Friday, June 10, 2016
Only a Kiss ~ Part 67
Ana stood and stretched her back. She knew she should’ve moved to the large dining room table when the sun went down and she lost her light, but she wanted to remain close to Brett.
“That bottle of Merlo my neighbors brought me is calling my name,” she said, walking over to the couch where Brett sat. “Are you at a place you can stop and join me for a glass outside by the fire pit?”
Brett closed his laptop. “Even if I weren’t I can’t resist that offer. I’ll go start the fire if you want to get the wine.”
Ana nodded and headed back into the kitchen while Brett went outside. Just a few minutes later he had a nice fire going.
“Well aren’t you the boy scout,” said Ana, placing the bottle of Merlot and wine glasses down on a wood table that sat near the fire pit and in-between a love seat and chair with fat blue cushions.
“Hardly,” laughed Brett. “I met the caretakers, Jeffery and Katie, they had been enjoying the fire pit and were about to put it out when I arrived. I asked them to leave it.”
“Oh I wish they would’ve stayed long enough for me to say hello,” said Ana. “They really are nice people.”
“Do they usually use the Windsor’s stuff?” asked Brett, walking to her. “Seems odd for caretakers.”
Ana waved him off. “Jeffery and Katie are like family to the Windsors. They allot them the same graces they allow me.”
“But you’re Cindy’s sister,” said Brett. “That’s different.”
Ana handed the bottle and corkscrew to Brett, so he could open the wine. “Technically, she’s not related to me. Yes, she’s my stepsister by marriage, but she and Charles owe me nothing, especially after how my mother treated her. They’ve allowed me to stay here out of the kindness of their hearts. I’m they don’t mind Jeffery and Katie using the fire pit while they’re gone.”
“While they’re gone is the key there,” said Brett.
Ana narrowed her eyes at Brett. “What’s your point?”
He shook his head. “There isn’t one. Let’s sit.”
Ana was glad he dropped the subject. She knew it was about to lead to a fight since she didn’t like the way he was implying Jeffery and Katie were in the wrong. They had worked for the Windsors a long time. In fact, they knew the Windsors much longer than Ana had, they had more right to use the property than she did.
Ana sat next to Brett on the loveseat and he wrapped his arm around her shoulder. She felt her anger melt away as he pulled her close. She laid her head on his shoulder and looked up at the stairs as the ocean waves sang their melody.
“This is really nice,” she whispered.
He gave her a squeeze. “It is.”
“I’m really glad you came over. I’m sorry I was so rude at dinner.”
“Please, don’t give it a second thought,” said Brett, tracing his finger up and down her arm. “I can’t promise you I will never have to postpone a dinner or rush off to work. I’ll try not to let it happen often, but I can’t say it never will. As long as we understand that about each other, then neither of us needs to apologize.” He kissed the top of her head. “But know, that when it does happen and I have to leave, it won’t be because I don’t want to be with you. I don’t know what you’ve done to me Anastasia Durrant, but I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Ana felt herself blushing. “I’m sure you say that to all the girls.”
Brett delicately tipped her head up towards his and Ana was shocked to see his eyes were serious. “No, Anastasia, I don’t. I’ve never met anyone quite like you. You’re passionate about your work, you’ve boldly moved across the country for a new start, and you stick up for the little guy.”
Ana opened her mouth to speak, but Brett stopped her. “I could see I was rubbing you the wrong way when I talked about the caregivers. You were ready to grab your sword for them and, that, I admire. Shows how loyal you are to people. That is very rare and I can’t help but want you to be loyal to me that way as well.”
He leaned down and kissed her and Ana could’ve sworn she felt her toes curl.