Just to See Your Face
This story is an original work and is copyrighted by the author. Copyright 2014.
Author’s Note: Feedback is welcomed at. Khall828@earthlink.net
Two halves of a bagel popped up, toasted to a tanned perfection. They soon joined the cheesy omelet and fresh berries on the blue patterned plate. With the addition of a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and the steaming, flavorful cup of coffee, the morning meal was complete.
Carson Galloway-Dixon looked across the space of the table at the lovely face of her spouse of just over two years. “How are your waffles Sweetheart?” she asked cheerfully.
Drew Galloway-Dixon smiled behind her coffee cup. “Pretty good,” she said. “Decent berries too, for being out of season.” Drew snipped off the end of a red fruit, and then dabbed at her mouth with a napkin, wiping away a few runaway drops of juice. “I was thinking that maybe next weekend we could take the kids to the Children’s Museum over in Indianapolis. I know that’s a three hour drive, but it’s supposed to be one of the best in the country.”
Carson nodded thoughtfully. “Well, I don’t think the baby will get much out of it.”
“No,” Drew agreed, “but we’ll be together. It’ll be our first family trip. Even at three and a half, I think Logan will have fun. They’ve got an indoor carousel and a dinosaur exhibit with thunderstorms, and…”
Carson smiled. “Okay, I believe you, Honey.” She knew that her wife was going to have just as much fun, or maybe even more, than their son. Carson finished off her orange juice and added, “As long as the roads are clear by then.”
“It’s five days away, the roads will be fine.”
Carson frowned and her eyes dropped to her nearly empty plate. An unintentional frown shaped her lips.
Drew sighed. “I’m sorry sweetheart.”
Carson pushed her dishes aside and reached for her wife. Pulling the laptop across the table to sit right in front of her, Carson’s fingertips touched the screen, and the picture of the beautiful brunette. They had Skyped all the way through breakfast, after Drew had called with the bad news. A strong snowstorm had blown in the night before, and Drew had been stranded in Chicago, after travel restrictions had been implemented. And she probably wouldn’t be able to even start off for home for the rest of the day.
“I know honey,” Carson said. “You’ve apologized three times already. You had to go see your mother after her accident. Do not feel guilty about this.”
“But its Valentine’s Day, and I had a lot of plans for us.”
Carson smiled sadly. “Me too. But we’ll still do all of them when you get home. And at least we can spend a lot of time together today…sort of.” They had already planned to utilize the high tech solution to keep in touch.
“Absolutely!” Drew agreed. “We still have power, and the snow is slowing down.” She was staying at her mother’s house. “I have plenty of food here…because I know that’s what you were worried about.” Carson smiled, knowing it was true. “I did think of one problem though for when I can get home,” Drew continued, “the dogs.” Drew’s mother had two, a German Shepard and a Dachshund. “Mom is going to be fine, but she will have to stay in the hospital for at least two weeks. And I know she would worry the whole time if I boarded them.”
“Bring them back with you,” Carson said. “Your Mom will be in a leg cast for what, six to eight weeks. She would probably have trouble taking care of them anyway. Besides they don’t need to be with strangers for that long.”
Drew just looked at her with a big grin.
“What?” Carson asked.
“I just love you. You are concerned about my mom. You care about the dogs. You’re just so beautiful.”
“Mama D!” Logan came running from his room, where he had been playing after he had his breakfast. He called out to her, after hearing her voice, hoping she was home now. He looked all around the family room, which was next to the kitchen, even running behind the couch, a favorite place to hide when they played hide and seek.
Carson giggled at his antics. “Mama D is not home yet baby,” she told him. “Come here.” He toddled over and she lifted him onto her lap. She pointed to the computer screen. “Look here.”
He looked at it, uncertainly, for a few seconds, even as Drew spoke to him. “Good morning buddy.”
Logan craned his neck to look behind the computer screen. He was used to talking to his mother on the phone, but this was a perplexing new experience. “Mama D?” he questioned. “Where you?”
