Dreams Do Come Trueby_Lynn_©
This is my entry into the 'Winter Holidays Story Contest'. Be sure to vote, and either leave a comment or send feedback. I hope you enjoy it.
Dozens of lights twinkled from their perches. A fresh pine scent filled the air. Gaily wrapped presents crowded together to find a spot under the tree. People scurried through the stores to find those last elusive gifts. It was three days before Christmas, and Abby wished it was over.
The packages were empty, fake, like the tree with its air freshener stuffed in the center. A single card sat on the coffee table; a reminder of how few people remembered her. Abby hated the holidays.
She pulled the plug, pitching the room into darkness. Across the road, her neighbor’s Santa display illuminated their entire yard. Each hour the elves at his side gave out a squawky rendition of Christmas songs. Tuning them out didn’t work, and she sighed as a deep sadness filled her.
Life wasn’t supposed to be so hard, she thought for the millionth time. Where had she gone wrong to end up so alone? She remembered childhood dreams of a house filled with family and friends celebrating the holidays together. Laughter rang out from each room. Her husband stood at her side, beaming at her with love.
The bubble burst somewhere after she graduated from high school. Struggling to find a decent job, she had taken the only thing offered to her. Now, twelve years later, she still answered phones in the same dreary office. Her boss, a lawyer with a bad reputation, saw few clients. Most days she felt dirty after spending eight hours around him, and hurried home to take a shower.
Disheartened, she went to bed. The dream began right away.
Wrapping paper, tape, and ribbon lay scattered across the floor. One of the kittens had a bow stuck to his tail. His antics as he tried to remove it made her laugh.
“Honey? I’m home!”
“In the kitchen,” she yelled, drying her hands before greeting him.
“It smells delicious in here. Your stew?”
He stopped in front of his wife to give her a kiss. It was part of their ritual, but he loved it. She was his other half. By the end of his day at work, he couldn’t wait to see her.
“Changed my mind—you’re what smells so good.”
He nibbled her earlobe before covering her neck with soft kisses. Hearing her sweet moans, he slipped his hands under her shirt. Brushing his thumbs over her nipples wasn’t enough. Pulling the fleecy material up, he buried his face between her naked breasts.
“Sam, baby, oh yes,” she whispered, pressing his head closer to her aching flesh.
She caressed his back, tugging his shirt out of his slacks to find warm skin. Her nails skimmed along his spine, making his shaft swell even more. His mouth latched onto one rosy nipple while his fingers played with the other.
“Abby, I need you.”
Her nod was enough for him. Swinging her up into his arms, he carried her to their bedroom. She watched him strip before adding her own clothing to the pile. Their hunger for each other made their mating swift. Thrusting his throbbing member into her creamy center was all he had thought of from the moment he got home. The reality of her sweet body drove him wild as she let go, taking him with her.
“Oh Sam,” she murmured, her body alive from his touch. “How did I get so lucky?”
“I think it was that sexy smile you gave me.”
“Is that all I had to do? And here I thought it was my stew.”
“Nah, I could live without that, but never without you,” he replied, trailing his fingers over her cheek.
Leaning over to kiss him, she shrieked when she caught sight of the clock.
“Oh my god, look at the time!”
Hopping out of bed, she ran into the bathroom. He heard the water go on and pictured her in the shower. Seconds later, she called out to him.
“Sam, hurry. Tonight is the family Christmas dinner.”
“It won’t hurt if we’re late.”
“Honey, we have to load all the gifts into the car yet, plus the food, and—”
He chuckled, knowing he would do anything for his beautiful wife.
Waking with a start, Abby felt caught between the dream and reality. When the image of a happy Christmas dissolved, she slammed her fist into the pillow. The doorbell rang just as she fell back asleep.
Drowsy yet, she opened the door.
“I’m sorry, you have the wrong place,” she said, moving to shut the door on the deliveryman.
“Excuse me, please?”
This time she paid attention to the man standing there. About her age, his blond hair and blue eyes gave him a boyish look.
“This isn’t 209 West Grant?”
“No, I’m 209 East Grant.”
“Thank you, miss. Merry Christmas!”
He turned to trace his steps back to the delivery truck idling at the curb. Abby watched as he swung his lean frame inside, waving at her before taking off.
