[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins and others as noted.]
Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter: Sam knows that Olivia will need all of his love and tenderness to guide his wife Olivia to healing her body and her spirit. And today’s Memorial Service for Nellie has given him some greater insight into Olivia’s emotional scars with hearing for the first time about Olivia’s deceased little brother and about her parents’ illnesses and deaths in more detail. So now the real healing of Olivia Delaney Wakeforest begins—but she will need a healing of both her body and of her spirit. And it will be Olivia’s husband Sam who will help guide her to a more contented and calm state—as she will help him become more understanding and reflective about her needs and his own.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 22 (PG-13, S, D: Healing Olivia
With Nellie’s memorial service providing some closure for everyone on the Sunday afternoon of January 17, 1956, Sam still notices a lingering despair hanging over Olivia. Her first two weeks back at home to convalesce and do her physical therapy have been grueling. And having to go on indefinite leave as a Wakeforest County Orphanage teacher, has further diminished Olivia’s already low spirits. But Sam begins to wonder why Olivia has such panicked reactions—or even more troubling, subdued reactions–to anything negative occurring.
He now knows about the loss of her little brother Chester to illness when the boy was three years old—and the ensuing grief that overwhelmed Olivia’s and Roger’s mother—and the grief that their father felt when his wife contracted cancer ten years later. But Sam believes that there is yet another piece of the puzzle that is missing with regard to why his wife Olivia had been so withdrawn and fearful for most of her life. So Sam resolves to seek more information about what might have caused Olivia’s fragile emotional state—in order to be a soothing influence for her. And Sam will learn some answers that will guide him to understand Olivia and her fears more.
It is now Saturday February 6, 1956, four weeks since Olivia was released from the hospital—five weeks after her injury and thr surgery to repair it. Sam has been a loving and dutiful husband helping Olivia with her exercises as they continue to live temporarily at Delaney Manor. And due to her continuing pain, Olivia’s physical therapy always occurs after she takes her pain meds, in the hope that she can limber and stretch her legs more comfortably. Her therapy sessions are brief—just 15 minutes—but now occur four times a day, timed with each pain medication.
With Sam lying at Olivia’s feet on their bed, he puts his hands up for her sock covered feet to push against them to strengthen her healing left leg and to keep her other leg from atrophying from disuse. Of course, her uninjured right leg is quite a bit stronger–while her injured and healing left leg is still only at half strength. And although Olivia is now allowed to hobble to the bathroom on crutches with assistance—rather than being carried to the bathroom and back by Sam—her domain is still rather small, confined to Delaney Manor mostly to their bedroom and except for now almost nightly trips downstairs to join the family for dinner, which Olivia enjoys. And Olivia does have a weekly doctor’s visit now that they have dispensed with the live in nurse since their fear of surgical complications like more infections or clotting have abated.
As Sam watches his wife Olivia go through her morning pushing exercises, he is becoming quite mesmerized with his wife Olivia because from his vantage point lying down he can see a tantalizing hint of Olivia’s legs hidden under her below the knee skirt. And the imposed abstinence of lovemaking these past five weeks has begun to make Sam a bit frustrated at times. So his valiant restraint snaps when he catches a glimpse of his wife’s thigh as her wrap around skirt gapes open as she moves her legs around.
Sam: And then Sam asks huskily with love and bemusement tinging his velvety deep voice. “Olivia, if I promise not to vibrate you, might you allow me to adore you, My Love.”
Olivia: Olivia understands her husband’s meaning—he wants to make love with her. “Oh Sam, I’m so sorry, we can’t.” Sam pouts. Then Olivia assures him. “I want to, believe me, I really want to. But my injury is still very painful—even when I’m sitting or lying perfectly still. My only respite is the first two hours after taking a pain pill—which will wear off soon.” She bites her lower lip into a pout. Then she whispers, though there are none to hear them. “And making love is quite … jostlely.”
Olivia pinkens in embarrassment. But she knows that even with her limited experience of being a married lady of three days before her injury sidelined her from their honeymoon, she would feel too much pain in her healing leg to make love, as they had done so far–very jostlely, but pleasurably so.
