugs me tightly. „A little Hiddlesbaby!“ I roll my eyes at her. Maybe you do spend too much time online, my dear.

I turn around to look at Sophie who just silently smiles at me. We look at each other and it becomes clear, that we're in perfect understanding. She knows how much this means to me. And I know how happy she is for us. Still not saying a word, she gets up and pulls me in for a hug. „Does Ben know yet?“

„No. And I want Tom to be the one to tell him. So can you...“

„Of course“, she interrupts me. „I won't say a word.“ Thank you.

„Okay...“ Tessa wipes away a tear. „Before we all get too emotional, let's not forget that we still need to find you a dress. And it's time for my choice.“

I look at the big white monster of a dress that she has picked out for me. A white, off-shoulder ball gown. Lots of lace. Lots of tulle. There is not a chance in hell I'm wearing that. Determined to get me to try it on, Tessa grabs the dress and then my hand and drags me with her.

When I head back out to show the others, they are once again completely silent. I know. It's ridiculous. I'm sure I look like a snow goose. Emma takes Diana's hand and I can see tears glistening in their eyes. What? It's that bad?? I turn around to look into the mirror. But instead of being appalled, the view takes my breath away. Wow. That dress is beautiful. I...look beautiful. I'm tearing up and let out a little sob.

Tessa hands me a tissue. „And there it is...the reason why I love this job. This. The moment where a woman becomes a bride when she finally finds the dress that was made for her.“

„But...this is too big and too poofy and...I can't get married in this“, I try to protest.

Tessa puts her hand on my shoulder. „Does it feel right? Can you see yourself walking down the aisle towards Tom in that dress?“ Yes! Just the mere thought brings tears to my eyes again. „Alright then...decision made.“ Tessa smiles and gives me a brief hug. „And because of the lacing on the back, we can adjust it to your baby bump.“

All three of my bridesmaids and Diana get up to hug and congratulate me on the dress. But I am still too captured by my own reflection in the mirror. This really is happening. I'm a bride. I'm getting married. To Tom. The most wonderful man in the world. If this is a dream, then I don't ever want to wake up.

„Kat...“ Diana breaks me out of my thoughts. „There is something I want you to have. And now seems as good a time as any to give it to you.“ She nestles in her bag and then pulls out a little blue velvet box. „These were given to me by my mother-in-law on my wedding day. And now I'm passing them on to you.“

I accept the box with shaking hands and open it. A pair of diamond stud earrings. Wow. „Diana, they're beautiful! I can't accept them!“

„Yes, you can. You're from the third generation of women marrying into the Hiddleston family. So it is only fitting that you should wear them. Besides...you are about to make my son even happier than he already is. You love him with everything you have to give. That is more than I could ever ask for. So please, accept them.“

I wipe away more tears and throw my arms around her. „Thank you!“

„Ugh, enough with the crying“, Amanda cuts in, wiping away a tear herself. „Now...I brought this in order to properly celebrate the dress...“ She holds up a bottle of champagne. „But I guess that won't be happening. So...“

„Actually...“, Tessa interrupts her. „I do have some orange juice in the kitchen. If you want?“ She looks at me.

„Alright...Amanda, open the champagne. Tessa, get the juice and the glasses.“

Tessa shakes her head. „No, Emma and Sophie will get the glasses while Tessa gets you out of that dress. Because you don't want any stains on it.“ Good point.

While Tessa peels me out of my wedding dress again, my thoughts drift off to the wedding itself. Things are starting to shape up. I have a dress now. A beautiful dress. And the earrings. Wait, how does the saying go?! Something old, something new...

 

Chapter Text

Later in the day.

After Tom had texted me that he'd be stopping by at Ben's house, I decided to accompany Sophie and pick him up before heading home. As soon as Sophie unlocks the door, we are greeted by a heavenly smell. Food! Gimme! Now!

„Hmm...that smells like Ben's famous shrimp pasta. Okay, you and Tom are so staying for dinner. Kit and Cathy are staying with Ben's parents for a few days, so we have the evening all to ourselves.“ Like I said...food. I'm not resisting in any way.

We both hastily take off our jackets and head to the kitchen where both our men are enjoying a glass of wine, Ben standing behind the stove, Tom leaning against the counter.

„Hey, there you are!“, Ben greets us. He quickly kisses my cheek before then properly kissing his wife.

I make my way over to Tom and allow him to pull me into his arms. „Hello beautiful!“ He kisses me deeply and I melt against him. It's been hours since you last kissed me. That's way too long. Tom's hand is casually resting on my stomach. He's been doing that ever since he found out about the pregnancy. It's like he's trying to connect with the baby as often as he can. We are totally lost in our kiss and forget that Ben and Sophie are still in the room.

„If you two are finished at some point, I'd like to invite you to stay for dinner“, Ben says with a smirk on his face.

Tom backs away from me, his face flushed crimson. „Thanks, that's very kind. We'd love that. Just...make sure the shrimp are thoroughly cooked, will you?“

Ben seems a bit lost. „O...kay. Since when did you get so specific about your seafood?“ He didn't. He's just looking out for me and our baby.

I look at Tom and try to silently signal him that he needs to tell his best friend. Now. Before things get too awkward.

But before Tom has understood what I am trying to tell him, Ben places a glass of wine in my hand. „Here! It's the same one we had at my birthday party. If I remember correctly, you enjoyed that one very much. And there is more where that came from.“ He winks at me and then focusses on his onions on the stove again.

I look at Tom again. Okay. Tell him. Now. Because he's right. I loved that wine. So there is no way of explaining why I'm not drinking without telling him the truth. So tell him!

Suddenly, he escapes my gaze and turns to Ben, who is about to deglaze the onions with white wine. „Actually, do you mind not usind wine for that?!“

Ben turns around, bottle still in hand. He knows something is up. „Okay, do either of you care to tell me what's going on? Because apart from telling me how to cook my shrimp, you both also seem to want to stay away from alcohol. Because you're talking into my recipe again and Kat is looking at that wine like it's trying to murder her. Why on earth are you acting so weird?“

„We're not weird, we're pregnant“, Tom blurts out. You did not just use those exact words!

„I'm sorry...no...I'm pregnant. It's not your body that's taken over by hormones. You're not the one who has to deal with weird food cravings or the constant urge to pee or sexual desires in the most inopportune moments. And you're not the one who will have to push a child the size of a football through a very small bodily opening. So no, WE'RE not pregnant. I am.“

„I only wanted to imply that I'm as much in this as you are“, Tom replies a bit angry.

I laugh a little. „That is very sweet, but no. Right now, I'm the one doing the work. That's simply how nature intended things to be. You're great about it all and I want you to be a part of this at all times. Once this child comes out looking like a mini Hiddles with blue eyes and blonde curls, you get to bathe it and feed it and get up when it cries at night. Then we're in this together. Because we're both the parents. But for the next 30 weeks, things are about me. Because I'm pregnant. Are we clear?“

„You're pregnant?“, Ben suddenly asks with disbelief. Oh, crap. Totally forgot about him.

I smile at him. „I am. 10 weeks along, all healthy, all according to schedule. I'm supposed to deliver somewhere around June 20th next year.“

Ben looks down into the frying pan. „You made me burn my onions.“

„Sorry“, both Tom and I mumble in excuse.

Ben pushes the pan off the oven and sets down the bottle of wine. Then he takes a deep breath before turning around again. „You're pregnant...“

I only get to nod briefly before Ben pulls me in for a long hug. „Oh Kat, this is amazing. I am so happy for you.“ He places one hand on my stomach and looks at me. Apart from Tom, you're the only person who is allowed to touch me like that without asking. He presses a kiss on the top of my head and then turns to Tom. They both look at each other for a moment and then simply hug each other. „Congratulations, man! How does it feel to become a father?“

„It's everything I ever wanted“, Tom replies and I can feel my heart exploding.

After pouring himself another glass of wine and taking a sip, Ben turns to Sophie. „Hang on...you're awfully calm after this confession. Did you know?“

Before she gets to answer, I jump in. „I only told her this afternoon. We just got talking at the bridal shop and it didn't feel right to keep it from her. Besides, we've been planning to tell you for a while now. There just never was the right time.“

„Well, alright then“, he replies and starts to cut new onions. „But seriously, I didn't see that coming.“

„Neither did we“, Tom says while circling one arm around my waist.

„So it wasn't planned?“, Sophie asks.

I shake my head. „Not at all. It was, to use those terrible words in this context, an accident. But we're very happy now.“

She nods. „Hang on...10 weeks. That means...that must have happened not too long before she made you leave...“ I love how nobody uses Taylor's name anymore and only refers to her as 'she'.

„Right before I left. I mean, literally the day before...“

„Yes, thank you!“, Ben interrupts me. „That's all the detail I need on how this child came to exist. It's bad enough that I now know about your...sexual desires. So please, change of topic!“ I blush and can't help but laugh. Sorry.

„Well, I'd like to know if you ladies were successful at the bridal shop this afternoon“, Tom asks.

„Yes, we were“, I reply. „I am happy to report that I won't have to walk down the aisle naked.“

„Shame“, Tom replies and raises his eyebrow. Don't give me that look Hiddleston! I'm trying to behave here.

„Speak for yourself!“, Ben adds teasingly before he starts laughing.

„So tell me about the dress“, Tom urges and starts to gently caress by belly. Oh, you're trying to distract me. As if that would ever work.

„I am not telling you! You know that it's bad luck.“

„Well, technically, it's only bad luck if I see it before the wedding. I don't think that it extends to oral descriptions.“

„No!“, both Sophie and I reply.

„She will look breathtaking, I can tell you that much“, Sophie adds. „But everything else will remain secret for the next 24 days.“

Tom puts on a fake pout. „Fine. Then I won't tell you some of my secrets regarding the wedding.“

„What secrets?“ I look at him in surprise.

„Only 24 days, darling. I guess we'll both have to be patient.“ You know I don't do patient very well. Tom kisses me softly.

„But where are you on the wedding planning front?“, Ben interrupts yet another kiss. „Is everything going to plan?“

„Pretty much“, I reply. „There are still some things we need to figure out, now maily related to the catering and the menu. But we're getting there.“

„And what about the ceremony?“

Tom and I exchange a quick look. It's now or never. Tom clears his throat. „Actually, there is only one thing missing.“

„Oh yeah, and what is that?“, Ben says while mixing all the ingredients for his shrimp sauce.

„You“, Tom replies and looks at his best friend.

Ben turns around and is once again stunned. Sophie takes the spoon out of his hand. „It's alright, I got this. You go and talk.“ He hesitantly makes room for her next to the stove. Then he slowly takes off his apron and picks up his glass. He signals us to sit down at the table. So we follow his lead and have a seat.

„Now...start again...“, Ben says slowly, as if he was trying to calm himself.

„Well...“, Tom starts. „Kat and I agree that we don't want our wedding ceremony to be some religious procedure. We want it to be personal. Intimate. Unique. And we thought that it would be lovely if someone we know and care about would officiate our wedding.“

„So you're asking me?“, Ben asks with disbelief.

„Who else?“, I ask in return. „Ben, you're the perfect choice. You and Tom have been friends for so many years now. And you and I...I don't know what I ever did to deserve your friendship. But you understood and protected me from the very first day we met. You were always there for me. It's such a rare constellation, but you're our best friend. To both of us individually, as well as a couple.“

„And not to mention the fact that you saved our relationship. You're the reason we're even having this wedding“, Tom adds.

