HOLIDAY INTERNET ROMANCE NOVEL
Although the train was much more crowded with the holiday travelers returning home than it was that morning, the ride back to Charlottesville started out as a magical one for Sara and Oliver.
Luckily there was no one sitting across from them, so they could converse normally, without disturbing anyone.
Among other things, they discovered a shared fascination with the history of the region particularly focused on the Civil War Era. Oliver long planned to write a screenplay set primarily in the Shenandoah Valley of the 1860's, and he realized Sara's knowledge of the Kentucky and West Virginia areas would be something she would gladly share. The idea of working with Sara on a novel or screenplay was particularly appealing to Oliver.
There was no denying the genuine interest she showed in him and in everything he said. The usually reticent Oliver found himself opening up to Sara in a way he never did with anyone, including Ben. It was so easy to talk to her about everything.
Everything, that is, except his real identity as a famous author and more importantly as "Ollie" from Writing.Com.
In spite of his deceptions and failure to tell her the whole truth about himself, the conversation was relaxed and comfortable, laced with an underlying mutual attraction.
Even the silences between them were natural and right as they gazed out the window of the dimly lit compartment while the snow began to fall again on the Virginia countryside.
"Look, it's snowing again!" she remarked.
All too cognizant that even such a wonderful day needed to come to a close, Oliver cleared his throat.
"I wish this day wouldn't have to end," he confessed quietly. "This was the best Thanksgiving of my life."
"Me too," Sara agreed wholeheartedly, staring into his eyes.
As if in answer to their expressed wishes, the train came to a screeching halt.
As they lurched forward, Oliver ignored all his promises to himself about keeping his distance, and acted out of pure instinct.
Responding immediately, he protectively, wrapped his arms around Sara, holding her close to him, as the lights in the car flickered, then went out completely.
They were just an hour out of Washington, south into Virginia, and no where near a train station.
There was silence, then confused shouting in the distance.
The people in the car talked quietly and nervously among themselves speculating about what might have happened.
"What do you think it is?" Sara turned and whispered, instinctively snuggling closer than she intended in the dark.
Oliver responded by reflexively holding her tighter to him when he heard the frightened tone in her voice.
"I'm not sure. Everything will be ok, Sara," Oliver reassured her, with more confidence than he possessed. He suspected he knew what the cause was and this was confirmed almost right away when a porter came into the car with a flashlight and announced that several cars derailed and they would be delayed for at least several hours.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
In addition, the power was out in their car, which meant no light, other than the flashlight provided by the porter, and no heat - all the more reason for Oliver to keep his arms around Sara.
"It'll be fine," Oliver said again. "I'll keep you warm."
"I know you will," Sara responded, looking up into his eyes as they both adjusted to seeing each other in the darkened cabin.
A trusting Sara nestled in his arms and looking to him for protection was overwhelming for Oliver. Besides the feel of her curvy body pressed against his own, Sara's light floral fragrance overwhelmed his senses. Holding her brought all the longing and desire in his heart to the surface.
Against all his better judgment and every promise that he made to himself, he did what he wanted to do and dreamed about ever since that first visit to her portfolio in September.
It was November and she was a real live gorgeous, desirable woman in his arms, looking to him for safety. And Oliver was a lonely man for far too long.
He simply couldn't stop himself from kissing her.
So, kiss her he did with a lot of the passion and stored-up emotion he felt for Sara and could no longer contain.
Startled at first, she melted into his kiss, burying her hands in his hair as he held her close to him.
His hands seemed to possess a mind of their own, moving up and down her back, feeling her pressed up against his body as his emotions spiraled dangerously out of control..
Finally reluctantly, they broke for air and she murmurred, "Oh, Kelly..."
With a jolt, Oliver came back to the reality of what happened - and what he almost allowed to happen.
"I'm sorry. This is wrong. I shouldn't have done that," he said quietly, moving away from her.
Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 17"