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Until I Have To Go

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76 Re: Until I Have To Go on 19th January 2012, 23:00

The two almost immediately fell asleep since they were tired from travelling and neither one of them got any sleep during the train ride. Obviously.
It was almost nine in the morning and beams of sunlight came through the window. Jo was the first who woke up. She hadn’t planned to sleep that long because she wanted them to get up early so they would have a whole day to wander through the city, but they were just too tired to get up early.
She looked at Liam and she just couldn’t get herself to wake him up because she loved watching while he was sleeping. He also talked a lot in his sleep, really weird stuff she didn’t always understand, but she needed to kick him briefly and then he would shut up. She remembered the first time he slept over in her flat, when they were not a couple yet and he was only a visitor at Oxford. He had slept on the couch and she was so fascinated of that picture of him sleeping, looking like a little boy, that she wished she could draw it, but then he woke up and caught her staring at him, which was really embarrassing for her back then.
Jo slowly got up and walked to the window. She had a direct view of the Eiffel tower.

“You look so Irish.”

“What?” She turned around and saw that Liam was awake. He smiled sleepy at her while his eyes scanned her from head to toe. Jo thought she needed to dress up for him in order to impress him, but he liked her just like that, dressed in his shirt and his boxershorts.


“I think we should get dressed now and have some breakfast, and then we have to go to the Louvre, and the Paris Opera house, and the Sacre-Coeur, and Notre Dame and Champs-Elysees and-“

“Hold it right there”, Liam interrupted her, laughing. “We can’t do everything one day, and remember, we have a couple of days so we should take our time.”

“I know, I know! I’m just so excited.”

“Yeah, I can see that...”

After they got ready, they went downstairs to the huge dining room where breakfast was served. Liam was concerned that they would serve some indefinable, inedible French food, but lucky for them they also served normal food like croissant. It was actually really hard to order a croissant, because apparently they served ten different types, and they explained all of them in French, so he just picked something randomly. They were the only teenagers in the hotel, and some of the guests raised their eyebrows when they saw the two youngsters, but Liam and Jo ignored them.

“So, first thing: the Louvre!”, Jo said when they went outside. Since the museum was not too far from their hotel they walked to the Louvre. They were lucky because it was sunny and unusually warm for September. Jo couldn’t stop talking about all the things she wanted to see, and Liam listened to her patiently. When they arrived at the Louvre they already saw the huge queue, and they lined up behind a group of chatting, loud Japanese.


“You know what I’ve been thinking?” Liam looked at Jo.

“Yes?”

“We should go to the theatre tonight.”

“The theatre?”

“Yes, I know a very, um, nice theatre that I always wanted to see.”

“Sure, sounds good”, Jo grinned, no idea that she would have the surprise of her lifetime later that evening.


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77 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 00:28


Not to be boring Paris and its attractions is magical. It was a long day for Jo and Liam. Liam had loved the paintings with the naked girls and had complained how small the Mona Lisa was. Jo was in a trance enjoyed each rush streak. They just came back to the hotel to get change b.
Liam had organized to tickets for the show tonight.

“What do I have to wear for the theatre Liam?”

“Oh nothing to fancy it is just a small theatre.”

They took a cab and as soon it stopped Liam made sure that she didn’t see where they were. They were brought to theirs table got their drinks.

“Liam what is this place?” Jo ask looking curious around.


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78 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 10:42

(I apologise in advance to Jo, because my little man has some serious growing up to do and has to learn that there are some places you just don’t take your girlfriend…)

There were mostly men- gentlemen in fine suits, to be precise- and a few women who wore rather short dresses, smoking expensive French cigarettes. Liam had a hard time not to laugh because Jo looked so ignorant and naïve. She spotted a poster to their table.
“Moulin Rouge?” She frowned. “I can’t recall that my parents ever took me here when we were on a trip to Paris.”

Liam grabbed the menu that was on the table and hid behind it, so she wouldn’t see the grin that he couldn’t hold back any longer. She was so adorably clueless.

“Are we…allowed to be here?”

“Why should we not allowed to?”, he asked, still holding up the menu.

“Well…” She looked around, catching the curious glance of some gentlemen. “Everybody is much older than us. Liam?” She took the menu away while he pressed his lips together, still trying not to laugh. “Is this some kind of controversial play that is usually not allowed to be performed in normal theatres?”

He chuckled. “No…”

“What is the play called anyway? I assume it’s French. Will it not get boring for you if they speak French the entire time?”

“I don’t think there’s much talking at all.” He looked to the stage, trying to avoid Jo’s confused glance.

“You know, I really enjoyed the Louvre today. All this rich history in one place, and I especially loved the Renaissance paintings, the technique Renaissance artists used to create atmosphere is just….” She paused when French music started to play, the red curtains were drawn and she was looking at twelve women in rather revealing costumes.


“What is this place?” She looked at Liam who still tried not to laugh.

“It’s a French theatre.”

“I’ve been to many theatres in Paris with my parents, and this is not a theatre.”

“Well, it’s more a musical- just less singing and more dancing.”

“What?” Jo looked at the stage again, starting to blush. Those women sure knew how to dance and lift their skirts up in a way that still looked fashionable.
“Liam!” Jo kicked him under the table when she noticed that her boyfriend’s eyes were glued to the barely dressed women.

“What?”

“This is an inappropriate place, we shouldn’t be here.”

“This is not inappropriate, it’s a form of art.”

“Art?”

“Yes, dancing belongs to the category of art, so we’re basically in the Louvre, the only difference is that the pictures move.”

“You’re not serious, are you?”, Jo asked him, but he already turned his head to the stage again. Was this one of his practical jokes or did he actually take her to a cabaret?
“Fine”, she mumbled and got up. To her disbelief he didn’t even notice it because he was so distracted by the dancing girls. But Jo wasn’t going to leave this place. She had a better idea.


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79 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 14:14

She went to the waitress…

God the girl is basically naked.

She took all her courage together and whispered in French so in case Liam would hear her. “Excuse Miss. Do you see the guy over there?”

“Yes the cute one?” The girl in the few clothes said smiling starring at Liam.

“Hey, yes the cute one. He is my boyfriend.”

“Not a bad choice.”

“He didn’t tell me where we are going tonight he said it is a theatre and erm this is not art and I mean it is but… oh man, what I’m trying to say is that he…”

“He was a jerk. You should show him how pretty you are. Come on follow me. I’m Cristal and you are?”

Jo blushed. “Jo and you really think I’m pretty? I know I’m not as pretty as all the other girls here.”

“You are. The only difference is that you were a lot less makeup and a lot more clothes on. But will change that.”

A sexy lady went on the stage. “And now my dear gentlemen enjoy the Magical Kadabra and his newest assistant Starlight. Be gentle it is her first night on the stage.”

The audience applauded when the magician entered the stage followed by his assistant Starlight. She looked a little shy at the audience but other than that she was alright. Only because Cristal had promised her nothing would harm her. And the show begun.


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80 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 16:09

Now that Starlight chick was hot. She seemed more modest and shy than the other women, and she wore less make-up, but she was definitely a sight for sore eyes. Which reminded Liam of something. Or someone.

“Jo, are you…” He suddenly realized his girlfriend wasn’t sitting next to him anymore. The seat was empty. “Jo?” He looked around but couldn’t see her anyway. She probably went to the bathroom. Liam turned back to the stage. He didn’t care much about magic shows because those people tried to break the rules of physics, and he didn’t like people who offended physics. But he couldn’t keep his eyes off the magician’s assistant who looked a lot like…no, that wasn’t possible. No way. Was that…?

“Jo?” He held his breath, staring at the lightly dressed girl on the stage.

What
The
Hell?!


It really was her. On the stage. Barely dressed. In the spotlight. So that everybody could see her.

Liam looked around and saw the older men scrutinizing her, and it freaked him out. He wanted to run to the stage and throw a blanket or potato sack or something over her to hide her from all those guys. His eyes wandered back to the stage where Jo was holding the magicians hat. She shot Liam some sort of That’s what you get for ignoring me- look. He gave her a sign that she should get off the stage, but she ignored him. He crossed his arms and waited impatiently until the show was done and the group of the twelve dancing women took over again.
Jo walked over to him in that horrible (well, okay… hot) outfit, and he saw how some of the men turned their heads.

“Sweetheart”, she said, putting her arms around his neck. “Did I finally get your attention?”

“Jesus, Jo, put something on!” Liam got up and tried to hide her away from the eyes of the others. He wrapped his jacket around her.

“What? You seemed to like the other girls who were even less dressed, so why can’t I wear this?”

“I don’t care if you wear that at home where nobody can see you, but I don’t want those guys to stare at you.”

Jo shrugged her shoulders and sat down. “At least someone is looking at me…”

Liam rolled his eyes. “I didn’t ignore you, Jo.”

She stared at her hands. “I just want you to look at me like you look at those women.”

“But I can’t look at you that way”, he said. “Like Peter said to Wendy: ‘One girl is worth twenty boys.’ And you’re more worth than all those girls together.”




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81 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 18:43

Of course Jo didn’t like being starred at by the other man, but it hurt her to see how much Liam starred at the other girls and not even had noticed her leaving.

“I’m not saying stop looking at other girl just don’t forget me while you do.” Jo tried really hard not to cry but she couldn’t stop the tears from pouring down. “You didn’t even notice me leaving. I was gone for nearly an hour and you noticed that I was gone when I went on this stupid stage dressed like a cheap hooker form a dark alley.”

As usual Liam helpless when Jo cried. “Jo please, please stop crying the people are looking.”

Jo nodded, got up and walked away. Liam was confused and followed her. “Jo where are you going.”

“I’m getting my boring unattractive clothes from the back.” Jo said disappointed.

Liam grabbed her arm. “Jo stop doing this…”

Jo leaped forward and kissed Liam. “I’m just trying Liam…”

“Yeah trying to impress me, but listen you know how I love you most? In my boxer shorts and a shirt of mine. Not in any of your fancy dresses, or this.” Liam looked up and down her. “I mean holy Saint Patrick you don’t even realize how pretty you are without trying. And all those man or the steward in the train, when I see them I want to be like Dick and kill them all.”

“I hate running around naked like this, all those men they scare the hell out of me.” Jo snuggled into his arms. Starting to calm down, breathing slower and her tears tried.

“Get changed and let’s go back to the hotel and see how lucky you can get.” Liam grinned. “And just for the record when I saw you on that stage I thought. This Starlight chick is hot.

Jo giggled. “I’m glad you liked the name.”

They had three more days in Paris, before they went on the train again to travel to Rome. Jo leaned back in their cabin. “I like trains, it is fun to travel two days to Rome all in one train. It’s like a moving hotel. I started reading for my dissertation and I bet you like the book I have to read, lot’s of nudity.”


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82 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 22:10

“Well, that means the book can only be good”, he said, stretching his arms. “You can read it aloud if you want, I don’t mind.”

Jo blushed. “I’m not going to read that stuff aloud when you’re right next to me!”

“Why not?”

“That’s embarrassing.”

“You read Lady Chatterley’s Lover to me when I was in the hospital.”

“You were unconscious.”

“Oh, I’m pretty sure I heard you now and then.” He grinned, making her even more blush. “I can read the book to you if you want…” It was more a statement than a question. Before Jo had any chance to argue he snatched the book away from her and opened it at the page with the bookmark.

“Liam, no, this is embarrassing…” Jo sighed. She loved it when he read something to her, even if it was only the menu in a restaurant or the telephone book, she just couldn’t get enough of his accent. But those books she had to read for her dissertation were no books that were supposed to be read aloud.
Liam started reading and didn’t care that she grabbed the blanket to hide underneath it. She could still hear him, but at least he didn’t see her flushed cheeks.

After about fifteen minutes he paused. “Okay…wait…” He cleared his throat. “Now comes the most descriptive scene in the entire book.“

“Don’t read that!”, Jo exclaimed, taking the book and hiding it under her pillow.

He laughed. “I see… You’re still a prude after all.”

“Hey!” She grabbed his arm and pulled him to her. “You have no idea how wrong you are.”

He grinned. “I hope I am very wrong.”

That moment someone knocked on the door. Liam wanted to ignore it but a second knock followed. “Geez, they always pick the right moment!” He got up and walked to the door. “Yes?” He looked at a little girl who stared at him with wide eyes.

“You’re not my mummy.”

“Now you hurt my feelings”, Liam replied sarcastically, but kids didn’t get sarcasm, and that girl seemed more than confused.

“Why did you knock?”
“I thought mummy was here.”

“Katie!”, the mother of the little girl appeared at the other end of the hallway, waving at her daughter.

“Bye”, Liam said to the girl, then locked the door. “There’s always someone knocking on the door or the phone rings or God knows what else…”

Jo giggled. “I’m pretty sure it’s my mother’s fault. I bet she put a curse on us or something.”

“Well, I’m afraid that won’t stop me from doing this…” He bent down to kiss her.


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83 Re: Until I Have To Go on 20th January 2012, 23:09

Jo giggled when his hand slipped under her shirt. “Liam I have to finish this chapter.”

“I was planning on finishing it for you.” He whispered in her ear.

“It’s embarrassing when you read it. Aaaah not there that tickles.” Jo tried to get away from him. Liam didn’t let her but he managed to get off her shirt.
“I think you gonna have to finish that chapter later…”

“Uh-oh. Oh God Liam.” Jo moaned and Liam hadn’t even yet started with the good ideas he got from the book.

