Title: Flash for cash
Description: Tag: Mrs Moran (the second time around)
Shane Moran - May 25, 2011 04:47 AM (GMT)
Tue 17 May 2011 - lunch break some time
Three days ago he had signed his life away for a second time but to anyone who knew him Shane probably didn't look like a man still technically on his honeymoon. That was because there hadn't been one, not officially anyway. They had discussed plans in between bouts of passion and food and dealing later with Connor, but for all intents and purposes life had pretty much returned to normal the morning after the wedding and things had slipped straight back into routine so fast it was mind-boggling. Despite making love or having sex or consummating the union or blessing anew every conceivable vantage point in the house for a night and much of the following day, it hadn't taken anything out of him at least on a physical level as he strolled back into work on Monday, and assured the rest of the crew that he was fine to be here. He was after all already married; it wasn't like he needed time to get to know his wife this time around but that wasn't to say he didn't want to.
In the back of his mind his brain worked away trying to finalize the right time to take an actual break away. The guys and girls at Gunn's had chipped in with money and plane tickets and there was Devin's elders giving them open-ended tickets to visit as well - the question wasn't even where they were going now but when. Logistically it was something of a nightmare trying to think up reasons to stall going off to North Carolina to come face to face with any of Devin's kin for the second time around. He wanted to enjoy what scant time they were afforded just the two of them and then three living the quiet suburban existence they now called their life.
Of course Tuesday had rolled around and Shane started feeling guilty; not because of anything he'd done but because of what he hadn't. Wes and Matt's words weeks before the ceremony repeated on him still like some bitter after-taste and the shiny new watch and wedding band Devin had bestowed on him only added to that feeling to a point where he couldn't ignore it. Devin deserved more, none the least an anniversary present that in his narrow-mindedness he had told others he was shopping for and never did. The wedding had been all he was preoccupied with and now that it was over he was feeling like a douche. Well he knew now that he had to make it up to her somehow and the window of opportunity was inching closer to a point where a loving gesture became a knee-jerk act of desperation. Devin had complained enough about him destroying her underwear and even suggested she go clothes-shopping over breakfast.
At the time Shane had dismissed it as just talk but now sitting in his office it was like a light bulb going on above his head. Why it took so long to click was anyone's business but now that he had decided he had to act. The guys didn't seem at all surprised he was calling a late lunch for himself with sly smirks like they knew something he didn't. So he was technically a newlywed. It may have shocked them all to know his intention as he left in his old rusted truck and swung by the house to pick her up was actually nothing whatsoever to do with sex. On the car horn he lent waiting for Devin to get a nice surprise with wedding money in his wallet that was supposed to have gone into their bank account by now.
Devin Moran - May 25, 2011 05:36 AM (GMT)
She hated the real world, and she hated the garage, and she hated that their little bubble of the weekend had to burst. But burst it had with Shane waking up on Monday morning and giving her a kiss to get her going too. Just because they had an anniversary, a special moment, and probably one of the few greatest in their relationship, didn’t mean the bills stopped having to be paid and life wouldn’t move past them. With Shane going to be taking time off some time in the future and things just starting to get to speed on the place, Devin knew why he had to go in but she still had a little part of her that wanted him to stay. They could go back to bed and snuggle with Connor. Watch him smile and giggle and babble until he fell asleep and then they could put him in his crib only to have Shane pick her up and take her back to bed and messy sheets. But he had gone out the door Monday morning, and then again on Tuesday just like any day before. A kiss and making Connor wave goodbye, and Shane was down the road to work.
Just like any other day it was laundry and dusting and dishes. Sheets were in the washing machine, and Connor’s onesies were in the drier. After a full weekend being with Shane, getting back into this wife and mother and homemaker mode was odd. She found herself bored. In the living room, she was on her stomach on the floor much like Connor who was doing a push up with a smile before rolling over. It was the most entertainment she had all day. “Who are you smiling at Connor? Are you smiling at me? Yeah…” Picking him up, Devin held him to her chest as once again he babbled away. Several times they had tried to get him to say Mama and Dada but the closest they got were a few syllables linked together.
Their old wedding picture was gone, the frame blank waiting for the new picture. However Josh had already dropped off a few of the photos he had taken. Sitting down on the couch balancing Connor against her, Devin went through the stack of photos. Several of them made her laugh. Wes giving Matt a noogie was one. Her favorite though was one of Shane and Connor. He was holding up his boy and both were smiling from ear to ear. “How about we put this one in a frame, buddy?” she asked her son who giggled and laughed with bright eyes. Looking at the frames, she found a picture that wasn’t exactly her favorite and could be moved. Maneuvering baby and backing, Devin was finally able to pry it open. Picture slipped inside, she reset it on the mantle with a smile. “One day you are going to have to share space with a little brother or sister if your daddy had his way,” Devin told Connor booping him on the nose.
The buzzer to the washer sounded. Just about to go there was a loud honk. Devin recognized that old corn horn anywhere. “Connor! Look who’s home!” she smiled at their son standing in the big front window. Going to the front door the walk between it and the truck seemed forever. Going to the open window, Connor balanced on her hip Devin smiled at Shane. Standing on her tip toes she leant into the window to give him a quick kiss. “What are you doing here? We didn’t have plans did we? Oh my god, did I forget?” They had gone to lunch together on his breaks before but Devin couldn’t remember them making any plans this time around.
Shane Moran - May 25, 2011 02:30 PM (GMT)
He should have at least made the effort to get out of the truck and head inside but Shane knew on some level the longer he stalled the less things would happen; and he hadn't come home to take the rest of the day off (though that would have been nice too). Forearms draped across the truck's steering wheel he sat watching as the blinds inside the living room window moved followed by Devin's approach soon after. With Connor in her arms she seemed genuinely surprised if not taken off guard to see him. Shane was all smiles, even more so as Devin stretched up to plant a kiss on him through the opened window. He sighed in contentment knowing at that moment he had made the right decision and she actually was happy to see him and not covering up... whatever the hell she did in there all day when he wasn't at home.
