A sentimental heart - Ch 11, a short story by angie65. Date added: 2012-08-20. Times viewed: 2780.
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- Intro: A cool head against a warm heart; which will win in the end?
Not for the first time, Miranda was dreaming, but oh it was such a dream!
She was dreaming of Marcus, he was with her in her bed; he was touching her flesh and kissing her skin.
She groaned huskily but refused to open her eyes – to wakeup fully, only to find that she was alone – again…
“Just a dream,” she murmured again, and a tear of regret rolled down her cheek.
“Wake up Miranda…” his voice was so close, she could feel the warmth of his breath.”
“Wake up!” he urged again as he leaned over her, and his lips found hers, to massage and manipulate, to encourage and seduce.
The pressure was butterfly light, and for a little while she resisted his persuasions.
But his hands began to stroke down her body, and cupped her breasts, and the bolt of sheer pleasure had her eyes wide open and her back arched, as she woke up fully and found that he did not disappear with the last waves of sleep.
She smiled up at him with pure delight, and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck.
“Oh Marcus… I do love you so!”
He captured her lips and kissed her deeply, as he dismissed the feelings her declaration had provoked.
His lovemaking had a note of urgency to it, that Miranda met head on, and actively encouraged, as he thrust hard into her and pulled her closer, holding her tighter.
He rolled over suddenly taking her with him so the she was lying down the full length of him, and as her legs slipped down to rest alongside his, he again thrust up hard, cupping her bottom so that she had no choice but to meet his thrusts.
He was buried deep into her, so deep that she felt she would explode… tear apart.
And in a way she did, when his climax came and he flooded into her, Miranda screamed out her own orgasm, feeling so whole… so complete, she fell down on top of him to cry and sob all over him, she had thought that he no longer wanted her...
They were meant to be together, she knew it; and somewhere deep inside him – Marcus knew it too, he just hadn’t realised it yet!
He made love to her twice more as the night gave way to morning, and each time it was with a need that had her heart swelling, and her hopes singing; and when he finally fell to sleep again, it was with Miranda wrapped tight in his arms, holding her as though he never wanted to let her go again.
She was busy making breakfast when he joined her in the kitchen the next morning, and as Miranda turned to smile at him, she saw the change.
He never quite met her eyes, and his smile never quite reached its summit.
His lips curved but they dropped again almost immediately, and the message was loud and clear.
Last night had been a mistake… he regretted what had happened, even though he had repeated it – twice more!
She placed the food in front of him, and sat across from him with a bowl of cereal.
“Thank you,” again, even though he looked at her – his eyes never quite met hers.
He ate down his breakfast as fast as he could – without showing ill manners. And the cup of tea washed it down nicely.
He glanced at his watch as he stood up.
“I should be going now,” he murmured apologetically.
Miranda followed him to the front door.
“I hope that you find your father feeling better today… Marcus.”
He turned as she said his name. “Thank you… and thank you again for all that you did… and for last night.”
His tone was husky and again there was that faint note of apology there.
“You’re welcome Marcus… anytime.”
He pulled open the front door and stepped out onto the path.
“Goodbye Miranda – take care of yourself, and ask Peter to give me a call when he finds the time.”
He was already through the gate before she had her breath to utter that one feeble word.
She closed the door sadly knowing that she had said the wrong thing last night... one little sentence, and now she just knew that Marcus now felt under pressure from her, awkward and maybe even obligated towards her.
“Oh why did I tell him that I love him... now it’s going to be impossible working with him, I’ll need to find another job;” she murmured softly, “we both agreed that working together would be difficult if we developed a personal relationship…” She smiled to herself suddenly, as she stopped at the foot of the stairs. “Maybe that’s the answer?”
She walked upstairs to take a shower and prepare herself for another trying day of fielding questions, without betraying Marcus’s confidences.
It was still quite early in the morning and her shower was a leisurely one, where she gently ran her hands down her body, following the path of Marcus’s kisses… his hands, his tongue.
There were small marks here and there, around her nipples and at the top of her thigh, where his worshiping had become a little more – enthusiastic.
She smiled softly as she tenderly stroked over his ‘love-bites’.
It was another difficult morning, and Miranda stayed at her desk through her dinner, having called down to the local cob shop, and asked if they could bring something up for her.
Peter came strolling in at just after two o’clock, and it was all she could do not to rush over to him, and fling her arms around his neck – and then sob all over him.
“You look tired,” she observed sympathetically.
“It was a long flight, and it’ll probably take me a couple of days to get back to normal again,” he shrugged his shoulders dismissively.
He strolled over to Marcus’s desk and sat in the chair tiredly. “I dropped Mrs Rogers off, on my way in… I don’t think you can expect her back until after the weekend though – she looked exhausted, poor thing.”
He paused for a moment before looking directly at her. “Has there been any word on A… Marcus’s father?”
“The doctors think that he has a good chance, that with the right treatment he could make a very good recovery.”
“That’s something then… and have you seen anything of Amanda?”
“A little,” she admitted slowly, “she was with her mum and they were both trying to be strong, each for the other,” she smiled a little smile, as she pictured the mother and daughter together… so much alike, and yet so very different.
“Marcus asked if you could call him, when you got the chance,” she said as she stood up.
Peter picked up the phone and began thumping in a number that he obviously knew very well.
“Hi Marcus, its Peter here… yes I’ve just got into the office…”
“I’ll go and make us a cup of tea,” Miranda murmured as she picked up her mug and left the room.
The pressure came off Miranda – once word got around that Peter was back; but as the afternoon wore to an end she worried for him, he looked so very tired.
“I think that we should treat ourselves to a taxi tonight,” she said as she slipped her jacket over her shoulders.
The week continued in the same vein, the staff at Phillip’s Pharmaceuticals, knew that something had happened with Marcus – they just didn’t know what, and so people were on edge and more than a little bit snappy.
Most of it went Peter’s way and Miranda watched how he shrugged it off and dealt with the person sharply, making sure they knew their place and dealing with their problem competently – more than competently in fact.
As the weekend approached she noticed the change – once they knew that Peter was running things, and seemed to be more than capable – they started to relax again – figuring that they’d be told what they needed to know – when the needed to know it.
It was Friday afternoon when Marcus came strolling in, and about half an hour after Peter had nipped out for some lunch; and Miranda was typing up some documents.
“Good afternoon Marcus,” she exclaimed in surprise, “How is your…” she trailed off as she didn’t want to appear indiscrete in the work place – not after his specific request for her to keep his personal business – private.
“He’s doing very well thank you Miranda – I’m sure that Peter has kept you informed of his progress?”
She nodded her head, a little and forced a smile that hid the hurt – that now she was forced to get any information, second hand and begrudging from Peter.
Peter had been in touch with Marcus on a day to day basis – keeping him updated of any problems and decisions, which he’d made or dealt with.
And Peter had also been disappearing for a couple of hours each evening, ‘popping out for a bit,’ was how he put it, without any further explanation.
Miranda knew that he was out with Amanda, but figured it was none of her business – if he didn’t wish to talk about it.
She also gathered that Amanda was talking to him about her father and her mother… and Marcus; but as he didn’t wish to talk about Amanda then she couldn’t very well ask about the rest of her family.
Her information therefore was mostly coming from any discussion she happened to overhear between Peter and Marcus… and any offhand comments, which Peter may have given.
“He’s told me a little, but since he’s not comfortable discussing you and your family…” she shrugged her shoulders.
“Well then… my father is doing very well thank you Miranda – in fact the doctors are contemplating allowing him to come home, at some point next week,” Marcus told her in a quiet, painfully polite voice – that just grated along her fragile nerve ends.
“Will you hire a nurse – do you think… to help your mum…”
His eyes glinted with some emotion, and Miranda’s voice trailed off.
“I never really thought… yes… yes that might well be the answer…” he murmured thoughtfully, he looked away for a moment before fixing her with his dark eyes again. “I came in to have a word with Peter, but since he’s not here…”
“He’s just popped out for some lunch,” Miranda cut in. “He should be back any minute now… I could make a coffee for you – if you can spare the time?”
Miranda blushed at how pathetically eager she was for his company – how pathetic she must sound to Marcus.
