Winter Wanderlust: Valentine Vacation

“I’m coming!” I was just getting out of the shower when I heard the doorbell ring. Wrapping myself in my favorite towel – a giant beach towel with a tentacled sea witch – I trotted, dripping, through my house. “Coming!” I called out once more, after a second ring. I  threw the door open and was frustrated to find nobody there. I poked my head out and looked around. Nothing. No car on the street, no sign of anyone walking on the sidewalks. I stepped out into the chilly February morning air to see if I could get a better view and my toes kicked something small on my doormat. Taking a step back,  I looked down to see a large, heavy black envelope.  

I bent down to retrieve the letter, then slid back inside the warmth of my house. On one side of the envelope, my name was exquisitely penned in scrawling swirls of rose gold. The back of the envelope was closed with a large pad of rose gold wax which had been pressed with a bold “S”. My heart began to race.  

S for His name  

S for Sir 

I let the sea witch fall to my ankles and slid my nails between the inky black paper and the shine of the wax to pop the letter open. The thick envelope was lined in satin-finish rose gold that matched the beautiful script of my name on the front and the wax seal embossed on the closure. The paper inside was just as luxurious as its wrapping. A heavy, textured, cream-colored parchment folded neatly so it met at the corners like a large square. As I pulled back the corners, a smaller envelope fell out onto the floor. Before picking it up  I read the letter it revealed on the parchment behind it – handwritten with a small, stub-nib fountain pen, in beautiful brown ink, tinted with red and gold. 

Hello, little one.  

I miss you so much. Too much, in fact. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s been long enough since our last visit. You’ll be spending a long weekend away with me very soon.  

I’m sure you have a million questions, but you also know how much I love to tease and torture you, kitten. Know that all the details will be revealed in plenty of time and, for now,  enjoy the misery of mystery.  

See you soon, valentine.  


Reading it over several times, I struggled to fully process what it said. S and I had been apart for a very long time. We spent so many hours wishing we could close the gap between us, but so far it had all seemed like just that – wishing. Could this be real?! A long week 

end away with Him?  

The second envelope that had fallen from the first was packed tightly. Inside it, I found a printed itinerary that included a roundtrip airline ticket and detailed hotel accommodations.  

Departing Flight – THU – 14 Feb 2019 

8:15 AM – 12:30 PM Delta 

4h 15m JAX–AVL 

1 stop 1h 45m CLT 

February 14? Valentine’s Day. I counted down dates on my fingers.  8 days. 8 days? 8 days!!! 

AVL? Where’s AVL? 

Haywood Park Hotel  

Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC  

Grand Room, 1 King Bed 

Room with view 

1,195 square feet 

1 King Bed 

2 Adjoining room 

Sleeps 4 people 

Asheville?! YES!!! Woohoooooo!  

I squealed loudly, jumping up and down, scaring my cats in the process. I imagined a whirlwind of possibilities about what could happen on a long weekend in beautiful Asheville with Sir on Valentine’s  Day. What would I wear? What would we do? What wouldn’t we do?!  

Ignoring the tentacled towel, I raced back to the bedroom to get my phone off the dresser, so I could call Sir right away. I picked it up and the large numbers of the clock gave me pause. 8:04 a.m. He taught a late class on Thursday nights and I knew He wouldn’t be up for at least two more hours. Fridays were His days to get a little extra sleep before heading to the office. We had a very clear and strict rule that I was not to wake Him up on a workday for anything less than an emergency. He must’ve known I’d be aching to call the moment  I opened His gift – which was probably why He’d had it delivered so early.  

S for Sadist  

After a few moments of arguing with myself about whether this might count as an emergency, I gave into my good judgment and decided to text instead.  

Me: I got your letter!!!! I’m so giddy!! Eeeeeekkk. Please call me the moment you wake up!  

Me: Xoxoxo 

The next two hours crawled by at a snail’s pace. I got dressed,  grabbed coffee and my usual breakfast (two hard-boiled eggs and half a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese), and made it to work minutes early. The rest of my morning I struggled to look productive while I watched the clock and waited for Sir to wake up and call me back.  

10:00 a.m. came and went.  

10:30 a.m. – nothing.  

11:06 a.m. – no new messages.  

He was torturing me, and He knew it.  

Finally, at 12:07 p.m. my watch buzzed to let me know I had a text.  

S: Good morning, little one. I’m glad you’re happy.  S: I woke up a bit late and I have a day full of meetings. I  know you’re eager to chat but keep busy and enjoy your  Friday. I’ll touch base with you later and we’ll talk tonight.  

Me: Yes, Sir. *pout* Talk soon. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo 

S: Your patience will be rewarded.  

S: Sexy pics of you will also be rewarded.  

S: XO  

The day eventually turned into night. I had teased Him – and myself – all day by sneaking away to send Him flirty snaps of my outfit – and everything underneath it. I had just sat down with a bowl full of lo mein and season 2 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when Hedwig’s  Theme from Harry Potter drifted up from the pillow beside me on the couch.  

