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Merlot & Lemonade

When Life Gives You Lemons, Drink Merlot

By Misha AlslebenPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 10 min read

I want her home before midnight”

Leo chuckled “ But Sir you already own her home “

My dad let out a deep laugh at his joke as he looked from Leo to me.

Amused and laughing he adjusted himself in his chair situated in front of the T.V playing on mute as he was talking to us, the cool air nipped at my skin as it blew in through the window and his laughter filled the room.

“Ayla, If you don’t sleep with him, I will.” My dad joked, his laughter coming to an end as he gave me a straight-faced expression as if he was very serious.

“Dad!" I squeaked out bewildered, feeling the heat that rushed to my cheeks from his joke.

"Ayla my sweet girl, go have fun. You’ve got a winner here Leo, take care of her, and I’m sorry to of kept you two" he said shooing us.

“ No problem Sir, it was nice to meet you and I know it took me long enough to get a yes out of her, I’m hoping you enjoy yourself” he mentioned nudging me in the arm.

“Same for you" I replied smiling as we left, following him outside to his car.

Something about Leo has always intrigued me. He worked hard was easy-going but firm in what he wanted and not the bartender or club owner to try and get an attitude with. Over the last two years, it’s been hard not to notice the few dozen attractive, successful women come into the club every night and they all have one thing in common, they love Leo. He always turned their advances down though and now, we are on a date he planned entirely on his own. So bizarre my thoughts wandered as I took in the fresh spring air.

We turned down a dirt road lined with beautiful trees in fresh bloom.

“ Beautiful ” I muttered out looking up at them

“Yes you are" he smiled from the driver seat

 Realization crossed his face when he looked over to me and caught my gaze on the trees around us. "Ohhh you meant the trees?" he laughed.

"They are catalpa trees. The leaves are shaped like hearts, they were never naturalized but the owners of the property imported more they make the air smell so sweet this time of year too” He spoke about them fondly grabbing my hand as we drove down the road dirt kicking up dust

His brown eyes gleamed as the warm sun bounced off his leather jacket.

” Follow me” he gestured toward the main house. Walking through the foyer we went straight to the backyard

Lush green trees and freshly cut grass filled the orchard near the barn, bright lemons shone in the sun and I looked to my left to see Leo grabbing a bucket and gloves.

"Lemon picking?"

"Yes, they are quite a rare occurrence here to see lemon trees without pots. The owners put a significant amount of money and effort into protecting the trees during the winter months."

I grabbed a pair of gloves from him brushing my hand against his.

For the most part, I knew some about Leo and him me.

We talked and walked for a few hours before we reached the backside of the orchard. The sun was already starting to set and looking up I saw the cutest set up in the grass.

A patch of grass right next to a lemon tree held a multi-colored checkered blanket, a picnic basket and my eyes finally fell on the intricately placed wine glasses & wine. In the neighboring field a lone pear tree stood tall and proud.

You could hear a small stream rhythmically trickling and freshly hatched chicks chirping happily nearby. The tension I had held in my shoulders far too long released as I turned to look to Leo.

“ Leo this is beautiful.“

Leo removed his coat revealing his normally hidden tattoos, my curiosity hadn’t been strong to see the rest but right now, sitting here watching his set up food after the day full of the meaningful conversation my mind was wandering.

“So there’s the fruit board with chocolate dip, meats, cheese, and couldn’t forget the wine“ he grinned pulling out a bottle of wine setting it down while searching through the almost empty picnic basket finally retrieving a silver corkscrew.

"What's your favorite hobby Leo, outside the club and from behind the bar" I inquired with curiosity burning.

"I love to cook, especially unique things or things I've never tried before. what about you ?"

"Funny enough, cooking, but also art. I love to create, not very good but still, enjoy using my free time for it"

"I'm sure that's not true. I have a book back at my place you should borrow some time, How To Eat A Peach"

"Sounds interesting. "

" It is, the title comes from how the Italians handle hot days, basically when it is too hot to cook they put out a bowl of peaches and chilled Moscato then you slice the peaches into the cold Moscato "

"Oh, I imagine that's heavenly."

"It is," he grinned, I often forget that he has traveled far more than I've dreamed of going.

"I've never heard of that ,but I do love a good Moscato and peaches are one of my favorite fruits”

So hopefully this doesn‘t seem weird but I have paid enough attention at work to know some of the things you like. I used that knowledge to do a wine quiz on a new supplier's website; Bright Cellars and I got matched to this wine.

"It's my turn for a question, what's your favorite food, Ayla Blake?" The way he used my last name caught me off guard but, I liked it in the same.

