Thank you so very much for all of your comments and subscriptions to my email feed. This is the last day of the Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains blog hop. Be sure to get in all of your entries for the drawing–one of the prizes is a Kindle!
I’m finishing up the blog hop with the final installment in April Showers. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I have had writing it. The vote went to Mark! Please enjoy.
April Showers Final Part
by Evelyn Aster
Mark gripped her arms and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you he’d called. I didn’t think he’d just show up looking for you.”
She squirmed out of his grasp—rain beating down on her face as she looked up at him. “But why? Your job is not to decide who I get to talk to. I make those decisions.”
“Because when I first started working for you, you were on the verge of divorce, and he convinced you to stay with him. Something inside me told me he was going to try to get you back again. And I couldn’t stand to watch it. You’re a smart, beautiful woman and I love you.”
Tessa stepped back. Her mouth hung open and the raindrops fell in. Sure, he’d been flirting with her earlier, but she hadn’t equated it with love. “I, I can’t talk about this right now. Please don’t follow me.” She turned around with his coat still on and ran until a taxi stopped for her.
She sat dripping inside of the cab. One ex-husband and one assistant—she couldn’t help but notice her heart grew cold at the thought of Rick and warmed at the thought of Mark. But it was a rainy Friday night—not the type of evening suited for decisions of the heart. She needed to sleep on it.
Tessa sat in flannel pajamas with her feet up on a chair, a cup of coffee on the kitchen table and an e-reader in her hand. The storm from the night before still pattered down on her roof and brought a chill back into her house like Rick had brought turmoil back into her heart. She tried to read the words before her, but her mind gave them no meaning. She always liked the idea of her and Rick together, but the reality never matched it.
A knock at the door startled her. She set aside the e-reader and walked until she could look through the peephole. Crap. It was Rick.
She opened the door and saw he was drenched with a dozen red roses in his hand. The porch roof rattled under the raindrops. She sighed. She didn’t like roses because of the thorns, but Rick thought they were the only romantic flower out there. “What do you want?”
He held the bouquet out and said, “I’m really sorry about the way I treated you. And I’m sorry about last night. If Mark–”
“Leave Mark out of this.”
Rick’s eyes narrowed like he suspected something was going on between them. “I didn’t think I should just show up here and I couldn’t think of any way else to see you.”
“It’s over, Rick.”
Rick dropped the flowers to his side. “Are you with Mark now? I always knew he wanted you.”
Despite trying to keep a straight face, her eyes widened. She’d never thought they were anything but professional. Except Mark had been very caring during everything that had happened—over and beyond even the best assistant. God, she was an idiot. “No, I’m not with Mark. You and I are not good for each other. We should’ve never tried to have children–”
“No, we were great together, and I want children with you.”
“But I can’t have them. And they aren’t a bandage for all the hurt between us. You went too far in the divorce. I can’t be with you again.” She shut the door and leaned against it.
“I love you, Tessa.” He called.
She kept the door shut and stood at it until she heard him walk away. Tears brimmed at the thought of never seeing him again, but she blinked them back.
After a shower and lunch, she sat at the kitchen table still trying to read, but the doorbell rang. Damn it. It had better not be Rick again. She stomped to the door and flung it open. A delivery man stood there with a bouquet of spring flowers—purple and pink with raindrops rolling off the petals in momentary beauty. She caught her breath; they had to be from Mark.
The storm finally stopped as she signed for the flowers. She took them and noticed a letter sized envelope in the middle. She set the flowers in a vase on her table and opened up the letter.
Last night is not the way I wanted to share my feelings for you. I imagined something much grander, but the words just flew out of my mouth in panic. If you’re with Rick right now, I wish you well and know that he’s the luckiest bastard in the world.
If you’ve made up your mind to stay divorced, please consider going out to dinner with me tonight. There’s so much I want to say, and I’m not much good at Jane Austen length letters.
Either way, I think our time working together has come to an end. I’ve accepted a job in the marketing department. Of course, I’ll help you transition to someone new, but I think we both know it can’t go back to the way it was, and I don’t want it to. I want us to be so much more.
Please call me,
Oh, god. He’d finally taken a better job and was moving on. The marketing department was on a different floor; she wouldn’t see him anymore except at Christmas parties. What would she do without their chats over morning coffee, their laughter over lunch and their banter at the end of the day when—her thought ended on the realization that they always talked as if they didn’t want to leave each other to go home at the end of the day. Damn.
She was in love with him.
She dashed out to her living room where she’d left her purse and phone. As soon as the phone was in her hand, she pressed her finger over his number. It only rang once before he said, “Tessa?”
“Mark.” She had no idea what to say.
The pause seemed to go on forever. “Did you get my flowers?”
Tessa hit her palm on her forehead. “Yes, they’re lovely. Thank you so much. I want—is it possible–” Tessa took a deep breath. “I don’t want to wait until dinner to see you.”
The doorbell rang. “Answer your door,” said Mark.
She ran to the front door and slammed it open.
Mark put his phone in his pocket and said, “I stalked the deliveryman here. I didn’t want to wait until dinner either. I take it Rick isn’t here?”
Tessa put her phone in her back jeans’ pocket and shook her head. “We’re through. We’re divorced. I’m done with him.”
Mark held out a hand and caressed her cheek. “I’m sorry I didn’t trust you to make that decision. I just can’t stand not being with you any longer. Everyday I come to work I want to take you in my arms and tell you how much you mean to me.”
Tessa pressed his hand to her cheek and said, “I know I’m a little slow sometimes, but when you said you were leaving me for marketing, I realized how important everything you do is to me. I can’t give up talking and laughing with you. I should’ve realized it a long time ago.”
Clouds broke apart and the sun’s rays shone through. The world smelled as if it had just stepped out of a shower scented with wildflowers. He pulled her to him and said, “The past is done. Let’s move on together and not look back.”
She wrapped her arms around him—her heart beating happiness mixed with anticipation throughout her body. Their lips pressed together, washing euphoria over her. They kissed until the last of the rain dripped off of the porch roof and then went inside to a blissful afternoon in her bedroom.
If you enjoyed my off the cuff writing, please buy my new and first release Through the Paintings with a fuller plot and professional editing. You can buy it at Jupiter Gardens, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ARE, Coffee Time Romance and Smashwords.