HOLIDAY INTERNET ROMANCE NOVEL
And so there they were at last, face to face, Sara Riley and Oliver Kelly.
Swallowing nervously, he stared into the most breathtaking, hypnotic blue eyes he ever saw, magical eyes beyond any he described in his novels or even dreamt of in his wildest fantasies.
Writing.Com quite simply led the romantic soul that was Oliver to the one true love of his life.
The real life petite blonde was gorgeous, with creamy skin and a curvy body from the looks of things, under that windbreaker and her very nicely fitting jeans. All sorts of excited thoughts flashed through Oliver’s brain, including the fact that calling her a "blonde babe," if anything, failed to do Sara’s beauty justice.
Already in love with her kind spirit, Oliver realized that her physical presence went way beyond anything he could have imagined, even after hearing Ben's description of her.
During the ride back from the airport, he at last poured his heart out to his best friend, telling him of his love and devotion for the lovely customer that Ben described. He couldn’t allow Ben to go on thinking that Sara might be his own love interest – there was no way Oliver was about to let that continue.
To Oliver’s great relief, Ben indicated he already moved on and actually was planning a date for that weekend with a statuesque redhead he met during his long wait for Ollie’s plane at Dulles Airport.
He was worried that Ben would be hurt when he told him, but luckily that was not the case.
“You don’t waste any time, do you?” Oliver laughed.
“Not when it comes to women, my friend. You have to go with the flow,” Ben agreed sagely with a sidelong glance at his best friend.
They both knew that underneath his casual and extroverted exterior, Ben was as vulnerable to heartbreak as anyone.
It was a relief for him to see Oliver this obviously happy and in love. His only concern was that the two lovebirds were both so shy that it would take forever for the two to get together in real life. Sara was certainly not someone who could be described as aggressive and Oliver was even more reticent when meeting new people.
In a reversal of roles, Ben spent the rest of the drive advising Oliver on how best to approach his Internet love. It was all too clear that Ollie was totally and completely smitten as he listened carefully to his friend's opinion of Sara and how she should be handled.
"Be sure and take things slow, Ollie. Get to know her, before you act all ga ga over her. She seemed pretty shy to me."
All Ben’s instructions and advice flew out the window the moment Oliver looked into Sara’s big blue eyes and completely surrendered what little was left of his heart.
After a few awkward moments, it finally dawned on him that Sara was trying her best to hand him the video tape. Grinning sheepishly and blushing profusely, Oliver ducked his head a bit and gently took the proffered VHS tape out of her hand and reluctantly turned to put it on a shelf.
‘Say something, you moron!’ He thought a bit desperately.
A more composed Sara beat him to it.
“I’m glad you came along when you did,” she said sincerely in her soft voice – a voice with just a hint of a Kentucky accent. Gesturing towards the window she continued, “Sure looks bad out there.”
For the first time, Oliver actually became aware of the fact that it was storming outside and the rain was literally torrential and coming down in sheets.
“Yeah, it looks bad,” he echoed stupidly, swallowing again, trying to find something, anything to say to the woman of his dreams and the one he loved already with all his heart and soul. Her beauty and soft voice took his breath away.
“I rode my bike over here, so I guess I’ll wait it out if it’s ok with you,” Sara continued.
“It’s fine with me,” Oliver replied, thinking it was one of the the biggest understatements of his life. Then he hesitated, hoping fervently that the rain would last for hours, or better yet, days.
Looking around, searching for a way to prolong their time together, he suddenly remembered that she rented the movie based on his first novel, Revelations.
“So, did you like the movie?” He asked, trying to sound casual and nonchalant, belying the fact that her good opinion of his work meant the world to him.
Sara shook her head and his heart sank, assuming that she didn’t like the movie or worse yet, his novel, either. He had his own misgivings about the way the movie turned out, but the novel was his first baby and a very real part of him.
“No - I mean I didn’t get to see it,” she sighed. “I loved the book though, so I really do want to watch it. I wanted to today, but I worked longer than I thought I would. I never got the chance to go home and watch it.”
She frowned a little, remembering her ghastly day, which seemed thankfully far away from the cozy haven of the video store.
As he listened to her explanation, and more importantly her praise of his first novel, Oliver perked up noticeably. In fact, he was practically beaming with pride. Suddenly an idea occurred to him.
“With the weather like this, you shouldn’t go anywhere for a while. There’s flash flood warnings in the mountains, and it really wouldn’t be safe to leave anytime soon, even if the rain stops,” he advised eagerly, remembering what he'd heard on the radio driving back from the airport and exaggerating a bit.
“We could watch it – the movie I mean - together – here in the store. I’ll turn the heat on – it’ll be nice and toasty in here in no time!” He finished in a rush, gesturing at the wide video screen.
Sara looked around doubtfully, considering the proposition of spending a few hours in a video store on the night before Thanksgiving, alone with a stranger. Although he was indeed a stranger, as far as she knew, just being with this shy young man made her dismal day seem better already. She didn’t quite understand it, but she liked the feeling and she found him very attractive and sweet – a nice change from most of the arrogant men she met since moving to the college town in Virginia.
“Where would we sit?” she asked curiously.
Oliver grinned. ‘She didn’t say no – that means she’s considering it,’ he mused, then said, “I’ve got a couple of pretty comfortable chairs in the back room. I can bring them out,” he offered and turned to do just that before she found a way to say no.
Unfortunately, in his haste, Oliver didn’t see Ben’s brand new Harry Potter display and he crashed right into it, knocking the cardboard “Harry” and all the videos and DVDs down as he landed on his backside amidst the Harry Potter ruins.
“Geez!” He exclaimed helplessly, blushing bright red and rolling his eyes in exasperation at his own clumsiness.
Staring at the very attractive young man, with the cardboard Harry Potter display in his lap and the videos all around him, Sara couldn’t help but giggle. There was something very cute and endearing about the tall stranger that she couldn’t quite resist.
“I think you killed Harry,” Sara said with a smile as she held out a hand to help him up.
“Come on and get the chairs so we can watch the movie,” she urged with a friendly grin. “I’ll see if I can’t fix your display while you get the chairs.”
The shock of their hands touching sent a jolt of electricity through both of them, the likes of which neither one ever felt before. Staring into each other’s eyes they both blushed this time, both hesitating to break the magical contact.
“I’m Sara,” she added expectantly.
Hesitating, Oliver remembered Ben’s advice not to reveal his identity as her Internet friend right away and to try and play it cool. He knew he already pretty much blew it as far as playing it cool went.
“Make sure you like each other,” Ben advised and continued his warning – “Otherwise, you might both get hurt. If she likes you and you like her, you can always explain that you were nervous about her reaction. Women love stuff like that. If you don’t like each other, it’ll be easier to fade out of the picture if she doesn’t know it’s you.”
Oliver knew how he felt – more in love than ever. The question was how would Sara feel about a relationship with a real live man – and a goofy one at that.
“Call me Kelly,” Oliver grinned back at her, following Ben’s admonition and advice, a move he would soon live to regret.
Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 12"