My fibromyalgia has reared its ugly head today. That means I’m sore and fatigued, and I’m sorry to admit it, but I’m crabby and cranky too. When this happens, I should lock myself in a room and wait until it passes. So, to insure I won’t offend anyone, I’m keeping this post short. I will say one thing, though, pray for Ken, Ernie and Vinnie. They will need your kind thoughts today.
In the meantime, I’ll entertain you with the next two chapters.
APPLE PIE AND STRUDEL GIRLS – Book 2
Lacrosse, Wisconsin – August, 1939—Josie and Donna never attended an Italian wedding before, and they found out what they missed the second they opened the door to Lombardo’s restaurant. A spicy aroma of tomato sauce, oregano, and garlic filled the room. White linen tablecloths replace the everyday red and white checked ones. A clear glass bud vase with a yellow rose and baby’s breath sat in the center of each table.
Rosalie’s loud, gregarious relatives greeted each other with hugs and kisses, and in a few short minutes the wine flowed freely. The heavy laden food table offered an abundant feast of pasta, beef, chicken, and shrimp. Several different salads accompanied the main entrees. Donna thought Eduardo certainly out did himself with this beautiful display of Mediterranean cuisine, and one bite of the festive food along with the liveliness of the party made Josie and Donna wish they could be Italian.
After lunch, the band played and Angelo’s older brother Tony grabbed Donna Jean’s hand and led her onto the dance floor. They jitterbugged, waltzed, fox-trotted, and quick stepped all afternoon. Dance after dance, Donna smiled at Josie as Tony led her around the floor.
Angelo’s other brother Benito approached Josie and asked her to dance. Compared to Tony and Angelo, Benito emerged as the shy boy in the Armani family, “Would you dance with me, Josie?”
Benito’s invitation to dance surprised her. “Are you sure you want to dance with me, Benny? I’m pretty much of a klutz.”
“We’ll stumble together, okay?” His smile warmed her heart.
“Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Josie let out a nervous giggle.
Benny took Josie in his arms and led her in a slow waltz. She stumbled over his foot and turned a bright shade of crimson as he caught her. “I’m afraid I’m not very good at this, Benny.”
He laughed. “Just relax. Take a deep breath and follow me. You’re as tense as Uncle Nuncio’s violin string.”
She blushed with embarrassment and tried again. “I’ll give it my best.”
When she let Benny lead, Josie learned to dance the waltz, fox trot, and even the tango quite gracefully. The afternoon slipped into early evening, and Josie still danced in Benito’s arms.
“Am I the only one who thinks Rosie and Angelo are too young to get married?”
He looked at her with surprise. “No, but Angelo never looked at any other girl since he went through puberty. I really don’t think Rosie ever looked at another guy either. They seem destined to be together.”
“She does look happy.” Josie slurred her words a bit as the wine showed its effect.
“Yeah. She’s never looked more beautiful, and Angelo never appeared happier. My brother’s a lucky guy.”
“I hope their marriage lasts.” Josie said. “If a wedding could be perfect, this one is.”
“Yeah.” Benny said as he dipped Josie for the first time then pulled her into his arms. The daring dance move brought the crowd’s attention to be focused on Benny and Josie. She blushed on the way up and warned, “If you want to do that again, big boy, give me a warning!”
He laughed at her tigress response. “You’re one in a million, Josie. I’m having a really good time. I’m usually a failure with girls, but you make it easy.”
“Why would you say that, Benny? You’re gorgeous and so interesting.” Josie smiled.
Benny’s cheeks took on a crimson color. “You think so? I’m always in Tony’s shadow.”
“Don’t be silly. Any girl would be thrilled to be your girlfriend.”
Benny held her tight. “Thanks, Josie. You’re the greatest.”
The band leader took the microphone. “We need all of the single girls to come to the stage.”
Donna jumped to her feet like a rocket staging to fire. She pulled a reluctant Josie along toward the female throng gathering near the band. Other girls from their graduating class joined them along with Rosalie’s hoard of cousins.
Rosalie stood with her back facing the girls on the opposite side of the room. A steady drum roll rumbled, and then Rosie launched a bouquet backward to the awaiting single girls. A mad scramble ensued before one of Rosalie’s cousins came up with the flowers.
Josie said, “Whew! My baseball fielding gene kicked in and I almost caught the dang thing! I didn’t think. Who in the heck wants to get married?”
