The heady scent of jasmine woke Danae the next morning. With Andy wrapped around her, she felt secure and loved. A quick glance at her watch revealed the time. 4:46 am. It’s too early, she thought, but her bladder woke up and she needed to pee. With a heavy sigh, she wiggled out of Andy’s grasp and tiptoed to the bathroom.
Even though the sun was an hour from rising, she heard the chirp of very early birds seeking their breakfast. The air that poured through the window was cool and fresh, as it usually was after a rainstorm back home. Knowing that if she was up for very much longer Andy would awaken, she snuggled back into bed with him, and she felt his arms hold her closely. She waited for a kiss and a good morning greeting, but he was still asleep.
Almost an hour and a half later, Andy’s alarm sounded on his phone, and he grumbled and reached for it to turn it off. Danae was soundly sleeping in his arms, and he snuggled her closer. He tried very hard not to wake her, but the sensation of his kisses on her skin made her stir. She stretched gently and wiggled backward against him, and he did not want to get up. But he had a meeting at the stadium with the team at 9:00am, so he pulled himself away from her and walked to the bathroom. The sound of water in the shower roused her fully, and she watched the bathroom door, waiting for her beloved.
“Good morning, my handsome prince,” she greeted him as he walked from the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist.
“Good morning, my beautiful princess,” he replied, with a kiss on his lips just for her.
“You’re up early,” she remarked. “I thought you’d be able to sleep in a bit today.”
“Nope,” he said. “I have to be at the stadium for a team meeting today. I have some free time around lunch, and I’ll meet you back here. The game is at five this afternoon, so we won’t want anything terribly heavy for lunch. Lionel makes sure he puts on a huge spread when they come to a game.”
“Sounds good, babe.”
“Do you want breakfast in the room with me, or shall I go with the team to the restaurant?”
“I think I’d like to sleep for another hour or so, if that’s okay with you.” Danae yawned and stretched. Andy tried hard not to watch.
“It’s fine with me, sweetie. I don’t need you to be picked up and brought to the stadium until 3:30 today. There are lots of festivities going on you won’t want to miss.” He took a step towards her and kissed her. As he turned to walk away, she grabbed the end of his towel, and when he took a step, it unwrapped from around him, improving her view. “Okay, little trickster,” he laughed. “I still need that.”
“Come get it,” she teased, holding it behind her back.
“Honey, I don’t have time this morning. I really want to play, but I can’t.”
“Oh pooh,” she pouted and tossed the towel back to him. “I guess I should have woken you up when I got up to pee earlier.”
“Didn’t you say the doctor said light activity?”
“Wow, you don’t miss a trick,” she laughed.
Andy got dressed in his usual uniform and tied his tie. “There, how’s that?” he asked, presenting himself.
“Too many clothes,” she purred. “Other than that, it’s perfection.”
He straightened his vest out and pushed a length of hair behind his ear. Danae loved it when he did that with his hair, and she looked at him longingly. “Alright, I think I’m ready.” He checked the time again, and it was 7:14am. “I’ll be back here around noon, and we can have lunch together or do whatever. Except that.” He winked at her. “We’ll save that for after we clinch the semi-finals tonight.”
“That sounds good enough for me. Back here at noon.” She nodded her head. “Come here and kiss me.”
“I can do that,” he said, and walked to her. He pulled her up to him and kissed her passionately. “I know this doesn’t help the situation, but it does give us something to look forward to for later.”
“Thanks. Thanks a lot,” she teased. “Go meet the guys. I love you, babe.”
“I love you, too. I’ll see you in a few hours.”
After he left, Danae wrapped back up in the bedsheet and dozed off.
An hour into Andy’s meeting and he was bored. At this stage of the season, he was more a figurehead, as the strategizing was left up to the coaches and team captains. He slipped his phone from his pocket and texted Danae. How she answered would let him know what she was doing.
What are you wearing?
Five minutes later, and there was still no answer. She must still be sleeping, he thought. Reluctantly, he turned his attention back to the meeting, when the phone vibrated in his lap.
I’m wearing a sexy black string bikini. Wanna see?
Hell yes, I want to see, he thought. But he knew that if he did, he would be in trouble. Instead, he typed in three words:
Beach or pool?
He waited impatiently for her answer, praying she didn’t send a picture.
Beach, of course. No picture?
Andy had the perfect solution to the picture conundrum.
Show me in person when I get back. I have to work now. I love you. Have fun!
He really needed to turn his attention back to the meeting and turned his phone off.
At the resort, Danae was laying in bed, still naked and covered in the bedsheet, laughing her butt off. She was happy, enjoying her freedom from being a mama for one glorious morning, and she was taking full advantage of sleeping in and doing nothing.
At almost noon on the dot, Andy’s key card slid into the door to their room and he opened it, expecting to find Danae in a bathing suit. What he found, however, was his beautiful wife wearing nothing but a smile. “Hey babe,” she greeted him.
He glanced at his watch and figured they had two hours by his best estimate. “Good enough,” he said out loud, looking at her.
“What’s good enough?” she flirted.
“The two hours I have with you right now.”
Andy dressed in a special playoff manager uniform, which consisted of his usual black work slacks and a royal blue and white Llamas jersey with his name on the back. It was corny and tacky, but he figured it was an honor to have it. The party was business casual, and Danae brought a pretty cocktail dress and pumps.
“I thought you were going to be overdressed in that, my sweet, but I see now it’s perfection on you.”
She admired her reflection in the mirror, putting the finishing touches on her makeup and hair. The dress had been Bella’s, and it fit Danae like a glove. “It is a gorgeous dress. It’s way older than I am, but the style is timeless.” They were both relaxed and peaceful, and she was excited to spend time with Lionel and Tarah again.
“Are you ready, honey?” he asked. “The limo will be here any minute to bring us to the stadium.”
“Yes, I just need to grab my purse.” She took most of the cash she had on hand and placed it into the wall safe. “There. Safe and secure.”
Andy held his arm for her. “I feel like the luckiest man on the island tonight.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I’m the one who has you on his arm.” He held the door for her and led her gently, his hand on the small of her back. “Let’s go win a game for Dad.” Danae choked up, unable to speak, wiping a tear from her eye.
The stadium was huge, indoor, climate-controlled and brightly lit. Andy had given Danae her credentials in the limo, and together they were ushered to the VIP section of the stands. “Mr. and Mrs. O’Reilly, the Murphys,” the security detail announced them.
Tarah went to Danae immediately and gave her a grandmotherly hug. “Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry about the baby.”
“Thanks, Tarah,” she smiled. “We had a rough time of it for a while, but we’re getting better day by day.”
Lionel stood and shook Andy’s hand. “Can I talk to you for a minute, son?” Andy nodded, and the two gentlemen walked outside the box. “Andy, I’m sorry my daughter has a disciplinary action against you. There was no good reason for it, and I’m going to get her to rescind it. She gets a little drunk on power sometimes.”
“Look, it’s okay Lionel. I deserved it.”
“We waited a long time for Devin to sink himself, so he had it coming. And for what it’s worth, I would have kept you.”
“I appreciate the sentiment, but you don’t have to fix this. I’m okay. I just need to relearn how the ship is run, I guess.”
Lionel nodded, and patted Andy on the shoulder. “Now, what is with that email you sent me? Did Devin send that to you?” he asked, concern on his face.
Andy nodded. “Yes. We have security fencing and cameras in place around the house, plus 24-hour monitoring, so we’re safe.”
“That’s good. That was my next question. Whatever you need, you just call me. Your dad and I went way back. I’ll take care of you as long as I’m alive.” Lionel hugged the young man.
Andy smiled. “Thanks, Lionel. We should get back before Fiona gets suspicious.”
“Bah, she doesn’t scare me,” he joked. Nevertheless, the two men went back to the party.
Aaron, Trey, and Wyatt led the team onto the field for the start of the game, and Tarah popped open a rather expensive bottle of champagne, and they toasted the Llamas, and as a sweet gesture, Travis. Danae got emotional, and Andy hugged her close. The party was getting started as the first play of the game was made, and the crowd in the stadium went wild. Isla Paradiso was famous for its beaches, but their ‘football’ was the island pastime, and the fact that their team was in the playoffs was even better. Most places were closed, and everyone watched the game, either live in the stadium or on their televisions at home.
By the end of the first half, the Llamas were up five points, and the mood in the VIP box was cheerful. Andy and Danae were having a great time with the O’Reilly family, and they were all getting silly drinking champagne. Tarah made sure the party was well supplied with good food and drink. Even Fiona and Cael were having a good time, and Andy found he actually enjoyed their company, despite her tough as nails work persona.
