Well, here we go, Mark thought as he heard the bathroom door open.
Tessa slowly made her way to the bed on feet sore from a long day at work. She gave her long blonde hair a shake, dislodging a few strands that were caught under the thin straps of her top. Five years married, the sight of her in pajamas still made his heart race. When he smiled at her, she responded with a weary grin of her own.
"Thanks for doing the dishes tonight," she said as she sat down on the bed.
He climbed in next to her and responded, "You're welcome."
The couple leaned in to share a kiss, and then Mark scooted toward the foot of the bed.
"I'm really tired," Tessa said with a note of apology in her voice, misreading his intentions.
"I know — and your feet are sore. That's why I'm going to give you a foot rub."
He didn't miss the glint of suspicion in her eyes, and knew that he might have overdone it by taking her turn with the dishes. There was no helping it now, so he sat down and lifted her right foot into his hand.
She moaned as his practiced fingers went to work. Over the years, he'd learned through trial and error, and knew exactly how to soothe away the pains of her being on her feet all day. He massaged her feet and calves, resisting the urge to let his fingers creep higher as the sexy sounds she made sent blood rushing between his legs.
After a few minutes, he thought, Now or never. He'd taken a big risk, and this was the one place where it could all fall apart.
"I was thinking maybe we could hold off on Valentine's Day dinner."
Tessa's half-lidded eyes snapped open and she asked, "What?"
"Hear me out," he quickly answered while keeping his hands hard at work. "We're both going to get off pretty late that day. You'd have to come straight home from work and start getting ready. I was thinking that maybe we could have dinner on the weekend instead."
Her expression softened and she said, "Well, I guess you're right about that. We barely made it last year. I doubt you could get reservations on such short notice, though."
"Already taken care of. I figured the worst that could happen is you would say no, and I could cancel the reservation. The table will be waiting for us."
She shrugged and said, "Okay. I was looking forward to not having to cook, but I guess it's just a little later."
"I'll take care of dinner that night."
"Mark," she chuckled. "You can't cook anything that doesn't involve a grill, and it's hardly the weather for that."
"I didn't say I was going to cook. I said I'd take care of it."
"I really don't want take-out on Valentine's Day."
"No take-out. Just dinner with no cooking, and I'll do the dishes again. Trust me?"
She sighed. "Okay. What brought all this on?"
"Just want us to have a perfect day. Really two now."
"I still think you're up to something, but I may as well enjoy it in the process."
He laughed and turned his attention back to her feet. The hard part was over. She would never guess in a million years what he was up to, and when she found out, he knew she wasn't going to mind in the slightest.
"You know, at first, I really didn't believe there was any chance you would eventually pick this up," the jeweler said as he emerged from the back room.
"There were times when I wasn't so sure myself," Mark said. "Thanks for holding it for me on such small payments." He picked up the box and opened it.
"You have my wife to thank for that. You won her over."
Mark looked down at the ring and couldn't help but smile. He'd asked Tessa's sister to come with him when he was shopping for an engagement ring. She'd pointed out the one he held in his hand now as one she'd fallen in love with while window shopping. It was far beyond his budget at the time, but he'd found something similar that did the trick.
Now, he could finally give her the real thing.
He snapped the box shut and said, "Thanks again," as he headed out the door.
With the ring safely locked in his briefcase, he glanced at his watch and nodded in approval. With plenty of time left on his lunch break, he headed for the store.
There was snow in the forecast, so the grocery store was packed and the shelves were emptying fast. Tessa had been working there since she was a teenager and climbed the ladder to assistant manager. It was where they had met, and she was happy there, so he'd never tried to push her to try something else.
"Tessa's in the break room," one of the cashiers said as he walked past the registers.
He nodded to her and turned toward the break room stairs. He heard Tessa and another woman laughing as he neared the top.
"Hello, honey. What are you doing here?" she asked when he emerged into the room.
"Thought I'd see if you wanted to go have lunch."
"Oh... You should have called. It's a zoo in here today, so I took an early lunch."
"You're right. Wasn't thinking." He shrugged. "Ah well." It was a bit of a disappointment, but he had nobody to blame but himself.
