I originally had another post planned for I, but when I posted my D is for Dilemma post everyone who comment had practically the same reaction. Everyone seemed to be trapped somewhere between Cool! and Ewww, Creepy! At that point, I knew I had to post this snippet. Lena, our heroine, isn’t quite sure what to think of him either.
Quick recap: Lena and Jonah share a seat on a public bus. Jonah recognizes the book she is reading as a DD title. He shares this interest/belief but isn’t sure how or if it approach her. Lena’s bookmark falls out of her book. Jonah picks it up and scribbles a note with his number on the back before giving it back. Lena doesn’t discover this until later.
She stormed into the living room where she had flung her things when she came in the door. The best thing she could do was to trash the bookmark and forget all about the mysterious stranger on the bus. What kind of man made propositions to strange women on public bus anyway? A creepy one, that’s what kind. It wasn’t normal; it wasn’t safe. For all she knew, he could be an ax murderer or serial killer or something. Sure he looked normal and had seemed polite enough, but so had Ted Bundy. Wasn’t that what people always said about serial killers? ‘I can’t believe he would do something like that. He always seemed so normal.’ A lot of criminals seemed normal. Some were even good looking and charming. She of all people knew that. She worked for a defense attorney, for crying out loud. No way, no how, she wasn’t going anywhere near this guy. She wasn’t about to become a statistic. She was way too smart for that. She was going to trash that bookmark and forget this whole weird episode ever happened.
With that thought firmly in her mind, Lena snatched up the bookmark and headed for the kitchen trash can. Then, on second thought, she turned on her heel and headed for the guest room/study. She’d use the shredder. That way, she wouldn’t be tempted to do something crazy later. After all, he was really good looking, and she was only human. Lena strode determinedly across the room and flipped on the shredder, but as her hand hovered over the shredder, holding the bookmark mere inches above the gnashing mechanical teeth of the machine, something stopped her. The cute kitten printed on the opposite side of the bookmark stared accusingly up her. She apologized silently to the photograph, thinking herself a fool even as she did so. The kitten was adorable. The bookmark was one of her favorites. She would mourn its loss, but in her heart, she knew the force stopping her was more than just her affection for a cute photograph. It was the bone-deep longing that had plagued her for as long as she could remember, that aching need for man to take charge, to hold her tight and relieve her of this crushing weight of guilt, responsibility, and frustration. Lena winced internally even as the thought surfaced, feeling guilty for even allowing it to take root within the confines of her own mind. Strong women didn’t need such things. The thought was as guilty as it was familiar for no matter how much she tried to deny it that rebellious need remained. She wanted, even needed, a strong, take charge, dominant man, and she couldn’t help but wonder if this stranger, Jonah, she corrected looking at the small cramped signature on the bookmark, might be the one. What if he was her chance? What if this were her one opportunity to fulfill this need and she foolishly threw it away?
The longing that was always present simmering in the back of her mind suddenly rose and overwhelmed her. The need hit her like a fist to the gut. What would it be like to be able to let go? To have someone who would take her in hand and help her to release the stress? Who would hold her accountable when she was stretched thin and started snapping at everybody and being rude and unprofessional like she had been a few days ago? What would it be like to squirm around at work on a sore bottom after he had expressed his displeasure? What if Jonah really could give her that? Sure, the chance was one in a million, and it was probably a crazy fantasy, but what was the harm in a phone call?
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