Summer Love (8 page)

She nodded. “I always imagined taking Sabrina to the same beach I grew up on, but it’s okay. We’ll make new memories at your house, which is so small we’ll be cramped, but I’ll manage.” Simone was being sarcastic and Sam knew it. His house was a mansion with over ten thousand square feet. She wasn’t even sure she’d seen the whole thing yet. There were also two guesthouses, a pool house, and a barn. His shack sat on twenty-five acres of prime land. She knew for a fact she hadn’t seen the entire expanse of his land.

“Yes, it is tiny.” He smirked. “And we will make new memories at
our
house, but the beach is a part of you. How about we buy a house overlooking the beach?”

She gasped. “Are you serious?” That’d been her dream; something she figured would never happen on the small salary she received at the library.

“After your surgery, we’ll come back and look. I saw a little piece of land that would be the perfect spot to build a beach house.

She hugged him. “That would be beyond fantastic.” It was yet another hope contingent upon her survival.

“Now,” Sam said, lifting her into his arms, “there’s the matter of making love to my beautiful wife.”

“Sam,” she said, pretending shock.

He chuckled, walking into the bedroom. “You realize I’m the only man you’re allowed to make love to for the rest of your life, right?” He set her down on the bed and pulled her thick sweater over her head.

She went to work unbuttoning his shirt. “You’re the only man I’ve ever made love to—the only man I want to make love to.”

His eyes went wide in surprise. “Even after I left?”

She nodded. “My mom and sisters tried to convince me to get back out there, but you’re all I ever wanted.”

He pulled off her boots, letting them fall to the floor. Then he removed her socks, running a finger along the middle of her foot. It should’ve tickled, but the way he did it sent a shock of desire straight through her.

“It’s going to be my pleasure to make sure you’re convinced your choice was the right one. Each and every day for the rest of our lives.” His voice was hoarse, filled with emotion.

Simone cupped his cleanly shaven face in her hands. “You better,” she said playfully.

Sam growled good-naturedly and pushed her back on the bed. One knee rested between her legs. He kissed her deeply, his tongue exploring her mouth. She reciprocated, running her hands along his back.

“Husband, I want you,” she said, tugging on his shirt.

Sam quickly got undressed, kicking off his shoes, socks, shirt, pants and underwear. His body was like a perfectly chiseled sculpture. Simone wanted to drag her tongue along every hard line, between every crevice.

He moved down to her neck. She grasped his shoulders, lifting into his mouth. He smelled so good, like man and sunshine with a hint of his aftershave. She nipped at his biceps, and then kissed the same spot.

“We’re doing this every day, at least once,” he said in her ear.

She pulled him down on top of her. “I’m looking forward to it.

 

 

Kissed Her

Fourteen

 

 

They were back on Sam’s jet by four in the afternoon and were back in Dallas a few hours later. When they arrived at the house, Simone’s mom and sisters were hard at work helping the party planner get the house and the back yard ready.

Simone glanced at Sam. “I guess I’ll tell them the news.”

Sam chuckled. “They already know.”

“Of course they do. It seems I’m always the last to know everything.” Simone crossed her arms in a playful sulk.

Sam snickered. “No more. I promise. From tonight on you’ll be the first person to know everything.”

“Except birthday surprises.”

“Are you sure?” He was still laughing.

Simone pulled his shirt from his pants and moved her hands up his stomach to his chest. She loved touching him. “Yes, I’m sure.”

“Fine, then I’ll keep birthdays a surprise. Anything else?” His hands moved along her sides, caressing.

She pretended to think. “That ought to do it.”

Sam kissed her tenderly.

“But the dress? I hope you didn’t pay for it?” Simone said, pulling out of the kiss. She had to admit she was a little disappointed she wouldn’t get to wear it. She felt like a princess with it on. And she’d really wanted Sam to see her in it.

“Yes, I bought the dress. We’re having another ceremony tomorrow.”