The Llamas ended up winning the game, and clinching their spot in the upcoming semi-final game in Twinbrook the following week. There was great celebration in the VIP box, as Tarah and Lionel popped open another expensive bottle of champagne. Remembering Andy’s statement as they left their suite, Danae got choked up. Looking skyward, she whispered, “We got another win for you, Daddy.” Andy saw her and knew what she was doing, and wiped a tear away.
Two hours after the game was over, and the party was finally wrapping up. The team had already left the stadium and prepared to leave the island that evening. Andy and Danae got into the limousine that would bring them back to the resort. The ride was short, but both of them were relieved they didn’t need to drive.
Both Andy and Danae were silly, feeling a little more than tipsy from an afternoon of sipping champagne and indulgence. Hand in hand, they walked back to their room, giggling like teenagers in love. He opened the door and held it for her as she took his hand and pulled him inside. The door closed and locked behind them, but he turned the deadbolt behind him.
“That was sweet, baby, what you did after we won the game. Your father would be so proud of you.” He hugged her and kissed her tenderly.
“I’ve thought of him a lot lately, especially since the playoffs began. It was all he ever wanted, his whole career, was to be a champion. He never really made it.”
“Sure he did. We won that championship before he retired because of him, whether he played or not. Putting Wyatt in and making him a star? That was all your dad, my sweet.”
“He never considered himself a champion, just a team captain that never got to play during the most important game of his life. It really bothered him.” Danae was beginning to wish he would change the subject. The alcohol was enhancing her sadness, and she only wanted to cry.
“Well, whether or not he felt it, he was still the biggest star this sport has ever seen, and he probably will be for a long time to come. Did you know his jersey still sells out at every game? We can’t keep them in stock.”
She smiled faintly, but tears were quickly winning the battle of emotions within her. She sniffled, holding back the flood she felt welling up inside her. She sat on the bed and sighed deeply. “He would have loved this today.” And with her statement, the sobs shook her, no longer able to contain it.
“Oh my sweet, why the tears? This is a happy day!”
“I just miss him, so much…”
Andy sighed. He missed Emmitt, too. “I know exactly how you feel. My dad would have loved today, too. But I would imagine, wherever they are, they are looking down on us today and smiling, maybe sharing a beer together, and celebrating. I have to believe that, honey. It helps me through my days.” Danae wrapped herself around Andy, needing comfort only he could give her. He stroked her hair and tilted her chin so he could look into her gorgeous violet eyes. He kissed her tenderly. “Don’t cry, my sweet. Tonight belongs to us. Let’s not waste it.”
“You’re right,” she sniffled, wiping tears from her eyes. “I need you to hold me, to tell me you love me. I need you to show me, Andy. Do you love me?”
His sweet smile melted her heart. “Oh sweetie, I will love you until I take my last breath. I will hold you until I can’t anymore. And I will show you how much I love you as long as I am able.” They kissed and held each other, and loved one another until they fell asleep.
The headache that comes with overindulgence woke Andy early the next morning, and he wasn’t happy. I don’t have to be up today, he grumbled to himself as he peeled himself from Danae and walked to the bathroom. As he washed his hands, he glanced at his reflection in the mirror and groaned. Despite the wonderful evening of loving her, he felt horrible and looked worse. He turned the light off in the bathroom and walked back to bed, snuggling up to her again and holding her close, hoping extra sleep would help him shed the pounding headache.
Danae didn’t wake until long after the sun was up, and the air had changed from cooler to warm. Andy was already up, sipping on a cup of coffee he had ordered from the restaurant, along with some muffins, juice and fresh local fruit. The aroma of coffee woke her as Andy poured his second cup from the carafe, and she reached for him.
“Good morning, beautiful,” he greeted her, setting his cup down and walking to the bed.
“Good morning, handsome,” she reciprocated. “That coffee smells like heaven.”
“It tastes pretty good, too. I’ll fix a cup for you.” He walked back to the table and poured her a cup of coffee and prepared it. She admired the view from where she lay as he walked back to her. Even in his pajama pants, he was gorgeous.
“Thank you, babe,” she said, taking the cup from him and sipping it. “Ooh, that is good.”
“See? I told you. By the way, I haven’t had my good morning kiss yet,” he suggested, as he moved closer to her.
“No way, you have coffee breath,” she teased, and then kissed him anyway.
“What would you like to do today?” he asked.
“Is there a festival going on in the town center? That would be fun if there was.”
