Summary: This story was written in response to the Valentines Day challenge I hope you all enjoy it.
Rated: MA WC 4700
Valentine’s Day Journal
She walked in and wondered where did he find roses in February? There were petals strewn all around the room and in front of the fireplace was a tub with not only petals but whole flowers of every kind floating in the hot water waiting for her. She slowly undressed and climbed in. She smiled knowing the joys that awaited her. She soaked until the water began to chill; trying to let the anticipation grow. Only when she could no longer suppress her desire did she get out and wrap herself up in the towel he had left hanging in front of the fire to keep warm. She climbed the steps slowly with every certainty he was waiting at the top.
She opened the door to find their room empty save for a box of chocolates and a note on the bed. Laid out beside them were her clothes. She picked up the note, started to read and began to smile.
Please indulge me. I know how on this day the only thing you look forward to is riding me like I was some wild bronc, but please can we do things my way this year?
She could easily picture the smile that must have been on his face as he wrote that. She had often complained that while each year this evening was always enjoyable and overly pleasurable, it always ended too quickly.
Get dressed and go downstairs. You will find awaiting you outside a sleigh to take you to the first stop on your Valentines day treasure hunt.
She ate one of the chocolates and quickly got dressed. She went downstairs and put backon the coat, gloves, hat and boots she had not so long ago removed and went outside.
“Hello Mrs. Cartwright.”
She was helped into the sleigh and Percy made sure she was comfortable. He handed her the heavy blanket and she placed it on her lap. Once Percy was confident she was comfortable and warm he started off to the first destination on the list he had been given.
They arrived at their destination and she smiled. Percy handed her the next clue.
Do you remember this place?
Remember it? How could she ever forget it? It was here that they’d first met. It was here she had fallen in love with him at first sight, even if she hadn’t recognized it as such. Even if once she did she tried so very hard to deny it.
She and her parents were visiting with her great aunt and she had snuck out only hours after arriving not needing to rest as her mother and father did. She had been riding and had heard raised voices. Unlike most she rode toward them. She had found him and his brother in a rather heated argument. She recalled how, as she rode up, Joe had instantly quieted at the sight of her. But Adam had turned to her and mockingly commented on how if all it took was a pretty girl to get his brother to be quiet he should hire her to follow them around. She had quickly regained her composure and told him he didn’t have enough money to pay her to do that even if he were one of the Cartwrights her aunt always spoke so highly of. She then turned and rode off believing she had put him securely in his place. It had been rather embarrassing to find out a few days later at the party that had been throw to introduce her and her parents to all her aunts friends that that was exactly who he was. That he failed to bring this up when they were formally introduced endeared him to her a great deal. Of course Joe did the same but it wasn’t he she had unknowingly given her heart to already.
The memory brought a smile to her lips. She liked this game so she continued to read.
I hope you remember it as fondly as I do. I never told you but I was as affected by the sight of you as Joe had been but by now you are well aware that I react differently to things then he does. Now if you’ll let Percy know you’re ready he will move on to the next stop.
They rode on a little ways and again stopped.
Percy handed her the next clue. She readily took it and read.
I hope your memories of the spot are as dear as mine. And may I add filled with just as much warmth.
How could she not recall this place without love and warmth. It was here he had first kissed her. They had met by accident and had begun to argue over one thing or another. It had been that way every time they’d met for the whole month she had been here thus far. It didn’t occur to her some time later that the reason they so often found themselves at odds was because each was trying to desperately fight and deny the feelings that were being stirred to life within them. At first it had struck her as odd that they would react so alike until she realized that they were alike in so many ways. She lowered her head and read on.
Now if your memories have you sufficiently warmed you can tell Percy to continue.
At her request Percy started the horses moving.
When they next stopped she felt tears come to her eyes. She took the envelope Percy held out to her as well as the handkerchief.
My Sweet Love
I knew stopping here would have you teary eyed because I know the conflicting emotions you are now feeling.
She was conflicted. This place brought much sadness to her heart but also much joy. It was easy to understand how a cemetery would bring sadness, but joy? How could one not find joy in the place the man you had now accepted you had grown to love more than life first told you he loved you as well. She was suppose to have returned with her parents but had, with her aunt’s help, been able to convince them to allow her to stay. Her aunt had argued that she was not getting any younger and could use her young niece’s assistance. For just over a year her relationship with Adam had progressed as most do.
Then one day her aunt was gone. Her mother and father had come back and, after allowing her a short time to grieve, had decided she would return with them. She had argued that the decision was hers to make after all her aunt had left everything to her. She had been afraid of what her father’s reaction would be if she told him of the feelings that were developing between she and Adam. Eventually she had no choice but to tell him hoping he would understand. She had been right to be wary. Her father had turned her reason for staying into the most important reason for her to leave. He insisted he could not let her stay without a chaperone now that he knew of her feelings. She had again snuck out and gone to her aunt’s grave because her aunt had always understood.
