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Lesson Two
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 Us (Circe & James)

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PostSubject: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:27 am

James was not a man who was easily moved. He was a stubborn ass who didn't want to change, for anyone. And yet... here he was, changing. For someone.

The ideology would have been ridiculous to James had it not actually been happening. Had he not have already gone through this over a thousand times in his head, James would have told the person who tried to explain it that they were mad. But James had changed, and he could see it in himself.

It had been two weeks that James had been told to leave Circe's house. Two weeks of agonising decision making. He'd come home and blown the whole thing off as some kind of sick joke on Circe's behalf. Bathed and slept. But the next morning when he'd woken up, James had felt sick to the stomach. Worry, perhaps, or even nerves, he wasn't sure what to put it down to, and the thinking had begun.

What he would be giving up if he made any sort of commitment to Circe?

Sex - well, not completely, with Circe he knew that neither of them would hold off on that too much. He would be giving up casual sex, multiple partners - he'd have to delete half of his phone contacts, to be with only one. Circe was great in the bedroom, and he knew that first hand, but what if the novelty of Circe wore off after a few weeks of only her?

The younger half of James' mind, the dominant side of his mind that had had control since he was about sixteen resented the idea. Was scared of the idea. But the James he was becoming soon began to see reason in going for this. There would be safety, they could discuss precautions. They could discuss frequency. They could try things Jame had done in years because there would be honesty between them.

And so, James had given in to that worry.

Next had come the commitment. Fear of commitment was something James had not acknowledged before now. And even to that night, James was still scared. Of the raw side of commitment, the trust, the openness with one another that he'd never had with anyone before.

That still scared James, and yet he was willing to try it. He would push himself to try.

The responsibility of becoming a father weighed heavy on his mind, though. He was truly terrified of that the most. How could he possibly try to be a father when he was scared of so many things himself? How could he teach a small being the way of life when he had absolutely no idea what he was doing with his own life? James had no clue.

But most of all, he was scared of giving himself completely to one person. Expressing himself in a manner other than his cold, shielded persona he'd grown to use so often. He had found that he cared for the witch with each day that passed, but the feelings were complicated, and he couldn't quite explain them as anything less than missing her.

The decision had only become clearer, though, when he woke up from a dream in which Circe had been the figure head. Or as his mind wandered and it centered on her. James knew by the end of the first week, and yet he had not been man enough to say anything to her.

He'd pushed the admitting away, night after night, until... two Saturday's later, James had forced himself to write a letter to Circe, inviting her for dinner at his. A 'casual' dinner, James had wrote, indicating that for once they not dress to the nines for one another. Just... normal clothes. Normal setting.

He'd been slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon, making a lasagna for them both, and then a cheesecake for desert. James was not a cook, but... after some foolish internet searches that said this was a good idea, he'd done it to keep himself busy. Circe might laugh, this might be a complete disaster, but it had stopped him from going to pieces that evening.

Twenty minutes before Circe was due, James quickly changed in to a pair of jeans and a grey t-shirt, checking his hair in the mirror, brushed his teeth and returned to the kitchen, getting ready for Circe's arrival.

If she's coming. The voice in his head added, making him worry he'd left this too long. But he ignored it, checking the food and then the clock one last time. Something in what he'd done this evening had to be right, even if what he said wasn't, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:22 am

It had been two agonizing weeks since James had left her house. Two weeks of not knowing where he was, with whom he was and what he was doing. Was he okay? Was he not? Was she ever going to see him again? Maybe, maybe not. And the sad thing was, she didn't want to stay away from him. Circe was slowly falling for the lost man she had cast away two weeks ago. And it was getting more and more serious.

Especially when she had no sign of him.


When she had told him to take some time off to think, that she wanted to see him only when he was sure about his decision and that was it, she did not believe it would take him half a month! It certainly wasn't going to take him two days but half a month? In the start, she found this time to be way to much, but as she kept thinking about it, it seemed fitting. It wasn't too much, was it?

After all, this was important. Far too important.

The letter that arrived to her home made her feel nervous. Really really nervous because honesty, Circe felt like James was still not sure about what he wanted to do. She had grown to know James quite well, and she knew him to be a strong man. A man that he knew what he wanted. But after their last meeting, Circe saw something else in his eyes. Something he was caging away, and she couldn't understand why.

James was keeping his true self away from everyone. Hiding him in the shadows, and using a fancy persona to make a life for him. But Circe had not fallen for that. She had fallen for him. For the man that was hiding behind a manwhore, a coward. Because James knew that he wasn't truly a coward. But why was he allowing himself to act like one?

