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We snuck quietly out of the hotel, slipping around the plants and decorative waterfall, hand in hand, our heads down, eyes adverted from the ever prying people, cameras and pens at the ready, those who wanted a just a moment, just a quick second of your precious time. Normally, it was all right. Standing in the lobby signing autographs and taking pictures was one of his favorite thing. Not today. It was our time. My time.
I held tightly to his hand and let him pull me right into a waiting taxi - had he called ahead? I didn't know and it really didn't matter. All I cared was that we were together. Not that we weren't always together, but so rarely were were ever alone, truly alone to be ourselves.
The ride was quiet, and I snuggled into his strong arms, inhaling his clean scent and relishing the feel of his broad body, listening to his heart beat steadily. I felt so small and protected here - it was my sanctuary. Nothing could equal this feeling, not even when he moved inside of me, his body towering over mine, passionate words coming out in hushed tones. No, this was my favorite. Real and pure, not spurned by hormones or need. It was simply us.
His left hand rubbed gently up and down my back, each fingertip pressing softly into my skin, reminding me of his strength and his love. His chin rested on the the top of my head, and my smaller left hand entwined with his right. I loved his hands. They were masculine yet incredibly soft; it was one of my favorite thing to trail my fingers over his, physically examining each bit of flesh or flaw. He indulged me in this always, relaxing his hands so that I could play as much as I wanted.
And then we were there, the car leaving us in the midst of a sunny, secluded park, slightly overgrown with huge oak trees and wonderful smelling magnolias.
Hand in hand, we strolled through the small park, his cap pulled only slightly low. There were hardly any others taking in the beautiful day, but he didn't want to risk being noticed.
We talked of all sorts of things - normal things. The quality of the hotel, and the wild fans surrounding it, how the new single was doing on Billboard, when my sisters wedding was and why the Soprano's does so few episodes in each season and then we have to wait nearly a year for the next.
"That really pisses me off, he said.
Pretty soon, he'd pulled me close, his arm wrapped strongly around me. We came upon a little pond, surrounded by carefully placed rocks and plants. Small fish fluttered in the water, and I leaned down to get a better look, although I had no idea what kind they were.
"Just goldfish, baby, he said, smiling at my ignorance.
They were the biggest goldfish I'd ever seen - weren't they supposed to be the kind all little girls wanted, the kind you brought home from school in a baggie full of water, and by the time you reached home, the thing was half dead from lack of oxygen?
"These are a different kind, he said, still amused.
He pulled me on, although my interest was still hovering around those fish. Squirrels scurried in front of us, gathering food and fighting with the birds for their territory.
"It's amazing that such a calm place can exist in this crazy city, he remarked, drawing me next to him once again.
"I know, I responded wrapping my arms around him. His body always made my own 5'4 frame feel so small, which I loved. Letting my hands wander, I ran them over his broad back and then back around to his stomach, his least favorite spot.
I loved his tummy. I loved how his chest was so strong and manly, perfectly fitting that lovely sculpted face, but his stomach was soft and slightly pudgy, a testament to his beautiful imperfection. Tipping my head back, I looked into his eyes, waiting for what I knew was to come next.
A soft, sweet kiss, his lips barely touching my own. Even after two years, it still amazed me that something as simple as this could make me weak in the knees. But it did, and I found myself falling forward into his embrace, our lips opening into the kiss.
He cupped my head with his hand, leaning down to meet me, and I couldn't resist pushing his hat off, letting my hands tangle slightly in that blonde hair, my second favorite thing to do.
We pulled apart, noses touching and bodies pressed together. He smiled at me again, then kissed my forehead.
"I love you.
Yes, it was these moments that I cherished, that I absolutely lived for. These quiet seconds of peace and perfection made all the craziness worth it; I was reminded, if only for a second, of what it truly meant to love someone, that feeling that starts in the pit of your stomach and then makes your whole body tingle with emotion.
"I love you too, Nick.