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Re: A Message (Short Story)


June 1944 - London

In her sleep she could see Tom’s face on the pillow beside her. His eyes were closed. She looked at him for what seemed like hours, praying that he would open his eyes. Was he sleeping or was he dead? She couldn’t determine the answer. In her dream she thought, “he’s missing.”

She tried to reach out to touch his face to wake him but found she couldn’t; she seemed frozen in fear. In those moments that feel like hours in dreams, she feared the worst. He’s missing means he’s dead. Her mind played the words over and over again. That was until he opened his eyes and she felt the warm tears gently falling from her own eyes, down the side of her face as she laid across, facing him.

The sun reflected in his blue eyes, light stubble on his face. His eyes were all she could see – and his lips. Slowly his lips turned into a smile but she could not look away from his eyes. They held her attention. She was so happy to be laying with him, looking in his eyes. He wasn’t missing after all. He was alive.

Moments later, when Adele opened her eyes for real, she found that there were tears on her face. She awoke to the reality that Tom was not lying beside her – that he was still missing. The reality hit her hard, as it did every morning she woke up. Sleep had been her only source of escape from the nightmare she lived during her waking hours, but now even her sleep was haunted by his face; the face she could no longer touch or kiss.

When she walked through the streets, when she went to do her weekly grocery shopping, when she got ready for work in the morning and when she got ready for bed at night, Adele did all these things as if she were a ghost. She floated through her day, but not with ease but rather a heavy heart. It was as if she did not know her own movements and did not recognize herself anymore.

She did not feel; she did not think; she simply existed. The only source of life she experienced was when she was at the hospital, going about her duties. It was her one consolation in life, as it had always been, but now she felt it might be all she would ever have.

It had been nearly two weeks since Tom’s parents told her the news. Since that night, the night when his parents had told her he was missing and that his plane had gone down off the coast of France on June 6th, she had not cried…until his morning.

Today she was to visit Tom’s parents for afternoon tea. She had seen them nearly every day since they received the news. They were worried about her and wanted to make sure she was coping alright. Every day she took the bus to their house in Westminster and had tea with them.
She had tried her best to mend her appearance as nicely as possible, but lately she was finding no interest in doing the simplest of things, such as curling her hair or worrying about makeup. She tried her best to smile and to put on a pleasant manner but she knew she could not fool them, or herself.

“I’m sorry but we’ve had no news”, Tom’s father said as he brought her inside the living room where his wife was sitting. She stood and gave Adele a kiss on the cheek.
“How are you, dear?”
Adele tried to smile but it came across as a sad excuse for one.
“I’m sorry”, she said, feeling herself tear up. “I can’t seem to stop myself from crying today.”

They asked her to have a seat and Mrs. Hiddleston poured them some tea.

“Don’t apologize. I can’t seem to think of anything but Tom these days”, his mother said. “I do worry so.”
“We both do”, her husband added. “Tom is our only son and we’re very worried, like you are my dear.”

She looked at his parents and saw the obvious concern on their faces. She felt comforted in their presence and wanted to tell them so.

“Thank you, for everything. I find it very comforting to be here with you. I feel close to Tom”

Tom’s mother leaned across and put her hand over Adele’s hand.

“And we find it very comforting to have you here with us. Tom had a lot of very nice things to say about you and we were very anxious to meet you.”
“Tom’s never been the type to have his girls to the house before”, Mr. Hiddleston added, “so when he wanted to bring you home, we knew that you were special.”

Adele smiled and felt herself tearing up again. She knew that there had been others before her, but she knew that what they had was special to him, as it was to her.

“You’ve both been so kind.”
“Of course…you’re going to be our daughter soon.”

At this, Adele let her tears fall. The words sounded too good to be true and she didn’t realize it until now how much she wanted that. She had accepted his proposal and knew it was real but now that it was fading away from her, she wanted it more than anything; she wanted Tom more than anything.

“I can’t tell you how much I would like that.”

His mother was now crying alongside Adele and Mr. Hiddleston was trying his best to console both women. Until today Adele had not cried in front of them.

“I’m sorry but perhaps this is all sinking in now. I’ve felt like I’ve been walking around in a nightmare.”
“We’ve felt the same, my dear”, his mother said, wiping the tears from her eyes with a napkin. “We want very much for our son to come home to us.”

Then for some reason Adele felt the need to say something to them.

“In case I haven’t said this to you, I want you both to know how much I love your son. He’s a very special man and he has meant the world to me. I can see where he gets his kindness from.”
“It’s very clear to us how you feel, my dear. There’s no need to explain.”
“And we want you to continue with the wedding plans, and to start thinking about the house”, Mr. Hiddleston added.
“No”, Adele said, shaking her head, “I wish I could but I can’t.”

Mrs. Hiddleston took Adele’s hand and held it in both of hers.

“You have to. It’s the only way to have hope.”
“I don’t think I have the strength.”
“You have to find it. It’s what Tom would want.”

Adele looked down as Mrs. Hiddleston’s hands held hers, and thought that this was the woman from which Tom had come from. It comforted her enormously to be there with them and just to sit and talk. She felt like she loved them already, and even though she wasn’t officially part of the family, she cared for them like they were.

“The only thing I can tell you to comfort you”, Mrs. Hiddleston continued, “is that as a mother, I think I would know if my son was gone. I think a mother has a strong connection with her children, and I’ve always had a strong connection to Tom…what I’m trying to say is that I strongly feel there’s hope.”

The truth was that everyone had been very encouraging to Adele, telling her not to give up hope. It’s not that she wanted to – it was that she didn’t know how to hope any more. She felt so drained of all feeling that it was almost impossible. But she would obey his parent’s wishes and start thinking about her life with Tom.

She decided that since her dress was purchased, she would concentrate on the house. The first thing she decided to order was a bed. She went to one of the shops in Westminster, not far from the bridal shop where she had bought her dress just weeks before, and chose a bed from the selection they had on display. She was told it would be there in a few days time. She paid, gave them the address, and left the store.

When she walked by the bridal shop, she decided to go inside. The woman who had served her previously was working and remembered her.

“I’m afraid your dress hasn't come in yet.”
“I know. You said you would call when it does arrive. I realized after I had bought the dress that I hadn’t picked out a veil.”
“We have a large selection if you’d like to take a look.”
“Yes, I would.”

Adele went to look at the veils as many of them were displayed on one of the walls. She remembered her dress and how it looked exactly, so trying to find a matching veil was not too difficult. She wanted something with lace to match the dress.

When the saleswoman came over a few minutes later, she asked if she needed any assistance.

“It’s been very busy today”, she told Adele as she was helping her try on a veil. “Lots of weddings being planned in the next few weeks.”

Adele did not reply but listened.

“And what about your wedding day?”
“My wedding day?” Adele asked, almost as if she wasn’t aware that the woman was speaking to her. The truth was she was in a bit of a daze as she looked at herself in the mirror with the veil on, like she wasn’t seeing herself but someone else.
“When are you planning on getting married?”
“I’m not sure. We didn’t set a date.”
“You will”, she said, smiling as she adjusted the back of the veil on Adele’s head. “I believe you told me your beau is a pilot.”
“You see? I have a very good memory.”

Then she stepped back slightly so Adele could have the full effect of the image in the mirror.

“How do you like it?” she asked.
“It’s lovely.”
“But it’s not the one, is it?”
“I don’t know”, Adele said, feeling sad as she looked at her reflection in the mirror.
“Let’s try another.”

She tried on several before she realized she could not choose one. The saleswoman was very understanding. Adele tried her best to hide how she was truly feeling.

“I’m sorry I’ve not been an easy customer.”
“That’s alright, my dear. I’m sure you’ll find one once your dress comes in. It’s always better to pick a veil when you have your dress on. It’s easier to match that way.”
“Please let me know once it does come in.”
“Of course.”

When Adele left the bridal shop, she decided to walk home as it was such a lovely June day. There were very few clouds in the sky, which was unusual for this time of year in London. She felt the warmth of the sun on her skin and tried to imagine that Tom was walking with her. She tried to imagine his arm around her shoulders and the feel of his body next to hers. Every fibre of her being could recall his touch, his taste, his smell. She could close her eyes and she his in an instant. It was this that gave her hope.

When she arrived back at her flat, she felt tired and wanted to lay down to take a nap. Her mind was foggy and her body felt tried as a result. She kicked off her shoes and removed her pantyhose, sitting on the bed. She picked up the framed photo she had of Tom in uniform that was resting on her nightstand. She held it in her hands and looked down at it, admiring how he looked in his uniform. She remembered what he had said to her when she asked the “what if” question the night before he left.

