She had a warm shower to end the day, and pulled on her very "un" sexy flannel pajamas. She crawled into the big fluffy bed, and curled up on her right side. She was asleep, almost instantly, the exercise and fresh mountain air of the day had taken its toll.
Her dreams that night were conflicting. A tall Texan stranger, with a soft drawl, and kind face made his way into her subconscious. Her husband was there, encouraging her to live again, to love again, then he was gone from her dream, as surely as he was gone from her life.
She woke early to meet her new friend at the boulder for sunrise. She was bound she was going to get some photos this morning, and hoped the colors would be as spectacular as she had seen in the past.
He was up and dressed and waiting for her, with a thermos of hot coffee, and his camera slung around his neck. She smiled to herself, as she saw him at "their" rock, and picked up her pace, eager to start the new day with him.
"Good morning", spoken in unison, and each chuckled at the timing. He poured her a cup of coffee, and she sat down beside him.
"Have you thought about where you are going to take me today?" he asked her, eager to hear of the plans for the day.
"I thought we would take it easy today, and ride the gondola up Sulphur Mountain, and view Banff from there. Greats shots of the town, and the mountains around us. If we're lucky, we'll get some shots of big horned sheep. Then we can soak in the hot springs and just relax."
He was game for that, for then he would get a chance to see that lush body of hers in something other than jeans or sweats. He hadn't slept well, frustrated with wanting her, but afraid to say anything, lest she run off. He had decided to bide his time, to see where this was going. He was falling in love with this beautiful woman. Something that didn't seem possible, after such a short time, but love didn't come with a timetable, and he was going to let things progress naturally. She seemed to enjoy his company, and seemed more at ease with him, the more time they spent together.
The sunrise this morning, was just as magnificent as the other mornings, and both got some wonderful shots of Nature's glory. They went for breakfast and again lingered over the coffee, and visited about the day ahead. After breakfast, they went to pack their swimsuits, and towels, and met at her SUV. The drive into Banff was relaxing as she took him along the old highway. It was a leisurely drive, and they stopped to get pictures of the elk that were grazing in the meadow. The shades of green, and the meadow flowers, with the majestic bull elk, with large racks of antlers made for wonderful shots. As they got on their way again, he thanked her, for showing him a side of the park, he likely wouldn't have seen without her.
She smiled shyly at him, "You're welcome. It really has been my pleasure!" She realized she meant that.
The ride up Sulphur Mountain in the gondola was as close as they had gotten. She stepped into the car, and he followed her, sitting beside her, thighs touching. That first contact was electric for him, and he looked at her, as she glanced away, but caught the hint of pink in her cheeks.
At the top, he stepped out of the car, and held out his hand to help her out. She wanted to ignore it, but something made her place her hand in his. The feeling of his warm fingers closing around her hand, made her heart trip, just a bit. She tried to ignore the feelings that seemed to be growing between them, but found she couldn't do that. He didn't let go of her hand, but entwined his fingers through hers, and they walked like that to the viewing platform. They enjoyed the scenery, and had a cup of coffee at the small coffee shop.
The sun was warm, you could almost smell the sunshine. The sky was blue, and made a perfect backdrop for the snow capped mountains around. It was still early in the day, and not many tourists had made their way up the mountain yet. The sheep were picking their way through the rocky terrain. It was a perfect start to a perfect day.
He got up from the table they sat at, and wandered over to get some shots of the big horned mountain sheep. She couldn't resist lifting her own camera, to take shots of him, as he worked. If nothing else, they would provide her with memories of this time together. He was tall, and incredibly handsome for a man his age. His trim body, athletic, almost. She caught herself, wondering if he was a good lover, and blushed at the thought. She hadn't been interested in a man since her husband died, despite the many attempts of blind dates, and dinner parties given by her friends so she could meet some single relative, or friend.
She began to feel alive again, her heart warming after years of mourning. She started to see possibilities that life could start over, with someone new. All she knew right now, was that she didn't want these feelings to end.
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<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/novels/a-walk-around-the-lake-chapter-4.aspx">A Walk Around the Lake, Chapter 4</a>