Chapter 3 Al rolled over to watch Beth sleep. They had just made love for the third time. Al was still basking in the afterglow of that love. Calavicci, you've still got it, he thought. His hand traced the contour of her face. Beautiful. They had been married for 39 years and she was still as attractive as she was on the day he married her. After breakfast, Beth had suggested a fancy hotel in Las Vegas. They drove out to the airport and had caught the first flight out. They arrived at the hotel and Al found out that the honeymoon suite had been reserved in his name. He figured Verbena was behind that. After unpacking, well, kinda anyways, they had made love almost at once. Al looked at the clothes they had strewn everywhere. First had been in the jacuzzi. Beth had suggested that they relax in the hot, steamy water. Well the hot, steamy water had been more than relaxing. It had been very stimulating. They made love right in the hot tub. With Sam out of his mind, Al had let go with a passion he hadn't remembered he possessed. Beth had enjoyed every minute of it. Next had been in front of the fireplace. Al didn't remember any fire, except the one in his heart for the woman he was with. But he did remember the champaigne. They had been talking, and Beth had suggested he open it. He had struggled with the cork, unable to pry the dang thing loose. He had whacked it then, much the same way he whacked the handlink when it was giving him trouble, and the cork had popped free with a WHOOOSH! The liquid had shot out of the bottle and soaked Al's robe. Beth had laughed. He loved her laugh. It was musical and lifted his soul. She had grabbed the bottle and poured them a glass each. They had toasted each other and drank up. Then with a daring glint in her eyes, she stripped off her robe and poured the tangy liquid over her body. Teasing him into licking it off. He did that and then some. They had made love right there on the floor. Somehow, they finally made it up on the bed. Al had looked into her dark eyes. "Beth, I'll always love you. You are the only one I want to grow old with." She kissed him and Al felt the burning desire rise in him again. He hadn't believed it was possible. Beth just turned him on. Her body had just the right curves and was so soft. It fit his hands perfectly. His heart wanted to burst, he was so in love with her. All his cares and worries had faded away once they walked in the door. They made love one more time on the bed. Now Al watched her sleep. He felt so renewed, full of fresh hope. So full of life. He was glad they had made him take some time off. He had needed this. She had needed this as well, he realized. He had been so busy with the Washington trips and trying to find Sam, that he had neglected his own wife. He felt a little guilty that Donna didn't get days like this. For over 5 years now she waited for Sam to return. And when he did finally come home, he didn't stay long. Some leaps lasted weeks, others just hours. Unfortunately the simo-leap had been only a matter of hours. Oh, he could have stayed, but Donna had told him to go, to save Al. It was her hand that set the accelerator in motion. Her hand that had sent him away. Donna still waited faithfully every time. No matter how many women Sam slept with in the course of the Leaps, she never once felt that Sam betrayed their love. She was a remarkable woman. And now she was carrying Sam's baby. Al looked past Beth to the window. The sun was setting, turning the sky a golden orange. A few stars were visible already in the twilight of evening. Al chose one and made a vow. I'll get him back for you Donna, he vowed solumnly. He would stop at nothing, once he returned to the project. Even if he had to hop in the accelerator himself to track down Sam. It was way past time for Sam to come home. No one was getting any younger, and a person couldn't leap forever, could they? His mind was full of thoughts, but his body was tired from the day's activities. Al kissed Beth on the forhead and snuggled up to her warm body. It felt so good, so right to hold someone so close. She murmured something and cuddled him close. Breathing in the scent of her, Al soon fell fast asleep.