Romantic Shorts presents Pat Garcia‘s On A Rainy Day. Follow Tess on a whirlwind romance and she comes to realize and accept her feelings for a man she has never met. Sometimes, finally being in the right place, at the right time, is all we need to steer us in the right direction of our destiny. And when it’s meant to be, the universe will conspire until, at last, all is right in the world. 

Welcome. And, enjoy!

On A Rainy Day

by Pat Garcia

Sitting in her living room, drinking her first cup of freshly brewed coffee, Tess looked out of her huge glass window, as she watched the rain fall silently from the sky.

Having finally drifted to sleep around five in the morning, she had been sleeping hard when the movers came, and she was awakened out of a deep, forgotten dream. She really wasn’t looking forward to her new neighbours. The man was absolutely obnoxious. Yesterday evening, as he was getting ready to enter into his apartment, she had said hello, but he had barely paid attention to her as he barked good evening and turned his back to enter into his apartment. Her clock had said eight AM when she woke up, and knowing that she would not be able to go back to sleep with the noise outside her door, she had decided to get up, brew a fresh pot of coffee and continue to work on her book until she went to work.

Tess loved her new apartment. It was the bonus that she received for following Luigi, Myra, and the kids to Italy. Set on top of a hill, the apartment had a master bedroom with a luxurious bath, four additional bedrooms, two and one half bathrooms, a large living room with a beautiful view of the city landscape, and a huge kitchen. At first she had hesitated at accepting such a spacious apartment, but Myra had assured her that the company had chosen this apartment just for her.  “It is part of your compensation package,” Myra had said teasingly, “for moving to Italy from Germany with us,” and she had giggled like a little girl who was hiding a secret.

David, Luigi’s boss and the owner of Donatelli Architect, had thought it strange that Luigi had insisted on bringing his personal assistant with him, and had asked himself whether Myra was aware of it. Assuming that Tess and Luigi were sleeping together, he was not pleased at all. David did not want to see Myra or the kids hurt, and he planned to visit Myra when he arrived in Italy after he had helped Carla settle in. After his own failed marriage, and Carla, his daughter, recently losing her husband in the line of duty, he knew that life could end quickly. A lesson Luigi apparently had not yet learned.

Normally, Tess did not work on the weekend, but today was an exception to policy. The new boss had demanded to have a meeting for two PM. Saturday was the only day she had to sleep in and be lazy, and the more she thought about the upcoming meeting, the more annoyed she became. Although she had never met her new boss, she considered him to be inconsiderate and bossy. If not for Luigi…

Hearing a loud bang in the hallway outside her apartment, she cringed; those movers are really clumsy, she thought. I hope the new people aren’t as loud when they start living in the apartment. At that moment another startling bang shattered the stillness in the hallway, and hearing the angry voice outside of her door, Tess knew that the movers were in trouble.

My oh my, she said to herself. They’re just people and anyone can make a mistake, Mister.

Getting up, Tess was going to put on a change of clothes when her doorbell rang. Walking slowly to the door, she asked herself, now who is this? I told Luigi that I would catch the bus, but knowing that Myra and the kids were away, it would not have surprised her if Luigi came by for a cup of coffee or to sleep in her godchildren’s bedroom.

Whoever it was obviously didn’t think that she was answering quickly enough––they were leaning on her doorbell. That couldn’t be Luigi ringing my doorbell like that! Whoever it is, is an idiot, and her temper rose as she quickened her steps.  It was annoying to be disturbed on such a beautiful rainy day by someone who was ignorant, and she opened her door with a force matching her mood. “Who in the hell do you think you are, ringing my doorbell like an idiot?” she yelled.

Her new neighbour stood before her frowning, wondering whom she was yelling at, and a look of disdain lined his face when he answered her question. “I needed help, and since you were not answering, I didn’t think anyone was at home. I just wanted to make sure.”

“Well, someone is at home. What do you want, may I ask?”

