If Love Were By Design, page 32
“We don’t have to take the following week off, especially if we’re going up to my house now instead of Paris.” He said.
“That would be great! We’ll go up there for a four–day weekend and call it good. If I can be back Wednesday that would be perfect.” She smiled.
“That would be perfect. I have a shipment coming in Wednesday and I’d like to be there. And since we’re not going to Paris for Valentine’s Day we can go to Greece in July. I’ll have my jet by then. We can finally join the mile–high club. Besides, I want to take you my house in Greece and show you around. I think you’ll love it. I want to retire there.” He said.
“I didn’t know that. I’m surprised you’re even thinking of retiring.” She said.
“Yes, I want to do something completely different in ten years.” He said.
“That’s right. I knew that.” She said.
“So July—Greece.” He said as if it was set in stone.
“Sounds good.” She nodded in agreement.
Veronica peered under the blanket covering Hope’s cage. Hope was shivering, and lying on a white pillow. She had meowed for an hour before giving up, and she wasn’t traveling well in the car like she use to despite the constant visits to the groomers. “I don’t know. Should I let her out?”
“No. She’ll get under my feet. This stupid car is small, enough.” William said. “I need a new one, but I’m too busy to trade it in. It usually takes me a year to trade in a new car. It won’t be long now, I guess, but I’m still not totally sick of it.”
Veronica laughed. “Gosh, that must be terrible for you to decide. I can see how that might stress you out.” She teased him. He laughed. Veronica kept Hope in the cage and periodically checked her. They arrived at his house an hour later. It was already dark, but the house was lit like a candle. “Who’s here?”
“No one, but Vicky probably left the lights on knowing I was coming. She’s one of the staff who comes to clean up when I tell them I’m on my way. She also cooks so there’s probably food in the oven warming.”
“I’m not that hungry.” Veronica admitted.
“No?” He asked. “Well, we can go swimming.”
“Yeah, that’s right you have an indoor pool.” She said.
“I do. It’s heated, too.” He added, “Let’s lock Hope in my room. She can explore it while we swim. We won’t let her roam around free just yet.”
“We shouldn’t let her roam around at all this weekend. We might not find her in time to go home—or ever again. Maybe we should leave her in your room. It’s bigger than my condo, anyway.” Veronica said.
They brought Hope inside, set up all her things in his bathroom, and then watched her adjust to make sure she would be okay if they left her alone. “Well, should we get in our swimsuits?” William asked after a half hour.
“Yeah.” Veronica said.
They changed, took two towels from the bathroom, and went downstairs to the pool. He mentioned the sauna if the pool got too cold, and said they could go in there afterward. Then he jumped into the deep end of the pool. Veronica shielded herself with the towels and screamed. “It’s warm. Get in.” He ran his hand through his hair so he could see. “Don’t make me get out and toss you in.”
Veronica put the towels on a chair. “I’m not jumping in.” She sat at the edge and put her feet in. He swam up to her.
“It’s not cold.” He assured her.
“It is a little.” She replied.
He took her hand and pulled her in with a splash. She bobbed up out of the water. “You never leave me to get into the water on my own.” She playfully pushed him. “What are you doing?”
“Getting naked.” He said. He pulled off his swim trunks and threw them by the side of the pool.
“There are windows everywhere.” She said.
“Yeah, and this house sits on over a hundred acres. We’re alone. Come here.” He embraced her and put her legs around his waist. He wrapped his arms around her. He held her as he treaded water, and slowly moved to the deep end. Suddenly he stopped, and they sank. Veronica took a breath at the last second. He kissed her under the water. They came back up, and he smiled.
“What’s so funny?” She asked him, but a moment later she saw. Her bikini top was floating away from her. He untied the strings at her hips, undressed her, and then threw her entire bikini out of the water.
He smiled. “Okay, we’ll see who can hold their breath under water the longest.” He suggested. “I think I have diving rings, too.”
