Lori had just got home from work and was reading a book when Harvey came over to her in the living room.
“So how was work and what’s for dinner?”
“Fine, and Salmon in butter herb sauce,” she smiled.
“Mmmm, I love your cooking, honey. Oh, that reminds me, I took the casserole over to the new neighbor’s house today.”
“Oh, that’s right, so what are they like?”
“Listen, you won’t believe who they are--Brian Ottomas and his family.” Lori put down her book and went over to Harvey.
“You’re kidding! His family? He has a family?”
“Sure does, two kids and his wife is a gorgeous blonde,” Harvey couldn’t resist putting that last part in.
Lori smiled, “Ah ha! Checking out the new blonde neighbor.”
“Two other guys showed up to welcome them while I was there. His wife was making chili so we all had lunch there. Really great chili, too—of course, not as good as yours. The one guy was Elle’s stepfather, Julian Cooke. He gave them free tickets to his restaurant (guess we should have invited Julian to our housewarming).”
Lori laughed, “Oh Harvey! Okay, so start telling me details of the Ottomas family. You know I’m curious.”
“He wears his hair in a pony tail so I guess you could say he looks the part of a rock guitar player—or a biker. Leather vest, boots; the whole nine yards. I didn’t actually see the kids, they were napping. But his wife was eager to show photos. Cute kids; a boy with black hair--I think she said he was three--and a baby girl who looks like her as far as I can tell. I don’t know much about babies.”
“Well I’m just blown away. I never pictured him with children, but I have to say I’m really happy for him. He’s not alone anymore and he seemed so alone to me. What’s her name? Maybe I know her.”
“Probably not, she looks around his age. He called her Meadow.”
“Nope, I don’t know anyone named Meadow, but maybe Grace knows her. Meadow…sounds kind of hippy,” Lori laughed, “I mean like they would name their kids ‘Granola’ and ‘Starshine’ or something.”
Harvey had a rueful smile,
“I can’t remember their names. I hate to admit it but he seems like a really nice guy.”
“Of course he is, I told you! Did he recognize your name?”
“Why would he recognize my name?”
“You know!—that time years ago when I ran into him at Goth’s; I said I was engaged to be engaged and I told him your name.”
“Oh yeah, like he’s going to remember that now,” Harvey scoffed, “Anyway, he didn’t seem fazed by anything I said so I assume I was merely a neighbor to him. I told him my name and yours, gave him the grub and he invited me to lunch.”
“Yeah, he’s very laid back, he probably wouldn’t blink even if he did realize you’re my husband,” Lori laughed, “He always took everything in stride, you know?”
“You seem to know more about him than you indicated before,” Harvey raised one eyebrow.
“Don’t be silly, Sweetie—I told you all we ever did was talk. You can learn a lot about a person when they talk and you really listen.”
“Okay. Well, since we leave for Twikkii in two days, I’m going online to check out the places that look worthwhile visiting on the island. Call me when dinner is ready.”
“Sir, yes, sir!” Lori saluted him. Harvey grinned at her and went upstairs.
Suddenly a wistful look passed over Lori’s face. She felt a little defeated and didn’t know why. She really was happy for Brian, just as she had said. And certainly she was madly in love with Harvey; so why the letdown feeling upon learning Brian was now “married with children”? She didn’t know but she shook it off and went into the kitchen, where she then became engrossed in seasoning the fish and left off wondering what was wrong with her.
Both Harvey and Lori were getting excited about their delayed honeymoon at her parent’s estate on the island of Twikkii. But Harvey was especially revved; the only trip he’d ever been on was a weekend vacation to Three Lakes with his dad and big brother, Nicky when he was 16. Lori had talked so much about how fabulous Brickstone was that Harvey now couldn’t wait to find out for himself. He came downstairs to wait for dinner and stood in front of the painting Melora had done years ago at the island. Her parents and Trey were crazy about Brickstone but Lori had always loved it the most so when Harvey and Lori married, her mother gave her the painting. They’d be there in just two more days Harvey told himself.
Lori’s vacation from work actually started the day before they left for Twikkii, so Harvey took the time to tutor her in fishing at their pond. She was getting quite good he told her.
They left early in the morning for the island. When they arrived and Harvey saw Brickstone, even from the outside he could tell it was going to be wonderful. He hugged Lori and told her he loved her—he knew they were going to have a honeymoon to always remember.
