By: Jamie Sommers
Date: August 2002
Disclaimer: Warner Bros owns them…blah blah blah…
Synopsis: Read the story and you’ll find out what it’s about. Just kidding! An A/U story about Landon and Jamie.
“Jamie! Hurry up!” He called out. Under his breath he said, “we’re gonna be late.”
“No we’re not,” she said as she walked up behind him wearing only a pair of shorts and a bra.
“Uh baby? I know it’s only Roselli’s but…I still think they require you to wear a shirt,” he chuckled then quickly added, “unless of course you’ve changed your mind and we’re ordering in?”
She answered his flirtatious question with a roll of her shoulder, a flip of her hair and a look in her eyes that clearly said, ‘you’re taking me out Carter.’
“Okaaaay…guess we’re going out, but if you don’t hurry…”
“Landon, I’m going as fast as I can. Don’t worry,” she pecked him on the cheek and ran her hand across his arm, “I’ll be ready in no time.”
“No time,” he mumbled to himself as he watched her sashay up the stairs to finish getting dressed. “Sure.” He intentionally called out loud enough to make his point, “The movie’s not gonna wait you know,” but quiet enough for her not to hear it.
He walked into the bathroom adjacent to the kitchen and checked his appearance in an attempt to kill some time. His hair was looking pretty good tonight. He was wearing the new shirt that Jamie gave to him as a gift this morning and a pair of freshly pressed khakis. He was just about to pull out his electric razor and give himself a quick shave as he caught her reflection in the corner of the mirror. ‘Wow,’ he thought. ‘Definitely worth the wait.’
She stood behind him wearing a pair of white and red-checkered Capri pants, a red sleeveless, collared shirt that tied in a knot at the waist and a pair of red and white sandals that looked like they were made for the sole purpose of matching her pants. Her hair was pulled atop of her head in a ponytail and at her ears she wore the earrings that Landon gave her this morning over breakfast. “You just about ready?”
“Uh…yeah. I’m ready if you are.” He stood staring at her and tried once more in a lame attempt to convince her that spending the evening in would be to their best interest. “You sure you wanna go out?” He walked up to her and placed his hands on her waist pulling her in for a soft kiss. “We could always order in,” he whispered against her smiling lips.
“I haven’t been out of this house in…I can’t remember how long Landon Carter, so yes! We are going out.”
“Okay,” he held up his hands in defense. “Okay…I get the message. You wanna go out, but if we don’t leave now we’re never gonna make it to the movie on time.”
“I’ve been ready Landon. I’m just waiting on you,” she said as she gave him a flirtatious grin.
“What?” He sighed and shook his head as he watched her walk out to their car.
“You coming?” she called out over her shoulder. “The movie’s not gonna wait you know.”
“Yeah…yeah…yeah…” he chuckled on his way out the door.
They drove to one of their favorite restaurants, Roselli’s Pizza: a small, hole in the wall eatery that specialized in Italian dishes such as Manicotti, Lasagna, Choppino, Antipasto and of course…Pizza. Not just any pizza but true Italian pizza.
As the Carter’s made their way into the little restaurant to put their name on the waiting list they were greeted by an overly plump woman with her gray hair piled high on top of her head. “Ahhhh. Meester and Meeeses Carter,” her thick Italian accent butchering almost every word she spoke. “Joo no beeeen here-ah eena sucha long time.” She squeezed Jamie in a bear hug saying, “Ooooh. He’sa notta feedin’ you. Nuttin’ butta skeen anda bone.”
Jamie smiled and hugged the woman back, “Hello Rosa.”
“Anda you,” she smacked Landon playfully across the back of his head then pulled him in for a hug that matched the one she gave to Jamie. “Joo gotta make-ah sure she eats. None-ah dis ahla have-ah salad. Capische? Joo gotta feed her da pasta. Putta da meat on her bones.”
“I’m working on it Rosa,” he said as he leaned down and kissed her cheek.
