Tuesday, February 13, 2018
I Love Dialogue from Mirrored by Dellani
Jed McMurtry has moved into his cousin, Teague's old house. His neighbor, Millie, has recently lost her husband. Cora, her granddaughter, has moved in with Millie, to keep an eye on her. She tells Jed that he looks a lot like her grandfather.
Cora found a picture album in the hutch by the table. She opened a page to show a happy, young couple. Jed did strongly resemble Bear, except that his hair was far lighter than the older man's. Identical dimples and a cleft in the chin, greeted him from the page. Bear's eyes, he knew, were a light aquamarine, where his were sapphire blue. The similarity was startling.
"He was twenty when they married and she was barely eighteen. Childhood sweethearts," Cora said. "She knew she wanted to marry him when she was ten and he was twelve. Only one man, her entire life. They adored one another."
"You wonder why we can't find a love like that, don't you? I can't tell you how many women have come and gone. None of that magic."
"I know," Cora said, touching the picture tenderly. "I want magic."
Jed leaned toward her, taking her face in his hands. His lips brushed hers, once, twice. On the third pass, he stroked her lips and cheek with his thumbs before kissing her. She tilted her head, accepting his kiss like the most priceless gift. They kissed a long time. Jed's fingers wound in her hair, twining in her curls. Cora held the collar of his shirt, pulling him close, though their bodies didn't really touch. It felt so good holding her, giving her kisses, that his mind drifted away from the here and now. It felt so very right with her.
Cora pushed his chest a little, backing away from him. A frown had settled on her features, confusing him.
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No. You're doing everything right. It's just—"
"You're wondering when I'm going to break your heart."
She turned away, lips trembling, tears falling.
"Do I have to?"
"What? Use me and toss me aside?" Cora's hand rose as if she were ready to hit him.
Jed took it gently, but firmly, kissing the palm. "No. Do I have to break your heart? Is it mandatory? Because I don't really want to. I like you, Cora. I'm not in the habit of hurting women—in any way. Not on purpose, anyhow. Even when you came over here, all pissed off at me, ready to rumble, I liked you. The more I'm around you, the more time I want to be around you."
"He used to say the same things. He used to tell me I was the most beautiful woman in the world, then he used me, stole from me, cheated on me and dragged me through the mud. He ripped out my heart and shredded it in front of me!"
Jed nodded. "Okay.... Fair enough. I'd love to give you some sob story and tell you I know how you feel, but honestly, I don't. I haven't got a line of hurt behind me. Most of the women I've dated, I'm still friends with. I was even in the wedding party of a couple of them. It was always a mutual break up, no tears, no hysterics, just a parting of the ways. I can't sit here and lie to you and tell you that I'm happy, though. I'm not. I'm lonely as hell and I want a good woman in my life. See, the woman I date needs a few things for me to go for her—she's got to be smart. You've got a PhD, very cool. She's got to be able to hold her own in my crazy ass family, and I think you can do that. Family is important and it's obvious that you think so too, or we wouldn't be here."
"Let me guess, hot and sexy, good in bed...."
"That would be nice," Jed replied, frowning a little. "But not the most important things. I like the fact you can cook, because I'm only moderately competent in the kitchen—as far as cooking. Otherwise, I rock in the kitchen." He chuckled when she pouted at him. "Will you give me a chance?"
"No sex," she said, holding up a finger at him. "Not yet. Everything falls apart after sex."
Jed nodded. "Okay. Deal."
"You gave into that condition way too easy."
"I'm still on the injured list. I'm not allowed to do anything anyway, so that's off the table until the doctor gives her permission. In the meantime, I like talking to you. And I sure like kissing you."
"I like that, too."
Jed glanced at the clock. "However, I have to get moving. I have a few things I have to take care of before I go to Joel's for dinner. I'd rather spend the time with you. But, since Aileen could shoot me dead, I'll go."
"We'll be fine here. Go have fun."
"It won't be nearly as fun without you."
They kissed goodbye and Jed went home.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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