Elsie kept her hand on top of Hildreth’s hand as he sliced the rest of the piece. Corner straight-line to corner. Corner straight-line to end.
She may have inadvertently impeded his movement, but she didn’t try to restrain him. Nor did she force him to follow her lead.
She let him lead this time.
The photographer sang rhapsodies and symphonic hymns as he took an endless stream of pictures.
Elsie, however, didn’t hear a single word the man said. Because she was lost.
Lost in the moment.
Lost in his nearness, in the glow of his body heat, in the stiff newness of his glove under her hand.
And, when he looked at her, she became lost in his eyes.
I won’t forget this. No matter how long I may live, I will never forget this moment. The way he looks. The smell of his cologne. His Bossman 550 strapped on his back. How strong and handsome and healthy he is. All in this one small moment in time.
“I will always love you, Hildreth Mayhew.”
“Els.” Hildreth set the knife down, but Elsie kept her hand right where it was.
A light pressure on my hand.
A gentle pressure.
A gentle presence.
And the way she looks at me.
“Ohh, Elsie. Elsie baby, I love the way you look at me.”
“And how do I look at you, Hildreth Mayhew?”
He smiled flirtatiously. “Like I’m goobs and gobs of gooey goodness. Like I taste as good as honey, better than molasses, and have all the flavorful fun of salt water taffy.” He put his hands on her hips. “You want to put your mouth all over me and eat me up. Yum yum yum! Poor Hildreth Mayhew all eaten up and inside your tum.”
The photographer lowered his camera. “Should I leave you two alone?”
“Yes.” Elsie said, even before he’d finished his sentence.
“Uhh, right. I’ll just go this way.” The photographer headed over to Master Shinowa.
Elsie smiled at Hildreth. “You are incorrigible.”
She took a small dollop of frosting and tapped it on the tip of his nose. “Very.”
“Oh, dear! Noooo! Now, Imma gonna get whiteheads all over mah nose! Wait. Would that make them whitenoses? Noseheads?”
“Stick with whiteheads and that’s fine enough.”
He shrugged. “Okay. I’ll go with it. But ohhhhhh! How will I ever get all of that frosting off mah nose?”
“Very easily.” She held his head in between her hands and licked the frosting off.
Her tongue on my skin…It feels gross and weird.
Hildreth closed his eyes.
She sucked on it.
“Els. Elsie.” He dug his fingers into the fabric of her dress. “Elsie. Elsie baby.”
Her mouth moved down to his mouth. She kissed him again and again and again.
I want to…
Elsie, I want to…
He quickly broke off.
She scowled at him.
Hildreth shook his head. “Wrong place, baby.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Don’t worry. Soon. I promise. As soon as we can.”
Her frown lifted. “And if anyone dares to interrupt us, I will kill them.”
He laughed. “And I’ll gladly help you in your murderous mayhem.”
She smiled. “I love you.”
“Love you too, Els.” He kissed her. “Baby, this is the best day of my life.”