the wine cellar.

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- nora's pov - 

i kept a good distance from charlie as we walked to the kitchen.  the royals kept a clean and healthy kitchen at first glance, but inside the butler's pantry was a door that led to a huge wine cellar, where all of the alcohol was kept.  i pushed the pocket door in and bounded down the steps.  as soon as i heard the door shut behind me, charlie's footsteps hurried behind me until he was so close i could feel his breath on my neck.

"seriously?" i asked annoyed.  "you're still scared of coming down here?"

the only light switch was at the bottom of the stairs, so if the door was shut, it was pitch black.  i flipped the light on, and he shrugged.  "little," he said.

we walked into the rows and rows of wine bottles.  i searched and searched for the oldest bottle of riesling, while charlie pulled bottles from the stash of whiskey.  neither of us spoke as we headed to the butcher block bar that dominick and isabel had installed when we were in high school so the kids could hide down here and drink, without the press seeing.

charlie pulled two glasses out from under the bar, while i hopped up on the counter.  he sat the glasses next to me and popped the corks on both of our bottles.  he handed mine to me and poured his, then he produced two shot glasses from his pocket.

as i was pouring my first glass of wine, he grabbed a bottle of tequila from the cabinet behind him.

"gotta start out the right way," he said as he filled the shot glasses to the top and pushed one toward me.

we clinked glasses and then tossed the tequila back.

"so what happened?" he asked.

i shrugged.  "we went on a couple dates, he told me he loved me," i took a sip of wine, "and then, in front of your entire family, i found out he's married with three kids."

"three kids?!" charlie exclaimed.

"mhm," i nodded.

charlie swigged his whiskey.  "damn, at least kara only has one."

"what happened there?" i asked.

charlie stepped off of his barstool and stood, leaning with both forearms on the counter.  "well, you remember my cousin, marvin?"  he waited for me to nod before continuing.  "i guess they were screwing for years, and at some point, she got pregnant.  marvin wants to try and make the relationship work, and kara didn't know how to tell me when i proposed, so she ended it."

i rubbed his shoulder, "i'm sorry," i breathed.

he inched over and wrapped his arms loosely around my waist.  "well, if i'm being honest.  i didn't even want to marry her.  don't get me wrong, she's gorgeous and smart and funny, but she was so annoying.  she couldn't just talk, we constantly had to be doing something."

i ran my hair through his messy hair.  "well, if i'm being honest, i only went out with ambrose because i was mad at you."

he tilted his head. "why were you mad at me?"

i blushed.  "for getting engaged without telling me."

charlie looked up at me, "nor, next time i get engaged, you'll be the first to know."  

he smiled, but i frowned.  "what's the deal with that?"

"shawn has to meet with the senate leaders first thing monday morning to figure it all out." he shrugged.

"oh," i replied.


we were silent for a moment.  it was toasty warm in the cellar, and the heat between us was getting stronger.  before i knew it, i was lying on my back on the butcher block counter with charlie on top of me.  our lips were locked as charlie crawled closer and closer on me.  my heart was pounding loudly in my chest.

it was something about silence that drew charlie and i together, like moths to a flame.  we could talk all night and we could kiss all night, a perfect and deadly combination.

charlie sucked on my neck and i tugged at the hem of his shirt.  he sat up and threw his jacket to the floor.  he leaned back down and kissed me one more time, before letting me yank his shirt off over his head.  suddenly, i was sitting up and charlie was pulling off my sweatshirt.  i wasn't wearing a bra and the heat of the room felt good on my breasts.  charlie's warm hands scooped my breasts up and began massaging them.

a small moan escaped my lips as charlie slowly came down on top of me.  my hands reached for his belt, but before i could do anything, his lips grazed across mine.  "nora," he whispered, "let's go upstairs."

shawn had to have been gone by this point.  i scooped our clothes off of the floor and used them to cover my bare chest.  charlie and i both laughed maniacally as we raced up to his room.

"i dropped your t-shirt!" i exclaimed as charlie threw open the door to the stairwell.

"leave it!" charlie laughed.

as we reached his doorway, charlie spun around.  we stood inches away, and he grinned devilishly.  involuntarily, i inhaled, holding my breath, as he swept me into his arms and threw his bedroom door open.

i giggled as he launched me onto his bed.  i scooted back into the pillows as he ran around the room, locking the door and closing the curtains.  when the last one was shut, he laughed.  "we're completely alone."

he ran toward me and hurdled himself onto the bed.  one of his arms wrapped behind me, while the only ran slowly down my side.  i exhaled slowly as our lips locked gently.  i kissed along his jawline and tangled my fingers in his hair.  i ran my hands down his spine and around to his belt buckle.

charlie smiled and chuckled as he pulled away from our kiss.  his hands flew to my waistline and began to pull my shorts off.

"charlie," i whispered, slightly moaning.

"you want me to stop?" he asked.

i closed my eyes and shook my head.  "i want to."

that's when charlie stopped and pulled back.  his head fell into the crook of my neck.  "nora," he breathed, not looking at me, "we can't."

"charlie," i whined, "i don't care.  i'll go to jail if i have to."

charlie shook his head.  "why do we go through this every time?" he asked as he rolled over to sit up.

i rested my chin on his shoulder from behind him.  "because we're addicted to each other."

"something like that," he sighed.

"i'm sorry," i whispered after a few moments of silence.

he nodded.  "me too.  you just wanna," he shrugged, "go out riding or something?"

"sure," i said, solemnly.

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