Give a little bit
The next couple of days flew past, which helped to keep Cassie’s mind off of the situation with Georgio. The lived in the suite like two people who were scared to come to close to one another, which they were.
Sarah’s parents and Lissa had come to Italy and Sarah had gotten them rooms in the hotel, along with everyone else. Since she was out of the hospital she and Cassie had been busy making arrangements for everyone, including decorations of the hotel suite for Christmas. Adam was being released today and Cassie and Georgio were taking Sarah to the hospital to pick him up.
Georgio knocked on the door to Sarah and Adam’s suite and he smiled as she opened the door. “Are you ready Sarah?” he asked.
She nodded and the three of them made their way to the hospital. It was a delightful and scenic trip and Cassie had come to enjoy all the bustle of the Italian streets. There were people walking everywhere and busses zooming by as well. Vicenza, the city they were in was a beautiful and ancient city; Cassie understood why Sarah loved it here so much.
Georgio handled the car well as they traveled to the hospital; he had told her it was much the same as driving in Greece, crowded streets that twisted and turned constantly. They passed through the ancient walls of the old city of Vicenza and Cassie acknowledged the history of it all. She and Georgio had done a bit of sightseeing while they had been here, one spot in particular she had always wanted to go to was the Teatro Olympico, a theater in the downtown area. It was very unusual; it was filled with statues everywhere. They were made of papier mache, which you would never guess when you looked at them. In the early 1800’s Napoleon and Josephine had used the theater as their palace. When told that the statues were not marble, he ran his sword through the knee of one just to see for himself. Cassie would have liked to see he reaction when he found out that they really weren’t marble. The stage was the most fascinating thing about the theater to Cassie though; it was set up like a city street, with small lanes going back stage and little ‘shops’ along the way which were actually dressing rooms. The ceiling over head was painted sky blue with white billowy cloud to complete the effect of a small town. She had never seen anything quite like it.
Sarah was quiet on the way to the hospital; Cassie knew that she was anxious to have Adam home with her. Krista would have to stay in the hospital a while longer so she and Adam would be staying until Krista could travel. Cassie and Georgio were leaving two days after Christmas, heading to Greece. While Cassie was enjoying the time with Sarah, she couldn’t wait to get to the Greek island which was their next destination.
In the parking lot the left the car and made their way to the hospital entrance. Georgio watched Cassie as she walked along and realized that she was no longer walking delicately; she was moving pain free and that was exactly what he had been waiting to see. He knew that in the next day or so they would have their chance and he couldn’t wait. He hadn’t mentioned it to Cassie yet because she had been so busy helping Sarah but he was pretty sure she would be okay with it. That’s the understatement of the year!
Cassie and Georgio waited outside the room as Sarah went in although they didn’t have long to wait. Adam was as anxious to get out of the hospital as Sarah was to get him out of there.
They stopped briefly to see Krista in her room. Adam felt almost guilty, leaving her here and made promises to see her soon. She was doing much better but was still in a great deal of pain and couldn’t move around much.
When Adam mentioned to Krista that he hated to leave her here she laughed and reminded him that Ryan would be back that evening and she was hardly alone. That remark was punctuated by a nurse’s aide entering the room to check on her. Krista was picking up a lot of Italian from the staff here and she was teaching many of them English. It provided her a great deal of entertainment. The phrase of ‘What do you call that?’ was spoken often.
As Cassie looked from Adam to Krista she thought they were all blind when they first met her at Thanksgiving; she and Adam looked so much alike it was astounding. Same eyes, same generous mouth and dark hair Krista was a true beauty.
As they walked out of the hospital Georgio noticed that Adam leaned heavily on the cane and offered to go and bring the car up so he wouldn’t have as far to walk.
“Yes Adam, I think that’s a good idea,” Sarah said.
“Nonsense. I can walk there just fine. It will be good for me,” Adam said, but Cassie noticed how pale he was just after the short walk through the halls.
“Hey Georgio, Adam may not need the car but I do. Honey, my back is bothering me a bit so why don’t you go ahead and get it please? For me?” she said and she didn’t miss the grateful look that Sarah threw her.
