BHM After Quarantine

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Oct 26, 2014
Chapter Two - Sam

It was a good day. Admittedly, Sam tended to see the bright side of almost everything - sometimes to a fault - but after three months in quarantine it was hard not to feel happy above all else. After a large breakfast and saying goodbye to Helen, who was leaving their small town for a couple days to see her family a few hours away, Sam made plans to go and see his closest friend, River. The first few years after she’d moved to town, Sam had had a terrible crush on her, but he’d managed to put that to the wayside for the sake of their friendship. He knew she was too good for him from the get-go, or at least, tended to gravitate more towards the “bad boys”. Which Sam was definitely not. Their friendship was probably odd to some people, but Sam pictured them as the angel and devil hanging out on each shoulder. It was a good balance. And besides, Sam had Helen, who was everything that anyone could want in a partner. Kind, caring, and pretty. At age 24, it was his longest relationship to date, and Sam was content.

After finishing up choring on the farm, Sam indulged in a few sandwiches stacked high with all his favorites for lunch, and then it was time to get ready to go out into the wide world and see River. Sam tried to ignore the nervous energy in his chest as he made his way to his closet, carefully looking through the clothes he hadn’t had much of an opportunity to wear for a few months. For choring and lazing around at home, Sam had stuck to gym shorts and sweatpants for bottoms, and oversized bro tanks or hoodies on top. Now he pulled out a couple pairs of jeans and t-shirts that had been collecting dust, and prepared to try them on.

Now, to put it mildly, Sam was not a small guy. He never had been. It worked out in his favor in a lot of ways, including being an excellent linebacker in football for many years of school, and for working on a farm, there’s no benefit in being waif-like. Still, there were downsides. Despite the obvious strength in Sam’s arms, chest, and shoulders, seemingly every delicious indulgence would make its way to Sam’s middle. *Especially* at times when farm work was his only exercise, it would show. Sam was still an objectively attractive guy, with wavy chestnut hair, light freckles, and a broad grin. With his confidence in who he was, it was no surprise Sam still had girlfriends throughout the years. But Sam’s second longest relationship to date had been Cordelia, who barely tolerated his size at first and eventually left him over it. He’d had a lazy and indulgent summer, leading to an additional 20 or so pounds added on top of his already stout frame, and when the football season didn’t drop the weight off (Sam’s eating increased with his fitness level, if we’re being honest) she’d had it.

“It’s embarrassing,” Cordelia said to Sam, prodding him not-so-gently in his soft middle. “I don’t want to be the cheerleader dating the fattest guy on the field. That doesn’t work for me.”

Sam would always blush at this memory, and then roll his eyes at the next one, which was River with her infamous temper shaking up a soda can and spraying it in Cordelia’s face when they’d ran into her at Pop’s, the local burger joint, a couple days later. At the time, Sam had been frustrated with her calling attention to the situation, but in hindsight it was amusing and somewhat reassuring. He’d always have someone in his corner.

Meanwhile, we now see our hero encountering the exact issue the nerves in Sam’s chest tried to warn him about: his clothes no longer fit. Going into the quarantine had found most of his pants getting pretty snug, due to the inevitable relationship weight that comes with settling down for snacks and a movie instead of going for a run, and then three months of nothing to do after work but cook and eat was showing itself plentifully on his frame.

“Ahhhhh,” Sam exhaled in quiet frustration as he fruitlessly tugged the button towards the hole of his jeans. No dice. Just like the last couple pairs, and the slacks, and the corduroy...this was not good. Sam even tried a trick he’d see Helen do to get into purposefully snug pants, and lay down on his bed before trying again, sucking it in fervently. It was closer, but Sam was getting tired, and he couldn’t muster the final surge to get the button into the hole. It would have been extremely uncomfortable, anyway.

Looking around, Sam snagged one of the rubber bands from behind his headboard and looped it through the hole in his jeans, then around the button. It wasn’t ideal, but it would keep them up before he could go shopping.

