Welcome To The Harem
A Taste of Love Forever by Rev. Anna
Summary: Sharon and Walter connect on a level where words aren't necessary.
Title: A Taste of Love Forever (1/2)
Author: Rev. Anna
Keywords: Sharon/Skinner, Pre-X-File
Disclaimers: Sharon and Walter Skinner belong to 1013. Everyone else
Summary: Sharon and Walter connect on a level where words aren't
Author's Note: This is the third in a series of stand alone stories
on how Skinner and Sharon got together.
September 15, 1979
Walter Skinner was the very thing Sharon needed to see when she
opened the door. There he was standing behind his cousin Andrea,
looking as if he were born to wear a gray flannel suit and buttoned
down starched white linen shirts with patterned ties and charcoal
gray trench coats. Working in law enforcement agreed with him. The
warm brown hello that greeted her from behind his glasses said it all.
'I'm here. For you. If you need me.'
Walter's cousin did all the hugging and the understanding smiling and
said all the 'I'm so very sorrys', making contact with Sharon's
mourning family who stood around dressed in the somber tones of
funeral blue, black and gray.
Walter followed quietly behind Sharon all the time, not speaking;
just being present. And having him be present was just what she
needed. He nodded politely and shook hands as Sharon introduced him
and Andrea to her older brother John and his wife, her twin brother
Stanley and his wife, her father's brother and sister. Finally they
came to an overstuffed armchair where a large beefy man sat staring
vacantly ahead of him.
"Father. This is my friend Andrea. She's Walter's cousin."
Born on the wrong side of the tracks, marrying a Washaw had been a
feather in Malcolm Lincoln's cap. One he wore proudly and which he
celebrated by taking his wife's last name as his when they married
fifty years ago. A pattern of confiscation he continued throughout
their married life. Now she was dead. So if he was no longer taking
from Lillian Washaw, who was he? Rev. Washaw sat there identity
less, totally collapsed on himself with grief and longing.
Again Walter's cousin conveyed the Skinner family condolences. The
man barely acknowledged Andrea beyond a grunt and a nod of his head.
Walter stood at a respectful distance but made no attempt to make
contact with the shell of a man that Sharon's father now was. He
didn't like the man when he first met him and his wife last year.
His present distress didn't evoke any sympathy for him either.
Walter merely looked at Sharon and again his eyes said all she needed
'I'm here. For you. If you need me.'
All through the funeral service she longed to sit by Walter, feel him
near her, solid and substantial, instead of having to be in the front
row surrounded by sniffling siblings and crying cousins. Only she
and her father sat silently, shedding no tears. She bowed her head
for a prayer and out of the corner of her eye saw that Walter's eyes
were on her, still letting her know he was there for her if she
The autumn wind blew leaves of red, gold and orange around the Washaw
section of the cemetery as they arrived for the burial, gathering
where eight generations of Washaws laid quietly beneath the earth.
Finally able to give herself permission to physically move away from
her family, Sharon stood back from the open grave, feeling its
emptiness as the words of committal were said. She looked to her
left and read the headstone of her aunt.
Marjean Washaw. 1919 ? 1972. "Just So You Know."
Finally the tears began to come, filling Sharon's eyes, her nose, her
She put her attention back on the present scene and watched them
lower her mother's coffin into the ground. Suddenly she needed a
hand to hold and as if he had read her mind, Walter's hand was there,
relaxed, palm extended out and available if she wanted it. She did.
And she took it.
"Almighty God, Father of the whole human family in heaven and on
earth: stand by those who sorrow; that, as they lean on your
strength, they may be upheld, and believe the good news of life
beyond life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Sharon listened to the intoning of the Lord's Prayer. Debts not
trespasses. Then with the final words of benediction the funeral was
over. But her mourning was just beginning.
She needed someone to walk with her in silence, run interference with
the condolence givers and comfort seekers. And without a word Walter
did. Just his presence or a look made them all back off and she was
able to leave the gravesite unmolested. Her hand in his.
