Apr 25, 2014

Part 20

  The soft patter of summer rain hitting the windowpane greeted my ears as I struggled to open my eyes in the early morning hour.  Monday morning work days that began like this would usually just make me groan, burrow further under the covers and make me think that being a responsible adult was highly over rated and the day should be cancelled due to lack of interest. Rain on the window was far different though when you woke up with a beautiful woman that had her body entwined with yours. Now it led my thoughts to things like, listening to some really mellow jazz and making love.
  I kissed her softly on the top of her head, and she stirred ever so slightly, as her lips brushed across my chest in response.  Her eyes fluttered until they opened and saw me gazing down at her.  “Good morning lover.” She whispered and the smile on her face mirrored my own. Our lips met in a wonderfully warm union and I felt that special warmth spreading throughout me. She snuggled into the warmth of my body even more and her upper thigh slipped even deeper between mine until I knew she could feel my stiffness resting against her.

Her left hand which had been resting on my chest now glided down my torso until she found the object of her quest.  Her hand wrapped around my swollen member and she softly began to stroke me as she looked deeply into my eyes.  Small groans of pleasure escaped my lips as she did so. I pulled her on top of me and wrapped my arms around her.  She gave me a pretty little pout, like a child who had just had a favourite toy removed from their grasp. “Darling that does feel wonderful but you know we haven’t got the luxury of remaining in bed all day.  It’s back to reality for the two of us.” I said wistfully as I stroked her silken hair.

“I know” she sighed “But it was worth a shot.” She added with a gleam in her eyes.  I knew in an instant I was totally going to get a rain check on the event I had just thwarted and so much more. We lay together, listening to the rain tapping on the window panes and blissfully content.  Warm bodies moulded into each other, tender kisses, and caresses.  “Reality is overrated let’s just stay here in our own little world, just the two of us.”  I muttered into her ear.
  “Nice try sport.” She responded even though she gave me a quick kiss on the tip of my nose.  “You were the one that already played the “we can’t stay in bed all day card.” She chided me, though her eyes were filled with warmth. “I was wrong.  We should both totally phone in and take the day off.”  I said amending my previous statement. “Uh huh and should I write you a note explaining your absence.  I can see it now “To Whom It May Concern:  Please excuse your teacher Mr. Conlin.  He’s absent today due to the fact he’s confined to bed with a severe case of lovesickness.  Sincerely, Miss Gallagher.” “It sounds totally legitimate to me.” I laughed.
   She just kissed me again, which to me was the perfect way to silence me.  “Now I’m going to go make us some breakfast and you can make the bed.” “Yes ma’am” I quipped as I saluted her.  “Not even married yet and already being a little Miss Bossy Boots.” I teased her.  She just laughed and tossed a pillow at me, as she made her way over to the bureau and with a triumph look once again snagged one of my t shirts from the drawer and slipped it over her head. I dragged myself out of bed, as it no longer held the same allure for me in once did without her presence in it.  I made a quick pit stop in the bathroom, slipped on my bathrobe and returned to make the bed.
   I really didn’t mind making the bed, but I’d gotten out of the habit of making it the morning, it saved time, nobody but me ever saw it rumbled, so what was the point, I’d always figured.  This working as a team to get things done though was great, and I thought it brought us even closer together as a couple. Once again I sniffed the air appreciatively and followed my nose to the kitchen.  I gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, and poured two steaming cups of coffee and carried them over to the table.  She followed me with a plate in either hand.  This morning we were dining on scrambled eggs, which contained some grated cheese and herbs.  There was already a covered basket containing the rest of the blueberry muffins from yesterday which she’d warmed. Along with small bowls of fruit salad with I discovered had this truly yummy yogurt and honey dressing on it.
    “I’ll get more organized and make you better breakfasts once I have more of my things here and I get to know the kitchen better.” She apologized. I reached over and covered her hand in mine, and squeezed it.  “Hush woman.  This is amazing.  Normally I’d be eating a cold piece of pizza out of the fridge or spilling cereal all over the place as I ambled about looking for my keys and other assorted things.”  She flushed delightedly at my compliment and raised my hand and brushed a quick kiss across my knuckles.