“I would like to use your telephone, if you don’t mind,” her neighbour replied, trying to hide the laughter in his voice, while examining the woman standing before him. Beautiful, he thought, and the desire to get to know her stirred within him just as it had yesterday evening in the hallway. Afro-American with braids, he estimated her age at around forty years––not more than forty-three.

After I get Carla settled you’re mine, Lady, he thought. Your temperament is exactly what I need in my life. It impressed him that she was standing there like a boxer ready to take him on and wasn’t bowled over by his good looks.

“Don’t you have a cell phone or are you one of those cheapskates who poaches off of others?” Tess asked, unimpressed and angry with the gentleman standing before her. Judging him to be somewhere between forty-five and fifty, and much too young for her, Tess thought, he looks like one of those mixed puppies, and he is obviously spoiled by his wife.

“Can I use your phone or not, Lady? I don’t have time to stand in this hallway and give you reasons for my not having a cell phone.”

Stepping aside so that he could enter, Tess said, “Sure, the telephone is straight ahead,” and she muttered under her breath sarcastically, “Master.”

Hearing the last word, he chuckled under his breath. You are a sparky little thing. I hope you aren’t married, because if you aren’t, I have plans for you, he thought as he found the telephone to make his call.  Speaking in Italian, he let his partner know that directly after their appointment they would meet Sam and Ted at Carla’s apartment.

After he had finished, he took out a €20 bill. “Here is something for the phone call and for my disturbing you.”

“Keep it. I don’t want it,” Tess said about to explode because of his haughtiness.

“Lady, I insist. Buy a nice bottle of wine for you and your husband,” he replied, fishing for information about her marital status.

“Mister, I said––keep it! Did I say that I was married? I don’t need your generosity,” she spat, and walking to the door, she opened it, silently demanding with her eyes for him to get out.

Examining her, the eyes of her neighbour glowed intensely as he tried to hold back his laughter. None of my buddies would believe that I have met a woman who is throwing me out of her apartment, he thought, and laying the bill on the table by the telephone he shot back, “I don’t care what you do with it. It is yours,” walking out quickly before his basic instinct to take her in his arms and kiss her got the upper hand.

Tess let the door slam behind him as she let out a strained growl of frustration. She was fed up with arrogant know it all men who thought they owned the world and felt that it should be jumping to their tune. It was enough that she had to go to a meeting on her day off to hear one of them give his welcome greeting. Now she also had one living across the hall. Going to the phone, she looked at the  €20, and shuddered as she thought of how timid his wife must be. When I get home tonight I will take it and give it to his wife. I hope she is much nicer than he is.

When she left her apartment the movers were busy moving furniture in, and she did not see Mr. Arrogant Boor, but she could hear him barking out orders in Italian. Another man had joined him; she heard two voices. Don’t tell me that there are two of those kind walking around. LORD, help those poor women who are married to them. They probably are afraid to even think!

Tess had no way of knowing that David was discussing his encounter with her to one of his best buddies, Samuel Adams. Sam had his own CAD company based in Italy and was married to an Italian-Afro-American psychiatrist, who was lecturing at the University, where Carla was getting her Master’s degree.

“What are you going to do about her?” Sam had been asking him. He had never seen his friend excited about any woman––not even when he was married.

“I don’t know, Man. I just know that our encounter in the hallway, yesterday evening, knocked me off of my feet, and this morning I would have claimed her in my life permanently if I had stayed in her apartment any longer. It is now a matter of how she deals with the €20 I left on her desk. If she brings it back, she belongs to me.”

“What happens if she doesn’t bring it back, David?” Sam asked, knowing that his friend had just experienced one of those, first time I saw you, love at first sight, I am in love experiences.

“Then, I will hurt, Man, but I will deal with that also.”

* * * * *

Arriving at the auto repair shop, Tess had to wait an hour. Taking a seat in the small lounge, the secretary brought her a cup of coffee. It was still raining and Tess sat back and let her mind wander over the past nine years, since Luigi had married Myra. Two beautiful five-year-old twins had been created out of their love. Because Myra was ten years older than Luigi, they had decided to have children early, and Tess, who was now sixty years old, and older than Myra and Luigi, was the proud Aunt and Godmother.