An hour later, she left for work. The snowy roads didn’t seem to deter anyone or ruin the holiday spirit for them. People smiled and waved as they headed off to who knew where. By the time she sat at her desk, her mood was worse than the day before. With nothing to do, she began to daydream.
The voice intruding on her fantasies sounded familiar.
“Hey, it’s you.”
“Did you find the right address this morning?” she asked when she recognized the man standing near her desk.
“One Agnes Brickman has her packages safe and sound.”
Trying not to make it obvious she was looking at him wasn’t easy for her. It had been so long since she found a man who interested her. But his sparkling blue eyes were like a magnet, drawing her gaze up to his face. This time she noticed the jagged scar running down his cheek.
“Bad wreck. I was seven. The garage jumped in front of my bike.”
Tipping her head, she gave him a little smirk.
“I swear. It was moving day. No one told me that meant buildings too.”
His incredulous look made Abby laugh despite her mood. She could just imagine a little boy giving that explanation to his parents.
“Now that we have the hard stuff out of the way, will you marry me?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I suppose I should introduce myself first. Sam Wyatt.”
His name brought her dream back, where her husband’s name had been Sam too.
“This is where you say yes, and then tell me your name just for the record,” he whispered, leaning across her desk.
“Abby, my name is Abby.”
She didn’t know what made her answer. That wasn’t her intention, but the words seemed to slip out on their own.
“Abby—Abby and Sam—Sam and Abby. I like it, don’t you?”
“Yes,” she replied without thinking.
“Fantastic! Now I’m a happy man! I can’t wait to call my parents and tell them.”
“Parents? Ah, tell them what?”
“That we’re getting married. You did accept, you know.”
“You aren’t going to back out so close to the wedding, are you?”
The way he turned words around so fast left her confused. Looking straight at him, she swore the room moved.
“You know, sweetheart, it’s all right to be nervous. It happens to the best of us. Well, not me. I’m excited about it myself.”
“I don’t even know you.” At last, Abby managed to say more than two words in a row.
“Of course you do. Don’t forget I waved when I left the house this morning.’
Sam faced her, his blue eyes darkening when he spoke. “I might be, but you haven’t kicked me out yet. Admit it, you’re intrigued.”
Unable to deny it, Abby blushed. There was something about him that made her heart beat faster.
“So, is Friday good for you?”
Giving him a blank look, she tried to remember what he had said last. But her brain seemed to have gone on vacation, leaving her head empty.
“Sweetheart, you really need to get over this before the honeymoon. I’m anticipating more from you than acquiescence.”
“Friday, yes that’s good,” she said, going along with him.
“What color flowers should I get? I’m thinking something dark and mysterious, like blood red, wine, or deep burgundy.”
“I love the dark burgundy shades.”
Grabbing a little notebook from his pocket, he scribbled something down before closing it.
“Added it to my list so I don’t forget. I’ll take care of the rest. You just be ready at—did we set a time?”
She shook her head at him, but didn’t answer.
“Okay, then about two in the afternoon?”
“Well, I do believe that slot is open.”
“Two it is. Now I should get back to delivering the rest of the packages in my truck. See you Friday, sweetheart.”
He sauntered to the door after winking, letting the cold winter air inside when he left. Abby didn’t feel it at all. She was still smiling when she left work at the end of the day.
In line at the grocery store that evening, she ignored all the shopping carts filled with hams, turkeys, and other holiday goodies. If anyone asked her about plans, she brushed them off by turning the question back on them. No one seemed to notice; everyone was too busy. But Abby had nowhere to go.
Thursday was a slower day at work than usual. Her boss left mid-morning for a supposed court date. Abby knew his calendar was clear through the end of the year, and suspected he was meeting his mistress again. The man made her skin crawl, and she couldn’t imagine any decent female allowing him to touch her.
Pulling a novel out of the desk drawer, she spent an hour reading before the phone rang.
“Tanger Law Office. How may I help you?”
“Who is this?”
She recognized the gruff tone, resisting the urge to hang up.
“This is Abby, Mr. Tanger.”
“Where’s the girl who answers the phone?”
“Oh. Yes, right. I won’t be back today. You can close the office and go home, Alice.”
Hearing him use the wrong name after she had just reminded him of it irked her. She hated her job and her crooked boss. Reigning in her temper, she responded.
“Yes, Mr. Tanger. And by the way, my resignation letter will be on your desk whenever you show up.”