Simone giggled. “We are?”

“Hell yes. I want to see you in the dress. Claudine raved about the way you looked in it.”

Her heart was so full of love for the man in front of her. “You’re amazing,” she whispered.

“I know.” He gave her a hug. “Come on. Let’s get you a bath.”

She eyed him naughtily. “With bubbles?”

“Of course.”

“Awesome, but I want to see Sabrina first.”

“She’s already down for the night,” her mom chimed in.

“Okay, then I’ll just peek on her first.”

Sam laughed. “See you in a few,” he said climbing the stairs.

“You happy?” her mom asked.

“How was it?”

Simone spent the next few minutes giving her mom and sisters the highlights before heading upstairs. She peeked in on Sabrina, pushing a piece of hair off her perfect face.

Then went into the bedroom she shared with her new husband. At the thought of spending time with him in the bath, her skin tingled and she shuddered.

“You coming?” Sam asked, poking his head out of the bathroom.

 

 

And A Wedding

Fifteen

 

 

Heather brought Sabrina into to Simone while her mom and other two sisters worked on Simone’s hair. It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon right before her second marriage to the same man. She, her mom and her sisters talked about the flight and the wedding on the beach. They teased Simone about her wedding night and she blushed profusely.

Someone brought up a tray of fruit, cheese and crackers along with a bottle of champagne. They snacked and drank and had the best time.

When the time came to get dressed Heather took Sabrina and her sisters left.

Simone’s mom helped her get the dress out of the garment bag. They slid it over her head and she zipped Simone up. Simone walked over to the full-length mirror.

Her mom started to cry. “You look beautiful.” Her hands were together as though she was praying and she pressed them to her mouth. “Are you happy?” she asked, coming up behind Simone.

“Very.” She turned and hugged her mom.

“Good. Keep that in mind, because there’s something I need to tell you.” Her mom was suddenly nervous.

“What is it, Mom?”

She walked to an overstuffed chair in front of the vanity and sat down. “I-I—” She stopped and shook her head. “I interfered,” she finished solemnly.

“You did? How? What did you do?” She wasn’t used to seeing her mom flustered.

“Well, you see,” she crossed her arms. “I knew his name. You’d told us his name and I hired a private investigator to find him,” she said, letting out a whoosh of air. It was obvious she was relieved to reveal her secret. It’d obviously been pressing on her for some time.

“So that’s how he got my email address? You gave it to him?” The question had been bothering Simone for a while, but she hadn’t found the right time to ask Sam about it.

“When the investigator verified he’d found the correct Sam, he gave me Sam’s cell phone number. I called and left a message, explaining who I was, that I thought it was awful he’d left like he had and that he needed to make it right. I gave him your email.”

“You’re kidding.” Had he intended to come back before her mom called him? Was everything a lie? It didn’t feel like one. Sam seemed sincere.

“He called me right back and told me he’d already scheduled a flight to come find you, that he’d just intended to show up on your doorstep. I suggested he email you first, told him it might be nice if you had a little time to prepare.”

Simone stared at her reflection in the mirror. Who was this woman? She’d hired a detective, stalked Sam, and called him? Simone was in shock. “You believe him?”

She nodded vigorously. “I’ve seen the way he looks at you. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that he’s head over heels in love with you. And on top of that he adores Sabrina.”

Simone swallowed, fighting down the fear that had snuck up on her.

There was a knock on the door. “It’s time,” a female voice said. Simone recognized the voice as that of the party planner. She still jumped, her nerves on end.

“If I didn’t believe he was sincere, I would’ve said something. But I know he loves you. Please tell me you know it too.”

“I do,” Simone said, quickly, realizing that was the truth. She did know, without a doubt. Simone hugged her mom again. “Thanks for telling me.”

“You’re not mad?” she asked in a small voice.

Simone smiled big. “I’m in shock. I can’t believe you did that for me, but no, I’m not mad.”

