Lip and Annie Ch. 09byjake60©
Their first week back they were both very anxious to hear each other's voices on a daily basis, so their phone calls back and forth became routine. Annie was working a lot of night shifts and trying to sleep in the day, and they usually talked in the late afternoon. Robert was busy too, but he was fortunate that his business didn't run on set hours, and he could usually make time for Annie whenever she was available.
She had told him that the first available appointment with Dr. Maier would be the next Wednesday afternoon, and he was quite surprised to see her cell phone number show up on his call display at 3 p.m. that day.
"I wasn't expecting to hear from you this early, Annie. Didn't you have an appointment today?"
"Ah... yes I do. In fact I'm with Dr. Maier now. I've given her written permission to speak with you about me, and she'd like to speak to you privately. If it's okay with you, I'll give her the phone and then wait in the outer office while she talks to you. I'm... not sure... I don't know what she wants to talk about. Is that okay? Do you mind talking to her?" Annie sounded a bit flustered on the phone as she spoke to him.
"I don't mind at all, Annie. You should know by now that if there's anything I can do that will help you out, I'll be happy to do so," Robert quickly replied.
"Thank you, Robert. I'll give the phone to Dr. Maier."
There was half a minute of dead air, and Robert could hear a bit of rustling and a few muffled words before hearing the distinct sound of a door closing. A couple of seconds later he heard a woman's voice, sounding pleasant but businesslike, speaking with a very slight accent that he couldn't quite place.
"Good day, Mr. Porter. I'm Dr. Greta Maier. I understand that Annie has told you that I see her regularly. She also told me today that she has been very open with you about her ordeal, and says that she has given you all of the, shall we say, 'gruesome' details of her captivity."
Robert quickly answered in the affirmative to all of the doctors statements, and then continued, "I have come to realize that I am in love with Annie, and if there's anything I can help you with, please let me know what it is."
"Well, Mr. Porter, I must say that speaking to a third party isn't a normal routine for me, but then, Annie isn't a normal patient. I'm sure you're now well aware of the hell that she survived, and I have been shocked and amazed at the recent signs of recovery that she has shown. She attributes almost all of it to you."
Robert didn't quite know how to comment on that statement so he said, "I don't know that I can take that much credit for the great strides she seems to be making. A lot of it is Annie's willingness to trust me, something she apparently found impossible to do with other men. I think she really wants to make improvements, and that I've been fortunate to be the conduit she's used."
Dr. Maier chuckled and replied, "I don't think you realize just how much of a match you are for Annie at this stage of her recovery. She has told me about your acceptance of your own scars and how well you deal with the issue. You have set a very good example for her."
"It appears that you think there's something I could do to assist with Annie's continuing recovery. I'm completely willing to follow any suggestion you can give me." The sincerity in Robert's voice came through loud and clear to the doctor.
Dr. Maier sounded very happy as she replied, "More of the same, Mr. Porter. That is my request to you; more of the same. I wanted to speak with you to confirm Annie's high regard for you, and I think I have done that. I don't believe there is any likelihood that you're going to misuse the trust that she is giving you."
"I like to think that I'm a good judge of character, even if I have to make that judgment solely on the sound of one's voice. I sense that in you. I would ask only that you talk to me first if for any reason your feelings toward Annie should change."
Robert began to interrupt with a statement disagreeing that that could ever occur when the doctor quickly continued, "I'm not suggesting anything of the sort will happen, I'm just asking that in the unlikely event that anything comes up to negatively affect your relationship with Annie, that you give me a heads up right away."
"I am fearful that Annie could suffer a drastic relapse in her condition if that happened and it was not properly handled." The doctors concern was evident in her voice.
She continued, "Don't for one second feel that you are 'stuck' in a relationship with Annie. These things can happen, and I feel confident I should be able to get her past anything that comes between the two of you. I only ask that you think of her, and let me know first, so that I can prepare her for it."
Robert was emphatic as he said, "I can't imagine that a circumstance such as you suggest could ever happen. My feelings have become very deep for Annie, much deeper than I would have ever imagined. I have never in my life expected to find someone like Annie, someone I could feel so much love for."
"I know what you're asking, and to put you at ease I will unequivocally assure you that I will do as you ask. But to put it simply, I just know it's not going to happen."
"Thank you, Mr. Porter. You have me convinced." Dr. Maier continued by providing Robert with both her office and cell phone numbers.
Robert reciprocated with his own contact information and emphatically stated, "Please be sure to call me if there's anything I can do to help."
He continued with, "Thank you, Dr. Maier. I'd prefer if you called me Robert though." He gave a short laugh and added, "I'm not used to this Mr. Porter title." He thought for a moment before asking, "How much of our conversation can I repeat to Annie? I know she's going to wonder what we spoke about."
The doctor gave a small laugh herself and replied, "Very well... 'Robert'. You should be able to tell her everything about our conversation. Your judgment with her has been good, so how you do that I will leave up to you. Thank you again for speaking with me. I can see that I can be much more confident that the remarkable progress shown by Annie will continue. Goodbye, Robert."
The doctor hung up, and after Robert had done the same he sat there looking at the phone, a smile on his face and happy with the knowledge that Annie's steps forward were now confirmed as being very real and most likely permanent.
Later that evening Annie called, and one of the first things she asked was what had Robert discussed with her doctor. Robert did give her a short rundown on the conversation, but he didn't give any mention to the doctor's request for a heads up if he ever wanted to stop seeing Annie or tone down their relationship. He didn't want Annie to dwell on a possibility that he himself discounted completely.
Annie was satisfied with his explanation, and they didn't discuss it again. Instead, they began making plans for their next trip to the casino. Robert wanted to get in more practice with live people, because he was afraid that too much Internet poker would give him the wrong kind of preparation for the big tournament he was facing.
Several weeks passed, and just a couple of hours before Robert was to leave for Duluth to pick up Annie for their planned trip to Hinckley he received a frantic phone call from her.
"Oh, Robert! I'm so glad I reached you. Two of the nurses in our department have booked off sick, and they really want me to go in to help cover their shifts this weekend. I really don't want to say yes, but they've been so good about letting me take time off for our trip to Las Vegas that I don't see how I can refuse." It was easy to see that she was upset at the prospect of missing their weekend in Hinckley.
Robert wasn't very happy about the situation either, as he'd been very much looking forward to spending a couple of nights with Annie. He did some quick thinking before he spoke.
"That's disappointing news, Annie. I've been really looking forward to us spending a couple more nights together." He hesitated before continuing as an idea was forming.
"I guess if you feel it's necessary, we could change our plans a little. How about if I go to Hinckley as planned, but come back Sunday evening and spend the evening at your place? I really miss you. That way I can get some live poker practice in, you could fulfill your obligations at work and we could still spend some time together."
It didn't take very long for Annie to agree. "That sounds like a good solution, Robert. Let's plan on you being here for supper with me on Sunday evening." She giggled before adding, "I can give you breakfast on Monday morning, too. I don't go in until the afternoon on Monday."
The weekend worked out as planned, with Robert getting in a lot of practice at the tables. Since he was there by himself he was able to revert to a schedule he hadn't followed for months, ever since he had begun spending time with Annie. He played late into the night on Friday and Saturday nights and then caught up on his sleep during the day. The only problem was the need to check out by noon on Sunday, but he managed it with a few minutes to spare.
It was prearranged that he would be expected at Annie's at five o'clock, so he spent the last couple of hours before he left at the tables. Maybe it was the anticipation of seeing Annie, or maybe just bad luck, but he would have been better off skipping the Sunday play as it left him with $60 less than he had woken up with that morning.
Annie met him at the door, opening it before he even had the chance to press the doorbell.
"Come in, Robert. I've missed you so much." She stepped comfortably into his arms and they kissed eagerly. It had been longer than either of them expected since they had last seen each other. Their jobs and life in general had conspired with the miles that separated them to keep them apart.
