A Soft Place to Land will feature some flashback memories as Marah recovers. Some are from previous stories and some are brand new that happened “off canvas”.
Marah dabbed at the residual tears that kept leaking from her eyes, “I can’t believe that is my favorite movie. Why would I torture myself with that tear-jerker.”
Tony laughed softly, “Well if I had to guess I would say it reminds you of us.”
“Us?” Marah raised an eyebrow in question, “How so?”
Tony reached forward and grabbed the glasses of wine of the coffee table, handing one to Marah he sipped his own, “A good girl from a good family. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks. A love that neither time nor space can keep apart. I can see the similarities.”
Taking a sip out of her own wineglass Marah had to admit to herself that Tony had a point. Noah and Ally’s love was one for the ages. “Are you going to love me when I’m old and grey and can’t remember that you that leave your socks on the floor?”
“I can’t imagine a time in my life not loving you Marah. I’ll go to my grave loving you.” At his statement the room was suddenly full of tension. But unlike the previous weeks of tension between them, this one was more than welcome. This tension let Tony know that Marah was feeling the pull that always had existed between them. After a brief moment of hesitation he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers. And he felt it flare even brighter. That spark that never went away.
Moving back he watched as she slowly opened her eyes. And in those eyes he saw something akin to shock. But he also saw something deeper. Call it need or want, but it was there. Marah had felt the kiss just as much as he did. Before Marah could rebuild the wall she had built between them Tony placed his wineglass on the coffee table and stood. “I am going to go check on Lanie.”
Marah sat in stunned silence as Tony went up the stairs towards the nursery. Once he was out of sight she let out the breath she hadn’t realized she had been holding. “Oh…wow.” She placed her hand against her mouth as if she could still feel Tony’s lips against hers.
They had danced around each other for months, her and Tony. But tonight had felt…different. It reminded her of years before, when they had lived in the museum. When their relationship was easy for a change. Before everything imploded on them. But some things never change and her body’s reaction to Tony Santos was one of them. She could still feel the electric charge of that single chaste kiss.
She looked up towards where Tony had disappeared. If she could drop her walls with Tony perhaps she could try with her own child.
“How can something so foul come out of something so beautiful,” Tony teased as he cleaned up Lanie’s diaper. He had spent months before Lanie was born preparing for the basics. The practice baby Michelle recommended for first time fathers was a breeze compared to a live squirming newborn. “You just keep kicking little one, I am still going to get this diaper on you.”
He never would have seen this coming. Tony Santos, member of the former Santos crime family, was talking to a baby. He rubbed a gentle hand along the dark hairs covering Lanie’s head. Oh well, he liked it. “Guess what Laners. I kissed mommy today.” The baby’s response was to continue kicking her legs with gusto, which Tony took as their daughter’s way of telling him to continue. He finished dressing Lanie in her sleeper and walked over to the rocking chair in the corner, “I did. And I know she felt the same thing I did. Just maybe we haven’t screwed up everything for you kiddo.”
Tony gently set the rocker into motion, “I know, I know. I need to tell her all of it. Why she can’t remember us, how she almost died.” Holding the baby closer to his chest Tony sighed, “But tonight was a good night. A nice place to start. Maybe Uncle Ray had the right idea, I need to make mommy fall in love with me again. And you and I princess, we can be her soft place to land.”
Tony’s head snapped to attention at the gentle words from the doorway. Where Marah now stood. He wondered how much she had heard but apparently she hadn’t heard much as she hesitantly entered the room. The room she had barely glanced at since she was released from the hospital. “What was that?”
“Pink Blossom. The color we finally painted the walls.” Marah skimmed her hand along one of the walls in question. The wall where there was a mural painted complete with a forest and castle.
“You remember?” Hope flared to life in Tony’s chest. If she could remember something as minute as paint color perhaps she was on the way back to them.
Marah shook her head. “Not really. But when I looked in here the words Pink Blossom popped into my head.” She looked down at Tony holding their daughter against his chest and her heart fluttered. Tony was such a good dad, and she was batting zero. “May I try?”
Tony nearly jumped out of the seat as if it was on fire. “Have a seat.”
Marah sat in the vacated rocker and rubbed her sweaty palms against her pants. It was time. Time to take a step in the right direction. She tensed as Tony lowered Lanie into her arms but looking down at the sleeping baby she smiled. “She looks like you,”
Tony laughed, “Funny, I think she looks like you.”
“Hmm.” Marah commented noncommittally. “I think she’s down for the count.” Marah stood slowly and walked the baby over to her crib. The large ornate crib that resembled a carriage. She was certainly her father’s princess alright.
Getting into bed Marah sighed blissfully. Today had been a long day. She looked over as Tony exited the bathroom, his pajama pants lying low on his hips. She felt the familiar stirring inside her, this time much lower than her heart. She swallowed. They may have made progress but she wasn’t ready. Not for that.
Tony pulled the covers back and slid into bed. After a moment’s hesitation he lifted his arm and Marah wasted no time tucking herself into his side. “I almost forgot, when you came home you wanted to talk about something.”
Marah sighed contentedly. She may not be ready to be intimate but this was nice. Familiar. And she had no desire to rehash the drama from today. At finding out her mother had a child with a man Marah knew intimately. Just…no. “It was nothing big.” Placing her hand on his chest she felt the soft beating of his heart through her palm. “Thank you.”
Tony peered down at her head resting against his shoulder. “For what?”
“For giving me a perfect night. ”
“My pleasure.” And with a soft kiss against his wife’s lips they both fell into a deep sleep.