As Diego got up from the table, preparing to drive the two of them home, he glanced at the check. The grand total was… $285.00. He went white as a sheet for a moment. Had they really spent so much money on one dinner together? His eyes widened as he saw his future wife had tipped the server two hundred bucks. That was almost a week of work for him!
“Sansara, are you insane?” he asked as they left the bar together.
“Oh, probably. What if I told you there’s a lot more where that came from, future Mr. Solsinger?” She paused next to his vehicle. A light mist had evolved while they had their steak dinner inside. She paid it no mind as it collected in her hair. She couldn’t suppress her grin as she beckoned him to come over to her.
Diego mirrored her, barely able to suppress a grin as he meandered closer. “What are you talking about, my crazy woman? Or should I call you a minx.”
“It does funny things to me to hear the word minx come out of you. Please don’t stop using it. Ever,” she replied candidly. “And I’m talking about being filthy rich, you dingbat.”
He closed one eye as he stared at her with the other. He was looking at her like she was one tough nut to crack, an impossible puzzle to solve. This woman wouldn’t even spend money going to the chiropractor. He was supposed to believe that she was rich?
“Diego… will you take me home now, please? It’s more uncomfortable than I reckoned to continue standing with this hip issue and I believe you promised me some help with it this evening. But first, since I’ve got you over here, I want another kiss. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?” She gave him the eyes. You know, like a cow, a kitten, or a puppy. He couldn’t resist those eyes, no matter how crazy this evening had become. It was starting to feel like a fairy tale to him. He wondered if she felt the same way… and she began to nod just like that.
He smiled and put one hand onto the car on either side of her head before his lips descended upon hers. This time when their lips met, it felt electric. Her hands were on him, gentle as their kisses had been so far. He had no idea what to anticipate, really, especially now. She applied even pressure to his chest with her hands after a very long moment, smiling at him as they disengaged from their spit swapping contest while she nudged him away.
He trailed his hands over her arms as he receded, one hand catching hers to guide her away from the passenger door so that he could open it for her. “I would be delighted to fulfill my promise, m’lady,” he said as he waited for her to enter the vehicle, ready to help her should she desire it. She smiled and took his hand for balance as she climbed in. He gingerly shut the door behind her once she was settled in her seat and bounced over to his side of the SUV, sliding behind the wheel deftly as she buckled her seat belt.
“Go, I’m really glad you’re my friend and my future husband. Hmm… that’s kind of confusing, maybe I should just use your full name. I know you didn’t really like the idea anyway, but I’m sure I’ll think up some jokes around it in the future and now they will make sense!” She paused for a moment in case he wanted to respond, but he said nothing as he focused on driving in the dark with a misty rain. She settled one hand on his knee and continued, “I’m so glad I’ve met you. AND I’m glad you’re driving home because I am tipsy! You’re the best! Especially for being completely sober.”
She fell silent then. It was a pretty comfortable silence. They’d gotten that far in the two years they’d spent getting to know each other. Her hand was a pleasant warmth near his knee. She kept it very still, which he was grateful for because he actually wanted to arrive alive.
She murmured, “Psycho Boy Ben used to drive home drunk. He would tailgate and speed and change lanes nilly willy and he was a terrifying driver, all in all. I like the way you drive, Sir Deli Man.”
He smiled at the last part of that, preoccupied with the first. A drunk man used to drive her home from out and about? Did they go to parties? “Yes,” Sansara interjected.
He swallowed and asked out loud, “Have you always been a mind reader?”
“Not always, my love. And I should tell you that I normally give complete privacy. I just wanted to share it with you up front so you know what you’re getting yourself into,” Sansara replied with a very slight squeeze of his knee. She was really deft at keeping her touch light and pleasant.
“Thank you. Did you ever… well, I guess if you read my mind before now, you’d have known I really enjoy your company, huh?” He shot her a glance he could ill afford, but they were nearly to their destination. His eyes were only off the road a split second, as if to reassure himself he still had a passenger next to him.
“Diego, I believe in privacy. I will not be doing this without your consent in the future, I promise you. Just so you know, up the road a quarter of a mile is a skunk on the right. Please don’t hit it.”
Now that was a neat trick. He’d never even thought of how someone who could read minds would be able to tell if there was wildlife on the road. “There is a car behind us half a mile and up here at the junction, a trucker is approaching. He’s not paying attention… he’s getting a blowjob right now,” she told him matter-of-factly.
Diego blushed, suddenly wishing he was receiving one himself. “Too dangerous, my love,” Sansara told him. “Maybe when we get home.”
He pressed his lips together as a sound of surprised delight escaped him unintentionally. “I want my hip fixed first, if you don’t mind,” she said to remind him of his promise.
He relaxed and used one hand to pat hers, coming to a stop and letting the trucker have the right of way. “My love, I appreciate the reminder, but I didn’t forget. I swear to you… I’ve been daydreaming about putting my hands all over your buttocks all evening. Say, is there a story behind how it came to be dislocated?”
Sansara was quiet a long time before she said, “Yeah… an asshole I used to know fell asleep on top of me with his head on my hip and crushed it over the span of a few hours and it’s never been the same since. I did not consent to that touch and that is why I started fighting people when they touch me without consent.”
