Chapter 33. I Smile Because You Are My Wife, I Laugh Because I Am Your Husband
‟Tom! This. I mean you…!” Kaylee paced the length of the jet, laughing hysterically holding her hands to her face. ‟I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t want to talk about this. We can’t be having this talk.”
She tried to make herself relax.
‟It can happen,” Tom said with a smirk. “It would be a simple mistake if it were a small thing, but you made an error like that? You’re stuck as my wife. I’m sorry but that makes me smile. It’s your issue to deal with right now. We can fix it, besides I don’t mind being married to you. It’s entertaining.”
‟Tom, it is my decision. A deeply personal decision! No one gets to tell me what my choice will be.” Kaylee stood for a moment. ‟I’m sorry. It is a frightening concept and, like you said, complicates matters.”
‟Well, I think you are jumping the gun a little. I am, and I always will be, a great supporter of your choices. First, you are my friend. I know I am not the first choice and we did do the deed and you had other plans. I accepted that fully, weeks ago.” Tom stood behind her and slid his arms around her, holding her back against his chest.
‟I hoped you would stay, and if you want, I will help you find your own life. I am old and I have a life of stories.” He said as she turned around in his arms and buried her face into his chest. “You need to build your own story, chapter by chapter. Child by child when you get there. For now, you make me smile and you are my muse.”
Tom chuckled when an a thought struck him.
“You make me smile, because you are a precious gem, and you are a treasure that anyone would crawl over broken glass to have in their life.” He smiled. “But I laugh because I am your husband and you cannot do much about it just now.”
This made the tears that were welling up in her eyes turn into laughter.
‟Tom. You are the funniest man I know. I wanted an engagement ring from Glenn, ever since we were kids and you help me do that.”
‟Keeping you happy is my mandate.” Tom smiled. “I cannot keep you here and have you in misery. If I help you go, maybe you will return with all I have to offer.”
Sliding her arms around him, she pressed her breasts against his chest and kissed him.
‟Do not make me love you. You’d make me feel bad for all that has happened. But I promised…” Kaylee smiled softly.
‟Yes. The promise.” He smiled back, but it was a smile that did not reach in his eyes.
‟Don’t interrupt. That is rude and you will make me mad. But yes. I would like to get married and remember it.”
‟I understand.” Tom said as he laughed with a sad tone. ‟And we have had a good time this last month.”
“It is the weirdest month I’ve ever had.” Kaylee whispered.
*It’s been a summer to remember! I have seen both the good and bad sides of people. It’s as if some grand illusionist with a twisted imagination has written my life. A perfect storm of adventures and perverts. Days with drugs…*
*What if this was all a dream? Could I be still in early June? After being attacked, when I beat the crap out of that serial rapist, wanted on at least ten different crimes. Am I going to wake up in my bed, alone?*
‟No.” She said it into the hollow of Tom’s neck.
‟No? No what?” Tom sounded worried. ‟You have not had a good time?”
‟Oh yes. I said a thought out-loud. There was a moment where I thought this might all be a drug dream from the first night, or someone has written my life on a word processor.” She shook her head. “Like I am in control, but he or she makes my words come out.”
‟Now you’re inspired by something. As a writer, I know how the thoughts might come. Maybe I have written about you and you are just…”
‟Tom, do not trivialize my moment of insanity. Please.” She bit his chest lightly. ‟You did not write me into existence like some Twilight Zone movie.
‟Funny that you know about that show.” Tom chided. “You are older than you look.”
‟I study all the time. I like to get to know my husbands.” She wiped her nose on his chest and laughed at his reaction.
‟How many husbands have you had?” He looked down at her when he flinched. “Ack! Brat.”
‟Are we going to do pillow talk standing up or would you like to cuddle?”
Taking by the hand, she pulled him to their bed and pushed him down.
He smiled, she had opened up to him more in those few moments than she had in the weeks of his hospitalization.
‟Well, I don’t know about you,” Tom said quietly, laying on his back with Kaylee laying on top of him, gazing into his eyes. ‟But I appreciate the author of your life putting you on my chest. This is nice.”
‟I don’t know. Maybe they would put this all into a book- a series even.” She laughed. “I could go on adventures with you until we made the coastal cities complain, we could be a husband-wife crime solving movie series.”
‟Naw, I couldn’t take that. I’m sad enough that you want an annulment to go marry someone else.” The writer of heart and passion looked down. “Keep this going as a series? We’d have to roll the clock back and live an hour-by-hour book.”
‟That would be a long series.” She nodded. “And a lot of fun.”
‟Okay. So let’s put that fantastic fantasy away and live what life we have left together. To use the story-writer vernacular, when you leave, I’ll close this chapter and move on into the world.” Tom followed her thoughts and wrote the story in his mind, letting his mind think out loud. “I was only going to be on the west coast for the summer anyway, then the speech at Doctor Manga’s installation. I might stay there for a few months. I have a few book-signings to do there for the next installation of Steamland.”
