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The Games Begin…
“Zeus my love, you’re planning something; I recognize the wicked glitter to your eyes!” Hera smiled at her husband and chuckled, wondering what was going on.
“I’m merely taking your advice, my sweet wife – about Pandora that is!” he declared, the corners of his mouth turning up with the pleasure of his plan.
“Well Zeus, what have you decided?” she asked, walking around him and fixing him with an interested stare. “Tell me my love!”
“Pandora refuses to open the jar so I will send it to someone who will open it!” Zeus laughed out loud and the resonance of it rumbled through the mountains below them. The humans below scattered as they felt the earth rumble and shake.
Hera clapped her hands excitedly which caused thunder to stream from the heavens, further terrorizing the humans below. It never ceased to amuse her, the way they all scattered and ran for cover when a little bit of weather interrupted their dreary day. You would think they would welcome the diversion, but alas! They did not seem to.
“Who will do such a thing Zeus?” she asked, pleased that Zeus now had devised a a solution to the problem that had been vexing him greatly.
“I am sending it to the monks at St. Athos. Lukas will handle it for me and keep my secret well.”
“The monks usually only undertake other-worldly pursuits Zeus. How did you convince them to do your bidding?”
“Lukas owes me much and I’ve promised there shall be no earthquakes or floods in St. Athos for a year hence. If I keep my promise then at the end of the annum they shall open the jar. I shall be delighted to keep my promise if they do what I ask.”
“A whole year Zeus? Seems a high price to pay for services such as this!” Hera declared, shocked at Zeus’ bargain. They drew much amusement trifling with the weather in human world. This situation had caused him much more angst than she had ever imagined.
“Yes, only a year. ‘Twill go by quickly, I promise.” He leaned down and gave his wife a quick peck on the cheek and turned to walk away.
Hera watched him with great interest. A year would be a great deal longer than he desired; she was positive of that!
“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.”
Cassie only vaguely noticed that they were in her bedroom. Her heart was pounding, a little bit excitement and a little bit anxiety. There had been a whole lot of build up surrounding this moment, mostly in her own mind she admitted. When Georgio kissed her, the breathlessness was real, yet she couldn’t wait for more.
For months she had waited and desired this moment to happen. She had fantasized and imagined it; in dreams, both awake and asleep. Now she was afraid she would blow it by worrying too much about it.
Georgio laid Cassie down gently on the bed and lay down next to her, pulling her against him for a moment to give her the chance to calm down a bit. He felt her whole body trembling and while he would like to think it was pure passion, he knew better.
She was nervous, but so was he.
For months he had dreamt of getting her naked and making love to her, and now he felt like an inexperienced teenager, not sure of his next move. He leaned down and kissed her dusky pink lips and then trailed a finger over them gently. The next kiss was placed on the very tip of her nose as his fingers stroked her jaw. He felt her body begin to relax a bit and he smiled, partly in relief and partly in anticipation.
“They say this is just like riding a bike, that you don’t forget, but I’m not so sure about that,” she said, letting out a deep breath. “I think I forgot how to do it!”
Georgio placed another tender kiss on her lips and murmured, “I think you’ll catch on soon Cassie.” He kissed her again and let his mouth slip down over her jaw to her play against the satiny skin of her neck. She arched her neck to allow him more access and thrilled as she felt his tongue licking her lightly, soft strokes that were driving her wild. With each moment and each kiss she felt herself relaxing more and soon her quick breaths were from desire, not nerves.
“I think there are a few too many clothing items between us,” she told him with an impish grin. “What are we gonna do about that?”
“Well, I suppose we could remove a few of them. But I have to tell ya lady; I’ve already seen all your parts so there’s not much surprise for me!”
Cassie laughed and hit him with a pillow, a tasseled affair that was the closest one that she could reach. “That is so not fair,” she giggled. “Now, stand up and take it off buddy, I want a show!”
He leaned over her to kiss her again before getting out of the bed and they both felt something vibrating between them.
“Wow Georgio, you really are good! I feel a tingle already!” she joked. She watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled his cell out.
“It’s my sister, Athena. I’m sorry love, but I’d better take it.”
Cassie nodded and watched as he flipped the phone open and answered it. He listened for a few moments and then he asked, “You are okay Tena?”
The more he listened, the deeper his brow furrowed and he was grimacing by the time he said, “Okay, we’ll do that. Can you arrange the flight?” Cassie knew that something had happened and they obviously would be going to Greece, sooner than they had planned.
Georgio opened his suitcase and wrote some information down and then said, “Okay, I got it. We’ll see you in a few hours okay? I love you Tena and it will be okay!”
He pushed the ‘end’ key on the phone and folded it back up as he sat down on the edge of the bed. He gave Cassie a wry smile and said, “There has been another break in at my sister’s in Karystos. Their caretaker Dimitri was attacked and is in the hospital. Damon is in Paris and can’t get away until tomorrow. She has asked if we could come right away – she’s even booked our flight already. Do you mind Cassie?” he reached for her hand as he spoke and stroked his thumb over her hand.
“Georgio, that’s fine, really. When do we leave?” she lifted his hand up to her lips and kissed it softly.
“The flight leaves from Marco Polo in um, 5 hours,” he said, checking his watch. “I’m going to hire a car to take us to the airport in Venice; it will be quicker than catching a train, even a locale. Do you want to call Sarah and let her know what is going on?”
Cassie nodded as she sat up in bed. Georgio grabbed her phone off of the dresser and handed it to her. “Good thing I got those international minutes,” Cassie joked as she dialed Sarah’s number. When she answered she explained the situation and Sarah told her she would be down in a couple of minutes to help them get packed.
