Monday, October 30, 2006

Bella Firenza

Chapter Fifteen

We listened to the rest of The Game of Love and I wondered if it struck the same cord within Adam as it did with me? Probably not, guys are wired differently than girls, and that’s okay. It’s probably good actually.

I stifled a yawn, then another. I couldn’t believe that was I tired, but apparently I was. I felt Adam chuckle softly, it felt like a mild rumble beneath my cheek and I smiled at it. Sitting here like this just seems to intertwine our thoughts, our desires more all the time. I feel a strong sense of intimacy with Adam. Is this how a relationship is supposed to build? You create the world you want before you jump in and have passionate, meaningless sex? Something to think about anyway.

“I don’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to bed,” I told him, yawning yet again.

“Mm,” he responded. “Can I walk you to your door?” I looked over to my door which was about 10 feet away, but at my nod of ascent, he stood up and held out his hand to me to help me up. I reached out and took it and stood up to face him.

This was the hard part, I thought. Leaving him like this, I didn’t want to. I wanted to walk in his bedroom with him and crawl into that huge bed and wrap myself around him and never let go.

But I did let go and I called myself every type of idiot possible. I let go that is until we got to my door and I threw my arms around him and pulled his head down to mine to lose myself in his kiss.

It started passionately and picked up momentum, until we were both shaky and breathless. But slowly we pulled apart and he stood there and watched me silently as I went into my room and closed the door. I felt like I had left a huge part of me right there in his arms. I stood on the other side of the door leaning against it and silent tears streaked my face and the battle I fought was with me, not Adam.

I tossed my clothes off and went into the bathroom, part of me hoping we’d meet in there and part of me hoping we wouldn’t. I don’t know if luck was with me or against me, but he didn’t come in. I stood there and stared at myself in the mirror, seeing my face that was flushed from more than just the tears, eyes shining brightly with need and desire. I decided I’d had enough of this and hurriedly washed my face and brushed my teeth, then went and crawled in my bed.

If I was tired earlier, I didn’t feel it now. I felt wide-awake, like I had drunk way too many cups of coffee, almost jittery in fact. I lay there in the dark and quiet and told myself again what a fool I was. Except that I didn’t know if I was a fool for not being in there with him, or for wanting to be.

The need to run was getting stronger. After all, that’s my usual way of solving problems like this, romantic ones that is. It’s amazing, in all other aspects of my life I am so together—I’m exceptional at my job, responsible, a good mother and friend, I’m fun to be with and I have relationships in my life that have been going strong for decades. But not romantic ones, obviously.

I feel like the emotions I am developing with Adam are a runaway train, and I can’t get control of it. That’s part of the key with me I have discovered in all my soul searching; I have to be able to be in control of the situation in order to exist peacefully in it. And when a relationship gets too emotional, you lose control, so that’s when I get out. And this is happening so damn fast, I feel like I can’t catch my breath. I’m grappling for control, but there’s nothing really to hold onto yet; only my fear.

I feel the panic rising in me, and only my sheer will to stick this out is keeping me here. But how do I succeed at something I have never, ever once been successful at?

Maybe the key is to just wait it out, enjoy the time because I know it won’t make the transition back to real life. How could it?

I fell into a troubled sleep with that thought on my mind and when morning came, I woke feeling as if I had been fighting all night in my sleep. And who knows, I probably had been.

It was around 8:00 when I woke up and still quiet in the suite but Adam could be up and was just being very quiet. I realized I hadn’t even put a night gown on last night, so I found my robe and slipped it on to go into the bathroom. I saw that he had already taken a shower; there was water on the shower walls and a damp towel lying on the counter. It could have been on the floor I thought with a wry laugh. I could hear Adam then, on the phone in his room. I went ahead and jumped into the shower and I felt so much better when I got out. I mentally scrubbed away my fears and the gloomy thoughts of the night before were hidden away for another night and I was glad. Hopefully the next few nights would be full and I won’t have to time to panic like I did last night.

