Promises by Alisia Chapter 1

Republisher’s Note: Manny find their way to each other during the fake marriage.

Author’s Note: The second wedding and everything up to it have taken place, except the FBI. Pretend the FBI doesn’t exist they didn’t interrupt the wedding night, but nothing **ahem** happened either. Oh, and if you’ll indulge me, Danny runs SanCorp, which is legal. It’s a Michelle POV, but that should be pretty obvious.

Promises by Alisia – Chapter 1

We have been married seven weeks. Well, it’s been seven weeks since the lavish show that Danny and I refer to as the family wedding. You know, I remember reading about the mobilization effort in England during WWII in seventh grade. The amount of planning and people in this wedding made that effort look small by comparison. I have never seen such a production.

After the wedding, life pretty much went back to normal for Danny and I. Well, as normal as life can be in a house that resembles a Gothic museum where your mother-in-law, who bears a striking resemblance to Morticia from the Addams Family, practically growls at you every morning at breakfast.

I actually kind of like breakfast, though. Danny and I have our morning routines down pretty well. He gets up first, partially because he has a schedule to keep and partially because I hate getting up early. He takes a shower, shaves, and then the bathroom is mine. While I take a shower, he gets dressed and then he reads the paper until I’m ready. We walk down to breakfast hand in hand, just to anger Morticia. I think Danny enjoys the look on her face as much as I do. Breakfast conversation usually centers on business. Carmen isn’t exactly happy Danny has divested SanCorp of, well, Danny calls them troublesome interests. But, he’s turning such a profit, she really doesn’t have much to argue about. Danny tries to include me in conversation as much as he can, and he always asks what I’m up to for the day. At first, I was kind of suspicious he wanted to monitor my activities, but it seems that he’s really just interested. Actually, I spend a lot of time helping Ray at the church. Danny told him I was bored, and he asked if I’d like to help out. I’m grateful Danny thought of it, and I’m grateful Ray is so nice. It gives me something to do since I can’t go back to school until the fall. I really enjoy it actually.

Actually, I’m really starting to enjoy a lot of things. I enjoy when Danny kisses my forehead every morning before he leaves for the office. Did I mention he does that? He stands up from the table, places his napkin on his plate, walks over and takes my hand, and we go to the front hall. He grabs his briefcase, kisses me on the forehead, and says, “have a good day, baby” or “see you later, baby.” It changes, but the baby is always there. I’m not sure if it’s because he thinks someone is listening or because he just says it without thinking. Such a normal little husband and wife thing. All I know is I’m starting to enjoy it.

I didn’t think I’d ever see that day come. Really, I think he loves me. Well, let’s be honest. I know he loves me. Every once in a while, when were together, I’ll look up from what I’m doing and he’ll quickly look away, as if I didn’t notice he was staring at me with that look in his eyes. That look that gives me chills the one on his face before the wedding when he told me he desires me, that he wants me.

Here’s the scary part you might want to sit down for this one. I think I’m falling in love with him, too. He does the sweetest things. He brings me flowers, and he’ll call me from work and ask if I want him to rent us a movie. He’ll even watch chick-flicks, though he teases me about them a little. He supports me in every decision and he listens to everything I have to say. He doesn’t just hear me; he listens. He sees me. I look forward to his getting home everyday. At first it was because I didn’t like being here alone, and I felt safer with him around me. Now, I want him to be here because I want to be near him. He does make me feel safe and alive? Does that sound odd?

I walk over and sit down on the window seat and put my cheek against the cool glass. Danny is late tonight because of a meeting, and I had to have dinner without him. I hear the car turn up the driveway and then I see the headlights come around the side of the house, and I smile because he’s home. My husband is home; I can see him walking up the steps to the door. I have to smile when I think of that. He’s mine. Never thought I would want him, but if I’m honest with myself, I’ve been falling in love with him for a long time, since that day in my bedroom. The wedding, well, it just sealed it. He was so sweet and nervous and adorable. Danny Santos, adorable. I hope you were still sitting down or that one would have knocked you right off your feet. He does look absolutely marvelous in that leather jacket though. And without the leather jacket I’ll admit it, sometimes I’m awake when he comes out of the bathroom with just a towel around his waist. I must be losing my mind, or falling head over heels for this guy.

