Don't get any funny ideas!

©2016 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Trudy watched Mark close the door between them and promptly started crying. She needed him with her, needed to be held by him, needed it more than anything. But there was a ghost in the way. Mark felt it and she felt it. 

She sat down in her rocking chair with tears streaming down her face. She stared at the pictures cluttering the top of Charlie’s piano. Charlie stared back at her grinning at the marina, sitting morosely at the dock with a fishing pole in hand, at their wedding with his arm around his brother, on the boat holding up a trout and asleep in the hammock with their angel, little Taylor, cuddled on his chest. They were both in heaven now. And Trudy was all alone.

“I don’t want to be alone anymore,” she muttered as more tears fell along her cheeks. She suddenly got up and took up the picture of Charlie holding Taylor delicately in his arms. She had never seen him so happy. She assumed he’d be happy now that he had Taylor in his arms again.

“I want to be happy, too,” she mumbled quietly. “Would you mind, Charlie? If I...”   She bit her lip.  She couldn’t ask him that. But she needed to stop the pain inside and Mark was helping to finally do that.

“You know I’ll always love you, Charlie. But it’s so lonesome without you. Cindy introduced me to Mark and he’s such a nice man. He said he knew you,” she said to the picture. She paused as if to allow him a reply. None came and she continued. “He says he loves me and....I love him, too. Please, don’t be mad at me. I want...I need let go of you.”

She collapsed onto the sofa, still clutching the picture to her chest and cried herself to sleep.

“Trudy? Come on, Baby, wake up.”

She blinked and stared up at Charlie, the real Charlie. “Did I die?” she asked stupidly.

He chuckled. “No, funny girl. This is just a dream. I just wanted to see you one last time. I brought Taylor.” 

She gasped as Taylor wobbled over to her dragging his baby blanket with him. He grinned up at her. “He’s wanted to see you for a while now, but I told him we had to wait for the right time.”

She scooped him up and held on tightly more tears leaking out of her eyes as the tiny tot hugged and kissed her. She couldn’t speak. She didn’t have to.

“Mama,” Taylor said playing with her hair. His tiny fingers tangled up in her honey-colored locks.

“Oh, my sweet angel,” she whispered, showering him with kisses.

“He’s fine now. No heart trouble at all. Me neither for that matter,” Charlie said grinning. He sat down next to her and kissed her salty, wet cheek.  “I’ll take care of him until you can meet us, Trudy. But in the mean time I want you to marry Mark. You’re right. He is a good guy. He’ll take care of you and you’ll take care of him.”

“Really, Charlie? You don’t mind? I’ll always love you. Nothing will make me stop,” she said adamantly as Taylor cuddled with her.

“Of course I don’t mind and neither does Patty. We’ve met up in heaven. She was hoping you two would get together.”

She gaped open mouthed. “Patty? Mark’s Patty?”

“I don’t know any other,” he retorted grinning, “ You gotta be happy, too. He’s happy and you’re happy now that Cindy brought you together. But you have to sell the house. There’s too many memories in here and I don’t want them getting in your way. My cousin Frank would probably like to buy it still. Ask him, okay?”

“I will, Charlie. Thank you. Thank you for coming to me and bringing Taylor. I missed you both so much,” she said.

Charlie’s face fell. “I miss you, too, Trudy, but we have to go now,” he said sadly. He took Taylor from her and stood up.

“So soon? Please, stay a little more,” she pleaded.

“Can’t, Sweetie. Mark’s gonna be here soon and he won’t want to see me,” he said. “Just go back to sleep and start your new life, okay? We’ll always love you, Trudy.  Taylor, say bye-bye to Mommy, bye-bye....”

A hard knocking awoke her. She sat up and found herself on the sofa with Taylor’s baby blanket over her chest. How did that get here? The knocking continued followed by Mark’s anxious voice.

“Trudy! Are you all right?” he said apprehensively.

She cleared her head and went to the front door opening it. “Hi, Mark,” she said blinking the sleep out of her eyes. “Kind of early for our date, isn’t it?” she said smiling.

He kissed her lightly and took her hand. He instantly noticed her wedding band was gone and looked up with the silent query.

“Uh...where did it go?” she asked looking around the floor. She went to the sofa where she slept and found it on top of the picture of Charlie and Taylor. “That’s weird. I don’t ...oh...” she said suddenly remembering the dream. She glanced at the picture and back at Mark.  “I was saying good-bye,” she explained. She bent down and picked up the picture replacing it on the piano. The piano would have to stay.

Mark smiled and  took her hand. He went down on his knees. “Will you marry me, Trudy?” he asked kissing her hand.

She gaped at him blinking stupidly. She wasn’t certain she was awake yet. “Am I dreaming?” she asked.

He shook his head. “I need you like I need to breath. I want you, all of you for always. I want you to be the last thing I see when I close my eyes at night and the first thing I see when morning comes. Please, marry me and make me so happy.”

She smiled and nodded slowly. He stood up and pulled her into his arms sighing in relief. “I was hoping you’d say that.”

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Starting over

Mark walked around to the passenger side and helped Trudy out. She stood mere inches from him yet it was entirely too far for his liking. She must have read it in his eyes. She smiled and stepped closer.

"You shouldn't look at me like that, Trudy," he said bracingly.

She looked up at him, the questioning in her eyes, but said nothing. She often said nothing yet got her point across quite nicely.

"You look like you want me to kiss you and I'm not certain that's a good idea. I might not be able to stop there," he said, only partly kidding. 

His desire for her was mounting with every breath he took. She smiled again and went up on tiptoes. She teased his lips with the merest touch of hers. That was his undoing. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her hard against him. He ran his hand down her back taking her shawl with him. It dropped to the ground but neither one cared. They were too entrenched in desire to worry about it. They kissed passionately, seeking to get into each other's skin, each other's soul, each other's hearts. 

Several minutes later Mark roughly pulled away breathing hard and fast. His heart danced around wildly."We better say good night before... we just better say good night," he mumbled as he took her hand and they walked up her steps. She unlocked her door, turned back to him and smiled again. She took his hand and gestured for him to follow her in. 

He shook his head saying, "Sweetheart, you don't seem to understand. I can't...."

"Stay with me, please, Mark," she said softly.

Mark stared at her, incredulous. He had only just told her he was in love with her that evening. And that was enough for her? She was entirely too trusting or was it that she loved him too? She hadn't said as much, but then she didn't have to. He felt it in her kiss, in the way she clung to him, in the way she looked at him with those hypnotizing blue eyes. He blindly followed her in and closed the door behind him. She led the way into the house, down the hall and into her bedroom. But they paused at the threshold. They weren't alone.

It was nothing they saw. It was nothing other than a sensing of a presence, a ghost perhaps. It was Charlie. He was there as assuredly as they were. This was his house, the one Trudy had shared with him for over twenty years. Two years of him being gone from it, from earth itself, hadn't dulled his ownership nor his claim to it and to Trudy. They both sensed this and the passion quickly passed as if it never existed. They stared at each other for a second holding hands. He ran his thumb over her wedding band and she did the same with his. They weren't ready for this, not here, not now. 

Then, as one, they turned back down the hall and to the front door. There he caressed her cheek and gazed longingly into her eyes. 

"May I see you tomorrow?" he asked quietly. Was he afraid to disturb the ghost? 

She nodded, went up on tiptoe again and kissed him lightly. "I love you, Mark," she whispered against his lips. Her eyes glistened. 

It took all his strength to pull away from her, close the door behind him and march with purpose to his car. He knew what he had to do. He had to start over.

He arrived home, flicked on the switch flooding the house with light. He felt it there, too. A definite presence. He never noticed it before. Why should he now? He went into his bedroom and stared into her face, his darling Patty. He snatched up the picture with tears in his eyes. He kissed the picture and held it over his heart. Two years and he still missed her desperately. He looked back at her smiling face.

"I'll always love you, Patty, but I'm lonely. I found Trudy and she's...I fell in love with her. Is that all right?" he whispered anxiously.

"Yes, it is," a voice sounding just like Patty spoke in his head, "I want you to be happy. Don't worry about me. Do what you have to, to get together with Trudy. She'll be good for you and you for her."

He replaced the picture frame on his night stand and pulled open her closet. He would get Cindy here to take what she liked. Cindy was almost a full eight inches shorter than Patty but he was certain the dresses would fit her well and most of them were almost new. The rest could go to the church for their clothing give-away. He closed the door again and looked around. That wasn't all that had to be changed. He went to the jewelry box and opened it. He gazed down at over twenty years of birthday, anniversary, St. Valentine's, Christmas, and just-because-I-love-you presents. Cindy would love these too. 

