Daniel woke the following morning and reached out for Isabel, feeling only the cold sheets. Immediately, he sat up, hoping that last night was not a dream, but it couldn’t be since he had gone to bed wearing pajamas and now he was naked under the covers.
He whipped the covers off him, threw his pajamas on, and went to see where Isabel was. He found her downstairs, dressed as if she had been running, her hair pulled back in a ponytail, wisps of hair framing her face from her exertion.
“Morning, everything okay?” he asked as he pulled a mug out of the cabinet and poured himself a cup of coffee.
“Yeah, took a run. Nice neighborhood,” she replied as if nothing had happened between them.
“I wondered where you had gotten to,” he said as he came behind her, placing a hand gently on her shoulder, his thumb drawing small circles on her neck.
Isabel fought everything not to flinch at his touch. She had snuck out of bed after an hour of lying in his bed, unable to sleep next to him. “I usually run when I realize that it’s morning.”
“Know what that’s like. When are you due back at the mountain?”
“General Hammond wants me back in two days. You?”
“Five days and then I’m off world. I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner with me tonight.”
“Um, I guess,” she replied uncertain.
“Isabel, about last night.”
“Don’t worry about last night. No big deal,” she tried to say non-committed.
This surprised him that she was trying not to make a big deal over what they shared the night before. Every second of her time with him would be permanently etched in her memories.
“Well, thanks for helping with the nightmares. They can get a little intense sometimes. And what happened after, that was nice too.”
“Yes, it was, very nice,” she replied as she refilled her glass of water and took a sip. “This is awkward.”
Daniel chuckled and replied, “Yeah, look Isabel, it was nice…”
“I think we’ve established that it was nice.”
“Yeah, well, it was just that I wanted you to know that I don’t normally rush that quickly. I mean, I was with Sha’re much longer before I was with Sha’re.” Daniel blushed with his admission.
“Like I said, it was nice and no big deal,” she said as she leaned her back up against the counter.
“But it was a big deal,” Daniel said as he put his mug down and approached her slowly. His blue eyes locked with her green eyes. “It is a big deal.”
Isabel couldn’t move as he closed the distance between them until he pinned her up against the counter.
“When I woke up, I first thought I had been dreaming but I know that we did was much better than any dream I ever had,” he said as he removed the glass of water out of her hand and placed it on the counter next to her. He slowly moved his head closer to hers until their lips met. Unlike the night before, Daniel took his time kissing her. His hands slid up her body, one hand lingering on her waist the other all the way up to her neck, pulling her closer to him, savoring the feel of the length of her body against his.
Isabel softened at his touch, just like she had remembered from the night before, but in the daylight and without the added emotions from his story of what he had been up to the last eight years. It was better.
Gradually, Daniel coxed her lips apart and his tongue slid into her mouth, tasting her, savoring her. He could hear her moan when her hands slid up to his shoulders to hold him close. Isabel’s tongue began to dance with Daniel’s. Their breaths became ragged as their bodies heated up, hands touched and caressed.
He was about to suggest that they move to a place more comfortable, like his bedroom when his phone began to ring.
“Aren’t you going to get that?” she asked in between kisses.
“Let the machine get it,” Daniel replied as the machine kicked on.
“Daniel, are you there Daniel? It’s Cassie. Um, Mom forgot I had the day off and she’s stuck at work. Can I come over until she gets home and I was wondering if I could get some help on my Latin homework too,” a young woman’s voice said over the answering machine.
“Who’s Cassie?” Isabel asked as she tore her lips away from his, not sure who this girl was.
“A friend. Her mom is Doctor Frazier,” he told her. The mood was all but destroyed by now and Daniel moved away from her a bit, out of her personal space.
“How close are you with Doctor Frazier?” she asked, the sense of jealously creeping up her.
“We’re friends, nothing more,” he replied, detecting he had hit upon a sore spot with her.
“I’m going to get cleaned up. I’d like to unpack some of my personal things from storage,” she told him as she almost stormed out of the kitchen.
Daniel was perplexed with Isabel’s emotions, one minute she’s kissing him the next she’s storming out of the room.
“Thanks Daniel for the help with my homework,” Cassie said as she started to pack up her books.
“No problem, anytime,” he replied as he took off his glasses off and rubbed his eyes.
“I didn’t ruin any plans you had by coming over?” she asked, sensing something was off.
“No, not really.”
“Then why don’t I believe you?”
“Cassie, I…” he started to say but was interrupted by Isabel walking in with two boxes in her hands. “Isabel, let me help you,” he said to her as he took one of the boxes from her.
“Thanks, I don’t have many…” she stopped. “Uh, hi, I’m Isabel. You must be Cassie,” she said as she crossed the kitchen and shifted her box to shake the girl’s hand.
Cassie smiled up at the new woman in Daniel’s kitchen and stood to shake her hand. A smile grew across Isabel’s face as she instantly liked the teen and could see why Daniel was so fond of her too.