“Excuse me?” The young hostess directed her question to Landon and Jamie. “Would you like to put your name in for a table?”
“Eh??” Rosa called out making a wide variety of hand gestures to the new girl. “Dey no needa to wait. Whazza matta wit joo?” She led them to a quiet little table located in the back of the restaurant. “Joo hafta scusi thatta one. She’sa no too much upadastairs,” she tapped her finger against her temple. “Butta she’sa good for da beezness, ifa joo know whadda mean,” she said with a wink. Turning to walk away she began barking orders at the other employees and threw her hands up in the air, as she greeted another regular couple waiting at the door, with open arms.
“So,” Landon asked. “Whatta ita beee?”
Jamie laughed at his impersonation and said, “hmmm…I suppose I can’t have a just a salad or she’ll hit you again so…pizza?”
“Sure. Pizza sounds good.”
The server walked up to the table and introduced herself taking their beverage order and reciting the evening’s specials. “Do you know what you’d like or do you need a few minutes?” She asked.
“Actually,” Landon said. “I think we’re just going to order a pizza tonight.”
“What would you like on that?”
Landon and Jamie both looked at one another, then at the waitress and said in unison, “Hawaiian.”
As she walked away Jamie called out to her, “Excuse me. Could we get an order of fried calamari too with extra lemon?”
“Oh,” she called to the girl once again. “A side salad too please, with ranch…no…wait…blue cheese…no…raspberry vinaigrette…ooooh wait. Can I have all three?” At the waitresses disgusted look she added a meek, “please?”
As the girl
left they held hands over the table and looked around the room.
“This place is busy tonight,” Landon commented.
“It seems to get busier every time we’re here.”
The waitress arrived shortly with the salad, the three different dressings and a look that clearly said, ‘that’s really gross.’
“So…” Landon began but stopped short when he saw his wife digging into her salad with such gusto. “Is that good?”
He watched her shove bite after bite of the concoction into her mouth and tried not to laugh. The dressings which were placed on the side by the waitress were now all mixed together on her plate leaving her lettuce leaves covered with a creamy, lumpy, pink topping. “Jamie?”
“Hmmmm,” she said as she grabbed a breadstick out of the basket in the middle of the table using it to soak up the dressings that was pooled on the side of her salad plate.
“Uh…baby…you a little hungry tonight?”
“Mmmmmm,” she shrugged and continued eating with relish.
The server brought their appetizer of calamari to their table and a plate of lemons asking, “Do you want a refill on your drink?”
“No, I’m okay,” Landon, replied looking at his half full glass of iced tea.
“Mmmmmm,” Jamie nodded and picked up her glass sucking down the remnants of her drink until there was a distinct slurping noise. “Ahhhh. That’s such good tea.” She looked at the waitress and handed her the empty glass and asked politely, “Would you mind refilling it for me please?”
Landon watched as Jamie took a piece of lemon and held it over their appetizer. With one hand she poked at the fruit with a fork and with the other hand she squeezed it’s juice out onto the batter-fried squid. He tried in a lame attempt to continue their conversation but she seemed completely engrossed in her current project of saturating her food in lemon juice. Piece after piece of the tart fruit was squeezed until it was completely dry, then it’s rind was discarded on a near by plate. When the last piece was used and the fish was swimming in a citrus puddle, she grabbed a fork and began to dig in. ‘What the hell...’ he thought. ‘I’ve never seen her eat so much.’
She devoured the appetizer and drank another glass of tea while Landon sat and watched. With three pieces of calamari left on her plate she looked at Landon and said, “Ohhhh. Did you want some of this?”
“No,” he held his hand out if front of him and lifted the corner of his mouth in a grin. “You go ahead and enjoy it.”
“Are you sure?” She asked, already leading one of the three remaining pieces to her lips.
“Positive,” he smiled.
They sat until their pizza arrived making conversation about basic everyday things. Groceries, bills, car insurance and so on. They made plans for the upcoming week, arranging their events around Jamie’s doctor’s appointments.
