“You’re so beautiful, Sky.”
She snickered. “You said that two minutes ago.”
“I know. I thought maybe if I keep saying it you’ll run away with me.”
She laughed. “And where am I supposed to be running away with you to?”
“Pffft. We’re in the city! I’m sure there’s all kinds of fancy hotels down here.”
She quickened her pace as if to run away from him. “Oh no, mister. I’m not falling for your hotel trick again.”
“Trick? You make it seem like I impregnated you on purpose.”
She giggled and walked ahead of him.
“You know you love my tricks,” he yelled after her.
Embarrassing her was soo fun…and easy. Every gasp. Every dropped jaw. Every widened eye. Every attempt to shut him up. They all made him want her even more. She still excited him. In a world riddled with broken relationships and lack of commitment, she was the first and only woman he ever wanted. She knew it, but he could never resist telling her how irresistible he found her.
Their last date became more and more a distant memory as the days flew by. Skyla staying home with Oliver made their lives less stressful. But, between working with Julio on the memorial park and getting Aubrey’s restaurant up and running, Jonathan had been a bit busier and less available lately. He much rather would have had a quiet evening at home with his lady, but she insisted on going out and anything Skyla wants, Skyla gets.
“Oh look, Jonathan. They have artwork over there.”
He snorted. “I don’t want to see any lame pieces of art.” He reached out and drew her nearer. “I’ve got a masterpiece right here.”
She smiled and shook her head. “You’re not going to stop, are you?”
He loved that dress so much. It was classic but not boring. She looked matronly but not old. It cut nice and low but still covered her well enough not to invite unwanted gazes from knuckleheads having a death wish while still leaving enough for him to imagine what was beyond the neckline. The color was dark but not drab and went well with her bright skin. Oh, her skin. She was always so soft and smelled of apples and peonies. Her almost bare shoulders were so enticing. Could he have just a small nibble? Just enough to show her–
“Jonathan…I can feel you drooling on me…”
She always knew what’s up. It was one of the many reasons he loved her so much.
“Fine. What is this garbage we’re looking at?”
“Jonathan! Don’t be rude!”
“But seriously, Sky…I don’t know what this is supposed to be! It’s definitely not turning me on.”
A belt of laughter erupted from her gut as her fist landed on his shoulder. “What is it with you tonight?”
He grabbed her by the waist and stole a kiss from her cheek. “I don’t know what you mean.”
She freed herself from his grasp. “You’re not supposed to be…aroused,” she whispered. “We’re just supposed to appreciate the…” She cleared her throat. “Appreciate the artist’s…very interesting interpretation of…something…”
“I can’t decide if I think it looks like an explosion or the contents of someone’s stomach.”
“That’s gross, Jonathan.”
“Can we go check out this tea now?”
Both had their doubts about what they heard about the tea and wanted to check it out for themselves. Young people were always quick to blame their actions on being intoxicated, but the Pruetts were grown and dismissed the foolishness. It was only white tea with sakura petals in it; honestly, it sounded disgusting. But, if it did work, maybe he could get Skyla in a hotel room after all. Here’s to hoping the tea wasn’t a myth!
“You know, Mrs. Pruett, if this tea is what they say…you’re totally running away with me.”
“Hmph. We’ll see about that.”
They found an empty table to sit at and inspected the aromatic pink contents. There had to be other things in it for it to smell so good and be so pink. Surely the petals themselves weren’t that strong. They took sips and waited for something to happen.
“Wow,” Skyla yelled. “I feel so…so tingly! And you! You’re glowing, Jonathan!”
“So are you, my dear. Brighter than ever.”
“Oh look! The love guru is here.”
He sucked his teeth. “I heard she gets that stuff out of Llama Crunch cereal boxes.”
She laughed so hard and loud. Maybe they really were under the influence. “Let’s go see what she says about us.”
“They say she can predict the future you know. If she doesn’t predict you running away with me, she’s a fake!”
“Oh, Jonathan, stop. Let’s just enjoy being out!”
Now there was a point he hadn’t considered. Of course, she wanted to be out. As much as she loved being able to raise their son, she spent most of her days at home. And, he, lover of all things outdoors, was so determined to get her behind closed doors. He ceased Operation M.I.A. and stowed it away for another time so she could enjoy a bit of freedom and fresh air.
“So,” he said to the guru, “You’re supposed to be able to tell us all about our love life, eh?”
“My wife bids me behave. I’ll begin again. Hello, Love Doctor. What good fortune do you have for us from the bowels of your infinite wisdom?”
“Oh dear Watcher,” he heard Skyla whisper from behind. Maybe she would punish him later for all his bad behavior that tonight.
“My good lady,” she beckoned for Skyla to join them, “how do you keep up with this one?”
“I wish I had an answer for that.”
He feigned shock and clutched his tie. “I don’t know what you mean!”
“You two…you have much fun together I see.”
He resisted the urge to snort. Even though she didn’t need cereal to tell them that, this woman was batting zero.
“You have a lifetime of love between you. More than most.”
Ok. So, she had something there. Watcher bless that youth potion!
“In times of trouble, she will brighten your darkness and lighten your load much like a burning donkey.”
Skyla had been the light in his darkness, and she bore all his loads, but the guru totally stole that from a fortune cookie.
“You’re right about that, Dr. Love. Come here, Sky. Let’s show the world how it’s done.”
The sun had set, and apart from spending a fortune on a t-shirt and renewing their vows, they had seen everything the romance festival had to offer. Skyla would probably want to head home soon. There was one thing, however, Jonathan had seen other people do that he didn’t have a chance to do yet. He picked up a pile of rose petals and threw them on his wife, but maybe not as gracefully as others. She didn’t see it coming and was completely caught off guard.
“Jonathan, what are you doing?”
“S-sorry! I–uhh–” he wanted to laugh so bad, “I’m so sorry. Are you all right?” He was terrible!
“Why did you do that?”
“Uhh…you know…rose petals, romance…it went so much better in my head. Please don’t kill me.”
So much for getting lucky later.