The finale of our Round Robin Short Story series, "A Delicious Dalliance," from Jeff Bacot.
Alex grabbed her hand and electricity shot up her arm. Her gaze locked with his and one corner of his mouth lifted. She tried not to stare at his full lips.
Unlike that first kiss two years ago, which was a question; this was a kiss, stated in the form of a question. Her hopes had echoed in her ears, like it was shouted from a mountaintop, now reverberated into a deep valley becoming reality. As she contemplated the distance between them, more than six inches, it was still a little too far. The awkward pause between them lasted several minutes as they stared, unblinking in the dim restaurant lighting. Seven sat motionless, exiled to the dense silence and bating uncertainty of how to answer the question.
“I…” she muttered. “I don’t…” she put her hands in her hair as she finally looked away for a brief respite from the raw power of his penetrating dark and delicious gaze.
“Know?” He softly finished for her to ease the awkward anguish of her reticence.
She nodded gently and looked at him again. He moved slowly toward her and her heart sprinted, stomach tumbling in descent. He stopped, distracted by the clattering noise of the kitchen behind him and people swirling around them.
“Can you wait outside for me a few minutes? Maybe five, I am almost done here,” he said, pointing at the kitchen, whispering in that deep throaty way that made her quiver.
“Yes, of course.”
Seven stood and walked toward the exit. She halted abruptly with her hand on the heavy brass knob of the thick aged walnut door and turned to look back. He watched at the door of the kitchen and held up five fingers. She nodded, turned and walked outside into the shimmering lights and urban glow of downtown.
The phone rang in her purse. “Hello,” she answered, knowing it was her friend Lacey. “Yes, I’m downtown,” she replied. “No sweetheart. I would love to, but I have other plans tonight.”
She stopped at the edge of the sidewalk and stared out at the beautiful city. Though she had long desired, for at least the last two years, to find Alex and re-indulge a desired fantasy from days gone by. But Brad, fear, work, friends, and time had stopped her from making that choice. It was the distant voice of an unmade choice that whispered in her ear now, a shred of meaning from that encounter. The concept of time; so rich and beautiful, but frustrating all at once, about time, spending time, having time, making time...and timing. How she desperately longed to have back that time with Alex, and the last two years wasted with Brad. There is always time tomorrow, she smiled, it’s the good thing about tomorrow; it never knows.
Great job Jeff! Thanks again to all of our GFW Writer members who contributed. We had a lot of fun reading along and hope you'll all join us for the next Round Robin later this year!