“Jake, I’m here! Where are you?”
“I’m in the kitchen, babe!”
Jake sent her a wide and genuine smile over his shoulder when she entered the room. His long legs quickly covered the space between the table and door. He scooped Pearl off the floor and spun her around, giving her a long, deep kiss.
“Damn, I’m glad to see you. It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other. Come sit down.” He pulled her to the table.
“Two days is too long?”
“Sweetheart, two hours is too long to be away from the one you love.” He kissed her hand then pulled out her chair.
“You are so sweet.” She surveyed the table as he poured he filled a second flute handing it to her. “So, what’s all this?”
He sat across from her. “This, honey, is a celebration.”
“Really? What are we celebrating?”
“Well, we’ve got an anniversary coming up, don’t we? Next month will be a whole year since we started seeing each other, and I think it’s time we took this thing to the next level.” He tapped his glass to hers before taking a sip. “Don’t you?”
Pearl took a drink then rolled the glass between her hands. “Are you sure that’s what you want, Jake?”
“Yes, it’s what I’ve been wanting.” He pushed a bowl of strawberries toward her and leaned on the table. “I gotta tell you Pearl, I don’t want to keep doing this. I’m starting to think you’re, you know, maybe a little embarrassed to be seen with me.” He turned pain filled blue eyes to her. “Are you?”
“No, Jake, of course not.” Pearl went around the table to sit on his lap. “We have a nice quiet existence. What’s wrong with that?” she added popping a strawberry in her mouth.
“I don’t want a nice quiet existence. I want the whole world to know how happy I am, how happy you make me.” Jake took her hand and kissed it again. “I want to do what other couples do. I want to take walks in the park, go on picnics, out to the movies. I want to walk down the street and hear the old people say, ‘Aww, look at them, they’re so in love.’”
“I— I want more, Pearl.” His voice softened with his plea.