“I’m visiting nana. But I can see you and hear you.” Drew waved and he waved back.
“Come home,” the tyke demanded.
That made her sad again. “Oh buddy, I wish I could. I’ll be home tomorrow, though. And I’m gonna talk to you a lot today.”
Logan reached out and rubbed the screen. “Read me a story?” he asked.
“I will, tonight before you go to bed, okay?”
“Where is your sister?” Drew asked him.
He looked around for the baby, but didn’t see her. Carson whispered in his ear, and he gazed back at Drew. “Sleeeeeping,” he informed succinctly.
Drew laughed. “Well, I’m sure she’ll be up soon. You can tell her where I am and when I’ll be home. I’ll talk to her later. You go play now.” Away he scrambled, not needing to be told twice to play with his toys.
“The baby’s still asleep at…” Drew glanced down at the time on her computer… “8:09. She’s not sick is she? What a time for me to be away,” Drew mumbled worriedly. “You know you can call…”
“Sweetheart, she is fine. She got up a little earlier than usual, so she took her morning nap a little sooner. Everything is fine.”
“No it’s not,” Drew protested. “You’re having to take care of everything all by yourself.”
“Which I am perfectly capable of,” Carson interjected softly.
“Of course you are. But I just…I…” Drew studied her partner’s lovely and placid expression. She took a deep breath and smiled. “I am being silly.”
“It’s the first time you’ve been away from us overnight, especially since the baby. It’s okay to be concerned. But we’re all fine. We’re going to stay fine. And I’m sure you can get home tomorrow.”
Drew quirked an eyebrow. “I’m bugging you, and you want me to go now, don’t you?” she asked.
“Of course not honey, you know I could talk to you all day. But I do have to clear the table, and put on a load of laundry. And I have to get some other work done. You need to relax a little. Use your mom’s Jacuzzi…maybe read for a while.”
“Okay, I get the point. Call me back for lunch. Love you.”
* * *
“Logan, come over here and eat your lunch.” It was the second time Carson had called him. The youngster was engrossed in the colorful, animated characters dancing across the TV screen. “You don’t want me to tell Mama D, do you?”
“Mommy doesn’t have to tell me Logan, I hear that you are not behaving,” Drew said loudly from the laptop sitting on the kitchen table. She suddenly heard little feet scampering across the floor.
“I here Mommy,” Logan said as he raised his arms, to be lifted on to his booster seat.
Carson snapped the safety belt around him. “There you go baby.”
“I not the baby,” Logan said indignantly.
Carson kissed the golden hair on top of his head. “You are a big boy,” she said with a chuckle.
“We call you baby because we love you,” Drew said. The laptop sat on top of the table, in the same place it was that morning, her regular spot. She saw her wife set a small plate and bowl in front of her son, but couldn’t tell what was on it. “What are you having for lunch, Logan?”
The boy still didn’t understand how he heard his mama’s voice, when she wasn’t anywhere around. But he answered her the best he could. “Cheese and appasass.”
Carson translated his abbreviated menu selection. “He means a grilled cheese sandwich and applesauce.”
“Oh, one of your favorites. And what is my little princess having?” Drew asked as she looked over at the dark haired baby in the highchair.
The baby let out a happy screech. Carson slipped a tiny spoon into the mostly toothless mouth, and the baby hummed in delight. “She is having one of her favorites, sweet potatoes and corn.”
“Perfect.” Drew took a couple of bites of her club sandwich, before she looked up with a frown. “I cancelled our reservations for tonight,” she said sadly.
“It’s okay honey. We’ll still have a meal together.”
“But I didn’t want you to have to cook. I wanted to spoil you.”
“And I love you for that. But I like cooking. As soon as the kids are finished here, we’ll plan a menu together. You said your mom has a well-stocked kitchen.”
Drew nodded. “Yeah, and a full wine cooler.”
“It’ll be a good meal,” Carson assured. “It’s a good thing you can cook Drew, I wouldn’t want to think of you having another sandwich for dinner.”
“But I make a killer sandwich.”
“That, I have to agree with,” Carson said with a giggle.
“Done Mommy,” Logan said.
“Did you finish it all up?” Drew asked her son.
Logan looked all around again. “Where’s Mama D?” he asked, as Carson wiped off his hands and face.
“Just a minute, I’ll show you.” She picked up the laptop and held right in front of him.
Drew asked again. “Did you finish all of your lunch?”
Logan leaned in, his face almost touching the screen as he answered. “Ate it all Mama D.”
“Good boy. I love you.”
“Wuv you. Gonna pway now,” he said as he ran off to his toys. Carson had given him a little token for Valentine’s Day. The blue and yellow vehicle had joined his fleet of other cars, trucks, and even a little plastic motorcycle.
Both moms laughed at the little one, and his one track mind. “Just let me clean away the dishes,” Carson said, “and clean up the baby, then I’ll be right back with you to plan our romantic dinner.”
“Take your time sweetie. I have to let the dogs out anyway.”
“In that snow?”
“Oh yeah, it’s so funny. I shoveled a path on the deck, straight out to the yard. Doolittle ran right out and jumped into the 12 inch snow this morning, no problem right, he’s a German Shepard. But Gina ran right off the top step, and nearly disappeared. I’m glad Dachshund’s aren’t white, I might have lost her.”
Carson was barrel laughing at the mental picture. “I wish you would have gotten a video of that.”
“Me too. Be right back.”
“Me too,” Carson said. “I’m gonna stay connected.”
Fifteen minutes later, Drew’s face popped into the picture. “I’m back babe.”
“Long time no see, beautiful. So about tonight? What would you have had at the restaurant?” Carson asked.
“The Chicken Olivay probably.”
Carson scratched her mental noggin. “I’m afraid I don’t have all the ingredients for something like that.”
Drew shrugged. “Me neither. You just asked.”
Carson contemplated for a couple of minutes, as Drew flipped through some of her mother’s recipes. “You know hon, let’s do something fairly simple.”
Drew looked up. “That’s fine by me, but why?”
“I don’t want to spend all that time cooking and then cleaning up.” Carson leaned in and gazed intently at the screen. “I’d rather spend the time staring into those beautiful, blue eyes.”
Drew’s smile was full and delightful. “Well, you certainly know how to turn a girl’s head.” Their gazes held for several long seconds, as they just loved one another on this lover’s holiday.
Drew licked her lips. “But I won’t be able to have my favorite tonight.”
“Would you rather have chicken?” Carson asked innocently.
Drew flashed a sexy smirk. “Not talkin’ about that favorite.”
One. Two. Carson smiled. “Oh right. I would have enjoyed some of that too.”
* * *
“Roll the ball to Logan, Michela,” Drew said. The laptop sat on the floor of the family room along with the rest of the family. Carson sat with her legs straight out in a V, with the eight month old baby right in front of her. Logan sat across from them by a few feet, helping his little sister to learn to play ball. Most of the time, the baby wasn’t much fun to play with, she couldn’t talk, except her baby babble, she could crawl, and pretty fast sometimes, but she couldn’t walk, which meant she couldn’t chase him, or him her. But when his mommies played too, Logan wasn’t about to miss out on any fun.
He rolled the little ball over to the baby, as his mother instructed. Her big blue eyes tracked its movement as it traveled in her direction…all the way until it bumped into her tiny foot. But she never reached for it. “Ohhhh no,” her mommies echoed. Carson picked up the ball. “Here we go Michela.” She placed it in the baby’s hands, and helped her roll it back to her brother.
“Me, Kay,” he encouraged. “To me.” Just a little awkwardly it rolled into his grasp. “Yeah! Here catch.” He rolled it back again. The exchange happened several more times, without much independent involvement from the baby.
