This story contain’s sexual content, violence, coarse language and consumption of alcohol it is rated R and 18+
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(Waking Up Jayla)
I met my friends Beth and Carmel for lunch then we went off to the spa to pamper ourselves. They were both super excited about my third upcoming date. I showed them a picture of Bill and they both thought he was cute.
I ended up telling them about Tripp since Ona told them I stiffed him. Then I slipped up and mentioned Curt. Not by name, I called him mystery man. They both asked if he knew my name. I said sure, but then realized not once have I told him my last name. Of course, they both thought it was uber romantic and told me next time to give the poor guy a chance. Only now, with date number three next week with Bill, I was feeling guilty about thinking about Curt. The reality is this city has over six million people living here and the odds of running into him the second time were astronomical let alone for a third.
When I told them about Paul, they were very excited. Both thought he deserved more but I think I might have scared him a little. If that’s good or bad, I don’t know. His threats may be empty I doubt he would want his true nature brought to light.
Beth and I decided to go down to the outdoor market when Carmel left to go pick up her kids from a birthday party. The market was fun, but very much out-of-the-way from where I live. We perused the vendors and made small purchases here and there. I found some organic honey and some fresh herbs for a chicken dish I wanted to try making. I found a cute little pin of a man playing a saxophone wearing a fedora that made me think of Bill.
“Should I?” I asked Beth. “It’s not too cheesy or forward or weird?”
“It’s sweet. It’s only fifteen bucks. Maybe he’ll forgive your carnivorous ways.”
I giggled, handed the vendor the cash and stowed the gift in my purse. I was very excited to give it to Bill and would have to think of a fun way to do so.
“What about the other beau?”
“Um no. The odds of seeing him are none.”
“Yeah only because you won’t look him up.” Beth snickered. “Chicken.”
“Yup, feathers and all. I ran away from the guy twice. I’m sure he thinks I’m a nutter by now. I can’t fathom why I’m so afraid of him.”
“That’s sad. I say you should at least Facebook him or something.”
“I don’t touch social media, ever.” I had my reasons since my parent died and life is much better without it all. I started looking through some small watercolour prints. “Wow Beth, look at this one.” I held up a seaside landscape in greens and blues.
“Oh nice, it would go perfect in your living room.”
I flipped it over. “Not for a hundred dollars.”
Beth scoffed took the painting and haggled the guy down to thirty-five. How she does that I’ll never know. It may be that she’s a drop dead gorgeous brunette, taller than I am by four inches and has the loveliest voice.
“Hey Jay,” Beth elbowed me. “Don’t look now but a near perfect ten is looking our way with interest.”
Beth would never say perfect ten unless the man opened his mouth and coherent sentences that weren’t self-absorbed came out. I looked around and saw him. You have to be kidding me. I’m beginning to wonder if Curt is a stalker. I’ve never been so torn. I wanted to talk to him, I loved talking to him, but I wanted to run. I need to figure out why. I also need to start buying long shot lottery tickets.
“Ooh he’s all kinds of sexy hot. I wonder if he’s single.” Beth said in a near whisper. I busied myself with buying a baguette and chanced a glance his way. He was still looking at me with his head slightly tilted to the right a bemused look upon his face. Almost as if he were waiting for me to bolt, but knew I was trapped.
“Earth to Jay.” Beth hip checked me lightly snapping me out of my trance.
“Sorry, yeah he’s good looking. I think I’m done here, how about you?”
Beth looked back to see what I saw. Curt walking away with an adorable redhead smiling up at him.
“Damn. Too bad.” Beth shrugged and we headed to our cars. “I need to get back to start on dinner anyway. Josh will be home in an hour and its date night.”
“Nice.” We hugged and she put her purchases in the trunk of her car and I continued down the long rows of cars to mine.
I jumped when someone grabbed the heaviest bags from my hands and I yelped. A grinning Curt chuckled and fell into step.
“You take your market shopping seriously.” He hoisted the bags as if doing bicep curls. His tight shirt showed off his shapely muscles and my mouth went dry. “I must say I thought I’d never see you again Jayla.”
“I can’t believe you’d want to.” Whoa, where are my filters? What are the odds I’d actually see him again? I have no idea but here he was proving fate might have a plan.
Curt cleared his throat. “You do realize just how unbelievable it is that we keep running into each other. This is a huge city.”
“I know.” I stopped and clicked the key chain fob opening my trunk automatically. “It’s almost creepy.”
He laughed and put my bags in the trunk. “Okay here’s the deal.” He stopped me from moving to open the car door. “Fate says I get a chance and maybe one without you running away. So how about a coffee date?”
I made an involuntary annoyed slashed grossed out face, he narrowed his eyes and I giggled. Why did this man make me giggle?
“Coffee dates are worse than sit down dinner dates.”
“It’s just coffee Jayla.”
“Why are you so persistent?”
“Why are you so resistant?” He countered. “I can’t for the life of me figure out why you’re so hot and cold.”
I nodded. “Me neither. It’s too late for me for coffee anyway.”
“Throw me a line here. Anything.”
I had to hand it to him, he was not going to relent and it was flattering. There was one thing I wanted to do, but couldn’t find anyone to go with since my sister cancelled an hour ago.
“Well?” He prompted.
“There’s a lantern boat fundraiser thing tonight at High Park at ten. It’s a fundraiser. I’m planning on going around nine thirty.”
I was planning to go as in past tense, because my sister Asha cancelled via text. I texted Bill right after, but he has plans with his cousin and brother.
“You planned to go by yourself?”
I had a flashback of punching Paul in the face twice with my fist this morning and had a flash of repeat bravery. If I can survive Paul I can survive then I can make it through one not-date with a hot annoyingly persistent man.
“Well not if you show up.” I gave him a sly smile, ducked under his arm and got into my car. There. I set up a way to see Curt again and ran away. Double points for lil’ Ole me.
To be continued…
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Next Chapter: It’s Not A Date