Duane slid the window open. Leaning on the sill he gazed over the moon-blanched landscape as the breeze wafted through the screen. “Whew,” he mumbled, dabbing beads of sweat from his brow.
“You alright?” Marci rolled over, adjusting her pillow.
“Uh-huh.” He sat on the edge of the bed. “I’m fine.”
The groggy lady pulled the comforter over her shoulder. “Okay.”
“I’m freezing.” Marci cuddled the covers tight to her body. “Sweet dreams, babe.”
The young man flopped onto his back, kicking the blankets to the foot of the bed. “Sweet dreams.”
Marci started the engine and fastened her seatbelt. She adjusted the thermostat and swiped the windshield wipers to clear the morning dew.
The passenger door opened. “I love these chilly, crisp mornings.” Duane plopped into the seat and tugged the seatbelt into position. “Wow, honey … You roastin’ a chicken or somethin’?” He reached for the temperature control.
Marci smacked the back of his hand. “My car … my controls.” She adjusted her sunglasses in the vanity mirror on her sun visor.
“I love you too, dear,” Duane muttered, rubbing his hand.
Marci raised her eyebrows at her husband’s sarcastic tone. “And who said we didn’t need the car with dual climate controls?” A wry smile tugged the corners of her lips. “But I still love you.” She leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek.
The flustered man gave a sheepish grin. “Boy … they’re not kidding.” He cracked his window open and leaned toward the cool breeze. “Hell hath no fury.” Laughter danced in his eyes.
The couple held hands as they stared at the menu board. “You know what you want, babe?” Marci leaned her head against her husband’s shoulder.
“Can I help you?” a young girl squealed from the counter. Her nametag read Mitsy.
Duane turned his head and whispered, “You think she’s got a helium tank back there to keep her voice like that?”
“Behave.” Marci smacked his shoulder. She couldn’t contain a giggle as they stepped up to order. “I’d like a large hot chocolate. I need something to chase the chill away.”
“Would you like whipped cream on that?” Mitsy squeaked.
“No thank you.” Marci curtailed another snicker. “Your turn, dear.”
Duane cracked his knuckles. “I want a large café latte … iced.”
“Iced?” His wife gave him a perplexed glance. “How can you drink something cold on a morning like this?”
He showed a hint of a smile. “Definitely iced.”
“Would you like any muffins or scones today?” the bubbly clerk chirped.
Duane’s face twisted with restrained laughter.
“No thank you, sweetie.” Marci nudged her husband away from the register.
Jennifer stretched her arms over her head. “Okay, now stretch your arms up. Slow your pedaling … a little more.” She turned the music down. “And slowly come to a stop.”
Duane grabbed his water bottle and took a quick gulp. Water spilled from the corners of his mouth and down his front.
Marci dismounted the bicycle and grabbed her towel. “Aw … Are you tired, babe?”
“Uh-huh.” The young man wiped the torrent of sweat from his forehead.
“Told you spin class was tough.”
“You weren’t kidding.” Duane slumped against the wall. “So what-cha wan’a do now?” He guzzled more water.
Marci smiled. “I’m go’na take a quick dip in the pool to cool off a little.”
Her husband chuckled.
“What?” she queried.
“You …” he snorted. “You want to cool off?” He hugged his wife. “I never thought I’d ever hear you say that.” He tried to curtail his laughing.
“Oh, you’re funny.” She giggled. “But that’s why I love you.” She patted his face with her towel and kissed him.
The two shared an embrace as they laughed.
“So … Are you go’na swim with me?” Marci asked.
“Naw,” Duane huffed, still trying to catch his breath. “I think I’ll relax in the sauna.”
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