Sorsha Donan is a college English professor, as well as an author of erotic romance novels. She lives on the beach in a large, sprawling house. An old flame has come back into her life, the man she loved and hoped to marry. Ben Carver was in the military, and was wounded in a mission gone wrong. Now, he’s in intelligence, and has been called by a former colleague, Lex.
“Put your pants on, Carver,” I heard Lex’s voice loud and clear.
“I need a shower, Lex.”
“No time. I’m out front.”
“I’m not at my house.”
There was a knock at my door. Ben hung up, cursing, and trotted downstairs naked. Throwing open the door, he greeted Lex and ran back up to my room to dress.
“It’s her fault if I stink,” he complained as he discarded one T-shirt and pulled on another.
Dressed in cargo pants, a T-shirt and running shoes, he went back downstairs. I followed him down, dressed in yoga pants and a sweater. I offered Lex coffee, which she declined.
“That’s what you’re wearing?” she said, after giving Ben the once over.
“You didn’t let me shower or tell me where we’re going.”
“To your house so you can change. You need to pick a location, Carver. I need to know where you are.”
“If I’m not home, I’m probably here,” he replied, grabbing an apple and banana from the fridge. He completely peeled the banana, stuffing half of it in his mouth as he dropped the peel in the trash.
“So I figured out when I didn’t find you there. You’ve got a suit?”
“I’ve got several. And a tux,” he said around the other half of the banana. “You couldn’t tell me this last night?”
“It came up suddenly. Still got the yarmulke?”
“Today. I’m sorry, Sorsha. If I had any choice, I’d leave him here. I know how—intoxicating—a new relationship is.”
I sincerely hoped that she hadn’t had a relationship with Ben. I didn’t get that vibe from either of them, but who knows? Their lives have often depended upon being consummate liars.
Ben gave me a deep, probing kiss. “I will be back, my love. Count on it.”
“This should only take a couple hours,” Lex assured me. “But if it doesn’t.” She handed me a business card. “Memorize and destroy the card. Burn, preferably.”
“And scatter the ashes,” I suggested.
Lex and Ben stared at me, surprised.
“I write novels. Did you think my mind would go anywhere else?”
They laughed. Ben gave me another kiss. Lex gave me a hug, which surprised me.
“I’ll bring him back soonest. Plan on four hours before you flip out. I always take anticipated op time and double it.”
“It’s an op?” I must have looked or sounded afraid.
Lex patted my hand. “Nothing serious. No panicking allowed.”
“Doesn’t make me feel any better,” I said. “Go, before I think of a million reasons for you to stay.”
They headed to the door As Ben walked out, I called after him.
“I wanna see you in the yarmulke.”
He stopped, one hand on the doorknob. “Why?”
“Cause I think you’d look sexy.”
Chuckling, he walked out, calling over his shoulder. “I look sexy anyway.” The door closed and I sat at the table, pouting.
I needed coffee and food badly. I needed Ben most of all, but at least I had the assurance that he would return. Not just his, Lex’s.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes