Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Some Days You Just Never Know

Chapter Forty-Three

We got up at 7:00 am since the boys had to go to school. I had thrown on a tee shirt before going to sleep last night which was a good thing because both boys came into the bedroom right before 7:00 and hopped into the bed with us.

Geoff hugged me and kissed me on the cheek, so I kissed him back. Tristan just looked at me, trying to decide what to do and finally gave me a quick peck on the cheek. I bestowed one right back on him and he smiled, a huge smile then especially aimed at Geoff, as if to say, “Ha ha!”

The morning was a scramble from that point on. Adam went downstairs to make breakfast for the boys while they were getting dressed and I followed suit. It was really warm again today I realized and I wished that I had brought more shorts with me besides the two pairs. I pulled out the turquoise shorts with the matching tee top and hopped into the shower for a quick wash.

I thought about the boys coming in the bedroom this morning. I hadn’t really minded, it really reminded me of when my own kids were young and would do that. Especially on weekend mornings. Sometimes they would have made cereal and toast for us and would bring us breakfast in bed. Of course, half the cereal would be on the tray and if there was more than a spoonful of milk left in the bowl I would have been surprised. Those were wonderful memories and I got a kick out of the boys coming in this morning. But, I was sincerely glad I had the tee shirt on!

I heard the boys in their room when I got out of the shower and then I heard Adam’s voice telling them to make sure they had their book bags to take with them. I dressed hurriedly and ran downstairs. Adam was at the stove, flipping French toast over on the grill.

“Hi,” I told him, stopping for a kiss. “What can I do?”

“Kiss me again?” he asked with a smile. And after I had complied, he said, “Can you get the juice and milk out and the plates and stuff?”

“Yep! Smells good. You know, I’m going to gain those 6 pounds right back if you keep cooking like this,” I said while getting the things out.

“We’ll just have to make sure we get more exercise then,” he laughed.

Since I know exactly what he meant by ‘exercise’, the idea was a good one to me.

“Personally though, I think I rather miss those 6 pounds. I found them delightful, made things nice and soft!”

“As opposed to now? Things aren’t soft anymore?” I asked.

He realized he was caught and said, “I surrender! I love you regardless. Now may we please change the subject before I get myself into more trouble?”

“Um hm,” I laughed.

The boys came into the kitchen then, dressed in school uniforms. I didn’t realize they went to a school that required uniforms. I guess that made sense though. They looked very handsome in them. They wore khaki shorts and navy blue polo shirts that had the academy logo on them.

“Oh, French toast! Thanks daddy,” Tristan said.

They were both eager for breakfast I could tell, so I sat them at the table and gave them their milk and juice. Adam had the French toast and the sausages over right away and they both dug in. To the casual observer it might have looked like they hadn’t eaten in a week, but I knew it was just the Richland guy thing. I bet the local buffets must hate seeing them come in—they couldn’t possibly make any money on them!

As soon as breakfast was over, Adam and I got the dishwasher loaded while the boys were brushing their teeth and after I pushed the button to start the cycle, we all headed out to the car. The trip to the school took about 20 minutes and when we got there, I got out to let the boys out. Both of them hugged me and I kissed them on the cheek and they waved at us, calling out that they would see us tomorrow at the game.

On the way home we stopped at Tamara’s for a moment, to tell her about the problem yesterday. She agreed that I had handled it right and told me not to worry about it, that it would be fine. Since Tristan’s behavior this morning was friendlier, I tended to agree. But she had one final thing to say about it.

“Remember that I said that despite the fact that Geoff is younger, he’s the leader? Well, Tristan does recognize that Sarah and he resents it a bit. He is very shy, if you hadn’t noticed. He will hang back and watch things, waiting for Geoff to jump in first. So just keep making contact with him, without pushing and he will get used to you and the situation, I promise!”

I told her thank you and on impulse hugged her. We reaffirmed plans for tomorrow morning and Adam and I left then, heading back to the house.

When we got there I told Adam I thought it was time that I finally got a tour of the rest of the house, since I hadn’t done more than poke my head in the other rooms.

You go through his office on the way to the garage, so I had seen that, and we stopped in the family room next, which was right next door. It was a large room, that held a huge high definition TV, no surprise there, I thought. There was also a fire place and plush leather furniture, all ‘guy’ kinds of stuff. The room was decorated in neutral colors, earth tones and such. It was a comfortable room, one you could live in and not worry about damage, which was probably the whole point.




The living room was a whole different place though. It looked like something you would see in a decorator magazine. It followed the blues motif like most of the rest of the house, but these were cold blues. The carpet was ice blue and the large sectional furniture was navy. The walls were stark white. There were two chairs across from the L shaped sectional that looked Danish in design. No arms, they were upholstered in a stripped fabric with the ice blue, navy, white and very thin red lines in them. There were several small throw pillows on the couch in the same fabric, as well as plain ones in the same colors. Over the white marble fireplace was a modern abstract painting, done in various shades of blue.

It was all beautiful and tasteful. And cold and barren feeling. I looked at Adam, it just didn’t fit him. Other than the color blue, there was nothing personal about this room, it could have been a room in any expensive house anywhere.

“I’m puzzled by this room Adam. This room isn’t you.”

“You don’t think so? Interesting,” he said, watching me closely. “Why do you say that?”

“Um, it’s cold, austere. You are warm and welcoming; this room isn’t really, it seems like an anomaly. I mean, it’s beautiful, but…” I looked around with a shrug. I really hoped I hadn’t offended him, but I didn’t like this room at all.

As we stood there looking at the room, Adam put his arm around my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “There are times when I have to do interviews or things or even have people over where I have need for this room. Its more ‘Hollywood’ don’t you think? If ‘People’ magazine comes to interview me in my home, this is the room they see. It seems to please people; it reminds them that I am an actor. If they see the family room, well, there’s nothing about that room that says ‘movie star’ now is there?”

