Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sunsets and Stars

Chapter Nineteen

Despite making love and sleeping off and on all day yesterday, Adam and I woke up fairly early, around 8:00 and the day stretched ahead of us. This was our last day in Firenza and there were so many things I wanted to do. But I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do first.

Yesterday we hadn’t gotten out at all, in fact we hadn’t left the hotel room for two days and we only had today and tonight before we moved on to Venezia tomorrow, and then it was time to leave. We stayed in our robes as we never had bothered to dress yesterday. Each time we thought about it, we ended up making love again; and we were adventurous at it. The couch, the shower, even quietly out on the balcony after sunset.

If Adam was worried about having enough energy, I didn’t notice it, that’s for sure. He was ready almost constantly, and late last night as we made love for like the fourth time he said he felt like he was in high school again, which made me giggle madly. I’m in a relationship with a 46 year old horny high school boy, and man, am I loving it!
We didn’t talk a lot, we had said so much already. Our argument had disturbed me in one major way—I wasn’t used to staying around when an argument like that happened, I was always already on my way out the door when they happened. Our argument made us each stop and think about this relationship and what we both want and need. I worry still that he has expectations for me and this relationship, which is pretty normal, but that means that I feel more pressure, and I know that isn’t Adam’s intention.

And yet, I survived the argument and I felt better for it. Adam had the facts now, he knew my concerns and weaknesses and hopefully that will help in the future. I’d like to say it is all just great and hunky-dory, but I know better. I will follow what I said though, one day at a time and I will try to talk to him when things get overwhelming. I do feel very happy to know that we will see each other when we get back to the states. We haven’t talked yet about what those plans might be. I do have lots of vacation time at work, since I’m basically a workaholic. This trip was the first vacation I had taken in several years, or at least more than a day or two at a time. To be gone for 2 weeks was a really big thing for me.

For anyone who has been involved in at least one normal, healthy relationship I’m sure they must be wondering what the fuss is? I have never had a relationship like that; I don’t know how it feels. My fears have always been that I would be trapped, like I couldn’t be myself, and to be brutally honest here—that I would be hurt. Selfishly, I just hit the road before that happens, and I have to admit that seldom have I really thought about the hurt I caused, assuming that because I got out before I really cared for them, it was the same for the men. But I think now that was a foolish perspective on my part. Adam was hurt and we have only just begun. I regret now all the pain I must have caused some really nice guys, but I don’t know how to make it better. Being cognizant of it now makes it seem more real, I’m not able to hide away from it anymore.

The day had been interrupted briefly yesterday evening when Krista showed up at our door with a revised copy of the script for Adam to read before he got to Dallas. I later found out that was what Sunni had been telling him on the phone, although Adam thought she was going to have it delivered by a service.

Krista was as disturbing as the first time I had met her, on the set. She is very watchful and seemed bothered by us being in our robes at 6:00 pm, although she didn’t say anything about it. But she stared, eying us both up and down and I unconsciously pulled my robe more tightly around me.

Adam asked her why she had brought it, that he had understood Sunni to say that it was being delivered. Krista looked at him as if he were out of his mind and said “It is. I delivered it.”

“Um well, yes, I thought she meant by a delivery service,” and Krista asked him if it wasn’t okay for her to bring it.”

“Yes, of course its okay, I just hate to see you go out of your way to do that Krista,” he told her, smiling and trying to lessen the tension that was thick in the room right now.

She stared at Adam intently. Not the way he looks at me intently and I know he’s just thinking about me, in a good way. The way she was looking at Adam I found disturbing, like she was looking through to his soul and wasn’t particularly sure she liked it. She then looked at me the same way and I couldn’t help but to take a step back. I felt revulsion actually and I didn’t understand that at all.

“Well, I was coming to Florence anyway, so I said I would bring it. Sunni is heading back to the states tomorrow. I’m sorry if that wasn’t okay.” And with that, she turned around and headed for the door. When her hand was on the door handle, I looked at Adam and sort of nodded my head and gestured toward her. She gives me the creeps, but obviously her feelings were hurt and she had tried to do something nice.