He followed her to the kitchen, where the two of them sat at the table and talked for a while before she got up and began to take out dishes and cutlery to set the table with. At that point he joined her to help, and only a couple of minutes later they were seated to enjoy a meal of lasagna and a salad that she had made after getting off work. The lasagna had been made the night before, and only required re-heating. It was a good meal, and Robert let Annie know that.
Robert had poured wine to accompany the meal from a bottle that Annie had selected. After they finished eating they took their glasses and the remaining part bottle of wine to the living room where they alternated between sips of wine and shared kisses. By the time the bottle was empty they had progressed to much hotter kisses combined with a lot of fondling, especially on Robert's part.
"It's so nice to have you here Robert. I never believed it would be this long until I saw you again. If I didn't have to work nights this week I don't think I'd let you leave."
"I don't think it would have been very hard to convince me to stay. My biggest regret about the way things worked out is that I didn't simply come down here to visit you for a few days and look after my business from here. At the time it just seemed like our stars didn't align properly. I'm here now, though, and I hope we can make up for some lost time."
"I know we will Robert, I know we will." Annie pulled him back to her and the rest of their conversation was wordless.
The sun had almost set when they finally made a mutual decision to turn down the heat. It was only a few weeks until their trip to Las Vegas, and they began to make plans on what they would have to bring with them, and what type of entertainment they would try to see while they were there.
Both of them had spent time on the Internet looking for information on things to see and do in Las Vegas when you weren't in a casino.
They spent almost an hour discussing things that each of them would like to see, and eventually realized that there was probably more there than they would ever have the chance to work into the trip.
Robert knew that he would be spending a lot of time in the casino taking part in the tournament, if he had any kind of good luck at all. He'd already made up his mind that he would try his best to play tight in the beginning, trusting that there would be a lot of undisciplined and 'dead money' players to watch out for.
The trouble with players like that was that there was no easy way to determine when they had a good hand or when they were just not playing according to the odds. He felt that if he could survive the first day, he might have a chance to get to the paying positions. He wasn't planning on ending up at the final table; he just wanted to be able to say that he had made the most of the experience.
When the two of them had agreed on some of the things they would like to see and do in their free time, Robert realized that there was something he had forgotten.
"Before I completely forget it, I have to go out to my truck and get a couple of things I got for you. I'll be right back."
Annie got up and went with him to the door while saying, "You didn't need to get anything for me. Just having you here is all I needed."
It didn't take Robert long to go to his truck to get two packages and then return to the house. Once he was back in the living room he handed the largest box to Annie and said, "Careful, it's a bit heavy. It's something I got you for your house."
Annie exhibited all the wonder of a kid at Christmas as she unwrapped the package. When she finally opened the box and lifted out a fancy mantle clock she exclaimed, "It's beautiful, Robert. I've seen these in the antique stores, and often wondered if I should get one. Thank you so much." She reinforced her thanks with a kiss.
"I remembered your fireplace from the first time I visited, and when I saw that in a shop in Thunder Bay I knew I had to get it for you. It's probably about the same age as your house, and it should look good on the mantle above the fireplace."
Annie removed the winding key from the envelope that Robert had put it in, and between the two of them they figured out how to wind the clock's two springs. One was for the clock itself, and the other for its built-in chimes. Once they had set the time Robert placed it at the center of the mantle where it obviously fit right in.
"Oh, Robert! It's beautiful. Thank you again." This time she threw her arms around his neck and pulled his lips to hers.
When they were finished their kiss Robert said, "There's another gift there for you as well. This one is definitely not for your house." He gave a small chuckle as he handed her a much lighter but fancier wrapped package.
Annie shook it before sitting on the sofa where Robert joined her. It was obvious that she had no idea what the box contained as she began to unwrap it. When she opened the box, there was a second box inside. It was a fancy pink see-through one decorated with images of abstract flowers and lace, and she could see that it contained sheer, black lingerie; a very fancy but tasteful combination of an underwire bra and matching bikini panties.
