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Ever the picture of restraint, Oliver escorted Sara to her door, tenderly kissed her cheek and said goodnight. Sara lingered in the doorway, waving goodbye to him and watching him drive away.
She wondered why he always seemed to be holding back something. Whether it was in his writing on Writing.Com, or when they were together, she couldn't help but sense that something wasn't quite right in Oliver's world and that didn't change once they met. If anything, the perception was stronger, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was exactly. She was bothered by it, but only when she wasn't with him. When they were together, she felt so happy and complete in a way she never experienced before.
If he was arrogant or more self assured, she wouldn't feel as comfortable with him as rapidly as she did. But, he didn't seem as relaxed with her and that was obvious and perplexing.
As for Oliver, he was so in love he could hardly see straight and keep it together enough to walk to the car and drive back to his aparment. Arriving back home, he was barely in the door when he picked up the phone to call her. Never a fan of cell phones, he left his in the hotel in Los Angeles, when he'd rushed to catch his flight the previous week.
"Hello," she answered softly.
Her sleepy, sexy voice was enough to make him smile and feel decidedly warm all over and connected to her yet again.
"Hey," was his reply. "I just wanted you to know this week has been the best week of my life."
"Me too," she answered, adding, a bit teasingly, "I wish you were here."
Oliver gulped. She could sense him tense up on the other end of the line.
"Sara, I...," he hesitated, thinking it wasn't the time to tell her the truth and especially not on the phone.
'Tomorrow,' he promised himself. 'I'll see her and do it in person, tomorrow.'
"It's okay, Ollie," she whispered, yawning, too tired to probe his discomfort - at least for the time being.. "Sleep well and I'll see you tomorrow."
"You too. You ready for bed?" he couldn't help but ask, wanting to imagine her there.
"Umm hmm. I'm wearing my white nightgown," she said honestly.
He wanted to ask her what it looked like exactly, but he bit his tongue, already forming a very enticing picture in his mind.
"Nite nite, Ollie."
"I love you with all my heart," he added hoarsely, after a hesitant moment, but she was no longer on the line.
"Coward!" he muttered under his breath, with disgust.
No sooner did he hang up then his telephone rang.
Resolving to tell her this time, he was disappointed to be talking to the director of the movie he was working on in Los Angeles. David Aaronson was straightforward and got to the point right away.
"Ollie, I got your message. It's not gonna fly."
Oliver frowned and rubbed his forehead, trying to ward off the headache rapidly coming on.
"What do you mean it won't fly?"
"This plan of yours. To do this long distance. You need to be back in L.A. no later than Tuesday, Ollie. We're counting on you. If you're not here, we can't make this movie."
"I can do the rewrites by fax," Oliver argued, but David was adamant.
"Give me two more weeks, tops, Oliver. I need you out here. You promised me you'd be on board for the whole shoot. You gave me your word."
"I know, but something came up. Something personal and I need to be here, at home," Oliver insisted, but he knew that David was right. He did initially give his promise to be on the set for the entire script revision process during filming of Simon's Choice.
"If you aren't back here by Tuesday morning, I'm walking. I'm serious, Oliver - we can't make the film we both want without you here. It's just not do-able. Get someone else to direct if you can't come back, cause if you don't, I'm outta here too."
For an hour and a half they argued back and forth.
Oliver admitted, grudgingly, that David did have a point - he did make the commitment to be there until at least early December.
But that was before he lost his heart to Sara, way back in time at the beginning of the summer.
At that point Oliver had no one in his life to think of, other than himself.
Everything changed in September, the day he clicked onto Sara's portfolio. There was no way he could explain all that in a coherent way that would make sense to someone like David. Keeping his word and work commitments was a definite priority with Oliver throughout his career. If he walked out early on this film, he knew his reputation would be ruined.
His head was pounding by the time the conversation ended. Reluctantly, he agreed to go out for the two weeks, only if he could fly back to Virginia on Friday night as a compromise, returning to L.A. the following Sunday.
Realizing it was after midnight and too late to call Sara again, he made his flight arrangements for first thing in the morning and climbed into bed, first stripping down to his boxers.
Again, he let his mind linger on Sara and wondered whether or not she was asleep. He felt as if part of him was missing - the moment he left her at the door, and that part of him was his heart.
Tossing and turning, he finally fell into a restless sleep, dreaming of Sara coming into his room in a white diaphanous gown, her hair flowing down to her shoulders, the countours of her shapely body clearly visible as she walked to the window, maddeningly taking no note of his presence. The nightgown was clingy and sensual and provocative, and it drove him crazy with desire.
In the dream, they were in his hotel room in L.A. and she walked out on the balcony, her gown transparent in the moonlight, blowing revealingly in the night's breeze, as she looked away from him.
Try as he might, he couldn't bridge the distance between them and it was as if he was rooted on the bed.
"Sara, Sara," he called to her, but with the city noises outside the hotel, she couldn't hear him, or if she did, she paid no mind and walked further onto the balcony where he could not see her.
In what seemed like an eternity, he finally rose from the bed and walked to the balcony to find her. But when he got there she was gone, and strangely enough the balcony suddenly overlooked the ocean and not the city. He woke up disoriented, calling her name frantically, but of course, she wasn't there.
In a groggy panic, he realized immediately that he overslept and would have to rush to Dulles Airport to make his plane back to Los Angeles.
Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 22"