“I’ll die knowing that you loved me.”

The phone ringing brought her back to the present. Holding the photo, she walked into the living room and picked up the receiver.

“Adele, it’s Mr. Hiddleston.”

The sound in Tom’s father’s voice caused her some alarm.

“We’ve just received news about Tom. It’s good news.”

Adele felt the hairs on her body stand on end and the sense of relief overcame her and made her nearly collapse on the floor, but lucky for her the sofa caught her.

“Oh thank God.”
“He’s in hospital. He’s injured but he’s alive.”

When she heard the word hospital, she had to ask:

“Does it say which hospital?”
“No, it doesn’t.”
“Are you sure?”

He seemed to pause to read it over and told her it did not say. She would not let that deter her.

“That’s all it says. It doesn’t even say what type of injuries he’s sustained, only that he was found alive and is now being treated for injuries.”

“I’ll make some enquiries”, she said, determined that she would know where he was. “I think I may be able to find out more.”
“Are you thinking of going there?”
“Yes”, she told him. “As soon as I know where he is.”
“Do you think you’ll be alright?” he asked, concerned. “We wanted to call you to let you know as soon as we heard. We are very happy to receive this news and knew you would be too.”
“Thank you”, she said, tears welling up in her eyes at the news that Tom was alive.

When she hung up the phone, she looked down at his photo and started to cry. She was too happy for words and felt the need to rest her head against the arm of the sofa and close her eyes. She was relieved, happy, and grateful all at once. She knew that whatever had happened to Tom, no matter what injuries he had sustained, she was never going to leave him. In fact, she was going to try to get to him as soon as possible. Little did she know, however, that by this time he was already on his way to London’s St. Mary’s Hospital.

Tom had received his belongings from the base a few days after he was told he would be moved to St. Mary’s Hospital in London temporarily. As soon as he had heard the news from Dr. McCrae, he wrote to his parents to let them know he was fine, but he suspected they knew that already as he was positive a telegram would have arrived by now. He also had a special request to make of them regarding Adele, as he wanted to surprise her when he returned.

Of course he wrote a letter to her as well.

“My darling Adele:

You cannot know what it means that I am able to write these words to you. I’ve been to hell and back since I saw you last and I know that you have probably been there and back as well. Forgive me if I’ve caused you any pain or if I’ve worried you unnecessarily.

I’m writing to let you know that I’m here – alive and well. I don’t know if it was luck – as the doctors here say – or something more that spared my life, but nevertheless I’m alive. I’m alive and I love you. I never want to leave you again. I want to live the rest of my life with you and love you with my entire being. You’re the reason why I survived.

We will see one another very soon. Do not try to come to me – I will come to you.

Yours forever,

As he was gathering his things, Dr. McCrae approached him.

“The transport should be here by the end of the hour.”
“Am I being admitted into St. Mary’s?”
“Just for the night. The specialists there will assess the injuries but it’s more than likely you’ll be discharged the next morning.”

Tom felt disbelief at the words, thinking for sure that he was done for, or at least would need to spend several months recovering. These past few days had been a real eye opener for him as he realized more and more how lucky he had been to have escaped serious injury, even death. He felt grateful and more than a little lucky.

“Then what?”
“You’ll have to return for your treatments. These shouldn’t prevent you from returning to your duties, however.”

While Tom was relieved to hear this, he wasn’t sure what that meant. The war had changed and the nature of his role, as Wing Commander, would likely mean he would not fly for the duration of the war. Part of him wondered if the promotion still stood now that he had been shot down. He felt down on himself about this but he really tried not to let it overshadow the fact that he knew he was lucky to be alive.

“Thank you”, Tom said, extending his hand to Dr. McCrae, a truly gentlemanly gesture that surprised John slightly. “For everything.”

Tom sensed a momentary hesitation, but then John took his hand confidently and shook it.

“Remember, I didn’t do anything. Someone upstairs was looking out for you.”
“Yes, I do realize I have to count my lucky stars.”
“You do…in more ways than one.”

With that, John walked away, gracious in defeat. Tom watched and understood that there was something more that Dr. McCrae was referring to and that something more had to do with Adele. When he turned to finish his packing, he knew that he was very lucky that she was waiting for him back in London. He had so much he wanted to say to her and so much he wanted to do with her. He wondered how on earth he had existed before her. Some of his colleagues in the RAF said at first it was lust, but then after a few months of seeing her, they started to change their minds. He was talking different, even acting different. Some of his closest friends realized that she must be the one.

He had not told Adele what day he was due to get back to London. He wanted to surprise her and that was part of the request he made of his parents (to keep it secret). He hoped that he could come and go from the hospital in London unseen, without her knowing he was there. For some reason he did not want her to see him there as he did not want to worry her. He knew he couldn’t hide his injuries but for some reason, perhaps manly pride, he didn’t want her to see him in a situation where she felt she would need to save him. He had it all planned out in his mind and he hoped that everything would work out according to his plan.

Last edited by OrlilLicious, 11/6/2017, 4:28 am
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Re: A Message (Short Story)

What plan does Tom have? I would think after all he and Adele have been through he'd want to waste no time going to her straightaway. Especially in light of the fact that his parents, once they knew he was safe and coming home soon would immediately inform Adele. There's a good chance they might pass one another like ships in the night as Adele is determined to go to him as much as he is to go to her. I hope somehow Adele is delayed from her mission and that Tom is somehow waiting at her door once she does plan to leave to find him. I know, I'm a hopeless romantic and I'm sure you have a very exciting and emotional reunion planned for them, so I'll but out with the suggestions, lol.

I enjoyed this chapter very much. It was thrilling to read about Adele's reaction to Tom's father's call that he was alive. She had been so down and only going through the motions, and it was ironic that the very day she decided to go forward with her life by buying a bed for the house and finding the perfect veil was the day she was informed of Tom's fate. I am on pins and needles to read the reunion chapter coming soon.

Well done, my dear. Especially the way Adele dreamt of Tom that was an exact description of the gif you showed me a while ago. EEK! Goosebumps were felt!
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Re: A Message (Short Story)


Late June, 1944 – London

The past three weeks of Tom’s life since D-Day had felt more like three years. Since June 6th, he had been to hell and back, both physically and emotionally. When he arrived back in London he felt like a different man; the one who had left it did not fully realize the magnitude of what was before him, or the loss that it was possible for him to encounter in his life if he had died. The man who left was also fearless, not afraid to fly into the unknown; now what he feared most was the thought of losing her for real, for good. The man who had left London a month ago had been in love with a woman, the likes of which he had never met before; the man returning to London was in awe of the enormity of his feelings for this same woman. Everything had changed; he had changed.

In university he had read something from a French philosopher that he had not understood until this point in his life: "We all have two lives. The second begins when you realize you only have one." It made sense to him now. He had looked death in the eye and had somehow cheated it. Rather than making him feel invincible, he realized now more than ever that he had to grab what he had and hold on to it for dear life.

He was dropped off at the hospital and was admitted, without incident. He met with the doctors, in particular Dr. Marshall, and as he stood before the doctor, naked from the waist up, he felt that his body was under a microscope. He was in some pain but he was able to manage it tolerably enough, and so he took the pain medication only when needed.

“You were damn lucky, old chap”, Dr. Marshall told him as he examined the burns on Tom’s upper body, mainly his left arm and part of his left side. “How did you say this happened again?”
“The wing exploded.”

Dr. Marshall looked at him, baffled.

“I’d say it was a bit more than damn luck then.”

Tom stood there, smiling slightly at the doctor’s incredulity. When a nurse came in the room, Tom felt slightly nervous, fearing that it would be Adele. He knew it wasn’t likely to be her but he was still slightly nervous about the possibility of running into her. The girl that came in was not Adele, and he listened as she was instructed to fill a prescription. She walked out, leaving him alone with the doctor.

“You may put your shirt back on.”

Tom did so with some difficulty but it was managed easily enough without too much effort.

“Do you think it will require surgery?”
“Not sure at this point, old chap. Looks like the worst of the blistering is over.”

“That’s been the most painful part”, Tom said. “Hurts like hell when the blisters swell up.”
“Do the pain meds help?”
“I try not to take them.”
“You can’t be a hero all the time”, Dr. Marshall said, looking slightly amused. Tom liked his bedside manner and smiled.
‘I’d like to prescribe some topical medication to make sure there isn’t too much scarring.”
“I’m not worried about that”, Tom said.
“I’m sure you’re not. That would be the least of your concerns, seeing how well you’ve fared.”

The doctor finished writing something down on a chart and then turned to him again.

“If there is surgery, it may be for cosmetic purposes only. If it was your face, then I think it would be best to opt for the skin grafting, but as it is I think you’re better off without it. It can be a very painful procedure and depending on the extent of the grafting, it may take a while to heal.”

Tom finished tucking his shirt in his uniform pants.

“Am I being admitted?”
“No, I don’t think that will be necessary. I think we will see you on an outpatient basis.”
“That’s a bit of a relief.”
“In truth, we could use the beds. Lots of poor chaps coming in all the time.”
“The more serious cases, I presume?” Tom asked.
“You don’t want to know.”

Dr. Marshall’s face spoke volumes.

“You’re one of the damn lucky ones, Mr. Hiddleston. What do you think you will do now?”
“Return to duty as soon as I am medically able. When do you think that might be?”
“Within a month or so you should be back to your old self. You’re managing the pain alright then?”
“Just remember the medication will help in the healing process so don’t be afraid to use it…when that time comes, you bring in the papers and I sign then. Then you’re free to go back to hell.”

He said this jokingly, referring to the war as hell, and Tom took it as such. The truth was he wasn’t overly anxious to get back to his duties, he was more anxious to see her. Now that he knew he wasn’t being admitted, his plans changed slightly.

When he was leaving, he felt slightly disoriented and must have left the doctor’s office by the wrong door, as he walked into a ward where he immediately got the sense that he shouldn’t be there. While he did not pause, something inside him did. He tried not to look around too much and stared straight ahead, but the disfigured, sometimes faceless or mummy-like men he saw lying in beds or sitting in chairs were pitiful. Tom had seen things in war but never anything quite like this. He tried not to meet the eyes of any of the men but he felt like all eyes were on him, and once or twice when he did look men were paused, staring at him. He felt like an intruder in a world of suffering and pain; a world that he had narrowly escaped from. Their eyes were jealous; jealous that he had survived, unscathed, when his fate should have been theirs.

“Excuse me, sir, no visitors are allowed at this time”, said one of the nurses, slightly startling him.
“I’m sorry, I came in the wrong way by accident.”

She showed him which door he could leave from and he left the ward, feeling an extreme sense of guilt that he was relieved to get out of there, but also guilt: guilt for surviving.

He left the hospital undetected and headed straight for his parent’s place in Westminster, a short cab ride from the hospital. He left there with a sigh of relief that Adele had not seen him. He wanted more than anything to surprise her, and after his encounter at the hospital he was determined more than ever to show her what she meant to him.

Last edited by OrlilLicious, 11/14/2017, 4:00 am
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Re: A Message (Short Story)

That very same day that Tom had arrived back in London, Adele had booked a train ticket to Portsmouth for the following morning, fully intending to go to him despite his request in his last letter that she not try to go to him and that he would eventually come to her. She did not know that when his parent’s rang her up the day before she was due to go to the coast, that she was being delayed. Mrs. Hiddleston had arranged for painters to go to Adele and Tom’s new home, and she asked if Adele could be at the house as she needed someone to let the painters in later on that evening. She agreed, even though she knew she had a busy night ahead of her before she left in the morning for Portsmouth. Tom’s parents had been so gracious in their offering to help with the new house that Adele hardly knew how to thank them. They had been wonderful to her and she already felt like part of the family.

It was after 7pm when she left St. Mary’s Hospital after her shift. The painters were due to arrive sometime after 8pm and they were scheduled to work through the night. She was going to leave soon afterwards so that she could get back to her flat and finish packing for the morning.

When she got to the house, it had started to rain quite heavily. It had been threatening to do so all day and she was glad to have gotten inside as she did not have an umbrella. She uncovered her head with her coat and turned on the entranceway light, putting down her purse. Something caught her eye and she glanced over at the staircase and saw something odd on the stairs. As she approached, she saw what it was: red rose petals strewn over the stairs. Adele felt her body react with goose bumps and in surprise she reached out to touch one to make sure what she was seeing was for real. She knew, before she even consciously knew, that it was Tom. He was here.

Her mouth went to call out his name but she found herself lacking a voice in those moments. She then started to ascend the stairs, seeing that the petals continued to be strewn the further she ascended. Slowly, she started to make her way to the second floor of the house and as she did so, her heart started to race in her chest.

Could it be? But how? It had been less than a week since she received his letter. It couldn’t be him. Was she dreaming?

When Adele got to the top of the stairs it was dark, save for the light pouring up from the main entrance. She could see her way well enough to see that the trail of petals continued. When she let her eyes follow them, she saw that they stopped outside one of the doors leading to the bedroom – the room she had chosen as their future bedroom. It was then, after her eyes adjusted, that she saw the door was slightly ajar and there was a dim, flickering light coming from the crack in the door.

This is when Adele finally allowed herself to believe that Tom was here, waiting behind that door for her.


She received no answer so she started to walk towards the door, feeling every ounce of anticipation in her body. She was walking but her steps felt dreamlike. She was smiling but it just didn’t seem real to her.

She got to the door and gently started to push it open, at the same time saying, “Tom?”

When she heard his voice she could hardly believe it. When the door was opened her breath was taken away. There was Tom, standing there in his uniform in the dark, save for the fireplace and the candles he had lit around the bedroom. The candles rested on the windowsill, the mantle, and on a small table near the bed that she had recently bought and that had just been delivered a few days ago. It all looked like some perfect dream. She gasped slightly as her eyes fell on him and stayed there.

He was standing there, his hands in his pockets, his uniform blazer undone. The flickering of the fire made his eyes glow and she could see the tears in them as he stood there looking at her. He was smiling but the tears fell from his eyes. They remained frozen like this for a few moments: her in the doorway and him by the fireplace.

“How are you here?”
“By miracle, really. Aren’t you happy to see me?”

She smiled and rushed over, throwing her arms around his shoulders and he wrapped his around her. She showered his face, head, and neck with kisses. He laughed through the tears as she was relentless.

“I shall think it a dream tomorrow, to think that you’re here, and that I’ve actually touched and kissed you. How did you get here? Why didn’t you let me know you were coming?”
“I wanted to surprise you.”
“I was coming to you tomorrow.”
“I know…my mother intercepted you before you could go.”
“Intercepted? She knew you were coming back?”
“Yes, and she was sworn to secrecy. She knew I wanted to surprise you tonight.”
“That you did.”

She looked up at him, her hands touched his face, wiping the tears away. He smiled.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
“What happened?”
“We can talk about that later. Right now I want to enjoy being here with you, in this room, our room, and just shut the world out.”

She looked in his eyes, still hardly able to believe he was there. She too began to cry and then started showering him with kisses again.

“I missed you so much…I was so worried…we didn’t know what had happened…now you’re here…”
“So you are happy to see me?” he asked, causing her to smile. She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
“I’m never leaving you out of my sight again…I just want to hold you and kiss you.”

As she said the words, she started to remove his blazer and this is when she heard him take a quick intake of breath, a sign of his obvious pain. She stopped and looked at him.

“What’s wrong?”
“It’s the burns.”

She looked at him, worry and concern in her eyes. The telegram had not indicated what type of injuries he had sustained, and he never divulged such information in his letter to her.

“Don’t worry, I’m fine. It’s healing but still a little tender.”

She gathered where the burn was and she slowly started to unbutton his shirt, then gently eased off his blazer and then his shirt underneath. There were no bandages and she could see that it looked to be healing well. For a few moments he was her patient and he allowed her to examine the burns for herself. She felt tears falling down her face as she looked at them, her hands gently resting on his bare chest, caressing his skin.

“Do you still love me?” he asked teasingly, but deep down he did wonder how she would feel when she saw the burns on his side and arm.
“I love you more, not because of this but because when I thought I’d lost you, I wanted to die.”

He grabbed her hands in his and kissed them, feeling himself crying again now as well.

“I’m so sorry for the pain I caused you.”

He grabbed her and held her close, and they both allowed themselves to cry in each other’s arms. Adele allowed all the pain and worry and anguish of the last few weeks to be released in his arms, praying that when she opened her eyes again that he would still be there. This is perhaps the first time that Tom ever let his manly guard down and allowed himself to cry like this. When he realized they were tears of happiness more so than sorrow, he took her by the hand and led her over to the bed. He stood there with her for a few moments.

“I see you bought a bed in my absence.”
“I figured it would be the most useful piece of furniture we would own so I bought it first.”

This made him smile. He turned and wiped her tears away with his hand, gently caressing her face.

“I didn’t set up this whole romantic scene tonight to stand here and cry all night.”
“I’m sorry”, she said, smiling. “This is wonderful. You being here is wonderful.”

She looked down at the bed.

“I didn’t buy any sheets.”
“We don’t need sheets, do we?”
“I suppose not.”
“The only thing I want to feel is your naked body next to mine.”

She felt butterflies in her stomach as Tom’s face turned serious and he put his face down to her neck and started to kiss.

“Turn around”, he whispered to her.

She did so and felt as his lips continued to kiss her neck while his hands gently unzipped the back of her dress. He pulled her hair to one side and she leaned into his kiss.

“I never realized this before but my neck is my weak spot.”
“I intend to make you feel a lot more of that through the course of the evening.”

She smiled, closing her eyes, allowing his hands to unzip her dress all the way down. He gently pulled the shoulder straps down and she felt as the dress slid down to the floor at her feet. His hands felt large and strong on her back as he undid her bra. She turned and put her arms around his shoulders, their foreheads touching as he lowered his head to hers.

“I want you to do what you want with me tonight.”
“And the same goes for you”, he told her.
“But you’re much more experienced at this than I am.”
“Not really. I told you sex and making love are two different things, and you’re the first woman I’ve ever made love to.”
“Yes, but compared to you –“
“You need to stop talking now and get into bed with me.”

She smiled, liking his playful manner. She looked up at him.

“Take me to bed then.”
“Technically, I should be carrying you over the threshold first.”
“So old fashioned”, she said.
“Perhaps a little.”
“We’re not married yet.”
“You were mine the moment I laid eyes on you.”

When he said this her heart fluttered in her chest. This was the meaning of having butterflies in your stomach. He stood there before her, looking perfect, saying all the right things. This is the kind of man you read about in novels, not actually meet and touch in real life.

They removed the rest of their clothes and she enjoyed undressing him, cherishing every moment of the experience. As he stood there before her, and she once again admired his body, she thought about how she had feared she would never be able to hold or touch his body again. She reached out and traced her hand over his chest and gently brought her lips to kiss it, including the part of his left side where the burns were. She thought of how she loved every inch of him.

He went to lift her up and she hesitated.

“Are you sure?”

He knew she was referring to his injuries but he ignored her question and, picking her up, laid her on the bed where he nestled himself between her legs. She could tell that he was feeling some discomfort but that he was trying to hide it.

“What can I do?” she asked, looking at him.
“It might be easier if you were on top.”

His voice was gentle and warm and she kissed him on the lips. She could see the want in his eyes as he laid on his back and she let him instruct her as to what to do. Slightly nervous she allowed herself to be on top of him, liking the feel of him inside her this way. She was a bit shy but her shyness soon disappeared.

“I’ve never done this before”
“Tell me if you like it then", he said, almost moaning, as she eased herself onto him.

She felt as his hands rested on her hips and with his own he guided her and she felt the movements coming naturally to her. They made love that way and afterwards laid together on the bed, their bodies intertwined. She had never felt so close to anyone in her life and in those moments she knew if they were her last on earth she would have felt like she had lived and loved to the depths of her being.

“You once told me you were Icarus”, she said to him, as she cradled her body next to his, looking down at his strong face. “Is that what happened?”
“Yes, it was…but unlike Icarus, I’ve been given a second chance.”
“I was so scared when the telegram said –“

He put his finger over her lips.
“Don’t think about that. I’m here now.”

She looked at his face and admired his chiselled bones that defined his cheeks. She traced her finger along the lines of his lips and looked at him deeply.

“I was damn lucky.”
“Yes, you were.”
“I’m even luckier to be here with you.”
She smiled.
“Yes, you are.”
“I don’t ever want to leave you again.”
“Then don’t”, she said.
“I will have to go back but I doubt they’ll let me fly again. I’ve been promoted Wing Commander.”
“When will you have to go?”
“Once the doctor gives me the all clear.”
“Well until then, you’re mine and you’re not leaving my sight for one second”, she said, kissing him gently on the lips.
“Something tells me I may need a doctor after you’re through with me.”
“I thought that’s what you wanted.”
“I wouldn’t want you any other way. Besides, I like the idea of you barefoot and pregnant.”
“You’re jumping ahead of yourself slightly.”
“Well, one day then.”
“Yes”, she said, kissing him again.

He reached up and tucked the hair that was falling in her face behind her ear.

“Did you like my surprise?”
“I loved it.”
“Then you’ll like my other surprise.”

She smiled but looked at him suspiciously.

“Another one?” she asked.
“Yes, another one.”
“Are you going to keep me in suspense?”
“How much do you want to know?”
“I don’t like surprises”, she told him.
“You just said you liked the one tonight.”
“When I don’t know they’re coming, I like them but when you tease me that there’s another one, I can’t stand it and have to know.”
“Hmmm…perhaps I’ll have to keep you in suspense then. I like the thought of seeing you squirm.”
“That’s mean.”
“No, I could never be mean to you.”
“Fine, don’t tell me then.”

He pretended to sigh and then gave in.

“Well, the surprise does sort of require your involvement so I suppose I have to tell you.”

She waited, her head resting on her arm as she propped herself up so that she could look down at him as he laid on his back. Her hand caressed his chest.

“July 6th.”
“What about July 6th?” she asked, curiously.

He grabbed her hand.

“That’s the day we’re getting married.”

Her eyes locked on his. He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it.

“That’s if you’ll still have me.”
“Don’t be silly, of course I will.”

She smiled and brought her lips down to his.

“I spoke to the rector at St. Paul’s this morning.”

Then she thought about her dress and the logistics of it all, realizing that July 6th wasn’t that far away. She sat up, suddenly worried.

“But that’s just over a week away.”
“Is that not alright?” he asked, suddenly becoming concerned that there was some impediment to that date. She had concern on her face. He touched her back.
“My dress hasn’t come yet.”
“You ordered your dress then?” he asked, please to hear it. He was smiling.
“Yes, and it hasn’t come. What if it doesn’t?”
“Can’t you pick out another one?”
“You don’t understand. It was the first one I tried on and I knew it was the one. I couldn’t possibly wear another.”
“Can we do something to speed up the process, pay more money perhaps?” he asked, trying to think of a solution.
“That’s a good idea. I can call tomorrow and see if that’s possible.”

He then smiled.

“I’d marry you if you were wearing a potato sack.”

She smiled.

“That’s a very sweet thing to say but you know that’s not true.”
“Okay, I’d marry you if you were naked then.”
“Like now?”
“Yes, right now.”

She looked down at him.

“Why July 6th?”
“Because…that’s exactly one month since I nearly lost you…”

She realized that it had been June 6th, the date on the telegram that had been delivered to his parents. She felt tears welling up in her eyes. His face was serious.

“I’ve come to a lot of realizations these past weeks, and first and foremost is that you’re everything to me and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

She closed her eyes as she felt the warmth of his hand on her body and fought back the tears again.

“This all feels like a dream”, she said and then, looking down at him, “you’re a dream.”

He smiled. A look passed between them that spoke volumes; the kind of look that says everything without uttering a word. She knew in those moments that he truly did love her and that she meant as much to him as he did to her.

“I’ve come to a realization tonight”, she said, lowering her body down again.
“What’s that?”
“That I like being on top.”
“Show me how much you like it then.”

Adele didn’t need to wait for the invitation. She intended to pleasure him and make love to him all night. She kissed him with the knowledge that they not only had tonight but they had the rest of their lives to make love to one another.

Last edited by OrlilLicious, 11/14/2017, 4:13 am
11/14/2017, 3:42 am Link to this post Send Email to OrlilLicious   Send PM to OrlilLicious
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Re: A Message (Short Story)

Love love LOVED it! I already love reunion stories--boy and his dog, girl and her horse, and now Adele and Tom. I knew when Tom's mother asked Adele to stay and let the painters in she was arranging for her son to surprise his fiancée. It was super romantic for her to enter the house and find the trail of rose petals showing her the way to the love of her life. I'm sure that was the longest walk she ever took to find Tom waiting for her in their bedroom. It was bound to be emotion-filled, tears, kisses and caresses. Adele showed no reaction other than concern when she became aware of Tom's burn injuries, and I'm sure Tom's heart nearly burst with love to realize she didn't view him differently because he'd been scarred. The lovemaking was exquisite--Adele being schooled in the art of variety while pleasuring her man turned out to be quite pleasurable for her as well. There will be lots of experimenting as time goes on I predict. emoticon

I'm glad Tom wasn't delayed by the doctor attending him in London in setting his plan in motion to surprise Adele. There was plenty of concern Tom didn't voice when speaking to the doctor about how his burns would heal, but I think the doctor was savvy enough to realize that he was a bit worried and put his mind at ease. Then Tom was on a mission and it all worked out beautifully. I can't wait for the wedding chapter. I love how Tom wanted to set the date for July 6 as a reminder of his near-brush with death and how he almost lost everything.

