Single Again Ch. 12byWhatIKnow©
It's about two hours before my date with Tiffany. After spending Christmas Eve together and waking up in each other's arms on Christmas Day, we agreed do our own thing till our date. We did speak on the phone, but the time apart gave me a great opportunity to evaluate where things stand. I still haven't heard from Summer and don't even see any missed calls from her.
Christmas Day was a lot of fun and it was great to see all of my family together. There was a lot of food and drinks and I was exhausted by the time everyone left. My dad and I didn't repeat our conversation from the night before, but my uncle did bring it up during our poker game again.
I woke up this morning feeling refreshed. I took some time to check on my work email, just to make sure that there wasn't anything I needed to be aware of. I was happy to see that nothing had come up over the holiday.
I know that tomorrow night my family is going out to a big dinner at the local steak house and decide that I am going to announce that I've decided to move back home. There are several factors behind my decision. The biggest is that I miss my family. Maybe it is time to come home. A close second is that I think it would be better for me and Tiff if I'm not around all the woman I'd been sleeping with. Especially Tina and Brandy.
So, the first thing I do is look at the plans I have for the upstairs. I know that all I have to do is ask my dad and he'll have a crew sent right away to get the work done. I check that off my list of things to deal with. Then, of course, there will be selling the house. I'll call Heather, the woman that sold me the house the first time. She's the best and I'm sure will be able to move it quick. I'll also have to call my boss and talk to him about my plans. I'll give him as much time as he needs since there is no rush on my part. He'll probably want me to train my replacement.
Next, I call the restaurant and order several bottles of champagne and make sure to have them put it on a separate bill. I give them instructions and have them repeat it back to me. I wonder if I'm making too much of this, but decide to go ahead with it anyway.
I spend the next couple of hours looking at houses in the area. I find several that would be perfect. My favorite is a house built right on a small lake. It's about thirty five hundred square feet with plenty of space to grow if I want. It's on about five acres and has a lot of potential. It also needs a lot of updating, but that won't be a problem. I can already picture Tiffany and myself living there together. Maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but the idea feels right.
I finish up about noon and decide to go visit Steph. She lives just a couple of blocks from my parents so I walk over with Pup. He probably needs a good walk anyway. She is sitting in the kitchen with Pam, who lives a few blocks away. It feels so good to be alone with just the two of them I can't believe I didn't miss this the last few years.
They decide to take me shopping so that I will look good for my date with Tiffany. The mall is crowded but the girls have no problems getting what they want for me. I run into several old friends and have a few quick conversations with them. We leave the mall with several bags. Some of them are even mine.
It's now just a couple of hours before my date and I'm starting to get nervous. I don't know why. For some reason this feels more like a first date. My phone rings and I see it's from Tiffany. "Hi."
"Hi to you too. What are you doing?"
"Lying in bed resting. My sister and cousin took me to the mall and wore me out. What are you up to?"
"Getting ready for our date. I had a spa day with my mom and did a few things with my dad out in my little gym. I had a nice workout too. Now I'm just waiting for you."
"Well, I think I have a nice night planned. I figured dinner to start and then see where it goes from there."
"Me too," I admit.
"Why do you think that is?"
"I have no idea."
"Well, hurry up and come over. This waiting is killing me."
"I still have to shower and shave and all that good stuff."
"Go do it. I'll be ready when you get here."
"Yes, ma'am. Bye."
I look at my phone and decide to turn it off. I don't want to take the chance that Summer will call and ruin the night. Then I get ready.
When I'm done I go downstairs and find my parents having dinner together. "Are you ready for your date?" my mom asks.
"I'm actually a little nervous."
"Maybe that's a good thing."
"Maybe. I'll be out late, so I'll probably see you guys tomorrow."
"Don't make plans," my dad says. "I already have reservations for dinner. I included Tiffany, so invite her."
"Thanks dad. I will." I grab the flowers I bought and head out to my car.
Tiffany's dad meets me at the front door. "John, it's nice to see you son. I've been hearing all about you the last couple of days. Come on in." His handshake is very firm.
