Excerpt for Lucky Love by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Lucky Love

H Stinington

Published by H Stinington, 2018

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.


First edition. July 16, 2018.

Copyright © 2018 H Stinington.

Written by H Stinington.



"Justin? Justin!" Abigail hissed, wandering aimlessly through the deserted hall at the back of the club. "Where the hell are you?"

Suddenly, she found herself pulled into a storage cupboard. She was ready to object when she looked up to find a grinning Justin.

"A broom cupboard?" Abigail was not impressed.

"Yeah... I know... sorry about that" Justin scratched the back of his head nervously. "Bathrooms were occupied, and I didn't want to risk it. But I passed the cupboard and thought 'what the hell'? I just can't wait any longer, Abigail. I want you now" He purred hungrily in her ear, resting his hands on her hips again and pushing her back into the wall as he began biting and sucking at the pale flesh of her exposed neck.

Abigail moaned as he hastily lifted her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist, feeling his hardness pressed against her.

"I want you"

“No, Justin, we need to talk first…”Abigail ran out of words when Justin pulled her into an embrace and began to kiss her. “We have to talk about what happened at the office.”

"Why?" He mumbled, not looking up from where he was still running lips, tongue and teeth over her delicate skin, leaving his mark on her.

"Because it's important" Abigail panted, tipping her head back in ecstasy.

"Then we will, another time... I just need you, now, Abigail" He groaned, pushing his hips into hers.

"Need you too..." She replied, pulling his head up for a bruising kiss. "Not here, it's too risky" She dropped her feet back to the floor and he moaned at the loss of contact.

"My car's out front and my apartment's only five minutes away. We could go there? If... that's alright with you, of course" He asked softly, realizing he'd come on a bit strong, and silently hoping that she would say yes.

To his astonishment, Abigail nodded and began to compose herself, and straighten herself out, before he took hold of her hand, and checked the coast was clear before sneaking out of the cupboard. As they walk through the lonely corridor, they heard the muffled music still pumping from the main part of the club, knowing they were safe to make a run for it. They slipped through the fire exit to avoid Selena and the others seeing them, and as they walked swiftly to Justin's car, he felt Abigail grip his hand that extra bit tighter, knowing she was nervous about the whole situation and the consequences of getting caught. He stroked her hair as if to reassure her and she looked around to make sure they weren’t going to be seen before leaning in to kiss him.


The door to Justin's apartment flew open and slammed shut in a split second.

He held her up and placed her on the kitchen counter for more support, and Abigail cupped his cheeks in her hands and stroked a hand through his hair affectionately, smiling down at him. He kissed her nose and cheek softly as she began to unbutton his shirt with expert fingers, moving swiftly and pulling it off his shoulders and letting it drop to the floor, as his hands fumbled with the zipper on her dress. She laughed gently when he couldn't undo it, and hopped off the counter and slipped out of the dress herself, letting it drop to the floor, so she stood there in front of him in her lacy underwear and her black stilettos. Justin's jaw nearly hit the ground and she grinned and bit her lip, before kissing the corner of his mouth and turning to walk towards his bedroom, swinging her hips a little in the process.

Justin's eyes widened and when he finally came back to his senses, pulling himself together and realizing that he was just about to have sex with Abigail Davidson, taking a few deep breaths before trotting eagerly after her.

She was lying back on the bed with a sultry smile when he entered and he raced forward and pounced on her, pushing her down onto the mattress, his hands either side of her head as he lay above her. He leant down and kissed her painfully slowly, and she raked her hands up and down his bare chest before wrapping her hands around the nape of his neck to pull him in for a more forceful kiss, before she reached forward to free him from the confines of his jeans.

Shedding his jeans rapidly, Abigail saw there was a rather apparent bulge at the front of his boxers and she couldn't help but smirk at the sight. Justin leant down to kiss her again, this kiss was fiery and passionate, their hot tongues entwining and teeth scraping along lips and tongues.

"Justin... need you" Abigail moaned, and he complied, but decided impulsively to tease her just that little bit more, as he began to kiss down her sternum, working his way down her stomach to the top of her underwear. "Take them off" She demanded.

"Patience, Abby!" He chuckled, drawing tantalizing patterns just above her waistband with his tongue.

"God, Justin, no, I need you, now" Abigail groaned, as he kissed his way back up her abdomen again and began to remove her bra as slowly as he possibly could, before lowering his mouth to her breast, kissing and nipping as he went.

She couldn't bare it any longer, and as she panted and moaned as he continued his attack on her body, she reached her arms out frantically to remove his boxers. He gasped as she wrapped a hand around his length.

"Oh, god, Abigail..." He moaned.

"Now" She demanded, "please"


*One New Message: Selena Rogan*

Justin? Where the hell are you? You disappeared! – Selena

"Who's it from?" Abigail asked, not bothering to lift her heavy head from the pillow to look at Justin as he crossed the room to retrieve his phone from his jacket as she pulled the crisp white sheets up around her bare body.

"Selena, wondering where I am. What should I tell her?" He joined her on the bed, slipping beneath the covers and resting his head on her chest and showing her his phone, as she threaded her finger through his hair as her eyes scanned over the text.

"Tell her you hooked up with someone" She couldn't keep the grin from flourishing on her face.

"Isn't that a little obvious if the both of us are the only ones missing from the party?"

"I guess..." She sighed. "Just tell her you had to leave urgently and you couldn't find her to say goodbye, or something. I don't know. By the looks of it, she's pissed anyway. I think she'll buy it"

"Hmm" He texted a quick reply before dropping his phone onto the sheets beside them and snuggling close to her, pressing a kiss to her temple.

