Adam kept his arm around me as we made the long trek to the parking area, which made the tingles continue. I shivered, but it wasn’t because I was cold; it was anticipation building. It hadn’t been that long since we had made love, but it felt like forever and I couldn’t wait. This felt like those days in Italy, before we got to Firenza, and I thought back to the delicious anticipation of that time and how wonderful it had been.
Truthfully, I just wanted to jump his bones and I know that we are going to have to keep things under control to avoid injury to my ribs. Still I was so excited about the evening ahead of us I could barely contain myself.
Outside it was still raining steadily. Huge black clouds hung ponderously over the city, making our world grey and dismal. It was cooler now also. October was officially here and autumn was starting to become insistent and nudging us to get our attention; the message that it brings is that winter isn’t so far away.
Winter brings mixed blessings to me; I love the snowy beauty, but I hate the perpetually grey and cloudy skies and seeing the bare trees, bereft of their cloaks of green leaves makes me sad. It is traditionally a rest period, a fallow time to be at peace, but it always seems to put me at odds with myself.
One of my basic problems is that I get in my own head too much; I think a situation through, then turn around and rethink it again and again. I wouldn’t really call myself anal-retentive, but I certainly have a hard time letting go of things. So during the winter, with little else to do, my thoughts can drive me crazy. That craziness, when focused on work or other worthy projects is wonderful; when focused on myself and my essential failings as a person is miserable. No one beats me up better than me.
It was almost 1:00 by then and Adam was hungry, so we stopped at Panera Bread for lunch. I ordered a bowl of Broccoli Cheddar soup, mostly because I was chilled and I adore their bread. Adam of course didn’t think that would be enough at all and ordered French Onion soup and a Pepperblue Steak sandwich and devoured every bit of both of them. I watched him in amusement; in some ways he was like a kid about food, eager and excited, especially about something he really liked.
I’ve noticed that Adam tends to live life to the fullest—whatever he does he does completely, thoroughly. Most adults tend to be tentative about many things, especially things that are new and unknown to us. I think that is because we’ve all made mistakes and that makes us cautious. So with Adam, it was almost as if he just naturally trusts that things will work out okay, like nothing ever has gone wrong.
Except of course things have; his marriage being just one thing. And despite the fact that he has had very few romances, he just threw himself into this one totally, holding very little back. I admire the spirit and concept behind that; I just can’t quite wrap my mind completely around the practice of it. Next to Adam I sometimes feel infinitely old and jaded and I’m not really, I’m just scared to take that leap of faith quite as easily as he does.
He sees life so differently, like how a child views things almost. Maybe part of that is having money and being so well-recognized, I’m not sure. Things do seem fall into place for him much easier than with other people. But is that because of his trusting nature? Like, if you expect only the best from people and situations that is what you get? Or is it that as someone with money and a certain amount of prestige, people make things happen for him because that is what he expects?
Either way, he is a lovely, giving person and I am so happy to have him in my life.
The rain was letting up a little bit by the time we had finished lunch and headed home. We were about a mile away from the house when Adam’s cell phone rang. He handed it to me and asked who it was.
The caller ID identified it as Myers Security and displayed a phone number. Adam frowned and asked me to answer it.
When I answered, they wasted no time in asking me if we were trying to enter my house. I told them no and they said that someone was trying to get into the house using incorrect codes. I relayed this information to Adam and he said, “Right now? They’re trying to get in right now?”
They told me that a 3rd attempt had just been made and I told them we would be at home in a matter of a minute or so. They wanted to know if we wanted the police notified and Adam said absolutely.
We pulled into the driveway about a minute later and everything looked fine. They had told me that the back door was the one that had been tampered with, so we headed there immediately.
There were some muddy footsteps on the stone path to the back porch, but the door and everything looked fine. The door was still firmly shut, but we didn’t want to touch anything until the police got there. Adam looked around the yard, which had a few trees and some shrubbery around it, leading into the park itself, but he didn’t see anyone. We couldn’t have missed whoever it was by more than a minute. They couldn’t be far away actually and I got that creepy feeling again, like I had in Firenza when I felt as if we were being watched.