She had been kneeling and praying for help when he had shown up as if in answer to them. She had cried to him that she didn’t wish to leave but how could she disobey her father. For the first time she confessed out loud her love for him not really expecting a like confession from him but she had gotten one. Some might have argued he was only saying so because she had and to keep her from feeling embarrassed he felt he should too. In spite of this she had believed his declaration was coming from his heart just as hers had. She again dabbed at her eyes and looked to the paper she held.
I hope the good memory this place holds has helped to dry the tears. Now if you will tell Percy to continue he will.
She nodded to Percy still a little choked up and unsure if she could trust her voice.
They continued on to a spot that quickly had her grinning and her heart soaring. She opened the envelope that was handed to her.
My One True Heart
I am certain you remember this place. I am just as certain you don’t know the fear I felt that night as I stood here waiting for you; or perhaps you do.
He was right to think she recognized his anxiety that night. He seemed to be so nervous, something she had never seen him be before, something she didn’t think him capable of being. After all, while he had never disrespected her father, he had never backed down either. That was something she had seen no man ever do before. He had sent word for her to meet him at this place. Her father had conceded that perhaps she and Adam did love each other but that was no reason for her to be allowed to stay here alone without a guardian and that she would be leaving with he and her mother in two weeks time. She had yet to tell Adam of this latest edict, it having been only handed down to her the night before. She had debated if telling him was a wise thing to do fearing it might push him to do something he might come to regret.
They had barely kissed hello before he was apologizing. He confessed that he could no longer wait and even though he had wanted to do it so differently he was afraid to delay any longer. He told her she deserved so much more and he promised her she would have more romance in her life than any other woman if she would only consent to be his wife. She very eagerly gave her assent. After a few minutes she began to fear her father had told Adam of his latest issued proclamation and when she asked him if that was why he felt he could no longer delay he had only smiled at her and said he was afraid if he had waited any longer she would realize she could do so much better and would not be willing to settle for him.
Together they had gone to her father and told him she would not be alone any longer and that she would be staying. At first her father had protested saying this was an even greater reason for her to return with her parents until the wedding could be arranged. Adam had sheepishly confessed that the arrangements had already been made and if she found them agreeable they could be married in two weeks. She said she was certain all would meet with her approval because nothing else mattered except that it was he she would be married too. Her father had been a little harder to convince but her mother quickly made him see the futility of fighting fate. She lowered her eyes and eagerly read on.
I was so afraid that you would refuse me even if I was secure in my knowledge that you loved me. I guess I was just not use to opening myself up to someone so fully. I gave you something I had few people before; I gave you the opportunity to hurt me and the means to do it. If you are feeling too chilled ask and Percy will take you home. If, though, you do continue on I promise the next stop will warm you through and through.
She smiled at Percy and asked to be taken to the next stop.
As they approached the next destination she felt a blush come to her cheeks. She could only hope if Percy noticed he would think it to be because of the wind. She was well aware if Percy could read where her thoughts now journeyed his cheeks would be just as crimson. She took the note that was handed to her and was startled when Percy spoke only then realizing up until that moment they had been traveling mostly in silence. The only words spoken had been her requests to travel on.
“Are you cold Mrs. Cartwright?”
So he had noticed her red cheeks. “No Percy I’m fine.”
My Truest Love
I ask you to believe that this place fills me with the greatest of joys, yet still a small amount of shame as well.
She knew it would no matter how often she told him there was no shame to be found in what they had done here. She knew he would always feel it and always take full blame. They were to have been wed in four days and hadn’t seen each other in the past five. He had been kept busy with business and she had been taken to find a dress. They both knew the separation was something everyone felt they needed having been told so so many times by so many people it would do them good. It hadn’t done an ounce of good. It had only succeeded in driving them over the edge. To be fair and honest the meeting was by accident. Neither had been aware of the other’s return. They had come to know that this was one way they were alike very early on in their relationship.
Each needed to be alone with their thoughts when they were troubled. They found themselves in each others arms and before either could feign control things had gone further then either had intended or thought possible. He had tried to apologize for losing control of the situation and himself. She was confident he did not expect from her what he got. She had smiled at him and professed she was happy he had. She went on to declare that she was pleased she was the one who could make him. She was secretly thrilled that he had not apologized for the love they had made. She was afraid that if he had it would have been met with tears not laughter. The joy and pleasure she had discovered in his arms were things she could never feel sorry for no matter what the circumstances they were found under. She knew if he could then he couldn’t love her near as much as she did him. She went on to finish the note she held.