In terms of a top, the t-shirts Sam tried on clung to absolutely every ounce that had been added to his middle. He blushed and avoided the mirror as he went through his closet for something he knew was larger. It’d have to be long enough to cover his fake button - and of course, his belly that half-rested over it. Finally, he pulled out a purposefully oversized sweater he’d had for years (that was now closer to an “appropriately” sized sweater), exhaled a slight “good enough” at his reflection, then headed out the door.

Squeezing into his old Honda, Sam made his way into town and towards River’s apartment. His family’s farmhouse was on the outskirts of town, making it a decent 15-to-20 minute drive. His car engine’s noise usually announced his presence before anyone could see him, but Sam was too attached to his old car to trade it in. Making his way to River’s building, Sam eased out from behind the wheel and smiled up at the door before approaching and knocking.

River couldn’t even pretend to play casual as she swung the door open immediately.

“Hi! Hi,” she cried, stepping back briefly to allow Sam to step in before she darted in for a hug.

“Hey kid,” he said with a laugh as a good amount of his air supply was cut off by her arms. River had never been one for judgement, but Sam also couldn’t help but blush a little as he wondered if she could tell right away that he was much bigger than the last time she saw him. “It’s nice to see you.”

“It’s nice to see you, big guy,” River echoed back his nickname in response to hers, not because she had noticed the weight gain. It may have been in the back of her mind, but she was truly just glad to see him. “You look great.” Sam scoffed a little, but saw she was in earnest, and scratched the back of his head briefly.

“Oh, ah, thanks. You’re the one who looks great, I definitely woke up to some of the effects of isolation today,” Sam said with a small deprecating pat on his belly. “Speaking of which, I can’t stay long, I’ve gotta keep on into town to get some new clothes.”

“Yeah? Can I come?” River asked immediately. Sam looked at her skeptically, a little heat simultaneously rising in his face.

“You want to come?”

“Yeah, I’ve missed you, I don’t mind. You know I’ll keep you on track.” River was notorious in her hatred for shopping. In and out, that’s all she ever wanted. Browsing made her lose her mind. Sam laughed.

“I mean...I guess so. But I really need some stuff that fits, so we might have to spend a little time looking.” River nodded.

“That’s fine. I can handle it. I’ll be helpful! Or quiet. Whichever one you want.”

“Maybe both? Just holding up ‘yes’ or ‘no’ signs?” Sam teased, and River laughed.

“Perfect. Okay, let’s go!” and River flew by Sam to get to his car. Sam shook his head a little as he followed, hoping he wasn’t setting himself up for too much embarrassment.
awesome story I have been writing my own story it is a bit if a mix of my life story and my fiction, check it out if you wish Join the Lilith's Server Discord Server!

Xyantha Reborn

- Actually Very Tame!
Jul 23, 2014
NGL I am wildly starstruck to hear that from you Xyantha!

more chapters coming soon

I love a good sordid tale every once in a some fancy desert at an upscale restaurant...but it is the soft sweet stories like this that are wholesome, filling and truly a fresh french baguette, piping hot...!


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2019
United States
Okay maaaybe sneaking in some stuckage isn't totally vanilla of me. Oh well. Enjoy! More to come.

Chapter Sixteen

“Oof,” Sam exhaled softly after finishing the last of the lava cake. River, unsurprisingly, had seemed content with one or two bites. And Sam was not one to leave unattended, delicious food on a plate.

“Terrible?” River asked with a small laugh, watching her date with bright eyes.

“Yeah, just...disgusting,” Sam jokingly replied. “But I’m no quitter.” Seeing his date grin behind the hand she was leaning on, Sam knew he was seeing River in a rare state of total happiness. And it was because of him! Well, and lava cake. Maybe all lava cake.

“You ready?” River asked, gesturing out to the now almost entirely empty restaurant. Sam nodded, and River slid easily out of her seat. Sam made to follow, putting his hands on the table and pushing up in order to stand and slide back out.

But nothing happened.

Puzzled, Sam shuffled his feet and pushed harder with his hands. To no avail. His belly that had so stubbornly held off on being shoved beneath the table when it was empty was now full, and was not squeezing back through the opening in the table, no matter how hard he tried. Well crap, thought Sam, feeling the weight of his girth and the meal in his lap and the uncomfortable pressure from the table pressing into his halfway point. He squirmed a little to test out his range of motion. Now, his middle may not be in a position to move up or down, but he was able to slide to the side. And so he did.

