Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Coda 18


Adrien and Jake from THE ADRIEN ENGLISH SERIES     

 

 

 

 

A touch so light, so delicate, it was hardly more than a breath, a sigh tracing the length of my throat…bisecting my chest…and then, to my relief, diverging from the roadmap of scars, off-roading to flick the tip of my right nipple.

I arched off the bed. Not far, since my hands were tied to the headboard -- tied loosely and with something soft. Silk scarves? I could free myself in an instant, but it wasn’t about freedom, was it?

The teasing touch moved to the tip of my other nipple.

I gasped. “That tickles!”

“It’s a feather.” I could hear the smile in Jake’s voice.

Ah.”

The feather ghosted its way over my ribcage…down to my abdomen. I sucked in a breath as the feather dusted and danced still lower…

“How’s that feel?”

I nodded. Everything felt lovely, from the cool, crisp linen sheets to Jake’s warm breath against my face. The feather teased and thrilled as it brushed across my thigh…groin…thigh…

I wriggled one of my hands free and pulled off the blindfold.

The hotel room was nearly dark in the fading afternoon light. Jake gazed down at me, his mouth quirking. “I wondered how long that would last.”

“I like to look at you,” I said. “I like to touch you.”

He nodded, pulled the other scarf off, freeing my wrist. He lowered himself beside me on the wide four poster bed, touched the tip of a drooping white peacock feather to my nose. I laughed and blew at the bobbing green-blue eye of the feather.

“How long before your mother’s knocking on the door again, do you think?”

“I’ve got the Do Not Disturb sign out.”

“Baby, you’re an optimist.”

“Maybe.” I smiled at him, looped my arm around his neck, pulling him down to me. He kissed me. I kissed him back. “Next year we’re staying home for Christmas. I don’t care who comes up with what plan.”

“Uh huh.”

He rested his head on my chest. For a time we lay there, breathing in soft unison, the muted sounds of London traffic providing a soundtrack to our thoughts.

“Regrets?” I asked at last.

Jake raised his head, studying me. He leaned back on his elbow. “No regrets.”

I smiled faintly.

He reached out, brushed the hair out of my eyes. “That’s not right. I have regrets. I regret the gutless, asinine things I did, the people I hurt. I regret hurting you. I regret the time I wasted. But if all those gutless, asinine things were somehow part of how I got to this moment, then no. I don’t regret anything.”

Considering what a painful journey he’d had to get to this moment, I thought that was a brave statement.

“You?” Jake asked. “Regrets?”

“Just the time we wasted.”

“We’re not wasting anymore time.” He reached around, found the feather.

I could feel my smile turning wry. “Is this going to be enough for you?”

He looked puzzled for an instant. Then his expression grew grave. “This? No. The feather and blindfold routine in an overpriced hotel? No. I need more. I admit it. I need entire nights and entire days. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. I need breakfast and lunch and dinner and every dessert we can squeeze in. I need every minute we can get.”

“For as long as we both shall live?”

“Yeah. That’s pretty much it.”

I closed my eyes, smiling. “I guess that’ll work.”

His laugh was quiet. I felt him bent over me, felt his mouth graze mine… My eyes shot open at the soft tap-tap-tapping on our room door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

72 comments:

  1. OK, so I totally didn't mean to stay up this late (4 a.m. here), but I guess my subconscious kept me puttering around so I'd be awake when this coda posted. ^_^

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. Thank you. :)

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  2. Oh Jake. It's a bittersweet celebration, yeah? The idea behind wasted time, the desperation. It must feel like a dream to both of them, that they get to be together.

    I really hope next year's AE project has to do with events/scenes from Jake's point of view.

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  3. Dear Josh,
    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all these wonderful codas, I read them all, I thouroughly enjoyed them all and I fell in love with most of your characters all over again. These little gems made me reread my favourites like The Ghost wore yellow socks and The Dickens with love, they made me buy the stories I hadn't owned yet like Heart Trouble and Just Desserts and they made me longing for your way with words and characters again and I'm really, really looking forward to all the things you will write and publish in the future.
    I'm very glad to hear you had a good and recreative year and that you enjoyed writing these codas as much as we enjoyed reading them.
    Stay happy and healthy in 2013, all the best and a Happy New Year,
    Claudia

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  4. I love Jake's definition of 'no regrets'. They don't need to spend time lamenting stupid decisions and lost opportunities, they need to make the most of what they have now. I have a feeling they'll be doing a lot of that :)

    Thanks, Josh!