Tessa pointed at the pretty young blonde sitting next to her. "This is Lisa Diamond, the new girl in floral. I told you about her the other night."
"Hello," he and Lisa both said at the same time.
"My husband, Mark," Tessa finished the introduction.
"Tessa says you're a genius with floral arrangements."
Lisa blushed. "I wouldn't say that."
"I would, and I did," Tessa disagreed. "I'm not the only one, either."
Mark chuckled at the deepening color in the young woman's cheeks and said, "Well, if you've already had lunch, I guess I should grab something and get back to the office."
"I'll be late. Call-ins. Leftover meatloaf okay tonight?"
She kissed two fingers and then gestured toward him. He made a catching motion, smiled, and headed back down the stairs. Lunch may have been a bust, but finding out she was going to be late would at least give him plenty of time to hide the ring in his man-cave.
He really needed to get back to the grindstone, anyway. There was a lot to do if he didn't want piled-up work standing in the way of his plan.
Mark finished drying off from a shower just in time to hear the phone ring that evening. Remembering that he'd left the bedroom phone on the coffee table, he opened the door and stepped into the hall amidst a billowing cloud of steam. He was hoping that it wasn't Tessa calling to say that she'd have to close.
Twin gasps greeted him as he turned toward the front room. Frozen for a moment in surprise, he saw his wife staring at him as she reached for the phone. A short distance behind her was Lisa — her eyes and mouth both wide open.
Slapping his hands over his exposed manhood, he scrambled back into the bathroom. The moment his foot hit the tile, he slipped and crashed to the floor with a curse.
Tessa appeared in the doorway as he was trying to pick himself up. "Are you okay?" she laughed.
"Real funny," he groaned as he sat up and grabbed a towel to cover himself.
"I'm sorry. I can't help it. You are okay, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I'm okay."
"You're so cute when you blush. I'll go get the book I'm lending Lisa and let you know when she's gone and it's safe to come out."
She was still chuckling as she shut the door.
It took a while to get over the embarrassment, but Tessa stopped teasing him before going to warm up dinner, which helped. By the time they were both slipping into bed, he'd almost forgotten about it.
He was more than a little surprised when she reached over to caress his thigh beneath the sheets, considering the long day she'd put in.
"Well, Lisa got an eyeful didn't she?" Tessa said as her fingers slipped up the leg of his boxers.
Mark groaned as his cock stiffened. "Sorry about that."
"I'm not. It got me thinking all sorts of naughty things."
He responded to her hungry kiss in kind. He'd known she was bisexual since they were dating, but she was picky about women. They'd had a third in the bed twice before they were married, and once since, but it had been years.
Tessa's hand came to rest over his rock hard cock when she pulled back from the kiss. "I think I've seen her looking at me before. She certainly looked like she was into you."
"So, you think..?"
"Mmm... Probably wishful thinking, but we can pretend."
"Her licking you while I'm fucking you hard," he said while rubbing her nipple through her nightgown.
"Or maybe the other way around."
Tessa whipped the covers off him before that enticing thought could fully sink in. By the time it did, she'd already freed his cock and wrapped her lips around him.
They were both a little tired and in need of another shower when the alarm clock went off the next morning.
It had been a little nerve-wracking, but he made it through the week with Tessa being none the wiser as to what he had planned. Any number of people could have spoiled the surprise, and he couldn't get to all of them to ask them not to spill the beans.
Tessa's cell number came up on his caller-id at work, and he smiled as he picked it up.
"Thank you. The flowers are beautiful. I'm going to have to getsomeone help me takethem to the car."
"You're welcome. Happy Valentine's Day."
"Good move getting Lisa to do the arrangement. The card about made me cry. I love you."
"Love you, too."
"I'll let you get back to work. I just wanted to say thank you."
"Don't forget to save room for dinner tonight."
"Can't wait to see how you're going to pull that off. Bye."
Things were starting off well.
A call a while later confirmed that his aunt Emelia had dinner on schedule, and another call from his wife brought the good news that she wouldn't be staying late. Work kept him busy, but when five o'clock rolled around, he didn't have anything hanging over his head to haunt him later.
Mark pulled into the driveway at almost the exact same moment as his aunt, maintaining the streak of good luck. He helped her bring in the assorted dishes that contained the pasta dinner, which Tessa loved enough to suggest visiting his aunt frequently.
