Holly and Mark Ch. 07byleto423©
Thank you for following Holly and Mark's story. I enjoyed creating these two characters. I also want thank those of you who offered positive and negative input, encouragement, and suggestions, especially on how to end their story. And I offer a special thanks to one who helped me along the way. You know who you are. I hope you find the ending satisfactory. Leto423
I looked into the mirror.
'Holly's never seen me in a suit before,' I thought.
My suit was a color somewhere between navy and dark smoke. It was accented by a barely discernible light gray pinstripe. Contrasted against my white oxford cloth shirt was a tie. It had a black background with randomly scattered gray and blue rectangles of various shapes. It was enhanced by diagonal, very narrow, faint white stripes. Black wingtip shoes completed my look.
Standing back, satisfied, I patted my suit jacket.
"Still there," I spoke aloud.
I looked at my watch. 6:00 PM.
"OK, Mark, it's time, time to see if Holly's there."
I anxiously walked out of my room and turned toward the elevator.
She was sitting on our bench, waiting. A dark coat was draped across its back. When she saw me, she stood.
I stopped and looked at her. She wore a midnight blue dress, high-collared and long-sleeved, ending just above her knees. It clung invitingly to her form, sculpting every curve of her body. She was wearing stockings and low-heeled shoes to match. A string of pearls glowed softly around her neck. The hair on one side of her face was drawn back, held in place by a hairpin shaped like a tiny crimson-colored butterfly.
"Hi," I said across the space between us.
"Hi, Mark," her words floated back to me.
I stepped to her, took both of her hands in mine.
"You don't know how relieved I am that you're here," I said.
"I'm relieved too."
We stood in awkward silence.
"You looked positively gorgeous, Holly. I love the dress. I love the hairpin."
"And you are pretty handsome yourself. Nice tie. I've never seen you in a suit before. You dress up nice."
"Have you eaten? I do have reservations for dinner," I said.
"No, actually I'm starving. I've been too nervous to eat."
"Me too. Grab your coat and let's enjoy dinner together."
She picked up her coat and we walked toward the entrance. She stopped at the door and waited for me to help put on her coat.
We stepped outside and she asked, "Where are you parked?"
"A limousine?" she exclaimed.
"Just for tonight," I said with a smile. "I didn't want to be distracted while I was driving."
"So, I still can distract you," she responded.
"And you always will," I said.
Taking my arm, we walked to the limo.
Once we were settled inside, the driver started us toward our destination.
When we arrived, she said, "I've heard of this place."
"I found this restaurant on the Internet and thought it would be a nice, romantic place to be together after so long."
"Romantic," she said. "That's a good sign."
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by a painting that covered an entire wall in the main dining room. An adjoining room was decorated like a North African tent. Drapes hung from the ceiling. The table settings were charming and intimate.
I gave the maitre de my name and he escorted us toward the tent room. I stepped behind Holly as we crossed the main dining area. A hush fell over the room. It seemed as though every eye was watching Holly.
After we were seated under the tent, a waiter approached with goblets of water and a wine list. We studied the wine list and I offered to have Holly pick out the wine. I ordered an appetizer of fried Casseri Cheese Starter. She ordered a Pecan Fried Beet Salad. We asked that our appetizers and wine be brought before we chose our dinner.
The appetizers were served with a full basket of warm bread. There were two kinds and both were tasty, warm, and full of flavor. Spiced butter patties lined the basket. The waiter took our orders for the evening meal. Holly chose the Paella and I chose the tuna special.
The waiter cleared our appetizer dishes. We asked for more bread which he brought with our salads of greens, apples, fresh fennel, and blue cheese.
"I could get used to this," Holly said between bites of her salad.
Our entrees arrived. We spent our time eating and sharing what we had been doing for the last four months. We both deliberately avoided bringing up anything sensitive.
When our dishes were being removed, I asked Holly if she would like coffee and a desert. She requested a desert menu. She ordered coffee and a chocolate desert, served with Jack Daniels chocolate ice cream, for us to share.
Over a last cup of coffee Holly said, "Let me leave the tip."
We asked for the bill, paid the waiter, and left the restaurant. The limousine was waiting.
"Please take us back to the hotel," I instructed the driver
Holly and I made more small talk on the ride back to the hotel, still avoiding any topics that might cause an emotional reaction.
We walked into the atrium and found our bench. I drew her into my arms, held her lightly, and kissed her hair, cheek, and finally, her lips.
"Let's sit," I said.
After sitting she turned to me and said, "I guess we can't put it off any longer, Mark. We have a lot to talk about."
"Do you want to go first, or would you like me to go first?" I asked.
"I need you to talk first."
I took a deep breath, and started.
"Holly, these last four months have not been easy. The first thing I had to do was find out if my feelings for you were because you are such a sexy woman who is great at making love, or if I was feeling something much deeper than lust."