“I thought you didn’t have to go as often anymore,” Landon asked with concern. “I mean the bone marrow transplant was a success so why…” he trailed off. “Jamie? Have you been feeling all right?”
“Oh yes. I’m feeling great. It’s just that I’ve been pretty tired lately and…well there are a few things that I’ll be needing a doctor for. That’s all.”
“Landon. I’m fine. I’ve been cancer free for quite some time now so quit worrying.”
“Landon. Really. I’m fine.”
His face relaxed as she took his hand in hers and brought it up to her lips to place a kiss against his knuckles.
“I’m more than fine,” she smiled, “I’m starving,” she said as she released his hand and attacked their pizza.
He grinned as he watched her eat five pieces of pizza to his three and thought once again, ‘where on earth are you putting all of this food?’
“Would you like dessert?” the waitress asked as she cleared their empty plates away.
“No I don’t think…” Landon began but was quickly interrupted.
“Oh! Can I have one of those tube things? Umm…”
“Yeah. A canoli.”
“Sure. Would you care for anything sir?”
“No thank you. I’m stuffed.” Landon watched as the waitress walked towards the kitchen and said, “Jamie? Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure honey,” she reached to the center of the table and took the last breadstick out of the basket and began to nibble.
“Where are you putting all of this food?”
She just looked at him and shrugged. “Just hungry I guess,” she laughed softly.
“Two for You’ve Got Mail please?” Landon was handed the tickets through a little space in the window and took Jamie’s hand leading her into the theater.
As the usher took their tickets he said, “It’s down the hall and to your right. Screen number two. The movie’s just about to start so you may want to hurry,” he advised.
Landon felt a tug on his hand stopping him from walking down the hallway that led to the theater. “Baby,” he said, “the screen’s to the right.”
“Yeah but the concession stand is to the left,” she said with a bat of her eyelashes and a pull of his hand.
“What on earth could you possibly want to eat after that meal at Rosa’s?”
“Well Landon…we’re at the movies.”
“Popcorn. You can’t see a movie without popcorn.”
“Oh.” He succumbed to her request when he noticed the pleading look in her eyes. “Lets get some popcorn then.”
“Thank you,” she said softly as they made their way up to the counter.
“Hi can I help you?” the young boy asked.
“Uh sure,” Landon looked over the different sizes of popcorn and said, “We’ll take a small popcorn and a small coke please.”
“Okay one small…”
“Uh excuse me?” Jamie interrupted. “Could you make that a medium popcorn and a medium coke please?”
“Yes ma’am,” the attendant replied. “You know we’re running a special right now if you buy a large popcorn and a large soda you get one free refill and a package of Twizzlers…”
They made their way down the aisle of the darkened theater trying to find a seat without spilling their booty onto the floor. Jamie sat down in the newly furbished theater seat placing her large soda in the cup holder and her large popcorn on the floor next to her feet while she adjusted herself in the chair.
Landon placed the bag of twizzlers on his lap and put his small soda in the cup holder to his right. “Jamie,” he whispered. “I don’t understand why we couldn’t just share the soda.”
“Hmmm?” She completely ignored him and took the box of raisinettes out of his shirt pocket while her eyes became glued to the sight on the movie screen.
‘It’s useless Landon,’ he thought to himself. She was completely engrossed in the movie.
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were walking the city streets of New York while Jamie watched on and Landon watched Jamie.
She bent down and picked up the bucket of popcorn from the ground, delicately nibbling on the kernels, taking turns rotating between a chocolate covered raisin and the buttery treat. She bent over and sipped her drink while moving her hand over to Landon’s lap. She removed a Twizzler from its packet and began chewing on the sweet, gummy candy.
