“I. I uhh…” John retreated to the safety of his seat and seatbelt. “We need to head back to Pinkerlee.” He started up the car. “I have things I need to finish before the wedding.”
Clarice studied his profile and she could almost see the young man he once was.
Thicker, darker hair.
No worry lines in his forehead.
Tight skin on his neck with an Adam’s apple that was just prominent enough.
I bet he was a heartbreaker, but he never broke a heart. At least, not on purpose.
Yet, I like the man I see before me. This man who has seen life and death, joy and heartbreak. This man who has raised a child. This man who took a chance and went skinny dipping with me.
I wouldn’t trade him in for anyone younger.
He left the church’s parking lot and hit the road.
I wouldn’t trade him for anyone.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way.” she said softly, almost to herself.
He glanced at her.
She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
In her mind, the car’s motion stopped and the car disappeared altogether.
Gerald stood before her in his black tuxedo. He smiled roguishly at her, making her laugh, and bowed.
She curtsied and took his hand.
He put his gloved hand on her waist.
She gasped in delight.
“Mrs. Vansing.” He pulled her in close and whispered, “Mrs. Clarice Vansing, at last.”
“Gerry. My Gerry.”
He gave her a quick kiss and led her into a dance.
The feel of his hands.
His strong hunter’s body.
Every step he made, every move.
The way he looked at just her.
Clarice could barely breathe.
I love him.
Oh my goodness! I love him!
She opened her eyes and glanced at John.
I love him, Gerry. I love him. Maybe he is right. Maybe we are moving too fast. Maybe love has come too fast to us.
But is that really a bad thing? Is it wrong to find love so easily and to acknowledge it so readily?
What would be the right thing to do?
Would it be better to hold back on revealing my feelings for him? I tried, but the words ached to be said. They fluttered in my head and in my throat. I couldn’t keep them in. They needed to be said.
I could be wrong, but I think he felt the same way.
The words escaped on us and flew out into the air. Now, I know and he knows. And I don’t see why that is something to regret.
I don’t regret it.
Gerry, it made me happy to tell him that I love him. It felt so right.
“Clarice?” John looked over at her again. “Are you all right?”
She nodded. “I’m all right.”
He stopped at a red light. “If I offended you—-”
“No. Not at all.” She smiled. “You just gave me some food for thought.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
She squeezed his wrist. “No. Not at all.”