I practically floated through the rest of the day. Bobby came home and picked me up and swung me around when I told him my news.
“Hoorah for Sarah!” he said merrily. “Hey, let’s go out and celebrate. How about Il Vicino?” Il Vicino is a pizza place that bakes their pizzas in a wood oven. They are very good, but still not quite like Italy. But I was excited anyway.
“Um, sounds wonderful. I need to change though. Say 45 minutes?”
“Yep, that’s good, I need a shower,” he told me, already heading down the hall.
I followed him and then went into my room, looking for something to put on.
I changed into a pair of red jeans and a matching red and white sweater. I even put on a little makeup and felt excited for the first time in a couple of days about going out somewhere.
I met Bobby out in the living room, right on time. He had put on some jeans and a gorgeous azure blue sweater that exactly matched his eyes.
We gotta find this boy a girlfriend!
We got to Il Vicino and didn’t even have to wait for a table. Our server came over and introduced herself as Wendy. She smiled a huge smile at Bobby and he didn’t even notice. No wonder he doesn’t go out, he can’t even tell when a girl is interested. We ordered our pizza and beer and then sat looking around at the other patrons in the restaurant while we waited.
Wendy brought our beers and I chatted with her a bit and found out that she was a senior at Wichita State University, working on a degree in sociology.
“That’s amazing,” I told her, “That’s what my degree is in!”
“Oh, do you work as a sociologist? I hear it’s sometimes hard to get jobs unless you have a master’s degree, so I think I am going to go for that next.”
“No, I work in Human Resources, but I use that degree all the time, let me tell you. I think you are right though, a masters will help you a great deal in the field, you could even teach.”
She was watching Bobby as we spoke and yet he didn’t say a word. After she finally left to check on another table I said to him, “Hello? She was trying to get you to talk!”
“She was?” he asked, thoroughly surprised. “Uh, I didn’t see that.”
“Bobby, you’ve got to look up every now and then. Talk to her when she comes back!” I laughed. He sat there pondering my words when Wendy came back over to the table and asked if we needed anything else.
I lightly kicked Bobby’s foot under the table and he looked up at Wendy and gulped. She was very pretty with long dark and lustrous hair that she had pulled back into a pony tail and big brown eyes accentuated with a minimal amount of makeup. He gulped again and stared at her. She repeated her question and I nudged his foot again, a bit more aggressively this time.
“Uh, no we’re fine right now. I don’t go to college I own a dojo!” he declared in a rush of breath and words.
It wasn’t quite what I hoped, but it was a start. Wendy was pretty quick though and latched onto that.
“Oh, I took some karate classes at school last year. It was a great workout!”
“Yes, it is. Are you taking any now?” he asked, starting to feel a bit more comfortable since they were talking about karate.
“No, I’m working so much this semester I really haven’t had the time. And the credits I need to graduate take all my time and money!” she laughed.
He nodded and said he understood that. “But if you decide you’d like to still work out, come by my dojo and I’ll be glad to be your sparring partner. I’ll give you a good workout,” he stated, and then suddenly he blushed a bright, vivid red.
Wendy got called to another table just then, which was a good thing I decided, because he definitely needed some recovery time for this one.
“Damn, why did I say that? She probably thinks…well, she just probably will never come by now I bet. Stupid Bobby, really, really stupid!” he declared, shaking his head. Like most of us, no one can beat us up better than ourselves.
I chuckled and told him to stop taking himself so seriously. I covertly pointed to her, and she was still looking at Bobby and her eyes were sparkling brightly.
“See,” I told him, “You haven’t scared her off!”
She brought our pizza soon after that wearing a huge smile and Bobby realized the awkward moment had passed. By the time we finished the pizza, she had his card for the dojo and he had her number.
When we walked out to the car I brushed my hands together and decided my work had been done! Bobby was quiet all the way home, but he wore a smile that was a mile wide.