“Yeah. I understand now. I think you are trying to tell me that it keeps the focus off of who you really are, aren’t you? It gives them a look at your world, but it isn’t really your world.”

“Yes, exactly. That’s just how it has to be.”

We walked down the stairs and looked in the bedroom next to the boys’ room, which I had already seen. It was beautiful and comfortable looking. It had a king size bed, in pecan wood. The colors in the room were sunny yellows, with the blue in this room being reserved only for the occasional accent. Even though the house was only 3 bedrooms, they were large. No one would feel cramped here.

Back down to the kitchen level, I had already seen everything except for the utility room and the bathroom. There was a large storage room as well, a pantry actually that held a wonderful wine selection in it, full of lots of Italian and Californian wines I notice.

Even though we hadn’t sat in there yet, the dining room was lovely. Again, it was very large. The table would easily accommodate 12 people, but it wasn’t stuffy at all. Following the Italianate style of the kitchen, it would be like dining in Tuscany I thought. The cobalt blue and gold colors of the upholstery went well with a beautiful fresco painting on the wall of Tuscany. It had ripe and pregnant grape vines trailing over a fence, with the verdant green terraced hills so common in Italy in the background.

We went back into the kitchen and I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and opened it, taking a long drink. Adam did the same and asked, “What would you like to do today?”

“You know what I’d really like to do? Honestly?” I asked him, curious to see what he would say.

“Um, lay around naked by the pool?” he asked hopefully.

I giggled and said, “Well, you were half right. I do just want to lie around though. We have been on the go every single day since I got home from the hospital and I’m actually kind of tired Adam. Can we just have a lazy day?”

“Nothing could possibly sound better to me. But are you sure about the ‘naked’ part?”

“Yep, positively positive!” I quipped. “C’mon, let’s go get our bathing suits on.”

We changed and then rubbed sun block over each other, which caused a delay of about 45 minutes of time before we actually got out to the pool; it was worth it! But hey, they say you are supposed to put the sun block on at least a half an hour before you are exposed to the sun anyway, right?








********************




Being lazy is exactly what we did, all day. The most strenuous thing we did was put more sun block on a couple of times, with no more delays.

In the early afternoon Adam decided he was hungry, so we went in to scavenge for something to eat for lunch. Adam pulled out some left over chicken from last night and I started hunting in the cabinets for peanut butter, to go with an apple. I looked in all the places I imagined it would be before finally asking Adam where it was.

“Peanut butter? I don’t have any Sarah,” he told me, a distasteful look on his face.

Oh-oh, I thought. I’ve finally found what’s wrong with him! Any man who doesn’t like peanut butter cannot possibly share my life! Could he?

“No peanut butter? Adam, how can you not have any peanut butter?”

“I—I just don’t. I don’t eat it,” he told me. “Here, let me get you some chicken.”

“No! I don’t want chicken. I mean, it was great, but I really wanted peanut butter. How can you have kids and not have peanut butter?” I questioned.

He grimaced and I wasn’t sure if it was about the peanut butter itself or what I said. “Sarah, I’m sorry, I just don’t like the boys to eat things like that. I’d rather make them something than have them eat all that processed kind of food. We can buy you some peanut butter next time we shop.”

Now I understood all those weird looks when he saw me eating peanut butter at home. He offered the chicken again, which I waved away. “No, that’s okay; I’ll just eat my apple. I’m not that hungry anyway.” I took a couple of bites of the apple, which was a perfectly good apple and realized I was pouting. I started chuckling at myself, what an idiot I was. It was just peanut butter.

But peanut butter is good for you, all that protein! I sighed and let it drop.

Later I was standing at the doors leading out to the terrace and watching the water. Way out was a boat, a sail boat with a bright red and white striped sail going by. It looked beautiful and graceful as it danced by on the water. I had never been sailing and I hoped we could try it some day.

Adam finished his chicken and walked over to me and saw the sailboat, which was almost out of sight now. He wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his chin on the top of my head. It was a quiet moment. It was the kind of moment I knew that I wanted to share with Adam for the rest of my life.

If I can get over the peanut butter thing, that is!

The rest of the day was wonderful. We swam for awhile and later cooked steaks on the grill and after we ate we took a walk down the beach. The moon was lovely and it was peaceful out here. A little ways north of his house were some rocks jutting out of the sand. We climbed onto them and sat for awhile, listening to the waves crashing against the shore and looking at the stars in the sky. We didn’t talk much, but it felt so good. It made me realized how much I dreaded next week when he would be in Dallas.

It had sort of been decided that I would stay in Wichita, for a little while at least to be with Cassie. I wanted to do that, but I also knew how badly I was going to miss Adam. I wasn’t sure how long either one of us could hold out.

We took another swim in the tub together, making love until the water was cold and afterwards, we both fell into the bed, exhausted. My last thoughts were about tomorrow; I was really looking forward to the day.




********************



Tuesday, October 10 dawned clear and bright. And yet again it was warm, but I was going to the spa, so it didn’t matter too much. We also were going to dinner with Gerald and Vivian after Tristan’s soccer game and I was looking forward to that.

And there was something Adam didn’t know. I didn’t mean it to be a secret exactly; I just hadn’t mentioned it because the subject had never come up. It’s not the kind of thing you just go around talking about all the time.

Today is my birthday. I expected that my family would call at some point today and then I’ll have to awkwardly explain to Adam. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it I decided.

I lay in bed awake and when I glanced over at Adam, I saw he was awake too. He rolled over and put his arm under my head and pulled me close.

“I like this, waking up with you. Did you sleep well love? Are you excited for your day at the spa?” He leaned down to kiss me and sort of pulled his head back a little then, to look down at me and smile.

