After we left the steam room, we were taken to a locker room where we could shower. Of course it was separated by a wall, with men on one side and women on the other, so I was alone under the hot spray of water.
I quickly showered, washed my hair and put on the change of clothes I’d brought, jeans and a button-down shirt and sandals.
Somehow I didn’t think this was the end of Zan’s surprise and I couldn’t help but wonder if I was dressed too casually. And of course my hair was still wet, because I had no way to dry it.
When I emerged, Zan was waiting for me. He was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans and his typical boots, and looked good enough to eat.
“What now?” I asked curiously.
Smiling, he took my hand and led me back the way we came and we went into the salon.
I looked at him. “What are we doing here?”
He smiled wider. “I thought you might like to have your hair dried, and I’ll get a trim.
I knew that wasn’t the whole story. Obviously we were going somewhere else, but I’d let him keep the surprise for now.
The technicians sat us next to each other and I was glad. I’d never seen Zan get a haircut and somehow it seemed so intimate.
I instructed the woman assigned to me to leave my hair mostly straight, because I know that’s how Zan likes it. But since I suspected we were going somewhere else, I asked her to curl a few strands here and there so they would hang loosely down over the straight hair to give me a more dressed-up look. I also asked her to apply a little makeup.
Then I turned my attention to Zan. I watched curiously as the woman working on him set her clippers to trim his hair. He had been wearing it a bit shorter lately and it was almost back to the length he used to wear. I was a bit sad to see it go, but maybe he was tired of it.
She then used the same clippers on a different setting to even up his short beard. I’d seen Zan do it at home, of course, but it just seemed special to be watching.
When she was finished, she handed him a jar of some kind of hair product and Zan slicked it into his hair, pulling it into his usual spikes.
He turned to me when he was done, and a smile lit his face. “You look so beautiful, angel.”
I smiled back. “You look pretty dang handsome yourself.”
It had only taken just over half an hour and Zan took my hand again and led me back toward the entrance of the hotel.
I was excited to see where we were going, but instead of heading out the door, Zan took me into one of the clothes stores.
“We’re a little underdressed for the next part of the evening,” he said. “So I thought we’d pick out something to wear.”
I knew the store had to be pricey just because of where it was located, not to mention the overzealous sales women who were flitting around like flies, but when I looked at one of the prices I was practically in shock.
“Zan,” I whispered, “it’s too expensive.”
He kissed my temple, “Let me treat you, baby, please.”
How could I argue with him when he said that?
Like most men, Zan wasn’t big on shopping, unless he was buying me underwear, but occasionally he did like to come with me to choose a dress. He loved watching me try them on.
We playfully looked through the racks of dresses, talking about the merits or lack of on each one, and finally we had chosen a few.
Then we went through the men’s section, looking for something for him to wear. He had fewer selections, but I kind of figured it was a guy thing. He only chose one pair of black slacks and three shirts.
Zan insisted that he wanted to see each of the dresses we’d picked on me. Unfortunately, he couldn’t come with me into the dressing room because the sales staff would barely leave us alone, but I did a kind a fashion show for him as I tried on each new thing.
First I tried an off the shoulder, cocktail length, electric blue dress made of some kind of diaphanous material that seemed to float around my legs. I emerged from the dressing room where he was eagerly awaiting me.
When Zan saw it, he smiled and nodded, and I saw that hungry look he gets when he’s thinking about having me. That dress was definitely a possibility.
Next was an emerald green, full-length with small straps, that Zan had chosen, and it molded to my body, hugging each curve.
Zan eyes traveled slowly up and down my body, making every inch of me feel warm. Another contender.
There were a few others that didn’t make the cut, a lighter blue, two black and a deep orange that made me feel like a pumpkin.
I saved my favorite for last. It was another that Zan had picked, a deep red, with wider straps, that floated around my ankles with a slit in front. It was soft to the touch, almost like suede, but I was sure it was made out of some kind of manufactured fabric. It was cut lower in the bust than I usually wear, and a bra was impossible with it, but I thought it looked good on.
My opinion was echoed in the look on Zan’s face when I emerged from the dressing room. His smile disappeared and was replaced with that predatory look he gets. His eyes settled on my exposed chest and then followed the long length of my leg that was exposed.
