You can find earlier excerpts from The Reunion here
That does sound like fun, kind of like having a new house to decorate!” Jen beamed. It seemed Brian really was interested in spending time with her. This could end up to be a very enjoyable week. Or longer if the text she’d gotten from her friend at work was true.
As they walked through the town and looked over the many tourist shops and restaurants, Brian couldn’t help but think how great an area like this would be for Brim. He hoped that his renovation of the inn would be only the first step in a plan to entice fun, current and profitable businesses to spring up all around them. He hated to see the little town where he’d grown up dying as families moved away and kids never returned after growing up and leaving for college.
The Sawyer brothers, had been busy building modestly large houses in a nearby subdivision and there were a few that had already sold to college professors who didn’t mind a little bit of a drive in order to live further out in the country. But they needed to attract locals, too, young couples willing to put more back into the town and open some much needed businesses to run. And a reason to want to stay long term and have their kids grow up there and stay, too.
He’d occasionally wondered if he and Sherry had stayed and raised Casey in Brim if things would have turned out differently for them. He liked to think so, but she never saw the appeal of small town living like he had. There was just something so comfortable about knowing your neighbors your whole life. And he didn’t even mind that everyone knew your business. Most people really genuinely cared about what happened to you and were willing to lend a hand when someone needed help.
As Brian and Jen reached his truck, he opened the door for her and helped her in then waited as she fastened her seat belt before going around to the driver’s side and sliding in. After he’d fastened his own seat belt, he couldn’t help reaching over to grab Jen’s hand with his as they pulled away from the parking spot and started the drive back to her parents’ house.
“This isn’t going to be awkward for us, right?” he said, smiling briefly at her and then turning his attention back to the road.
“What, living in the same house, you mean? Being roommates?”
“That’s exactly what I mean,” he said. “I don’t think I want to be just roommates, though, Jen,” he said, with a slight smile in her direction. “I’d kind of hoped we could be something more.”
Jen smiled to herself. This was exactly what she needed, a fling with someone who certainly wasn’t a stranger, but also someone who she wouldn’t be working with or living near forever in case things ended awkwardly, like they usually did. And what on earth did that text from Sandy mean, “Things are changing big time here. Call me when you get a chance.” A new boss? A new office? Or jobs being cut?
“I can practically hear the wheels in your head turning,” he said, and she heard the laughter in his voice. “Let’s not over think it, okay? I had a great time with you this evening and we can take things as slow as you want.”
Ah, the dreaded taking things slow, just great. She was hoping for a hot fling with a sexy contractor and he wanted to take things slowly. Or maybe not, she thought, as his hand settled on her thigh and squeezed gently.
Her fingers found his and she returned the squeeze. “Okay, I’m good with seeing how things develop between us,” she agreed. “I had a great time, too. I really liked hearing about your plans for Brim. And maybe we can get a beer and sit out back with Jack for a while. I just got this strange text from my assistant at work and I’m not sure what’s going on back at my office.” And maybe we can snuggle under a throw as the evening air cooled, she thought.
The big pick up slowed as Brian made the turn into the driveway. As they came to a stop, he leaned over to brush his lips against hers and unfasten her seat belt. But before he could kiss her, Jen had turned her head to look out the window.
“Oh, I wonder whose car that is in the driveway?”
Brian swore softly under his breath. Little blue Mazda with a university sticker in the back window. “Well,” he said, trying to sound cheerful. “Looks like Casey is here.”
“Your teenaged daughter?” High hopes for snuggling flew out the window. Jen almost smiled at the look on Brian’s face.
“Yep,” he said grimly. “And I’m hoping she has a very good reason for not being at school right now.”