I got my Tuesday bookstore visits out the way. We had dinner at the airport in the VIP lounge while we waited for our flight to Phoenix. By the time we arrived, we were both so tired, we went straight to bed. After that event was out of the way, it was on to Dallas Texas. At my Thursday afternoon event, there were plenty of questions about the photo and Tom. I stuck to my standard reply of he was a wonderful man and that was all I had to say about it.
Friday morning was more of the same at a different bookstore. I was there for nearly three hours. Near the end I received a text from Tom telling me he had picked up the rental car and it was an SUV. I responded that yes I knew that; it was what I requested.
"Oh, OK. I'm outside, can I come in?" He texted back.
"Are you sure you want to cause a riot?" I sent back.
"I feel like being mischievous."
"You better talk to Joanne about being able to get us out of here if you're going to do that."
He didn't send back another message so I thought that was the end of it. Less than ten minutes later, I could hear the crowd behind me erupting in vocal noise and cameras snapping. I turned around to see the cause of the commotion. Tom was approaching with an enormous grin on his face. I stood up to greet him; he gave me a hug. He then waved to the crowd. I heard girls in the crowd chanting "kiss him." He leaned into me and said, "You heard them darling. Let's give them what they want."
He then kissed me on the lips. I could hear the cameras going off like crazy. He then broke the kiss, waved to them all again, took me by the hand and led me back the way he came. We made it outside safely and into the waiting SUV. I got in first and he handed me the keys. Our luggage had been loaded in already so there was no need to go back to the hotel. I followed the GPS directions to I-35 East and headed South toward the town where my family lived.
We stopped at my favorite fast food chicken place just outside of Dallas to grab some lunch to eat on the ride. I had the Cajun chicken strips meal with seasoned French fries. Tom had ordered the mild strips with fries. He asked if he could try a bite of mine since he'd never had Cajun style chicken before. He took a small bite and immediately commented on how spicy it was.
I laughed and said, "Of course it is, it's Cajun baby! Didn't you have any Cajun food when you filmed that movie in Louisiana?"
"No, I can't say that I did."
I laughed again and said, "You might as well get used to it. I make Jambalaya, Dirty Rice and Red Beans and Rice. My chili is not on the mild side either. I've got a Cajun quartet at home."
"So your ex-husband was Cajun then? I think that's the most I've learned of him yet."
"That's still not a subject that's open for discussion Tom."
"He must have done something terrible to you that you refuse to talk about him. Maybe someday you'll tell me."
"Maybe someday, but that day isn't coming anytime soon."
I turned on the radio and we continued eating in silence. I'd sing along when a song I liked started playing. It was a classic country station so I knew quite a few of the songs. Tom just relaxed and listened to my voice. At one point he told me I sang very well, but that was all that he ventured to say. We finally arrived at the highway I needed to turn off of the interstate to get to my sister's house. They all knew I would be in today, but no one knew exactly what time. In another half hour, I pulled into my sister's driveway. Her SUV and my Mom's mini-van were both parked out front. I shut off the engine and quickly exited the rental. I didn't even make it to the porch until the front door flew open and my nieces came running outside to greet me. We hugged and everyone was talking at once.
"I told you I'd be here for your graduation!" I told Dianna as I hugged her fiercely.
"I'm so happy you made it!"
I then turned to hug Andrea. "I swear you're taller than I am now! When did that happen?"
My Mom and sister than came out of the house while Tom got out of the rental. He just stood there waiting patiently to be introduced. I rushed up the stairs to the porch and hugged my sister and Mom. I than gestured to Tom to come up the stairs. He took my hand while I said, "I'd like for y'all to meet Tom. He's my boyfriend."
"Good to meet you Tom," my Mom and sister said in near unison.
We all then went inside and spent the next few hours talking; catching up and talking about graduation the next day. It was during that time that my nieces figured out he was Tom Hiddleston, the actor who played Loki in the Marvel movies. They got all excited and went into fangirl mode wanting to take selfies with him. My sister started to admonish them for it when Tom said it was OK and they could do a selfie each. Needless to say both photos went right up on Facebook. They then dragged me off to their room under the guise of wanting to show me what they planned to wear. They really spent the time grilling me about how he and I met and gushing over how incredibly lucky I was and awesome it was to be dating a celebrity. I told them he was wonderful but I could do without the paparazzi. I then showed them the photos that were all over the internet. They'd both been so busy the last few days they hadn't seen them. I explained it wasn't a whole lot of fun to not be able to just go on a date without people taking your picture and yelling out rude questions that were just none of their business.
