Eddie: Crystal Lake Firefighter Romance Serial - Chapter Five
Whew, today was all about multi-tasking...but we have this week's post up, I promise!
Just a friendly reminder: This story is not professionally edited yet. When it's time to publish the book we will get her all prettified. For now, it's a fun story just for us!
I hope you enjoy chapter five!
Happy reading! oxox
Sending love, Terra
“Hey, who’s car is that in the driveway?” I asked Jan as I opened the door.
“You have a visitor.” she smiled and stepped to the side so I could see who she was talking about.
Kelsey ran up and hopped on one foot. “Daddy, daddy, look who’s here.”
My mind went to Sarah immediately. Then she stepped into the foyer and for the first time, I found my body reacting to a woman since my wife died. “Sarah, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I needed to talk to you.”
Jan patted me on my shoulder. “Dinner is in the oven. Sarah has all the instructions.”
I sat my bag and jacket down. “Thank you, sis. See you tomorrow?”
“Maybe, we’ll talk in the morning.”
Maybe? Now I was feeling confused. “Um, okay.” I gave her a kiss on the cheek and closed the door.
“Daddy, guess what?”
I squatted down in front of my daughter. “Tell me?”
“Sarah helped me draw today. Want to see?”
“Maybe in a bit. Can I talk to Sarah alone for a few minutes?” Kelsey nodded and ran upstairs to her room.
Taking in a deep breath and letting it out while I stood back up. “You okay?”
“Yeah, now I am.” She turned and went back into the living room to sit on the edge of the sofa.
“Now you are? Did something happen?”
“The repairman came to look at the wiring in the house today. My realty company set it up.”
“Did they find any other issues?”
“Well, the guy told me I shouldn’t live there and said the realty company would fire him for saying that.”
“Oh shit, that’s exactly what I was afraid of.” She had her head bent, and she was fidgeting with her fingers. “There’s more?”
“Yeah,” she whispered.
“Sarah, talk to me.” I bent down in front of her and grabbed her hands. “I promise you can trust me.” She sat there for about a minute and then looked up. There were tears threatening to fall. “You’re scaring me.”
“It’s the guy at my house today.”
I reached my hand up to wipe a tear but her body jerked back. “This isn’t the first time, is it?” I asked.
She shook her head. “It’s fine. It was probably my fault.”
“Sarah, no, you should never think that way.”
“Eddie, I can’t do this right now.”
“Just know I am here if you need to talk.”
“Thank you,” she whispered and cleared her throat. “I was wondering if that room was still available you mentioned yesterday.”
“Absolutely.” I stood up and held my hand out for her to take. “I’ll show it to you right now.”
I still had a hold of her hand as we walked up the stairs. She seemed so young and yet you could tell whatever happened in her past had aged her.
“It’s right here.”
It was my wife’s sewing room. I wasn’t ready to let go of everything yet. Her sewing machine had a spool of thread and fabric under the needle. Her last project was waiting to be finished. There was more fabric, thread, and other odds and ends hanging on the wall.
“Is this your wife’s room?” I heard her whisper.
“Yeah, that sofa turns into a bed.” I watched her step out of the room and start to descend the stairs. I grabbed her arm to stop her and then pulled back quickly. “Where are you going?”
“I can’t stay in your wife’s room.”
“Because…it’s her room. I mean, look around, you haven’t moved anything.”
She was right. Dammit. I walked over and sat down on the edge of the sofa. “Maybe it’s time.”
She sat down beside me. “Don’t change it because of me.”
“What if you were the sign I was waiting for?”
“What do you mean?”
I lifted my head to look at her angelic face. “I have walked by this room a thousand times. Each time I pause and think is today the day. Then my body moves at its own volition away from the room.” I stood up and turned to face Sarah. “Until today.”
“What did you feel today?”
“Peaceful. Like she was telling me it was okay finally.”
We stood there staring at each other for the longest time. Then Kelsey’s voice broke the silence. “Daddy, where are you?”