"I feel so guilty for leaving her party for a quick fuck"

"...Quick... quick fuck! Abby, I feel slightly insulted by that" Justin exclaimed, lifting his head to look down at her.

"Oh, I'm sorry, love!" She teased, reaching out to caress his cheek softly, "If it makes you feel any better, it was a damn good, quick fuck"

Justin laughed and laid down next to her again, kissing her cheek and putting his arm around her shoulders to draw her close to him.

"Would you mind if I slept here tonight?" She asked quietly, yawning against his bare chest. "I have a room at the hotel I'm staying at when I’m in the city to go back to if you don't want me to stay. I don't mind, I really don't want to..."

"Abigail" He cut her off, smiling and stroking her hair absentmindedly, "you don't even need to ask. I'm more than happy for you to stay"

"Thank you" She mumbled, leaning up to kiss him tenderly before nestling herself close to him, curling up in his arms, letting her face drop into the crook of his neck and letting her eyes flutter closed.

After a moment of blissful quiet, he broke the silence and said, "I'd like to see you again, Abigail. Like this, I mean"

"Me too"

"Can we... go for lunch, or coffee or something?"

"Are you asking me on a date, Mr Strong?" She beamed, smiling into his skin.

"No! Well... yes. But not like a date... just a meeting so we can talk about what this is, like you wanted. Is that...? Is that ok?"

"Yeah, I'd like that very much"

Abigail soon drifted off into a deep and peaceful sleep, content in his arms, and Justin couldn't bring himself to close his eyes, for fear that if he looked away from her for even one second, she would vanish. He didn't dare believe that this was real, but it was.


Abigail had been sat alone in the corner of the deserted cafe for over an hour now, waiting for Justin to walk through the door. She took yet another careful sip of her fourth cup of coffee and gazed out of the window. The usually hectic street wasn't all that busy today, although there were a few passersby, just aimless shoppers, mothers with young children and a few business men on their breaks, but it was about 10 o'clock in the morning on a Monday, so most people were probably at work or at school.

Abigail and Justin weren't working today, so they had arranged to meet and talk about what had happened between them, and where it was going.

Where was it going? Abigail didn't even know the answer to that question herself, and now she was expected to explain to Justin what was going on.

They'd woken up in bed together after a drunken night, but so what? Nothing had happened between them. Well, they'd kissed, but that wasn't abnormal, they'd done it hundreds of times at the office. He'd come to her office that day, but nothing had really happened. But Abigail couldn't help thinking that if there hadn't been a knock at her door, she would have had sex with Justin right there on the couch. But really, they'd only slept together the once. So, surely if they could come to some sort of arrangement today, they could move easily on from it before any more damage was done?

She was only over here for a few months before she went back home to Paris to be with her daughter Calantha, and whether she wanted one or not, Abigail didn't really have that much time for a proper relationship, not with everything else going on in her life, and above all, she didn't want a relationship with Justin, at least, she didn't think so.

They were very close friends and having any kind of relationship, fling or otherwise, could jeopardize that and Abigail wasn't sure she even wanted to risk it. Justin was a very valuable friend to her, and should anything go wrong she so desperately didn't want to lose him, and she didn't think it was worth risking that.

Suddenly, the door to the cafe was pushed open, and Abigail was roused from her thoughts when she saw Justin; dressed casually in jeans and a woolen sweater, his hair ruffled gently and a huge grin spreading rapidly across his face as soon as he laid eyes on her. He made his way quickly towards her table, and pulled up a chair, sinking down into it and leaning forward on his elbows.

"Hello, Abby."

"Hello." She smiled, relieved to finally see him. "I'm so sorry I'm late, Abigail. I got held up, and I..."

"It's alright, love, it doesn't matter. You're here now." She cut him off, knowing if he began rambling, they would never get anywhere. "Do you want a coffee or something?"

"No, no, I'm good for now, thanks." He replied gently "How are you, Abigail?"

"I'm fine, thank you." She smiled softly; this was all so formal, they weren't usually like this. Something had changed.

"Have you recovered after that fabulous night at Selena's party?" He smirked, raising an eyebrow at her, and she tipped her head back as she laughed. Yes, he was taking her back to what they knew.

"That was three days ago! Don't flatter yourself love" She reached across the table and held his hand in hers, squeezing it patronizingly.

"Alright," He smiled, "But... it was good, no?" He looked a little nervous, and Abigail suddenly realized she was still absentmindedly sweeping her thumb over the soft skin of his hand.

"The best," She whispered, gazing at him, before snapping out of her reverie and pulling away.

"So, what did you want to talk about?"

"Me? You were the one who asked me to meet you for coffee. Remember?"

"Yes, but at the party, you were the one who said we needed to talk..." He furrowed his brow.

"We do, Justin." She sighed, leaning back in her chair.

"Ok, then, let's talk," He grinned, running a hand nervously through his hair. "What's wrong, Abigail? You... you regret what we did, don't you? God, I'm so sorry, I didn't think, I just..."

"Justin," She cut him off sharply.

"Sorry, go on."

"I don't regret what we did, it was silly and risky... but I don't regret it; any of it."

"Me either," He smiled, reaching across the table to take her hand in his again. In that brief moment, neither of them cared if someone saw them. They needed this; to be together and talk properly about what was happening between them. There was no one around anyway, so it was probably safe.

"The thing is, Justin, this whole situation is absurd. I mean, I'm not looking for a relationship, and I don't think sneaking around for the occasional fuck is going to get us anywhere. So, what exactly are we trying to achieve here?"

"I don't know," He sighed, staring down at the table to avoid eye contact with her. "All I do know is that these past few weeks have been better than I ever thought possible, and I don't want this to end. But, if you're not ok with that, then, I'll do whatever you feel comfortable with."