After a thoughtful pause Shane laughed. It was quiet and guilty and secret all rolled into the one fleeting gesture. "No, no," he assured, bottom lip pushed out with a reticent pout even as eyes sparkled behind the lenses of his usual aviator glasses. "Hey there, shorty." A hand out gently cupped his son's back. The babe was still wobbling and open-mouthed as he took it all in but Shane felt as though Connor was smart even for his age; Devin told him so. He believed that his son was taking it all in even if his little brain didn't quite know what to make of all the stimulus, and to that end, he was ever the doting grinning parent. "Wanna come for a ride in the truck? Daddy took some time off, thought I'd come take my favourite people out for lunch." A casual gaze at the underside of the visor in front of him gave Shane some excuse to hide the same guilt and such that had brought him out here in the first place. "Thought we could stop by the store on the way back. You said something about clothes. See, I listen... sometimes." All teeth Shane laughed again as gestured her to move so he could open the car door.
Shane clapped his hands and reached again for his son. "Come here, you. Let your mom go get ready." He didn't think she was doing anything that important that couldn't wait a while longer anyway and even if she did make mention of it Shane was too distracted with his offspring to pay that much attention. With babe on his lap he was nursing tiny hands against the bottom of the steering wheel. After assuring her he was fine to watch Connor a few minutes Shane urged Devin to change, throw a few things in a bad for the boy, and meet him back at the truck. "If she's not out in ten minutes we're leaving her here and you and me can go paint the town red." Shane looked down over the top of his son with his expression devious and playful but as always underpinned by a sense of fierce protectiveness and pride. "I'll teach you some lessons you're never gonna learn at school," he tacked on. A snicker betrayed what lack of explanation expressed as he relaxed back into the seat with a groan and waited for Devin to get herself organised pronto.
Devin Moran - May 26, 2011 12:14 AM (GMT)
Lightly she hit his shoulder in jest with the back of her hand. “That’s for making me worry I was losing my mind,” Devin laughed. She wasn’t against his surprise visit or dropping by unannounced. In fact, Devin was glad for the interruption. While he may have thought his job was routine, Devin was sure that at least his job threw him a curve ball every once and again that went beyond the dishwasher needing repair or a leaky pipe. Not to mention when he got home after having his Connor time and dinner he’d set about any household duties that needed his work. Devin’s day was always so routine and scheduled because of Connor that if it wasn’t for Shane reminding her that he had the day off she wouldn’t even know it was the weekend. Up with Shane to feed her boys, coffee and breakfast with Shane, kiss him goodbye, and then set the dishwasher to go while she took a shower and bathed Connor. At least on a few nights Shane had decided to put Connor to bed and she was allowed a good half hour or so to herself and a bubble bath.
Watching Shane though reach out to his son only had her smiling brightly all the more. For all of his worries about being a father let alone a good one, Devin couldn’t think of anyone better. It was little touches like that and the smile he got when Devin gave him the run down of what their son had learned to do that day which made him the best father in the world. Even if it was the fact that Connor had discovered his feet for the first time. Remembering what all the books said, he’d be saying words and crawling soon. Connor seemed to be zipping through stages and while most almost four month olds were just doing push ups, Connor was making sounds close to his first words and supporting his head all on his own. He had even tried to sit up today! And while that was exciting, the offer of a ride and time with Daddy was met with a loud coo and laugh from Connor. “I think that’s a yes,” Devin answered for Connor and herself. What he said after that had her jaw nearly drop to the ground in surprise. “You want to got clothes shopping with me?” she asked stunned. Stepping back away from the door so he could open it Devin really was surprised now.
“I do need some swimsuits for our vacation,” she said to herself handing Connor over to her husband. With a nod, it was decided that she’d go. “Just… give me a second… get my purse and his diaper bag.” Another beaming smile and she was off up the walk way taking the porch steps two at a time to rush in and grab purse and pack feeding cover up and diapers and wipes in Connor’s mostly always ready to go diaper bag. Running back out, Devin locked the front door behind her and jogged back to the truck having to yank the passenger side door open. “Ready!” she panted setting bag down by her feet and firmly closing the car door behind her. Reaching out her arms for their boy, she didn’t bring the stroller or carrier figuring it was easier to just carry him or use the sling in his bag anyway. “Shopping then lunch… that way you can’t get out of it,” Devin teased her husband kissing him on the cheek. If there was anyone besides Evan and Autumn that Devin would take shopping it was Shane. At least he was honest if something looked horrible and well, any swimsuit she wore was for him than any one else. “I thought now that Connor is big enough we could try the soft carrier… the one you keep call the babypack.”
Shane Moran - May 26, 2011 12:46 AM (GMT)
Weathering her light slap Shane again laughed full of high spirits now that he was home and had the feeling that he was in fact doing the right thing; odd as that sensation may have been to a teenage Shane who once upon a time thought of praise and such with blatant disregard and disgust. Sitting there with a little version of himself on his lap Shane could still marvel at just how severe his life had swung around and he was thankful for it if sometimes nostalgic. As Connor 'gooed' and 'gaad' and gave amusing chuckles as only a baby speaking his own alien language could, Shane watched the child's mother dart off towards the front door with all the impetus of a teenager herself. He didn't explain his actions merely waited like some proverbial lord and master for his wishes to be carried out. Time for talking would come; as of right now he had a schedule to keep and as sweet and committed as it may have been Shane knew the decision balanced on a precarious knife edge between doing a good deed and looking like a brow-beaten husband. He had to retain the upper hand in something he rationalized.
Minutes later the front door slammed and Devin had returned and Shane watched her clamber into the truck with his grin reignited in a way that came across bemused. It wasn't hard to imagine her as a teenager playing hooky to be with him but doubted in reality such a thing would have happened willingly - and that thought of course only led him to Peter Taylor and then to this planned trip to NC and with that Shane was eager to get the show on the road before he again talked himself out of it. "Here, go to mum, short-ass," he said to and of the child. He chuckled. It died naturally on the tail end of a grunt. To Devin those sounds must now have been easily decipherable. He was agreeing without committing and expected her to comment on it. The corner of his lips pulled up as he lent aside and stole another kiss against her lips. "Just need a place to stow the beer and it'd be the perfect babypack."