I listened to the Corrs song and it was really a nice "background" for reading the chapter. I remember how you and Yves would post things on MySpace about them and that you both were members of their fan club or followed their website. He hasn't posted much about them lately on his Facebook page, but I'm sure he's still as fond of them as you are. It's a very moving song. Thanks for sharing it and suggesting I listen to it while I read.

Good job--I am happy I've been along for this ride and will see it through as Tom and Adele's story goes forward. Bring on the wedding! emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Re: A Message (Short Story)


July 5th, 1944 – London

It was the day before her wedding and Adele was sitting on her bed, going through all the presents she had received at her very late bridal shower earlier that day. Her mother had hosted the shower at her parent’s house and all of her close girlfriends had been invited, as well as a few aunts and other family members. While everything was prepared in a hurry, it went off very well and Adele had been showered with many gifts to start her new life with Tom.

The one person who was missing, however, was her brother Johnathan. As it was a girls only event, he wasn’t there, yet he was the one that she hoped to see the most the day before her wedding. She knew it was too late now for a visit to the hospital, where Johnathan continued to stay during his rehabilitation for his leg, but she had asked him to call her so as she went through her gifts, she waited for his call.

She looked at the beautiful crystal her aunts had given her and carefully placed them back in the box so as not to damage them. She cleared the rest of the things from her bed and as she was doing so, looked at her wedding gown as it hung on the back of the closet door. Tom’s idea of having the process sped up by offering more money worked and she got it three days before the wedding, alternations done.

She walked over and stared at it, hardly able to believe that in less than 24 hours she would be wearing it as she walked down the aisle at St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was hard to believe that she had met Tom a year ago at the Dover Military Hospital where she had worked with Dr. McCrae. A year ago marriage was the furthest thing from her mind and that never, not even in her wildest dreams, could she have imagined Tom. He was the type of man you didn’t, couldn’t prepare for; he just happened.

“You were mine the moment I laid eyes on you.”

His words from just a few nights ago echoed in her mind and she smiled, feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. She remembered having met him in the hospital and how he flirted with her the whole time, and how she had tried everything in her will to ignore him. He had not been the first man to flirt with her (nurses were hit on all the time) but there was something about him that made her take notice. Was it his unusual good looks, or was it the sincerity in his voice? It was his eyes. She remembered his eyes the most.

The phone rang and she went to answer it, anxiously expecting to hear her brother’s voice. It was him.

“Hello Ms. Owen.”
“Hi Jonathan”, she said smiling. “I’ve been waiting for you to call.”
“I just got back. I had a night out with the chaps, including your fiancé.”
“Oh? Tom didn’t tell me he was having a boy’s night out.”
“No, it was a last minute thing. He invited me to one of his clubs. His father was there, along with a few of his pilot friends from school.”
“He didn’t tell me he belongs to a club.”
“All the rich men have clubs, even daddy has one”, Johnathan told her. “That’s the world you’re marrying into.”
“What did you do there?”
“Don’t worry, there were no dancing girls. No girls at all. Men only.”
“I didn’t think it was that kind of club.”
“We had some drinks and wished him well tomorrow.”
“How did he seem?”
“Happy. Very happy.”

Adele smiled when she heard this.

“How are you doing tonight?” Johnathan asked her. “Nervous?”
“A little but more excited than anything.”
“Mother and father are looking forward to the ceremony. I’m looking forward to the party afterwards. The Royal Horseguards Hotel promises to be a good show.”
“Yes, it will be.”
“Why the Royal Horseguards Hotel?”
“It’s where we met…well not exactly, we had met in Dover the summer before. It’s where we met again, quite by accident.”
“But I take it that’s where the magic happened.”
“Yes, you could say that.”
“And now you’re going to marry a man you met in a military hospital and he swept you off your feet. He’s one lucky fellow.”
“You think so?”
“To be marrying my little sister I’d say he is…but he’s also lucky to be alive.”

Adele did not respond to that. Tom hadn’t really gone into detail as to what happened that day but she knew he was lucky to have survived.

“I did a lot of praying.”
“Well someone must have heard you. He’s a bloody walking miracle. From the way he described it tonight, he really shouldn’t be here.”
“He didn’t want to tell me too much.”
“He probably just doesn’t want to worry you.”
“I know.”

There was a slight pause before Johnathan asked.

“Are you as happy as he was tonight?”
“Yes…the truth is, Johnathan, that I’m in love but I’m also in lust. Is that possible?”
“Probably. Which one is the more powerful emotion?” he asked teasingly.
“They’re equal.”

Her brother laughed.

“That’s a good sign then. If you fall out of love with him, then at least you’ll still be in lust.”
“If mother could hear us now”, Adele thought out loud.
“How was she today at the shower?”
“Actually very good. She seems almost happy for me.”
“She is…but remember what she said the day she met Tom? Don’t confuse lust with love.”
He was teasing her again and she knew it.

“I think she was more shocked to see you with someone. It was nothing against Tom.”
“It was hard not to see it that way.”
“You’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf.”
“So have you.”
“Not tomorrow”, he said. “Tomorrow I have a date for your wedding.”
“How did you manage that?” she asked curiously. “Forgive my incredulity but you’ve been confined to a hospital for the past two months.”
“Oh ye of little faith…don’t you know there are lots of women here.”
“One of the nurses?”
“A new girl who just started two weeks ago. I’ve been fliting with her every day, wearing her down.”
“And I suppose she finally gave into your natural charm?”
“Don’t forget my good looks.”
“But of course.”
“What’s her name?” Adele asked.
“You don’t know her. I already asked.”
“I still want to know it.”
“That sounds like a proper English name.”
“It is. And she’s a proper English girl.”
“Then why did she agree to go out with you?” Adele asked, her turn to tease.
“I told you already...besides, who can say no to a wedding at St. Paul’s? She was very flattered that I asked her, though she is a shy little thing. I plan to cure her of that.”
Adele smiled at her brother’s playfulness.
“You’ll have to introduce me.”
“Everyone’s going to want to meet the bride and groom. Just don’t forget about your big brother.”
“How could I? You’re everything to me”, Adele said and then finally found that she was becoming teary-eyed when she heard the pause in their conversation.
“I know…and you’re everything to me, sis. You’ll make me proud tomorrow.”
“How so?”
“By marrying such a good looking guy”, he said jokingly and she laughed and this helped to push back the tears. “Because you’re going to be beautiful and because I know you’re going to be very happy.”

After their conversation, Adele headed back to her bedroom to finish putting her gifts away, but then the phone rang again. Assuming it was Johnathan, she answered it.

“Did you forget something?”
“Yes, I forgot to tell you I love you.”

It wasn’t her brother; it was Tom.

“Oh Tom, it’s you. I love you too.”
“Who were you expecting it to be?”
“My secret lover. One last fling before I tie the knot tomorrow.”
“Trying to make me jealous?”
“Of course.”
“How about one last fling with me then?”
“Not the night before the wedding. It’s bad luck.”
“I don’t believe in bad luck. I only have good luck.”

She smiled.

“I’m calling because I need to deliver a message to you – in person.”
“Tonight?” she asked.
“Yes, tonight. I’m afraid it can’t wait.”

She paused, wondering what he was up to.

“Can you come downstairs please?” he asked.
“But I’m only in my nightgown.”
“I’ve seen you in less than that…meet me at the phone booth downstairs in 2 minutes.”

He hung up the phone before she had a chance to protest and when she looked outside, she saw him standing in the phone booth down below, outside her apartment. She smiled, remembering how he had done this a few months ago and how they had both shown a lot of self-restraint – at least the first time.

She threw on her trench coat and put on her shoes and went downstairs. She went inside the booth and closed the door. Looking up at him and smiling, he gave her a mischievous look in return.

“Good evening, sir. Do you need some change for the phone?”
“I think you’ll find I need a lot more than that.”

He leaned down to kiss her. She let herself be overwhelmed by his kiss but tried her best not to let his hands get the best of her.

“Not the night before our wedding.”
“And why not?” he said as he moved his lips down to her neck.
“You need to exercise some self-restraint.”
“You know I’m used to getting my way.”
“No, not tonight”, she said, having a very difficult time ignoring the feel of his lips on her neck.
“Yes, tonight.”
“I know how much you like my lips on your neck…and that you have no power to resist.”
She closed her eyes.
“No, don’t.”
“I have to have you tonight. There’s no other way.”

