Georgia's eyes open. She has gotten up at this time for so many years, it doesn't matter how late it was when she was finally able to crawl into bed last night; she will always wake up on time. With no alarm clock. Its habit, so heavily ingrained she doubts she'll ever be able to sleep in. She already knows it will be frigid when she steps out of bed onto the cold floor, and she isn't looking forward to it. But then, she remembers that today is Saturday, and even though she will have to work, the thought brings a smile to her face.
The dog is awake now. She lifts her head and her tail begins wagging. She whines a bit when Georgia doesn't get up and out of bed.
"Hush, Denza," Georgia whispers, hoping Aaron's slumber won't be disturbed.
She finally musters up the courage to throw back the blankets and brave putting her feet on the floor. She takes in a sharp breath at the discomfort that is brought to her and feels around for her slippers. Once her feet have been safely placed into them, she grabs her robe off of the end of the bed and throws it on to protect her frame from the winter chill that has managed to make its way inside the house. She opens the door to the bedroom, and the little beagle that she tolerates for Aaron's sake quickly jumps off of the bed and trots out of the bedroom, nails clicking on the floor. Georgia makes a mental note to get her an appointment at the groomers.
She walks down the stairs and to the backdoor, letting Cadenza out into the fenced yard to do her business and then goes into the kitchen to begin the Saturday morning routine.
Coffee and tea. She turns on the coffee maker, replacing the filter that Aaron obviously forgot about the night before when they had been up late working on a piece for Carmen Bernstein. They love the woman, but she is demanding, and difficult to work for sometimes. She wants the score to be perfect. Georgia can't blame her. It is, after all a show intended for her daughter, Elaine, to play the lead.
She knows she has fifteen minutes until Aaron will come down, grumpy and sleepy eyed. She knows he will want his coffee and his dog and not much more. She shakes her head, hearing Cadenza scratching at the door, indicating she is ready to come in. Georgia lets her in, and rolls her eyes when the dog runs straight up the stairs to wake Aaron.
Georgia had not wanted to let him bring the dog into the house when they moved in together, but he had been insistent. She never thought she would be able to live with Cadenza sharing the bed with them. But when the nights were as cold as they had been, it wasn't so bad to have an extra body there.
The smell of his coffee has filled the whole kitchen, and she knows that soon it will be enough to coax Aaron out of the warmth and comfort of their bed. The water in her kettle has started to boil, and she lowers the heat before the whistle gets too loud. Aaron doesn't like loud noises in the morning.
She makes her selection of tea; lavender and chamomile. She knows it is going to be a highly stressful day, and will need it to calm the tension she will inevitably feel later. Instead of focusing on the subject of composing what seemed to be an impossible score, she thinks about how quiet it is. She is so thankful they moved to New Jersey. She loved living in New York. But she and Aaron are in a new stage of life now. And something different…. A house rather than an apartment, a quiet neighborhood instead of Times Square, more domesticity than they had ever experienced. It is nice.
She sighs in contentment, wrapping her cold fingers around her warm mug now full of tea and takes a deep breath.
She hears Aaron coming down the stairs and thinks it odd that he is five minutes early. When she sees him, she is even more surprised. His usual sleepy eyes are replaced by ones full of… fear? And his morning scowl is missing. Instead of going to the coffee pot and pouring himself a cup, he comes straight to Georgia and pulls her out of her chair into his arms, barely giving her enough time to put down her tea cup.
"Aaron, what's wrong?" she asks, very confused. She returns his embrace, sensing he needs it. There is a desperation about him this morning that she has only ever seen a few times. She feels him press his face into her neck, and knows he is looking to lose himself in her scent. He's told her that the way she smells comforts him. One of his hands comes to the back of her head. If her hair had been down instead of in braids, she knew he would have tangled his fingers in it. As quickly as he had embraced her, he sets her back a bit and grabs her left hand. When he sees her wedding band he visibly relaxes.
"I dreamt that… that after "Robbin' Hood," nothing changed. You still weren't mine to hold, and you went away with Bobby, and I didn't have you to write music with and I just missed you so…."
"Shh, shh, oh, baby! Aaron, baby, it's alright. It was only a dream. We are together again. We are married again, and nothing is going to change that. I am going to stay Mrs. Fox for the rest of my life."
His arms are around her again and she squeezes him tight. "I never want to push you away again. I love you so much. I've never loved anyone the way I love you."
"I love you too." She smiles. He gets so worked up over little things sometimes. He should know that she loves him far too much to let him push her away again. She lets go of him and walks over to the kitchen counter. "Let's get you your coffee, yeah?"
He nods and sits down at the table, letting her bring him a hot cup. She sits across from him, and he takes her hand in his. Despite the tousled hair, despite the little bit of make-up smeared under her eyes, despite the morning breath both of them have, he leans in and kisses her softly on the lips. She smiles.
She knows in the back of her mind that they should be downstairs working right now. She knows that they should never have gone back to bed. But she is tracing patterns on his bare chest and he is looking at her with the most adoring eyes and she decides that she likes breaking routine. She decides she loves assuring him that she is his and that she loves him.