"I'm not going to pretend that it hasn't been enjoyable, because it has, but that's beside the point. The reality is, having a secret affair with you is stupid, Justin, and if we got caught, we’d get fired. Don't you get that?"

"Of course I do."

"So, what do want?" The despair in her voice was evident, and Justin wanted nothing more than to reach over the small table that separated and embrace her; to tell her what he really wanted and how he really felt about her; how he'd always felt about her.

"You." She looked taken aback by this, but he continued, "I really, really like you, Abigail, and I certainly don't want to go back to being just friends."

"Don't be silly, love," She shook her head.

"No, I do; it's the truth!" He protested. "I didn't just come to your room that day because I wanted meaningless sex with my beautiful co-worker. I'd thought long and hard about how you would react, and eventually just decided to take a shot and act on my feelings, even if I would get rejected. I didn't just take you back to my apartment, sleep with you and let you stay the night for no reason, or because I was drunk; because I wasn't. I have had an obscenely large crush on you for ages, Abigail, and it's taken me all this time to work up the courage to tell you. Being with you in the way that I have in the past few weeks, has been a ridiculous dream, and I really want to keep seeing you, like this, I mean. As more than friends."

"Justin, I..."

"No, Abigail, listen to me for a moment," He said determinedly, sitting up in his seat and leaning across the table to her. "We're great friends, we get on so well, we flirt all the time and I know you love it just as much as I do. We have chemistry, you can't deny that, but you've got to admit that there's something else there, right? I mean... I think there is, don't you agree?"

There was a long pause while she considered what to say.

"Yes," Came her reply.

"So? If you think the same, why can't we just give it a go, Abigail? Please, I'd really like to keep seeing you like this." He stared up at her through his lashes with a puppy dog expression gleaming in his eyes. "If you really don't want to, that's fine too, though. It's ok, really. Just say so now and we can move on. I won't mention it again."

"I suppose we could give it a go?" Her mouth creased into a sweet smile, the one that made Justin's stomach flutter, and he felt his cheeks aching from the ecstatic grin he must have been giving her without even realizing.


"Yeah," She breathed, before sitting up straight. "Ok, so here's the deal Justin. This is not a relationship, as I really don't have the time right now, but we're just two friends having casual sex that doesn't interfere with anything else."

"You mean a 'friends with benefits' type of thing?"

"Exactly" She nodded. "It's not serious, and if one of us decide to stop this affair at any point, that's the end of it; no more will be said about it. I have Calantha to think of, plus my job and living arrangements and everything else, and you have your own family and friends and career to worry about, and this – whatever this is – is entirely separate from all of that. Ok? We carry on our work, we're still friends and hang out after work as we usually would, but we're just... you know... sleeping together on the side." She chuckled lightly and he smiled. "But we have to agree not to tell anybody. This is just between us; it's our secret affair, nobody needs to know. Is that fair?"


"Good. And, who knows? If it goes well, then I might consider something a little more than just a 'sex on the side' relationship, if we were both in favor, of course. If not, then ok. But for now, we'll just see how this works out, and see what happens. Is that alright?"

"Of course. If that's what you're happy with for now, then I'm equally as happy to go along with that, Abigail, really I am." He grinned.

"Good, I'm glad that's all sorted then." She smiled faintly, glancing down at the table before taking a sip of her coffee, her eyes flitting all around the deserted cafe, with only one other person inhabiting it; a middle-aged woman with shoulder-length blonde hair wiping down some of the tables across the room.

There was a rather awkward silence as Justin slumped back in his chair, his gaze fixed on something in the window. Abigail fiddled with the clasp of the dainty silver bracelet around her wrist. There was faint background music floating from speakers suspended on the far walls, but Abigail couldn't quite make out the artist or the song, and decided that she desperately needed to fill this silence. The peace and serenity was nice after so many hectic days of work, but the awkwardness of sitting across from the man she'd shagged a few nights ago, in an empty cafe, not speaking to one another, was not a feeling Abigail wished to endure any longer.

"So... em, are you working today or not?" She asked, trying her best to sound nonchalant.

"Yeah, I'm going to the office later today, I have time off this morning though." He replied, turning his head back in her direction. "Speaking of which, did Selena ever question you about your disappearance at her party?"

"Not really, she asked me where I got to though, because she didn't get to say goodbye to me, but I just told her I got an urgent call from Calantha and had to rush back to my hotel to Skype with her. And I told her that she looked like she was having such a good time on the dance floor that I didn't want to interrupt, so I just slipped out and left. I don't think she remembers much about that night to be perfectly honest, so I'm pretty certain she bought it. We got away with it." She grinned.

"You're so sneaky, Abby." He smirked.

"Well, I'm going to have to be if I'm going to be participating in this sordid little affair with you, love." She winked at him flirtatiously.

"Well, you'll just have to teach me the tricks of your trade, won't you, Miss Davidson?"

"I will indeed," He suddenly glanced at his watch and jumped with a start.

"Hey, look, I'm really sorry, but I've got to rush off now. I've got some errands to run before I'm needed later, but I'll call you tonight, ok?" He pushed his chair back, the legs scraping across the wooden floor as he stood up and straightened himself out.

"Ok." She nodded, standing up too. "I thought I'd at least get a goodbye kiss." She feigned looking hurt.

"You... you want me to kiss you?"

"Err... well, not if you don't want to. Please don't force yourself to kiss me." She laughed.

"Abigail! No! God, no. I would never... I mean, I want to, I'm not forcing myself, I..."

"Alright, love, just relax. It was just a joke." She advanced toward him and cupped his cheek in her hand and she felt his breathing quicken considerably. It surprised her that she still made him so nervous.

