Precious Things: Chapter 1

So, to go with the wonder of a brand new site (thanks to the wonder of Dev), I’ve got a brand new story. Before we begin, I have a few people to thank. It’s been an honour. Obviously, I’d like to thank Dev for all her amazing work at actually getting this site up and running. She’s been amazing. I’d like to thank Liz, my wonderful new beta (my poor old one had to retire due to a game knee and has been put out to pasture). Of course, thanks to my parents, family, beloved and god, also to Megan and L for their wonderful opinions as to which way to go, and finally, to the magical otter that lives in my heating vent and whispers things to me at night. Without them, I would be nowhere.

I do not own the characters from South of Nowhere: Tom Lynch and the N do. I make no money out of this. It’s just for fun. Make sure you read our general disclaimer for more info.

Further down the line, there will be x-rated action. This story has love themes between two women; if this is not your cup of tea, stop drinking my story.

Rating: U

* * * * *

Chapter One

Sometimes I can’t breathe.

It comes over me all of a sudden, and there doesn’t appear to be a rhyme or reason for when it hits. Then I’m wheezing and doubled over, tears starting to leak from the corners of my eyes uncontrollably as I desperately try to catch my breath.

The intense pain deep in my chest is enough to make knives seem like a peaceful and enjoyable alternative and I grip whatever I can find to hold on to, just to wait until it passes.

It will pass. It always does.

The only time I can’t stop, grab on to something for dear life and wait it out, is when he’s around. He doesn’t know that I have these attacks and quite frankly, he probably wouldn’t stand for them.

There are many things he won’t stand for.

Sloppy work, dress that isn’t quite neat, tardiness, speaking back, speaking up, insolence, disrespect: they’re just a few of the things that get him angry. I avoid all of them. He’d see my attacks as self pity, a wallowing in something he doesn’t understand.

I could never tell him how many things there are that he doesn’t understand. I think that would come under the triple threat categories of insolence, speaking back and disrespect. Trust me when I say you don’t want to go there.

He’s not here right now though, so I’m okay. I can just stand here gripping the edge of my desk and staring out the window until the pain subsides.

Somehow, I know that it’s nothing medical. You know that feeling you get sometimes when the things in your head get so messed up, so hard to deal with, that they translate into physical pain? That’s what it is, I know it.

The rain is coming down outside pretty damn hard. I concentrate on the drops becoming rivulets and flowing to the bottom of the pane as my knuckles go white with my grip. The pain is easing now and I’m just about beginning to catch my breath.

A glance at my watch tells me that I should pack up my books.

There are many things in life that aren’t fair. I know I shouldn’t complain because I have clothes on my back, a roof over my head and food in my stomach three times a day, good food at that. But, in a way, I can’t help but look at those around me and wonder what I did to deserve my life, or why it is that things seem so unfair.

Things like the fact that it’s the end of summer and it’s raining; like the fact that it’s the end of summer and I’m doing school work; like the fact that I have to pack up my books now and go downstairs to go for a walk in the rain.

It doesn’t actually matter that it’s raining. It’s five in the afternoon and that means that we have to go for a walk. Not appearing downstairs would be unthinkable, as would be the concept of not going for a walk.

Sighing deeply but quietly, I make my way downstairs.

He’s in his study reading. Clearly, the New York Times has him fascinated enough that he hasn’t noticed the time. Now is my time to shine.

“It’s nearly five, sir,” I say, making sure that my tone is laden with implicit respect.

The corner of the paper flicks aside. “Oh, so it is. My, how the time flies!” He pushes his thin silver-rimmed glasses up his nose and folds the newspaper just so. It’s carefully placed on the table next to him at a perfect angle.

Together, we put on our raincoats and galoshes. It’s been raining all day and that doesn’t bode well for the state of the roads around here. Everything will be mud.

I hate walking in the rain. It always gets on my socks and down into my shoes, no matter how hard I try. It’s a hazard, walking in skirts, but he won’t let me wear anything else.

