Page 24 of The One

“It’s fine. I get it.”

She’s wearing this cute as hell yellow wrap dress with her hair up in a tangled bun and bare feet.

Her face is fresh too. Last night she’d worn a bit of make-up, not much, and she’s taking my breath away with her natural beauty and scent like lilacs and butterflies. I don’t know if butterflies have a scent, but fuck if they did it would be what I’m picking up now standing this close.

“A little shocking getting your message you were on the way over, too. It’s very sweet, just a little stalkerish.” She twists her lips to the side.

“At least I didn’t just show up unannounced.”

“True.” Issi picks up a pinch of cornbread and opens her lips. I can’t help thinking of how they would feel…

On mine.

Around my cock.

Anywhere pretty much, as long as they are on me.

“Is there anything else I can do?” I tip my head toward the stairway where Gayl disappeared after Issi forced her to at least take a plate of food upstairs with her.

She wasn’t all that enthused to see me. It’s okay, I get it. I represent some raw emotion right now. I’m happy as fuck Issi is standing here talking to me.

“You can tell me how you think we are going to eat all this food. And even if we give it a good effort, we’re going to gain about ten pounds overnight.”

“I can’t say that more of you would be a bad thing. Any of you seems pretty great if you ask me.”

“Are you serious?” She squints and crinkles her nose, and my cock drips she’s so cute. “You’re like the corniest guy I’ve ever met.”

“I am serious. But, truth, I don’t know how I got this way. Something strange has taken me over since last night.”

Her face is thoughtful, as though she understands but still looks like she’s shielding herself behind her walls. That’s okay, I know how to blow shit up, and those walls are coming down if I have anything to say about it.

“Well, the least I can do is let you stay and eat some of the food you bought and delivered.” Issi sidesteps to the cabinet and pulls out two plates, then two sets of silverware out of a drawer. Stepping back, she hands me one set and looks at me, then down at the spread of food. “Dig in.”

“You’re inviting me to dine with you. Wow. I’ve won the lottery.”

“You’re easy to please.”

“No, I’m not. Ask anyone that knows me.” I take the plate, then finish with a tip of my head toward the food. “Ladies first.”

She fills her plate, and I’m happy to see she doesn’t hold back. It’s piled high. With a grin, I do exactly the same, then we walk over and sit down at a worn country table by the windows.

We eat in silence for a bit, my eyes snapping upward to her every few bites and finding hers looking back at me on more than one occasion. There’s a tightness inside of me that’s new. I’m nervous.

I’m fucking nervous.

I don’t’ remember the last time I was nervous around anyone or any situation that made me feel like this. Even this shit at work with the EPA and the times when wells blew out and lives were saved and lost, I was never nervous.

“So good,” she says, licking her fingers. She’s a wonderful contrast of sweet, smart, poised and at the same time down to earth and natural, with a hint of tomboy about her.

I never understood the word smitten before, but I do now.

“It really is.” That’s the best I come up with when I want to know so much more. What makes her feel hopeful, what she sees in her future, does she want babies?

Because I never did before.

Now I want ten.


My cock twitches and my balls tighten. I want to know what she tastes like. All this delicious food is bland compared to what her flavor would be, I’m sure of that.

I see her looking at my left forearm. The blue ink half showing, along with a deep eight-inch scar on the inside of my wrist.

“It’s not self-inflicted,” I say, looking down at the scar. Over the years I’ve come to realize some people mistake it for an indication that at some point I tried to end me. “Work. My body has taken a beating over the years. I’m actually only eighteen. I’ve aged hard.”

She giggles, setting down the rib she’s just cleaned off. “Yes, you are so boyish in a very rugged body. I believe it. Eighteen and never been kissed I imagine too.”

I return her smile, wiping my sticky fingers on the napkin in my lap. “Well, maybe not never, but long enough I don’t remember it.”

“Uh huh.” She gives me a questioning smirk. “You’re a heartbreaker I bet.”