My eyes scanned the yard and the park beyond, looking for movement of some kind, but I couldn’t see anything or anyone. Nothing seemed out of place. The footsteps that were on the walk were heading to the house, but they didn’t go away from it. Surely the person must have left through the back yard towards the park.
Adam was bending down, looking at the door lock and as I bent down too I noticed a sweet smell, which I thought was odd, there isn’t anything flowering anymore so I didn’t pay too much attention to it. But I did think about it later.
When we were inside the house Adam contacted the alarm company and let them know that things looked fine. He asked if they knew what codes the person(s) tried to use and the alarm company gave them to him. The person had tried 3 different codes and they gave Adam the codes in hopes that he might recognize the combinations, in case it was someone we knew. He showed them to me, but none of them seemed familiar, except for one that was pretty close to Adam’s birthday; only the year was off.
Adam paced around the house until the police got there, almost an hour later. I spent the time calling my boss at Higgin and Hart, talking to them about what the doctor had said. They told me to feel free to take all the time off I wanted, I had weeks of both vacation and sick time, so I took a chance and told them I would really like to be off until after the holidays. She said she didn’t really see a problem with that, but she would do some checking and let me know. My job is one that is done on a one client at a time basis, so since someone was already covering for me, it wouldn’t matter if I was away for a week or a year, work wise that is. Technically, they don’t have to hold my job for me past the doctor’s release, but they will, because they want me back. I know that, but still I feel vulnerable asking for the time off.
I also called my parents to let them know what had happened and dad insisted on coming right over. They got here about 10 minutes before the police and Adam and dad went around to look at the back of the house. I told them they should be careful, they might mess up those foot prints and stuff. Not that I really thought the police could do anything, but you never know.
Mom and I made some coffee and stood in the kitchen waiting for it to brew and watching the two of them out the window. I apologized to her for my out burst last night, but like mom’s so often do, she just said it was nothing, not to worry about it. Dad and Adam were talking and pointing at things out back and seemed to be getting along amazingly well.
“Your dad really likes Adam. He thinks he is a fine and caring man,” mom informed me as she poured us our coffee that had finished brewing.
I thought about what she had said while I added vanilla cream to my coffee and took a sip of the delicious brew. Even though what she said was a statement, there was still a question in it, or maybe a caution would be a better way to say it. In other words, don’t let you dad get too attached if you aren’t going to keep Adam around.
Mom was looking at me, speculatively; her eyes narrowed and her eyebrows were slightly raised. She was leaning against the counter, sipping her coffee, her back to the window, facing me rather than watching the men outside.
I just started to say something when the doorbell rang and I almost ran to answer the door, because it got me out of trying to figure out what to say. But I knew she wouldn’t let me get away with not answering for too long.
I opened the front door and two police officers stood there. Why do they always travel in two’s I wondered, remembering the policia in Pisa? These were two patrol officers, here to take a statement about what had happened. I led them around to the back, where Adam and dad were still standing there, and discussing football of all things. Don’t guys ever get tired of this subject?
The officers introduced themselves to Adam and dad, and one of them recognized Adam immediately.
“You’re Adam Richland, aren’t you? I heard you were in town,” Officer Peters said. “My wife saw you on TV.”
“Yes, I am,” Adam responded, shaking hands with the officers. And then to get them back on the subject, he added, “This is the door someone tried to enter.”
Officer Bonham asked for the details of the situation and both officers wrote in their notebooks what Adam said. He told them about the wreck and the necessity of changing the locks, about the electronic locks and the monitoring, etc.
The officers examined the lock, admiring it for its strength and then they looked at the footprints in the mud. While we were standing outside, the sun came out and I noticed something on the door.