The voice coming over the loudspeaker informed her that her car was ready, and brought her out of her daydreaming. After paying, she drove away thinking that she would make it to the meeting on time. When she turned on Wilshire Boulevard––a one-way street–– she realized that she had just turned into a major traffic jam. Knowing that she would never make it in time for the meeting, she reached for her handbag to retrieve her cell phone, so that she could call Luigi, only to find out that she had left her cell phone at home on her table. Thinking about the man who had rung her doorbell, she blamed him. It’s all his fault, she decided.

The meeting started promptly at two o’clock. David briefed the staff about his expectations and introduced Kohana as his partner who would be running the day-to-day operation. Kohana assured them that he was there to support them, and the meeting was over.

Everyone had attended except for Tess, and David was highly pissed off, but saw it as a blessing. Now he could interfere in Luigi’s love affair and fire the woman who didn’t show up. Speaking with Luigi, who was trying to apologize for Tess, David gave him an order with a bit of irony in his voice, “I want to see this woman in my office first thing Monday, okay? She does work on Mondays, right?”

Luigi looked at him strangely and said, “Of course she works on Mondays. She is an excellent employee, David, and I can’t do without her.”

“Well, we’ll see if that’s true,” David replied in a threatening voice.

“What do you mean, David? Give Tess a chance. You don’t know her. There’s a perfectly good explanation for her missing the meeting.”

“Oh, it’s Tess, is it?”

“Tess is like a sister to me. She’s the same woman that Myra has been trying to get you to meet, but you’ve never taken the time,” Luigi said in defence of using her first name.

“Sure,” David replied, not listening to what Luigi had said. “Just tell her to be in my office at nine AM. I’ll talk with you after I’ve had my talk with your Ms. Jordan.”

David was in a hurry. He and Kohana had left Sam and Ted busy working at Carla’s  apartment and wanted to return quickly to join them.

Departing the office, David and Kohana talked about Luigi’s assistant.

“What are you going to do, Man?” Kohana asked.

“I’m going to fire her and save Luigi’s marriage.”

“What if you’re wrong and he isn’t having an affair? After all, Luigi seemed pretty upset with your insinuations, and he did mention that Myra has tried to bring you two together.”

“There’s only one woman I want to meet, and she happens to be dark and lovely, and lives across the hall from my daughter. If I am wrong, this woman can remain his PA.”

Arriving at the office, Tess found Luigi highly upset. He immediately began hollering at her––something he had never done. Calming down, he told Tess what had happened but stopped short of telling her that David Donatelli was the friend that Myra had been trying to introduce her to for the past five years. Missing Myra and the kids who were visiting her parents before the kids had to come back to attend a private school in Italy, Luigi felt lost. Besides his wife and kids, Tess was the other pearl in his life, and he was afraid of losing her.

Driving home that evening, tired and worried, Tess reaffirmed her promise to Luigi that she would do anything Mr. Donatelli asked her to do to keep her job except anything unethical or immoral. She chuckled to herself. She had made the same promise to Myra about five years ago, when Myra was trying to get her and this man friend of hers together. Fortunately, it hadn’t worked out, Tess thought. I’m probably better off without him. Thinking about her Monday morning battle, she prayed, LORD, let this man at least be fair with me.

Her thoughts drifted back to Luigi, remembering a time so long ago when she was still filled with youth and wonder.

* * * * *

Tess Jordan was a fighter, a dreamer with a big heart for people. Her love was writing, and after finishing at the University, she stepped out into what she wanted to do. Quickly, she had learned that she would have to box her way gently into the writing world, and so she had done what every other ‘wannabe writer’ does: found a day job. Working at the local centre for people with mental health problems, she took the two thirty to eleven evening shifts because she always wrote better in the early morning or late night.

Heading home one evening, she had seen Luigi leaning over the rail of the bridge. It was the shock of her life, and stopping her car abruptly, she had run towards him. She remembered it as a surreal and dreamy experience because there was no traffic on the highway, and she had wondered, where are all the people?

