Next week’s story will be by Val Muller, author of FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a sci-fi romance, and CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers.
Check out our blogs at the end of this story. You’ll also be hearing from Jessica and Cathy soon.
A June Weekend Afternoon by RC Bonitz
She watched him come down the street, gliding along with an easy ground-eating stride. Before she could see his face clearly he’d caught her attention. The guy looked interesting. Rising from the chair, Gail Mason moved to the steps of the porch and sat down on the top one.
One house away, his features were becoming clear. He was one good-looking guy. And he’d seen her, she could tell. Her heart skipped a beat. He hadn’t slowed or given any sign of changing direction- which meant he’d walk right by her pretty quick. Darn, she should have opened a button or two on her shirt before she sat down.
In front of her now, he stopped. “Hi. Do you know where Eileen Ryan lives?”
Oh crap. Another of Eileen’s boyfriends. “Across the street. Two houses down.”
“The white house with black shutters?”
He grinned. “Are you a friend of hers?”
Was she a friend? Mostly. Except when Eileen moved in on her boyfriends, which she seemed to like to do lately. “Yeah, I am. I guess.”
“You don’t know?”
“Of course I know. Who are you?”
“Chris. Who are you?”
“Nice to meet you.”
“Her boyfriend’s there now.” No need to be snarky. The poor guy probably had no idea.
“You don’t seem too upset. I’d say he’s got the jump on you.”
“I’d say I’m ahead.”
Gail smiled. “You certainly are an optimist.”
“Realist, actually. I’m the one closest to home.”
She frowned, not sure what he meant.
He stepped to the porch and offered a handshake. “I work with Eileen. She’s been telling me about this neighbor she has. A very pretty gal, who’s been keeping her busy busting up her dates with other guys.”
“What?” she gasped.
“Are you going to shake my hand or not? I’ll put it down if you won’t.”
She took his hand and felt him squeeze, not terribly hard, but definitely strong. And warm.
“That’s good. Now, I’m Chris Butler. You’re Gail Mason and I’m supposed to ask you to dinner tonight at Eileen’s house.”
“She sent for you?”
“Yeah. Isn’t that cool?”
“I don’t know. I do pretty well getting my own dates. Except she messes them up.”
“Yeah, that was her plan.”
She stared at him, her heart thudding in her chest. He was darn cute. And he seemed very nice. And she had liked him from a distance. “What are you talking about?”
He broke out in a zillion dollar smile. “She says we’re made for each other.”
“Oh God! And you believed her?”
“I figured it was worth checking out. I’d say she’s got good taste.”
“What do you say? Dinner at Eileen’s? And a movie, just the two of us?”
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Catherine A. MacKenzie