Turning over the engine once more he wrenched the gears that ground out in a chorus of metal and arced the truck back onto the road headed for the direction of town. The day was nice and the suburbs as always were 1950's clean cut and perfect. "Good weather for it." It was menial attempt at conversation, but still afforded him the opportunity at slipping in excuses or putting out the feelers to know exactly what her vague plan of shopping actually entailed. He wasn't too keen on spending three hours watching her try on shoes or dresses that he'd have to take a second job to afford, still he could picture the smile on her face in his head and wanted that - just without the price tag, naturally. Soon enough the truck rumbled and the engine cut out and there they sat at the curb in front of one of the few clothing places in town. "Can always find a nice quiet spot in some change booth somewhere," he said as if he weren't suggesting anything lewd. His smile gave him away as he reached for the door handle. Stepping out he shoved it to a close and strode around the side to meet his family and help both out. Having them get hit by a car would really cramp his plans for lunch he smirked as he gave a playful chuckle again and took the baby once more into his arms.
Devin Moran - May 26, 2011 01:19 AM (GMT)
Taking Connor and holding him to her chest, her husband’s kiss as always was welcomed even if his grunt was one that translated into apathy. “You know you’ll give him a complex calling him that. Besides… the doctor said he’s in the ninety-fifth percentile in height and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s taller than you when he grows up.” Still, Devin was fine with Connor staying the size he was right now. She dreaded the day when it wasn’t just Shane towering over her and teasing her for not being able to get something off of the top shelf without his help. She wasn’t even that short to begin with! Though, his comment about the beer in the baby pack had her laughing. “That’s what his little red car is for with the waterproof trunk space. Plus, I could always sew in a cup holder,” she laughed and imagining Shane strapped with Connor to his chest and a beer bottle in a little holder at hand height on the side as the guys talked around the barbeque one summer evening. It actually sounded perfect. Still with that image in her head, all she could do was smile all teeth at Shane as Connor tried to make conversation to both of them.
It didn’t take them long to drive. Of course, Devin had gotten used to walking and so it seemed even shorter. As he brought up the weather it triggered what came in the mail and she figured if they were doing shopping for her today, well they might as well do shopping Shane would like sometime in the near future. “The insurance checks came today… they already paid off the medical bill from the hospital and there’s enough left over that we could get a nice used family car. I figured before we leave we can go looking together? You ask all the hard questions and I’ll just care about what color it comes in.” It was a joke about her own limitations but Devin had no clue about cars. Shane in fact had yelled at her when he changed her oil that she had gone so long between changes and that they should just junk the death trap she drove. All Devin had to answer for herself was that she liked the shade of red it was and she got it for five thousand dollars which according to Shane was four thousand too much.
Pulled up on Main Street in front of the shops, Devin waited until he was at her door. Looking at him with her trying to be scolding stare, her smile was hard to hide. “And then when we get caught we’ll never be allowed to come back. I’ll have to go to Indianapolis every time you need a new shirt,” she huffed out at him in play before letting him help her down. Connor was put into his father’s arms as Devin reached behind her to grab purse and bag and carrier. “Here you go, Dad,” Devin stated handing the rig that would strap Connor to Shane while she could take care of the bags. She was sure Shane wouldn’t want to be carrying around her purse and since this was shopping for her, well it was easier if Shane had Connor the whole time. Fumbling around with trading off their boy and getting Shane suited up, soon enough son as attached to father looking at his Dad’s broad chest and slapping hands against it. Devin immediately popped pacifier into his mouth and they were finally ready to go. “I know I should be asking your why you want to take me shopping but I’m not going to. I’m just going to enjoy it. And… well… you can pick something out for trying on. How does that sound?” Reaching out her hand, Devin took Shane’s in it as she walked towards the first shop that was displaying summer wares and a very cute plaid bikini
in the window.
Shane Moran - May 26, 2011 03:51 AM (GMT)
Of course he was teasing her but that was a part now that came naturally and few if any saw outside of the family home at least. He was still riding that carefree wave from the ceremony but days before with his heart and his head now fully satisfied that this marriage was now as real as any that took place beyond Evergreen's borders. He wasn't stupid, life here was different yes, but dangerous in ways some occupants he was sure at times hadn't registered. But here he felt safe oddly enough cut off from those outside forces and feeling even better than the rest because unlike most his marriage wasn't just a contract of desperation but genuine, sealed both times with his legitimate wife's kiss. A hand slid to grope her backside as he helped her from the car. Shane snickered as he looked around, ever the mischievous child up to no good. Connor in hand tried to refocus his father's intentions. He was caught off guard not by what she said but how she said it as he saw his reflection in the store mirror nursing his son. Dad. He should have been used to that but he wasn't. It would probably never hit home, it was one of those things that seemed so big and awe inspiring.
Musings and rare fleeting moment of self-appreciation was cut short by the fussing of clipping the baby carrier to him. He smiled guiltily as he had to expand the straps a little further than looked possible, thinking it was Connor's growth and not his upper girth that was the cause. Devin helped and eventually they were harnessed together. Connor's little hands slapped against his father's chest as Shane watched over him, finding that sense of awe and fierce protection normal now to the point that it was now in the forefront of his mind and decisions. "Ready short-stuff? Uh, I mean, big guy?" Shane balked. He rolled his eyes aside to Devin. "I can't call him that either, is there anything I can call him that's not going to give him a complex?" It was delivered as a joke but the feigned exasperation was, as usual, partially true. He had already doomed the child on a genetic level, he didn't want to raise a battered down sniveling emotional hackysack for a son either if he could at all help it.