“Perfect,” he said, and I agreed.
He turned to the hovering sales woman. “We need shoes to go with it. Size six.”
With a nod, she hurried away, returning moments later with a pair of medium-heeled shoes that were exactly the same color.
I slipped them on and they fit perfectly.
Zan got up, coming to me. “Do you like it, angel?”
I nodded. I still felt a little stunned about how much the dress cost, and I had no idea how much more the shoes were, but I knew Zan liked giving me things. “I love it,” I assured him.
He smiled, and turned to the sales woman. “We’ll take it, and she’ll wear it out.”
“Of course, sir,” she said. “Just let me take care of the tags.” She pulled out a pair of scissors and removed the small tag.
Zan turned back to me, stroking my arm, “Get your clothes together, baby, and we’ll have them sent back to the house.”
When I emerged, he was talking to the sales woman, and I thought I heard her say something about seeing two people who were so obviously in love, and I smiled. I was glad everyone could see what I felt for Zan.
She directed us to the men’s dressing room where they had put the clothes Zan was trying on.
He was out in seconds, wearing the black slacks that fit like they’d been made for him, and the first of the three shirts, which was a deep red. It looked incredible on him, but he vetoed it because it was almost the same color as my dress.
Next he tried a mustard yellow shirt that didn’t look right with his dark complexion.
Finally he put on the last shirt, a dark gray with a barely noticeable diamond pattern along the row of buttons.
My breath caught in my throat when I saw him. The color made his skin look rich and warm, and somehow accented the color in his eyes, causing them to practically glow.
Crossing to him wrapped my arms around his neck. “You look amazing.” I lowered my voice, “And so sexy.”
He smiled. “Then this is definitely the one.”
The sales woman suggested shoes for him too when she saw he was wearing his motorcycle boots, but he shook his head. Zan hates dress shoes.
I didn’t care what he wore. I even thought his boots went well with the outfit. “You look perfect just as you are,” I told him, and kissed him on the cheek. “And thank you for everything, the spa, the salon, the clothes. You are so good to me.”
He cupped my cheek, kissing my temple. “You make me so happy, and I love doing things for you, angel.”
Together we went to the counter where Zan only had to sign for the clothes to be charged to the room. We also gave the sales woman our bags with our other clothes, and she promised they would be delivered immediately to the beach house.
Both looking fantastic, I wrapped my arm around Zan’s, taking his hand and we left the store. It was a little after six o’clock and still a bit early for dinner, but I knew that was where we must be going, I just had no idea where.
Walking back past the hotel front desk, we didn’t head to the main door as I suspected, but instead went down the hall in the other direction. We must be having dinner on the property.
I wasn’t familiar with the restaurants at the hotel, but I was willing to bet that they were all amazing.
As we continued, the corridor transitioned from ornate walls to glass windows that revealed a large indoor pool, and beyond it an even larger outdoor pool. It was full dark outside but the pool was lit perfectly so I could see that it was surrounded by plush lounge chairs, cabanas and even an open-air tiki bar. Thick trees and tropical bushes lined the edges giving it almost complete privacy.
It was a beautiful night and there were a few people swimming and even more at the bar.
We went out a door that led to the pool, but Zan walked away from it, going directly for the trees. I wondered for a moment what he was doing, but then I saw the arbor leading to a path.
Going through the archway was like stepping into another world. Inside was a lush, tropical garden that was perfectly maintained around a stone path. Strategically placed lights illuminated the dark, casting the perfect glow on the scene.
I squeezed Zan’s hand. “Oh Zan, it’s beautiful.”
Trust Zan to find something so wonderful in my hometown that I didn’t even know about, and sharing it with him was perfect.
Walking slowly, we followed the winding path among the plants, trees and a variety of flowers. On the slight breeze I could smell sweet magnolia and orange blossoms.
There were so many colorful plants and flowers it was amazing, and I was sure in the day the place would be teeming with butterflies. Ripe fruit hung on some trees, and a carpet of flowers bloomed beneath them.
Around the next corner was a small lily pond with floating blooms covering most of the water’s surface. Beneath, I could see spotted black, white and orange fish darting around.
We crossed a small footbridge that spanned the pond, and I noticed it was starting to get lighter.