Unfortunately, as we observed at the start of the meal, this is not a usual booth with an opening that matches the size of the table gap. This booth had an obstruction in the form of the large square pillar, jutting partially into the opening.

Knowing he was in for a trial, Sam slid up to the narrow exit. He put one hand on the end of the table, the other wrapped partially around the black pillar, and he tugged himself forward. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t move. The exit he was trying to pass through was even smaller than the gap that his belly was currently lodged in, and his body refused to even entertain the idea of entering it.

River, to her credit, was casting an innocent eye around the restaurant. Assuming that, like the seating trial, Sam could figure it out himself, and she’d spare him the embarrassment of an audience. Unfortunately, as Sam gritted his teeth and tried again with no luck, it was becoming clear that audience participation would be necessary. Which is how a mortified Sam found himself meekly speaking up,


River immediately directed her attention to the situation at hand. Her eyes widened a little at the sight, and her hand hovered in front of her mouth. It wasn’t hiding an “O” of horror, however. It was there to block a laugh that bubbled up.

“Gimme your hand,” River quickly followed up with at the same time as Sam said “I’m sorry.”

River shook her head as Sam handed her his right hand that had wrapped around the pillar. “These booths are stupid.”

Choking up on his arm, holding right below the elbow and up on his surprisingly solid bicep, River began to tug. Sam braced his left hand that held the table and shoved too. Some chub squished out the gap, but ground to a halt before his belly button and widest point.

“I mean, I’m real glad the food was so good,” River said conversationally, taking a break from her yanking as she leaned on the table. Sam, despite the deep embarrassed blush that lit up the freckles on his cheeks, laughed. River joined in, but not before they cast a look around to make sure no one noticed them before they giggled together as quietly as they could.

So good, right?” Sam agreed. “Except I might live here now. This booth is my home.”

“Nah,” River said, eyeing him. “I got it. Can I touch you?” She gestured at his broad middle, still mostly trapped in its confines.

Sam’s blush deepened, but he nodded. At his confirmation, River lowered on bent knees to gently put her right hand on his stomach, right underneath where he pressed into the table, and right before where he hit the smaller opening into freedom. At this, despite their casual interaction, she felt herself blush too. She had never touched Sam this intimately before. As much as they had been in each other’s spaces platonically over the years, and despite the kiss earlier, this was different. This was a very sensitive and personal part of the body. Even River, naturally lean, would shoo her ex away from stroking near her belly button.

Sam’s breath turned even more shallow as River began to press her hand into his fattest area. He was terribly embarrassed, but River was also basically having to crouch down in between his legs to get close enough. He could feel her breath hot on his neck, with some of her blonde hair tickling near his nose. If she wasn’t in this position because he was such a fat pig, it would be a nearly perfect moment.

“Okay,” said River, some breathlessness at the situation coming across in her low voice. “Suck it in and pull, ready?”

“Yep,” Sam gave verbal confirmation this time, then gave it his all. It was hard to “suck it in” after a huge meal, and he felt River press in on his pliable middle to assist. It started with just her right hand, but she added her left hand on the top of the table directly above her right to help with the compression.

And progress was made!

“Ahhhhh, there we go,” groaned Sam as more of his puffy belly squeezed through the gap. It felt like ages, though probably took less than a minute, before Sam was released from his confines.

River grinned and offered Sam a high five as he slowly stood up. With his other hand lightly rubbing where the table had pressed into him so thoroughly, Sam gave River a crooked, slightly abashed smile as he accepted her high five. She used it to draw him closer, and kiss him.

Sam, dizzy with embarrassment and happiness and discomfort and good food, leaned into the unexpected display of affection before slinging an arm around River. He wanted to apologize, but didn’t want to make it into a bigger thing than she had, and in the end he just asked:

“Ready to go?”
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Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2019
United States
Chapter Seventeen - One Month Later

River lazily kicked her dangling legs off the edge of the stage, pretending to study the ceiling, walls, and floor. Nearby, Sam was trying on a fourth vest pulled from the portable costume rack by their show’s exasperated costumer. Like the others, it didn’t come close to buttoning, and Sam was regretting agreeing to River waiting for him in the room until they could go get food after rehearsal.