"Hello, Mr. Richards. It's nice to see you too."
"Tiffany will be down in a few minutes. Just putting some finishing touches on. She's been antsy all day. So, tell me, what have you been up to since the last time I saw you." I just stare at him, a little stunned by the question. "I'm just kidding. Relax. You're not in high school anymore."
I let out a relieved breath. "Sorry. Guess I'm a little nervous about our date."
"Well, let me check on her before you burst from your skin. You'd think this was the first time you'd ever been out together." He chuckles as he walks up the stairs.
What the hell is wrong with me? I feel like a school kid on his first date. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. I do this a few more time, concentrating on each breath. Then I concentrate on my heart beat and try and get myself together. It starts to work till I hear Tiffany come down the stairs.
"You haven't been here that long."
I open my eyes and slowly rise to my feet. She looks stunning. I can do nothing more than gawk. She is wearing a very sexy black dress that fits her like a second skin. The hem is about mid thigh and her neckline plunges to between her generous bosom. There is quite a bit of cleavage revealed. Her hair is pulled back, but loose and hanging down her back. Her eyes glitter as she watches my expression and her skin is almost glowing. I can barely even tell she is wearing any makeup. On her feet are open toes shoes with three inch heels which make her toned calves look fantastic.
She finishes descending the step and does a little pirouette. Her ass looks fantastic beneath the tight dress. The back of the dress plunges to just above her ass and I realize she may not be wearing a bra. I also can't imagine that she is wearing panties since I can't see any lines.
"Too much for you to handle?" she asks with a sly grin.
"Yes," I tell her honestly. I'm frozen in place and can barely form thoughts in my head.
"Are those for me?" I can tell she's trying to give me time to reorganize my thoughts. I look at my hands and remember the flowers.
"Yes." I finally step towards her and hand them over. "You look beyond incredible. I don't even think there is a word that can describe you."
Apparently that is what I should have said because her face lights up. Maybe my brain is still working.
"Let me put these in water and we can leave." As I start to follow, I notice her parents at the top landing. Her mom gives me the thumbs up signal, but her dad doesn't look so thrilled. Mrs. Richards elbows him sharply and he finally smiles. Before I can go into the kitchen, Tiffany comes back out.
"Ready to leave?"
"Yes. You'll probably want a jacket though. It's pretty cold out."
We walk out to the car and I get the door for her.
"Is everything alright?" she asks.
"Yes. I just can't believe you are here with me and how beautiful you look tonight."
I catch her smile at me from the corner of my eyes.
"Thank you. You look really nice too."
We drive for a while without saying anything. I'm rehearsing what I want to say to her about moving back and being with her.
"You're awfully quiet. Are you sure you're ok?"
"What's bothering you?"
"Nothing at all."
"John, something's on your mind. No secrets. Right?"
"It's not a secret. I just don't want to tell you in the car. We'll be at the restaurant in just a few minutes."
"Ok." I can tell she's a little hesitant.
We don't speak till we get to the restaurant. I'm glad to see that our table is ready and the hostess leads us. It's exactly what I wanted. Something in a quiet corner.
I order a bottle of wine and get a nod of approval from Tiffany.
"Ok, we're here."
All my rehearsal has gone out the window. I can't remember how I wanted to say this so I have to improvise.
"How would you feel if I told you not to start packing your things?"
Her eyes harden as the question sinks in. "Um, why not?" Just last night we had discussed our future and it included her moving in with me once her teaching job ended. Maybe not the best way to start.
"And you probably shouldn't look for jobs in my area."
"This is not going very well. And it won't end well if you don't explain yourself."
"Take a look at these." I hand her printouts of some of the houses I had looked at earlier.
"What are these?"
"Just look at them." She leafs through them quickly.
"So, you're looking at old houses?" Her voice has an edge to it. Just then the waiter comes back with our wine. He opens the bottle and pours a little into each glass. She swallows hers in one gulp, but I take my time.
"This is fine, thank you." The waiter pours us each a full glass. "Look again, but slowly this time. Really look at them. That first one is my favorite."