Hanging up the phone with a soft click, she pressed her thumbs against her temples. The headache stayed with her as she typed up her resignation. Flipping the lights off behind her, she dropped it on his desk on her way out the door.
Snowflakes floated through the air, swirling past her face. She laughed and stuck her tongue out to catch one. By the time she did, her headache had disappeared. The only thing she thought about was the way Sam’s eyes seemed to reach into her soul.
Part way home, she pulled into the parking lot next to Cramer’s Video Store. Browsing through hundreds of titles without finding one she thought looked good, she turned to leave. Near the bottom, the title on a red box caught her eye. The sappy love story had been popular many years ago, but she had never watched it. This was the night, she decided as she grabbed it and headed to the front desk.
Once she got home, she ordered a pizza. She took a quick shower and slipped into her favorite pajamas. Her dinner arrived right on time. With the box on the coffee table in front of her, she immersed herself in the movie. Tears trickled down her cheeks by the time it was over. Swiping her sleeve across her eyes, she sat back and thought about Sam; the real Sam, not the one from her dream.
Laughing at herself for even giving him a second thought, she went in to take a bath. While water filled the tub, she undressed and looked at herself in the mirror. Her small breasts had always bothered her; now they looked sexy. Imagining a tongue on the tiny mole on her stomach, goose bumps raced over her skin. Lost in the perusal of her own body, Abby forgot the running water until she felt it on her bare toes.
Once she cleaned it up and drained the excess from the tub, she sank into the hot water and laughed.
“That will teach me for checking myself out.”
She realized she was talking to herself and shook her head.
“Lord, I’m turning into an old woman. Next I’ll be answering myself too.”
Wishing she had brought a glass of wine into the bathroom with her, she stepped out of the tub and ran to the kitchen dripping wet. In an act of defiance, she skipped the glass and took the bottle. Hot water swirled around her as she sank back down into the tub. Lathering body wash onto her skin, Abby watched her nipples pucker. Closing her eyes for a moment, she let herself fantasize once more.
Feeling the chilly water brought her back to the present. Standing naked once more, she scrounged through the cabinet for her favorite lotion. Then she applied it to every inch of her body. Satisfied at last, she slid between the sheets with her wine and a novel. The book remained closed. She emptied the bottle.
Sprawled across the bed, the constant ringing of the doorbell woke her the next morning. She groaned when she sat up and felt the sudden pounding in her head. Somehow she staggered to the door and eased it open.
“I couldn’t wait until this afternoon.”
“What? This afternoon? What time is it?”
Sam leaned against the doorframe, grinning. “You didn’t forget, did you? I’m hurt.”
“Woohoo, she remembered my name at least.”
“I don’t feel too good,” she said, running to the bathroom.
Concern brought him inside even when he had told himself earlier he wouldn’t. There was something about her though, and he couldn’t just walk away.
“Here, sweetheart,” he said, handing her a wet towel after finding her in front of the toilet.
“I think . . . the wine last night . . . oh my head!”
“How much did you drink?”
“I don’t know. I never drink though.”
“It’s all right. I’ll go make some coffee.”
Thinking she should tell him to get out, the presence of another human was comforting. Leaning back against the wall, eyes closed, she just nodded.
Sam opened cupboards until he found what he needed. Then he put some sugar and a glass of the flavored creamer he found in the refrigerator onto a tray left on the table. When the coffee was finished, he filled two cups and went back to Abby.
“How about taking a swig of this?” he asked her.
“Thanks. You’ve been very kind.”
“Taking care of you is just part of being your husband.”
Abby choked on the rich blend of coffee at his words. “Husband?”
“You did say you would marry me today. Remember?”
“Ah, I thought you were kidding though,” she replied.
“I never kid when it comes to proposing.”
“All you know is my first name.”
“We’ll have years to sort out all the details,” he said and winked.
“You’re crazy. Why would you want to marry a stranger? It’s not like you’re ugly—”
“Ah, so you noticed. That’s a good thing. And you, my dear, are gorgeous.”
Shaking her head to refute his words, she groaned when the room spun.
“Honey, why don’t you take a shower? That should help clear the cobwebs a bit.”
He turned the shower on before leaning down to take both her hands in his. As if in slow motion, he pulled the tie of her robe loose and slid it off her shoulders. Abby knew she should stop him. What did she know about the man, anyway? But she couldn’t deny the feelings building in her from the way he was looking at her.