Since their first date about a month ago, Sam and River had continued to keep their relationship quiet. Frank and Joe knew, as well as Iola, but they were sworn to secrecy. No one was looking forward to the reactions from Helen and Jason, but also, Sam and River would be lying if they said it wasn’t sort of fun to sneak around. Like relationship espionage.

Still, despite trying their best to take it slow, it was less than a week later that they received a couple’s casting in the community theatre production of As You Like It. This particular company was run by the convent on the town’s outskirts that had a decent theater attached, so there was absolutely no kissing or excess physical contact even between romantic leads. As Celia and Oliver, respectively, River and Sam were more of secondary leads. Their crew and castmates seemed to believe well enough that their onstage chemistry came from being close friends, but man, was it tough to keep their distance throughout the entirety of lengthy, Shakespearian rehearsals with the nuns.

Now the show was nearing its open, and Sam’s costume still hadn’t quite been figured out. The relatively new nun who was in charge of costumes, Sister Fiona, sighed and put the fourth vest back on the rack.

“Oh sure, ‘it’s no big deal, Fiona, just a few costumes,’ the Sister muttered to herself, imitating higher ups in charge of the theatre. “Neglecting to mention that one of the leads is the size of a whale.”

Sam turned beet red while River whipped her head in their direction.

“Wait, what now, Sister?” She asked, hopping off the stage and crossing her arms. Fiona, clearly not expecting them to have heard her, gaped for a moment before swallowing and turning to Sam.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that was terribly rude and dramatic. I just...haven’t ever outfitted a football player before,” she covered. Sam nodded, avoiding her eyes. “Here, I’ve got one more, OK?” At this, she pulled a stylish blue vest off the costume rack. It had a deep shimmer to it that looked attractive without being too showy, and was clearly bigger than the others.

Sam shrugged it on, and without trying to get his hopes up while being aware River was openly watching now, sucked his belly in as subtly as he could while going to button it up. Unfortunately, not every button made it, the one near his widest point beginning to unravel as he tried to tug it over to the opening. Abashed, Sam looked up at Sister Fiona, who was studying him.

“Spin,” she ordered, and Sam did, avoiding River’s eyes as well. Sister Fiona seemed satisfied with what she saw on the back, as she added, “Ok, you can take it off.” Sam did so as he turned back around. “I have some fabric I should be able to use to let this out a little. One inch or so. It’ll still be snug, but it should get you through the shows.” As Sam handed her the vest, Fiona pointed a stern finger at him. “But that means being especially careful until we close the production, Samuel. No excess snacking. Got it? We’re out of options, so no outgrowing this one.”

Sam nodded fervently, wondering if Sister Fiona’s God really existed, why He was allowing this to happen instead of having the floor swallow Sam up and transporting him to literally anywhere else. It didn’t seem quite fair.

“Bye Sister,” River called as the nun began to roll the costume rack out of the room.

“Goodbye! I’ll have that vest for you by next week’s tech, Samuel,” Fiona said before she departed.

“Ready for food?” River asked eagerly as the duo made their way out of the convent’s theater.

“Oh, you know, funny story, I’m actually never eating again,” Sam said breezily, holding open the passenger’s side door of his Honda for River. River playfully swatted at his sleeve as she got in.

“Hush! There’s no way I’m dealing with a starving boyfriend throughout tech week. It’ll be fine. We’ll a little more restrained for a few weeks. No biggie.”

Sam smiled a little as he got into the driver’s side. The word “we” wasn’t really applicable, but River had used it anyway, and he was grateful. Despite the tight circumstances of their first date, they really hadn’t gotten into it about Sam’s size yet. Every time he thought about bringing it up, he told himself that he wanted to at least lose the quarantine weight - or some of it? - and then they could go from there. Except that wasn’t exactly working out. River never made the passive-aggressive jabs his ex Cordelia would when he ate with unrestrained enjoyment, and River also never bemoaned her own size and eating habits like Helen had, so there wasn’t much reminding him to hold back. Until later on, when his clothing didn’t fit, or they had to work around his belly in order to get...physical.

