Chapters 17 & 18

Chapter 17

Joanne stepped into the bathroom of the EC and bundled up her hair.  Removing her robe, she walked into the shower stall and turned on the tap.  There she let the slightly warm water wash away the day’s tension.  As she slowly sponged herself she thought about what Sam and Ginny had said about Carlos’ meeting with Carmen.

Was it really an innocent kiss of goodbye?  She let her mind go back to the conversation in the car and tried to remember Carlos’ facial expression when he confessed about the old love and the kiss.  Did he look guilty?  No, she decided.  Perhaps he was just trying to be honest with her.  They did make a pact that they would talk things through when something didn’t go right.  So why was she angry with him for coming out and telling her all about his meeting?  She smiled.  It seemed like Mama’s words had found their way into his heart and hers too.

Stepping out of the shower, she dried herself and put on the bathrobe again.  She decided to stay in the room and wait for Carlos to appear and tell him he had been forgiven and that she was sorry for losing her temper.  Ginny’s words of kiss and make-up rang in her head as she carefully brushed her hair till they shone and curled nicely around her face and shoulders.

After fifteen minutes went by and still no sign of her husband, she decided to look out the window to see if she could make out what was going on in the main house.  All she saw was darkness except a few lights on the second floor rooms.  Where could Carlos be at this hour?

She picked up the phone and dialled his number but there was just the voicemail telling her to leave her message.  Puzzled, she wandered out of the EC in her robe and stood at the front porch looking left and right, not sure where to go to look for him.  Frustrated, she went back to the room to wait.  Picking out a nice negligee, she set about getting ready for bed and her husband.

Unknown to Joanne, Carlos had slipped out and gone to town.  He was in the kitchen washing up when an idea came to him and after making a phone call to his regular jeweler, who agreed to wait for him, he told David and Urs his plan and they urged him to hurry to the shop since it was getting late.

There, after going through the collection that the jeweler had carefully picked out and placed on a tray for him, he picked up a very nice fiery red ruby ring surrounded by small brilliant diamonds and admired it.  This is the one, he thought.  He didn’t even bat an eyelid when he paid with his credit card.  It was a massive amount that needed the bank’s approval in order to honor the payment and when it was finally done, he headed home happily with his new purchase sitting firmly inside his pants pocket.

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Sneaking quietly into the EC with the extra set of keys that Urs had given him, he tip-toed upstairs and noticed that the light in their room was still on.  Turning the knob lightly, he poked his head around the door and looked in.  In a split second a pillow connected with the door and narrowly missed his face as he quickly closed the door again.

“Joanne, please don’t be angry.  There’s really nothing between Carmen and me, I swear!” he shouted behind the closed door in his loud baritone voice and it carried into the night, and into the main house, too.  Urs and Sam stuck their heads out their bedroom window and listened while grinning at each other.

“Then where the hell did you go?” Joanne shouted back.  “Did you know that I was worried sick about you?”

Worried?  She was worried about me, not angry with me, Carlos thought with a smile.

“Can I come in, Joanne?  We need to talk,” he asked, this time in a softer voice.  The Buhler couple decided to wait a few more minutes before they vacate their stake out even though all was quiet.

“If it’s about Carmen and you, you can forget about sleeping here tonight,” she replied back, still loud, but not audible to Urs and Sam.  They decided all was well again and happily went back under their covers.

Gingerly Carlos turned the knob and poked his head around again.  When nothing flew in his way, he stepped in with a sigh.

“Joanne, this has got to stop.  We’re adults, not kids.  If you’re not happy, tell me about it.  Throwing stuff at me and screaming is just going to make things worse,” he gently chided when he saw her sitting on the bed with her eyes all red.

“I can’t help it.  I thought I’d wait for you to come in and tell you I’m sorry about blowing my top just now, but you made me wait for two hours!  What am I supposed to think when I can’t even get through your phone?  And all Sam would say was that you had gone into town.  It made me think of Carmen,” she confessed with a little sob.

She looked so endearing with her hair framing her face, her big eyes filled with tears and her lips turned down in a little pout.  Carlos felt his heart race as he took in the sight of her.  Gently he sat down beside her and drew her into his arms, stroking her hair and whispering Spanish words of love.

