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.
As expected, my mom shows up with Pad Thai, my favorite. “Mom, I said I would cook.”
“I never get take out, I got used to it for years and now Nick has this policy of cooking each night, so indulge your mom,” she spouts off as the hurricane known as Justine Wallace arrives on my front porch. Hurrying past me, she makes her way to the kitchen and at home in my house.
Embracing her, she says, “So, I heard you had a visitor last night?” Her smile tells me to spill it all while she unpacks our dinner.
“What?” I ask.
“Kai told me he gave your mysteriously handsome guy you disappeared with the night of their wedding your phone number. So, one last fling before Jones gets back?”
My mom is not the normal mother. Growing up, we had luxuries afforded to us most kids didn’t. Basically, if we were honest with Mom, we were allowed to do most anything. We could go to parties, hell, Mom would drop us off and pick us up. After my mom finally approved of Jones, which was a long haul and a longer story, she made sure I was given all the resources necessary when we started having sex, though the first time, I did it behind her back. And when Jane would come up from Sacramento to see Kai, she stayed in his room. We were given a lot of leeway in life and for this reason, my mom really has become my best friend.
With a smile on, I say, “Mom, it isn’t quite the way you think. First off, technically I am back with Jones. We have talked about making a commitment. You know we took this year and a half away to see if we truly were meant for each other. Last week he’d said he was ready to move forward in the next step of our relationship.” I stop for a second to collect my thoughts. My mom really should be the easiest person I break this to, yet now the butterflies invading my stomach add company to the baby I’m now growing in there. “Well, we were going to try but something has changed. It's one of the reasons I had you come over tonight.”
Sensing the seriousness in my eyes, my mom leaves our food in the kitchen, leading me to the couch to sit down. With a small smirk on her face, she says, “Well, could it have something to do with the cute young man who came by last night?”
“Indirectly, sort of. I guess a product of…” I trail off as my mom stares me down.
“What? You have me confused, Rose,” I know Justine Wallace hates being confused.
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’ve 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 on to the next color.
After her Skittles are eaten, she falls asleep in my passenger seat. Being so beautiful, with full breasts, luscious lips and dark skin, there is no denying the looks make her attractive but there is a connection I can’t resist denying, 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 shock. 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.
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.