18 - Jen/ Alex

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She was ready when he came to pick her up just after four. She had a productive afternoon but was annoyed that Sterling found the need to call her three times. Most of his questions, he either could have answered or they could have texted about. She wasn't sure why he had this sudden need to talk to her, she tried hard to hide her annoyance, but at least he was being nice to her. She hoped that he was done bothering her when she climbed into Alex's truck for the third time that day.

He drove to the other house and again she was impressed with how much was done in two weeks. Because this house was smaller it seemed to be further along. This house was being painted and she saw he used the colors she recommended.

When she complimented his work he smiled and she was reminded of how it lit up his face. She had reached the point that she was no longer denying to herself that she was attracted to him. A harmless attraction, she decided considering she lived in another state.

"Would you mind if I swung by my house, so I can clean up?" he asked.

"No, I'd like to see it," she replied.

"You'll be sorry. It's nearly empty," he said.

"Let me guess the most important item is the high definition TV," she teased.

"That and my bed," he replied.

Her belly did a flip again just at the mention of the word bed. She blamed her reaction on the fact that she was now living a life without sex.

She had seen the outside of his house and the inside looked like new construction. He was right, it was very sparse and the kitchen, although it had a beautiful design, looked like an office. She imagined that was where he sat when they were on the phone. She asked about the widow's walk and he showed her the way. She spent some time taking in the view while he cleaned up. He had offered her some binoculars and she looked out at the water. She could see the breed of the dog being walked on the beach. It occurred to her that if he had chosen too he could've seen hers and Sterling's faces as the talked that day.

Eventually, he joined her and after a moment she followed him back down. The stairs were narrow and she could smell his fresh soap scent and she saw his hair was damp. She had a strong desire to touch his hair but refrained.

Back in the truck, based on Kristi recommendation, she suggested that they go to a craft store. It didn't take long for them each to choose a craft kit and a science kit. She hadn't been in this kind of craft store in years and suddenly found her artistic side calling out. She wandered over to drawing supplies and picked out a sketchbook, charcoal pencils, and a blending stump. She would make time for herself to explore her creative genes again. Although her job was creative and included sketching, she hadn't drawn in years.

After they had checked out, he asked if she wanted to get dinner. A part of her wanted to say yes, but she knew her mother would be disappointed. When she told him, he said he'd just get a lobster roll.

She didn't know why but their shopping trip felt almost like a date. Not a very romantic date, but her attraction for him seemed to be growing. She remembered the talk around The Point and decided that they shouldn't spend more time than necessary together.

"You know if I keep going in your truck, rumors are going to start to fly," she said.

He responded rather sharply, "Perhaps we should stick to business then. I don't want my reputation ruined over rumors."

"Relax it was just a comment. We'll stick to business from now on and I'll get my own ride on Sunday back to the Jetport," she said. She couldn't help but think that he clearly didn't want any association aside from their work.

 She couldn't help but think that he clearly didn't want any association aside from their work

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He sat in front of the ballgame and ate his lobster roll. He knew he was abrupt, but he was angry at himself for his own desires. He couldn't believe he felt this way about another married woman. He had stood in the shower with the warm water running over him knowing that she was on his roof. He allowed himself to fantasize about her stepping into his shower. Stupid and foolish man, she probably has no interest in you. After all, she has her city boy husband, except he knew enough to know that something wasn't right there. Rule number one reminded him that it didn't matter; besides she would be back in New York when this house was done and he'd be here.

He stayed away from The Point all day Saturday. On Saturday night, he had Julia come over and he ordered pizza to be delivered. He was overcome with pent-up sexual frustration and she met his urgency and what resulted was incredible. What he didn't want to admit was in the midst of passion the face he saw in his mind was not Julia's. Despite his fantasizing, it was a very memorable night.

Lying with her in his arms, he said, "We really need to do this more than one night a week."

She laughed and said, "One night is all I can handle."

"Do you ever want more than what we have?" he asked.

"More? No, I like that we have no strings. I'm still not interested in anything more serious."

Alex thought for a few minutes. He wanted more, but at the same time, he enjoyed the time they spent together. Was being with Julia preventing him from finding a real lasting relationship? The woman who seemed to take up much of his thoughts seemed to be a bigger problem than his standing Saturday night dates. Why had he allowed her to get under his skin? The answer was obvious which scared him even more because it was a force beyond his control. The only time he came close to this level of attraction was with Cara when he was seventeen. That house can't be completed soon enough.

Turning his thoughts back to Julia, he realized she was already asleep. She woke early and was gone before nine. He did some never-ending paperwork and laundry before he got ready for the twin's party. He chastised himself as he thought of her when he was picking out a shirt. Friday afternoon he had worn clean jeans and a tee shirt. Today he wore khakis and a shirt, not flannel, with buttons and a collar. He told himself he would dress this way for the party even if he never met the designer from New York.

One thing that Alex was good at was using his charm for favors. That was exactly his plan when he knocked on Kristi's door a half hour before the party was to start. He smiled as big as he could. She stepped aside to let him in and asked, "What do you want gorgeous? Dan's in the other room so we'll have to be quiet."

He whispered in her ear, "I need help wrapping."

"Oh for gosh sake, I've yet to meet a man who can wrap!"

Alex laughed, "I bet Peter can."

She made him suffer, but she wrapped the two gifts. She commented on his purchases and he responded, "I heard about your suggestions."

He walked across the street with Kristi's family. When he arrived he casually scanned the room. He found her with her mother in the kitchen helping. She seemed intent on what she was doing and most likely ignoring him. He was sidelined by John and Dan and got into a discussion about the new baseball season. They were quite involved and then Peter joined them. When they finally finished hashing it out, he looked around and she was gone. He wanted to ask where she went but didn't.

Did Alex overreact?  Remember he had his reputation ruined before.  Does anyone else love that he went to Kristi?

Please vote.  Thanks.

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