She needed to find a place to cry her heart out non-stop without
being offered well-intentioned but painfully inept expressions of
sympathy. Again without a word, he helped her find it. He walked
beside her, stopping when she needed to stop to swallow her tears,
walking faster when she needed to feel her heart pounding hard in her
They continued on in silence, allowing an occasional squeeze of a
hand or a sigh or a glance to speak through and for them. They
finally came to an old oak tree in the middle of an abandoned farm
where she fell to her knees and sobbed.
She needed him to witness her sorrow: for her Aunt Marjean who died
too soon, for the friends she and her mother never were to each other
and now never could be.
She needed him to hear her rage at all the lies she had been told as
she was growing up and was forced to swallow, the cruelties, mental
and physical, she and her brothers were forced to endure at the hands
of their father.
She needed him to listen to all the secrets she could no longer keep
inside: of the year of sexual abuse her father's seminarian inflicted
on her when she was sixteen, of the truths about her father's
coldness and indifference to her mother, to her brothers, to her.
She needed to know at the end of witnessing and hearing and listening
to it all that she was safe with him.
And he did. Witnessed it and heard it and listened to it all with
quiet loving attention. And at the end of it all she was safe with
It grew cold as morning became afternoon and afternoon turned into
night. The night fell around them like a chilly blanket. She had
felt constrained by her coat and left it in her brother Stanley's
truck before getting out and stepping to the gravesite. Walter took
off his coat now and put it around her. The feel of his warmth and
the smell of him emanating from the fabric now wrapped around her was
all the comfort she needed.
She didn't want to go home. Ever. Even though she knew she had to
eventually. But she couldn't face that house and those faces, those
voices. Not now.
And somehow Walter knew that too.
He walked her back the way they'd come, back to the cemetery and the
fresh mound of earth covered with no longer fresh funeral flowers.
Sharon moaned and covered her face as her knees buckled. Walter
caught her up in his arms and carried her to his rental car, took her
into his motel room, laid her under the covers of his bed, brushed
the hair from her eyes and kissed her forehead gently.
"Thank you for being here, Walter," she said, crying softly.
"You're welcome, Sharon," he whispered, kissing her gently on the
lips. "Now get some rest."
"Don't want to," she moaned, pulling him back down, kissing him
desperately. "Want you . . . inside me."
"Sharon, you're exhausted."
"No. I'm tired," she said, still clutching him, kissing him. "Tired
of feeling dead and empty. I thought when she finally died it would
go away but it hasn't. Make it go away Walter. Make it all go away."
He kissed her back, just as hungrily. Finally, albeit reluctantly, he
gently pulled away.
"No," he said softly, holding her to him in a loving hug. "No
fucking pity and no pity fucks. Remember?"
She pulled back and nodded yes, watching a tear fall from his eye as
he kissed her gently, marveling at his show of self-control.
"Let's see how you feel in the morning," he said, crawling onto the
He turned her around and spooned her from behind. Again the warmth
and smell of him comforted her.
"If me inside you is what you really want, I'll be more than happy to
"Good. Now go to sleep."
And she did.
September 16, 1979
Skinner's rental car pulled up in front of the Washaw
house around 10AM. Sharon leaned over and kissed him on
"You were right. Last night would have been a pity
"Lucky for you I don't stock any on my shelves either.
You call me when you're ready for me to come and get
She kissed him full on the mouth this time. Glad they
hadn't fucked each other last night. Happy to wake up
with his arms around her, both of them fully clothed;
he on top of the covers; she underneath. This morning
he woke her up with soft kisses on the back of her
neck then took her in his arms, letting her kiss back.
They made love by talking and listening to each
"Walter, I can't begin to tell you how exhausted I
feel. Caring for my mom these last three weeks has
been the most emotionally draining but satisfying
experience of my life. But that last week, listening
to her crying and ranting, releasing fifty years of
disappointment and betrayal. It still hurts just
thinking about it. How could I have not seen how hurt
and lost she was?"
"You can only see with the eyes you have and the only
lens they see through is the life you've led."
She ran her finger along his jaw then lightly traced
his lips, wondering how someone so young could be such
an old soul.
"And what about us? After fifty years of marriage,
will we still be in love forever?"
"Only time will tell. Let's get to the altar first
"You want to shower here or should I just take you
"Straight home. I want to get packed right away. I
don't want to spend a minute longer in that house than
I have to."