“Gosh, Jo that was amazing.” Liam was holding Jo close making sure she was warm enough since she wasn’t wearing any clothes.

Jo was out of breath. “Yeah.”

“Jo why are we not taking the plane to Rome?” Liam asked curious. Jo suddenly flinched as if something had hit her.

“Erm but the train is so much more and erm I really have to finish this chapter.” Jo tried to get up and more not to look at Liam.

“Jo?” He held her at the elbow.

“Okay I have a confession to make. Don’t laugh at me.”

“Why would I laugh?” Liam pulled her back into his arm, not that he didn’t enjoy seeing her without close.

“Because, erm you know planes are high in the air and very… technical and weird and…”

“Weird?”

“They freak me out okay? I’m terrified of sitting in a metal box 10 000 feet in the air. No I can’t fly in them.” Jo snuggled close to Liam feeling really stupid. She traced his rips with her finger.


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84 Re: Until I Have To Go on 21st January 2012, 10:28

Okay, that was probably one of the most adorable things she said, although he couldn’t fully relate to that. He had always liked airplanes and thought they were one of the greatest inventions one had built. Liam could understand, however, why Jo and many other people were scared of flying. People who had no idea about a plane’s construction and how it worked always tended to be more worried. And Jo had called it ‘weird’. How could a plane be weird? It was fantastic. He had even built his own little plane when he was younger.

“You’re not making fun of me, are you?” She looked at him to see if he was judging her.

“No, I think it’s cute. I can’t really relate to it, but I still think it’s cute.”

“No, it’s not cute. I wish I wasn’t scared of flying, that would make traveling so much easier.”

“You have to see the good sides”, he said. “I don’t think we would have much privacy in a plane.”

“Yes, you’re right…” She giggled. “And you like flying, hm?”

“A like planes, that’s a difference. I’m okay with flying, but I really love that brilliant invention I’m flying with.”

“Why didn’t you want to become a pilot then?”

“Too boring.”

“Too boring?” Jo raised her eyebrows.

“I wanted to work for NASA after I graduated from school, but since I was only fifteen I had absolutely no chance getting in. They have launched so many rockets into space, which is so much more interesting than flying around in the sky that’s right on top of our heads. And when I look at the work NASA did the past years I have no doubt that soon humans will be able to get as far as to the moon.”

“What? No way!”

“Yes! They already worked on that for years. Have a little more faith in science.”

“God, I can’t imagine flying up there into space. I would die, I would be that scared!”

“And I envy the one who is going to be the first man in space”, Liam said.

“Can I ask you something personal?”

“Okay…if it has nothing to with my parents.”

“No.” Jo shook her head, although she was still dying to know more about his father, but he didn’t know anything either, so he wouldn’t have any answers to her questions. “
“I have the feeling that scientists never seem to be scared of anything because they think too logical to be scared. Please tell me that you’re scared of at least one thing. That would make you a little bit more human…” She smiled at him.

“Well, there are actually two things that scare me. Clowns and Catholics.”

Jo laughed. “Seriously?”

“I’m not going into details why clowns scare me, let’s just say I had a rather traumatic clown experience when I was little…and Catholics are just creepy.”

“But aren’t you Catholic?”

“I was baptised Catholic, but other than that I wouldn’t consider myself one of those crazy people. I’m scared of my grandparents with their creepy crucifixes and pictures of a dead Jesus hanging everywhere. Unfortunately I’m from a country where everyone is like that.”

“And you’re just about to go to another country where everyone is Catholic.”

“Oh Geez…priests running around everywhere and talk about sins and purgatory… that just creeps me out.”

Jo laughed. “I’ll make sure none of the priests will attack you.”

“Thanks, that’s comforting.”


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85 Re: Until I Have To Go on 21st January 2012, 12:46

“I always like when I can protect you.” Jo giggled.

“Damn what time is it?” Liam shot up and tried to find his watch.

“What’s the rush does your other girlfriend awaits you?”

Liam leaned back and kissed her. “No but did you forget dinner?”

“Oh. But it is delivered to our cabin.”

“Yeah I know but do you want me to open the door with nothing wearing?”

“Oh that would be very funny.” Jo didn’t let him leave the bed. “You not really are saying that I have to get dressed and leave the bed.”

Liam started laughing and let her pull him back into the bed. “I have a personal question for you too. What happened to the sweet little innocent girl from the Oxford Summer concert? She was scared to go to hell when I just looked at her.”

“Oh her, she realized that you are going with her to hell so she will take all the pleasure she will get until they are burning forever in hell.” She giggled.

“I hope they have a nice little house with a view down there.” Liam couldn’t say more because a knock interrupted him. “See that’s our dinner.”
Liam found his pants and this time he made sure that Jo was wearing one of his shirts and was still covered with the blankets before he opened the door and was blocking the view to her.

Jo and Liam spend all day in bed while they were on the train, enjoying room service and a constant changing view from their window. The most impressing view was when they passed the Alps.

They were picked up from the train station by a car of the hotel. Colin had booked them the Executive Attic Room with a wonderful view in the Relais Fontana di Trevi. They were check in under one name so they could share one room.

“Mister and Misses Williams, I am pleased to welcome you at our humbled Hotel. These are yours keys your luggage is already in your room. And this is the schedule for all meals and also the information about the sights you requested.” The old receptionist said with a very strong Italian accent.

“Thank you.” Jo took all the handed documents and keys and followed the page up to their room. At the door Jo gave him a tip and looked through the papers when she found the accidently added bill.

“Whoa.”

Liam turned around worried.

“What?”

“Oh erm I got the bill or I think just a copy of it and. I… I knew it cost money and it wouldn’t be cheap but I never expect four nights in Rome would cost £1031.03.” Jo looked guilty at the bill. “That is way too much Father spent for me.”


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86 Re: Until I Have To Go on 21st January 2012, 17:53

“Holy St. Patrick!” Liam looked at Jo in disbelief. “1031.03 pounds? For four days?” He had a hard time getting this information in his head. Jo might be used to this, but he certainly wasn’t. He didn’t even want to imagine how Christmas was going to be. Mr and Mrs Williams probably expected him to attend their elegant Christmas party, and there were always presents required at those parties. Expensive presents. He remembered the Christmases with his mother. They were simple, the tree was not decorated with fancy glass balls but cranberry-popcorn garlands and self-made decoration. He only got a few presents, but always something he loved. And he always gave his mother something he had built himself, like that one time when he was eight and had built an alarm clock that played all of her favourite songs.
So that waking up early is more fun for you, he had said.

“Liam?” Jo interrupted his thoughts.

“Hm?”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I was just thinking…” He took the hotel keys and his jacket, although he wasn’t sure if he really needed one because it was pretty warm outside. “Ready to go?”