Once again, the ball came back her way. And stopped beside her leg. Everyone waited for her next move. She studied the small, rubber sphere, then looked over to her big brother, who clapped excitedly. Suddenly, she bobbled forward and grabbed it, looking at it with a great amount of curiosity. Finally, for the first time on her own, Michela Delaney gave a mighty pitch, sending the ball sailing off to her left…and right into the computer screen. Her parents laughed as the laptop fell back, luckily since it was on the floor it wasn’t such a big deal.
“Mama D, you okay?” Logan asked, as he stood over her supine picture.
Drew was still chuckling. “Yeah buddy, I’m fine.”
“I help you,” the youngster said, as he gently up righted the small computer.
“Thank you pal. Good girl Michela, you threw it right to mama.”
Carson clapped the baby’s hands together, as everyone celebrated the mini milestone.
Logan soon got bored with the game of ball, and he proceeded to pull out his big Legos, because he loved to build.
“Bring your blocks over here too,” Drew said, “Will you let Michela play with them?”
“I will,” Logan said, as he dropped an armload full right in front of his sister.
Michela thought the noise was hilarious, as they knocked together, and she laughed and clapped, causing her parents to do the same.
Drew’s face lit up with joy, as she watched her baby daughter playing and learning, but most of all having fun. The mirthful blue eyes met up with gleeful green of her lovely wife, and in just another moment, they were so grateful that they had everything that was most important in life.
And the afternoon continued on with fun playtime for the small family, even with one member hundreds of miles away.
* * *
“On the fifteenth of May, in the jungle of Nool, in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool…” Drew began the bedtime story. Logan was snuggled under his Tigger blanket, in his toddler bed. Carson sat in a chair next to him, with Michela in her lap. The baby was drinking her nighttime bottle, but was tuned in to her mama’s seemingly disembodied voice. What started out as confusing for the two young children, by the end of the day, had become easily accepted.
Story time was an everyday part of their bedtime routine, the mothers alternated nights. While Carson could have easily taken Drew’s turn on this night, she insisted, knowing how much Drew loved reading to her children, especially, making silly faces and doing funny voices. She continued those actions, even in the electronic format. Logan particularly, liked her squeaky, but haughty voice for the sour kangaroo. It made him giggle.
“From sun in the summer, from rain when it’s fall-ish, I’m going to protect them, no matter how small-ish.” Drew finished the tale, and looked up to see that Logan was peacefully, sleeping. “Goodnight son,” she whispered. “Kiss him for me,” she asked her wife.
Carefully juggling the baby, Carson gave the boy a kiss on each cheek. Leaving just the nightlight on, she pulled the door to, then stepped across the hall to the nursery. Placing the computer on the changing table, Carson talked to the baby as she was placed in her bed. Michela immediately flipped over and crawled to the other end of her crib. She had finished her bottle before the end of the story, and had started to squirm on Carson’s lap. This was a baby not ready for sleep.
Carson resituated the baby, who just grinned. “Michela, Sweetie, it’s time to sleep.” Mommy picked her up and bounced her, still speaking quietly, but the baby was still wide eyed. Carson carried her over to the computer, where her other mama spoke to her.
“Is my princess not sleepy yet?” The eight month old tended to do this at least once a week, but usually she went right out after a bath and a story. After fifteen minutes, the baby finally yawned.
“We’d better seize the moment honey. I think you’re gonna have to bring out the big guns,” Carson told her wife, as she placed the baby back in the crib.
“Okay, I hope it will work long distance,” Drew said. “Hold the laptop as close as possible.” Drew began to hum softly, which led her into singing the tune that usually put the baby to sleep.
Baby blue eyes began to blink, and she slightly tipped to one side, but popped back up. But one more verse seemed to melt the baby’s reserve. Carson smiled, and eased the chubby body down onto the mattress. She rubbed her belly until the final chorus faded away. No other words were spoken as Carson backed out of the room, leaving the sleeping baby to dream away.
“Mission accomplished,” Carson said with a smile. “Who could have guessed an eight month old would love Elvis.”
“Just like her mommy.”
“Only I never fall asleep when you sing to me.”