I giggled to myself as I made my way into the bedroom. I hoped I had time for a quick shower before Adam called me. I had just got everything off though when the phone rang and I laughed when I saw it was Adam. I turned the light off and lie down on the bed, focusing on his melodious voice.
“Hi,” he said softly. “How was your day love?”
“It started out bad, but it ended up pretty good really. I was just getting undressed so I could take a shower.”
He chuckled, low in his throat but then asked, “Why was it bad?”
“Because you weren’t here,” I answered. “It’s lonely in this bed. ”
“It’s lonely in this bed too,” he murmured.
“Are you in bed too?” I asked. Oh – oh, I thought, this could get dangerous!
“Um hm, all clean and dry, and tucked in, all on my own! And with the wonderful image I have of you right now, all ready for your shower, it’s worse than ever.” This was followed by the most wicked and sexy laugh I have ever heard.
I was wearing a ridiculously confused grin and nothing else right then and I was trying to figure out where this conversation should go. He was going to be home tomorrow night I reminded myself. And I’ve never, uh – did this on the phone. I finally decided this was too many firsts for one day and told him, “I surrender, okay?” and then I realized something and said with a laugh. “Hey, you aren’t sneezing? Did you get to the doctor?”
He was giggling and I knew exactly why. Part of me felt bad about that, but part of me still wasn’t ready for such a phone conversation. I waited until he stopped laughing and said, “Yes, I did. He gave me a prescription for my nasal spray and see, no more sneezes, just as I promised you!” he declared triumphantly.
“That’s wonderful Adam. So I guess you won’t have any problem doing that love scene now, huh?”
“No, I guess not, not because of sneezing anyway. How did your doctor appointment go by the way?”
“Well, she told me I could start driving again, for short periods, as long as someone is with me. And no night driving for awhile. She thought everything was looking pretty good. She isn’t really crazy about me driving, but she agreed. And then the strangest thing happened; I found myself too scared to do it. Mom had to force me to drive the short distance from the hospital to the house.”
“But you did, drive I mean? Your Mom was with you and it was okay?”
“Yes, it was okay. But I was horrified when she handed me the keys. Dr. Crandal has me freaked out about everything that could go wrong and so I froze up. It went fine though, it did.”
“Love, no one but you doubted that. I’m glad your Mom made you do it. It was the best thing to do Sarah,” he said quietly.
“I know that Adam, I do. And hey, when Bobby got home we decided to go and celebrate. So we went to Il Vicino, that pizza place you keep seeing but that we haven’t gone to yet? And I got Bobby hooked up with a waitress there. I tell you, that boy is about the slowest to catch on about these things, but he finally did and when we left he had her number and she promised to come to his dojo!”
“Good for you. Better for Bobby. What’s her name?”
“Wendy, and she is a senior at WSU. Very pretty too. But he was beside himself when she first tried talking to him. Men!” I laughed.
“Men indeed!” he echoed. “This man misses you terribly and can’t wait to hold you in his arms.”
His tone of voice had dramatically changed with that last statement and I realized we were back where we started; only it was much more serious this time. I found myself blushing furiously at the intimacy of his statement and his tone of voice. I felt like I’ve lost my footing and I hate stumbling. I do okay while I’m in control, but when that slips away and is gone I don’t know what to do or say or even how to act. This was one of those times.
When I didn’t respond he said, “It’s alright Sarah, we aren’t going to tread into any unexplored territory here, okay?”
Which of course made me feel foolish, and that is decidedly worse than not being in control. I think. Probably.
“How in the world do you always know what I am thinking – feeling? You astound me Adam. I can’t read you that well.” I told him, feeling really frustrated by this amazing ability he had and I didn’t.
“You could read me very well if you just trusted your instincts about me. But Sarah my love, you constantly question yourself,” he told me and I knew that he was exactly right.
“I know. You’re right Adam; it’s just that I haven’t always had the best instincts. But I’m trying really hard.”
