If love were by design, p.20

If Love Were By Design, page 20


If Love Were By Design

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  “I did.” Kimmy said.

  “What?” Veronica asked. “And what happened?”

  “He wasn’t there.” Kimmy said.

  “What? No, there has to be some kind of a mistake. There has to be, Kim!” Veronica said. “Did you go once? Twice?”

  “Only once. I haven’t been brave enough to go back.” Kimmy admitted. “Supposedly he’s there now too, but . . . I don’t know.”

  “I’ll go with you. We can take my car and we’ll surprise him with coffee because he says he’s so tired. You can know tonight if something is weird.” Veronica said.

  “No, please! I don’t want to know. I don’t think I’m prepared for it. Not tonight! I don’t want it to end before I’m prepared, if I find him gone again, you know?” Kimmy asked. Veronica didn’t know, not exactly, but she said nothing. They were quiet for a minute until Kimmy congratulated her, “I’m happy for you. So tell me what happened in the shower?”

  “I’m not telling you anything else.” Veronica instantly smiled. “Although he’s really cuddly. I like it.”

  “He’s such a nice guy. You’re lucky!” Kimmy said. “So when does William get here?”

  “Seven–ish.” Veronica said. “And I’m cooking him manicotti.”

  “Well, I’m going to get out of here then, so I don’t run into him. I want you to tell him tonight to talk to Travis or something. I don’t know. You’ll figure it out. But I want to know what’s going on.” Kimmy begged.

  “And you haven’t said anything about it to him?” Veronica asked.

  “No, I don’t want to fight. So far it’s been nothing but fun, until last month. Then it slowly fizzled away.” Kimmy shrugged. “I don’t know.”

  “I’ll talk to William.” Veronica assured her.

  Kimmy left a few minutes later and Veronica started making dinner while watching television. When it was finished, and William hadn’t arrived yet she turned off the oven, but kept it warming. She sat on the futon and channel surfed. She stopped on a show about shopping for wedding dresses. Her interest was instantly piqued. She watched as a girl was trying on designer dresses, and her parents were crying. Veronica grinned, and watched mesmerized. She wanted that. What was wrong with her?

  Veronica heard a key unlocking her front door. She quickly turned off the show. She met him at the door. “Hi, Babe.” William said coming in. He closed the door with his foot so he could pull her into a kiss. “I’ve been thinking about you all day!” He confessed between his kisses. “I haven’t seen you for two days, and already I’m wondering how we went five days without seeing each other.” He laughed. “Dinner smells good.”

  “Manicotti.” She said. “I want to talk to you about something.”

  “Oh.” He said taking a step back, and stopped touching her. “I’m going too fast. I am, aren’t I? Did you want to keep seeing each other only on weekends?”

  “No, that isn’t what I was going to say at all.” She paused. “Kimmy’s worried Travis is lying to her. He keeps working late and the one time she went to the hospital to see him he wasn’t there.”

  “I see.” William said slowly.

  “William, I love you. I want to spend time with you so please stop thinking you’re going to scare me off. I’m not freaking out.” She said.

  “Sorry.” He said.

  “So will you do something about Travis? Ask him. I don’t know.” Veronica said.

  “I’m confused. Did she ask him, and if so, why did he say he was working late?” William asked.

  “No, she hasn’t said anything about it, because she doesn’t want to fight with him. But she’s worried he’s seeing someone else, because he’s working a lot, and is always tired and not wanting to make love to her.” Veronica explained.

  “Huh. All right, I’ll talk to him.” He said slowly.

  “Thanks, Honey.” She said. “Are you hungry?”

  “I am.” He said with a shrug. They went into the kitchen and she pulled out the pan. Veronica sat it on the oven to let it cool.

  “Do you want me to set the table, or do you want to eat while watching television?” She asked.

  “Actually, I’m not that hungry.” He said with a smile. She stopped what she was doing and dropped the oven mitts on the counter. “I miss you more than anything.” He tucked her hair behind her ear. “That and I had a hard day. This guy, Jim, is so negative! He’s starting to drive me nuts.”

  “I’m sorry.” Veronica said.

  “No.” He picked her up and carried her over to the futon. He lay it out flat and then crawled next to her, and pulled the decorative blankets over them.

  “You don’t want to take off your suit jacket?” She asked him.

  “Nope. Not now that I’m holding you.” He said. “I want a kiss, though.” She kissed his lips, and they both took a deep relaxing breath. They sunk into each other’s arms. Nothing felt better than to lie next to him. She kissed him again. “How was your day?” He asked when they finally stopped kissing.

  “Good. We’re making a good profit, so I’m not living off savings anymore, which is great. Andrea told me today that business is picking up and our books are looking good. She predicts in six months she’ll have recouped all the money invested, which is amazing to me. It feels like it’s all working out.” Veronica smiled and kissed him, “And I have you to thank for it.”

  “No, I knew you would be amazing. I’m nothing but happy for you, Babe.” He replied, and then rubbed her back. “This feels really good. I can’t stop touching you. All I want to do this weekend is have you lie in my arms right here on this couch.”

  “We could do that.” She said and grinned.

  “What about next weekend? It’s your birthday, Friday. Can you get it off?” He asked.

  “I should be able to get away.” She surmised. “Why?”

  “I want to take you to my house. I was thinking we should have a party there. I want to invite your parents, and mine, also my sister, and our friends. We could make it pretty big, with music, catering, champagne, and wine.” He said. “What do you think though? I mean about inviting your parents? You can say you don’t want to, but I was thinking it might be a good idea to have them over when we’re having a big party. There will be so many people that we won’t be rude when we mingle with them only for a little while, a few minutes at most. Then it won’t ever be a stuffy dinner with lots of pressure. It could be fun and the wine will relax us. It would be no big deal if we didn’t tell them until later that we were dating.”

  She liked the idea of a party. “I don’t know if my parents would come, but I will definitely ask them.”

  “Good, I’ll have my folks come up, and my sister. But I still want you to take the entire day off because I want to take you somewhere first. I finally decided what I’m going to get you.” He hinted. “Well not finally, I’ve known for a while.”

  “What?” She asked, grinning. “It’s either jewelry or clothes!”

  “No, it’s neither of those. I’ll get you jewelry if you want, but don’t ask anymore. I’m not telling what it is. But I’ll stay over Thursday and we’ll get up and go. It might take a while to pick one out. That’s your only hint.” He said. Veronica giggled. He was getting her a kitten! She knew it! She didn’t know how she knew, but she knew! He wanted to take her to pick out a cat so that they could share it. The idea was perfect. He added, “I’m eager to see which one you pick out. I’m excited about the house party, too.”

  “If it’s as fun as your birthday party, I will love it.” She said.

  He grinned, “Did I tell you we took off early the next day because I didn’t want you to leave? I trapped you on purpose.”

  “No, you didn’t! Really?” She laughed.

  “I did.” He smiled. “I had to get to know you, somehow.”

  “That’s funny. And I thought I was intruding.” She laughed.

  “Never.” He said.

  “Did I tell you I was wearing nothing but a coat and a teddy the nigh
t I stopped over?”

  “What?” He looked pained. “Where is this teddy?” He asked as a smile grew. “I want to see you in it! I need to!” She laughed. He kissed her momentarily, and then suddenly stopped. He groaned. “That makes me mad at my sister. How could she have not let you in? People can’t come up to my place without my permission. That’s why I got it. She can’t be that sheepish. To think I could have taken you to a hotel and had you that night.” He shook his head and took a breath. “That makes me mad at her!” He added, “That must have been terrible for you to come over like that to find a woman answering my door. Babe, I’m so sorry!”

  “It’s funny now and I’m glad I didn’t come in. One of you would have taken my coat.” She said. “What are you doing?” She asked when he started unbuttoning her shirt.

  “I want you undressed. I want to see you in this teddy so I can take it off. I haven’t seen you naked since three—I think it was.” He said.

