While the stories are linked, each is a standalone. However, if you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.
I am sitting on the deck of my rental cottage, hearing the ocean’s lulling rhythm, but am thinking of home, spring, Virginia bluebells thick in the woods, how, if I stay here, I will miss them. While sipping my zinfandel, I chide myself. I am four hours away from home, not an eternity. Yet spring and bluebells ache in my mind.
“Is this a party of one or might you invite a guest?”
I glance up at Russ as he stands on the step of my deck and wonder how I never noticed him approach. Too caught up in my own little drama, I guess.
“You can join. Wine glasses are…well, you know where the wine glasses are. There’s beer in the fridge if you prefer.”
He enters the cottage and then moments later emerges with a beer bottle from which he takes a healthy swig. “Wine’s good, beer’s better.”
“Sounds like a quote ready for a t-shirt.”
He grins. “Patent it now.”
He sits on the Adirondack chair next to me, extends his long legs, and stares out at the horizon. “You’ve been absent.”
“Have I? I didn’t realize I was still in school.”
“When I invited you to take the cottage, I had ulterior motives.”
My heart skips but then I hush it. Silly heart. “Oh?”
“I thought we’d get a second chance at what we missed a few years back.”
“And what was that?”
He side-eyes me. “Really?”
I swallow. “Angie’s been staying with you.”
“Yeah, and that’s been weird. Why is she here?”
I shrug. “You’ve got me.”
My eyes dart toward him. He meets my glance. Heat suffuses my face. “I thought you invited her.”
“She invited herself. I let her stay because she’s your sister. I’m not overly fond of her crowding my space or trying to feel me up, which is odd, because if it was you, I wouldn’t mind a bit.”
“I’d love to hear that in the throes of passion.”
I bury my face in my palms while giggling, only semi-embarrassed. “I can’t—”
“You didn’t let me finish my sentence.”
“Anything that starts with can’t shouldn’t be finished.”
That face. Those eyes.
I stand up and then place myself on his lap. Our kiss is a meeting of wine and beer and years and lust. I want more.