She stepped out in a flowing navy sarong tied around her neck. He stood back watching her as she finished hanging her earring from her left ear. She smiled. She loved when he watched her get ready.
He was dressed in some cargo shorts and a casual buttoned-down shirt, perfect for their tropical dinner she has planned.
“I have a surprise,” she said as she entwined her hands with his. “Follow me.”
She led him down the decking from their overwater bungalow and to the beach.
A butler met them as they stepped onto the powdery soft sand. He looked at the woman and nodded, then turned to the man. “Sir, Ms. Miller here arranged for a special evening for you with our staff. Please, follow me.”
She looked up and grinned. He knew something was up, but not what. They followed the butler into an arched opening into the palms and followed a sandy path.
Finally, the path opened. A candle-lit linen covered table and chairs sitting next to the surf greeted them. The butler pulled out the chair, “For the lady.”
She sat down and set the napkin across her lap, then tilted her head up at him. “Meet your approval?”
He just stood there, looking at the little oasis carved out among the trees. He spied an outdoor bed to the right of the table and a sheet hung from the trees. He suspected the sheet was to provide some privacy perhaps.
He slid into the seat next to her.
The butler then poured drinks for each of them. “Tonight, we have arranged to have Chef Angelo prepare for you a meal most delicious. I will return shortly with your first course. In the meantime, please enjoy some bread.”
The butler opened the breadbasket revealing warm breadsticks, then turned and walk away.
Her companion chuckled. “What are the odds….breadsticks!”
She chuckled a bit to herself, then shrugged her shoulders.
They both looked out to the sunset shimmering over the waters. Around them, the butler lit torchiers which gave an ambient glow; then returned to the table.
“Our first course is a simple salad dressed with Italian dressing,” he announced as he placed a large bowl on the table. Tomatoes, onion, pepperoncini, parmesan, and dressing speckled throughout a layer of lettuce rested in the bowl. The butler then filled two cold shallow bowls with the mixture and offered freshly grated parmesan.
Her companion looked at the bowl. “Looks familiar!”
She giggled. She did arrange for the evening after all.
They enjoyed their salad while laughing and reminiscing over their trip thus far.
The butler deftly removed their salad plates ahead of the main course. Before them he set a trio of delights – chicken parmigiana, lasagna, and a sirloin steak cooked to perfection.
Her companion looked up. “This isn’t quite the Tour of Italy…”
Finally, she burst out in laughter. He’d finally figured out their meal. “Well, I knew you needed some meat to get back your strength!” She winked at him.
They dug into their meals as the skies turned dark and the stars began to shine overhead. It amazed her at how many stars one can see so far from civilization.
The butler appeared to clear away their meals as their conversation quieted into glances over glasses. “If I may, one more item is set up for you this evening. You are welcome to stay here the rest of the evening, but the path is also lit to guide you back to your room. It is completely private here when I depart once I set this last item up for you.”
The butler guided them to the outdoor bed and fumbled with the controls on a projector. It flickered a couple times.
She guided her companion to join her. As they settled in, scenes from Voltron ’84 flashed on the screen.
He looked her over and went in for a long kiss. “I can’t believe you did this!”
The butler bowed his head and bid the couple good night as they snuggled in close to each other.