Chapter 13

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Chapter 13


Finding out about Paul was rough at first, but I’d been through worse. I was just glad I found out when I did rather than another two months down the road. Plus, I couldn’t deny that his parents reuniting was probably better for Oliver and I wasn’t sure if I ever really wanted kids, anyway. I elt good about us not sleeping together, at the very least.

I was angry at him for using me to make Ashley Jealous and hurt that he chose her, but it made sense. All the warning signs were there and I had ignored every one of them. He wasn't a bad guy, just in love with someone else. He went about everything terribly, but tot having kids there was no way for me to know how it felt wanting one's family back together.

Still, I was tired of playing second fiddle to another woman, sick of being chosen second behind someone from the past. Twice now, the man I was seeing had cheated and picked someone else. I had to wonder if there was something wrong with me.

Then there was my boss. There are not words to describe the embarrassment I felt at James wiping that tear from my face as I told him what happened. He was never supposed to see that side of me; I was an ice queen that only thought about work and didn’t show emotions. That flew right out the damn window. The only comfort I took was in his ignorance of my similar experience in the past. At least he only saw me as somewhat pathetic rather than entirely tragic.

With that veil being lifted it did feel good to have the freedom to be myself. My routine stayed the same, but our whole dynamic had changed and the days started to be fun. Being me around James was so simple and we fell into our own natural rhythm.

By August, we were pretty comfortable just being ourselves around each other.

“Good morning, sunshine!” I spouted brightly, full of energy from the coffee I had already downed. I had my own key now, so I let myself in and dropped his coffee on the counter next to where he was busy working away at making breakfast.

James looked taken aback at my overly eager greeting, but smiled his perfect white smile anyway. “Morning, Holls. Switch the coffee for crack, did you?”

“Great idea! Maybe tomorrow, now take your dry cleaning, my arm’s all sweaty,” I retorted.

“Yes ma’am,” was all he replied as he worked the heavy items from my forearm easily and walked down the hall to put them away.

The smell emanating in the kitchen was making my mouth water. I wasn’t hungry because all the coffee had killed my appetite, but it didn’t matter; whatever he was cooking smelled too enticing for me to pass up.

I looked around to see what it was but the kitchen was a mess, flour was all over the countertops and there were empty packages and mixing bowls.

“Why do you look so confused?” James asked as he came back into the room. Only then did I notice he had flour all over his dark gray t-shirt, his arms, and even on his cheek and forehead.

“Never fails,” I said laughing lightly and shaking my head.

“What?” he replied, puzzled.

I merely answered by pointing to his shirt, a smirk on my face. He looked down and immediately looked back up shrugging in acknowledgment. “It’s what I do.”

“So, what are you making that smells so good?”

“That would be my mother’s recipe for homemade waffles. Now sit and I’ll serve,” he commanded.

I did as he asked looking down to make sure I hadn’t got any flour on my clothes. Today I was wearing a pair of jean shorts and a tight black tank top and glittery black gladiator sandals. My hair was down and straightened. The day after my talk with James, I decided I may as well wear what I wanted if I was going to be myself. It made sense and I felt more comfortable.

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