We slept in since it was my Sunday off. When we finally awoke, we made love then had a leisurely breakfast. We eventually made our way downstairs to the waiting limo that would take to us to a park near the ocean. Tom had made the car arrangements since neither of us knew our way around the city. We spent over three hours walking along the surf and sitting in the sand talking. We discussed our lives and our families. I told him all about my wonderful sons who were with their father while I was on this tour. He asked about my marriage, but I still refused to discuss it; it was still too painful. He wisely chose not to pursue the issue. I also let him know that while we were in Dallas I would be driving down south to attend my niece's high school graduation. He was actually looking forward to meeting some of my family.
We left when Tom informed me that my arms were looking a bit pink. I laughed and told him that his face was too. Since we skipped lunch, we stopped at a bakery on the way back to the hotel and purchased an assortment of pastries. I ate a cream cheese and apple filled one in limo.
At the hotel, we watched television, talked more and then took turns showering and getting ready to go out for dinner. He had made reservations for six at a restaurant just a short walk from our hotel. If anyone was going to photograph us together, this would be the perfect time. We had a private dining area, just like when we'd had lunch. I enjoyed spending time talking and laughing with him. No man had ever made me so happy in my life.
Nearly three hours later, we returned to the hotel, made love yet again and fell asleep entwined together. We would have to get up early to catch our flight to Los Angeles. I was only scheduled to be there Monday and Tuesday; my flight to Phoenix Arizona was Tuesday evening at eight o'clock. I would be in Dallas by Thursday morning and by Friday evening I would be at my sister's house. My niece's graduation was Saturday and I didn't have to be in Houston before Tuesday morning. I was planning to rent a car and drive Monday because it wasn't that far. Tuesday night was a short flight to New Orleans and Thursday morning was a short flight to Orlando. I would be home in time for my youngest son's fourth birthday.
We made it to the airport without incident and were waiting in the VIP lounge for our flight to be called. "Well Darling, it looks like we're internet stars again," Tom stated before showing me a photo someone sent to him from Instagram.
It showed the two of us walking hand in hand on the beach in San Francisco. You couldn't clearly see our faces as it was a full body shot. I shrugged. "You can't even see my face. Is that the best they could do?"
Before Tom could respond we heard the announcement that our flight was now boarding. We collected our things and went to the gate. We stood nonchalantly in line, with him behind me but not touching me or anything. We sat together on the plane of course; Tom reassuringly held my hand as usual. I was grateful it was a short flight. I still hated planes. We were in the limo on our way to the hotel when I got a call from Joanne. She said nothing about the photo, but told me my morning bookstore event was cancelled so I was free until three o'clock and to enjoy my hotel.
I hung up the phone and turned to Tom, "It looks like we're together until this afternoon.
Apparently the bookstore I was supposed to be at this morning had an electrical fire last night and the place got pretty messed up. It was too short notice to change venues so they just cancelled it. I'm free until three."
"Oh, well, I'm sorry their place got messed up, but I'm happy for extra time with you."
We arrived at the hotel. When we got out I realized it was beachside. That's what Joanne meant by "enjoy your hotel." We checked in and went to our third floor room. It had a beautiful view of the ocean. I wasted no time going out onto the balcony. Tom soon joined me. "So shall we spend the morning on the beach?" He asked.
I grinned. "Sounds like a wonderful plan to me!"
I rushed back inside and hurried into my swimsuit. It was a pink, black and white Hawaiian floral print bikini; I wore a hot pink surfer's rash guard shirt over it. I told Tom I had burned my back so bad the summer before I had blistered, so I always wore one of these shirts now. He helped me put on sunscreen too. When we got downstairs, we discovered a beachwear shop in the back of the lobby, so we stopped in and purchased beach towels. The hotel provided lounge chairs for guests.
We spent the morning having fun in the water. I told him someday I was coming back to the Pacific Ocean to learn to surf. We left at noon so we could have time to shower and eat lunch before I had to leave at two; this bookstore wasn't too far from the hotel.
This time I had a surprise at the bookstore. Someone had taken a photo of Tom and I on the beach where our faces could clearly be seen and plastered it all over social media. I was getting congratulations and questions about dating Tom from nearly everyone I met. I would simply reply that he was a wonderful man and that was all I had to say on the subject. I was grateful when the two hours were over and I was on my way back to the hotel.
When I got to our room, Tom kissed me and said, "Looks like the word is out my love."
He handed me his phone and showed me the picture. It had clearly been taken just before we left when we were walking back to the lounge chairs holding hands. Our faces were clear in this picture. I was surprised none of my friends had sent it to me. I then realized I still had my phone on silent from the flight. I picked it up and looked at it; I had fourteen text messages and four voice mails. I went through all of my messages. Yes everyone had seen the photo; it was all over every social media site on the planet. Joanne was insisting I say something about it. What in the world was I supposed to say? Yes I met Tom Hiddleston on a flight from Atlanta to New York, we talked and he decided to join me and screw my brains out on my book tour. Why was it anyone's freaking business? If I want to bang Tom Hiddleston, then I should be free to do it for as long as he's willing to. If I end up marrying the man, that's our business too.
