Weeks after the memorial service, Lisa Harris Gilbert was living in a nightmare. Steve Gilbert, her husband and the love of her life, was gone, disappeared without a trace. A part of her thought that Steve wasn’t dead, just not there anymore. His body hadn’t been found and she still had this hope that he would return.
Her instincts told her if what happened to him had been an accident, but murder wasn’t completely off the table. The evidence didn’t support that conclusion, and after searching for months, she finally gave up and decided to have the service for his family’s sake.
Steve was her entire world. How can I move on? She thought. It just isn’t possible. All I have now been memories and dreams of what could have been. In their bedroom, she lay down, closed her eyes and thought of him and how she was ever going to come to terms with his passing. One memory came into her mind.
Several months ago:
The first time they met four years ago, her boss and head agent in the Company, had put them together as a couple, meaning, they pretended to be married on assignments. Lisa balked at the idea. They hadn’t done that in years, but Steve liked the idea. He liked her. It was obvious to everyone from that first day. She found him attractive, but completely unschooled. On their missions as a couple, he learned quickly and she hated to admit it, but she liked him too.
It’s now three weeks before Steve’s death and they planned a long weekend. The Company carried a minimum of staff for a few days, so, we made plans to leave the city. We’d been living together for nearly three years, and we hadn’t gone on vacation; not once. A nice and relaxing weekend was in order.
Our relationship was a secret at our jobs; we had been discreet, meaning no public displays of affection or anything like that since moving in together. Employee relationships were frowned upon, especially in our line of work, meaning foreign espionage, but we managed to spend time alone whenever we could.
I looked up from my thoughts when Steve walked in and caught my eye. “Morning.” I say, as if we hadn’t seen each other at breakfast.
“Good morning, Lisa.” He came closer. “I couldn’t wait to tell you. It’s all set; we can leave tomorrow.”
Thrilled, my eyes brightened. “Tomorrow; just us, no worries about, you know?” He knew what I was referring to.
He chuckled. “No worries at all.”
“Really?” I wasn’t convinced. “Are you sure or are you being just a little,” I hesitate again unsure about this.
He gave me a look. “Come with me.”
I followed him to the rooftop. It’s late autumn and the sun was shining taking the chill out of the air. Once outside, he took my hands in his.
“I promise Lisa, no running off on assignments; none of it.”
I believed him, but it just didn’t seem possible. “Steve, I know you want this just as much as I do, and I’ll understand if you have to leave; I’ll understand.” Steve’s assignments were always out of the country, usually on short notice. Her assignments took her all over the country, not just New York City.
He shook his head at me. “Come here,” he said and pulled me into his arms. “You’re amazing and I’m blessed to have you in my life. You’ve been so patient with me and you deserve this.” He pulled away and took my face between his palms. “We will make this work; just the two of us.”
He leaned down and kissed me. I still had hope that we could truly have this time to ourselves; just the two of us; no one else.
The next day, we’re on their way up north to a bed and breakfast not far from the beach. With only four suites and being off-season, we had the entire place to themselves. The owners were skeptical, but they opened just for us. We had to pay for that favor, but it would be worth it. Steve promised me all the way there.
I’m still a bit worried and of course, he sensed this, but assured me that he wasn’t going anywhere, not for a while. I was very relieved to hear that.
“We’re almost there,” he said and minutes later, we pulled up in front of a lovely house. After checking in, the housekeeper showed us to our room and assured us that breakfast would be ready at 8am tomorrow.
“Wow, from the outside, it looked small and rather quaint, but this is really nice,” I commented.
“I’ll say,” Steve agreed. The online pictures didn’t do it justice. The furnishings had a nautical theme, with warm shades of blue and yellow; a king-size bed; a kitchenette; a small dining table with two chairs; and several comfortable chairs by a huge picture window.
Minutes after dropping our bags, a knock came at the door. Steve frowned and opened it.
“You wanted this as a special order, Sir?” The housekeeper handed him a bottle of wine and two glasses, just as he had requested.
“Thanks,” he said and handed her a tip.
She noted the wine then Lisa raised her eyebrows
He shrugged and poured the wine. “Just a little something to celebrate this very special trip.”
“Mr. Gilbert, you sure are full of surprises. What shall we drink to?”
Suddenly serious, he replied, “To us… and,” he stopped and took a deep breath.
“What is it; is something wrong?”
Hearing my voice, it seemed to calm him somewhat. “No, nothing is wrong.” He tried to smile. “Where was I?”
A bit confused, I ask, “Well, you were proposing a toast?”
“Yeah, a toast; to us and… our future together?”
“Yes, to our future together.” We clinked and took a sip. “Delicious; I never knew you liked wine.”
He took my hand and sat down on the foot of the bed. Still sipping wine, we enjoyed this quiet time together, to relax for a moment or two.
“I do like the taste and I know you like it too,” he said.
“I like wine, yes, but I sort of gave it up to keep me honest.”
“You mean, because of me?” He asked, a little surprised.
“Yeah, you being you, and me being a wild child, well you know my… weaknesses.”
“Lisa, you’re not perfect and neither am I, and I don’t know why you would even think that.”
“I know you’re not perfect Steve, and I didn’t mean it that way, but,” I hesitate to gather my thoughts.
“It’s just; I tend to take things to the extreme, meaning how I do my job, having you in my life, drinking and smoking, it explains a lot about me.”
“It means you’re human and, look at me Lisa; you’re perfect for me.”
“I like to think that I am, but with you in my life, everything began to make sense.”
“How do you mean?”
“All of my life has been leading me to you. I truly believe that, and now that you’re here, I don’t want to lose you.” My eyes watered.
He touched my cheek. “You won’t lose me; not ever,” he whispered and then he leaned in and kissed me ever so sweetly. After a few kisses, he seemed to have more on his mind. “I’ve wanted to say this for a while now.”
“What is it?” He took my drink, and set it aside.
“You’ve always believed in me, and you’re the best partner anyone could ask for in every sense of the word.”
I was truly touched. “Oh, Steve.”
“I love you today; I’ll love you tomorrow.” He took my left hand and kissed it. “Now until forever.”
I remember thinking; what brought this on? “Steve, I … I knew from the moment we met,” I paused and touched his chest, “that I could trust you and that it’s what’s in here was all that mattered to me. You’re everything I’ve always wanted, and everything I didn’t even know I wanted.” We both chuckled. “I love you, Steve Gilbert, now until forever.”
“Come here,” he said and then we kissed slowly at first. We both leaned back on the bed, then the kissing continued for minutes on end.
“Too many clothes.” I helped him remove his jacket and his shirt. “So, warm,” I whispered and kissed his chest just above his heart. His trousers and boxers were removed slowly. I slid them down his long, muscular legs, thick calves and large feet, but his shoes were in the way. Giggling, I then helped him remove his shoes.
“My turn,” he said, then I turned around and he helped me remove my clothes, kissing every bit of skin that was revealed. Steve was on a mission; touching me and loving me. “God, you’re beautiful, and I love you so much.”
“I know you do, now show me.” I close my eyes as his lips moved over my shoulders and down my body. My panties were removed slowly. Once I was naked, Steve rubbed his hands all over my thighs, up to my waist, my breasts, and then back down to my thighs running his lips and tongue all over my body exciting us both. “Oh, Steve,” I managed to say and I forgot how to breathe.
I couldn’t remember a time when they were so into each other like this, then I thought about our first time in my apartment weeks after starting his job. I inwardly smiled, remembering how open and honest he had been.
He suddenly turned me around and then his mouth was on mine filled with the passion we always felt when we were together like this. Soon we were underneath the covers on the enormous bed kissing and caressing not being able to get close enough.
He closed his eyes as he kissed me repeatedly. The fever was back, raw, earthy and sweet. Perhaps it was because we were so in tune with each other, our touch, taste and smell; I didn’t know.
I returned his kisses, falling against him, melting against him. My fingers were everywhere, in his hair, trailing over his arms, down his back and then I touched that part of him that had me melting inside just to feel how ready he was to be inside of me.
But not quite yet. My lips found his throat, his wide chest, and then my body was flush with his, my breasts pressed against his chest, and my lips everywhere they could reach.
Making love was everything to us and it felt as natural as breathing, and yet the pleasure we experienced seemed sweeter each time. He rolled me to my back, and then there was only the urgency of fulfillment and the climax that rocked both our souls.
Finally spent, he lowered his weight to rest gently on top of me, pressing tender kisses to my lips, my cheeks and my eyelids. As our breathing returned to its normal rhythms, we lay together, my head on his chest and our legs entwined.
I had always been in awe of our lovemaking, but I couldn’t find the words to describe what had just happened. I sighed against his chest and then, “Wow, maybe we… should come up here every weekend,” I suggested only half serious.
It was a wonderful thought. “I love you, Lisa.”
I smile against his chest. “I love you too, Steve… always.”
After an early dinner, they headed out to the beach which was only a few blocks away. Nearly deserted this time of year, we walked along, both quiet thinking about how we had met, and how lucky we were to have found each other.
“Lisa, I have a confession to make.” He stopped walking.
“Okay; what is it?”
“I was thinking a lot about us and,” he hesitated.
“What about us; aren’t we happy?”
“Of course, we are,” he quickly replied.
“Then what is?” Then I had an unreasonable thought then I blurted out my deepest fears. “Is this about work? I know your assignments recently haven’t been that important, but,” I hesitated. “Are you leaving the Company?” My insecurities rose to the surface.
“No, no; this is about you and me, and besides, I love working with you.”
Relieved, then I thought of their earlier talk. “I love it too; then what is it?”
He took my hand and began walking again. “This is coming out all wrong.”
“Steve, just tell me what it is.”
He stopped walking again. “Have you ever thought about… marriage?” He paused as my eyes widened totally shocked to hear that word. “I suppose not.” Disappointed, he dropped my hand and left my side.
I caught up to him and grabbed his arm. “Steve wait; you didn’t give me a chance to answer you.”
He held his breath and waited. “Well, have you?”
“Of course, I have, but not for a long time… when I was twenty or thirty, but, I’ve been in this business for a long time.”
“I see, but it’s not something you would even consider with someone like me? Is that it? It’s because I’m a spy?”
Stunned, I was silent for a moment. “I’m a spy too. You’re not making any sense.”
“Of course, it makes sense.” He started walking again at a faster pace, but this time in the direction of their suite.
Still a bit stunned by his words, unable to think or respond, then I run after him. “Steve, wait!”
He made it to our suite, pulled out his bag and began packing.
A little out of breath, I’m stunned to see him packing. “What are you doing? You can’t leave; we need to talk about this.”
He didn’t answer me, but continued to pack. He put in a pair of trousers; I pulled them out. “Stop that!” I did it again. He narrowed his eyes.
“I won’t stop until you sit down and listen to me.”
He took a deep breath and sat down in a chair by the window.
I sighed, then sat down in front of him. “Look at me, Steve.”
He raised his eyes to my face and what he saw there seemed to calm him if only a little.
“You know I love you, but to be honest, I never thought I would find someone like you. The years went by and I pushed it from my mind. I thought it would never happen for me, but then I met you. At first, I was just doing my job, not looking to get involved with anyone, but you turned out to be so much more.” I took his hand. “Yes, we were attracted to each other from our first assignment as a couple, but your loving heart and your kindness moved me in a way I never thought possible.”
“Oh, Lisa,” he whispered and squeezed my hand.
“But marriage is a big step and I don’t think,” I hesitate.
His next words took me by surprise. “Is this about us both being spies and putting our lives at risk; is that it?”
I thought about it for a second. “No, no, it’s not about that; not at all.”
“Then, why don’t you want to marry me?” He sounded hurt.
“I never said that,” I replied and quirked a smile to lighten the mood.
He seemed relieved. “No, you didn’t,” he said and pulled me into his lap.
I snuggle under his chin, my arms around his waist, loving being his arms like this.
“So, you’ll consider it?” He asked and held his breath.
“Of course, I will,” I happily reply.
“Thank you, Lisa,” he whispered, then he raised my chin and kissed me passionately. I responded to his kisses without hesitation, as my arms moved up to his neck, my hands running through his hair loving him to distraction.
After a few more kisses, he picked me up and took me to bed. I remember thinking; Steve is the center of everything I ever wanted and needed in my life and I will marry him one day. He is worth it and he’s not like the others; not at all.
And with that thought in my mind, he kissed me repeatedly in deep kisses that had me writhing and thrusting my hips against him needing to get closer. As he slowly undressed me, he took note of my hips as they lifted off the bed, my breasts flushed in my excitement, my nipples hard waiting for him and my head thrown back on the pillow, my eyes shut as if waiting for his next move. My underwear was the last to go as he removed them slowly. I open my eyes and watched as he inhaled my scent, and his body instantly reacted to it.