‟Next? How many are there?” She smiled. The first time she heard of the sequels.
‟Five as of this summer. The movie is from book-three. ‟Steamland: Heat”. And it violates more Steam-punk rules than it follows.” He made a soft chuckle.
‟Yeah, I have wanted to ask you about that. No Victorian-Age, you used Rome as the base for your civilization.”
‟Well, book-one started with Heron of Alexandria improving on Ctesibius’ inventions, that were already two-hundred years in development.”
‟Heron and who?”
‟Read the books.” Tom laughed, the force of his humor bouncing her up on down on his chest where she used him as a body-pillow.
‟Human technology was so close to having steam-power thousands of years ago, it is not funny, really.” Tom winked.
“Missed the steam age by that much.” Tom held up his thumb and forefinger so that little more than a finger’s width showed. ‟No telling where we would be if someone built steam trains or such back then. Christ could have traveled the lands of Nazareth in an airplane.”
‟Tom, you’ve an imagination like no other.” Kaylee said smiling widely. ‟You are my muse in your own way. When you were in the hospital, I did a lot of drawing. I have much more to do, I have the itch and you are all in me, making me need to draw.”
‟I enjoy being in you.” Came the lecherous remark.
‟What? OH! Tom, I’m being serious.”
He stroked her back with his good hand, the splinted and wrapped wounded-arm carefully placed on the pillow beside them.
‟I’m just being honest.” He smiled. ‟Besides, not to move too far off the subject, but, we have to do a paper-chase to get the filings done. You need to head home to go be with Glenn.”
‟I get the feeling you are pushing me away.” Kaylee said.
Feeling suddenly unhappy, selfish, even a little unwanted. She took her head off Tom’s chest and got out of bed.
‟I think we should get going. You said you would be able to fly with your arm?”
‟Yes. I have feeling, the fingers are pink, I have a good pulse. I have taken my medications and we have redressed the injuries.” He ticked off the laundry list of things. “I have no numbness. I can type, slowly or hand write on the screens. I have multiple tablets I use for that. I cursive write on the screens all the time.”
‟It is my form of entertainment. It tickles me to see the computer read and transfer it into text.”
‟So what are you saying?”
‟We can fly the Sea Dragon there. No waiting.”
‟Oh. Okay. I will have to think about that.”
‟Why?” Tom got serious as he pulled on black jeans and a black polo-shirt that had a sleeve removed to accept his bandaged arm. ‟We can leave now and you are suddenly pulling back on going?”
‟Do you want to stay married to me or go be with Glenn?” Tom said gently and sat on the edge of the bed as Kaylee pulled on her shoes.
‟Two things. I care a great deal for you, Glenn would have never tolerated my quirks.” She said. “He would have blamed me for the Professor. And Glenn likes to keep me stoned. Loving him when we’re stoned is fun.”
‟When you can remember it. So according to him?” Tom winked.
‟I remember! Most of the time…” Blushing slightly, but Tom got closer to the truth than he knew. ‟Second thing is… I have really come to adore you. No. I don’t want to do it, but I made a promise and I don’t want to wake up in bed with you and keep saying ‟If only” even once.”
‟Do you say that now?” Tom sounded hurt.
‟Well, no. You have not given me the chance.” Kaylee held his hand. ‟Don’t be hurt. I would come back and marry you if my fantasy fails.”
‟So I am the consolation prize?”
Kaylee face-palmed, she did not mean it as an insult and an embarrassed laugh escaped her.
‟You weren’t any kind of prize. You are the kindest, bravest man I know to put up with me, my quirks and my promises.”
‟And the best friend you will ever have. I want to you go marry him. When you look out a window and see a jet fly by, think of me. When you have children, get them the Leonard Sea Dragon Series, and I’ll write about an artist in my Steamland books. I might even name her Kaylee with a sister named… Oh damn…” Tom had the look of a man who forgotten an important detail.
‟Yes! Melanie .” Tom laughed. ‟Melanie would not be overlooked in the stories if I put your name in it.”
‟She would like that.”
‟But that would be your connection with me as you write your own story in life’s book.” Tom said, serious again. ‟I have my own explores to do in the world.”
‟You find someone?” Kaylee said. ‟Please? You should not be alone.”
‟No. I can’t promise that. I won’t be untruthful to you.” A small smile played on his lips.
“I have been alone a long time, you were a surprise.” Tom said. ‟A pleasant, exciting, twisted, funny and chocolate-flavored,” He licked her lips. ‟Surprise.”
‟You are not upset?”
‟I am a little hurt, but I am not a teenager and life-is-over crushed.” Tom gave a sad smile. ‟I knew you did not want to be married and you could have had a divorce that next day, but you wanted it annulled instead. So, I am well prepared.”
“Okay.” She looked him with suspicion, then changed the subject. ‟We can fly now?”
‟Let’s file a flight plan, check with the crews to prepare the Dragon and we can leave in an hour.”