Joanne buried her face in the exposed chest that was revealed by the half buttoned shirt and let him comfort her.  Again, she had let her imagination run wild and she felt bad about it all.

“I’m sorry, Carlos,” she wanted to explain but words wouldn’t come.

“It is I who should apologise, my sweet,” Carlos replied, lifting her face with his fingers on her chin and giving her a kiss.  “I thought I’d surprise you with a little gift and went to town to get it.  I didn’t expect to take so long to get back.”

“You got me a surprise?” she looked up with her tear-stained face.

He reached inside his pocket and retrieved the small box.  Opening it, he showed her the sparkling ruby and diamond ring.  Her breath caught in her throat as she stared at the lovely ring and lightly fingered it.

“I love you, Joanne.  Seb said a five carat diamond is needed to ask for your forgiveness, but I think this suits you much better.  But it doesn’t mean I’m guilty,” he added the last sentence hurriedly.  Then, tenderly, he asked “Do you like it?”

Looking up at him with fresh tears streaming down her face, she nodded.  He removed the ring from the box and slipped it on her finger and held it up for her to see.  With the moonlight shining through the window and reflecting off the precious gems, it was indeed a beautiful creation and being placed on her long and graceful finger, it looked even more exquisite.

“I see you’re all dressed up for me to enjoy.  Can I start claiming what’s mine now?”  He let his eyes roam over her body, his voice thick with passion.

“Yes,” was all she could say before his lips descended on hers.

As sound travelled far and wide in the still of the night, Sam and Urs were soon woken up by the noise coming from the EC again.  It seemed that Urs had forgotten to shut the window and both lay awake laughing quietly.  Finally he got up to shut the window before cradling Sam close to him as they tried to sleep again.

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David had been staying up late to video chat with Amelia and Claire for the past few days.  Amelia was getting used to the schedule and would pester her mother to log on to the video chat so she could see and talk to Uncle David.

“So did you make mommy angry, Amie?” David asked with a smile.

“No, I helped mommy keep the toys,” she replied and looked at mommy for affirmation.  Mommy nodded her agreement.

“What would you like to do when we see each other again?”

“Disneyland!” she shouted excitedly.

“Amelia, Uncle David doesn’t have time to go there with us,” Mommy informed her.

“Who says?  I’ll make some arrangements and perhaps we could meet there.  I’ll let you know in a couple of days,” David told Claire.

“Are you sure?  How many days will you be able to spend with us?”

“About a week, I hope.  Let me check with the guys first.  The album is going nicely.  We recorded it before our last tour ended but haven’t released it, so now we’re re-looking at some of the songs.”

“Thank you, David.  You’ve been so kind to both of us, I don’t know if it’s really worth your time and effort.”

“Please, Claire.  What we share is so much more than you’d care to admit.  I’ll do all I can to make sure you’ll change your mind about joining me here.”

They went on to talk about the house in New York that her parents wanted her to buy.

“It makes sense to buy it if the price is right since it’s in your parents’ neighbourhood and very near to Amelia’s school.  That is, if you’re really going to sell your LA apartment.  It’s always nice to have a place to call home, even if you’re not living in it everyday.”

“Thanks for the advice, David.  Guess I’ll be making a trip up there to have a look day after tomorrow.”

“Why not wait till I’m back?  We can make a trip there together.”

“Oh, that would be nice.  I’ll tell my parents to hold off the meeting with the seller till you’re here.  Good thing the lady owner isn’t in a hurry to sell and she and my mom are good friends.”

“Another two weeks and we’ll meet again.  I’ll let you know about the Disneyland arrangement and we can plan your house hunting after that.”

“Ok.  Say goodbye to Uncle David now, Amelia,” Claire told her daughter.

“Bye, Uncle David.  See ya, love ya!” Amelia waved cheerfully in front of the camera.

“Love ya too, Amie.”  Then looking into the camera intently, he added softly, “And mommy, too.”

Claire held a hand over her mouth to keep from crying as she nodded.  He smiled tenderly at her and waited for her to log off before he did the same.