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  5. Thank you for the lovely glimpse of Adrien and Jake! (・∀・)

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  6. That was absolutely lovely - a great coda to the codas! Thanks so much for our 'Christmas present'!

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  7. Aaah! I've been wondering if we'll ever get to see a scene with the "two silk scarves and a white peacock feather" Jake got Adrien for Christmas. ;) This intimate, emotional moment between them was perfect.

    The coda also reminded me of another one of your books and the fact that, yes, TIME really might be the most beautiful word in the world. :)

    And thank you for your time, Josh. You are so generous with it. Remember to keep some of it just for yourself. :)

    Like all the others, I've loved the chance to read every one of these codas, to meet the old friends again, to see them happy. Thank you so much, Josh.

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  8. Lovely Josh. It has been such a pleasure reading these codes and a plus is knowing that you enjoy writing them too. Next year is going to be great!

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  9. Oh Josh - How wonderful. Thank you.

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  10. This is just Oh. My. Gawd! lovely, Josh.

    I'm hard-pressed to choose which among these codas is my favorite. As much as I love Adrien, Jake has never been a favorite character of mine (Don't yell at me for this, please. :p), but the way his voice defined the "no regrets" is just... WOW.

    LOVE This! :)

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  11. Thanks Josh, I just knew you wouldn't leave us hanging without a Jake and Adrien story :) that was great, thank you so much and I hope your holidays are amazing! Hope you're feeling better!!

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  12. Beautiful, there is not much left to say. Jake is definitely my favourite character and I would read everything so long as he would be in it, with or without Adrien. So thank you for creating him and giving him believable happy ending, that really means a lot.

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  13. Wonderful, wonderful characters. I did't expect to see them this Christmas LOL.
    Thank you for the most amazing presents this year.

    Adriana

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  14. Very nicely done, Josh. That was just the right combination of ahhh and funny. If I hadn't forgiven Jake before ( and I had, I swear), his sincerity would have done it. You probably already know that Jake and Adrien are my second favorite couple. :-)

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  15. It's good that Lisa didn't pack their suitcases... :-)

    It's good to hear Jake making those statements, happy with the decision he finally made, for himself and his loved ones.

    The perfect coda to end the holiday gift.

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  16. Thank you so much, Josh! Your time and effort this past year, even while on sabbatical has been greatly appreciated. Can't wait to see what genius you bestow upon us in 2013.

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Leah

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  17. Oh, wow! Thank you!! That was just PERFECT.

    Go away, Lisa!! :-)

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  18. Quite the satisfying morsel :-)

    Once again, thank you for all of these lovely interludes with beloved characters. Here's to a fantastical 2013!

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  19. (sigh) I still love Jake and Adrien best of all.

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  20. When I saw there was a coda with Adrien and Jake I had to go and find a quiet place to read it. Is is a kind of religious experience to read about the two of them ;-).

    Thank you so much for confirming that they finally are in a happy place. I love the sound of ''forever''.

    And thank you also for the wonderful present to us readers you made with all the codas.

    Be well!

    Antonella

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  21. So beautiful. So happy Adrien and Jake got to do a little off-roading this holiday. ;-) I look forward to purchasing these codas whenever I can. Thanks, Josh. Wishing you a wonderful, marvelous, fun, and everything else you hope for, 2013. Remember to be as kind to yourself as you are to all these beautiful souls you've created.

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  22. I didn't expect this one because of next year's planned story, but what an appropriate ending to all your amazing codas! Of all your wonderful characters, Adrien and Jake will always hold a special place in my heart.

    Thank you, Josh, for your unending generosity in giving all of us this beautiful holiday gift!

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  23. I didn't think you could make your gifts any better than you'd already had. Then you did. Thank you doesn't seem enough, but it's all I have.

    Thank you!!!