Donna Jean laughed. “I wouldn’t mind a honeymoon with Tony!”
Josie socked her in the arm. “Donna Jean! The things you say!”
Lacrosse, Wisconsin – August, 1939—As darkness fell, Angelo and Rosalie left the reception which probably would continue until well after midnight. They planned to stay in their little house before heading up north to Minocqua, Wisconsin for their honeymoon. Angelo parked in the driveway and went around the front of the car to open the door for his bride. He gathered Rosalie and her fluffy dress into his strong arms and carried her through the doorway.
Rosalie protested as she laughed. “Angelo! What do you think you are doing?”
“I’m being a good husband. I promised your Papa I would do everything right by you including carrying you over our threshold.” The yards of lace and organza brushed against the door jamb giving them a challenge to enter the house.
Angelo climbed up three steps and gently set his new wife down in the kitchen. He held Rosalie tight and kissed her long and hard. “Do you realize this is the first time we’re alone all day!” He removed her veil and laid it on the table. Then he took off his bow tie and unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt. He laid his jacket, folded it neatly and put it over one of the kitchen chairs. “That’s better.” He took a deep breath and kissed Rosalie. “Sweetheart, you are the most beautiful girl in the world. I love you so much.”
Rosalie hugged him. “And you, honey, are the sweetest and most handsome husband a girl could wish for.” She pressed herself against his strong chest as she unbuttoned his shirt to his waist to reveal a muscled chest, the telltale evidence of how hard he worked. “Angelo, I love you so much.”
He tipped her chin up and searched her eyes. The little girl he loved grew up and turned into a sensual woman. Gazing at Rosalie took his breath away. He kissed her as he fingered the cover buttons going down the back of her gown. He took his time pulling the yards of satin, lace, and organza off her slim young body. In minutes she stood in front of him in her bra and panties. She shivered in his arms.
He whispered, “Don’t be afraid sweetheart. I will never hurt you.”
Her mother told her the most important thing a bride would ever do is please her husband. With no other explanation, Rosalie didn’t understand what she meant.
Angelo was almost as naive as she in the art of love making, but his father did a little better job of preparing him for his first intimate encounter with Rosalie. He told Angelo to be gentle and to go slow. A man needed to treat his wife like a fragile bird the first time they made love.
The couple clung to each other in their kitchen until Angelo took his bride’s hand and steered her toward their bedroom. They sat on the edge of the bed in their under garments and continued to kiss. They lay down onto the white, crisp cotton sheets before Angelo unhooked her bra. Her small, round breasts revealed her passion for him. He cupped each breast in his hand and kissed them. As his hands explored her body, he wanted her more than ever. He removed her panties and stared at her nakedness. He slipped out of his boxer shorts and for the first time Rosalie saw her man.
Her eyes fixated on his erect penis, and she wondered how he would ever fit inside her. He lay down beside her and moved his hands from her breasts down past her stomach before they found their way between her legs. She didn’t resist him, as he slipped his finger gently inside of her. He discovered her most private part became warm and wet, ready for him.
Angelo rolled on top of her and his father’s warning echoed in his ears. “The first time for a woman is not pleasurable. Be gentle when you love her. Do not hurry.” Angelo whispered, “Spread your legs, sweetheart. I love you so much.” He gently slid himself inside of her.
She closed her eyes and let out a small gasp.
Rosalie received him like a good wife should, but she never thought sex would hurt. A small tear escaped from her eye, and she clung to him as he moved slowly in and out of her.
A tear escaped from Rosalie’s eye. Angelo stopped. “Oh Rosalie, I’m so sorry. Am I hurting you?”
“No. I’m alright.” She lied.
The pain subsided as he pushed deeper. She felt a tearing inside, making her a full bloomed woman. As the minutes passed, her natural instincts taught her how to move her hips with him. As she did, Rosalie enjoyed this special intimacy with the man she loved. They became one. She arched her back and whispered, “Oh Angelo.” He didn’t say a word as he let his love fill her. The two young lovers lay exhausted in each other’s arms.
Angelo brushed her hair out of her eyes. “I love you so much, Rosie.”
She smiled. “I love you more.”
Angelo held her close all night, vowing to always be a good husband. Rosalie fell asleep in the protection of his arms realizing she never wanted to be anywhere without him.