“I know love, I know. And you’re getting better, you realize that don’t you?”
“Yeah, I do.” I looked at the time and said, “This time tomorrow night you will be on your way home to me Adam!”
“So I will. I can’t wait, really can’t wait,” he told me, his voice so quiet I could hardly hear it. I knew that he was hurting too, just like me; I just didn’t know what to do to make it better.
“Me either. I suppose we should get to sleep. After all, I intend to keep you up very, very late tomorrow night. And Bobby and I will pick you up at the airport, and don’t tell us not to.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it. I don’t think I could wait those extra 30 minutes until I saw you again, held you, kissed you…”
“Me either! I’ll see you then Adam. I love you so much.”
“I love you too Sarah. Until tomorrow night then…” And the line went dead.
I replaced the receiver and sat there in bed, my arms wrapped around my knees which were bent up. I laid my head on my knees and cried softly for a few minutes, longing for him, needing him so badly. Nothing else helped, only left me needing him even more. I finally lie back in bed and settled down to sleep, shower forgotten.
I had a restless night, but I knew it was just excitement about Adam’s homecoming. I wanted to make it special for him, as he always did for me. I wondered what to do to make that happen, but I didn’t really have a clue. Adam is so good at planning these romantic encounters I thought as I showered and finally an idea came to mind. But it was an idea that I would need help with and I wasn’t altogether sure that Mom was the best person to help. Which left Bobby I decided.
I was making breakfast when I heard him get up and it was done by the time he emerged from the shower. I broiled some ham steaks and made waffles. Okay, let me clarify, they weren’t homemade, but they weren’t frozen either. They were from a mix but I doubt that Bobby would care. Unless of course he had tasted anything that Adam might have made first and I knew that he hadn’t.
Um, I wish we were eating Adam’s banana pecan pancakes, that would be wonderful!
Bobby walked into the kitchen whistling some tune that I didn’t recognize. I poured him some juice and sat down opposite him to tell him about my plans. He beat me to the punch though by asking, “Hey Sarah, what do you need to do to get ready for Adam?” He cut a bit of ham and popped it into his mouth, chewing with appreciation. “Mm, really good!”
“I’m glad you brought that up. I do have a few things to do and I don’t really want to ask Mom for help with them all. What is your work schedule today?”
I’ve got classes at 11:00 and 1:00, and then I’m done for the day.” He took a bite of the waffle and smiled. “One of my other instructors is going to take the other classes because I figured you could use some help. What do you have planned?”
I laid out my plans to him and he smiled broadly. “He oughta like that! So which part do you want me to do?”
“Mom and I will go to see Cassie for awhile, probably while you are in class, but then could we meet up here and run my errands? I don’t think they will take up too much time; it’s not anything really elaborate. Unless of course I could get a hot tub installed today, which I seriously doubt!” I added with a laugh.
“Probably not,” he affirmed. I watched his face; he was trying very hard not to smile. “So he has a hot tub in California?”
“Yeah, it was nice, but we really only got in it the last night we were there, before the rock came flying at us.” I almost groaned with that memory, but I have too many other things to think about so I stamped it down hard. I wasn’t going to let anything spoil this day.
We chatted about the house in California which reminded me that I had pictures to get developed. I knew that Cassie was really looking forward to seeing them, so I asked Bobby if he would drop them by the one hour photo place on his way to the dojo.
“That way, they’ll be ready when Mom and I go to see Cassie and we can pick them up and take them with us for her to see. And the pictures of Italy are there too,” I added excitedly. I couldn’t wait to see them.
We got all our plans set and he got ready to go to the dojo while I grabbed all the film. There were 7 rolls to be developed and I was surprised that was all. He took them and was out the door.
I got busy in the house changing the sheets; I decided to put some satin sheets on the bed for a treat. Next I went looking for some candles and things like that. Then I reluctantly got on the computer and first checked my e-mail, but when there was nothing in there from the mystery poet (as I was already thinking of the person as) I felt relieved. I next went to the Cero’s website to place an order that could be picked up later.