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  24. Yes! Yes, yes, yes. :)

    Thank you, darling! xoxoxo

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  25. Perfect ending to a perfect literary christmas gift. Thankyou so much for all of these but especially Adrien and Jake. I hope you are recovered now and wish you all the best in 2013.
    Nick UK

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  26. Ah, the boys. You KNOW how much I love the boys. And the cat. Let's not forget the cat.

    Thank you love. Hope you're feeling better and get some naps in!

    So much adoration.

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  27. Wow...just, ditto to what everyone else said. The perfect end to the codas.

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  28. Thank you so much for all of these, what an amazing gift! Hope you are all better.

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  29. Lovely! Thanks for another glimpse of Adrien and Jake. Every time we see them it's a reminder that their love is a continuing process and they're definitely on the right trajectory. It's very poignant and satisfying. Thanks for giving us these treats.

    Be well!

    Beanbag Love

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  30. That was beautiful!! Thanks for all the codas Josh and wishing you all the best in the new year!

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  31. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! What a great way to start my morning. I so love the casual 'next year we're staying home' statement by Adrien... that yes, finally they have come to that point where they can plan what they want to do in the future, as a couple. Love it!!! Happy new year, Josh! :)

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  32. jake and adrien have to be my favorite couple. i am always happy to catch up with them and to see that they are happy and healthy. they never fail to bring a smile to my lips.

    thank you for the great story. happy holidays and a happy new year.

    looking forward to 2013 being an even better year than before.

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  33. Of course you have to keep them as the final coda *lol*. Oh, GOD, this is just beautiful. BEAUTIFUL! Adrien and Jake have been and will ALWAYS be one of my favorite couple of any stories, MM or otherwise. Thank you so much for this coda. I love Jake's definition of "no regrets". And who knows that they are quite kinky together *lol*

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  34. This one is really sweet and put a big big smile on my face :-) The boys seem really happy, even with Lisa getting in the way! Like everybody else said, this is the perfect ending to a wonderful christmas season! Visiting with old friends really is a fitting description! Thank you so much!!! Take good care of yourself and have a happy and healthy 2013!!!

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  35. These are such lovely comments -- and yes, I do read them all! Thank you all very much. I'm glad the codas were a success!

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  36. Thank you so much. What a lovely time for Jake and Adrien; and a perfect ending for your codas. Enjoy the rest of the holidays, Denise A.

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  37. PERFECT way to end the Christmas Codas. Thank you, Josh. Adrien and Jake are my favorite couple and I have always loved Jake...he's just my "type." *sigh* And when he said, " I need entire nights and entire days. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. I need breakfast and lunch and dinner and every dessert we can squeeze in. I need every minute we can get.” *heavy sigh* #Best.Jake.Lines.Ever.

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  38. Thank you. You saved the best for last, which is perfect. Have a happy and healthy New Year.

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  39. I adore Adrien and miss him very much. What a treat to hear his voice again and know that he's well. Hopefully, he'll never spend another lonely Christmas again.

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    1. No more lonely Christmases for Adrien. That I can safely say. ;-)

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  40. An absolutely excellent way of ending your Christmas Codas. Thanks so much Josh! =D

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  41. oh! the perfect ending for a year...
    and finally we see the scarves and the feathers! been waiting a loong time for those...
    happy new year to you, Adrien, Jake, Will, Taylor and all the others! may the next year bring a lot of feathers, scarves, DESSERTS, and less mothers knocking on doors at inappropriate moments!

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  42. Awww, this put a BIG happy smile on my face and one or two happy tears in my eyes. :) I love how playful they are here, how they make each other laugh. They just seem so happy, so content. Like someone else said, they're living their dream. And Jake... he says the most romantic things ever without being corny. It's amazing how far he's come from the Jake in Fatal Shadows. Lisa was right, he's crazy about Adrien. :D

    Thank you for these lovely codas, Josh! They truly brightened the end of the year for me. Wishing you all the best for 2013!

    Anita

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  43. Oh Josh thank u for this story. I love Adrien (with an e) and Jake. They are my favorite couple, I guess because the Adrien English Mysteris where the first books that I read that you wrote :). Leave it to Lisa to spoil the mood ( God I love her too)

    Thank you
    Pummpie aka Andrea
    PS. I hope you're felling better, I think I have what you had! :(

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  44. Yay! I had hoped we would get Adrien at the end. So sweet, so perfect. Exactly what we hope Adrien and Jake are doing in HEA-land.