I got dressed, pulling on a pair of blue jeans and a soft red sweater with a deep v neckline. I call it my flirty sweater and the red lace bra that I always wear under it makes Cassie call it my “Va Va Voom” sweater. I wore some red and silver chandelier earrings and a matching dangling pendant with it. My hair was behaving today; it was loose and slightly curly. It made my sigh in exasperation because I knew it wouldn’t stay that way. I put on a little makeup and decided that I would do quite well.

Adam’s eyes told me the same thing when I walked out to the living room. His eyes lit up and widened in appreciation and the smile he gave me was first gallant and then became cheeky. He was sitting on the couch looking at more of Sunni’s travel papers. I went over and kissed him.

“Good morning,” I murmured against his lips

He pulled me down onto his lap and held me tightly to him. “Mm, you smell good and look good and I don’t think I’ll ever want to let you go,” he said suggestively.

“Who said I want you to?” I replied back, holding him just as tightly.

Neither of us was asking how the other slept. I was scared to ask him, I admit it. If he didn’t sleep well then I’ll feel guilty, if he did sleep well, then I’ll think what happened last night, our sleeping in different beds, different rooms didn’t matter to him. A catch-22, damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I kissed him one final time and stood up to go look out at the city in the morning sunlight. He came and stood by me, gazing out as well.

“I just ordered us some breakfast. Are you anxious to get on the road to Firenza? I am,” he told me. He was nervous, playing absentmindedly with whatever was in the pocket of his jeans, which incidentally he looked fabulous in. He had a deep gold polo shirt on and it made his eyes sparkle, pulling out little bits and flecks of gold in his chocolate colored eyes.

“Yes,” I agreed, “I’m really ready to get there. Pisa is beautiful, but for obvious reasons I am ready to leave it behind.”

He smiled at me then, dimples flashing me shamelessly. I completely surrendered to them, feeling warm and happy. I just stood there, smiling back at him and nothing else in the world mattered except being here, with him.

“Okay, let me check your head,” I said. He looked at me and rolled those gorgeous eyes but submitted well enough to my altogether inadequate doctoring skills. His head was looking even better and he told me he didn’t have a headache today. We talked about Firenza and what we would like to do there but for some reason Adam refused to tell me about the Hotel Dei Fiori Bei.

Breakfast arrived about a half hour later and it was delicious. Eggs Florentine, in anticipation of our journey, fresh melon and coffee. It was wonderful, but we didn’t linger over it. We were both eager to leave.

Adam had called to have our bags picked up and for the bill to be readied, which I raised my eyebrows at. I really hadn’t thought about it, the bill I mean, cloud-gathering I guess. I wanted to pay my part, but I knew this place was way out of my price range.

I started to open my mouth to ask about it and he anticipated what I was going to say. ”No,” he said, “I don’t want you to even think about it. This is my gift to you. Please, let me Sarah.”

I looked at him for a moment, and then slowly nodded my head. It felt okay. Part of the fairy tale I told myself.

To break the tension, Adam asked “Hey, you want to screw up the equalizer one last time before we go, just for old time’s sake?”

I was laughing when the porter came to get our bags. He seemed confused when our bags were in different bedrooms, but of course said nothing about it, but I’m sure he was surprised. When we had got here they put them in separate rooms but I’m sure they don’t expect them to stay that way. That news will probably reach Firenza before we do I decided.

I stood at the door of the suite as we were leaving, thinking about the memories I will take with me, of it and Pisa. I caught Adam’s eyes and I know he was thinking the same things as I was. We nodded at each other and closed the door.

At the desk Adam paid the bill and I tried very hard not to notice how much it was. Needless to say, it was more than I make in two weeks time, and I really make pretty good money.

The luggage was being loaded into the car and I remembered the post cards I had written yesterday. They were in my purse and I asked if they could be mailed. When I was assured they could, I bought the appropriate postage and left them there, realizing I’d probably be home before they got there, but that was okay.

