The First Ninety Days Ch. 02byCWatson©
When Caitlyn awoke again, something was pressing her in an inappropriate place.
Once again it took a while to understand the surroundings, and it wasn't really until she saw Jon's face that everything fell into place. Then she felt his arms around her, felt his shoulder pillowing her head, his cheek pressed against hers, his entire body pressed down the length of hers. She was naked—they both were—and the thing poking her in the inappropriate place turned out to be his erection, pressing up between her thighs.
She could also feel an odd sort of crust drying on the inside of her legs. That was another thing nobody had ever told her about.
We did it, she thought to herself. We did it. In every sense of the word. We're married. It's done. I... I am Mrs. Caitlyn Stanford.
It's going to take a while to get used to that.
It was hard to tell what time it was; she couldn't see the clock, and whatever sunlight was pouring down on the Earth was being mollified by the overcast sky. It was her favorite season, because everything was so timeless; morning and afternoon and evening blended together in a grey slurry of diffuse light and everpine green. Plus, if they got lucky, it would rain. She had always loved rain. She especially loved rain in Jon's company.
She sort of wanted to know what time it was, and it would be nice to relieve her bladder, but Jon was still asleep, and it was too darned nice here in his arms. It was a little awkward with his neck and head arching over hers—a bit muggy, from lack of air circulation—but not uncomfortable. In fact, she couldn't recall ever feeling this well-rested. Or this relaxed. Or this... Loved.
She remembered now what they had done last night—his hands on her breasts, the urgent heat between her legs, and finally his member inside her—and the thought made her blush, both at the idea of having actually had sex and at the fact that she kind of wanted to do it again. Maybe not now, but, soon, definitely soon. She certainly understood now why Jon had always been eager to push their physical activities past the realm of the clothed. It hadn't been the earth-breaking, life-shattering event some people said it was; in fact, it had been downright uncomfortable to have his penis inside of her. But he'd said it would feel good eventually, and the whole rest of it had been so wonderful that she was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
He never made a fuss about it, but I know he chafed at having to wait until marriage to do this. Well... I think it was a good idea to wait—it's not like we were hurt by playing it safe—but I'm also glad we don't have to wait anymore.
She remembered the first time he had managed to get her motor running. He'd kissed her ears before that night, but never her neck, and when he did, all the rest of the world had fallen away. "I've never felt like that before," she had confessed afterwards. "I never knew I could feel that way before." And he had smiled and said, "That's what I'm here for."
She had never known she could feel this way either: comfortable, safe, sheltered... And satisfied, satisfied in more ways than she could explain. It was like nothing could touch her here.
Except for the things she wanted to touch her.
When she kissed his shoulder, he stirred, and when she kissed his neck, he said, "Mmmm." She had only done it a few times before in her life.
"Good morning," she said.
"Good morning, Mrs. Stanford," he said.
"Hee," she said. "It's going to take a while to get used to that."
"Then I shall say it every morning," he said, "until it is as natural to you as breathing."
"Can you see the clock?"
"Oh, is that all you woke me up for?"
"Heehee. I'm just curious."
"It's a little before ten."
"Hmm. I should get up. But. I'm so comfortable here."
"So am I. But I have to pee again."
"Yeah. And after... What we did earlier... I should probably take a shower again."
"Hmm." She heard his smile. "That sounds like a good idea. I think I'll join you."
"What?" she said. "In the shower?"
"Why not? It's big enough for the two of us. And I can help you wash your hair."
On second thought, that did sound nice. "Well, since you ask so nicely..."
He spooled up the shower while she used the toilet, and then joined him under the warm spray. He took her into his arms immediately and kissed her, heedless of the water coming down on them, and after a moment she closed her eyes and let him. He was right, the shower was indeed big enough for two. Actually, maybe even more than that. Which would be really weird, but I hear some people like that sort of thing.
When they broke apart, his penis was at full staff again, poking at her belly. "Umm," she said. She had enjoyed their session in bed, but she wasn't sure she was up for a repeat performance.
"Oh, um," he said. "It does that."
"Yeah. It does that a lot. It doesn't take a whole lot for it to go hard."
"What, so, you mean— Every time we've kissed, for the last, like, year and a half—"
He shrugged, embarrassed.
"That's... That's kinda..."
"It's just what it does. I don't have control over it. And most of the time you couldn't tell, right? 'cause I was wearing pants."
"Yeah, but..." The thought that, for over a year, he'd had that thing pointing at her... Had she married a nymphomaniac? He had said it was normal, but surely that couldn't be so.
"Look, baby," he said. "Bottom line, it comes down to you. It's you that makes this thing get ready for action, and it's you that decides how and when it gets any action. If we moved too fast last night, you just say the word and we'll slow down. There is nothing that will happen in this marriage that you don't want."
And the thing was, he meant it. She knew he meant it. He had made promises like these many times before, and always kept them. And love welled up inside her and she reached for him and hugged him close, and if that meant he got an erection, that was okay, because there were worse prices to pay for having her beloved close at hand.
He did wash her hair, lathering the shampoo into her long mane of night-dark hair with tender and obvious affection. It felt remarkably good to have him attend to her like that, and she thought she might want to shower with him a bit more frequently. She washed his back, too, and most of his front as well, though she left his private parts for him to take care of. He did no such thing; he washed her everything. It made her a bit uncomfortable to have him wandering around down there, especially with soapy hands, but she said nothing, and he was gracious about it. And, to her surprise, he didn't try to start anything sexual. His erection was always there, sometimes up, sometimes down, but never really fading entirely, but he seemed content to ignore it.
After they had toweled off (he helped with that too), she got dressed in some of the clothes her father had sent her, while he called Polkiss-Leyton Dentistry. "Good news," he said, "they're okay with me taking the day off. Actually, they're okay with me taking the week off, but I'm not sure I will."
"Today, at least, though," she said. It had been over a month since they'd gotten to actually spend an entire day together—much less the twenty-four hours they'd be approaching at about 4 this afternoon—and she didn't want to miss a moment of it.
"Yeah," he said. "We've got a lot of stuff to do, anyway."
"Like what," she said.
"Well... To start with, we need to raid your house and get some of your stuff," he said. "I have no real idea how to move your harp, especially not in Buffy—" (that was what Melinda had named the Celica) "—but your clothes and other things we can at least retrieve. Anything else, we should buy."
"We might want to start a joint bank account," she said. "Pool our assets."
"If you're serious about finding a job, now's the time to start."
"We should probably look for a place of our own."
"You're right, we do have a lot of things to do."
"Good thing we got out of bed, huh."
"Yeah. But it was comfortable there."
He smiled. "The bed'll still be there when we get back."
They started off towards the Delaney house. It was on the way when Jon saw something that made him slap his forehead in anxiety. "Holy crap, we also gotta get some condoms."
"Condoms? You know, birth control? Something like that?"
They were passing by the Planned Parenthood, she realized. "That's a really good point." They had first spoken of children a long time ago, and decided to hold off on that part of their lives for at least a few years.
"God, I should've remembered last night when we were doing it," he said. He knew she didn't like it when he took the Lord's name in vain, and normally he was pretty good about it. He must be really worried. "I've got some, they were right there in the nightstand. I can't believe I forgot."
Why he had condoms, she didn't want to know. "I remembered." If she had known, she might've made a different decision.
"What? Then why didn't you say something?"
"I... I just. I thought... Jon, it was our first time. Your first time, my first time, our first time together. I didn't want... I wanted it to be pure." There was that too. What a drag it would've been to have to stop and put on a condom. "Just you and me, with nothing artificial in the way, just the way God intended it."
"Yeah, but..." (She had no idea how much that pleased him; nor would he be able to communicate it for quite some time.) "What if you get pregnant?"
She gave a deep sigh. That was the question, wasn't it. "Dad used to say that he believes in a woman's right to choose. And, when she has sex, she's made her choice."
"If it happens, it happens."
"We're not ready for a baby."
"I know." She sighed. "Maybe it wasn't the smartest choice."
