by Leigh Lennon
One night was all I could offer to a man I barely knew. I intended to return to my perfectly planned life, but now he is back, and with him the reminder of the irrefutable connection we shared.
It’s still there.
I crave him.
One night may unravel my perfect plans as I find myself at a crossroad between security and desire.
One night, that was all she could give me. Yet here I am back in her life as fate has intervened. When I first saw her in that form-fitting red silky dress,
I was captivated.
She owns my heart.
As I set out to make her mine, she has to choose between her past and future. I don’t think I will survive if her choice isn't me.
“Really, Brody? I’m going to look hideous in this. I’m not this Skinny Minnie like Jane or Lila.” I’m tall, taking after my dad and not my mom. A size two would not look right on my five-foot-ten frame. Brody looks at me with an amused look on his face.
“Rose, you forget I have seen you naked, I think you can pull it off just fine.”
“You are telling me this was all they had?”
“It’s February, slim pickings.” Pleading the fifth, his smile is not fooling me.
“Oh, sure, whatever. Let me hop in the shower. I should have made you wear a speedo.”
“Sorry, they certainly didn’t have any of those, either.” Giving me the rest of what I have asked for, he continues with a cocky grin. “Listen, I will wait for you and we can go down together. When we are done we can get cleaned up and order a pizza and some beer, or sorry, OJ.”
When we near the pool, I take my jacket off and Brody stops in his tracks. I see he is technically walking forward, but is turned around watching me. When he gets closer to the pool, I don’t say a word and just stand there, waiting for him to fall in the pool, which he does. I can’t stop laughing at him when he’s standing in the pool, shaking the excess water out of his hair. He swims over to the side where I am standing, places his hands on the cement and looks at me. “Never doubt how good you look, you single-handedly are responsible for my fall in this water.”
“Are you all right?” I’m still laughing.
“Yes, the ego is just a tad bruised.” Pulling himself out of the water, he comes up behind me and puts his arms around my waist, touching my stomach. “I’m sorry, I’m just trying to find a way to touch your belly. Rose, I feel close to you and very comfortable with you.”
I see him watching every move I make when I walk down the steps to the pool. “Hey, Brody, this is the way you get in the pool,” I tease.
I see something on his face and kidding time is over. He jumps in, swimming next to me, pulling me in for a hug. “The second I found out you were carrying my baby, I realized how that bond could connect two people.”
“I know what you mean,” I say as he backs away from me, giving me the space he has promised.
After swimming for a little bit, we sit on the steps of the pool as Brody watches me with an intense longing. I do want him.
When we stop a couple of hours up the road to fill up my tank, she asks me to get her a bag of Skittles. “Ah, you have a little sweet tooth about you,” I tease.
When we get back on the freeway, I notice she has poured all her Skittles out on her lap into a handkerchief I assume she had in her purse. “What in the world are you doing, Toots?” I ask.
Looking at me, she only smiles. “I have to eat my Skittles in color order,” she says as if this is common sense.
“And what is color order?” I ask, not knowing there is indeed an etiquette to eating Skittles.
“It’s rainbow order, silly. Red first, then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.” She scoffs at me and I’m not sure how to even respond to her. My girl is a little quirky. Quirky has never bothered me before.
“Well, now that I know I have been doing it wrong all these years, I will be following suit, Toots,” I tease but she doesn’t say much, just smiles at me while she eats all the red Skittles, one at a time, before moving onto the next color.
After her Skittles are eaten, she falls asleep in my passenger seat. She is beautiful, with full breasts, luscious lips and dark skin. No denying the looks make her attractive but there is a connection I can’t deny, not that I want to.
As she stirs, I say, “Well, we made good time so let’s stop.”
Rose stretches, looking at the hotel I have pulled into. “Wow, Brody. I didn’t think it was possible but this hotel matches your car.” The truth is money is tight so I need something as inexpensive as possible. Plus, I feel I should pay for Rose’s room.
“Okay, now that hurts, Toots,” I say, trying to feign a look of hurt. She has given me notice on my car, but it has been a good car that I wanted to keep for another year, though I understand her worries concerning our child.
As we attempt to secure our rooms, we start fighting in the front office about the bill. “This was my idea, I am paying for this, Rose.”
“No, you are not,” Rose says, as it is apparent that the man behind the counter doesn’t enjoy the time our disagreement is taking.
He finally says, “I don’t care who pays, but I have Wheel of Fortune to get back to so you both stop squabbling about. I tell you what, this whole women’s lib business, she wants to pay, let her pay. That will teach them.”
I immediately am overprotective with the harsh words he uses toward Rose. When she gently touches my arm, she simply says, “Thanks so much for seeing my side, sir. Case settled, Brody.”
However, the guy behind the counter deserves something for his rude comments and I quickly grin, looking at Rose as I say, “But can you please not chain me up and beat me when we get back to the room as you hammer me into submission?”
The guy gives me a dirty look as he retreats into his back office to the cheers of the studio audience of Wheel of Fortune.
“That was cruel, Brody,” Rose says, playfully hitting me, although she laughs.
“No, it wasn’t, he was a dick.”
I never will get my happy ending. With my past threatening to ruin the possibility of love in my future, I keep every man at arm’s length. Nick appears out of thin air, becoming a part of my life instantly, leaving me breathless and wanting more. The pain that haunts me is still present, but Nick is worth the risk. When he promises me forever; can I trust him?
Justine makes me see that a forever is in reach with her. She keeps telling me she is hard to love; yet I find it quite easy. Once I break down her walls, she finally lets me in. But, I have a secret of my own which can expose her to the demons that destroyed me in the past. However, with Justine, I will do anything and everything to make her mine.
Leigh Lennon is mother, veteran and a wife of a cancer survivor. Originally with a degree in education, she started writing as an outlet that has led a deep passion as she wrote twelve books. Now ready to publish all of them, she lugs her computer with her as she crafts her next story. She can be found drinking coffee or wine, depending on the time of the day.