“I’m not sure, but I can call the front desk to find out. I was hoping maybe we could just spend some time at the beach. I know I don’t need a tan, but you said you wanted to sunbathe awhile.”
“You just want to see my bikini,” she laughed. “I know your game, mister.”
“Hey, you can’t blame a guy for trying.” He blew her a kiss, and she grabbed the pillow from the bed and lightly hit him with it.
Andy got his wish, and they got into their bathing suits, headed for the private beach that belonged to the resort. He grabbed an umbrella to protect himself from the sun while Danae put her towel down to sunbathe. She unwrapped herself and he just stared at her, his mouth hanging agape. The string bikini was a thong, and only covered exactly what it needed to. She looked amazing in it.
“How do I look?” she smiled, modeling her new bikini.
Andy swallowed very hard. “Holy wow, Danae, I hope you didn’t pay much for that thing. There isn’t much fabric on it.”
“So, you like it?”
“Oh honey, it’s breathtaking.” He couldn’t take his eyes from her.
“Minimal tan lines,” she flirted as she settled herself onto the towel. “Aren’t you going to go swimming?”
“And leave you up here unprotected? Looking like that? Are you kidding me right now?”
“Is there something wrong, babe?”
“No, I just don’t want every man on the beach thinking you’re fair game. Because I have to tell you, you look irresistible in that bikini. I just want it all for myself.” Every minute she spent on the treadmill, every pound she lifted on the weight machine was on display, and she looked incredible.
“I’m a big girl, Andy. If you want to go swimming, then go. I’ll be fine here alone.”
“I’ll just go and cool off a bit. But I’m coming right back,” he finally relented. “Stay right there, gorgeous.”
“I’m almost afraid to move!” she joked. “I’ll be right here.”
Andy walked to the shoreline and waded in, enjoying the feel of the cool saltwater on his skin. A few steps in and he was knee-deep, so he dove in and swam around for a little while, keeping a close eye on Danae as she relaxed. When he had enough, he walked back up onto the beach and sat in the chair near her.
“You’re back quickly,” she remarked. “How’s the water?”
“Wet,” he laughed. “It feels wonderful, actually. You should come out with me and swim next time.”
“You think I should in this?”
“No, you’re right. Is that the only bikini you have with you?”
“No, I have a one piece with me for actual swimming. But I knew you’d love this one.” She turned over onto her belly and propped herself on her elbows, watching his face.
“Yeah, I do love that one.” He looked around, checking for other men who could be watching her. “I just hope no one else loves it, too.”
“Relax, babe. No one is looking at me like that but you.”
“You know I worry about you. You’re just too darned beautiful.”
“And you are much too sweet.”
A few hours later, Danae was a golden tan and she was very warm. “Babe, come with me to swim?”
“You know I will, my sweet.” They held hands and walked together to the water. “You look amazing all tanned up, you know that?”
“Do I?” she joked. He only nodded.
They walked out into the surf waist deep, and she wrapped herself around him. “Don’t let me go, babe,” she said to him.
“You can swim, can’t you?”
“Of course. I just don’t want you to let me go.” She kissed him.
“I will never, ever let you go, my sweet. You can count on that.” He hugged her close and held her.
They swam together for close to an hour before she decided she was getting too much sun. “Do you mind if we go back to the suite, babe? I don’t want to burn.”
“I would love nothing more,” he purred, walking toward the beach with her still wrapped around him.
“Murphy, your table is ready,” the host said as he led them to a quiet table. Andy seated Danae and then sat down next to her.
“Thank you,” he replied as the host handed him menus.
“Can I get you anything from the bar?”
Danae whispered to him, and he nodded. “Just a bottle of nectar, if you have this blend,” he asked, showing the variety to the waiter.
“Yes, sir, I shall return shortly with that for you.”
Danae looked around in awe of the surroundings. Though she had been here before, she was a little girl when Travis and Charlotte had the family here. “Again, Andy, you’ve outdone yourself. This place is beautiful.”
“My sweet, you look stunning tonight. Your dress is sexy and stylish. I don’t remember you buying that.”
“I didn’t. It was Mama’s dress. All of her stuff fits me perfectly.” This particular dress had been to Isla Paradiso before. In fact, it was the red dress Travis had purchased for Charlotte on their anniversary. Danae’s hard work allowed her to wear it.
“Well, it is beautiful, just like you.” He took her hand and kissed it. The waiter returned with the chilled bottle of nectar, opened it and poured two glasses before placing it into a chiller.