Claire couldn’t help feeling surprised and happy to hear those words from David.  Though he didn’t come outright to say he loved her, he had very tentatively admitted it.  It put to rest whatever doubts she might have of their relationship, even though deep inside her she knew that David would never use her or abuse her feelings for him.  It was the fear of ending up with the wrong man that was keeping her back, but now she knew she had found someone for keeps.

David stared at the screen for a long time even after they had logged off from the chat.  Why was she crying?  Because she missed him?  Or because she was happy that he said he loved her?  He kept mulling over the questions even as he went to take a cold shower in the middle of the night.

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As promised, the kids were brought to the club house swimming pool with Carlos and Joanne joining in the fun.  They were all in the kiddy pool playing in the water and learning to swim at the same time.  Angel and Lily were confident enough in the water and didn’t need to use a float, but the other three small ones each had an inflatable arm ring on each arm.

Joanne pulled Grace to one side and tried to teach her how to swim while Carlos showed Nick some movements.  Sam kept an eye on Lily and Angel while Urs held on to Tony as he learnt to kick.  Soon, Tony graduated to playing in the water without the arm rings.

There was a lot of noise coming from all of them and everyone had fun and no one was left out.  Then Nick said he needed to use the bathroom and so Carlos got up and brought him to the little boy’s room.

When they rejoined the group, Lily asked, “Uncle Carlos, what happened to your back?”

Carlos turned around and tried to look at his back but couldn’t see what was there.  Sam stared at his back and tried to stifle a laugh.  Carlos noticed it and realised what Lily was referring to.

“Um, I er, fell of the bed this morning and scratched myself,” he stammered, his face turning red amid the tan of his complexion.  Joanne was too far off to hear the conversation so she was spared the blushing.

“Ouch!  That must have hurt,” Urs said in all seriousness, nodding his head and looking concerned.  Sam turned her face away from him but Urs could see her shoulders shaking.

“When I fell and scratched my knee here, mommy bathed me and it stung really bad and I cried,” Nick was all serious and pointing at the little scratch on his knee that was almost healed.

“Well, um, it doesn’t stung, I mean, sting, for me,” Carlos quickly corrected with a shake of his head.

“You must be more careful, Uncle Carlos.  Daddy always tells grandma to be careful and not fall since she’s getting old and her bones might break easily,” Angel offered a word of advice.

Urs couldn’t handle it anymore and lowered his body into the water, submerging his head in water that went just up to his knees.  Little Tony saw daddy doing that and joined him, pinching his nose and staring at his daddy underwater with a grin.

It was a fatal mistake as Urs broke out laughing and choked on the water that entered his open mouth.  Getting out of the water sputtering and coughing, he couldn’t stop laughing until he realised little Tony was still submerged in the water.  Quickly reaching out to grab him, he pulled the little boy up and shook him.

“Tony, are you alright?” he called out breathlessly.

Taking a big gulp of air, Tony replied, “Yes, daddy” and then giggled.  Urs looked at him incredulously before laughing along with his son and hugging him.  Sam had wadded over to them by now and hugged her son and husband in relief.

They continued to play in the water and Little Gracie and Nick also made some improvements, finally discarding the arm rings.  As Sam taught both Lily and Angel how to swim breaststroke, Joanne and Carlos taught Grace and Nick how to float.

Little Tony proved to be as fearless as daddy when he let go of his daddy’s hand and floated on his back in the water according to daddy’s instructions.  When he became tired, he paddled towards daddy, carefully keeping his head above the water level.

“That’s my boy,” Urs announced proudly.

“Tony’s like a carbon copy of his father,” Joanne remarked.

“That’s why one is Urs Toni Buhler while the other is Tony Urs Buhler,” Sam said matter-of-factly.

“That’s so cute!” Joanne exclaimed and giggled.  “So is Grace Sam or is it Angel?”

“Grace takes my name since Angel takes my mum’s name, which is also Ginny’s middle name, Elisabeth.”

“I really envy you, Sam.  You have such a wonderful family, and you’re doing so well as a parent.”

“You’ll be a great parent too, Joanne.  Seeing you with Grace, I know what I’m talking about.”

They went on to talk about the ring adorning Joanne’s finger and laughed at her account of the night before, how Carlos came home to find her fuming mad and how he managed to turn everything in his favour with his words and the surprise he got her.  Of course, Sam couldn’t resist lecturing her about jumping to conclusions again and Joanne admitted she was at fault and promised to change her ways.

