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"...Marceline asked herself, is it possible to love two men at the same time? Thoughts of Darôk, after refusing his advances last year, and the possibility, when he meets her next week, of recovering her feminine pride intrigued her. However, because of Richard's making love to her and his helping her at a difficult moment in her amorous development, an unexplainable dichotomy of emotions stirred within her.
Then she felt panic in the pit of her stomach; that same old tugging on her insides that said, beware you are heading into difficult territory, Marceline Then, realizing that she had a susceptible nature, where real men, are concerned, said, "Childhood boys and college fellows leave me cold; but these two affairs are different. Thank you, Richard; I could never believe as a young college science professional that I could fall so hard for two people. When I was with him, I honestly believed Darôk was the one and only guy for me but after a year of idolizing a man at a distance, now I can see some of it as infatuation. Shows you how immature a young girl can be."
Richard put a bit of his ego into the conversation, hoping to sway Marceline's feeling of romance for Darôk any way he might, or just as some insurance support her love for him this evening by saying, "The Humboldt Inn aims to please its guests in every way we can." Actually, he was not sure which approach would enamor him to Marceline but threw them into the mix to see what would happen.
"I was actually getting a bit flushed and self-conscious, when I first met you, Richard. Perhaps because of that my psyche was under stress, your kiss and love making was a lifesaver."
"On my side of the romance situation, Marceline, if hope for our love affair exists at all, I ask you please love me with all your heart and being; let your soul and spirit in on the affair. If something is right with us, you will know it. If not, ce la vie, as the French say for such is life. Consider this; I'm just another guy in your life, but because of the way, I feel about you that makes our relationship unique."
"You are a very loving person to me, Richard."
"Well, thank you for saying that Marceline After holding hands and sharing kisses, if this affair goes by the wayside, at least we can find love in each other's arms for a night; wouldn't you think?"
"Oh, yes, Richard; that's the nicest way of loving someone and I feel lucky to be loved that way. You were and still are so gallant. The first time we met at the check in counter, you were so kind to help me get over my shakes; thank you. I know now that my feelings were an overly emotional reaction to meeting somebody so special. If our time together turns to mature long-lasting love, I'll always have you to thank. Being near you definitely allows me to feel like a real woman."
In his response to that honest outpouring of love for him, Richard asked Marceline if she would stay with him until morning by asking, "If you don't mind my asking Marceline; would you like to stay with me for the night? We could have some cocoa and toast, put on a couple of the inn's comfy terry robes, listen to a CD of the opera La Boheme, hold each other tight and be in love, even if it's only this once."
Marceline decided it was her turn to lead as she said, "It's late Richard, and we must get our rest, so lock up the inn, turn down that night light and lead me to love, my love." "Oh yes, Marceline, tonight will be 'our time;' it will be remembered in the history books, my dearest, we could have a love affair to never forget."
Marceline and Richard were for the briefest of moments in enraptured with each other, as Richard said, "I will dim it just slightly, Marceline; we must leave a small light on at the check in desk in case anyone comes in late, and is looking for a place to stay."
And as the two walked to the back of the inn, arm in arm, like the two lovers: Rodolfo and Mimi, they have just enough light flickering across the Humboldt Inn's foyer to see their way to Richard's room.
If a guest attempting to check in listened intently to the hearts of Marceline and Richard at that moment, they might hear the closing strains of the Opera's First Act, where the lovers sing: amore; amor to each other with sweet abandon. And later that night, as the opera's CD finishes, the two modern-day lovers sleep soundly in each other's arms, wrapped in deep pile terry bath robes, and comfortably cradled in the arms of Morpheus, the host of Heavenly dreams.
The next morning, stiff but contented, Marceline and Richard enjoy an early breakfast in the otherwise empty recreation room of Humboldt Inn. Marceline smiles a warm, becoming smile and raises her cup in a toast to Richard Crayford-Jones. "After last night, whenever I'm at breakfast and pensive for a moment, a croissant and coffee will be on my mind as just the thing to start my day, Richard..."
© 2018 and beyond, R. L. Lyons. All rights reserved.