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An Ocean Apart

Category: Mature
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Free. Marie sat there numb, not knowing what to say, do, or think. Her attorney had just informed her that her marriage was over, her life as she knew it would cease to exist, and that she was a free woman at last. Her very recently ex-husband had agreed to all the stipulations (which were very few), and signed the papers terminating their 15-year marriage. All Marie was asking for was “out.” Their home that had been lovingly built by the two of them had been auctioned off in a foreclosure sale.

Their antiques and collections sold to the highest bidder, which seemed an oxymoron as they were purchased for pennies on the dollar.

Marie had suffered the worst blow by far, however, when she discovered that her husband, her soul-mate for life, her high-school sweetheart, had been leading a double life. Not a “double life” in the typical sense where he had two families and two lives, but rather he wasn’t, and probably never was, the man she thought she had married. Chris, her now ex-husband, was under indictment for fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, grand theft auto: that being the company limousine that he “borrowed” in his flight to avoid arrest and prosecution, and various other minor charges.

Marie and Chris had been dating since their sophomore year in high school, had gone to college together, and had married soon after graduation. They were the sunshine couple that everyone knew would go places in this world. Chris received top honors in college, graduating in the top 10% of his class, receiving offers from the most prestigious investment brokerages across the nation. He accepted a position in a well-known firm where he was placed in charge of the branch office established in Sacramento, California. This is where their story began.

Marie was bright and intelligent in her own right. She graduated the same year as Chris, but put her own career on hold soon afterward when they discovered she was pregnant. It was then that Chris and Marie decided to marry and make their life perfect in every sense of the word.

Marie was a very striking woman, standing 5’4″, pale blue eyes with light brown hair. In the early years she wore her hair long, preferring the simplicity of the natural cut with a single part down the middle. Her hair hung half way down her back, thick and luxurious. Chris loved to bury his nose in her hair and just smell her scent and revel in the intimacy. Marie had always been shy and insecure about her body, never really having a “great” figure, as she put it. She struggled usually with several extra pounds and was often on one kind of diet or another. What she couldn’t see, what others could when they looked at her, was a very womanly shape, with all the right curves in all the right places. Her large breasts had a natural bounce and sway to them, which got many a man’s attention. Her hips and thighs were well-rounded yet firm, with shapely calves and ankles.

Chris was also very pleasing to the eye. His 6′ frame stood tall and proud. He was fit-looking, but never had really disciplined himself enough to work-out on a regular basis. His blonde hair and blue eyes, complete with his very charming dimples, were usually enough to gain acceptance in any circle of society. As the years went by, however, his overindulgence in all things good, began to take a toll on his good looks and eat away at his charm.

Their love child, a girl by sonographic findings, conceived in innocence with high expectations, was born two and one-half months early via emergency cesarean section. Marie had gone shopping one afternoon to obtain the finishing touches on the nursery they were decorating. She had decided to take the escalator instead of the elevator, which turned out to have devastating consequences. As she stepped onto the moving stairway, a group of giggling, hurried teenagers pushed rudely past her, causing her to loose her balance and fall down the flight of stairs. She was rushed to the hospital where the emergency surgery was performed. Their daughter, Sarah, as she was to be named, fought valiantly for life for eight days before finally succumbing to an infection in her lungs and losing her battle. Marie and Chris were crushed.

Some time after that, Marie resumed her career in fashion retail, and started managing a small, but upscale boutique in a posh uptown location. She blossomed in the hustle and bustle of the business, and was soon able to branch out and start a business of her own. Life for the two of them went on, with the normal struggles of trying to earn their reputations in the business world, and trying to maintain the passion and fire they had for each other.

After several years of trying to conceive again, Marie was given another blow when testing proved that she would not be able to ever bear a child again due to the severity of scarring that occurred from her surgery. This was when the sunshine couple began to lose some of their luster. Chris devoted more and more time to his work, spending long hours at the office, and frequently leaving town for extended periods of time on business trips. He started drinking more heavily when he was home, and displayed intense mood swings, sometimes lashing out at Marie for very inconsequential matters. The more Marie tried to hold on, the further they drifted apart.

