Tag Archive | Douglas Bennett

Glitter – Chapter 12 – Energized

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Douglas leaned against his car watching the passing tourists as they oohed and awed over some interesting bit of fauna. To his untrained eye it was just like any other plant. Shaking his head he turned at the sound of his name being called. He returned Kyle’s wave “I’m so glad you could meet me” he enthused “my sister has me running all over the place getting stuff for her party.”

“I thought it was just going to be a few friends” Kyle said beginning to worry that he was intruding where he didn’t belong.

“That’s what I thought” Douglas shrugged unconcerned. “I’m hoping with you along I can show you around the island and get whatever she wants.”

“You want me to come with you” he asked “wouldn’t you rather do the errands so you can get back to the party?”

“Not really” shaking his head emphatically “Sandi will just put me to work decorating or making some dip or something equally boring.”

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea” Kyle said again.

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“Don’t you want to spend time with me” Douglas asked sounding hurt. “I know errands aren’t fun but it’ll give us time to get to know each other.”

“I like the sound of that” Kyle admitted. “I’m not so sure about the party. Your sister might not want a stranger crashing it.”

Waving his hand Douglas dismissed his concerns. “Besides Sandi said I could invite anyone I wanted.”

Smiling Kyle asked “where to first?”

“I have to pick up a few things at the store” he explained holding up a list. “My sister likes to have people over but her organizing skills needs work.”

“That’s a long list” Kyle shook his head “what if we can’t find all of that?”

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“Then I’m a dead man” Douglas laughed. “Seriously though Sandi wouldn’t hurt a fly much less her little brother. She’ll just be disappointed. She’ll make me feel about two inches high because I couldn’t do the impossible.”

“When is the party to start” he asked daunted by the task.

“People will start to arrive around three” Douglas shrugged. “Once you get to know Sandi you’ll learn to go with the flow.” Getting into the car he glanced over at Kyle “aren’t you hot in that jacket?”

“Maybe a little” he chuckled a self-consciously pushing the sleeves up. “I’m not used to the weather yet. I keep expecting it to cool off.”

“Stick with me I’ll have you dressing like a native” Douglas assured him as he merged into traffic. He mumbled something about tourists blocking the road to take stupid pictures of stupid trees.

“Have you lived here long” Kyle asked once they got out at the grocery store.

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“Nope” he picked out a cart and started towards the door “my sister and I moved here a couple years ago. I didn’t want to go to college and she” he shrugged ruefully “was getting over a broken heart.”

“Oh” Kyle didn’t know what to say “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be” Douglas said “the guy was a jerk. She deserved better than that guy.”

By the time they finished the errands they arrived at the house a little before two. Sandi glared at her brother as he came in loaded down with bags. “It’s about time” she cried in a frenzy “people will be arriving any minute and I’m never going to be ready.”

“Take a chill pill” Douglas laughed at her “your parties are always epic even when you’re scrambling to get things done.” Nodding towards his friend “this is Kyle. I invited him to the party.”

***

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Kyle gave the girl a sketchy wave before being pulled away by Douglas. “Never mind her” he said “Sandi always freaks out right before a party. She wants everything to be perfect. When it’s not she takes it out one whoever is closest.”

“Which is usually you” Kyle added.

Nodding Douglas steered him towards a closed door. “We can hand out in my room until she settles down.”

Sandi watched her brother and his friend disappear leaving her with the groceries to put away. “Ingrates” she muttered under her breath.

“Hey” a familiar voice called from the door “hope we’re not too early.”

“You’re right on time to help” she squealed when Rex lifted her from the floor in his customary greeting. “Put me down” she demanded.

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“Aw you’re no fun” he pouted.

Grant asked from where he was leaning against the wall “anything we need us to do?”

“Since my brother abandoned me” Sandi squealed again as Rex twirled her around. “Stop” she giggled hitting him on the shoulder.

“Ow” he whined “that hurt.”

Rolling his eyes Grant inserted himself between his twin and the girl. “What do you need us to do?”

“You’re no fun” Rex whined “all work and no fun is so boring.”

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Shaking her head at the twins she asked “how can anyone mistake you for each other? Seriously your so different from each other. Like night and day.”

