On the 3rd, after a few months’ hiatus, I brought back The Story Circle with the gracious and talented AmyBeth Inverness. AmyBeth tagged Taylor Lunsford to pick and pass along the story. Taylor handed her baton to Alyssa Linn Palmer, who blogs at Musings of a Writer and Unabashed Francophile. Like Taylor, Alyssa’s writing is new to me, and I spent a while perusing her published works. One of my favorite things about The Story Circle is getting to know new writers and giving you the chance to do the same!
Jennytown: Part Three:
Holly left Leigh to her own devices.
“Just don’t get lost,” Holly said, laughing as she headed toward a group of students. Leigh blew her a raspberry in reply. Now that was childish, but it amused her all the same. She headed away from the small groups of students mingling near the vehicles. She felt old suddenly, being around all those students. Working vacations like these were for teenagers, ready to rise with the dawn and work all day, and then party all night.
She headed off the main road of Jennytown and pushed through overgrown grass toward a grey stone foundation. Part of the steps to what had been the front door remained, and she could just see the beginnings of old, maybe Doric style columns. Fancy, for a tiny place like Jennytown. Most of the rest of the building was crumbling, and nature was beginning to take back what had been built.
Glancing back, no one had noticed her departure, and she hoped she could see some of the town on her own before they were corralled into work groups. She climbed up the steps and peered over the edge of the foundation.
“What are you doing?”
Leigh teetered on the edge and a strong hand pulled her back and away. Not that she would have been hurt much if she’d fallen; it was only a couple of feet down to a mostly grassy interior, after all. She tugged her arm out of the guy’s grasp.
And she did. Look, that is.
Familiar dark blue eyes stared back at her. Dodge seemed as speechless as she was. He took a step back.
“What are you doing here?”
“I could say the same to you.” She managed to find her voice and she straightened, stiffening her posture.
Dodge rubbed his arm and her gaze fell on the Celtic tattoo. She remembered the feel of that arm around her shoulders, how he’d leaned in, his warm breath ghosting over her cheek. He’d kissed her, right there in the bar, and it had been surprisingly tender. And now he was here.
“I’m helping to project manage this gig,” he said. “What’s your excuse?” He gave her a half-smile as he said it, as if he felt apologetic for the awkwardness that enveloped them.
“Holly’s idea of a fun time,” Leigh replied.
“How come I never saw you again?” Dodge asked. Well, that was blunt. “Did you stop hanging out on campus?”
Leigh shook her head and brushed the hair from her eyes. “It was only one night, Dodge.”
He reached out and clasped her hand, tugging her down the steps. “I’d hoped it wouldn’t be,” he said. She found herself speechless again. There was no pity there in his look, nothing but warmth. And lust. Definitely lust.
“I don’t think this is the time or the place,” she replied. A silly cliche, but she’d blanked on anything better to say. Yes, I do want to have sex with you again? As if that’d be it.
“We’ll be here for three weeks,” he remarked. “Plenty of time.”
“Gather round, everyone!” An older man waved his arms in exasperation, trying to gather the attention of the young adults milling about. Dodge grinned.
“Come on,” he said, tugging on her hand. Leigh pulled her hand free. Dodge shrugged. They went back to join the group and she noticed the older man giving Dodge a sharp look. He sidled away from her, but gave her a look that made her avert her gaze. He would come find her later. Maybe he had stamina for more than just one night.