Citronella torches lined the path that led through another arbor and we stepped through to find a small, elegant restaurant.
“Are you hungry, angel?” he asked softly.
I nodded. “Starving.”
Going inside, I barely had time to look around because we were immediately taken to a table.
The restaurant was dimly lit and soft jazz music played in the background giving it a romantic feel. It was a little more than half full, but everyone seemed to be carrying on hushed conversations so overall it was fairly quiet. Candles on the tables softly illuminated the faces of the other customers, revealing that most of them were couples who were only concentrating on each other.
The music grew slightly louder as we walked, and I was surprised to see that instead of recorded music as I expected, it was actually a live band. They were playing next to a small dance floor and a few couples were moving lazily to the slow rhythm.
We were seated near a window at a small table set for four. But instead of sitting across from me, Zan took the seat next to me around the side of the table, as he always did, so he could be as close to me as possible.
I covered Zan’s hand with mine. “This whole day has been amazing, Zan. Thank you.”
Lifting my hand, he raised it to his lips, kissing me softly. “I love sharing everything with you,” he said. “Each new experience is one more memory we have together.”
I held his gaze. “And I cherish each one,” I said, squeezing his hand.
As soon as there was a break in our conversation, the waiter appeared to take our drink order, and I had a feeling he’d been waiting so he wouldn’t interrupt us.
We looked at the menus, debating our choices and as soon as we had decided, the waiter materialized out of nowhere with our drinks and took our order. Zan choose a steak and I got Mahi Mahi and scallops in a champagne sauce.
As soon as the waiter left, Zan stood up, holding out his hand to me. “Will you dance with me, angel?”
Smiling, I put my hand in his. “Any time you ask,” I said.
Silently we went to the dance floor, and Zan took me in his strong arms. Encircling my waist with one arm, he took my hand in his and placed it over his heart as we started to move.
The music seemed familiar but I didn’t know the name, and I guess it wasn’t really important. I was aware that there were other couples dancing around us, but all of my attention was on Zan.
We swayed together to the slow beat and I could barely take my eyes off his. Zan had such as tender, loving expression it almost brought tears to my eyes.
The song ended, and another began and we didn’t even pause in between.
I don’t know what it was about the night, but it seemed so special. Sure, Zan had completely pampered me with the spa and the dress, but he’d done wonderful things for me before. Tonight just seemed different, magical, and I never wanted the feeling to end.
He smiled at me softly and I could see so much love in his eyes. Then he brought my hand to his lips, kissing my fingers before he spoke. “The waiter is trying to get my attention. I think our dinner is ready.”
“So soon?” I asked disappointed. I’d been so hungry just a few minutes ago, but now I didn’t really want to eat anything. I just wanted to dance with Zan.
He nodded. “We’ll come right back after we eat.”
I smiled. “Promise?”
“I love any excuse to hold you in public,” he said, and gave me a wink. “And you look so spectacular in that dress that I want everyone to see how lucky I am.”
I blushed and he smiled and kissed my head.
Hand-in-hand we returned to the table and our dinner was brought right out, and when it was put in front of us, my appetite came back instantly. Everything smelled so good.
And it tasted even better than it smelled.
Zan leaned in, tempting me with a bite of steak on his fork and when I moved closer to him, he took advantage of the situation by putting his hand on my knee.
I met his eyes, smiling, as I took the steak into my mouth and he pushed the slit of my dress open, so he could touch my bare skin.
I traded bites of my dinner with him as we talked and teased. Of course Zan needed both his hands to cut his steak, but any chance he got, his free hand sneaked under the table to caress my thigh. My desire for him instantly wakened, but I fought to keep it under control.
Sometime during dinner a singer joined the band and her soft voice was perfect for the romantic setting as she seemed to purr the lyrics of each song.
As soon as we finished eating, the waiter was there whisking our plates away and presented us with the specialty of the restaurant, a chocolate, molten lava soufflé.
With the first bite, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Zan and I fed each other bites of dessert as he leisurely stroked higher up my leg. I was losing the battle to keep my need for him in check and felt moisture start to pool between my legs.
Watching me closely, Zan licked his lips. “I keep thinking about how this would be even better if I was licking the chocolate off your sweet breasts,” he growled.