Sighing, and knowing the least she could do was give him a chance, even if she was worried he was still not ready for this decision, Circe decided to go. She was still tired, not sure if seeing him was going to make her feel better, but she couldn't deny him. Because Circe Mayer cared too much for him. And she was going to give him not one, but many chances, even if she was denying this to herself.

Getting dressed casual, as the letter wrote, Circe was wearing a pair of jeans, her boots and a hoodie, something to keep her tired body warm enough. She felt sick in her stomach, and catching a cold right now was not going to be much help to her problems.

Checking her watch, she saw it was about time she was leaving, and looked around her house thinking. Could James really have made a decision? And was she going to be a part of his life, or had he decided to go on, living his single life as if she never existed?

With that last thought, Circe closed her eyes and allowed herself to apparate to James' apartment. The apparation made her sick, and once she landed, Circe fell to the floor, clenching her eyes close. A headache was beginning to form, and she just hoped this was not going to end bad.

"Hope the dinner is not something I can easily throw up." She said, her eyes still closed as she rested on the floor. She didn't know whether James was there with her, or whether he had heard her, but she didn't make a move to check. The floor was quite comfortable.
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PostSubject: Re: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:24 pm

There was a small crack to announce Circe's arrival. James could feel his breathing shallow in an instant. There was no backing out now, he realised, and that was truly terrifying. Turning around ready to greet the witch, James found her on the floor. He knew not everyone could stomach Apparating, but he hadn't thought Circe would be one of them.

"Hope the dinner is not something I can easily throw up."

Smiling to himself slightly, James moved to her side. "I can't promise it'll be something you can stomach anyway." He responded, lifting her with relative ease to her feet. "Take a seat." James insisted, motioning to the dining table. It was set with only cutlery, nothing romantic, nothing fancy, just essentials.

Then, James turned away, heading back in to the kitchen and concentrating on their dinner. The lasagna he piled on to the plate was not quite right, the pasta sheets perhaps needed a few more minutes to go soft, but weren't raw either, and the top was on the verge of burnt. The salad was cut in a mish mash kind of way, and on the whole, it was a far cry from perfection. But, James had tried.

Grabbing the glasses from the side, James returned to the table, putting a wine glass before each of them, the bottle of red already on the table. He went back again for a glass of water for them both. Before finally bringing the meal through and setting it before Circe. Taking the seat opposite, James reminded silent as he tucked in, thinking once again on how to say what he wanted to. The preparation he had done was lost in his head, but he knew what this was going to come down to.

Glancing across the table, James checked to see how Circe was. She looked... tired, yes. Because of him? He wasn't sure. "How have you been?" James asked cautiously, not quite yet being ready to step forward to talk about what he wanted.
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PostSubject: Re: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:46 pm

"I can't promise it'll be something you can stomach anyway."

The presence next to her along with his comment on her poor stomach tolerance, made the witch laugh. Something she hadn't done in quite a while really. Circe made a note to thank James for this later. Making her laugh when she needed it the most. But as much as she wanted to enjoy that moment, there were more serious matters they needed to discuss.

Thanking him as he lifted her up with ease, Circe took a seat as she was told and took a look around. She had been in this apartment once before, but she didn't actually have the time to take in the details. One thing she was sure of though, was that this was the table James had taken her their first time, which made Circe smile at the thought. But then another thought touched her mind. How many women had James taken on this specific table?

Clearing her throat, Circe took a deep breath and decided not to think of that. This was not the time to think of the past but of the future. Because that was why Circe had come here today. Because it seemed like James had made a decision and she was here to hear it. This could be their last meeting.

She remained calm, not showing any emotion as she watched James move into the kitchen and back to the table. He had prepared quite a few things, and Circe wanted to laugh at some of them. Not in a mean way, no. She appreciated every single one of the things he had made for today, but his skills seemed to be poor. Which made things funny. But it didn't mean they were terrible.

Because James was trying, and Circe could see that clearly.


A glass of red wine and a glass of water was set on the table for both of them, making Circe admire his taste. She loved red wine and she was happy to see James agreed on that too. At least they did have some things in common. Some good things.

As he sat opposite of her, Circe lifted her glass of wine and brought it close to her nose, sniffing expertly. "This must be good.." She noted before she took a sip of the wine and nodding approvingly.

"How have you been?"

Circe almost choked on her wine at that. Really? This was all he had to say after two weeks? It wasn't difficult to understand that she was not okay. She hadn't been eating enough, she isolated herself, and barely even had the strength to move out of bed. And he was asking her if she's okay?

