Oak Island Chapter 15: February warms up

Oak Island Chapter 15: February warms up

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg
"

February warms up.

"

Chapter Fifteen



The holidays over, it was back to work. I didn't like winter and found it cold and dreary. January was passing and February would be here soon. I had promised myself to revisit the Leo situation in February. We'd had some very good times in January, dining together and going on expeditions. We'd gone back to Spinner's Lane twice and gotten some more things for my place, end tables, an arm chair and a coffee table. Leo also helped me find a dynamite rug that went well with my modern furniture, a color block design on cream, with abstract shapes in crimson and black. My living room now looked like a living room. I had Cheryl, Ted and Leo over for rib eyes one Friday night. Leo made crepes for me one night at his place, and we went to Avocado one night. It was uncanny how Leo knew when to call me when I was feeling down.


I still loved being around Leo. A part of me still lit up every time I was with him. I felt happy and relaxed when we were together. His touch still thrilled me.


February the first fell on a Monday this year. I made plans with Leo to come to my place for dinner on the first Friday of February.


Leo greeted me at the door with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.


Come sit with me while I cook. You can try this white wine I picked up.”


I served Leo a glass and went back to my cooking tasks. We were having spaghetti carbonara, which needs to be eaten piping hot, so hot you almost burn your mouth. Nothing is sadder than spaghetti carbonara that has been left to sit, thick and gluey.


What do you think about going to Oak Island this spring?” Leo asked.


Hmm...” I was grating Parmesan and concentrating on not grating my fingers too.


We could share a house with Janine and Henry, and Cheryl and Ted. Maybe Heather and Rudy too.”


I was now whisking the eggs. “Yes,” I said absently. “Sounds nice. When?”


We talked more about the details until I slid hot plates of spaghetti onto the table. The sauce turned out right, silky and creamy, not sticky and thick. We followed the Italian order of courses and had our salad after the pasta. Then we retired to the living room with tiramisu and coffee. Talk had moved on to Easter, its pagan origins, how Aunt Pam had invited Leo and me to an Easter egg hunt when we were both six.


When we were finished with our dessert and coffee, I said, “You know Leo, if you wanted to raise your batting average with me tonight, I think you'd succeed. It's one for one now.” I scooted closer. “You could probably make it two out of three if you wanted to.”


You don't mean-- No, Cassie, you're not saying-- Are you?”


I scooted even closer and said “Yes, I am.”


Leo pulled me against him and stroked my cheek, pushed back my hair, looked into my eyes. Like the first time, his kiss pulled me in, brought me into a world of sensation. There was nothing but the now. When Leo finally released me, my breath was fast and my pulse quick.


Leo, I don't know if I love you, but I definitely like you a lot.”


I'll take that. I still love you just as much as I ever did.”


This prompted another kiss.


***


One evening a few weeks later, I sat drinking mint tea and feeling exhausted. That afternoon my thoughts had turned towards my childhood and the emotions evoked were wrenching and tiring. I alternated between sadness and anger, sometimes feeling both at once. Then the hurt came in. That was the worst. How could someone who was supposed to love me and protect me be so vicious and damaging? I knew it wasn't my fault, but that didn't make me stop feeling the huge hurts I received time after time. The pain of that was intense, stabbing right through my deepest self to my innermost heart.


Now, this night, I was drinking my tea when Leo called.


Hey Cassie, want to go to Katie's Korner with me? I'm heading out now.”


I laughed. “You go there so much Leo, you're going to turn into a doughnut.”


Wanna come?”


Sure, I'll be ready in a few.”


Leo had a wide range of music he enjoyed and riding with him in his truck, I never knew what I'd get. That was part of the fun of going to Katie's Korner with him, to be with him and listen to whatever new music he had discovered.


Tonight it was "


Banjo music, Leo?”


Yeah, this guy called Bela Fleck. I heard him on 92 the other day.” 92 was WCAL 92.3, the public radio station. They played NPR and a huge variety of music. Including, it appeared, banjo music.


I listened some more. Yeah, this actually was pretty good.


Tonight we got there before they closed the lobby and were able to get our doughnuts inside.


You always get a blueberry jelly doughnut, Cassie.”


I like blueberry jelly doughnuts.”


You don't ever want to try something new? They have a strawberry shortcake tonight.”


I looked at the shelf labeled “Strawberry Shortcake Cream Doughnut.” They were bright pink with white icing.


No,” I said. “You can try it.”


If I get it, you're going to ask for a bite, aren't you?”

Well, you always get two doughnuts. You can share.”


Leo continued to tease me about my blueberry doughnut as we settled down in a booth to eat our selections. He did, eventually, give me a bite of his strawberry shortcake doughnut, which was surprisingly good... very strawberry and not too sweet.


Can we stop at a grocery store on the way home? I need milk.” At home, I had enough milk left for half a bowl of cereal.


We stopped at the Piggly Wiggly.


In Ithaca, they didn't believe me there was a store called Piggly Wiggly.”


They probably have boring store names up there.”