Ben shrugs and shakes his head.

„It's true!“, I protest. „If you hadn't come to get me and bring me back to London, we would probably still be separated and miserable. You gave us what we so desperately needed. You gave us Anchor Cottage. And the final push to realise that we can't live without each other. We owe it all to you.“ I wipe a tear from my face.

„Please say yes!“, Tom urges his best friend.

Ben still shakes his head. „I don't know what to say.“ Yes would be good. „If you put it like that, I guess it all makes sense. But are you absolutely sure? I mean, this is going to be the most important day in your relationship and...“

„That's why we want you to do it.“ Tom puts his hand on Ben's shoulder. „We both agree. You only have to say yes. Besides, you would've been my first choice for best men.“

„And to be my man of honour“, I chime in.

Tom nods. „But since you can't be both, we figured we'd just give you a position where you can be part of the wedding for both of us.“

„You two are killing me, you know that?“ Ben wipes away a little tear. „Well, two of my best friends, the godparents of my children, are getting married. The fact that you're even asking me is such an honour. So how could I refuse?!“

 

Chapter Text

Week 12. 11+1. Our little pumpkin is about the size of a lime and now has a working thyroid gland. 15 days until the wedding.

I sit in the middle of our bed where I'm surrounded by schedules, contact information, wedding checklists and lots of other papers. I have been trying to put together a final to-do-list for several hours now, but I don't really know where to start. Tom had promised me to take care of a few things as well, but he hasn't said a word about the progress of it all. So I really know nothing.

Damn, there is still so much to do. I scan the half a dozen different wedding checklists I have printed out online. 'Hire the photographer and videographer.' Tom said he'd take care of that. But I don't know if he actually did. What if he didn't? What if we won't be able to find a good photographer for our wedding. That would be a nightmare. 'Meet the caterers.' I would love to do that, if my husband-to-be could finally give me his feedback on the menu. I've been nagging him about that for ages. 'Launch a wedding website.' Pfff, I think not. 'Start planning the honeymoon.' Honeymoon. We haven't even talked about that yet. I don't know if that's even something he wants. I write down more and more things that we still need to take care of. Ugh, this is a nightmare. We only have two weeks left. How am I gonna do this?!

In this moment, Tom enters the bedroom. He looks tired. But what the hell...we need to talk about this at some point.

„Good, you're here! I need your help! We need to talk about...“

„Not now, Kat“, he interrupts me.

„Tom, we need to discuss this.“

„I said not now...“ He enters the bathroom and closes the door behind him. What the fuck?! Did he just walk out on a conversation?

When he comes out just a few minutes later, I try to be an understanding girlfriend. „Look, I know that you've had a long day. But can we at least talk about the menu? Lucy is breathing down my neck. She needs to know our choices so that she can dicuss them with the kitchen.“

Tom shoves aside the papers laying on the bed, regardless of them being in a certain kind of order. „I'm tired, Kat. I need sleep. So not tonight.“ He climbs into bed and turns off the lamp on his nightstand. Seriously?!

„Then when? I already know that you'll have another excuse tomorrow morning. So when are we going to talk about it?“ I'm not even trying to hide my anger anymore.

„What part about me being tired did you not understand?“, he raises his voice. „I'm sorry that I'm such an old fart that needs his sleep at night. If you have a problem with that, maybe you should ask Liam to plan this with you instead.“ Liam?! As in Liam from the store around the corner? What on earth does he have to do with anything??? „But I'm just tired. This wedding has been all you've talked about for weeks. And I'm just not interested anymore.“ With that, he pulls up the blanket and turns around, facing away from me.

„You're not interested in talking about the wedding anymore? Or not interested in the wedding in general? Do you not want to get married anymore?“ He doesn't react. „Tom?“ Silence. What is going on?

I sit there and wait for Tom to say something. Anything. But he doesn't. Eventually, his even breaths tell me that he has fallen asleep. How can he even sleep after this? Knowing that I won't really be able to get any rest, I gather all the papers from the bed and head downstairs to the living room. I turn on the lights but then realise that my mind is too much all over the place to actually be productive now. So I throw the wedding plans on the table, switch the light off again and then sit down on the couch, trying to make sense of what just happened.

He's the one who proposed. He said he wanted this. He was ready to fight for me. And all of a sudden, he's not interested anymore. Why? Just the regular cold feet? Or is there more behind it? Maybe his constant fear of commitment is kicking in. Maybe this was never meant to be and we've just been fooling ourselves. Maybe...

My thoughts are spinning in circles and without really noticing it, tears are streaming down my face. I can't lose him. Suddenly, after what might easily have been a couple of hours, the bright light in the living room is switched on and breaks me out of my thoughts.

Tom sighs in relief. „There you are! I woke up and you weren't there. I was worried...“

„Oh, now you care?“ I wipe away the tears.

„So you still haven't calmed down. Great...“ He rolls his eyes and starts to turn around again.

I jump up from the couch. „Calmed down? How am I supposed to calm down when I have to be worried that all the planning I've been doing for weeks has been for nothing?“

„What are you talking about?“

„You made it sound like you no longer care about whether we get married or not. So yes, I have been wondering if I've been working my ass of for nothing.“

„Oh, I'm so very sorry that planning your dream wedding is so stressful for you“, Tom says sarcastically. „But in case you haven't noticed, I am trying to rebuild a career here. I am trying to fix what was broken because I decided that I wanted you in my life.“ He did not just go there!

„So it is my fault that you decided to get into bed with a psycho ass bitch? Now I see. Thank you for finally explaining to me what I am for you. But really, if that's the case, then we are we still talking? You should just get out. Or even better yet, throw me out. You've done it before, so I'm sure you remember how to do it. But whatever you do, please make sure to cancel the wedding you so obviously don't want anymore.“

„Ugh...“ Tom pulls on his own hair. „Stop making everything about the wedding!! There are more important things in my life right now than wedding bouquets and seating charts. Chances are that my career as an actor is over. So please excuse me if I have other things on my mind than this.“ With that, he grabs the papers from the table and practically throws them in my face.

Instinctively, I cover my stomach with my hands and take a step back. Toms seems to immediately realise what he just did. The expression on his face softens a bit. Oh no, the puppy eyes won't cut it this time.

He holds out his hand and slowly moves towards me. „Kat, I...“

„Don't touch me!!“ I distance myself even further from him.

„Kat...“

„I'll stay in the guestroom tonight.“ Without saying another word or looking at him again, I turn around and walk away.

*****

The next morning. 11+2.

I wake up with a terrible headache. I look outside and see that it's already broad daylight. Well, at least I managed to get some sleep. I roll myself out of bed and make my way to the kitchen. When I enter the living room, I see Tom sitting there, fully dressed. Two suitcases are standing next to him. No! No no no, please no!

Tears immediately form in my eyes. „You're throwing me out then...“

He looks up at me and shakes his head. „No, I'm not throwing you out.“ But the suitcases...

„So you're leaving.“ I'm losing him again. „Please don't. Don't leave me. Don't walk away from me....from us...please.“

„Kat, I'm...“

I start sobbing. „Please don't leave me.“ I grab the suitcases and try to carry them towards the bedroom. „I can't lose you. Please don't leave me. Please don't. Please please please...“ I keep repeating myself. Tears are streaming down my face and I don't even notice Tom's pleas for me to listen to him. „I can't watch you walk away from me again.“ Because I've had to endure that way too many times. „Please don't go. I never wanted to need another person in my life but you made me fall in love with you and now I need you. We need you. Please don't go. Please...“

„KAT!!! LISTEN TO ME!!“ Tom rips the suitcases from my hand. I am so surprised that I shoot around and once again follow the impulse to cover my stomach with my hands. I look right into his eyes so he finally knows that he has my attention. „I am not leaving you.“ He slowly puts the suitcases down. When he takes a step towards me, I back away from him without thinking. He stops and takes a deep breath. „Please, allow me to touch you.“ I circle my arms around my body a little bit tighter and then simply nod. Tom closes the distance between us and places his hand on my cheek. My betraying body leans into his touch. „Look at me, Kat.“ After a moment of hesitation, I look up at him through watery eyes. A slight smile appears on his face. „I am not leaving you. Ever.“ Using his other hand, he pushes my arms aside and puts his palm on my stomach. The warmth of his fingers travels through my body and I can feel myself relax. „I am not leaving either one of you, you hear me?!“ He's not leaving me. He's not leaving us.

And then the dam inside me breaks once more. I start weeping uncontrollably. Unable to fight him, I let Tom pull me into his arms. He gently picks me up and carries me to the couch, where he sits down and places me in his lap. He holds me close and whispers calming words into my ear. I cry against his chest and hold on to him for dear life. Just in case he decides to leave after all. Eventually, the tears stop and my breath calms a little.

„Are you ready to talk, darling?“, he asks and brushes a few strands of hair out of my face.

„Only if you're not angry anymore...“, I sniff.

„I'm not angry anymore. I just want to talk, to explain.“ His voice is calm and soothing.

„And why were you so angry to begin with?“

He sighs. „The movie fell through.“

„You mean Ken's next project?“

„Yes. The producers want to do it, but not with me involved. And if Ken insists on doing it with me, then they're going to pull back from the project, essentially leaving us without the majority of financing. So I told Ken to do it without me.“ Damn.

I place my hand on his chest in an attempt to comfort him. „I'm so sorry. I know how much you wanted to do this film.“

„I just wanted to do something, to be honest. This was the only project I had lined up. Apart from that, it has been impossible for Christian to find me anything. As soon as my name comes up, people are suddenly not interested anymore. I knew that the accusations could have an impact on my career. But now that it's actually happening, I don't know how to cope with it. I am so worried and so helpless all the time. I'm angry that this is happening to me. And I let out that anger on you last night...“

„Because you blame me for everything...“ I pull my hand away from his chest.

„No, I don't! Kat, you have to believe me!“ His grip around me tightens. „What I said last night was stupid and wrong. I wish I could take it back, but I can't. But you have to believe me when I tell you that I didn't mean a word of it. I don't blame you. Because you're not responsible for this. You saved me. You showed me what true love is and I will always we grateful for that.“

„But then why did you say it?“ There is always a certain truth to everything we say.

„To be honest, I don't know“, he says and shakes his head. „Like I said, I feel so helpless all the time. All my life, the hard work I put into everything has always been rewarded. Because people appreciated that work and dedication. But now it doesn't matter anymore. It's like I'm branded as a criminal, even though I didn't do anything. So I keep asking myself what happens if that continues. Will I never star in another movie ever again?“ Please don't say things like that. „What happens then? I'm not sure what I would do. And...“ He pauses and takes a deep breath. „I know that our relationship is about so much more than that. But I can't help but wonder what you would do if my career was really over.“ Ahh, now I see where you're going with this.

„You think that I would leave you if you weren't successful anymore?“

„That's what I'm afraid of.“ Never gonna happen, Hiddleston.

„Is that why you brought Liam into the conversation? Do you think I am going to elope with the guy who sells me fruit and vegetables on a regular basis?“ Because that's just ridiculous.

„Yes and no. Yes, I am worried that you might find someone you can be more proud of than me. And yes, maybe that's the guy who sells fruit and vegetables. But there is something else...“ Out with it! „I watched you and him at the store yesterday morning.“

„But...we just talked. Why on earth would that make you jealous?“ Unless you're more insecure than I always thought you were.

