“Mr. Romance”, Ch. 27-34 End: Hope’s and Kent’s Family Thanksgiving, 3/11/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #149)

“Mr. Romance”, Ch. 27-34 End:  Hope’s and Kent’s Family Thanksgiving,  3/11/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #149)

An Original Fiction Story Copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace  (all rights reserved)
[(1) “Mr. Romance” story logo, left]

Author’s  Note:  Today is the final installment of chapters for “Mr. Romance”.   I have enjoyed sharing this story with you and I hope that you also enjoyed it.  As with my other stories that I have completed serializing here on my blog, you will still be able to find links to this and other stories in the “Gratiana’s Story Links” section in the sidebar to the right should you wish to return to reading them later.

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 27:  Kent Arrives at Hope’s Apartment Early Thanksgiving Morning

Kent is eager to see Hope the next day and he gets up early and takes a taxi over to Hope’s apartment–arriving around 7:45am on Thanksgiving morning.  Though Kent is a little uncertain how everything will go with her family—especially since he’s not used to such a large family gathering.   Meeting Hope’s Uncle Pat and Aunt Harriet last night for dinner was Kent’s first test.  And, Kent has a surprise with him that he hopes that Hope will like.  Hope wakes up early and dresses the thirty pound turkey before putting it on to bake–before she dresses herself.  So, when her doorbell rings this early Thursday morning of Thanksgiving, Hope is still in her nightgown.

Hope:   Opening her front door, she sees her fiancé and greets him warmly.  “Hi Kent Dear. I missed you.  Please come in.”   And since her Aunt and Uncle are in the bedroom getting dressed–and they are alone–Hope and Kent give each other a quick and tender kiss.

Kent:  “You look lovely Hope Darling.  Do you greet all your guests this way?”  Kent [(2) right] says tenderly gazing at Hope’s sweet soft stretch cotton flowered nightgown that she wore their first night of love together.

Hope:  “Oh, no.”  She says laughing.  “I just put the turkey on to bake and I haven’t had a chance to take my shower or get dressed.  When Aunt Harriet and Uncle Pat come out of the bedroom, I’ll do that.  But, just sit at the dining table and talk to me as I get the coffee going for our breakfast.”

Kent:  Kent sits.  “Hope Darling, this is a whole new you—domestic diva.”  He smiles broadly at her.  “We’ve had room service up until now, so I haven’t seen you in action with lots of guest planned.  By the way, when is the main meal?”

Hope:  Laughing, she says.  “Kent, you haven’t even had breakfast yet and you’re worrying about lunch?  Well, it’s at 1:00pm.  The rest of the family will arrive around 12:30pm.  So, it’s just us for the morning with breakfast and the parade—oh, and if you don’t mind, I always like to watch the original “Miracle on 34th Street”—it’s my favorite movie.”  Hope sighs sweetly. [(3) right]

Kent:  “My little Hope.  You really are sweet and endearing, aren’t you?”  He smiles at her warmly–wanting to kiss her again, but knowing that her Aunt and Uncle are just in the bedroom and they could come out at any time.

Hope:  “Yes I am.”   Then not seeing her Aunt and Uncle in the main apartment area yet, Hope leans in to the sitting Kent and she gives him a lingering kiss as they wrap their arms around each other in a tender embrace.

Uncle Pat opens the bedroom door and sees Hope and Kent in a romantic embrace, but they don’t see him.  So, Uncle Pat backs up and quietly closes the bedroom door.

Uncle Pat:  Then Uncle Pat says loudly.  “Harriet Dear, I’m just going to see if Hope has the coffee started.”  Then he pauses a beat, and walks into the living room area.  He sees that Hope is now over in the kitchen and Kent is hobbling toward the couch—both of them looking a bit flushed.

Hope:  “Good morning Uncle Pat.”  She says smiling cheerfully, failing at not blushing.  “Is Aunt Harriet up?”

Uncle Pat:  “Yes, Hope Dear.  You go in and have your shower while I sit and talk with Kent over here before the parade starts on tv.”

Hope nods smilingly and goes to her bedroom to shower and to chat with Aunt Harriet.

To be continued with Chapter 28

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 28:  Uncle Pat has a Man to Man Talk with Kent

Kent is seated on the couch after hobbling quickly over here after kissing Hope passionately before her Aunt and Uncle come out into the sitting room area.

Kent:  “Good morning Pat.”  He says warmly.  “I’d stand, but I just got seated.”  He says touching his crutches.

Uncle Pat:  “That’s alright Kent, my boy.”  Uncle Pat [(4) right] says looking at Kent intently with flinty narrowed eyes as he sits in a chair to Kent’s right.  “Or should I say, ‘Mr. Romance’?”