Approaching Luigi she had said, “Hi, you want to talk about it?”

He had laughed at her and answered, “No, why are you asking? You do not really care.”

“Oh yes I do,” she had said. “Because if you jump, I will have a lot of bad memories for a very long time.”

Luigi had laughed and turned to look at her. “You’re funny, lady. You’ve made me laugh.”

“Funny enough, I hope that you will give life another try. Where do you come from?”  She had asked.

Tess spent two hours that night on the bridge with him and it has been worth it. She came away with an adopted brother and a friend for life. Since then, she and Luigi were closer than blood kindred and wherever Luigi went, Tess went.

After Luigi had fallen in love with Myra, Tess had thought that he would not need her anymore. Instead, Myra had insisted that she remain in the family, and now Tess and Myra were the best of friends. There is a friend that sticks closer to you than a brother or sister, Tess whispered softly to herself, and she let out a shout of laughter as she thought about some of the dumb things that she and Myra had done.

When Myra heard that David had lost his wife, she had thought that he and Tess would be a great couple. But every time she had tried to bring them together, David always had something else planned.

Describing David to Tess one evening, Tess had asked Myra, “Is he nice? Is he a Christian? Does he have a sense of humour?”

Each time Myra had built her hopes up, Tess had been hurt because David refused Myra’s invitations. So Tess had given up ever meeting this dream friend of Myra’s and accepted that it wasn’t meant to be.

* * * * *

Turning the lights on in her apartment, she saw the €20 lying by the phone, and remembered that she wanted to return it––grabbing it, she exited her apartment and rang the doorbell to the apartment across the hall.

Opening the door, Carla greeted her with a smile. “Hi, I’m Carla. Please come in.”

Tess returned her greeting with a smile. “I’m Tess from across the hall, and I want to return the €20 that your husband left next to my telephone this morning.”

Carla burst into tears and ran into the living room, leaving Tess standing there shocked, asking herself, what have I said to upset her? Thinking about Mr. Arrogant Boor, she figured he had probably given her a bad time–––and in her condition.

Following her into the room to apologize, Tess stopped, lightly shocked. Standing before her among various pile of boxes were four of the most striking men that she had seen in a long time.  David, holding Carla in his arms, Kohana, Sam, and Ted were also shocked.

Kohana broke the silence, curious to know more about the woman who was standing before them. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Kohana Roth and you are, may I ask?”

“Tess Jordan,” she replied. “Is she okay?  I didn’t mean to offend her. I just wanted to return the money from this morning.”

David’s mouth dropped open. Here, standing before them, Carla’s new neighbour, was “the Tess Jordan” that belonged to Donatelli Architect and Myra’s best friend. And he suddenly saw Myra and her conniving, manipulative, and tricky move with a whole new respect. When that woman wanted something done…

David was speechless. So this is Tess Jordan, he thought and smiled to himself, delightfully anticipating his encounter with her on Monday morning.

Kohana answered, smiling, “Oh, she’s going to be alright. Nice meeting you, Ms. Jordan. The man to your right is Samuel Adams, to your left, Ted Davidson, and behind me, – “

But before he could say David’s name, he interrupted, adding, “Ms. Jordan and I had our encounter this morning.”

Ignoring David, Tess said to the three gentlemen, “Nice meeting the three of you.”

And all three snickered quietly at her ignoring David as if he were not there.

“I am curious, Ms. Jordan, what do you do for a living?” Kohana continued, knowing David had caught her jab.

“I am a PA for Donatelli Architect. My boss, his family and I, have just moved here a month ago. I live in the apartment across the hall.”

“Oh, you do, do you? These are nice apartments.”

“Yes, I know and they are spacious. However, Myra, the realtor––Luigi’s wife–– assured me that the company had rented this one especially for me.”

“Oh, that is really interesting.” Kohana raised an eyebrow at David.

“Why? Do you know Myra?”

“Well, you could say that I have had some business with someone named Myra.” Kohana replied, and David coughed sending him a warning to steer away from that topic.

“Do you like your job?” Kohana asked, quickly changing the subject.