I must confess the shame is becoming buried by the joys we share as the years pass. I am coming to recognize what you always tell me. There is no shame in love.
Sweetheart, in all seriousness, if you wish to come home do so now. The next stop is one I am unsure of.
She debated a short while about going home hoping the pleasures she was sure awaited her were in place. She could think of only one place that he would be unsure of but surely he wouldn’t send her there. She told Percy to drive on.
They rode on and upon recognizing where they were heading was indeed where she had suspected but had dismissed she found herself tempted to jump out and run. She knew she couldn’t though. For just as the cemetery held conflicting emotions so too did this setting. Percy handed her the next note with a sorrow filled smile. He helped her down and laid the blanket down beside the tiny headstone.
My Dear Heart,
I so debated with myself if I should bring you here, but I realized this evening is not only a celebration of our love but also of our life together. This place holds so much of both.
He was right, but then he so often was. They had been overjoyed when after only six months of marriage they learned they were to have a child. They spent many nights over the next four months anticipating and planning. They had spoke well into dawn of all they hoped for the baby they would love and nurture. Then the immeasurable joy they felt was turned into an unequalled sorrow when they had lost that baby. Adam would never let her say she had lost the baby because in saying it that way he said it made it sound as if the fault was hers and he assured her it wasn’t. The child had been created by them together and it had been they who had lost it. She supposed he knew she was feeling guilty even though the doctor had guaranteed her there was no guilt. She was told by the doctor and many other women who shared her grief that sometimes this just happens and she mustn’t dwell on it but try instead to look forward to the next time which would, more then likely, end quite happily.
No one could understand her desire to bury the infant in this place. It was so deserted and there were so many better locations closer to their house. Even his father and brothers had voiced some concern. They questioned that perhaps in her grief she had lost her perspective on things. They appealed to Adam knowing that even though he was grieving just as deeply as she he would also retain his common sense. They began to question the validity of that belief when he had refused to even try to change her mind. The truth was neither had lost their sanity.
They had talked it over at length and both agreed that if this was the place in which their child’s life had been created then it was here she would lie in death. Adam had finally confessed this to his father and brothers and all urgings to move the location of the burial had quickly ceased. She had even come out one day to find a white picket fence surrounding a small area around the grave. She had told Adam it made the place look somehow cheery and she thanked him for thinking of it. He confessed it hadn’t been him but his brothers who had put it up.
She brushed away the snow and tenderly traced the name engraved on the stone. She got to her feet, leaned forward, and placed a kiss on top of the headstone. Percy quietly picked up the blanket he had lain down and handed her the flowers Adam had given him. She took them and knew that even though they wouldn’t survive long in this cold they would brighten it for a few hours.
“He thinks of everything doesn’t he Percy.”
“Yes ma’am he does.”
She again wiped at the tears that had begun to freeze on her cheeks and hurriedly finished the note. It was the first time since this hunt had started in this freezing cold that she felt a chill.
Now come home to me my love. I have a wonderful evening planned for us.
She didn’t have to tell Percy to go on. She was certain she wouldn’t have been able to speak anyway.
She found herself home and Percy helped her to the door. She took down the note that was nailed to it and read.
My One and Only True Desire
Your hunt has come to an end. The treasure you seek is awaiting you upstairs
She absently thanked Percy and wished him a good night.
She took off her coat, hat and gloves and sat down to remove her boots. She slowly climbed the stairs, thinking with every step of the ecstasy she knew lay ahead for her this night. She opened the door to their room and was a little disappointed. She had expected to find him lying on the bed with what she considered to be the family jewels very visible.
Adam recognized that look. “Are you disappointed my dear?”
She too recognized his smug grin. It was seemingly saying that this was all her fault. They could have been well on their way to reaching unimaginable ecstasy for the fourth or fifth time if they had only celebrated this night as they had every year past. “No, I guess I was just not expecting my treasure to be buried.”
Adam readily confirmed what she had thought. “Isn’t it you who complain that while I am always romantic I rush this evening?”
She just as readily confirmed his suspicions. “Yes but I’m beginning to think I prefer it that way.”
As tempted as he was to just take her to their bed and make love to her, Adam decided to play this evening as he had planned. “Why don’t we sit and eat this fine meal and hopefully it will give you the strength you’ll need to unbury your treasure.”
For the first time she noticed the table bathed in candlelight with the finest of foods set out upon it. Up until he had drawn her attention to it she had only had eyes for him. Again the most beautiful of flowers were in a vase in the center. “It’s not the unburying that I fear I might not have the strength for but the raising it up from where it now lies I fear I may fail at.”
Adam sometimes wondered when she had gotten so bold. “Don’t worry about that my dear it’s already half way up.”