    These codas have all been wonderful. Thank you for doing them, Josh!!

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  45. Every word is perfect!

    Thanks so much for the wonderful codas; this great Christmas gift really made my year better. I needed something sweet and peaceful :)

    Happy new year!

    Roby

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  46. Thank you, Josh. These codas were really great and added a sweet touch to the holidays. I don't know all of your characters yet but I plan to remedy that in 2013! Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

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  47. I'm so glad you enjoyed these. I don't know if I can ever top this pressie to readers! :-D

    And, yes, I am feeling much better again. Thanks for asking!

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  48. Aww, I loved this story with my all time favorite couple, Adrien and Jake. Thank you so much for all the wonderful codas, Josh! I hope you and yours have a fantastic 2013.
    Richelle

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  49. A treat after no computer access for three days, and a perfect wrap to the Christmas codas.
    This has been a wonderful month, opening these gifts.
    They're...beautimus.(ie, beautiful--the codas need a lovely word of their own)
    Thanks for all you do for the Fanyons.
    A very Happy New Year to you and yours, Josh.
    Cheers, Kelly

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  50. Thank you Josh. I had just finished rereading the whole Adrien and Jake series tonight so this was a lovely present.

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  51. I'm a few days late, but glad I checked! I always wondered how that Christmas went. Thanks for another little tidbit with the guys!

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  52. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it. Better late than never, right? :-)

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  53. Thank you Josh! But greedy me of course want much much more. Nikki.

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    Replies
    1. I'm never going to object to hearing that! :-D

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  54. This was so lovely. I've just finished rereading this series again (volumes 4 and 5 still hurt, thanks very much), and am very happy to have this extra morsel of their Christmas in London. It's reassuring to have Jake be so content with who he is now. Given their past experiences it is utterly believable that they should belong to the rare group of people who are thankful for what they have and who succeed at making the most of life every day.

    Having said that, feel free to post more (maybe with some Jake and Lisa interaction??) - yes, I'm greedy that way.

    Anyway, thank you for all the codas!

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    1. You're very welcome!

      Yes, I think A&J are both smart enough and have been through enough to appreciate what they have. Not just appreciate it, but work to protect it.

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  55. I was so happy to read this. Thank you Josh, from the bottom of my heart!

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  56. Wonderfully written, very touching. Thanks for bringing it to my attention Josh. What will Christmas 2013 bring I wonder?
    Rob (from the Netherlands)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rob. I'm happy you enjoyed it.

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  57. Oh my!.. How on earth did I miss this? Shame on me. Yes, I have tons of your blog posts and Goodreads discussion pages to catch up with from the past few months (have had a busy year abd couldn't help it)... and I'd kept wondering lately if you had posted a brief interlude with Adrien and Jake enjoying some quality time with feathers and blindfolds.. and it was here all along!
    This was perfect: their gestures, their words, their mutual reassurances... the perfect thing to get me in the mood to start reading Stranger Things Have Happened, which Amazon should deliver to me later today :)
    Thank you.
    Paola

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    Replies
    1. Very glad you found and enjoyed it! :-)

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  58. So apparently I've been living under a rock, lol! This is a great little glimpse into the life of some of my favorite characters. I really enjoy your writing and your characters, they just tend to stick with me after I read their stories and I always end up wondering what they are up to!
    :-) Hopefully there will be more to come!

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    Replies
    1. I added a bunch last year as well, so there should be plenty to enjoy! :-)

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  59. Oh...this was soothing. The Adrien English books were the first I read of yours and spurred me into reading everything else I could find by you. Adrien/Jake are, and probably always will be, my favourite couple (despite tough competition from Swift/Max, Elliot/Tucker, Tim/Luke, I could go on...).
    Most recently I've read Blood Red Butterfly which I absolutely loved. I'm slowing down now so I don't run out of reading material too soon.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the coda. :-)

      I'm very glad you enjoyed BRB. It's one of those odd little stories that readers either loved or were not speaking to me anymore. ;-D

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