Cero’s is a local gourmet chocolate shop that has been here for a hundred years. They ship their candies all over the world to some very famous people. Their chocolates are decadently rich and delicious and I knew that Adam would adore them. The shop itself is tiny, so I always order online and pick them up later. They do special wrappings and such to make your order really wonderful. In the spring I love to order their chocolate covered strawberries. They are kind of like chocolate covered cherries, but so much better. And they only have them for a few weeks of the year, when strawberries are at their prime.
I planned the rest of the menu and figured out what I would need to buy and then started to work on the rice dish. It was ready when Mom got here and I slipped it into the fridge and we left to see Cassie. On the way there I told Mom how much I appreciated all her help this week, taking me around so much and stuff. And in typical Mom fashion, she just shrugged it all off, almost embarrassed by my gratitude.
We stopped and picked up the pictures and I couldn’t wait to see them at the hospital and I started to peek into the envelopes. On the first role I looked at, I found the pictures from the night in Firenza, out on the balcony. They brought a huge smile to my face, remembering Adam chasing me around and threatening to take a picture of me naked. I remember tripping over the comforter later and Adam picking me up and carrying me to the bedroom, laughing and telling me it served me right!
I shiver of anticipation ran down my spine as I thought about tonight. I’m not one for pulling off these grand romantic gestures like Adam is, but still I hoped he would like what I have planned for tonight.
At the hospital we looked at all the pictures, with Mom and Cass oohing and aahing over them. Many I didn’t even have to explain and they seemed to love them all. They pictures seemed to pick Cass up a bit; she seemed to be having a difficult day. I asked her what was wrong and she just shrugged it off, saying that she was just tired, but I didn’t believe her. Something was up, I knew.
On the way home we stopped at the grocery store and I purchased a baked chicken and fruit for us to eat. Certainly not Italian baked chicken or even what Adam could probably make, but good enough.
Bobby had just got home and was opening the door when we pulled up. He held it open for us and Mom stopped to talk to him for a few minutes before heading home. I could barely contain my excitement to be off on the rest of our errands I realized as I put the groceries away.
First we stopped at a specialty store to buy the wine I was looking for. I couldn’t find exactly the one, but I got close and decided to call it good enough. Next we stopped at Cero’s to pick up the chocolates. Both Bobby’s and my mouth started watering when we went in and I bought a little extra for Bobby. After that it was off to the candle store to pick up some more candles.
My purchases there totaled almost $200.00 dollars and Bobby almost freaked out. I pointed out that there were several different types of holders too; it wasn’t all just candles, but still he was shaking his head as we walked out.
“Do girls really like all this stuff?” he asked, loading it into his truck.
I laughed and said, “Well, I can’t speak for most girls, but I can tell you that Adam does, more so than me. He’s a pure romantic at heart and really, I’m not very good at all this. I hope he’ll like it.”
“I’m sure he’ll be impressed at the effort, if nothing else,” he told me as we pulled into our last stop, Tillie’s Flowers. I smiled because Bobby, much like me was more pragmatic than romantic, so it seemed superfluous to us.
Or at least it used to seem so to me. But I realized how much pleasure I was getting from all this and that somehow I must be changing…or that Adam was making such a big difference in my life.
I couldn’t afford a hundred roses, but I only wanted them for the bedroom, so three dozen seemed like plenty. More than plenty I thought as we tried to store them in the truck without crushing any of them but we finally managed and headed for home.
It was after six o’clock by then and I figured I had enough time to get things ready. I told Bobby to help himself to anything he wanted for dinner and he laughed and said he felt like going and getting some pizza.
“Really,” I teased. “Any particular kind?”
“I’m thinking baked in a wood-burning oven maybe?” he laughed. “I’ll be back around 11:00 or so to get us to the airport, okay?”
