Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Summer Love, Chapter 8, by Jean C. Gordon


Jenny looked up the path to the beach house and her gazed locked with Jake’s. She had enough saved from her time with the Peace Corps and stint working in Alaska to buy his half of the house, nearly enough to buy the whole property outright. But Jake had said yesterday that that wasn’t an option. She strode up the walkway to the beach house determined to get some answers from Jake before she lost her nerve.

“Woof,” Ralph greeted her first.

She patted the dog on the head. “Good morning.”

“Good morning. Sit down.” Jake motioned to the matching rocker. “I’d ask you what brings you out here so early, but I think I know.”

Jenny warmed in a way that had noting to do with the bright sunshine. She and Jake had often known each other’s thoughts.

“You want to know why I can’t let you buy my half of the house.”

It looked like they might still have that part of their former connection. She studied his serious expression and swallowed the lump in her throat. And how much more?

“Yes.” She sat on the edge of the rocker.

His eyes narrowed. “Then, you didn’t receive your copy of Mom’s will from her attorney, didn’t know about the codicil she’d added concerning the house?”

“No, my mail-forwarding from Alaska has not been particularly timely.” A knot of irritation formed in her gut from his implication that she’d feigned ignorance about the house, and just when she’d decided this morning that they might be able to at least salvage part of their former friendship. “I told you last night I didn’t know she’d left me half ownership.”

“So that’s not why you came back?”

“No, it was time. Summer Shores is my home. When my commitment in Alaska was done, it called me back. For good.” She looked at him full faced, her heart thumping, trumpeting to him to say the same.” Jenny closed her eyes and leaned back in the rocker, stunned at the revelation. She wanted more than simple friendship.

She opened her eyes and breathed deeply. “But that’s why you’re finally home.” She hated the way the emphasis on finally had crept into her voice.

He flexed his ankle and she wanted to crawl under her chair, or maybe under the veranda. Dear Lord, why can’t I help blurting the wrong things to Jake? The night she broke their engagement flashed in her head.

“I’m sorry. You were hurt, That’s why you’re home. Do you want to talk about it?”
“No.”

Jenny didn’t know which of her questions he was answering, but she had the wisdom to keep her mouth shut.

“I want to talk about Mom’s stipulation about the house. Before either of us can sell, we have to spend six months in Summer Shores at the same time.”

Unable to speak because of the hope ping ponging through her, Jenny nodded understanding at the opportunity she … they’d been given. “Starting now,” she said, “now that you’re home.”

What looked like pain twisted his face. “No, I’m not home here. I’m only on medical leave.”

He was still in the military. The other questions she’d had for him were unimportant. The only important question was, did she still, now, love him enough to let him go to complete what he needed to do, as she’d completed what she’d needed to do before she’d come back to Summer Shores? To give them another chance?

6 comments:

  1. LOL, I wondered what you were going to do Jean! Oh, and how did you get the house to show reversed. That is so cool.

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  2. Wonderful how you are bringing it all together.

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  3. I don't want him to leave!!! Have him put in for a medical discharge! Then they can be together. :)

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  4. Oooooh. Almost time to wrap this up. So many loose ends.

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  5. Oh my, this is getting so good. Can’t wait to see how it wraps up

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