Landon’s crooked smile went unnoticed as he continued to watch his wife enjoy the entire movie experience. It was as if she had never been to one before. Suddenly a thought occurred to him. He personally, had never taken her to a movie before; sure they had rented videos and watched them since they’ve been married. Prior to that they watched them either at Landon’s mom’s house or Jamie’s father’s house, but he never took her to a theater to see one. He leaned over to whisper in her ear, “Jamie?”
“Hmmm?” She turned toward him. Their faces were a breath apart.
“Have you ever been to a movie before?”
Her eyes glazed over--in a look of adoration--as she shook her head indicating no.
He leaned in, placing a light kiss against her lips. Reaching around her he put his arm leisurely over her shoulders in order to let her experience the theater the way a young woman should--with her date trying to make a move on her--he grinned to himself and dug into the bucket of popcorn.
They watched the romantic comedy and laughed. Jamie knew that this wasn’t exactly Landon’s type of movie but he allowed her to choose the film this evening and she was quite grateful. It was, after all, their re-birthday. Well it was more her re-birthday then his, but they both celebrated this day with delight. It was a year ago today that she got her bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor and shortly there after was pronounced cancer free. Landon had a habit of calling it her re-birthday, since it was, to him, the day she came back to life.
She held his hand and squeezed it in her own as the credits began to roll. “Thank you for taking me to see this movie Landon. It was very good.”
“Oh no,” he shook his head as though every look she gave him, every glance mesmerized him. “It was my pleasure. Watching you eat two buckets of popcorn and an entire package of licorice was worth it alone,” he laughed.
“Well I can’t help it that I was hungry,” she said with a mischievous grin. “Speaking of hungry…” she trailed her fingers up his arm and curled them into the nape of his neck, pulling him to her for a kiss.
“Mmmm,” her murmured against her lips. His heart began to race as he envisioned Jamie in her bra and shorts again. His breath caught in anticipation for the night that lay ahead.
“Landon,” she sighed.
“Yes baby?” He moaned. His hands working their way up her back.
She pulled away and kissed a path from his mouth, across his jaw, to his ear whispering, “Do you know what I want?”
“What do you want Jamie?” he asked in a breathless reply. The blood was pounding in his ears with excitement as his heart cracked against his ribs.
She took a deep breath and released it against his earlobe whispering, “Ice cream.”
His eyes flew open in shock, “What?” He pulled back and stared at her. “What???”
“Ice cream,” she said innocently. “Doesn’t that sound good?”
“Ice cream?” came his dumbfounded reply.
“Mmmm hmmm,” she nodded. “Rocky road. I want rocky road,” she said matter of factly and stood up to leave the theater.
“Ice cream,” Landon mumbled to himself. “She wants ice cream…” he trudged up the dimly lit path behind her looking at the sway of her hips in her snug fitting pants thinking, and where are you going to put that ice cream Mrs. Carter.
The Dairy Freeze had been a part of Beaufort for more years than Landon could remember. Landon had vague memories of his mother and father taking him there when he was just a boy.
The jangling of the bell hanging from the doorframe brought him back to a happier time. A time in his life girls were icky and Jamie Sullivan was just the preacher’s daughter. When all the other kids were idolizing Superman and Batman, Landon thought no one was better than his father.
“Landon, you heard your mother, if you want a banana split you’ll have to eat all of your burger and fries first.”
“Awwwwww. But Daaaaad. There’s too many fries.”
“I’m sure you’ll have no problem finishing them off,” his father winked at him and grabbed a few of Landon’s fries to help make the process go a little faster.
“Landon? Landon??” Jamie’s voice pulled him out of his dream state, “Do you know what you want?”
“Yeah,” he grinned.
They chose a booth next to the jukebox and sat down with their desert choices, a banana split for Landon and a hot fudge sundae made with rocky road ice cream and a strawberry shake chaser for Jamie.
Landon watched his wife’s eyes light up as she dipped her spoon into her whipped cream and said, “You’re pretty happy right now.”
“Yeah,” she beamed. “I am.”
“Any particular reason why?”
