It was without a doubt the best homecoming I have ever had. I went from vase to vase, appreciatively smelling the roses. My favorites were some peach ones with deep salmon colored edges; they were breath-taking. Their sweet aroma filled my nose and I felt as if I wanted to jump into them. The white roses smelled a bit spicier than the others and I didn’t know why, but I inhaled their fragrance deeply and turned and looked at Adam with this big goofy grin on my face again.
“How did you know I adore roses?” I asked him.
He walked over to where I was standing and took my face tenderly in his hands and kissed me softly, our lips clinging together slightly as if they couldn’t stand to be parted. His lips gently caressed mine, moving teasingly over them and I wanted him to never stop.
He enveloped me in a warm hug then and said, “I didn’t, it was just a guess. I mean, don’t all women love roses?”
I had my arms wrapped around his waist; it seemed a smarter move than trying to reach them over my head to hold him around his neck. I liked this though I thought as I rested my cheek against his chest and heard his heartbeat, steadily ticking away against my cheek.
I tried to hide a muffled yawn against his chest, but it didn’t work. Adam felt it and chuckled. “How do you feel about taking a nap? I might even join you!” he told me leading me off towards my bedroom.
He had made an attempt this morning to pull the covers up over the bed, which was sweet, and it also made it much easier to get in to bed. I shrugged out of my clothes and made a quick stop in my bathroom before crawling into bed, where Adam was waiting for me.
I looked at him, lying there in my bed and was reminded of the morning in Pisa, right after the accident at the tower. I remembered that he had the sheets pushed down around his hips and was patting the bed beside him. That was such temptation. Today though he was just lying there and as I approached the bed, he pulled the covers back for me and I climbed happily into them and straight into his arms, nestling our bodies together.
He was warm and smelled wonderful. He wore aftershave I believe, but it was something very light that let Adam’s own delightful scent come through and I wanted to just drink it in.
I lay with my head resting on Adam’s chest and enjoyed the tickling sensation of his crinkly chest hairs that my cheek rested against. My arm was lying across his belly and my hand occasionally made gentle forays up over his chest, but I soon realized how difficult it was making things—for both of us. Adam’s body was becoming tenser with each stroke I made and I realized that I needed to stop.
I yawned and decided that it was a good time to try to roll over and get to sleep. I was going to reach up and kiss him, but when I tried to stretch upwards, everything in my chest immediately hurt. I gave a small moan and it wasn’t pleasure. Adam looked at me for a moment to see what was going on and saw the grimace on my face. He gently rolled over to me and asked me what was wrong.
I gave a short gaspy laugh and told him I was trying to reach up to kiss him before I fell asleep. He leaned over and kissed me, a compassionate and caring kiss that melted me instantly. Which, considering the circumstances might not be a good thing.
“Um, I think I had better roll over—cautiously, that is, and try to get to sleep. This isn’t going to be easy, is it?” I asked him. I hadn’t thought too much about this while I was in the hospital, but now we are going to be here together and frankly, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it.
Adam was up on an elbow sort of leaning over me, playing absentmindedly with the strand of my hair that forever strays into my face or eyes. I felt kind of shy with him right now for some reason. Or maybe vulnerable is a better word. I have found it is easy to express my feelings for Adam in a physical way, but I’m still too wary to tell him how I feel.
Truthfully, I didn’t really know for sure how I felt about him. I mean, I’m crazy about him, but is this love? I’ve never said I love you to someone in a romantic sense, well since the early days of my marriage and we know how that worked out.
If you know me you would know how silly that is because I am always telling my kids, parents, and friends that I love them. My heart overflows with love for these people and I never want them to leave this earth without knowing that they were dear to me, that I loved them.
I tried to look at Adam from that point of view. I do care about him. Suppose I would have died in that accident? He wouldn’t have known how I felt. But I just don’t feel comfortable enough to tell him yet. So if I can’t show him sexually, how will he know?
He was looking at me in that strangely intense way he has; the look he usually gives me when he knows exactly what I am thinking. His hand was cupping my chin and his thumb was idly tracing along my lips. “We will survive you know. Maybe we’ll be a bit frazzled, but we will make it,” he whispered to me.
And I believed him. But it’s not going to be easy...
One more silky kiss with from his yielding lips and I was ready to cry uncle—literally. “Adam...”
“Sleep well love.” He settled himself next to me, but gave my enough room to try to get comfortable which was nearly impossible. I decided maybe I needed some ibuprofen and started to get up to get it.
“What are you doing? Do you need something?” Adam asked quizzically.
