“A most unusual tool!”
Corwin glanced over Maisey as she read it aloud and laughed. Those old billboards always made him chuckle. The dark green paint was chipped and peeling – sometimes the words were cut in half due to a missing board – but her father kept repairing them year after year. He claimed it added to the ambiance for his hotel guests. Giving them that first sense that they have stepped back in time.
Corwin wondered, not for the first time, what it had been like for Maisey growing up on the estate of a grand hotel from the Forties.
“The closest shave…” she read as they passed the next one.
“For the softest kiss.” Corwin recited even though the billboard was too far to read. He leaned toward Maisey for the ritual kiss. She squeaked and complained that he had not shaved with the proper tool. He kissed her again for good measure.
Gravel crunched under the truck’s tires as Corwin tucked into one of the guest spots. He made a gesture to warn Maisey not to open the door herself. Corwin had a very old-fashioned father-in-law to impress. He slipped around the front of the truck and opened the passenger door, then helped Maisey step down from the old Ford. Her belly was beautifully round under her yellow cotton dress. Corwin kissed her again and slipped his hand over her belly – imagining the shape of his son’s head just beneath the surface. Sometimes at night when he stroked Maisey’s swollen tummy, the baby beneath seemed to press back against his hand to prolong the touch. It was odd, but so incredibly awesome. He could not wait to meet the little cuddler.