Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Crushed Velvet and Rubies
By Chely Roach
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Once inside, he requested her coat. “Thank you,” slipping her shoulders out of the overcoat, shedding it into his hands. When she turned to face him, he almost dropped the coat to the floor.
“You look stunning, Em,” he stammered, “Absolutely breathtaking.”
She mouthed the words, Thank you, and smiled with her eyes. Rob drank in her beauty. Her dress was dark crimson velvet; the fabric—where it rested gently upon her curves—reflected pools of light. The scalloped neckline scooped beneath her collarbone; the hem graced her ankles. A slit that came up to her knees revealed an occasional glimpse of her calf when she walked. The most skin that she bared was her feet; the red straps of her heels crisscrossed the tops of her pretty, pale feet, displaying perfectly painted pink toenails. What was in reality a plain, modest gown, to him was the sexiest thing he’d ever laid eyes on.
“Uhem.” The hostess waited for several long, awkward moments, “AHEM. Excuse me sir, your table is ready.” Emily’s cheeks reddened.
“Oh, yes, I’m sorry. Shall we?” Rob gently placed his hand on the small of Emily’s back, leading her in front of him through the restaurant. Finally…we are here. He had been a zombie in the weeks leading up to that night. He found himself sitting through green lights, daydreaming out the window at work, and suffering through many sleepless nights; all just agonizing over that evening. He wrote, re-wrote, and rehearsed his words, while the rest of his life just ran parallel in the background. He could concentrate on little else but her. His Emily.
He pulled the chair out for her, bathing in the wake of the lavender breeze as she sat. “What a marvelous table…right in front of the fireplace, too,” her voice trailed as she noticed the centerpiece of roses on the table, “Are those for me?”
He leaned down and kissed her cheek, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Beautiful.”
“Aww, Rob, they’re amazing. Thank you.”
She reached across the table and clutched his hand, pleasure dancing in her eyes. He stroked her hand as she continued to talk, hearing the words but not completely listening. He was trying to imagine the ring on her hand; the ring that was burning a hole though his pocket, demanding to be presented. It was yellow gold, with a half carat princess cut center stone. Originally, it was surrounded by two smaller diamonds on each side. When Rob told the jeweler that he wanted the diamonds that flanked the main stone to be replaced with rubies, he almost looked insulted, “Why?” his tone incredulous.
“Because she is more precious than rubies,” Rob replied.
The jeweler mumbled under his breath, “So are diamonds, pal…”
“Did you hear me, Rob? Are you okay?” Emily interrupted his daze.
He looked up from her soft hand, “I’m sorry, Babe. I didn’t sleep well last night. What did you say?”
“I think I want the filet, how about you? But of course I want to save room for dessert…”
“Mmm, sounds good.” He found himself watching her lips move, mesmerized by their glorious cadence. He longed for them. As she spoke, her eyes reflected the firelight. They were an intoxicating sapphire blue, with tiny flints of emerald surrounding the irises. He loved memorizing every inch of her face, the exact placement of every sun kissed freckle on her cheeks. I wonder if our kids will have those freckles…those eyes… Rob swallowed a lump from the sudden mental image of her with child. Indulging the fantasy, he imagined himself sitting on their bed behind her, with his hands resting on her protruding belly, her hands resting on his. He let out a deep, contented sigh. My Emily.
“Would you excuse me? I’m gonna sneak off to the ladies room. Order for me if I’m not back before the waiter comes…you know what I like.”
He stood as she left the table, watching her hair sway across her back as she disappeared around the corner. With a trembling hand he pulled the velvet box from his pocket, and placed it under her dinner napkin on her chair. He prayed two quick prayers: the first was that she’d say yes.
And second, for a short engagement.
Proverbs 31:10~A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
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