After their first date, River had been ready to go home with Sam for the “movie”. But Sam, with embarrassment throbbing along with his wedged belly, had rain checked World War Z for the next night. He was terrified of messing something up right off the bat, and they had agreed the slow approach was smart.

Still, Sam had never felt so unequivocally wanted before. It was clear as soon as they were in the secluded bedroom together. So despite sticking to passionate makeouts after World War Z, soon, the rest was inevitable. Sam had been hoping to keep to the darkness and mystery of making a move late at night, the first time River stayed over, but she didn’t end up allowing that to happen. As soon as the first article of her clothing came off, she eagerly flicked on the bedside lamp.

“Wait,” Sam had breathed, running his hand up and down River’s bare arms.

“What?” She had asked, just as breathlessly, looking at him with genuine confusion. Exhaling as he realized she really didn’t know what he was getting at, Sam elaborated.

“I just might...feel better than I look, y’know?” River’s brow furrowed.

“But I want to look.”

“C’mon, River. Not at all of this. It’s okay-”

“Sam.” River’s tone took a turn for the serious. “I mean it. I want you. However that is. I don’t care…” she trailed off a little, so Sam took it up.



Not wanting to allow it to ruin the mood any further, Sam went back to kissing her. The bedside lamp wasn’t too bright anyway, he told himself.

That was the extent of their serious conversations about his size, so far. He had another moment of hesitation the first time River asked him to be on top, but knowing how her mood could turn, he went along with that too. And she was right: she DIDN’T end up pancaked. In fact, she seemed to actually enjoy it, despite his near-terror just about the entire time. They had a light on about half the time since, as River seemed to sense his comfort when there wasn’t one.

Sam knew deep down that they couldn't exist forever in this bubble - without interference from exes, or the general public, or discussing the hard stuff - but for now, it was pretty great to pretend. It was definitely having his cake and eating it too, he thought ruefully as they drove from rehearsal to Pop's for burgers.
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fat hiker

Well-Known Member
Oct 25, 2005
Ottawa, ON
Why does the newest chapter not have a 'like' button?
How can I show my appreciation if the 'like' button is missing?

Oh, whoa...


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2019
United States
Chapter Eighteen

Pop’s was decently busy, but luckily, not populated with anyone River or Sam knew by name. Snaking an inconspicuous arm through the crook of Sam’s elbow as they stood in line to order, River said,

“Nice job today.”

“You too, kid,” Sam replied, pleased.

“Nah, I’m still struggling through those’ve got all yours down. It’s seriously impressive.”

“Memorization doesn’t make a great actor. You’re killing it onstage. And you’ll get there with your lines, Shakespeare’s tough,” Sam said, giving his companion a little smile as they reached the counter.

“Chicken sandwich combo please,” River ordered first, slipping her hand out of Sam’s arm. The teenager at the counter offered River the medium fountain drink cup that came with her meal, then looked to Sam next.

“Cheeseburger...combo, thanks,” Sam stumbled out.

“Is that all?” River asked in genuine surprise. Sam usually got multiple sandwiches at their trips to Pop’s. Sam nodded, so she fell silent for a moment before adding, “If nothing else I reeeeally don’t think our small fries that come with will be enough…”

“Okay,” exhaled Sam with a slight laugh. “And a large side of fries. Thanks man.” The teenager blinked at them as though ensuring they were sure they were done, then handed Sam his cup in exchange for Sam’s card.

As they made their way to a table/booth combo, similar to the one Sam had met Frank and Joe at, River wondered if she should push it further. Similarly, Sam wondered if he should make a joke about her bad influence. Both decided against it, not wanting to get into a serious discussion right then. Work plus rehearsal plus keeping the nature of their relationship under wraps was thoroughly exhausting enough.