They have ACME stores up north. Seriously. I felt like Wiley Coyote, like I should be buying explosives or an anvil or something.”


We were almost done checking out when I saw Ezra. He was standing at the entrance, apparently looking for something. I put my head down and tried to hide behind Leo. That's the trouble with red hair, it sticks out and is easy to see. No luck, Ezra paused in his approach to the service desk, did a double take and saw me. Leo had not seen him, so there was still a chance to escape. I bagged my own milk and was impatiently waiting for my change when Ezra came up.


Still sleeping around with blue collar trash?”


I don't call dating one man sleeping around, and Leo is not trash.”


Leo had finally noticed and stepped forward, saying, “I thought I told you to leave us alone.”


I hurried to put myself between the two men, leaning back onto Leo to prevent him from walking forward.


Go away, Ezra. Just go away.”


Ezra gave us a furious look and turned away. As he turned he muttered, “W***e.”


I clung to Leo's arm, trying to keep him from lunging at Ezra. “Leo, “ I hissed, “He's not worth it. You don't want to get in a fight here, they'll call the police.”


After a moment, Leo stopped trying to escape my grasp. We both watched Ezra walk away, into the produce department. I looked back and the cashier had been watching all of this with great interest. I hurried Leo out.


In the parking lot, gesturing to a shiny car, Leo asked, “That's his BMW?”


Yes, and you're going to leave it alone.”


I can't even key it?”


No, I don't want you guys to get in a pissing match.” I considered telling Leo that I thought Ezra was a dangerous person to mess with, with all of his connections and well-placed friends, but I was afraid that would just make Leo more pissed off. I kept a firm grip on his arm until we reached the truck.


Come over for a while? We can watch a movie or something.”


Leo picked an old mob movie, with Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. I laid my head on his chest and he put his arm around me. After going through those thoughts and feelings and memories this afternoon, all I wanted was to snuggle up with Leo and absorb his love and care.


***


Leo was finishing his apprenticeship and getting a license, and the exam was coming up. He'd get a serious bump up in pay, once he was a licensed journeyman electrician. But suddenly he had very little time for anything but studying. I spent some time quizzing him, but mainly he just needed to study.


I seemed to come to my senses a bit. I hadn't been spending time with Janine, Cheryl and Heather, I was so wrapped up in Leo. When I showed up for the next ladies' night out, Cheryl laughed.


So you're back from the honeymoon?”


Yeah, I've been neglecting my friends. I'm sorry guys.”


There were many jokes about me and Leo as I was welcomed back into the fold.


***


The next Sunday, Cheryl invited me to her house for lunch.


I was wondering when you guys would get tired of being joined at the hip.”


Well,” I confessed, “It was mainly Leo getting busy. But it's good to do something other than--”


Sex!”


Actually, no.” I felt my face getting hot. “We haven't...”


Cheryl leaned over and said, “You mean you guys have been so wrapped up in each other and you aren't even getting it on? What on earth have you been doing?”


Cuddling. Getting doughnuts. Umm, watching movies?”


Doughnuts? You two have been so busy getting doughnuts?”


Well, yeah. Leo likes doughnuts.” I felt a bit ridiculous. I hadn't thought about it, but we spent far more time cuddling than kissing and whatnot. I felt like this infinitely absorbent sponge for all the love and care I received from Leo when we cuddled. I never tired of cuddling, and it seemed I couldn't get too much. Was Leo being a gentleman? A very frustrated gentleman?


***


I decided I needed to investigate the matter. The next Friday night I convinced Leo to leave his books alone for one night.


Let's go out. You deserve it after all of this hard work.”


We decided on getting a couple of steaks at the upscale Stone Mountain Grill. Out of his work clothes, Leo cleaned up very well indeed. Friday night he looked handsome and stylish in almost black indigo pants, and a gray sweater artfully layered with a darker shirt. I had dressed down my little black dress with a cardigan, tights and my suede boots. We were given a good table, near the large freestanding fireplace the restaurant was designed around.


The steaks were delicious and the atmosphere relaxing. I ordered a cosmopolitan, which made me feel very festive. We chose to have coffee back at Leo's place. After our coffee was gone, Leo put his arms around me and seemed ready to content himself with that intimacy. Instead of settling into his embrace, I reached up to kiss him. With racy ideas running through my head all day, it wasn't long before my breath quickened. Leo caught my mood and his kisses became more passionate, then his lips left mine and trailed down to my neck, one open mouthed kiss after another as he stroked my arms. Nuzzling in my hair, he said, “I love you, Cassie.”


