tagRomanceTurning Paige Ch. 05

Turning Paige Ch. 05


That night... that night, she ran upstairs, dressed, grabbed some things and made her way out the back door ignoring my shouts asking where she was going. She stopped and turned to me as she got into her Jeep, a look of pure terror on her face. Without a word she got in and spun the tires and left in a small puff of dust and thrown gravel.

The strain her leaving put on me was no small thing. She didn't call, she didn't answer. She didn't text me, she disappeared. I knew where to find her if I wanted to, but I let her be, knowing that she needed time to think. I didn't think it all had to do with the sighting, as I'd started to think of it, but I let myself think that. I dove into work.

Our lawyer and his colleague had met with me and after putting his colleague on retainer I showed them what I'd found. They both recommended a complete and thorough accounting with weights accounted for and multiple photographs and taken, as well as a survey of the area to verify the discovery as within our property. I decided then and there that a trip to the bank and large safe deposit box were in order.

Spring was here and things were coming to a head, Nic and I were busy getting things ready for the blossom. The bees had arrived and several hives were laid out throughout the orchard. Jamie had stopped by with the prospectus for the business that she and a planner had worked on. She even mentioned that she knew somebody who could assist in the remodel of the cottage. A point I was torn on, I wanted it to stay rustic, and not turn it into some shiny new building, I wanted to keep it in line with the area, not like this house. This house was incredible but it didn't necessarily fit. The cottage was down the road and out of sight, and if I could I wanted to keep it apart in a small world of its own. Jamie was here today, in the kitchen making some coffee for us. She had brought over a few drawings a friend of hers had made. They were rough but gave a general feeling of upscale rustic.

She walked into the room carrying two mugs and stopped just inside my office door, and I just looked at her. She knew I wasn't seeing her, and she continued to the side of the desk setting the mugs down. Jamie walked around the desk and I never moved, my eyes locked on the place she had stood when she stopped inside the doorway. Her hand rested on the back of my neck, rubbing slow circles.

"When are you going to wake up out of this funk and go get her." She asked. I didn't respond as she continued rubbing my neck.

"She knows where I'm at." I responded, my voice quiet and hoarse with emotion. "She has to want to be here. I won't force her to be where she doesn't want to be." I'd given Jamie a quick story about us having had a fight which caused Chrissy to leave. I can only imagine that Chrissy had played along and not mentioned our sighting of the ghost. The more I had time to think about it, I realized that wasn't the only thing that had her scared. I had over the last six months descended on her world like a sudden summer storm, and I'd tossed it around like a tornado. I've had no doubt over the last two months that she loves me, well almost no doubt.

"You know, girls want to be chased. They even enjoy being caught." A little playful tone crept into her voice as she twirled a lock of my hair in her fingers giving it a little tug to get my attention on her. "I don't for a minute believe that you've already forgotten that from last October." She had a full fledged smile on her face when I looked up at her. Her eyes sparkled, a few hazel flecks among the brown. She gave my lock another tug before laying the palm of her hand on the back of my head and pulled me to her, she gave me a hug, my head crushed against her breasts as my arm went around her hip, pulling her to my shoulder. We stayed that way for a moment, she ran her hands through my hair. I slowly turned my head while still in her grasp, my nose slowly brushing the inside curve of her breast through her blouse. I looked up at her, and she looked down, her smile had gone into a lop-sided smirk, and in a nearly imperceptible motion shook her head no.

"We both know that's not going to happen. Besides I'm no home-wrecker. I could never do that to such good friends. No easy way out for you, I'm afraid." She put her hand on my shoulder giving it a little pressure indicating that she wanted me to let her go. I let my arm slide free, giving her ass a squeeze as I did. Which caused us both to giggle. "Sorry, but you're going to have to deal with that yourself hon." She nodded to my lap where at some point I'd risen to the occasion of having her so close. "If you're not up to it I know of a medical professional that may know a trick or two to get that swelling down." She smiled again.

I looked up at her again my smile fading. My eyes must have spoken volumes.

