"You can hang your clothes right here," my masseuse Brenda quietly said while gesturing to three hooks on the wall. "And then just lie on your stomach under the covers and we'll be back."
We nodded as Brenda and Cayden's masseuse, Lori, left the room, closing the door without making a sound.
We were at the Garden Spa Urban Oasis, and I finally understood the whole "urban oasis" part. We were right next to the highway, so I assumed we'd hear cars whizzing by or honking as the rush-hour traffic piled up. But it was almost as if the whole building were soundproof. The only thing I could hear was the tranquil music and recorded bird chirping playing lightly throughout the room.
I was alone with Cayden in a dark room, lit only by candlelight. He was standing so close, I could feel his arm brush mine as he pulled his shirt up over his head. I couldn't stop myself. I gawked at his shirtless body. I wanted to run my hands across his chest and down his flat stomach. I wanted to throw him onto the cotton-soft cot next to us. But I had to remind myself, this wasn't the time or the place for that. So I pulled my dress off as well and tried to keep my eyes on the ceiling while Cayden dropped his pants.
"How naked are you getting?" I asked. I never knew what the protocol was in these situations. If you get completely naked, will you offend them? If you keep some clothing on, will they avoid those areas? I sure as hell didn't want any area avoided. I hadn't treated myself to a massage since the I lived in NYC where you could get a $40 1-hour massage at the possibly illegal shops in Chinatown.
"I'll probably keep my boxers on," he said. At that I let my eyes wander to his boxers. He looked so beautiful standing there in the candlelight. Images from the night of the night I taught him the bases came flooding back to me. I turned away from him and unsnapped my bra. I was grateful for my last-minute trip to Victoria's Secret because I felt sexy in my black lacy hipsters.
"Ok, I guess I'll keep my panties on, then." At least until we got home.
Cayden slid under the soft, fuzzy blanket and rested his chin on his hands while he watched me. I hung my bra on the hook, holding my hands over my boobs to leave something to the imagination. On my way past his bed I bent down and kissed him. More than anything I wanted to hop in his bed with him and cuddle under his covers. But I reluctantly padded across the floor to my comfy cot.
The cots were angled so our heads were close to each other. I slide under my covers and Cayden reached for my hand. I held his hand and lied there, thinking the setting couldn't be any more romantic.
"Cayden?" I whispered.
"Hmm," he answered from a few feet away.
"I love you." It was the first time I'd said it face to face, without a computer screen and 5,000 miles between us. It felt so good.
"I love you, too, baby." I could tell he was smiling just by his voice. It was a little too dark in the room for me to see the details of his facial expressions.
We heard a slight knock on the door and then Lori and Brenda returned. We nestled our faces in the face-hole pillows and I felt every inch of my body relax the second Brenda's hands ran down the length of my back. The only thing better than a full-body massage is a full-body massage next to the mostly-naked man you love.
I closed my eyes and sank into the mattress. Brenda pressed her forearm between my spine and my shoulder blade and I fought the urge to tense up. She found a knot near my shoulder and kneaded until broke down. I drifted into thoughts about what it would be like to be in bed with Cayden. Brenda massaged the palm of my hand, down to my fingertips. I thought about Cayden holding my hand as we'd drift off to sleep that night.
Brenda moved onto my scalp and I had to stop myself from moaning out loud. Living with a mess of curly hair all my life, no one ever played with my hair the way people do to straight haired girls. My scalp has been neglected. But Brenda made up for a lifetime of neglect, and it couldn't have felt better.
I wondered how Cayden was doing a few feet over. I knew he had ticklish feet, so I wondered if he'd accidently kick Lori during the foot massage portion. A scene from Rules of Engagement popped into my head when Jeff gets a little excited when his neighbor Jen rubs his shoulders. I wondered if the same thing was happening to Cayden and I chuckled silently to myself.
An hour later, Brenda whispered, "Get dressed when you're ready and we'll have water waiting for you when you come out." I heard Lori whisper something similar to Cayden and then they both left the room without a peep. We were both face up, too relaxed to move. It took every ounce of energy for me to turn my head to the right to look at him. He was looking at me.
"Thanks so much, baby. I really needed that."
"Did you pull a Jeff?" He knew exactly what I was talking about. Cayden's the one who made me watch Rules of Engagement. He was obsessed with it.
Cayden laughed and shook his head. "No."
"Just wait until we get home."