Future Meant to Be Universe
Response to Valentine's Day Challenge
Requirements for Challenge:
--Someone eats an entire box of chocolates by him- or herself.
--Someone is very anti-Valentine's Day.
--Someone receives a singing valentine from a guy dressed as cupid.
"Happy Valentine's Day," Danny whispered in his wife's ear as he felt her stir in his arms.
"Mmmmm. Happy Valentine's Day," Mary replied, turning her head to greet her husband with a 'good morning' kiss.
"Do you want your present?"
"Danny, I thought we were going to wait? Your present won't be ready until tonight."
"I'll wait for mine, but I want you to have yours now," he said, holding up a large white envelope. Mary sat up so her back was to the headboard before taking it from his hands and tearing it open. Her eyes filled with tears when she saw what was inside. It was an exact replica of the Valentine's he'd made for her in the fourth grade—the one he'd given her the day they kissed behind the swings. The red heart had been carefully cut from construction paper and was outlined with artfully placed macaroni noodles, colored with black magic marker. In the middle of the heart, silver glitter spelled out 'D + M 4-EVER'.
"Danny…I think this is even sweeter than the one you gave me all those years ago. Nothing could be more perfect." Any other girl might have been disappointed that their husband had foregone the usual array of Valentine's Day gifts in favor of a homemade heart, but Mary would take something like this over jewelry any day.
"Well, I guess since you like it so much I should just take this one back." Danny held up a long, flat box—professionally wrapped in white iridescent paper and adorned with a red bow.
Mary's eyes lit up and Danny laughed at her reaction. She glanced down at the beautiful heart in her lap and back at the package several times before taking the corner of her bottom lip in to her mouth for just a bit. While Danny's homemade Valentine had been perfect, there was certainly no rule that said she couldn't have two presents. Giving her husband a quick kiss to distract him, she snatched the gift from his hand and ripped through the paper and bow--opening the box to reveal the most exquisite diamond bracelet she'd ever seen.
Danny carefully removed the delicate piece from the box and fastened it securely around her wrist. "I love you," he whispered, leaning in for a soft kiss—a kiss which soon intensified as Mary wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. Danny's hand caressed her neck before slowly moving down her shoulder—taking the strap of her nightgown with it.
Danny playfully groaned as the voice grew more insistent. He sighed and gave Mary one last peck before heading out of the room. "I'm coming, buddy," he yelled, before disappearing down the hallway.
Mary leaned back against the headboard, holding her hand up to get a better look at her husband's stunning gift, but it only took a moment before she was face to face with the most precious gift Danny had ever given her—their 10 month old son.
Dylan McCoy had made his entrance in the front seat of his Daddy's prized Camaro—four weeks early and six miles from the nearest hospital. Despite his small size upon arrival, he'd been a perfectly healthy baby and had been growing steadily and amazing his parents ever since.
"Good morning, sweetie. Can momma have a kiss," Mary cooed as Danny handed her the baby and headed for the bathroom. Dylan squealed with delight at the sight of his mother and placed his chubby little hands on Mary's cheeks before giving her a sloppy kiss.
As Dylan bounced in Mary's lap, she called out to her husband, "Danny, are you sure Ed and Jillian don't mind keeping him tonight?"
"It was Jillian's idea. You know she's been dying to keep Dylan and Ed's just happy that they have an excuse not to do any 'foo-foo Valentine's mumbo jumbo'—and that's a direct quote from the man himself."
"He's really not into the hearts and flowers thing, is he?" Mary chuckled.
"He thinks the whole day is a gimmick cooked up by the greeting card companies. He'd probably boycott Valentine's Day altogether if it wouldn't cost him his marriage. I think he and Jillian have finally come to an understanding after 30 years of marriage. He agrees to acknowledge the day with a very expensive gift and her favorite chocolates if she agrees not to give him a hard time about the 'romance crap'—again, another quote."
When Mary heard the shower turn on she picked up Dylan and headed back to the nursery to get him ready for the day. By the time she was done, Danny was dressed for work and she handed the baby off to him for feeding so she could get ready too.
"Oh, thank God. Mary, you have to help me." She'd just come back in from meeting Jillian in the parking lot. They'd both decided since the car seat was already securely fastened in Mary's Tahoe that it would just be easier to trade vehicles for the night. Mary definitely wasn't going to pass up the chance to drive Jillian's new Mercedes convertible.
"Mike, you look terrible. What's going on?" Mike was sweating profusely and seemed to be on the verge of hyperventilating.
"Omigod, Mary. Something happened…," Mike struggled to catch his breath as he pulled Mary to the side.
"What? Mike, is it Danny? Is Danny okay?" Mary was frantic as she grabbed her friend by the shoulders and shook him.
"No…no," Mike assured her. "Danny's fine, it's just…I did something…something stupid…and…"
Mary put her hand to her chest, trying to calm her pounding heart. "Mike, you scared me. Tell me what happened."
"Well, you know Mr. D orders those special chocolates every year."
"Yes, he has them shipped from Switzerland. They're Jillian's favorite."
"Yeah. Well, there was a mix-up and the package ended up at the airport Fed Ex station--so he sent me to get it."
"He what? Mike, why didn't you tell him about your…problem?"
"He already thinks I'm crazy because of the claustrophobia, Mare. He'd probably have me committed if he knew about the other thing."
"Okay, so…you picked up the package and then what?
"I wanted to make sure they weren't damaged so I opened the box."
"Mike." Mary shook her head as she realized the turn this story was about to take.
"I just wanted to see them, Mary. You know—just look at them in the box."
"But you didn't just look at them, did you?" She had switched to what Danny liked to call her mom voice. It had manifested sometime around the time Dylan had figured out how to pull himself up and grab everything in sight.
"NO," Mike almost cried. "I couldn't stop myself. They were so beautiful and perfectly smooth and brown and the smell…omigod, Mary, the aroma. It was hypnotic. I just had to try one."
"Okay, enough," Mike's description was getting a little too creepy for her. "We can deal with this. We'll just rearrange them in the box and Jillian will never know."
The look on Mike's face told her there was more he wasn't telling her.
"Mike? You didn't eat just one, did you?" Mike responded by shaking his head vigorously back and forth.
"All of them," he said in a trembling voice.
"Ssshhh," he glanced around nervously, making sure Mary's outburst hadn't drawn the attention of anyone they knew. "I know. I know. I have a problem. I admit that. What are we going to do?"
"We? You're the one who couldn't tell Ed you were a recovering chocoholic. Why is this my problem?"
"Fine…fine…you wanna tell Dylan that his Grandpa Ed is in the state pen for murdering his Uncle Mikey…you go right ahead."
Mary sighed and threw her head back in exasperation. "Alright…I'll help you, but you owe me--BIG TIME!"
It took Mary the rest of the afternoon, but she finally found a chocolatier in Vegas who was willing to replicate the famous candies. It cost Mike a pretty penny, but it was nothing compared to what it would cost him if Ed ever found out.
"Hey, gorgeous." Mary felt her husband's firm body behind her as she stood at the check-in desk.
"Hey, sweetie." She leaned her head back and to the side to allow him to place a tender kiss on her lips. "How's your day going?"
"Typical Valentine's Day. I've caught six couples having sex in the elevators today."
"Well, love is in the air."
"Yeah, well I wish they'd just keep it in their pants until they got to their rooms," Danny leaned his chin on Mary's shoulder as she signed off on the latest admin schedules and handed them back to the clerk. "Speaking of rooms," Danny nuzzled the side of her face, nibbling lightly on her ear. "…someone dropped off this keycard to a room at the Palms. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you, Mrs. McCoy?"
Mary turned in his embrace and wrapped her arms around his waist. "Hmmm. Maybe. But you should probably go check it out for yourself."
"Oh, I'll definitely be there. Should I bring anything?"
"Just your cute little tush." Mary punctuated her sentence with a firm smack to his backside. Danny squeaked in surprise before leaning in to capture her lips, but his attempt was interrupted.
"Milo? What…are you doing here?" Milo had been a guest of the hotel last week. He was perfectly nice, but a bit lovesick. Desperate for companionship he had planned a romantic weekend in Vegas for a woman he'd met on the internet only to have her take him for every penny he'd brought with him. He definitely had a few things to learn about women.
"And why are you dressed like that?" He was wearing what could only be described as a diaper. He had a pair of plastic wings strapped to his back and a crown of gold foil on top of his head.
"Miss McCoy—I thought a lot about what you said. You were so kind to me and I felt like we really shared a connection. I listened to your advice and my intuition is telling me that you are the one for me."
"Oh, Milo…no," she tried to stop him, but it was too late. He'd already broken into song. He gestured wildly with his arms as he crooned to Mary, very loud and horribly off-key.
Just smile for me and let the day begin
You are the sunshine that lights my heart within
I'm sure that you're an angel in disguise
Come take my hand and together we will rise
ON THE WINGS OF LOVE..
UP AND ABOVE THE CLOUDS
THE ONLY WAY TO FLY…
His voice broke on the last note and Mary couldn't take anymore. "MILO!"
The poor kid stopped mid-chorus and looked at Mary with a devastated expression.
"Milo, I'm very flattered, but I'm a happily married woman," she held up her left hand so that the diamonds of her ring were clearly visible.
"In fact, this is my husband, right here." Mary turned towards Danny who had been suspiciously quiet up until this point. He was grinning like crazy—clearly enjoying the show. Mary elbowed him hard in the stomach to get his attention.