We eventually gravitated back into the kitchen where my Mom and sister had started making dinner. I sat at the table and snapped beans while Tom was sharing stories with my sister about Scotland. I finished the beans and put them on to cook just as my brother-in-law and nephew got home. Everyone talked for a while longer while we finished cooking dinner. Tom seemed to be enjoying my family. He talked and laughed with everyone as if he'd known them all for years.
I have to admit that not long after dinner was over and the kitchen was cleaned up, I began nodding off at the table. My Mom insisted that Tom and I take her bed and she'd sleep on the couch. I tried to argue and say I'd be fine sleeping on the couch, but she wouldn't hear of it.
"Honey, you're exhausted and I'm going to be up for a while yet. You've both traveled a lot in the last couple of weeks and need a comfortable bed to sleep in for a couple of nights," she stated stubbornly.
"That's definitely true. My jet lag has jet lag! I am never agreeing to another tour like this again. Two cities in one week is my limit from now on."
I then said goodnight to everyone and went to my Mom's bedroom; Tom followed me. I realized I hadn't brought in our bags so we went out the back door and got our suitcases out of the rental. Once we were back inside, we both changed into our pajamas and went straight to bed even though it was only about eight o'clock. We were both exhausted.
We both slept for twelve hours straight. Tom woke up before I did and went straight to the bathroom to shower and dress. I went straight to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and doughnuts. My nieces and nephew were still asleep by the time Tom was out of the shower so I went to shower and dress before they got up and started getting ready. The graduation ceremony wasn't until one in the afternoon, but I knew they would spend a couple of hours getting ready and the graduating class had to be there at least half an hour early.
By the time I got out of the shower, everyone else was awake and my brother-in-law was making breakfast with Dianna and Andrea helping. It was sausage and pancakes; he made the sausage while the girls were making pancakes. Tom was sitting at the table drinking coffee and talking to my Mom. He was wearing blue jeans and a light blue button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. I loved it when he wore blue shirts; it made his eyes look so much bluer than usual. I got a second cup of coffee and joined them at the table.
The girls soon served everyone breakfast. They were very pleased with themselves when Tom complimented them on their pancakes. After second helpings, more coffee, orange juice, talking and laughter, the girls went to shower and get ready. I helped Mom clean up while Tom talked to my sister and brother-in-law. Before my Mom went to her room to get dressed, she leaned over and said, "Hang on to this one honey, I really like him and he treats you well." She then kissed my cheek and went to her room.
I started to join Tom at the table when I was summoned by my niece to help with hair styling. I spent the next hour helping to dry and style hair while they did their own makeup. There was going to be a big potluck reception in the gym after the ceremony for the graduates and their families so no one was eating lunch. There were only about thirty kids in her graduating class; an advantage to living in a small town. Plenty of relatives and friends were expected to show up for the ceremony though. Tom was a little bit nervous that he was going to cause a commotion and take the attention off of the graduates. My brother-in-law loaned him one of his Stetsons and told him just to go up in the bleachers in the back and no one would be likely to notice him.
When it was time to go, my Mom, my nephew Kenny, and Andrea rode with us in my rental. Dianna went with her parents about fifteen minutes before we left. Mom led the way to the school gym where Tom and I went in as quickly and casually as we could manage. I immediately saw where they had it marked for the guests to sit, so I led Tom all the way to the top of the bleachers. No one paid any attention to us. There were very few people sitting all the way up there even as it got closer for the ceremony to begin. Most people wanted to be closer so they got the best camera angles for pictures. Tom just didn't want to draw attention to himself because the event was about my niece and her classmates. He tried to get me to go down to where my family was sitting, but I refused to leave him there alone. Besides, a man sitting there alone might draw more attention than if he were with someone. I also had a zoom on my camera so my pictures would turn out just fine.