We got in the car and headed again for the Superstrada. Firenza was about an hour away and we were ready for it. I took command of the CD player again and put in Fleetwood Mac’s Say You Will album. Adam smiled, and then laughed. I looked at him quizzically. He looked at me and his eyebrows rose a bit and he sang, “Say you will?” and I couldn’t help but laugh myself.

I felt good, and I realized he did too. I remembered back to that silly saying “Today’s the first day of the rest of your life” and I realized it really was. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to worry about what was going to happen between Adam and myself and that when I did worry, I wasn’t going to freak out about it. Nothing like making a deal with your deal, huh?

We told each other stories about the funny things our kids have done and laughed most of the way to Firenza. The time flew by quickly and soon we were on the Autostrada zooming around Firenza to the northeast where the hotel was located.

It was in the hills overlooking Firenza, we found the Hotel Dei Fiori Bei. The name, Hotel of Beautiful Flowers definitely didn’t do it justice. Everywhere I looked color was exploding. The backdrop of the hotel itself was the perfect setting to show the flowers off. The hotel was dazzling white in the sun, with a red-tiled roof standing starkly against the white and the colors of the flowers and the leaves that were only beginning to change on the trees. There was a main hotel in the forefront, several stories tall, with creeping vines of bougainvillea trailing over the balconies and the terrazzo entry way. I could see 4 cottages behind and above the hotel, but to call them cottages was a misnomer. That would be like calling a Yugo a Cadillac—the only thing the two had in common is that they are both automobiles.

And so was the story with the cottages—really more like individual condo’s, judging from the size. As we navigated the long and colorful drive I lost sight of them, but it didn’t matter because I was almost overwhelmed with the beauty of the drive winding up to the hotel.

The earth seemed to be bursting with color and texture and fragrance, even in September. Not only were there all the typical fall flowers, the gold’s and red’s and amber’s and orange’s, but colors I usually only think of for spring and summer, pink’s, purple’s, yellow’s. It was amazing to see and I realized I couldn’t even begin to name them all. The flowers were playing hide and seek with the lush greens, green’s of every color and variety. It seemed so wild at first, but then I realized that it only looked that way, that it was all carefully arranged to appear that way. I closed my eyes for a moment and slowly breathed in the rich scent and let it out with a sigh.

Adam was looking over at me with the strangest expression on his face and I couldn’t decipher it. It was almost as if he was seeing something for the first time or maybe seeing it differently. The look was almost raw and stirred something in the pit of my stomach and it contracted with a spasm of what can only be described as pure craving and need. I felt self-conscious and quickly turned my head away, afraid of what he might see on my face, in my eyes. But I also knew that I was ready to move on, to make love with him. Once the decision was made for me, I felt light and happy, ready to take the chance—on him and myself.

We pulled up the entry way and a doorman immediately rushed out to open the doors for us. He inquired if Adam would like him to get our bags and move the car and Adam told him no, that we were staying in a cottage.

“Ah, si signore e signora, enjoy your stay” he said with a slight bow and a smile as he held the door open for us to enter the hotel.

This hotel wasn’t as opulent as the hotel in Pisa, more rustic, but charm oozed from it. The furniture was comfortable looking, perhaps what Italians consider country style, but that didn’t make it in any way less than stylish. Inside, as well as outside, flowers abounded, adding their colorful voices to the d├ęcor.

The clerk recognized Adam immediately. “Welcome back to Hotel Dei Fiori Bei, Mr. Richland. We hope you will enjoy your stay here! We have you in the Cottage of Frangipani and I’m sure you will find everything in order!” she told him with a smile, a very friendly smile I thought, amused at the effect Adam had on people. He was in performance mode again, charming and kind, teasing her slightly about how beautiful the hotel is. I could almost be jealous until I see how he is when it’s just the two of us, and while he is still charming and kind, his face relaxes and he is just so real. I’ve begun to think of this persona as a mask that Adam wears to help keep people out, without them having a clue that they didn’t see the real Adam.