“What?” Veronica laughed and looked at him. “This is turning me on; I thought we were going to make out.”
“No. I don’t have anything. It’s all upstairs in my suitcase.” He added, “I thought we would skinny dip, and have fun swimming naked.”
“But,” she looked at him, and then laughed. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, Babe. I’ll go get the rings.” Veronica didn’t let go of him. Instead, she kissed him, and gripped his neck tightly so he couldn’t pull away. She kissed him deeply, and she nibbled his ear, and breathed warm air onto his neck. He loved it, and she knew it. That’s what she had done for weeks now to let him know what she wanted. She smiled when he moaned. “I could go upstairs, though.” He said as a second thought. Veronica kissed him again. He started swimming them to the side of the pool so he could get out, but when he reached the edge she didn’t want him to leave, and she gripped tighter.
“Stay with me, Honey.” She whispered into his ear. She breathed onto his neck again then softly bit his skin.
“I’ll be right back, Babe. I’ll hurry.” He said breathlessly.
“Stay with me.” She pleaded again. He looked at her. He tucked her hair behind her ear, and she smiled.
He kissed her. He gripped the side of the pool with both hands; she was pinned between him and in the wall. Her legs hugged him. She gently grasped him and began rubbing his tip against her. “Stay with me.” He watched her as she moved her hips and placed him at her opening. They both inhaled when he slid into her, and he pressed forward.
“I’ll pull out.” He said.
“You don’t have to. Truthfully, I like it, too.” She said. “I love you. Make love to me, and think of nothing else.”
He moaned out his words as he told her he loved her while they made love. It was a gentle rock in the water that lasted almost an hour. After they both climaxed they left the pool, and made love again in the sauna.
“I’m seriously hungry.” William stated a couple hours later after cuddling in a lounge chair by the pool. “Are you?”
“Not particularly, no.” Veronica said.
“I really do love you. I know, I say it all the time. But I can’t get over it. I love you.” William added, “I like us walking around my house naked. I don’t think I’ll let you wear clothes all weekend.”
“I love you, too. I love that you’re a nice guy. Nice guys are underrated. I’d much rather date a nice guy than a wild one.” Veronica said.
“I’m not a mixture of both?” He asked.
“Not really. You’re not mean. You don’t treat me like you love me only half the time. What’s wild about you?” Veronica asked.
“I guess nothing.” He said.
“You’re perfect.” She said. “You’re fun and leave me guessing all the time.”
“Speaking of leaving you guessing, I’m confused now. I think when we get back home we’ll go to the doctor and get you on birth control, because it’s not easy to always have a condom around.” He said.
“I know, I’m sorry.” She apologized. “Please forget I said anything that day. It was one weekend I was feeling like that. I’m not scared anymore. I have every intention of marrying you next year. I love you. But yeah, birth control will be much easier than condoms.” She added, “But it’s not your responsibility to take me. I should have gone before we ever started sleeping together. I’m just new to this, and I have never had to think about being on bi
“Babe, we’re two adults in a loving relationship with every intention of getting married. We’re not teens whose lives could be ruined by pregnancy. I wouldn’t use the word irresponsible. I would say we’re impulsive and passionate, and haven’t decided as a couple what we want.” He changed the subject, “Come on. I’m starving. We’ll go see what Vicky left us.”
Veronica woke up in the middle of the night with a nightmare about being chased and brutally attacked by dogs. Typically, she’s never afraid of dogs, but she woke up in a sweat and had a hard time going back to sleep. She sat up and petted Hope who was sleeping on William’s pillow. William must have felt her stir because he rolled over and moved to put his arm around her. When he felt nothing but sheets, he woke up. “What’s wrong?” He asked half awake.
“I had a bad dream. Stupid, really.” She said.
“Well come here, and tell me.” He implored and pulled her back down to the bed. Veronica nuzzled up against his warm chest and closed her eyes.
