We were trying to make reservations. We were trying to go away for a week of fun without any interruptions. Agreeing to go away was easy. Finding where we were going to go was not.
I wanted to go somewhere with him that he'd never been to with a woman before. I'd already been through a dozen reservations, thinking I'd found the perfect place and then finding out he'd been there. With a woman. Or had found a woman to hook up with.
"My God," I asked as Icrossed outthe thirteenth place on my list. "How many women have you slept with?"
"You want an exact number?" he asked. I nodded.
"What, like you could give an exact number?" he asked incredulously.
"Yeah," I said, giving him one of those 'duh' looks.
"Alright, how many," he challenged.
"Five," I told him.
"Well, shit. That blew that argument." Ranger ran his hand through his glorious black hair and sighed.
"I'm waiting," I said, tapping my foot.
"Fine," he blew after a few minutes. Like I knew he would. "Fine. You want the truth? I don't remember. I don't know just how many women I've been with. Ok?"
"You're such a slut," I said with a smile, shaking my head. "What am I going to do with you?"
"Did you just call me a slut?" he asked looking very much taken aback. "I don't believe it's ever been put to me quite that way." Aw, I thought. Poor Ranger sounded offended.
"So where haven't you been?" I demanded, deciding to move on to the important thing. Our vacation. I'd even gotten him to promise to leave his pager at home and only bring one cell phone that only Tank knew the number for. Well, Tank and myself. And Ranger, of course.
"Why don't you let me take care of it, Steph," he said. He still looked a little indignant over the slut remark. I shrugged. He'd get over it.
"No," I told him. "I want to go someplace romantic. You'd probably make us reservations with regards to the nearest hiking trail."
He shrugged. He wasn't offended. It was true.
I made it through fifteen more suggestions before I gave up.
"Why is this so important to you?" Ranger wanted to know. My head thunked on the table, and he got up and started to rub my shoulders.
"Why? Because I want you to have memories of a place that you've shared just with me. Even if it's just one place in the entire world. You've been so many places, done so many things. And as you pointed out so eloquently, done them with so many women. I just…" I faltered for a minute. "I just wanted somewhere special that when you think back on it, the only memories you would have of it are with me. But I guess that's just not possible."
"We'll find someplace, babe," he said as his touch turned sensual.
"No," I said, straightening up. "I've been through twenty-eight places. There's nowhere. We'll just go somewhere typical. Maui, maybe. Or Bermuda. It'll be fine."
"Come on, babe," he said. "Don't give up."
"It's fine, Ranger," I bit off.
"Alright," he said, picking me up and setting me in his lap. "Let me do it." He must have felt me stiffen, because he drew me closer and stroked my back.
"Trust me," he said.
"Fine," I told him. "It'll probably be easier this way."
"Don't be mad, baby," he soothed. "Don't you know that the only memories that I care about are the ones I've made with you?"
I turned and kissed him, trusting Ranger to take care of it. A few days later and Ranger was just as frustrated as I had been.
"How is it you've only been with a handful of men and I can't find someplace you haven't been with them?" he wanted to know. I ignored him.
"I went through twenty-eight," I told him. "You've only been through eight. Try harder."
Twenty more and we gave up.
"Five," he said accusingly. "You told me five. And one of them is me. No way did you go to all those places with only four men. No way."
"One of them," I informed him rather primly, "Was a pilot."
"A pilot," he sneered. "Of course." I just rolled my eyes.
"Ok," I said. "Fine. Here's what we're going to do." And then I left the room. I felt more than saw Ranger's confusion as he followed me out of the kitchen, through the house, to his Comm Center.
"What are we doing here, babe?" he finally asked.
"I'm looking for a globe," I told him in that tone of voice that said he should have known that. Immediately. "I know you have one in here somewhere."
"Here," he said. "I'll call one up." He put in a few commands on one of the computers, and a projection of a globe came up over a table.
"Perfect. Now make it spin." He looked at me like I was crazy, but did as he was told.
"The other way, too," I said.
"Babe," he spoke calmly. "I can't make it spin East to West and West to East at the same time."
"Well, you could," I said, thinking of interposing one globe on top of another. "But I meant North to South." He just smiled and shook his head and did it.
"Ok," I said, taking a deep breath as I watched it go round and round. "I'm going to stick my finger on the globe, and when I tell you to stop, stop it from moving. Wherever it is, that's where we're going. I don't care how far away it is, orif either of us has ever been there, I don't care about anything at this point but getting some time just with you. So no complaining about where it is, deal?"
"Fine with me, babe," he said. It sounded like he might be amused. We'd see how amused he was when we wound up in Utah.
I took another deep breath and shut my eyes for a few seconds before I stuck my finger in and told him to stop.
"Where is it?" I cringed. "I can't look." I heard him typing more and more into that computer, and finally looked. I saw the section with my finger getting more and more magnified.
And I couldn't believe it.
"Point Pleasant?" I couldn't believe it. "Point Pleasant?" I looked over at Ranger and watched him smirk.
"Are you sure?" I asked. "That's where I pointed?" I couldn't believe it. It couldn't be true. Then I looked at his face and knew it was.
"Fine," I said in a clipped voice. "Fine. Pack your bags. We're leaving in the morning." The laughing stopped, and I smiled.