She would think him totally bonkers giving away all of this to her. But she was his dearest cousin, more like a sister and practically his best friend. She introduced him to Trudy after all. He owed her everything for making him so happy after two years of misery. Yes, she deserved all this and more.

He took a deep breath, closed over the cherry wood box and went through the house stopping for a few minutes in each room. Patty was everywhere. In every nook and cranny of the house he saw her, felt her. He had to call a real estate agent. To start over again he would have to do it. Patty would understand, but would Trudy? Would she be willing to sell her home and move to another one with him? Of course, before he asked her to do that he needed to ask her to marry him. That's what he truly wanted. Would she though? 

He looked down at his wedding band and reluctantly pulled it off. It had never been off since Patty placed it there all those years ago. It felt so final now. Patty, the love of his life, was truly gone, but not forgotten, never forgotten.He placed the ring on a gold chain he found in the jewelry box and hung it on Patty's picture frame. He hoped Trudy wouldn't mind him keeping this tiny, little bit of his past.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Kiss

Trudy helped find books for the tiny kids to whom she had just finished reading. She might have  read more of the many adventures of the not-yet-famous Tiffle the Troll, her own creation, but she had to get home to get ready. Mark was coming.

She giggled as she recalled how he came by at noon.  She had her back to the door and hadn’t heard him come in. Her eyes were glued to a story on this fascinating new website she stumbled across called Helium. She considered posting her Tiffle the Troll stories there when Mark rapped sharply on the counter saying in a loud, brusque voice “Is this the place where they keep these ancient things called books?”

She turned and laughed. Mrs. Tannenbaum, the head librarian and ruler of all things literary, automatically put forefinger to pursed lips and shushed them disapprovingly. Trudy swiftly grabbed his arm pulling him away before he got whacked in the head with the encyclopedia Britannica like some people got for disturbing Mrs. Tannenbaum’s peace.

“You goofy guy. You’re going to get me fired,” she said smiling up at him. He was so incredibly handsome. He made her toes tingle when he smiled and he always smiled. He was so very different from Charlie but then they would be. Mark was a doctor and Charlie had owned a marina. Mark was always joking around and talked freely. Charlie was a brooder and rarely said anything funny or otherwise. But then Trudy never needed for him to talk to get his message across. They could almost read each other’s mind. Countless people had unwisely assumed they were giving each other the silent treatment, but it just had been their way.

 She left the library decidedly happier than she had been in a long time. She knew it was all due to Mark. She had yet to figure how best to thank Cindy for forcing her to go out with her cousin, Mark. According to her, he had been similarly reticent about dating after the death of his darling Patty.

It was nice to speak with someone who knew what it was like to lose their soul mate. None of her other friends did. They had their husbands alive and well and those that were divorced actually wished death on the exes. Mark had been the only one who understood. They were good friends now and yet....She had been having much more than friendly dreams about him. But he didn’t want that. At least she didn’t think so. He had been a perfect gentleman these past three months. Surely if he had wanted more he would have said something. He talked about everything else with remarkable candor.

Perhaps he kept his distance because of what she said even before their first date started. Her cheeks still suffused with color when she thought of how she vehemently told him in no uncertain terms she was not going to jump into bed with him. She almost regretted it, almost. She wasn’t delusional after all. She was well passed her prime years, definitely on the down side of peak, though she still looked relatively good. Many said she looked ten years younger than her actual age but she just assumed they were either blind or extra nice.

Mark was one of those. Blind or extra nice, she couldn’t tell which. But she did often catch him just gazing at her as if she was a fascinating painting. And when she smiled a strange light came into his ever-changing eyes. Cindy had said they were hazel but that wasn’t quite right. In a certain light they were green flecked, in another golden brown and sometimes streaked with silver or amber. They were fascinating to watch and she was certain he thought her a bit daft for it. He usually passed his hand in front of her eyes when she couldn’t stop staring into them.

They were going to The French Manor again, the restaurant they went on their first date. It seemed to be their place now. Charlie had never taken her to such a place. He was more the jeans and t-shirt, casual dining kind of guy.

Trudy stood before her closet in bra and panties wondering what to wear. She had always dressed conservatively but tonight she wanted to break out and start showing some interest in romance.  Dressing provocatively might do it. She could almost hear Cindy now.

“So, taking the “Desperate Housewife” route, are you? About time,” she’d say with her usual sparkling laughter.

She donned a daring little dress bare in the back but her bra  showed. Okay, no bra. Can’t get much more “Desperate Housewife” daring than that. God help her if he ran for the hills because she jiggled too much. Not likely. Men liked jiggle. Charlie had.