Sam: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Sam rocks his head back in laughter. “That it is, My Love. That it is.” Then his gaze smoulders at Olivia as he mentally undresses her—his libido rising in hopes of him actually undressing her. They have yet to have the shared showering together experience—Olivia still being too shy for that. But the image of them both kissing as hot water pulses all around them pops into his mind. And Sam hopes that their showering together—or doing something else together–will be soon.
Olivia: “Hhhh!” Olivia sighs longingly. She feels warm all over. Her pain meds that she took just before beginning her therapy exercises are still working. And Olivia feels very much like a newlywed [(2) right] —however ill-advised and impossible she thinks that it would be for her to act like a newlywed with her healing injury. Yet, she has been healing for five weeks, she thinks—just one week shy of the six week minimum that the doctor suggested she refrain from exerting herself while she is still healing.
Sam: “But Olivia, I say again—I promise–I will not jostle you when I make love to you.” Sam is determined to make love to his wife today. He feels that the joy he can give her will aid in her healing by lifting her spirits.
Olivia: “How?” She frowns. With her limited lovemaking experiences—being confined to the first three days of Olivia and Sam’s marriage–she has no conception about what her husband is referring to.
Never one to shy away from a direct challenge, Sam slowly stands up from their bed—so as not to jostle Olivia, but he looks very seductive doing so. Then he silently raises his long manly finger to his lips as he crosses the bed room. Olivia smiles at her husband with a mixture of curiosity and puzzlement. Sam goes to their bedroom door to the hallway and he locks it. Her eyebrow raises. Then Sam walks through their en suite master bathroom to the smaller bedroom sitting room with also some therapy benches and weights in it–and he locks that bedroom door to the hallway. Sam wants no interruptions—something that they cannot be assured of since they are not living in their own home.
Then returning to his wife Olivia, Sam stands before her with a smoulderingly wicked gleam in his eyes that makes his wife Olivia tremble with anticipation [(3) right]. Then smiling, Sam slowly removes his clothes in front of her—first stripping off his bulky sweater and undershirt—revealing his near nakedness to her appreciative gaze–and then peeling every other garment from his body but for his briefs. Olivia’s eyes are very wide now—and he can tell that she desires him, too. Olivia’s husband Sam’s overall muscular physique is stunningly handsome, with his broad muscular shoulders, and chest, taut abdomen, and his powerful arms legs.
And now it is Olivia’s turn to become more comfortable as Sam carefully helps Olivia remove the wrap skirt that she is wearing since her nicely healing lower left leg is still a bit tender and pants would be slightly irritating and uncomfortable to wear over it. Her own sweater follows, leaving Olivia in her bra and panties with a lightweight sheet covering her for warmth. Her lower left leg is not under the sheet so that the slight weight of the sheet won’t pain her when her pain medicine wears off.
Sam: Sliding slowly into bed with Olivia, Sam smirks wickedly as he turns on his left side to face her. And he lightly rests his arm over her torso just below her breasts. “You’ll pardon me, Olivia, but it has been over a month since we last made love—and I don’t believe that either of us can wait any longer.”
The desire Olivia hears in her husband Sam’s voice banishes any doubts in Olivia’s mind that her husband does not find her desirable since her injury—which had been a slightly nagging worry since his restraint caused him to be frustratingly tender but chaste with her.
Olivia: Olivia ponders this suggestion—of non-jostlely lovemaking. But then she comes up with another objection. “But we can’t make love. It’s still daylight.” She admits shyly.
Olivia has been a terribly shy person all of her life. But Sam has coaxed her out of her shyness—never more so than with their first lovemaking as newlywed husband and wife a little over five weeks ago. But that was five weeks ago, and Olivia feels as if they are starting over in becoming intimate with each other again—which, of course, they are. Sam smiles lovingly at Olivia. He is determined to make her feel comfortable. So he gently hops out of bed and closes the drapes—cloaking their bedroom in semi-darkness—before he slides back into bed with her.
Sam: “Better?” Olivia nods shyly and smiles. “Now! Where was I?” He muses facetiously.
And Sam and Olivia kiss with aching tenderness—nibbling upon each other’s lips, and sharing heated breaths—that soon ignite their passions. Their hands explore their bare skins exposed to them–with eager, gentle, feather light, their caresses increasing their inflamed desires.
And Sam fulfills his promise to his beloved wife Olivia–of making love with her through his tender and loving and sensuous kisses and caresses that do not jostle her and do not give her any pain–but gives her only trembling joy. Sam also experiences joy in his beloved Olivia’s arms. Granted their lovemaking is creative, but it will suffice for now as they each fall into a contented sleep in each other’s loving arms.