We made it through the ceremony without drawing a crowd. When it was over, I asked Tom if he wanted to leave. He said it was fine to stay now that the ceremony was over; he just didn't want to cause a problem before or during it. We caught up with my niece and I hugged her and congratulated her; she introduced us to her friends. We all got something to eat. Some of the people caught on to who Tom was and shyly asked for autographs or selfies. He ended up posing for a picture with the entire graduating class. Dianna was on his right while her best friend was on his left. He actually had a good time socializing with everyone. No one was rude or did anything inappropriate.
It was almost sunset by the time we went back to my sister's house. We all sat around on the back porch and in the yard drinking beer and wine coolers, eating leftovers, listening to music and talking until midnight. Once it got dark, the torches and bonfire got lit. Tom got a little tipsy and was dancing in the yard with my nieces and a couple of their friends who had come over. He finally convinced me to join them so we were all dancing in the firelight like a group of drunken idiots.
When we finally went to bed that night, I don't know if Tom fell asleep or passed out. The last thing he said to me before he was out was that my family was great.
He slept until almost ten the next morning. I was up by half past eight. Mom was the only other person awake. She and I sat at the kitchen table talking and drinking coffee. I told her all about how Tom and I had met on the flight from Atlanta to New York City and he ended up staying with me because he didn't think I should travel alone. I told her about all of the long conversations we'd had, how he couldn't wait to meet my kids, how much we had in common, and what a wonderful man he was. I left out how much sex we'd had. My Mom asked if I was in love with him. I said I didn't know for sure yet, but it sure seemed to be heading in that direction. She told me to be careful and not make the same mistake I'd made before. I assured her that Tom was entirely different from my ex-husband. He was kind, considerate, compassionate, ambitious, and genuinely cared for me. There was no way I was repeating that mistake with Tom. My Mom just reminded me not to rush into anything this time.
It was then that Tom woke up and came into the kitchen. He immediately got a cup of coffee and joined us at the table. He was still in his t-shirt and pajama pants; he hadn't bothered to get dressed. The three of us sat there and talked for a while. Other people gradually began waking up and coming out for coffee or orange juice. We soon had breakfast and then Tom and I went to shower and get dressed. We spent the day relaxing while my nieces and nephew went to hang out with their friends. My sister had to work that afternoon and my brother-in-law went to help his brother with something. Tom and I watched movies with my Mom. Since no one was going to be home for dinner, we just had soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Tom and I ended up going to bed by nine since we would have to leave early in the morning.
We were up at five the next morning and showered and dressed. Mom got up too so she could say goodbye. We packed everything and put our luggage in the rental. We then spent almost half an hour having coffee and doughnuts before we left. It was nearly a four hour drive to Houston and I wanted to be there by noon or a little after so we would have time to get lunch before I had to be at the bookstore for two. Mom and I finally said our tearful goodbyes and I climbed into the giant black rental SUV to drive to Houston. Tom promised I would be back to visit soon and bring the boys. He'd make sure of it. We finally pulled out of the driveway and onto the highway to make our way to I-45 South to Houston.
We arrived at the bookstore shortly after noon and found a restaurant nearby to have lunch. We took our time and had a pleasant lunch together. He kissed me before I went off to the bookstore, promising he'd find a way to amuse himself without drawing a crowd. This session was rather uneventful. Apparently our photo was old news to most people because only a handful of people said anything to me about it. Two-in-a-half hours later, we were on our way to the airport where we'd turn in our rental to take a short flight to New Orleans. It was a little over an hour by plane while it was over five hours to drive.
Since our flight was at six, we decided to wait until we were in New Orleans to have dinner. There was a restaurant there called Saints & Sinners that I wanted to try so Tom made reservations for eight-thirty while we sat in the VIP lounge. It wasn't long until we boarded since there were no delays. I ended up falling asleep with my head on Tom's shoulder for the whole short flight. We went immediately to our hotel to check in and took our bags to our room. I checked the map on my phone and discovered we were only a block away from the restaurant so we decided to walk. We had twenty minutes to get there so I didn't have to time to change into Tom's favorite dress. I was still wearing the burgundy button down, three-quarter sleeve blouse and black pants I'd put on at half past five that morning. We headed out to walk to the restaurant. I was grateful I was wearing low heeled loafers and not my four-inch high heeled sandals since Tom was walking quickly through the crowd. He held my hand tightly and I tried to stay close so we wouldn't get separated.
