Danny sat down at his computer. He just got home after a twenty seven hour flight from Vietnam. Sighing, he clicked open his email in order to send messages to his family and friends that he made it home okay, but there was one person that he wanted to talk to, one person who's voice he wanted to hear.
There was something about Dawn that made him weak in the knees. Her long, lithe body combined with her sun-kissed[,] blond hair just made his heart beat a little faster. The first time she looked at him with those sapphire green eyes, well, he knew he was lost.
"Hey gorgeous," Danny said when Dawn answered the phone.
"Mr. Yummy!" Dawn exclaimed, delighted to hear Danny's voice. "When did you get in?"
"Just arrived and finished the emails to my family," he replied. "What have you got going on tonight? Would someone keep your boys?"
"That depends. What did you have in mind?" Dawn queried with a smile of anticipation.
"Well, I want to take you out to eat. Then we can come back to my place and watch a movie," Danny answered. "I will tell you all about the last month without you."
"Let me make some phone calls," she asked. "I will call you and let you know if it is a go." Dawn hung up.
A few moments later, she called back. "I found someone to watch the boys. Give me an hour, okay?"
Danny got up and spot cleaned the house he had not seen in a month. He looked at the clock. He jumped in shower and washed away the sleep from the long plane ride home. After he finished shaving, he looked in the mirror to take inventory. Freshly shaved head? Check. Trimmed goatee? Looking good. Toned waistline? There was a little flab, but he would work it off. He looked over his tattoos. They looked sharp. He flexed his arm muscles. Yep, he still had it.
Now to get dressed. He pulled a fresh pair of boxer briefs from the drawer. He ironed a pair of khaki shorts and a brown polo t-shirt knowing that brown brought out his chestnut eyes. He put on his musky cologne as he looked at the clock. Dawn would be here any minute now. His heart beat faster just thinking about her.
As if he his thoughts had summoned her, he saw a pair of headlights in front of his house. Looking out the window, he saw Dawn's car. Before she knocked, he opened the door and put his arms around her and gave her the intimate hug of a lover. She was wearing a lilac tee paired with crisp white shorts that brought out her tanned legs. "How's my girl?" Danny greeted her with a kiss.
Dawn wrapped her arms around him and said, "Hello Mr. Yummy. You are a sight for sore eyes."
For a moment, they just looked into each other's eyes, drinking up the sight of one another. Danny wrapped his arms around Dawn and started kissing her. He did not give in to his desire and saturate her with kisses. Instead his lips gently brushed hers and he softly caressed her neck.
"Come on, let's go." Danny said. "I have a table waiting at The Outback."
"Oh goody, I am set. But please do not order a steak so rare that I can still hear the cow 'moo'," Dawn joked. Danny liked his steaks very rare. All he wanted a cook to do is slap the steak on the grill, turn it over, put it on a plate, and serve it to him.
"We'll see," Danny joked back. They walked hand in hand to his white Yukon. He opened the door for her to climb in. After she is [was] safely seated, he walked to the driver's side and got in. Holding hands, they drove across town to the restaurant. Once seated, he told her about his month of working overseas.
"I stayed on the rig the whole time," Danny said. "We had a suit there checking to make sure that things were up to snuff and make sure we were doing our jobs right. Since the new company bought us out, we have had a lot of big wigs there. I was thinking I would never get home. A couple of those guys were looking really good after a month of not seeing you. Then I realized you were safe because they do not have your chest." Danny laughed.
"Oh? You just like me for my chest?" Dawn joked. "Nothing else?"
"Well," he drawled, "there is the matter of your eyes, your lips, and the way you smell. I also like your soft voice with a sexy Southern drawl. Sometimes I swear you sound like Scarlett O'Hara."
The waitress came over and took their order. Dawn ordered Chicken on the Barbie. Danny ordered prime rib. Rare. After they placed their orders, they resumed their conversation.
"So what has been going on at work for you, honey?" Danny asked.
"This has been the best week at work for me!" She exclaimed. "Remember how I told you that my boss wanted out of the business? Well, he let me in on a secret today. He might have a buyer and that buyer would want to keep me on because I know the books. The prospective buyer is supposed to come by Monday."
"That is wonderful. Please let me know something as soon as you find out," he requested. "I know you are hyped about that."
They fell into a comfortable silence until their meal arrived. Dawn noticed the blood coming out of his steak and grimaced. Danny laughed. They ate in silence as Dawn tried to keep from looking at his plate. She could have sworn she just heard a "moo" come from it.