“Um Krista,” Adam said, laying his hand on her arm to stop her from leaving for a moment. “Thank you for bringing it. I really only meant I hope you didn’t have to go out of your way, you know? Your time here in Italy shouldn’t be all work, so I hope you have some fun too.” He smiled at her then and as they stood there, she almost, sort of smiled in return. At least her face seemed to lighten a bit, her brows lifted, but I can’t really say her mouth changed much. 

She nodded and turned to leave but then said something else, over her shoulder. “Thank you Adam. I’m not the only person from the movie to be here you know,” and then she left and Adam closed the door behind her.

“That is a strange young woman!” I said. “Is she always so, uh, intense?”

Adam gave a sort of exasperated sigh or laugh, I couldn’t tell which because it was very brief. “Yes, I don’t believe I have ever seen her really smile, today was the closest thing I’ve seen to it any way. I suppose she might have been a bit embarrassed by our being in our robes, I just don’t know.”

“Um, well she’s gone now. I bet you’re hungry, huh?”

“Starving!” and the look he gave me told me food had nothing to do with it. The next thing I knew, we were back in the shower, hoping the glass walls held as he had me up against one, his body hard and driving into mine fiercely. My legs were wrapped around his hips and the sound from the shower helped to drown out our cries and moans when we came.

Then of course, he was hungry and room service delivered yet again. I couldn’t help but giggle over the thought of what the people here thought about us never leaving the room.

“This is Italy,” Adam said said casually. “They’re used to that.”

I think I blushed at that, but Adam just shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. After dinner, we sat on the balcony for awhile, watching the sun set over Firenza. The golden sun sinking in the west reflected off the round rusty orange colored dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral otherwise known as the duomo so often in Italy. For almost as far as we could see, red tiled roofs were reflecting the setting sun and looked beautiful against the oranges and pinks that were streaking the sky. I got my camera and took a few snapshots of it, hoping it wasn’t too dark for them to come out okay.

Adam took the camera from me and asked me to pose for a couple of shots and while I was doing that he said, I might as well take my robe off! “C’mon, here let me help you take it off, it will only take a moment, I promise you! We’ll have some really great pictures to remember Italy by.” This was said with the most amazingly lecherous leer imaginable. If I had a digital camera, I might have even done it. But I’m not taking my pictures to wally world to be developed and have to explain them! I told him that and he was clearly puzzled.

“What’s a digital camera?”

“It’s a camera that doesn’t use film,”

“How does it take pictures then?”

“It stores them on its memory card and you have to upload them to your computer using a cable.” I had to laugh to myself, what Adam didn’t know about computers and technology was amusing to me. Even my dad has a digital camera. I don’t because I need a camera with all the bells and whistles because I am basically camera challenged. A good picture taken by me is nothing short of a miracle.

“Oh, okay,” he said with a shrug, and then he began to chase me around the balcony. I was screaming and yelling and giggling all at once. If there were anyone in the other cottages, I know that they had to have heard us! Still, it was fun, scampering around like kids.

Adam makes me laugh like no one ever has.

I finally maneuvered around and got the chaise lounge between us for a moment and while we were both catching our breath, I quickly untied my robe and flashed him for a moment. He dove onto the chaise lounge and grabbed me, pulling me down on top of him and managing to pull my robe off at the same time.

“Hm, it looks like I’ve managed to capture you! Whatever shall you do?” he told me, leaning up to kiss me, then moving his mouth down to my breasts, tickling me with his tongue.

Words seemed to escape me then and for about the next half hour too. My mouth was otherwise occupied in the most delightful manner. Adam’s body was hard against mine and he quickly moved between my legs, bending first to place scorchingly sweet kisses on me, lapping quickly with his tongue until my heated and wet body was shuddering with release.

Even then he gave me no break, moving quickly up my body to capture my mouth with searing kisses and his ardent tongue. I felt him claim my body as his own then, and he thrust deeply into my juicy depths. I wasn’t even aware of when I wrapped my legs around his hips and worked to match each passionate stroke he gave me until we both were coming, our mouths clinging together as our fervent cries echoed back to one another. My body was quivering against his as wave after wave of my orgasm consumed me.

