[January 3-6, 1964]
[Parc Suites Hotel and Montreal, Canada]
Mister and Missus Stiles spent the entire three days in glorious bliss. They wandered about downtown Montreal during the day and returned to the hotel for lovemaking whenever the mood struck them. They took their dinners, as well as most meals, in the hotel’s excellent dining room. The first day of their stay, they ate there and were waited on by a young guy barely older than Bill. His name turned out to be Andre and only by accident did he trigger gales of embarrassed laughter from both Molly and Bill.
Since they had ordered a Chinese dish, Andre innocently asked them if they would like rice with it. Thinking back to that afternoon when they’d dropped rice all over the lobby, the two of them broke into smiles, then snickers, and then full-scale laughter. He looked puzzled until Bill filled him in on what had happened; then he laughed also. From that evening onwards they would always get asked if they wanted rice with whatever they ordered. It was an event to be treasured they were sure.
In their meanderings about town, they located a great department store that sold traveling coats. Molly tried on several but it wasn’t until she’d got into a dark blue jacket that she decided she had to have it. The blue perfectly complemented the golden yellow of her hair and the deep blue of her eyes. It would do nicely. Bill bought it for her.
Then, they went looking for something to buy Bill. He gave Molly two hundred dollars and told her to go wild. She looked at him carefully. “Are you sure we can afford this?”
“Of course. I told you, Molly, that everything I own belongs to you. We need traveling clothes, so go buy traveling clothes. I am especially interested in things we can wear in the camper when we start our honeymoon in it.”
“Ah. Then we need flannel things?”
“Flannel would be good, but nothing too garish. Some flannels can be pretty ugly.”
“You would look very nice in a brown-checked flannel shirt and dark jeans. With your beard and a stocking cap you would look like a lumberjack, a bûcheron. Let’s go look for something like that.”
They did; and they found it. An outfitter’s store down near the river had just the items. Molly bought Bill three shirts of varying colors but with the basic theme of checks or squares, and four pairs of denim jeans. He had to admit: he did look good in them. All he needed, but wouldn’t get, was a pipe and he’d be Mark Trail. Bill had to explain who that was to Molly.
[January 6, 1964]
[Parc Suites Hotel, Montreal, Canada - Noon]
All too soon the newlywed's brief stay at the hotel was over. They sadly packed and rang down for a bellman and to have their bill prepared. The door buzzer sounded and Bill let the bellman and his cart in. He gathered up the bags and set them on the cart. Molly took a last look around and with eyes glistening with tears she turned and left the room. Bill hugged her to his side in the elevator and kissed her forehead. “We’re on our way, my love. A short flight to Montana and we start the second part of our honeymoon.”
“I know, Bill, but it still seems sad to be leaving here.” He kissed the corners of each eye and then her lips.
“Perk up. Now you get to go back and be interrogated by Denise. Be sure to tell her about the mirror.”
Molly looked horrified. “Oh. And she will ask too.” Molly giggled. “She won’t get anything out of me though. My lips are sealed.”
Molly cracked up when Bill wiggled his eyebrows at what she’d just said. “Oh, you’re horrible!”
At the desk, they were pleasantly surprised to find that every bit of their bill was already taken care of. The manager even came out of his office to bid them goodbye. He told the two of them that their parents had told him they weren’t to pay anything for their three day stay. Since Bill had been planning to add a nice tip for the chambermaids, he simply gave the manager a hundred dollars and told him to make sure they split it evenly. He said he would take care of it for him. With a handshake for Bill, and a hand kiss-heel click for Molly, the manager bowed them out of the hotel. “Bonne chance!” He called and they waved back.
Their car was brought to the marquee and the attendant hopped out. A five-dollar bill for him and away they went back to Molly’s house. On the way there, Molly said very little. When Bill asked her what was up, she was evasive; but not overly so. Bill put it down to bridal nerves.
[January 6, 1964]
[Laval District, Montreal, Canada – afternoon]
“Mama! Papa! We are home!” Molly called at the door. “Anyone home?”