“Sir!!” I chirped happily into the phone.  

“Oh, hello!” His deep voice melted me. “What’s got you so excited  this evening?” He teased. I could hear the smirk curling His lips.

“I’ve been watching my phone all day waiting to hear from you! “Are you excited about Asheville, kitten?” 

“I am SOOOOO excited,” I said. “I can’t wait to start packing and  getting ready! What will I wear? What should I bring? Do I need a  coat? You realize that’s less than a week away don’t you?!” 

“Calm down, pet. It’s all taken care of,” He said, chuckling at me.  “What do you mean it’s all taken care of?” I asked.  

“I mean what I said. By the time you leave for the airport you’ll  know everything you need to know, you have My word.” 

“But… But… Sir! I have so many questions!”  

“You can ask them, but I won’t answer anymore tonight. Remember  what I told you?” 

“Patience will be rewarded?” 

“Yes, sweetheart,” He said. “Patience will be rewarded.”  

We talked for a little while longer, exchanging highlights of our day and me trying to pry just a few more details from Him (and failing).  Eventually, we said our goodnights. I made it to bed at a decent hour,  but I barely slept a wink thinking about all that might be in store for me. The misery of Mystery He’d called it. No kidding. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019: 

It took me so long to fall asleep Friday night that by the time I woke up the next day it was almost lunchtime. Shit! I flew out of bed. I  was late for a date. I had been seeing Sasha for about six weeks and things were going really well, but I was late the last two times we were supposed to meet, and I was worried they would be hurt if I  was late again. 

Me: Hey, babe! I overslept but I’m rushing out now. I’ll meet you at the restaurant in 20 minutes. *kiss* 

Sasha: It’s ok. Drive safely. If I beat you there, I’ll grab us a table.  

Me: Sounds great! You’re the best.  

Bean, Book, & Bowl was a combination bookstore, coffee shop, and ramen café. My absolute favorite place to be in our whole city. Sa sha and I had met there one afternoon on a mutual lunch break from work. Our servers mixed up our orders and we got each other’s noodles. It was a real meet-cute. Today the plan was to grab some food and then wander the bookstore with cappuccinos in hand. Sasha had just gotten to our table when I pulled into the parking lot. They stood up to greet me as I came in.  

“Hey, you!” They said, reaching out to hug me and planting a big kiss on my cheek. I loved the way they always seemed so happy to see me. I also loved the way I always felt so happy to see them.  

“Hey! I hope I didn’t keep you long.”  

“No, I stopped for gas on the way,” they said, “so I pulled up only  few minutes before you did.”  

We ordered our usuals. For me, ramen in pork bone broth with pork belly, soy-marinated egg, and crab meat. For Sasha, vegan noodles in veggie broth and a virtual garden of delicious vegetables. As we ate our noodles we continued to chat about our mornings, how was work going, the books we were reading, and things we hoped to find at the bookstore. When the server brought the check, I put my fork down and looked into their gorgeous, smiling faces.  

“I really enjoy our time together,” I started. “Things are going so  well and I always look forward to spending time with you.”

“Me too,” they said, making me swoon with that perfect smile.  

“I know we haven’t talked about this yet, and it’s coming up… I was  wondering if you’d be free to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me at  the end of the month instead of on the 14th?”  

Sasha grinned, “S already called me.”  

“Oh?” I blushed.  

“Yup. He sure did. He wanted to make plans to surprise you, but  he also wanted to make sure we didn’t have anything planned that  might be ruined if he rushed you away somewhere before he set  things in stone. You know I don’t really care much about celebrating  things on the calendar dates, it’s the thought that matters most to me.  So, I told him we didn’t have plans yet and he should feel free to  surprise the socks off of you.”  

S called Sasha? 

“That’s one of the most considerate and thoughtful things I’ve ever  heard. From both of you. Thank you!” 

“Oh, don’t thank me,” Sasha laughed. “I’ve heard some of what S  is planning for you, and you’ll definitely be thanking the shit out of  him.”  

“Oooooohhhh! Sasha! Tell me what you know,” I begged.  

“No way, kid. I’m sworn to secrecy.” With that, Sasha pushed their chair back, stood up, and held out a hand to me to join them.  

The bookstore was cavernous, messy, and stacked floor to ceiling with books – some of them stuffed onto bursting shelves and even more of them in crates, boxes, and piles on the floor. Sasha and I  could spend hours and hours here, digging through new and used books in every genre a person could imagine in a state of semi-disorder. I’d been looking for an early edition of Howl for months and  Sasha was always interested in finding fantasy or science fiction to dig into.  

In the far back corners of the building, there were several rooms with chairs and tables where folks could read or study. We lazily drifted through the shop, scanning the shelves in search of hidden treasures,  when Sasha grabbed my hand and pulled me into a reading room.  They pulled the door closed behind them, leaned up against it, and drew me in for a slow, deep kiss. 

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