Chapter 11 -- The Morning After


I awoke Saturday morning feeling completely rested and totally relaxed, as if I had slept eight hours when in reality it was four or five. When I opened my eyes she was leaning on her elbows staring at me.

"You're beautiful," she said, as she began running her fingers through my hair.

"No, I'm handsome."

"Handsome isn't good enough for you, not even chronically handsome. No, you're beautiful. How do you feel this morning, Mr. Anderson? I feel... like dizzy. Everything seems to be brighter, although a little blurry, I feel..."

"Lighter," I interrupted, "like you're almost floating. Your stomach feels empty, but you don't want to waste time eating. You're feeling every beat of your heart in your throat. You don't understand it but you know something has changed."

"Maybe I'm in love," the words came out slowly as she lowered her head.

Lifting her chin, I said, "I hope you are."

"I'm sorry I didn't wait for you. I wish you were the only man who ever made love to me."

"I am," I replied.

"No, you're the third," she confessed, again looking down.

"No, I'm the first and only man who ever made love to you," again lifting up her face. "I'd like to have a little talk with those two jerks someday. They never made love to you, they used you."

"That's true," she smiled as she fell into my arms. "I love you."

"I love you too. I'll never want another woman again."

"I'll do anything for you, I want you to be so pleased with me," she said reaching her hand under the sheets.

"Aren't we Miss Curious this morning?"

"Have you had lots of women?"

"What would be a lot? Give me a number."

"Oh, say ten or twelve."

I laughed, as I thought to myself that I'd killed more than twelve people. "What does it matter -- none of them had any meaning. It was just sex. I've never made love to anyone like we did last night."

"Am I exciting to you?" she asked.

"What do you think?" I responded, throwing back the sheets.

"It's amazing how it grows and gets so large," she pondered.

"That's because of you and your magic touch. How does it feel to be so powerful?"

"I think it's all in your mind."

"It is. It's my mind's response to seeing you, touching you, your touching me, thinking about you and last night. Have I produced a nymphomaniac?" I laughed.

"No, I just feel comfortable talking to you. I'm still curious about a lot of things."

"I promise to more that satisfy your curiosities if you promise me an eternity of nights like last night, when you're totally mine to love. Last night was the most wonderful night of my life."

"Mine too. I'm yours whenever you want me -- and I hope you will always want me."

"And I am yours to do with as you please, anytime you please," I responded.

"Well, we could go eat breakfast, or take care of this," as she held up my middle leg. "I'm not really hungry."

"Me either," as I kissed her.

We ate breakfast in the middle of the afternoon. I had to come back to a semblance of reality, as love struck as I was. My mind and heart said run away with her to some deserted island and live happily ever after. To hell with the swine flu, America, and Russia. But she had family here, people she loved. I couldn't let her family and friends be killed. I had to ask her tonight. Tonight would be the night. I would risk it, I had to. It had been two weeks, I had to get to Kissinger!

We spent what was left of the day like two teenagers in love. Walking along the Potomac, playing with Rommel, wrestling, just enjoying holding hands and touching each other and being in love.

We went grocery shopping because she wanted to cook something special for me tonight. Spend the night together -- just the two of us by candlelight, beautiful music, and each other. The perfect evening.

And it was perfect. She was exquisite, in a sexy black silk, lacy dress, with a touch of gold jewelry and black shoes. Beautiful as always! God I needed to run today! Be alone and think about how to do this. Finally, I decided the only way I was ever going to do it was to set a time. It was 7 p.m. I would ask her at 8 p.m. That's that! Now I could relax. Eight p.m. came and went, so I set 9 as the new target.

We were putting up the dishes and I was watching the clock, trying to make it go slower.

Now we were dancing, holding each other in our arms. I think she sensed something was amiss. Damn it, it was 9:05. I had an empty feeling in my stomach even though we had just finished eating. This would be the most difficult thing I had ever done. As I gently held her back from me, all my spirit drained away. I felt empty -- hollow. I still didn't know how to begin.

"Something's wrong," she said.

"It's 9 o'clock." That's all I could think of to say.

"Are you going to turn into a pumpkin? Or worse -- You have to leave?" as a tear started in each of her hazel eyes.

"No, no. Neither, I hope," as I kissed her tears away. "Let's sit down," I said as I led her to the couch.

"Remember I told you I was here to verify a story before we printed it?"

"Yes," she answered.

Here goes I thought. "The story has to do with Henry Kissinger," I said slowly, "and I knew you were his personal secretary."

"So you were only using me also."

"Originally," I confessed.

"And when you get what you want, you're gone."

"No," I insisted.

"You're just like the others, you just wanted something else."

"Not now, Sunny. I considered blowing it all off, but I just can't. It's so very important. Innocent people could get hurt. I'm not going to let you get involved. Just slip him an envelope one time. If I'm correct, he'll want to see me after he reads the note. It's critically important!"

"I could lose my job. It's a security issue. You could be crazy."

"You know that isn't true. Last night no other two people in the universe knew the excitement and love we knew. You're extremely valuable to me. I love you, and I'll protect you!"

After an awkward minute of silence, I assumed the answer was no. Standing up, I pulled her into my arms and kissed her. "I love you. It's okay, I'll find another way, but I'll always love you."

"You don't have to say that anymore. I told you I'd do anything for you. Give me your note and I'll take it to him."

"I haven't even prepared it yet. I'll get it ready tomorrow and you can give it to him Monday. I can't tell you how important this is."

Composing herself and pushing away, she said, "You can go now, you don't have to perform anymore. I knew it would end. It was all a dream, as usual."

I tried to pull her back into my arms, but she resisted. I wasn't going to give up. I was stronger than she was. I put my arms around her and pulled her to me. She started sobbing and beating on my chest. I let her -- hell I deserved it! I wish I could say that it physically hurt. I wish that she had the arm strength of the world heavyweight champion and could have put me away for good. That didn't happen, but yes it did hurt. It hurt, it hurt, it hurt -- to know that I had disappointed her. But I had to, I had no other choice.

"Go now. Just go," she said as she finally grew tired of beating my chest.

I gently pulled her into my arms. She finally stopped resisting and placed her head on my shoulder, still crying. In a calmer, now resigned voice, she stated flatly, "Leave me. Please, just leave now."

All I could think of to whisper in her ear was, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or turn from following after thee, for where thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if but death part thee and me. Now that I've found you -- you will always be the best part of me Sunny Holiday!"

At that moment, I could not come up with any original words which expressed my true feelings any better. There was a long uncomfortable silence, but I was enjoying holding her in my arms. A decision was being made during the silence. I wanted to somehow sway the decision in my favor, but I knew this had to be her decision. Finally, a weak whisper in my ear, "I love you, I'll always love you." Then I kissed her wonderful mouth, and returning her head to my shoulder, a soft voice pleaded, "Promise me you'll hold me in your arms forever."

"I swear I'm never gonna let you go."


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