Out of Time
A little while later, and after their meal, Mitch stood up and clinked his glass. “May I have your attention please? I have a speech to make,” Mitch began and glanced at Carolyn.
Lisa and Steve had their heads together. “Have you read it?” Lisa whispered to her husband.
“No, I haven’t,” Steve replied.
“I hope he doesn’t embarrass anyone or himself.”
“He won’t,” Steve said and prayed it was true.
Mitch began his speech. “On behalf of Lisa and Steve, I’d like to thank everyone for attending this beautiful wedding today. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mitch Gilbert; Steve is my older brother.” He paused. “When Steve asked me to be his best man, I was deeply touched and truly honored to be asked. I’ve never been a best man and I don’t want to screw this up. Lisa and Steve have been through a lot since they met years ago, but today you are husband and wife. This is day one of a great adventure and I’m honored to be able to share it with you. You know, I can remember Steve’s first day of work and he came to see me. He was excited, but he didn’t talk about his new job. He talked about one thing… meeting Lisa.” He looked them in the eye. “Never forget that the true meaning of marriage is the magic of being needed by just one person.” He looked up from notes and glanced at Carolyn. She seemed unmoved. “They’ve walked many miles to be here together, and this wedding is a joy to behold. I can speak for everyone here when I say we all wish you the happiness that you so deserve. Please raise your glass. Congratulations, Lisa and Steve, to the bride and groom. Here! Here!” Mitch sat down but his eyes skidded back to Carolyn and, to his shock, she smiled at him. He couldn’t help returning her smile.
“Not bad,” Lisa whispered. “What he said, was that true?”
“Yeah, all of it is true,” Steve replied then leaned in for kiss. They smiled at each other, loving the moment.
After the applause, had died down. Carolyn stood up, a little nervous but satisfied with her ‘instant’ speech. I guess this it, she thought.
“Well, I don’t know if can top that. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the sister of the bride and my name is Carolyn Harris. I wanted to thank Lisa and Steve for inviting me to be a part of their very special day. My sister and I have been there for each other through some of the hardest times in our lives.” She paused and glanced at her sister. “But I’m grateful to experience some of the best years of our lives, and this is definitely one of those years. It’s funny, but the first time I met Steve, my sister and I were in a coffee shop and he said he was searching for her. He smiled at her, and believe it or not, he kissed her hand. I’ve never seen a man kiss a woman’s hand before, at least not in a play or in a movie. I’m sorry, I’m a romantic, but in that moment, I knew that they had found something truly special. Lisa and Steve, please remember that a dream you dream together, that is the reality and that reality is right now. Please raise your glass. Congratulations to the bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Steven Gilbert.”
Lisa wiped at her eyes. “What a wonderful speech,” Lisa said then she sniffed.
“Please don’t cry; your make-up,” Steve said with a smile.
“I’m alright,” she said. “Are you ready to dance?”
“I hope I don’t step on your feet.” He helped her to stand.
“You’ll be fine; just take it slow,” Lisa said.
The lights dimmed, then a slow dance began. Lisa and Steve, ready for their first dance as husband and wife, smiled and began their dance. Everyone applauded and watched the happy couple glide across the floor.
“Mr. Gilbert, you constantly amaze me,” Lisa said holding on. Steve was a wonderful dancer. She remembered their date last year and he had given her the impression that he couldn’t dance and now look at him.
“I wanted to surprise you,” he said moving in time with the music.
“Oh, you are definitely good at surprises.” She leaned in close to his ear. “Don’t ever change.”
Minutes later, the dance ended, then her Father stepped forward for his dance.
Steve gave his bride over to her Father, although he was beginning to despise the man. “Sir,” he said and stepped aside.
“Thank you, Steve,” he said and danced with his daughter.
Lisa was happy now, and Steve couldn’t tell her what he had overheard; he couldn’t. Someone tapped his shoulder.
“Hey, it’s my turn,” Beatrice said but he seemed upset. “Is something wrong?”
“I overheard my father-in-law.”
“I’m so sorry,” Beatrice said. “He’s quite the liar.”
“I know and I can’t tell Lisa; not now, with me leaving tomorrow.”
“No, I agree; she doesn’t need that now. She will need him while you're gone.”
Adam being involved in their lives truly concerned him.
After a few minutes, Mitch interrupted their dance. "My turn, brother."
"Of course," Steve said and stepped aside.
Beatrice spoke first. "I loved your speech."
"Thanks, Mom," he said, a bit stiffly.
"Son, I thought we had gotten past this... animosity between us."
He sighed. "I'm sorry, Mom, but I know you and Steve mean well, but I am over 21, and it's as if I'm gambled away Dad's fortune or anything."