“In the sewing room, baby,” I said and tore my eyes away from Sarah.
“What are you doing in here?”
“I was thinking Sarah could sleep in here. What do you think?”
“That would be fun.”
I laughed at my daughter’s comment, then turned toward Sarah. “The four-year-old has spoken.”
“You want more potatoes, Kelsey?” I held up the bowl ready to spoon out a few.
“No thanks,” Kelsey said and put a forkful of broccoli in her mouth.
“Wait, you like broccoli?” Sarah asked.
“I do. It yummy.”
Having Sarah sit with us at the table was nice. I missed my wife’s presence, she always made Kelsey giggle which is the best sound in the world. Lately, we have gravitated to the living room where we eat our dinner while watching some Disney show. I think we did that more for me because the table just never felt right without my wife.
“You’re not a broccoli fan, eh?” I teased and took a forkful of the green veggie.
“Well, to be fair, my mom never did anything to it. It was just steamed and served with some salt and pepper.” She wrinkled her nose.
I turned to Kelsey. “Then she needs to try Aunt Jan’s broccoli doesn’t she?”
My daughter moved her head up and down quickly. “Yup, try it.”
“I double dog dare you to try it.” I raised my eyebrows up and down.
“Oh, so not fair.”
Finally, after five minutes of us going back and forth, she reached her fork into the bowl and grabbed a piece. She took in a few deep breaths and let them out before popping it in her mouth. As she bit down, I noticed her wrinkle her nose again.
“Come on, it’s not that bad,” I teased.
Her face softened as she chewed. “You’re right, it’s not.”
“My sister has a secret ingredient she puts in her broccoli recipe.”
Sarah scowled. “She does?”
“Yeah. Unicorn tears.”
“Daddy.” Kelsey burst out laughing which made Sarah and I both laugh, too.
“Okay, maybe it’s not unicorn tears but I do know there are bunny kisses in it.”
Kelsey continued to giggle. This feeling. This moment. It was long overdue. I knew I wasn’t ready to be romantically involved yet with anyone but it was that female presence that made our house feel whole again.
“So, you’re saying that Jan adds bunny kisses to the broccoli dish to make it taste better,” she said and rested her arms on the table.
“Yeah, didn’t your mom do that to your meals?”
As soon as the question was out of my mouth, Sarah’s smile faded. So, I had a strong feeling the repair guy was not an isolated incident. Her emotions gave that away. Hopefully, she would talk to me soon. I knew it was better to talk about what was hurting her rather than holding it all inside.
When would she be ready though?
~ Sarah ~
Before we all went to bed, Kelsey picked out her two favorite stuffed babies to keep me safe while I slept. Now, Mr. Muffles and Jersey Boy were resting on a pillow next to me keeping me company.
The room was full of sewing supplies and the closet had beautiful quilts stacked one after another on the shelves. A part of me felt uncomfortable sleeping in the room that belonged to Eddie’s wife. The other part, well, I felt connected to something special. A feeling I have never felt before.
There was a creak outside my room. I could see a shadow stretching out under the door. I had a feeling it was Eddie checking on me. The shadow stayed rooted to the spot for about thirty seconds, then it disappeared.
After about four hours tossing and turning, I accepted defeat and threw back the covers to head downstairs. What did the homeopathic websites say you should have to help you sleep? I think bananas and even warm milk. Both didn’t sound very appetizing now but I needed to get sleep soon.
There was a nightlight illuminating on the wall by the kitchen sink, so I left the main light off. Just because I couldn’t sleep didn’t mean everyone else had to get up.
I jumped so far off the ground and screamed at the top of my lungs.
Eddie ran over and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. “It’s me. I’m so sorry,” he whispered and tightened his hold on me.
I felt like I just had a heart attack my heart was beating so fast, and I was struggling with finding my voice. After several minutes. “Eddie, um, holy shit.”
