"Yeah, I'll have a gin and tonic. Thanks."
The bartender sets to work making Lena's drink. She knows that drinking really isn't the answer and that it didn't make her feel any better, but it did mellow her out. She is quite tightly wound at the moment and needs to relax a bit. As she sits at the bar and waits for her drink, she looks across the dance floor to the table where Ringo, Maureen, George, Pattie and Paul sit smoking and having a great conversation.
"Here yeh go, luv. Enjoy."
Lena takes her glass from the bartender and takes a swig before she sets off. As she walks to the table, Paul meets her eyes and gives her an affectionate wink. He rises and ushers her into the corner chair. Lena sips her drink, "Thanks." As she sits down, Paul inches closer to her and she feels his hand rest between her knees.
She looks at Paul rather intently as he carries on the conversation with the others as if nothing had happened. Lena looks around nervously as she decides whether or not to brush his hand away. Lena sits in a daze, not paying attention to the conversation around her. She is trapped in her own mind. She downs her drink and turns to Paul and whispers, "I should really go. I'm really tired and I need to catch up on some sleep."
Paul looks at her worriedly, "Are you okay, luv? Do you feel ill?"
Lena shakes her head and smiles, "No. I'm sure I'm just tired. I didn't mean to worry you."
Lena scolds herself for feeling warmed by Paul's concern. No matter how much she likes him or how she experiences vertigo every time he touches her; she needs to go home. It is better for everyone involved if she leaves. Lena realizes that she may be changing The Beatles' lives and the lives of her family. She has seen the Back to the Future films. She knows what can happen.
Lena rises and scoots out of the booth. Ringo gives her a questioning glance, "Eh, Lena. Tired of us are you?"
Lena shakes her head, "No, Ringo. I'm just tired. All I really want to do is go to bed."
Lena sees Pattie's ears perk up, "Really? With whom?"
Lena sighs and ignores Pattie's comment and gives a little wave, "I'll see you guys later. 'Bye George, Maureen, John and Ringo. I'm sorry I'm such a party pooper. See you guys soon."
Paul jumps up from the table and rushes after Lena. Maureen turns to Pattie and gives her arm a chastising slap. Pattie looks aghast and shrieks, "Hey!"
Lena hurries out of the club and leans against the brick wall to catch her breath and collect her thoughts. However before that could happen, Paul runs out the double doors and to her side. "I'm sorry about that, luv. Do you want me to walk you home?"
Lena shakes her head, "No Paul, but thanks. I'll be okay." She smiles and sets out down the street. No sooner than the first step she takes, Lena twists her ankle and falls down hard on the pavement.
Lena feels arms lifting her to her feet and then Paul's voice softly in her ear, "Please let me help you, luv. You are in no condition to go home by yourself." Lena submits to his plea as he holds her up, allowing her to put all of her weight on him.
They walk carefully to Paul's because it was close and Lena needs to get off her feet quickly. Paul deposits Lena on the couch and fixes her a bag of ice and hands it to her, "Put this on until I come back. I'm going to call Madame Cordelia and tell her that I am bringing you home." Lena places the dripping plastic bag on her leg and winces. She watches Paul go into the kitchen and listens intently as he talks with Madame Cordelia.
"Yes, Madame Cordelia, it's pretty swollen. I'm bringing her home in my car. We will be there soon. Wha--? Are you sure that would be the best? I don't know how much I can do for Lena-er Anna here. Perhaps I should take her to the hospital? Er-no. I see. Well, I'll have her home tomorrow afternoon. Right. Goodnight Madame." With that Paul hangs up and stalks into the living room.
"Lena, Madame Cordelia wants me to keep you here. It seems that she has fallen ill and she doesn't want to subject you to it. She can't very well take care of you, either. So she wants me to do it. Are you okay with that?"
Lena looks away from Paul and down to her puffy and purple ankle, "I guess I don't have much of a choice now do I? I certainly can't run away."
Paul smooths her hair away from her face, "I'll take you to the guest room. It's rather cozy. I'll get you a pair of my pajamas to sleep in too. Shall I run you a bath?"
Lena swallows the lump of anxiety in her throat and smiles, "No, but you can bring me two aspirin, that is if you have any." Paul nods and goes to the kitchen once again.
Lena takes the aspirin and looks inquisitively at Paul, "Well, now comes the chore of getting clumsy me up the stairs. How do you suppose we should do that?"
Paul shrugs and gives her a childlike smile, "Easy."
Before Lena can protest, Paul scoops her up and carries her up the stairs. She is shocked, but laughs genuinely, "Very impressive, McCartney."
Paul turns left and backs into a door and sits Lena on the bed. He turns on the light and then disappears back down the hall. Lena looks around the room and a slight chill runs up her spine. The room is very simple with elegant white and blue sheets and curtains, however, it is really cold.
Paul comes into the room carrying blue pen-striped pajamas, "Here you go, luv. Get dressed and then I'll come and tuck you in." Lena giggles and nods as Paul leaves the room. As she changes into the pajamas, she holds the shirt up to her nose and breathes deeply. Even when she fought her feelings for Paul, something always seems to happen to throw them back together. Maybe she shouldn't fight it; perhaps this is the way that it's supposed to be.
Lena puts on the shirt and pants, careful to drape her clothes on a nearby chair. She buttons the last button and calls to Paul, "Alright. I'm decent."
Paul comes in and gives Lena a once over, "I must say you look very fetching in my nightclothes. We might have to do this more often."
Lena blushes as Paul pulls back the bed and covers Lena with the blankets. He carefully props her left ankle up with a small pillow and sits beside her on the bed.
"Are you comfortable? Shall I get you anything?" Paul looks at her with concern.
Lena shrugs, "I could use a bedtime story. Are you any good at that?"
Paul smiles broadly, "Would you settle for a kiss?" Lena freezes and thinks for a moment. Her heart was screaming yes while her head protested no. However, this time her heart won.
"I guess that will have to do." Paul leans forward and presses his mouth to hers gently. Lena touches his cheek and kisses him back.
"Goodnight, luv. I am right next door if you need me." Paul kisses her forehead and walks out the door.
Lena lies in the dark, shivering from the cold room and plagued with Paul's smell on the striped pajamas.
Suddenly, Lena shoots up out of bed and hobbles to Paul's door.
She opens the door without knocking, forgets about her weak ankle and stumbles into the room. A shirtless Paul jumps to see her and promptly helps her rise from the floor, "Lena, you need to stay off your ankle. What in the world are you doing out of bed?"
Lena looks down as embarrassment sprinkles pink across her cheeks, "I, uh, realized that I couldn't sleep there. It's really cold and I, well, I want to sleep with you."
Paul looks slightly shocked and laughs, "You do, eh? So Pattie was right after all."
Lena hangs her head and looks at him timidly, "I mean, I want to sleep with you. Not sex, but sleep."
Paul smiles as he puts on his shirt, "I know, luv. I was just giving you a pull. Come 'ead."
He takes her by the hand and she hobbles under the covers. He slides in next to her and drapes the blankets all around them. Lena weaves her arms around him and rests her head squarely on his chest. Lena listens and feels the steady beat of his heart, "Goodnight Paul. Thanks."
Paul grazes his lips
against hers and closes his eyes, "Sweet Dreams,
Written by Cinder Whittier. May not be reproduced in any form, by any means, without the permission of the author. Permission may be obtained by e-mail.
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