And Sam’s lovemaking was just the tonic that Olivia—and he—seemed to need as they enjoy renewed wedded bliss in the coming week leading up to their first Valentine’s Day together as husband and wife. And Sam’s brother-in-law Roger Delaney—Tessa’s husband, who is also Olivia’s brother—notices Olivia’s changed demeanor and welcomes it. Olivia had been so sad with Old Nellie’s passing—that on top of Olivia’s recuperation—Roger was worried about her emotional well-being.
So the brothers-in-laws join forces to go out flower and gift shopping for their wives on the afternoon of Saturday February 13th before Valentine’s Day–their last minute gift buying efforts in no way reflecting them being unromantic toward their wives as they start at the florists. Sam strides through the rows of remaining roses in vases and bouquets and such, trying to find the perfect buds for his Olivia. Roger strolls rather casually behind him.
Sam: “There’s a pretty rose—but it’s white. They seem to be out of all of the red roses.”
Roger: “Yes, well, you have to place your order early or they are snapped up.” Roger says nonchalantly—because he had confidently placed his flower order of at least two dozen long stemmed red roses on Friday. “Pink would work. There are some pink sweetheart roses over there.” Roger motions and starts walking to the next cold display case.
Sam: “I really think that I should give Olivia red roses. They’re traditional.” Sam stubbornly pouts.
Roger: “They could always dye the white roses red for you.” Roger leans in and sniffs a delicate pink rose.
Sam: “They can do that?” Sam looks incredulous.
Roger: “All the time.”
So Sam asks to see an example of a white rose dyed red. It looks okay, but he can tell that red wasn’t the rose’s original color.
Sam: “I don’t think this dyed rose looks as good as a real one.”
And though Sam is not a suave charmer—except, perhaps, to Olivia—he wants want he wants, red roses for his wife Olivia to have on Valentines Day. So Roger capitulates.
Roger: “Alright, you big baby. Let’s see if they haven’t sent Tessa my two dozen red roses yet. We can take six of my red roses and then have the florist surround them with six white roses, babies’ breath, and ferns for you to give to Olivia.” Roger rolls his eyes at giving romance guidance to his brother-in-law. And Sam marvels at Roger’s seeming knowledge about giving flowers to ladies.
And they are in luck. Roger’s roses for Tessa are not going out until the next delivery truck. So the change in order is made—which will make both sets of husbands and wives happy.
And though Roger usually prefers to shop for jewelry at the much larger town of Valley View’s fine jewelry stores located one hour away, they don’t have time this afternoon to do that. So they head to the Jarvis Jewelry store one block over from Roger’s Wakeforest County Bank. Roger hasn’t been in this jewelry store in years—for very private reasons.
The eighty year old patriarch Jasper Jarvis hears the tinkling bell as the door to his jewelry store opens. And though he has clerks comprised of his grandchildren and others out front, he likes to keep his hand in as he rises from his desk and walks out to the sales floor.
But as Roger and an unsuspecting Sam walk into the jewelry store and begin to look at heart pendant necklaces for their wives, they hear a curmudgeonly harrumpf coming from the back of the store and they turn their heads to look.
Mr. Jarvis: “Hmmmpf!” Leaning on his cane, Mr. Jarvis glares at Roger Delaney, but merely glances at Sam Wakeforest.
Sam: “Oh, hello Mr. Jarvis!” Sam smiles cordially to the long time Wakeforest businessman. “We’re here to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for our wives.”
Mr. Jarvis: “Is that so? I don’t recall seeing you in here before.” Mr. Jarvis stares at Roger.
Roger: Squirming, Roger stutters. “No? Well … not for a while. I usually … well … no.” Roger clamps his mouth shut.
Sam quizzically looks back and forth between the older man and Roger. Sam senses that something is amiss, but he has no clue what it might be. Everybody likes Roger. Well, that is to say, though the buttoned up banker Roger can be quite boring at times, he is a good man, thinks his brother-in-law Sam.
Ned Jarvis: “Grandpa? Is everything alright?” Mr. Jarvis’eighteen year old grandson asks of him, since Mr. Jarvis is clutching his cane quite tightly.