Afterwards, Adam got the duvet and we snuggled under it and silently gazed at the sky, oohing and aahing when we saw a shooting star dash brightly through the night sky. Up higher and away from the city as we were, the night sky was inky black and the stars shone brightly. We pointed out our favorite constellations and wondered if there would ever be true interstellar travel, ala Star Trek. I told him I wanted Scotty to beam me up and that I believed in Vulcans and he teased me about being a Trekkie, which, if you are a Trekkie you know that is a terrible sin and fighting words!

It was getting closer to midnight by then and it was also chillier, even nestled together under the duvet and besides, we were both trying to hide yawns by then.

Adam stood up and held his hand out to me. “Let’s go to bed, before we fall asleep out here and wake up as popsicles!”

“Mm, you read my mind,” I told him, wrapping the duvet firmly around myself and giggling when Adam tried to pry some loose. But the duvet was huge and I tripped over it as tried to stay out of arms reach from Adam, only managing to keep from falling all the way down by Adam’s arms when he caught me. “That will show you,” he laughed, picking me up, duvet trailing along behind us and running the short distance into the bedroom. We quickly threw the duvet over the bed and burrowed down into its warmth and comfort. Adam wrapped his arms around me and kissed me tenderly good night and I fell asleep feeling happier than I think I have ever been.

So here it is, 8:00 am and we have no plan for our day of exploration of Firenza.

“Um, the Accademia I think. I want to go see David! Yes, definitely I want to see that. How about you,” I asked Adam as he was trying to decide what he wanted for breakfast.

“Yes, that sounds good. How about the Uffizi Museum? Have you been there before? The Medici palazzo or the duomo?” He smiled at me then, flashing those irresistible dimples that I was beginning to love. If he doesn’t stop that, I’m not sure we’ll ever get out of here!

“All of it, or not. Why don’t we just go and play it by ear?” I suggested, wondering after his revelations yesterday, how he would feel about that.

“Okay,” he answered and we spent the next hour showering, eating and dressing in anticipation of our day in Firenza. As excited as I was to go out and explore this beautiful city, I was rather sad to leave this wonderful little haven that Adam and I had created for ourselves here in our lovely cottage.

It was just after 9:00 when we went out to get into the car to head into Firenza. It was another incredibly beautiful sunny day, but it seemed a little chillier than the past days, so I had dressed in a sweater and jeans and tossed a jacket into the car with us just in case I needed it. The drive into Firenza took about 20 minutes and then another 20 to get to the Accademia, where we had decided to start.

I have seen the statue of David before and I was as eager as a kid waiting for Christmas to get there. David didn’t disappoint me; he was as magnificent as I remembered. I wondered how someone could take marble and make it come to life, because David certainly looked alive. Veins and muscle clearly stand out and almost seem to pulse with life they are so intricately sculpted. It strikes a certain resonance in my heart because it looks so real and isn’t; I wonder how many men in my past think the same thing about me?

We wandered around the Accademia a little more, but the truth is, once you have seen David, it’s all downhill from there, so we decided to head to the Uffizi.

The inboard computer in the car was very valuable to us. We had both been there before, but I would never have found it without the computer and Adam would never have admitted he couldn’t either.

The Uffizi was built originally as offices—hence the name Uffizi, in 1560. Over the years, parts of the uffizi evolved into a storage place for many of the works of art collected by the Medici
family. After the decline of the Medici, the art treasures remained in Florence, forming one of the first modern museums. It is a remarkable place and awing to think of how many precious works of art make their home there. 

We walked through many rooms, enjoying works by Caravaggio, Rubens and Raphael, da Vinci and my favorite, Bottecelli. My favorite piece of work is Bottecelli’s 'Birth of Venice'. I think it is a breath-taking piece of art. The first time I was in the Uffizi, I almost set the alarms off when I was looking at it because I was leaning so close to it. The tiny brush strokes are incredible, I often think about how tedious most of us would find painting like that to be, and yet, when you look at these paintings by the masters, most of them use that style. It is probably what makes them great and so inspiring to look at.
When it comes to art, I am definitely not a fan of most things that you have to study to understand the passion of the artist who created it; in other words, abstracts and such. Although I do love pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe and some of hers are crossing that line. So shoot me—I like the people in my paintings to only have two eyes and actually look like people!

