THE FIRST STEP
A sequel to Breaking Unwritten Rules.
Barbara calling him by his given name, makes Tommy stop walking.
An established relationship story.
Written October 2007. Word count: 300.
He heard her call his name and he stopped in his tracks.
Stopped and slowly turned around.
She stood unmoving, apart from her hands which were clenching and unclenching, watching him. Even from the other end of the corridor he could see that her breathing was unnaturally fast and shallow.
He didn't say anything. He simply stood and watched her watching him.
Around them several of their colleagues, no doubt surprised by the breach of protocol, also watched, glancing from Tommy to Barbara and back to Tommy again.
She took a step towards him; then another; then another. Her movements were hesitant, uncertain. It pained him to see her like that. Hesitancy, uncertainty, didn't normally form part of Barbara Havers's character.
Now he could see her face and her eyes; both showed the same uncertainty, the same hesitancy. For a moment he wondered if she regretted calling his name.
Silently he willed her to move again, to take another step towards him, to really choose.
However, she didn't. Now she seemed rooted to the spot.
It was up to him.
He had to offer her as much as that one word had offered him.
Knowing that he was sealing not only his fate and future and her fate and future, but their fate and future, he smiled and opened his arms. "Barbara," he said softly.
For another split second she paused.
Then the uncertainty and hesitancy fled and she ran towards him, a slow, gentle smile lighting up her face, and let him gather her into his embrace.
As he lowered his head and, just as he'd done the evening before, kissed her lips, he knew that not only were several of their colleagues watching them, but that all of them who were in the corridor were doing so.
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