When the door opens, he’s smiling. Like he has news to tell me. I must have a pretty contemplative look on my face because Danny mistakes it for sad, and the smile disappears pretty quickly. I’m starting to be able to read his expressions so well. Apparently, he hasn’t caught up to mine yet. He puts his briefcase on the chair and walks over to me pulling off his tie and jacket. He reaches down to kiss my cheek, and I turn and smile as he sits down on the other side of the window seat, facing me. He reaches out and touches my cheek, then he pulls back, like he isn’t really sure he should be doing that. Funny though, that little touch was enough to warm me up.

“Hey, are you OK?” he asks.

He really looks concerned. I suppose it’s a good thing he wasn’t here a few minutes ago when I was smiling like a love-sick fool thinking about him.

I smile, and reach out to grab his hand. “Yeah, I’m good.”

“Really? You looked concerned. Did something happen today?”

Yes, something happened today. I realized I’m in love with my husband. “Nothing in particular. How about you?”

“Michelle, are you -”

“Danny,” I laugh. “I promise. I’m fine.” I raise his hand to my lips and kiss it. I was trying so hard not to, but all of a sudden, I just want to be able to touch him. He looks pleased, kind of concerned, kind of like he’s worried I’ve lost my mind. I laugh again.

“I love it when you smile like that you know, when the smile reaches your eyes. Though, I must admit, I’m not entirely sure what you’re laughing about.”

“Me neither. I’m just in a good mood. And, you’re home, so I’m in a better mood.”

OK, now he looks wary. I can see him mulling that over, the uncertainty shows in his eyes. Yup, I can read him like a book. “How was work?”

He lets go of my hand and stands up, walking over to the bed and sitting down on the edge. I feel bereft at the loss of contact. That’s it. I’ve hopelessly fallen for him. I’m bordering on pathetic. But look at him those eyes, those curls. OK, I don’t think I’m bordering on anything.

“Pretty good. I have to tell you something, though,” he says looking at me. Yeah. He’s nervous about something.

“What is it?”

He’s toying with the top button of his shirt and he looks really unsure about whatever it is he has to say. I walk over and sit next to him, draping my arm around his shoulder.

“Danny?”

“Spain.”

“I beg your pardon?’

“Spain. There’s business I need to see to in Spain. Barcelona, actually, and I need to leave tomorrow. I thought they could handle it on their own, but the supervisor has managed to offend…. Michelle?”

I have gotten up and I’m standing with my back to him. He’s leaving me. I can’t believe it. I mean, hopefully he won’t be gone long, but what am I going to do without him? I can feel the first tears well up in my eyes before I realize he stopped talking. I will not let him see he’s upset me. He doesn’t need to know how weepy I’ve gotten over him.

“Michelle?” he asks again. I can feel that he’s standing right behind me. He doesn’t seem to want to touch me.

“You’re leaving me?” I manage to whisper. Well, there goes the plan…. I think I may have clued him in.

“What are you talking about?” he asks as he turns me around. He sees the tears in my eyes and looks confused. He pulls me to him and I refuse to relax. Finally, I let down my guard and cry into his chest, wrapping my arms around his waist. How did he manage to make me this emotional?

“Baby,” he says into my hair. “Michelle, listen to me. I’m not leaving you. I want you to go with me. I thought, well, you’ve never seen Barcelona, and I need to go to some business dinners and try and smooth some things over. It would be nice to have my wife with me.”

I stop crying and look up at him. I dry my eyes, feeling totally foolish about crying. “You want me to go with you?”

He shakes his head, and brushes the tears on my cheeks away. He’s looking into my eyes with such concentration I have to look away.

“Why did you look so nervous when you said you had something to tell me?”

“I wasn’t sure if you’d want to go. I wasn’t sure if you’d want to go with me.” He looked away and I felt him loosen his grip a little, as if he was going to step away so I held on tighter. There are definitely some things that need to be said.

“I would love to go with you.”

His eyes fly to mine. “You would?”

“Absolutely.”

He is smiling now, and I can tell he didn’t expect it.

“Why would you think I wouldn’t want to go with you?”

He half laughs, half groans. “I didn’t know if you’d be thrilled with having nobody but me for company for at least a week.” He blushes a little and shifts his gaze from my eyes to my forehead, “sharing hotel rooms with me, going out with me to romantic restaurants, seeing possibly the most beautiful city in the world with with me.”

“I would love to do all of those things with you.”