"Joanne wants me to say something about it," I stated.
"My agent feels the same," he replied.
"Why is it the public's business?"
"It's not Darling," he replied, then kissed me.
I sent Joanne a text message that said, "It's not the public's freaking business. I refuse to say a thing on the matter."
She responded within minutes. "So our official position is that we don't have one?"
I texted back, "My official position is the general public can kiss my ass and mind their own damned business. I do what I want!"
She just texted back OK. Tom had been reading it over my shoulder and he burst into laughter at my last text. "I knew there was something about you I loved. It's not just that beautiful body either!"
I smirked and said, "Shall we get ready for dinner?"
"Of course we should. I'm starving. No more hiding than my love?"
"No, not that I really was to begin with; people are going to do what they're going to do and I just really don't care. I get to be with you and that's what matters to me."
"I rather like that attitude. Let's get ready to go out. Will you wear that black sleeveless dress for me again?"
"It was the nicest dress I brought. I didn't really anticipate going out much; I don't even know what possessed me to bring it along, but I did on a whim."
"I'm glad you had that whim."
I then took the dress and went into the bathroom to wash my face, change and apply some makeup. He changed into a suit while I was in the bathroom. When I emerged, he let out a low whistle of appreciation then took me into his arms. "You look absolutely stunning. That dress shows off all of your curves and your cleavage very nicely. You smell wonderful too; Obsession again?"
"Of course dear; it's my favorite fragrance."
He released me from his embrace so I could put on my heeled sandals. We then left our hotel room. On the ride he told me he'd already made reservations at the restaurant we were headed to while I was at the bookstore. He'd been there a few times before when he was in town and assured me I would like it. When we got out of the limo we were greeted by a couple of photographers snapping pictures of us like crazy as we walked to the door. They must not have known who I was because they kept screaming out "Tom, who's your new girlfriend?"
He ignored them as he took my hand and led me inside. I gave them the most arrogant "eat your heart out" look I could muster. If they were going to plaster my photo everywhere, I might as well make people jealous. This restaurant actually had a VIP section for anyone who could afford it. I recognized a few other celebrities seated at other tables. I casually followed behind Tom to our table as if I did this sort of thing daily and was not at all impressed by the people I was surrounded by. Inside I was practically fangirling like a teenager. I got a few approving stares and smiles from men I walked passed; some liked the view so much they turned to see the other side as I walked past. At least that was how it appeared in my peripheral vision as I refused to turn and look. I also heard the sound of a few of those men getting lightly slapped.
We were soon seated and browsing the menus. After placing our orders, Tom sat sipping his wine, while I was drinking water.
"I'm sorry about the paparazzi outside Darling."
"Why are you apologizing? Did you call them and tell them where you would be dining tonight?"
"No of course not."
"Then it isn't your fault and you have nothing to apologize for. I'm sure we'll be old news in a few more days. Some pop music diva is bound to do something incredibly trashy that will get her gobs of attention and everyone will forget all about you."
"Don't you mean us?"
"No, I mean you. They didn't even know who I am."
"Does that bother you?"
"Why in the world would it bother me? I don't care if people ever connect the dots and put us together. I care more about what you think of me than complete and total strangers."
"I think you're a wonderful woman and the more I know about you, the more I love you."
"The feeling is definitely mutual," I replied.
He then moved on to asking me about my niece and her upcoming high school graduation so we discussed my family until our food arrived and for a good deal of the time we were eating. I loved talking to him. He actually listened to me and asked thoughtful questions. He never once made me feel boring or dumb.
Once we finished our dinner and walked outside, we were relieved to find the paparazzi had left. We got in the limo and headed back to the hotel. I asked if he was sure he wouldn't rather go out to a club or something.
"We can if you want to Darling, but I rather like having you all to myself in the evenings. I enjoy the quiet of watching movies and cuddling or having conversations; just the two of us. Then making love and going to bed. I know all of this hopping from one city to the next so quickly must be very tiring for you."
"Yes, it is rather tiring. I enjoy time alone with you as well. I've never been a fan of noisy clubs to be honest with you. I've never really been a party girl. The theater and opera are loud enough for me. I'd much rather curl up on the sofa and watch movies or have a hot cup of tea and read."
He silently stared at me for several minutes. I was getting uncomfortable so I finally asked if everything was alright. He replied, "Oh, it is fine Darling. I just think I've met the woman of my dreams."
We kissed passionately. We then arrived at the hotel and went up to our room. We both changed into pajamas and curled up on the sofa to find a movie to watch. It was the perfect end to a perfect night. I even went so far as to tell him so when the movie was nearly over. "Oh we're not at the perfect end yet Darling," he responded.
The movie was soon over. "So what is the perfect end then?" I asked innocently.
He picked me up and carried me over to the bed and made love to me. When it was all over, sometime later, he kissed me tenderly and said, "That was the perfect end my love."
We kissed again, and then I fell asleep with my head lying on his chest.