Mr. Jarvis: “Fine, Ned. Please attend to your customers.” Mr. Jarvis turns to go back to his office.
Roger: “Mr. Jarvis?” Mr. Jarvis stiffens, but he does not turn around. Roger thinks that détente is all that he can hope for. “Thank you.”
Mr. Jarvis nods slightly with his back to the two men and continues walking back to his office.
Ned Jarvis is learning the jewelry business while attending college and working his family’s jewelry story on weekends and on school breaks.
Uncertain why his grandfather seems upset, but knowing he has to stay to tend to their customers, he turns back to his customers with an apologetic smile.
Ned: “My apologies.”
Roger: “No need.” Roger shakes his head, relieved that the confrontation is over.
Sam glances curiously at Roger, but says nothing. They each select small heart shaped pendants for their wives—platinum for Tessa from Roger, and gold for Olivia from Sam—then they drive back to Delaney Manor.
It is during the privacy of their drive that Sam finally broaches the question that has been nagging at him.
Sam: “Alright, Roger. You can tell me to mind my own business, but what was that tension filled exchange that you had with old Mr. Jarvis at the jewelry store?”
As the driver, Roger keeps his eyes forward, focused on the snow covered country roads.
Roger: “Ancient history—best left there.”
Sam: “Well, excuse me for saying it, but by your frosty reception from Mr. Jarvis, I wouldn’t say Mr. Jarvis thinks that it’s ancient.”
Roger: “Truly, it’s best forgotten.”
Sam: “Somehow, I doubt that.” Sam stares Roger down.
Roger: “Hhhhh! It’s something that happened twenty years ago. The man needs to get over it.” Sam is silent. “Very well. But don’t tell Olivia that I told you. Jarvis’ youngest son Roan was two years ahead of Olivia in school.”
Sam: On alert, Sam queries. “Olivia? Your altercation has to do with Olivia?”
Roger: “Indirectly. Hhhh! Well, more than that, but only just. Mr. Jarvis wanted a new loan to expand his jewelry store to the larger quarters that they are now in. He applied to me at the bank, but at the time, being newly in charge, I was a bit full of myself regarding people needing to come to me for money.”
Sam: “Uh huh.” Sam remembers how insufferable the younger Roger was—before he mellowed into his current demeanor. “We tried to get a loan then for new snow plows, but you turned us down.” Sam furrows his brow into a scowl in remembering that slight.
Roger: “Exactly. But Jarvis wouldn’t take no. Then seemingly coincidentally, his senior high school son Roan—young Ned’s whom we met today father—asked my sophomore aged sister Olivia to go to the Wakeforest High School Prom with him. She was instantly a flutter since it was a big deal for a senior to ask a younger girl to prom.”
Sam: “But you suspected other motives behind his invitation?” Sam’s eyes narrow.
Roger: “Frankly, I did. And I told her that she couldn’t accept.”
Sam; “I bet that didn’t go over well.” Sam’s eyes widen.
Roger: “Not at all. Wanting to go with Roan to the prom, Olivia fought with me and mother and father. My parents agreed with her.” Roger rolls his eyes. “It was a train wreck that I couldn’t stop. And I was worried that Roan would try to take advantage of Olivia to further his father’s request for a loan—by blackmailing me. So I warned Olivia to be on her guard.”
Sam: “You didn’t.” Sam shakes his head at Roger’s interference. “I didn’t realize that your eagerness to talk about people in a negative light went so far back.” Sam is referring to Roger telling Olivia about Sam’s former lover Lola.
Roger: “Yes, well. Olivia couldn’t enjoy going to the Prom worried that I might be right about Roan. But she had already bought the dress. So …”
Sam: “I see, that’s when your parents and mine cooked up for Olivia and Todd to go to the Prom together?”
Roger: “Precisely! But it turns out, I was wrong about Roan Jarvis. He didn’t know about the loan request his father had made to me—nor my refusal. However, Roan was hurt and disappointed—until Olivia revealed why she refused him at school the following week. Then Roan really got foolish and acted out as young men do by egging the bank one night—to defend his father’s honor. And he got caught.”
Sam: “What happened?” Sam asks incredulously.
Roger: “Well, it was really my fault …”
Sam: “As are a lot of things.” Sam interjects.