“I’m so glad.” She opened the door and they walked down the stairs.

 

***

 

The wedding was beautiful. Sam looked so handsome in his black tux with a white tie.

Sara held Sabrina and stood beside Simone. Liv and Heather stood beside her during the ceremony. They wore silver dresses and held silver roses. Sabrina was in a white dress that was similar to Simone’s and Simone couldn’t help but wonder if the designer had made it for Sabrina on such short notice.

Simone’s bouquet was filled with silver, white, and red flowers. Two men stood next to Sam. She found out later they were his best friends.

As the night progressed she got to know them. They seemed nice, gentlemanly even.

Not everyone was as cordial, though. Simone caught several gorgeous women glaring at her. Three of them cornered her as she went through the line to get something to eat.

“Unbelievable,” one said, shaking her head.

“What is?” Simone asked.

“That he chose you,” another said, her eyes roaming Simone’s body.

“Red?” The third one said, and reached out to touch Simone’s hair.

Simone stepped back, smiling sweetly. “I don’t think it’s unbelievable at all—if you three are an indication of what he had to choose from.”

“Bitch,” one said.

All three walked away.

Someone came up behind her. Simone tensed until he slid his arms around her waist.

He kissed her ear.

“Sam,” she breathed, relaxing and leaning into him.

“You’re awesome,” he said, trailing kisses down her neck.

She turned and smiled, kissing him softly.

After many minutes, he lifted his head. “Sabrina and I have something to show you.”

“Oh?”

He went over to Heather and held out his hands. Sabrina practically jumped into his arms.

“How’s my girl?” He snuggled into her chubby cheeks.

She giggled. “Daddy.”

Simone’s heart melted. “That’s the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard,” she breathed softly.

“Wait. There’s more.” Sam bent over, setting Sabrina’s feet on the ground. “Let’s show Mommy what a big girl you are,” he said.

Sabrina giggled again. “Big gurrrrrl. Mommy.” Her eyes lit with excitement as she spoke, like her daughter liked the sound of her own voice.

It was as though Simone’s baby grew into a toddler right before her eyes. “Show me,” Simone said, forcing back happy tears.

“Ready?” Sam let go of her hands and took a few steps back. “Come to Daddy.” He squatted down so he was at Sabrina’s level. “Come on.”

Simone held her breath as Sabrina took a tentative step and then another and another and another until she fell into Sam’s outstretched arms.

“That’s my girl,” he said, nuzzling her cheek.

Sabrina laughed.

Simone clapped her hands together. “You did it!”

 

 

Bright Light

Sixteen

 

 

“Count back from a hundred,” the anesthesiologist said kindly.

Simone was nervous. She’d never had surgery before. Sam, her mom, her sisters, and Sabrina had come with her to the hospital. They gave her the encouragement and support she needed. She could do this. Because of them she had the strength and courage she needed to survive. Because of them, their love for her, she would survive. They were her miracles.  

“Ninety-nine. Ninety-eight. Ninety-seven…”

 

***

 

Simone heard beeping. People were shouting. After a time the noises went quiet and she saw a white light at the end of a long tunnel. It beckoned and she started walking toward it. With each step the tunnel lit up. Hands reached out to touch her. She felt like she should be scared, but she was filled with love, so much love that she started to cry. The emotions filled her to overflowing and she longed for more. When she reached the end of the tunnel, people stood there waiting. Somehow she knew them. One elderly woman reached out and embraced her.

“Welcome home, Simone dear.”

She hugged them back “Where am I,” she asked, looking into the woman’s soft eyes.

The woman smiled and put her arm around Simone’s shoulders. Others patted her arms and touched her hands. She glanced back the way she’d come and stopped.

Realization dawned on her. She was dying. “I’m not ready,” Simone told the woman, hoping she’d understand.

The woman removed her arm. “Go back then, dear. We’ll be here when the time is right.”

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