Full summer moon glow shared a radiant spotlight on Devon and Hilary Hamilton dancing underneath twilight stars.
It was not silent.
Alongside chirping crickets and other nocturnal nighttime critters, no other music required when pounding thunder of sole human couple's melding heartbeats- a fervent ubiquitous melody- could be heard by the two of them alone.
"I love holding you like this," Devon murmured in Hilary's ear.
"It feels more right than anything," she sighed.
"You've made this day so amazing, Baby. I could not have dreamed of a better way to honor this special date."
"You're always the one plotting, Mr. Hamilton, with our special rendezvouses and private getaway trips. I wanted to take the reins for a change."
Devon laughed heartily, hiding his smile in her thick black hair.
"Well feel free to take the reins as often as you like," he commanded lightly, his hands caressing smooth, bare skin thanks to a sparkling silver backless dress.
"Oh I plan to," she responded.
They resumed enjoying quietness, moving together, nestling into one another, basking in the splendor of first year of sweet, kindled love.
Hilary had taken the day off work in order to bring her scheming to action.
First she made a splendid breakfast in bed, making his favorites over a pot of hot coffee. Next she stole Devon into her car, driving him up for a relaxing spa retreat in the mountains. From climbing boulder peaks together to declining masseuses to massage each other inside a sophisticated five star luxury suite, they were soon worn out- inexplicably so. Afterwards, sated and ravenous, they arrived back in Genoa City just in time for Hilary's last curated event. At close off Chancellor Park- reserved for a private event- they shared a decadent candlelight dinner and a simple dessert of chocolate-hazelnut dipped strawberries and fine vintage port.
Yet unbeknownst to Hilary, each time she took Devon from place to place, he snuck away to cancel other preparations. He had arranged a three-in-one with his private jet pilot- an island paradise in Jamaica, a tour in Kenya, and dinner in China at a place she adored. Instead, he let her play the romantic lead, seeing how hard she worked on delighting him, on bringing sporadic adventure to his once ordinary life. It wasn't all of the privileged inheritance that sustained his She did a superb job of keeping him beyond pleasingly surprised. For a while, his body ached from climbing rocks, but she healed him well into early evening.
The final act that made his eyes water. A rarely "no other visitors allowed" Chancellor Park? She showed loyalty, appreciation, and respect for him and the memory of his grandmother.
Now they were dancing.
And that was everything.
"Speaking of taking the reins, I did something... kind of bad."
"What is it?"
He pulled away, just slightly, to look at her face. Her arched brows scrunched together, her lips pursed.
"I watched your soap yesterday afternoon," she confessed. "And then I took it off the DVR."
"You what?" Devon's voice raised. Yet he wasn't upset. "Why?"
"It's complete garbage. I don't see how you can spend time watching Young and the Restless. If your grandmother were still alive I bet she would have been thrown the television out of the window. The stories are insidious. The couple that resembles us so strongly are out of character. He has barely no point of view. She's not only villainized, slut shamed, and friendless, she's been all over the place since being kidnapped and drugged. If you thought 'once a week' was bad, this is the camel that broke the horse's back."
"Err the saying is 'straw that broke the camel's back,' Hun," he said, chuckling. "I see that you've been giving Restless and the Young some serious thought."
"Why would a gorgeous woman continue to chase after father figures near retirement home stage? Why act so hot to trot when she has such a charming, handsome, generous man at home?" She stroked Devon's arm for deliberate emphasis and then his bald head, adding, "Why do you watch this insanity? It robs you of brain cells."
This was not the time or the place to discuss his secret addiction, but he welcomed her refreshing analysis anyway.
"Oh Hilary. I thought you understood this," he stated. "Yes. It frustrates me to no end. I've tried to stop. Believe me I've wanted to. It has me baited with that couple. Their attractiveness, their passion, and their love lures me in. They have potential to become greater than they are right now. They could be the next Angie and Jess. The writers are obviously not utilizing that amazing opportunity. I get it. But I feel like to stop watching is to stop supporting them. Strangely enough, I also feel like I would be hurting my grandmother's feelings."
Hilary shook her head.
She couldn't understand why he couldn't let the couple go.
"I tried. I tried to watch from your perspective. I tried to see your fondness. But Devon, you're better than this. You're better than this bad soap opera."
Devon smiled and stroked her cheek.
It suddenly hit him like wildfire.
"Is this why you planned this whole day? Because you felt guilty about deleting my soap?"
"No. How could you even ask me that?"
"Okay maybe. Just maybe. Only a little bit. Still, Devon, I wanted to amaze you, astonish you. I wanted us to have a spontaneous celebration today- something out of the usual norm for you. I knew that you were going to wine and dine me. Buy me the whole jewelry store. Fly me up to the moon and the stars."
"Yes." She cupped his chin and peered into his eyes. "Plus I heard you talking to Chef Chris Voy on the phone, Devon."
"Damn it!" He yelled out, laughing more. All this time, he thought he had been discrete, quietly muttering apologies to all his cancellations. "You heard me?"
"Well, I couldn't resist eavesdropping when you kept taking your phone everywhere."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"And ruin your plans? Me? Never!"
They giggled and smiled together, filling empty park with magic and wonder. Any passersby would think them the epitome of soul mate definition.
She kissed his mouth and laid her manicured hands on his black suit jacket. His heart beat feverishly underneath her steady palm.
"You know," she started, her brown eyes twinkling, staring down at his lips and the mole placed above his lips. "You can keep your grandmother alive in other ways."
"Like how?" He asked, captivated, losing reason, nearly drowning at seductive equation.
"I think we're ready. We're more than ready."
"Let's start a family- you and me. We can be great parents together, Devon."
"Would I bring it up if I weren't?"
He picked her up and swung her around. As she echoed "yes" on repeat into his ears, screaming the word louder and louder, joy rushed through his veins, his heart, his brain. Everything inside of him burst with resounding love.
Once she was settled back down and dizziness subsided, she stared long and hard at him.
"Let's go home," she whispered in his ear.
"Let's," he said back.
They held hands and raced back to the car, running in step unison.
Hilary opened the bedroom door and gasped, seeing scattered jasmine candles and white vanilla orchids on dressers and a trail of crushed rose pedals leading to their four poster bed.
"I couldn't let you do all of the hard labor," he said, standing right behind her.
"It's beautiful," she cried, her hand to opened mouth, awed by showered display.
"No," he disagreed, taking her hand, fascinated by her awe. "You're beautiful."
"Shhhhh," he uttered, placing a finger to her lips. "Sit here. I have another surprise for you."
She sat on the bed, kicked off her heels, and waited.
From black trouser pocket, he took out a folded piece of paper, smiling all the while. He looked irresistible, having on raspberry red shirt with matching tie.
"What is it?" Hilary squealed.
"Ahem," he cleared his throat.
And then, sans instruments, he sang metaphorical serenade he wrote specifically for her, for the love of his life, for regal queen of his heart, for the future mother of his children. Called "Once in a Lifetime Love," he candidly faced her, having memorized lyrics, watching her reaction, his body trembling as he hit note after note, his diaphragm nearly breaking out of his chest. He knelt by the bed, deep in his acapella, never locking his eyes from hers. To blink would kill him.
Hilary grew weaker and weaker, hungry for her husband, king of her heart, keeper of breath from her lungs, future father of her children. As he enchanted her through rapturous, blissful music, touching her hands, luring her softening body, she felt moved, hypnotized by the depth of his passion, of his love. She felt cherished by this man, singing to her in a perfumed abyss that she never wanted to end. She would die if they were torn apart again.
"How was that?" He asked, finished, stroking her arms and shoulders.
"Devon..." she caught her breath and wiped her eyes. "That was the most perfect gift anyone has ever given me. Did you... did you write that for me?"
"Every last word is for you, Hilary. Every last part of me is for you... always in all ways."
Trusting pair of brown fiery eyes connected before lips met, instilling a degree of poignant chemistry unlike anything science could comprehend. When their lips met, slow and tentative, sparks electrified romantic air and enveloped them in a world of their own making.
"Do you forgive me?" Hilary asked, hours later, body covered only in silky petals and blissful sheets.
"For what?" Devon retorted, drawn by the contrast of red and mahogany skin, obsessively touching her.
"Deleting your show off the television." She gathered sheets close to her body and made a move to exit. "I will put Young and the- Restless and Young right back on the DVR now."
"No, no," he groaned, gently pulling her into cocoon of his embrace, kissing and suckling her fingers to weaken her resolve. "You did the right thing."
"I did," she teased, losing the battle. "But it's your show, your grandmother's soap. I won't stand in the way of something you enjoy or your memories."
He smiled, pushing her dampened hair behind her ears, holding her close.
"Hmmmmm," he thought, "let's not talk about soaps or my grandmother. I prefer to..."
"We're trying to become parents, remember?"
"Oh, I remember."
"Although I should punish you..."
"You wouldn't dare."
Devon couldn't withhold.
He turned away, trying to prove a point.
It mattered not.
She placed deliberate kisses on his back.
"I'm sowwie, Devon," she said, her sudden babied voice mocking genuine apology.
"No, you're not," he said, faking a pout.
With her kisses, came the tickles- the digs into his sides, his arms- the weak spots. He hated being tickled.
"I give!" He shouted, laughing. "I give! I give!"
"Now that's the man I married last year."
She kissed him. He kissed back, opening up further to her insatiable sorcery.
"I almost forgot to say," she whispered in between, caressing his strong shoulders, his impressive biceps.
"Yes?" He knew.
"Happy Anniversary Devon."
"Happy Anniversary, Baby." He kissed her mouth. "Now let's not discuss that soap ever ever again."
"Agreed," she replied, greedily taking his promised love from one eternity to the next.