“Thank you Miranda,” he laughed suddenly and it made her jump, it sounded so… forced. “I keep saying this to you – but it is the simple truth, you are very kind.”
By the time she came back with the two steaming mugs, Peter was back as well, and the two men were deep in discussions about something or other to do with the company.
Miranda handed Marcus one cup and then gave hers to Peter.
“I’ll just go and make a fresh one for myself,” she excused herself quietly.
She fled the room and the opportunity to sit and stare adoringly across at Marcus – or suffering the pains of being ignored by him.
She hung out in the small kitchenette instead, sipping at her coffee – and waiting for Marcus to go striding by.
She was just rinsing out her mug when the telltale shadow fell.
It slowed and came to a halt, and she turned around to find him staring at her, and standing much to close for comfort.
“I shall be coming in to work as normal on Monday,” he said formally, “and with Peter back as well, you’ll be free to return to your own office... your own desk.”
“Very well, Marcus,” she said quietly – not allowing any emotion to show through.
“I’m on my way to the hospital now, so…” she really wished that he didn’t feel so uncomfortable around her – but he obviously did!
She opened her mouth to say something, but found herself sick of mouthing the same old platitudes.
“Don’t forget to look after yourself as well, Marcus – don’t push yourself too hard,” she advised instead.
His smile was slightly mocking. “I won’t Miranda…” he hesitated as though he wanted to say something, but was fighting the need; before finally sighing with what sounded like frustration. “I’ll be off then… goodbye.”
“Goodbye Marcus… I…” he had gone before she could say the foolish words she had been about to say.
She could just see how it was going to be between them from now on, and after their intimacy – their closeness, Miranda was not sure that she could deal with Marcus treating her like some – casual employee.
“Yes it’s definitely time to get another job!” she muttered as she turned back to the sink.
“I think that we should hire a private nurse,” Marcus announced suddenly on the following Monday morning, he was dressed in a smart suit and after dropping his mother off at the hospital, and popping in to say hello to his father – he planned to return to work.
His mother looked across the breakfast table at him in surprise. “I… don’t know Marcus…” she began hesitantly, “I think… that I’d rather nurse him myself…”
He stretched out his hand to pat hers, as he smiled at her reassuringly. “I know mum… and there is no reason why you can’t help… but don’t you think that dad would have a better chance of a full recovery – if he was nursed by a professional?”
A tear trickled down her cheek. “Well if you think that it would be for the best… but won’t it be frightfully expensive?”
Marcus gave a little sigh. “It’s not like we can’t afford it – and it won’t be for ever… shouldn’t even be for very long really – if his nursing is done properly… I contacted a private nursing agency yesterday and explained our needs… and they think that two nurses on a split part time shift each would be beneficial…”
“Two strangers – coming into our home?”
“Two qualified professionals – coming in to help dad make the best recovery that he can,” Marcus corrected.
His mother thought about it for a moment – as she thought of her once vibrant and strong husband – now a shell of his former self. “I’d very much like to get my husband back,” she whispered tearfully.
They sat for a while in silence – each of them thinking their own thoughts.
It was as they were sipping their coffee, that his mum suddenly gave another sigh, and then looked across at him purposefully.
“Your young lady… Miranda isn’t it…”
“She’s hardly my young lady!” Marcus cut in as the colour flared across his cheekbones, clearly showing his discomfort to his observant parent.
“Well any way, she was very helpful to us… to me… and well… I’d like to invite her over for dinner one evening – to say thank you to her properly…” as her son opened his mouth as though to argue with her, she continued determinedly. “See to it for me please Marcus… when you go into work today.”
He hesitated for a moment and she sipped contentedly at her coffee, as though the discussion was at an end.
“Very well mother.”
She hid her smile behind her cup, he sounded just as he had when he was a child; doing something because he’d been told to do it – but not because he particularly wanted to do it.
His tone just oozed reluctance, and she thought that it was a little excessive – since she hadn’t told him that he had to be there…
“I think that dinner with just the two of us might be nice…” she murmured thoughtfully, “I could find out a little more about… that brother of hers – since Amanda seems to have such an interest in him.”
Miranda had been sat at her desk for over an hour when Marcus came breezing in.
“What no Mrs. Rogers yet?” he asked as he glanced across at the empty desk.