“Cassie, this is Doctor Isabel Miller. She’s uh, living here for a while,” Daniel explained as he began to blush as if he was caught doing something he shouldn’t be.
“Nice to meet you Doctor Miller. I have only heard a little about you from Mom,” Cassie told her.
“Call me Isabel, everyone does.”
“And you know Daniel from where?
“Uh, we work together. I had trouble finding a place to live and he was nice enough to let me stay here.”
“Cool,” Cassie replied.
“I’d better get the rest of my stuff out of my car.”
“Need a hand?” Cassie asked as she got up from the table.
“Sure, there isn’t too much. Books and clothes mostly,” Isabel said as they crossed the kitchen.
“I’ll put these in your room,” Daniel called as the two women left him alone and he wasn’t sure if he felt like he was forgotten about.
“Great car!” Cassie said as they got to her car in the driveway.
“Thanks, it’s the one thing I splurged on,” Isabel said as she looked at her black Porsche Boxter convertible.
“Most of the people that work at the mountain I’ve met either have boring cars like Daniel or trucks like Jack.”
“I wasn’t always an archaeologist. You probably are too young to remember, but I was a model for a few years.”
“Wow. Why did you quit?” Cassie asked as they loaded up with boxes.
“I wanted to go back to school and I was able to do so without student loans.” They started back towards the house.
“Do you have any of your pictures?”
“Yeah, in one of these boxes. What grade are you in?”
“Just wondering, remembering what it was like when I was your age. You going to your prom?”
“Yes, but I haven’t found my dress yet.”
“If it’s okay with your mom, I still have some friends in the biz. I could make some calls if you would like.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll call my friend that works for Versace. They have all kinds of dresses lying around. That is as long as you don’t mind wearing a dress that was already worn.”
“Depends on the dress. All those dresses you see at the award shows, they usually are sent back. After that, they usually just sit on the racks.”
“Versace? Wow, I’m sure Mom wouldn’t mind.”
“I’d like to hear that from her first,” Isabel said as they reached her room and placed the boxes on the floor. She opened the first box Daniel had deposited while they were out. “Here’s my portfolio,” she said as she pulled out a thick black book. “My past life.”
“Cool, may I?” Cassie asked. Isabel handed her the book. The teen sat on the floor and began to slowly look at the pages while Isabel began to unpack. “Where’s this one from?”
Isabel put the books in her hand down and sat on the floor next to her. “Uh, that was my second major shoot for Vogue. They sent me to Australia for it.”
“Cool. Sounded like a lot of fun.”
“It was, but it was a lot of work and not everyone in the biz is a nice guy. I saw a lot of not nice things while I worked,” she told her hoping to not let Cassie think that the fashion industry was as glamorous and wonderful as many thought it was.
The two of them sat on the floor as Isabel told her about her adventures until Daniel knocked on the door.
“Cass, your mom is here.”
“Oh, thanks Daniel,” Cassie replied as she got up from the floor. “Thanks for sharing your photos with me, Isabel.” And hugged her.
After Cassie had gathered her backpack, Isabel and Daniel walked her to the door.
“Don’t forget to ask your mom for me,” Isabel reminded her.
“How could I forget?” she replied as she hugged her again before turning to Daniel and hugged him too. “Thanks for letting me come over today.” And she ran out to the car where her mom waited.
The two adults waited at the door as the car pulled away from the curb. Suddenly, Isabel realized that she was way too close to Daniel.
“You still up for dinner?” he finally asked.
“What do you have in mind?” she replied.
“You look tired. Would you like to just stay here?” he asked, realizing how tired she really looked.
“That sounds perfect,” she said with a relieved smile.
“Go and unpack. Dinner will be ready in about an hour.”
“Thanks,” she said softly and stepped closer to him. She placed a small kiss on his cheek and left him in the kitchen.
Up in her room, she looked over the mess that she had uncovered. Books and clothes were everywhere and she had no idea where to begin. Sighing, she began to hang up the clothes that lay on the bed, hoping she would find the bedspread sometime that evening. Most of her work clothes were already hanging in her closet that she knew was too small, a problem she always ran into, but it was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to her wardrobe.
Isabel had been working diligently at putting away her books and clothes for the better part of an hour and had been able to empty most of the boxes. All that was left to do was to put away her underwear and her personal journals.
With her back to the door, she began to fold and sort her panties, thongs, camisoles and bras. Hearing a knock on the door frame made Isabel jump. As she turned to the noise, she forgot that she was holding her hot pink lace demi-bra.
Daniel’s eyes were glued to the lacy garment that she held in her hands. He could just imagine how the scrap of lace would look on her body, restraining her beautiful breasts.
“Uh, dinner’s ready,” he told her as he tried to pry his eyes away from her.
“Ok,” she replied, realizing that she was holding her bra and quickly put it down on the bed.
“I’ll meet you downstairs,” he said, knowing that he had to get away from Isabel’s underwear and the bed that she stood next to.
“Just give me a second and I’ll be right down,” she said, hoping he wasn’t looking behind her to the tidy piles of satin, lace and silk that she had been organizing.