"Maybe it wasn't," he agreed. But his hand caught hers and squeezed it fast, and she knew how much he appreciated it.
Caitlyn had been pretty sure her mom would be out at school—probably halfway through the reading course of the day—and she was right; Dad was out to work as well. Only Rex, the collie, was there to greet them, which he did, with marked enthusiasm. As always, he paid extra attention to Jon's pants. Caitlyn had always been embarrassed on his behalf, but Jon took it in stride. "Yes, Rex, cats. There are such things in the world as cats, and their hair gets on my pants. Sheesh, you'd think after a year and a half..."
A thought occurred to Caitlyn, and she blushed. "Maybe he smells... What we did."
Rex immediately nosed over and started sniffing at her crotch.
Jon's eyebrows jumped. Caitlyn, her face red, stifled a giggle.
It was going to be hard to leave her two closets behind. Dressing well (and stylishly, if eccentrically) was one of her favorite habits, and once Nathan had moved out she had claimed his room, and especially his closet, with alacrity. But there wasn't time for a lengthy debate; she had already been making decisions in the car, and once they got up to her room, she sent Jon for a suitcase and immediately began pulling things out. The vast majority of it, she knew, she would have to leave behind; she was only taking that which she absolutely could not bear to leave behind. The Winnie-the-Pooh coveralls, for instance. How could she live without those?
She took a moment to look around the room. She had a lot of stuff, she realized. She had decorated the room herself, on the Victorian principle that every spare ounce of space should be used. The shelf above her bed was covered in Beanie Babies, and much of her doll furniture was on display on the dressers and tables. None of it was practical. She would have to leave all of it here. This was a goodbye that would be a lot harder to make.
She gathered up her cosmetics, her toiletries, and what Jon called her hair-control devices. She picked up a few personal effects, like her journal, and stowed them in her backpack along with her schoolbooks. Her full-size harp, which was taller than Jon, they were not able to bring, but she took her Celtic lap harp as well as her oboe, and they only-half-jokingly talked about wedging the three-quarters harp in the back seats. If they laid it its spine on the floor, curve side upward and the base towards one of the doors, it might fit; but it would probably be damaged during the trip. It would have to remain as well.
Their next stop was a local bank branch, there to pool their financial assets. Caitlyn had thought to bring her checkbook, but Jon had not, so they went to his bank (Citibank) to unite their monies as they had their lives. It took about an hour to close Jon's personal account and transfer its assets to the new one they had opened in their names ("Jon and Caitlyn Stanford" was what would appear on the checks). Caitlyn was astounded at the total assets: nearly forty thousand dollars in stocks, bonds and liquid capital. "What, did you win the lottery or something," she asked once they were out of the building.
"No," said Jon, embarrassed. "I opened that account when I was ten. I've been putting stuff in it ever since. Then my dad's been playing the stock market on my behalf—we did some good work off of Google, we jumped on the Marvel Comics bandwagon, stuff like that. Plus, most of my extended family just gives me money on holidays. And I've been working at Polkiss-Leyton for about a year now, which is, you know, thirty thousand in itself, after taxes. I don't have much in the way of expenses... Well, clearly, enough to have eaten through most of the rest of my savings. But that's over the course of a lifetime. I mean, I only really started making money once I started working at Polkiss-Leyton. Basically, I just... Saved."
"We'll probably be okay financially for a while," said Caitlyn, eyeing the statement.
"Probably," said Jon. "But maybe not. What if you need a car all of a sudden?—which you will, considering that, with my schedule, there's no way I could drop you off at school at a reasonable time."
She hadn't even considered that. "I... I could take the bus," she said. Cars were... What, twenty or thirty thousand dollars? And that was on top of her school payments and whatever living expenses they might accrue. ...Wait, school? Oh heck, I'm supposed to be in class right now! Finals are next week!
"You could," said Jon. "Which reminds me, we probably have to do DMV paperwork to transfer Buffy to my ownership."
"Can we get lunch first?" she asked. "It's noon." Class would have to wait. She had more important things to spend the day on. And more important people, too.