"I do believe this is not why I have come here tonight, James. Whether I am good or not is not difficult to guess."
She was being rather cold, and a part of her felt really bad because the man before her was trying his best here. He was changing for non other than her and she was being mean.
"I'm... I'm sorry. I apologise for that.. the hormones..."

Circe sighed. She was stressed out still, and all she wanted to do was get on with it. She wanted to have an answer so she could continue her life. He would either choose her and the possibly baby, or his single life as a sex god. He only had one choice.

"I had told you to contact me when you had made a decision about this situation. About us. So, I suppose you have made one."
The last part was almost a question, but Circe couldn't just allow him to play anymore. She wanted answers.

"Make your choice."
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PostSubject: Re: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:07 pm

James watched the way she tested the wine. It was, of course, an expensive vine, James did not drink cheap wine, the bottom of the bottle attested to that much. The nod of approval was to be expected, and the Potions Master hid the smirk that threatened. It meant he was a point up. Buying her emotions with expensive wine, though, he knew there would be much more he'd need to do to win her over.

The admonishment for asking how she was after the two weeks made James nod slightly. Stupid question, but it had tested the waters enough to tell him not to try to pretend everything was okay. Not yet, anyway. There was still a lot they needed to talk through before he could possibly resume normal conversation like that.

James waved away the apology, though. He understood that he had not been tactful enough in that moment and that he was not helping himself in riling her up. Not that that had been his intention, but James knew that he had to tread lightly.

"I had told you to contact me when you had made a decision about this situation. About us. So, I suppose you have made one."

At that, James laid down his fork, reached for the napkin he'd set out and wiped his mouth. Buying himself time as she insisted he make his choice. James was not a romantic, he didn't know how to be, and no matter how much you might search the internet for information, it would never be your own words that came out if you used it. So, James had decided to do this on his own, his way.

"I..." James frowned to himself for a moment, nodding to himself as he had an internal pep talk. "I've missed you, Circe." James admitted softly, looking from the table to her in a manner that showed he was sincere but uncertain if this was the right way forward. Not because he didn't mean it, but because he'd never done this talk before, at least not in the sincerity that he was speaking the words this evening.

"I've not seen anyone else these last two weeks, longer actually... perhaps three or four weeks." He explained, not needing to specify that he meant sexually. "I know that might not seem much of an achievement to you, but for me, that is. It's... weird for me to be like that, Circe, I haven't been like that... well, since I lost my virginity. Anyway, what I mean is that..." James paused, he really wasn't very good at this.

"In that time, I've found that no matter what I might think I want, or need, everything comes back to... you." James told her, his voice confident despite the pause because he'd admitted something he never thought he could. "It's not just if there is a baby, or because there might be no other way for me to see it. It's because you... you are the only one that makes me..." There was a pause, where James' eyes rested on hers for a moment. "You're the only one that's ever made me want to try something that I'm scared of doing."

There, he'd admitted he had a weakness. That he was scared, but that it was her he wanted to defeat that with. "If that makes any sense at all..." James muttered, his tone slightly frustrated because he didn't have a clue what made any sense anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:36 pm

The way James moved inclined he was trying to buy himself some more time, possibly unsure of what he wanted, or maybe of how to start talking. Circe could understand that for a man like James, talks like these were not exactly his forte. She even doubted he had ever had a discussion of these sorts before. Because James didn't like commitment. Because even if he wouldn't admit it, he was scared of trying something new.

She saw him hesitate when he was about to speak, which made Circe bite her lip to keep the frown from showing. She wouldn't give up before he had finished talking. And James hadn't even started yet.

"I've missed you, Circe."

A hand grabbed the table softly, trying to steady a shocked Circe. To say she hadn't expected that, she truly hadn't. And for some people, these two words might not have meant as much. But to Circe, coming from James, these words meant a lot more than someone could understand.

James had admitted he wanted her. In his own way, but he had meant exactly that. Him voicing that he needed her brought a small smile to her lips, making the woman unable to hold it back. There was hope, there really was, but James hadn't spoken yet his final words.

"I've not seen anyone else these last two weeks, longer actually... perhaps three or four weeks."

Circe wanted to nod, but she couldn't move her body. A sudden wave of strength was now running through her body, and the big smile was still touching her lips. James had made a mistake when he said that this didn't mean anything to her. It meant that if he really wanted, he could stay faithful. James could be a good partner. He only had to try.

