a Sultry Land

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New Years Eve into the day, Dane brought Meridian into her house, happy he wasn’t too presumptuous asking to have her for his wife. He wanted Meridian for his woman, and that was that. To him, especially since he expected disaster when he came back from his leave of the mansion, but instead his abode pristine, was heavenly blessed that Meridian who was such fun, charismatic, and caring, Dane saw himself spending his life with her by his side, his baby, Meridian.

Now Dane knew love unlike ever, and never knew how much, until the night they shared love. Meridian, Danes first, and only love in the way he caressed her, he thought beautiful, pure, and he simply did not want to miss any part of her like he does when he is away. Dane wanted Meridian for always. Whether she could conceive the notion, or not, and would do anything in his power to keep her in love. Gordon was adding more detail to Dane’s projects for the town plaza he’s building.

Already having its base carved, with, or without friends, and with their projects ahead, Dane, and Gordon’s hearts felt good in their decisions, and Meridian happy too, that Dane approved her business plans, ambitiously looking forward to life’s big endeavors with Dane, and was as excited as Gordon.

“Is time fleeting,” Gordon asked Dane, readying what he had in blueprints patented, that would either blow Meridian’s mind, or make her head spin.

Gordon just wanted to work, so Dane understood his haste, and didn’t want him to get too wrapped up in his wedding, or Meridian for that matter, no offense.

“Yeah. Can’t you tell?” Dane was very anxious too, to get their project underway.

“ Like, I ain’t the one sparing gray,” Gordon pushed. Dane looked at Gordon, and they always seemed to cheer each other up, but in no means, at a place for tackling. Gordon held up a peace sign of truce. What Gordon said to Dane was unforgiven and Dane didn’t accept his parlay.

He owed him, and would somehow pay Gordon back for his wise crack, so hilariously, Gordon tried to change the subject, so that his curse was lifted.

“Where the, $#@%,” Dane mouthed, “Do you see sprigs of gray?” Gordon poked his bottom lip out, shrugged, he didn’t know, and at the moment, could not think of one other thing to say, to relieve Dane’s wrath, besides bullshit him of her attractiveness, or intelligence?? No, Gordon had it coming when he least expected it, and knew it. As if looking into the future through a crystal ball, there will always be a certain unconditional love, and bond of trust between Dane, and Meridian.

Meridian has become a woman. She, and Max barely hit the surface of what might have been, but she, and Dane, have known one another, still trying to shake off the fact she was alive, and well after all those years, Dane was exceedingly glad she’d found the place she belonged. Of Meridian, Enid sort of thought it rather spooky. Everyone had gotten a few good hours of sleep, and Dane wanted to spend New Year’s day in the cottage with Meridian, a memento of the holiday’s past season, and for the years to come.

As long as Dane could do Meridian, and her smile with that contentment, he will be all too happy, and nothing he wouldn’t do for her, who was a great person, and so, so sorry for her to have been so alone in the world. Daylight peaked when Dane arrived. Meridian put on a pirate movie for sound, handed Dane a cup of coffee he said was much needed, and started collecting ornaments off the holiday tree, and except for the aroma, would have forgotten the apple pie in the oven.

Dane steamed another pot of coffee, and smelling cinnamon baking, the cottage warmed a bit, and as they played, Meridian decided to strike up conversation.

“So Daniel.” Dane stopped, and gave her a, she’s asking for it look. She knew her call for Dane, Daniel, going to stir his blood, and in his arousal, quick at the drawer, chased Meridian around the huge holiday tree, as she screamed for mercy, giggling uncontrollably, at Dane catching up. He tickled her until she hollered, his idea to tire her has worked. She collapsed into Dane’s arms, and so now he could love, and coo her.

On the chaise pillows they lounged, and spontaneously initiated their passions, and independence, and the world was their oyster. Intimate times had intimate measures with love, security, support, and an indulgence, receptive, and endearing, spending time heated in the moment. Their thoughts were together. Dane took Meridian’s chin up to his, and said, “Hey. You rock!” The statement made Meridian giggle, and so, Dane rocked as well. They rose for apple pie, and the coffee made while the movie played, shipwrecked, with high intentions.

That New Year’s Day, they removed all the holiday ornaments from the tree. They enjoyed conversing, and the couple got along fondly. After repacking ornaments, and securing fragile holiday lights, Dane pulled the tree all the way out, and down the property for the garbage collectors. The air outside was a full forty-eight degrees, and as crisp, and new as that year, and their beginnings. Dane felt like a million bucks, savoring Meridian his, to live for. Meridian collected the last of the holiday decorations from all over the cottage, placing the last box aside.