As they ate, a thought occurred to her. "I guess we didn't get a chance to write our own vows."
"Yeah," Jon said.
"I hope that was okay with you," she said. She had been rather surprised when he'd brought up the suggestion—he hadn't realized he would take such an interest in their promises to each other—but she'd been willing to go along with it. After all, she was writing hers.
"Actually... Yeah. I kind of liked the traditional ones."
"Yeah, there's something very... Final about them. It's fitting. I mean, we really have made a significant commitment to one another, and I don't think any vow I could've written would have reflected that."
She smiled. "That was why I liked them too. I like the thought that there's nothing we won't share with each other."
"Germs," he said. "Diseases. Bad housing conditions. Your french fries."
"Okay, one thing we won't share," she said, grinning.
"Hey, I asked you if you wanted fries, and you said you didn't! You could've gotten your own!"
"But I didn't, because I knew that, being my wife and all, you'd be willing to share."
"Well, I'm not. So deal with it, buster."
They giggled at each other.
After they had eaten, they went to Caitlyn's bank and arranged for her account to be closed and her funds transferred as well. This time it was Jon's eyebrows that went up. "And you were grilling me about things?"
She colored. "It's only like $20,000."
"For someone who's never had a job and whose only income is playing weddings at $250 a pop, that's not exactly a small amount of money."
"Yeah, but, I got money from my relatives too. And when Aunt Muriel passed away two years ago she split her savings up between me, Nathan and my cousins, 'cause she never had kids of her own. That was like ten thousand right there—after tax." She well remembered the fuss her father had made over that. "Pay to Caesar's what is Caesar's, yes," he'd said, "but Caesar sure seems to have an overinflated opinion of himself, doesn't he."
"Maybe we will be okay financially for a while," he said.
"Assuming I don't need a car."
"Yeah. And depending on housing."
"How are we going to find out about that?"
"How else? The Internet."
But they had two more stops to make first. Jon called his father and confirmed the DMV paperwork they would need to go through to transfer the Celica to Jon's name. That in itself took over an hour, requiring several cross-referencing phone calls back to Mr. and Mrs. Stanton for numbers, facts and other minutiae. Then, finally, they swung by the Planned Parenthood to get their ducks in order so that there wouldn't be any unexpected ducks.
The employee, a tall amazon of a woman named Sharon, offered Caitlyn a morning-after pill, but she declined; that was too close to abortion for her taste. They would just have to chance it. Sharon then asked when Caitlyn had had her last period: it had started last Wednesday and, in fact, ended just this Saturday. "You should be okay, then," said Sharon. "It's the wrong time in your cycle for ovulation. You can always take a home pregnancy test if you want to be extra sure."
Caitlyn found herself with a prescription for an oral contraceptive, which they would need a drug store to fill out. While they were at it, Jon got a box of condoms, in supplement to whatever supply he had secreted away at home: "The pill won't actually take effect for a little while," Sharon had told them. "I would at least wait until your next period occurs before you start going bareback. In the meanwhile, you'll want to find an alternative method of contraception in the meantime. Condoms are generally the way to go, but if you really want to be safe you should use more than one form of contraception. The only problem is that most of the female methods are like the pill—you have to put them in place ahead of time or else they won't be effective—and you can't really stack male methods."
"Couldn't you just put on two condoms?" Caitlyn asked.
"Not really, they don't work that way," said Sharon. "You're likely to break one or both of them trying to put the second one on, and then where have you gotten? And female condoms... Well, they suck, let's just put it that way."
"Female condoms?" said Caitlyn in confusion. "They make female condoms?"
"She's new at this," said Jon apologetically.
"Don't worry, at least she's asking questions," said Sharon. "There aren't a whole lot of communities that do abstinence-only education anymore, but you can always tell when one of them comes in. No one tells them to use a condom, so they have unprotected sex—and then they come in here, asking how they got pregnant."
Caitlyn shook her head. "Even I know that, and I stayed a virgin until I got married."
"Oh, really? Congratulations!" said Sharon. "Shotgun of some sort?"