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Anna held up the light blue cardigan. Spring in Utah was notorious for being unpredictable. The warm front sitting over the valley had the temperatures reaching into the mid-70s for the last few days which made it perfect for concert-going. The cardigan would look well over the spaghetti-strapped tank top she wore with her jeans. She placed the cardi in her lap and inspected herself in her bathroom mirror. 

 For being in her mid-30s, she still looked young. The blessing of the Irish, her mother would say. She put her chin to her shoulder. There was a light sprinkle of freckles on her otherwise creamy white skin.  Phillip made her realize how much she missed being desired. When he looked at her with those chocolate brown eyes, she saw the question behind them. She quivered inside with all the possibilities that the question suggested. Darren had been the only man she'd ever been with and that fact alone made the idea of intimacy with Phillip both exciting and intimidating. Sometimes when she kissed or touched Phillip, the lines blurred a bit and it was Darren's lips she kissed or his hand running down her back. It was an instant buzzkill. Desire warred with guilt. Feeling guilty felt stupid sometimes because she knew in her head Darren would be happy for her. He'd been gone for seven years now. Her stupid brain had a hard time letting go of Darren in the most intimate of moments between her and Phillip.  Would Phillip suspect that in almost everything he got compared to Darren without her meaning to, especially now when she was having a harder time putting on the brakes?

 Her cell phone rang. She smiled. "Hi."

"Good evening, beautiful," he said. "Nearly ready?"

"Yup, I'm ready," she said. "Come over whenever now."

She ended the call and moved to the front room. She draped the cardigan over the arm of her couch and waited. Despite her doubts and fears, every time she heard his voice on the phone or in person, the fears left for a while. His voice comforted her that much or nearly as much as being held in his arms. And it was in those moments when she felt she could really believe that all the doubts were totally unfounded. She reminded herself on more than one occasion that being intimate with Phillip to that extent would be easy. He had already seen her nearly naked once, and she never got the impression that he didn't appreciate what he saw. It wouldn't be any different when they did finally get to that level of intimacy. She wanted Phillip so much but she was afraid of disappointing him. Would he be disappointed in not only the way she looked but in her ability to please him?  She hoped not.

Ophelia had been nice enough to babysit for her while Phillip and she went to this concert. Ophelia and Phillip had conspired a month ago to give her the best Valentine's Day present that Anna could think of - tickets to see Muse in concert. He'd gotten a very long and enthusiastic kiss for that. They were one of her favorite bands, and she couldn't think of anything better than leaning into Phillip all night listening to 'Undisclosed Desires' and 'Starlight'.

She opened the door when the doorbell sounded and found him with a mischievous look on his face. He held up a single white rose with a red velvet ribbon tied around it. It was so cheesy it was adorable, and she couldn't help but giggle as she turned around to put the rose in a vase.

"Are we leaving right away?" he said, looking around.

"The kids are not here," she said. "If that's what you're worried about."

"Good, then they won't be here to see me do this," he said, as he came up to her, and with her face in his hands kissed her deeply. If her toes could, they would've been curling with the touch of his soft lips making her shiver.

"I'm glad you're here," she said, going over to the couch and patting a cushion. "Want to take a second to get caught up? USANA amphitheater's parking lot's a nightmare and it'll be hard to hear with all those people."

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