“Sarah, I am so sorry. I thought you could see me sitting at the table,” he admitted and released his hold.
“I need to sit down.”
“God, I am so sorry,” Eddie said and pulled out one of the chairs.
“It’s okay. I’m so tired, I didn’t pay attention to anything around me as I walked in.”
“So you really couldn’t sleep?”
“No, I can’t get my mind to turn off.”
Eddie stood up and made his way over to the stove. “I can make you some tea if you want?”
“That would be wonderful.” I pulled down my sweatshirt a little farther feeling self-conscious. “I miss my yoga sessions with my mom.” Did I say that out loud? I did miss them though. Back home in Raleigh my mom and I would go to a yoga studio about three times a week. Now I did yoga on my own and in the comfort of my bedroom.
“I love yoga. You could join Kelsey and I tomorrow?”
“Wait, you practice yoga?”
“Sure. Why do you sound so surprised?” Eddie asked and poured steaming hot water into a mug.
“Um, not surprised really,” I laughed. “Okay, maybe a little.”
“Well, Kelsey will have to show you all our favorite asanas.”
I cleared my throat. “So…” Then I lost my train of thought.
“Oh yeah,” I lied. I couldn’t stop staring at his gorgeous hands.
“Sarah, Do you have anything at the house you want me to grab?”
There was a bag full of memories still sitting in a closet at that dump. I had a couple images of my mom, my journal, and locket my mom gave me before I left. “I don’t have much. There is a bag there I would like to grab.”
“Are you ready to talk about what happened?”
I pushed my chair back a little too roughly. “I need to get some sleep.” Taking a deep breath and letting it out. “Thank you, Eddie.”
“How am supposed to clear my mind when all I can think about is pancakes?” I admitted while in downward facing dog pose.
“Hmmmmm…pancakes.” Kelsey stood and walked over to Eddie who was still in the pose, too. “Daddy,” she said while shaking his leg.
I watched him fall to the ground and then his face changed. “Uh oh, guess what happened?” he said to Kelsey and then wiggled his fingers. “Tickle hands have been engaged.”
Dropping to the floor, I bent my knees and sat back on my legs. Eddie was chasing Kelsey around the room. They both were laughing. It was hard to not feel something for them. I glanced at my mat and thought about my mom. She would tell me to trust my heart and right now it was telling me to give Eddie a chance.
It was time to talk to him.
“Daddy, I think Sarah needs to be tickled,” Kelsey said from the other side of the room.
My head lifted so fast. “What? No.”
Eddie advanced on me with his fingers moving back and forth. “She’s right.”
Normally my mind would freak the moment a man advanced on me. This time, I laughed. I backed up as he got closer to me. “No…really….I’m good.” I was in fits of giggles now.
He reached forward to tickle me at the same moment my legs back into the sofa. I lost my footing, and he tried to help prevent me from falling. Instead, I fell onto the sofa and he landed on top of me. My first reaction was to get him off…but all my mind could think about was how good he felt on top of me. I wanted more.
“Um, sorry about that,” he said and stood up.
“Yeah, damn couch got in the way.” I walked over to roll up my yoga mat.
“Daddy, can we have pancakes now?”
“Yes,” Eddie said and tapped his finger on the tip of her nose.
I followed them down the hallway. Something had shifted just now. My body felt flushed and I couldn’t take my eyes off his very fine ass.
Eddie turned in the doorway to face me. “What animal do you want for your pancake?”
Kelsey grabbed my hand. “I like a bear.”
“A bear, huh?” I glanced up at Eddie, he had these stunning chocolate colored eyes. My body seemed to react to him. Which was new for me. I had been with men intimately but they all seemed to end badly. Still staring at him. “I’ll take a heart-shaped pancake.”
“Oh daddy, can you do a heart?”
He must’ve felt it too because he never looked down at his daughter. “Yeah, I think I can.”
My brain stopped working for a moment and all the negative memories just disappeared. Is this what it felt like to be happy?
I wanted more.
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