Hand in hand they walked as the perfect couple to the nearest window where Devin stopped before the bikini on display. Shane's head tilted to the side appreciatively. His brows rose. "You know what would look better on you?" He bit his tongue between his teeth and chuckled at his wife beside him. "Me. You know you were thinking it too, don't lie." He bumped her with his arm then stopped and looked around assuring no one else had seen it. It wasn't like he was embarrassed he just had a kind of reputation to uphold. Besides, as far as he was concerned, any passing gesture that roused suspicion could easily be explained away by the brand new band on his finger - and the old el cheapo one on hers. God damn it, he thought. The guilt came back again. Still she wanted clothes and that at least would go some way to making up his tight-ass forgetful ways to her he thought. Giving her hand a tug he drew Devin towards the door and held it open for her to pass inside so he could follow, ever the loving dutiful husband.
Devin Moran - May 26, 2011 04:26 AM (GMT)
Shane may have thought he was being slick, but Devin was already giving him her suspicious eyes knowing that he was up to no good. Fingers gripped into the seat and pocket of her jeans and all Devin could do was tsk him silently with a roll of her eyes. Deep down though, she loved when he did it. As much as she feigned annoyance it was all an act. Somehow it equated to him loving her, not able to get enough of her. Those little voices in her head that said she wasn’t pretty enough for him were silenced when he did little actions like that. Snapping Connor securely to Shane, she too could only stare at the sight in front of her. Just to be cheeky, Devin shuffled around in the baby bag and found the baby aviators. Plopping them on Connor’s face, Devin looked at father and son all smiles. As he tried to search for a name to call Connor, Devin laughed at his fumble. “We can stick with Peanut. He’ll just be embarrassed by it when he’s a teenager. But… I usually use Buddy or Con.” Squeezing Shane’s hand, she couldn’t help but look at their reflection in the store windows. They looked perfect… they were perfect.
Looking at the display and at his reflection, Devin titled her head to look more at him instead. “Hmmm? What?” she asked. She should have seen it coming. What he said had her snorting and bumping his arm back. “I don’t think there are those types of beaches where we are going,” she laughed with cheeks red and warm. It was something she should be used to by now but still his comments like that had her feel like that shy, demure woman she had always known herself to be. “Maybe next anniversary,” she teased him kissing his cheek and admiring the reflection in the window. Her boys. Spending an afternoon with both of them really doing anything was a great afternoon.
Little did she know what was going through Shane’s mind. Instead she let him pull her to the door and in she went. How many women could say their husband went willingly to a clothing store to help them shop? Balancing both bags, Devin made her way to the swimsuit section. It had been a few years since she last bought a new one. Looking at them she saw a few she would have worn a few years ago back in college but now, after having a baby, after all the changes her body had gone through, Devin was at a loss of what to wear. Was she supposed to wear a conservative one piece? What about a tankini? Would strings make her seem too slutty? She really felt lost. “I can’t remember picking out something being this hard before,” she laughed as it was almost a rainbow of different swimwear. Going for the one piece Devin looked at it. She didn’t particularly like it but it seemed like something she should pick out given the fact that she was married and a mother. “What do you think about this?”
Shane Moran - May 27, 2011 05:01 AM (GMT)
So he felt less of a man bringing his wife along to a shop but he justified that to himself by assuring this was what smart men did to keep their wives (and thus themselves) happy. He didn’t really feel comfortable out doing the suburban thing in public, whereas home was another matter, that was second nature, out here he could feel the intrusive stares of the town judging him even if he couldn’t see them. To the once womanizing bigot the turn-around was surreal but no less of course than the spectacle of himself resplendent with baby carrier and wife in tow in the shop window. He was a changed man yes, but he liked to think that he was still changing and for the better even in little meaningful ways. Let James and his father call him out for it – but that’s when Shane stopped thinking then and found himself immersed in a world of skimpy clothes and a kaleidoscope of color.
“Whoa. Heads up, buddy.”
Devin wandered off, not far, but far enough, leaving Shane standing alone at sea with his boy trying to make sense of the world through the miniature aviators. Shane had to admit, his kid did look remarkably cute in them if nothing else. His eyes wandered as Devin’s question tugged at his peripheral urging him back where a reluctant brain didn’t want to immediately go.
“Hmm? What?” Shane’s brows rose. He looked down at the one piece Devin helf aloft before him. One brow fell, followed by the other. She had to be joking, right? He searched her face a moment before eventually he began to speak. “Uhh... well, it’s... nice... if you’re 60 and don't care what people think of you,” he stated. So he wasn’t the best guy in the world when it came to sugar coating comments, but still. Trying to put a positive spin on something he feared had come across insulting he added, “But it doesn’t matter what I think, you know, you’re the one who’s gotta wear it...” Clearing his throat Shane smiled tightly, a quick fleeting gesture before his eyes wandered again to something that looked like it needed a clothes peg instead of a hanger. “What about that? That’d turn heads.” He didn’t bother picking it up; when it came to women’s fashion he was completely and utterly clueless.
Devin Moran - May 27, 2011 06:33 AM (GMT)
A playful roll of her eyes and Devin looked at the swimsuit in her hand. She didn’t like it. Not really but she was trying to figure out Shane and herself and what her new identities were going to be like now a year later. People expected certain things and she wanted to live up to them and him all at the same time. Would Shane want her prancing around in dental floss or would he immediately cover her up no matter what she wore in public. His expression though confirmed one thing; he was not a fan of the one piece. It didn’t take him long to verbally express his opinion on the matter either. It’s why Devin wanted him there. If anyone was going to tell her the truth it was going to be Shane. What he liked, what he didn’t… and looked good on her (besides himself.) Obviously this was one that he didn’t like at all.
matter what you think,” she told him honestly putting the swimsuit back on the rack. “I don’t want to wear something you’d be embarrassed seeing me in either way.” Too frumpy or too sexy… Devin wasn’t even sure where the happy medium was any more. Sighing to herself, she wanted had to figure out where Devin was in the personas of Devin Moran the wife and Devin Moran the mother. Looking to where his eyes went, Devin snorted. There was no way
she was going to try that on let alone buy it and walk around a beach in public. “How about I just walk around naked then?” she teased him with a shake of her head.
One pieces were out and costumes more appropriate for a stripper too. Finding a blue bikini with string ties and an elegant twist (A3
) that covered up all bits and pieces, Devin held it up to herself. It was kind of her style and something she would have worn before marriage and a baby. “I’m going to go try this on,” she told Shane and pulled him to the chairs over by the changing rooms. Slipping behind the curtain, jeans were removed, then shirt and bra. Luckily skimpy underwear aided in seeing the bottoms more how they would be than over some granny panties. Looking in the mirror, Devin’s arms immediately went to cover herself up feeling a bit exposed. Having a baby had changed her body and made some curves more curvy than they had been before. “I think this is a bad idea. How about I just wear a garbage sack?” she called out to Shane from the booth knowing he’d probably want to see it for himself and not wanting to leave the safety of the cramped space at all.
Shane Moran - May 28, 2011 05:15 AM (GMT)
Watching the one piece go back to the rack Shane sighed out through his nose wondering if he’d already overstepped his mark. His smile was fleeting and dubious as he stood there trying to at least look like he was invested when mentally he was already miles away from this place. But that wasn’t what mattered. Devin wanted him here and so here he was, looking at half-naked mannequins and skimpy slivers of clothing and posters of chicks who bordered on teenage boy masturbatory material. Discreetly he cleared his throat and turned his son towards his mother. He gave a wry smirk and narrowed his eyes in play. It was easy to play with Devin especially when there were no other people around but still even here in a virtually empty store he felt out of his comfort zone. In silence he said nothing.
As she drew his attention to yet another article of clothing Shane again sighed and shifted Connor against his chest. A hand was gently smothering the boy’s back. This was as close to daddy mode as Shane could get but he was wary somehow of the thing breaking or coming lose and losing his son amidst all these segments of swimwear. Would that traumatize his son and turn him gay? He gave a light self reprimanding snort. A laugh escaped. It was low, guttural and quiet. Before he could voice his opinion Devin was dragging him off and he again dutifully followed giving a wan smile at the cashier who looked up at the tall man like a fish out of water; that was the god’s honest truth of it too.
Reluctantly he sat feeling as out of place as he by now knew he looked and tried unsuccessfully to shrink into the wall with son still garbling talkatively against his chest. Curtain swished and settled only to bumped by occasional movement as Devin’s voice carried back from the other side. Shane rolled his eyes as if Connor could appreciate it. “I’m sure it looks fine. Show us,” he said. He was humoring her. Having been with enough women over the years Shane recognized that tone of voice that resolute insecure but begged reassurance. A turn of his head testified that indeed the rest of the shop was empty. No one would be perving on his wife today. Relaxing a little easier in his chair he patted Connor’s back and smirked as the boy latched a hand around one of his fingers. “If you want to wear a garbage sack you be my guest. Bringin’ sexy back, she is,” he told his son and gave a chortle as he waited for Devin to show herself.
Devin Moran - May 28, 2011 05:49 AM (GMT)
Peeking her head out of the curtain, Devin made sure that the rest was covering her body. She didn’t know why she was feeling nervous about Shane looking at her. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t seen her in less (just the past night too). “Promise no laughing or smirking… just your honest opinion.” Like always she didn’t want him pandering to her. Shane didn’t have to say she looked beautiful. If the swim suit didn’t fit right or didn’t look good on her she wanted him to say so. Having men pick apart her body wasn’t anything new. How many times had she heard her father say she should lose another five pounds or that a particular color made her look ill? At least Shane had more tact than that… at least around her.
“Okay… remember no laughing.” Pulling back the curtain, Devin stepped out. Arms were across her chest and foot scuffed the carpeted floor. Her cheeks were pink as if she was on display in front of Shane for some sort of approval. Lifting her head, she smiled at him and gave a shrug of shoulders before dropping her arms. “So… what do you guys think?” Would he make her do a spin? Would he hate it? Was this the most stupid idea on the planet? So many thoughts were going through her head as she thought about what exactly they were doing there. Devin decided she just should have said no and decided they were just going to do lunch. But the look on Shane’s face when he announced he was taking her shopping… well it was hard to say no to him when he smiled like that at her. He could get away with almost anything.
“It looks horrible doesn’t it?” She couldn’t exactly read Shane’s reaction. Not just that but she had to actually look at him to be able to read it. Waiting for his opinion was worse than standing there in the store in something a little more covering than underwear. “Maybe I should go for a different blue? Or go back to the sixty year old look,” she joked, one arm across her body and holding onto the elbow of the other. In a way she was doing this for him. Devin wanted to be like those girls on the advertising posters on the wall. When they went on the beach with Connor she wanted people to look at them together as a couple and not think he was too good for her or have people wondering how in the world someone who looked like her got a guy who looked like him. “You should pick out something... and not something that’s two pieces of string held together by some stitching.” She’d be lucky to walk away with one swim suit the way she was going.
Shane Moran - May 28, 2011 07:47 AM (GMT)
“Scouts honor,” he assured in that dry droll tone. After a year of married life Shane had to marvel at Devin’s perception of him. Was he really that much a monster he would point and laugh and run her into the ground as her own family had done over something he had invited her to do? That concept seemed odd to him. Still he gave a tight smile that was meant to come off reassuring. Her head was dissociated from the rest of her behind the heavy curtain. His previous comment out in the truck returned anew as he decided the change room did look too uncomfortably small for the both of them, added to that was the delicate matter of where to place Connor until they were done. But then she was gone again and behind a swish of material out she stepped.