And suddenly I felt bold. “Well,” I said softly, “maybe we should get one to go.”
He smiled wickedly. “Maybe we should. But first, are you ready to dance with me again?”
I nodded eagerly, wanting to feel his body against mine so much.
Returning to the dance floor, I put one hand on Zan’s shoulder and he took my other hand in his, and we started to sway to the music, and instantly I was caught up in the magic of the evening again. It was like we hadn’t even stopped for dinner but had been dancing the whole time.
Zan held me close and we concentrated on just each other as the world around us faded away.
I laid my head on his shoulder and he pressed his lips to my forehead before resting his head against mine.
I felt so protected and so loved that I never wanted it to end, and I never wanted to leave Zan’s arms. I wanted to be with him the rest of our lives.
I’m not sure how long we danced. I was vaguely aware of the music playing around us and occasionally noticed other couples coming and going, but an announcement from the stage caught my attention, making me raise my head from Zan’s shoulder.
The singer spoke softly into the microphone. “This is our last song of the night,” she said, “so take the opportunity to have one last dance with your special lady or man.”
The soft strains of the song started and I recognized it immediately although I didn’t know the name.
I looked at Zan to ask if he recognized the song, but when I met his eyes I could see so much love in them, that I didn’t want to break the moment by speaking.
We moved slowly together as the singer softly intoned the lyrics.
I stand at your gate and the song that I sing is of moonlight.
I stand and I wait for the touch of your hand in the June night.
The roses are sighing a Moonlight Serenade.
The stars are aglow and tonight how their light sets me dreaming.
My love, do you know that your eyes are like stars brightly beaming?
I bring you and sing you a Moonlight Serenade.
Let us stray till break of day in love's valley of dreams.
Just you and I, a summer sky, a heavenly breeze kissing the trees.
So don't let me wait, come to me tenderly in the June night.
I stand at your gate and I sing you a song in the moonlight,
a love song, my darling, a Moonlight Serenade.
As the song ended, we stopped moving but stayed wrapped up in each other.
Zan reached up to stroke my cheek and I leaned into his hand, making him smile.
“Are you ready to go, angel?” he said softly.
I nodded, still under the spell of the magical evening.
With his arm around my waist, holding me close, we headed toward the door.
I was vaguely aware that we hadn’t gone back to the table and didn’t pay, and thought that Zan must have made some kind of arrangements beforehand. And when we walked out the door, I was proven correct because his car was waiting for us.
The valet opened my door, but Zan helped me in, closing it behind me before he got in the car. I slid over, wrapping both my arms around his, not wanting to lose the closeness.
I wanted Zan just as much as I ever did, but it was a different kind of wanting. I felt the need to show him how much I loved him.
We drove in silence and were at the beach house in minutes. Zan parked and turned off the car and turned to me. “Will you take a walk with me on the beach?”
I nodded and we got out, and Zan bent down, taking a moment to remove both our shoes and left them in the car. I wrapped my arms around his, clasping his hand, and we followed the path along the side of the house to the beach.
It was a beautiful, warm night and the bright moon softly lit the beach and water beyond. The sand felt good on my feet, cool and damp, and the ocean brushing the shore was the only sound.
It was so romantic, and I was so glad I was sharing it with the love of my life.
After a few minutes, Zan stopped and turned to face me. “Do you know what today is, angel?”
I nodded. “It’s our six month anniversary,” I said, closing the distance between us and putting my hands on his chest. “I was just planning on seducing you,” I said blushing, “but you made it so special. A night we will never forget.”
Zan cupped my cheek and gave me a soft kiss. “You know, baby, you never have to work at all to seduce me,” he said with a wink, “but I’m glad you thought it was special. I wanted to make this the most special night of our lives.”
“It has been,” I assured him, stroking his chest. “And it’s not over yet.”
“You’re right, it’s just getting started,” he said, kissing my forehead and stroking a hand through my hair before taking my hand.
“You know I love you, angel,” he said, “and I would do anything for you. I just want to be with you and love you the rest of our lives.”
I was so happy. We’d talked about being together before, but it was wonderful hearing him saying it again when I’d been thinking the same thing. “I know Zan,” I assured him. “I want that too.”