Coming out on a sigh of pleasure, I murmured his name. That was enough encouragement. He slid his hands into the neck of my cardigan, across my collar bones, pushing the sweater down off my shoulders, his kissing mouth following his hand, exposing the spaghetti straps of my dress. His hands on my bare skin made me eager to get out of my sweater. I struggled and finally freed my arms and hands. I slid my hands under the layers of his clothes to find his warm back, skin taut and smooth. I wanted to feel his strong arms and hard chest, and started unbuttoning his sweater, then his shirt underneath, so many little buttons. Leo helped me. There was a t-shirt underneath and I was stymied again. Soon we got it off and I couldn't get enough of his bare skin, strong shoulders, hard biceps, muscular back. He was now kissing the tender flesh of the inside of my arm, making his way up to a sensitive spot where my arm joined my chest, then over the top of my dress, into my cleavage. I lost track of time. Suddenly he was gone. I felt a big jerk of the sofa beneath me and fell back onto the mattress as the sofa unfolded beneath me into a futon bed. The unexpected drop made me laugh and he was back, laughing with me.


Cassie, you beautiful, amazing woman.” He crawled up to my side. “I want to love every part of you.” 



© 2017 SweetNutmeg


Author's Note

SweetNutmeg
Thank you for reading. I am especially concerned with the last scene. Is it too explicit? I ask because sex with Ezra was always was a short one or two sentence reference. Is this jarringly inconsistent?

My Review

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Featured Review

A few things that jumped out first:

You have a change over that made me think the sex was being alluded to earlier and I had to re-read to realize it wasn't:
"This prompted another physical expression of affection.
***
One evening a few weeks later, I sat drinking mint tea and feeling exhausted."

The first sentence after snuggling on the sofa after not letting Leo rearrange Ezra's face, was: "Suddenly, Leo didn't have much free time." That felt like cause and effect even though I can tell you didn't mean for it to be. He had good reasons which you listed, but the switch there pulled me up short.

Skin is "taut" not "taught".

On to the praise!

Teasing friends are awesome!

And as for the last scene, definitely not too explicit! That's pretty perfect, it fits the characters. With Ezra she was cooler and there wasn't that much to get excited about, no spark as you've mentioned. There are all kinds of sparks here, much more sensuality, and I think you've written it gorgeously.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

How embarrassing, lol. I know the difference between taught and taut.
I fixed that and addres.. read more
Isemay

2 Years Ago

It happens to everyone, I think! You pour everything out onto the page, typos and all, and when you .. read more



Reviews

don't leave me hanging at the end of the chapter LOL Pleases awesomely written love Leo hate Ezra he needs to find a new woman or be more a predator on the hunt.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

9 Months Ago

Sorry to leave you there, but I find explicit sex scenes difficult and embarrassing. You'll have to .. read more
Loved this, interesting story and characters. Your description of simple things such as not wanting the pasta to be "thick and gluey" add a nice touch and build on the realism.
I did not think the final paragraph was too explicit; it was well-written amd necessary.
I noticed in the first chapter that you repeated "one night" three times in short succession, maybe a possible revision for that part?
I also found that the transitions were quick and could use some more lines to branch the gaps of the passing time.
Overall great next chapter, keep it up!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

Thanks for point out the "one night" thing. I will make a note of it.

I'm really bad.. read more
Alright so I know for sure now that Ezra is a psycho stalker capable of really hurting someone under the right circumstances. As for the implied sex, it doesn't take a rocket scientiest to figure out what is going on, but there's no salacious smut going on here. Keep up the good work.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

Yeah, that Ezra really is a piece of work. Thanks for the encouragement.
I really liked that at first you just had Cassie and Leo cuddling and being together, as opposed to having sex all the time, because let's face it, who does that all of the time? I didn't think that the scene was too explicit at all, in fact, it was rather loving and sweet, where you really got to see how much they cared for one another. Overall, I thought this chapter was great, and there aren't really any improvements I can offer to you (sorry about that) just because they seem to have been mentioned by other reviewers. Sorry that I haven't read this earlier, I had no clue that a read request was sent, as I have never received a read request before.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

Thanks for the review. I'm very pleased you came back. All feed back is welcome, and I appreciate t.. read more
A few things that jumped out first:

You have a change over that made me think the sex was being alluded to earlier and I had to re-read to realize it wasn't:
"This prompted another physical expression of affection.
***
One evening a few weeks later, I sat drinking mint tea and feeling exhausted."

The first sentence after snuggling on the sofa after not letting Leo rearrange Ezra's face, was: "Suddenly, Leo didn't have much free time." That felt like cause and effect even though I can tell you didn't mean for it to be. He had good reasons which you listed, but the switch there pulled me up short.

Skin is "taut" not "taught".

On to the praise!

Teasing friends are awesome!

And as for the last scene, definitely not too explicit! That's pretty perfect, it fits the characters. With Ezra she was cooler and there wasn't that much to get excited about, no spark as you've mentioned. There are all kinds of sparks here, much more sensuality, and I think you've written it gorgeously.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

2 Years Ago

How embarrassing, lol. I know the difference between taught and taut.
I fixed that and addres.. read more
Isemay

2 Years Ago

It happens to everyone, I think! You pour everything out onto the page, typos and all, and when you .. read more

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Added on July 19, 2017
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SweetNutmeg
SweetNutmeg

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I am back and returning all reviews of "Phoenix." I'm here to improve my writing. I love critiques that give me critical feedback, as well as praise. (Although, I do like praise. Gotta be honest.) .. more..

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