„I watched you talk to each other, heard you joke about nightclubs and parties.“ Yeah, it's called making conversation. „He's what? A year older than you, maybe two?“ Is he seriously telling me that he's having age issues here???? „You're young. You deserve someone who takes you out to party on a Saturday night. Not some old guy who makes you tea and reads to you. So I look at you and Liam...“

„Let me stop you right there!“, I interrupt him. „There is no me and Liam. There is only me and you. That's all I want, that's all I need.“

„But...“, he tries to protest.

„No! You should know me well enough by now to know that I am not the kind of woman who find her happiness in endless club tours every weekend. I only enjoy that on very rare occasions and only in the right company. Our evening rituals, on the other hand, bring me a very great deal of happiness. A few years ago, I would've called it boring. But now...having dinner with you and then curling up on the couch with a cup of tea while you read to me and stroke my hair...THAT is pure happiness. And I wouldn't want it any other way. If that makes me somehow old, then so be it. Then we can be a happy old couple. But seriously, Tom...“ I take his face into my hands and look right into his eyes. „You are not old. And I honestly don't give a fuck about the age difference between us. It's only 9 years. That's nothing. And more importantly, it doesn't matter. Because we both know that we work as a couple. We enjoy the same things, we want the same things from life. That's what matters. Everything else is just a number and totally irrelevant.“

„But what if I become irrelevant?“ His voice sounds sad and he looks completely broken. Oh yes, I can imagine what some people have written online. 'Tom Hiddleston, old and irrelevant'. Ugh. If you keep reading that shit, I might have to take the internet away from you.

„You will never be irrelevant to me...“ I take his hand and guide it towards my stomach. „...or to our child. You will always matter to us. We will always love you and we will always support you. Whether you're an internationally acclaimed superstar or not. I don't know if that will be taken away from you. But you will always have me. Us. Whether that's enough for you or not. Or whether or not you want to put a ring on my finger.“

He takes my hand and brushes a soft kiss against my ringfinger. „Of course I want to put a ring on your finger.“

I sigh in relief. „So you still want to get married?“

„Oh Kat...“ Tom pulls me in for a deep and long kiss. His hand protecting our baby. His lips on mine. Good. Very good. Everything like it's supposed to be. „Of course I want to marry you. More than anything in the world.“ We kiss again and somehow get completely lost in the feeling of just being together. But suddenly, Tom pulls away. The look on his face is serious. „I'm sorry, Kat. I never meant to yell at you. I never meant to scare you. And most of all, I never meant to hurt you. Or the baby. I'm sorry if you were afraid that I might harm you.“

I shake my head. „I know that you never would. If I did, then I wouldn't have stayed here last night.“ I place my hands on his hand that's still resting on my belly. „Protecting our little pumpkin was just my first instinct. I know that you would never purposely hurt us. But you can't control maternal instincts, I guess.“

„See, that's one of the reasons why I love you. You are already the most amazing mother to my child I could ever imagine.“ He kisses me softly. „And since I am just as much in this as you are, regardless of what you say, I am going to do everything to take care of you. So how about I make you some breakfast?“

„That sounds heavenly. But I have to do something against that headache first. I'm afraid it's reached a point where only a painkiller will help. But I'm not sure Aspirin is a good idea.“ And I'd rather endure a headache than harm our baby.

„I have some Tylenol upstairs.“

„I'm not sure if they're safe either.“ So much for maternal instincts.

Tom cups my face with his hands and plants soft kisses on my temples and my forehead. „It's safe.“ I give him a questioning look but he simply smiles at me. You've been reading, haven't you? You've been checking what's safe for me and the baby and what isn't.

I return the smile. „Then I'll have a Tylenol, please. And then some pancakes.“

„Coming right up.“

I climb out of Tom's lap and my view falls on the two suitcases. Right, I had forgotten about them. „What's with the suitcases, Tom?“

„They're for you and me. Packed them last night when you were asleep. We need to get out for a bit, Kat. The wedding planning, the whole Taylor mess...we're stressed. That's why last night happened. So I decided to whisk you away for the weekend.“

„Tom, we can't do that!“, I protest. „There are so many things we need to discuss. Lucy is going to kill me if I don't send her our wishes for the menu today.“

„And we can do that anywhere. We have phones, we have wifi, we can contact anyone we want. But we need to clear our heads as well. So I'm not taking no for an answer. Now...I will get you your Tylenol, then you can take a shower while I make breakfast. And after that, you'll get in the car. No discussion. We can talk about the menu on our way and you can email Lucy from the road. The rest can wait until tomorrow. Once we get there, it will only be you and me for the evening. You, me and the sea.“

„The sea? Tom, where are we going?“

„Anchor Cottage.“

 

Chapter Text

I hand Tom his cup of tea and then make myself comfortable in the other armchair. „Are you sure you don't want a glass of wine?“, I ask him.

„No, I'm good. If you're not drinking, I'm not drinking. Not when it's just the two of us. So tea is perfectly fine.“

I smile at him and then sip on my tea, simply trying to drink in the atmosphere. I can't believe we're back here. It feels like a lifetime has passed since our week here in May. I never knew how much I've missed this place.

We simply listen to the sound of the fire crackling, before Tom breaks the otherwise silence. „Are you still thinking about last night?“

„Well, I can't just pretend that it didn't happen. I always need some time to process things like that.“

He stares into his cup. „I'm sorry that I put you through that. I should've never lashed out like I did. It wasn't fair.“

„No, it wasn't. And no, you shouldn't have. But I guess that's life. No relationship is always just sunhine and happiness. And if it is, then it's usually completely dishonest. I'm not saying that I enjoyed fighting with you, but I think it's only natural. And it does make me proud to see how far we've come as a couple.“

„What do you mean?“ Tom looks positively lost.

„Remember the last fight we had before that? I said something you didn't like, you panicked and threw me out on my ass. And instead of staying and fighting for you, I went with it. I let you throw me out. And look at us now... We're here. We're together. We had a fight, we endured it and we talked about it. This is a huge thing for two commitment phobes like us.“

Tom chuckles. „I guess that's true. And I'm glad you didn't run. Even though you were scared of me.“

I reach over and grab his hand. „I told you, I wasn't scared. I was just being...maternal.“ I giggle because I know it sounds stupid. „It's very hard to describe. But I am not just me anymore. There is a whole other person growing inside me. And even though it's still tiny and looks a bit like an alien, I already love that person. I know that it depends on me. So all of a sudden, nothing I do is about me anymore. I am constantly aware of that other life I am now responsible for.“ Tom gently strokes my hand with his thumb. „And as for the running...I meant what I said this morning. I need you. Ever since you captured my heart, I know that I can no longer exist without you. So I'm not going anywhere. Just the thought of losing you...“

„Then don't think about it“, Tom cuts in. „Don't even go there. Because we can't spend our lives, focussing on the ifs and maybes. Like you said...we're here and we're together. We're getting married. So we will have a lot of time to enjoy simply being together.“

„The rest of our lives“, I say with a smile.

„Remember the last time we were here?“ I nod. How could I ever forget? „I was so scared back then. That thought, the thought of forever...it scared the crap out of me. Still does a bit, to be honest.“

„Then why aren't you fighting it?“

„Because I love you.“ Kat's heart exploding in 3...2...1... „You're everything to me. And I agree with everything you said this morning. I need you just like you need me. So if I ever lost you...“ He pauses and swallows back tears.

I quickly get out of my armchair, sit down in Tom's lap and seal his lips with mine. A moan escapes his mouth and he pulls me against his body. „Didn't we agree on not talking about that anymore?“

„I know but...“ My mouth crashes on his again. Thank god I have this way of always shutting you up. Tom breaks the kiss and smiles at me. „Alright, you win. But...do you really not care whether I ever work as an actor again?“

I sigh. „Of course I care. But not because it would change the way I feel about you. I surpassed simply loving the actor Tom Hiddleston a long time ago. I'm in love with you, not your job or your public image. But I know how much being an actor means to you. So having to watch that being taken away from you...it would break my heart. And it would be a very big waste of talent, if you ask me.“

„It's just such an odd experience, because as an actor, I don't really know what it's like to be unemployed. I got my first jobs when I was still at RADA and have pretty much been working ever since, especially since Loki happened. So I don't even know what I'm going to do if I can't make a living with acting anymore.“ Yeah, we haven't really talked about the financial aspect of it all.

„Tom...“, I start and take a deep breath. „When is you not working going to become an actual problem? An existential one, I mean. Because...I moved in and I've been pretty much living off your money until then. I haven't been able to get a job in all these months and so I'm not contributing to financing our life in any way. And I...“

„You wonder if I'm going to be financially broke any time soon?“, Tom asks and I fail at interpreting his tone.

„No. Well...maybe. Kind of. And again, it wouldn't change my love for you. I just...want to know.“

Tom looks at me for a moment before kissing me briefly and then lifting me out of his lap and onto my feet. „I'll be back in a minute.“ With that, he heads out of the room.

Where is he going?! I settle back down in the armchair and nervously wait for Tom. He returns with his Macbook in hand. Kneeling down in front of the armchair, he opens it and types in a few things. He takes a deep breath and then looks at me.

„Kat, we've been together for months now. And in all this time, I was waiting for you to ask.“ Ask what?! „The fact that you didn't shows me even more that what we have is real. But...we're about to get married. So from then on – even more than already – everything that's mine is yours as well. That doesn't just go for the house, but for everything else.“ I still don't really know where this is leading. „Therefore, it is only fair if I finally tell you.“ Tell me what? He hands me the laptop and I look at the screen. Holy. Fuck.

I stare at the numbers in front of me. Damn. I knew he was what I'd call rich. But that is just...insane. In my head, I try to approximately add up the balances of several different bank and savings accounts. Yeah, okay. A bigger number doesn't make it easier to wrap my head around.

„Kat, say something.“

„I...um...“ Pfffff...

„Are you good speechless or bad speechless?“, he asks obviously nervous.

„Thomas, you've been to my apartment. That's the standard of living I'm used to. So simply living in your house, in that part of town, is already exceeding anything I ever dreamed of. But this...I swear, I had no idea. I didn't expect that number to even be half as big. So yeah, I am positively blown away right now. I mean...I am dating a multi millionaire.“

Tom laughs nervously. „Yes, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't make the details of it general knowledge.“

I close the Macbook and put it on the sideboard. Then I move to the front edge of the armchair and take Tom's face into my hands. „Thank you for trusting me.“

„Kat...“, he sighs. „I'd trust you with my life.“ And I'd trust you with mine. „And I meant what I said. What's mine is yours now too. So I don't ever want you to worry about money ever again, okay? I have very good advisors who make sure that I don't spend more than I can afford. So you and our little pumpkin...“ He slips his hand under my sweater and rests his palm on my stomach. „...are always taken care of. I promise you.“

I don't know what to say so I simply pull him in for a kiss. We are always taken care of. I like that thought.

Suddenly, he breaks the kiss and stands up, holding his hand out to me. What now? I put my hand into his and allow him to pull me on my feet. He circles his arms around me and starts kissing my neck, slightly moaning against my skin.

„Tom, what are you doing?“

„We had a fight, and we made up. So this is make up sex“, he says, his lips never really losing contact with my skin.

I laugh a little. „I don't think that's how make up sex works...“

„Kat...“ He looks right into my eyes. „Please shut up and let me fuck you. I haven't been inside you for days and I am desperate.“

We look at each other for a moment and then start to rip each other's clothes off. As soon as we're both naked, I slightly push him backwards and he falls onto the couch. „So where do you want me?“, I ask.

