Chapter Thirty-One

The morning of moving day had started out rainy with no signs of stopping any time soon.  Marah had wanted to wait and see if the weather would be more cooperative the next day.  But Tony had been adamant that nothing, not even mother nature herself, was going to stop them from starting this next stage in their lives.  And standing in the living room and at that chaos that was going on around her Marah couldn’t stop smiling.  Tony had been right.  Nothing, not even the rain, could ruin the joy Marah felt at finally having her own home with the man she loved.

“Ma’am, where do you want this?”

Marah turned from rearranging the living room furniture and looked at the delivery men who had arrived moments earlier.   Seeing they carried their new bed she directed them upstairs to the master bedroom.

“Hope they assemble as well because Danny and Tony aren’t the most mechanical if you know what I mean.”

Marah looked over at Michelle, who was dusting off the new dining room furniture, and laughed.  “That was the first thing I asked when I bought it.” She moved the couch to the left and looked at it critically.  Perfect. “I want to thank you again for helping.  I know with three kids helping us move is probably the last thing you want to do this weekend Michelle.”

“Are you kidding?  The house would have been crazy with Robbie and Hope being stuck inside.  At least they get to burn off excess energy helping out.”  She finished polishing the table with a final swipe, “Besides all I really did was direct traffic.”

“Now you must be the one who is kidding!  Without you this place would be barely recognizable.”  That was putting it mildly.  Michelle was a born organizer.  Without her they would have all been going in circles and getting nothing accomplished.

Reva came from the kitchen drying her hands on a dish towel, “I fed the kids some lunch so they should be busy for a while,” She looked around the room in a mixture of surprise and awe, “This room is perfect Marah.”

Marah beamed with pride.  It did look pretty good if she were to say so herself.  She’d gone with dark brown leather couches to fit with the antique feel of the home but with contemporary lines to accommodate Tony and her’s more modern tastes.   To offset the furniture Marah chose bright throw pillows for a splash of color.  She was damn proud at how the room had turned out.

Tony came in from outside, “Okay I think this is the last of your clothes.  We may have to have your father build you a bigger closet at this rate.”

“Just you hush mister.  Why don’t you put them in the guest room until I can sort them out.”

Tony adjusted the cumbersome box in his hands, “Um sure.  But could you point me in the right direction?  I can’t see a damn thing over this box.”

***

Marah collapsed on the couch with a sigh.  Muscles that she didn’t know she had ached and she had never felt more tired in her life, but they had finally gotten everything put away and the house was officially a home.  That thought alone trumped any ache or pain she may have had.  She looked up when she felt something cold touch her shoulder.  There was Tony holding a champagne glass, “Have to celebrate a job well done.”

Celebrating was the last thing on Marah’s mind but she took the glass and faced the others.  “Thank you, all of you, for helping today.  We couldn’t have done it without you.”

“That’s what family is for.” Danny looked at Tony and laughed,” Besides, we’ll need you when we move into the new house.”

The doorbell rang and Reva set her glass down, “I took the liberty of ordering pizza for everyone.”

“Mom I swear you are a genius.”

Reva just winked, “Tell me something I don’t already know.”

***

Danny held a sleeping Hope against his shoulder, all the excitement of the day had her drained and she was out like a light.  Robbie stood against his father’s side rubbing his eyes tiredly.  Bedtime wasn’t going to be a battle at the Santos house tonight that was for sure.  Danny couldn’t wait to get horizontal himself, he just had to wait while Michelle said goodbye.  This could be awhile.

Michelle gave Marah another hug then gasped, “I almost forgot!”  She went out to the car and came back carrying a flat package wrapped up in brightly colored paper, “We got you this.”

“You didn’t have to give us something Michelle.  Your help today was enough,”

But Michelle just waved her off, “It’s nothing big just something I thought you’d enjoy.”

Marah tore into the paper and stared at what Michelle and Danny had gotten them.

“The guy at the print shop called it Lighthouse at Two Lights by Edward Hopper.” Michelle explained, “Blake and Ross had a similar one when they lived here and I always loved the symbolism of it.  The lighthouse is designed to guide the lost home and no one knows that better than the people of Springfield.”

“It’s perfect Michelle.”  Marah brushed the tear from her eye and thrust the painting at Tony so she could hug her friend, “I love it.  Thank you Michelle, for everything.”

***

Tony locked the front door and turned on the alarm Josh had installed earlier.  Alone at last.  Tony poured Marah and him a final glass of champagne and joined her on the couch, “The house looks amazing Baby.”  He looked down at her and grinned, “But do I really have to sleep in a canopy bed?”

Marah sighed and leaned her head against the back of the couch, “It’s not a true canopy bed, it just has the posts and frame.  Just you wait until I am done decorating the bedroom, you’ll love it.”

He leaned down and kissed her gently, “I love you.  I would sleep on an air mattress if I had to as long as you were with me.”

Marah laughed, “Your devotion is spellbinding honey.  But ironic enough I told my mom I had to start thinking about decorating ideas or we’d end up on air mattresses.  Guess great minds think alike.”

They basked together silently, content in just being together.  Then Marah yawned loudly, “I am so tired but I need a long soak in the tub or I won’t be able to even move tomorrow.”

Tony’s eyes darkened with desire, the naughty thought that had sprung to mind when he’d first seen the bathtub came roaring back to life.  “Why don’t I go start the water.  We can finish our champagne in there.”

***

Tony looked down at Marah.  In the few minutes he was gone to run the bath water she had curled up and fallen sound asleep.  Christening the bathtub would have to wait till tomorrow.  He placed his arms underneath her and picked her up as gingerly as possible.  “You wore yourself out today Baby.”  He carried her up to their bedroom.  Their bedroom.  He really liked the sound of that.

He laid her down gently on top of the made bed and covered her with a light blanket she’d placed at the foot of the bed.  And when Tony joined her moments later and she curled into him lovingly he knew his life was just about perfect.

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