The last exam had been too brutal. Quinn could only make it so far. Those math students thought Professor Morrison was difficult should take an advanced class with Dr. Richards. They would know what it was to cry so hard, their soul reverted to the fetal position.
Part of it was what happened under the exam. Simon had reached for her, and she'd flinched back, before she realized it.
"It's Gabriel, isn't it?" he asked.
Before she could bite her tongue into place, Quinn said, "I'm sorry."
He sighed, "Anyone who's been in a room with you two could see it a mile away."
"It's not what you think it is . . . yet," Quinn replied. I've only room for one affair in my life. She doubted neither thought she spoke aloud, nor the one she kept to herself would bring Simon any satisfaction.
"You can't help what the heart wants," he told her.
"Wow, Sara was right," Quinn responded. "Simon's really are gentlemanly, and appropriate."
"Sara?" he asked suggestively.
"Already got a thing going on with a guy. I do have a cousin, Ana Maria," Quinn said. "Her sister Ana Raquel just had a baby, so Ana Maria is really looking to score."
Simon coughed to hid a laugh, "Maybe you can give me her number in near future."
"Don't worry. Once Helena realizes this didn't work out, she won't rest until she's found you someone. Helena really chose the wrong profession," Quinn said, "She's a good cook, but she's a better boss."
"You mean matchmaker," Simon replied.
"Yeah, that's what I meant," Quinn said, before shifting her eyes, and saying her final goodbyes, though she doubted that he wouldn't show up at all the family functions until Helena had secured him a match. Once Helena decided to do something, it wasn't over until it had a successful resolution.
Now she was sitting on the bench by the lake, too tired to walk all the way home, feeling too guilty to be too near the water. She refuted the perfect man, for a man who would grow tired of her, which would result in the loss of her best friend, which would leave her abandoned, with a shambled heart, broken by someone who's extent of Portuguese was the insults she threw at him.
Leaning her head back against the bench, she let the sun kiss her skin, until she felt better. Today, she wore a white, strapless dress. It was loose, flowy, and left her shoulders completely bare, accept that it required her to wear a white slip underneath. Regardless, her shoulders, neck, and upper chest were bared for the sun's soothing caresses.
"O que há de errado?" the voice was so familiar that her skin crawled.
Because it was said in Portuguese, she assumed it was someone Portuguese. What's wrong, he had asked. "Meu coração é estúpido. É muita areia para a minha camioneta." My heart is stupid. It's more than I can handle.
"Não há bela sem senão. Fia-te na Virgem e nao corras ou atirar-se de cabeça," his reply came. Everything is not rosy. You can wait for a miracle, or you can take the plunge.
Quinn opened her eyes, "Minha avó diz que." Her jaw dropped, and her eyes widened, "Gabriel?"
Glittering eyes stared down at her. "Sim, eu sou ele." Yes, I am he.
Sarcasm doesn't translate languages well, she thought, but she was more preoccupied with asking, "When did you learn Portuguese?"
"When I realized you weren't going to like any man who didn't," he said, "Terribly prejudice of you."
"So that means, every rant for how long, you knew what I was saying?" Quinn asked, her stomach flipping.
"You come up with cutest idioms," Gabe answered. "I have to google half of them. But I'll forever know what you're saying, so you can't turn our kids against me."
"Our kids?" she replied.
"Yeah. You want three, I want four, we'll send the last one off to boarding school, and call it even," he said. She might have laughed, but he saw doubt in her eyes. Sighing, he said, "What's it going to take, Quinn? I'm not going to get tired of you, and leave you, ever. Too many crazy things happen around us, it'll never get boring. Like that time we were both kidnapped in Columbia, and brought down an entire cocaine operation, literally in flames. I never teased you about being a science geek after that. Or that time we stole a statuette from a German museum to make up for the time won all that money from an Italian mafia man's son, slept with his sister, and ate the cannoli his mama made him."
"That fuck better have been worth it," Quinn told him, not for the first time. "Though I can't really believe that's all it took to appease them."
He laughed, "The cannoli was definitely worth it."
A small smile brokered her lips. He continued in his persuasion. "Besides, it's not like you have a choice. It's after noon, and it's Friday."
