sun had begun to lower in the sky when she walked out of the
bank. Heading to her car, she took a deep breath, ready to
get off her feet and relax for a bit. She placed her bag on
the passenger seat and started to round to the driver’s
voice wove around her, rooting her to the spot. She closed
her eyes briefly, took a deep breath, and turned to meet the
man behind her. Ten years wasn’t nearly long enough for her
to forget him, no matter how he’d changed. She would know
him anywhere. Regardless of what name he went by.
“Hello.” Yes, that would work. Be calm, unimpressed.
towered over her. Always had. Brody had never failed to make
her feel small, delicate even. And protected. The
important thing for me to remember here is the word had
in all those thoughts.
didn’t recognize you in the bank when I was there at first.
wasn’t sure that was good thing or not. “Most do in ten
years,” she said, grateful her tone remained modulated.
never altered his expression, and she couldn’t see behind
“Yes,” he commented. “I suppose we all do.”
“Excuse me,” she said. “I have a date.” Where the words
originated from, she hadn’t any clue.
“Really?” His dark eyebrows shot up on his forehead.
ire went from low simmer to full-fledged with someone using
a bellows on the flames. “I’m sorry? Is the prospect of me
having a date so foreign to you?”
took a step back before halting and shaking his head. “No,
that…that isn’t it at all.”
arched one eyebrow and, looking down her nose at him,
sniffed. “Good.” Before she totally lost her composure, she
spun on her heel and climbed in her car. Her trusty Honda
rumbled to life when she turned the key, allowing her to
drive away without another word. Even so, as she moved
farther away from him, she glanced in the rearview.
Damn him! What had she done to deserve this? Without
considering she may be busy with other things, or someone
else, Hermione drove over to her friend’s house, Dr. Melinda
Parking beside her SUV, Hermione took deep breaths before
climbing out on wobbly legs. At the door, she rang the bell.
Moments later, Melinda answered.
“Hermione, how… What the fuck happened? Are you okay? Get in
could feel her walls crumbling around her then Melinda had
her arms circling her.
“Christ, honey,” she said. “You look like you’ve seen a
ghost. What’s going on?”
had, in a manner of speaking. “He’s back,” she muttered,
going along as Mel led her to the couch.
grab something comfortable from my closet, and we’ll talk
about it. I’ll fix us something to drink.”
Hermione may have less stature than Melinda, but at least
she wouldn’t be in her business suit. In Melinda’s room, she
dug for a pair of sweats and an oversized sweatshirt,
needing some extra warmth for the moment. Melinda waited
with a drink for her, and they sat on the couch.
I interrupting something you had going on tonight?” she
“Not a chance. Besides, you need me, I’m here. What’s going
on? Who’s back?”
sipped the coffee, grateful for the liberal amount of
alcohol she tasted in it. Leave it to Melinda to know what
she needed. She swallowed, accepted the burn, and looked at