Again brows rose as Shane sat staring at the vision of his wife in front of him. The dull lighting did her no justice but what little of it there was danced off her curves in all the right places. He sighed inside his chest. The way she held herself had his brow furrowing even if he didn’t mean for it to come off condescending. Mind, he did appreciate her apparent fragility and innocence that had her covering modestly before him. They had been naked together more times than he could remember and had done things that should have had her speechless with embarrassment. Shane smirked as he sat forward a little in his chair. Connor’s eyes were wide as he looked around. The child’s grip on his finger distracted him a moment. A staggered quiet laugh escaped. Shane gave a shrug. “Horrible. Yeah... maybe you should go without the top.” He was joking of course but he didn’t really like it. He didn’t really know what he was supposed to like as he sought more validation on Devin’s face assuming as always a joke would lighten the mood and make her take it all less seriously.
Casting off another sigh Shane reached out to touch the fabric though was just another excuse really to get hands on with his hot-ass wife. Again he pulled a face that was in part reprimand for her comment about the one piece. A light tap pushed her back towards the change room. “You know me, babe, I’m hopeless when it comes to this stuff. Just make with the pretty show, the audience is getting restless.” He gestured to his son but the truth lay on his smirking face. “Try more blue, you know I like blue.” Whether she did or not was another matter altogether; she said she wanted his opinion and that was just what she was getting as he stared at her ass in that all too telling way.
Devin Moran - May 28, 2011 08:14 AM (GMT)
“There is no way you were a scout,” she laughed back at him with her pink cheeks. The thought of Shane in a Boy Scout uniform building camp fires and helping little old ladies cross the street didn’t exactly fit the image of his youth that she had in her mind. Most likely he was starting fires of another sort and chasing ladies to get them into bed. Still she stood there in front of him waiting for that proverbial axe to fall and for him to state that her thighs were chubby or her stomach needed more toning, or if she thought she was some Victoria’s Secret model. The act of moving forward had to be a good thing didn’t it? What he said next had hands go to hips and a roll of her eyes. “Shane… really…” she admonished with no real effort behind it.
Long fingers reached out to feel fabric and brush her skin. His tap made her jump a bit caught off guard as such a gesture always did. “Well we don’t want to disappoint,” she laughed as he motioned to Connor when he was the one who had the look on his face of a little boy up to no good. Coming over she kissed the top of Connor’s head as he squealed and shook Shane’s finger that he held captive. Shane was next with a quick peck. “I’ll just go grab some more real quick .” Walking back to the wall covered in swimwear, Devin went for more blue but there was some green and pink mixed in. Just as Shane requested she got the show on the road.
Each swim suit was a bit different and the more she modeled them for Shane and Connor the more comfortable she was getting in her own skin in the moment. She even did a few poses as if it was a magazine shoot instead of shopping with her husband and son. There were more rejects than keepers and it was half due to her not wanting to spend too much money and the other half because when she tried on something that Shane liked, well it was obvious he liked it. It didn’t take long to go through the selection of sixteen swimsuits but her three (B1, B2, and D1
) were chosen and taken up to the counter to be paid for.
Shatter’s Café wasn’t too far from the clothing store and so carrying all the bags, Devin gave Shane a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you,” she said with a smile before focusing on Connor and adjusting his little sunglasses on his face. A few store fronts down and Shane stopped it seemed to readjust Connor’s carrier that had somehow gotten tangled on itself. Waiting for the boys to sort themselves out, Devin looked to her right and saw the window of sparkling items that Jensen’s had on display. Not even Shane could complain about her window shopping. It was free, didn’t cost them anything, and what was wrong with a little looking at something that she’d never be able to afford? Still, she thought back to the last time she was in the store and seeing that
ring when looking for his. It wasn’t new and it wasn’t big but for some reason it was delicate and beautiful in its subtleness. Devin was sure had Shane proposed to her for real, that’s the ring he would have gotten her. So lost in her daydream, Devin didn’t even realize if Shane was done with fixing Connor or if he was looking too. If he was, well he’d probably think she was being dumb about the whole thing. But it was hard to not have some envy over her friends who had something to show off to other women who would oo and ahh over.
Shane Moran - May 28, 2011 04:26 PM (GMT)
Her kiss satisfied him albeit temporarily as he soon watched her scurry off to gather up more barely-there swimsuits. He was a visual creature and his eyes betrayed him as he followed her every step without remorse or apology just appreciation for what he saw. But she was gone again too soon behind that curtain and that had him sinking backwards lower in his chair like some unruly child. They had barely been there ten minutes and he was already bored out of skull. Connor seemed too engrossed in his new surrounds to give Shane any excuse to expedite things. Traitor. But the curtain opened eventually and then she was there and both Moran males were eyes-wide watching the overt display of sexuality on display by the matriarch. Shane was more than happy then that he’d decided on this trip in the first place and hang anyone that argued otherwise.
“That one, definitely that one,” he was heard to mutter at some point perched on the edge once more of the hard plastic chair. Shane was hands-on as always. The material felt nice to touch but maybe he was just biased after all; he liked the color and the way it made her cleavage pop out. She still looked sexy without coming across like a cheap slut. Three bathers down they were headed for the checkout. Shane was still smiling as the purchases were paid for and arm around her even before the pair had left the store. Back out in the sunshine he could breathe again to wash the fog that had been clouding his brain. Devin’s kiss roused more commitment from his expression. “Mmm, you’re welcome,” he purred. Shane looked down at her with bad thoughts and a sullen throbbing in his crotch. It was chalked down to masturbatory material later as hand in hand they made their way onward looking like the picture perfect suburban company couple.
Connor was squirming and Shane had a feeling the boy had either soiled himself or was working on it as little fingers clutched at the arms of the glasses his mother fastidiously fixed and grunted and grumbled. Straps were twisted and Shane set a deft hand to fixing. In front by the way Devin stood peering through the glass at displays framed by satin and white boxes and soft halogen lighting. His shoulders sunk. Approaching he stood alongside of her and looked down at the rings on offer and the price tags attached. Wes and Matt’s words before the wedding kept repeating on his conscience like a bad smell. Discreetly Shane cleared his throat. “You see something?” he offered almost dreading the eventual answer. Still as he looked down at the jewels he couldn’t help but admit that deep down this moment outside the jewellery store was probably a literal blessing in disguise.
