The Unpredictable Weather of Love
A Chesapeake Country Romance
by Peter E. Abresch
I kidnapped him under the pretense that we had to go see a sick friend 40 miles south in Solomons. He was not happy about it. Less happy when we ended up in the homey atmosphere of The Back Creek Inn, a bed and breakfast overlooking the water. Even less so when he found out we were spending the night.
He had things to do.
A Break in the Weather
We had a good marriage, so I thought. But even a good one can use a touchup. On top of that, he had been working himself to death the last few months and needed a break.
So I had saved up the money, arranged for Mom to babysit and kidnapped him.
I had visions of us hopping into bed on arrival for a light afternoon lovemaking. It was not to be.
He went out to the car to get the work he had brought along. I grabbed my coat and went out as well.
“Can you open the trunk?” he asked.
I tossed him the keys and kept walking. When I reached a white church on the corner, I turned south along the main road, heading into the teeth of a small gale that dropped the wind chill to arctic temperatures. Which could be said for my planned getaway as well.
He caught up with me as I crossed a 20-foot bridge that makes Solomons Island an island.
“Where’re you going?” he asked, falling into step beside me.
“For a walk.”
“Not any colder than it was in the room.”
Which was a big, fat lie. The wind whipped unimpeded by the railing of a boardwalk and an empty parking lot across the street to seep under my coat and into my bones. Three smoky seagulls kept a weary eye on us from a shelter made by the boardwalk dead ending at Solomon’s Pier, a restaurant that sticks out into the water, an open deck on top and one out at the end.
No one sat on either today.
I decided it was the seagulls or me, and crossed over to get out of the wind. They took off with a mournful cry, swinging out over a froth of white caps decorating the Patuxent River.
“Blustery day,” said the man at my side. “Wouldn’t want to be out on the water right now.”
I kept on to a jewelry store that lived on the streetside of the pier and looked in the window, skimming over expensive-looking necklaces and pins and broaches until I fixed on a pair of gold and blue earrings in the shape of a crab.
“What are you looking at?” he asked.
“Those crab earrings,” I said, pointing, leaving unsaid the resemblance to him.
I started off into the wind again, caught a whiff of wood smoke and passed clumps of dried dandelions across from the Lighthouse Inn, where I had planned to take him for dinner.
Well, that was definitely out. One, he probably wouldn’t be able to tear himself away from his laptop. Two, the Lighthouse Inn had apparently burned to the ground.
What else could go wrong?
“We should go back.” He took me by the shoulders and turned me around. “Your lips are turning blue. Let’s head back to our room.”
“Okay,” I said. “You can get back to work.”
He put his arm around me, partially blocking the wind. “Agh. Leave it in the trunk for one day.”
He steered me back to Maerten’s, the jewelry boutique. “You should get those earrings.”
“We can’t afford those earrings.”
“I got a little money saved up. Get ’em as a remembrance.” He lifted my chin and kissed me, a kiss that promised more than a walk on a light afternoon. “A gift is just a poor substitute for showing how much I love you. Get the earrings.”
I got the earrings.
Peter E. Abresch of Prince Frederick is the author of the Elderhostel mysteries. This fiction is his first story for Bay Weekly.