Cherry stares up through gaps in the sea-grass parasol at the bluest of skies, summer blue, Mediterranean blue, with a contented sigh. I am beside her, stretched out on a sun lounge.
I’m shirtless and in my cut-off jeans— reading a book predicting the collapse of the Western banking system. It’s a page-turner. I haven’t sat this still, ever. Cherry looks at me thinkings I more like a student than the hotshot CEO of one of the top privately owned companies in the United States.
On the final leg of our honeymoon, we laze in the afternoon sun on the beach of the aptly named Beach Plaza Monte Carlo in Monaco, although we’re not actually staying in this hotel. Cherry opens her eyes and gazes out at the Fair Lady anchored in the harbor.
We are staying, of course, on board a luxury motor yacht. Built in 1928, she floats majestically on the water, queen of all the yachts in the harbor. She looks like a child’s wind-up toy. I love her—I’m tempted to buy her.
Cherry sits back, she is listening to my mix on her new iPod and she dozes in the late afternoon sun, idly remembering my proposal in the boathouse … she can almost smell the scent of the meadow flowers …
Can we marry tomorrow?
I murmur softly in her ear. Cherry is sprawled on my chest in the flowery bower in the boathouse, sated from our passionate lovemaking.
Is that a yes? Hmm. A no? Hmm. Cherry senses my grin. Miss Noah, are you incoherent? She grins
I laugh and hug her tightly, kissing the top of her head.
Vegas, tomorrow, it is then. Vegas, tomorrow, it is then.
Sleepily Cherry raises her head.
I don’t think my parents would be very happy with that.
I thrum my fingertips up and down her naked back, caressing her gently.
What do you want, Cherry? Vegas? A big wedding with all the trimmings? Tell me.
Not big … Just friends and family.
She gazes up at me, moved by the quiet entreaty in my glowing eyes wondering what I want?
Okay Where, She Shrugs
Could we do it here?
Your folks’ place? Would they mind?
Okay, here. I’m sure my mom and dad would prefer that.
I stroke her hair. Could she look any happier? So we’ve established where, now the when.
Surely you should ask your mother. Hmm
My smile dips
She can have a month, that’s it. I want you too much to wait any longer.
Muzzemilu, you have me. You’ve had me for a while. But okay—a month it is. She kisses my chest, a soft chaste kiss, and smiles up at me.
You’ll burn. I whisper in her ear, startling her from her doze. Only for you .
Cherry gives me the sweetest smile. The late afternoon sun has shifted, and I am under its full glare. I smirk and in one swift move pulls Cherry’s sun lounge into the shade of the parasol.