“Yes. I need some ibuprofen. My ribs are hurting.”
“Let me. Where are they?” he asked, getting up and allowing me a wonderful view of his naked body.
Not helping here, not at all...
“There is um, some in the bathroom cabinet.” I tried to close my eyes so that I couldn’t see him, but then that just brings up memories and that’s worse! I didn’t know what to do except for just hang on, a week or so wasn’t really THAT long!
“Here, I brought you four. Your Dr. said you should take 800 milligrams. We really should have stopped to get your prescription filled on the way home. I’ll go later to pick it up for you, shall I?” he said and handed me the ibuprofen and some water.
I swallowed them down gratefully and closed my eyes tightly so that I might miss him walking back to the bathroom with the empty glass. I peeked just as he was coming back into the room and got the full delicious frontal view. I quickly shut my eyes, squeezing them closed tightly, as if that was going to help remove the image from blazing through my brain.
I sighed and felt Adam climb back into the bed and pull the covers up over us. He gave me one last, brief kiss and then settled down, not quite touching me.
Unbelievably, I actually fell asleep quickly, but I think my dreams were erotic at best and possibly down-right dirty. Despite the fact that I woke up next to Adam, I didn’t awake with a smile and I think I almost felt more tired. I didn’t remember my dreams exactly, but there was something disturbing about them, I was sure of it.
Adam appeared to still be sleeping, so I lay there quietly. I rose up enough to see the clock and it was almost 6:00 p.m. which means we slept for around 3 hours. Only 24 hours ago I was probably just starting to wake up after being unconscious for 4 whole days! The shadows were starting to lengthen outside the window I noticed as I looked around the room.
I loved my bedroom, it was my haven and my personality really shines through in here.
My bed was made of white oak in a southwestern style, as were the matching furniture pieces. It was a large bedroom, but only because it was such an old house and they didn’t spare on room when it was built in the 1930’s. My house is a sprawling single story bungalow which has been built on to several times, adding interesting rooms and nook and crannies. I love this house; the space has character and is unique.
There was a big bay window with a padded window seat under it on the south wall, the door to the bathroom and a large walk in closet were on the east wall, the bed on the west. The huge 9 drawer dresser and mirror was on the north wall and my pride and joy, a lovely large lingerie chest sat between the bathroom and closet doors. The exit door was on the north wall as well.
The colors were all out of the Georgia O’Keeffe prints on the walls, the grey Line and the hip bone picture, otherwise known as Music Pink and Blue #1, both water colors rich with the muted pastel colors of the desert. They are soothing to me, to my soul and if I had to look at them for 100 years, I would never tire of them. An art teacher I had in college told us that is how you should pick art. Buy only good pieces that are meaningful to you and that you could look at and never tire of. In my living room I have a print by Maxfield Parrish called Ecstasy done in 1929 that makes my soul sing!
Anyway, the colors of my bedroom echo the colors of the desert, creams and tans, rose pinks and faded blues and greens. It is a room I am completely comfortable in, it is my retreat, my harbor in stormy times. It is quite literally my queen’s chambers, and I don’t often offer to let men into my sanctuary. I would much rather go to a man’s house then let them come here. I had dated Jason for over 6 months before he ever spent the night here.
I looked at Adam, still sleeping peacefully and wondered about that. I am totally comfortable having him here—it’s like he belongs in my world. I giggled silently and saw him spread out all over the bed and decided we did need a king sized bed though!
He sleeps so peacefully and like most of us he looks younger and innocent, his handsome face free from the everyday cares and worries we carry around with us like pocket change. The secret of Adam’s charm isn’t that he is the most gorgeous man in movies—far from it in fact. Yes, he is handsome, but it is his nature that shines through and makes him more beautiful. He genuinely cares about people, whether it’s his family or fans, Adam always tries to give them what he feels they deserve. His family gets an amazingly caring and loving man, spontaneous and generous. His fans get the same thing, only on a different level. Had I met him only as Adam, the movie star, I would have thought what a kind and charming man he was, how he was so polite about posing for a picture with me or signing an autograph. But I would only have been able to get a brief glimpse of the real Adam and would have thought nothing more of it than that he was a nice guy.
As his girlfriend, (wow, that’s weird for me to say!) I see a man that I could love, that I hope to love. Do I love him now? It seems preposterous; we’ve known each other for such a short time. But maybe that’s the way it happens. No time to think and worry about it, you just know. I think it’s rare for us as human beings to find someone that our souls feel complete with, as mine does with Adam. I love how his eyes light up when he speaks of his family or talks to them. And I see that same light in his eyes when he looks at me. I don’t know if I can live up to this, and it bothers me a great deal. Being the intense focus of his feelings is scary.
