By Web Bard (copyright 12/2000)
Beth opened the large envelope and pulled out the magazine. She smiled a sly grin and placed it in front of the computer. Reese is going to freak when she sees it. She turned back to the keyboard, typed in the last few sentences of her article and sent it by email to her editor. She shut down the computer and then carefully placed a legal document with her other official travel papers and passport. This ones for you, Reece, but its a surprise. A very big surprise.
Beth started down the spiral staircase and met a tall, dark haired beauty half way up the steps. "Hey, good looking."
"Hey, yourself," said Reese with a smile. She reached up to touch Beths face and give her a quick kiss.
"I have something to show you in the office, but you have to close your eyes when you reach the top of the stairs," said Beth as she took Reeces hand.
"Okay," said Reece. "Lead me on."
Beth reached for the magazine and held it in front of Reeses closed eyes. "You can open your eyes now, cover girl."
Reese opened her eyes to find herself staring at a dark haired woman riding a palomino horse on the cover of the magazine. "Beth, is that who I think it is?"
"Its you, honey," grinned Beth.
"But, how? But, when did you take this?"
"When you thought I was writing my story under that tree," said Beth. "I was actually taking pictures of you the whole time. I sent the proof sheets to my editor and she loved this one picture better than any of them. The pictures you took of the Grand Canyon and the resort are great, too. They are grouped with the story on the inside of the magazine. See?"
Beth opened the inside of the magazine and pointed to the photo layout of Reeses pictures. "I think you might have a new career in modeling and photography, love."
"You knew about this cover thing, didnt you?" Reese kept staring at the familiar face on the front of the magazine.
"Merry Christmas, honey," said Beth as she leaned closer to her partner for a kiss.
"Can I take this copy to give to my grandparents in Greece?" Reese gave Beth an embarrassed smile.
"Sure you can," said Beth. "I ordered a whole box of them."
"Thank you," said Reese shyly. "This is a very nice surprise. Definitely not what I expected to see when I got to the stop of the stairs. Come downstairs for a few minutes and have a cup of hot chocolate with me, okay?"
"You turn on the gas logs and Ill bring the hot chocolate," said Beth as she started back down the steps. I gotcha Reese. My cover girl. She grinned and headed into the kitchen.
Reese turned on the gas logs and warmed her hands by the fire.
"Here you go," said Beth. "Drink of the gods."
"Can we talk for a few minutes?" Reese had a lot to say, but wasnt sure if the words would convey exactly what she wanted to tell her partner.
"Is something wrong?" Beth gave her friend a worried look.
"No, nothings wrong, I promise," said Reese and she placed her free hand on Beths knee. "Do you trust me?"
"With my life," said Beth.
"Do you trust me enough to let me plan our itinerary while we are in Greece?"
"Well, since Ive never been there, and you have relatives there, I was hoping youd volunteer for that duty," said Beth with a smile. "Anything you plan is fine with me."
"Beth," said Reese as she put down her cup. "I know this past week has been really hard for you. I just want to do things and take you places to make you happier than youve ever dreamed possible. Does that make any sense?"
"Listen to me, Reese," said Beth she took her friends face in her hands. "I am happier now than Ive ever been in my entire life. We dont have to leave this house to make me any happier. Sitting here in front of this fireplace with you is heaven to me."
"I know," said Reese. "I feel the same way. But I want to do something every day that were there to let you know that you are the most special person in the world to me. Would you let me spoil you rotten for the next six days? Please?"
"Youre so cute when you beg," said Beth. She leaned over and kissed Reese on the cheek. "You can spoil me on one condition."
"You have to give me the opportunity to do the same for you," said Beth.
"But " Reese started to talk, but Beth placed her finger over her lips.
"Its a deal," said Reese as she pulled Beth into a hug. You just try to outdo what Ive planned for you, my little friend. If it takes the rest of my life, Im going to take
the sadness out of your eyes. Hopefully, the next six days will start us in the right direction.
"How much time do we have before we have to go to the airport?" Beth took their empty cups and walked toward the kitchen.
"About five minutes," said Reese as she walked toward their bedroom. "Are you all packed?"
"Just a few more things and Im through," said Beth. She still needed to pack her research papers and travel documents in her carry-on luggage. "Did I tell you that I sold another article to a travel magazine about this trip to Greece?"
"No more pictures of me on the cover, you hear me?" Reese kidded Beth as she walked into the bedroom.
Beth walked behind her lover and patted her on the butt. "Im not making any promises. I mean, who can resist your gorgeous face? I bet this issue of the magazine flies off of the shelf."
Reese turned to face Beth and wrapped her arms around the smaller womans waist. "Can I steal a kiss from you before we leave?"
Beth reached up and ran her fingers through her friends hair. She gently pulled Reeses lips down to meet hers. Reese tightened her grip around Beth and kissed her until she had to stop and take a breath. Beth pulled back slightly and gave her partner a dazed look.
"You just slay me when you kiss me like that," said Beth as she tried to catch her breath. "I think we need one more of those for the road."
