“I think you’ll absolutely love this Shelagh,” prompted Trixie as she reached into her nurse’s handbag. The worn out bag not only contained her usual nurse’s instruments, but an equally tattered novel. An air of mischief did not go unnoticed when Trixie passed the item of interest to Shelagh, who eyed it reluctantly.
It had been weeks since the night of the nuns’ relocation, of reconciliations made between past and present Sisters, and the turn of miracles. The month of December saw the scare and remembrance of past wartime games. The explosion which shook the foundation of Nonnatus House, along with the internal struggles of others, but hope remained.
Christmas was meant to witness Patrick’s and Shelagh’s wedding, but had witnessed other occurrences instead. The outbreak of polio, which almost took Timothy’s life had prompted a new due date for their wedding. The postponed wedding was left on the back burner as both Patrick and Shelagh concentrated their efforts on poor Timothy.
Timothy’s road to recovery would not be an easy feat, but the process for Shelagh to become his step-mother had resumed. Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks, and the fog began to lift. Timothy was getting better, loads than before, which brought joy to the two people that cared dearly for him, adding glee to their days as wedding discussions recommenced.
It was time for the living to rejoice in life and time for Shelagh to vocalize what she truly wanted for her big day. Instead of drawing attention away, she learned to accept it and sought out her fellow nurses’ advice. Especially Trixie, who made it her mission to give Shelagh her dream wedding.
A mission that called for other pushes in Shelagh’s new life, one of which was accepting that she was no longer a female servant of the Lord, but a woman entirely her own. A woman who needed to explore her romantic side and the first step was informing Shelagh with some literature.
“Are you sure Trixie? It seems a little, well out of my depths and highly inaccurate.”
“It’s not meant to be accurate. Peggy Gaddis writes romance novels, meant to sustain those who haven’t found their true love. Trust me, after you get through the bits of inaccuracy, the important stuff will surface.”
“Really? I’m just not sure ‘Mountain Nurse’ has much to offer.”
“Honestly, ye who have little faith,” allowing a laugh to escape her. “Just consider it an early wedding present, one of many to be exact. Now, I must get going to see the progress of your dress from Chummy,” packing up her brown bag and donning her long grey coat.
“Are we still on for the fitting? The day after tomorrow?”
“Yes,” blushing in realization of her almost ready wedding dress. A dress originally meant to be an understatement, which now brought a great deal of excitation to Shelagh, especially when she thought about Patrick’s future response to seeing her in it.
“Four more days to get that blushing under control Shelagh,” responded Trixie with a playful wink. “I’m off then,” seeing herself out of Shelagh’s lodgings.
“Goodbye!” Shelagh shouted after Trixie and now found herself alone for the time being since Patrick wasn’t due to pick her up for another two hours or so.
In all honesty, she would have preferred to meet Trixie closer to or at the Turner’s residence. Then again, she still felt the prying eyes of Poplar residents and heard their gossip over her still-new situation. Even with recent events, the gossip remained and she didn’t want to add unnecessary fuel to the fire. Along with Patrick’s insistence she rest more and allow herself a break.
Patrick was on his usual call while Timothy was receiving last minute tests from the London, accompanied by his grandmother. She would have loved to accompany Timothy, but both boys insisted she take a break. Especially since Timothy’s grandmother was closer to the London hospital. The Turner men wanted to give her time to finalize last minute wedding details and an opportunity for a well-deserved rest.
Now alone in her lodgings, her eyes fell on the discarded romance novel; perhaps it was the book’s cover or brief synopsis that compelled Shelagh to pick it up.
“Well,” she said aloud, “I suppose time would go faster with a light read.”
‘I’m not going to ask you to stay,’ shouted Ken. His frustration boiling over for the woman before him. She was his colleague, their lives didn’t have time for love and he wasn’t about to ruin hers. How could he, when in truth he loved her?
‘I wouldn’t want you to. How could I marry someone who doesn’t know what he wants in life,’ right when tears started to form. Why now was he asking her? Didn’t he know she was set in her life and couldn’t take the chance in ruining it? Julie had been a dedicated nurse for years, never once wanting more until Ken came along. His disposition left her confused many times and was irritated by her own feelings for him. It was unbearable and yet, a part of her wanted to know what his lips would feel like upon her own.
‘Just leave!’ shouted Julie, but Ken stayed.
‘Not before I know.’
‘Know what?’ she retorted.
‘This,’ he strolled up to her and kissed her long and hard. He wanted to know if their feelings were true and to know what it be like to taste her. He wanted to elicit a moan from those lovely lips and-’
But the passage was left unfinished from a surprise knock on Shelagh’s door. She had reacted fast by dropping the book to the ground and kicking it underneath the bed with her foot.
“Yes,” shock evident in her reply.
“Ah, Miss Mannion, your Doctor is here for you,” replied the older woman, the owner of Shelagh’s lodgings.
“Oh thank you. Um, can you please tell him I’ll be out in a moment?”
“Yes, dear,” beamed the older woman who hurried off to relay Shelagh’s message. Leaving Shelagh fully flushed from her romantic reading.