„Anywhere you want to be...“

Without saying another word, I sink to my knees in front of him and bring my face close to his penis. He is already at half-mast and twitching in anticipation. „God, I love your cock“, I gasp and then wrap my hand and lips around him. His tortured moans tell me just how desperate he actually is. 4 days without sex and he is losing his mind. Honey, you will have so much fun after I've delivered the baby and we're not allowed to have sex for weeks. I work my mouth up and down his shaft, my tongue carressing the tip. I feel him getting harder and harder and it causes me to become even more aroused as well.

„You love sucking on it, don't you, babygirl?“, Tom asks slightly out of breath.

„I do“, I reply, both of my hands now wrapped around him to stroke him. „Your cock is so big and so beautiful and it gets so wonderfully hard. I love it. And the things it does to me...“

„Show me“, he commands. „Show me what my cock does to you.“

I let go of him and lean backwards on the carpet, spreading my legs for him. There you have it...you haven't even touched me and I'm dripping wet. His eyes are fixed on me, but he doesn't say a word. How about I give you a bit of a show?! I let my hands glide between my legs and slowly parts my drenched folds to give him an even better look. He lets out a low growl, wraps one hand around his cock and starts to slowly stroke himself. Well, this can't all just be for your pleasure. My fingers find my clit and I gently let them glide over it. Oh god, I didn't know how much I needed this. My pussy is so desperate for attention after being neglected for 4 days. Damn, those weeks after the delivery are going to kill me as well. My fingers work faster now and I moan in pleasure.

„You look so damn sexy when you do this. And you're desperate to come, aren't you?“

„Yes“, I gasp.

„Then do it. Make yourself come, babygirl. Just look at me.“

My eyes find his. The lust and arousal in his eyes are breathtaking. And knowing that he's watching me while I masturbate...god, that's hot. The heat inside me gets stronger and stronger with each stroke of my fingers. I know that I am close. „Tom, please come with me“, I beg.

He slightly shakes his head. „Oh no. I am not done with you. I told you I was desperate to be inside that tight pussy of yours. So I won't come until I am buried deep inside you. But you will come. Now!“

As always, his words are my command and I give into a screaming orgasm. My body quivers and falls back on the carpet. I try to catch my breath and suddenly feel him between my legs. Oh fuck! He laps up my juices and then lets his tongue fly over my little pearl. He's gonna make me come again. Oh god! I don't know why, but this place always brings out the beast in him. Even more than usual. And then a thought crosses my mind.

„Tom?“

He looks up at me, replacing his mouth with his fingers. „Yes, darling?“

„How did you...oh god...how did you manage to book this place in the middle of the night? And where did you get the key from? Because we didn't have to stop anywhere to collect it.“

Tom smiles at me. „I didn't plan on telling you for a while. But as always, you are much smarter than I anticipated.“ He kneels between my legs and runs his cock over my slit and gently nudges my clit with it. Fuck fuck fuck. „You know how we said that we'd take our kids here on vacation?“ I currently barely remember my own name, but yes... „I wanted to be able to do that whenever we wanted. I wanted this to be our place. So I made it ours.“

It takes a moment for me brain to understand what he just said. You did what?? I move away from him to stop the stimulation and be able to think a bit clearer. „You bought Anchor Cottage? Are you insane?“

„Maybe, but that shouldn't come as a surprise to you anymore. And yes, I did buy it. Consider it my wedding present for you.“ You have got to be kidding me.

„Your...Thomas, I expected maybe a necklace or a pair of earrings as a wedding present. But this...you are already paying a fortune to give me the wedding of my dreams. So this is...way too much...“

The smile on Tom's face gets bigger and he starts to slowly crawl towards me. „Well, I thought jewelry would be boring, given that I will already be giving you another, more important piece of jewelry that day.“

„So you bought me a house??“

„Yes. Well...“ He starts to kiss his way up my body. „I bought it for us. For our family. Because I want this to be our second home. Like I said, I want us to be able to spend time here whenever we want. Besides...“ His tongue traces slow circles over both my nipples. „...that way, I get to make you scream and come in every single room, on every surface of this house, without having to feel bad about it.“ He kisses me gently and then looks at me to await my response.

You impossible man! Without a warning, I push him over on his back and swing my leg across to straddle him. I reach down and position his cock where I want it. Then I look at him and smile. „Thank you“, I say and sink down on him.

A deep moan escapes his lips and he pulls me forward so that I land on top of his body. Our mouths devour each other while I ride him in a fast and steady rhythm. It feels heavenly to have him inside me again. And once again, our bodies are communicating with each other. I understand why he bought this place. And he understands how much it means to me. When my pussy starts to tighten around him, he holds my hips in place and slams himself into me instead. Just moments later, I am pushed over the edge and squeeze him tightly as I come, setting off his orgasm as well. He comes deep inside me. I rest my head on his chest and we enjoy the intimacy of the situation. Just the two...no, three of us.

 

Chapter Text

The next day. 11+3. 13 days until the wedding.

After an early morning walk on the beach and a relaxed breakfast, Tom and I are now sitting at the kitchen table, my collected wedding planning in front of us.

„So...where do we start?“, Tom asks with a slight frown on his face.

„Well...“ I take a deep breath. „Lucy sent an email. She talked everything through with the kitchen and they said they can make it happen. So cranberry-orange pork roast, lamb rack, chicken breast in red wine sauce and roasted salmon with honey-mustard glaze. All as discussed, same goes for side dishes and vegetables. Lucy also suggested that we pick a dish for vegetarian guests. Which is great because I hadn't even thought about that.“

„Oh, that is a very good point, actually. Did she make a particular suggestion?“

I nod. „She recommends mushroom risotto.“

„Hm, sounds like something that not only the vegetarians might enjoy. But I like it. Let's go with that. And did she say something about our fingerfood idea before the reception? Because I still think it would be good the feed everyone before the reception.“ I think so too. Especially since the ceremony is supposed to start at 1 pm. So nobody will have had lunch before that.

„Well, that has been her suggestion all along. So she's totally fine with it. Look, she added a list of possible choices.“ I had Tom my tablet so that he can take a look.

He raises his brows. „Oh dear, that's a lot to choose from.“

„How about each of us picks three to begin with. And then we can see what we have and take it from there?“

He shrugs his shoulders. „Sounds good to me. Okay, I like...well, I like all of it. But if I have to choose, I'd go with...the mini Yorkshire pudding, the tandoori chicken skewers...and...the honey goat cheese dates with walnuts.“ See how easy it is to discuss food, my dear?! „What are your choices?“ He hands me back the tablet.

„Um...“ All of it. Food. Gimme. „I like the mushroom bruschetta and the...cranberry & brie bites. And I just love the idea of having fish and chips at my wedding. Which I'm sure is also something all the kids will appreciate. The rest of the choices...not so much.“

Tom smiles at me. „If you wantfish and chips at our wedding, then we will have fish and chips at our wedding.“ I return the smile. „Okay, so that makes six dishes. I'd say that's enough, but I would include something...healthy as well.“ Absolutely! „Maybe the fruit salad. And tomatoes and mozzarella always work.“

„How do you feel about cucumber bites with feta cheese?“, I ask.

He nods. „Sure. Sounds good to me. Did you write it all down so that you can email her later?“

„I did. Oh, and look...she said that bar team also offers us three special cocktails that match the winter theme. A blue coconut cocktail, a white chocolate snowflake martini and a white wine sangria with cranberries and thyme.“ I take a deep breath. „Damn, almost makes me regret that I can't drink anything.“ Tom and I both laugh. „What do you think?“

„I like that it goes with the theme and apparently the colours. So why not?“

„Alright, then I'll email Lucy later. Now...I need your help with the cakes.“

Tom makes big eyes. „The cakes? Darling, the only thing I can help you with is eating them. But I will be rubbish with anything else.“

I laugh again. „No, not with the making, silly. But I can't decide on how many we actually need. I originally planned for 30 cakes for the afternoon. But not everybody we invited is actually coming. And I know that a few people in my family are not too keen on cake.“

„How many people are coming?“

„Including the whole wedding party, we have a total of 114 people.“

Tom thinks for a moment. „Isn't there this...kind of housewife rule? 3 pieces of cake for every adult, one for each child.“ I look at him with big eyes. „That's how my mother always decided on how many cakes to make.“ That is actually pretty genius. And very simple.

„Okay, so how many does that make?“

„Kat, have you met me?! You know about my mathematic skills. So really, you don't want me to calculate that.“ True.

I take out my phone and open the calculator. 114 people, of which 27 are children. So that leaves 87 adults. Times three, plus the 27...divided by 16 pieces for each cake... „18...“

„Alright, then let's say 20 and we're on the safe side.“

I nod. „Okay, that sounds good. That means that I can actually cross out some of the cakes on the list. That's good.“ I look down at my list of possible cake flavours and start crossing out the ones that seem to complicated or that I never really liked to begin with. Eventually, I check and double check the ones that are left:

 

     Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

     Poppy Seed Almond Cake

     Plum Cream Cake

     Triple Chocolate Cake

     Walnut Vanilla Cream Cake with Caramel Chips

     Orange Cream Cake

     Pear Almond Cake with Maple Spice Frosting

     Turkish Yoghurt Fig Cake

     Baked Apple Cream Cake

     Earl Grey Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

     Eggnog Cake

     Grape Hazelnut Creme Cake

     Marzipan Cake

     Cinnamon Mascarpone Cake

     Kiwi Cake

     Black Forest Cake

     Coffee Cream Cake

     Roasted Almond Buttercream Cake

     Blood Orange Cake with Stracciatella Creme

     Lingonberry Rum Cake

 

I nod to myself. That's a good list. A solid list. Lots of variations, something for every taste. And all very wintery or Christmassy. That's good. I like it.

Tom breaks me out of my thoughts. „Alright, show me the list“, he orders. So I hand over the sheet of paper and let him have a look. „Great, now I want cake. Seriously, Kat, it all sounds amazing.“ I smile at him. „I just have one question...when exactly do you plan on making 20 cakes?“

„I...well...“ Honestly, no idea. „I'm just going to occupy our kitchen in the days before the wedding. And if I have to pull an allnighter the night before...“

„No no no“, Tom shakes his head. „The night before, you will already be at the hotel after enjoying a spa day with my sisters.“

I roll my eyes. „I already told them that I don't have time for a spa day.“

„Yes, you do!“, Tom insits. „Kat, I mean it. You need to take care of yourself. And I know that you are a superwoman who can generally get done anything she sets her mind on. But right now, you are a pregnant superwoman. And I need you to understand the reality of that. Our wedding day will be stressful, no matter what. And I need you to focus your engergy on that, not 20 cakes.“

„But...“ Tears are starting to form in my eyes. „Tom, I need to do something to contribute to this wedding. Anything. You're paying for everything and even though I now know that it won't make that much of a difference on your bank account, I feel useless.“

„Darling...“ Tom takes my hand and strokes it with his thumb. „This right here...that's the contributing. You're planning the whole thing. You contacted the venue, you are constantly in touch with Lucy, you designed the invitations...you're pulling the strings here, love. So the least I can do is pay for it all.“ I wipe away a tear. „You are anything but useless. So...as much as I understand your desire to do more, it can't be this. It can't be spending days in the kitchen. Because I guarantee you that it will become too stressful for you. And the last thing I want is for our wedding day to end at the hospital, you hear me?“ I don't want that either.