After the check in was completed, we returned to the car and Adam drove around the main building onto a winding road that led to the cottages. I saw golf carts parked at the back entrance to the hotel and Adam explained they were there for the guests to use to go back and forth to the hotel if they wanted and for room service deliveries. Looking up at the steep and winding road, I could understand the necessity for them. It would be quite a hike I thought.

The Cottage of Frangipani was the farthest away from the main hotel and had a covered carport—covered in frangipani and flowers and other kinds of vine of course, intoxicating and heady. Adam seemed familiar with the way in and we opened the trunk to get our bags out. Adam had told them at the desk that there was no need to send a porter, that we could take care of the bags ourselves. I liked it better this way actually, we’d been waited on so much the past couple of days it was nice not to be fussed over.

Inside the cottage, and I use this term only because that is what they call it, it was as beautiful as the main hotel, but on a more intimate level. It was decorated in the Italian country style as well; the colors were muted floral tones and lots of white, creamy yellows and green. The walls were stark white again, which seemed to be a perfect backdrop to the flowers and the furniture which was done in deep moss green leather, with throw pillows in lavender and pink and a deeper green. The living area was in a sunken recess with a huge fireplace stealing the show. It was covered in pale pink marble and was set up for a fire to be lit. It seemed unlikely we would need a fire since the weather was spectacular, but Adam assured me that when the sun goes down, we are high enough up in the hills that it would be chilly. I suddenly anticipated a roaring fire this evening and I couldn’t wait! Off to the right was a small bar area that included a wet bar and a small refrigerator, that followed the color scheme of the living room.

Next to the bar there was an armoire which again contained a TV and a stereo. Adam looked at me and raised his eyebrows and said, “Good, you’ll have something to play with!”

“I think I’ll have something else to play with actually,” I said in my best flirty voice. I smiled only the tiniest bit because I didn’t want him to miss the message in my eyes, the message I was ready for him to see—I wanted him and I put every bit of that right there for him to see.

His eyes locked with mine and he nodded, almost imperceptibly, but it was clear between us now. We knew what was going to happen and we both were ready, for the physical part anyway.

That look changed everything. From then on everything we did and said was a prelude to making love, foreplay almost. Each touch and look brought us to a road we couldn’t wait to be on. It was tangible, in every movement our bodies made, every word we said. It was like an erotic dance, sensual and intense, without a single move actually being made. It was there, in our minds and maybe in our hearts as well. It was going to happen and we both knew it and we were savoring every moment that lead up to it.

To seal our fates, both sets of luggage went into the master bedroom. There were three bedrooms in the cottage, each exquisitely decorated and beautiful, but the master suite almost took my breath away it was so perfect.

This room was like stepping into an arbor, from the lovely murals painted on the walls to the massive four poster bed hung with vines that had waxy and lustrous green leaves. I’m not sure what is going on with Italians and these beds, but this one was truly spectacular, large enough to sleep 5 people extremely comfortably. It was made of some type of wood painted white and distressed, as was the vanity, armoire and dresser. The vines twisted and trailed around the posts in what looked like a careless manner that wasn’t careless at all. The bed coverings and accents of the room including the thick Oriental rug were in the moss green colors again and in shades of lilac and creamy yellows again, the colors of frangipani blossoms, some deep and some pale. There was another fireplace, this one with pale green marble on it was on the wall by the door, opposite of the bed.

It wasn’t what I’d call a manly room at all, but I bet it got a lot of guys lucky! Adam seemed perfectly comfortable in it, which was good because I anticipated us spending quite a bit of time in there.

