Chapter 16: If Only Us... Chapter 16

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

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We pulled into the main station at Utrecht only twenty minutes behind our scheduled arrival.  Apparently, we’d made up some time.  There were quite a few porters outside looking into windows so I signaled one and, moments later, he tapped on our door.  We started out in English, which he had to struggle through and ended up in German which he spoke well.  I told him we were headed to the Apollo Hotel.

He grabbed our bags, led us off the train, and parked us temporarily near a bank of telephones.  I handed him a coin and he made the call to the hotel.  Virginia and I sat and chatted for a moment until he came back and said the hotel would send a car over right away.  He took us through the front entrance of the station to wait.  We talked with him about some of the sights close by and he indicated them on a small map I had of Amsterdam.  He said the best way to get into the city proper was to take the local trains that came to the opposite side of the platform we’d arrived on.  The best was a number 14 tram which would take us to city center.

A small van arrived with the hotel name on the side.  I signaled to the driver to stop and he pulled to the curb.  The porter and I loaded up the suitcases, I gave him a great tip which made his day probably, and we got into the van.  The trip didn’t last very long, but the driver chattered the whole time in mostly understandable English.  His first words after greeting us were ‘You are just married, yes’?

I turned to Virginia and whispered in her ear that I bet someone at the base booking office told everyone we were on our honeymoon.  She whispered back that she thought so also.  I shrugged my shoulders and grinned.  What the hell, I might as well get some mileage out of it.  I kissed her on the cheek with a loud smack.  She kissed me back.  The young guy grinned into his rear-view mirror at us.

We arrived at the hotel and pulled to the curb.  It seemed like an army of pages descended on the van and stripped our baggage out in seconds.  We followed it into the hotel and went to the registration desk to give our names.  The desk agent welcomed us to the Apollo, pushed a registration form at me, and held out his hand for our passports.  I gave them to him, he wrote down pertinent information on a form, and handed them back to me.

I was surprised.  In Germany, the hotel keeps your passport until you check out.  In Amsterdam, apparently, they don’t.  A good arrangement if you ever need to identify yourself when away from the hotel.

The clerk addressed me.  “Welcome to the Apollo, sir.  I hope your stay with us will be a happy occasion.  There is a bottle of wine cooling in the suite compliments of the management to the newlyweds.  Dinner starts at seventeen hundred and continue until twenty-three hundred.”

He bobbed his head when we thanked him and indicated the floor for room 47 was two and the elevator was across the lobby.  We turned, picked up our little carrying bags, and left for the elevator.  It was a warmly paneled elevator that held a large mirror.  I reflected how domesticated we both looked standing there together.  I knew we were young, but we certainly looked a lot older – to me anyway.

I still had a faint feeling that my parents were going to pop around a corner and catch us doing something wrong.  I’d tried to kick the wariness, but failed.  When I snickered, Virginia asked me what was so funny.  I told her to wait until we got to the room.

The page opened the door and gestured for us to enter.  We did and immediately the size overwhelmed me.  It was a huge room and, as I turned and looked through a door, I could see a small sitting room.  When the page handed me the key I surreptitiously looked at the number and then at the door.  They matched so we must have the right room.  I had expected something a little less opulent.

I tipped the page and closed the door behind him.  Virginia closed on me and wrapped her arms around my waist tightly.

“Now, what were you snickering about in the elevator?”

“I was just thinking that my dad was going to pop around a corner and yell at me that young ladies shouldn’t be seen with young men in a hotel.  Funny, huh?”

She laughed out loud.

“I have that very same feeling!  Somewhere in this room is my mom waiting to say something like ‘Virginia!  What are you doing?’  It’s unnerving.”

I gave her a long, lingering kiss that took a count of at least twenty.  She laid her head on my shoulder and nuzzled my neck.

“Let’s have some wine.  Looks like a good one,” she said, pulling it out of the cooler and wiping the label with the towel.

