Chapter 13

Brian didn’t hear movement again for several hours until he heard a quiet alarm around 6 AM. Then he could hear Susan moving around, using the bathroom and several other random noises. About 20 minutes later, the bedroom door opened and Susan emerged, looking like she might have the previous morning when she left her own apartment. Same clothes, same fresh look.

By then, Brian had started a pot of coffee and returned to the sofa.

“Good morning!” she said as she noticed Brian was lying on the sofa, bright-eyed and smiling at her.  He arose and stood up.

“Yes, good morning,” he replied. “Most of my mornings are good, but this one is better with your smiling face hanging around.”

“That’s sweet” she replied. “It’s nice to see you, too.”

She walked over, following him toward the kitchen. “I was thinking,” she said looking over to catch his gaze, “maybe we can meet for lunch or dinner and continue our conversation.”

“Yeah, okay,” he replied. “I can’t do lunch, but maybe dinner.” He knew he couldn’t make dinner, but didn’t want to sound like he was totally blowing her off.

“Ok, call me,” she said, handing him a card.

“Great,” he thought, “now I can call her later with an excuse and maybe set something up for tomorrow.”

“Sure, as soon as I figure out my schedule,” he said.  “I have to meet a few friends who are doing me a favor.“

He walked over to the kitchen and poured two cups of coffee.

“As promised,” he said, turning with a mug in his hand, “how do you like your coffee?”

“Oh, thanks.  A tad bit of sugar or natural sweetener, if you have it,” she said, walking over to the kitchen.

“Yep, sure” he replied. “I have some sugar,” he said opening the cabinet and reaching for a small jar. He opened it and then grabbed a spoon from the drawer. Dropping a spoonful into the coffee and stirring, he handed her the mug with the handle turned toward her.

“Thank you,” she said, taking a sip. “This is great,” she said with a little nod.  She looked down at a smartwatch on her wrist.  Brian hadn’t noticed it before, so she must have taken it off before they met. “Ooh, I need to head out in about 10 minutes.”

“Ok, want some toast or something?” he asked.

“Oh no, thanks,” she said. “I have a breakfast bar in my bag.  I’ll have it a little later.”

Brian thought, “Does she normally have one or did she come prepared for this little overnight stay?”

He replied. “OK, good. I would hate for you to leave without a bite to eat.”

She smiled as she sipped her coffee. “At this point, coffee is what I need the most,” she said with a grin. She took another long sip.  “Yes so, give me a call later and maybe we can do dinner, or tomorrow if you can’t work it in today. I really had a great time and I can’t wait to learn more about you. You are a very complex person. I can tell. And I’m fascinated to get to know you better, if you let me.”

“Um, yeah” he replied. “Let’s see how it goes. I had a good time, too. And I’d like to know more about your work. And life. I bet it’s much very fascinating than mine.”

“I’ll let you be the judge of that,” she said, smiling again. She took another big sip and put the cup down on the counter. “I’ve gotta run. Thanks again and please call me.”

“Ok,” he replied. He unlocked the door and opened it. Susan stepped out, looked back with a smile and a wink.  She walked down the hall to the stairway. Brian watched her round the corner and start down the stairs.

“Call me,” she said again, then disappeared down the stairs.

“Oh I will,” Brian said, but not loud enough for Susan to hear.

Continue to Chapter 14
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