He kissed her then sat up and pulled an envelope off
"Andie booked us on the 10AM flight to DC tomorrow."
"The two of us? When did she do that?"
"Before we left DC. She hands me the tickets on the
flight out saying 'Get Sharon out of there
immediately.' You want to know what she said when I
asked if it never occurred to her that you might need
more time to get some closure?"
"What did she say?"
"Your cousin is the most take charge woman I know,"
Sharon laughed. "But she's right. Right now you're
"Would you like me to see if I can get us out tonight
"No. I'd like to sleep with you tonight, even if it
means all we do is sleep."
Sharon waved from the back porch as Skinner drove away
and stood there long after the car had disappeared.
She sighed and trudged into the house.
Her father was sitting at the breakfast table, reading
the morning paper.
"Well now that you're through with your night of
whoring, do you think you might get breakfast on?" he
asked without even putting the paper down.
Sharon staggered back, totally stunned. She held onto
the back of one of the kitchen chairs to catch her
"Where--where's Mrs. Hannaford?" she stammered still
not recovered from his unexpected body blow.
"I told her yesterday at the cemetery I wouldn't be
needing her any longer. Now it's just you and me, you
can take over the household."
If Sharon had been a cartoon, her head would have
turned into a steam whistle, tooting furiously for all
she was worth.
"It isn't just you and me. It's only you. I came
back home for one reason and one reason only. That
reason is now six feet under in the Washaw family
plot. You want breakfast? Go to MacDonalds."
Rev. Washaw slammed the paper down and glared at
Sharon with an intensity she remembered from her
childhood. The first time she had seen it, she had
enticed her brother Stanley to steal a watermelon for
her from a neighbor's patch. Caught in the act,
Stanley, at the ripe old age of ten, wasn't manly
enough to fall on his sword alone. She could hear his
shouting "Sharon told me to do it" all the way down
"Well let this be a lesson to you," his father snapped
without missing a beat, "Never take orders from a
Their father had dragged Stanley upstairs to her
bedroom and locked them in for hours. They sat
together mad at each other first, blaming the other
for all they were worth. Their brother John had been
allowed to bring them some bread and water, taunting
them about the big trouble they were in. So for the
next hour they found solidarity in venting their ire
at John for any number of imaginary slights. But by
the time the sun was no longer shining in through the
window, they were sitting together on the bed,
clinging to each other in fear of what punishment was
in store for them.
When their father finally came back into the room he
had his razor strop in one hand and a rope in the
other. Stanley yelped and made for the door,
pounding, shouting for his mother and brother to come
and help but Rev. Washaw had locked it.
Sharon sat, transfixed by the glare in her father's
eyes. He pulled her off the bed and forced her to her
knees, tying her hands together and securing her to
the foot rail of her bed.
Stanley's yelling was now being matched by the sound
of his mother crying and their brother John kicking
the door, demanding to be let in, shouting for them to
be left alone.
Her father had taken her face in his hand and squeezed
it until she started to cry.
"I know you're the Eve behind this little bit of sin,"
he said. "Stanley is your Adam, always enticed by
your persuadings. Your mother winks at these hijinks
but I intend to put a stop to them. Today you're
going to learn what happens when you lead others
She trembled as her father grabbed her brother, pulled
down his pants and held him fast across his lap.
"His punishment is the strapping. Yours is having to
Stanley's cries for forgiveness and her begging to
take his place only enraged their father more. The
strop fell more rapidly and the welts on brother's ass
and legs began to bleed. The entire time her father
never took his eyes off of her. The glare held her
more securely than the rope and she cried and screamed
until she was hoarse.
When he was finished, he laid his almost unconscious
son on the bed then untied the ropes from her wrists.
"Maybe now you'll think twice before leading anyone
That cold hard glare was in his eyes now and Sharon
had to intentionally remind herself that she was no
longer a ten year old who could be mentally abused by
this parental psychopath.
"You think because you put paint on your face and
spread your legs for boys that makes you a woman.
You're a shameless prodigal who needs to remember her
place. God used your mother's death to bring you back
where you belong. Back where you can be ruled by the
word of God."
"Ruled by the word of God?!" she shouted. With a
snarl, Sharon picked up the bible that always sat in
the middle of the table with a trembling hand and with
practiced ease opened it to Luke 15: 20 and read:
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw
him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to
his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him"
She closed the bible angrily and shook it at him.
"If I'm the prodigal, where's the forgiving father? I
didn't see you come running to me with open arms when
I came home, anxious to slay the fatted calf in my
honor. Practice what you never preached, you
sanctimonious son of a bitch!"
She threw the bible back onto the table and ran
upstairs to her room. She grabbed her bags and threw
them onto the bed. Trembling she just began throwing
things into them. To hell with neatness. She needed
to slam things and throw things and jump up and down
and stomp on things. Stomp on him. Stupid grieving
fuck. The specter of him slumped in that armchair
yesterday before the funeral.
"No!" she shouted to herself. "I do not want to see
She went into the bathroom, dropping more things on
the floor than into her travel case. She knelt down
and picked up a small blue bottle. The sight of it
brought a tear to her eye. Evening in Paris. Her
mother's favorite perfume. Her one and only
indulgence. Her mother had given Sharon this small
bottle of it when she was first allowed to date. It
was empty now and she really only kept it because it
brought to mind one of the few pleasant memories she
had about her mother.
'Just a little bit in a few strategic places will do a
lot for a girl, Sharon.'
'Where? What strategic places?'
'Behind the ear,' Lillian had said, putting a little
dab behind Sharon's left ear. 'When you lean in to
whisper a confidence, he'll get a whiff of it and his
mind will linger on you when you pull away."
"Where else?" Sharon asked eagerly, not for the
information but for more of the unexpected intimacy
developing between them.
"In the crook of your elbows," her mother answered,
lightly stroking the inside of her right then her left
elbow. She extended Sharon's arm in greeting. "The
scent will rise to meet him as he takes you in his
arms to dance."
"Well, if you really like him, behind your knee.'
'How's he going to be able to smell it all the way
"Oh a clever girl can get a man to put his nose
wherever she wants when she wants," her mother had
answered with a curious little twinkle in her eye.
"His nose, his tongue, his distinguished member."
Sharon had never seen her mother like this. She liked
it. If this was the effect Evening in Paris had on
Lillian Washaw, Sharon vowed to make sure the Evening
in Paris well never ran dry.
Sharon sat on the floor, clutching the little bottle
to her chest, remembering that exchange. The tears
were falling now and her lips trembled into a sad
The sound of the bedroom door slamming brought her
back into the present and she saw her father standing
in the doorway, glaring at her. Her mouth dropped open
when she saw he had a rope in one hand and a razor
strop in the other.
She stood up slowly, carefully. He was glaring at
her, but she wasn't sure what he was seeing. His face
was red with rage and much to her surprise, tears were
streaming down his cheeks.
"Don't go," he begged. "You can't go. You're all of
her that's left."
"Fa--father. Put--put the strop down," she said,
swallowing hard and placing the small bottle on the
edge of the sink.
Sharon watched his eyes go from her face to the
bottle. He recognized what it was and crumbled before
her eyes. He threw the strop onto the bathroom floor
at her feet then dropped to his knees, wringing the
rope in his hands, sobbing uncontrollably, crying his
wife's name over and over.
Her eyes spied the small window over the toilet. It
was only open a crack but she could slip the strop
through it before her father could stop her. She bent
down quietly, picked it up then moved carefully to the
window, chucking the worn piece of leather out into
the yard below.
She took a deep breath and looked at the man on his
knees, shaking and wailing uncontrollably. His huge
frame blocked three-quarters of the door. It wouldn't
be easy but she could squeeze past him. Once in the
bedroom she could get to her cell phone and call for
She tried to still her trembling as she moved quietly
past the sobbing man, her leg lightly brushing by his
arm. He turned unexpectedly, pinning her legs at the
knees. her leg brushing lightly against his arm. He
turned suddenly and grabbed her around the knees.
""No. No. You can't go. You can't."
Panicked, Sharon placed her hands on his shoulders and
pushed against him hard, unable to free herself. He
held on more tightly, his voice becoming less tearful,
"You can't leave. I won't let you."
All reason was gone and Sharon was ten years old
again, terrified of what her father was going to do to
her. She balled up her fists and hit him over and
over and again in the face.
"Let go of me! Let go of me! Let go of me!" she
She balled her hands into fists and hit him
repeatedly in the face. One blow finally hit him in
the eye and he let go, falling backwards, sending her
to the floor as well. But before she could escape he
had her on her back and straddled her, wrapping the
rope around her wrists.
She kicked and writhed but couldn't get away. The
roped tightened around her wrists as he dragged her
over to the bed and secured her to the bedpost.
"Help!" she screamed. "Someone please help me!"
He grabbed her by the face, that sick faraway glare
staring through her.
"You will stay in this room young lady until you come
to your senses!"
Then he got up and slammed the door behind him,
locking it. Sharon screamed until her throat was raw
and pulled hard against the rope but was unable to
"Oh please God," she prayed. "Help me."
The room had grown dark and Sharon had long ago
stopped trying to free herself. She rested her
forehead against the mattress and listened for what
must have been hours to the man on the other side of
the door, alternating rants that dared her to try to
leave over his dead body with heart wrenching sobs,
that begged her not to.
She thought she heard an engine turn off and the sound
of car doors opening then closing. Her heart didn't
stir. Throughout the day the phone had rung, the
doorbell sounded, people had come and pounded on the
door. But no one had heard her cries for help.
This time however a door creaked open and downstairs
she heard the sound of her brother Stanley's voice.
"The lights are on but there's nobody home. John,
check the barn. Hey where is everybody? Dad?
Then she heard another voice.
"Sharon are you in here?"
Her throat hurt and she had no strength in her arms,
but she pulled herself up onto her knees and cried out
with everything she had left.
"Walter! Help me! Help me!"
The sound of feet on the stairs joined the sound of
her father's sobs.
"Dad what on earth is going on?!"
"Stanley, he's tied me up and locked me in. Pl-please
get me out of here."
"Dad what are you doing?"
"Get away!" the old man screeched, lurching to his
feet. "She has to learn her place!"
"Dad," his son said slowly, holding up a hand to keep
the hulking man at bay. "You're not making sense.
Let Sharon out of there."
"This is my house. It'll be a cold day in hell before
my children tell me what's what here! She's got to
learn to mind same as you and your brothers!"
"Dad--" Stanley said, a little more loudly, trying to
get through to his father.
"Get gone! Go do your chores! Don't make me take a
strop to you."
"I said get! Lillian! Lillian call Stanley now
before I put a hurting on him!"
His father was looking at him but wasn't seeing him;
not as he was anyway. Stunned, Stanley stepped back,
totally dumbfounded. He hadn't heard Walter approach
from behind and was startled by the quiet, unassuming
presence that now appeared between him and his father.
"And just who the hell are you young man?" Rev. Washaw
"Rev. Washaw, my name is Walter Skinner."
"Well Walter Skinner who are you when you're at home
and what are you doing in mine?"
"Well, when I'm at home I'm a special agent with the
FBI. And I'm in your home because in a year I'm going
to be your son-in-law."
"A year?" Rev. Washaw asked, looking puzzled. "My
He looked from Skinner to Stanley and back to Skinner.
"Marry my Sharon?"
Skinner nodded, taking a step closer to the man.
"Yes. And hopefully stay married as long as you were
married to your wife."
Tears filled the minister's eyes and the ham sized
fists he had raised, slowly lowered themselves.
"Lillian," he whispered tearfully.
"Yes," Walter said, taking another step toward the
man. By now John had joined them. Taking in the
situation he went to phone the doctor.
"She's gone. She's gone," Rev. Washaw cried. "She so
wanted to see Sharon married."
He looked at Walter. A saner, sadder light came on in
his seventy year old eyes.
"You're Walter. Sharon's Walter."
"Yes," Skinner said, close enough to put a hand on the
man's shoulder. "Now I'd hate to have to stand up in
church on that day, ready to say I do to your
daughter, remembering that on this day I had to break
Confusion settled in the man's watery gray eyes.
He watched Walter hold out his hand.
"Give me the key to that room."
Stanley watched his father drop the little piece of
metal in Skinner's hand, then collapse in a mass of
tears. He put his arms around the sobbing man as
Skinner rushed past him and into the room.