“I like waking up with you too. Next week is going to be so hard. And yes, I slept remarkably well," I told him, rolling over and wrapping my leg around his hip. He was hard instantly and we both giggled.

His head came back down slowly and he lips found mine, kissing me playfully and I just wanted to melt into him. I returned his kisses and gave him my best right back and before I knew it, he was inside me and we were moving on pure instinct. Our bodies already knew one another’s and found their own rhythm and pace and before long, we were both gasping out our orgasms.

The orgasm made my toes literally curl as I squeezed my eyes tightly shut. I couldn’t believe how powerful that felt, that somehow, Adam and I together can find such a magical place. “I love you,” I told him, wiping a tear away from my eye before he saw it.

“I love you too. I’m going to miss you today.”

“Yeah, I know, ditto! What are you and your dad going to do today?”

“Probably just hang out and watch some sports or something. Nothing much really. Unlike you who is going to be pampered and will come home looking and smelling heavenly. So, I guess maybe I do get a reward for being alone today!”

“I’m excited about it, that’s for sure. And it was really nice for Tamara to invite me. Speaking of which, we better get up and get moving,” I said as I peeked over his shoulder at the clock. Its 9:00 already I thought!

We reluctantly rolled out of bed and hopped in to share a quick shower. As we dried off and got dressed Adam asked, “What would you like for breakfast?”

“You know, I’m really not all that hungry. I think I’d just like some toast and juice. Tamara said that they serve lunch at the spa and since it’s already so late that will be fine. I’m sure you are vastly disappointed though, but you can fix yourself something more you know!”

I had just finished my toast when Tamara, Gerald and Vivian came and we didn’t waste much time before we girls left. The spa was only about half and hour away and when we got there I was in awe. It was very ritzy and it suddenly occurred to me to question how much all this was going to cost.

“Oh, it’s not nearly as expensive as it looks. And anyway, they’ll bill you for it at Adams, you don’t pay here today you know.”

I wasn’t sure if I felt relieved or not. I certainly hoped my Master Card could handle it I thought as I looked around at women running around in fancy pink terry cloth robes and things.

We had the full treatment, and after awhile I stopped worrying about how much it was going to cost, what ever the cost was it was worth it. We were pampered and coddled all day long, including massages, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, steam and hydrating treatments, you name it, and they did it. I even had my hair done, colored and streaked and they put this awful looking and smelling conditioner stuff on it that left my hair looking magnificent. I was truly impressed.

When lunch time came I really wished I had eaten more this morning. We got salads which consisted of lettuce, several fancy varieties, a half of a pair, some goat cheese sprinkled on it and all sorts of little fancy sprinkle things I couldn’t even identify. I tasted good, but it wasn’t really filling.

A cheeseburger would have been nice and when I shared that thought with Tamara and Vivian, they both agreed and we all laughed and it wasn’t so bad any more!

We decided to wander into some of the spa shops and in one I found the most beautiful dress I could ever imagine. It was only a sun dress, but it was coral colored and with my tan it suited me perfectly. It was straight, with a deep V neck and spaghetti straps that crossed in the back at the sides. The back plunged deeply and it seemed so glamorous I just had to try it on.

There was a kind of built in support system in it, not exactly a bra, but enough it held me up and I stood there in the mirror, admiring myself when Tamara brought me a pair of coral colored strappy sandals which went with it perfectly.

“Oh God,” I said, after seeing myself in the mirror. I was in love with this dress and thought about how nice it would look tonight since we were going out.

Tamara heard my exclamation and asked, “What’s wrong? Don’t the shoes fit?”

“No, no, they fit like a dream. The whole outfit does.”

“Well then, what’s wrong? Let’s see Sarah,” Vivian said.

I opened the door and walked out to show them how I looked. Both women were wearing huge smiles.

“Darling, that dress was made for you. You simply must take it,” Vivian declared.

“I can’t. Its way too expensive,” I said, looking at the several hundred dollar price tag. “I mean, it’s only a sun dress and it costs so much…”

“Sometimes we must simply splurge my dear. And if there is anything better for you to splurge on, I can’t think of what it could possibly be.”

I thought about how much I would have to transfer out of my savings account in order to afford this dress. Yes and no played back and forth in my head like a ping pong game.

Then I decided to take it. It WAS my birthday and we are going out somewhere nice for dinner. “All right, I’m going to take it,” I told them and they both clapped delightedly. The sales girl wrapped it all up and we headed off to meet Adam and Gerald at the soccer game.

The game was fun and Tristan’s team won. Geoff sat by me and explained all about the game and I cheered and clapped over and over for Tristan when he scored a goal.

The game was over by 4:30 and Adam and I headed off home. Gerald and Vivian went to their new hotel, which was right down the street from Adam’s house to change for dinner. I had asked Tamara if she and the boys wanted to come, but she said no, that Mark was getting home early and she was anxious to see him, which I understood.

On the way home Adam told me that we weren’t going to go out to dinner after all, that they had decided it would be nicer to stay home where it was quiet and we could chat. I was a bit disappointed; I was really looking forward to wearing the dress.

“You got a new dress then?” Adam asked. When I nodded yes, he said, “Well wear it anyway, you can look nice for plain old me you know!” I laughed and told him I would. He said he had made lasagna for dinner, which sounded good. After that lunch it sounded great in fact.

When we got home I smelled the garlicky lasagna cooking and something that smelled like chocolate. I asked Adam about it and he laughed and told me he had made brownies. “You like brownies don’t you love?”

“Yes,” I admitted. But it didn’t smell exactly like brownies I thought. Must be the smell of the lasagna as well. He looked at me sort of funny I thought, but who knows what was going on.

We sat in the patio room and drank a glass of wine, watching the huge golden sun sink down beneath the waves. Adam seemed rather fidgety and kept checking his watch I noticed and I decided he must be trying to keep track of the lasagna.

At six I told Adam I was going up to get ready for dinner.

“That’s fine love, take your time!”

I headed up the stairs. It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t heard from any of my family yet and it was starting to irritate me. I wasn’t sure if I should call them or not and finally decided against it. They’ll call when they can. I pulled the dress out of the hanging bag it came in and admired it again. It is such a gorgeous dress I thought. What a shame that I don’t get to wear it out tonight.
I heard the door upstairs and thought that Gerald and Vivian must be here already and I hadn’t really even started getting ready, so I decided to get busy. While I smelled pretty good from all the stuff they used at the spa, I decided on a quick shower so I could wear my own fragrance, so I hopped in and was out 3 minutes later. I put some makeup on and then dressed and looked at the time. It was only 6:35 and I headed down the stairs.

Adam met me on the stairs as I closed the bedroom door. “You’re already dressed? I was just coming up to change myself. Will you keep me company?”

What, me pass up an opportunity to see Adam without any clothes? Not on your life, so I went back into the bedroom with him.

“My God Bella, you look incredible in that dress!” he told me, staring up and down at me. I pirouetted around for him to see the back as well and he whistled, and then pulled me to him for a long and sexy kiss.

“Um, I like that,” I told him. I don’t suppose we have time to, uh…” I smiled.

“No, but I certainly wish we did,” he told me as he stripped off his clothes and started looking through the closet for what he wanted to wear. “I can see that plain old jeans are not going to do it tonight!”

“Oh, I don’t know. You look fabulous in your jeans. You look fabulous out of your jeans,” I giggled.

“Hm yes, thank you.” He found a pair of navy blue slacks and another one of those pristine white shirts to wear with it and started changing. “Love, will you look in that box there on the dresser and find a pair of cuff links for me? The ones I want are gold and have my initials on them.”

I dug through the box which contained various pairs of cuff links, tie clips and even a couple of plain stud type earrings. I found the cuff links he wanted and said to him, “I didn’t know you have a pierced ear! How come you never wear an earring?”

“Yes, I do, and I haven’t actually worn them for awhile. Do you like a man with a pierced ear?” he asked, putting the cuff links on his shirt.

“Actually I do. I’d like to see you naked except for an earring. Sexy!” I said. I decided I needed to get my mind off of sex because his parents were waiting downstairs and I’m sure this side of me wouldn’t impress them.

“I just might be able to oblige that little fantasy, but a bit later! Are you ready?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I told him. He looked great. He hadn’t put on a tie, but he still looked gorgeous. He grabbed my hand and we were out the door and down the stairs before I knew what was happening.

It was quiet downstairs, although I could see a light on the terrace.

“Drinks outside love? Our guests are already out there.” He leaned over to kiss me again. “You look absolutely radiant.” And then he opened the door to the terrace and motioned for me to walk through.

And that’s when it happened. I looked around and there were Adam’s parents, Tamara, the boys and a man I supposed was Mark and my parents, Lissa and Derek and Pam. I was immediately enveloped in warm hugs and birthday greetings.

I started crying, but what else is new? I turned to look at Adam and said, “I had no idea you even knew!”

Everyone came over to hug me then and I was still crying, but laughing at the same time. Lissa hugged me last and said, “We had this planned since I was in Wichita mom!” I looked at her incredulously, and then at Adam.

“Is that true? You’ve known all this time?” Adam nodded yes and hugged me close. I was over-whelmed, in the very best was possible.

“Okay, how did you get them all here?” I asked, amazed at what the logistics must have been.

Derek spoke up and said that he and Pam had come in on a MAC (Military Airlift Command) flight at Camp Pendleton this afternoon. Mom, Dad and Lissa all came in late this morning. They were all staying at the same hotel as Gerald and Vivian. It seemed that today’s spa visit was all a ruse, although a delightful one to keep me occupied while Adam and Gerald got everyone picked up and squared away and also got the food ready.

The best part was that they were all staying until Thursday, even Derek and Pam. I felt so blessed to have them all here especially knowing all the trouble they had went to just to be here.

Geoff and Tristan were both at my side more often than not and when I introduced them to Derek and Lissa and told them that they were my kids, Geoff looked Derek up and down and said, “Gee Sarah, he’s really BIG!” Which made Derek laugh and then he picked them both up like footballs, one under each arm and ran around with them.

I watched my son playing with those two boys and thought what a wonderful dad he would make when the time came. I saw Pam watching him and we shared a brief look and I knew that she felt the same way.

Soon we all went in to eat dinner and the table actually held all 13 of us! The lasagna and garlic bread were totally awesome. Tamara had brought a huge salad that was wonderful as well. But the best part came after dinner, when mom brought out the cake; what I had smelled earlier.

This is the cake I have had every single year of my life. It is my grandmother’s recipe, called simply “Salad Dressing” cake. It is rich and chocolaty, extraordinary really. It has just a little bit different tangy chocolate odor than brownies and it was good to know that my nose hadn’t failed me. Mom had made it this afternoon and I cried yet again when I hugged her—it just wouldn’t have been my birthday without it.




There were even some cards and gifts, which I always feel self-conscious about. It turned out that the spa visit was a gift from Tamara, Mark and the boys, and Vivian and Gerald took charge for the dress. I was over-whelmed at their generosity and frankly, I worried that with their being doctors in Africa, they might not even have the money for something like that.

Lissa’s gift to me was a card that told me that she had won a full-ride scholarship for next semester, which included housing and everything. That saved about 15 thousand dollars and it knocked my socks off. She had worked so hard for it, and I was so proud of her.