“Yeah, that’s fine. Have fun Bobby!” He waved as he went out the door and I almost sighed in relief; this gave me time and privacy to get it all set up on my own.
I was finished by 9:30 and went in to take a nice long bath. As I sank down into the foamy bubbles I let out a huge sigh. I was as ready as I’ll ever be for this night. All that was needed now was Adam.
I finished my bath by 10:30 and waited for Bobby impatiently. He arrived right on time and then we were quickly on our way to the airport. I almost ran into the terminal I was so excited, but Adam’s plane wasn’t even in yet according to the arrivals board. Twenty more minutes to wait, so Bobby and I sat in the bar, but I was too wound up to drink anything. I sat there and fidgeted with the things on the table, counting every minute off in my head.
Only 13 more minutes until his plane lands, only 7 more…
And finally they called the arrival of flight 382 from Dallas, now taxiing to gate 14. Family and friends could await arrivals in the visitor’s area and I practically flew there, waiting anxiously until I saw him on the ramp. I was breathing quickly, excitement coursing through my body. How I ached for him, needed him.
And finally the passengers of flight 382 started to make their way down the ramp and I spotted him. Our eyes met and we ran for each other, arms pulling one another close, lips meeting in an ecstatic kiss. At that moment no one but the two of us existed, only us, touching and holding; both of us home again.
He greeted Bobby and shook his hand, but his eyes never left me. We didn’t have to wait for luggage; he had brought a carry on and with the things he had left at my house, it was all he needed.
Bobby announced on the way home that he had made other arrangement for a couple of days and I wondered if it had anything to do with Wendy, but he just laughed and said no, that his Mom had a few things for him to do, so…
“But,” he added, “I do have a date tomorrow night!” and we all laughed.
“Yay!” I cheered.
We had driven my car to the airport as it had more seating room and I was in the back seat, but it was everything I could do not to be wrapped around Adam on that seemingly endless trip home.
At my house, Bobby pulled my car into the garage and then climbed into his truck to head out. I leaned in the window and gave him a kiss on the cheek along with my thanks. I would never have been able to pull this night off without him.
“Hey,” I told him, “Come over around 11:00 on Sunday for brunch. I’ll put Adam to work making those banana pecan pancakes for you, okay?”
“Are you sure? I mean, why don’t you two just spend the time together?”
“I’m positive. Besides by then he’ll be so tired that all he’ll be able to do is cook, I promise you!”
Adam stood there laughing and I know I heard him murmur “So you think!” but I didn’t argue with it. We waved as Bobby drove off and I practically dragged him into the house.
As soon as we were in the house Adam reached for me, pulling me into his embrace and bent his head to kiss me. I managed to avoid it by ducking my head and backing away. “Now, you cannot go into the bedroom until I tell you, okay? If you need to uh, freshen up you’ll have to use the other bathroom,” I said over my shoulder as I headed into the bedroom.
As soon as I closed the door I flew into action. I changed into the red lingerie that I wore for him in Firenza and when I looked in the mirror I saw myself reflected back, a me I hardly recognized. My eyes were sparkling brightly and my cheeks were flushed. I was so ready for him.
I went over to the small stereo and put on a CD that I had burned this evening. I had laughingly called it Sarah and Adam’s Love Songs. It was a compilation of songs, some that we have listened to, some we haven’t. But they were all about love; finding it, making it, keeping it, losing it and I couldn’t wait for him to hear it. I checked that the wine I had put in the ice bucket before I left was cold and then I lit about 2 dozen candles and scattered a few loose rose petals all over the floor and bed. The chocolates were on the nightstand, just waiting for me to feed to him. One last look around the room told me it was ready and I took a deep breath and opened the door to find Adam waiting patiently for me.
As soon as he saw me his eyes lit up as if by magic and his smile was all I needed to know how much he wanted me too. I crooked my finger towards him and he willingly came to me, picking me up and carrying me back into our bedroom.
