Welcome back to Story Orgy Monday!I"m really excited to announce that readers can now get The Park at Sunrise in French courtesy of my fabulous Story Orgy comrade, Jade F. Baiser. Check it out HERE. Isn't that pretty? Just looking at it reminds me how much French I've forgotten since high school.
Now that that piece of business is done...It's time to peek in on Watson as he pursues Embry...
Remember, after you read my post, skip on over to the other Orgiasts' blogs and dive into their stories, too!
copyright Jan 2014 Lee Brazil
Mar 3rd - Once, with another man.
"I’m sorry, Wats, I don't know what to tell you. He's not here, and hasn't been here." Sherry blew a lock of streaked hair off her forehead and gestured around the cozy little coffee shop, clearly inviting him to see for himself that Embry Conrad wasn't on the premises. It didn't take much of a glance to verify the truth of her statement. Six small tables and two leather booths, no hidden alcoves, no cozy nooks where a man could hide. The coffee shop was hardly bustling. Its busiest hours were between six am and ten. It was now after eleven. The only customers were a pair of young women with a baby in a car seat perched in one of the booths.
"He didn't call or anything?" Frustrated, Wats stared back at his sister. The coffee shop door jangled as someone entered behind them. His gaze went automatically to check out the new arrival, hoping that by some miracle it was Embry. It wasn't. He dismissed the customer and turned his attention back to his sister. "He wasn't at the bed and breakfast?"
"No. If he were, I'd have told you." Sherry smiled at the man who'd entered. "Be right with you."
Sherry should know. She lived at the bed and breakfast, managing it for Embry, who usually divided his time between the coffee shop and his studio. Was it possible that he'd gone straight to the studio? No, if he'd gone there, Sherry would have heard him. Cursing softly under his breath Watson tried to think of where else Embry might have gone. Sweat beaded on his brow. He'd never stopped to change from his winter clothes when he reached the warmer climes, and right now the wool sweater and thermal underwear were pretty much overkill in the seventy degree southern California weather.
The man who had just entered the coffee shop approached them.
"Watson!" A hearty backslap accompanied the shouted name and he staggered for a moment before righting himself to glare at a man he vaguely recognized as one of his childhood friends, a former teammate from his days in organized sports. Back when team meant working together, celebrating each other's skills and victories. Not like now, when he led a "team" of corporate drones who'd as soon stab him in the back as celebrate his success. The genuine pleasure in this man's eyes owed nothing to bootlicking and self-service and everything to do with good times they'd shared.
Would any of his co-workers look at him that way, when he returned to his desk? He shook off the morose thoughts and forced a polite smile for his former friend, not they'd had a falling out or anything, just lost touch when Watson went away for college. "Max?"
"In the flesh! How are you man? Haven't seen you in years."
He couldn't help it. The polite smile he'd forced vanished, and he nearly whimpered. "Good. I’m good. But busy." He tacked on as it looked like the man planned to linger.
"Oh, well, Okay then. I'm in the book, look me up before you leave town again, okay?" With a more hesitant smile, Max Underwood wandered over to the counter, peeking back at Wats with a warmth in his eyes that he was very familiar with.
Once, with another man, that look had sent his heart tripping and tied his tongue into knots. Once, that look had meant something to him. Now, it just underscored his stupidity and frustrated him.
"Look. Wats," Sherry interrupted his reverie before he could get lost in thoughts of Embry and their first time together, the way their entire junior year of high school had been a rush of unexpected arousal and breathtaking satisfaction. "Are you sure that he left Denver?"
He froze, ice trickling through his veins. "I …he said…"
What if Embry had never left? What if he'd stayed, and tried to contact Watson again?
His hand went to his cell phone in his pocket, and he fumbled clumsily to get it out. "He'd have called me if he stayed…"
Wouldn't he? What if he hadn't? What if he'd been waiting for Watson to call? He stared blankly at the phone that had been resolutely silent during his entire two-day journey. He'd turned it off, like an idiot. Thumbing the power switch, Watson waited, heart in his throat for the device to reactivate. He was counting on there being a message form Embry when it came to life. He knew it was foolish, but he was.
That's when he realized just how abandoned he'd been feeling. Anger and hurt and determination had carried him over the mountains and plains to this tiny town from his city life. They'd kept him driving when he was tired, moving forward when he wanted to turn back.
But the truth was, he'd expected Embry to be here, waiting for him.
He'd expected Embry to know he'd come. Without even realizing it, he had somehow convinced himself that they'd fall into each other's arms and everything would go back to the way it had been between them. He'd managed to convince himself without even trying that it would be that easy. That all Em would need was for him to get off his ass and make an effort.
Walking through the coffee shop door and finding out Em wasn't waiting for him?
A panic he hadn't even felt when Em walked out on him in Denver suffused Watson as his phone confirmed that there were no messages from Em's cell phone.
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