About half way through the museum we decided we were hungry and went to the café inside the museum for some lunch. We had linguini with clam sauce and salad and drank some wine with it. The café obviously catered to tourists because I noticed that the salad came before the pasta course, and in regular Italian restaurants it comes after. The food was good, nothing spectacular, but the joy of the day remained undiminished. The museum closed at 6:30 and we reluctantly left, thinking about all that we had missed, but we were tired too, as we had spent the whole day practically walking.

The sun was heading for bed as we discussed dinner plans. Adam knew of a wonderful ristorante near the Arno he wanted us to have dinner in. We drove over close to there and decided to walk the rest of the way. Yes, we were tired, but this was our last day here and we were determined to make the most of it.
There are bridges across the Arno that have buildings on them, homes and shops and things. It is very interesting to walk across a bridge and visit the shops there. We shopped until around 8:00 and I found more gifts to take home with me. I’d already bought things in Venezia, but couldn’t resist some handmade lace scarves for the women in my life; they were intricately woven and so delicate you could practically see through them. For the men, I bought wonderful leather gloves. Firenza is known for its fine leather works and I thought the guys would like them a lot!

We walked the few blocks to the ristorante, carrying my purchases, but we still managed to hold hands. We walked along in the dark streets of Firenza, happy to be exactly where we were and happier still to be there with each other. We had stopped to look in the window of a confezione shop; in other words a sweet shop. We looked in at the mouth-watering confections and I was mesmerized by the chocolate they had on display. Adam saw me drooling and laughingly said, “C’mon, let’s go buy some. It’s the first food I’ve seen you get that excited over!” and in we went. We bought creamy dark chocolate truffles and raspberry crèmes and some plain pieces of the local milk chocolate. I didn’t really care about dinner after that; I just wanted to go back to the hotel and get blissful with the chocolate!

Adam just laughed at me and insisted his stomach needed food—real food so we went on to the ristorante, and I tried really hard not to drag my feet along the way!

As we walked along the street to the ristorante I got the strangest prickling feeling in the back of my neck, almost like something was touching me, except there wasn’t anything. I think I’ve heard someone refer to it once as someone walking over your grave. It was creepy, and I asked Adam if he felt it, but he didn’t. I turned around a couple of times, but I didn’t see anything. After we got into the ristorante it faded away, but it had definitely made my skin crawl until then. It was almost like the feeling you get when you turn around and find someone staring hard at you, except I couldn’t see anyone doing that.

Dinner was amazing—a truly Tuscan dinner, which treats your eyes as well as your nose and stomach. We started with Ribollita, as savory bean soup that is layered with crusty bread and then ‘reboiled’ (the name ribollita means reboiled). It was served with a Tomato Bruschetta that was wonderful. Next was our main dish, Gran Bollito which is beef that has been boiled in a broth and comes with dipping sauces; ours had a type of mayonnaise, a red sauce and a herb and butter sauce. I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best actually, but Adam liked the mayonnaise, which had a slight garlic tang to it. With that came Piselli alla Fiorentina, which is a fancy name for peas, Firenza style. They are cooked with pancetta and are very good. Adam’s favorite for the meal of course was the dessert, which was Panaforte, a rich bread stuffed with almonds and dried fruits, but if you think it is anything like grandma’s fruitcake, you are way off base. It is light and luscious, totally delicious!

We drank a glass of wine with our dinner, a wonderful Tuscan Chianti, which American’s often give a bad rap to, thinking of it as cheap and ordinary, but this wine was anything but ordinary. It had a fruity and woody taste and was crisp and slightly dry. It went wonderful with our meal, even the beef. We purchased a bottle to take with us we liked it so well and then slowly walked back to the car, delighting in our time together, but it was time that was ticking quickly away and there wasn’t anyway to stop it.

Adam and I are both aware of the fact that the day after tomorrow I was flying back to Wichita. And, I caught the plane at 8:24 am that morning, so that day really didn’t count. Time was flying by fast. I wanted to reach out and grab it between steely fingers to slow it down, but that was impossible.

