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His soul was bid, the beginning was near. Brice Connelly had a dilemma, appointment and summon conflicted. He relocated, the sensation tapered, his fervor intensified. Reversing direction he tried to reacquire the target. Heavens light struck him with a blinding flash; the shimmer of long lustrous tresses cascading over shoulder and back swayed in the poetry of soft and supple curve.  Carrie Sands, waitress, doctoral candidate and daughter of Aphrodite, stopped in mid-sentence while going over the daily specials with an elderly couple who sat at her table. Something undeniable beckoned her. Such feelings had called at her in the past but never had they called for her, this time they did. The gentleman at the table noticed her inattentiveness and politely asserted himself to regain her attention.


  The man’s wife, motioned to him for silence and spoke to Sands.

  “Go ahead dear.” She nodded toward the man looking their way. The women exchanged smiles that only women can know. “Dearest.” Said the older woman as she gently placed her hand atop that of her husband and motioned in the direction of the man in the cowboy hat. The husband understood, their years together had gifted them the ability to communicate solely with passions’ presence; in them they saw themselves.

  Sands turned and Connelly leapt into her charm. Dark lashes and perfectly spaced jovial eyes added a note of remarkable severity to her flawlessly shaped button nose. Her slender face framed a smile that could do no less than capture hearts and cure ails. Her perfectly pouting lips were the contour that the most beautiful of flowers dared aspire to, downs softness was measured by and a spring mornings dew wished to caress; they were passion’s color. When she smiled her cheeks dimpled and her eyes lit up, she was the light and muse by which a fortunate might experience purity.

  Two lifetimes of searching, wishing, wondering and waiting were suddenly…unexpectedly…complete. The vast space in their hearts reserved for that special other quickly filled with sunshine, rainbows, flowers, singing birds, free pizza delivery, cool clear water, fresh baked bread, clean sheets and the knowledge that the loving hand that would caress ones face on his or her last day was near. Each had found their other, the quiet awe surrounding them said that everyone else knew it too.  Chivalrously Connelly removed his hat and they exchanged knowing smiles, there was honest perfection in it. Connelly politely nodded toward the table, Sands understood, completed her task thanked the couple for understanding and excused herself amidst two of the best and most sincere wishes for luck she would ever receive. The women exchanged glances, both knew it was only a polite formality and that luck had nothing to do with it; it was a woman thing.

  “Sands studied him, smiled, and introduced herself.

  “Hi, I’m Carrie Sands.” She stroked his forearm.

  “Ma’am, my name is Brice, Brice Connelly and I am pleased to meet you.” In pause and awe, while gazing into each other’s eyes, simultaneously they pronounced “Finally” and laughed.

  “Miss Sands…”

  “Carrie, please.” Interrupted Sands.

  “Carrie, darling…” he was lost in her eyes and the moment. “I have business inside of the bar, if you’ll allow I promise you’ll have my full attention when I am done.”

  “Certainly, my shift will end when you are ready Brice.” Both were tenacious in their duties and accustomed to hardship but that parting was probably one of the most difficult things either ever had to do, the knowledge that they would soon revel in each other’s company helped a little, not much, but it helped. Sands watched him walk away, He moved with undeniable soldiery purpose, power and aplomb.

  “You haven’t always been a rancher have you?”

  “I have done a few other things in my life, when I return I’ll lie about ’em a bit if you’ll let me.” She laughed, her eyes lit up and her dimples dimped; Connelly’s heart soared.

  “Okay, but don’t keep me waiting too long.” Said she teasingly.

  “Well we’ve waited this long, so yeah, I won’t.” They shared a laugh as he left.

  On Connolly’s return social convention dared not issue formality so he and Sands fell into one another, a soft tender embrace, a fit so perfect neither was sure it was real, they didn’t hold one another, they became one and there they stood as a monument to perfect moments.

  “Wow” whispered Sands.

  “Wow indeed” replied Connelly. Embarrassed at having committed a public display of affection Connelly blushed.  Sands thought it charming, familiar and perfect. Sensing that was the moment to establish herself in the relationship she locked his arm with hers steered him to the bar and ordered a pair of beers with unsweetened iced tea wingmen.

  “How did you….never mind.” They laughed in their adoration for one another as it was the sort that aroused the pure of heart and tormented poets in their pursuit of prose worthy of whispering loves elation. Sands examined his hands, placed hers into his and melded with him.

  A quiet cozy booth in a dark corner might have sufficed but that was far and away and not now, too many moments had gone missing and neither dared move lest the present be wasted and be forever lost. Neither had any doubt that from now on they would go as one.

  They embraced and each took their last breath of incompleteness as their hearts began to synchronize in rapture. Sands closed her eyes, reveled in the moment and hugged him without thought of release. He was bound by the strength of tender curves and she by the robust musculature that held her lovingly. Together they were the muse for flawless embrace.  

  “Carrie, darling Carrie…Connelly paused; savoring the words, savoring the sound of her name.”

  “I intend to always be that Brice.” Whispered Sands as she kissed him and jump started his life. Connolly barely heard her, the tenderness of her lips…of their first kiss…there were no words! 

