Right now you and I need to go someplace.”
“Where are we going?”
“There’s a Christmas Eve mass at Holy Trinity, which begins at nine o’clock. That gives us forty-five minutes to get there and get a seat. I don’t want one more word spoken between us about the sons of Lubyanka until the day after Christmas. Are you with me?
“Absolutely,” said Brick with a smile.
Brick left the Porsche in the EOB parking lot and jumped into Briana’s car for the short trip to Georgetown. They found a parking spot about a block from the church and walked hand in hand to the entrance. It was a cold, snowy night, so they were wearing overcoats and gloves to ward off the wind blowing in from the Potomac. When they reached the entrance to the church, they stopped on the sidewalk and turned to each other. “You know,” said Brick, “I’m always really happy when I’m with you. Somehow, hanging with you just makes it a much better day.”
“I know; I can tell you’re happy when we’re together, and I’m also delighted to be with you.”
The glow of the street lamp and the snowflakes falling on Briana’s face gave her a look that Brick found momentarily irresistible. He put his arms around her and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips.
“I know military officers are supposed to be tough guys, and I’ve seen pictures of you in your air-force uniform with hero medals on your chest, but really, when we’re alone together, you’re the kindest, gentlest, and most affectionate man I’ve ever met.”
“Don’t forget I’m also funny and handsome.”
Briana started to laugh. “Yes, you are funny and handsome.”
“More handsome than Robert Mitchum?”
“Yes, Pug Henry, more handsome than Robert Mitchum.”
As they stood there smiling at one another, parishioners walked by and glanced at the romantic couple. Several wished them a merry Christmas before entering the church. Even on this cold night, there was an inescapable warmth from within that nourished and propelled the emotions of these two lovers.
“When I look into your eyes, I see fewer and fewer of those demons tucked back in your brain. I feel good that I’ve helped you move to a better place in your life.”
“Yeah, I’m getting better at dealing with it. I’m slowly moving up the mountain and leaving that jungle behind. You know, sometimes it takes a mountain to believe.”
Briana smiled broadly. “How do you know that song? It’s one of my favorites; we sang it in church all the time.”
“I thought Catholics didn’t sing Negro spirituals in church.”
“I was raised in a black Catholic church. We could sing anything we wanted to as long as it got the congregation involved.”
“Actually it was an African American cop who told me about that song. He said he would think of me when he sang it in church. He’s also a Vietnam veteran and a cool guy—I enjoyed meeting him.”
“Do you know the words to the song?”
Briana reached up and put her arms around Brick’s neck. She stood on her tiptoes so she could place her lips just near his left ear. In a soft and quiet voice, she sang the first verse:
Sometimes it takes a mountain,
Sometimes a troubled sea,
Sometimes it takes a desert,
To get a hold of me,
Your love is so much stronger,
Than whatever troubles me,
Sometimes it takes a mountain, to trust you and believe.
She slowly released her arms from around his neck and lowered herself to the ground. They stood there silently looking at each other for a few seconds. Finally, Briana smiled and tugged on Brick’s collar. “C’mon, white boy, don’t go all wobbly on me. It’s time to go to church. You have to do penance for your life of wanton hedonism if you want to have a future with me. As a born-again virgin, I’m very discriminating when it comes to men.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Brick. “I’m just keeping my eyes on the prize.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish