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At six thirty the alarm clock went off. Liza opened one bleary eye and shot a dirty look at the clock.
“I set it early,” Rick said, rolling over to face her in his bed.
“God, why would you do that?”
“You owe me a shower and now we’re up early enough to share one,” he said, his eyes gleaming with lust.
Liza burrowed under the covers and uttered in a muffled voice,
“You’ll have to catch me first.”
Rick dove under the covers, reaching for Liza. She eluded his grasp for a few minutes until he found her leg and wrapped his fingers around it. Liza shrieked then dissolved in laughter as he slid her up from under the covers.
Her laughter settled into hysterical giggling as Rick pulled her into his arms, laughing himself the entire time.
She pulled him to her and he silenced her laughter with a powerful kiss. She tickled him, causing him to leap backward, twitching. She then threw off the covers and dashed naked toward the bathroom.
“Last one in has to…to…” but she had disappeared in the bathroom and her words were too garbled to be understood.
Rick slid across the bed in a heartbeat and raced, naked, after her. He caught her as she was adjusting the shower water knobs and grabbed her wrists, wrapping his arms around her and trapping her.
“You’re mine now,” he whispered.
She stopped laughing long enough to ease her head back on his shoulder and go limp in his arms.
“And what are you going to do about it?”
“Get you wet first,” he said, unfurling his arm, flinging her into the shower before him.
She screamed as the too cold water beat down on her chest and Rick quickly pumped up the hot water.
“Better?” A frown on his lips.
Liza reached out and yanked him in with her and proceeded to soap up his body. The room filled with steam and soon they could hardly see each other but their arms and lips felt each other as the shower became heated with passion as well as mist.
“I told you we didn’t have enough time if you got up at the regular time,” Rick pointed out to Liza.
“And we didn’t have enough time fifteen minutes earlier either,” she replied.
“I’ve never been this…this…clean, at this hour,” he remarked, chuckling.
“What a great way to start the day, I feel…terrific.”
“You certainly do,” he said, smiling at his own witticism.
Rick dropped her at their usual spot and drove into the garage. Liza walked in smiling more broadly than usual.
“Good morning, Miss Holmes,” Angela said.
Liza nodded to her and broadened her smile. Angela didn’t give her any more trouble about Rick, now they knew she was dating Mae in accounting. The day went well, Liza was more efficient than ever, pulling all the right specimens the first time and Rick was his usual, placid self, examining and cataloguing each specimen, finding the perfect spot for it in the exhibit and working closely with Liza.
By the end of the day they were both tired but happy.
“Mr. Bell, the curator of this exhibit, is pleased with your progress, Dr. Banks,” Sadie, the secretary for the department said.
Rick nodded, a small smile played at his lips.
“Well don’t break your face smiling or anything,” she sniffed.
Liza stifled a laugh behind her hand as Rick shot her a perplexed look.
“You know how to put a real smile on his face, don’t you?” Sadie said, grinning.
Liza’s face fell, her mouth drooping open slightly, Rick blushed.
“Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on here.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Liza lied.
“I seen that special French Roast coffee you buy for him. Don’t think I don’t notice things…I don’t miss nothin’.” Sadie pulled herself up to her full five foot eight inches and huffed out of the room.
Liza looked at Rick who was barely able to contain himself and ran out of the room. He could her hear lyrical laughter tinkling down the hall of the African Room as she disappeared into the ladies room.
It was after eleven o’clock when Liza rolled over after making love with Rick that she peered out the window at the night sky. She looked for a star. Rick rolled up against her, snaking his arm around her, kissing her shoulder.
“Wishing on a star again?”
“Can’t tell me?”
“I don’t need to wish on anything. I have everything I want.” He snuggled closer to her, resting his head on her pillow.
“Hey, last night did you say something about marriage?”