Roger: “Okay, I’m sorry that I told Olivia about Lola? Are we good now?”
Sam: “We’ll see. What about Roan?”
Roger: “I agreed not to press charges if Roan would clean up the mess and pay for any damages. And in return, my father felt that I needed a lesson, too. So he put me on a leave of absence at the bank for a month—since though semi-retired, my father was still Chairman of the Board—and then he promptly approved Mr. Jarvis’ expansion loan.”
Sam: “But you didn’t quite learn your lesson when you told Olivia about Lola.”
Roger: “I slipped up! Every twenty or so years, I do that. I just didn’t want to see Olivia hurt.”
Sam: “But your over protectiveness did then and does now hurt Olivia. She didn’t trust men for years—being alone and lonely. How could you consign her to being a spinster?”
Roger: “Well, my first marriage wasn’t the happiest. I didn’t want Olivia to have the same.”
Sam: “Roger, you have to let Olivia lead her own life—good choices or bad choices, they will be her choices.”
Roger: “When did you become such an eloquent rogue?” Roger suspiciously eyes his brother-in-law.
Sam: “I have never been a rogue. I have lived as a man lives—and behaved responsibly in my previous romantic liaisons, that are in the long ago past. My wife Olivia’s well being is my sole focus now. You need to let her go—literally and figuratively. It’s time that she lived her life on her own terms—and that she has a fresh start.”
Roger: “What are you saying?” Roger frowns.
Sam: “Just that Olivia and I thank you and Tessa for your hospitality, but the initial renovations on our Wakeforest Family home are done, and next week Olivia and I are going home.”
Roger: “But …”
Sam: “No buts, Roger. And I will let Olivia confirm our decision once she sets the date for our move.”
The two men have reached an agreement as they pull into the long driveway up to Delaney Manor. This was Olivia’s home for all of her life. Sam just hopes that Olivia will come to think of their Wakeforest Family Home as her home, now.
For a private Valentine’s Day celebration, Sam whisks Olivia to their Wakeforest Family Home Sunday morning after church and to spend the night. They will sleep downstairs in what had been his parents’ master bedroom suite in their twilight years–that Sam and Olivia have had remodeled and redecorated during her early convalescence. So Olivia will not have to climb stairs to the second floor in her new home, since her healing will still take months. The rest of the house they will renovate and redecorate as they go—and as any children they have come along, Sam thinks with a smile.
Sam lifts Olivia into his arms from the car and he carries her across the threshold of their Wakeforest Family Home , and he deposits her in the slate tile floor foyer with her crutches. This home is much smaller than Delaney Manor, but still lovely with wainscoting, crown molding, and other architectural touches throughout. And this home’s more compact size will aid in Olivia getting around more easily while on her crutches. Tenderly kissing his wife Olivia, Sam smiles adoringly at her.
Sam: “Welcome home, Mrs. Wakeforest!”
Olivia: “Home.” Olivia smiles.
Sam: “Let me take our bags back to our bedroom. Then I can come back for you if you’re too tired to walk with your crutches. You can sit right here.” Sam points to a foyer chair that he placed there especially for Olivia, if she needed it.”
But Olivia wants to be more independent, so she shakes her head no.
Olivia: “I’m not too tired. And the bedroom isn’t so very far—twenty feet down the hall, right?”
Sam: “Yes. Now be careful on the rugs with your crutches. I would pull the rugs up, but I think the slate floor might be a bit slippery.”
Olivia: “Don’t fuss. I’ll be careful and walk slowly with my crutches.” Olivia replies with determination.
Sam: “Alright. I’ll go get our bags.” Sam smiles and heads back out to his newish car, the red and white Chevy Bel Air.
Olivia surveys the expanse of carpet runner before her. She has to make sure that the rubber tips on her crutches don’t catch on the carpet while she is still moving forward—which would make her fall. And falling is the last thing that a healing Olivia Delaney Wakeforest wants to do. She steels herself for her twenty foot walk. As she stands on her right foot—with her left leg not touching the ground—she lifts up the crutches and moves them ten inches forward and she pulls her right leg to stand between the crutches. It is a bit like controlled hopping, but she repeats the maneuvers all the way down the hallway to their bedroom.
