A/N: I was going to write this immediately after "We've Only Just Begun" and forgot about it. Per request, this is a snippet of Joan and Adam's honeymoon. Actually, it stems out of the letter and gift (mostly the letter) that Adam had Sharon deliver for him. I hope you like it. I personally love the letter, but then I wrote it.
In other news, I am working on the other stories I started. As for Grace and Luke, I'm going through a period of doubts, so it might be another week or so before I debut it. Okay, I'm done babbling now. Promise. Alexandri
For the first time in Adam's life, he felt perfectly happy. He and Joan lay on the pallet she insisted he make in front of the fire. Her head rested on his shoulder and he felt the occasional brush of her knuckles on his chest. She was humming slightly off-key. Adam suspected she didn't realize she was doing it. He didn't mind though. He was perfectly content just lying there with her in his arms. But the brushing on his chest was making him crazy. And very aroused. "Jane?"
"Hmm?" she hummed.
"What are you doing?"
Joan raised her head and smiled down at him. "Thinking."
He didn't have to ask what she was thinking about. The mischievous, almost naughty smile told him. He hadn't expected their first time as a married couple to be that extraordinary either. "I meant," he said pointedly, returning her smile, "what are you doing with your hand? It keeps brushing me."
If anything, her smile widened into a wicked grin. But she sat up a little and showed the chain hanging around her neck. "I was playing with the gift you spent me this afternoon."
Adam fingered the pendant. It was a glass disk with a miniature drawing he'd done of her in it. "So you like it?"
She nodded. "But I would have liked a picture of you instead."
"Maybe next year," he said with a shrug. Joan giggled and traced her fingers over his face. "Did you like the letter?"
"I didn't read it."
"Because I was already upset and I knew it would make me cry."
"Oh." He lay there for a moment, watching the firelight dance on her skin. "Jane?"
"Do you have the letter with you?"
"It's in my bag," she said laughingly. "I'll go get it."
Adam watched her get up and run naked to the bedroom. Staring at his wedding ring—he was still a little awed by the magnitude of being married—he replayed the image, her hair streaming out behind her, the complete lack of self-consciousness, the graceful beauty of her movements. His wife was a sight to behold.
She came back and snuggled under the blankets. Draped across his chest, she opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. "You wrote this at the B&B," she said as she glanced at the letterhead.
"'April 3, 2015. My dearest Jane. I just had a dream,'" she began, then looking sharply at him. "You had a nap today? I was rushing around losing the remaining half of my mind and you took a nap!"
Grinning sheepishly, he said, "If I hadn't, I wouldn't be awake right now, let alone for the ceremony. I'd have been cranky and dead on my feet."
"What were you doing last night?" she asked, her voice dripping with suspicion.
"I couldn't sleep. I was too excited about the wedding."
Joan's face softened. "In that case, you're forgiven."
He laughed. "Read the letter."
"My dearest Jane. I just had a dream. In it, we were old and wrinkled and gray. Our children and grandchildren surrounded us as we told them the story of our romance for the umpteenth time. Somewhere in the middle of our tale, one of our children—a daughter with my eyes and your smile, said, 'You must have the most beautiful love letters, Mom.' I woke up then, a horrible, sinking feeling in my stomach. You don't have any. I've never written you one. You'll probably read this and think, 'Oh, Adam, I don't need love letters. You've given me everything I've ever needed.'" Joan stopped and stared at Adam. "That's exactly what I was thinking."
He just smiled and waved for her to continue.
"That may be true, but all great romances involve oft-read, ribbon-bound bundles of love letters. I like to think ours is a great romance. So this is my very first love letter to you.
"There are so many things I want to say to you, most of which are trite and clichéd and not worth the ink it would take to write them down. However, you must know, I must tell you, that I have loved you for all of time. I once read somewhere that time is not like a river rushing headlong into the ocean of eternity. Instead, it is like a great lake, whole onto itself. Everything that was and is and will be has always been and it is only our perception of time that creates the past, present and future. Therefore, my love for you has always been and will always be. It's an immortal truth, perfect in its infinity. So, no matter what the 'future' may hold for us, I have always been yours. It's a condition that will never change. I would never want it to change.
"Today you and I will pledge before our families and friends and before God to love and support each other for the rest of our lives. We will have our ups and downs, our highs and lows, but the one thing I want you to always remember is that I love you. I loved you long before we ever met and I will love you after I am done with this existence. You are my joy and my light. You are the good ripples in the pond of my life. You are my love. And I am so fortunate to have found you. Love, Your Adam."
Joan covered her mouth with her hand, her eyes shining with unshed tears. Slowly, her eyes slid from the letter to her new husband. Adam wiped away the tears spilling unheeded down her cheeks. They stayed like that for a long time, Joan's hand trembling over her mouth while Adam wiped and kissed away her tears and tucked errant strands of hair behind her ears. Finally, she moved her hand and put up the letter. "I still don't know what to say," she murmured.
"So you like the letter?"
She laughed. "No, I love it." Joan buried her face in the side of his neck and hugged him. Adam held her close. He'd thought she'd fallen asleep when he heard her mumble something.
"What did you say?"
Lifting her head, she said, "I have to write you a letter now."
"No, you don't."
"Jane," he said, taking hold of her chin so he'd have her attention, "no letters."
"I have to do something," she insisted.
He laughed. "You married me. That's enough."
Joan shook her head, but didn't reply. Propping her head in her hand, she seemed to be mulling over what he'd said. Finally, she raised her eyes to his. "You said this was your first love letter to me. Are there going to be others?"
He nodded. "I've decided to make it a tradition. I'll write you one every year for our anniversary."
"I have to do something," Joan reiterated, aligning her body with his.
Adam closed his eyes and savored the feel of his wife writhing against him. He cleared his suddenly clogged throat and said, "If you must do something, you could make love to me."
She pressed closer and kissed his neck. "I think that can be arranged."
The morning sun slanted across Adam's eyes, waking him. Despite not wanting to move, he stretched and turned on his side, expecting to see Joan. Instead, he saw the long-cooled remains of last night's fire. Bewildered—after all, Joan was not a morning person—he got up and pulled on his pants. He searched their cabin, but she wasn't around. On the verge of panic, he happened to glance out the patio doors to see her sitting on the beach, staring out at the ocean. Relieved, Adam headed for the doors, then thought better of it and went to the kitchen. He put on a pot of coffee and went to the bathroom while it brewed.
Twenty minutes later, he stepped out onto the beach, two cups of steaming coffee in hand. She started when he lowered one in front of her, then tilted her head back and smiled at him. "Good morning."
"Good morning to you, too," he answered, sitting behind her. Adam slipped an arm around her waist and scooted forward until she rested comfortably against him. "How long have you been up?"
"About an hour, I guess." She took a sip from her cup and gave an appreciative moan. "Gotta love a man who can fix a perfect cup of coffee."
He laughed and kissed the top of her head. "This is nice."
"Isn't it?" Joan inhaled deeply and sighed. "I think I could spend the rest of the day right here and be perfectly happy."
Adam made a vague sound of agreement and settled in to watch the waves. He'd never thought that sitting on the beach in the cool, morning light with Joan could be the most peaceful experience of his life. Finally, his cup was empty as was Joan's and he set them aside before wrapping both of his arms around her and nuzzling the side of her neck. "What are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking about your letter."
"You don't have to reciprocate, Jane," he said, knowing what she meant.
"But I want to."
"Well, if you must do something," he began after some thought.
"There is one thing we could do."
Joan twisted around and stared up at him. "What?"
"Each year we could reenact one of our special moments."
"Okay." She gave him a curious look. "Why?"
He shrugged. "So that we don't forget them. So we'll appreciate all we went through to get to where we are."
"It wasn't easy, was it?" He shook his head in agreement4. "Okay. I like that. So which special moment should we reenact first?"
Adam lowered his head and gave Joan a long, thorough kiss, their first of the day. Then he said, "We already did it."
Joan blinked up at him. "When?"
"Our first kiss. We did that at the wedding."
Smiling, she leaned back against him. "You're a clever man, Mr. Rove, using something I've already done."
"You don't know how much that meant to me. Our first kiss, it was like," he paused and smiled. "Okay, this is going to be a little strange."
"Somehow I'm not surprised."
He rolled his eyes. "Meeting you was like being rebuilt. Being with you, wanting you, being mad at you was like rediscovering all of the parts of myself that sort of got lost when my mom died. I was becoming whole again. But that kiss at the science fair, it was like that jolt of electricity that brought Frankenstein's monster to life. I'd never felt as alive as I did in that moment. Everything was brighter and good and possible and ridiculously insignificant compared to the fact that I was kissing my Jane. It was exhilarating and peaceful all at once. Even now, it's my gold standard."
"Wow," she breathed. "Really?"
Adam nodded. "No kiss since, not even ours, has yet to compare. I've had better kisses, but none have made me feel as much as that one. So, you see, the letter has been more than reciprocated."
"How do you always manage to make me speechless?" she asked.
"I just speak from my heart."
"You have an amazing heart."
"I have an amazing wife." She rolled her eyes. "I like saying that."
Joan laughed and got up. "Come on," she said, offering him a hand up.
"Where are we going?"
"Out there." She pointed to the ocean, then tugged his hand for him to follow her.
He trudged behind her. "It's going to be cold, Jane."
She kept trying to pull him forward faster, but he refused to be rushed. In the end, she let go of his hand. "I'll meet you there," she said before running out into the water.
Adam watched her splash into it, the wind whipping her hair about her. She turned toward her, a huge grin on her face.
"Come on, slow poke," she called.
"Slow poke?" he called back.
"Whatever," she said and waded in to her hips. Suddenly, she threw back her head and shouted, "Thank You."
He waded in—he was right; it was cold—and stopped before her. Joan flung her arms around his neck. "I love you."
"I love you," Adam replied as he flung his arms around her waist and gave her a quick kiss. Then, he threw his head back and shouted at the sky, "I thank You, too."