Instead of sharing an old poem, I thought I would share an old piece of fiction. I used to use prompts and place the characters from the novels in those stories. It helped me build character traits without worrying about sharing too much about the novel. I think I might get back into this!
Anyway, I wrote this three years ago. Cara and Michael are still the stars of the romance novel I’m writing. They are madly in love with one another! Anyway, I wrote this one three years ago.
I hope you enjoy the story!
Love & life lessons,
Late September Night
When it comes to romance, no one else comes close to Cara and Michael. Each one tries to outdo the other on special occasions (Michael usually wins), and it’s become a romantic competition that leads to joyous tears and passionate lovemaking. Their friends call them sickeningly sweet and have said things such as, “I have diabetes just watching you two.”
The fact of the matter is that while every love story truly is beautiful, people couldn’t help but be a little envious of Michael and Cara. Somehow, they had managed to keep that playful, flirtatious spirit they had since they were dating between them. People they first meet still think they’re newlyweds, but on that September night, the two celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. Their friends can’t wait to hear the stories coming from this celebration because neither of them had even the slightest inclination of what the other had up their sleeves.
Cara woke up early that morning in late September, hoping to beat her husband awake so she could make him breakfast, but when she looked over, she noticed that the bed was empty.
“Ugh, Williams,” she huffed. She walked into the bathroom to start her morning routine, and on the sink lay a single sunflower, a note, and a paper bag. She couldn’t help the smile that crept across her face. Opening the letter, she felt like a teenager all over again. Michael had a way of stirring the butterflies in her stomach.
Good morning, my love,
Happy 15th anniversary. I have a special day planned for you, so please wake up slowly. Take a nice, long, hot bath, put on the anniversary playlist we made together, and then open the bag, slip on the little number I bought for you, and meet me in the dining room. Coffee is already waiting for you on the edge of the tub. I’ve left it on a mug warmer so it would stay hot for you. See you soon.
Cara did as requested and took her time. She showered first, allowing the hot steam to relax her body. She washed and conditioned her hair, shaved and exfoliated her legs, and gave herself a pedicure before slipping into a bubble bath filled with homemade lavender bath bombs.
After her bath, she dried and curled her hair, threw on some smoky eye shadow and red lipstick, and then opened the bag to see what Michael had picked out for her for the day. Inside was a black lacy dress. It stopped right at the knee. It had beautiful, sheer lace long sleeves and was just a little low cut. Michael loved showing her off. She decided to go all out because she knew that this night would eventually lead right back upstairs to the bedroom.
She closed the curtains, set out some candles, and charged the blue tooth speaker. She made the bed and threw a few rose petals on it. Although he would never admit it, she knew Michael enjoyed being pampered once in a while too.
Cara put on the red and black lingerie she had picked out for the occasion, along with a matching garter belt and black, thigh-high pantyhose. She slipped the dress over it and admired herself in the mirror before twisting a strand of hair behind her ear and securing it and the sunflower with a bobby pin. She slipped her feet into a pair of black, patent leather high heels and went to the dining room, where Michael was standing in the doorway waiting for her.
She chuckled as soon as she saw him. He looked like one of those cartoon characters whose eyes bug out of their heads, and their pupils are replaced with hearts. She placed her pointer finger under his chin to close his mouth. “Like what you see?”
“Lord, Cara. I swear you get more and more beautiful with each passing year.”
“You don’t look so bad yourself, handsome.”” She replied as she slid her hands over his chest and shoulders before kissing him. “”Happy anniversary.”
He led her over to the dining room table; he had adorned the table with a plum-colored linen tablecloth, a pumpkin, a vase of sunflowers, and a candle. He had hung paper pumpkins from the chandelier above the table. It looked just like the table they sat at on their first date.
“Part of your gift, my love,” he started as he placed a plate of waffles in front of her, “is the gift of time and creativity. We are going to relive some of my favorite moments, starting with our very first date at that little coffee shop where I wooed you with a corny pickup line.”
Cara chuckled at the memory. “Turns out that shirt was made of husband material.”
