Authors: Olivia Gracey
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.
Cover Photo: Jessa Harris
Cover Model: Jack Taylor
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events are the work of the author’s imagination.
Any resemblance to real persons, places, or events is coincidental.
Solstice Publishing -
Copyright 2016 Olivia Gracey
To Valeria—Yes, I believe pigs do fly! You are beautiful! You are worthy! You deserve to be someones forever bride!
To Daphne —There’s a little weenie winner hiding behind every unsuspecting door. Don’t open it! Look through the peephole first!
t’s the moment of truth. The moment I accept where I am in my life. I’m standing at the door with my hand on the knob wondering if I’m doing the right thing. But how will I know unless I open the door? As I bite on my lower lip I remind myself, it’s just a date. One date. No commitment here, right? No reason to get all flustered or worried over nothing. He’s just a guy; I’m just a girl. Okay, a lonely girl I admit but nevertheless a girl who hasn’t been on a real date in a very long time. The last guy I dated was a bulldozed disaster that lasted through four football seasons. I swore I wouldn’t be so eager to start another relationship with someone again. His so called true love filled up the hole the last one left then burned a bigger one in its spot!
But I think I’m ready now. Yes, I know I’m ready. Ready to put myself back out there. Maybe not on full display, like eye level for all the buyers to browse, but definitely on the top shelf as an option just in case the right one should come along. Not that I need a man in my life, I’m quite fine without one and not that I think this guy is Mr. Right, oh no, he’s just Mr. Buy-Me-A-Drink and share a nice evening, a nice bottle of wine, a walk in a park, or some sweet dessert with. He’s definitely not Mr. Forever or Mr. Love-Struck-Where-Ya-Been-All-My-Life. Why was I going out with him again? Oh yeah, he asked me to.
Let me tell you a little about this umm… little guy. This guy has a good job, he’s well-traveled, he’s sorta cute in a puppy dog kinda way, maybe somewhat charming, he definitely is a persistent little guy, that I like, and he has a nice smile. I like nice smiles. Now he doesn’t have a dimple wide smile mind you like I prefer, no this little cutie’s mouth isn’t that wide. He does have pretty brown eyes and what seems like a nice build. He is a
guy and by that I mean short. Most guys lie about their height saying they are taller than they actually are. I’m hoping his honesty was a typo. Surely he’s taller than he says he is. Is he? I’m just hoping he’s taller than me. Sigh. OMG! Please be taller than me.
Should I look through the peephole first? He has a soft little knock, that’s not good. No, I should be surprised. Wait no. I should look. I should definitely look. But what if he’s so short I can’t see him? What if I look and the peephole makes him look like a troll! OMG! I can’t look. Can I? No, it could ruin the surprise! What surprise? Oh Yes, I definitely should be surprised. That way I have to be honest and go with my gut. Pure surprise with no regrets. Hmm. Regrets. I should look huh? Okay, I can do this. I can look, it won’t matter anyway. I’ll just take one little peek! Will it? Yes, yes it will. It most definitely will. Spoiler! Ugh!
Why am I standing here arguing with myself?
If I only knew what would play out in the next few minutes before I opened this door, you know, first impressions are a biggie then I wouldn’t be standing here arguing with my emotions. Geez, I hate being so nervous! I need to know if I should answer with a grin, answer a little on the seductive side like “Hello, doll!”, or better yet answer with a glass of wine in my hand like I was all sophisticated or something. Wait a sec! Yes! What a great idea! Wine! A girl should never be caught empty handed answering a door to a little stranger without a sweet glass of wine in her hand! It says I’m sophisticated; well-traveled; maybe alcoholic diva; but definitely demure.
I wasted no time tiptoeing back to the kitchen, opening the fridge and pulling out the bottle I had placed in there earlier to chill for us. I seriously couldn’t get it open fast enough. Of course, it was rude of me and I should have waited on him, but understand I was really needing a drink now. You know, because my hands were trembling, my nerves were shot, and I was coming unglued at the seams fast. The seams around every inch of my stature were ripping apart and for what? Hell if I know. I don’t usually come unglued. I’m a cool cucumber. I’ve usually ‘got this’. But my racing mind couldn’t see I had nothing to fear. I was in a state of panic! And I wouldn’t allow myself to peek first. Ugh!