“Are you ready to order, sir?” he asked. Andy smiled sheepishly. They hadn’t even looked at the menu yet. “Just a few more minutes, and we should be ready.” The waiter nodded and walked away.
“What looks good, babe?” she asked. Danae hadn’t looked at the menu, and she seldom did anymore. Andy had such sophisticated taste when it came to fine dining, and she trusted him to get something she would love.
“There’s a nice local fish that looks delicious, and perhaps a filet? We will share, as usual.” He was still looking for something that would be unique and regional. “Ah, I have it,” Andy finally nodded. “Ahi, seared rare, and lamb medallions.”
“That sounds wonderful,” she replied. “I’ve never had Ahi before. What is it?”
“Tuna. It’s delish, my sweet. You’re going to love it, and it’s caught locally.”
She said nothing more, and when Andy ordered, they toasted to their weekend together. “This nectar is familiar,” Danae commented. “Where have we had it before?”
“The Tower back home. When we had it, I took note of the fruits, because it’s really one of the only sweet nectars I like.”
“Oh yes,” she smiled. “I remember now.” They so seldom went to The Tower, so their last visit was memorable.
“So sweetie, tell me about that dress. It seems all of your pretty things have a story.” Andy loved it on her.
“Mama told me, when I saw it in her closet, that it was a special dress. My daddy bought it for her when they were here for their fifteenth anniversary. It was the only red one in her closet, and I remember it catching my eye, but she asked me not to wear it.”
“So, they bought it here?”
“That’s what I understand, yes. The dress shop isn’t there anymore. The owner passed away a few years ago.” Danae smiled at the memory of meeting Jayna. “She was a sweet lady.”
“Well, you make that dress look phenomenal, honey.” The candlelight on the table made her eyes sparkle.
“You’re too sweet,” she blushed.
“What would you like to do tomorrow? It’s our last full day on the island before we leave on Sunday night.”
“What would you like to do, love?” She knew her heart’s desire was out of the question. There just wasn’t enough time.
“Well, I picked today’s fun. Why don’t we see if there’s that festival going on? You mentioned it this morning.”
“You really want to shop?” she giggled.
“If you want to, then yes, I do, too.” Andy looked at her, in awe of her beauty, and kissed her hands.
“A penny for your thoughts,” she purred.
“Just loving you, honey.”
After dinner, they left the restaurant and Andy spotted the spa. “Is that where you get my musk, my sweet?”
“Actually, yes. I should get some before we leave.”
“That’s a great idea. Too bad they’re closed now. I’d make an appointment for a couple’s massage for tomorrow morning.”
Danae pondered his idea. “Hmm, that sounds relaxing and fun. But maybe next time, babe. We only have one more day.”
“You really need to stop making so much sense, baby,” he laughed. “You’re supposed to be the adventurous one in this relationship.”
“Okay, I’ll be adventurous. Let’s walk around the property barefoot.” She looked at him, deadpan serious, waiting for his reaction and waiting to bust up laughing.
“Is that the best you have?” he asked her. And she started to laugh.
She stopped and slipped out of her shoes, picked them up and took his hand with her free one. “This is all I have, babe.”
They strolled around the property until way after dark, when there was a chill in the air and Danae began to shiver.
“You’re cold,” he noted. “I know how to warm you up.”
“You’re going to think I’m ill, but I don’t think I can do that tonight, babe. I’m sore, and I don’t want to push it.”
“I keep forgetting you’re just a few weeks out from surgery, and that you’re still recovering. You’re right, my sweet.”
“Nothing saying we can’t snuggle,” she cooed. “As long as we are together, it doesn’t matter.”
Andy took his jacket off and put it around her shoulders. “Until we get back, love.” He took her hand, and they walked back to the suite. “I was looking forward to unwrapping you like a candy bar,” he laughed. “I guess I will take a rain check.”
“Tomorrow is another day, babe.” She slipped his jacket off and hung it. They undressed for bed and snuggled together, crazy in love.
“Housekeeping,” a voice from outside the door called with a soft knock, waking Andy up.
“Nae!” He said to her. “Just a moment, please!” Andy called to the voice outside. I forgot to put up the sign last night, he thought. “Danae, honey, wake up!”
She stirred and looked at Andy, throwing clothes on and rummaging to find something for her to wear. “What is wrong?” She asked, feeling a little panicked.
“Housekeeping is here, and we are not ready.” He tossed her a pair of yoga pants and a shirt.