"Sorry, I just, I thought... never mind. So, I can kiss you, then? Is that... em... is that alright?" He stammered.

"Of course it is! Justin, sweetie, we've slept together, a little goodbye kiss is nothing compared to that. I'm perfectly happy for you to kiss me, you really don't need to ask for permission." She grinned, stroking his cheek gently.

"I know, but... but we're in public, Abigail." He hissed, his voice barely audible.

"Well, yes, I know that, and I normally wouldn't allow it; but come on, Justin, look around! There's nobody here but us. There are no other customers, the waitress had gone out back, and there's nobody outside to see us through the windows, I think we're safe this time." She mumbled.

"If you say so... "He grinned, not needing any more confirmation than that, as he lent down eagerly and slipped his arms around her waist to pull her in for a rather passionate kiss.

She threaded her fingers quickly through his hair, ruffling it even more as he squeezed her close to him, his hands trailing up and down her back, before coming to rest at the back of her neck. She felt his insistent tongue, and opened her mouth willingly to him, as her hands went to cup his cheeks again. Suddenly, Abigail heard the footsteps of the waitress coming back into the main part of the cafe, and hastily pushed herself away from Justin, not wanting to be caught before they'd even begun.

Justin stared at her, bemused as to why she'd shoved him away, but before he could open his mouth to protest Abigail discretely tossed her head in the direction of the waitress. Following her gesture with his eyes, Justin sighed in disappointment, deciding to pull her in for a hug instead.

"I'll call you tonight when I get back from work, and then maybe you can come over again? If you want to, that is?" He murmured in her ear, before pulling away from the embrace.

"I'd love to," She replied gently, lowering her voice so only he could hear, "Then we can pick up where we left off, before we were so rudely interrupted!" She tossed her head in the direction of the waitress and Justin couldn't help but let out a snort – which earned him a look of disapproval from the woman, and Justin composed himself quickly.

"Alright, talk to you later then. Bye, Abigail," He smiled, before turning to leave.

Oh yes. Today was going to be a good day.


"Really?" Selena exclaimed excitedly, clapping her hands together.

"Yeah, I rented a small townhouse near the office when I came over here from Paris, but it's taken a while to get everything organized. But I moved all my things in a few days ago" Abigail smiled, taking a swig of her bottled water.

"That's great, Abigail! You'll be so close to all of us now, we'll have to come round for parties and family gatherings" Selena grinned, popping some crisps into her mouth.

"Yeah, well, I was getting sick of that same old ghastly hotel room, and I'm fed up of moving from place to place. It'll be nice to have some place to call my own, for a little while at least"

"Are you staying over here permanently, then?" Hayden added, stealing one of Selena's crisps when she was looking in the opposite direction.

Abigail shook her head, placing her water bottle down on the table and swallowing, before replying, "No. After my work here is over, I'm heading back home to Paris to be with Calantha for a few months, but then I'll be over here again - with Calantha this time - and I just wanted somewhere to stay that wasn't a dirty hotel. You lot have all rented or bought flats here, despite you not actually living in the city, so I thought, why not?"

"Fair point"

"Calantha hates having to stay in hotels whenever she's over here, so I thought it would be nice to have our own little house for now, until I decide to get something more permanent. If I ever decided to move back here permanently, that is"

"You so should!" Selena adds hastily, a big friendly smile on her lips. "We really miss you when you're gone, Abigail. You know, you should just stay over here all the time. Bring Calantha, we'll have a rave"

"I wish I could, dear. I feel so much more at home over here. But I have Calantha and her schooling, her friends, her father, and everything else going on in her life to consider before I go moving her here. I'm sure she'd love it over here, but I don't want to force or rush her into a dramatic move if she's not ready. So I'm just... taking it slow" She smiled faintly, tapping her nails on the wooden picnic table and avoiding eye contact with her colleagues. She couldn't bear to think of what would happen to their secret affair when she left for Paris. But they would cross that bridge when they came to it.

"Does Calantha know?"

"Does Calantha know about what?" Justin chirped, strolling over to the picnic table and plopping down beside Abigail.

"About Abigail's new townhouse" Selena replied.

"Oh right" Justin nodded, suddenly realizing that he was supposed to act like he didn't know about her house, and that he hadn't had sex with Abigail on the couch there a few nights ago. He quickly added, "And what townhouse is this?"

"Oh, just a little place I'm renting" Abigail responded nonchalantly, avoiding eye contact with Justin. If she could see his expression, so perfect and innocent despite the fact he was being a deceiving little piss, she would probably crack. Justin nodded, pretending he was interested in this new house he supposedly new nothing about. "Yes, Calantha knows about the house"

"Has she seen any pictures, or is it a surprise for when she comes to visit?" Selena laughed.

"I sent her pictures via email as soon as I moved in with all my stuff and it actually somewhat resembled a home. She loved it! She's really excited"

"Oh, I'm so glad! I'm sure it's lovely. You'll have to give us your new address"


Justin seized her wrist and she gasped as he spun her round to face him; their upper bodies pressed together.

"Justin, what are you doing?" She hissed, staring at him wide eyed.

"Just checking that we're still on for tonight?" He smirked. "At that lovely new townhouse of yours"

"Oh, absolutely love" She whispered.

"Good. I'll be there around nine thirty-ish? Is that alright?"


He grinned, before checking nobody was around and moving swiftly in to brush his lips softly over hers. She gasped and swatted him away.

"Justin! What...?"

