Zac & Rachel: Blast from the past

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Zac and Rachel: Blast from the past

Rachel sighs carrying the heavy box of apples to the display. That asshole Austin owes her so very dearly for this. The one day this week, she has off from the nursery and instead of relaxing on the tiny patch of grass she calls a yard with a towel out catching some glorious Southern sun, she's stuck manning Austin's organic grocery store. Hearing him on the phone this morning, begging her to manage the small farmer's market store while he sorts out some issue or other he has on the farm, completely broke her down. She just can't say no to Austin and it sickens her. What's worse is he's as loyal as a Labrador and an utter gentleman. Plus he's not too bad on the eyes. So why, Rachel can't bring herself to feel anything other than friendly towards him is beyond her. Not that he's necessarily asked for more but...She's not felt a spark of passion towards anyone. Ever.
Sure there's been a desire. Longing to have a man pleasure her, keep her company, hold her; but when she tries to put a face to this mystery man she comes up with nothing. Lord knows in her own exploration of her womanly anatomy, she's tried to imagine Austin but with all his sandy haired, blue eyed, dimple-smiled charm he just didn't do it for her.

Maybe...maybe it's because she's known him for too long. They have been friends since high-school. When the white trailer trash girl (her) and the hilly-billy farmer's boy (him) had been thrust together as outcasts. There'd been their other friend Will as well but he'd done well for himself and actually managed to get out his God forsaken situation and this town. They keep in touch but Rachel knows from talking to him, somewhere in him, he doesn't like the connection they have. It reminds him of his previous life. The one he left behind. Unlike him though, she can't do that. Not that she ever had it as bad as him but...when she looks around, she knows her life is going nowhere.
She was born in this town, raised in this town and she'll probably die in this town.

Displaying the last of the apples, Rachel heads back inside, only to hear the rumble of Austin's distinctive rusty Chevy.
"I keep telling you Austin, replace the damned thing already," mutters Rachel as he strides through the door. Placing his Stetson onto the countertop he gives her one of his classic charming grins and leans against the counter.
"And I keep tellin' ya, it's got too much sentimental value."
Rachel snorts at that, "like what Austin? Memories of your lost virginity?"
Austin winks, "a gentleman never tells Rachel. Anyway thanks for doing this, really, I owe you one, sweetheart."
Rachel shifts in her seat, slightly uncomfortable at the gratification.

"Yeah, well, I'll be collecting, don't you worry about that," she mumbles, just loud enough for him to hear.
"Sure ya are," he grins back knowingly, picking up his hat and striding towards the backroom. He knows as well as she does, she's not going to cash in that favor unless she really has to. And even then, she'll look for other alternatives first.
"I'll be doing inventory if ya need me, sweetheart," he calls causing her to glance around the empty shop. After the morning rush, the stream of customers had trickled down and now in the middle of the afternoon, there's hardly anyone about.

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