“It doesn’t matter.” She dismissed their conversation of her dream with a wave of her hand. She smiled when she heard him start to breathe heavily. He was asleep. She sighed, smelling the soothing scent of his skin. She opened her eyes long enough to kiss him.
“I’m too tired.” He mumbled.
“I don’t want sex. Go to sleep.” She laughed.
The following morning Veronica woke up in bed alone. It was nearly eleven o’clock. She slept in because she had such a hard time going back to sleep. She left the room in search of William. “Veronica!” William said when she came down the stairs. He quickly rushed toward her as he removed his jacket. He placed it over her, and began to button it up. “Vicky and Patricia are here today. Sorry, I forgot. I’ll send them home.”
“Oh, my gosh!” Veronica wrapped his jacket around her tighter so that her cleavage wasn’t exposed. At that exact moment a woman walked out of his formal dining room.
“Go upstairs.” He said and as she went back up, he spanked her. She turned around and smiled. He winked at her. “Are you hungry?”
“A little.” She said.
“I’ll make you something. Find me in the kitchen.” He said.
Veronica changed into pajama pants and a sweater and went back downstairs. She pushed open the kitchen door. William had eggs, bacon, and pancake mix on the counter. “You slept a long time. I was about to wake you.”
“I had a bad dream.” She said.
“Oh, why didn’t you wake me?” He asked.
She laughed. “I did wake you, but you fell asleep. I must be relaxing because the moment you put your arm around me you conked out.”
“That doesn’t sound like me.” He said with a smile. “So, what was it about?”
“I was mauled by dogs.” She said and laughed it off.
“I’ve had a dream like that, but instead of me getting attacked it was someone else, and I had to lock myself in one of those massive metal containers that they ship cargo in. I was there all night.” He laughed. “So how many pancakes do you want?”
“One is fine. I’m not that hungry.” She said.
“Still? You hardly ate last night. That’s two days in a row now.” He replied.
“I’m not hungry. I haven’t been swimming, so I think my metabolism is going down.” She surmised. “I don’t work out religiously like you do every morning.” She smiled.
“Yeah, but you have to eat. You’re thin enough as it is.” He said. “I’ll make you two pancakes.” He whipped up the batter, and put bacon into a pan.
“Do you want me to make it?” She asked him.
“No. Sit. I’ll make coffee, too.” He said.
He quickly made her coffee, poured her a cup and then flipped the bacon before starting to cook the pancakes. “I’m amazed how well you cook, especially for seeming to loathe it.”
“I went to a culinary school for three months before I realized it wasn’t for me. I do like making sushi and big meals like Thanksgiving dinner. I should make sushi tonight. We could go to the organic grocery store that’s close by. They have good meat and fish. What do you say?”
“Sure. And I’ll make you shrimp Alfredo tomorrow night.” She proposed.
“Perfect.” He said with a smile. “And Valentine’s Day we’ll go out to eat.”
“Let’s stay here.” She implored. “It’s our first Valentine’s Day and I want to remember it as us spending it alone.”
“Okay.” He said.
That’s exactly what they did. William made a roaring fire that warmed the air and lit the room with a soft glow. He made a bed of pillows in front of the fireplace and set out two bottles of wine in ice. A bowl of strawberries lay untouched by the wine. William’s arm was cushioning Veronica’s head. He was playing with her hair pulling it over her bare chest. He stared into her eyes, and every so often he’d tell her he loved her, and she would reply by saying she loved him, too. They didn’t talk much beyond that.
“Happy Valentine’s Day.” She said.
“Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, Babe.” William said. His hand circled around her bellybutton.
She propped herself up onto her elbow so she could kiss him. Then she lay back down and smiled at him. “What are you thinking about? You’re unusually quiet.”
“I’m just thinking.” He said dismissively.
“About what? Tell me.” She begged.
“I . . .” He searched her eyes, “Will you marry me? In five, ten, twenty years. I don’t care, but I want a promise. Will you marry me?”