Kent:  Kent’s eyebrows raise in surprise and he coughs. “Kkkk.  How did you know?  Sir, I hope that they’ll retire that nickname for me now that Hope and I are a couple.”

Uncle Pat:   “Well, to answer your question, Hope had described what you write for the magazine.  And, since Harriet and I are using Hope’s bedroom and bathroom, I came across some … ‘personal’ items–shall we say?–that I doubt belong to our lady like niece, Hope.”  Kent looks sheepishly at Uncle Pat and says nothing—knowing that he’s referring to the condoms Kent had placed there yesterday.  “But, I put them in the back of the drawer that they were in so that no one else would find them.”

Kent:  Regaining his voice, he says  “Uh, thank you sir.”  Kent embarrassedly looks at his hands [(5) right], realizing that he’s not making a good impression—with Uncle Pat finding his condoms.

Uncle Pat:  “So, while the ladies …” He says emphasizing the word ‘ladies’.  “… are still in the bedroom, let me ask you what your ‘intentions’ are toward my niece, Hope?”

Kent:  “Sir, Hope and I love each other.”

Uncle Pat:  “Well that’s nice, but I repeat, what are your intentions toward my niece?”  He says with a cold steely stare.  “Harriet and I never had children of our own, so I’ve always thought of Hope as our daughter, too.  Hope is a sweet and trusting young woman and I don’t want to see her hurt.”

Kent:  “Nor do I.  I love Hope very much.  Sir, I’ve asked Hope to marry me.   We just became engaged yesterday.  We’re planning to tell everyone over dessert today.”  Then he takes the small square jewelry box out of his pocket.  “Hope doesn’t know it, but I’ve brought my late mother’s engagement ring to give to her today.”  Kent opens the box and shows him the one carat white diamond solitaire engagement ring in a gold setting.

Uncle Pat:  Still eyeing Kent cautiously, Uncle Pat says.  “That’s a good start.  And your family?  What is your ‘situation’ and prospects?”

Kent:  Kent feels like he’s being grilled—because he is–as he puts the ring and its box and away in his pocket.  “Sir,”   Kent continues using the formal mode of address.   “Sir, My parents divorced when I was young and they died fifteen years ago just after I finished college.  I was an only child as were my parents.  So, I didn’t have any close cousins.  I don’t really have any family to speak of.  So, nothing to worry about either.”  He says trying to laugh, but it falls a bit flat.

Uncle Pat:  “Kent, I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m interrogating you.  But Hope is very special to us.”

Kent:  “Hope is very special to me, too, Sir.  I love her with all of my heart.”

Just then, the ladies—Hope and her Aunt Harriet—come out into the living area from the bedroom.  Hope sees the backs of her uncle’s and Kent’s heads and they seem to be engrossed in conversation.

Hope:  “Well, you two, shall we load up our breakfast plates and then sit on the couch and watch the parade?”

Uncle Pat:  “Yes, lets.”

Kent:  “Yes, Hope Darling.”

To be continued with Chapter 29


“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 29:  Thanksgiving Day Breakfast and Parade Watching

Kent reaches for his crutches and stands—as does Uncle Pat.  Then they walk over to the ladies in the kitchen.  Hope sees Kent’s slightly pallid face [(6) right] and asks him.

Hope:  “Kent Dear.  Are you feeling alright?  Are you in pain and want your medicine from your jacket pocket in the closet?”  She says caressing his face and checking his temperature.

Kent:  “No, I’m fine Hope Darling.  I think just need to get some food in me.”  Kent says smiling warmly at Hope in her crisp light blue linen dress.  “You look lovely today, Hope.”

Hope:  “Thank you, Kent Dear.”  Hope smiles [(7) right] up at him and reaches down and clasps his hand on his crutch.

Kent:  Then turning to Aunt Harriet, he says.  “As do you Aunt Harriet.”

Aunt Harriet:  “Thank you Kent.  Why don’t we load up our breakfast plates and then sit down and enjoy the parade?”  She says looking quizzically back and forth at her husband’s steely expression and Kent’s still slightly pallid one.  You see, Pat had not informed his wife Harriet of his discovery of condoms nor his suspicions about the status of Hope and Kent’s relationship.

Hope:  “Kent Dear, let me carry your plate for you.  Just tell me what you want.”  Hope looks up at Kent adoringly.  Hope has never had a serious beau, boyfriend, or fiancé before—let alone at a family gathering.  So, she feels less like the odd one out with ‘her’ Kent beside her today.

Kent:  “Thank you Hope Darling.”  He gazes at her lovingly.