Once the spread was laid out on the table and the candles lit, his aunt gave him a hug and left. Tessa was a couple of minutes early, and barely missed seeing Emelia drive away. He met his wife at the car and took charge of the flowers as he led her to the door.
Tessa moaned the moment she stepped inside and said, "I know that smell."
He put the flowers down and said, "Dinner is served, m'lady," while dipping into an exaggerated bow.
His wife giggled and took his hand to lead him into the dining room. "Tell aunt Emelia I said thank you."
"Already did. Let's eat."
Mark was no less fond of his aunt's cooking than his wife, so the conversation revolved around the meal. The real communication was silent, and delivered in touches, glances, and smiles. He knew he'd hit a home run this year, but she didn't know that the best was yet to come.
Once they'd eaten their fill — and perhaps a bit more — Mark sat back and blew out a long breath. "Time to get started on the dishes."
"Just put away the leftovers," Tessa said. "I'll help."
"No, I said I'd clean up."
"You can — later. I don't want to wait any longer to give you your present."
He was a little surprised by how eager she was. Foregoing her usual care of placing everything in just the right container, she was picking up whatever was close and quickly scooping in food. A few serving bowls even went in with only a topping of cling wrap. He followed her lead even though he knew it was going to drive her crazy later.
He started filling containers with water, because they would be a nightmare to rinse for the dishwasher later if he didn't. Tessa said, "Finish up, then come in the front room. No peeking."
"Okay," he chuckled as he went about the task. Her excitement was contagious, and he was beginning to feel as anxious to see her surprise as she was to unveil it. With everything soaking, he walked into the front room to find her standing on the other side of the couch.
"Close your eyes and wait there," Tessa instructed.
Giving a shake of his head, he closed his eyes. He could hear her footsteps as she approached.
"Okay, open them."
Mark broke out into a wide grin when he saw the putter she was holding out to him. He'd looked at it numerous times online and in stores, but had never pulled the trigger. His golf game was mediocre at best, and he just couldn't validate the cost of the high-end club.
That didn't stop him from wanting it.
"Baby, I love it," he said as he took it from her.
"I know I hassle you a lot about playing golf, but I also know how much you enjoy it."
"Maybe I'll get home a few strokes sooner with this," he said as he gave the putter a few test swings.
"I can hope," she said, and then punctuated it with a little laugh.
Mark leaned his gift up against the side of the couch and said, "My turn." He'd left his suit jacket in the front room for exactly this reason, and retrieved it from the back of the couch.
Tessa's brow furrowed when she saw the envelope, but she held out her hand and took it.
"Open it," he said.
She slid out the folded papers inside, and he took the envelope back. Her eyes opened wide the moment she saw what was inside.
"Chicago? This weekend? But..."
"Our Valentine's dinner reservations are at Everest, on the loop."
She quickly checked the other two pages. "A suite? Four nights? First class tickets?" She looked up and asked, "How can we afford this?"
"Just got these in yesterday," he said as he pulled a card out of his pocket. This had been the hardest secret to keep.
She needed only a fraction of a second to recognize the change in his business card. "You got the promotion!"
They both laughed as she threw her arms around him and kissed him hard.
"And a bonus. We can't make this a regular weekend thing, but we can afford it," he said as their lips parted.
"Oh, I hate asking for this much time off on short notice, but I guess I'll survive," she said as she looked at the paperwork again.
Tessa grabbed the paper from him almost as soon as he pulled it out of his pocket. The message from her boss was simple. "Enjoy your vacation."
"How long have you been planning this?" she asked as she fanned out all the papers in her hand.
"Not nearly long enough. I only found out about the promotion three weeks ago. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull it off."
"Well, you certainly did. I can barely believe this is real. Are you hiding any more surprises in those pockets?"
"Well, there is one more little thing."
Mark gathered up the paperwork and dropped it to the end table in front of him. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out the jewelry box.
Tessa gasped when she saw it and her hand trembled a little as she accepted it. A whimper accompanied the minuscule creak of the box opening when she saw the diamond ring inside.
"I... I..." she stammered as she glanced back and forth between the ring and his smiling face.