“Of course, I will. Next year, on this exact day.” She promised. “That was the most romantic proposal . . .”
He smiled and rubbed her back. Their legs tangled, and once again he began to play with her hair. They continued to look into each other’s eyes as they lay by the fire with only the sound of the crackling logs and their breathing. It was a perfect night, and it was a night they would always remember.
Veronica swallowed. It was painful, but it was the only thing keeping her from throwing up. She had the worst sore throat in years, and it started on the drive home from William’s house. It felt like Strep Throat. She was sick to her stomach and hot. She lay in bed with nothing on but a long shirt. Earlier that morning she had kicked off the covers, and refused to use them ever since. This was the second day she was sick. Yesterday, she only had a sore throat, but today she began feeling flu–like symptoms. Even William complained of a sore throat before he went to work Monday morning, but he was in such good shape that by the afternoon he had called to say he was fine. He asked if he should bring anything home, or take her to the doctor, but she declined. All she wanted was to be left alone, and if she needed something she wouldn’t hesitate to ask. It’s the way she always dealt with being sick.
By three o’clock she was laying on the bathroom floor, but her sore throat was easing up. She drank hot water with honey. It always made her feel better, and the hot water helped her sweat. Usually she would eat a clove of garlic in a cup of water with two tablespoons of vinegar in it, but her nausea wouldn’t allow it. She threw up the moment she tried it. So she stuck with her hot water and honey, and went from laying on either her bed or the bathroom floor. By five o’clock she was back in bed, and fell asleep. She woke up at seven when William came home.
He quietly came into the room and accidently woke her. “Hey, Babe.” He whispered when she opened her eyes. “Maybe I should take you to the doctor.”
“No.” She said. She swallowed, “I’m feeling better, but I’m so hot! I’m sweating. I think I’ll take a cool bath.”
“I can start the water for you, if you want?” He asked and without waiting for her answer he disappeared into the bathroom and turned on the faucet.
Veronica stood and pulled off her long shirt. She went into the bathroom and got into the large tub. William had put bubbles into it. She lay down and tried to get as comfo
“My sore throat is almost gone. I’m not sick anymore. But I wasn’t nauseous until three this afternoon. Then it hit me. It comes and goes. I swear it’s like clockwork.” She said. “But I feel about eighty percent better right now, except I’m hot and a little dizzy. I have a headache too, but it’s starting to go away.”
“Do you want some juice or anything?” He asked.
“No, hot water and honey.” She said.
“You’re the weirdest person I know. I have never met anyone who doesn’t take medicine when sick.” He smiled.
“It doesn’t work.” She groaned.
“You must have a good liver, then. Or is it a kidney.” He thought for a moment and then shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll go get your hot water.”
“Thanks, Honey.” Veronica said. He left the room, and Veronica sunk down into the water. She closed her eyes but opened them sporadically when her dizziness was too much. She lifted her feet and flung them over the sides of the tub. It felt good to relax and for ten minutes she felt absolutely fine. However, she got out because a sudden headache hit her like a bolt of lightning. She tied her hair into five very tight, small bundles at her hairline and tugged them until it was nearly painful, and then crawled into bed. That was when William came into the room checking on her. He asked her why her hair was up. “It gets rid of my headaches.” She explained.
“You should be a holistic doctor.” He jested, smiling.
“Will you turn off the light and whisper if you’re going to be in here?” She asked.
“Do you want me to be in here?” He spoke softly, as he turned off the light.
“I want you to snuggle me, and wait until I fall asleep. Besides I can tell you’re bored.” She teased.
He smiled. “I can do that.”
He got onto the bed behind her. He put his hand on her hip and moved her hair so he could rest on her pillow. He was asleep before Veronica. His gentle breathing soothed her until she fell asleep.
The next morning she woke up at six when he got up to go work out. When she turned toward him, he asked how she was feeling. She was back to her healthy self, and told him that. He was glad to hear it. “Me too!” She said.