Looking at her I went on, "You have no idea how lonely I felt." There was something missing in my life. It was like there was this big gaping hole in my heart. There were times I wanted to call just to hear your voice or even come to Nashville just to get a glimpse of you."
I sighed, then continued, "But I knew that you were dealing with your feelings too and I didn't want to complicate things for you, make it any harder."
"I've dealt with the same emotions," she said. "You don't know how many times I wanted to call you or go to Columbus. But I knew you were right. We had to put the distance between us so we could sort out what was real and what wasn't"
"I wanted so badly for our feelings to be real," I said. "We were considering a life-time commitment that couldn't be taken lightly. And I worried so much about how you were feeling."
"So what have you decided, Mark?"
Taking another deep breath, I stood up, took the small box from my pocket, and bent down on my right knee in front of her. Her eyes grew big, then she closed them. I heard her catch her breath before opening them again. When she did, tears trickled down her cheeks."
Looking into her eyes I said, "Holly, I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone or anything. I can't imagine living the rest of my life without you."
I paused. "Holly, will you marry me?"
She leaned forward, took my hands, and we stood together.
Looking intently at me, she said, "Yes. Yes, Mark. I know I love you from the depths of my heart. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
I slipped the ring onto her finger, looked at her beaming face, then drew her into my arms.
"I'll do anything I can to make you happy, Holly," I whispered into her ear.
"I can't be any happier than I am right now."
"Watch me," I smiled.
We sat again, simply holding each other.
"We have another decision to make," she said.
"I know, Holly. I have some news for you that will make it a lot easier. Last month and early this month, I did come to Nashville. I interviewed with two tech schools and some companies in the private sector. I have been offered a job at one of the tech schools in Nashville. But that won't start until next spring."
I noticed her smiling.
"I've also been offered a job with a firm here in town that I can start after the first of the year."
Her smile grew larger.
She burst out laughing. I gave her a puzzled look. That caused her to laugh even harder.
When she finally composed herself, she said, "Oh, Mark, I applied for a job opening at our office in Columbus. It starts after the holidays. I have it if I want it."
Now it was my turn to laugh. "Sounds like we both were pretty sure what would happen tonight, weren't we."
"Well, not a hundred percent sure, but it's always good to plan ahead."
"That's a decision we don't have to make tonight," I said.
"Can we go to your room now?"
When we walked through the door, I told Mark I wanted to take a quick shower. He looked momentarily puzzled when I took my purse with me.
While showering, I thought how fortunate I was. 'A wonderful man has asked me to marry him. He makes me feel so desired and beautiful. And I love the warm feel of his skin next to mine.'
I stepped out of the shower and dried my self off. I smiled at the thought that it would be Mark and not a towel that would soon be caressing my body. I coulsn't wait to see the look on his face when I put on my special surprise.
I opened my purse and took out my new teddy. It was red with black spaghetti straps and lined with black lace trim. The panties were black with red ties at each side.
After putting it on, I looked at myself in the mirror.
"This silk material feels so good against my skin." I said to myself. "Too bad I won't have it on long."
Satisfied, I started toward the door.
I hesitated, "Is that music I hear?"
While Holly was in the shower, I lit several small fragrant candles and placed them on the dresser, the table, and the desk. I put a soft, romantic Kenny G CD in the stereo I brought with me, and turned in on.
Lastly, I took off my clothes and put on a pair of new pajamas.
As she walked through the door, my eyes went wide when I saw her teddy.
"You really do plan ahead, don't you," I said.
Surveying the room, she said with a smile, "It looks like you did too."
She came to me and pulled me into a gentle kiss.
As our lips met I whispered, "I love you Holly."
"I love you, Mark," she whispered back.
I felt like I was on fire. I pressed my body close to Mark and tangled my fingers in his hair. He moaned softly, and placed a passionate kiss on my lips. He reached to pull down my teddy straps.
"No," I said, "let me."
I watched as she slowly removed her teddy from her body. She revealed first one breast, then the other, then pulled the top over her head.
"Untie my panties with your teeth," she ordered.
I bent to my knees and did as she asked. I stood while the panties dropped to the floor. She stood before me naked.
Holly stepped to me and pulled at my pajama top causing the buttons to pop off. She quickly undressed me. My heart was beating rapidly, my cock was straining.
"Oh Mark," she panted, "I love you so much. Now I need you so much. I need you inside me."
I guided Holly gently to the bed. She held her arms toward me and spread her legs wide.
We made love until we fell asleep, exhausted.
6:30 AM. I came awake. I looked at Holly. She was looking at me.
"Merry, Christmas Holly," I said.
She smiled and said, "Merry Christmas to you, Mark."
"I love you."
"I love you too."
"We've got to do something about this 6:30 AM habit of yours."