Chapter 19 - Old Habits Don't Die

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This chapter is dedicated to dramali for posting a comment on a previous chapter that made me do my ‘happy’ dance.  Thank you so much for your support and making my day!

Chapter 19 

The week was progressing and Berkley was counting the hours until Dane would be home.  She was going crazy without him here.  She was still trying sort it out in her head.  It had been clear to her before he left that she had to walk away from him even though she wanted nothing more.  But the minute his feet left the ground she suddenly felt bereft.

The house seemed colder and darker.  Actually it was darker.  When she woke up thirsty, she grabbed her phone and made a refrigerator run.  She descended the stairs nightly but tonight she was in total darkness the warm glow of Dane’s desk lamp absent.  She stood in the kitchen drinking orange juice feeling more alone than the previous nights.  Even this simple task of quenching her thirst was not the same she had nothing to anticipate other than the tangy flavor washing over her taste buds.  This nightly ritual had almost become a game between them, Dane working later hours in his office while she crept down the stairs quietly trying not to disturb him.  It was actually quite a challenge to go unnoticed by his keen ears and more often than not she would feel a warm set of hands slide around her waist and pull her in close for tender embrace.  It was a sweet simple gesture and he usually rested his chin on her shoulder before sharing his current problem with her.  Most the time it would be work related or something to do with Alan.  She always listened.  She never really offered him much advice and he didn’t seem to mind because he wasn’t really seeking it.  He just needed to confide in someone.

She walked down the hall and into his office.  She turned on the lamp and sat in his chair pulling one leg up to her chest and dangling one foot to the floor to spin the chair back and forth in front of the desk.  The house was just too quiet.  She missed the warmth of his smile when he looked up from his work to find her tiptoeing by his office.  She missed the little reassuring wink that he would give her when talking on the phone with his clients just to let her know that he wanted her to stay.   She missed him plain and simple.  She toyed with her phone debating on calling him.  She checked the time and it was only three.  She wondered if he was taking a cab to his hotel room or if he was still in a meeting.  Oddly enough Ana hadn’t really played on her mind like she had expected.  Maybe it was because of the loneliness that she could see in Danes eyes.  The empty expression that she glimpsed in that split second before he realized she could see him while his face lit up at the beginning of each FaceTime session. 

Butterflies swirled madly in her stomach as her phone vibrated in her hand.  It was a text.  She swiped her finger of the phone and opened the message.  It simply said.  ‘Good morning.  I wish you were here.’  And then immediately following the text a photo arrived.  It was Dane standing on the Great Wall smiling.  She smiled at how touristy he looked in his khaki cargo pants and the typical sun visor that screamed I’m a tourist and paid five times the normal price for this fashion nightmare on my head.  Before her smile faded, he sent another picture.  It was Dane standing in front of a statue and he had captioned it, ‘Ming Dynasty Guardian Lion – Forbidden City’ and added ‘Be sure to show this one to Ethan’.

Berkley was just fixing to call him when another picture came in.  It was of Dane and three other men one being and American while the other two were Chinese.  They were all standing with their back to a bar and holding their drinks up toasting and smiling.  This photo was tagged- @Babyface celebrating with new partners!

Berkley smiled and was so glad that things were going good especially considering how tense he was before he left.  She decided to call him.

“Hey, you’re up.”  He answered sounding pleasantly surprised.

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