„But where are we going to find someone to take care of it on such short notice?“ I sniff.

„If I find someone, do you promise to hand everything over to a professional?“ I slowly nod. „Thank you.“ He gently squeezes my hand. „And I think we might be in luck. Luke and I talked about an ex-boyfriend of his just the other day. His name is Oliver. He's a great pastry chef and Luke helped him to start his own business. But he just doesn't know anything about successfully running it. So he's in a bit of financial trouble. His books are pretty much empty these days, even though he's very good. So I think he will be glad to have a large order like that coming in. I'll ask Luke to text me his number.“

I watch Tom as he types. When he puts down his phone and looks at me, I smile. „Thank you for watching out for us.“

„I'm only making sure my family is alright.“ We look at each other for a moment. When Tom notices more tears in my eyes, he quickly moves on. „Alright, let's keep going. We're actually good at this. So what's next?“

„Well...“ I shuffle through the several wedding checklists. „Let's start with the photographer. Because you haven't said a word and I've been going nuts over this.“

„Ah...well, then you'll be happy to hear that Charlie Gray has agreed to shoot our wedding. And he will bring along a friend to videotape it all.“ What?

„Hang on...Charlie Gray as in...Charlie Gray? I mean...THE Charlie Gray?“ Tom nods. Well, fuck me. „No way! How did you manage to do that?“

Tom shrugs his shoulders. „He has shot me several times in the past and is a good friend of mine. He was delighted when I asked him. So yeah, you can cross that off your list.“ I truly don't know what to say. „And while we're on the subject of things I've taken care of...the music for the day is all set up. There will be a special surprise for you during the day, and in the evening, Mitch Matthews will be our DJ. Emma recommended him to me and I've talked to him. He seems to be exactly what we want.“

„Sounds good. But...what do you mean a surprise?“

„Well, it wouldn't be a surprise if I told you, would it, darling?“

I roll my eyes at him. Tease! „Okay, fine. But did you at least tell Ben? I know that he's working on his part of the ceremony and...“

„Kat, breathe. Of course he knows.“ Okay. Good. I'll shut up now. „Now...I've reserved a special tour at the Eye for all the guests in the afternoon. Had to do a bit of name dropping, but eventually, they agreed. Two old London busses will pick them up, dropp them off at the Eye and then take them on a little drive through London before bringing them back to the hotel. And in that time, we can get the pictures done.“

I breathe out and let myself fall back on the chair. „Wow. You seriously just lifted a ton of weight from my shoulders. I really thought we'd have to do all that last minute.“

Tom shakes his head. „I want this as much as you do, remember? So if I say that I'll take care of things, then I will take care of things.“

„I am very glad to hear that.“

„What else do we need to figure out?“

I sigh. „I need to decide on a wedding bouquet. And I have absolutely no idea which one to pick.“

„Is it bad luck if the groom sees the wedding bouquet before the wedding?“, Tom asks.

I giggle. „No, I think that only applies to the dress.“

„Then show me...“

I hand him the pictures of the bouquets I've narrowed it down to. „The one I really want is this one. It's just...perfect. But it doesn't go with the colour scheme of blue and white. The one with the white lillies is...I don't know, it would be perfect for the theme, but it's ugly. And only white roses seems a bit boring. Well, and the rest...they're nice. But none of them really speak to me.“

Tom takes his time looking at the pictures. „Go with the one you want most“, he says and looks at me.

„But what about the red?“

„What about it? It's still a winter bouquet. And with a warm red like that, it builds a nice contrast. So why not break the general colour scheme with this? Besides, if they use those flowers for the little arrangements for the table as well, it adds a bit if colour to the white table settings. I kind of like that idea.“

„So it wouldn't bother you?“

„What? No! I'll even make sure to wear a red rose boutonnière to match you“, he says and winks at me. „Besides...if you think about it, red roses are somehow our flowers, are they not?“ The red roses he arranged the night of the premiere, the red rose and our heated dinner... I smile and nod. „See?! So if you want that one, just go with it.“

I lean forward to kiss him. „Thank you. I'll email it to them later. So...do you think we can go through the schedule for the day once again?“ Tom nods. „Alright, so the stylist arrives at 10 am. That gives us three hours until the ceremony starts. Do you know how and when you'll get to the hotel?“

„Yes, I do. Ben will pick me up and Chris and Elsa offered me their hotel room to get ready. So that's all sorted. Did Lucy finally confirm that we can open the doors for the guests at noon?“

I nod. „She did. Even though she still thinks it's too early.“ I slightly roll my eyes.

„Too early? We just agreed on food and drinks being served while they wait. I feel like an hour to eat, chat and find their seats is the minimum we should give them.“

„I agree. And she agreed, so that's all that matters.“

„True. I talked to Ben about the ceremony again“, Tom continues. „And with the music and everything that he has planned, it will all be about an hour tops. So we'll be done by 2 pm, then champagne reception and our welcome speech.“ Our first speech as a married couple. „And then what...cake buffet at 3 pm?“

„Yes“, I confirm. „If we're ready a bit earlier, I'd say we start earlier. When do the busses arrive?“

„At 4 pm. The drive to the eye is a short one. Just about 10 minutes. The ride itself is 30 minutes, the little city tour should take them...hm, maybe 45 minutes. So given the time they need to get on the bus and all, we have a relaxed 90 minutes to have the pictures taken.“

„Okay, so everyone will be back at the hotel at...let's say...somewhere between 5:30 and 5:45 pm.“ Tom nods. „Give them some time to settle in and hit the bathroom...and then wedding speeches at 6 pm?“

„Sounds good.“ Tom looks through my papers. „Help me out again...who is talking?“

„Well, your mother and Emma both requested to say a few words. Chris as the best man and Sophie as my maid of honour. I think that's it.“

Tom sighs. „Should be long enough. Especially since everyone will be waiting for the food by then.“ We both laugh.

„But they'll have to wait a little bit longer. Because one thing needs to happen before dinner.“

„What's that?“, Tom pretends to not know, even though the smile on his face tells me that he is very well aware. I stick my tongue out at him in reply. „I know, darling. Our first dance. It's all taken care of already.“

„So you're really not going to tell me which song you picked?“, I pout.

„Absolutely not. You'll find out soon enough.“ Fine. „And then dinner at 7 pm?“

„Yeah, 7...ish“, I shrug my shoulders. „Could be a bit later. But I think 7:30 at the latest. When does the DJ start?“

„He's booked from 9 pm.“

„That's a good time. So then I can change after dinner and get ready to dance.“

„Change? Into what?“ Tom seems totally confused.

„Well, I want to really dance that night. But I know that I can't do that if I'm wearing a floor length gown. So I got myself a short white Monique Lhuillier dress for the later hours of the evening.“

Tom smiles. „You had me at short. But...does that mean you'll change before the cake cutting?“ Oh crap! I forgot about that.

„No, I'll just wait until after. Really, it's fine.“

„Okay...“ Tom takes a deep breath. „Wow, this is really happening.“

I reach for his hand. „Are you having second thoughts?“

„What? No! Not a single one. But I am already a lot more nervous than I thought I would be.“ Once again, we simply look at each other in silence. Eventually, he clears his throat. „So, anything else we need to discuss?“

„Um...“ I check my lists once more. „Emma has volunteered to prepare little thank you gifts for all the guests. We bought these...“ I show him a sample of the striped white and blue paper backs we got for the gifts. „...and she is now filling them up with little things to thank everyone.“

„That's a lovely idea. How far are you with the seating assignments?“

I roll my eyes. „Don't even ask. It's a nightmare. I really can't decide how I want to do it. But there's still time. We'll figure it out.“ Tom nods. „Well, and then there's the little things. Final dress fitting, final appointment with the stylist to try the hairdo, things like that. Oh, that reminds me...when can we pick up the rings?“

„They should be ready on Wednesday. Because of the engraving of the fingerprint, it takes longer than usual.“

„Hey, I'm not complaining. I just wanted to know so that I can update it on my list.“

„So how does your list look now?“, Tom asks.

„A lot better“, I answer relieved. „I think, we have it all covered.“

„Do we really?“ Tom raises his eyebrow. „Because there is one thing on your list that we haven't talked about yet.“ I know. The honeymoon. I look at him, trying not to blink. His expression softens. „Where would you like to go?“

My heart jumps a little. „So we are going somewhere?“

Tom smiles. „Why wouldn't we? Now that I can finally show you the world, I plan on taking you wherever you want to go. And I feel like our honeymoon would be a great start to that. So?“

I shrug my shoulders. „I don't know. There are so many countries I'd like to visit, so many things I want to do. I wouldn't even know where to begin.“

„Can I make a suggestion?“ I nod. „How do you feel about Hawaii?“

„Hawaii?“ To be honest, I never really thought about it. Yes, it's a beautiful place. And yes, it's on my list. But not at the very top.

„Yes, Hawaii. I got to see a little bit of the island when we were filming Kong there and I absolutely fell in love with it. It is so beautiful and wild and exotic. Oh Kat, you'd love it there. And the ocean! It would be like a paradise for you.“

„You have already given this some thought, I haven't you?“, I ask and smile at his enthusiasm.

„Well, a little bit. Just...think about it, okay? We don't have to decide now. There is no rush. But I definitely want to take you somewhere.“ I nod. „You know, I really am starting to believe that this is going to be the perfect day we want it to be.“ Apart from one thing. The one thing I've been trying to not think about. I nod distantly, which doesn't go unnoticed. „Kat?“ I look at Tom, trying to hide my feelings. But it only takes him a few seconds to read me. „She's really not coming, is she?“ I swallow back my tears and shake my head. „Come here...“ Tom takes my hand and guides me to his chair and into his lap. „I am so so sorry.“ I circle my arms around him and bury my face in his neck. No, my mother won't be at my wedding.

 

Chapter Text

After a long day of wedding planning, phone calls and emails, I switch off the light in the bathroom and make my way to the bedroom. Tom is already in bed, reading one of the many parenting and pregnancy books he bought to be prepared. I think by now, he knows more about my pregnancy than I do.

Tom smiles at me when I walk in. „I am liking this view!“ His smile turns into a smirk and he scans my body that is only covered with a pair of panties.

I playfully roll my eyes. „Again, Hiddleston?! We just spent an hour fucking in the shower. My knees are still shaking from the number of orgasms you gave me. And now you want me AGAIN?“ I quickly reach for the coconut oil in my suitcase and then crawl into bed.

Tom puts the book aside and pulls me into his arms. „Kat, I always want you. You should know that by now. You're smart, beautiful, fierce and sexy as hell. So yes, I want you. All the time, as much as I can have you. And I can't wait until you're showing. I can't wait to see our child grow inside you.“

„Well, let's see if you still think that when I'm as wide as I'm tall...“

He lifts up my face so he can look directly into my eyes. „What is it with women thinking that they become unattractive once they're pregnant?! Just knowing that you are pregnant makes me even more horny than I usually am. So seeing it must be everything. It's the proof our love. I can't imagine ever not finding you attractive. Besides...this baby is already doing wonders to your body.“ He cups one of my breasts with his hand and tweaks the nipple into a little perk. Damn him.

„Okay okay...not happening. At least not yet.“ I free myself from his embrace and sit up, leaning against the headboard.

„What's that for?“, he points at the bottle of coconut oil in my hands.

