Ch. 43 Speech: NIH

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The next morning, I was extremely nervous. I couldn't believe we were going to NIH. I couldn't believe I was speaking at NIH.

I got out of bed and made my way into the restroom. I removed my bra and panties and got in a steaming hot shower.

A minute later, Jake walked in my shower. "I didn't even feel you get out of bed."

I gave him a soft smile.

"Nervous?"

"You don't need to be."

I looked up at him.

He kissed my nose. "Turn around."

I turned.

He washed my hair and my body, running his hands carefully over me. Then, he washed himself. He placed a kiss on the back of my neck.

I turned to him.

He lifted me up and carried me from the shower. He dried us off and turned the water off. Then, he carried me into our room and sat me on the bed. He turned to our dresser, then back to me. He helped me in my panties and clasped my bra into place.

"I-"

His phone rang. He held a finger up and answered, "Hello? Oh, hey."

I got up and went to the closet.

"Today? I see. What time?"

I froze, gripping a black skirt between my hands. I hadn't meant to eavesdrop, but he was right there... A wave of panic surged through me. Was he being deployed? Surely not. Surely they would have called sooner...? I hesitated.

"I wasn't going to. Yes, well, you've not given me much choice. I'll see you soon."

With my black skirt in hand, I quickly resumed looking for a top to wear.

"Bridget, when you get a minute, could you come out here?" he called.

I grabbed the blouse nearest to me, a white silk one. Then, I went back into the bedroom. I sat on the bed and went to pull up my stockings.

"I can't go with you."

I tore a whole in my stocking. Damn it. I sighed and removed it. I got a fresh pair and started again. "Jake-"

"I have a meeting. I can't get out of it. If I could, I would."

I sighed and nodded, lifting my last stocking into place. I stood and walked to him.

He had just slipped his shirt on.

I reached up and began buttoning it. I was careful not to look him in the eye.

When I finished, he grabbed my hands. "Will you be okay?"

"Don't have much choice, do I?" I sighed, finally looking up at him. "I need my hands to get ready."

He released me.

I turned and put my blouse on and buttoned it, then I put the skirt on, tucking my blouse in carefully underneath. I sat and did my makeup. Iran a hand through my hair. It looked nice and curly, so I figured it best not to mess with it. I retrieved a pair of black heels and stepped into them.

Jake was staring at me.

"What?"

"I don't know. I thought you'd be upset."

I was upset. I dreaded going without him, and it made my nerves much worse. Instead of telling him how I really felt, however, I shrugged. "Do you want me to be upset?"

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