We stroll in the rain for an hour exactly. There are four routes we take, and of course it’s never my decision. During our walks, he quizzes me on my homework. I’m not sure if it’s to make sure I’ve done it or just that he feels he’s educating me. I mean, I know he has a ton of knowledge stored away in his head, so in some ways it’s a good thing. It doesn’t help me shake the feeling, however, that I’m being both examined and judged all in one go.

I get that feeling a lot.

We’re home at six on the dot. I don’t know how we always manage it, but we do. Then again, given how strictly regimented our life is, I guess I should just stop wondering. It won’t get me anywhere.

Because it’s Sunday, it’s lamb roast night. I hate lamb, but obviously that makes little-to-no difference. Lamb roast with roast potatoes and vegetables and a gravy so weak you’d get more sauce from plain water: that’s how he likes it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a say in anything and I’m fairly sure that protesting would land me with no dinner and another charge of insolence.

The wages of insolence are not fun in this house.

After dinner, it’s the same routine, always the same routine.

At nine-thirty, I have the blessed half-hour of peace. This is my half an hour to unwind and do what I wish with. Inevitably, I end up reading in bed. Books are – and have always been – my solace.

In that half-hour, I can be somewhere else. In that half-hour, I can be anyone I choose to be and do anything I want.

No-one’s going to punish me for talking back in that half-hour. Thank God.

And it’s always over too soon. There’s always that knock at the door.

“Ten o’clock, Spencer. Lights out.”

“Yes, sir. Goodnight, sir.”

It’s the same two sentences every fucking night of my life. Oh great, cursing! It’s a good thing the words are in my head because I think that’s punishable by… well, it’s almost worse than insolence.

I know he doesn’t know what goes on in my head. He’d be shocked.

They’d all be shocked. Those people at school, those people down the street. I think even she’d be surprised if she knew, if she ever looked at me and saw what was in my head. If she ever looked at me at all.

What would they all say? What would they think, what would they do?

If they knew I wanted to die.

What would they say about that?

Probably nothing.

Figures.

* * * * *

Next up: Chapter 2 [U]

35 Comments

  1. dev0347
    Posted 8 April 2008 at 11.05pm | Permalink

    Oh my God! New story!! Could you be any more awesome?

  2. Orange
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 4.59am | Permalink

    Dear Sez,

    This new fic is great. Lots of great. The greatest? Of all the fics posted on this site, thus far, that are meant to be multiple chapters… Yes. Indeed. You’re magic and this comment seems unnecessary ’cause I already got all fangirl on you, but I figured I’d drop it anyway, if only to show my support.

    PS: Quit acting like you’re better than me. I’m tired of getting threatening, late-night phone calls (COLLECT, too!) from the South Pole, just so you can get your jollies and tell me how I’ll never be as great a polar explorer as you. So, just… stop it.

    -Orange

  3. jen
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 5.00am | Permalink

    OH SEZZZZZZLEEEE….I’m hereeeeeeeeeeee. My oh my how i like the start of this one. Saucy indeed. You’ll be posting daily, right? I mean how else can I expected to have a good day?!?

  4. WaveGoodbye
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 1.41pm | Permalink

    I’m geekily excited to see you’re back writing again, Sez.

    I wanted to smack Mr New York Times over the head, he’s already a jerk.

    I’m with Jen, you’ll be posting daily, right?

    Anyway, bravo, and I’m curious to see what Ashley is going to be like. (Which is probably perfect because you always make her perfect in each fic.)

    Hope you’re well, dahling. <33

  5. iocaste
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 2.08pm | Permalink

    New story!! Yessss!!!!
    I always suck at feedback on first chapters…so you better give us more.
    Clom I hope you’re doing great.
    *gives the Sex a big hug*
    I really miss you :(

  6. cbrammer
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 3.29pm | Permalink

    Good to see you here. Enjoyed this first chapter. Can’t wait to read more.

  7. jbs10
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 3.31pm | Permalink

    I’m already hooked.