    We finished breakfast, and tidied up the kitchen together rinsing off dishes and loading the dishwasher, wiping the counter and putting things away.  This would be another new departure for me, being able to come home at the end of the day to a clean kitchen.  A quick check to make sure Barclay was set up with full bowls of kitty kibble and fresh water and we headed off to get ready for our work days. Once again we shared shower time together.  It was far too quick for either of our likings but such was the life of the working class.  We dressed quickly, aware that shower time fun had gotten us a bit behind schedule but neither of us regretted it for one moment.   We debated the merits of taking the car today but we decided against it as traffic would be even more snarled than normal with plenty of other people doing the same thing.  We were just going to have to tough it out on the TTC even though a few of our co riders always somehow managed to end up smelling like wet dogs on rainy day commutes.
   I burrowed through the hall closest searching for my umbrella, trying to recollect where the devil I’d left it or for that matter even when the last time I’d used the blasted thing was. I mean I was more of the toss a baseball cap on my head than an umbrella kind of a guy. Retreating from the depths of the closet I found her standing there serenely waiting with a compact umbrella in her hands.  “I was a Girl Guide back in the day so I’m always prepared.” She giggled at me.  We grabbed the rest of our things, bid Barclay good bye and headed out the front door.  She flicked it open and to my chagrin it pink with kittens frolicking all over it.  Oh the things we men put up with for love, I thought and smiled.

    “I know it’s not very masculine but it should at least help us keep a bit drier on the way to the bus stop.” I apologized. “Madame I shall persevere and maintain my dignity, Shall we?” he said offering me his arm and taking the umbrella from me with great ceremony.“Indeed we shall Sir.” And I linked my arm through his and we dashed off the porch and down the steps.  Huddling under our little umbrella as we walked along we were both light hearted and not even the rain dampened our spirits. In fact Liam even began to serenade me with “Singing in the Rain.”  I loved him dearly but the truth of the matter was he couldn’t carry a tune to save his life, which made it all the more charming and endearing to me that he’d sing to me like this. 
    When he finished the last verse which ended with, “Why am I smiling and why do I sing?  Why does September seem as sunny as spring? Why do I get up each morning and start?  Happy and head up with joy in my heart, why is each new task a trifle to do?  Because I am living a life full of you.”   His voice quavered on the last note and I could feel the love in his voice and see it so clearly in those eyes of his.   He finished his performance just as we arrived at the bus stop and several people were now sporting bemused grins at his impromptu concert in the rain. He took me in his arms and leaned down and gave me a kiss that radiated his warmth throughout me.  I flushed a rosy red as I realized people were watching, with many of them now grinning broadly at the two of us. A few of them even applauded.  Liam just bowed slightly and gave a polite wave to our audience.  Thankfully the bus arrived then and we closed the umbrella and quickly boarded the bus.

   We received a few startled looks and questioning gazes as we made our way down the aisle together.  The regular riders seemingly perplexed by this new departure of the two of us arriving together. I pushed a strand of hair that had come loose behind me ear, as I took a seat and as I did so I heard.  “Oh my God Katie, did you see that?  She’s got a ring on now.  Bet it’s an engagement ring.”  “Or a wedding ring, maybe they eloped on the weekend?”  ” Oh how romantic, doesn’t it give you goose pimples just thinking about it?”  “Do you think he got down on one knee when he popped the question to her?” and the comments and theories buzzed amongst the members of the Breakfast Club fast and furiously as they droned on about the two of us.  Liam just grinned, draped his arm over my shoulders and whispered into my ear. “Think we should hire them as wedding planners?  Bet they’d give our mothers a run for their money.”  I couldn’t help but giggle at the thought of that.

   It didn’t take long for the news to travel amongst our fellow commuters.  The Mario brothers, wore the looks of proud fathers who were about to give their daughters’ hand in marriage to the handsome prince charming of her dreams.   The Madonna smiled serenely as always, and you knew she was thinking that one day the little fellow in her arms would grow into a man and want to find someone to share his hopes, dreams and love with just as Liam and I had found each other.  Seeing Liam and I find such happiness gave her hope for her own little ones future.    Einstein of course dozed on but I would almost swear he opened his eyes long enough to give us a wink of approval and then went back to his slumbers once more. The Librarian Lady actually put her book away. Her eyes held the look of one who had had an epiphany.  Miracles do happen in everyday life, even in the middle of concrete jungles like Toronto.  Seeds of love could be planted, and bloom even on something as ordinary and as mundane as public transportation. Maybe, just maybe taking chances and putting yourself out there could make dreams come true, even for someone like herself.  She looked delighted at the prospect, and it transformed her features, giving her a far more animated look then I had even seen upon her face.
The Mouse wrung her hands, as if waiting for the critique of this latest development from her seat mate Negative Nelly, but even the stone cold heart of this woman seemed to have warmed.  “Well” she sniffed, as several people turned their heads waiting to gauge her reaction to all of this. “At least they aren’t just trifling with their affections for each other.” And I think I caught just the hint of a begrudging smile of approval on her otherwise stony features. “It would seem we’re causing another sensation.  Want to kick it up a notch.” Liam teased me.  I shot him a look clearly indicating I felt we’d had enough time in the spotlight this morning already.    “You’re going to do whatever it is you’ve taken a mind to anyways.  I’m just along for the ride.” I whispered back. “No you aren’t just along for the ride.  We’re partners, and I love you, and don’t ever doubt or forget either of those things.” He leaned in and kissed me softly, sweetly so tenderly and it was yet another affirmation of his love for me. As the bus pulled into the subway station and we exited amongst a sea of faces, smiling and beaming in our direction.  It made me blush but also thrilled me to my fingertips, that Liam and I had inspired people to find something to feel good about on this otherwise lack lustre drizzly Monday morning.