She held it up to me.  Now, I’m not really a great wine connoisseur but even I can tell a good wine when I see it.  This one looked good.  I peeled the top, screwed the opener into the cork, and pulled.  It popped open and I poured a little in my glass.  I tasted it, and highly approved.  I poured us both a glass and we went to the sofa and sat down.

I put my feet up on the little ottoman and relaxed.  She sat next to me, turned, and laid her head in my lap with her legs hanging over the arm.  I reached into my bag on the floor and pulled out a small book.  She looked up at me and tried to read it upside down.

“What’s that?”

“Elizabeth Barrett Browning, my love.  Shall I read?”

“Oh, please do.  I shall listen intently, sip my wine, and probably drift off to sleep.”

“I begin…”

I read to her for about ten minutes as she continued to sip at the wine.  She laid her palm flat on my chest because she liked to feel the resonance my voice caused.  Whenever we went into poetry mode, we sounded like eighteenth century lovers.  We spoke in rounded tones and flowery language.  Those who might have overheard us would think we were probably nuts, but we didn’t care.

A soft buzz signaled her appearance at the door of sleep.  I gently took the empty glass, set it on the table, and followed it with mine after downing the last.  I slowly reduced the volume of my voice until I was barely above a whisper.  She moved softly against me, tucked her hand under her head, and began to breathe slowly.  She was asleep.

As she slept, I watched the shadows move on the building across the street.  They slid downwards and presumably crossed the street to ride up our building.  Dusk fell and still she slept.  I kissed her forehead and she moaned in her sleep, but smiled.

I lay my head back and closed my eyes.  I didn’t fall asleep, but was simply at rest and very, very happy.  Happy with my life so far.  I knew I was not even eighteen yet, but that was coming next month.  I was married to a wonderful girl that, between us, we decided that getting pregnant was the only way we could stay together.  I was devoted to her and, I fervently hoped, she was devoted to me.  I could have turned into a rotten teenager but she had saved me two years ago.  She wouldn’t let me do things that would hurt me.  She kept me straight and narrow.  She was my wife and my life.

Later, in the half-light of dusk she woke.  Not with a start, but with a languorous overhead stretch that highlighted her breasts under her blouse.  As she stretched, I placed a palm under a breast.  She cracked one eyelid and smiled up at me; her hair framing her face.

“Hi, lover.”  I said.

“Hi, yourself.”  She answered.  “Is that an invitation resting on my chest?”

“It could be, if you want it to be.  Otherwise, it’s just a happy fondle.”

“Well, fondle to your heart’s content, but please unhook me.  This bra’s too tight for me now.”

She sat up a little so I could reach under and unfasten it.  When the hooks parted, she gave a delicious shudder and lay back down.  She giggled when she encountered my lap.

“Let me make love to you, honey.  You’ve been so wonderful to me I should give some back.”

“Not necessary, love.  I’m fine.”

“I know that because I can feel it, but you’ve been so patient and reassuring me I’m desirable even though I’m getting fat.”

“You’re not getting fat; you’re getting pregnant with our baby.  It is a loving growth that will continue to give us love the rest of our life.  But I like to see you happy…”

Afterwards:  “There.  All better now.  Want to help me take a bath?”

“Does Anthony desire Cleopatra?  Does Clyde want Bonnie?  Does Tom wash Virginia’s back?  You bet!”

We adjourned to the bathroom and filled the tub.  No hanky panky this time – just a straight back wash.  I did slip in some strawberry powder though.  She smelled it and asked where it was.  I told her I’d stashed some in my bag for moments like this.  She wrinkled her nose and smiled at me.  I wrinkled back.

“Now, cut that out!”

 


Submitted: June 03, 2013

© Copyright 2022 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.

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VyrgoMD

You've been on quite a few trains, haven't you?

Wed, November 20th, 2013 1:25pm

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Definitely. My first one was up in Canada going from Edmonton to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. I was 5 and it was 1947. I've loved the ever since. The European train system (as well as the Japanese) are wonders of the World.

Wed, November 20th, 2013 6:18am

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