"Why are you wearing a suit," she asked. He wasn't in a full suit, just a nice button down shirt, a tie, and slacks.
"I had my final debate today. It was required," he explained, and then scolded, "Don't change the subject. Your whole family loves me, except Helena, because you lied, and said I was abusive, and left out the part where you slept with my ex. Especially your grandparents. I know how to make all your favorite Portuguese food, and I learned Portuguese for . . .."
Quickly, she stretched up and pressed her lips to his. He learned portuguese for me. She didn't know why it mattered so much, but it did. His hand snaked around to the back of her neck, so she couldn't pull away, kissing her so passionately that he started to lean her back on the bench. She grasped his tie, and began to loosen it.
"We better cool it, before we give the old ranger a heart attack," Gabe replied.
"Haven't you seen the sign," Quinn murmured, plucking at the buttons on his shirt.
"What sign?" his breath was hot on her skin. She pointed to the beginning of the dock, seven feet away. It read ABSOLUTELY NO SWIMMING, with a sign attached underneath. It had a picture of Gabe, and Quinn, in one of their escapades where they had defied the park ranger, with an added note, UNLESS YOU ARE ONE OF THESE TWO CRETINS.
"I can't believe we wore him down," Gabe mused.
"I can't believe it only took a semester," Quinn muttered back.
He threw his tie off, and had his shirt off in no time. Quinn didn't protest, until Gabe began to discard his own pants. "Gabe," Quinn admonished, "Skinny dipping is still against the rules."
In his underwear, Gabe took the hem of her dress, and slipped it over Quinn's head leaving her in her slip. Grabbing her hand, he said, "We'll change the dress code policy later. The last one in makes dinner."
He started before her, but he was still holding her hand, so she was forced to keep up to some measure. After diving in, he was the first to surface, and the first to wipe water from his eyes, so that he could open them. "You're making dinner," he told her proudly. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and leaned her head against her chest. Underneath the water, their legs kicked past each other, to stay a float. She tilted her chin up to kiss him.
"I like breaking the rules with you," he said when their kiss broke, pressing his forehead against hers. Quinn laughed. Wrapping her legs around his torso, she let him worry about keeping them afloat, and kissing up his neck to his mouth.
"We're- we're going under," he struggled.
"Then take a deep breathe," she told him, moving her hands to his shoulders. Grinning wickedly, he grasped her shoulders, and shoved her under the water, beneath him, kissing her deeply, sucking all the air out of her. Even under the water, her back arched, and her body conformed to his, her hand running through his hair like a mermaid's hand reaching through seaweed. Soon, they had to surface, and when they did the park ranger was standing there with Quinn's dress, Gabe's shirt, and an expression that said he was not amused. Irately, he muttered, "You give an inch."
"You have to admit. We're a good show, at least," Gabe said to the older man. Quinn blushed so red, her eyes rolled back, her heart stopping with embarrassment, and she died.
The shower was hot and steamy, perfect for washing off cold lake water. Somehow, Quinn managed to resurrect herself, and walk back in a soggy dress, and Gabe's tie around her shoulders like a scarf she forgot to tie. Unabashed, Gabe walked part of the way, holding her hand, the rest of the way teasing her by rolling a lock of her hair around his finger, or dragging his fingertips across her shoulder blades, and then coming in for a quick kiss. The curtain of the shower pulled back, and Gabe stepped inside, immediately cupping Quinn's chin so that he could kiss her. His hands felt for her breasts, massaging them, and then pressing her back into the shower wall. She let herself melt against him, reaching her hands around his neck, so that she could kiss him deeper. His hands slid down her wet body, down her thighs, and pushed them apart. Without no invitation beyond her compliance, he pushed into her, connecting their bodies the most intimate of ways for the first time. Her legs wrapped around his waist to account for the height difference.
They stayed like that at first, but Gabe could only go so fast without losing balance, so he laid them down, on the shower floor. Every time he slid into her, her back rubbed against the tile, then arched. Each time, she moaned quietly. Her hands slid along the slickness of his back, her lips teased his wet lips. One hand moved out from beneath her to grasp her wet hair, another flicking her left nipple, made pert by the shower. He tortured the breast first, then moved his palm over it in an effleurage movement. His mouth made a trail from her lips, to her breast, sucking it in a way that made her sigh. Their hands intertwined, and her sex tightened around his member as she reached her climax, trying to remain as quiet as possible. The whole house must know what was going on in the shower.