  “I wasn’t with you at three.” She said laughing.

  “It was a mental picture. I want the real thing.” He said.


  Veronica woke up in a great mood. William made her coffee as he had cereal. He kept looking at her with a flirty smile. She eventually kissed him for it. They dressed in warm comfortable clothes and headed out. She asked him where they were going, but it was a surprise, and he wasn’t about to tell her. He had been hinting for nearly two weeks about what he was getting her for her birthday, and now that the day arrived, she was so giddy she couldn’t sit still. “I’m excited!” She squealed.

  “I keep wondering which one you will pick.” He said.

  When they were driving, Veronica held his hand and tried to hold still and conceal her excitement. She was doing well except for her perm–a–grin. They drove for what felt like forever, until he pulled into a parking lot. High–end sports cars were everywhere. Her smile dropped a little. He parked in the visitor’s space. “What are we doing here?” She asked as he got out of the car, but she could already guess what he was planning. She watched him walk around to open her door.

  He helped her out of the car and said, “I brought you here so you could pick one out. I want to get you one for your birthday. Happy birthday, Babe.” He kissed her quickly, and then took her hand wanting to shop. However, she planted her feet and didn’t move.

  “William.” She said softly and held his hand. He stopped and looked at her. “Honey, seriously.” She smiled. “This is way too much.”

  “No, it’s not. I want to get you one. I love you. You mean this much to me. So, please.” He said with a smile, and when she raised an eyebrow not sharing his optimism he added, “It’s okay. I want to.”

  “Honey, it’s not okay. I have a car, and it’s a great vehicle with leather and a sunroof. What else do I need? I appreciate it. I do! You’re the sweetest guy on earth! But most people spend two hundred dollars tops. Honestly, I thought you were getting me a kitten. You were saying let’s go pick one out and I thought . . .”

  “Seriously?” He looked at her and then a sports car. “I say ‘pick one out,’ and you think kitten?” He laughed. “So you want a baby.” He nodded, laughed, and then kissed her telling her she was sweet. “Okay, alright, let’s go ‘pick one out.’”

  “Thank you, this was very thoughtful.” She said and kissed him again. She grinned happily again to say, “I’m going to get a fluffy little white Persian.”

  “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who would turn down a new car for a cat.” He laughed.

  “What are you doing?” Veronica asked him when he sat in the car and started texting.

  “I’m asking Chip to find a pet store that has one so we’re not driving around all day. Besides, if we take forever, you’ll be late for your own birthday party, and you wouldn’t have time to play with him either.” He closed his phone. “He’ll call back.” He handed her his phone. “Answer it when he calls, will you? I’ll start heading back.”

  “I keep forgetting your house is two hours out.” She said as he backed up.

  “Yeah, so we need to leave around three this afternoon, or five at the very latest.” He said.

  “Are you sure you’re not mad I didn’t want the car?” She asked.

  “Babe, of course I’m not upset about it. I like that you want a cat. I think it’s a great idea now that you mentioned it. We need one.” He said. He smiled and took her hand. “I’m thrilled about this! Plus it’s kind of hot you thinking you need a baby. I won’t lie; I like that. I’m excited!” He laughed under his breath.

  “Me, too. I’ve never seen your house, only your condo.” She said and then added, “And your boat.” She added again, “And your cabin.”

  “I’m sorry, I’m not trying to change the subject, but I’m trying to be clear here. So are you saying you don’t want me spending more than two hundred dollars on you, or did you not want a sports car and that is why you said that?” He asked.

  “Yes, that’s a good rule of thumb—two hundred is fine.” She said.

  “Okay, but . . . there’s no such thing as jewelry under two hundred dollars. I’m not sure if I can stick to that.” He said. “I won’t.”

  “Okay, jewelry is a little different.” She decided.

  “And what’s my budget on that, or can I decide for myself and keep it within reason?” He asked.

  “If you keep it within reason . . . that’s fine.” She said. William’s phone started to vibrate. “That was fast. He’s calling you back already.” He told her to answer it and she did.