“Sure!” She took her cardigan and linked arms with him. Rome was a lot different than Paris. They thought the traffic in Paris was crazy, but that was a joke if one compared it to the traffic in Rome. Next to cars there were scooters everywhere and they really had to watch out because the drivers didn’t stop, and didn’t seem to care if they would hit anybody.
Jo desperately wanted to go to the Vatican first to look at the Sistine Chapel. They both admired the architecture of the Vatican, but Liam slowly started to feel nervous. There were priests everywhere, and every time one passed them he looked at them so intensely that Liam automatically let go off Jo’s hand. After he did it the third time in a row she looked at him.

“Can you tell me what’s going on?”

“Nothing.” He quickly took her hand again and pretended to look at the sculptures, but when another priest passed them he tried to hide behind Jo.

“What is wrong with you? And don’t say ‘nothing’.”

He looked uncomfortable. “It’s just…those priests…”

“What is with those priests? They don’t do anything. They just pass us by, that’s all.”

“Did you see how he looked at me?”

“What?”

“He looked at me like he was trying to stare right at my soul!”
“I never believed I would say that, but Liam, you’re paranoid.”

The same moment two priests walked by.

“See!”

“What?”

“They looked at me like they wanted to say ‘We can see your soul and you will burn in hell’!”

“That’s ridiculous”, Jo laughed. “And besides, were you not the one who always mocked me for believing in things like that?"

“Yeah, but this is different…I mean, I still don’t believe in this stuff, but that doesn’t mean that those priests are creepy.”

Jo smiled. “I’m glad to see you scared once in a while. Even if it’s hilarious that the reasons why you’re scared are people who work for God, but still…”

“I’m not scared of them.” He tried to sound convincing, but that didn’t really work. “They are just…weird.” He decided he would only stare at Jo from now on, at least she didn’t make him nervous.


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87 Re: Until I Have To Go on 22nd January 2012, 01:11

Jo managed to ignore Liam starring at her until she entered la cappella sistinal. If Liam had thought Jo lighten up in the Louvre he was mistaken. She started to shine like a star. If he had never thought of her as beautiful he thought it now.

“Oh! My! God! Isn’t that beautiful?” Jo was turn on her heals, leaning back and trying to see everything. “Liam look over there.” Jo was turning already around before Liam just had a chance to see where she pointed at.”

“Yvaine, calm down you make the guard look at us…” Jo had disappeared for a moment out of his vision when he saw her lying on the floor “Jo what are you doing down there?”

“I’m seeing it like Michelangelo had seen it. That is the most wonderful painting I have ever seen. “

Liam pulled Jo nervous back on her feet, the guards at both door looked at them suspicious at least they were no priests. Jo looked for another more minutes at the frescos when Liam suddenly realized something. “No way did you see this?”

“What?” Jo got all excited.

“How small Adam is?”

Jo looked confused at him. “Huh?”

Liam leaned closer to her and whispered. “Adams package is super small.”

Jo rolled her eyes. “Come on lets go on.” She was hiding that she was blushing. They walked down the hallways saw more painting and other treasures. Jo would never admit it but Liam had make her to think.

“Jo are you okay? You are blushed.”

Jo nodded and suddenly she checked that no guard was watching them and she was sure that behind this curtain was space. Jo took Liam’s hand and pulled him behind the curtain.

“Jo what…” Jo kissed him passionately. “Seriously here?” Liam whispered into her ears. Jo nodded looking hungry at him. She finally understood how handy dresses can be. Liam hesitated for a moment. “The priests think your soul is already going to hell.” Jo whispered pulling at his pants. The rush of being caught made it more exciting.

“How do I look?” Jo turned to Liam.

“As id you just had sex.”

Her eyes grew wide.

“Just kidding you look lovely.” Liam took her hand and they sneak in the group of people no one ever noticed what they did. But the two teenagers couldn’t stop giggling. It was past lunch time when they got out of the Vatican. “Where do you wanna eat lunch? I think I wanna drink an espresso, or maybe a Cappuccino. I’m old enough to start drinking coffee. What do you think?” Jo was basically bouncing up and down in excitement.


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88 Re: Until I Have To Go on 22nd January 2012, 10:58

“Jesus, did you take any drugs?” He looked at his girlfriend who jumped up and down.

“I’m just excited!”

“No kidding!” He shook his head and put her arm around her. While they walked through the streets to find a good place for lunch, Liam noticed that many men looked at Jo when they walked by. He was aware that Italian guys liked northern European girls, but did they really have to make that so obvious? Jo didn’t even notice, she was so busy looking at the architecture of the buildings that she didn’t see all those muscular, tanned, greasy-haired guys who stared at her despite the fact that he had is arm around her and was clearly her boyfriend. He thought French guys were already annoying, but Italians were actually worse.

The two found a small, charming restaurant that was not too expensive but also not too cheap. The waiter- muscular, tanned, greasy-haired- flashed Jo a flirtatious smile when he led them to their table and handed them the menus. Liam looked at him coldly and waited until he was gone.

“Do they think I’m your brother?”

“Hm?”

“Those Italians! They either think I’m your brother or they totally lack in behaviour.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Come on, Jo, they basically undress you with their eyes.”

She blushed. “They do not. And lower your voice, people could hear you.”

“Nobody speaks English in this country anyway”, Liam replied, observing the waiter suspiciously. “I mean, don’t they see that I’m your boyfriend? They shouldn’t stare at you like that…”

“As if you didn’t stare at all the pretty women in Paris while your girlfriend was right next to you.” Jo put the menu aside, folded her hands and raised her eyebrows. She didn’t say it to accuse him but rather to tease him.

Liam looked a bit uncomfortable. “It’s not the same.”

“Really?” Jo smiled. “So I should be upset for getting male attention, but on the other hand I have to be okay with the fact that my boyfriend couldn’t keep his eyes off French women?”

“Hey, since I’ve been in Rome I had only eyes for you.”

“Yes, because of two reasons: you’re scared of the priests and you like French mademoiselles better than Italian signorinas.” Jo sighed. “You know, it’s fine when you look at women now and then, and I have to admit that French women are very, very pretty, but you shouldn’t get upset when I get some attention too. You know you can trust me, and I most certainly don’t do this on purpose. It’s not that I scream: ‘Hey, look at me, I’m totally available!’ “

Liam grinned. “You better not.”

Jo reached for his hand. “We already booked our tickets straight to hell, and I have promised myself that I’m not going with anyone but you.”

“That’s going to be one hell of a trip.”

“I know”, Jo laughed. “And we got ourselves into this, so we finish this together, no matter how many beautiful French women or Italian machos get in our way.”

“I still think they have to do something with that hair…” Liam’s eyes wandered from one man to the next. “What do they put in it? Elephant grease?”

“Eew! Don’t gross me out!” Jo giggled.


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89 Re: Until I Have To Go on 22nd January 2012, 11:59


It was a late lunch they had, but it was still nice and warm. They had ordered pizza and Jo was having her first Cappuccino. She nipped slowly the hot drink.