„You haven't read about that in one of your many books?“, I tease him. „If you rub it on your belly on a daily basis, it's supposed to prevent stretch marks. So I thought I'd give it a go.“

„Can I do it?“, Tom asks without hesitation. What? „I promise I won't try to seduce you.“

Without saying a word, I hand him the coconut oil and then settle down between his legs, my back resting against his bare chest. This could be nice, actually.

Tom softly kisses my temple. „Relax and let me take care of you.“ As soon as his warm hands start caressing my stomach, I feel myself melting against him. Tom and his magic touch. „We could make this a thing, you know. I could do this for you every day.“

„Would you like that?“, I ask him.

„I'd love it. I love being this close to you and taking care of you and our little pumpkin as much as I can. I know that there isn't actually much I can do, but at least I can try to be supportive.“

„Tom, you're the most supportive husband anyone could wish for.“

He chuckles. „Not yet husband, love. But I do like the sound of it.“ We both laugh.

„Well, husband or not, you can totally do this every day. I feel...so safe right now. In your arms is still the best place in the world. So yes, we are absolutely making this a thing.“

„Thank you.“ He leans down and kisses me gently. Then he pulls the covers over us and we simply stay in our comfortable position, enjoying the intimacy. Tom's hand is still resting on my stomach, warming my body from its core.

„Tom?“, I break the silence.

„Hm...“

„I've been meaning to talk to you.“

I feel his body tensing up a bit. He's worried that it's something bad or serious. „What about?“

„Are we...are we going to sign a prenup before we get married?“

„What?“ Tom seems positively outraged. „Why would we do that?! It's marriage we're talking about, not a contractual agreement.“

„But...“

„No!“ Ugh, stop being so stubborn. „I love you. That's what matters. That's why we're getting married. Everything else isn't important.“

„But...“

„No!“ UGH. „Besides, it'll be you and me forever, remember? There won't be a divorce which means that there will be no need to sort things that would be stated in a prenup. So no, we're not signing one.“ How am I supposed to be mad at you when you say things like that?!

I free myself from Tom's embrace and turn around to look at him. „Tom... I love you. And yes, you and me forever. That is the plan. That's why I want to marry you. Because even spending the rest of my life with you doesn't seem like enough. But...life is life. We don't know what will be in 10 years. And now that I know how much money you'll be throwing into the ring, I just think that we should consider it. I never really thought about it before. But now that I know, I can't help but wonder if it might be the right step. And if not before the wedding, then after. It's never too late for it.“

„So you want to make our marriage about a contract?“

„Of course not!“ I reach for his hands. „Our wedding, our marriage is all about love. I love you and you love me. We both know that. But what happens to me and our son or daughter if we do get a divorce? Where will be live? It's your house, your name is in all the papers. So if things should get ugly, you could just throw us out on our asses.“

„I would never do that.“ Somehow I believe you. „But about the house...“ What now?? He picks up a stack of portfolios from the nightstand. „I want you to have a look at those.“ Houses?! What for?

„Why? Do we need to move out of the house?“

„What? No!“, Tom shakes his head. „But maybe we should anyway. Maybe it is time to start fresh and pick something that is ours. Where both our names will be in all the papers.“

I am completely speechless and simply stare at Tom. Then I reach for the portfolios and flick through them. Beautiful houses. But...FUCKING HELL. Have you seen the prices?? „Tom, have you...“

„Yes, I know that it's a lot of money. But it would be an investment for our family. Which makes it worth every penny.“

„All the more reason to think about a prenup.“ Tom wants to protest but I stop him with a kiss. „Let's not decide tonight. Think about it. Talk it through with Andrew. And then we'll talk about it again.“

„Will you think about it too? The house I mean...“

„I promise I will. Do you promise too?“

He nods. „Can I think about it while you ride me like there's no tomorrow?“ He looks at me with lust in his eyes and I know that I don't have the strength to fight him. So I quickly take of my panties and then climb on top of him where his impressive erection already awaits me.

 

Chapter Text

Week 13. 12+6. Our little pumpkin is the size of a peapod and looks like a human being now. 3 days until the wedding.

„Kat? Kat where are you?“ Seconds later, Emma stumbles into the bathroom. She looks at me as I'm sitting on the floor. „Oh Kat...“ She gets on her knees and sits down beside me. „Kat, you're bleeding!“ Tell me something I don't know. „Did you call an ambulance?“ I shake my head. I'm too scared of what they might tell me. „Okay, we need to get you to a hospital. Where is Tom?“

„H-he is picking up your dad. We were supposed to have dinner together.“ My voice is shaking.

„You stay right here. I'm going to call an ambulance and tell Tom to meet us at the hospital.“

Just as she's about to get up, I grab her hand. „I'm scared.“

Emma squeezes my hand. „I know. Just hang in there. It'll all be alright.“

30 minutes later, I find myself in a hospital exam room. Emma is still by my side, holding my hand and trying to calm me.

„28-year-old female, 13 weeks pregnant, presents with vaginal bleeding and severe abdominal pain“, the nurse rattles off to the doctor. Just as she's about to finish her sentence, the door is being pushed open.

„Thank you, that's where I'll be taking over“, Doctor Gibb commands.

„Who the hell are you?“, the hospital doctor snaps at him.

„I'm her OB, which means that I am familiar with the patient and the pregnancy. So your job is done here.“

„Doctor Gibb, what are you doing here?“, I ask him.

„Tom called me and asked me to come and check on you.“ His voice is calm and assuring.

„Sir, you can't just walk in here and steal my patient“, the hospital doctor goes on.

„Watch me“, Doctor Gibb replies.

The door flies open once again. „I'm here. Kat, I'm here.“ Tom. „Oh Kat, what happened?“

„How are you feeling, Kat?“, James asks me. Pfff...

„You brought dad?“, Emma now snaps at Tom.

„It's my grandchild!“, James protests.

„Sir, I am talking to you“, the hospital doctor still tries to talk to Doctor Gibb who clearly isn't listening.

„What was I supposed to do? He was in the car with me when you called“, Tom tries to explain his father's presence to his sister. „Kat...“

„Sir!“

„Everybody SHUT UP“, Doctor Gibbs yells. Thank you! „I am trying to find a fetal heartbeat here.“ Tom reaches for my hand while everybody is staring at the monitor. Please, please, please... Finally, the silence is interrupted by quick and even beats. „There we go...“ Tears immediately form in my eyes. „148 beats per minute. Still very strong. Good. Now...everyone who didn't provide genetic material for this child or has the duty of monitoring the baby...get out. We need some room to think and talk in here.“

The hospital doctor hesitantly hands over my chart before leaving the room. Doctor Gibb passes it to the nurse who immediately starts taking notes.

„Come on, dad“, Emma tries to usher her father out of the room.

„But...“, James tries to protest.

„Dad, please!“ Tom is starting to become impatient. Eventually, Emma manages to drag James behind her. Now it's just me, Tom, Doctor Gibb and the nurse.

„Alright Kat...how are you feeling?“, Doctor Gibb asks me.

„I'm scared“, I almost whisper.

„I understand. But apart from that...any pain or discomfort?“

„In my stomach.“ Doctor Gibb proceeds to examining me. „It started about an hour ago. I was in the kitchen making dinner when I suddenly felt the pain. I went to the bathroom and saw the bleeding.“

„I should've been there“, Tom says.

„Don't beat yourself up over it. You couldn't have prevented this from happening“, Doctor Gibb tries to comfort him.

„Prevent what? Doctor, am I having a miscarriage?“, I ask with a shaking voice. I'm not sure if I want to hear the answer. Tom's grip on my hand tightens.

„Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'd like to do an ultrasound before we talk about what's happening. Alright?“ I nod and lift up my shirt even further for the ultrasound. The nurse has already prepared the equipment and Doctor Gibb continues with the exam. Eventually, it looks like he finds what he is looking for. „Kat, you have what is called a placental abruption.“

„That...doesn't sound good“, Tom cuts in.

„It isn't, I won't lie to you. Part of your placenta has separated from the uteran wall. Luckily, it's only what we call a marginal abruption. That means that only part of the edge is now disconnected.“

„Can you fix it?“, I ask, hoping he will tell me that there is an easy cure.

„Unfortunately not. Once the placenta detatches, there is nothing we can really do to stop and especially not reverse it. I'm sorry.“

„So what does that mean? What happens now?“ Am I going to lose my baby?

„If we're lucky, the placenta won't separate any further. In that case, your baby would still get enough oxygen from the reamaining attached part of the placenta. We would have to monitor you closely, but you might even be able to carry the baby to term.“

„And what if it keeps separating?“, Tom asks.

„If that happens, we will get to a point where the pregnancy is no longer viable. And because you are only at 13 weeks, the chances of reaching a point where we could deliver the baby prematurely are very low.“

„I would lose the baby...“ Please tell me this isn't happening.

„I'm afraid so. But for now, I don't want you to worry about that. Your baby is fine and there is no indication of a miscarriage so far.“

„So what happens now?“ Tom seems incapable of looking at me.

„We are going to monitor you and your baby for a few days and see how things progress. If the bleeding and cramps stop and there's no more indication of further abruption, I will send you home on pretty much strict bedrest. Because resting is now the only thing you can do to keep that baby safe.“ But...we're getting married...

„But...“, Tom starts, „...we're getting married in three days.“

Doctor Gibb shakes his head. „I'm sorry, but you're not. Like I said...you need rest. So even if I were to release you on Friday, proceeding with your wedding plans would put you at risk for hemorrhage and miscarriage.“

Okay, let me get this straight... „So if I get married to the man I love, I will lose our baby. And if I try to save our baby, I won't be able to marry the man I love?“

„At least not on Saturday, no. I'm sorry.“

Tom lets go of my hand and buries his face in his palms. I turn to Doctor Gibb again. „What if I were to refuse bedrest?“

„Like I said, you would most likely miscarry. And because of the risk of hemorrhage and a certain danger to your life, I would recommend termination. But that decision is entirely up to you two.“

*****

14 weeks. 13+4. Our little pumpkin is the size of a lemon and can squint, frown, and grimace. We were supposed to be married for 4 days.

Tom opens the bedroom door for me and ushers me inside the room. „There you go, darling. Let me help you.“ He helps me undress and change into a large t-shirt. He pulls away the blanket and covers me with it as soon as I'm in bed. Then he kneels down next to the bed and takes my hand. „Is there anything I can get you?“ A pregnancy that is less risky would be nice. And that ring on my finger.

But I shake my head. „Can you just be here with me?“ He nods and I place his hand on my stomach. Our baby needs to know that we're both here, that we're both protecting it.

After a while, I look around the room and sigh. „26 weeks of this are ahead of me then. If everything goes well.“ If not, I might just lose the baby tonight or tomorrow.