Devin Moran - May 28, 2011 09:12 PM (GMT)
How many times had they walked these streets just like this? But now there was something more to it. They were a married couple who no longer were a poster couple for the vow. Now they were a couple that represented love and that was it. Somehow being together like this, even with Connor strapped like an accessory to his father, it felt right. More right than anything else in her life had ever felt. When she had become a teacher Devin thought that was where she was supposed to be. Standing in front of a classroom gave her control and a sense of comfortableness. But that paled in comparison to this. Walking with Shane, even doing mundane things like grocery shopping or giving Connor a bath had this sense of rightness to it. All she could do was smile and laugh and enjoy their time together. That’s what mattered. But still as she stood in front of the jewelry store window looking at stones she’d never have, a little part of that former rich girl who never wanted for anything was making her envious.
His voice made her jump. Taking a deep breath, Devin held her lip and shook her head “no” to his question. Reaching out her hand for his, fingers laced between his as she gave him a smile. But there was something about his look that made her look down. Would he be upset that she’d want something so shallow and material? Something about having such a blemish on her to him made her want to tell him to forget about it. But lying to Shane had never been her strong point. Even when she succeeded at saying she was fine Devin was sure that he just let it go so she could put on a brave face for him. Thinking back to her session with Fallon and how he had said she had a good support system in Shane, well he would only remain a good support system if she was honest with him. He had seen her at her worst and at her best, and he loved her even when she didn’t particularly like herself all that much. It was best just to get it out. “Not… in the window anyway,” she told him looking at him and then down at the sidewalk.
“When I came in to pick out your ring I couldn’t help it. You know us women, attracted to shiny objects like fish,” she joked with a small laugh, thumb gently rubbing his back and forth. “I went over to the women’s section and looked at what they had. Just to look.” The last thing she wanted to do was make him feel inadequate or that she wasn’t happy. She was extremely happy and couldn’t remember a time where she was this elated with her life before Shane. Still, she knew in some way he’d take it as a punch to his ego and that was the last thing she wanted to do. “It’s selfish and dumb and shallow and I love you so it shouldn’t matter, but I couldn’t help it with Evan getting engaged and showing off her ring and Autumn comparing hers to it to feel a little… left out. I just, kind of got my hopes up about something that’s all.”
Looking up at him to gage his reaction, Devin wouldn’t tell what he was thinking behind the aviators and hoped that he didn’t think less of her for it. “It’s stupid… just forget it.” Giving his hand a squeeze, Devin kissed his cheek and then Connor’s crown knowing how lucky she was with having what she did. No ring was going to change that. Shane didn’t need her worries to deal with beyond his own more so over something as stupid as a piece of jewelry they probably couldn’t afford.
Shane Moran - May 30, 2011 02:36 AM (GMT)
She might not have had to say as much but Shane had all the answers he needed as Devin’s fingers threaded in between his. Her downcast stare only served to back that up. She wanted something the same way kids wanted something standing outside a candy store. Shane’s brow furrowed a little more. He wasn’t mad at all just... resolute. He wanted this in the same way that she wanted; Devin deserved the world but couldn’t afford to give it to her and never would.
Devin’s confession of course only further compounded that as he was reminded yet again at his shortcomings as a husband on a day that was supposed to really mean something. Their anniversary had been marked by an amazing event yes but he had somehow overlooked that. No amount of buying rings now would make up for that fact that he was sure would come back to haunt him on the next major argument they had. Still the casual and intimate touch of her thumb running across his hand softened Shane’s expression and provoked his smile. It took over at the kiss that was to follow.
Arm around her he tugged her close against his side and planted a firm kiss against the top of her head. Grip remained firm yet gentle as he nodded his head towards the door. “Well we can’t have you feeling left out amongst the girls now can we?” he teased. “Make me look like a... bad husband or something.” He cleared his throat. Bingo, there it was; she was thinking almost exactly the same thing that he was and there was no comfort in that realization whatsoever, just added guilt. In that vein again Shane led her to the door and opened it to allow her to pass ahead of him.
Together they would enter the store. Money hung in the air as it always did in such places, having that anticipatory pressure that you had to buy something just to make you feel like you were worthy of setting foot inside the door. Shane jostled Connor against his chest with his free hand, the other was keeping a gentle hold of his wife in what he hoped was a reassuring way. The glass cabinets gleamed and polished rocks and bands of precious metals sparkled around a room laden with plastic flowers, plastic promises, and plastic smiles from the staff watching like predators.
“So show me what got your hopes up, then,” he prompted, trying to sound more petulant than he actually appeared. Shane was nervous; he hadn’t really expected that he would be. The plan had been to treat her and make up for his oversight but now that he was there was a feeling that he was overreacting and worse that Devin would pick up on it and ruin the moment. He didn’t want that. He just wanted her to be happy, regardless the cost.
Devin Moran - May 30, 2011 03:25 AM (GMT)
“Really Shane, it’s fine,” she told him as he nodded to the door of the shop. Just being pulled against his side, his lips against her hair reminded her that she was the luckiest woman in the world. Now she just felt silly and selfish for even bringing it up in the first place. He teased but she knew somewhere deep down he felt like she was judging him when that wasn’t the case at all. What he said next had her eyes go wide wanting to kick herself and tell him a hundred reasons why he should never utter that again.
Letting him practically push her into the store, Devin turned to look at him, her back to the rings and jewelry. “You’re the best
husband,” she told him looking straight into his green eyes and pinning Connor between them. Reaching up a hand, Devin brushed his bangs out of his eyes with a smile. “They only wish they could have you,” Devin teased back finding her smile returning after the serious moment of getting through to him that whatever insecurities he had, his status as a husband and father were not up for questioning. What made him a good husband was that he loved her and only her with all of his heart just as she loved him.
Pulled back into his hold, Devin looked at the cases. She could remember the ring. It wasn’t too expensive and it wasn’t flashy. Some part of her hoped that Shane would like it as much as she did. “I bet you could figure out which one it is,” she said as if it was a challenge to him to see if he knew her as well as they proclaimed he did. Somehow she felt this was cheating, her showing Shane what she liked instead of him picking it out himself. But how many of her friends had gone back with their husbands-to-be to choose another ring because the first one wasn’t exactly what they liked? If she thought of it that way or like window shopping, then it didn’t count.
“It’s over in the far case,” she stated guiding Connor and him over there and away from the jewelry and stones that cost a small mansion to purchase. Leaning her head against his shoulder, Devin reached up to play with Connor’s hand as she removed the sunglasses from his face that were starting to fall. “Sometimes I try to think of how you would have proposed to me if we got the chance. I could never see you getting down on one knee though,” Devin laughed sharing with Shane something she had mused over at home when he was at work. Shane wasn’t the romance type. When he tried things seemed to not go his way, but sometimes he’d hit every fairytale cliché perfectly. But proposing on one knee was not one Devin could really see him doing outside of their six month anniversary when something seemed to have taken over.
Looking at the rows of bobbles, Devin was worried that the one she had seen had been sold. But there in the middle of the pack, Devin saw the ring
. “If you had to choose… which one would you pick?” Devin asked to see if he was on the same page or thought she’d want the ridiculous monstrosity more towards the front of the case.
Shane Moran - June 1, 2011 11:42 PM (GMT)
Had he been able to at that point Shane would have folded his arms across his chest and pouted, if for no other reason than because he could. Connor’s presence stopped all that, but the slight guilty dip of the eyes and the tug in the corner of his lips attested what he could not and would not say – that she was wrong. Devin’s touch though as always provoked a wan yet thankful smile. Her reassurances were heard and received yet Shane didn’t respond at all feeling the impassive gaze of the store keeper upon them. He watched his wife draw back ruing the urge to kiss her or take her back outside where things felt normal again and not so… what exactly? Insecure? Tense? If that’s what they were then the moment had been tainted by him alone and wasn’t shared as Devin soon wandered off to find the ring that she had her heart set on. Clearing his throat Shane stifled a heavy internal sigh before he followed.
Physical contact did eventually strip those earlier feelings away. With Devin’s head against his shoulder and her weight pressed against his side Shane let his lungs empty of tension in a way that no one else could ever provoke. He even nuzzled a light kiss against the top of her crown. Arm draped around her as she fussed over their son who looked largely comical now with glasses sliding off and little pink limbs flailing in protest. Maybe he sensed the pressure and expense in the air – or maybe he just wanted at all the pretty shiny things he would never have. Just like his mother. Again Shane sighed. Devin’s statement provoked another slight then honest smile. He gave a shrug as his gaze wandered across the cabinets and their displays.
Of course then she asked for his opinion and Shane’s mind went into panic mode – however fleeting that may have been. What he wanted was a far cry different from what he thought she would like, or expected. His eyes grew wide then narrowed in consternation at the sizes of the rocks in front of him and his brain started swearing at him for even leaving the relative safety of his office to come here. Licking his lips and gnawing them a moment he again shrugged and nodded towards something he hoped was middle range. “That one… I guess.” Then he noticed her stare lingering on something else. “But I don’t think any of these would look good on me. Big knuckles,” he joked. Shane looked around. The keeper was coming over to swoop in on a fresh kill. “I’d get down on a knee. You’ll see me drop to both if you pick the biggest one.” He was still making light of the fact and hoping she would realize it as he gave the woman across the counter a cordial smile and nod that practically came off desperate.
Devin Moran - June 2, 2011 12:44 AM (GMT)
Laughing softly at Connor, Devin curled into Shane’s side more. She didn’t know why she built it up in her head this idea that he’d have gotten her a ring too. And she was happy with what she had already. He already gave her the best thing in the world and that was his vow. Along with it came Connor and motherhood and the love of a good man. That’s all she needed and all she really wanted. “Close,” Devin told Shane looking up at his face. He was only one or two rings over and it was in the same type of style. Just the one he picked was a few hundred dollars more. “We’re just looking,” Devin told the sales woman who ended up giving a harsh thin lipped smile, and wandered over to someone else who appeared more in the business of buying than looking. As much as Shane joked and teased, Devin knew he was uncomfortable in here. The quicker she showed him the one she had liked the quicker they could leave and move onto lunch where she was sure he’d breathe again.
“I like you knuckles.” A squeeze of his hand and Devin couldn’t help but laugh as he talked about dropping to both knees if she picked the biggest one. “I don’t think my knuckles are big enough for that… nor is my taste that bad.” There was something about big jewels and jems that weren’t attractive to her. In fact, she thought they looked cheaper. Bigger wasn’t always better in her book and that mostly applied to jewelry. “Don’t worry, your girl doesn’t like mini-ice rinks.” Your girl… the way it sounded coming out of her mouth had her smiling. It was in her eyes and the way they lit up as she said the words. She was his girl now in every possible way and that was worth all the diamonds in the room to her. Devin didn’t want to get married again, or for the first time for the size of the ring, she wanted to have someone that wanted her, needed her. Shane made her feel both.
Leaning towards the case, Devin pointed a finger to the one that she had seen with Roxy and the one that she would have shown off to everyone she could. Adjusting diaper bag, previous purchases, and her own purse, Devin knew that something like that would probably not fit on her finger. She hadn’t even tried it on the last time thinking that would be too much and the fact she didn’t want to like it and then not have it. Was like adopting a pet just to be told to give it back. “That one. I saw it and… I don’t know. It just seemed like me and something you’d pick if left on your own.” Shaking her head, Devin retuned to her husband’s side knowing that he probably was itching to get out of there as fast as possible. “Well… now you’ve seen it. Disappointed that it’s not the size of a golf ball?” she joked even if it hurt to think he still thought of her as some rich princess when for almost half of her life she hadn’t been that.