She wasn’t totally convinced he was having an affair, although she did suspect he had had one or two minor flings. That wasn’t what was bothering her though. His personality seemed to be changing. He was secretive, he was grouchy and irritable all the time, and their once passionate and frequent lovemaking dwindled down to absolute nothingness. Marie missed her husband. Even when they were both home for the night or for the weekend, she still felt alone. She was convinced he was hiding something from her, but was unable to find a way to break through his crust.

The years sped by with no sign of improvement. Chris seemed content to leave things the way they were and just coast along for the ride. He had Marie for dress-up and to display when it was necessary, otherwise, she began to play a very minor role in his life. Marie, while still being a vibrant, albeit middle-aged woman, was at a loss as to where to proceed next.

She started to log-on to the internet more and more frequently, sometimes spending hours at a time reading and chatting with people and friends she had met from all over the world. Innocently one day while chatting with a new friend online, she was invited to view a website that was exclusively for people to post erotic stories. It was called Literotica. Marie, having had to content herself with masturbating for the past several months for any sexual release, wasn’t at all sure that she wanted to delve into such “porn” sites, as she thought of it. She thought perhaps she would just get more frustrated with her own situation and then feel even worse about it. However, after chatting several more times with this friend, she relented and finally logged onto the site. She read a few stories…actually quite a few stories that first night. Some of the stories were actually quite well-written and some inspired some heavy petting and playing with herself while reading them.

Eventually Marie got up enough courage to start leaving feedback on some of the stories, and once or twice wrote an email to the author thanking them for the brief yet pleasurable interlude. She would sit in her chair in front of the computer on the nights when Chris didn’t come home, and picture herself in the scenarios that she read. Her masturbatory adventures became “interactive” with the stories she was reading, by imagining she was the female subject in the story. She would start, almost subconsciously, by rubbing her nipples through the thin material of her clothing. This seemed to ignite a slow smoldering fire deep in her womanhood, and soon she would be shedding her clothing a piece at a time. Marie loved to postpone the final prize of orgasm, preferring to prolong the experience and savor every stroke. She would slide a finger down and tickle the light hairs of the triangle pointing to her love center. Her finger would slide around, stroking the soft velvety skin of her labial lips, pressing softly here and there, getting more wet with every stroke. She would imagine her secret lovers spreading her pussy lips with their thick, rough and callused fingers, slowly inserting one finger into her hot and very wet honey pot. Her fingers, her hands would become theirs. The stroking would continue, but never touching her major nerve center, her throbbing clit that would be screaming for release and satisfaction. She would feel one finger enter her wet canal, then two fingers, imagining hot lips sucking at her nipples while being finger fucked by the hero of the story.

Night after night Marie would make love with her fantasy lovers, feeling them enter her, feeling their hot wet lips possessing hers, and feeling their love. She felt a new kind of release from her fantasies. Her orgasms weren’t just climaxes anymore; they were harder, borne of imaginary love and heat and fantasy. They were always intense.

After a couple of months in this vein, Marie concluded that she could write just as well as some of the other authors, and proceeded to write her own love fantasy adventure. She toiled over it for days, weeks, until she felt she had perfected it. One night she finally got the nerve and clicked on the submission button. It was several days before she finally saw that the story had been accepted. She was thrilled and so very proud. Then she felt silly and embarrassed. So what, she thought. A place that posts dirty stories accepted one of mine. Big deal. She determined she wouldn’t give it another thought, that is, until the emails started coming in encouraging her to write more, propositioning her, and praising her work and eroticism. Hmmm, she thought. There might be more to this than meets the eye.

