WORK IN PROGRESS-COMING SOON, BOOK III in the LOVE TEST, Matchmaking Destiny series:
My toes were numb though I wore wool socks. I could have slipped on my boots, they were just inside the doorway, but I too was numb as I sat on the patio watching the darkest night switch to day. Pink windows shone against the early morning rays and the streets crept with headlights. It was almost spiritual the hush of dawn but I couldn’t appreciate it fully as my mind was on only one matter—a person—James.
My logical brain explained it to me. He was unexpected and kind. I went to the party with him to repay his gesture of replacing my tires. I wanted to help him after he’d helped me. Maybe I did. It was good he finally confronted his ex and now that he’s been seen with someone new, it’s sure to get the interest of even more admirers. James wasn’t exactly the guy to pity. Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome was doing fine before we’d met and he’d continue to thrive. One kiss with me wouldn’t change his life.
That picture though. It was the kind you frame. Whoever took it suspended us in a moment of soft yellow light that highlighted our faces. His gaze was an odd combination of confident and timid as we danced and grinned. The woman didn’t look like me. Her expression was peaceful, joyous even. I didn’t know her and I didn’t want to. She seemed like the kind of person my mother would understand and that couldn’t be good.
I knew it was strange that James was the first man I’d “dated,” the first to kiss me when it wasn’t during sex and that he was the only man I’d ever been photographed with. That was a lot of firsts for one person—namely me. I wouldn’t let it continue. If anything, the date confirmed my insecurities. I could already feel myself slipping away and everything being replaced by a lustful fantasy that would never hold true. It was time to break things off with James.
“Refill?” Lynn’s voice came from the doorway.
I unscrewed my lid and held out my cup, “Good morning.”
She silently filled the tumbler and shuffled inside. I knew it wouldn’t be long before she returned. When she did, she held my boots.
“Thanks,” I said.
She sat in the chair beside me and took no time in opening her pack of joints and lighting one up. While smoke escaped her mouth, she asked, “Been out here long?”
I took a sip of the hot coffee. “Since a little after four, I guess.”
“That explains your bluish hue.”
I tried to laugh but I was empty.
“I saw the picture. It’s beautiful. Must have been some night.”
I said nothing. Surprisingly, Lynn didn’t press. Instead, she took her morning toke and left me alone on the balcony.