“Babe, calm down,” she snickered. She pulled her clothes on and opened the door. She walked to the next room, where the housekeeper was making a bed. “We are in the next room. I’ll make the bed today. You can skip us.”
The older lady smiled. “Thank you!”
Satisfied, Danae walked back to the room, where Andy was still a bit out of sorts. “You handled that so well, honey,” he remarked.
“I’m used to being woken up by hungry babies. This is nothing new.” She walked to Andy and kissed him. “What time is it anyway?”
He glanced at his watch. “Wow,” he remarked. It’s after ten.”
“We must have needed the sleep. I know I feel refreshed. But we probably missed the best part of the festival in the square.”
“Oh my sweet, I’m so sorry.”
“Let’s go anyway,” she suggested. “I think it runs until after dark. There’s still plenty of time to have fun.”
They showered and dressed, saving their meal for the walk around the festival grounds. Restaurants and eateries from the whole island had booths set up, selling samples of their signature dishes during an event called “El Sabor de la Isla,” or “The Taste of the Isle.” At the far end of the grounds was a stage with live music and dancing, the music blared through speakers sprinkled throughout. Dotted around the festival were local merchants and craftsmen selling locally sourced or handmade items.
“This is amazing,” Andy exclaimed. “Everything smells so good.”
Danae took his hand, enjoying the atmosphere, so happy they decided to walk around. “Let’s get an empanada, babe,” she suggested, pointing toward a booth.
“Sounds good, sweetie,” he agreed. They sampled two different ones, and a churro to split afterward. A nearby booth had coffee, freshly ground and pressed to order, and they each ordered a cup.
“I know we didn’t eat much,” she said, “but I’m full!”
“I’m not, but there is a lot of ground to cover here,” he replied. “Let’s keep walking.”
Their first stop was a booth that had handmade baby clothes. Danae picked up a cute, frilly dress meant for a newborn, and she cooed at it. “Isn’t this adorable?” she gushed.
Andy smiled at first, and then remembered their lost child. It could have been another girl. “That would have been cute…” his words trailed off.
She took his hand, and he squeezed hers. “I still think of it, too, babe. We’re okay.”
The next booth had fudge, so they bought a small sampling of it to share. And then Andy spotted a jewelry booth. Naturally, he wanted to find something pretty for Danae to wear. He browsed through the displays until he found a necklace with a heart pendant on it. The heart held a pearl, pink in color, and it was delicate and extremely beautiful. He didn’t even ask how much it was, he just bought it for her and slipped it into his pocket. She was at a nearby table looking at more baby clothes, and his heart ached for her.
Walking quickly to catch up with her, he took her hand. “Hey, my sweet,” he said, maybe a little too casually.
“What are you up to?” she asked suspiciously.
Andy smiled sweetly at her. “It’s nothing you need to be concerned with, honey.”
She gave him a wary look, and then smiled. “If you say so, babe.” She had on a pair of cutoff jeans, and he slid his hand into her back pocket, and he surprised her. “What are you doing?” she laughed.
He was terrible at keeping secrets. “Oh, okay,” he said. “You win.” He put his hand into his own pocket and pulled out the small box containing the necklace. “I was going to surprise you later, but I can’t help myself.” He was giddy with excitement.
She opened the box, and her mouth dropped open in shock. “Oh, Andy! This is beautiful!” The pendant was white gold on a chain, with the pink pearl in the middle of a heart. “No wonder you were all happy. This is so pretty.”
“Here, let me put it on you,” he offered, taking the necklace from the box. He fastened the chain around her slender neck, and it sat perfectly on her. “You know, Danae, as beautiful as this necklace is, it is nowhere near as breathtaking as you.” He kissed her tenderly. “I love you, honey,” he whispered in her ear.
Her violet eyes filled with tears. He was the sweetest, most romantic man she had ever known. “Babe, I love you, too. You make me so very happy.”
“That’s what I love to hear, my sweet.” He slipped his arm around her waist and they walked together to the stage to watch the bands and dance.
It was well past dark when they finally began to walk back toward the resort. Hand in hand, they strolled together, listening to the crickets and other insects that inhabited the island. “Did you have a good time today, my sweet?” Andy asked her.
“Did I ever!” she exclaimed. “The food was incredible, the music, the dancing… this gorgeous necklace. It was the best day I’ve had in a long time, love. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, honey. I had a great time, too. I hate to leave tomorrow. This was too short a trip.”