Denise came crashing down the stairs two at a time and Suzette came in from the kitchen. Everyone hugged and kissed each other dutifully and Molly asked where her dad was. Suzette answered. “He’s gone to his office. The doctor cleared him to go back to work for a bit each day. He’s been like a bear pacing around his den with nothing to do; pacing back and forth and growling at everyone else. He finally called the doctor and bullied him into letting him resume work. I was glad to see him go, the grouch. That is correct – ‘grouch’?”
Bill laughed and nodded. “It is indeed. My father had the mumps once and had to stay in the bedroom for eight days. My mother said it was like living in a mountain lion’s den by the time he was released. He was always growling about something.”
Denise had taken Molly’s arm and was towing her up the stairs. When Bill started to follow, Denise froze him with a glance. “No. This is just us girls here. You go read a book or something.”
Sounded like a good idea to him. He went into his bag and produced a brand new road atlas for the United States and began mapping out the route they would try to take on their honeymoon trip. He wanted to visit his high school friends in California, but other than that destination things were pretty much in the air. He thought that perhaps Molly might like to go through Denver or maybe Golden. Neither one of them had much of a desire to go to the eastern US, even though Bill had grown up there. Molly told him once that she thought it was just too crowded. She wanted to see the old west, as she put it.
They would be starting in Great Falls. Then they would drop down through Wyoming to get to Golden through Boulder. Since it was a very long drive, he decided to break it up into two days with a stop in Sheridan, Wyoming. They’d go east down through Billings and then to Sheridan. Then, after a straight shot through Cheyenne they’d get into the Denver-Golden area. Bill knew that area very well and knew that taking US40 westward through the mountains west was a very thrilling drive. Once they got to Grand Junction it was a clear run on US 50 all the way to Reno, Nevada. That route would give Molly a taste of the desert. She told Bill that she’d never seen a desert up close. They’d get a really close look at one this way. It was pretty arid, even in the winter, across Utah and Nevada.
When they left Reno, they’d cross the Sierra mountains and finally arrive at San Francisco to head north on 101 to get to Bill's old high school town of Petaluma. He had loads of friends still in that area; even some old girlfriends. Planning anything after that would just have to wait until they figured out where they wanted to go from there.
Whispering and giggling, Denise and Molly came back downstairs. As she passed Bill, Denise gave him a big grin. In turn, he gave Molly a ‘what the heck?’ look. “Later.” She said. “Girl talk.” He knew better than to mess with that; it could wait.
Bill and Molly had an early flight the next day so that meant they had better make it an early night. After dinner, which was excellent, they sat in the living room and talked with the rest of the family – Bill’s family now. Alain related some interesting information on his parents, his business, and Canadian politics. Bill found it fascinating and listened to it carefully since there was a very good chance he would be coming back up here and signing on to Alain's business. Bill had thought about it many times and concluded that he could do a whole lot worse than come up to Montreal to live. He knew his parents would be mildly disappointed he didn’t continue his college education, but he could actually finish that in Canada. Montreal had excellent universities and even branches of American universities.
Talk slowed, and then everyone began to show signs of fatigue. Alain got up first and took Suzette with him into their bedroom. Denise kept chattering but it was plain to see she was also wired on the coffee she’d been drinking. In mid-babble Molly shushed her. “Denise! I think we should all go to bed now. We’ll all be up early in the morning." A frown furrowed Denise's brow, but she brightened up immediately. She rose, threw her arms around Bill, and kissed him right on the lips.
"Goodnight, Brother.” She chirped. “Take my sister to bed.”
* * *
‘What a thing for her to say. Even after all the time I’ve been married, it still sounded naughty.’ Molly tittered to herself. ‘Take my sister to bed – indeed!’ She began to blush against her will.
* * *
Molly reddened slightly, but then shook it off. “Goodnight, Denise. See you in the morning.” She and Bill watched Denise go up the stairs. Molly shifted over and sat across Bill with her legs over his. “Now, my husband, how about some smooching for us?” She kissed him warmly and with much enthusiasm. Her tongue flicked out and slipped past his lips. She had the sweetest tasting tongue he’d ever had in his mouth.
“Come on, Molly. We’d better be going up also. Tomorrow comes pretty early for us. We can neck on the plane. I think we’re way in back.”
She stuck her tongue into his ear and then blew into it. The sudden chill made his break out in goose bumps. “Ooh. That really gets to me when you do that, you know.”