Annie was obviously shocked and she turned slightly pink before saying, "They're lovely, Robert. What made you decide to get me these?"
Robert chuckled and said, "I was walking past the La Senza store in the mall and saw them on a mannequin in the front window. I immediately thought of you, and pictured you in them." He gave a slight laugh and said, "It was a very pretty picture, and I'm sure you will do them justice."
Annie took them from the box and looked at them carefully. "These are exactly the right size, Robert. You made quite the guess. I'm impressed. Your taste in lingerie is very good too; these are lovely."
Robert laughed outright now as he said, "I can't claim to have guessed. I checked your drawer in the hotel while you were having a shower. It wasn't hard to remember 36C." He continued smiling, but got a little red in the face as he added, "I'm not some sort of pervert or lingerie bandit. I just thought it was a bit of information that might come in handy one day, and it did."
When Annie didn't seem upset he laughed again, then held up his cupped hands and said, "I couldn't very well ask for a bra this size, although I'm sure there are guys who have done that."
The two of them laughed together before Annie paused and said, "I'm sorry, I don't have a gift for you. I'll have to think of something to get you."
Robert hesitated for only a second before replying, "I know the perfect thing." His eyes flicked down to look at the lingerie on her knee as he added, "How about you model these for me."
Annie's face paled momentarily before returning to normal as she said, "I...I don't...Okay, I'll try." After a slight delay she added, "Later. I'll have a shower first."
Her answer more than satisfied him, and so they went on to other topics of conversation. Annie's new mantle clock softly chimed every quarter hour, and when it signaled 10 o'clock they decided it was time to go upstairs and prepare for bed.
Annie's older home had only a single bathroom for them to use, so Robert made the first use of the shower after Annie firmly but politely turned down his offer to share it with her. She told him that she hoped to be able to do that one day, but that today wasn't the day. He was dressed in his pajamas when he came out of the bathroom and let her know it was available.
20 minutes passed before Annie joined him in her bedroom where he was waiting for her, seated on one side of the bed. While he was waiting for her he had experimented with the lighting so that when she entered the room, only one bulb in a small lamp was on and it provided only a soft and friendly glow. He hoped that Annie would be more comfortable out of the harsher glare of full lighting.
She was wearing an ankle length robe, a new one that Robert had not seen before. She appeared nervous and he tried to calm her down by saying, "You decided to keep me waiting. You must be a believer in the powers of anticipation." He said this with a smile so that she would know he wasn't leveling a criticism.
Annie appeared to be a bit flustered and replied, "I... I wasn't sure if I could do this." She looked at the lighting that he had adjusted and continued, "Thanks... for turning off the other lights. This is much more comfortable."
It appeared that she had made up her mind as she promptly turned her back to Robert. He could see that she was working on something in front of her, and the only thought he had was that she was undoing the sash on her robe.
She seemed to hesitate for a moment before slowly moving the robe off her shoulders and letting it slowly slide down to the floor where it formed a puddle around her feet. Her back was flawless, her smooth skin hidden only by the black bands formed by the bra straps and panties.
She seemed to freeze at that point, and Robert quickly crossed over to her and gently placed his hands on her hips. He could feel her tremble when he did that, so he did nothing more than just hold her while he leaned forward and kissed her neck.
"You look lovely Annie," he whispered to her. From where he was standing he could see the tops of her breasts, and he could tell that she was breathing deeply, probably in an attempt to calm herself down he thought.
"Oh, Robert, I don't feel lovely. I just know you're going to stop loving me when you see these scars." In spite of her words she didn't stop him when he used his hands on her hips to turn her slowly to face him.
Robert didn't look down at first, and this let him see right off that she had her eyes closed and that tears were forming in both of them. He stepped back slightly and looked down, expecting the scars to be noticeable, and they were. Annie had her hands against her lower stomach, just above the black panties, but they came away easily when he took hold of her wrists and moved her hands aside.