Chapter no 58

Then She Was Gone

Laurel Mack.

My God, what a woman. Dazzling.

I could not believe that this woman was allowing me to put my hands upon her. That she was in my house. In my bed.

She smelled like five-star hotels. Her hair, under my fingertips, was like a satin sheet. Her skin was smooth and gleamed under the light. She tasted of icy winter mornings when my mouth was on hers. She held the back of my head hard against hers, those pretty hands entwined in my hair. She laughed when I joked. She smiled when I called her name. She spent an entire weekend in my home. And then another. She told her dying mother about me. She let me join her for a family birthday celebration. She sought their approval and she got it. She took my daughter shopping.


She cupped my buttocks as she passed me on the stairs. She woke up with her head on my chest and she changed into my clothes and walked barefoot through my house and drank coffee out of my mugs and parked her car on my street and kept coming back and coming back and every time she came back she was better than I remembered and every time I saw her she was more beautiful than I remembered and I spent every waking hour in a state of raw disbelief that a woman like her would want to be with a man like me.

But now it is Christmas Eve and I am sitting in my living room trussed up in a Paul Smith jumper and a pair of trousers that are slightly too tight on me. Poppy is in her room wrapping gifts and choosing clothes. And Laurel is parked in her car on the street outside and I can see the serious set of her face from my front window; I can see the way her jaw sits a millimeter offset, the slow blink of her eyelids as she finds the strength to come into my home. Because I know and now she knows it, too.



I am not the man she thought I was. The doorbell rings and I go to my door.

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