“Lisa, do you have any idea what you do to me?” His voice was raspy and thick with tension.
The look on his face melted my heart. “I have some idea because I feel the same way about you. I need you, Steve.”
“You got me.” He kissed me in a way that was so warm and coaxing that every rational thought vanished from my mind. I was getting light-headed and dizzy as I clutch at his arms needing to get closer. Gradually his mouth shifted away from mine, and he bit softly at my throat. He was murmuring something, and I had to concentrate to hear him.
“I have no self-control where you’re concerned. Every minute I’m not with you, all I can think about is being close to you like this.”
“Oh, Steve,” I manage to say. “I think about you... all the time.”
He smiled at me as his hands were everywhere, smoothing over my breasts and tweaking my nipples, and then down my back, touching my thighs. My hands were anything but still. I loved touching him, warm and smooth and hard in all the right places.
“That feels so good!” I parted my thighs and Steve stroked me there. I was wet and ready for him. He thrust into me, filling me with a long, thick slide. I gasp with an effort to accommodate him. Once he was inside of me, he became gentler finding a bit of control. His mouth returned to mine, thrusting his tongue inside, even as he pushed deeper, taking more of me than I ever thought possible. I could feel my muscles begin to tighten and strain. I raise my arms and legs to encircle him and pull him closer. Steve quickened his pace and drove me to a piercing climax, and he was right behind me. Moments later, he kissed my temple, stroked my hair gently and pulled me close in his arms.
Minutes later, he was almost asleep, but I lay there watching him.
He caught my look, then stroked my hair behind my ear. “What are you thinking?”
I shake my head still unbelieving. “You actually want to marry me.” It was a statement.
“You say that as if no one would. Lisa, you’re brilliant, beautiful, amazing, sweet and wonderful.”
I smile at him. “Me, sweet? I don’t know about that.”
He suddenly rolled me to my back, and then he kissed me deeply, and then, “You’re also delicious and I can’t get enough of you.” To prove his point, he nibbled my ear and then down my throat.
I sigh and pulled him closer. Moaning softly, I lean back to give him better access. “I won’t argue with you, especially now. Oh yes,” I breathed and stroked his hair.
He pulled away. “Did you just say yes?” He smiled at me.
“Oh, you, just continue what you were doing, Okay?”
“Yes, madam!” He smiled and continued down my body.
One more day, then our weekend ended far too soon. It was mid-morning when we arrived back at the Company. Our boss, Special Agent, Bert Young, took note of our arrival.
“Glad you’re back and just in time,” Bert began, then turned to Steve. “I have an assignment for you. Your flight leaves in two hours.”
“Did you say two hours?” Steve asked. I knew what he was thinking.
“Yes, two hours; that’s what I said.” Bert handed him a list of instructions.
He sighed and took the list. Bert headed back to his office.
I watched him and wondered what he was thinking.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you in a few days?” He sadly asked.
“Sure, call me when you can,” I reply and watched him leave.
Several days later, Steve arrived home and entered our bedroom. “Oh, you’re awake?” It was after midnight. He noted my appearance. “You look a little pale. Are you alright?”
“I’m fine, but my stomach was upset, but I’m alright now.”
“Are you sure?” He began to undress.
“Yes, I’m sure. I haven’t had food poisoning in a long time, but this felt different.”
He frowned suddenly worried. “What do you mean different?”
“Well, no pooping, if you know what I mean,” I reply embarrassed.
He wondered about that. “Oh, I see,” he said, trying not to smile.
“I’m fine now. How was the assignment?”
“No problems,” he replied, but Steve wasn’t easily distracted. He sat down and smoothed my hair away from my forehead. “What do you think it is?” He touched my forehead again. “You don’t have a fever. Maybe you should see a doctor. When was your last checkup?”
“Steve, please stop with all the questions. I’m not sick; my stomach was upset; that’s it.”
“Alright, if you say so,” he said, but he had that look that he was still worried.
“Come to bed; I missed you.” I smiled flirting with him.
He chuckled, then he climbed into bed and immediately pulled me close. I turned my head and the look on his face warmed my heart through and through. I didn’t question it, but snuggled closer.
“I missed you too; now go to sleep.” His eyes watered becoming emotional. “I love you, Ms. Harris.”
What was he thinking? “I love you, too, Mr. Gilbert.” He pulled me tighter against him, as if sensing something bad was about to happen.