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Ain't Misbehavin'
Wednesday, May 2 • Early morning

The chime of the clock in the other room sounded midnight, and Vera gave herself one last look-over in the mirror.

She'd begun to notice more fine lines, lately. Oh, the slight wrinkles in the forehead were nothing new — lines of concentration from night after night staring at fields of numbers.

The laugh lines, however. Those were a relatively recent development.

I believe most of these are your fault, Cowboy.

And I suppose each one of them was worth it. Oh, but if I weren't such a kind woman ...

The primary reason for the increase in laughter in her life was waiting — even if he didn't know it quite yet — for the first part of his present.

Finally finished with her primping and pampering, Vera wrapped a white silk robe around herself, slipped into a pair of marabou slippers and went to wake the birthday boy.

"Roger?" Vera sat on the side of the bed and pulled back the duvet just enough to place a kiss on his shoulder.

"Wake up. It's time to go."
Roger slowly drifted to consciousness, murmuring in protest. Go? Why did they have to go anywhere?

Reaching out he grabbed Vera and lightly tugged her to lay beside him, wrapping an arm around her and dropping a sleepy kiss on her lips. "No go. Stay."
Oh, I should have gotten a blindfold.

Hecate knew Anne, with her sometimes-dubious ideas, would have encouraged that idea, Vera thought, but that was a step too far yet for her.

Maybe next year.

"Are you sure?"

Vera propped herself up on an elbow and teasingly — not enough to tickle, just enough to get attention — ran her fingers over Roger's skin.

"I thought, since it is your birthday and all, we might break in somewhere new."

Roger opened one eye to look at Vera questionably. "This could have merit. Or it could be a devious ploy to drag my comfortable body out of bed. Tell me more," he invited, one hand sliding along her robe to tug with the tie. "Don't mind me, I'm just unwrapping my favorite gift."
"Ah ah ah! Too early." Vera defended herself, pushing back on questing hands.

"Although I don't suppose technically speaking the staff room is somewhere new. But it seems to me to be the perfect place to celebrate everything we have to celebrate."

She wasn't entirely sure Roger was listening, but she was quite positive she had his attention.

"Of course, unlike the last time we ... misbehaved among the classrooms, the entire castle is neither drunk nor charmed to sleep through anything, so if you want to stay here, that might be the better idea. Not to mention that note-writing in staff meetings would be slightly more interesting afterward."
Roger stopped pouting and started laughing. "Minerva really would catch us then. I'd never be able to even pretend to pay attention during meeting - I'd just be replaying it in my head and smirking the entire time."
"Oh, dear. I want it to be memorable, but not so memorable that you lose your job."

Vera leaned over and kissed Roger, then stuck her lip out in a pout.

"If we do stay here for now, promise me I get to grope you later today?"
"So far as I'm concerned you have my full permission to grope me when-ever and where-ever you like. You can start now if you like," Roger offered generously before laying back and throwing his arms over his head. "Grope at will!"

On second thought...

Roger sat back up and pulled Vera closer. "I could even demonstrate a few techniques."
Oh, can you?

Vera raised an eyebrow and sat up herself, beginning to tug on the bow holding her robe closed.

"I'm always willing to learn. Let's see what you can do, cowboy."