Another month went by before Marie began to get an idea for another story. However, before she could sit down and make any serious attempt at writing, her real life began to crumble. Notices of overdue payments and collection notices were starting to roll in with frightening speed. Calls from creditors were incessant. Marie didn’t understand what was happening. Chris had always taken care of the bills. They made a very good living, and they certainly weren’t living beyond their means. A week later, the final fatal blow came when two federal agents showed up at her door looking for her husband. Marie had told them that he was out of town on a business meeting and wasn’t expected back for another day or so. They informed her that there was a warrant out for his arrest with several charges pending. They outlined the seriousness of his crimes to her, and also hinted that she could be implicated in these crimes if she did not fully cooperate in Chris’s return and apprehension. Her mind was a swirling cauldron of incomprehensible images and thoughts. This couldn’t be her Chris. It had to be an enormous mistake.

Marie immediately dialed up Chris on his cell phone. He finally answered, but immediately Marie knew the truth. He was panicked. He was running and he was out of options. He cried to Marie, begging for forgiveness. He had gambled away their life savings, admitted to fraudulent activities at work, diverting huge sums of money to their personal accounts and finally, when seeing the walls closing in around him, he panicked. He stole the company limousine, thinking he could run and leave the country. He had cleaned out their checking and savings accounts, cashed in all their bonds, any source of quick money they had left, and was leaving. He apologized and asked her to understand and then terminated the connection. The FBI, however, already had placed a trace on his cell phone and was able to triangulate his position to within one block of where he was located. This was where the high speed chase began, ending a few miles down the local interstate when a local tour company bus changed lanes unexpectedly and Chris side-swiped it, crashing into the side rail, ending the chase.

Now, six months later, Marie was sitting alone in her new apartment, in a new town, surrounded by new furniture, facing an uncertain future. Most of their friends and acquaintances were people from Chris’s company, and even though they knew that Marie was blameless in the whole debacle, she was still cut off from those contacts. She decided it was best if she got a clean start somewhere else, sold her business, and moved out of the area. Marie had made enough money from the sale of her business to pay off the remaining debts she felt obligated to pay, and still have a little nest egg to fall back on while she analyzed her options and plotted a new course for her future.

Much of the time Marie spent quietly sitting on her back patio sitting on her chaise lounge, lost deep in thought or reading. Occasionally she would rouse herself enough to venture out and try exploring her new community. She didn’t speak to many people, but mostly kept to herself. She would respond with a pleasant hello to her neighbors when they spoke, but never engaged in any real conversations. Eventually, she found herself logging back on to the internet and immersing herself in the games and lobby chats that she used to enjoy. In time she also returned to the Literotica site and began reading the stories again. Once again Marie came up with an idea for a story, and decided to take another crack at writing. It took less than a week before she felt it was ready for submission. Again, as before, it was accepted by the site. She received mixed reactions on the story, but overall it was a good story, which gave her the impetus to continue her writing efforts. After her third story, the emails and comments began coming in at a regular rate. This greatly bolstered her self-esteem and she began writing her “fans” back.

After three or four back-and-forth correspondences with one certain reader, she began to sense a closeness that she didn’t feel from any of the others. His name was Roy and he was from England. He told her how well-written her stories were and that she had a real talent. He told her how hard he got when he read her stories, and wondered if she would care to continue writing him and getting to know him better. Marie was intrigued. Roy told her a bit about himself over the ensuing weeks in his letters. He was intelligent, well-articulated, and a true gentleman. He told her he was several years her senior, but when she wrote back that age didn’t really matter, he was encouraged and continued his “courtship” as it began to feel. Marie found herself telling him things about her life and background that she had not admitted to anyone else. She felt like she could trust him implicitly. They exchanged pictures eventually. Their emails began to get more and more personal and intimate as the weeks went by. He would occasionally call her on the telephone, but they always had to keep their conversations short due to the expense of the overseas connection, and the fact that Roy was married. He had been married to his wife for over 40 years, and Marie knew that his leaving her would never be an option. This didn’t concern Marie, for she knew deep in her heart that she wouldn’t marry him, even if he were to ask.