“It’s bitter.” Jo pulled a face.

Liam laughed at her. “Try sugar.”

Jo added sugar and started to enjoy her Cappuccino. “So do we still have time to see the Colosseum?”

“I think so. Did you know that they sometimes flooded the entire Colosseum to have water battles as entertainment?” Liam finished his last piece of pizza and waved the water for the bill. Jo first didn’t notice it, but Liam was weirdly quiet.”Liam? Are you okay?”

“What yes, yes just reading.”

Jo looked up and saw right away the problem. “Liam please stop worrying, father gave me enough money to pay for everything. No need to worry. The next time we go on a trip we plan it differently okay?” Jo leaned over the table and kissed him.


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90 Re: Until I Have To Go on 22nd January 2012, 17:09

It was weird having your girlfriend’s father paying for everything. It just didn’t feel right. Sure, it was Jo’s birthday present, but couldn’t he just give her expensive jewellery? Liam knew he wouldn’t get used to Jo’s lifestyle, no matter how long they would spend time together. Fortunately she was not a demanding, spoiled brat like many other rich kids, but she wasn’t fully aware how hard ‘normal’ people had to work for making a living. He couldn’t blame her though, after all, this life was given to her and her entire life she got to know enormous generosity from her parents while other parents could not afford to be so generous to their children.
After they visited all tourist attractions they had on their list, they left Rome on the fourth day to travel to Germany where Lorelai’s part of the family lived. The von Gruensees owned a stud farm (Liam didn’t tell Jo that he was not particularly fond of horses or any other animals of that size), but at least they wouldn’t have to pay for an insanely expensive hotel again- well, they didn’t have to let Jo’s father pay for an insanely expensive hotel.
Germany was completely different than Italy and France. Liam had been to Germany before, but not in the south where people had the weirdest accent. That was one similarity to Ireland. In the south of Ireland, where he came from, they had a completely different accent than the Irish in the north. He didn’t understand much German, he only knew that ‘Fuechschen’ meant fox cub since Lorelai called him that, well, had called him that. After he managed to successfully hurt Jo, Lorelai refused to call him that anymore. And he missed being called Fuechschen. But he tried not to think about it, since he really wanted to avoid thinking about Lorelai in general.

“You know that Lorelai is going to be there?” Jo said while they sat in a cab that drove them from the train station through the country side to the stud farm.

“Hm?” He was totally lost in thoughts while he looked out the window and observed the beautiful vineyards.

“Lorelai is going to be there. She decided to visit her father and her brothers.”

Great. This is going to be one hell of an awkward situation…

“It’s not awkward for you, is it?”

“What? No.” He shook his head, hoping he sounded convincing enough.

“You will like my uncle”, Jo said, changing subject. “And my cousins are great, but don’t feel intimidated by them.”

“Why? Are they dangerous?”

Jo chuckled. “No, it’s just…well, I’m the youngest in the entire family, and they are all men in their late thirties and early forties, and when they see that I have a boyfriend they might test you to see what kind of person you are and if you treat me right.”

Awesome. A bunch of older guys observing every move I make. That sounds like fun.

“But like I said, they are really nice once they get to know you better, and they are just doing their job as ‘big brothers’. They are equally protective about Lor, and she’s twice my age. So you can imagine how protective they are about me.” She noticed that Liam looked a bit uncomfortable. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out…”

“I’m fine…” He shot her a forced smile. “Really.”

She took his hand. “I want you to know that it means a lot to me.”

“What?”

“That you meet all of my family. I wish I could meet your family one day…”

“There’s not much to meet. I have two old, catholic, weird grandparents. My grandmother hums nonstop and bakes nonstop, and my grandfather doesn’t make any sounds at all, he just sits in his arm chair all day long and stares into nothingness. There were so many times I thought he was already dead because he didn’t move, he didn’t even blink. And they only speak Irish, so you wouldn’t understand them.”

“You could teach me Irish”, Jo said. “And your grandparents are your only family?”

“Yes.”

“What about-“

“Don’t even go there.”

Jo sighed. “Are you not curious? Not a tiny bit?”

“I say it one last time, I do not care who my father is, where he lives and if he has another family with a perfect housewife and perfect little children in a perfect pretty home where even the garden is bloody perfect.”

“Okay, okay, got it”, Jo said, knowing that she should change the subject again.

“Holy shit!”

“What?”

“This is where we’re going to stay?” Liam stared out of the window when they drove towards a huge building, surrounded by fences and endless fields with horses.

“Yepp, welcome to the estate of the von Gruensees.”


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91 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 00:06

The taxi had barely stopped when Jo already jumped out of the car. “Onkel Will!” Jo flew into the arms of an old man.

“Jo es ist so gut dich zu sehen wie war deine Reise bis jetzt?“

“Oh so wundervoll. Ich liebe zugfahren und Paris is so umwerfend und ich habe die Sixtinische Kapelle gesehen.“

“Schon wieder? Du warst so oft in Rom und jedes mal in der Sixtinischen Kapelle.“ Wilhem chuckled.

“Oh but Onkel Will we have to speak English so that Liam can understand us too.” Jo ran back to Liam took his hand and pulled him to Wilhelm. “Onkel Will this is him. This is Liam O’Doherty my boyfriend. Liam that is my uncle Wilhelm Von Gruensee or as I can call him Onkel Will.” Wilhelm offered Liam his hand when he realized how dirty he was. “Oh I’m sorry Liam.” Wilhelm rubbed off his hands at his pants and shook Liam’s hand.

“Jo talks a lot about you, in all her letters. Can you ride?”

Wilhelm had put his arm around his niece.

“Ride a horse? Erm.” Liam tried to find a good sounding answer but he didn’t had one. Jo chuckled Wilhem was more relaxed, she tiptoed and kissed him. Not looking away from him she said to Wilhelm. “No he doesn’t. He is not a big animal fan. But that’s okay I need someone to take lots of pictures of me on a horse. Onkel where is Lorelai?”

Wilhelm laughed. “She is in town and had a few errands to run.” He winked at Jo and she knew where she was. “So you are a photograph Liam? That is wonderful. Don’t worry boy no one will push you on a horse, are you interested in helping me a little. I have a few horses for sale and I need them photographed. I’ll pay you of course. I know you work with Lorelai and she doesn’t make a lot money. I know Jo has an expensive taste.”

“Onkel I have not! Liam don’t listen to him.”

“Josey!” A middle aged man shouted, he seemed to have injured his right leg. Jo turned around and grinned. “Tommy!”

“Oh man little one you look more beautiful every day. How is your trip going? Is that your boyfriend of you? Hello I’m Thomas Josephine’s oldest cousin and the most handsome one.” Thomas grinned and offered Liam his hand.