"I've got to flirt with you for the rest of the day, Abigail. You're going to drive me insane, and I won't be able to do that or anything else until late tonight – where I intend to make up for not being able to touch you – but I just couldn't resist"

"Oh, you ridiculous man" She sighed. "Whatever will I do with you? Come on, let's get back to our office before anyone notices"


"Jerome, I'm not taking her away from you!" Abigail bellowed down the line, gripping her mobile so tightly, she was afraid she might crush it. "Why would you even...?"

"It's not up for discussion, Abigail! You are not taking my daughter away from me!" Jerome roared back at her.

"I never said I was taking her away! I never even mentioned bringing her over here permanently, I was talking about visits. You were the one who started jumping to conclusions about my rental property!" She snapped back, pacing around her living room like a caged tiger. "It's bad enough I barely get to see Calantha anyway, I think letting me have her for her Summer holidays this year is the least you could fucking do! I don't give a damn if you think it's unfair, because it's not unfair; not on you anyway. She's my daughter too, if you'd forgotten, and I'm not going to let you get away with restricting the time I get to see her"

"Calm down!" He all but screamed in her ear.

"You calm down!" She didn't care if she sounded like a child, she was fighting back a gallon of tears now; cracking from the emotional strain of missing her daughter so badly she felt physically sick, and arguing with Jerome. "You know what, Jerome? I'm not having this conversation with you. I called to speak to my daughter, and as I've done that already, I'm not wasting any more time arguing with you over something we will never see eye-to-eye on. I'll gladly discuss this with you, face-to-face, when I come over in a couple of months. But not now. Goodbye, Jerome" She knew her voice kept catching and strangling on her words, and she knew her despondency had been evident to him, but she didn't care.

Abigail hurled her phone violently onto the sofa, before flopping down next to where it had landed and beginning to sob. She put her head in her hands, tears spilling rapidly from her tired eyes. She missed her daughter so much some days that it physically hurt. She skyped with her, she emailed her, she called her and texted her, but it wasn't the same. Going months without seeing the most precious person in the universe to her hurt her more than anyone could possibly imagine. But the fear of Jerome limiting the time she actually did get to spend with Calantha, scared her more than anything.

Suddenly there was a knock at her front door, and Abigail hastily rubbed her sore, red eyes and reached out for a tissue to dab at her eyes and blow her noise, before she proceeded to get up and head down the hall to open the door.

When the door swung open, Justin was standing on her porch - dressed in dark denim jeans sitting low on his hips, and a low cut blue V-neck t-shirt revealing an unhealthy amount of collarbone and neck - leaning against the doorframe with a brown paper bag and a bottle of white wine in hand. He looked up from where he was scuffing his shoes along the ground, and grinned at her.

"Hello" He whispered, stepping into the house before Abigail even had a chance to invite him in.

"Hi" She mumbled, feigning a smile as best she could in the state she was in.

He leaned in quickly, and pressed a firm and quick kiss to her lips, before pacing down the hall to kitchen. Abigail frowned, before shaking her head, closing the door and heading after him. Upon entering the kitchen, she found him placing the wine and the bag down on the counter, and she wandered aimlessly over to where he was standing and looked at him blankly.

"I bought wine, and Thai food, because I thought we'd probably get hungry, but I didn't think we'd want to cook anything, so I just stopped off to get some on the way, I hope that's alright. I don't know if you want to eat first, or...?" He trailed off when he realized she wasn't saying anything and he began to panic. "Sorry... I... I'm not over-assuming, am I?"

"What?" She replied absentmindedly.

He suddenly noticed the unshed tears glistening and swirling in her eyes as she bit her lip and stared at the ceiling, trying desperately to hold them back. He stopped dead in his tracks, rushing round the counter to her side the second he realized something wasn't right.

"Abigail, love, are you alright?" He asked tentatively, his fingers gently under her chin moved her head so she looked him square on.


"No you're not. What is it? What happened?" He asked hastily, his hands rubbing up and down her arms comfortingly, before his hands flew up to cup her cheeks.

"It's nothing, Justin, really" She replied, her voice weak and small, as she attempted to squirm away from him. He held her tighter.

"Tell me, please"

"I just had a fight with Jerome over the phone about Calantha's living arrangements. It's nothing serious. He just over-reacted a little. It's fine though, we'll sort it, we always do. It just put a bit of a downer on my day, sorry love" She replied shakily, flashing him a very fake smile, before promptly bursting into tears.

"Hey, hey, oh, come here" He replied softly, offering her his open arms. She stepped into him and he held her tightly as she sobbed into the crook of his neck, her fingers curling into the soft cotton of his t-shirt as he shushed her gently. "Look, sweetheart, if you're not up for doing anything tonight, I'm more than ok with that. Please don't feel like you have to just to please me, I'm more concerned about you. I bought wine and Thai, so we could just watch a movie or something? I mean... if you even want me to stay, that is? I want to, I want to look after you, but if you would prefer to be alone, that's cool too. I'll just go, and we can do this another time... if you want to"

"Shut up, you ridiculously wonderful, perfect man" She chuckled, smiling through her tears and lifting her face from where it was buried deep into his shoulder so she could pull him in for a kiss. "You honestly don't know how perfect you are, and I would love you to stay"

His answering smile was beautiful, and certainly made Abigail feel ten times better. Then, he stepped back and held out his hand to her.

"Come on then, Abby" She gripped his hand and he led her over to the couch, where he sat her down, grabbed a fluffy beige blanket from where it was folded over the back of the sofa and draped it over her, making sure she was comfortable. "You get settled here, and put on whatever movie you like, and I'll plate up the food, yes?"

She nodded weakly, smiling as she watched him walk over to the kitchen, and prance around the room as he grabbed plates and wine glasses out of cupboards and began to take the food out of the bag and laid it out carefully on plates.

Cosy nights in with Justin weren't exactly what Abigail had anticipated when she agreed to this affair of theirs, she'd thought it would all be sneaking around and fucking in offices, (thought, to be fair, there was plenty of that as well), but – oh – this; this was much better.


Abigail woke with a start, sitting up frantically and surveying her surroundings; finding herself lying on her couch with Justin's arm around her, her head resting on his shoulder and a blanket thrown haphazardly over them. The room was dark apart from the glow from the television, which now had a long list of credits rolling down the screen, and coffee table in front of her was laden with empty plates and wine glasses. Abigail blinked wearily, looking to Justin.

"Was I asleep?" She yawned, rubbing a hand over her face before curling into his side. "What did I miss?"

"Abigail, pet, the movie's over. You missed - well – you missed pretty much all of it" He smiled, squeezing her close to him before pressing a kiss to her temple.

"Sorry" She mumbled, opening her eyes and leaning up to kiss his cheek. "Thank you so much for staying with me, and being so understanding. I know a night in watching an old rom-com with me wasn't exactly what you came here for"

"No, it wasn't" He agreed, turning his head to face her. "It was better"

She beamed, "You certainly know how to cheer a girl up, Mr Strong. Really though, thank you so much"

"It's alright, it was a pleasure" He smiled, before his eyes flicked down to glance at his watch. "Blimey, it's getting on for half eleven though, I should probably get going"

Abigail let out a rather inhumane sound; a cross between pitiful whine and a reluctant groan, as she clutched him tighter to stop him from moving. "Unless... you want to stay over?" She asked hesitantly, before adding, "No sex, just... sleeping"

"Are you sure?"

"Justin, don't look so nervous, it makes me nervous" She laughed, sitting up straight and looking at him longingly, stroking a hand through his hair as she spoke. "We've slept together many times in the last few weeks, if you recall love. Sharing the same bed for the night isn't exactly a big deal compared to that. But if you want to go home, don't let me stop you"

"Abigail, I would love to stay over, I just... didn't want to impose"

"Nonsense. Come on" She jumped up, switching off the television before offering her hand to him and pulling him up, and guiding him to her bedroom.


After Justin finally decided on what he was going to wear to sleep in - his boxers, his clothes or nothing – he clambered into the bed beside Abigail, who had worn a simple vest-top and underwear. She smiled at him as she rolled over to turn out the bed side lamp, watching him as he snuggled and wriggled around under the warmth of the covers like a child.

When he noticed she was watching him, he burst out laughing, before drawing her close and letting her rest her head on his chest. He let his fingers tangle in her hair as he pressed a kiss to her temple, and then to her lips, before sinking down into the pillows and cocooning themselves beneath the covers.

They lay still in the darkness for a while, holding each other close and listening to the silence and the other's breathing, before Abigail finally decided that she didn't want to sleep, and rolled over and began to peck and nip at Justin's neck and jaw, caressing his cheek and combing her hands through his luxurious mop of hair. Justin's eyes flew open at her touch and he turned so he could see her. Suddenly, she rolled on top of him, and brought her lips crashing down onto his. She could feel his arousal growing already as she accidently brushed past his boxers.

He paused suddenly, pushing her gently off him. "Abigail, love, what are you doing?"

She sank back into the pillows, staring up at the ceiling like a child being scolded, as Justin rolled onto his side so he was facing her and propped himself up on his elbow.

"I thought you said 'no sex'?" He laughed, brushing stray wisps off her face and leaning over to place a soft kiss in her forehead.

"I changed my mind" She whispered, hooking her hands around the nape of his neck and pulling him in for another slow moving kiss.

Justin rolled over so he was on top of her, pushing her down into the mattress before he pulled away from the kiss and cupped her cheeks in his hands; thumbs sweeping gently over her soft, smooth skin as he smiled kindly at her and leant down and kissed her slowly and tenderly. He leant down to kiss and nip lightly at her collarbone and neck; taking the lead as he reached for the hem of her vest and peeled it slowly off her torso and over her head, tossing it to the other side of the room without watching where it landed.

He kissed each new piece of exposed, bronzed flesh, and then began to press open-mouthed kisses down her sternum, grazing his teeth and swiping his tongue over her skin as he traced each of her ribs carefully, continuing to move downwards until he reached the top of her underwear. Hooking his thumbs under the flimsy material, he pulled them slowly down her legs and flung them over his shoulder before turning his attention solely back to her. Leaning over her, he brushed his knuckles along her cheek and looked deep into her eyes before sitting up and gazing down at her naked form.

"You're so beautiful" He breathed, and she couldn't help but smile; because she knew by the tone of his voice and the awe-struck look he was giving her, that he actually meant it.

She turned her attention to the growing bulge that was rather apparent at the front of his boxers and she reached up to rid him of the offending item of clothing. He crashed down on top of her again as soon as he was free, kissing down her body again; this time stopping to nip, lick and kiss the underside of her breasts painfully slowly, as her nails dug hard into the skin where she was gripping his biceps.

He pushed her legs apart gently, stroking her opening unhurriedly, checking she was ready for him. Pressing an open-mouthed kiss to her abdomen, he slipped a finger inside her wet heat, and then another, curling and prodding his fingers to hit the spots inside her that only he knew. She tipped her head in ecstasy as she began to clench around his fingers. When he knew she was close, he withdrew and she let out a whine at the loss of contact.

He smirked against her skin as he kissed his way back up to her lips. She welcomed his probing tongue, opening her mouth to him to allow the exchange as his hands flew up to burying deep into her hair. She encased him between her thighs, reaching out to wrap her hand around his length and guide him towards her entrance.