Reaching up, he stroked my cheek. “What our future holds, or where it happens we can decide together. I can paint anywhere. I want to make sure that you follow your dreams and get everything you want. I’ll follow you to grad school and to wherever you get a job so we can be together.”
Tears started in my eyes.
“We’re so perfect for each other,” he said passionately. “You make me happier than I ever thought I could be. We belong together. I have to have you in my life. I have to be with you.”
He held my gaze, “You believe that too, Liz, I know you do.”
I nodded. “I’ve known it from the first time we made love. I’ve never been as happy as I am with you. All I want is to be with you.”
“Then say you’ll marry me, angel,” he said gruffly, his voice choked with emotion.
I was so surprised that I gasped and more tears flooded my eyes. For a second I couldn’t speak, but I started nodding furiously. “Yes!” I finally blurted. “Of course I’ll marry you, Zan.”
Picking me up, he hugged me tightly as he spun us around, then he set me back on my feet and released me to fumble in his pants pocket. He emerged with a small velvet box and opened it to show me.
Inside was a perfect diamond and platinum ring that was obvious he had designed. The ring appeared to be made of two lines that were joined together, swirling along beside each other, overlapping and entwined in places.
“The lines represent us,” he said. “We are two separate people, but we are joined together in life. And the diamond is the one that used to be in my chin stud, something that means a lot to me that I want you to have.”
“Zan,” I gasped, “It was the first thing you bought for yourself with the first commission you made for selling your art. It’s so special to you, are you sure?”
“You are even more precious to me,” he said taking the ring from the box. “And it’s exactly the reason that this is special to me that I want you to wear it.”
I held out my hand and he slid the ring home.
At the same time we moved toward each other, and our lips met in a tender kiss.
I was so happy and relieved that Liz said yes and was now wearing my ring. I knew she loved me, but I had been worried that she might give in to her parents’ wishes. But my amazing Liz had been strong and followed her own heart.
And I was glad I followed my instincts and proposed on the beach by our house. It was private and since it was only steps from our door it was so much easier to continue the evening.
Breaking the kiss, I lifted her in my arms and walked to the house. She wrapped her arms around my neck and laid her head against my chest, and it filled me with emotion that she loves and trusts me so much.
I had to put her down so we could quickly wash off our feet at the outside shower. Then we went to the door and I opened it and we held each other as I opened the door, and I swung it wide, so she could see inside.
The bedroom was filled with containers of her favorite white roses, and rose petals were strewn around the floor and covered the bed. And the two other dresses she tried on that I bought as a surprise were draped across a chair.
She gasped, looking around and then turned to me with tears in her eyes, and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Zan, it’s beautiful. You are so good to me.”
“You mean everything to me,” I said solemnly. “All I want to do is make you happy.”
A tear rolled down her cheek. “You do that every day, Zan.”
I kissed the tear away and we moved into the room, closing the door behind us.
Immediately, Liz’s hands were on me. She slowly caressed down my shoulders and across my chest before reaching for my buttons. With each one she unfastened, she placed a kiss on the exposed skin. When she had the shirt completely open, she pushed it aside and gripped my waist, kissing and licking her way across my chest and over my nipples, which she laved with her tongue.
My hands weren’t idle either. Reaching behind her, I unzipped her dress, pulling it down her arms and she wriggled out of it.
She held me close and her kisses grew more passionate as she alternated using her lips, tongue and teeth. She kissed a path down my chest and I felt her small hands on the fastening for my pants. Working it quickly, she pushed my pants and boxers to the floor.
I took a second to strip her panties off as I stepped out of my pants and boxers still pooled around my legs. Then I gripped her sweet ass and lifted her off her feet, putting her on the bed.
Looking at my beautiful angel spread out on the bed before me, I could see her desire for me but I could also see her love burning brightly.
I felt such tenderness and overwhelming love for her and I wanted to show her.
Slowly, I kissed and caressed my way up her leg, making sure to lick the sensitive back of her knee before continuing up. Sitting on the bed, I stroked her inner thigh as I kissed the neglected outside of her leg, following the soft curve up to her hip. Then I switched, placing my hands on her hips, as I leaned down to take a slow lick over her clit.