He sat me down and looked around him at the transformed room; his eyes taking in the candles, music and roses. I was rewarded by his dimple smile before he took me in his arms and kissed me, long and deep; with just a hint of the passion that was lurking in our hearts and bodies.
Hall and Oates were singing Do It For Love as I undressed him impatiently and then quickly pulled my own clothes off; so much for stripping it all off sensually. For all my preparations I now found I was aching for him and couldn’t wait to have him deep inside me. Truthfully, I think he was in as much of a hurry as I was and before either of us realized it, we were in the bed and he was in me; our bodies moving in our own familiar rhythm.
His intensely brown eyes were locked with my own hazel ones as our bodies strove to reach release; moving as one. One heart, one breath and then we were falling over the edge of passion, each holding tightly to the other.
We held each other closely for awhile, just needing to know that we were together again. Finally he started looking around the room and smiled at me.
“Wow, this is rather incredible love.” He sat up in the bed and ran his fingers lightly over the sheets and commented, “Satin sheets, mm, they feel very nice.” He scooped up a couple of rose petals and we had crushed as we made love and held them to his nose and inhaled appreciatively.
I was sitting up in bed, my arms wrapped around my drawn up knees and I watched his face reflected in the candle light as he got up and walked around the room, stopping to sniff the roses and look at the candles. He stopped at the stereo and said, “I don’t recognize this CD. What is it?” Fool (If You Think It’s Over) by Chris Rea was playing right then and I told him I had made this CD for him.
“You made it for me?” he asked, tapping his chest in question. “That’s amazing. No one has ever done that for me. How do you do it?”
I laughed and answered, “It’s not really difficult Adam; you do it on the computer. I’ll show you sometime.”
He found the chilling wine and picked up the bottle to look at it. “Ah, pro secco frizante,” he said, opening the bottle and pouring some into two glasses. He walked over to the bed and sat down facing me before handing me one of the glasses. We tapped them together and he toasted, “To Firenza and magic.”
And then I knew that he remembered it all, my outfit, the flowers and candles, the wine even. I remembered the chocolates then and said, “Ah, but I have something here that we didn’t have in Firenza. Close your eyes and open your mouth,” I commanded.
I reached over and picked up one to the chocolates, a cherry crème and popped it into his mouth and let him chew a bit before leaning over to kiss him.
"Um, oh God, this is fabulous. Where ever did you get it?”
I leaned over to kiss him again, licking a small smear of cherry from the corner of his mouth and then I giggled. “You like it? There’s more here for you,” I told him, pointing to the basket of chocolates lying on the nightstand.
His eyes lit up again like a child’s at Christmas. “Oh Bella, you are totally spoiling me.”
That seemed funny to me although I didn’t laugh. He is the one who spoils me, constantly and this seemed like so little in comparison. But his compliment pleased me and I reached for another chocolate to pop into his mouth.
Michael Bolton started singing You Send Me as I did and he laughed and then reached for a piece to put into my mouth. I was a butter crème, coated with rich creamy milk chocolate, one of my favorites and I almost groaned with the delight of if.
We finished the whole bottle of wine and chatted about Dallas and how things were there. Finally he bent over and picked up the camisole to the red lingerie and held it out to me extended on one finger.
“You know, I didn’t really get to appreciate it earlier. How about putting it back on so we can take our time?” he suggested, kissing my neck in the most enticing way.
I giggled and felt so heady from the wine; my head was feeling a bit floaty. Tipsy really and I picked up the rest of the set and disappeared into the bathroom.
When I came out, Adam was propped up in bed waiting for me, listening to What Does It Take To Win Your Love by Junior Walker and the All Stars.
I pirouetted in front of the bed and then stopped in front of him. He reached out to me, pulling me onto his lap. I knew that I had nothing to learn from that song; I already had his love.