Part Thirty Seven
It was bright! Laura peeled back one very exhausted eyelid and took in the sun kissed bedroom. Then the dented pillow next to her. Reaching out a hand she felt under the sheet and the sheet was cold. There was no sign of Adam. Rolling onto her back she glanced in the direction of the bathroom, but the door was open and the room was in silence. Turning to look at the door leading to the hallway and downstairs, she was equally aware that there was no noise coming from there either.
Sitting up, holding the sheet over her naked body. On the bedside table, was the carton from the pizza Adam had ordered the previous night, somewhere after midnight when they'd woken ravenous after the hours battling in bed. Blushing she remembered how the cheese had fallen in strings all over her body and Adam had eaten every last crumb. That had led to a well deserved shower, and more fun in the hot jets of water.
Swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, she frantically scoured the room for her clothes, but there was no sign of her dress, underwear or shoes. It was as she looked back to the bedside table that she spotted the message scribbled onto the lid of the pizza box.
"Fire in warehouse, had to leave you - reluctantly. Hidden your clothes, just in case you thought of running off. Be home with breakfast asap, Ax BTW You are SO cute when you are asleep!"
At least he'd left a message...and she'd enjoy the chance to explore without him watching over her. Draped on the door handle was a dress shirt of Adam's, so she pulled it on, buttoning enough of it that it covered her modesty, then headed downstairs, but not before she checked out the three guest rooms. None of which held her clothes.
The open plan living space was bathed in sunlight, the room as beautiful in the glorious sunshine as it had been at dusk. Moving across to the music system in the corner that seemed to be imbedded in the wall, she opened the cupboard next to it and was rewarded with rack after rack of CD's. She chuckled as her eyes glanced from extremes of music, from the Notorious BIG to Florence and the Machine, and hell of a lot in between. It was then her eyes landed on Neil Diamond!
Selecting the CD seemed to be the easy part, working the machine was FAR more confusing. Eventually she pressed a button that simultaneously opened the CD drawer, and more importantly caused speakers to appear at various places around the room.
As the opening bars of Crackling Rosie emerged from every corner in such great quality, she smiled. Singing to herself she moved into the kitchen and had far quicker and greater success with the coffee machine. As it plinked and spat into action, she started the serialistic expedition around the ground floor.
Impeccable utility room - check, downstairs cloakroom and shower - check, garage - check, and then it only left the veranda and pool. Divine!
Once she'd thoroughly investigated, she returned to the kitchen and poured coffee, all the while singing at the top of her voice to America..."Never looking back again...They're coming to America!"
The words seemed to epitomise all that she was feeling, and she beamed, she'd not regret this trip as long as she lived!! Even the coffee was divine! And she was waiting for a man to come home, a man who could barely contain himself in her presence. And she could barely keep the smile off her face. Everything was worthwhile!
The clock told her it was not yet nine am, she had no idea what time Adam had left, the last thing she remembered was falling asleep at ridiculous o'clock, so consequently she had no idea what time he'd be home. Though he had mentioned breakfast. So she slid back the glass doors and embraced the fresh sea breeze. The beach was deserted bar a single dog walker, and Laura was tempted to scream 'I love Adam Purcell!' at the top of her voice. She didn't but the realisation that she wanted to say that was a direct link to her inner psyche that she' not paid attention to before.
Gulping at her coffee and spluttering on it in shock, she slumped onto one of the sofas and rested her head in her hands. You love Adam! Her internal monologue drowned ever the dulcet tones of the Diamond. She shook her head, she didn't. Then she sighed, she probably did, she tolerated his bad moods, his bossiness, he'd occupied her thoughts since the first moment she'd set her eyes on him, in so many ways. Hatred, resentment - even those two emotions had been ridiculously over enthusiastic!
Shaking her head in amazement - she'd never been in love before. And she'd never danced around a strange home with an inane grin on her face in a barely concealing shirt! Standing up she started to dance, she was too excited to sit, and too hungry to wait patiently.
It was as she was executing a rather elaborate twirl in the centre of the room in front of the sofas that the door from the hallway opened and Laura embarrassed almost fell over, in her rush to control her body, and then froze, stood there was a woman, a strange woman, and definitely not Adam!
Diane Purcell looked at the woman trying desperately to cover herself with fists fighting to keep the shirt she wore closed, her eyes filled with fear, her cheeks flushed with shame, and knew finally what...or rather who had been making her son so distracted the last six months.
Not ready to make this too easy for the other woman, she gave a half smile, "you must be..."
The younger woman groaned, "Laura..."
Laura saw the older woman's eyes flare and realised that she may be thinking the worst of this situation. There was no doubt that this was Adam's mother, every similarity was evident in her face. Adam had every feature of this woman, which was a relief as he looked nothing like Stafford, other than his stature. But hits woman was now thinking that she was draped on the sofa and there was no doubting the reason why she was there scantily dressed.