Mom and Dad’s gift to me was a shock and one I was mortified about. When I was a kid, I was a real ham. We had an old fashioned movie camera and every single time the damn thing was on, I was in front of it, dancing around or something equally scene-stealing. Dad had taken a bunch of those old home movies and had them put onto a DVD for me. Adam said he couldn’t wait to see it. I stared at Dad, wondering if I could manage to knock him off the cliff.

When it was Derek and Pam’s turn, they handed me an envelope and when I opened it, there was just a birthday card in there. It was sweet. It said “Happy Birthday Grandma” and a nice little verse. I read it again—Happy Birthday GRANDMA! “Oh my God,” I cried. “You’re pregnant?”

They both nodded and everyone congratulated them. “When?” I asked.

“May 27th,” they chorused together.

That only left Adam and frankly, he had already done so much I couldn’t think of another thing I wanted. My family were all here, the old ones and my new family and as far as I was concerned, nothing better could happen.
”You look so beautiful tonight Sarah, but I’m afraid something is missing,” he said, handing me a box to open. I pulled the wrapping paper off of it and it was obviously a jeweler’s box. Bigger than a ring box I thought and I was partly happy about that and partly sad. But it was still so soon for us, we had time.

My hands were trembling like crazy though; I had the hardest time opening the velvet box. Inside was a dazzling set of Australian Fire Opals with blue sapphires. The set included a necklace, earrings and a bracelet, all set in gold.

I was stunned. I adore opals, they are my favorite stone. I love their fire and warmth, the colors that just burst from them. As I looked at them, admiring their color I had a hard time catching my breath. I’ve never had anything so expensive, so exquisite given to me.

I looked up at Adam and said, “Oh Adam, thank you. They are beyond beautiful, oh my gosh!”

I tried to pick up the necklace but my hands were shaking so badly I dropped it back into the box. Adam took it from me and said, “Let me help you.” He fastened the necklace around my neck and then fastened the bracelet as well. I had managed to stop shaking so much and got the earrings on.

Lissa said to me, “Adam, they are perfect with that dress! Mom, go in to the bathroom and look at them.”

I went into the bathroom and stood there for a moment before turning the light on. I was almost fearful to look. I realized Adam was right behind me. He put his hands on my shoulders, as if to steady me and I took a deep breath and finally reached out to turn the light on.

I looked into the mirror to see them and they stole my breath away again. My hand went to my throat, touching the stones. I looked up in the mirror, into Adam’s eyes and swallowed hard.

“Exquisite,” he said, and I realized he wasn’t talking about the jewelry.

“They are my favorite. I suppose Lissa was in on this as well?” I asked.

“Yes,” he told me. “Your daughter is pretty great you know. And she loves you completely.”

“As do you I think,” I stated. It all was starting to really sink in. He wasn’t only a part of my life now; he was a part of me.

He tipped my face up to his with his finger and looked straight into my eyes. “Totally love, I am hopefully head over heels in love with you, forever.”
I loved how he had said ‘hopefully’, rather than ‘hopelessly’.

He leaned down and kissed me, softly and gently. “C’mon now. We have guests!”
Everyone oohed and aahed over the opals and I felt like a queen or something. It was amazing how wonderfully this day had turned out.

I discovered that tomorrow everyone was coming back and we were going to have a cook out and swim and enjoy the beach. I couldn’t wait.

The only dim spot to the whole day was that Cassie wasn’t here. I had spent every single birthday with her since we were in third grade. I longed for her; for her sharp wit and her tender heart. A part of me felt as if I were letting her down, being here instead of with her, as she struggled to get her normal life back. Even though I knew I couldn’t be with her right now, our spirits were together I imagined.

The party was starting to wind down and everyone was preparing to leave. Both the boys were yawning as they said goodbye, Geoff in Mark’s arms, his head lying sleepily against Mark’s shoulder. As I hugged everyone goodbye that night, all I could think about was the fact that I was the luckiest woman alive. I was Cinderella, at least for tonight.

And then I spotted my Prince Charming and I knew there was still a bit more magic left to the night.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adam keeps amazing me with his romantic ways. What a birthday!
It was very hard getting through a Monday without reading your story...I will let it slide if you let us read a little chapter of the book when it is done. LOL I will be first in line to buy.
L

Hope said...

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I apologize for not getting into gear yesterday, but life was definitely happening.

There will still be 3 posts this week though, so don't fret.

I am truly over-whelmed by all of your very kind comments on Friday's story. And there were so many new readers or at least new posters, so thanks so much for your comments. I saw posts from Gerry, who appears to be in the UK right now according to her web page, randi,Mehreen (Good point about the condoms, but being past the age of pregnancy worries I just didn't think!), Sasha, CJ (hope your husband didn't mind you reading on vacation),Dominique and Lynds! Thanks so much for your thoughts. If I've forgotten someone, I apologize, it wasn't intentional.

And hugs out to all the rest of you wonderful women and rob and matt, you make this all worthwile.

Here is what I am planning on doing for the new verision. It won't be ready for awhile yet, but when it is, I will post a few chapters for feedback, but it will be in a different way. I will create another website for it (haven't decided on a name yet), but it will be a closed site--in other words, if you would like to read it you will need to e-mail me to tell me and I will add your name to the access for the site.

Everyone who wants to read it can--all you need to do is let me know. I am doing it this way because I want to try to sell this version and that will be harder if it's out there on the web where just anyone can stumble upon it. I will let you know in advance so you have time to send me the e-mail. I know this will be frustrating since many of you like being anoymous, but it isn't meant to take that away from you, only protect the integrity of the story.

On the weather front, still miserably cold and frosty here in the mid west, although Wichita was luckier than many, many places. If you are out there in the frozen areas, stay warm and for those of you lucky enough to be where it's warm and sunny, enjoy it. And rene, it's heading your way from what I understand, so take care!