After Hope fills Kent’s plate with eggs and bacon and sweet rolls, she walks it and his coffee to the couch for him and sets it on the coffee table.  Then Hope goes and makes a much smaller plate of food for herself and returns to sit next to Kent on the couch.  They smile at each other warmly as they eat and watch the parade on tv.

Hope:  “And don’t worry Kent, after the parade—while Aunt Harriet and I are making some of the side dishes—you and Uncle Pat can watch the football game.”  Then she explains to her Aunt and Uncle with pride.  “You see, Kent gave up his Florida Bowl tickets to join us today.”

Uncle Pat:  “Did he now?”  Uncle Pat thinks, that Kent might not be that bad after all.

Kent gives a small nod and smile, hoping that he’s redeeming himself, in some small way, in Hope’s Uncle’s eyes.

To be continued with Chapter 30

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 30:  Kent Meets more of the family

After a leisurely morning of parade and football—well, leisurely for the men, while the women are busily preparing the food—more family arrives.  Promptly at 12:30pm, Hope’s brother Dennis, his wife Anna, and their five kids– Deanna, Donna, Debbie, Denise, and their little one, four year old Dennis Jr.–tumble noisily into Hope’s apartment.  The kids see the stranger—Kent, sitting on the couch—and they rush him, crowding around him.

Deanna:  “Aunt Hope, who’s the dreamboat?”  Asks 14 year old Deanna.

Dennis Jr.:  Climbing up onto the couch next to Kent, four year old Dennis Jr. [(8) right] asks.  “Mister, you’re not a boat, are you?”

Kent:  Rocking his head back in laughter, he says.  “Not the last time I looked.   Hi there, I’m Kent.”  He says holding out his hand and little Dennis shakes it.

Hope:  “Yes kids, this is Kent Barron, my boyfriend and co-worker.”  Hope says walking over to Kent and smiling down at him as she pats his shoulders while she leans over the back of the couch.

Debbie and Denise:  10 and 8 years old, respectively, they proceed to tease her in a sing songy voice.  “Ooh.  Aunt Hope has a boyfriend.  Aunt Hope has a boyfriend.”

Donna:  12 years old and wise beyond her years, she asks.  “Aunt Hope, this isn’t ‘Mr. Romance’ is it?”

Kent:  He looks back over his shoulders up at Hope and pleadingly asks.  “Hope?”  Hope smiles warmly at him and pats his shoulders as she leans over the back of the couch again.  She and Kent share a small smile remembering their romantic interlude yesterday on this very spot.

Dennis:  “Kent is it?”  He walks over shaking Kent’s hand warmly and says.  “Don’t mind the girls.  Dennis Jr and I are outnumbered!”

Anna:  “Now Dennis, the girls are just curious.  You aren’t ‘Mr. Romance’ are you?”  She asks looking at Kent askance.

Hope:  Walking around the couch and sitting next to Kent, she says fibbing.   “Nope,”  She says stressing the ‘p’ sound like Kent does.   “That was Bob Phillips …”

Kent:  “Okay Hope, not around the kids.”  He stops her from making the pun that she did last night with her aunt and uncle.  And Hope giggles as Kent puts his arms around her shoulders as she nestles into his side–with him hugging her and kissing her forehead.

Debbie and Denise:  Then they launch into another sing songy rhyme.  “Hope and Kent sitting in a tree, kissing” spelling it out.  “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Hope with a baby carriage.”

Dennis Jr.:  “Yes Aunt Hope, you and Kent should have kids—but only boys, because we’re out numbered like Daddy says.”

They all laugh.  Of course, having children is one topic that Kent and Hope have not discussed since their romance and engagement have been such a whirlwind, thinks Hope.   But Hope is all about family and she wants children and to be a mother very much.  She just doesn’t know how Kent feels about children and becoming a parent.

Hope:  Looking at Kent’s non-plussed expression, Hope says jokingly.  “Kids, I think that it’s a good thing that Kent has a sprained ankle or right now you’d be chasing him out the door with your antics.”

Kent:  “No really, I’m fine, Hope.”  He says still looking a little overwhelmed with more family than he’s ever been around in one place—times two.

Hope:  “Yes, but Kent Dear, you haven’t met my parents and their spouses yet.”  Hope says with her eyes gleaming teasingly.

To be continued with Chapter 31

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 31:  Hope’s Mom and Stepdad and her Dad and Stepmom Arrive For Thanksgiving

Just then, the door bell rings again and the kids all run to the apartment’s front door.

Kids:  “Grandma, Grandpa!”  The kids race over to Hope’s front door and nearly rip the apartment door off of its hinges getting it open.  “Grandma, Grandpa!”

