"Tell me something," she said, lifting her head from his chest as they reclined on the couch after supper.
"Che cosa, bambina? What, baby?"
What was it like when you went to Sealy school? Was it like boot camp?"
"Worse than boot camp, bambina, much worse."
"You're saying Navy Seals had it worse than what marines go through at Parris Island?"
"Seals are the finest fighting force in the world, sweetheart and the best trained."
"Better than a marine?" Spencer's eyebrows arched.
"Treading on dangerous territory, bambina," he growled. "No marine can outfight a Seal."
"Cruisin for a bruisin?" he asked as his excessively large hand suddenly cupped her exceedingly small backside.
As usual, Spencer pushed the envelope.
"What about the French? Don't they have the Foreign Legion or something? I bet they could give a Seal Team a run for their money."
"The French?" JC sputtered. "Not a chance in Hell!"
Lots of ugly phrases followed this declaration. Unfortunately, they were muttered in Italian so Spencer didn't get the full brunt of her husband's commentary.
"What about the Mossad?" I hear they're probably the best trained and the most successful fighting units world wide."
"Good fighters," JC agreed. "But not up to Seal standards."
"You're sure about this?"
"You're a little bit conceited, too," she added, stroking his cheek with the back of her hand.
"Not conceit," he murmured. "Proud."
"So what did they teach you in Sealy school?"
"Unconventional warfare, counter-guerilla warfare, clandestine ops, how to do our jobs in blue and brown water environments," he recited, listing numerous skills he had learned and omitting quite a few skills he didn't think civilians needed to know and in particular, his wife.
"Did they teach you how to kill someone?"
"Would you care to elaborate?"
"Is that where they teach you how to be mean and how to glare really effectively and scare the beejeebees out of everybody?"
"Not everybody," he smiled, sitting up and pulling her onto his lap. "Only those under my command. Doesn't do a thing for you."
"You know what does do a thing for me?"
"Dicami, Tell me, " his voice growing husky with sudden need. "What does it for you?"
"Cheesecake!" Spencer pronounced and leaped from his lap to hightail it to the kitchen.
"When I get my hands on you," he muttered, going after his teasing wife... "I'm gonna do it for you alright! You're not gonna sit until..."
"Catch me squid!" she yelled, already out the back door and down the stairs and headed toward the wooded trails behind their house.
"Spencer! Come back, bambina. It's too dark for you to be running out there. You'll trip and fall."
"What a wuss you are!" she yelled and continued to run in spite of his words. And then she had a brilliant idea...
They both jogged the walking trails that wound in and around the heavily wooded grounds that marked their property on a daily basis. JC generally jogged at dawn while Spencer slept but occasionally she woke before he returned home. On those mornings, she sat on the back porch steps and waited for him with a hot mug of coffee. Whenever he saw her sitting there - before the sun was up - he'd sip from the mug, then set it aside.
Her actions were predictable. As soon as JC put the mug down, Spencer made a dash for it but JC always caught her before she got away. He'd pull her up into his arms and deliver a hard swat to her posterior to remind her that it was never safe to sit outside in the dark by herself. Lots of kisses always followed.
The often took an early evening walk together and more often than not, they jogged the trails. They never jogged the trails at night.
"Spencer! You better turn around right now! Don't make me come after you!"
"Wuss!" She yelled as she ran further and further into the woods and laughed when she heard him yell that she was in for it.
"You and what Army?" she muttered, still unsure why the word "Army" made her Navy Seal husband growl. In a matter of minutes, she reached the giant tree that marked a fork in the path. That wasn't the only thing the tree was good for; it was a tree Spencer had climbed numerous times and one she was very familiar with. Its branches, high above her head, were the beginning of an aerial path she had climbed and crawled over almost as often as she had jogged the path below and one that she had not shared with her husband. It would take a discerning eye to spot her in the branches in daylight but at night it would be near impossible to find her unless you knew where to look.
Spencer was hard pressed not to giggle when she thought of JC walking briskly in her direction. As a Seal, he walked with stealth - silent and deadly when necessary. His endurance was far greater than hers but she knew she could outwit him if she waited long enough.
He didn't call out to her; he wouldn't do that unless he thought she was injured. He'd simply stalk her... catch her unawares, kiss her breathless until he was satisfied she was all right. Then, he'd blister her butt for scaring the beejeebees out of him and then love her until she melted in his arms.
She always melted fast.
In order to know if JC was anywhere near her hiding place, Spencer had to peek through the branches. The moon was bright but the thickness of the foliage didn't allow much light to come through. She counted out five minutes in her head... took a chance, and scurried down the tree trunk as quickly as possible. She stood quietly, breathing slow and shallow breaths, listening the way JC had taught her. If there was dead silence, something wasn't right. If the night sounds were muted, all was normal.
Satisfied that JC wasn't anywhere near by, she ran on silent feet back to the house. Once there, she slipped in the back door, up the stairs and into the shower. She was certain JC would still be looking for her on the trail.
I'll sit at the kitchen counter and eat cheesecake and he'll come through the door and put his hands on his hips and growl at me. The image in her head made her laugh aloud.
"What's so funny, bambina?" he asked as he stepped into the shower behind her and pulled her against his chest.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" Spencer yelled. "You scared the beejeebees out of me!"
"That's not all I'm gonna do, sweetheart."
"I never heard you come into the house or... or... anything! And how did you know I was here?" she asked, indignant that he found her before she was ready for him to find her.
"My secret," he smiled, kissing the tip of her nose and reaching for the shampoo. "Gonna wash your hair baby. Put your head back."
Predictably... her head went back, under the showerhead, her throat exposed.
Predictably... his mouth descended, anointing the hollow of her throat, his arms tightening...
"No spanking in the shower," she told him when he let her up for air and began to rub the shampoo through her hair.
"So..." he drawled. "You admit you deserve a spanking for making me worry about you."
"Of course not. Didn't do anything wrong. Just led you on a merry chase. That's my job, you know," she added, running soapy hands down his wet chest. "Wives are supposed to keep life interesting."
"You do a good job of doing that, bambina," he assured her, grabbing her hands before they found something "interesting."
"I should be rewarded for that," Spencer sighed as he massaged her scalp.
"You will be," her husband promised. "As soon as we get out of the shower, you'll be rewarded."
"Cheesecake?" she asked.
"Loving," he murmured, his hands moving from her scalp to the backs of her ears, momentarily lingering there. He pushed her against the tiles, his body expressing need, hers wet and responding. The hot water cascaded... there were soap suds and slippery satin skin beneath his palms. Washboard abs flexed with every touch of her hands.
"Gonna spank you hard," he promised, lifting her so her legs could encircle his hips. "As soon as we're dry and I can catch my breath... gonna spank you so hard."
Her breath came in ragged gasps and sweet moans of pleasure that rang like music in his ears. It spurred him to thrust deeper and take more of what she offered, more of what was already his.
"Non si dimentichi che siete il mio proprio, Do not forget that you are mine," he whispered just before she clenched around him and threw him headlong off the cliff into climax.
When her gaze returned to normal and her breath evened out, she was aware that he was toweling her dry. Her hair hung damp, a few stray curls on her neck and cheeks, the length of her wet hair over her shoulders. Shivers skated merrily over the surface of her skin, his lips pausing here... there... most everywhere while he dried her.
A row of droplets lingered at the top of his brow, his own hair still wet from their shower. She reached up to wipe them away and he took her fingers... one by one... sucked them between his lips... kissed her palm... then without warning, turned her over his lap. Her belly lay between his spread thighs, her thigh pressed against his groin.
JC groaned at the contact, still sensitive from their union.
Spencer allowed herself a brief smile.
His hand came down... one harsh swat... another... a restrained reminder that she had worried him when she ran into the woods. "Do I hear an apology?" he asked as he rubbed his palm over her bottom cheeks.
"Never," she said quietly. "Apologies are for wusses and I'm not a wuss."
"No, you're not," he agreed and warmed her bottom with a not-too-gentle hand. It was a simple reprimand, hard and hot and fortunately, brief. She was back up in his embrace before the heat intensified.
He was kissing her.
He was murmuring love words in Italian, in Portuguese and in Greek.
"Was one of those words cheesecake?" she asked.
"Bambina," he shook his head. "I'm not sure you have a romantic bone in your body."
"I'd like to put some cheesecake in my body," she replied and with a perfectly straight face.
"Cheesecake coming up," he announced and carried her downstairs - the bath towels they had been wearing left behind. With one hand, he held her down on top of the dining room table, and with the other, he smeared the entire cheesecake over her torso - from neck to upper thighs.
"I said *in* my body, not *on* my body," Spencer protested, scooping some of it up to eat from her fingers.
JC smiled. It was a very wicked smile.
"You're very naughty," she told him as his mouth began its descent.
"Si, I am," he agreed. "And you adora... beloved..." Looking up, their eyes held each other in the moment. His deep voice resonated with love, the words resolute and filled with intimacy.
"Ricordisi di. Remember. Appartenete a me. You belong to me."