He placed a lid onto the pan after he poured the mushrooms and Marsala wine into it. He lowered the heat and placed diced red potatoes into the oven after he seasoned them. “Wow, have your mother and brother come back to see it?”
“Um, a couple times, yes.”
“You must come here a lot to keep up with it.” I watched him wash his hands again as I took a few more sips of the delicious wine.
“Actually I haven’t been here in over a year. It’s been really busy at work. I hired a live-in maid who keeps up with it. I let her know when I coming; she stocks the fridge and visits family until I leave. I usually don’t like company; I never bring anyone up here.”
“So you never brought a girl to your shore home?” I questioned with narrowed eyes.
“Besides my mother and you? No I haven’t.”
“Why not?” If Jeremy owned a shore home, he would have brought dozens of girls at a time. What makes DeLuca different from other men?
“This is my getaway spot where I can run from my hectic life. This place is very personal to me. I never thought to bring a woman here…until you.” Uncertain if that was true, I narrowed my eyes then decided to leave it at that.
He offered me his hand. “Come, I want to show you something. Dinner will be ready in twenty minutes.” I grabbed his hand and followed as he led me to the door at the far right of the kitchen. When we entered, it felt as though we walked into another home. The den had outdated ocean blue rugs, white paneled walls, and high ceilings. A white brick fireplace was the centerpiece of the room. An oversized black leather sofa was on one side of the fireplace, opposite from two matching recliners. In the middle of the furniture was a glass coffee table. A built-in oak bookcase on the right side of the fire place held books and board games.
Sliding my hand away from his, I wandered the room, admiring how warm it felt even with the white walls. It was outdated, but it felt homey. I slid my shoes off and rubbed my toes on the soft carpet. Walking over to the bookcase, I picked up a metal picture frame; the picture showed a tanned man with a full head of silky black hair, wearing white linen pants and a matching shirt. His arms were wrapped around two boys: a little, brown-haired, tanned boy and a lighter and taller boy with light brown hair. The taller boy held up a hook with a fish half his size. The little boy held a fishing rod. All three were smiling aboard a boat.
Marcus walked up beside me. “That’s my father, my brother, and I. I was eight and Jimmie was twelve.” He smiled to himself, remembering the day. “My brother and I had gotten into the biggest argument about who would pose with the catfish for that picture. My father solved it by flipping a coin. As you can see, I lost.”
“Your father was very handsome; you look just like him.” I looked up at Marcus who smiled. He took the picture from my hand, placing it back in its place. “Thank you, I get that a lot.”
“I take it your brother looks like your mother?” I asked, drifting away from him.
“Yeah, on top of the fireplace, there’s a family portrait of the four us.” There were several frames on top of the mantel. I found the one of the four of them, and I reached for it. Jimmie had greenish eyes and light brown hair so different from Marcus. Mrs. DeLuca was absolutely beautiful. She had big green eyes, light brown, wavy hair, fair skin, and a beautiful smile with a dimple on the right side of her cheek. I smiled, acknowledging where Marcus got his dimple from, but he looked just like his father with the tanned complexion, dark, thick hair, brown eyes, and thick arched eyebrows.
“What are your mother’s and father’s first names?” I asked while placing the frame exactly back where I found it. I turned to find him behind me, looking at the picture as well.
“James Vincent DeLuca, my brother is a junior, but we call him Jimmie. My mother’s name is Theresa DeLuca.”
“Who were you named after?”
He laughed before answering. “I was named after my mother’s father, but my middle name is the same as my father’s, Marcus Vincent.”
“Marcus Vincent DeLuca? Mmmh?” Smiling at him, I leaned in and whispered, “I like it.”
The sides of the eyes wrinkled as his smile grew wider. “Do you now?” he said, placing his arms around my hips and pulling me in. Unable to control myself, I wrapped my arms around his neck.
“Yes very much.” Leaning up on my toes, I breathed him in, and his smell was intoxicating. “Which cologne do you use?” It had a clean citrus scent.
“That will be my little secret from you.” When he leaned down for a kiss, the buzzer to the stove went off. He shook his head and rested his forehead against mine. “Perfect timing, huh? Come on, I know you’re hungry. Let’s eat then head to the beach.”
Excited about the beach, I practically ran behind him. He set up our dinner plates with, chicken marsala, roasted red potatoes and garlic asparagus. He patiently waited as I took a bite. It was tender and bursting with flavor. “Mmmmmh, Marcus this is so good.” As I looked at him, he smiled with relief and poured us another glass of wine. We enjoyed our delicious dinner, wiping our plates clean.
I washed the dishes and headed to my room to change into my swimsuit.
After deciding on my turquoise bikini, white cover-up and matching flip-flops, I grabbed two beach towels and headed down the stairs. Marcus was nowhere in sight, so I went out the sliding doors and headed towards the beach.
It was absolutely beautiful. I smiled as I laid the two towels onto the white sand. Stripping off my cover-up and tossing my flip-flops aside, I made my way towards the ocean. The sun beamed against my skin, and my feet burned from the hot sand. When I finally reached the edge of the water, I allowed the cool water to splash along my freshly polished toes.
I sighed in contentment. There is always something peaceful and calming about the beach. The way it allows you to take in its beauty. It’s like the ocean knows all of your deepest, darkest secrets and thoughts. It doesn’t judge you; instead, at that very moment all the pain and sadness you feel just drifts away along with the waves.
After what seemed like a long time, I turned around to see if Marcus were near, and there he was walking towards me in knee-length black swimming trunks. They were hanging low on his waist, teasing me as they revealed the V shape on his hip bones; his abs were perfectly ripped and tight. They were the most perfect abs I’d ever seen. His chest and broad muscular shoulders screamed for my hands to rub all over him.