“I love working for Luigi.”

“Oh, really now?” Kohana asked curiously, as he stifled a chuckle.

“It’s not what you’re thinking, Mr Roth. Luigi is my adopted brother, and I have known his wife, Myra, since they both met each other. When she married Luigi, I came with the package.”

“Please call me Ko, or Kohana. I didn’t mean to insinuate that there was anything inappropriate with your boss. I’m sorry.”

“Thanks. Apology accepted, and please call me Tess.”

 Encouraged to talk by the three men, Tess told them how fortunate she was to be a part of Luigi’s family––clearing herself from any suspicion of being Luigi’s mistress.

It was when David coughed lightly again, that she remembered he was in the room and her purpose for coming. Suddenly her shyness appeared, and she wanted to get out of there quickly. Approaching Carla, who was in David arms, Tess asked, “I see you are well along––your seventh month?”

“My sixth,” she smiled weakly.

“Well, here is something for the baby. Your husband left it on my telephone table as payment for using my phone. I told him not to do it, but since he doesn’t seem to understand English very well, there was a miscommunication,” and everyone in the room laughed, including David. Carla was about to tell her that David was not her husband, but her Dad, when David interrupted quickly and said, “Sweetheart, take the money and consider it as a present from Ms. Jordan.”

“Why don’t you stay awhile Ms. Jordan?” Sam asked, very much aware of the sparks flying between Tess and David. “We were just getting ready to depart.”

“Thank you, but it was a long night and I had a bad day starting with my doorbell being rung after I had had only three hours of sleep,” she said looking directly at David, “then having to wait on my car that was at the repair shop, and next missing a meeting with an arrogant boor who thinks he may be God’s gift to management. Right now I need some down time to relax––alone.”

“A meeting with an arrogant boor, did you say?” Kohana asked edging her on.

“Yes, that’s what I’ve named him. I haven’t met the man yet, but after today, I probably don’t have a job.”

“If you lose your job, give me a call, and I’ll hire you. I don’t have a card on me right now, but you can let Carla know. She’ll get in touch with me right away.” Kohana replied, trying to keep from laughing.

Carla, upset with the men, because they were not revealing who her dad was to Tess, was about to open her mouth when the doorbell rang, and Lynn, Johnetta, and Lisa entered the room to pick up their husbands. Kohana introduced the three to her–––pointing out who was married to whom.

Seeing this as her possible exit, Tess took it. The ladies begged her not to leave, but Tess, looking at David’s reaction, decided that she did not want to humiliate herself by arguing with Carla’s husband again, and said good night.

After Tess’s departure, David informed them of his morning visit with Tess and their encounter Friday evening. By the time the others had departed Carla’s apartment for dinner and the theatre, everyone, except Tess, knew that David had fallen in love with her and was already planning their wedding for as soon as possible.

* * * * *

Tess was in the office before Luigi.  Facing her he said, “Tess, don’t forget your promise to me. You won’t explode and tell the man what you think. Think about Myra, the kids, and me; you would hurt us badly. Besides, you might like him.”

Tess grunted and walked out of her office to the elevator.

Going up to the seventh floor, she looked out the window. It had started raining again, which was usually a good omen for her. Marina, David’s PA whom Tess knew, was at her desk.

“Hi, Marina, how are you? I believe the big boss wants to see me.”

Marina had been expecting her. David had asked her to get Tess’s personnel file when she got in this morning. Returning with the file, David had taken it and closed his office door. While reading it, David received another shock. Tess was sixty years old. Well, well, he thought. Lady, you may be older than I am, but your heart belongs to me. I need you in my life, and he smiled, anticipating her arrival.

“Go right in, he’s expecting you,” Marina replied with a smile.

“What’s he like?”

“Can’t tell yet, but I believe I am going to enjoy working for him. Why weren’t you at the meeting?”

“That’s a long story.  I’ll tell you about it afterward.”

“Hey girlfriend, he’s not going to bite you.”

“If you say so. Well, I’d better go in before he comes looking for me.”