  “Is William available?” Chip asked.

  “He’s driving. This is Veronica.” She said.

  “Oh, happy birthday! I’m coming out tonight with my girlfriend.” Chip added, “So, you’re getting a cat?”

  “Yeah, William is getting me a kitten for my birthday.” She said and grinned.

  “Oh, well I looked on line and found one downtown that has three white Persians. I called and asked them to hold onto at least one until you got there. I didn’t call anywhere else, but if you want I can keep finding some other places if you want to shop around.” Chip said.

  “No, what’s the address?” She asked and as Chip said it to her, she put it in the GPS. “Okay, thanks. We have directions, so we’re good.”

  “Okay, then. I’m sure I’ll see you later tonight. Happy birthday.” Chip said.

  “Thanks!” She said and they hung up after saying goodbye. “He mentioned there are three at this place.” She clapped her hands.

  He held her hand and smiled. “I can’t get over it,” he laughed, “a cat instead of a new car.”

  “As long as it’s not a dog, right?” She asked and laughed.

  “I’m not a dog person.” He said. “I wouldn’t get you a dog, no matter how much you begged. We’re going to end up moving in together someday anyway, so I need to love it, too.”

  “Alright, I’ll make sure my cat gets along with you.” She jested.

  They arrived at the pet store an hour later. It was a big place, with everything for cats. The entire back wall of the store had crates of different breeds in all ages. The main floor was a cat paradise of kitty condos and play toys. They slowly wandered along the back wall to look at all the felines.

  “That’s cute.” William pointed to an orange kitten playing with a ball. “I can see you having an orange cat.” A second later he said, “Oh, here they are.” The three white Persian kittens were cuddled together and sleeping. “Oh, no! Look at this gray Persian.” William laughed. The kitten was sleeping on a pillow and its head was dangling off it looking uncomfortable, yet it was sleeping so deeply it was snoring. “Now that’s tired, right there!”

  He opened the cage and slowly picked the small cat up. It woke up and meowed as if it was saying, “What are you doing? I was sleeping.” William held the cat to his chest and petted it. He then said, “Okay, which white Persian do you like?”

  “I don’t know. I need to hold one first.
She replied, but instead of getting into the other cage she pet the kitten he was holding. The kitten rolled slightly so they could rub its stomach. “My goodness, he’s tiny. And look at his tummy. He eats well.” She observed and patted his protruding belly.

  “He’s still snoring, too. Do you hear that?” He asked.

  “Yeah, weird.” She said.

  “No, it’s hilarious.” He smiled. He stroked the kitten’s tummy with one finger as he added, “So hold one of the white ones. Which one do you want?”

  As William said that, someone walked by. He wore a blue shirt with paws on his chest and a nametag that read “Sam”. He quickly stopped when he saw William holding the gray kitten. “Are you two looking for a cat?”

  “We are.” William said quickly.

  “Okay, well I should say that this cat is sick. We had it returned this morning, because the previous owner found out that the only vet that was comfortable performing the surgery on a kitten that small was too expensive, and Comfortable Cat Vet isn’t non–profit. She has sinus and intestine problems, both of which are expensive surgeries. So we aren’t selling her because she probably won’t live much longer, anyway. I had no idea she was out front or I would have taken her in the back. We have two new people here today, and I’m betting one of them put her out here. They will be spoken to. She should never have been out on the floor for sale. I’ll take her and help you pick out another cat, though.” Sam said. He held out his hands to take the kitten. William turned his body slightly to keep from handing her over.

  “So what exactly are you saying? You’re putting her down?” William asked.

  “She probably wouldn’t make it through the surgery, anyway. Trust me, we don’t want to. But she’s so small that no one is comfortable with the surgery, and she probably won’t grow big enough in time.” Sam chimed.

  “But you said that one place, Comfortable Cat Vet, would do it?” William asked.

  “Yes, but the surgery is in the thousands.” Sam once again tried taking the kitten, and again William refused to give her back.

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