“It’s the people who don’t know us that get tricked” Grant explained going to answer the door. “January” he greeted warmly.

Rolling his eyes Rex said “that’s the last we’ll see of him.”

“Has he asked her out yet” Sandi asked  handing him a bag of chips and a bowl.

“She asked him before he worked up the nerve” Rex chuckled. “You should have seen the grin he had plastered on his face.”

“January’s a sweet girl” Sandi said defending her friend. “It’s her brother you have to watch out for.”

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“Don’t tell Grant that” Rex begged “ he’ll want me to meet the brother in his place.”

“I won’t” she promised “I like your face the way it is. I wouldn’t want Brandon rearranging it.”

Taking the bowl he had filled with chips into the living room he found Grant cuddling on the couch with a girl. “Hey” he called “I thought you were going to help.”

“Got a better offer” Grant said between kisses January was peppering him with.

“Ugh…get a room” Rex groaned shaking his head as he went to answer the door as more guests arrived.

He found three girls waiting on the porch. “Hey” he smiled at them all.

“Let me in before I lose my mind” Montana pleaded pushing past him. “Those two love birds are driving me crazy.”

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“It’s not much better in there” Rex warned as she moved entered the living room.

“Where’s Doug” she asked thinking she could at least hang out with him.

“In his room I think” Rex shrugged “what’s up with her” he asked Dakota.

“She’s upset that Macy and I have decided to make it official” Dakota explained beaming at the girl beside her.

“Moving a bit fast aren’t you” Rex frowned hoping that they didn’t give Sandi any ideas. They had been dating a few months longer than Dakota and Macy.

“Fast” Macy asked “what do you mean?”

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“Dakota said you made it official” it was his turn to be confused “I thought she meant you were engaged….”

“Oh hell no” Macy shook her head tossing her pink braid from side to side. “We’re dating exclusively now. It’s going to be a long time before we take it to the next level. Engaged…” she shivered.

“You make it sound like it’s a bad thing” Dakota said with a frown.

“I’ve seen too many of my sorority sisters get married and they’re all miserable.” Taking her girlfriends hand “I want to have fun. Enjoy life while I’m still young and able.”

“My parents were married young after meeting in college” Dakota said pulling away from Macy “They’ve been happily married for over twenty years.”

“They’re the exception then” Macy let her hand drop as she walked into the kitchen to see if Sandi needed any help.

***

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Montana threw open the door to Doug’s room gasping when she found him sitting on some guy’s lap. “I’m sorry” she squeaked backing from the room.

“Montana” she heard Doug call after her. She didn’t stop preferring to pretend she didn’t hear him. She hadn’t expected her best friend to be with someone. Was she the only single person here? Maybe Dakota’s harsh words about her being an old maid were true. Maybe she was going to be the one watching all her friends fall in love and leave her behind.

She found her twin bickering with Macy about something inconsequential. Grant had his tongue down January’s throat. Sandi was squealing in the kitchen as Rex chased her. So normal. Yet she felt so alone. She hadn’t realized how much she had counted on Douglas always being there to hang out with her. Now he too had left her behind. Found someone else.

“Montana” Douglas said having come out to find her “I’m sorry. I should have told you I invited Kyle over to hang out with us.”

“It’s ok” she assured him attempting to give him a smile. “I should have knocked first.”

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“We weren’t doing anything” he said not sure why she was acting like she had caught them in bed together.

“I shouldn’t have come” she cried moving towards the door. “I’ll call you later” she said as she opened the door to leave.

“At least let me give you a ride home” Douglas offered following her.

“I want to walk” she gave him a brief smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Please I just want to be alone.”

“Alright” he agreed reluctantly “text me when you get home so that I don’t worry about you.”

“I will” she promise. When the door closed behind her she took several deep breaths before setting off in the general direction of home.

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A heavy sense of melancholy weighed heavily upon her shoulders. Her feet slowed as she passed the entrance to the beach. She remembered how Jason once told her how he liked to go to the beach when he was having a bad day. He had said something lame about the the waves were soothing. A wry smile replaced the frown she’d been wearing since leaving the party. She had a pretty good idea Jason’s interest in the beach had less to do with the waves than it had to do with the surfers on the waves. Nodding she decided she could do with the distraction too.