The door is white, which matches the trim on the house. The house itself is a light shade of gray. Standing off to the side a bit with the sun hitting it just right I saw a barely perceptible hand print on it. Standing face on, you couldn’t see it, but from this angle it was just barely visible.
The officers looked at it and thought they should call the detectives to investigate further. I couldn’t help but wonder it the only reason for that was that Adam was involved, but maybe I’m totally off the track here, who knows?
We invited the officers in for coffee, but they politely declined, saying they had to leave and that the detectives would be here soon, so we thanked them and went into the house.
As we sat around the table, drinking our coffee, Adam got a big bag of Oreo cookies out of the cabinet that we had bought yesterday. He tickles me so much not only because of his appetite, but also because he has such a sweet tooth, especially for anything chocolate! I can’t help but to adore a man who likes chocolate more than I do!
We sat there at the table chatting and sharing cookies, waiting for the detectives and all I could think about was that if all this hadn’t happened, then Adam and I could be making love. I wanted this so badly I could hardly wait, but I was scared at the same time. I knew that my ribs were still tender and that it would be easy to make them start aching even more if we weren’t careful.
The detectives got there soon after that and after a preliminary examination; they called the CSI unit in for forensic backup. I was really excited by this, which is stupid. It’s not like Gil Grissom is going to come to investigate. Silly Sarah, I thought with a wry grin.
Adam caught that and asked me what was so funny. I could only shake my head and laugh, and then relented and told him, which made him laugh too.
One of the detectives was a male, Detective Rodriquez and his partner was a female, Detective Arnold. Both were extremely professional and businesslike, which helps to lend an air of confidence I decided. They each wore khaki slacks and a dark blue shirt, with their names and rank on them. And neither batted an eye at Adam.
It was 5:00 p.m. when the CSI unit got there and these people were about as opposite from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as you could probably get. They were professional and all business, but they sure didn’t look like Gil, or Nick or Cat. One of the guys pants were riding really low on his butt and when he stooped down, you could see the crack of his ass. I had to turn away; I thought it was so funny.
They took impressions of the foot prints, the hand print and finger prints as well, but several of us had touched the lock or door, so I wasn’t convinced that would do any good. They took my fingerprints, as well as Adams and dads. The locksmith would have his on record, and they would check them all out at the lab.
The bottom line was that nothing was taken, they hadn’t actually gotten in. But it bothered me, the whole thing. I started thinking back to the ‘accident’ in Italy, the brake line, the light in the house the other night. And that smell, could it be the same one I smelled in Italy, very briefly at the tower?
Suddenly, I felt queasy again and it just seemed like too much of a coincidence to not be related.
“Adam, I think there might be a problem here, as ridiculous as it all sounds,” I told him. “Everything that’s happened, maybe it’s all connected, don’t you think that’s possible?”
“What all has happened?” my dad and Detective Rodriguez said at the same time. I looked at Adam and saw him thinking, and then he nodded his head with a frown.
“As much as I hate to think of it, you could be right love,” he told me. Then, to the detectives and my parents he started the story and said, “First off, we should probably go and sit down, this will take some time, I believe.”
We all went into the living room and sat down. Adam brought chairs in from the dining room and mom and dad set on them. The CSI guys had left after gathering up all the evidence they could, so it was just the detectives here now.
So Adam and I proceeded to tell them everything that had happened in Italy and about the light being on here in the house. And I told them about the smell.
“A smell Ms. Marcus? Can you be a bit more descriptive? Was it like cologne or flowers?” Detective Arnold asked.
“I-I just don’t know. I could even be totally wrong. It was just an impression of a smell. It’s sort of sweet, but not really flowery, exactly…” I frowned for a moment, trying to remember the odor from Italy. Finally I just shook my head and said, “I just don’t know, but it did seem like the smell was the same as the one in Pisa, but it was just so brief,” I finished.
