Chapter 18

The front door opened easily. Jack was thankful Janet didn't have a security system, or at least, not activated. Returning to his car, he grabbed the basket of flowers, a large suitcase, and a grocery bag. After closing the front door, he made his way to the guest room. He set everything in the corner.

"Now to hide the car." He jogged back outside. He drove farther up the road and parked it.

"That'll work," he said. Leisurely, he walked back down the road, in order not to draw attention to himself.

Looking around the living room, he thought out his plan. He looked at his watch. Janet would be back momentarily and he had no time to waste.

Grabbing the grocery bag and the roses, he went to the kitchen. He put the champagne on ice and rummaged through the cabinets. He found the pots and pans needed for his Fricassée de poulet. He preheated the oven. Taking the chicken from the bag, he prepped, seasoned, placed it in the pot, and set it in the oven. Finding a cutting board and a knife, he cut the vegetables. For dessert, he thought something simple, biscotti and espresso. He reached a stopping point. Smiling, he removed the roses from the basket. He placed the vases filled with the bundles of ten in the kitchen, living room, guest bedroom, and her bedroom. Taking the individual pedals, he sprinkled them throughout the first floor, on the tables, in the halls and on the beds.

The timer sounded, indicating the chicken was done. Jack rubbed his hands together and danced a little. He took it out of the oven and smelled. The aroma quickly filled the house. Mm mm mm. He placed everything on low, so it was ready when Janet returned.

He headed back to the guest room to freshen up. After changing in slacks and a white button-up shirt, he checked himself out in the mirror. He smiled brightly.

"Time to get my woman."

Janet pulled into the drive and parked her car. As she walked to the porch, she looked through her mail. She stopped and looked at the flowerpots. The flowerpot concealing her spare key had been moved. Someone was in her house. Carefully, she approached the door. She tired to be as quiet as possible. The key turned the lock with a loud metallic clunk. Slowly, she opened the door.

She gasped, dropping the mail in the foyer. Before her were dozens of rose pedals, scattered about. Soft, sensual music was playing in the background. The smell of Jack's cuisine filled the air. She walked farther into the house. She was hoping to spot Jack in the kitchen. Instead, she found the table set for two. Her heart swelled in delight. Where is he? She turned to call out his name.


"Hello." He stood in the doorway, champagne in hand. "I thought we might have dinner."

He walked over to her and grabbed the flutes from the table. He popped the cork and smiled. She watched him, entranced. He filled a glass and handed to her.

"Jack, I don't know what to say," she gazed up at him, her brown eyes sparkling.

"Don't say anything," he responded. Their eyes locked, gravity pulled them together. He removed the drink from her hand and set it on the table. He brought his hands to her face, caressing her softly. She closed her eyes and allowed the sensation to envelope her. He captured her lips in a tender kiss. She reached her hands to his face, pulling him closer. The kiss was delicate at first, a gentle pursing of lips. Then the passion grew. Dilatorily, Janet opened her mouth and recaptured his lips; Jack did the same.

She found herself pinned between the counter and Jack. His hands caressed her back while he continued to kiss her. Janet moaned in approval.

"Jack," her voice raspy, "I love you." She looked him in the eyes. There was a new desire burning in his azure pools.

"I love you, Janet." The next kiss was more heated. He brought his tongue to play with her lips, wanting entrance. She allowed. He teased slowly, tasting her lips, then her mouth. His hands traversed her backside. He cupped her derrière and lifted her to the counter top. Still entangle in the kiss, Janet reached to tug at his shirt, freeing it from his pants. She slipped her hands underneath. Jack smiled into the kiss. He rubbed his hands along her thighs, she gasped. He nipped at her neck, as his hands fiddled with the hem of her shirt.

Janet pulled back slightly causing Jack to look at her. The sound of their breathing and the music was incredibly erotic. Janet smirked and reached for the hem of her shirt. Jack watched, awestruck. She stripped the article from her frame revealing a white bra. His hands went to caress her sides. Her body mesmerized him. She started undoing his buttons as his hands touched her. He kissed along her neck, down her shoulder, and to her chest. Janet's head lulled back in pleasure.

"Jack," she moaned. He grasped the clasp of her bra and released it, peeling it off her shoulders. The way he looked at her made Janet quiver. In his gaze, there was lust, desire, need, love. She whimpered as he kissed her bare chest. Wrapping his hands around her, he lifted her from the counter, and carried her to the guestroom. The dinner was long forgotten.

Gently, he placed her on the bed and removed his shirt. He attended to her, removing the last articles of clothing from her body, until she lay there bare. Her body was flushed.

"Janet, you are so incredibly beautiful," Jack spoke sincerely, "I love you so much." He kissed her. She touched his face.

"Make love to me," she beseeched him.

"My pleasure," he replied and kissed her again.

Janet awoke a while later. The crisp sheets covered her body while Jack's warm body held her close. She rolled over, a smile on her face. Jack awoke, a smile on his face.

"Hi," he whispered.

"Hi." They shared a kiss.

"That was amazing," Janet said.

"You're amazing" Jack answered. She smiled and nuzzled him.

"Actually, I'm a bit hungry."

"We can heat it up or I can make breakfast." They kissed again. She laughed demurely. "And then I was thinking about a early morning soak, sans un maillot de bain."

"Why, Mr. Tripper, you devil," Janet teased him.

"You're quite alluring, Mrs. Tripper." Janet's eyes grew wide. Jack held the ring out to her. "That is, I wanted to ask you last night." He looked at her, she smiled brightly, bursting with joy.

"Yes, Jack, yes," Janet answered him and kissed him. They kissed, beaming as they held each other.

"Oh, before I forget." He reached for the phone on the nightstand and dialed a number. Janet heard a familiar voice on the other end.

"Hi Kathryn, this is Mr. Tripper. I have a very special occasion coming up; I was wondering if your shop could accommodate such a large request."

"Uh huh," Kathryn nodded on the other end of the phone, Margaret watched as her eyes began to sparkle.

"Yes, Mr. Tripper, we would be more than willing to work with you and Mrs. Tripper," She smiled. Margaret gasped in surprised; her eyes wide and mouth agape.

"Oh, I have to tell Janet," Margaret reached for the phone, bouncing up and down.

Jack handed the phone to Janet.

"What?" Janet listened and smiled. "Congratulations! I send all my love. I'll be in later this week. I will, Thank you dear. Buh-bye."

Janet hung up the phone and rolled over to Jack. He still wore a smile.

"What's the good news?"

"Margaret and Tyler are engaged; seems my shop will be quite busy." She smiled and let out a small squeal of excitement.

"Oh Janet, that's fantastic," He kissed her. "That's incredible," he kissed her again. "Phenomenal," another kiss, "Astounding," a deeper kiss, "Superb," he spoke through the kiss.

"Please don't run out of adjective," she said in a hushed pant, kissing him along his jaw.

"I won't," he promised. "But, I need more brain power, breakfast now." He grabbed her and carried her to the kitchen, while she squealed and laugh with delight.

Their love grew within itself.