Tapping on the door, she entered the room and turned to close the door behind her. As she turned back, she came face to face with David G. Donatelli, her next-door neighbour. Every word she had said on Saturday ran through her mind, and before David could say anything, she mumbled her apology for missing his meeting, and stated that her resignation would be in his hands before twelve. Moving quickly to the door, she wanted to leave and prevent him from seeing her tears, but David reached the door first and blocked her exit.

“Mr Donatelli, would you please step aside?” she demanded, forcing herself to look up at him with watery eyes that were trying their best not to overflow.

“No, you and I have to talk. I didn’t know that you were working for Donatelli Architect nor did I know that you were the woman that Myra has been trying to get me to meet for the past five years.”

“Are you telling me that you are Myra’s friend?” Tess asked in unbelief and almost fainted for the first time in her life, thinking, I think I am in the wrong film.

“Yes, I am Tess and let me apologize for not revealing myself on Saturday evening when you came by. I can only say it was a shock for all of us that you were ‘the woman.’

“And the name is David,” he said, as he reached forth and brought her into his arms, catching her off guard. His mouth came down upon hers, coaxing out of her a response to the feelings that had been swelling up inside of him since Friday evening. Tess moaned when David captured her tongue, and trembling with desire that rose up from within her, she struggled to get out of his embrace.

“What do you want to talk about?” Tess asked, barely whispering as she tried to remove herself from arms that tightened at her every movement.

“About us. I’ve got something to ask you and you’re not leaving my arms until you hear what I have to say.”

“There is no us!”

“Shh––don’t say something that you definitely will regret. Carla, my daughter, lost her husband in the line of duty four months ago. She told me that I should have talked with you Saturday evening, but you were so upset that I didn’t think you would have listened to me.”

Hearing him explain about Carla, Tess stopped struggling.

“I’m sorry about what happened to her. It must be awfully hard for her.” She said softly.

“Thank you. It is, but she’s dealing with it day by day. Some days are better than others. If I had listened to Luigi on Saturday, your Saturday evening would have ended differently and mine also.”

“So, what do you want from me––to look after your daughter?”

“No, Tess, that is not what I want,” David said.

“Well, what do you want? I don’t have sex without a marriage license.”

“I want much more than that. So, what about intimacy with a marriage license?”

Tess stood there, not quite believing what she had heard. Here was her big boss asking to marry her?

“I’m serious, Tess. I fell in love with you Friday evening in the hallway, and I want to marry you. I am no child. I know what I like and I know it when I see it. And I’ve learned that life is too short to waste with insecurity and indecision. I’ve thought of nothing but you since I first laid eyes on you. You challenge me. And surprise me. And intrigue me as no other woman ever has. I’ll give you time to get to know me after we have gotten married.”

“I don’t believe in having sex during engagements either,” Tess said, trying to buy herself some time to think. This was the man Myra had been trying to introduce her to for five years. She realized that she knew him better than she thought she did. Myra had thought enough of him to choose him for her. This explained why she was listening with an open mind, and a interested heart.

“What is this with you and sex?” replied David. “When we unite we’ll experience a special intimacy with each other and not just sex. I want to spend the rest of my life getting to know you.”

The intercom rang and Marina informed him that Luigi was pacing the floor, insisting on talking to him now. Telling Marina to let him in, Luigi came storming in like a bull that had just been untied.

“Here is my resignation,” he said. “Stop harassing Tess. She doesn’t deserve it.”

David had to smile.

“Luigi, take back your resignation. I’m not chewing Tess out. I just asked her to marry me. Right Tess?”

“Tess, is this true?” Luigi asked, not commenting on the fact that she was in David’s arms.

“It is true that he’s asked me to marry him, but I didn’t know David Donatelli was Myra’s friend or our boss.”

“Then, when did you meet him?”

“We met in the hallway, Friday evening and Saturday morning in my apartment. He is the man that I was telling you about. He interrupted my morning to use the telephone and we had an argument about him ringing my doorbell like crazy.”

Luigi laughed.