Hope said...

Hey L!

I had to laugh at your comment about Adam. The truth is that I did have an Adam in my life, the romantic I mean. Sigh...

Holly said...

That is so wonderful! I love how he is so thoughtful with everything he does! I love this story line Hope!

Thanks again for making my morning.

Hope said...

Holly,

When does the next semester start?

Leci said...

This has become my favourite blog... Keep up the good work Hope!

Anonymous said...

....he doesn't like peanut butter??? Thats sacrilidge, all bets are off!!! HAHAHA! Good Morning, Hope and all! Yesterday was a longggggg day, waiting for today's post, but most definitely worth it! Thanks for the extra long post today. I checked out the slumber party website, and my ears are still burning! Thanks for that info, as well! Have an awesome day, everyone! Kristin

Hope said...

Kristin,

See, that's MY thought. How can he NOT like peanut butter? I couldn't have a man in MY life who doesn't like peanut butter...

Dominique said...

Hi Hope!

Just amazing! Adam's birthday gesture was so loving...why can't all men be like him? :p

I am actually with a guy who doesn't like peanut butter. Or any condiment for that matter - it's kind of weird and I rib him all the time for it. What is a burger without ketsup and mustard?!? haha
But, this can be overlooked - he has a lot of other qualities that make up for it. :)

CJ said...

Its nice to read about a romantic guy. My hubby (love him dearly) is the anti-romantic. A very practical guy. (the type that buys me useful needed things instead of frilly wanted things) So its nice to read about how the other half lives!!

Thanks again.
(trying to keep warm here in AZ)

Hope said...

Dominique,

Well, if you can stand him and his anti-peanut butter ways, good for you! LOL And it sounds like despite that, he's a pretty good guy!

There are men out there like Adam, really there are. The one I knew was named Joseph. Awesome man...

Hope said...

I know what you mean CJ. The current man of my heart isn't too romantic, but is still very wonderful.

I find it wonderful how we can appreciate the different kinds of guys out there. Adam is fantasy of course, but there are parts of him that are definitely real, I promise!

Anonymous said...

I'm still rethinking the whole peanut butter aversion.... makes me see Adam in a whole new light! I mean, that makes him one step away from an axe murderer, in my book! LOL Kristin

Hope said...

Hmm, Adam as the bad guy huh Kristin?

That gives me ideas! lolol

Tigger said...

Good Morning Hope, lynne and all!

Yeppers, it's crappy down here around OK City, that's for sure.

Great job today Hope, how sweet is that guy, huh?

When I read this, I can just feel the love between them, amazing!

Anonymous said...

Gives you ideas indeed... I reckon that he needed to have some quality to put him in the realm of mere mortal men, but couldn't he have had a mysterious third nipple or something other than peanut butter hatin'? LMAO! Kristin

Mehreen said...

Ah, nice interlude to the Tuesday. That is an awesome birthday, I only hope my 46th birthday (in 24 years) is that good! Adam clearly never went to college because PB is what I survive on, but then again, he is a reputable chef so that's understandable. I'm second year of law school in Philly, just started my externship today, but definitely wish I could have a lazy day, sigh...thanks for the fantasy Hope!

Hope said...

ROTFLMAO!!!

A nubbin maybe Kristin? Alla Chandler?

Yes, while the anti-peanut butter behavior is distressing, I think we can forgive him.

After all, he has to have SOME flaws!

Hope said...

Mehreen,
Law student huh? Very cool and keep up the hard work because it is VERY hard work!

And who knows, maybe someday I'll be rich and famous from my Adam and Sarah series of books and will need a lawyer to finagle some contract negotiation or something!

It's who you know that counts!!!

LISA said...

HOPE,
I LOVE THIS BLOG, IT WAS HARD GETTING THROUGH YESTERDAY W/O A POST. BUT IT WAS SOOOOO WORTH THE WAIT, I CANT WAIT FOR THE BOOK, I KNOW IT GOING TO BE AWSOME YOU HAVE A TALENT FOR WRITING, THIS BLOG IS THE BEST!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

HOPE...OMG today was amazing and I even cried a few times...sex, romance, food, family and most importantly LOVE...all in one chapter...I am so amazed with your story and your writing...THANKS is all I can say for giving me something good to read and look forward to here at work! I absoultely want to be on that list so let me know when it is time to send my email adress to you! Krisite

Hope said...

Thank you so much Lisa, I'm glad you are enjoying it it.

LOL, I'm getting anxious to get the new verison done. I find that I like Adam even better than now, but he still doesn't like peanut butter...sigh!

Hope said...

I will be glad to do that Kristie. I find that I'm really enjoying writing the new version, but the sad part is that this one will eventually end and Sarah and Adam are such a huge part of my life, I wonder how I will survive!

Silly, isn't that?

lisa said...

HOPE,

I KNOW WHAT PERSON DOESNT LIKE PEANUT BUTTER I LOVE IT ESPECIALLY ON APPLES LIKE SARAH DOES, BUT STILL ADAM HAS OTHER THINGS TO OFFER THAT MAKE UP FOR HIM NOT LIKING PEANUT BUTTER :):):):).... I WOULD LIKE TO BE ON THAT LIST FOR THE BOOK SO PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHEN TO EMAIL YOU SO I CAN GET ON THE LIST.....

Hope said...

lisa,

Yeah, Adam does have a FEW other things that make up for anti-peanut butter fettish. LOL

I will make an announcement so everyone will know when it's time for the e-mail, I promise!

It will probably be within a month or so.

Sandy said...