Their friendship grew. They talked and chatted online. They exchanged sexy stories, and on occasion he even turned on his cam so Marie could view him while he masturbated for her. Their relationship became as intimate as two can get online. They talked about fantasies, they talked about lovers, and they talked about love. In the course of their relationship, Marie discovered that Roy was actually a lot older than he had initially alluded. In fact, he was almost 30 years older! Roy was quite embarrassed about the misrepresentation that he feared she would not want him as a friend anymore. This simply endeared him more to Marie’s heart. Age does not matter when you are speaking from the heart. In his own defense though, Roy added that even though he was an old relic, the primal urges were still strong and there are still many a tune to be played on this old fiddle!

The more the couple talked, the more comfortable they became and Marie finally admitted to some fantasies she had been nursing for years. She wanted to feel sexy and be desired by men again, to which Roy emphatically repplied that, indeed, she was that already. Every time they spoke he would get hard. It tickled Marie to no end that she had that kind of power over him. She started to describe to him in detail the things he loved to hear. She told him of the sexy underwear she was wearing, the color and fabric, what men did and said while she was out in public and did a tiny bit of flashing. He was allowing Marie to gain the confidence she needed to come alive again. He would describe scenarios to her and asked if she could ever act them out. Slowly, little by little, Roy became such a part of Marie’s life; the she couldn’t imagine a day without him. Roy was her anchor. Roy was the beacon that would safely guide her in a storm. And Roy was her ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. The powerful images that Roy would describe to her would arouse her to such a point, that she would have to masturbate.

Once she even called him up while in such a state so she could listen to him talk dirty while she touched herself. He told her in great detail how he would slowly savor the sights and smells and sounds. He would begin by having her stand before him and close her eyes. He would then run his hands over her face and hair, gently stroking her. He would be teasing her lips with his, running his tongue over to her ears and gently nip at her earlobes. His tongue would lick a path down her neck to the front of her throat. He would gently kiss her neck, then down to her collar bone and shoulders, nibbling and sucking at times, but never enough to leave a mark. Good lovers, he said once, never leave marks. Then Roy would turn Marie around, and slowly unzip her dress, pulling at the straps and let the silky material float to the ground with a sigh. Marie would be standing there in her fine lingerie, a silky black, demi-cup bra that barely covered her nipples, a pair of lacy see-through thong knickers, black sheer thigh-high stockings, and 4-inch stiletto heels. Her body oozed sex-appeal. Her womanly arousal could be detected in the air. Yet still she stood with her eyes closed, awaiting whatever Roy would do next.

While Roy was describing this incredibly sensual scene, Marie was running her fingertips over her skin, almost feeling the heat from his touch. Her fingers tweaked the rubbery nubs of her nipples when Roy described how he would unfasten her bra and allow her breasts to fall free of restraint. His tongue would flick over them repeatedly then he would suck earnestly, making them taut and pointing straight out. Her breasts almost hurt from the sensations she was feeling. Next Roy would proceed further south to her belly button. He would slide his slippery tongue in and around her navel, wanting not to miss a centimeter of her silky skin. Marie was getting super turned on and begged for more. She wanted to feel his tongue, his hands, and his hard cock all over her. Roy teased and tormented her, ever so slowly working his way down to the “promised land.” Roy told her of his deep abiding love for her, and that he wanted to pleasure her in every possible way. His tongue would slide further down now, gently lapping at her womanly lips, tasting the sweet honey of her arousal.