The way her sex tightened and shuddered around his member sent him brought him close to the edge, and the way she ran her fingers through his hair, massaging his scalp, and then lifted her warm, wet lips to kiss his, sent him right over. Her feet linked around his ankles as he reached his climax too.
Heavy breathe was all that passed between them. Dazed, and spent, they took a moment to collect themselves, then Quinn murmured, "Okay, now we really have to shower." Slipping herself out from under Gabe, she grabbed the soap, rubbed it on her hands, and then moved her hands along his back, massaging his spine, and muscles.
"Meu Deus," he copied her way of say my god in an appreciative moan. "I'm making you do this for the rest of our lives."
She brought her hand against the wet flesh of his rear, before returning to what she was doing. "Hey, favors better be returned, buddy."
Gabe slipped into bed next to Quinn. Underneath the sheets, their hands intertwined, but he stared at her, until she looked up at him. "Say it," he commanded.
Defiantly, she stared, "No."
He rolled onto his side, so that he could slap the side of her rump. "Say it."
"No . . . Fine," she simpered, knowing the next words would put her into more delicious trouble. "You're mine."
"Is that how it is?" Gabe returned, "Like I don't know you're weaknesses."
Wiggling his hands before her first, he started to tickle her, at the back of her neck, and down her abdomen. Her whole body contracted, and shriveled to defend herself. "Uncle, white flag, surrender," she pleaded, "I didn't think you'd resort to medieval forms of torture." He stopped and peered down at he expectantly.
"I'm yours," she replied, though it was hard to say without a hint of sarcasm.
"You better remember that," he poked her nose, and Quinn scrunched it in reply. He wrapped his arms around her, snuggling close to her, "I'm yours too. But the important thing is that you're mine."
She laughed. "I can't believe one kiss caused all this," she mused, thinking that just four months and two weeks ago, she'd kissed her best friend's girlfriend, and now she was the girlfriend.
"I think you're remembering the wrong kiss," he murmured into her hair.
"Okay, that time in the hot spring, that time in Greece, and that time in Barcelona don't count," Quinn said, "You were heartbroken at the hot spring, drunk in Greece, and on the highest adrenaline rush of your life in Barcelona. I wanted to kiss me for driving like that."
"No, younger," Gabe insisted.
Quinn refused to believe it. "No. I refute the idea that we were ever that innocent and mushy."
"We were," he told her.
"This isn't some Asian drama, Hollywood chick flick, or Bollywood romantic comedy, where the two main characters were destined to be from the start, having known each other since they were kids, with the standard rule that all life long lovers that were destined to be must kiss before reaching an age that contains double digits," she struggled to release herself from his grasp.
"But we did. Don't you remember the witch's house?" He mumbled.
It was the middle of the day, but Old Lady Wilkins would be at teatime at the country club with other witches like her, until nearly four o'clock.
"You ready?" young Gabe Lawson asked young Quinn Medeiros. "Where performing an infiltration to retrieve our lost balls, and find evidence of witchcraft." He grabbed her thin shoulders. "I'm not going to lie. It's going to be dangerous. We might not come out alive." He copied the heroes that he saw in every movie, when it came to the dramatic moment just before the adrenaline rush, and drama, there was always a passionate kiss. He pressed their lips together, and pulled back, not really sure how a kiss worked. He had kissed Ella-Jane in kindergarten, when her playground marriage fell through, but that was the extent of his knowledge. "Ready, comrade?"
"Ready," Quinn echoed. "Let's do this."
"Meu Deus. I can't believe how mean we were to that woman," Quinn stated. "We should bake her cookies or something."
"I hear witches like gingerbread," Gabe replied, eliciting a laugh from Quinn, which she tried to stifle by covering her mouth. Satisfied, he intertwined their hands again, and muttered into the pillow, "Say it again."
"I'm yours," she murmured, giving a quick kiss to the fingers that were entwined with hers.
So that's the finale for this series. If you want to see more of Gabe and Quinn, suggest a title in the comment section.