She sat down in the chair he held out for her.
“So did you enjoy your journey through our life thus far?”
“It was interesting. Adam where are the children?”
“So you’ve finally noticed. They are being well taken care of. I hope that last stop didn’t upset you too much.”
“No. Of course it upset me but you’re right it is a part of our life and our love. I sometimes wonder if the children we have would be as dear and precious if we hadn’t lost our little angel.”
“I don’t wonder that because I know they would be and so do you.”
“I suppose but…”
Are you enjoying your steak?”
God bless him. He always seemed to know when she needed to be redirected from thoughts that could do her no good and could never be resolved. “Yes, Hop-Sing has out done himself this year.”
“How do you know I didn’t cook this for you?”
“Adam I’m your wife. Don’t worry because the kitchen is not the room I want you to be working up a sweat in. Nor is it the room I wish for you to exhibit your greatest talents in.”
“Alright Mrs. Cartwright, I feel you have had been allowed to anticipate long enough.”
Adam lifted his wife and cradled her to him. She rested her head on his shoulder and lovingly kissed his neck. He gently laid her on their bed. Then he set about seducing his wife . It may sound odd for a man to feel as if he had to seduce a woman he had been married to for as long as they had been married but to Adam each and every time they made love should be as the first time for her. So like that first night he started with whispered words of love and desire. Unlike that first night she had some words of her own. She knew what was to come and she usually had little patience for it being kept from her for long. Tonight though she would let him take his time. He let his hands speak his love as they tenderly caressed her body. He told her how much he cherished her with every kiss.
“Hey I thought I had a treasure to unbury.”
“It should be easy to find the location to start digging. Just look for the mound in the sand.”
“And what a large mound it is.” It didn’t take long for her to uncover her hidden bounty. She stroked it adoringly and familiarly. “Funny but I have felt all over and I can’t seem to find a keyhole to unlock and reveal the treasure that is hidden.”
“This is a little different then most buried treasures. What you have dug up is the key. You have always been in possession of the chest and therefore the keyhole.”
“But it’s you who possess the jewels.”
“If you say so my love.”
“What I say is that we should put this key into this hole and see what happens to the chest.”
“I have a pretty good idea of what. I’ve seen it happen many times before.”
“And what’s that?”
“Well usually two small buds rise up.”
“Only two buds?”
“Yes but they are the sweetest and most precious of buds.” Adam lowered his lips and tenderly kissed her nipples. “Look I haven’t even put the key in the lock yet and they are already appearing.”
“You had better get that key in place.”
“I will gladly obey that command.” He slowly entered her. “It’s a perfect fit.”
“It most certainly is.”
She nestled close to her husband and Adam found great comfort in the feel of her body so close to his. “So did this evening meet your expectations?”
“It has exceeded them Adam, but please my love tell me it’s not over yet.”
“No my darling it’s only beginning.”
“Adam would you be upset if we had another baby?”
“Aren’t the five we already have enough for you?”
“Then I am up to trying again if you are.”
“Yes you most certainly are up to it aren’t you.”
This time it was her turn to seduce him. She straddled him and slowly trailed kisses down his body. It was not only the touch of her lips that drove him insane with desire but the way her hair gently caressed his skin as it followed the path her lips took. She took him into her mouth and as her head raised and lowered her hair would brush his thighs. That was why he very seldom let this go on for long. He knew things would end much to soon if he did. He pulled her up and laid her on her back and set out on his own treasure hunt down her body. When his head came to rest between her legs and he heard her moans of ecstasy he knew he was very happy that she could find such pleasure more then once even if he envied her that fact a little. When he entered her again he marveled at how well their two bodies fit together to make one. He supposed he shouldn’t be so surprised because why shouldn’t they when their two separate lives had fit so perfectly to make one.
They had fallen back in exhaustion and had slept for a few hours. When they awoke they knew the night was nearly over.
“Adam I do love you but I am a little worried.”
“About what? You’re not suggesting that you were disappointed are you? Because sweetheart I think by now I know…”
“No. I was completely satisfied and satisfied and satisfied…”
“Then what has you worried my love?”
“How are you going to best yourself next year?”
“I thought you preferred it my way. Besides if I’ve done things right you’ll be too busy with the new baby to care. I wager you’ll be happy if I just volunteer to take the children and allow you the day to yourself.”
“You’re right I probably will need a day to myself by then so you’ve got a deal.”
“Wait? What? Is there something you wish to tell me?”
“I think you may have misunderstood me before. I wasn’t saying we needed to try to have another baby. I was asking if you’d be upset when we did.”
Adam sat up and looked at his wife shaking his head and wearing a bemused smile. “Do you know how much I love you?”
“Yes I believe I do.”
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