  8. Becks
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 3.47pm | Permalink

    I was always a regular lurker on the site that shall not be named and your fanfics were some of the best! I think Year in the Life has to be my all time fave Spashley fic ever. I’m glad to see you are back writing and that you have not let such a shocking and horrible thing stop you from writing. This one has had an excellent start as always.

  9. IheartSON
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 8.14pm | Permalink

    YAAAAY i thought i lost you forever happy to see ur still posting. was sad to hear what happened. Hope to see Le Marais OH how i missed you :-D

  10. anshi
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 8.28pm | Permalink

    I’m really sorry about what happened on the board and was disappointed that one of the best Spashley fanfic authors might be gone forever. Suffice to say I am extremely happy that you are going to continue writing. I can’t wait to see how this one unfolds :]

  11. tarara
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 8.50pm | Permalink

    YESSSS!! I have read all your stories…thank to you my english have improved XD. what else could I ask for?

    Regards from Spain.

  12. slick
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 9.08pm | Permalink

    I was so relieved to hear you were updating elsewhere! Your stories are some of the best I ever read for SON and it would have been a loss if you stopped writting this pairing, so thanks for continuing.

    As for this first chapter? I liked it. I’m already caught up in it and it’s only the beggining, so I’m looking forward to you continuing it. Oh and was that from Ashley or Spencer’s point of view? Or is that part of the mystery?

    Anyway, keep it up and I’ll keep reading:)

  13. slick
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 9.12pm | Permalink

    Ah, reread the whole thing and saw it was from Spencer’s point of view. That’s what I get for speed reading from over excitement!

    Who’d be so mean to poor Spencie? :puts on angry face: I hate that dude already!!!!

  14. tash
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 9.56pm | Permalink

    Love it already!!

  15. Lovesfool
    Posted 9 April 2008 at 10.00pm | Permalink

    oh Sez, i can’t begin to tell you how happy i am that you have continued to write. It would have been a shame for you to stop. Just imagine how many fangirls you would have left crying their eyes out and screaming at you for more ;)
    Anyway, i really loved this first chapter, but i’m going to agree with the above posters, i wanna hit the guy over the head with his newspaper! can’t wait to see how Ashley is in this fic.
    Keep it up!

  16. modelthroughit
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 1.24am | Permalink

    ohhhh man.

    sez, I am so grateful to have you up and writing again. You have always been my favorite. ily.

    anyways, this is sure looking gloomy. Abuse is… the anti-fun. But I’m really interested to see what Ashley’s up to. Usually your Ashleys are so perrrrfect and nice. I kinda want this one to shake things up. You know, break poor little Spencer out of her little prison so they can run away to some far away land. Maybe do some bad things, cut a bitch, etc. Anyways, really looking forward to more of this and your unfinisheds and I miss you in the pants thread.

    <3meeeeel

  17. jmh
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 1.58am | Permalink

    Clom, you don’t even understand how happy reading your writing makes me. No one on that board touches you and Kye in the way you two write and hopefully you two will continue your collaborating. I haven’t read a fic of yours so far that I haven’t enjoyed and I have even managed to get my girlfriend into your writing as well. Can’t wait to read more of whatever you have in store for us fans :)

  18. Yay
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 3.10am | Permalink

    I’ve read just about every fic you’ve written, and have always respected you. No matter all the crap that you’ve had to put up with, you’ve remained classy. That just proves how awesome you are. So glad you’re gonna keep up the writing. You a true talent!

    I haven’t started this one yet. I think I’m gonna wait a little bit. But just wanted to say that :)

  19. insertcleveranswer
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 3.13am | Permalink

    Yay! I’m so happy that I get to read your stories again! I was majorly bummed when we lost you from the other site, although I totally get why. So thank you for posting again here!!

    Poor Spence. Sounds like things are pretty rough for her. I am so ready for another Clomle story.

    Thanks again!!

  20. broken_childe
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 3.19am | Permalink

    Sez is BACK YES!!!! Girl I’m soooo loving this first Chapter… you had me I thought the POV might be Ashley’s.. I hope she comes in soon to save Spence!!! So glad you’re still writing Clomle!