  Connelly peered deep into her eyes and factly stated “I’ve loved you all of my life, I was just never fortunate enough to have met you until now.” The words came naturally, matter of factually, a greater truth had never been told.

  Sands gasped, placed her hand over her mouth and her eyes welled.

  “My god Brice I was just thinking the same thing.” Connolly saw it in her eyes, he knew it to be true. He looked at her and smiled, his heart warmed, his soul glowed.

  “What?” Sands asked of Connolly.

  “Us.” Said Connolly.

  “Yes, us.” Agreed Sands. Her voice was angelic.

  “Miss Sands you know that we are obliged to engage in the subtleties and customary rituals of courtship don’t you?”

  “I do Mr. Connolly.” Connelly took a pull from his beer, then another not wanting to be too forward with her.

  “You’re mulling it over aren’t you?”

  He knew she knew.

  “You know that I am” he said grinning without looking up.

  Sands reached over and took his hand.

  “Sweetie it’s me, part of us…”

  “The best part” interrupted Connelly.

  “Thank you, look, the sooner we get through the awkward part the sooner we’ll be on our way.”

  “I know and I know that you know I have waited for this…for you longer than you have waited for me, I surely don’t want to mess it up.”

  “Brice, do you think I would allow that?”

  Connelly laughed ever-so-knowingly, took another pull and replied. “No, I don’t believe you would…I have a suite here at the hotel, would you mind carrying on this conversation there or would you prefer someplace more public.”

  He turned bright red and she choked just a little, she covered her mouth and laughed, she had no doubt that this was not the first time he had invited a lady to his room but this was different because to him she was, then it occurred to her it was not the first time someone had invited her to their room either, it was just the first time she was going to go. She sensed that he knew it too.

  “May I bring a chaperone?” Joked Sands.

  “If that’s what it takes, fine by me.” Mouth agape, her eyes welled, he didn’t miss a beat, he was serious; she caressed his forearm. Quick as a whip Connelly tossed a hundred on the bar.

  “That’s an awful lot for a pair of beers.”

  “It was a prime feed and the waitresses here are cute.”

  “Fancy anyone in particular?”

  “As a matter of fact, yes, but you’ll do. Sands slapped his arm and laughed causing his heart to skip a beat or three. He kissed her and she gasped in acceptance and mutual surrender.

  Connelly took her hand, a bit awkwardly, and his place beside her and smiled devilishly. Sands knew he was more than a man of the land and wondered if this was the place where they fell in love or if it was loves’ place, “whichever it is, we were purposed here.” Thought Sands.

  “Hold hands much?” She asked teasingly as they started to walk. Connelly paused and said “Not since high school.”

  “What happened?”

  “I went to college, joined the Army, she married someone else.”

  “Still hurt much?”

  “Yeah, some.”

  “I’m sorry.”

  “Thank you, and thank you for…for.”

  “For what?”

  “Making the hurt go away and thank you for being you.”

  “Oh, you got it bad Connelly.” Teased Sands.

  “Yeah I do…love you so much it hurts.”



  Sands gasped and wiped away a tear, he drew her closer.”

 “What about you?” Asked Connelly.

 “What about me?”

 “Break ups, divorces, done time in prison?” She laughed and lightly slapped the back of his leg.

  “Never been married, no boyfriends, had a few dates…school has been my life.” Connelly could not help but notice the way she said “school has been my life” Something there was problematic.

  “Is your thesis controversial?” Connelly felt her grow angry and hurt…he could feel what she felt! “Yeah, I got it bad.”

  “You know of my thesis?”

  “Well no, but your smarts are like your pretty, you can’t hide them sweetie. I didn’t just take you as some dumb good looking blonde.”

  “I’m a brunette.”

  “See I told you it couldn’t be hid. Before this goes any further let me ask, you won’t mind keeping company with an illiterate will you?” Asked Connelly.

  “Maybe, know one?”

  “Me; I only have a Master’s Degree.”

  “Well…I’ll talk real slow and use small words.”

  “Stupendous! Then can you teach me how to tie my shoes?”

  “You’re wearing Cowboy boots!”

  “Oh, I really need you.”

  “Need me? Don’t you want me?” Teased Sands.

  “Yeah, bear with me and I’ll spend the rest of life trying to explain how much I want you.” They stopped their promenade and Sands looked into Connelly’s eyes and asked “Is this where this is going?”

  “From the instant I got wind of you.”

  “I felt the same thing.”

  “Pheromones!” Both laughed at once.

  “Are you sure it isn’t lust?” Asked Sands.

  “Well there is a little bit of that, have you seen you?”

  “Stop!” Exclaimed an embarrassed Sands, who had always been self-conscious of her good looks.

  “Carrie, I have to tell you, life is full of disappointments but seeing you for the first time was the furthest I ever been from it.”

  “Yeah, you put some distance between me and it too, but don’t let it go to your head.”

  “Is my heart enough?” Sands gasped and teared up, they walked in silence.

  “We’re here.”

  Sands kissed him as he unlocked the door and held it open for her.

  “Can I get you anything?”

  “Yes, you over here” said Sands patting the cushion next to her. He sat and pulled her to him, she snuggled up as if they had been practicing for years…the fit was perfect.



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