Dane returned from pulling the tree curbside, and she was sweeping pine needles, he poured hot coffee, and they cut apple pie. The sight of Meridian turned Dane on, and he captivated her too, like slow dance.

“Hey. What’s next?” Meridian looked around, and saw they finished the job. Perhaps later, she’d store wonderful holiday frills down past the pantry. Dane took a sip of his coffee, pleased with all they accomplished, and losing daylight.

“Nothing now, I guess. You ’ve done a very great job, Young man,” and Dane kissed his bride.

“Ah, you mean, we did a good job,” he murmured, cradling Meridian in his arms. Dane did not want to say goodnight, and said, “Pack a bag. I’m taking you home with me.” Meridian could not refuse a great idea, and with all the fun she;s had, how could she refuse? Dane’s love was staring her right in the face, and it was one of those lovely nights. Even though beautiful, who would want to be home alone in an empty house? Their love was unbelievable. Dane grabbed Meridian, and they locked lips, and kept the warmth of their love between them. While Meridian threw some of her things together, Dane closed all of the doors, secured all the windows, and minutes later, off they went.

The night fell. It was time for the New Year’s Day dinner spread, Dane forgot, Gordon remembered, and Cook prepared. He loved to see the family, and close friends. He’d set up both dining rooms one full of sweets, the other savory, and they celebrated for a huge part of the evening before Vernon Shelby the last person to say goodnight. In a couple of hours, the sun would rise again. He’d had a wonderful time as usual, before Gordon excused himself for the time being, but wanted to know what Meridian, and Dane thought of Enid Rae, and Charles, and they said, “Fine.”

Gordon lifted his brandy glass, when they toasted to Enid’s health and happiness. She and Charles seemed to hit it off, and her doctor said that aside from a minor head cold, Enid was becoming well again. In business, Gordon felt like a kid with an ice-cream cone, and in fact, ice-cream made him happiest. Finally in the company of each other, Dane took Meridian to his other favorite place in the manor, the western greenhouse, walked her deeply into the heart of it, and whispered good intentions to her, and they had wedding bells on their minds.

Meridian looked, and admired her engagement ring for the one thousandth time. It was sparkling, beautiful, platinum, it fit well, and Dane could not wait to give her the other pieces to the set. In fact, Dane wanted to give Meridian the world! They cuddled on the fluffy ecru leather sectional until they fell asleep, and in that, she stirred a little, but liked the feeling of sleeping underneath Dane’s embrace. He is like a bear hug, and made Meridian feel secure. They woke up with smiles on their faces. It was 11:30 a.m. Dane drew in Meridian’s hand to kiss.

“Mm,” they sounded, and stretched into another position.

Meridian was the first woman ever to sleep in the master’s chambers, but specifically that before twilight, in care not to parade their love all throughout the mansion, Dane unlocked one of the parlor rooms for privacy of Meridian getting changed, in which she could use anytime if she liked.

“Hungry?” Dane had an appetite that would embarrass a bear.

“A little.”

“Good,” he said quickly. Dane’s appetite was speaking. He was a steak, and eggs for breakfast kind of man, and admitted, “I’m starving.”

After he too showered, changed, and knocked on Enid Rae’s door, he heard her sing, “Good morning,” and he cheered, “Happy New Year!”

“You too Dane!” Dane made sure she could hear his footsteps spiraling down the staircase, and if she comes downstairs for something to eat, and he was not there, she will see Dane respectfully in the foyer, waiting for Meridian, who he loved, and who will be his wife, and then asks Meridian to leave her things there. He hired a woman housekeeper named Beryl. Just before he proposed to Meridian, so that someone else could take care of the daily chores of the manor.

Dane relieved Meridian of her duties, and asked the woman to contact him on the first of the year, to solidify her position. He was unsure Meridian would say yes, but how would they feel comfortable, her working at the mansion had she said, no? Dane at least would feel uncomfortable, and would probably search for new wood, but that morning, he wanted to do something special for Meridian. Remaining his housekeeper was not special enough for Dane, though no woman in her right mind wouldn’t marry a man like him. He was well educated, handsome, and wealthy, but no matter, Meridian’s youth, and beauty, was one thing a man could never be too sure he’d win.