If her eyes could, they would be shooting daggers at me. I know I'm pushing my luck, but I want to really keep her in suspense.
She slowly looks at the first one. I see her noticeably relax and she looks at me. "This is for a house around here."
"Yeah." She looks at the second one and then the third one. This time when she looks at me, she is much more calm.
"Are you moving back?" I can hear the excitement in her voice. Her green eyes have become like emeralds, her sign that she is very happy.
"That's the plan."
She rushes around the table, throws her arms around my neck and kisses me. It's all I can do to control myself.
"When did you decide this?"
"Pretty much last night before I spoke to you. When I woke up this morning I knew it was the right thing to do. I haven't told anyone else yet. I'm saving that for tomorrow night. My dad wants me to ask you to come out with us."
I can feel her excitement radiating from her body. "Are you really doing this?"
"Yup. I've already got my game plan. It will take a few months because I have stuff to do and there are the details to iron out, but I hope to be back here by the spring at the latest." I look around the room and notice a lot of stares. "You may want to get back into your seat."
"Screw them. You have no idea how happy I am right now." I kiss her again and this one is long and sweet. I wish we were alone right now so that I could slowly remove the dress from her body and make love to her. Her face is just inches from mine. "I wish we were alone right now," she whispers, echoing my thoughts.
She still has her arms tightly wrapped around my neck when the waiter comes back for our order. "We'll need a few more minutes. We haven't decided yet."
"Yes, sir." He smirks at us and walks away.
I decide to have some fun with Tiffany and play a little grab ass.
"Don't bother, I'm wearing a thong."
"You think you know me."
"Am I wrong?"
"No, but it was probably just a good guess."
She gives me another kiss then goes back to her seat. I'm a little disappointed. We look at the menu and when we're ready I call the waiter back over. While we wait for our food Tiffany goes back to the houses I have printed off.
"So, why do you like this one?"
"You know me so well, you tell me."
She gives me the stink eye and goes over the details. "It's got nice size, backs up to the lake and has a lot of room to expand. It's an older house that probably needs a lot of upgrades and offers a lot of privacy. That's all nice." She looks at the other sheets and then goes back to the first one. She smiles when she realizes what I was seeing about the house.
"Two things put this one over the others. Those windows on the third floor indicate a possible full attic and that big oak tree out front and maybe two more on the side of the house. The potential for tree houses is too great for you to pass up."
I smile as she figures it out. "Yup. And the price is very good. It probably needs a lot of work though."
Her eyebrows rise as she keeps looking at the data sheet. "You can afford this?"
"Yes. As part of the divorce settlement, Krista had to buy my half of the house. If she had behaved herself, she could have had the house without paying me for it. The judge added that part because of the way she acted during our separation. Plus the extra equity I'll get from selling my house now will mean I'll have more than enough to do the upgrades."
I hold off on the part where I want her to move in with me. It's way too soon to go there, but neither of us are kids anymore. I can see where she comes to live with me when I move back, if everything goes well. I can also tell by how hard she is concentrating that she is avoiding the subject of living arrangements too.
"Why are you moving back?"
"Because I've realized how important my family is to me. It's time that I came back to be around them. Steph has two kids I've barely seen and Pam is pregnant. I want to be around for them."
Her smile is mysterious. "Is that the only reason?"
"No. You're a big part of it too. When you come with me, I'm going to put you in an awkward position. I'm living next door to a woman I've had a relationship with for a while. Add that she wants me to date her daughter and it just makes for a very weird situation. Plus I'll have to deal with Summer and I don't know how that will go. I don't want you to have to ever worry about other woman in my life."
"I am a little worried about that."
"I'd never do anything to hurt what we have and what we may have. But why should I play with fire when I can come back here and start fresh?"
"So, you've put some thought into this?"
"Yeah. Not seeing you yesterday was good. Being around family was good too."
"I did a lot of thinking too. I talked things through with my sisters. They are very happy we're working things out. They also helped me come to grips with a few things."
