Just Like Paul and Joanne

Emily was standing at the table in the room off of the foyer flipping throfugh a large notebook and talking on the phone. "Thank you again for getting your portfolio messengered over so quickly. Marian Westmont recommended you very highly. Yes, I'm thinking gardenias and white lilies."

Richard stole up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist while planting a kiss on the underside of her jaw.

Emily leaned her head to the side and brought her free hand up to caress the side of his face. "Nine o'clock tomorrow morning will be fine. I'll look forward to meeting with you then." She clicked off the phone and put it down on the table next to the wedding planner's book bfefore turning to face her husband. "Richard, we've just got to get the Windsor club. Have they called back yet?"

"They have not, but they will. If my lovely bride wants the Windsor Club, she will have the Windsor Club," he assured her as he tightened his hold on her and slowly leaned in for a lingering kiss.

"I love you. Have I told you that lately?" she asked with a smile.

"Well not in the last half hour or so, but we could make up for lost time." he suggested initiating another kiss, this one a bit more passionate than the last. He pulled back and gently stroked her face, "And I love you too."

Emily's eyes opened lazily and she protested half-heartedly. "Richard, the girls will be here any moment."

"So…" he replied as he kissed his way along her jaw to just below her ear.

"You know I can't think clearly when you do that," Emily said, her breathing shallow.

"That's the point," he murmured into her ear as he drew the lobe gently between his teeth, careful to avoid her earring.

She forced herself to pull away before things could get out of hand but she couldn't wipe the grin off of her face as she walked away from him and into the living room. "Maybe we should send Robert out to the pool house in case they go there first."

"They're both intelligent young women, I'm sure that when they see that the pool house is dark, they'll come here," he reasoned following her, casting a sidelong look at the window as he passed. "You know I think I saw someone over at the Farthington's last night."

"I don't think they're home," Emily answered rounding the sofa. "Fran said something to me last week about a dog show or some such nonsense," Emily replied.

"We'll they're back," Richard countered as he came around the sofa from the other side, "and I think I saw someone at the window last night… while we were…"

"Don't be ridiculous. They're out of town and even if they weren't, you can't see anything through the hedge."

"No, they're in town," Richard argued. "I saw Conny in the driveway yesterday."

Emily began to protest again, but Richard held up his hands. "Alright. Enough. We'll settle this right now," he pointed down emphatically. "I'll just march over there, ring the bell, and ask them if they picked up any pointers watching us last night."

Emily laughed uproariously. "Pointers? Richard, really."

"Well, I could, you know, and I bet they haven't shared a night as passionate as we had … well ever. Maybe we shouldn't worry about it. They need all the pointers they can get."

Emily continued to laugh. "You're really awful, you know that?"

"What's the worst that could happen," he asked picking up a large cut glass ashtray from the coffee table. "We don't get another ashtray like this monstrosity they gave us two years ago for Christmas?"

"I know it didn't even break when it fell off the table last night," Emily replied. "I still can't believe you did that."

"Believe it," he assured her. "I'm sure if we tried, we could break that ashtray next time." He gave her a look that was positively blazing with heat.

After spending so many months apart, that look sent shock waves through Emily's body. Richard opened his arms wide and she practically flew into them. Her own arms wrapping securely around him as his pulled her into a crushing embrace.

A noise outside the French doors startled Emily out of their passionate kiss and she caught sight of Lorelai and Rory quickly ducking back away from the window. "Richard, they're here, they're here," she gushed excitedly as she gently pushed him toward the doors.

"I see that, my dear," he replied with a teasing lilt and then called out, "Robert, bring in the champagne," as he crossed to open the French doors.

-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-

Emily secured the belt of the deep teal quilted silk dressing gown around her as she descended the stairs. "Celine, there were really so many gowns my head is still spinning. Do you think we selected the right one?"

Miss Celine stood in the foyer, a single garment bag over her arm. Her young assistants had just removed the last of the wedding gowns from Emily's bedroom and dressing area and was loading them into the two vans parked in the driveway. "You've made the perfect choice, Emily," she assured patting the garment bag for emphasis. "Trying it on this last time cinched it. I'll see that the alterations are finished by Wednesday morning. What time can you come by for a fitting?"

"I'll check my calendar and call you tomorrow. Is that alright?" Emily asked.