There was no point in denying him what he wanted for she wanted it too. She brought him back to her apartment, sneaking him upstairs so that her land lady would not see. As soon as they got in the door they were removing each other’s coats.

He moved towards the bedroom.

“No, we can’t. Not in there.”
“Why not?”
“My dress. I don’t want you to see it.”

He led her by the hand and brought her to the sofa where he sat down, pulling her to sit on him. She did so gladly, thinking of how much she enjoyed being on top.

“We shouldn’t be doing this tonight.”
“Yes we should.”
“Wait…I want to know something”, she said, pausing his hands with hers. “Tell me, do you love me more than you lust me?”
“What kind of question is that?” he asked, looking up at her with a curious smile on his face.
“I need to know.”
“I love you.”
“But you don’t lust me?”

He laughed.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t, would I?”
She smiled.
“I would have been able to control myself if I didn’t lust you.”
“Good…that’s all I needed to know.”
“You’re a strange bird, Nurse Adele.”

She leaned down, continued to kiss him as they made love on her sofa. Afterwards, as he was getting dressed, she put on her robe. She went over to him and kissed him on the lips.

“You lied.”
“Never”, he said, a pretend offended look on his face.
“You said you had a message to deliver in person.”
“Oh yes”, he said, going into the pockets of his coat. “I almost forgot.”

He handed her an envelope.

“You are not to read this until tomorrow.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I said so, that’s why”, he said, leaning down and kissing her on the forehead.
“Promise you’ll wait until tomorrow.”
“I will.”

He smiled.

“You aren’t having second thoughts, are you?” she asked.
“None at all. Are you?”
“Then why you were asking me if I lust you more than I love you?”
“Just a conversation I had with my brother tonight.”
He gave her a curious look.
“What’s your answer to that question then?”
She went on her tip toes so that she could kiss him again.
“I love you and lust you equally.”
“I like the sound of that.”

Before he left a few minutes later, he grabbed her by the hand.

“Good night, Ms. Owen”, he said, with particular emphasis on her last name. She smiled, knowing full well why he was saying her name that way. “Any last minute requests? Speak now or forever hold your peace.”
“Nothing to say…only that I love you.”
“Good because by this time tomorrow you’ll be mine, forever.”

With a mischievous twinkle in his eye and a kiss on her hand, he stole out of her apartment undetected by her landlady as he left the building. Tomorrow could not come soon enough for either of them.

11/17/2017, 2:28 am Link to this post Send Email to OrlilLicious   Send PM to OrlilLicious
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Re: A Message (Short Story)

A tryst! How cute and sweet and sexy! They really made me smile as they sneaked upstairs from the phone booth meeting and violated the landlady's rules, lol. It's easy to see that both Adele and Tom equally love and lust one another--one fuels the other and will continue to the rest of their lives. They both realize (probably Tom more than Adele considering his brush with death) that you never know what will happen tomorrow, so one should live life to the fullest every day as if it was one's last. I'm sure they won't regret tempting luck with their breaking of traditional rules regarding being together the night before the wedding, and I know that it won't dampen their desires on their wedding night and honeymoon. Bring on the wedding! ]

Great little filler chapter before the main event. I have an idea about the written message Tom gave Adele to read the next day, and it will be an emotional moment for the new bride when she gets to read it. Looking forward to the next chapter. emoticon
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All I can say is...SIGH. emoticon


July 6th, 1944 – London

The morning sun came in through the windows of her room as Adele sat on the edge of her bed. She was in her robe, not yet dressed, not yet ready for the day ahead. The morning light felt surreal to her and she squinted as she gazed out the window at the world outside.

Today was her wedding day. If a year ago someone had told her she would be here, getting ready for her wedding, she would not have believed them. This had been the furthest thing from her mind. Tom had not even been a thought to her. She never looked for love but it seemed to find her. It took no mercy on her, either. Tom’s presence and love in her life had been completely unexpected and there had been nothing she could do to stop it.

She looked at the ring on her finger and smiled to herself. He had taken down every wall she had ever built around her heart; he had managed to unlock the chains as well. He had undone her and it was all without much effort on his part. She had given herself so willingly because what he had to offer was something she had never felt before.

Now she sat on her bed, holding his letter in her hands but was apprehensive about opening it. She knew it was going to make her cry but she also knew she had to read it. When her curiosity got the better of her, she opened it and began to read:

My darling,

It took me a really long time to write you this letter as I wanted to make sure that I say everything I want to say. When I look back on it, I can see that I actually started this letter the first day I met you in the Dover military hospital, now one year ago. You won’t remember this but I was writing something while in the hospital, which for some reason has always been a habit of mine. Even in my school days I always had a notebook with me so that I could record things as they happened in my life, so I suppose over the years I’ve been writing a type of journal without realizing that was what I was actually doing. Mind you, I’ve always been a scribbler, jotting down notes and reminders to myself in odd places. I guess that is what I was doing the last day I was at the Dover Hospital as in a corner of my notebook, dated July 6th, 1943, I scribbled:

“I’m writing her name because I don’t want to forget it: Nurse Adele. I hope to see her again one day.”

Did you note the date? I hadn’t realized this until I was in hospital after D-Day, reading through my notebook that I’ve had with me since the beginning of the war. That was written one year ago today, which is the other reason why I chose it to be our wedding day. It was one year ago today that I wrote that and thought I may perhaps never see you again, and now one year later you will be mine forever.

I’ve never been a religious man but meeting you has made me believe that something more has been at work in our lives. There is no way that our lives could have intersected like they did - not once, not twice, but three times. I feel I was meant to be with you and you were meant to be with me. Do I sound like a silly romantic fool? I hope so. That’s what you’ve turned me into.

Adele, I want to spend the rest of my life with you; I want to make love to you every night and every morning; I want to be the one you hold on to through all of life’s storms; I want to grow old with you; I want to be everything to you.

I know now that it was the thought of you that has kept me alive. I used to think it was luck, or chance, but now I know you are all of that for me. You were put into my life to save me and you have. When my plane went down, I never once thought of dying – I only thought of you. Your love is what kept me safe that day. I never want to lose you and I never want you to lose me.

Today I will promise to love and cherish you all the days of my life. As I say those words to you, and as you say those words to me, I will feel like the luckiest man in the world. Today we will be united in the eyes of God and I feel that is what is meant to be.

Ever yours,

She was crying long before she got to the end of the letter. She too felt today, more than ever, that something was at work in their lives that brought them together. She was never one to believe in fate but after falling in love with Tom, there was no doubt in her mind that such a thing was at work in the universe.

The tears were from the happiest recesses of her heart. She looked at herself in the mirror after splashing water on her face, knowing that this would be one of the last times she would see herself as a single woman.

Later that day, Adele sat in the middle of her mother and father, as her brother sat in the front seat of the Bentley. A driver took them to St. Paul’s Cathedral where the rest of their family and friends would be waiting inside for the ceremony to start. It was a lovely July summer day, with hardly a cloud in the sky, as they made their way through the busy London streets to get to the Church. Her brother sat in the front seat, talking a mile a minute, knowing that it was helping to ease Adele’s nerves. He kept looking back at her, smiling. She wondered if her brother knew how much he meant to her and how much it meant that he would be with her this day. He was alive and well and she felt very blessed.

Nearly every man in her life, except her father, had been involved in the war in some way. Matthew had gone over and been wounded in the knee; her brother had been in the navy and received serious leg wounds; many of her male friends, some who had been training to be doctors before the war, were also involved – one had been killed; and then of course Tom. Every corner of her life had been impacted by the war and everyone she knew was in some way or other affected by it. She thought of John and hoped that he would one day find the happiness that she had with Tom. She thought of all the men who would never have the chance to get married, and all the young women who would never get to walk down the aisle to them. It brought tears to her eyes to think of how lucky she was and she found herself saying, more than once that morning, a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

When they arrived at the Church, Adele was helped out of the car by her father. He was a tall man and looked down at his daughter, smiling. At first he said nothing but smiled. Her mother did the same.

“I can’t believe how beautiful you look”, her father said, holding her by both hands and looking into her eyes. “Just like your mother.”

He then put his arm around his wife’s shoulders and looked at his daughter with pride.

“Well, darling, what do you think of our little girl?”
“The dress is lovely, even if it is cut a little low”, her mother said but when she saw the tears in her mother’s eyes that were clearly tears of happiness, it made Adele happy, too.
“The girls are wearing different types of gowns these days, my dear”, her father defended.
“I know but must they be so revealing?”
“Yes, they must”, her brother broke in. “Besides, you’re not the one that has to approve mother.”