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92 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 10:52

Liam shook Thomas’ hand. “Nice to meet you, I’m Liam”, he said. Thomas did look handsome indeed, and was very tall. He was surprised that they spoke English so well, he didn’t expect that. He was actually worried that they wouldn’t speak much English at all, but to his surprise they did. They had a strong German accent, but it wasn’t hard to understand them. He wondered if they could understand his Irish jabbering, maybe he should try to cut back a little on the accent, although he knew that he would not succeed.

“You can call me Tommy”, Jo’s oldest cousin said. “Are you Scottish?”

“Tommy!” Jo punched him playfully in his arm. “You’re so bad in recognizing accents! He’s Irish.”

“Oh, sorry.” He grinned at Liam. “Jo’s right, I’m really bad in placing accents. I could have sworn you’re Scottish.”

“That’s if you would compare German to Austrian. There’s obviously a difference.” Jo shook her head, turning to Liam. “Just ignore him.”

Liam smiled. “That’s okay.”

“Josey!” Another man in his thirties ran towards her, covered with hay. He was shorter that Tommy and not quite as heroic looking, but handsome as well. And still taller than Liam. As always.
The man pulled Jo into a tight hug and she didn’t care that he smelled like horse stables. He introduced himself as George, the youngest son. He was a couple of years older than Lorelai, who was the youngest in the von Gruensee family. Liam tried to find any resemblance between her and her brothers, but they all looked completely different.

“There’s something different about you”, George said, scrutinizing his little cousin. “You have changed. You look more grown up somehow…”

Jo smiled shyly and looked in Liam’s direction. “Well, maybe I grew a little since the last time you saw me.”

“No, it’s not that. There’s something different…”

“So, how about the boys and I get your countless luggage inside, and you can get changed and go to the stable”, Wilhelm said, then turning to Liam. “If you would rather like to stay away from the horses I completely understand…”

Liam shook his head. “No, that’s fine. I’m not scared of horses, I just don’t see myself on a horseback anytime soon.” He smiled. “But I’ll follow Jo and take pictures.”

While Wilhelm and his sons helped them with the luggage, Liam got a first impression of the main building of the estate, which was a big, country-style but yet elegant house with many spacious rooms. The estate consisted of several buildings, and Liam could only imagine how hard it must be to keep everything running. The entire estate with the stables was a huge responsibility.

“This is our room”, Jo said after they entered a big, very comfortable and cosy room with a fire place and a nice view on the fields. “It’s always been ‘my’ room, although I don’t live here. When I was little I spent most of my summer holidays here, and this is also the place where I learned to ride.”

“It’s very nice”, Liam said, looking around the room. Although it was still huge he felt more comfortable in this room than he had in the 5-star hotel suites, because her room was more personal and he didn’t feel completely out of place.

“I’ll show you the main building later, after we come back from the stables. We have a music room with the most beautiful piano. I have to show it to you!” Jo sounded just as exciting as she did when they were in Rome. She opened the old, wooden wardrobe and threw him a shirt. “Even if you don’t get on a horse you’ll still get dirty, so you might want to wear this.”


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93 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 12:08

Jo was so excited, Liam had never seen her on a horse but he was sure she would do fine.

“Onkel Will we are all ready.”

“Each year you come, you have more luggage you turn more and more into Lorelai.”

Jo looking at Liam who tried very hard not to show any sign that he had heard Wilhelm. But Jo didn’t have time to answer. Tommy came to them with two horses one sorrel and one black.

“As usual the first ride without saddle?” Tommy grinned at Jo and when they weren’t related Liam would clearly had competition in him.

“Yes!” Jo’s eyes were shining. “Just us three?”

“Yup, just us three, unless Liam changes his mind and wants to come with us?” George asked when he had just appeared with a young looking horse. It was a beautiful brown, and a little nervous. He saw Jo's questioning look. "That's Sirius he is three and I'm training him." George looked proud.

“No really I don’t see myself on the back of a horse.” Liam smiled and let go of Jo’s hand. She turned around and kissed him passionately. “We won’t be gone long and Onkel Will is showing you around, but not the stables I wanna show you the stables myself.”

Liam felt a little uncomfortable kissing Jo that openly in front of her family. Jo grinned and kissed him once more.

“Okay you two knock it off, do that when you are alone in your room.” Tommy teased them, which made Jo giggle. George helped her up on the black horse. She hugged it from above. “That’s the best horse on the whole world. Aren’t you Lion?”

“The horse is named Lion?”

“Yes when he was just a cute little foe. I rode over the field he was on with his mother and I fell down. He was standing in front of me and made sure no one of the other horses ran me over. That’s why I call him Lion his real name is Kaiser Franz der Fliegende, which is a stupid name and he listens to Lion.”

“He is one of our breeding stallions. Speaking of stallion, Jo you know the rule.” Tommy handed her the whip. “No matter how much you love him you are the boss of him.” Tommy looked for the first time stern at her, until Jo nodded.

“We won’t be long Liam. Not longer than half an hour.” Jo smiled at Liam before the three on the horses turned the animals and speeded off.

“So Liam shall we start the tour? I can show you the other horses we have here right now. We have a large breeding program of Thoroughbred. They are horses that are known for their agility, speed and spirit. Jo’s horse the Kaiser or as she calls him Lion is one of our ten breeding stallions. Back at home she is riding one of our horses. I would never let her ride any other horses that is not born here on Happiness. That’s the name of the estate, Happiness stud. But you know I’m better in answering questions, do you have any?” Wilhelm smiled at Liam. They have just reached the paddock which was the nursery.


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94 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 17:46

Liam watched the foals. He had to admit they looked cute. Kind of. But horses still smelled weird, and there were always flies around them. And they stared. They were one of those animals who just stood there and stared.

“Did you build up the estate?”, he asked Wilhelm.

“No, my father did.”

“It’s really nice”, Liam said, at the same time trying to hold back any sign of sneezing. He wasn’t allergic to horses, but he was allergic to all that hay. He didn’t tell Jo though because he thought it wasn’t important. He was a bit relieved when they left the stables and went out into the fresh, away from the hay. He felt Wilhelm watching him, but not in a way that made him uncomfortable.

“How did you meet Jo?”

“Lorelai introduced us.”

“I hear you’re working with her?”

“Um...yes…” Liam stared on the ground. It was weird that he was just talking to the father of the woman he was so obsessed with the past year.

“You like her a lot, don’t you?”

“What? No! I mean, I like her, but not in that way…”

Wilhelm seemed confused. “Why are you dating her then?”

“What? Who are we talking about?”

“Jo.”

“Oh…” Liam blushed. “I’m sorry, I thought…um…”

“I was not talking about my daughter”, Wilhelm laughed. “I would never accuse you of liking a woman thirteen years your senior in ‘that way’.”

You have no idea…

Liam had to change the subject quickly before Wilhelm would get suspicious. Luckily he spotted Jo and her two cousins approaching them.

“God, I missed this so much!”, she said after she got off the horse and brought it back to the stables. Her hair was messy from the wind, but Liam liked it that way.

“We’ll have dinner in an hour”, her uncle said. “That gives you enough time to clean up and show him the house.”

“Okay.” She turned to Liam and took his hand. “Let’s get changed, I want to show you something.”

“Oh, do I really have to get out of this beautiful flannel shirt?”, he asked her sarcastically.

“Maybe you like it more when I wear it”, she said. “With nothing underneath.”

Liam quickly checked if nobody could hear them. “You show me later, right?”, he whispered.

“You bet”, she replied with a grin.

After they changed into nicer clothes that didn’t smell like horses, Jo dragged him through the entire house to the music room.
“This is one of my favourite rooms in the whole building”, she said, sitting down on the piano stool. While Liam looked around and admired the room, she started playing a sad melody that made him suddenly stop. He slowly turned his head to look at Jo who smiled softly while she played the song. He couldn’t tell what it was, but for some reason he felt himself drawn to this particular song. He loved everything Jo played on the piano, but there was something about this song that reminded him of something. Or someone.
Jo looked up for a second and noticed his almost sad face. “Liam, what is it?”

“Don’t stop”, he said after she didn’t continue. “Did you come up with that song?”

“I wish”, she said. “It’s one of Graham’s songs.”

“I still can’t believe that a famous pianist like him was your piano teacher.”

She smiled. “I’m glad he was, he taught me the most beautiful songs.”

“Like this one…” Liam realized that he had goose bumps all over his arms. He didn’t want to admit that, after all, he was still a guy. He had no idea what it was about the song that made it so different than the others. That made him feel so different. “He must have composed it for a very special person”, Liam mumbled, realizing how incredibly cheesy that sounded.

“Yes, he did”, Jo replied. “He never talked about it, and everytime I asked him he changed the subject, but the title says it all. It’s called To my Heroine.”

Liam couldn’t control it. He didn’t want to think about her. But when Jo mentioned the title, he thought about his mother.
“Let’s go”, he said suddenly. “We shouldn’t be late for dinner.”


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95 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 18:28

Jo looked at him wondering what was going on with him. Dinner at Happiness was totally different than the dinners in Waterfall Downs. They were loud and there were no servants in Happiness. Yes they had a cook or more a housekeeper. The dinner table was huge and it was a busy loud table, pots were handed around and so bottles of wine and other drinks.
Liam grinned this was a lot more of his taste of a good dinner. His nose felt still itchy from all the hay, but it was better at the moment.

“Sit down kids, sit down. We are having a feast today because this morning were six foals born.” Will looked proud in the round.

“Lor. There you are. I missed you.” Jo hugged the sitting Lorelai and smiled happily at John who was sitting next to her.

“I’m sorry sugar, I had a couple of things to do. How is Lion?” Lorelai was sitting next to Jo on her other side Liam was sitting on which who’s side Tommy sat.

There was laughing and jokes going around the table. Tommy had great fun in trying to sound like Liam. After dinner everyone went its own way.

“Onkel Will can Liam and I go for a walk?”

“Yes of course, just be careful okay?” Wilhelm hugged his niece for a moment and then let the two youngsters go.

Jo and Liam walked hand in hand around the paddocks, and sometimes over the paddocks itself. Liam always made sure that Jo was between him and the horses. “You really don’t like them don’t you?”

“No it is not that. Just I’m not as fond of them as you are. It would be awesome if they were robots.”

Jo giggled. “Liam this song I played for you, it meant something to you didn’t it?” Jo didn’t mean to be rude she was curious and she had seen even though that he tried to hide the shudder that run down his back. She knew the feeling each time she played this song she felt pulled into a sad story she couldn’t grasp.


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96 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 19:53

He didn’t really know how he could describe what was going on while he listened to that song. Or why he felt so weird about it. He had no idea why he felt so drawn towards this one song, he just knew that.
“You looked really sad.” Jo watched him. “Why?”

“I don’t know…”, Liam mumbled, avoiding any eye contact with her. “And I didn’t look sad.”

“Yes, you did. I see you every day, I know when you look sad”, she replied. “I’ve played countless sad songs in front of you, and you never looked like that before. “

Liam hated talking about feelings, especially about his feelings. That’s one of the reasons he liked living with Dick. They didn’t talk about that sort of stuff. But Jo always sensed when something was wrong. While he preferred to ignore or suppress it, she always wanted to talk about it. He was aware that most girls tended to talk about that stuff, and it made him kind of uncomfortable.

“What is it, Liam? You know that you can talk to me.”

He just shrugged his shoulders. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

Jo looked a bit hurt. She probably thought he didn’t trust her enough to talk about anything with her. She just didn’t know that he was the kind of person who would rather repress feelings than constantly talk about it, it had nothing to do with her.

“Okay…” She folded her hands, trying to smile, but it didn’t really work. “I’m sorry if I’m too curious, I won’t pry anymore.”

He wanted to tell her that the song reminded him of his mother- for some crazy, indefinable reason- but as always, he did not say anything. He was usually the one who wouldn’t shut up in the possibly worst moments, but when it came to personal stuff he just couldn’t talk about it. So, instead of telling her what he felt, he said “Okay, so that’s it.”

‘Okay, so that’s it?’ Can you be any ruder?

He watched the horses and remembered all the information he knew about them.
“You know that the male part of a horse is 22 inches?”

“Oh God, Liam, seriously?” She hid behind her hands, sighing. “You’re impossible!”

At least he was able to distract her from asking any more questions concerning his feelings.


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97 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 20:26

Jo grinned through her fingers, still a little blushed. The once so beautiful evening sky was covered with dark clouds.

“Jo shouldn’t we go inside?” Liam asked worried. But before Jo could answer the rain started to pour down on them, within second they were wet through all layers. The youngsters were laughing when they went into the straw barn. It was warm and dry in it. There was also the closet with the old horse blankets.

“Follow me.” She took his hand and pulled him up all the way up the ladders to lie down on a blanket right under the sky light under the roof. Jo took off her wet clothes and started to unbutton his shirt. “Liam are you okay?”

Liam felt sneeze and his eyes were a little itchy, but not as bad as when he was close to the hay.

“Yes I’m fine.” He took off his shirt. “This is such a cliché. Us in the barn after a heavy rain.”

Jo grinned, and nodded. She was slightly shivering but not long after they lay down on the blanket she felt more than hot. The heavy rain hammered on the roof and the window. It was dark outside when Jo snuggled into Liam’s chest.

“Won’t they look for us?” Liam asked a little out of breath.

“No they all know what we are doing.” Jo grinned.

“What, all of them?” Liam sounded shocked, that it made Jo laugh.

“Yes Tommy and George already asked if you are a good lover, and said you are alright.” Jo giggled.