Heat flamed her cheeks as she floundered, the older woman looked at her intently before extending a hand, "Diane...Purcell. So what are you doing in my son's house?"
Arson? Adam had never experienced any sort of industrial sabotage, but the fire chief was adamant that the inferno at his largest depot was no accident. He had to deal with insurance companies who he knew would be suspicious of his own motives, like he'd torch half a million dollars worth of stock and investment to claim it all back in a scam. No, he had someone intent on causing him grief and he wasn't sure who that could be.
Then there was some sort of pile up on the highway that linked the industrial region to the coast road, and so he was caught in a snarl up of traffic for far longer than intended. And to make matters worse, as he pulled up to the house, he spotted a car parked in the street outside...his mother's.
"Shit!" He punched the steering wheel before climbing out of the car and hitting the house at a run. Opening the door he was met by the sound of his worse fear. Raised voices.
"You're sat in my son's home barely dressed...I think that speaks volumes! I've seen so many gold diggers like yourself sniffing around him like he's some sort of meal ticket!" His mother was shouting!
Groaning he threw the door to the lounge open, but he heard Laura's confident response, before he saw her.
"Mrs Purcell. I can assure you that I am not looking for a meal ticket, quite the opposite. The irony is that just a few weeks ago my father was saying the exact same thing to your son. Almost word for word! Isn't it great that a thirty one year old man doesn't need to ask permission from his mother as to who shares his bed? And I must say, it's a great bed! And a great bedroom! But not half as great as the man who sleeps in it. Now if you'll excuse me..." She spun to leave the room but came face-to-face with Adam, who was beaming at her.
He was mesmerised, she looked out of this world dressed in just his shirt, her shapely bare legs sending a jolt of desire to his groin, her hair mussed, and her face flushed all screamed 'fresh out of bed', that just ravished look he thought almost lewdly, "Am I really better than my bed?" When she gave a nervous shrug, he pulled her into his arms and planted his lips rather unceremoniously on hers, uncaring of their audience.
Laura was glad of the moment to compose herself, the anger at his mother, her accusatory remarks, then she retaliated, a few moments that she wasn't proud of, and it was witnessed by Adam returning from his work. Her humiliation at being found dancing in a shirt by his mother dissolved in his kiss, so much promise, so much desire. But it ended too quickly, and she was ultra aware of everything again, and now Adam's hands on her back meant the shirt was lifting higher and she was revealing far more than the scandalous level earlier.
Groaning she buried her head in his neck, then sighed with relief as he spoke to his mother.
"Mom, I really think you should leave, I'll call you later."
The older woman sounded nervous to Laura's eyes, but she refused to lift her head and look at her.
"Adam, I'm just looking out for you."
He took hold of Laura's shoulders and stepped her away from him giving her a smile, then turned to his mother, "as Laura so credibly put it earlier, and at no point in the last thirty years have you tried to dictate who I spend time with, so DON'T try and start now. I'd appreciate you leaving before I get angry, I'll speak to you when I'm calmer."
Taking her shoulder he led her forcibly to the door, "you can't treat a sick woman like this!"
He stopped in his tracks, "I have done EVERYTHING to make this better for you! Everything! So please don't pile the guilt on! I've lost count of the times I've dropped my life to help you. I've asked for nothing in return, so please, don't make this worse!"
They were at the front door and his mother looked at him pleadingly, "I'm only thinking of you."
He nodded, "I've no doubt you are, but you have NO idea what's going on here."
"Then tell me!"
He shook his head, "not now, like I say, I'll speak to you again."
With that he closed the door on her, then turned back to the lounge.
Laura was stood looking out of the window, swaying gently to what he could now tell was Neil Diamond. She was a vision of unadulterated beauty, he'd been fighting the biggest erection since he'd approached the house, she was doing little to change that.
Laura was watching a yacht cut through the surf as it headed north across the horizon, this day was moving from fantastic to disaster in a few seconds. She shook her head in disbelief at the same moment a pair of arms snaked around her waist and she was pulled back into the hard body of Adam.
"It's my turn to apologise! For the errant parent." His lips connected with her neck and she felt shivers literally run down her spine. He chuckled against her neck, and another wave of sensation wafted over her. "I wanted to come back so much sooner, but I was stuck with the police. Anyway, I honestly thought you'd have escaped, you have no idea how perfect it is having you in my home like this." And it was no lie.
She turned in his arms, "so we're quits now then?"
He shook his head, "nope, not quite!" Then without uttering another word he stripped down to his boxers, tossing his clothes onto the sofa, "NOW we're equal!"