Today we have another guest author taking the story and twisting it her way. Please welcome the amazing Jami Denise.
I jackknifed off the bed, startled and panting.
“Just a dream. Holy crap.”
With my hand over my heart, I closed my eyes and tried to gather my wits. Normally, I wasn’t a big drinker, but after the episode earlier that evening, I’d been a basket case. Confused and agitated, I’d spent the remainder of my evening alone with a bottle of five dollar wine and a box of stale donuts.
It was all too real. The light, the way David looked at me as I slipped through the night and away into nothing locked into my mind like an anchor. A dream like that had to be due to the freaking wine.
Who dreams about aliens for crying out loud?
A deep breath and a few scrubs over my eyes and I stumbled out of bed and in search of coffee and aspirin.
“I’m never drinking again,” I grumbled to myself.
Dinner had been interesting—if not completely awkward. I wasn’t sure what he was up to, but he was pushing his agenda fairly hard. There was something off about him, however. He seemed agitated and nervous, looking over his shoulder and tapping his fingers against the table.
Other than that, he’d been charming and fun, but the more time I spent with him, the more I realized he hadn’t changed much. That hurt. Stuffing away feelings for so many years left me bitter and jaded and after an hour with him and Mazie, my padding fell away just enough to invite the memories.
When I reached the kitchen, I went straight for the coffee maker and shoveled a few spoonfuls into the filter and filled the tank with water. I didn’t even want to think about it anymore—at least not until I was full of caffeine.
Work was about the last place I wanted to be, but at the very least, I’d be too busy to think about David and the fact that I’d agreed to have dinner with him again. Alone.
Twelve hours later, I pulled up in front of David’s house, worse for the wear after a long day of dealing with children and nursing a hell of a headache. So many times I’d considered cancelling, but a part of me was curious to find out what he wanted to talk about.
He’d been elusive when I asked straight out what was going on, but after the dream and the strange hints he’d dropped at the diner, I was ready to find out what the hell was going on. Not only that, I wanted to finally get our past out of the way once and for all. I was sick of living in my self-imposed limbo. Closure was the only way I’d ever be free of David Ray.
Mazie met me at the door, smiling as wide and bright as the horizon and wearing the cutest little green dress I’d ever seen.
I had to admit—I adored Mazie. Hard not to. There was something special about her, and it outweighed the heaviness in my heart that came with her father. When David came back to town and I found out about Mazie, I admit—I was resentful. How could I not be? She was part of a future I had no part in, a future I thought would be mine.
Her tiny ringlets were pulled into one high ponytail at the crown of her head and I’d never seen a child more adorable in my life.
“Mazie, don’t you look pretty. That’s a very fancy dress.”
Smiling, she held the corners of her skirt and swayed back and forth. “It’s only for special occasions. Daddy said I could dress up since you were coming to dinner.”
Her smile was contagious and when her father walked up behind her, looking like he’d just stepped out of a photo shoot for some high priced cologne, I nearly lost my footing.
Would I ever get used to how attractive he was? Probably not, but I had to keep my distance, and hold on to my composure. Nothing could happen between us, for many reasons. The more I reminded myself, the more I wanted to say to hell with it all.
“Liv, glad you came.”
The corners of his eyes crinkled when he smile, which I loved. Truth was, men really had it easy. The older they got, the most handsome they became, and he was no exception. My gaze traveled over him, and once again my eyes were drawn to the way his shirt fit across his shoulders like silk on glass.
“Dinner is almost ready. Drink?”
I nodded and handed him my coat. “Yes, please.”
What I didn’t say was that a little hair of the dog paired with some liquid courage was exactly what I needed. The way he smiled at me told me he knew exactly what I was thinking.
When I drove up to his house, I was shocked. He’d obviously done very well for himself. No surprise there. He’d always been driven, even at a very young age. I’d always had the impression that his father had a lot to do with his ambitions, however.
After fixing me a drink, he sat next to me on the sofa while Mazie went up to her room with her Nanny.
“David, what’s going on?”
He ran his hand through his hair and stared down at the glass in his hand. He looked pensive, irritated. Tired.
“Liv, we’re in danger.”
I barked out a laugh. “What are you talking about? You’re freaking me out. After all these years, you owe me an explanation.”
He sighed and looked up at me, frowning. “When I left, it was to save your life. I thought I could keep you safe, but they know.”
This was nuts. He was acting like a lunatic, talking in circles. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You. They know about you, Liv.”
The cup crashed to the floor as I stood and put my hands on my hips. “Who knows, and what do they know? You’re talking in riddles.”
“You’re my weakness, and they know it. They’ll use you to get to me.”
“Who?” I yelled.
The look on his face turned my blood to ice and I froze.
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