One day at a time--I’d promised him.
If I didn’t love him, how could I feel so contented letting him into my world; a world that has been exclusively mine and shared with so few? How indeed?
I decided to try and slide out of the bed unnoticed, so that Adam could sleep as long as he wanted to. The problem was that any movement brought groans and frankly hurt. I inched across the bed slowly and made it up without too much commotion, and as I looked back at the bed on the way to the bathroom, I saw that he was still slumbering peacefully.
I heard Lissa in the living room as I came back from the bathroom and I decided to go ask her how Cassie was. I quietly dressed and opened the door, which let out a huge squeak! I stole a look at Adam and saw him stirring in the bed. He opened one eye first, then both, bestowing upon me that intensely sexy look he has. It completely unnerves me. I never know whether I’m supposed to jump right back into bed with him or surrender all my secrets! Either way it’s dangerous.
“Sorry,” I told him with an apologetic look. “Go back to sleep!”
“Uh uh, come and kiss me first!”
“If that’s what I must do to in order to escape you,” I responded, laying the back of my hand across my forehead in a helpless gesture. That was swiftly followed by a fit of giggles.
“Ah ha, trying to escape my wicked clutches?”
In one smoothly quick move, he pulled the covers down and hopped out of the bed, heading towards me with a sinister grin on his face. I hastily shut the door, hearing the squeak again, but decided it was better to listen to it again than to have Lissa come strolling by unawares.
Adam caught me up gently in his arms and I let myself melt into them, feeling his warmth. Neither of us was laughing now and I swallowed a lump that was trying desperately to rise in my throat.
“How do you feel?” he inquired, kissing the top of my head through the hair that was still tangled from my nap.
“Better. I’m just going out to talk to Lissa.”
“Okay. I think I’ll give the boys a call, so I’ll be out soon.”
I nodded and tipped my head up for a quick kiss. His lips lingered over mine for a few moments, clinging to mine sweetly. I reluctantly pulled myself away and headed out the door, closing it behind me with another squeak. Creaky old house!!! I laughed and told myself I needed to dig the WD-40 out!
Lissa was sitting on the couch, reading something that looked suspiciously like a textbook. She had a cup of steaming coffee sitting on the table near her and some music playing softly on the stereo; an old America CD I have. The song that was playing was All My Life. I sat down and listened to the lyrics for a moment and contemplated them.
“There was a time, that I just thought
That I would lose my mind
You came along and then the sun did shine
We started on our way I do recall that every moment spent
Was wasted time but then I chose to lay it on the line
I put the past away
All my life, I will carry you through
All my life, between each hour of the passing days
I will stay with you
I want this all my life
I want this all my life
I want this all my life”
If there was such a thing as fate or destiny, that song seemed to be speaking directly to me, providing a clear message to the ponderings of my confused brain and heart. But life isn’t as simple as a song. And my heart and head both knew that.
I looked up then and Lissa was sipping her coffee and watching me, a slight frown on her face. “How are you feeling?”
“Not bad. I’ve certainly been worse anyway. What are you reading?”
“Spinal Cord Injuries: Psychological, Sociological, and Vocational Rehabilitation by Roberta B. Trieschmann,” she told me while holding the book up for me to see.
She snorted and said, “It’s a doctor thing Mom!”
“How is Cass?”
“She is doing really well. What she has is Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury which means that there is some functioning below the primary level of the injury. A person with an incomplete injury may be able to move one limb more than another, may be able to feel parts of the body that cannot be moved, or may have more functioning on one side of the body than the other. In Cassie’s case, she actually has feeling in both her legs, which is extremely good. But she can’t move them much at all.”
“But she can move them some?” I asked, trying not to feel too optimistic.
She paused for a moment and closed the book and laid it on the table. She pursed her lips which caused furrows to play across her forehead as she thought about that. “Yes, she can wiggle her toes and she can actually bend her left leg a bit, but they have immobilized her spinal column on a decompression bed in hopes that they will not have to perform surgery. She is very impatient of course, but this is better than surgery. I’m not sure how Dr. Gorman is though; he may not be up to the level of teasing that he is getting from Cass!”
That made me feel better than anything that she had told me about Cassie. Her spirit was evidently good. “How long will she be like this?”
“Depends on lots of things mom. It could be weeks or months, it is hard to tell with ISC injuries. If sheer will has anything to do with it, she’ll be up and chasing Dr. Gorman around in no time though!”