Hope:  “Well, here we go.”  She says looking at Kent amusingly.  “Brace yourself.”

Bud Springfield and Stepmom Barbara [(9) right]:  “Hello Kids.  Hi Hope Dear.”  They wave over to her.  “Where do you want us to put the wine and apple juice?”

Kent:  Raising his arm, Kent says facetiously.  “I’ll take the wine.”  Hope smiles at Kent warmly.

Bud S./Dad:  “Hope Dear,”  Bud kisses Hope’s cheek.   “And who’s this?”   Her dad asks not very graciously as he walks over to Kent and looks him up and down.  At his age—60+–Bud feels that he’s earned the right to say and do as he pleases.  You see, Hope is quite a bit younger than her brother Dennis—by about eight years—and she was conceived during a rare reconciliation period by her parents.

Hope:  “Dad and Barbara, this is Kent Barron, my boyfriend and co-worker.  Kent, this is my Dad, Bud Springfield and his wife, my Stepmom Barbara.”  Hope says her stepmom’s name warmly—having made peace with her parents’ divorce and remarriages years ago.

Kent:  “Nice to meet you Sir and Maam.  I’d stand, but I’m still on crutches for a month after a tumble on the ski slopes.”

Dennis Jr.:  “Yes Grandpa.  Aunt Hope and Kent promise to only have boy babies because we ‘men’ are outnumbered.”

They all laugh.

Hope:  “Kent Dear, I think you can see why we call this little one “Dennis the Menace”.”  She says fondly hugging her little nephew.

Then, the doorbell rings again—grandparents, part II.

Kids:  “Grandma, Grandpa!”   The kids all run to the door again.

Hope:  To Kent, she asks.  “How are you holding up?”

Kent:  “So far so good.”  Then he leans in to Hope and whispers in her ear.  “How many people have you mentioned ‘Mr. Romance’ to?”

Hope:   “Everybody.   Sorry.”  She whispers wincingly back to him.  “Well, I told you that I’ve loved you for a long time.”  She says sheepishly.

Kent:  “Oh Hope.”  He shakes his head and chuckles.  Then he kisses her cheek.

Then, the next set of Grandparents walk over to the couch.

Linda Pope and her husband Rich Pope [(10) right]:  “Who’s this?”   They ask–not original, but a practical question.

Hope:   “Mom and Rich, this is my boy friend and co worker, Kent Barron.  Kent, this is my mother Linda and her husband, my stepfather, Rich Pope.”

Kent:  “Lovely to meet you both.  I’d stand, but I’m on crutches for a month from a sprained ankle falling while skiing.”  Happily, Kent stifles the urge to mention that Hope ‘dodged the bullet’ since her father is Bud Springfield and not Rich Pope.  Hope Pope, get it?

Linda/Mom:  “Hello, Hope Dear.”  She says leaning down and kisses her daughter’s cheek.  “Very handsome.”  She says looking at Kent.  Then she asks quizzically.  “This isn’t ‘Mr. …”

Hope:  “Mom, just don’t go there.”  Hope laughs and Kent rolls his eyes.   “Did you bring the rolls and cranberry sauce?”

Linda/Mom:  “Yes, Dear.  I’ll help you put them in serving dishes.”

Hope’s four parents and step parents look at each other a bit awkwardly for a moment across the coffee table.  Then the couples turn and walk to other parts of the room.

To be continued with Chapter 32

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 32:  The Women prepare the  Thanksgiving Lunch and the Men Size up Kent

Then, the women—Hope, Aunt Harriet, Sister-in-law Anna, Stepmom Barbara, Mom Linda, and the girl nieces–troop over to the kitchen to finish getting lunch ready.  That leaves the men—Kent, Uncle Pat, brother Dennis, Dad Bud, Step Dad Rich, and Dennis Jr.—all sitting around the coffee table ostensibly watching the football game, but they are really looking Kent up and down.  Kent nods at each of them smiling warmly—wishing he had a scorecard, or at least nametags for everyone.

Bud/Dad:  “So Kent, how long have you and Hope been going out with each other?”  Dads get right to the point.

Kent:  “Well Sir, we’ve known each other as friends and co-workers for over two years, but we only started dating each other recently.”

Dennis Jr:  “Daddy, I have to pee.”

Dennis:  “I’ll take you.”

Then as Dennis walks toward the bedroom with Dennis Jr., Hope and his mommy Anna call out in unison.

Hope and Anna:  “Don’t forget to aim.”

Kent:  He chuckles and shakes his head.  “Oh Hope.”  He says under his breath to no one in particular.

Uncle Pat:  “What?”

Kent:  “Oh, it’s just that seems to be Hope’s favorite phrase.”   He says amusingly.

Rich/Step Dad:  “How would you know?”  He asks questioningly with one eye brow raised suspiciously.

Kent:  Kent back peddles, fibbing a bit.  “Well, I had to borrow Hope’s bathroom once when we were all in her suite at Galena, and that’s when she told us guys to aim.  Does anyone know why she thinks men don’t aim well?”

Just then Dennis and his son Dennis Jr return from the bathroom.

Bud/Dad:   “Dennis.”  He says looking over at his son.

Dennis:  “Yes, Dad?”

Bud/Dad:  “Dennis, didn’t you and Hope share a bathroom growing up?”  And the rest of the men chuckle—getting the implication that Dennis has poor aim.

Dennis:  “Yes, what about it?”

Bud/Dad:  “Nothing.  Just clarifying the information.”  More chuckling ensues.  “So, Dennis Jr, come sit with Grandpa.”  He says patting his lap while sitting in one of the wing chairs

Dennis Jr:  “No thanks Grandpa.  I want to sit with Kent.  He and Aunt Hope are going to have boys.”  He says running around the couch and plopping himself on Kent’s lap.

Kent:  “Eech! Kkkk.  Kkkk.”   Kent coughs as little Dennis Jr. plops on his lap and crushes Kent’s privates.  “Ohmigod!”  Kent says as he winces in pain.

Dennis Jr:  “What’s the matter?  Am I too heavy?”  Four year old and forty pound Dennis Jr. says bouncing around on Kent’s lap.

Kent:  “Just a bit.  Kkkk”  He says coughing again and the other men laugh—because they’ve all been the target of little Dennis Jr.’s lap plops.  Then straining, Kent says.  “Listen Dennis Jr., if you want me to be able to give Aunt Hope some baby boys, then maybe you ought to sit on someone else’s lap.”  Kent says pleadingly. [(11) right]

Then Kent freezes, wondering if he’s said too much for little Dennis Jr.’s tender ears.  But then, the other men howl with laughter.  And Kent raises his eyebrows and tilts his head sheepishly.

Hope:  Calling out from the kitchen, she says.  “We’re going to eat soon.  So, let us know what you want to drink and come sit down at the table.”

Kent:  “I think I’ll visit the bathroom first.”  He says standing up and balancing on his crutches.  He smiles and waves at the men as he hobbles toward the bathroom.

Hope:  Hope sees Kent walking back to the bathroom and she opens her mouth.  “Don’t forget to …”

Kent:  But Kent interrupts her shaking his head in her direction and requesting bemusedly.  “Please don’t say it, Hope.”

The men howl with laughter again.

To be continued with Chapter 33 

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 33:  Thanksgiving Lunch

As Kent walks out of the bathroom, there is a long line of children and adults waiting to get in.  So, he hobbles over to the dining room table and asks Hope.

Kent:  “Hope Darling, where do you want me?”

Hope:  “Now that’s a loaded question.”  Hope [(12) right] says rolling her eyes at him.  “Sit here, next to me, Kent Dear.”  She says pointing to a corner chair.”

Kent:  “Thank you!”  He sighs– grateful not to be sandwiched between the kids.

Hope:  As Kent reaches her, she asks him again after noticing his fatigued look and rubbing his arm.  “How are you holding up?”

Kent:  “Can I get a hug?  I need one.”  Kent [(13) right] looks at Hope pleadingly.

Hope:  “Sure.”  She wraps her arms around his waist and they stand there hugging each other for a few minutes and Kent kisses her forehead.

Kent:  “Okay, that will have to tide me over for the next hour.”

Hope:  “You’re doing great!”  She caresses Kent’s face and stands on her tiptoes and kisses him on his lips and whispers to Kent.  “I love you.”

Kent:  “Ooh, contraband!”  Kent’s eyes gleam with Hope’s kiss and he caresses her face.  Then he leans down and kisses her back adoringly.  Then he whispers to Hope.  “I love you.”

Hope:  Hope whispers to Kent again.  “I love you.” Then Kent and Hope kiss each other tenderly again.

Debbie and Denise:  Back from the bathroom—and witnessing the tender kissing exchange between their Aunt Hope and her boyfriend Kent–they rhyme in unison.  “Hope and Kent, sitting in a tree, kissing”  Spelling it out.  “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Hope with the baby carriage.”

Hope’s Mom Linda, Anna, Barbara, and Aunt Harriet smile in Hope and Kent’s direction.

Kent:  “Hope Darling, promise me something?”

Hope:  “Anything, Kent Dear.”  Hope gazes up at Kent adoringly.

Kent:  “Don’t ever teach our kids that rhyme.”  He says with a deadpan expression.

Hope:  “Deal.”  Hope smiles sweetly at him—happy that Kent expects that they will have kids, because she wants them, too.  “Okay everyone, let’s eat.  Sit down and we’ll say the blessing.”  She see’s Kent’s surprised look and she says.  “Don’t worry, it’s a short one.  Now everyone hold hands.”   And they all create a circle of hands.  “Bless oh Lord this food to our use and us to thy service.  Amen.”

Everyone:  “Amen.”

Hope:  “Let’s eat!”

And they do eat, consuming more food [(14) right] than found on a navy battle ship—and that’s just the kids.  Happily, most people are too busy eating to talk–other than to say ‘please pass the___________, fill in the blank.  So Kent gets a breather–no one asking about ‘Mr. Romance’, no one plopping on his lap and crushing his privates, and no one telling him to aim when he pees.

Kent looks over at Hope sitting next to him at the end of the table as she ‘presides’ over her guests.  Kent watches Hope lovingly as she makes sure that each one of her guests in turn has what they need—Hope jumping up to get more juice or wine or milk as requested.  Kent smiles at Hope and she smiles back at him.  Hope is in her element with her family.  And now that she and Kent are engaged, Hope is looking forward to starting their own family some day.

To be continued with Chapter 34

“Mr. Romance”, Chapter 34:  Thanksgiving Dessert and a Proposal

Kent and Hope plan to let her family in on their engagement as they’re all enjoying dessert.  Although, of course, Kent had to clue Uncle Pat in earlier while he was grilling Kent about his intentions toward Hope.  But, Hope doesn’t know about Kent’s Mother’s engagement ring that Kent plans to give her.  So, Kent as a little element of surprise going for him as they all settle on chairs and the couch around the coffee table with their pie and coffee’s—or milk, in the case of the kids sitting on the floor in front of the gas fireplace.  Hope and Kent sit on the couch next to each other.

Dennis Jr.:  “Good pie Aunt Hope.”  He says smacking his lips rimmed with a milk mustache.

Hope:  “I’m glad you like it, Dennis sweetie.”

Linda/Mom:  “Hope Dear, this is a wonderful family Thanksgiving.  You’ve really outdone yourself.”

Everyone else:  “Here here, great job, Hope.  Thanks for the food.”   And other cheers for Hope go up.

Hope:  “You’re welcome!  And thanks for everyone else’s contributions to the meal.”

Hope smiles at them for their compliments.   She’s also smiling because she and Kent have agreed to clue her family in on their engagement over dessert—they just haven’t discussed exactly how to do it.  But Kent feels that there is no time like the present—with the well-fed and happy people all around them.

Kent:  “And thanks for including me in the family Thanksgiving celebrations, this year.”  Then he says quietly and sincerely.  “I’ve never had this before since my family was so small–and I’ve been on my own for the last fifteen years, since I finished college.”

Uncle Pat:  “We’re glad to have you join us, Kent.”  He says warmly.

Hope:  She caresses Kent’s face as she nestles into his left side, with Kent’s arm going around her shoulders.  “Yes, Kent Dear, we are.”

Kent:  Kent leans down and kisses Hope sweetly and tenderly on her lips for a few moments.  And then he pulls back and gazes into Hope’s eyes lovingly as he caresses her face.  Then Kent addresses Hope’s family as he looks up at them.  “I think you can probably figure out that I’m deeply in love with Hope.”  Then Kent looks back at Hope.   “And wonderfully, she’s in love with me.”  Kent kisses Hope sweetly again as they intertwine their fingers together.  “So yesterday, I asked Hope to marry me and she said yes.”

Hope:  “Yes I did!”  Hope [(15) right] smiles radiantly at Kent and then at her family.

Whoops and hollers go up from the family along with congratulation wishes.  Then Kent and Hope kiss each other tenderly.

Dennis Sr.:  “You’re getting a great girl in our Hope.   She’s one in a million.”

Kent:  “I know.”

Deanna:  “Do you have a ring yet, Aunt Hope?”

Hope:  “No Deanna, Dear.  We haven’t had time with working and then the Thanksgiving Holiday.”  She smiles warmly at her niece.

Kent:  “About that …”   Kent raises his eyebrows and tilts his head mischievously [(16) right].  Then he pulls a small square worn black velvet jewelry box out of his pants pocket.  He opens the jewelry box and shows Hope the one carat diamond solitaire engagement ring inside while Hope’s eyes widen and tear up.   “Hope Darling, this was my late Mother’s engagement ring and I want to give it to you as a token of my love for you.  We can either change its stone or get you another ring that you prefer.  But, I wanted to give you something to wear in the meantime, as a pledge of my love for you.  Hope Darling, I love you with all of my heart—now and always.”  He kisses her tenderly.