Dane is modest, and not too full of himself, but as handsome as Meridian is beautiful, so in many ways, they were evenly yoked. Gordon, Ruben, and Enid thought him insane, on many levels, if he thought Meridian would refuse him. Obviously they were crazy about one another, and at the festivities the night before, popping the question was not as nerve wracking as Dane thought it would be. Her answer could only be yes, or no, but Dane wanted her, wanted everything in the world right for her, in hopes she would allow him to give her that right. He wasn’t looking for a reaction because of the ring he gave her. He only wanted to know that their feelings were in the right place.

Dane hoped he could keep Meridian in his arms. He knew he could be at risk of rejection, but was glad she'd marry him. He could well take care of Meridian, and would ultimately do so, even though neither of them needed the other’s money. Modestly, Meridian was able to sustain herself in life, but since their actions are purely of love, their devotion will give them a lifetime of happiness, come easy, and they could continue to follow their dreams, and passions. In marrying Dane, comes wealth, but they think it’s important Meridian finished her studies.

Nine times out of ten, Meridian, and Dane would be in their own world. Not Gordon, or Enid seemed to surface that day, and after their late summer wedding, Dane will sweep his bride away for what he hopes the most wonderful honeymoon a woman could ask, and more than than anxious for the memories it would create, for their souls will be clad, and their movements bare, clear, and coordinated. They went to eat, and later shopped until Meridian bought another new purse, and Dane a new wallet.

While they were out, Gordon surveyed the land Ruben deemed Dane’s from the estate, and so far, little did he know, Dane inherited, and owned most of the town, and the beautiful, happy couple enjoyed a lovely fun-filled day. Just before the evening’s end, they went for a steak dinner, and then back to Meridian’s cottage, and lit scented candles, and a few low tea lights. Since Meridian hadn’t been home, all she wanted to do it was to strip down, and Dane went into the living room.

Meridian went to her bedroom to change. She invited Dane in, and her laptop was on the vanity opened, where she spent the most time, and he liked it. She had shelves of wonderful smelling perfumes on a mirrored tray on her dresser, a few books, and while she went into the bathroom to change, Dane made himself comfortable on her bed. Meridian came out of the bathroom with her hair down, and robe, and slippers on. Dane teased her. She must not have realized she left a laundry basket.

It was full of clean clothes on her made bed, heard what Dane said, and blushed. He knew she would do that, and sat with his back propped up on her bed pillows. He was witty.

“Act as if I’m not here,” he insisted. Meridian giggled, scurried to remove the pile of clean clothes he teased, and he razzed about her fashion magazines too. Dane thumbed through one of them, shook his head, and said, “Girls,” while Meridian finished brushing her hair.

“Shrimp Madam?” Meridian ate a taste of the warm side order from dinner, and said she’d been stuffed.

Dane had a mouthful of the creamed shrimp with red rice, and put the rest in the refrigerator, and for teasing her about her pretty pink laced panties he stumbled across, they tossed around on her bed through the rest of her clean clothing for fun. They tumbled, and pecked, smooching on Meridian’s bed, and she’d been on top in that romantic moment growing fondly. They groped, panted, and took their time. Teasing turned into a gateway of intimacy. Meridian, called Dane’s arousal, his ferocious, and her curiosity began to grow, Dane willing to satisfy, and then everything outside their world zeroed.

In Meridian’s bedroom, they expanded into nothing but their love, and steaming personalities, and later bought bridal magazines as Enid suggested. To save time, utilizing a bridal consultant to help her with their wedding plans, not to take on too much. The sky was no limit to Meridian. He graciously handed her one, or two of his credit cards, and every suggestion they had, pleased her. Gordon thought she should recruit other services to the task, and soon, Meridian, and Enid Rae hired bridal consultants, fitting appointments in between her studies, and life ached when they were not together.

School, and Dane’s businesses kept them busy apart, while Meridian, and Enid were also busy with their wedding, as their sacred day steadily approached. Wedding bliss! Dane, and Gordon took no time choosing their attire. Dane’s wedding day will be picture perfect. As precious as time passed, their togetherness was limited to clinging to one another. They were an item, where they wanted to be, and as if Elmer’s, Meridian and Dane were each other’s everything, stuck like glue, and awaited their sacred wedding day anxiously. Dane had so much love for Miss Meridian, it hurt.

Dane loved her, and didn’t propose to her for dramatic reaction, he just wanted to hear, yes. The look on Meridian’s face when she saw the ring was priceless! Dane was vague about a lot of his personal endeavors, and it was time Meridian saw what he’d been up to all those months, he, Ruben, and Gordon focused, before Dane proposed, and she . Meridian liked Dane’s deeply romantic ways. She thought his proposal was awesome, and she, and Miss Enid were already good companions.

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