“I hope you’re right. What shall we do about dinner? I KNOW Adam will be starving when he gets in here! He is a bottomless pit, I swear. He and your brother together will totally wipe out the Thanksgiving table, I am sure.”
“I did notice that!” she told me with a wry laugh. “And of course, he probably never gains an ounce, defying the medical experts who can’t figure out what role metabolism truly plays in bodies.” She made that funny face she sometimes does when she is trying to figure something out. Her lips were kind of pursed, then puckered, then smoothed into the slightest of smiles. “I like him Mom, I like him a lot.”
“I do too Lissa. Which scares the heck out of me!”
“Don’t run away from this one, okay? When Cassie first started telling us about him, I thought it was the silliest thing and that you’d never hear from him again. But then Adam came into our lives like a knight preparing to scale the castle walls if necessary! I think that man is crazy about you, I really do.”
“Mm, yes I think so too. What is scarier still is that I think I feel the same thing. Our time in Italy was incredible Lissa. It’s funny, I went there to put some ghosts to rest, and I did. I just did it differently than I imagined. He made that the most wonderful trip I have ever been on. It was romantic and fun and outside the accident in Pisa, perfect. Just perfect..." I trailed off, lost in thought for a moment. Memories of Adam and I strolling along Italian streets, holding hands, or chasing each other around the balcony in Firenza flooded my mind.
When I came back to earth, Lissa was looking at me and smiling a mile wide. She reached over and took hold of my hand, squeezing it gently and saying, “Mom, don’t think about it all so much, just go with it. Just enjoy what is happening and let tomorrow take care of its self.”
“Oh,” Lissa said, “I forgot to tell you that when we couldn’t find your purse after the accident, I cancelled your credit cards and notified DMV and the bank. In a couple of days when you are feeling better, you need to get those things taken care of. Your social security card wasn’t in there was it? You’ll need to contact them if so they said. Identity theft is a scary thing you know.”
“It’s odd that you couldn’t find it, it was on the floor in the front seat of Cassie’s car. It was probably thrown clear, but thanks for notifying everyone. My keys were in there too. Do you think I should change the locks?”
“I do. And I’d feel much safer if you did.”
“As would I. Lissa, we should have thought of that already.” Adam walked into the room and sat next to me on the loveseat, after he had stopped and kissed me lightly.
“How are the boys?” I asked him.
“They are fine. I plan to go back sometime next week. That will leave most of a week left to spend with them. Will you go with me?”
“I guess that depends on what the doctor says. Are you sure that they want me to come? Maybe they just want to see their dad?”
‘Yes, they do want to meet you. Please come?” he said, smiling his dimple smile at me.
“You know I can’t resist that smile. Lissa, look at those dimples—he shamelessly uses them to entice me to do many things!” I declared.
Lissa and Adam both started laughing at that and Adam continued to flash his dimples. Lissa pretended to swoon and that had us laughing all the more.
“Anyone else hungry?” Adam said and I distinctly heard his stomach growling.
I gave Lissa a ‘told you so’ look and she laughed even harder, which made me laugh again. Soon, my ribs were aching and I was holding them, trying to keep them from moving too much. Adam was perplexed as to why we were laughing and Lissa finally told him.
He managed to give his most affronted look, which lasted about 5 seconds before he was laughing too.
Finally getting her laughter under control, Lissa suggested, “How about Thai from Bangkok? Hot and spicy, I know that has to sound good to you Mom. Adam, do you like Thai?”
‘Um, love it. Should we go to pick it up?”
“No, I’ll go. Mom, why don’t you call the order in and I’ll go pick it up, okay? I want a bowl of Tom Yum soup. And can we get the appetizer platter too?”
“Okay, but how about some spicy fried rice too? Otherwise you’ll have to fight Adam for the appetizers, and it won’t be a pretty sight!”
Lissa headed out the door then and I asked Adam what he wanted.
“How’s their curry? I love curry!”
“Okay, curry it is. You will love it, I promise.”
I called the restaurant and ordered two appetizer platters, an order of spicy fried rice, a bowl of Tom Yum soup and two orders of shrimp panang. Adam raised his eyebrows at that, but I decided he could just wait and see what it was. Adam gave them his credit card number to process the order since I couldn’t use mine. I didn’t know that Lissa had enough cash and I didn’t want her to pay anyway. She is a student and that takes most of the money she earns at her part-time job and the money I send to her. Medical school is expensive even with scholarships, let me tell you!