Hope:  Tears are streaming down Hope’s cheeks and you could hear a pin drop from the quiet family members—even the kids are quiet.  “Oh Kent Dear, I love you with all of my heart—now and always.”  Kent places the ring on Hope’s finger and then they kiss each other lovingly and adoringly for several moments—ignoring the fact that her family is sitting right in front of them.  “Thank you Kent my love, this ring is so beautiful—and I love that it came from your family and was your mother’s ring.  I’m honored to wear it and have this as my engagement ring from you.”   Kent smiles at Hope lovingly–with tears also in his eyes now–and they kiss each other again tenderly and sweetly.

More cheers go up from the family as hugs and kisses and congratulations are given all around as Hope shows off her engagement ring.

Kent:  Then, after the sentimental merriment abates, Kent says joyfully.   “So, who’s up for watching Hope’s favorite movie, “Miracle on 34th Street”?”  Kent smiles broadly and squeezes Hope tenderly as she happily nestles into his chest.  And then, their growing family watches “Miracle on 34th Street”.

Epilogue:  As happy endings go, Hope and Kent have a very happy one.  Kent and Hope each took a chance–to act impulsively, to live differently, and to love completely.  Each of them changed their lives and their journeys by falling in love with each other.  And now, Kent is ‘Mr. Romance’ only with his lady love Hope.  And Hope truly has the love of a lifetime with her beloved Kent.  And all of Kent’s and Hope’s future days–and nights–belong lovingly to each other.


The End

Author’s Note:  Thank you so much for reading my original story, “Mr. Romance”.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I will miss Hope and Kent, but I might pick up their tale in the future.  But for now, I will be serializing some of my other stories here on my blog.  Cheers!  Gratiana Lovelace  ;->

Author’s Scheduling Note, Part 2:   I will be participating in the sure to be fun FanstRAvaganza 3 starting Monday March 12 and running through March 18th.   I have four RA related posts planned as an F3 Tag Team Blogger for that week–on March 13, 15, 17, & 18th.  But be sure to check out as many of the other bloggers’ wonderful RA related posts as you can during the week.  Kudos to the planning team for their amazing organization of all this.  For more information about FanstRAvaganza 3, please see the links to it in my sidebar on the right side of your screen.


(1)     The “Mr. Romance” story logo  image representing the character of Kent Barron, is an image of the character Lucas North (as brilliantly portrayed by Richard Armitage) in Spooks series 8, episode 2 (pix 94) found at  http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode2/slides/ep2_094.html; and the cropped red hearts are courtesy of MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=red%20hearts&ctt=1#ai:MP900440293|mt:2|

(2)     Kent image is that of Richard Armitage portraying Lucas North in Spooks Series 8, episode 2 (pix 211) found at


(3)     Hope image is of America Ferrera found at http://gator226.hostgator.com/~nize4/danadmin/celebrities/america-ferrera/celebrity_picture/1792_3486.jpg

(4)     Image representing Uncle Pat was from MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=man&ex=1&ctt=1#ai:MP900444343|

(5)     Kent image is of Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks 8, episode 3 (pix 48) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode3/slides/ep3_048.html

(6)     Kent image is Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks series 9, episode 2 (pix 64, cropped & brightened) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/Spooks9/album/episode2/album/slides/2_064.html

(7)     Hope Image is of America Ferrera found at  http://ml.berkeleyblogs.com/archives/americaferreraaward1.jpg

(8)     Image representing 4 year old Dennis Jr was from MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=boy&ex=1&ctt=1#ai:MP900399159|mt:2|

(9)      Image representing Bud and Barbara Springfield was from MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=couples&ex=1&ctt=1#ai:MP900309133|mt:2|

10) Image representing Rich and Linda Pope was from MSOffice Clip Art found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images

11)  Kent image is of Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks 8, episode 2, pix 199 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode2/slides/ep2_199.JPG

12)  Hope image is that of America Ferrera found at http://www.biography.com/imported/images/Biography/Images/Profiles/F/America-Ferrera-201266-1-402.jpg

13) Kent image is Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks series 8, episode 1 (pix 125) found at  http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode1/slides/ep1_125.JPG

14) Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner was from MSOffice Clipart found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=thanksgiving&ctt=1#ai:MP900409576|mt:2|

15) Hope Image is of America Ferrera found at  http://ml.berkeleyblogs.com/archives/americaferreraaward1.jpg

