I rolled over to crack my eyes just enough to see that my clock on the nightstand said I had two more hours to sleep, but my body was saying otherwise. The stab of longing for my late husband hit my heart when I remembered the dream I had about him. Between the two of us, Randy was the more romantic one and loved to surprise me as often as he could. I had dreamt about one morning he woke up me up with a bouquet of long stem red roses and instructed me to get dressed. Randy had called me out of work sick before I had even woken up so I wouldn’t feel guilty about playing hooky, saying, “Well, what’s done is done. It would be a waste to not take advantage of it.” We ended up driving up to the historic district of St. Augustine and ran around the old city exploring. He had made reservations at a gorgeous restaurant on the water and a beautiful suite at a historical hotel. For no particular reason, he decided to show me time and time again that he loved me. Memories and dreams like these made it impossible to push my pain away and I felt like the wind had been knocked from my chest. Burning tears formed in my eyes as I pulled my pillow onto of my face, trying to fight back the flood of emotions.
Suddenly, my senses were awakened when the other side of my bed moved a little. Shit! Walker! My best friend, turned new roommate slash pseudo lover had not crossed my mind until this point. Realizing that I had completely forgotten about him for a moment sent guilt flying through my body; I took a deep breath as his arms grabbed for me, pulling my back into his bare muscular chest. Feeling his warmness made me relax slightly, finally remembering that he is very comforting at times like this.
For the next few hours I let myself push Randy and my adulterous feelings out of my head, just enjoying Walker’s warm embrace. He gently stroked my arm, lulling me back into sleep until my alarm rudely interrupted our cuddling. I could feel Walker sigh against my neck, leaning over me to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. My eyes shot open and reluctantly I pulled away from his arms, climbing out of my bed. I retreated to my bathroom for a nice hot shower. As the water cascaded down my back, my muscles finally started to relax. Missing my husband was never going away; I just wish that the guilt of still living would.
With a swift kiss to Walker’s cheek while he still slept curled up in my blankets, I was off to work. The day passed by slowly. Finally, I looked at my phone, seeing that I only had five more minutes of boredom and a missed text message from Walker. A smile formed on my lips as I read: I have a surprise for you. See you soon :). Butterflies flitted in my stomach, excited that Walker was being romantic. In the last few weeks of our courtship, there had not been much room in our physical time together for romance. We basically went from guilt to longing that led into passion, to heat and then we would smolder in the aftermath of our love making just to start to vicious cycle again with the guilt of betraying a dead man.
I flew out of my office and rushed home. I was so thankful that the traffic on my hour drive home was lighter than usual. When I opened the front door to my home I was saddened to find the house was completely empty. Sullenly, I went into the kitchen to open up my wine fridge. I grabbed a bottle of pinot and went to my cupboard for a wine glass. In front of my stemware was a card with my name scrawled across the front in Walker’s impressively neat hand writing. I smiled and opened up the card to read:
Thought I would stand you up? I think you know me a little better than that, Mags! Surprised at how well I know you? Be ready by 7:30. Wear something comfortable. Jeans and your boots are preferred 😉 Pour yourself that glass of wine and get ready!
I grinned and giggle to myself like a school girl. I glanced down at my phone to find that I had about an hour to get ready. I did as Walker instructed, pouring a glass full of my nectar and headed up the stairs to get ready. I pulled my hair out of the low pony tail and turned my flat iron on. Redoing my eye makeup into a smoky eye and straightening my hair made me feel a little bit sexier than I usually let myself feel these days. I grabbed my favorite pair of boot-cut, low-rise, dark wash jeans and a light pink tank top and checked out myself in the mirror. I smiled at myself, satisfied in my efforts.
Right as I was pulling on my boots, my phone vibrated on the bed next to me with a text message from Walker: You have five minutes, come down stairs when you’re ready. The butterflies returned as I headed down stairs to find Walker standing in the front room waiting for me. He looked incredibly handsome. His military style hair cut had just been trimmed up, but his slightly scruffy, three day old beard left a sexy shadow on his strong jaw line that drove me crazy. He was wearing a tight fitting black button down that hugged his large arm muscles nicely. His loose fitting jeans were pulled over his own pair of snakeskin boots. I couldn’t help but melt a little when I realized that he was holding one single long stem red rose.