   “Check it out.” Liam said nodding to our left.  There was Librarian Lady and to what did our wondering eyes take in but this staid normally quiet woman and she was trying to engage none other than Einstein himself in conversation.  She caught sight of the two of us hand in hand and she flushed crimson being caught in the act of trying to chat up her would be Romeo.  I flashed her, a silent supportive look, and Liam gave her a wink and a nod of encouragement.  She flushed scarlet but straightened her back with resolve and carried on seemingly bolstered by our silent but genuine support. “Love is in the air for more than just us it would seem.” I said thinking it the most wonderful thing in the world and that Liam and I were crowned the king and queen of said realm.
    Far too soon it was time for us to part company and it was made bearable knowing that I’d be seeing him soon and back in his arms once more.  Our kiss was endearing and was one that would linger on both my mind and my heart.  “When I’m done work I’ll run a few errands and then pick you up at the bakery when you finish your shift.  Be safe my love.  I’ll miss you.”  He bused my cheeked gently with his lips, squeezed my hand a final time and with a flash of his boyish grin he was off.  I watched him over my shoulder and I couldn’t swear to it but I think he actually skipped a couple of steps.  It made me smile to see him so happy and full of life, and to know I was the reason behind it.

   Despite the rain that was now a downpour, I arrived at work still feeling like I was dancing on air.  The euphoric feeling of loving Liam was the best thing in the world to me.  I considered taking my ring off and pocketing it, to avoid any questions from my co-workers but thought better of it.  There was no need for me to hide it or my relationship. I shook out my umbrella under the protection of the shop awning, collapsed it and entered the shop.  It was warm and welcoming after the rain.  Scents of freshly baked bread, cinnamon and other delicacies greeted me.  “Good morning Mrs. Morelli” my voice sang out.

   The older woman turned at the sound of my voice from where she had been standing stocking the loaves of bread on the shelves.  “Bella” she greeted me warmly “How’s my girl today?” “I couldn’t be better, in fact I feel like I’m on the top of the world, thank you, and yourself?” I inquired brightly. “I’m fine my dear.” She responded as she wiped her hands on her apron and rounded the corner of the counter.  “Such bright eyes today, and a smile that would rival the sun if it were out.” She chuckled, as I swept by her on my way to change into my uniform
   Once I was changed and out on the floor in the back of the bakery I exchanged good morning and pleasantries with my co-workers.  I picked up my stack of work orders and was shuffling through them figuring the priority order of them.  As I leafed through them sorting them out I was startled when Mr. Morelli’s voice rang out loud and clear.  “Bella what’s this?” he questioned as he stared pointedly at my left hand.  “Gina, Gina.  Mama, Come here.” His voice rose in excitement as he called to his wife who was still in the front of the shop. “Angelo!!  What is it, you’ll wake the dead if you keep shouting like that.” She exclaimed as she bustled into the room.
    “Look at what our little Bella has gone and done!!” he pronounced excitedly.  “Show her.” He directed at me as he continued on  “I a told you Mama the girl needed a good man to settle down with, and she a finally tooka my advice.” He added his voice triumphant.  I timidly held out my hand to her for her appraisal. Her sharp eyes missed nothing.  “Angelo, silly man of mine, that’s a notta an engagement ring.” She replied waiting for me to supply an explanation as to what it in fact was and what it represented.“No, your right it’s not an engagement ring, but Liam did give it to me.” I said softly.  “I guess you could say it’s a cross between a promise and a pre-engagement ring.” 

    My voice seemed to gather strength as I continued.  “It happened very spontaneously on Sunday afternoon, and it may only be his old high school ring but I love it dearly and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, because its precious to me, and it was given of his own free will and with a great deal of love.” I finished with an almost defiant note in my voice.  I loved my little ring and I cherished both it and more importantly I cherished its giver, my own dear Liam, and I wasn’t prepared to take any guff from anyone about it not being a proper ring.

