Candace busily finished up the final plans for her and Tomís 10th wedding anniversary. Candace took a sip of her French vanilla coffee as her mind drifted to the Villa Amour.
They honeymooned there nine years ago. Tom had driven their tan and cream 2-door Lincoln for what felt like hours. They finally arrived at the bottom of a yellow and white gravel-winding road. The trees were tall and dense and their branches reached across the road interlocking into each other. It looked as though they were driving through a dark continuous arbor.
There at the end of the long, winding road was an elegant Tudor residence that towered in the midst of the trees. It was a quaint but attractive place. There were window boxes filled with beautiful flowers below each window. A gentle haze of smoke drifted from the chimney. Itís magical, Candace thought as she opened the car door. The stream of sun lit her black shiny hair. She could feel the gentle breeze flowed through her summer white gauze dress.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the telephone. It must be Tom; he had been so preoccupied lately. Maybe he had some last minute changes. The voice on the other end was familiar but hesitant. Okay, said Candace, Friday, at 5:00 p.m. is fine. We expect everyone at the villa by 8:00 p.m. and weíll have plenty of time to talk before they arrive.
Tom and Candace were well on the road when she glanced at the clock on the dashboard of their cream Lexus. She took a look at her husband of nine years as he maneuvered through traffic. They both were older but he wore it exceptionally well. His auburn hair was streaked with grey and he had character lines just under his grey eyes. His square chin was a strong foundation for his broad smile. He wore his favorite green polo shirt and taupe Dockers pants and loafers. Some things never change she smiled as she laid her head back and dozed off.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Who could that is Tom asked. I was looking forward to a nap before our guests arrived. Oh, itís Felicia; Candace called from the gray and white marble bathroom. She called the other day. You know itís been over a year since weíve seen her and I still donít understand for the life of me why she took that job so far away.
By this time, Tom had stopped cold and Candace brushed passed him to open the door. Felecia stepped into the light of the luxurious suite dressed in her red Harveí Bernard suit, silver couture earrings and matching red stilettos.
Her hair was bright auburn and shimmered in the light. Her grey eyes sparkled when she laughed. How old is she? Three months said Felecia.
I was hurt and alone. Clint had left me for someone else and Tom only sought to console me when one thing led to another. The room began to whirl as Candace sank into the chocolate leather tufted couch against the sage wall. You were in Atlanta three months ago on business she spewed at Tom. I wanted to tell you muttered Tom but I just couldnít. You didnít think that I would find out that she gave you the child that I never could yell Candace.
Youíve been a faithful friend Candace and we didnít want to hurt you but couldnít keep it secret either. How could I tell you that it happened here, the night of your eight anniversary sobbed Felecia.
The room grew silent.
Thomisinaís long legs were clad in white ankle socks and black patent leather shoes and pressed against the back of her fatherís cream leather seat. She grew weary of the long drive. She was nine years old now and she knew that every year this time they made this trip to Villa Amour. Donít you just love this place as she race out of the cream Chrysler 300. Her long auburn curls bounced fiercely against the back of her pink and white striped dress as she disappeared through the door!
Another year whispered Tom. They emerged arms wrapped around each other waist from the darkness of the arbor into the ray of light pouring through the clearing encompassing the Villa. Thomisina reappears while calling to her parents. Guess whose here? Smiles light the mature faces of the couple as they greet the familiar woman. Itís Auntie Felecia, sniled a pleased Thomisina.
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