At the table, River took the booth side and Sam took the chair side, as was typical and size appropriate. Their upper halves stayed thoroughly on their side as they chatted, waiting for their food, but - unable to resist - there was some subtle footsie going on under the table. River’s black boots slid back and forth along Sam’s chestnut loafers, then up his leg just slightly. There was nobody they knew around, why not? Though someone would have to be looking awfully close to notice.

A few minutes later, their number was called, and River bounded up to get their food before Sam could. He watched her, grinning.

“I can actually see the tray this time!” River couldn’t help but joke as she sat down their meals in the middle of the table. Sam blushed, highlighting his freckles as he turned his gaze downward. He uttered a small chuckle, as he usually did with well-meaning jokes about his size or food consumption. Fighting it didn’t make ‘em go away, and he had years of practice. “Looks good though,” River added quickly, giving Sam’s hand a squeeze as she sat back down.

He looked up at her, smiling a little, as she let his hand go. But she didn’t move it completely back to her side of the table. Next to the tray, Sam reached out a tentative pinky and touched River’s. Even such a small gesture made her tingle, and she grinned at him, which helped transform Sam’s embarrassed smile into a broader one. He began to stroke down her pinky with his -

“What’s up, guys?” A deep voice from above cut into their little world. Sam and River’s hands shot back to their sides, and their feet did as well, as they looked up. Bent over the table was their friend Bill, a tall, lanky member of their friend group. River had actually dated him as a teenager - he was her first boyfriend - and it had lasted a whole three weeks! But Bill was a kind and thoughtful friend, and was so tall his head and neck had begun to stoop, even though he was only Sam and Frank’s age.

“Bill!” River cried, taking the nervous energy that coursed through her as an excuse to hop up and give him a hug. “It’s so good to see you!”

“We didn’t see you come in, man,” Sam said, getting up and offering Bill a hand. They drew each other in and patted each other’s backs in a typical greeting before letting go.

“Got my Prius shoes on, I guess,” Bill joked back. “How was rehearsal? Actually, sorry - y’all just got your food, I should leave you alone.”

“No! It’s okay, you order and then join us,” River asserted. Sam nodded. Bill raised his eyebrows and grinned at them.

“You sure? Okay, be right back,” Bill said. He walked steadily over to the counter, and River and Sam shot each other a nervous glance. Still, they couldn’t help but giggle a little. They had gotten away with it, though it was a close call. They celebrated by digging into their meals, River with her usual slow and methodical eating style, and Sam...well, not that.

By the time Bill returned with his food, Sam had demolished his combo meal, and was trying to hold himself back from going too hard at the communal fries. River wasn’t even halfway done with her sandwich. Normally, Sam had more food to go through and they about evened out, but not this time.

“So, rehearsal?” Bill asked again, before taking a bite of his burger.

“Pretty good, pretty good,” Sam said, tapping the table for a second before snatching another fry from the middle. River had begun to reach for her own fries that weren’t too far away, so they pulled back extra quickly.

“Still trying to figure out costumes,” River said, getting her fry once the coast was clear. Seeing Sam’s look, she added quickly, “but Sam’s got all his lines down pat.”

“Nice,” said Bill. “I’m gonna try to make the preview night.” The convent theatre company always had a technically-still-rehearsal-but-audience-can-come-pay-what-they-can night right before opening, so that the less fortunate (or just cheap) could still see the production.

“Perfect, man,” Sam said.

“I’ll try to get it together before then,” River said wryly. She had finished her own fries by this point, and went to get a communal one and found herself brushing by Sam yet again. She pulled back quickly.

Bill took a deep breath, hesitated, looked at the two of them, then sighed and said: “You know I know, right?”

“What?” River asked, a little too quickly. Bill couldn’t help the tiniest of eye rolls.

“About the two of you.”

“Fucking Joe,” River hissed at the exact same time as Sam said,

“Who told you?”

“No one told me,” Bill said, still slightly exasperated. “I’m just not a complete idiot. You guys know you used to touch each other when you were just friends and it wasn’t such a huge deal, right? I mean, I don’t think you could be more obvious that you’re trying to hide something.”

Both Sam and River blushed pretty fervently at that. River muttered, “Shit.”