I didn’t tell them about the creepy feeling I got in Firenza the night we were walking to dinner there—it seemed too weird and probably has no basis in reality. The detectives took names of everyone involved, including Sunni and Krista, although I didn’t know why. They were there in Italy true, but they aren’t here now. Adam also gave them the card that had the name of the detectives in Pisa and they said they would contact them.
They asked me in detail about the accident and I described for them what had happened; that we could hardly see and there was a small car that pulled in front of us suddenly. Cassie stomped on the brakes to slow us down, but a semi-truck behind us couldn’t stop as quickly. We rolled over the embankment and that was all I remembered.
“And your purse wasn’t found at the scene Ms. Marcus?” Detective Arnold asked, pausing from her note-taking. “Where was it the last time you saw it?”
“It was on the floor of the car, by my feet. It obviously would have been tossed around the interior of the car, but I don’t know what could have happened to it,” I answered with a shrug. “My daughter called and cancelled the credit cards and notified the bank and DMV and everything and I don’t know that they really thought about too much else. Is there anything else Adam?”
“No, Lissa had already done all that by the time I got here, on your third morning in the hospital. Everything had seemed okay at the house and we didn’t really think about the locks until the day Sarah came home from the hospital which was 3 days ago. Yesterday morning I decided that it would be a good thing to just go ahead and change them, so that’s when the locksmith came out.”
“Do you think whomever tried to get in here was one of the people in the restaurant incident? Do you know if anyone followed you home?” Detective Rodriguez questioned.
Adam smiled slightly and so did I, remembering the ‘super-spy’ thing. Adam told them about that, but we both told them that we didn’t think any of those people saw where I lived. And, Adam told them he had been watching out for anyone frequently driving by and such since then, and hadn’t seen anything suspicious. I looked up quickly when Adam said that because I hadn’t noticed him doing that.
“Could you recognize any of the people in the cars?”
Adam and I both thought for a moment and I shook my head and Adam answered, “No, it was pretty dark, I couldn’t even tell you how many people were in each car. Sorry,” he finished with an apologetic smile.
“Ms. Marcus, is there anything else that was in your purse that could give anyone access to your personal information such as your social security card, e-mail accounts, work information?”
“No, my social security card wasn’t in there. I had information for the ISP address for my e-mail since I was on vacation and knew I might want to check my messages, but I didn’t have anything in there from work, since I was on vacation. I did have contact numbers though, for my parents and kids. Do you think they are in any danger?” I questioned, suddenly afraid.
“In all likelihood no because that wouldn’t have given them anything other than addresses. About your e-mail account though, do you conduct personal business on it? Is there any personal information they could get from that such as login or password information?”
“I-I don’t know. I don’t think so really. I don’t usually keep those things, especially in an e-mail folder. They might get my daily horoscope information or something like that,” I laughed.
“Is there anything else you can think of that might help us?” Detective Arnold asked, and as we shook our heads, she folded her notebook closed and stood up. “If you think of anything else, please contact us immediately.”
Adam walked them to the door and closed it behind them. It was after 7:00 now, and almost dark out. Adam turned the porch light on and closed the blinds before coming back to sit next to me. We were all quiet for a few minutes.
“Adam, I’m sure you’re getting hungry,” I said, but I realized that food was the last thing I was interested in.
He smiled at me and suddenly, my world seemed right again. “Starting to,” he said. “What would you like?”
“I don’t even want to go out. I’ll fix something here.” I realized that mom and dad were still sitting there on the couch. “Mom and Dad, would you like to stay for some dinner?” I asked, praying that they would say no. I held my breath…
“Well, that might be nice. Do you have something in mind,” Mom asked, preparing to get up to go into the kitchen with me.
I sighed and said, “No, maybe some sandwiches or something?” I remembered that we had bought bread and deli meats and stuff yesterday. It would make a quick meal, hopefully!