„Kat...are you sure you want to do this?“

I shrug my shoulders. „It's not like I have a choice, do I?!“

„Well...Doctor Gibb did mention the option of termination.“

I sit up and look at him. „Do you think I blew off our wedding just so I can have an abortion a few days later?“

„No but...“

„Is that what you want? Do you want to get rid of this child now that it's not perfect anymore?“

„Of course I don't! What I want is for you and our baby to be okay. What I want is to be married to you. Hell, I want to roll around in bed with you all day, celebrating our marriage. I want to plan our trip to Hawaii with you. I want to talk about possible baby names.“ Tears are forming in his eyes. „I want this baby so damn much, you have no idea. But like you said, it's 26 weeks of bed rest and no sex and...“

„Oh my god“, I interrupt him. „Is that really all you think about? The no sex part is the one that bothers you the most?“

„Frankly, no. Because if I get horny, I can think of a nice pair of tits and get myself off whenever I want. You can't. Because female orgasms can cause contractions, which we have to avoid at all cost. Kat, I'm not thinking about myself here. Because all I'll be able to do in the next 26 weeks is hold your hand and fetch you ice cream whenever you want it. You will be the one doing all the hard work. It's your pregnancy, your body and your baby. So no matter how much I may want this child, it's not my decision. It's yours. And if you decided that you can't put up with 26 weeks of bed rest and wanted to have an abortion instead, then I would be there to hold your hand as well. Even though it would kill me.“ I never looked at it that way. What have I done to deserve this man?!

I take a deep breath. „You're right, it is my body and it's my pregnancy. But it is our baby. It's your baby just as much as it is mine. You hear me? This is your baby. The child of the man I love more than anything in this world. Do you honestly think I could terminate this pregnancy and abort your child? Tom, I could never do that.“ I wipe away the tears from his face and then place his hand on my stomach again. „That's a part of you in there. Did you know that our pumpkin can already suck on its thumb?“

„Yes, I do“, Tom half laughs, half sobs.

„Abortion wasn't an option for me right when I found out I was pregnant, and it certainly isn't now. If there is even the slightest chance that I can carry this baby to term or at least viability, then I will do everything to make that happen. Even if it means 26 weeks weeks of bedrest. I will do this.“ Tom gives me a sad smile and nods. „And because this is your baby, you also get to feel everything you feel right now, you hear me?! Tom, look at me.“

After a moment of hesitation, he looks directly into my eyes. „I'm scared, Kat. So scared. And I feel...helpless.“

„I know.“ I run my fingers through his hair.

„And I...I can't lose either one of you. I just can't.“

„I know“, I say once more and try to fight back my tears.

Without saying another word, Tom kicks off his shoes and climbs into bed where he immediately pulls me into his arms. I bury my face in his chest and let go of all the emotions inside me. He slowly rocks me back and forth and strokes my hair, trying to calm me.

„I really wanted to be married to you“, I mumble against him.

„I know“, he replies, his voice almost drowned in his sobs.

 

Chapter Text

15 weeks. 14 + 0. Our little pumpkin is the size of an apple and can sense light now. Day 4 of bedrest at home.

As I wake up from my nap on the couch, I slowly come to my senses and try to collect my thoughts. Why does it smell like a forest in here?! I open my eyes and sit up to look around the room. Holy crap! That is one big tree!

„Hello beautiful“, Tom smiles at me as he walks in from the kitchen, two cups of tea in hand. „I was just about to wake you.“

„Tom, what is this?“

„Our Christmas tree“, he replies calmly. Christmas. Right. We were planning on putting off all Christmas preparations until after the wedding. He sets the tea down on the coffee table and sits down next to me. „Do you like it?“

„It's huge!“

„You love Christmas and we definitely have the room for it. So why not have a huge Christmas tree?!“

I smile at him and give him a quick kiss. „Thank you! It's perfect! So...what are your Christmas plans?“, I ask.

„Our plans you mean...“ Whatever. „Well, I told mum, dad and Emma that I'd like to spend this Christmas just with you.“

„What?! But it's a family holiday. Don't tell me that this is what you want?!“

He sighs. „Kat, this is our first Christmas together. And it will be our last with just the two of us. Next year, our little pumpkin will crawl around the tree.“

„You don't know that...“

„Yes, I do!“ He pulls me into his lap. „The Holidays will be even more special than usual this year. And I want to embrace every second of it with you. I will say yes to dinner with the family on Christmas Eve. But the rest of the time is just for us. This is a milestone in our relationship.“ I simply smile at him, incapable of saying anything. „What? Say something, Kat.“

„Yes.“

„Yes?“

„Yes, that's what we'll do. Our first Christmas together. Just the two of us.“

*****

14 + 5. Day 9 of bedrest at home. It's Christmas Day.

„Shouldn't you be in bed?“ Tom raises an eyebrow at me.

„But it's Christmas!“

„So?! You still need to rest.“ His tone is very serious.

„But I am resting. I went from the bed straight to the couch and all I did was look at our tree. Nothing else.“ If I rest any more, I'm going to turn into a sloth.

„Did you think you could catch Santa?“, Tom asks, now with a big smile on his face.

„I thought it would be worth a try“, I giggle.

Tom sits down next to me and pulls me closer towards him. „Merry Christmas, darling.“

„Merry Christmas.“ We share a deep and sensual kiss. „I love you, Tom.“

„I love you too.“ With that, he places a black velvet box in my hands. Holy crap. Boxes like that always make my heart race.

„What is it?“

„Open it!“ He quickly kisses me again.

With shaking hands, I open the box and let my mouth fall open. Holy. Crap. I look down at the most beautiful diamond necklace. Because he wouldn't give me anything that weren't real diamonds.

„You're insane! Tom, that must have cost a fortune.“

„I saw it when I picked up our rings and it just had your name written all over it. I hope you like it...“

„Tom, it's beautiful. It's perfect! Thank you!!“ I crash my mouth on his.

„I hope there will be lots of red carpets in the future that give you an opportunity to wear it“, Tom says with a certain sadness in his voice. Speaking of that... I reach behind me and grab Tom's present to hand it to him. He slowly opens it and then he's the one with his mouth hanging wide open. „Kat, what is that?“

„It's a movie script...“ Hello Captain Obvious. „For Ben-Hur, to be exact.“

„I can see that. But why are you giving it to me?“

„Because it's yours. Not the script, I mean. The title role. If you want it.“

„What are you talking about??“ You're adorable when you're confused.

„Frank is the producer and he has already talked to the studio. Everyone signed off on it, including the director.“

„Who is directing it?“ Oh, you are gonna love this...

„Spielberg.“

„Shut. Up. Kat, are you serious?“

„Of course I am. Otherwise this would be a very cruel thing to do. Frank told me that he talked to him and he seemed delighted with the idea of you being cast. He said that after 'War Horse', he had been looking for another opportunity to work with you. So if you like the script, the job is yours. Filming is supposed to start sometime next year and...“

„Kat?!“, Tom interrupts me. „Shut up so I can kiss you.“ I smile and then lean into a passionate kiss. „Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are absolutely incredible.“

„Well, you deserve it. It's who you are. You're an actor and I know that you need this in your life to truly be happy. So I will always fight by your side if you need me to.“

„Thank you, Kat! You don't even know how much this means to me.“ Yeah, I kinda think I do. „Even though I can't even imagine being away from you for several months in a row.“ I can't either, to be honest. „But we'll figure it out. And I will make sure that you have everything you need in the new house.“

„About that...Tom, I don't think I want to move.“

„What?“

I take a deep breath. „Don't get me wrong, the houses are all beautiful. But this...this is your home. And you invited me to share it with you, so now it's my home too. This is our first Christmas here together and I don't want it to be our last one. This house if so full of memories of you and me. And I am not ready to let those go.“

„But what about when the baby comes?“

„What about it?“, I shrug my shoulders. „This is a 4-bedroom-house. As far as I know, I'm giving birth to one child. Now, I know you're bad at maths, but I think it's fairly obvious that we will have more than enough room here.“

„But our bedroom is too far away from the other rooms. That's most inconvenient for setting up a nursery.“ What man thinks about things like that?!

„So we redecorate a bit...“

„Redecorate?“ Tom looks at me with big eyes. „Now I see where we're heading with this.“

„Well...“ I blush a bit. „I never said that your house couldn't do with a bit of a female touch. All we need to do is shuffle the rooms a little bit.“

„Is that so?! What kind of shuffling do you have in mind?“

„Our current bedroom would make an ideal guest room. It's a bit away from all the other rooms, so whoever sleeps there wouldn't be woken up be the baby crying or you making me scream form multiple orgasms.“ Damn, I miss orgasms already. „We put the nursery at the end of the hallway, that's where it's the most quiet. Our bedroom next to it. And the spare room could be turned into an office for the both of us. Because it's hopefully only a matter of time until I find some projects to work on myself.“

„But what about the office space up in the gallery?“

„I thought we could turn that into a library with two big reading chairs.“

„A library?“

I nod. „Yes! I have all these unpacked boxes full of books. And you're already stacking them on the floor because you don't have enough shelves for yours.“

„I see... And you're only coming up with that as we speak?“, Tom asks and winks at me.

„I never said that“, I reply, trying to look as innocent as possible.

„Alright, whatever you want.“

„So we're staying here?“

„Yes, we're staying here. On one condition.“ Anything you want. „We're getting a piano. I know that I'm rusty but with a little bit of practice, I might even be able to play a lullaby or two to our little pumpkin.“

„I'd like that“, I say with tears in my eyes.

Tom kisses me softly. „Show me again.“ I slightly roll my eyes and then lean back to reveal my stomach to him. Two days ago, we had noticed that I'm finally showing and ever since then, staring at my belly had been Tom's favourite thing to do. „God, you're beautiful.“

„Tom, are you really going to freak out over my baby bump for the rest of the pregnancy. Because really, I'm not sure if I can...“ I am shut up by a very weird flutter in my stomach. Fucking hell, what is that?

„Kat, what is it?“ Tom's hand flies to my stomach and he caresses it protectively. „Are you in pain? Kat, talk to me.“

This feels like literal butterflies in my stomach. Or like someone is popping popcorn in there. Suddenly, I smile. „It's the baby. It's moving.“

Tom let's out a relieved breath of air. „Are you sure you're not in pain?“

„This isn't pain. This is a good thing.“ Tom still doesn't look convinced so I guide his hand to where it feels the flutter is coming from. „Can you feel that?“

He shakes his head. „I'm afraid I can't.“ Damn. He leans forward and pressed soft kisses all over my stomach. „It's okay, little one. You take your time to bond with mommy for now. She really needs it. And you and I have enough time to get to know each other once you're here with us.“ It feels like my heart is exploding. I run my fingers through his hair and stroke it gently as Tom's head rests on my abdomen. „Merry Christmas, little pumpkin!“

 

Chapter Text

Week 22. 21 + 2. Our little pumpkin is now the size of a spaghetti squash and looks like a miniature newborn. Day 53 of bedrest at home. It's Tom's birthday.

„Are you sure you feel well enough to do this?“

„Oh for fuck's sake! Tom, you've asked me that a dozen times already and the answer is still yes.“ I put on my coat and grab my purse. „I'm fine. You insisted on me getting my hair and makeup done – which still seems a bit much for a simple birthday dinner – and for the first time in more than 50 days I'm wearing something other than sweats. I feel like myself again. I'm ready.“

Tom puts one arm around me and places his palm on my baby bump. „I just worry about the two of you.“

„I know. But Doctor Gibb signed off on it. It's just dinner. I will walk to the car and I will walk to the restaurant. And apart from that, I will be sitting my ass down. So we will be fine.“

Tom kisses the tip of my nose. „Okay. Then let's go.“

We make our way to the car and drive off into the London night. Only 15 minutes later, Tom stops the car. I look outside to finally see which restaurant he's taking us to. No restaurant here. Just a bookshop. Daunt Books. I love that store. And where is the rest of the family? Weren't they supposed to meet us here?