Sam watches from behind Olivia—him having set their suitcases down inside the foyer and bolting the front door. He will drive his car around to the garage later. Sam realizes that just as he admonished Roger to let Olivia be more independent, so too Sam has to do that with his wife. Sam slowly walks behind Olivia with the suitcases—setting them down when she stops to catch her breath for a moment. Crutch walking is a strenuous aerobic workout—and Olivia’s arm muscles have strengthened, but it is still tiring. When Olivia reaches their bedroom door, Sam walks around her and opens the door, but stands back. Olivia looks up at him.
Sam: “You can do it Olivia Darling. You only have five more feet until you can sit down in that chair there.” Sam is closely watching Olivia for signs of weakness, but she nods her head and soldiers on—making it to the cushy club chair as she plops down onto it.
Olivia: “This will do for now.” She is breathing hard, but slowly. No breathing attacks today.
Sam: “That’s my girl! Well done. Let me set these suitcases at the end of the bed on the bench and you can tell me what you want me to do with your clothes.”
Olivia: Olivia raises her eyes amusingly. “Becoming my own personal maid, as well as my husband?”
Sam: “Your wish is my command.” Then he holds a finger up. “Ah! Wait a minute! I have a surprise for you.” Sam dashes out of the bedroom, as he goes to the kitchen refrigerator to fetch Olivia’s Valentine’s Day Roses from him and brings them back to the bedroom in their vase. “Ta dah!” Sam grins.
Olivia: “Oh Sam! They’re beautiful! Thank you!” She fingers the red and white roses, then leans in and sniffs their light rose scent, before Sam places the vase of roses on a nearby table.
Sam: “And, that’s not all!” Sam raises his eyebrows up and down at her and she laughs.
Olivia: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Sam: “Now close your eyes and hold out your hand.” Olivia smiles sheepishly and closes her eyes. Then Sam opens a dresser drawer and pulls out the ribbon wrapped velvet jewelry box and puts it in her hand.
Olivia’s eyes instantly fly open as she looks down at the jewelry box.
Olivia: “Sam, the flowers are enough. You didn’t have to spend a lot of money on me.”
Sam: “Now now, we can afford it. And this is special, our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife. Open it.” He eagerly requests of her. He is giddy like a school boy—hoping that she likes his gift.
Olivia slowly unties the pink satin ribbon and opens the hinged velvet jewelry box. Inside on a velvet interior sits a half inch heart shaped open pendant in brushed gold with tiny diamond chips embedded in the surface of the heart outline—with small brushed gold hoop pierced earrings, also with tiny diamond chips embedded in their surface.
Olivia: “Oh Sam! They’re beautiful!” Olivia gushes as she puts the earrings onto her ears.
Sam: “Here, let me help you put your necklace on.” And Olivia lifts up her now slightly longer hair as Sam affixes the necklace clasp behind the back of her neck. “There.” He walks around and kisses his wife. “You’re beautiful!”
Olivia: “Thank you, Sam. I love them! I love you.” Then Olivia looks a bit nervous and Sam kneels by her side.
Sam: “Now now, not to worry about the expense. Though I won’t tell you how much they cost, they won’t even begin to make a dent in my savings.”
Olivia: “That’s not it.” She winces with a smile and he looks at her curiously. “It’s just, I don’t have a gift to give you right now.”
Sam: “That’s alright.” Sam caresses her face. “I have you, that’s all the gift I need.”
Olivia: Olivia bites her lower lip, trying not to smile. She has a secret. “Thank you. But that’s not quite what I meant.” Sam furrows his brow and smiles at her questioningly. “I don’t have your present for you now.” Sam holds his breath. “We’ll have to wait about seven and a half months before our Baby Wakeforest is born.”
Sam smiles and looks at Olivia in utter astonishment. And he seems to have forgotten to breathe. So Olivia gently pokes him in the shoulder, and he exhales.
Sam: “Hhhhh!” Then Sam bursts into joyful laughter. “Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes!” Sam raises his arms in a cheer. Then Sam envelops his wife Olivia in his arms and kisses her soundly—for several minutes as she responds to him. When they finally come up for air, Sam asks. “So you mean, we conceived our baby on our honeymoon?”
Olivia: “It would seem so.” She blushes at remembering their nights of love. Then she turns a bit somber as she tugs at his collar, still within his embrace. “But Sam, we can’t tell anyone for a few weeks to a month. It’s early yet.”
