Sometimes it’s over but we still hang on. Sometimes it’s over and the other one still hangs on. Sometimes it’s over but you simply can’t move on. And sometimes it’s over and you just want to forget it ever happened at all.
Relationships. Friendships. Jobs. Books. Movies. Sometimes we don’t want it to be over, sometimes we do.
“I got your package in the mail as well and decided to take that as a good sign,” he was saying.
Chrissie forced herself to refocus on him. Marriage. What the hell did she feel about it? On one hand, it was completely ridiculous. On the other though, the man was delicious and gorgeous and she could definitely see herself getting lost in those eyes.
What was she thinking? What had he said? “Package? What…?” Her confusion lasted for barely a second. “You mean the ring?”
“Yes. Thank you. Russ’s mother was thrilled to have it back in her possession.”
“I’m sure. I had no intention of keeping it. I just couldn’t bring myself to send it back to Russ.” It was the first time in one hundred eighty two days since the last time she’d said his name, not that she was counting, and she found that she felt… “Nothing.”
“I’m sorry? Nothing?”
Chrissie thought she’d feel something. Pain. Bitterness. Regret. Something. Anything. But there was nothing at all. She couldn’t help the smile that crossed her lips.
She’d spent so much time healing. When she was awake, that is. Asleep was a different story. Colt somehow healed her in her dreams. Damn, the man was fine. And he was standing in front of her, flesh and blood. Yummy.
“What’s that smile for?”
“I’m over him,” she said. “I’m over him,” she repeated, louder this time, with a wider smile and a lightness she hadn’t felt in months.
Colt laughed. “Are you just now realizing that?”
“For certain? Yes.” She wanted to bounce and jump and run and dance around. “I am just now realizing it. It feels really good.” The weeks of simply going through daily life, one foot in front of the other, crying when she needed to, seeing her parents when she was desperate for a hug, hanging with friends when she needed a beer, had healed her tarnished pride and wounded heart.
And her pride had been the biggest thing. It was something she hadn’t wanted to admit to herself or to anyone else for a long time, but it was no less true. She saw the pitying looks when she went back home, and so she learned to stay away. Then there was her mother, who, bless her heart, kept telling Chrissie of all the eligible men who’d inquired after her.
Mostly though, she’d just wanted to be left alone. “Lonely” hadn’t entered into her equation. Less sexed than she’d have liked, definitely, but she wasn’t lonely. She liked her own company.
She’d even started to convince herself that she’d be fine alone for a good long time, that if she could just find someone to ease the sexual urges, she’d be good to live alone. Maybe for always. She could take care of herself, do things her mother shuddered over, like fixing a leak under the sink or cleaning a dryer vent.
A naked Colt, even if only in her head, hadn’t hurt either. On some level it was probably wrong to have erotic thoughts about her ex-fiancé’s brother, but she hadn’t while she was engaged and wouldn’t feel bad about it now that she wasn’t. The man was sexy and hotter than the day was long.
But in the flesh, within touching distance, she wasn’t so sure about that “alone” thing. Just his presence made her think of sharing and home and warmth and together and rolling naked in the sheets for days on end.
“I’m glad to hear you feel that way.”
Feel what way? Shit, the sun must be getting to her. She didn’t she say she wanted to be naked with him out loud, did she? No. Over Russ? It took her a moment to remember what they were talking about. With Colt in front of her, Russ was really the last thing she wanted dominating the conversation. “I’m glad to feel it. To say it. It—”
“Maybe you’d like to have dinner with me to celebrate.”
Just like that, her smile fell and her eyes grew wide. “Huh?”
“Oh, that was elegant,” he teased. “I’ll chalk that effort up to my having surprised you.” He touched her again, rubbing his thumb over her bottom lip. “How about a real answer now? Yes or no?”
“I, uh…” She was doing her very best to keep from tasting him with the tip of her tongue. Her lips were dry, and she felt the need to lick them, but she wouldn’t. Him right there, touching her, was doing more to her insides than her dreams of him had, and she wanted to crawl all over him. “I have to work tonight.”
Colt removed his sunglasses and pierced her with a stare that had her looking away quickly. Those eyes… Then she met his gaze again because she couldn’t stop herself. He was beautiful to look at, dark where she was light, big and bold where she was a muddle of putty in the palm of his hand.
Take some time if you have it, to visit the following blogs to see what they’re up to getting over…