Miss Celine eyed the younger woman suggestively and cast a glance over her shoulder to the man sipping brandy in the living room. "I understand perfectly. I won't expect your call too early in the morning," she said with a raised eyebrow.

Emily looked away from shorter woman's appraising stare and admonished, "Celine." Then she smiled and headed over to the front door. "Thank you again for coming over on such short notice."

"Anything for you and Richard, you're like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, a love story for the ages," Celine replied as she swept out the front door.

Emily smiled and shook her head as she closed the door. Celine's old Hollywood style was always entertaining and the woman had access to the best couture clothing on the eastern seaboard. Slowly, she walked into the living room where her husband was seated on the sofa. He had a book opened on his lap and a glass of brandy in his hand, but his eyes were focused on a certain cut glass ashtray and reading was clearly not what he had on his mind. "Richard," she said as she approached. He looked up and put the book aside on the table next to him. Emily held out her hand to him, "let's go to bed."

He put the brandy next to the book on the side table and took her hand but instead of rising, he pulled her down into his lap. "I have a better idea."

Emily looked around nervously and protested, "Robert and…." Richard lifted his hand to her cheek and turned her toward him, kissing her gently. She continued softly between kisses, "… and….the maid are still here."

"The maid finished up in the kitchen and left just before you came downstairs," he explained, trailing kisses along her jaw, "and I sent Robert home an half hour ago," before pulling her against him and kissing her passionately.

Emily's arms circled his neck and when her fingers combed through the hair at the back of his head, Richard held her even closer. She sighed softly as his kisses moved down her neck. Loosening the belt on her robe, he slid it off her shoulder. Emily's eyes darted to the window across the room and she pulled her robe back up. Richard gave her a questioning look.

"You were kidding about someone watching us from the Farthingtons, weren't you?" she asked.

"What do you think?" he replied.

"After what you said to the girls earlier, I have no idea how much of an exhibitionist you've become," she answered, pushing away from him slightly.

"Emily, believe me, if I thought anyone other than me were looking at you, joking is the last thing I'd do," he growled as he drew her to him again.

"No, you'd hit them with your car," she teased. "What were you thinking?"

"Will you stop with the car? A brand new Jaguar is being delivered tomorrow morning," he slid his hand inside her robe and again started to slide it off of her shoulder.

Abruptly Emily stood up and straightened her robe, securely tying the belt and crossing her arms across her chest. "I can't stop thinking about someone watching us."

Richard stood up next to her with a huff and quickly covered the ground to the window in question and yanked the draperies closed. Then he purposely strode back to his wife and swept her up into his arms, her foot catching the ashtray on the coffee table and knocking it off onto the floor. They both watched as it landed on its side and rolled across the room and into the leg of a side table where it spun like a coin and finally flopped down on its base with a loud ringing sound like a gong. They both erupted into raucous laughter Richard finally collapsing onto the sofa, Emily again in his lap. Richard was the first to regain the power of speech. "Perhaps if I threw it against the wall of the pool house," he managed to get out between deep resounding guffaws.

"Richard, perhaps that ashtray not breaking is a sign," Emily choked out between her resounding deep throaty laughs.

"Indeed, it's a sign that it's just as indestructible as Conny Farthington's toupee."

"Don't you remember when it caught fire at their Christmas party?" Emily asked, then when she remembered why he hadn't been there her laughter abruptly stopped.. She reached up to caress Richard's face and looked into his eyes, her thumb stroking the line of his cheekbone.

Richard's hand came up to smooth away the hair that had fallen into her face while she'd been laughing. "I missed you so much. I missed us," he said his voice barelfy above a rumble.

Emily shook her head slightly and held his gaze. "No more talk of regrets. That's all behind us now."

"Yes, my dear," he agreed quietly, his fingers threading further into her hair.

Emily didn't like the way that their happy mood had suddenly changed so drastically. Deciding to change that, she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his, initiating a slow and sensuous kiss which didn't take long to progress into a more passionate embrace. This time when Richard began to push the robe down off of her shoulders, she wasn't thinking about neighbors, or cars or anything but the electric sparks created by his fingertips as they brushed the back of her arm and the fiery trail blazed by his lips as he kissed his way across her collarbone.


Authors Note: Thank you to the following people for their encouragement, suggestions and assistance with writing this story: Elizabeth, Melanie, Cira and Viki.