“Certainly. I’ll be right back.”
As they waited Cassie had to keep her head down, afraid that Adam might catch the smirk on her face. There was more than one way to handle a man she thought with a laugh!
She really would have laughed if she knew that Sarah was thinking the very same thing; but it wouldn’t have surprised her a bit.
When they got back to the hotel the paparazzi were waiting, camera’s ready. Cassie grimaced as flash after flash hit her eyes; temporarily blinding her. She supposed she would see herself on some magazine cover, in the background of course and it made her giggle. Georgio looked at her questioningly and she only shrugged and grinned a bit more.
At the hotel everyone had gathered to welcome Adam home, or to the hotel at least. Sarah had booked the banquet room for them all and there were many people to be sure.
Cassie chatted with all the family easily and she was enchanted with Adam’s sons; they were very well behaved, even in this situation. She had thought so at Thanksgiving but here it was a different situation entirely. They were totally out of their element, but you would never know it.
After a couple of hours Cassie decided she had had enough and told Georgio, “Let’s get out of here and leave the families be. How about taking a drive?”
“Sure. You have a destination?” It was early afternoon and it was a beautiful day with warm temperatures and a clear cerulean blue sky.
“Yes, I want to go and find Monte Berico! I’ve been hearing about it for over twenty years and it’s my turn to stand there now! C’mon, let’s go!”
They stopped by their suite and grabbed jackets and the camera before heading out. In the car Georgio programmed their destination into the GPS and they were off, driving along the Italian streets again. When they got to the turn off to Monte Berico, Cassie grabbed the camera and started taking pictures of the arches that lined the walk way up the lane. It was stunning.
At the top they parked the car and got and looked around. Across the street was the convent and Cassie could see the nuns walking from building to building in their smart brown habits. These habits had short skirts and were close fitting even; nothing sexy about them, just not the billowy black habits that you often saw on nuns. They made the short walk across the road and were on the lookout point of Monte Berico.
Cassie caught her breath as she looked around. The view was magnificent and she took it all in; the city below and the mountains in the distance. Even for a December day it was quite warm, with little wind and she raised her face to the sun, blinking in the brightness of it. The loveliness of it all brought tears to her eyes.
She heard a ‘click’ and realized Georgio had snapped a picture of her. “Hey, not me, the scenery!” she laughed.
“You are far more beautiful than the scenery,” he told her and Cassie could tell that he believed those words. She suddenly felt lighter and yes, beautiful and her face lit up with a wide smile that was only for him.
They walked hand-in-hand to the north balustrade and stood admiring the Dolomite mountains in the distance. “This is where Sarah met Adam, in September; did I tell you that?”
“No, you didn’t. This view certainly inspires romance, don’t you think?” he asked her, wrapping his arms around her and leaning his head next to hers. He could smell the fragrance she was wearing, something light with a floral hint to it and it stirred his senses. He inhaled deeply and felt himself start to become aroused.
Cassie felt him pressed against her and realized what was happening; it brought an immediate echo response in her. She turned in his arms and said, “Hurry and snap some pictures so we can get out of here Georgio.”
He didn’t waste any time and captured views from the different angles. He knew he was hurrying, but he also knew he didn’t care. He only had one thing on his mind and that wasn’t going to happen here.
“I guess we can always come back here if we miss anything, huh?” she asked as she waited for him. This was certainly not how she pictured this, her first visit to this magical place. She had seen so many pictures of Sarah’s over the years and had hoped that some day she would get to see it and here she was, at Monte Berico and all she wanted was to leave.
“Whatever you would like love. I’ll bring you back every day if you like.” He told her as he snapped one final picture; Cassie, looking at him with love and passion in her eyes. To him that photo would be a masterpiece.
He took her hand and they all but ran across the road to the car. As he tucked her in and slid in behind the steering wheel and felt like a teenager; his heart was racing and he could hardly sit still because of the tightness in his slacks. It had been a long time for him; what if he screwed it all up? What he didn’t know was that Cassie was experiencing similar emotions.
