Daddy Issues: Serendipity excerpt

 

Lucas

“Goodbye, Maggie.” I wanted to kiss the soft blush on her cheeks. Have the memory of touching her skin. But I’d crave another taste. The tender spot behind her ear. The soft skin of her neck.

“Oh, please don’t say goodbye.” Her shoulders drooped as her smile disappeared. “It’s one of my least favorite words. Let’s replace it with another one.”

The wheels in her head spun as she thought of a word to swap it with.

“I’ve got it. Serendipity.”

“Huh?” Her mind was a dangerous place. I couldn’t keep up.

“It’s a movie. Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack are in it. She wrote her phone number in a book, then sold it to a used bookstore the next day. He tried to find the book and her the rest of the movie.”

“Let me guess, he got the girl in the end.”

“It wasn’t that simple. They were reconnected at the last second before he married another woman. Serendipity put them back together. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet again. I’d like that.”

I would too, but I’d fail her, crush her spirit.

“Skeptical, aren’t you?” she said. I scoffed and shook my head. No one would ever call me a dreamer. “Don’t worry, Lucas. I’ll believe for both of us.

She moved closer to me, and I tried to think of something to say that wouldn’t belittle her fantasy. But we were never going to happen. She was better off if goodbye meant just that.

“Come here.” She curled a finger at me, red lips forming in a devilish grin.

When I didn’t move at lightning speed, she grasped my tie and brought us nose to nose. Aggressive little thing when she knew what she wanted. She leaned in closer. I felt her hot breath against my skin, then she brushed her lips against my ear, and whispered, “Serendipity, sweet Lucas.”

Her lips blazed a short trail on my cheek where she planted a chaste kiss. After she pulled away and let go of my tie, my skin tingled. I felt fifteen again. The kiss was pure and tender—just like her.

I watched her walk away toward her subway stop until she disappeared like a mist into a crowd of people. I considered running to find her, but the truth of who I was and the life I’d chosen kept my feet from moving. She would have to remain the beautiful nymph I met on a Wednesday morning.

An unfamiliar ache formed in my chest, making it difficult to catch my breath. I welcomed the raw pain, not how much it hurt. For the first time in years, I had true feelings for a woman beyond just the bedroom and my own base needs.

Did I want more for my life? Maybe what my best friend, Barclay, had with his new girlfriend? So bad, the want for it made the aching worse, but my cards couldn’t be reshuffled. I was dealt the hand and had no one to blame but myself.

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