“You’re beautiful—just as I imagined.”
The teasing tone was gone. His voice was deep, gravelly, and sexy. She ached to feel his hand on her flesh, but didn’t know how to tell him. When his thumb brushed her nipple just seconds later, she wondered if she had verbalized her need.
“Your eyes told me what you wanted, Abby.”
“I don’t do . . . this.”
The fog in her head told her to just let go; to feel for once in her life, and not think. Her dull, boring life flashed through her mind long enough for her to know she was going to take this moment.
“Tell me what you want.”
It wasn’t an order. All Sam wanted was to please her—to make her smile as she had in that dreary law office just two days ago.
“I don’t know. Yes, I do,” she said in a stronger voice. “Make love to me, Sam. Hold me and pretend you’ll never let go.”
“No pretending, honey. You’re mine, and I’m going to prove that any way I can.”
“Can I brush my teeth first?”
Chuckling at the pleading look on her face, he moved to the sink and squeezed some toothpaste on her brush. Abby took it from his fingers, and staring into his eyes, brushed.
“Thank you,” she said once she finished. “I couldn’t . . . without . . .”
Sam waited, still unsure of the naked woman in front of him. He longed to pull her into the bedroom and ravish her, but worried he would scare her. And that’s not what he wanted from her. That he acknowledged to himself what he wanted should have bothered him. It didn’t at all.
Standing on tiptoes, she pressed her lips to his. He held still until he felt her tongue. That’s when he picked her up and devoured her mouth with his.
It was far more than Abby had imagined. Never had she felt such pure lust for a man. But it was more. She knew it, even if she didn’t want to admit it yet.
The earth moved for Sam when he finally eased himself into her. From the moment she opened the door that first time, he craved her. He felt it like he never had before when he held her close. She was a rare creature, waiting for him to take her away from the dreariness surrounding her.
Lying together felt right. He kissed her hair and smiled. “Abby?”
“Marry me. No teasing, no jokes.”
“Sam, you can’t be serious.”
“I am. You won’t regret it, I swear.”
“You’re crazy. We can’t get married after just one . . .”
“We can. Look at me, sweetheart,” he said, moving to prop himself up. “Look into my eyes and tell me we can’t.”
Abby tried. She really did. The words caught in her throat until she could hardly breathe.
“This is crazy.”
“Maybe so, but this is right. You know it, and I know it.”
It wasn’t a question, but more of a plea. Sam saw the vulnerability in her eyes and knew he had to find the right words.
“You’re beautiful, you make me smile, and you make my heart sing.”
“Oh, Sam,” she hissed.
“Don’t take away the music. Please say yes.”
She hesitated. He took her breath away in a scary sense. But he held her as if she was the most precious jewel in the world.
“Yes,” she said in a clear voice at last.
“We’ll be good together. I know that with every fiber in my body.”
Pulling her close, he kissed her. They didn’t leave her room until much later.
“Tomorrow is Christmas so I imagine you have plans,” he said.
“No, I have nothing planned.”
She looked sad and dejected, whereas only minutes ago she had been laughing.
“You do now.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re my fiancée, and as such, you’re coming with me.”
“Sam, what will people think?”
“That you’re going to be my wife just as the word fiancée implies,” he said, ignoring her real question.
“No, but your family, or friends, they must know who you’ve been dating recently.”
“That would be no one. Anything else you’re worried about?”
“What will I wear? Should I bring something? What about gifts? Where are we going? Who will be there? Why weren’t you dating anyone?”
She tossed out the questions in succession, adding the last one in hopes to learn more about him.
“Clothes, if you want to, no need, across town, my family, and I hadn’t met you yet.”
His answer confused her until she realized he had given it in the same order she had asked them in.
“Impressive, but clothes isn’t quite what I was hoping to hear, I make a mean pecan pie, and we’ll see on that one.”
“You missed a couple,” he said, laughing when she stuck her tongue out at him.
“Oh yeah, well, I’m still suffering from a hangover, remember?”
“Sweetheart, if today was an indication of how you make love with a hangover, you’ll kill me without one.”
It occurred to her how well they got along—for strangers anyway. Sitting back to think, she noticed the neighbor’s Christmas lights go on. She jumped up and plugged her own in, seeing her tree in a whole new way.