Marie finally lowered her hands to her pussy as he gave her permission to touch herself there. Her love canal was incredibly wet already with anticipation. Roy started to touch her ever so gently, touching her inner lips, running the tip of his finger on the inside of her lips, and ever so slowly circling her hard love nubbin. Finally, Roy slipped a finger inside her pussy, pushing in and withdrawing very slowly. At the same time he would rub his thumb up against her engorged clit. Marie inserted two fingers into her love tunnel. They slid easily with all the wetness Roy was creating with his sensual words. His voice purred into her ear and she totally immersed herself into the moment. Roy flicked and rubbed her hard clit over and over, plunging his finger, then two fingers, then three fingers deep inside her very core. His loving words nudged her on until, unable to hold out any longer, Marie came hard, with a thundering, crashing orgasm that echoed in her ears long after her breathing became normal again.

Marie and Roy developed a bond so close and so fierce, that it almost scared Marie. The thought that someone so far away could evoke that kind of emotion, that kind of loyalty and attraction, was very foreign to Marie. It went against almost everything that she was brought up to believe. It didn’t make sense. But when Marie thought back on her life thus far, all the joy, the sadness, and the loneliness, it now made perfect sense. She knew she was brought through her trials and to this point in her life for some purpose. She now knew what that purpose was. It was Roy. A thought crept into her mind, and day after day, week after week, this thought grew and blossomed until she finally decided on her course of action.

During one of their regular evening chats, Marie finally mentioned her plan to Roy. She had made up her mind which direction her life should be headed, and that was to go overseas. Marie had decided to move to England to be closer to Roy. She had thought it all through. Marie had no real family ties any longer, as she was divorced, without children, and her parents had long since departed this earth. She was financially comfortable for the time being, and the only place on earth that she truly wanted to be, Marie realized, was close to Roy. Naturally, upon hearing this news, Roy was overjoyed. He fully supported her decision to move overseas and aided her in every way he could. He arranged for her temporary living arrangements just a few homes down the street from his own. A tidy little 2-bedroom cottage was just listed for rent, and Marie felt extremely lucky that he was able to find something so fast, and so affordable also.

The weeks sped by as Marie packed her belongings that she would be taking to England, and selling or donating the rest. The day finally came when her flight was scheduled to take her away from everything familiar in her life. Marie closed and locked the door to her apartment for the last time, checked in at the rental office to sign the final papers and turn in her keys, and she was on her way to her new life. She had booked a flight from San Francisco to London, with one stop in Chicago. The flight was estimated to be slightly over 13 hours in duration. Marie presumed she would do a little reading and catch up on her sleep, as she had been unable to sleep properly since she put her plan into action. She had so much on her mind and had been so excited by it all; she felt that sleeping was just wasting time that she could be using to pack. However, once on her way, Marie found she was too excited to concentrate on reading a book and much too wound up for sleep.

