The credits rolled across the screen. Billy turned to look at her, surprised to see her staring up at him.
“I can see what you mean about that ending. It definitely needs a rewrite.” She smiled at him, one of her smiles she reserved for the very special occasions, the ones that could light up a room.
“Well,” he whispered, kissing her lightly, “We’ll have to see what we can do about that.”
He watched entranced as her eyes sparkled and she leaned in closer to him, her lips brushing his ear as she whispered, “I have some ideas.”
She reached down, finding the blanket that lay across their legs. Pulling it up overtop of them, she reached behind her neck, the halter tie of the dress resting between her fingers.
Her smile grew as she felt his hand on top of hers. “I think you’ve had too much champagne,” he whispered. “And as much as I’m gonna kick myself for this later, there are people right over there.” He pointed to a small group of people just outside of the sectioned off area. “Trust me, I want you, but I don’t particularly want to share you.”
Phyllis grinned, “I’d be offended if you weren’t so damn honorable.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been called that before.”
Just when he thought he loved her as much as he possibly could, he’d see another side of her, another aspect of her personality that was so irresistible to him that he could barely comprehend the reality that she existed. Sitting here with here in public, joking, teasing, flirting—it was something they’d never been able to do. It was fun and simple and easy. It was what they needed, what they craved. Seeing her like this, so free, so open. This was Phyllis, the real Phyllis. This was the Phyllis he’d told his brother about all those months ago. The one that needed to be able to fly.
He couldn’t help but smile at her.
“What’s that smile for?” she asked him, her fingertips still trailing up and down his chest.
“It’s always about you.” The smile he got in return would have brought him to his knees if he’d been standing. “Why don’t we take this somewhere more private,” he managed, afraid if they didn’t relocate he might soon give in to her advances regardless of what kind of audience they might have.
“You room or mine?” she teased.
“Young Phyllis,” he smiled, “Your mind is still deep in the gutter.”
“As if yours isn’t? But I mean we could go bowling or something. I heard the bowling alley is open all night.”
“My room,” Billy said quickly.
“Thought you might change your mind,” she whispered, standing up and blowing him a kiss over her shoulder before walking towards their hall.
Billy stood slack jawed for a moment as he watched her in total and complete awe. This was her. This was who she truly was. He’d seen glimpses of this woman in Genoa City, when she’d been on his motorcycle with him, when they’d spent hours together scheming, but this—to see her like this. It amazed him that his brother had been able to let anything stifle her. If he’d ever seen this in her, to lose it…it should have been unthinkable.
He shook his head as he finally jolted into movement, realizing he’d been standing still for far too long. Ever second he spent thinking was a minute left he had to spend with the woman he loved. There wasn’t a second to waste.
“I have to say, this is far more wholesome than I gave you credit for.” Phyllis smiled as Billy wheeled in the cart of fruit and cheese.
“You know, I’m beginning to take offense at this. You think I bring you back here to just have my way with you?”
She smiled, grabbing a few grapes and popping them into her mouth, pausing for a moment to chew. “Kind of.”
Billy huffed. “Actually, I thought we could have a little something to eat and maybe soak in the hot tub. Just relax for a bit.”
“Really? Just relax for a bit…in the hot tub?” She stared at him, her eyes narrowing. “If I were the suspicious type…”
“What?” His voice broke into laughter as he watched her.
“What exactly do you think I’m trying to do here? I planned a very nice evening. I’ve got some food and the room has a hot tub…”
“Okay…Okay…lead the way.”
Billy stepped towards the back, the steam from the hot tub already warming the small room. “See.” He looked back at her, with a satisfied grin, “Doesn’t this look nice and relaxing?”
“It does,” she admitted, stepping closer to the tub and bending down to dip her hand into the water.
Billy stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her back towards him. He lightly kissed her neck. “And of course, we’ll be naked,” he whispered, grinning as he felt her body shake with a giggle.
“See now that makes more sense,” she smiled. “That’s the Billy Abbott I know and love.”
She said it before she thought about it and it was the natural ease of it that made it so strange and so completely perfect. For a moment she considered not acknowledging it, but the look in his eyes told her she couldn’t do that—not to him, not to them. This wasn’t some slip of the tongue and it wasn’t some turn of phrase. This was truth.
“What did you say?” he asked, almost stunned.
“I said…” she stepped back a moment, the heat of the room and the intensity of his eyes on her making her dizzy.
“I heard what you said.” He held out his arm, steadying her easily. She couldn’t walk away from him, not now, not when he was so close.
“Then why did you ask? Why did you ask me if you heard?”
“I need you to say it again. I need to know you mean it. I need to hear it..”
She could hear the break in his voice, the pure sincerity and knowing how real it was for him, knowing the emotion it brought for him made it all the more real for her. She reached up, placing her hand on his face, her eyes looking into his.
Her own heart beat wildly as she struggled to catch her breath. “I love you.”