You Love Me
"Lavender and roses," he thought to himself as consciousness began to creep over him.
"Do not wake up," he told himself, "She is still there if you can just go back to sleep."
She was always there - in his dreams. When he was asleep she smiled at him, her eyes shining with love. When he was awake the eyes were still there. Sometimes, however, they shone not with love but with repressed tears. When these visions came, he would reassure himself that the man who caused those tears was now far away.
He had removed the obstacles he had placed between them and even helped her take down hers. They had each traveled a long road, yet they were connected throughout the journey. Finally, with all the important barriers removed, they had met on the same road, traveling the same direction and had decided to accompany each other for the duration of the journey. This was the beginning of the second day.
He breathed in again, realizing that the scent was not his imagination as it has been so many mornings before. She was really there! She was his wife!
He slowly opened one eye. There was still, in his gut, a fear that this too, may be a dream. But she was there, even after he opened both eyes. He carefully turned himself so he could watch her sleep.
He was amazed at the peacefulness that seemed to envelop him. Never in his life could he recall feeling this happy and content. He had lived successfully enough before he met her. He managed his estate, conducted business, and socialized as he had been brought up to do. He knew something was missing from his life. He didn't know what is was, but he knew what it wasn't. Every eligible woman he met fell into that category, until he met her.
She was intelligent, witty, charming, disarming, and therefore disquieting. He had never met anyone like her. It took him over a year to win her but win her he did. And part of the prize was the feeling of wholeness that he experienced when he was with her. That sense was heightened by the reality that they were truly one.
As he closed his eyes, his thoughts drifted back to last night. After a light supper, she retired to get ready for him. He had spent the time preparing himself as well. He knew from brief encounters during their engagement that she would be a passionate lover. He was still concerned that she may be frightened by his eagerness. His need to protect her seemed to battle his desire for her.
He waited as long as he had promised before making his way upstairs. It took all the self-control he could muster to walk quietly and slowly to their room.
As he quietly opened the door, he could see her staring silently into the fire. Her hair was a cascade of curls that fell much of the way down her back. He had never seen her hair down. It was more beautiful than he had imagined.
He moved silently behind her and slipped his arms around her waist. She startled slightly as his touch. He found that spot on her neck, just behind her ear and kissed it gently. He had found that spot during their engagement, however, her response forced them, once again, to remember the rules of propriety. While they tried to avoid these situations, their passion for each other seemed determined to best them. The wedding, however, had removed such rules and this was their first opportunity to be swept away by the depths of their feelings.
He heard her breathing catch as he kissed her neck and she leaned back into his chest.
"You have never looked lovelier, Elizabeth," he whispered.
"I love you, Fitzwilliam,: she answered, breathlessly.
"And I love you," he said as he turned her to face him. He kissed her lips, gently at first, but she responded with more passion. He moved down her face to kiss her neck, then picked her up, cradling her to his chest. He continued to kiss her as he carried her to their bed. It was there that they truly become one - one mind, one spirit, one body.
He blushed as he remembered the passions they shared before drifting off to sleep. He was interrupted from these thoughts by a hand caressing his face. He opened his eyes to find hers shining with more love than he had ever dreamed of seeing in them. This was no dream, however. No dream had ever felt this real.
"Of what were you thinking, dearest?" she asked him shyly, noticing his heightened color.
"I was mediating on the very great pleasure that a pair of fine eyes and the face of a pretty woman have bestowed on me."
"And may I ask whose the eyes that inspired these reflections?" she asked with a sly smile.
"Yours and yours alone, my love."
"I'm very glad of it," she replied with an impertinent grin.
"Are we to begin each day with you extracting a declaration of my undying regard for you?" he asked.
"Perhaps," she said, "I do love hearing it."
"And I do love saying it. Can I expect a similar statement from you?" he said with an impish grin.
"If I must," she said as she kissed him playfully. As she pulled away, he noticed how her countenance changed. She looked thoughtful, distant for a moment. She moved back slightly to face him. She looked deeply into his eyes.
"When it comes to my feelings for you, I must remember to be more serious. Fitzwilliam, I love you with all my heart. My feelings for you will never falter. My greatest desire is to share my life with you. To share in the happiness and the sorrows. To comfort you, support you, help you and yes, sometimes tease you."
"Elizabeth, my love. How can it be that you continue to increase my love for you? How is it that you can say exactly what is in my heart? What have I done to deserve such a woman?"
She kissed him tenderly and answered in a whisper, "You love me."
With that he kissed her passionately. She returned his kiss with equal adore. At that moment all thoughts beyond the walls of that room were lost. The only people who existed in the world were engaged in the passionate embrace that is found in only the rarest of marriages. And they knew just how fortunate they were to have it.
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