“Does...anyone else know?” Sam asked, the subtle emphasis on anyone else making it clear who he was asking about. If Bill had figured it out, had their exes? Bill, luckily, shook his head.

“Nah, but my guess is they don’t want to know. Still…” Bill looked at Sam and River carefully. “It’s not gonna hold for much longer. If you want them to hear it, rather than stumbling into it…”

“Yeah,” River said sharply, close to cutting Bill off. “Soon.” Sam nodded in agreement, but couldn’t help shoving a handful of fries in his mouth nervously. He had cared deeply about Helen, and didn’t want to hurt her. He knew it was selfish, to revel in his newfound happiness and not face the music - which was, unfortunately, just going to prove her right.

Just gotta hold on till after tech week, Sam told himself, catching River’s eye. She seemed to be thinking the same thing. Once we have a chance to take a breath and make a plan.
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Staff member
Global Moderator
Dec 14, 2012
I'm glad I took the time to finally read through this! It's great! And, uh, stuckage scene gets bonus points, totally my thing. Any BHM want to come eat food with me and get stuck in a booth? :p


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2019
United States
I apologize to any Shakespeare nerds - I didn’t plan ahead for what I needed in my scenes, so I took some...liberties. I hope you still enjoy!

Chapter Nineteen

The night of the preview had arrived, and the actors chatted backstage in hushed tones as they heard an actual audience begin to fill the theatre. Attendees were warned this was still technically a rehearsal - there COULD be a hold, or issues that needed to be sorted. But that was an exceedingly rare occurrence, the only one in town’s recent memory due to Sam doing a fall in a farce and shattering the chair he was supposed to collapse in. To this day, Sam still flushed bright red at the memory of the way the seemingly sturdy seat exploded around him, and the stage manager ran down from the booth to help them carry it off.

River was twitchy with excitement, rubbing her hands together and jiggling her legs from her seat on the backstage’s decrepit couch. Sam watched from next to her, smiling a little. They were in their full costumes now - River in a long peasant dress and bodice, and Sam in his fancy new vest. The rest of the costume was his - black slacks and a loose white button-up shirt underneath. The vest, unfortunately, was just as snug as Sister Fiona had promised. It left very little to the imagination, with gaps between the buttons appearing as Sam sat. Luckily, he didn’t have to sit much at all during the show.

“Frank and Joe coming tonight, too?” Sam asked River, and she nodded.

“Yep! We’re all thinking Pop’s after, you up for it?”

“Hell yeah. Just...don’t feel too bad when I get the lion’s share of compliments, okay?” Sam joked with an exaggerated regret in his voice. River shoved him with the right side of her body, grinning.

“Hey! I can be a gracious loser, it just never happens.” At this, Sam couldn’t help but burst out laughing. River was notoriously competitive, only barely having grown out of her table-flipping tendencies. A couple other actors shushed him, and he clamped his mouth shut.

“You, a gracious loser? Do I see a pig flying?”

“Oh, my God! I should be getting into character, and you’re distracting me.”

“I’m already in character. Another thing I’ve won at,” Sam said casually. River rolled her eyes hard, but couldn’t help grinning.

“Clearly. And see how calm I am? Totally composed. You can have this, and grand winner of the eating contests, and I’ll take...everything else.”

“Perfectly balanced,” Sam said with a slight shrug, blushing a little at River’s jab. He knew it wasn’t malicious, but he couldn’t help it. He had been trained since his first relationship that when the girl you’re with jokes about your weight, it’s a hint. Even if River had always accompanied her teasing with unrelentingly defending Sam if anyone took it a step further, even when they were just friends.

“Five minutes to places,” the stage manager entered the green room and announced to the group.

“Thank you, five,” everyone echoed quietly back. River stood up and briefly stretched up to the sky.

“I’m gonna warm up, get in the zone,” she told Sam. “See you out there, Oliver?”

“See ya, most beautious Aliena,” Sam replied, winking at her. River cast one last look up and down at her partner before hiding a smile behind her hand and making her way to the backstage area.