Instead she looked out her window and dreamed. She dreamed of a time in the not to distant future when she could wake up in the morning with the sun shining down on her, regardless of the weather, and finally know true contentment. Marie felt deep down in her bones that this is where she needed to be. She needed to be close to Roy, share in his life as much as she could, and know that he would always be there close to her heart, if not her body. Predictably, however, the lull of the motion and hum of the airliner’s engines, eased Marie’s anxiety, and eventually she drifted off to sleep.

~~~~~~She had visions of rolling green hillsides, bursting with flowers of late spring. The air smelled fresh and clean, with a hint of hay and cut grass. Marie spread her arms out and spun herself around, drinking in the beauty of the countryside. She felt nothing but exhilaration and happiness bursting from every atom in her body. She closed her eyes, hugging herself. She thought she should pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. However, before she could do that, a pair of strong yet gentle arms wrapped around her from the back, and a familiar voice murmured in her ear, while gently nibbling at her earlobe. “Welcome home, my lovely Marie.” She smiled without opening her eyes and leaned back into his embrace. It felt so right standing there like that, being with the man she loved. Never in her life had she felt so totally welcome.

“Let me show you to your new abode,” Roy offered.

He took her by the hand and guided her up the stairs to her new cottage. He opened the door with a flourish and swept his arm in a graceful arc for her to enter. The home was very charming, freshly painted, and already partially furnished with an overstuffed sofa and love seat. The kitchen had a breakfast bar/nook built in with newly purchased appliances. It had all the conveniences of modern life, but still managed to maintain a country, old-time aura of comfort. Roy proceeded to guide her further back in the house, eventually into the master bedroom. This is where Marie saw that he had, indeed, followed her instructions, and managed to locate and purchase an antique, solid oak, king-sized sleigh bed with matching armoire and chest of drawers. The fourth piece of furniture was what the dealer had called a chesser: a combination dresser with drawers hidden behind two doors. It also had an old-fashioned looking mirror positioned on top, running the entire length of its top surface. The bedroom set was completed with two bedside nightstands. Roy had done a splendid job, and it was everything and more that Marie had anticipated. The bed had tons of throw pillows on it in matching and contrasting colors of the luxurious feather down comforter.

Roy took Marie by the shoulders and turned her to face him. “You know I love you, Marie, almost more than life itself. I give this to you freely and without any strings attached. I would be honored if you would allow me to accompany you to this bed for the first time, but if you decide that you do not want that kind of physical relationship with me after all, I will understand.”

Marie stood there, stunned at the words he had just whispered. At first she thought perhaps she had heard him incorrectly then realized that he was still, even after all this time, willing to give her up if that is what she desired or needed to be happy. Marie reached up to his face and placed her hands on his cheeks. She kissed him gently on the lips and simply replied, “I would be honored if you would accompany me to our bed for the first time.”

Roy, with choirs of angels singing in his head, kissed her back passionately, while running his fingers through her thick hair. He pulled back from her momentarily, looked deeply into her eyes, then proceeded to undress her, slowly, one garment at a time, until she was fully nude standing before him. He then led her over to the bed where he gently pushed her back until she was lying on her back. Roy instructed her to slide over to the center of the bed where he laid down beside her. He was still dressed save for his shoes that he had kicked off. Roy had plans for Marie, and that involved taking his time in pleasuring her. There would be time enough for him later.

Roy asked Marie to close her eyes, and when she did he produced a light feather. He delicately touched it to her forehead and eyes and then proceeded to tickle her from head to toes with it. He carefully circled each breast, narrowing the circle each time, until he ended up at the point around her hardened nipples. The feather then journeyed further down to her belly button. Roy delighted in probing her navel, causing her to giggle more than once. He then moved the feather downward still, until he met with her thick triangle of hair just above her pouty womanly lips. Roy skipped this area then entirely, choosing an alternate route around her obviously aroused love center, and continued his gentle feathering technique on her inner thighs. He alternated tickling and blowing at this point, causing Marie to shiver slightly and making her nipples stiffen even more. He reached her knees and calves, tickling then blowing, and finally giving a few barely perceptible kisses.

Upon reaching her feet, Roy put down the feather and maneuvered himself into better position. He took her left foot in his hands and briefly kissed the top surface, making his way down to her toes. He carefully sucked each toe, one at a time on both feet, until he had licked and sucked them all. He then worked his way back up to her ankles with his tongue, circling them both. Roy had maneuvered himself between her knees at this point and so when he reached her knees, he was able to lift her legs, and lick and tease at the sensitive area in back of her knees. Marie could not remember feeling more relaxed and more turned on in her entire life. Her juices were freely flowing from her love tunnel, and the room smelled of her particular exotic aroma. Roy made his way up her thighs to kiss and lick on and around her swollen pussy lips, but always maintaining a sight distance away from her aching clit. He teased her unmercifully, finally leaving her pussy altogether and kissing his way back up to her breasts. He sucked greedily at her luscious nipples, massaging and pinching all the while.