The bathroom was any woman’s dream—a tub which was deep and big enough to easily accommodate two people with room to spare. It was moss green as were the other fixtures in the room and I was beginning to love that color. The walls were white and one whole wall was made of glass bricks which let it tons of light and one of the other walls was painted with a mural, again frangipani and lilacs. The counter tops were the same shade of green as the tub and the towels were a deep lilac shade. A glass shower was also large enough for several people and it even had a bench in it to sit on.

I imagined Adam and I in that tub, making love in warm scented water, candles burning and reflected off the mirror. I saw us in the shower on the bench, facing each other and staring into one another eyes as he moved in and out of me, and by the time I started on the bed fantasy I decided I needed to change my thoughts for awhile.

I gazed at Adam for a moment and flashed him a smile full of desire and said “Let’s go look at the balcony,” and I reached for his hand as I headed out the doors. The balcony ran the length of the cottage with doors opening off the living room and master bedroom.

It was beautiful, with red terrazzo tiles and a table and chairs and a chaise lounge that was made for two people to share! Before another fantasy popped into my head I told Adam, “I bet you’re ready for lunch, huh?”

“How can you tell?”

“Um, maybe it’s the hungry look in your eyes,” and as soon as I said it I wanted to take it back—I knew what that look was. I smiled at him and shrugged. I was standing by the balcony railing and rested my arms on it and looked out. The hotel was below us and to the left and in the distance you could see Firenza. In the afternoon sun it was beautiful. You could see the Arno peeking out from between buildings occasionally, glinting in the sunshine. The cathedral was in the downtown area and it almost seemed if everything else radiated out from it. Firenza is a magnificent city and it felt good to be here again.

Adam came over to me and put his arm around me and stood looking out at the city with me for a few minutes. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I hope that he was as happy as I was right then.

“Actually,” he began, leaning down and speaking softly in my ear, “I’m famished, but I guess for now lunch will have to do!” I felt his warm breath against my neck and ear and it made me shiver. He pulled me even closer to him. I wrapped my arm around him and started giggling.

“What’s so funny? Are you making fun of me again? I’m just a growing boy; I can’t help it if I’m hungry!”

“No, I was just thinking how beautiful Firenza looks and that I’m not going to be seeing any of it today, other than from this balcony, huh?”

“Nope.” He turned me around then and kissed me, it was a promise of what was to come, warm and tantalizing and it made me instantly wet. That gnawing feeling was griping my belly again and all I knew was need, need for this wonderful and sexy man.

“I’ll order us some lunch then, shall I,” he asked. “What would you like?”

“Something fast?”

“No, I definitely think this calls for taking our time Sarah.”

“Well, I’ll leave that to you. I’m going to unpack a few things. How’s your head?”

“Never better.”

I reached up and gave him a quick kiss and went into the bedroom to dig through my suitcase. I knew exactly what I was looking for, a red lounging pajama set. I had thought it was ridiculous to bring it, but Cass had said “Take it. Even if you only wear it for you, at least you know you’ll look GOOD!”

It was a great outfit, sexy and sensuous. It had satin pants with wide legs and they fit low on my hips with a tie cord to hold them up and a matching short kimono jacket. What made the outfit spectacular is the red stretchy lace camisole that went with it. So sheer you can see everything through it and it fit like a second skin. It held my breasts firmly, made them look lush and round and you could see my nipples peaking through, the shape, color and texture. I had bought it a couple of months ago and afterward I had a case if buyers remorse—I couldn’t imagine why on earth I had bought it. Now, I’m thinking that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea!

I went back out on the balcony and Adam was back after ordering lunch. He said it would be awhile before it got here and wouldn’t say another word about it.

We sat on the chaise lounge for two and cuddled. Wrapped in each others arms, softly touching, kissing and caressing, actually making out like a couple of teenagers! Except when I was a teenager, I had no idea what could come next. I did now and while anticipation is a sweet thing, it can also be a precarious ledge, just waiting for you to tumble over the edge.