* * *
Carson was standing at the stove, stirring the beef strips and vegetables inside the wok. They had decided to make stir fry for their evening meal, something quick and easy. They would much rather spend the time talking, and enjoying each other’s company, on this Valentine’s night. Carson glanced back at the table, where she had placed three candles of varying heights. Next to them was the beautiful, rainbow bouquet of flowers that had been delivered to her, earlier in the morning. Luckily, Drew had planned ahead, and scheduled the delivery the previous week. Suddenly, a flash of color passed across the laptop screen. Carson stepped over, calling out her wife’s name.
The dark haired head appeared two seconds later. “Hey baby.”
Carson licked her lips. “I know you didn’t take anything like smashing outfit that is caressing your body, like I wish I was, with you…so where did it come from?”
“Mom’s closet,” Drew answered. “Luckily we’re the same size. But I don’t think she’s worn this in quite a while.”
“Thank you Mom,” Carson said, fairly drooling. “Step back and give me the full view…particularly the back.”
Drew did as asked, doing a slow and sexy spin. The deep purple, silky sheath hugged her curves, bared a good amount of stunning back, and draped lazily over her breasts.
“You are absolutely gorgeous,” Carson drawled.
“I already know I can say the same about you,” Drew said in a husky tone, “but give me the show.” Carson’s short, silver dress shimmered in the candlelight as she executed her easy pirouette. The doctor confirmed her previous statement. “Like you said, absolutely gorgeous. Sit down for a minute sweetie.” Once she was stationed in front of the screen, Drew continued, “I picked up your present on my way out of town, so it’s here with me.”
“Oh baby, I’ll be happy to wait until you return.”
“I know you would, but I want you to at least see it.” Drew held up a closed fist in front of the camera. Unfurling her fingers, a beautiful chain dropped. Hanging from the woven metal was a lovely pendant.
“Oh Drew, thank you.” The doctor held the locket closer to the screen, and Carson could see the intricate scrollwork engraved on the golden case. Her eyes slowly began to decipher the lines into four separate, but connected letters. C, D, L, M., two mothers and two children, a family forever. Carson’s misty eyes looked back to Drew. “I love it, so much.”
Drew blew a kiss to her love. “I want you to always know that my family is more precious to me than anything else in the world. And I wouldn’t have a beautiful family, if it wasn’t for you and your strength, and your love.”
Carson could only nod as the emotions stifled her words. After a sip of water, she was able to tell Drew something of her Valentine’s Day present. “It’s something I can’t show you on screen. I need to take you somewhere. So, when you get back, we’ll do that.”
“The anticipation will only make it better.” They stared into each other’s eyes for a few seconds more, before Drew asked, “Is your meal ready?”
Carson looked back at the clock. “My rice is just now finished.”
“Mine too. I’ll plate it up and be right back, sweetie.”
Carson heard the champagne cork pop, as she turned back to the table. “Ooooh, is that a fine vintage?” she asked.
Drew grinned. “Got me. Mom had a couple of bottles of this. I guess I’ll have to replace it.” Her brow furrowed. “I hope it’s not a ten thousand dollar bottle,” she joked.
“Me too,” Carson said, opening her fifty dollar bottle.
Lights were dimmed, and the meal commenced for the long distance lovers, as they consumed their slightly spicy meals with the international flair. Conversation remained slow and easy. Bubbly smiles flowed like the vintage champagne before them.
Carson noticed something on the table beside Drew’s plate. It was a pinecone. A natural thing of simplistic beauty. The previous year, they had rented a cabin in the woods for Valentine’s Day, and they had loved it so much that they bought one of their own. The family of four spends at least one weekend a month there, and often two. Drew absolutely loves the connection to nature, and she is already trying to teach the children to appreciate the splendor. Carson had picked up the little memento on their last trip. She hadn’t anticipated this separation, but she had tucked it away in Drew’s bag as a little surprise.
The doctor picked up her crystal flute. “To the woman I love more every day,” she said. “Happy Valentine’s Day my love.”