His forehead creases with confusion. I’m smiling at him now, and he just looks perplexed. He takes a step back, and then smiles. “Alright, did I miss something? Who are you and what have you done with my Michelle?”

“Very funny. What did you mean at least a week? Do you not know how long well be gone?”

“Well,” he looks down again, his hands on his hips. I walk over and slide my arms around his waist again, pressing myself against his chest, and he looks up, obviously comforted by the gesture. “I was thinking we could go to Majorca for a week?” It came out like a question, and I must look surprised because he rushes to continue. “I mean we don’t have to, it was just that we talked about it, and we have the time, and well be in Barcelona already, and, well, I thought maybe we could use some time to relax away from here.” He looks down at me, but I still can’t speak. Apparently, he reads into that that I don’t want to go. Actually, I am trying to figure out how to respond without squealing. “Never mind. I knew you wouldn’t want to go with- ”

I don’t let him finish that sentence. I reach up, putting my hands behind his neck, and press my lips to his. He stiffens at first, and then gives in and kisses me back, wrapping his arms behind my back and pulling me to him.

Heaven. Bliss. His lips are like heaven. Finally, though, I realize I need to breathe, and I pull back, slowly, so he doesn’t think I have changed my mind. I take a deep breath, and lick my lips, smiling at him. “Majorca sounds good.”

“I sort of got that impression. But, baby, Michelle, you know we talked about this, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to-”

I reach up and kiss him again, this time he doesn’t resist at all. When I pull back, I run the fingers of my left hand over his lip and tangle my right hand in the curls at the nape of his neck, as I give him a second to look back at me. “I would love to go with you. I would love to go to Majorca with you. I would be willing to go just about anywhere with you. I don’t feel like I **have** to do anything. I want to.”

He’s got a huge grin on his face, but he still doesn’t look convinced. I can’t blame him.

I need to explain the way I feel. He needs to understand I love him back. “I was thinking today about something.”

“Really”, he smiles, “what?”

“The couch.”

“The couch? The one in here?”

We bought the couch in here after Danny had spent two weeks sleeping on the floor. I don’t know how he explained to Carmen why we bought it probably insisted it was for me to watch TV in our room or something. He never pushed the sleeping together issue.

“Yeah, this couch.” I pull him over to the couch and indicate I want him to sit down. He does, and I plop down on his lap. He looks very surprised. OK. He looks astonished.

“I was thinking about you sleeping on the couch, and it cannot be very comfortable.” Now I’m playing with the top button of his shirt, my boldness of just a few moments before disappearing as he stares at me. “I mean I’m sure you would prefer….. no, That’s not it.” I take a deep breath. “Honestly, **I** would like for you to sleep in bed with me. I would like my husband’s arms wrapped around me when I fall asleep. Besides,” I add with a sheepish grin, looking up at him to gauge his reaction, “the couch is at a bad angle. It’s really hard for me to stare at you when you’re over here.”

“Michelle, I don’t know what you’re trying to do to me.” I can see the emotions warring in his eyes. Please believe me, I silently beg. “You know you don’t need to you don’t need to do anything you don’t want just to have something. Whatever it is you-”

I put my finger over his lips. “You.” I whisper. “I want you. I think I’m falling in love with you. No, I know I’ve fallen in love with you. I don’t want anything else. I know you have no reason to believe me after everything, but…”

This time his lips stop my speech. I feel like I’m drowning in him. “I believe you.” He brushes a kiss over my forehead, my nose, and my chin, before returning to my lips. “I believe you because I love you, too.”

He gently helps me to my feet, and then he stands and wraps his arms around me.

“Danny?”

“Hmm?”

“I can’t wait for our honeymoon.”

“Me neither. You’re going to love Spain. I can’t wait to show you….” He stops as he realizes my hands are busy unbuttoning his shirt. “Michelle?”

I have gotten the last button undone and I press a kiss against the hard wall of his chest. “I think you misunderstood,” I say with a sexy little smile. “I mean I can’t wait until we get to Majorca to have my husband. You promised you would wait for me to be ready, and when I was ready we would be together. Danny, I’m trying to tell-”

I never continue the sentence as my husband’s mouth descends on mine with a passion I’ve never felt before and he sweeps me up in his arms and walks towards the bed. As he gently lays me down on the bed where I have slept for so long without him, he whispers against my lips, “I always keep my promises.”

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