Taking a detour she walked down towards the beach. She knew several surfers claimed this beach had the best waves. She couldn’t tell what made a wave good or not having never surfed in her life. She had wanted to take lessons when she was a kid but she knew it would freak her more timid father out. He no doubt would have worried about her being bit by sharks.

Wishing she had brought along her sunglasses she raised a hand to shield her eyes. She jumped to her feet searching the horizon for the surfer that had gone down. She felt time slowly tick by as he failed to emerge from the water and reclaim is board that was being tossed back and forth on the waves. Had he hit his head? When she thought all was lost his head broke the surface causing her sigh in relief upon seeing him. He looked a bit dazed as he swam towards his board and rested on it for several minutes before making his way to shore.

 

For some unknown reason she found herself walking towards him. She watched as he planted his board in the sand and plopped himself beside it. “I saw you wipe out” she blurted out “are you alright?” Her eyes bulged out at what she had done. She never approached strangers much less talked to them.

Something flickered in his eyes, annoyance, anger, embarrassment. Maybe a bit of all three. Opening his eyes he seemed to have changed his mind on whatever he was going to say and instead flashed her his trademark grin. “Just a little winded” he said making light of his situation.

“Your bleeding” she gently touched his forehead inspecting his head wound. “You were under so long I was you must have hit your head on something.”

One eyebrow rose “you were watching me?”

“Well I…I…um” her cheeks turned as red as her hair “I should go…”

 

“Hey don’t go” he reached up grabbing her hand “I’m not upset that you were. I’m kind of flattered that you were.”

“Um” she stared at his hand. His fingers wrapped around her wrist sending electric shock waves up her arm. She wanted to run. To hide. To stay. It was altogether confusing.

“I’m Tanner” he introduced himself smiling down at her.

“I’m…” she paused almost afraid of saying her name. She always got some smart remark about her being named after Hannah Montana or you know the state. “Montana” she mumbled after he had given her a questioning look.

***

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Castel tossed the magazine to the sand at his feet. He should have known better than to pick a random magazine off the sales rack to read. Why seeing their smiling faces still bothered him he didn’t know. After ten years he should have gotten over the sting of her rejection. It’s not like she wasted any time reconnecting with Bentley Adams again. The mention of the guys name made his heart beat speed up and his hands to shake. Maybe if Blair had married someone else he wouldn’t still be hanging onto the sting and pain her rejection caused.

The shrill screams of a woman in distress jolted him from his sulk. Glancing around he found a young blonde woman struggling against the current screaming. Standing up he shielded his eyes against the harsh glare of the sun. At first he couldn’t see what was causing the woman’s distress and panic.

 

Running towards her he couldn’t help but wonder what he hoped to accomplish. He was no one’s hero.

“My little boy can’t swim” she cried latching onto his arm.

“Who” he asked confused.

“My son. He was playing right there” she pointed towards a few sand pails and shovels. “I turned my back just for a second….

Her terrified eyes pleading with him to do something galvanized him into action. He scanned the ocean spotting what he hoped was the boy’s head bobbing to the surface. Without thinking he took off running. His Dulce and Gabbana sunglasses sliding from his face to the sand to be swept into the ocean a moment later by the waves. His shoes followed a moment later as he dove into the ocean swimming in the direction he had seen the fleeting glimpse of a little blonde head.

 

He floated in place gulping air into his aching oxygen starved lungs. The beach seemed to far away and impossible to reach. All he could see was water is every direction. Wave upon wave crashed over his head. Shivering he imagined what it must like to a small child. Swimming in circles determined to find the child.

He was about to give up, retreat back to the beach exhausted and defeated. With flagging energy he swam towards something bobbing on the surface. As he got closer he could see it was the body of a little boy about 2 years old. With dread he reached for him turning his face upwards and breathing into his mouth hoping he wasn’t too late.

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Clutching the child to his chest as a wave crashed over top of the driving them both beneath the surface. Struggling he kicked to the surface. He gulped for air then breathed into the boys mouth again before making the agonizing trek back to shore.

