Wine, cheese, olives, more wine. They talked. He listened. She felt tipsy. She knew she was really enjoying herself, enjoying being herself. And now Quentin held her feet in his lap and with rose-scented oil he was rubbing her toes, her insoles, her Achilles tendons. Her eyes shut with the pleasure of it, with the touch of his strong, gentle hands.
Naturally, it felt wrong.
She delayed the end of gratification as long as she could. Then she spoke.
"This is wrong," she said.
He stopped rubbing. She opened her eyes. He nodded and moved her warm, pleasured feet to an empty chair.
Amy told her story. She explained how she had finally fallen seriously in-like, had finally mustered the gumption to go pursue it, and then discovered her beloved was already betrothed. To a hard-bodied, pudding-brained wastrel of a woman.
"Bad timing," she said.
"Maybe," he said. Then he told her the story of his favorite movie. City of Angels. Nicholas Cage was an angel who fell in love with a human played by Meg Ryan. She loved him, too, but freaked out when she found out he was an angel. It was all over between them until he decided he would give up his immortality -- and his heavenly status - and become a human. She was overjoyed. They were very happy together for one night and one morning. And then she was killed by a truck while bicycling to get supplies for his breakfast.
"Was she wearing a helmet?"
"Wouldn't have mattered," said Quentin. "Very large truck."
"Not exactly a happy ending," she said.
"That wasn't the ending," he said. "Nicholas Cage buried her and went into a long, very blue funk. After a while, one of his old angel friends appeared to him and asked him a key question. Would he do it again, knowing what he knew now?"
Quentin stopped. He caught Amy's glance and held it. "What do you think he said?"
"Did he love her?"
"He gave up being an angel to be with her."
"So it had to be love,"
"Yeah, I think so."
She smiled. "Then the answer's obvious."
"Yeah," said Quentin. "Love is wild."
There was a moment. They drank some more wine. "So what did he say, Nicholas Cage, I mean?"
"He said he would do it again. Even if it was for only one touch of her hair or her skin."
"How did it end?"
"He was bummed for a long time. But at last, he woke up at sunrise one day and went body-surfing."
Then Quentin got up, gathered his plaster casts and said goodnight. He bent over and kissed the instep of each of her naked feet. He straightened, smiled and let himself out.
For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a serial internet novella which tells the story of the romantic redemption of Amy Franklin. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally. And, as you probably noticed, it's all free.
The chapters are short. So it's easy to catch up.
READ EARLIER POSTS (just click on the one you want)--
Chapters E & F
Chapters I & J
Chapters L & M
Chapters U and V
Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.
I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven
Follow Steven Crandell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stevencrandell