“Hey, what do you mean with alright?” He cried in outrage.

Jo kissed him again and whispered daringly. “Prove me differently.”


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98 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 21:38

After about half an hour they grabbed the horse rugs, wrapped them around (since their clothes were still soaking wet) and snuck in the house. Liam was still embarrassed thinking about the fact that Jo’s cousins had talked with her about that private stuff, but since Jo seemed so calm about it, he probably shouldn’t worry. However, he worried that someone would show up any second while they were dressed in nothing more than a horse rug. While Jo already headed towards their room, Liam suddenly stopped as he noticed a big oil portrait of the von Gruensee family. Wilhelm’s wife was still alive when this picture was painted, and Lorelai wasn’t much older than sixteen. She was already incredibly beautiful back then…

“Liam?”

He startled and turned around, looking at Lorelai.

Oh crap!

She looked him up and down, pursing her lips. He felt so stupid, wrapped inside the horse rug, standing in the dark hallway, his hair still wet.

“What are you wearing?”

“Um…my clothes got wet.” He blushed.

“Are you blushing?”, she asked, almost teasing.

“No!” His voice got so high that he sounded like a girl. He cleared his throat. “I meant no, I’m not.”

“I’ve seen you with less fabric than that.” Lorelai crossed her arms, trying to suppress a grin. “Where’s Jo?”

“Ahem…I think she already went to her room.” He stared on the ground. “I was just…ahem…nice picture.”

“Yes, I know …” Lorelai’s eyes wandered to the portrait.

“She’s pretty, your mother. Like you. Well, not as pretty as you but-“

“Liam!” She interrupted him with a strict tone in her voice.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to…I mean…I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s okay”, she said a bit softer. “How are things going with you and Jo? You’re treating her right, aren’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He still didn’t dare to look at her, well, not directly into her eyes. What he did notice, however, was the fact that she dressed differently. Her clothes were not as figure-hugging and tight as they usually were. Maybe because she was here to visit her dad, and she had to dress a bit more appropriate for that occasion.

“Liam, could you look at me for a second?”

It was weird, because before he dated Jo he couldn’t take his eyes off Lorelai for one second, and now he had a hard time looking even in her direction.
He finally looked up, still hesitating.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you, and I hope-“

“You didn’t hurt me”, he lied. He just didn’t want someone to talk about his feelings again, he had enough of that for today. “Congratulations to your engagement”, he said. “I didn’t have the chance to say that.” He turned around, but she held him back by his shoulder. The horse rug almost slipped, but he held on to it tightly.

“You know that you mean a lot to me, Liam. You really are like a little brother to me.”

“Yeah, sure…” He suddenly recognized Jo on the steps, already dressed in her pyjamas. “Good night”, he mumbled, turned away from Lorelai and walked up the stairs to Jo who looked at him questioning.

“Where have you been?”

“I just…it’s not important.” He kissed her on her forehead, which surprised her, because he didn’t always show reactions like that. “I think I’m slowly getting used to the strange horse smell…” He looked down at the horse rug. “Now I smell like a horse itself.”

She laughed. “I don’t mind that at all.”


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99 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 22:13

Jo saw Lorelai go in the other direction and for a moment she felt as if someone had stepped her right in the heart. But Liam was her with her and not Lorelai and Lorelai would never hurt her. She knew that, just the thought of being nothing more than a substitute hurt a lot. Jo sighed and didn’t say anything. She followed Liam upstairs in her room right under the attic, they could hear the rain clearly on the roof. The two quickly cuddled into the warm and soft bed.

“I remember when I was very little, Laura Lor’s mom told me stories how the rain would make all the paddocks green, filled the streams with fresh water and washed the horses. She would lay here with me, or at the barn under the window and we would watch the rain. And when it suddenly started raining I often got scared at night because the rain was loud here. She told me stories about England and… and about mother when she was young. Laura said mother was like me shy but somehow wild. Laura always said she had the spirit of a wild horse. She was free. I try to remember those stories when mother was very strict, harsh and cold. That she was not always like this.”

Jo sighed. “Laura was a true wild free horse. And I miss her a lot, and I know so does Lor. I’m sorry I brought you here.”

“What? Why?” Liam looked down at her.

“Because you hate it here.” Jo whispered.

“That is not true, I like it because you love it here.”

“I love you more Liam.” Jo whispered. “So much!”

Jo didn’t know why she told him this, she didn’t mean to pressure him in any way she just wanted him to know how much he meant to her. She might wasn’t that afraid that Lor would start anything with Liam, but that didn’t stop the fear of losing him.
She sat up suddenly.

“Liam I have a surprise for you. It’s a present.”

She smiled secretive at him.


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100 Re: Until I Have To Go on 23rd January 2012, 23:04

(Just to remind you, that was your idea, Ariel, just to make that clear! And I have to write this stuff…) Embarassed

“A surprise?” He looked curious at his girlfriend. She took his hand and pulled him up to a chair. Liam didn’t understand why he had to sit down on a chair, they had been very comfortable just lying down.

“You have to wait here and be patient, I’ll be right back.”

“Where are you going?”

“I won’t answer any more questions”, she said and walked giggling to the bathroom. He just sat on the chair, waiting for her to come out again. He folded his hands and listened to the rain on the roof top. The door of the bathroom opened, and Jo slowly walked out, wearing nothing but the flannel shirt he had worn earlier today.

“That’s a nice surprise”, he said, smiling.

“The shirt is not the surprise, silly.” She slowly walked towards the chair and then stopped in front of him. For a moment she seemed a little hesitant, but then she took a deep breath and climbed on his lap, however, sat in a rather strange position. He was just about to say something when she started to move in an even more awkward way.

“Jo, what are you…”

“Wait, I got it!” She tried to lay back and wrap her legs around his neck, but accidently hit him with her foot.

“Ouch.”

“I’m sorry…” She blushed, but then continued twisting awkwardly. Liam still had her right foot pressed against his cheek.

“Ahem…Jo…”

“Wait, I…ah!” She almost fell off the chair, but he caught her in time. She was about to continue whatever she tried to show him, but he stopped her before he could get any more feet right into his face.

“Are you proving to me any athletic skills that I don’t know of yet?” He raised his eyebrows. She stared embarrassed at the ground.

“I was just trying to be like one of those girls…”

“What girls?”

“The ones from the movies.”

“I can’t recall a movie where a girl uses her boyfriend as bar to climb around.”

Jo blushed even more. “Well, actually…um, I tried to…you know…?”

“Um, not really…”, he replied. “If I wouldn’t know it any better I would think you just tried to perform some sort of lap dance…” He started to laugh. “Yeah, as if!”

Jo looked uncomfortable, and that’s when he realized that his joke wasn’t a joke after all.

“Wait…” Liam looked at her almost disbelieving. “That wasn’t…was it?”


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