Reese pulled Beth closer and leaned in for another kiss. As the two lovers enjoyed their connection, a car horn interrupted the silence.
"Well pick this up later, okay?" Reese hesitantly let go of Beth and reached down for her suitcase. "Thats our driver."
Beth turned off all the lights and the gas logs in the fireplace. Reese had already taken the luggage outside. Beth picked up her small travel bag and threw it over her shoulder. She walked out the door and locked it. She turned around to walk toward Reese and her mouth dropped open. In front of her was a sleek, black limo.
"This is our ride to the airport?" Beth grinned at Reese who was leaning against the car door. "You are something else."
"Nothing but the best for you," said Reese as she opened the door for her friend. Beth stopped before getting in the limo and kissed her partner.
"I love you," said Beth.
"I love you, too," said Reese as she moved into the seat next to Beth.
The driver looked back at the two women who were gazing at each other with adoring looks. Lovebirds. "Good afternoon, ladies. Well be at the airport shortly. Relax and enjoy the ride."
"Thank you, sir," said Beth. "Whats your name?"
"Max," said the older man. "By the way, if you look in the right hand corner back there, youll see a bucket of champagne and some glasses. Enjoy."
"We will," said Reece. "Thank you, Max."
"Shall I pour?" Beth reached for the champagne and handed Reese the glasses.
Reece smiled at her lover and patiently waited for the glasses to be filled. She handed one to Beth and lifted it for a toast. "Heres to tracing our past."
Beth touched her glass against the one Reese was holding. "And, heres to planning our future."
Beth watched the outside of the terminal as Max drove right past the ticket counter drop-off area. "Um, Reese? Where are we going? Dont we need to get out here to check our luggage?"
Reese grinned like a Cheshire cat. "Nope."
"What about our tickets?"
"Dont need any tickets," said Reese as she moved closer to Beths face. She brushed her lips against her partners and caressed her cheeks. "Now its your turn to close your eyes."
Beth did as she was told. Max drove the limo up to a huge corporate jet and stopped the car. Reese turned Beths head toward the window. "Okay, you can look now."
Beth opened her eyes and gasped. "Thats our flight?!"
"Yes, maam," said Reese. "I told you I was going to spoil you didnt I?"
"But, Reese, I know you cant afford this," said Beth with a worried look on her face.
"Hey, wait," said Reese. "Im not paying for this. This is the shipping companys private jet. Mr. Keriokas felt so bad about us having to travel during the holidays, that he made the arrangements for us to fly in style. Our hotel is covered in Athens, too."
Beth was speechless.
Reese grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the limo. After saying goodbye to the driver, they walked up the short flight of steps to the jet door.
The pilot, co-pilot and two flight attendants were all waiting at the top of the steps. "Welcome Ms. Keros. Ms. Morris. We are your flight crew to Athens and will do everything possible to make this a pleasant trip for you. If you follow our attendants, they will give you a guided tour of your home for the evening.
Beth took a deep breath. Talk about surprises. Shed never seen anything like it. The front part of the jet was reserved for the flight crew. The second part of the plane had several seating areas and two couches on each side. There were also two tables, and a small wet bar.
"Right this way ladies," said the flight attendant as she opened the door to the last part of the jet. Even Reece was surprised by this revelation. In front of her stood a large bed covered with soft pillows. "Well be flying through the night, so feel free to use the bedroom and bathroom facilities in this part of the flight cabin. Ill leave you alone now to get settled. If youll take your seats in about five minutes, well prepare for take-off."
"Thanks," said Reese. She glanced over at Beth who decided to sit on the bed to make sure she was still breathing. "You okay?"
"Im not dreaming this, am I?" Beth shook her head in disbelief.
Reese reached over and lightly pinched her friends arm. "Did you feel that? If you did, youre awake, love."
"Were the only passengers, arent we?" Beth grinned at her partner.
"You betcha," said Reese as she took Beths hand. "We need to buckle up, okay?"
Reese and Beth moved to the two passenger seats in the middle section of the cabin and buckled their seatbelts. The flight attendant walked over to the women and handed them pillows and two beautifully woven Greek blankets. "These blankets are courtesy of Mr. Keriokas."
"They are gorgeous," said Beth as she ran her hands over the colorful cloth. "Please tell him thank you."
"I will," said the attendant. "My name is Susan. Your other attendants name is Nick. As soon as we reach our flying altitude, well come back and serve your dinner and cocktails. But, for now, just relax. Well be in the air in a few minutes. Ill shut the partition door during take-off, but if theres a problem, just press the button above your head. Enjoy your flight."
Beth leaned her head back on the comfortable seat and closed her eyes. She felt Reeses fingers interlace with her own. She turned to her partner and smiled.
"What do you think of my spoiling plan so far?" Reeses blue eyes gazed with love at the green eyes looking into hers. She leaned in for a series of soft kisses and then brushed a lock of hair away from her friends face.
"Incredible," said Beth as she closed her eyes. Just incredible.
to be continued .
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