Of course, the first thing they wanted to do was put on their suits to enjoy their own private beach. This was Lori’s dream to share Brickstone with Harvey, she was so glad to have him here with her; just as she had dreamed. She realized again how very much she loved him and wanted to make him happy.
They didn’t try to go anyplace else that first day, just chilled at home. When they had enough sun and surf they came in and played Don’t Wake the Llama.
That night they cuddled on the beach enjoying being close to each other.
“Honey, you said this place was fantastic and I have to say you were not exaggerating in the least,” Harvey whispered to her. Lori hugged him and said,
“And this was only the first day, Harvey!”
Next day, bright and early, they went to the Boardwalk. Harvey learned to fire dance and it was amazing; he did it perfectly the very first time and every time thereafter. Even Lori’s father, John, who was ordinarily good at everything, took several attempts before he could learn it the first year they went to Twikkii. Lori bought a lesson, too, and she finally got it right on the third try so she stuck out her tongue at Harvey. They bought native clothes and jewelry at the shops there and Lori told Harvey they must have Pineapple Surprise—it was an island tradition. He was fine with that and it turned out to be more delicious than he guessed.
“Not as good as yours, of course,” he said. He always said that when he complimented food at someone else’s house or a restaurant.
Lori kissed him on the cheek, “Harvey, I don’t even MAKE Pineapple Surprise, but I appreciate your loyalty.”
Lori did love cooking in the kitchen at Brickstone, lots of light from the many windows with a gorgeous view of their beach at the big windows by the dining table. Every morning she made omelets or pancakes for breakfast; they’d probably both have to go on a diet when they got home.
Today they were anxious to go to South Beach and visit the old pirate ship there. Lori had explored the ship lots of times, climbing to the crow’s nest, manning the wheel and so on, but she’d never looked for treasure in Pirate Captain Edward Dregg’s cabin. Now she was determined to do that. Supposedly the ghost of Capt. Dregg haunted the cabin but Lori didn’t believe in ghosts and, besides, she’d seen nothing so far. Harvey was having fun with the cutlass and dummy when Lori came running out of the captain’s cabin like something was chasing her.
And so it was. The ghost captain seemed intent on scaring the heck out of her and he succeeded magnificently. “What’s the problem?” Harvey called as she scurried down the steps.
Harvey turned to see a transparent figure, standing there calmly, so he strolled over intent on make friends with the spirit. Now Harvey was a very witty man, everyone said so; but he did not tell jokes; that was not his kind of humor. He just made wisecracks. However; in this case, relating a joke to the captain seemed best, so Harvey wracked his brain for jokes people had told him. The captain responded with roaring laughter and Harvey kept it up. Soon they were good enough friends for the captain to teach a sea chantey to Harvey. Just as he mastered it, thunder roared and the rain came pouring down. Lori was cowering under the cover of the lookout on the beach. Harvey thanked the captain and called to her. They met up on the beach and hurriedly hailed a cab. Lori said that frequently these little downpours would hover over one part of the island while the sun was shining a few blocks away so they decided to take a chance on going to the White Sands spa.
It was just as Lori had said; no rain at the spa. They immediately took a dip in the mineral springs there. Then Lori went over to get one of the famous hot stone massages. She decided to get lessons in that because there was a massage table in her parent’s bedroom at Brickstone. It was the master bedroom and Harvey and Lori were enjoying it on this trip. Beautiful views of the beach were available from two different sides of the bedroom and there was a spectacular master bath. Harvey, meanwhile, snoozed on one of the hammocks. He was famous for being able to drop off to sleep anywhere, anytime and loved his little naps.
“He doesn’t usually sleep long and he always has lots of energy afterward, but, honestly, you know how I have so much trouble sleeping, Mom,” Lori had complained once to her mother, “So it really it is most irritating to toss and turn while Harvey starts snoring as soon as his head hits the pillow.”
After her massage Lori tried out the sauna while Harvey got his massage and the expensive lessons.
In spite of the lure of tourist attractions, Harvey and Lori spent the largest part of their honeymoon at Brickstone, swimming, sunbathing and making love. As for sun-worshipping, poor Harvey was fair and invariably burned while Lori’s skin turned a beautiful shade of bronze, but he doggedly kept trying to acquire a tan. He was determined to come back from Twikkii with a little color.
