Coffee, rich and warm, the smell of it dragged Mary from a deep sleep. Before she opened her eyes she tried to take stock. She could hear the shower running and smell the coffee, the bed was warm beside her. She hesitated to fully emerge from the dim cocoon that wrapped her around. In her mind she replayed the earth shattering events of yesterday and thought quite simply – Now what.
Jacob was singing in the bathroom, as he turned off the water she heard a vaguely recognisable tune, something new that she had been aware of but hadn’t really registered. As he filled in forgotten words with strange “dummy dumm de dumm” sounds she began to giggle and he opened the bathroom door to peer out at her.
“I’m sorry. Was there something?” By this time she had pushed herself upwards to recline on the pillows. At the appearance of his shower reddened face, dark hair dripping onto the carpet and his skin glowing with heat all she could do was to laugh even louder and shake her head. He shrugged one shoulder and pursing his lips in a mock petulant gesture he turned, the movement caused him to drop an end of the towel and she had a glimpse of his behind as he stepped back behind the door. His legs were strong, muscular and covered with fine brown hair, his backside plump and rounded, a faint tan line above the waist and on the top of his thighs. He was beautiful, like a painting or a statue of a perfect young animal.
He had left a tray on the side table with a cafetière and two mugs and a couple of the special chocolates that they hadn’t eaten after the meal last night. She reached over and plucked up a liquid cherry. As the dark chocolate melted onto her tongue to be followed by the taste of bitter cherry and liqueur she snuggled back onto the pillows and pulled the duvet up to her chin. What a luxury, simply having someone else make her coffee in the morning and bring chocolate, liquid cherries at that, it was perfect.
Jacob ran from the bathroom door and leapt onto the bed, he had pulled on a pair of boxers but his skin was still damp and his hair dripped onto the pillowcase. He took her face in both hands, “Morning lovely lady.” He kissed her lips, deeply and slowly. “Hmm, cherries, nice”
They sat side by side cradling mugs of coffee, Jacob slid his bare legs under the covers. With the heat of him beside her there came, deep inside a delicious stirring such as she hadn’t felt since the early days of marriage when it was all new and exciting and magical. The thought drew a mew of pleasure but also her eyes filled with sudden tears. How sad that this had all been lost for so many years. She turned to the young man at her side, overwhelmed with emotion and unable to speak.
Without a word he put down his mug and turned and took her into his arms. “Don’t cry lovely lady, please don’t cry. It’s all okay, there’s nothing to worry about.” He cradled her gently until she was able to collect herself and turning her face up to him to smile into his eyes.
“Jacob, thank you.” It was all she could think of to say, her heart was so full, there were so many things that she wanted to tell him, so much to discuss and so many, so very many fears that must be verbalised and all she could say, right then was “Thank you.”
He tipped his head to the side, his lips curved upwards in a small smile, “No, thank you ma’am”
It was all to be faced, it must be discussed and the fears must be recognised and dealt with but for just another few minutes Mary decided to gift herself the pleasure of sharing the morning with him. She tasted the bitter chocolate and rich creamy coffee and leaned against his firm body and listened to the bird song and early morning sounds from outside in a world changed irrevocably since the last time she had walked in it.
Eventually, the coffee gone the day already in full swing she rolled onto her side and began to slide across the bed. “Hey, where are you going?”
“Well, I thought, you know, it’s nearly half past eight, time to get up.”
“Well, there are things to do, stuff to sort out…” She shook her head, puzzlement drawing twin lines on her forehead.
“Well, if you like but erm…” He lifted the covers and she saw that he definitely had something on his mind that was far from tidying the dining room and sorting the laundry. For a moment she hesitated, long years of sense and order arguing with this urgent invitation to debauchery.
A time of youth, a backward glimpse of lazy mornings and careless weekends flicked across her memory She looked at him for a few moments longer until, with a grin that was part mischievous little boy, part passionate man he pulled her back under the cover. She lay in the middle of the bed as he rolled to her and stroked her goosepimpled skin, he nibbled at the lobe of an ear, his hands caressed her breast and the worry and fear and all the rest of it slid away to be replaced by warmth and thrill and the utter bliss of lovemaking in the daylight in a safe warm place with a person who she now believed she loved very, very deeply.