Walker’s warm green eyes met mine as we both smiled at each other. He reached out his free hand to take mine, he voice was soft and inviting, “You look perfect. I hope you’re ready.” I walked into him, wrapping my arms around him, giving him a tight hug, “Thank you for this.” I whispered sweetly into his ear and kissed his cheek, taking the rose and setting it on the front room table. He opened the door for me and we were off on our adventure.
The entire time we were driving, Walker held my hand, running his thumb in circles in my palm. It was nice, riding with him, just talking about our days. His warm smile spread across his face every time I started to tell him even the simplest of stories. Walker really was a fantastic listener, always waiting for me to finish and chiming in with input at all the correct times.
I was happily surprised when we pulled into the parking lot of my favorite burger place. I guess Walker really does know me well. He squeezed my hand and looked over at me with his sexy half smile, “I thought this was more our speed. Todd is working, don’t worry I checked.” I smiled back at him and started to get out of the truck so excited to see my favorite bartender. When we walked into Charlie’s I could see that on the backs of my regular barstools there was paper taped saying they were reserved. I smiled and squeezed Walker’s hand, “This is perfect,” I cooed pulling him closer to me and kissing his soft lips. He grinned into me and lead me over to the bar, pulling out my seat for me while I waved at a familiar, lanky, flamboyant smile at the other end of the bar.
Todd greeted us with our usual beers and didn’t even have to ask what we wanted to eat. We sat, talking and laughing with Todd, who after all of these years, was more of the friend than a bartender. He kept the beer flowing and after about twenty minutes of chatting our burgers came out just the way we liked them. Mine was smothered with extra sharp cheddar melted over crispy bacon, covered with jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. Walker’s was dripping with barbeque sauce, sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle chips. My mouth watered threw every delectable bite. I giggle as barbeque sauce slid down Walker’s chin and I sweetly wiped it away for me. He grinned at my gesture and leaned into me, pecking my cheek quickly, “Thank you, Beautiful.” My cheek was warm were his lips had landed and I could feel my face flush.
Once our meals were done, we set off again. I sat up a little straighter in my seat of his black Ford when I noticed that Walker was pulling his truck onto our college campus. It had been a long time since I had been here and I had no idea why he would want to bring me here this late at night. I was a little numb from all of the beer sloshing in my stomach, so I decided to just go with the flow and not ask questions. Walker pulled into a guest spot next to the Communications Building. Once the truck was parked he turned to me, “This is where some of my favorite memories from college,” He paused to make sure we had eye contact before finishing, “and you were made. So, you remember this place?”
I giggled a little at how strange of a question that was, “Of course, I went to school here too.”
He smile and lightly laughed at me, “No, Silly, I meant this specific spot, it’s the first tree you ever climbed,” Walker pointed and then grabbed my hand as I smiled, remembering how Walker could not believe that I had never climbed a tree before in my life, insisting on teaching me. While I was stumbling through my memories, Walker got out of the truck and started to head for our tree with a cooler and blanket. I climbed out of the truck and went to meet Walker where he was sitting on the blanket pulling out two Orange Blossom Pilsners then opening them for us. We cheers to our evening together and to friends. I leaned into him as he pulled me close. Sitting in this spot brought back so many wonderful memories of happy times for the both of us. Reminiscing on some of them brought the memory of Randy and, to my surprise, I smiled when I realized the since I had read Walker’s text, I hadn’t thought about missing him. The notion was a little freeing and we continued to laugh, carrying on about how just a few short years ago we were completely carefree. It was nice to feel that way again.
For hours we sat in the cool night air, just reveling in this moment. I kissed Walker’s warm lips, igniting a spark of passion in the both of us. Deeply kissing, Walker laid me down on my back, lightly brushing his tongue against mine. The passion started to grow between us, when Walker pushed up from off of me. His deep greens smoldered with longing as he looked at me, “Let’s get home. It’s getting a little late.” He helped me up once I agreed. Walker opened the truck door for me and helped me inside. I leaned my head against the window, happily staring out into the night’s sky. Walker’s hand grabbed for mine and we headed home to ride out our passions in the privacy of my bed.
I smiled as I looked over at Walker’s face as the street lights danced across it. This night had been perfect. Walker was perfect. I smiled to myself realizing, for the first time in so long, I was completely content and happy. I slid over into the middle of the bench seat, cuddled down into Walker’s shoulder and sighed with satisfaction.