“Why didn’t you tell me that he was Myra’s friend?” Tess asked, accusingly.

“I tried to tell you before you left Saturday afternoon, but you didn’t want me to mention the boss over dinner. Remember?”

“You’re right about that one.” Tess remarked and Luigi chuckled, thinking that it could only happen to Tess. With a look of approval, he said, “I’ll be in the office, if you need any help convincing her, David.”

“Thanks.” David replied.

“May I inform my wife that her plan finally worked?” Luigi grinned like a young boy with an ice cream cone. And Tess felt her heart explode as she realized her trust and love for her brother suddenly shed a whole new light on her current predicament.

“Of course, let her know that she planned it very well, and to get back very soon if she wants to see Tess get married.”

Luigi smiled at Tess. “You are a lucky man, David. You have a jewel in your arms.”

“May I sit down, please?” she whispered, overwhelmed at the event taking place.

“Of course you can,” and David led her to the sofa and sat down, pulling her down closely beside him and cradling her in his arms.

A light knock on the door had Kohana walking into David’s office and Tess received the next shock. “So, we see one another again. It was nice meeting you Saturday evening, Tess. I see you don’t need a new job and you have conquered your Mr. Arrogant Boor. Have you said yes yet?”

“She would if people stopped interrupting us,” David answered before Tess could say anything. Observing her, David asked, “Tess, you do plan on saying yes, don’t you?”

Both he and Kohana were holding their breath. Ko knew a rejection from Tess would mean years of counselling for David, especially since Carla had lost her husband.

“Can we wait until Myra and the kids get back before we have the ceremony?” Tess asked, the acceptance of what was happening to her settling oddly in a very comfortable part of her mind and heart.

“Of course. When will they arrive?”

“They have another two weeks, if I am not mistaken.”

“Ko, arrange with Luigi to get Myra and the kids back as soon as possible!”

“How soon is soon?” Kohana asked.


Seeing the surprise on Tess’s face, David told her, “There is no way I am going to wait two weeks, Cara. I am not going to give you time to find an excuse not to marry me.”

“Congratulations, Tess,” Kohana said, as he departed the office to talk with Luigi about his family.

Meanwhile, Marina tapped on the door and stuck her head in to ask if she should bring coffee, and received the shock of her life. Tess was sitting in David’s embrace with her head lying on his shoulder, and Marina almost fainted.

“It’s okay, Marina. Tess has a right to be here. We’re getting married soon. Could you arrange for a champagne hour today at three for all the staff in the conference room?”

“Sure, and congratulations, Tess. I now know “the why” and closing the door with a big grin on her face, she ran to her phone to spread the news.

“The why about what?” David asked curiously.

“Oh, nothing special,” Tess replied, standing to try to burn some nervous energy.

Pulling her back down beside him quickly, David remarked, “I’m still waiting for your answer, Tess”

Though still unsure, Tess was curious of the intimacy ahead with him.

“Are you sure this is what you want to do?” Tess asked softly.

“I don’t want to have you any other way, Tess. Say yes.”

“Then yes,” she heard herself say. “Yes, I’m yours,” and David’s mouth came down upon hers once again, as he planted kisses wherever he could while his hands caressed her body. Bringing her close to him, he let her feel his need for her. Drowned in his passion, her lips swollen from his assault, Tess was too weak to move.

“Are you sure you want to have Myra at our wedding?” David asked, as he tenderly caressed her shoulders.

“No, I’m not so sure about anything right now,” Tess barely whispered.

“Good, then we’ll get married Wednesday at noon, no matter what, agreed?”

“Yes, agreed,” Tess, replied softly.

David stood up, and holding his hand out to her, he led her to his desk where he promptly called Carla to give her the good news personally. By the time David had accompanied Tess to her office, everyone in the company knew. Kissing her goodbye, he asked, “Are you sure you want to wait until Wednesday?”

“We can make it on Thursday, if you want?” she replied shyly.

“How about today at seven?”

“David!” Tess shouted.

“Alright, just thought I would try,” he said kissing her once again before returning to his office, one happy man.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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