"Will you stop!" She implored. She took my face in her warm hands. "She needs to know you want her to come back! You can't just sit here hoping she'll come to her senses, you need to tell her you want her... you need her. Go get her you fool!" She finished her little motivational speech with a light cuff to the back of my head. Which caused me to break down and laugh.

"Mark my words, if you don't get off your ass, that girl is going to get snapped up. She wouldn't admit it to a soul but she is pining away hoping you'll go and get her. If you don't, somebody else just might." That was a motivator if I'd heard one yet.

She picked up her mug of coffee and drank half of it in a few swallows. "I've already talked to Hal and he said he can get the demo started this weekend. He's going to do a little over time to get us done as soon as he can for a summer start up. We're likely going to lose any spring planning but I can put feelers out for any late planners who won't mind breaking us in."

She was still standing close to me and I could smell her perfume, which was doing nothing for the swelling in my jeans. She had an a wonderfully annoying habit of touching me while she talked, putting a hand on my shoulder while she pointed at something on the papers in front of us. I knew I had willpower enough, that wasn't a question, the question was, if she knew the effect she was having, why was she doing it. I had to think about that as she sipped her coffee and handed mine over, it had cooled to where I found myself drinking deeply.

"Nico has a grad student that's done some preliminaries of how the garden will look for the wedding trellis, and I hope she can pull it off, it's going to look fantastic." She said slipping a sheet of paper out from the pile she'd brought. A drawing of a trellis and walkway with roses and flowering vines all over in white and pink. The drawing was nearly a work of art in and of itself.

"Wow, that's beautiful. Think she's going to pull it off?" I asked repeating her concern.

"I hope so, she's damn good, has ten green thumbs. Nic think she's a fairy, being Irish and all." She chuckled. "I'll have to keep her away from you though, one redhead is all you can handle at a time."

"I haven't handled one in a while now. I'm due." I said winking.

She made a negative sound in her throat as she shook her head. "You go get your girl back, maybe she'll let me have my way with you again, but not until there's some alone time with her. That's the only way that it's going to happen." She grabbed me by the ear and gave it a twist. "I'm thoroughly unimpressed by the fact that you haven't noticed something as simple as the fact that I've been wearing her favorite perfume the last three times I've been here."

"Oh, I noticed. I didn't know what was going on, so I didn't want to misstep and think you were trying to fill in." I said quietly.

"I should have expected something like that. I was trying to get you to think of her you lug nut." I got another soft whack on the back of the head. I chuckled at her analogy.

"I haven't stopped thinking about her, not one day, not one hour, not one minute." I said softly.

"Good, now stop thinking and start doing." She looked at her watch. "For instance, I happen to know that she'll be finishing up lover-boy's physical therapy in about an hour then she'll probably headed to the grocery store. I know this because that girl hasn't got a bite in her fridge right now."

I gave her a calculating look.

"What?" She asked. "It's not like she's been playing the Chrissy the virginal, since she left."

My eyebrows shot up in shock, but I didn't say a word.

She laughed out loud. "Relax, I mean that she hasn't been sleeping alone. Wait that probably sounded worse. I mean, I've been consoling her as best as I could. I'm afraid I'm not what she needs though. I can make her squeal like a schoolgirl," she winked, "but when it comes right down to it, it's not an orgasm that girl needs. What she's missing isn't in your pants hon, it's right here." She tapped me on the chest." She had turned and leaned her ass against the edge of the desk while she had been talking. I looked up at her for a moment, the pale skin of her face, the depth of her dark eyes, her long straight nose leading to her soft pink lips. All framed by deep auburn hair, it had gotten darker over the winter, I'm not sure if naturally or not, but it suited her. Her hand came up and she snapped her fingers in my face causing me to flinch. "I guess she's not the only one I've got to worry about. Stop staring at my tits and get your ass over there to give her a hand with the groceries!"

I chuckled, "Yes, ma'am!"

She reached forward and grabbed me by the front of my shirt, pulling me face to face with her. "Listen to me," she started firmly, "that girl is crazy in love with you, and you are with her, that's as plain as the nose on your face. She's scared though, you need to approach things carefully like walking up to a deer. No sudden movements, and no loud noises, got it? If you break that girls heart I will personally use what's left of your body to feed those new roses. Now get your ass in gear." She grinned.