Miranda shrugged her shoulders lightly. “Oh, I’m sure that she’ll be in before long, did you need her for something?” she asked politely.
He glanced over his shoulder before walking fully into the room.
“Well, as a matter of fact I wanted to have a quick word with you…”
“Oh?” who would have known from her cool expression, that her heartbeat had just gone into orbit?
“Yes… I’ve a message from my mother actually… she would like to invite you over to dinner one evening – as a thank you for all that you did the other day.”
“Well… that’s very kind of her – but it really isn’t necessary…” she began doubtfully.
Marcus held out his hands. “I’m just the messenger here Miranda – and the only message that I’m expected to take back is… which evening is best for you?”
“Well, in that case… how about tomorrow?”
Marcus nodded his head in agreement. “That sounds perfect, now… how will you get there?”
Miranda dismissed her empty purse as she smiled up at him in reassurance, “Oh I can get a taxi easily enough.”
“Very well then, I’ll inform my mother and tell her to expect you about six thirty?”
His eyebrow went up in casually enquiry, and Miranda thought of the rush to be; home, changed and on his mum’s doorstep for six thirty…
“I’ll be there,” she promised lightly.
Mrs Rogers came trudging into the room at that moment and Marcus turned to address her.
“Good morning Mrs Rogers – it’s good to have you back.”
It was a scramble to get there, but Miranda found herself on Mrs Phillips doorstep at bang on half past six.
“Ah there you are!” Mrs Phillips declared warmly as she pulled the door open.
It was a little bit awkward to start with – but Mrs Phillips was every inch the perfect hostess, and the food that she served up was mouth wateringly delicious… and a couple of glasses of wine helped to relax Miranda and loosen her tongue…
“So it’s just been you and your brother for the last few years?” Mrs Phillips murmured sympathetically. “That must have been very difficult for you – as the older sister?”
Miranda shrugged her shoulders with a little smile. “Peter is a grown man – and more than able to take care of himself…”
“Now – maybe… but five years ago?”
“He was always a responsible sort of person – but it was a horrible time for both of us…”
Mrs Phillips was a warm and soothing hostess – and under her gentle but persistent promptings – Miranda found herself telling her – more than she perhaps wanted to. She was also sly enough to allow snippets of Marcus’s past to pop into their conversations...
“And there can’t have been much opportunity for either of you to… how do you put it these days – date?” she asked now as she deftly swung the topic back to Miranda and her brother.
Miranda’s blush was still in her cheeks when Marcus walked in, and he couldn’t help but think how beautiful she was.
“I was passing and so thought that I would see if you need a lift back home?” he explained lightly.
Miranda was silent beside him as she thought over some of the little titbits of information which Marcus’s mother had ‘let slip’.
Marcus glanced across at her thoughtful expression and gave a little sigh even as his attention remained fixed on his driving.
“I hope that my mother wasn’t too... demanding?” he asked suddenly and Miranda blinked her way back to the present.
“No... Not at all... she was, very kind... very gracious towards me...”
“Yes... he agreed solemnly – she’s always like that... even when she pulling the information from you, she makes you feel like she’s actually confiding in you!”
“Oh but she d...” Miranda cut off her heated reply abruptly, “I... I mean to say... that she didn’t make me feel like that at all!”
He pulled up outside her house – only to find it in darkness.
“What no Peter?” he asked glancing out of his car window.
“No... He’s out with... friends and he won’t be home until later – he said.”
Marcus felt a rush of adrenalin as he climbed out of the car and walked her to her front door.
All the time that she was fumbling through her purse Miranda was debating on whether or not to invite him inside.
She just knew for certain, that if he came inside then they would end up in bed together... and if she was to invite him in – then he would take it as an invitation to make love to her.
She bit her lip as she thought about the job interview which she would be attending tomorrow... she’d seen the advert in the local job centre and had phoned up the company immediately.
The gentleman who she’d spoken to – had heard of Phillip’s Pharmaceuticals, and was eager to meet up with her for an interview.
She found her keys in her bag, and as she pulled them out she looked up at Marcus.
This could well be the last time that she would be alone with him...
“Would you like to come inside Marcus?” she asked hesitantly.
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