16) Kent image is of Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks 8, episode 2 (pix 94) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Spooks/spooks8/album/Episode2/slides/ep2_094.JPG

“Mr. Romance” Previous Story Links

Ch. 23-26:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/mr-romance-ch-23-26-kent-plans-to-meet-hopes-family-31012-gratiana-lovelace-post-148/

Ch. 17 – 22:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/mr-romance-chapter-17-22-hope-and-kents-stay-in-duluth-marks-a-turning-point-for-their-relationship-30912-gratiana-lovelace-post-145/

Ch. 12-16:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/mr-romance-chapter-12-16-hope-and-kents-secret-romance-is-revealed-in-duluth-30712-gratiana-lovelace-post-145/

Ch. 6-11:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/mr-romance-ch-6-11-hope-and-kent-expand-their-relationship-30512-gratiana-lovelace-post-144/

Ch. 5:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/mr-romance-ch-5-kent-and-hope-dream-of-love-friday-night-r-gratiana-lovelace-post-142/

Ch. 4:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/mr-romance-ch-4-hope-has-a-visitor-in-the-night-pg-13-rating-22712-gratiana-lovelace-post-140/

Ch. 1-3:  https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/mr-romance-chapters-1-3-hope-and-kent-22612-gratiana-lovelace-post-139/

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in AttRAction, Creative Writing, Hope, Love and Relationships, MrRomance, Richard Armitage, Romance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Mr. Romance”, Ch. 27-34 End: Hope’s and Kent’s Family Thanksgiving, 3/11/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #149)

  1. Fabi says:

    Good morning, Grati!
    A very nice ending to another beautiful story of yours. I liked (and laughed of) Kent’s interaction with all those Hope’s relatives. All of them had heard about Mr. Romance, LOL. I almost felt sorry for him. But all is well that ends well!
    You get me envolved by the story. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait for the next.
    P.S.: Tomorrow the big fun is about to begin – FanstRAvaganza 3!!!


    • Good morning Fabi,
      Thanks for your very kind note! It was fun putting smooth operator Kent into some “awkward” situations as “Mr. Romance”. Giggles. I’m so glad that you liked my original story, “Mr. Romance”. It is one of my favorite stories of all that I have written.

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! Cheers! Grati ;->

      P.S. FanstRAvanganza 3 on March 12th will come sooner than you think! F3 posts will be scheduled on London, England time–since that is Richard Armitage’s home base. And London, England is 5 hours ahead of us. So later today, after I do some more prep for my four posts and get them “scheduled”–lined up in order of posting in my blog queue–I will switch my blog over from CST Illinois time to London, England time. My blog posts will still appear at 12:04am–it will just be London time. Since I am a Tag Team Blogger, I will not be posting every day. I will post a generic F3 announcement on March 12th and then my RA related posts will appear on March 13, 15, 17, and 18. As will all bloggers participating in F3, my posts will have links to other bloggers posts for your convenience.

      Now it’s on to FanstRAvaganza 3!


  2. Ania says:

    I am a little sad that this is the end of this story, but I am glad with a happy ending. Reading this story, it was a real pleasure. Thanks for sharing.
    P. S.
    FanstRAvaganza 3 is going to be great!!! Oh, I would like to have more time to be able to visit all these blogs *sigh*


    • Hi Ania,
      Thanks for your nice note. I’m glad you liked my story, “Mr. Romance”. I might pick up their story again sometime in the future. It’s good to have feedback about my stories. I appreciate it.

      And, I’ve promised to shared one of my “mature” woman finds love original fiction and my “North & South” fan fiction (it’s a novella at 193 pages!)–both stories I’ve chosen are by special request. So, I’ll be prepping those stories for serialization here on my blog sometime soon. And I have also started writing a sequel to “Guy’s Rose” that I will probably serialize here on my blog sometime in early Summer.

      But for now, it is on to FanstRAvaganza 3!

      Cheers! Grati ;->


  3. April says:

    Great story, bravo Gratiana. :-)

    You have started to write a sequel to “Guy’s rose” ? Good news. ;-)


    • Hi April,
      I’m sorry that I didn’t see your note when you wrote it. And I just happened to be rereading the “Mr. Romance” ending again today and noticed it now.

      I have started on my “sequel” to my fan fiction “Guy’s Rose”. Though, it is more in the vein of “the continuing sagas of”. Ha! My other stories have had my focus of late. But I do hope to return to my “Guy’s Rose Sequel” in the future and serialize it here on my blog–possibly in the Fall.
      Thanks and Cheers! Grati ;->
      P.S. In the meantime, I am enjoying reading your Guy of Gisborne tale “Cruelle Splendeur”.


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