“Oh, honey, that’s awful. I hope I can turn that tide around with you. But if I can’t help with it, will you see someone?” Diego’s hand was still on hers since the road was very straight and generous in width. He only removed it to pull into his driveway. Their driveway, actually, and into their garage.
“Yes, dear. I’ll see someone about it if you can’t help me. I just… hate letting people touch me,” she admitted.
She was out of her seat before he had the time to come around to open the door for her, so he offered her his arm. “Welcome home, m’lady,” he declared as she slipped her hand into the crook of his arm.
“Diego… I wish I knew sooner how you felt about me. We could have done this sooner, at least.” She smiled at him, her countenance one of gratitude. “I’ve always liked you. So does Crystal and Evie… and everyone, actually. That’s why we don’t hesitate to marry you. I want you to know that. We like you because we have a special super power that I can teach you. I call it Soul Sight. When we look at your soul, which is up here,” she indicated her temple as she spoke, “we see something quite magnificent. I thought you should know in case you think I’m looney tunes beyond my actual insanity… I’m not. After everything that’s ever happened to me, after you treating me like the perfect gentleman for years, after sharing those kisses… my mind is made up. I never told you that I was interested in you because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, for one thing, but for another… I wasn’t sure how you felt about me because you didn’t say you liked me before. Or if you did, I don’t remember it.”
He thought she was reading his mind again, but her content deviated from what he was actually thinking just enough to prove that she simply thought through what she had to say before saying it.
“Do you mind if I change into pajamas? I think I’d be more comfortable for this butt rub you’ve mentioned if I did,” she said after he’d kept silent for a few moments.
“Sure… may I… watch you?” he asked somewhat timidly. He was a virgin still. In fact, he’d been in the clergy once upon a time and with that came the standard vow of celibacy. She paused in the doorway of her bedroom and gave him a peculiar look before beckoning him closer.
“I’m wondering if you forgot I’ve gotten tipsy. You expressed some concern about that while we were on our date, though I can’t recall if it just pushed itself into my brain or if you told me verbally.” He closed the gap between the two of them despite the subtle warning she gave him. He’d told her before that he thought drunk sex was rape sex.
“I was planning on being a good boy, though I see your point. Nudity does lend to physical intimacy very quickly, yes. Perhaps we should just talk while you change? I was wondering why you asked me to order for you in the restaurant tonight. I didn’t mind, it just seemed a bit… chauvinistic.” Diego turned his back to the door to let her undress in peace.
“I don’t plan on staying celibate forever. You said you were going to marry me tomorrow,” she said with a positive trace of pout in that statement. “I thought I’d only have to wait one night and everything to make it all kosher, baby.” She paused and he heard a rustle of clothing before she said, “I knew I was ordering your dessert before we went out to eat.”
His head started pumping up and down. He found himself nodding automatically. It made complete sense now… she had to make it seem like they talked to each other and took turns ordering to make sure the waitress wouldn’t bat an eye.
“Diego,” she asked softly from right behind him. “How long do you want to wait if we don’t get married tomorrow? And don’t turn around yet, I’m not finished… I just… really want to know.”
The hair at the nape of his neck stood on end. Was she close enough to breathe on him? He fought the urge to turn around and see what state of undressed or dressed she happened to be in. “Well, Crystal…” He rolled her alter ego’s name around on his tongue gently. “I didn’t really have a plan, per se.”
At that, she rested the palms of her hands on his shoulder blades and began to reiki heal him. “Perhaps you can think of one?” He practically melted at her healing touch. He loved it when she healed him, though she hadn’t made a habit of it before without trading him favors like getting the lawn mowed or the driveway shoveled. It felt so good every single time, like being touched by an angel. A warmth spread through his body and he felt like singing. Maybe even dancing.
He turned around slowly, keeping his gaze level with where he expected her eyes to be. She let her hands drop due to it and looked at him with a worried expression. “I’m sorry, I should have asked first. Do you mind if I heal you before you try to heal me?”
He decided since she was a mind reader, he’d think his answer in her direction while his lips moved nearer and nearer to hers. She had ages to get away if she didn’t want to be kissed, but she didn’t budge. ‘I don’t mind. I never mind. It’s elating. Please do it whenever you’re up to it, m’lady.‘
Once he responded, she placed the palms of her hands on his biceps. She rose onto tiptoe to meet him halfway for the kiss at the same time. These two things combined were amazing. He couldn’t describe it at all. The kiss evolved naturally this time and lasted several minutes… about the length of her Kundalini reiki session with him. Once the healing was complete, they parted as if they’d both planned it.
He looked down at what she was wearing, finally. She had put on a long black sleep shirt that had a red plaid heart over the breast. It went down to almost her knees, leaving nothing exposed. “I think the new plan is that we schedule the marriage for as soon as it fits into my work schedule and we decide we’re both married in our hearts right now,” he told her.
She skipped ahead on him, announcing, “I do.” He echoed it back to her, holding her hands in his.
“I’ve never been so happy in my life.”