She swallowed hard and then let out a long, slow breath in an effort to calm down a bit. She knew what was ahead and she couldn’t wait, but on the other hand, she was going to finally be with the man she loved with all her heart and she was scared silly.
What if she wasn’t any good at it? It had been a long time since she had been with someone and well, maybe she was a bit rusty at it. What if he was right and she wasn’t physically ready? Would he be doing this if he wasn’t sure? She was sure he wouldn’t, but then she had been pushing him a lot and maybe he just wanted to get it over with so she would leave him alone about it.
She stared out the window of the car and tried to enjoy the drive in order to get her mind off of what comes next.
Georgio watched her with some concern. Something was wrong, but he didn’t know what. Maybe her back was still hurting and she didn’t want him to know. That was a big possibility and he was going to have to make sure before they went any further. As soon as they were in the hotel room it was time to ask some very real questions. In the meantime her reached over and took her hand in his; it felt chilled and he gently squeezed it, running his thumb lightly over her fingers.
She smiled and seemed to relax a bit and eventually smiled at him. Before they knew it they were at the hotel. Georgio parked the car and leaned over to her and raised her head up a bit and softly kissed her. “I love you Cassie,” he told her.
His words elicited a smile from her and she sighed and said, “I love you too Georgio.”
He got out of the car and then opened her door, helping her step out. As they walked to the hotel he lagged behind her a step or two to see how she was walking, but she seemed at ease and relaxed. If the problem wasn’t physical, then what was it?
In the elevator Cassie was almost breathless, with fear that was. She was going to screw this up, she just knew it. She was good at that, messing things up. A tear threatened to make its way down her cheek and she blinked rapidly in hopes that it would go away. Instead, it rolled down her cheek and she swiped it away quickly, hoping that he hadn’t noticed.
Why is she crying he wondered? Oh God, what is wrong? Have I done something? Questions ricocheted around his mind like a ping pong ball gone wild. When the elevator dinged at their floor they both jumped.
“Um, we’re here love,” he said, stepping out of the elevator and waiting while she did the same. She looked up at him and nodded before walking with him down the hall to their suite.
Inside they took off their jackets and stood looking at one another, wordless. This wasn’t at all as either one of them pictured. It was supposed to be natural, spontaneous and instead it was awkward as hell.
Georgio moved to the couch and said “Cassie, sit down please.”
She sat beside him, waiting for the axe to fall. She had done something wrong, but she didn’t know what. Or he just doesn’t want me any longer. She sighed and said, “I guess we need to talk, huh?”
“Yes, we do. Are you hurting love? Is your back bothering you?” There, he had asked the question and he waited with a heavy heart for her response.
“Wh-what? My back? No, it’s fine Georgio. Why?”
“Really? Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m positive. I don’t think it’s ever felt better actually. Georgio, what have I done?”
He looked at her, perplexed when he heard her words. “You haven’t done anything love. I’m just concerned because you became so quiet in the car. What’s wrong Cassie?”
It all started to click into place for her; he had misinterpreted her thoughts in the car to be something different than they actually were. She smiled at him then and laughed a bit. He watched her, clearly puzzled.
“Georgio, I’m just nervous. I haven’t done this in a really long time and I can’t help but wonder it I’ll be any good at it!” She started giggling as soon as she said the words and realized she felt much better.
He laughed then too and shook his head. “God Cassie, I keep wondering the same thing. I kept thinking, what if I screw it all up?” He leaned over and pulled her into his arms and held her close before kissing her, his lips moving slowly against hers in a sensual dance.
When she was breathless she pulled away and laid her head against his shoulder. Both of them took a much needed breath and enjoyed the feeling of holding the other. A few more kisses and Georgio stood up with her in his arms and strode to the bedroom doors.
“Which room love?” he asked, waiting for her to choose.
She giggled and said, “which ever one is closest Georgio.” She nodded to the closest doorway and he walked though it, kicking the door closed behind him.
Neither one noticed the firm click as the door closed behind them.
Copyright 2010 by Cynthia Hope Hodge
All rights reserved. You may not reproduce, or retransmit by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any other means without the authors permission.