We got to the car and climbed in to head back to the hotel. I looked at the sites of this beautiful city and wondered if I would ever get to see it again. I’ve been lucky enough to see it twice, and both times it has left an indelible impression on me. There is something to be said for the history of someplace like this. I walk down these streets, streets that have been here for hundreds of years and had millions of people walk upon them and it somehow makes me feel incredible. I am walking the same steps as those famous artists I mentioned and royalty too. I have possibly touched the same walls as Catherine Di Medici and Leonardo Di Vinci. Probably not you know, but it is possible here. In the grand picture of time, we are only a spec and 500 years from now, someone may be walking here thinking the same thoughts as me. The name ‘Firenza’ means city of many flowers and it is a fitting name. Since I saw it the first time I have forever thought of it when I see flowers, whether bursting forth from the earth or in a vase, they make me think of this place and I’ll now carry memories of this time with Adam along with the flowers, of starry nights and bubble baths and passion that takes my breath away.

As the car followed the road that winded up into the hills where the hotel was, I looked back at the city, the lights gleaming brightly on buildings and roads. Small houses and large buildings could be seen and the river reflected lights back as well. The radio in the car was tuned to a station that played old hits and we were listening to Carole King sing Out in the Cold and I felt sad, sad to be going because I had discovered a part of me in this city that I didn’t know existed before and I have to admit that I am scared I will lose it. I’m afraid I’ll go back to Wichita, back to the status quo of my life and all this will seem only a dream—that I’ll forget how I feel right now, in this moment, how Adam makes me feel, how just being with him makes me feel.

I sent a silent prayer up to God that that wouldn’t happen.

At the hotel we ate chocolate and drank our wine on the balcony, under the duvet again. At first they made an odd combination, but I got used to it pretty quickly! The chocolate was fine, melting slowly and lusciously on your tongue, if you could keep it there long enough, and I had problems with that let me tell you. The wine and our close proximity to one another kept us warm and we were casually stroking one another, wherever we could reach, and it was like playing a sensual game, how many strokes before one of us broke down?

Not long. We shared kisses that tasted of chocolate and wine and held each other tight afterwards. Sleep was a long time coming for both of us.

**********Note From Hope**********

I will be taking a mini-break for a few days, but don't worry, Sarah and Adam will return on Monday next week. Thanks to all of my loyal readers for allowing me to scoot away for a few days.

Also, if you go to: you will find three stories on there called 'Trails of the Travellers" parts 1, 2, and 3. These are stories of my travels in Italy and have pictures of lots of the things I have talked about. I hope you will enjoy seeing them. The story entitled 'Vicenza' has pictures of Monte Berico, where Sarah and Adam first met.


Anonymous said...

Another great post. I look forward to next week to find out what happens next. Have a great weekend. I enjoyed the pics on the link that you posted!

reeneez said...

Hey Hope - Thanks for the great entry! I was waiting for a hint of mystery and there it was. Is it just coincidental that Krista showed up with the script and then later that night Sarah has that weird feeling walking to dinner? I think NOT!
Have an awesome rest of the week and I'm looking forward to seeing how things play out once they are back in the States. As always, thank you for such a great story! Rene

Anonymous said...

So the mystery steps up! I love it and can't wait to see what happens.

Enjoy your mini break Hope and I'll be waiting, impatiently as always for Sarah and Adam to return!

amy d

macy said...

I loved this entry. Adam is so endearing and the part about the camera is wonderful. I could vividly picture that scene, and it made me really laugh.

Hope, you are so gifted and this story you are giving us is amazing. I can't thank you enough.

hayley said...

Oh Hope, what an awesome entry! I am falling more in love with Adam daily and that's pretty bad!

I really enjoyed the pictures on the other site, and loved the story about the Birth of Venus painting, it was so funny.

Thanks for your work and enjoy your time off!

Anonymous said...

I like the mystery that is building Hope! It's exciting. Thanks so much for this interesting and wonderful story, its a joy to read.

Anonymous said...

I loved the comment about trekkies! As a proud Trekkie myself, I will agree and say "them there be fightin words!"