“Hmmm…” she shrugged. Her eyes met his and her heart fluttered. She was trying to wait. She wanted to tell him tonight, but not until they got home. She had it all planned out. She would wait until he suggested they lie on their hammock as he did every warm summer night before bed, and when she was lying securely in his arms she would tell him her news. It was just so hard to keep her mind off of it. She wasn’t sure how he was going to react. ‘Oh Landon,’ she thought, ‘please be okay with this. Please be strong for me. I’m going to need you.’
“Nothing,” he said breathlessly.
Their unblinking eyes were locked.
He could feel a force pulling him to her. It was just as strong now as it was the first time he felt it…stronger even.
Their spoons dropped simultaneously as they lifted themselves up and leaned over the table.
He could taste the combination of chocolate and strawberries upon her lips as his tongue glided across the seam of her mouth. “Jamie,” he said hoarsely.
Her legs were trembling as she sat back down. She needed to tell him. She just didn’t know how.
Landon noticed the sudden change in her demeanor and asked, “You okay baby?”
“Yeah,” she cleared her throat. “I’m fine.”
“Mmmm hmmm,” she said as she took a sip of her thick shake.
“You just seem like you’ve got something on your mind.” He was worried. He knew that she probably wouldn’t tell him today of all days. She wouldn’t want to ruin their day, but he couldn’t seem to get rid of this nagging feeling that she was hiding something from him. “Jamie? You know you can talk to me, right? You don’t have to keep anything from me.”
She dropped her spoon onto the napkin that laid next to her empty sundae dish and said, “Gee Landon…really?” In an attempt to lighten the somewhat tense mood.
He could hear the sarcasm dripping from her comment and smiled. After all this time and everything that they’ve gone through, there was nothing that they couldn’t talk about. Yet something was amiss. Something just wasn’t right with her tonight.
“Are you gonna finish that?” she asked innocently eyeing up his desert and pulling him out of his reverie.
“Well…” he looked down at his half finished treat and back up to her grinning face. “Here,” he pushed the dish between them and said, “Let’s share,” with a wink.
They drove home silently; her hand safely nestled within his. When they arrived it was his habit to walk around to her side of the car and open the door for her, she was usually halfway out by the time he got there but tonight she sat and waited.
She was nervous. She didn’t know how he would react to the news. Could he go through such a life-altering thing again? Was he strong enough to face this? Could their love survive yet another shock to her health?
“You wanna lie out on the hammock for a little while?”
With her back facing him she smiled and said, “I’d love to.”
They walked hand in hand across the dewy grass to the hammock.
As they lied there quietly, thoughts of another night like this passed through Landon’s mind. The night he was certain that she wouldn’t make it through till morning. They talked about their past that night and the path that brought them together. Landon was certain the phone call that saved her life came just hours before impending death. He pulled her closer to him and placed a kiss against her forehead. His palm cupped her cheek as he looked into her sparkling eyes. “Happy re-birthday baby,” he whispered gently.
“Landon,” she sighed. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Oh Landon,” she looked away and blinked back the tears. She had to tell him. She couldn’t keep this from him anymore. She didn’t want to keep this from him anymore. It was time and they would face this together…come what may. She took a deep breath and released it into the crisp night air.
“What is it Jamie?” His voice was trembling. He was petrified of her answer, but he would stand beside her through everything. He vowed to love her…cherish her all the days of his life and he meant it. “Jamie,” he looked down into her tear filled eyes. “Please baby. Tell me. What’s wrong? Is it the cancer? Is it back?”
“What?” Her head turned sharply towards him. “My cancer?”
“Is that what’s been bothering you?”
“Oh Landon,” her fingers threaded through his hair as she pulled his face a breath away from hers. “No. It’s not the leukemia.”
“Then what is it?”
“Landon,” her lips brushed against his and she whispered, “I’m pregnant.”
“What?” He shook his head in disbelief. “What??”
“We’re going to have a baby.”