New Year's Eve
Dinner at Pini's was more than pleasant. Sam had inhaled two servings of lasagna with extra Parmesan, several bread sticks, and a large scoop of strawberry ice cream, all washed down with a full glass of Diet Coke. It was rather interesting to watch her eat—she started out slowly, moaning at every minute bite, but then she began to devour it. Like a predator would treat its prey.
By the time we finished, it was well past eleven. I wished our waiter happy holidays and gave him a ten dollar tip. Sam made me feel generous, even generous enough to spend two month's worth of allowance in one night.
"Let's not leave just yet," I proposed.
"What do you suggest we do? Walk around the restaurant like weirdos?"
"No," I laughed, "There's a place we can go. But first you have to close your eyes."
Sam reluctantly agreed to do so. I grabbed her hand to guide her.
The upstairs portion of Pini's restaurant had a balcony that was open to all customers. It overlooked a beautiful view of Seattle. The people on the sidewalk below appeared to be ants, and the crisp night air tickled our noses. I found a spot in a corner for us to stand, away from the diner's eyes.
"Why is it cold?" Sam asked. "Are we outside? Can I open my eyes now?"
"No," I teased her, "I'll tell you when."
I stood behind her and held her wrists in my large palms. Then, in a cheesy Titanic manner, I raised her arms and held them out, as if we were flying. "Open them," I said.
Sam gasped, a small yelp escaping her lips. "Wow . . ."
"It's beautiful isn't it?"
"It sure is," she agreed, peering below us. "And high."
"Are you okay?"
"To be honest, I'm kinda afraid of heights after that incident with me and Carly on the window washer's platform. You remember that?"
"How could I forget?" I said, pressing our faces together, cheek-to-cheek. "You were so brave. It was kinda sexy, if I may be so bold."
I brought our arms down, slithering mine around her torso to bring her closer. I loved how intimate our position was, and the warmth her body emanated. Her scent was so pleasantly strong; it was a distinct feature about her that I would never forget. Sam could change her physical appearance radically, but I would always know her natural scent.
"I know I haven't told you this in a while," I said, "but I love you."
"Still?" she asked, "You said that a long time ago, how do you know it's still true?"
"I know it's true, because I never stopped loving you to begin with."
"I love you too." Her words caused a swelling in my heart, and I was suddenly tempted to scream with joy. We were silent for a moment, letting the passion in our words seep in, then she spoke again, "So, are we together . . . again?"
I stared into her exquisite eyes, immediately mesmerized by their beauty. "Only if you want to be."
"What about what you want, Fredward? I want to hear what you want."
"If it were up to me," I said honestly, "we would already be married. But, since age isn't on our side right now, I would be more than happy to be your boyfriend. And this time around I would make sure it would work out."
"Then the answer is yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes," she said, kissing me with each syllable.
With perfect timing, the servants and customers from inside began the countdown: "TEN—NINE—EIGHT—SEVEN—SIX—FIVE—"
I squeezed her fingers lightly, then brought both of our hands up to place them on her chest. Her heart was as steady as a beating drum; it comforted me.
Using my other hand, I pushed her fair locks to one side, leaving her pale neck exposed. I ran my lips along the sensitive skin, kissing her lovingly.
I bit down gently: not hard enough to hurt her, just to let her know my passion was genuine.
"ONE! HAPPY NEW YEAR!" The crowd inside burst into applause and cheer.
We stared intensely at each other, features brightened with smiles. Sam was the first to speak: "Looks like we made it through another year. It's 2012. Congratulations, Fredward."
"You too, Princess Puckett."
And we leaned forward to share our first kiss of the new year.