„Tom, are you sure this is the right place?“

„Absolutely.“

He gets out of the car and then opens the door for me. He takes my hand and pulls me straight towards the front door of Daunt. What on earth is going on?! We head inside, where we are immediately greeted by Tom's parents, Emma and Sarah as well as Benedict, Sophie and Chris. Okay, what?! This was supposed to be a small family dinner.

„What is going on here? Why are we here and not at a restaurant? And what are all of you doing here?“

Sophie smiles. „We're happy to see you too, Kat.“ Sorry, didn't mean it like that. But still...what the hell?

„We're not exactly having dinner.“ Obviously. This is a bookshop. „And everyone is here because I wouldn't want to spend this evening without the people who mean the most to us.“ I understand nothing. He reaches into the pocket of his jacket and pulls out a little velvet box. He opens it and holds out our wedding rings to me. „It's time we got married, don't you think?“ You have got to be kidding!

„Are you serious? Now? Here?“

„Yes. Right now, right here. Tonight.“

„But...I can't get married in this.“ I look down at the simple blue dress I'm wearing. Well, at least my hair and makeup are on point.

Tom nods. „No, you can't. Which is why there is a dress waiting for you in a room next door. Just like I have brought a suit. Everything is ready, Kat. There's a dress, there are flowers, there's a cake. It's all ready. And more importantly...I'm ready. I don't want to spend another day not being married to you. So all you need to do is say yes.“

„Yes“, I reply under tears.

„I meant later, not now“, Tom laughs.

„I promise I'll say yes later too.“ As if there was any other answer. „But what about our pumpkin? Doctor Gibb said yes to a quiet family dinner.“

„When you were there, yes. Kat, why do you think I arranged for him to check on you this morning?! We've been planning this for weeks and I wanted to make sure that your health allows for it. I told him everything about tonight and he said that as long as you take it easy and don't dance, he won't object to it.“

I smile. „Alright then. Wait...there is no one who can give me away. I'm not walking down the aisle by myself.“

„You won't have to“, a voice from the other side of the room answers. I shoot around. What the hell are my grandparents doing here?!

I look at Tom. „I called them. Just like I called your mother. I'm afraid...“ Of course. She didn't want to come.

My grandparents are now standing next to me. „We're sorry. We know that we behaved beyond unacceptable“, my grandfather says.

„We hope it's not too late and you can still forgive us“, my grandmother adds.

I close my eyes for a moment and then take her hand. „Will you help me get ready for my wedding?“

Tears form in her eyes. „I'd love that.“

„Alright, ladies. That's where I'm taking over“, Emma enters the conversation. „Kat, we need to get you into your gown and make sure you still remember those wedding vows. Follow me.“

She ushers us into a small room where Sophie and Sarah join us shortly after. In what seems like record time, I am in a simple white wedding gown that perfectly shows off my rapidly growing belly. Emma hands me the diamond earrings Diana had given me and the diamond necklace I got from Tom for Christmas. He really did think of everything.

The door opens and Ben walks in, carrying the exact flower bouquet I had picked for our initial wedding. Like I said...everything. Ben hands me the flowers. „Are you ready?“

„I think so, yes.“ As ready as one can be for a surprise wedding.

„And how are you feeling?“

„I'm alright. We both are“, I say and caress my belly.

„Alright then. Let's get you married. Ladies, if you would follow me...“

Everyone follows him so that I am left alone in the room. And then my grandfather enters.

„You look beautiful!“

„Thank you. I...I'm really glad you're here.“

„So am I. Now that I see you in that dress...I wouldn't want to miss this for the world.“

We both smile and then he takes my arm to lead me towards the altar. Altar. Bookshelf. Whatever. We walk up the stairs and I do my best not to trip. Dear god, I am nervous. While I'm trying to drink in the room full of bookshelves, music starts playing. I turn my head to see where it is coming from. No fucking way! He bloody hired Ed Sheeran. As we walk through the room, I look around to see who is here. James and Diana. Emma and who appears to be her new boyfriend Jack. Sarah and her family. Sophie with Kit and Cathy. Ken and his wife. Luke. Elsa with the kids. My grandmother. Chris as the Best Man, Sophie as my Maid of Honour. Ben who will be the one to marry us. And then I see him. He's wearing a black three-piece suit that fits him perfectly. I am about the marry this perfect man. Somebody pinch me. Only snippets of Ed's lyrics now actually reach my brain. I am completely lost in Tom's gaze. And he in mine.

I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you're holding mine

Yes, I am yours. You own my heart entirely.

We reach the wedding arch built out of books where I hand the flowers over to Sophie. My grandfather kisses my cheek and hugs me tightly. And then he places my hands in Tom's. In this moment, the rest of the room disappears and it's just the two of us.

Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know

You make me strong. Ever since you started loving me, I've been able to endure so much more than before. Because I am no longer alone.

I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own

Tom squeezes my hands and I can see the fear in his eyes. It's going to be alright. We're fine. Our pumpkin is fine. Don't worry about us. We will be fine.

Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don't deserve this
You look perfect tonight

Tears are streaming down my face. Suddenly, I am ripped out of my thoughts by the feeling of a small hand on my leg. I look down to see Christopher standing next to me. „Don't cry“, he says in an innocent voice that is answered by little laughters in the room.

„It's okay, champ“, Ben says. „Your auntie Kat is just very happy. And sometimes people cry when they're happy. No go and sit with mum, okay?“ Christopher nods and walks back to his seat. Ben smiles at me and reaches into his jacket to pull out a handkerchief, which he hands to me.

„Thank you“, I sniffle.

„I knew you'd need it“, Ben replies with a wink. Then he clears his throat. „Love is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define, and impossible to live without. Love isn't perfect. It isn't a fairytale or a storybook. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go. Love is work, but most of all, love is realising that every hour, every minute, every second of it was worth it because you did it together. Some of us here today have watched you during your struggle to find your way to one another. I think it's safe to say that everyone knew you two were meant for each other long before you were willing to admit it. But I am glad that you both finally realised what we have known for so long. They say that love is friendship caught fire. And while you two have never really been friends, and instead went from pretending to loathe each other straight to being madly in love, you have managed to become best friends over the past months. Tom, I have known you for many years now and never before have I seen you this happy. It is wonderful to see how everything you've been running from for so long is now finally happening to you. Because I know how much, deep down, you've always dreamed of it. Kat, you are definitely the most pleasant surprise in my life in the past few years. And while we may not look back on years of friendship yet, I know that this right here is a dream come true for you. Both of you are my friends. You are people I love and it fills me with joy to know that you are both getting your happy ending today. It is about damn time, if you ask me.“

Tom and I both laugh, as well as everyone else in the room. Answering Ben's signal, the music starts once more and again I only pay attention to little parts of the lyrics.

Tell me that you turned down the man
Who asked for your hand
'Cause you're waiting for me

I've always been waiting for you. My entire life. I might not have known it. But now that I found you, I know that you are the man I have always been looking for. Nobody could every give me what you give me. I could never love anyone else the way I love you.

And all my friends have gone to find
Another place to let their hearts collide
Just promise me, you'll never leave
'Cause you are the only one

Yes, you are the one. And I'm not going anywhere.

The music ends and Ben turns to us again. „Before we get to the part we're all here for, I believe you two want to say a few words to one another.“ Tom and I both nod. „Who will begin?“

„I will“, I say. Because once he starts talking, I will be a crying mess and unable to say a single word apart from yes. I take Tom's hands in mine again and look directly into his eyes. „I always wanted to find true, unconditional, knock your socks off, eternal love. Until I met you, I didn't even come close to experiencing that kind of love. Not only have I found that love with you, it's better than anything I could have ever imagined. Being loved by you is everything and I am grateful for it every single day. You're smart, funny, kind, caring, strong, understanding, very very handsome and just an alltogether amazing man. You are everything I could look for in a partner. You have changed my life and I want to thank you for everything you have given me. In return, I give you my heart forever and I promise that I will always do my best to love you in the way you deserve to be loved. I will always support you and hold your hand whenever you need me to. I am yours. Now and forever.“

Tom looks at me with watery eyes and then clears his throat. Don't cry. „Kat, I can't promise you that dark clouds will never hover over our lives. I can't promise you that tomorrow will be perfect or that life will be easy.“ So I'm getting married to a poet then... „What I can promise you is my everlasting devotion, my loyalty, my respect, and my unconditional love for a lifetime.“ Don't cry, don't cry... „I can promise that I'll always be here for you, to listen and to hold your hand, and I'll always do my best to make you happy and make you feel loved. I can promise that I'll see you through any crisis. I can promise that I'll laugh with you, cry with you, dream with you.“ ...aaaand I'm crying... „I can promise that I will always be here to encourage you and cheer you on, no matter which goal you set your mind on reaching. I can promise that I'll willingly be your protector, your advisor, your shoulder to lean on, your friend, your family, your everything. I can promise to be yours. Now and forever.“

I try my best to get in control of my tears but fail miserably. I am a crying mess, struggling with a sea of emotions inside me. They're all happy tears. But dear god, I wish I could stop crying. Sophie and Chris both hand us one of the rings and then Ben turns to us once more.

„Tom, do you take Kat to be your lawfully wedded wife?“

„I do“, Tom says with a huge smile on his face. He slips the ring on my finger, which fits surprisingly well given my pregnancy.

„And Kat, do you take Tom to be your lawfully wedded husband?“

I smile. „I do“ With that, I slip the ring on Tom's finger as well. „Holy crap!“ My hand flies to my stomach, trying to locate and define the sudden weird sensation.

All colour vanishes from Tom's face. „Kat, what is it? Are you in pain?“ Kinda. But...this is a good kind of pain. I take his hand and press it on my belly. His eyes widen. Yes, that's our baby moving. „It's moving. Oh Kat...“ A relieved sigh comes from everyone in the room.

With Tom's hand still resting on my stomach, Ben continues. „I think now is as good a time as any to say this... Before I pronounce you married partners, there is one more thing I want you to do.“ What? I said 'I do'. What else is required of me?! „Your wedding day is one that seems to fly.“ Yes, especially if the bride is surprised like that. „It's a day filled with emotion, friends, rings and dances. It's such a fleeting day that you're at risk of forgetting certain details. So I want you to take a few seconds to look into each other's eyes.“ Once again, Tom and I look at each other, both overwhelmed by our emotions. „Think about the happiness that you are feeling in this place, in this very moment. Remember it. Really let that feeling register in your heart and your mind. Now, I want you to think about your life together in 20 years. Where are you? What are you doing? We all know that your visions of the future are not identical, but always complimentary. John Lennon once said that a dream you dream alone is only a dream. But a dream you dream together is reality. For you, this new reality starts now, as I officially declare you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride. Just please make sure we don't all blush.“

„Finally“, Toms gasps and pulls me into his arms. He presses his lips on mine, pouring every single emotion into the kiss. I vaguely hear applause from everyone else who is in the room, but I don't really pay attention. He is my husband now. When we break the kiss, his forehead rests against mine for a moment.

„Congratulations“, Ben says with a beaming smile on his face. He pulls us both in for a hug, starting a neverending streak of everyone congratulating us. For me, there is only one thought on my mind, though. He is my husband now.

More than two hours later, after a delicious three-course meal, the cutting of the cake, our first dance to Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud' and more pictures than the photographer had already taken during the ceremony, I sit in one of the big armchairs in the room and look around to drink in the atmosphere.

Ed Sheeran is still playing live. My grandparents are dancing with each other, as are Emma and Jack. Tom is dancing with his mother, Luke dances