I'm at it again! My writing fairy has returned to me! Hurrah!!
And so, without further ado, I would like to share with you chapter one of my newest tale.
With Or Without You
“This is the last box, Briney.” Todd called, walking into the kitchen and setting the box down with the flourish.
I grinned up at him setting down the vase I’d just unpacked and ran toward him. I threw my arms around his neck, laughing as he caught me up and spun me around. His arms tightened around my waist as he lowered me to the floor, kissing me deeply.
“Welcome home, Mrs. Chambers.” His green eyes sparkled in the mid-morning light pouring in from the kitchen windows. The words brought butterflies to my stomach. I stared up at him, sure I was wearing the sappiest expression on the planet, but I couldn’t help it. He was perfect, everything I’d always wanted, and he was mine.
I ran my fingers through his brown hair, noting that it needed a trim. His long lashed eyes gazed down at me, full of love and promise. Every time I looked into those eyes, I was home.
I looked around the small kitchen, filled with boxes, and grinned like a fool. Welcome home indeed.
We’d found the house on accident. Todd had gotten turned around, and instead of trusting the GPS, had insisted that it was wrong and that he knew where he was going. I’d laughed and let him, enjoying the ride. It had been spring in Northern California, and it was cool and beautiful that day, a balmy sixty-five degrees. I’d nearly given him a heart attack when I’d screamed for him to stop. I jumped out of the car before he’d fully parked and stood, staring at it.
It was a petite little place, cream on cream, with a built in garage and a short pathway lined with flowers. The brilliant green door caught my eye and pulled me toward it. Todd tapped my shoulder soundlessly and pointed at the sign in the perfectly manicured lawn that read “For Sale”.
“Buying this house was the second best decision I’ve ever made.” He said, pushing a lock of blonde hair off my face, holding me close and swaying gently to and fro.
“Oh? And what was the first?” I teased lightly, easily falling into the motion with him.
“Marrying you, of course!”
I squealed in delight as he lifted me from the floor again, throwing me over his shoulder and stalking down the hall toward the master bedroom.
“Todd! Put me down! We don’t have time for this!” But I couldn’t stop the laughter from bubbling up from my chest. I squealed again when he dropped me onto the bed, jumping on after me and staring down at me, a lustful look in his eye.
“Todd, we don’t even have sheets on the bed.” I protested feebly as his hand played at the hem of my shirt. My body ached for his touch, burned for him. I wondered if that burning would ever fade, prayed it wouldn’t.
“Sheets? We don’t need no stinking sheets.” He flashed a boyish grin at me and lowered himself upon me. The laughter died in my throat as his lips found mine, awakening the sleeping beast within.
“Todd,” I moaned, and allowing him to pull me into the pleasure of the moment, I lost myself.
I lay in bed, basking in the afterglow of our love making. Todd’s soft, even breathing comforted me. I rolled the diamond solitaire around my finger, watching the stone flash in the dying sunlight. I still couldn’t believe it. There were days I expected to wake up and find it had all been a painfully beautiful dream.
The last year of my life seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. I smiled as I recalled the first time I’d met Todd. I’d just moved to California, and had only been in the state for two weeks after making the monumental decision to move across the country.
I was desperately homesick for Maryland, and seriously second guessing myself as I pulled into the parking lot of my new school, West View Middle. I stared at the building, my heart thumping in my chest. Grabbing my bag I slid out of the car, straightening my sweater as I walked into the building. My heels clicked in the silent hallway. I entered the office and found it empty. Not knowing what else to do, I sat in one of the waiting chairs, and waited.
I checked my watch, wondering where the principal was, wondering if I should just give up and go back to my broom closet apartment, call my father and admit I was wrong and beg to come home when he walked in.
His smile was the first thing I noticed. The complete openness of it shocked me. He held the door open for a tiny white haired woman, his arms full of folders and papers.
“Thank you again, Todd. You’re such a dear heart to help out an old woman.” The woman turned to him, taking her papers and folders back.
“No thanks necessary, Mrs. Banks.” His eyes, they were green, flashed behind incredibly sexy glasses. Somehow the thin black squares seemed a part of him. His brown hair was trimmed short on the sides and left stylishly long on top. His pale face was a wonderfully odd mix of angles. His nose was a perfect straight line, cutting down between slashing eyebrows. His lips were bowed at the tips, evidence of an ever ready smile.
Then those eyes fell on me, and my pulse sky rocketed. My heart slammed against my ribs, as if it were trying to break free. I wished I was wearing something classier than my cream cardigan and khaki pants. He moved toward me and my shoes suddenly became very interesting.
“Hello there.” His voice was a pleasant rumble that sent chills down my spine. My heart drummed away in my chest so loudly, I wondered that he couldn’t hear it.
“Hi,” I squeaked, still unable to look up at him. I was sure I was blushing, I could feel the heat rising up my neck.
“So, do you come here often?”
I jerked my head up, taken aback at the absurdity of his statement. Startling green eyes met mine, laughter reflected in their jade depths.
“Got ya.” He sat next to me, his knee brushing against mine, sending electricity coursing through my veins.
“I’m Todd Chambers, I teach science.” He extended a hand, offering a warm friendly smile.
“Uh, Sabrina Townsend, I teach music.” I took his hand, staring into his eye, finding myself utterly captivated.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Sabrina Townsend.” His voice had dropped and he held onto my hand much longer than was necessary. I wasn’t complaining about it though. I’d never believed in love at first sight, but now it seemed I was experiencing it firsthand.
I opened my mouth, but what I was going to say was lost as Principal McCallister came out of her office and called me in.
“I, uh, I have to go.” I stammered, reluctantly pulling my hand from his and lifting my bag to my shoulder.
“I’m sure we’ll meet again. It’s not a big school.”
And meet again we did. Todd sought me out at lunch on my first day, talking to me nonstop and introducing me to the rest of the faculty. I began to look forward to the lunch hour, to getting to spend time with Todd.
Three months into my time at the school, roses began appearing at my classroom. My students soon got into the game, speculating on who was sending the roses, catcalling and making kissing noises every time one arrived.
“Enough. Settle down.” I told them gently, but my heart skipped a beat as I lifted the delicate bloom to my nose.
It was the afternoon of March 18th, and I walked into my classroom to find my students huddled around my desk. Curious, I hurried into the room.
“Hey, what’s going on? Please take your seats, now.” My brow furrowed I moved around my desk. My heart skipped happily as my eyes fell on the rose laying there. It rested atop a slim white card. With shaking fingers I lifted the card. This was the first time I’d ever gotten a card. I unfolded the paper and stared at the four words printed there.
“This makes one-hundred.”
I stared at the cryptic note, turning it over absentmindedly. On the back were two words.
I turned and humped back in surprise. Todd kneeled before me, a huge grin on his face and a box open before me.
“Sabrina Townsend, will you marry me?”
“Yes!” I threw myself at him as the room erupted in whoops, whistles and yells.
Six amazing months later, we were married. And now, we had our own house. We were living the American Dream.
I smiled, looking over at the sleeping form of my husband. Our one year anniversary was coming up. I couldn’t wait. That day meant the world to me. Not only would I be celebrating the best day of my life, but Todd and I would be taking the next big step.
“One year, Briney. Let’s take one year, just you and me. Then we’ll try for babies.”
I placed my hand on my stomach, imaging I could feel his child inside me. I giggled softly at the thought. I couldn’t wait.
Todd rolled over in his sleep, wrapping his arm around me. I curled into him, breathing deeply the scent of him. And with thoughts of our future children dancing in my head, I drifted off to sleep, a smile on my lips.