I quickly grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and poured. The wine tasted so good when it hit my tongue that it made my head spin. After a few big sips, the glass was empty so I refilled the glass again. The second glass went down quicker than the first. The wine ran warm through my veins and calmed my nerves. Now I was feeling a little better. Not as shaky and a little more calm. After refilling the glass a third time, my little feet maneuvered me swiftly back over to the door like they were filled with rocket fuel or something. I was ready to go now! Pitter patter heart; swift dancing feet; sweat beaming on my upper lip, but calm. Nice and calm. And I didn’t even care to peek this time.
Hmm…now where was I, oh yeah, he’s still softly knocking. Boy, he doesn’t give up. That’s good he’s still there! Great! Good boy! I reached and palmed the knob with my hand with one quick turn and there he was standing right before my very eyes.
“What are you doing here?” I asked as mean as I could muster.
“That wasn’t nice.” He grinned. Did I say grin? Yeah, like a cat with a nest of baby birds caged between his teeth.
“What do you want?”
“I wanted to see you.”
“Why?” Why am I asking? What did it matter? He needed to leave. He shouldn’t even be here. I made it very clear the last time we spoke he was never invited back.
“I missed you.”
“So aren’t you going to invite me in?”
My foot was still wedging the door. “No. I have a date, you need to get outta here before he arrives.”
I shut the door fast in his face and leaned back up against the door with my glass in hand chugging every last drop of my delicious wine licking the remnants off the rim with my fingers till there was no more. But the knocking continued. “Go away,” I shouted but I was pretty sure he didn’t. I turned and took a peek out the peephole and nope, I was right, he was still standing there with his big ‘ole bobble head staring at the door like I was going to open it or something.
“Ugh!” I trotted hard back to the kitchen to refill my empty glass with rocket fuel all the while trying to remember if I had locked the door. I was reminded I had not after I had spun around with a full glass of yumminess almost drowning him in it. Why does he do that? He stood before me not inches away from my lips breathing on them like he belonged there.
“You’re a little creepy when you do that you know!”
“Do what?” he chuckled.
“Come in unannounced!”
“Wasn't unannounced, you knew I was here.” He was still smiling. Damn him! Smiling that old familiar smile that had his dimples dancing. What is he doing here again? I can’t do this. I’m not interested in a conversation with him or make idle chit chat. I’m not interested in him being anywhere near me as a matter of fact. He needs to go. He needs to go now!
“You need to go!” My words were a matter of Dr. Seuss but my heart was a matter of mush. I missed him and oh how I missed him in times like this, but he wasn’t going to know that. And I wasn’t giving him the satisfaction to think there’s a slight chance I was glad he was here. Because I wasn’t. Wasn’t glad he was here that is. I told myself this over and over as he smiled back at me. Stop smiling, I thought, those baby birds were destined to be freed! But I couldn’t be the one responsible for their demise. Been there, done that, got the award framed on my wall in the hall!
“I just wanted to stop by and say hi. No harm.” His attempt at a hug was received cold and uninviting. “Just wanted to check on you. See how you were, are you okay? You doing good, honey? You okay?” His hands didn’t miss an inch touching me and rubbing all the curves of my backside. “Honey, I’ve missed you,” he added swiftly.
“Don’t I look like I'm doing okay? Geez.
I pushed him away but he didn’t budge. He was still built like a brick powerhouse, strong and large.
“You look great!”
And there it was, that charm. That dragged me by the hair not kicking or screaming charm that won me over years ago. Yes, he still had it. He was laying it on thick now. His twinkling blues were winking at me and his pearly whites were not two inches from my ruby red lips.
“Of course, I do! I always look good!” I snarled. “What’s your agenda?”
“No agenda, just saying.”
“Well, you’re not allowed to be ‘just sayin’.”
“Can’t a guy compliment you? You are so beautiful when you're angry. You know that? So beautiful! Your little nose…” he began softly.
“Not you! You’re not going to barge in here and tell me how great I look and how beautiful…And I am not…”
“Give it up, Sadie. I come in peace. No harm. Promise.
He explained calling a truce with his hands in the air.
“Please leave I have a date and he doesn’t need to see you here.”
“A date? With who?