  “Bella it’s a lovely little ring and it suits you.” Mrs. Morelli said and she reached out her plump little hands and clasped them around mine and gave me an affectionate little pat followed by a little squeeze.  “You love him and he obviously loves you as well my dear.  That’s all that matters to me.  He loves you and respects you, and that’s all anyone wants for any of their children Bella.  We parents want our children to be happy and to be loved.  I know Angelo and I aren’t your parents but you’re still family to us Bella, and we love you dearly, just as if you were one of our own.”  I was overwhelmed and deeply touched by her words.

   Mr. Morelli embraced both his wife and I in an embrace and gave us a powerful bear hug.  “You justa wait Bella.  I a personally gonna make you the most beautiful wedding cake you ever see in your life.  Only the best for our girl.” He stated firmly in his thick Italian accent. The little scene had attracted the attention of everyone else in the shop and I was soon congratulated, hugged and teased warmly about no longer being a single lady by the rest of my little bakery family. Finally we all got back to work and the day seemed to fly by for me.   As unaccustomed as I was to having the metal band encircling my finger, I’d initially been concerned it would slow me down and hinder my work.  My worries of course had been needless as the ring was already a natural part of me and I even after this short time wearing it I think I would have felt naked without it.

     Liam was ready and waiting for me when I came through the doorway into the front of the shop at the end of my day.  His face lit up when he noticed I’d entered the room and I knew that my own face was aglow with a radiant light, all of its own at seeing him as well. The Morellis’ had been keeping me company while I waited for Lorelei.  They really were a lovely couple and I could tell they truly cared about Lor almost as much as did, and I was grateful to them for that, and told them so.  I think by the end of our little chat they realized I truly loved her, in thought, word and deed.

   We said our good byes and were out the door and heading through the streets of Kensington Market together.  At the first opportunity I could find I pulled her aside and embraced her and gave her a kiss that I hope conveyed the fact I had missed her liked crazy and was more than a little happy to see her.  “I missed you” she crooned as she snuggled against me. It was a pleasant trip home now that the rain had finally let up and the sun had come out from behind the clouds once more.  We once we got home and took care of Barclay we opted for a quick meal as we wanted to head over to her soon to be former residence and pick up some more things including her houseplants which I’m sure she was worried about.  Then we were going to go over to my parents and break the news to them about our new living arrangements.

   After our hurried meal before we headed out I had something to present to Lorelei.  I slid the small box across the table at her when finished eating.  “Oh Liam” she sighed “I don’t need or want gifts, all I need and want is you!” she exclaimed. “It’s nothing big and it’s totally practical. I swear, cross my heart.”  I opened the lid to the small box and nestled inside was a pewter key ring with a cat on it, and a set of keys attached to it.  “See I told you it was totally practical and something you can actually use.” He crowed at me. “Yes it is indeed, and very thoughtful of you too. It’s perfect.” I said as I put my hand over his and leaned in for a kiss.

    We hurriedly tidied up the kitchen then she grabbed her purse, and slung it over her shoulder as we headed out to the car.  We cruised along to the apartment in our usual style singing along to the tunes on the radio and just enjoying being together. Once we arrived we would have knocked on Mrs. Silverton’s apartment door to tell her about Lor, moving out, but since it was Monday Lor, knew she wouldn’t be in as Monday was her Mahjong  night with the girls.  I could imagine what a wild group they’d be, a few games of Mahjong, a tipple of sherry, and some delightful plate of pastries to nibble on.  Lorelei did leave her a brief note telling her not to worry she was fine and that she would be in touch with her very soon, and slipped it under her door.
    We headed up to her old place and she dug a couple of boxes out of the hall closet.  I help her round up her house plants, along with packing up the items in the fridge that were perishable the rest could wait for another trip.  She also grabbed another suitcase that she had and tossed in several more changes of clothes, I offered to pack her lingerie drawer for her and she rolled her eyes at me, laughed and told me to “knock your socks off sport and go for it.” I’d be remiss  if I didn’t admit that she had some really sexy items in there and that I was more than looking forward to both seeing her model them for me as well as having the thrill of removing them from her.

    Packing went quicker than I thought it would or maybe I just wished it had taken the two of us longer to pack because now we were off to my parents to tell them about our decision to live together before we got married.  I wasn’t entirely sure how they’d react, but Lorelei and I both thought it better to tell them sooner rather than later, to avoid any awkward situations if my family dropped by and also because we had no reason to be ashamed or lie about it to them or anyone else.  If they wanted to be a part of our lives and to be welcomed in our home they’d have to learn to accept it.

