Page 16 of Soaring on Love

Falling asleep on the sofa with Roth was one mistake she would not make again. The lapse in judgment had pushed her body to the brink of sexual insanity. Stubborn, passionate, whatever you wanted to call it, that had definitely been one battle she hadn’t picked wisely.

“Lord, look who the mountain lion done dragged in.”

Tressa followed the raspy voice to a short, round man. His long-sleeved denim shirt was buttoned all the way to the top and tucked into a pair of faded jeans held in place by green suspenders. With a head full of wiry salt-and-pepper hair, the older man kind of reminded her of her grandfather. God rest his soul.

A very docile dog with paws the size of saucers ambled up to Roth and brushed against his pant leg in the same manner an adoring cat would do. Roth rubbed his large head. “What’s up, Shank?”

Shank’s appreciation of the attention was clear, his back leg pumping harder the more Roth rubbed him. If Tressa hadn’t known any better, she would have sworn the dog had smiled.

Tressa hung back while Roth, the gentleman and Shank socialized, but she could hear their conversation.

“Nettie told me you were coming to town. Since you’re gonna be here a week, make sure you stop by for supper before you leave. You know Nettie will be hurt if you don’t.”

“I don’t think I’ll get by this trip. I’m only here for the weekend.”

Confusion crinkled the man’s aged dark brown skin. “I thought Nettie said you were here for the week.”

Roth clapped him on the shoulder. “Change of plans.”

Was the change because of her?

“Well, shucks. It’s probably for the best. They’re calling for snow Monday. Could be a headache.” For the first time, his swamp-green eyes trailed to Tressa. “Or romantic. ’Pends on how you view it, I suppose. Hello, beautiful.” He brushed past Roth.

“Glen, this is my friend Tressa,” Roth said.

Tressa wasn’t sure why Roth’s use of the word friend bothered her, because it was exactly what they were. Friends. Just friends. “Hello.” She offered her hand, but Glen pulled her into an embrace that suggested they’d known each other for years. Okay, then. A hug it is. Unlike with Roth, Shank had little interest in her and disappeared behind the counter.

When Glen held her at arm’s length, his round cheeks blossomed. “Well, it’s a pleasure meeting you, friend Tressa.” Glen cut his eyes in Roth’s direction. “And any friend of this man’s is definitely a friend of mine.”

Tressa noted Glen’s obvious admiration for Roth.

Glen continued, “I know you haven’t gone through all of that food my Nettie took to your place.” He clapped a hand on Roth’s shoulder. “My wife likes to make sure this joker is taken care of. And when she heard it might snow…she packed like a famine was coming.” Glen sounded a huge laugh that made his stomach jiggle.

Ah. Nettie was Glen’s wife. The information sent a hint of satisfaction through her.

“Nettie left plenty,” Roth said. “We just need to gather a few other things.”

The front door chimed, drawing their attention.

“All right. Well, holla if you need me,” Glen said and moseyed away.

Tressa glanced up at Roth. “You were supposed to stay a week?”

He shrugged. “Yeah, but it’s—”

“It’s not okay.” Normally, he was the one finishing her thoughts. “Don’t let me disrupt your plans again. I already feel bad enough. We’re staying the week. I, for one, wouldn’t want to disappoint Nettie.”

Roth laughed. “You did hear the part about snow, right? We could get stuck here beyond a week. Frankly, I’m not sure I can put up with you for more than a week.”

Tressa’s mouth fell open, and she swatted him playfully. “How rude.”

“I’m just kidding. You’re great company.”

She was in no rush to get back to Raleigh. The more time she could spend in Silver Point, getting her thoughts together, the better. “I’m okay with getting stuck here. I have nothing better to do.”

Roth folded his arms across his chest. “What about your job?”

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