For this production, River was onstage a good portion of the time as the sidekick. The theatre within the convent wasn’t massive by any means, but not a little blackbox either. There were about 50 seats, give or take. The more expansive shows could take seats out to get more space, but not too much was needed for this one.

Preview was a little more than half full, which wasn’t bad. The audience was appropriately reactive - maybe a little overly loud, even, but that was better than performing to a dead silent group. River had gotten her monologues down, and was feeling good about her performance - even if the innate terror from the first time performing a piece in front of an audience was coursing through her too.

Eventually, it was time for her scene with Sam. Up until now, his character had been seen as the villain - regularly trying to kill his brother because he saw him as too privileged. But after interacting with River’s character, he makes changes, and they end up married along with the others at the end.

“You can offer an extended look at the end,” Sister Margaret, their director, had said during rehearsal. “No more. But something to let us know that they have feelings for each other.”

“Are you sure? Sounds pretty scandalous, Sister,” River had replied, unable to resist. Sister Margaret raised her eyebrows at her.

“Keep your distance still, but...yes, you may look into each other’s eyes as the lights go down.”

“Got it,” Sam assured her. Still, River had been unable to resist striking various silly poses the first couple times they ran through it. Bringing her face to her cheeks, or one hand flipped up on her forehead in exaggerated drama. Sam would do all he could to keep from laughing while Sister Margaret tapped impatiently at her copy of the script in front of her.

Of course, River had eventually settled into what was asked of her. And now, in front of their first audience, the energy was sparkling, the chemistry tangible. No one watching would have any issue accepting that this was an impulsive “love at first sight” scenario. It was a good night.

Sam had a monologue near the end of the scene that took him on a brief turn around the stage, stopping at the end to face River. River took a breath to respond with her line, but instead, from the front of the audience, a familiar voice spoke up:

“God, look at that gut,” faux-whispered Jason, loud enough for the actors and easily half the audience to hear.

River and Sam, for a brief moment, both froze. They had already been making eye contact, and River saw the excitement in Sam’s brown eyes quickly replaced with dismay. He realized (too late now) that he hadn't been cheating out, and was fully profile to the audience. His belly's expansive, overhanging silhouette was on full display. River managed to recover and give her line, while Sam gave a nearly imperceptible squirm in front of the crowd. He took a deep breath before his next line, which he also used as an opportunity to suck in his broad belly (which had, of course, escaped his mind once he was on stage). Unfortunately, Jason was paying close enough attention that the action elicited a sharp laugh - followed by a mocking suction noise made by his mouth.

River broke, just a little, and glanced towards the area where the noises had come from. She heard a “whap” as Joe smacked Jason in the arm, and River watched her ex settle back into his seat, smirking with satisfaction. As quickly as she had looked out, River turned her attention back to Sam, who was still putting up an admirable performance despite the slight deflation.

For her next lines, River took very slow, deliberate steps towards Sam, not taking her eyes off him. Sam stayed where he was, some curiosity entering his eyes as he spoke. For her last line, River stopped right in front of Sam, closer than they’d been all throughout the rehearsal process. The shiny buttons on his vest nearly brushed against her bodice.

“Good sir…” River said slowly, putting a hand right on the broadest part of Sam’s belly. She allowed her hand to sink into his soft middle just a little, as she deliberately turned her head and found Jason’s eyes. “Go with me.” At this, she turned her head back and brought her lips to Sam’s. As her one hand went from resting on his stomach to arguably groping, getting handfuls of soft belly fat, her other hand went behind his head and pulled him in for a passionate ending to the scene.

They continued this way for a few extra seconds after the lights had hurriedly gone dark. The audience uttered a couple “whoa”s or slight whistles, used to the more reserved nature of the convent’s shows, as Sam and River broke apart and ran offstage. Both burst into quiet, nervous giggles just about as soon as they got offstage.

“Oh, my God,” Sam muttered, looking at River ruefully (and gratefully). His girlfriend shrugged, grinned, and made a quick turn to get on for the next scene. Sam knew her well, and could confidently read her mind:

And I’m not sorry, either.
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Well-Known Member
Dec 30, 2008
My name is clockworklove, I am a theatre person, and I 10000000000% approve this chapter 😍😍😍

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