Then teasing her friend, Sam said, “I suppose those scratches on his back weren’t for punishment then.”  Joanne turned a beautiful shade of pink amid laughter from Sam.

By now the kids were tired and hungry, so they were rounded up and taken to the shower and after that, to feast on pizzas.  By the time they got home, it was time for a nap and they happily went up to their rooms to sleep off the tiredness, Nick and Tony in Angel’s room, while Grace, Lily and Angel in the twins’ room.

Chapter 18

Two weeks had gone since Il Divo started working on the album and David was itching to get on the next flight out of London.  He had arranged to meet Claire and Amelia at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa, where they planned to spend three days there before flying to New York to look at the house that Claire was considering buying.  He had managed to secure a ten-day break in between work and so would be flying back to LA with the girls before heading back to London for more work.

The day before he flew to the States, the Divos had dinner at Sebastien’s place after a hard day at the studio.  Ginny had called for catering from a well-known French restaurant and the dining area was already set up when everyone arrived.  She could only cook a few French dishes, so after consulting with her husband who agreed to the catering, she went ahead and searched for the right caterer.  A chef and two helpers were there to help serve and clear the table.

Again, the dinner was a fun affair with the kids providing much of the entertainment with their comments and conversation.  Grace chose to sit in between Joanne and Carlos again as she loved getting all the attention from them.  Joanne was pleased and an idea came to her.

“Kids, since Uncle Carlos and I aren’t going anywhere or doing anything, would any of you like to come and stay with us for say, three days?  We’ll have fun shopping and playing together.”

Carlos turned to look at her as if she’d suddenly grown an extra head, “All five of them?”

“If they all want to come,” she shrugged.

“Not Lily or Angel as they have school to attend to,” Ginny replied.  Both girls immediately looked down on their plates with a pout.  Lily was close to crying when Joanne came up with a solution.

“Carlos can take them to school.  He did that with Lily while he was staying with you guys, so I’m sure he can handle the timetable.”

Again, Carlos looked at her with both eyebrows raised to the roof, “I can?”

“Sure you can,” David chipped in with a mischievous look and added, “I took all three little Buhlers out and I’m still here. You’ll survive,” and gave him a sweet smile.  Carlos still looked doubtful so Urs came to his rescue.

“Lily and Angel will stay home since they may have homework to do.  The other young ones can stay over,” then seeing that Angel was going to protest, added, “But they can join in some of the fun like shopping and playing at your place after their lessons.  Just make sure you have plenty to keep them all occupied.”

Joanne said confidently, “Don’t worry.  We’ll start shopping at Toys ‘R’ Us tomorrow.  Want to come?” she turned to Grace who nodded and smiled till her eyes were almost just slits on her face.  All the kids wanted to go shopping for toys so Carlos decided to borrow Urs’ seven-seater SUV to fit them all in the car.

Putting a hand on his shoulder, Sebastien comforted the Spaniard, “Don’t worry, Carlos.  Treat this as a training session for the brood that you’re going to have.”

The talk turned to David as he told them about his plan with Claire and Amelia.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back in time for work,” he assured them and then sneezed suddenly.

“Had too many cold showers lately, Davey?” Ginny teased slyly and the other adults broke out in laughter.  David just grinned his silly, goofy grin.

“Thanks, Ginny.  That’s a good one,” Sebastien winked at his wife.  He never knew revenge could be so sweet.

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Shopping day.  Carlos drove to the Buhlers’ to pick up the kids and also to change the car to Urs’ SUV.  Grace and Tony had their overnight bags packed with clothes for the next few days.  Mommy and Daddy had briefed them on what to do and what not to do and both of them nodded dutifully before hugging and kissing their parents goodbye.

“Angel, I’ll pick you up this evening, alright?” Urs told his eldest daughter.  She nodded then hugged and kissed him and Sam.

Then the troupe proceeded to pick up Lily and Nick.  Nick had a big overnight bag and couldn’t wait to get into the car.  Ginny held him back and gave him a stern warning, “Remember the naughty corner, Nick.  You’ll miss out a lot of fun if you’re placed there.”  He nodded and ran off to jump into the car, throwing his bag at Uncle Carlos along the way.