“You look like a lobster, sweetie,” Lori observed, “I know it hurts so if you won’t use a total sunblock at least use a sunscreen with a high SPF.”
Harvey agreed to use a sunscreen with SPF 35. He’d get some they next time they went to the Boardwalk. “You should use a SPF 1000, if they made one that high!”
They had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and then Lori practiced her music on the white baby grand piano. Now she had two of them, she marveled; one at home and one here. She told Harvey this was the piano that made her determined to take lessons and one day be a concert pianist.
“And then I didn’t become a pianist at all,” she said sadly.
“Well, honey, you became a first class film director instead—everything’s a choice.”
Later that night Lori treated Harvey's back with Noxzema cream to take out the soreness; his skin was so hot. Harvey sighed,
"Thanks, honey, it's starting to feel better already."
Lori closed the jar of cream and lightly kissed his shoulder, crooning, "Poor dear, poor dear."
Breakfast was always eaten at home, but they now wanted to try more of the island delicacies as they got a chance when it came to lunch or dinner. The following day they went to Numchuk. Lori put on the beautiful island outfit she’d bought at the Boardwalk and miraculously convinced Harvey to do the same. He was so relaxed now that he was ready to go native.
Harvey was contemplating the waterfall while Lori had brought along something to make mischief. She quickly dumped in some soap flakes she’d brought with her and stowed in her pocket. Wouldn’t that be beautiful if the water changed to a bubble bath? Instead flames spouted out and the water became sulfurous.
“P.U.!” Harvey cried holding his nose and looking at the fiery waterfall. Then he looked over at Lori, “Did you do this?”
Lori’s face was childlike as she returned his gaze. She looked like an innocent angel but Harvey knew better.
“Yep, you did.”
Lori told him that he should try throwing in an offering to make the fire go away. She’d heard the legend.
“An ‘offering’? What is that? What I ought to do is throw YOU in, Brat!”
Lori ignored his jibe and said, “An offering like money. It’s supposed to appease the gods of this waterfall.”
“That’s a lot of hooey,” Harvey scoffed. At last he gave in and threw in a few coins. It didn’t help a bit. Lori said he probably should have been more generous with his money.
“Oh yeah, you’re some kind of expert on these legends suddenly. So what did you actually put in there?”
“Soap. I thought the bubbles would be pretty, but I forgot part of the legend that said than anything but money could anger the gods.”
Harvey just shrugged his shoulders,
“Okay, I’m done with all this; let’s go to the Boardwalk,” He put his arm around Lori as they headed to the phone to call a taxi.
Squeezing her he growled, “You know; you really are SUCH a brat. Seriously.”
Lori didn’t argue, she’d been told this before by Harvey, by Trey, by Gareth and by her father. Maybe it was part of her charm?
The Boardwalk was definitely one of their favorite places to go on the island. They both ordered Luau Ribs at the snack bar. That night they cuddled on the beach again, enjoying the sound of the waves, the silvery moonlight and each other.
The next day they again spent at Brickstone. After swimming Lori went beach-combing and found a few shells. She was still looking for that golden crab of her childhood story, but this magical crustacean was elusive. Harvey tried out the hammock, reading a suspense novel. After a while Lori got worried about his fair skin and asked him to get out of the sun completely, so he took one of his famous naps on the in the shade of the little summerhouse. “Very comfortable,” he told her later.
After a quiet supper, they played SSX3. It was so aggravating to Lori that Harvey always won nearly every time. He just excelled at games of all kinds and that was all there was to it.
It was their last day. The plane would take off at 1 am. They ran around the estate making sure everything was put away or tied down. Then they used the massage table one last time and headed to the Boardwalk where they ate Mahi Mahi Teriyaki.
“Wow, we have to get one of those massage tables for the house!” Harvey said.
“I agree, but where would we put it? It needs a quiet room where you can relax like Daddy and Mom’s massage room.”
“I don’t know…have to think about it,” Harvey admitted, “But I’ll figure out something…”
They left the Boardwalk and headed home. Harvey would be coming home with “some color” all right; as the evening wore on it was evident that he was sunburned again in spite of getting in the shade during his nap.