Danny wasn't really sure what was expected of him in this situation. It was obvious Milo was not a threat, but Mary's actions had indicated she wanted him to say something. "Yeah, um…Milo, uh…Mary's taken so… you know… if you know what's good for you…you'll stay away from my wife." Noticing the terrified look on the young man's face and the incredulous glare he was now receiving from his wife, Danny realized he'd said the wrong thing. He glanced around the casino for a moment before inspiration struck and he quickly changed course.
"Look, Milo. I'm going to do you a favor. I think I know the perfect woman for you. She's smart, she's funny, cute as hell…"
"Yeah. Her name's Sam and she's right over there."
"Danny!" Mary tried to cut in, but Danny had already put his arm around Milo and was leading him towards the casino host.
"The lovely Ms. Marquez? I saw her last week. She didn't seem very nice."
"That's just a front she puts up. She's really a big softie and she loves guys in diapers."
"Should I just go up to her?"
"Oh yeah. And sing her the song--chicks really dig the song."
"Thanks, man. Oh, and sorry about the whole 'hitting on your wife' thing."
"No problem, big guy--happens all the time."
Mary walked up behind her husband and punched him hard in the arm. "OW!"
"Why would you do something like that to that poor kid? Sam is going to eat him alive."
"Trust me," Danny said as he pulled out his phone and hit 4 on the speed dial. Mary noticed Sam across the casino pull out her phone.
"Hey, Sam. There's a half-naked guy headed your way. He's a little eccentric, but his family is worth millions. Be nice to him, okay?"
Danny snapped his phone shut and turned to his wife whose face had split into a huge grin. "What?" he asked, a matching grin on his face.
Mary grabbed him by the tie and pulled his face close to hers. "You are sooo getting lucky tonight."
Danny used the keycard to enter their suite at the Palms. He'd always been the one to plan their Valentine's Day celebrations, but Mary had taken the lead this year. As the door closed behind him he immediately noticed the flashing lights in the room and he heard the first notes of Aerosmith through the surround sound speakers. Walking down the small hallway and into the living area his mouth dropped open in shock as he realized exactly which suite Mary had reserved for them. Comfortable chairs surrounded a small stage in the middle of the floor while his beautiful wife stood provocatively wrapped around a metal pole—dressed only in one of his white dress shirts and a loosely knotted tie.
Danny moved towards the center of the room and took Mary's hand as she carefully stepped down from the platform. He was speechless as she helped him into one of the chairs and stood back up—moving her body in a tantalizing rhythm to the music. She slowly removed the shirt and tie until she was standing before her husband in nothing but a red lace bra and matching panties. Before Danny could touch her she was back on the stage, swinging around the pole like a pro. Danny didn't want to know where she'd learned to move like that, but he was pretty sure it was the sexiest thing he'd ever seen in his life. Mary left the stage again and moved into his lap, her back to his chest. Holding his hands against her thighs, she sensuously rotated her hips until he was sure he would spontaneously combust with pleasure.
"Do you know how amazing you are?" Danny whispered in her ear before moving his arms up to encircle her waist. He helped Mary stand and turned her so she was facing him. "Do you?" Her eyes welled with tears as his gaze bore into her soul and for a moment she wondered if he actually expected her to answer.
"I love you," she told him. "I just want to make you happy."
"You do, Mary—every day." Danny scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom.
They made love throughout the night until the first rays of sunshine cast a warm glow over the room. Mary's head was on Danny's chest as he softly pulled his fingers through her hair—both of them staring out the window at the Las Vegas skyline.
"What are you thinking about?" she softly asked.
"How lucky I am. How many guys have wives who would rent out the stripper pole room at the Palms and put on a show like I got last night?" Mary chuckled at the awe still clearly evident in his voice. "Seriously, Mary, it was incredible. In my wildest dreams I never imagined…"
"Okay, well maybe there were a few dreams…" They both shared a laugh and a few more kisses before Danny asked her the same question.
"What about you? What are you thinking about?
"I was wondering if Ed and Jillian are up yet." Mary worried her bottom lip as she glanced up to see Danny's reaction.
"You ready to go already?"
"I just miss him, I guess. I mean last night was incredible, Danny, and I know we need time together, but it's just like… there's something missing. Not between us, but…"
"No, I know what you mean. I love hearing his little voice on the baby monitor every morning—even if it does come at the most inopportune times. And something is missing when he's not around. Dylan is our life now and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"So?" Mary asked expectantly.
"So, let's get dressed and go get the little guy."
Mary threw her arms around Danny and peppered his face with kisses. "I love you—I love you—I love you."
"Mmmm. I love you too," he told her as she pulled him from the bed and toward the shower.
"I thought we were getting ready?" Danny asked confused.
"We are. It'll be quicker if we shower together," Mary said with a grin. Danny didn't see how that was possible, but he certainly wasn't going to argue.