“Various things, but it boils down to incompatibility.” “And you think that I might be compatible with you?” “Yes.” I hope so… “So you’re not seeing any of them anymore?” “No, Anastasia, I’m not. I am monogamous in my relationships.” “I see.” “Do the research, Anastasia.” She puts her knife and fork down, signaling that she’s finished her meal. “That’s it? That’s all you’re going to eat?” She nods, placing her hands in her lap, and her mouth sets in that mulish way she has…and I know it will be a fight to persuade her to clean her plate. No wonder she’s so slim. Her eating issues will be something to work on, if she agrees to be mine. As I continue to eat, her eyes dart to me every few seconds and a slow flush stains her cheeks. Oh, what’s this? “I’d give anything to know what you’re thinking right at this moment.” She’s clearly thinking about sex. “I can guess,” I tease. “I’m glad you can’t read my mind.” “Your mind, no, Anastasia, but your body—that I’ve gotten to know quite well since yesterday.” I give her a wolfish grin and ask for the check. When we leave, her hand is firmly in mine. She’s quiet—deep in thought, it seems—and remains so all the way to Vancouver. I’ve given her a great deal to think about. But she’s also given me a great deal to think about. Will she want to do this with me? Damn, I hope so. It’s still light when we arrive at her home, but the sun is sinking to the horizon and shining pink and pearl light on Mount St. Helens. Ana and Kate live in a scenic spot with an amazing view. “Do you want to come in?” she asks, after I’ve switched off the engine. “No. I have work to do.” I know that if I accept her invitation I’ll be crossing a line I’m not prepared to cross. I’m not boyfriend material—and I don’t want to give her any false expectations of the kind of relationship she’ll have with me. Her face falls and, deflated, she looks away. She doesn’t want me to go. It’s humbling. Reaching across, I grasp her hand and kiss her knuckles, hoping to take the sting out of my rejection. “Thank you for this weekend, Anastasia. It’s been…the best.” She turns shining eyes to me. “Wednesday?” I continue. “I’ll pick you up from work, from wherever?” “Wednesday,” she says, and the hope in her voice is disconcerting. Shit. It’s not a date.
Published on Jun 2, 2016