Carson swallowed another small lump of emotion. “Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart. You make my life beautiful.”
They tipped their glasses toward the screen. “To us.”
* * *
It was just after eleven o’clock, and Carson stepped from the bathroom, fresh and clean from her bubble bath. The pajamas she wore, certainly wasn’t what she wanted to have been wearing on Valentine’s Day, but at times like this she just had to go with what life handed her. She climbed into bed, pulled the blanket over her, and turned to her side. At least there was the face she wanted to see on Valentine’s Day…and every day for the rest of her life.
Drew was also in bed, ready for sleep, but staring at her computer screen, which was resting on the pillow beside her. “I guess it’s time to say goodnight, huh?”
“I’m afraid so,” Carson agreed.
“Well, how about I tell you a story?”
Carson smiled. “Oh, yes please.” She snuggled down into the mattress, anxious to hear her wife’s words.
Drew weaved a short tale, laced with eroticism and heat, and an acrobatic feat. It conjured up images of two women, one dark and one light, one tall and one slight. The things they did, and the way they touched, kept them busy through the night. Bodies writhe and skin on fire. Ever loving, ever higher.
Carson’s breaths were just a little fast as Drew spoke her final words. “Wow!” the blonde exclaimed. “That was…a…unexpected. Been workin’ on that for a while huh?” she asked.
“I had to do something when we weren’t hooked up today.”
“Is that why you read Seuss to Logan tonight?”
“The doctor had a way with words,” Drew said. “It’s the closet I could come to poetry.”
“Well, maybe we could turn that into a live action play, when you get home.”
“The spotlight will be on you baby.”
Carson yawned. The champagne was catching up to her. “I hate to do this, but I’m gonna have to turn you off.”
“Well, that’s the only time you turn me off,” Drew promised.
“I love you,” said two voices, and two hearts beating in unison.
* * *
The dream, serenely drifted away, and Carson opened her eyes. She blinked a couple of times to shake away the last remnants of sleep, ready to face the day. The late winter date, and the early morning hour kept the room fairly dim. She glanced to the pillow beside her, knowing it would be empty. But it wasn’t…exactly. Something was draped across the pillow next to her, twinkling slightly in the illumination of the bedside clock. It took just a second to make the realization. Carson grabbed the necklace, kicked the covers off, and rolled over to a sitting position. A lamp flicked on. “Drew! How did you get here?” she said as she ran to her wife’s lap.
Drew sighed, tiredly. “I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to be home. I made it happen.” She kissed Carson soundly. “I’ll explain it all later.”
Carson snuggled into the warm body. “Even though we saw each other almost all day, I still missed you,” she confessed.
Drew hugged her tight. “I’m afraid it probably won’t be the last time, I’ll be away from home. But I’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen too often.” She gently plucked the necklace from Carson’s fingers. “Let me do what I wanted to do yesterday.” She fastened the golden treasure around her wife’s neck. “Looks beautiful, as I knew it would.” Drew yawned, but tried to cut it off quickly. “Sorry,” she said shyly.
“Sweetie, you look exhausted…beautiful, but exhausted.” The dark head nodded a silent agreement…at least with the exhausted part. “The children will be up anytime,” Carson continued. “You should climb into bed, before they know you’re here.”
Drew was silent, almost too tired to talk. “I don’t really want to…but I have to,” she finally said. “All the coffee I had is wearing off.”
Carson pulled the limp woman to her feet, and began divesting her of clothing. “How long have you been here anyway?” she asked.
“About an hour.” Drew yawned again. “I can be very stealthy,” she said, as Carson slipped a large sleep shirt over her head. The doctor crawled into the bed, and she was tucked in with a kiss. “I set up the coffee pot for you,” Drew slurred.
Carson chuckled lovingly. Drew was really good at the big, romantic gestures. But she had almost perfected the art of the small, everyday acts of love. “Sleep well, baby. I love you.”
The words were returned in an almost sleeping whisper. “Love you.”
Carson’s breath hitched. “I’ll never doubt it for a second.”