Marti made a beeline for Chuck's place arriving just in time for lunch. She wondered if he really had planned a picnic in the backyard. Her question was answered when she found him lying nude in the hammock beside a blanket spread on the grass where lunch was waiting.
"It's looks good enough for a magazine spread," Marti said admiring the fresh strawberries and croissants. "I was going to make you a grilled cheese sandwich with your dark rye bread." Pulling the loaf from behind her back, she gave it to him with a kiss as she dropped to the hammock.
"I figured you missed your morning croissant. I bet your Mom cooked a full breakfast."
"Give me a hug. I missed you," said Marti wrapping her arms around his waist. "Every time I walked on my deck, I thought of you."
Chuck wrapped his arms around her waist kissing her hair. "Good," he said taking her lips in a true welcome kiss. She moaned snuggling into his chest. When they separated, she touched his face with her hand and grinned, "Can you handle four days of me?"
"Oh, yeah, I'll just keep you naked here in the backyard."
"So that's your plan. Nothing like naked to bring a couple together."
"Um-huh," he whispered in her ear rubbing his hands down to her back. "Marti, you're not wearing underwear."
"You don't miss much, Rocketman," she laughed. Raising her arms to his neck, she pressed her breasts into his chest. "Can you feel my nipples poking you?" she teased.
"So, that's my real surprise isn't it? No underwear," he grinned lifting her and spinning her around. She grabbed his shoulders and laughed. "What a way to start a picnic," he said as he slowly pulled the dress up peeling it off her arms.
"We'll call it the temptation picnic except I don't see an apple."
"We can use strawberries instead," Chuck offered pulling her down to the blanket. "I thought we'd eat light since we're having dinner with Shirley and Tom tonight."
"It's perfect, Chuck, Just what I needed after that drive."
As they nibbled on bread, cheese and fruit, Chuck poured a white wine for Marti. "I wanted you to try this German Riesling," he said passing the wine glass to her. It's still one of my favorites with cheese and crackers."
Sipping the wine, Marti hummed her approval, "Lovely. It fits the mood you're creating here. Every time I'm in this backyard you have this little fantasy world going."
"Marti, this is not a fantasy. It is my reality of how life should be. We're always going to have special times like these. It makes it easier to be apart."
"It's a romantic gesture and I appreciate it," Marti lifted her glass to him and sipped her wine. "Aunt Shirley may be marching over here any minute 'cause I came to you first."
"She's with Tom right now. They are framing the oil painting he did of that Savannah sunset. I have our photo from the balcony last weekend. I'll show it to you later."
Marti stretched out on the blanket and popped a strawberry into her mouth. She felt totally comfortable being nude with Chuck. Laying back she looked up at the clear blue sky, letting out a long sigh. "This is just what I needed."
"So, tell me. I'm dying to hear about your research this week."
"When it rains, it pours. Tom went through the Whispering Palms county file and found evidence that Serino tried this same stuff over five years ago. I'm looking at the file tonight. You'll get to meet Sarah, the local TV reporter for WKGP. She actually wanted to see this place so she's stopping by tomorrow after lunch. She's a big talker."
"I remember seeing her on the local news," Chuck said. "She'll know all the gossip at the station. Maybe she's even interviewed Serino for one of his church events."
"It gets my blood pumping to feel all the elements coming together. I've actually seen some good this week, too. John and I shot footage at the Community School in Jacksonville and I really liked the lady minister in Atlanta. She does a lot for her neighborhood."
"You look beautiful when you're blood's pumping," he touched her cheek kissing her lightly. She felt her face flush as he gazed at her. His eyes were warm from the smile on his lips. She opened her arms inviting him to come lay beside her. Wrapping her arm around his shoulders he rested his head on her breast.
"I'm not even going to fight how much I want you," she said quietly. "I don’t care if having sex is the first thing on my mind. It makes me happy to be with you."
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