"How about that last piece of chocolate?" Chuck asked. He turned toward Marti spreading her hair over the pillow.
"You earned it, Rocketman. Why don’t you have it since I’ve already brushed my teeth?"
"No, I want you to be wildly spontaneous and indulge with me," Chuck said tempting her with the scent of the last truffle. "Orange liqueur, remember those chocolate orange slices when you were a kid? This is ten times better."
"Talked me into it." She bit into the delicacy and the liqueur oozed out onto her chin. Chuck kissed it off before putting the rest of the truffle into his mouth. "Mm-m, that is my favorite one," Marti said licking her lips.
"Come on. We’ll go brush our teeth like an old married couple." Marti swatted his leg as she headed for the bathroom. "I remember my Mom and Dad’s bathroom. They each had their own sink and when I sneaked inside, I used to love to smell her perfumes."
"Do you have any perfumes in here?" Chuck asked as he came in.
"Sure, it’s a female tradition in the Hughes family. Got to be Tabu. I got my first bottle when I was sixteen." She sprayed the perfume on her chest before turning to Chuck, "Do you like it?"
"Mmm-m, I like everything about you, Marti." He kissed her chest then moved behind her as they brushed their teeth together. "Does this fit your normal plan?" he asked after rinsing his mouth and splashing water on his face.
"It may be silly but it does."
"I’ll brush my teeth with you anytime, babe."
"So how do you sleep – in the nude, I’m guessing."
"Of course, how do you sleep- on your belly?"
"No, I curl up on my side. Do you snore?"
"Never had that complaint. I don’t hog the covers, either."
"Well, this is a match made in heaven," she exaggerated sweetly before leaving the bathroom.
Crawling into bed, Chuck asked, "Do you have a favorite side of the bed?"
"No, I usually drift to the right where the light is. I read in bed every night."
Drawing back the covers, Chuck patted her side of the bed. "Come cuddle with me. I have more interview questions."
"Oh, no, I’ve created a monster."
"No, I just like to cuddle before going to sleep. It was the one time I got my Mom to myself. She used to come in and read me a bedtime story."
"Ok. What was your favorite bedtime story?" Marti asked curling under his shoulder.
"The Little Train that Could," What was yours?"
"The Magic Unicorn."
"Don’t know that one but it sounds perfect for a little girl. Do you still have the stuffed unicorn?"
"I’m sure my Mom does, tucked away in a box somewhere." She looked at Chuck, "I gotta tell you this is a tradition I’d want to keep."
"Me, too," He reached over to kiss her. "Thanks for not pulling on PJs."
"It never even occurred to me," she laughed, "But I do have you to keep me warm."
"Yes, Ma’am, you do." Pulling her close he said, "I’ve made reservations at the VIP Lounge tomorrow night. Have you ever been there?"
"No, I’ve heard about it. It’s a jazz club, I think."
"That’s right. Someone is performing tomorrow night. We’ll have dinner and listen to music."
"I must confess. I’m not sure I have the perfect little black dress. Most of my clothes are professional, but I think I can improvise something."
"Will there be clothes at the market tomorrow?"
"It’s a street fair so there will be everything – art, food, clothes and jewelry."
"Then we’ll keep our eyes open. I’ll trade you- the floral wrap for one little black dress."
"You’ve got a deal. That sounds like fun. Wander around, eat off the carts and find a dress."
Chuck looked around her room taking in her style – pastel colors, water color prints. Then he noticed an award pushed back on the dresser.
"Tell me about that award on the back of your dresser."
Looking at the award Marti said, "I got that for an investigative report I did on beach pollution. I uncovered illegal dumping at night by a hauling company."
"Wasn’t that dangerous? I’d think some dock workers were pretty angry."
"No. It was a corporate decision – time vs. ecology. Unfortunately, greed won out."
"Do you do that kind of reporting all the time?"
"I wish. No, I get stuck doing a lot of fluff around the city. Human interest stories."
"Are you working on an investigative report right now?"
"No, I just finished one on cultural diversity in Jacksonville. We truly have become a melting pot. There was nothing dangerous about that story."
"Good. I’d hate to think of you pissing off the wrong people."
"Sometimes you gotta stir the pot, Chuck."
"Yeah, But, before you stir it, you need to know all the repercussions."
"I’m very thorough. Only a few stories can be kept secret like Watergate."
"Remind me to never piss you off. I wouldn’t want you writing an expose on Whispering Palms and nudism."
"I already checked out Whispering Palms. Couldn’t find one bad thing." Marti patted his leg.
Chuck massaged her shoulder, "Well, you don’t mess around. I knew you were a pistol."
"Only when it comes to my family. I’m a very loyal person." Marti folded her arms under her breasts and looked up at him.
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