Sam: “What? Why?” He asks still grinning from ear to ear.
Olivia: “Sam, first babies sometimes end in an early miscarriage—especially since I’m an older first time mother. And we …”
Sam: “No! That won’t happen to us! We’ll be very careful.” Sam assures her. Sam will cocoon her in his protective love and not let her lift a finger around the house.
Olivia: However, Olivia understands the risks in early pregnancy after having a frank talk with her doctor when her pregnancy was confirmed. “Yes, but sometimes it’s not about being careful or not. It may be that the baby isn’t well enough to be born—and the pregnancy ends.” She is trying to make him understand—without tearing up–while still hoping to remain joyful about their future.
Sam: “That’s all well and good, but we can at least take some precautions. I don’t want you doing anything strenuous—no lifting and no housework. Let’s have the cook and maid who are transferring to our employ from Delaney manor join us here tomorrow.”
Olivia: She blanches. “That may be a bit complicated. I haven’t exactly told Tessa that they’re coming here to work for us.”
Sam: “Oh. Oops!” Sam winces. Then he smiles. “Well, she can’t object when you tell her that she’s going to be an aunt.”
Olivia: “Please, Sam. No one must know that I’m pregnant just yet.” Olivia looks at him worriedly.
Sam: “Alright.” Sam agrees begrudgingly. “We’ll say we need the cook and maid due to you still recovering from your injury. Then they can’t object—especially when we’re not going back to Delaney Manor to live.”
Olivia: “Oh? Are you kidnapping me?” She smiles.
Sam: “It’s time we were on our own. Roger …” Sam pouts. And Olivia nods.
Olivia: “Now Sam, Roger means well. He just doesn’t always achieve it.” She stifles a laugh—but Sam can’t.
Sam: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That’s rich! You should have seen old Mr. Jarvis yesterday, give Roger the cold shoulder at the jewelry store.”
Olivia: “What? Why?”
Sam: Sam continues glibly. “Oh you, know. That whole prom thing with you declining Roan Jarvis’ invitation because Roger told you about his father’s loan request being denied–after you had the dress. So Todd stepped in to take you to the prom at our parents’ urging. And then Roan being upset and throwing eggs at the bank because Roger wouldn’t approve the Jarvis’ loan for a bigger store. But Roger let Roan clean up the mess rather than go to jail for vandalism–and then your grandfather approved the Jarvis’ loan after he placed Roger on leave from the bank for being too stingy.”
Olivia: Thinking that Sam has it mixed up, she looks at him quizzically. “No, Sam. Roan Jarvis never asked me out to the prom. I thought that he might, but then he didn’t ask Roger’s permission.” Olivia pouts in remembering the long ago disappointment. “And I don’t remember hearing anything about the bank being egged by Roan because his father didn’t get a loan. I only remember being embarrassed because our parents arranged my and Todd’s prom date.”
Sam has put his foot in it–royally. His brother-in-law Roger has rather mixed up the events in telling them to Sam. But Sam regroups.
Sam: “Well, suffice it to say that your brother Roger has meddled in your life for far too long.”
Olivia: “I love my brother Roger dearly, but that is a fairly accurate statement.” She nods her head sheepishly.
Then they both burst out laughing.
Sam and Olivia: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Sam: “Mrs. Wakeforest, I love you.” Sam kisses her adoringly. Then he talks to her stomach. “And Baby Wakeforest, don’t give your mama any grief. And we’ll see you in about seven months.” Then Sam kisses her stomach where their baby sleeps and grows.
Olivia: “Oh Sam!” She sighs. “I love you, too.”
Sam and Olivia kiss tenderly and sweetly. Their lives and newlywed marriage are getting a fresh start–with Olivia being on the mend and healing nicely from her injury, and with her being pregnant with their first child.
But concern for two other children will finally come to the forefront as Tessa and Roger will have to formally resolve the futures of their foster children—fourteen year old Alice and her eighteen month old baby brother Bobby.
To be continued with Chapter 23
References for Ch. 22 by Gratiana Lovelace, February 15, 2016 (Post #874)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Olivia Delaney smiling is Emily Deschanel found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/43/1b/64/431b64bf394ac604c69aea631c3375a0.jpg
3) Sam Wakeforest is Richard Armitage from the 2011 Project Magazine photo spread and interview found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/MattHolyoak-12.html