I looked at her open-mouthed.

"Listen, the two of you have played stubborn mules long enough, I felt it necessary to step in and end this stupidity before it causes permanent damage." She kissed me deeply, surprising me in a good way. She ran her hand down the front of my shirt and grabbed me by the front of my jeans. "Besides I think I'm in the mood for that scampi you promised me so long ago, and I want to collect soon." She grabbed my belt buckle and yanked me up with surprising strength. "Now point this thing at Chrissy and make sure it doesn't go off too soon." She said patting the front of my jeans. She led me to the door and made sure I actually left, giving me a slight push from behind as I stepped out, and she closed the door.

* * *

I was driving down the hill wondering just how I ended up at this point. Once again chasing after the girl I had already caught once. The logic of my statement struck me as I realized that the only way this could be happening was if I had let her go. It was just then that I realized my mistake, I had.

That night we saw the ghost of Maggie MacGregor, after I'd put that chest in the coat closet. That scared the living shit out of both of us, and precipitated her leaving. There was more to it than that. Much more, I would realize as the weeks went on.

I had descended on her like an avalanche, too much too fast. I had overwhelmed her. As time went on I got more of the story of how she came to be where I found her. A long marriage had fallen apart, two people that had grown in different directions and had nothing to keep them together any longer, had gone their separate ways. When the hospital she worked for down-sized, she lost her job. A lot happened to her last year. The foundations she had begun building her life on cracked and there I was kicking at the supports to see how long it had left.

I was an idiot. I didn't take anything about her past, or present life, into account when I practically seized it, and took over. I made decisions about my life with the belief that she would fall into line with what I wanted, a far too bold an assumption on my part. Now I was paying for it. I didn't believe that she was upset about everything that had happened, but I think that she lost herself in the whirlwind I'd created. I owed it to her to get to know her, who she is, what she wants. I need to start right now. I pulled up in front of the house right behind Chrissy's Jeep. I stared through my dirty windshield at the back of it. It needed a wash too. I smirked as I got out of my car. I walked up behind it and ran my finger through the dust. I drew a big heart on the back, with an I in front and a U behind hit. I smiled at my art work and walked around the Jeep to lean on the fender, and thought about what I was going to say to her when she came out.

I looked up at the little house, and I thought about the hard work and pride the owner must have. She worked hard to keep this home for her and her son, and now she was going to be saddled with paying off the medical bills for his accident, and what was he going to do now that his military funded education wasn't likely going to happen. I pulled my phone out of my pocket, and punched up my contacts and made a call. I kept it short and to the point and hung up. I stood there a short while longer wondering where to start, what to say. I must have been very lost in thought because I looked up a moment later to see her standing in the doorway. Her hand on the door jamb looking through the storm door. She looked me in the eye for a moment and opened the door, stepping out onto the landing. She stood there in her scrubs with little pale blue and pink hearts. Her sweater hung open, and she crossed her arms pulling it around her in the cool spring air. She looked down as she took the few steps down to the walk way and approached me. She looked up at me stopping well before getting close to me. I tensed and took a step towards her and she stiffened, that fact forced me to stop where I stood.

She looked down at the walk way and asked softly, "Why are you here?"

I looked at her, the urge to reach out and take her into my arms warring with the fear that she'd fly away, like a skittish bird, if I moved to quickly. It was a damn good question. Why was I there? Was it because Jamie booted my ass out my own door? Did I really need to tell her that life was miserable without her? Did I have to explain how much she meant to me, how I couldn't envision the future without her? Did I have to tell her everything that I thought was so plainly written on my face?

I looked up at her face, noting the raised eyebrows. I realized in a flash, that yes, I needed to tell her all of it.

"I came to ask you to dinner." I smiled. She returned a skeptical look at first which turned into one of her crooked little smiles.

"Did you forget my number already?" She asked, the question dangling.

I buried the twinge that wanted to respond that she'd been pretty obvious in ignoring my calls, messages and texts. Instead I chuckled and rattled it off to her. "No, I wanted to see you..."

