Her giggles subsided, replaced by a thought she dared to entertain. "But he's my baby," she said to herself as she continued to stare. He shifted slightly as though he felt her eyes upon him. Now rooted to the rose colored carpeting beneath her feet, she wasn't sure if she should attend to him or run from him and hide. It was too late. He had seen her in his periphery and said teasingly, "What? No nurse's uniform?" "I could have the nurse come back if you'd prefer," she said; her voice edging slightly. "No!" he exclaimed; a look of trepidated disgust crossing his face. "Don't you dare bring that blonde ditz back into our house! She'd probably drown me and leave you with an astronomical plumbing bill."
"But Tony, I'm blonde too."
"Yeah, Angela, you're blonde; a blonde bombshell who owns her own agency...you know, the Ad Exec thing you've got goin' on...I find it so, so, incredibly sexy." "Besides, the outfit you've got on is my favorite anyway, he said, cocking his head to look at her in her fluffy pink robe.
"Really?" "Right along with the ad exec thing too, huh?"
"You betcha," he said, starting to chuckle with ease at his ability to say almost anything to her. His chuckle became constrained as he tried in vain to reposition his cast leg which was anchored over the edge of the tub.
"Ow!" he winced. His pained interjection was all Angela needed to come running. "Oh, Tony, I should've never left you alone with your leg in same position for so long...I'm a terrible nurse!" In her haste to get to him, her robe had dropped to a formless heap on the floor. Tony, eyes wide, took in every inch of her as she crouched by his side, seemingly unaware, in a pink polka-dotted bikini.
"An-ge-la---where'd you get that? I've never washed that before!"
Angela's hands then instinctively framed her face, covering her cheeks which had reddened with embarrassment.
"Seriously, Ang, don't sweat the suit; you're startin' to clash; red and pink don't mix," he said, watching her cheeks flush all the more. "It isn't like I haven't seen you it less; he cockily added.
"I'd watch my words and gauge my expressions if I were you, Mr Micelli." "If you're not careful, you just may find yourself losing those swim trunks, and you won't be able to do a thing about it." Her voice was slightly seductive and controlled, letting him know she was the boss. His grin widened.
"You know, Ms. Bower, I wouldn't mind that a bit," he said, making a playful grab for her wrist as she walked the perimeter of the tub.
"Tooony..." Her exasperation turned to effervescent laughter as she pointedly asked between giggles, "If I take a very unladylike swan dive into the bathtub, who's going to nurse you back to health?"
"Um, let's see?... Mona??" He tapped his finger against his chin as he watched Angela 's eyes grow wide, a hint of jealousy washing over them.
"Nah," he said; "I'd be the butt of too many machismo jokes if Ms. love 'em and leave 'em came in here." "Guess you've got the job, Ang...And not for nothin' but I'm kinda enjoying seein' you play nursemaid.
"Did you just insinuate that I'm a 'maid', Mr. Micelli?" she asked with mock sternness. "Because if I'm not mistaken, that's your---"
"Oh, Ay, so I guess now we're going poke some fun at the whole role reversal thing we've got goin' on...Ok, ok you win; I may be a maid, but I'm the most macho maid there is...And if I wasn't so feeble, I'd prove it. "Besides," he said, in a moment of seriousness, "I love takin' care of you and our...uh, this family."
"I love how we both provide for our family too, Tony." Angela quietly confirmed. As she leaned over to pour a capful of bubble bath into the running water, she caught sight of him staring at her, openly and overtly. It was then that two pairs of brown eyes met, appraising each other.
Her words are as delicate as her movements, he thought. Part of Angela's allure, he decided, was her subtlety. In that way, Angela was akin to his late wife, Marie. Marie was Italian, yes, but she wasn't---What was the word he was lookin' for? Showy? Nah, that wasn't it. He looked up to find Angela's deep-set brown eyes staring at him quizzically. There was a word Angela would use. Tony's eyes lit up. Flamboyant. Yeah, that was it, he said to himself. Marie wasn't flamboyantly Italian. The warm radiance of her brown eyes drew him to her and to Angela. The attraction was there; it pulled at him deeply.
As her hand gently pressed the loofah sponge against his back, Angela felt his muscles tighten at her touch. Laying the sponge on the porcelain tub's edge, she gave new meaning to the concept of eye-hand coordination as her hands alone made their way to his shoulders while her eyes marveled at every inch of his defined physique.
No one, least of all Tony, would ever know by the slow and deliberate pace of her movements that Angela's thoughts were racing. Should I have this strong attraction to my housekeeper...But he's never been just... In actuality, she rationalized, I'm falling for my son's father, which was the role he had comfortably slipped into the moment he set foot in her house. All these trite thoughts swirled around what she considered to be her theory on sexual attraction: Sexual attraction had no basis in building a lasting relationship. She nearly jumped when she felt Tony's head resting gently against her chest; a contented sigh emerging from his lips. It was then she decided there was so much more to them than just...that.
His contentedness brought back her sense of restorative calm; and together, they remained in a state of blissful effervescence.