He pressed his forehead against hers affectionately, and kissed her nose softly, looking into her eyes once more before he pressed a final kiss to her dry lips and buried his face into the crook of her neck as he pushed in slowly. She gasped at the feeling of finally having him inside her, a blast of pleasure shooting through her abdomen as her head fell back and he reached around to wrap her legs around his waist as they began to rock against each other; barely there movements and small, but effective, thrusts. She clung to him in their passionate embrace; her arms locked tightly around his neck, and his arms wrapped around her body, pulling her to him as they moved together; gasping and moaning as he bit down hard on her neck, leaving marks he knew would still be there in the morning.

Suddenly, he unwrapped her legs and hooked his hands under the backs of her knees as he hiked her legs up higher to allow him to thrust deeper, his hips snapping back and forth; faster and faster, so he was hitting that spot inside her that made her quiver and come undone beneath him.

"Oh, god... Justin!" She gasped out, struggling for air, as she felt her climax fast approaching.

She shattered first, singing out his name; over and over again like a mantra, but Justin wasn't far behind. The whole world seemed to come to a standstill around them in those few perfect, stolen moments. It felt as if there was nothing and no one around but them, no sound to be heard but them, nobody else in the world even mattered but them.

She came to an abrupt halt, her body stiffening before she collapsed back onto the mattress, breathing heavily as she came down from her high and Justin fell forwards, his face still buried in her neck and his arms still tight around her as he regained control of his breathing. They clutched each other for a while, the sweat cooling on their hot bodies. Suddenly, he felt something wet on his skin and he managed to gather enough strength to lift his head to see what it was. He saw tears rolling daintily down Abigail's cheeks, spilling from her tightly closed eyes. In alarm, he rolled off her and stared at her with wide, panic-stricken eyes.

"Abigail? Abigail, sweetheart... Abigail?" He asked frantically, stroking her hair back and pressing his lips to her crown, as he mumbled against her skin, "Abigail? What's wrong? D... did I hurt you?" He asked nervously.

She shook her head.

"Are you sure?"

She nodded, biting down on her bottom lip and rolling over to face him. He frowned and moved to put his arms around her as a source of comfort, as she laid a palm over his heart and settled on his chest.

"What's wrong?" He inquired softly, pressing a kiss into her hair and brushing away some stray tears.

"I don't know. But, don't worry; you didn't hurt me, Justin. You never could" She smiled, looking up at him through heavy-lidded eyes that still glistened with unshed tears. "I just..."

Justin chuckled, cutting her off, "Sleep, Abigail. You'll feel much better in the morning"

He promptly dropped off into a contented sleep, still holding her close to him. Abigail, however, lay awake for a little while longer, rewinding the evening's events in her mind. She was telling Justin the truth – well, sort of. She hadn't known exactly why she'd burst into tears, but she had known that she had felt overwhelmed with emotion; the repercussions from her argument with Jerome earlier that evening still lingered, but mainly, her feelings for Justin.

How perfect could one man possibly get? He'd stayed all evening and comforted her, instead of abandoning her when she needed a shoulder to cry on. He'd cheered her up, been considerate enough to bring her takeaway and wine, and he'd told her she was beautiful – and meant it. He was a great, and very valuable, friend to her, but... what, exactly, would happen if – hypothetically – one day she realized she wanted more?

He made her feel special and adored for the first time in a very long time, there was no question about it, and in that brief moment, Abigail wondered if she'd made the right decision restricting herself to a 'friends with benefits' type of relationship with Justin.


She was in trouble now.


They sat huddled together in a booth in the corner of their favorite bar, waiting on Selena to return from buying them all drinks at the bar. They had decided to go out for a celebratory drink after a brainstorming session that had ended much earlier than usual.

It was early evening; twilight was drawing in fairly rapidly and a sharp chill clung to the air, which made Abigail glad to be nestled inside with the warmth of the bar radiating all around her.

"Drinks!" Selena cooed as she set a tray down on the table and slid into the booth next to Abigail. They all reached for their drinks and began their usual back-and-forth banter and light-hearted teasing, which came so naturally to them all. 

Hayden was leaning forward on his elbows and tapping his fingers on the tabletop, as he surveyed his surroundings. Most people were sat at the bar, downing shots for fun or to drown their sorrows as they poured out their hearts to an uninterested bartender. Others were grouped together in booths and chatting amongst themselves, or on what appeared to be cheap dates that were majorly backfiring or they were part of the rowdy bunch gathered around the television yelling and swearing at the screen. Then there was them, sitting amongst them all; squashed into a booth and laughing and talking loudly so they could be heard over the pandemonium and background music. Selena was absentmindedly folding and unfolding a napkin as she debated politics with Justin.

He was desperately trying his best not to give away any tell-tale signs to his co-workers that he was playing footsie with Abigail under the table, despite the fact that her bare foot was creeping tantalizingly slowly up his leg.

They locked ankles as Justin tried his best not to let his eyes wander in Abigail's direction and he tried to keep up the conversation with Selena, that Hayden had now joined in, and as she joined in with the conversation herself, she pretended that there was nothing going on between her and Justin under the table, when in fact she was flexing her toes teasingly against him and trailing her foot lightly up his shin, pulling the cuff of his jeans up his leg with her toes as best she could, before beginning to caress and tickle the skin there. Justin bit down hard on his lower lip and tightened his hand around his pint glass to keep his concentration.

Abigail smirked to herself; pressing the ball of her foot into his knee before beginning to move it slowly up the inside of his thigh. Justin gulped - she was playing a very dangerous game. One look in the wrong direction and that was it.

He stiffened in his seat, and quickly shifted his position so he was leaning on his elbow; chin resting in the palm of his hand as he continued to converse with Selena and Hayden, but he had moved his hand sneakily below the table to seize Abigail's foot, stopping her from travelling any higher. It was far too risky, Justin knew, and could lead to a very embarrassing situation for him if her foot reached its destination.

