Roberto called as I was leaving the office and confirmed that our meeting was the next night at six forty-five. I arrived on time and in a much better frame of mind than the last time we'd been summoned. Once again, Roberto met me in the waiting area. This time he had a surprise.
"Hold out your hand," he commanded.
Bemused, I did as instructed. He removed the Celtic knot ring he'd given me and replaced it with my engagement ring. "It's back," I exclaimed.
"Um-hmm. Picked it up this afternoon. How's it fit?"
"Wonderful." I held out my right hand for Roberto to place the other ring on. As soon as it was in place, I slid my arms around him and gave him a kiss. He immediately took control. By the time it was over, I was flushed and aroused. I took a step back to gain some control.
He caught my hand and held it up to the light. "It looks good. When the wedding ring joins it, it will look even better," he stated, satisfaction oozing from his tone.
We were interrupted before I could comment.
"Pastor will see you now." The church secretary's gaze went from the two of us standing intimately together to the ring sparkling on my finger. "You're engaged? Congratulations."
"Thanks," I answered, a pleased grin on my face. I knew she was genuinely happy for us and not just saying what was expected.
"As we walked towards the office, Roberto's hand dropped down to cup my behind.
"Roberto," I hissed.
"What?" His eyebrow arched and the look he gave me denied all knowledge of any wrong doing.
Sighing, I shook my head. As I prepared to step through the doorway, he whispered, "Are you wearing them?"
"Actually, I decided to go without." I smiled innocently and went and took my seat, inwardly chuckling at the expression on his face. I was lying of course, but that's what the man gets for trying to knock me off balance. Turn about was fair play.
I settled into the chair, adjusted my skirt to make sure I was covered, and set my purse on the floor beside me. Roberto gave me a narrow-eyed glance as he pushed his seat closer to mine before sitting. There was a smirk on my face as I struggled not to laugh.
"Sister Wallace, I see you're in good spirits today," Pastor stated.
"Care to share the joke?" he asked.
"It's private," I responded, not about to tell him what was so amusing.
"I see." There was a pause as he glanced back and forth between the two of us. Apparently realizing neither one of us was going to share, he got down to business. "Roberto tells me you two have decided to marry."
I smiled. I couldn't help myself. "Yes."
"As you're aware, when couples come before me desiring to be married, I do a bit of counseling to determine whether I feel they're ready. So many marriages end in divorce because it's not what both parties expected it to be and the couple just gives up. Marriage is an honorable institution created by God. He said in His Word, 'Man was not meant to be alone and the woman was created to be a helpmate for the man.' The basis of the church is the family, so it pleases God when a godly man and woman join together in marriage. That being said, Roberto tell me why you selected this young lady to be your wife," Pastor instructed.
"When I first began attending this church, Nina came to my attention. The Lord showed me that she was my wife. I watched her for a long time before approaching her. The more I grow to know her, the more certain I am that she's the one," Roberto stated simply, his fingers playing with my hand, which he held on his lap.
"I see, and Nina, why did you agree?"
"Because I love him."
Both of Pastor's eyebrows shot up to his hairline. "You're not going to tell me that God told you Roberto was your husband?"
Pastor Williams examined me while I calmly met his stare. "Did you pray about it?"
I arched my left eyebrow in inquiry. "What is it that you'd like me to say, Pastor?" Roberto squeezed my hand in warning. Then, evidently feeling that the squeeze wasn't enough, said, "Nina," in a cautionary tone.
"I'm not trying to be difficult," I explained to Roberto. "I want to know what it is he's expecting from me."
"I'm waiting on you to tell me God said Roberto was your husband," Pastor patiently explained, realizing I was serious.
"What difference does it make? You're going to draw your own conclusions anyway, regardless to what I say. Besides, how many couples sit here and tell you that 'it was the Lord' that brought them together and divorce less than a year later?" I knew of one right here in this very congregation. Well, the man was still here. The woman left.
Pastor Williams sat back in his chair and the expression on his face showed that I'd surprised him. "That's very wise of you and very true. However, you do realize that love is not a basis for marriage?"