Archive for June, 2012
Read Chapter 9 before you continue…
Elaina wanted to look anywhere but into Matthew’s curious green eyes. Yet, he held her gaze steadfast, determined not to let her slip past his interrogation. And what was to be her answer? Was she to tell him how Brooke had destroyed their friendship when she had never expressly told anyone else? Was she to confess that after being so excruciatingly betrayed by her own best friend, she had been unable to trust herself to open her heart to anyone who was not immediate family? And even if she chose to divulge this information, what would his reaction be? He was Brooke’s close friend and Elaina was only getting to know him. The knowledge she could unleash may pose him a conflict of interest, in the center of which, she certainly did not want to be. She wanted something from him that was to be of an entirely opposite effect and revealing her painful secret could only hinder that objective. Now that she was finally ready to submit to a romantic diversion, she could not allow anything to sabotage her opportunity.
Partial truth it is, she decided. “The ranch keeps me busy.”
Matthew looked the skeptic. “That’s it? The ranch keeps you busy?” Elaina nodded and he continued with, “You don’t work during the night. How hard can it be to schedule in a date once in a while?”
“Unfortunately, most men tend to expect you to maintain a relationship if you date them and that takes time and effort. Time and effort, which I’d rather focus on my work.”
“And my being from out of state removes the dilemma of a long-term relationship, is that it?”
Matthew was scowling so Elaina chose the mode she usually employed to avoid strained situations. Cockiness. “That and the fact that you wore me down. Kind of lassoed me into submission.”
Matthew looked most displeased. “That doesn’t say much about my charm or other attractive traits, does it?”
Elaina inclined her head to the right and smiled at him slyly. “You also have mystery working for you, if that makes you feel any better. It’s kinda hard working up attraction for guys you’ve known all your life. You certainly have the edge there.”
Matthew seemed slightly mollified but still not ready to accept her answer completely. “I still think you’re not telling me something.”
“Well, you’ll just have to live with what I am telling you for now, won’t you? Shall we move on to dessert?” Elaina changed the subject with all the finesse of a woman who would not accept any more challenges.
Matthew seemed almost ready to pursue the subject further but nodded instead, obviously knowing when to accept defeat. “Dessert is my favorite part of dinner. What’s good on the menu?”
Two slices of lemon tart and a jovial discussion about the merits and demerits of romantic comedies during the drive back saw them to the front porch of the Coreys’ house. It was not very late and the porch light was on. Elaina found herself wondering about the possible location of everyone in her family even as Matthew took her hands in his and leaned in to kiss her. And then she leaned into the kiss herself, only to have him pull away too quickly. Read the rest of this entry »