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A Walk Around the Lake, Chapter 7

the SUV was unloaded.  He reached out and took her hand in his, and she glanced at their hands, fingers laced, and then smiled shyly at him. 

"I like you," he said to her, "a lot."

"I know, I have feelings for you too," she admitted.  "I haven't felt like this, in a long time."

"Hmm, nor have I," he admitted to her.  "I didn't think I'd ever find someone like you.  I'd given up on love."

"What are you saying?", she asked him, afraid to look at his face, for fear of what she might see, so she watched the water, rush over the rocks.

"I'm saying I love you."  He watched her face as she turned to look at him. 

She smiled at him, and again looked at their hands, still joined, resting on the broad arm of her wooden chair, then looked into his eyes.

The eyes, the windows to the soul.  His eyes, showed her that he did indeed love her, and she lost her heart in that moment.  She knew then, that her life was about to change drastically.  Oh, it was going to be a change for the better, but a change none the less. 

"What now?", she asked him.

"We have both had losses in our lives.  Yours was painful for you, mine was a relief.  I know I want you in my life, but I'm not sure how you feel about that.  I haven't been intimate with a woman, since before my wife died.  I couldn't give myself to another woman, not out of loyalty, mind you.  It was self preservation, I suppose.  My wife, had numerous affairs.  I knew of her indiscretions, she was never subtle about it.  Her lovers would phone, when I was home, and she would leave to meet them.  I stayed, for the sake of the children.  They needed one stable parent in the home.  When she died, it was a relief.  I never mourned the loss, like you mourned Michael.  There was no need.  I had mourned the loss of my marriage years before.  Her death, was the finality I sought.  Her death gave me freedom.  Funny, when we first met, and married, we had a satisfying sexual relationship.  When she started having the affairs, I lived a life of celibacy, not wanting to be the one who stepped out on his spouse, so she could ask me for a divorce."

"Michael was my first lover, I was a virgin when we married.  That was important to me, that I was able to give him that part of me, on our wedding night.  I haven't been with another man either.  I know that celibacy is not easy, the urges, the desires, don't just go away.  They linger on, a sweet torture of what once was.  Michael and I had a wonderful sex life.  When we found I couldn't conceive, well, I was devastated.  Michael was so loving and caring, he would have been a great dad."

"Just as you'd have been a wonderful mom," he told her gently. 

"Thanks, but I'm not so sure.  My own childhood wasn't that great, and we learn how to parent, by the example of our own parents.  I think it's a blessing now, that I didn't have to raise a child on my own, without Michael."

They continued to share bits and pieces of their lives, growing closer, with each passing moment.  The sun was setting, and the deer were coming out in the early evening hours.  It was such a peaceful repast, neither of them wanted to break the spell. 

"Are you hungry?", he asked her. 

"Yeah.  Are you?"

They decided to go and find a place to have some supper, and then return to the cabin.  The butterflies in her tummy, had settled as they visited, but now, with the prospect of the night closing in on them, together, in the cabin, the butterflies had returned to play volleyball! 

He stood first, and pulled her to her feet, and into his embrace.  He kissed her, full on the lips, passionately, his tongue sweeping across her lower lip.  She kissed him back.  She looped her arms around his neck and hung on for dear life, for his kisses alone, made her knees weak.  A moan escaped her lips, and for the first time in a long time, Michael was not on her mind.  This tall, handsome man, with a Texas drawl, who loved her, and kissed like a god, with his arms around her, made her feel like all was right with the world once again.
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