“You know it,” he winked before he kissed her cheek. He sat a caramel macchiato from the cafe where they first met in front of her.
“This is why you wanted me to take my time.”
He smiled at her. “Will you have coffee with me at the table by the window with the perfect view of the lake?”
Cara played shy, just like she had that day they first met, before she responded, “Yes, I’d love to.”
They spent the morning talking over breakfast and reminiscing about the day they met and how both of them knew as soon as they felt that connection that this was it. Their souls had been searching for one another.
After breakfast, Cara presented Michael with his first gift. Michael has always been taken with words, stories, and poetry. So Cara spent the past few years creating a graphic storybook of novels for him. She wasn’t that great of an artist, but she knew her way around a computer and was able to play around with some pictures she had captured over the years to make them appear like something from a graphic novel. She included some of his favorite moments, starting with childhood stories he had told her, to his college adventures with his best friend Brandon, and the time he was almost arrested. She included the time he met her, saving her from the evil, creepy barista who didn’t know how to play it smooth, and Michael, the dashing hero of the story whisking her away. She added poetry throughout the stories and ended the novel with their wedding day and her written vows.
The gift moved Michael to tears, and he wasn’t one to cry easily. When it came to his Cara, however, tears flowed as freely as a river. He kissed her so passionately, causing the heat to rise in her stomach. She reached to undo the buttons of his shirt, but he stopped her.
“Uh-huh, my little vixen. That was just a preview.”
The rest of the day continued much the same. Cara set up a picnic lunch in the woods, where they sat on a blanket feeding each other cheese and grapes and made out like teenagers. Michael took Cara downtown, and they walked around the cobblestone alleys that made Cara feel like they were in some sort of fairy tale as they browsed through old antique shops and bookstores. Michael took Cara to her favorite bakery, where he had already called in an order, and surprised his wife with a replica of their top-tiered wedding cake.
For dinner, Michael took Cara to a burger joint. It wasn’t fancy, but the place held a special memory for them. Michael had wanted to take Cara to a fancy restaurant for her birthday one year. He hadn’t realized that in order to get into this particular Italian restaurant, he needed a reservation. He was bummed but determined to make it up to her.
They drove all around looking for other places, and Cara suggested they go get burgers. Michael protested, insisting they go somewhere nice since they were all dressed up, but Cara stated that she had always been a burger and fries kind of gal, and she’d be just as happy, if not more so. Michael eventually caved, and even though they were dressed to the nines, they walked into this little hole-in-the-wall burger joint, which happened to have the best burgers they had ever had, along with old-fashioned malt milkshakes. They picked out records on the jukebox, danced around, and even played a little pool. They had the time of their lives, and so that’s how they spent the night of their anniversary, dressed up and reliving that wonderful memory.
When they got home, Michael opened Cara’s car door and pulled her into his arms; the moonlight shone down on them. He pulled out his phone and played Ben E. King’s Stand by Me before swaying her around the driveway.
“The night you asked me to marry you,” she whispered in his ear.
“The best decision I ever made.” He replied before leading her to the gazebo he had built her for her last birthday. He had strung up some lights and had a bottle of champagne and two champagne glasses on the table, waiting for them. He lit a few candles before turning around to look at her. He grabbed her hands and looked her in the eye, a tear slipped down his cheek. He wasn’t sure when he became so sappy.
“Cara, somehow, 15 years ago, I managed to convince the most beautiful woman in the world to marry me, and here we are 15 years later, and I’m still the luckiest man alive. You are so beautiful and amazing, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for you. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such an amazing woman to be my wife, but I’m so glad your mine.”
Something inside of Cara broke at his words, and she pushed him against the table, grabbing the lapels of his shirt and bringing his mouth to hers. She grinded her hips against him before stepping back and slipping out of her dress, revealing the lingerie she had bought for tonight.
“Your last present, my dear; care to unwrap it?”
Michael moved to grab her, but she ran away, wanting him to see the bedroom, not that Michael really noticed anyway. They didn’t even get to light the candles before they were grabbing at each other. And they spent the remainder of the night the same way they spent their wedding night, naked, in bed, and not finding sleep until the sun rose the following day.