"But, you should really be trying to get your men out there," he urged.
"But if I do that you'll just come and get them," she pouted.
"That's just the way the game is played, baby, you'll be trying to do the same thing to me."
"But I don't want your men," she assured him, "I just want to keep mine."
"You can't just sit back there repelling all advances like you're the goalie in a hockey game. I'll help you while you're learning."
"Okay, but I think you're a big meanie to try to take all my men."
"Maybe we've had enough chess strategy for today, besides, we're missing the ocean view out front."
"I'll bring up the lemonade I made."
An hour or so later found Sofia fooling around with the telescope while Pres went down to the backyard to enjoy the hammock. There was a salty breeze from the ocean just across the street and he soon drifted off.
When he woke he was feeling the heat; it was high noon.
"Hey, baby!" he called to her, "Let's go to Papaya Village, I'm craving ice cream."
"Okay," she called back, "Can we go to the park, too? This is our last full day."
So their first stop was Papaya Village for ice cream sundaes with fresh pineapple sauce on it. Afterward Pres headed for the pinball machines, while Sofia had to check out what souvenirs and trinkets the Village offered. The fact that her favorite designer cologne was on sale was a big surprise and she purchased a large bottle.
Pres wanted to learn to firedance while Sofia changed into her suit and went to the pool. After she'd cooled off she was thirsty and so went over to get a cold soft drink from the soda vending machine. Once more a guy was ogling and plaguing her. She realized he'd been watching her over at the pool, too.
He just stood there silently staring and she didn't like the look in his eyes. When the man tried to start a conversation she'd had enough and shut him down,
"See that incredibly hot man over there learning the firedance?"
"Yeah, I see him, so what? Don't tell me he's your boyfriend--he don't look like no superhero to me," he smirked.
"No, I'm not telling you he's my boyfriend; I'm telling you he is my husband and he is a cop. We were just married and are on our honeymoon. So I would really appreciate it if you would just leave me alone. If you don't I'm going to have to let him know that you're hassling me. I don't think you'll like what he does about that," Sofia gave him one of her sweet smiles and the disparity between that and what she said actually did seem a little sinister.
The man looked over at Pres again, a little more impressed.
"Okay, whatever. I was just trying to be friendly. You beautiful girls are always so stuck up," he grumbled but strolled away almost immediately.
She hurried over to watch Pres before the guy could change his mind and come back.
"Lover, can we go to the boardwalk now? We haven't been in the ocean yet today," she hated to interrupt his lesson but she wanted to get out of there.
He looked over in surprise, but smiled,
"Sure, we'll go right now," he paid the firedancer his full price and apologized for leaving early.
When they got to the boardwalk Sofia hurried up to the top floor where they sold souvenirs, but sadly all the things they had for sale were items she'd already bought. So she changed into her suit and went down to join Pres for a swim and then she stretched out on her towel. When Pres remembered there was a firedancer at the boardwalk, too, he went over to finish his lesson.
The restaurant at the Boardwalk was small but elegant with great views of the beach and they decided to have a late supper there as the sun was going down.
Whenever they went out they'd been eating mostly fish and seafood; lobster, shrimp, grouper, salmon, scallops, and their fairly new addiction: sushi. So they opted for this last night out to have filet mignon.
This was something Sofia had never had before either; the only steaks she'd had before were the thin breakfast steaks at the all night restaurant in Crystal Creek and the inexpensive cuts her mother used to buy. Pres ordered his steak medium rare, but Sofia insisted she needed hers well done--that's how she liked her hamburgers.
"Okay, but the better quality steak the more rare it should be," Pres shrugged.
She wrinkled her nose,
"You sound like Dion."
"That's what happens when you hang around with your pre-school child all the time," she grinned and then said, "Oh, why did you remind me--I miss him so much. Your mom tells me everything about him but we've been afraid to let him hear my voice in case that makes him want me. You know, I've loved every single moment of our honeymoon--except for missing my little boy."
Pres put his hand over hers,
"Our little boy. Man, I can't believe how quickly that little rugrat climbed into my heart and made himself at home."
The waiter arrived with their food. Sofia cut a small piece of hers and popped it into her mouth. Then she chewed and chewed. Pres was watching her, his face expressionless, but his eyes twinkled. She let her own eyes smile at him--her mouth was too busy. Finally it became like cud on her tongue and she had to swallow it.
"Hmm," she tried to think of something complimentary, "Interesting. I think I need some steak sauce, though."
Pres hailed the waiter who quickly brought a bottle of Heinz 57. Sofia poured the sauce over the steak generously, she never saw Pres wince.
"Why don't you taste a bite of mine, baby, just taste it," he urged.
"I'm sure this will be fine; it's just a little tough, but I usually put steak sauce on my burgers, that's all it needs."
Cutting another small piece Sofia, looking less than enthusiastic, conveyed it to her mouth and began chewing. The steak just had no flavor, all she could taste was the sauce. And still she had to chew and chew and chew. She was so hungry after their busy day, but she just didn't think she could eat another bite of this expensive cut of meat. She couldn't figure out why Pres thought it was so good.
"I'll get you something else," Pres dad looking for the waiter.
"No, Pres, don't. I just don't think I'm as hungry as I thought I was," she assured him and then her stomach made a noise like a wildcat's scream.
"If you won't let me order something else, do me this favor; just try one bite of my steak, just one. If you don't like it, that's it. I think you'll find it is a completely different experience than the one you just had."
Sofia looked at him suspiciously and then at his plate.
"There's bloody juice on your plate," she pointed.
"It's okay, if you ate the raw fish earlier this week, you can eat the bloody steak."
"We-ell," she dragged out the word cautiously,
"All right, I'm closing my eyes, though. You feed it to me--only one bite."
"Open that beautiful mouth," he coaxed like she was a baby and he was feeding her strained bananas.
Sofia tasted a glorious burst of flavor and meat that was tender and moist. Her eyes popped open,
"Pres! That's delicious!"
He ordered another filet mignon, medium rare.
"I used to be the same way," he said, while they waited and he cut his remaining filet up and placed the plate between them to share, "I wanted a huge steak, well done and a baked potato with butter and sour cream. I had no room for a salad. I poured on plenty of A-1 sauce. Until Perry had me over for lunch at his apartment and fixed filet mignon. Perry refuses to grill any steak more than medium. So I was forced to discover how good filet mignon cooked medium rare really is and now I can even squeeze in a salad."
After their dinner they went to the outdoor Tiki bar right next to the restaurant, finding time for more dancing and romance.
The next morning Sofia's sunburn had finally faded away although Pres's skin was still golden brown. She wanted to use up the last of the groceries so they would eat breakfast there at the cottage.
The young mother had been calling twice a day to check on Dion. And now that they were soon going to be on their way she was becoming really anxious to get home to him. She quickly phoned Rhonda to tell her they were leaving the cottage right after breakfast. As they walked down the porch steps for the last time Sofia said to Pres,
"I hope someday we can come back and bring Dion with us; I love this place and he would too."
"We'll do it, I promise," he replied.
The fact that she loved Twikkii Island as much as he did made Pres a very happy man.
To be continued...