He further explained how difficult it was for him, since he had been liked this practically half his life, and Circe managed to nod in understanding. A person couldn't change habits overnight and she could understand that. The thing was, that James was trying to change that. To change for her. To become a better James.

"In that time, I've found that no matter what I might think I want, or need, everything comes back to... you."

The witch felt as if she was going to fade. James wasn't romantic, not really, and he kept talking indirectly, but she still managed to understand what he wanted to say. This was enough for Circe to understand how much he cared and how much he wanted to try this. He wanted her, and he had said it in his own way. He didn't have to be romantic about it. He just had to be James.

The explanation that it wasn't just the baby who made him think this way, but there was more behind this, was the final touch. Circe was now fully persuaded that James meant what he was saying. He might not be a hundred percent sure about it, and it was natural, but he wanted this.

"You're the only one that's ever made me want to try something that I'm scared of doing."

He is scared..., the voice in her head repeated making the witch frown a bit. Then we have to help him through it!, another voice noted. Circe nodded more to herself than him, and completely ignored the few words that left his lips after that.

Grabbing her glass of wine, Circe took a good look of it before downing it all in one gulp, and placing the glass on the table. She got up and made her way over to James, eyes never leaving his. She wanted to be sure, but in all truth, she didn't even know what she was doing. She was simply allowing her heart to take over. And maybe this was the best thing she had ever done.

Grabbing his arm, she pulled him up, taking some time to run her hands down his chest and up his arms, taking in the feeling of him once again. She had missed him, so so much.
And now he was hers. Hers only.

Her hands went up to cup his cheeks and she pulled him down to her roughly, her lips meeting his without asking. The kiss was full of raw emotion. She wanted him, and she had waited so much for him. She deserved to have him all to herself. And now, she had promised herself to help him through this all. They would do it. Together.

The kiss ended when Circe couldn't breathe anymore, and she pulled back and stared into his eyes.
"You have no idea...,"
But she never finished her sentence as she hid her face into his chest, hugging him close. She needed him more than ever.
"We can try together. I will be here for you."
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PostSubject: Re: Us (Circe & James)   Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:58 pm

There wasn't much in the way of acknowledgement from Circe. A small nod here and there, but not much to show if he was saying anything right in that moment. James hoped he was saying the right thing, thought he was, but he had no clue really. He'd never had to persuade anyone of his feelings before, because he had never really felt deeply for someone. And when he had, maybe not as deeply as he thought he felt for Circe, but enough, he'd pushed the girl away, and found another.

Never committing.

But here he was, doing exactly that, in his own way. It was not going to be easy. He was a womanizer, and women were what he knew how to do best. Now, though, he was bringing those ways to only one woman, and it was nerve wracking.

The moment Circe took the wine to her mouth and downed it was worrying. What did that mean? Was she pissed at him? Leaving after finishing her drink? James' eyes watched her carefully, trying to understand what he'd done in that moment, but coming to no answer.

Circe moved around the table, and for a moment, James thought she was going to slap him. It would make sense, if she wasn't happy, to go with that after downing her drink. But no slap stung his face, instead she pulled him up from his seat. Running her hands over his body in a manner he could have had her do again and again. It relaxed the Potions Master, in truth, because this tenderness could not be a sign for him to worry. It was positive.

And as her hands moved to his cheeks, James allowed her to pull him down to her, his hands moving to her waist as she did so, pulling her close to him as his lips moved with hers. He could feel the intensity of Circe's feelings in that moment, even if he couldn't understand them. Not yet, anyway. This kiss was different though, James knew that. It wasn't lustful, or trying to find dominance, it meant something more, and like Circe, he was breathless by the time their lips parted.

"You have no idea...,"

The hug was one that James held on to, resting his head on top of Circe's and letting out the breath he'd been holding in since this all had started. No, he had no idea, of what Circe was trying to say, or how far that this would go. What he did know is that he was going to give this a try, whatever it was they were agreeing to become.

"We can try together. I will be here for you."

James nodded at her words, leaning down to press another kiss to her lips in a manner of saying thank you. He was not a man who wished to admit to weakness, and yet Circe had pulled those words from his lips easily. Even if only that, Circe was pushing him to be a better man, to push away the boy who'd lived inside of him for too long.

Lifting her up, his right arm behind her knees, his left behind her back, James moved from the dining room, towards his bedroom. The food could wait - it was ruined anyway, so who really cared? For now, he wanted her, completely. Only her, because he'd been waiting too long for that much, and he needed to show her that too.
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