“You were marvelous tonight,” Valerie said.
They were sitting in a full bathtub. Mike was brushing her hair. He kissed her head. After the ‘event,’ Mike and Valerie had worked to manage their guests. The worlds famous were professionals. With smiles all around, they left the Castle with their children as if nothing had happened. Valerie made Jill’s brownies between organizing the clean up crew and dealing with the police. When they were finally on their own, Mike and Valerie migrated to the warm safety of their bathtub. They’d been soaking for at least an hour.
“I think four men asked me about your ‘country suit’,” she said.
“Frederec thought I should look like a 1940s country western star,” he said. “I love the boots and the cool ribbons down the leg of the pants. I thought I looked more like bull-fighter with the short jacket, but he said it was perfect for my shoulders.”
“You were gorgeous, and so fun to be around,” she said. “Thank you.”
“Being my one and only,” she said. “Putting up with me and all my bullshit. I see poor Jill and I… I feel very lucky.”
“Jill will be all right,” Mike said. “Ropers are made of tough stuff.”
She leaned back and they kissed.
“Do you have any idea who killed Trevor?”
“No,” Mike said. “Alex’s team was all accounted for. It had to be someone else. But who? And why? Trevor’s wife stopped talking as soon as she knew he was dead. I think she’s working on a story that makes him solely responsible for everything.”
“I can’t believe I waited so long to be here with you. I… If that happened to you? Oh my God. I… Oh Michael, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“For everything,” she said.
He chuckled and continued brushing her hair.
“Say something,” she said.
“You take responsibility for things that are just life,” he said. “We have this time, this place. Don’t waste it on regret.”
“I have six more months on my contract,” she said.
“I think we should try and have a baby,” she said. “When my contract expires, I mean.”
“Let’s see where you are in December. By then, you may be ‘A’ listed and…” He mock squealed. “Everything will be perfect!”
Laughing, Valerie slapped at him. He laughed. Valerie settled against him again.
“Let’s just stay here,” she said.
“In Denver? I thought you had to work on Monday,” he said.
“No in this bathtub. Let’s just stay here forever,” she said.
He kissed her head.
“It’ll be dawn soon. Do you want to sleep?”
“Oh tomorrow. I’d rather not have tomorrow come. I’m sick of police and hospitals and violence and drama. And I work on a soap opera! I just want…”
“To stay in the bathtub?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said.
He pulled her between his knees, then wrapped her tight in his arms. No matter what happened tomorrow, they would be together.
And that’s all that mattered.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
NEW DENVER CEREAL RETURNS OCTOBER 4, 2020
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