Her eyebrows popped up a bit more, "And?" She responded knowing that I'd left myself dangling. Did I tell her I wanted to scoop her up in my arms and not let go. Did I tell her I wanted to kiss her until my lips went numb. Did I tell her I couldn't go on without her.

"I wanted to see you smile. I wanted to see the blue sky in your eyes." I took a small step towards her, taking my hands out of my pockets. I gave a small shrug. She uncrossed her arms and walked briskly towards me practically jumping into my arms.

"You're an asshole." She said into my ear before she kissed me deeply. I busted out laughing as soon as we came up for air.

"Why is that?" I asked her.

"I'll tell you over dinner." She said kissing me again. "Come up to the house, I have to stop and pick up groceries on the way."

"I know." I said reeling in the feel of her lips, I felt like I was charged like a static shock. I hoped it wouldn't run to ground any time soon. She leaned back with a questioning look. "A certain redhead has been relaying information like a cold-war spy." Her eyes drew together and she was about to say something, and I kissed her again. "I didn't put her up to it if that's what you're thinking." She was about to speak again and I kissed her once again.

"What do you want for dinner?" She said after a deep breath. I smiled and wiggled my eyebrows. She thumped me on the shoulder. "I meant actually have for dinner. We're going to my place by the way."

"Let's go see what we can find." I said.

"I'll be ready in a few minutes. His mother should be home any minute now."

"So how is lover-boy?"

"He's come a long way now that he's healed up he's been doing a lot of physical therapy. He's been trying to over-do it a bit, pushing himself so that he can get back on his feet and see what he's capable of." She turned to look over her shoulder and turned back. A concerned look shadowed her face. "He'll never be able to join the military, he'll be able to walk normally if he takes the physical therapy easy and doesn't try to over do it. He's a stubborn little shit."

"Has he been..." I pursed my lips looking for a way to put it, grabby, rude.

"You're jealous!" She laughed.

"Well I didn't want to have to go call him out for a duel, swords at dawn, you know that sort of thing. For if I must, I shall wrest this fair maiden's hand from his evil grasp." I said bringing her hand to my lips, kissing it gently.

She laughed at that. "No, he's been a gentleman since then, though I've caught him staring at my ass or peeking down my top when he gets a chance. I try not to talk about it, the last thing I need is to fire up his engine. I did tell him one thing though. I let him in on a little secret."

"What's that?"

"I told him where to touch a woman that would drive her absolutely wild." She smirked.

I leaned forward, reaching up between us and placed my finger tips to her chest. "Her heart?" She melted against me, kissing me deeply.

"You're so smart." She smiled and pulled away. She took my fingers and kissed them as she backed away. She turned and we both noticed that there was a car in the driveway. "Oops! I'll be back in a minute!" She dashed off back up the walk, her blonde hair flying behind her and the sway of her hips riveted me to the spot. A few minutes later she appeared with a small bag over her shoulder and skipped down the front steps, trotting towards me.

"I take it we were caught?" I chuckled.

"She didn't want to interrupt us." Chrissy laughed. "If the car door slamming and the side door closing loudly didn't bring us out of it, she figured we were beyond hope. Follow me to the store." She walked behind her Jeep and saw my drawing in the dust. She smiled as she walked around to the drivers door and got in. She took off and I was still standing there chuckling. I got in and chased her down the road. She had found a spot where we could park next to one another.

"What do you feel like?" She asked again.

"I remember a night where you made killer bacon, mac and cheese. How's that sound?"

She smiled recognizing that I remembered one of her signature recipes. "That'll do."

We made our way through the store, she picked up other items she needed while we were working our way through the store. She squeezed the occasional fruit, and playfully picked up a couple kiwi's in one hand, winking at me as she rolled them back and forth in her hand.

"Mmm, fuzzy." She giggled. I bust out laughing and she turned pink to her ears. She picked up a couple different cheeses at the cheese counter. We stopped to look over the wine selections, and I pointed out a good California Chardonnay she picked up two bottles. Several items made their way into the basket as we wandered making little jokes but not really carrying on a conversation. It felt so good to have her close to me again, I didn't want this feeling to ever end. I stopped, stunned like a rock to the forehead. She turned to say something and realized I'd stopped.

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