I adore how you bring new and interesting elements and ideas to the blog, it keeps it fresh and entertaining.

Please don't stop!


Kelli said...

Bravo Hope! Fantastic entry.

But now you have me wondering about Krista. Is she the one? Are you going to give us more clues, I hope?

Thanks for entertaining me for a few minutes each day.

megs said...

Cool entry Hope! I liked the balcony scene too! It's details like that that make these characters seem so real.

I'm going to miss an entry on Friday, but I hope you have a wonderful time, whereever you are going.

Anonymous said...

So who was watching her in Firenza? Kristan said that someone else was there too?

Love the visuals you create with your writing Hope. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ack! I can't wait for Monday!

Anonymous said...

I can't beleive we have to wait until Monday for the next chapter!

(Picture screaming here!)

You really keep us going Hope. Thanks for letting us know in advance that you won't post on Friday. We do appreciate your loyalty to us.

And we really appreciate your wonderful story with characters that come to life.


Hope said...

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for all your wonderfully encouraging comments today! I will go away with a smile on my face, that's for sure.

I feel like I'm meeting the nicest people here on this site, so thank you for your presence. If you have questions you would like answers to, don't forget that you can e-mail me as well. I'm always happy to have a chance to chat.


Jo said...

No, no, no!! Hope, you get back here, young lady, and get on with the story!

Seriously, have a great couple of days off. We'll be (im)patiently waiting when you get back.

Looking forward to more mystery and more romance, whether in Italy or Witchita or LA or wherever.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Fantastic. Just came over today from the V site. Everybody is right, this is THE place to be!

Thanks Hope!

deena said...

New fan here Hope! I love how you write. Thanks so much for the blog.

I am sending the link to my friends! You should be working for Redbook!

Hint hint Redbook, if you're reading this, get a clue!

pat said...

Hope, this is great. I came over from V and I will spend the weekend reading all the entries.

You are a wonderful writer, please don't stop. You make us feel like we are right there!

Anonymous said...

Way cool!

I love this blog. The characters are wonderful and I think Im falling in love with Adam myself.


Amused--NOT said...

Hey there Hope,

Just wanted to take a minute to tell you this is a great blog. I am enjoying the characters and the things you describe. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

I have just had a huge rant over on V and I don't think I'll go back, seriously.

Talk about being screwed without even a kiss, that's what the editors and writer over there do. What crap.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we have to wait 4 more days!

I can't wait to find out what happens when they get back to the states, you know?

Adam sounds like an awesome guy, but I can't help but wonder if he will still be so great back in the real world.

Anyone have any ideas on that?

amy d

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope,
Once again, a great post. Thanks for telling us about Friday instead of just making us wonder. I look forward to Monday (did I just say I look forward to a MONDAY?). Your blog makes it worth coming into work for! (your blog, and a paycheck) Enjoy your time away.

Anonymous said...

Hey amy d,

I wonder about adam too, he seems just a little too nice. I hope he won't turn into a snake back in real life.


Anonymous said...


I hope he won't. I really like Adam, he is sweet and tender and it gives me hope for guys! LOL

Hey Tracy, are you peeking in over here?

Kelli said...

Amused--NOT, are you out there?

I just did the same thing you did yesterday on V. I hate that I went off like that, but I have just had enough. There are so many nice people over there, but I can't handle it any longer.

I read your comment about ranting over there and I had to laugh, now that I've done the same thing.

Hope, I'm sorry and I hope that won't cause any problems here because I post here.

Amused--NOT said...


Hey, don't feel bad. There is something bad going on over there, I mean with the tempers and all and we aren't the only ones affected. I'm just not going back, for at least a while anyway, it's not worth it to me. It was only raising my blood pressure you know!

I'm raising my hand in the girl scout pledge here and vowing:

Hope, I promise I'll be a good girl and not get mouthy here, honest!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope!

I am a Redbook DOV defector as well. (The comments page over there is terrible. Much more pleasant over here!) :)

I love your writing and this story is fascinating! I can't get enough!

I hope you had a good time off!
Anxiously awaiting the next post!