Mark arrived promptly as always, his eyes a smokey greyish green, his expression unreadable when  his eyes swept over her. “You look wonderful. You make me feel like that Troll you were telling me about.” he said casually. Then he smiled and her heart skipped a beat. She felt warm all over at his praise.   

She giggled shyly and grabbed her shawl. He took it from her and gently draped it over her shoulders ever-so-lightly touching her bare arms. His breath caressing her neck sent rippled waves through her. Every nerve ending seemed on high alert.

They talked amicably all through dinner. She had been hopelessly gazing into his eyes, now flecked with green and gold from the candle light, when he hesitantly asked her  to dance. She stupidly blinked several times and pondered the question. She loved dancing and would certainly enjoy being in his arms swaying softly to the romantic music, but did she dare? She didn’t know if she could refrain from acting the trollop.

He held out his hand in invitation. But did that invitation include what she was thinking? How would those smooth hands feel against her skin, running all over her curves and stalling at strategic  locations? Would he ever want to? Not likely. She saw his wedding band glimmering as if to mock her. How could she possibly compare to his Patty? She had been everyone’s dream girl, a perfect combination of Ginger, with her fiery, curly, red hair and tall glamorous figure and Marianne with her adorable, funny, bubbly personality. Mark had loved her completely as she had loved her Charlie. No, he would never think of her like that. More’s the pity.

“Trudy? Did you hear me?” he asked, quietly intruding into her morose thoughts. She snatched her gaze away from those mesmerizing hands and looked up. She didn’t even try to hide her longing. She was in love with him. It only just hit her. She smiled and placed her hand in his, silently telling him he could have all of her if he cared.

She suddenly realized her lungs needed sustenance. She forgot to breath. She drew in a shaky breath and slowly answered,  “Yes, I’d like to dance.”

She brazenly stepped into his arms and wished he’d pull her in closer. She wanted to feel him especially without clothing. She should have been ashamed of where her thoughts were going but she wasn’t. She moved closer until very sensitive parts of her touched him. A flame ignited within her but she hardly cared to temper it.

Feeling secure in his arms she mumbled, “I like this song.”    

He pulled her a bit closer and joy leapt inside her. She felt his warm hand on her back and felt halfway to ecstacy. She also felt his heart beating quick and hard. This frightened her. All she could think of was Charlie gasping for air as the heart attack took him from her.

“Please, not again!” her thoughts screamed.

She pulled back and looked up at him. He looked dazed and...something else. She couldn’t tell what.  “Mark?” she said fearfully.

“I love you, Trudy,” he muttered wildly. “I’m sorry if it’s too soon or if I’m scaring you but...God help me. I love you. I dream about you all the time. I want you near me, with me always, forever. Please don’t hate me. I’m too old to play games and life’s too short not to take a chance.”

Was she hearing right? He loved her? Elation swept over her. Her eyes misted. She had to tell him all she felt for him. But her voice wouldn’t work. She simply had to kiss him. That would say it all, wouldn’t it? And what if he thought her wanton? She truly didn’t care. She reached up caressing his cheek then kissed him, a fleeting, barely-there meeting of lips yet conveying all her love. But would he understand?

 “Trudy,” he whispered then took her hard against his chest tangling his fingers feverishly in her hair and kissing her soundly. Passion flared unbidden between them and they were lost, lost in a kiss.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Dance

“Would....would you like dance?” Mark asked, equally hopeful and apprehensive. If Trudy said yes he’d be afraid of doing something stupid to ruin things. No, not like step on her toes. He was rather confident of his dancing ability. He just didn’t trust himself to be the gentleman anymore. They had been seeing each other for three months and his dreams from that first night out were filled with her beautiful baby-blue eyes, her dark honey-colored, vanilla-scented hair and her flawless, creamy skin. He had wanted to revel in all of her from the very beginning.

But he knew he had to take it slow and easy, not only for his sake but mostly for hers. He still smiled remembering how nervous she had been on their first date. Even before stepping out of her house she had blurted out “I don’t have sex.”  His first reaction had been to retort  “Ever?” but he had known exactly what she meant.