Marie could feel his tremendous hard on through his trousers and once or twice attempted to stroke him. Roy firmly removed her hands each time. “Patience, my darling Marie, all in due time,” he would say.

Shortly after that Roy got up from the bed and swiftly removed his own clothing. Marie watched him as he lovingly positioned himself above her. She was completely open to receiving him. She offered him herself and welcomed his hard throbbing cock into her tight, hot pussy. Roy slowly inserted his cock all the way in, and held it there for a few extra beats. They looked into each other’s eyes, and without saying a word, knew that Marie was home at last. ~~~~~~

It was quite a startle for Marie when the overhead lights flickered on and the Fasten Your Seatbelts warning chimed over the loudspeakers in the airplane. Groggily Marie gathered her carry-on luggage and struggled her way back to wakefulness. The plane landed some 20 minutes later and the passengers were allowed to disembark. Marie was still somewhat disoriented from the flight and time change, and started to follow the crowd to the baggage pick-up area.

Roy had told Marie that he would not be able to meet her at the airport due to some prior commitment, but he would arrange for a driver to pick her up and bring her to the house. When she reached the baggage pick-up area, Marie spotted the tuxedo-clad driver holding a placard with her name on it. She went up to him and identified herself. When her luggage arrived on the conveyor belt, the driver hoisted the pieces onto a cart and politely requested that she follow him to the limousine. Once there, he graciously opened the door for Marie and she entered the back seat of the limo. He quietly latched the door and proceeded to load her luggage in the boot of the automobile. Marie took the time to check out the inside of the vehicle. She had only ridden in a limo once before, on her wedding day, and really didn’t remember much from that ride. Today she did a little more in-depth search. She discovered, of course, a fully stocked bar and refrigerator, stocked with every imaginable drink, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There was finger food, crackers, meats, fruit, and candy. There was also champagne chilling on ice, with crystal glasses if she so desired. There were fresh flowers in vases attached to each side near the windows. A DVD/CD player had been installed into the back of the front seat, with surround sound speakers everywhere. There was also a phone/fax machine available for use. Marie was overwhelmed with the amenities and conveniences at her command. Instead of taking advantage of all this, however, Marie preferred to gaze out the window at her new surroundings. The driver had said it would be about a half-hour drive to their destination, so she decided to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

The car purred past the hustle and bustle of the city’s activities. She saw people scurrying along the streets, attempting to finish their scheduled appointments. The business district was soon replaced with quaint neighborhoods filled with noisy children, watchful mothers, and dogs in their fenced yards. The architecture was distinctly different than the old Spanish design so often used in California. The difference was a very pleasant one though. Marie adored the charm and warmth she felt there. Very soon even these neighborhoods thinned out and rolling hills of green grass and blossoming wild flowers began to overtake the horizon.

This all had a very familiar, almost deja vous feeling to it. A few minutes later Marie saw signs of homes again, although on very large, widely-spaced lots. The driver stopped in front of one of them and informed her that this was her destination. Marie’s mouth dropped open. It was the house from her dream! It was exactly how she had imagined it. She quickly opened the door to the car and leaped out before the driver had a chance to open it for her. She smiled her appreciation to him, and he tipped his hat and proceeded to unload her luggage for her. He then said his instructions were that she should wait here, as Roy would be only a moment and would join her. Marie fumbled in her purse frantically trying to figure out how much of a tip she should give him. He smiled and said, “That won’t be necessary, mum, the gentl’man has already provided compensation. Good day to ya!” And with that, he jumped back in his limousine and was gone.

Marie stood there on the walk in front of her new home for a moment and breathed deeply. The air was fresh and clean, and smelled slightly of hay and cut grass. She smiled to herself, stretched her arms outward and spun herself around, greedily absorbing all the sights and smells of the beauty surrounding her. She had never felt so alive, so full of purpose and belonging in her life. She closed her eyes and hugged herself. At that moment, a pair of strong yet gentle arms wrapped around her from the back. A familiar voice whispered in her ear, while teasing her earlobe, “Welcome home, my lovely Marie.” She smiled without opening her eyes and leaned back into his embrace. It felt so right. When she did turn around it was to look into Roy’s beautiful blue eyes. Without saying another word, Marie knew that she had finally found her true home.

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