Hi Hope,
As usual, a fantastic entry. If I had a man like Adam, (not that I don't LOVE the one I have), I think I could overlook the peanut butter thing. I have never thought of this story ending, but I guess it can't go on forever. That will be a sad day at my computer when it does :( But I am definitley looking forward to the next story you will have, I know it will be great!

Rachel said...

Good Morning Hope and everyone!

Rachel here from a coldy snowy Seattle. We never get real winters here so this is weird.

All I can say is A M A Z I N G
thank you so much for a great post today Hope. I cried when she say her family there. That was so sweet of Adam to do. All of Adam's family just seem wonderful. Only thing missing was a little Tiffany's ring box! I'm jealous of her spa visit.

Now the peanut butter thing I wont even go there except to say that I hope that was the problem coming up that you were warning us about.

I for sure want to be on that email list for the book, I can't wait! I dont know what will be sadder this story ending, or the last episode of Friend's. It will be a close match. Speaking of things ending does anyone watch The OC? Apparently it is coming to an end in February and Im just heart broken over it.

Weel to those who are in the cold try to stay warm, dry and safe. And to those where it is warm please bask in a ray of sun for me.
Have a good day everyone!

Angel said...

This is ai fabulous story in general, but I HAVE to comment on todays entry. It was WONDERFULLLLL. I admit to getting all teary eyed when I read of her birthday surprises. Keep up the good work Hope, you are gifted. :)

Catrina said...