Liz gasped, but I didn’t concentrate on the area, instead I kept slowly moving up, raking my teeth over her stomach before dipping my tongue into her bellybutton.
Positioning myself between her legs, I slicked my hands up her sides, making sure to just brush the sides of her breasts. Liz writhed beneath me, silently begging me to really touch her, but I wanted to take more time.
Cupping her cheek, I stroked down the side of her face and over her neck, which she arched back exposing to me. I continued lower, over her collarbone, tracing it before sliding between her breasts.
I noticed immediately that her nipples had hardened to tight points and I brushed my palms over them, making her arch into me.
Sliding my hands down her sides, I continued to kiss and nip at her stomach, going down to her mound and then back up, kissing between her breasts.
I laved the underside of one perfect breast and worked my way around, gradually getting closer to her little berry nipple. I clasped her other breast in my hand, brushing my thumb softly across the tip as I took the first nub into my mouth.
As sort of whimpering sigh escaped Liz as her hips moved against mine, and I knew it was time.
Releasing her breasts, I took her hand in mine and brought it to my lips, and she met my eyes. Slowly I moved up, my cock sliding inside her so easily, being surrounded by her slick pussy inch by inch until I was completely within her.
I don’t know what it was, maybe the fact that she was now mine completely, but touching her and being inside her felt so special. It seemed even more special than our first time, and I never wanted the moment to end.
I settled over her completely to be as close to her as I could, and she touched my cheek so tenderly. “I love you so much, Zan,” she whispered.
My heart felt so full I thought it might burst. “I love you more than anything, my incredible angel.”
I kissed her softly, stroking my tongue into her mouth as I slowly started to move inside her. I kept her hand clasped in mine as I rocked my hips, staying deep within, only sliding back and forth a couple of inches.
After I moment she broke the kiss, gasping for air, and I took the opportunity to devour her sensitive neck.
Liz’s head fell back and her eyes slid shut, and I kissed and sucked her neck in the way I know drives her crazy.
She started to fidget a bit beneath me as her pleasure grew, and grasped at my back, wanting me to go faster. But I kept the pace very slow.
I knew exactly where the sweet spot inside her was and I made sure to angle myself to brush across it. I also knew that being this close, that I would be rubbing her clit with the base of my shaft giving her even more pleasure.
Her gasps turned to soft moans and pants, and her grasp on my hand tightened. Her head started to turn from side to side, and I used my free hand to stroke her hair, soothing her.
I felt her body trying to arch under me, but my weight was holding her.
Her legs wrapped around mine, opening her more and slid in even deeper. Her hips moved against mine and I changed position slightly to find the pleasure spot inside her.
I knew I’d hit it when I felt a shiver of reaction go through her and concentrated on making it happen again and again.
The pitch of her pants steadily rose and came more quickly as I felt her pussy start to pulse around me and her short nails racked my back.
She was so beautiful, wrapped all around me, her head arched back into my hand, her lips parted. Our hands were still clasped on the bed next us and she was so close to the climax I was giving her.
My eyes raked over her greedily, wanting to remember every moment, every reaction, every gasp and sigh.
There was no question that I would capture this perfect moment in several sketches and ultimately a painting.
But with Liz on the edge of orgasm, I wanted to concentrate on her, on us.
I nuzzled and kissed her neck as I continued to move inside her, and her hand wandered down to grab my ass.
Her eyes slid open but were hooded with her desire as they met mine.
“Zan,” she panted, and I watched the pleasure fill her as she flew over the edge.
I let myself follow her, my hips jerking as I came.
I rested my forehead against Liz’s neck and our puffed breath mingled as we rode out the incredible pleasure.
After a few moments, I started stroking her hair as I kissed and sucked her neck. I felt so close to her.
Lifting Liz’s hand that was still clasped in mine, I raised my head and kissed it softly. Liz’s eyes met mine and a soft smile curved her lips.
She caressed my back. “Did that feel as special to you as it did to me?”
I nodded. “I think it might have been even better than our first time,” I said.
Liz smiled sleepily as her eyes slid shut. “That’s because you’re finally all mine,” she breathed.
I kissed her cheek, “And I’ll never let you go.”
Arms of an Artist|
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