We heard the golf cart coming up the path and Adam went to let them in, first shifting his erection in his pants so that walking wasn’t quite so uncomfortable, or maybe he thought they wouldn’t notice, I’m not sure.

Lunch arrived in boxes and containers that I realized could probably be placed in the refrigerator. There was a whole roasted chicken, wild rice with mushrooms and little onions, and beautiful looking seafood salad and fresh fruit and cannolli for desert. And two bottles of wine, a pro secco frizante, which is a semi dry white wine that fizzes. Not exactly like champagne, but close. It was very cold and Adam immediately put it in the fridge to keep it that way. They also brought plates and silverware, glasses and napkins. It seemed as if we were all taken care of! There was actually a lot of food here and it occurred to me that everything was cold; nothing needed to be heated up. We could eat several meals from this—and I realized that was the point!

Adam said he was going to set lunch up for us on the balcony, so I should make myself scarce for a few minutes. I took that time to change into the red outfit. I applied a musky perfume in all the right spots and checked my hair and makeup and decided I looked good.

I went to the balcony door and asked if I could come out now and Adam turned to me, telling me yes and then his eyes fell on me and he just stopped and looked at me, taking in every inch, from the tip of my head to the tip of my toes.

“My God,” he breathed, “You are stunning. I’m sure that outfit has to be illegal in many places of the world...”

“That doesn’t matter. You’re the only one who is going to see it,” I told him.

Adam nodded and came to me and wrapped me in his arms. I could feel his heart beating next to my cheek, matching the same furious pounding of my own.

And nothing else mattered anymore. I was exactly where I wanted to be.


Hope said...

Happy Monday Everyone,

Well, things are starting to liven up a bit and I'm sure most of you are ready for it.

Rene, yes I have actually lived in Italy, Sarah and I share that. I couldn't tell you whether or not Venezia or Firenza was my favoite places, both were incredible. On the other blog I have, I have published some photos, in a piece called Trial of the travelers. The next story I put on there will be about Vicenza, the city I lived in and I will post a picture of the Monte Berico overlook where Sarah and Adam first met.

I hope everyone enjoys todays story.

reeneez said...

Really, really enjoyed today's entry. Your descriptions are so detailed that I feel like i'm there - LOL!! It's great to be able to get such a sense of what these lovely areas of Italy are like. Can't wait for Wed!! Thanks Hope - Rene

Hope said...


Did you look at the picture on hopefuljourney? I hope you'll take a minute to look at it, I think you'll like it.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this story. You do make it so real. I love the way the couple is working up to the big moment! It's so sweet. Thank you so much for posting when you say you will. Yours is my favorite blog! Keep up the good work. Look forward to tomorrows post.

Hope said...

Thank you so much Sandy! I love hearing what people think, the good and the bad, but most of you have been way too kind!

Anonymous said...

I'm getting excited Hope! I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

amy d

Anonymous said...


I LOVE your blog. I've been reading for a week or so now and you write so well it's like we are in Italy with Sarah and Adam. I am waiting impatiently to see what happens to them.

I've told all my friends about this blog and they're reading too. Thanks for writing it.

Hope said...

Hi amy d and anonymous,

Thanks for reading, I enjoy hearing was everyone thinks!


Anonymous said...

Are you posting tomorrow? Whats going to happen? I can't wait!


Anonymous said...

Welcome Back, Hope! Thank you so much for writing such a refreshingly interesting and continuous blog. I have absolutely become enthralled with Sarah and Adam's story, and eagerly await each entry!
Sincerely, Kristin

Anonymous said...

I dont know how to get to chapter one to begin reading your blog that I hear is awesome. Could you let me know? thanks.

Hope said...

Hi Anoymous,

If you will click on the link on this page that says "Time Isn't On My Side" it will take you back to the beginning. You'll see the first story at the bottom which is called, "Ciao Bello". That is chapter one, the beginning for Sarah and Adam.

If for some reason this doesn't work, please e-mail me at and we'll see if we can figure it out.