The last guests had gone...they had been sharing the last margarita and snuggling in the living room listening to classic soul music from the seventies until they drifted off wrapped up in each other in front of the fireplace.
And now he is awake...a glance at the clock letting him know it was getting on towards 4 in the morning...and contentedly listening to her sleep.
The room is still and dimly lit, the remnants of the party cloaked waiting to be dealt with when the morning is brighter. And from somewhere far away, the music...Minnie Riperton in her prime...echoes sensuously and he just stares up absently...holding his woman and just reveling in the moment.
Stroking her face brings a wandering: smiles and whispers offered shared softly, wantonly in the passionate nights; laughter, feigned and not, shared... in the way only conspiratorial children and unabashed lover can...often and generously in the bountiful daytimes. Dreams revealed...coy white lies told...innuendo playfully bantered back and forth. She has always been quite a woman,and he wonders if he's told her lately that...
"Jimmy?" A voice calling.
"Jimmy?" Her voice calling.
"Jimmy, are you all right?"
"...uh...yeah, babe...are you?"
There is a moment of pungently pregnant silence. They will make love now...or they will wish for coffee. She groans in tequila-born discomfort and sits up.
They will wish for coffee.
She turns to look at him, her usually bright eyes hazy, her pert breasts inviting, her drowsy smile lusty and apologetic at once. "Damn, what time is it?"
He doesn't reply.
Other hangovers and other women's voices dance fleetingly through his memory as he watches her rise...the sweet curve of her hips holding his gaze as always...and gingerly make her way to the bathroom. She is Mary, who never had hangovers...and Maggie, who did often and loved to wallow in them, whimpering pitiably as he tended to her whims and needs. She is Connie lying deathly still and and emitting a constant rumbling snore against his neck as she slept off the previous night's revelry.
And then she is, quite wonderfully, herself, arms thrown across his shoulders, kissing him. "Get up, lover," she says with a provocative yawn, "it's time to go to bed and get some sleep."
He smiles slightly. It's still too early for coffee. "Sounds like a mixed message to me, woman," he teases.
"Not necessarily," she smiles back, the soft throb in her head fading, poking him gently in the stomach. She leans back from him and makes her way towards their bedroom door absently singing, "...if I ever, ever lose this heaven..."
He smiles humidly, lovingly. That's not Minnie, he thinks fondly...man, that's so much better. He nods and lifts himself slowly up and, a bit unsteadily, he follows in her wake humming. "...if I ever, ever lose..."
(for SJ and Annie M)