Lily turned to daddy and said, “Please don’t come before eight, daddy.  Angel will be there till then.”  With a hug and kiss to each parent, she walked gracefully to the car and got in.

Carlos turned to Ginny and said, “She’s your mini twin.  Walks and behaves just like you.”

“Well, at least we have one less kid to worry about,” Ginny replied with a sideways glance at her husband who only grinned sheepishly.

All the kids chattered excitedly about the shopping and talked animatedly about what they hoped to get from the massive toy store.  Joanne loved the chatter among the kids and constantly turned back from her front passenger seat to join in the conversation.  Carlos concentrated on driving with his conscious mind while his subconscious mind wondered if he could cope with so many of them.

Joanne noticed the frown on her husband’s face and smiled as she touched his hand, “Don’t worry.  We’ll be fine.”

“How?  The store is so big and there are only two of us with five of them,” Carlos shook his head incredulously.

“Don’t worry, Uncle Carlos.  If one of us gets lost, we will look for the person in uniform and tell that person to page for you.  That’s what daddy and mommy always said to us,” Angel told him confidently.

“Have you guys ever gotten lost before?” Carlos asked, still unsure of how it would all turn out.

“Nick!  But a saleslady saw him crying and brought him to the information counter,” Lily supplied the answer.

“Well, I feel better now knowing that even Seb could lose one of his only two kids,” Carlos joked, and that made Joanne giggle.  “Ok, let’s do it this way, the girls will go with Aunty Joanne and the boys will come with me.  Then when we’re done, we’ll meet at the main entrance of the store.  How’s that?”

“Sounds good to me,” Joanne smiled and reached over to plant a kiss on his cheek.

“Uncle Carlos, I want Lego’s Indiana Jones toy,” Nick shouted excitedly.

“I want Lego’s Racers!” Anthony joined in.

“And what do my girls want?” Joanne laughingly asked.

As the girls didn’t know what they wanted, Joanne said they’d take their time to shop around, but they should try to finish shopping before lunch time.

It turned out that Carlos had an easy time with the boys, even though Nick did try to get the better of him a couple of times by insisting on getting more toys than he was allowed, but Uncle Carlos stood firm.  He had spent enough days at the Izambards’ to witness the antics of the little boy and so was well-prepared to counter the boy’s persistence.

At one stage Nick was on the floor kicking his leg when Carlos refused him a toy much to the amusement of the other shoppers.  Sighing, Carlos calmly told him, “Get up, Nick, or we’re leaving without you.”  With that, he took Anthony’s hand and guided the little boy away from the tantrum-throwing Nick.  Around the corner of the shelf and out of sight of the boy, Carlos waited with Anthony anxiously hugging his toy.  Nick was left with no doubt that this was a man he could not twist around his little fingers, so he got up and ran in their direction, screaming at the top of his lungs, “Uncle Carlos!  Wait!”

Stepping out of their hiding place, Carlos replied in a low voice, “I’m here, Nick.”  The boy turned and looked at him with tears in his eyes.  Carlos walked towards him, bent down to his level and said, “Next time, do as you’re told or you’ll be left behind.  Understand?”  Nick nodded.  “I think you owe me an apology for misbehaving.”   In a small voice, Nick apologized.  Ruffling the boy’s hair, he took both boys by their hands and continued shopping.

Anthony was easy-going as he knew what he wanted and knew he shouldn’t misbehave.  A few time-out sessions at home had taught him the importance of taking no for an answer.  Besides, he was a good observer and seeing how Uncle Carlos handled Nick, he decided he wouldn’t stand a chance with the man either, not even with a few blinky-winks.

The girls walked around the girly section and selected a few toys that they could play together.  Grace picked a Tomy Cinderella Aquadraw that allowed the kids to draw with a special pen and watch Cinderalla and Prince Charming dance to the music; Angel picked a Bendaroos Mega Pack that consisted of flexible sticks that could be twisted and bent into various shapes and creatures; Lily opted for Cella Fashion Maker which would allow them to design and print out outfits in sticker form for the paper dolls.

