The crowd cheered as the limousine pulled away from the curb.
"Let's put the pedal to the metal, Barney," Jim said to the driver.
Suzanne sank back into the velvet seat and Jim leaned his head on her shoulder. "This is it, babe. You and me. Mr. and Mrs."
He checked his watch. “In approximately six hours, forty-five minutes, and twenty-six seconds I'll have you out of that dress and into my arms, Mrs. James Randall.”
Suzanne looked at her carefully chosen 'going-away' outfit. “Hmph. This is not a dress. It's a skirt and blouse.”
“It's gorgeous,” Jim hastened to add. “But you are more gorgeous.”
“That dress is so-o-o history, babe. Honeymoon, here we come!"
Jim, pressed her hand against his cheek. “I have waited such a long time for this day, Suz.” He turned to face her, his eyes gleaming with tears. “A long time.”
She nodded. "I know."
Then his voice got stern, impersonating Suzanne's father. “Not until Suzanne is twenty-two years old, young man, and you are twenty-five.” He wagged his finger. “And furthermore, you get a good job and court her proper.”
Suzanne beamed. “And you did.”
“Five years.” He bulged out his eyes making her laugh. “Felt like ten."
“Thank you, Jimmy.”
“I wasn't about to tell your dad this, but I would have waited longer. Of course I would have.” He wrapped a lock of her hair in his fingers and held it up to the sunlight filtering through the car window. “Pure gold,” he whispered.
Suzanne nuzzled against him, her voice shy. “And thank you for, you know, waiting until our wedding night, Jimmy.” She kissed his neck. A jolt surged through him taking his breath.
He tapped his watch. “Is this thing working,” he panted. “Six hours, thirty-three minutes.”
Suzanne giggled and gave him a playful poke. “Why do you keep saying six hours, anyway? It only takes an hour and forty-five to get to the cabin.”
“Why six hours, you ask?” He shifted his eyebrows up and down. "I've got a surprise for you, Mrs. Randall.”
Tapping on the partition, Jim said, “Cue the music, Barney."
Jim handed Suzanne an envelope. “For you my darling wife.
Open that while I tune up my instrument.”
“Oh, no. Not the air guitar?”
Suzanne scoffed and rolled her eyes, but she loved his boyish ways.
Jim tapped the partition again. “Hit it!”
“I've got two tickets to paradise
Won't you pack your bags, we leave tonight,
I've got two tickets to paradise,
I've got two tickets to paradise” came blaring through the car speakers.
Jim shrieked more than sang along and played his air-guitar with gusto.
Suzanne shook her head at him and opened the envelope. Pulling out two plane tickets to Paradise Island, Bahamas, she squealed so loudly that Barney swerved the car.
“What the...” he said, turning the music off.
Jim laughed. “I warned you, Barn. My lady is, uh, expressive.”
Suzanne put her hand on his arm. “But what about my clothes, Jim? I only packed for the cabin.”
“Your mom re-packed your suitcase, hon. We're on our way to the airport right now and we'll be in Bahamas in a little more than six hours.”
He studied Suzanne's face. Her hand was pressed against her mouth. She looked at the tickets again. “It's perfect,” she said and started to cry.
Jim cupped her face in his hands and kissed her wet cheeks, her chin, her forehead. “Shhhhh,” he breathed as he kissed her lips.
“I'm so happy,” she sniffled. “But I'm a little scared, too.”
“I want you more than anything in this world, Suzanne.” She lowered her eyes. Jim tipped her face to look at him. “And yes, I want you in that way. But more than anything, I want to make you happy. I want to live side-by-side, through thick and thin, Suz. Serving the Lord together. That's what I really want.”
Jim lifted Suzanne's hands to his mouth, first one and then the other. “We'll take it slow, babe.”
She watched him kiss each fingertip, delicately, one by one, with his warm, moist lips. It sent a delicious, tingly shiver through her body...right down to her toes.
She looked at her watch.
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