“Well, let’s get that all out then, that sounds just fine!” Mom said, already hunting through the fridge. She started to pull everything out we would need and I got out plates and glasses and stuff. I remembered that I hadn’t made any more iced tea and decided I wasn’t going to worry about it tonight. Mom and dad would probably drink coffee and I’ll have Diet Coke. Adam could decide for himself, but I was betting on a beer.
Adam and dad wandered into the kitchen as I was setting everything on the breakfast nook table. “What do you two want to drink?” I asked while I dug in a cabinet for the tortilla chips we bought yesterday.
“I’ll have a beer,” Adam said.
To my surprise, my dad said he would too. Mom and I looked at each other with amazed expressions, and then I put it down to a guy thing. I bet I could count all the times that I have seen dad drink a beer on one hand, at least in the last 30 years or so. I grabbed two beers and the salsa out of the fridge and set them onto the table, then grabbed my Diet Coke. Mom had already poured her coffee and so we all sat down for dinner.
Dinner was actually nice, with Adam telling mom and dad about growing up in England and all they places he'd lived with his parents and siblings. Mom and dad were very interested in Adams parents, being doctors and working in Africa. Mom made the comment that she bet that they missed their grand kids and Adam laughed, and said that they probably did, but that they came home frequently to see them.
“And where is home to them?” Dad asked, dipping a tortilla chip into some salsa.
“Oh, technically England, but they are there so rarely anymore I’m not sure that is accurate. My brother Aidan and his family live in Maryland. He is a professor at William and Mary College. My sister is a doctor and also works with Doctors Without Borders and is usually in the same place they are. She doesn’t have any kids,” he finished with a smile.
“Adam, is she going to be in San Diego with them next week? Will I get to meet her as well?”
“Um, I’m not sure, they didn’t say. It’s hard to say what Angelica will do; she almost hates leaving Africa really. Her partner is there and when they do take time off, they usually spend it at his home in Kenya.”
“That sounds fascinating Adam. Have you been to Kenya to visit?” Mom asked.
“Yes I have and many other places in Africa as well. It is totally a continent of contrasts, whether you are speaking of land, people, or religion, it doesn’t matter. It has some of the poorest people imaginable and some of the richest as well. Conditions for the region where my parents and sister work are almost unspeakable, starvation isn’t merely a condition, it is a way of life. Not by choice of course, but there are just too many people and too much arid land. There are basically no resources there, political or natural to help change things. The people need education more than anything else, because only through education can real change happen. I find it amazing that my parents and sister have dedicated their lives to those people. I am overwhelmingly proud of them, because their lives are constantly touched by tragedy and sadness and still they continue on.”
Watching Adams face as he spoke made me feel so sad; he was obviously moved by his parents and sisters lives and Africa itself. I wondered if I could be strong enough in the face of such devastating conditions to stay and work like that. I’m not sure that I could. I’m afraid I would run away, because the emotions would be too much for me. I’m ashamed to admit that, even to myself.
“I hope we will have the opportunity to meet your folks sometime Adam, they sound wonderful,” Mom told him before standing up to start clearing the table.
My head snapped up at that, I had been distractedly playing with my silverware. I couldn’t believe she had said that! My mouth opened and I started to say something to her, but I didn’t have a clue as to what to say. Parents and kids will embarrass the hell out of you every time I thought miserably.
A huge smile washed across Adams face, transforming it from its solemn look to one of joy. His eyes lit up and he was genuinely happy. “I hope so too, I know they would like that a great deal,” he replied to her.
A feeling of panic started to rise in my throat, that huge ball that just wouldn’t go down, making my throat ache and is accompanied by a wildly pounding heart. I was looking from Adam to my mom and back again. I felt almost light-headed for a moment and had to concentrate on getting a steady breath.
My eyes must have held a wild look because Adam grinned at me and then leaned over and kissed my cheek. But he didn’t say a word, he just continued to grin at me, rather like the Cheshire Cat I thought sourly.