Adam had got up to look at my stereo and CD collection. He grinned when he saw that I had told him the truth, a lot of the stuff he had I had in my collection! The America CD had stopped playing and since I didn’t have anything as sophisticated as a multi-disk changer you had to play them one at a time. Adam hunted though and picked out something, laughing at me when I asked what he had picked. “Patience!” he told me.
Pretty quickly Kenny G, ‘The Moment’ started playing and I sighed, happy. Happy to be home, but happier still that Adam was with me. It was hard to believe actually.
He was really here, in my home, it wasn’t just a holiday fling, and he wants to be with me.
He came back to sit on the loveseat with me, and it was altogether too close. At least right now. I could feel the warmth of his body next to mine; it was enticing and made me want to crawl onto his lap to snuggle.
Doing his magical trick of reading my mind, he carefully picked me up to sit on his lap, wrapping his arms around me so I couldn’t scamper off of it. “No, it will be okay Sarah I promise. A few days without making love won’t kill either of us!”
“Even if we think it will?” I asked doubtingly.
“Even so,” he murmured against my hair. “I promise.”
We stayed that way, listening to Kenny’s soft jazzy sounds until Lissa came in. She took in the sight of her mother sitting on a man’s lap and gave Adam a ‘thumbs up’ sign, and he nodded at her, before kissing me and then setting me firmly next to him so he could get up to check out the food.
I laughed and followed them both into the kitchen to open the packages. The smells of the food drove me crazy. I was so ready for real food. My mouth was watering and I was as excited as Adam to dish it up.
Lissa got out plates and chopsticks and started setting the table. Adam saw the chopsticks and raised an eyebrow at me and said, “Please tell me that I mustn’t use these abominable utensils? I’ll never get anything down if so. And it won’t be a pretty picture either, watching a grown man as he cries at his own ineptitude!”
Lissa got a fork out and wordlessly put it by his plate and then sat down and picked up her chopsticks and started poking around the appetizer platters. I got a pitcher of tea out to the fridge and then remembered Adam didn’t drink it any more. “Adam, what do you want to drink?”
“Um, do you have a beer?” At my nod of assent, he said “Great,” and I sat one down in front of him. He picked up the bottle of Bud Light and grimaced. “Don’t you have any real beer?” he asked.
“That’s it. I can always get you some water!” I told him.
“An Englishman who doesn’t like tea? I can’t hardly believe that,” Lissa told him.
“Actually I can be a tea-aholic. In Italy I drank so much that I was feeling jittery and just downright awful, so I gave it up.”
Adam watched with curiosity as Lissa and I picked up our food with the chopsticks and ate it, having very little problems. I know it had to be a manly thing, but he decided that if ‘the girls’ could do it, so could he. Make that he should be able to, but somehow he couldn’t quite get the knack. Lissa and I laughed and teased him good-naturedly about it before he finally surrendered and picked up his fork.
He discovered the ‘panang’ was curried shrimp in a coconut milk sauce. He also discovered it was very tasty and ate most of what we had. No leftovers here!
During dinner Lissa told us more about Cassie and I felt pretty good by then that everything would be okay for her. Adam commented that he would love to be able to bring her to the movie set; she would get such a kick out of it.
“Oh, I’d pay money to see her and Sunni together!”
“Really? Real money? How much?” Adam asked cheekily.
After dinner Lissa shooed us out of the kitchen and said she would load the dishwasher, so Adam and I went back into the living room. He started looking through my movie selection and finally turned to me with a grin. “I think I was set up after all. How many of my movies do you have here?” he teased.
I rolled my eyes and said, “Lets put on a Paul Hallenbach movie, okay? He’s very sexy you know!”
“Hm yes, maybe if you’re in a wheelchair and you have absolutely no place else to go,” he said dryly.
“Alright then, you select one!” I said, eager to see what he would choose.
We grumbled at each others suggestions until Lissa came into the living room and settled the matter. “No movies! I’m reading,” she told us and put another CD in, this time some rap music and Adam and I fled to my room! Which was probably her purpose the whole time.
We turned on the TV in my room. 125 channels and not a thing on to watch, nothing that held our interest anyway. The problem was, what would hold our interest was off limits and we were both keenly aware of that. We finally settled on an old movie on one of the movie channels and settled down together, Adam’s arm wrapped protectively around my shoulders as we sat propped up in bed, side by side. I felt safe and cared for and it was almost like real life, sitting in bed together like this.
But we had a whole night to get through yet and it probably wasn’t going to be easy.
I found a way to paste a link on here. It is to the song that I talked about as several people have e-mailed me asking about it.