Chapter 11 – Free Spirit / Chapter 13 – Unique

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Glitter – Chapter 11 – Free Spirit

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“Come on I’ll take you home” Royce suggested helping Christopher from the bike.

“No way” he pushed Royce away “my parents will kill me if I show up like this.”

“Then you’ll have to come over to my place” Royce said.

Rolling his eyes Christopher allowed him to help him towards his car. “Fine” he muttered.

Smothering a grin he sympathized with his friends feelings. “This time will be different. Jason has friends over so he won’t be bugging you.”

“Good” his voice betrayed his relief the he wouldn’t be asked for information on his brother. “It’s not that I don’t like him” he tried to smooth over the offense.

“Don’t worry about it” Royce waved his apology away. “I’ve talked to him about it. Told him if he liked the guy that much he ought to just tell him.”

“That’s asking for trouble” Christopher sighed “Ben isn’t interested.”

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“I know but the only way Jason will accept it is if he hears it from Benjamin” Royce went around to the driver’s side of the car. “I don’t look forward to picking up the pieces when it happens.”

“Maybe he’ll meet someone else before it does” Christopher suggested.

“Well there is someone….” Royce paused at the sound of someone tapping on his window. “Can I help you?”

“You no” he shook his head “your friend definitely.” He handing Royce a folded piece of paper. Then before anyone could react he turned and walked away. “I think this is for you” he tossed the paper over to his friend.

“What is it” he mumbled staring at the folded piece of paper on his lap like it might bite.

“Open it and find out” Royce said as he backed out of his parking space. “If I were to hazard a guess I’d say it was his phone number.”

The silence from the passenger seat had him glancing across at Christopher. Curious he asked “so am I right? Is it his number?” When Christopher nodded he asked “so will you call him?”

“I don’t know” he sighed thinking back at how they met. “Do you think I should?”

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“If he has you at a loss for words I’d say go for it” Royce chuckled “who knows what might happen.”

“But I was so wasted” he put a hand over his eyes embarrassed at how he was acting.

“You said he helped you” Royce reminded him “obviously he likes playing hero.”

“Yeah maybe” he mumbled fumbling with his phone. “I’ll think about it.” To change the subject he asked “so what was so important you wanted to talk to me alone?”

“Well there’s this girl…”

“And you’re hoping I can give you some pointers” Christopher asked filling in the blanks.

“Well yeah” he shrugged “I’ve seen you pick up girls in the past.”

“”I have but I’m better with guys” they both laughed “do you know the girl?”

“Of course I know her” he huffed “It’s one of Jason’s friends.”

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“In that case I’d say relax and by yourself” he suggested “be casual about it and see if she looks for ways to be alone with you.”

“Then what do I do” he asked.

“You really like her don’t you” Christopher asked. He had yet to meet someone he couldn’t walk away from. He felt somehow jealous of the younger man.

“I do” he sighed a goofy grin on his face “she’s perfect.”

“I sincerely doubt that” Christopher laughed getting out of the car. “How about I meet her then I’ll give you some pointers if you still need them.”

“Just don’t go getting any ideas” Royce warned.

“I won’t. I promise” he waved his phone around “besides I have the hero from the bar to occupy me.”

They were both laughing as they entered the houseboat.

***

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“Hey you’re just in time to light the grill” January announced when Royce entered the room.

Glancing up Jason seemed to be searching for someone beyond his brother. His smile faltered when he realized it was only Christopher who had come. “Glad you join us” he mumbled attempting to appear happy to see him. Disappointment gnawed at his stomach that someone else wasn’t there.

He caught Royce staring at him. Plastering a grin on his face he said “Jace could use some help with the grill.”

Clapping a hand on Jason’s back Christopher said in jovial manner “point me in the direction of the grill and I’ll get it going for you.”

“It’s on the deck” Jason mumbled pointing in the general direction of the grill.

“You ok bro” Royce asked beneath his breath. He had seen the disappointment in his twin’s eyes.

“Fine” he lied “why wouldn’t I be?”

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Royce knew Jason was pretending not to be hurting and valiantly trying to hide his feelings. Maybe for the others he was successful but Royce knew. “Sorry I should have called first” he apologized.

“It’s your house too, invite who you want” Jason said turning away. “January have you met my brother yet?”

Her eyes moved up down checking him out. “I’ve seen him around” she said in an overly bored voice.

“I’ve been around a lot” Royce tried to appear casual and unaffected. He knew he was failing by the look Jason was giving him. His voice always took on a quiver when he got nervous. It wasn’t real noticeable but it was there. Jason knew him better than anyone and had picked up on it.

“Guess I haven’t noticed” she yawned taking out her phone she directed all of her attention to it.

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“Um” Royce strained his mind for something else to say to get her attention. “I’m in a band” he squeaked earning himself a concerned glance from his twin.

“Oh yeah” she raised her face from her phone. “I haven’t seen you play anywhere. What’s your band’s name?”

“Um well…” he groped for words “it’s still being put together.” He glared across at his twin daring him to say anything.

“Too bad” January said returning her attention to her phone “you were almost interesting.”

Feeling like he just received a mortal blow Royce wandered off. He couldn’t help but wonder if this was how Jason felt each time Benjamin failed to notice him. If it was he had a new found respect for him for being able to persist. He was distracted from his thoughts by the sound of Christopher’s laughter.

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“You’ll never get it lighted like that” Christopher’s laugh was boisterous causing the younger boy to jump back.

“I don’t like fire” Jace stammered taking shelter behind Christopher when flames shot upwards from the grill.

“Watch it” Christopher yelled as Jace jostled his hand sending it perilously close to the flames. “What’s the matter with you? You almost got me burned.”

“Sorry” he took a step backwards “I didn’t mean to. I guess I kind of freaked out.” His eyes were glued to the flames watching them as if they were a living breathing thing.

“It’s ok kid” Christopher said deciding to give the guy a break. “We can’t all be brave like me.”

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“You can be brave for both of us” Jace mumbled.

Shrugging Christopher decided to drop the subject. “Where’s the steak” he asked instead.

“Err” Jace pointed towards some tofu burgers and hot dogs. “January’s a vegetarian” he explained.

Shaking his head Christopher arranged the tofu on the grill. He could feel Jace’s eyes following every move he made. It filled him with a warm fuzzy feeling deep inside. Something he hadn’t felt since Lindsey dumped him.

***

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“Where do you think you’re going” she asked as her son ran past her to the door.

“I’ve got things to do” Aaron said without stopping.

“Like Raven” Riley snickered from the table where he was helping himself to another stack of pancakes.

“Shut it” Aaron glared at his younger brother.

“K I S S I N G” he sing songed ignoring the murderous glare his brother directed at him.

“Have you gotten the balls to ask Unity out yet” Aaron challenged.

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“Leave her out of this” Riley shouted getting to his feet.

“Boys” Erika yelled putting her hands up as if to referee between them “enough.”

Her son’s glared at each other. Neither one wanting to back down or apologize.

“I’m out of here” Aaron announced turning towards the door.

“No you’re not” Erika called after him “I need your help today.”

The slamming of the door was the only response she received from her departing son. “What was that all about?” she asked her youngest.

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Sitting back down at the table he stuffed his mouth full of pancakes. Riley shook his head shrugging his shoulders.

“Who is this Raven” she asked when the plate was empty.

“Just some guy” he mumbled getting up to wash his plate. “You might want to talk to Aaron about it.”

“I’ll do that” she agreed “so you like Unity?”

“Mom don’t” he begged running up the stairs to his room.

Shaking her head she cleared the rest of the dishes up from breakfast. Afterwards she went outside to collect the mail. Walking outside she noticed a moving van outside the house next door. Shuffling through the mail she didn’t notice the dark-haired man approaching her.

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“Hello” his voice was deep and pleasant “I’m Malcolm.”

Glancing up she felt her face flush with heat. He was as good-looking as his voice indicated he would be. “I’m Erika O’hare” she squealed internally as he took her hand. She felt like a teenager again facing her crush instead of a thirty-six year old single mother of two teen boys.

“It’s nice to meet you” he said with a debonair smile that resembled more of a smirk.

“Dad” a young girl called “the dork is refusing to help.”

“I’ve got to go” he said a look of regret in his eyes.

Erika sighed watching him go “pity he’s married” she muttered to herself.

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Keli glared at her father as he hurried towards her. “You can chase skirts after we’ve moved in.”

“She’s a nice lady” he said winking at his daughter. “If you want to ask her out for drinks and a nightcap that’s none of your business.”

“Whatever” she rolled her eyes at him. Grabbing a box she stomped towards the house.

“You like that lady” his son asked pointing towards the neighbor’s house.

Malcolm could see the troubled expression in his son’s eyes “she’s nice” he said.

“I don’t want another mother” the boy said before turning and running towards the house leaving his father alone beside a pile of boxes.

***

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It was generally a bad idea to walk with your head down watching your feet. Yet that’s exactly what Kyle was doing after his interview. He let his nerves get the best of him. He completely bombed the interview. He was so distracted by his failure that he collided with someone as they were entering the resort.

“Excuse me” the mild mid range voice said “I should have been paying attention to where I was going.”

Kyle looked up in time to see a pair of gorgeous eyes. He was struck dumb as his mouth moved but no sound was produced. His mind was mush.

“Are you alright” the man voice asked with a note of concern.

Shaking his head Kyle managed to single stammered “yyyesss.” He tried to stand p but found his limbs to weak to support him. Closing his eyes Kyle counted to ten willing himself to pull himself together.

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“Here let me help you” the guy with the gorgeous eyes offered taking Kyle’s hand and pulling him to his feet.

Kyle blinked wondering how they guy could be so casual like he had no idea how he affected others. “Thanks” he mumbled leaning against the door frame.

A frown creased his perfect skin as he observed Kyle. “Should I get a doctor? They have one on call here. I can get him.”

“No really I’m alright” Kyle took a deep breath. He stood tall and straight “see? I’m fine.”

“That’s good to know” the blonde flashed Kyle a boyish grin that would have diffused a bomb. “I’m Douglas Bennett. My friends call me Doug.”

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“It’s nice to meet you” Kyle took his hand giving it a shake as an electrical charge surged between them. “I’m sorry for running into you” he started to apologize.

“Don’t worry about it. It was my fault for not paying attention” Douglas assured him.

“We’re two peas in a pod then” Kyle said laughing a bit “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going either.” For some reason he found himself telling Douglas about his interview and how bad it was.

“We all have off days” Douglas commiserated “don’t let it get you down.”

“I won’t after all it led me to you” Kyle could feel heat warming his cheeks “err I mean if we were paying attention we wouldn’t have met.” He couldn’t seem to stop the words as the dribbled from his mouth. No matter what he did the dribble continued.

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Douglas for his part didn’t seem to notice. “Are you new to the island” he asked once Kyle’s ramblings ceased.

Instead of replying Kyle simply nodded hoping that would keep him from saying anything else embarrassing.

“My sister is having a party tomorrow” Douglas continued as if he didn’t notice Kyle’s lack of response. “It’s just a small group of friends really but it’ll give you a chance to meet some people.”

Kyle met Douglas’s eyes. There was an anxious hopeful look in them. It made Kyle think he might be afraid Kyle would tell him no. “I’d like to come if it’s alright with your sister. I don’t want to intrude.”

“Sandi won’t mind. She said I could invite a friend.” Douglas seemed to relax and the anxious look in his eyes disappeared. “Give me your number and I’ll send you the details.”

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“Only if I can have yours” Kyle teased pulling his phone out his nervousness abating.

“No problem” Douglas said “you’d have had it anyway once I sent you text.”

Kyle paused a moment to wonder if Douglas was really as innocent as he appeared. “I’ll text you later” he promised.

“Great” Douglas grinned “I have to go or I’ll be late.” He turned to walk away. Halfway to his car he turned to wave relieved to find Kyle still standing there.

Kyle smiled to himself. What seemed to be a lousy day was suddenly not so bad. He was looking forward to seeing Douglas again.

Chapter 10 – Beauty Finds Me / Chapter 12 – Energized