We made it in to the restaurant in time and didn't have to wait long to be seated. Tom ordered his usual glass of red wine while I had a hurricane. I convinced him to try the red beans and rice with sausage which was what I ordered. We enjoyed our dinner, drinks and more conversation. This was the last stop and our last night in a hotel room alone together. Tomorrow night I would sleep in my own bed. Tom was actually a bit nervous about meeting my kids. He would only be able to stay with us for a couple of weeks before he absolutely had to go to London to take care of some business. He promised me it wouldn't take more than a week; two at the absolute most, but he thought that was a stretch. He would then be free to spend the rest of the summer with us. He had no obligations until the second week of September where he would spend ten weeks filming a movie.
"Ten weeks? What exactly are those dates?"
"September fourteenth until November twenty-third. Why Darling?"
My heart sank. I thought I was finally going to have someone to spend my birthday with. I could feel myself tearing up, but I didn't want to make a big deal about it and I certainly didn't want to make him feel bad about it. I replied as casually as I could manage, "No reason. I just wanted to know the exact dates. I wasn't joking when I said I'm an obsessive planner."
We had finished eating. I took the last of my drink in a generous gulp. "Are you finished? Can we go now?"
"Yes, I am," he replied as he signaled to the waiter who had already brought our check some time before. Tom had slipped his credit card in the folder already.
The waiter took it and returned shortly with the receipt for Tom to sign. He scribbled his signature, took his card and the other receipt while I got up and headed for the door. The waiter thanked us for our visit and wished us a good night. I was out the door ahead of Tom. He caught up to me quickly and grabbed my arm. "What's wrong Darling?"
"Nothing at all, what makes you think something's wrong?"
"I'm not a total moron..." he then froze mid-sentence. I could see the revelation dawning in his eyes. He went on, "Oh Darling, I'm sorry; your birthday is on the fourteenth."
He took me in his arms and hugged me to him. "Don't worry sweetheart, we'll still celebrate. Your birthday is on a Saturday, so maybe you can get someone to watch your kids and you can fly out to be with me for the weekend. Their father gets some weekends with them right?"
"Yes, he does."
"Well maybe he can take them that weekend and you can fly to London on Friday morning, or Thursday night and we can spend the whole weekend together. Does that sound like a birthday plan?"
I smiled and kissed him. "It sounds like a wonderful plan. You and England on my birthday; it just may be the best birthday I've ever had."
We then walked on to our hotel. We were no sooner in the room with the door locked than Tom started kissing me and undressing me. Once he had me naked and on the bed, he undressed himself and lay next to me with his upper half on top of me and continued kissing me. Eventually his lips wandered onto my neck and down to my breasts. He spent a good deal of time wandering between the two, kissing, licking and sucking. Finally his lips moved on south until they reached my pelvis. I spread my legs wide and felt his tongue slide over the shaved folds of skin until it slipped between them to caress that little nub that gave me such intense pleasure. He fondled and teased it with his tongue for quite some time. Eventually he brought me to an intense orgasm that had me moaning loudly. He sat up on his legs, grabbed my bottom and lifted me up. I wrapped my arms around him as he pushed me back against the headboard of the bed. "I thought we'd end this in the same position we started it," he whispered in my ear.
He then plunged himself deeply inside of me and I moaned loudly. His thrusts were hard, fast and deep. I couldn't help but keep moaning as he hit every place inside of me that felt good. He kept it up for quite some time before he came close to his orgasm and really began pounding me furiously. The bed actually banged against the wall with every thrust he made. His body was lightly covered in sweat. I screamed his name as my body erupted in the most intense orgasm I'd had since we'd begun having sex. His soon joined mine and he loudly moaned my name too.
We both sort of slid down the bed and collapsed onto our backs. He was breathing so hard he couldn't speak. I rolled onto my side and put my left arm around him; I could feel his heart racing still. After several minutes, he finally managed to say, "That was by far the best one yet."
I giggled and said, "Yes it definitely was."
I kissed his cheek and then reached over him to turn off the lamp. It took a bit longer than usual, but I could tell by his slower breathing he had fallen asleep. I laid my head on his chest and soon fell asleep too.