Mom had almost finished clearing the table before I got it together enough to help start putting dishes into the dishwasher. I shooed her away then, I needed something to focus my mind on and I distractedly loaded the dishes in and started the cycle, only remembering a few minutes later that I had forgotten to add the soap.
Mom had finished putting the leftover dinner things in the fridge and had then gone into the living room with Adam and dad. I came out a few minutes later, and they were getting ready to leave. I had to stop myself from heaving a sigh of relief I was so happy they were leaving. My nerves were very frayed; it had been a very stressful day.
I hugged and kissed them both goodbye and told them we would call before we left for California and if we heard anything from the police. We stood on the porch and waved as they left and I felt like the worlds worst daughter because I was so happy that they had left.
Adam and I walked into the house and I reached for him and hugged him. He wrapped his arms around me and we just held one another for a minute. I heard his steady heartbeat within his warm chest and deeply inhaled his scent. It was comforting to me—and I really needed some comfort right now.
With a sigh I pulled him over to the couch and before I could sit down next to him, he pulled me onto his lap. I have never sat in someone’s lap like I do with him. The first few times it seemed awkward, but now it seemed like the most natural thing. I didn’t think about being too heavy or anything, I just enjoyed the cuddling. It was comfortable and very intimate. I often feel like I just can’t get close enough to him and sitting on his lap brings us closer together.
I reflected on the day we had had—the wonderful news from the doctor this morning, followed by everything else and I suddenly felt wiped out, exhausted really. I had planned to be rolling around the bed with Adam at this point, making love and right now it seemed like the thing that was farthest from my mind.
I think this was one of those times when Adam read my mind because he seemed content to just hold me too and I relaxed against him a little more. I buried my nose in his throat, and then placed a soft kiss there, on the spot where his neck meets his collar bone.
That felt pretty good so I decided to maybe nibble, just a little bit, and then of course I had to soothe that heated spot with my tongue.
Adam sighed contentedly and I felt him growing hard against my hip. I reached up and gently pulled his face down to mine and kissed him softly, tracing his lips with my tongue before seeking the warm recess of his mouth. I explored it thoroughly, rubbing my tongue sensuously against his and I was thrilled when I felt him shiver.
Possibly I wasn’t as weary as I thought, I decided with a little smile.
I got up from Adam’s lap and told him I would be back soon and then headed into the bedroom to find something sexy to put on. I was sure I must have something! Right before I disappeared down the hall I asked him to put some music on, something slow…
I dug through the lingerie chest, trying to decide what to wear. I held up a black satin bustierre that I had never worn. It was incredibly sexy, but it had stays in it and I imagined how that would feel against my ribs so common sense told me to choose something different. I searched further until I found exactly what I was looking for. It was a white see-through lace teddy with a matching robe. It had detachable fasteners for hosiery, like a garter belt and I stood there trying to decide whether or not to put them on. I finally decided against it, it could make the whole thing more complicated to get off of me, and I didn’t want him having any trouble with that!
The whole thing was made of a very stretchy lace, but it had regular cups built into it and the waist was cinched in. It made me look very curvy and even managed to make my behind look good I decided with a giggle.
I dabbed a little perfume on and ran a brush through my hair before slipping the robe on. I looked at myself one last time in the bathroom mirror and decided that I was not only ready, I was eager!
Look out Adam Richland, I WANT you!
Sorry Holly, but I decided to post it today, just because I don't want to have to worry about it tomorrow!
Several of you wonderful people have asked me about a book. I am working on this story as a book. There is a lot involved in publishing a book, as I'm finding out. First let me say that as a book, it will be a little different. It will not be in the blog style as it is now, i.e. in first person. It will be in third person which will give Adam a voice also, you will then be able to know all the delicious thoughts that he has about Sarah! As I mentioned, it is difficult to get published, but hopefully all your kind and encouraging comments will help me to find and agent, which is the first step. Thank you all so much for your support, it means a great deal!
Also, for some reason the graphic won't upload. That might make it easier for some of you to look at work, LOL!