Abigail seemed to get the message, and dropped her foot back to the floor and began her ascent again, this time deciding to take a different route, as she stroked her foot along the back of his leg; toes creeping into his jeans to tickle at the skin there – where she knew he was ten times more sensitive and it would be much harder for him to maintain his composure.

"Crap, I've lost my shoe." Selena said suddenly, sliding swiftly out of her seat and bending down, readying herself to duck under the table to find it.

Abigail looked at Justin in alarm.

"How can you lose a shoe?" Justin cut in quickly, it was a stupid question with not much thought, but he was buying Abigail time to move her bare foot hastily away from where it was running playfully up and down his calf, and slip it discreetly back into her shoe, as Selena paused to answer him. Abigail had never been more grateful, as she leant back casually in her seat and reached for her glass, relieved that today was not the day they were going to get caught playing a risky little game that she had been too caught up in the moment to see clearly how dangerous it was.

"It slipped off my foot, you idiot." She rolled her eyes and disappeared under the table, snatching up her shoe and placing it back onto her foot before resurfacing.

"Right." He nodded, taking a sip of his beer and glancing at Abigail, who flashed him a knowing smile.

As the others settled down and began to chat amongst themselves again, Abigail found herself slipping slowly into a reverie as the world began to zone out around her. Her mind wandered to how she and Justin had acted a few nights ago at her house.

What had she been thinking? Anything more than a "friends with benefits" relationship with Justin would be absurd. He certainly would never feel the same way. She'd just be setting herself up for a fall again, which was something she was very careful to stay away from. She did not want to be going through that heartache again – especially not over Justin.

She didn't even want to think about how domestic they'd been; but the thought was screaming at her and she couldn't seem to push it away. They'd had dinner, and he'd pranced around her kitchen, dipping swiftly in and out of cupboards like he owned the place, then they'd watched a movie and cuddled up on the sofa together, before heading to bed like they were married or something.

She recalled how, in the morning, he'd woken up before her and taken a shower, and she had woken up much later, padding her way to the kitchen only to find him standing there, completely naked except for one of her towels wrapped around his waist that covered his bottom half, as he gnawed on a piece of toast he'd made for himself and swayed his hips in time to the music that floated around the room from her radio. She hadn't been able to suppress her happiness when she had seen him, and had walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around his naked torso, pressing soft kisses into his skin. He'd even stayed and made her breakfast instead of rushing off straight away. It had been perfect - he had been perfect - and he had made Abigail happier than she had been in a very long time.

Oh, but it had been far too domestic for what they had agreed. This... thing going on between them was a secret affair, a fling, friends with benefits; whatever you wanted to call it, it was not a relationship and it never could be - that was what Abigail kept telling herself anyway.

It certainly could not happen again, no matter how much she wanted it to.

She shook the thoughts from her head quickly and snapped back to reality.

Justin was fiddling with his phone after receiving a text from his sister, and as Abigail glanced around the table, she noticed the Selena was also tapping at her phone before frowning at it; her expression a cross between frustration and confusion.

"Justin, can I see your phone for a sec?" She asked Justin.

"Sure" He replied, handing over the phone without a second thought. He glanced at Abigail and flashed her a soft, friendly smile, but to his confusion, she was staring at him with panic-stricken eyes, subtly shaking her head at him and trying to tell him something, but he couldn't figure out what. Then it hit him.

Oh. Oh no.

He had texts from Abigail on there, and not just any old texts either; very, very dirty messages, ones that would not only surely give their secret away, but also raise a few eyebrows.

"Actually, no, wait! Can I have it back?" He remarked hastily, gesturing wildly for her to hand it over.

"In a moment..." She mumbled, not looking up from where she was holding the two phones next to each other and staring at them; deep in thought.

"Please Selena."

"Yeah, in a minute - when I'm done." She snapped, looking up at him.

"No, now!" He demanded before diving forward, leaning across the table waving his arms about, trying to snatch the phone from her hands.

"Jeez, Justin, what's your problem?" Selena hissed, jerking out of the way.

"There's private stuff on there." He muttered, eyes locked on the phone.

"Oh my god, Justin! What's on here that you don't want me to see, eh?" She teased, raising an eyebrow at him before turning her attention back to the phone that was firmly in her grasp.

"Nothing, it doesn't matter, just give it back!" He growled.

"I will when I'm finished looking something up. Honestly, Nathaniel, clearly you haven't been behaving yourself or..."

She was cut off by Justin making another grab for the phone as he lunged across the table, knocking Selena's wine glass over in the process.

"Selena, just give me the damn phone!" He barked, ignoring the spillage, eyes still focused on the phone.

"Stop it, both of you!" Hayden snapped, picking up Selena's now empty glass and placing it upright. "You're making a scene, and people are starting to stare. You're like children, for god's sake. Selena, give Justin his phone back, now."

Selena sighed and held out her hand to Justin, who snatched up his phone and placing it carefully back in his pocket before saying, "Thank you, Hayden", and giving Selena a glare.

"What the hell, Justin! Calm down will you? What's on there that's so bad I can't see?" There was silence for a moment as Justin avoided her gaze and stared at his lap. "Oh my god... oh... oh my... oh, I get it now... you've been sending filthy messages, haven't you!"

"What the... ? No. I haven't." He denied.

Justin tried his best to avoid her gaze, but Selena knew him too well, and the second she caught his eye she could tell he was lying.

"You have! Oh my god... who?" She shrieked excitedly, clapping her hands together.

"None of your damn business."

"Are you seeing someone?"


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(Pages 1-34 show above.)