   There was a certain lack of jocularity between us on the way to my parents place as we were both more nervous about it than either of us cared to admit to.  It never ceased to amaze me how my parents especially my Mum could make me revert to feeling like I was about 5 years old at times and incapable of making a decision on my own, but then all parents seemed to have the knack of being able to do that to their adult children. I parked the car out front and debated turning it off.  “You know maybe we should keep the car running, make for a quicker getaway.”  I said believing it might be necessary.  “We’ll take it on the lam sweetheart.” I added using my best gangster impersonation.  She just giggled, took my hand and in that instant I knew I’d survive whatever happened and she’d be by my side.

  We slipped out of the car and walked up the sidewalk to the front door of the door hand in hand.  A deep breath and a quick kiss for luck and I opened the door and ushered the two of us in.  There was no need to knock as my parents left the front door open when they were home as it wasn’t uncommon for the grandkids to pop around to visit or have a swim.  “Mum?  Dad?  Where are you?” I called out. “Liam is that you?” I heard my Mum’s voice answer back, as she came in from the kitchen.  “What a pleasant surprise and you brought Lorelei with you.  It’s so nice to see you again dear.” She said.   “Hold that thought Mum” I heard Liam utter under his breath.  Out loud he inquired “Where’s Dad?”

    “Your Father’s in the study watching the game dear, did you want to go join him?” which is what I normally would have done.  “I’ll visit with Lorelei if you do, and we can get better acquainted.” She added. “Not tonight Mum. Thanks though.  We wanted to talk to you and Dad together.” Liam requested. My Mum seemed a bit taken back as it was the norm for me to spend time watching the game with Dad when I came over.  “Alright then, I’ll go get your Father then.  Why don’t you two make yourself comfortable in the living room then in the meantime?” she suggested before disappearing to find my Dad. The two of them returned shortly and Lorelei and I rose from where we were perched on the sofa when they entered the room.  “It’s good to see you son, and you too Lorelei, to what do we own the pleasure of this visit?” my Father asked.

   “Sit, sit” he intoned.  “Would the two of you like a drink?”  Forty ounces of scotch would be a good start Dad was what I was thinking but what came out of my mouth was “No thanks, I’m good Dad.”   “I’ll pass as well thank you Mr. Conlin” Lorelei added. My Dad was never one to beat around the bush, so I knew I might as well bite the bullet and cut right to the heart of the matter.  Lorelei slipped her hand into mine and gave me a supportive squeeze. “Mum, Dad, you know that Lorelei and I have been dating and it’s only been a very short time in one sense, but quite frankly I love her, and she miraculously feels the same about me.  We’ve already decided we’re going to be married in fact we pretty much decided that on our first date.”

    My Mum looked about as shocked as humanly possible by this revelation and she began to speak but my Father silenced her. “Let the boy have his say for once in his life.” I forged ahead.  “Neither of us wants some long drawn out engagement, nor do we want some formal church wedding, but we do want to get married, and when we do, we have to do it our way.” I said looking meaningfully at my Mum.  “We’ve also decided we don’t want to be apart until we do get married, so I’ve asked Lorelei to move in with me and she said yes.  I wanted to do this right so I gave her a ring yesterday the only one I had, the one you and Dad gave me years ago in fact.” With this last little bit of information I removed my hand from Lorelei’s and wrapped my arm protectively around her shoulder as I exposed her left hand to my parents view. I glanced at Lorelei who looked a bit pale but other than that seemed to be holding up well.
     “We’d both like to have your blessing on this, even though we know it goes against your belief systems.  We both love and respect you, but we are adults and we have to live our own lives.  We both very much want you to a part of our life.”  I finished not sure if there would be dead silence or I would face their immediate wrath. Lorelei then shocked all of us by continuing on where I left off. “Mr. and Mrs. Conlin” she began “I love your son with all my heart and with all my soul.  He’s a wonderful man and I am amazed that I am the woman that he’s chosen to love and share his life with.  I know this is all very sudden and I’m sure rather unsettling to you both, but we did want to be honest with you about things. I’m not trying to take your son away from you and the rest of his family I want to become a part of it.  Just as I want him to be a part of my family. No we haven’t told my family yet but we plan to this coming weekend when we go see them and they can meet Liam in person.  I sincerely hope that you’ll find it in your hearts to give us your blessing, and accept me as a member of your family one day.” Her voice had remained steady and never wavered once during her entire dialogue.  I was so proud of her.

The Tale shall be continued, just click on the "chapters" button up on the top right  for more! 

while you are awaiting the next installment and you've enjoyed what you've read so far, 

 you will also love this page of short stories of love! 

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