Hope---What a wonderful post! As for Adam not liking peanut butter, it's DEFINITELY something I could live with considering how perfect he is in every other way.
As for the private blog, where do I sign up? I couldn't live without Adam and Sarah!
~~~Cathy

Hope said...

Oh, I have just eaten too much! Today was our office January birthday luncheon and we went to Carlo's O'Kelleys and I definitely ate too many chips and salsa!

I like things spicy though, and so does Sarah you will find.

Rachel, I forgot to tell you earlier that my aunt and cousins live in Auburn and Renton. It's beautiful up there I know.

Cathy (catrina)I will let you all know in plenty of time for the new version. You will all be my betas
sort of!

Angel, thanks for your kind words. It has sort of surprised me how much everyone loved Sarah's birthday surprise. It was fun trying to figure out what Adam would do for that occasion, but in the end, he sort of led my fingers in what I wrote. LOL, I find that Adam definitely has a mind of his own! Which is why I can't get him to like the peanut butter. ; )

rob said...

Good Afternoon Ladies!

Hope, you gotta do something about Adam. He's just a loose cannon and giving us guys a bad rep. I mean, it's bad enough that he is just toooo romantic and does all these sweet things, but c'mon, give us a break.

A guy who doesn't like peanut butter!!!

I hang my head in shame for men all over the world!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate peanut butter (unless its in reeses cups)....I'm w/ Adam on that one :P

But honestly Hope, I luv everything u write here. Though I don't comment often, but I've been keeping up...Just let us know when u'll publish that book so I can read it, aight?

Have a great day!

Hope said...

Hi Rob!

I'm sure you'll manage to carry on for mankind, I have faith in you!

Anonymous said...

Please make sure to tell us when to give you our emails. I am afraid I will miss out:(

Well, I just thought I would re-read this entry to lift my spirits. Talk about a bad day...someone took my husbands debit card info and has had a great day at my expense! He still has his card in his wallet. An employee of a place he used the card "stole" his info! I have spent all day calling credit agencies to protect ourselves. Sucks!

My husband is romantic but not to the degree that Adam is. I guess that is why fiction is so wonderful. You create the man and the ending. I just hope that this is a good ending for Sarah!
L

Val said...

Hope,

You should take Adam and Sarah to Whole Foods to get some yummy organic peanut butter. Maybe he'll change his mind? I do love me some peanut butter, but I will NOT eat peanut butter on a sandwich. That's just nasty. *ducks*

I love this post, it was WONDERFUL! Keep up the good work, Hope. I am here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday like clockwork. Reading the blog has now become my reward for getting my house clean on those days, so thank you for the motivation. My house has never looked so good. Even my husband said WOW the house has been looking gooooood lately! :)

Val

Kelli said...

Wow, what a great post! It was worth the wait. And how great Adam is to get her whole family there for her birthday. That makes up for no peanut butter in the house. LOL. And it is so great to see how comfortable Adam and Sarah are together now, where they can just take a lazy day and hang out by the pool! Sounds like heaven right now since here in Utah it is only 18 degrees at 1:30 in the afternoon. The sun is shining though so that helps. You have amazing talent, Hope. Can't wait to get on the list to read the first few chapters of the book!

Jo said...

Oooh, Ms. Hope, you're gonna get me so fired here! (Remember, you still owe me a manicure!) I'm sitting here at work getting all weepy during Sarah's b-day party. Then, when he pulled out the little box, I actually did an "oh my God!" right here at my desk. I'm still getting looks.

I'm not usually the mushy type so, Hope, you must have some kind of talent! Make sure to let us know when we can "sign in" through email.

Oh, I know Sarah and Adam are just going to be so happy forever and ever ... with or without peanut butter.

kmorales4 said...

Hope, you have no idea what a rush your writing gives me. I wish I was Sarah and that I had an Adam. Sigh

I love this blog.

kmorales4 said...

The whole peanut butter thing... totally forgiven. This man is my dream. All the details and the romance is just amazing and wonderful. Where is my fairy godmother when I need her... or a Geenie for all I care. I want to make a wish to turn Adam into a real human being and set of into the sunset with him (Sigh).

Dominique said...

Hey Hope!

Now, don't you go screwing with Adam...I saw your little note about Kristin giving you ideas! Nothing bad! haha!

Rob, don't worry, we all realize that Adam definitely goes above and beyond the normal mortal man. :)

I don't even want to think about my life without Adam and Sarah! What the heck will I do at work when this ends? hehe

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope,

I am pretty new to the blog... but have read all posts... got to say I love it... It inspires me.

thanks

N

Hope said...

Hey Jo, maybe you really shouldn't read it at work, I mean, I don't want you to get into trouble or anything, and I figure it's going to cost me all the profits I make if I do sell the book in order to pay for all your manicures! LOL

K, if I could turn Adam into a real guy I would. You could have first bidding rights! And Dominique, I promise to be gentle with Adam, really...

megs said...

Hope, every time I read an entry I think that it can never be as good as the one before it, but you constantly and consistently deliver.

Sarah and Adam are so real to me, to everyone who reads it seems and that is because of your talent.

You keep us interested in their lives and we laugh with them and cry with them, and sometimes we get to be voyeurs as well!

Please, get your bood published!

macy said...

I can't tell you how much I cried when Adam surprised her Hope. My god I love that man.

I want to be president of the 'I love Adam' fan club!

Truly, another wonderful entry that keeps us enthralled and entertained.

Someday we are going to be able to say, "Hope, oh yeah, we were fans from the start!"

deena said...

Thank you for a truly beautiful entry today Hope. As Krisite said this morning, it had everything in it.

I can't believe someone isn't willing to snatch this book up right now, it's so wonderful and well-written.

Thanks a bunch!

Pat said...

I'm just laughing over all the peanut butter comments! I just love it!

Great entry today Hope, funny and sweet. And how great is that house?

Ah to be in sunny California instead of Iowa, where the mercury has practically frozen in the thermometer! LOL

Sasha said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Gerry said...

Great one, Hope! I always keep your blog as a 'dessert' after work and uni stuff ;-) Soo helps me to unwind and kinda makes up for the fact that I don't have enough time to look around for Adam of my own heheh. This post especially was so sweet, makes me wish for all those wonderful things...

Michelle said...

Hope, all I can say is well done. I love this blog. I feel like I am right there with Adam and Sarah. It amazes me at how thoughtful and caring you have made him. I can't wait for the book.

Sasha said...

Lol, Val! I'm thinking I've gotta introduce something like a "do 2 hrs of calculus before reading the next post" system... Glad yours is working, hehe!;)


Aww, Hope... shall I even count how many sigh's you've gone through on today's board? lol Seems to me your mood and the last post's tone are just a biiiit related! Thus you officially need a hug. *huggles*

I'm not sure I could handle a man as romantic as Adam... I mean, if I loved him already, and then we started a relationship, and he was like that, I guess that'd be great... but I tend to instinctually go for the challenges.

P.S. Lol thnx for the welcome Hope, but I'm not a new poster, lol, I just usually go by "S.K."

Holly said...

Hey Hope,

My semester at USF has already started :) It ends in early May.

Holly said...

You know what's funny? After reading the post and all the talk about peanut butter (I agree with living off of it in college), I just remembered I bought banana's today and now I get to have me a peanut butter and banana sammich! I can't wait.
I apologize for my random thought...continue :)

reeneez said...

Hey Hope - A W E S O M E birthday for Sarah!! How I'd love one like that! Mine usually involve a sick kid or other family member in crisis.
I basically live my life vicariously through Sarah! LOL!!
I'm definitely with you on the peanut butter thing - i panic when we run out which rarely happens.
Now, i need to know about the CAKE - please give us the recipe! THANKS! Rene

Mari said...

Hi Hope,

I've reading this for a while now, and it's by far the best written blog I've seen so far. Thank you for the hard work you put into it. I have read in the past how some people say that it's not realistic because everything is going so well, but you know what? It's a fictional blog, and it's nice to know that somewhere out there, even if it's in a fictional blog world, things are going so great - it's an escape from real life and its realities.

Again, thanks and great job!

Becky said...

Hope, you did it again! What a dream MAN!

Many of us suspected something was going on with the spa day, and we were right! Only it was a good something for Sarah.
In regards to the peanut butter, most Brits and Europeans I know are appalled by peanut butter so Adam is not unusual. The big questions is, has he even tried it???

Right now it is snowing (big beautiful flakes!). We haven't really had snow, just frost, black ice, and an occasional skiff of snow. My area in Eastern Washington is desert (80's, 90's 100's in the summer always and cool winters. We usually don't get much snow, so I enjoy it when we do.

Becky

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope,

I read religiously, I've become addicted. I just haven't posted because generally when I read I'm on the run. It's a busy life being a full time student and a bartender. Sometimes I just don't have time to post. I always make time to read though. I think you're doing an amazing job. Keep it up! You're doing a great thing for us all, and by reading all of the feedback, I can say that you've got us all coming back day after day.

My boyfriend is amazingly romantic like Adam. I absolutely love it! And it's not him who doesn't like condiments and peanut butter that would be me.

Anyways, I must go to bed I have class in 4 hours, I just got home from work. I will post again, and continue reading.

Kahlea

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope,

I've been in love with the story since I stumbled on it when I went in search from something to take the place of Diary of V. I just wanted to point out that when Adam got the opals for Sarah he made a bit of a boo boo. I've always been told that opals are bad luck when given to someone by their love. Just a thought......

Eliza

Anonymous said...

i loveee this blog. i'm about 20 years younger than the "target audience" but i identify with story! how about a movie script?? and as becky said- the PB thing is not that unusual. i lived with several britts for a while and they absolutely detest peanutbutter. their versions is rather disgusting, honestly, so i understand adam's aversion.-N

Anonymous said...

Hi Hope, Miracle of miracles I was able to access this post. Was getting a blank screen for 2 days. Hopefully I get the next also. Thanks.
Christy

Hope said...

Hi Christy,

I'm glad it's working for you now. Let me know if you have other problems. I know that sometimes it takes a minute or so for it to load.