Skinner turned on the light and hurried over to
"Oh God Walter," she cried as he untied her raw and
"Sssh," he said, helping her up. "I've got you. I've
Her brother's voice turned them both to the sight of
Stanley rocking his father in his arms.
"Get her out of here," he hissed. "Hurry!"
Skinner made to pick up one of the bags.
"Fuck the luggage!" Stanley insisted. "We'll send it
all on. Just get her out of here."
Sharon could barely put one foot in front of the
other, but was able to get down the stairs with
As they reached the bottom, John had returned. He
looked up to the landing, listening to his father
wailing for his wife.
"Dr. Harrison is on his way over. You okay?" he asked
looking at Sharon.
She nodded, holding onto Walter for dear life.
"I've never realized before how much like mom you
look," John suddenly said. He pointed to the wedding
picture proudly displayed at the foot of the stairs.
Sharon looked exactly like her mother.
What energy she had left drained from her and she
started to fall. Skinner caught her and carried her
from the house to his car.
Back at his rooms, he let her cry as he washed her
wrists and applied an antiseptic cream to the
abrasions. She just watched him, too tired to respond
with words as he talked.
"I kept waiting for your call but it didn't come. And
every time I called there was no answer. I finally
called your brothers and we came out together."
She just sighed.
"You must be hungry. Let me get you something to eat."
She shook her head no.
"What can I do for you sweetheart?"
"I want you to make love to me. Please remind me what
it feels like to be loved."
He got up and went into the bathroom. She didn't move
and listened to him start the water in the tub.
He came back and searched her eyes before taking her
face in his hands and kissing her softly. Slowly.
Pressing his tongue carefully into her mouth.
Stroking her hair, her neck, her shoulders with firm,
kneading fingers moved over her arms, her breasts, her
legs; massaging every inch of her as he removed her
dress, then her bra, her shoes then her stockings.
She arched up and moaned into his mouth as he held her
carefully by the back of the neck and continued to
kiss her, letting his fingers slip slowly in and out
of her vagina. His thumb gently massaged her clit,
causing her to gasp into his mouth as he pressed his
fingers deeper inside her.
"Put your arms around my neck," he whispered,
withdrawing his fingers and lifting her from the bed.
She did as he asked and let herself be carried into
the bathroom. Carefully, he laid her into a large
claw footed tub, using a cup to pour the hot water
onto her head and down her back; almost as if her were
anointing her. He took a washcloth and used it to
stroke her, relaxing her even more.
He leaned in and kissed her deeply as he pulled off
his tie, unbuttoned his shirt, and finally freed
himself from the rest of his clothes.
He got into the tub behind her, pulling her back
against him, displacing the water around and between
them. Gently he turned her so they were facing each
other, quickly spread her thighs and thrust forward,
pulling her down onto him.
He slid right in and holding her by the back of her
neck, pulled her tightly against him, rhythmically
thrusting in and out in time to the sound of the water
lapping against the bathroom tiles. The fingers of
his right hand massaged her buttocks for a while
before gently slipping the pinky and ring finger into
His moans and her sighs drowned in the other's mouth
as he thrust up and she pushed down. Each time she
seemed ready to come, he brought her back down,
prolonging and heightening her arousal.
Instead of feeling frustrated she felt as if she were
floating, totally filled, surrounded by him and the
Finally her orgasm hit in a wave and she held onto him
as if afraid she'd fall off. He came next and set off
another wave in her.
Spent, she laid on top of him, trembling, unable to
move or to speak. Skinner held her to him and used
his foot to turn the hot water spigot making the water
He kissed her hair then eased himself out of her. He
sat her up and grabbing a bar of soap washed her then
Back in the bedroom he sat with his robe on and fed
her from the meal he ordered from room service.
"Good thing Andie booked me into this old lodge
instead of the Best Western. I don't think a modern
tub could have accommodated us."
"Something to think about when we get back home," she
sighed taking another forkful of mashed potatoes from
him. He cut her a piece of chicken breast but she
shook her head no.
"Come on. Just one piece of protein and I'll leave
Her smile wavered when he said that.
"Don't ever leave me alone, Walter."
He put the fork down and kissed her.
"Don't worry," he answered. "I'll be with you as long
as I love you. And I'll love you forever."