"That's hard, food is so good but it's not always the food, it's the experience that leads to the food. Like I love going on mini road trips when Milwaukee has their food festivals. They have taco trucks- one of my favorites, but also wine tastings, the best philly cheesesteaks, elephant ears and,more. So I guess short answer tacos, and spaghetti, long answer all food, but equally the experience. I went to a chili cookoff one year and met the most wonderful people also gathered some amazing recipes. "

I finished laughing at my nerdy love for food.

My eyes caught the gleam off the bottle that was now nestled in the basket. grabbing the bottle I looked over its beautiful design, a bear gracing the label.

Mojave rain, with dark fruit aromas of plum, raspberry, and black cherry, smooth wine with a dark chocolate finish.“ I read out loud

“I have to say I’m not big on red wines but this sounds delicious"

I handed the bottle to him as he balanced the glasses on the uneven ground, I dipped a strawberry in the chocolate enjoying the silence and the view as he opened the wine.

The pop of the cork startled me as my mind replayed our earlier conversations, while I looked out at the sunset.

Your merlot my lady, and it does sound good it was a hard choice but if you don't like this one I also have another” I smiled at his endearment and effort to bring a backup bottle all as a just in case plan.

”To a beautiful day, with a beautiful woman and to hopefully making lemonade with her this weekend“ he grinned at his sly way of asking for a second date.

I took in his features, his muscled toned body , brown hair swept to the right, while his facial hair was present, it was neatly trimmed and his eyes were captivating.

“To making lemonade this weekend, and this beautiful date“ I replied smiling, loving the huge smile that crossed his face when I said that clanking my glass to his.

I sipped my wine pleasantly surprised at how the flavors meshed on my tongue , a smooth taste to accompany the food we had been eating and a perfect way to end the night.

As stars began to litter the sky the property lights through the orchard began to illuminate as well as the trees, during our conversation I had moved to get more comfortable and ended up between Leo’s legs, resting back on him while he leaned up against the many pillows he had stacked around the blanket.

I returned my glass to the picnic basket and leaned back breathing out a sigh of relief.

“ Everything okay? “ Leo asked looking down at me

I smiled “Yes ,of course, I’m just happy today went the way it did, it was beautiful - thank you. "

“ You don’t have to thank me and yes today was beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as you," he said leaning down to kiss my forehead

I think he saw my disappointment in it not being a full-on kiss when he pulled back which made me look away and feel guilty.

I felt his hand gently touch my face bringing it up to look at him

“ The problem is Ayla" his deep voice quiet as he leaned in

“ If I kiss you, I don’t think I’d be able to stop."

“Oh-” I paused surprised

“ Ayla, I don’t want to push anything or scare you away, but I can’t think, I can barely breathe when you’re around. I want so many things“ he whispered to me. “ I want your mind, your strength, I want to be worth your time, his fingers grazed my arms leading to the hem of my shirt, I want this up," leaving my shirt his hands quickly move then he tugged on my belt loops "I want them down" he groaned leaving my pants on as he touched his fingers to the side of my body, kissing my neck sending goosebumps down my spine he whispered in my ear

“I want to feel your skin on fire and your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it’s racing because of me because you want me, because you never" -he breathed dipping into me kissing me quickly sending tingles through my body before quickly pulling away to finish -

"Never want me to stop, I want every second, every inch of you, the good days and the bad, the good heart , the bad temper - I want it all Ayla, I want you, but he paused for a moment "When you’re ready"

I felt my heart thump hard in my chest hearing his proclamation of desire, I looked at him waiting for I’m not even sure what maybe a retraction but when I realized I wasn't going to get one I leaned in and met his lips with nine kissing him back hard and passionately.

“ I want that too, Leo, I want you ”

“ Mmm , thought I would never hear that from you” he grinned down happily at me

As we were leaving the orchard a green leaf flew into my window and slowly floated down. Looking down I noticed a heart-shaped leaf in my lap. I smiled, grabbing Leos's hand as we got on the freeway to head home. The drive back seemed so much shorter than it was.

“Thank you, Ayla, for giving me a chance” his deep voice surrounded me as his cologne engulfed me as he pulled away from our warm embrace, he grabbed my hand flipping it over slightly confusing me before he placed the gentlest kiss on the back of my hand.

“ I’ll see you at work tomorrow beautiful and again this weekend for that lemonade.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow and thank you for today, I enjoyed myself today and the time with you “

He shrugged on his leather coat and smiled at me walking down my front steps

“ You’re so welcome, have a good night, beautiful, go get some rest” he smiled coming back up my steps quickly placing one last kiss on my forehead before slowly turning away and leaving for his car.


About the Creator

Misha Alsleben

Wife & Mom Fueled by ;

Caffeine & Gratitude, when I’m not writing you’ll find me raising awareness about our planet’s needs , in the kitchen ,outside with the family, taking photos or in a bookstore.

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