|After dressing, they made their way down to leave for breakfast. “Shall I drive?” Ethan asked.
“If you wouldn’t mind.”
“I know a great place. It doesn’t look like much, but it has the best breakfasts around.”
Naava smiled and they made their way out to Ethan’s car, a Black Mercedes SLR 350 Roadster. She stopped in her tracks. “That’s you car?” she pointed to it.
He smiled, “Yeah.”
That’s a $60,000 car! She thought to herself. She turned to face him again, “What do you do, again?” she asked puzzled.
He laughed at the look of perplexity on her face. “I’m a senior editor for a publishing company.”
“I guess I should think about a career change.” She said dryly.
Ethan laughed, “Do you want to take your car?”
“No, but, I don’t know if I am dressed well enough to ride in yours.” She said looking down at her cotton shorts and flip-flops.
Ethan stepped closer to and wrapped himself around Naava. “You look beautiful.” Leaning down, he gave her a long soft kiss. “Ok?”
She nodded, and they left. Ethan drove for about 10 minutes and pulled into a hole in the wall diner. Looking over to her, he smiled, “Trust me?”
Once inside, they signed up on a makeshift board that consisted of a yellow legal pad and a pen from a local bank. After 15 minutes, they were seated in red naugahide booths. Taking the menu, Naava began to study it.
“Let me make suggestion. Everything is good, but the omelets are the size of your head.”
She laughed, “Good to know.”
The waitress wearing giant, silver hoop earrings, walked up, flipped over their coffee cups, and began to fill them. Naava put her hand over her cup and smiled. “No thank you. I’ll have a diet cola.”
Ethan looked at her quizzically.
“I don’t drink coffee.”
All he could say was, “Wow.”
“Sure thing, honey. I’ll be back to take your order.” And she and her enormous earrings walked to get the order.
Naava thought to herself and smiled, you could hang towels from those earrings.
“Something, funny?” Ethan smiled.
She looked at him and wondered if he would find her thought humorous or mean spirited.
“It was the earrings wasn’t it?” he grinned.
Naava began to laugh aloud, “Yes!” She told him her thought. They both laughed hysterically together until the waitress showed up with Naava’s diet drink.
They placed their orders, Naava decided to not to tempt fate with the omelet and ordered standard eggs bacon, toast and pancakes combination. Ethan on the other hand ordered and omelet filled with every kind of meat known to man.
The food came shortly after the order and he had not lied. The omelet was huge! “Are you gonna eat all that?” she asked amazed.
“Probably not, but I am gonna try. I always try!” Delight written all over his face.
She waved him on, “Have at it then. I love a man who eats!”
Ethan grinned and they dug in, sampling each other’s wares. After a valiant effort by both, they sat back overly stuffed and looked at each other. “Oh my god.” Naava groaned. “I think I am going to explode.”
“No kidding. I think I need to sit a few before we take off.”
“Good. So tell me, Naava, what else do you have planned while you are here?”
“Actually, maybe you can help me with that. I wanted to go check out a good used bookstore. You know, like a mom and pop place that has treasures just waiting for discovery. Do you know of any?”
He smiled at her, “Really?”
“Look. You do what you want on your vacation, I’ll do what I want on mine.”
Laughing, he said, “I got ya. I know of a couple.”
“Would you like some company?”
She couldn’t stop the smile that enveloped her face, “I wouldn’t want to put you out. I’m sure you have a life to lead.” She tried to be gracious.
“I’d love to join you. Books are my life after all.” His smile made her heart race.
“I’d love to have you.” She smiled, and then realized how that sounded. When the realization hit, she met Ethan’s eyes and saw them sparkle, like he was working hard at not making a joke.
She held up her hand, “Please, don’t.” she blushed.
Ethan laughed again. “Come on then, let’s go.”
They slid out from their seats, Ethan leaving payment for the meal on the table. At the car, Ethan held the door for Naava and helped her in. Was he always so gracious? She wondered. This was only supposed to be a vacation fling, she understood, no matter what he said last night. Men will say anything post orgasm. She could feel herself crushing on him. This is a bad idea. She sighed inwardly.
“You ok?” Ethan asked, resting his hand on hers, concern in his eyes.
She smiled, “Oh yeah. Fine. I’m just so unbelievably full! Just wondering why I did that to my self.”
“OK. Do you mind if we swing by my place so I can change into some fresh clothes?”
“Not at all.”
They pulled out of the parking lot, and the drive over to his apartment, he held her hand the entire way. Naava had to work very hard to keep her heart from melting.