"That's the ring I wish I could have given you when I asked you to marry me."
He pulled the ring out of the box, and she held up her right hand.
"The other one is the one you gave me when you proposed, and it's right where it belongs," she said.
Mark slipped the ring on her finger, and then they came together in a lingering kiss. Before long, a simple caress of her fingers on the back of his neck started a chain reaction. His hand slipped down to her lower back. Her tongue slipped out to tickle his lips.
Their passion growing hotter by the moment, Tessa's lips moved to his ear, tickling the lobe. Then she whispered, "I have one more present for you."
He groaned when her fingertips brushed over his hardness.
"Let me go get ready," she said, and then quickly spun out of his arms.
"Grab my toothbrush?" he asked as she headed toward the bathroom.
"Come on then. You'd better hurry and be waiting for me — naked."
She'd already retrieved his toothbrush and toothpaste by the time he caught up with her. The moment he had them in hand, she giggled and shut the door.
He took her hurry to heart and headed straight for the kitchen. After a quick brush, he grabbed a couple of paper towels, moistened them, and snatched up some dry towels as well.
In the bedroom, he sat the towels down on the corner of the nightstand and began to undress. While he was pulling his shirt over his head, he heard Tessa ask, "Are you in the bedroom?"
"Are you naked?"
Mark quickly jerked his pants and underwear down, stepped out of them, and grabbed the towels. After a wash down below, he blotted himself dry, tossed the towels into the trash, and slipped into the bed.
Just in time.
The bathroom door opened and Tessa leaned against the doorframe, wearing a sultry expression. She slid her right hand down her hip, showing off her new heart-adorned bra and panties, as well as her new diamond ring, and then said, "Happy Valentine's Day."
"Very happy. You look so hot," he said as she sauntered toward the bed.
Tessa licked her lips and said, "So do you."
She climbed into the bed from the foot, and then cat-crawled toward him, making his cock throb and dance. As she continued forward, she let first her hair, then her breasts, and then her panties caress his hardness. When she kissed him, it was with a hunger that gave him chills.
"I want to play tonight," she said in a breathless, husky voice when their lips parted.
"Like what?" He gave her butt a strong squeeze and then kissed her neck.
Tessa moaned and shifted until she could reach her nightstand. He grinned when she withdrew some silky scarves that he recognized. He didn't resist when she scooted forward to sit on his chest and grabbed his left arm.
They had played this game before, and it took her less than a minute to tie his wrists to the headboard. He was anticipating the trail of kisses down his body when she threw him for a loop and reached into the drawer again. His eyebrows shot up when she withdrew a blindfold.
"Oh boy," he muttered as she looked down at him with a crooked grin.
She let out a devilish chuckle as she placed the blindfold over his eyes and slid the strap around his head. He felt whooshes of air rustling his hair, and assumed she was waving a hand in front of his face.
"No peeking," she demanded, and then slipped out of the bed.
For a few heartbeats, he waited in somewhat worried anticipation. He grunted when he felt her tongue wash over the head of his cock.
She chuckled and left him wondering for a few seconds before darting back in for another lick. The mattress sank down next to his hip a moment later and her tongue tickled his balls.
Mark grunted and gasped as she kept it up, never letting him know when the next touch was coming. His cock danced in the air and he pulled at the scarves tying his wrists — but not too hard. They weren't really that tight, and he didn't want to accidentally dislodge them.
"You're driving me crazy, baby," he growled when she sucked his cockhead between her lips and let it pop out.
"Good," she purred, and then gave him the longest lap yet — from the root to the tip.
She pulled away again, but then both of her hands settled on the bed and her tongue swirled around the head. She chased it as it bounced and twitched, her hot breath on the saliva-slick tip adding to the sensation.
An explosive growl escaped him when she finally took him in. She sucked about an inch of his throbbing shaft between her lips, her tongue undulating against it as she pulled back to the tip. Then she took him a little deeper, and sucked even harder.
Every few strokes, she would let him slip free with a wet pop, leaving him twitching in the open air before diving back in. Sometimes, she would only lap his balls or tickle the tip, then engulf him a moment later. He began to writhe on the bed, every second a new surprise. When she pressed her lips to his, he kissed her hard.