“Yes, I can tell.” She said mischievously.
She was right, too. He had begun to get a little uncomfortable under her rump. “Whoops. Time to get you to bed I think,” he sighed. “Terrible, but someone has to do it.”
She hit him on the shoulder. “Tough. One more remark like that and you can carry me up.”
“I can do that anyway. Want me to?”
“No. Denise will be watching. I’m sure. Let’s just go up and rattle the headboard. That’ll shock her.” Molly said with a smirk.
“I doubt that. She seems like she’s pretty plugged into the scene, sexwise, for someone of her age.”
“Yes, she is. That’s pretty much what we were talking about earlier upstairs. She wanted to know all the details. I, of course, didn’t give her any. I especially avoided any mention of a mirror above the bed. This just made her want more. She’s probably going to grab the first guy she meets at the tea shop next time and jump on him. Is that right? ‘Jump on him’?”
“Sort of. You probably mean ‘jump his bones’.”
“Yes. That’s what I meant. She’s really boy crazy. I hope she doesn’t get hurt.”
“I don’t think she will. She’s a pretty level headed kid with just a small wild streak but if it comes right down to it, she’ll think twice about letting a guy talk her into sex.”
“Oh, I hope you’re right, Bill. I’d hate for her to get hurt.” She repeated. “Maybe she will meet someone as great as you?”
Bill cleared his throat and looked pompous. “There’s nobody as great as me don’t you know.” He got a dirty look in exchange for that. She took his hand and led him up the stairs to their bedroom. They undressed, did their evening toilet, and climbed into bed. Once there, they whispered pillow talk for a while concerning everything she’d told Denise. Bill found that she had told her a few clinical details of their first night in the hotel. Somehow, hearing her tell him what she’d said turned him on even more than when he’d actually done it. No mention of the mirror though.
Her voice tapered off into simple sibilance as she fell asleep. They’d both been running hard for three days – not to mention the nights – so it wasn’t surprising they both drifted off. Bill woke once, feeling her fingers as they softly slid around his stomach and downwards, but didn’t wake fully enough to do anything about it. Her soft intake and exhaust of breath never varied so he figured she was doing this in her sleep. ‘Let her sleep,’ he thought to himself. ‘She needs it’.
[January 7, 1964]
[Laval District, Montreal, Canada – early morning]
Bill woke the next morning in a completely understandable state, concerning the circumstances of late. He groaned and then rolled towards Molly’s side of the bed. When he groped around, she wasn’t there. He heard the shower running though, and ambled over to the door. In the seconds before he popped the door open he heard Denise singing.
‘Jeez, that was close,’ he thought, sighing with relief. He waited until Denise left the bathroom. Still, he wondered where Molly had gone. He reached over and tapped Denise’s door. “Denise? Do you know where Molly is?”
“She’s downstairs helping Mama prepare breakfast. She got up really early and let you sleep.”
“Thank you.” He looked down – still visible - then headed for the shower. After turning on the cold faucet full blast, he stepped in. When the cold water hit him, it took his breath away. It also cleared up his problem immediately. He turned up the hot water to balance things out. Denise forgotten, he finished showering and wrapped the towel around his middle and trimmed his beard.
“Bill! Molly says breakfast is ready.” Denise called through her door.
“Tell her I’ll be right there.”
“Okay.” He heard her hall door close and her footsteps down the stairs. Ruefully, he thought about how young Denise really was. She was going to make a wonderful wife for someone. He also wondered, for the thousandth time, what it was that women talked about when the subject was men. Probably very similar things guys talked about when they were one-on-one with a close male friend.
Breakfast was light. Bill had a fluttery stomach for some reason and didn’t eat much. Molly hardly ate anything at all. This was unusual for her. Bill wondered if she was coming down with something. That would be a heck of a note to have her get sick on their honeymoon trip. A real bummer, as the surf crowd would say.
Molly and Bill went back up and packed. This time she took two suitcases and a huge purse and travel case with all her makeup. They were going to be on the road for at least three weeks or more so they'd need it all. Once they got to Montana, though, they could push things into the nooks and crannies of the camper. Bill hefted the cases and declared that they might have to pay extra for one of them due to its weight.