“We have to come back soon, that’s all there is to it.” The closer they got to the resort, the sounds of the evening changed. And in the brush on the side of the road, Danae saw fireflies for the first time. “What is that?” she asked Andy, pointing to them.
“You’ve never seen fireflies before, honey?”
“No. I remember Mama talking about them, but I’d never seen them. They are neat!”
Andy chuckled. “Yes, love, they are.”
They finally got back to the resort, and he opened the door for her, allowing her to enter first. “Oh, it’s going to feel so good to get these shoes off,” she said, slipping them off her feet.
Andy just stared at her. “Honey, you are the love of my life, you know that?”
“Of course I know it. And you are the love of mine.” They embraced and kissed tenderly. He loved how she had styled her hair for the day. He never realized how long it was until she wore it in a braid.
“Sweetie, let’s spend our last night in paradise the right way.” Playfully, he tickled her with the tip of her ponytail, and she laughed.
Danae never said a word, but simply took his hands and led him to the bed, smiling all the way.
The phone rang the next morning at seven-thirty, and Andy answered it. “This is your wake up call, Mr. Murphy!” the cheerful voice on the other end greeted him. “Your shuttle will arrive at noon for your 3:30 flight.”
He shook his head, still sleepy. “Thank you,” he mumbled. The alarm on his phone was set to sound at 9:00am, and he wasn’t ready for the night to end just yet.
“Who was that?” Danae asked.
“Wake up call. I have my alarm set for nine.”
“Good, because I’m not ready to get up yet,” she purred and snuggled closer to him. She felt kisses on her neck and ears, and knew there was going to be no more sleeping. And as usual, she was totally okay with that.
At eight-thirty, they finally pulled themselves away from each other and got up, showered and finished packing their bags to go home. “Remind me, babe, to get some oils and fragrances before we leave here.” She brushed her hair out and dried it to put it up, dabbed some vanilla onto her skin and placed her brush and the perfume into her luggage.
“I wish you would have left your hair braided, love. I like it like that.” Andy used the musk and handed the bottle back to Danae to pack. “You smell delicious,” he purred, kissing her.
“So do you. Are you done with your brush, babe?”
He handed it to her. “I am, sweetie. I’m sorry.”
“I just don’t want to leave it behind.” She did one last check around the room, opened the safe and removed the remainder of the cash they hadn’t used and placed half of it into her bag, and gave the other half to Andy. “I think we’re clear.” She took a few §20 bills and placed them on the table as a tip for housekeeping, and put her carry on over her shoulder. “Are we ready, babe?”
He took one last look around, hoping this wasn’t the last time they would see Isla Paradiso, and nodded. “I think we are.” He took the garment bag and the rolling case, grabbed both key cards and they left the room.
They strolled to the lobby, knowing they could have had a bellhop retrieve the bags, but it never occurred to them to mind carrying them. Danae made a quick stop at the spa and stocked up on the cologne and perfume, and packed them into her luggage. When they stopped at the concierge desk to check out, she asked about Rosa.
“Oh, Miss Rosa has been gone for a year now, I’m sorry to say. Everyone who comes through here asks about her. She is surely missed.” The concierge took their bags and placed them on the cart. “You have about 90 minutes, more than enough time for the brunch buffet, if you would like. I will make sure the shuttle does not leave without you.”
Andy looked at Danae. “Did you want to grab a quick breakfast, honey?”
She thought for a moment, and said, “Sure!” They walked hand in hand for the restaurant.
They were finished with plenty of time to spare, and they sat in the lobby, chatting when the shuttle arrived. Danae sighed. Even though she missed her kids, she was not ready to go home just yet. “Promise me, Andy, that we’ll come back here.”
“I promise, love. I would love to stay longer next time.” He took her hand, and they made their way to the shuttle together.
The ride to the airport was short and uneventful, and they got through security easily after checking in. They made their way through the terminal and found their gate with about 30 minutes to spare. And because they were first class passengers, they were seated first.
“Thank you, Andy, for inviting me to come with you. I had a blast!” Danae said as she snuggled up to him, ready for the flight home.
“Thank you for coming with me, my sweet. It was a great weekend away.” He kissed her tenderly, and he reached for her hand. “I love you, honey.”
“Mmm, I love you too,” she cooed, resting her head on his shoulder. They fell asleep together on the flight, happy and content.
Up Next: Chapter Fifteen, Generation Five