He watched her in the kitchen. She moved with purpose, gathered ingredients and appeared to be doing fifteen things at once. He witnessed this ritual of an elaborate brunch after a leisurely morning in bed on each of their 23 anniversaries. Rather than guess which steps belonged to which process, his mind wandered.
They were sitting at a table with a stiff black tablecloth. The maître d’ had popped the napkin before spreading it across her lap. His eyes had lingered on where the tops of her silk stockings peeped from the hemline of her crimson cocktail dress.
The malbec-petit verdot was slightly dry and full-bodied. It complemented the beef bourguingnon. It also made him want to make phallic jokes about the asparagus spears. The blush it brought to her face convinced him her innocence would be compromised by such juvenile utterances. Instead, he silently drank in the way she gingerly put small morsels into her mouth past lips as red as her dress.
When the dessert cart came, he was delighted she accepted the waiter’s offer of whipped cream. He intently watched the way the tip of her tongue caressed her lips, even though she hid behind her napkin to do it. The excitement eroded his patience for cognac, coffee and conversation.
Holding hands across the console on the way to the symphony, he had no idea what the topic of conversation had been since the main course. She laughingly chided him for not listening. Even if he could not remember the last thing she said, he assured her he was listening to every word.
He could precisely recall the angle of her crossed ankles where the straps were clasped with tiny silver buckles. For a cloudy moment, he wondered how his fingers could be delicate enough to remove them. His carnal answer: Leave them on.
At the cloak room, her stole slid effortlessly off her shoulders. When she turned her head, he had to resist the urge to bite in the curve of her neck as his hand found her waist. He hoped the performance would not be stirring, as he needed no added accelerant. Holding her hand through the concert would be a must to keep his from roaming.
Her opera glasses to her face, she leaned forward toward the balcony rail. His line of vision was into her cleavage. For the first time, he was annoyed at the other couple who shared the box. His thoughts were on what privacy would hold away from their whispered chitchat.
In the elevator, he kissed her. The doors opened and closed on their floor, and the car descended back to the lobby. When an elderly man entered, he smiled knowingly. He had been young once. She blushed. After he got off on the eighth floor, she put one finger over puckered lips to signal, “Wait.”
The room key slid through the lock, and he swept her from her feet to carry her into the room. With her arms around his neck, the kiss between them grew deeper. Just as he set her on the bed, the door slammed.
“Are you listening to me at all?” She had one hand on the cabinet door she’d pushed closed and the other on her hip. It made her robe hang strangely and at an odd angle to her playful smirk.
Startled from his nostalgia, he sat up straight on the bar stool and blurted, “Yes, Karen. I am listening to every word.”
A cloud descended over her furrowed brow. She squinted at him sideways. “Who’s Karen?”
Welcome to The M3 Blog’s version of Edward Hotspur’s Romantic Monday. If you have been following along, we have spent the Mondays in November looking into romance. If you stop by Hotspur’s place, you will find many others who will give you a spin in different versions of the romantic. Some are real life versions, while others, like this one, are purely fantasy.
Whether you are looking for fiction, poetry or music, you will find something romantic at all the stops on Hotspur’s blog hop. When you stop by, tell him I sent you.
He has a page dedicated to Romantic Monday with the whys and wherefores with all the logo images. Try your hand at it.
Are traditions like the brunch and sleeping in on anniversaries romantic? What do you consider a romantic celebration of an anniversary?
Over time, do we become less romantic? If so, why? Do you think non-traditional romance is easier to keep up?
Does this feature stay or go?
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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