The weekend in Eagle Ridge was enjoyable for members of the Hadley family and their guests. All gathered at what was now the Hadley home for family movie night Saturday evening.
“Well birthday girl,” Mike Hadley asked his wife, “what one did you finally decide on?”
“The one with the best kiss in movie history.”
“Give us another hint please,” Chris said.
“Directed by the Master of Suspense.”
“Rear Window,” Rick suggested.
“Nope. Starred Archibald Leach, better known as . . ..”
“Cary Grant,” said Rick’s dad.
Rick tried again. “North by Northwest.”
His mom shook her head no.
“Notorious,” Elle said.
“Oh my god, Elle!” Alex said. “You’re one of them.”
Sunday afternoon, friends and family attended Sylvia Hadley’s sixtieth birthday at a favorite Eagle Ridge restaurant. Aunt Cora excused herself early and went to the Hadley home to prepare for a small gathering of the Hadley clan that evening. When Sylvia Hadley arrived home, she found her coffee table covered with several gifts. She saved the biggest one for last. She opened the card and found it signed by both Rick and Elle. It contained a small quilt.
“Elle, did you make this?” Mrs. Hadley asked.
“Rick picked the colors. He even went with me to select the fabric. I pieced it together, but due to time, we had it machine quilted.”
“It’s beautiful,” Sylvia said.
“Elle said you could use it a couple of ways,” Rick said, “a throw or maybe a wall hanging.”
“Thank you––both of you,” Sylvia said.
Chris and Alex were gathering up wrapping paper when Chris found an unopened package.
“Wait a minute, Mom. You forgot one.”
Sylvia Hadley opened the box and pulled out a distressed blue barnwood picture frame. A huge smile spread across her face.
“Is there a picture in it?” Chris asked.
“Oh, yes . . ..” Sylvia said. “Elle, this had to come from you.”
The clues finally registered. “Elle you didn’t?” Rick said.
Elle just smiled as Sylvia Hadley turned the frame around so all could see Rick Hadley wearing a flowered shirt as he took a selphie.
“Elle Wyatt, I swear, one of these days . . ..”
“‘One of these days,’ what?” Elle said. She leaned over and whispered in his ear, “I’ll make it up to you later.”
Rick took her hand and escorted her across the room. He opened the left French door, and she stepped outside. He turned back and said, “Excuse us.” He smiled and added, “Don’t wait up.”
He joined her on the porch. “You’ll make it up to me now,” he said.
“Hadley, are you taking control?”
“Yes, Wyatt, I am.”
He lifted her up on the railing and moved his body between her legs.
“You see that shed over there?” he said.
“It’s not for storage.”
“What’s it for then?”
“It’s a sauna, and you and I are about to get real sweaty.”
“One can always hope,” she said.
“I’ll show you hope.”