Johnathan had gotten out of the car with the aid of crutches. He went over to his sister and she put her arms around him.

“This is it”, he said. “Are you nervous?”
“Not at all”, she said smiling, though she was very nervous and he knew it.
“This is your last opportunity to run if you’re having second thoughts.”
“I couldn’t run even if I wanted to”, she said, indicating the heels, which made her almost her brother’s height.
“I hope this Tom of yours knows how lucky he is.”
“He does.”

She looked around and saw that there were passersby smiling at her as they walked and looked at her in her wedding gown.

“Thank you for being here.”
“Where else would I be?” he asked her.
“I mean thank you for being alive.”
“Pure luck, I think.”
“More than luck.”

Minutes before the ceremony was set to begin, Adele waited outside the cathedral doors in the main entrance of the church. Her bridesmaids were there, all friends that she had grown up with. Her father was of course by her side and her arm was entwined in his as they waited for the music to start. They had not had a rehearsal yet as there was no time and the cathedral had been busy with many weddings in the previous week since Tom had booked the day. In fact, there was another wedding scheduled to happen later that day and it was pure luck – or fate – that Tom was able to secure that day for their wedding.

When the music started, and the wedding party ahead of her made their way in, Adele was taken aback by the light streaming in from the windows and how it illuminated the whole cathedral. She had a rather long walk down the aisle but they slowly made their way. First the bridesmaids had gone in, then the flower girl and ring bearer. Last in the procession was Adele with her father.

As she walked down the aisle, many of her patients – the ones who were well enough to attend – were there as guests. Many of her colleagues were there as well, both nurses and doctors. Some of the patients, such as Charles, were in wheelchairs as some of them were amputees. It comforted her to have them at her wedding as being a nurse was so much a part of who she was. They too had become her family and she had invited them because her day would not have been complete without them.

Of course her eyes fell on Tom almost immediately, as she could see him standing at the front of the Church with his best man and the priest. There was the most wonderful, handsome man she had ever laid eyes on. She smiled as she walked with her father.

Before she got halfway down the aisle, however, she saw Tom leave his position and start making his way towards her down the aisle. She looked up at her father questioningly.

“Everything’s alright”, her father told her in a calm tone.

When she looked ahead, still continuing her slow walk, she saw Tom getting closer towards them. He looked tall and handsome in his RAF uniform. He had a confident stride to his walk. The rays of light reflected his face and in his eyes, which never left hers. The colour of the sea, she thought. There was a smile on his face but it was one that was holding back tears. She did not know that he had tears in his eyes until, finally, he came up to them. Her father stopped and she looked from her father to Tom, who shared a look and a handshake. She looked at them surprised but questioningly.

That was when her father took her arm from the nook of his arm, and then cupped her hands in both of his.

“I’ve taken you this far in life, and now Tom will take you the rest of the way.”

Her father kissed her hands.

“I want you to know how proud I’ve always been of you.”
“Thank you, dad…I love you.”

She kissed him on the cheek and he kissed her in return. She turned and with tears in her eyes, looked at Tom. He extended his arm.

“Shall we, Nurse Adele?” he asked, smiling the sweetest smile she had ever seen. She thought of his letter; she thought of the first time they met; she thought of the future.
“I’d follow you anywhere.”

She put her arm through his and together they walked down the aisle towards the priest. As they did so, she looked up at the dome and remembered how a month ago she had been praying in this very Church, praying for this very moment. She had made a deal with God: that if he were to spare Tom’s life and that they could get married, she promised to be a good wife. She wanted to tell him this but she was having a difficult time holding back her emotions so they went the rest of the way in silence. Tom held his head proud but kept looking down, stealing glances at her. It was as if they were the only two people there – the rest of the world had been forgotten momentarily. When they got to the front, she turned to look up at him and smiled. For once he seemed speechless.

“Adele”, he said, looking down at her, but then he moved closer and said in her ear: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so beautiful as you in that dress.”

She blushed, her heart melting at the words and the sincerity with which they were said. The priest approached them and instructed them where to stand so that the ceremony could begin.

As they stood facing one another, Tom had a smile on his face that was infectious. He looked anxious, yet calm. Even though she smiled as she looked up at him, she was trembling slightly as the overwhelming emotions of not just the day but the last year unconsciously impressed upon her. To calm her, he reached out and took both of her hands in his. He kept smiling, his eyes telling her that hers were the hands he would hold for the rest of his life. The feel of his warm hands calmed her, soothed her nerves, and as she looked at him she hoped that he knew what her eyes were trying to tell him.

The exchange of glances; the exchange of hands; the exchange of vows; the exchange of the kiss. And then it was done. They were husband and wife. They were two persons now one life.

She had managed to hold back the tears for the most part during the ceremony but as they walked back down the aisle to exit the Church, she was unable to contain the tears any longer. When he saw that she was crying, he turned to her and took her in his arms. When she managed to control her tears, she looked up at the dome and up through to the sky. God had granted her her wish.

He leaned over and whispered in her ear so that no one else who was gathering around them could hear:

“Mrs. Hiddleston”, he said, putting his arms around her waist and pulling her in for a kiss as the crowd of people started to applaud the newlyweds.

12/5/2017, 2:38 am Link to this post Send Email to OrlilLicious   Send PM to OrlilLicious
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Re: A Message (Short Story)

As the sun was setting, the guests at the Royal Horseguards Hotel mingled, drank and danced inside the very ballroom where Adele and Tom had met for the second time on Christmas Eve. He had booked that room specifically because of its significance to their meeting there that night.

Everyone wanted the young couple’s attention as they congratulated them, hugged them, and wanted to meet either the bride or groom for the first time. They had only met each other’s parents, and Tom had only met her brother of course, but other than that there were a lot of introductions. Tom had more relatives there than she did and so she found that she was in the middle of his family and friends, being fussed over by various people she did not know. Tom was also admired by her relatives and she blushed with pride by how he kept his arm around her waist or held her hand. There was an intimacy between them, despite the fact that they were in a room with over 200 people, and everyone around them could see it. Maybe it was because they made such a striking pair, or perhaps it was the fact that their love for one another was obvious, but everyone seemed so happy for them.

Tom kept her close by his side all evening but it was with a sense of relief that they were able to escape to the dancefloor for their first song as husband and wife. It was a familiar song for them and chosen specifically for its significance to their courtship.

See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sun rise on a tropic isle
Just remember, darling, all the while
You belong to me.

Tom wrapped his arms around her waist and brought her in close, his head leaning down so that he could whisper in her ear.

“When can we be alone?”
“Later”, she said smiling.
“But I want you now.”

She blushed and was grateful for the low lights and the music, though she knew that all eyes were on them.

See the marketplace in old Algiers
Send me photographs and souvenirs
But remember when a dream appears
You belong to me.

“Do you remember when we first danced to this song?” he asked her.
“How could I forget?”

He started to follow along to the words of the song, singing softly to her. She smiled as he sang and felt intensely shy but happy. It was a happiness she had never felt before. When the final verse came on, she sang along:

I'll be so alone without you
Maybe you'll be lonesome too, and blue

Fly the ocean in a silver plane
Watch the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember till you're home again
You belong to me.

The time for the toasts came and Tom’s father was the last to speak. He stood with his glass of champagne, having ordered a bottle for each table for his particular toast.

“This is a celebration of life and light…when the world around us seems so dark. But as we speak the Allies are advancing on Germany and in no time there will be an end to this madness. But today I am very grateful that my son is here and that…he is alive”, and here his father’s voice broke up with emotion, causing the guests to pause. When he continued, there was more reserve to his voice but it was still full of emotion and pride: “And that he has married the woman of his dreams...and so, I ask that you raise your glasses and join me in toasting my son, Tom, and my beautiful daughter-in-law, Adele.”

Everyone raised their glasses and toasted the newlyweds.

“To my beautiful wife”, Tom said looking at her, smiling as he leaned in for a kiss. The music resumed and the lights went low.
“Are you happy?” he asked her.
“More happy than I’ve ever been.”
“Good…then come with me.”

Tom took her hand and tried, as discreetly as possible, to lead her away and out of the ballroom. He managed to do so and they escaped to another adjoining room that was attached to the ballroom.

“Where are we going?”
“You’ll see.”

The music from the adjoining room could be heard. There was a big band playing. Loud voices could be heard through the walls. While she felt bad for leaving, she was also curious about where he was taking her.

