Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Summer Love- Chapter Three- By Dana R. Lynn


Chapter Three

By Dana R. Lynn





“What am I doing, Ralph?” Jake shoved his hands through his hair as he paced the length of his mother’s spacious living room in front of the enormous picture window. It had a spectacular view of the crystalline water, but he didn’t see it now. All he could see was Jenny’s face the day she had pulled his ring off her finger and rejected him.


 Ralph had taken advantage of his distraction and was perched comfortably on the soft cushions of the sofa, his tongue hanging out as his brown eyes followed Jake’s movement. Jake knew the dog had broken the rules of staying off the furniture. He couldn’t bring himself to make the dog move, though.          

            He had done his best not to let Jenny see how torn up he was about possibly selling the beach house. This house had always been his refuge. When he was hurt. Or worried. Or even when he was broken-hearted, such as when Jenny had rejected him fifteen years ago. When that bomb exploded, ending his military career and almost ending his life, his one thought while he convalesced in the hospital was that he needed to go home. Go to his mother.

            And then he got the news that his mother was gone.

            He had known that she had been sick. But his mother had never told him how sick. He had thought they had time.

            He had been wrong.

            Looking around the house now, all the comfort shored up in these walls throughout the years had been swallowed up in sorrow, leaving him devastated.

            That was the real reason he was contemplating accepting Dr. Merritt’s invitation for the night. Oh, he wanted to see Jenny again, too, like a man lost in the desert wanted a glass of water. He knew that any smiles and kind words she sent his way would be merely for the sake of her mother. Like a fool, though, he still wanted to see her. One more time.

            His heart was racing, just thinking about her. The Jenny he’d loved so fiercely had grown into a lovely woman. He had wanted with everything he had to stay, but he had signed up for another tour of duty and he was a man who kept his word.

            “Enough!”

            His words echoed loudly in the open room. Ralph whined and hid his head under his large paws. Poor fellow. He’d been a bit shy of loud, sudden noises after what they’d been through.

            “Sorry, buddy.” Ruffling the dog’s fur, he made his decision. It would be rude to not attend at this point. He would go for dinner, make polite conversation, then he would leave. He could do this.

            Tightening his jaw, he finished getting ready and left. Half an hour later, he was ringing the doorbell of the Merritt’s house. When the door swung open, he met the excited gaze of Skylar, Jenny’s younger sister.

            “Jake!” Skylar stepped forward and gave him a warm hug. When she stepped back, he searched her eyes. He saw none of the wariness or coldness in her gaze that he had seen in her sister’s. Like Dr. Merritt, Skylar seemed genuinely happy to see him.

            “Sky, it’s wonderful to see you again. How’s college?”

            She made a face. “Silly. I graduated last year.”

            Oh. He felt the warmth crawling up his neck. He’d been gone for such a long time that he had forgotten so many small details.

            Quietly, he followed her up the stairs. Dr. Merritt greeted him with pleasure. Jenny’s greeting was more restrained. If it had been just Jenny and Jake, he knew the conversation would have been tense, possibly non-existent. Thankfully, Skylar and Dr. Merritt were able to carry the weight of the conversation.

            Jake did his best to keep up. It was hard though. Throughout the meal, he was aware of the calculating glances Jenny kept throwing his way. What was she planning? He knew those glances. He used to love to hear the way her mind worked. Now, he was feeling like a bug under a microscope.

            She’s up to something.

            His thought was confirmed as soon as dinner was over. She approached him while her mother and Skylar were getting the coffee and dessert.

            “I need to speak with you.” Her voice was cool, her eyes, those gorgeous green eyes, guarded.

            He shrugged, trying not to let on that his gut was in knots standing so close to her. He could smell the gentle floral scent of her perfume. It was a struggle not to be distracted. “What’s on your mind?”

            She bit her lip, her eyes sliding to the other room. Her mother and sister were laughing about something.

            “I can’t talk to you here. I need you to meet me. Privately.”

            No. Way. Meeting with her now was hard to take now, she was stirring up so many memories and feelings. If he didn’t stop it now, he’d be in deep like before. And get his heart stomped on. Again.

            “Not a good idea, Jen.” He shook his head.

            Those green eyes narrowed to a mere sliver. “Jake Watkins, you owe me. You know you do.”

            He could feel the color draining out of his face.

            She knew.

           



2 comments:

  1. Great chapter, Dana. Wow. What does she know????

    ReplyDelete
  2. The plot thickens. What does she know? Very intriguing.

    ReplyDelete