  21. lauren36ren
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 3.33am | Permalink

    I’m so glad your still posting stories because if there was ever a person born to write Spashley it is you.

    This fic is starting out interesting. Poor Spencer. I think Ashley needs to come make it all better. Yep that’s what I think.

  22. Insaneoasis
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 8.18am | Permalink

    oh most totally awesome one! I think you, and this fic just made my life. Thank you. and it makes me incredibly happy to read more from you. You, by far are one of my favorite authors. EVER. So thank you again. :)

  23. Lesmiserables1998
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 3.29pm | Permalink

    Oh heavens! I found your stories again. Do you have plans to post archives of your older stories … such as “Best for Me,” etc? I am so happy that you are writing and posting again. Your Spashley stories are a true gift. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Bookthief
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 6.12pm | Permalink

    Wow, you already have me hooked, I can’t wait for more. *Fidgets in chair*

  25. spashleyforcutie
    Posted 10 April 2008 at 11.00pm | Permalink

    wow! i love it so far clomle. im really glad your still writing. it makes me tingle…ok well not not really, thats just creepy, but im really happy you are writing. <3 it!

  26. Things I Should Have Said
    Posted 11 April 2008 at 12.56am | Permalink

    Score!

    You started a new fic, I’m pretty much hooked. I can’t wait to read more :)

  27. TYLO
    Posted 11 April 2008 at 5.24am | Permalink

    A NEW FIC THAT ROCKS GLAD THAT UR BACK

  28. SoNsweetness
    Posted 11 April 2008 at 6.52pm | Permalink

    You, my friend, are a talented, insightful writer/storyteller. All the best to you!

  29. Tegan21
    Posted 14 April 2008 at 7.54am | Permalink

    it’s with tears in my eyes I leave this comment..

    you are my definition of Love.. thank’s for keepin’ charing your beautiful work..

  30. gilmar
    Posted 14 April 2008 at 8.23pm | Permalink

    this looks… intense… of course, wouldnt expect anything less from you =)

  31. vickygx
    Posted 22 April 2008 at 12.28pm | Permalink

    Hey, while I was browsing through spashley.com I stumbled on a link directing me to this site and since I have read some of your stories felt that I had to comment. I seriously love AU stories with a dark vibe and this one is really promising. I hope that the man, Spencer is forced to obey, is not Arthur, as this would taint the image I have of him in my mind. Poor Spence, she’s the victim again…but this means that Ashley will probably come to the rescue!!!

  32. Fort
    Posted 24 April 2008 at 8.06pm | Permalink

    Ahhh Sez, here I am, sorry for my late arrival. Intriguing first chapter. Wanted to do this reviewing thing properly, one per chapter. Got to love this line:
    Like the fact that it’s the end of summer and it’s raining
    Try living in England, that sentence would be adapted to:
    Like the fact that it’s every day and it’s raining. Lol.

  33. seriesaddict
    Posted 16 May 2008 at 2.28pm | Permalink

    I’m finally here to read another one of your wonderful stories!

    I like the first chapter..I think that Spencer is the one talking!I’m going to read the second chapter so I can find out!

  34. Leonie
    Posted 15 November 2008 at 11.55pm | Permalink

    wow gripping… i will check out more now hhaha

  35. sunarU .N enyaP
    Posted 10 May 2009 at 6.08am | Permalink

    *spits out story-tea, then blinks in shock*

    Hey, wait! I like this cup of tea, why’d I spit it out?

    Oh yeah, cause I realized I hadn’t reviewed to this chapter. Mah bad.

    Actually, I do have a question (that may or may not be answered…since those are really the only two choices, really). What is that pain that Spencer feels? I don’t think there was ever a concrete answer. I mean, I get that we’re supposed to realize that it fades as she becomes more and more “free”, but is there a technical term for that sort of pain? I’m curious, it sounds rather interesting.

    Or maybe I’m just supposed to quietly accept it. =D Either way, I still love this story, Clommalom, and…yeah. Still love you too! Course that was a given. Like I really need to tell you how amazingly awesome you are, and the cozy place you have in my heart of hearts. =)

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