“What are you up to?”
“You’ll see.”

He hurried her along a corridor.

“I was on my way to the washroom earlier and stumbled upon this little room”, he said, and opened a door, rushing her inside with him. It was a room that looked to be a waiting room of sorts as it only had chairs and a small table. He locked the door behind them and turned on the light.

“What are you doing?” she asked, laughing nervously at this sudden spontaneous outburst.

Without answering, he pulled her in for a kiss.

“You’re being a naughty boy, Mr. Hiddleston.”
“I just want what’s mine now”, he said in a deep, throaty voice as he made his way down her neck with his lips. Then he added: “Mrs. Hiddleston.”
“I love the sound of that.”

She was clearly enjoying what he was doing to her. She felt as his hands started to lift her gown and she felt weak in the knees.

“Not now.”
“I’m just looking for something”, he said teasingly.

She felt as he located the garter on her leg and then went down on his knees and started to kiss her inner thighs. He was teasing her, and despite her protestations for him to stop, she was clearly enjoying herself. She felt as he started kissing her panties, his teeth nibbling and tugging at them. She felt as he slowly started to slide them down.

When he made his way back up, now standing before her, he could feel the heat that he had generated from her body. She grabbed him in her hand and looked him in the eyes as she felt him.

“You’re quite the handful.”
“Now who’s the naughty one?”
“You’ve been teaching me all your bad habits.”

He leaned in and kissed her, holding her up against the wall. When she closed her eyes she remembered – like a flash of lightning before her eyes – their first kiss. It had been in this very hotel, on Christmas Eve, and had the same intensity with which they were kissing now.

“I don’t think I can wait”, he said, groaning into her ear.
“Me either.”

Her hands were unzipping his pants while his hands were busy lifting her gown. They had worked each other up to such a pitch of emotion that they could no longer hold back. They wanted each other there and then. When he entered her he found her body was very receptive to his. They were grateful for the room, for the loud music and for the intimacy they could find with one another in those moments. They world fell away from them as they got lost in each other.

Upon returning to their guests, Adele and Tom walked hand-in-hand, smiling and talking as they made their way through everyone. Her brother caught her arm and was able to pull her aside momentarily.

“You’re looking a little flushed.”
“It’s very warm in here.”
“I find the temperature is quite comfortable”, he said, looking at her.
“You’re not in a wedding gown.”
“Are you sure Tom hasn’t had anything to do with this sudden heatwave you’re experiencing?”

She found herself blushing but couldn’t help but smile.
“You’re very perceptive.”
“I saw you sneak off together.”
He smiled.
“Let me introduce you to Victoria.”
“Yes, please do.”

She walked with her brother, who was using crutches, to where Victoria was sitting. Adele knew to let her brother walk on his own but Victoria seemed concerned that he had been on his feet so long.

“My beautiful date, meet my beautiful sister.”

Adele and Victoria shook hands and she congratulated her on her day. After speaking for a few minutes, Johnathan said:

“I know you must have your hands full with Tom, so please go back to your guests. I’ll be fine with my date.”

She gave her brother a look but could not disguise her smile, knowing that her brother knew. She wondered if the other guests knew but then thought that her brother knew her better than anyone else in the room. It was with a secret smile to herself that when she walked around the room, she could feel the after effects of Tom having been inside her. When he found her again after a few minutes, he looked down at her and smiled.

“I love you.”
“I love you too.”

They decided that they wanted to spend their first night as husband and wife together in their new home. After having said goodbye to their parents and guests, they made their way by limo to their home. They sat together, holding hands, silently for the most part.

As the limo made its way through the streets of London, she caught glimpses of the city going by through the window. She could see St. Paul’s Cathedral where they had been married just hours before, and the rest of the view showed the beauty and the sorrow of London: there were sections of the city that remained in rubble, aftermaths of the bombings that had occurred during the Blitz; St. Paul’s, which remained intact, stood as a symbol of hope amidst the rubble and chaos of war.

She felt as he lifted her hand up to his lips and kissed it gently. She looked over at him and smiled. Neither of them spoke but said everything they needed to say with their eyes. His eyes – the colour of the sea – said things to her without words. They spoke of his happiness and his love. She knew that whatever else the war would bring, or just the future, it was a look that told her that he would be by her side.

At the door of their new home, Tom lifted her in his arms and carried her over the threshold. As he did so, she smiled, her arms around his shoulders. He then carried her up the stairs to their bedroom, where he laid her on the bed. She watched as he lit the fireplace to generate some warmth. By now they had sheets and proper bedding but their bed remained the only real piece of furniture in the house.

He had filled the room with flowers and had made sure the room had been prepared for them beforehand. There was a bottle of champagne and two glasses.

His movements were watched in silence. Every time he looked at her lying on the bed, propped up on her arm as she laid on her side, he felt a lump in his throat. The fire caught in her eyes and he could see how much she loved him.

“Are you cold?”
“No”, she answered.
“Are you hungry?”

The way she was looking at him made him uneasy, but not in a bad way. He felt the intensity of her stare. In those moments he wanted nothing more than to live up to her expectations of him: the promise to be a good husband and a good man. When he looked at her lying there, he realized that this is the woman who would bear his children into the world and who would be by his side until the day he died.

“I have something for you”, he told her.
She watched as he walked over to the bed and brought her a box. He sat down beside her and she sat up on the bed when she saw the present.
“My mother wanted me to give this to you.”

She took the box in her hands, wondering what it was. She opened it to see a diamond necklace. She looked at him curiously.

“It’s a family heirloom. She got it when she married my father and she wanted you to have it now.”
“It’s beautiful”, she said in a humble, quiet way.

He noted the way she spoke and hoped she truly did like it. He took the necklace out of the box and she turned, holding her hair up so that he could place them around her neck. He turned her so that he could get the full view. The glow of the fire made the diamonds sparkle but it was the sparkle in her eyes that caught and held his attention the most. She looked at him without speaking.

“You take my breath away, Adele.”
She smiled and looked at him quietly. He wished he could read her mind and know what she was thinking in those moments.
“Do you want to see how it looks?” he asked her, getting up to bring her to the mirror. She walked over and looked at how it shone in the light that came from the fireplace. He stood behind her and watched how her eyes looked at him through the mirror, fixed on him nearly the entire time.
“Do you like it?”
“I do.”

He noticed how she did not speak with words but more with her eyes. She turned around and touched his tie, pulling him closer to her body as she held onto it. He smiled down at her but her eyes remained serious.

“Can you undress me now?”

She wanted him to remove her wedding gown. She felt as his hands unzipped her, then unfastened some of the hooks at the back of her dress. In a matter of a minute, the dress was on the floor around her feet. She turned around, completely naked except for the diamond necklace. He had a lump in his throat looking down at her; her eyes were enough to undo him.

He grabbed her face in his hands and kissed her deeply. She felt the world melt away as he held her naked body in his arms. There was no sense of vulnerability to her nakedness; she felt completely safe. She knew that despite what was going on in the world, even outside the walls of their house, that he would always keep her safe.

He took her to the bed and made love to her, as if for the first time. Being with Tom made her forget her fears and forget the fact of the darkness of the world around them. He made her realize that amidst the chaos of war; amidst the rubble of the bombs; amidst the sacrifice and hardships; through it all there is love.

12/5/2017, 2:39 am Link to this post Send Email to OrlilLicious   Send PM to OrlilLicious
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Re: A Message (Short Story)

Oh, what a lovely ending! The perfect wedding, perfect tryst away from the guests at the reception and the perfect beginning to their lives as husband and wife in their home. All that Adele wanted or wished for she received. I loved the note Tom wrote to her to read before their wedding. He revealed how much of a romantic he is and only made Adele love him more. It was uplifting and happy--I felt Adele's love surge for her man.

You outdid yourself with this story. I know you had "Tom" inspiration but I think you identified with Adele as a young woman who found that all work was not how she was meant to live her life. She kept her heart closed for so long because I believe she knew there was someone special for her--Tom came out of nowhere and never left her thoughts again. I was rooting for their happy ending with every chapter. Outstanding!

I have a suggestion for you to consider as a post script or epilogue to this story. I wondered what Tom had written to his parents to hold and give to Adele in the event that he didn't survive his mission. I was really curious as to what he may have said in his letter that would show the depth of feeling and utter despair at the thought of Tom perishing without Adele knowing how he really felt in the deepest part of his soul. It'd be nice to know, just from a reader's standpoint...and that was where I thought the title of your story came from.

Thank you for sharing your labor of love with me! XOXOX
12/6/2017, 3:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Pambi   Send PM to Pambi

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