“Home sweet home!” Ethan declared opening the door to his apartment. Walking in, it was very much a “guy’s place”. With leather furniture and large flat screen TV’s, surrounded my stereo equipment that would rival the space shuttle’s controls. He guided her in. “Over there is the kitchen.” It looked like it had never been touched which made her smile. “This is the great room,” where all the couches and tables were including a small dining table near the kitchen. He guided her to a hallway, “That door down there on the left is my bedroom, these two over here are the spare room and guest bath.”
She smiled up at him. “Very nice.”
“Can I get you anything?”
“No, I’m still full.”
“OK, then make your self at home and I’ll go change. I won’t be two ticks.” He smiled and headed towards his room.
Naava strolled out into the living room and looked around. There were pictures of him with people she assumed were family. Magazine of various sports, cars and books littered a glass coffee table, and at the far end of the room, there was a desk facing a large window where he had his laptop and various files spread out.
Kicking off her shoes, she curled her feet under her as she sat down in the corner of the couch with the one science magazine she found. Flipping through, she found a short article on x-rays. She had just gotten through it when Ethan came walking out in shorts, t-shirt and slides. The parts of him that were showing were tan and beautiful. Looking at him, sent butterflies reeling in her stomach, and a searing heat in lower places.
“What’cha readin’?” he asked.
Smiling she answered, “An article on x-raying art.”
He sat down next to her. “Interesting?”
They sat looking at each other.
“I like your place. There’s a lot of room and the window let in a lot of light.” She said trying to make conversation.
He smiled sadly, “Yeah. When I bought it, there were two of us. She, uh, said the same thing about the place. Light, roomy.”
Feeling like she was going to need to have her foot surgically removed from her mouth she said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t…”
“It’s ok. How could you know?”
She nodded. “Were you married?”
His expression grew serious, this was not the topic of conversation he had expected to be having.
Seeing the grave look on his face, she tried to back out of the topic. “None of my business. I’m sorry.”
Deciding he would take a chance, he answered her, “I was married, but not to her. That’s why she left me. I wasn’t in any hurry. Day late and a dollar short, I guess.”
Naava didn’t know what to say, “I’m sorry.” Was all she could think of.
“It’s all right. It was for the best. She found someone who could meet her needs. She’s happy now.”
“And you? Are you happy?”
He gave her a half smile, “Yes.”
“May I ask how long ago you were married?”
He sighed heavily and sat back on the couch. It seemed with out thought Ethan reached over, he pulled Naava’s legs from under her, rested them across his lap and rested his hands oh them. It was such a sweet gesture, her heart started to melt again. He was so tactile and loving. When they were together, he always seem to be touching her. God she love that.
“We met in Jr. High. We were together all through middle and high school.”
“High school sweet hearts?” she smiled. The romantic in her couldn’t help herself.
“Yeah. Got married the day after graduation. Went to college together. It lasted 18 months.”
Naava expression saddened.
“We were too young.”
She nodded. “That must have been so hard. You’re so idealistic and romantic at that age. You’re so sure you can do anything, you’re invincible. So you not only have to endure a divorce, but the loss of your first love.”
Ethan couldn’t hide the surprise from his face. She understood.
“No wonder you were gun shy.”
“I’m not gun shy. I think I knew but didn’t want to admit, I didn’t love her enough to marry her.”
“Have you been married?” he asked her.
Naava shook her head. “Came close a few times. The first time we got engaged because it was what our families expected of us. Too young, like you. The second I thought it was what I should do. You know the drill; you aren’t getting and younger, blah, blah, blah. The last time,” she paused, sighing, “I really loved him, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
He gently squeezed her leg, “So we both have gained a little hard earned wisdom.”
“Yes. I would say that’s true.”
They sat, eyes locked, considering each other. “I meant what I said last night. I’d like to see where this leads.” He leaned in close to Naava, his other hand gently brushed the hair from her face.
She smiled at him, “And here I thought you just like me because the sex was good.” She quipped hoping he would get the joke. That she was nervous and this is how she coped.
He slid closer to her, “The sex is great.” Smiling he leaned in and kissed her, his lips playing across her and his tongue teasing her. “And I look forward to learning more about the woman who spends her vacations wading through old, dusty books.” He whispered against her lips.
Naava giggled. Placing her hands on his face, she kissed him deeply, their tongues dancing. After a very long couple of minutes, she pulled back, “Treasures await.” She smiled.
Ethan considered her for a minute, then he smiled too. “Yes. Yes they do.”