... ... ...
She wakes to the tingling sensation of lips ghosting across the skin of her shoulder. She shivers delightfully as they move toward her neck and a smile slips onto her face. She keeps her eyes closed but tilts her head back into his touch and he increases the pressure of each kiss as he works his way up to her ear.
"Good morning," he whispers on arrival, then his hand slides over her hip, landing flat on her stomach and he presses his body along her back. Then he adds, "Mrs Humphrey."
Her smile widens and she turns so she can accept his kisses with her lips. His hand settles on her waist; his body moving over hers, pinning her securely, comfortably, to his bed.
"Did you sleep well?" he murmurs between kisses.
"Very," she replies.
"And how do you feel this morning?"
She's delayed in responding verbally when he deliberately caresses a sensitive spot on her neck straight after posing his question.
Instead contented humming is her only answer until he eventually pulls back and looks into her eyes.
"Hmm?" he encourages, smugly.
She brings her hand up to stroke his cheek. "I feel..." She rests the hand on his shoulder. "... Perfect."
He grins widely in approval.
"We finally made it," she smiles, showing him her elation and also her lingering disbelief.
"We did..." He touches his lips to hers. "But don't stay perfect for too long, hmm?" Another kiss. "I love your imperfections."
Laughing aloud, she remarks, "Luckily."
His eyes capture hers and she has never felt more loved; more adored. "Luckiest man in the world."
"Thank you," she says, reverently, "for... persevering with me."
"I knew you were worth it."
For a while they just gaze at each other, smiles wide, eyes locked, absorbing the moment. She could stay there forever. But her stomach has other ideas.
"Hungry?" he chuckles, stroking his hand across her abdomen.
"Mm... But I don't want to move from this moment."
He lowers his head to hers and she goes willingly into the kiss, wrapping her arms around him, pulling him closer.
It isn't her stomach that breaks the moment this time.
Chuckling against her lips, he whispers, "We have the rest of our lives for moments like this... But that won't be very long if we deny ourselves food."
"True," she agrees, reluctantly seeing his logic.
He kisses her again, then instructs, "Stay here," and moves away.
He pauses in putting on his robe to suggest, "Let me bring you breakfast in bed."
She's probably more excited about that idea than she should be. But every emotion seems heightened in this post-wedding bubble. She didn't experience that the first four times.
"Okay. Thank you."
While he leaves to prepare their meal she sits up and smooths out the bedclothes around her. He isn't gone for as long as she expects though.
"That was quick," she comments, watching him enter with a tray full of pastries and juice.
"Courtesy of our children," he explains, laying the tray down beside her on the bed and handing her a small card.
She is filled with absolute joy as she reads their brief message of congratulations and takes in all their names - including Scott's.
"I thought they made themselves scarce last night," she remarks, hearing in her voice the tears she can feel in her eyes. "They were very vocal about doing so."
"They must have snuck back in."
Her happiness is almost overwhelming. "We really are lucky."
"Yes we are..." They share a tender kiss. "Now let's eat."
He slips under the covers beside her and she lifts the tray onto her lap. While they eat, they talk about the children; the wedding; the future. They sneak kisses, they hold hands. They laugh.
And she can't help but acknowledge that if they hadn't waited twenty years, this moment would have been very different. Maybe that's how long it takes to prepare perfection.