HOLIDAY INTERNET ROMANCE NOVEL
Oliver continued to speak nervously, after pausing for a moment, "...but most everyone calls me Ollie, so that's what I use for my handle. On Writing.Com. Ollie, that is."
Once more stunned into silence, Sara covered her mouth with both hands as he nervously resumed talking.
The quiet between them lasted an eternity, or so it seemed to Oliver as he waited for her reaction to his revelation concerning his Writing.Com identity.
"Sara please say something."
"You're my Ollie?" she finally managed to gasp incredulously as he sighed with relief.
"Oh, I do like the sound of that. Your Ollie. Yes, I'm most definitely your Ollie, with the emphasis on your.. But who is this other guy in you life? The one I have to kill?"
Sara couldn't help but giggle at that. He really did sound like her Ollie, after all.
"I was talking about you, silly. But why didn't you tell me last night? How on earth did you ever find me or figure out where I was?"
"That's a long story," Oliver started, then hesitated. She didn't react negatively to his revelation or even to the fact that he tracked her down, but he decided to hold off on telling her about the fact that he was also a famous novelist. Oliver Lane, and all the baggage that went with that identity would wait for a few days or so, at least long enough to win Sara's heart.
"My friend, Ben, said something and I made the connection. He mentioned you and that you went into the video store on Monday. I was afraid to tell you since you didn't even want to IM with me. I figured that the last thing you'd want was me on your doorstep. But when I read your journal and I saw the Corbins' name, I knew it was you and I knew that I had to try because we were feeling the same way. I loved your poem Sara, and everything you wrote in your journal."
Sara blushed and looked away, feeling guilty and embarrassed, but strangely glad that he'd seen the poem, especially now that they'd met, and she was already so attracted to him.
"I was afraid, Ollie. Because of all that's happened to me. I was afraid, but I'm happy you're here. I'm still a little scared."
"I understand. I'm scared too. I was afraid to tell you because I thought maybe you just thought I was some internet goofball and felt sorry for me. By the way, Sara, I am a goofball - whether I'm on the internet or off it. You should know that," Oliver confessed as she giggled again. I don't just knock down Harry Potter displays either. My friend, Ben, calls me a clumsey carp. I'm a total klutz, especially when I'm nervous."
She laughed, then covered her mouth, for fear of hurting his feelings, but Oliver shook his head.
"It's so good to see you smile and hear you laugh," he couldn't help but add genuinely, "I still want that chance to prove myself to you, Sara. And I can be a gentleman, after all. And I will be. I promise."
And so, for the greater part of the night they sat there on the derailed train car and really talked about everything that happened to them since meeting on Writing.Com, falling more in love with each passing moment.
Steadfastly keeping his promise, Oliver kept a respectful distance and was perfectly proper for the rest of the evening.
They talked about Writing.Com and writers they enjoyed, sharing observations and intimacies that went way beyond their daily e-mails.
Later, as he drove her home at three in the morning, she looked at him and asked the question he so dreaded.
"So, exactly what kind of consulting are you doing on the West Coast?"
Oliver cleared his throat.
"It has to do with the video franchises in Los Angeles," he explained and immediately felt guilty about the lie. "I may have to go back out there again for at least one more trip - I sort of left everything hanging to come here and be with you."
She smiled warmly at him and he relaxed for the moment, noticing how her eyes lit up when she looked at him and smiled.
Everything was going so well with Sara that he stuck to his decision to save the Oliver Lane discussion for another day. That was a lot more complicated since "Ollie" concealed the truth about himself from "Sara" from the inception of their first correspondence on Writing.Com.
"When are you going to write a novel in your portfolio so I can read it?" Sara asked curiously.
Oliver gulped. It was almost as if she could read his mind, and it unnerved and delighted him at the same time.
"Oh, I just like to play with story ideas and characters in there. I'll never get around to writing anything long," he explained nervously and then abruptly changed the subject. "Poems are a different story though."
Following his lead, she let the matter of his story ideas drop, noticing his discomfort.
"You have more poetry?" She asked, picking up the latter thread of his thought.
"I have some poems in there for you too. Maybe some day I'll get up the nerve to show them to you," he added, blushing profusely. He wrote at least a poem a day ever since finding her portfolio, but until she knew the whole truth, he knew he couldn't show them to her because he was far too vulnerable.
"Poems for me?"
He nodded and grinned his lopsided grin and her heart skipped a beat. "Yeah, I've written a few," he acknowledged quietly. "They're on private until I get brave enough to show you."
'Like when we're married,' he thought, but kept it to himself.
When they arrived at her doorstep, the snow only just stopped. It was almost four in the morning, but Oliver could hardly bear to leave her.
She looked so radiantly beautiful, standing on the porch, wisps of golden hair from her ponytail framing her face. So many facets of Sara wrapped around his heart already - her dewy skin, supple body, impossibly long eye lashes and the way her big blue eyes sparkled and danced when she smiled.
And the memory of their kiss lingered always just below the surface reminding him of all the passion and desire he felt for her.
Recalling the memory of their kiss just as keenly, Sara took the initiative, throwing her arms around his waist. She hugged him tightly with her head pressed against his chest, murmurring, "I'm so glad you're here, Ollie. So glad."
Startled momentarily, Oliver hugged her back just as tightly and fought every instinct he possessed. His body told him to carry her in and make fiery passionate love to her then and there, but he knew that rushed intimacy was not right for Sara, or for him.
"Me too, Sara. Me too," he whispered quietly and then tenderly kissed the top of her head still snuggled against his chest. "Can I see you tomorrow? I mean today?"
"Yes," was her answer as she smiled up and he felt like his heart would burst with happiness as he held his Sara close to him.
Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 19"