HOLIDAY INTERNET ROMANCE NOVEL
Parking in the upper Northwest quadrant of the city was never easy, and this Sunday after Thanksgiving was certainly no exception.
So, Sara and Oliver faced a nine-block uphill hike ahead of them, in the cold wind, back to his car. Helping with her jacket as they prepared to leave, Oliver's hands lingered on her shoulders while she put on her gloves. He couldn't stop himself from touching her, whenever the chance presented itself, or so it seemed to him, but she didn't appear to mind in the least.
And then there was the fact that the light floral fragrance she was wearing drove him crazy whenever he was close to her.
Reaching up, she patted his hand with her gloved one and thanked him. It seemed only natural that they held hands then as they walked up the side street behind Connecticut Avenue.
Oliver was more determined than ever to control his physical desires, at least until she knew the entire truth about him. But he didn't want to take a chance on spoiling their weekend by upsetting her just yet.
'I'll tell her this week,' he thought to himself, resolutely.
So, holding her gloved hand was more than enough for the moment, despite the mistletoe in his pocket and their flirtation at the table. That didn't change the fact that he responded to her physically and found himself wishing for a cold shower more than once, while they were in the restaurant.
The cold blast of November air was a welcome change for Oliver. But, seeing that Sara was shivering, as soon as they arrived at the car, he quickly turned on the heat.
The truth was that he still felt hot enough just from holding her hand to drive the entire way home with the windows open.
Keeping those turbulent thoughts to himself he concentrated on showing her the sights of the city as they headed out of town.
After that, they were quiet and both a bit melancholy for the first part of the journey home, each regretting the day's end and the end of their holiday together.
Finally, Oliver broke the silence.
"What do you want to do tomorrow?" He asked, with hope in his heart that their time together could continue naturally after the weekend.
Looking at him with questioning eyes, Sara sighed.
"I wish. Tomorrow's Monday, Ollie. I have to go to work. Unfortunately."
"Take off," he suggested.
"I can't. I wish I could, but with all that happened last Wednesday I'm probably already in trouble."
Sara's voice sounded unhappy and a slightly deflated Oliver immediately regretted broaching the subject.
Reaching over affectionately, he squeezed her shoulder. "It'll work out, okay, Sara. Don't worry."
"You don't know John Miller. He's really mean and vindictive," Sara said, sadly, looking out the window.
"Guys like that usually get what they deserve in the end," Oliver muttered, thinking that he would like to make it his business to see that this particular man got his just desserts.
Oliver attended law school with several of the children of people in very powerful positions at UVa. That was something he intended to explore eventually, with regard to John Miller. If he hurt Sara again in the meantime, Oliver resolved that it would happen much sooner, rather than later.
Glancing over at Sara, he could see she was lost in worried thought, so he decided to change the subject.
"What time do you get off work tomorrow? I'll pick you up after work and we can go out," he offered hopefully.
"I get off at 5:30, but my Journalism class is at six. I don't get out from that until 8, Ollie."
But having found his Sara, Oliver was not easily deterred.
"I'll bring you a snack at 5:30, and drop you at your class. Then I'll pick you up at 8. We can go for coffee or something if you want, or I'll just take you home. That way, you'll have a ride, okay?" he persisted.
Sara smiled in spite of her worries about Professor Miller.
There was something so engaging about Oliver's determined effort to be with her.
She wondered a little, now and then, about his reluctance to kiss her again. She noticed more than once that he seemed to be fighting a battle with himself whenever the time came to say goodnight or do something where they might respond to each other physically. Despite all that, she couldn't help but feel loved and cared for when she was with him and it was nice to feel that way for the first time since the deaths of her parents. All her carefully erected defenses were melting away, little by little.
"Okay, if you're sure," she agreed happily. "If you don't have to work yourself."
"I'm sure. I'm the boss, remember? And besides that I'm Mistletoe Man. Mistletoe Man is always sure and at your service."
Sara giggled with a snort in response.
"What's this? Farm animal noises?" Oliver laughed and then imitated her snort.
Sara responded by smacking him lightly on the arm.
"Ouch!" he exaggerated, then before he could think, he added, "It's not nice to hit Mistletoe Man, Sara. You're supposed to kiss me, not smack me."
With that, Sara unfastened her seat belt long enough to lean over and kiss his cheek playfully.
A surprised Oliver grinned happily at her sudden overture and display of affection for him, feeling warmer than ever all over.
"There you go, Mistletoe Man. I think you should change your Writing.Com handle to that for the holidays!" she suggested with another snort and giggle.
Oliver rolled his eyes and laughed.
"Yeah, like I'd do that. That's something Ben would do, not me. Fasten your seatbelt and behave, young lady."
"I am! I think it's cute. I'm sure you'd get lots of views!" Sara persisted teasingly, as she refastened her safety belt.
Reaching over, Oliver raised her gloved hand to his lips for a tender kiss that made her shiver, saying, "I'm your Mistletoe Man, Sara. No one else's."
Continue in "Sara's Port, Ch. 21"