"I'm concerned we're moving too fast. We discussed some stuff and they helped me figure out that it's ok. We've known each other all of our lives. We don't have to go through the meeting of the parents because we already know them. We just need to fill in the gaps of the past ten years, not a whole lifetime. Plus, we're not that young anymore. I want a family and don't want to wait years while I date different men trying to find the right one. I'm not saying I want kids right now, but I'm not doing what I did with Scott."
"So, we're on the same page then."
"You waited for Scott to ask you to marry him too?"
I sneer at her lame joke. "You know what I mean. About family and kids. Krista and I were together for over six years. I don't want to wait that long. I know everything I need to know about you. Like you said, we just need to fill in the gaps."
She looks stunned at first but quickly smiles. "We'll still take some time to make sure this is right."
"Of course. But it's not going to change my mind about moving back here."
Our food arrives and the conversations becomes a lot less intense. By the end of dinner we are laughing and joking. Things just flow between us and I feel at ease as the night moves on. After dinner we decide to walk through town.
Not a lot has changed. There are some new stores and several new buildings. We hold hands and point out places that we have particular memories. At one point she takes my arm and leans her head on my shoulder.
"So, what do you think is going to happen with Summer?"
"I honestly don't know. I'm perplexed as to why I haven't heard from her. Not even a text. Maybe that's a good thing."
There are a lot of people on the street. Most of this area of town are now small shops and restaurants. I'm actually kind of impressed with how the town has changed. There used to be a lot of industry in the area, but that has kind of disappeared with the economy. But instead of feeling sorry, the town got together and came up with a good plan. There are a lot of bed and breakfasts around. We're not far from one of the bigger national parks and there are two smaller state parks.
Now the town is a destination for vacationers and adventurers. There are several places for white water rafting, hiking, camping and most of the outdoor activities. The town is getting close to building a big outdoor center where people can come to learn how to kayak, raft and other river sports. There has even been talk of building an amphitheater and trying to draw music festivals. I can see a lot of potential for my family's business in these enterprises.
I feel Tiffany shiver and realize she's probably not wearing the best clothing for just walking around town. "Do you want to go someplace warmer? How about a place to have some coffee and dessert?"
She looks around as if trying to figure out where she is. "On the next block is a nice cafe. Let's try there."
The place is fairly crowded and we wait on line. After placing our order we find a place in the back and get comfortable. There are some tables, but most of the place is an assortment of couches and chairs. Along one wall is a huge collection of books and magazines. Towards the far back are a couple of rows of computers.
"John, Tiffany, is that really you?"
I turn to the voice and see an old friend. "Mark, how are you?"
"Great. How about you?" We shake hands and he gives Tiffany a hug. "Are you just visiting?"
"He is. I live here now. Moved back just before Halloween. What about you?"
"Just in town for a few days to visit the family." A woman walks up and hands Mark a coffee. "Tiffany, John, this is my wife Sandy. Sandy, these are two old friends from high school."
"It's nice to meet you." She holds out her hand to me and gives Tiffany a not very friendly look. She does shake her hand though.
Tiffany takes her jacket off and Mark's eye almost burst from his skull. His wife is definitely not happy. She's short with short dark hair and a plump body. They sit across from us and Tiffany slides close to me.
"So, the last I heard is that John was married and Tiffany was in California. Are you two back together?"
"Yeah. I got divorced a couple of years ago. Kind of a long story. What about you? How long have you been married."
"Almost five years," Mark replies. "We have two kids, a boy and girl. They are with my parents tonight."
"Adult night out?"
"Something like that. Do you have any kids?"
"No. That's one of the reasons for my divorce." He looks at me questionably. "My ex couldn't have kids and it made things difficult. We just couldn't work through it."
Mark senses I'm not going to go any further and we change the subject. Tiffany and my drinks are ready so I go to the counter and pick them up. When I get back, Sandy and Tiffany are sitting together talking like old friends. I hand Tiffany her drink and take a seat next to Mark.
"What did I miss?" I ask curiously.
"I'm not sure. One moment Sandy was giving the stink eye. Tiffany asked her about her shoes and now they are best buddies. I'll never understand woman."