"No, you haven't. You are a grown man, and I'm proud of you. I get calls from friends I haven't talked to in years about you and how you run your business."
"You never told me that."
"I should have told you, an I'm sorry. You do believe me; don't you?" He was silent. "I love you, Son, and that will never change, no matter what you do." She tried to smile.
"I love you Mom; I always have."
She kissed his cheek. "Thanks for the dance."
No sooner had Mitch asked Carolyn to dance, the song ended then the servers brought out the cake, then the announcement: “Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert; it’s time to cut the cake!”
Everyone gathered around as Lisa and Steve toasted each other, then they cut the cake. It was so tempting to smash their faces, but they didn’t. Everyone applauded their restraint, but then they kissed away the crumbs.
“Delicious,” they said at the same time. Smiling, they kissed again. No garter and bouquet toss because the maid of honor and the best man were the only recipients, and so that tradition wasn’t necessary.
Mitch wanted to dance with Carolyn again, so he approached her. He asked her to dance and to his surprise and delight, a slow dance began to play.
Carolyn hesitated, then she took his hand. He pulled her close; they danced around for a few minutes, but Carolyn seemed reluctant to even look at him.
“It’s okay to look at me; I’ll be a good boy.”
“That’s not it,” she said. Her heart refused to listen to her. Then she turned her head and glanced at his face.
“Tell me what you see,” he said.
Her eyes roamed over his face. “I see a man, a very strong, determined, bold, unpredictable, but one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met.”
Dumbstruck, he stared at her. “Well, I don’t know what to say.”
“Please, I know your reputation; you must get compliments all the time.”
“Well, not about my character, what I really think about the world, and how I live my life.”
“I see what you mean, but once people get to know you, you’re not so bad,” she said and tried to smile.
“I don’t think Lisa would agree with you.” He glanced at the bride and groom dancing. “I missed our dance.”
“That’s right; you and Lisa are supposed to dance.”
“Maybe we will later in the evening,” Mitch said.
“Is she still mad at you about… everything?”
“You could say that,” he replied but refused to elaborate.
“I’m sorry about that, but Lisa and I talked and we agreed that I would make up my own mind about you.”
“I’m happy to hear that, so, I’ll do my best not to disappoint you.”
She watched him closely. “I don’t think you will.”
“Your faith in me; it’s refreshing and very welcome,” he said meaning it. They turned to watch the bride and groom. “You’re worried and so am I.” She watched them dance, foreheads touching.
“They do look happy,” Carolyn said.
“They do; don’t they,” he whispered but it wasn’t a question.
“Aren’t you happy for them?” Carolyn asked.
“Yes, of course I am, but it will be difficult for them, with this mission coming up and this rogue agent plotting against Steve.”
“I know,” she said, but didn’t elaborate about Mark’s true predicament.
“He wants Steve, and if he comes back here, Steve may not be able to stop him this time.”
“But he can do it and we have faith that we can defeat him.”
This discussion was not appropriate for this event. “Let’s not talk about it.” He twirled her back closer to the other dancers.
“Ask my sister to dance,” Carolyn said.
“Okay,” he said and tapped Steve’s shoulder.
“May I?” Mitch asked permission.
“Of course, you may,” Steve replied. Lisa couldn’t look at him.
“I understand how you feel about me, but I just wanted to say that I love my brother and he’s deliriously happy today and I’m happy for him.”
She turned her head. “You mean that; don’t you?”
“Yes, I do, and I’m here for you, if you need me.”
“Thank you, Mitch. That means a lot.”
Meanwhile, Carolyn and Steve shared a dance.
“You’re beaming; you know,” Carolyn commented.
“Oh, what did you say?” He asked and glanced at his beautiful wife.
“You’ve cut the cake, danced, had a few drinks; now, it’s time to go.”
“But, we don’t have to,” he began.
“I know you have to leave soon, so, don’t waste any more time.”
He smiled and kissed her cheek. “Thanks, Carolyn.”
“Everyone! Lisa and I wanted to thank you all for coming, but we have to leave now.”
Lisa was a bit surprised, but when her husband smiled in that way, her heart literally melted.
“It’s time to go,” she whispered and took his hand.
Then, kisses, hugs, and handshakes were given freely. Then they were gone.
Everyone sat back down, had a few more drinks, a few more dances, then they retired for the evening. Beatrice thanked Adam for escorting her to her room. He apologized if he offended her in any way.
“Thank you, Adam. Good night.”
Carolyn gathered her coat and headed to her car. Mitch helped her inside. “It’s late; I can acquire a room for you.”
It was tempting to stay, but she would be asking for trouble. “No, I’ll be fine. It’s not that late, only 9pm. Good night, Mitch.” She held out her hand.
He took it; then he kissed her hand. “Good night, Carolyn.”
A bit stunned for minute, they held hands for a moment longer. “Good night.” She shook her head then she drove off.
He watched her car move out of the parking garage, then walked over to his car and headed home.
In the honeymoon suite:
“You’re as light as a feather,” Steve commented and carried her over the threshold.
“We should do this at the apartment, not here,” Lisa said.
“This is practice,” he said smiled at her look. He kicked the door closed.
“Uh huh; I think you just like carrying me; not that I’m complaining.” They smiled at each other.
"Happy?" He asked smiling.
"I never knew I could be this happy," she replied eyes watering.
Before he set her down, she kissed him passionately holding his head tightly to hers. As Steve’s kisses became deeper, she moaned as her body reacted in several regions at once. Still kissing, he managed to lower her to the floor, but they wouldn’t let go of the other.
Minutes later, they were naked, in bed kissing and touching, unable to get close enough. She couldn’t think about anything but loving him all night because he would be gone soon, but she didn’t want to think about it. His kisses rained all over her face, her cheek, her neck, then down to her breasts. His warm, wet kisses against her body taught her yet again how much she loved and needed him. Steve knew what she was thinking; he was too. Her chest lifted as he sucked and pulled. Lisa nearly screamed; it felt too good to be believed. Lisa moaned loudly as her legs would not be still, so she opened them wide needing his hands and mouth right there between her thighs and he was only too happy to do just that, and so he did.
She tasted like nothing else in this world. He loved doing this for her. Lisa enjoyed it; he did too. She held his head to her sex and would not let him stop as if wanted to. He lifted her hips to lick and suck as if he were starving for the taste of her.
He came up for air. “Delicious; so very sweet and soft. I need you, Mrs. Gilbert,” he whispered, loving the name.
Lisa closed her eyes, as his words sent a shock wave throughout her body, loving his words, needing them like the air she breathed. “Steve, I need you, too,” she managed to say.
“I’m here now,” he whispered and stroked the head of penis against her opening all over her swollen and slick sensitive flesh. And then he was inside of her pushing and stroking in and out, but then he couldn’t go any further.
“There we go,” he said as they both sighed with bliss thrilled to be together again, as if they hadn’t been together just last night.
He leaned over her and then he kissed her slanting his lips across hers. They needed this closeness desperately and it reflected in their love-making. His movements slowed, wanting this to last forever, if only that were possible. But then, he couldn’t stand the waiting not anymore. His body demanded release and she was just as close. He stoked and stroked and minutes later, it was over. She climaxed strongly and he was right behind her.
He collapsed moments later, then he rolled away and pulled her close to his chest. Both breathing heavily, moments later, they managed to secure their breathing.
“Wow, that was,” Lisa hesitated unable to think.
“Yeah, you could say that,” Steve said and chuckled.
After a few minutes, she leaned up on her elbow then stroked his cheek. “So, are you ready to talk about your trip?”
“You can’t be serious. I don’t want to talk about that.”
“Okay, Okay,” she said and lay back down. “I just keep thinking about you far away from me.”
“Try and get some rest. It’s been a very long day, and I know how stressed you are about… my leaving.” He couldn’t help but think of his father-in-law and the things he said.
“I was stressed but I took a bath, tried to relax, and it helped.”
“Good, now close your eyes and think about me coming home to you.”
She smiled and closed her eyes. “Yes, coming home, which reminds me. Is there a timeline for this trip?” Silence followed that question. She leaned up to watch his face. “We always have a timeline, so, what is it?” She asked again.
“I don’t know,” he sadly replied. Her face fell. “Please, Lisa, let’s not talk about it.” He stroked her hair behind her ear. He leaned down and they kissed.
After making love again which stunned their minds and their hearts, it’s almost dawn and Steve left the bed, showered and changed. When he came into the bedroom, Lisa was standing by the bed waiting for him.
“My flight leaves in two hours.” She didn’t say anything. “Lisa, please say something.”
“I love you,” she whispered unable to think what to say.
“I love you too,” he whispered back then they were kissing and caressing for several long minutes. He stopped suddenly. “I have to go.” He kissed her again, eyes closed, their foreheads touched for one moment.
She watched as he picked up several bags. She took his arm, then at the door, he turned to look at her. His eyes roamed over her face memorizing every curve, every line. “I’ll see you soon.”
“Yes, I’ll see you soon.” He kissed her once more, then he was gone.