His arms were back to being all grabby.
“You don't know him.” I pushed them aside and stepped out of his reach.
“Then tell me his name.” He pressed forward.
“No, it’s none of your business besides you are leaving.” I grabbed his hand and led him to the door angrily as I could. I couldn’t take much more of him being in my kitchen. He was stinking it up with his yummy cologne. “You’ve got to go, go now,” I shouted as I opened the door. “Now!”
“Fine. Fine, going, but let me say one thing before I go. Please.” he begged.
“There’s nothing to say, Radley.”
“Please, Sadie. Please.”
“What?” Why does he make life so hard for me? Why does it fluster me when he shows up? I’ve been over him for so long now, why does he still have some weird effect on me? I sighed deep and let out a huge breath of air exhaling all over his mile wide chest. The kind of air that makes the nipples on a man stand to attention. How unfair his chest was to lay so large, so nice before my eyes. Had I forgotten how large it was or had it grown since I last saw him? Either way, it was nice, and
His kiss was soft and tender on my lips as I remembered them being on our first date, so soft I unknowingly closed my eyes. I opened them to the sound of the door closing. For a moment my heart skipped a few beats, maybe even stopped altogether. I took a deep breath in trying to regroup and forget he had been there. It was just a bad dream. A dream to throw me off guard due to my lack of confidence within myself with the date that was soon to be arriving at my door. A very bad dream. A nightmare!
Another knock sounded on my door before I had the chance to move an inch and re-group. I opened it fast and furious now feeling as though I had been taken advantage of and ready to scrap the hell out of him for knocking on my heart with that kiss. “What now!” I shouted at the little man before me. Not at all what I expected, not without flowers and a bottle of fine wine too. I took a good hard look at the tiny little troll of a man with combed over hair, a pale blue plaid shirt, with a little grin, and felt I was doomed. The world as I had known it moments before flashed before my very eyes. Oh, how I wished life was different for me. I couldn’t win. I sighed deeply and snatched the fine wine from his little grasp, slamming the door in his face.
Wait. Did I see flowers? Hmm. It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten flowers. Boy, they were pretty! I peeped out the peephole and he hadn’t budged. I suppose he was still in shock. I opened the door a smidgen but just enough to grab the little bouquet from his hand. I smiled a crooked smile and with still no explanation I slammed the door again, this time, locking it behind me.
“Nope, not happening tonight. Can’t go there,” I told the wine as I inspected the bottle on the way back to my kitchen. I sniffed the beautiful flowers full face. They were divinely fresh and colorful. I put them in some water and sat the bottle on the counter. The little guy got major kudos for having such great taste in both. I finished off the first bottle of wine that I had opened prior to the Radley lip adventure and flipped off the light.
I settled in on the couch under my fuzzy blue blanket sinking as low as I could go. It was going to be a long night, I could just feel it. The touch of Radley’s lips was still burning on mine somehow wishing he was here, but was glad he was not.
And you know what the real kicker was? I hadn’t even had dinner. I was starved!
y name is Samantha Jade Nelson but everyone calls me Sadie. It’s the name I cling to and have grown accustomed to over the years. I thought at one time I was going to be a forever bride to this on again off again hot guy, but I was so wrong. He abandoned me the night we were supposed to fly to beautiful Jamaica to get married. And even though I took him back after he broke me, I still never fully recovered from the damage he did by making me feel like my floor was where I belonged. Yes, those were dark days for me. A guy by the name of Radley Cole introduced them to me. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the world through the view of my pristine floor. I pray I never see it again, though. I’ve only dated one serious guy since Radley broke me and he turned out to be a guy that was more focused on his needs rather than our needs. He needed to be a father. I couldn’t give him that gift so he left me too. Funny how you think something so simple as making a baby could be the downfall of a beautiful relationship. It was so hard to let go of him. Having a baby seems like a simple thing to do, happens all the time, by mistake even. But no, The Good Lord didn’t equip my body to be a baby making machine, so I was not one of the lucky ones to bear a child. It’s okay. I’ve accepted it now but only after months of tests and trials and lots heartache and tears. Nevertheless, the beautiful bald headed Ed couldn’t deal with my broken body and its ability to not reproduce and I couldn’t deal with his broken promises.