He carried his briefcase into the restaurant, which was strange in that most restaurants had a no cell phone policy, so briefcases were disappearing from them as well. He put his under the table and they decided on a Sangiovese with dinner rather than a cocktail. He had duck and she had rabbit, and both were excellent. She was nervous as a cat and would have paced between bites if she were at home and not in a restaurant. The briefcase meant something and she knew it. But did it mean something good, or was it going to be bad? She had already picked bad when she picked a velvet cake and he took a tiramisu from the cart.
He waited for the coffee and then picked up his briefcase and opened it, He took out a brown envelope that had been addressed and mailed to him and handed it across the table to her.
“You were a breathtakingly beautiful girl when you were younger. Though I think now that you are more mature you have a bit more character and that makes you more attractive, because it shows in everything, in your face, how you walk, how you make love. I think that all in all I prefer the woman to the girl. Although to see someone as beautiful as you in that particular state is always a treat, I could carry those photos into the Uffizi and watch Michelangelo’s David get an erection.”
Then he took out a jewelry box, flipped back the lid and set it in front of her. Her heart almost stopped. It was an engagement ring with a large diamond set in a sunburst of smaller blue sapphires. She guessed that she had made the wrong guess, it wasn’t bad, in fact it couldn’t possibly be better. A minute ago she was preparing herself to be miserable, to lose the one thing that meant anything to her, and now the world changed to Technicolor and the dream she thought was impossible sat in a box right in front of her.
“The sapphires are to match your eyes,” he said. “You can have that if you say the right thing.”
“What do I have to say?”
She took the diamond out and put it on her finger, “Yes, yes, yes yes, yes….yes, and yes. Can I say, ‘I love you’ now?”
“I love you, you saying it isn’t mandatory and I beat you to it.”
“I love you anyway.”
The candle in the middle of the table caught both the sparkle of the diamond and the sparkle of the tears in her eyes. The cougar had been tamed, and her hunting license retired. The Ms was about to aggressively become a Mrs. The depression she spent the entire month cultivating dropped away, and she felt as light as air, as if some enormous weight had been lifted off of her and she was preparing to fly. If you looked up happy in the dictionary at that moment all that there would be would be a picture of her smile.
She backed into him eagerly, hugged his hands against her and actively went about achieving her first orgasm of the night. It felt so good, so right, and she built up the excitement quickly, and vocally. She was almost laughing when the orgasm burst open in a smile on her face and she felt it course through her. That accomplished, she climbed on top of him sat up, and put his hands on her breasts. She allowed him to massage her breasts while she rocked gently feeling him touch everything inside her. Then, she squeezed him into an explosion.
“Why didn’t you tell me about the photos?” he asked as they settled into his refractory period. “You know I’d have understood.”
“I do now, and I guess I should have known, but until this evening I was just frightened and insecure when it came to you. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to lose you and you saw how I just went all to pieces thinking about it. You get in that state and all you see is the worst happening. And then the best happens and you feel like an idiot, but you’re too happy to care. I love you so much the thought of anything at all upsetting that sent me into a tailspin. Whoever they were, they wanted ten grand not to send them to you.”
“They should have asked me instead. I’d have told them ten grand was a bargain and that they were insulting you by selling so cheap.”
When she felt him starting to get hard against the inside of her leg, she pulled him up on his side and moved her leg up and down the side of his body. The inside of her leg became increasingly sensitive as she moved it and she could feel the anticipation building.
He took the hint and reached around her leg and inside her, stroking her with his thumb over a bundle of nerve endings, or a chakra, or whatever it was and she rocked in the ecstasy of it, moaning and squealing, and losing count despite her firm resolution not to. She thought that she should probably turn herself in; being this happy just couldn’t be legal.
“Jerry got the photos Friday,” she told Arlette on Monday as they once again rode their stationary bikes nowhere.
“Judging by that big stupid smile on your face it wasn’t a particularly bad experience.”
“The smile is actually the product of this,” she said and stuck out her hand to show off her diamond.
“That is some rock, I trust you thanked him in an appropriate manner.”
“The chakra where he reaches around your leg from behind.”
“The one where you inevitably lose count of the orgasms?”
“Yeh, that one.”
“As I said, that’s some rock.”