‘I suppose that was romantic,’ she thought to herself as she made a beeline to the faucet. Splashing cold water on her face to dispel her blush and hurried off to meet Patrick outside.
“Is Timothy asleep?”
“Yes. Tim used up all his energy at the London and chatter with his grandmother. I’m happy he’s resting, he’ll need it as my best man,” replied Patrick, plopping on the couch next to Shelagh and encompassing her in his arms.
“Hmm, he’s quite remarkable. Just like his dad if I daresay.”
“I deserve no such credit, but thank you, my love,” dropping a kiss upon of her hair. They relished in these moments together, either in companionable silence or long hours discussing each other. Their idiosyncrasies revealed in their likes, dislikes, and the facts shared between each other. In these moments, Shelagh felt comfortable in speaking her mind, except for one area she was hesitant in discussing.
They stayed in their embrace, his arm around her shoulders, running his fingers along the length of her arm. She took comfort in his ministration while she looked down at her engagement ring and found courage to speak what was on her mind.
“Would you kiss me?”
The motion of his fingers stopped midway as he turned to her, a blush evident on her features, but he couldn’t help the smile spreading on his own.
“Kiss you? Are you sure?” Shelagh sat up then and turned her own eyes to him, ready to make her argument.
“I know before, after you had proposed we wanted things to be proper. We shared our first kiss briefly on my palm, before I left the habit behind. Ever since then you’ve exchanged kisses elsewhere, except the lips.”
“That’s true,” cupping her face with one hand as the other brushed back a golden strand. “With everything that went on we had to put off a lot, the rescheduled wedding and more.”
“Yes,” bashfulness taking over in her reply. They had agreed to wait, for their first kiss to be exchanged as husband and wife. But with the passage of time, it seemed silly to wait any longer, along with a concern Shelagh was reminded of mere hours ago.
“There’s something else Patrick,” continued Shelagh, looking up at him from under her eyelashes. A look Patrick resisted to kiss and instead, waited for her to continue.
“Earlier today, I realized how inexperienced I truly am.”
“Yes. I don’t wish to disappoint you and I certainly don’t want to embarrass either one of us during the ceremony. That’s why, I want to be experienced on the matter of kissing.”
“Shelagh you won’t and I can wait, I wouldn’t want-” but he was interrupted by Shelagh’s next assertion.
“I am completely certain, Patrick. I want to and I would rather experience our first kiss in privacy than on display.”
“Alright then, but you should know something. There are different types of kisses and if you wish to be experienced on the matter then we should go through them all,” a hint of lust clouded his eyes when he shifted his position, fully facing her.
“Let’s see,” he replied as he placed a gentle kiss upon her forehead, “that’s considered one. Then another,” the second kiss he laid upon both her palms. Lingering for a moment, when he drew his face up and locked eyes with hers.
“Yes,” was Shelagh’s single reply as he moved his face closer to hers and pressed his lips on both her cheeks. Her breathing became labored by his continued action and consciously licked her lips in anticipation for more to come.
“We’ll start off slow. A quick peck and build up from there.”
Patrick’s lips were millimeters away when he quickly pecked hers. The brevity of his action left a great deal more to be desired and he wasted no time to initiate their next kiss.
“Now another,” he whispered, pressing his lips forward again. He was gentle in their contact, lingering for a moment upon her own. A sensation that lasted a few seconds when he decided to change tactic.
Shelagh savored this kiss, but experienced an intake of air when she felt his lips begin to move against her own. He began to gently suck her bottom lip, which started to send a deep shock within her system. She shivered when his tongue brushed against her lips, beckoning entrance into her mouth. He heightened their experience by pressing on and grasping her face with his hands.
Shelagh was pinned deeper into the couch while she grabbed the collar of his shirt, pulling him closer to her. The kiss was heightened as their tongues dueled and adjusted to this new experience. A moan escaped her mouth, which sent Patrick on fire and desire to taste every fiber of her being. He repositioned his lips and bit down on her lower one, but broke their kiss for an overdue need of oxygen. But he didn’t stop there and he traveled down her jawline, trailing hot kisses along her jaw and neck. He then found a sensitive area on her collarbone and showed her no mercy in his attack.
The new experience sent a multitude of signals throughout both their bodies, which were reaching dangerous levels. Patrick could feel himself losing an ounce of control when he heard the noises that escaped from Shelagh.
But by some miracle, he was able to regain some sense of control. Pressing his forehead against hers and allowed for their breathing to normalize. The only noises heard throughout the flat were their heavy breathing, which subsided and was replaced by a giggle from Shelagh. Followed by a broad smile plastered upon both their features.
“I think, my love, you have nothing to worry about come our wedding day.”
“Thank you, but I was hoping for more practice to further my experience. If you’re up for it Doctor?”
“Always, my love,” descending upon her lips again and the bliss that followed.
I hope you all enjoyed this long one-shot, I sure enjoyed researching the different types of kisses (seriously, there are a lot out there). I would say this is half a kettle implied and a little different from what I write (I’m trying to expand), but I hope you all liked it. I was inspired by my own inexperience and drew parallels to Shelagh as well. I also tweaked a bit of Gaddis’ novel, Mountain Nurse!