After their meal, they walked hand in hand out to his Yukon. He opened the passenger door for her and walked around to his side to get in. They ride back to his house, holding hands, in relative quiet. The sounds of their hearts beating echoed in the car. When they pulled into his driveway, Danny hopped out and rushed around his car to open Dawn's door only to find her already standing there.
"Why didn't you wait?" Danny asked. "I like opening your car door. It makes me feel like a manly man."
"Oh silly, I have two good arms and two good legs. I can do it. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all that you do, but I need to do some things by myself," Dawn explained.
"I can do some things myself," Danny grumbled as he walked to the door.
When they were inside, Danny turned to Dawn and said, "You look so good. I have wanted to tell you all that night. Let's have a seat on the couch, we need to talk."
"Uh oh, here comes 'the talk'" Dawn joked as she sat on the couch. "What is going on, honey?"
"We have been together quite a while now, right?" Danny asked. "You know I adore you and I want to be with you, but there is something I need to tell you. On this last furlough I realized something. I have not been completely honest with you."
"Not been honest?" Dawn was puzzled. She thought she knew everything about this man.
"Dawn, one of my former girlfriends gave me something that I can't give back. She cheated on me while I was working overseas and got herpes from some guy. In turn, she gave it to me," Danny explained while holding his breath, waiting for her reaction.
"Okay, tell me about herpes. I know that there are two types. From what you are saying, you have the genital type, right?" Dawn clarified.
"Yes," Danny exhales. "My outbreaks usually occur when I am on the rig. They only last a day or so, but I needed to let you know because, if we were ever together, you could catch it without me having an outbreak. You have not run away screaming yet and I take that as a good sign."
"I am trying to digest this information. You know that I think you are great. You are terrific to my boys. I just need to think about this. I need to do some research on this herpes thing," Dawn looked around her for her purse. "Can I get this from kissing you? Can I get this from holding hands with you? Can I get this from holding you? How would I catch this from you?"
"Not unless I had cold sores which is a form of herpes. No. No. I did a lot of research on this when I found out that bitch gave it to me," Danny answered. "A person gets herpes from coming in contact with the boxer short area. If we ever have sex, there is nothing to guarantee that you won't get this. Condoms reduce the risks, but nothing is for sure. To make it simple, genital herpes is like getting cold sores, but people can't see my cold sores. This can be controlled with medicine. And while I could be 'shedding' the virus without having an actual outbreak, the chances of you catching the virus is slim to none with that medicine."
"Danny, don't take this the wrong way, but I need to go home and think about this. I need to look at this from all angles and I can't do it when I am around you," Dawn implored. "Please give me a day or so to think about this. I am crazy about you, but I need to absorb this information."
"I understand and this is why I told you," Danny said.
With melancholy eyes, he watched Dawn walk out the door and maybe out of his life.
He did not call Dawn, but he wanted to. Danny wanted to beg her to stay in his life. He prayed nightly that she would call and tell him it was going to be okay. Danny had one picture of Dawn and he kept it beside his bed. He finally admitted to himself that he loved her.
Two days later, Dawn finally called. She sounded exhausted and worn-out like she had not slept in two days. Danny waited with abated breath for what she had to say. He felt like he knew what was coming. When Dawn spoke, it was like heaven to his ears.
"How is it going?" Dawn greeted when Danny answered the phone.
"The best it can, I guess," Danny mumbled. He was so scared of what he might hear he could not even talk properly. "What has been going on with you?"
"Well, I have been thinking. I have been looking info up on the computer. I have talked to my doctors. You name it, I have done it," Dawn said. And then she hesitated. "Danny, assuming you want complete honesty, I need to tell you something."
Danny held his breath, but did not interrupt.
"The last few days without you knowing you were just around the corner and not around the world have driven me crazy. Now it is my turn to scare you off. Danny, I love you. The last few days have made me realize that more than anything else. I know what you have and, if you want me, I will be by your side. Well?" Dawn said in one breath.
"I gotta go," Danny quickly said. "I will talk to you later, okay?" And Danny hung up the phone. He grabbed his car keys and sprinted to his Yukon. Once inside, he did not even take time to fasten his seatbelt before peeled out. Thirty minutes later, he pulled up to Dawn's curb. As he got closer, he could see through the bay window that Dawn was crying. Tears were streaming down her face. She happened to glance out the window and when she saw Danny there, her face lit up with disbelief. She ran to the front door and flung the screen open for him. He just walked up to her and wrapped her in a bear hug.
"I love you, too," Danny whispered as he kissed her on the forehead. "It took me all this time to find the one person that completes me. That person is you."
"Oh Danny," Dawn said as she exhaled. "When you hung up..."
"I hung up to come over here," Danny explained. "I could not tell you I love you and kiss away your doubts on the phone. We will make it -- together."