When they got to the payment counter, Carlos was already in the queue to pay for the boys’ purchases.  Joanne had picked up a few games that they could all play together: Tomy Quack Shot Game, Monopoly and Five Little Monkeys Board Game.  Looking at her trolley full of stuff, he couldn’t help but raised an eyebrow at her.  All she did was shrugged and smiled sweetly at him.

Saying that the kids were happy was an understatement; they couldn’t wait to get back to Carlos’ apartment to play with their new toys.  It took some convincing and a few stern words from Uncle Carlos to get them into a restaurant for their lunch.

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The moment David stepped into his suite at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® & Spa, he was greeted by an enthusiastic shout of ‘Uncle David’ before the owner of the voice flung herself into his open arms.  David carried her up to his full height and kissed her cheeks and she was all smiles.  Claire stood in the background and observed the reunion.

“Did you miss me, Amelia?” he asked the little girl ever so tenderly that Claire felt herself moved to tears.

“Yes, Uncle David.  Mommy, too,” she replied and turned to her mother, whose face was adorned by a lone tear falling down her cheek.  David reached out a hand to her and she gladly stepped into the embrace, letting tears of happiness and relief slip down her face.  He held her tight and kissed her head, willing his own tears not to fall.  They hugged for a while longer before Claire broke away.

“You must be tired.  I’ve prepared a bath for you,” she dried her eyes with her hands and looked up at him with a smile.

Putting Amelia down, he told the little girl to go to her room while he talked to her mother.   She happily skipped to her bedroom, knowing that they would be having a great time ahead with Uncle David around.

Taking Claire fully into his arms, he kissed her passionately and she was left reeling from the intensity of it.  Her arms wrapped tightly around him as she clung on to him and buried her face in his chest.  No words were necessary.  They were together again.  Finally able to keep their emotions in check, they broke away and walked hand-in-hand into Amelia’s room where she was playing with her doll.  Claire told her to be good while she helped Uncle David settle down.  The little girl nodded and asked, “Then can we go out and play?”

“It’s late now.  We’ll have plenty of time to play tomorrow,” Claire told her.

“We could take a little walk though.  How’s that, Amie?” David suggested.  Little Amie nodded her head happily and turned her attention to the doll in her hand.

In the bathroom, David undressed and got into the scented warm water.  Claire stood and watched, uncertain about what she should do.

“Are you just going to observe how I bathe myself or are you joining me?” he asked with a cheeky grin.

She looked at the closed door and replied, “But Amelia…”

“We won’t take too long, I promise.  I just need to feel you near me.  You’ve gotten under my skin and I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing.  Care to prove which one it is?” he challenged.

She didn’t need anymore invitation and removing her clothes under the watchful eyes of her lover, she got into the opposite side of the tub, facing him.  He moved towards her, his back towards her and said, “I need a scratch.”  So she picked up the sponge and slowly scrubbed his back.  When she felt more comfortable, she moved her hands to the front and scrubbed his chest, his abdomen, and his thighs.

He sighed, “I could get used to this, you know.”

“Please do.  Then you won’t get rid of me so soon,” she replied into his ears, sending a shiver down his spine.

He laughed quietly, remembering that those were the exact same words he said to her earlier on in their relationship.  How right it felt to be in her arms, he marveled.  And Amelia, it was like they were never apart.  The way she ran to him each time he appeared made him feel like they belonged to each other, Amelia, Claire and him.  He gave a satisfied smile as he felt the tension of the long flight drain away under the gentle massage of his lovely lady.

Soon the water had turned cold, so they got up to dry each other with the huge bath towels and slipped into their robes.  Before they left the bathroom, they shared another moment in each other’s arms and kissed.

“Uncle David, are we ready to go?” little Amelia shouted outside the bathroom door.  The two adults grinned at each other before David told her to give them ten minutes to get dressed.  Though she didn’t know exactly how long was ten minutes, she nodded and left the bedroom.

“She’s an angel and credit goes to you,” he complimented Claire.  Claire stood on tip toe to kiss him lightly on his lips and thanked him.

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They had a quiet dinner at the hotel café and took a walk in the park.  Amelia was chattering away non-stop and Claire was amazed.

“I swear she has picked up more vocabulary since you appeared than when we were alone,” she remarked, shaking her head.

“Maybe she just needs someone to play with,” he told her.  Then turning to her, he put his hands on her shoulders, “Come to London with me.  She’ll have lots of friends to play with.  You can get a new job there, or do whatever you like, just as long as we’re together it doesn’t matter.”

“Let me think about it,” Claire looked up at him with pleading eyes.  He nodded and they continued to walk, keeping an eye on Amelia.

“How did the interview go?” he asked.  She had not been selected for the first interview and was depressed, but for only a few hours till he called and cheered her up with jokes.  This was the second interview he was asking about and she shook her head sadly.

“Don’t worry.  Maybe you’re destined to be jobless,” he gave her a sly look, “until you come to London with me.”

She laughed.  He was glad to hear her laugh because she had seemed so tense and serious from the moment he stepped into the hotel room.  After a few more minutes of walking and exploring the park with the little girl, they headed back to the suite.  Claire helped Amelia through her nightly routine, but instead of mommy reading her a bedtime story, the little girl wanted Uncle David to do it.  So David sat beside her on the bed and read from a book of Hansel and Gretel collection.

Claire left them alone and went to prepare for the night.   Coming out of the bathroom she walked over to the wardrobe and picked out a pink lacy nightwear, something she had bought for this occasion, something which she had never done before.

When David finally appeared, she had just finished brushing her hair and was about to apply some lotion on her body.  He took the bottle of fragrant liquid from her and gently applied it first on her shoulders, moving the thin straps of the nightwear to make sure the skin underneath those straps were moisturized.  Then he applied some to her arms, moving his hands up and down them, gently massaging them.  He kept his eyes on his task, only stealing a few sly glances at the reflection in the mirror to gauge her response.  She sighed in contentment and relaxed herself as she let him pamper her.

After that, he turned her around to face him while he knelt down on the carpeted floor and raised one of her legs to his shoulder.  Resting it there, he began applying the lotion on her leg, moving his hands up to her thigh, around it, and down all way to her calf.  Claire was in pure heaven as she bit down on her lower lip to stifle a moan.  Lowering the leg gently, he raised the other and did the same thing, all the while holding her gaze and grinning wickedly at her.

When the legs were done, he stood up and helped her off the chair.  Very slowly, he removed the straps from her shoulders again and let the dress fall and pool around her feet.  Tipping the bottle of lotion onto his palm, he squeezed out a dollop of the creamy liquid and applied it over her now naked body, naked except for the laced underwear she wore.  Slowly he worked his hands over the front, tenderly massaging her soft, supple flesh.

Gently his hands moved under her arms and to the back to massage the smooth skin, paying extra attention to the small of her back, then her rounded buttocks, drawing her nearer to him as he did that.  Just as she felt she couldn’t take it anymore, he moved his hands to the front again and gently kneaded her stomach.  She let out a moan when his hands traveled lower, her own hands going up to his neck as she lowered his head for a kiss so deep and full of urgency that he groaned.

Leaving the lotion on the dressing table, he carried her to the bed and lay her down.  He took a moment to appreciate the beauty in front of him before standing up to remove his clothes.  Raising her hips, he removed the last piece of clothing on her and they locked arms and legs together and kissed as he rolled over to lie on his back, bringing her on top of him.

Wrapped tightly in each other’s arms, they made full use of the massive bed, writhing and rolling, kissing and touching, moaning and groaning, both not wanting the night to end but not able to rein in their hunger either.  With their passion stoked to a feverish height, they finally caved in to their need to be joined as one.  The intensity of the union was so great that when the rapture came suddenly and all too soon, they were left speechless with wonder as they clung on to each to other, as if afraid to let go.

The night was completed with lots of cuddles, kisses, whispers of love, another round of tender love-making and little sleep.

5 thoughts on “Chapters 17 & 18”

  1. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the time with Carlos, Joanne and the kids goes. I know Nick isn’t going to behave all of the time, and can’t wait to see how Carlos handles it.
    Awwww, David, Claire and Amelia back together, and I have a feeling Clarie might just take him up on moving to London…sure hope so.

  2. Connie Lee-Love said:

    More, please!

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