Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The Dark Heart ~ Part 17
Jackson stoked the fire and looked up at the stars as he and Emberlyn sat on the beach. They had surfed almost all day, until Alister showed up with a picnic basket full of food. Jackson had never felt so much love for a man as he did when he saw Alister, standing barefoot in his khaki shorts and blue button up holding out the food.
“I thought you both might be hungry,” Alister had said, as Jackson and Emberlyn made their way up the beach.
“I could kiss you,” Jackson had said to Alister. “I’m starving.”
Alister had given Jackson a firm look of disapproval. “I wouldn’t recommend it.”
After handing the basket over to Emberlyn, Alister had taken his leave, resisting invitations to stay by both Emberlyn and Jackson.
Now Jackson sat, alone with Emberlyn, under a star lit sky by the roaring camp fire. Jackson couldn’t help but relish in how beautiful it all was.
“It’s beautiful,” said Emberlyn, as if reading Jackson’s thoughts.
“It really is,” said Jackson looking at Emberlyn with a smile.
“Mr. Hunt, I do believe you’re flirting with me,” said Emberlyn.
Jackson shrugged and let out a chuckle. “I’ve been told I’m a natural flirt and you are pretty easy to flirt with.”
Even in the firelight, Jackson could see Emberlyn blushing. “You know how I feel about that.”
“Here’s what I know. I know that I was genuinely surprised to see you at the shop this morning and equally surprised that you surfed all day and then stayed to eat.”
Emberlyn shrugged. “I was hungry.”
Jackson let out a huge belly laugh. “So was I. My point is, for someone who doesn’t believe in romantic love, this sure feels like a date.”
“The truth is, you intrigue me, Jackson,” said Emberlyn and Jackson couldn’t help but get butterflies as his name rolled off her tongue. “Plus, since you know how I feel about love, you feel safe to me. I don’t have to fall in love to be around people I like and have fun with.”
“Valid point,” said Jackson. He grabbed the basket and pulled out a bag of marshmallows. “And I could use a little fun after Genna.”
“She seems like an okay girl,” said Emberly as she took the marshmallow Jackson offered and placed it on a long metal skewer. “But I can’t see how she was your type. What did you see in her?”
Jackson shrugged as he put his own marshmallow on a skewer and placed it over the fire. “Well, she’s pretty. She has these dark blue eyes that remind me of an angry ocean, which oddly enough I find beautiful. She’s always looks put together and friendly … well mostly friendly. I’ve heard her say stuff about people that don’t run in our circle.” He pulled his marshmallow out of the flames as it caught fire and quickly blew it out. “Come to think of it I guess she can be catty. She’s always going to these charity events though, so that has to be something.”
Jackson started to feel embarrassed when he couldn’t think of anything that wasn’t superficial that he liked about Genna. Again, his marshmallow caught fire and he hurried to blow out the flames. Shrugging he pulled the gooey ball off his skewer, leaving a long stream of marshmallow on his fingers, as he popped it in his mouth.
Emberlyn pulled her own marshmallow from the fire. Jackson noticed it was a roasted to golden perfection. She gently grabbed the marshmallow and pulled it off the skewer quickly before placing the whole thing in her mouth.
Jackson laughed. “Okay, you even know how to roast and eat a marshmallow perfectly. Is there anything you can’t do?”
She gave him a wink as she finished her marshmallow. “I told you. I suck at love.”