He had been out with enough of these...what did his cousin Cindy call them? Oh, yes, Sex-in-the-city-tramps. It mattered not that they lived in a rural little town either. Every woman he met seemed to want sex before they said hello. He had been startled, bewildered, horrified at the aggressiveness of these ...dare he call them ladies? Being married to Patty for over twenty years had shielded him from all that. Her sudden death had shoved him unceremoniously into that world completely unaware and helpless as a puppy in mid-morning traffic.

Trudy had been a breath of fresh, and wonderfully old-fashioned, air. He desperately wanted to inhale all of her into him. He gulped as he stared at her in the candle light. He mustn’t think of such things now. Oh boy, it was difficult with her looking at him like that. Her eyes looked like crystalline pools at the base of a perfect waterfall. He got the sudden urge to rip off his clothes and dive in.

But what if she said no? What if she didn’t want to dance, to be touched, to be held in his arms? That would be even worse. It would mean she still felt unsure about him, uncertain of his intentions and possibly afraid of going further. They were friends now and she seemed happy with that, but wouldn’t more be better? Dare he ask for more? Would she be ready? Would she ever?

She had been married to Charlie as long as he had been to Patty. She was still heartbroken over his equally sudden death. It was this shared tragedy that brought them together in the first place. She had been friends with Patty and he with Charlie though neither of them knew the other until Cindy asked them both for a favor.

That Cindy! What a little match-maker she turned out to be. She had been instrumental in the sudden joy Mark felt every morning when he awoke, she and her meddling, sisterly love for him. And to think, he fought tooth and nail to get out of taking Trudy out that first night. He dreaded it like the plague and now he couldn’t imagine a day without at least stopping by the library during his  break to just say hello to Trudy.  Life was strange like that.

He held his hand out awaiting her reply. She simply stared at his hand. She always stared at his hands. He wondered why that was. He didn’t see anything wrong with them...unless... Was it the wedding ring he still wore? She still wore hers. Did that mean something? He was certain it did. Too bad he didn’t have a clue what it could be.

“Trudy? Did you hear me?” he asked quietly. She looked up and the way she gazed at him made the breath catch in his throat. She smiled. Butterflies erupted into flight in his chest. If he didn’t know better he’d swear he was in love. Perhaps he didn’t know better.

“Yes, I’d like to dance,” she said after an eternity. “ It’s been a while. My niece’s wedding I think.” she added thoughtfully.

She placed her soft, warm hand in his and they stood. He led her to the dance floor. His hand at the small of her back sent tingles up his arm and dispersed into a thousand points of light within him. She turned into his arms with her hand brushing against his collar. Damn that collar! If it wasn’t for that he’d feel her touch directly on his skin. He wrapped his arm around her waist. Dare he pull her closer? She moved towards him with no encouragement. His heart skipped a beat. His hand inched up her back until he felt her bare skin. Were dress designers intent on killing him and his resolve to be a gentleman? Sure seemed like it.

Her silky hair brushed against his chin. He bent slightly down to let the tantalizing sensation happen again. Patty had been taller than Trudy and her riotous curls had always tickled him. He remembered it fondly. Trudy’s simply left a sensual trail long after contact. Even at this safe distance, bodies resolutely not touching, he could feel the heat from hers. Or was it from him?

“I like this song,” she whispered in his ear. Her breath caused ripples to run down his spine setting a fire somewhere along the way. Only then did he remember to breath. Her hips swayed minutely closer. Their thighs touched, her chest brushed against his. Delightful torture, that’s what dancing is. He closed his eyes and pulled her closer. His hands were not obeying him at all and he couldn’t stop them to save his life. He could die this way and he’d be perfectly content.

“Mark?” she said pulling back and looking up at him.

He merely stared longingly into those crystalline blue eyes and it burst out of him before he could stop himself. “I love you, Trudy.” he murmured, half astonished, half scared to death. “I’m sorry if it’s too soon or if I’m scaring you but...God help me. I love you. I dream about you all the time. I want you near me, with me always, forever. Please don’t hate me. I’m too old to play games and life’s too short not to take a chance.”

He stared at her fearful yet wishing for a miracle. Those crystalline pools seemed in danger of overflowing suddenly. To his astonishment she went up on tip toes and kissed him, a sweet, soft-as-air kiss but one he felt down to his toes and back again. She pulled back and stared up at him looking as amazed as he did.

His heart danced the Irish jig in his chest and he wasn’t even Irish. “Trudy...” he said before recapturing her lips and kissing her passionately. He held her fast against him and she clung to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him closer still. If he didn’t know better he would swear she loved him too.

Oh, yeah, he really didn’t know any better.