Keeping Faith by Cindy Bradford (serial 50)
Chapter 18 Part II
Riding home, Patrick put the top down on his Karmann Ghia. “I might have to trade this in when we have a baby.”
Carol tried to hide her excitement since this was the first time Patrick had ever brought up children. Once she had mentioned it, but when she hadn’t heard a response, she was hesitant to push the issue.
“Patrick, do you want children soon?”
“Fine with me.”
“I do love you, Patrick.”
When he killed the car motor at Carol’s house, he leaned over and kissed her gently. Both sat looking at each other and the stars.
“What a nice night,” as he traced her lips and face. They were like two teenagers gazing into each other’s eyes, kissing and exploring each other’s body, almost timidly. For a split second his thoughts went back to another car, but just as quickly he brought himself back to the moment. He pulled Carol as close as he could to feel her warmth.
“Let’s go inside. You are driving me crazy,” he said, breathlessly.
He was peeling off her clothes before they could even get to the bedroom. Her dress settled somewhere on the floor as he hurriedly shed his shirt and pants. It was at least an hour before they caught their breath again. They said nothing for a long time, just laying there in each others’ arms.
“I love you so much, Carol,” he whispered.
“I love you Patrick,” as she snuggled to him.
Within minutes they were both in a deep, peaceful sleep. As always, when Carol awoke, he was gone. She knew that he liked to be back in his house before the sun was up or anyone was out for the morning, which in this part of Maine, at certain times of the year, first light could be 3:00 a.m. She doubted, however, that the lobstermen cared who was sleeping where as they started another day of throwing traps. When she called him at his office at the church, he told her he had been there since six o’clock trying to catch up on the work he missed while he was in Boston.
“How are you this morning, sleepyhead?”
“I’m great. Last night was so special, Patrick.”
“Yes, it was for me also.”
What he hadn’t told her was that he hadn’t slept at all. He had paced and thought and hit the wall, literally. Then finally he had showered, dressed and driven to the church.
“I know you’re busy, but I just wanted to say good morning. I’ll be so glad when we can wake up together every morning.”
“I’ll still probably be long gone before you open your sleepy eyes.”
“No Patrick, I want to get up with you to have coffee before you leave. I like to paint early anyway. But nights like the last one make me really sleep well, so if that continues, you may be right.”
“I don’t plan for nights like that to stop just because we get married.”
“Good, but then you had best plan on making your own coffee.”
“It’ll be well worth it. I need to run by the hospital about four this afternoon to see Mrs. Winters. I just talked to her daughter and told her I would visit. I’ll see you soon after that.”
For most of the morning Carol worked on the wedding list and organized the activities she needed to accomplish over the next few weeks. She showered and dressed for a quick trip to the grocery store so she could start dinner before Patrick arrived. Around five o’clock she heard his car and then saw him at the door. “Hi. I was about to put these upstairs in the studio; do you want to see them first?”
“Are those the pictures with the story?”
Carol began gently pulling the photos out of the portfolio one at a time. This is Emily. She’s very attractive, don’t you think?”
They looked at several of her and then the missionaries from Mexico.
“Bless their hearts. They haven’t seen make-up in years.”
“I believe you,” Patrick smiled.
“This is Ann. She is beautiful without make-up. I found her to have inward beauty as well. I think I told you the Reverend Mother wouldn’t allow me to take a direct shot.
He knew immediately that the photo was of Sue. He tried not to let his eyes linger on the photo. “What a waste,” he commented.
When he kept looking at the next photos of her, Carol teased: “Do you miss looking at nuns?”
Patrick managed a smile; “Do you think she is ever happy?”
“I asked her that myself.”
“She said she had grown peaceful there and that if peacefulness and happiness were related, then yes. She told me she only gets sad when she thinks about not watching her daughter grow up.”
When he had seen all of the photographs, Patrick said, “This is truly remarkable work. You have captured the essence of each of these women so beautifully.”
“I hope so. I sent each of them two photos and they all wrote me back. I have saved the letters. They are as touching as the women themselves. I’ll be right back; I’m just going to run these up to my studio. Will you pour each of us a glass of wine, please Patrick?”
Upon her return he handed her a glass and kissed her lightly. “What did you do today?”
After describing her morning, she added, “I talked to the contractor today and the carpenters are coming tomorrow. He assures me that all the renovations will be complete no later than August 10. That will only give us ten days until the wedding. I think we are cutting it close, but it would be so nice to have it all finished before you move in. Besides if we wait until after the honeymoon, he said he would be really busy, getting several projects dried in before winter.”
“That should give them and us enough time, hopefully,” as he opened the back door leading out onto the yard.
“I’m just worried about them making a mess and hurting my flowers. They are so beautiful, and Fredrico and Marc would never forgive me if I let the flowers get crushed.”
“You will need to remind them because you know those carpenters won’t be thinking about that when they start hauling wood. Did you pick up the final plans from the architect?”
“Yes. They’re right here.”
Patrick studied them. He knew the house was perfect for her right now and that she was doing the expansion to make him feel like it was his house too. He really needed the study and by extending the sunroom, he would have a place to put his exercise equipment. Even so, he had stressed to the architect that care must given to keeping the character of a sea cottage.
“I’m so happy that we will be able to add the deck over the sunroom. We’ll enjoy that. It gives us a much better view of the water,” Carol said, sipping her wine, “this is good wine, don’t you think? I’m getting better about making selections.”
“Yes, I noticed it is Italian.”
“For you, Patrico,” she teased.
“I wonder what Carmella will do to your name,” he laughed.
“I guess I will be Carolita or something along that order.” They both chuckled.
“That roast smells good.”
“I’ve never been much of a cook; I’ve contacted every woman in the church, neighborhood and my past for their recipes and help. I’m really trying. Do you want to sit out here for awhile and look at the yard before the demolition derby starts?”
“Yes, the weather is wonderful. I hope it doesn’t rain for awhile.”
“Oh, Patrick, I hadn’t even thought about that. Now that gives me something else to worry about.”
“Don’t fret. Everything will be just fine.”
“Okay. I trust you.”
The thunder woke her and then she heard rain hitting the window. She picked up the phone to call Patrick. It was midnight, but she didn’t care. When he answered he was laughing.
“I knew that was going to be you.”
“You told me not to worry, and I told you I trusted you.”
“Just a minor glitch; I haven’t said my prayers tonight.”
“Did I wake you?”
“No. I was reading. Are you disappointed?” he asked laughingly.
“Yes, I was hoping to wake you. Now say your prayers and go to sleep.”