In the meantime Georgio had called the front desk and asked for their bill to be readied and then called for a car to take them to Venice, to the airport. It was a 40 mile trip to Venice and even on the Autostrada it would take close to an hour when you take into consideration all the traffic around the air port.
It was all happening so fast; Cassie hardly had a chance to catch her breath. One moment she and Georgio were about to actually have sex, and then they were off to Venice. They had planned to have a trip down there in two days, before coming back here for Christmas and then making the journey to Greece.
There was a knock on the door and Georgio answered it, letting in Sarah and Adam. The greeted one another with a handshake and pat on the back; Sarah wrapped her arms around Cassie and hugged her tight.
“Hey, you’re going to wrinkle me,” Cassie joked at the fierceness of Sarah’s hug.
“You were wrinkled long before I got here,” Sarah teased. “What do we need to do?”
“Nothing, actually. It’s all done. The car will be here in an hour and then we’ll be leaving.”
Georgio was carried their bags into the living area part of the suite and set them by the door. “Would anyone like a drink?” he asked.
“Some wine, please,” Cassie and Sarah both answered.
Adam couldn’t have alcohol because of the pain medication he was on, but he asked for a glass of Pellegrino and Georgio opened a bottle and poured it into a glass for him.
Sarah grimaced when she saw what he was drinking and said, “UGH! I don’t know how you can drink that stuff – it tastes ‘oily’ to me. So gross!”
Adam laughed and took a sip from the glass. “Just a matter of perspective bella!”
Sarah shuddered in distaste and sipped her wine. She was curious why Cassie and Georgio were leaving so abruptly, but didn’t want to ask.
Georgio poured his own glass of wine and sat down next to Cassie on the couch. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and let his fingers play along the skin of her arm. Their arms locked and Cassie blushed, the warm pink infusing her neck and face. She nervously took a sip of her wine to have something to do.
Sarah watched all this with great interest. If she wasn’t mistaken the relationship between the two had taken a new step and she was thrilled for her best friend. She had waited so long for a man like Georgio; one who would cherish her and love her for the wonderful person that she was. Georgio had no idea how lucky he was.
Georgio crossed his legs and said, “My sister Athena lives in Karystos, a suburb of Athens. Last night someone broke into their home and injured the caretaker when he tried to call the police. Damon, Tena’s husband is in Paris on business and can’t get home until tomorrow; Tena is understandably unsettled by it all so we’re going to go and stay with her. This is the second time the house has been broken into in the last few months.”
“Oh my goodness, that’s terrible Georgio. She’s okay, your sister?” Sarah inquired.
“Yes, she wasn’t home at the time. The house is actually a family home and very old. It was built in the 16th century and rambles all over the place. It was amazing that Dimitri even heard the intruders.”
“Did they take anything?” Adam asked, concerned for Cassie and Georgio. Everything that had happened in his and Sarah’s lives lately was still too fresh in his mind.
“Tena doesn’t think so. Last time they seemed to be looking for something; they cut holes in some of the walls, as if they were looking for something inside the walls. It is very strange.”
Adam nodded and took another sip of his water. Sarah noticed that he looked pale and decided that they needed to get back up to their room. Since Adam had been released 2 days ago and lot had been going on and she knew he needed to rest. She finished her glass of wine and got up to set it on the bar counter. “Adam, I really think we need to get back to the room; your parents will be there shortly.”
He nodded and struggled to get to his feet, using the cane as a sort of crutch. Cassie knew that his injuries had been critical and she felt concern for him because she remembered all too well how it felt. She stood up as did Georgio and went to Sarah, hugging her again and then stood on tip toes to kiss Adam on the cheek.
“You’ll call us, won’t you?” Sarah asked, blinking back tears in her eyes.
Cassie didn’t even try to blink hers back; they flowed unchecked but she smiled through them. “Of course we will. And are you both still planning on coming to the island in March to meet us?”
“Sure, we wouldn’t miss it,” Adam said. “I am looking forward to it a lot!”
Cassie nodded and said, “We are too. Sunshine on an island in the Aegean Sea, what’s not to look forward to?”
At the door the men again shook hands and Sarah squeezed Cassie’s hand tightly. “Okay, we’ll expect to hear from you soon. Merry Christmas to both of you.” Sarah said. She joined Adam at the elevator and waited as it arrived and the doors swept open. She stepped in and waved goodbye and then the doors closed and she leaned against Adam and sighed.
“I’m going to miss her so much Adam.”
“I know bella, but the time will pass quickly. Before you know it we’ll be in Greece with them.”
Sarah could only nod and hoped that it was so.
As the elevator doors swished shut Cassie and Georgio went back into the room and closed the door. “How long until the car get’s here?” she asked, looking out the window.
“About ½ an hour. Come and sit with me Cassie,” he answered as he sat down on the couch.
Cassie turned with a smile and when she went to sit down Georgio pulled her on to his lap and proceeded to kiss her, very thoroughly. “Mm, that’s nice,” she told him, running her fingers through his dark hair.
“Well, it can’t make up for earlier, but it is a promise of more to come later. Is that okay?”
“Absolutely. I’m fine with that. I was so nervous that who knows what would have happened anyway?” she joked.
They sat together, kissing occasionally until the car arrived and it was time to go. Each one thought about how lucky they felt to have found the other; someone to share their lives with.
It was good. No, Cassie wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now, bring on the adventure she decided. She was ready!
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 permission by the author.